Wednesday, April 27, 2016

If you extend your soul to the hungry And satisfy the afflicted soul, Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday. 

 Isaiah 58:10


Monday, April 25, 2016

How to know and stay in the perfect will of God

Like our Father who created us, we are triune beings.  We each have a soul, body and spirit. The soul is your mind, your spirit is the real you, and well, you know what your body is. The world values body and mind above all else. The world will tell you that you are only as valuable as your good looks and intelligence. But God tells us that it's our spirit that's most important. It's our spirit that is eternal. It is our spirit where His Spirit comes to live when we are born again. 

Most Christians know and understand this. They said the prayer, they received Jesus and bam, their spirit came alive and the Holy Spirit came to live within them.  They are saved!  But did you know God doesn't just require our spirits? He requires our mind and bodies too. Yet I see so many Christians following the way of the world and satisfying the appetites of their bodies while keeping their minds focused on all the wrong things. 

The result?  They never really hear from God. They are rarely in His will and hence, their lives end up being fruitless at best and a disaster at worst. I'm NOT a believer in the prosperity Gospel or "Your best life now" junk that's been propagated in so many Christian circles. I know we will have trouble in this world.  But I also know that God loves us and does want to bless us with success, joy, good marriages, health, and money to fulfill all our needs. Why wouldn't He?  If you are a parent, don't you want that for your kids?

Then why are so many Christians suffering?  I believe it's because many of us are not in the perfect will of God. I like to call it the Cone of Light.   Our spirits may be saved and renewed by God's Spirit, but we are not renewing our bodies and minds. They are still living according to the world and the flesh. When that happens, we step out of the Cone of Light and into the darkness where we become prey to whatever the enemy and the world throw at us. Then we cry "Where are you, God? Don't you love me?"  And He's looking down on us with tears in His eyes because we chose to step out of His arms.

The truth is we need to not only receive God's Spirit within our spirit, but we need to renew our minds and submit our bodies to God as well. It's a package deal. God wants all of us, mind, body, and spirit, and until we give Him all, He's limited on what He can do in our lives. Many of you who have children can relate to this. They reach a certain age where they have free choice and they end up making bad choices that we know will cause them pain, but they won't listen to us and are out of our will. We are helpless as we look on and watch them suffer.

Paul tells us in Romans 12 what we need to do
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:1-2

Want to know the will of God? Want to live in His perfect will? Then you need to submit your body to him and also renew your mind. How do you do that?  You tell God that your body is not your own anymore. From now on you will watch, read, and look at the things He says are okay. You will eat the food He says is Okay. You will rest when He says to rest and work when He says to work. And most of all you will learn to control your tongue.

How do you renew your mind? You wash it with the Word of God daily, hourly, as much as you can. There's a true story of a drug addict who came to Christ, but his mind was so messed up from the drugs that he could hardly think straight. He certainly couldn't hold a job, so his pastor gave him a job at his church as a janitor. The man read as much of the Bible as he could every day. He listened to it on headphones while he worked. And when he went home he read it and listened to sermons. After a year, his mind started to clear and he could think straight again. Not only that, but he started working at the church office and came up with such a successful financial plan that a local company hired him. Amazing what just reading the Word of God will do!

If you're struggling right now, I'm not saying that you are out of the will of God. This life and this world are  fraught with troubles. However, if you're not seeing God's protection or provision. If you have no clue what God wants you to do, and you can't really say that you hear from Him on a regular basis, if you lack joy and fulfillment and feel attacked often, then maybe you need to look around and see if you have slipped outside your cone of light. Even the disciples of Jesus, who were all martyred, led very exciting, fulfilling, joy-filled lives as they were spreading the gospel. God protected them and provided for them even as they were being spurned and on the run.

There are many many promises of God in Scripture for those who stay in the Cone of Light, in God's perfect will, in the shadow of His wings: Protection, Provision, Guidance.  I can think of four Scriptures off the top of my head. Psalm 1, 23, 84, 91 What about you? Can you think of some?

Friday, April 22, 2016

Should Christians read books containing warlocks, witches, and wizards? Oh my!

Update on Current Book I'm writing, She Walks in Power. 

Book 1 of my Protectors of the Spear Trilogy is nearing the end of it's first draft. I'm hoping another 3 weeks and this baby will be birthed into the world.  Believe me, it feels like I've given birth. This first draft is the bare bones of the story line, plot points, and characters without all the description,historical objects that give it that feeling of authenticity, emotions, and other fluff which add flesh, skin, and beauty to the baby.  Like giving birth, this is the hardest part for me, painful at times and often birthed with a great deal of strength and stamina and hard pushing. Once I have the baby in hand, then I go back over it two, three, and sometimes more times to polish it up and make it pretty. For me that's the fun part and something I will get to do in June and July before it goes out to editors and early readers.

This is my first time writing Medieval and I wasn't sure how well I'd do on dry land for the entire book, but I've surprised myself with how much I'm enjoying this story.  Which brings me to my point of today's post.

