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The Kingdom of God

God has a kingdom. The King of that Kingdom is Jesus the Jewish Messiah. His Hebrew name was Yeshua, or Yahoshua, or Yahshua. I have seen it written many ways. It simply means Savior. Many men were named this as the people expected the Messiah to come and they hoped their son would be the one. They did not know God or His ways.

The Jewish people of today are a mixed tribal people made up of all 12 sons of Jacob. What is of interest to me is that many of the Jewish people still know what their ancestral tribe is.

God selected a man named Abraham as the federal head of this race of people. Back in history they were called Hebrews, today they are called Jews. This is predominantly because in the reign of King David, Israel, the name given to Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham, was divided into two kingdoms called Israel and Judah. From the name Judah came Jew. Today we know of the country called Israel and a people called Jews.

People have a way of changing and distorting history to suit themselves. Names and places are often changed. Even here in America this can be seen as many seek to find their ancestors through sources such as ancestry.com.

I see and I dream, not always, but as the Spirit wills. On the 14th of September in the place between sleep and awake, I heard the following words:

God has a kingdom, it is made up of many men, women, and children. He is issuing invitations to people to come in and become citizens.”

Jesus is the king of the kingdom. He is the way to become a citizen.”

Would you like to become a citizen of the Kingdom of God?”

When I got up I wrote the following:

“God has a plan and a purpose for every person on earth. He has given each of us the choice to accept His will and plan or to refuse it.”

“God loves you. He is our Father. (of those who have chosen Jesus) We (all) came from Him to earth on temporary duty. If you choose to accept His offer you will be among a company who will spend eternity in total bliss.”

“The alternative is that you will spend your allotted time on earth as you see fit and will spend eternity in a place bereft of all that is light and good.”

“The choice is yours. God loves you and His plan for your life is for good, not evil, but unless you are a citizen of the Kingdom of God, He has no legal right to send His blessing to you.”

“How do you become a citizen you ask?”

“You receive what God’s son, Jesus, did for you. He came to earth as a human being. His birth was through a woman named Miriam, Mary, a woman whose heritage was from the family of King David, the king of Israel. He was of the seed of Abraham.”

“Miriam was a young girl whom God had prepared to be the carrier of His seed. She was impregnated by the Holy Spirit of God, she was a virgin. This had been told by the prophets centuries before. `Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, He shall be called Emmanuel, God with us.”

“It is written that Yeshua, Jesus, was crucified on a Roman cross. He died and was buried. He rose up from the grave, from death. Then, as the High priest of God, He went back to His Father; taking His blood He placed it on the mercy seat before the throne of God. Because of this action, anyone can come to the Father in Jesus name and become a member of the Kingdom of God.”

“Jesus was on earth many days after His resurrection. It is my personal belief that prior to His resurrection Jesus appeared to every tribe of people on the earth to tell them about the Kingdom of God and the way to enter in.”

“After His resurrection, it is written that He sat down at the right hand of God. As the King of the Kingdom and as the High priest of the new covenant in His blood, He mediates that covenant, He lives to make intercession for the children of God”

Whosoever will may enter in to the Kingdom of God. It is simply a decision to do so. Jesus is the Way.

Would you like to become a citizen of the Kingdom of God? Ask and you will receive, when you desire it with all your heart.

(There is scriptural back up for what I have told you. If you want it, email me at jentemitt@aol.com)

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Love and Prayer

For my house shall be called a house of prayer for all people. Isaiah 56:7

He taught them saying, “Is it not written, My house shall be called of all the nations the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves.” Mark 11:17

More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams.” Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Susie Larson, host of “Live the Promise” says about prayer:

If you’ve been persevering in prayer, I commend you. Do not relent! Hang on to God’s Word no matter what your circumstances are saying to you.”

If until now you’ve only reacted to life’s circumstances as they come your way and haven’t really embraced the idea of forward moving faith, well, I have great news for you! Today is a new day! God has a promise that fits you perfectly. He has a plan for your life and an intended blessing for your soul. He wants to use you in great ways and He wants to reveal Himself to the world through you.”

Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power; who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him.”

Proverbs 24:29 “Do not say, “I will do to him just as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work.”

Matthew 7:11 “If you know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in Heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”

As a child, I was taught concerning my fellow man, to “put the most charitable construction on all that he does.”

When we evaluate and judge other people, our natural inclination is to ignore our own faults and to make critical judgments of others.” Peacemaker Ministries, Februry16, 2015

Assumption or presumption can get us into trouble. Any circumstance looked at from your point of view only, will miss the mark by a mile. There are a thousand and one reasons why someone may fail you, fail to think of how something will affect you.

We presume that we should be treated fairly by all, in a world that is anything but fair. People will fail us, most do not do so on purpose, which is why we have to “cut them some slack”.  Is it not written: “And whenever you stand praying, If you have anything against anyone, forgive him that your Father in Heaven may also forgive you.”? Mark 11:25

Has someone hurt you? Forgive. It is not a feeling, it is a decision. “When you stand praying forgive.”  Unforgiveness will block your prayers.

When we have to deal with those who are blatantly evil, the Jesus tells us what to do: But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those that curse you, do good to those that hate you, and pray for them who spitefully use you and persecute you.” Matthew 5:44

Critical judgments not only cause wounds to others, they wound your own soul. You can become bitter and resentful with an attitude problem that is evident to all around you; becoming suspicious and gossipy, ever looking for fault in others, talebearers, they are laying the groundwork for the loss of their own soul if they do not repent. These are serious matters to God.

Proverbs 18:8; 26:22 “The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.”

I John 4:16 “We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God and God abides in Him.”

I John 4:8 “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

When our attitude and behavior is anything other than loving toward others, we are not being Christlike, and after all, if you call yourself a Christian, then you are, day by day, to become more like Him who went about doing good, who brought healing to those whose life He touched.

Love is the answer to every question.

Awhile back WWJD became a fad in the Christian community. The acronym stood for What Would Jesus Do. Whatever difficult situation you find yourself in today, ask yourself this question, what would Jesus do about this?

Jesus prayed. He was the Son of God yet He needed to spend time in prayer, He needed time to have conversation with His Father. He went often to a mountain to pray. His prayer life was so rich that his disciples asked Him to teach them to pray.

I heard this truth long ago:  “Prayer is the conversation of the believing heart with God.”

Pray without ceasing…”Men always ought to pray and not lose heart.” Luke 18:1

I have a friend that lives and breathes prayer, she literally “prays without ceasing”. She hosts a prayer meeting at her home each week, she is passionate about prayer. It is her hearts desire that the church fulfill God’s mandate to be a “house of prayer for all nations”.

Jesus felt so strongly about this that He went into the temple and drove out the money changers calling them thieves. There was a lot of corruption going on, not simply selling animals for the sacrifices required, these men were not honest, god-fearing people. God hates lying, deceiving, cheating.

Well, what manner of people ought we to be then? If we call ourselves Christian (Christ One), then we are to pray as He prayed, spending time with God in conversation. We come into His presence with praise and worship, we make petition, supplication, intercession for others, making our requests known to Him. We listen to Him as He speaks to us in our human spirit, through His written Word or through others. We thank Him for the many blessings He has given to us.  A love relationship, that is what it is all about.

Today, take time to be with the one your soul loves, the one who gave all for you. He would have done it just for you, that is how precious you are to Him.

God bless you is my prayer. Joy

It’s In The Book

This morning I was thinking of the mindset of a child, specifically a teen-age child.  His mindset and worldview is so very limited and yet he arrogantly thinks he knows it all, he knows what is best for him, he doesn’t need an adult to tell him anything.

Just walk into any book store, Barnes and Noble for instance, and consider the plethora of books and magazines on their shelves. In addition they can tap into a catalog of millions,.  Can any one person know it all?

Nearly every city has its own newspaper.  Books, magazines and newspapers, the stuff of life for most people of my generation.  The local newspaper of the small town of 500 that I grew up near, wrote about who visited who over the week-end,  about the people who met at the cemetery to celebrate Memorial Day, and of upcoming events one must be sure to attend; such as the Democrats marching down main street in support of Harry Truman.  Now that last one makes me older than dirt, for sure, LOL!

