Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Is the Church Dead? Is America Lost?

No to both questions.

We humans have a tendency to take things for granted. It's our nature. If the ground has been there all along, we expect it to be there tomorrow.

We tend to do the same with our Church activities. From the outside, it would seem the church is dying.

Just as in family. We may squabble among ourselves but let an outsider try to harm one member and watch the whole family stand up.

The same thing happens in our churches. We become lazy, skip a few Sundays, let life make us too busy. Something happens on the outside, to make us feel threatened in any way and we come flooding back into the flock.

I'm watching the same thing happen to my country. We sat back and let those hard working left wingers take our country right down the sewer before the hair finally stood up on the back of our necks. You will see the true America in action, over the next few years, as we stand up and defend what is ours.

Poor left wingers. They always think they've won, when in actuality they've simply shown their colors loud enough to get our attention.

I don't think I'll worry too much that the church is dying or that our country is lost. It's just like in the world at large, while the minority will make the most noise, telling us Christians amount to maybe 2% of the population, we actually make up about half. The same in politics. They will make noise about how they are victorious. The more they slide down the scale the more noise you will hear.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Clouds all around me

It may seem, sometimes, that the Lord is not answering your prayers. When this happens, just hang tight.

Really hard to do, I understand that. I've been through it myself. If home is where the ill feelings are then who is bringing that into the household? If you already know and don't see a way out, lean hard on the Lord and wait on His perfect timing. It will come.

Sometimes you just aren't sure what the problem is. Is it him/her? Is it me? Until all truth is lying out on the table for all to see, you won't find out what the real problem is. This is when you lean even harder and ask the Lord to open your eyes and ears and to give you discernment in the matter.

Eventually that egg will crack and out will come the truth, exposing the underlying sickness that is poisoning your very existence. This is what you want - truth. Without it, you wander in darkness with no real answers and no direction.

Sometimes you're amazed at what the truth really was. Sometimes that truth hurts but better to react to the real thing, than to your own imagination.

Walk in truth and you will walk in the light. Refuse to live in a house with untruth, as that kills. Nothing is worth living in such darkness.

Monday, June 14, 2010

What Is This Thing Called Authority

f you follow Jesus, and I don’t mean just a confession of Him, I mean falling in love.

Before I get into the meat of the subject, I better stop and explain the relationship of a disciple. Jesus’ disciples were deeply in love with Jesus. That’s why they followed Him, regardless of the situation. Why else would a body just up and desert their own families, their daily duties, their entire lives? That’s what a person does, when they are ‘in love’.

Think back to when you were first in love with someone. Did they not occupy your every thought? Did you change your daily habits, just because of that person? Were you consumed with a desire to be with that person?

The same can happen with you and Jesus. He loves you in that way and when you return that love, wonderful things can happen. If you felt like you were floating on air, when first ‘in love’ with another human being, then what would it be like when you fall in love with Jesus. Talk about floating on air, it has been known to actually happen.

This is the relationship, I talk about when I say disciple. His friends are your friends, His enemies are you enemies, what He loves you also love, simply because you are with Him all the way regardless of the price.

It was to His disciples, Jesus spoke about faith and how it operates. Something happens to a person, when they become a disciple of Jesus. It’s as though their brain gets rearranged.

God created Adam and gave him all authority. That meant ALL authority. God created the animals and plant life but left the naming up to Adam, because the authority lied with Adam.

This was the first marriage. All of mankind and the design of their lives, evolved around that first marriage. In other words, that’s the reason for man and woman and the reuniting of them into a form called ‘one’. It’s all representation of the first marriage and God’s relationship with mankind. Hopefully that helps you to understand this thing God has for man, this thing that never seems to die, this thing called love.

When Adam sinned, it was the sin of adultery. The curses that came as a result, are the same as any marriage – a ripping apart of a marriage. Adam separated from God, God didn’t separate from Adam.

By sinning against God, Adam had turned over his authority to the serpent. Kind of like a contract being signed over. Adam’s loyalty, whether he liked it or not, had turned to the serpent, thereby transferring his authority to him. Just as happens when one partner is disloyal to the other. Doesn’t the hurt party see the union between what was once his partner and this newly chosen partner?

This is the reason God had to become man, in order to retrieve that authority. On the cross, Jesus paid the ultimate price for the return of His own property. By defeating death, overcoming what belonged to satan (death), Jesus took back that authority.

So imagine Jesus handing over that same authority to His disciples. He did, you know. “I give to you my authority, which is in my name.”

He was speaking to His disciples, that’s true, but today you and I can also be a disciple. Sold out, blind faith, head over heals in love, abandoning the physical life, disciples.

Now what did He mean, ‘in my name’? His name is above all others, it is apart from this earth. His name is like a badge, when we wear it. The badge represents His authority, which He has given to us, His disciples.

I’ll bring this down to a true story. At a time when I was flat broke, physically weakened and separated from the nearest humanity by 20 miles, I had a problem. The car was old and barely functioning and the tires were falling apart. I had a flat tire and needed to go to town. There were no men around to help and I was ‘on my own’. The lug nuts were practically welded on and would not budge.

I tried everything. I jumped on the lug wrench, trying to shock the nut loose. Didn’t work. I tried a big hammer, hoping again to shock it loose. Nothing. It wouldn’t budge. Without thinking, just a knee jerk reaction, I lost my patience and uttered the words out loud, “In Jesus name!”, while trying with the lug wrench again. It felt like the lug nut had turned to butter, it came loose so quickly.

First, I had to get over my surprise at what had just happened but then I collected myself and tried the same thing with the next nut and sure enough, “In Jesus name!’, each one came off like they were nothing but butter.

