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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

hello friends..

There are a few significant things going on in my life that I would like to share.
First, I would like to open my home to anyone who would like learn about the love of Jesus. I would like to host Bible studies, and if you are interested..please let me know..

I pray that no one takes offense at the comment that I am about to make..but please hear me out..
Often, I can't help but wonder who actually reads the Bible anymore.
Are we truly delving into it ourselves..or..are we relying on someone to interpret God's Word for us..

This week, I heard some outrageous statements by those who a lot of people look up to..
I heard a mega preacher actually say that the biggest failure in the Bible is God... Yes, he said that...

I heard a renowned female mega pastor tell her congregation that we are "little gods.." and we are to live as "little gods" here on earth...  This completely goes against scripture.. Christ gave us the example to be humble servants so that, in Heaven..we can recieve the crown of glory.."
The same woman, who millions follow like sheep to the slaughter, said with her own lips, that Christ did not atone for my sins on the cross. She wrote in a book that "The atonement of sins happened in Hell after Christ's cruxifiction..

I have heard false teaching after false teaching and I truly have a concern for the people are who are not going to the source of God's Word on their own..

People twist scripture these days like it is a pretzel.
It makes me sad..

So, if anyone wants to learn scripture with me..we can go over it and see what Christ has to say about things..
In the meantime, I love all of you and I will be posting videos and writing about the false teachings that I have discovered this week..
I will speak against no one, but will let their words speak for themselves.

my marriage story

Today, I want to tell the story of my marriage.. Consider this, a marriage story.

As a lot of you know, I separated from my husband. We were separated for a little over two years.

I simply couldn't live with some things. The entire situation could only be described as chaos. Complete and utter chaos. There was no trust. There was an immense amount of anger, hurt, and bitterness. There were wounds so large that I truly didn't think that they would heal.

Before I separated, God gave me a mental image. I know that it was Him..because this was the one image that I, in all of my hatred and anger, would never have wanted to see.

Jesus showed me an image of a flower. It was very simple, but He spoke to me and said that "My life..and my marriage, were like a tiny seed. If I would let Him be the source of living water, then both would grow into something wonderful and beautiful."

Around the same time, my sister called me. "Rachelle, she said, last night I had a dream that you had roots." Very deep roots.  As I hung up the phone, I couldn't help but cry as I saw that if I truly submitted my life and my marriage to God..then, He would give me roots. Unshakeable, unwavering..roots.

I was ready to surrender my life, in its entirey... but, I still had reservations about my marriage.
So I separated.

Many times I prayed for God to let me take the easy way out. A part of me hoped that if I stayed separated for long husband would move on to someone else.

It was a secret wish that I wished out of all my anger and bitterness.

But, as I grew close to Christ.. I felt Him bidding me to pray for my husband. So I did.
Every time I would kneel down to pray, I felt the anger and the bitterness leave me. I felt the "peace that surpasses all understanding". as I chose not to worry and instead to pray about the situation and instead place everything in God's hands.

I began thanking God for my freedom from the drama, but also thanking Him for helping me to love again.

There was a verse that kept me hanging on every time I was tempted to quit. There were many days when I felt the anger returning, but there was this one verse...

12 Now, I will speak to the rest of you, though I do not have a direct command from the Lord. If a Christian man[a] has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to continue living with him, he must not leave her. 13 And if a Christian woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to continue living with her, she must not leave him. 14 For the Christian wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the Christian husband[b] brings holiness to his marriage. Otherwise, your children would not be holy, but now they are holy. 15 (But if the husband or wife who isn’t a believer insists on leaving, let them go. In such cases the Christian husband or wife[c] is no longer bound to the other, for God has called you[d] to live in peace.) 16 Don’t you wives realize that your husbands might be saved because of you? And don’t you husbands realize that your wives might be saved because of you? 1 Corinthians 12:16

I think the part that stood out the most was the part that said.. " Don't you realize that you husband could be saved because of you?.."

One day, during the course of my separation, I saw my husband as God sees him. It was a visual image that He gave me.. God showed me an image of my husband laughing. He was laughing purely..from the heart. What is so remarkable about this vision is that my husband never laughs.. at least during that time period..he simply did not laugh... I don't know if he has ever laughed out of true God given joy..
But God showed me what my husband would look like in Heaven  and on this earth..if he surrendered his life to Jesus...
He would laugh with joy.

God.., " I ask.. Is one soul really that important to you.. that you would have me to remain in this marriage...of lies and hurt and all sorts of other shady things..? Just one soul..Is it really that important..?

God showed me that He would would have loved me even if I had quit. He would have loved me if I had decided to let it go..but He also showed me that the narrow path is best carved through sacrificial love.

And even though..a marriage undoubtedly takes two...sometimes, it starts with one... One willing to love even during the hardest and grueling of times.

One willing to relinquish the situation and put it in God's  hands..
I had to do that over and over again.. I had to learn to put everything in God's hand's.
I had to trust that Father really does know best.

There were days when I was sitting with my two boys. I began to wonder how their lives would look through the lens of divorce... I watched as my three year old boy lovingly talked about his dad. I saw the innocent, childlike love that my son  had for his father..and I didn't want him to have to face a divorce..
Sure, he would have survived it ..just like the millions of children who go through it every year. But, I realized that if things could work..then I was willing to pick up my cross and forgive.

One day I was praying for the spiritual gift of discernment and God began to open my eyes to many things. One thing that He showed me was that I was just as guilty of sin as my husband. You see, I had played the role of the Accuser in my marriage. There were things that I had done that I wasn't willing to take the blame for... I was just as bad, but somehow I saw his sins as bigger and badder.

But God showed me something about grace that day... You see, through God's grace, there is a "forgetting." Grace forgets the past.. Grace says..I have forgiven you as far as the east is from the west.
Grace says, You are free..

I write to a few people in prison... One is a man that I knew when I was in high school. The other day he sent a letter and told me that he has given his life to Christ, but  realizes that he is paying for his sins in prison..  He thinks that God is punishing him..

But you see, Grace..forgets.. God isn't punishing him.. The same grace that forgave me..forgave this man of his crime....It is man that is punishing him.. There is God's law of grace and then there are man's laws that are imposed to protect society.

anyhow, back to the marriage story..
I am happy to report that God still hears us.. God still moves.. God wants your family to work out..
And even if it doesn't, He loves you anyway..
But I will say this... Submit to God..He longs to produce a change within you...God changes things. He changes people.. And if you are changed..then who is to say that your marriage won't get better...
Mine did!

