Thanksgiving

Be Thankful at ThanksgivingWe just completed another American holiday known as Thanksgiving. Most of my friends living in the USA participate in this holiday, many traveling to be with relatives, and eat the most delicious food of the entire year! Most of my friends from other nations don’t have a similar holiday (except my Israeli friends who celebrate Tabernacles), but you all pretty much know what it’s all about.

I remember one of the Thanksgivings we celebrated in Russia. I remember making most of my favorite dishes. I also remember the look on Oxana’s face when she asked about the delicious pie and we told her it was pumpkin. She exclaimed that pumpkin is NOT supposed to be sweet!

I was looking forward to Thanksgiving this year. I had the day off from work (no easy task as a nurse). Everything pretty much fell apart. Local family went in different directions, and we ate at the local truck stop (It’s simply too much work doing all that cooking for 2 people in an RV). Then I found out that our new church we attend was having their Thanksgiving meal on Sunday evening, and I was scheduled to work Saturday & Sunday! I cut corners to save time, and my favorite dish didn’t come out near as good as it should have. I went to the church dinner, came home, & finished up charting after 11pm.  I was frustrated and exhausted.

But God… I remembered all the multitude of things I have to be thankful for. I remembered the guy begging on a street corner on Black Friday, trying to stay warm. I wondered what his story was. How he got where he is today. But for the grace of God, go I. I thought of several of my home health patients. Many live alone in very poor conditions, too ill to even get out and go to the free meals offered around town at the local missions. I thought of all those who have lost loved ones this year, so many in senseless acts of violence, who sit and stare at an empty chair and wonder if the hole in their heart will ever heal.

Yes, I am very thankful. I have a roof over my head, a good vehicle to drive, a decent job with a good salary. I have plenty of food to eat, and clothing to wear. Most of all, I have a husband who loves me, and the worlds cutest grandchildren! On top of all that, I have a new church family who really do love one another, and go the extra mile for each other. I have all of this and more, because of a God who loves me enough to have offered Himself as the Passover sacrifice almost 2000 years ago: a God named Yeshua whom I talk to every day, and He hears my prayers. I am truly blessed, and very thankful!

Right now, our little church is experiencing a lot of growing pains. My husband and I are experiencing growing pains as we are preparing to move from our little RV into a real house! These are real growing pains, but just as a child with growing pains is not allowed to lay in bed and moan, but has to still get up and go to school, so we must also arise and work while it is yet day. The harvest is ripe, but the laborers are still too few. Let’s rise up, take our place in spite of what we are currently going through, and be thankful!

Categories: Pursuit of God's Destiny for Your Life | Leave a comment

That ONE Thing

oneI recently finished reading a novel titled “Heaven and Hell” by Kenneth Zeigler. Now, I realize that works of fiction can be a far stretch from the truth, but often they mirror truth, and as such, capture our imagination. I don’t read much fiction, but this one captured my attention in a big way!

In a nut shell, it follows the journey in graphic detail of two individuals. They both died, but one went to heaven, the other, to hell. It really got me thinking: What are we doing here on this earth? What’s our purpose? What’s that one thing that we should be doing above and beyond everything else?

Matthew 28:19-20 says: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” (MSG) Mark 16:15 states: “Then he said to them, “As you go throughout the world, proclaim the Good News to all creation.” (CJB) These are some of the last recorded words of Yeshua before He went back to the Father in heaven, and they are words of instruction FOR US!

I began to ask myself, “What am I doing”? Life happens. The enemy of our souls makes sure that it does! We go to work, watch TV, attend church, play video games, read books, get involved in sports, go out with friends, shop, run errands, and an endless number of other things that totally consume our time. We are so busy, so tired from being so busy, that we don’t stop to consider “What am I doing”? The days turn into months, then the months into years. Sometimes bad things happen, and life becomes a burden. We forget all that we have to be thankful for. We focus on the bad and forget the good that God has done for us. Time passes while we become consumed in praying for good to come from evil. All the while, Satan has us going in circles, and souls are falling head-long into the depths of hell to be forgotten forever.

Then I stopped and asked myself “What can I do? I’ve never been very good at evangelism.” As I listened, Holy Spirit began to speak. “What is YOUR calling”? “I’m an intercessor”, I replied. “Then pray for those who are called to evangelize. Pray for the missionaries you support. Pray for young people to catch the vision, and bring the Good News to those that I am calling them to.”

As I began to ponder these things, I thought, “What if each and every one of us just did ONE thing”? Some people will give money on occasion when a missionary comes to their church to speak. What if they chose one missionary to support monthly? Jesus once said to His disciples: “Were you so weak that you couldn’t stay awake with me for even an hour? (Matt 26:40, CJB) What if we gave up just one hour a week of personal entertainment to find out and do that one thing we are to do? Can we spend a Saturday with a local Christian outreach group once every month or two?

Can we offer to support a young person in our church on a short-term mission’s trip? Sometimes the most unlikely teen will catch the vision and turn their world upside down for Jesus! What the world needs now, more than ever, is love, encouragement, and truth. They need to know about our Jesus before it is too late. Your church attendance is good, but whose kingdom is being built? Do you attend expecting the pastor to do all the work of the ministry, or do you expect to be equipped so YOU can do the work? Is your church winning the lost, and training them, or is it a “bless me” club for the saints?

I know these are hard questions, but I feel it is imperative that I ask them. I am asking ME: What am I doing? What is my ONE thing?

