To Forget or Not To Forget–That Is The Answer


You might recall a well-known line in Shakespeare’s play the Hamlet which goes: “To be or not to be, that is the question”.  Today I was thinking of something that could be entitled:

TO FORGET OR NOT TO FORGET—THAT IS THE ANSWER

We know from experience, especially as a Christian, that life is a battle. Daily we are presented with situations where we find ourselves looking for an answer.

In Ephesians 6:10-18 the apostle Paul gives the symbolism of battle armor to describe our fight with unseen spiritual dark forces.

“10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” (KJV)

These dark forces wage war with us beginning in our minds, using thoughts and impulses. They move on from there to take hold of our lives a little at a time on their quest to overtake our lives and create strongholds of defeat and destruction.

I want to take a few moments to show how our enemy’s success or defeat depends heavily on what we choose to forget or what we choose to not forget.

A key thought:

What We Choose to Forget And What We Choose Not To Forget Impacts Our Life.

Let me explain.

An unfortunate, but well known fact about us human beings is:

We tend to remember what we should forget and then we forget what we should remember! Here are some examples to illustrate what I mean:

THINGS WE USUALLY REMEMBER INSTEAD OF FORGETTING:

  1. The wrongs done to us by others
  2. The things we’ve done wrong to others
  3. The times people let us down
  4. Those hateful words people spoke to us or about us
  5. Our failures and mistakes
  6. Our losses
  7. Times of sickness

This kind of remembering is in direct opposition to what the Lord tells us to do in His Word.

One of the greatest verses in the Bible that admonishes us to forget is Phil. 3:13 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,” (KJV) (Emphasis mine).

Firstly, Paul says in that verse, “I count not myself to have apprehended:…” Apprehended what?

Let’s read from verse 8 in Phil. 3. “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.” (KJV) (Emphasis mine)

So we see in those verses at least eight things Paul is trying to apprehend.  Paul is saying that even though he hasn’t gotten there yet, he still continues to pursue these worthy goals with a sense of focus and purpose. The word ‘apprehended’ is translated from the Greek word ‘Katalambano’¹ meaning to ‘take eagerly’ to ‘seize’ or ‘obtain.’ Now in verse 13 he tells us that apprehending and attaining these goals has everything to do with ‘forgetting the past’.

And it’s noteworthy that in the next verse, verse 14 he reminds us that the overcoming life isn’t going to be easy. He writes, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

That word ‘press’ is translated from the Greek word ‘Dioko’² which has the idea of following after, pursuing something in the face of suffering or persecution.

Now getting back to that list of things we usually remember instead of forgetting, let us ask ourselves, “How easy is it to forget…? (go back over the list above).  We don’t have to try very long until we find ourselves tripping on our own efforts. We say to ourselves, “I’m going to forget what so-and-so said to me” and then the same hurtful thoughts come back again and again when that person comes to mind.” “I’m going to forget…” whatever we find weighing us down.  It seems like just exercising sheer will to forget doesn’t work.

Now let’s look at another list.

THINGS WE USUALLY FORGET:

  1. We forget the Lord
  2. The daily blessings of food, water, shelter and clothing
  3. The daily strength we receive from God—physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually
  4. The way God turned our lives around when He saved us
  5. The countless times He protected us when we were in danger and peril
  6. He financially provided for us when it seemed there was no possible way out of our lack
  7. How He used other people to bless us and encourage us
  8. How he restored relationships when we had long before given up hope

This is just a very short list, we could go on and on.

Yes, we remember the things we should forget and we forget what we should remember!

TO FORGET OR NOT TO FORGET—THAT IS THE ANSWER

Paul the Apostle shows us that we can succeed in forgetting, by focusing on remembering. Let me explain.

‘Pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus’ involves choosing to remember the promises of God in the face of the negative thought or circumstance.

Remembering the promise involves exercising faith and trust in the face of the negative situation or problem, believing and trusting a promise from God’s word right in the face of the hurtful memory, or negative situation.

Is that easy to do? As we saw earlier, it involves a fight, a pressing forward, a laying hold of the best God has for us.   Hebrews 11:6 says, But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Here is a good place to repeat the key thought we said earlier:

What We Choose to Forget or Choose to Remember Impacts Our Life.

Let’s take a couple situations from our list of things we should forget and see how we might exercise faith to press on toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

  • We remember what someone said to us or about us that hurt us.

