Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Lift up your heads, O you gates!
And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
The Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O you gates!
Lift up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.

Psalm 24:7-9 


Monday, May 23, 2016

Avoid giving into temptation! Lessons from David

I love King David. He's definitely one of my favorite people in the Old Testament. What I love most about him was his utter devotion to and love for God. Remember in those days, people didn't have access to God like we do. Yes, God heard their prayers, but they couldn't hear back from God unless He appeared to them, sent an angel, spoke to them through a prophet, or gave them momentary inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Even the High Priest had to go through multiple sacrifices, cleansing rituals, etc.. before he could even enter the Holy of Holies, and he could only do that once a year.

I hear some Christians say that they wish an angel would appear to them or they wish that Jesus would appear and tell them what to do. Others run to prophets for answers. But the truth of the matter is, the saints in the Old Testament would have LOVED to have had what we have today:  The Spirit of God living inside of us and hence, moment by moment access to the throne of God.  Yet, I wonder how many of us really appreciate that privilege?

Anyway, I digress. That David loved and honored the Lord so much without having access to God like we do marvels me. In fact, David was so anointed by God that he never lost a war.  Did you know that? Every battle David fought, he won!  How would you like that record? Not that we fight physical battles (most of us) but we do fight spiritual ones. Wouldn't it be awesome to be so anointed and favored by God that we had victory over everything the enemy sends our way?  It's possible!

Also, another cool fact about David is that he actually WILL sit on the throne again in Jerusalem. The Bible is very clear about that. Of course that will be in the millennial Kingdom after Jesus returns to Earth. Jesus will rule the world, but David will rule Israel.  Here's just one of many verses. Think this is a figurative promise?  I don't think so.

But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you.  And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.”’  2 Sam 7:15-16

I actually pray quite often that God would give me a heart like David's, for David was a man after "God's own heart".  What a wonderful thing to say about anyone.  But as we all know, for all of David's good qualities, he was also a sinner like the rest of us. In fact, he was an adulterer and a murderer. So how did this great man fall?  

We all know the story. David was on his rooftop and he happened to see a woman bathing in her courtyard. Bathsheba. Apparently she was very beautiful and David kept looking and looking until his lust reached its peak and he had her brought to him. Later when Bathsheba got pregnant, David had her husband killed in order to cover it up. Even after that, he married Bathsheba. 

Pretty bad stuff, right? As I was reading this story, I thought to myself .. Wow, I would never do something like that!  Then I almost heard the Lord laughing at me and instantly things popped into my mind that I had done. Yikes!  How proud we Christians can become!!  The truth is, any of us are but a moment away from diving into the mudpit of sin.  How did it happen to such a great man as David? I'll submit to you my opinions, which will also substitute as warnings to us all. 

Avoid Complacency in your walk with God:  I believe David had drifted from God. Maybe he wasn't praying as often or going to the temple or reading the Torah.  Maybe he'd gotten caught up in the pleasures of this world.  You see, he should have been at war with his men. The Scripture is clear in 2 Samuel 11 that this was the time kings went out to battle. Yet David sent his general and armies out without him while he stayed home.  

Keep your mind and body occupied with honest work:  There's a saying that an idle mind is the devil's workshop or something like that. Boredom and laziness can lead to all sorts of trouble and it gives satan an opportunity to plant ideas in your head, to fill your thoughts with things that shouldn't be there. The Scripture says that David was lying in bed in the late afternoon right before he saw Bathsheba. 

See or hear something you shouldn't? Turn away:  I'm sure David didn't set out to watch Bathsheba bathing, but as soon as he saw her, he should have walked away. Whatever your weakness in life is, the devil is going put it right in front of you often and then whisper in your ear that you deserve it.  The reason David couldn't turn away was probably because he wasn't close to God. He'd drifted and wasn't thinking on Godly things. If he had been, he would have had the strength to turn away. 

Let's face it, sin is pleasurable. But it always has a price. David payed a huge price with years and years of trouble in his family, including death, betrayal, rape, and his own son trying to murder him. The pleasure of sin is never worth the price.

David did repent of his sin and turn back to God, but I'm sure he would have given anything to turn back the clock and resist Bathsheba in that one moment of weakness. Let this be a warning to us all.


Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday News

Hi everyone!

I thought I'd take a break from the heavy stuff I've been posting lately on Fridays and just give you a bit of personal news. There's much going on in my life this summer. My daughter is having her 2nd child (and my third grandchild) in a month. My son is getting married this coming Sunday, and I'm heading to Tennessee next week to visit my Mom and Sister for a week.

