A simple bible scripture quietly wrapped up within the Easter season, placed a conviction on sinners and nonbelievers. Christ’s crucifixion was not in vain. Allow me to test your knowledge of an event which surrounded the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. It is written in the Apostle’s Creed.
Did you know many saints were raised from the dead along with Jesus? It’s a shocking revelation, written only in the Book of Matthew, and overlooked by many because the occurrence is not mentioned by any other author of the Holy Word. But, here it remains…
Matthew 27: 52-53
52and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
As Christ died to take away our sins, the heavens turned an angry gray and black. The earth rattled and split rocks on the sacred grounds where He hung on the cross at Golgotha. God’s power showed His wrath to the Romans who did not believe He sent Jesus to earth to prove His existence. What better way to convince them than to raise the sleeping saints from Jerusalem?
The tombs of many people were broke open in a strong earthquake. After Jesus arose from the dead, the saints raised out of their graves and returned to Jerusalem, known as the Holy City. Friends and family instantly recognized them. Though we do not know for sure who these holy people were, they stayed alive during the forty days Jesus continued on earth, after His death. It is suggested they returned, along with Jesus, to heaven.
Can we not testify this biblical event immortalizes God’s power over life and death? The resurrection of the sleeping saints reveals all believers should have no fear of death, for one day, we too, will be raised to join our Almighty Father. This gives us reason to have hope in eternal salvation, and perhaps, assurance our sins will be forgiven in heaven if we become faithful followers of God today.
Matthew’s Bible passage swirls in controversy. Biblical scholars feel there is no validity to it because the raised dead, seen by others in Jerusalem, was not referenced anywhere else in the Bible. They suggest we should understand this passage to be a preview of our resurrection at the End Times. But, would resurrecting the dead really be so hard to believe since it was a divine act?
Based on 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, this event would undoubtedly undermine Jesus’s resurrection. Theologians believe God has resurrected no one to eternal life as an immortal spirit yet—except Christ.
As we’ve always commented on other controversial blogs, we cannot disprove any biblical passages in this life. Our wonderful Lord wrote the Bible with the message it is never to be deciphered as we see fit, therefore in my eyes…so it shall stay.
“Father forgive them, they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
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For many days, I pondered over the television mini-series, “Jesus: His Life.” It is inspiring… an innocent child, sent by God, led a mission to save mankind. God’s other attempts to instill His word to unbelievers failed, so His new plan involved sending an image of Himself to save the world from its own corruption. After watching this program, related to the upcoming season of Easter, I felt it imperative to write this message.
The summation of my writing today is not about the life story of Jesus here on earth, but rather the way those who took part in the film interpreted it. Before I proceed, I want to state I’m not sure where to place blame – the movie producer, Film Editing, or the famous evangelical pastor who made this controversial statement. But, whoever is responsible has lost contact with reality. Please allow me to go into detail.
THE CONTROVERSIAL STATEMENT
Throughout this beautiful movie, the distinguished televangelist, Joel Osteen, repeated the quote, “Jesus faced what we face today, and felt what we feel today.” Why in the world would a pastor of great faith compare Jesus’ hardships to our struggles today? How can this preacher, who lives in a twenty-million-dollar mansion, have a clue what Jesus experienced; he knows nothing about suffering as Jesus did in His life. What great perils, like Jesus, does he face? Capitalizing on people’s fears is hardly a Christlike way of saving sinners!
PERILS OF JESUS
The Holy Spirit placed Jesus on earth to change the way the world spun two thousand years ago and into the future. He sent Him to save us from our own sins. The struggles were insurmountable for He had to prove to Himself, and people in adjoining cities, He was, in fact, the Messiah. Born a child from His virgin mother’s womb, it was inconceivable He was filled with the power of God. Jesus fought physically and mentally every day to save sinners from the world’s persecution. How many ordained leaders, today, are stalked and prosecuted by the Roman Empire for preaching God’s word? How many would physically fight for the sinful nature of humans because it was Jesus’ duty to right this world? I assure you not one minister would expose such vulnerability to the public! Their bodyguards would step in before such an incident occurred in any country.
The personal hardships Jesus endured were many and certainly not faced by our pastors today. He lived in caves or the middle of a desert for fear of His life; He walked local markets always looking over His shoulder and attended to bodily functions in a public manner. Jesus strolled the deplorable alleyways and through the back streets of towns to perform miracles. He drew the attention of those who didn’t adhere to God’s standards. Everyone watched and waited for the Romans to hunt Him down, for at times, He insulted their religion and faith. Word spread fast that one man was trying to make a statement. Jesus stood out like a sore thumb as he moved from city to city and fled to other countries. His life was more like Bonnie and Clyde than a rich man living on an expensive estate. The only persons today who live in danger while spreading the religious word are missionaries.
WE DO NOT FACE WHAT JESUS FACED!
We cannot conceive what Christ’s brutal life was like on earth. He didn’t live in the lap of luxury or even have a home. Modern persecution of Christians, though they suffered tragically, still cannot compare to God’s son who hung on a cross with stakes through his hands and feet. He was beaten, dragged through the streets, stabbed, and ridiculed. Jesus was mercilessly crucified in the most painful and shameful way a man could devise, for you and I, just so we may join Him, one day, in heaven. Our gracious hearts honor Him in love.
It is prevalent in the making of movies that films can be edited in such a way to provoke emotion. The statement I dispute in this blog may be one such case. I cannot comprehend a pastor would speak those words with the true meaning behind it. I sincerely hope he didn’t mean those exact words! If I speak these words in error, I wish someone involved with the film would come forward to make my horror right. I take strong offense to anyone who compares their life today to that of Jesus’ life on earth. Perhaps they focused on the technical data too much; they tried to make viewers believe Christians, today, suffer similarly to Jesus at the hands of God. Maybe someone lost sight of the larger picture: that our Savior severely suffered for us. No one can or ever will walk in His shoes!
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All men are equal creations in God’s eyes. We are a miraculous life up to our last breath of oxygen on earth. Born sinners, we are considered spiritually dead. Just as the morning sun rises over a cup of coffee though, we can renew our birth. God gives us another day, yet another chance, to announce the forgiveness of our sins and walk with Him.
A church’s grand ceremonial display, known as baptism, is the only way many find comfort in their spirituality. In my opinion, the rhetoric of the performance sets an example of what’s wrong with our society today. Hypocrites grandstand in church with applause as a new believer gives their life to the Lord. Far too prevalent are those who “talk the talk” but do not “walk the walk” as a born again Christian. The simple act of being submerged in holy water will never bestow you the rank of being born again. It isn’t how much of the Bible we memorize, but how many scriptures we can live by every day thereafter. It is being ever mindful of our sins and praying for God to teach us a better way.
Being baptized is not a date on a calendar. It’s a way of life to honor Christ as a religious follower. Even though Jesus was not a sinner, John the Baptist still baptized Him. You may ask why, then, did He enter the Jordan River? Jesus humbled himself in obedience to His Father to set an example for us of faith. Baptism publicly declares we are a follower of Jesus Christ. It is also a symbol of His burial and resurrection.
“Those who accepted his message were baptised….” Acts 2:41
DOES BAPTISM AUTOMATICALLY SAVE ME?
In today’s times, too many born again Christians believe baptism automatically saves them, but this is just the beginning of the journey. Do you realize the act of receiving the holy water places you under harsher scrutiny in the Lord’s eyes? Why? God sets higher expectations on believers because we now know the difference between right and wrong. As I mentioned above, hypocrites fill our churches. They walk out the doors and continue on with their comfortable lifestyle without giving God the time of day throughout the week. The commitment to living for Him stops at the steeple. We must stay in shape and be willing to serve His kingdom at every corner. Be alert in times of need and show others who we are – God’s anointed children. Set an example for this our job as a born again Christian!
The Bible teaches us prerequisites to follow before we can be a born again Christian. These specifications will also reveal why the christening of babies performed in some church denominations, is not a scripturally accepted act.
Though I’m sure someone will challenge me on this statement, we cannot deny the Bible verses which substantiate this blessing of holy water:
PREREQUISITES TO BAPTISM ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURES
Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. 1 Corinthians 14:20
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Galatians 3:26-27
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is LORD,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 10:9-10
A born again Christian is a renewed person in Christ. They are now a member of Jesus’s body and must walk as sinless as possible on earth. It requires full control of the mouth, mind, and body language. God is first in our life, over and above everything and everyone. I’ve been up for the challenge for many years, are you? The celebration of Jesus’ resurrection will be here in a couple of weeks. Won’t you commit your life to be one with Him? To be born again will be your eternal salvation and a promise for a brand new life!
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Religious persecution is a never-ending battle. Innocent Christians are crucified every day in the name of God for believing in a higher way of life. On our home turf, distance protects us; yet examples around the world appear in our own living room. If only everyone would come to terms with God’s peace! My heart remains in remorse over the wrong direction we are heading today. But, amongst these times of terror, the steadfast still walk with Jesus to praise and spread the Lord’s words of hope. Blessed be the faithful!