This particular situation involves the need of forgiving. Does forgiving someone for a wrong imply what they did was OK?  No.Forgiveness

But where we fail is that by not forgiving, we let the memory of the hurt become a stumbling block in our spiritual life instead of allowing God to make it a stepping stone to a better life.  We don’t realize that holding grudges locks us into a self-made, suffocating prison.

We can choose to forget what was said or done to us and replace it with a remembering of what God can give us if we let go and let Him have the offense.

This is where our faith comes in. We choose to give over to Him our natural desire to get revenge. How do we do this?

We stop talking about the offense to others. We stop accusing the person who hurt us. We stop rehearsing the wrong over and over in our mind and heart. Instead we talk to the Lord about it. We ask Him to forgive us for holding onto the offense and being unforgiving.  We ask Him to take the wrong done and replace it with the good He has for us.

When we do this, we can trust that God will free us from the pain and bitterness in our own heart. We have also made room in our life for God to bestow some new blessing He has been eager to give to us.

  • We remember our losses.

When we continually remember our financial losses for instance, fear of lack and poverty steadily take over our thinking.

The Bible says in John 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (KJV)

Fear is one of those thieves that come to break in and steal what God has given us or wants to give us. What does fear look like in this situation?

We look at our meager portion and project that sense of lack into the future. The Lord wants us to exercise faith in Him, to acknowledge that He is our Jehovah Jireh (the Lord our Provider) and watch Him turn the dry ground of our empty wallet into a refreshing pool of more than enough.

Deut. 8:18 says, “But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth…” . (KJV)faith-fear-492992_960_720

 

 

Once again our key thought:

What We Choose to Forget or Choose to Remember Impacts Our Life

When we trust Christ to be our Savior, we trust Him not only with our sins but with every aspect of our lives. He says that when we trust Him and have faith in Him, it pleases Him. Heb. 11:6.

Do you know you have the opportunity to please your heavenly Father countless times a day simply by trusting Him, remembering that He is good when the doubts and fears of everyday life present themselves?

Do you know it pleases your heavenly Father?

  • When you’re waiting in a long line that’s not moving and instead of getting irritated and impatient, you silently say from your heart, “Lord, my times are in Your hand.” Ps. 31:15 (KJV)
  • When you’ve paid out all your money for bills and look at the meager amount balance in your check book and pray as the man of God prayed in 2 Chron. 25:9, “…The Lord is able to give thee much more than this.” (KJV)
  • When you’re tempted to get angry with someone but choose to walk away and say quietly or in your heart, “This is the day the Lord hath made, [I] will rejoice and be glad in it.” Ps. 118:24
  • When we are languishing in physical pain and choose to breathe the words, “The Lord is my Refuge, a very present help [to me now in this time] of trouble.” Psalm 46:1 (KJV)

In these simple examples, we are choosing to forget the usual, human responses of fear, doubt, selfishness, anger and unforgiveness and remember the Lord.  You can compare this to having a garden.  Each time we forget the bad we are pulling the weeds in our spiritual lives. Then as we choose to not forget the Lord, but remember His goodness and power to change us and our situation, we are sowing seeds of life that will reap a harvest of good.

Leave_behind_baggage

TO FORGET OR NOT TO FORGET—THAT IS THE ANSWER

The Lord wants us to take the first list of things (hurts, offenses, losses, failures) and change the title to:  Things we Forget.

 

dont_forget

He wants us to take the second list of things (His goodness, forgiveness, power, lovingkindness and care) and change the title to: Things we Remember.

If you feel today that you have been allowing the devil to steal your life, your relationships, your finances, your health, your closeness to the Lord through harboring in your heart and mind doubts, fears, condemnation, anger and all the other weapons he uses;

If you feel like your spiritual life needs a jump start (like a battery that has lost its charge), God’s Word has many promises to give you that jump start.

JumpStartTwo passages I recommend for you to find, read, start declaring and believing are:

Psalms 77:10-12 “And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. (KJV) (Emphasis mine).

2 Kings 17:38-39, “And the covenant that I have made with you ye shall not forget; neither shall ye fear other gods. 39 But the Lord your God ye shall fear; and he shall deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.” (KJV) (Emphasis mine).

