Jun 30, 2015

Why I'm Sad for My Homosexual Friend

What do I say to my homosexual friends, now?  What I want to say is this:

"Thank you for sharing that with me, please know that I still love you. As a Christian, you know where I stand but I also want you to know that my heart is breaking for you, for what you will go through by making this choice and what you will lose.

I weep for you that you will never experience the tender love between a man and a woman, the way we were intended to experience it.  That you will never know the heart stopping joy of creating a child out of that love and bringing it into the world.

I am fearful for your health and your well being; for it is often an abusive and violent lifestyle riddled with promiscuity, substance abuse, and depression.  Rates of AIDS, hepatitis, suicide and domestic violence are a sad hidden fact.  Because I love you, I don't want you to be hurt.

I worry about your soul and what you will have to do harden your conscience.  By engaging in willful sin, you risk separating yourself from true fellowship with God and the safety that living within those laws bring to you.  (Matthew 13:14-15)

The Lord's laws are no different than the rules our parents made for us when we were kids, "Don't touch the stove, it's hot."  "Don't put the chair on the ladder to climb up there, you'll get hurt."  "Don't hang out with that boy, he's doing drugs and might drag you in."  Those are all things our parents do to keep us safe, how much more are God's laws designed for our benefit, for our good, for our safety?

Personally, I am sorry that you have made this choice but it does not hurt me.  Honestly, in my own skin, I deal with my own struggles and I don't want to know what anybody is doing in the bedroom.  I don't want you to be lonely or hurt or rejected - I don't.  I'd also stand between you and ANYONE who wanted to harm you over this because you are my friend and I love you.  But I am not going to tell you it's okay, I'm not going to tell you I am on board because I'm not.  It's not my approval that you are looking for anyway.

Regarding the politics of the thing, I wrote this after casting a vote (that has been overturned twice now by federal judges) to protect natural marriage:  "At the end of the day, while my human side would love a compromise, the human side of me sees all the gray, and the human side of me knows and loves many different people; I could not in good conscience vote against (natural marriage) something that is explicitly and meticulously clear in the Word of God. I don't raise my hands in praise and fall to me knees in worship to a God that loves me so much he died for me and then spit in His face at the ballot box. I do not pick which Scriptures I like or obey - If you know me, you would expect nothing less."

The rainbow profile pictures are like a middle finger to God.  Scenes of half naked homosexuals screaming at preachers upset me.  It scares me that people who believe like I do are being driven out of business, persecuted, and that the government is doing this in the name of tolerance.  An evil that tolerates everything except me and my Christian principals and beliefs, is an evil that will one day come after you.  So forgive me while I weep and lament, for you, for this Nation, and for the future.  This is not a victory for good and my heart is broken."

Don't Be a Dried Up Worm

My Grandfather was a fisherman, he was one of the lost Greatest Generation, a Man's Man.  He had a soft spot though... me.  My earliest memories involve a bulky life jacket that had served my Dad's generation and at some point had been left to soak up fish water.  It came above my ears and strapped through my legs, only fishing with my Grandpa and my Dad would have made me endure it.

As a result, worms don't freak me out.  I would bait a hook; fascinated with the yellow goo that would come out of the "juicy ones" (can you hear the Man's Man laughing in my memory).  As a gardener, I love them because they aerate the red clay we call soil around here.  So I have developed an unusual practice; whenever I see a worm that has made it's way onto the sidewalk or the driveway, I scoop it up and put it back in the grass.

Dried Up Worm
I find dried up worm carcasses sort of sad.  Today, I caught sight of a struggling one.  It was barely moving and had begun to take on that dried up look.  I stopped and went to pick it up and did not quite get a hold of it.  To my surprise, it started thrashing around madly!  So instead of hurting it by trying to pick it up I sort of scooted it back into the grass.  It took a couple of tries but he made it.

I thought as I walked away that the worm had no idea that it was going to die if it kept on the path it had set for itself.  It certainly had no idea that I was trying to help it and instead of embracing the help it viewed my intervention as an attack and fought wildly to continue on it's path to destruction.  I had a better view of what was in for the worm, I was taking care of it whether it knew it or not.

