Trouble Within the Ranks

Forgiveness

Over the past two weeks some disturbing stories have come to light at my place of employment. Stories of verbal and mental abuse. Stories of a plot to undermine and discredit our boss. Stories of the abuse of power and position being held over others. Stories of the society being robbed of time and taken advantage of. With a snake in the grass stirring the pot and acting as a go between, setting the stage of negativity on multiple fronts; Satin has slowly and surely crept into our tight little family of love, respect and support and turned it to one of fear, resentment, hurt feelings and a lack of trust.

I work at a Christian Charity, dedicated to the poor and under privileged. We continue the good work of our founder, to the glory of God. How is it possible that no one saw this coming? It’s because we are all guilty of burying our heads in the sand. It’s because even though we are a Christian non-profit Society, we cannot legally draw attention to God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Bible or the power of prayer and faith. This opens the door for Satanic scum to move in and about. Just like schools, workplaces, businesses and everywhere else in North America, the population trust in themselves and sets their own standards. Then it becomes all about rights and if rights just happen to violate others rights, so what. One person’s rights should never supersede another’s for any reason. There are responsibilities to others that must be considered before one can claim their own rights. Oh my, did Satin forget to mention that?

I have big news for everyone, worldwide and I hope some of my co-workers are reading this post and will take particular notice. IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU! IT’S ALL ABOUT GOD! You are not in control, God is. You have your job because God has granted it to you. Everything you have ever achieved is because of God’s grace, not your own futile efforts.

You do not have the right to gossip at work or anywhere. This is a gutless cowardly slimeball move, supported by Satin and his goonies. It is disrespectful from the very start, Jesus referred to gossip as committing murder in your heart. Manipulation seems to have married with gossip in this case and for the snake in the grass slithering around behind everyone’s back, this is appalling. Are you working with us or against us?  

No one has the right to insult another person by name calling. Let’s leave this to immature and poorly raised little children. Out and out profanities being yelled in public not only degrades your fellow employee but strikes all innocent parties within hearing distance. As if this act isn’t evil enough, the fact it is coming from an employee of a religious charity is downright shocking. Do you have any moral standards what-so-ever?

Making a public vow to bring down your boss and threaten to damage that person’s reputation with a secret letter to specific parties, with the goal of having that person fired is just down right yellow bellied cowardice.

Mulling around and wasting time to avoid more work while being paid, is stealing. Stealing is stealing in God’s eyes but I just can’t help thinking that stealing from a religious charity that is honoring God might be one place to avoid going. It’s a slippery and steep slope that leads to Hell. One may want to avoid stepping onto it.

Personal phone calls at the charities expense and on the Society’s, time is again a form of stealing. Personal banking, and other business while being paid an hourly wage? Stealing.

Sitting back and stalling while others do all the labor and eating when co-workers have not eaten and are trudging forward without your help, shows a complete lack of respect and is totally not fair.

Pumping yourself up presenting yourself as God’s gift the employer, knowing all that your guilty of. I’m not sure what to call that without offending God. I’ll gently refer to it as supremacy, pride and deceit otherwise known as lies.

Blaming others for what you are responsible for? Self-serving lies.  

Two employees quit and moved on because of various types of abuse feeling that they did not have a voice because they were yet, rookies. Two more employees struggled and finally found the courage to speak out about their abuse but now will work in fear of retaliation.

How do two beaten down and abused rookies keep face and resist retaliation? I would have to suggest that they can’t. They need the all mighty power of God to step in and defend them. Here’s the problem! I do not believe that either of them is saved, I do not believe either have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. If not, they are still filthy with their own sin and God is not with them. They must accept Jesus and invite Christ into their hearts, believing in him. They must believe and know that Jesus has taken their sins upon himself and forgiven them. They have to know that their sins have condemned them to death but Jesus took their sins and died on their behalf. They must know that Jesus’ suffering and death is the only acceptable sacrifice that God our Father in Heaven would accept in order to see them cleansed of their sins. Only then can they stand in the presence of God and ask for His help.

