Archive | August 2016

The Story of Stanley Smith

The following story is purely fictional, but it is based on truth.  Consider what happened to Stanley Smith.

My name is Stanley Smith.  I want you to know that Hell is real and so is Heaven.  I have been to both places.  Now, where is that found in the Bible you may ask.  Well, my answer is that it is found in several places either directly or indirectly.  If you really care to know, you can search it out.  I am not the source of easy answers nor am I going to argue with your unbelief.  I am simply a witness.  You will either believe what I am about to tell you or you will not, but that will not alter what I experienced and was commissioned to tell.

I am 45 years of age; a faithful husband and a loving father to our two sons.  I am a good son to my parents and I am a good friend to a couple of guys.  My parents raised me in a Christian home and when the kids came along my wife and I decided we needed to get involved in church.  I saw myself as a good person.

I was driving home from my office on the night of September 15, 2016; I had worked extra long hours that day because of changes that took place in the company I work for.  It had been bought out by a larger firm and transition was underway necessitating that management spend extra time making sure that it went smoothly.

Our place is out in the country near a town of about 10,000 people, we have a hobby farm of 5 acres.  I had a pole barn built to house the horses.  My wife and I each have a horse and our two sons share one.  We love taking in the horse shows at the county fair and have participated in many of the local equestrian activities.

We sit at the tail end of a state park system, nestled in a grove of trees; it provides a measure of privacy, but also enjoyment as we see deer, wild turkeys, and other wild life, on a regular basis.  There was an outbreak of tent caterpillars last year and they sprayed our grove to stop it from spreading further into the park.  We appreciated that.

My wife has a vegetable garden, from it we get fresh veggies for summer eating, and enough to do some canning for winter cooking.  We keep a few chickens for eggs and occasional eating.  It’s a good life.

Anyway, I was heading home that late September night when a 12 point buck darted into the road in front of my car.  The last thing I remember is crashing into the deer.

The next thing that I remember is that I began to go down into utter darkness, I thought, “There must be some mistake, I am supposed to go up.”  As I began to descend I smelled a horrible odor like the worst rotten eggs you every smelled in your life.  I heard people screaming; I was terrified.  The realization that I was on my way to Hell impacted all my senses, I yelled, “Jesus, help me.”

Suddenly, a light as bright as the sun shone upon me and yanked me out of that horrible place.  I found myself standing before Jesus.

“Why was I going to Hell?  I don’t understand, I believe in you.”  With great sorrow in His eyes, He told me that I had not belonged to Him, He could not stop me from going there; I had made the choice.  “But,” I said, “I am a good Christian, I go to church and I help people, I am not a sinner like some of the people I know that have affairs, cheat and lie.”

He replied, “It is written in My Word that all men are sinners and no one can come to the Father except through Me.  I am the Way.”  “I spoke to the Pharisee that the only way here is to be born again.  Like the Pharisees, you trusted in your own goodness, your own works; that is not the way here.”, He said. “You chose your own way and that is what sent you to Hell.”

Tears ran down His cheeks as He told me that the only reason I was with Him now was because my mother had said she would not allow me to go to Hell and Father had heard her prayers.  He told me that when I cried out to Him, I came into agreement with her prayers and He was able to rescue me from Hell.  I fell at His feet and cried out for Him to save me.  “I believe Lord, forgive me.”

I trembled to think how close I came to being lost forever.  His love flooded by whole being, all the things of earth left me at that moment and all I could do was worship Him.

He lifted me up to stand before Him.  His eyes were pools of liquid love.  I knew at that moment the joy of the Lord that I had only heard about.

“I am going to give you a choice.”  He said.  “You can stay here, enter into the city, and meet your loved ones who have gone on before or you can go back and be a witness for Me.”

I could see my grand-parents, some aunts and uncles and others I knew who had passed on.  They were waving and beckoning me to come.  It was hard to choose.  Heaven is indescribably beautiful and the peace and love are tangible; but I chose to come back.  You may wonder why.  It made perfect sense to me there, but in the months that followed I too wondered why I had made that decision.

Instantly, I found myself back in my body with searing pain shooting through my legs.  My head felt like it weighed a ton.  I was aware that there were people all around my vehicle because I could hear them talking.  They thought I was dead.  I tried to tell them that I was very much alive, but my mouth didn’t work.  I don’t remember what happened next.

I was told that I was in the hospital for two months before I woke up.  My injuries were so severe that there were moments when my family despaired for my life.  I so wanted to tell them I would be okay and that I had seen Jesus, but it would be a year before I was able to do so, it was just too sacred to me.

