Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ"

Some people have a lot of love and compassion for other people. This is good, of course.

But their theology seems based on emotion and maybe traditions of men and not on Scripture.

I once took a class at friend's church, bought all three books, read them, attended a few sessions. It was all about feeling better about ourselves because of God's grace and how much He loves us.
Yes, indeed, He does.
But the course didn't give a true picture of the Gospel. I found sin (Shh!) mentioned only once, in a footnote in the back of the book. And then you had to look up the verse.

I quit the class. It seemed a waste of my limited time.

It's the whole truth of the Gospel that sets us free!

If we want to feel better about ourselves, we have to know this: "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

On the other hand: "But God shows His love to us in this, that when we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

If we feel guilty, we probably are. But God is waiting to forgive. 
That promise should make us feel better about ourselves. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness," 1 John 1:9. What Good News!

Click here to enjoy Honeytree singing Clean Before My Lord
Way of the Master --Great tv show with that cute Kirk Cameron. Here they explain to a cute teenage boy and others how we break the Ten Commandments without even realizing it.

       Roman Road to Salvation, verses that explain how to become a Christian.

"I am Not Ashamed of the Gospel." Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir and Jewish man who believes Jesus is the Jewish Messiah 
The Gospel is offered to "whosoever will."

John 3:16, "God loved the world so much, He gave His one and only Son, that *whosoever* believes on (places everything ON) Him will not die but have eternal life." If you like, go down the margin and push the red button for more information.

Monday, August 30, 2010

"I had to exorcise a few!" a Southern Baptist missionary told me

In the novel I'm writing, my heroine stands at a tomb and makes up a charm. Her husband warns her not to.

She protests. "But God is love. He won't let anything happen to us."

He shakes his head and pulls her close. "It's not that simple."

And a lot happens, both funny and tragic.

At a church meeting, after others had left, I  asked a Southern Baptist missionary back from Indonesia if he'd ever had to "have deliverance" for those involved with witch doctors. I didn't want to use the more dramatic e-word. He used it: "I had to exorcise a few!"

He added that his generator wouldn't work under the "demons' tree." He had to move it. "If you'd told me this in seminary, I wouldn't have believed it!"

What an indictment of the seminaries. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, Hosea 4:6.

One of my Facebook friends said the missionary probably could have solved that problem without moving it, just using the name of Jesus. I agree.

Anyway, you may have to ask when everyone else isn't around, but missionaries will tell you some interesting things.

Some people say that unbelief here in the West hides demonic activity from view. Imagine what things must have been like before Jesus disarmed the enemy!

 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Colossians 2:15

What a wonderful LORD. Many Christians, especially here in the West, have discounted and ignored this and other key principles and replaced them with a socialized, humanized gospel--to the detriment of ourselves and the world. We have a valid concern--we don't want to attribute every head cold or bad habit to demons, obviously.

But we also overlook the "all things whatsoever." that Jesus mentioned in Matthew 28, which refers back to Matthew 10--"Heal the sick...cast out devils...." Details.

And when we do read it, we don't expect it.

It's a vicious cycle. And God misses out on a lot of credit and glory when we don't see Him in action the way we could.

On the other hand, amusement in the occult is rising, even among Christians. This is sad.

If God hates something--such as sorcery and witchcraft, and He says He does in Deuteronomy 18 and Galatians 5--should we who love Him and took advantage of His wonderful, terrible sacrifice be entertained even with stories about what our Creator and Savior hates?

See "Twilight of Loyalty?" if you like.

And why should the enemy heed our rebuking him when we've chosen to climb into his occult playpen with him like old friends? 

As the husband in my story tells his wife, Get into a playpen with serpents and sooner or later, you're going to get bitten.

Now, we believe a Christian can't be possessed by a demon because the Christian is indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

The president of the Southern Baptist Convention just stated this in an article in response to a growing interest in the rite of exorcism.

But that doesn't mean demons can't hassle us, especially if we makes them feel at home.

Jesus wasn't joking around when He cast out devils. I figure He could have taught the people, "This is a sickness of the heart," or "This is a sickness of the way a man thinks." People would have understood that. But He didn't. He cast'em out.

