God IS Greater

Memories

Sometimes memories are marvelous and comforting. Remembering wonderful moments of our life – being hired for the job we dreamed of – love – marriage – the birth of our children – watching these children grow, experience life and love. Yet, sometimes memories aren’t so great. Sometimes mistakes we’ve made or things done to us flood our minds causing remorse, anxiety, depression, and feelings of worthlessness or blame.

 

Where do we go with these feelings? If we are true believers, we have repented, received forgiveness, and God’s Gift of salvation. So why do bad memories still plague us? Are they merely lies of the enemy filling our mind? Could they be something else, or maybe, a combination of the two? Good questions.

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Our Eyes Are Upon You

6eb9af605d105645c8308ad118daaebc--texas-maps-santa-fe
http://www.bing.com

Here we go again. Another school shooting.

This time the students are crying out even more vehemently for gun control. These kids are our future lawmakers and it’s frightening. The majority do not understand the human sin nature.

This week I decided to begin again in Genesis to read through the Bible. I wanted to read and not study, but I only made it to Genesis 4:14 before I was compelled to turn to a cross-reference passage. Many may remember the first fourteen verses of Genesis 4 tell the tragic account of Cain and Abel. “…Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.”[1] Immediately my mind went to the Santa Fe, Texas, school shooting. What led 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis to open fire on students and teachers?

We can’t fully know the thoughts of a deranged killer and from the short account in Genesis, there’s no way for us to know what all led up to Abel’s murder. However, it’s very hard to imagine a “keeper of sheep” as being a bully. I imagine Abel as a gentle, compassionate man since sheep need so much care. Sheep cannot be left on their own. They wander off. They’re clumsy and have accidents. Sheep easily get caught in brush and fall prey to wild animals.[2] A keeper of sheep needs patience and a tender, benevolent spirit. No wonder Jesus compares us to sheep and He, the Good Shepherd.

My conclusion? Cain’s anger, resulting in Abel’s murder, seemed unprovoked.

Likewise, trying to blame a school shooting on the shooter being bullied or the U.S. needing stricter gun control laws, is moot. Yes, bullying emotionally wounds the victim and maybe military-grade assault rifles could have stricter laws, but it is the sin within the heart that leads to the violent action of committing murder.

Almost every human being has been bullied at least once in their lifetime. Most learn to rise above the malice. They don’t become murderers. But for some, the corruption of sin takes such deep root, they hate, lash out and kill.[3]

Maybe you think Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a seemingly normal young man, just believed Satan’s lies.

httpswww.chron.comnewshouston-texashoustonarticleThe-Santa-Fe-shooter-will-never-get-the-death-12927133.php
http://www.chron.com/news/

Possibly, but gain, Cain is our example. To say Satan stirred up Cain to be angry with God and take it out on Abel gives Satan too much credit and exonerates Cain, by assuming he was a righteous man. Scripture says otherwise. Cain, like all of us, had a deceitful and desperately wicked heart.[4] Cain willingly joined the evil one because his own works were evil.[5] Satan didn’t have to lift a finger. Oh, Cain did hear a supernatural voice before his heinous crime, but it wasn’t Satan. He heard the voice of Almighty God giving him the opportunity to repent and a warning that sin desired to overrule him if he did not.[6]

I’m sure, at some point, Dimitrios Pagourtzis’s conscience told him what he was planning was wrong. But, he ignored the warning just as Cain did.

Later, Cain cried out to the Lord because he couldn’t bear his punishment. This was not repentance. Cain was just concerned for his own wellbeing. He feared one of his brothers, avenging Abel’s death, would kill him when he was alone.[7]

This is where I turned to the CR:  Numbers 35:9-34. Here, the Lord through Moses, explains the need for six cities of refuge. Only those who cause accidental death will be allowed sanctuary, not persons who intentionally murder. In God’s Law, there is no provision for murdering out of passion or because of suffering mental cruelty or illness.

I don’t know what the answer is to stop these school shootings, but I know, coddling murderers is not the answer. Our Sovereign Lord says swift action is needed. And although God allows and even desires for the murderer/sinner to repent, with His forgiveness free to all, consequences are required.

“O our God…we have no power against this…nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”[8]

[1] Genesis 4:8

[2] https://tannachtonfarm.com/2015/07/30/why-is-it-so-difficult-to-raise-sheep/

[3] Numbers 35:16-21

[4] Jeremiah 17:9

[5] I John 3:12

[6] Genesis 4:6-7

[7] Genesis 4:14

[8] II Chronicles 20:12

A Sign Of The Times?