Categories: Pursuit of God's Destiny for Your Life | Leave a comment

April- An American Month of Infamy

white burning candleFriday evening begins Passover. Many think of this as a Jewish holiday, but it isn’t just that. Passover commemorates a time of deliverance from bondage and slavery to freedom and promise. It began millennia ago when Adonai Himself delivered His people from literal slavery, and again almost 2000 years ago when He delivered whosoever will from the bondage of sin. The early Christian church always celebrated Passover. They had a traditional Seder with matzo and wine. They understood the significance of this appointment with God Almighty. That significance was almost erased by Satan when he made it illegal to celebrate Passover, but paganized the resurrection of Messiah by placing the event not on First Fruits, but on his own holiday of Easter.

Easter this year has come and gone. Kids have by now eaten all the chocolate eggs and bunnies without understanding what it’s all about. Few will participate in a Seder. Fewer still will make this appointment with God.

Our world is spiraling out of control. April has historically been a devastating month for many here in the US. The revolutionary war began during Passover on April 19, 1775; Abraham Lincoln was shot during Passover on April 14, 1865; Hitler was born during Passover on April 20, 1889; The Oklahoma land rush that legally stole the heart of Indian territory from the Native Americans took place during Passover on April 22, 1889; the Oklahoma City bombing happened during Passover on April 19, 1995. Other major April events were: the start of the civil war, April 12, 1861; the San Francisco earthquake, April 18, 1906; the Titanic sinks, April 15, 1912; Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated April 4, 1968; the Waco massacre took place April 19, 1993; the Columbine High School shooting was on April 20, 1999; the Virginia Tech shooting was April 16, 2007; the BP oil spill disaster was April 20, 2010; and the Boston Marathon bombing was April 15, 2013. On a positive note: Slavery was abolished April 19, 1866, and Jackie Robinson became the first African American major league baseball player on April 19, 1947.

Does anyone else see this picture??? Passover is God’s appointed time every year to abolish evil and set captives free, but more and more evil is triumphing. This is the time, each year, when we SHOULD be agreeing with God for His purposes so people can find freedom and joy, but instead we are reaping what previous generations have sowed. Oklahomans should be honoring our Native Americans, but even recently our state legislature said “no”. Oklahoma City suffered the first domestic terror attack, and the first beheading, but we said “no”. In 1963 the Supreme Court kicked God out of our public schools. Before then, school shootings were unheard of. Since then, there have been far too many.

I had a very interesting dream this morning. In the dream, I was at a large college campus looking for a particular class that I was supposed to be in. This was a training class I needed to take for work. I was not a student at the college. I asked an information person for directions, and she guided me to the building where the class was. When I went inside, I looked off to my left, and saw through a window a tornado on the ground approaching the building. This tornado was shaped and acted like a real tornado, but it appeared to have some kind of sparkle dust in it. I ran for cover yelling at people (who were sitting in office cubicles) “tornado”, but no one even looked up. The sirens didn’t sound either. When I went back downstairs, the tornado had turned into 2 students carrying a flashing sign that appeared to sparkle with the same colors as the tornado had. They were now in the building. No one paid them any attention.

This is obviously not a literal tornado. It is a subtle “sign” designed to bring destruction, but staff are too busy working and the students are too absorbed in their own world to notice. The “destruction” is even being carried into the school building by some students. There is no official warning, and no one would notice even if there was. Today is the anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre.

I have an app on my phone that was started by Apostle Dutch Sheets called “Give Him 15”. Today’s prayer focus was protection for our schools. I have several questions for all of us who are the people of the Living God. Who’s going to pray for our schools and kids TODAY? Who’s going to pray and repent for the travesties our ancestors allowed to happen to our Native peoples, our African-American immigrants, and the Jewish people during WW2? Who wants to agree with me to launch a campaign to reverse the Passover/April curse and see captives set free? This needs to be tackled NOW! Just so you know, God does NOT want to continue to allow destructions. He is all about deliverance and freedom, especially this time of year!

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Changes, Glorious Changes!

forking-road1It’s been awhile since I shared from my heart, so I thought I’d do that. This last year was a rough one. I know that many of you went through a lot as well. We’ve suffered losses, rejections, and had to process too many changes. Can I share with you what I think about all that?

Those of us from my generation remember an old black and white TV show called “Father Knows Best”. The show depicted a family going through the various trials of life, often trying to solve problems themselves. Inevitably, Father would find out what was going on and offer his wisdom and advice for a viable solution. This is so much like our heavenly Father. He knows us- what makes us tick, what will make us happy, what wisdom and solutions we need to fix the problems of life that are facing us, but too often we attempt to solve our own problems, in our own wisdom and strength! Can I give you a hint? Father knows best!

I don’t pretend to understand all the whys of what happened last year, but I do trust my heavenly Father to intervene where and when necessary, and to help me learn and understand! The Word of God says that we have not because we ask not, and when we do ask, we ask with wrong motives. (James 4:2-3) Remember, God loves us very much and wants the very best for us in this life. Sometimes He says no. Sometimes He removes jobs, things or toxic relationships from our lives because He wants better for us. Can you trust Him to make it all better? Can you forgive those who so deeply wounded you, so you can truly move on? Can you walk away from a bad job with the dishonest and unscrupulous people you’ve had to tolerate for so long, without a bad attitude about how they treated you? Can you forgive yourself for the bad decisions and mistakes you’ve made?

It’s time to move on. Let go of the trauma of the last season, and look forward with hope for the future (Jeremiah 29:11). Cease the complaining, the excuse making, the whining, and crying, and look forward to YOUR special tomorrow!

As I write this, I am thinking about the new business I recently launched. Yes, I’ve written 2 non-fiction Christian books, but no matter what I did, they simply didn’t sell (at least not yet!) I also tried to get a job, but nothing I tried worked! Maybe, just maybe God was closing those doors because He had something better for me that I would NEVER try unless I was facing all those closed doors!

