Tag Archive | Love

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

America

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are you going to do?

Prayer, Possession, Position and Priority

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You have a blessed day today.  Joy

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

J.B. and Nin

It was the summer of 1930 when they met.  She was a farm girl and he was a city boy.  Their lives were worlds apart, as different as it was possible to be.  The attraction was strong, as it has been said, “Opposites attract.”.  The love they had for each other endured many years and much pain and sorrow, as well as joys.

Nin graduated from high school the summer of 1930 .  She was preparing to go to nursing school in a nearby town.  J.B. was the son of a business man in the biggest city in the state.  He was destined to follow in his father’s footsteps after he graduated.  But life has a way of  changing the best laid plans of man.

J.B. was a handsome young man, sure of himself, or so it appeared.  He liked a good time and he liked good looking girls.  When he and Nin met, he was smitten.  She was tall and slender, a sweet girl with soft, pretty blue eyes.  Having been raised on the farm she knew how to work and was a great help to her folks.

Nin was the oldest of three children, her siblings a girl and a boy.  The family was solid and respected in their community.  They were church people with a reputation for being caring and helpful.  J. B. on the other hand had lost his mother when he was fifteen years of age, his father had remarried and he soon found himself out of the house at sixteen because he butted heads with the new wife.  He had two sisters, the oldest married right after high school and the younger sister still lived at home.

Moving in with a family who lived across the alley from his home, he became a full on rebel against the expectations of his father.  America had come out of the Roaring Twenties and Carrie Nation had caused quite a stir resulting in a time of prohibition of alcohol; there were rumblings of war in Europe and Japan; America was in the throws of change. it was a very unsettled time, especially for the young.

J.B. and his friend Casey were like many young people of that day, heady and rebellious against authority, hence when a neighbor began making and selling “bathtub gin”, they were his delivery guys.  Of course, in that process they both began to drink a little on the side.

That first summer after graduation J.B and Casey decided they wanted to have a little adventure, so they hopped a freight and headed south.  Avoiding the railroad “Dicks”, whose job it was to get rid of freeloaders, provided many narrow escapes for them.  When they returned home J.B. began to work for his dad at the shop.

J.B.’s Dad and his friend owned a shop that was called Crown Iron Works.  J.B. learned to weld and he was very good at it.  But, he was restless.  He and Casey got involved with the Golden Gloves boxing organization, and while they never went very far with it, it put within J.B.a combativeness that never left him, he loved boxing

Nin was being courted by a young man from a neighboring town when J.B. came to work on the farm for the summer.  From that point on she had no interest in her suitor.  J.B. flirted with her, told her how pretty she was, all the while being careful not to do it under the watchful eye of her parents.  He was a ladies man, and he liked having a good time.  A little drink now and then with the guys in town didn’t hurt either.

Nin’s parents did not approve of the relationship with J. B. they told her that she knew nothing about alcohol, she had no exposure to it, it could create a lot of heartache.  The warning was given because they saw danger ahead, but she would not listen.  Their hopes were that she would forget about him as soon as she began her schooling, but it was not to be.

Summer ended and J.B. went back to the city to work at the shop and Nin began nursing school.  Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your perspective, the school closed its doors and Nin was left with a decision.  Life took a dramatic turn for her.

She moved to the big city and began to work as a domestic for a wealthy family.  It was hard work, but she was there and she began to see J.B. regularly.  This began a relationship that ended in their marriage in 1937.  Her parents were opposed to the marriage, warning her again about J.B.’s drinking, but she would not listen.  She was in love.

A year after their marriage a little girl was born.  She looked like her dad, people said.  Her hair was dark, her blue eyes were large like her dad’s, and her little mouth drooped down at the corners.  She looked like a doll in her pink satin dress.  They were so happy.  She was their joy.

What followed in the next years were times of elation and times of  great pain for Nin, as J.B.’s addiction began to take a toll on the marriage.  America was at war, the iron works was converted to serve the war effort, another child was born, a boy and then another girl.

Many times Nin took the train from the big city to the small country town, getting away from the pain of wages lost at the bar, other women and constant fighting over alcohol consumption.  At the beginning, Nin had tried to go with him to the bar, she even tried to drink with him, but soon found she could not do it.  The babies came, and though she would bring the two little ones with her to visit the couple at the bar, who had become friends, she came to the decision that she needed to be home caring for her children.  She would threaten to divorce J.B. and leave only to return when he would beg her to come home and promising that he would change.

In the summer of 1946, the oldest girl went to live with her grandparents, she was 10 years of age at that time.  It was very hard for Nin to let her go, though she felt it was the right thing to do as she was a sensitive child and struggled with the fighting between her and J.B.