And what's amazing..Is that I have seen some true changes within my husband.. i have seen him slowly begin to grow in maturity..
There is still a ways to go....but God is still working and moving.

There is now mutual respect between us and only God could've done such a thing.

Seed Faith, a scam?

Here is an article that I copied from...

IT is worth noting.

There is a severe sleep amongst God's people. Everywhere I turn, people are desperate and hungry for the true gospel.

Many have turned away from the gospel because of the expliotation of Christ's followers. This is one reason why few are turning their hearts toward Christ. They see  too much greed and not enough sacrifice.

I'm sure everyone of us has heard of the preacher or televangelist who says that if you "sow a seed into his ministry then God will bless you 100 fold..."
Well, the following article explains why this is biblically wrong, and amounts to nothing more than exploitiation. It is unscriptural. Maybe some do it out of ignorance..Truthfully, I don't know..but I hope you will read this and let your eyes be opened to this heresy and twisting of God's Word.

Read and feel free to comment as I value  your opinion.

Here are a few verses to reflect on while 1 Timothy Chapter 1 verse 3,   Chris's apostle gives his guidelines for Christian leaders. "They must not love money. They must not use shameful ways to make money.

 The Heresy of Seed Faith Giving

2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.What do you think it means to deny the Lord? Many would say that any person or group that doesn’t believe that Jesus was the Son of God would be denying the Lord and that would be true enough. False religions like Islam and Hinduism would fall into this category. Most orthodox Christians would include the pseudo Christian cults like Jehovah's Witness, Mormonism and others of that ilk. And they would be correct but are these the false teachers Peter is referring to here? 

If you look closely you will see that Peter says these false teachers will be “among you”.  Since he was writing to a group of born again, Spirit filled believers we must conclude that he is not talking about the obvious false religions or even pseudo Christian cults. The false teachers he is speaking of will be found within the Body of Christ.

Now how do you suppose that false teachers will get away with denying the Lord among a group of believers?

The word denying as it is used here is the Greek word arneomai {ar-neh'-om-ahee}. It is the same word used in Titus 1:16  They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him….  Used in these contexts, the word means to contradict. So a teacher that contradicts the Lord is in fact denying Him. He may say that Jesus is Lord. He may speak right sounding words claiming to be born again and he may have the biggest Bible you’ve ever seen but if his works or teaching contradicts the words of Jesus he is denying Him.

For example, when Benny Hinn claimed in 1999 that Jesus would physically appear at one of his upcoming crusades he was contradicting the specific words of the Lord Jesus.

Math 24:23 -26
Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before   Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. By making the claim that Jesus would physically appear at one of his crusades Hinn contradicted (denied) the words of the Lord and proved himself to be a false prophet and false teacher according to 2 Peter 2:1

The so called principle of seed faith giving was first popularized by Oral Roberts almost 50 years ago. It proved to be so profitable to him that he essentially based his entire ministry on it. As with any other profitable venture others soon followed. Today it is used by virtually every “Faith” preacher, the majority of Christian television networks, and almost all TV preachers in general. It has even found its way into many mainstream and denominational churches.

How does seed faith giving work. It is loosely based (very loosely as we will see) on the parable of the sower found in Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8. Using the illustration of sowing seed, people are instructed that if they will give money to the church, the ministry, the TV network, the man of God, etc, God will multiply it back to them 30, 60, or 100 times more than they gave. In fact now days about all you ever hear about is the 100 fold return. The 30 and 60 fold returns have pretty much been dropped altogether.

That’s a pretty good deal wouldn’t you say? Give God $1 and get back $100. Give God $100 and get back $10,000. Give God $10,000 and get back a cool million. And not only that, but you can also sow money and get back other things. Things like salvation for relatives, healing for incurable diseases, and deliverance from various demonic influences! That’s right, all you have to do is send your seed (meaning money) to the man of God!

Is this really what the parable of the sower is all about. What do you think? Let’s examine this important parable.

Luke 8:4-8 NASB
When a large crowd was coming together, and those from the various cities were journeying to Him, He spoke by way of a parable: The sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell beside the road, and it was trampled under foot and the birds of the air ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky soil, and as soon as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out. Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great." As He said these things, He would call out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
Jesus explains the parable
Luke 8:11 NASB
Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God.
Now right here anybody with even a minimal level of reading comprehension should be able to see that this parable has nothing to do with money. The seed is the word of God. Even a brand new baby Christian should be able to look at this and say  “I don’t think these fellows are teaching this correctly”Let’s continue with Jesus’ explanation 

Luke 8:12-15 NASB
Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved.  Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.  The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity.  But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.
This parable is about what happens when the word of God is sown or revealed in the heart of a person. It may be the most important parable Jesus taught. Why do I say that? Because Jesus said this:

Mark 4;13
And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?

Jesus is saying that if you don’t understand this parable you won’t understand any of the parables he taught. This is a foundational teaching!

By misapplying the parable of the sower these false teachers do great damage to Gods people. First, by falsely claiming that God works like some kind of cosmic slot machine. But the real damage is in the fact that believers are robbed of the true meaning of this teaching. 

The parable of the sower is at work every time Gods word is revealed to you. In fact it is at work right now in many of you who are reading this.

I know that many of you will read this and say “I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that my favorite preacher would preach a false message” You’ll reject what I’m saying.  You’ll actually be rejecting the words of Jesus

The devil has come already to steal this word from you.

Some of you will hear what I say and receive it gladly. “ Glory to God” you’ll say, “preach it brother…. Hallelujah ”  But you won’t take the time to really meditate on this word. You won’t really apply it. 

And then a testing will come. Testing because of the word sown in your heart. A test to see if you really believe, trust in, rely on, adhere to what you claim to believe. You’ll be challenged. God Himself will allow that challenge, that test. 

Will you pass the test? Or will you revert back to your traditional thinking?   

And of course some of you will hear and believe but you won’t give this word the proper place in your life. You’ll think about it for a while. You’ll decide that it’s right but then you’ll get on with your life. You’ll get busy with your job, your family, your daily responsibilities and it will recede further and further into the recesses of your heart until it has no real value to you.

And the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches will have choked the truth out of your heart. 

But I know too that some of you will hear this word and receive it. You’ll meditate on it. You’ll give it the proper priority in your life. When challenged you’ll stand and agree with it rather than contradict!

And you will have proven yourself to be good soil. You’ll produce fruit, becoming more and more Christ like in your life. You’ll become a disciple indeed.

