Where did Jesus go when He died? Christos Anesti! Christ is Risen!

   Putting scripture together and pondering on the Lord’s last moment’s, this is what I imagine happened during those last moments on the cross to His resurrection :

           A great heavenly host of angels, the prophets, the forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the Archangel Gabriel surrounded the cross at that moment. They watched as the Son of God was tried and beaten throughout the night. They watched as Jesus carried the cross to Calvary. When He was nailed to the cross, all the heavens stood silent. A great silence and stillness covered the heavens as tears slipped down their faces, their fury held back as they watched the Savior suffer in torment. Abraham watching his children spit and strike the Lord, the angels wanting desperately to rescue Him, and the prophets of old bowing their heads with broken hearts as they all watched the Son of God, Jesus Christ, the Lion of tribe of Judah ,the King of kings , the descendant from the line of King David nailed to a cross. The savior of the world hung on the cross in deep abandonment, sorrow, pain and rejection. On the cross for 6 hours and after 3 hours of complete darkess, they heard the Lord cry out “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” and then another cry “It is finished!”

He bowed his head and released his spirit. It was done. He died and the earth quaked. The bodies of the saints who slept arose and came out of their graves ( scripture says the came out of their graves after His resurrection and they went into the city and appeared to many) The thick veil in the temple tore in two and the proclamation of Isaiah 52-53 (Zech 12:10) echoed out:

Who has believed our message?
To whom has the LORD revealed his powerful arm?
 My servant grew up in the LORD’s presence like a tender green shoot,like a root in dry ground.
There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance,
nothing to attract us to him.
He was despised and rejected—
a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
He was despised, and we did not care.
Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
a punishment for his own sins!
But he was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the LORD laid on him
the sins of us all.
 He was oppressed and treated harshly,
yet he never said a word.
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
And as a sheep is silent before the shearers,
he did not open his mouth.
 Unjustly condemned,he was led away.
No one cared that he died without descendants,
that his life was cut short in midstream.
But he was struck down
for the rebellion of my people.
 He had done no wrong
and had never deceived anyone.
But he was buried like a criminal;
he was put in a rich man’s grave.
But it was the LORD’s good plan to crush him
and cause him grief.
Yet when his life is made an offering for sin,
he will have many descendants.
He will enjoy a long life,
and the LORD’s good plan will prosper in his hands.
When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish,
he will be satisfied.
And because of his experience,
my righteous servant will make it possible
for many to be counted righteous,
for he will bear all their sins.
I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier,
because he exposed himself to death.
He was counted among the rebels.
He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels

See, my servant will prosper; he will be highly exalted. But many were amazed when they saw him. His face was so disfigured he seemed hardly human, and from his appearance, one would scarcely know he was a man.  And he will startle many nations. Kings will stand speechless in his presence. For they will see what they had not been told;  they will understand what they had not heard about. And because of his experience, my righteous servant has made it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he has borne all their sins.  I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebelsHe bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels. He has  opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. He has made the people holy by the blood He shed, He has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world.  With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever  so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. He mediates a new covenant between God and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them. “

    As He released His spirit, He was taken up into the arms of the heavenly host who quickly gathered around Him. Each wanted to comfort the King of Kings, the Prince of Peace, the Messiah, the Holy One. They surrounded Him and held Him with great love, as He was comforted and strengthened. He, the Son of God, was given all authority in Heaven and Earth from God the Father. All Power was given to Him. As He regained His strength, He was given the keys to Hades. He went into the dark abyss with a mighty angelic force behind Him. Entering into the gates of Hell, He proclaimed freedom every captive “ You have been set free! I have come to save You! Your Father in Heaven has sent for you!”  His voice like thunder, echoing throughout for every man and woman to hear. His thundering words went out teaching and preaching the Good News. He walked through the gates of the depths and throughout the abyss. He made sure He spoke to everyone who had ever been created, gathering as many captives as He could. The demons who surrounded Him were silenced and frozen in fear, as the Mighty and Powerful Son of God passed by. Powerless before the Son of God, the demons were unable to speak as they trembled in His presence. He gave one last chance to all those Spirits who had died thousands of years ago and in the flood. The Lord never once forgot them, His thoughts of them were as numerous as the sands on the seashore.The Savior, full of power and authority continued showing the captives His hands and feet, showing everyone what our Savior had done so they could be set free.  Many called out to Him, grabbing on to Him, following and believing, but yet others – in anger, like the Pharisees, mocked Him and treated Him as the people of the world treated Him.  Just as the Pharisees knew He was God and choose to reject Him for their own pride, status and evil hearts, so some of the people in Hell also treated Him.

  The Lord Jesus took His captives to freedom as they ascended into the Heavens, setting the captives free from the pit of torment and dread that was supposed to be eternal for each one of them.  This happened on the third day after He appeared to Mary, for He said “I haven’t yet ascended to the Father.”   He then  ascended to God the Father with the captives He had freed. As they reached the Great Throne room before the Lord God Almighty, the Father’s heart leaped for joy as He saw His children. He gave each one a Great Embrace as if they were the only child of the Father- telling them- “ My Child, I have always loved you with an everlasting love. Since the days of Noah, I have never forgotten you. You have never left my mind. I am filled with Joy that you are here with me. I have a place prepared for you.” Jesus came back to earth to see and talk to His friends giving them instructions ” Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit… and lo, I am with you always” . He showed them His hands and feet, proving that He is the Son of the Living God. After this, He was taken up into the Heavens where He sits today at the right hand of God the Father. “During the forty days after his crucifixion, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.”

The heavens, the freed captives, and the angelic host filled the heavens with great Praises to the King of Kings and they have never stopped – even unto this day.

            I heard the praises ringing out to the King of Kings one night. I’ll never forget it. I’ve never heard anything so beautiful. Today, I can still hear them sing praises to the new born king, Peace on earth, goodwill toward men, Christ was born in Bethlehem -the praises to Him ring forth forever and ever.
Amen and Glory Hallelujah! Our King is Risen.

 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
Mark 21:25

My disclaimer: I know there is A LOT of debate on whether Jesus did or did not go to hell, hades, abyss, spirits in prison (that’s another argument in itself) I have merely given you the verses to think about for yourself and my wonderings today.

 “I don’t consider myself with things to great for me to grasp, but instead I have calmed and quieted myself” Ps 131 :)

Christ Has Risen, Indeed He Has !

Here are verses that make me consider this:

1-Jesus said this on the 3rd day: Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.  John 20:17 Immediately after that verse we are told he ascended up to heaven, and later that evening he met up with his disciples, then after that he tells Thomas John 20”17     Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” John 20:27

2-  When you ascended to the heights, you led a crowd of captives. You received gifts from the people, even from those who rebelled against you. Now the Lord God will live among us there. Psalm 68:18

3- However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ. That is why the Scriptures say, “When he ascended to the heights, he led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to his people. Eph 4:7-8

4- For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit 1 Peter 4:6

5-  By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 1 Peter 3:18 -20

6-Or, Who shall descend into the deep(go down to the abyss)?   Roman 10

7-  Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:  Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:  Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:  Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.  Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenanceActs 2: 23-40

8- For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Matthew 12:40

Job 38: 1717 Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?

Christos Anesti, Alithos Anesti! which is Greek for “Christ is Risen” and we all respond “Indeed He has” Amen and Amen!

Related sources: Click here: Prophecy of the Messiah “He shall be called Immanuel”

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Review of BSF Bible Study Fellowship – children’s bible study / ministry

I’ve heard about Bible Study Fellowship (bsf) for years.  People have TRIED to tell me how great it is, but I thought NO WAY.  (you can’t fool me) . I’ve read reviews and heard people talk about it as if it’s some sort of strict military regime. NO way, not for me. First of all, I don’t like rules. Okay, God’s rules – yes, but I generally get annoyed with too many rules. I know this may be a shocker, but it takes everything in me not to press a button that says “do not press”, “do not touch”, “very hot” or a fire alarm that says “pull in case of fire only” . I try with all my might not to say anything bad as I drive by those nice police men with radars pulling locals over for speeding. Bless their hearts! I’m still a work in progress.

For the last few years, many people have told me how great bsf bible study is. I read the reviews and it sounded like a horrendous over-religious boot camp. While researching online and asking friends, here are some of the rules I heard: “ Don’t share! Don’t look at my answers! Top Secret! Don’t or you’ll get kicked out! No reading commentaries! No skipping class”.  I repeatedly said: “No way, no way, no way, not for me, don’t even talk about it to me.  I am not sitting under someone’s ridiculous rules”. However, as life will have it, I suddenly found myself at a BSF study this past August. I thought – for sure! I’ll be out of here in a few weeks when I find something wrong.

Now, coming to the end of BSF this year, I can tell you I have enjoyed it and I will be back again. I did not intend to end up here,  but I was looking for a good weekday bible club for my children. I couldn’t find anything that had something for all ages – all on one night. Awana was nice, but some are good and some are slacking. The good are somehow supernaturally full within 24 hours of signup, wait…. make that 1 hour of sign up. I think it’s hierarchy – you know how that goes. The other good local Awana only had elementary level available. When I found out BSF had a bible study class for grades K-12 –woohoo,  but wait…I had to go too, so there I was.

BSF has it’s good and well, it’s annoying things. Sure! Just like anything else. Just like church- I still haven’t found one that is perfect . Same with other bible studies I’ve been in. I love the Beth Moore studies, but I don’t agree with a few of her teachings, but that doesn’t stop me from studying her books. I don’t 100% agree with other teachers either, but I still listen and study. Sometimes they’ve convinced me, and other times not. I always end up learning something. It all depends on my attitude and my decision to fully seek the Lord in the study through the scriptures. If I blocked out everyone that didn’t agree 100% with me, I’d be stuck in a corner by myself all my life.

