Bible time for Justin and Jacob

“I know the plans I have for you.”  GOD  

There is no one His equal.  He is love.  His compassion knows no boundary.  He has no boundaries known to man.  Except one…your will. 

He will not allow anyone to put Him in a box of any kind.  He will break out of it every time.

He was, He is and He will be involved in the lives of all mankind because He is the creator of all mankind.

All that He is, His power, His love, His majesty, causes anyone who is in His presence to come away filled with awe and wonder.  In His presence all fall on their face.  Pride crumbles.

He loves mankind so much that in His plan, knowing the past, present and future, He sent His Son, His own unique Son, into the world of men as a man.  He came as a man among men.  He displayed God to man.  He came to redeem, to buy back what had been given away by Adam, the initial created by God man, who made the decision not to trust God’s word.

God is love.  Love gives.

Jesus taught His disciples that God is a father, “Our Father who is in Heaven”.  In this dispensation we are the beneficiaries of the last will and testament of God’s son.  He is the mediator of this New Testament.  He came to Earth to showcase who God is. 

God is a Savior.  God is a healer.  God is a deliverer.  God is a provider.  God is a protector.

God is a God of order.  He is not causal or careless.  He is purposeful and intentional.  He is not haphazard.

Corrie ten Boom, author of the book, “The Hiding Place”, tells the story of God’s love for those who abused and murdered her family and the Jewish people.  The Word of God says, “What does it profit if you love those who love you, love your enemies and do good and pray for those who use you?”  Corrie had to forgive the guard, who before receiving Christ as his own personal Savior, had abused her sister Betsey.  She could only do so with God’s love.

Can you pray blessing on one who has “done you wrong”?  Pride can’t, pride won’t.    Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping that the one you hate, the one who offended you, the one who stole from you…dies.  Flesh wants a pound of flesh. 

“Tit for tat, butter for fat, you steal my dog I’ll steal your cat.”

You are only a human being, you are not God.  Apart from His appropriated power you cannot forgive from your heart.  And only truly seeing your own “self” in the light of His love and then seeing your offender through the lens of God’s love, only then are you able to forgive.

“With God all things are possible.  Nothing is too hard for God.”  With you?  Not so much.

Most of your life is ahead of you.  The path in front of me is much shorter.  I am advising you to make the most of each day.  Choose to follow the path least travelled.  “Broad is the way that leads to destruction.”  Many people are walking there.  The surest way to reach your desired destination is to stay on the narrow path, keep focused on the goal.  God is calling you to walk with Jesus, led by His Holy Spirit.  If you do so, you will fulfill your destiny

Religion will keep you satisfied, just a normal, nominal Christian.  Keep drinking that Kool-aid and you will leave this world having made your mark on the world.  “He was a good person.”, they will say.  “Only God is good.”,  Jesus said.  

A Christian is a Christ One.  Christ is not Jesus second name.  Christ means the sent one.  Jesus is the one sent.  His name in Hebrew, the language of the people when He was on the Earth, means Savior.  Jesus Christ…sent one to save, that was who He was.  It was love that sent Jesus. 

Who He is now is King.  A king has a kingdom.  When you accepted Jesus as your Savior you were brought into the Kingdom of God.  You are now looked after, taken care of by King Jesus.  You have to learn the ways of The Kingdom.  The Word of God will teach you the way.

Someone once asked thus question.  “If you were put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”  This is something you should consider.

A true Christian will touch the world around him with the love of God, he will impact the life of every one whose life he touches. You have influence. How do you choose to use it? 

Learn to love.   May what motivates you be the love of God.

My prayer is that when you stand before God, the Righteous Judge, there will be more than enough evidence written in the book of your life to hear these words… “Well done good and faithful servant, enter in to the joy of your master.”  Amen!

The Kidnapper

Under cover of darkness the evil one comes.  Doing the work of his evil father, he is:    The Kidnapper.

 

 

Manual and Rosita Rodriguez had saved enough money to come to the resort on a family vacation. They were so excited to be there at last.

 

Manny, that’s what Rosita called her husband, worked with the street department in Anaconda, California.  He had come with his family from Mexico when he was just five years old.  Manny’s father worked hard to provide for his family and when he became an American citizen he was committed to raise his children to be good citizens, and they were.

 

The Rodriguez family had been raised in the Catholic tradition but through the kindness, love and compassion of their neighbor, they came to know Jesus personally and began attending the local Pentecostal church she attended, though neither of them took religion or God too seriously.  They thought that going to church on Sunday was good enough, the rest of the week they pretty much did what they wanted to.

 

When Manny was twenty five years old he met Rosita. He went to a Fiesta with a friend and there she was.  She was small with a slight build, her hair fell in waves over her shoulders and her dark eyes were rimmed with long lashes.  She captured Manny’s heart.  It was love at first sight for Manny.  It took some doing to win Rosita’s heart, but eventually he did.  They had been married now for ten years and had three children.

 

The oldest child, a girl they named Manuela, after her father, was nine. Their second child was a boy named Jorge, he was seven.  The baby, Carmelita, was just three months old.

 

Life had its ups and downs for the Rodriguez family as it does for all of us.

 

Manny had worked as a grounds keeper for a wealthy family.  It was a good job and he was able to provide nicely for his family.  But the security that they had hoped for was not to be.

