Followers

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Perilous Times


Do you feel as though you’ve entered an alternate universe?  A world where things appear to be normal, but something’s not quite right? People look the same, yet their thoughts are backward from what you remember. And the longer you investigate your surroundings, the more you find what you knew as good has now been deemed evil. Is it a nightmare? The Twilight Zone? Or could it be what God’s Word prophesied, “…that in the last days perilous times will come:”[1]

 

As I was thinking about what to write, and whether or not to write, I remembered the Back to the Future movies. One of the films, Part III, I think, took Marty McFly to a different reality. Something happened in Part II that had altered his universe. Marty’s mother was now married to the villain, Biff. And if that weren’t shocking enough, she had had cosmetic surgery and appeared very voluptuous.

 

Marty found where once respect, decency, and morality were the norm in their town, now licentiousness and depravity reigned free. He had to right the past of this new reality to rectify the future. Of course, Marty McFly is the savior. The changes he secured made his true and current world better than before.

 

This makes me wish there was a way we could return to 1947 and change the outcome of the Everson v. Board of Education case. The Supreme Court took Jefferson’s “separation of church and state” metaphor out of the context of his private letter to Danbury, Connecticut Baptist Association. The court used this small portion to reinterpret our Constitution’s First Amendment, which was meant to PROTECT rather than REMOVE Christian values and practices from public policy.[2]

 

But, if 1947 is too far back, how about 1962. Then we could stop the Supreme Court from again throwing precedent out the window and redefining “church” to mean a religious activity instead of the actual meaning of the Constitution—a federally-established national denomination such as Baptist or Catholic. Prayer and Bible reading were religious activities.[3]

 

Still too far back? Maybe return to 1980. This Supreme Court Decision removed the Ten Commandments from the classroom. In justifying their ruling, these intelligent judges said, “If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the schoolchildren to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey the commandments…[this] is not a permissible state objective.”[4]

 

Almost 200 years earlier, President John Adams stated, “If ‘Thou shalt not covet’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.”[5]

 

Perilous times indeed have come because sinful people have allowed evil to reign, and unlike Marty McFly, we cannot go back in time to right the wrongs. However, we can vote for the candidate who more closely aligns with God’s Word—one who is pro-life, pro-marriage, and pro-religious freedom. Maybe, just maybe, God will have mercy and continue our reprieve from evil. For, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD…”[6]

 

Vote wisely, dear friend. The timing of these perilous times, “…the Father has put in His own authority.”[7]  And, take heart, God sees all. “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous…His ears are open to their cry…The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good…For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths.” And, praise God, “…the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”[8]



[1] II Timothy 3:1

[2] “America’s Godly Heritage” video by David Barton,

distributed by www.wallbuilders.com

[3] ibid.

[4] ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Psalm 33:12

[7] Acts 1:7

[8] Psalm 34:15; Proverbs 15:3; Proverbs 5:21; 2 Chronicles 16:9

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Occupy Till I Come



Have you ever felt like Jonah?

I have, so let me explain. Three and a half months into our nation’s craziness, I’m exhausted with all the doom and gloom. I’m angry with evil people wreaking havoc in our country, and I’ve lost respect for the news media. Do they even report truth anymore? Their political bias is so evident, and their stories seem designed to keep us bound in fear.

I’m drowning in mixed emotions.

While I can’t imagine the terror Jonah felt being thrown into the ocean and swallowed by a giant fish, I find his words speak to me spiritually. Jonah said, “…floods surrounded me…billows and…waves passed over me…waters surrounded me, even to my soul; the deep closed around me; weeds…wrapped around my head…I went down to the moorings of the mountains; the earth with its bars closed behind me forever…”[1]

After three days and nights of this horrendous ordeal, God caused the fish to spit Jonah out,[2] and he found himself on a sandy beach. The warm sun on his face, waves crashing, seagulls squawking, and the smell of salty air and fish filled his nostrils.

Then the voice of the Lord came to him a second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.” This time, Jonah went as commanded.[3]

But why did he run away in the first place? Was he afraid of the vicious and cruel Ninevites? Scripture indicates otherwise. Jonah was not scared; Jonah was angry. It was as though he knew once the Ninevites heard the true Word of God, they would repent. And they did. “But it displeased Jonah…and he became angry. So he prayed to the Lord, and said, ‘Ah, Lord, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled…to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm.’” [4]

Jonah didn’t want the wicked Ninevites spared, and I could relate. Immediately, I felt the Holy Spirit’s conviction.

Exasperated with myself, I cried, “Father, I don’t know how to pray anymore. For months I’ve prayed for our country, its leaders, and against the evil rioting and destruction, yet it’s not better. Lord Jesus, I see Your coming closer than it’s ever been, and I know the end will be characterized by perilous times.[5] Because of this, have I also run away? Forgive me! I do desire for my thoughts, words, and deeds to reflect Your great love to a lost world.[6] But lately, I want to throw up my hands and say, ‘I’m done with these wicked people.’ I’m angry like Jonah. Oh, LORD, help me, please!”

