Watch Out! They’re Here!

Who’s here? False prophets, false teachers. Satin and his goonies, wolves disguised as sheep. The Bible warns that in the end days, lies and deception, chaos and trouble, pride and disobedience will be everywhere.  (Matthew 7:15 NIV) (2 Timothy 3:1-9)

Who can trust the news nowadays? Everything is distorted, every story is twisted to the favor of whoever presents it. Pastors, ministers, reverends, rabbis and priest, don’t all have good track records. We all have been made painfully aware of a church with a dark and dirty secret. Many Christian’s have a misconstrued twist on the truth.  So, what about the teaching of God’s word? Can we trust everything we hear about the Bible? Is your church leading you or misguiding you? How are we to know?

I’m the kind of person who wants to know where you got the story, you’re telling me. I’m the first one to run to the library or jump on the internet and search for some form of validation. I have always been like that. Ever since I was a child, I have been accused of asking ridiculous questions. My mother once told me that after gazing up and out the car window for quite some time, I asked her, “Which one of those five electric cables on the service poles is the one that feeds our toaster in our home”? She told me it was the bottom one. My father was the one who would finally put my mind to rest. He explained that it was not any of them that in fact they were just transporters of energy to each of our homes. He showed me in the house where the energy entered and how it was split up among many outlets. He then showed me that the toaster would work on any one of those outlets. So, mom lied and dad told the truth. Today, I still demand the truth and the proof to support it.

God has provided us with the Bible. It’s our manual for life. It’s better than the internet, it’s better than any book at the library. The Bible is the only source of truth that we have. Everything else is corrupt with one thing or another. The Bible is the only tool that we can use to discover who the false teachers are or which preachers are the wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing.  

I asked myself if the pastors I allow to teach me, are the real deal or they feeding me their own version or the truth. I mean everyone else does so why should I trust in my Church leaders. I think we owe it to ourselves to screen our ministers for the truth. After all what we are taught affects us personally.

  1. When I watch an online pastor or my own church pastor, I have to ask does he/she teach me the entire Bible or at least the majority of it. Am I receiving a tiny portion that suits my pastor or am I also being taught the things I don’t particularly like and the pastor may feel uncomfortable pointing out to me?  (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV) If I am only being taught the best parts, do I really want to continue on with this pastor?
  2. Does your pastor use scripture in the sermons given? Are the scriptures used frequently or rarely? I personally think the more the merrier. I want to be saturated so that I can grow.
  3. As much as I do not want to hear about my sin, consequences and Hell, the place designed for sinners, I want my teachers to educate me on these undesirable topics so that I can identify and avoid them. Do your preachers warn you and prepare you with knowledge of these? (2Tomothy 4:2 NIV) Believers have the Holy Spirit in them to convict them of their sins. Unbelievers do not have the Holy Spirit and many of the sins they commit they may think are okay. They must be warned, they must be taught.
  4. “The Laws of Attraction”. Here is dangerous territory. Are we being led to believe that by focusing on the good we can have or attract whatever it is we desire? I witnessed this through an online Christian video. This is NOT found anywhere in the Bible. What we think and believe has nothing to do with how we will be rewarded.
  5. Are you being suckered into the Prosperity Gospel? Yikes! More dangerous territory! Simply this is being taught only what you want to hear. The priest will preach that if you have enough faith you will have financial security, good health, happiness and safety. All you have to do is have enough faith to make it happen. (2 Timothy 4:3-4 NIV) Who does not want to hear that they can be rich, famous and healthy if they have faith. The trouble is, when it doesn’t happen. We lose our faith in God because we’re told we will achieve these things and we know we had all the faith in the world; or, we feel guilty because we think that we are unworthy of God’s blessings.
  6. Some false teachers DENY, that Jesus is the ONLY way to heaven. This is completely opposite to what the bible teaches. The entire Gospel or Good News may as well not have been written. These teachers may lead you believe that you only go to heaven if you do good deeds and earn your entry. Access to Heaven is not works based it is Jesus based. Run from these false teachers.

I hope that this blog will help you to identify who the real prophets are and who the demons of Satin are. Satin will do whatever he can to deceive you and keep you from gaining access to heaven. He is a sore loser and he wishes to take everyone down with him in the end.

This is not by any means a definitive list. Read your Bible daily. Join a small group. Get to church. Choose friends who are morally sound. Pray and ask.            

Enough is Enough

In the beginning, the pandemic frightened me and I was only all too eager to comply with every rule and piece of advice, in order to assure the safety of everyone I care so deeply for. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little concerned about my own safety as well, but fairly early into the lock down I proclaimed that this virus would have no power over me and I have the power of our Creator on my side. (Faith, April 18th, four paragraphs from the end) Although this virus is very real and it is a killer, it is not and has not been the devastating end of the world, mother virus of all viruses.

