The Lost Country!

The Lost Country!

My people have been lost sheep.
Their shepherds have led them astray
and turned them loose in the mountains.
They have lost their way
and can’t remember how to get back to the sheepfold. Jeremiah 50:6 NLT

Then the LORD said to me, “Take again the equipment of a foolish shepherd. For I am going to raise up a shepherd over the land who will not care for the lost, or seek the young, or heal the injured, or feed the healthy, but will eat the meat of the choice sheep, tearing off their hooves. “Woe to the worthless shepherd, who deserts the flock! May the sword strike his arm and his right eye! May his arm be completely withered, his right eye totally blinded!” Zechariah 11:15-17 NIV

Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 1 Corinthians 15:18 NIV

There are those in this country who proclaim to be Christians–followers of Christ and doing what Christ would do, yet, when looking at the plight of the land in America, we do not see Christ-like behavior in much of what they condone in “their choice” an elected leader–one who is supposed to be “president of America,” which includes all Americans, not just some.

Though I may appear to be a broken record, it makes sense to repeat those things that need to be repeated, in order to bring realization to those who may be asleep or have deliberately ignored the signs in front of them–America is in crisis–and the crisis is the result of the promotion of a person who has never known God, does not know God, and thinks he is a god (and some are worshiping him as one). His malignant narcissism keeps his focus on him and what he wants rather than what is best for the nation. Before anyone attempts to refute this statement by saying, “you don’t know his heart,” let me say for the record–I do know his heart and everyone with a brain and knowledge of The Word–knows his heart. For The Word states, “From the abundance of the heart–the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34, Luke 6:45)

Right out the gate–the cult followers will say, “But we have more money in our pay checks.” “He’s rolling back job-killing regulations.” “He’s getting rid of all the immigrants who are taking American jobs.” “He’s pushing the Christian agenda.”

Let me address each of these four points (there are more) separately.

Some people will see more money in their paychecks because of the “tax cut scam” passed which gave the wealthiest Americans the greatest tax cut and still did not benefit the working class the most. When we understand the government “runs on tax dollars” we also understand cutting the revenue will place an undue burden on future generations and Senior Citizens now, since the next step of the “great tax cut” includes gutting Social Security and medicare to make up some of the lost revenue that was given to the rich. 

Can’t ignore the fact that though many companies touted giving bonuses because of the tax cut, 93K jobs have been outsourced, 63 Sam’s Clubs closed, ATT laying off workers and many others. I’m sure those who received bonuses and later (some in the same week) lost their jobs, would rather have the job than a one-time bonus of a $1K.

Who loses with the tax cuts? Every poor person who ever dependent on social programs funded by tax dollars loses. Every student in America who attends a public school loses because of budget cuts. Every veteran in America who has served this country and as a result–suffered either physical or mental trauma–loses benefits because of tax cuts. Every Senior Citizen stands to lose benefits they earned and contributed to because Republicans (in particular–Paul Ryan) thinks Social Security is not an “earned benefit” but something people think they’re entitled to having. We are entitled to having what we contributed to–and nothing a greedy person who received $500K from a donor for cutting taxes says or does, will ever deter us from fighting for what is rightfully ours. And by the way, Paul Ryan bragged on Twitter on 2/3/18 (later deleted) that a secretary in PA was, “pleasantly surprised to see an increase of a $1.50 in her paycheck.” I’m not sure he missed the sarcasm that may have provoked the statement or if he’s just that obtuse. But I’m sure the Koch Brothers, the Mercers and Murdochs, as well as other rich donors are thrilled.

Rolling back job-killing regulations–For every regulation that is rolled back–those put in place to maintain the safety of consumers and workers, we risk life and limb just so the demagogue can brag and those supporting him–grin and brag–about him getting rid of “everything President Obama did” to keep us safe. This is the real reason for much of what he does–his motivation is hatred for Obama–not concern for the American people. Because of those “roll backs,” we risk dying from contaminated water and soil and polluted air. I have to conclude he’d rather people die than keep safety precautions in place. Five people have died from a gas-rig fire, Amtrak has had three accidents in which people have died, and oil spills have contaminated land will contaminate the water if plans move forward for coastline drilling. This is pure greed and has nothing to do with the welfare of Americans, but in making sure they die early–especially those in coal mines.