I am fully recovered today.  In His mercy, God healed several parts of my body, but much the same way that Jacob was left with a limp after wrestling with the angel of the Lord as it is recorded in the Bible, I was left a paraplegic.  I thank God every day for my life, for my family, and for all the blessings I have been given.  I do not in any way feel angry about my lot in life.  I know that in Heaven I will walk again.

God has opened up doors for me to share my testimony and I have seen many come to Him as a result.  If you are one who thinks that your own goodness or your knowledge of God, Jesus, or Heaven will get you there, please accept my experience; repent of your sin and receive what Jesus did for you in His death and resurrection.  You will be eternally grateful that you did.

 

I received this story early one morning.  It was written and put into a folder in my Word account.  God is trying to reach out to many people with the message from Heaven.  I trust you will consider His message, turn from sin and embrace the cross of Christ if you have not already done so.  Dying to self is not easy, but the result is out of this world.  Heaven awaits the sons of God.

You are loved by Jesus and me. (Joy)

 

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America

I want to speak to those of you who are careless in the things of God, who take for granted that everything is going to continue as it always has.  Perry Stone says that there are Christians that are awake and those that are asleep.  It is past time to awaken from sleep.  The enemy has come into the house and he is robbing us of our heritage.

Where are the intercessors? Where are those who stand in the gap for the land so that it does not get destroyed? Derek Prince suggests that we believers are salt that has lost its savor.

I had a dream many years ago about the bride of Jesus, the organized church of Jesus Christ.  She became old and fat and had to be put with caretakers; she didn’t care about the Lord’s garden and would not go to work in it, she just wanted to sit and read the Bible.

Can I tell you that not only do God’s people want to be in their religious social clubs called church, but they also are imbibing of the world’s wine and getting drunk on the world’s way of doing and being. She is part of the problem when God’s intent is that she be the solution.

No longer is the church alive and vibrant with the love of God and the joy of the Lord.  She is divided into many parts and each part is proud, ignorant of the desire of Jesus that she be united in love so that the world may know that He came and that He loves them.

Naturally speaking, If all you ever do is eat and eat and don’t exercise you may get fat.  The same thing holds true spiritually.  The church has a history, she is fat with knowledge and information, but she is pathetically weak because she does not have God’s wisdom and understanding and she is turned in on herself.  The world has a term for it, it’s called narcissism.

The Bible says, “These people honor me with their lips but their heart is far from me.”

How many of us go to church, read the Bible, in effect, do all the “right” things, but care little for our neighbor.  Do we care about the fact that America is becoming a post Christian nation?  Do we realize that we are descending into the same scenario that others have prior to their complete destruction?

America used to send missionaries to other countries, now the world is sending missionaries here.  Because most of us don’t pray, God is raising up intercessors in other countries to pray for us.

Why is it that the only faith that is being attacked is the Christian faith?  When you are strong a bully doesn’t bother you.  How could it happen that bakeries and flower shops have closed their doors because a marginal group has attacked them?  Where is the church in all this, where are the pastors and leaders?  Is there no fight left?

Perry Stone was contacted by some government people and told to tone it down, stop the prophecy teaching; he was told to just smile and preach, in other words just be like the smiling preacher who does not address issues, then he would have millions of followers.  I am happy to say he refused.

I am not advocating fighting with guns and bullets.  The Bible says if you live by the sword you will die by the sword.  We have a way to fight, it is called prayer.  But, the enemy of our God has convinced us that our “little prayers won’t make a difference.”

How do you convince a million people that God is dead, asleep, or in any case not relevant to our modern day world?  You lie to them!  How many Americans place their trust in newspapers, magazines and TV?  These are a reed upon which they lean…in God’s time, it will break!

Andy Andrews wrote a book about the holocaust and how the people were deceived by a lie.  How many Americans think that it won’t happen here?

Why is the adversary of God called the devil?  Because devil means accuser.  He accuses us day and night.  How many reading this can say that they have never felt “less than” or at the extreme ” a piece of trash”.

We have all experienced rejection and accusation, but how many of us have questioned the lie.  We humans have been created in the image of God.  We are not faulty, we are loved by God, our creator.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ, His life, His death, His burial and His resurrection for humankind is The Good News.  To know this one who came into our world to be our Savior is available to anyone, but it means humbling ourselves and recognizing that we are sinners and we need a Savior.  Wholeness is what Jesus died for us to have.

Believers in Jesus should be strong, vibrant, loving, kind people.  The Bible says that we are more than conquerors through what Jesus did for us.  We are living way below our privilege.

Our pastor challenged us recently to get up, go out and reach out. I happen to believe that “the pen is mightier than the sword.”  Some of us can go to the mall, some of us can go to places where a lot of people gather, some of us can support those who go, and some of us can pray, but all of us can do something.