If that doesn’t stretch your imagination… How about the Library of Congress? That vast collection boggles the imagination.

People have a need to know and others have a need to make known.  Oh, how a person’s worldview affects his life here on earth, but not only on earth but also for all eternity.  God hates pride, it is what started the archangel Lucifer on the path to destruction and those who belong to the Kingdom of darkness reflect his fallen nature.  On the other hand, God loves the humble.

Corrie ten Boom, the Dutch author of “The Hiding Place”, once said that God has a “microscope and a telescope interest in us”.  The creator God in His vastness, that goes beyond human thinking or understanding, has all knowledge.  He knows us and, wonder of it all, loves us still.  It is that love that caused Him to make a way for mankind to come to Him over the bridge of His Son’s sacrifice.  John 3:16

I was just thinking of the verse found in John 21:25…”And there are also many other things which Jesus did the which, if they should be written everyone, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.”

Stretching the imagination helps to put things in perspective.  How big is God? How small are human beings?  Consider the vast array of books on any subject you can imagine and then consider the Apostle John’s statement above.

I have over 30 books on Heaven and Hell in my library.  Several authors have spoken of seeing books of many kinds in Heaven.  The most important book of all is the Book of Life.  God keeps that special book for the final judgment.  At that time it will be opened and if your name is not there your judgment is sealed, for all eternity you will have no part in God’s Heaven.  One author called that book, “The Family Album”.

One person who was permitted to see Heaven, was taken to a huge building that housed many books, all of them with a person’s name on them.  He was allowed to look at the patriarch Abraham’s book.  He paged through it looking for the incident where Abraham told Sarah to say she was his sister to save his own neck from the people of the land he had run to.  He was told by Jesus that He didn’t know what he was talking about.  It was not in the book.

Under the Abrahamic covenant sin was removed by animal sacrifice, under the covenant in Jesus blood sin is removed by confession and receiving Jesus sacrifice as the substitute our sin.  I become the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ.

A righteous man’s sin is atoned for by Jesus blood and righteousness, not his own, even the old testament saints had the opportunity to hear the gospel when Jesus went to the place called Sheol and preached to them before taking them to Heaven with Him.  Psalm 68:18  Matthew 27:52-53  Luke 24:50-51  John 1:12-13  Acts 1:3; 11

Doesn’t it say in I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”?  Would it not be unjust to remember our sins, write them down in a book, only to judge something that we already repented of?  Why then do we allow guilt, shame and condemnation to come upon us and torment us when sin has already been confessed and forgiven?  It ought not to be.  Acts 3:19  Consider the source of such torment and resist it in Jesus name.  James 4:7

Before we came to this Earth, God wrote down in a book all of our days “when as yet there was none of them”.  Psalm 139:16

Several people who have been to Heaven have seen “recording angels”. Everything is written down in books…according to their witness.  What is written in your book?  We will be judged by what is in the book.  This is the works judgment for rewards not for salvation.  Salvation is in the “Book of Life” and it is only through Jesus, there is no other way.  Acts 4:12  Daniel 7:10

God loves us.  He is for us and not against us.  He truly knows what is best for us and yet has given us a free will.  We can choose our path through life. Hopefully, as a child grows into a mature adult, he will also grow in humility. After all Jesus said to enter the Kingdom of Heaven you have to be like a little child.  I think He means you have to be humble and trusting like a little child. There is no place for the arrogance or rebellion of the teen years there. Matthew 5:20; 7:21; 18:3

Revelation 20:12  “And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened.  and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.”

Since these things be true, what manner of men must we be, living in holiness, righteousness, freedom, love, peace and joy.  Amen!

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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?

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change

What do you do when life circumstances are suddenly changed, never to be the same again?

Almost everyone reacts.  Few act.  The difference between reacting and acting is like the difference between night and day.

Change is a big word.  It can mean something different to everyone.

What does change mean to you?

