If the world adores you, what does that say about your walk with Jesus?
My dear brothers and sisters, you are not thinking clearly. I see your posts and wonder how you can so easily forget the scriptures you have grown up learning. Why oh why would you applaud and glorify a man who proclaims himself a man of God, yet speaks words that are totally contrary to the Holy Word of God? Some of you I’ve known for years. I know you have attended church faithfully, memorized scripture, prayed for the lost and given yourself in community service. You love the Lord. Yet, you publicly esteem a man in white robes who says one does not need to believe in God to go to heaven; that everyone is going to heaven. Then why did Jesus have to suffer and die on that cross? Does the charisma and hype surrounding the events blind your eyes?
Jesus Himself said that the world will hate us because of Him.(Mark 13:13) The world is worshiping this man, proclaiming love, admiration and devotion to him while he speaks words contrary to Jesus’ own words. I simply cannot understand how you can do this?
Yes, he appears to be a good man. He does many good works, lives humbly, and says what everyone wants to hear. One among many of his statements is that we can live however we choose and still spend eternity with the Lord.
My friends, dust off your Bibles! Over and over again we are instructed in God's ways, which are not popular with the world--not at all! We answer to our Lord alone, not a man. We must repent of our sins. (We do sin!) Matthew 7:13: "You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.” The gate is narrow into heaven. That means following God’s ways requires us to be disciplined, submitting to His ways, and surrendering our self-life to live as He desires us to live---not just as we please.
When I saw how the whole world was not only praising this man, but many actually worshipping him, I began to question. Never before have I seen protestants, catholics, atheists, liberals, conservatives, black, white, young and old all agreeing in holding up a person to love, praise and admire. The world sees this as wonderful. Unity. Do you remember what the book of Revelation (among others) portrays about this particular scenario? Maybe it would be wise to read it again. For that matter, perhaps read the whole New Testament.
I am deeply concerned for those who throw aside all they’ve learned from the Bible to jump on the bandwagon with non-believers just because something sounds good and on the surface looks good. Please spend time with the Lord and allow the Holy Spirit to direct you. In these tumultuous days in the land, deceivers abound. If it were possible, even the elect would be deceived. (Matt 24:24) I’m praying it won’t be possible, but what I’m seeing is disturbing, to say the least.
Ask the Lord to take any blinders off, give you sharp discernment, and a focus on the true and living God. His Word still stands. It has not changed just because our world has.
No Time Like the Present
Are you feeling stuck right now, as you see the year quickly passing by? Today is the first day of Fall and it seems like we just finished celebrating Spring bursting forth. I don’t know about you but I always have a to-do list with my goals outlined. I tend to visualize things in seasons, not days. Spring had its projects for blooming into summer, and summer’s list was to build upon that to accomplish much before Fall arrived. Somewhere in there, I lost the list, almost forgot what season it was, and today as I enjoy the crisp, cool breezes, I realize I am way behind. But does it really matter? As I get older, it seems to matter less and less. In some ways, that’s a good thing as I mellow and take things at a slower pace. At the same time, there are days I feel totally worthless looking over my lists and realizing some things just aren’t going to happen. Things I really wanted to happen.
This season finds me daily sitting in the cancer clinic waiting room. I meet patients and families who share their stories and ask about mine. Those blocks of time are precious. They remind me that while people outside those walls are scurrying around trying to be productive, many are stopped against their wills from running in the rat race. When you have no choice but to sit and think and pray, you do it. What if some people are there specifically for that purpose? Our God longs to spend time with us. He’ll take us in whatever condition we come. The most refreshing and healing activity we can enjoy is being loved by our Father, fellowshipping with Him.
Time carved out to sit with the Lord is more important than anything else on our lists. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” Matt 6:33. If I first seek God and His plans, other things have a way of falling into their proper spot or perspective. Some things get crossed off the list altogether and some brand new ideas pop up that He puts there. No matter what changes in my plans, His are better. It always works out better. So, why do I tend to put time with Him on the back burner until I have more time?
In these tumultuous days on the earth, the Lord has guidance and instruction for each of us as well. We cannot navigate the stormy waters around us without His parental wisdom showing which direction to go. Sitting down with a cup of coffee and a Bible does not make you a slacker. It makes you a disciple who knows there is no wisdom anywhere else compared to this. Let’s withdraw from the hamster wheel (without being forced) and sit in the Presence of the One Who guards our hearts and minds in Him….leading us into His perfect peace.
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.” Isaiah 26:3
Respect? What's that?
