On the wings of the morning He quietly comes
Lighting nearby, patiently waiting
Dis-ordered thoughts begin to wander
Soon upon waking, toward tasks ahead
Spirit is tethered, grounded by gravity.
For life itself is very grave
Every struggle becomes a link
In the chain, growing heavy
And still He waits. I know He is near
And then He speaks: “Why do you carry these?”
So as not to leave them littered along the way
How long have you carried them?
My, I couldn’t say. Some of them are so old I feel they’ve always been there.
What good are they?
Good? What do you mean?
Why did you not lay them down?
I thought I was meant to keep them.
But why would you think that?
Well, they bear my name
Are you certain?
Last I checked!
Well, no, but I count them pretty often
What on Earth for?
A habit by now, I suppose. Keeps me humble.
You know! Grounded!
Oh, I get it, restrained, repressed?
Yeah, something like that, I guess. I mean, it feels like that sometimes.
Why would you want that?
I don’t want to be. I just have been for just about as far back as I can remember.
As far back as you can remember, or as far back as you dare to remember?
What’s the difference?
The difference is, I created you for more than this. You knew that once upon a time!
Yes, I know. “Someday” I’ll be free from this sin nature and…
No, even now! Cast thy burden upon Me, and I shall sustain you.
Yeah. I read that.
I don”t deserve for You to carry my load
<shrugs, eyes downcast>
Look at Me! Do you see anyone here who condemns you?
I condemn me!
Do you know what the word “deem” means?
To reckon something as being so?
That is pretty close, but more succinctly, it means “to judge”.
Do you know what redeemed means?
I guess that would mean “to judge again”?
You were deemed guilty but once you repented and asked for salvation, you were re-deemed to be “not guilty”. Do you know that being “not guilty” is not the equivalent of being innocent? “Not guilty” merely means that no punishment will be accounted to you for the crime. As I said to Job, “I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. Wilt thou also dis-annul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?” I have declared you “not guilty”, yet you persist in self-condemnation. Who is right, Me or you?
You are, Lord
Where is your Bible?
Open it to John 8:36 and read to Me what it says.
If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, then ye shall be free indeed. I know, Lord, but…
I don’t see a but in that verse.
Ok. What about everything else?
Our life seems like an endless series of “unfortunate events”, trials, setbacks, obstacles, whatever you want to call them! It feels so relentless. What are we doing wrong?
These “other things” you speak of, the trials, who has told you that they come due to something you are doing wrong? These things are so, that My works might be displayed in you. (John 9:3) In my winnowing I separate wheat from chaff, using the wind of adversity to blow off the chaff, which is just an impurity, and retaining in you that which is good. On the other hand, Satan desires to sift you! (Luke 22:31) Sifting is agitating in a way that shakes out all that is good, so that the only thing that remains is the bad. He doesn’t touch your life without my permission. What he means for evil, I use for your good.
I have prayed for you. Right now, chaff fills the air, the shaking and the tossing feel turbulent, but trust Me. I will complete the good work which I have begun in you.
Sermon: Pastor John Reynolds, Temple Baptist Church (30 min)
I don’t know what season it is where you live, but as the cold of winter begins to lose its hold, and green tips of crocus and daffodil begin to poke up between the dry brown winter brush, the coming of spring, like the changing of all seasons, is bittersweet. As a way-marker, another season passes away, and yet a new one begins. How many more will there be?
I fixed my family a hot breakfast this morning. There are many days that doesn’t happen because my boys are teens, they sometimes want to eat before school, and sometimes they don’t. And hubby isn’t picky, cereal, oatmeal, a bagel, it’s all fine with him. Me, I don’t even get hungry til eleven or noon. Standing over a hot stove for 20 minutes or more, then having to deal with a plumbing issue, I got a little too warm, so I went out and sat on our front porch swing for a while to cool off.
We have a nice porch. Not fancy. But inviting. Screened in. A work crew is putting up a new house across the street, so I rocked in the swing, watching them for a bit, before coming back inside. I love the seasons we have in Virginia. I would go so far as to say that I don’t think I could happily live anyplace that didn’t have those distinct seasons.
The years of my husbands and my life together have not been easy. I came into the marriage with a great deal of woundedness. I really and truly had not dared to hope that the love he and I share, would ever be available to me, much less that I’d be blessed with motherhood, with 2 such great sons. This world can be a cruel place, and I think that people are tired. I’d been through so much by the time my husband and I met. I know he got cheated. The first years of our marriage where fraught by devastating interference on the part of my mother-in-law, at the same time that I was still healing from prior abuse. It took the unconditional love of both my Lord, and my precious husband, for me to feel safe enough to work though all that. I do have several medical conditions which, in combination are impairing. But I have no doubt that the years of stress that I endured in my 20′s are the very thing that set the stage for the later physical mal-functions. Being so depleted, I did suffer depression for a long time. And yet I fought it tooth and nail because by God’s grace and wisdom, He gave me a stubborn streak a mile wide. The cyclic nature of my depression and mood issues was really almost like an echo of the instability of my life in general for so long. It was like when my mind got so weary it could no longer manage the burden, it was handed off to my body. So the body compensated for a while, as the mind de-compensated. Mental illness, depression, call it what you will. There is no darkness darker, and I’ll take physical pain any day of the week over the excruciation of deep depression.
