newsfromhisfeet

Let's learn together at Jesus' feet.

One Thing

 

In 1991 the movie, City Slickers, premiered. Three city boys decided to spend their vacation driving cattle on an authentic cattle drive. The experience, they surmised, would end their mid-life crisis and in the process they’d become genuine cowboys. Their vacation commenced at a dude ranch in the southwest where they learned and prepared for the drive. It was here they met rugged, mean-looking, and very seasoned trail boss, Curly. The drive begins normally, yet as in all comedies and good stories, chaos quickly follows. Along the way, the main character, Mitch, played by Billy Crystal, learns from Curly, played by Jack Palance, the secret to life is one thing. When Mitch asks, “What’s the one thing?” Curly says, “That’s what you’ve got to figure out.” Mitch goes wild trying to discover what Curly means by one thing. In the end, Mitch seems to learn his one thing. Satisfied, he returns home to live the proverbial happily ever after.

 

According to the City Slickers movie review, this one thing is something we all must discover for ourselves and it is different for everyone.

 

So, what’s your one thing? Is it family, friends, relationships, work, lifestyle, location, a purpose in life, or something not listed? And, do you agree it’s different for everyone?

 

Back then, as a fairly new Christian, I did agree. But now, after many years walking with our Lord and Savior, I see differently.

 

In Luke, chapter 10, we read of a day Jesus visited three siblings, Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. Most likely, Martha was the eldest of the three, since she welcomed Jesus into her house. Martha is gracious, generous, organized, reliable, and under control. She is responsible for the smooth running of the home, serving her brother and any guests who come to call, usually with Mary’s help.

 

Mary must be younger as she doesn’t seem to possess the firstborn, older child, I need to take charge characteristics. Mary appears passionate, emotional, and a bit more carefree. No doubt, this combination of personalities caused frustration. So, peacemaker Lazarus, perhaps doused many emotional fires.

 

On the day Jesus visited, things were no different. Martha knew exactly how she wanted the day’s activities to go and expected Mary to comply. But Jesus was there. His words compelled Mary to listen. She sat at His feet as if glued to Him. Truth flowed from His lips. Love emanated from His being. And, nothing else mattered.

 

Even if you didn’t know the story from Scripture, you could have easily predicted what would happen next. Martha loved Jesus too. He was a friend and teacher, but there was work to do. So, Martha sought Jesus’ help with Mary’s lack of responsibility.

 

Please understand, it’s not that Jesus felt serving was unimportant. Of course serving is important – we can’t live without food. But, Jesus saw Martha’s heart. Her priorities were skewed. Jesus knew frustration with Mary and other distractions kept her bound and serving for all the wrong reasons. Martha, the perfect hostess, had the Son of God sitting in her living room and her focus was the kitchen.

 

Martha hadn’t yet understood the one thing that really mattered – the only thing that matters for every human being:  Jesus Christ. When He, The True One Thing, is found, all else falls into place.

 

Later Martha would see Jesus crucified for her sin, buried, and risen from the dead. Then she would fully understand He is the Resurrection and the Life, the Truth, and the only Way to the Father. But for now, Martha needed to let go of the many things concerning her and comprehend “…one thing is needed…” Mary found her one thing and Jesus said it “…will not be taken away from her.”

 

So, this Resurrection Day, as the world searches, without satisfaction, for their one thing, please remember yours. He is The One and Only Thing needed.

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Doctrines of Demons

Are you grieved that our culture thinks so little of the God who created us and the world in which we live that they accept when our Sovereign, Holy God is reduced to a caricature or a joke in a monologue? I mean, where is their fear? Not just reverential fear, I’m talking real out and out fear of Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.[1]

Do you think it’s just a sign of the times and the prophesied falling away?[2]

In Luke 18:8, Jesus asked a question, “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” You might think this is a rhetorical question, but it’s not. He’s telling of things to come and trying to make us think.

So, what type of thing would cause a believer to lose faith and possibly walk away from the TRUTH of the Holy Scriptures they may have known from childhood[3] or as an adult that brought us to Christ?