¹ and ² Abingdon’s Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible
Copyright, 1890 by James Strong, Madison, NJ




Resistance: The Path of Light (Part 5)


candle-light_2Father, may we gain wisdom by following your ways, and cherishing your Word.  May we choose to be led by the Good Shepherd.  And may our discernment increase, that we might distinguish between good and evil.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18)ForsakenLaws_5h

Is it a small thing to forsake the law of God in favor of Sharia, or the ever-changing whims of the New World Order?  The Antichrist will attempt to do just that:  He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time. (Daniel 7:25 – emphasis mine)

What will the outcome be for those whose laws are changed? Isaiah foretells great sorrow and tribulation just before the great and terrible day of the Lord – the coming of Messiah.  Isaiah laments the impending judgements:

The earth mourns and fades away,
The world languishes and fades away;
The haughty people of the earth languish.

The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants,
Because they have transgressed the laws,
Changed the ordinance,
Broken the everlasting covenant.

Therefore the curse has devoured the earth,
And those who dwell in it are desolate.
Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned,
And few men are left.

From the ends of the earth we have heard songs:
“Glory to the righteous!”
But I said, “I am ruined, ruined!
Woe to me!
The treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously,
Indeed, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously.”…

The earth is violently broken,
The earth is split open,
The earth is shaken exceedingly.

The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard,
And shall totter like a hut;
Its transgression shall be heavy upon it,
And it will fall, and not rise again.

It shall come to pass in that day
That the Lord will punish on high the host of exalted ones,
And on the earth the kings of the earth.

They will be gathered together,
As prisoners are gathered in the pit,
And will be shut up in the prison;
After many days they will be punished.
 
Then the moon will be disgraced
And the sun ashamed;
For the Lord of hosts will reign
On Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
And before His elders, gloriously. (Isaiah 24:3-23 – emphasis mine)

What is the answer?  The Bible will come to pass, just as it is written.  But for you and me, we need to consider our ways.  How many sins have we committed, either by commission or omission? The Bible says that not one person is righteous, no not one.  We have all sinned before God, who is perfectly holy, just, and eternally righteous. Does the Lord wink at the sins we commit?  Jesus warns:

If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— where ‘their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’

And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— where ‘their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’

And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire—  where ‘their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ (Mark 9:43-48)

Without Christ, we are a slave to sin.  We have no hope, apart from the one who took all of our sins upon Himself.  To those who receive Jesus’ gift of eternal life, the Apostle Paul says:

And you, being dead in your trespasses…, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. (Colossians 2:13-14)

At the celestial trial for those who are “in Christ”, Jesus will stand as primary witness to our innocence – having paid in his sacrificial death the penalty for our sins.

Conversely, those who choose to ignore and/or utterly reject the Lord Jesus and His gift of salvation, will stand on their own behalf during their day of judgment.  The acts and deeds of these unfortunate souls will be measured against the perfect and holy Law of God, miserably found wanting.

Repent!  The Blessed Savior is the hope of mankind.  Jesus Christ, who was the light of the world in physical form, has passed the baton to his “Bride”, the Church.  We carry his light in this ever-darkening world.

Let us not forsake his eternal commandments for a cheap substitute.  The Bible warns, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 16:25) Let us choose life.

What has become of many Christians in our world’s history who dutifully pointed the way to Christ? In 64 AD, Nero set some on fire to serve for evening lights.  Throughout the centuries, many unyielding, courageous and faithful saints were burned at the stake for their stubborn allegiance to the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.  And today, ISIS sets many aflame because they will not renounce their faith in the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ.

Satan works to “kill, steal and destroy”, but Jesus prepared us for these treacherous days: “you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 5:22)

The Lord knew it would not be easy; he himself died a horrific death at the hands of hateful men. He was the true light of the world.  The One who resisted sin and evil in all of its deceptive forms. For those with eyes to see, Jesus continues to shine like the sun. And his followers carry a measure of his divine light, especially seen during times of great pressure.