John 8:31-32
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

A little leaven leavens the whole lumpPaul said that evil men will wax worse and worse and so it is with false teaching. The false ideology behind the seed faith message has infected the church to such a degree that many never even question the idea that if you “have a need” you must “plant a seed”

But is that assumption theologically sound? Should we really plant a seed when we have a need?

During a recent telethon (beg-a-thon) Paul Crouch, founder of Trinity Broadcast Network explained that even God sowed a seed when He had a need.

That’s right God had a need. He’d lost His first family in Adam, Crouch explained, so God sowed His best seed, Jesus. Not only that, but God sowed in expectation. Just like we are taught to sow expecting a miracle, God sowed expecting a 100 fold return. He gave His son Jesus and got back many more sons and daughters. Proof positive that seed faith giving works!


Does the Bible really teach that God had a need? Did God ever lose anything or anyone. Would you like God’s response to Mr. Crouch’s exhortation. Well look right here.

Psalm 50:9-12 NKJV

I will not take a bull from your house, Nor goats out of your folds. For every beast of the forest is Mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field are Mine.

If I were hungry, I would not tell you;  For the world is Mine, and all its fullness.

Or how about this verse Mr. Crouch

Math 3:9
 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

God is God.  He is not a man having needs. He didn’t lose anything. All is His. If He were hungry He wouldn’t tell us. Isn’t that incredible!   

It is the height of arrogance (or perhaps apostasy) to claim that God is anything like us. He is in no way dependent on us. We are dependent on Him. And herein lies the real heresy of the seed faith message.

It turns the doctrine of grace into a doctrine of works and thereby denies the finished work of the cross. 

The seed faith message is a message of works, not grace. It says God cannot or will not act until we do something.

Would you like to know how to have God meet all your needs, even financial needs every time? Go to the words of Jesus.

Math 6:31-33
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
What does Jesus say to do when you have a need? Does He say to sow a seed?

No, He says take no thought. He says don’t worry about material possessions. He says that the Father knows you have need of these things.

So, when a preacher says sow a seed after Jesus has said take no thought isn’t that preacher guilty of contradicting the Lord?  Isn’t he in fact denying the Lord?

Of course Jesus doesn’t stop there. He tells us how to have our needs met. It’s simply, seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

How do we seek His kingdom and His righteousness? Well, Gods kingdom and His righteousness are revealed in the Gospel

Romans 1:16-17
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by
The Gospel is defined in 1Cor 15:1-4.

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

The Gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is this Gospel that is the power of God. It is in this Gospel that God’s righteousness is revealed. It is in this Gospel that your needs are met.    

Eph 2:8-9
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Like many Christians you’ve probably read this scripture so many times you don’t even think about it any more. You’re probably saying “yes, praise God I know that I’m saved by grace, I know that I’m heaven bound but what’s that got to do with me paying my bills?”The word saved in the Greek is the word sozo. It means literally to keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction, from injury or peril, to save a suffering one from perishing, to make well, heal, restore to health, to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to save or rescue.

You see, to be saved means much more than just “go to heaven”. It means to be set at safety in the here and now. It means to be made safe in spirit, soul, and body.  That would certainly include material things as well as eternal things wouldn’t it?
The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is the free gift of God. It is salvation (all needs met) to everyone who believes. It requires no work on our part. It requires no vows, no pledges, no seeds of faith. What it requires is simply belief.

To believe means more than mere mental assent. It means that we trust in, rely on, adhere to the fact that God has provided for all our needs when He raised Jesus from the dead. In other words we must refuse to contradict (deny) the words of the Lord!      

2 Peter 1:3
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue. Gods divine power, that same power that raised Christ from the dead has (past tense) given to us all things that pertain to life and Godliness. All things means all things! All things that pertain to life would include finances to pay your bills! 

God doesn’t want your money He wants your life.

The faith teachers like to suggest that you must make an exchange or a trade with God in order for Him to move on your behalf. You know what? They are right in principle but wrong in practice. The exchange is not material for material. It’s not give something to get something.

The exchange is your life for His. It’s your will for His will. It’s your desires for His desires. That’s the exchange. And that’s the only exchange God desires. It’s the only exchange He will honor.

A rich man came to Jesus one day and asked what he should do to have eternal life. Jesus told him to obey Gods commandments. When the man answered that he had been doing that all his life, Jesus told him there was one thing he lacked.

Mark 10:21
Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me

This passage is about seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. It’s about what has priority in our lives.

Mark 10:22
And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions
. The man chose material (temporal) wealth over eternal (true) life. He chose his will over Gods will.

What does it mean to “take up the cross”? It means to believe the gospel. To trust in, rely on, adhere to, the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and our death, burial, and resurrection with Him !That’s the exchange God is looking for!

Gal 2:20
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Paul understood the exchange. He understood that to trust in, rely on, and adhere to the Gospel (the cross) he had to enter into it himself.

Rom 6:4
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.Col 2:12
Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead

When we reckon ourselves dead to the world we are made alive in Christ Jesus. When we lose our lives, we gain real life!

Mark 8:35
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.Notice the next to last word in that scripture. That’s right, it’s the Greek word sozo again. To lose your life is to save it, to make it complete, to rescue it from destruction, injury, or peril. To be set at safety.

1Cor 15:1
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; The seed you sow is yourself.

John 12:24
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

When you enter into the death burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ you sow your life. And you sow it 100%. Not a tenth, not a seed, all of your life must be sown.
New Testament Giving

The New Testament model for giving is found in II Corinthians chapter 9. Paul here is exhorting the church in Corinth to fulfill an obligation to which they had earlier committed. The offering was being taken for the believers in Macedonia who were suffering great privation and affliction.

Notice if you will that the offering was to go to needy people, not to Pauls ministry . Paul was not taking up an offering for himself, or so that he could “reach the world for Christ” or build an orphanage, or stay on the air, or for any of the other reasons modern preachers give to extort money from Gods people.

II Cor 9:6-8
But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

This passage of scripture clearly equates financial giving with sowing seed but it does not validate the “principle” of seed faith giving. 

First of all our giving should be directed primarily toward the poor and needy. Here’s an interesting scripture you’ll never hear from these seed faith preachers

Prov 22:16
He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.|Aren’t you giving to the rich when you send “seed” to these money preachers? They all live in million dollar homes, drive high dollar cars, wear expensive suits. That sounds pretty rich to me.  This scripture says that by the very thing you are doing, you’re perpetuating your own lack!