What have we become? Like me, I’m sure you look at social networking sites and read people’s comments. It’s pretty astounding to see people’s true selves emerging as they post the most ridiculous things.
If we can lay aside the untruths, misspoken statements and misquotes completely (since that would take pages to write about) and just examine people’s bold opinions, we’re amazed at what is there. I’ve noticed over time that commenters are becoming more angry, more insulting and more bold in spitting out their words of condemnation. (That’s after posting a meme with a sticky sweet saying on it.)
Why is it that we can’t be mature and discuss issues where we don’t see eye-to-eye? Why is it that people regress to a pre-teen behavior of calling names, cursing and so on, when they don’t like something? It’s crazy. For example, people who were riled up because they didn’t agree with the clerk who refused to issue same sex marriage licenses. Hundreds (probably more) never even made intelligent statements about their objections. Instead, they cursed her, made fun of her appearance, and went after her family. Gee, that was so mature and really explained why you disagreed with her perspective.
I see people’s posts who make vicious personal attacks on people instead of just stating why they have the opposite viewpoint. How do we find any common ground or respect if we behave like spoiled kids. Maybe, just maybe, these people do not want to have intelligent discussions. I’ve noticed that if someone posts a reasonable argument, the conversation immediately turns to name calling. Is it because the person does not have the ability to think and express themselves in a mature way? That’s the way I see it.
I, like you, am not that naive. I realize there are hidden agendas rampant in these news stories. They are rarely about what we see on any news channel. And, by the way, I do not subscribe to any of the news channels--not just singling out one or two. They’re all corrupt and only tell the public what they want us to hear. I wish we could outsmart these imposters by carrying on intelligent conversations about issues, with respect for one another, and maybe we could actually find a few solutions or places we can meet in the middle. It appears to me at this juncture, that most of these attackers on the social media sites, have no desire to be at peace with anyone. It’s more fun to spew anger and throw childish tantrums. Respect for our fellow man appears to be a thing of the past. I guess that answers my opening question.
Carrying us through Cancer
I want to take an opportunity to express my appreciation and love for all of you who have been so supportive during my husband’s illness. Any of you who have walked the cancer journey yourselves, or alongside a spouse or other loved one, know the ups and downs and sometimes the sheer exhaustion of the battle. We both appreciate all your kind words of encouragement and the prayers you’ve offered up on our behalf.
This week we begin another chapter as he undergoes radiation for the second series, this time on the brain. Two years ago he endured it for the arm where the melanomas were first discovered. This time we face two lesions on the brain and the treatment will be more complicated.
Cancer treatment is emotionally a twofold situation. On one hand, you put your trust in God and your doctors, grit your teeth and move into it with all the strength you can muster. On the other hand you know that poisoning a body cannot be a good thing. Watching the person you love most in the world suffering and being subjected to all manner of poking, prodding, poisoning and so on, is at times agony.
You watch some profess healing after trying certain herbs, diets and alternative therapies, so you grasp at any suggestions that are made, hoping one or all of them actually work. You try this, try that, listen to this report, and that one. When your tests show the cancer has spread more, you wonder why you spent so much time and money on any of them. Sometimes people cannot understand why you don’t try every remedy they send your way; why do you not jump on every idea. After all, this is a life and death matter.
I just want to let you know that every email, every card, call, or other message with your suggestions are appreciated and considered. We love you. We know your heart is right and you want to help. Your prayers are what mean the most to us. The last word is God’s. He decides who is healed, whose time it is to go to Him, and who needs to be that light to others in certain situations. His ways are definitely higher than our ways. We trust Him. His purposes are just and right, no matter how things appear.
If you have not walked this journey, I would never expect you to totally understand our feelings. We certainly didn’t before we got here. We just take one day at a time, continue praying and trusting God, and doing the best we can. That’s all we can do. Life will always have confusing twists and turns. It’s never a storybook ‘happily-ever-after’ on this earth. The important thing is to keep our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. He never steers us wrong. He walks with us through the fires and supernaturally pours strength into us throughout our trials. We just want to know we did our best. To finish well. We can. We do need you though, and appreciate you, so remember that and don’t stop praying.
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"Living in God's Rest...At Peace in a Chaotic World" and "Masked in Deceit," are both available now. Living in God's Rest can be purchased from any of your favorite booksellers online or in stores. Masked in Deceit, a novel, is available from Amazon. Both books are offered in ebook versions as well. I always appreciate reviews on the seller's sites. Just click the books below and you will find links to purchase.
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