 

A property developer wanted the property to build a multi story apartment complex with shops on the lower level, as the area was expanding and he could see dollar signs in the future.  The family was more than ready to let go of it because they were past retirement age and ready to move into something smaller.

 

After a six month struggle without work, Manny got a job with the Anaconda street maintenance department. Life went well in the ensuing years.  They were able to save a little and had plans to buy a house the following year.

 

God had a plan for this family, it was a good plan, but the events that took place certainly didn’t make it look that way.  Sometimes the plans He has for us look like defeat, but from His view He sees great victory.  That is how He saw His son’s death and resurrection.

 

Arvad Cheminsky was a bell boy at the resort, though he was no longer a boy.  He was born and raised in Moldova to a poor family, but he had grand dreams, dreams of lots of money  He hated being poor and vowed the day would come when he would never be poor again.  When he was sixteen he left home and went to Russia.

 

Times were tough and he found whatever work he could, sweeping floors, loading trucks and loading cargo on the docks.  It was on the docks that he met Boraas Plenovich.  Like himself Boraas was young and ambitious. They became friends.  In time Boraas told Arvad that there was a lot of money to be made if he was interested. Boraas said he had connections.

 

Arvad was fond of a certain bar that was operated by a young couple.  The wife was a sturdy, well built girl and the husband was a nice-looking man with a big mustache and a deep voice.  They became friends.  Boraas came with Arvad a few times and saw a money making scheme that would pay big.  He suggested to Arvad that he ask the husband if his wife could accompany him to Thailand where they would meet up with a man who could provide an opening for a bar in the city of Pattaya, Thailand.  He assured him that it was quite lucrative and would be a great investment.  The husband gave his permission.

 

He never saw his wife again.  He searched for years trying to find her or Arvad to no avail.  After many years and lots of money and heartache, he learned that Arvad had sold her to human traffickers in Thailand.

 

Arvad and Boraas worked with the Russian mafia. Though they never met anyone higher than their local contact, they didn’t care, they didn’t want to know, as long as they got paid, and they got paid well for a good specimen.  They made a lot of money and all they had to do was deliver the goods to their contact.  It was a nice clean operation.  They had what they wanted.  There was no shortage of drink and women as long as the money flowed.

 

When the Rodriguez family checked in at the front desk, Arvad was there.  He took their bags up to their rooms paying special attention to their conversation and observing the children carefully.

 

The two older children were slight in build like their mother.  The contact wanted specimens that would last awhile, so Arvad always looked for ones that were more sturdy.  In this case the baby was promising, besides the contact said that her contact wanted something different and this baby might just be the thing that would bring a higher price.  He dallied, moving a chair here and some flowers over there, as the family excitedly examined their quarters.

 

The older children were excited to get into their swim suits and go to the pool. The woman wanted to get her baby to bed as she was fussy and tired.  Arvad watched where she took the child and after receiving his tip he left.  All he had to do now was watch for an opportunity.

 

His next assignment was the pool area. Fortunately for him, the Rodriguez family was at the pool.  Manuela and Jorge were playing and splashing in the pool while Rosita held Carmelita and Manny took pictures.

 

Bringing a pitcher of lemonade over to their table he heard Manny suggest to Rosita that they put the children to bed after supper and when they were asleep they could go for a stroll in the gardens.  It sounded so romantic and it had been a long time since they had time alone together, and in such a beautiful setting.  Though she had some hesitation about leaving the children alone, Rosita consented.

 

They walked in the flower lined garden, stopped to admire a beautiful orchid growing on a tree, and sat down on a bench.  The night air was beginning to cool off from the heat of the day. The sky turned a beautiful orange, then pink leading into shades of night gray.  They reluctantly returned to their rooms as the sun was beginning to set.

 

Rosita went into the room where Manuela and Jorge were sleeping.  She paused a moment to reflect on what a wonderful day it had been.  Going into their room to the crib where she had laid Carmelita, she was horrified to find that she was not there.  She screamed. Manny came running into the room to see what had happened.  Their baby was gone.

 

Arvad saw that the Rodriguez’s had gone out of the room.  What wonderful timing!  He alerted his contact to be ready as he would hand off the baby to her.  She posted a watch on the Rodriguez’s to make sure they were not surprised before they snatched the child.

 

Carefully letting himself into the room with the master key that he had stolen, he went to the room where the baby was. Picking her up he placed a rag soaked in a drug solution over her nose and mouth to keep her sedated so she wouldn’t cry.

 

Opening the door to the adjoining room where his contact waited, he gave her the baby, she would take it to the next contact.  Arvad would get paid handsomely for this one, he was sure of that.  She was plump with rosy cheeks, someone would pay big for her.

 

Every step along the way was carefully planned.  There were no clues left behind, no trace of anything for the police to go by.  The kidnapping made the papers and the news media was all over the resort. Arvad hung around long enough to not arouse suspicion when he left.  He went back to Russia with a lot of money in his pocket.

 

Devastation is the best word to describe the Rodriguez family. Manny blamed himself, Rosita blamed Manny and herself.  The children were inconsolable.  The request for prayer went throughout the world. The only hope was a miracle.  Manny and Rosita turned to God with all of their hearts, begging for the return of their daughter.