Here’s the 411 if your interested:

The basics:

We meet once a week all year (August- May). My group has about 200-300 women and we all break up into small groups of 12-15. Each week we begin our 2.5 hour study with everyone from all groups meeting together to sing praises and hear of upcoming events. From there,  the large crowd breaks up into their small groups. Each group has a facilitator / group leader who leads us through the 6 day homework assignment that we were given for the week. People share what they’ve learned and answer the questions. Some leaders are very serious and strict and quite frankly, scare me, but others are normal and welcoming. I guess each experience depends on the people around you. Thank God! I was put in a normal group with nice people, despite the fact they put my sister in there with me – haha – Im just kidding!!!! I like you there.

Initially my leader scared me! She was super serious about the name tags and getting our homework done. I never had my name tag, so I was called out until I got my act together. I’m not serious about stuff like that, but I know they have their reasons and so forth….. .Anyways, despite my first impressions, my group was wonderful. My leader is caring, loving and is always there for anyone. The group of women I was with was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed my time with them. I had a good group of friendly women. They all knew scripture well but no one was “the know it all”, the “I’m so much better than you” or “so sorry you aren’t as intelligent as I am” people – you know what I’m saying? I’ve had a few of those in past bible studies and Phew! Those were some memorable moments. That kind of attitude can really take away from the study and why we are there – to glorify God , to seek Him – not to put ourselves on a pedestal. “All hail to me, you paupers” anywhoo……

After about 35-45 minutes of small group, all the groups meet once again together to sing – again – and hear a lecture – or talk – or whatever you call it. Then go home!

 The Good:

The study keeps you in the scriptures daily. Homework takes me 3-5 hours a week, but I go overboard. Maybe 15-20 minutes a day in homework would be all you really need. It’s all scripture based. You read the bible, you answer the questions. My favorite thing about bsf is that my children have an amazing new knowledge of scripture. All my children now know the book of Matthew and other scriptures very well. They’ve studied end times, Jesus’s last days and all the parables in great depth. My youngest can now reason with me and discuss scripture. Being in public school all day, it is difficult to really teach scripture to our children. Sunday school is good, but I wanted my children to learn more. I really believe God gave my children understanding as they read. I would preread some things and thought – Oh no- how can I explain this to them?,  but they got it. God blessed this year as we studied. My children got an amazing blessing of learning the Word. I am so happy about this. Studying the miracles has increased their faith. They now have a new desire to continue learning and seeking. Could I ask for anything more? I am blessed. Getting to homework wasn’t easy with their schedules and work from school. I would read the scripture for that week each night before bed to them. For instance, we were on Matthew 25; each night I would read Matthew 25 and corresponding scriptures from other books. Instead of doing daily homework, each Saturday we would sit down and fill in our answers. This way, by the end of the week, they could answer quickly and easily.

It’s a great study for anyone – even if you’ve never read the bible.  Yes, even if you have never opened a bible, you can easily join in. I think this is wonderful. There is no hierarchy here. No one is felt left out or felt like they know more or less than the other person. All are welcome- that’s just the way God is too. No one is better than another before the Lord. I’ve had friends who were just beginning to study scripture and they taught me things that the Lord showed them. If you have read the bible many, many times – it’s still a good intense study – it is what you make it to be.  I believe each scripture verse holds a key to deeper and deeper mysteries. The more we study, the more understanding the Lord gives us.

It’s a very controlled environment, so the over-talker can’t take over the entire class . I’ve seen happen many times in other studies. In bsf small group, everyone gets an equal chance to talk and discuss.

 The real:

    Let’s be real. If you think my kids were super happy and my life is a field of daisy’s as I went to bsf all year, think again. Our bsf nights were on school nights- cranky, tired, crazy, chaotic, complaining, whining, fighting – ugh, I’m getting sick just thinking about it. This also made it very difficult with homework. Not only homework, but we do other things after school as well : piano, guitar, soccer, dance, youth group, volunteer hours, drama practice. Yes, life is busy! Somehow, miraculously, we were able to finish the year. We only missed a few scattered days. BSF is not a youth group nor is it similar to awana, it’s a lot more of intense learning. Yes, my kids would complain, whine and roll around the floor telling me they refused to go, but if you know me, you know that doesn’t bother me. They go anyway and guaranteed – every night when we all pile in the car to drive back home, everyone is happy they went. In fact, the one that throws the biggest tantrum is the one who says “You know what mom, I know it’s not easy to get here, but I’m glad I went”. Always! Every ride home I always hear how happy each one was to be there.

Secondly – sometimes I’m so tired at the end of the day, I just want to curl up, watch River Monsters-unhooked and stay home. I have to prepare dinner, do homework, look somewhat presentable and I drag myself there. I thought maybe this is good- going tired, because this keeps me quiet. I’m not overly talkative in my small group because I’m about to pass out from not only my day, but the tantrums and the chaos from the car ride there. I think I was almost on the verge of tears yesterday. One daughter threw a major tantrum because she had a lot of homework. I didn’t have the energy to jump to the back of the car and strangle her so I just kept saying  “Jesus!” for my entire 25 minute ride there. Surely he answered my cry. Hey! God commands us:

 So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders.  Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.  Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates,21 so that as long as the sky remains above the earth, you and your children may flourish in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors. Duet 11

  No one promised us that this would be easy, but the Lord is always there to help us through. Remember the enemy is out to destroy your children. How will they know right from wrong if we continue to let society, media, and the world shape, manipulate and brainwash our children? It is our responsibility to teach our children God’s word.

 The annoying:

I hate to say this, but I know people want the truth. The truth is, you can find annoying anywhere. In fact, off the subject, but the most annoying thing to me is this stupid “spinny” chair my daughter has. She rolls around the house on it and it drives me crazy! Anywhoo… where was I, okay these are some things that bother me. # 1 rules. I know you need rules, but in my group, I only ‘heard of rules’ no one actually sat me down with rules at bsf so depending on where you are and who leads – who knows. I only heard of bsf rules through the rumor mill, but no one every told me anything except “Where’s your name tag?”. My rule was to have a name tag, so after a while I finally gave in. I  think they are pretty strict about attendance, so no excuses. ( Don’t run away yet)

#2  Even though we are studying the bible, some of the lectures, the notes and the homework are questionable. (However some of the notes are really good with historical information and facts) There are a few things that they teach as fact when they are really man made ideas and theories. If it was stated as such, I would be okay, but I am concerned for the many new believers who are taught bsf notes as if they were all truth, when in fact they were written by man. For instance, in the lecture I heard “and Pontious Pilate was sentenced to eternal death” and to that I say – says who? We can debate that. Here’s another “why was Herod more spiritual than pilate?” Those kind of questions just annoy me. Who says Herod was spiritual? He hated John and despised all that was holy and righteous. One more that I heard last night was “ Judas wasn’t remorseful like Peter was”. Sure, we know Judas was more of a jerk than Peter, but who can prove he wasn’t more remorseful? He told the leaders he did wrong, take the money back, he admitted to betraying an innocent man- whatever. I don’t mind listening to other opinions and commentaries – even if they are debatable – but I don’t think they should be taught as fact, especially to a new believer. My advice to anyone going in to bsf – the bible is truth- and that is it. Ask for wisdom and discernment as you study.  Some of the notes are debatable and questionable. Some are really good, but some make me so annoyed I scribble it all out.

#3 the children – sometimes they just want to have a little fun. The class time for kids is really serious. No music, dancing, games, coloring. I would like to have a little of that in the class for my children once in a while. The children listen to the teacher, go over their homework and then discuss further. I can tell you that it is WONDERFUL and the teachers are awesome- it’s truly a meeting blessed by God’s hand, but out of 2.5 hours, I’d like to see maybe 30 minutes of fellowship fun time in the class

#4 the children – The leaders are not allowed to take prayer requests – or so I heard, or keep in contact outside of bsf (with text or email). I’m sure bsf has their good reason for this and maybe some people might get annoyed but my kids have expressed  that they would like to have prayer requests. Our Sunday school teacher keeps in contact through the week with a quick email or text – thinking of you, praying for you – something like that. Not that it’s necessary, but just letting you know.

#5 It’s like a college class. It’s not a spirit filled meeting like I’ve been in before. It’s more class like then a study where you grow close to each other.  Rules. Does that make sense?

** I’ve read bsf review websites about all the rules they have, but I never heard any of that this year in my group. I also heard you can’t do research or read commentaries when answering questions. No one mentioned that to me either, but even if they did – who is going to stop you? Please – make me. I’ve also heard people say we can’t discuss notes outside of class . I never heard that in my study either,  the leader would always tell us to go out and share our faith and what we learned in the scripture with others around us.

Y Ya – as my mom in law says  (or that’s it! in spanish)

And that’s it! BSF, like anything else, isn’t perfect, but it’s as good as it can get right now. I’ll be back again next year even though my flesh cries – not again! I”m looking forward to next year’s study. My children have already expressed how excited they are about next years study as well and want to continue. That is a miracle in itself.  If you are contemplating joining bsf , try it out before you judge. I think it really depends on the leaders and the people in your group. It’s been a blessing for me and my children. Truly amazing.

  And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
Hebrews 10:25 (NLT)

 

For more information: https://www.bsfinternational.org/

Find a class near you : bsf locate a class

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And another pastor falls………………………….

A popular church has made national headlines. A pastor has fallen to ‘moral failure’. Opinions and gossip are everywhere, but to me – his punishment strikes fear in me for what lies ahead on judgment day for all of us. How horrible it is to be judged, found in sin and humiliated in front of millions. Imagine what judgment day will be like for all the world. No sin will be hidden. Jesus said “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” (Mt 12:36).  This should be a wake up call for all of us to stop making excuses for our sins- no matter how “small” we may excuse them to be.  Your secret sins are not secret before Almighty God. Our cries of “don’t throw the first stone”, “doesn’t God forgive?” or “he was a good man”  will not matter on that day of judgment. A day is coming when there won’t be a second chance. Many will fall to eternal punishment even though our human reasoning cries; “No! but he was good, forgive him”. God’s judgment is final. God’s judgment is eternal.