In 1947 the family moved to a town that was close to the farm where Nin was raised, here she had the support of her family, the help of her mother and she would be able to see her daughter.  J.B. promised to quit drinking and was sober for two years.  It was good during that time.   However, it didn’t last.

A neighbor kept pestering J.B. to have “just one drink J.B, it won’t hurt!”  Just one drink opened the flood gates and as the years passed the problem worsened.  There were four more children born, a girl, two boys and another girl, the youngest was a down’s syndrome child who died when she was nine years old.

Alcoholism is a terrible master, it destroys not only the life of the victim, but the lives of the victim’s family.  It has been written that “no man is an island” and where alcoholism is concerned that is certainly true.

The youngest child was still a toddler when the family was being served by the state welfare society.  At this point J.B. was not able to hold down a job because of his acute alcoholism.  A case worker came to the home and demanded that a choice be made as they could no longer support the family while J.B. was in the house.  The ultimatum was divorce him and we will continue to assist you or if you chose to stay with him we can place the children in foster care.

At this point, one of the daughters and her husband brought Nin to the courthouse and divorce proceedings were begun.

Nin continued to live in the town and with the help of the welfare department and her mother she managed to raise the children. It wasn’t an easy life.  When the two youngest were still at home she went to work washing dishes in a local restaurant.  She continued at this job after they left home.  Eventually Nin was to live with each of her three girls before she died.

The children grew up, met their spouses and began their lives in that area.  That is, all but the oldest daughter.  She moved to Colorado, then to California where she met her husband, eventually moving back to the big city.

J.B. moved to North Dakota after the divorce, where he eventually remarried.  He was divorced by his second wife and was talking about remarrying her when she died.  During this time he and Nin met at the home of a son who lived in North Dakota.  All of this was too much for J.B.  He went back home and went on a two week binge.

It was at this point that the manifest intervention of God began.  I am the oldest girl of this family. I write this blog.

I received a call from my brother in North Dakota that our Dad was in the hospital and I needed to come.  I picked up my sister on the way and when we arrived what we found was very unsettling.  The doctor was pressing us to make a decision about what to do with Dad.   We did not know that he had cancer and was on tranquilizers when he binged out, the result of that was immediate senility dementia.

The doctor wanted us to put him in an institution and advised us to do so, he told us to forget about him. Dad’s reputation in that town was not good, and to the doctor he had no value.  However, that was not God’s opinion; He does not throw people away, if only someone will care and believe He will rescue them.  At this point, the only one in the family who belonged to the family of God, besides me, was my next youngest sister; we went into Dad’s room and closed the door.  We knelt down by his bed and prayed; we begged God for mercy, we asked for his salvation and for direction.  It came.

I called my husband and asked him if we could take Dad to live with us.  His immediate answer was, “Yes”.  God bless him!

If you don’t believe in God, if you don’t believe that God exists, I pray that “the rest of the story” will convince you as you see the miracle of healing that God did in my Dad.

My husband and our two sons lived in the big city, our house was a four level split.  There were three bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs, the main level was the living room and kitchen, half of the next level was above ground the other half underground; it had a bedroom and bath and a family room, below that was a basement.

I will never forget the day the brothers brought Dad to our home.  They brought him and his meager possessions into the house.  He was prattling on and on about things that made no sense whatever, it seemed his mind was on stuff that happened many years ago.  He had no idea where he was and could not relate to us in a meaningful way.  He was gone.

I stood in the kitchen and said, “Dear Lord what have I done?”  This answer came, “All things are possible, only believe.”

The days and years that followed were filled with many fights against the enemy of my soul to disbelieve the word of the Lord, but I chose to believe and I saw the wonderful works of God.

The first stand that I had to take was against conventional and professional wisdom.  I took Dad to the doctor for a check up shortly after he came to live with us.  When the tests came back that the cancer was in remission, it was a happy day.  Dad was a smoker, the doctor warned, “You can’t have him live with you, he will burn down your house.  You need to institutionalize him.”  I said, “No, I have angels that will watch over him, that will not happen.”

My Dad could swear like a sailor.  He cursed just about anything or anyone.  This was the next stand I had to take.  Many times a day at the beginning, I would go to a place in the house where I could take my stand against that spirit and demand that it get out of my house.  It had to yield to the name of Jesus and it did.  My home became a curse free zone.

Several years later we moved to another state, which happened to be a dry state, a real blessing because when we lived in the big city Dad would say, “I am going for a walk.” he would stand outside trying to figure out how he could get to the liquor store he had seen on the way home from shopping that day.  The Lord told me to take different ways home so he could not figure out how to get there.  I prayed confusion many times when he would set out for a walk and I would see him turn around and come back.