It would have to be something very subtle or else we would reject it immediately. It must grab us with emotion, infuse a spiritual element and impart some truth so we will accept it. But, once accepted, it would slyly and methodically inject lies; lies so cunning, believers must fight to remember and hold fast to Truth and the faith once delivered to the saints[4]. And if we can’t hold on, we come away with an altered God[5], another Jesus[6], a different gospel[7] and not even realize it.

Akin to this is Paul’s warning, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,”[8]

Sadly, the latest in a long line of doctrines of demons, is the new movie, The Shack, based on the 2007-2008 best-selling book of the same name.

It’s a gripping story about a man whose five-year-old daughter is brutally murdered in an abandoned shack in the Oregon wilderness. The book/movie documents Mack’s journey from “the great sadness” to healing through three individuals who appear to him in this shack and call themselves “God”.

Yet, The Shack, because of its so-called Christian nature, makes 99% of our God-breathed Bible irrelevant.

The Shack grossly misrepresents Almighty God. It teaches there’s no need for repentance from sin because everyone goes to heaven when they die.  But please stop and think about this and other errors The Shack teaches. Are they true according to God’s revealed TRUTH in the Bible? No, a thousand times NO [9]. These are subtle, undermining LIES seeking to alter your understanding of who God is. Believing these fallacies has led some to reject the real Jesus and seek more false teachers who will tickle their ears, like Rob Bell.

I’m not the only one shouting warning. Praise God, brighter minds than mine are also warning with tears. Dr. Michael Yousef of Leading the Way Ministries, in his sermon – “The Shack – Uncovered” – warns of teachings, preachings, and books that are, “…half-truths, almost right, outwardly appealing are far more dangerous than plain wrong and evil.” Then he lists thirteen heresies of The Shack.[10]

In 2008, God guided me to write a critique and distribute it to area churches, because I found some were using The Shack as a Bible study. Now that the movie is out, God directed me to dust off the critique, post it to my blog, and again give warning. If you are interested, please check it out at in by freebies.

I pray God will increase your discernment and open your eyes to the doctrines of demons taught by The Shack.

I love you all in Christ Jesus,

Anita

 

[1] Matthew 10:28

[2] II Thessalonians 2:3

[3] II Timothy 3:15

[4] Jude 1:3

[5] Romans 1:18-24

[6] II Corinthians 11:2-4

[7] Galatians 1:6-7

[8] I Timothy 4:1

[9] Luke 13:1-5; Acts 17:30

[10] https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=michael+yousef+on+the+shack&view=detail&mid=C135998D5C0F57637D60C135998D5C0F57637D60&FORM=VIRE

 

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Why I Wrote The Shack Critique

 

I was first made aware of the 2007-2008 best-selling book, The Shack, by a co-worker, who stated, “This is the best book I have ever read.” I accepted the book and took it home to read because the cover listed raves reviews by Eugene Peterson, the author of The Message, and Michael W. Smith, Christian recording artist. Nevertheless, it sat on my nightstand for weeks and for some reason, I couldn’t bring myself to read it. The day I decided to return the unread book to my co-worker, I received a letter and monthly catalog from Southwest Radio Church. The correspondence read, “The Shack” teaches New Age thought.

 

“Ah-ha!” I thought, “Now I know why I couldn’t read this book.”

 

The Holy Spirit had kept me from reading until I could be warned of the errors within. Then He gave me the desire to read as an exercise in discernment.

 

As I read The Shack, not only was I horrified by the blasphemy, but I found my co-worker had underlined, highlighted, and starred statements in this book that were disturbing to say the least. Continuing to read, I was appalled at the lies, half-truths, and speculations made about our God. I did realize this book was supposed to be fiction, however when you take real characters [i.e. Abraham Lincoln] and put them in fictional situations, giving them fictional words, you confuse truth and those reading – something the enemy of our souls delights in.

 

When I got to about chapter five, I felt the Lord say to my heart, “You need to write this down.” So, I reread from the beginning documenting the major errors and the scriptures the Lord gave to refute each error. It took me at least two months to finish.

 

Of course, this was in 2008 when The Shack paperback was all the rage. At that time, I sadly discovered many in my church had read the book and loved it. Once I typed up the errors with the scripture references, I distributed this critique to a few interested individuals and then the Lord prompted me to mail it to area church pastors, some, of whom I learned, were using The Shack as a Bible study.