Secondly we should give as we purpose in our hearts. Third we should give cheerfully, not out of need (or just because there is a need), and not because we feel we must give (out of necessity).      

Here is the place where the doctrine of seed faith giving contradicts the word of God. Every preacher practicing seed faith giving first of all makes you feel that you must give (of necessity) before God can move on your behalf.  But look again at what Paul said:
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity
Now think about it. Think about how these preachers put pressure on you to give. They make emotional appeals. They make extravagant claims.  They tell you that you must give in order to receive from God. If you don’t give (and I mean right now!) you’ll miss God, etc, etc, on and on, ad infinitum

Aren’t they contradicting the clear word of God? Aren’t they in fact denying the Lord who bought them?

The result of this model of giving is that we are promised that we will always have enough (always having all sufficiency in all things) for all the things that God asks us to do (to every good work).

This is in no way a promise or guarantee of worldly wealth. It is a promise that God will provide regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves.

Phil 4:11-12
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content
. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

Now let’s look again at the proper object of our giving. This is important because wherever Jesus spoke of giving finances He spoke of giving alms. The word alms always means a gift of charity. This is giving specifically for the benefit of the poor.

When Jesus spoke to the rich young ruler what did he tell him to do?

Mar 10:21
Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

Jesus told him to give to the poor. He didn’t say give to my ministry. He didn’t say give at the temple. He said give to the poor. Jesus spoke may times of giving alms.

Mat 6:1
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

Luke 11:41
But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you. Luke 12:33
Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.
In the book of Acts we see the spiritual and physical benefits of giving alms.

Acts 10:1-2
There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band
, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. Acts 10:4
And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.

God rewarded Cornelius (a gentile Roman soldier) with salvation for himself and his household because of his prayers and his alms (gifts to the poor).

How often are we taught today to give alms to the poor?

Now I know that these seed faith preachers make a pretense of giving to the poor. But how much of what they receive really go to the poorest among us? I can tell you that it is precious little. Many of the largest ministries take in millions of dollars each year and send a few thousand dollars per month to missionaries in third world countries.

Do you realize how few dollars it takes to feed and cloth the poor in the poorest nations, Many missionaries are thrilled to have a $2,000 or $3,000 per month donation from a major ministry. These missionaries are to be commended. For the most part they are doing a great work and doing it unto the “least of these” (Math 25:45)

But the seed faith preachers who make a show out of giving a relative pittance, that’s another matter. In fact the reason most of them give to missions at all is so that they can go to the mission once a year with their cameras to show their “partners” how they are feeding starving kids. This is a pure business decision. By showing pictures of them hugging poor third world kids they are able to deceive even more people into sending them money. It’s all a scam, a charade         

Jesus tells us we shall know them by their fruit. Or by the results of their lives

Math 7:16
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Here are some of the fruits of these seed faith preachers

Oral Roberts
"Here is a portrait of the real Oral Roberts, the man not too many of his admirers know. He dresses in Brioni suits that cost $500 to $1000; walks in $100 shoes; lives in a $250,000 house in Tulsa and has a million dollar home in Palm Springs; wears diamond rings and solid gold bracelets employees `airbrush' out of his publicity photos; drives $25,000 automobiles which are replaced every 6 months; flies around the country in a $2 million fanjet falcon; has membership, as does his son Richard, in `the most prestigious and elite country club in Tulsa,' the Southern Hills (the membership fee alone was $18,000 for each, with $130 monthly dues) and in `the ultra-posh Thunderbird Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California' (both father and son joined when memberships were $20,000 each--they are now $25,000); and plays games of financial hanky-panky that have made him and his family members independently wealthy (millionaires) for life. (When his daughter and son-in-law were killed, they left a $10 million estate!)" (Evangelist R.L. Sumner's review of Give Me that Prime- time Religion by Jerry Sholes) ed note numbers quoted here are from the mid to late 70’s

Paul and Jan Crouch
TBN Televangelists Buy $5,000,000 Home
LOS ANGELES TIMES, Nov.4,2001, page K15

Televangelists JAN and PAUL CROUCH of the Costa Mesa-based Trinity Broadcasting Network have purchased a Newport Beach house for close to $5 million, Orange County Realtors say.
The home was described as "a palatial estate with ocean and city views." The Crouches had been living in a smaller house in the same neighborhood.
The house they bought has six bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a billiard room, a climate-controlled wine cellar, a sweeping staircase and a crystal chandelier.
The three-story, nearly 9,500-square-foot house, which has an elevator, also has a six-car garage, a tennis court and a pool with a fountain.
The house is on slightly more than an acre. Jan Crouch had been wanting a bigger yard for her dogs, sources said.
Trinity Broadcasting, established in 1973, has more than 768 TV stations on the air worldwide. The Crouches oversee a $100-million-plus-a-year enterprise. Even so, faithful viewers are said to consider the couple, who are in their 60s and have been married since the 50's, as everyday folk.

Creflo Dollar
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Mar. 9, 2000

The Rev. Creflo Dollar Jr. has unabashedly embraced his name by building a
religious empire on the message that his brand of piety leads to prosperity.

He drives a black Rolls-Royce, flies to speaking engagements across the
nation and Europe in a $5 million private jet and lives in a $1 million home
behind iron gates in an upscale Atlanta neighborhood.

Joel Osteen
 The younger Osteen lives the life of prosperity that he preaches. A 2001 Real Estate Guide ( ) valued his home at $1,265,500.

Benny HinnWhat happened to Hinn's promised healing center? 
By STEVE McGONIGLE / The Dallas Morning News Evangelist Benny Hinn dazzled an overflowing Reunion Arena three years ago with plans to bring a touch of Lourdes to Las Colinas.
The flamboyant Pentecostal preacher offered the crowd a multimedia tour of his proposed $30 million shrine to faith healing and solicited donations to pay for it. The start of construction was imminent, he told followers.
Mr. Hinn's "World Healing Center" never materialized. After a few months, he stopped talking about the project. His tax-exempt ministry did not have to give a public accounting of how much money he raised or how it was spent, and it didn't. …..

Last year, a subsidiary led by Mr. Hinn began work on a $3 million "parsonage" overlooking the Pacific Ocean south of Los Angeles.