It is so important that the Gospel or the Good News is shown to everyone because without it they are on their own.

Will you share the Good News to unbelievers before it’s too late? Before they find themselves in a predicament where they need God’s mighty right hand but they do not qualify? With God all they would have to do would be to stand back and refuse to argue or defend themselves so that God would be clear to step in and fight for them.

I’ll try my best to get through to these two co-workers. I could use your prayers for courage and the correct words to speak.     Thanks in advance.  

I Believe

rupture

All week I have struggled to write a blog to post on, “The Two-Year-Old Christian.” I have many entries throughout my journal but not one stood out, as a contender to be expanded upon for this week. Today I am past my due date for posting and still I have nothing.

During my morning routine of praying and reading God’s word, I believe The Holy Spirit set up today’s post for me.

The past two months of lockdown has certainly given everyone ample time to reflect on their lives and pursue personal interest. As you might have figured, I dove deeper into God’s Word, watched endless hours of sermons from pastors around the globe, and searched for answers to my own personal questions.

Throughout the old testament, we, God’s special creations have turned against Him. Time and time again we have abused His love, His generosity and His patience. We have refused to keep our promises to Him. We have blasphemed him, ignored Him and disobeyed Him. The worst of the worst is when we turn to other gods and worship them. We have shunned His warnings repeatedly and then He turns His back on us. At this point we exhibit no more guilt, we govern and live for ourselves, our behavior is justified, crime is legitimized, good becomes bad and bad becomes good.

The state of our planet shouldn’t be any great surprise to anyone and the quality of our lives shouldn’t be a surprise either. If you’ve ever wondered if history repeats itself, the answer is a resounding. “YES.” Look around! Do you see what I see? Do you like what you see and are you okay with it? We have got to be the absolute worst civilization ever. Each civilization has become more corrupt and with worse sins than the previous ones. How many times can we turn to our own understanding and push God out of our lives? How much worse can we become than what we are today? Have we finally passed the point of no return?

I believe we are in the end times and I believe we are a lot closer than what most of us think we are. I believe we have used up all of our “second chances.” I believe that we believers who have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and savior and have repented of our sins will be raptured. I believe that this will be followed by the revealing of the antichrist and then the seven years of tribulation will begin.    

This morning before reading the scriptures, I prayed as I usually do. My prayer was more of a verbal pondering and sorting out of my thoughts, than it was of praising God. Everything as far as I can see has lined us up for the perfect storm. I questioned the timing of the rapture and considering the events happening around the world, I prayed for the rapture to come sooner than later. Until the rapture does come, I asked Jesus what I can do to help glorify God and I offered myself to His service. I asked how I may contribute to building the kingdom of God. I wondered out loud, should I be personally evangelizing in addition to submitting blogs for each of the two, Christian websites I now write for. I wondered how much time I have to share the Gospel with others, and lead them to be saved in Jesus Christ.

I opened my online Bible and the first thing to greet me right after my prayer was, 1 Thessalonians 4: 16-17 ICB.  Out of the blue just like that, the verse of the day just happens to be about the rapture. This is God speaking to me. I do not believe in coincidences or pure chance but I do believe in spiritual guidance and confirmation.

I believe that by reiterating the rapture immediately after my praying about it, God Himself, has confirmed that the rapture is very close. When exactly, is not for us to know. His angels will not know until He orders it. When we do push that last button and tip Him over the edge, I believe He will give the order and it will be enacted immediately. How close do you think we are to the end of all things as we know them on this side of eternity?  

Accept that you are a sinner. Believe in Jesus Christ and what he did for us. Call out to Jesus and be saved.   

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.

Jesus’ Claim, Defended

resurretion

All of Christianity is based on two main events, “Christmas” and “Easter”. The Old Testament prepares us for the delivery of Jesus Christ who is to become our savior from all sin. The New Testament delivers Jesus to us, proves he is the prophesied Messiah and we see the foundations of our Christian faith laid out.