On keeping immigrants out of America to keep them from taking jobs from Americans–I’m still waiting for all those making such complaints to come forward and show us–the entire world–how willing they are to help gather produce for farmers, clean hotel rooms, and do it all for very low wages. If there are Americans out there who want these jobs, why was it necessary for the demagogue to obtain Visas for immigrants to work at his properties? And on the same note–why is the demagogue and his family still producing goods in China and other countries? Is it because he doesn’t want to pay a living wage to Americans?

We’ve lost out on trade because of his ignorance as to how “world trade” works and many of the countries (11) have decided to move forth without us and many farmers are not happy about this development. Implementing tariffs on goods–makes it more difficult for Americans to purchase goods produced outside of America and when we cannot purchase the goods, those who distribute the goods won’t need workers to sell them. Not a lot of thought went into this decision and again, the only driving force–greed for those who already are rich.

Thinking the resident in the Oval Office is a Christian and pushing a Christian agenda is probably the biggest farce “White Evangelicals” have promoted to their unsuspecting congregations. Or maybe the congregation knew and didn’t care. At any rate, let me reiterate some of the character traits that demonstrate one is a follower of Christ.

  • We love all unconditionally because God loved us so much, He sent His only Son (came in the likeness of sinful flesh) to do what we couldn’t do–on our own. He took sin upon Himself and opened the way for us to ascend into Heaven for all eternity.
  • We take care of the poor and the needy.
  • We visit those in prisons or are otherwise incapacitated (the shut-in, not shut-out).
  • We promote unity of all, not division.
  • We provide shelter for the homeless and refuge for the disenfranchised.
  • We stand firm against the wiles of the devil and recognize when he has “deceived the very elect.”
  • We don’t lie or protect pathological liars for The Word says, “all liars will end up in the lake of fire.”
  • We don’t provoke hatred or war with other countries.

Listening to the “shepherds” who were supposed to guide and direct–we have allowed them to be the reason–our country is lost and we may have difficulty finding our way back–to being who Christ wants us to be.

For those who would attempt to refute what I’ve said by falsely claiming that America was founded on Christianity, I would say get out your history books and understand that using “biblical principles” to establish our Constitution does not mean it was founded upon Christianity. The bible makes no reference to Christianity and to clarify the matter–the Bible is a summary of historical events that provide us with insight as to how God worked with the Children of Israel, and how we came to be joint-heirs with them. Don’t buy into the hype–know for certain–what you believe and why.

This won’t be the last time I address this issue, and today–it was important to emphasize it for those who think this country is headed in the right direction–we’re not– but we can be, if we exercise our right to vote–without interference or hindrance from those who would attempt to oppress us.

He’s Watching!

He’s Watching!

He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them–he remains faithful forever. He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. Psalm 146:6-9 NIV

No matter how gloomy the environment gets with the ways of those who claim to know God, but demonstrate they do not, we can rest assured, that nothing escapes The Lord. He hears it all, sees it all, and He will reward each and every person according to their deeds.

God is watching those who are trying to oppress by separating families and suppressing voters. He is watching those who are being detained, deported and imprisoned–unjustly. He is watching those who are trying to keep people from dreaming of better days with the totally inept and incompetent, heartless Republican Congress who would keep people from leading healthy lives.

God is watching how Republicans make a sham and mockery of saying they “serve God and country” when neither is evident with their current actions. They do not know Jesus Christ since they do not care about the poor and the needy and are doing all they can to put to death those who are not wealthy enough to afford healthcare. They are not the righteous; they are the unrighteous and all their rhetoric and deeds–in secret–and openly are known to God, and He will expose them all. There is nothing we can say that God doesn’t hear and nothing we can do that He doesn’t see. He’s watching.