So…. drum roll please. J I am now an independent jewelry consultant with Premier Designs! It is a Biblically based company with some of the best hostess gifts of any company I checked out! They support missions, and best of all, I get to meet lots of ladies and help them to see how beautiful they really are!

I covet your prayers in this new endeavor as this is really outside the box for me. I eventually want to connect with some of the ladies in our area who have been trapped in human trafficking, and grace them with some free jewelry, so they can feel good about themselves again.

If you live in Oklahoma, please check out my new website, give me a call or send me an email so you can find out how to help and earn some free jewelry for yourself in the process! Blessings to all!

http://lshoshanarhodes.mypremierdesigns.com/

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Part 2: Millennials- “I Feel, Therefore I Am”

humpty-d fineWhen I was young, we constantly heard from our elders “When I was your age…. Wait till you are my age”. At that time, we didn’t place much stock in those words. We felt we knew better. Knowledge was increasing and previous generations had not kept up. What we didn’t understand was that there is a vast difference between knowledge and wisdom. We might have had more knowledge in some areas than our elders did, but we lacked the experience and understanding that would lead to wisdom.

Unfortunately, I see the same thing happening in the current generation. We created a generational disconnect, and unfortunately, passed it on to our children who now, essentially run everything!

While we have this unfortunate attitude in common, there are many things that we do not. Our generation wanted to change the world. We wanted to make a difference. We wanted our lives to matter. We protested, demonstrated, hooked up, and dropped out of the establishment. We created some upheaval in our day, but there was very little lasting change.

One thing we inherited from the previous generation (those who went through the great depression, and fought WW2), was the desire to give our children everything we ourselves didn’t have. This has turned out to be an unfortunate mistake. Frankly, our parents semi-spoiled us, and we in turn spoiled our children!

Every generation has its heroes- those who put the greater good above their own needs and desires. They are the men and women who answered the call during and after 9-11. The vast difference I see is in the numbers. The WW2 generation ALL stepped up to the plate to defeat the Nazi reign of terror. They sacrificed and went without. Many went overseas and never came home. That generation learned to war against evil, against poverty, and against hardship. They were, for the most part, victorious. They also, for the most part, prayed and believed in God. My generation half-heartedly fought in Vietnam, but whole-heartedly fought against racism and for social reform. We were only successful in part. A lot less of us prayed and believed in God. We kicked God out of school and legalized abortion.

I have asked some millennials what they are looking for: what they want out of life- what is important to them. In a nut-shell, they want to be successful at work, and happy. They don’t give much thought to the greater good. They aren’t interested in changing the world. They’ve grown up being given everything, and expect that life will continue to give them what they want. Except for a minority, they haven’t learned to war or contend. They don’t know the meaning of endurance or commitment. They don’t know why they should sacrifice for another’s welfare.

I hate to admit it, but our generation’s greatest failure was not in that we didn’t sustain some of the advances we made, but we failed to properly train up our children. God’s design was for the family: mother, father, and extended family training up the children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians says “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Eph 6:4, NASB) Most young people I speak to today don’t have a clue what the Bible has to say on most subjects. Proverbs 22:6 states: “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (NASB)

Just in case you don’t think this younger generation should have to learn to fight, here’s what Judges 3 says: “Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to test Israel by them (that is, all who had not experienced any of the wars of Canaan; only in order that the generations of the sons of Israel might be taught war, those who had not experienced it formerly). These nations are: the five lords of the Philistines and all the Canaanites and the Sidonians and the Hivites who lived in Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal-hermon as far as Lebo-hamath. They were for testing Israel, to find out if they would obey the commandments of the LORD, which He had commanded their fathers through Moses.” (Judges 3:1-4, NASB)

Listen to the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal 5:22-23, NASB). Where is the patience, the faithfulness, the self-control in this generation? Feelings reign supreme, and they want what they want now.

Millennials see nothing wrong with sleeping around, and yet they are surprised when their partner cheats on them. God himself designed marriage between a man and a woman, but today, it’s ok to change that definition. The Bible speaks volumes about the shedding of innocent blood, but abortions for the sake of convenience continue.

Marriages fail when they should not because the “feelings” are gone. Vampires and Zombies are romanticized instead of being seen through spiritual eyes for the demons that they are. Employers struggle to find hard-working employees because young people were never taught the value of hard work. Half of the USA is living on government hand-outs, and believe they are entitled to more.

My generation tried through our own strength and logic to make a better world for our children, but in doing so we neglected that better part. God designed us. He wrote a handbook that if followed, would help us, His creation, avoid a lot of trouble, but we didn’t bother to follow it, nor did we teach it to our children. Now we are paying the price. God, forgive us, and show us the way!

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Prophecy, the Problem, the Solution: Part 1- The Prophecy

NEI Dec 2015I’ve been doing some traveling lately. I enjoy traveling, especially when I am on assignment, or expecting a divine appointment from the Lord. There’s just something about worship in a prophetic atmosphere that can’t be matched at home. So, sometimes I travel.

Apostle Clay Nash has been conducting a series of meetings in Arkansas called the “Trail of Hope”. We desperately need hope in this day. Christians worldwide are suffering for their faith. Terrorists are conducting bombings and shootings at an alarming rate in the name of a false god with the mistaken belief that 70 virgins await them in paradise. (I can’t imagine the rude awakening THEY are having!)