 The other day I outlined my own account of Easter week, day to day. However, something was amiss. Jesus’ claim that he would be raised after three days and three nights did not add up. (If you have not read the blog, “What’s it all About” you may want to read it right below this one, before continuing on).

Was Jesus mistaken? Are the accounts in the Holy Bible wrong? The Bible is God’s written word, it stands for truth, hope and love. If the Bible is false then there is no such thing as Christianity. We are living a big lie.

I am not a theologian and the answer to this dilemma is deep. To find the truth it involves a lot of reading and referencing throughout the Bible. I am sure I will loose most of my readers if I were to try to explain why Jesus was correct and not mistaken.

Thank you, Abba for leading me to a very simplistic chart that makes all the research more easily understood, even by one such as myself. I do not have permission to replicate this chart but there is a reference to its true designer in the bottom right hand corner. If I am asked to remove this chart by the owners I will.    

Please search and read the Bible references given for a more thorough understanding.

Christianity stands strong. The integrity of, “The Holy Bible” stands strong. All Christians can still have faith in Jesus and know we will all live together in eternity because of this Easter season. Hallelujah, praise God.  

Imagen taken from www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-magazine/

What’s it all about?

crucifixion

What a flurry of activity this Easter Season brings. So much happened, all in such a short time that it’s really difficult to take it all in. The culmination of Jesus’ life all brought together, fulfilling God’s will. Demonstrating to the world, the greatest love we will ever know.

Jesus’ life, although short, appears long and full when I consider all that he achieved. Now, he ties it all together in just one week. Willing submission, humility, abandonment, promises, patience, endurance, accusations, compassion, forgiveness, death, resurrection and victory. This week is the climax of the loving purpose he was sent for.  

This intense week of the Easter story begins with Jesus arriving on foot to the small town of Bethany, not too far away from Jerusalem. Here Jesus begins the last chapter of his journey. He is brought a young donkey to ride on, he will enter into Jerusalem as a king. Near the city a huge crowd greets him, laying their coats down on the road while others cut palm fronds and laid them down before him. The crowd cheered him on and children joined in with praises. Yes, you guessed it, this was last Sunday. Palm Sunday to everyone now-a-days.

Two days later on Tuesday at the temple in Jerusalem Jesus has a confrontation with the religious leaders angering them by calling them out for what they really are, a brood of venomous vipers. Later up on the Mount of Olives Jesus answers some of his apostle’s questions concerning the future. Jesus speaks of great wars, starvation, sickness, serious crime and large earthquakes. He says God’s kingdom will be taught worldwide. This is so exciting for me because all of these things have happened. Jesus has promised that after these birth pains he will come back and clean up the mess that has been made of this world.

The next day, Wednesday, Judas Iscariot one of the twelve apostles makes a deal with the high priest and agrees to lead them to Jesus so they can arrest him. Thirty pieces of silver is apparently all that He thinks Jesus’ life is worth.

The following day Jesus and his twelve disciples celebrated the Passover meal in an upper room, remembering when God’s angel ‘passed over’ the homes of Israel but killed the first born of every Egyptian man and animal. After dinner Jesus demonstrated the very first communion giving the apostles a physical way to remember himself after he dies.

Sometime after midnight which now brings us to Friday, Jesus and his apostles go into the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus knows he will be arrested, mistreated and sentenced to hang on the cross until he dies. He asks his apostles to pray with him and he heads off to pry alone. Three times he was disappointed that the apostles are not praying but rather fell asleep. Jesus was arrested and what we refer to as Good Friday was in fact the most horrific and unimaginable day anyone could visualize in their worst nightmares.

Jesus willingly submitted himself to the authorities in humility. His disciples abandoned him and they broke their promises. Jesus patiently endured wrongful accusations leading to beatings, lashings and eventually sentencing, to be crucified. Yet after all of this, with only the compassion that God would be able to give under these circumstances, Jesus begged for our forgiveness, promises one of the thieves also being crucified a place in paradise and then died on the cross.

