The Struggle

For some, the struggle to do what is right is a daily fight. This struggle includes making wise decisions, being considerate of others, standing up for justice, doing what God says to do, and do it well. Why is this struggle so great?

The struggle to do right is greater because it is so much easier to give in to temptation. It is easier to think and act selfishly. It is easier to cuss someone out than to think about how to say what you want to say. It is easier to go along to get along than to stand on principles aligned with God’s Word.

If the struggle to do right was easy, many people would be saved and living abundant lives. But it is so much easier for people to live unsaved, without thinking about the consequences of their action, and how what they do impacts others. Since there are so many people struggling to live–without fear, without concern about finances or what the economy will bring or what the politicians will do, we know the struggle is real, we know there are people who have yet to find peace with Jesus, who are yet unsaved.

Lord Jesus, help us in our struggles to do what is right and help others to do the same. Help us to fight the good fight of faith in You, not self. Help us to resist the devil and watch him flee from us.

Are We Now, As Jerusalem Was?

“Jerusalem has sinned greatly and so has become unclean. All who honored her despise her, for they have all seen her naked; she herself groans and turns away. Her filthiness clung to her skirts; she did not consider her future. Her fall was astounding; there was none to comfort her. Look, Lord, on my affliction for the enemy has triumphed.” (Lamentations 1:8,9 NIV)

Jeremiah understood why Jerusalem became captives–for they had forgotten the God of their fathers, the God of heaven who had saved them so many times from their enemies, the God who had made them an honored nation of people who had great reputations, and now–no other nation looked upon them with honor and respect.

America has become captive–slave to the enemy of God–Satan and all of his influence in the minds of people who have forsaken the principles of godliness and righteousness because of some–who choose to mock God and God is allowing us to be scorned as mocked as a nation, where few countries have any respect for us and certainly, none honor us Godly people. Have we become the Jerusalem that concerned Jeremiah? If so, how did it happen and is there any hope for us as a nation?

When greed–having more than we need becomes a priority, we set ourselves up for failure. However, most corporations in this country don’t call it greed; they call it competitiveness. Greed by any other name is still greed; especially when little thought is given to the people who clamor for the goods of the competitiveness until they clamor themselves out of jobs. The more the worker in this country wants, the less they get. They may get higher wages, but those higher wages lead to job loss, benefit loss, and higher consumer prices, and job creation anywhere but in America.

Corporations are only interested in one thing–the bottom line–profit over everything. They could care less about those in this country, which is why we are now so indebted to others. If the Chinese were to demand payment on the debt we owe them (or any other country), we’d all end up learning to speak other languages for America would no longer be an English speaking nation. This is what happens when a nation becomes captives of others–the captives have to change to accommodate their captors.

That’s on a natural level. On a spiritual level–everything changes in the spirit realm first–this country has submitted to enemy’s influence and he is running rampant, creating havoc in the minds of so many, leaving violence and death in his wake and because we have become such a godless nation; we don’t even recognize the enemy at work–at least some don’t. The principalities in the air have definitely influenced the head of our government and all those in places of authority. They have been deceived and now become captive to the deceit, sworn to spread the lies of the enemy everywhere they go, making a mockery of the Godly principles by which we once lived. And other nations–are looking upon us with contempt, just waiting for us to cave so they can enter our borders and hold us captive to their will. This is what happens to every nation who puts God on a shelf, thinking they know more than He does.

While I can see the inevitable about to take place, it won’t stop me from praying and interceding on behalf of a nation that has forsaken God and all of His principles to pacify flesh. And I know there are other Believers out there who know what I know and they are doing what I’m doing–communicating with the One who can change the course for the better for all. For God has said, “If my people who are called by name would humble themselves and pray, turn from their wicked ways, then would He hear from heaven and heal the land.”