 

Pattaya, Thailand, a man walked into a cleaning establishment.  He asked about their laundry and cleaning facility and mentioned that he had some needs and wondered if they knew where these needs could be met.  Eyeing him carefully, the owner asked if he had any preference for his needs to be met and when he said that he didn’t the owner lead him into a back room.

 

“I have something very special for you.”  He said.  “I am sure your needs will be taken care of.”  They agreed on a price; it was paid and the shopkeeper opened the door to a dimly lit room.  Entering the room the man saw a baby.  His stomach turned.  He thanked the shopkeeper and closed the door.

 

When he was brought into the back room, he noticed a door with an exit sign. Scooping up the baby in his arms, he carefully opened the door a crack to make sure no one was outside.  The coast was clear, running as fast as he could out the door and down the street, he came to the place where his friend was waiting for him.

 

The newspapers and TV carried a picture of three month old Carmelita Rodriguez as she was returned to her family with the caption:  “God does a Miracle, baby returned to her parents!”

 

 

When I was in Chicago a few years ago, I was at the Union train station waiting for my train to come.  I was totally unaware that bus stations and train stations are used by pimps and prostitutes to get easy money.  They prey upon unsuspecting, gullible people.  No doubt they saw me as their “pigeon”.  I have learned since then that these places are favorites for pimps to pick up girls fresh from the country who appear lost or lonely.

 

I had purchased some lunch and was sitting in a designated eating area.  A girl, solidly built, loud and coarse, sat down at a table next to  me.  She began to speak into her phone to her father.  She was telling him that she wanted to come home but that a guy was watching her and she was scared.  She asked him to wire her some money she could catch a bus home.  I felt so sorry for her.  I walked past her and put $20.00 into her hand.  She immediately got up and took off, very quickly followed by a black man.

 

I had been had!

 

I wrote this story today to make people aware of what is going on in the seamy world of human trafficking.  I don’t know a lot about it, but I do know some.  The story about the baby and the bar owner are true stories that I embellished with my imagination.

 

Parents and caregivers to pray for protection for the children in your care.  Educate yourself in the ways of those who deal in human souls for profit.

 

My sister left her two little girls by a jewelry counter in Walmart several years ago.  She told them to stay there, that she would be right back.  A man approached them, getting close he punched the older one in the stomach so she couldn’t cry out.  He began to take them toward the door as my sister came around the corner and saw him.  She yelled so loudly he got scared, dropped the girls and ran from the building.  Many years earlier I had a vision in which I saw that attempt and prayed for them.  God was merciful.  We cannot be too careful.  There are predators who think nothing of taking your precious treasures.   Be alert and aware.

 

It is written:

 

“Whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”  Matthew 18:6

 

“It is not the will of your Father which is in Heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

Matthew 18:14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This day

“I’m backing everyone into a corner then what is in the heart will come out.

Sides will be taken.  As the light comes the dividing line will appear.

People of God your heart will declare your allegiance.

No longer will smooth words cover you.

Your choice has been already made by your decisions and actions.

War is on the horizon, it is the clash between good and evil, not man.”

 

Isaiah 42:13

“The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man,  He shall stir up His zeal like a man of war;  He shall cry out, yes, shout aloud; He shall prevail against His enemies.”

A Bar

A Bar – Poem by Darren Westbrook

Sometimes it’s called a bar,
A bar to heaven a door to hell.
Whoever named it named it well.

A bar to manliness and wealth;

A door to want and broken health.

A bar to honor, pride and fame.

A door to grief and sin and shame.

A bar to joys that home imparts.

A door to tears and aching hearts.

A bar to heaven a door to hell,

Whoever named it named it well.

 

“Awww, come on Johnny, just one drink won’t hurt. You can take just one. Come on down to the bar with me.” Alfred said.

He had been sober for two years.  He was feeling pretty good about himself, proud of the fact that he had kept his promise to her.

“Why not,” he thought.  “I can handle this, I have done great for two years, just one drink and then I”ll go home.”

She waited and worried.  “What had happened to him.” she thought.”  He had not been late for supper for two years. They had been so happy.

Nin had no idea when she married J.B. that alcoholism would threaten her marriage.  They were in love, he was her prince and she was sure that all would be well.

“Two years, two great years and now this.”  she said to herself.

It was 1:00 when he came home. “Drunk as a skunk”, she told her mother. The nightmare started all over again and it ended many years later in divorce.

Everyone of the “rellies” was affected. All who knew him were saddened that such a nice man could end up like this…no job, no family, no home, homeless and penniless, that is what happened to J.B. because he took just one drink.

