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GOD’S SQUAD

This past weekend a group of people watched horrified as a speeding vehicle crashed through barriers and flipped upside down, submerged in the Utah River, with three teenagers inside.

With one spirit, in one accord, this group of people jumped into the turmoil, turned the vehicle right-side-up in the water, and rescued the teens who are reported to be in stable condition.

The event made national news and we celebrate this unified selfless act of saving lives. But isn’t that what Christ called the Church to do—rescue rebellious people from their wrong doings and introduce them to Jesus!DSCF2480

Before the foundation of the world God put in place everything we would need to work in the power of His Holy Spirit to do the work He preordained for each one of us to accomplish. And what better picture could we have than the courageous group from Salt Lake last weekend.

I can’t pick up a car, can you? Of course not, but working together with a single goal and one spirit, these folks saved three disobedient teens from drowning. And that’s our calling—rescuing DSCF3049people from the power of the evil one, wrenching them from the claws of sin, and telling them how Jesus died to save them. Forever.

Ephesians 3:16 tells us every believer, according to the riches of God’s glory, will be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man. So Church, let me ask, where’s our power? Has the Spirit changed? Or are we the rebellious ones, speeding through life, giving no thought to how far we’ve catapulted into the enemy’s camp?

Paul implores us to “…walk in a manner worth of the Historic Churches 0018calling with which we have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3 NIIV).

Well now, that certainly explains our problem, doesn’t it? The Church is called to unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace—Uh oh. Peace in Baptists ranks? Or humble, patient Presbyterians? How about tolerance for one another in love by the Church of God folks? Do I need to continue? Does anyone think there’s going to be a special Southern Baptist section in heaven? Or are Bible Churches going to be given top billing? Of course not. We are all being built-up into one body, in Christ. His body. His bride.

And we wonder why we’re impotent? We’re so full of ourselves and our own agenda. Proud. Arrogant. Selfish. Self-willed. We’ve got it covered. We’re upside-down in the flood waters of life, deprived of the breath of the Spirit destined for death, ‘til the doctor DSCF2348delivers a tragic diagnosis. ‘Til a husband, wife, or child dies. ‘Til another 9/11 and we come face to face with our mortality and insignificant, hopeless state without God.

We skip across the pages of The Word, grabbing a morsel here, a snack there, yet never pausing to let the wonder and glory of the LORD God Almighty fill our soul. That’s not belief. That’s not faith. That’s pride. No wonder we’re in the mess we’re in. Confused, weak, tossed about with name it and claim it philosophies and countless other deceptions which have captured the minds of the Body and carried our hearts to a pagan land. We are prattling children. Unaware. Fiddling while our family, our neighborhood, our nation burns. Just like in the days of Noah.

Hell is the apparent destination for many I know. Many you know. They don’t know Jesus. But we refuse to grasp the urgency of their DSCF2344peril, to open our eyes to the finality and horror of separation from God forever. We refuse to tell them about what Jesus has done in our lives. Or is there nothing to tell? Do we really care about lost folks? Are we complacent, thinking whew, I’m safe. Too bad about them? Good thing the Salt Lake City folks recognized the teens would die if they didn’t act right then and in one accord.

Jesus gave us one assignment. “Go make disciples.” Like those folks jumped into the river with no thought for their comfort, their safety, their appearance. With a unified voice we must break down those embassies of hell entrenched in every city and town in our nation. And yank those held in the fierce jaws of Satan into the Ark of the Lord Jesus Christ. We can’t save them, God does, but we are responsible for the yanking, telling, loving, and nurturing them to hope and healing in the unity of the Spirit in Christ Jesus.

If we come to our senses, see their danger and ours, and come together in the only Holy Spirit of the Lord, the same power that Historic Churches 0007_edited-1fell at Pentecost will sweep across this nation with purifying wind and fire, saving multitudes, and the Holy Spirit will revive, rejuvenate, and transform the Church.

It’s our choice. Yours and mine—one saved sinner at a time–To repent and walk in a manner worthy of our calling or continue grieving the Spirit of God.

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe” (Ephesians 1:18-19 NIIV).

My almost three year-old, red-headed, full-of-mischief son giggled, put his head down, and ran lickety-split toward the corner by ourIMG_1499 house and a busy roadway. The noise of traffic ruled screaming stop irrelevant.

I sprinted for the foolish little one and snatched him off his feet just before his foot touched the black asphalt of the dangerous intersection. And I paddled his three-year-old bottom, with my hand, all the way across the lawn and inside our front door!