 “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Is 64:6


Fear strikes through me as I consider the scriptures:

  • We will not receive mercy from God if we don’t show mercy to others. Luke 10, James 2:13 “For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment”
  • We will not be forgiven if we don’t forgive others Mt 6:15
  • Few people find the narrow path to life, for wide and easy is the way to destruction Mt 7:13-14
  • Faith without words is dead. James 2:14-26
  • The righteous barely make it into to heaven 1 Peter 4:17-19 “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?”
  • Many will expect to get in but the Lord will say He doesn’t know them. Mt 7:21-22
  • If you break one sin, you break them all James 2:8-13
  • Surely our sins will find us out Numbers 32:23
  • We will be accountable for every idle word we speak Mt 12:36

We are told that the righteous are scarcely saved and judgment begins with us first. We are to commit our souls to HIM in doing good: 

 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now“If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?” Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator. 1 Peter 4:17-19

We are told to cease from ALL sin.

Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,  that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God 1 Peter 4:1-2

Confess your sins to one another – who is the first to stand up to that?

 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.  Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:15-16

Cleanse your hands, purify your hearts, lament for your ways and humble yourself before God:

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. James 4:7-9

Love your neighbor as yourself, but if you show partiality, you commit a sin. If you show no mercy to others, no mercy will be given to you.

If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well;  but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.  For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.  So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment James 2:8-13

If you can’t control your tongue and you say you are religious, you are fooling yourself.

 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.  For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;  for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.  But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.  Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. James 1:22-27

   Instead of passing judgment, I am silenced. I fear what lies ahead for so many- and even myself, for I am certainly not without sin. I can almost imagine that judgment day ahead. It should make each one of us get serious about eliminating sin out of our lives. Gossip? Hatred? Unforgiveness? Anger? Drunkenness? This should be our prayer:

 

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.
Psalm 139:23-24. Psalm 19:14

Perhaps this great fall just saved a man from eternal punishment? As painful and embarrassing as it may be for him and others who have publicly fallen, how much worse will it be on that last day? Better to fall now and be saved eternally, then hide in sin while on earth and pay eternally.

I began to pour out my heart and talk to the Lord:

I told the Lord what was on my heart and I heard
“My people have deserted me”

I asked the Lord about myself and what lies ahead and he answered:

“It’s is not about you, it is about my people. Call them back, call them back. I grieve bitterly for them. Come back my people, but do you hear my call?”

I asked about the recent situation and I heard,

“He was good man who took a wrong turn
Grieve bitterly with weeping tears, fall down before your God, weep bitterly.
All of you people , all of you have sin
A disgrace in my sight
Wickedness is everywhere
Even my shepherds’ fall
Who will lead my sheep?
Who can stand to fight?
Who can withstand what the enemy puts before you?
Everyone takes all their pleasure
Making excuses with the Word
Twisting them but I am angry
They go their own way with their own excuses
No one stops to ask me, no one fears the Lord
Fall down and weep O people for the Lord is about to take vengeance on the land”

O Lord, I said, give me good words to say, I feel like I only have warnings to tell, so many others speak words of blessing and good tidings, and over flow of blessings, and I heard

“Stop asking for good words to hear because you will not. Warn the people. Warn the people. I am about to come back in great anguish and wrath. I am Mighty and My Mighty army follows behind me. Be still, be silenced for I come quickly”

O Lord, I long to be with you , where are you, where can you be found?

In the highest mountain is where I reside
Watching all the earth

Lord, do you see Israel and what is going on?
My eye is on them
Lord, what do I do?
Pray for their peace
But Lord, doesn’t revelation say there will be no peace?
Just pray for them
No one knows when the Son of Man will arrive
O Lord, I am captured by your love

 SUBMIT TO GOD, DRAW NEAR TO HIM AND HE WILL DRAW NEAR TO YOU.

 “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.  Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:“God resists the proud,But gives grace to the humble.” Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up  James 4:4-10

LAY ASIDE THE SIN THAT TRIES TO TRAP US AND LOOK TO JESUS THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF OUR FAITH

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

 Judgment day- a day of works in the fire, a day of accountability

Riches won’t help on the day of judgment,  but right living can save you from death.Proverbs 11:4 (nlt)
2 Peter 2:9 So you see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials, even while keeping the wicked under punishment until the day of final judgment

2 Peter 2:4 For God did not spare even the angels who sinned. He threw them into hell, in gloomy pits of darkness, where they are being held until the day of judgment.
James 5:3 Your gold and silver have become worthless. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This treasure you have accumulated will stand as evidence against you on the day of judgment.
1 Corinthians 3:13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value.
Romans 2:5 But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed
John 12:48 But all who reject me and my message will be judged on the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken
Zephaniah 1:7 Stand in silence in the presence of the Sovereign Lord, for the awesome day of the Lord’s judgment is near. The Lord has prepared his people for a great slaughter and has chosen their executioners.
Zephaniah 2:2 Gather before judgment begins, before your time to repent is blown away like chaff. Act now, before the fierce fury of the Lord falls and the terrible day of the Lord’s anger begins.
Malachi 3:1 [ The Coming Day of Judgment ] “Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. Then the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to his Temple. The messenger of the covenant, whom you look for so eagerly, is surely coming,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
Malachi 3:17 “They will be my people,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “On the day when I act in judgment, they will be my own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child.
Malachi 4:1 [ The Coming Day of Judgment ] The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says, “The day of judgment is coming, burning like a furnace. On that day the arrogant and the wicked will be burned up like straw. They will be consumed—roots, branches, and all.
Matthew 7:22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’
Matthew 10:15 I tell you the truth, the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah will be better off than such a town on the judgment day.
Matthew 11:22 I tell you, Tyre and Sidon will be better off on judgment day than you.
Matthew 11:24 I tell you, even Sodom will be better off on judgment day than you.”
Matthew 12:36 And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak.

Matthew 12:41 “The people of Nineveh will stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for they repented of their sins at the preaching of Jonah. Now someone greater than Jonah is here—but you refuse to repent.
Luke 11:31 “The queen of Sheba will stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for she came from a distant land to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Now someone greater than Solomon is here—but you refuse to listen.
Luke 11:32 The people of Nineveh will also stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for they repented of their sins at the preaching of Jonah. Now someone greater than Jonah is here—but you refuse

I heard someone say this the other day regarding the recent news;  “ If you don’t want to end up in the river, don’t put your foot in the water”

Related sources:

unsealedprophecy.wordpress.com

” Wail, you shepherds, and cry; and roll in ashes, you principal ones of the flock. For the days of your slaughter and of your dispersions have fully come, and you shall fall and be dashed into pieces like a choice vessel.  And the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal ones of the flock any means of escape. A voice! The cry of the shepherds and the wailing of the principal ones of the flock! For the Lord is laying waste and destroying their pasture.” Jeremiah 25:34-36

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Faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains. How can I have that faith?

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1
 
 

12 Keys to Faith

#1: No fear. You can not fear man, man’s words or his countenance
Faith requires great boldness and courage. It takes – well, sometimes, it is putting yourself in a position to be mocked or made fun of. It’s an action, it’s words spoken, it’s like the bible says “faith without works is dead”. God’s faith doesn’t match the logic of our world. To speak life over a person close to death takes great boldness and faith. You must be able to ignore the sneers, comments, countenance and words that go against what you believe. You must stand unshakable in Christ Jesus.

“I, yes I, am the one who comforts you.
So why are you afraid of mere humans,
who wither like the grass and disappear?.Is 51:12

Nehemiah was a man who was unmoved by the defeating words of his enemy. He sought out to do the impossible . He kept his focus and led in the rebuilding of Jerusalem.

#2: Never Give up. Believe that God can do the impossible
Think of the moment Peter was about to step out of the boat, that’s where we need to be with our faith. Taking the leap even though everyone tells you  “No, that’s impossible”.  Sometimes we think our situation is hopeless and there is no end, but that is not true. We can trust in God even in the most hopeless situation. God rescues us, this we can count on. Consider this trying time to be a test of your faith. 

“With God, all things are possible” Matthew 19:26, mark 10:27, Luke 18:27
 For with God nothing will be impossible.Luke 1:37

Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all. Psalms 34:19

let God be true, but every man a liar. Romans 3:4

   He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day Psalm 91:1-16

 

#3 Count it all joy
Even in the darkest hours, I can have joy in my heart. I have this joy because I keep my faith in God’s word. Sure, things can shake us up, but we need to be ready with our sword (which is the word of God) and warfare (our protection Eph 6). Maybe we can see it as a faith meter, keeping our tank full or keeping our focus on God’s truth.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:3-5

 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1-4

  Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit  1 Thessalonians 5:16-19

#4 Be willing to risk looking like a fool to the world, but a faithful servant to the Lord-: Not ashamed or embarrassed. 
Faith means that you are willing to look foolish before the world and those around you. Don’t you think those in Noah’s day thought Noah was a complete fool? He was building a huge ark- for what? His sons were busy building this big ark, I’m sure their friends and family thought they were crazy.

It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith Hebrews 11

What do you think Abraham’s family thought of him when he went to sacrifice his son or when he left his entire family and his hometown to an unknown location that the Lord was leading him to? So many examples are in the bible of men and woman who did the impossible, they went against what others and the world would have had them do – Esther,  Ruth, Abraham, Jacob, Abel, Joshua, Moses, Moses parents, the people of Israel when they walked through the waters, Issac, Joseph,Jeremiah, Ezekiel, David, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, John the Baptist, Jesus, Peter, Paul and many more.

A friend of mine was told her mother was not going to live through the night.  She spoke scriptures over her mother and told the doctors and nurses: “no! my mother will live”. Some laughed, some tried to comfort her with her mothers death but no one believed her words. Guess what! Her mother lived and she was miraculously healed. My daughter spoke out in faith when the doctor told her she needed back surgery. She risked being called a fool by saying to the doctor “ You are wrong and God is going to heal me”. That’s amazing faith. This faith pleases the Lord.

