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Shy

There are some of us that think like this:  I am a shy person.  How does Merriam-Webster define the word shy?

Shy:

  1.  Easily frightened: TIMID
  2. disposed to avoid a person or thing
  3. hesitant in committing oneself: CIRCUMSPECT
  4.  sensitively diffident or retiring: RESERVED
  5.  SECLUDED, HIDDEN
  6.  having less than the full or specified amount or number.
  7.  DISREPUTABLE

There you have it.  I think that most people are thinking of shy as the definition in number 4 above explains when they tell you that they are shy.  There are some who use shyness as a reason or perhaps an excuse for not doing something that is required of them in any given situation.  Being shy is an outward manifestation of what is deposited in the soul.

The soul is a repository of every experience that a person has ever had, usually complete with pictures, emotions and attitudes.  When the Bible says, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”, I believe it is referring to the soul.  The deposits on the pages of the soul determine the words and actions that we take.

Depending on age, we have little or much that is imprinted on the pages of the soul.  Depending on circumstances what is imprinted there can be good or bad and either encourages or discourages us.  I believe it controls us to some degree.

The soul of a person contains his mental capacity, his will and his emotions and affections.  In essence the soul of a person is what you encounter when you meet them.

There is another way of seeing the soul, and that is defined by personality.  By this I mean, is the person reserved or are they outgoing.? I have a friend who sees other people as friends she hasn’t met yet.  She loves to talk to people and has many “friends”.

There are other people who are more reserved, quieter by nature, they have a harder time speaking with people they don’t know.  They have a few friends with whom they are very close.  They may even appear to be aloof, but in reality it is their personality.

So far I have been speaking from the natural standpoint.  There is one factor that can change all of this and that is the experience of meeting Jesus the Messiah.  This experience is life changing.  Perhaps I should say that it can be life changing.

When a person asks Jesus to come into their life because they see that this is a good thing to do, their experience may be true or it may not be.  Some people have been “scared” into accepting Jesus into their life by someone telling them that they will go to Hell if they don’t.

It is good to receive Jesus into your life; by receiving Jesus you are brought out of the kingdom of darkness and transferred into the Kingdom of God, which is light and Heaven becomes your destination.  But, many who claim to be Christians (Christ ones) have never had a real experience with the Savior, repented of their sin and turned to Him for salvation.  It can be mental assent and that is not the true conversion experience.

When you truly see that it was your sin that caused Jesus to be crucified, it breaks you, it changes you, there is no other way.  He is the only way.  When you ask Him for forgiveness, you experience being “born-again”.  Your human spirit becomes new, this is defined as a new creature, a new creation, something that never existed before.  If you have not experienced that, if I were you I would question whether what I have is true.

While the spirit of a man is made into something that did not exist before, fashioned for the Kingdom of God, becomes “a son of God”, the soul remains the same as it was.  There is usually no change but some have experienced an instant release from destructible habits.

The Word of God states that it is by hearing the Word preached, by fellowship (hanging around) with the people who are like you now, and reading and studying the Word of God, that your soul will be changed.  This is a process that will go on your whole life.  It is that your soul will become like Jesus when He walked on the earth.  It is to fit you for Heaven as well as to equip you to do the work of ministering for the Kingdom of God on the earth.

I am shy therefore I can’t……..    The Word of God says:  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

If you have been born-again, if you have taken your soul to the Word of God, if you fellowship with other believers on a regular basis, if you have asked God to fill you with His Holy Spirit, if you have done all you know to do promote and strengthen God’s Kingdom on the earth, if you pray earnestly for the things that are on the heart of the Father, then your soul will be transformed and you will no longer be timid, reserved, hidden, but you will choose to do whatever the Holy Spirit leads you to do.  As someone said, “Sometimes I just do it afraid.”

When someone says, “I am shy.”  I think, “They are self-centered not God-centered.”  When we are God-centered we can literally do the exact opposite of our natural temperament, our natural inclinations.  That is why the Apostle Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Jesus wants to live in us, with us and through us.  He wants His Father’s will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven.  That is why He taught His disciples to pray that way.  Father sent the Holy Spirit to indwell every believer , He gives us the power we need to live a victorious life here on the earth.

I trust that this message will help you to see that you really can do more for God than you thought you could.  Draw upon the power of the Holy Spirit and you could be another Billy Graham, another Rees Howells or another John Kilpatrick.   All things are possible to those who believe.   Only believe!

In His love,

Happy Thanksgiving!

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CHANGES

My heart is somewhat sad right now because of circumstances in my world.  Not me or my husband, beyond that.

I have a friend who is beyond the 80 years mentioned in Scripture that we can have as humans on planet earth, actually I have a few friends that age.  This friend has recently gone through a bit of a hard time.

She developed a physical problem that worsened over the period of a few days and she ended up in the hospital.  Going through several days there, it was recommended that she go to a rehabilitation facility for a week.

She lost something through this experience.  She is not the same and it bothers me.

I know her to be full of zest for life.  Always one to be ready for an adventure, she would be ready to go at the drop of a hat if any of her friends suggested doing something.

She liked to talk about what was going on in the world, both secular and Christian.  And she longed to contribute something to the world, she wanted to do something, to be involved.

When I visited her at the rehab place she was searching why she was there and came to the conclusion that she was there to bring a smile or some joy into an otherwise dark place.  This she did by visiting people in their rooms and saying,  “Hi!” in the halls as she met people, and always with a smile.

She came “home” to a messy place, but together we made short order of picking it up so she would feel comfortable to welcome her family members who were coming the next day for a visit.

She reported being happy with the way the visit went.

So, what is my problem?  A part of the person that she was is gone, I can’t put my finger on exactly what, but I am sad.  I pray that it will come back, but if it doesn’t I need to accept that.

The consolation, and there always is a consolation with God, is that no matter what happens to my friend or any of us for that matter, who we really are in the spirit will never change, never die and if we are believers we will be together as whole persons forever throughout all eternity, and I praise God for that!

One of my children has gone through a divorce this year.  Never easy and always painful, divorce rips apart two people who made a covenant before God and witnesses to be together in sickness and health etc. “until death do us part”.

The relationship died before the people did.  It did not happen overnight.  It died by increments.  Hurts, wounds, expectations not met, offenses taken and more. Like knives being plunged into flesh, blood flowed, life left and death came.  The  covenant was broken, the end came…separation…then divorce.

Loneliness begins to set in like cold on a 20 degree below zero day and it chills the soul.  All one wants is to be warm again, to feel good again, to be loved again.  It is written:  “It is not good for man to be alone.”  Especially, a young man.  Each man is to have his own wife.  Each woman is to have her own husband.  That is what the Bible says.

Something will fill the void.

My child has chosen a “relationship” that will not lead to marriage.  This is very acceptable in today’s world, it is not acceptable in the Kingdom of God.

The worldly person wants to be accepted, as we all do, but they want you to accept what they do as well.  This a believer cannot do when it disagrees with the Word of God.  Jesus never did that, no one He ministered to left His presence untouched.  Only those who were in rebellion against God were not touched or changed by being in His presence.   He is our example.

How then do we walk this out?

Change is not easy for anyone.  Some accept it more readily than others.  But, change comes to all and many times over a lifetime.

My child is my child.  Nothing will ever change that, not what they say or do, nor where they go, whether alive or dead, they are my child.

Some children choose to walk away from their family.  Others choose to stay in relationship but not walk closely.  Others choose to continue on their pathway, expecting their family to accept who or what they have become.

There are some children who respect and honor their parents to the degree that they will ask for and consider the advice the parents give.  That is called honoring your Father and Mother, a command in the Word of God.