Was that child abuse? I hoped it was a shock and awe maneuver that would teach him never to run into the road again. And it worked.

“Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of discipline will remove it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15 IISB).

But in these “Y and Me” generations, is spanking really the issue? Or are far deeper issues driving this controversy?

During the past forty years our nation and its people have DSCF4943experienced an evolving spiritual abortion. A painful ripping away from God’s parameters, leaving us running the highway of life with no boundaries, no rules, no conscience.

We never gave a second glance to consequences or Pandora’s brimming box of angry lies and deception eager to rush in and fill the God void left by our rebellion. We reveled in the new found freedom—If it feels good—do it. Whatever it is. Just like Adam and Eve did in the garden. Until…

In the early 70’s a new way of child-rearing swarmed the nation. Dr. Spock and doctors of the same philosophy wrote numerous books with the notion children should be allowed to express themselves. “Let them draw on the walls,” he touted. “No spanking, just time-outs.” And many free thinking young adults chose to parent in the light of this new found wisdom.

But was it wisdom?

Infiltrated with this feel good-do it brand of education, schools took up the mantra that resulted in the mind games of situation ethics—the situation you’re in determines the ethics you use. And we never recognized the deception digesting our educational system.

My children went through a harrowing year in Longwood, Florida, being exposed to the survival games and magic circle foolishness taking place in our tax payer funded public school. Along with many parents, we filed suit against the school board and had this evil cut out of our system. But it was a nation-wide subterfuge, a rout of God and conscience and morality were tossed out the window.

When Rowe v. Wade became the law of the land we allowed DSCF2692the most awful form of child abuse to become the law of the land. Moms and Dads could legally kill their babies in the womb. And kill we have, to the tune of fifty-five million innocent babies. For years. Never realizing, at the moment of legalization, the soul of our nation underwent a massive spiritual abortion. An abortion from which we are hemorrhaging—bleeding out—and will die.

“Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward. So are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them…” (Psalm 127:3-5a IISB).

So is it any wonder we have scores of children, abused by parents who consider them a nuisance, not a gift from God. And why should they? These parents have no use for God or His Word.

Truth of the matter is, these parents need a good spanking. A spanking which they never received because the fad of the day said, “Let the little darlings express themselves.” And they’re still venting their own consequences of deception.

Our highways have lane laws, speed sanctions, and all kinds of other rules meant to keep us safe while zipping down the highway at 80DSCF4890 mph. But if one car fails to obey the laws of the road a catastrophic-life-claiming crash will surely occur.

Nationally we reject God’s laws for life, then wring our hands over the calamity of consequences this violation brings upon our land, our families and our lives. We have come full circle and are now left holding our frustration, our anger, our rebellion, and we have no place to go.
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The world is exploding around us and the feel good lie isn’t working. We’re left with the ashes of broken relationships, and the reality of our unquenchable anger, frustration, and fear. So to spank or not isn’t the real question, is it?

That afternoon so long ago, as I held my sobbing child on my lap, file1691345353992pondering how different the outcome might have been, I cried with him.

On the hillside overlooking Jerusalem two thousand plus years ago Jesus cried. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it” (Luke 13:34 IISB).

I’m sure He looked down through the ages and saw the horrible consequences of my sin and your sin, and knew that’s why He had to die.

If you’re His child, you’ve been to the cross and your name isDSCF4892 inscribed on His hand and you have access to God’s Throne for forgiveness and mercy. If you’re not yet His child, there’s still room on His hand and at the cross just for you.

DSCF2349So shouldn’t the real question be, “Where do we go from here?” And the only true answer is, “To the cross or to God’s Throne pleading for His mercy and grace or for the salvation, healing, and transformation only He can give.”

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives” (Hebrews 12:5-6 IISB).

Next week we’ll talk more about this when I write Citizens, Christians, Coward – Can’t I Be All Three?

YOU’RE WHAT?

“Angry?”

“Me, angry?”

My face heated and my heart twisted. “Well, yes… I have a temper, but my Dad had a temper too. Don’t we all?” My spirit squirmed.

I focused on the lane stripes zipping by on the black-top. Tension from my heart slipped to my foot and I shoved the gas pedal to theDSCF6475 floor, but Dr. Ravi Zacharias’s words echoed in my head. I always listen to him on my way home from Longview. This morning he related difficult relationships in his family when he grew up in New Delhi, India.