I was sick in mind, body and spirit. Exhausted and depleted. I was that way as a newlywed, as a full-time RN with a new baby, and then two. All through my 3os. I was a good nurse. I loved the job. I loved my patients. But when I got to the point that I was internally empty, to where even the “needs” of my patients caused me to feel resentment because I was so needy myself, when I could no longer keep a running “task manager” in my brain, and keep up with the demands of nursing, I knew I had to step back because my integrity would not allow me to give less to my patients. The job of a nurse is much too serious a business to do any part of it “halfway”. I expected it to be temporary. Little did I know that although I would work in the capacity of an RN intermittently again, that this was the beginning of the end of my hard-earned nursing career.
I mourned that for a long time. But I had my babies. And I was grateful that the trade-off was the gift of being mostly a stay-at-home mom. Few moms have that luxury anymore. But it is a sacrifice. We have lived in a house which was built in the 40′s, and maintenance, (much less improvements) has been minimal. Thank goodness houses built in the forties were built to last. Good, good bones! So, it’s been a homey home. Not a showcase, but lived-in and inviting, and not taking itself too seriously. I have never been a frou-frou kind of gal anyway. Neat and tidy is my standard, but I like things with some age and experience and history. I learned from my Mama how to see the good in pre-loved furniture and decor, and how to spiff things like that up, way before “shabby chic” became a household word.
Winter has always been hard. When my kids started school, I stayed involved as a room mom and volunteering frequently, and after some years of working on boundary issues, being on medication and ever striving to maintain an exercise program whether it entailed some gym time, swimming or walking, I saw some improvement in my over-all well-being. Yet could never quite get over the hump in regard to fatigue and body pain. With diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, and at first Sleep apnea and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and then only a few years ago finally discovering that I have Narcolepsy, a certain degree of permanent damage had already taken place in my body, not the least of which in my spine and joints. Depression continued to be a problem and winter months, with short days, and cooped up indoors, I literally had to turn on all the lights in the house some days. I would light candles and play instrumental music, all of which helped me overcome the inertia and get moving. I learned to spend at least 15 minutes outside getting sunlight no matter how cold it was, and even invested in one of those lamps with the whole spectrum of light. Those things all helped, but it was a constant vigilance. I would hold on and wait for those daffodil green tops to poke out. When I saw that, it was my sign that I had survived another dark season, and could soon look forward to working in my flowerbeds and being outdoors more. So, as a survivor, Spring has a special place in my heart. Counting as the seasons pass, moving from youth into middle age, watching my kids grow, losing my Dad, I’m in a different season now, but my awareness of the world and history and scripture, also tells me that the advance of seasons and years is moving forward for the world itself. Times they are a-changin’, and not just in the way they always do from one generation to the next, but in ways the Good Book told us they would when the end was near.
Like most struggling families today, there were dreams of trips and vacations that never quite came to be. Plans for home improvements, the financing and budgeting of which never quite came to fruition, due to some setback or other. There were times we were disillusioned. But we learned to concentrate on the blessings. And we had so many. As a couple my husband and I have always been able to laugh. There were times we could be in the middle of an argument and we’d both be so weary from the struggle that one or the other would just decide to get over it and do something silly to make us both laugh, and that would be that. Arguing is just not worth the energy. But these were things we learned IN the struggles and wouldn’t have learned otherwise. As a family we have always been able to laugh together. The antics of our boys provided plenty of material. And as a family we have always prayed together, discussed things, expressed our love, and been straightforward and honest. My kids have never had to guess whether we loved or approved of them. But they also have never been allowed to take that love and approval for granted. Dad is the softer one. Mama don’t give an inch. They knew if they misbehaved, their teachers had my phone number and permission to call me right then and there. Heck one year I was their school nurse during the elementary years. (My last full-time position). They are in high school now and their friends STILL come up to them and say, “man, why did your mom quit being our nurse?”. I guess because I treated all of them the exact same way I did my own. Tough love.
Yeah, it’s a time for counting blessings, as I am daily aware that both in the natural course of raising a family, the times we share together are finite and we are nearing that time when the little eaglets will leave the nest, but also “time” universal is winding down.