Paula White 
Supporters of Randy and Paula White say they have no problem with their displays of wealth. Tampa - When preachers Randy and Paula White bought the $2.2 million red-brick house on
Bayshore Boulevard
last month, they were already thinking ahead to November. "We always do a 'Table in the Wilderness' Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless," says Randy White, senior pastor at Without Walls International Church. "Now that we have the space to do it in our own, we'd like to find a way to bus them here for the party." A spacious yard is attached to the 8,000-spare-foot, five-bedroom English manor home. And the Whites' church has its own buses. IN HIS SERMON "PROSPERITY OR POVERTY," White announced he and his wife had bought this house. Their taste in cars reflects their substantial income.: She drives a Mercedes sedan, he a Cadillac Escalade. The side of Randy White's car is emblazoned with "Big Daddy" - nickname bestowed by inner-city kids served by church's many missions. Randy and Paula White married in 1988 and in 14 years they claim 15,000 members and offer 250 ministries from job training for welfare recipients to a teen rock club. Randy is a fifth generation preacher. Much of their money comes from tax dollars through the faith-based initiative.

Joyce MeyerFrom Fenton to fortune in the name of God
Carolyn TuftandBill Smith
©2003, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Joyce Meyer says God has made her rich.

Everything she has came from Him: the $10 million corporate jet, her husband's $107,000 silver-gray Mercedes sedan, her $2 million home and houses worth another $2 million for her four children — all blessings, she says, straight from the hand of God…...

 A penchant for nice things 

Meyer is fond of nice things and is willing to spend for them. From an $11,000 French clock in the ministry's Fenton headquarters to a $105,000 Crownline boat docked behind her vacation home at Lake of the Ozarks, it's clear her tastes run more to Perrier than to tap water. ….

The ministry's headquarters is a three-story jewel of red brick and emerald-color glass that, from the outside, has the look and feel of a luxury resort hotel.

Built two years ago for $20 million, the building and grounds are postcard perfect, from manicured flower beds and walkways to a five-story lighted cross.

The building is decorated with religious paintings and sculptures, and quality furniture. Much of it, Meyer says, she selected herself.

A Jefferson County assessor's list offers a glimpse into the value of many of the items: a $19,000 pair of Dresden vases, six French crystal vases bought for $18,500, an $8,000 Dresden porcelain depicting the Nativity, two $5,800 curio cabinets, a $5,700 porcelain of the Crucifixion, a pair of German porcelain vases bought for $5,200.

The decor includes a $30,000 malachite round table, a $23,000 marble-topped antique commode, a $14,000 custom office bookcase, a $7,000 Stations of the Cross in Dresden porcelain, a $6,300 eagle sculpture on a pedestal, another eagle made of silver bought for $5,000, and numerous paintings purchased for $1,000 to $4,000 each.

Inside Meyer's private office suite sit a conference table and 18 chairs bought for $49,000. The woodwork in the offices of Meyer and her husband cost the ministry $44,000.

In all, assessor's records of the ministry's personal property show that nearly $5.7 million worth of furniture, artwork, glassware, and the latest equipment and machinery fill the 158,000-square-foot building.

As of this summer, the ministry also owned a fleet of vehicles with an estimated value of $440,000. The Jefferson County assessor has been trying to get the complex and its contents added to the tax rolls but has failed.

Stylish sports cars and a plane

Meyer drives the ministry's 2002 Lexus SC sports car with a retractable top, valued at $53,000. Her son Dan, 25, drives the ministry's 2001 Lexus sedan, with a value of $46,000. Meyer's husband drives his Mercedes-Benz S55 AMG sedan.

"My husband just likes cars," Meyer said.

The Meyers keep the ministry's Canadair CL-600 Challenger jet, which Joyce Meyer says is worth $10 million, at Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield. The ministry employs two full-time pilots to fly the Meyers to conferences around the world.

These are just a few of the most prominent seed faith preachers. Now I ask you do you honestly believe these people are living the crucified life. Have they forsaken all to follow Jesus. Have they forsaken the world or do they love the things of this world?

Joyce Meyer says her husband drives a $100,000 Mercedes because he “just likes cars”. But the Apostle John says
1John 2:15-16

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.Do you think that a $100,000 Mercedes qualifies as a thing that is “of the world”?  How about that $30,000 malachite table Joyce bought for the office, or the $11,000 French clock, or the $105,000 boat at the $500,000 lake house, or the …. well, you get the idea. 

Look again at the words of John. He says that if any man (person) love the world (and by extension the things of the world ) the love of the Father is not in him.

Do you believe the Bible? Do you believe the Bible is contradictory? Do you believe that what God says applies to some people but not to others? Do you believe that Joyce Meyer and her husband have the love of God in their hearts?

Paula and Randy White need an 8,000 square foot, $2 million home so that they can bus poor people in once a year and feed them. Feeding the poor is a commendable thing to do. But Jesus says:

Math 6:1-2
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
When the Whites announce that they will be feeding the homeless at Thanksgiving are they not “sounding a trumpet” Are they not doing their alms “to be seen of men”. According to Jesus doesn’t this make them hypocrites?

We could continue with this exercise but I think you get the point. Are these peoples lives and words in agreement with the words of Jesus and the apostles or are they contradicting (denying) Him?

You’ll know them by their fruit

Now I know that many of you will now accuse me of  judging.  Well, you’re correct, I am judging these hypocrites and false teachers. I am judging them the way we as Christians are instructed to judge.

Math 7:15-16
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Math 7:20
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know themMath 7:21-23
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Jesus says we will know them “by their fruits” In other words we will know them by what their lives produce. Not by what they say but by what they do . Talk is cheap. Don’t tell me, show me!

Tell me this.  Who do you think Jesus was talking about when he said these words “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. He certainly wasn’t talking about the unsaved. He wasn’t talking about the cults and false religions. Hindus don’t prophesy in Jesus name and Muslims don’t cast out devils.

If you are honest with yourself (and if you haven’t let the devil steal the word that this teaching has been sowing in your heart) you must acknowledge that the people He is talking about are the very teachers and preachers we see on TBN and Daystar every day. These wolves in sheeps clothing that tell us that if we have a need we must sow a seed. These false prophets who deny (contradict) the Lord who bought them. These so called great men and women of God (and their followers) who “through covetousness..  with feigned words make merchandise of you” (2Peter 2:3)

These are the ones Jesus says shall not enter in. Why? Because only those who do the will of the Father shall enter.  

Obey God not man

Have you been a follower of any of these false prophets? Have you been “sowing your seed” faithfully. Have you been giving sacrificially to the man or woman of God? |

Have you received your hundred fold return?