Some may not be aware my wife did missionary work in Guinea, West Africa for the International Mission Board. Her humanitarian efforts served the Susu tribes where they dug wells for fresh water. She also held a Vacation Bible School for pre-school children in the capital city of Conakry. Her living arrangement was in a compound enclosed with a fifteen-foot cement wall and broken bottles placed on top for safety. Two security guards stood guard twenty-four hours a day. Amidst the 110 degree weather, lack of fresh running water, recurring power outages, illness from vaccine shots, and contaminated foods, she and her group forged onward; it was necessary for the Islamists to know God loves everyone.
But, months of pre-planning and training was mandatory before she could enter Africa. The World Mission Boards warns missionaries to be careful who you speak to, not to look militants in the eye, and to dress in public as one of the crowd. They could not take for granted the deep commitment the Soussou had to their own religion. Not everyone finds peace in the spirit of Christian voodoo where God is the last word. Amid the incomprehension of entering a Third World country, she boarded an airplane with a round-trip ticket and the church’s prayer for her safe return. God bless our missionaries!
Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. (1 Peter 2:12)
By God’s mercy, my wife was one of the lucky few to serve and leave Africa without incident. The internet is filled with stories of those murdered in the hands of the Peace Corps and other religious affiliations. It is obvious Christians still walk, today, in the suffering Christ paid for our sins. China and Pakistan, for example, recently suffered mass genocides and burnings of their churches. Bangladesh murders secular activists and Christians, more or less with impunity. Statistics reveal North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Africa, Iraq, and Syria persecute Christians more than any other faith group. Making matters worse, governments in the West and the UN do not offer emergency help to victims.
With the influx of Middle Eastern immigrants and other foreigners into the United States, the religious tide is shifting dramatically here too. Bibles, crosses, and our churches are burned; they ban even Christmas trees and greeting cards in some areas. I wonder what Jesus would think if He walked our world today?
In biblical days, Jesus also suffered much religious persecution. He toured a radius of forty miles around Nazareth preaching His Father’s word and often hid in different lands for His protection. Unlike my wife, who stayed behind a cement wall, His temporary home was in a cave or the middle of a desert. But as in today’s times, very few people believed He was the Messiah, only those who witnessed His miracles. What words or actions does one need to see to prove God really exists? It’s not about color or creed, but receiving the grand prize – eternal life in heaven!
To the families who lost loved ones in the oppression of trusting in God’s greatness, have faith knowing persecution and true Christianity are inseparable. Jesus died on the cross for our sins – even for those who denounced His existence. Missionaries and all other Christians must realize God warns His righteous saints they will be persecuted for believing in Him.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:10-12)
Have solace for your loved ones, and others who served the Lord, and believe in His name because they will be forever in His presence. If I had to lose my life for someone, let it be for Jesus! It would not be in vain for mercy reigns over ignorance!
For two thousand years, believers have fought the war of standing up for God. Many procrastinate changing their life’s sins for the anticipation of the return of Christ Jesus. With the love the Lord placed in my heart, I bleed for those who choose not to concede before they die. Fathers, mothers, sisters and sons, Christ sent you a personal invitation to live in heaven with Him. What are you waiting for? It’s in you! Open your eyes and listen to your soul. Let the books of the Gospel lead your spirit for they are not fiction but the genealogy of your life.
She stood under the cross motionless and watched her son’s holy blood dripping upon her feet. Bitterness and tremendous grief overwhelmed her soul while she stayed with Him until the last minute. The reverence of heaven exists as we can only imagine what it’s like to witness your child brutally crucified at the hands of haters. But, Mary, according to scriptures, remained passive and resisted the temptation to protest the unfairness of Jesus’ prosecution.
It is often said there is nothing worse than outliving your child. I can attest to this as I watched my grandmother sob while her son laid dying on a hospital bed. I can only imagine Mary’s anguish as she witnessed the excruciating pain Jesus suffered from the stakes in His feet and hands. In her glorious strength, still, Mary fought off her own inhibitions to be first, a mother. She knew she would make the ultimate sacrifice when she accepted God’s invitation to give birth to a Savior for Simeon warned her of Jesus’ fate.
Mary was the quintessence of faith in God. As an inexperienced, pregnant mother, she knew the truth about her son’s existence. It was her destiny to deliver a child who would save the world. Throughout Jesus’ life, Mary often feared for her son’s life, but her intuition spoke He was in God’s hands. However, on Good Friday, she must have questioned why Jesus was sent to earth to save sinners, only to be killed by them. I’m sure she also wasn’t prepared for the method of His brutal death.
It is my observation, though, Mary is to be the ultimate example of strength for parents who lose their child to senseless religious crimes. When we defend our Creator, it becomes a movement towards the only ray of light which exists in this world’s darkness. We stand under the cross to eliminate chaos and bitterness, spreading the love of God. How can it be wrong?
Mary could have easily fallen into the trap of screaming and attacking evil-doers at the presence of Jesus’s injustice. But, she walked with loyalty to the Lord in gentleness, forgiveness, and peace.
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
What a model of discipleship Mary portrays to Christians today! Let us stand in strength, under the weight of the cross, and resist the shadows of evil.
Praise His holy name!
The highlight of my Easter season, when I was a child, was watching the nail-biting TV movie, “The Wizard of Oz.” I remember my tears flowing as Dorothy handed Toto over to Miss Gulch on the bike. But today, I look at this Academy Award Nominated motion picture in a different light. From a Christian writer’s perspective, the underlying message and morals in this movie are phenomenal! Let me take you for a walk down my yellow brick road…
Dorothy was a character on a soul-searching mission. She was an orphan, adopted by her aunt and uncle in Kansas, yet she appeared to have a deep-rooted longing to find a true home. Insecurities plagued her because she didn’t fit in with the older relatives, and a mean Miss Gulch wanted to take her only friend, Toto, away from her. Auntie Em became frustrated with Dorothy’s antics and yelled, “Find yourself a place where you won’t get into any trouble.” Dorothy picked up Toto and said, “Is there such a place Toto? Not a place you can get to by boat or train.”
Aren’t most of us looking to fill an empty spot inside our soul – a place where there isn’t any sadness? Always seeking, we get mixed up in wrong relationships, addictions, and false idols. When we finally accept Jesus Christ into our hearts, we soon realize we have everything we need daily; and it’s not a place you can get to by boat or train.
But, Dorothy, like so many people, run from their problems. A tornado swept her from safety, and she entered another world. Her only path home was down the yellow brick road. The Good Witch of the North, Glinda, warned her to never venture off its path for darkness loomed in every corner. What a great metaphor! We must walk through life on God’s golden road only for Satan will quickly invade if our guard is down. Temptations of sin can fog a mind when difficulties become overwhelming; prayers are the answer to tackle the troubles. Seek God first before using your own solution.
The central theme of the movie centers on Dorothy’s quest to go to the Emerald City; she sought the Wizard of Oz’s help to take her back to Kansas. Along the way, the Wicked Witch of the West and her minions attack her and her friends. This is so like Satan trying to intervene in our life! By the end of the film, Dorothy discovered the Wizard was a phony, a false idol if you will. She is devastated until Glinda (her guardian angel, perhaps?) magically came to her rescue. “Dorothy,” she said, “You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas.” What lesson did she learn from the whole experience? A heart’s desire isn’t any further than your own backyard (or in this case, a bible). The love and acceptance she wanted were always at her doorstep.
The moral of Dorothy’s story is God’s power makes our life fantastic for He is greater than any physical object or place we seek on our own. As we come to know Jesus Christ, we understand He promises to guide us because the love for His children is eternal. When we resist the enemy, we draw closer to Him, and He becomes our home. The solution to our problems is right under our nose.
SCARECROW AND A BRAIN
The first friend Dorothy met on the yellow brick road was the happy-go-lucky scarecrow who wanted the Wizard to give him a brain. It’s quite funny, often throughout the movie, he acted as though he had a brain and common sense. How frequently do we take action as if we don’t have sense? We beat ourselves up for the mistakes we make along the way and we lose forgiveness in the shuffle of stupidity. God forgives us our sins so why hold on to regrets? Did you ask God to clear your heart and mind of all the clutter which pulls your progress down? Did you diligently pray for forgiveness?
At the end of the show, it’s quite ironic the Wizard actually did not fulfill the scarecrow’s wishes. He only gave him a diploma of higher thinking. This character simply lacked self-confidence. The Scarecrow sought a higher power to confirm he could be smart. Little did he know, confidence comes from a relationship with Christ. Yes, we must be secure in God’s Word and not in our flesh. He gives us hope in times of adversity.