It is truly unfortunate for all Americans that some had so much hatred and vitriol rising up within them they voted for hatred and racism and heartlessness to reside in the White House. Now, everyone must suffer for their lack of vision, for the Word says, without a vision, the people perish.

Here’s my vision–in 2018–we elect the party that cares about all Americans, not just some of them and rid ourselves of the menace that currently resides in the White House. In 2020, we elect a woman–with no political baggage, no ties to Russia, and no celebrity status, but a wealth of experience in knowing the challenges faced by Everyday Americans,  how to treat people and in seeking the qualified to fill positions of authority. We can do something about the current environment if we are bold enough to do what is right, more than what is politically expedient and then sit back and moan and groan with the consequences. God is watching it all and He knows how He wants to be represented in the earth, and it is not by a group of people who do not live like He wants us to live and certainly not by a toddler-in-chief who lacks maturity, wisdom, and common sense.

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Repentance and Forgiveness!

Repentance and Forgiveness!

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. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:9-14 NIV

In order for us to receive forgiveness, we must willing to admit when we’re wrong. If a person can never admit being wrong or in need of forgiveness, how can they be forgiven?

Many are those who always cry, “forgive, forgive” but that’s only when it pertains to someone else, not them. And the other side of the coin is–the person who keeps doing wrong, never repents of the wrongdoing–never turns away from doing wrong–because they never admit they are wrong. Apologies–it would seem to some–are for losers and therefore–a winner never apologizes for anything–in their mind. So, if there is no admittance or apology, there can be no forgiveness for if there is–it is just a matter of words, not sincerity since true forgiveness, comes with a change of heart.

We are told–in The Word–that from the abundance of the heart–the mouth speaks. From that we can conclude by what we hear–what is in a person’s heart. If all we hear is hatred and bigotry, lies and finger-pointing, then what we hear is what’s overflowing in their heart.

If we attach a color to every trait or virtue–what color would our hearts be? We’ve heard of people having a black heart (pure evil), but is that what resides within us? For all those virtues that are positive–love, joy, hope, forgiveness, humility, and sincerity,–let’s color them yellow. For all the negative traits–lying, hatred, bigotry, fear-mongering–let’s color them black. Now, let’s take a look at what appears to be a halo over people–is it light or is it darkness? Darkness does not drive out light, but light certainly drives out darkness so it would benefit all for us to have light in our hearts rather than darkness.

Not one of us–living past the age of seven–can say we’ve never done anything wrong. And as kids, when we did something wrong we were punished–if we had loving parents. As adults, we have to recognize when our behavior is not conducive to maintaining peace or when infringing upon the rights of others. When we do wrong–we admit it–apologize and seek forgiveness and let it go, not holding grudges.

When we repent–turn away from those things that offend God and turn to Him to stay on the right path, He forgives and never reminds us of all the wrong we’ve ever done. But the enemy–the prince of darkness–will always seek a way to get into our minds to remind us of what we’ve done in hopes of keeping us distracted. We don’t have to let the enemy influence our thoughts or our deeds. We simply have to remember who it is we serve and serve Him with gladness and joy in our hearts.

However–if we never acknowledge doing wrong–there is no true repentance and therefore forgiveness is not received. For what we do not admit when we’re wrong, God cannot forgive us. And if we say we’re sorry for doing something when we are not–the lack of sincerity will be revealed in our continued wrongdoing.

Beloved, let’s love one another with a sincere heart–allowing the light of hope and joy to override the darkness impelled by fear and hatred. God is love and if we love Him, we can love others for love resides in our hearts in abundance. And if we love, we can forgive when others admit their wrongdoing and we should not hold it against them.

The Beauty of Holiness!

The Beauty of Holiness!

For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
But the LORD made the heavens.

Honor and majesty are before Him;
Strength and gladness are in His place.

Give to the LORD, O families of the peoples,
Give to the LORD glory and strength.

Give to the LORD the glory due His name;
Bring an offering, and come before Him.
Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness!