As a friend what do I do?  As a parent what do I do?

Love, unconditional love…first and foremost.  Then “watch and pray” as the Bible says we are to do.  Ultimately though, each of us is responsible to God for himself or herself.

If we are committed to Jesus, then we are to be led by His Holy Spirit.  Being led by the Holy Spirit means that we will be led into what we are to do in each and every situation.  He leads, we follow.  Sometimes that is through the written Word, sometimes through circumstances, sometimes through other people etc.  God is not limited by how He speaks to us.

We have an additional advantage as believers and that is that we are all part of the Body of Jesus Christ.  Therefore, we can turn to another believer for counsel when we cannot see the way.   Our Father, is so good to us.

We do not need to ever second guess our actions when they come from a pure heart of love because God will make sure that all things work together for good because we love Him.  He is a good, good Father!

We do not need to ever receive guilt, accusation or condemnation.  God is not in any of that.  It is a work of the kingdom of darkness.  God is love and in Him is no darkness at all.

The Word of God tells us to Submit to God and resist the devil and he will flee from us.

Stand strong on the Word of God, stay in faith that God is involved in everything that pertains to you and your life because He loves you so much.

When it is all over here on planet earth, there is Life, Love and Laughter for all eternity for those who love God, for those who have received what Jesus did at the cross for them…It is personal.

Amen, praying for you today…. God bless you, Joy

 

 

 

The Message

Love:  Greek;  Agapao  “To welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly.”

God so loved the world that He gave…Jesus.   (John 3:16)

Show us the Father and it will be enough! Have I been with you so long and you do not know me. I am in the Father and the Father is in me.  If you have seen me you have seen the Father.    (John 14:9)

The image of Jesus is the image of the Father.   (Hebrews 1:3)

Let us create man in our image and our likeness.   (Genesis 1:26)

From the foundation of the world, I knew you.   (Ephesians 1:4)

All your parts were known to me and planned before the world was made.  In my book every day of your life was written when as yet there were none.  Psalm 139: 1-18)

God IS love.  Jesus is the face of God.   (I John 4: 8-20)  (John 14:9)

Many were offended and left…Will you leave also?  To whom shall we go, you have the words of Life.  (John 6: 66-69)

Eternity….no end.  (Isaiah 57:15)

It is appointed unto men once to die and then comes judgment.   (Hebrews 9:27)

Some men’s sins go before them openly and some follow after to judgment.                 (I Timothy 5:24)

No man comes to the Father except by me.   (John 14:6)

Forgive and you will be forgiven.  If you refuse to forgive then God cannot forgive you.   (Mark 11:24-25)

There are no liars, murderers, idolaters, adulterers, sorcerers, thieves, covetous, drunkards, extortioners…..in God’s Kingdom of Heaven….only those who love God and follow the Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world…God had a plan and He executed His plan.  There is no other way to God, to Heaven, except through Jesus.  (Revelation 22:15)  (I Corinthians 6:10)  (Revelation 13:8)  (John 14:6)

When you turn from darkness to light, you are transferred into the Kingdom of Light, the Kingdom of God.   (Colossians 1:13)  (Isaiah 57:15)

Eternity with God in the perfection and completeness of all things.   (Luke 12:37)

Eternity without God.  Complete perfection of darkness and evil.  (Matthew 25:30, 41)

You choose whom you will serve.  No one makes that decision for you.  (Joshua 24:15)

God loved you so much that He made a way for you to be with Him forever.  It is not your way.  It is not the way of any other.  His way is the only way.   (John 14:6)

There is a pouring out.  (Acts 2:17-18)

There is a time for everything.   (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

God gives because God loves.   (John 3:16)

This is not a new message, but it is a message that blinded eyes cannot see and it falls on deaf ears in each generation.  How shall they hear unless someone tells them?  Who will go?  Who will tell?  Who will pray that they may hear? (Romans 10:14)

This is not a message for the mind of natural man.  The message is for the hungering heart, the thirsting soul.  It is for the “whoever will come”.  (Mark 8:34-35)

Broad is the way that leads to destruction, many follow its way.  Narrow is the way the leads to life and few find it.   (Matthew 7:13-14)

Every gate, every door leads to somewhere, something, some way.  A gate may look beautiful, fun, interesting but it may ultimately leads to destruction, death and Hell.  Choices matter for eternity.  (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25)

Jesus said if you are not with Him you are against Him.  (Luke 11:23)

There are many gates, many doors and many choices.  Choices can be made even if you are going the wrong way.  You can turn around and go back.  It is not too late.  As long as there is breath in your body, you can turn around.   (Revelation 3:20)

God calls you to come home, come back to the one who made you, the one who placed your spirit in that little bit of flesh in your mother’s womb, the one who grew and became strong enough to enter into the world of men.  He created you.                  (Genesis 5:1-2)  (Isaiah 43:7; 45;12)

Come home, can’t you hear Him calling?  “I love you my son, I love you my girl, come home.  You are welcome.  It doesn’t matter to me where you have been or what you have done, I love you.  I will clean you up, just trust me, come to me.”          (Revelation 22:17)

Pray:  Father, I come.  Just as I am.  Forgive me.  Thank you for receiving me.  I receive what Jesus did for me.  Thank you for giving me life eternal!                    (Psalm 61:2  62:7)  (I Peter 2:1-10)

If you have prayed to receive Jesus as your Savior and Lord, welcome to the family of God.  It is important for your spiritual growth that you find others who believe as you believe and enter into relationship with them.  It is important that you have a Bible that is written so that you can read and understand it, it is the manufacturers handbook, so to speak, and you need it to know how to live from now on.

The new birth as recorded in John chapter 3, opens the way for God’s Holy Spirit to come to live inside of you.  There is a subsequent (or can be at the same time) infilling called the Baptism in the Holy Spirit as recorded in the book of Acts.

The Holy Spirit baptizes you into the “Body of Christ” and Jesus baptizes you into the Holy Spirit.  These two things are a work of the grace of God, independent of your works.  You cannot earn either one, you just receive.   (I Corinthians 12:13)   (Mark 1:8) (Acts 1:5, 8; 2:1-4)

“Not by works of righteousness that we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.”   (Titus 3:5)

May the Lord complete that good work that He has done in you.  Amen!

Joy

 

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

Serenaded By Angels

One of my best friends died last night. It was the 6th day of July in the year of our Lord, 2017. In the early evening hours Jerilyn Wane Cox stepped out of her body, said goodbye to her loved ones and serenaded by angels, she began her journey home.

I imagine that she was able to ride in a most beautiful transport vehicle. I am sure it was gold and looked like Cinderella’s carriage, all sparkly and covered with gemstones. The angels took her on a tour of the cosmos. She was so excited to see behind her, the beautiful blue marble where she had lived…Earth…now, she was on her way home, home to the Father she loved so much.

They passed the nebula that looked like a big eye and the one that looks like a butterfly and she wondered in awe of Father’s artwork in the sky. Blue was her favorite color and she asked for one more pass around the eye nebula. It reminded her of the blue fire she had seen in the eyes of her beloved Lord Jesus on one occasion.

“That’s enough.” she said, “I want to go home now.” Sooner than a blink of an eye they touched down. She stepped out of the transport into the most beautiful garden she had ever seen. She breathed the air of Heaven for the first time and was in awe. The colors, the smells, the sounds washed over her and a wave of relief, she was finally home where she belonged.

There was a welcoming committee to meet her. The first person she saw was her mother, there too was her grandmother, her grandfather, other relatives and friends; and also people she had known on earth, whose lives she had touched. They hugged her and told how happy they were that she was there. They had known she was coming and they were excited to tell her about the wonders she would see. The family asked about the family still on Earth, they wondered how Al and the children, and the grand-children were doing.