For the vast majority of us our jobs were deemed non-essential. Right when fear, panic, uncertainty and anxiety came upon many, everyone could forget seeking Hope, Love and Support from their church as spiritual help was deemed non-essential. While, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, were deemed non-essential, abortion clinics were deemed essential. Food banks and services providing meals for the homeless were deemed non-essential but alcohol and beer was deemed essential. Criminals were released from prison because they could be at risk but the backbone of our country, the entrepreneurs were being jailed for trying to save their life’s investment in their businesses.  

How did it come about that we are equal to convicted criminals? Convicted criminals do not have to spend time in jail but can serve their sentences in the comfort of their home. We are sentenced to the same house arrest but have not been convicted of any crime.

Big Box department stores were deemed essential but not the family business. The all-mighty multinationals were given favor and the entrepreneurial spirit was forced to close. So many small businesses have collapsed and many more are struggling. Unfortunately, others have sustained such financial loss that in due time they will also close their doors.

On a personal level we had our freedoms stripped away, our families isolated from each other. Our social groups were diminished and our friends scattered, we’ve been patient and we’ve complied, only to be deprived in uncountable ways, ordered to follow a slew of new protocols and threatened sever punishment for non-compliance. We cannot gather our family let alone our friends within our own homes. We are ordered not to hugg or shake hands, and to maintain a distance between one another. The life we knew is gone and we are told to expect a new normal.

Advice has changed by the hour and news began to seep out as to what is really going on and when we wanted to share the publications, suddenly they were not available any longer.

Some of us were fortunate and even content to stay at home and be paid a government emergency paycheck. Some have found it so luxurious they have decided not to return to work. Some of us who have our heads pulled out of the sand realized the unfairness of this new socialistic society. After a life-time of paying unemployment insurance premiums, health insurance and into government pensions and plans, and municipal, provincial and national taxes; how is it that others who have contributed absolutely nothing to society in any way shape for form, are receiving the same amount of emergency funds as we the workers, who funded it? Why were students who have never worked and still under mom and dad’s care getting our same benefit? Locally, some of them have been reported out on the golf greens playing demolition derby with expensive golf carts.

What on earth are we witnessing? It is none other than Socialism at it’s finest. In Marxist theory socialism is a transitional social state between the overthrowing of capitalism and the realization of Communism. Wow! And what is communism? A political theory derived from Karl Marx, advocating class war and leading to a society in which all property is publicly owned and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs.

Do you see it? It’s all been planned from the very beginning. As sloppy as it was in its presentation, we have lapped it all up like dehydrated puppies presented a fresh bowl or cold water on a sunny day with no shade.

How easily we can be misled. (2 Timothy 3:13 NLT) How trusting we are of our fellow man. (Psalm 146:3-5 NLT) How cunning is our enemy? (Genesis 3:1 NIV)

To be a Fisherman; (of souls)

fishing souls

Man, the local news, regional news, provincial news, my very own countries news, international news and world news could not line up with the Bible any better than how it has right now. Watching the daily news unfold is like witnessing the Old Testament being resurrected and being relived once again.

Everything that is happening, has already been recorded. It’s almost predictable what the next major news event will be. If you have not accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Now, is the time. Like it or not, we are in the end days and there is no stopping what is coming. Keep believing in yourself and the values of this world or give your life up to Jesus. Don’t you see it? All that is happening and what is to come are nothing more than birth pains and minor inconveniences. We have not seen nothing yet! Be afraid, be very afraid because if you are not saved, if you have not accepted Christ; the dreadful horrors that are coming, you cannot even begin to imagine.

I am at peace because I will not be here but my heart will bleed sorrow for those who refuse Jesus. I will cry as I watch unfathomable suffering, the kind of suffering where people will beg for death. When will this happen! Ten seconds from now, tonight while you sleep, next week while grocery shopping, a year from now? I don’t know, only God knows. Fear the Lord our God, come back into His family before He says, “Enough is enough”

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank you for choosing me and inviting me to follow along. Thank you for your patient teachings of your ways. Thank you for building in me, the passion to share, reaching out to people everywhere and showing them the Gospel. I trust and believe that this passion is God given and that there is an urgency to go fishing right now. The harvest has never been so ripe and ready. With your help Lord Jesus, I pray for a bountiful harvest to further God’s Kingdom.

Lord I ask that if this passion is not from you that you redirect me where you want me to be.

But lord, if this passion is from you, take my ambitions and push me further than what I could ever imagine, push me to lengths that only You can see.

Don’t let fear hold me back. I trust that you will guide and coach me in pursuing my fullest potential.

Focus me on individuals, reaching one heart at a time and offering whatever services I have to give for their needs.  I ask that you take the amount of time that I have to offer whether a little or a lot, and use it for what You can. Direct my focus so that I can be productive with what I have to give.

Lastly, Lord, I offer myself to You, all of me. Sort out the undesirable parts of me and help me to build the blessed parts that keep me connected to Your Spirit. Ignite my words, ignite my excitement and help keep me focused on You and nothing else.

