The Extinction of Humans

Angel of Light half coverI stared at the photo of an asteroid the size of the moon smashing into the earth and listened as I watched the face with dark-rimmed glasses talk about the extinction of humans—an interesting page for two high school students to check out, when their class project was finished.

After asking them a few questions, I said, “Well, I’m glad that I know that the earth has at least 1,007 more years before it is destroyed,” and started to walk away.

“Wait a minute,” the one student called.  “Why such an odd number?”

After I told him that I believed the Bible, which has a 100% accuracy track record in regards to its predictions or prophecies coming true, I went on to tell them that I trusted It to be true about future prophecies as well.

“I’m an atheist,” was the response, and my words were dismissed.

Whenever I spend any amount of time in the public schools, my heart is overwhelmed with a burden for our students.  So many of them know nothing about Jesus Christ, except to use His precious name as a curse word, and they do not want to know.  They confidently express their “anti-God” opinions, and I wonder if I am having any effect at all on their lives—just another reason for the Strong Delusion trilogy.

Do you have a burden for the lost?  Do you wonder about what life will be like for those who enter into the Tribulation period?  Or are you like me, who for years held the attitude of unconcern.  “I’ll be gone, so who cares?”  I’m ashamed to admit it, but that was my thought!  Writing this trilogy has opened my eyes to truths that I had never considered and it has increased my burden for the lost.

I hope you will take a moment to consider reading A Moment in Time and Angel of Light.  My prayer is that it will not only be an exciting book to read, but will also be a challenge to you as well. Or perhaps you have a teen for whom you are burdened.  I was thrilled when a grandmother recently told me the following:

After I read A Moment in Time, I bought four more books—one for each of my granddaughters.  They need to read it!

That’s just one reason for the Strong Delusion trilogy.  I pray that these books can change lives!

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18

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One of God’s Great Don’ts

Once again, this morning’s devotionID-100263578 from Oswald Chamber’s Devotional Bible was a great blessing and challenge!  Dig in!  It’s short, so you can read it a couple times!! :)

It is one thing to say “Fret not,” but a very different thing to have such a disposition that you find yourself able not to fret.  It sounds so easy to talk about “resting in the Lord” and “waiting patiently for Him” until the nest is upset—until we live, as so many are doing, in tumult and anguish; is it possible to rest in the Lord?  If this IMG_0085“don’t” does not work there, it will work nowhere.  This “don’t” must work in days of perplexity as well as in days of peace, or it never will work.  And if it will not work in your particular case, it will not work in anyone else’s case.  Resting in the Lord does not depend on external circumstances at all, but on your relationship to God Himself…

Fretting springs from a determination to get our own way. Our Lord never worried and He was never anxious, because He was not “out” to realize His own ideas; He was “out” to realize God’s ideas.  Fretting is wicked if you are a child of God.

Have you been bolstering up that stupid soul of yours with the idea that your circumstances are too much for God?  Put all “supposing” on one side and dwell in the shadow of the Almighty. Deliberately tell God that you will not fret about that thing.  All our fret and worry is caused by calculating without God.

 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

Psalm 37:8

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I Love Evolution

Webster defines evolution as:

  1. biology : a theory that the differences between modern plants and animals are because of changes that happened by a natural process over a very long time
  2. : the process by which changes in plants and animals happen over time
  3. : a process of slow change and development

This is a picture of true evolution:IMG_7494

As I was cleaning the globes in the bathroom, I thought, “How smart that these are facing downward.  That way, they don’t collect bugs!”  If you’ve ever had the upward facing kind, you know what I mean.  What a mess! So who thought of facing them downward, and why did they face upward to begin with?

Think back with me to a time before electricity.  Light came from candles, and the globes  had to open upward!  So, when electricity came into being, the globes faced upward. (This is just my hypothesis, but it makes good sense!) Then someone had a “bright” idea: evolution!