Out of the crowd a beautiful woman with long dark hair came, she threw her arms around Jeri and held her close, it was her dearest friend and prayer partner on earth, Madeline. She was dressed in an incredible gown. It was cream colored with gold and silver threads. It had a royal blue band around the neck, sleeves and hem. She looked beautiful. Jeri could tell that she was of a higher rank than most of the others.

Madeline said, “The Lord has arranged a party for you with all of your loved ones, you and I will be able to be together soon. Smiling, she turned and walked away. What unspeakable joy Jeri felt. How blessed!

Turning to the angel, her own guardian angel, who had been with her since she was conceived, she asked. “When can I see Jesus?” His reply was, “Soon.”

Up to this time she had been so enthralled with her surroundings she had not even noticed her own body. She became aware of it as she stepped on the flowers that were everywhere, they were not crushed, they sprang right back. “My feet, my legs, they are normal, by body is normal!”, she cried. The angel said, “Everything here is perfect as is everyone who is here, because God is perfect and there is no flaw in Him so there is no imperfection in anything or anyone.” She had no extra weight, she was free, healed, whole, she was finally the person that God had destined her to be. Joy and thanksgiving flooded her. Praise came from her lips and became a bridge that she walked upon to the gathering place.

In Heaven it seemed to her that each thing that she saw surpassed the next. The building where the gathering was held, was incredible. God truly was beyond what she had imagined. The joys that He has prepared for His people were so far beyond her earthly imagination that she was silent in the awe and wonder of it all.

King David rushed to meet her, expressing his thanks to her for interceding for the kingdom of His Royal Son. Deborah thanked her for being a mighty prayer warrior. Father Abraham took her in his arms and said, “My dearest daughter Jeri, I am so glad that you have come home. I have been waiting for this day.” Countless others whom she knew from reading the Word of God in the Bible presented themselves to her, welcoming her home.

Suddenly a hush came over the crowd and all turned to the direction of the golden arch and there He stood, He whom her heart loved more than anything or anyone else. Jesus. She ran to Him, falling down at His feet she worshiped. He lifted her up, cupping her face in His hands she heard the most beautiful voice saying. “All of this I have prepared for you my dearest. You cannot know how I have longed for this day. You are precious in my sight and my own special love, if you had been the only one on earth who needed me, I would have paid the ultimate price just for you.”

She was lost in His love. Looking into His eyes which were like love, she saw everything that He had done for her and again all she could do was worship Him.

Holding her close she could feel His heart and she knew that the love of the Father was in every beat. He said, “Now I must take you to the Father.”, as soon as He said it they were in the throne room.

If she felt in awe before, it was increased at least a thousand times as much; words could not express what she felt as they came in, majesty, power, glory, magnificence, opulence, there were no words great enough, nothing but praise, worship, thanksgiving, peace and joy. She was on her face in worship when she heard her name. Looking up she saw her Father. This was the moment she had waited for. She ran to Him and leaped into His lap; He wrapped her up in the arms of Love. Now, she was home, home at last.

I dedicate this to the memory of my precious forever friend, Jeri, I loved you to the end and I look forward to the day when I too will finally be home…“serenaded by angels up to the throne”.

“Serenaded By Angels”, by Kirk Talley on You Tube.

 

Where Fear Walks

Mary was a tall slim woman of thirty five years.  She had never married, much to the chagrin of her family.  People had described her as plain, but when they got to know her they found that she had a delightful personality, everyone was better for knowing her.

Dan Archer was new in town, he had moved to Washington from the Midwest.  Jobs were hard to find as the economy was in a downturn, so he took the only job available, The Moton Pet Store.

Harry and Alice Moton owned a pet store in the town of Jethro, Washington.  They were animal lovers so when Harry retired from the business world they decided to open a pet store to do what they loved.  It was going well, so much so in fact that they needed to hire an employee.  Harry worked long hours and this would free up some of his time, so he could relax.

Mary Pierce worked for a local insurance agency as receptionist and secretary.  She loved her job.  Working with people was what she loved to do best.  She had been trained to be a helper since she was a child.  Her mother had been active in church and taught Mary to reach out to others, especially those less fortunate than herself.

There was a new pastor at the 1st Baptist church in Moton.  He came from California where he had pastored a church of fifteen hundred people.  Pastor David Melvin was well known in the evangelical stream of Christianity for his sermons on revival.  He had a large following on Facebook; mostly it was people who knew him or those who found him there and liked what he had to say.

Mary was a loyal member of the congregation since her youth.  Her mother Agnes was a founding member.  Agnes had raised Mary alone as Mary’s father had left her when she found she was pregnant.  He told her, “I didn’t sign on for this.”  Not to be daunted, Agnes turned to Jesus for help and He was her faithful partner.  Mary turned out good!

The Saturday before the fourth of July, Mary decided that she wanted to have a pet.  Agnes had died the year before and though Mary had an active busy life, she wanted a companion at home.

As it happened, Dan was working at the pet store when Mary walked in.  Dan had not married after he got out of college because every girl he met was shallow and vain.  Not one to dwell on the negative he took it in stride and moved on filling his life with friends and fun.

Mary asked to see the dogs, she was particularly fond of the Black Labrador breed.  Harry got pets for the store from several sources.  He had only recently acquired the Lab puppies from a source in a small town near them.  They were so cute and lively.  She fell in love with a male who seemed to be the most gregarious of the litter.

As she was paying for her dog, Dan asked if she knew what she was going to name him.  She replied, “Alphonso The Great”.  “Interesting name for a dog.”, Dan replied.  “Yes, I think so too.”  Mary responded.  “I will call him “Fonzie” for short.” Mary said.  “Oh, like on the old TV program, “Happy Days”? Dan asked.  “Yes, because “Fonzie” always wore a black leather jacket and my new dog is black, I think it is appropriate, don’t you?”  Mary said.  Dan agreed.

Dan thought, “Interesting girl.  Not much to look at, but she seemed to have a great personality and a sense of humor.”

Mary and Fonzie settled into what would become a routine over the next year.  He grew to be a full sized Lab and could take Mary for a walk instead of the other way around.  He was headstrong and wilful.  She decided he needed some training, so once again she went to the Moton Pet Store to get a lead.

Walking in, she noticed the man behind the counter was the one who had sold her the dog a year ago.  He remembered her and asked how “Fonzie” was doing.  Explaining her problem Dan told her about a man in town that had trained dogs for the United States Army.  He was highly recommended.  Mary contacted him and he worked with Fonzie and her to teach them how to work together.  Teaching Fonzie that she was the top dog was no easy task.

When Dan smiled, Mary noticed that he had a dimple in his right cheek.  “Mmmm nice, she thought to herself.”  Dan could not help but notice that Mary, who was wearing shorts that day, had beautiful legs. “The old-time movie star, Lana Turner, whose legs were insured for a million dollars, had nothing on Mary Pierce.” He mused.

As it happened, the Baptist church was having a revival the coming week-end; there were signs all around town announcing it.  A tent was to be set up on the vacant lot at the back of the church.  A famous evangelist was to hold the revival along with Pastor Melton.

Mary was looking forward to the meetings.  She asked Dan if he would be interested in coming to the meetings.  He wanted to get to know Mary, so he said he would be delighted to come.

Rain was threatening for the Revival week-end, but it was no match for the praying women.  The storm parted and went right around town.

