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MOVING THE ANCIENT BOUNDARIES

As we approach the 2019 Christmas Season, many of us are still struggling, caught up in the tide pools the past year has shoved us into. If you’re struggling take a moment and refresh your heart and mind…God is still in control…you don’t have to be. The trial you’re going through didn’t catch our Lord by surprise and He loves you! And He still has a marvelous plan for your life. Stop struggling and let Him show you!

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The morning was bright, the tide low, and a gentle breeze stirred along the shoreline. Gulls strutted the water’s edge and my heart soared as patterns of foam danced up the sand while pelicans glided just above the sunlit waves.

I splashed through the pools of salt-water left along the beach from the receding tide. Some were slim and shallow. Others wide and deep. Various shapes and sizes. Each one cut off…

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“…in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation’” (2 Peter 3:3-4).

But has everything continued just as it was from the beginning of creation? Has nothing changed? What do you believe about the flood? Does it matter what you believe—worldwide or local deluge—flood?
Atlantic Crashes
We know there have always been God mockers here on earth—men and women who simply will not believe and trust the Word of God, but Peter narrows his focus to a certain time frame, “…the last days…”

From studying the gospels, we know the “last days” began with the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, so we’re talking about the past two thousand plus years. Chapters 6 through 8 of the Book of Genesis take us back to approximately one thousand years after God created the world. Please don’t yawn or turn away just yet. I have a few more questions I hope you’ll think about and respond to.

As I studied the scriptures in Genesis 7:11 this morning, the lesson asked us to cross-reference in the Strong’s Concordance the meaning of “…the fountains of the great deep burst open.” I hope while you’re reading this post, you’ll open your Bible and follow along. We don’t have to guess; God delineates exactly what He means. I promise this will be amazing!

“Burst open” is the Hebrew word “baqa” which means to rend, break, rip open, breach, burst, split open. It’s not depicting a gentle spring rain that lasted 40 days. And then, we were asked to describe in our own words what this might have looked like. How might this ripping, bursting, splitting open might have looked like to you?
Again, in Genesis 7:11 and 8:2 God mentions “…the floodgates and the sky opened.”
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Back to the Strong’s and the words are “arubbah…a lattice, window, sluice with openings for water.” And “Shameh…the sky aloft…visible arch where clouds move as well as higher ether where celestial bodies resolve.” What do you think this would have looked like, happening simultaneously with the fountains of the great deep bursting open? Can you even imagine?

Parts of Dallas experienced an F3 tornado a few weeks back. It will take months to restore, repair and rebuild. Do you think there was anything left to restore or repair after the flood? Or was it a slate wiped clean?

Then we were asked to read 2 Peter 3:5-6 and write what Peter was referring to and think about Genesis 1 and Genesis 7. I invite you to read, then write what you think these scriptures are talking about.

The next scripture is found in Psalm 104:5-7:

“He established the earth upon its foundations, so that it will not totter forever and ever. Thou didst cover it (the earth) with the deep as with a garment; the waters were standing above the mountains. At Thy rebuke they fled; at the sound of Thy thunder they hurried away…”

Genesis 7:17-20 states:
“Then the flood came upon the earth for forty days, and the water increased and lifted up the ark, so that it rose above the earth. The water prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. The water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered. The water prevailed fifteen cubits (22 feet) higher, and the mountains were covered.”

I’ve heard people scoff at the notion of a world-wide, globe encompassing flood. Haven’t you? Maybe you’re one of these people? But the people of the Old Testament, like King David didn’t wonder about the flood…David knew of this catastrophic judgment rendered about 1,000 years after creation.

Let’s examine this passage in Psalm 104 before you mount a dozen “but if” questions. When we look at the Genesis 1 and 2 creation account what do we see? The Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. On day one God created light and separated the light from the darkness.

On day two God separated the waters from the waters and there was a great expanse between the waters—water beneath and water above the expanse. This was the second day.

On day three God gathered the waters below the heaven and the dry land appeared. Walla! Earth! Created on the third day. And Psalm 104:5 tells us He stabilized the earth so it would not totter (or be moved) forever and ever. Then God commanded the earth to sprout vegetation, plants, fruit trees and it was so. This is what verse 5 of Psalm 104 tells us. Earth was created on the third day of creation and God ordained this earth to be fixed in position, never to move out of place

After the earth was created and had been in place for 1,000 years, we read verse 6 of Psalm 104.

“Thou didst cover it with the deep as with a garment…” you can read the rest. King David left these ancient words to confirm God’s world-wide judgment of the flood.

So why do you think these mockers continually ignore God’s Words and claim nothing has been changed since the beginning? Every living thing that drew breath on and in the earth was destroyed after God said “Enough!”