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=Zue9Dfbmxos

THE SACRIFICE LAMB
(Joel Chernoff)

Have you ever heard Messiah has come?
It says in His Word to cleanse every one
Atonement He made iniquity bore
That we can find life in Him evermore

The Sacrifice Lamb has been slain
His blood on the alter a stain
To wipe away guilt and pain
To bring hope eternal
Salvation has come to the world
God’s only Son to the world
Jesus the one for the world Yeshua is He

The prophets of old speak much of Messiah
His death is foretold the purpose is clear
Isaiah did say ’twas for an atonement
To give us a way that leads not to death

The Sacrifice Lamb has been slain
His blood on the alter a stain
To wipe away guilt and pain
To bring hope eternal
Salvation has come to the world
God’s only Son to the world
Jesus the one for the world
Yeshua is He

So brothers of mine look not to yourselves
For we are but one we all need His help
We’ve broken the Law but He paid our debt
That we can find life by Yeshua’s death

The Sacrifice Lamb has been slain
His Blood on the alter a stain
To wipe away guilt and pain
To bring hope eternal
So final atonement has come
And brought us new hope by God’s Son
If you will believe in your heart
Yeshua you’ll know




Resistance: The Path of Light (Part 4)


candle-light_2May our eyes be opened to your Word, and your ways.  Give us eyes to see and ears to hear, that we may follow you faithfully, into our eternal destiny.

Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees,
that I may follow it to the end. (Psalm 119:33)

 

 

 

ForsakenLaws_4o

To read the next part in this series, click: Resistance: The Path of Light (Part 5).




Resistance: The Path of Light (Part 3)


candle-light_2May the Lord be high and lifted up. May his goodness be treasured, and severity be feared throughout the earth.  May the work of His hands be seen by all nations.

Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your tabernacle. (Psalm 43:3)

 

 

ForsakenLaws_3v

To read the next part in this series, click: Resistance: The Path of Light (Part 4).




Resistance: The Path of Light (Part 2)


candle-light_2May the Lord, and His Word be the foundation of our hearts and minds.

You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.
Trust in the Lord forever,
For in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength. (Isaiah 26:3-4)

ForsakenLaws_2w

To read the next part in this series, click: Resistance: The Path of Light (Part 3).




Resistance: The Path of Light (Part 1)


Recently while attending an event sponsored by Reasons To Believe, a group which highlights scientific discovery, and how it interrelates with the Bible, and with spiritual faith, that evening would showcase a BBC documentary, Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity.  It is the fascinating study of man’s pursuit and harnessing of the awesome power we call electricity.

While Shock and Awe is a secular program, a serendipitous and unexpected spiritual moment occurred almost at the program’s end.  Jim Al-Khalili the documentary’s scientist and host described the discovery and inner-workings of the modern light bulb:

Incandescent light bulb works by passing an electric current through a filament. A filament is a material in which the electric current flows through with more difficulty than it does through the copper wire in the rest of the circuit. And it relies on the idea of resistance.  Now inside this jar I have a filament made out of ordinary pencil lead.  And we can see what happens as I pass a current through it.  Down at the atomic scale, the atoms in the filament impede the flow of electricity. So it takes more energy to force it through.  And this energy is deposited in the filament as heat.  Now as it heats up, its resistance goes up which again raises its temperature until it glows white hot. (emphasis mine)

I couldn’t help thinking of our generation.  The electricity or power we see in our day has been channeled from the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4) and the “prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2) or Satan.  Men and women of God resist the edicts, laws and rules which contradict our higher instructions or Holy Bible, and the situation “heats up”.  Eventually, as ‘electricity’  increases, and we continue to resist the ways of this fallen world, the Lord’s disciples will “glow white hot” forming light.  Is it any wonder Jesus said to His disciples and followers:

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.”(Matthew 5:14-15)

The Bible contains many instructional commandments which give light to the children of God, or vessels of His light.  Increasingly, the New World Order and global agenda is finding itself in direct contradiction with the commandments of God.  In this five-part series we will look at some of these points of notable difference.  Is it wise to exchange the Holy and ancient Word of God for the “new” world order — which is merely the “old” dictatorial, totalitarian and Stalinesque order, with the addition of modern technology?  As the wolf deceptively whispered to Little Red Riding Hood, “The better to see you with, my dear”.

The following list highlights some of the laws, commandments and statutes of God we have forsaken in favor of those we have embraced in this, the 21st century:

ForsakenLaws_1s

Is there really an invasion occurring – isn’t that just hateful, “racist”, right-wing rhetoric? What are the Europeans saying?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44vzMNG2fZc#t=0m40s

To read the next part in this series, click: Resistance: The Path of Light (Part 2).




Alien Abduction Files: A Christian’s Response


What are your thoughts about aliens?  Are they real – are they fake – is there a government cover-up?  It may surprise my readers to learn that the Holy Bible gives mankind ancient wisdom to understand all of the modern UFO sightings as well as alien encounters of every kind, and alien abductions.