Unfortunately, the American church continues in its slumber all the while thinking that they are safe. People continue in selfish, sinful pursuits with the mistaken belief that what has happened in France and the Middle East won’t happen to them. Many sit in lukewarm seeker-friendly churches week after week hearing a watered-down gospel message. They don’t understand that the Lord Himself is blowing the shofar, crying out “Awaken, awaken before it’s too late”. Like the frog in the pot of water, the heat is being gradually turned up, but they don’t notice that they are being boiled alive by a most cunning adversary.

Several months ago, I was asking the Lord about how to get a breakthrough for Oklahoma so that we will experience the outpouring of His Spirit that is coming. The Lord said to connect with what He is doing in Arkansas. I didn’t understand, but I went. At each meeting I attended, the Lord opened up significant issues for my state that need to be addressed. The last meeting contained a warning. We need to awaken, repent, and pray NOW, before it’s too late!

The prophecy is this:

En-route to the meeting in Arkansas, as I was listening to a Glory of Zion CD, Chuck Pierce prophesied “Look to the sign posts on your way”. As I looked up, I saw a billboard written in Arabic. I was still in Oklahoma and did not recall seeing this last time I traveled this route. I questioned what I was seeing, but a little while later there was another billboard advertising a truck stop with Arabic writing on it as well. At the beginning of the meeting, we prayed for France and those involved in the terror attacks there. As I prayed, the Lord reminded me that the first major terror attack on US soil since WW2 took place in OKC. The first radical Islamic beheading also took place in the metro in Moore. The Lord stated that the enemy is once again looking at the OKC metro for another attack. The Paris attack is a warning.

Church: What are you going to do? Will you put aside your petty bickering, and secret sins, humble yourselves, and pray, or will you continue on with business as usual, and act surprised when demonically driven terrorists attack us on our own soil? Repentance, worship, and prayer are the answer: the ONLY answer!

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Featured Author of the “Sassy Pants” Series for Children: Carol A. Brown

Sassy Pants Book CoverCan you tell us about your new book? Sassy Pants Learns About Strange Creatures is a continuation of the story of Sassy Pants learning to overcome difficulties she, in large part, created. In this story she tackles fear and worry—fear of her father’s reaction, and fear of those animals different from the ones she is used to. Her worry and fear make the situation much more scary than it really is. When she faces the situation instead of running away or hiding, she finds friends and learns to call for help when it is needed. By calling for help, and help comes, she has a new picture, a bigger, more complete picture of her father that’s not scary at all.

What is the message in your book that you want your readers to grasp?

There are actually two. The first is that if we can keep from being offended by differences (like looks or smell) we may find a good friend. On the other hand, some strangers are truly dangerous. We need to learn the difference and know who to call for help.

The second is that fear and worry exaggerate our problems. The good news is that we can overcome fear and worry.

What inspired you to write this book? My husband urged me to write a sequel to the first book in the Sassy Pants series. He argued that she was so naughty in the first book that I should give her the opportunity to redeem herself. But I didn’t have another story in me. I even asked God’s help in convincing him that there were no more stories, and that was when God downloaded the rest of the series! So…here we are!

For those who aren’t familiar with your work, can you tell us a little about yourself?

I began writing in 1996 about highly sensitive people and how sensitivity affects you as in individual. My purpose was to give voice and vocabulary for people’s experience of life. It was a lot of work and I was relieved when done! I told God that I didn’t want to write any more hard books. I guess He was good with that because that is when He downloaded the stories in the Sassy Pants series!

Whether I am writing for adults or children, my focus is to leave the reader not only with a nugget of knowledge, but that they are in some way wiser, stronger in character and more able to make wise decisions. I believe humor helps us learn more easily so you will find I use it liberally!

A brief bio: “Carol began telling stories when she had enough brothers to make an audience!” (She has four brothers and one sister!) She and her husband reside in Grand Rapids, MI. with Carol’s elderly mother. They have two daughters on the west coast and five grandchildren. Carol was raised in a farming community in Iowa. She enjoys reading, nature and music, playing the piano, knitting, crocheting, painting and telling stories! As a retired educator, “I dedicate myself to knitting sweaters and spinning yarns!

She received her B.A. in anthropology and languages in 1968, teaching certification in 1972 and while her children were small, she substituted in the local elementary school and was a stay-at-home Mom. In 1986, she received her M.A. in College Instruction with special emphasis in English as a Second Language and taught E.S.L at North Idaho Jr. College, Gonzaga University, and Whitworth College. She joined her husband at Elijah House, Inc., Post Falls, ID as Education Director in 1989. She and her husband taught Elijah House principles both nationally and internationally. In 1995 she retired due to difficulties that were later diagnosed as multiple sclerosis.”

Connect with Carol at:

Links: website – http://porchlight.joystarters.com

FB page: https://www.facebook.com/carol.brown.5682

Twitter account: http://twitter.com@CarolABrown4

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Dragon Slayer- An Allegory

Dragon w acknowledgement embedded

“For sound advice is a beacon, good teaching is a light, moral discipline is a life path. They’ll protect you from wanton women, from the seductive talk of some temptress. Don’t lustfully fantasize on her beauty, nor be taken in by her bedroom eyes. You can buy an hour with a whore for a loaf of bread, but a wanton woman may well eat you alive. Can you build a fire in your lap and not burn your pants? Can you walk barefoot on hot coals and not get blisters? It’s the same when you have sex with your neighbor’s wife: Touch her and you’ll pay for it. No excuses.” (Proverbs 6:23-29, MSG)

Some years had passed since the path had seemed so clear, so certain. The future had looked so bright! The path was level, bordered on both sides by lush green foliage and bright, colorful flowers. They were happy on this path. As time went on, there was the new job, a new house, nice cars. They turned aside on the path occasionally to open a flower they knew was theirs to open. These flowers contained new life, a beautiful baby that looked just like them. Life was good!