Boy! Did I learn something that day. You know, a week later I came upon a very elderly man, trying to do exactly the same thing? He was struggling with a lug nut and had stood up to stretch his back. He was in pain. I offered to help and he just laughed at me and said, “If I can’t get it loose, what makes you think you can”? Ha

I told him I already knew I couldn’t but that I knew a trick. After a few more tries, he stepped back and told me, “Ok, you try it!” I stepped up to the lug wrench, grabbed hold of it, and as I began to twist I shouted out, “In Jesus name!” and the darn thing slipped off like butter. I turned around to see the old man’s eyes wide and his mouth gaping. He said, “Why didn’t I think of that.” We had a good laugh and talked about the Lord for awhile.

Funny thing though, years later when the car wouldn’t start, that didn’t work. Do you suppose it had something to do with the state of my mind? Believe me, I locked in on that thought and pondered it for many days. I think it’s possible I understand now.

Even we know when it’s an absolute desperation and no possible help. We can see the difference.

So what is this thing called authority? It’s the same thing God created this world with. It’s like the difference between you speaking alone, and you speaking in unison with the Holy Spirit. When you speak together, in unison, of the same mind, mountains move before your eyes.

Authority. A policeman has the authority of the government entity enforcing. He speaks, it happens. Your boss has authority. He speaks and if he has worthy employees, it happens.

Jesus speaks and the clouds part. We speak in the name of Jesus and people rise from the dead.

It’s not the words that get action. It’s speaking God’s will and all angels are created to carry out God’s will. When it is spoken, using the authority, angels dispatch and it happens.

So having this authority over all the earth, doesn’t that require us to be careful what we speak? Oh yes it does. That’s the idle words, God spoke of. Your very words can set the heavens on fire so be careful when you say things against another.

An idle word can also be someone speaking, when they are not a disciple. Those words hit the wall and go nowhere. It’s just like in marriage. If you have that marriage certificate, you can speak for the other. If not, you’re an individual and cannot speak for the other.

My answer to the question of who has this authority? Fall in love.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

What To Do When Some People Listen but Do Not Hear

Have you ever wondered about some people who seem to never get past the pablum stage? As though they will never come to that day when they are ready to take on 'strong meat'.

You can spend hours explaining something to them, it seems they've understood and yet when you tell them it's time to take this to the Lord, they don't take the initiative and go to the source, they want to hang onto you, getting you to discuss it further, from different angles, go over it again and coming back to you with something like, ' I understand. If only *** would act differently or treat me better or or or....'

You're trying to get this person to see their own relationship with the Lord, how to deal with a problem, how to give it over to the Lord. You spend so much time, detailing for them, what their next move should be only to hear them come back with pointing a finger at 'the enemy' instead of actually grasping what you're trying to tell them.

I've personally run into this just recently and with a family member. This person continually came to me for advice and I continually pointed them to the Lord. After hours of detailing why it was so important to lay this at the feet of Jesus while asking the Lord to examine him, expose to this person the problems within instead of without, and after hours of deep conversation, it always ended the same way - this person wanting to go over and over again, the faults of another.

It wasn't until I finally discovered that this person had played me financially, for all it was worth, did I also come to the conclusion that this person never really wanted true advice to begin with. It was just some game this person plays on every human being that comes into his life. He exists by playing the 'forever Pablum boy', letting others tend to him in every possible way.

I'm sharing this for one reason and that is to help others realize, there really are people out there that 'suckle' the church and take advantage of the Christian heart. They know just enough about Christianity to know how to play a Christian. These people will never own up to truth, will constantly give the impression he/she needs help spiritually and desires it.

The truth is anything but. The truth is, this person just likes the attention, wants their way regardless of the cost and will never face themselves.

What I've learned is how easy it is to cast pearls before swine. The swine can be as close as a family member.

I'm sharing these thoughts to let others know, there is really a time when it's ok to shake off the dust from your feet. You have to. To allow a person to consume your time and thoughts for no good reason, when there is a world out there waiting for the truth, is a sin.

Helping a babe in Christ, grow in the Lord, is one thing. Spending an eternity wasting time on someone who is pretending, is quite another.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Omnipresent - What Does That Mean?

For those who know me, they've heard this story before but now, I will finish the story. You can read my entire life walk with God in my book "He Lives". For this writing, I'll skim over the beginning of this story.

I was barely 8 years old, when the Lord called me in a loud voice. It happened to be in a tiny insignificant Baptist church in a tiny insignificant town in the very southern tip of Texas.

Hardly a mega-church and hardly a congregation of thousands. This was truly a tiny church for a tiny town and I, at the age of 7 was a part of its beginnings.

The scene was a typical, annual revival set up in a small tent, not 50' away from the church building itself. Thank the Lord it was still spring time or we would have been eaten up by mosquitoes, every night.

Every night for a week, we met in that tiny tent, with wooden folded chairs and sawdust for a floor.

Now, I referred to us as 'good Baptist' because we sat on the very last occupied row. Since my brother and I were the terror of the church, we were separated. My brother on the left side of the aisle with my parents, and myself on the right side with my grand-parents.

Children, in our church were seen and not heard. We were to learn obedience, hold the communion platter for our elders, bow our heads when anyone was praying - and we were to remain quiet. Our people also believed in the age of accountability. In other words, we were not allowed to accept Jesus until age 12 and then of course, expected to immediately do so. Rules were strict with children.

Five nights in a row, we showed up in the tent. Five nights in a row, I brought a small pad and pencil, to keep me occupied.

It wasn't until Friday night, the last night of the revival, that something changed. As usual, at the end of the sermon, the organ began to softly play while the pastor delivered the benediction prayer. It was always expected that when the pastor finished his prayer, anyone wanting to accept the Lord, came down front then.

To further set the scene, my grandfather sat on the aisle seat, my grand-mother next and then me. There was no-one to my right. The same in the row ahead of us.

As the pastor delivered the benediction prayer, instead of me bowing my head and closing my eyes, my head was bowed alright but because I was drawing pictures.

Suddenly there was the loudest voice I had ever heard in my short life. Loud enough that if it had been mortal, the tent would be blown away. Loud and yet gentle. A voice more familiar than my own. It only said, "Judy!"