Dan had never been to a revival.  He was not a believer, in fact, in his youth he had told his parents that he did not believe in a god he could not see or prove existed.  Naturally, his parents, who were believers, were devastated.  He had gone to church at their insistence,  but, since high school days Dan had not gone to church.  He had mellowed a bit and was not as dogmatic and argumentative as he had been then, but he still did not believe in God.  He believed in being rational and reasonable.  If it could be seen and explained, he was all over it.

Pastor David Melvin had brought his young daughter into the store to purchase a parakeet.  She was a sweet little girl with red hair that her mother had put into pigtails.  So adorable.  Dan loved little kids and hoped that someday he would have his own, though at age thirty, time was flying.

Dan saw Mary sitting up front; noticing a chair next to her he ventured forward.  “Hi, may I sit here?”  he asked.  “Yes, of course you may.  Good to see you again, I am so glad that you came.”  “I am glad to see you again, Mary.  I don’t know anything about this sort of thing.  What is the format?”  Dan asked.  Mary explained the general pattern of service, but offered that they just needed to be open to what God wanted to do.  Dan wasn’t thrilled with that remark, but chose to let it go.  He just wanted to get to know Mary better.

What followed for Dan Archer was nothing short of life changing.  In one night he experienced God’s power, a power that he had denied existed.

The visiting evangelist told the congregation about the love of God for them.  He explained that God was not mad at them.  “He loves you and wants you, just the way your are.  He wants you to come to Him, to know him.”  He told them that through the sacrifice of the Son of God for them, as if they were the only one who needed to be rescued from their miserable life, they could come to know this loving God, this Father.

Something was stirring in Dan, he felt very uncomfortable.  He wanted to leave, but he was sitting up front and would not make a scene.  He had heard this message before, but it had never touched him. “What is going?” He thought.  “I am a reasonable person, I don’t do emotional.”

Thankfully, it was over and Dan asked Mary if they could spend a little time together.  Mary suggested that they stop by her house and pick up Fonzie for a walk in the park.  He liked that idea and agreed.  He felt so comfortable with Mary, she was intelligent and could carry on a stimulating conversation.  He liked that.  A woman with a good mind was hard to find.

The next day was Sunday and the revival services continued at the tent on the grounds of First Baptist.  Monday morning Dan heard that a woman who had been hard of hearing was healed at the Sunday night meeting, so Pastor Melton decided to continue the meetings to see what God would do.

The praying woman in the community had been meeting together for over a year, asking God to move upon their town and revive it.  Now, it appeared that He was doing just that.

Dan called Mary to ask if she would like to have supper with him, this was Monday night.  Mary said she was going to the tent meeting, but Harry and Alice were having a get together at their house at noon, which he also had been invited to, and could they meet there?  The answer, of course, was, ” Yes!”

Dan loved picnics and Bar B Q’s, he loved the outdoors, so this was right up his alley, as they say.  He was delighted.  Mary arrived shortly after Dan did, she was wearing his favorite color: blue, and had on shorts again, showing her best asset, in his opinion.  He was finding himself increasingly attracted to Mary Pierce.  And, he liked it.

He watched Mary as she interacted with people.  He thought to himself, “How could I have ever thought she was plain, she is beautiful.”

Mary stood at the sink washing dishes and chatting with some ladies.  Dan watched her from the couch.  She seemed to be in her element when she was helping others.  What a great quality in a woman.

Mary noticed that Dan was watching her, she wondered what he was thinking.  He was so handsome and she wondered why no woman had snatched him up.  Feelings began to rise in her that she had not experienced before with any man.  She liked to be with Dan.  He was so interesting, but he was not a believer and she knew that she could not be joined to a man who was not of like mind and faith.

The food was eaten, the dishes were done and it was starting to get on toward late afternoon.  She had to get home, take Fonzie for a short walk and get ready for the meeting.  She hoped Dan would want to come, but he didn’t seem interested.

That night there were several people that were healed of long standing illnesses and diseases, as well as old Silas Crup who had been in a wheel chair for twenty years of his seventy years.  When all paralysis left his body, he got up and began to jump up and down like he was twenty.  The people were stunned to say the least.  No one had seen anything like it before.

Tuesday morning the town was a buzz about the healings that had taken place.  People called their relatives and they told others and suddenly the town was full of people coming from the surrounding communities to attend the revival meetings.

Several people came into the pet store to talk with Harry and Alice about the revival.  “Were you there when my cousin Sadie was healed of cancer?” Leta Carpenter asked Alice.  “Yes.” she replied, “We could hardly believe it; if we had not seen that deep hole in her cheek fill in right before our very eyes, we would not have believed it could happen.”  “But with God, of course.” she added.

Dan heard all of this and wondered what was happening.  “Could it be true?  Does God really exist?  Could I have been wrong all these years?  No, I have studied this thing out, there is no such thing as God.  I know I am right.  This is just hocus-pocus.” He thought.  But the crack in his armor had taken place and Spirit of God was drawing him.

When the revival was over that evening Dan was waiting for Mary.  She came to get in her car and he asked if they could talk.  Reluctantly, she agreed, but said she had to go get Fonzie and take him for a walk.

Arriving at Mary’s house, he put Fonzie in the back seat of his car. Dan wanted to talk.  She didn’t know what was on his mind, but she agreed.  He headed downtown toward the pet store.  Dan turned into the lot behind the store, Mary saw the community service officer’s car hesitate as she saw them, but then recognized Dan’s car and kept going.

He stopped the car and they got out with Fonzie.  Dan had the leash in his hand, intending to walk him along the grassy area behind the store.  Fonzie suddenly reared up, showing his teeth and began to attack Dan.  Mary stood dumbfounded at what she saw happening, she was paralyzed with fear.  Dan yelled at her to get back and call for help.

Incredibly, when the story was told later, they realized an angel, sent from God, came and seemed to get in front of or into Dan as he wrestled with the dog.  Fonzie fell to the ground, apparently dead, and what stood before them could only be described as a satanic presence.  It was the ugliest evil thing either of them had ever seen.  It bared its teeth and growled that it was going to kill them.

That’s when I woke up and realized I had a dream.

Days are coming when God is going to show up and so is satan.  Maybe you don’t know it, but there is a war going on and to the victor belongs the spoils.  The spoils these warring kingdoms are after is the souls of mankind.  I have read the back of the book and I can tell you, God wins, satan is defeated and sent to Hell.  End of story!

Which side are you on?  Think!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foundations

The sky is overcast…again.  We have had many overcast days so far this year.  There was a break in the clouds that lasted for several minutes and the sun shone brightly upon my little piece of earth.  It was a joy!

As I peruse the different sources for information that come to my computer each day, it would be so easy to become discouraged.  Yet, God reaches out with words of hope and comfort.  They lift my spirit and focus my sight, once more, upon what really matters.

Jesus, talking to His disciples, said, “Be careful that no one misleads you.  You will hear of wars and rumors of wars…nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom…there will be famines and earthquakes in place after place…all of this is but the beginning of the early pains of intolerable anguish.”  Matthew 24:13-14

When you read the newspapers, watch TV news or see news on the internet, it sounds like these words of Jesus.

There is a verse recorded in Psalm 11:3 that says, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Foundations matter.  Without a foundation that goes down to bedrock, a building shaken by a strong earthquake will rarely stand.

It has been recorded in Hebrews 12:27, that “Everything that can be shaken will be shaken until only what can not be shaken remains.”

When the shaking comes, and it will, where will you and I be?  I don’t mean a literal spot on earth, I mean spiritually, mentally, emotionally etc.  There is no safe place on earth, when judgment comes, there will be no place to hide.  When things suddenly go haywire we tend to panic.  When there is nothing that brings us the security we need, what then?