Vulnerable and Clueless seemed to be happy and well on their way to a great life with much promise. Vulnerable hadn’t seemed to notice when the leaves began to turn brown and the path became strewn with rocks. Clueless still saw the greenery and the flowers, but Vulnerable ceased to see them anymore. When had things changed? When did life become so drab? Vulnerable’s marriage was boring. The job was filled with stress, and dad gum it, the compensation no longer matched the amount of work required. A future that had once held so much promise now looked bleak.

One day as Vulnerable prepared for the day ahead, he noticed that the path had some forks in it he hadn’t noticed before. He stopped at the crossroad and stared at all the new options. One path looked pretty appealing, but Vulnerable knew he would have to quit his job and take a leap into the unknown. This new path promised a better salary, but he would be gone from home a lot. Maybe not such a bad idea. He knew he would have to convince Clueless that this would be a positive move for their family, but he was sure once she saw the potential she’d be all for it.

He noticed that Clueless was still on the same path as before. There was a third, mysterious path where a solitary man with holes in his wrists and feet stood beckoning him, but the more Vulnerable thought about it, the more he was convinced that they needed to be on this new job path. He would talk to Clueless tonight.

forking-road“No. This might look good to you, but I’m not so sure about it. The kids need their father. You’d be gone so much. We’re doing ok. See- this path still has a bright future for us” stated Clueless. Vulnerable was becoming frustrated with Clueless’s lack of ability to see. “Don’t you see all the rocks on this path now? The leaves are beginning to turn brown. If we continue down this road, life could become difficult, even unbearable, for us!” shouted Vulnerable. The argument continued, but eventually Clueless relented and told Vulnerable to do what he wanted. The stage was now set. The path chosen.

Vulnerable was happy for the first time in a long time. This was the life! He was a valued member of a great team. Raises were in his future. Granted, he missed some things about being home every night, but he certainly didn’t miss the yelling, and the messes the kids made that Clueless took forever to clean up. As time went on, he didn’t even seem to miss Clueless that much.

As Vulnerable moved down this new, exciting path, Clueless seemed to hang further and further back. She no longer saw the greenery, nor the flowers. She poured herself into her own life- her work, her home and her children.

Vulnerable noticed along his new path that there were many other paths. Some of these looked very inviting indeed! One path in particular grabbed his attention. It was labeled “happiness”. “Who doesn’t want more happiness in their lives”, thought Vulnerable. He noticed 2 men standing near this path. He inquired their names, but they seemed reluctant to say. Instead they began to tout the virtues of this new path. They both assured him that this path re-connected with the path that he was already on, so he would not lose anything! They also stated that there were hidden treasures on this path that he would miss out on if he didn’t take it. In fact, according to these guys, this was THE happiness path for his life. There would never be another opportunity quite like this one.

Vulnerable was taken by their persuasive speech. Deep, deep down inside something was bothering him, but he ignored the feeling. He neglected to inquire after their names, and chose to follow them down the path called “Happiness”.

It was there that he met “Seductress”. That was not, of course, the name she gave him. She told him that her name was “Beautiful”, and she certainly was! Wow! How lucky could a guy get! Beautiful hung on his every word. She sympathized with him when he told of his previously boring life. She assured him that she was his long, lost soul mate. He hadn’t noticed that the 2 men who led him down this path had morphed into smallish imp-like creatures that now perched on his shoulders and whispered in his ears. Had he persisted after their names, he could have found out that one was named “Discontent” and the other “Deception”. They were often found working with their sister, Seductress, to lead unsuspecting men down this path and into their lair.

Vulnerable spent more and more time with Seductress and less and less time at home. He felt as though he had been transported to heaven. Of course, he wasn’t really sure about God, and heaven, and hell, and all that religious stuff, but he was convinced that if there was a heaven, this had to be it.

He didn’t see the window in Seductress’s bedroom. He thought the affair was concealed from Clueless’s eyes. After all, she WAS clueless! He didn’t know that Seductress had already met another on this same path. “Selfish” had been even easier to convince than Vulnerable had been. Deception convinced his sister that it was time to expose Vulnerable. After all, they had their marching orders from their boss “Covenant Breaker”. It was time to move Vulnerable from Seductress’s bedroom into “Divorce’s” room. They still had to complete Selfish’s deception after all, and orders were orders.

Clueless was working hard to keep home and family intact. She was not as happy as before, but she would make due. Then she saw it. At first she didn’t believe her eyes. This could not be happening! Vulnerable with another woman? There had to be some mistake. Clueless was the faithful wife. The mother of their children. They were supposed to grow old together! Clueless had no choice but to confront Vulnerable. Surely he didn’t understand what this adulteress was up to. Homewrecker! She had to be stopped!

The confrontation didn’t go as expected. At first Vulnerable was surprised that Clueless had found out, but now that the cat was out of the bag, as they say, Vulnerable stood his ground. After all, he was entitled to some happiness! He informed Clueless that she was holding him back. He also told her that she had let herself go- become drab and frumpy. Then he dropped the bomb shell: He was no longer in love with Clueless. “Beautiful” (aka Seductress) was his soul mate. The one he had been longing for his whole life and he was NOT going to let her go. He wanted a divorce.

Clueless cried her eyes out. She shipped the kids off to her mother’s, telling Mom that she needed some time to herself. She cried all day, all night, and into the next day until she fell into a fitful sleep. Her dreams had become nightmares. Surely when she awoke, it would all have been nothing but a bad dream and her life would be intact. When she woke up, however, the ugly reality of what her life had become settled in like the ominous clouds of an approaching thunderstorm.