What are aliens?  Extra-terrestrials, or Inter-Dimensionals? Are you aware that “aliens” cannot continue an abduction if its victim cries out for help in the name of Jesus?   Why is the alien subject to the Lord Jesus Christ?  We will explore this and more in my Open Letter to the coauthors of The Alien Abduction Files.  Originally I intended to send this letter by email to the authors only, but have since decided that it may be useful for all of my readers.

My original motivation for writing this open letter – nearly 50 pages in length – is due to great compassion for the authors, especially Denise Stoner who was herself an alien abductee.  And even more sad than her abduction claim was her attitude towards her captors.  I would suggest Mrs. Stoner betrayed characteristics of what is commonly know as “Stockholm Syndrome”.  (Stockholm syndrome, or capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with the captors.)

Regardless of your current position on aliens, UFOs or the alien abduction phenomenon, I pray each reader will consider, and be open-minded to learn more about this topic, of which millions of people around the world claim to have experiential knowledge:

The Alien Abduction Files: A Christian Response.pdf

 

 




Overcoming In The Times Ahead (Part 2)


Faith and Prayer – A Dynamic Duo

As a devout Roman Catholic the first twenty-four years of my life, I must say, that prayer was a very important part of my existence. I can remember vividly as a child growing up in our family, faithfully attending church and continually performing all the rituals associated with being a member of that religion. The words ‘faith’ and ‘prayer’ were continually placed into the treasury of my heart as a child by the happy voice and admonitions of my God-fearing grandfather as well as my parents. Little did I know back then that one day Jesus would come to my  young adult life in the midst of despairing circumstances, uncover my distressed heart and shine His dazzling light of truth and grace through those two diamonds in the rough and make them come alive. He came to show me that, Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1, KJV). See my post Religion to Relationship

Until He came, all my years of praying never gave me what my heart most longed for, an assurance that what I was asking of God would actually come to pass. I didn’t know that true faith is fully trusting God and His Word, believing that He is not only able but also willing to do what we ask.For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.” (Mark 11:23).

This depressed, young wife and mother began rising early in the morning and in spite of the heaviness in spirit, would say and write God’s Word, “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we [I] will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24, KJV). At that time, I thought doing something like this, with the hope of my life actually changing because of it, was far too simplistic; but frankly, I decided I had nothing to lose by trying it – I was already looking up to see bottom. I had so much want in my life and found that there was also a Scripture God put in the Bible just to take care of that very problem too; “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want,” (Psalm 23:1, KJV). Everything in life seemed so dark, foreboding, unpredictable and out of control. I felt as though I was at the complete mercy of others and circumstances. But then I found God had provided a way out of that fearsome reality when He gave His very Word, “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?” (Psalm 27:1, KJV).

I began to daily rely on His Word in the same way I would believe a trusted friend who told me they  would be mailing me a check or stopping by at a certain time. As a child growing up, I had never trusted God like that in all those years of praying. When I began to trust God in my darkest despair and cried out one day, “God, my life is such a mess. If you can do anything with it after all this, then go ahead.” That day my broken heart opened up for the first time to the possibility of hope for a bright future. Jesus came rushing in with His forgiveness and irresistible love. No longer were faith and prayer merely some pious-sounding, religious terms. They became the open line for God and me to build a relationship. My faith in Him, i.e., expecting Him to hear and respond to me, was always followed by His power to either change the circumstances or to change me as a person or both.

The gray days of despair turned into days of breathless wonder and indescribable joy. What words can describe the transformation of eternal life with its accompanying miracles seen in everyday circumstances when contrasted with a previous, supremely religious life that had never produced any change in circumstances after praying? There are no words. I can remember one particular day being so filled with joy and the reality of God’s blessed presence that I couldn’t get up to move or walk.  “…in thy presence is fulness of joy;…” (Psalm 16:11 KJV).  I finally had to pray and tell the Lord Jesus I couldn’t take any more joy, it felt like my heart would explode.

Prayers of Faith

One of the most wonderful realities I discovered about faith and prayer is that God is not bound by time and space. Therefore, when we ask Him for something, or if we just show Him our heart of trust in a situation by refusing to fear the circumstances, He goes to work on our behalf in advance of our prayer of faith to bring about a solution to the problem or difficulty.