How much more important are you to God than a worm?  Instead of struggling when He picks you up and rescues you from a road that leads to death; why not relax in the palm of his hand?  Why not be still and let him bring you up?  If we thrash around when God picks us up, we miss the view from above.  You will be back in the cool of the grass soon enough, stop thrashing, and realize He's got you.  (Originally published August 5, 2013)

Jun 29, 2015

The Narrow Path

It's called the path, the way, the narrow road, the walk, the race; this walk through life.  For believers, it's a narrow road that requires prayer, discernment, and discipline.  All my Scriptures and study for the last several weeks keep bringing me back to the walk.  One evening, the Lord prompted me to pick up a book I read in 1998, The Edge of Eternity by Randy Alcorn.  This is a fanciful, allegorical tale of a man who finds himself on a journey.  His only instructions were to take the red road and keep moving forward.  I enjoyed the book more the second time than the first.  So along those lines, I'd like to share with you some of the thoughts I have on this journey.

(Originally Published July 29, 2013)

As a prerequisite, realize YOU are on a path, ponder it, and consider carefully where you are headed. (Proverbs 4:26)  Everybody is walking toward eternity, good or bad; your choice (Proverbs 14:12) and (1 Corinthians 9:24).

Path to Hell
If you choose to follow Christ then here is a bit of a map.  (Proverbs 3:6)

First, the path is indeed narrow and only a few find it (Matthew 7:14).  In some places, it's a tight rope with deep chasms on either side.  These are the areas of your life where you have struggled the most.  One step to the right and you enter into the mire of the flesh; the willfulness in each of us that wants what we want and we want it now. (Proverbs 4:27)

Stumble to the left and you enter the despair and hopelessness of the evil enemy.  Sometimes, we bounce back and forth between the two sides, like a pinball caught between bumpers.  We cross over the path but don't plant our feet firmly on the ground.  On these tight rope sections, we are not capable of staying on the path in our own strength, through our own will, and by our own proclamation; we have to surrender to the Lord and let Him hold us up and get us through.  (Philippians 2:13)

Secondly, don't show off.  How many of us are guilty of trying to impress the Lord, to demonstrate how much we have learned, and how strong we are; we don't realize how often the quicksand is up to our necks before we call out for help.  I hope I stop getting in up to my neck.  It takes a humbleness of Spirit to ask for help, self sufficient, type A achievers like to be independent, we like to take charge and do it on our own; that way we get the glory.  Well, there is nothing glorious about being covered in quicksand.  No one in the Bible knew this better than Peter who writes (1 Peter 5:5-6) that we must be humble before the Lord.

Complacent Christian
Thirdly,  the narrow path has two sides along it entirety.  There is no part of the journey that is not flanked on either side with evil and the flesh.  There is no safe place to let down our guard and coast along, the Word warns us of complacency and if you've walked the path for more than 10 minutes you know this is true.  (Zephaniah 1:12)

Walk with Others
Fourthly, we must walk the road with others.  We are not strong enough to make it by ourselves.  We need godly friends, church folks, and family to help along the way. Help others, live justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.  (Micah 6:8)

Pathway of Light
Finally, commit yourself to prayer and reflection every day.  If you seek the face of God in the morning, even if you went off the path the day before, He will set you right.  His mercies are renewed everyday.  If we check our steps regularly, we won't stray far.  (Romans 12:2)

He never promised the road would be easy but He did promise us eternal life in Heaven.  (2 Timothy 4:6-7)  So we strive toward the prize, we groan in our Spirits, we look forward to the end of the journey and to coming Home.  (Philippians 3:14)

Jun 27, 2015

Celebrating in the Rain

Abigail and Dolley readers my heart is broken.  Like the hearts of true believers we wept before the Lord yesterday after the latest SCOTUS rulings.  Evil declarations against the sovereignty of Israel, Obamacare, and the sanctity of marriage ooze from the court like ominous black slime that engulfs the land in sin.  The lost and deceived rejoice, thinking that their brokenness will at last be healed.  While the wicked rulers smirk with their smug minions that "they" have "won".  They are fools and will fall to the righteous judgement of the Almighty.