OPIOID BUTTON

The Greek physician, Hippocrates, said, “Look well to the spine for the cause of disease.”[1]

For the past almost 19 years I’ve experienced this truth. I work in a physical medicine office and as such, our medical office has a Chiropractic emphasis. We treat the spine that houses and protects our central nervous system and we deal with pain naturally.

Three weeks ago our office attended a Conference to learn about some new and innovative ways to help our patients. However, we were also privileged to hear Dr. John Rosa, who, among other things, is the White House Surrogate for the Opioid Crisis. Dr. Rosa gave alarming statistics about the amount of opiates prescribed in the United States and why. Because of pain from injury, surgery, etc., opiates are prescribed. According to Dr. Rosa, in an average day, 650,000 prescriptions for opiates such as Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Fentanyl, Morphine and Codeine are prescribed, 4,000 of those patients start non-medical use, 600 start heroin use, 3,300 visit the ER, 58 babies are born addicted, and 120 die of opioid overdose.

 

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This Man

To you, who is Jesus?

 

To the typical, unbelieving man on the street, Jesus may be a good man, a teacher, an avatar of the divine, or even a myth invented by man to control the masses. I can’t remember where I heard this last comment, but it saddens me. I feel the anger and cynicism behind it and I sense the person’s hatred of anyone they believe is telling them what they can or cannot do.

 

The problem with the unbeliever’s conclusions about Jesus is their conscience; that innate awareness of right and wrong. They can’t explain it or get rid of it. They’re convicted by a law they refuse to acknowledge and it angers them. Yet, the only reason we know right from wrong is because God wrote it. The Almighty, Triune God set the Standard and no matter what we do there’s no getting around it.

 

Still, unbelievers really only want the things they deem right to be right and the things they deem wrong to be wrong. But what happens when their “wrong” becomes someone else’s “right”?

 

They have no answers and it’s much like the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, who rebuked Him for socializing with people they considered unworthy. “…the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, ‘THIS MAN receives sinners and eats with them.’”[1] Once, by invitation, Jesus went to have dinner with one of those religious leaders. While He was there, a woman came into the house, wept, washed His feet with her tears, kissed and anointed them with fragrant oil. The Pharisee chided Jesus in his heart, “…saying, ‘THIS MAN, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.’”[2]

 

The Pharisee, denying his own sin condition, found fault in Jesus. Yet, Pilate said not once, but twice, “I have found no fault in THIS MAN…”[3] Nevertheless, the chief priests and the crowd shouted, “…Away with THIS MAN, and release to us Barabbas”[4]

 

They preferred Barabbas, a hardened criminal, to Jesus, the Sinless, Son of God. Still, they could not know their rejection of Him would be for the salvation of many, beginning with one thief who hung on a cross next to Jesus. Realizing Jesus was God, come in the flesh, this thief acknowledged his sin and rebuked his companion hanging on the other cross. “We suffer,” he cried, “…justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but THIS MAN has done nothing wrong.”[5] Jesus forgave him and changed the place where this repentant thief would spend eternity.

 

Then, darkness fell upon the land for about three hours while God, the Father, placed the sin of the world upon Jesus “…and the veil of the temple was torn in two.”[6] In those three hours, the pain Jesus suffered was worse than the physical pain causing death to His body.

 

jesus_on_cross www.priestsforlive.org
http://www.priestsforlife.org

As light returned, Jesus hung there battered and bleeding, yet still possessing physical strength. His body was not yet ready to die. So, proving His earlier statement:  “No one takes my life away from me. I give it up of my own free will. I have the right to give it up, and I have the right to take it back…”[7] Jesus cried in a loud voice, “’…Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.’ Having said this, He breathed His last. Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he began praising God, saying, “Certainly THIS MAN was innocent.”[8]

 

Innocent indeed! Although the Jews demanded His crucifixion and the Romans nailed Him to the cross, it was my sin and yours that put Him there. “For sin pays its wage – death. But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord.”[9]

 

THIS MAN died for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.[10]

 

So again, I ask, “To you, who is Jesus?”

 

Have a blessed Resurrection Day!

[1] Luke 15:2

[2] Luke 7:39

[3] Luke 23:4, 14

[4] Luke 23:18

[5] Luke 23:41

[6][6] Luke 23:44-45

[7] John 10:18 GNT

[8] Luke 23:46-47 NASB

[9] Romans 6:23

[10] I Corinthians 15:3-4

No King? No King.