In the middle of all this I hope to finish She Walks in Power and hand it to my editor by August. Right
now, unless we have an EMP attack, looks like I'll make that and may even be a little early. I've finished the first draft and am working on the second now. If you don't know about the book or don't remember, you can click on "Coming Soon" above and read more about it.  I also hope to have the comps for the cover soon from my designer. When I get them, I'll share them and get your opinions. I'm excited about this book!. It's different than anything I've written before, yet it contains the same romance, suspense, adventure and spirituality you are used to in my other books.

You may find it interesting that part of my research for this book has been learning to shoot a bow and arrow. You would have laughed at my first attempts in which I hit everything but the target! I even lost an arrow somewhere and to this day, cannot find it.  But I'm finally getting good enough to hit the target and maybe even hit the center now
and then.  My heroine is a highly skilled archer so I wanted to know what if felt like to pull back that string and let an arrow fly through the air. It's actually a lot of fun!

I've put together a really cool Pinterest page for this book which I plan on adding to as time goes on. Check it out HERE

Release date?  I'm shooting for September. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

In the meantime, I thought you might find this interesting.  I was first alerted to this by my sister in law a year ago, and then earlier this week by another friend.  Apparently there are weird trumpet-like sounds being heard all over the world. It's been going on for a number of years and well-documented by people using their phones, etc. At first I thought it was a hoax, but I don't think this many people in so many different locations could have planned this. And for what purpose?

Here's a couple of videos. Tell me what you think.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

“When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’;  and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.  Matthew 16:3

I know I've used this Scripture before, but I felt it very appropriate not only for the picture but also because if Jesus chastised the religious people of His day for not knowing the signs of His first coming, how much more will he chastise us for not paying attention and being aware of the signs of His second?  


Monday, May 16, 2016

How easily could you be deceived ?

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

You wake up one morning, grab your coffee, and turn on the news as you usually do as you get ready for work or for your day. Only this morning, what you see on the TV screen makes you stop and stare, the shock of it causing the cup in your hand to drop and crash to the floor. But you barely notice it as your mind attempts to believe what your eyes are seeing. Aliens from outer space have come to earth. You call in your family members and together you all sit before the TV, mesmerized with what you are seeing

The aliens have come in huge numbers. They appear humanoid, and they are saying they come in peace, to help mankind, not to hurt us. Wow. You are truly shocked, yet deep down, you tend to believe what you are seeing. Why not? Scientists have been saying for years that there could be life on other planets, life far more intelligent than ours. Also, you've gotten used to the idea because of all the movies, books, and TV shows about space exploration and other life in other galaxies (Star Wars, Star Trek to name just a few)   Perhaps God actually did create other life forms elsewhere.  Perhaps He even sent them to help us. Haven't there been a great number of UFO sightings in recent years, some even validated by scientists and government officials?

So in the coming days, you get used to the idea. Aliens have arrived and they are here to help. They observed that we were ruining our planet and killing each other off and they knew they had to intervene. Besides, they seem so friendly and smart and kind.

But then things get weird. Now the aliens are saying that they are the ones who put mankind on earth, that they started life on earth. Well, that sort of makes sense, you say. After all, the theory of evolution has been under attack lately. There are just too many inconsistencies and too many holes in it to really make it believable anymore. It certainly would be possible for these superior beings to have generated life here on earth. Then, afterward, they left us alone to see how we would do. They were instructed not to intervene in the affairs of man, but we ended up being a very violent and selfish people, killing each other off in wars and committing horrific acts of cruelty toward each other. So, they had to do something. They sent one of their own disguised as a human to teach mankind how to behave. His name was Jesus.

Wait, you say. But Jesus was God. That's what you believe, anyway. That's what the Bible says and what you've been taught. But these aliens are saying He was one of them, sent by their leader, also known as "The Father", to help mankind get back on the right track.

Could that be true? You are confused and don't know what to think. Yet, these aliens are so smart. Their technology is so far advanced and they are going about helping people over the entire earth. Wait, now Jesus appears in the sky!  He's coming down from one of their spaceships in the clouds, and everyone on earth sees Him.  He lands and goes about performing miracles just like he did when he was here before. But they really aren't miracles. They are simply advanced technology and even more proof that these aliens are so far above humans in intelligence  that we seem like just ants to an Einstein.