I had a picture come to mind of a swimmer crying out to be rescued, but when someone tried to rescue him, he pulled that person down with him.  People can’t help.

I was thinking of those who are addicted to something, and how trying to go it alone is impossible unless they exchange one habit for another.  Will power only goes so far.

One thing about earthquakes, nothing man made will stand unless it has a solid, deep foundation. Faith in Jesus is the solid and deep foundation we are bonded to, it will weather any storm, any earthquake, any hurricane, anything that happens around us.

I think of a story about a few soldiers during WWII, who during the bombing of a building took refuge under a library table.  One of the soldiers knew Psalm 91 and began to quote it from memory.  When the shelling stopped, the building was fallen down around them but they came out from under the library table safe.  It certainly was not the table that saved them, but rather one who knew the word of God concerning safety in the midst of crisis.

Do you believe in angels?  I do. Many times I have been saved or directed by these unseen helpers sent by our Father in Heaven.

Faith is man reaching out to God while God is reaching down to man, bringing him into His Kingdom, making him a Son with all of the rights, responsibilities and benefits of Kingdom living.

Of course, one can have inherited a fortune and never benefit from it if he does not follow the rules laid out to receive it.  I believe there are many believers who don’t know their rights and therefore do not receive the benefits.

God has declared that the rights of the Sons of God are, to name just a few, righteousness (God’s way of doing and being right), peace (That settled state of mind with nothing missing, nothing broken) and joy. (a settled state of contentment, confidence and hope; a source of happiness)  I don’t know anyone who has apprehended what is available, I certainly haven’t.  But I am pressing toward that goal.

If you are not in God’s family today, I suggest that you do so, because you need to be ready for the time that lies ahead.  World War III looms on the horizon.  It will not be like the other wars, life will not be the same in America or the world when the dust settles.

... 15, April 21~2 Nephi 15-19 or Pages 85-90 Jesus with Outstretched Arms

Prepare for your future by coming home to the Father’s house.  Your foundation will be set upon the Rock, Jesus the Messiah, He is the only righteous man that ever lived on planet earth.  He is the only foundation that will take you through what lies ahead.  He is the door into the Kingdom of God, it is written that no man comes to the Father, except by Him.  John 14:6

Come home to the Father, repent of rebellion against His will for your life, give Him your heart and invite Him to be your Savior and Lord.  As Him to fill you with His Spirit, get a Bible if you don’t have one and begin reading in the book of John.  John loved Jesus and you can hear and see it in the book he wrote.  Ask God to lead you to a church that believes that the Bible is God’s love letter to you, the instruction manual for a believer, and go, get with like-minded people, tell them your story and enlist their prayers.

A warning:  Church is full of flawed people just like you.  No one is perfect, just forgiven.  Don’t judge,  Ask God for a mentor.  You have a lot to learn and He has someone who can teach you.  May the Lord bless you on your journey.

I heard a few words of the old hymn Softly and Tenderly this morning and I want to leave them with you.  Be encouraged today, friend, God is on the throne, you are loved and you are safe in His arms, if you belong to Him.

 

 

 

 

JALYN’S JOURNEY

Father had a plan, He had a purpose.  All of Heaven was excited because it would not be long and a little spirit would be sent to the earth.

Tom and Laura had been spending time together for some time now.  They both had been led to go to State University, the angels that Father had assigned to each of them had been working toward that end and now it was in Tom’s heart to make Laura his bride.

When Father dreamed of the family He wanted, when He planned the who, what, where when and why of it, Tom and Laura were part of that plan.  He had a purpose in the creation of those who were to be part of His plan, unfortunately, not everyone that He planned for was allowed to come into the earth, some people refused His plan, they aborted it and it sorely grieved Him.

I present to you a plan that proceeded to fruition, and I think that you will be pleased, as Father was, because this story has a happy ending.  I will warn you though, as the story unfolds it looks for a time like the happy ending will not happen.

Come along with me on Jalyn’s Journey.

Tom was raised in the city that hosted State University, called by the locals S.U.  Because of the strong Science department and its professor, Tom chose to attend S.U., plus it was less expensive than other universities he looked at.

Laura was raised on a farm near a larger city.  When her family was making the decision where she should go to school they were more inclined that she should attend a school more in line with the faith that she was raised in, but Father had a plan and in the end she was sent to S.U.

Tom and Laura were in their senior year at S.U. when they decided to be married.  It was an exciting time for them.  The future ahead seemed bright with possibilities and they were eager to embrace it.  They began to dream and to plan.

After graduation the wedding took place, family and friends met each other, rejoiced with the happy couple and wished them well.

One thing about the future that we humans don’t think about is the possibility that things may not turn out the way we planned.  Life has a way of bringing disappointments into our lives that throw us out of kilter, mess with our minds and lead us into the dark night of the soul.  When this happens we are forced to think outside the box we have made for ourselves and if we allow it, this will lead us to our creator.

In our story, Tom and Laura flowed into Father’s plan for their lives; each of them individually had come to a place of decision, what I like to call “the fork in the road” , where a choice was made to go down the narrow path, through the narrow gate that leads to life.  And, while life on planet earth was not easy and they were dealt some blows, they always turned to Father for help and help was given.

In the course of their lives four daughters were born to their union.  Jalisa was the first born, the other girls called her “the fair-haired child” because she seemed to be perfect in every thing she tried to do and it left them feeling like they could never measure up to that standard.  But Father had a plan.

Next was Jalyn, after her Justina and lastly Janora.  The girls resembled their mother in appearance having her beautiful blue eyes and blond hair.  When they were little and Laura would take them shopping, people would stop her and comment how beautiful her little girls were.

As the girls grew up, the angels were busy, they listened for Father’s word and moved according to it.  There were times when Laura and Tom got so busy living life that they did not give the angels much to work with.  Angels don’t like to be idle and they wonder why humans don’t speak the Word so they can fulfill the assignment Father has given them.

Jalisa had left home for college and was ready to graduate in the spring and move into her career.  She had met Lance and they were making plans to marry when she finished her schooling.  In the mean time Jalyn was in her junior year of high school and doing very well.  She sang in the school choir, led in the debate club and taught Sunday school, or should I say she taught Sunday school until she was interred with.

Up to now I have not directly mentioned the enemy.  You know, of course, that Father has an adversary who seeks to destroy His plan for every human being.  And, while each human is special to Father, not each has the same calling in life and it is just there that the enemy seeks to destroy Father’s plan.

Let me take you back to the beginning…

All of the little spirits with Father wanted to come to earth, their sense of destiny and  purpose was strong and they asked Him if it was time.  Finally, it was Jalyn’s time.  She  was so excited.

Jalyn was born into the earth to Tom and Laura.  Second born.  Tom desired to have a boy  that he could take hunting and fishing, but because their hearts were right with Father, they thanked him for their new daughter and life moved on.

Jalyn was a curious, outgoing little girl with a sensitive streak, she liked to be with people, like to watch them and talk to them.  As she grew her dry sense of humor was a delight, not only to her family, but also to her friends, which were many.

As she approached the “fork in the road” on the path of life, the evil angel who had been assigned to her by the adversary of God called satan, advised him that there were some weak spots in Jalyn’s make up that could be exploited and he intended to take advantage of them.  The evil one said, “Then do it!”

Since the adversary is the father of lies, he is an expert at deception.  “If you tell them a lie often enough, the fools will believe it is the truth.”, he told the evil angel.  So, that was the assignment, tell Jalyn “‘The Lie’, tell her God does not exist and even if He did what makes you think He would love you?  You are not like your sisters, you are different, you don’t fit in this family.”.  He did it with vehemence and it worked as you will see.