Gradually, Dad became more and more cognizant.  The healing of his mind was not a sudden thing, but rather a gradual progression.  It came to pass that I could converse with him as I would with anyone.  He read the newspaper and was interested in current affairs.

One of the things he loved was books about the west, cowboys etc.  There was a bookstore in town that sold used books, you could return what you read and get more.  He would go through a grocery bag of “westerns” every two weeks or so.  He watched T.V. while he lay in bed and was generally a joy to have around.  He appreciated good food.

I talked with him about his life, because I was not raised up in his household I knew little about him.  It was God’s plan for me to be with my grandparents as a child, but it was also God’s plan for me to be with my Dad in the last years of his life.  I thank God for both.

Since we lived in a “dry” town there was no concern about Dad getting alcohol.  You will witness the fact that the spirit does not leave a person even if they do not have access to the substance, even if years have gone by.  Spirits must be resisted or they will not leave.  The evident truth in the story I will tell you next illustrates my point.  It is funny, but true.

One day Dad asked me to get some Nyquil for him as he was having a little congestion and thought that might help.  A second bottle was bought as well, by the third request I began to suspect something “fishy” was going on.  When I read the label and saw the alcohol content, I laughed.  Yet how sad that the thirst is still there even though it is not satisfied, and if there is a possibility of getting a drink the spirit of alcohol will drive the person to do so at any cost.  I recall my grandmother telling about hired men who, when they would get desperate, would drink the wood alcohol from the tractor, which could be deadly.

Another time I had to return an item I had purchased at a mall nearby.  He asked if he could go with me and that was fine.  He quite often would go with me shopping.  I did have to be careful about saying I liked anything though, as he would want to buy it for me.  He told me that I was the dearest thing on earth to him.  Interesting, as there were times over the years when I would be with him, when there was anything but love coming from him towards me.  I know now that this was not my Dad, but the spirit of the enemy that controlled him.

Anyway, I didn’t think anything of his asking to go with  me.  I should have though because the mall was not in a dry town.  When we got to the store he asked if he could wait for me on the bench just outside the store, and as I knew I would only be gone for a few minutes I said yes.  When I returned Dad was not sitting on the bench.  Looking to my right I saw him coming out of a bar restaurant wiping his mouth.  The alcohol spirit is a thirsty devil!

After a few years Dad began to get sick.  The doctor confirmed that the cancer was active and aggressively moving.  At this point there was nothing they could do.  I was concerned about Dad’s spiritual condition.  He didn’t want me to talk with him about that, so I respected his wishes, but I prayed.  God marvelously answered my prayer by sending his sister who had prayed for her dear brother since her own conversion.  It was fitting that she should be the one who would lead him to the Lord she loved.

I called Mother and asked if she would be willing to come and help me care for Dad as the cancer was taking its toll on his body.

I had friends that were nurses at the local hospital and they were able, for a time, to give him shots to keep him comfortable.  Mom took days to care for him and I took nights.  When the time came where the pain was too strong and narcotics were needed, I had to place him in a nursing home.  I hated to do that, but I had no choice.

Mother and I would go to be with him twice a day until he started sleeping most of the time.  There were some poignant moments during that time as my parents interacted with each other.  I could see the love they had for each other.  I shall never forget the day when Mother asked Dad if he felt bad about what had happened during their marriage.  He hung his head down and said, “Yes.”  She patted his hand and said, “That’s okay Daddy, I forgive you.”  Restoration is a beautiful thing.

Mother and I would come into Dad’s room, kiss him on the top of his bald head and tell him we loved him, he would almost always tell Mom to ask me to take him home.  It broke my heart that I had to have him there.  Now that I am older myself I can begin to imagine how he felt.  The native people have a saying something like you should walk a mile in my moccasins;  Identifying with people can be an eye opener.

J.B. died and was buried next to his youngest daughter in the city where the children were raised.  Several years later Nin died and was buried next to her husband.  Together at last in Heaven, they await the rest of the family.  Hopefully, it won’t be long.

I hope that my parents story, though in abbreviated form, has caused you to ponder your own life story.  God has a plan and a purpose for each one of us.  Our part is to yield, submit and surrender to Him.  A proud man will not do so.  Neither will the proud man inherit Heaven.

Consider the words of the Lord:  “He who comes to me I will in no wise cast out.”.  And this word:  “Who (God) would have all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.”.  And finally this word:  “Come to me you who are weary and heavy laden (loaded) and I will give you rest.”.

Jesus is the answer, but you have to ask the right question.