Give me the patience Lord to always place others before me and to cheer on their successes and may nothing stand in my way in serving You.

In Your mighty and powerful name, Lord Jesus, I pray. A-men.

If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, it so, so easy to do. All you have to remember is ABC.

“A” is for, Acknowledge your sins. Admit you are a sinner. Romans 3:10, Romans 3:23 and Romans 6:23 ICB.

“B” is for, Believe, in your heart that Jesus Christ is Lord. Romans 10:9&10 ICB (Notice it reads “WILL” not might, could or should).

“C” is for, Call upon the name of the Lord. Romans 10:9&10, Romans10:13 ICB (emphasis on ANYONE or ALL and WILL)

Now, in the best way that you can, express this new knowledge to Jesus, from your heart and begin to experience the love and peace that only God can give.      

Me Vs. God

When I first came back to Canada, I had a pretty good idea of the things I needed and wanted to do. I was organized and focused on reestablishing my life. It would be a cinch. After being overseas for the greater part of a decade, I would secure employment, find a church and volunteer somewhere. As I already had a place to live, in my mind it was done, in a couple of months I would have my life under control. I have written before that what I think, what I want, what I need and how I will do it is all to often a far cry from what God has planned and what He knows that I need.

I see myself a bit like the apostle Peter. Without much of a plan or much thought we both would just dive in head first and accomplish the task. Peter was like, “Oh, I’ll never deny you lord”  and  “Hey, I’m going to walk on water, too.” Me, I’m like, “Move, job, church, volunteer, live.”

Just as Christ shook his head in bewilderment at Peter, he shook his head at me. We both needed maturity and guidance.

First, Jesus placed me in near isolation for 5 months. I didn’t plan this, I certainly didn’t want this, I needed a job. But no, Jesus sat me down to study, think and plan which was a totally new concept for me. During this time, I started this website to share my thoughts and new found knowledge.

Second, someone planted in my mind the big idea to clear out my stash of groceries and give them away. What! So, what am I going to eat? Hello, these groceries cost money and I don’t have a job yet! You can be sure this was not from me.

Third, Jesus sent me on a church shopping spree and after two strikes I found my new church home and family. Still no job and money is getting tight but Jesus thought church was more important.

Fourth, well of course, I need to be in a small group in addition to church. Now, why didn’t I think of that? Oh, I know, maybe I am seeing a real urgent need to find a job so that I could maybe say, EAT! Well God, You, know best and I do have all that I need and even more.

Fifth, I have absolutely no idea why I am volunteering, serving others and working for free when I really need a source of income. Once again, apparently, my priorities are not the same as God’s.

Sixth, finally step one of my plans was addressed. I have been hired and I scoop it up fast. I agree without thinking, it’s what immature young Christians do, right Peter?  I’m just so happy that I finally have employment. Why the heavy heart? Why the doubt? Where is this coming from? I quit my job the day before I was to start. Jesus said, “it’s not the one I have planned for you.”

Seventh, after a few weeks, more carefully this time, less eager about the money, I am called for an interview. Another two weeks pass and I accept an offer to work casual/part time, at minimum wage. Say what? Jesus said, “yes, this is the one.”

I work at a religious charity. I never worked as a casual employee but worked full time hours from the very first day. Within two months I was hired full time, after three months I was eligible for the societies health benefits package and received a raise in pay. I traveled for three weeks back overseas but most importantly I work with some really amazing employees, volunteers and board members, many of which I am now friends. Jesus brought about everything on my plan and so much more than I could have imagined but also in the perfect way. Money, which was my main concern cannot buy the blessings that God has given me.

Two Loves

I used to think I was Dr. Love. No one could love like me. Who could resist me, my money, my security, my guilty pleasures always satisfied? I had it all figured out and I bathed in it. I feasted on it and drank it until I became drunk, daily. I slept comfortably, soundly and secure in my lovely self. My obsession with self-love at quite a young age became an addiction for the better part of my life. I would never have stopped except this is where Jesus found me.

Why should I feel guilty, I mean you have to love yourself, right? The world loves themselves and I’m just another part of the world! How was my love different than others? How did it come about that I began to feel guilty for loving myself? Why was I picked out from the rest of the crowd? Jesus said, you did not choose me, but I chose you… (John 15:16 ESV {in part})

My inward love became draining, it was sucking the life out of me. It became too hard to hang on to. What I kept, just died, rotted and withered inside of me. Love was the poison I drank everyday of my life. Love within myself turned to greed and selfishness. I enjoyed taking but hated to give. When I gave, I always kept the best for myself and gave away the scraps. I would give just enough to the poor to satisfy any guilt I might have. When I became sick or suffered a loss of any type, it was the worst. Whatever others suffered; it was nothing compared to my sufferings. Self-pity reigned in my life. Love made me proud and my favorite topic was, me. A puffed up me beyond who I was. Everyone else was suppressed by my greatness. There was no chance to be as great as thou. My ideas were better, my achievements greater. What an enviable, stellar citizen I had become.      

