Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015: A Year In Review

This year...

... So many thoughts flood my mind, when I start to muse upon what it has held for us...


     For me, the most overshadowing aspect of this year, has been the arrival of our son.  Many times, I have tried to imagine life without him; and, oh, how different it was!  Our lives have most definitely been enriched by his presence.
  
Copyright 2015 Molding Into A Lady

     As I think about our Li'l Man, and the absolute miracle he is, I cannot help but thank God.  I thank Him for giving us our long-awaited child.  I thank Him, too, for all that I am learning, as I care for this gift.

     I cannot recall the multitude of thoughts that flood my soul, when I think upon the Lord, as He is my Heavenly Father.  I am gaining a much better appreciation, and understanding, of His love... Something, (for those who know me well, understand), I have constantly struggled at grasping.  Even those who do not share the same pitfalls and complications as myself, getting an inkling of God's amazing love is a lifelong venture.

     As I watch various loved ones shower our beloved son with love, I cannot help but ponder the feelings God has when we show HIS beloved Son love.  I know that my heart swells with love and appreciation for those who rejoice with us over our Li'l Man, and sacrifice time to spend with/for him.  Again, I cannot help but think that God is overflowing with love, for those who receive His Son, who love Jesus Christ with all their being, and sacrifice time to spend with Him.

     In these musings, are great lessons for me.  Though I appreciate seeing the comparisons, it is also humbling; for, admittedly, I do not lavish love upon my Saviour as I ought--as He deserves.  Yet, even in my failures, God has not forsaken me.  Selah.



     The time we had prior to Li'l Man's arrival, was one of greater reliance upon Christ, than I believe I have experienced thus far.  Becoming a mother was such a foreign aspect to me, though greatly desired.  Even though there were many things I could do, to seek the best outcome in this pregnancy and ensuing delivery, we both knew full well that we could not trust in the arm of the flesh.  Learning to trust the Lord, in many new ways, was a humbling experience.  It also taught me so much more about my Lord's heart towards my husband, unborn son, and myself, than ever I knew.

     I, particularly, learned to lean upon Christ, even more than ever.  I became even more vulnerable with Him, though many times it shamed me to confess things deep within my heart to Him.  I knew, though, that He already knew those things... I simply needed to share it with Him, and allow Him to correct what needed correcting, heal what needed healing, comfort what needed comforting, encourage what needing encouraging... Just let Him love me.

     Though I have learned that He is my truest Friend, there are so many times my initial response is to fear what comes at me.  He knows this part of me, and has consistently shown a gentleness that is beyond comparison... Beyond description...

     When this year welcomed fears, sorrows, and disappointments, He was ever ready to alleviate my troubled soul.  He walked me through every burden.  He was the One who gifted me with the amazing gift of being with child, being delivered of a man child, all for His honor.  The account I get to share, regarding my time of pregnancy and delivery, is one of His Hand of care.

     He was the One who provided every need for our son.  Many loved ones, and a few acquaintances, were used of Christ to bless us beyond measure, in the event of Li'l Man's arrival.  One time in particular left me in tears, as I sat surrounded by items in our living room, bestowed upon us by folks who barely new us. 

     So much of this year's lessons for me, revolve around the advent of our son.  I never imagined such gifts from God.  I plan on sharing more, as I continue addressing our story in a new, upcoming series. 

     So much of what I have experienced, was not my ideal.  When allowed, those things birthed the antithesis of God's expressed desires for me.  Yet, time after time, God reminded me of this:

1.) Just because things do not go in the way I had hoped or envisioned, does not mean I need to be continually sad about it.  Instead, learn from the situation what I can, share with Him my heart, give thanks for all things praiseworthy, and stay focused on that which the Lord has called for me to do.
2.) Lean upon HIM.  Do not allow my thoughts and emotions to be dictated by my flesh, but rather, His word.  I cannot express fully, the peace that comes when put to practice!
3.) PRAY. I can never pray so much as to exhaust Him.  He delights in my reliance upon Him.  He longs for me to communicate with Him.  Getting alone with Him, be it long or short, is never a waste.

     I learned much this year from God.  I learned more about His love:  that overwhelming love, that undoes the hardest of hearts.  I learned more of His suffering long with me:  when I fail in trusting Him, over the same issue(s), He ever faithfully teaches me, again, to trust Him.  I am learning to contentedly accept the fact that sometimes, and many times, there are disappointments:  be it self-induced, the effects of another's sin(s), or part of God's plan.  

     I am learning of Jesus, in a much richer context.  Just as in marriage you can never fully know your spouse, so, too, I do not fully know my Saviour.  However, He is teaching me more of Himself!  How wonderful it is, to be in a very real relationship with my God and my Lord!

     2015 A.D. has been a spiritually-enriching year for us.  We have been blessed with many lessons from our Heavenly Father; many new acquaintances, who share the same Father as we; and, we have been given the opportunity to enrich our lives as a family, with the new titles of "Papa" and "Mama."  We are so blessed, indeed!

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." Philippians 4:11

"Rejoice evermore.  Pray without ceasing.  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Stand By Me

STAND BY ME
Charles Albert Tindley


When the storms of life are raging,
Stand by me (stand by me);
When the storms of life are raging,
Stand by me (stand by me);
When the world is tossing me
Like a ship upon the sea,
Thou Who rulest wind and water,
Stand by me (stand by me).


