A Heavy, Heavy Heart

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“How deserted lies the city, once so full of people!  How like a widow is she, who once was great among the nations!  She who was a queen among the provinces has now become a slave.”  Lamentations 1: 1 (NIV).

With the 2016 Presidential election upon us, this is exactly how I feel.  Though our population is busting at the seams, there are once great cities of commerce who are nothing more than ghost towns full of crime.  More and more, the vision I saw of a faded American flag whose stars and stripes were totally bleached out is coming to pass!  She is but a mirror of what she once was.  At one time, the United States was The Lady of all nations to admire.  She has now turned into a nation that others loathe and ridicule.  Even our adored Constitution has been used against the citizens of America and so, we have become a slave to our government and to other nations whose battles we fight solely for backdoor deals intended for monetary gain!  Like a harlot, there is nothing this United States government won’t do to make a quick profit.

The word slavery gives a picture of laborious work, slavery in the United States embodies that of entertainment (sex), laziness (handouts), and money (lawlessness).  The very things we are enslaved to, is also what has become our god!  As long as our lives are not inconvenienced, the whole world can go to hell, right?!  While we have supported every want in our lives, we’ve neglected the most important requirement FOR life, spiritual food.  Meantime, the world holds up protesting signs for “Black Lives Matter”, “Police Lives Matters” and “All Lives Matters”, what about ALL SOULS MATTER?  This country has totally removed The One basic need to life which is a relationship with GOD.  Therefore, it is no surprise that the “queen among provinces” has traded her crown in for a new title, The Whore of Babylon.  The United States once a lover of God, has committed adultery against Him by mixing pagan religions and practices, and tolerating our Constitution to be re-directed to fit the many who are of a secular ideology.  This persuasion has allowed Christians to become lukewarm if not completely cold to The Great Commission.  The Constitution was structured by our forefathers to protect and keep a Republic nation.  Today, our “law makers” are removing God from public buildings and state laws, allowing the Constitution to be exploited to fit their own twisted agendas.  America is about to repeat the discrimination against Christendom as our European ancestors did to their Protestant citizens.  God help us!

With a very heavy heart, I look at this 2016 presidential election and I have to wonder, are we being punished?  Look who we have for the presidential election, a felon (money, lawlessness, sex) and a womanizer (sex, money).  For those who can SEE, our country mocks God; God mocks us!  Money and sex are what runs this country, and God is rubbing our face in it.  Does anyone else feel repulsed and ashamed that we have allowed the shining light on the hill to be extinguished?

The Creator’s Paint Brushes

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Thousands of years ago before a life span

Was and still is The Great I Am.

 

Stretching the atoms from East to West and North to South,

All existence was spoken with His mouth.

 

The world was created as the address

As the Creator’s expansive canvas.

 

All that was left was the artist’s brush

That’s when he begot us.

 

Though God’s world is perfect by design

It’s The Creator’s paint brushes that make it mine.

 

You see, it’s not the canvas that holds God’s expectations

But the brushes, that form the nations.

 

Tree of Life and Death

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Soon, Christians worldwide, will be celebrating our Lord’s victory over death and salvation for mankind.  For me as a Christian, observing Easter is all-encompassing, from the beginning of Jesus’ life to his death.  Let us glimpse at a small snippet of our Lord’s life on this earth, shall we?

Jesus had a humble beginning; his parents were turned away, “no room at the inn”! Consequently, the world from the very start was unaccepting of Jesus’ birth, and he and his parents were reduced to their first born being delivered in a stable for livestock.  Also, this king born into poverty meant he barely had the essentials.  His mother Mary, wrapped him in swaddling clothes.  A manger was used for Jesus’ cradle.  It is the tree for which this special cradle was created that I am deliberating upon.  Man chopped this tree down and fashioned it into a tool for serving.  Little did this individual realize he would be serving God in this way!  When God made this tree however, he knew this particular tree would be used for an important event in his beloved son’s life.

Again, in Jesus’ adult life, another tree was hewed and shaped into a tool for serving God! God allowed man to fashion this particular tree into an executioner’s device and man did know for what this tree would serve!  As Jesus entered into the world naked, humbled, and alone, he would return to his Father in the same fashion, naked, humiliated, alone, and nailed to a tree.  The first tree was used to greet and carry Jesus’ new life into the world, the second tree was used to carry the sacrifice (Jesus) of the world, and to seize his life. Similar to these two trees, mankind also serves God’s purpose.  We can either point others to Christ for eternal life or we can ignore the unsaved, causing them eternal execution!