His father was a well-know man in their city. A man held in high esteem by many, but a man with a horrible temper. Dr. Zacharias told about an evening his father’s temper had exploded, causing great discomfort and misery for his wife and children. But what pierced my heart was his mother’s reaction.

Dr. Zacharias, then a teen, suggested they go to a neighbor for help. But his mother said no. Her husband’s reputation would be harmed. She chose to be quiet and endure the discomfort. He repeated an old Indian saying his mother lived by.

“When your basket is bumped, what spills out defines your character.”

These words shot an arsenal of conviction into my heart. What comes out of me when I’m bumped? My mind shifted gears to a few DSCF6482days before. I had been bumped and what spilled out of me was oxygen-deprived-pond-scum that grew in dark isolated corners of my heart—toxic waste.

Oh, I’m usually fine when everything goes according to plan. When I feel good. When there’s enough of me to go around. When life is smooth and pleasant and you do things my way. But what are the mathematical odds for that being a consistent way of life?

So on that super highway at 80 mph, I faced, admitted, and confessed—I have anger issues.

Oh, that’s a too politically correct confession to leave staring at you and me on this page.

I’m angry! There. I admitted it.

Not the screaming, yelling in-the-moment rage. No. But the deep caustic kind that eats rust when expectations and reality are too far apart, leaving me frustrated with unrealistic expectations which lodge in my heart to grate, grind, and grab my peace.

So I pulled into the slow lane, turned the radio off, and asked God to show me exactly what He wanted me to know—something I should never do unless I’m ready to hear. And show He did. In HD. It was and is still painful.

My response to trouble, difficult situations, and conversations in the past has been to back the offender in a corner and verbally slice and dice, using words that twist the situation to my point of view so I end up the victor. Talking rather than listening. In other words, controlling the moment so I win—you lose.

Why? Because like you, I’ve grown up in a world where we are made to think success is based solely on money, power, and status. That’s a bold-faced lie and a wrong definition of success. But we’ve been indoctrinated to live in this fast and furious lane of life. Too much to do. No time to accomplish. Zero dependence on God and total dependence on self. A recipe for disaster, doomed to end in divorce court, criminal court, and/or counseling.

All because we’ve pushed God to the background, neglected His Word, and wedged ourselves in the driver’s seat.

Don’t look down your nose at me and say, “Well I go to church every Sunday. I pray and read God’s Word when I can.” Yep. So do I, and yet, how long are we out of church on Sunday before someone bumps us and we spew? If not on the outside, in those creepy-heart-corners to acidify along with the long list of offenses already stored there—waiting for a prime-time moment to slosh out with the next bump.

This past week I’ve come to understand the most dangerous type of anger is anger that hides, seethes, corrodes and turns into bitterness.

My younger brother was given the privilege of going to college. Didn’t know it at the time, but we were poor, and you know boys needed the education…blah, blah, blah. He didn’t make it through the first year and I was angry. Angry at him, angry with my folks, just plain angry. Even typing this account I feel my face heat. For years I held onto this anger. Nursed it, and reveled in self-pity and excused my faults. And all these years our relationship traveled a rocky road. But in His sovereignty, God allows situations in the lives of His children to wake us up and teach us, but how many times do we choose a tantrum rather than deal with the source of the anger?

We’ve birthed several generations of angry kids because we excuse behavior, lie to ourselves, and become mannequins of one another. WeDSCF6490 are an angry people. Devoid of humility, forgiveness, and thankfulness. Captured in self-deception and pride. And it’s contagious.

There have been moments of abject shame this past week dredging up and naming the well-kept bombing ranges of anger in my life. Scars from childhood. A broken marriage. Emotional damage I caused my children. The pain of broken relationships. Secondary losses occurring after our daughter died. All tucked away and allowed to fester. But this morning, as He always does, God led me to Ephesians 1:3.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.

To the best of my understanding God’s Word said:

God has given me every spiritual blessing in heaven in Christ. Everything I need to live life in Him. I’m good to go! He has given me the ability to exhibit all the fruit of the Spirit. And He says, “The fruit of the Spirit is…” Not the fruits are…I don’t get to pick and choose. Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Gentleness. Goodness. Faith. Meekness. Temperance. But I must desire them. I must seek after and choose to learn to use what He has already given me. I am responsible, with the help of the Spirit, to pin-point areas of sin in my life, confess them, and turn away, because He has put my sins behind His back. They are gone forever. He promised.