In the midst of tribulation,
Stand by me (stand by me);
In the midst of tribulation,
Stand by me (stand by me);
When the hosts of hell assail,
And my strength begins to fail,
Thou Who never lost a battle,
Stand by me (stand by me).


In the midst of faults and failures,
Stand by me (stand by me);
In the midst of faults and failures,
Stand by me (stand by me);
When I do the best I can,
And my friends misunderstand,
Thou Who knowest all about me,
Stand by me (stand by me).


In the midst of persecution,
Stand by me (stand by me);
In the midst of persecution,
Stand by me (stand by me);
When my foes in battle array
Undertake to stop my way,
Thou Who sav├Ęd Paul and Silas,
Stand by me (stand by me).


When I’m growing old and feeble,
Stand by me (stand by me);
When I’m growing old and feeble,
Stand by me (stand by me);
When my life becomes a burden,
And I’m nearing chilly Jordan,
O Thou “Lily of the Valley,”
Stand by me (stand by me).

Monday, November 30, 2015

Giving Of Thanks: DAYS 24-30

     The last day of November is already here!  It's been one entire week, since my last entry, too.  It's been a bit busy around here!

     What can I share with you, pertaining to this past week's blessings?  What triumphs have I seen the Lord accomplish in our lives?  Oh, He is good!

     Well, to start, we were blessed to enjoy our first Thanksgiving meal, as a family.  I really didn't think we'd be able to do it, as I had not prepared for it, for various reasons.  However, the Lord blessed my eleventh-hour prayer regarding it, and we were able to have a delicious, blessed dinner together, (Though, Li'l Man is still a bit too little to eat anything; he got to watch. 😊).

     My husband was blessed to catch up with a dear friend back west, a couple days later.  It was so sweet to my soul, to see the encouragement that visit gave him.  It was much needed, and accomplished so much more than simply lifting his spirits.  I'm ever grateful for the love this brother, and his family, have consistently shown us over the years.

     That same day, earlier in the day, we were blessed with a productive, sweet day of running errands and grocery shopping.  Those who have had, or currently have, babies that get overstimulated during parts of their growth spurts, and teethe at the same time, understand the dilemma that can occur during such excursions.
    
     Normally, for the past few weeks, I would have stayed home with our son, so as to avoid seeing him so disgruntled (to say the least), during our trips.  However, we were blessed of God to see our son not be so, this time 'round!  Oh, how it blessed this mama's heart (papa's heart, too)!  It was such a pleasant day, too.

     Last night, we were blessed to enjoy a church service, all together.  Again, because of growth spurt and teething issues, it's been more conducive for my son and I to stay home.  Yet, my husband was so blessed by the morning visit, that he compelled us to go!  Praying for the Lord's enablement and blessing, we proceeded to go.  So glad we did, too!  We had no problems, and were spiritually blessed!

     These are just snippets of what the Lord has done in our lives, this past week.  It's been good for me to reminisce, and share.  It's helped me to look for the silver lining, amongst the gray clouds.

     I hope you look for those silver linings, too.  Life is rarely easy; yet, if we're born again, we have the strength of the Saviour to see us get through our difficulties.  We have the family of God to lean upon, too.  When we look, we get to see so many reasons to thank God.

     I don't know what tomorrow holds for us.  Yet, I know that God does.  As long as He's there, we're blessed.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Giving Of Thanks: DAYS 19-23

Once For All
Philip P. Bliss

Free from the law, O happy condition!
Jesus has bled, and there is remission;
Cursed by the law and bruised by the fall,
Grace has redeemed us, once for all.

Chorus
Once for all, O sinner, receive it!
Once for all, O brother, believe it!
Cling to the cross, the burden will fall:
Christ has redeemed us once for all.

Now we are free, there's no condemnation!
Jesus provides a perfect salvation;
"Come unto Me," O hear His sweet call!
Come and He saves us once for all.

Chorus
Once for all, O sinner, receive it!
Once for all, O brother, believe it!
Cling to the cross, the burden will fall:
Christ has redeemed us once for all.

Children of God, O glorious calling!
Surely His grace will keep us from falling;
Passing from death to life at His call,
Blessed salvation, once for all.

Chorus
Once for all, O sinner, receive it!
Once for all, O brother, believe it!
Cling to the cross, the burden will fall:
Christ has redeemed us once for all.

Couldn't have said it any better, than this song in my heart!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Giving Of Thanks: DAY 18

     Tonight, I'm grateful for my Bible.  I've been blessed to have many copies. I have easy access to it.

     Some people don't have it so easy as I do.  Some are still waiting for their copy. Those who do finally receive it, treat it with much more love than I!

     Do you know of what I speak?  Have you seen the video, where Asian Christians, receiving their very own Bibles for the first time, kiss their copies? Yeah, that's what I'm talking about.

     Have you seen the documentaries, or heard of the various accounts, regarding the English Bible?  Did you hear of those who died, so we could have it in our native tongue?  Did you know of the amount one was willing to pay, just to have one hour with it?

     Oh, how often I take His word for granted.  I don't devote nearly enough time to study, meditation, and memorization of that living book.  I know I've not appreciated its presence in my life, as I ought.

     I pray I'll do better.  After all, the greatest comfort I've ever found, is in Christ.  And, where did I first learn of Him? In the B-I-B-L-E.
    

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Giving Of Thanks: DAYS 14 - 17

     Life with a new baby... Ahh, so sweet, but not without some work! 😊 Since he's currently napping, I'm going to take a moment to share some praises on my heart.