Father, look upon this land and see the hearts of those who love You. I pray that there are more of us who love You and will obey than those who scorn and mock You and Your Ways. Forgive us, for many don’t know why they do what they do, other than to live to please self and not You. Thank You for Your mercies, which are new every day and help us who know You, to not take Your mercy and grace for granted, but to continue to fight the good fight of faith, daily, for we know time is not on our side, but You will have the last and final word over all those who have chosen to disobey You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Have mercy upon us O God!

No Ethnicities In Christ!

“Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.” (Colossians 3:9-11 NIV)

“Liar, liar pants on fire.” Remember that one? Usually the target of this phrase had just been caught in a lie, but what does one say to self when we lie to ourselves? Is there a voice telling us, “liar, liar, pants on fire” or are we just deceiving ourselves into believing a lie? If the enemy is telling us that God doesn’t have a problem with sin–ANY SIN–then we need to remind him, that he’s a liar, the father of liars and there is no truth in him.

For if we have put off–literally shed the skin and practices of the old man–the one who didn’t know any better before receiving Christ into our lives, then we are brand new–with a new attitude and a new wisdom regarding the attributes of Christ. We can walk in our newness by facing the fact that God is color-blind, has no respect of persons, and LOVES US ALL THE SAME! When we sin–after knowing how He wants us to live right before Him–He still loves us, but He’s not happy with our choices.

When children disobey their parents, most parents–at least those with a little common sense and love of Christ in them, don’t kill or maim their children because they’re upset. They don’t like the disobedience and there is usually an unpleasant consequence the children have to deal with. Since God is our heavenly Father, Jesus our Lord and Savior, and Holy Spirit our counselor and comforter, we have no excuse.  We cannot claim not to know–when we have received Him into our lives, giving Him reign over our lives and allowing Holy Spirit to do His job. He never stops loving us, but there is a consequence for our actions for He has said, “the wages (the payment/the penalty) of sin is death” and for some a spiritual death is worse than a natural death. For if we die naturally, then sin has no more authority over us; however if we die spiritually, we continue in our sin and eventually see no wrong with what we do.

Now, the real problem for many is that they like to make distinctions between who is in Christ or who is not based upon one’s proclivity to categorize people–in an effort to be superior to them. I’ve heard so much garbage lately, that it is really sickening and saddening to know just how much racism and bigotry there is yet in the world. God knows no distinctions between any people–we are all the same in Him–so why must we use misrepresented information to try to make others feel inferior? Ham’s curse–as related in Genesis–was not about his descendants being black! That is a misconception taught by those who think they are superior to others. The first man–Adam–was a person of color–his origin of creation on the continent of Africa. People did not begin to “pale” until they started migration into colder climates.

Really? Can this be true? Don’t take my word for it–check out the history of man’s migration from Africa–Asia–and other parts of the world. None of us are superior to others–by race, gender, ethnicity, or education. In Christ we are all one blood, one world of human beings and we need to start acting like it!

None of us has ever walked this journey in life in perfection. All of us have fallen short–sinned in some manner and many who claim to know Christ are still living in sin. It’s time we stopped lying to ourselves and realize we all need the Risen Savior, Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit guiding us in all we do–according to God’s Word–not according to our own limited knowledge of anything. There are no distinctions between people in Christ; we are all one–loved by Him who is Love, saved by Him who is the Savior, and guided by Him who is–the guiding Spirit of Christ.

Now that we know we are one–let’s love one another–casting away our old nature and walking in the new with Christ Jesus!

We Have A Reason To Praise Him!

“For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory. Let his faithful people rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds.”(Psalm 149:4,5 NIV)

No matter what happens in our lives on a daily basis, we can always find a reason to praise God. When He delights in us, He gives us favor–with Him and others. We have opportunities to share His love that we didn’t think about and yet, every time we open our mouths or tap the keys on a keyboard or speak into a system that will type for us–we can encourage others to live, pleasing God and watching Him work in our lives.

Does this mean our lives will be perfect? Not hardly, but it means our lives will be meaningful.

Look up at the sky on a sunshiny day and praise God for the sun shining and seeing a blue sky, dotted with puffy white clouds.