“In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”[1]

 

God’s heart is breaking and His Spirit is grieved over the tragedy and chaos this nation has experienced just in 2018. Some say from January 1st to February 14th there has been eighteen school shootings. Snopes website, quoting The Washington Post says, “No, only five”[2]. But even one is too many. My heart also breaks, not merely for the Parkland, Florida school shooting victims and their families, but for every school shooting victim since the first, Columbine.

 

Last week this insanity came closer to home. A Jackson Middle School student shot himself in the school restroom and he has now succumbed to his wounds. At first the shooting was thought to be accidental, but later being labeled a suicide.

 

Sadly, it seems the panic arising from the Jackson Middle School shooting may have spurred a social media threat to at least one of our local schools causing several schools to go on lock-down. My twelve-year-old granddaughter told me the day after this shooting, she was afraid to go to school. The Jackson boy wasn’t even in high school yet – he was a seventh grader just like my granddaughter. These shooters are getting younger and younger.

 

We are shocked, frightened to send our children or grandchildren to school. I’ve even heard some mothers considering home-schooling for the first time. We scream, “When will this craziness stop?” But maybe our question should be, “What is the cause?”

 

Revenge for bullying may be the motivation, but despair, most likely, is the root cause. It has overwhelmed them and at such a young age.  No hope.  No one they feel they can turn to. And their parents are left, shattered, grieving, and blaming themselves.

 

But why despair? Doesn’t despair come from a sense of what you believe is right and wrong in your life and the realization you can’t change the wrong things? So they do something unthinkable to force a change. They play God and get rid of the hurt. They want the person or persons who “wronged” them to suffer, feeling these people have no right to live. From where does this mindset come?

 

I have a theory. Did you know it has been 71 years since our, oh so wise, Supreme Court took Thomas Jefferson’s “separation” metaphor out of context? In 1947 they applied it to the Emerson v. The Board of Education case stating, “The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.” This was a lie. Keeping Jefferson’s private letter quote IN context actually proved the First Amendment PROTECTED religious rights FROM governmental control.[3]

 

Fifteen years after this fiasco, the United States commenced reaping the consequences. In 1962 the Supreme Court began systematically removing Christianity from the schools, ruling it unconstitutional for a student to say a voluntary prayer in school.[4] Free love and flower power was born – and now this.

 

Unbeknownst to the Supreme Court, their ruling was doing exactly what Israel did when they demanded the prophet, Samuel, make them a king to judge them like other nations. Of course this displeased Samuel, but the Lord said, “Do it. …They have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.”[5]

 

Over one thousand years later, Jesus told a parable about a nobleman who went away to receive a kingdom. Before he left, he gave ten of his servants a mina or talent and commanded, “Do business until I come.” But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’[6]

 

This was Israel’s mindset when Jesus was on trial. “Let Him be crucified…His blood be on us and on our children,” they cried.”[7] And when Pilate asked, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!”[8]

 

For too long our nation has sown the wind. Now we’re reaping the whirlwind.[9] We’ve rejected the rule of our heavenly King, as did Israel. And when there is no TRUE King in the land, alas, the people do what they deem right in their own eyes.

 

Oh Lord, be merciful to us sinners![10]

 

[1] Judges 21:25

[2] https://www.snopes.com/2018/02/16/how-many-school-shootings-in-2018/

[3] David Barton, Our Godly Heritage video

[4] Ibid.

[5] I Samuel 8:5-7

[6] Luke 19:11-14

[7] Matthew 27:22-25

[8] John 19:15

[9] Hosea 8:7

[10] Luke 18:13

Naughty OR Nice?

Grammy & Grandkids 12.24.15Have you been naughty or extra nice this year? Will you receive a lump of coal in your stocking or everything you wished for? “You better watch out…Santa Claus is coming to town.” Remember, “He’s making a list; and checking it twice; gonna find out who’s naughty and nice…He sees you when you’re sleeping…knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!”[1]

Aww, Christmas fun!  Interestingly, a few days ago I stumbled upon a website where you can actually ask Santa if you are on the “NAUGHTY or NICE” list. Yes indeedy, folks!  Step right up, because at: http://www.claus.com/naughtyornice/nn_hmpg2.php you will find Santa’s Nice-o-Meter. By typing in your name and then clicking the “ASK SANTA” button, you can see where you stand on Santa’s Naughty or Nice scale.