 

J.B. was born into what could be described as a moderately wealthy family by comparison to others in the depression era.  His father owned a successful business and the family had a nice home.  They had come to America seeking a better life and had found it.
There were many “strikes” against J.B. The biggest of which was that his mother died when he was at a vulnerable age and his father remarried.  The step-mother and he did not get along so he moved out. He did not finish high school and so his job opportunities were limited.
His dad took him into the business and he learned to weld. He was good at it, so I have been told.  But, he had wanderlust in his soul.
As a young man he “hopped a freight” and headed south. He rode the rails, trying to stay a step ahead of the “dics” who would sometimes beat up the “bums” if they caught them.  If you didn’t have a job you were considered a bum, a good for nothing.
He started hanging around the gyms, watching the boxers as they sparred with one another.  He was scrappy and asked to be considered for Golden Gloves training.  He never went very far, but well into his years he loved a good boxing match.
As a young man, he could handle his liquor, or so he thought.  Many times he would get paid, go to the bar and when he was sober wonder where his money went.
He met Nin when he was 25.  She was not like the other women he kept company with.  She was pure and she was pretty.  He was taken with her.
When she moved to be near him, they went to the bars together.  This was a new world to her. It was exciting at first, but when they married and the children came, she no longer wanted to be part of it.  Her upbringing kicked in.
A mother was to be at home and take care of her children.
It was seven children and many years later when they divorced. They loved each other, but the alcoholism colored their world and she could not do it anymore.
I am the oldest of seven.  As I get close to the end of my sojourn here, I think more seriously about life, love and faith.
I see and I have seen first hand what alcoholism can do to a family.  Like many with my experience, I hate alcohol!
My youngest son has walked my Dad’s path almost exactly.  Each of us makes his own decisions.  In spite of much prayer and the faith of those who pray for us, it is our decisions that dictate our path in life.
My oldest son does not have the “weakness”.  He likes “a cold beer on a hot day after mowing the yard.” He is not addicted.
Why does one become addicted and another does not? I don’t know the answer.
This I do know, without alcohol my Dad was kind, generous and an interesting man. I had the good pleasure of getting to know him for several years before he died.
Alcoholism changes a man into another person. My Dad was a mean drunk. He was stubborn, blasphemous, and a womanizer under the influence of alcohol.
Inhibitions go, walls come down and a man will do things drunk that he would never do sober.
I am happy to tell you that my Dad came to Jesus, reconciled with my Mom, and in general turned from sin to the Lord before he died. Thank you Lord!
Wherever you are in your relation to alcohol, please consider my story.
If you are young, you may be able to “handle it” for awhile. Youth can do many things that age cannot, and you too are aging every day.
Life is a process, everything we do is a process. There is a beginning and there is an end. Often, the beginning determines the end.
Why start something that is detrimental, that does not help you be a better person, or provide a lasting benefit?
Pause and calmly consider is what I am asking.
God loves you and has a great plan for your life. You hold the key in your hand. What is that key for you?

An Open Letter to Michelle

Can we establish up front that every human being was created by God for God?  Every human being will seek to fill the void in their soul with something or someone.

We were created by God to have relationship with Him, to worship Him and receive our life needs from Him.

When we come to faith in God, through Jesus the sent one, the greatest challenge we face is discerning who is speaking to us.

We desire to relate to God, to know that we are loved and accepted by Him. We want to know what life is all about and why we are here.

Rules versus relationship is key to understanding how to walk through this mine infested world. Identifying the source of what is coming at you will help you. The sources are these:  God, the world, your flesh and the devil, which means accuser.

It is fairly easy to keep the rules when you make up your mind to do so. People can be religious rule keepers and be quite satisfied that they are fine and in tune with God expects of them.

Organized church rules that you should only go to that church and no other.  If you are a rule follower, you will feel guilty if you set foot in the door of another church, even if it were only for the funeral of a relative.

You are also taught to avoid getting too close to anyone of another religion; you certainly shall not marry anyone who is not of your religion.

Some religions go so far as to say that if you are not of their religion you will, by force, be made to follow their religion, or you must pay them to follow your religion or you will be murdered if you don’t follow their religion.

Religion controls your life while Relationship with God sets you free to be the best person you can possibly be, and not on your own, but with the help of His Holy Spirit.

So, let’s look at John 10:10 KJV…Jesus said:  “The thief comes to kill, steal and destroy..”

Who is the thief?  He is the one called the devil and satan; translated these words mean “accuser” and  “adversary.

But, he was not always this. There was a time when he was called “Lucifer”, meaning light bearer. He was basically the worship leader of Heaven.  He was one of the most beautiful of all of God’s creations.

The Word teaches us that He began to look at himself and he became deceived by his own beauty.  Pride entered his heart and he began to covet the worship that was God’s.

He began to say to other created beings that he would exalt his throne above the stars, that he would ascend above the heights of the clouds, that he would be like the Most High.

One third of the angels listened to him, agreed with him and became his followers.  God gave him enough rope and he hung himself.  When his iniquity was full, God kicked him out of Heaven.

There is more to his story, how he became the god of this world system, but I want to focus upon his method of operation in the earth now.

Here are some words that describe his M.O.: deceiver, thief, liar, murderer, destroyer, accuser, adversary, enemy…there is more, but you get the idea.  He is the source of all that is evil in this world.

It is he who deceives the masses of people in the world to follow and worship anything but God.

He hates God, but he cannot touch him.  He has legal authority to do as he pleases with anyone who does not belong to God’s family.

He lies to them that God does not want them because of what they have done.  He tells them that they are different than anyone else and they were meant to be something other than what they are.

He steals their good name, he steals their health, he steals their children, he steals their marriage, he steals their quality of life, all the while telling them that it is God who is doing it.

In the relationship of man and woman he leads them to to exercise their feelings and emotions as needs that must be filled by another person and when that person does not meet the need it is time to move on to someone else. This he calls freedom and all the while it is bondage to the flesh.