THE TIN MAN AND A HEART
A second character who befriended Dorothy was the rusted Tin Man. He wanted the Wizard to give him a heart, hence emotions. The Wizard of Oz told him “a heart will never be practical until it is made unbreakable.” The Tin Man quickly learned what a broken heart was when he said goodbye to Dorothy.
Suffering hearts is a common thread among humanity. We have to trust God has a better plan for our life, thus healing us from the inside out. He replaces the feelings of rejection and abandonment with a sense of renewal. All we have to do is pick up the Bible and allow His words to soothe our soul. Once we connect with Jesus, everything changes and nothing or no one has the same power over us again. God forms a shield to protect our innocence.
THE COWARDLY LION AND COURAGE
Onward to Emerald City, the Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Dorothy trotted arm-in-arm. Suddenly a large curly-haired lion jumped out from behind a tree and tried to scare the trio. The ferocious lion growled and snapped at them until Dorothy slapped him. “You should be ashamed of yourself!” The lion quickly retreated behind his own tail and cried. Throughout the movie, his fear reared its ugly head. Could the great Wizard give him courage?
We sometimes experience scary situations in life – perhaps bullying, roadblocks, and other fear factors. Hard times are unavoidable, but we can count on God to pick us up, dust us off, and help us through these failures. An important message from this is Satan instigates fear. My favorite saying is, “Where there is fear, there is no faith.” Let us rely on God for strength to conquer our personal battles for He is always in control and will not abandon us. Be of good courage for the Lord is with us every step of the way!
OUR CHRISTIAN WALK
The Wizard of Oz, though not written with religion in mind, can teach us about our Christian walk with God. We should examine our relationship with the Lord and strive, every day, to be more like Him. Draw on the intelligence of our brain; maintain a heart open and sincere and pray for the courage to stand up for our belief. If we stray along the way to the Emerald City, known as heaven, our Lord Jesus Christ will be there to lift us up. Just as Dorothy had to “learn it for herself,” our journey helps us grow to be the best Christians we can be for eternal salvation. Everything we need is in the power of God, not the ruby slippers.
The next time you watch this excellent motion picture, look for the hidden Christian parables – you will be amazed at how many you’ll witness!
The thought of newly transplanted foliage thriving in the winter’s cold air enticed me to pray for God’s help. I raised the living room shades, and our tree was gleaming in His morning rays. It began in February as lifeless vegetation, a root ball almost too heavy for my wife and I to plant in the ground. We gently slid it into a wheelbarrow and positioned this poor sapling in front of the window. With high hopes and lots of prayers, we asked God to bless our achievement and to nourish this impressive little ten-foot red Dogwood tree.
I’m sure most of my readers heard or read all the versions of “Legend of the Dogwood Tree.” Our Dogwood, though, became special when a supernatural event occurred within a week of planting it in the yard. Amongst the dead winter sod, and obvious to the naked eye, an indisputable halo of green grass sprouted around its base. I showed my wife and a neighbor, in disbelief, and we sat to praise God. In all my years of landscaping, I never witnessed something so mystical! Halos mean the Kingdom of light, and that which dons them has spiritual power and life. Was this tree put in my hands for a reason?
Last night, a short month after its birth to our home, the cold rains blew; this morning we opened the blinds only to discover God’s magnificent gift. Our most prized possession, the red Dogwood tree, blossomed with brilliant crimson blooms and just in time for Easter. Our hard-earned efforts yielded God’s acknowledgment of thanks for giving life to this little dogwood tree, now a sanctuary standing ever tall.
Maybe this halo occurrence is quirky to some but we’ve planted many trees and bushes in our yard, and nothing appears abnormal about them. But the little red Dogwood brightens our day, blooming blood-stained petals in the shape of a cross, along with its own halo. The Lord, no doubt, is very much in control of His creations, and perhaps He anoints them with His messages… just like this tree.
Jesus donned a crown of thorns and was crucified on a wooden cross for our sins. Whether it was a dogwood He hung from (as legend claims), or another type of wood is of scant importance. Living in the consciousness of Christ is the most essential part of being a Christian. Be aware of God’s signs – they are all around you, even in nature. Let’s understand everything good originates from Him, and He wants us to protect the halo of life.
God bless you as we prepare for the Easter season.
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Today is the day to exploit my messages from God. I think it is important to summarize and discuss the last three week’s blogs – The Stars Are Lining Up, The Ides of Suspicion, and What If Christ Came to Rule the White House. Every single person, most of all Americans, need to understand these words because readers may have missed the point. My thoughts are strong on the severe condition of this world and the End Times nearing, so I must expand upon my words of hope and faith.
It doesn’t take a scholar to read the Book of Revelations and comprehend the forecasts within it are Bible predictions. History does and will repeat itself again. I began this mini-series with The Ides of Suspicion because Julius Caesar laid the groundwork for the first-ever democratic nation. He thought it was the only fair way to protect the middle and lower-class people. A coup of his envious and stubborn Roman senators, however, killed him. Their belief was a dictatorship could financially harm them and give Caesar too much power over the Roman empire. Why is Caesar’s death important to the United States? Our country, also was established on democracy. We have the freedom to elect our own President and practice social equality. But, today, we are witnessing a shift of events, repeating history. Our government and its citizens are in conflict. Senators are stubborn and deeply rooted in ungodly practices. Many Americans turn their back on the Declaration of Independence, religion, and the symbols which formed this great nation. It is a sure sign America will not be long before it implodes for this country was based on Christianity – not atheism or agnosticism. A civil war, just as the Roman empire suffered after Caesar’s death, cannot be denied as a future event by US citizens.
My blog, The Stars Are Lining Up, addresses bible prophecies being fulfilled before our very eyes. The breaking of the seven seals (Revelations 6-8) possibly marks our beginning era of the Great Tribulation. Countries, including the US, are seeing a significant increase in war, natural disasters, economic troubles, starvation, and genocide. The Laws of God are severely broken, and it marks the beginning of the end for mankind. As I mentioned earlier, history repeats itself through the Bible. Our Lord is merciful and loving but is also vengeful and fierce when we do not live and abide in His word. Do you remember the story of the Canaanites in the Old Testament? God ordered the Israelites to “save alive nothing that breathes” in Canaan because of their filthy life. They worshipped other gods and practiced sexual inappropriateness; they sacrificed children and boasted of their evil practices. God obliterated a whole nation for their failure to heed His words. As we study this story, one must ask, could God be sending us an angry message today? Forest fires are wiping out entire towns, earthquakes are causing mass destruction, and tidal waves and record-breaking rainfalls are obliterating whole towns. How many more signs of His fury can we see around us?
WHAT ABOUT THE UNITED STATES?
Let’s visit the most powerful nation on earth and founded on Christian morals and the Bible. I’m sure many do not believe this to be true, but again, Satan works wonders in a foolish mind. I wrote the blog, What If Christ Came to Rule the White House because it is time for US citizens to realize their life, as they know it, is walking a fine line. Our government is in turmoil, just as the days of Julius Caesar. Laws pass approving abortion, talks of socialism is an everyday discussion, and our highest officials practice shady dealings. US citizens lack respect for the leader of our country, dwelling only on past indiscretions. Even the voting system is faulty. All countries have corruption, but our founding fathers built the United States to be a leader of the world. Today, it hopelessly flounders in front of our future generations because of greed, lack of belief in God, and poor morals. What does it take for people to see without God, there is no existence?
While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. 2 Peter 2:19
The Roman Empire was once the greatest and most influential nation in the world. Its demise was the corruption because man was not created to rule himself; only by the word of God. History, once again, is staring down the neck of the United States. Our country, the most powerful and barbaric on earth, is about to have a close encounter with God, our Maker. Lucifer has lounged here for thousands of years, in the lap of luxury, but not much longer.
Once upon a time, God placed His only son, Jesus Christ, on earth to teach the truth of His kingdom and to save lost mankind. But, in this cruel world, even Jesus was a hunted man. When Augustus Caesar took over Rome, he knew a Savior was coming, and he elected the Three Wisemen to go find this great Messiah. He even placed a tax levy to force the pregnant mother, Mary, to come forward. But, God intervened and redirected Joseph to take Mary, and the baby Jesus, to the only country which Rome did not rule – Egypt. The lesson to learn is God always protects the innocent from harm. He is the great Overseer of our nations, governments, and life; His son, Jesus, was crucified to save our sins.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:17)
So, as God sees His beloved people failing to flourish, once again, He will gather His army into battle for one last time. Christians, this is a war we can win with faith and prayer! As God takes His fury out on the corrupt nations of this world, He promises to protect His anointed children – it requires the belief in Him. Live by the Laws of God and turn away from evil. Fight for God’s word because even in the face of death, we will be winners.
As for those who are not believers, Christians will pray for your salvation because – weren’t we warned?
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I sit alone this morning, in the sun, with miles of smiles… I’ve led a life few know or could imagine. I ran the gamut of memories – from death-defying courageousness to the fonder moments of sledding, crabbing, and sailing off the beaches of the Chesapeake Bay. I’ve ventured to places some only read about, such as Hong Kong and Korea, but I always returned to the comforts of my heart.