Clueless wondered what to do. Word spread like wildfire among friends and family. Gossip and advice flew through the air piercing her already broken heart. Some said that there must have been something wrong with her for him to run off with another woman. They accused her of allowing her marriage to die. Others said that she was too good for the likes of him and that she should forget about him and move on. “Ruthless” and “Revenge”, who were also in the employ of “Covenant Breaker”, moved into her home. Clueless listened to their advice. “Take him for everything he’s got. Clean him out.” they whispered.

Clueless hired a lawyer and began the proceedings. Her parents, friends, and family were angry. Her children- inconsolable. Some of Vulnerable’s friends and family took his side. Others were too ashamed and embarrassed to take anyone’s side. These remained distant waiting for the storm to blow over.

Covenant Breaker gathered his troops together for the celebration. Seductress took center stage along with Discontent and Deception. They reveled in their victory. Divorce was present along with Depression and Discouragement. Ruthless and Revenge stood off to one side talking among themselves. They thought that maybe it was a little premature to celebrate, but they had been at this little game for thousands of years and had been rather successful more often than not. Besides, Covenant Breaker was the boss of this particularly nasty horde, and no one was willing to confront him or even voice displeasure.

One night after the children had gone to bed, Clueless was up in her room. A friend had given her a book to read. She said that the answers to her long, dark night could be found in this book. When Clueless initially looked at the book’s cover, “Holy Bible”, she had declined. She said that she wasn’t interested in religion. She gave her friend all the standard excuses: Religion is a crutch. Churches are full of hypocrites. All they want is your money. Where was God when Seductress had her way with Vulnerable?

Clueless was tired. She was weary of the fighting. She was worn out from crying, from being depressed. She barely had the energy to care for the kids anymore. The excuses had rung hollow in her heart even as they were uttered from her lips. What did she have to lose? Was there the possibility of a light at the end of the tunnel? Could she be happy again? Would she even be able to trust again? She opened the book and began to read.

She read in Jeremiah: I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out–plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” (29:11, MSG) “Young women will dance and be happy, young men and old men will join in. I’ll convert their weeping into laughter, lavishing comfort, invading their grief with joy.” (31:13, MSG) She read Psalm 30:5- “The nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter”. (MSG) Could it be? Could it really be? Would she laugh again? Really laugh? She read on.

“For your Maker is your bridegroom, his name, GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies! Your Redeemer is The Holy of Israel, known as God of the whole earth. You were like an abandoned wife, devastated with grief, and GOD welcomed you back, Like a woman married young and then left,” says your God.” “It’s with lasting love that I’m tenderly caring for you.” (Isaiah 54:5-6;8b, MSG)

Clueless thought “You mean God Himself wants to be my husband? The God of Angel armies who created the whole universe really cares about me? All this time I thought that if there really was a God, He created this whole mess and abandoned us to fate.”

The more Clueless read, the more she wanted to know about this God she had basically ignored all her life. There began to be a lightness about her, a sense of something bigger than herself that was taking hold. She wondered how all this could be. Then she read John 3:16: “God loved the world this way: He gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life.” She also read Acts 2:21: “Then whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” (GW) She said to herself “Is that all I have to do? Believe in Jesus and call out to Him? After all these years of ignoring Him and doing my own thing, going my own way, that’s all I have to do?” Hoping against all hope, in the dead of night alone in her room, Clueless cried out to the One who had made her, and she was clueless no more. Jesus gave her a new name that very night. Clueless became “Beloved”.

Vulnerable lost his job. His boss said that the scandal of his affair with Seductress was damaging the company’s reputation, but Vulnerable wasn’t so sure. He had heard rumblings of the boss wanting to strategically place his nephew in the company. He suspected that this was the real reason for his being laid off. No matter. The timing could not have been better. Now his soon to be ex-wife, Clueless, would not be able to get as much money from him as she had been demanding. He had also acquired considerable skills in his last job that would make him highly valuable and sought after in his next position. Plus, as soon as the divorce was final, he’d be marrying his dream girl and all would be right with the world.

Vulnerable never saw it coming. He didn’t know that Seductress had another lover. She was, after all, his soul mate. When he saw Selfish with Seductress, he did a double-take. He had been friends with Selfish. At first he thought it was just an innocent meeting of 2 friends, but then he saw them kiss. Not just a friendly peck, but that deep, prolonged kiss he thought was reserved only for him. He was livid! He saw his mistake as soon as he confronted them. Instead of the apology and back-peddling he expected from Seductress, she laughed at him and called him a fool!

Vulnerable became blinded by jealous rage. He headed for the bar and poured out his frustrations and anger on his friends. He got drunk- very drunk! He ranted and raved about how he could ruin Selfish. He bad-mouthed Seductress. He wanted the whole world to know exactly what kind of woman she was. He wanted them to feel pain just as he was feeling pain. He spent the next morning sitting on the bathroom floor nursing a pounding headache amidst the incessant vomiting.

Suddenly, Vulnerable had lots of time on his hands. No matter how hard he tried, no one was as enamored with his job skills as he was. He remained unemployed. Eventually, he got over Seductress’s betrayal. He told himself that she really wasn’t all that anyway. Just a whore, really. He told himself that he didn’t need or want her, but jealousy still stung his heart every time he ran into her.

From time to time he would pick up the kids for the weekend. They were the bright spot of his now bleak existence. He never realized how much he loved them. He also never realized how much he missed his wife and the life he had thrown away. Friends and family encouraged him to make amends with his ex-wife, but he couldn’t. He just couldn’t. He didn’t see them, but serpents of shame had entwined around his legs keeping him captive. He felt like he was slogging his way through thickened mud, but making no progress. He took a dead-end job. It was all that was available for him. He was glad to have the job, but sickened by the direction that his life had taken.