Jalyn was going down the adolescent road, for the most part enjoying it.  In the distance she began to see something but though she was curious about it, she couldn’t quite make it out.

Slowly, she began to change, her body began to do things that were new and different.  And she was confused a lot about the feelings and the thoughts she had.  Her friends started talking about sex, drugs and alcohol and some of them had experimented with them.  Jalyn had been taught that these things were wrong and she should not do them, but she was curious.  It was this curiosity that led her into the enemy trap.

She was being set up.

There is an old saying, “Curiosity killed the cat” and sometimes that can be true.  In any case, for Jalyn, while it did not kill her, it left her with a scarred memory.  It was her weak place and because she yielded to it, she was trapped by the adversary and spent many wasted years.

“God does not exist, you can’t prove it!”, her friend said.  As Jalyn sat at her computer doing a term paper, she thought, “That is true, I can’t prove it.”  That was how it started, Jalyn began to entertain “the lie” and the road to apostasy began.  So, by the time Jalyn reached the “fork in the road” she was well on her way to denial of God’s existence.

There is always a day, a time, when a decision is made, but one is conditioned well before that day, and Jalyn was no exception.  Discouragement, depression, despair prepare the way for taking the wrong road.  As Jalyn approached the decision point, she saw clearly that there were two roads.  She could see that she must make a decision which one she would take.

Ahead lay the broad road.  There were neon signs flashing, music blaring and people milling around, smiling, looking happy.  There was all kinds of “stuff” that could be had,  there were promises of the “good life” if you took that road.  You could have it all, everything the world had to offer, all it took was a simple choice, after all you had been told you could go anywhere, do anything and you believed it.

“My parents are holding me back.”  Jalyn thought.  “I don’t want to be like them.”  “You can be free to be yourself and do what you want to do, they never let you be yourself.” she heard.  “Who can compete with Jalisa anyway, who wants to be like her, I don’t.”, she thought.

Such were the thoughts the evil angel whispered in her ear.  She took them as her own and the more she thought about it the more angry and bitter her soul became.  She could not wait to get away from home.  Oh, she would use her parents to provide for her college tuition alright, but she would be free of their influence once she was in college.

She stood at the “fork in the road”.  She looked to the right.  The road narrowed.  It seemed unappealing, unattractive to her,  it seemed dark and foreboding.  “Who would want to go that way.”, she thought.  “I know my parents have talked to me about the narrow way, but I don’t believe them.”  She looked at broad road to her left and it appealed to her greatly.  Her decision was made, she moved forward.  She was not going to go the narrow way, she would go on the broad road.

The decision Jalyn made was a decision of her own will.  The angel assigned to Jalyn when she came into the earth and the evil angel could only influence her.  The decision was hers.

God the Father has put the power to choose in each one of us.  No one chooses for us, we choose for ourselves which path through life we will take and the consequences of our decision rests with us.  Each of us faces a Garden of Eden decision as Adam and Eve did.  Each of us chooses which kingdom we want to be in.

When Jesus came into this earth He perfectly fulfilled the plan and purpose of the Father, so that anyone who would choose to go down the narrow road would find the door; He is the gate to life, and anyone who will can come in through the door and enter into the Kingdom of God, which is Light, Love, Life and Laughter.  There is salvation in no other, there is deliverance from enemies, healing, protection and provision to name just a few of the benefits of being a citizen of the Kingdom of Light.

It is written:  “In your presence is fullness of joy and at your right hand are pleasure forevermore.”  Psalm 16:11

Jalyn finished high school and enrolled in a very liberal college.  It was there that she was further influenced to follow the path of the kingdom of darkness that she had chosen.  She was enticed to take a glass of wine to calm herself down as she prepared for her finals, after all her family drank wine from time to time so she justified it.  She found that it relaxed her and she was able to finish her assignment without stress.  From that point on each time she felt stressed she drank, unaware that she had been set up, baited and trapped in addiction.  It was not her intent, but it was the result of her choice.

Jalyn married a man she met in college.  He became a successful entrepreneur businessman.  Her beauty attracted him to her, but he was not a faithful husband and had many affairs.  Jalyn was aware of this, but she didn’t care.  They had a beautiful home and she had all the money she wanted.  She was living her dream.  She smiled and pretended that all was well as her addiction deepened.

Two children were born to Jalyn and her husband.  One of the children was a Down’s syndrome child and as the stress increased, the money, the prestige of position, the entertaining that was necessary to maintain their lifestyle, all weighed heavy on her and she turned to wine more and more.

Pay day came.  Her husband was found shot to death in a sleazy motel.  As the finances were sorted out it was found that he had defrauded many of his customers and by the time that mess was finished everything they owned was taken and she was left with little, not even self-respect.  Once more the familiar path she had chosen to take many years before was paved with disappointment, depression and despair.

She was at the end of herself.  There did not seem to be a way out.  Everything she had lived for was stripped away.  Her looks, her reputation, her status in the community, her lifestyle, all were affected.  She knew now that she had made the wrong decision and that decision had brought her to where she was today.  Her Mother’s words came back to her.  “Jalyn, when you come to the place where you realize that you made the wrong decision, and you will because I have prayed for you, turn back to God and He will welcome you home.”

Turning around, she headed back to the “fork in the road”.  She started down the narrow road looking for the door.  The gateway was covered with vines on which hung beautiful purple grapes.  The door itself was narrow, weathered, but there was a handle.  She reached her hand out, turned the handle, the door opened to an incredible world.  The light was beautiful,  she was welcomed to come inside, to “taste and see that the Lord is good”.

Even now, she was hesitant, she had been so deceived.  She had rejected the Kingdom of God and its King, how could He want her in her condition.

As she had that thought, suddenly there He was, King Jesus, standing before her with His arms outstretched inviting her to come to Him.  She ran into His arms and the sin, the heaviness, and all of the ugliness that she had become, melted away and she felt light, free, for the first time in her life.  She was home!

Each of us has a path through life on planet earth.  Each of us makes decisions every day that influence the path we are on.  When a child reaches what we in America call the teen years, he comes to a place where he is no longer a little child, he now “sees” and begins to make decisions apart from his parents.  It is a part of the natural process of becoming a mature adult.  It is also one of the most dangerous times in our life.

As you have followed Jalyn’s story, you no doubt have identified in some way with her.  We all come to the “fork in the road”.  Some of us ask Jesus to come into our heart and lives as little children, but when we come to the place where the road splits into two roads, we must choose to follow the narrow road that leads to life.  If we do not then we will go down the broad road that leads to destruction.

As I have written before, there are two kingdoms, two kings and two roads.  We decide why we will go, who we will go with, when we will go, where we will go and how we will go, and we bear the consequences of our choices.

It is written in the Word that some men’s sins go before them to judgement and some men’s sins follow after.  There is always fruit…good and bad.   Sin has a payday and righteousness (God’s way of doing and being right) has a payday and that payday is either now or at the judgment seat of God, but there is a pay day.

Friend, are you ready?  I pray that you are.  There are stormy waters ahead according to those who can see.  When the floods come you must be sure that your house will not fall.  The only sure foundation is Jesus the Messiah, the only Kingdom that God will bless is the Kingdom of Light.  You can be transferred from the Kingdom of darkness by going through the door to the Kingdom of light, Jesus is the door.

If you have not received Jesus as your Savior and Lord, today is the day of salvation.  Repent to Father God for rejecting Him and His Kingdom, for disobeying what has been there before you all the time, but which you have been too blind to see because you believed “the lie”.