Life is beautiful but if you do it right, it isn’t easy, and even if you can manage to put a little aside along the way, the best it can provide is a false sense of security. Treasures on earth are eaten by moths, corrupted by rust. The honest guy doesn’t always come out on top. People are tired of war, and crime, and struggle, and violence and hatred. We all long for peace, but it seems there’s precious little peace to be found. Everyone is looking for somewhere to place the blame. Government. Those dad-blamed Republicans. Those dang Democrats. Those corrupt Congressfolk. The Muslims, the Jews, The church. Many hate a God they don’t even believe in. The homosexuals hold in contempt those who believe the Bible and it’s indictment of such. Some professing Christians act as if they themselves are less of a vile sinner than the gay person, which is not true. God’s law is one law. Like the chain that holds up my porch swing, if we have broken one “link” the chain no longer upholds the swing, so if we break any commandment, we are in violation of God’s law. I do not doubt that the feelings and attraction two gay men or women have for one another are real and powerful. I just am aware that feelings can be deceptive, and most of all, they can be manipulated. Homosexuality is no more wrong than any other deviation from God’s design for sexuality, though it does reside on a continuum of sorts. We have so gotten the cart before the horse in the area of mates and “mating”. There is no restraint and whatever causes the most sparks to fly, has become the acceptable indicator of what we choose to pursue. Animals are ruled by their drives. Humans are capable of more. Yet risky or risqué, trumps most things anymore. The “pleasure button” has been so over-stimulated that people have ceased to be able to feel.
A people who are only guided by impulse and urges, will invariably seek the “greater thrill” to the basest nature. When “straight sex” and self-gratification without cost, effort, or commitment are so freely attainable that they become boring and no longer titillating, the greater risk will be sought to maintain the “high”. Each advance in degradation serves to only heighten the drive, but never satisfy. As those who participate in these things ignore their conscience, the conscience dies within them, because they despise the truth, (that what they do is wrong) they begin to believe the falsehood that what they are doing is okay. The current generation can hardly help being much more vulnerable to the temptations of “same-sex sexuality” because preceding generations insisted on throwing off the taboo. For those who indulge the flesh, the “need” of their flesh consumes them and becomes their master, and in search of satisfaction, their “passions” seek that which is even lower, the violation of children. This produces children who are damaged and who grow up confused. Girls used by men, become women who can’t trust men, who seek solace in other women. In their hurt they justify the aversion to the opposite sex, and the sin of the “fathers” are visited on the next generation in the form of same-sex attraction. Because the female child looks to the father figure to cherish and affirm her, being sorely disappointed as she seeks a life mate, she has already ruled out the male half of the species, feels safer bestowing her love and affection upon a female, or in determination to never be victimized, may reject her femaleness and aspire to the relative safety of exhibiting masculinity within herself. Because the male child looks to the father figure to set the example of how to be a man, yet the abusing male uses his power to dominate and violate, the male child rejects the notion of masculinity and waxes effeminate, or may go on to be a predator because he thinks doing what the dominant male did to him, constitutes “being a man”. In each instance, it was the abandonment of God’s order that led to the alternate concept of what it means to be a male or female, and the abandonment of the “natural use of the opposite sex” for that of same-sex. Sex and sexuality were meant to be powerful, to bind together two mates for life, and powerful they are. Much “potential energy” is contained within the essence of sex and sexuality. But just like atomic energy, such potency is volatile, and very dangerous, and fraught with potential for damage and harm on a massive scale if mishandled or misappropriated.
But regardless of whether we are dealing with the issue of homosexuality, or human rights or politics, or religion, we are all deceived regarding who is our true enemy. Some folks have no idea at all. While even those who know that satan is the enemy of our souls, still fall prey to his efforts to rob, destroy, and kill. He pursues us relentlessly, and though some seem to walk willingly into his arms, most of us never come to understand that it was satan and sinfulness that manipulated your abuser, it is satan and sinful human nature, that culminate in the loss of “rights and privileges endowed by our creator” at the hands of corrupt leaders. The only safety or hope of redemption is to turn the opposite direction and run back toward God. That, in a nutshell, is what it means to repent of sin. At one time, Humanity knew their God. It is the sin nature that rebels, and evil waxes worse and worse until subsequent generations never even heard of their creator. They think they came from nothing. So they abort their babies and euthanize their elderly and handicapped, and then either shake their fist at God because breaking laws has consequences, or thumb their nose at God because they’ve convinced themselves that they’ve managed to throw Him off.
You know, I don’t know many “radical, militant” gay people. Most gay people I personally know, are regular folk. I have no desire to hurt them or to even dissuade them from their preference. That’s not my job. I am happy to accept the things I cannot change (and the will of another person definitely falls into that category) but I reserve the right to maintain my own convictions on the subject. I don’t think that a man should “marry” a man and call it the same thing as a woman marrying a man. Civil unions instead? I guess, but the purpose of marriage is procreation. Many gay people want to have a family but it’s not physically possible so there must be artificial intervention of some kind. No matter what you call your arrangement,(nor the method you use), the “ingredients” for making a baby, remains God’s original “recipe”.
I went to nursing school with a gal whose grandmother was Mrs. Fearnow. Of “Mrs. Fearnow’s Brunswick Stew” fame. I don’t know if that is merely regionally known, or if it’s a hit across the nation. But my point is, the stew is now made in a factory, by “The Fearnow Brothers” who may or may not be actually named Fearnow or related to Mrs. Fearnow in any way. The recipe may be the same, but I bet you Amy would beg to differ with you if you said “I have eaten your grandma’s stew”. Now, there’s a chance Amy Fearnow has actually eaten her grandma’s stew. And what comes out of that can, though delicious, will never be the stew made for Amy by Grandma Fearnow’s own hand.