His ex-wife seemed to be happy. He couldn’t understand it. She was working to make ends meet, taking care of the kids, and on top of everything, she was not only attending church, but volunteered at the church as well. She had no time for herself, but he had never seen her so happy and fulfilled. What happened to her? He had to find out.

As he talked to her, he realized that she seemed different. She still looked pretty much the same, but something was different. She told him that all was forgiven. She explained that she had to forgive because Jesus had forgiven her. She also had to forgive not for his sake necessarily, but for her and the kids. She said that she had a long way to go before she would be able to trust again, but Jesus was walking her through that process as He had walked her through forgiving him for what he had done. She talked about how her life had meaning now. She understood why she had been born, and even had a glimmer into why she had to suffer such betrayal and abandonment. Mostly, she said she had true peace and the hope of eternal life in heaven.

Vulnerable went home to his lonely, empty house. Had it only been some months ago that he thought he was in his own personal heaven? How had something that had felt so right gone so wrong? Had he really allowed demons to take him over, lie to him, and lead him down this path to destruction? Beloved, his ex, had quoted scripture to him as she explained how she had come to forgive him. She had said “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Eph 6:12, NASB). Was he, even now, captured and enslaved by these demons as Beloved had suggested? It was too much for him. Shame encircled him like an ever tightening noose. He contemplated suicide, but discarded that idea when he thought of how his children would react. Vulnerable went to bed and cried himself to sleep.

I wish I could tell you that Vulnerable started going to church with his family, gave his heart to Jesus, and asked Him to fix his broken life, but I can’t. Vulnerable struggled against the serpents of Shame and dreamed of revenge against his old friends Seductress and Selfish. He also drank himself into oblivion losing yet another job. Several months went by before he finally came to his senses. Beloved and her ladies prayer group prayed for him continuously. Then Vulnerable finally came home where Jesus gave him his new name as well.

So, what about Seductress and Selfish? Seductress moved on to her next victim, and Selfish found himself penniless and divorced, his ex-wife bound by Ruthless and Revenge. Jesus said He would that all should be saved, but alas, all are not.

“Be ready! Let the truth be like a belt around your waist, and let God’s justice protect you like armor. Your desire to tell the good news about peace should be like shoes on your feet. Let your faith be like a shield, and you will be able to stop all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Let God’s saving power be like a helmet, and for a sword use God’s message (Word) that comes from the Spirit. (Eph 6:14-17, CEV)

Oh…You wanted to know Vulnerable’s new name? It was his true identity from the start: “Dragon Slayer”!

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Signs of the times and the year of Jubilee

forking-roadEverywhere we look, what we hear the prophets saying, what we see on the news preaches a message of gloom and doom. Crime is at an all-time high. Police officers are being hunted down like animals for no other reason than the uniform they wear. Same-sex marriage has been legalized, not by our legislators, but by a group of judges that we are seemingly helpless to do anything about. Abortion has killed over 57 million innocent babies in our nation alone. Even after the atrocities of Planned Parenthood hit the news, our legislators failed to do anything about it! Now, we even have a treaty with Iran whose primary goal is to destroy Israel AND us with her. After 9-11-2001, we swore to destroy radical jihad. Now we are publically funding it.

Most people, especially within the Christian community, are aware of the harbingers and the four blood moons falling on Jewish feast days. We’ve all been told what these signs portend. Yet, our nation has seen fit to jail a Christian woman for sticking to her beliefs, while predators search on-line chat rooms for their next victims, and hardened criminals are paroled only to re-offend.

Has the world gone mad? Are our legislators that impotent? Is there nothing left but a fearful waiting for judgement to fall? It may not seem like it, but God knew all this was going to happen, and He has a plan!

“You must understand this: In the last days there will be violent periods of time. People will be selfish and love money. They will brag, be arrogant, and use abusive language. They will curse their parents, show no gratitude, have no respect for what is holy, and lack normal affection for their families. They will refuse to make peace with anyone. They will be slanderous, lack self-control, be brutal, and have no love for what is good. They will be traitors. They will be reckless and conceited. They will love pleasure rather than God. They will appear to have a godly life, but they will not let its power change them. Stay away from such people”. (2 Tim 3:1-5, GW)

This sounds very much like the world we live in today, and many of the church people we encounter, but it was written almost 2000 years ago! God knew this day was coming. He is not surprised. We have been crying out for too long for Him to do something, but really, He is waiting for us to do something!

We are about to complete the Shemitah year and enter a Jubilee year. So what exactly does THAT mean? I’m glad you asked!

The first Jubilee saw the children of Israel in slavery to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. Their lives were made bitter with back-breaking labor. Taskmasters were appointed over them to beat them and force them to work (Exodus 1:11-14). As the people continued to multiply, the government forced them to kill their newborn males (Exodus 1:16). Their situation could not have been worse. In desperation, they cried out to God, and He heard!

Egypt was given an opportunity to repent- to turn from evil, but they refused. God struck them with plague after plague until not only did they release Israel from slavery, but the Egyptians loaded the Israelites down with an abundance of wealth before they left! During the course of the plagues, God protected the Israelites in Goshen. They suffered no loss. Egypt went from being the super-power nation of its day to a defeated and broken kingdom.

So, if Jubilee is a cyclic pattern, what happened 49 years ago that was so special? Well, that’s pretty easy to figure out. 2016 minus 49 equals 1967! Israel was attacked for the purpose of annihilation. Instead, not only did they win the war, but increased their territory to include Jerusalem! That’s right- for the first time in almost 2000 years, Jerusalem against all odds, was back under Jewish control.