God took me back to Jonah’s words. “I am,” He said. “You, like Jonah, know I’m gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness. I am the One who relents from doing harm. This is why I sent Jonah, and this is why I sent you. I have placed you where you are to occupy your territory and be about My business until I come.”[7]

“Lord,” I said, “my spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak.”[8]

“I know,” Jesus said, “but I am with you.[9] Expect tribulation because the whole world is under the sway of the evil one.[10] This is war.[11] And I have strategically placed My children, filled with My Spirit, in enemy territory to hold that area for Me and expand upon it as I give opportunity.[12] You have armor, a weapon, and power to use it.[13] Like Me, you are angry at sin and evil, yet I am not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.[14] You are fighting for souls. So go, and stand strong in the power of My might.[15] I am coming soon.”[16]



[1] Jonah 2:3-6
[2] Jonah 2:10
[3] Jonah 3:1-3
[4] Jonah 3:10; Jonah 4:1-2
[5] Romans 13:11; II Timothy 3:1-5
[6] Psalm 19:14, Colossians 1:10, Ephesians 5:1-2
[7] Luke 19:13
[8] Mark 14:38
[9] Matthew 28:20; I Corinthians 16:24
[10] Matthew 16:33; I John 5:19
[11] II Corinthians 10:3-5; I Timothy 1:18
[12] John 6:44
[13] Ephesians 6:11-18
[14] II Peter 3:9
[15] Matthew 28:19; Acts 18:9-10; Isaiah 54:17; Ephesians 6:10
[16] Revelation 22:20

Friday, June 12, 2020

Jesus Is The ONLY Way


Please take a few minutes to read this article about Pastor John MacArthur of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. 

https://www.christianheadlines.com/contributors/milton-quintanilla/john-macarthur-forewarned-of-evangelicalisms-obsession-with-social-justice.html?utm_source=Jeeng

John MacArthur is absolutely correct. There is so much more going on with these riots - an underlying agenda of evil. The Ephesians verses mentioned in this article are where God is speaking about how through Jesus, who is our peace, He "...has made BOTH ONE..." [Jew and Gentile, black and white, slave and free - for we are all sinners who fall short of God's glory].

Because Jesus shed His blood and died for our sin, paying sin's penalty for us, God "...has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His [Jesus's] flesh the enmity [hostility], that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself ONE NEW MAN from the TWO, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body [the Church] through the CROSS, thereby putting to death the enmity."

Only Jesus, God the Son, can make us one. Don't let the enemy of our soul deceive you. Jesus is the ONLY WAY to the Father, to heaven, and to true peace in your heart and life. I pray you find this PEACE through Jesus Christ, my LORD.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

NOT DESOLATE




     The bright sun of Babylon streamed through Daniel’s window as the aging prophet unrolled the scroll. Jeremiah, Jerusalem’s man of God, had sent it to Babylon years earlier. And when it first arrived, Daniel practically devoured this Word from the LORD.

     Captured by King Nebuchadnezzar as a teenager, Daniel had lived in this pagan culture for about 67 years. Kings came and went during his lifetime, and recently the Empire had changed hands.

     Yet Daniel’s God was in control. And this, God made evident sometime earlier when coworkers had plotted against Daniel.

     Supposedly he had broken the king’s bogus law by praying to Almighty God instead of the king. As a result, they threw Daniel into the lion’s den. But this Most High God, proving to all that He is God and there is no other,[1] shut the lion’s mouths.[2]

     Reminded of something in Jeremiah’s scroll, Daniel searched feverishly. There in the 25th section and again in the 29th, he found it. Three times the LORD said through Jeremiah that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.[3]

     Throwing up his hands, Daniel shouted, “Praise the Almighty! It’s almost over!”

     And it was. Nevertheless, in reading to find this good news, Daniel also found the sin that caused their captivity.

     Frustrated, that even after his deportation, Judah took their freedoms to worship the One True and Living God so lightly when Daniel had to fight for his. Refusing to worship the false gods of Babylon, Daniel and his co-captives, time and again, had risked their lives. But Judah rejected God, transgressed His Law, and chose to worship these idols.

     Heartbroken, Daniel donned sackcloth and ashes, fasted, and set his face toward the Lord God to make his requests, supplications, and confessions.[4] He repented for Judah’s corrupt leaders, false prophets, idolatry, apathetic mode of worship, and it’s blatant disregard for the prophesied consequences.[5] Daniel knew the mercy of God was their only hope, and he closed his prayer with this, “O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.”

     I found Daniel’s prayer of repentance painful to read, but sadly, it was all I could think of when the pandemic hit. And as I read and prayed, I saw how America fit the picture Daniel painted. Tears fell, and I believe God allowed me to feel His grief over our nation. Then after several days, I felt Him say, “Write it down.”

     My first prayer-paraphrase was harsh—just as harsh as Daniel’s recounting of Israel/Judah’s sin because of the similarities. Yet, in my second draft, God opened my eyes to the one major difference, and I softened.[6]

     Daniel prayed, “Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant…cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is DESOLATE.”[7] My mind immediately went to the empty sanctuaries across this nation. “Desolate,” I cried as well.