We can call a union between two men or women a “marriage” and the state can artificially “bestow” upon that “couple” the same privileges as a man/woman union, but a union between a man and another man will never be a marriage. But most marriages between a man and a woman today don’t meet the Biblical definition of marriage either. Compromise is a slippery slope. Absolutes are considered evil by most of the world today, but if there are no absolutes, there are no reference points, all order breaks down, and what we are left with is the chaos before us today.
Gay people say “I was born this way”. Yeah. You were. You were born a sinner. That’s the point. I was born a sinner too. That doesn’t make my sin acceptable to God. That’s why Jesus had to die. But his dying would mean nothing if He had not also risen up to life again.
No matter what mankind tells himself, the unchanging facts are; in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. He created you, He designed your body. “Male and female He created them” and charged them to be fruitful and multiply. It’s His call. Don’t think of His laws like civil law. They aren’t like that. They are more like the “law of gravity”, “the law of diminishing returns”, the laws of physics. Who set those? Do you have a choice in obeying the law of gravity? Can any Supreme Court judge or United Nations counsel overturn the law of gravity? Is it “all relative” really? Jump off your roof and see. I’ll sit here and wait.
God will not tolerate sin. Sin is a violation of law. The wages of sin is death. Wages are not a penalty, they are simply the natural outcome. God’s not threatening you when He says that, He’s WARNING you. We all age, we all deteriorate, and we all die. After death comes judgment, and you and I have no advocate, no counsel, no scapegoat, but Jesus. He is the Way. He is Truth. He is Life. And no man comes unto the Father but by Him.
Man thinks he will transcend his own humanity within a few years. The capability is, in fact, within mankind’s power. But God will not allow it.
This old world is winding down. The Bible tells us that a period of tribulation is coming. God will place your life on the scales. It will not have “all the good you did” on one side, and “all the bad” on the other. It will have His righteousness on one side, and on the other side there will be placed one of two things which will attempt to measure up to His righteousness and balance the scale.
It will either be the sum total of your doings in this life, or it will be the righteousness of Christ placed on your side of the scales. Fair? Not to Jesus, yet that’s the offer. He did not forfeit His perfection, but God accredits it to those who are willing to humble themselves to receive it.
God, knowing we are incapable of overcoming our own sinful state, arranged for His own sinless son to endure the “wages of sin” for all sinners. A substitutionary death on the cross, dying so we didn’t have to. The wages of sin is death, the loophole is God willingly accepts the death of One who is infinite and sinless, to atone for the infinite sinfulness of the sinner. Then He credits to the sinners account, the righteousness of Christ. Which will sit in opposition to the righteousness of the Father on judgment day and balance that scale, deeming you acceptable to enter into God’s eternal presence. That is, if you are willing to accept it. There is a catch, though. It is free. You can’t earn it or pay for it. You have to accept God at His word, that He is willing to extend this deal to you. It means you have to nail your sin to that cross with Jesus. You can’t have your sin nullified while still clinging to your “right” to remain oriented to your sin-nature. Be your sin adultery (sex with someone you are not married to, whether male or female), lying, taking the Lord’s name in vain, stealing, coveting, failing to honor the Sabbath and keep it holy, murder, or having some other god. Anything that you refuse to relinquish is your god.
Think about these things because you know, and I know, something is up in this world. You may not be ready to accept the things I’m saying, but that doesn’t change facts and laws and principles. You know as well as I do that we as humans are capable of being wrong. The world is not flat. The appendix actually does have a purpose, blacks, Jews, and the disabled are not a subhuman species, yet these are all “beliefs” that were once embraced as fact. Optical illusions fool our brains all the time, we even enjoy it when done by a talented magician. There is good and there is evil. We may not agree on what constitutes each one, but Someone must be the arbiter if truth and the very fact that “good and evil” are universal principles, is an indicator that there are absolutes so moving the visible boundary markers doesn’t actually altar which territory is which. We merely fool ourselves. It takes a heck of a lot more faith than I have, to believe everything came from nothing, than to believe there is a sovereign Creator who designed everything with purpose.
Think about it.
H/T Lyn Leahz
"Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spent two and a half hours Thursday afternoon studying the Cain and Abel story, telling some 17 rabbis and academics gathered at his residence that the jealousy in that story is a "powerful engine" that he has come across once or twice in his own profession," reports the Jerusalem Post. "The question he asked, but which no one answered directly, was what was the Torah's recipe for dealing with someone inflamed by jealousy and unable to control himself.
I have always liked to write. Letters, journals, poetry. When my babies were small, I kept journals written to them “from Mommy” so they could look back at their childhood selves through my eyes when they got older. An entry might say “Today you said the funniest thing…” -or- “You have a very distinct personality and before you even had words, you had a way of making your feelings perfectly clear…” Things that gave me a clue as to the young men they would become.
