Wednesday, December 31, 2008

_My Wicked, Wicked Ways_

The 1940s actor, Errol Flynn, gave this title to his bio. He was handsome, debonair, even swashbuckling in his adventure movies. With brawls, wives and mistresses, fortunes that came and went, he considered himself a charming rascal. Wicked.

I thought of this as, during my New Year's introspections, I considered how God talked about the wicked ways of His own people in the Old Testament.

Just the other day, I mentioned something related to this. Well, just this morning, I came across it again. In the New Testament. Galatians 5.

It's among the opposite of the Fruit of the Spirit, right beside, wow, hatred, sexual immorality and other detestable things: witchcraft.

Yes, we're made in His awesome image and have many of His traits--creativity being one, love being another.

But lately we're being drawn away from obedience and into something He detests.

When I consider what's going on in our country today--indeed, in all the world--my concern is the MY PEOPLE in 2 Chronicles 7:14.

God's people are embracing witchcraft and the occult with Harry Potter and Twilight. And it must break His heart.

Deuteronomy 18 and Galatians 5 both say that those practitioners will not enter the Kingdom of God.

But what happens when people already in God's Kingdom practice it? Or just wish they could? Or even just find their amusement and entertainment there? What happens to them?

On a personal level, whatever it is, I don't want it happening to me.

The Lord disciplines those He loves. He disciplines me enough already!

But the Chronicles passage also deals with your land. God promises that if His people will turn from their--our--wicked ways, He will heal our land.

Conversely, are the Wall Street problems part of God's lifting His protection from our land? Is He disciplining the United States and the rest of the world?

If so, wouldn't we rather see peace and prosperity again, than books and movies that makes what God calls detestable look cute, sexy and smart?

Or a book that misleads people right out of the Truth that gives eternal life--The Shack-- that says on page 110 (Jesus) is the best way to relate to God. He's not. Jesus, Himself, says He is the ONLY way to the Father.

Walter Martin says in The Kingdom of the Cults that if you miss who Jesus is, you have missed it all.

And again, and on a personal level: Between being amused and being used--in answered prayer and Power of the Holy Spirit--wouldn't we rather see our friends and loved ones healed of diseases and delivered from pain because we choose to walk close to God than be entertained by things God detests--as charming as they certainly may be?

And if we do find our amusement in detestable things, could that give the enemy permission to hassle us? I beleive so. But that's a topic for another day.

This very situation is one faced by my main character, Maggie. Crushed by a tragedy, she went into rebellion. Seeking answers, she delved into powers not from God. Her fun-loving, happy-go-lucky personality was lost in the darkness--for a season. And she was hassled by the enemy before she regained her joy of life.

Lord, please show us if there be any wicked way in us, and lead us into lives that please you. So you may forgive us for our disloyalty. And so we may see more of your power and glory and victory in our lives. And so you will heal our land!

Habakkuk 3:2 (New International Version)

LORD, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD.
Renew them in our day,
in our time make them known;
in wrath remember mercy.

In the mighty name of our King of Kings and Lord of Lords, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Now, I'm going to bake 7-Layer Cookies:

360 for 30 minutes

So easy and fast:

stick of butter --melt in bottom of 9x14 pan

Graham cracker crumbs -- 1 C spread over the butter

Sprinkle 1 C each:

semi-sweet chocolate chips
butterscotch chips

1 can condensed milk

top with:
about 1 1/4 C or two small pkgs chopped pecans or mixed nut topping

Bake at 360 for 30 minutes. Let cool and cut. Enjoy!

Happy New Year.

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