Keith Green: Altar Call

3 Comments

I found this in my drafts, dating back to 2013, as I was cleaning the blog. My original comment back then was: None of us are promised a tomorrow.

Friend, those words have never been more true to me, than they are today.

Jesus told His followers, “You are the light of the world.” May His light shine through us.

Kurt Penney:

Advertisements

Speaking death to those who are dying

1 Comment

My brother and I spent a lot of time together the past few months of his life.  He had decided to move closer to us and our other brother and sister. He was in the process of moving into his little house and fixing it up the last few weeks of his life. He would call on his way home from work, knowing I would invite him over for dinner. He loved being with family. Even more so, the past few years of his life.

When he would come over, we would talk about everything, even politics on which we were in agreement. Yet, he never let it get to him like I did.

I had  gotten back spasms a couple of days and the pain was terrible. That kind of pain makes me have to be completely still, with nothing at all irritating me, or it gets worse. One night he had come over, I had spent the night before with the spasms. He asked how I was doing and I told him I happened to hear the word “obama” come out of my husband’s mouth the night before as I had been laying in bed with the pain gone for a few minutes. Heard that word and immediately, the spasms hit. I had told my husband through gritted teeth, “I don’t want to hear anything about that man. Don’t even mention his name to me right now.” My husband did what any decent husband would do: Looking bewildered, he sheepishly left the room on tip toe. My husband is a true saint.

When I told my brother this over a bowl of chili, he affectionately told me, “Brenda, you got some anger issues.” My husband nodding his head “yes” in agreement with him. I agreed with them.

One thing I admired in my brother is how calm, cool and collected he could be. Not always, as he had his moments like anyone else. But, he had a logic about him, that transcended my passionate being that could explode in outbursts of anger. One of the things I questioned over the years, was why God chose me to be the oldest child among my siblings. It always seemed Ricky would have been better at it, and oddly though, I still for the most part saw him as the oldest.

That night, had I known what lay in store for him and the rest of us,within a matter of two days, my conversation would have been different. I would not have been discussing things I have no control over, things that have enraged me in the past five years, things of little to no eternal value.

We look at a new born baby and we see such life, precious life. Still, that life as new as it is, begins to die the very moment the umbilical cord is cut. It no longer has anything sustaining it, like it once had in the mother’s womb.

Had I known my brother was reaching the end of his life, my words would have been much different. That has been my biggest regret leading up to his death. I would have mentioned more of  the things of God. Even though, we had spent considerable time over the past couple years talking about the things of God, still, my words would have been cautiously chosen the last few weeks of his life.

Instead, I ranted and raged about the things that made me angry. However, I am thankful that just as I knew my brother and his little idiocentricities, he knew mine and we outgrew any teasing over the years, and somehow began to see them for what they are, loving one another in spite of them. Which caused a deeper appreciation and respect for one another. Not everybody gets to have this chance.

People are dying all around us, whether we/they know it or not. Our bodies began to die the moment we take our first breath. The aging process will affect us all in one way or the other, sooner or later. Don’t believe me? Go take a look in the mirror and tell me if you look the same as you did 10 years ago, 20 years, 30, etc. I don’t know about you, but I look nothing like I did 26 years ago on my wedding day. False teachers can “claim” all they want about never getting sick, but the day will call upon them too, when their own bodies start showing signs of aging, of dying.

What to do? I suppose one place to start is here, which I am trying my best to be mindful of every day with the exception of one of my responses I gave to someone who passed through here esteeming obama — oh well, Rome was not built in a day and neither will I:

Starting where? With my mouth. Anyone who knows me, knows I don’t pussy foot around issues and have little patience with those with opposing views. Simple fact is, and I speak bluntly, if your opinion does not line up with mine, do not expect me to respect it. I will not. To do so, would be esteeming it as high as my own. I will not do that, and if others disagree with me, I expect the same in return. However, respect you? Yes, that I will, unless someone gives me a reason not to.

I am letting all the readers know, that my desire is to speak life, to encourage, to edify, to build up. It is one thing to point out false teaching. A lot of us can do that. But to actually lift up one who is sick and dying, to speak peace and comfort to broken hearts, to speak truth in such a way that it sets captives free, to make love the greatest gift a reality, that is another thing. A new challenge for me. A new calling. This my friends, is my greatest desire.

No doubt, I may slip up every now and then, because as I say, this is a brand new thing for me. But, perhaps it is not a new thing to God. Maybe, just maybe, this is what He had planned all along.