A particular instance of this comes to mind that had to do with finances. This is just one small example of countless times I experienced the mercy and goodness of God. At that time, we were involved in purchasing a small parcel of land. It was in the very beginning stages of acquisition and my husband was earning, at that time, less then two hundred dollars a week. He called from work on a payday and told me the bank we were working through to obtain financing for the land was requiring an appraisal before they would even consider lending us the money. He said an appraiser would be coming by the house and to give him a check for $170. I couldn’t believe it, but I wrote out the check at my husband’s direction. Then I wrote another check for $25 to cash at the bank so I could have money to travel the hundred miles over the weekend to visit my family. (I was on a quest to get them to understand that what I had recently experienced with God was not the same as the Catholic belief even though it all sounded somewhat the same as far as doctrine).

When I subtracted the $25 amount in my check register, together with the $170 subtraction for the appraisal, there was a balance of a few cents over $3 to last for a whole week. I can remember looking at that tiny balance and feeling fear rise in my heart, going up to my face. I thought, “I’d better not cash this $25 check and forget going to see the family this weekend.”

But then I remembered how God had changed my life recently and He didn’t want me to be in fear, especially fear of lack or poverty. Standing there at the table, I determinedly said to myself, “I am NOT going to fear. God’s bank has all I’ll need for this coming week!”

faith-fear-492992_960_720I got in the car to go to the bank and on the way out of the yard, I decided to get the mail, which had just been delivered. I noticed a letter from my mother-in-law in another state. Opening it there in the car, my heart leaped for joy as I saw a check for $50. In her letter, written three days prior to this moment, she said she was thinking of us while she was busy doing her daily housework and just “felt like she needed to sit down and send us some money.” How overjoyed I was again, marveling with the discovery that because God is not bound by time, He could see my faith and trust in Him that day at my table and “inspire” my mother-in-law three days before to mail us a check for no reason. The money she sent, twice the amount I was going to the bank for, arrived only minutes after I had decided in my heart not to fear lack. As I laid my head back on the seat of the car and cried for joy, I was overcome with the blessed reality again that God is truly a loving, heavenly Father, that He is deeply concerned about and desires to be actively involved in every detail of my life.  The words of a little poem come to mind with this tender answer to my prayer:

bird-robinsparrow-photo-large

Said the Robin to the Sparrow:
‘I should really like to know
Why these anxious human beings
Rush around and worry so.’

Said the Sparrow to the Robin:
‘Friend, I think that it must be
That they have no heavenly Father
Such as cares for you and me.’
Elizabeth Cheney¹

 CONCLUSION

Truly it can be said, “prayer changes things.” Through faith and prayer, a loving, heavenly Father hears our voice and responds. What a happy thought, what a joyous expectation. The Psalmist describes my own heartfelt wonder when he wrote, “I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.” (Psalms 116:1&2, KJV).

In these days of chaos and fear may we turn to the only one true, living God–Father, Son and Holy Spirit who is able and willing to save us and bring us safely home to Himself when this is all over. Put your trust in Him today. Don’t wait. “…Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”(Heb. 4:7 KJV)

If this brief writing has touched your heart and you want to experience Father God answering your prayers, believe on His Son Jesus to forgive your sins and give you a new life, the gift of eternal life right now. He is waiting to answer that prayer and reserve a place for you at His heavenly table.

¹ Corrie ten Boom, “Worry,” Jesus Is Victor, Fleming H. Revell, 1985, p. 59.



Overcoming In The Times Ahead (Part 1)


My friends, we are seeing this world spin out of control on every front. Most days it feels like we’re living on a trampoline. Every step we take, every decision we make requires the mental and emotional balancing prowess of a gymnast at the height of a routine.

The Bible foretold these days and the utter chaos we see looming on the horizon for all mankind. The bottom line of why this is happening is because mankind chose to depart from the protective boundaries set by a faithful and loving Creator.  When the first man Adam and his wife Eve partook of the fruit of the tree of “the knowledge of good and evilGen. 2:16-17, they were deceived and actually thought they were going to benefit by having more knowledge, sort of an intellectual’s dream.  But that knowledge of evil they received has been the breeding ground for all the suffering, sorrow and atrocities down through the history of man.