One of the reasons anger seeds flourished in my heart are the psycho-buzz-words—unrealistic expectations. The truth is the distance between my reality and my expectations determined the size, meter, depth, and manifestation of my next explosion.
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Another person cannot fulfill my expectations, meet my needs, or satisfy my longings. The reality is everything I need and long for can only be achieved through a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. All other relationships tempt me to latch onto unrealistic expectations which are Satan’s yellow-brick-breeding-ground for anger.
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God the Father instructs me, learn to do what is pleasing to the Lord. Then anger won’t be an overwhelming struggle. God issued the edict—I don’t have to stay bound in chains of hateful aggression. Not if I use the power He’s already given to name and forsake the sin. But I’ve often chosen to disobey Him and have grieved His Spirit.

“Be angry, and yet do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil and opportunity”(Ephesians 4:26-27 NAS).

Does that mean we’re going to be perfect all the time? No, not in this lifetime, but remember the words God used, “trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.” God knows my heart. And my heart desires to crucify the anger I’ve allowed to reside in me. To live each day in a manner demonstrating to others what God has done in my life and invite them to come, taste, and see that the Lord is good.

What’s the desire of your heart? Is Jesus your reality? Next time you’re bumped what will spill out of your heart, somersault off your tongue, and pollute all those within your sphere of influence? Or will you choose to run to God’s mercy seat for “help and hope in time of need?” But the decision must be made each day—before the explosion occurs. Daniel “purposed in his heart” before the meal was served, he would not taste defiling food from a pagan king. Will you?

Curses on Cursive?

dianegates:

More pieces confirmed about the power of evil to disrupt and destroy. Pay very careful attention to this post from Katharine.
DiAne

Originally posted on Home's Cool!:

Pencils

Pencils (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just finished reading a great essay written by a Ph.D. who researches the brainfor improved learning. His brilliant work, quoted by writers, everywhere, who know the outcome more than the process, reveals that we need to learn cursive.

Duh, right?

Dr. Klemm states that the activity in the brain changes when we hand write our essays, our notes, etc.

He even says children learn the alphabet and what it means, BETTER, when they write it out, and even when they make introductory stroke marks intended for eventually learning the alphabet.

I always knew that.

I could never prove it, but writing always works that way for me. My hand is correct, smooth, and readable as I begin, and morphs into a garbled, twisted mess as I continue recording my thoughts for you while I find them, organize them, scratch through some of them…

View original 169 more words

dianegates:

These are amazing stats from my fellow writer and friend Katharine Trauger. I lead an edit group of home schooled teens. They are amazing kids! May God bless the mothers and fathers who home school their children. And may God bless their precious children.

Originally posted on Home's Cool!:

Measure up to homeschool

Measure up to homeschool

View original

This summer has been hot, dry, and explosive. At home and abroad.

We have seen and heard horrific reports from Iraq and Syria. Brothers and sisters in Christ are losing their children, their homes, their possessions, and their lives because they chose to stand for Jesus Christ rather than bow down to the threats of men in black hoods, brandishing swords and guns. Heinous men who give no thought to slicing off the heads of babies, children, and adults who stand in their way or challenge their thinking. All for the demented thrill of obedience to an evil ideology. Men whose ungodly beliefs determine their criminal behavior.

This world is lost. Lacking understanding and wisdom. Deceived sheep with no shepherd. And time has run out for many and is running out for all of us.

Would you leave all you’ve worked for and go to the mountain to die for Jesus? You may well have to make that decision, and my heart twists and mourns for our nation and our people. A nation divided and far removed from the principles and precepts of God’s righteousness and His Holy Word. Because we’ve considered, condoned, and decided “it’s all good.” We don’t need God.

No, it’s not good. And we need God—desperately.

“Jesus said to them, ‘Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the Scriptures, or the power of God?’ (Mark 12:24 NAS).

* * *

I pulled into the parking lot and couldn’t tell which direction was North, East, South, or West. A series of twists and turns left me totally disoriented. The sun was high in the sky—no help there. Nothing looked familiar.

Just last week I considered, then rejected, a GPS System for my car and phone. I didn’t like the sound of the female guide’s voice on that stupid machine.

A small voice in my head whispered, “Get out of the car and ask directions.” But the neighborhood looked rough. Menacing looking people lurked on the curbs and in doorways of buildings. God says numerous times in the Word, “Do not be afraid.” But my hands were slick, my stomach knotted, and tears rimmed my eyes, ready to rush-in-a-gush.