Evolution takes place all the time in our lives because people have limited knowledge and experience.  As their knowledge grows, new ideas evolve. Our experiences and situations change, and evolution happens.  It’s a wonderful thing, HOWEVER…

Our wonderful, almighty God has ALL knowledge already, and always has, even billions of years ago, before He chose to create all that we see and do not see!  He didn’t have to evolve anything!  His best creation happened exactly the way He wanted to happen, and changes or improvements were not necessary.  He created the tree frog with the ability to climb trees right from the start, because He ALWAYS knows what is best, even for a frog!

So what’s the point? Check your thinking about God.  I’d say more, but really, Greg Baker says it best on Rooted Thinking!  Check it out, and perhaps rethink your thinking? My God is so big…:)

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Bow the Knee

Mocking_of_Jesus

Bowing the knee before Jesus may conjure up in your mind one of several images of someone in the Bible; and if you Google the phrase, you’d be surprised at what comes up! Perhaps blind Bartimaeus, or the woman with an issue of blood, or the disciples came to your mind–certainly, they are just a few that physically bowed and worshiped our Lord.

Mark 15:19 says that they bowed the knee and worshiped Him–a beautiful picture until we read the beginning of the verse: Then they struck Him on the head with a reed and spat on Him;and bowing the knee, they worshiped Him. 

When we see the whole picture, our heart aches.

Mocking_of_JesusAs we approach the most important date on the Christian calendar, it would be good for us to pause and reflect.  How long has it been since I literally bowed my knee to Jesus?  How often do I get on my knees and confess my sins to my Savior, for that IS truly an act of worship? When was the last time that I spent a “sweet hour of prayer” with Him–the One who suffered so much for me?

Do I come into His house to truly worship?  Where is my heart?  Is it on the crowd?  Am I thinking more about what I’m wearing or what someone else is wearing than on worshiping Jesus?  And did I really even think about what to wear as I came to His house of prayer to worship the “High King of Heaven?”  I wonder, have I done my best for Jesus?

As I read Mark fifteen this morning, my heart was broken, because I realize how often my heart is not worshipful. Webster defines worship as:

  1. the act of showing respect and love for a god especially by praying with other people who believe in the same god : the act of worshiping God or a god
  2. excessive admiration for someone

Respect, love, prayer, believing, and excessive admiration.  Those all take time and thought, and so often that is what is missing from our worship. Just a few more questions which I need to ask and answer in my heart:

RESPECT: How do I show respect to my God and Savior as I approach Him?  Amazingly, He WANTS us to approach Him, to know Him (John 17:3).  Admiration, deference, esteem, reverence, veneration,  and high opinion are all synonyms for respect. So, perhaps the question would be: Is my worship thoughtful and focused on God?

LOVE: Love is a choice, act of the will. That may sound heartless in light of the world’s definition and expressions of love, but it lasts and it will be genuine!  I choose to love my Lord, although it was not a hard choice to make!  A lust for blood and a wicked heart drove the Roman soldier to mockingly worship Jesus and bow his knee.  May an overwhelming desperation to express my love and gratitude drive me to my knees in worship!

PRAYER: Working with children teaches me SO much!  Repeatedly, I tell them that even though I am saying the words, God wants all our hearts to be praying together.  That’s a lot for a child to understand.  That’s hard for adults to understand and do!  It takes concentration.  Does your mind wander as the preacher is praying?  Take heart, we all are in that boat!  Continually strive to plug in and take part.  A worship service is not a staged production put together to entertain.  That’s why I have issues with clapping.  When I’ve played an offertory, or sung a special with my heart tuned to worship God, I love hearing a heartfelt “Amen,” which is a statement of agreement, and not applause for performance–I’m not performing, I’m worshiping. Now some may be able to “clap” their praise to God–I just haven’t got there yet! :)

BELIEVE:  Mar 9:24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. Oh, how I can relate to this father!  How many of my disappointments, angst, fears, struggles, frustrations are all because of my unbelief?  How much more would my Father do if I only believed?   But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.(22)  Can God or God can?  Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” (23)  I can’t say it any better than that!