     I'm so glad for modern technology, as I've previously mentioned.  With it, we've been able to make video calls with loved ones.  Just in the past two days, both my mother and brother were able to chat with the li'l guy and me!

     I'm very thankful for the ability to do research, so quickly, thanks to our technology.  With it, I've been able to learn how to care for my son. I've also been able to get help and support, whereas I may not have been, otherwise.

     When he was born, he had a tongue and a lip tie. For those who know, it made nursing very traumatic.  Later, I plan on going into a bit more detail, as this subject (breastfeeding), as well as midwifery in general, is a subject near and dear to my heart; and, one of great interest.

     With the ability to do research, and stay in constant communication with the right folks, God blessed us in seeing my sons ties repaired, and nursing successful!  I cannot express the immense gratitude and humility in my heart for all these things.  I especially thank those who have kept us in prayer; please, continue doing so. I take no day for granted, wherein I'm able to nurse my son.

     I'm thankful for a relatively peaceful day today.  Since my son has also started teething, it's been a bit more challenging.  So, to see him more comforted than other days, makes my heart glad.

Thank You, Lord, for these blessings today!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Giving Of Thanks: DAYS 10 - 13

     As I lay here tonight, safe and warm, I thank God. 

     In the comforts of my own home, God has allowed me to nurse my son to sleep, ever so sweetly.  I get to share my bed with my beloved husband; who, faults and all, seeks to love me as Christ does His Church.  I have my family.

     In spite of all the failures in my life, I still have people who want to be a part of it.  I have folks who, for all intents and purposes, should not want to love us, but do.  I would say that is a gift from God.

     With all the trauma of my past, I can still look at said-past, and see the amazing love of my Heavenly Father, completely interwoven within it.  I can see where I have been wronged, and God took care of me.  I can see where I have been the one to wrong another, and God took care of me.

     I can look at my life's situations, and show you many things I do not like about them.  I can show you grief, anxiety, frustration, confusion, anger, despair, loneliness, hurt, and more.  Many times, in the privacy of those nearest to me, I do.

     Yet, for all those things, I can show you the love of God in my life.  I am still on this earth.  I have a good man, who loves me.  I have a son, who lights up when he sees me, or hears my voice.  I cannot adequately portray what their love does to and for me.

     I have friends, who are my family of the heart.  I have family, who have stayed beside me (even if there were times they would have liked to throttle me), in bad times.  They all enrich my life.

     I have been given numerous opportunities to get it right, again.  I have been given opportunities to live for Jesus, again.  I have been given so much.

     With everything evil that goes on around me, my constant is the Lord.  I do not deserve the good life I have been given.  Too often I complain, or am given to ingratitude.  Too often I am a spoiled brat, that needs reminded how good I actually have it.

     Oh, tonight, once again I am reminded of my blessings; and, how grateful I need to be.  Things may not be how I would like them to be; fine.  Go to God, and tell Him my heart.  Then, wrap my arms around Him in my heart, and pour out my truest gratitude for all He is, all He does, and all He has given me. 

Never cease to truly praise Him.

I have so much good in my life, because of Him.
    

Monday, November 9, 2015

Giving Of Thanks: DAY 9

     Unexpected encouragement.  It comes, always at the right time. Always a balm to a hurting heart.

     The other day, as I had a brief texting conversation with a sister in Christ, she said:  "Love ya, sis." That's commonplace amongst the brethren, and other loved ones, right?  Well, not always.

     I've seen, too often, affection withheld, for various reasons.  I've been guilty of withholding it, too.  Yet, when this simple phrase was sent to me... It greatly comforted me.

     "I really miss seeing you guys," another sibling in Christ says.  Oh, how it ministers to my heart!  "We miss you, too!" I affirm.

     Phone calls to catch up. Visits.  Surprise mail packages. Simple, sincere messages, sent from time to time.  Handwritten letters in the mail.  Seeing a need, and meeting it, without saying a word.  Wanting to bless, without saying a word, or expecting anything in return.

     A sermon just for us, without the preacher even being aware of us, or our situation.  A hymn, or spiritual song, that gets right to the heart.  And, most of all, that verse/passage of scripture, that completely makes unravels you.

     However He does it, it never fails:  I'm always undone.  Humbled.  Grateful.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Giving Of Thanks: DAY 8

     I'm grateful for technology.  It has allowed me to communicate with folks, thousands of miles away from us.  It has enabled me to do quick research, for a myriad of reasons.  It has allowed me to do what I'm doing tonight:  blogging. ☺

     I can list many other things that have been blessings to me, thanks to technology.  There's the dishwasher, washer, dryer, hot water tank, running water, oven and stove top, vehicles... On and on!  I'm very grateful to have used of these things!

     Though it seems that life is going faster by the day, and maybe it is, I don't want to complain.  I'm in the time that God chose for me; which includes all this technology, and more.   I just want to make sure I please Him in my use of it.

     So tonight, I am thanking the Lord for allowing me the use of all this technology.  It's helped me work smarter, not harder.  It's aided in my education.  It's even been entertaining.  However, the part I like most is this one:  It's blessed me to be able to "visit" with those I love, who are outside arm's reach.   