Opening the console, for what must’ve been the twelfth time, I shuffled through the contents hoping a map would magically appear. I cried, “Oh Lord, give me something or someone to get me out of this mess and back on the right road.”

But isn’t that where most Americans live today—lost in life’s grungy parking lots, having rejected God’s GPS? Living a lie certain to bring death and separation from Him forever.

The church sat silent, while atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hare and her team of reprobates led a successful assault to have prayer and Bible reading removed from schools and Roe v. Wade made it legal for pregnant moms to kill their babies. And kill they have—over 55 million of them since 1973.

“So you shall not pollute the land in which you are; for blood pollutes the land and no expiation can be made for the land for the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who shed it” (Numbers 35:33 NAS).

“So innocent blood will not be shed in the midst of your land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance, and blood-guiltiness be on you” (Deuteronomy 19:10 NAS).

But during the early ‘60’s these shadowy delinquents mounted a frontal assault on the principles and precepts our forefathers died for. Public schools became the battleground and our children the prize, while Situation Ethics, survival games, and other programs with varying names, taught the children “it was okay to do anything you wanted to do, if you have a good reason for doing whatever.” And we wonder why the horror of Combine repeats itself?

Sleazy politicians slid in and out of the shadows, serving special interest groups, while the Ten Commandments were snatched from our government buildings, courtrooms, schools, or any public facility. And drugs, immorality, social diseases, and lies took their place.

The past couple of years have seen references to Christmas sliced-and-diced in an attempt to make this holiday solely secular, with even an attempt to change the season’s name. Displays of the Christmas manger on government property are forbidden. And students are forbidden to mention Jesus name at football games or graduations.

Parents and churches ducked behind closed doors, never uttering a peep, consideringeducators and legislators surely knew best, while God and His Word were systematically banned.

For fifty plus years we’ve condoned radical education methods and educators rather than stand for righteous principles that made America one nation under God. And we’ve ended up with what Dr. James Dobson calls the “dumbing-down of America” and an attempt to force national acceptance of the federally funded rogue system Common Core.

This nation whose motto was “In God we trust,” has rejected God’s GPS. We don’t like His voice, His intolerance of unrighteousness, or His directions—they’re too straight and too narrow. We decided to take life’s scenic tour without Him. And now, when we cry to Him as a nation, He has turned his back on us. Do you wonder why?

Fifty years ago the nightly news would not have talked about or tolerated the broadcast of behavior that is called news today. Fifty years ago many of the actions classified normal and acceptable today would have been crimes. Fifty years ago parents raised children. Children didn’t raise parents.

But it’s take-to-the-bank certain, throughout the history of man considering and condoning have always greased the slippery descent into the pit of condemnation.

My mom repeated relentlessly, “Don’t pick friends with standards lower than yours. You won’t bring them up to your standards, they will drag you down to theirs.” And right along with that profound wisdom she advised, “Be careful! Water always seeks its own level.” In other words, water runs to the lowest point.

And the attitudes, actions, and allegiance of many children, teens, and adults of this generation prove her counsel to be correct. Birds of like plumage indeed hang together. And like bad diseases, they are contagious.

Americans have welcomed and embraced as normal values and beliefs they know are wrong. Homosexuality, sex trafficking, drug trafficking, abortion, same sex marriage, illegal immigration, pornography, spousal abuse, child abuse, legalized drugs, bribes, and gambling. And that’s just skimming the surface. Why? We don’t want to shake the boat, stand against the crowd, or be perceived as being politically incorrect.

Let me take this opportunity to affirm I am neither conservative, independent, nor liberal. Democrat or Republican. I live, act, and vote according to the principles and precepts of the Word of God as best I can. Am I a sinner? Yes. A sinner saved by the grace of the Lord God Almighty and the blood of my Savior, Jesus Christ.

But by silence or out-right acceptance we have, as a nation, condoned ungodly actions and people, allowing pagan practices to become the law of the land, and our children are confused. Our kids and our grandchildren have lost the ability to discern right from wrong because of our behavior. The lines have not just been blurred. They have been erased.

So what can we do—you and me?

Educate yourself on the issues. All of them. Don’t stick your head in the dunes. Educate yourself on every candidate. Decide who you will support. I would love to see a test given before citizens can become registered voters. Ignorance is defeat. And elections become a crap-shoot, a mockery, and a farce. Character matters. And perhaps God’s mercy will extend to us if we, in lock-step, put our shoulder to the wheel, return to God and follow His law as our forefathers did, so God can turn this battered ship called America around to walk in His ways.