Jesus stepped into my life suggesting that the gift of love was made, not to hoard but to be given away. He has shown me how the love I diverted into myself was love that I robbed from those around me. Love that was needed and desired by others to thrive and exist. All my selfish love ever did was create misery and suffering everywhere I went.

Every person who has ever suffered, been humiliated, grieved or hated has been deprived of love. Every person who is bitter, been dealt an injustice or is in despair has been the victim of a self-loving but outwardly loveless person of the world.

How often have we, the people of the world full of self-love known of an abused man, woman or child and stood by in silence? How many of us are so in love with our careers that we don’t have time or even try to make the time for a parent, a grandparent, great aunt or other past loved one, who sits alone loveless at home or in an old age home. How many of us self-loving fine and upstanding people know of someone who has committed suicide? How many of us proud individuals know of a family in need of food, clothing or simply some friendship, reassurance, or an invitation? How many beauty queens and self-proclaimed models loathe the fat woman, the disfigured man or the misbehaved child? How many times have you stood by as someone was reprimanded unfairly? Do you know the husband or wife who is cheating on their marriage? Do you know of someone in prison? What have you done about it?  How about the unemployed person? Have you thought how you could help by hiring him for a day, or referring her to an employer? Have you ever considered supporting the starving family overseas?

There are so many ways to feed our hunger for self-love and in every case, we support and contribute to pain, suffering, inequality, injustice, discrimination, grief, and hatred. The way I see it, self-love is the leading disease supporting the broken world we live in. And yet, we dare to blame God for allowing it all to happen. We say, why doesn’t He fix it?

We were made with love, by love and to love. We know it too, but we pretend not to.  1 John 4:7-12 NIV

Earth is our classroom and it’s here where we must learn to love, not ourselves but God and each other. If we learn well, train ourselves in the subject and carry out God’s plan, then our final examination upon death will be easy. There are two loves and I have discovered that to choose between them is to really live. 1 John 2:10-11 NIV Will you choose to love yourself or to love God and one another? Matthew 6:24 NIV

Better Than Jesus

betterthanJesus

The other Day I woke up as usual at five in the morning. Adhering to my daily habit, as soon as I placed my feet on the floor I prayed. Each day I thank our Heavenly Father for His protection and a good night’s rest. I acknowledge who He is to me and I thank Him for his mercy and His grace. I confess that I do not deserve Him. He gives me everything that I do not deserve and he withholds from me the things that I do deserve.

I head off to the bathroom and I continue to thank God for each thing I am grateful for. Thank you, God for plumbing, inside the house. It’s still fresh in my mind having to first build an outhouse on my farm so I would have a place to do my business. Thank you, Lord for electricity I still remember relying on a flash light to find my way down a dark narrow path to the outhouse. Thank you for an endless supply of water. The push of a handle to flush away waste certainly beats scattering ashes over your business deep down inside a dark hole. Hot water, supplied straight to a shower head and pressurized too. What a novel idea! Thank you, dear Abba for this. A true blessing considering that on my farm I carried one-gallon plastic bleach jugs full of water a quarter mile up a steep slope, daily. I boiled it and out of a dish pan, I had birdy baths in the open air. Thank you, God for clean and safe water to drink and brush my teeth. No one told me I could not drink the water supplied to the property line of my farm. I learned otherwise after I became so ill that I had to be hospitalized.

Thank you, God for soap, shampoo, tooth paste and a tooth brush, wash cloths and towels. Thank you for a house to live in with forced hot air heating and central air conditioning. The shipping container I lived in on my farm was cold at night when I wanted it warm and stifling hot at noon when I wanted a cool retreat from the blazing sun.

After expressing gratitude for these and many other moment by moment blessings. My mind turned to the hardships that Jesus endured throughout his life. Jesus didn’t have a mattress to sleep on, or a pillow to rest his head, fresh sheets or a comforter. I bet he woke up more times than enough with an aching back, hips and sore shoulders. I’ll bet there were many nights he woke up shivering from the cold and dampness from the hard ground. I have a comfortable secure house to sleep in and even on my farm I had a shipping container to protect me from the elements, wild animals and thieves.

Jesus didn’t have a constant supply of water at the flip of a tap. He either drank from streams or carried all he could with him, filling up when he had opportunity. Jesus never knew the luxury of an endless supply of hot, clean water to shower under for as long as he wished.  I doubt he ever felt the softness of cotton bath sheets and certainly not the softness of velour robes or memory foam slippers on his feet. Hot freshly ground coffee with cold milk, a hot bowl of cereal, a tart glass of chilled orange juice. I haven’t read anywhere in the Bible where he could select from a large assortment of clothing, a cool short sleeved shirt knowing it would be a hot and dry day. A day when he would want to chose shorts rather than heavy blue jeans. His sandals sufficed rather than comfortable, arch supporting, aerated, running shoes for his long treks.  

