Psalm 124 – RE-worded and applied specifically to me

If the LORD had not been on my side – [watching over me from my mother’s womb; all of my life]

Let everything within me say, if the LORD had not been on my side – [giving me grace and mercy to endure my childhood]

When people hurt me – [when so many people hurt me and those I loved]

They would have swallowed me alive – [they would have won through the pain I endured]

The flood would have engulfed me – [my many years of abuse, neglect and abandonment would have led me to drown in sorrow and anger]

The torrent would have swept over me – [I would have never been able to hear GOD]

The raging waters would have swept me away – [the rage and unforgiveness would have kept me from any trust in GOD]

Praise be to the LORD Who has not let me be torn by their teeth – [Thank You LORD for not letting them be the death of me]

I have escaped like a bird out of the fowler’s snare – [I become more and more free from the enemy’s lies and schemes]

My help is in the Name of the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth – [The LORD’s Name comforts me and gives me sweet peace because He knows all of my ways and loves me still]

— May His joy and my joy in Him be my strength —

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Nehemiah, the walls and the end of the line..

During the time of the prophet Nehemiah the walls of the city were rebuilt. I found it interesting that the people were told to spend 7 days in celebration and festivities and THEN on the 8th day they humbled themselves and confessed their sins. The thought that by them celebrating first they weren’t as susceptible to grieving too deeply came to me. When you feel rotten and guilty it’s hard to come out of that sometimes to be joyful. But by being joyful first, the confession of your sins doesn’t overwhelm you and you don’t end up depressed. There is less of a chance of getting trapped by the enemy and his desire to steal, kill and destroy a Christian’s soul.

He will use anything and everything possible. He uses scriptures to bring false guilt. He gets you to think you’re a “good” person so you never see yourself as fallen and seek God. He rolls out as many distractions, pleasures and worries in life to keep you too busy to see what is real and what isn’t. He tells you it’s your right to get whatever feels good [as long as it doesn’t “hurt” anyone, even though the truth is any time we are self-seeking someone ends up being hurt] or whatever looks good and desirable in your mind. He leads you to believe that being intelligent makes you a greater person than you might have been otherwise. He divides people by emphasizing their differences and tempts us to judge them out of pride. He is sneaky, deceitful, extremely “smart” and knows every human weakness there is and which ones each person is the weakest about.

However, there is hope. Because God is Truth and when we submit to Him in truth, the enemy will run away. He can no longer be in God’s presence because he was cast out of heaven. That’s why he uses everything [of] this world to keep us from the Truth and separated from God. He knows that his time is running out and the closer the end gets, the more desperate and angry he becomes. Yes, this world will not last. Our DNA is degenerating, we’re destroying the things we need and man becomes more and more wicked as time goes on. Natural disasters are almost common place now. Yet, people will continue to be led down the wide road because they don’t want to believe there is anything inherently “wrong” about them. So, my brothers and sisters in Christ let us be diligent in praying for our loved ones. Let us work toward reaching the finish line of our lives. The bride and the Spirit wait with joyful expectation for the return of Jesus. To the end of suffering, sadness and evil. When God will wipe every tear from our eyes and we will live in perfect harmony, peace and joy forever with our God. Amen.

The Lost Boys of America (BSA)

As of yesterday, the Boy Scouts of America decided to officially begin accepting boys who openly behave as homosexuals inside their organization.

I am not a psychologist. The things I’m about to say are gathered from hearing, reading and personal observation.

Values are instilled in children and are continually challenged. If you have a child that keeps company with one that has radically different values, that will affect your child.

Scouting involves more than just the official events. Personal friendships are made that may continue for a boys lifetime. Boys have sleepovers and other non-scouting interactions and these will pose even more dangerous situations for your child.

The dynamics of friendship and the formation of boundaries in a child’s life put serious choices in front of them as it is. Being in a situation where an adult is not allowed to point out immoral behavior will cause a child to subconsciously believe it is acceptable. Then it is merely a step forward to conscious acceptance by repetition.

This is spoken of many times in the scriptures.  We reap what we sow and if we allow our children to be around immoral people/situations on a regular basis they will reap what we allowed to be sown by others.

While the decision of the BSA was heralded as a step forward within some circles of society, the sad truth is that they decided to put away one of the major tenets of the Scouting organization as it was first founded.

I’m speaking of “duty to God” specifically.  Tragically, I believe this has happened because of several things:

1) The “religious” people within Christianity, Judaism and Islam have decided to not adhere to their own scriptures and have turned away from the Truth.

2) The ones who do adhere to their scriptures have not made as much effort as the ones who don’t nor have they stood proclaiming Truth in the public square.

3) The world is winding down and the signs of it are among us now.

Please don’t mistake me for someone who thinks I know the year, month, week, day or hour of our Lord’s return. No one does as the bible clearly states. But we have been given signs and we are told to watch for Him.

Until He returns we are called to live holy lives unto Him, in the world, but not of it. That is SO easy to say and truly not easy to live. I’ve battled off and on with this over the years. There is a mindset that claims an existence of a balance between the two. I’m just not so sure anymore.

I’ve heard things said that are challenging to me in this life and my sinful nature wants that so-called balance.  There are also questions, such as..”How much of the things of the world do you want”? or “How far can you go without sinning”?

It’s in our nature to see what we can get away with and still be considered children of God.  Idolatry can entail anything from religion to football. It is a way of thinking and living. Someone in a bible study joked about not having his time watching football intruded upon. Everyone chuckled, but in my pride I wanted to take the humor out of it and show it for what it was, idolatry.