Now it gets really sticky. Jesus said he would be resurrected in three days and 3 nights. (Mathew 12:40 ICB)  No matter how you try to add it up or from what angle you choose to look at it, Friday afternoon to Sunday morning is only one and a half days, half of the time Jesus claimed for his resurrection. Jesus wouldn’t lie, he can’t lie otherwise he would not have been the perfect sinless lamb sacrifice required to cover our sins. He wouldn’t have been mistaken; he was in constant communication with God. Something has gone amiss here. What am I to believe? 

I have the answer but I’m out of time and space here. I’ll guarantee you this, there is an explanation and it is Biblical. Can you figure it out? 

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!       

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.   

House Cleaning with, “The Holy Spirit”

Before seeking Jesus, confessing my sins, asking for forgiveness and asking him to take over my messed up life, it was not uncommon for me to wake up for several hours in the middle of the night. I would awake enraged with anger over some issue that occurred the previous day, week or even months and sometimes years earlier. I would be so upset that it would take me hours to get back to sleep. I could never solve the angering problem and most often I would watch television or read a book until I could be distracted enough or calmed down enough to return to bed and finish what was left of the night.

Sometime soon after seeking and asking Jesus to take charge in my life, I had my first encounter with The Holy Spirit. I didn’t know it at the time but hindsight is 20/20. Now I understand some of the gifts of The Holy Spirit that Jesus gave to me when I reached out to him and accepted him as my Lord and Savior.

The encounter was right after I woke up in a fit of anger. At first I dove right into the problem, swinging and kicking, thinking of what I should have said and should have done at the time, muttering profanities under my breath. Then, when I realized I was losing the battle yet again, I got this idea to ask Jesus for his help. I explained what was going on and that I was the victim and needed his help. What happened next was pretty amazing. That problem dissipated and in no time at all I was lying back down and dozing off to sleep.

What a great idea I had. Why didn’t I think of it a long time ago. I had heard talk about The Holy Spirit but I had no idea where he fit into the grand scheme of things. The only things I understood was God is the creator and Jesus is our Savior. I figured that I had discovered all on my own that the way to beat these Satin antagonized bouts of anger was for me to remember to ask Jesus to help me. I’m not sure who tipped me off that it was not me that thought to go to Christ for help, but that it was actually The Holy Spirit that gave me the idea and prompted me to stop fighting and leave it for Jesus to battle it out. He is my shepherd and protector.

It must have been the better part of the first two years of my becoming a Christian before I stopped trying to deal with my sleep time anger problems on my own. Then realizing that to avoid defeat all I had to do was run to Jesus and let him settle the score. No one has ever accused me of having a thin cranium. There’s some pretty dense bone and matter up there that makes it pretty difficult for knowledge and experience, to break through and take up residency.

At about the two and half year mark as a Christian I had finally learned that The Holy Spirit was a gift from Jesus and that he actually lived right inside of me. I had begun to communicate with him one on one, and prayed, and gave thanks to him right along with Abba and Jesus. The Holy Spirit has taught me to recognize when I am under attack and when Satin has begun throwing old wounds at me. When I fail to react right away The Holy Spirit gives me a nudge. I’ve learned to not even try to resist, but to run straight to Jesus immediately.

Psalms 139: 23-24 NLT : Search me, Oh God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Up to a point I was always on the defense, reacting to Satin’s ploys. At some point the Holy Spirit turned the tables and we became the offense. I would pray to The Holy Spirit to dig out a piece of garbage that was lingering around inside me. He lived in me and who would know better the gunk that was in there than he. I would ask that he bring to my attention the pieces of baggage that he knew I would be able to handle. Those old unforgiven hurts were dragged out of the closets and presented to me, often in the middle of the night or early pre waking hours. I would wake up, realize what they were and take them to Jesus. I would pray with Jesus that I forgive this person for doing that to me, pray for healing in that person and then mentally with Jesus we would fold up that hurt, tie it up secure and we would throw it in the furnace and watch it burn until there was nothing left but ashes.