Abel is spoken of as a man of great faith. He gave the Lord the best he had. He trusted the Lord and was not afraid to give up his best.  His brother hated him, so we can guess that his brother would try to discourage him with words “Why do you need to sacrifice so much?”.  I’m sure his brother would verbally hurt him, but Abel didn’t let his brothers words and countenance affect him and his faith. He always stood firm.

#5 Speak life- speak out – stop complaining. Tell others that you trust in God. Let your life be a testimony of praise for Him.

   Then those who feared the Lord spoke with each other, and the Lord listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and always thought about the honor of his name. Malachi 3:16 

Reading over Hebrews 11, I see that faith is more than just believing. It’s moving out in faith, it’s fearless and it’s willing to risk everything. Before, I only noticed the obedience and faith of the great patriarchs, I never considered the persecution they endured because of their faith. Faith is when you don’t rely on man’s words, worldly knowledge or influence. It’s when you step out – in a new realm. It’s just like walking on the water. You are about to do something that no one would believe. With God, ALL things are possible.

  It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise.  And so a whole nation came from this one man who was as good as dead—a nation with so many people that, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore, there is no way to count them. 

Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Prov 18:21

 
 
#6 Don’t let your faith be tossed around like the waves of the sea – believing one minute and doubting the next. No fear, No doubt
 
 
 Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yoursMark 11:23-24
 
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.  Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. James 1:6-8
 
 

#7 : Have scripture ready, close-by at all times to crush any doubt, unbelief or lies that the devil wants you to worry about 

 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you .Luke 10:18-19

  One important key to faith is your sword, which is the word of God. I wrote down scripture that defeats any lie or false thinking that may enter my mind. I posted them all over my house-  on my refrigerator, oven, doors, cabinets, mirrors, walls, children’s rooms and everywhere. That may sound crazy to some, but every time I walk by the scripture I read it out loud and it changes me. I woke up so tired the other day, moping into the kitchen and boom! There was scripture in my face when I looked up. I said it out loud and I could feel my faith meter for that day increasing. It’s really amazing.   In the verse below, we learn that Jesus wants to do miracles for us but unbelief gets in the way.

 “ And so he did only a few miracles there because of their unbelief..and because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them” (Matt13:58, Mark 6:5)

Looking back to the examples of the Israelites in the wilderness, their doubt and unbelief angered the Lord. Some were killed by plague, other times they lost their protection. Ultimately their fear and doubt caused a 2 week journey to turn into a 40 year journey of testing.  When the Lord showed them the promised land, only 2 out of the 10 spies believed God would deliver them. Eight of the 10 men said it would be impossible and caused the entire congregation to doubt, fear and complain to the Lord. The 8 doubting spies feared the people in the land, for they were giants. The congregation wept and cried all night long from hearing the fearful and hopeless report. They complained to Moses and doubted God. The Lord was angry and those who feared in unbelief died in the plague.

The Lord said to Moses“How long will these people treat me with contempt? Will they never believe me, even after all the miraculous signs I have done among them?  I will disown them and destroy them with a plague. Then I will make you into a nation greater and mightier than they are!”.” Numbers 14:11

“Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it. …. the Lord have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die. And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land, Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the Lord.”

Hebrews 3: Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:
“Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,

In the day of trial in the wilderness, Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me,
And saw My works forty years.  Therefore I was angry with that generation,
And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they have not known My ways.’
So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’” Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;  but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, 15 while it is said:“Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? 17 Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

#8: Learning to wait. Faith takes patience, or waiting time in which we hope

Consider the life of Joseph; he was hated and rejected by his 10 brothers. They sold him and he ended up as a slave in another land of another language. He was later forgotten in a prison cell. Joseph could have given up at any moment, but he didn’t. He could have thought- well, this is it, I’m going to die here, my life is over. However, Psalm 105 tells us that God was testing him.

“He sent a man before them— Joseph—who was sold as a slave. They hurt his feet with fetters, He was laid in irons.  Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the Lord tested him.  The king sent and released him, The ruler of the people let him go free.  He made him lord of his house, And ruler of all his  possessions.”

   How many of us today would have withstood that test?

In Act7, we are told that God delivered Joseph from all his troubles- and that same promise is for you also. God doesn’t promise us a life without trials or troubles, but He does promise us that He will rescue us, He will deliver us. He will deliver you from all your troubles.

  • Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all. Psalms 34:19
  • Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!Psalm 27:14
  •  Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. Psalm 33:20
  • Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass Psalm 37:7

#9 Believe!

Here’s a lesson the Lord taught me last week as I pondered on the faith that pleases God:
Within my heart, I heard:
Do you believe you have eternal life? I said of course I do, I believe that. I have no doubt.
Do you believe Jesus died on the cross for you sins? Yes, I do, I do.
Do you believe God cares for you? Yes, I do
You believe everything in the bible to be true, but why does your faith toss like a wave when you are believing for me to rescue you? to answer your prayers? To heal you? that whatever you ask in My name, it will be given?
If you believe, because of your faith, that you have eternal life and that Jesus died on the cross for you, you should have the same faith for all of my words.
 
 I have noticed that my faith can be just like the waves described in scripture. That’s where doubt, fear and hopelessness try to enter my thoughts. Remembering Phil 4:8 has helped me. I know the enemy tries to destroy our faith in the Lord. He sends arrows of doubt, fear and unbelief into our thoughts, but God has given us the power to reject those wrong thoughts . God has given us Spiritual warfare in order to fully protect us – and they do!
 
  •  And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith Matthew 21:22
  • He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to GodRomans 4:20
  • I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord Psalm 19:14 
  •  For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.2 Timothy 1:7
  • So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17
  • Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go Joshua 1:9 
  •  What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, …Romans 4:1-25
  •  We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ 2 Corinthians 10:5
  • And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.Hebrews 11:6 
  •  For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13

#10 Pray to Him- Cry out to Him and he will hear you( Gen 21:14-21. 1 Kings 17:18-24, Luke 8:40-48)

Psalm 107
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out!
Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.
For he has gathered the exiles from many lands,
from east and west, from north and south.

Some wandered in the wilderness, lost and homeless.
Hungry and thirsty, they nearly died.
Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
    and he rescued them from their distress.
He led them straight to safety,to a city where they could live.
Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them.For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.

Some sat in darkness and deepest gloom, imprisoned in iron chains of misery.
They rebelled against the words of God, scorning the counsel of the Most High.
That is why he broke them with hard labor; they fell, and no one was there to help them.
Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.

He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom; he snapped their chains.
Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. For he broke down their prison gates of bronze; he cut apart their bars of iron.

Some were fools; they rebelled and suffered for their sins.
They couldn’t stand the thought of food, and they were knocking on death’s door.
Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
    and he saved them from their distress.
He sent out his word and healed them, snatching them from the door of death.
Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them.Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving and sing joyfully about his glorious acts.

#11: Have a right relationship with the Lord 

You must love the Lord you God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul and all your strength. You must love your neighbor as yourself.”we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law” Roman 3:28.This doesn’t give us an excuse to continue on in any sin we are living in. Sin in our lives  can interfere with our prayers. Don’t let sin be a stumbling block. Don’t pretend to Honor God with your lips but turn your back on Him.

  • Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered 1 Peter 3:7
  • Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith. Romans 4:13
  •  Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I findthat your actions do not meet the requirements of my God.Revelation 3:2

#12 Remember all He has done – keep a journal of remembrance

Keep a journal. Stop and recall all the miracles He’s done in your life. Remembering builds up your faith.

“By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. 35 Women received their loved ones back again from death.But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. 36 Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. 37 Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. 38 They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised.  For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us. Heb 11

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Christian view of the Color Run (Holi festival): Putting the brakes on Pagan Christianity -stop bringing the World into our churches

Do not worship the Lord your God in the way the pagan people worship their gods”
Deuteronomy 12:4

Take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?—that I also may do the same.’ You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.
Deuteronomy 12:30-31

     The newest fad in our churches, Christian organizations and youth groups is the Color Run. The Color Run is an ancient Hindu and Hare Krishna festival also called the Holi festival.  Holi was the name of the Hindu demon king’s sister. This festival dates back to over 2000 years ago. It wasn’t suddenly invented two years ago as some websites claim. It’s been going on for thousands of years at the beginning of spring. When I first heard about this 5k color run, it sounded super fun…however something didn’t feel right about it and I wasn’t comfortable with my children participating in it. When I found out the origins, I was still unsure. However that same day, I sat down to read my bible and this verse practically jumped off the pages:

“Do not worship the Lord your God in the way the pagan people worship their gods” Deuteronomy 12:4

  Let me clear some things up first. I’m not judging anyone who is participating; I only hope that those who are feeling indecisive about this, would find their answer. I pray that the shepherds would be more aware of the paths along which they are leading their sheep  and that those called out to be gatekeepers and watchmen would stand guard and protect the flock.

 
Photo credit: newyorkdailynews- Holi celebrations kick off in India


Color run origins:

The Holi (aka Color run) Hindu festival is celebrated at the beginning of spring each year. The name Holi (which means burning) originated from the name Holika, the demon king’s evil sister.  She, Holika, helped her brother reign by killing his son/ her nephew. Legend says that the son of the demon refused to worship him and instead worshiped Vishnu. So Holika ended this by putting the boy on her lap and sitting in a fire so he would die. She thought she would be untouched because her super power was that fire could not burn her- but her plan backfired and she sizzled to death.
In India, they throw colored powders in the air over the people as a symbolic remembrance of this demon sister Holika (Holi) and the beginning of spring.  On this day many others worship Kaamadeva, the love god. There are a few other variations and myths (and some have changed over the years): to some it was a time when the moon god was worshipped- here’s another one – Krishna wasn’t happy with his skin color so his mother told him to color his lovers skin so her complexion would change and from there, they started the color festival. Don’t ask me to explain that one, but if you want to find out more, see the links below.


photocredit- indiajoin. com


Why are we turning to pagan religions, worldly traditions, new age ideas and witchcraft to find new ways to play church? 