Yet, how many hours do I sit in front of this computer? How many hours do I spend doing anything and everything but living out my death in Jesus?

I think there is a line one can cross.  Which now convicts me, because that means it is actually a choice of paths. The only paths with lines are wrong paths and the lines are each point where we justify continuing on to the next line of compromise. But on the true path there is only turning to the left or right.

It was just revealed to me why we have the “left side” and “right side” in politics and in life as well I suppose. While they may not see the origin of it being related to “the path”, both sides are turning from it. The left being willfully and openly rebellious to God and the right being self-righteously rebellious toward God.

In conclusion, the leaders of the Boy Scouts of America have gone off of the path and I personally don’t believe there is hope for them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Original Sin(s)

In Genesis 2:16 – 17  God told Adam and Eve they were free to eat from any tree in the garden, with the only exception being the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  There is no mention of them being forbidden from eating from the tree of life although both were in the center of the garden. For all we know they did eat from the tree of life.

God told them both that if they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they would die. This is the first mention of death as a consequence of sin.

After the encounter with the “serpent”,  Adam and Eve sinned by doing what God expressly forbade them to do.

They had committed the first [original] sin(s).

Psalm 51:5 states: “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me”.

1 John 1:10 states: “If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word is not in us”.

Would these apply to the disbelief of “original sin”?  That’s something to be considered.

So by sinning, they reaped the consequences that God told them would happen. Hence, death was brought into the world.  The ground was cursed, as were both Adam and Eve.

If they had not been forced to leave Eden, they could have lived forever by eating from the tree of life. Obviously, God knew what would happen if they were to eat from it and He also knew how He would provide eternal life for mankind. Our finite human reasoning cannot fathom exactly how He will choose to bestow eternal life. However He does it, we must be humble and very, very careful to not presume to know the mind of God.

Proverbs 3:18 states that wisdom is [a] tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed.

While it doesn’t seem to be a reference to THE tree of life, I’m not convinced it has no relation to it. Consider this, Adam and Eve left the garden of Eden with the knowledge of good and evil, but there is no mention of them leaving with wisdom.

The sin of idolatry (putting their desires above God) and rebellion (by not obeying what He said) were the original sin(s).

So, the original sin(s) encompassed lust of the eyes (the fruit was pleasing to the eye), lust of the flesh (it was good for food) and the pride of life (wanting to be like God by knowing good from evil).

This is the account of the “Original Sin(s)”

Some idolatry

In Ezekiel the [reasons] for Jerusalem’s sins were pride, an abundance of food and idleness.

When one doesn’t have an abundance of food, it can always be replaced with an abundance of things wanted or the distractions this world provides.

Idleness – what a wretched state. That is when a person has a greater chance of becoming a sluggard and a fool.

The sluggard and fool both spend too much time with their own thoughts and so they become wise in their own eyes.

I believe all sin comes down to three things:

The lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life.

Eyes: Anything thing you can see or imagine.

Flesh: Feelings, attitudes, physical pleasure, desire for a great level of respect, power, money; an endless list of all sorts of things.

Pride: Anything that supplants God with ourselves.

I once heard a pastor say anything that hinders someone from being close to God is sinful.

I’ve thought about that over the years since I heard it. It’s SO true. We are warned time and again about being distracted by things of the world; distracted by cares and pleasures.

It is a fight against a person’s nature to forego pleasure and other things that distract in order to be wholly focused on God.

There is so much more I can say about this, but Lord willing, I’ll post a separate one with more details and personal thoughts.

 

John 11:4 “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”

Many years ago, when I was a newborn Christian, God spoke to me through this verse.

If you know anything about childhood abuse, you know that the effects of it spread out like tentacles into every area of your life.  Given time and God’s grace, there is healing, but there is always a scar left behind.

I spent a lot of time trying to understand “why” certain things happened as they did. I’ve learned over the years there are many answers, not just the ones that are on the surface of human understanding.

At the time I read this Scripture I was at a point where I could see no end to the pain and effects of what I had lived through as a child.

God spoke to me through this verse to let me know that although what had happened caused a lot of damage, that it wouldn’t be the end of me. That if I allowed Him, He would use what I had endured as a way to help others and glorify Him.

Of course, the main point was “if I allowed Him”.  It’s easy to remain in “survival” mode and justify hurting others due to the effects of past harm done against us. To stagnate in self-absorption and end up being rebellious and stubborn against God.

What if the only way a person would have a heart that was open to Him was to endure something painful? I’m not sure everyone can understand this because there is so much animosity toward Him and people try to justify lack of faith because they don’t know His character and the reason there is evil and suffering in the world.

There comes a time in a Christian’s life, if we are willing, that we have to let go of understanding and trust Him.

I’ve been blessed by Him with the hindsight to see how, and how often, He has used people to help me through my childhood years. Not only those years, but all of my years.

Learning never ends and we choose who we want to learn from. While I think psychiatrists and psychologists are a gift God uses to help us, the ultimate source is His grace and love for us.

We as humans cannot fathom the measure of His love, nor can we understand the whole picture of this life. So, we trust Him and know that any sickness will not lead to “death” if we accept His love and grace. We know that in the end He alone is worthy of all glory and will receive it.

So, we can be thankful for whatever happens in this life. Even going so far as to be thankful for the hurt and heartache because we know that it will all culminate in eternal life where there will be no tears, pain or death and we will have this everlasting love with no end.