As age and experience equal wisdom, I find myself now complete. I can honestly say I know who I am today, but in the beginning, it was a “Rocky Horror Show.” I began as an educationally handicapped child who also suffered through my parent’s complexing divorce situation. Every day it seemed each of their tales led nowhere or even served a purpose. Then one day, they passed in grace, along with my predecessors. Could fate allow me to live a better life?
I often asked myself how many times will God give us a second chance? Some friends lived through heart attacks, and some should be dead from serious accidents. How often God picks us up and brushes us off, I don’t know, but I do know He protects us like no other insurance plan.
In three months, my high school class will celebrate our 50th-year reunion. Many will come to celebrate and some cannot, but the miles of smiles will include my love for each one. The comradery we share will live in infamy. As I read the list of classmate obituaries, I recognize they, too, touched my life. I pray for them as God, I’m sure, will take them home to be with Him one day. This is their second chance at life!
My miles of smiles over the years had a few frowns, but it was just a smile turned upside down. Today I look back and wish only one thing… I listened to God when He first whispered in my ear. I walked a lonely road, in 1985, in the afternoon’s sunset with my aspiring wife, and then she disappeared for thirty years. Second chances just don’t come around for everyone as I recognize in my classmates. We are not cats who land on our feet and have nine lives. But, those miles of smiles I missed with her, only enhances my gratitude for her now. God knows for sure how much meaning she gives to my life every morning.
The miles of smiles is our destiny to eternity for all of us. It’s the crosswalks we crossed in our youth as we sat under the moonlit night. It is the memories of those childhood times. How grateful I am to live long enough to appreciate those adolescent years!
I feel so complete in these last chapters of my life’s autobiography. I hold my wife’s hand, and we meander where time will never end. It’s the same place we shared when God introduced her love for me… miles of smiles ago, in the sand.
The Bible references Christ’s return to earth, and there’s little doubt it won’t happen soon. God will conquer Satan and his sin-filled world right at his own doorstep. The Great Tribulation will expose the Antichrist, led by Satan, who will form armies to slaughter the Jews in Jerusalem. Jesus and His saints will descend from heaven to conquer the world’s evil. (Rev 19: 11-16) We should all be familiar with the story.
But, what about Christians who swore their allegiance to a country not conceived in Christ’s time? When the Rapture occurs, it isn’t just the Mediterranean nations of the Bible any more, but another half of the world too. Scholars wrote the Book of Revelations two thousand years ago. I’m sure they didn’t have a clue the United States laid on the bottom side of their flat-world map… or did they? You must remember these intellectuals were certain the dimensions of Satan’s hell was under their world! They probably weren’t too far off their coordinates.
Let’s discuss this – what if Christ came to rule the White House? He certainly would be at home fighting Satan on his own turf. But, today, hundreds of repertoires exists relating to His presence here a long time ago. For example, before Christopher Columbus passed, he wrote “The Book of Prophecies.” It contained biblical revelations considered medieval notions, but in fact, it solidifies most of today’s world events. Columbus, along with missionaries, were the first people to promote the spread of Christianity throughout the New World. He brought God to our land.
In the 1600s, the Protestant Reformation started the division of Protestants from the Roman Catholic Church. The newly formed Protestants came to the US, with bibles in tow, and handed them out to ordinary people. It would unite this country. (Pocahontas was their first convert. She was baptized to marry John Rolfe.) However, an interesting fact is the Catholics also broke away from the Roman Catholic Church about the same time, and they headed to South America. But, do you know what they didn’t carry with them? Bibles! Unlike North America, this nation wasn’t built to be united under God, and the evidence stands before us today.
The first United States Chief Justice John Jay wrote a letter in 1816 to Rep. John Murray stating:
“It certainly is very desirable that a pacific disposition should prevail among all nations. The most effectual way of producing it is by extending the prevalence and influence of the gospel. Real Christians will abstain from violating the rights of others, and therefore will not provoke war. Almost all nations have peace or war at the will and pleasure of rulers whom they do not elect, and who are not always wise or virtuous. Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”
Now it is two hundred years later, and you must ask yourself, what in the world did he know that we don’t? The Bible and Christianity were and still remains the main staple of our nation’s roots. If you think not, explain the plaque hanging on the state dining room fireplace in the White House reading:
“I pray Heaven to Bestow the Best of Blessings on THIS HOUSE and on All that shall hereafter Inhabit it. May none but Honest and Wise Men ever rule under this Roof.”
It was written by President John Adams. What blasphemy and a mockery American citizens became to the White House! The US deviates from every Law of God while they form cults, atheism, and corruption; both amongst its citizens and the government. It is interesting, though, how history repeats itself. Rome, 45 B.C., and Julius Caesar became a dictator known as the Father of his Country. He introduced the basics of democracy to his land by reforming the Senate and local government. His increasing power amongst Rome’s lower- and middle-class people made him very popular, but upheaval from angry politicians was his ultimate demise and the end of the Roman Republic. Rome’s implosion resulted from envy, angst, and hatred of authoritarian rule from the Senators who ran the country. Doesn’t this sound familiar? This is the same path the United States is walking on today.
So, let me go back to my original question – what if Christ came tomorrow to rule the White House? Be prepared, for nothing is impossible in the hands of our Lord! Our military and political leaders are divided as the Book of Revelations is playing out, right now, on our turf. When Christ returns, it will not matter what nation you live in nor your religious affiliation. One thing is for sure, America will seek the wrath of God, and it’s cause for concern!
1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. (Romans 13:1-4)
Who ever thought we’d live long enough to see baby genocide, but it’s right here in the United States. Where are the morals of people? Do you think God will not come back to save His children from such horrific acts of crime? Murder is an offense against the sanctity of life, and this is His words about such an action:
Forecasters and philosophers alike try to predict the end of time; however, no one has the power to do this except God. Maybe, instead, they should study the Book of Revelations a little more and stop falsely misleading the public. Christians, of all colors and creed, congregate trying to protect the essence of their spirit and soul. Our churches burn down, and laws forbid us to display publicly, the religion this country was founded on many years ago. Quite frankly, Americans do not differ from the uncivilized nations abroad.
It is my opinion the Antichrists of this country shall reap no more. In the eleventh hour God will send in His reinforcements to protect His children from Satan’s wrath. Perhaps, He will start in the White House, who knows? How much longer will it take for America to recognize the onslaught of their future? Not too much longer… our Savior is coming, praise the Lord!
I awoke with a monumental feeling God is communicating with me, revealing His plans for this world. It is time to prepare for a significant force which controls the universe. God is coming to rule the earth once more. My heart beats an unsynchronized rhythm as the Lord drives a wedge between this reality and His forthcoming Judgment Day. I shudder at the thought of Christ ruling over the genocide of this world. Obliviated is the only word I can use to describe it. Christ will turn a deaf ear as He decides who lives on, and who does not, in heaven. For those who passed on before His coming, let us pray they asked forgiveness and repented of their sins according to the Laws of God, so they may have eternal salvation.
Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins. As is written in the Bible, unbelievers will not be saved and those who claim to know God, yet they withdraw and live an unholy lifestyle.
“They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.” (NIV)
Many sins pointed out in the Bible need repentance, but the list below is those the most abominable to the Lord. Do you fit into any of these iniquities? If so, it is time to drop to your knees and pray for forgiveness; live the rest of your life through His Word.
One nation under God is comparable to buying a new car for $99 down and $99 a month. Impossible, and false advertising at best. A nation under God would pray and worship together, study and stay in God’s word; it lives in prayer keeping God first. Today we face murder, rape, theft, abortions, worshipping false gods, agnostics, and atheists running rampant. This lack of respect for our Almighty God will be the first obliterated when Christ calls again unless mankind changes now. Satan’s followers will not be allowed through heaven’s gates. No, this is not my opinion, but a fact!
“Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.’”
What are the signs of the end times, according to the Bible?
So, as the wrath of God swarms… it’s almost time for the change of command. You mark my words, Christ is coming to take over His world; be it in my lifetime or yours, it won’t be long now. The stars are lining up, and a remarkable event of unexpected consequence is about to take place. Christ will meet Satan at his doorstep, better known as earth.
I pray you may recognize the sins mentioned in this blog and ask for forgiveness today. Turn your actions into something productive and serve God and his people with compassion and love. Seek the word of God’s truth so you, too, may greet Jesus and your loved ones at heaven’s gates!
The ides of March are upon us and superstitions of March 15th run rampant across many nations. Thank you, Julius Caesar, for suggesting this as a bad luck day… or is it really superstitious? Senators assassinated this “dictator for life,” on the steps of the Curia of Pompey for in 44 B.C., Romans had no love for kings. Since Caesar’s death, March has a notorious history of haunting generation after generation, especially in the political arena.