About 9:30 last evening, a powerful thunderstorm moved over my home.  I was drawn to watch.  I peered out the window but could not quite see, I the opened the door and was pelted with rain, so I went to the garage and opened the door.  Rushing water, reverberating thunder, and brilliant lightning greeted my weary soul.  I stood in the silence of the garage while the storm raged around me.

Pelting Rain in the Night
I was compelled to step outside but an invisible hand held me back, "No my child, you must not go into it.  You are safe and protected in here."  I was quiet and watched.  The rain came down in mighty sheets and the downspout quivered against the house as water spewed from it like a fire hose.  I could see the flashes of light but not the bolts; I wanted to SEE, so I moved to get a better look, and again I was brought back inside.  The rain splattered my bare feet and dirt and debris from the tumult splattered on my legs.  I fidgeted, the rain was not clean, my feet shifted and I sought to wipe them on the concrete but they picked up more small leaves and dirt.

Then I saw, "Lord, it's pouring rain outside and they are dancing in the streets.  I am standing here yelling at them that it is raining your wrath and they can not hear me.  My feet are splattered with filth but they are covered in it."

Celebrating in the Rain
Ruefully, I heard "Go inside now, they can't hear you."

Jun 23, 2015

Counterterrorism in the Spiritual Realm

Have you ever considered that evil has a full armor?  Since we are told in Ephesians 6 that we struggle not against flesh and blood but against spiritual wickedness in high places, then logically, the armor we are told to don is exactly opposite of what the enemy wears.  To wear the armor as purely a defensive barrier is perhaps an underestimation of the battle.  If you watch martial artists fight, you recognize that the sword is not the only weapon.  You also realize that the expression that there is no armor for your back is a misnomer, because the belt and the helmet cover your back.

(Note this blog was originally published in August 2013)

Pastor Mark Bilitz of El Shaddai Ministries puts forth a compelling argument that the armor of God is not patterned after a Roman Soldier but after the robes of a Jewish Priest.  That hypothesis resonates with me on a very deep level in my soul and has caused me to rethink this important part of Scripture. It is with fresh eyes and an open heart I would like to take a look at the weapons of warfare and those of our adversary, I think the church needs to employ some counter-terrorism strategies.

Garments of a High Priest
If we gird our loins with the belt of truth, the enemy must seek to wrap us with their chains of lies.  We discern lies in our guts.  Jesus says that Satan is the Father of Lies and that every word from his mouth is a lie and that when he lies he speaks his native language; he was a liar from the beginning.  Thus, the first area of attack begins with a lie.  We are faced with lies in the public arena everyday.  The adage of Lenin that if you repeat a lie long enough people will believe it is being played out in spectacular fashion today.  When trying to discern the truth of anything, the first thing you must do is discover the lies that have perverted what you are studying.  (ie if you are looking to astronomy, you have to deal with the lies of astrology.)  Imagine if our belt of truth was similar to Wonder Woman's lasso of truth... what if in warfare we periodically tie the belt of truth around the mouth of the prevaricating enemy?

We put on the breastplate of righteousness, which is the righteousness of Christ - the enemy tries to hang the millstone of sin around your neck.  Knowing we have no righteousness in ourselves we valiantly try to lift our heads but our past keeps our heads bent to the ground.  We can only see the shadow of sin before us, our hearts break and it becomes impossible to breathe the breath of life.