 

Remembering our Deliverances

4 Comments

This poor woman man cried out, and the Lord heard her, and saved her out of all her troubles. — Psalm 34:6 —

I hope no one is offended that I changed the words in above scripture from man to woman. I did so, to make a point as to what personally happened to me thirty eight years ago yesterday. I became a new creation. It was the day I became born-again. Truly born-again. Old things had passed away and all things became new.

The other day, someone left a comment trying to tell me how to do my testimony. Obviously, it was not done right in their eyes. To the best of my knowledge, this person has never visited this blog before and if they have, I have gotten no comments from them, other than the one they left critiquing my writing. Kind of rude on their part. It is like a neighbor who you never met, knocking on your door to tell you they don’t like the color of your house and that you should have painted it a certain color to fit their needs.

But, I won’t let myself become side tracked with such rudeness. Instead I will speak what is on my mind. Yes, my testimony is long. You should have seen it before it was edited. I began writing the events long ago while I was a houseparent in a children’s home. After getting my ten little children from the ages of 2 to 5 in bed at night, I would write in my room. I was in my 20’s at the time and my mind was still fresh from all the events. As I was writing, more than once, I asked myself “where did that woman go?” The woman I was writing about no longer existed. I could not but help be excited for what God had done for me!

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think upon and remember that day of February 9 1976. And if I get a little carried away at times in describing what God brought me out of, it is not only because I rejoice for what He has done, but hopefully it is for the sake of other’s too. By exposing the darkness of what my life used to be: the insanity, the fear and torment, the complete utter sense of hopelessness, I desire to give others a sense of hope for their own life. IF one can look at my life and see the madness before I came to Jesus and any difference He has made today, then my long drawn out words are not in vain. Some people feel alone in some of the things they experience. I know I did. And still do on occasion. Some people would not dare to venture out and bare their soul to another human being for the fear of rejection. But if my being transparent about my past, can help one person feel they are not alone and that there is help, then God be glorified through what He was able to do through the likes of me.

Remember your deliverances and let no one fault you for it. God has made all things new to you.

Another Year Bites the Dust

5 Comments

I hate to use an old cliché, but the older I get, the faster time flies.

Every year I say the same thing to myself: I want this year to be different. But nothing changes. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting results. God knows how true that is in my case. Really, there are just some things I don’t know how to do any differently. I have purposely chosen to make my little world as small as possible to avoid misunderstandings, conflicts and drama. I must say, I have been able to focus on more of the things I actually enjoy by doing so. Like family, — especially family — as He has done a wonderful work in us all since the death of my mother. The death of my mother affected me (us) deeply, even if it was 4 years ago. Grief is not always an easy thing to get over. It takes time. I still think of her and my father every day. Found myself missing the dead more than actually enjoying being around the living. Not a good place to be.

I would like to say I’m going to start out the year by doing this or that, such-n-such, etc. But God knows I’ve never been a really disciplined person. I just don’t think it is in my make-up. But I can still rest in this, knowing God made me a certain way. I see the things He wants to change, that’s all that matters to me. He will have His way with me. Not because of any great traits in me, (trust me, there are none) but because of who He is.

I don’t know the things each of you deal with, but I will say, as I start out this year in hopes of some kind of freshness, instead of the same old things, my prayer for you is that you too will be able to move on from the things that have hurt you, angered you, caused you to stay in a place where you have been trying to come out of.

For those of you have no physical strength who may be shut-ins, either by choice or through no fault of your won, my heart goes out to you. May God bring people into your lives who you can be a blessing to, who can appreciate you and enjoy your company as you do theirs.

To the friendless, may you find the relationships you so look for.

To those who are finding it a hard time to find fellowship, may God lead you to a place of like-mindedness. One where you can be free and not have any yokes upon you. A place where testing things, is welcomed.

To those who are facing financial trouble, may you have all that you need in the days to come.

To those who deal with mental afflictions, may you come to know the truth in ALL  things, so that the darkness that torments you, will flee from you and you will be surrounded by the light of God.

To those who have not been able to forgive, may you allow the Lord to soften your heart in such away that you are able to see others through His eyes.

To those who are grieving over the death of a loved one, God sees your sorrow and He still cares that your heart is breaking. May you come to the place where the living become just as important as the one you have lost.

To the sick, may God either heal you or give you the grace to bear what it is you are going through in such a way, that God is still glorified in your physical sufferings. I really don’t want to get snarky here, but, yeah, I know, that just doesn’t cut it with the health/wealth people, but unless you take the time to be a real friend to one in need, don’t be judging how someone else’s sickness may be leading them closer to the Lord. What goes on between the sick and God is their business.