The day I started writing this post, the daily Bible verse in the margin on my Facebook page said:

"I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe." Ephesians 1:18-19a - NIV

This prophet expresses the most heart-felt longing:

God, I've heard what our ancestors say about you,
   and I'm stopped in my tracks, down on my knees.
Do among us what you did among them.
   Work among us as you worked among them.
And as you bring judgment, as you surely must,
   remember mercy. Habakkuk 3:2

Yes, Lord, as with Paul's and Habakkuk's prayers, let us see your incomparably great power and do all things whatsoever you taught the apostles. Forgive us for climbing into a playpen with serpents. In the awesome, wonderful, mighty name of Jesus!


Here's a true story about a priest who went to Rome to learn to be an exorcist, The Rite.

And a great novel about this subject is the classic, This Present Darkness. 
Just pray for protection against fear before reading either one of them.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fear of Rejection at Church

"They want to save me, give me tracts, and preach about the love of Christ, but they are not willing to sit down with me for an hour to find out who I am." My friend wrote that in her powerful Note on Facebook. Wow, what an indictment.

Yes, fear of rejection hurts at both ends. The one ignored, and the one longing to be brave enough to approach another and failing to do this daunting task.

I've moved several times over the years and have had to change churches, and when I first started at one church, I went to a woman's class hardly knowing a soul. The room was over half full, some people sitting with empty chairs beside them. I could have asked if the seats were taken, but I figured they'd rather have their good friends sit beside them than a new stranger.

Maybe I didn't give them enough credit.

And I knew they were big on Outreach. Surely, they'd be big on, shall we say, Within-reach. I decided to start a new table and let some friendly Christian woman come sit by me.

Well, no one did.

A high-ranking staff member entered the room behind me, passed me, and sat at another table.

So I sat at that table alone in the U-shaped arrangement, facing everyone else and feeling less than welcome or happy.

Not like I was an acre away from everyone, and not ignored all night, either. And I did take part in the discussions.

But if it weren't for my husband enjoying that church, I would not have gone back.

I have taken several psychology and counseling courses and recently read about ACOAs, Adult Children of Alcoholics ("And other dysfunctional families.") 

Fear of rejection is huge in this group. They feel different and they feel shame.

And with so many divorces among Christians, I imagine there are a lot of dysfunctional families out there.

These offspring might find it helpful to Google ACOA Laundry List. There are traits there they may recognize. And books, like those by Janet Woititz.

Not to pigeonhole themselves, not to put themselves under some condemnation.

But to see that they are not alone and that they were trained by the situation they grew up in to act and feel certain ways.

Then they can be less hard on themselves.

And recognizing certain actions, they can begin to heal, with God's help, and try to choose not to act and feel that way.

And choose to forgive in the name of Jesus those who hurt them. And in the same way, forgive themselves for traits they hate and for resulting bad choices.

Hurting people hurt people, we've all heard that. We are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.  

So, Lord, please help us to love ourselves as people created in your wonderful image and with great potential you give us. May we invite you into our hearts now to heal us, to shed Your love in us through the Holy Spirit and give us courage and good manners and graciousness to sit by a stranger or phone an absent member and say, "I was thinking about you. We missed you." How hard is that? Forgive us our sins, help us to turn away from them, and save us forever, for your glory and our joy, in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Our Roman Catholic friends have interesting ideas here.

This articles asks, HOW CAN THE CHURCH REVIVE?  Imagine the scene. A little boy has seemingly just died and is placed by a distraught mother before a bishop, who lays healing hands upon him. The boy remains limp -- but during Mass, a few minutes later, revives.

The author says, now there is the glaring need to return to the Church's incredible charisms -- the charisms granted by Jesus, (read more by clicking on title above.)

Yes, I agree. I just hate the word incredible, though, which literally means not believable.

I've blogged about my friend Bob Turner who was healed of CP in a home group meeting. The Great Commission of Matthew refers back to Matthew 10. The GC of Mark spells it out. "Signs will follow those who believe." "Until the end of the age/world/cosmos."

Then what happened? The Dark Ages. Laodicea--today? Maybe. The world, the flesh and the devil? Fer sher. Other than that, it's a mystery to me. I long to see God being God as the First Century church must have. I've seen a few things but not enough to satisfy me.