Last year, the fad was the Harlem shake. I embarrassingly watched my children’s youth group’s you tubes as they gyrated in their underwear wearing large animal head pieces. I cringed! Then I saw pastors and churches joining in. The year before this it was the Circle maker. Why are we going to pagan religions, worldly traditions, new age and witchcraft to find new ways to play church?

I wonder how many pagan practices we unknowingly have within our churches, traditions and holidays. It’s our job to stop it when it begins to sneak into our churches.  What are we teaching the next generation by doing this? The Color run sounds like a lot of fun, no doubt about that- but I ask you, as Christians and Church members- When are we finally going to put the brakes on bringing the world and pagan practices into our churches?

Reading through Hindu sites I found mixed emotions on how they feel about us celebrating their tradition. Some are deeply offended and some are happy they can share their Hindu and Hare Krishna religion with us- yes, they see it as an open door to share their faith.

Do Something New!

God wants us to be NEW. A new Creations. He gave each one of us an amazing mind- surely we can come up with our own new ways of worship and fellowship. I am sure we can think up new creative ways of fellowship without copying pagan religions. We are not to be conformed to this world, but TRANSFORMED by the renewing of our mind.

I just thought of something!!!!!! Joshua at Jericho and Gehazi with the Shumanite were both supposed to run/walk without a word spoken, okay maybe it’s boring – but think of how much we’d have to say when we reached the end. And how about Elijah’s supernatural run when he outran the chariots, there was a terrible storm coming. So I’m thinking everyone has to run like the wind and anyone who is slow gets soaked. Lol– but you see, you can get creative, amen?

He asks us to sing Him NEW songs. He specifically tells us in Deuteronomy 12:29-32

“When the Lord your God goes ahead of you and destroys the nations and you drive them out and live in their land,  do not fall into the trap of following their customs and worshiping their gods. Do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations worship their gods? I want to follow their example.’  You must not worship the Lord your God the way the other nations worship their gods, for they perform for their gods every detestable act that the Lord hates. They even burn their sons and daughters as sacrifices to their gods.“So be careful to obey all the commands I give you. You must not add anything to them or subtract anything from them.

 Hear the Word of the Lord:

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.Romans 12:1-3

“On that day of judgment,” says the Lord, “I will punish the leaders and princes of Judah and all those following pagan customs.Yes, I will punish those who participate in pagan worship ceremonies, and those who fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit Zephaniah 1:8-9

 You have put pagan symbols on your doorposts and behind your doors. You have left me and climbed into bed with these detestable gods. You have committed yourselves to them. You love to look at their naked bodies Isaiah 57:8.

This disaster came upon the people of Israel because they worshiped other gods. They sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them safely out of Egypt and had rescued them from the power of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. They had followed the practices of the pagan nations the Lord had driven from the land ahead of them, as well as the practices the kings of Israel had introduced. 2 kings 17

 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother was Hephzibah. He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, following the detestable practices of the pagan nations that the Lord had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites. 2 Kings 21 (NLT)21

  Photo credit: dw.de

This festival is also called ‘run or dye’ – yes, churches are using that slogan.  I have no comment for that- just a sigh……

Money, Money, and More Money   

One more thing that weighs heavily on my heart- the pull of money, money and more money – isn’t that what this is all about?  Are we feeding the hungry?  are we visiting the sick? are we visiting those in prison? are we clothing the naked? are we helping the widow? are we going after the lost? are we guiding the those who have backslidden? Where have our priorities gone? What example are we setting for the next generation? How much of our thoughts- and our church leadership’s time and energy is put towards  business/money and how much is put toward walking with God? It’s time for a heart check- where are my priorities? Am I really trusting in the Lord? How can I get to that place where I can walk with the Lord as Enoch did?  Would I be on the left or the right in that last day parable described in Matthew 25:34-

 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me.  I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.  I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me. “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink?  Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing?  When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters you were doing it to me!’

 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons.For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’ “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’

 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’ “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”

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 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
John 14:6

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Creation, let’s talk Genesis 1

(Disclaimer: these are just my thoughts and wonderings- fyi: I wasn’t there at creation or before creation**, just completely consumed in thoughts of bible verses- and another fyi- I 100% believe the bible to be true and trustworthy)  

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth- this was before day 1. It is clear that after he made the heavens and the earth, God said – Let there be light. But holdup here a minute…. This means that the earth existed before the sun, the moon and the stars (and light existed on earth before the Sun) which were created on day 3. Yet- they were not the source of light because light was on earth on day 1 before the sun. So what gave off this light? It had to be Jesus or the Glory of God. The light of the World- and doesn’t revelation say

  1. Revelation 21:23 And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light.
  2. Revelation 22:5 And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.

So here we are on day 2- there is light and there is no sun. But wait, backtrack- there was the earth and it was formless with water all over the place because on day 2, God separated the sky from the waters – in other words –there was no gravity. Did gravity come into existence on day 2 when God separated the sky from the waters? And if there was no gravity- was there also no time? Can time exist without gravity? How can that be?

What exactly is the heaven that was made before day 1, or in the beginning? I guess that is where the Lord lives and not the galaxy of stars we would imagine because those were made on day 3. So before day one, we have an earth and a heaven and water that reached up to heaven. But wait, there was water, so there was a heat source or it would be frozen, unless water didn’t freeze? If it was pitch black and no light, I would guess it would be frozen, but it wasn’t.  So I’m guessing there was a temperature source , no gravity (or little gravity, and therefore no time (or slower time).

On day 1, God separated the day and night and this marked the first day. In other words, did the earth, at this point, begin to turn? How else could a separation of light and darkness occur?

In the past, I had a theory that satan was cast out of heaven before day one and that he was already in hell, but Ezekiel 28 tells us – okay disclaimer – these are my thoughts and wonderings, find out the truth for yourself AND you will find different thoughts on Ez 28, but just hear me out. This was a funeral song sent to the king of Tyre:

You were the model of perfection,
full of wisdom and exquisite in beauty.
 You were in Eden,
the garden of God.
Your clothing was adorned with every precious stone[b]
red carnelian, pale-green peridot, white moonstone,
blue-green beryl, onyx, green jasper,
blue lapis lazuli, turquoise, and emerald—
all beautifully crafted for you
and set in the finest gold.
They were given to you
on the day you were created.
 I ordained and anointed you
as the mighty angelic guardian.[c]
You had access to the holy mountain of God
and walked among the stones of fire.

“You were blameless in all you did
from the day you were created
until the day evil was found in you.
 Your rich commerce led you to violence,
and you sinned.
So I banished you in disgrace
from the mountain of God.

If these verses are talking about satan- there he is in the Garden of Eden as a mighty angelic guardian all decked out with jewels and access to the Mountain of God- Well, this is tricky, but I wonder – I wonder if satan saw man and got furiously mad/jealous and this is the day evil was found in him. If that is so, then the war in heaven occurred after the creation of man.  Jesus said “Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning!”

On to other things……

Let’s go back to the beginning, before day 1.- The earth was formless and empty, covered by darkness and waters. That stumps me. What did the heavens look like? I can’t help but wonder if something was on earth before our day 1. We know our history starts with day 1 and our generation started with Adam about 5700 years ago.  I don’t know, lots of thoughts. In my mind, I don’t see God creating a voidless formless empty earth, I am perplexed and wonder if it was another creation that was destroyed. If carbon dating is correct, then perhaps another generation, like us failed and turned from God also – but then how could that happen unless evil was present? And the only evil we know is satan unless another evil is out there? hmmmmmmm

**as I said, I wasn’t there at creation, or was I and I don’t know! In Jeremiah it says “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5 So God knew us before we were born! Before we were in our mother’s wombs- so hey! God knew us before we existed – even in the womb! King Solomon, in Eccl 11:5, says, that the human spirit is infused into a little body of a baby while it is yet in it’s mother’s womb. So here we have a Spirit- that’s you and me- before we were ever in our mother’s womb- we were somehow in some form with God? Were we with Him before we came to earth? 

You guided my conception and formed me in the womb.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Job 10:10. Ps 139:13-16

As I’ve always wondered this, I thought it was interesting that my youngest daughter would name all her baby dolls Belle and Sarah. This when when she first began to walk and talk, she knew no one of these two names. However, Belle was my grandmother and Sarah was my first daughter who died. I always used to wonder – how in the world did she know these two names? She didn’t watch tv, movies or know anyone – how odd, I thought, did she, perhaps know them in heaven before she was born.

The Account of Creation

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.[a] The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.”

And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.

Then God said, “Let there be a space between the waters, to separate the waters of the heavens from the waters of the earth.” And that is what happened. God made this space to separate the waters of the earth from the waters of the heavens. God called the space “sky.”

And evening passed and morning came, marking the second day.

Then God said, “Let the waters beneath the sky flow together into one place, so dry ground may appear.” And that is what happened. 10 God called the dry ground “land” and the waters “seas.” And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, “Let the land sprout with vegetation—every sort of seed-bearing plant, and trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. These seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came.” And that is what happened. 12 The land produced vegetation—all sorts of seed-bearing plants, and trees with seed-bearing fruit. Their seeds produced plants and trees of the same kind. And God saw that it was good.

13 And evening passed and morning came, marking the third day.

14 Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years. 15 Let these lights in the sky shine down on the earth.” And that is what happened.16 God made two great lights—the larger one to govern the day, and the smaller one to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set these lights in the sky to light the earth, 18 to govern the day and night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.

19 And evening passed and morning came, marking the fourth day.

20 Then God said, “Let the waters swarm with fish and other life. Let the skies be filled with birds of every kind.” 21 So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that scurries and swarms in the water, and every sort of bird—each producing offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 Then God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply. Let the fish fill the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth.”

23 And evening passed and morning came, marking the fifth day.

24 Then God said, “Let the earth produce every sort of animal, each producing offspring of the same kind—livestock, small animals that scurry along the ground, and wild animals.” And that is what happened. 25 God made all sorts of wild animals, livestock, and small animals, each able to produce offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good.26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings[b] in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”27 So God created human beings[c] in his own image.    In the image of God he created them;    male and female he created them.28 Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”29 Then God said, “Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. 30 And I have given every green plant as food for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground—everything that has life.” And that is what happened.31 Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!