 

At the same time, Southwest Radio Church offered a DVD entitled, “The Death of Discernment” by Eric Barger, an apologist I had the privilege to hear in person at the Ohio Christian Education Association Conference in Akron, Ohio, several years earlier. I purchased the video and was further enlightened.

 

It’s my opinion everything we read teaches something and affects us in some way. I also know some have been comforted or helped by reading The Shack, but the end does not justify the means. PS. 11:1-3 “In the Lord I put my trust, how can you say to my soul, ‘Flee as a bird to your mountain’? For look! The wicked bend their bow. They make ready their arrow on the string, that they may shoot secretly at the upright in heart. If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”

 

After I wrote and distributed the critique, I thought this was over. But now Hollywood has made it a movie. People who won’t read the book will see the movie.

 

Please be warned, just because The Shack is fiction does not mean it won’t affect your understanding of who God is. It plants subtle lies to undermine and suppress the Truth of God in unrighteousness.

 

Teaching the Holy Word of God is the spiritual gift the Lord bestowed on me. The enemy was strong in this book and I literally fought and prayed my way through it. The Shack sought to change what the Lord had already taught me through the Truth of His Word.

 

I am hoping I am not too late posting The Shack, A Critique (please see my “Freebies” on this blog).

 

I have only been called to inform of The Shack’s error to keep many from being deceived. You may use the critique as reference guide whenever there is a question regarding The Shack. Yet, what you do with the information is between you and Almighty God. If you agree or disagree please feel free to comment.

 

I love you all in Christ Jesus,

Anita

 

 

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Love Like A Scarlet Carnation

On Valentine’s Day, the doctor for whom I work, purchases red carnations for every patient who comes that day for treatment. This affection towards his patients has always impressed me. From my first day on the job, November 17, 1999, I have admired this man. I never knew a doctor who not only bought flowers for his patients, but also made personal phone calls to each new patient following their initial treatment.

So last week, when I picked up the bouquet of carnations, I paused for a moment to consider the crinkly, sweet-scented, little flowers. I thought about our patients and the delight each flower would bring and then I reminisced about my high school days. If I remember correctly, our Tri-Hi-Y Club sold Valentine carnations. Any student could purchase a single carnation or more and club members would deliver them to their special someone. A white carnation meant friendship. The pink carnation indicated “I like you” and of course, the red carnation symbolized Love.

I wondered if the same color meanings held true for the outside high school world. According to www.flowermeaning.com, each carnation color carries its own meaning expressing love, care, or comfort.  If the receiver is feeling rejected or if the giver wants to express regret in some way, he or she sends a striped carnation. If the giver is feeling a bit playful or spontaneous, they should send purple carnations. Experiencing a great disappointment, then yellow carnations are best. Pink carnations express thankfulness for your mother’s love and the red or scarlet carnation usually conveys deep love and admiration.

Alliance, Ohio, where I work is known for the scarlet carnation. It was Alliance doctor, Levi L. Lamborn, who developed the scarlet-colored carnation around 1866. He was a friend and political opponent of William McKinley, to whom Dr. Lamborn presented one of his “Lamborn Red” carnations prior to an election. Since McKinley won the election, he adopted the scarlet carnation as his insignia. Later, in 1904, three years after President McKinley’s assassination, Ohio embraced the scarlet carnation as the official state flower.[1] And later Alliance was dubbed, “The Carnation City”.

Still, the flower name is of more interest to me than even the color. Although some scholars believe the name carnation “…comes from the word “corone” (flower garlands) or “coronation” because of its use in Greek ceremonial crowns, others propose that it’s derived from the Latin “carnis” (flesh) referring to the flower’s original pinkish-hued color or “incarnacyon” (incarnation), referring to the incarnation of God-made flesh.”[2]

Amazing. I’ve heard the word carnation all my life and I never, until this moment, saw its similarity to the word incarnation.  Of course, the flower speaks of Jesus. He created it on the third day.  “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” He is God, the Son, who became flesh, dwelt among us, and allowed us mere humans to behold His glory.[3]

Yet, we must jump back to the color – scarlet – the color of blood. Scarlet is mentioned throughout the Old Testament and in almost every instance it symbolizes Jesus. Scarlet is one of four colors of woven thread used to craft the gate[4], the door[5], and the veil[6] of the Tabernacle in Moses’ time and the Temple in Jerusalem[7]. Each entrance represents Jesus as does each color. Later, Isaiah speaks of our sin being as scarlet. To me, sin is black. But I now realize, when sin is covered by the Blood of Jesus, it becomes scarlet and then white as snow.[8]

Out of Love Jesus shed His blood and died in our place.