My thoughts then turned to something I had never considered before. With all the endless blessings that I receive from God each and every day and contemplating all that I enjoy that Jesus never ever had, I actually live, better than Jesus.

Where I enjoy the luxury of a city bus that actually kneels down for me, Jesus walked. I can ride across the city in 30 to 45 minutes. It would have taken Jesus the better part of the day to walk that same route. Forget about returning to his starting point, no, he just forged onward. It wouldn’t have made sense to walk all the way back.

Why has God provided me, a life better than Jesus? I’m certainly not better than Jesus in any way. Why am I blessed with luxury and comfort while God’s one and only son ruffed it with next to nothing?

Once again, my musings changed direction. Is my thinking that I live better than Jesus, founded on the materialism that the world dictates as needs? Jesus had an entirely different focus. He focused on God, our Father in Heaven, believing and trusting in Him to provide all that he needed. Jesus slept just fine in the peace of the Holy Spirit and unlike me, where ever he traveled he was invited into people’s homes to eat and rest. I have to pay for restaurants and motels. Jesus bathed in the never-ending supply of crystal clear, warm tropical streams, rivers and lakes, as often and for as long as he wished. I have to pay for my water to be heated, treated and piped into my home. Jesus was provided with basins of water to wash his feet and on occasion had his weary feet washed for him. I have never had anyone offer to wash MY feet. Jesus wouldn’t have wanted to ride a bus, he would have missed out on countless people to bless, heal and converse with. I can’t speak with anyone on the bus they all have earbuds plugged into their ears. Specialized clothing meant nothing to Jesus. His only goal was to please God, and for that, God provided for his every need.

Who lives or lived better than who?   Yeah!   I continued with my moment by moment prayer of gratitude. Thank you, Heavenly Father for your endless supply of love. Thank you, Abba for your guidance, knowledge and understanding……………….

May God our Father be praised forever and ever. A-men (Philippians 4:20, Contemporary English Version)

Faith or Fear? Worship or Worry?

Hope in Jesus

The very same day that The World Health Organization declared the Corona Virus a pandemic, people reacted. Some started to stock pile face masks, others swooped in to buy all the toilet paper and others scooped up all the hand sanitizer. A lady came into our store and bought flannel sheets to cut up into pieces, to use as a toilet paper substitute. Usually we Canadians are pretty laid back and approach life in a more relaxed manner but now, shear fear is taking over.

As the next days unfolded it became very apparent that the vast majority of the people were panicking. They were out buying everything and anything. There were two and a half hour long lineups to enter big box stores. The grocery stores had their shelves decimated. I went to one grocery store to pick up my prescription at the pharmacy after work. I walked around the store to see what everyone was talking about. All pasta was sold out, all the rice, all the bread, all of the frozen vegetables and almost all of the canned goods. There was no toilet paper, napkins or paper towels and no hand sanitizer just as everyone had said. I bought two cans of tomato paste that I would use the next day to make a favorite soup. I bought a new flavor of cookies for dunking in my coffee, coconut/mango, and I bought four liters of 1% milk for my coffee and cereal. Nothing I bought was for long term survival, nor was anything a need. Everything I bought was a want on impulse.

I felt uneasy as I walked through the store. I wasn’t fearful and it wasn’t shock or bewilderment with the vacant shelves but rather a deep feeling of pity and sadness for the droves of people who were there before me.  We live in a first world country where everything is so plentiful, we have become wasteful. This day I was looking at the evidence of chaos, brought about by fear and uncertainty.

Just one short week ago my city, my country in fact, or shall I say the world, was largely basking in an overabundance of pride, sufficiency and contentment. Then suddenly, overnight, greed, selfishness, scamming and scheming, and distrust became the new normal.               

 20 years ago, the big worrisome fear was Y2K, do you remember that? Mass hysteria, panic, ill thought out plans, opportunist and scams cost large companies and individuals millions upon millions of dollars. People wouldn’t fly because they thought planes would drop out of the sky. They wouldn’t drive because automobile computers would fail. It was speculated that trains and subway cars would crash.  This fear came and passed and in hindsight, was there really anything worthy of the fear that was felt?

Today the runner up is the Corona Virus or Covid-19. Will it pass? Absolutely! The big questions seem to be, what will the health impact be and what will the financial fallout look like? Who knows? Can you or I control it? NO! All the worrying in the world won’t fix a thing! I’m placing it all in God’s hands and I’m trusting Him to solve these problems.

Listen, all this panic is from Satin. God is calling us to faith. Turn your thoughts to Jesus Christ, our savior and be free of fear. I’m not in a panic. I know my God. Everyone who knows me will testify I am at total peace. All you have to do is turn your worries into worship. You cannot worry and worship at the same time, they are opposites of one another. When you worry you are not worshiping and when you worship you don’t worry. 