Instead of walking in the shoes of peace, we roll out of bed and put on the slippers of fear.  Our steps are dogged by every type of fear the enemy can throw at us.  Our hung heads watch our fearful feet trudge along the dark paths of our past sins.  Think of the powerful weapon that the shoes of peace are on the body of a skilled martial artist; when you are walking in fear throw a few roundhouse kicks at your enemy, you will feel the fear lift, and your path will once again be one of peace.  In John 14:27 Jesus says, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

The enemy would have us armed with a shield of doubt and disbelief that is but a holey piece of Swiss cheese.  It is not an impenetrable force field of faith, it is not a dome of covering, it is a flimsy excuse of a weapon that does nothing to protect the wielder.  The "Name It and Claim It" false Gospel has been brilliant in disarming Christians for decades of their shield of faith.  By urging baby Christians to "believe God for things" they destroy the fragile and innocent faith new converts bring to bear.  Many folks continue to believe God for the big things of salvation and eternity but fail to have faith that He cares for them.  The twisted gospel takes admonitions of prayer and asking and perverts them into ways to control God.  The wreckage they leave behind is an abomination to God.

The poor warrior who is now chained with lies, with a millstone of past sins hanging from their neck, walking on the path of fear flanked by doubt and disbelief is now crowned with the vise grip of suffering and defeat.  The helmet of salvation and deliverance that would protect the brain and the ears is stripped away and messages of failure, hopelessness, and pain are heaped upon the believers head.  It is indeed a dark and scary walk at this point.

Lastly, instead of the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, we are given the Wisdom of the World.  Everything is backwards in the Bible, look at how you are suffering when those that follow the enlightened path of the World prosper in all they do.  Worldly wisdom, common sense, and "the way things are done" bury the warrior; most submit.

In the depths of the battle, you may find yourself valiantly trying to follow Ephesians 6 and in the end having done all you can, to stand.  Use the weapons that God has given you to fight the enemy.  Recognize the tactics and respond with the correct piece of armor.  In the end, ask God for what you need, even if it is to fall in battle and ask Him to rescue you and fight on your behalf.  God who is faithful and just will hear your prayers and deliver you from the hands of the enemy.  In our weakness, His Grace is made perfect.

No Weapon Formed Against Me Shall Prosper

Jun 22, 2015

Feast of Trumpets - Tidbits and Facts

Abigail and Dolley readers this is from our guest blogger, we'll call her "Abigail".  I hope you enjoy:

1 Thessalonians 5:1 "But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you."
Times in greek is "Chronos" and seasons means "Kairos" and it refers to the feasts and festivals. So the Thessalonians knew that Paul was referring to the feasts and festivals.
It is historically taught that on the feast of Trumpets the doors of Heaven are open and on Yom Kippur the doors close. Rev 4:1 "After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter."
Here we see a door open in Heaven (Feast of Trumpets/Yom Teruah) and the voice of a trump (last trump/trump of God) telling John to come up hither.
There are many more correlations between the Rapture/Jewish Wedding/Feast of Trumpets that without a doubt identifies what the last trump is and when it is blown. Coupled with the fact that the feast of Trumpets begins a new year.
Years come in groups of seven (just like days of the week). It is possible that we are in the sabbatical year and the new seven year cycle will begin in Sept 2015.
On the Jewish calendar a week always begins on the 1st day Sunday and ends on the Sabbath Saturday. If we are in the Sabbath year (last year in the cycle), then this feast of Trumpets 2015 could very well be the beginning of a new seven year period. Which means we may very well get to go home and the seven year tribulation will begin.
Keep in mind the seven year cycle must begin with the first year being after the seventh "sabbatical" year. Interesting info and again I encourage everyone to study the Rapture/Jewish Wedding/Feast of Trumpets. I have more Scriptures to support the Feast of Trumpets/Rapture and it really is a beautiful picture of our Messiah.
Note: The Four Blood Moons are a sign that war is coming for Israel. Will that war be what starts the seven year tribulation? Now, indeed only our Father knows that. Amen.

Jun 21, 2015

Who is the Anti-Christ?

Abigail and Dolley readers books have been written around the question, "Who is the Anti-Christ?".  Internet bloggers have built huge followings around their theories and speculations.  People living during WWII could have made a good argument that Hitler was he.  Those living at the end of the Romanoff age in Russia could have made an equally good argument for Rasputin.  A few contemporary candidates are Obama, Putin, and Tspiras.  The Bible has plenty to say on the subject, so let's look at this together.