Something caused my body to react without my knowledge. I stood bolt upright and it happened so suddenly, I was dazed and trying to figure out what had just happened.

I was still standing when my grand-mother became annoyed with me and gave a little jerk to the hem of my skirt, which brought be back to earth. I sat down, thinking that God was mad at me for not being obedient. I have no idea where the pen and pad went, I never saw it again. I squeezed my eyes shut, so tightly I saw stars. I was still confused as to what had just happened.

I no more than sat down and squeezed my eyes when the voice came again. This time it said, "Judy! Come Forth!" I was suddenly standing bolt upright again and just standing in a daze, when my grand-mother showed her disdain by jerking even harder on my skirt.

"Come Forth"?, what did that mean? The only 'come forth' I knew about was what I saw the big people do at the end of a service. I was too young. Everyone would get mad at me. I made my choice to do all I could to obey Him, regardless. I'd rather be in trouble with these people than with God.

So my first action after having just been called out by the Lord, was to tell a lie. I whispered to grand-mother that I had to go to the bathroom. I had to get out in that aisle, regardless of the cost.

Once out in the aisle, I didn't know what to do. The pastor was still praying, the organ playing softly and I froze where I stood, waiting for the next shoe to drop. Everyone said 'Amen', all heads went up and then straight to the aisle, where a child was standing frozen. All eyes were on me.

I looked up at the pastor and he was looking back at me and I started walking. All the way up the aisle, I tried to think of something to say. What was it the big people said?

When I arrived right in front of the pastor, I still hadn't decided so I blurted out,"I tried to be nice to my brother all day but I just couldn't". :)

As though the pastor knew something I didn't, he turned me around and announced, "This is the only one coming, tonight". To this day, I wonder if he knew.

There's more to this story but the important point, is the calling and what the Lord said out loud to me.

As the years past, I continually came back to that memory and drilled the Lord for an answer. What did 'come forth' mean? What was it He wanted me to do. No answers.

Skip forward 50 plus years and you find me driving an 18 wheeler, all over the country. I had been working steadily for 3 years with only 3 days a year at home. I was working to pull a small family out of a financial pit and when I go to work, I go to work.

Driving 10 hours a shift, sleeping for 5 or 6 and pushing on. Back and forth, up and down, across the U.S., that's all I did. I didn't take time off. I didn't want to.

Something strange began to happen. It started when one night, I laid down to sleep and woke up 2 hours later, drowning. That's the only way I can explain it. I could breathe but I wasn't getting oxygen. I practically hung myself upside down to help the congestion out of my lungs and while I choked and coughed and slowly began to move all that fluid out, I gripped at the bedding in panic. It's the same feeling as when you've found yourself too deep in the water and fighting to the surface, running out of air and your lungs begin to burn.

This turned into a nightly scene until I was afraid to lay down at night. After about 2 weeks, I managed to get into a clinic and they gave me antibiotics and a breathing medication. Oh what a relief. I thought I had found the solution.

A week later, the symptoms came back and worse than before. Being out on the road, it's hard to get to a doctor. I simply had to suffer through until I got my chance, again. This time a different clinic in Salt Lake City. This time I was diagnosed with emphysema and a lung infection. Again, different antibiotics and different breathing medication.

I began to feel so much better and was just happy to work but then after a couple months, yet another breathing problem began. I had, what is called, callouses on my vocal chords. They had been there and growing for years but I was always too busy to do anything about it. Now something strange was happening and they grew so big, one on each side, that to breathe I had to bend over and let gravity pull the flaps of tissue out of the way. Breathing in, sucked those two flaps of tissue across my wind pipe, blocking off the air.

I wound up going into day surgery to have them removed. Afterward, I couldn't talk for about 6 weeks but boy could I breathe. It was just pure joy to suck in air, anytime I wanted.

Two weeks after the surgery, I had stopped for the night, was sitting on the edge of the bunk with the little desk drawer pulled out and was using my laptop on the internet. Pressure began building in my chest. You know that pain, when you swallow a potato chip that isn't chewed? That hurts. That was the pain. It was annoying but I tried to ignore it. I only had a few minutes to unwind and get to bed.

The pain intensified until I gave up and closed the laptop to lay down. I thought to myself, "What the heck did you swallow?" then it dawned on me that I had eaten soup for dinner. Uh-oh. No good reason for this pain. Pretty soon it was crushing me and I laid down for relief. It subsided, when I laid down so I decided it was time for sleep.

I woke up a couple hours later, lying on my right side and with excruciating pain all through the upper left quarter of my torso. I rolled over on my back seeking relief but it didn't help. I rolled over onto my left side and it seemed to ease up and I fell asleep.

For the next 3 days, I favored that portion of my body because it felt like a horse had kicked me. It was so sore. I came to the realization that it was my heart and could only apologize to it, saying, "I'm sorry. I understand." After months of struggling for breath and pushing myself to do the job regardless, then I went under anesthesia which is also hard on the heart. No wonder my heart was suffering. I vowed to take better care of it but didn't have time to run to any doctor. I was alive and had work to do.

For a few weeks, I thought I was home free but the original breathing problem came back again. I managed to get into the pulmonary clinic in Denver and they put me through all sorts of breathing tests. I was informed that for someone with emphysema I was still in pretty good shape. I just had to get on a regimen of medications. I could keep working.

One day I was having a particular problem with the breathing and coming out of Denver, headed toward L.A. on I-70, I began to whine at the Lord. This is how that conversation went, "Lord, you KNOW me. I'm the baby that banged her head on the crib because an earache wouldn't let me sleep. I'm the teenager that sat up in the night and fisted my toe after having 10 stitches and it wouldn't stop aching. It's me. Judy! Your brat! Father, You know I will never drag around oxygen at the grocery store. It just will not happen. Father! This is a horrible way to die! I'm asking You for just one favor. Let me know when it's my last day. If there's anything I've learned in the last few weeks, it's how to put an end to this misery. Just let me know, Father. I'll run until it's done."