I am thankful Father God for my husband, our sons and their families, I am thankful for my parents, my siblings, my grand-parents, my aunts, uncles and cousins, I am thankful for all of the people who have been a part of my life, who have influenced me whether negatively or positively.  All of them have helped to make me who I am today.  Bless the memory of those who have gone home and bless those who are still here on planet earth.  Thank you Lord!  Amen!

I love you Lord!

Joy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

When I Was A Child

I Corinthians 13:11

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.  When I became a man, I put aside childish things.”

As young child I did not reason, I simply lived.  I did not know that I was trusting my parents to provide for me.  My elders told me what was acceptable behavior and I either obeyed them or resisted what they said, depending on how I felt at the time.

I did not worry about my next meal.  I did not concern myself about whether I would have clothes and shoes to wear, nor did I even think that I might not have a place to sleep.  I moved with the rhythm of life without so much as a thought.

I played, that was what I did.  Oh yes, sometimes I was aware of others in my world, but mostly my total concern was myself.  Mom and Dad were there, but they lived to care for me and when I didn’t get my way, I let them know.

As I grew older I began to notice the world I lived in.  I watched in fascination as the old Boxelder tree in the front yard bowed its head to the ground when a stormy wind blew through the farm.  My Grandma said that it did not break because it had a strong root system.  Isn’t that how we are to be when the storms of life come upon us?

Another storm came through that easily blew down the windmill .  It had nothing to hold it steady in a strong wind. The well that was below the ground was not affected by the wind on the surface, even as strength of character, schooled by the Holy Spirit, will keep us when the temptations and the winds of life blow.

I spent many happy hours in my elementary years watching people on a Saturday night in town.  I observed nature in the field behind Grandpa’s machine shed.  As I lay on the ground leaning on my elbow, I watched ants working on their sand hill and bunnies playing leap frog.  I looked up at the clouds imagining I saw horses and other fanciful shapes.  I dreamed of my future and wondered where I would be when I grew up and left the farm.

Then I became a teen-ager and life changed dramatically.  My body began to change when I was in the ninth grade.  I grew taller than the other girls, and the boys.  Awareness of my surroundings, the people in my life, became a measure of my worth, my value.  Life became more complicated and I became more melancholy.  I was now in the process of becoming an adult.  Your story may be similar to mine and yet is not the same.

A little baby looks so innocent and yet is tainted by a sin nature.  This is clearly revealed as we observe a child going from baby to toddler, from preschool to elementary school,    finally to become a teen-ager.  Self is at the center of childhood.” It’s all about me, it’s all about me.”

How does a parent deal with a child at these levels?  How do you help each child to grow to maturity when there are many children in the family?  Some parents abdicate their role simply because they never grew up emotionally themselves.  To have a baby does not mean that you will be a good parent.  There are many dysfunctional families in America.  You can see the results every day.  Have you ever tried to fix someone who is as unstable as water?  Instability begets instability.  Only God can fix people.

A strong willed child will resist correction and must be dealt with in a stronger way than a compliant child, often needing greater forcefulness on the part of the parent.   If not handled right this can result in resentment even leading to estrangement as the child bolts from the excessive restraint or anger in the home.

Much has been written and said about the teen years, probably because it is the most difficult and dangerous time in a person’s life.  I believe it to be the time when the child enters into the war for his soul.  The battlefield is filled with traps, snares and pits he can walk or fall into.  The enemy of our souls begins to shoot his arrows and blow his poison darts at our minds.  It is his goal to separate us from anyone or anything that could nurture us or give us the direction and strength we need to make it through to adulthood.

This is the time when a child begins to reason.  He begins to experiment with thoughts and ideas beyond what his parents have taught or allowed.  His peers influence becomes more important than his parents and many teens reject their parents altogether.  This, of course, makes them open season for the adversary.

Some children push against their boundaries, seeking, unknowingly, to establish how far his parents will let him go.  Teens need boundaries even though they chafe and push hard against them.  It is especially important at this time for parents to be persistently consistent.

As the teen experiments, tries on these different ideas and ways, parents need to be loving, calm and thoughtful, they must be prayerful and ask God for wisdom.  If you do your job to the best of your ability, your child will pass from childhood to adulthood with only a few battle scars.

Life provides us with decisions to be made every day.  We must choose to get out of bed every morning.  Those with jobs must choose to go to work and give the company the best they have.  Coming home after work, a decision must be made to do what needs to be done to keep house and home together. Priorities will be set and life will be lived accordingly.