God is not dead!  He waits to receive “the precious fruit of the earth”, the souls of men who turn to Him in repentance.  He longs, as any good father does, to pour out blessings upon His children.  But, you have to come into “The House” to be a child of the Father.

God has created, is creating and will create many more people, but not all of them will come to Him and learn of His love.  He could have made us robots who worshiped Him without a will to do so or not, but He didn’t.  He waits for us to love Him for who He is, “our Father who art in Heaven”, that is who Jesus taught His disciples that He is, Father.

You are loved by Father.

Psalm 139: 13-16:  You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother;’s womb.  I will confess and praise You for You are fearful and wonderful and for the awful wonder of my birth!  Wonderful are Your works, and that my inner self know right well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was being formed in secret [and] intricately and curiously wrought [as if embroidered with various colors] in the depths of the earth [a region of darkness and mystery]  (the womb)  Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them.

You are special, you are called but the choosing is up to you.  How do you respond?

I am one with Him, I am loved, I chose Him, will you choose Him today?

Joy

 

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Kingdoms Clashing

Kingdoms…there are two.  In my previous post I spoke to you  about them.  The Kingdom of Light, of God, of Heaven, whose King is Jesus, and the kingdom of darkness, the world system, whose king is the fallen angel Lucifer, the adversary, the accuser, called satan and the devil.

“I do not believe in a God I cannot see.”  Two kingdoms, two roads and a choice.  Every human being will make a decision which kingdom they want to be in and which king they choose to follow.

A little girl was born, she was a preemie.  She spent many months in the hospital.  During that time her parents worried; they prayed and asked others to pray.  She survived and finally came home.

One day she and her parents were at a Little League baseball game where her brother was playing.  The little girl was playing with her dolls and some of the other children.

As the game progressed it became obvious that a storm was brewing and the coaches were talking about postponing  the game to a later date.  The parents called the little girl to come back sit by them.  “It smells like rain.”, they said.  She was playing with a doll and seemingly paying little attention to the conversation, so when she said, in an almost offhanded way, “It smells like Him.”, they were astonished.

When questioned about what she said, the little girl told her mother it smelled like God.  In those months when her life hung in the balance God held her close to Himself.

This is a true story.  I am sorry to say that I heard it so long ago that I cannot document it for you.

Every person is a spirit who came from God the Father.  Every person has a soul who lives in a body made of earth.  Ever been to a funeral and heard the words, “From dust you came to dust you will return.”?  We have an earth suit and when it dies the soul and spirit are released to the god/God whom it has served on earth.

God is the creator.  It is He who planned it all with purpose.  He has a purpose for every person.  I asked Him if He wanted children who are born of rape.  His response was that the means, though not His, the child conceived was His, came from Him and is loved by Him.  He wants them to live, come to know Him as an adult and have an abundant life.

A child is born.  He or she comes into the earth, a spirit from Our Father in Heaven, sent into the womb of a woman at the moment of conception.  I refer you to Psalm 139 for an example.  (The Bible is the instruction manual; I am amazed at how many who call themselves Christian do not read it or believe it is the Word of God.)

The child enters into the life cycle.  The world says you are born to die, God says you are born to live.  Two kingdoms.

As the child grows in his physical body the parents are charged with the responsibility to teach, correct and protect that child.  If they are believers in Jesus they will teach their children about God and bring them to the point of receiving Jesus into their lives.

There are different doctrines about that process, but what came from the mouth of Jesus as recorded in the gospel of John is, ” You must be born-again”.  I refer you to the Word of God.  John chapter three, Nicodemus, a religious leader who came to Jesus with the question, “We know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do miracles that you do unless God is with him.”  They could not refute the miracles that they saw.

Jesus, knowing the real issue, told Nicodemus that a person must be born of water (natural birth) and born of the Spirit of God (supernatural birth) to see the Kingdom of God.  In the original language of Hebrew the word “see” in this passage means “to perceive, notice, discern, discover, observe, examine, experience, to know”, to name a few.

The Kingdom of God is not discerned, discovered, observed, examined, experienced, or known by the natural mind.  You will not “see” it, you will not “get” it with your natural mind.

When you as a believing parent have done all you are charged to do with and for your children, knowing that you are not perfect, must rest in the fact that God loves your children more than you do, He is perfect and He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we can ask or even think.

When a child reaches a certain age, called the age of accountability by some in the church, he will come to the fork in the road where the road divides and he must chose which road he will go down.  Because of inexperience, perhaps rebellion or stubbornness, he may choose the broad, well-traveled road that leads to hell instead of the narrow road that leads to Heaven.  What are you as a parent and a believer to do?

“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?  The Lord is in His holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven; his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men, the Lord tries the righteous.”  Psalm 11:3-4    “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.”  Proverbs 3:5

It may appear that the foundation that you laid for your child has been destroyed, but take heart, Acts 16:31 gives you scriptural ground for faith for your household.  Jeremiah the prophet spoke these words many years ago, but they hold true today as well:  “Your work will be rewarded, the Lord says, your children will return from the enemy’s land.  There is hope for your future, this is the Lord’s declaration:  Your children will return to their own country.”  Jeremiah 31:16-17

The kingdom of darkness has opened its mouth wide to devour godly seed.  The prophet Isaiah spoke these words:  “Shall the prey be taken from the mighty or the lawful captive be delivered?  Yes, says the Lord, even the captives of the mighty will be taken away, and the prey of the terrible be delivered.  For I will contend with him who contends with you and I will save your children.”  Isaiah 49:24-25  Numbers 23:19  “God is not a man, He does not lie.”  Believe God’s word!

The kingdoms are clashing as they have since the defeat of the adversary when Jesus rose in victory over death, hell and the grave, He has the keys.  He sat down when He got back home and began to intercede for the children, now He awaits the word of the Father as to the time for the judgement of all things.  He will return to earth a second time, not as the suffering Messiah, but as the “Conquering King”.

Stand, having done all stand on God’s word!  Pray, trust, rest, speak, act, follow Holy Spirits leading.  See Jeremiah 23:29 and Psalm 103:20 and Ephesians 6:12

My prayers go forth for you today as I post this; I believe for my household and I trust you do for yours.  When we are not faithful we can know that God is faithful.  May He bless you today with abundant life and peace is my prayer as you wait upon Him for the fulfillment of His promises.  Amen!

In Him,

Joy

The Problem of Evil

“The world is going to Hell in a hand basket.”,  my friend Mary Alice used to say.  There is always bad news and good news, it is the same old thing day after day.  There are many approaches to how you view the world.  I choose a Biblical world view.

Years ago a Catholic priest taught the world the power in thinking positively.  The problem was that it did not change the bad news, people still got murdered, robbed and had their property destroyed.  The government still was corrupt, though perhaps more covertly than it is now, and even though the 1950’s was a time of “God, mother and country”, in a lot of places evil reared its ugly head, especially on the coasts and  in the big cities.  It is worse now than then.

A child is born into a family.  In most cases, the family rejoices in the birth and looks forward to growth, celebrating each milestone along the way.  In our family the oldest grandson and his fiance have announced that they will be married in the near future.  Jordan and Ali have been “going together” for several years now.  It has been the natural expectation in our family that our children will find a mate and marry.  Not too long after the marriage we expect that children will be born to the couple.  The older family members die and children are born, it is the cycle of life.

Another thought….have you noticed that you don’t have to teach a child to do what is wrong?  Just tell him not to touch the stove because it is hot, and it is the very thing he will do, however, once he has touched it he won’t do it again, for then he will know what hot is.