Jesus said when He came back, would He find faith on the earth? Do I have enough faith? Am I blind and too blind to know it? This passage appeared on my Facebook page today, and I didn't see it until after posting this blog. What a coincidence???

Today's Bible Verse
You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. - Revelation 3:17-18 - NIV

You probably know that passage refers to what we were just discussing--the powerless Laodicean Church.

Is most of the Western Church too busy trying to do good things and not enough into just being in Christ?

He goes on,  the charisms that can be released by the Eucharist, the deliverance that can come from Confession, from exorcism, from the Rosary....

We differ there. Salvation, yes, obviously. Confession, yes, exorcism, sometimes. I've mentioned on FaceBook the Southern Baptist missionary who told me he was surprised he had to use exorcism, saying, If you had told me that in seminary, I wouldn't have believed it.

The article mentions the charisms that will draw disaffected Catholics back into the fold -- and eventually, evangelicals and Protestants, once they see testimony to power.

Well, Evangelicals and Protestants have shown me that power. It's here. I was instantaneously healed of a damaged nerve in the arm in a Presbyterian healing seminar. And instantaneously healed of tension headaches in a healing crusade. Weeks went by, then five-plus years--no more tension headaches.

He mentions seeing a leg grow out. Yes, I saw that in a living room full of believers. And more. These things can happen where people pray and believe. Sometimes. Sometimes not.

But the point is, it didn't end with the last apostle. We're in agreement there. Here's Biblical proof that it's for today, until the Second Coming, after which we won't need healings, yay:

Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I Corinthians 1:7,8 (After the Resurrection, obviously. So, a future event.)

What has changed in the human condition over 2000 years? Nothing. We still need the gifts in order to be strong to the end.

We've all known situations where we need a message of knowledge and a message of wisdom from the Holy Spirit. We've all wanted to see a loved one or ourselves healed. We've all experienced these needs--not to mention the boldness to witness.

He concludes, When clergy have a deep prayer life, miracles result and problems are solved. It is the heart, not the head, that will revive us, and the solution to many current and seemingly insurmountable woes (falling attendance, abuse, modernism, aridity) is so simple: imitate Jesus.

Mmm, yes, but so many clergy do have a deep prayer life. And they're in the Word, they're on missions, they're in the community spreading the Gospel. They're wonderful, deep, sincere, spiritual people full of love of the Lord, love of people, and full of the Word of God.

But they're up against the Laodicean, I believe, trend today of not emphasizing this minor detail:

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil for God was with Him.  Acts 10:38, my life verse.

If we are to imitate Jesus as the author suggests--and it's a fine suggestion--we must be (continually) filled and anointed with the Holy Spirit. 

Yes, we receive Him with salvation. And He promises never to leave us or forsake us.

But we quench Him and grieve Him.

We need to make Him feel welcome, I guess, by obedience and confession of our shortcomings before a holy and perfect and compassionate and just God.

And maybe by inviting Him to fill us again?

If God in the flesh needed to be filled and anointed with the Holy Spirit, can we need any less?

Habakkuk 3:2 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.

"Holy Spirit, Come and Fill this Place" by CeCe Winans

Friday, July 16, 2010

Not guilty!

God has blessed the USA. I believe it's because we were founded by yes, Christians, but that's another post. And because He has turned-on followers here. Even though, yes, we can always do better. And because we have always sent out the Gospel and stood by Israel. (If you believe the Bible, see Genesis 12:3, John 4:22, and Romans 11. If you don't, you might as well quit reading now.)

And mostly, because God is sweet.

So, because we are so blessed, we should feel guilty???

A few thoughts:

First, on a personal level, too, bad times make us grow.

But when we're alert and grateful, blessings make us grow, too.

Of course, if we want to grow only through bad times, I'm sure the enemy of our souls could arrange some bad times for us, as God allowed him to do with Job.

Otherwise, we can gratefully grow through our blessings as they did at Pentecost when Jesus first made the church and made them grow. In joy and power. He baptized them in the Holy Spirit, and I doubt that was a grim, formal, staid experience. I suspect it was joyful and exciting.

And a few of them preached and 3000-5000 were saved, and the authorities noted that those simple, unlearned men "had been with Jesus."

