Monday, November 20, 2017
Today please welcome a very special guest, Susan Snodgrass. I met Susan on Facebook after she read several of my books, but she's become more of a friend than fan. Recently she mentioned how she had prayed for her husband's salvation for years and years and how important it was to not give up. I asked her to share her story with us in the hopes that it would comfort, bless, and inspire those of us (myself included) who are still praying for our lost loved ones to come to Jesus!
Tom and I married in 1978. I grew up in church but I was in a backslidden condition. We did not go to church for about a year, then started going to my aunt's Baptist church. Wasn't home, though. I grew up pentecostal and that's what I wanted to be in. We started back to my home church, then Tom just fell away. He wouldn't go to church with me and did not tolerate me asking him. This was the mid eighties by this time. I would ask him occasionally, but he'd fuss, so I quit asking. It's hard to live with an unsaved loved one. But he never tried to keep me out of church and respected my commitment and desire to raise our daughter in the faith. He just had no use for God. Tom grew up in an abusive home and I think that wounded him deeply. When he was 13, his dad shot his mom and them killed himself. He had to live with his older sister who just used him as a babysitter for her two kids. It was a sad situation.
Fast forward ten years. This is so tiring praying and hoping and not seeing results. I decided to act in faith and started saving him a seat beside me in church. I wouldn't let anyone sit there. I gave offerings in the amount of 16.31 because Acts 16:31 says 'if you believe in the Lord, you will be saved and ALL your household.' I would put anointing oil on my hands and riffle through his underwear drawer. I copied salvation scriptures out and put them in his wallet or under his truck seat. I claimed his salvation.
About that time I met the owner of a Christian music store called Myra and she asked me one day when I was in the store if I had a prayer request. I asked her to pray for Tom's salvation. We prayed. Time went on and nothing changed. Not one thing. I began to wonder if God heard me at all.
Then one morning, Dec. 14, 1994, I awoke from a dream crying. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the dream meant something. Here is the dream: I was in a house build up high on stilts. I was in an actual, physical battle with the devil. He would swoop at me, sometimes in the form of a bat, casting accusations against me. I knew that I was in a literal battle for Tom's soul. For 3 days I fought him, then I went to take a shower. When I finished, I walked into a big room there in that house with a huge fireplace and a farm table. Over in the corner in a raised chair, sat satan, with a huge black cape on and smirking at me. I said, "I don't know if I can stand much more of this." He then cast an evil grin my way and I straightened up and said, "But I'm not giving up!" The devil then got up, strode past me and I could feel his breath on my cheek as he said, "Well, I am."
I went into my back room where I did battle in the spirit and I cried out to God and asked Him to reveal what that dream meant. Then He sweetly spoke to me and said,"Your victory has already been won. It just has to make its way across the battlefield to you." I began to rejoice because I knew Tom would be saved.
However, time passed with no results. I told no one about this dream. No one. One day my pastor called me out and gave me a word and said, "Tom is standing there in the middle and the angels are on one side and demons on the other, both pulling."
I went to a retreat and the lady who did it, Minnie Coleman, well, one of the women, came to our church to do a marriage seminar. I went by myself in faith. She preached at our church on Sunday morning and stopped and came over to me, pulled my head against her chest and said, "God is going to save your husband." We had a revival and this man knew no one in our church and he called me out and said, "The devil tries to tell you that your husband will not be saved, but he will."
I continued to pray and believe God for Tom's soul. We had a ladies prayer group that met every Monday morning at our church. We called ourselves, WOW. (Women of WAR) We had the tee shirts, too! We had a big foam board where we put photos of the people we wanted to see saved. Well, this particular morning, we were all in a circle holding hands and one of the women, Karen, began to sob loudly. We stopped praying as she sobbed her heart out. When she stopped, I asked her what was wrong. She said, "God just gave me a vision. We were all standing at the top of a hill and before us stretched a long battlefield and it was littered with dead people and all the signs of battle. Way off in the distance I saw a few stragglers coming toward us. They were wounded, scarred, bleeding, some hobbling with sticks. The closer they came, I could see they were the very ones we'd been praying for to be saved." Well, glory! If that wasn't further confirmation, I don't know what was.