Volition rests with man.  God made us that way.  Adam was created in the image of God.  He was given a command, it was his decision to obey or disobey, God gave him a will.  His choice cost the human race the image of God, for the scripture tells us that Adam was created in the image of God. After the fall, when Adam had a son, that son was born in the image of Adam.  By the way, the finger pointing began in Eden as Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent.  In fact, they were all to blame because of their choices.

Paradise…Lost.  Relationship with God…lost.  Every child born after that bore the sin nature of Adam and Eve as witness of the fact that the first two humans argued with each other and Cain murdered his brother Abel.

Right and Wrong, Good and Bad, Black and White these are the choices!

Where is the gray, where is the middle ground that so many want to walk in?  With one foot in the world and one in the Kingdom of God, some believers nourish their flesh, placating it, satisfying it, petting it and they think that is okay with God, that He understands  because He is love.  God is also just, He hates sin all the while He loves the sinner.  He grieves because He has made a way for any who will to come to Him to be set free from the pressure of the flesh.

These carnal Christians subscribe to the world’s way of thinking such as,   “That’s the way I am, I can’t help it.”  “If it feels good do it.”   “Get all you can and can all you get.”  “It’s my way or the highway.”  There seems to be a need to have the world’s approval.  They seem to have the mentality that they will get as close as they can to sin, but not go all the way, as if sin is qualitative or quantitative.  Someone described sin in a believer as walking along a riverbank, getting as close to the river as you can without falling in.

Is it okay with God that you “take a walk on the wild side”,  or “sow your wild oats” while you are young, after all “boys will be boys”?  No, it is not okay with God.  God paid a high price for you believer, the loss of His Son to sin and death.  The suffering and pain of Jesus is beyond comprehension, the blood of His body poured out of every wound.  The Bible says that He was wounded for our transgression, the iniquity of us all was put on Him and by His stripes we are healed. The invitation for deliverance is to who ever will, again it is choice.  Jesus made the way.

God is faithful.  Invitations come, warnings come, and decisions are made.

I have heard:  “I’ll think about it, maybe later I will ask Jesus in to my life, but not today.”

I have heard:  “I am as good as you are, who do you think you are to tell me that I need Jesus, I am a good person, I have helped a lot of people.”

I have heard:  “I have been a good church member for many years.  I have taught Sunday School, sang in the choir and been part of helping provide money or food for those who have lost loved ones. I love God.”

I have heard:  ” My father was a Christian, so that makes me a Christian too.”

Many are called but few choose to humble themselves, repent for their sinful, selfish heart and receive Jesus as their Savior and Lord.

“Young John Jones was killed in a car truck accident today at the corner of State Hwy 2 and Thorn Hill Road, he was 23 year old.  The driver of a gravel truck ran a red light, he said the sun was in his eyes, he did not see the light or the Jones car.  Jones leaves behind a wife of six months.”

Can I tell you that John Jones did not expect to die.  He was young, he had his whole life ahead of him.  He and his wife planned to put religion off until they had children, in the meantime they wanted to enjoy life.

“Mary Smith died on Saturday at the age of 86.  She had been given a large inheritance by her father, which no one in Hebersville knew of, as Mary lived a rather frugal life.  This information only became known to the community as the gift was left to the Historical Society with the instructions that it was to be used to repair the local library and put it on the National Historical Register.  Mary was active in the local church which she faithfully attended every Sunday.

Mary was told that all she needed to do to have a Christian burial was be a faithful church member who took communion once a month.  This she did.  One dollar was placed in the offering plate every Sunday, Mary did not miss one.  There was a time when a plea went out for financial help for a hurting family, but Mary did not feel it was “her job” to support someone who was too lazy to work.  Of course, that was her take on it, not the truth.

What do you think was John Jones and Mary Smith’s destination at death?

The day will come when every person will stand before the righteous judge, the books will be opened and all will be judged by what is written there.  When the decision is handed out, as recorded in Matthew 25:40, Jesus said these words:  “In as much as you have done it to the least of these my brethren you have done it unto Me.”  So that’s the standard for the judgment of  works.  The love of God reaches out to the poor, the hurting, the downtrodden and what you do to and for them is noted.

I have been talking about outward things for the most part, but lest there be a misunderstanding, the scenarios above have to do with salvation and the name of a person being written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, which is the Family Album.  If your name is not there, you don’t get into the Kingdom of Heaven.  Goodness will not get you in, membership in a church will not get you in, who you know will not get you in and putting it off until a more opportune time will not get you in.  The way in is narrow, there is only one way and that way is through Jesus.

If you have a rebellion problem you will probably not hear and thus not come in.  As plainly as I can put it, you are on your way to destruction.