And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day.

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The Armor of God: Ephesians 6 – New discoveries!

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the

  1. belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the
  2. breastplate of righteousness in place and with your
  3. feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the
  4. shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the
  5. helmet of salvation and the
  6. sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

 Piecing together the study of our armor, I have found that certain pieces of this armor must be paired with another in order for it to have the full effect.  It’s truly amazing! The shoes must be worn along with the breastplate, the shield must be used with the sword and the helmet must be worn with the belt. You can’t just put on one piece.

 
Peace (shoes) and Righteousness (breastplate)

I previously did a study on Peace and Righteousness. I found that they truly do protect us and they work together- in protecting us. Peace and Right living , together, are our spiritual armor that protects us. It was truly amazing to see the two paired together so often in scripture. You absolutely cannot have one without the other, you can’t have righteousness without peace and you can’t have peace without righteousness.  Check out a few scriptures and see:

  •  Mercy and truth are met together ; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Psalm 85:10
  • And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. Isaiah 32:17
  • O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea: Isaiah 48:18
  • To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Hebrews 7:2
  • And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace James 3:18


Faith (Shield) and God’s Word (Sword)

   Another interesting discovery! Just as Righteousness and peace work together and cannot work without each other, so I have found the same with the shield and sword. You cannot have faith without the Word, impossible! For faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of the Lord. I cannot protect myself against the wiles of the devil and his tactics without the help of God and His word. Faith in our Holy Father and His word protects me. God’s word crushes and destroys the enemy’s plan of attack – that’s my sword. The bible says that our enemy throws fiery darts at us- those darts are thoughts, doubts, fears- we hold up the shield of faith knowing we can trust in God. All those darts fall and will not touch you BUT if you get lazy and forget the Word, all those wrong thoughts will settle in your mind, fall deep in your heart and it will become part of you- we can’t let this happen.

  •   Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord, The shield of your help And the sword of your majesty! Your enemies shall submit to you, And you shall tread down their high places. Deut 33:29

Keeping scripture close at hand is key. When you trust in God, you trust in His word. When the enemy throws fears, discouragement, depression, wrong thoughts, and hopelessness your way you must hold up the shield of Faith- No weapon formed against you shall prosper! For this is the heritage of the saints of the Lord.

Speak it out- How interesting it is, I have found, the power of the spoken word. Notice that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Why doesn’t is say faith comes by reading and reading by the word of God? Maybe, or wait- not maybe- when we speak God’s Word and hear it – our faith grows and is strengthened. So I wonder, if we would begin speaking out in faith, we could really shake this wicked world up. If I can overthrow a mountain with faith just the size of a small mustard seed – whoa! Can you imagine what we can do in this world? I’m not talking about naming your Bentley, come on – I’m talking about making our world a Holy Nation. Instead of complaining about the wicked songs, lyrics, movies, shows, books – I will speak out in faith and prayer.

“God will protect my children, In Jesus Name, crush this wicked agenda that seeks to destroy our youth. Let every wrong and wicked movie crash to nothing and be destroyed before it touches the precious hearts of our children and….. here I go- May the new movie Divergent that is targeted at the youth be cast out and thrown into the sea”

Sidetrack:    My daughter and I had a conversation yesterday about the movie ‘catching fire’. My husband and kids watched it while I fumed up a furnace.  I prayed that God would take care of it so I didn’t act like an angry monkey on crack. The next day I was reading Imitation of Christ by Thomas Kemper with my daughter (part of her literary reading for high school) and it sparked a conversation

  “Not every desire is from the Holy Spirit, even though it may seem right and good…. And Whatever the mind sees as good, ask and desire in fear of God and humility of heart”

Me:“Look, just because you want to watch a movie and it seems good and right- doesn’t make it good and right before God”
She replies “there’s nothing wrong with it”
I say,” really? Killing? Sexuality? Kids slicing each others throats? Would you watch that movie if Jesus walked in here?
Silence…..
Then we kept reading the book:

Not every desire is from the Holy Spirit, even though it may seem right and good”

I said,” You see, not everything you desire and think is okay, is okay with God.”
She replied “but mom, what if I watch it and it doesn’t affect me”
I said ”The bible says everything you see, hear, think, and do goes in your heart. Of course it affects you- and everyone else who watches it. Everything in that movie went into your heart and the only way you can clean it out is through the Word of God”
Silence
Yea mom, your right…. and we continued reading. I thought this was interesting because #1God answered my prayer, took care of this for me and gave my kids understanding #2 I had faith God would take care of it when I prayed and tried my best to keep peace – and true enough, my prayer of faith went out and God took care of this better than I could have (and btw…. I’m quite well aware that I am one of the last standing Christians who oppose this movie and all the other stuff out there- I don’t have to agree with the world and I’m not going to – even if I’m the last person on earth who stands up to disagree, so if you like the movie, fine – I’m not judging you and you’re not judging me – I’m just saying it how it is, I know there is more to this movie -and I’ll tell you what else- I know without a doubt these movies (and books on child mutilation) that have become the new obsession and required reading in schools absolutely have an underlying agenda of molding, shaping and desensitizing our children)  

Moving Onnnn….

Now where was I…. the reason I wanted write you today is about faith- can you believe this? 4 pages into this post and finally I’m getting around to the subject. I’ve got so much to tell you! Ugh, maybe I should rename this or start a new post…..I’ll have to put it in another post because now I have something new…..

If peace and righteousness must be paired together and now I have found that faith and the Word must be paired together ( or shoes + breastplate = protection, sword+shield destroys and kills your enemy and their attacks) Well then! Let’s see if we can find a link between the belt of truth and the helmet of salvation………

Truth (belt) and Salvation (helmet)

Yes! It’s true! You cannot have salvation without the truth- this is so cool! Salvation comes through the Spirit through our belief in the truth.- ( a tie in with faith). The truth and your salvation in Jesus keep you grounded, unshaken and standing firm!!!  Wow, it’s all piecing together like a puzzle. Salvation comes through the truth and it helps you stand firm. Jesus is the truth of our salvation. The word of truth is the gospel of salvation. It’s Jesus! He is the truth and our salvation. Okay, here’s an overview of all our armor- Jesus , God’s Word and right living- those three together are the foundation of all this armor. I can see it! I’m jumping up and down- piecing a super cool puzzle together.

  • Believers Should Stand Firm]As for us, we can’t help but thank God for you, dear brothers and sisters loved by the Lord. We are always thankful that God chose you to be among the first to experience salvation—a salvation that came through the Spirit who makes you holy and through your belief in the truth. 2 Thessalonians 2:13
  •  Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. Psalm 25:5
  • I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation. Psalm 40:10
  • But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation. Psalm 69:13
  • In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Ephesians 1:13

You see, God has given you 6 items for you to use in this war. (devil’s schemes, For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms)    Did you notice that complaining about the annoying tactics of the enemy is not a weapon or a shielding  piece of armor? If it was, I’d be quite a warrior, but it doesn’t work this way ( I’m preaching to myself here) Are you just fending off the enemy or are you destroying the enemy with the Sword of God? We can march around with our helmet of salvation on and still get side swiped and crushed if we don’t stand firm on the Word of God. Get your sword out, remember who you are in Christ and don’t take any more garbage from the enemy because the name of Jesus is higher and more powerful than anything that may come against you.

For He put on righteousness as a breastplate,
And a helmet of salvation on His head;
He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing,
And was clad with zeal as a cloak.
18 According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay,
Fury to His adversaries,
Recompense to His enemies;
The coastlands He will fully repay.
19 So shall they fear
The name of the Lord from the west,
And His glory from the rising of the sun;
When the enemy comes in like a flood,
The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.
20 “The Redeemer will come to Zion,
And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,”
Says the Lord. Isaiah 59:18-20

 

What’s the point? Why the armor and the sword?
(from Jeremiah 17:7-8)

Listen up Blessed are you mighty and strong man of valor because you have put your trust and hope in the Lord. You have found your confidence and security in the Most High God.  You shall be like a tree transplanted along the refreshing waters of the river that sendeth out its roots by the river.  Because you have put all your trust in the Lord and not put your trust in your own strength or wealth, you stand unshakable, for the Lord is with you.

           When heat or drought comes, you shall not be concerned or worried because you are always bearing fruit and your leaves will always be green. Attacks and storms may come your way, but not a branch shall be moved. You will prosper and flourish through all your storms, in drought, in valleys and through all the troubles that try to come against you. Even in times of drought or destitution, though the rain not fall for a period of time, you shall be unshakable, you will not be anxious or worried. You will prosper in perfect peace without fear. You trust fully in the Lord. You will not be sorrowful when troubles arise for you know that the Lord protects you. He is your rock and your fortress. Though these times come and go, you will never stop yielding fruit, you will accomplish all the Lord has planned for your life. You will always be provided for and your life will produce much fruit.

     You count it all joy when troubles come and you know that we are destined for such troubles. You can rejoice in your problems and trials for we know they help us and strengthen us. We can remind ourselves as David did “ I see that the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me.”

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Update on daughter- My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast

       Thank you everyone for your prayers! You have been a blessing.  We went to the doctor for her check up and new x-rays. The doctor found that her spine has curved further and insisted that I schedule surgery right away. (Surgery takes 3-4 hours with a 3-6 month recovery and a 2 week hospital stay)

Well, this was our doctor visit: The assistant came into our room and began insisting we schedule surgery asap. In a rush, she went on to talk about the metal rod, hospital stay, pain and metal screws they were going to put in her back. My daughter started to cry uncontrollably and the assistant kept going on and on with hopeless doom. So I said, “ I want a few more months of physical therapy and another brace for her back ” (since she outgrew the last one), but she refused. I insisted more and she refused again. I was told that the brace and therapy would make no difference. We went back and forth and I said, “You’ve only spoken hopelessness to us, haven’t you ever seen anyone get better or healed?” She was quiet, looked down and quietly said “yes…. but….” she said “it’s very rare”. Then she walked out.
With my daughter still in tears, the doctor walks in and says, “What are you scared of? Why are you upset? I want you to talk to me”. My daughter sits up, chokes the tears back and with great boldness and a finger pointed, she says “I’m not having surgery, I don’t need surgery.  I know you and everyone else in this office thinks I need surgery, but I know God is going to heal me!” Silence…. in the room – whoa, I look at the doctor, and he says “Well, I hope you prove me wrong”. So with that he allowed us 4-5 more months of therapy and prescribed a new brace to be made for her back.