This morning as I spent time with the Lord, I was reading in Revelation chapter 3. Verse 8 was underlined and I’d written a marginal note. It’s the verse in which the Lord is speaking to the church at Philadelphia The one church with whom God really expressed no specific disappointment or fault and the one which I believe is the end-time remnant.
He says, “I know thy works, ….. for thou hast a little strength, and has kept my Word, and hast not denied my nam.
As I read the verse, it put in my mind an image of our Heavenly Father reviewing, as it were, the whole of our (the church’s) lifespan as a mother cherishes and holds in her heart all the moments of her children’s lifetime. He is recording for us, from His singular perspective, what He knows about us, that we don’t perceive or understand about ourselves. Clearly, we are special to Him, and i can’t help but feel a twinge of sadness that our gracious Heavenly Father gave the sacrifice of His one true Son for the sake of His many adopted sons and daughters, and His omniscient pronouncement about us when it’s all said and done at the tail-end of the Gentile age is; “thou hast a little strength”.
Though perhaps it is not sad, He knowing our frames, that we are “but dust”, all things considered perhaps He is sincerely glad to know that this remnant handful grasped His promises with our puny and extremely limited strength and comprehension, and held on! Nothing takes Him by surprise, obviously.
But note what else He said: (This is no small thing, this, if we let it really sink in, should be revolutionary!) He says “I have set before thee an open door that no man can shut”. What does that even mean? What open door? Well, I looked at the handy-dandy center-column (of my Nelson KJV Study Bible with Annotations, Doctrinal Footnotes and beaucoup other goodies) and it said to me “hey, take a look at I Corinthians 16:9!”
So I did. And guess what? Paul was in Ephesus, on His way to Macedonia and said “For a great door , and effectual, (Producing an effect, or the effect desired or intended; or having adequate power or force to produce the effect, as in: My Word shall not return unto me void) a great door, and effectual is opened unto me (and there are many adversaries)…..Hmmmm……What is this open door?……..
Then there was another clue (like a progressive treasure hunt, one clue leads to the next until finally, BINGO! you found the treasure) Acts 14:27 And when they were come and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed (reviewed) all that God had done with them and opened a door of faith unto the gentiles. ( Did I emphasise that enough? Ha!)
This Door of Faith opened unto the Gentiles is speaking of the Age of Grace, the gathering together of a BRIDE from amongst the Gentile peoples, for His Son Jesus Christ. THAT DOOR!
Wow, are you excited? I am.
A door no MAN can shut. Fields white unto harvest stand on the other side of that door. They are out there for the plucking. Do you realize what this means? This door no man can shut was there at the birth of the church, and still stands open to us, the remnant. It is not a door the apostate church can walk through (they are not equipped). It is up to you and me to take God at His Word and walk through it and start picking because (verse 7) These things sayeth He that is Holy and True, He that hath the Key of David (Jesus) says He that openeth, no man shutteth, and shutteth, no man openeth. The Key of David has to do with the promises God gave David regarding Jews and God’s covenant with them (which cannot be broken-see Jeremiah 33) and Jesus’ future earthly reign on the Throne of David. But note also Matthew 16:19 where Jesus is talking to Peter and the disciples and says: And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. If you have studied the history of the church in the New Testament, you know that the disciples were Jewish, and the New Covenant was given among Jews first, who had to be convinced to extend it to the Gentiles. These Jews were believing Jews, but this mystery of the church was sooooo new to everyone that it took a while for the disciples to begin to understand. (Behold I show you a great mystery, we shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed…I Cor. 15:51 Paul was talking about the church, imagine His excitement as he tried to share this unbelievable news to new believers about this “number taken from among the Gentiles” some of whom would never see death, but all of whom would be changed in the twinkling of an eye at the rapture.
Furthermore, in the Revelation3 passage (v. 9) I will make them of the synagogue of satan, which say they are Jews and are not, but do lie, behold I will make them come and worship before thy feet and know that I have loved you. See, He was speaking to Saved Jews in the Age of Grace, AS JEWS. These are the few Jews in that age who actually recognized Jesus as the awaited Messiah. (Yep, the first Messianic Jews). Who are those who say they are Jews but arent? It was the unfaithful Jews who were “blind in part” and unable to recognize their Messiah, then and now. But also I believe it is the modern-day church who embrace Replacement Theology and wrongly believe that the Old Covenant was cancelled when the New Covenant came into effect. God says over and over, the Old Covenant with the Jews is a “never-ending covenant” which cannot be broken because He is God.
Can I tell you something? Those of you, who, like myself and our family, have been through your period of disillusionment with “the church” (maybe you are in it now), who sincerely hunger and desire the sincere meat of the Word and perhaps you learned, much to your resentment and regret, that those you looked to as teacher and mentor and shepherd/pastor were actually wolves or goats, causing you much confusion. God will worry about them. Forgive, and learn this: The Holy Spirit is the only teacher you need. If you apply yourself, work at it, study diligently, He will open your understanding and then He make you able to discern the trustworthy teachers.