What are you going to do?

Prayer, Possession, Position and Priority

Good Morning, it has been an hour now since I woke up.  It is about 5:30.  When I wake up in the early morning hours, I wake up wide awake and I know that I must get up and get with God.  I don’t feel Him, I don’t see Him, but I know I am with Him.  And, I know that He has something that I am to pray about.

Normally, I sleep peacefully through the night and awaken after approximately eight hours.  I wake up happy, thinking about the Lord and ready for the day.

Recently, there are several things that have happened to those I care about.  A few years ago I would have been worried, even fearful for them.  Today, I know that my Father in Heaven holds them in His hand and I can trust that He knows what is needed to bring them to full dependence upon Him.  That is His goal.

My mind wanders around as I pray for my loved ones.  I see them in my mind’s eye.  I see characteristics, pitfalls they may have fallen into and I pray that God will set them free.  The Bible says that in this world there will be trouble; we could all say AMEN to that.  If it stopped there we would have every right as believers in Jesus to feel wretched.  However, that is not the end of the story.

Peter the apostle, tells us that God gave us great and precious promises so that we could escape the lust that is in the world.  In our American Christian mindset we most often think of lust in terms of sex.  It is more than that. Lust takes many forms.

In Eden Adam and Eve lusted to be like God as they listened to the lie of the snake.  They felt that there was something God had denied them.  The evil one accused God to them saying, “God knows that in the day that you eat of the fruit you will be like God.”

Why is this a lie?  Because Adam had been created “in the image and likeness of God”.  Adam looked just like God.  The same authority that God had over Heaven, Adam had over Eden.  He lacked nothing…except one thing, a companion like himself, so God made Eve from one of Adam’s ribs.

Eve also bore the image and likeness of God since she was created by God from Adam’s rib.  They had a perfect environment.  They lived in perfect relationship with God.  It was like Heaven on earth, that is until the adversary sowed doubt and introduced lust into the picture.  Paradise was lost.

The result of Adam’s choice is called sin.  It happens every time someone listens to the accuser and chooses lust instead of life.

What do you lust after?  Power, fame, fortune, a good reputation?  Some lust after food, some lust after knowledge.  Lust is nothing more than idolatry and it can take many forms.  It is a “sneaky” spirit that first must deceive the mind before it possesses the soul.

When I was a young married woman I lusted after my husband.  I wanted to be with him all the time.  Though I did not see it at the time I wanted to possess him.  I cried if he wanted to go outside and I made him miserable if he wanted to be alone.  I “needed” him.

Thank God He did not allow my husband to fulfill my lust!  I had an emotional deficit that I wanted him to fill.  I did not know at that time that I was created with a God-sized vacuum and only God could fill it.  It would be many miserable years before my eyes were opened to the truth and I trusted Jesus to be Lord of my life.

I have shared this in the hope that I might help you see that you can be a believer in Jesus and be a “soulish” Christian who is led by lust instead of being led by the Holy Spirit as the sons of God are to be.

Man is a spirit and when a person comes into relationship with God through Jesus we say that he is saved or born-again.  Since man is a spiritual being the Bible says that we become “a new creature in Christ Jesus.”  The essence of meaning is “something that never existed before.”  This  transformation is immediate.  The Bible says that a believer is “seated with Christ in Heavenly places”.  That is in the spiritual realm.  It is a legal position.  It carries with it Heaven’s authority.

The church is called the “Body of Christ” and each person likened to a member of the Body.  Thus each person has a part to play in the well-being of the Body.  When one part of your body is in distress your whole being feels distressed.  This is why God leads us to pray for one another.

The soul and body of a believer is that part of our being that relates to the natural world, the world around us.

The soul houses the mind (not your brain), the will and the emotions, including your affections, and when your are born-again it enters into a process called salvation.  You are saved from your past sins, being saved presently and will be saved in the future.   Depending on your former lifestyle, this can be messy and you need to be patient with yourself and others as God crafts you into the image He has of you.

It is essential that one who comes to Jesus must commit himself to the Lord with all that he knows of himself at that point in time.  It is absolutely essential that he get a Bible that he can understand so he will read it.  By the way, do not be pressured that you must devour the whole thing at once.  Just start a regular program of Bible reading.  There are many fine Bibles and Bible studies that will help you grow spiritually.

Prayer is the conversation of a believing heart with God. If you want a relationship with someone you spend time with them, you talk to them about yourself and they talk to you about themselves.  It is called, “Getting to know you”.  (smile)

Take some time every day to be with Him.  God wants you to know Him and though He knows you more than you know yourself, He wants you to bring everything to Him.  He loves you so much.

You have a blessed day today.  Joy