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise wins souls. Proverbs 11:30

 

JESUS IS ALIVE! Halleluiah, He has risen just as he said!  

The Election is Causing an Infection

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Even more so, I’m seeing division occurring in our nation through this 2016 election year.  There are labels (name calling), for every person that has an opinion, and this creates MORE division!  Depending on your nominee, may determine by others, whether you’re as good a Christian or “conservative enough” as they.   …REALLY, is this all necessary?!

It is our right as citizens of the United States to vote for whom we feel will best represent our country and will uphold the Constitution.  Whether you’re a believer in Christ or not, we each must do what our hearts tell us to do. …You see, God has this!  He already KNOWS what needs to be done to serve HIS will.

The Bible says: “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.  The authorities that exist have been established by God.”  Romans 13:1  Amen; there is peace in that!

So, does that mean we shouldn’t bother to exercise our civil rights?  By no means.  It is through the use of elections and other civil services, that exposes the pulse of a nations’ spiritual health and where our country is heading.  Prophesies have been written thousands of years ago, some of it has already been fulfilled, while others still have yet to come.  All prophesy WILL be fulfilled in God’s time.  Like God appoints our leaders, he also appoints his people through gifting mankind with free-will.  Humanity has a part in God’s plans, (whether you’re a Christian or not).  It is through the heart of man that God judges. Consequently, we must do our best and let the spiritual health of the nation decide the outcome.  We (Christians) cannot force a non-believer to believe in Christ where there is no heart for Jesus, same also, when living in a spiritually sick nation.

Being angry at others’ choices and labeling them in this election is not going to change opinions but will infect the nation by perpetuating anger and division.  Can a nation heal where anger reigns and God does not?

Poor, Poor Pitiful Me

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Daily, I read and hear news of my persecuted Christian brothers and sisters in the Middle East/Asia; I cannot be quiet any longer.  I call them my brothers and sisters because I too, am a Christian, an American Christian.  In recent months, I have been blessed to have made acquaintances and hopefully in time, friendships of several young people from Pakistan.  We love to talk about our Lord, and the one thing I have noticed through our correspondences is the genuine love and boldness for Jesus Christ.  I’m not saying American Christians aren’t genuine but we’re soft in comparison as far as trials and tribulations!  We could learn from them.  I compare American Christians to the Jewish people who knew they were the “chosen people of God” and yet, took it for granted. Recall, how they did not even believe that their Messiah was the Messiah, even while he was walking in their midst?  These “chosen ones” even were responsible for Jesus being crucified!  It wasn’t until the Apostles started reaching out to the Gentiles, that the Jewish people became jealous of the Gentiles.  I mean after all, who are these Gentiles, that they should be allowed this eternal life from Jesus who is one of theirs?  This is how I see American Christians compared to the truly persecuted.  There is some form of persecution here but not anything like what is occurring in other parts of the world where Christians are imprisoned, tortured, murdered or all three!

Many times, I have witnessed Christians who eagerly share how they have been “persecuted”; it’s almost like bragging, like a medal that has been placed upon their chests for self-glorification.  Dare I say, sometimes, that it even seems like there is competition who has suffered the most?  …”Poor, Poor Pitiful Me”, a Linda Ronstadt song, comes to my mind.  Doing this (bragging), depreciates from those who are truly suffering for Jesus’ sake.  When one is truly suffering, they do not need to point it out to others, it is self-evident.  If suffering isn’t self-evident, than our Christian brothers/sisters have or choose to have, a blind eye for looking out for one another.

Persecution, whether here in the United States or somewhere else on this planet, it is expected to occur in some time in our lives.  …It is actually the norm in this fallen world. Jesus said, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.  As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.  That is why the world hates you.  Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’  If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.”  John 15: 18-20 (NIV).

While no person covets to be imprisoned, tortured, murdered….persecuted, it’s in suffering and in grief, that we can also find joy because Christian persecution is a distinct confirmation of our citizenship in Heaven!  The question that should come to all Christians’ minds then is, are we being persecuted, because if we’re not, what kind of Christians are we truly?

The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.  Acts 5:41 (NIV).

Who is the Mountain, Who is Mohammed?