And when it comes to sharing your faith? You don’t have to be a Bible Scholar with 30 years of in-depth study under you belt to bring another lost lamb into the sheepfold. You don’t have to be a D.L. Moody (Or Ray Comfort for those who aren’t old enough to know who D.L. Moody was.)
The door sits wide open before you. Share your testimony and the 5-point Gospel
- Grace of God Eph. 2:8-9, Titus 3:5
- All have sinned Romans 3:23
- God is love but He hates sin Romans 6:23
- Christ is God in the flesh Acts 4:12
- Jesus brings salvation through faith in Him and what He did John 3:16
There. Simple. Back to the Basics.
You can also harken back to your V.B.S. days and make yourself one of those leather bracelets with 7 beads: Black, Red, White, Blue, Green, Yellow and Clear.
- Black=filthiness of the sinner without Christ
- Red=the blood of Christ which cleanses away that sin
- White= How clean we are after He washes us whiter than snow (Isaiah 1:8)
- Blue=both baptism as an outward declaration, and living water, which is needful for sustenance (Acts 2:42 and John 4:7-14)
- Green=the admonition to join a Bible-teaching, Bible-believing church, get a good Bible, and GROW in the faith
- Yellow=the streets of gold in heaven they can now look forward to, not fearing death
- Clear=God’s clear mandate that I had an obligation to witness to them, and now they have a mandate to share with others Ezek. 3:16-18 I Peter 3:15
I even have passages for the knots that are tied on either side of the row of beads so that they will remain in place.
- First knot=He knit you together in your mother’s womb, knows you intimately, hairs on your head, etc
- Final knot=God will eventually “tie up all loose ends” judge and repay in righteous wrath, anyone not under the blood according to his evil deeds, as well as rewarding those who were saved and faithful, for obedience and works which advanced the Kingdom.
There you have Sandee Lloyd’s own personal system: (Evangelism for Dummies Ha Ha.)
Do not be afraid to talk about hell and guilt. Take them through the Ten Commandments, (Exodus 20) and explain the law is not like soap that cleans us up, it’s more like a mirror that can only show us how contaminated we are with our sin. The law works, by God’s design, to speak directly to the conscience and if their conscience is at all tender, you will be able to make them see that they are guilty before a Righteous and Holy God. Remind them that the commandments and Gods law (the whole Bible) is one law, sin is transgression (violation) of the law, and if they broke one, they have broken the whole law because, like the chain that is holding up the swing on the playground, if you only break one link, the chain itself is broken and no longer intact.. Jesus fulfilled the law, and God is willing to apply Jesus’ Righteousness to their account in trade for having applied their sin to Jesus to bear the punishment for them on the Cross. Not a fair tradeoff, seems to good to be true, but there it is!
Hey, if you like the bracelet idea, here is another idea. I use tiny rectangles of colored construction paper in colors that coordinate with the bracelet, and a wee bit o cellophane tape, and make corresponding tabs at the verses( in a pocket Bible or New Testament) that are applicable to the color. Example: Sin/Black, “All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned, every one to his own way, but the Lord hath laid upon Him the iniquity of us all”.
I have made up countless New Testaments marked in this way so that after I witness to them, I can hand it to them to keep. I also write a “key” in the front duplicating the bracelet beads in a drawing, and put those scripture references beside them. THEN, I turn to the first one, underline or highlight it, and write the next reference in the margin so that after I or they read it, they can go easily to the next verse which will also be underlined and have the following reference written beside it. Even maybe the page number…
Sooo Easy-Peasy even a CaveMan can do it.
Now, go walk through that door and bring someone into the fold or plant a seed today. The quicker the bride is complete, the sooner we are OUTTA-HERE! Jesus is the Open Door!
Usually I take the time to creat links for every scripture reference. This is time-consuming, and I figure if you care enough, you’ll look them up. Good way to start remembering them. Stay tuned for the Daily News!
(Oh, and, Thank you, Cathie M. for your prayers. God answered!)
By Dan at Housetops.wordpress.com
I happen to agree that “Aliens” will be a large part orf the end times delusion, a delusion which will have many facets. For some it will be aliens for others it will be “angels” whatever idols the individual is partial to. Basically the thing they have rejected God for, in order to embrace a different preferance.
It was easy to ridicule Bibi Netanyahu’s UN appearance with a cartoon bomb that looked like it had been shipped in by ACME directly from a Warner Brother’s Road Runner short. But it appears that the Israeli premier has left a dramatic impression as well, on a world that is now being forced to stop ignoring a real Iranian threat [...]
The Red Line’s Connection to Bible Prophecy
(A quote for Todd’s weekly commentary at RaptureReady.com-read it all by clicking the headline/link)
Terry and I have noticed a common theme with world events: We are constantly teetering at the point where we could plunge into chaos. What makes these observations all the more fascinating is that the threat never goes away; it only grows larger in scope.
