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M9H Our Balance Story: Kicked Out of the Saltshaker

2 Things You Should Know about Balance. God was trying to teach me about balance. Here we were, spending a whole year and more inside the saltshaker, filling up with His Word, while God provided our every need as we learned to put His Word to work in our lives; then, nothing. Had we put God in a box, expecting Him to cater to us now? Possibly. We were soon to find out.

I had gotten my distributor pack of books and Jim was working at a construction job in the town where his sister, Ann, O., lived in Kansas. My books were still on the shelf not being used in business/ministry, while I scrounged for odd jobs to make a little money. We had a lot to learn before we understood what having salt in balance meant.

We rented a pretty nice house on the main drag in town. After moving in, we were told the house was to be bulldozed to make room for something else; we had to find another place to live. The only solution we saw was to buy a mobile home and move onto our in-law’s land that they offered. We felt like a ping pong ball, which now we see was salt bouncing out the shaker.

Balance came after being kicked out of the saltshaker

have salt in balance

We must have been very stubborn because we found it very hard to see God’s plan and purpose for us. Our in-law’s church had found a pastor by now and no other doors opened. We were floating in mid-air.

Jim’s boss wanted to make him foreman on building the new middle school, and he felt this was not the way to go, but what was? Ann  O. told us about a man, Pastor Doyle Smith, in Great Bend, Kansas. She had heard him once and thought we could benefit from his counsel. We made an appointment and went. She was right.

Pastor Smith was teaching his deacons a book, Love, Acceptance and Forgiveness, by Jerry Cook (with Stanley C. Baldwin).[1] Jerry Cook and his wife began as pastors in a church with twenty-three people. After fourteen years, it had grown to 4,500. He stresses the difference between knowing our purpose and having a philosophy to live by. A purpose says what while a philosophy explains how and why, so is therefore much deeper than a purpose.

Because El Elyon I am in balance

Pastor Cook outlines two philosophies Christians live by, whether known or not:

The church as the field: this is where the pastor does everything and the people go to him only for everything. If something does not happen within the four walls of the church, it’s not recognized as ministry.

The church as a force in the community: this is when the people are released to minister outside the four walls of the building. They take responsibility for the needs of people they meet and their fellow Christians, ministering to them in the name of Jesus. They are not made to feel guilty when not at church every time the doors are open; they have no need to call the pastor every time something comes up. The pastor sees his role as doing what the Bible says, to prepare God’s people for the ministry (see Eph. 4:12). The people feel empowered and set free to be who God called them to be on the job and in their community while mixing with people of all denominations, or no denomination.

After reading the book, Jim and I felt like thorns had just been uprooted in our hearts and insights planted with a breath of fresh air—Pastor Cook put in words what we felt. Jim had presented a neighborhood outreach plan to our pastor in Texas, but the idea had been rejected. It had been so ingrained in us that unless a person was ministering “in the church” as a pastor, or other administrative person with a title, we could not “really” be used by God. Other Christians felt the same, for they had told us, “If you feel you are called by God then go to seminary.”

Jim prepared his résumé to mail to all the Christian colleges in Kansas. That had to be where God intended us to go, right? No response. We mailed the same résumé to all the secular community colleges in Kansas. The next day, a phone call came for an interview. Cowley County had been looking for a psychology instructor and football coach for one year and had found no one—the identical job Jim was doing before moving from Kansas years before.

During these events, God was teaching me about balance. Here we were, spending a whole year and more inside the saltshaker, filling up with His Word, while God provided our every need as we learned to put His Word to work in our lives; then, nothing. We were barely scraping by to make ends meet—still giving from the top of our meager resources, but no new miracles as before. Had we put God in a box, expecting Him to cater to us now? Possibly. From His viewpoint, I think He saw us as His teen aged children who had graduated from His School of Faith and now He was trying to kick us out of the saltshaker nest, saying,

“Grow up! Get out there, stay close to Me, put into daily practice all you’ve learned—reflect My glory to a hurting world.”

Have salt in the world where you are protected

The Lord Most High had already given me a business/ministry, with the church as a force philosophy, to take the bookstore to the people that I now cherished with all my heart. Jim taught his classes with more fervor than ever before. Before he taught, now he taught. He coached before, and now he coached. Looking back, we can say, “the Lord our God carried us as a father carries his son, all the way we went until we reached this place” (see Deut. 1:31).

We vowed to encourage our children, and encourage some more. We chose to believe what Jesus prayed for his children, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one” (John 17:15). We sought to teach attitudes rather than rules, allowing our children to be involved in the world; thus, their lives. And the best was yet to be!

