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!

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Meditation in the Morning

Are you going through stuff?  Many are right now.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIfe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus has never lost a case.

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

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

God loves you, so do I.  Joy

 

 

 

Answered Prayer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joy

 

 

 

Sorrow

Do not sorrow as those who have no hope.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Divorce

Divorce is a cancer upon the world.  There is no good that can come of it because it always divides and subtracts from the people involved.  Children pay the heaviest price.  This subject is heavy on my heart this morning.

Having said that, God can make a mess into a message and a test into a testimony.  I have heard and read many stories affirming this truth and my own marriage is a testimony of it.  I have friends for whom this is also true.

Please take some time to look up these scriptures in the Bible.  I suggest the Message Bible as a very readable, understandable version.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Genesis 1:1

Let us make man after our own image in our likeness.  Genesis 1:26

From the dust of the ground God made man and breathed into him the breath of life. Genesis 2:6-7

No suitable helper was found. God put man into a deep sleep, making a woman for the man out of his side.  Genesis 2:18

For the hardness of your hearts man was allowed to divorce his wife.  Matthew 19:1-12  Romans 7:3

Jesus said, “From the beginning it was not so.”  Matthew 19:8  I Corinthians 7:2

Man was created first, then woman.  I Corinthians 11:3, 8-12     I Peter 3:17

Submit one to another in the fear of the Lord.  Ephesians 5: 21-33

Divorce happens because of self-centeredness.  Each person doing what is right in his or her own eyes.  Proverbs 30:12

Does that mean that there are no reasons for divorce.  Certainly not.

God allows divorce because of adultery.  Though not clearly spoken in scripture, God does not condone one person abusing another.  But, that does not mean that in every case of abuse or adultery God wants a woman or man to depart.  God treats every person as an individual.

Define abuse.  Abuse can be physical, mental or spiritual.  When would God have you stay, when depart?  If your life is in danger, depart.  If your children are in danger, depart.

A friend of mine has stayed with a husband who is verbally abusive and now she has been diagnosed as mentally ill.  She left once and went back, in my opinion she should have never gone back.  I believe it was fear that gripped her and this opened a door to the dark side.  Though she claimed to be a Christian her husband became her idol.

My sister has been with a verbally abusive man for over 50 years.  He has little education but an outgoing personality that has gotten him by in life.  His weakness is putting her down to lift himself up.  In spite of this she loves him and believes that God has told her to stay.  The words he uses have caused her to turn to the Lord for comfort and strength, and He gives it to her.  He also blesses her in many other ways for staying the course.                  I Corinthians 7:16

The Bible tells us that a wife may win her husband to the Lord by her godly respectful behavior.  Surely God puts up with irreverent, ungodly sinners, sometimes for many years before they are won over by His love.  Earth life is short compared to eternity.

At this moment one of my sons is involved in divorce proceedings.  I believe that God chose this woman for my son.  That being said, the Bible says this:   “Many are called but few are chosen.”  I know that is not talking specifically about marriage and divorce, but the principle is there.  God calls some to be married, they can choose to do so or not.  Once married they are called to stay married to their spouse.

God has given each person a will.  We make decisions every day that affect our destiny.  God will never superimpose His will upon anyone, though He has the power and authority to do so.  God is love, and true love thinks of what is best for the loved one.  God often allows what He does not condone.

Self-centeredness:  “It is all about what I want.  Others exist to do my will.  If you don’t do what I want, I have the right to throw you away.  Life is about me being happy.  If I am not happy then you won’t be either.”  Plainly put:  God is not in it, it is idolatry, you are sitting on the throne of your life, you are your own god.

God has a way for marriage that transcends the world’s way of doing and being.  Like the salvation of a soul, it requires a death, death to selfishness, for God’s way of doing is loving your mate, giving of yourself, your time, to be a blessing to him or her.  In so doing, you will receive the blessing of the Lord yourself.

Someone said that God puts people in marriage to kill them.  I agree, because if you don’t die to self-will, you cannot stay married long.

The world’s way of marriage looks like this:  Each person finds someone who will make them feel good, feel completed.  Some want their spouse to do what they do, like what they like or go where they go.  In other words, to be just like them.  God did not create Adam and Adama.  He created man and wom(b)man for the purpose of taking care of the earth, populating it, enjoying each other and enjoying being in His presence.

God, in His written word, specifically tells a believer not to marry someone who does not believe in Jesus as the way of salvation, the way to God, the way to Heaven at death.  Why?  Because they are two different operating systems.

Does this mean then that if two people are Christians and they marry that they will not have any problem.  Absolutely not!  There may, in fact, be more.  The reason is that we live in a fallen world, a world where every man does what is right in his own eyes, a world where God has been put on the shelf or shoved out of His rightful place, thus the adversary of God will target the true believer, he will attack anything of God that looks like it may be successful.

Divorce in the church today is nearly equal to that of the world.  It ought not to be.  The handbook for believers, the Bible, clearly spells out God’s will for marriage.  Then why is divorce accepted among Christians?  My simple answer is because the Bible is not relevant to them or their lives.

As I said, we have arrived at the time when Truth has become irrelevant because each man is doing what is right in his own eyes.  This opens the door for all manner of evil to prevail.  Wrong becomes right, light becomes dark and good becomes evil.

What then shall we say of these things?  God have mercy upon us, forgive us for our self-centered way of doing and being and lead us into your truth, your way of doing and being right!  Amen.