Right now we are seeing the fruit and effects of the knowledge of evil at its zenith.  Sadly much of the world and civilization today have been duped into believing what was once considered to be good now to be evil and vice-versa. Not to worry though, the Lord foretold this in his Word in Isaiah 5:20, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; …” (KJV)  You see, God foresaw the day we’re living in where political correctness would turn the definitions regarding values of life completely upside down. He foresaw all of the media propaganda puppets of our time spinning news stories by simply reading the same narrative to deceive people and suppress the truth.

stock-photo-13307558-media-controls-the-marionette-puppet I stopped watching mainstream news decades ago. What I noticed back then was that whoever the story was about, their video recording would appear and the person would begin to speak about the topic. After two seconds, the sound of the person’s voice would go silent while still showing their lips to be moving. While that was going on the news media actor at the news desk would voice over the picture and tell the viewers what the person ‘said’. When I realized this to be the pattern, it didn’t take a lot of brains to realize we were being told what someone else wanted us to hear and believe. Welcome to the modern American media controlled by six major corporations.

Propaganda puppets? You decide. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0vClCiXxUc

Anyway, getting back to the upside down good versus evil idea, to those who align themselves with this erroneous view and these techniques of manipulation the Lord pronounces a big WOE, i.e. great trouble, sorrow and grief. He’s been holding back as long as possible so more people can reconnect with Him by being born again by the Spirit of God and escape the terrible punishment awaiting those who reject His free gift of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:9

So what options do we have at this point in time? Well, if we will humble ourselves before that loving Creator God, He chooses to hear our cries for help and direction, regardless of how far down the hole we’ve descended in our deception and willful arrogance.

We can choose to pray.

womanpraying

Prayer – A Dialogue With God

Prayer is oftentimes looked upon as some type of religious, pious ritual. People have many reasons for praying. One reason may be to fulfill a religious duty. Another might be to try and relieve a guilty conscience or appease an angry God. The super religious individual may often be found using prayer as a measuring stick to judge oneself in a more favorable light, as compared to other people who “aren’t as ‘good’,” much like the Pharisee Jesus describes in the gospel of Luke.

 “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”(Luke 18:9-14 KJV)

All of these reasons to pray leave a person’s spirit with the same amount of satisfaction one would get looking into bare cupboards. For all of the words, there seems to be nothing achieved, except a hollow feeling that no one is there, that no one is listening. What is really lacking in all the pious platitudes people call prayer? The answer is faith–that simple but powerful, child-like attitude of trust that God is not only there and cares but that He actually wants to do something about the situation for which we are praying.But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him,” (Heb. 11:6, KJV). This is where those who mock praying people and prayer fail in their argument. They try to address a subject of which they have no experiential knowledge.

Much so-called prayer is nothing more than vain repetition because the person has never placed his full trust in the one, true God by believing in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son. Without this saving knowledge of Christ and being born again, no life connection can be made with our loving, heavenly Father. He desires for us to know Him and get close to Him in an intimate relationship of our spirit with His Spirit, like Adam and Eve had before they fell for the big lie, i.e. that they would be as gods knowing both good and evil. Genesis 3:5.

When this re-connection with God is made through the new birth which Jesus describes to a religious leader named Nicodemus in the third chapter of John’s gospel, prayer takes on a powerfully new and profoundly real dimension. It is no longer some kind of spooky, ethereal, ‘cross your fingers and hope you get what you want’ religious exercise, but rather a simple dialogue between a child and his Father. When a person realizes the possibilities of divine friendship and intimacy in prayer, then truly it becomes a privilege to be enjoyed, an adventure into the unseen where God is not bound by the limitations of time and space.

 Overcoming in the Times Ahead  (Part 2)




Anti-Defamation “Law” – Really? (Part 2)


America’s Bill of Rights is under fire from US Government-issued weaponry.  Loretta Lynch views Hodges’ speech as hateful, yet common sense cries foul.  Are all Muslims violent?  No, but peaceful or “moderate” Muslims are untrue to their Qur’an when they engage socially with unbelievers, or if they allow the infidel to live.  This is no exaggeration, and it can be proven within the Islamic text itself.  Why does Ms. Lynch and other like-minded officials overlook the readily available contents of the “holy” book of Islam? Would it not be in her best interest as ‘Attorney General of the United States’ to know the doctrine of the San Bernardino killers, as well as the Muslims who killed 3,110 in America in 82 terror attacks (and Islam-related honor killings) since 1972? I believe the answer lies in the Obama Administration’s desire to revive an Islamic Caliphate.  The Caliphate will revive, and it will be the last kingdom before the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.  To learn more, see my blog on Islamic Antichrist: A King’s Statue.  So the text of the Qur’an is apparently unimportant to American state officials who took oaths to protect its citizens. But could it be important — could the Qur’an explain the wave of Islamic violence which has radiated out from the middle east to the rest of the world? Consider the Qur’an (sura 9:5) which declares its followers must:

“Slay the idolaters wherever ye find them,
and take them (captive), and besiege them,
and prepare for them each ambush. But if
they repent and establish worship and pay
the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo!
Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”

Or how about sura 8:12 of the Qur’an:

“When your Lord revealed to the angels: I
am with you, therefore make firm those who
believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of
those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off
their heads and strike off every fingertip of
them.”