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How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth!—Psalm 47:2

HERE is your MAKING IT PERSONAL – EL ELYON [GOD MOST HIGH]

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Is Your Life Out of Balance? How we Got Kicked out of the Saltshaker

[1] Love, Acceptance and Forgiveness (still in print) by Jerry Cook is in its thirty-seventh printing and has been translated into sixteen languages. Jerry has written a sequel to this book, The Monday Morning Church: Out of the Sanctuary and Into the Streets. This book lays out how Christians can be the Church, not just in buildings on Sunday, but 24/7 in everyday living.

M9G Alignment Comes Before Assignment from El Elyon

Linda B. and her husband Bill found Jesus as a result of a tremendous trial. At the birth of one of their daughters, Linda found herself in a hospital without the right equipment to help her delivery. The baby was in the birth canal, breach, for three days. After delivery, the baby girl was black.

Miraculously, she lived without ill effects. A pastor came to their home to support and encourage them. They prayed with him to receive the Lord. This couple grew in the Lord together, and today work with youth in their church; they host and teach a home Bible group–they live in alignment with God Most High–El Elyon.

Moving out of the saltshaker may take some shaking up – as in Linda B.’s alignment story

 

How One Woman Learned a Hard Lesson: Alignment Comes Before Assignment

Years later, in the midst of all her busyness, Linda discovered very unexpectedly that her life was out of alignment and that God Most High wanted to melt and mold her heart for His purposes only—that alignment comes before assignment. She had realized her dream of placing her beauty salon in the marketplace, a busy medical facility—the women being “Diamonds in the Marketplace.” Although her deepest desire was praying for and with women in her salon, she was tremendously busy and on the go all the time. She also spent time with the Lord every morning, and she and her husband worked hard with teens at her church.

One day she was passing a car with her brand new car. The wheels started going berserk. She held on as tight as she could, then, no power. Somehow, she was able to steer to the side of the road. Finally . . . peace, and the Lord said to her, “You are just out of line with Me as this car.”

The timing chain had broken. The definition of alignment came alive to her and how simple it was, “in harmony, and in balance.” She felt God saying to her, “Listen, and give me the throne of your life. Take Linda off, where she’s not the center and come into alignment with Me. You are doing all these good things, but not My Thing. I have a personal mission for you. You’re doing church, but not of Me. Let Me fill you with My power each day.”

Linda determined to ask each morning as the child Samuel did, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening” (1 Sam. 3:9).

Slowly, the Lord brought up things that had dulled her hearing that she now dealt with. After surrendering, the hearing came so much clearer. Since then she started asking, “What is my assignment today, Lord? What is it today?”

“I’ve had the greatest romance with the Lord. He is so full of surprises, and brings things through the back door I could never have imagined.”

One day while in the bathroom at work and getting ready to exercise on the nearby equipment, she was viewing her backside in the mirror. Caught up in being silly she said to a lady who entered the room, “I’m trying to see if I’m fat in these pants.”

“Well, no.”

“Like you would know what fat looks like, you itty bitty thing!” Linda responded.

Linda felt a check in her spirit and the Lord saying, “Hold on, see how sad she is. Listen to her. Change lanes, Linda.”

“What’s wrong?”

“You don’t’ want to lose weight the way I’ve lost weight.”

The woman shared her heart with Linda at this point. She had been through an awful divorce. Her husband left her with no home and her child was with him. “I’m at the end.”

Unaware of any God-connection moments before, Linda grabbed her hand and spoke words from Jeremiah 29:11, “God wants you to know He has a plan for you, a plan to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

“I will intercede for you. You cannot give in.” Linda shared a quick prayer with her. Later on, the woman grabbed Linda’s hand and said, “Thanks so much for saying that to me. I was ready to throw it in.”

Through checking out her FAT God hooked Linda up and she discovered it took less than one-fourth teaspoon of seasoning to speak to a need. “We don’t have to be a popular television personality to be used by God. The manna rotted when not used. The Dead Sea has to have an outlet.” In other words,

Salt has to flow through the body to the outside with new salt replacing it each day—just as Linda learned to do in acting upon her assignments from the Lord each day.

Linda receives another assignment after her alignment

Another day and time, Linda was in the grocery line at the store buying slim-fast bars.

While waiting, a lady looked in her basket and said, “Well, I’m bulimic.” You’re bulimic. What do I say to you, lady? Linda thought.

“I only eat one meal a day,” she continued.

Linda grabbed her hand, “Honey, I’m here to tell you, I don’t know about bulimia, but I know about cigarettes. God has given us one body. What you do with yours is your business. I finally came to that realization and said, ‘Okay, Father, I’m giving You these cigarettes and my body.’ God is a deliverer and He can deliver you. Bulimia is not too big for Him. Do you believe that?”

She just stared at Linda, but Linda knew the Holy Spirit only uses a few words to steer a person in a different direction—one she may not know until she gets to heaven.

No one was in the line behind the two women that day. Linda has witnessed the Lord clearing out the entire shop or canceling the whole day when He is about to make a divine connection with one of His hurting loved ones. She knows when someone cancels, her Father is about to bring her next assignment.