To those of us who have found our love waxing cold, may we learn what it really is to cling to the Lord in such dark times.

May those who are still waiting on unanswered prayer, be able to still trust in the One who loves us.

May we who call ourselves Christian, find He is more than enough in the year to come. And those who don’t call themselves Christians, may you come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Most importantly, and having done all that you know to do, continue to STAND.

Prison Bars

6 Comments

prisonface

What people do to their bodies sometimes astounds me. But, I’ll say no more on that particular matter.

How do you view the world? Are you able to see good from evil or has sin got you in such bondage that you catch yourself looking through prison bars?

The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners. — Psalm 146:8 —

Jesus came to set the captives free. If you are not free, then the above picture is a good example of what that looks like to some people. If you are a brother or sister, know this is what you are dealing with in praying for those you love. They hear your words as one in prison. God still hears your cries for your loved ones. Don’t give up. Being free is not just about having a “clean lifestyle” or just becoming a “good person.” It is about one thing:

Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise Your name; — Psalm 142:7 —

Are you a Moth or a Cock Roach?

3 Comments

mothlights

The other day I responded to something on a social media comment. There had been unmerciful mocking gossiping towards an individual with some real issues who I did not know. I used the Word of God in hoping to bring light and truth in this person’s defense. Instead I was attacked and mocked, so I shook the dust off my feet and moved on. I must admit, however, I had gotten a little snarky in telling the mocking stranger how to spell the word Heroin.

The thought came to me: How can someone not love your Word, Lord? It just seems so foreign to me. But then again, I was probably one of the most naïve of all people when the internet first came along. It showed me how sheltered my life had been, and shock, not everyone thought like I did. To my great surprise — and it was a surprise — not everybody had the same thoughts or attitude. I never considered my life to be sheltered, having friends from all walks of life at stages in my life. However, the proof was, I had somewhat been sheltered.

I found out not everybody loved God. Not everybody believed in God. Those who surprised me the most were those who said they did not believe in Him, yet could be vicious in attacking Him. That still makes no sense to me. I don’t believe in the tooth fairy, so you will not find me attacking her as there is no need for me to attack something I do not believe exists. Even our Atheist friend does not attack God when we spend time together. But I digress.

Having shaken the dust off my feet, as I have learned not to let certain things bother me like I once did, I began to see the cockroach who when you turn on the light, they flee back to the dark.  I’ve done written about this: https://redeemedhippiesplace.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/roaches-in-the-dark/ so I will not repeat myself. The stranger who I responded to confessed to believing in God in her public information. But her words showed me she did not have a clue about Him.

The Lord reminded me, it was not me this stranger attacked, but Him. That attack was nothing compared to what my Savior went through for me. For some reason, I began to think of a moth. It’s a pesky little matter to have a moth flittering around a light when I’m trying to read a book or whatever. The moth is not actually bothering me, it is just distracting me as for some reason it wants to gather around the light.

I began to remember of time long gone of many beautiful times of fellowship gathered around the Word of God. That’s what it was like. Moths around a light! The Light being the Word of God to us.

Now days, there is much darkness. Even those who do not profess God, can look around and see that things are crazy at times. Decent people do not go around playing knock-out games, stealing and lying, hurting little children in all manner of perversions, etc. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. You don’t have to be a Christian to be decent enough to see that. I have seen so much evil, wickedness and ungodliness, it baffles my mind. Good things are now being called evil and evil things are now being called good. It is so backwards! But for those of us who know the Light, we know we have been told:

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! — Isaiah 5:20 —

So, it should be no surprise to us. Yet, it is sometimes. The Light exposes so much. The days are going to grow even more dark. Will you be a cockroach and hide in the dark or will you be a moth and gather around the light — letting the Light expose what needs to be exposed in order for you to see and know the Truth of that which is being done in the dark? Are you willing to let that Light expose what is in your own heart?

You don’t have to be a huge blazing torch to unsettle the things in the dark. Even if your light is that of a tiny little match, it is still enough light to expose the darkness.

And I must say, the next time I see a moth flittering about a lamp when I am trying to read, I will not jump up and swat it! I will let it be, letting it remind me of: Your word is a lamp to my feet  And a light to my path. — Psalm 119:105 

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” — John 8:12 —

Such beautiful words to me! Thank You, Lord, for Your light or else I would be overcome with darkness!