That's where my head was. Actually, still is. I'm too bull headed to be frail. I'm just not cut out for that. I'd rather not exist at all. When the day comes and I can't climb a tree, give me a loaded gun. That's how much of a brat I am.

I was still wailing at the Lord, when I crossed the border into Utah. I needed a good hard talk with my Father. I pulled off into one of those scenic parking areas, pulled down the on ramp and then onto the shoulder. I got out, locked up the truck and walked down into a ravine, where I couldn't hear the idling truck or the reefer running or the traffic going by. I wanted peace and time with the Lord.

As I walked, the tears began to fall. All I knew was that I was headed for a long, drawn out, miserable way to die and I didn't want to go through that. I wanted to live as long as I could but only as long as I could be strong. Not a weakling, not a vegetable. Not me!

I was blubbering away when all of a sudden one word was whispered into my left ear -"Lazarus!" My knee jerk reaction was to bellow, "Oh yeah?! Maybe that worked for him but You never told me......." Oh wait.....Oh, my God! "You DID!"

My mind was exploding with the news. I began to put 2 and 2 together and realized that, yes, He DID! My tears immediately stopped when I realized that what He was telling me was that He DID call me out of my grave. He just did it years before I'd even know I'd need it. As a matter of fact He WAS talking to the 60 year old Judy but it was the 8 year old Judy that heard it.

It took 3 days for me to stop continually blurting out to the air, "You DID! You DID!"

Then the real mind explosions began. Seeing me through God's eyes. Realizing that when I was conceived, He saw all of me - the 3 year old me, the 8 year old me, the 60 year old me, all at the same time. The beginning, the middle and the end were already in His sight.

Oh wow! And then the realization of how much He loved me. He loved me when I cursed him when I was suffering with grief over a death. He loved me when I married a true son-of-a-bitch. He loved me when I picked up a cigarette. He loved me when I drank a beer. He loved me when I sat on the toilet. He loved me when I danced for Him and He loved me when I was destroying my body. He loved me when I loved Him back and He loved me when I ignored Him.

He LOVES me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He loves me the way I love my own daughter, and much farther and wider and deeper than I can fathom.

And because He knew when I was born, that I would need to be called out of my grave, He went ahead and did it.

I am alive. Against all odds. The devil has tried to kill me in every possible way, all through my life and I am alive!

So why, I ask you, are you sitting there reading this instead of jumping for joy and yelling out praises?

He loves YOU!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Church - Where Did It Go?

Some of us are fortunate enough to be a part of a church body that is nourishing and traditional. How many of us are still searching for that perfect church?
I've told my children for years, and now I will tell you that church is in your shoes.We are not to look for comfort, we are to provide it.
When we first come to know the Lord, there are elders to lend a hand and help you to grow in the right way. Where will we be when those elders die off and we have not picked up the reigns?
Everywhere you search in the new testament you find nudges to grow up, not to remain babies. The truth is, you are the church.
Some of us yearn for the old days, for the congregation that was not afraid to openly worship. Where did those old days go? If you have memories of them, then it means they are in you. Try raising your hands and worshiping the Lord of Lords and you will instantly discover the old days.
Have we been taught to wait for the next evangelist to revive us? Are we told to hold on for the next tent meeting or revival to nourish us? No, we are taught to stir it up in ourselves.
It's our responsibility to 'stir it up', keep 'it' alive, keep oil in our lamps. We are to learn what it is to walk in the light, to obey our savior, to listen to His Words and to be the church.
Stop looking to others to feed your spirit and start looking to the Holy Spirit. He's quite capable and waiting. You can have church alone in your bedroom, alone in the garage, alone on a hill side. If you miss the joy of worship then stir it up and lead, not follow.
Remember always that church is you - church walks in your shoes where ever you go.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Want to Learn How to Be a Soldier of Christ?

Listen to Him. People don't listen to the Lord. They can read the gospels and never come out with the impact they should.

Jesus was no wimp. He taught His disciples as fast as He could, with the time He had to work with.

Note His reaction when the man brought his son to Jesus, because of fits, saying that His disciples tried to heal him with no results. Did Jesus immediately heal the boy? Not until He admonished His disciples and saying 'Vile of faithless generation' and 'how long shall I tarry with you'. That doesn't sound like much patience to me. It sounds like One who was running out of time and trying so hard, to get something across to them.

And what were His last Words on this earth? "Go ye therefore...." That, my friends, was a command from our leader and Master.

So how can you learn to follow Jesus, the way that He expected? Read the gospels and then read them again. When you are finished, start over and read it again and again and again until at last, your brain opens up and you see your Master for Who and what He truly is. You will know when it happens. Something changes inside you and you begin to view His teachings in a whole other light.

Then, you will begin to obey.

You've heard it said and it's written in the Word, "faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God". It's true. When you read the Word, read it again and again. As you read over and over, the Holy Spirit begins to move and when that happens, your faith builds. Try it. See if I'm not telling you true.