Could it be if they acknowledged the actual fact God judged evil by that world-wide flood long ago, they would have to rethink the implication of the truth of 2 Peter 3:5-7?

“For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the Word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water; through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.”
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Or in plain, simple English, there’s yet another catastrophic judgment coming…but this time it will be by fire. And if the first judgment was total devastation, how much more horrific will this final fire judgment be?

Could it be God has waited so long because He loves us beyond our ability to conceive? Do you think He is giving those who haven’t trusted and walked with Him time to change their direction and come to the cross—come to Jesus?

“The Lord is not slow about His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance”
(2 Peter 3:9 NAS).

This is the message we’re instructed to proclaim, but we must be able to explain and take these mockers and doubters to the Word of God and show them where in the Word God judged this world once because of the very things we’re guilty of in 2019… theirs and our horrible rejection of the Lord God—once through water…a world-wide flood that destroyed all flesh. And He’s promised there will be one last judgment…by fire!

So, is it any wonder they mock and diminish the notion God sent a flood that destroyed the world? Their words tell us they’ve rejected God’s authority and denied His power to bring about either judgment. Will their deluded ideology change the reality of what’s to come?

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to e destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in hold conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, on account of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells”
(2 Peter 3:10-13 NAS).
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You and I are called to be messengers of Truth to these mockers and to any and everyone who will listen, hear, heed, and believe.

However, all will not listen. Many have already chosen whom they will serve. But we are required to speak the truth to all men and women and boys and girls God brings into our lives.

But precious one, you can’t tell or teach what you don’t know! We are instructed to “…study to show ourselves approved unto God, rightly dividing the Word of Truth…”

Scripture is full of passages confirming the flood was real. The flood was world-wide. And only eight people survived that flood…Noah, his wife, their three sons, and their wives were spared…because of Noah’s faith and God’s mercy and grace. Scientists have confirmed the fossil and sediment record. …your denial of this truth will never alter the veracity of God’s Word. What He’s done, with all who will hear. Prophecies are being fulfilled every day and these last days will truly be the very last days spoken of throughout the prophets and written of in great detail in the books of Peter, Thessalonians, and Revelation.

God instructed Noah to build this ark before the judgment of the flood. It took Noah and his sons 120 years to complete this task. So, what was going on during these 120 years?

“For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He (Jesus) went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water” (1 Peter 3:18-20 NAS).

Hordes of people watched Preacher Noah all those years and they taunted and mocked. They watched the animals gathered and go inside and they poked fun and yelled snotty comments. Then God told Noah and his family to go into the ark and He shut the door.
Noah and his family waited. But there was no rain for seven days. I’m sure the party outside the ark was long and loud. Can you picture the scene? Can you hear the taunts and hysterical laughter?

Then in an instant an unimaginable roar and shaking as the tectonic plates of the earth ripped open and the springs of the earth spewed gigantic geysers everywhere. And the floodgates of heaven opened and poured down for forty days and nights.
Imagine those scoffers outside the ark…as the truth of God’s judgment became their reality!

But it was too late!

Why don’t you choose the ark of Jesus Christ? There’s room at the cross—Right this moment—just for you!

“For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 NAS).

NEXT POST: Why would God destroy what He created?

When the fog of grief rolls over the landscape of all you thought you were and are, shoving, pushing, ripping, dislodging, swirling everything in its path into a tumultuous emotional tsunami of pain, love, anger, emptiness, ruin, brokenness—every emotion known to the heart and mind—you wonder if this storm will ever subside or if there is any form of life and light on the other side.

That’s where I found myself a month ago leaving Warrensburg, Missouri, returning to Dallas, Texas, after the death of my husband in late August.

I turned onto a county road that would take me through farmland, several towns, and acres of corn pastures back to the freeway, then home. And I drove smack-dab into a wall of fog so thick I found myself waiting for the sound of a crash. The fenders of my car and the roadside beneath them were all that was visible. It was as if the fog swallowed everything around me hook, line, and sinker.

Wall of fog

Beyond the front of my car I could see nothing but swirling gray goo. I was forced to creep along, watching the edges of the road, thinking surely this yucky stuff would lift. I knew the sun was shining when I pulled out of my son and daughter-in-love’s driveway, and knew it was probably still shining above all this mess, but I sure couldn’t see any brightness around me at that moment.

Fear welled in my heart that morning. Same kind of fear that had choked me in the hours, days, and now months following my husband’s death. What do I do now? Those same words inched through my mind that foggy morning just west of Warrensburg. And a month later, as one issue after another still looms on my horizon I’m still asking God that same question. The only difference now is, God has already answered and guided me through several what I deemed to be crises.