Children are especially targeted when they enter their teen-age years.  He accuses the ignorant, innocent teen of their faults and their flaws; no one and nothing about them is right or good enough

Some teens are pressured to blame their parents, the authorities, or anyone for all that is wrong in the world, In their 20’s they become cause oriented protesters against society.

Rebelliousness and hopelessness causes some children to shut down, cutting off relationship with their parents, or anyone that could help. Then the enemy moves in for the kill.  Teen suicide is the result.

Every evil, diabolical work in the world bears his footprint.  He is not redeemable.  His fate is sealed.  Hell was created for him and his followers.

There is a high road to Hell and there is a low road to Hell.  It is paved with good intentions. Those traveling these roads intend to do what is good and right, but without God they are not able.  You cannot “see straight” without God.

The adversary is a counterfeiter.  Government programs that are put in place to “help” people enslave them to the system, become entitlements, moving them from working to provide for themselves and their family as God intended, thus making them dependent upon government not God.

Please understand I am not against helping those in need, we should, it is the responsibility of God’s people to do so.

People walking the high road to Hell have what the world and satan can offer; money, position, possessions, power, fame, authority to name a few. Those who walk the low road to Hell are strung out on drugs, alcoholics, users and abusers of themselves and others.  These two camps scorn each other as the demon spirits who empower them fight among themselves.  The people are pawns in this chess game of the enemy.

Let me give you some examples of the adversaries operation against people

A husband is cheating on his wife with a neighbor.  He comes home and accusers her of having a man in the house while he was gone.  The very thing he is doing, he accuses her of doing.

You and your spouse are having a conversation.  You hear him say something and you get angry that he would say that to you.  You accuse him and he says,  “I didn’t say that.” You say, “I know what I heard.”

You have just been the victims of the prince of the power of the air.  This spirit takes the words from one person’s mouth twists them and when another person hears it, it is not what was said but what that spirit knows will cause strife and division in the relationship.

Anger is a favorite spirit of the enemy.  It will cause the one who is the victim untold heartache as it hurts and wounds the people in his life and drives them from him, but it will torment the one who is influenced by this spirit and would him even greater.

Pornography is a tool that the enemy employs successfully.  Many men, even devout religious men, are caught in the snare of pornography.  It destroys the person sexually as it increases its hold upon them.  Thus a man who is married cannot relate to his wife as he should and a single man will not find a woman who will accept the perversity he wants.

One of the favorite tools that the enemy uses to enslave people is fear.  The scope of this is broad.  Fear raises its head in many areas of our lives, perhaps all areas of our lives.  I dare say that there is not one person alive that has never been afflicted by a spirit of fear.

Fear is a spirit that uses other spirits to blind and bind people so they will not fulfill their God-given destiny.  A few examples are:

Fear of failure…you will not attempt anything because you are afraid you will fail.

Fear of water…you won’t get into a boat or go swimming because you are afraid you will drown.

Fear that no one can love you because you don’t look the way you think you should.

Perhaps the biggest fear of all is being alone.  We fill our hours and days with T.V., pets, people and activities so we won’t be alone.  I am not saying these things are wrong in and of themselves, but if you have the Lord you will never truly be alone.  There is a place of rest and peace in Him.  We need to have our priorities in place.

More and more lies of the enemy, piled high and deep, keep us bound up, all the while Jesus came that we might be free.  It is our choice.  We must make a decision and then receive the freedom.

“I am come that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  John 10:10 KJV

When you receive Jesus as your Savior and Lord, your spirit man becomes new, the old you is gone, washed away in Jesus blood, you were born of water in natural birth and now you are born of the Spirit.  Your sins are forgiven, blotted out, and now you will live forever with God your father.

You have been transferred from the kingdom of darkness into God’s kingdom which is light.  You have a new father, a father who loves you, who will take care of you, who will always be with you, who will never leave you.

You have a soul as well as a spirit, your soul is the heart of you, the center of who you are.  Your will, your emotions, you affections, your mind [intellect] are part of your soul.

Your soul and spirit are entwined and since you have received Jesus, the Holy Spirit has been given to you to help you, to teach you, to comfort you and to counsel you.

You live in a human body on this earth.  This is temporary.  Your body will die, it is made of dirt.  This body is afflicted by earthly things. It is subject to the things of the world and the accuser, and beside that your own flesh will give you trouble.

One last thought:  When you are born of the Spirit of God your spirit is instantly transformed, but the Word teaches us that the soul begins a process, religion calls it sanctification, it simply means that you are set apart and now you will be taught and trained by the Holy Spirit.  He begins to work into you what is pleasing to your Father in Heaven.  He is making you ready for Heaven, for the day when you will see your Father face to face.

If a thing is of God it will bring peace, rest and joy; it will “feel” right in your spirit.  If it is accusing, condemning or hurtful it is of the enemy of God and you do not have to accept it.

Michelle…My thoughts and prayers are with you this morning.  Our conversation yesterday brought great joy to my heart as I heard you say that you are born-again, that you found Jesus.  I thought of these word of Jesus:  “He who is forgiven much loves much.”

May the path that you have begun to walk with the Lord be filled with moments of joy and wonder as you learn who your are, how valuable you are to your Father and how worthy He is to receive your worship.

I Love you,

Joy

 

 

 

 

From Confusion to Consecration

Confused..Chaos..Commitment..