On Feb 4, 2000, Tom lost his job of 23 years and it devastated him. Another horrible thing happened, but that's another story. He was just so distraught he could not be consoled. My prayers intensified. One day, Friday, May 19, 2000, I was back at that Christian music store. Myra asked me if Tom was saved yet. I said no. Well, she said, 'Let's pray." There was a little black lady standing there and we had church! On my way to Walmart after leaving, the power of God filled my car and the Holy Spirit spoke to me so clearly, "Get ready for a celebration because the lost lamb is coming home.' I tell you, I believe I could have gotten out of that car and ran home!
The following Monday, May 22, Tom and I were going to town and I felt this incredible urge to talk to him about God. I hesitated because he usually fussed at me for doing this and this was definitely not a good time in his life. Well, you know how the Holy Spirit is. He kept pounding so I said, "Tom, why don't you want to serve the Lord?" He was quiet for a moment, then said, "I want to but I don't know how." Well, glory! I did. I pulled into the parking lot of Lifeway Christian store and God gave me the privilege of leading my own husband to faith in Christ.! I always thought Tom would come on his own, by himself. We went in the store because he wanted his own Bible. He wanted his name on it but they told him it took 24 hours. I explained to them what had just happened and they told us to sit tight and they'd do it right then!
I could not believe how God kept me and I prayed and persisted in prayer for Tom. He loves God so much now, has served as a deacon in our church and is a prayer warrior for God!
So that's my story. There's little bits in between, but that's the main part. God is good!
MaryLu Here: Susan, thank you so much for sharing your story. I must admit that I had tears in my eyes as I read it. God is so faithful! He is the father of ALL families and He promises to save households. If anyone out there is praying for your lost loved one, don't give up. Keep praying and keep believing and let the Holy Spirit lead you always.
Friday, November 17, 2017
Dear precious watchers, here's the ever-increasing signs pointing to our Lord's return. Do not allow them to bring you into fear, but my hope is, they will encourage you to stand strong, keep the faith, run the race, and finish well. And don't forget to look up!
What struck me about this week?
- The Black Plague.
- Drag Queens teaching pre-schoolers about transgenders
- Lots of weird fireballs in the sky (Luke 21:11)
- Alaska preparing for nuclear attack
- Iran setting up permanent military base right next to Israel (Ezekiel 38)
Earthquakes/Famines/Pestilences/Storms/Volcanoes7.3 Quake kills over 500 in Iran/Iraq
Legionnaire's disease outbreak at Disneyland
Gonorrhea explosion in Australia
Black Death still rising
San Andreas fault hit by earthquake swarm.. fears for the big one mount
5.8 Quake strikes Guam
Swarm of 10 Earthquakes strike near San Andreas in CA
Huge storm strikes Turkey, extensive damage, 25 injured
New Black Plague strain can kill in 3 hours
5.4 Earthquake strikes South Korea
Big Brother/Tech/Mark of the Beast/One World GovernmentNew Congressional bill allows government to track you everywhere
Lawmaker says Home Schooling is child abuse
Will the Millennial Generation drive us to Socialism? (Most don't even know what it truly is)
Former Facebook president says Facebook is dangerous for our kids brains
Rise in teen suicide could be due to social media
US Scientists try first gene-editing in humans
Invasive new education tech targets children
Evil/ViolenceGunman shoots up CA school, kills 4
PersecutionChristian teacher suspended for calling a girl the wrong gender
China demands all signs pertaining to Jesus be removed everywhere
Gradeschool terminates "illegal" lunchtime Bible Study
9 Christians shot to death, execution style
School district orders coach to stop bowing head in prayer
Christian couple denied adoption in Canada due to their faith
Sodom and GomorrahClothing store transforms dressing rooms into gender neutral
Oklahoma woman marries her biological mother
Drag Queens drafted into nursery schools (Yes, Nursery schools) to teach kids about sexual diversity
Australia votes in favor of Same-sex marriage
Scottish adults and kids allowed to change gender to neither male nor female
ApostasyChurch of England allows boys to wear princess tiaras, high heels, or tutus
Ex-witch warns that witches and satanists have infiltrated the church
Christian school teacher charged with 140 counts of sexual abuse
Egyptian and Hindu gods appearing on Washington Mall
Wars and Rumors of WarsNorth Korea to launch cyber attacks on the UK
Tension mounts in Lebanon as Saudi Arabia escalates power struggle with Iran
US and South Korea begin war games off coast
N. Korea missile could unleash radioactive cloud over Pacific
Netanyahu vows Israel will act alone against Iran if it has to
World on the breaking point: Global war map shows tensions everywhere
Alaska prepares for N. Korean Nuclear attack
N. Korea mapping specific plan for EMP attack
IsraelSome Polish citizens demand expulsion of Jews
The big Palestinian lie
Iran building permanent military base in Syria, too close to Israel
Islamic scholars gather to discuss destroying Israel
Signs in the SkyChina races to make first contact with Aliens using massive dish
NASA to test new space lasers
Newly discovered planet could support life
Four bright fireballs over US, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and France within 10 hours
Radioactive cloud wafts over Europe
Amazing map of all UFO sightings in America.