As we were leaving, we were introduced to another teenager who had the surgery 2 years ago. She and her father spoke with us. She was so sweet and told my daughter about her experience. She was no longer in pain and she actually grew taller after the surgery. She told my daughter not to worry , just make sure to fix her hair before surgery, because the snarls in her hair were the most painful to brush out – lol.   I left the office with a supernatural peace in my heart, knowing that everything is in God’s hands. I know that ALL things work out for good and for His glory. I also know, that without a doubt, we will have a new testimony to share of God glory. That I know.

I am not going to worry about tomorrow, but I will be thankful for this day. Like the proverbs 31 woman, I am not bothered or shaken by man’s words of doom for the future. Like the tree in Jeremiah 17:7-8, I stand unshaken, like the 3 men –Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, I will say “ My God, who I serve is able to deliver us from the fiery furnace and He will deliver us, but if not, let it be known, that we bow down to no other god but the Lord God Almighty”.

xray “ All our infirmities, whatever they are, are just opportunities for God to display His gracious work in us. Oh, my brothers and sisters, you will not do better , after all, than to quote scripture, especially in prayer! There are no prayers so good as those that are full of the Word of God! May all our speech be flavored with texts” (Spurgeon 1893 Sermon 2310,)

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 Each day the Lord gives me new scripture that crushes any doubt and worry. Here are a few I have found in the last few days that I meditate and think on:  

He is faithful Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. Heb 10:23

Don’t Worry: Don’t worry about anything, instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace which exceeds anything we can understand. Phil 4:6
My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise. Awake, my glory!Awake, lute and harp!I will awaken the dawn Psalm 57:7
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25
“I, yes I, am the one who comforts you. So why are you afraid of mere humans, who wither like the grass and disappear? Isaiah 51:12
they shall not be ashamed who wait for Me Isaiah 49:23
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly. Ps 84:11
Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19

Don’t doubt; Faith is Powerful 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. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1:2

He (Abraham) did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,  and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.  And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Romans 4:20-22
What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”  The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” mark 9:23-24
So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. Matthew 21:21
For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.  Mark 11:23
“These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold – though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” 1 Peter 1:7
“In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.” Eph 6:16

I walk by faith and not by sight. 2 Cor 5:7

Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace Luke 7:50
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17

God hears  (Gen 21:14-21, 1 Kings 17:8-24, Luke 8:40-48) The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice. For the Lord hears the cries of the needy; he does not despise his imprisoned people. I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. He grants the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cries for help and rescues them. Ps 34:17Ps 55:17Ps 69:33Ps 116:1Psalm 145:19
The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayers of the righteous. Prvb 15:29

I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers! Isaiah 65:24

I will call to you whenever I’m in trouble, and you will answer me. Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come. Look and be amazed! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it Ps 86:7 Jer 33:3 Hab 1:5

God will receive Glory in all things because He makes ALL things work together for good for those who love Him.

But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” John 11:4 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. John 9:3-4
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose Romans 8:28

His Ways are above my ways and His word never comes back void “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.  “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. 10 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, 11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. Is 55:8-9

He heals O Lord my God, I cried out to You, And You healed me. Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His,And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.For His anger is but for a moment,His favor is for life;Weeping may endure for a night,But joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:2-5
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled. Ps 6:2
The Lord is our healer! – Exodus 15:26 I am the Lord that heals you. Exodus 23:25 Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you. And the LORD will take away from you all sickness, and will afflict you with none of the terrible diseases of Egypt which you have known, but will lay them on all those who hate you. (Deu 7:15)
He took our sickness and He heals all manner of sickness and disease.  Matthew 4:23 Matthew 8:17 Matthew 8:17 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. (Isa 53:)17. He sends His word and Heals His people. He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions. (Ps 107:20).
O Lord my God, I cried out to You, And You healed mePs 30:2.
Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Ps 103:3
He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions.  Ps 107:20 It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones.  Prvb 3:8
For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh Prvrb 4:22
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
“I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near,” Says the Lord, “And I will heal him.” Isaiah 57:19
Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guardIsaiah 58:8
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16

Here is a recent youtube I watched that encouraged me and kept my faith strong :)

Dear Lord,

   You are the mighty healer and I have seen you do great and mighty things. I bring Hannah before you for healing, that her spine would be made whole and Your Name would be glorified.  Please align her spine to wholeness and take away her pain.  I pray that sickness, pain, and scoliosis have not place or power in her life.  Protect Hannah in Jesus name. Your Word says, ” he sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction’s” (Psalm 107:20) Lord, I pray that you would touch Hannah’s back and make her whole and well again by your healing power- You are the God who heals. Please restore her to total health. I ask that you would make her spine whole again, and cast out this scoliosis in Jesus name.         May your light break forth like the morning and healing spring forth speedily for Hannah. Thank you that you sent your Son Jesus Christ, who bore our sins in His own body that we, having died to sins, would live for righteousness -by whose stripes she was healed. Let the Sun of Righteousness rise over Hannah with healing in His wings. We come together to pray for Hannah and know that the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Your Son was wounded for our sins, He took the punishment we deserved for our iniquities, the chastisement for our peace was upon HIM and by His stripes, He heals His people.      Thank you Lord that you suffered and died for us so we might be healed. I lay claim to that heritage of healing which you have promised in Your Word and provided for those who believe. Thank you Lord! I look to you Lord for a life to health, healing and wholeness for Hannah, In Jesus name, Amen.**

For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?” “Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him? For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen Romans 11:33-36

It just seems that everywhere I turn I am encouraged, knowing that God is in control. Thank you for your prayers!!! God is good. We march on……..

“and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen” Matthew 28:20

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Prayer Request for daughter- Scoliosis

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Prayer request - please join me in praying for healing for my daughter, Hannah.  I am praying that she would be make whole in Jesus name.  This last summer, she was diagnosed with scoliosis and a 47% curvature. She has been wearing a back brace and has had numerous xrays and mri’s done. It has been about 6 months since our last xray,  we are going back on February 27th for new xrays to see if it is getting better, worse, or staying the same. The doctor is talking about spinal surgery, but I am praying and trusting in God through all of this. Please pray for her healing and restoration. I know God is able to do amazing things – great and mighty! I’ll update you with my praise report and new xrays.  - If you have a prayer request, leave a comment or send to my email at walkinstep@live.com. Join me in my prayer below.  God bless and thank you :)

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A PRAYER FOR HANNAH:

Dear Lord,

   You are the mighty healer and I have seen you do great and mighty things. I bring Hannah before you for healing, that her spine would be made whole and Your Name would be glorified.  Please align her spine to wholeness and take away her pain.  I pray that sickness, pain, and scoliosis have not place or power in her life.  Protect Hannah in Jesus name. Your Word says, ” he sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction’s” (Psalm 107:20) Lord, I pray that you would touch Hannah’s back and make her whole and well again by your healing power- You are the God who heals. Please restore her to total health. I ask that you would make her spine whole again, and cast out this scoliosis in Jesus name.  
      May your light break forth like the morning and healing spring forth speedily for Hannah. Thank you that you sent your Son Jesus Christ, who bore our sins in His own body that we, having died to sins, would live for righteousness -by whose stripes she was healed. Let the Sun of Righteousness rise over Hannah with healing in His wings. We come together to pray for Hannah and know that the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Your Son was wounded for our sins, He took the punishment we deserved for our iniquities, the chastisement for our peace was upon HIM and by His stripes, He heals His people.
     Thank you Lord that you suffered and died for us so we might be healed. I lay claim to that heritage of healing which you have promised in Your Word and provided for those who believe. Thank you Lord! I look to you Lord for a life to health, healing and wholeness for Hannah, In Jesus name, Amen.**

HEALING SCRIPTURE- IN HIS WORD IS OUR HOPE :)

By His stripes, WE WERE healed: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness, by whose stripes ye were healed. 1 peter 2:24

The Lord is our healer! – Exodus 15:26 … I am the Lord that heals you. Exodus 23:25 Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you. And the LORD will take away from you all sickness, and will afflict you with none of the terrible diseases of Egypt which you have known, but will lay them on all those who hate you. (Deu 7:15)

• He took our sickness and He heals all manner of sickness and disease.  Matthew 4:23 Matthew 8:17 Matthew 8:17 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. (Isa 53:)17.

•He sends His word and Heals His people. He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions. (Ps 107:20).