Be informed and never miss an election. Voting is a privilege not a pain. Make yourself known to your city, state, and federal representatives. Phone calls, letters, emails, attend local meetings with those who represent you. Hold them accountable for votes they cast or their absence from a necessary vote. Otherwise they become divas, believing their press and elevating their status.

Refuse to participate in or allow your children to participate in organizations known to fund, support or agree with deviate practices. Let your hard-earned dollars speak. Don’t buy products from companies who support actions and organizations against your beliefs. Support businesses who claim the name of Jesus.

Challenge your church, your pastor, your teachers if they don’t teach and practice the absolute truths of the Word of God and loving the brothers and sisters. God tells us “judgment must begin at the house of God.” Just being a believer doesn’t give you or me a hall pass.

I’ve gotta wonder if ISIS has a conservative or liberal branch? Hmmm. Probably not. And gay rights and single parents aren’t recorded anywhere in their rule book. They kill the perpetrators—no testimony, no trial, just mutilated or dead.

Decide what you believe and know why you believe it. Remember I mentioned in the first few paragraphs—Your belief determines your behavior. Well, your doctrine determines your duty.

King Solomon said, “Behold, there is nothing new under the sun.”

And there sure isn’t. These same things were recorded several thousands of years ago in the nation of Israel. Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel screamed for the people to change directions, to slam on the brakes, toss away their false gods, and return to the Lord God Almighty.

The Book of Ezekiel records God giving this prophet a sneak-peek behind the scenes in the temple. Like many preachers today, the priests were participating in things of Satan. God finally had enough. His grace was done and He walked out of the temple in Jerusalem. Never to return, even to this day.

But one day He will return, in love to those who love and obey Him. But, in judgment for those who reject Him. God is not one dimensional. His character also requires justice, righteousness, and truth. And when these attributes are violated there must be condemnation and judgment

“And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:2-3 NAS).

This first week in September, 2014, America teeters on the precipice of God’s condemnation. Look at the droughts in the southwest. Floods and storms in the east and mid-America. Fires and earthquakes in the west. God’s warnings? Probably. But our betrayal of Israel may be the nudge over the cliff to our destruction. The road out of hell’s descent is still the same—Repentance—Being sorry enough to never rebel against Him again.

To know God is to love Him. And the only way to know Him is through the power of His Word and cleansing by the blood of His only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. God’s Protective System—GPS—is still available to those who repent and believe. But there will come a time, like with Israel, when God’s grace is done.

“The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin”(1 John 1:7 NAS).

God’s promises are the only truth. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 NAS).

* * *

A soft-spoken old man, in dirty jeans and a Methuselah beard, walked toward my car and asked if I was lost. I said, “Yes sir.” He smiled and gave me directions to the nearest freeway. I thanked him and thanked God for him. Don’t know if he was an angel or someone God prompted to help this lost old woman. But I was grateful for his directions and followed them immediately.

How about you, I’ve given you the only sure directions out of the mess our nation is in. What will you do with these eternal truths? Will you stand and share them with others? Will you get on your knees and ask God to forgive, cleanse, and restore you? Will you follow Jesus, regardless of the cost—like those men, women, boys and girls in so many places in our world today—hiding, tortured, dying?

And remember: There could never be a heaven without a hell, And Jesus loves you enough to let you decide where you want to abide.

“And He said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true.’ And He said to me, ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death’ ” (Revelation 21:5b-8 NAS).

Longest Walk

dianegates:

Excellent post from my friend, Julie Cosgrove, written especially for my GriefShare friends during their long, dark, journey.

DiAne

Originally posted on Where Did You Find God Today?:

ID-100108485Infants become toddlers when they begin to, well, toddle. What parent hasn’t crouched down, arms extended and coaxed their wee one to inch towards them, one wobbly step at a time, then scooped them up and hugged them once their hands reconnected? It is necessary in the child’s development to crawl, toddle, walk and eventually run. We can’t carry them around until they are in their 30’s, can we?

In prayer, my mind pictured a toddler reaching out, unsure if it could walk.  Arms outstretched, it’s attention on it’s father’s beckoning hands, just three short steps away. A soft voice whispered, “Come. You can do it. Come. I’m here. Trust me.Try.”

Sometimes, I think God does carry us. But there are other times when He sets us down and backs away, just a few steps, so we will be enticed to walk towards Him. It is a test of faith and trust, but it also helps…

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