A few patches of sunflowers growing alongside the road crept by and seeing them brought a particle of relief, just like the relief loved ones and friends provide during times of anguish after the death of those we love.

Fog and Bales

Then they’re gone, and I’m left with the reality of my loss. The reality of forging a whole new life—and this morning the reality of the fog and my inability to see what lay in the road ahead left me choked with fear.

Suddenly headlights behind me made a blurry appearance and brought momentary comfort, but then I worried about cars that might be ahead of me. A fender-bender in this soup could become catastrophe in a heartbeat. Again, my thoughts turned to the catastrophe’s I’ve imagined in the middle of the night these past weeks.

Full of fear at the reality of the fog and the miles I still had to travel before I reached the freeway, I began to feel that stirring in my heart and mind. Father, are you trying to teach me something this morning? There were no audible words, but I knew in my heart the Spirit of God was ready to show me something—if I was willing to listen.

Tears rimmed my eyes as often happens when I know God is moving in me. I brushed them away. “Father, please let me hear and learn what You want to teach me this morning.”

But the fog grew thicker, and I had to slow even more. There were now headlights behind and in front of me as we all inched our way along this narrow country road. We finally reached a town and the fog gave way to buildings along the roadside and trees overhead. I could see better and relaxed a bit. A red blinking smudge turned into a traffic signal, and I relaxed more, until I saw a sign telling me how many miles I had to travel before reaching the freeway. And for a moment my cramped fingers took a break from their stranglehold on the wheel.

Another confusing road sign left me blank as to which way to turn. Stop and ask directions, came that quiet voice in my mind. I did and had I gone the way I thought, I would have been lost. But I am learning that when I stop and wait on God’s answer, He never fails to direct my steps.

On the other side of town, a river snaked through the countryside and the fog intensified. Once again, my pace slowed and I began to flip through the file of “must dos” when I returned home…decisions that must be made…but a glimmer of light appeared in the pasture to my right and I was amazed to see the image of the sun behind the fog and I thought of the cloud of light God used to lead the children of Israel through the desert.

Missouri Fog

I slowed, pulled to the side and took a picture and heard in my heart—God always guides His children when they slow down, ask, and listen.

“The Lord will tear down the house of the proud, but He will establish the boundary of the widow” (Proverbs 15:25 NAS).

God really said He would establish my boundaries! As I pondered that scripture, thought after thought marched through my mind. Orderly thoughts. Not pushing nor shoving, frantic thoughts like I had been prone to these last weeks. I formed a priority list of need-to-be-done things when I returned. The pace was still slow and the fog thickened. But God had given me a glimmer of hope. A moment of clarity. And I tucked it in my heart and remembered God’s promise in Isaiah 54:5:

“For your husband is your Maker, whose name is the Lord of hosts; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, who is called the God of all the earth.”

Yes, I know this verse was written particularly to Israel in the Old Testament. But as the husband during my time of grief, He sets my boundaries. And I trust Him.

The fog began to dissolve into patches and I enjoyed the beautiful Missouri farmland. Those of you who follow my blog and FB page, know I love old barns. And my heart lifted as the freeway came into view. I set my course toward Dallas, rehearsing the lessons God had shown me that morning traveling through the foggy Missouri countryside.

Rowland's Barn

While I’m traveling through the fog of grief—

 I must slow down.

Be careful.

Take my time.

Watch out for troublesome issues before and behind me.

Seek directions before I act and become lost.

Remember what God has taught me in the past.

Remember who God is now and forever.

Remember God loves widows and will be their husband.

I must continually talk with Him…and then listen.

I am to trust God…not emotions or fears.

He sets my boundaries.

The muddled fog of grief will lift from my life, and from yours too, just like the fog lifted that morning in Missouri on the way to the freeway. How long and when I don’t know, I suspect when we’ve learned the lessons He has to teach us during this season of life.

But ‘til your fog lifts, the best counsel I can offer is find a GriefShare group at www.griefshare.org. Click on Find-a-Group. Type in your name and address and they will list the groups near you. I don’t know what I would have done after the loss of our daughter nineteen years ago, and now the loss of my husband, had I not attended and am attending, GriefShare.

DiANE

 

 

This was relevant when I first posted in May of 2017. But how much more relevant is this post today. Elected officials in Washington, D. C. thumb their noses at God and His Word…and many fall in lock step behind these representatives of our nation to smear the name of God. “God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow,” how long do you think He will stand by and let America continue down this road to hell? Are we witnessing the beginning of the great Apostasy? I never thought I’d live to see Southern Baptist lost and wondering down the road with progressive liberals…but some of them in places of leadership are rushing down that slippery slope. Who will you obey? God or whoever?