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Many have heard the saying, “if the mountain won’t come to Mohammed, Mohammed must go to the mountain.”  What exactly does that quote mean?  This phrase comes from a story about Mohammed who was asked to show how powerful he was by making a mountain come to him.  In today’s standards, it means that if someone will not come to you, you have to go to them.  Thus, the title of my blog, Who is the mountain, who is Mohammed?
 Before Jesus ascended to his Father, he gave the Great Commission.  Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV).  The mountain in this case, would be Christians.  We are to go out to all people groups and witness about Jesus.  This does not necessarily mean we must leave our own homelands to affectively witness but rather, in our lives, wherever it may take us, we’re to share the hope and promise of redemption from sins, and the promise of eternal life through the blood of Jesus Christ.  Your mission field can be at your job, in a class you’re taking or just running errands.  The mission field can also be in your own family.  Sometimes, witnessing to family can be just as demanding as if you did travel to some foreign lands!
 Because of recent terrorist attacks in the Middle East, refugees are fleeing from Syria and migrating west to Europe and now converging on the United States.  As Christians, we must try to see what exactly God’s plans are in this massive migration. Different nations from distant lands, are traveling here for different reasons.  Though their reasons may differ, the fact that they are coming here begs the questions, why Lord; why here?  There is no way of stopping this migration, so what are we to do about it as Christians?  I feel God is bringing these people here because we refuse to step out of our comfort zones.  Consequently, “Mohammed” are the refugees who are fleeing for asylum.  The enemy has added to these dynamics by the lack of trust we have in our own government, and the fear that comes with each terrorist attack on our own soil.  It’s time Christians, to warrior-up, put on the full armor of God!  We cannot let distrust and fear paralyze us.  That’s what the enemy wants.  New gun laws will not change the hearts of men but only Jesus Christ.  If we don’t equip people with the hope of salvation and love, the events we are witnessing will only get worse, and there will be a full blown caliphate in America!
Many times through my life, I have wished I lived in the days when Jesus was on earth. Well, God has opened my eyes.  I can hear Him saying, ‘daughter, you got your wish; now what are you going to do about it?’  Often, when I think upon the biblical times, I’m not focused on the hardships as I am on the positive outcomes…the miracles. Well, leading up to those miracles is a whole lot of hardships!  I know what it is to live with hardships, most people do, but am I ready, are you ready?  Looking ahead at the possibilities of future events, I can’t help but be excited for saved souls, and Christ’s glory.  However, I am ever conscientious of my weaknesses!  Many think upon the bible verses Ephesians 6:10-18, regarding the full armor of God; Philippians 4:13, how we are able to do all things through Christ Jesus; and Joshua 1:9, being courageous.  There is another bible story that fits nicely here, it’s the story of Ahaz in Isaiah 7.  Ahaz feared for himself, and his peoples’ lives because there were two kings and a son of a king, who were plotting the demise of Jerusalem.  It says in Isaiah 7:2 “…so the hearts of Ahaz and his people were shaken, as the trees of the forest are shaken by the wind.” …(Sounds to me, how any person would feel in a negative confrontation)! Then in verse 4, it goes on to say that the Lord spoke to Isaiah to tell Ahaz, “Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid.  Do not lose heart …”  Finally, in verse 9, the Lord says, “…If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.”  WOW, God is speaking clearly with encouragement and warning to his people!  So comes the time of all Christians to be the mountain!

A Moment of Thanksgiving

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As we Americans across this land gather together with our loved-ones to celebrate our heritage, Thanksgiving, what should we be thankful for?  Most times while we break bread, we are focused on what God has done for us through “blessings”.  Unfortunately in America, blessings are oft times measured by ones’ prosperity; however, is that the real blessing?  Is having a cornucopia on our dinner tables or a houseful of family and guests indicative of our blessings?  Shouldn’t the blessing focus on The Giver of those “blessings”?  The blessing comes in the moment of His presence for which we exist, and who without The Giver, we would cease to be!

 Consider to Psalm 30:

“I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up, and have not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried out to You; and You healed me.  O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.

Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment; His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.

Now in my prosperity I said, “I shall never be moved.” Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong; You hid Your face, and I was troubled.

I cried out to You, O Lord; And to the Lord I made supplication: “What profit is there in my blood, When I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You?  Will it declare Your truth? 10 Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me; Lord, be my helper!”

11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, 12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.  O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.” (NKJV).

 What happens when we become absorbed in our prosperities as our blessings rather than on The Giver of those “blessings”?  Looking at verses 6 and 7, David speaks of his prosperity.  The pronouns are “my” and “I”.  The focal point becomes about David (or us) rather than God.  Looking at the praising verses 1-5, we see “God” and “Lord” mentioned several times, and“His holy name”.  The focus of thanksgiving becomes about God, as it should be. 

We are never promised but the moment for which we are at this very instant. That moment is for, and from God, who IS the blessing.

 HAPPY THANKSGIVING!