Alignment makes the world of difference to your children, friends and family

Linda has written her prayers and thoughts in a journal since she was a little girl. One recent Valentine’s Day her written prayer was especially passionate and unusual:

The pleading of the blood and thanksgiving for His sacrifice.

Reaches down from Calvary’s tree, the day we proclaim our love for one another.

The greatest love sacrifice, I believe, ushers in the covering protection through the blood of Christ over my family today.

Thank you, Holy Spirit, for your leading and prayer, for the tools of God’s Holy Word to take us into the presence of the throne for my family today.

I believe because of Your leading and covering, the most tragic and difficult situation has been turned in the spiritual realm. We experience Passover of the death angel, defeat in the enemies camp because of the blood of Christ.

Lamb of God, feed me ‘til I want no more. Fill me up and make me whole.

Radical light from your Word brings radical change and radical blessings.

Assurance and direction follow the light, My child, of the Word made flesh.

God’s mercy became alive unto us in the instant the need of protection became reality.

Atonement at one moment; You rescue us.

Once again, your immeasurable love takes me to the secret place of the Most High.

“I had no idea I could have buried my two firstborns that day when they rolled their van five times. The EMS men said that after three rolls, someone is usually dead. God is immeasurable. He is my breath. I am desperate for him.”

Linda can say of God Most High, “I pursued my enemies and overtook them . . . . You made my enemies turn their backs in flight, and I destroyed my foes” (Ps. 18:37-40).

Because El Elyon I am in alighment

All the stories you have just read, except for Dwight’s, are written from a woman’s perspective. Keep in mind; all women have supportive “salty” husbands working in partnership with them. Even Dwight would not be what he is without his wife, and they work very hard at their relationship, making time for each other before ministry.

All these people know their priorities in balance: God first, Family second, Ministry last. Even better—family is ministry. Each one knows where they came from and where they are going. They know that very soon now, they will be stepping out of that final Jordan River, because Jesus is returning soon to claim His bride! Their lives are not lived unto themselves pursuing unfulfilling things. They are four-sided, balanced, Wordy-salt cubes that have moved out of the saltshaker making others thirsty. They want to take as many people with them as they possibly can while teaching them at the same time.

Yet . . .

We have come through only three parts of our journey: Leaving Bondage, Lessons in the Wilderness, and Crossing the Jordan. A cube with only three sides is hollow, unfulfilled, and incomplete. It has to have the fourth side—which is the fourth part of this four-part study— Possessing the Land of Promise..

The righteous will never be shaken, but the wicked will not dwell in the land (Proverbs 10:30 NASB).

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Moving Out of the Saltshaker takes some shaking up

 

M9D We Are Salt Because God is El Elyon

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.—Matthew 5:13

We need to look at salt before we can fully understand what it means to be the salt of the earth for our own purposes. So, what is it? What does it do? How can we use that knowledge to be better “salters” of the earth?

What is salt?

We are four sided salt

Salt is a chemical with the formula NaCl, or sodium chloride. Salt’s chemical structure is a cube with depth, width, breadth and height. This four-sided crystal shares biblical significance with the earth. The “four corners of the earth, the four winds of the earth” (see Rev. 7:1), four regions (north, south, east and west), and the four seasons (fall, winter, spring and summer) are all biblically significant. The number four is also the biblical number which means “creation”—God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth (see Gen. 14:19-20).

Salt is in crystalline form, transparent like glass, but before refinement, comes in rock form—discolored and misshapen.

The physical, chemical truth is that salt cannot lose its saltiness without sodium chloride changing its physical structure (and actually becoming something else entirely). Therefore, what can it mean when Scripture says, “if salt loses its saltiness?” Mark 9:50 sheds light on the subject. It records, “Have salt in yourselves . . . .” The only thing in heaven and earth that does not change is Jesus himself, the Word made flesh, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:8) and does “not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17). Therefore, salt is Christ—the Word of God.

Dwight discovered it was God’s Word that pierced the heart, and until he put it to use he knew nothing about being the salt of the earth. He had to be refined before he was transparent so Jesus could be seen in his life—no longer misshapen. It was the Word which gave him depth as it transformed his life in all four dimensions—physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally.

What does salt do?

The Dead Sea: too much salt kills
The Dead Sea: too much salt kills

Salt preserves foods and is used as a de-icer for roads and highways, but loses its melting ability in extreme cold conditions. Salt softens hard water, making everything it touches more effective. It has healing qualities, disinfects wounds, and is used in spas for treatment of the skin. Salt was used as a cleansing agent in medieval times.[1] Ezekiel 16:4 tells about newborns being rubbed with salt.