Conversion..Consecration..Changed.

This process is what happens to a person who comes to the end of himself and finds Jesus finding him or her.

“The life I now live I live by faith in (and of) the Son of God.”  “Without Him I can do nothing.”

“He came, He saw, He conquered” and because He did, I can.  His life, His death, His resurrection, His defeat of God’s enemy is imputed to me by faith, my faith.  I believed and I received and He changed me.  I did my part, He did His…the result? Conversion.

Now I can face life, whatever it brings, I am not alone any more, I belong to Him.  He has promised to be with me always.  He has promised never to leave me or forsake me.  I take Him at His word.  I have found Him to be one who keeps His word.

I have become a stranger and an alien to the world that I once knew.  I now have a destination, a place prepared for me.  I live with that in mind. Some day I will go home.

I want to tell others about this one who changed my life in hope that they too will meet Him.

I have never known love like this, acceptance like this…unconditional.

Amazing!  I am accepted in Him. God, who is love, accepts me as I am and still…He invites me to grow and tells me that He will help me.  I am not on my own.

In fact, He sent His Spirit to live in me to do just that.  He calls Him the Helper, the Teacher, the Comforter, the Counselor. That is pretty much what I need to traverse the darkness that I see around me.

I pray this prayer:  “All of you and none of me.  Live big in me.  Let me be that light set on a hill so that others may see and come to Him.”

How about you friend, are you tired of the darkness, tired of yourself, tired of striving?  Are you ready now to “taste and see that the Lord is good?”

You too can enter into His rest.

You too can find peace with God, the peace of God that surpasses human understanding.  He is our peace who became the bridge to God, to Heaven, to Home.

Who am I talking about?  “The Word” the creator, who was with God and was God and became flesh that we might have a way to “Our Father who art in Heaven”.  His name is Jesus.

Have you ever noticed that no one swears using the name of Buddha or Mohammed or any other god?  Have you ever considered why?  Who lives having died?  Only one man.

“For behold,the darkness shall cover the earth and gross darkness the people, but the Lord shall arise upon thee and His glory shall be seen upon thee.”

His glory is coming.  He promised. Ready or not it will come.

“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh.”

Most of us have never seen His Glory, nor have we felt His presence.  But if you ever have, you will never be the same.

Come, come to the Father.  He wants you to know He loves you so much He was willing to suffer for your sake. Jesus is the way to the Father, there is no other way to get to God or to Heaven.

There are good people in Hell, because being good or living a good life will not take you to Heaven.  It is not the right road.

There are church people in Hell, because going to church, being involved in church or even being the pastor or priest of a church will not take you to Heaven. It is not the right road.

Jesus said:  “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except by me.”

Either Jesus told the truth or He is the biggest liar that ever walked the planet.  You have been invited.  From this point on you cannot say you never heard.  The decision is now up to you.

“Choose this day whom you will serve, as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.”

Amen!

Meditation in the Morning

Are you going through stuff?  Many are right now.

Sometimes the sky is sunny and bright and all is well with the world. Emotions are riding high, the world is viewed through rose-colored glasses, as the old folks of my generation would say.

There are other days where you plod along without emotion, just doing the daily things because that is what you do.

At other times your emotions are bruised and you feel like you have been run over by a truck.

Welcome to the world of men, the natural world. A song from some years ago asks the question:  “Is that all there is?”

I have a friend in Israel whose home has been invaded twice by Arabs. She was robbed of her jewelry and some other things that meant a lot to her. But at least she has her life.  She feels quite numb. The police have no clues to go on and have closed the case. She asks me to pray for justice.

Can you fathom what she feels, what she is going through?  I cannot.  The closest thing to any shock I have experienced was a violent knocking on our door around two o’clock one morning with the demand from the police that we “Open up”.

They were searching for someone who attempted to rob the convenience store near us.  The dogs and the helicopters overhead with their search lights was interesting but not scary.

What is safety?  When you go to the doctor these days they ask you if you feel safe. If you are being abused you are not safe.  Do bars and locks keep you safe?  As my husband says they just keep out an honest thief.

Most of us in America have no clue what many people in the world face on a day to day basis.

In the country of South Sudan people are being terrorized because they are Christian.  In the Mideastern countries where extreme Islamists routinely round up and murder those who don’t share their beliefs, the people must flee for their lives.

There are those whom God has raised up to teach the Body of Christ a lost truth.  Namely, that it is we who have authority in the earth through Jesus.

For generations and centuries even, we have given the devil, aka satan, our authority, believing that his power is on par with God and we are no match for him.

Let us reread scripture with eyes open to this truth:  Jesus took everything back that the enemy gained from Adam in Eden, and when He left Earth He gave authority back to man. We have been deceived and held in bondage to a lie.

How many centuries has the church prayed: “Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.”  That is a prayer that God wants to answer and not just during the millennial reign of Christ, but now.

Is there lack in Heaven?  Is there war in Heaven?  Is there any rebellion against the will of God in Heaven?

God is preparing the Bride of Christ. She is to be without spot or wrinkle. Now is the time of preparation. When God created man in His own image He gave him the power of choice.  It is your choice to submit to or resist that preparation.

Jesus, the sent one, is the Lord of hosts.  The host of Heaven are our help, our weapons as it were, it is they who pull down strongholds in response to our words. How foolish to go to war without our weapons.