Wouldn't we love for people to look at us in living and ministering in power and know we had been with Jesus!

Hard times did come later. Even death. And the church grew.

Second: after we are blessed, then we can bless others with our blessings. And not out of guilt but out of gratitude. Stats have shown that Christians are the biggest givers.

Jesus said to give to the poor. Of course. And He said "The poor are always with you." I doubt that we will ever eliminate poverty. But we can help as many as we can, remembering Paul's words, "Those who don't work don't eat." Unless they can't work, or need a temporary hand up.

And we will be blessed for it, too. So, we can't lose with God.

Luke 6:38 "Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure--pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return."

Third: --by choice. By choice. Not by legislation.

Yes, we need more generosity and less greed in this country. But the answer is not government, but God. Here's Malachi 3. Short chapter. Verse 10 is interesting. Take a look, if you like. God bless.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Can you know for sure?

I once wondered if I believed well enough and hard enough to be saved. And a friend showed me I John 5:13

1 John 5:12-13 (English Standard Version)
12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

That You May Know
13I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.

I said to her, "Oh, then, I know. And I know that I know. I just didn't know that I knew!" Meaning, if it's possible to know, then I know.

I shared that story while sitting in New Orleans, enjoying cafe' au lait and beignets at Cafe' du Monde. My friend's husband laughed and said, "O, foolish Galatian."

I love this passage from Galatians 3:

By Faith, or by Works of the Law?

O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. 2Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— 6just as Abraham "believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness"?

What good news!

For more information, scroll way down and click on the red button.

Friday, May 28, 2010

New Orleans, Florida, Tucson--places of the heart--at risk

My heart, anyway.

Our culture is threatened, our economy is threatened, and everything that I know and love is at risk.

I was born in the beautiful Southeast with its sugar-white sands, azaleas and hanging moss, night-blooming jasmine. I lived there many years, gave birth there.

So, I could not imagine falling in love with the cactus and rocks of the desert Southwest. But as someone reassured me just before we moved there, the desert has a beauty all its own. And fall in love, I did. I lived in Tucson for six years and hated to move away again.

But while I was there, one of the local hospitals closed, and another in a nearby small town, did, too. Both went bankrupt. Now, local taxpayers in that small town had no hospital. Because so many women came to Arizona to have "anchor babies." Babies who were automatically citizens and a free pass for the parents. Who will grow up in a few years, and vote for radical changes, if the rhetoric is any indication.

The U.S. is a generous country. We want to help others and we do. But the problem is, in a word, gushing. Oil gushing up, illegals gushing in, money gushing out. How can we keep paying the bills for everyone?

Our borders are so open, anyone from anywhere is coming in. We realize many are looking for freedom and opportunity? What about the others, the OTMs, Other Than Mexicans? Where do they come from and what do they want?

Another place is my beloved New Orleans. My wip is set there. My heroine loves the city: its history, music, charm and food. She adds to its art, its laughter. She gets lost for a while in its alleged dark side. Finds peace with God again in the afternoon sunshine. That's my fiction.

Now, in reality, there's our food. On a recent trip, I enjoyed this delicious soft-shell crab.

Others are dying a slow death, by what is to most living things, poison.

By an accident that could have been avoided. By other things, too, long before this.

Seafood restaurants support fishermen, not to mention the restaurateurs, chefs, and wait staff. If the industry adapted and switched to steak and chicken, I wonder:

Who would go to New Orleans for a steak?

I would. Because of everything else there that my heroine loves. Anybody else? Some, not many.

Today, Louisiana's Rep. Charlie Melancon wept in Congress and I wept along with him as he said,

Our culture is threatened, our economy is threatened, and everything that I know and love is at risk.
After struggling with his emotions, he stopped speaking, got up, and left the room. The chairman assured him in respectful tones that everyone was praying for the people along the Gulf.

I know I am.

Monday, May 10, 2010

"Welcome, Holy Spirit!"Concert Pentecost Sunday's comin'!


We sing about God the Father and God the Son at Christmas and Easter. Why not God the Holy Spirit at Pentecost? 

The Jewish feast is held fifty days after Passover. 