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Giving Of Thanks: DAYS 5 - 7

     Well, I've been busy!  I have a growing little boy, who doesn't seem to know that I have a blog.  He doesn't appreciate my desire to write in it, either. 😄

     That's OK, though.  I'll take him over writing, any day.  He's testing me on that challenge, too!  Growth spurts = mommy-son time. 😊

     And, I'm thankful for it.  It's an undeserved blessing, one for which I desire to soak in every moment.  I don't want to take it for granted.

     So, tonight, I want to publicly thank God for growth:  the growth of my son, which means he's healthy; the growth of my husband, in his relationship with Christ; and, the growth of my relationship with Christ.

     A dear sister in the Lord is the one God used to correlate the similarities between my son's behaviors during this time, to our behavior when we are growing in the Lord.  The clinginess, the pain, and, yes, the fussiness.  Such comparisons are apt descriptions.

     Oh, but how thankful I am that He's shown me!  Literally, tonight, I saw some things that I needed to see...Growing is hard work, as I tell my dear boy every day, as he struggles with growing up.  It seems it can be for me, too.

     Yet, my God doesn't leave me to fight through it alone. He's there to nurture, protect, and provide for me.  He's after my best interest.  What peace in His love!

     So, yes, I'm grateful for growth.  It may hurt. However, the results are amazing!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Giving Of Thanks: DAY 4

     Tonight, I'm thankful for the family of God.  Oh, how many members there are in this group!  Each and every one that I've gotten to know, personally, hold a special place in my heart.  And those I have yet to know?  I look forward to that day in which I do!

     I remember on the night I got saved, how incredibly excited I was to finally be put into God's family.  I finally belonged.

     I had my "forever family." I would, one day, see loved ones who had trusted in Christ for their salvation, and had passed on before me.  I would get to meet many Bible "heroes."  Most of all, I'd be safe in the arms of Jesus, forever.

     Since that night, I've always been so excited to meet more folks who have the same Father as me.  There's an instant bond:  we have the same bloodline.  Praise God!

     Even though there are times, here on earth, when we don't always get along, (for one reason or another), I take comfort in this:  they can't get rid of me!  Once we're in God's family, we're sealed, eternally!  So, even though I can wish and pray that things were always going well between us brothers and sisters in Christ, or that they'd always like me (and, vice versa) I know that it doesn't always happen.  Yet, when Christ comes for us, it will!  We'll finally be a forever-happy, eternally-loving, family! 

     So, if you're reading this thanksgiving tonight, and you are born again by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, too, then know this:  I love you, and am so grateful you're my family!  There's a joy unexplainable; yet, I know that those who know Christ, know what I'm saying.

     Thank You, Heavenly Father:  for adopting me, and putting me in the best family, ever!

"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." John 13:34-35

"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also."
1 John 4:7-21

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Giving Of Thanks: DAY 3

     My son.  Our blessed surprise!  I'm so very thankful to have him in our lives!

     Even just a few months into being his parent, I'm trying to remember what it was like without his presence in our lives.  Life seems so much fuller, since God put him in it. Oh, how glad I am!

     Many know the struggle we have had to become parents.  So, to have him come into our lives, so unexpectedly, was a sheer delight beyond description.  Thank You, Lord!

     I can certainly attest to the fact that he came at the perfect time, even though we may not have said so, at the beginning.  Not that we didn't want him; we were just, and still are, getting back on our feet, after moving with only what we could fit in Dear's little truck.  Oh, but God has provided far beyond our dreams!

     There are so many other wonderful testimonies I look forward to sharing someday on here.  God is just so good.  Ahh, it overwhelms me to tears.  My heart overflows with gratitude!

     Our son, a very clear answer to many prayers, is just one more evidence of God's indescribable love.  Not that He ever needed to go beyond what He did for me on Calvary, but, oh, how grateful I am!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Giving Of Thanks: DAY 2

     Oh, what another great opportunity to praise the Lord!  I'm thankful for this day:  all its blessings and challenges.  God is good, all the time. 😊

     Specifically, though, I want to thank Him for my husband.  We've experienced so much together:  all making for a much deeper, richer, and stronger life together.  God has done so much for us!

     I'm grateful, always, that God answered my prayers in giving me a saved husband.  I know he didn't start off saved in our marriage, but I wasn't exactly living like the daughter of God should have, either.  Oh, how He redeems!  Not only did He bring me back to the place I needed to be, He saved Dear's soul soon after; and, has been working marvelous things in our marriage, ever since!

     God has given me a good man.  One who has ministered to me, in unfathomable ways.  A man who always points me to Christ for the answer... Who seeks to study to show himself approved unto God,a workman that needeth not to be ashamed.  That guidance ministers the most to me:  pointing me to know, love, and help others to know and love, God and His precious word.

     Does he have it all together, then?  He'd be the first to say, "No." But, as one of my favorite verses reminds us (on my blog's banner, by the way):  God's not finished with him, or any of His children, yet.  Thank God for Him still working on us!

     I'm glad to be his help meet, his buddy, his best friend... And, I'm glad he's mine... And, I'm glad we get to live together, for all of eternity.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Giving Of Thanks: DAY 1

     Here it is, the beginning of November, and two months since I've last written!  I really wanted my latest post to be my birth story; but, it seems that one will have to wait a bit longer.  No worries, though. ☺

     I have been looking forward to the beginning of November.  For the past few Novembers, I've tried participating in giving thanks for something on each day of the month.  I really appreciate the opportunity set aside to do so.  (I am also reminded that I should be doing more giving of thanks, anyway!)