 

Of course, I had to ask.  Mine said, I’m nice, yet I’ve been naughty at times. The last two weeks though, I’ve been neat, polite, respectful, and I share well, but I could be better. And with a bit more effort, I could be near the top of the “nice” list. Yay, for me!!

We laugh, but honestly, it scares me when I see the god-like qualities we extend to Santa. And the myriads of children who think this is what Christmas is all about.

I know the name “Santa” is supposed to come from the word “Saint”, but did you ever notice how much it resembles a scrambling of the name, Satan? Good grief, Charlie Brown, no wonder the Christian population is dwindling.

Thankfully, Santa is only brought out once a year. But sadly, the other god-men, i.e. Marvel Heroes, DC Comic characters, like Superman and Batman, are all year long.

I try to downplay the Santa thing as much as possible, just like my mother did (Thanks, Mom!). And, hopefully this is what the early Christians were trying to do when they decided to celebrate the birth of Jesus during the pagan holiday of Saturnalia. Still, there are these two parallels we just can’t eradicate and they seem to be running closer and closer together.  But, the saddest thing about children believing in Santa Claus is there is no redemptive quality in him at all.

As parents, we would never leave our “naughty” children out of Christmas, so we blur the lines and make Santa an extender of grace. It’s a nice thought, but grace is receiving a gift we don’t deserve; something Santa’s “Naughty or Nice” list doesn’t allow.

Yet, because God extended grace to us, we, in turn, can extend grace to our children. And without God’s grace, there would only be a NAUGHTY list; because NICE is a heart issue and as sinful humans, we will always have ulterior motives. Since the fall of Adam, we’ve been in the clutches of evil, desperately needing grace and redemption – to be purchased back from the god of this world.

But, this is impossible without Jesus.

Had the sinless Son of God not been born into humanity, He could not have died in our place[2] to pay our ransom and we would be without hope. But thankfully, “…God so loved the world that He gave His only Son…”[3] This “…Grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men…”[4] [For] “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself…”[5] offering forgiveness of sin[6] and His Gift of eternal life to ALL who would receive it through repentance,[7] whether naughty or nice.

Nothing else is so freeing, so completely wonderful and satisfying. Only Jesus offers salvation and life eternal. The greatest Gift ever given; something we can’t earn and something we definitely do not deserve. Because of Jesus, we’re on the NICE list; entered into the Lamb’s Book of Life.[8] “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”[9]

Have a Blessed Christmas

and a Happy, Healthy New Year!

Anita

[1] www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/elf/santaclausiscomingtotown.htm

[2] Mark 10:45

[3] John 3:16

[4] Titus 2:11

[5] Ii Corinthians 5:19

[6] Acts 20:28; Hebrews 9:22; Acts 5:31

[7] Romans 6:23

[8] Revelation 3:5; Revelation 21:27

[9] Luke 2:14

Though The Waves Roar…

THOUGH THE WAVES ROAR!

Have you read the book of Jeremiah lately?  Last month the Lord led me to Jeremiah chapter five. I don’t remember what I was studying at the time or even the reason I was reading Jeremiah five, but when I read verse 22, my breath caught. Now, I’m sure I’ve read Jeremiah 5:22 hundred times in my 30 plus years of walking with God, but that day was different.

 

“Do you not fear Me?’ says the Lord. ‘Will you not tremble at My presence, Who have placed the sand as the bound of the sea, by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass beyond it? And though its waves toss to and fro, yet they cannot prevail; though they roar, yet they cannot pass over it.’”[1]

 

When I saw the portion, “…Who have placed the sand as the bound of the sea, by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass over it?” my mind immediately pictured the ocean at Sunset Beach, North Carolina, with its soft, white sand. As I stood there gazing across the seemingly endless blue-green water, I remember the squawk of the seagulls and the hint of salt and fish misting my face.  Waves swelled, peaked, and then toppled over in frothy whitewater hurrying toward the sand.

 

That day, we probably stayed on the beach longer than we should have and by late afternoon, the tide began to come in with rowdy and boisterous waves. Although it was somewhat unsettling to see the water creeping ever closer to where we were sunbathing, after some time it calmed and came no further.

 

To my unscientific mind, I just chalked it up to gravity, the earth’s rotation, the pull of the moon, and all the other geological things I don’t understand. I really didn’t give it another thought until I read Jeremiah 5:22. Then it made perfect sense.

 

It’s not by some fluke that the ocean waves do not overtake the land. No, it’s by the Lord’s perpetual decree. The sand is the boundary He has placed and it must obey. Even in hurricanes, when the waves roar, tossing to and fro, they cannot prevail. They must return to their God-ordained place.