Salt is used as a seasoning. Job said, “Is tasteless food eaten without salt, or is there flavor in the white of an egg? I refuse to touch it; such food makes me ill (6:6).” Salt is good, although the body needs only one teaspoon (6 grams) per day, of which three-fourths comes naturally from prepared foods.

Too much salt kills. The Dead Sea (Salt Sea) in Israel is 30% salt, nearly ten times the amount of normal sea water. No fish can live in it nor anything on the land surrounding it.[2]

Years before Dwight learned how to share the gospel in humility, his exuberance took over and he said, “Like taking the delicious gospel like an ice cream cone, I stuck it in a person’s face, killing any hope of the Gospel message being received.”

Dwight learned the Word was salt seed he must be ready to plant in the right way. He witnessed that only the Holy Spirit could make it grow—water it and bring the increase—at just the right time God was working with a heart to receive—before it became so cold it could not.

HAVE SALT—BUT USE IT IN BALANCE

Salt is good, but it must be kept in balance. The body will not function properly unless the ratio of salt to water in the bloodstream remains near constant. Every living cell in the body is bathed in a salt solution. The first intravenous solution given to a hospital patient is saline, or salt water. Salt is critical to life; lack of it causes death, yet the kidneys filter out and eliminate any minor excess. Similarly, when salt intake is too low, the kidneys make every effort to retain all they can.[3]

Carol J.S. learned to have salt in balance

3 Things You Should Know About Being Salt

Carol J. S. is an excellent example of a Christian—having salt “in season and out of season” (see 2 Tim. 4:2). Plus, she learned the importance of balance. Carol was saved at a young age and baptized in her church. She grew up in the best of best of Christian homes and never heard a cuss word from her father or fighting from her parents. Still, she had to overcome feelings of not measuring up to siblings and learned to make her parents’ faith her own. Growing up learning the Word through a mission’s organization named Girl’s Auxiliary planted her in a salty foundation.

One day when she was twelve a missionary spoke at her church. Listening to him called forth a longing to be used by God for this same purpose, “Yes, I will do that!” Without a doubt she knew this was her destiny—but “life” happened.

Carol fell in love at age sixteen, married at eighteen, and had four children. Many times she thought about her heart decision to go wherever God wanted her to go. Why had it not happened? When her daughter came home from youth camp and said, “I’m going to go to Venezuela!” God’s fulfilling my dream through my children, she thought.

“No, Mom, you are supposed to go, too.” Carol decided to test the door; it opened; she was chosen to go, which was unusual since it was a teenaged team by design.

She and her husband began to pursue short-term mission trips, taking their children with them. An opportunity arrived for the couple to go to Nepal and Thailand with a medical mission team. With no medical training Carol played nurse, watched surgeries, and helped pray for three days for 900 people before their surgery.

“We are holding a national Christian conference for teachers and pastors in another town. The lady who was to speak to the women cannot get through on the roads. Can you come speak?” asked the sponsoring missionary. Carol agreed.

That night, she prepared a talk for these women. She had no notes or books to reference. All were back in the states where she had been preparing for a women’s retreat about the life of Queen Esther. This was the message already in her heart.

The next day as Carol viewed the Nepalese women, they were looking in their laps— having been taught not to have eye contact, especially with men. Speaking through an interpreter, the main words Carol kept repeating were, “You are the King’s daughters!” Slowly their heads began to rise as she talked. She witnessed their growing smiles and increased excitement as they became receptive to the Lord.

After the conference Carol learned Nepal was ruled by a king. They had more information than she did and God used the salty Word in her heart to bless real, hurting women in a dark place on this earth—a fulfillment of a prophecy spoken to her years before.

Sometime after this, Carol learned that as with salt, balance is the key—the balance of doing vs. being. “I prayed for God to break me. He replied that He did not want to see my heart broken. He wanted to melt it.”

She is transparent and vulnerable in saying, “I worked at a Christian school, doing their bookkeeping, doing payroll, teaching children’s church, a Wednesday night class, and doing praise and worship. I was so busy, busy, busy; I’m not proud of this. Even my prayers were performance. God honored all this, but He wants more. He wants my fellowship. I began to pull out of most things while other people filled the gap.God Most High, El Elyon—our Father El Roi—wants to be wanted. He delights in our smiles.”

Carol operates an on-line email prayer request ministry that spans numerous states. She has gone to India and feels God calling her to the Ukraine. In looking back at the tapestry of her life, she sees how all the dark and light and gold and silver threads have worked for her good. She praises El Elyon, God Most High, Sovereign Ruler of the Universe, “His resurrection life in me is all I need.”

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How One Woman Learned to BE SALT rather than trying to BE Salt!

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/sodium_chloride (accessed April 7, 2007).

[2] Epiphany Software\Bible, Explorer 3 (accessed April 7, 2007).

[3] http://www.siftocanada.com/saltbook/yourbody.htm (accessed April 8, 2007).