Let Go and Let God

One never knows where the next trial will come but come they must and do, and we have to be prepared.
Prepared? Yes, you can prepare. You've heard it over and over and you're about to hear it again. Gird yourself up with the armor of God. There's that and building faith.
Remember how to build faith? It's no joke, folks, that faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
Anybody ever give much thought to the way that's worded? "Hearing by the Word of God" doesn't exactly give you the idea that means reading the Word, although that's the way it's interpreted. It gives you the idea that it's all up to us, that reading is where the hearing happens but I see it in a whole other light.
Why 'and hearing, by the Word of God' ? It wasn't a mistake in terms and it wasn't terminology of the times, it really meant 'BY the Word of God'.
The Word of God is a living word. Hard to fathom but what I mean is that when you pick up the Word with every intent of loving it, listening and learning from it, the Word actually comes alive by the Holy Spirit and begins to feed you. It truly is a 2 way street. You're not alone.
'Faith cometh by hearing', in this instance it means listening, taking it in, allowing something outside yourself to come in and change you. And where does this 'hearing' come from? It comes from a living Spirit. You do the reading, of course but you don't have the understanding without the Holy Spirit. Therefore, as you read, the Holy Spirit speaks, so you are 'hearing'.
When your earthly father speaks, it confirms in you constantly, that he exists and is real. It's part of our make up to absorb from all senses, to know what is real around us.
When your heavenly Father speaks, it confirms in you constantly, that He exists and is real.
God lives in us through Jesus. God's Holy Spirit lives in God's Word, which is written down for us. That's not to say that that book is God's Word. That's to say that God's Word lives in that book.
So what it boils down to is this - gird yourself with God's armor and
Be there IN the Word, unite with the Holy Spirit OVER the Word and let faith build. You're not building faith, the Holy Spirit is through the Word.
Daily devotions are not devotions to the Lord, they are devotions to yourself, keeping the Spirit alive and refreshed daily - Ready.
By staying constantly filled up, you stay constantly in the light and thereby ready for every trial.
Not knowing where and how the next trial will come, it helps to have the Holy Spirit doing battle with you, all the way. The pain may be the same, the anger may feel just as strong but just as having a strong immune system helps you to come through sickness faster, being built up daily will carry you through the trial faster and easier.
Goliath was still Goliath and David was still David but the outcome was swift and victorious because of David's faith. God did not remove Goliath just so that David wouldn't have to face him.
God does not own this earth. He gave it to Satan but then He gave us the authority over it, and although Adam gave away that authority, Jesus bought it back and gave it back to man. So the fact is this earth is still what it always was before our time - Satan's world but we are victorious over him, in that we have the authority over him. So sickness and disease, heart ache and fury, will not go away. We simply have been given the tools to come through the trials with victory.
I have just come through one trial which has left me angry. As a result of seeing the end of that trial, I am thrown into yet another. The fact is, in my life, the trials have never stopped but I come through them, one by one and stronger than before.
You don't have to be the strong one, your strength is in the Lord. Forgive yourself for crying, you are the human, He is the God. You can cry because it hurts but that doesn't mean you've given in to defeat.
When anger wells up, realize what you're angry with-it just might be your own decisions you're angry over. If you've made a wrong decision it most likely means you weren't listening to the Lord. Although the damage is hurting you and not Jesus, ask Jesus to forgive the stumble and go on with life. There are more battles to be fought and won.

They Say God Speaks to Us

How many times have you tried to explain to folks, what it is you mean when you say 'God speaks'.
Here's a true story from some years ago. Actually, 1987.

I was going through an especially trying time. Ok, a confession, I was facing divorce. My body was still recovering after a still birth and the doctors had me on medication for high blood pressure.

I saw the writing on the wall, trouble was coming my way and there was nothing I could do to stop it. This divorce was necessary for the safety of both myself and my 14 year old daughter. The problem was, we were living out in the sticks, 15 miles from the nearest town and 20 miles from the city where jobs might be possible.

I wasn't up to this physically, and knowing I was left with an old car that may or may not make it through the next 100 miles and worn out tires, didn't do a thing to comfort me. Of course, I had been a housewife, not having a job and jobs were scarce where we happened to live.

I was worried and daily begging the Lord for answers. For about a week, a tune kept rolling through my head. It was so constant, it was driving me nuts but I couldn't seem to replace it with another tune.

I kept catching myself humming that tune outloud, while I washed dishes. It even rolled through my head while trying to watch TV. It was a constant, that wouldn't stop. Day after day, I woke up with that tune and carried it with me through the entire day.

I could not, for the life of me, remember what the song was. Numerous times, I stopped to dwell on it, hum it, go over and over the tune, trying to drag out a few lines to remind myself. It was such a familiar tune, I knew that I knew what it was and just couldn't pull it out.

Worries and daily grind took precedence so the problem of that tune got pushed back. I even hummed a few bars for my daughter but she too, couldn't think of what song it was.

I happened to be raising a large flock of chickens and was out early one morning, getting their feed and as usual, praying for answers to the problems and along came that song again, butting into my very thoughts.
This time, I began to hum the tune and suddenly burst out with the words, "Seek ye first, the kingdom of God...." Bam! there is was! The tune that had been driving me crazy, ever since I had started whining at the Lord about the coming stressful things and not knowing what to do.

As I was praying, the Lord was giving the answer but I wasn't listening. I finished with the feed and ran all the way back to the house, screaming at my daughter, "I've got it! I've got it!" Then I explained to my daughter about the tune and what it meant.

Don't you know my snotty little daughter had a come back, "Well, are you going to do it or just talk about it?"

Tell me, the Lord doesn't have a sense of humor or that He doesn't talk to us.

Marching head long into the final days

Anybody out there feeling the way I am? After waiting for a lifetime, to see the events unfold that have now come to fruition, I get excited to know the Lord's coming is so near.

At the same time, I'm furious. I don't know, living in America, for some reason I always had the feeling those things were going to happen 'over there'. It still just amazes me to know that our very own government is also pushing us toward that eventful day.

The new world order was something we tagged back in the 60's and waited to see how it would happen. Now, not only is it happening, everybody is using the same term we used so long ago, for what was coming in the future. It makes me mad. As an American citizen, of course it infuriates me to know that our leaders are selling us out. At the same time, I realize this is something foretold.

Now, in the name of geo-engineering, jets are dumping tons of poison on us, almost every day. That pretty much leaves me in a state of fury. How dare they? What's more, they hide behind closed doors and tried to keep it a big secret for so many years. I'm dumb founded at how many people have no idea what I'm talking about. I have to describe the sky of yesterday, to my grandson.