Mystery booms increasing in intensity in US
Huge meteor above skies in Phoenix
Good newsScience proves Biblical account of Jesus's resurrection
Family's home burns to the ground. Only their Bible survives unscathed!
Jesus brings ex-muslim a blanket in prison
God bless you all and your families!!
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Ephesians 6:10
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
The God of my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation,
My stronghold and my refuge;
My Savior, You save me from violence.
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.
“When the waves of death surrounded me,
The floods of ungodliness made me afraid.
The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me;
The snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called upon the Lord,
And cried out to my God;
He heard my voice from His temple,
And my cry entered His ears.
2 Samuel 22:1-7
Monday, November 13, 2017
Last week I talked about Christian "works", why they are NOT required for salvation but how the absence of any at all proves the salvation wasn't real. I also discussed what are the type of works we, as believers, should be doing and the type we shouldn't be doing. If you want to check it out, here's a link to the Post: Christian works, the good, the bad, and the ugly!
The main point I made last week was that if you do a certain thing or "work" that the Holy Spirit did not initiate, God considers that work to have zero value. The only things we do that will have eternal value are those things initiated by God and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Why? Why can't we just do a bunch of good works on our own? Doesn't God accept them?
Well, they aren't bad in and of themselves, but God actually burns them up on Judgement day
Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.1 Corinthians 3:12-15
God wants a relationship. He wants us to talk with Him and to hear back from Him. That's the key.
Then why bother to do anything, you might say? I'm saved and on my way to heaven. This is just all too hard to figure out.
There's three reason why you might want to rethink that.
1. Rewards. Yes, you'll make it to heaven, but you'll miss out on so much when you get there. There are countless Scriptures which speak of the rewards for saints. I'm not just talking about crowns and ribbons. I'm talking about levels of responsibility in the ages to come, future jobs, houses even.
2. Fulfillment in this life. God didn't just save you so you can go to heaven. He saved you because He wants you to take part in building His kingdom. He has things He wants you to accomplish that only you can do. And believe me, these things will give you purpose and enrich your life beyond anything this world has to offer
3. Pleasure at pleasing the Lord. If you've been walking with the Lord for awhile and you have zero desire to please Him in any way, then I would question your salvation experience. However, if you've spent time with God, getting to know Him, you can't help but want to do things that please Him. Just like a husband or a wife wants to please their spouse or a child wants to please their adoring parent, you will feel the same way
So, here is the pivotal question. How can we be lead by the Holy Spirit? (By Someone we neither see, hear, or touch?).
First of all, let me say that I don't have all the answers. I'm on this journey right along with the rest of you. I fall flat on my face quite often, and I have the bruises to prove it. However, I have been walking with the Lord for many years now, not as long as some of you, but I feel like I was forced to take the crash course when I started because I was so far behind! Whew! It's been an incredible journey!
So, all I can do is tell you what has worked for me. In the Old Testament, people didn't have the Holy Spirit constantly with them like we do. Therefore only a few heard from God and only at select moments. We are so fortunate to have the Holy Spirit with us at all times! I'm not sure, however, that many Christians realize what a privilege that is.