May 20 is Pentecost Sunday. It's not just another day on the Liturgical Calendar. It's when He birthed empowered the Church with His presence! GOD in US, conforming us to the image of Christ!
And He promises never to leave us. To celebrate and prepare hearts, I've collected these songs into a "concert." Just click on the titles.  Welcome, Holy Spirit!

Father, I Adore You

Welcome, Holy Spirit

Come Holy Spirit Revive the Church Today!

Cece Winans- Holy Spirit Come Fill This Place

Holy Spirit Rain Down Alvin Slaughter

Holy Spirit Rain Down with lyrics

Come Holy Spirit by Israel Houghton

Let Your Spirit Fall

Come Holy Spirit I Need Thee

Spirit of the Living God

Come Holy Spirit Fall Afresh On Me

Elvis Presley introduces The Stamps - Sweet Sweet Spirit 1972 live

The Amen - Prayer to the Holy Spirit

It's Beginning To Rain

Holy Spirit You Are Welcome Here

Adoration by Mike Adkins

Shine Jesus Shine
 ... blaze, Spirit, blaze...

Holy Spirit Come

If you have any requests for other songs about the Holy Spirit, please leave a comment. Thanks.

Acts 10:38 is my favorite Bible verse, besides salvation verses.

God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power,

Amazing! Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit. The Bible doesn't speak of Him doing any miracles or teaching until then. But then! But then, He

went about doing good and healing *all* who were oppressed of the devil for God was with Him.

I love it because we, too, are commanded to be filled with the same Holy Spirit who empowered Jesus.

We know that God the Father sits in Heaven, and God the Son sits beside Him. It's God the Holy Spirit who lives in us and through us, and heals us and encourages us....

And He gives us the power of the gifts of the Spirit for victory in situations of life and we will receive the fruit of the Holy Spirit for victories within ourselves. And *be being* transformed into the image of Christ!

I Corinthians 12, 13, and 14 are about the Spirit's power, love, and again, power. A Holy Spirit sandwich. And I want the whoooole thing!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Jesus up, soldiers down? What's up with that?

An angry, resentful, determined band of men ready to rid themselves of a serious problem strode with Judas to the olive grove.

They were fired up and ready, ultimately, to kill.

Officials of the temple, and according to some Scripture versions, soldiers, approached Jesus and His friends that night.

They demanded to know which man was Jesus. When Jesus answered, they fell backward and to the ground.

But, why would these angry, powerful, motivated men fall down? Let's check it out.

Some versions say Jesus said, I am He. I don't think that's correct.

I believe the versions that say that he said, I am.

Judas, therefore, having taken the band and officers out of the chief priests and Pharisees, doth come thither with torches and lamps, and weapons; Jesus, therefore, knowing all things that are coming upon him, having gone forth, said to them, `Whom do ye seek?' they answered him, `Jesus the Nazarene;'

Jesus saith to them, `I am [he];' -- and Judas who delivered him up was standing with them; --

when, therefore, he said to them -- `I am [he],' they went away backward, and fell to the ground. John 18:3-6

I am. As when God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. Exodus 3:14 

God referred to Himself as I AM. Perpetual. Now. Present.

We are also told that in the beginning was the Word and the Word was God and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. John 1:1-14.

Jesus Christ is God. I AM in the flesh. Emmanu-El. God with us.

And when I AM in the flesh stepped up and declared His presence, I AM, the power in that place was so strong, the enemy could not stand. Friend or foe, the human body cannot stand in the presence of the full power of God.

I had to know where and how this happened in the Old Testament.

I called a rabbi friend and asked about these following verses:

1 Kings 8:11 so that the priests could not *stand* to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.

Did that mean, in the original Hebrew, that the priest could not bear to move and talk, or that he could not stand up?

The rabbi assured me they could not stand up. That's why a rope was tied around the priest's ankle. To pull him out of the Holy of Holies if he died.

And the word for glory in Hebrew is chabod. It also means weight. Heaviness. It makes sense:

2 Chronicles 5:14 so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory (weight, heaviness) of the LORD filled the house of God.

Some today would call it falling under the Power, or slain in the Spirit.

And we have these precedents, Old Testament and New. Tenach and New Covenant.