I don’t mean have you had some occasional victories here and there. I want to know have you received your hundred fold return. Has it worked for you like it seems to work for them? Are you living in a $2 million dollar home? Do you have a $100,000 Mercedes. Do you fly around the country in a private jet?

Well, why not? I hear these people all the time say that God is no respecter of persons (Rom 2:11) They say that what He did for one He will do for another. So again I ask, where is your Mercedes, and your $5 million estate?    

Are you honest enough to ask yourself and your heavenly Father why you’re still following these people when it’s obviously not working in your life?

Do you really want the answer? Now before you go any further you should know that once you receive the truth you are responsible for it.   

2 Peter 2:1-3
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

And so we are back to the scripture with which we started. False teachers are among us. They are bringing in damnable heresies like seed faith giving. In doing so they deny or contradict the Lord who bought them. They are destined for swift destruction.

And many of you are following their pernicious (destroying) ways. And because of this the true Gospel is ridiculed throughout our society.

It is by using the sin of covetousness that they make merchandise (exploit or use) of you.

This covetousness is in your heart. You follow them because you desire the things they promise. Even when you see the scriptures that condemn them you ignore them , you evade them, you rationalize in your mind that the scripture doesn’t really mean what it say.  You have itching ears and are heaping up to yourself teachers after your own lusts

You are guilty before God and you will share in the swift destruction reserved for these false prophets if you don’t repent.

Math 10:41
He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. 

Do not be deceived. God is not mocked. If you receive (take hold of, take up with) a false prophet you will share in that false prophets reward.

If you are convicted by this word you need to repent. Repent means to change your mind. It means to change direction. It is an act of will.

Ask your heavenly Father to deliver you from the covetousness in your heart. Ask Him to deliver you from the love of worldly things. Ask Him to show you the truth as it is written in the word without adding to it the traditions of men.

Take up your cross today. Deny yourself. Deny your fleshly desires and humble yourself before the Most High God. Enter into the death burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Reckon yourself dead. Lay your life on the altar. Present yourself as a living sacrifice. 

Don’t wait. Now is the acceptable time. Repent and believe the Gospel before it is too late.

Rev 18:4
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

Steve Lumbley 2003
This article may be reproduced and distributed free of charge as long as it remains in its original form.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The little pink sponge - Where is God in death?

One day I was at my grandfather's house and I saw something that sunk my heart.
It was a small, pink little sponge.
My family is no stranger to the small, little pink sponge.

In case you are completely lost and confused right now, I will explain the purpose of the little pink sponge.

My grandmother was dying. On days when she couldn't drink, we used that small little pink sponge. We dipped it in water and rubbed it inside the corners of her mouth.
It kept her hydrated.
It gave her water when she was too weak to drink.

Everytime I think about that little pink sponge, my heart gives way to sadness and I find myself wanting to cry.

Often we wonder, "Where is God in death?" "Where is God in dry mouths and sickbeds and little pink sponges on a stick, designed for the weak that are too sick to sip water from a cup?
I'll tell you.

He is in the hand that lovingly dips the sponge into water and erases the dribble off chins.
He is in the hand that caresses and the words that soothe.
He is there is the suffering, in the hurt..the darkness
He is the light that, although imperceptible, still shines with the promise there is more than this present suffering. There is promise of something much, much greater.

God is in the lives of those rebuilding.. He is in the honor over lives lived and love unconditionally displayed..
He is in the people whose cars pull over to  the side of the road when the funeral procession passes as a sign of respect.. not in those who honk thier horns and rush past..but in those who realize that loving is bowing down low.
He is in the words of comfort and solace and He is in even in the tears.
Tears prove that we are human and that we need Him. Tears only prove that hearts can be soft and contrite..
If there is any good that comes from brokeness, it is this..

"Brokenness breaks us from our need to be "right" and breaks us open to our need to extend the grace we have been given."..Ann Voskamp

and... That is where God is in death.

I want to share something from Corrie ten Boom..In one of her books, she talks about her visit to a polio ward. The truth is that she did not want to visit. She was afraid and deeply saddened..but she felt the voice of The Master urging her go despite what she was feeling. She said she went to one man in particular and told him about Jesus. She held up an embroidery.. Here is what she said, "When I see you on this bed, I think of this embroidery. "Your life is like this..See how dark it is. See how the threads are knotted and tangled, mixed up. But when you turn it around you can see that God is actually weaving a crown for your life. God has a plan for your life, and He is working it out in beatuy.."

The man she spoke to, couldn't speak, but he picked up his pencil and wrote in very scrawed handwriting.. "Thanks, God. I am already seeing the beautiful side. "

She then writes, "God has a divine pattern for each of His children. Although the threads may seem knotted, on the other side is a crown."

The man died a few days later, but he died with joy. Death is not the end of life.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. - John 3:16

Friday, October 26, 2012

an exeprt from Corrie Ten Boom

every once in a while, you will hear a tremendous God story..  You will know one when you see it.
The person in the story emerges from some kind of chaos. They endure hardship. They realize that the gospel is something  that isn't sold for a price. Their stories stick around for hundreds of years. In the story, they put faith and trust in God as their sole provider. He comes through in miraculous ways.

Corrie Ten Boom weaved a God story through her obedience to Christ. Throughout the course of her life, Corrie lived as a light bringing thousands to Christ. 

Her book, In My Father's House tells the story of how her family hid Jews from the Nazis during the time of the Holocost.

Eventually, Corrie's family was put in prison for protecting and saving the lives of hundreds of Jews.
Corrie tells about her experience in a concentration camp in Germany in her book, "Tramp for the Lord."

When she arrived a the prison, she knew that she was going to be thoroughly searched. Corrie always carried her Bible with her everywhere she went. Bibles were strictly forbidden in the concentration camps.

All of the girls lined up to be searched. Corrie, desperately concerned that her Bible was going to be taken, said a simple prayer. Lord, please make me invisible.
She said that the guards searched every single woman, but, miraculously, they didn't see her.
She was able to bring her Bible into camp to minister and witness to those who were there.

During the couse of the next few days, I am going to type a few stories from her book. I believe that everyone should hear them..

Here is an excerpt from "Tramp for the Lord" by Corrie Ten Boom

"After the war Germany was filled with wounds and scars - not all of them on the surface. In one tiny cubicle in the camp at Darmstady, I found a German lawyer. He was sitting miserably in a wheelchair, the stumps of his legs poking out from under a lap blanket. He was filled with bitterness, hatred, and self pity. He told me he had once been an active member of his Lutheran church and as a boy had rung the church bell in the village where he lived. Now the horrible injustice of war had taken his legs, and he was bitter against God and man.