It’s so sad to me that very obviously all of these panic shoppers have no connection to God or Jesus. Even members of my church are panic buying and they say they know and trust in the Lord. So, even more disturbing to me, is that many so-called Christians do not have faith in their God.

Are you at peace with God? Can you place your faith in Jesus Christ to get you through this pandemic, unscathed? If not, would you like to know what props me up? Would you like to witness the peace that surpasses all understanding? Read, Psalm, chapter 91. For easy understanding here it is from the International Children’s Bible

Those who go to God Most High for safety
    will be protected by God All-Powerful.   (go to Him now with the prayer below)
I will say to the Lord, “You are my place of safety and protection.
    You are my God, and I trust you.”   (say it out load, now)

God will save you from hidden traps
    and from deadly diseases.   (you must believe it)
He will protect you like a bird
    spreading its wings over its young.    (picture a hen with her chicks under her)
    His truth will be like your armor and shield.    (now that’s protection)
You will not fear any danger by night    (you’ll rest peacefully)
    or an arrow during the day.   (you can walk in peace)
You will not be afraid of diseases that come in the dark    
    or sickness that strikes at noon.   (that includes viruses)
At your side 1,000 people may die,    (unbelievers and followers of Satin)
    or even 10,000 right beside you.    
    But you will not be hurt.        (Christians with faith in God)
You will only watch what happens.
    You will see the wicked punished. 

The Lord is your protection.  (A-men)
    You have made God Most High your place of safety.
10 Nothing bad will happen to you.
    No disaster will come to your home.   (your family is protected because of your faith)
11 He has put his angels in charge of you.   (angels plural, more than one)
    They will watch over you wherever you go.   (global protection 24/7)
12 They will catch you with their hands.    (that’s security)
    And you will not hit your foot on a rock.    (Satin will not be allowed to trip you up)
13 You will walk on lions and cobras.      (Satin will be kept below you)
    You will step on strong lions and snakes.  (you will walk all over Satin)

14 The Lord says, “If someone loves me, I will save him.      (praise God)
    I will protect those who know me.      (get to know Him, today)
15 They will call to me, and I will answer them.  (He’s listening and waiting for your call)
    I will be with them in trouble.     (now and forever)
    I will rescue them and honor them. 
16 I will give them a long, full life.
    They will see how I can save.”  (witness His blessings with me)

Matthew 23: 37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You kill the prophets and kill with stones those men God sent to you. Many times, I wanted to help your people! I wanted to gather them together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. But you did not let me.    

(You must want Jesus to help you. You have to let him help you. If you don’t want help and won’t let him help, he won’t and he can’t.   If you’re drowning and your thrashing all around trying to help yourself, no one can help you but when you get tired and give up, cry out and then you can be saved. Give yourself up to Jesus and stop trying to do everything your own way, then he’ll help.

If you have not given your heart to Jesus and you want his immediate protection, say this prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus:                                                                                                                                

I don’t understand everything about you and our Father in Heaven, but I am ready to accept you as my lord and savior. I understand that you voluntarily went to the authorities knowing they would wrongfully convict you and sentence you to die on the cross. I understand that you were perfect and sinless and yet you took ALL of the sins of the world (mine included) into death with you. Through your sacrifice I have been forgiven and made pure in God’s sight. I believe that three days later you were resurrected and after 40 days of showing yourself to your friends and many witnesses, you ascended into Heaven to sit with God our Father. I understand Lord Jesus that the only way I can be saved and enter into Heaven is through you. I give you my heart, mind and soul. I desire you to be my guide, my shepherd, my teacher and my savior. In your name I pray this prayer. A-men     

Read Deuteronomy 28: 1-14 To see God’s blessing on you.

Number Eight of the Big Ten

God made a set of laws for us to follow. Ten straight forward, easily understood rules. All we have to do is obey ten simple commandments and we’re in God’s good books. Easy peasy, I mean how hard can it be to obey 10 rules? Well I don’t know about you, but I’ve failed at each and every one of them uncountable times throughout my life.

I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior and he paid the most expensive fine ever levied for my breaking these rules. The only acceptable payment would be the blood sacrifice of a perfect lamb. Jesus was the only perfect man to ever have walked on this planet, and he dirtied himself with my sins. He took all the blame for what I committed and paid my fines in full with his life, setting me free.

 Do you know how I repaid Jesus for this blessing of all blessings, for his suffering and his death? I went right ahead and broke every one of the ten commandments again, and again, and again. Have you done the exact same thing as I have? Thank goodness for us, that Jesus paid for “ALL” of our sins. That’s every broken rule from our past, every sin we committed today and every commandment dishonored in the future. “ALL” sins.

Today, I want to address commandment number eight. “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” Plain and simple, I am not to lie. Do I ever lie?  No, not ever! That was a lie about not lying. God is truth and we are to honor Him by not lying.

I have another skeleton in my closet and it was born from a lie. A lie that needs to be brought out into the open so that I can be more at ease with myself. A lie that I am tired of carrying around. A lie that threatens to be discovered. A lie that will surely tear down my integrity.