Jesus' power came, not because He was God, but from His anointing with the Holy Spirit. Acts 10:38 He did no miracles until He was anointed with the Holy Spirit.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were there in that Garden.

If we can just wrap our minds around this concept: the same Holy Spirit, this same power of God who raised Jesus from the dead can dwell in all of us.  Romans 8:11 We are commanded to "be (continually) filled with the Spirit."

He dwells in those who believe Jesus died to take the punishment for our, yes, sins. In those who receive Him into our hearts and lives and ask Him to help us do better.

We can receive power to tell others and to live our lives to the fullest as God the Holy Spirit works through us for our joy and well-being and His glory.

If you're ready to receive this awesome Jesus, be filled with His Spirit, and have a wonderful relationship with God the Father and see His hand in your life, and know you can live with Him forever, just scroll down and click the Ready button.

Go on, do it now.  : )

Monday, March 01, 2010

Sunny walk, dark path--would we have rescued this boy?

An autistic teenaged boy sank in a pond last Saturday at a dog-walking park. He walked through some brush and between bushes, and next thing his mother knew, he had run out into a pond and was sinking, over his head.

The mother screamed and my friend's husband shed his jacket and ran in after him. The boy, who cannot talk, reached for him. The man pulled him out and carried the 120-pounder to shore.

The grateful, distraught mother said she had tried to teach her son to swim, but the teenager couldn't even learn to blow bubbles.

It could have been so tragic but for the selflessness of the man. They called him a hero but he doesn't accept that. He says anyone else would have done the same thing.

Maybe, maybe not. I hope I would have. But we don't know until we're there.

Every day, don't we see people headed for danger, and say nothing?

I know I do. Sometimes the Holy Spirit says that this isn't the right time or place. That they wouldn't receive it right now. I think I'm hearing that, anyway. Sure makes it easier to say nothing.

But the Bible says, "Now is the day of salvation."

And in Ezekiel 3 it says to warn His people even when they won't listen.

Some may reject us. Some may reach for us. But we won't know until we try.

My heroine's mother-in-law was like this man, ready to plunge in and rescue people. She plunged into conversation with the man who loved the heroine, challenging him to explore his faith further.

He did. All the way to Israel. A whole new world opened up to him and he found more than he sought--including the Six-Day War. Trained as a US Air Force pilot, he flew and fought for Israel after someone dear to him was shot. Eventually, he returned home much richer in spirit, with more to give the heroine--and her mother-in-law.

And then the fun began.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ever wonder if God loves you?

He created us to be a pleasure to Him. When we failed to please Him, look what He did for us to make us a pleasure to Him again like He wanted in the first place!

These things I have written to you that believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that you may KNOW you HAVE eternal life. 1 John 5:13

For more information, scroll down and click on the red Ready button.

My MC Maggie says, "God is love." But she finds that some things still bring consequences. So she decides God doesn't love her, after all. Three different men in her life bring her tragedies and triumphs that result in restoration of her fun-loving nature and the knowledge that God does love her and welcome her home.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Divination for children--made easy....

Ever play with a Ouija Board?

In college, I lived in a big old house off campus from the U of Florida, in a student area, and on an inside door someone had painted a design that included a cross and  XPI.

This was before computers and xpi Zip drives. It was Chi Rho Iota, the first three Greek letters of Christ.

One summer night between semesters, back home at my parents' house, my mom and I were playing with a neighbor's Ouija Board, and the planchette moved to X, then P. I was very careful to be sure I wasn't guiding it in any way. My mom and I had decided not to tell each other our respective questions for the board so the other person wouldn't  influence it. And she didn't know what I was thinking, so she wasn't unconsciously guiding it. And it slowly moved to I.

I threw up my hands and gasped. "Something is trying to deceive us!"

I had never been warned or taught about the occult and that God hates it. But the Holy Spirit let me know in my baby-Christian spirit that it was not Jesus writing the familiar letters.

We gave the board back to the owner and never played with it again.

Some will say I had to be guiding it without realizing it, by what I was expecting.

Maybe, maybe not. I believe not.

Point is, years later, I read in the Bible how God hates dabbling in any powers not from Him.
Now, Hasboro Toys is selling pretty pink and glow-in-the-dark Ouija Boards in big chain toy stores and marketing them for little children!