I felt attracted to him since some of his experiences were similar to mine. One morning, I made a special trip to his room to tell him something of my life.

I found him sitting in his wheelchair, staring at a blank wall. His face was gray, his eyes lifeless. I was never one for introductions, so I got right away to the point of my visit.

"The only way to get rid of bitterness is to surrender to it, I said."

He turned slowly and looked at me. "What do you know about bitterness?", he asked. "You still have your legs."

"Let me tell you a story," I said. "In Holland, during the war, a man came to me begging me to help him liberate his wife. I felt compassion for him and gave him all my money. I convinced my friends to do the same. But the man was a quisling, a traitor. The only reason he came to me was to trap me so he could have me arrested. Not only did he betray me, but he betrayed my entire family and friends. We were all sent to prison where three members of my family died.

"You ask me about bitterness and hatred. You only hate circumstances, but I hated a man. Sitting in the prison in my homeland, waiting to be transferred to a concentration camp in Germany, hatred and bitterness filled my heart. I wanted that man to die. I know what it is like to hate. That is why I can understand you."

The lawyer turned his chair to face me. He was listening. "So, you have hated also. What do you suggest I do about my hate?"

"What I have to say is of no importance. Let me tell you what the Son of God had to say. "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive your trespasses' (See Matt. 6: 14-15) If we forgive other people, our hearts are made fit to receive forgiveness."

The lawyer shifted uneasily in his wheelchair. I could see the muscles in his neck stand out as he pushed with his hands to change position. "When we repent, I continued, "God forgives us and cleanses us. That is what I did, believing that if I confessed my sin God would be faithful and just to cleanse my sin and forgive me from all unrighteousness."

The lawyer looked at me and shook his head, "This is easy to say, but my hatred is too deep to have it washed away."

No deeper than mine, I said. "Yet when I confessed it, only did Jesus take it away, He filled me with love -even the ability to love my enemy."

"You mean you actually loved the man who betrayed you and who was responisble for the death of your family?"

I nodded. "After the war, when that man was sentenced to death, I corresonded with him, and God used me to show him the way of salvation before he was executed."

The lawyer shook his head. "What a miracle!" "What a miracle!" You mean Jesus can do that to a person? I shall have to give this much thought."

Since I have learned not to push a person past beyond where God has left him, I bade my friend goodbye and returned to my room.

A year later I was in Darmstadt again. My friends had given this man a car with special fixtures so he could drive without legs. He met me at the train station to bring me to the camp. AS I got in the car, he laughed at my startled look.

"You taught me that Jesus is victor," he said. "Now surely you are not afraid to drive with a man who has no legs."

"You are  right, I answered, "I shall not be afraid. I am so glad to see you again. How are you?"

"Fine. I must tell you at the very beginning that I have surrendered my bitterness to God. I repented, and the Lord did just as you said. He forgave me and filled my heart with His love. Now I am working in the refuge camp and am praising God that He can use even a legless man if he is surrendered."

He paused, and then continued. "But there is something I must know. After you forgave your enemies, was it settled once and for all?"

"Oh no, I answered. Just this month I had a sad experience with friends who behaved like enemies. They promised something but did not keep their promise. In fact, they took great advantage of me. However, I surrendered my bitterness to the Lord, asked forgiveness and He took it away."

We were bouncing over a bumpy road, but the lawyer was more intent on me than his driving. "Was the bitterness gone for good then?"

"No, just the next night, at four o' clock, I awoke and my heart was filled with biterness again. I thought, How could my dear friend behave as she did? Again, I brought it to the Lord. He filled my heart with His love. But the next night, it came back again. I was so discouraged. God had used me often to help people to love their enemies, and I could always give my testimony about what He had done in my life; but now I felt defeated.

"Then I remembered Ephesians 6:10-20 where Paul describes the "armour of God." He said that even after you have come to a standstill, still stand your ground. I was at a standstill, so I decided to stand my ground, and the bitterness and resentment fell away before me.

"Corrie ten Boom without the Lord Jesus cannot be victorious. I need the Lord every moment. And I have learned that I am absolutely dependent on Him. Because of this He has made me rich."

We were arriving at the refuge camp, and my lawyer friend parked before the building, turned off the motor and looked at me with a grin. "I am glad to hear that, " he said. "For sometimes my old bitterness returns. Now I just stand my ground, claim the victory of Jesus over fear and resentment, and love even when I don't want to."

My friend had learned well the secret of victory. It comes through obedience. - Corrie Ten Boom

Creation , A Musing

Warning: This post may sound strange to some.. It is the sum of me, thinking out loud.

Lately my oldest son and I have enjoyed watching documentaries that teach about the universe. There are several topics that we have seen thus far..ranging from black holes, all the way to how stars are formed.

I am mesmerized everytime I watch. I stand in awe at God's Creation. Many people believe that science and God are independent of one another, but I believe that science explains the complexity of our world. Science is a attempt to explain the universe, without, of course, offering anything of the spirit world. Of course, science doesn't even recognize a spirit world, but I know otherwise..

Anyhow, as I was watching this documentary..I began to draw parallels from my own experiences.

Do you know stars are formed? New stars are formed all of the time, and they are formed through things like heat, temperatures, pressures...

Ok, this is going to sound strange, but I want to tell you of a dream that I had one time. It was a God Dream.

One night, God had asked me to give up some things. He wanted to teach me that "material possessions" don't matter all that much. Well, anyway, I agreed to give up some stuff..that I had once highly prized.

Well, that night..I had the most amazing dream. I dreamt that Jesus was standing in a place that went on forever. There was no end to the place where Jesus was standing. Next to Him, was a brilliant ball of light. It was so pure that it was white..and it flickered like gold. It was beautiful...
Even more than the appearance of the light was the feeling that I had in it's prescence. There was an unfathomable amount of joy and peace in the prescence of that light.

I woke up and asked Jesus what the dream meant. He told me that, as Christians, each of us has that light within us..and it is our DUTY to share it with others.

That day, I looked inside my Bible and I saw a verse that read.. "God is a light, and in Him, there is no darkness at all."

Ok, here is where things get strange. I believe that God undoubtedly created the universe. Last week a friend and I were talking about Creation. He said that he believed in God, but couldn't understand creation.

Well, here is my musing..

God is a Light
 What does Light create? ...

Light creates heat. Heat is one of the things necessary to create in our plantary systems..