The Apostle John is the first to use the term Anti-Christ in 1 John 2:18, 1 John 2:22, 1 John 4:3, and 2 John 7.  It is interesting to note that the term, is only used four times and never in Revelation.  We can see from the above Scriptures that the spirit of Anti-Christ was on the Earth in the 1st century and is at work right now.  This tells us that since the resurrection, the Devil has had a plan in place.  Do you think that he would not, at all times have people in place?  Do you think for a moment that the Rapture of the Church would have caught him napping and not ready to fight his last battle?

Lucifer - The Beautiful
It is reasonable to assume then that on Earth at any given time in history, there are 12 powerful and chosen men ready to assume the role.  Why 12?  Well, the Devil always counterfeits what the Lord does.  Secondly, we know there are 10 kings (Rev 17:2), 1 False Prophet, and 1 Anti-Christ (Rev 19:20).

Speculation about the exact identity of THE Anti-Christ, while entertaining is somewhat futile.  The last book JR Church wrote, The Bloodline of the Anti-Christ, has the most thorough research and solid teaching on the subject.  Please know, that the Bible teaches that his identity will not be revealed until after the Rapture.  2 Thes 2:7-8 For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the one who is holding it back steps out of the way. Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will consume with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.

Thus, in closing, our key spiritual point is that the these evil men are on the Earth right now.  They are waiting in the wings, they are chomping at the bit, they are ready to go.  But you friend, you spirit filled believer, the Holy Spirit Power living within you, restrains this wickedness.  Never forget that.

Jun 20, 2015

Time Travel in the Bible

Ground yourself in today and contemplate this:  If at some point in the future you could speak a word of wisdom or rebuke to yourself, what would it be? What are you worried about, what would you change, what choice do you have before you?  If you are old and gray, what would you say to yourself now?  If you are in your incorruptible body, with your heart of stone removed, and your will perfectly aligned with the Lord, what changes?  I think any version of this story has our future self holding our present self is some sort of contempt.

Look at the Scripture below, here's the scene:  The Apostle John has been taken in the spirit to Heaven, he is in the throne room with millions of angels and the 24 elders.  The Scroll is presented, which many scholars surmise is the Earth Lease.  It is obviously a very important document.  Note, John in his human form is the only one weeping.

Revelation 5:4-5 Then I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll and read it. But one of the twenty-four elders said to me, “Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory. He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

Key Point:  Have we just seen John's future self, as one of the 24 elders rebuking his human self?  I think so.  Human eyes or minds can not comprehend the richness of God or His Heavens.  John would have been overwhelmed from a sensory perspective!  His perfected and glorified self had a something to say... cool, huh?

The Throne Room of God

Jun 6, 2015

Downward Spiral to Judgement

The break neck speed of world events is beyond the comprehension of man.  The acceleration, since the last Blood Moon is staggering and those with eyes to see are dizzy with the warning of it.  Like an evil funnel, the closer we get to the bottom the faster the time between catastrophes and the severity thereof.  Let no man deceive you, we are on the precipice of judgement.

Downward Spiral of World Events
For the born again believer, these are exciting times for they signal the soon return of the Lord Jesus Christ.  These are fearsome times for the rest of humanity; right at the door, destruction draws nigh.  This downward spiral is a warning, a harbinger of judgement that will befall the world, and individual man.

God is merciful and it is His wish that no one should perish that all would come to faith in His Son and have ever lasting life but I have to tell you that He is also a God of utter righteousness.  He is fearsome to behold, He is a God of Wrath, and a perfect Judge.  In the Days of the Gospel of Love we have failed to understand or to teach that falling into the hands of the Living God without the covering of the Son's Blood is a terrible thing.

We have failed to tell unbelievers that they are enemies of God (Romans 5:10) and we fail to tell them that their eternal fate is choosing to send themselves to Hell.  In our desire to woo them into the Kingdom we neglect the Outer Darkness, we have to warn not just woo.