This particular lie started off as a way to avoid recurring suffering and pain when individuals innocently stirred up the single most painful unforgiven catastrophe of my life. The one I tried to ignore, bury and hide. My divorce. I did the complete opposite of what the apostle Paul advised in Ephesians 4:31 NIV

All it took was a few inquisitive words to set me off, like; Are you married? Where’s your wife? Did your wife come with you? Is she here? Why didn’t you bring your wife? I’d really like to meet your wife someday! To which I would reply, “I am divorced, I don’t have a wife”. Now that should’ve been the end of it, but no. Then the inevitable questions would come, the looks of disappointment, the prying, and sometimes I swear people just like to dwell on the misery of others so they can feel better about their own messed up lives.

These questions would expose the hatred I had stored up inside which provided fuel for the questioner to pour back onto the fire they just fanned into full flame. Oh dear! I’m so sorry! Oh my, what happened? Whose fault was it? How long has it been? You must be so lonely! Do you have children? How are they taking it? Is there anything I can do? What advice do you have about divorce? So now that you’re available, I have this friend…. Will you marry again?

These thoughtless replies and digs would bring back to memory all the greed, deceit, accusations, cheating lawyers, unfair statements, concocted self-purposing lies and financial loss. They would cost me weeks of sleepless nights, again, as I battled with my fury. One day after about four years of this malarkey I came up with the reply, “I’m a widower, my wife was killed in a car accident.” The inquisitive person is usually too shocked and too embarrassed to ask any further questions. An apology is usually offered, a little sympathy poured out and then they shuffled off on their way. This was brilliant. Why didn’t I think of this sooner? Thus a lie was born.

Over time, questions concerning the death of my wife surfaced here and there and I unthinkingly provided quick answers to satisfy whoever was asking and to protect my claim. The lie was expanding and becoming more and more detailed, morphing into a hybrid. I repeated the hybrid lie so many times that it became a reality in my mind. Psalm 119:29 NLT I could still hate her, despise her, slander her in my heart and deny that she ever hurt me as deeply as she did. She was where she belonged, murdered, dead to me, out of my life. The hybrid lie also replaced disappointment and shame with the sympathy I desired. No one ever upset me again and I was at peace. Or, so I thought.  

This hybrid lie has retarded my life and my ability to move forward. Thirty eight years later I still had not forgiven my estranged wife as I never needed to. With the help of the Holy Spirit I realized the weight I was carrying and the need to offload it. All this time I have tried to hurt her by not forgiving her, but she doesn’t even care or know. I have only been hurting myself.  

Exposing myself, to rid my soul of this heavy burden would be a lot easier if I could be guaranteed that no one that I knew, would ever read this blog. All of my very nearest and dearest friends, many of my acquaintances and even my pastor have given me their sympathy which I accepted wrongfully. I have abused their love and care for me. Now I risk losing their friendship and their trust. I am trying to establish myself as a man of integrity and this certainly does not lend itself to my efforts.     

I never intended to hurt anyone but have succeeded in hurting everyone. Now it’s out in the open. I can start to breathe once again. Satin will not be able to derail me by exposing this secrete. I have exposed it myself.

It all started with one tiny little lie. I’m a widower!       

Exhumation of a BIG Skeleton

There’s a skeleton in my closet that has to leave. Excess baggage that’s weighing me down and I’ve slugged it around for 30+years. The skeleton is the bitterness, shame, hatred and unforgiveness  from a very, very toxic and painful divorce.

If you are leaning toward a divorce, listen up. Think twice and consider any alternatives. Do your research and know in advance what you’re getting yourself into. Especially if you have children. Consider what the Bible has to say about divorce. Mark 10: 6-9 NASB, Matthew 19:6 ESV, Ephesians 5:21-33 ESV. I encourage you to seek out faith based marriage counseling. Talk to your pastor or any pastor. Your marriage can be rebuilt and restored. I strongly recommend prayer and asking for spiritual help. James 1:5 NLT, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 NLT.

If you choose to divorce let me give you a heads up and express what I went through. I suffered stress, emotional anguish and trauma, financial stress, bankruptcy, mental exhaustion, unwarranted damage to my integrity. I watched my children being used as pawns and bargaining chips without any regard for their feelings. Resentment, bitterness, being treated unfairly, badly damaged and broken friendships and family relationships. I was constantly on the defense. Anger, exclusion, isolation, depression, sleep deprivation, disappointment, false accusations, suicidal thoughts and attempted suicide. Greed and selfishness, mental and physical abuse, loss of identity, low self-esteem and shame.

Your divorce will have long lasting effects not only on yourself but on innocent loved ones. Your divorce will be far reaching and affect others that you cannot even imagine. Other people in your community, at your place of work and anyone you are in contact with, directly or indirectly. When you get into it you will not be able to think rationally or clearly. Your future will be so blurred by the smoke that reaching tomorrow will be your future goal. One day at a time will be your new reality for a long, long time.