Let him who has ears to hear, hear!  Today is the day of salvation.  Come to Jesus, come into the Kingdom of God where there is liberty and freedom from the weight and burden of sin, where there is deliverance from the adversary, where there is healing, provision and protection.  Come to Jesus, Come on home, Father is waiting to welcome you!

In the battle for your soul,

Joy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apostasy

So you have decided that God does not exist because you cannot prove it. I am quite sure that you do not know that there have been thousands before you that have chosen to take that stand, to their detriment I might add.

It is written:

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.  They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.”  Psalm 14:1; 53:1

Proverbs 10:14  The wise lay up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near.”

Proverbs 12:15  “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.”

Proverbs 14:3   “By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back” 

Proverbs 15:5    “A fool despises his father’s instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.”

Proverbs 18:2   “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding.”

Proverbs 28:26   “Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.

I Corinthians 1:18. “ For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.

I think it is abundantly clear that God calls someone who does not believe in Him a fool.  I pray that you will consider what i am presenting to you today.

The word prove is interesting. It seems to me to indicate that there is a substance that must be tested to see the veracity. Of course, I think right away of a chemical application. So, let’s take that meaning and have a look at what it means to test God’s existence.

Perhaps the most famous atheist that I know of is the Frenchman Voltaire. The following is a brief synopsis taken from Wikipedia.

François-Marie Arouet  21 November 1694 – 30 May 1778), known by his nom de plume Voltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher famous for his wit, his attacks on the established Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and separation of church and state.

Voltaire was a versatile writer, producing works in almost every literary form, including plays, poems, novels, essays, and historical and scientific works. He wrote more than 20,000 letters and more than 2,000 books and pamphlets. He was an outspoken advocate of several liberties, despite the risk this placed him in under the strict censorship laws of the time. As a satirical polemicist, he frequently made use of his works to criticize intolerance, religious dogma, and the French institutions of his day.

Voltaire was educated by the Jesuits at the Collège Louis-le-Grand (1704–1711), where he learned Latin and Greek; later in life he became fluent in Italian, Spanish, and English.[3]

Like other key Enlightenment thinkers, Voltaire was a deist, expressing the idea: “What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason.”[48][49]

In a 1763 essay, Voltaire supported the toleration of other religions and ethnicities: “It does not require great art, or magnificently trained eloquence, to prove that Christians should tolerate each other. I, however, am going further: I say that we should regard all men as our brothers. What? The Turk my brother? The Chinaman my brother? The Jew? The Siam? Yes, without doubt; are we not all children of the same father and creatures of the same God?”[50]

In a letter to Frederick II, King of Prussia, dated 5 January 1767, he wrote about Christianity:  (Note this is toward the end of his life)

“[Christianity] is assuredly the most ridiculous, the most absurd and the most bloody religion which has ever infected this world. Your Majesty will do the human race an eternal service by extirpating this infamous superstition, I do not say among the rabble, who are not worthy of being enlightened and who are apt for every yoke; I say among honest people, among men who think, among those who wish to think. … My one regret in dying is that I cannot aid you in this noble enterprise, the finest and most respectable which the human mind can point out..”[53][54]

However, Voltaire also acknowledged the self-sacrifice of Christians. He wrote: “Perhaps there is nothing greater on earth than the sacrifice of youth and beauty, often of high birth, made by the gentle sex in order to work in hospitals for the relief of human misery, the sight of which is so revolting to our delicacy. Peoples separated from the Roman religion have imitated but imperfectly so generous a charity.”[63] Yet “His hatred of religion increased with the passage of years. The attack, launched at first against clericalism and theocracy, ended in a furious assault upon Holy Scripture, the dogmas of the Church, and even upon the person of Jesus Christ Himself, who was depicted now as a degenerate”.[64]

Judaism

Telushkin states that Voltaire did not limit his attack to aspects of Judaism that Christianity used as a foundation, repeatedly making it clear that he despised Jews.]

According to the historian Will Durant, Voltaire had initially condemned the persecution of Jews on several occasions including in his work Henriade.[72] As stated by Durant, Voltaire had praised the simplicity, sobriety, regularity, and industry of Jews.However, subsequently, Voltaire had become strongly anti-Semitic after some regrettable personal financial transactions and quarrels with Jewish financiers.

As I read Voltaire’s biography, I was struck by the unrest, the constant movement from thought to thought, person to person, place to place, seemingly not ever finding what he was seeking, progressively getting more degenerate in his thinking, seemingly filled with more and more hate and anger.  He seems to have been in a constant state of turmoil all the while in attack mode, using his wit and humor to do so. He was creative, certainly, this gift is from God, but because He did not know or understand who God truly is, the gift was used against man and God.