MOVING THE ANCIENT BOUNDARIES

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We study about, talk about, and read about history, but our view of history is so narrow—generally focused on the span of our lives—give or take a few years. Or about a hundred years.

That’s why God gave us sixty-six books of His story. His life, death, life story. So, we would have a constant reminder His plan is far beyond our peep-hole into past, present, and future.  God’s view of history encompasses the beginning through all eternity.

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Scripture tells us: “Whatever things were written in earlier times were written for our instruction, that through perseverance and study of the scriptures, we might have hope” (Romans 15:4 NAS).

But we moan and groan, I don’t understand the Bible. So many words, all the thee’s and thou’s. It’s so confusing. And I just don’t have time to sort out all that stuff.  We can’t understand. Without the stirring power…

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THE DAY IS HERE!!!

MastersPlanCoverFrontTHE MASTER’S PLAN REVEALED THROUGH CREATION … RELEASES!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1089395272

Order now through Thursday for discounted price!

And y’all know I’d love a review!

 

 

TECHNOLOGY! UGH!

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There’s been a slight delay! Margins had to be adjusted and are in process. Hopefully, “The Master’s Plan Revealed Through Creation” will still release today…If not today, surely tomorrow. Please share this post with friends and neighbors…will make a marvelous Christmas present for kiddos and their families.

Years ago God placed a plan in my mind and I sketched, then transferred the images to illustration board with ink and water colors…all the while writing.

But when you’re new at something, sometimes you don’t have the back-bone to see it through. That was me back in the late ’80’s and ’90’s. I wrote this four book series, illustrated it, and like any other newbie author sent it off… expecting to be the latest Joel Rosenberg. What a surprise when my manuscript was rejected.

Broadman Publishing told me it wasn’t scriptural…animals didn’t talk. Hmm, how about Baalam’s donkey in the Book of Judges? Like any other inexperienced author, I thew the manuscript in the drawer where it would sit for the next years, grabbed a box of Kleenex and proceeded to sob my heart out…all that work…for nothing.

But God had a plan I couldn’t begin to imagine.

I continued to write…hit and miss…suffered the loss of mother, dad, and mother-in-law, and finally in 2001 our 28 year old daughter died suddenly from a hemorrhagic stroke, and writing was put on the back-burner while we cared for our grand-babies.

However, God walks with us through seasons of life to accomplish His purposes in us. I finally registered with ACW (American Christian Writers), went to a conference, met two wonderful encouragers, Frank Ball and Jan Brand, and began my journey learning to write. I met six other very serious writers and we formed a group, calling ourselves the Literati, and for the next few years set aside every Wednesday evening from 5:30 ’til 9 p.m. to meet and critique and learn to write.

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The fruit of this venture was a contract with Prism, then Pelican Book Group for the first two books in The Roped Series ~ Roped and Twisted. Third book,  Untied, is a work in progressBut this year God laid The Master’s Plan on my heart and because of the talented work of my first publisher, Joan Baer Alley, helping this computer illiterate writer,  the first, The Master’s Plan Revealed Through Creation will be released…

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2019

 

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I am so excited! God opened doors and finally, even after the loss of my husband of forty-two years, two months ago,  God has given the courage to walk through the doors He’s opened. The next three will be released in hopefully six month intervals: The Master’s Plan Revealed Through The Word, The Master’s Plan Revealed Through the Life of the Master, and The Master’s Plan Revealed Through You.

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These books are written and designed to help parents develop a devotional time with their children to learn the Word of God…and you can do this even if you, parents, don’t know the Word yourself…it becomes a place of bonding of your family with the truth of God and His Word.

The first two release days, The Master’s Plan Revealed Through Creation will be reduced in price. I pray God will speak to your heart about children, grandchildren, and neighbor children who need to hear these truths. Friday morning, October 11th, you can go to http://www.Amazon.com/books and type in my name in the tool bar…”DiAne Gates, The Master’s Plan Revealed Through Creation, and the page will pop up. You can also scroll down to click on my Author Page to see my other books.

And, of course, like any other writer, we thrive on reviews. Let me know what you think. We have arrived at a time in the history of our country where the Lord God Almighty is the only one who can save our families and our nation…but we must be on our knees repenting and asking. Where better to begin than with your family teaching them The Master’s Plan!

                                                                                                                                                                        DiAne N. Gates

 

P. S. Here are two more illustrations to tickle your attention from Books Two and Three of The Master’s Plan Revealed Through the Word…and Through You.

David

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