Then I look at it from a different point of view. We always wondered how people could be so gullible as to accept a mark in the right hand or forehead, in allegiance to some guy they are to worship. It's beginning to clear for me. We're already sick from all the poison from our sky. We're breathing aluminum and barium and just think, it's all over our food. We're eating it too.

Our immune systems are just about shot and now I'm hearing rumors that these materials could also be responsible for early onset of Alzheimer's. That would explain a lot of dumbing down. If people aren't thinking straight, how easy it will be to convince them of just about anything. When you spend years not feeling well, you're not thinking straight. So, yeah, this is going to be a snap.

I watch as our world turns upside down. It's ok to talk about and even teach the Muslim religion in our schools, but just think about carrying a Bible and you'll be shot down and loudly. Everything that was standard practice in the U.S. is now against the law. Yes, it makes me mad. At the same time, I'm looking up.

While all bad, for the Christian it's all good signs. So while we walk steadily through this valley of the shadow of death, look up. Our redemption draweth nigh.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Beware the User

Warning. You may not want to read this. There may be harsh words, you don't want polluting your ears.

This comes out of my own recent experience that I felt compelled to share with my brethren. This is about a man who seemingly desires the Lord, seemingly reads the Bible, spends lots of time conferencing with the pastor as though seeking personal advice and yet....he is not.

I have said for years, that it seems we have among us some who are not quite altogether human at all. This recent experience has me pondering those thoughts again.

This is one of those posts I can't take to my site at Calvary Corner blog,  on that site, I want to minister to the lost not pollute and confuse. On this blog, I expect there are Christians reading and so I will write about things that takes discernment to understand and learn.

This involves a son in law. You don't know my family so I feel I can tell the story without bringing harm to any one particular person. We all belong to the Lord

I'm ashamed, now, to say that I put a lot of money into the marriage situation of my daughter. If it had not been for the fact that she felt she could love and trust this man, I would have run the other direction. But for the sake of family, I helped.

I have a huge tendency to look for the good in all people. I see them through God's eyes and uplift. This also makes me a prime target for cons, manipulators and conniving thieves. I say target but that doesn't mean I fall for every little trick. I thought I was better, or should I say wiser, at pinpointing the liar. In this particular circumstance, I'd have to say the surrounding situation influenced my thoughts.

I've been with my daughter, helping to raise a son, since he was 6 months old. Why? Because I knew my daughter(divorced) and I knew she couldn't make it on her own.  Of course, my original intent was to stick it out with her until she found her own feet and stood on her own. I was with her when she met this man and we happened to be living 3 states away from our home town and were miserable in this place.

I struggled for years with the decision to simply run away from the situation, only to realize all over again that my daughter would fall through the cracks if I did and I stayed. There was a child involved and I cared that much about him.

My daughter was miserable and wanted to move back home. I had a choice- I could stay with my present job, knocking down $1000 a week or give up the job and move with the family. The new couple had no money to move and I was well aware of that.

This new son in law most definitely raised my eyebrow, the more I learned about him, but went along with the plans because my daughter seemed determined to be with him. Before they were married, I had asked what he did for a living and the answer I got simply tilted my head. He was 40 years old and going to a college to study graphic designing. He was working in a little ice cream shop that his own sister owned. Don't you know I questioned why a 40 year old man still was fishing around, looking for a direction in his life. This made no sense to me.

It was my daughter who suggested working for Schwann's.Something he had never considered and he did go to work for them. How easy it was for him to simply switch directions in mid-stream. It had seemed to my daughter that this man whom she wanted marriage with, had been held back in life by a manipulative sister and she wanted to help him to find a better world. All seemed very appreciated by my new son in law and he loved his new job. I was still pondering him and his situation, which made no sense to me.

I'm the one that had the money in the bank for a move. When we first moved to this state, we only took essentials because we weren't too sure if this would become a permanent move. Our things were in storage back home, awaiting the next decision. Those things we added to the home didn't amount to the cost of moving it and would make sense to simply sell or get rid of those things. Now, though, there was an addition to the family who had a trailer load of his own. So I was facing moving his belongings and of course, the cost.

I had no intentions of hiring a truck for the move. There just wasn't that much to be moved. There was no way to attach a trailer to my car, so while I worked on the road, I had my daughter seek out a used pickup that could make the trip. At the very least, I would have a vehicle for the money instead of turning it in at some rental.

About that time, my son in law's old car gave out and wasn't worth the money to fix. That of course, pushed up the plans for me to buy a pickup so that he would be driving that to work instead of my daughter making 2 round trips across town, every day, taking him to work.

To boil it down, I footed the bill for a move, purchased a used vehicle to tow a trailer, footed the bill for a trailer to haul his things, not ours. Then, out of necessity, put down a deposit on a rented home and paid the first months rent.

The expenditures didn't stop there. Since I was now stuck with living with the family, as I had no job and was going through my savings, I stayed and put in more than my share each month, on the expenses.

With my dollars, I put in a garden, rented a tiller, bought the seed and spent hundreds of hours tending the garden. So that summer, the entire family ate very well off my efforts.

Over the course of that first year, things began to happen. More than once, my son in law came to me in private to tell me that my daughter had sent him to talk to me about my putting in more money into the family expenses. Each time I replied with something like "$400 wasn't enough?" That plus the $200 per month I was putting into groceries. He would act as though my daughter hadn't told him about that and he was sorry to have to talk to me about this.

It took over a year for the truth to come out on the table and when it was out there for the whole world to see, I was reeling over the fact that my son in law had played me, like nobody else in my lifetime. In fact, I've never known a human being like this one. How he can call himself Christian is beyond me.

You see, I was in a separate building on the property, had created myself a little living space in the corner of a huge garage. I didn't want to become that interfering mother in law and what's more, as far as I knew I would be going back out on the road and seldom see home. So at the time, it seemed to me to be a perfect solution. For that reason, I was not within ear shot of most of the things said in the house.

How was I to know that while this man was eating my food, sitting at the table my money paid for, driving my vehicle to work and using my clothes washer, was threatening to not set a place at the table for me, because he thought I was mooching off him and should be gone?