• The Lord will hear your prayers and save the sick. May you prosper in health as your soul prospers. Ask Him with confidence; for healing is His will for those who keep His commandments and to those things that are pleasing in His sight Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. (3 John 1:2 ) Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. (James 5:14-15) Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. (1 John 5:14-15) Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. (1 John 3:21-22)

• Ask Him with confidence. Believe on Him and ask in His name. He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed. Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him. “Verily, Verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also, and greater works than these shall he do, because I go unto my Father, and whatever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son, If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it” . 1 Peter2:24 John 14:12-14

• Healing will quickly appear. Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. Is 58:8

• God wants to heal you. For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Phil 2:13) . And behold, a leper came and worshipped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean. Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. (Mat 8:2-3)

• The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies Psalm 41:2

• The Lord restores our health and heals us!  “But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,” declares the Lord. I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal My people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. I will give you back your health and heal your wounds, says the Lord. And the Lord will protect you from all sickness. “You must serve only the Lord your God, if you do, I will bless you with food and water and I will protect you from illness.” Jeremiah 30:17 Joel 3:10 Jeremiah 33:6 Deut 7:15 Exodus 23:25: Have Faith, Trust In Him Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. (Heb 10:23) Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. (Heb 10:35) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Heb 13:8) We walk by faith, not by sight Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:23-24

• His Words bring healing: My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart. For they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body A merry heart is good like a medicine: but a broken spirit dries the bones. My son, do not forget My teaching, but keep My commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. Prov. 4:20-23: Proverbs 17:22 Proverbs 3:1-2

• Ask for prayer: “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. (Mat 18:19) “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; “they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:17-18 ) 2 Corinthians 1:11” as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” Ps 119:154 Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to thy word

• Believe. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. (Mark 11:24) Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. (Mat 18:18)

• Believe and Say it. So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. (Mark 11:22-23 ) A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones Prov 17:22 –(keep your attitude in check – not doubting)

• Praise the LordO my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases ; The righteous person faces many troubles but the Lord comes to rescue each time. For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous, not one of them is broken. The Lord nurses them when they are sick and restores them to health. Do not dread the disease that stalks in the darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. He sent out his word and healed them, snatching them from the door of death. Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving and sing joyfully about his glorious acts. O Lord my God, I called to You for help and You healed me. Ps 103-3 PS 34:19. Ps 41:3 Ps 91:6 Ps 107;20 Psalm 30:2

• Yet is was our weakness he carried, it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God a punishment for his own sin! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole and He was whipped so we could be healed . So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak… But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up on wings as eagles, they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, He will come with vengeance; with divine retribution He will come to save you.” Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. It is the same with my word, I send it out and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it Yet it was our weaknesses he carried, it was our sorrows that weighed him down. …but he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins, He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. Is 51:4-5 Is 53:4 Is 55:11 Isaiah 35:3-4 Isaiah 40:29; 31 Isaiah 58:8 Isaiah 41:10 Psalm 103:2-3 Mark 16:17-John 10:10 Deuteronomy 28:1-14, 61 Romans 4:17-20I Kings 8:56 Ephesians 6:10-17Philippians 4:6-7Isaiah 41:10 Jeremiah 1:12 Hebrews 11:11 Joel 3:10 Matthew 8:2-3 Matthew 8:17

• Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward.Is 58:8

• For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. (2 Cor 1:20 “Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psa 103:1-5) 

   And we can cast all our cares, worries, concerns and anxieties on Him because He cares for us affectionately and watchfully.1 Peter 5:7 

**portion of prayer from the  The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian

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Where do babies go when they die?

God’s ways are as mysterious as the pathway of the wind, and as the manner in which a human spirit is infused into the little body of a baby while it is yet in it’s mother’s womb. Eccl 11:5

David said, “While the baby was still alive, I fasted, and I cried. I thought, ‘Who knows? Maybe the Lord will feel sorry for me and let the baby live.’ But now that the baby is dead, why should I fast? I can’t bring him back to life. Someday I will go to him, but he cannot come back to me.” 2 Samuel 12 :22-

I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Jer 1:5

     If you are searching for an answer to this- I hope you will find it here. You will not get man-made ideas, rules made from the church or made up imaginations. Here you will receive the absolute truth and I pray that it would bring peace upon you and tug on your heart to come back to the Lord- to give you hope for tomorrow, peace for today and a stronger faith in our Heavenly Father. May the Lord comfort you and give you wisdom to understand.

You guided my conception and formed me in the womb.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Job 10:10. Ps 139:13-16

     Loosing a child is indescribably painful. It is a tremendous feeling of loss, uncertainty and for some fear and anger. Where is my baby? Where is my child? I felt like screaming for her; running to the ends of the earth to find her. It was hard to believe that she just disappeared. How can that be – my mind just couldn’t understand it. She had to be somewhere. I searched and prayed earnestly with all my heart.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. – Psalm 34:18

    In order to explain what the Lord showed me and told me, I will start my story from the beginning:

Years ago my husband and I were expecting our first child- a daughter. We were so excited and had already begun to prepare for her. We had the room ready, crib set up and many cute outfits and gifts all ready in her room. At 25 weeks of pregnancy I went into early labor. She was born weighing only 2lbs. Her name was Sarah. The doctors told us she had no chance of survival. She passed away in my arms 20 hours after she was born. I felt like someone had grabbed her out of my arms and run away with her. I heard everyone say “she’s in heaven, she’s okay” BUT I WANTED PROOF. Was she okay? Was she scared?  Was she a person? Did she have a soul? Where was she?

To explain how I felt- it felt like she had been kidnapped- Where was she? How could this happen?  I could feel something leave her body and I desperately wanted to know where she was.  I held her body- but at that moment I knew she was gone- her body was only the covering- and she had disappeared.

I cried out to God- where is she? Where is she? Where is she?

Though God brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men. – Lamentations 3:32-33

 Sorrow is better than laughter,
for sadness has a refining influence on us. Eccl 7: 3

And this was my prayer:

Dear Lord,
I won’t dare ask you why this happened, because I know I’m a sinner. I know I can’t know or understand why this happened, but one thing I need to know is- where is she?  Is she okay? Please let me just see her. Please ! Please! My friends around me have abortions and even though I know it’s wrong- I’ve excused them with their excuses- but was it really a child? Was it nothing? Was Sarah nothing? I’m confused Lord- the world tells me that it’s nothing, so does my Sarah exist?  If I didn’t baptize her- would she really be in hell- like everyone says? The world tells me one thing and my heart tells me another.

Lord, I remember King David said when his son died “He cannot come back to me, but I can go to him”  Lord, can I really see her again- where is she? Lord, I remember the parable of the annoying woman who kept coming to the king and finally the king gave her the request because she was so persistent. Lord, I know you will answer my prayer. I will pray day and night, day and night until you answer me. I will never stop and I know you will answer me. If I pray until the day I die- even then I know you will answer me. I need to know where she is. Show me, show me, show me, and I promise I will not bother you again about this once you explain where she is to me.
Amen

In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. – Psalm 18:6

Answer me, O LORD, out of the goodness of your love; in your great mercy turn to me. Do not hide your face from your servant; answer me quickly, for I am in trouble. – Psalm 69:16-17

     I was persistent and prayed earnestly with all my strength.. I prayed with every breath I took all day and all night the same prayer-day after day after day-it was all I could think of. I would never give up. I knew the Lord heard me, I knew He would answer me.

THE LORD ANSWERED MY PRAYER AND BROUGHT ME TO HER:
Exactly 10 days after she died:  I had gone to sleep and suddenly I was somewhere else.  Suddenly I was in a huge house or mansion . I was in a foyer of this house or mansion. I remember specifically it was all made out of  wood. To my right were double entrance doors and to my left another door- as if to a kitchen, and also stairs. Before me was a large open door that lead to a huge room. I stepped forward, still in the foyer and looked……… I saw a huge room I could see no end to it. It was organized with wooden cribs in rows that went on and on. In each crib were babies- of all sizes. Throughout the room were women buzzing about taking care of all the children. I remember they were the most most loving women. They were coming in and out of a door to the left of the room. They wore long skirts and a white shirt. The room was filled with babies of all sizes. Tiny tiny and bigger babies like mine. The room was full.  Instantly I knew things. I knew the women here who took care of the babies were very loving. I knew God had given them this job in heaven to take care of all the babies who die.

When I was there, without anyone speaking to me, I suddenly knew things I never knew before.

As I stood there- I knew that I knew that I knew- that I was home. I just knew. It was as if I had come from this place and was now back home. It was similar to the feeling when you come back home from a long trip- when you are happy to finally be resting at home where you belong- that’s what it was like. Without a doubt in my heart- it’s our home and where we long to be.

         There was a lady approaching me and knew who I was. She knew Sarah and my Grandmother and she knew how each baby had died.  As I looked around at the room and all cribs,  I asked her “What is this?” ( We spoke to each other without sound somehow- I could almost cast out my sentence and words to speak- we couldn’t read each other’s minds, but we could communicate somehow without noise- hard to explain- but it made sense at the time) She responded back to me “This is where all the babies come- just like yours- the miscarriages, still birth, the abortions and the deaths –like your child” She told me my grandmother visits her and when she was old enough she would be with her. I was so excited to hear about my grandma, I insisted she let me see my grandmother- but she refused. I argued back and forth begging to see her but the lady told me she had instructions and I was not to leave the house I was in.

    She brought me my little Sarah and I was able to feed her  2 bottles. She was the same size she was in the hospital- but a bit plumper. I was able to feed her the bottles and hold her close. I didn’t want to come back home. I wanted to stay. I held her as long as I could until the lady returned. She told me I had to go back. I said “NO! I’m okay here, I don’t need to go back, I’m okay, I’m not going back.” The lady said “You have to” , No I argued back, Im home, and I’m staying” The lady said “You must go back- The Lord has work for you to do”

Last thing I remember was Sarah on my lap- I had to leave and I had to hand her back. I was thankful for this moment, yet sad to go. I didn’t want to come back. I wanted to stay, it was my home. I fell into my sleep and woke up sitting up quickly in the middle of the night- in shock! What just happened? Then I remembered…the Lord had answered my prayer. He had shown me where she was. He had shown me how much He loves my daughter. I knew that His love for Sarah equaled my love for her times infinity. Of Course, He is our Father- and He is Sarah’s father. He loves her and is taking good care of her.

Do un-baptized babies go to hell? NOOOOOOO

I rejoice that He answered me and gave me peace with my questions. He put understanding in my heart. I now know that I, too, will see her again. She cannot come back to me, but I will go to her.  I understood how short our lives really are.

I have set my face to do the Fathers will and live in obedience so that I may again return home with Him.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. – 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. – Nahum 1:7

The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. – Zephaniah 3:17

This is a verse I clung to during this time:
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Rom 5:3-5

Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. – Luke 6:21

As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you,” says the Lord. The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. – Is 66:13, 58:11

I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. – Jeremiah 31:13

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