What a convenient way for young ones to learn to do what God hates and calls an abomination or detestable--divination--going to a supernatural source for hidden or future knowledge.

I just now read about these new "toys" in a wonderful newsletter by Jan Markell.

Please visit her website and see: Playtime for Kids and It's Called Divination 

She has a novel, Gone the Golden Dream, and lot of pertinent information on many topics.

So, is the Ouija Board just harmless fun? Or does it open a door to demonic powers as some believe?

Jesus does give His people power and authority over evil spirits:

Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

But I suspect we make them feel quite welcome to hang around and hassle us when we play with powers not from God, powers He says he hates in Deuteronomy 18 and Galatians 5*

Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.

Yes, Christians are under grace in this New Testament era.

But, We know that the Lord disciplines those He loves, Hebrews 12:6. By lifting His protection and allowing natural consequences? The enemy is like a roaring lion who would love to cause us problems.

In my WIP, fun-loving Maggie is at war with God. In New Orleans, she turns to the occult
for answers, and the fun begins, all right. The answers she gets are not from God and her life is endangered.

This photo reminds me of my heinous villain taking an early morning, innocent stroll outside his French Quarter apartment, no doubt ruminating on some scheme to win Maggie's heart as he leads her farther into the dark side. Does she ever get her fun-lovin' self back and find peace with God?

You'll learn what happens when some savvy editor recognizes the sterling qualities in this story and publishes it.  : )

My friends do not have to agree with me about all this, of course.

Everyone has to do as they are led. It's just that I commit enough sins without choosing to be entertained by something God hates. He tells us He does:

Deuteronomy. 18:9 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. 10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in [a] the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. 13 You must be blameless before the LORD your God.

14 The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so.

Galatians 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

We say, If God be for us, who can be against us?

 And if we be for God, can we be for occult entertainment if He hates it? That must hurt him when He loves us much, He died for us.

And I hate to think of little children who have never been taught better playing with this "toy."

It's the edge of a slippery slope toward spiritual porn--seeking an illicit spiritual experience. And maybe getting more of one than they expect.

The Holy Spirit is a lot more fun than this, when we get to know Him and see His hand in our lives.

John 14:21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.

A concise an interesting book on all this is Don't Buy the Lie: Discerning Truth in a World of Deception by Mark Matlock.

Again, here's that great promise:

John 14:21Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.

And maybe heal our land. But that's a subject for another day.

So--let's pray. Lord, please forgive us for looking for spiritual experiences in the wrong places. Please give us a fresh--or brand-new--infilling of the Holy Spirit and love, joy, peace, power, all that you have for us--from YOU. Thank You. In the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

f you don't know Jesus, scroll down and push the red button on the side of this blog for more information about a personal relationship with God! That relationship includes the assurance of forgiveness for dabbling and other sins, the inheritance of everlasting life with God in Heaven, and the promise, the seal, the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives here and now!

God bless.

Cece Winans- Holy Spirit Come Fill This Place

Monday, January 25, 2010

When the Saints Go Marchin' In!

I adore this photo! They must have been cheering for me, I was trying so hard to help them kick that field goal! LOL

There was such unity in the city at that victorious moment, strangers hugging and laughing. New Orleans Saints fans had waited forty-three years for this!

I'm reminded of another moment, what it must have been like in the spirit realm when Jesus came out of that tomb! 

And I think of what that means for those who--who want it to:

From St. Paul's letter to the Colossians, Chapter 2

10 And you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.

11 In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ,

12 having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,

14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.

15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross!!!

Come on, saints! Let's tell our friends! Let's tell strangers on the street! That is worth cheering about!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Between Sundays, choosing the things that last....

I just visited  Between Sundays, my friend Robin Bayne's blog. She has posted reviews of her sweet romance, Prodigal. Take a look, maybe find a new favorite!    

Between Sundays--love that name. I think of the passage of time plus the significance of Sundays.

And then there was Sinatra Sundays, a restaurant near where we lived. I liked that name, too. Made me think of a lazy Sunday listening to nice love songs.

Last time we saw it, the marquee sported a different name. Sinatra is gone, too, for that matter, although, of course, his music still lives on.