After all this, the resentment I felt turned me into an unrecognizable me. I became a miserable, angry person. I hated all women to point of even questioning my own mother’s treatment of my father. No one wanted to be around me. I didn’t want to be around me. After unsuccessfully attempting to commit suicide for the third time I again sought professional help and that is when the bitterness set in. To think that I came so close to exiting this life in order to escape the cruelty I was suffering and then that led to the inability to ever forgive.

Sadly, I now see that my unforgiveness had absolutely no effect on the perpetrators. But it has held me back, bogged me down, held me prisoner and cost me 30+ years of my life. Only through much prayer have I finally reached the point where I am now able to let go of this skeleton.

With the love and guidance of the Holy Spirit who lives within me; To my ex-wife, I forgive you. To my ex-wife’s lawyer, I forgive you. To the one particular judge who was obviously a friend of my ex-wife’s lawyer, I forgive you for your ridiculous judgment that by the way never happened because of its absolute absurdity.  To the multitude of friends, family, co-workers, and acquaintances that were coerced to join in on the feeding frenzy against me, I forgive all of you.

Although I was not a follower of Christ at the time, God witnessed all that was said and done. I hand over this incredible burden, once and for all. I’m not carrying it any longer. It is now in God’s hands for Him to judge and deal with as He sees fit.

With God’s guidance, I am so ready to start planning the rest of my life.

Are you up to going through a divorce? Will you be able break the chains that imprison you afterward?  

The Skeletons in my Closet

Hidden facts that should they ever be discovered, will undoubtedly damage my reputation. They threaten to destroy my most valued relationships and at the very least when exposed, people’s perceptions of me will be changed. I am ashamed and afraid of being rejected.

Satan hunted me down when I was weak. He found me when I had rejected God. He toyed with my mind, he enticed me, he lured me and he created irresistible situations. He set his traps for me. They were all disguised as fantastic opportunities, sugar coated lies and dreams he promised would come true.

To his delight I ran into trap after trap after trap.  For most of my life I played along and lived his lies. I was buried so deep and it seemed there was no way out. Living in sin was all that I knew. He taught me well.

God was watching and extending His hand. “Trust me, believe in me”. “Choose everlasting life over death”. I knew He was there. My heart told me so.  I could not see HIM but I could see my bank account, my trust funds, my investments, my new home, my new vehicles, my well-paying job, my circle of friends, travel, parties, lovers and I wanted more, more, more.

God created me for Himself and He wanted me back. God passed judgment upon me and He initiated His discipline. Stock market crashes, a horrific, costly, divorce and custody battle, lost employment, a sour property investment, crooked lawyers, false friends and I was crushed. When my head stopped spinning and I saw that the vast majority of all I had worked for all my life had vanished, I turned to the one friend who I thought would save me and he turned his back on me.  

 For the first time in my life I ran out of resources and I had no more answers. I didn’t know what to do. It all seemed hopeless. I threw myself a pity party and after a long hard cry and crying myself to sleep. Something touched me and led me to get down on my knees. I cried out to Jesus, I confessed many, many sins and begged for his forgiveness, for him to take me in, love me, help me and be my guide.

It’s been a little over three years since that day. For a while I still continued to sink but I held on to Jesus’ hand and refused to let go. I prayed to know God and I prayed for the zeal to learn more about Him. I began to read the Bible faithfully every day and research scriptures. I signed up for daily devotionals and began reading Christian based and themed books.  I started to attend church and prayed regularly.

In the last few months my life has finally started to turn around for the better. Blessings abound and I am so appreciative. I have actually received messages from God Himself. I am feeling so very confident and I know that everything is going to be alright. BUT! Guess who has never left?

There is one who is not pleased in the least that I have turned to God and Jesus and man is he ever angry. I cannot begin to count the ferocious attacks that Satin has come at me with. He wants me back and he’s playing dirty. There are many skeletons hanging in my closet. He helped me put them there. Things I’ve done that I am not proud of and lies I’ve concocted to hide shameful things. Stories I’ve told and people I’ve hurt, actions that threaten to destroy friendships and many unbelievable acts that will damage my new Christian character.

Satin was once so accommodating and he made it easy for me to achieve anything that I wanted. He congratulated me on jobs well done and suggested that I deserved more. He set up new temptations everywhere. All mine for the taking. Today these sinful acquisitions are my shame. They are the skeletons in my closet and he threatens to expose them so that he can bring me down.

These skeletons are my own and they are keeping me at a distance from God. Satin reminds me every day and asks me, “What were you thinking”?  He tells me, “You are such an idiot to think you could ever get away with that”!  

My only freedom will be to dig these skeletons out and expose them to the world, myself. I don’t see that I have any other choice. It is the only way that I can disarm Satin and improve my relationship with God.      

Many of us have skeletons hidden away. How will you deal with yours? I could sure use your prayers as I attempt to clean out my closets.