EXCESSIVE ADMIRATION: Excessive makes it sound like it’s too much, like too much ketchup or Parmesan cheese!  Can we be too excessive or extravagant in our admiration for the One who suffered even mocking worship for me?  And what would excessive admiration look like? I bet it would fill our churches with ardent worshipers, fill our mouths with constant praise, and overwhelm our hearts with gratitude.  It might even overflow our eyes with tears.

 And when they saw him, they worshiped him: but some doubted.  Matthew 28:19

I wonder have I done my best for Jesus,
Who died upon the cruel tree?
To think of His great sacrifice at Calvary!
I know my Lord expects the best from me.

Refrain:
How many are the lost that I have lifted?
How many are the chained I’ve helped to free?
I wonder, have I done my best for Jesus,
When He has done so much for me?

The hours that I have wasted are so many
The hours I’ve spent for Christ so few;
Because of all my lack of love for Jesus,
I wonder if His heart is breaking too.

I wonder have I cared enough for others,
Or have I let them die alone?
I might have helped a wand’rer to the Saviour,
The seed of precious Life I might have sown.

No longer will I stay within the valley
I’ll climb to mountain heights above;
The world is dying now for want of someone
To tell them of the Saviour’s matchless love.

Lyrics: Ensign Edwin Young
Music: Harry E. Storrs

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Please Push Me Off This Ladder, Lord

Would anyone in their right mind pray a prayer like that?  I don’t think so.

Yes, it’s been one year since my husband’s fall.  For those of you who have joined me since that time—and I am overwhelmed by that number—here’s a recap of the accident:

During the renovation of our church gym, my husband, Tom, was standing backwards on a ladder and reaching to pull a nail out from the ceiling. The ladder slipped, taking him sixteen feet to the cement floor below.  He crushed his heel and broke his hip.  Now, he sports all sorts of hardware: two rods, cabling and screws in his leg, and thirteen screws and a plate in his foot.

It’s been a long and, at times, weary road.  As we look back, it’s amazing to see what the Lord has done in the past year!  Perhaps the greatest blessing from it all is the love which was poured out on our lives: cards, gifts, meals, acts of kindness.  When a pastor can’t preach, who preaches?  Who turns out the lights, turns on the heat, cuts the grass?  Who visits the sick?  There are so many little jobs that a pastor often does—especially when he lives right next to the church—that are done without notice, until they are not done!  Watching our people rally behind him brought joy unspeakable!

Trials—we certainly do not ask for them, but it is good to understand that they do not happen without God’s attention.  They don’t hit us while He’s not looking, because He sees all!  And so, the oft-asked question is:

Why does God allow bad things to happen?

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,

knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

But let patience have its perfect work,

that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1: 2

It is true that we do not ask for trials, but we do ask for patience.  We do want to be “complete” or approved of God.

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season,

if need be,

ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith,

 being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire,

might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

1 Peter 1:6,7

Peter knew, James knew, I would say the majority of the first century Christians knew that the trials which plagued their lives also empowered them to be the salt and light that they needed to be in a totally godless world.  (And if you are looking for inspiration, try reading Fox’s Book of Martyrs—just a buck on Amazon for a Kindle!)

Here we are, in another godless age, perhaps on the brink of facing the worst persecution Satan has yet to dish out; how will we face the trials?  Peter encourages us to allow them to grow our faith and ultimately bring praise and honor and glory to our Lord. That may be easier said than done, but I was recently reminded in a sermon, that with every trial a battle rages:  Satan wants to destroy us and our testimony, and God wants to grow us and make life more precious!

Tom now walks with a limp.  Pain is a frequent reminder of his year-old trial, but overall we praise God for allowing him to heal and to live!  To God be the glory!