And for me, Sundays are seldom lazy, but full of choir, church, Bible study, dinner, nap, choir, church, all with my little part of God's family. I like it that way.

And Sundays--occasion to worship, anyway--and Jesus--and His music--are all still with us. And they will last forever.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Death on your doorstep--besides the moths. LOL

So, what is this death on your doorstep? LOL

Not the moths flying around your lightbulbs. And not by an armed intruder.

But darling people. Ringing your bell, they want to rescue you and justify themselves before God. But, blinded by the god of this age, they are dying in their own sins with false religions.

You have a mission field on your doorstep, as the late, great Walter Martin would say.

It's a new year, and groups will be revving up to go out and knock on doors. Including yours.

Will you turn them away to die in their sins or will you give them the Truth and Light of the real Jesus Christ?

It's not that hard. Just three Bible passages could do it.

Jude verse 3--"contend (argue vigorously) for the faith once (Greek--once and for all) delivered to the saints." There is no new revelation since the Holy Spirit closed the canon and separated literature and history books from the inspired Word of God.

Revelation may still come today in a word of wisdom or a word of knowledge to someone about a given situation.

But there is no new doctrine. The Gospel is a done deal. God protects His Word, and there are verses about that. But let's stick with these three passages for today.

This one's easy to remember, II Corinthians 11:3-4--the II looks like the 11. That's two digits,then, 3,4:

"3But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough."

Paul points out that some of the people were not bothered by various doctrines that were false. They were adapting them and being led astray.

Of course, if they receive another spirit, that spirit will lead them to receive another jesus and another gospel. All false. All deception.

Today, it's easier than in Paul's time. We have the Word written down and we can easily learn what is right. And there is only one real Jesus.

And there is a terrible penalty for adapting the real Jesus to suit another doctrine and presenting this false Jesus to others:

Galatians 1:6-9 NIV "6I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we or an *angel from heaven*  should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!"

Please read that last line again--eternally condemned.

And after asking them to look up this Galatians passage, we may say this to the darling young people who want to lead us astray without realizing it: "We must be very sure we are presenting the Gospel that the Bible teaches--the real Jesus. Otherwise, we are eternally condemned. Cursed. You are so cute and sweet, and you are so kind, wanting to rescue me. But I am so afraid for you. If your leaders are wrong, Paul says you are cursed." Blunt? You bet.

And the truth of those three passages will make some in cults eventually rethink what they have learned from their leaders and books.

Martin defined cults as groups that hold a book and/or a leader equal to or above the Word of God. The group may small or huge. No matter.

The issue is: Who is Jesus? Walter Martin said that if you miss that, you have missed it all.

(And by the way, page 110 of the popular The Shack says that Jesus is the best way to the Father. He is not. He is the only way to the Father. If The Shack is the only "Christian" book a non-Christian reads, he or she has missed it all.)

Jesus is not just a good person. He is not just Plan B when the Garden of Eden didn't work out.

Jesus is God in the flesh:

The Word was God, and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, the only Son of the Father. John 1:1-14

How did that happen? I don't know. But it's easy if you're God.

These cults may already know John 3:16: "For God loved the world so much, He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

But they may see him as a way-show-er, and not the only way.

He is the only way. God in the flesh. Jesus Christ is Lord of all.

Maggie, the heroine in my work in progress, thought she was a Christian, thought she was saved. She loved and appreciated Jesus. She even said "God is love." But she didn't really know Him and she paid a price with pain and chaos in her happy life until she found the Way, the Truth, the Life of the real Jesus. Then someone introduced her to Him. And for the most part, they all lived happily ever after.

If someone knocks on your door with a different Jesus, please take a moment and tell them those three passages. It only takes a moment, and the results last forever.

Warning: It can be addictive, rescuing people. Martin says to do your homework and give the Holy Spirit something to work with. He will bring things to your remembrance, and sometimes give you amazing things to say that you know you would have never thought of.

Should you decide to study further, Comparing Christianity with Cults   and Comparing Christianity with Cults  2 are charts that compare the Word of God itself and what men are saying.

The same charts are found online: Chart 1, Chart 2.

Happy and blessed 2010.

Photo at Gardener's Cottage, Scotland.