Our words are powerful weapons.  We speak and as we do we empower demons or angels.  We have many words of God, they are written in His book the Bible.  They were written for us, to help us navigate through the minefield of the kingdom of darkness on the earth.  But they were also given to us so that we could take territory for the Kingdom of God.

God spoke and it was. We too are speaking spirits. The Word of God teaches that we have what we say.  Is it not time for us to align our words with His words?

It is time to stop playing church and get serious about taking back what is rightfully ours.  God never intended church to be an exclusive social club. One of the names for the church is an army.  Oh how much we have lost!

Jesus wants people set free from all bondage. God, our Father, wants His elect brought into the Kingdom of God…they are bound in many deceptions.  “For freedom Christ has set us free.”

The adage, “Bloom where you are planted.” applies. You don’t have to look far and wide or go to far away places.  There are people right by you that need what you have.  Reach out, touch them, love them to life in Jesus name.

Shalom, “nothing missing, nothing broken.”  “whole, complete”. This is my prayer for you.

Joy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIfe

This morning I am thinking of Mary. She has been on the hearts of so many people, due to the fact that she almost died. (January 17, 2017) Miraculously she was given the gift of life.

Today Mary goes home from the hospital.  This is how her friend put it on Caring Bridge:

“Mary will be restored to her home (and her children) tomorrow. Yes, HOME!!  We can all share in her joy.  Praise God!!! After her return home (and I am sure countless hugs and kisses) she will be visited by Home Health Care to determine need for level of care. Please continue to pray for Mary’s healing, their family, and God’s blessing on this next big step in Mary’s healing.”

I think so often people get confused about miracles and healing. What Mary experienced at the hospital when she could breathe without the help of a breathing tube was a miracle.  (see previous posts)

The doctors thought she would more than likely die.  The breath in her lungs was instant, the moment the tube came out she could breathe on her own, and she began to recover. That miracle was the beginning of Mary’s healing.

Her lungs began to immediately respond and get better and better. The healing process is still going on, which is why prayer for complete healing is necessary.  Mary has had several treatments of chemotherapy and will continue to do so.  Our continued prayer stand is that Mary be completely delivered from cancer, that “she will not die but live and declare the works of the Lord.” Psalm 118:17

How often do we pray and ask but do not believe we receive.  In the gospel of Mark Jesus said, “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever you desire when you pray, believe that you receive them and you shall have them.”   Mark 11:24 KJV  To see we must believe and receive.

Faith is the necessary ingredient for miracles and healing.  It is not hoping or wishing that the thing you desire is yours because you want it to be.  It is not mental assent to what the Bible says is true, or even that Jesus died for you to have it.

Faith is knowing that healing is part of the new covenant in Jesus blood, that God wants you whole body, soul and spirit; you believe and receive it.

There are times when you must stand in faith to recover. There are times when healing does not manifest right away, then you must know that you have been heard and God will do everything He can do.  Sometimes timing is an issue.

God gave each of us a will.  We can choose.  When a person has been battling against sickness or disease and they are tired and don’t want to fight anymore, your will and prayers will not be imposed upon them. God will give them what they want, He will take them home to Heaven, if they are His children.

In our day in America, every source is embalmed with unbelief and doubt…except one…the Bible.   A person may be strong in the Lord in one area but weak in another because of doubt or unbelief. There is no perfect human being.

The Jewish people have a word that incorporates the wholeness that God wants His people to walk in, it is the word Shalom.  I heard someone say that it means, “nothing missing and nothing broken.”

How do we get to that place of wholeness?  Jesus is the answer.

The Bible says, “Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 18:5 KJV

Jesus taught that we are to be like little children. The hallmark of a child is trust. Implicit in childhood is total trust in their parent. They don’t question where their next meal is coming from, whether they will have clothes or shoes to wear or a place to sleep.  (Yes, I know that there are aberrations)

If a loving parent provides for the needs of his children, how much more will our loving Heavenly Father provide for our needs.  We are His family.

There are some things that come upon all mankind, like rain, natural things, earthly things, but there are some things that are only for family.

Jesus taught that God is Our Father in Heaven, that He loves His children and wants to see us succeed in every area of life.

He wants us to be whole, so much so that He sent The Word made flesh, Jesus, to live here on earth for approximately 30 years to identify with us and pay the price for sin that we could not, so that we could have access to our Father.

When Jesus finished His assignment, He declared: “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.”  John 17:4 KJV

We can trust our Father in Heaven. We can trust Jesus our advocate and His Spirit our helper, comforter, teacher and guide.

Each of us has been assigned a specific time to be here on planet earth.  For such a time as this we have come. God has a plan and a purpose for each of us.  It is for us to discover what that plan is.

It is written in Psalm 139:16 KJV “Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”

Kat Kerr says that we were all little spirits with the Father and when the time came for us to come to earth, He knit our little spirit to that dot of flesh in our mother’s womb and we became a living soul. Your life began at conception.

Mary has been given a new lease on life, a new opportunity.  She has fought, her family has fought, extended family has fought, friends and God’s family have fought against the cancer that the enemy sent to kill her and steal her from her husband and children. He did not win!

In the court of Heaven God the righteous judge sat down on the bench.  The advocate for Mary (Jesus Christ the Righteous) presented His case, the enemy (formerly known as Lucifer) presented his case.