It was also revealed that every time he came to me in private to talk about more money from me, my daughter knew nothing about it. One particular time, he had told me that if I just at least give my daughter $125 a month that it would help, I told him if that's all she wanted then that's all I would give her. He went to her and told her, 'mom said she would only put in $125 a month from now on'. Of course, this puzzled my daughter because she knew where half the money was coming from all along and wondered why I would say such a thing.

I now realize this was a game this man played. This is how he lives his life. He takes other peoples money, using all sorts of strange whining games. He manipulates.

He was coming to me as though my daughter was asking me for more money and she was not. He was going to her and telling her that her mother didn't want to help out with the expenses. All the while causing all sorts of hard feelings within the family, turning daughter against mother and it worked!

Before long,  I was hearing outbursts from my daughter, things like 'living rent free' (in my direction) and then out right 'moocher', as though she had completely forgotten all the things I had done for her and the child, through the years.

At this point, I was trapped. It was my daughter that convinced me to go on disability. Oh yes, definitely but I'm bull headed and would not face the fact that I was suffering from a breathing problem and some horrible name for some arthritis something, in my back. I was a cripple but wouldn't stop. I was pushing myself beyond my capabilities, taxing my heart to the max and most mornings could hardly move. So because of her pushing me toward it, I applied for and immediately was approved for disability. I hate to tell you what that monthly income is but certainly not enough to house a dog, much less a human.

So here I was, trapped with living with the family now that I had spent my savings on them and had no other means of supporting myself, except to continue to help out with the monthly expenses. All I wanted to do was run, go back out on the road driving truck but all these blocks were in my way.

The situation grew and became so intolerable, I was eying my guns and disappointed that I only had a shot gun and a .22 pistol. Neither one, a sure kill and I certainly didn't want to be more of a cripple than I was already and not able to run.

Depression hit its bottom. I couldn't understand why my own daughter could turn against me in this way. Not only had I sacrificed my entire existence for her for the past 14 years, we were Christians!

The truth was finally exposed and healing began in the family, despite what this man wanted and tried and that was his dooms day. I'd have to say that my daughter and I exploded on this man, using text messages while he was working. We bombarded him with the truths we were exposing, sharing little secrets with one another that neither of us knew about. We had come to realize what a manipulative, conniving, s.o.b. he really was.

Now I understood that while he was coming to me for advice, and I pointing him to Jesus all the way, just never seemed to get it through his head - never seemed to change - never seemed to follow any advice. He didn't want to. It was all a game.

As an example of his game playing, this was one story that came out, when my daughter and I began to reveal all his little secrets. He had come to me one day and told me that he and my daughter thought it would be nice is I bought him a cell phone and put his on my service. Since I was already paying for my own service and had put my daughter on mine, it seemed a simple request to add one more.

Now my daughter was telling me her side of the story. He had come to her and told her, "Your mom wants to buy me  a cell phone. Isn't that nice?" It turns out that the reason he caught me away from the rest of the family was so that he could lie about my daughters intentions. It was a manipulation.

This game, he took all the way to our pastor, whining at him and thinking he was getting the pastor to agree with him. This game he carried on and on until even the pastor gave up on him. It seemed that no matter how many times you repeated the same message, this guy just didn't have the capacity to understand. Odd things that you would expect a Christian to hear and obey. It just wasn't taking root.

After having been bombarded with the truth from both my daughter and me, via text messages, he just didn't come home that night,nor the next day, which was Saturday. We never told him he wasn't welcome in his own home. I imagine he finally got it through his head that he had been exposed and was afraid to face us.

So somehow, even on a Saturday, or did he do it yesterday, he had a lawyer freeze my daughter's bank account. He had called his sister who is now footing the bill to support him and a lawyer. Presumably now, there is a coming subpoena  to retrieve his personal things. Evidently his game has carried over to his sister now, as he can come get his things any time he wants and he knows that but instead, he's acting as though we've thrown him out of the house and barred the doors. That's not true.

As I see it now, this guy is going to come out smelling like a rose, through this situation. He will, and evidently already has, gotten more money out of yet another person so that he can play his games and live like a king while pointing an accusing finger at his wife. Now he's back to soaking his own sister.

If you have delicate ears, you need to stop reading right now.

I'm pretty sure that the reason he didn't come home and is afraid to face me, is the fact that I let him know in no uncertain terms, that my daughter finally told me why she had refused to share a bed with him ever again. He was demanding and getting sodomy and was hurting my daughter and telling her that if she didn't she was going against God. Somehow, I just have a feeling that was the final blow, for him to hear it coming from me.

He's the one that got me involved in the marriage problems, so he has nobody to kick but himself. While he thought he was gaining a cheering team, he was actually going too far with his constantly coming to me for so-called advice. Our family had become so twisted with some evil spirit in the house, that my daughter thought I was siding with her husband and did not share with me, the whole story. Now it was out.

I confess I'm furious with myself. What I could have done with $15000 for myself, so that I could support myself instead of this trap. Instead, I invested in what I thought was a family. Yes, I realize what a fool I was and that I had been played big time.

Now, why am I sharing this story?  Simply because if I could be taken in by such an evil spirit, so can anyone else. It seems the enemy is wiser every day. He can wear such a sweet, Christian face while brutalizing, lying, conniving and stealing. It's hard to explain to others that they can be so taken in by such a twisted monster, even while believing they have enough discernment to keep themselves from such harm.

The only symptom, I can offer up, is that of a person who seems to hunger for truth and yet acts as though they didn't understand a word you said and continues down a path that no Christian will follow. They will lean into your words, listen intently, seem to be repentant, then walk away still the same as they were before.

It gets grueling, when they come back again and again for the same advice and you give the same advice over and over and it still doesn't 'take'. This, until you're weary with repeating yourself.