No wonder the scarlet carnation has, for all these years, symbolized Love.

[1] http://www.ereferencedesk.com/resources/state-flower/ohio.html (accessed 2/14/17)

[2] http://www.teleflora.com/meaning-of-flowers/carnation (accessed 2/14/17)

[3] John 1:1-3, 14

[4] Exodus 27:16 and Luke 13:24

[5] Exodus 26:36 and John 10:9

[6] Exodus 26:31 and Hebrews 10:19-20

[7] Mark 15:38

[8] Isaiah 1:18

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The Beginning of Wisdom

wisdom-https-pixabay-com-229117
https://pixabay.com 229117

Wisdom. Have you ever contemplated this word and its meaning? No, of course not. Why would you waste time thinking about something humans gain with study, life experience, or just seem to possess? Still, as wasteful as it may seem, lately I’ve been pondering wisdom.

It’s true, wisdom abounds. There’s academic wisdom, science wisdom, business, sports, etc. Yet, this is acquired wisdom – knowledge gathered and expanded over years of study, trial and error. When knowledge in any subject is learned, wisdom usually follows. Wisdom applies the knowledge and these two fit together like a nut and bolt.

Isn’t it interesting we even have the capacity to develop wisdom? How do we do it? And why is our amazing brain able to take in all we learn and experience and then produce wisdom?

The explanation can only be God. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Heart of the Gospel

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.[1]

This week commenced with what we know as Palm Sunday, Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. As He rode into the city on the back of a donkey, fulfilling Zachariah’s prophesy, some euphoric townsmen spread their cloaks on the road while others waved palm branches, hailing Him as Messiah, the Prince. When the indignant Pharisees asked Jesus to quiet his disciples He replied, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”[2] Why? Because, this was the day – the day set forth by Almighty God through the angel Gabriel, concluding the second division of Daniel, the prophet’s seventy weeks.[3]

Yet, Palm Sunday also begins a most solemn time for those who believe. Triumph turned quickly to contempt. Some, who just days before, were caught up in the jubilance crying, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Hosanna in the highest,”[4] now shouted, “Crucify Him!”

What happened? Truly, if this account were written by man, the “hero” would have gone on to win over the Pharisee’s, the Sadducee’s, and all the scoffers. But this is not written by man, it’s truth from God Almighty. It was the culmination of the fullness of time,[5] the reason God became flesh and dwelt among us.[6] Jesus Christ, God the Son, was and is the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world[7] for us.

But thankfully, it doesn’t end there. Yes, on the cross Jesus died in our place, canceling the unfavorable record of our sin debt.[8] Yet, three days later He did more. He conquered death for us by rising from the dead. He is alive forevermore![9]

But, did you ever think about what life would be like if Jesus had not risen from the dead?

We would be as the atheist – completely without hope. No heaven, no seeing Jesus when we die, no “…well done, thou good and faithful servant…” There would be no reason to live by God’s Word, for doing good, for being kind, for loving our neighbor and our enemy, or for considering others as better than ourselves.[10] Paul said, “…if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty…And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.”[11]

It seems to me our lives are shaped by Christ’s resurrection, for it is the heart of the gospel. Even non-believers seem to hope in an “afterlife”. Sadly, they are deceived into thinking everyone goes to a better place. Still, just as believers, they hope, because Jesus DID rise from the dead[12] and God has set eternity in our hearts.[13]

Read the rest of this entry »

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Spectacular Design

SPECTACULAR DESIGN

I’m sure by now you’ve heard 2014 is the Chinese “Year of the Horse”. Well, February (at least in the United States) is the “Month of the Heart”. From the first day of February almost to the last, hearts in hues of reds and pinks saturate our senses. Love is truly in the air.