One day I tried to remember the hurts that had been tossed out. I planned to count them up and see how many we had gotten rid of. I could not for the life of me remember what the hurts were that we had tossed away. When Jesus takes on a sin it is washed away forever, once and for all.  It is hard to imagine that I had carried all that excess baggage, some of it for decades. Some of it was so old and so insignificant now that I had to laugh at the immaturity of it. How much needless stress did I put myself through by not forgiving these hurts at the time? How much energy and how much of my life have I wasted carrying all this unnecessary waste?

The Holy Spirit has done some serious housecleaning in me. He did not just dig out my hurt feelings but also grudges, jealousy and wrongs that I did to others and never apologized for (OUCH!) This housecleaning exercise is still underway to this day. I hate to admit it but there are still sins so embedded inside that it may be a while yet before they’re dislodged. Wounds and sins so painful that I have made up lies to cover them and to deal with them. Lies that I’ve convinced myself are true. Lies that I have convinced some of my nearest and dearest friends are true. For me, it is very important that I am able to present myself new to my friends and as clean as possible and new to the Lord.

I know Jesus washed the slate clean with his precious blood some two thousand years ago and I am not trying to buy my way into heaven because we cannot. With the help of The Holy Spirit and Jesus I can take a load of heavy weights off and live a much freer life that I am sure pleases our Father in heaven.  

Romans 6:13 NLT : Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourself completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.

Ponder This – Easter Weekend

Sin entered the human race through Adam, and the human race has been trying without success to get rid of it ever since. And, short of that, mankind has been seeking in vain to reverse the curse. The Bible teaches that God warned Adam before he sinned that if he ate of the tree of knowledge he would surely die. The Bible also tells us that God instructed Adam and Eve to be fruitful and to multiply and to replenish the earth. But although they had been created in the image of God, after the Fall Adam and Eve gave birth to children after their own likeness and image. Consequently Cain and Abel were infected with the death-dealing disease of sin, which they inherited from their parents and which has been passed on to every generation since. We are all sinners by inheritance, and try as we will, we cannot escape our birthright.

We have resorted to every means to win back the position that Adam lost. We have tried through education, through philosophy, through religion, through governments to throw off our yoke of depravity and sin. We have sought to accomplish with our sin-limited minds the things that God intended to do with the clear vision that can only come from on high. Our motives have been good and some of our attempts have been commendable, but they have all fallen far, far short of the goal. All our knowledge, all our inventions, all our developments and ambitious plans move us ahead only a very little before we drop back again to the point from which we started. For we are still making the same mistake that Adam made – we are still trying to be king in our own right, and with our own power, instead of obeying God’s laws….

Man’s only salvation from sin stands on a lonely, barren, skull-shaped hill: a thief hangs on one cross, a murderer on another, and between them, a Man with a crown of thorns….

And who is this tortured figure, who is this Man who other men seek to humiliate and kill? He is the son of God, the Prince of Peace, heaven’s own appointed Messenger to the sin-ridden earth.

Who inflicted this hideous torture upon the Man who came to teach us love? You did and I did, for it was for your sin and my sin that Jesus was nailed to the cross….

But sin overreached itself on the cross. Man’s hideous injustice that crucified Christ became the means that opened the way for man to become free. Sin’s masterpiece of shame and hate became God’s masterpiece of mercy and forgiveness. Through the death of Christ upon the cross, sin itself was crucified for those who believe in Him. Sin was conquered on the cross. His death is the foundation of our hope, the promise of our triumph! Christ bore in His own body on the tree the sins that shackle us. He died for us and rose again. He proved the truth of all God’s promises to man; and if you will accept Christ by faith today, you, can be forgiven for your sins. You can stand secure and free in the knowledge that through the love of Christ your soul is cleansed of sin and saved from damnation.

[From Peace with God by Billy Graham] (Nov.7, 1918-Feb.21, 2018)

Is there a reoccurring sin that you enjoy? Before it brings judgment upon you turn away from it, repent and ask for Jesus’ help.