The fact is, this evil spirit is accomplishing exactly what it wants. For you to waste your time on him, and not have time for anyone else. The point, I believe, is to keep your attention on them, so that you can't see something happening just beyond your site. Something like that.  This same spirit will use you to get what they want out of someone else.

It's tricky, I know. Boy do I know. But I'm telling you that we are living in a world with this sort. My advice? If it makes you uncomfortable - run. If something invades your home that is causing hard feelings among family members, get rid of it. What ever it is, it's not there for your, it's there to destroy you. There are times when instead of you ministering, you need to protect those around you instead.

Signs and warnings mean something. We tend to overlook them, in favor of seeing the good. Be aware that the devil is on a rampage. His time is running out and he will destroy in any way he can.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Deuteronomy 2:24

Many years ago, when I returned to the Lord and was born again, I had a nagging problem. Some years before that, I had an abortion and it was hanging over my head, causing all sorts of guilt.

As time went by and I learned more and more about the workings of the Holy Spirit, I was continually held back from fully experiencing and feeling free, due to that old guilt.

One night, I broke down on the alter. My heart was broken and I couldn't seem to get passed that old sin and guilt. I knew the Lord had forgiven me but I couldn't forgive myself. I kept visualizing the age the child would have been and agonizing over it.

That same night, I came home from church and after getting my daughter to bed, I sat down with the Bible. I searched and searched for some story similar to mine. Something like the prostitute and Jesus forgiving her. Something that would put my heart at ease. I was searching for justification.

As I sat on the couch, I finally closed the Bible, leaned my head back and cried out to the Lord. I confessed what I was doing, "Lord I'm searching for justification and I know that's wrong but...."  As I wailed away at the Lord, 3 times my thoughts were interrupted. Each time, it was as though a spirit swooped into my face with the message "Deut. 2:24" and each time, I dismissed it, going back to the subject at hand.

The 3rd time it happened, I gave up, stopped praying and said out loud, "Ok, already. I'll look up Deut. 2:24!"

I opened the Bible and read about the Israelites crossing over into the promised land. The message that stood out to me was 'contend with the enemy in battle for I have given you the victory'. It dawned on me that the devil had been playing with my mind. I stood up and bellowed, "Satan! Get your filthy lying hands off my mind!"

Immediately, it was as though a warm blanket covered me, started from my head and all the way to my toes. I was free. I had crossed over and contended with the enemy.

Over the next few days, more and more meaning came out of that one verse and grew until it became the substance of my life.

Translated into terms, we would understand today, God was telling His children to stand up and act like His children. Pull yourself up by the bootstraps, so to speak. Whether we feel like it or not, we are to stand up and act like His kids.

As His children, we have the world by the tail. Until we come to realize this (crossing the river) and until we come to realize that the battle is already won (contend with for I have given), we reach for an impossible goal of ' salvation'. Impossible in our minds but not in reality.

Just like the Israelites. Some were fearful and so were left to wander in the desert. Some were victorious and saw the plenty, instead of the giants. It really is a perspective and it's up to us to change our minds and become what God wants us to be - victorious.

There is no amount of study, no amount of faith, no amount of growing that can bring us to the state of mind, God wants. We have to simply DO it!

The Dream - Black Void

A few years ago, my niece had this dream from the Lord. In the dream, she saw nothing more than a patch of grass, a tree and bench. She sat on the bench.

Jesus came and sat with her and asked her what she could see behind her. She looked over her shoulder to see nothing, absolutely nothing but a black void. The Jesus told her, that's what her sins are like. When forgiven, they are gone - no longer a part of the picture - nothing but a void.

There was a great lesson in this dream and I hope you get the point. Laboring over an old sin that you've brought to the Lord and repented of, is so far off the charts, even Jesus doesn't know what you're talking about. It's as much a sin to feel guilt over that old sin, as it was to commit the sin in the first place.

It's gone! A black void. Nothingness. Not even a lingering shadow. No print left behind to tell you it was ever there.  So why do you keep bringing it up?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

You've accepted Jesus. Now what?

I was saved at the age of 8 but not born again until age 30. Why is that? How could that happen?

We teach others how to come to the Lord but we leave out one huge step and that is how to give ourselves to Him. How many times are we told that we are the Bride of Christ and yet we don't understand that it's a two way street, just as in any relationship.

We are told God loves us and we even say it all the time, yet we don't know what that really means. We have to understand that our Lord Jesus feels the same way toward us, as any groom to be.

Just imagine a young man winning the hand of a young lady, only to watch her pay attention to anything and everyone except him. Does that sound like a two way relationship?

We set goals, we work toward tomorrows riches, we buy things and even polish those things, we adorn ourselves and most times, we are too busy doing these other things to consider our precious Jesus. How loved, do you suppose He feels?

You see, the love Jesus feels for you is so adoring, so deep and so everlasting, we cannot conceive of it. It's a love far more encompassing and far more unselfish than anything we will ever experience for feel. The love you have for your very own existence can't compare to that of Jesus for you.

Born again. What is it and when does it happen? It happens the day your realize you too, have to enter into the relationship and become His other half. It happens the day you come to understand the depth of His love for you and learn to cherish it.

What is it? I can only describe in mortal terms. When you were young and in love for the first time, didn't you want to be with that person? Didn't you love what they loved and hated what they hated, merely because of your love? Didn't that other person consume your every thought? Didn't that person affect the way you lived?

When this happens between you and Jesus, you change. You become all the things your true love desires and you want nothing to do with anything He hates. You are born again.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Keeping You Up To Date

Although it seems I'm not around much these days, the fact is I'm very busy online.  Most of my writing is at the Crafter'sCorner  the Home Site Blog  the Trucking blog and my Christian site blog

This in a addition to Squidoo pages and on Facebook

I haven't deserted this blog, just been so busy with others.

How to Make a Church Fail, by Satan, Prince of Darkness

How to Make a Church Fail, by Satan, Prince of Darkness

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