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Trust–When She’s Turning Blue?

Trust–how can I trust the nurse, when my newest little granddaughter is obviously not happy with what she is doing?

Yesterday, Callie Brooke made her way into the world, and we praise the Lord that Mommy and baby are doing great!  She was only a few minutes old when we met.   In fact, she had not even been cleaned up from the delivery when I had the privilege of holding her.  And then, I was able to watch the nurse do her work, part of which was to give Callie her first bath.

Callie was not enjoying it!  “Oh, you’re one of those babies that holds her breath,” she said as Callie turned blue!  This can’t be good!  It’s probably destroying her brain cells, I silently huffed, smiling on the outside!

But as we talked, the sweet nurse shared that she’s been doing this for twenty-one years!  Can you imagine how many babies she’s washed?  It was very apparent that she knew what she was doing, AND she was also loving every minute!  In short, Callie was in good hands!

Whose Hands are you in?

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. John 10:29

As a believer, you are in Jesus’ hands. And just in case you didn’t get the point, Jesus gives us the following verse:

My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

I often refer to this verse to assure new believers that they are secure in their decision to trust Christ as their Savior. In fact, it’s one of the strongest statements supporting eternal security in the Bible.  Am I stronger than my God?  Can I remove myself from God’s hand by my own sinful actions?

How secure are we?  Twenty-one years of experience settled in my mind concerning my little granddaughter, and  I am trusting the keeping of my soul to the Eternal Creator God of the Universe!  He has no beginning–has always been, He created EVERYTHING, knows EVERYTHING, sees EVERYTHING, hears EVERYTHING.  He knows my thought before I think them!  He knows every tomorrow I will face; in fact, He’s planned every one of them!!  Wow!  That’s security!  And I’m a fool NOT to trust Him!  So why is it so hard?  :)

This trust thing requires faith.  I could see the proof that the nurse knew what she was doing. She was standing right in front of me, doing her work.  Although I know in my heart that God is here, I can only know that, by faith! I recently said to my husband that it doesn’t seem much like faith any more.  God is such a part of my life, that it would be more difficult not believe than to believe!  That didn’t happen overnight, but what the hymn “In the Garden” says is true:

And He walks with me,
And He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own.
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

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WAIT! What happened to “Common Sense for Uncommon People?”

So glad you asked!  I’ve been debating for some time about changing the name of my blog. What really triggered the change was my daily devotions with Oswald Chamber’s Devotional Bible.  Several entries have been against common sense, and it cinched the deal for me! While common sense is SO missing in our society, as born-again believers, we need to go BEYOND COMMON SENSE in our walk with God.  Common sense is essential in everyday choices; however, there are times when what we do makes NO sense, because we are walking in the steps of our Savior.  For example:

It makes no sense to leave a high-paying job to go into the ministry.

It makes no sense to head to the mission field with only 85% of your support.

It makes no sense to put your kids in a Christian school when the public schools are free and your budget is already tight.

The point is, it never makes sense to walk by faith!

So, welcome to “Beyond Common Sense.”  Same writer, same Lord, same desire to encourage believers in their walk with God–just a different name!

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A Divided House Cannot Stand

And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: Matthew 12:25

We typically think of this verse as referring to a home or family–literally, a house divided cannot stand.  Too often, we see the affects of a divided house: a husband and wife run in completely opposite directions until one of them, or even both decide that life would be better if lived apart. Rebellious children expertly divide the home, sowing seeds of discord by their attitudes and actions.  It is a divided house, and woe to them that are trying to function in such a situation.

This weekend the Lord showed me some other areas where life breaks down if it is divided.