Jesus said, “I paid the price required for Mary to be healed. My blood was shed; I was whipped with a cat of nine tails, my blood flowed out on the ground, the bones in my back could be seen.  Only then did they stop. I did this out of love for Mary, to satisfy the demands of the law. I ask the court for acquittal.”

The enemy arose with great pomp to make his case against Mary.  He dragged up every little thing that she had done from the time she was able to make her own decisions.  It was not a pretty picture.

He said, “Your honor knows that I am nothing if not fair.  I have shown the court that Mary is deserving of death. I ask for conviction.”  He sat down, smugly sure that he had won.  He could not wait to get his hands on her. He had plans.

God stood up.  The enemy trembled, that was not a good sign.  He had seen Him do that before and it did not bode well for him.

Turning to Lucifer, the fallen one, He said, “I have heard you out.  You have accused Mary of heinous crimes.  You have belittled her, you have laid out before me a picture accusing her of things she has not even done.  Fair? no, never since your fall have you ever been fair.  There is no justice in you at all.”

Turning to Jesus He said, “I have heard the case that you have made for Mary.  You have done everything possible to secure her healing.  I have seen that Mary wants to be healed and I have heard the many prayers for her life.  Mary gave me her life when she was 12 years of age.  She is my child.  I have made my decision.”

The gavel went down.  “Decision made for the plaintiff.”  Case dismissed.

Jesus has never lost a case.

What about you friend?  If you stood in the courts of Heaven would there be enough evidence to convict you?

Today is the day of salvation.  Turn from sin and give your heart to Jesus, all of the old life will be washed away in Jesus blood, you will become a new man.  A new life will begin.  Ask Jesus to immerse you in the Holy Spirit and He will bring you power to live that new life.

God loves you, so do I.  Joy

 

 

 

Answered Prayer

I wrote the other day how I hurt for my daughter Kathy as she watched her dear sister, Mary, dying in front of her eyes.

Well, today I can bring you a report of Praise to the God of Heaven and Earth.

Mary and all of Kathy’s family are Roman/American Catholic.  They strongly hold to the tradition and doctrines of the church.  They are lovely, caring people.

Our family believes and lives the born-again, spirit-filled, loving Jesus with all of our hearts lives.  The Bible is our guide book and as such we do not pray to saints, nor do we believe that water from a certain place is holy.

Having said that, we respect their family and know that they are as loved by God as we are and that He hears our prayers.

During this whole ordeal all of us, and more, have prayed for Mary. Well, I want to shout it, God heard and a miracle happened.  Here is how it came down.

When Kathy came to the hospital, the prognosis was that death was not far off because Mary’s lungs were in such bad shape.  She was on a ventilator and hope seemed gone.

So many people prayed and sent their love to Mary, but it seemed as though God did not hear and the end was near.

A simple prayer from a heart of love, filled with faith that God is good, made a plea.   That prayer caused the tipping point, the cup filled to overflowing, and God in His mercy made a decision, Mary would live.

Kathy asked the doctor what needed to happen for Mary to be able to begin Chemotherapy, the response was that she breathe on her own and her lungs be improved.

Kathy and the others in the room went to God with the request.  The next day the decision was made to remove the ventilator and see what would happen.

That is when the miracle happened.  Mary began to recover.  By the end of the day she was sitting up smiling and breathing on her own. The oncologist called it miraculous.  We call it a miracle.  Thank you Father, our Lord and our God!

The oncologist is saying that Chemo will begin tomorrow and Mary can possibly go home on Tuesday.

Our prayer now is that the chemo target every spot of cancer and kill it, but there be no destruction to surrounding tissue.

Focused death to cancer, that is what I am calling it!

Continuing to stand in the gap for Mary until the cancer is completely destroyed.

Joy

 

 

 

Sorrow

Do not sorrow as those who have no hope.

Today my heart is heavy.  A young woman, Mary, with 5 children ages 1 to 12 lies in the hospital, overcome by cancer, the Doctors have given her husband no hope.  The human question is why?  That is followed by thoughts of who will care for the kids?

This story has been repeated times without number in the world.  Not long ago we heard the story of Joey, a beautiful young singer, who with her husband Rory were raising a little girl.  After a valiant fight she died from cancer.

My struggle is trying to understand how what appears to be a tragedy can work for good.  Children without their mother or father, some so young they will never know them until eternity.

If I did not know God, if I did not know that He is love, if I did not know that He has good plans for our lives here on earth, I would be drowned in despair.

He said, “I know the plans I have for you, for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

I think of the words of an old hymn…”Though the wrong seems oft so strong God is the ruler yet.”

My girl Kathy’s heart is being rung out right now as she watches her sister Mary dying before her eyes.  Yet there is hope still.  Even at the last minute many condemned to be executed have been given a stay of execution.  Could our dear Mary yet be touched by the Master?  I believe so.

Should our Father in Heaven choose to bring Mary Home, which to our eyes appears  to be premature, He has a plan for Chris and their children.  We will pray.

When we face hard things that to our eyes appear to be so wrong, so unjust, so unfair, we go to our Father for comfort, encouragement and hope.  He has promised to be with us in trouble, to deliver us and satisfy us with long life.

When we cannot understand His hand we must trust His heart.