     So, without further ado, I would like to start off this late-night thanksgiving by thanking God for being in my life.  It never gets old for me.  Rather, He becomes even more precious.

     When I look back at my life, and see all I've done, and who I've been; and, when I see all God has done, and all He has been:  How can my heart not overflow with love for Him?  I've not once earned any blessing from Him.  I definitely don't deserve the gift of salvation that He's given me...But then, who does?

     How grateful I am that salvation is free!  How grateful I am that God called out to me, showed me my horrible estate, showed me Himself and the perfect grace and mercy that He  personally provided for me, and that Christ WILLINGLY...GLADLY...WONDERFULLY...saved my soul!  He gave me new life, put me in a right relationship with Him that can NEVER be undone, and a home with Him---forever!

     He's been, by far, my best Father, Friend, Confidante... Everything.  He's the best thing that ever happened to me.

"And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
Ephesians 2:1-10

"Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:" Philippians 1:6

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Book Lovers, Look Over Here! Give Away Time!



     Remember the book I reviewed, “The Sparrow Found A House?”  (You can read my book review of it here.  Or, just go to "E-Book Freebies," in my tabs section.)  Well, there has been a sequel made.  Let me tell you, you want to read it!
     I was blessed with the opportunity to review the latest book by author Jason McIntire, entitled “Flight School.”  I am ever so glad I did, too!  Once I was able to get started reading this newest addition, I found myself completely immersed in it.

 http://elishapress.com/books/fs/fs_cover_3d_small.jpg

     As I have learned, this author is adept at doing God great honor in his writings.  As I read this newest novel, I could not help but contemplate my own self.  “Watching” the characters’ interactions; “peering” into their thought processes; “waiting” to see what they would/would not do…All made me consider my own thoughts and deeds.  I cannot help but think that any person reading this story would be affected in the same manner.
     I enjoyed seeing the maturity of the youthful characters.  To “watch” them grow up in the book, having to make more difficult decisions, was quite intriguing.  Also, seeing the stability of the adults from the previous novel, was a comfort.  The addition of a couple new adult characters definitely created more depth to the reading.
     It was delightful, and refreshing, to once again read a fictional book that I could see take place in real life.  In a gifted manner, Jason McIntire showed the realities of sin, without dishonoring Christ.  He also showed the blessings of walking in the Spirit:  which, many times, does not carry with it tangible blessings; but, we are blessed, nonetheless, when we do so.
     To say any more would be to give away the premise of this book…Which I do not want to do!  I really want you to read it!  I know you will not regret it! 
     Whether you want this book for yourself, or for the youth in your care, I highly recommend it.  Though this book would be very beneficial to the youth at home, no one is too old to learn, grow, and be entertained in a good manner.  I will definitely be adding this book to our collection at home (especially now, since the Lord has blessed us with our first child!).

...Well, there is more...

     In honor of this book release, they are giving away four copies of it!  If I were you, I would definitely be entering for a chance to win one!  Here is where you can sign up:


Have a Kindle, or the Kindle app?  Want a copy now?  You can get a one for $2.99.  Click here for the Kindle version on Amazon!

Want a printed version, instead?  You can get the 256-page copy for $9.99.  Click here to get the print version on Amazon! 


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Have You Missed Me?

I am alive, I promise!  (How else would this post be published?) ;-)

     I have been a bit busier these days.  Those who are well-acquainted with me, know the reason why.  I very much look forward to sharing, in more detail, the glorious reason why:  our Li'l Man!  He arrived, nearly a month ago, praise God!  

     Therefore, my life's schedule has completely been rearranged.  I am getting this moment to type, because Li'l Man is currently being adored by Dear, a.k.a. Daddy.  They seem to get along quite well. :-D

     I do plan on sharing our story:  the pregnancy, the labor, the delivery, and all the way up to now.  I do not know how or when it will all be published; but, it will...By God's grace!  Until then...

     ...I do have another post in the works, scheduled for next week.  This one, for my book lovers, will be a delight!  Stay tuned!




Friday, June 19, 2015

Husband's First Father's Day

     He comes home, and is filthy.  Not just a little filthy; but, a LOT filthy.  Before he takes off his cap, you would think he had become ten shades darker.  Then, you see where his cap protected part of his forehead, which shows quite a stark contrast to the rest of his exposed face.
     His arms and hands look the same.  You can see that he is getting quite a nice tan, thanks to good DNA. :-)  Yet, before you see the tan, you see the filth.  And, when you glance back at his face, you see a gleaming row of white teeth:  showing from that irresistible smile, that always captivates your heart.
     The clothes... Oh, my.  That is not water that drenches them.  The blue jeans used to be a solid denim blue, too.  Now, they are transforming into a darker shade, mixed with lighter shades (where they are getting worn), than what you remember seeing them as, when first purchased.  Oh, and the holes.  Well, people actually pay lots of money, to get the look that he earns naturally.

Ahh, married to a hardworking, God-fearing man.  Not just any man, though.  My man.  The father of our baby.