Get to know the Holy Spirit:
The Holy Spirit is not an in-your-face type of person. He is easily offended and grieved when we do things that upset Him. He doesn't shout, condemn, berate, lose His temper, or leave us. But He will withdraw if we continually sin against God.
Cultivate a relationship with the Holy Spirit
Like any relationship, if you ignore Him, the relationship will go nowhere. It's vitally important that we remain in constant contact with the Holy Spirit. If it's easier to think of Him as God living inside you, then do that. If a dear loved one calls you on the phone and there's no ID on the caller, but you pick it up anyway, as soon as you hear their voice, you instantly know who it is, right?
This is how you recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit. You get to know Him very very well. How do you do that? By talking to Him and listening in return periodically throughout your day. If you spit out a few prayers in the morning or over a meal and then never talk to God during the day, you will never learn to recognize His voice. Sorry, but this is the only way to truly hear from the Holy Spirit. It takes work and time and that's exactly what God wants. He wants us. He wants a relationship with us. Sure, He could just send you an email each day and tell you what to do, or He could send you a book that maps out your entire life day by day, but then, you know what? You'd take those emails and that book and you'd never, or hardly ever, talk to Him. Admit it. I know I would. How often have I begged Him to just send me a memo. I would do whatever He wanted if I could just know clearly what it is!
It's important to talk to God all during your day. I can't emphasize this enough. At work, in the grocery store, at school, doing housework, cooking...whatever, just talk to Him. Thank Him for the gorgeous sunset, ask Him for wisdom for a certain situation, tell Him when you're sad or afraid. It's like having your best friend with you throughout the day. Don't be shy!
Here are ways the Holy Spirit has spoken to me
This is not an all inclusive list. I'm only going to list the ways I believe I've heard from the Holy Spirit
- Perception - this is just a sense of something that goes beyond your natural senses. It could be the desire to do a certain thing or head in a certain direction, drive down a certain road. You perceive in your spirit that this is the right or wrong way to go.
- A leap or jump in my spirit. This usually happens to me when I hear someone say something or give me advice or I'm listening to a sermon and whatever I've heard is God's will and it makes the Holy Spirit excited. His excitement bleeds through into my spirit and I can almost physically feel it leap.
- Signs. This is a cool one. God has a sense of humor and I believe He loves to show us signs just to see if we are paying attention. You might be praying about something or asking for wisdom on an issue, and all of a sudden you see something.. could be a road sign or something on TV or a book, and you know in your spirit that this is God giving you an answer. Example from my life. For years I went up on the hill behind my house and prayed for the salvation of my children. One day about five years ago, I was walking along, praying as usual and I heard an inaudible voice (see below) say to me. "Turn around." I ignored it. It spoke again. "Turn around." So I stopped and turned and across the entire sky behind me was this full, huge, rainbow. It was the prettiest thing I'd ever seen and I could see the beginning and the end. And I knew God was telling me He promised to save my kids and He would keep that promise.
- A sense that something's not right. This is more than perception above. This is a feeling of evil. This has happened to me on more than one occasion when I've entered a store or restaurant or home where I'm assuming there are many demons there, or perhaps witches...etc.
- What we might call a "gut feeling". A knowing about something or someone. You've all had these before. It's a sense in your gut that you should or shouldn't do something or you should or shouldn't go somewhere. It could also be about a person, whether they are truthful or not or good or bad people
- An inaudible voice that comes from my spirit and not my head and tells me something that I wasn't thinking at all. I mentioned one example above, but I've had this happen to me more than once. This is sometimes a hard one for me to discern because there are many voices in my head all the time. (comes from being a writer). How do I know the voice isn't from me? Because it comes from my gut area and because it has nothing to do with what I''m thinking.
- Coincidences. There are no coincidences in the life of a Christian. If you hear yourself saying, "Wow what a coincidence" then stop and pay attention to what the Lord might be telling you.
- Through Scripture: Have you ever just flipped open your Bible and it lands on a verse that you needed to hear right at that moment? The Holy Spirit wrote the Bible, so He loves to speak to us through it. So many times when I'm reading the Bible, a verse will just leap at me from the page (and my spirit leaps too!) and I know that's something God is trying to tell me.