Now, this is starting to make sense to you. Maybe there really is no God. Maybe what humans worshiped as god throughout earth's history has been these aliens, who are really like fathers, like gods to us mere humans. Maybe they can teach us how to live better lives and not fight with each other. Maybe Jesus is truly one of them. How can you deny that you've been watching him traveling across the earth helping people and now he's setting up his permanent residence in Jerusalem. Just like the Bible says.

Whoa, wait a minute!  Hundreds of thousands of people have suddenly disappeared from the earth.  Panic and chaos rule the streets until this "Jesus" addresses the world and tells them that those "Christians" who clung to their false beliefs about Jesus being God and who refused to follow the new order of the Aliens and the real Jesus, well, they have been taken away to be reprogrammed. It was determined that they had a mental disorder which prevented them from accepting the truth. Never fear, they are well and safe and will be returned after their reprogramming.

Okay, that makes sense, you say.

So, put yourself in this person's shoes. How strong is your faith? What would you believe?

Friday, May 13, 2016

Do we care that our brothers and sisters are being butchered?

Not a fun topic today but one that is very important, especially if you're a Christian. Yet so many Christians here in America either don't know about it or really don't care. I have a friend who uses Paul's admonition in Philippians 4:8 to think on things that are good, pure and lovely, as an excuse to ignore what's going on in the world.

Christians are being exterminated. Did you know that? Not here in the West (Yet) but in many many countries around the world. These are our brothers and sisters. These are the people we will be spending eternity with. Yet nobody seems to care. Here are some facts I've discovered:

Hundreds of churches have been destroyed, tens of thousands of Christians have been slaughtered by Islamic terrorists while millions of Christians have been forced from their homes. Believe it or not most countries, (including the US currently) will not take in these Christian refugees or at least very few, while those same countries are allowing Muslims to flood their borders.  The Christians who don't flee and decide to remain behind get tortured, gang-raped, and killed.

For the first time in 2000 years, there are NO Christians left in Mosul, Iraq. More than 100,000 Christians have been forced to pack up and leave for good since ISIS occupied the region. In total, more than a million Christians have fled the country since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Many people have been abducted, many people have been killed, many people have been beheaded, many people have been persecuted, it is a terrible situation says Jean-Clement Jeanbart, the Greek Melkite Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo.

Horrific stories emerge of young girls being repeated raped until dead, boys and men crucified or set on fire and women sold into sex slavery.  And don't forget the beheadings we have witnessed in the news.

Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God,  Revelation 20:4

(Extremely interesting that the Bible talks about our enemies "beheading" us. Not exactly a modern day execution practice. Well, unless you're an Islamic terrorist, I guess)

In March of this year, a 278-page report was released documenting that Christians in the Middle Ease are indeed facing genocide. The report is the result of a fact-finding mission to Iraq and contains a legal brief sent to Sec of State Kerry as well as extensive documentation and testimonies of victims of Islamic State militants.

The report lists many acts of violence, displacement, theft, hostage-taking, and sexual slavery, but new reports are surfacing daily, Carl Anderson, who spearheaded the compilation of the report, said" "As comprehensive as this report is, we believe that it may only be the tip of the iceberg....Over and over again, we have found that as bad as we know things are and have been, the facts are worse, and the atrocities are more numerous"

The Islamic State has made explicit statements of its intent to fight Christians in its magazine Dabiq, the report states, speaking out against Rome, the Pope, the "crusading armies" of Western powers, and Coptic Christians. They have "established a clear intent to destroy Christians as a group and Christianity as a religion."

MaryLu here:  Does your church even mention this?  I know the church I've since left never  said anything about these atrocities afflicting our brothers and sisters.  I guess it's not a popular topic in church. I mean, we wouldn't want to upset anyone or drive anyone away.

Shouldn't we be helping these people? We are all the body of Christ and when one part of the body is hurting, shouldn't we be concerned? At the very least, shouldn't our churches band together and pray and fast for these people?

Here are the words of Jesus:

‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

Perhaps you belong to a church or group of Christians who are concerned about this and are doing something to help. I hope so. I pray we all step up to the call of God and the cry of our fellow Christians. Wouldn't we want them to do the same for us?

There are many organizations who are sending people to rescue and help persecuted Christians. Here are a few that I know of.  (And now, I'm not being paid to mention them.)

Voice of the Martyrs
Smaritan's Purse
Nazarene Fund

If you can't afford to give, please pray! Pray daily, hourly, and fast as God calls.  God Bless! 


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people— saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”

Revelation 14:6-7