When Barak Obama became president under the banner of change, America was excited. The first black president sat in the White House, expectations were high.  Eight years later many were disappointed others were pleased.

This past November Donald Trump became president.  America was excited.  The first successful billionaire business man sits in the White House, expectations are high.  He too ran on promises of change.  Some were angry and others rejoiced.

The map of America after the election was mostly red.  In California and the major big cities of the nation the map was blue.  America as a whole wanted change.

As usual most of America looks to the coasts to set the tone and the media is the standard bearer for that tone.

I recall sitting with my mother many years ago, watching T.V.  The ads would come on and she would ask to go to the store so she could buy the product she saw.  If it was on T.V. it must be good, i.e. it must be true.

Media still has a big influence on the American public. Faith in the media may even have become more pronounced in news programs in particular.

Americans watch “the talking heads” of the media talk and debate, asking themselves what they think.  Opinion is what matters to them…your opinion, my opinion, their opinion. Every opinion except the one opinion that matters, God’s.

For the most part, the American people would say that they believe in the Judeo-Christian God. They may not go to church or believe that Jesus is the Son of God who came into the world to bring people to God the Father, but they profess belief in God.

In the Christian church of today, many doctrines that were held true for centuries are no longer accepted as truth.  It is a time when each does what is right in his own eyes, the Bible calls this an evil day.  The love of money, position and power move many.

But for some of us, this is a new day, a day of awakening. We have prayed for years:   “God, May your Kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven!”  We believe that now is the time, God has heard our prayers, and He is going to get involved.  As someone said, “God is going to show up and show out.” 

A few years ago I was reading Isaiah 60…it read: “Darkness shall cover the earth and gross darkness the people, but the light shall rise upon thee and nations and kings shall come to the brightness of your rising..”

I have heard many proclaiming this truth:  God will move when it is very dark.  Jesus is called the light of the world in the Bible and the contrast between darkness and light is seen over and over again in scripture.

We know that when it is dark, even the smallest amount of light brightens the darkness.  That is not to say that everyone likes the light, because as the Bible says it shows that their deeds are evil. So, there will be those who react to light, to change, by anarchy. They become violent in their anger, lashing out at whoever happens to come close to them.

The Bible tells us that the anger of man accomplishes no good thing. It cannot be perpetuated, it will always deteriorate into hatred which will destroy the person who harbors it, eventually leading to death and destruction.

My pastor and her friend, along with many other Christian people went to Washington D.C. for the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States of America.  They were there to celebrate and support.  It was a joyful time for them.

There was one dark spot where some angry people spit at some celebrants, called them names and would not let them pass through where they were standing.  It made them sad and they prayed that they might know the love God had for them.

Peaceful protest is part of the American landscape. We are a diverse people and have the right to stand up for our beliefs.  But, looting, burning, pushing and shoving, even sometimes beating up someone you disagree with is not the American way.

May God have mercy upon us and restore America to His vision. May His will be done and His opinion be sought after.

Christians and Jews are among the most tolerant people that I know.  In Israel and America a Christian church, a Jewish synagogue and a mosque can stand in the same area. Their people can work side by side without conflict.

When radical factions enter in to any of these groups who believe in one God, there will be trouble and eventually there will be war.

Something must be said about the enemies of America who have an agenda to take her down and make her a subservient country to a one world government.  God will not allow it until the time He has set on His time line.

It is vain to fight against God, you cannot prevail.  Unbelief does not affect God.  He is the great I AM, the one who has always been and always will be.  His will is going to be done.

As we embark upon the four year term of Donald Trump as president.  Let us set aside radicalization and work together in Unity to make America a better place for our children and our grand-children.  Unity in diversity is a wonderful thing.

We live in a country where we can make our requests known.  I write to my congressman and representatives when I disagree with what is being done.  No one comes to put me in jail for being a dissident.  I have the right of free speech.

You can write to your local newspaper, you can produce a program on Public T.V., (for free), you can set up a peaceful protest, there are many ways to communicate your opinion and try to influence others.

Change can be good, it depends on whether you react to the change in a negative way or respond with a construction action.  It is your choice.

God Bless you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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