Friend, please know that I bring no condemnation to you or upon you.  It’s just that I am grieved over the hardness of heart that I see around me.  God forgives any who call upon the name of Jesus.  I have a personal knowledge of this.  If you have been divorced, put away, God loves you and there is healing in Him.  Run to Him, He will receive you and love you to life.

This spring my husband and I will have been married for 53 years.  My husband’s first wife divorced him, put him away, for another man, and I had never been married, nor had I ever had a relationship with a man.  We did not know how to be married; we were flawed people who wanted to be loved and accepted, but neither of us was equipped.  We lived together for 35 years walking on parallel paths. I rejoice to tell you that we learned that only in relationship with Jesus are we loved and accepted.  This has brought us contentment with and happiness with each other.

Marriage is mixing everything together so that you cannot find the separate entity anymore.  Somehow you become one and yet retain your individuality.  It is a mystery when it is done God’s way.  And, it is wonderful.  Is it a piece of cake?  No!  You have to work at it.

We “keep short accounts”.  We don’t let offenses go and allow them to fester, we don’t allow divisive thoughts to continue, we communicate and solve issues.  We don’t speak evil to each other or of each other to another person.  We don’t focus on each others shortcomings, we focus on those things that we do well, or for each other.  As I was taught in Lutheran confirmation regarding others:  “Put the best construction on all that he does.”

My prayer for you if you have experienced the pain of divorce is healing in Jesus.  I also hope this has provided some food for thought.

God bless you, Joy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trophy – looking for love in all the wrong places.

Born in 1948, he was Nin’s 5th child.  Her Mother was not happy.  Yet one more baby for her to worry about.

Kenny was a happy baby.  He gurgled and cooed, smiled with his eyes, and charmed everyone who met him.

Nothing much changed about Kenny as he got older.  He still smiled with his eyes; he was active, always moving, doing something, testing her patience.

Then she became pregnant again, this time another boy.  They were close together, these two sons of hers, so close that many people thought they were twins.  The little brother was a follower.  He mimicked everything his big brother did.  Together Kenny and Larrie made quite a team.

Baby number 7 was born when Nin was 42 years of age.  She was a Down’s syndrome child, at that time called Mongoloid.  The extended family was quick to blame J.B.’s alcoholism.  Nin didn’t care what they thought, she loved her little one.  She gave me the privilege of naming her, I called her Cynthia Kay.  I thought she was beautiful.

Cindy was about 18 months old when Kenny and Larrie took her for a ride in the baby stroller.  Some of the neighborhood children gathered around and made very hurtful remarks about her looks.  Coming home, they asked Nin what was wrong with her, why did the children make fun of her.  The innocence of childhood and the love of family; they didn’t know she was different, she was just Cindy and she was their sister.

People are people the world over, we judge and criticize what we do not understand.  We still do it when we become adults, we are just more covert about it than children are.  How often do we say things to others that if said to us would cut deeply?  We don’t even think about that.  We should.

Kenny and Larrie got into a lot of trouble.  Mostly Kenny leading the way.  They were so cute, it was hard to be angry with them, but Nin did not let things go by.  Sometimes, she made them go to the tree in the back yard and pick the switch that she would use to swat them; but Kenny was a runner and he would take off, laughing as he ran away from her.

One day  a policeman showed up at the door.  It seems someone had seen the boys deface public property and reported it to the police.  Kenny heard him talking to her, ran upstairs and crawled under the bed, getting as close to the wall as he could.  That didn’t phase Nin, she got a broom and went after him.  He had to face the music.  He spent time cleaning up the mess.

When the boys became teen-agers, the issues became problems and heartaches for Nin.  Fast cars, fast girls, drinking and smoking, seemingly following in their father’s  footsteps.  By now Kenny was a very handsome young man.  He had no problem having a girl friend. Close calls driving drunk could have taken Kenny’s life, but God had a plan.

Nin saw to it that the boys had a strong work ethic, so when they were old enough they had to get a job.  Of course, it took money to live the lifestyle they wanted, and with J.B.’s alcoholism getting worse so that he couldn’t work, it was up to them to get it themselves.

Kenny had drive.  He wanted the finer things of life as he got older.  He saw what others had and he wanted it for himself.  He pushed ahead.  Military service side-lined his plans temporarily, but once he was back home he began his pursuit of things.

God brought him a wife, the perfect mate.  Though the ensuing years brought struggle and turmoil, God had a plan.  He lived a double life for quite a few years.  On the surface, he was a happily married man with two daughters, but he was sinning really well in private.

Trophy:  The apostle Paul said that he was the chief of sinners because he had persecuted Christians, though he said that he was ignorant, and that is why God could apprehend him.  Paul was one of God’s trophies.

As I thought about Paul today, I began to think of my brother Ken and wanted to share a piece of his story with you; I believe that Ken is one of God’s trophies.  Oh by the way, when he got older we had to stop calling him Kenny, he was now Ken.  (smile)

These days, Ken serves God as well as he served the devil, the world and his own flesh.  He is in love with Jesus and brings the good news of salvation to any who will hear.  He ministers love with his smiling eyes and kind words.  He is a trophy of the love of God.

I have no doubt that if God has a trophy room, Ken’s smiling face is there.

Love you my brother!

Joy

 

 

 

The Story of Stanley Smith

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

You are loved by Jesus and me. (Joy)

 

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America

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are you going to do?