Did you ever wonder why we associate love with the heart? I mean, our heart muscle really has nothing to do with falling in love and it only vaguely resembles the Valentine “heart” image used since the Middle Ages.

One reason could be the heart is the center of our anatomy, just as love is the center of our emotions.

Nevertheless, have you even thought about your heart lately or considered its spectacular design?

It is four, unique chambers pumping ceaselessly in perfect rhythm, distributing life-blood to all parts of our body and we never think about it until there is a problem.

“I will praise You, [O Lord] for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” (Psalm 139:14)

The heart muscle that cleanses our blood and makes sure we awake each morning, works silently, behind the scenes.

But did you know, without one tiny ingredient this heart muscle and for that matter, our whole body, would be just a mass of separate molecules?

What ingredient, you ask?

According to Answerbag, in 1979, Timpl and Martin discovered, isolated and viewed the protein, cell-adhesion molecule in humans. Researchers learned this molecule, named Laminin, links our cells together so they work properly. Without this molecule, we would literally fall apart. In 2008, Bible teacher, Louie Giglio, called it the glue of the human body.

If Science has viewed Laminin, are there images of this amazing molecule? Yes!

laminin  (www.kwasizabantu.com)

This is an image of the actual molecule, but below is the scientific schematic:

                                      (www.answersingenesis.orglaminin AGI

When nothing else existed, our Three-in-One God existed. He created all things out of nothing, whether visible or invisible, and He holds everything together, including us. (Col 1:15-22)

While science would argue this is not proof positive of intelligent design, I think it is just like our God to give us such a beautiful picture of His amazing love, mercy and grace.

So, when your world is falling apart all around you, try to remember this image, your spectacular design, and the great love of God.

It was while we were still in our sin that Christ died on the cross for us. He holds your life-breath and owns all your ways. Trust Him with your heart, because he also holds it in His hand. (Romans 5:8; Mark 10:45; Daniel 5:23; Proverbs 21:1)

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Ordinary Vessels – Extraordinary Purposes

Do you consider yourself a normal, everyday, average person?

 

I mean, can you think of several people who have about the same education, income, occupation, type of home or vehicle, number of family members, etc, as you? work 2

I think most of us see ourselves as ordinary. I know I do. In fact, I always say, “If I can do it, anyone can.” That’s how ordinary I am.

Still, being ordinary isn’t bad, it’s actually a good thing. We are bodies made from dust, vessels crafted of earthen materials.

 

clay pot 1

The Potter designed these visible outer shells to hold our real person. However, within this real person, God left an empty place and all our lives we strive to fill it. We may select special or common, valuable or worthless contents. Nevertheless, filled we will be.

 

If you had the choice, and you do, which would you choose? Wouldn’t you prefer to house something of great value like a treasure?

 

Some of us ordinary, earthen vessels have found the greatest treasure of all to fill our emptiness. This shining Treasure is Jesus Christ and because He fills our hearts with the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, our frantic strivings cease.

But, why would God choose to indwell ordinary, earthen vessels? Human bodies

If you really think about it, we are not the logical choice. Even if we are strong by human standards, our bodies are weak and frail, subject to disease, pain, and death. Why choose such feeble creatures?

Scripture tells us it is so “…the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.”

God deserves and must receive all glory.

Any accomplishments we humans achieve are only because of Him, whether we recognize it or not. Life cannot exist without God. It is in Him we live, move, and have our being.

As treasure-filled vessels though, Christ lives in us. Therefore, this life we now live in the flesh, we live by faith in the Son of God, who loved us and gave Himself as our ransom.

clay pot with treasure

Because He lives in us, God can take these ordinary vessels and use them for extraordinary purposes.

Remember in a great house or even in your average, middle-class home, you have everyday dishes and special occasion dishes, but each holds food. Sometimes you will use an everyday dish on a special occasion because it’s useful, you’ve tested it and it works well. Therefore, it becomes a vessel of honor.

It is the same with us ordinary vessels. Filled with the Spirit of the Living God, He transforms us inwardly – cleansing and refining by trials and testing. Flower pot - yellow flowers

When we yield to Him, choosing to allow this process, we become a vessel of honor, God’s useful instrument prepared for every good work.

We are ordinary vessels accomplishing His extraordinary purposes.

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