If it’s raining and all you do is to hear the thunder and see the lightning, praise God for hearing and sight.

If you wake in pain–praise Him for being able to feel the pain because some people can’t feel anything.

If you don’t have what you want to eat in the refrigerator, praise God for what you do have because some people, have nothing.

If you don’t have the clothes you want to wear, praise God for something to cover your body; there are those who have nothing other than the rags they wear, daily.

If you don’t have the kind of car you want to drive, praise God for having a car of any kind and the resources to keep it  moving.

If you don’t have a car and have to catch a bus, praise God for the means to pay for the ride.

If you have to walk everywhere you go, praise God for legs that move when you want them to move.

If you don’t have the type of job you want, praise God for the job you have or for what He’s about to bless you with–always keeping your focus on Him and living to please Him.

If we tried–and for some it’s really easy since they’re never satisfied with their lot in life–we could complain about every aspect of our lives, but what would happen if we started praising God for what we have, instead of complaining for what we don’t have?

Many of us don’t have any more than we do because we have proven to God that we are not good stewards over what He has given so why would He give us more–to squander? Think about it! How many ways and how many times have you had an opportunity to do great things, but you chose not to try? We are not great or can do great things simply because we “think” about doing it–we actually have to get up and do–more than talk about it.

With every blog I write, every book idea I start, I keep at it because I’m trying to achieve something great in my effort to please God, by sharing what He gives me. Have I made it yet? I don’t know, which is why I keep writing. When He stops talking to me, I’ll stop having anything to say, but while I wait for Him to speak, I’m praising Him for using a little older lady like me, to share His goodness. Even though there are mornings when I think I’ll give it up, I keep going because He keeps blessing me and I can hear the angels cheering me, “keep going, keep going, it’s not over yet.”

Yes, we have a reason to praise Him–and all we have to do is look around us or look within us to know what it is. Our God is an awesome God and I praise Him, just because He is who He is!

No Power But Holy Spirit!

“Tell us, you idols, what is going to happen. Tell us what the former things were, so that we may consider them and know their final outcome. Or declare to us the things to come, tell us what the future holds, so we may know that you are gods. Do something, whether good or bad, so that we will be dismayed and filled with fear. But you are less than nothing and your works are utterly worthless; whoever chooses you is detestable.” (Isaiah 41:22-24 NIV)

Symbols, images, statues–all carved from wood or crystals or stones–which of them has the power to do anything on their own–without the manipulation of hands attached to man/woman/child? Do they speak to remind of the past? Do they foretell the future? Do they heal the sick? Do they move mountains or other obstacles?

Since neither stone, wood, or crystals have no power of their own, why do we give them credit for having any? What makes us fear images created by the hands of man in paints or sculptures? Whatever is made or contrived by manipulation “any substance” is powerless and those who think they have any power have been deceived. Things can not do anything without the help of hands attached to a person. Even with mass production, someone has to control the machinery, turn on the power or at least set the controls so the power is turned on or off.

With all of the stupidity–totally foolish machinations being erected by those who are only interested in mocking God and stirring strife within the minds of people–why are we in such an uproar? What power does a satanic temple have over those who know God and are empowered by Holy Spirit? Do we really need to fear wood, stones, or paint, or crystals? There is no power in those things, but there resides in the heart of every Believer–the power of Holy Spirit to combat the works of evil. Instead of sounding alarms of fear, it’s time to place our faith on the altar of the One who can and will do all things well because of His love for us.

Very simply put–we ignore stupidity and pray for repentance for those who act out of ignorance--and we know they are ignorant or they would not involve themselves in such foolishness. We ignore the media reports and not give them any place in our hearts or thoughts. If we truly believe that God is yet in control–we have nothing to fear from the enemy, but they have everything to fear from the wrath of an angry God–who created all things.