You cannot “stand” if you are “divided” against yourself.  That may seem odd, but let me explain.  We are three-part beings, made up of body, soul, and spirit.  As born-again believers, life works best when we allow God’s Spirit to control our minds, which in turn, control or bodies, or fleshly actions.  But what happens when our flesh has a plan of its own?  The Spirit within says, “Read your Bible,” and your will says, “Read your Bible,” but your flesh says, “I want to stay in bed.”  Conflict–a divided “house.”  Suddenly, your life is out of sync, because the Spirit starts convicting your will while your flesh battles for its way, and you are divided against yourself.

You cannot “stand” when you are “divided” against God.   Last week, my computer went on the fritz.  I told myself not to crash and burn: God had allowed it.  I worked hard to get my mind and body under the control of the Spirit; however, when the report came back that it was my hard drive and they would have to “ghost” it, the cost quadrupled.  Still, I worked to maintain a united front. Three days later, the ghosting didn’t work, they would have to wipe it clean, and the cost crossed the two hundred dollar mark!  OR, I could save about a hundred dollars and do some of the work myself. After four failed attempts to communicate with the Dell recorded lady, I decided I needed to put the whole problem on hold and go do something successfully: vacuum out the car.  BUT, when I plugged in the vacuum, it made a hi-pitched squeal and had half the suction power.  That’s when the division happened.  I needed to blame someone.  I  wanted to blame my husband, but he was really innocent and so sympathetic–I had a hard time making him the scapegoat.  So, then it was obviously God’s fault.  After all, He knows my bank account.  He could have avoided this all from happening!

Division now reigned everywhere: my relationship with my spouse, my God and myself!  War was raging and battles were being fought on every front!  What to do?  I did something I’ve never done before.  Before reading my Bible, I scribbled all my woes in my journal in the form of a prayer.  Then I pleaded for God to help me . . .  and He did.  In His gracious ways, He fed me, healed my broken spirit, forgave me, and lead me on my way!

Satan wants to divide and conquer, and he’s an expert at it.  Jesus can restore, and He’s the Master of everything good.  We just need to allow Him to do so.  So, what happened with the computer?  I called the techie and said, “Fix it, please.”  I still don’t have it back, so there might be another post, :) but after making that call, the burden lifted.

 Just do it!  That may be the NIKE theme, but it’s a good one!  Just do what needs to be done, stop stewing, and get on with life!   I know it’s not always that easy, but speaking the truth in your heart and staying submissive to God are great division destroyers!  Satan will happily take just a toehold in any part of our lives, and who wants him to win? :)

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Will the Real Christian Please Stand Up

Knowing the ways of God is such a mystery to man.  We can read His precious Word, standing in awe of the very fact that He gave it to mankind! Can any other book make such a claim?  Did any other god give his people his written word, written by the very finger of God?

And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God. Exodus 31:18

God speaks to us through His Word; however, He also directs our paths through various ways: another person’s words or actions, a dream, circumstances, nature. His Spirit dwells in believer’s hearts and also moves among us, (John 3:8) in ways we cannot see.

It is 4:45 A.M., not my usual waking hour!  I was awakened by a dream and thoughts of my teen years—thoughts I would just as soon forget.  Why did I dream them?  Where did these thoughts come from?  I certainly didn’t wish for them; however, God used them to remind me once again of my salvation.  I cannot give you an exact date of my salvation, only the details and approximate times. Once again, I took a moment to read the Gospel tract which I read so long ago alone in my bedroom, and what a joy it was to me–a blessed reminder of the best day of my life!

Today, the word “Christian” is proclaimed by so many, but I wonder how many “Christians” would find themselves in hell, if death knocked on their door this day.

Last week at the National Prayer Breakfast (February 5th), Darrell Waltrip gave a clear testimony of salvation. What a thrill to hear this man clearly testify:

  1. That his past had been filled with arrogance and self-seeking fame. Several times, he expressed his difficulty in even sharing these facts, ashamed of his actions.
  2. That there was a point in time when he surrendered his life to Jesus Christ
  3. That the testimony of his wife was a constant draw and conviction in his life
  4. That he is a changed man

I had never hear of Darrell Waltrip before last week—we’re really not into NASCAR; but after hearing him speak, listening to him openly share his heart, describing himself as he was and then watching a totally different man as he now is, I was once again challenged: Why are there so many Christians whose lives have not changed?