     My son will never have to doubt his father's love.  He will know that his daddy works hard, because he loves his God, and his family.  He will know that his daddy sees his work as a labor of love.
     He will never have to wonder if his father delights in him.  He will feel safe in his daddy's embrace.  He may want out of it from time to time, (especially if they are "wrastling"); but, he will never fear harm from it.
     He will delight in seeing daddy come home.  Daddy will be his hero:  the best man there is; the strongest; the most handsome... Daddy will simply be the greatest!
     He will want to be with his daddy:  to learn to be just like him.  Daddy will probably get swamped with lots of artwork, from an adoring fan.  He will want his daddy's approval, and will most likely get it. :-)  
     When Daddy comes home from a long day at work, our son's joyful laughter will rejuvenate those sore muscles.  That hug around his neck, from his mini-me, will melt his heart... Every time.
     Our son will excitedly await Daddy's Bible time with us.  Daddy always does it best!  He can amazingly transport us to Bible times, with his wide array of voices and imagination.
     Our son will enjoy having Daddy sing to him.  His strong bass, and love for the Lord, make hymns and spiritual songs all that more potent.  He will probably join in with the singing, giving it all he has!
     Oh, how I cannot wait to see my beloved, holding our only begotten, in his strong arms.  Arms that are strong, yet can delicately hold a newborn.  Arms that lovingly embrace his wife.

Happy First Father's Day, Dear.  I love you!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

PART 3: Keeping Our Wits About Us

     Who was the first person deceived by Lucifer?  If you answered Eve, you would be correct.  The man, Adam, was not the first to be deceived by him.  No, it was Eve...A woman.

"And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." 
1 Timothy 2:14

     I do not share this fact, in order to berate or belittle my fellow women.  I share it, because it is a fact.  It is also a fact that we women are more easily deceived than men; and, due to our influence upon them, we can lead them astray, if we are not wise (according to God's wisdom).
     Yes, Adam sinned.  However, he did so with complete knowledge of what he was doing.  Eve, on the other hand, was beguiled by the deceptive, alluring, and seductive words of Satan.  

"And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die...Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat." 
Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-6

     Corrupting the word of God.   Lucifer did not wait long to do so.  He just waited until he could have Eve to himself.
     Oh, the offer to be as gods.  Ever since that day, we can see that mankind has been obsessed with being "as gods."  Study mythologies, for example.  You have mankind always seeking the "food of the gods," or other ways in which to reach the status of godhood.  You have the gods offering immortality to the mere mortals, in exchange for some great fete, or some other great sacrifice.
     Even today, we all seek to live in such a fashion, as to avoid death.  There are "miracle" drugs, supplements, and the like, promising longevity.  Scientists are constantly seeking advancements, for the elusive immortality.  However, no one has been able to cure death.


     Now, what about the corruption of God's word, today?  Again, the devil is not slack regarding his corruption!  Without fail, he is apt to start with the women.
     Why women?  Well, generally, we are motivated more by our hearts than our heads.  I mean, we do have intelligence, but God gifted us especially with a malleable heart.
     With that knowledge in mind, Satan easily can creep in unawares, and subtly seduce us...Particularly in regards to spiritual matters.  Women do tend to be more receptive to spirituality.  Look at Mary, at Jesus' feet.  Look at the women at the cross, and at the tomb.  Look at the witch of Endor.  
     Look in today's "Christianity."  Oh, my.  What a field day the devil is having!  So many Jezebels, running the show amongst the churches.  How is this possible?
     There is a time and a place for women to teach, share the Gospel, and so forth.  In the church meeting is not one of them.  Yet, much to the displeasure of our Lord, many women are saying that they have been "called" to preach, "called" to pastor, "called" to be in church leadership.
     It is not my opinion, that says that women are completely out of order, when they seek to fulfill positions that God ordained are only to be qualified by men.  Hey, I am a woman.  Does it offend me?  No.  It is simply the way God wants His institution of the church to be delegated.

"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church." 
1 Corinthians 14:34-35

"Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence." 
1 Timothy 2:11-12

"This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." 
1 Timothy 3:1-15

     These are the words of our most gracious, loving Lord, through His apostle, Paul.  Many women do not like Paul, for these very reasons.  They believe he hated women, or some such garbage.  Yet, an apostle he was, and these are the words God wanted recorded, for all the saints' benefit.  For those who would challenge the authority given unto Paul, here is what God had him say:

"If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord." 
1 Corinthians 14:37

Yet, I digress.

     I share these verses, because they seem to be predominantly ignored today.  I am so thankful for churches who do not ignore these words of our Lord; who do not label them as "antiquated; misogynistic; chauvinistic;" who do believe that God was capable of recording what He wanted to be established, regardless of era, culture, and the like.  It seems to be rarer and rarer.
     This is one reason that we, as professed believers in Jesus Christ, must keep our wits about us.  Ladies, are we studying as we ought?  Are we readily receiving the preaching of God's word, and searching the scriptures, to see whether those things be so?  Are we gladly respecting the structural plans established by the Lord; or, are we seeking to circumvent them, because we "feel" a certain way, or experienced a certain "divination?"
     Are we filling our minds with sound teaching and preaching?  Are we filling our minds with the word of the Lord?  Are we allowing His word to trump our emotions?
     Believe me, it does not "feel good" to be the odd ball.  Well, partially.  It actually feels great to know you are in alignment with God; it just does not feel all that spectacular, to be a spectacle in the eyes of the world, or even churches.