     But the Holy Spirit quickened my heart. “No, not desolate,” He said. “The TEMPLE of God is NOT a building in this age.”

     “Of course!” I said. This side of the cross, WE are His Temple.[8] And in II Corinthians, Paul wrote, “…For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”[9]

     Aahh! I was so focused on America’s sin and obeying God’s II Chronicles 7:14[10] command, that our “new normal” kept me fixated on circumstances. God knew I needed this gentle reminder, and maybe you do too.

     Am I happy we could worship together last Sunday and today? Yes! Do I understand the whole agenda of the evil one in these last days? No!

     But this I do know; even though church buildings were empty, God’s church never was. Once we are His child,[11] saved by the blood of Jesus[12] and born again through the living and eternal Word of God,[13] NO person or VIRUS can take His Holy Spirit from us.[14] He will never leave us or forsake us,[15] and nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.[16]



[1] Isaiah 45:22
[2] Daniel 6:20-22
[3] Jeremiah 25:11-12; Jeremiah 29:10
[4] Daniel 9:3-4
[5] Daniel 9:5-19; Deuteronomy 28:15, 49, 63-66
[7] Daniel 9:17
[8] I Corinthians 6:19
[9] II Corinthians 6:16
[10] “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
[11] John 1:12
[12] I John 1:7
[13] I Peter 1:23
[14] John 14:16-18
[15] Hebrews 13:5
[16] Romans 8:35-39

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Why Do We Do Good?



During this COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve been humbled by all the selfless acts I see of people who work in healthcare, food service—either restaurants or grocery stores, US mail, all delivery personnel, etc. and I know this list isn’t complete. Countless individuals risk their personal safety so we can keep ours. Thank you! And thank you to those amazing volunteers who use their creative skills to help others. Some sew masks, give balcony concerts, send encouraging or prayer-filled notes and texts, or hand out/deliver food and groceries to the needy. Others pray without ceasing.[1] I’m blown away by the good works, and it causes me to glorify my Father in heaven[2].

But it also causes me to ask why? Why do we do good? And why do times of crisis bring out the “good” in humanity?

Some might say this is what we’re taught and what we pass on to the next generation. True. We teach our children to do good, to share, to wait their turn, and to be kind to others. We discipline when they hit or bite, and when they are cruel, we say, “No, no. We don’t act that way in this house.”

With that in mind, here’s another question. Do animal parents correct wrong behavior in their young?

Now you might be saying, “This is completely unrelated to our subject.” But if you stick with me, I’ll show you how right on topic it is.

My mother loves birds, and while she has been convalescing, she and I have been online eagle watching. Up until the end of March, we watched the eagles in Hanover, Pennsylvania. However, their egg was not viable and the eagles abandoned their nest. My sister, Amy, searched for another and found one in Ashtabula, Ohio – AACS Eagles.[3] The parents, Pride, and Joy hatched two eaglets this year, Raindrop and Nestor. It’s impressive to see how gentle the parents feed their young. Still, as attentive as they are, not once have I seen the eagles correct their offspring for misbehavior. In fact, Raindrop, the older eaglet, pecks and bonks the younger when it doesn’t like what Nestor is doing or if it thinks its food is threatened. And although the mother is right there, she never says, “No, no. We don’t act that way in this nest.” Lol

Case in point:  Amy, in her search for live eagle cams, witnessed an eaglet’s murder. The one eaglet literally pecked the other to death while the parent looked on. No intervening discipline – no time outs – no scolding – no stopping the aggressive hatchling from killing the sibling. Why?

Animals, birds, and sea creatures work on God-programmed instinct. They have no understanding of right or wrong behavior, no standard of morality to live up to. And they, along with all creation, groan and labor with birth pangs together until now.[4]

According to the websites I visited, animal parents will do what humans consider discipline only if the youngster’s actions affect the parent personally.[5] Nevertheless, we have to question the motive of so-called discipline. Is it because they are trying to teach their “child” to be good and kind, or is it merely selfish behavior on the parent’s part? The websites confirm the latter.

If humans are descended from apes as evolutionists theorize, why do we discipline our young when their bad behavior does not personally affect us? What caused this morality to develop if survival of the fittest is true? And why will humans do good and risk their own safety to help or rescue someone in need?

Without a Creator—a Good[6] and Just[7] God—who has created man in His image,[8] we wouldn’t. It is He who has given mankind the desire for morality, the ability to do good and noble work, and to sacrifice for others,[9] even when they deny the God who made them,[10] and reject the Gift of Jesus who would wash them clean of all unrighteousness.[11]

So, in this time of unknowns, let’s remember God has shown us what is good and what He requires—to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with Him. And don’t forget to do good and share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.[12]



[1] I Thessalonians 5:17
[2] Matthew 5:16
[4] Romans 8:22
[6] Matthew 19:17
[7] Romans 3:36
[8] Genesis 1:26-28
[9] John 15:13; Romans 5:7
[10] Matthew 10:33
[11] Romans 6:23; I John 1:9
[12] Micah 6:8; Hebrews 13:16

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Perilous Times

Do you feel as though you’ve entered an alternate universe?   A world where things appear to be normal, but something’s not quite right? P...