Don’t allow the symbols or symbolism to ignite fear or trepidation into your hearts! Remember how God used symbols and symbolism as a means to warn people who were guilty of sin. The snake–the cursed reptile who used to stand upright, now crawls on his belly on the ground–prey to all mankind who fear him. The horns attached to a head–which keep the one to whom they are attached from thinking clearly or they would know the horns torn from another animal gives them no power and puts them on the same level as the animal from which they took the horns. Red–though meant to instill fear–should ignite gratitude in the heart of the Believer since it is a reminder of the blood shed on the cross for us. Shapes and images are merely marks made by those who are bored and have nothing better to do–than to be used by the enemy as a trick to create fearfulness. NONE OF THESE THINGS HAVE ANY POWER OF THEMSELVES!

However, in the spirit realm–there are two reigning spirits–Satan–the prince of the air and god of this world–who influences weak minds of those who rebel against God and Holy Spirit–the living spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ–who resides in us and keeps us focused on doing what is right–abhorring evil, and turning away from it.

I don’t know about you, but I have the mind of Christ, desire only to please God, and know that Holy Spirit reminds me of those things that occurred in the past that I might learn from them and reveals future events that I might prepare for them. What do the stones, wood, crystals and paint do? Absolutely nothing!

Of All the gods, You Alone Are God!

“Among the gods there is none like you, Lord; no deeds can compare with yours. All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.” (Psalm 86:8-10 NIV)

Up in the hills, deep into the trees,

On the altars of ignorance were burned,

Wood, animals, children, as stomachs turned,

Making idol sacrifices instead of bending knees,

Praying to the One True God, who does marvelous deeds.

From the beginning and still now, people exercise the inherent desire to worship something and when they find something they think works, that thing they will worship, forgetting that there is One God who created all things and without Him, nothing was created.

Before we had the means to explore and examine our environment, we attributed events to certain other “circumstances” giving credit to the sun god, the rain god, the fertility god, the garden god, the angry god, the happy god, the moon god, the good luck god, the bad luck god, the pretty god, the ugly god, the god of hair, the god of baldness, the god of the fat people, the god of the skinny people, the water gods, the fire gods–and I’m sure there are many more like “the lottery god” (dream books), but all of these gods are manifested into carved, shaped, molded things that are made by the hands of man. Every symbol and image that people use to worship and give some magical attribute– (by way of explaining events) was made by man or machines in our times. Now, if we made the things, what makes us think the things we made are greater than we who made them?

The Psalmist understood that with all the carved statues of trees or monuments of stones and worshipped as gods that among all those gods, there was but One, who was the greatest–the One who did marvelous deeds–the One all nations would worship. And then–as now–they had a name for all the gods. When Paul was speaking before “the learned men” he referenced all the gods who were represented and the “unknown god.” He explained to them who the unknown God was and why He was unknown to them.

Now, if the statues and monuments could have created themselves without the benefit of man’s involvement–I’d say worship them. If they could create themselves there is a great likelihood they could actually help somebody. But there’s the rub–they were made by people and then the people decided–what they made, had power.

Think about the things children make out of paper, Popsicle sticks and other materials and then allow their imaginations to soar–giving the things they made power. The things empowered their imagination, but they had no power of themselves.

Our God–our awesome God–who no one created since He has no beginning and definitely no end. He created the universe without any help from man–the sun shines during the day without man’s help, the moon makes it’s way to shine at night without man’s help, the earth turns on its axis, without man’s help, so why would we continue to believe that any “thing” made by the hands of man has any power?

Among the gods that people worship–their jobs, their spouses, their money, and some even their children, there is only one God who does great things and even though we are ridiculed about our belief in the “invisible God” it makes more sense to worship Him, than anything we make or manufacture to worship. Our God is the only self-existing God who needs no thing to prove His existence; He is the only wise God–the One who was wise enough to do all He has done without consulting any of us. He alone is worthy of our praise.

You alone are worthy, O God, of all our praise and adoration!

Consider The Cost To Avoid Defeat!

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?” (Luke 14:28-31 NIV)

The word “budget” for many seems to be a dirty word, but unless people are willing to consider the cost–of doing anything–before doing it, the end result could be disastrous. This is true for families, communities, local governments, the federal government and of churches. In order for there to be resources flowing out–there must be incoming resources. When expenses are greater than income–frustration rises and trouble and discord reign. We can see this with our governments all over the land.