We are at the point where the only conclusion we can make is that the rapture is a common factor preventing us from going past the point of no return. Either events are on hold until the rapture takes place, or the occurrence of something like the bombing of Iran’s nuclear facilities will target a countdown that will lead to the rapture.
Source: Watcher Times
In previous posts under the “Prophecy” headings,n (see tag cloud, category cloud) I have written or posted on the subjects of wierd Earth Sounds, The Birds falling out of the sky and sea animal and mammal mass deaths, Earthquakes,Wars and Rumors of Wars, Crazy Weather, Increase in Knowledge, all of which are things the Bible gave as warning signs of the nearness of the Return of Christ. But one topic I haven’t really covered is the increase in Plagues and Pestilence over the past few years. So I thought that would make a good “Freaky Friday” post for today. Although not a pleasant topic, it is quite pertinent as far as signs go.
There are 7 “Last Plagues” Coming just before the Lord Jesus returns to the Earth. Revelation 16 tell us there will be……
1) Grevious sores that will fall upon all who take the mark of the beast.
2) Sea becomes “as the blood of dead men”. (The blood of a dead man has no oxygen in it!, seas with no oxygen cannot support life)
3) Rivers and fountains of waters become ( literal) blood
4) Sun given power to scortch men with fire
5) A darkness falls over the whole Earth, causing men to gnaw their tongue for pain, and yet they will not repent
6) The River Euphrates supernaturally dries up in preparation of the Kings of the East to cross there on dry land, and spirits of devils working miracles goes forth into the whole earth gathering the kings of the whole earth to the great Battle of That Great Day of the Lord called Armageddon
7) Voices and thunders and lightenings, and the greatest earthquake man has ever seen will divide the Great City Jerusalem into three parts, every mountain and island will flee away and not be found, and an “exceeding-great” plague of boulder-sized hailstones will fall, and sadly rebellious man will only blaspheme God unrepentantly.
The Bible also warns us that there will come a point in time when those who have rejected the Salvation offered in Jesus Christ, will be permenantly set in that decision without further opportunity to change their minds: He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Rev. 22:11
The Plagues of the Bible Explained
Just a Myth? or Could the Plagues of Egypt Have Been Real?
First, there is the river of blood. According to scripture, Moses’s first act, which triggered the initiation of the sequence of plagues, was to turn the Nile River blood red.
Scientifically, there are a number of possible causes for a red river. Actual blood is one of the first that comes to mind. Throughout history, there have been reports of titanic battles between massive armies. Some of these battles were said to be so deadly that ‘the waters ran red with blood’. Is it possible that, somewhere upstream, a gigantic clash of arms spilled enough blood into the Nile to cause such a change?
That scenario is unlikely in the extreme; there are no records of any kind that indicate a major war was underway anywhere in Africa during the time of the exodus. However, there is another explanation, one that involves another kind of titanic event, and one that was most assuredly recorded in history, all across the Mediterranean region.
The geography of the Nile region reveals some astonishing mysteries. The entire area is riddled with faults, one of the most tectonically active zones in the world. The African plate intersects the Asian plate just a few miles to the East, and a large spur fault line runs right under the Nile delta itself. Additionally, just a short distance away, geologically speaking, the northern edge of Africa is being forced underneath the European plate. In an area where three gigantic continents are rubbing together, it stands to reason that huge earthquakes are inevitable.
But can an earthquake turn the Nile red? The simple answer: yes.
Earthquakes often trigger the release of gasses on the surface. Some gasses can kill animals, and even humans, in the area where they emerge. If they happen to emerge under water? Not only do they kill, but the chemical interactions can actually change the color of the flow. Combined with all the silt kicked up by the tremor, a vermilion waterway can be changed to blood red. In October 2006, a half-mile stretch of the Yellow River in China was turned to blood in a very similar way.
Next came the frogs. A plague of frogs is more an oddity than anything, less inconvenience than annoyance. But where did they come from, flooding the lands around the Nile with hopping green croakers?
Following our earthquake scenario, it makes sense that if the Nile suddenly became toxic, not just a few frogs, as usually happens, would venture beyond the banks, but all of them would flee into the surrounding farmland at once. As many as up to one million frogs may have spread across Lower Egypt, immediately after the onset of the first plague.
And after the frogs, there were the gnats. Gnats, like frogs, tend to spend most of their time in marshy or swampy areas, just like the Nile Delta. And, if the Nile suddenly became toxic, it might take a bit longer for the airborne gnats to figure it out than it would the amphibians that actually inhabit those tainted waters. Again, the poisoned waters are probably to blame.
The fourth plague was one of flies and beasts. Again, the toxic Nile would quickly drive any creatures it didn’t kill out and away from its banks. And poisoned drinking water makes perfect sense for the fifth and sixth plagues, pestilence and boils. Add in flies, gnats, fleas, rats, and all manner of other exacerbating fauna, and Egypt would suddenly find itself drowning beneath a different kind of flood from the Nile; a full-scale Plague would soon be under way.