Should Christians read books that contain wizards, warlocks, witches and the like?  I've run into people on both end of the scales. Those who would NEVER dare pick up a book or watch a show or movie with any demons or warlocks or even an innocent mermaid in them, and those who read books and watch shows with all of those things in them. I've always had an interest in the spirit realm and hence, in the battle going on around us between good and evil. I believe too many Christians go through life completely unaware of such things and ignorant of the wiles of our greatest enemy.  The Bible commands us to stay away from all forms of sorcery, witchcraft, astrology and the like.  Dabbling in any of those things, even something as innocent as reading your horoscope, having your fortune told, or playing with a Ouija board can open up a hole in your life and your soul through which demons can enter. This is nothing to mess around with.

Why am I bringing this up? Because I have a warlock and demons in She Walks in Power. They are a necessary part of the story which involves a fair amount of spiritual warfare. I could find no other way to portray spiritual warfare without the bad guys.(wink) Yet I know, because of this, several of my readers will choose not to read my book. I understand that and respect their choices. I truly do.

For years I struggled with this very question. When everyone was reading the Harry Potter series and going to the movies, I sat back and refused to get involved. I even hesitated before seeing Narnia and Lord of the Rings, even though those are Christian based stories!  I'd spent so much time living in the darkness before the Lord rescued me, that I never wanted to take a risk of going back again.  Yet, one day as I was reading the Bible, I realized that it contained wizards, witches, demons, and even Satan himself. That revelation completely changed my thinking. Since then I have a litmus test on whether to read or watch something that has warlocks or witches in it. 

Does the book or movie glorify the warlock? Does it portray the wizard in a good light, glorifying their evil deeds and encouraging those who are reading or watching to practice the same?  Or does it show the warlock or witch for what they are, satan worshipers, possessed by demons to do the bidding of their master?

By that standard, I would have to say that Harry Potter will never be on my list to read or watch. From what little I know about it, the wizards and such are the good guys who are portrayed as being the heroes.  "But it's all fantasy" you might say. Yes, but what about all the magic kits and sorcery books they produce for kids? Do you think those are harmless too? Would you want your child in his bedroom reading a book on casting spells?  This stuff is real, folks, not games or toys. Demons are lurking around our children, salivating at the chance for a small opening they can slip through.

I know this might make some Harry Potter fans angry and that is not my intent. I merely want to issue a warning, something for you to consider. 

I have a powerful warlock in She Walks in Power, a man who curses, casts spells and rules over a horde of demon wolves. But he is shown to be the vile, evil, satan worshiper that he is. And he is no match for the Light!  My hope is that readers will embrace the power we have over satan and his demons as believers in Jesus and become more aware of the spirit world around us. 

So, what about you? Thoughts? Arguments?  By this standard, what do you think of Narnia or Lord of the Rings?

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 

Matthew 17:20


Monday, April 18, 2016

Beware of False Prophets dressed up like Pastors!

For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect Matt 24:24

But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 Peter 2:1

Both Jesus and the Apostles warned us over and over and over about False prophets and False teachers who would appear like "Christians", like sheep, like angels of light, but who would, in fact, be agents of Satan worming their way into the body of Christ and introducing false teachings that would deceive many. I've mentioned this before on my blog because I truly believe that we live in an age where there is a tremendous amount of deception going on in the church.  And I'm not just talking about the obvious people like Benny Hinn, Ted Haggart, Jim Baker, or Bob Coy.  I'm talking about your everyday normal pastor or elder, the guy that most people would never suspect at all. The one through which Satan so craftily and stealthily introduces the smallest of deviations from Scripture. Just a little error here, a little error there, all mixed up with truth, and before you know it, the church is off believing the wrong thing, and even in extreme cases, the wrong Jesus.  

In prior posts, I've listed some things that we do and say in church that are not in the Bible, things which have come down through traditions that most Christians accept as the Gospel. Most of these are probably harmless. Things like the way we do communion, the organization of the church, sinners prayer, seeker-friendly programs, etc.   But I'm talking about something much deeper here. Something that affects the core beliefs of Christians. 

In 1987 a man named Jeffrey Hadden did a survey of 10,000 Protestant Clergymen, out of which 7441 replied. Here's his questions and the responses

“Do you accept Jesus’ physical resurrection as a fact?  
"NO" American Lutherans: 13%
"NO" Presbyterians: 30%
"NO"  American Baptist: 33%
"NO"  Episcopalians: 35%
"NO"  Methodists: 51%

“Do you believe in the virgin birth of Jesus?  “No” was the response from 60% of Methodists down to 5% of Missouri Synod Lutherans (MS Lutherans).

“Do you believe in evil demon power in the world today?  62% of Methodist pastors said, “No” varying down to 2% of MS Lutherans.