On March 15, 1917, Czar Nicholas II was forced to abdicate his throne just four days before the February Revolution in Russia. Also on this day in 1944, King Louis XV of France declared war on Britain. In the United States, ironically, our Pentagon Joint Chiefs of Staff appear to favor the month of March for military operations too. The US dispatched ground troops to Vietnam on March 8, 1965, starting the beginning of the Vietnam War. In fact, March 15, 1972, was considered one of the heaviest days of attacks during this conflict; the US destroyed a major North Vietnamese camp and thirty troops. The war on Iraq was launched on March 20, 2003. A covert war on Syria began March 15, 2011, while NATO began relentlessly bombing Libya just four days later. On the date of March 19, 2003, the United States launched an attack against Iraq to topple dictator Saddam Hussein from power.
Other significant non-war related incidents which occurred in March was the beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles on March 15, 1991; the Boston Massacre which began March 5, 1770, and Texas’s Fort Alamo fell to Mexican troops on March 6, 1836. Remember the stories of the Great Blizzard of 1888 which struck the northeastern United States? The storm happened on March 12th dumping over 40 inches of snow and causing four hundred deaths. As fate dictates for the ides of March, the newly elected President Ronald Reagan was shot in the chest while walking toward his limousine in Washington, D.C. It was the 30th of March in 1981.
Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your feet from being snared.
Another oddity is some states will not hold elections on the 15th of March. But in a couple of weeks, on Super Tuesday, five states are having mid-term polls, now considered a “bad luck day” by both opponents.
The ides (division) of March – superstition or valid? I know superstitions are not based on a godly belief system. They are created by people embracing the supernatural. Only God is omniscient-all knowing. We are to be holy in our relationship with God, not falling into false beliefs and practices. Yes, it seems many nations, including the United States, has a history of horrible events which occurred in March; perhaps it’s just coincidental. Ultimately, our great Father is in control of all situations so let us pray for all our nations today.
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Across the pond, a familiar Aesop tale sends a very succinct message. A little shepherd boy stood guarding sheep at the foothills. It bored him waiting for a wolf to chase the flocks. He thought it more entertaining to watch the villagers run to his imposing calamity as he cried out, “Wolf! Wolf! A wolf is chasing my sheep!” But, there was no wolf, nor an emergency. The second occasion he fooled them, he became known as a nuisance, and the angry men told him “Save your frightened song for when there is really something wrong!” As fate dictated, a wolf later appeared, and when he screamed for help, the village did not pay attention. The moral of the story is no one believes a liar, even when he tells the truth. How often is humanity shrouded in dishonesty? It’s one of life’s most painful experiences.
During the Last Supper, Jesus became troubled and overcome by grief. He announced, “Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you shall betray me… to the chief priests and elders, in order to be put to death.” The disciples looked at him in great astonishment wondering who would betray Jesus’s loyalty and honor. The Gospel of Mark gives no motive for Judas’s betrayal, only that he committed the disloyalty (he told authorities where Jesus could be found) in exchange for thirty pieces of silver. But when he learned Jesus was to be crucified, he attempted to return the money; the Romans denied the coins and Judas committed suicide by hanging. In this biblical story, Jesus understood Satan overcame Judas. Isn’t this a common trait of evil and unholiness – lying, deception, and betrayal?
“You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
As human beings, we usually want to believe the best in others, but generally, this is not the situation. For liars, it turns into a scary second nature. Their behavior provides comfort and an escape from discomfort and boredom, just as the little boy crying “wolf.” If public figures are caught lying, a scandal erupts, but what if children lie to their parents? Children have a fear of being scolded and punished for their mischiefs. It is easier for them to take refuge in their lies rather than tackling a problem head-on. But, many parents accept their behavior without giving a consequence, and the fibs grow into more significant issues. Then we hear the horror stories of spouses lying to each other too. The innocent person tries to make excuses for the other’s actions, and a dysfunctional whirlwind creates a less-than-honest marriage. All of these incidents boil down to respect.
Oddly enough, these dramatic lessons can be traced all the way back to Jesus’s time. In the restitution of life, there comes a time when we have little choice but to give it to God. Be it a child, spouse, or Judas’s betrayal, stretching the truth will haunt you for the rest of your life. Crying wolf, without due cause, finds you at the mercy of God and the wolves, “for you reap what you sow.”
My dad was a tough, wise man who quoted, “There are no exceptions to experience. You have to go through it to understand.” He’s right! It is awful to be deceived, but we can learn from the mistake and move forward knowing God is in our heart to ease the pain. We need to sharpen our wisdom tactics and pray for those who attempt to cry “Wolf.”
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Today, my blog explains controversies and theories, ignited by one of my readers. Please allow me to clarify I am not an astronomer, scientist, or a qualified professional of the world’s atmosphere; so, I wish only to suggest comments based on biblical evidence. My wife and I spent the better portion of this week doing extensive research on all the topics. We base our conclusions on Bible verses, and that which God spoke is the correct answer for Christians. You are certainly entitled to your own opinion, and we encourage you to say them freely at the bottom of our Blogging 2 Believers video, this website, or by email.
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My reader’s question was, “What is your stance on biblical cosmology?”
Honestly, I never heard of biblical cosmology until the reader raised the question last week. The basic meaning is to describe and explain the creation of the universe based on scriptural evidence; in particular, from the book of Genesis. At first glance, I found biblical cosmology very intriguing and thought-provoking. My first instinct is to describe every detail of this theory, but my blog would be ten pages long. So allow me to write just a summation.
Cosmology did not exist before 500 B.C., just mythology. As time passed, though, many scholars of the Bible, such as the Three Wise Men, composed passages about the stars, earth, and cosmic events. They were famous astronomers of their time who analyzed the universe consisted of a flat disc-shaped earth floating on water, heaven above, with an underworld below the earth.
However, God wrote the opening Book of Genesis describing the creation of His world called earth. Cosmology attempts to decipher the meaning behind each of His words. For example, on day one, Genesis 1:1, God wrote, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” This seems simple enough, but biblical cosmology analyzes why the word heaven is in a plural form. Are they saying there must be more than one heaven or perhaps many layers of stars? In either case, God didn’t create the stars, moon, and sun until day four.
ANCIENT GREEK COSMOLOGY
As cosmology continues they review the 3rd century B.C. theory of the ancient Greeks who alleged the universe was eternal. The world didn’t begin from nothing alluding to the fact many gods created it. The problem with this belief was most of these theories conceptualized the gods who existed then were neither transcendent nor capable of creation. Unlike our God who is always and forever, not biological, these gods had lifespans, living and dying. This was unquestionably inconsistent with the Bible.
“Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God” (Psalm 90:2).
PLATO’S COSMOLOGY IN 400 B.C.
The Greek philosopher, Plato, believed the world just came into existence. Along with the earth “just being,” water, fire, and air came into existence as a mathematical equation by a Higher source. So, God used a calculator to create the earth?
Based on Genesis 1, God simply used His creative powers to make the earth, which by the way, was originally a body of water.
2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:2)
As you will observe in the picture below, Dante had some strange features to the formation of the earth. His most peculiar was naming different types of purgatory. Each of his spheres was one of nine heavens. A soul was mounted to Paradise and hell was placed the farthest from God’s light. The Mount of Purgatory was placed on the underside of the world, and he believed it consisted of water. He implied sin came as orderly progress.
The Bible never mentions Purgatory. In fact, Jesus claimed there are only two options after this life. He bases the choice of heaven or hell on us following His words on earth.
“because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
“And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:15)
COSMOLOGY OF THE BIG BANG THEORY
In 1859, Charles Darwin introduced, “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection” publication, better known as the theory of evolution. Let me begin by saying scientists have never proven this model a fact and is instead ridicules in nature. Darwin’s concept is based on the universe beginning in a state of pure randomness. As time moves on, it produces natural processes or evolving organisms over long periods of time.
Once again I ask, how can something come from nothing? It takes blind faith to believe it, don’t you think? Scientists can’t explain how life started by natural processes alone nor is there any evidence to prove it. When we speak of man evolving from an ape, mutations of species are very harmful; in humans, the medical field classifies them as birth defects. Examples today of this is Down’s Syndrome and Sickle Cell Anemia. Scientists have never discovered fossil records to prove species are evolving to higher levels. So, how can the theory of evolution be possible if it cannot explain the origin of life?
Regarding the formation of the world, the Big Bang Theory alleges some twenty billion years ago all matter was packed into a microscopic egg or an atom’s basic particles. It assumes some earlier universe exploded and collapsed upon itself forming matter. But, where did these particles come from initially – there had to be a creator? This theory also believes the sun and stars developed long before the earth. Apparently, the Big Bang cannot go back to the very beginning of time and space.
I strongly suggest a Christian cannot believe in evolution, and God too, for the concept is against everything written in the Bible.