Tremble before Him, all the earth.
The world also is firmly established,
It shall not be moved.

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
And let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.”

                                                          1 Chronicles 16:26-31 NKJV

There are many ways that people–we mere mortals–define beauty in the earth realm. We determine who is beautiful by physical features, bone structure, waistlines, hair length, height and weight. That’s what we do. But real beauty in people should be a measurement of a person’s heart and what they do for others, without seeking recognition for anything they do. 

I have met and known some really beautiful people–but they wouldn’t measure up to the world’s definition because of their facial features or other physical flaws. I measure their beauty because of their compassion and diligence in always seeking ways to help others and putting themselves in the background for all they do.

No matter how I measure or assess beauty or anyone else–true beauty is found in how we live for The Lord and that is in holiness.

Holiness–is living according to The Word–it is not how a person looks or dresses. Unfortunately, there are groups of people who think that holiness is represented in being uncomfortable in clothing, covering hair or faces, being meek and subordinate, positions for praying, songs sung in worship and none of that matters if The Word of God is not the blueprint for how one lives.

We worship God in the beauty of holiness by living for Him. It is a lifestyle that promotes who He is, not who we are.

How we dress is not a concern for God unless we are immodest in what we wear that brings more attention to us than Him. He looks upon the heart of a person, not their outward appearance. Since this is how He looks at us, perhaps we should do the same and stop looking at the outward person, but assessing their heart by what they do. For out of the abundance of the heart–the mouth speaks. And what we say, is a good indicator of what we do.

Today and every day, let’s learn to appreciate the real beauty in others by the evidence we see of what’s in their heart, not in their appearance.

myBook.to/Holiness

On The Journey–Qoph!

I cry out with my whole heart;
Hear me, O LORD!
I will keep Your statutes.

I cry out to You;
Save me, and I will keep Your testimonies.

I rise before the dawning of the morning,
And cry for help;
I hope in Your word.

My eyes are awake through the night watches,
That I may meditate on Your word.

Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness;
O LORD, revive me according to Your justice.

They draw near who follow after wickedness;
They are far from Your law.

You are near, O LORD,
And all Your commandments are truth.

Concerning Your testimonies,
I have known of old that You have founded them forever. Psalm 119:145-152 NKJV

The 19th letter and stanza–total reliance and trust expressed.

Crying out to God with our whole hearts–expecting Him to hear us and save us from whatever dilemma rises in our lives–should be our stance.

The writer expresses his reliance upon God by acknowledging it is in Him that salvation is possible, that his cries will be heard and that his hope is in Him. While waiting to see God’s response, he meditates upon His Word; he awakens in the middle of the night, meditating upon His Word; and when he rises in the morning, his heart is still focused on God’s Word.

Do we have that kind of hope, reliance and trust in God and in knowing His Word? I would venture to say that the more we know His Word, the greater our reliance becomes upon Him. For when we know God’s Word, we know that it is only because of Him that we can keep going. The more we know–the greater the realization becomes that within ourselves, we have no might and can do nothing, apart from Him.

Perhaps this is why those who don’t believe Him, think they can accomplish anything in their own wisdom, knowledge and might. They are mistaken. They ridicule us when we pray, calling our God–the invisible spaghetti monster and prayer a waste of time. But when the going gets really tough, and they cry out, “O God!” which of their gods do they expect to intercede on their behalf?

Just as the writer expresses, we know that God is always near because we are told in His Word that He will never leave us or forsake us. When we call upon Him, He hears us. When we obey His Word, He responds to us. Our faith–total reliance and trust in Him–keeps us focused on His Word and mindful that we have nothing to fear because our God is always near!

We know–from the beginning when God established His statutes that they were intended to be a light in the darkness for all times--guiding us as we navigate life. But His Word can only be a light in our lives when we have understood His purposes for our lives.