The seventh plague is the hardest to figure in scientifically. In fact, it is the odd parity of a storm of fire and ice cascading from the heavens that makes it so hard to believe in the Exodus story altogether. How can fire rain from the sky? And together with balls of ice, no less?
However, it is well established that major earthquakes often occur in tandem with volcanic eruptions, and the Mediterranean certainly has had plenty of those over the years.
But what does a volcanic eruption have to do with flaming rain intermingling with hail?
Imagine a severe thunderstorm. Lightning flashing every second or so, maybe even more often. Hail stones showering the countryside, pummeling all and sundry. And a grey-black haze hangs over the landscape.
The smoky fog is ash. Obsidian, vaporized stone, and other detritus have been blasted high into the atmosphere by the eruption. The leading edge of a volcanic plume some 2.5 miles thick passes over Egypt, bringing with it a dark maelstrom in the sky. The ionized air cascades sheets of lightning, blanketing the landscape in shimmering fire. Smoke pours from the heavens, and, by forming the condensation nuclei for the rapidly forming hail, caused by water vapor shot upwards by tremendous updrafts, the storm creates a punishing shower of icy stones.
Incredible? Believe it. That is exactly what happened on May 3, 2008, when the Chaiten volcano in southern Chile erupted suddenly. As is clearly evident from the photo taken by Carlos Gutierrez, the plume looks like nothing less than a rain of fire. Yet, there was hail as well.
Is it possible that such an eruption happened during the exodus? Archeologists have dated the eruption of a Mediterranean island volcano called Santorini to precisely that time period. It is not just possible, but highly likely that it happened during the events of the exodus; the eruption of Santorini was so violent, it destroyed the island, leaving behind only a few fragments of land. Had such an eruption happened either before or after, like the eruption of Vesuvius, there would certainly be a separate record of the event.
The eighth plague was a swarm of locusts. Whatever the cause of the hail storm, it seems only natural that such a wide-spread catastrophic weather disruption could have triggered the locusts’ swarm reaction. When temperatures cool suddenly, as would be the case following a massive hail storm, locusts can (and do) go into their special over-drive, undergoing a metabolic change to become the eaters-of-everything that we, the descendants of agricultural people, bear an instinctive fear of.
The ninth plague also follows from a volcanic episode – darkness. As Santorini’s plume began to spread downwind through the upper atmosphere, the fine dust and ash particles would block out the sunlight, perhaps for days. We observe similar happenings with many modern eruptions today.
And, finally, the last plague: the creeping death. Here the cycle returns to where it began, with escaping gasses. Given the short time frame of the plagues, it is highly probable that the initial earthquake, our likely culprit, had opened up more than one vent to the lethal gasses that lurk beneath the Earth’s crust. Just as escaping gasses turned the Nile the color of blood, so too could it be responsible for the most lethal plague of all.
It was Egyptian custom, at the time, for the eldest son to sleep on the ground floor, where the rest of the family was higher up. The parents had their bed, which kept them elevated, and other children often slept in what we would today call a loft. The Hebrews, on the other hand, did not generally sleep too close to the ground.
If a cloud of carbon dioxide, which is heavier than normal air, were to have escaped into the city during the night, it would creep along the land forming a suffocating blanket, never more than a few feet high. The deadly gas would asphyxiate livestock, other ground animals, and any humans caught unawares. Simply standing upright would keep one’s head in clean air, but the sleeping customs of Egypt at that time put the slumbering first-born children, and them alone, squarely in the gas’s ‘death zone’.
Again, the explanation of this plague seems to stretch credulity. Yet, we have a contemporary example of exactly this happening. In 1979, just this sort of carbon dioxide discharge in Java killed 142 people.
All ten plagues, all possible – nay, probable – results of a ‘perfect storm’ of tectonic activity. It is a potentially perfect match. Rare conditions would have to be just right, of course; but, were things different, would the story have been so memorable?
Are the plagues as described here a historical certainty? Hardly; but they are scientifically plausible. And given the preponderance of archeological evidence, produced by both the Hebrews and the Egyptians, it seems highly likely that something similar really did take place.
What’s more, the durability of this tale tells a story all its own. If such a rare series of events were to take place today, it would surely be spoken of for generations to come. It might even be considered grounds for the foundation of a new religion, one where a powerful being takes action to protect his chosen people while casting down their oppressors.
Finally, we must consider that even though such a sequence of events is unlikely at any given time, is it really such a stretch to believe that, in all of human history, such a thing has never happened? Wisdom teaches us that any possibility, no matter how improbable, over a long enough time period becomes inevitable.
The possibility is there. But did the plagues actually happen? It will be a long time before we can be absolutely sure. However, a wise man once said that Faith and Reason must work together for either to have any meaning. This article has provided Reason, through science. The choice to believe, to have Faith, is up to you. Source