God created man and woman since the beginning of time:
27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that [h]moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:27-28)
Genealogical records of the Lord’s ancestry goes back to Adam, God’s first creation. This dates humans back to only a few thousand years before Christ. Though time varied from our current twenty-four-hours a day, I surely cannot justify the humanity being twenty billion years old. There are some two thousand years spanning today back to Jesus Christ and another two thousand years back to Abraham. There are only twenty generations between Abraham and Adam. How do scientists explain the earth being twenty billion years old?
Accordingly, the sun and stars were formed after the earth:
Need I say more about the Big Bang theory?
To answer the reader’s question above, my stance on biblical cosmology is I am a man blessed with the ability to write God’s messages. The Lord’s words are written in the Bible for everyone to read, comprehend, and follow. It is not open to interpretation. Today’s society is filled with atheists, and they are the people who attach themselves to such conspiracy theories. If we have to question the Bible, there is no faith. I believe God created the world with His mysterious power–one which science will never explain. Cosmology, as a whole, is against everything the Bible teaches us:
And when your eyes are lifted up to heaven, and you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the army of heaven, do not let yourselves be moved to give them worship, or become the servants of what the Lord has given equally to all peoples under heaven.
Let me clarify this Bible passage more by saying God doesn’t want us to stop learning about His world, but it is not acceptable to draw conclusions and influence others of such non-factual knowledge. The point is the origins of life, and the universe is outside the parameters of man’s conception. Cosmology is interesting but based on very few facts; therefore it can’t be classified as a legitimate science.
As a Christian, I hope to discover, one day, all of God’s mysteries of the universe. Until then, I choose to remain in faith that the Bible is accurate in God’s divine inspiration. We must live by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). My beloved readers, it is up to you – cosmology or God?
I approached the corner of a gorgeous, stately community. A large sign didn’t show which direction to proceed, and its definition confused me. Marveled by the message, I wondered if God was trying to tell me something. Dare I make a wrong turn because some things seem so inviting yet sin lies just around the corner?
God makes it abundantly clear we need to listen to His messages, but sometimes our spirit disagrees with the subconscious mind. Second thoughts might lend themselves to be valid than reality. God didn’t really place the sign but whoever did, might be sent by Him. Sitting with my foot on the brake and profusely sweating, how do I know for sure if it’s His warning sign?
“Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
In an instant, my car rumbled to a halt. Was it trying to tell me something? My mind went in reverse as God made His presence known. I cried out for Him to save me before I traveled further down the wrong road. I’m confident He saved me from a horrible error.
Can you imagine the magnitude of our mistakes if we did not have a close relationship with the Lord? We live in a world filled with signs, some good and some bad. The sole way to distinguish the best ones is to have a heart committed to understanding His words. This requires a heart fully surrendering to Him and plenty of prayers. In our moment of silence, God will relay His guiding words.
I started the engine again and regained my composure. The car behind me honked his horn, so I made a U-turn. I smiled at the driver and politely acknowledged I was in the wrong with a hand signal. God also knew where I might be if I not heeded the warning sign.
It’s a safe bet to acknowledge God tries to save all His children who hang on the brink of self-destruction. His voice speaks to us through the Bible, a friend, and yes, even a sign now and then. But don’t be tempted to look for a quick answer to the warning signs. God may not be finished revealing a situation to you. It is all in His perfect timing.
It is important to understand the Bible has many stories of people doing exactly what God wanted them to do, yet they still suffered hard times, persecution and even death. After all, His idea of success will not be your own, and sometimes there will be plenty of pain to endure along the road. Even in the darkest highways of life, we still need to stick to His plans. This is obedience to His word!
Not sure of your directional heading? Then turn to God who needs to be your driver. Follow the biblical legend, Jesus Christ, for the only way to get to heaven is with an invitation from Him. I pray every day the heavens gleaming light will radiate in your heart. The passion from heaven will transform you making life’s little temptations so much easier for you to handle. Learn to read the warning signs. Christ is here to help you if you let Him….. just don’t obey the warning signs of your subconscious mind.
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I meandered through the lush ivy alleys where courtyards honored memories of the past. Majestic stonework around the church dated back to who knows how old.
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But if the wall could talk, I’m sure the warrior’s stories would be plentiful. I came across a place where a stone was missing right in the center of a ten-foot high wall. Yes, one little stone fell out. I wondered if the missing rock weakened the structure, and sure enough, a crack splintered to the top.
Inside the history of the walls, we honor the fallen. At one time, the outside reigned in terror as cannonballs pelted it attempting to destroy this magnificent wall. But, the one little stone which dropped to the ground left a guiding light of God’s grace. It allowed soldiers standing guard to observe and protect those in harm’s way.
The cobblestone yesteryears are decorated with 3-D symmetry. Walls were signed by the technique and style of proud masons who engineered the prolific works of art. These barriers, for all intended, have a persona all their own. But, let’s not forget… where there are walls, there must be gates. Let us just ask Christ about gates.
Walls of biblical proportions will stand the test of time according to the Book of Revelations. Our heaven, the New Jerusalem, will have a high wall made of jasper. Angels will guard twelve gates made of pearl. Each one will be inscribed with the twelve tribes of Israel, descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Evil will be refused the right to pass through these gates. Isn’t this very familiar to the privacy walls we build around our own homes and countries today?
Our world is full of walls we must conquer to achieve goals. Find the open gate! After all, we were created within the walls of a womb, rested in the walls of a crib, and developed social skills within the confines of a playpen. The barriers of our backyards protect us from harm and sets boundaries. Christ knew the wall of life would separate us from evil and the unbelievers, so it’s acceptable.
Today, go in peace knowing the wall between you and God has a passage – a gate. The stepping stones which fall out of the walls you cross is the foundation for future generations. God’s gates will be open and waiting for every believer at the wall of heaven.
In the beginning, a body of water or a pile of rocks designated property lines. God drew out a line marking the earth’s plane as His cornerstone, a designated landmark when He first created the world.
As time passed, walls were nearly always built around cities in biblical days. For example, the one surrounding Babylon was 387 feet high and 87 feet thick made as a barrier of protection. God thought it was necessary and approved it because they had a right to protect their nation from evil. So, why would countries of both the Old and New Testaments build walls in the first place? Religious beliefs, not recognized by neighboring countries, was the primary reason to fortify territories. They stacked rocks, held together by mud, to protect themselves and make their landmark.
Did you know, in 1791, George Washington took forty stones and strategically placed them as the cornerstones of Washington, DC? It began at the south corner of the square at Jones Point in Alexandria, Virginia. On each stone at all four corners, the side facing the District of Columbia displayed the inscription “Jurisdiction of the United States” and a mile number. In 2011, the vandalized cornerstones were relocated and deemed federal historical monuments. Now, their original location is designated by a chipped face on the corner of the foundation of the building where the rocks originally sat in Maryland, Virginia, and DC.
Today, we respectfully divide our private homesteads from each other’s territories by survey flags. It might be a simple parcel or an estate, but if it is yours, it is so deemed by perhaps a six-foot privacy, or a chain-link fence.
Regardless of how small your cornerstones are, stand quietly in the name of God, and thank Him for that which He has afforded you. Respect the poor’s pillars and the wealthy’s gated courtyards. The Lord’s Seventh and Tenth Commandments, “Thou shalt not steal” and “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods” forbids the act of wrongfully taking someone else’s property. It also condemns feelings of envy, greed, and jealousy to what others own.
Jesus has to be known as the cornerstone, a designated landmark, to Christianity. He wants us to build spiritual walls, defending our faith, even if it means our values and attitudes differ from the rest of the world. If we live within the confines of Jesus’s walls, we are morally stronger. But, when we follow the false gods of materialism, our moral and spiritual walls lie in ruins, and we manifest ourselves in prideful attitudes.
The Book of Isaiah refers explicitly to God as the “cornerstone.” One particular passage even details, in construction terminology, the firm foundation we can find in the Lord:
16 So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic. 17 I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line; hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie, and water will overflow your hiding place.
Amidst our current world’s turmoil, we build physical walls for protecting God’s people. It is unfortunate Satan roams our great lands with followers who seek its destruction. But, as Christians, we have to seek the cornerstone of faith – our Lord, Jesus Christ. We should not be content with broken-down walls. Let us look forward to our new world, under God’s jurisdiction, where the pearly gates will be open to all believers. Those gates will be our designated landmark!
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All throughout life, we live like we’re playing in a scrimmage game – time is on our side to make things right. But, along the way we suffer multiple hurts and wounds. We stumble and fall because we never really learned to walk in forgiveness.
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In my younger years, I believed, somehow, God and the Bible would magically erase my aches. Yet the pain I suffered, and inflicted on others, was crippling to my soul. The art of putting one foot in front of another was difficult to grasp, especially with forgiveness.