 

But, Jeremiah lived over 2,500 years ago. And, although I know God’s Word stands true no matter what, I began to think about global warming reports, the ozone layer holes and the polar ice caps melting. Where would all the water go if the ice converted to its liquid state? Should we be concerned?

 

How would global warming proponents view Jeremiah 5:22? Would they pass it off as ancient words without meaning?

 

So, I decided to do some research and of course, I found a YouTube video:  Earth Under Water Worldwide Flooding Sea Level Rise (SLR). The promo reads:  “Published on Aug 8, 2013:  Miami, New Orleans and New York City completely under water it’s a very real possibility if sea levels continue to rise. In Earth Under Water we’ll see these events unfold as leading experts forecast how mankind will be impacted if global warming continues. They’ll break down the science behind these predictions and explore ways humanity could adapt, including engineering vast dams near San Francisco, or building floating cities outside of New York.” [2]

 

What they say is frightening and their video editing of a flooded earth caused me sudden trepidation. But, the Lord brought me back to Jeremiah 5:22 and reminded me of His Genesis covenant:

 

“Thus I establish My covenant with you:  Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth…I set My rainbow in the cloud and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.”[3]

 

Then God asked, “Do you believe My Word?” Limply, I answered, yes, but quickly pleaded, “Lord, increase my faith!”

 

How do you feel? Are these words irrelevant in our time? Do they take a backseat to scientific predictions? Or, is the God of the whole universe still in control and His Word stands true until He says otherwise?

 

I’m holding to the latter. How about you?

 

[1] Jeremiah 5:22

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baGrtqyWSRM

[3] Genesis 9:11, 13

Questions

Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing?[1]

 

You would almost think these words are right out of newspaper headlines and television news, but they’re not. This question was penned by King David about three thousand years ago and then reiterated by Peter about one thousand years later. Yet, since then, things have not really changed. Nations still rage and people continue to plot and carry out vain things.

 

Case in point, the political lies coming out of the news media and specifically the three CNN employees who resigned on June 26, 2017, when an article they wrote had to be retracted. I’m sure this has always been the situation with the media, but no one, up until this point, has been brave enough to say it. Maybe others out there knew some in the media greatly embellish their stories with half-truths or fabrications, but what they had to hide, compelled them to stay silent.

 

Honestly, it’s hard to know what to believe anymore, because every word, written or spoken, good or bad, comes out with that person’s bias.  But, do we ever stop and question what type of person we are listening to? On screen, magazines, newspapers, or internet, media folks are very polished. They know how to talk and dress to elicit praise and respect. So, can we trust them to only report the truth and not slant it to fit their agenda?

 

I’m not sure.  But what I do know is scripture says humans speak from the heart and because of sin our heart is deceitful above all else and desperately wicked.[2]

 

So, this truth provokes other questions:  Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why are those happy who deal so treacherously?[3]

 

Maybe it’s because they are blinded to the truth of Jesus and where they will spend eternity[4]. Maybe their consciences are seared as with a hot iron[5] or they are held captive by the enemy to do his will. Maybe it’s because at this time, Jesus isn’t ruling with an iron rod and sin’s wage or consequences aren’t always experienced immediately. Fortunately we are still in the age of grace; they yet have opportunity to repent and escape the snare of the devil.[6]

 

But maybe it’s so we, who know the Way, the Truth, and the Life[7], will humble ourselves, take pity on them and share the gospel. Isn’t that our job?

 

Yes, the wicked do prosper in our time and they are seemingly happy, but we are not to envy them. Unless they change, their way is sure. Eventually, they will stand before God at the great white throne judgment, the books will be opened, and anyone not written in the Book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire.[8]

 

I’m certain these three CNN ex-employees will continue to prosper. Someone out there will want to hear their side of the story, pay them lots of money, and so the deceit continues. But maybe, just maybe, this trial will cause them to stop, question their lives, cease plotting vain things, and seek Truth. Oh, let’s pray this is the case.

 

[1] Ps 2:1; Acts 4:25

[2] Jeremiah 17:9; Matthew 12:34

[3] Jeremiah 12:1

[4] Acts 26:18

[5] I Timothy 4:1-2

[6] II Timothy 2:24-26

[7] John 14:6

[8] Revelation 20:11-15

One Thing

 

75_d_12257_0_CitySlickers
http://core.collectorz.com/movies/city-slickers-1991

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.

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