     Do you have a godly husband?  Do you seek out his God-given wisdom?  I cannot emphasize enough, what a wealthy woman you are, if you have a man who loves the Lord.
     Maybe he is not as studious of the scriptures as you are.  Are you asking him questions at home, as the scriptures say to do?  Or, are you seeking out others all the time?  Just maybe, by sincerely wanting his position on a matter, he will be encouraged to give you a studious, Biblically-accurate answer (to the best of his ability).
     I often wonder what might have happened, if Eve told that old, wily serpent:  "Let me go discuss this matter with Adam.  I need to know his mind about it.  Or, better yet, why don't you ask him, yourself?"
     Do not yourselves the great disservice, by not seeking your husband's mind on the matter.  In fact, you will be doing you both a great disservice.  You are called to help him.  Whether or not you, or both of you, realize it, by truly wanting his heart on a doctrinal matter, you are helping him be a better student of God's word.

     "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 
2 Timothy 2:15

     Before you know it, you will be a student with your husband.  Oh, the protection that affords, too!  When Satan seeks to twist the word of God, you are both on better guard, one for the other.  

"Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken." 
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12


     Ladies, we must protect our minds.  The only way in which to do so, is by filling our minds with God's precious word:

"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;" 
2 Corinthians 10:3-5

How do we bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ, if we do not know what His word says?  Is that not where we learn obedience?

     Let us not be, as is described in 2 Timothy 3:6-7, "...Silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."  I see a lot of those women.  They are not being students of the Bible, comparing scripture with scripture.  They are not seeking to rightly divide the word.  They allow their thoughts, their emotions, their teachers, their preachers, their fill-in-the-blank-anything-else-than-the-proper-use-of-the-Bible, to guide them.  
     Many times, I cringe when I see such behavior.  Some of it is downright embarrassing.  Much of it is frustrating.  Having learned the great importance of letting God lead me through His word, rather than another, I cannot stress this issue enough.  Struggling for years, due to heresies and neglect of proper Bible teaching and preaching, I can now appreciate the good study of God's word, and the filling of it in my mind.  


The next question is, "What will you do with the knowledge, once you receive it?"

     It simply is not enough to have the information in our minds.  Are we going to let it rot in there?  Or, will we properly utilize it?
     It is not enough to know we are to dress modestly.  Are we going to apply it to our lives?  Are we willing to take our wardrobe unto the Lord, and allow Him to say "Yea," or "Nay?"
     It is not enough to know that salvation comes to us in no other way, than the Lord Jesus Christ.  Are we willing to defend that truth, in the light of those who say it can come another way?  Are we willing to graciously, but confidently, speak the truth (in the midst of temporary discomfort)?
     It is not enough to know the liberty and rest we have in Christ Jesus, thanks to the new covenant in His precious blood!  Are we willing to live in them, in spite of those who would seek to keep us chained unto the old covenant, or self-righteousness?  Are we able to show the proper division of the old and new covenants?  Are we able to show the futility of establishing one's own righteousness before God?
     It is not enough to know we are to love our brethren in the Lord.  Do we know how to apply true charity?  Are we willing?
     It is not enough to know how to interact with those who share not our faith.  Do we know how to share with them the glorious truth, that they might be saved?  Do we actually believe that if they are not born again, they will be destined for Hell, then the Lake of Fire?  Does that belief motivate us into proper action?
     
     Are we filling our minds with the word of God?  Are we challenging everything we hear?  Do we seek to ensure that what we read/hear, is indeed the proper teaching(s) of Christ?
     Are we relying upon others to be our spiritual gurus?  Or, are we reliant upon God to be our guide?  Are we able to protect our minds against the attacks of the devil, or are we easy prey?

     We have no excuse as to our lack of study, save our own selves.  We must take personal accountability.  Oh, blessed soul liberty!  Yet, with liberty comes responsibility.
     Ignorance can be cured; being willingly ignorant; well, let us not even attempt it.  Do we want to be "dumb on purpose," as one evangelist coined the phrase?  Oh, how sad!
     What happens when doubts and fears assail us?  What happens when confusion comes?  What happens when challenges arise?  What happens when we sit, day by day, year by year, listening to teaching/preaching, and never study to make sure that what we hear is indeed truth?  Oh, trouble, let me tell you!
     Yet, a warning.  Do not allow your knowledge to ignite pride within you!  Do not lord it over your husband, your children, your friends, your foes...ANYONE!  Use the knowledge God gave you, according to the purpose He gave it to you!  If you are in a position in which you know something, but cannot speak or do, pray.  Trust me, God can do much more, than we ever could.  Maybe He has imparted that knowledge unto you, for the sole purpose of your prayers!


     I pray that this latest installment in the "Spiritual Warfare Series" has been an aide to you.  I pray that it encourages you to be a student of God's word.  There will be times in our lives, in which we are better students than at other times.  Study as you can.  Try to make it of importance.  Even if you are only focused on one verse, one chapter, one book...let it fill your mind.  Let God guide you from His word.  He promises to give wisdom unto those who so ask of Him, without rebuke.  Why not take Him up on His offer?
     
 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." 
James 1:5






      

     




Wednesday, June 3, 2015

PART 2: W.o.W. Wednesday--"Witchcraft And The Spirit Of The New Age Movement, Pastor Charles Lawson"

     Continuing from Monday's post, I am sharing a video that, really, upon which cannot be added.  I cannot strongly urge you enough; to take the forty-five minutes and fourteen seconds, that is the entirety of the message, and listen to every whit of it.  With all that has been happening as of late, (Charlie-Charlie; youth killing youth/adults/parents; professionally documented devilish activity; morality and sound reason going down the drain; etc.), taking less than one hour to listen to sound Bible teaching on our current state of affairs, is the very least one can do to be better prepared and aware.