As a person ages, he learns that he can cross the line his parents set and not die or be punished, so he begins to explore his boundaries.  He pushes hard against them and unless his parents push back, he keeps expanding the boundaries farther and farther past the mores of his parents, and each generation after him does the same until evil prevails over good.  The Bible speaks of a time when good is seen as evil and evil is seen as good.  Are we there yet?  Good and evil are cumulative, did you know that?

All of this points us to the need of a savior.  Someone who will rescue us, our world, from the miasma that we find ourselves in.  If you think the world is in sad shape today, just wait five years.  The world is looking for a superman, someone to fix it.  The opinion of some is that they don’t have long to wait.

It is written:  “I have been young and now I am old, but I have never seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.” Psalm 37:25

Have you ever wondered why most people don’t think about death or dying until it comes close to home?  Why are we so surprised when a young child dies of cancer, or a mother of five children is killed in a car accident or the husband of a newly married couple is killed in Afghanistan?   We are shocked because when God created us He put eternity in our hearts.  We “feel” like we will live forever, and we will, just not on planet earth.  The question is where will we live after death of the body?  In order to get the correct answer you have to ask the right question.

The big God Story concerning human beings began in a garden.  God had a plan and He implemented it.  Two people, a man and a woman, were created.  The man was formed out of dirt.  He was created first; his body lay lifeless upon the ground until God blew the breath of life into him and he became a living being.  Soon after, God took bone from the man and made a woman, a human with a womb for the purpose of bearing the fruit of their union, children.  God had a plan and He had a purpose.

God wasn’t lonely, but He loved to come into the garden where the man and his wife lived; and as we in the Midwest say, visit with them.  It was lovely until the day that evil crept in, for in that day everything changed forever.  Suggestions were made by the evil one.  “Did God say you couldn’t eat it?”  “God knows that when you eat it you will be like Him.” In other words, “God is holding out on you.  He doesn’t want you to be wise like He is.”  Well, she took the bait.  She was deceived.  Her man was standing right there, He should have thrown that snake out of the garden, but he didn’t.  He took the fruit and he ate.  Paradise lost.

Remember what I said about the child and the stove?  This is where it all began.  We think we know what is best for us.  We choose to do what we know is wrong and then blame someone else because everything fell apart.  The man and his woman pushed against the will of God and when stuff happened, as God said it would, they pointed the finger at someone else and refused to take responsibility.  The curse came upon them and the whole earth because of sin.

The very thing God said would happen if they ate of the forbidden fruit is what happened.  They lost paradise.  Cast out and the way into the garden barred, they were forced to make their own way in a hostile world.  So it has been ever since.  If the story ended there it would be a tragedy; thankfully that is not the end of the story.  Many, many years went by. and then…..

On a hill far away there stood a cross.  It was at an intersection where many people passed to go into the city.  On that Roman cross there hung a man named Yeshua.  The sign above his head read…”King of the Jews”.  The governor had it written that way to irritate the leaders who pushed him to crucify this man who claimed to be the son of God.  His wife warned him, “Don’t have anything to do with that righteous man, I have been warned in a dream about him.”  He washed his hands in a bowl of water, like that would wash away the guilt of innocent bloodshed.

In a place called Sheol the murderous adversary of God rejoiced, he had seen to it that the High Priest and his cronies carried out his wishes, murdering Yeshua by crucifixion; the Son of God was now in his domain and under his control, it was party time.  He had finally touched God where it hurt the most, His own Son.  His victory was short-lived however, for in three days a light brighter than a thousand suns filled that cavern as God’s Spirit came into Yeshua.  Satan was shocked, the torment he was inflicting upon Yeshua was now turned upon him, as the victim became the victor.

Yeshua fulfilled the plan of God, He bruised the head, the power, of the evil one and took him captive.  From that moment on, any human being who would reach out and take that victory as his own, would nevermore be terrified of death or dying for upon his death he would bypass Hell, go directly to Heaven and collect the full inheritance that Yeshua provided with His life, death and resurrection from the dead.

Though “the beat goes on” and on and on….There is an end, a stopping place.  There is a time when God, the righteous judge, will stop time.  Thrones will be set, people will be gathered and judgment will begin.  No one will be excused for any reason.  The books will be opened.  The most important book, the “Book of Life”  will be opened, and if your name is not in the family album, you will not make it into Heaven.  Your destination will be Hell.

The gathering judgment is for “all the marbles”, forever, no end.

Those who find themselves in Hell will not be having a party, and they will not be with their friends, they will be alone in darkness so deep you cannot see you hand in front of your face.  There are some who have been taken there that they may come back and tell the people not to go there.  They have described putrid odors that sicken you, the screams of the damned who realize that they will be there forever, every soul tormented constantly with no end, forever.

God’s children serve Him in obedience because they love Him.  He gives them peace, joy, harmony and family.  When the separation is made between the sheep and the goats, the sheep whose names are written in the family album will be told, “Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.     Matthew 25:34

God calls the people who have chosen not to follow Him goats, and as we know goats butt.  God permits no buts.  The first commandment makes it plain, “You shall have no other gods before me”.  He is God and there is no other.  He commands obedience to His will.  In the hour of judgment He will say to these who chose to go the way of the devil, the world or their own flesh:  “Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.”   Matthew 25:41

According to the written word of God, sheep hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and they follow Him because they know His voice.  He leads them and provides for their needs.  They are blessed with relationship, with fellowship, as were the man and his woman in the garden.  God is their God and they are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Paradise was restored and is the place you come into when you get to Heaven.

Two kingdoms exist.  The kingdom of light and the the kingdom of darkness.  You belong to one or the other.  The kingdom of light, also called the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven, has a king and His name is Yeshua. (English: Jesus) He is also the door to the Kingdom of light, and no one gets by the door or comes into heaven by any other means.  “All roads lead to Rome”, does not apply to the Kingdom of God, There is only one way and that way is Yeshua.  “The way is narrow and few there be that find it.”

It would be well for you to consider where you are headed.  Where will you spend eternity?

There are benefits for those who are part of the Kingdom of light.  Not the least of which is “glorious liberty”.  When the burden of sin is removed from your soul you feel lighter, you are free at last.  You become part of a great family.  You have a Father in Heaven who is crazy about you; He truly desires to bless you.  You learn His right way of living and being, and peace and joy fill your soul.  Following this road will take you to Heaven.

The Kingdom of darkness has a low road and a high road, with Hell as its destination.  Money, power, and fame has lead many to debauchery, defilement and suicide.  These are only some of the benefits of the high road to Hell.  Addiction, disease, loneliness, abandonment, rejection and suicide are the payoffs on the low road to Hell, to name a few.  Hopelessness, despair and depression are part of this kingdom, and that is just the beginning of the torment you will experience…forever.

There is really no comparison of the two kingdoms.  The head of one is a liar and a murderer.  The head of the other is the Savior who is the way, the truth and the life.  It seems like the choice is clear.  You can choose blessing or you can choose a life where you are under wrath, under the curse of sin.   Life or death, your choice!

“As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.”   Joshua 24:15

I choose life and blessing sixty two years ago.  Life is better and better as the days go by because God is faithful!  Yeshua said that we would have tribulation in this world, but we were not to concern ourselves with it, rather we are to turn to Him for He has overcome the world.  We receive what He did as though we did it ourselves.  That is imputing to us His righteousness, we become right with God through what He did for us.  Praise God!

Someone wrote this song:

“He paid a debt He did not owe, I owed a debt I could not pay.  I needed someone to wash my sins away.  And now I sing a brand new song “Amazing Grace” the whole day long.  Christ Jesus paid a debt that I could never pay.”

How about you friend, have you chosen the Kingdom of Light and its King, Yeshua?   If not, today would be a good day to do so.

Blessings!

Joy