Though some think that because they can memorize and quote God’s Word they have accomplished something, if there is no understanding–no comprehension, what have they really accomplished? The enemy knows the Word and knows how to distort it to deceive others. We know because he used The Word to tempt The Word and he failed miserably because Truth will always break the shackles that bind the mind.

 

Changing Our Society by Receiving God’s Love!

“My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.” (Proverbs 3:1,2 NIV)

From a father to son and daughter,

Keeping us from Satan’s slaughter,

Teaching us to remember and obey,

Walking in God’s favor, night and day.

When we learn to adhere to the sound teaching of parents and God, we have a promise we can rely upon for long life, peace, and prosperity. If we look around at our society today, it would appear that not many have remembered anything worthwhile and obedience to sound teaching is not evident–anywhere.

But notice where we have to start--remembering what we were taught and keeping those sound teachings and instructions in our heart. If our heart is receptive to instruction and guidance, we will do what love does–obey. If our heart is hardened and we reject sound teachings, then hatred takes the place of love and all the forces of hell, break loose upon a society that refuses to hear and obey.

With the recent passing of the oldest woman in American, at 116 years-old, I wonder if she credited her long life with remembering the things she was taught by her parents and obeying. Her long life appears to be a testament of obedience–but I don’t know that for a fact. What I do know is God is not slack to keep His promises to all who obey and He is not a man that He should lie.

If we want to see a change in our society, we must see a change in what people are keeping in their hearts and what they are teaching their children. Parents must learn to give their children righteous, sound instruction. Children must learn to obey and not rebel. We must all learn to receive God’s love and allow it to overflow in our hearts.

For where love is, hatred doesn’t stand a chance. Where love is–people are respected and given consideration. Where love is–we all seek to assist all who are in need. Where love is–we honor God and keep all His commands–to love Him and love others. Where love is--there is peace and no confusion.

I would love to see and experience for the rest of my days–love being the guiding force in our society so I can live the rest of my days in peace. I would love to see children obeying their parents and parents loving and teaching their children to do what is right. I would love to see all saved and walking in God’s favor. I would love to see people living in the reverential fear of God and negating all of Satan’s influence. I would love to see it, but unless something drastic happens in the minds and hearts of people, my desire may not be obtained, but it won’t stop me from seeking God’s Wisdom in all things.

We can stop all the madness in our society and the lack of respect and value for life. All we have to do is receive God’s love to overflowing and allow it flow onto others, remembering all He has taught and keeping His commands.

With The Heart!

“Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” (Acts 8:37 NKJV)

Contrary to what most unbelievers think, understanding God and believing the work on the Cross begins with the heart, not the head because the mind of man cannot begin to conceive the wonders of God.

The word heart is mentioned 830 times in the bible–noting the condition of a person’s or a nation’s heart–whether good or evil, because it is the heart of man that interest God. He looks upon the heart of man (and woman) to determine their honesty and integrity for many will be guilty of having lying lips. They will say one thing with their mouth, but the lies trip so fluently that they begin to believe the lies they tell. However, the heart–which no man can see–is fully exposed to God and He knows what a person or a nation is truly capable of doing.

Paul tells in his letter to the church in Rome, “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (10:10).

Throughout history, God has looked upon the heart of man and saw the evil and the good and in whatever condition the heart was found, man received his just reward.

Physically–the heart pumps the blood that keeps us alive and whenever there is a problem with the heart, our physical condition is impacted–negatively. Without the body’s ability to receive the life-source, blood, things begin to deteriorate and sometimes, they are left irreparable. The body can survive without the brain functioning as it ought, but it cannot survive without a functioning heart to keep the blood flowing.

Spiritually–the spirit of the man–is the center of right and wrong, whether our spirits agree with Holy Spirit or is influenced by demonic spirits–this is control center by which man is judged by God.

In the beginning of my ministry, over 25 years ago, I often told the naysayers that in order to believe God, one must believe with the heart so the mind will accept. For the carnal mind of man cannot accept the spiritual reality of a living God unless led by the Spirit of God who speaks to the heart of man.