Within the church and other non-profit organizations, many people do not realize–unless they are in charge of the finances–just how important a budget is. Since a number of churches are a resource to the communities in which they conduct business, they often expend far more than they receive from the membership of their organization. Whenever there is no policy or criteria by which a person is considered for consideration, the word gets out–and everyone who doesn’t want to work for a living or to provide for themselves comes knocking on the door–for a hand-out.

There is a reason for churches and other non-profit organizations obtaining and retaining a tax-exempt status. Most exist because of donations, volunteerism and they benefit more people than they have people contributing to their cause. However, at some point–if they are not careful about spending habits–they will cease to exist. We see this with schools, churches, and other organizations who had a good idea, but it was not a God-idea–because His principles were not used to either establish it or maintain it.

Welfare-mentality–always seeking a hand-out and never contributing to the source has become a way of life for many people and when they can’t get what they want, they get angry and start vicious rumors–never understanding they are not entitled to anything to which they have never contributed. This is why I fail to understand why there are some who feel–Social Security Benefits for those who have worked and contributed to the fund–is an entitlement program. Well, in one sense I suppose it is--I contributed to the fund through every job I ever had and now, I’m entitled to receive the benefits of my contribution. The reason the Social Security program is in danger is because of all those people who received the benefits through supplementary income criteria–from the Social Security pool of funds–and they never contributed to the fund! Someone–along the way–never considered the cost and now those who did contribute–are at risk.

“Wisdom is the principal thing and with all of our getting, we need to get understanding.” When we learn to exercise Godly principles in every area of our lives, we can avoid being defeated by anything that confronts, but we must always consider the cost–for every decision we make–looking far into the future and determining how a decision made today will impact that future.

When The King of Glory Shows Up!

“Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty–he is the King of Glory.” (Psalm 24:8-10 NIV)

For the past several weeks, there has been so much going on in my life that sometimes–it weighed upon me like a ton of bricks. But I believe in power of prayer, the One who responds and can say–Victory achieved on the front! The King of Glory showed up and showed out and now we may proceed without obstacle or sour grapes interfering with the process of achieving success. Glory to His Name!

But this victory was not achieved because of who I am. It was achieved because of who He is. He is the King of Glory, strong and mighty in battle and whenever we have reached the end of our strength, we can depend on His and know in our weakness, He makes us strong. We are strengthened for every battle that confronts us and when we allow Him to lead and guide every step we take and every word we speak–we know victory.

There is no need for any Believer to be overly concerned about current events, demon statues, temples for Satan, or any other demonic attempt to upset our peace, in Him. Though it may seem like the enemy is winning–take heart, The King of Glory is about to show up and show out! Victory in the name of Jesus will be proclaimed and all who were concerned will know peace.

We must always remember, we are more than conquerors because of His love for us and there is defeat in Him, therefore, we never have to know defeat when we are abiding in the vine and He is abiding in us. We have victory over everything–every challenge, every setback, every thought that would hinder–victory is near and all we have to do is proclaim. We have to see every situation for what it is–an opportunity for us stand tall, ready to proclaim His love and share the Gospel of salvation and then just sat back, knowing God’s got this–and see the victory He has determined. Every setback is really a set-up–for the King of Glory to show up. 

When we truly realize we can count on Him–we’ll never allow the enemy’s tricks to get us off course. We must stay in The Word, we must mediate on The Word, we must continually seek Him and ask for His wisdom to guide us daily and when we are obedient, in the midst of the storm, we can and must relax and know–He’s going to show up and set things right!

Who is this King of Glory? The One who created all things and without whom, nothing was ever created. He is the bright and morning star, the Lily of the Valley, our Healer, our Provider, our Heavenly Father, our Savior and Lord, our Peace in the storms of life and when He speaks–after He shows up–all will be calm.