- Through visions and dreams. I've not experienced this much myself, although I did have a dream about a month ago where I heard the Lord tell me something about my son that was very encouraging. Many people in the body of Christ experience dreams and visions that can be personal as well as things they must share with other believers.
Have you experienced any of these or can you think of any more ways the Spirit has spoken to you?
Friday, November 10, 2017
Happy Friday, Warriors and Watchers of the Most High! No matter what is happening in the world, those of us who know our eternity is secure can be filled with peace and joy. The storms may rage around us, but our foundation is on the Rock, Jesus Himself, and He will never move, be shaken, crack, fall down or be destroyed. Just a little while longer, and our hopes will be realized, our faith will be rewarded as we hear that trumpet sound and the call that will bring us home!
Be encouraged, keep watching, and for those who have lost loved ones recently, I assure you, they await you at those heavenly gates, huge smiles on their faces, searching through the crowd for a glimpse of your arrival!
Evil culture/immorality/violenceSecret Service arrest man near White House targeting white cops
Homeless epidemic on the West Coast of the US
Teenage girls turn to prostitution to avoid starvation in Venezuela
27 dead 30 wounded in deadliest church shooting in American history
Two shot, 1 dead outside church in Fresno, CA
New Phone App gives kids as young as 12 access to Birth control
Quija board making a comeback this Christmas
CA NAACP seeks to remove Star Spangled Banner as National Anthem
Sodom and GomorrahParis opens its first ever naked restaurant (ugh. I just lost my appetite)
Womb transplants allows men to have babies
School helped 11 year old girl transition to boy and hid it from parents
Germany: You must legally recognize third gender at birth
Virginia elects first openly transgender to State legislature
Big Brother/TechNew poll reveals many millennials would prefer to live in a socialist country. (This is just pure ignorance on their part. They have no idea the loss of freedoms they would experience)
China on the verge of a cashless society
ISIS hacks 800 school websites across the US
Earthquakes/Famines/Storms/PlaguesSexually transmitted case of ZIKA found in Florida
Black plague epidemic at crisis point in Madagascar
Giant hail, unseasonable snow and horrific winds strike Australia
Mumps makes a comeback, even if you're vaccinated
Typhoon hits Vietnam: 69 dead 100,000 homes under water
5.1 Earthquake strikes Guatemala
6.9 Earthquake strikes ring of fire
Yellowstone super volcano struck by yet another earthquake
Iceland volcano hit by 53 quakes. Experts warn eruption is imminent
Plague: Worst outbreak in 50 years. Could go global
Tropical storm Rina forms in Atlantic. 17th storm this year
6.6 quake strikes Papua New Guinea
Volcanic activity heating up Antartica
Wars and Rumors of WarsIs Saudi Arabia headed for war with Iran?
US to stage drill with three carriers during Trump's visit to Asia
US warships, bombers and 80,000 troops ready to confront N. Korea
N. Korea to launch biggest ever missile while Trump is in Asia
Saudi Arabia blockades Yemen which may be considered act of war by Iran
Israel ready to enter Syria to protect town of Druze from ISIS
Saudi Arabia intercepts ballistic missile shot over capital
Attack warning sirens to begin in Hawaii next month
Iran-North Korea axis of evil the biggest threat to the US
18 million could starve to death as Kim uses funds for nuclear weapons
Saudi Arabia and Iran move closer to war
Russia to test new weapon that could defeat US defense systems
Next warfront: Israel vs Hezbollah
ApostasyPastor Rick Warren on whether Homosexuality is a sin. (He says all the right words but keeps his language compromising and soft. My question is.. does this really help anyone, especially gays?)
PersecutionHindus savagely beat pastor after he converts 5 families to Christianity
Atheist immigrant sues US Government to remove "So help me God" from citizenship oath
Chinese government demands pastor turn over church income
Christians pelted with rocks and 4 churches forced to close in Egypt
Police in India halt worship in 10 churches
The 50 countries where you can't be a Christian
Why is there so much hatred against Christians in America today?
Good newsThey lost 9 members of their family in the Texas shooting and they still glorify God (This story touched me deeply)
Pastor of Sutherland church delivered one of his most powerful sermons the week before the mass shooting
Ministry launches campaign to win 150 million souls for Christ!
5 year old survives being shot 5 times in Texas massacre