The Bible is full of verses about our mental health. Forgive others and yourself, and it stabilizes your disposition; for only the strongest shall learn to walk in the presence of God’s holiness. It may not be part of your daily curriculum, but it’s the healthiest antidote for your mind, body, and soul.
Forgiveness is a complex thought and requires many baby steps, but God is absolutely clear about it:
“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins”~ Mark 11:25
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” ~Colossians 3:13
I was confused the first time I read the first verse. Why should I forgive someone who terribly wronged me? How could I say to them, “I forgive you?” To clarify this bible verse, forgiving others does not justify the deed or the person; nor does it offer God’s forgiveness for their actions. It also doesn’t mean coming face-to-face with someone to tell them you forgive their behavior or action. Instead, we are to move forward from our past, silently asking God to forgive them. Allow Him to handle their sins. Then you will release the deep hurt and heal from the inside out, taking your first step in learning to walk with the Lord. After all, we are all sinners and need God’s forgiveness.
A true testimony to forgiveness was a murder trial aired on TV and the internet last year. A mother’s son was brutally murdered, and she suffered for a year with anxiety, hurt, and anger. She sought professional help from her minister who explained to her the true meaning of forgiveness. As the convicted assassin took the stand for his death sentence, she spoke to the courtroom; she told the murderer she forgave him because that is what God desired for her heart. Then, she stood up and hugged him! She later told the media that as she spoke the words to her son’s killer, God at once filled her with peace. Ideally, the Lord does not wish for us to confront an abuser or sinner, but for this broken-hearted mother, it was the answer to her prayers. Here is her story: https://www.today.com/news/how-do-you-forgive-killer-mother-moves-past-tragedy-4B11203330
The flip side of forgiving others, and the most difficult, is forgiving ourselves. God promises to pardon us if we believe in Jesus Christ, and our sins are no more. (Jeremiah 31:34) Some sinners, though, never heal from their self-inflicted pains; they limp along in life carrying the guilt of their own misgivings. Yesteryears become part of their present life while anger, hatred, self-pity, and depression lurks just around the corner. It’s exhausting! The energy they give to negativity robs them of the good deeds they need to become the person God wants them to be. Look for a silver lining because “what doesn’t kill you, will make you stronger.”
God sends the lessons we learn from our mistakes. The storms might be furious in nature, and some may be hurdles still left unfinished, but He placed them there to teach us a lesson. Learn from the shadowing experiences, pray for forgiveness, and move forward… never to repeat the errors.
Learning to walk in unison with our Father takes great maturity and courage, but necessary to heal the pain. Stop beating yourself up and accept God’s hand. Experience His peace for Peter exclaimed, “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality” (Acts 10:34). You are free!
A somber mood lingers… one less life on earth begins their journey. The black hearse pulls up to the curb. As it latches closed, it makes a distinctive noise only heard by those who no longer exist. The driver waits for the breezeway gates to slowly open. In a dignified pause, the inherited remain to honor what’s left of an era.
So, the journey begins across a herringbone walkway. Winding along the cobblestones of the cemetery, it’s a poetic view. Memories of many others, awaiting their turn to be eternal with God, lie in peace. The limousine turns in through a wrought-iron fence where Wye oaks litter the lawn. Families follow in due respect, honoring protocol.
Pallbearers stand in line behind the hearse. The coffin is guided respectfully along a path of boxwoods to the final resting plot. It is empty of a body and soul which will soon return to dust. One day, God will make His grand entrance to take them home – away from the cold and damp, pain and suffering. But for now, they wait on the last ride to heaven’s gates.
What Does the Bible Say About Death?
“By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
Are you going straight to heaven or to the burning inferno after your funeral? Well, neither answer is accurate… at least not yet. The Christian Bible, in over fifty verses, compares death to a state of sleeping, a state of unconsciousness. One such verse is:
For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even their name is forgotten.
But many believers think the soul is an immortal entity which continues living after death. This is a pagan belief initiated by the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, and Greek philosophers. Then, the two Jewish sects, the Essenes and the Pharisees, adopted the same theory. The Jewish Encyclopedia states:
“The belief in the immortality of the soul came to the Jews from contact with Greek thought and chiefly through the philosophy of Plato.”
Later, Christianity absorbed Plato’s same hypothesis that our soul is in a better place than living in this fallen world. It certainly gives us hope, especially if we’re masked as an evildoer. But, according to the Living Bible, a soul living after death is incorrect. Let me explain why this not so and the answer is found in the Bible.
In the beginning, God formed man by dust and breathed into his nostrils to become a living entity. However, when death occurs, the body dies (returning to dust) and the soul ceases. If it lived on, this would make us immortal, and the Bible clearly states only God is never-ending.
1 Timothy 6:16
“…who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion.”
It’s a marvelous Lord we serve for He promises us eternal life if we righteously serve Him while on earth. But, as deceased bodies, we remain in the grave, asleep, until the trumpets of the Lord sound and judgment day arrives for all believers. We will receive immortality when Jesus comes to take us to paradise.
But, those who fall short of living in God’s word will be raised to life in a separate resurrection called the “resurrection of condemnation.” I can only imagine how many will live to see this day.
Many unpleasant questions arise about death. As believers, though, we can be self-assured knowing God is preparing a better place for us, known as paradise in the Bible, for all who loves, praises and believes in Him, regardless of religion. He will perfect our hearts in holiness, and we will live on in His perfect grace and beauty. We will swallow death up in victory as we take the last ride!
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Certain words have such a profound meaning in life. At times they even apply to a holy line of thoughts.
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For example, Sir Isaac Newton determined the law of gravity – a body at rest remains at rest. He claimed a mass continues to move until it meets an opposing force causing its speed or direction to change. This philosopher who laid a foundation for our scientific era believed he was put on earth to decode the word of God in scriptures and the book of nature. But, Christ proved Newton’s theory of law, called inertia, could be slightly incorrect within the Christian realm. A body which proceeds in a straight line with the Lord as our momentum, regardless of an opposing force, creates unstoppable energy; a resistance to change direction is impossible.
The big question is where is your inertia? Are you perpetually moving toward Christ, or does your inertia lay dormant as winter in a tundra? Are you the body at rest, remaining rested? God is an unmatched strength and best described as the driving force against inertia. He put our world in a spinning motion. If you allow Him into your heart, you too will always move in the direction He set forth for you.
Reflecting on these words, have you ever wondered why rejoice is the next word after reject in the dictionary? It is because rejection in life is natural, a worldly occurrence, but Christians strive to be better; we rejoice in the momentum of beating inertia. Faith is a fuel which proceeds forward, heading toward salvation. It can overpower Satan’s inert forces if we pray and remain steadfast in God’s love. Remember, the absence of energy is nothingness – no life at all, so we must find it to travel onward.
To prove my theory, let us examine those with spiritual laziness. Do you come home from work and sit at the computer playing games or chatting on social media? Did you pick up your Bible at all to study it? How many of you make excuses why you do not have time to spend with God? Those who’s inertia stagnates will surely go astray, especially in tough times. Be prepared to challenge Sir Isaac Newton’s theory of inertia and fuel up in God’s written Word.
We serve a marvelous Father! Through flood, fires, and wars on earth, God remains a viable entity to fight off evil. He is a force who will bring you wonders inconceivable to the naked eye. If we keep the Lord’s commandments, we will save our soul and find fulfillment in life. But the one who is careless or despises His way will perish forever.
It is so gratifying to step over the threshold of a brand new residence. Odors from a completed punch list still linger, and in the misty sunset, the door opens to a different life. The placement of furniture and filled boxes may not be correct, but at least they found their way into the right room. It’s time to thank God for the blessings He so graciously bestowed.
As my wife and I entered the first night in our humble abode, nothing seemed comfortable. My worst fear was not finding the Coffee Maker for the next morning. But, at bedtime we embraced, sharing prayers, for it was God who made all this possible. We gave Him all the glory.
The days turned into weeks, and now a month later the newness is slowly fading away. Comforts of the dreams we prayed for are a delightful reality. God blessed our initiatives to find a location He planned for us a long time ago. We waited for His perfect timing and word to move forward.
Tonight, in the candlelight, when all is quiet, our heads shared the same pillow on our sectional. We agreed God anointed this house our home. My honey-do list keeps mounting, but its prayer and perseverance which gives me the determination. And so, I ponder… when does a house become a home?
This is a very loaded question, but let me say, good memories should reside in the four walls where you live; a nest which washes away the outside world. It provides for your basic needs and safety, also known as a house. But more significant than this, it should be a foundation based on God’s spirit – a place where He blesses your every intention. Now it becomes a home built on truth, understanding, and wisdom.
So do you live in a house or a home? Are your walls professionally decorated with a lack of the Holy Spirit, or can you feel God’s presence and abounding love when you walk in the front door?
Tranquility is the light brought to you from our heavenly Father when you allow Him to reside in your home. Glorify His honor and let your house become a home.