Voltaire had humanistic leanings; he was democratic in his philosophies and alignments to some degree, but certainly class conscious and believed only the enlightened really understood what was going on in the world. He exalted the mind above all and he used his beliefs to influence those in high places; power is a hard taskmaster, ever requiring more and more of the one seeking it.

It was interesting to me that tolerance was used to describe his view of “religions and ethnicities”. If there is one word that characterizes America today it is tolerance. We are told to tolerate lifestyles and activities that fly in the face of what the Bible says. America was founded to be a home for all classes; all colors, all races, all religions, but not that any of them impose their belief upon the many. America was founded by Bible believing Christians and today many would tear away that foundation and replace it with tolerance for anything anyone wants to do or believe, thus allowing the few to dictate to the many. It is a sad day indeed.

When a man turns his back upon the God who created him, he immediately begins to take on the character of the adversary of God. Voltaire was no exception. As we read history, it is clear that he went from religion to atheism. There is some doubt as to what happened on his deathbed. It was thought that a Catholic priest who was at his bedside asked him to repent, but he refused. Others have said that his fearful last words were, “The Nazarene, the Nazarene” In any case he did not die in faith, as far as it can be known.

I think that it is important at this point to clarify the difference between religion and relationship. A man can be religious without having any relationship with the God he intellectually believes in. I have personally known people who can quote scripture and espouse the tenets of the Christian faith, whose lives were a clear indication that their faith was superficial at best. It is clear from the word of God that believers in Jesus are not only to hear the word of God, but to do it as well.

The churches are full of people who believe in God who have never come into relationship with Him. It is not unlike knowing a famous person, knowing all about them but not knowing them personally. If they were to meet the famous one, that one would not know them.

It is written:

“Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on the day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name and driven out demons in your name and done many mighty works in your name? And then I will say to them openly, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly disregarding My commands. Matthew 7:21-23

Is the one who sits in church believing in God but not having a living relationship with him any better off than one who chooses to disbelieve, in my opinion, no?

This brings me to the thought of proofing a substance or proving an idea. In order to do this you must start from a point of truth. The substance must be true, pure, if it isn’t you will get a false reading. Proving an idea, a concept is no different.

It is written:

“The heavens declare the glory (manifest presence) of God; and the firmament show and proclaims His handiwork. Day after day pours forth speech, and night after night shows forth knowledge. There is no speech nor spoken word [from the stars]; their voice is not heard. Yet their voice [in evidence] goes out through all the earth, their sayings to the end of the world. Of the heavens has God made a tent for the sun.” Psalm 19:1-4

In the darkest places of earth, God can be known by creation, and has been known. There is the story of a man from a tribe in Africa that was unreached by the gospel, who looking at the heavens thought there surely must be someone who made it. He cried out to that being for knowledge and God faithfully sent someone to tell him about God the creator and the way of salvation.

When the man Nicodemus, who was a religious leader in Jesus day, came to Him with questions, it was because he saw signs and miracles that no mere man had power to do. As they sat and talked, Jesus helped him see that these signs, wonders and miracles were done because of His relationship with God, and in order to enter into that relationship you had to believe truth. Truth is the starting point of proof. Jesus is the truth; He is the starting point of faith, the way, the very door into the Kingdom of God.

Nicodemus struggled to understand. His religion, his intellect were giving him a problem, they always have and they always will give a man a problem, because faith is not of the head, it is of the heart. (“For with the heart man believes and is saved and with the mouth he makes his confession.” Romans 10:10) So Jesus spoke to him of birth. Birth is the beginning of human life on earth according to western tradition. In Jewish tradition, life begins at conception. So too there must be a new birth of the spirit in order to enter in to the Kingdom of God. Nicodemus struggled.

It is written:

“How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter his mother’s womb again and be born?” John 3:5

Jesus spoke: “What is born of [from] flesh is flesh [ of the physical is physical]; and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not [do not be surprised astonished] at My telling you, you must all be born anew (from above). The wind blows (breathes) where it wills; and though you hear its sound yet you neither know where it comes from nor where it is going, So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3: 6-7

Jesus further assures Nicodemus that He is not here at this time as the judge, that He did not come at this time to reject, condemn or pass sentence on the world but that salvation would be offered to whoever would come to Him and find safety in Him. Under the law, apart from Jesus as Savior and Lord, there is only condemnation and judgment both here and in the end of the world when all will stand before God to give an answer for their time on planet earth.

Salvation in Jesus is so simple that a little child can believe and receive it. It is simple…unless you believe “The Lie”.