I have a very dear friend who wrote about his healing from God. He had pancreatic cancer. One day he began to thank God in the midst of his disease and he said that he felt heat radiating through his entire body. He knew then that it was God and that he was healed.

ON another note..and this is really strange so bear with me.. 
I have often faced the demonic. One night, something very strange happened to me. I was a new Christian in Christ and I had first started writing.  I felt a something enter my room. The room got really cold..very fast.. I heard a whisper in my ear..something in a language that I couldn't even understand. At first, I was afraid, but, as I grew in the Word and learned that we have authority over the darkness in the name of Jesus, those fears disappated..
Ironically, a girl I know told me that she had a very similar experience.

That experience was strange, and I find it interesting to associate the darkness with cold.
Perhaps darkness is the absence of light..
Light. Heat.
Darkness. Cold..

I'm still thinking out loud.

Yesterday, I mentioned my "out loud" thinking..parallels to my husband.
Do you know what he told me?

Have you ever heard of the Shroud of Turin?

The Shroud of Turin is the cloth that Jesus was buried in. When He was resurected, His shroud was left in the tomb. The amazing thing about His shroud was that bore His image.
My husband said that he watched a documentary on the shroud of Turin.. They said that they could not explain how the image was transferred onto the shroud. It appeared to them that a huge ray of light was the only thing that could've marked the image.. They concluded that there were no natural light sources strong enough back then to create such an image. 
Jesus was filled with such a light that it bore His image on a shroud.

I also find it interesting that "in the beginning, there was darkness, but then God created light."
IT never says that God created the darkness. Was the darkness already here?

I love learning about black holes.
Have you ever seen "The Neverending Story?"
Remember, "The Nothing.?"
Black holes are like The Nothing. They literally eat and destroy everything around them.
In my experience with the demonic..they are like black holes.. they destroy. There is no light..there is coldness. They are the source of all fear and lies.

Even the Bible says.. "The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy, But I have come that you might have life and have it to the full"

Back to my thoughts on Creation..

They say that the earth formed with a bang..
Maybe it did.. Maybe God, in all of His glory, in all of His light..creating  something out the darkness..created a bang. A really, really big one. Maybe a bang was His plan. A big, hot bang

well, that is my strange musing. What are your thoughts?

Message in a Bottle

Today, I read a story about a nine year old from Ireland who found a message in a bottle near the sea.
Apparently, the bottle had been in route for 8 years from the country of Quebec. The senders were two girls.They were twelve years old when they sent the bottle, and wanted to know how far the bottle would sail across the sea.  They included a way to be contacted in the message, in the event that the bottle was ever found.
So, the nine year old boy, with the help of his mother, found the girls, who are now twenty years old.

The story got me thinking. First of all, I would love to find a message in a bottle.. I think I will send one and pray that it find someone who really needs it.
If you could send a message in a bottle, what would you write?

I think it would be nice to remain anyonmyous. There is something mysterious about anonymity.
I don't think I couldsend a message in a bottle and not tell someone about the love of Jesus. To me, there is nothing more important or beautiful. I would tell them of the amazing things that He has done in my life or I might tell them a piece of my story .....  maybe I would just include a verse.

" Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. " Phillipians 4:7

 .. Or maybe, I would print a copy of Father's Love Letter and remind someone of who they are in Christ.

There is something whimsical about the message in the bottle. Something romantic and personal.
Do you want to know how much of a nerd I really am?

I just bought some message in a bottle "bottles' over the internet. I'm going to do this.
I am going to leave some in random places..and I am going to toss some in the Gulf of Mexico.. I wonder what language I should write my messages?

My Child,

You may not know me,
but I know everything about you.

Psalm 139:1
I know when you sit down and when you rise up.
Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways.
Psalm 139:3
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered.
Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in my image.
Genesis 1:27
In me you live and move and have your being.
Acts 17:28
For you are my offspring.
Acts 17:28
I knew you even before you were conceived.
Jeremiah 1:4-5
I chose you when I planned creation.
Ephesians 1:11-12
You were not a mistake,
for all your days are written in my book.

Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact time of your birth
and where you would live.

Acts 17:26
You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Psalm 139:14
I knit you together in your mother's womb.
Psalm 139:13
And brought you forth on the day you were born.
Psalm 71:6
I have been misrepresented
by those who don't know me.

John 8:41-44
I am not distant and angry,
but am the complete expression of love.

1 John 4:16
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you.
1 John 3:1
Simply because you are my child
and I am your Father.

1 John 3:1
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could.
Matthew 7:11
For I am the perfect father.
Matthew 5:48
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand.
James 1:17
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs.
Matthew 6:31-33
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope.
Jeremiah 29:11
Because I love you with an everlasting love.
Jeremiah 31:3
My thoughts toward you are countless
as the sand on the seashore.

Psalms 139:17-18
And I rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17
I will never stop doing good to you.
Jeremiah 32:40
For you are my treasured possession.
Exodus 19:5
I desire to establish you
with all my heart and all my soul.

Jeremiah 32:41
And I want to show you great and marvelous things.
Jeremiah 33:3
If you seek me with all your heart,
you will find me.

Deuteronomy 4:29
Delight in me and I will give you
the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4
For it is I who gave you those desires.
Philippians 2:13
I am able to do more for you
than you could possibly imagine.

Ephesians 3:20
For I am your greatest encourager.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
I am also the Father who comforts you
in all your troubles.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When you are brokenhearted,
I am close to you.

Psalm 34:18
As a shepherd carries a lamb,
I have carried you close to my heart.

Isaiah 40:11
One day I will wipe away
every tear from your eyes.

Revelation 21:3-4
And I'll take away all the pain
you have suffered on this earth.

Revelation 21:3-4
I am your Father, and I love you
even as I love my son, Jesus.

John 17:23
For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed.
John 17:26
He is the exact representation of my being.
Hebrews 1:3
He came to demonstrate that I am for you,
not against you.

Romans 8:31
And to tell you that I am not counting your sins.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
His death was the ultimate expression
of my love for you.

1 John 4:10
I gave up everything I loved
that I might gain your love.

Romans 8:31-32
If you receive the gift of my son Jesus,
you receive me.

1 John 2:23
And nothing will ever separate you
from my love again.

Romans 8:38-39
Come home and I'll throw the biggest party
heaven has ever seen.

Luke 15:7
I have always been Father,
and will always be Father.

Ephesians 3:14-15
My question is…
Will you be my child?

John 1:12-13
I am waiting for you.
Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad
Almighty God