Romantically–we are often led by our hearts rather than our heads and sometimes–this is a good thing, but sometimes, our hearts lead us astray–into accepting those into our lives that lead us down the wrong paths. But it is the heart that usually determines our love interest, not our heads. When the heart and head agree–the love relationship lasts forever.

This is why it is more important for Believers to have a relationship with God rather than an affiliation with religion or religious doctrine. When our hearts and head agree–the love relationship lasts forever with Him and we can know, without doubt that He has only our best interests at heart.

Praying for a heart change–towards God–for all people in every nation so we can see peace in the land.

Salt-Soddened Heart!

My heart is crying, overwhelmed with life

Watching the suffering of many, the constant strife

Between others–mothers, and children, husbands and wives

Nation against nation, no one carrying about the lives

Of people who feel–misery and pain,

Lost, with no more to lose and nothing else to gain,

The salt seeps into each muscle and tendon,

Navigating its way through each ventricle and back,

Saturating all the tissue which holds the emotions

In check, no longer able to reasonably resist

Giving in to those thoughts and feelings that created

The mess of lives and nations galore,

My heart is crying, deeply saddened and sodden

By all the salt–meant to preserve, but now burns

As I watch how one thing after the other turns,

Into chaos and confusion!

My heart is crying!

Laugh A Lot!

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22 NIV).

With everything negative that is going on in the world today, we all need to find something to laugh about–just to take the edge off–so we can live to see another day–to laugh a lot.

What can we do to make our hearts cheerful? We can find a reason to laugh, even in the midst of uncertainty or sadness. Laughter makes the woes of the world seem not so bad.

What if–everything negative news report was presented in the media by drunken sailors who hadn’t shaved for months. Every time they opened their mouths, moths would fly out and eventually create a wall that moves with every sound. As they attempted to chase the moths, their pants would fall down around their ankles and they would trip each other. Can you picture it? Laugh out loud!

What if–we spent our time finding things to laugh about rather than focus on those things that could make some of us cry.

What if–we pictured God and Jesus having a blast with the angels in heaven playing their version of  (Wii golf) and when the angels win, they get a chance to do a silly dance!

What if–you sat back and remembered all of the things that have made you laugh--baby’s antics, teenage angst, in-laws–whatever it is–find something to laugh about.  Take a picture of you doing something outrageously silly and post it on your refrigerator.  Then every time you get depressed about anything–look at the picture and laugh out loud. 

Smile more, pray more, laugh a lot and do your heart good; just don’t sit and be depressed about anything.  God is too good to us and for us to remain in a depressed or saddened state for too long.

If you can’t think of anything to make you laugh–picture this–I’m sitting here typing with my hair askew, miss-mated socks, dentures sitting beside me making faces at me, with a growing desire to make pull out nose-hairs and glue them to my husband’s balding head, while he sleeps.

Not! But did you laugh?

Go ahead, laugh it up! Forget about the world and all of its problems–laugh at everything the enemy attempts to do to you and imagine the look on his face, when everything you desire shows up–in an instant!  Laugh at the devil, laugh at yourself, laugh at anything and everything–just laugh! Time will come soon enough to be serious again, but for right now–let’s hear it–a really deep, belly laugh that lasts for at least five minutes. Feel better now?

Lord, help us to learn to laugh, even when we feel like crying and when we’re laughed out–put a praise in our mouths and joy in our hearts, never doubting Your love for us!

 

 

I Made God Cry!

“I made God cry–I saw His tears, and felt His heart breaking–when I chose not to obey His Word.” When I didn’t know any better, and was living life any way I wanted to, I didn’t realize that God loved me so much…that when I committed a sinful act (my, my, my), that it would actually cause Him to pain. Now that I know better, I don’t want to cause Him pain because I love Him; I don’t want to see Him cry over the things I do; and when I see Him on That Day, all I want to hear is…”well done, my beloved child”. Are you making God cry? It’s never too late to turn things around, to know He is smiling upon us, just because He loves us and wants only the very best for us. No more tears–not on my behalf! Hallelujah!