The wind cannot be proven, but its effect can be seen. Electricity cannot be proven, but its effect is known. Love cannot be proven, but its effect can be seen and known.

What is the lie? “There is no God, you cannot prove it.” You have set yourself up as god; your mind is judge and jury. You came into this world tainted with the sin of Adam, created with a God-size vacuum inside your spirit and only He can fill that place and bring you the peace and joy you need. Throughout your life without God, you will try to fill that void with many things, none of which will bring you satisfaction. In the end, all will become “ashes in your mouth”.

Many think that money will make them happy or power or fame, only to find that they are empty when they come to the end. At the end of yourself, you will die as all men do whether you are “rich and increased with goods” or “poor as a church mouse”, whether you have accumulated all that the world holds dear or you die in defeat, the end is the same and the destination is the same for a man or woman without God. Destination: Hell.

It is written:

“God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.” John 3:16

It has been said, “There is a Heaven to gain and a Hell to shun.” I don’t know the source.

It is written:

“I have been young and now am old, yet have I not seen the [uncompromisingly] righteous forsaken or their seed begging bread.” Psalm 37:23

God promises that His children will be with Him forever, never to know separation again. If that were all there was, it would be enough; but the Kingdom of God offers so much more than salvation. The favor of our Father, the blessing of peace, relief from the burden of sin and the joy that comes from knowing you can walk free, healed of the sin sickness you endured and suffered from for so long. There is angelic protection that we are given and the provision of God’s promises for a myriad of things that we face every day. Beyond this:

It is written:

“Eye has not seen nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for those that love Him.” I Corinthians 2:9

God is not a god who is far off, one that we humans must placate because he is angry with us every day; or a god who requires us to jump through hoops so that we can satisfy his unjust requirements, or his unreasonable manipulations. He is a God of love, who is ever near to those He loves, those who have chosen to be His. His smile and favor are upon those He loves. He loved us first and we respond to that love.  He gave all and we give all to Him. We are blessed to be His now and through all eternity. There is no one like Him.  He is worthy to receive all praise and honor.

There will come a time when King Jesus will show up on planet earth and those who thought that He was dead, those who rebelled against Him, rejected Him and thought He did not exist, will, in fact, know that He is, has always been and always will be. Jesus will once again come to planet earth, but when He comes again it will not be as the suffering servant but as the ruling King. He will set up His kingdom on earth and His will is going to be done here as it has been done in Heaven. Most people do not understand Kingdom. You can buy, and I recommend, books by Myles Munroe about the Kingdom of God at Amazon online or at Barnes and Noble. Some Christian bookstores may carry them also.

It is written:

That at the name of Jesus every knee will bow of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” Philippians 2:10

“A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.”

I have been born of the Spirit of God for 63 years. I have multitudes of experiences with God. You can not talk me out of, or reason me out of what I know by experience. However, I do not rely solely upon my experience, for the enemy of my soul does his best to make it appear as though God does not care for me, that He is not there when I need Him.

In those times I lift the eyes of my heart to God my Father, I purpose to believe what I know is true. Jesus is my Lord, I am yielded to His authority and I believe He will do what He said He would do. Holy Spirit comforts me and I know that truth will ultimately prevail, it always has and it always will.

There is continual war between the Kingdom of Light and the kingdom of darkness. Humans are what the fight is all about. I face each day knowing that there is a battle going on for my soul, and the souls of those I love. That is why I pray. That is why I put the Word of God, the promises of God in my mouth, decreeing and declaring them. Firstly, so I can hear it and secondly so the enemy can hear my faith. God sees my heart, has a perfect time for everything and moves accordingly. I trust Him and I rest in His love!

God loves His children and all humans are children of God, His creation. Not all are in His family however, because that is by choice. Those who are not in covenant relationship with God through the new birth, through Jesus blood, are subject to the whims of the enemy of God whom they serve, whether they know or would admit it or not. Some of these prosper and seem to be beyond anything that most face and others always seem to be “behind the eight ball”.

I stay my soul upon the written Word of God, I trust in, lean on and rely upon Jesus the Living Word of God, and I experience Him every day of my life.

It is written:

Ephesians 3:14-21 (NAB)
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine, by the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

I would suggest to you that your very existence proves the love of God.  You are here because God has a plan and a purpose for your life. I pray that God will keep you as you seek to find your way in life. May you find Him finding you.

Without God a man is without direction and must make his own way in a hostile world.  If you stand at the “fork in the road”, and you must choose which way to go, choose the way of  a wise man and not the way of a fool.  When you stand before God, the righteous judge, and you will, you will be glad that you chose wisdom over foolishness.

My prayers go to Him for you’ because He cares, I care.

Joy

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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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