**Missed part one of this series?  Click on the link below!**


Monday, June 1, 2015

PART 1: Do You Know Your Enemy? He Knows You...

     This article is part one of a series, of which I honestly do not know how many parts it will contain.  I am going to approach a subject that, in my honest opinion, is not discussed enough.  Yet, it is one of which the Lord warns consistently...We are in  spiritual warfare.
     Saved or lost, we are battling spiritually.  If you are saved, thankfully, you are on the winning side.  Yet, that does not mean that we are to live our lives non-chalantly.
     I know many professed believers, who are content to view Lucifer as a benign creature.  They view him as essentially powerless.  The most power they might attribute to him, is that of enticing you to eat one too many bonbons.
     Yet, the Lord does not describe him as such.  The Lord Jesus Christ makes it very clear that Satan is the god of this world:  "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.-- 2 Corinthians 4:3-4
     The "god of this world" is a very intelligent, brazen, and beautiful creature.  He is not, as many would like to portray him, a powerless, ugly, nearly stupid being.  How does God Almighty depict him?

"Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more." 
Ezekiel 28:11-19

He does not sound anything like the way he is normally depicted, does he?

     As for being bold and arrogant, how about the fact that he sought to subjugate God Almighty, manifest in the flesh?  

"Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him." 
Matthew 4:1-11

Did you notice that these were not benign temptations?  Christ Jesus had been fasting, for forty days.  The devil decided to tempt Him with food.  The Lord's very authority and Person was challenged.  And, the very world for which He came to redeem, was dangled before Him.

     If Lucifer is unafraid to tempt God, face-to-face, what makes you think that he would leave you alone?  What makes you think that he just occasionally throws Twinkies in your path, to encourage you to gluttony; but, that he would not be more active than that? 
     Do you not realize that he wants to deface God?  Do you not realize that part of his warfare, is to destroy the testimony of God in the lives of His children?  The moment you left Satan's parentage, and were born again into the family of God, you became a prime enemy to him.
     He will go after your marriage.  Already, I have witnessed many a marriage, amongst professing believers, destroyed by the influence of the devil.  What better a tactic, than to mar the image of Christ and His Church, than seeing Christians divorced?  That way, no one gets to see the glorious redemption that the Bridegroom bestowed upon His Bride, nor the amazing love between the two.
     He will go after your family.  Endless selfishness, endless hypocrisies, endless bickering.  Instead of folks seeing redeemed sinners seeking to serve, in Christ's love, one another, they see a constant barrage of self-serving individuals.  They do not see what is supposed to be true charity.  If that image is what is portrayed, who do they see?
     He will go after your testimony.  Playing loosey-goosey with the world is dangerous; trust me, I know.  I have many friends, foes, and family members, ready to point out my sins from the times of my wandering from the ways of God.  Gleefully, they point out how I "said" I was a Christian; yet, I did "this, that, and another thing;" or, I neglected some duty; or, I said "this, that, or another thing;" or, I neglected to say some thing. What better opportunity to besmudge God's power in a true believer's life, than to entice them to be lazy, carnal, licentious Christians?
     It is but for the grace of God, that I am where I am today.  It is but for His grace, that I am even accounted worthy of being able to minister, once again, for His good pleasure.  I can claim no goodness of myself.
     We should not look lightly upon our enemy.  God warns us, and gives instructions on how to withstand Lucifer.  Christ gives a prime example, when He was tempted in the wilderness.  Again, if Satan would not stop at tempting God Almighty, what makes you think he will leave you alone?
     We are being foolish, if we think that he is not a subtle, wise, intelligent, deceptive, seductive creature.  If he cannot entertain you out of a productive Christian life, he will tempt you another way.  He might even scare you away from even attempting to do anything worthwhile for Jesus Christ.  Any thought of spiritual warfare frightens you.  Why?  It is out of your control.  There is a world, unseen, that is more powerful than your wildest imaginations.
     We cannot take on the devil, on our own.  The Lord Himself makes that clear.  Just read the book of Revelation.  Satan is pretty powerful.  Yet, only one name is able to make him powerless:  the blessed name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
     Remember when the archangel Michael disputed over the body of Moses, with Satan?  He raised no railing accusation, but rebuked him in the name of the Lord:  "Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee."--Jude 9
     We should not be afraid, though.  If you are born again, we rest in the mighty name of the Lord Jesus Christ!  We stand in His strength.  He is our advocate.
     And, He has given us instructions, while He is away.  He has not left us without hope, or without comfort.  We have His Spirit within us.  We have His word beside us.  We have Him ever with us.  If He has warned us, and instructed us, would it not behoove us to listen and apply what He says?


"Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." 
Ephesians 5:1-17

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;" 
Ephesians 6:10-18

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." 
James 4:7

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world." 
1 Peter 5:8-9

     With this knowledge in mind, what shall we do with it?  Shall we run, in fear? Shall we dig our heads in the sand?  Shall we seek to block it all out?  Nay, we shall live circumspectly.  We shall stand steadfast in Christ!
     The choice, ultimately, is up to you.  You can choose to continue living as though the devil is some benign being, that occasionally tempts you.  You can pretend that he is not the god of this world, and is not in charge of a massive spiritual kingdom, whose sole purpose is to dethrone God.  You can go about your merry way, entertaining yourself into a spiritual stupor.  Or, you can wisely follow the Lord, as He directs our steps through this wicked, tempestuous world.  


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