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“Unity in diversity” is an old, prominent principle of many religions around the world.
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“‘A oneness of being’, namely reality is one, and God is the only true existence; all other beings are merely shadows, or reflections of God’s qualities.” ~ Philosopher Ibn al-‘Arabi (1165–1240)
The 5,000-year-old religion of Hinduism pronounces one unity among all of creation and a diversity in existence. Buddhists believe by honoring diversity and finding unity in it, this forms wisdom. Islam’s Quran upholds unity by encouraging respect and the dignity of all human beings–a moral consciousness of God.
As Christians, we gather to praise the son of God, Jesus Christ, as a brotherhood of believers bonded by a baptism of life. Grasping the complexity of this concept, we should realize the shade of your skin doesn’t matter. I may be light-skinned in the winter, but in the summer it turns dark. You may be a practicing Catholic or Buddhist but who cares when we are one in God’s house.
You may remember the biblical stories of God bringing peace amongst the Jews and Gentiles. It was based on unity in diversity. He sent Paul to countries all over the world for twenty-five years. Because God proclaimed the Jews were His chosen people, the Gentiles became irate and slighted. Therefore, Paul planted God’s seeds to all nations:
We have a tendency to brand friendships by the length of their hair, the vehicle they drive in, the community in which they live, and the clothes they wear daily. This, too, is of no consequence. Why should we address such things of little importance for as a body of people, we are so much more in God’s eyes?
In the United States, the Pledge of Allegiance boasts its unity in diversity (one nation; under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all). We are a diverse mixture of many nationalities forming this great country. Unity? Some will dispute it because the political arena places a great divide between us, but nevertheless, we are one. It is what makes us stronger.
A man and woman, from very different backgrounds, join in marriage and develop a unity in diversity. They raise children forming the family unit. Though each personality is dissimilar, they should learn to love one another, live and work together in oneness. The family structure is a basic foundation of unconditional love in God’s divine grace.
I pray my thoughts may be heard – we are a family and the world of God’s children. It is unfortunate many still reel from ramifications of previous generations – prejudices, hatred, and labeling our brothers and sisters. If we learned to remove the walls of division, the goodness in the world would have an everlasting effect. Brotherly love, my friends, is all it takes and forgiveness of those who trespassed our way of life. When you set an example, it brings others to eternal salvation. God needs leaders who gather together and heeds His words – unity in diversity.
Honor God, won’t you? The rewards are forthcoming. Christ was, and always will be Head of the Church. His words are anointed so let not the tongue be sworn to the sword. Christ is coming!
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God watched an accident happen to a family of four, and by His grace, the innocent victims walked away. I acknowledge the fact many do not believe in miracles, but you may change your mind when you read this story. First, let me state, a miracle is an event that would be impossible by natural law but occurs by the power of God. It defies any rational explanations. With this said, let me reveal a true event…
A house sat remotely on top of a high hill. This young family cleaned up their yard, mowing the grass and weed whacking, while enjoying a beautiful day of sunshine. A long hard day meant retiring to bed early. The husband awoke in the wee morning hours to go to work. He was at his employer’s facility when he received a frantic call from his wife. Their yard was on fire! Hardly a way to start a day.
A worn extension cord, used for the weed whacker, laid across a metal threshold. Still plugged into an outdoor socket, it coiled across the lawn. In the calmness of the early morning light, a smoldering spark ignited. It burned and disintegrated sheds, fences, and all their personal items. Worse yet, their car was parked a mere two feet away from a propane tank which sat next to a melted shed. Bless the neighbors who lived at the bottom of their hill! They called the fire department while the wife and children tried to put out the fire with buckets of water.
Satan created this fire to interfere with their life. Raging flames were seeking fuel, so it looked for a new direction; should it take aim at the dwelling or the means of transportation? The fire miraculously looked away and turned towards the woods on the hillside. Firemen jumped out of their trucks with flame retardant attire and extinguished the flames jetting down the hill.
The husband rushed home to meet the fire chief who rubbed his brow and said, “Your family is lucky!” In a deep voice, as if from God himself, he exclaimed, “Fires don’t burn downhill young man. This was a miracle from God.”
You must understand with every 10 degree of downhill slope, a fire will halve its speed. So, why did the flames move away from its fuel sources (a car and a propane tank) and go down a steep decline instead? Our loving Father, more powerful than Satan, safely guarded this family and home.
Though we may not give God the glory all the time, He still never leaves our side. Today, my friends, I elaborate this true tale of valor as His works are hard to deny in this situation. The stories of His miracles are not just in the Bible. He still performs the unimaginable and the unexpected today. I’ve witnessed more than I can count. If the Lord reveals His blessings, such as in the account above, that is a testament to His grace.
Sometimes, our Father wants to bring us to our knees in prayer. Acknowledge and praise His name, and more than ever, give thanks.
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I want to thank my older brother for the outstanding message in today’s blog. In all of my writings, only twice have I found myself in a quandary of perplexing thoughts. Once was an incident which occurred when I arrived home from work and my wife was in a dialog with the “First Lady.” She wanted to speak to me, and for once, I was at a total loss for words. Today is the second time someone dealt me an inspiration where more questions than answers came to mind – so what time is it? We are now in the year 2019 of our Lord, but is this time based on the minute Christ was born?
Non-believers try to address different calendar clocks, but I merely ask as you look at your watches, what timeframe was it before Christ was born? The answer is B.C., which means “Before Christ.” Today, it is A.D. “in the year of our Lord.” So, how in the world can you possibly not believe in God? As explicit as this dating system is to everyone, I’m perplexed because the time on our watches today are based on the original point of origin, or life, created by Christ’s existence. Why are some still doubting there is a God?
Though the B.C./A.D. system was not implemented until many centuries after Jesus’s death, its purpose was to make the life and times of Jesus Christ the dividing point of world history. It is quite ironic… while doing research on the development of our calendars, I found articles with these details from other religious beliefs:
Upon analyzing the statements above, do you see other religions have important events timed on the birth of Christ?? Even scientists, who desperately try to disprove a God, base their findings on the B.C./A.D. system. How can one question our Lord’s supremacy? There is no doubt the birth of a Savior was significant enough to develop it into a time system!
So, the bigger question is, are you now worried about your relationship with the Lord? Maybe some will be! We all need to take a closer look at where we stand with Christ for he is real and alive. Life is ticking down on our watches every single day. He is coming again, whether you choose to believe it, and it will be in His timing – not according to our time schedule!
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God howls calling all His children to come sit and comprehend His words. But, most of the younger generation pays little attention. The innocent become caught up in a triangle of apprehension while trying to cope with the ways of the world. Do they not know the Ten Commandments are a guideline for spiritual development – a oneness in God? This is an age of crime, adultery, hatred, and dishonesty; yet I want to share a positive story about a loved one who, amid his surroundings, God silently spoke to him.
This young man, bless his heart, lived a hard life. He fought his way through the damnation of a city’s streets. Along the road of hard knocks, he trudged a lost path of following the wrong crowd and perhaps engaging in activities less than moral. As a result, many disrespected him along with the family and friends who once comforted him. It’s a sad state of affairs but a prevalent trend for most youngsters today. One day, though, his situation changed in a matter of minutes.
Now married and struggling to support a household, he worked a blue-collar job. He observed stealing and lying by employees in his workplace, and a few even planned to frame him for the theft. Soon God spoke to this young man’s heart. Stealing was not only illegal and a dead-end street, but against the seventh Commandment which addresses honesty and truthfulness.
The changed man, (it is not essential to reveal his name), resolved himself to approach management about the situation. Kids will be kids, but God touched this one. His world made a huge turn after the pivotal moment of telling the truth to his company. It’s been two years since this incident, and with God’s continued blessings, he will continue his course up the corporate ladder!
See, God has a way of creeping into our lives when we least suspect it. He plants seeds in our soul and they whisper messages to our subconscious minds. Oddly enough, I don’t think this child has put two-and-two together yet for he still struggles mentally with past mistakes. Someday, however, he will connect the dots and realize it was God who saved him from an ultimate disaster and even prison.
Today, it is my greatest pleasure to watch this young man blossom into a person with great character, while holding God’s hand. He is one of God’s chosen children, selected to be an example to many others who walk a crooked line looking for their next tragic fix. When faith is lost, so too, are God’s blessings.
How can we turn this around? The first step is to become a believer again by reading the Scriptures and becoming re-familiarized with God’s Word. It requires obedience and repentance through prayer. Absorb the Ten Commandments all over again. Parents must pray for their child to discern God’s voice.
This generation must understand their wicked ways has a ring leader named Satan. They should realize the confusion and feelings of anger stem from Satan’s presence. If only they would listen to their inner voice when they know something doesn’t feel right because it is the Holy Spirit speaking in their ear. God howls to them through the blackness for he hates the evil penetrating their being.
Let us pray today for our younger generations –