One possible answer: believing vs. receiving.  In my own life, I can look back and say, “That’s when it all changed.”  Before I was saved, I believed and went to church faithfully, but my life did not reflect Christ, it reflected me!

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God,

even to them that believe on his name, John 1:12

I love this verse!  For years I missed it, but look how it reads. The ending phrase says it all: YOU CAN BELIEVE AND NOT RECEIVE.

If you have cancer, and your doctor has a miracle pill that has been proven to completely cure cancer—you can believe in that pill all you want, but until you put it in your mouth and swallow it, the cancer will kill you.

Receiving is an act of the will, it is a choice. It is an act of surrendering all to Jesus.  Anything else that I am clinging to must be dropped.  Our president says that he is a Christian by choice.  I’m not sure what that means, but I do know that you can’t embrace both Islam and Christianity. Many American Christians are just like the lost of other lands.  The missionary presents Christ and they accept Him freely, placing Him on their god shelf beside all their other gods.  It doesn’t work that way!

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

Jesus said it, not me.  If you have any doubts about your salvation, I’d urge you to read God’s Simple Plan of Salvation There are many tracts out there, but this one is dear to my heart because by reading it, I became a real Christian!

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Twenty-five Acts of Love

This Valentine’s Day, I honor my husband and his love for me.  We’ve been married for nearly thirty-four years, and there have been times that I doubted his love—not because he didn’t show it, but because of my actions during our dating years.  To cut to the chase—that’s exactly what I did—I chased him.  I often joke that it took a while, but he finally slowed down and I caught him!

Humor aside, it’s always better for the girl if she is chased; that way she knows that he really wanted her!  For years, that doubt lingered in the back of my mind no matter how much Tom showered me with his love.  I’m not exactly sure when the turning point came.  I don’t believe it was a sudden thing.  It’s like watching for a flower to appear.  We see the bud, we watch it get bigger, and then one day we look at it and it has opened its bloom!

Now the doubts are gone, and here are just a few spontaneous reasons whyI KNOW he loves me!

  1. He greets me every morning with a smile.
  2. He makes my breakfast and packs my lunch on the days that I need to substitute teach.
  3. He helps me around the house.
  4. He faithfully prays with me and for me.
  5. He reads the Bible to me.
  6. He takes me on dates and really makes them special.
  7. He makes me cards. (It’s part of his frugal way to really dread spending money on cards, and love him for it!:))
  8. He wants to spend time with me.
  9. He watches over my spiritual and physical well-being.
  10. He supports me in my writing adventure.
  11. He listens to me and takes my suggestions.
  12. He will make the effort to change when something is bothering me, if he feels it is of the Lord. (Do you know what I mean by that? In other words, there are times when I may not like something, but after prayer and consideration, we realize that its ME and not him!)
  13. He sharpens me, encouraging me to be my best for God.
  14. He does the finances and is preparing for our future.
  15. He sings with me.
  16. He plays games with me, even when I know he may not want to!
  17. He is patient with me when I’m emotional.
  18. He loves me when I’m unlovely.
  19. He has really works on “thinking no evil” about me and putting the best spin on my hard-to-understand actions!
  20. He gives his best at improving our relationship at every level.
  21. He works hard at his end of this partnership called marriage.
  22. He talks to me.
  23. He listens!! :)
  24. He’s not afraid to criticize me when he knows it is for my own good, even when, sad to say, he knows that I may not react the best!
  25. He always tries to look his best!

Dear reader, if you have a spouse, I challenge you to take the time to make your own list.  I’m not sure that there is anything apart from prayer and improving your own actions that you could do for your relationship!  Love, it comes in all shapes and sizes—embrace each one, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

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