“Do you believe that the Scriptures are the inspired and inerrant Word of God in faith, history, and secular matters? 
"NO" 87% of Methodists
"NO"  95% of Episcopalians
"NO"  82% of Presbyterians
"NO"  67% of American Baptists
"NO"  77% of American Lutherans
"NO" 24% of Missouri Synod Lutherans

Let me remind you that this was TWENTY years ago!  How much worse is this apostasy now?
Well, you may say, I don't attend one of those denominational churches, and my pastor believes all of the above. Does he?  He may very well, but how do you know for sure? We live in a country where over HALF the Christians do not believe Satan exists. Barna Study 

My husband and I have left THREE churches here in Northern California because of apostasy. Two because the pastor fell and the last because we didn't believe their seeker-friendly programs and preaching-only-half-the-gospel was a good place for us to be.  I guess that has made me a little skeptical about church leaders, which I'm thankful for. In the past, if the Church Beliefs listed on the website aligned with mine, I believed everything the pastor told me. I assumed that he was a man of God who spent tons more hours studying Scripture and hearing from God than I had time for. So, surely he knew more than I did, and had an inside knowledge of interpreting Scriptures

I was wrong. I believe the problem is that MOST Christians are like I was, blindly following what their pastor or elders say. Honestly, they don't know any better because MOST Christians don't read the Bible for themselves.  How can you know if your pastor has gone off track if you don't even know the right track to be on?  Mind you, some deviations are so subtle that unless you know the Bible really well, you will miss them.  That's why it is SO IMPORTANT to be in the WORD everyday. And not just a chapter here and a chapter there. Read the entire Bible once or twice a year. Read and study. And when your pastor or even a friend says something that you aren't sure about, do your research. If you can't it in the Scripture, ask your pastor to show you. This goes for sermons you may hear online or on CDs you purchase.  TEST everything.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1

There is a GREAT delusion coming upon the world, and it's going to start in the church. We must be ever more diligent in these last days to keep in the Word and keep in prayer and pray that God keeps us from deception. Don't think you are immune to it. None of us are.   Time to get serious, folks.


Friday, April 15, 2016

Are Gender neutral bathrooms a civil rights issue?

Are we being discriminatory for not allowing men into women's bathrooms or women into men's? 

 I mean if a man identifies himself more as a woman than a man, why should he be subjected to going into that nasty men's bathroom where he will no doubt feel terribly out of place, even a tad frightened perhaps at all the big, hairy men exposing themselves over urinals. (Sorry for the visual)  And a woman who feels like a man, well, why should we keep her from chumming it up with the guys while they do whatever men do in bathrooms? 

Yet even as I read back over my first question, I wonder if I've somehow been kidnapped and transported to an alien world. This certainly can't be earth or the United States where I grew up. Something is terribly amiss.

However, these bathrooms are popping up all over the place. My sister in law says they saw one in South Florida.  Obama even installed one in the Whitehouse. (No shocker there) In addition many college universities are putting these moral atrocities up throughout their campuses.  This, from the Harvard Crimson

The need for gender-neutral restrooms is profound, and their expansion is long overdue. Gender-neutral restrooms are critical for the safety and well-being of BGLTQ students, and it is vital that they are installed more widely throughout campus.  (Okay I get the B,G,T, but what is L and Q? I need to keep up with this. Pretty soon they will be using the entire alphabet, and I'll be completely lost!)

Of course there are still regular bathrooms at Harvard. For now. However, it has been reported, you may be relieved to hear, that a small college in New York City, The Cooper Union, has made every bathroom on campus gender neutral!  See how non-discriminatory they are! What a relief to know there are some people fighting for this crucial civil right issue!

I picture a young girl, perhaps 10 or 11, who enters a public restroom to take care of a rather desperate need, and upon coming out of the stall she finds a 6'2" linebacker for the 49ers--who by the way, has a sudden sense he might be a woman--pulling out his man-part to take care of business. But who cares if that little girl is traumatized and needs therapy for years?  She should understand that we cannot infringe on the rights of the few in order to uphold the rights of the many.

What's the big deal if some people take advantage of this "freedom" to satisfy their decrepit appetites for pornography as in what happened at the University of Toronto where

Male students within the University’s Whitney Hall student residence were caught holding their cellphones over female students’ shower stalls and filming them as they showered. 

Who cares if a man in Seattle entered the women's locker at a public swimming where young girls were getting undressed, and when women complained he announced that he had a right under the law to be there.  Why he probably woke up that morning and suddenly felt like a woman. We certainly don't want to infringe on his rights, even though the rights of the dozens of women changing in the locker were infringed upon.

Yet wait. That got me to thinking. What's to stop any pervert from putting on a dress and making the rounds of women's restrooms and locker rooms marked gender neutral and peeping at anyone he wants? Even taking pictures to put on the internet!  Well, in fact, nothing. What a field day the perverts in this country are going to have! Now they have the right to peep at women of all ages, from young elementary school girls to grandmothers, any time they want! Think of the fantasies they will have with your sisters, mothers, daughters and granddaughters.Isn't that grand?

Can someone please tell me what the heck is going on?


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice

Psalm 63:6-7