Do you see the pattern? God is much more cyclic than linear. He’s waiting for us- the TRUE people of God, to cry out in desperation for our nation and our world. 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 states: “If I ever shut off the supply of rain from the skies or order the locusts to eat the crops or send a plague on my people, and my people, my God-defined people, respond by humbling themselves, praying, seeking my presence, and turning their backs on their wicked lives, I’ll be there ready for you: I’ll listen from heaven, forgive their sins, and restore their land to health.” (MSG)

Yes, I do believe that America is headed for a train-wreck of judgement. Here is the issue: Will the people of the living God, those who truly believe and live for Him, who don’t live a continuous lifestyle of sin, cry out to Him in desperation to provide a Goshen to live in for themselves and those who are truly repentant? Will they preach the uncompromising Word of God in truth? Will they love the sinner enough to call him to repentance? Will they reach out to the hopeless to reveal the only One who can give hope?

What about you? Will you stay in Egypt (the place of sinful pleasure) or move to Goshen?

Categories: Pursuit of God's Destiny for Your Life, Pursuit of the Promise | Leave a comment

Paint

paint rollerI had a dream last week that really baffled me for a few days. In the dream I accidentally knocked over someone else’s potted plant. Dirt scattered everywhere and the roots were exposed. Another person I was with wanted to throw away the plant and pretend that nothing had happened. When we picked up the remnants of the plant, the leaves had been superimposed on a piece of paper that the plant had fallen on. It looked like a photographic negative. The little plastic label in the pot said that the name of the plant was “Terrion”. After I woke up, I was curious about this name and wondered if it was a real word. When I googled it, I found it in an urban dictionary with the following meaning: “Someone with little emotion, a logical thinker, or a pimp”. Now I was more confused than ever! I don’t personally know any pimps, but the ones I’ve seen on TV seem to have too much emotion (anger), and very little in the logical thought department, or they would find another line of work!

By now you are thinking, yup, baffling all right, and what on earth does this have to do with paint? Glad you asked! As I prayed about the whirlwind blasting my own life and family right now, and asked God for an interpretation to this dream, he said “It’s about paint”. Ok….Paint….What is THAT supposed to mean?

I searched the Bible for the word “paint”. It is mentioned only a very few times, is usually translated as “whitewash”, and denotes a cover-up. Ezekiel 13:10-14 says: “The fact is that they’ve lied to my people. They’ve said, ‘No problem; everything’s just fine,’ when things are not at all fine. When people build a wall, they’re right behind them slapping on whitewash. Tell those who are slapping on the whitewash, ‘When a torrent of rain comes and the hailstones crash down and the hurricane sweeps in and the wall collapses, what’s the good of the whitewash that you slapped on so liberally, making it look so good?’ “And that’s exactly what will happen. I, GOD, the Master, say so: ‘I’ll let the hurricane of my wrath loose, a torrent of my hailstone-anger. I’ll make that wall you’ve slapped with whitewash collapse. I’ll level it to the ground so that only the foundation stones will be left. And in the ruin you’ll all die. You’ll realize then that I am GOD. (MSG)

The word translated “paint” or “whitewash” depending upon which Bible version you read, is the Hebrew word “tawfale” meaning “to smear; plaster or slime; or (figuratively) foolish things, unsavory, untempered. Webster’s dictionary defines whitewash as: 1. To cover with a white liquid composition, as with lime and water, etc. 2. To make white; to give a fair external appearance.

Things are beginning to make a little more sense. Chuck Pierce brought forth a prophecy that I felt was very much related: You’ve been asking Me questions, you’ve been seeking Me, and now I will show you! I AM the Possessor of Heaven and I will possess the earth. I AM teaching you to occupy. I will say ‘Step your foot here, and occupy here!’ and I will show you the structures that will fall around you. This will be a time of falling. This will be a time of things parting in front of you. This will be a time that old strongholds will come down. This is My day of beginning! So enter in with Me and you will see a facet of Me you’ve not seen. What you’ve been warring for—- those spoils are before you. Do not hold back! Go all the way in and watch that which has resisted begin to say, ‘Here…have back! Have back! Have back! Have back!’

The Lord reminded me: “Isn’t this what you’ve been praying for? The salvation, deliverance, and healing of your family? Did you not know that the strongholds in their lives- idolatry, witchcraft, manipulation, lust, and greed must be torn down or it will destroy them? Many of these, like whitewashed walls, look good on the outside, but they are filled with foolish and unsavory things. When the plant fell over, the roots were exposed. When someone tried to “hide” what had happened, the negative remained.”

“A pimp is not always someone involved in illegal activity. It is also someone who simply uses others (primarily women) for their own personal gain. They have no true emotion for the people they abuse- they are incapable of love. I AM love, and they do not have me within them. What they do makes perfect sense to them. These are untempered, and untested. When the hurricane-force winds that are coming begin to blow, they will be destroyed unless they are re-potted in My soil.”

“The modern day church is the same way. Many have aligned themselves with the politically correct. They sweep abortion, fornication, and adultery under the rug while touting the new freedoms of gay marriage. Their root is being exposed; they’ve whitewashed a rotten wall, and lied to My people saying everything will be fine, when in fact, destruction is at the door. These false shepherds are NOT MINE! They are terrion. They use My people for their own personal gain, much like some of the men in your family have used their wives even back to the fourth generation.”

“What did I say through my servant Chuck Pierce: ‘Occupy! What you’ve been warring for—- those spoils are before you. Do not hold back! Go all the way in and watch that which has resisted begin to say, ‘Here…have back! Have back! Have back! Have back!’

I WILL have my family back and God will have His. Whole, intact, all of them!

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.