On the “hateful” barometer, how are we doing so far?  A true Muslim is not even to befriend the unbeliever:

“O ye who believe!  Take not the Jews and
the Christians for friends. They are friends
one to another. He among you who taketh
them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah
guideth not wrongdoing folk.” (Sura 5:51)

ISIS is the poster child for the Qur’an; consider how they dutifully follow their “holy” book to the letter.

Were those isolated verses?  What about sura 47:4:IslamPic1

“So when you meet in battle those
who disbelieve, then smite the
necks until when you have
overcome them”

What is it about the Qur’an world-view that we do not understand?

But you may ask, there are peaceful verses in the Qur’an as well.  Yes, but those earlier verses have been “abrogated” according to sura 2:106:

“Whatever a verse (revelation) do We
abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring
a better one or similar to it. Know you not
that Allah is able to do all things?

Islam traces its origins to Ishmael, son of Abraham the patriarch. They see Ishmael as the “chosen” son of Abraham; for instance Ishmael was ‘almost’ sacrificed by Abraham during his great test of faith, not Isaac as the Bible indicates. While Ishmael is blessed by the Lord, the Bible soundly and directly refutes the notion that he was the chosen son of Abraham:

And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.  But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year.”  Then He finished talking with him, and God went up from Abraham. (Genesis 17:20-22)

Scripture also refutes Ishmael’s ‘chosen’ status indirectly – as both old and new testaments often address the lineage of God’s chosen people:

Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father — the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God. (Exodus 3:6 – emphasis mine)

Interestingly, through an angel, the Lord foretold Ishmael’s birth, and prophesied what kind of traits he would have as a man.  An angel of the Lord appeared to Hagar, mother of Ishmael, in the Sinai desert.   Pregnant with child, Hagar met her angelic visitor after running away from her mistress Sarah:

The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand.”  Then the angel of the Lord said to her, “I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude.”  And the angel of the Lord said to her:

“Behold, you are with child,
And you shall bear a son.
You shall call his name Ishmael,
Because the Lord has heard your affliction.

He shall be a wild man;
His hand shall be against every man,
And every man’s hand against him.
And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.”  (Genesis 16:9-12)

So what do Qur’an verses or suras, and the ancient Scriptures have to do with our day?  In the great “land of the free, and home of the brave”, Loretta Lynch wants to harness the tremendous powers of US government to harass and potentially jail Mr. Hodges for his trepidation of thousands of un-screened Muslims flowing into the US.  Yet the FBI warns that 10% of Muslims are radicalized, and the Qur’an itself provides a great backdrop for radicalization.  Is there something wrong here?  The world has lost its collective mind.  It has turned reprobate, and insane.  Paul foretold such a day as this:

And with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,  that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12)

Through it all, as Christians we must remember the Bible says we are not fighting flesh and blood, but the Great Deceiver and Destroyer from the beginning of time.  Those radicalized Muslims who openly plan to “Dominate the World” holding signs that say, “Freedom Can Go to Hell” and “Behead Those Who Insult Islam”, are acting on behalf of the one they serve.  May we see past their vile rhetoric, and even their barbaric deeds – understanding the source of their enslavement.  May we take to heart the first stanzas of A Mighty Fortress is Our God, Martin Luther’s classic hymn of 1529:

A mighty fortress is our God,
a bulwark never failing;
our helper he amid the flood
of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe
doth seek to work us woe;
his craft and power are great,
and armed with cruel hate,
on earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide,
our striving would be losing,
were not the right man on our side,
the man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he;
Lord Sabaoth, his name,
from age to age the same,
and he must win the battle.

I pray that our nations would turn, and repent.  But I fear it will get much darker before the Dawn: the blessed returning of the Lord Jesus Christ.

To continue, go to: Anti-Defamation “Law” – Really? (Part 3)