Our Friend Ben

4 Comments

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. — Psalm 116:15 —

A few weeks ago, we got a phone call from the father of one of my husband’s very best friends. He called to tell us his son had died. Ben and my husband were brothers in the Lord. He was the one friend my husband could talk to on the spiritual level they both were able to appreciate in each other. You can expect that, when you have known one another for almost four decades.

I liked Ben the moment I met him when my soon – to -be husband introduced us in 1988. He was friendly, gentle, kind, soft-spoken, interesting, a great listener, a man who was intelligent. He was in the top 1 percent of the United States for high school test scores. As intelligent as he was, he never once talked down to anyone. But more than anything, he loved truth. Truth was important to Ben. He had very strong convictions.  Ben had a lot going for him, but…

Ben wrestled with a mental illness/oppression most of his life: Schizoaffective disorder — a disorder that has both schizophrenic and Bi-polar symptoms. These symptoms are maddening. If left unchecked, the person can go into great paranoia — thinking even your family and closest friends are against you, you can hear voices, you may be able to go days without sleep, you can go from one mood of euphoria feeling you can conquer the world with brilliant ideas, to a crashing depression that makes you feel utterly hopeless, leaving you feeling as if life does not and never will have any meaning for you.

Every time Ben tried to come off his meds, he would do well for a while, but eventually the torment would start all over again. One of the last times I had talked to him, he had come off his meds because the meds made him gain weight. I tried my best to follow his conversation, but it was useless. He was all over the place talking about things that made no sense to me. He couldn’t be silent long enough for me to pray for him. Instead, he would become paranoid, thinking it was some devious thing against him. So I would pray silently, at the same time, trying to reinforce the fact there was nothing for him to fear.

He had major concerns concerning politics, the end times, future health care, the apostasy within the Church. Yep, Ben and I had a lot in common and we could talk with one another. He had been mentally and emotionally disabled for all the years I had known him. Yet, there was something there so alive, so astute at times.

After years of living with his parents, he finally within the last year or so, was able to get out on his own in a little house. He spent his time preparing for what he believed he would live to see. He told us if things got too bad, we could come and live with him if need be and I told my husband the same thing would go for Ben. I would take him in a heart beat.

Ben was never dangerous in his affliction. Maybe there were times when he felt it towards himself, but he never was a threat to anyone. Even during his paranoia, I suppose the worst thing he ever did was barricade himself in his hospital room. Which I could understand if someone wanted to drug me against my will whether I needed it or not. He could be a little goofy, but never dangerous. In fact, the people who I have known with this affliction have never been dangerous to others. Not saying there aren’t any. Just saying, the ones who I have met are not. To date, I have known five people who have had this particular affliction. And I do not believe the diagnosis was flippantly put upon them, as in some cases.

My husband had visited Ben with a mutual friend this past summer. He said there was hardly room enough to walk in the little house because Ben was preparing to live off the grid. Something I was interested in. Being self – sufficient and independent if need would arise.

But Ben never had to live to see it. It’s made me stop and think, trying to prioritize my life in a way God would have me. It is said most of the things we fear never happen, and those that do happen, do not happen in the way we think they will. I can testify to that in many ways. One thing that comes to mind is the death of my parents. For decades the thought of losing them made me feel I would go insane when that day approached. Both parents are gone now and I have not gone insane. Great grief at times, but not insane. I have spent most of my life on what ifs? What if this happened or what if that happened? A lot of it probably goes back to the way I was raised. My father was a good provider and protector of the family and in the event of an emergency, he was always there to see his family taken care of. If the electricity went out, he was prepared with flashlights, etc. If a tornado siren went off, he was there taking mattresses off the bed, throwing them in the hallway, making sure his family were safe under them. I take after my dad in that way.

But now, having different health issues, I just can’t seem to get it all together like I would have years ago. I’ve become more dependent upon God, than my own physical strength and abilities.

I thought Ben was going to be an end-time friend. Here forever till the end, if it should come in my lifetime. But, he will not. So, I have taken the event of his death and focused more on those in my immediate life, those who let me in, those who desire me as much as I desire them.

Old saying is: None of us are ever promised a tomorrow. We can’t take anything or anybody for granted. True, all hell might break out in my lifetime, but then again, it may not. If it does, I probably will not be near as prepared as our friend Ben, but if it doesn’t, I can still focus on the people God chooses to put in my life now. Ben is gone. He has been taken from this earth, but my husband and I have a great hope and expectation of seeing him again and he will be of complete sound mind. But as for now, we move on.

I truly do want to learn to stop fretting over things and all of the what ifs?

If you find yourself fretting about the future, let the words of Jesus comfort you:

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. — Matthew 6:33,34

Older Entries