Early in my freshman year in college, I met a young man named Lee. Meeting him had an impact on me even though I was in a serious relationship with someone else. The night after I met him, I dreamed of my wedding to him. This was the first of my night time dreams that later came to pass. Some time after this, my relationship with the other young man ended. Eventually, Lee and I dated then married. On our wedding day, I was twenty and he was twenty one (It was his birthday). That was nearly 39 years ago. I consider finding Lee to be another miracle. Lee is my best gift from God next to Jesus.
Archive for the ‘Christian’ Category
For some time, I have wanted to write letters of thanksgiving to God for the everyday miracles in my life. Perhaps He has been acknowledged and thanked, but I want these stories front and center as He is an amazing God.
One of the earliest small miracles happened when I was in 3rd grade. Being somewhat of a tomboy and very active, I always had various scrapes, cuts, and bruises. These generally made little impact on me, and I really took no notice.
My teacher happened to see that I had a red line running from my hand almost to my shoulder. I had gotten a hawthorn thorn imbedded in my left hand and had gotten blood poisoning. After the doctor took out the thorn and instructed me to soak my hand in Epsom salt solution, the line receded in 3 to 4 days back to normal.
I came to understand later, that had that red line reached the few more inches to my heart, I would have died. Looking back, I consider it to be God’s intervention and give thanks for his tender mercies.
Over a month ago, I hurt my back–specifically my sacro-iliac joint. God quickly healed it with some help from chiropractic. However, the aftermath was that I had digestive problems.
Previously this system was working really well, but function came almost to a standstill. In the time after the back injury, I had some scheduled trips, one to WV and one to Israel. I managed to get by, but had over a month of misery.
One sidebar was that while in Israel a virus went through our group. It gave people diarrhea and some also had vomiting. My turn came in the middle of a ceremony we attended for the opening of a new building in a Bible college. I had intense pain but none of the other symptoms. The pain was so severe that my husband was trying desperately to find a solution. Go to a hospital? Cut the trip short and go home?
I asked a great woman of great faith to pray for me, and she did right there and right then. Immediately, I felt completely well and participated in our last big celebration dinner with no problems. She also prayed that God would get to the underlying spiritual issues related to my ongoing digestive system lack of function.
Two things on the Israel trip seemed to be tied in as God began to show the spiritual problem that was underlying my physical symptoms. The first struck me in a talk that our pastor gave at Mt. Carmel. He talked of Elijah and his battle with the prophets of Baal. He spoke of the rain and dew in Israel being stopped for over 3 years. That drought struck me as being a picture of me, but I did not understand fully until later when I was prayed for at home. The second thing that hit me was the stones in Israel. For the most part, Israel is a very rocky country and there are stones at most of the significant sites of Jesus’s life. There is a stone you can touch where he was born, one where he was laid out after the crucifixion, where he was buried etc. Plus most buildings are built from stone. At the later prayer time, I understood more fully how stones tied in with my spiritual issues.
After the Israel trip, I saw a gastroenterologist who immediately did some tests. These showed no reason for the dysfunction, yet nothing changed for the better.
Finally, I asked a friend with the gift of healing and a ministry of Holy Spirit-led prayer to pray for me (along with the help of my best friend). She started the prayer time by seeing me in the Spirit as a little girl trying and trying to make the bow on a present look exactly perfect. I could not make it good enough no matter how hard I tried. This picture seemed to be tied into my family history of performance orientation, possibly an ongoing family issue for multiple generations.
As she prayed, she also saw a desert parched of water being turned into a lush garden in me. (This completed the picture of the drought in Elijah’s time which I knew was somehow related to my situation.) She then prayed for the muscles to relax in and around my low back.
After her prayer time, I prayed in repentance for my performance mindset and my continuing concern for what other people think as opposed to having the overriding goal of pleasing God alone.
After my praying friend saw the desert and lush garden picture, I saw a totally different one. I saw a massive stone which was my foundation–Jesus Christ. I had built my house of character upon that stone, but through my effort. I had determined to be kind, patient, considerate, gentle, caring, sensitive, persistent, loving of God and others, etc, etc. Of course these efforts did not work. My house of character, while built upon the foundation of Jesus was not sound. It was built by my work and not by Godʼs leading.
In my spirit, I could see God sweep his arm across and completely wipe the foundation clear. My old house of character was completely gone.
Patching up my house of character was not an option. My life must based upon hearing and obeying, not upon striving.
Of course, that night my body functions returned to normal after about 40 days of drought. What a wonderful thing!
This excerpt from Oswald Chambersʼ was in my daily email on the day of the prayer time. It seemed so applicable.
“The Christian life is stamped by ‘moral spontaneous originality,’ consequently the disciple is open to the same charge that Jesus Christ was, viz., that of inconsistency. But Jesus Christ was always consistent to God, and the Christian must be consistent to the life of the Son of God in him, not consistent to hard and fast creeds. Men pour them selves into creeds, and God has to blast them out of their prejudices before they can become devoted to Jesus Christ.”
As Christians, we are not following a dead manʼs creed, but we are including a living and interactive God into our lives. We cannot make choices and decide our characters and then ask God to bless that.
As a Christian, my house of character must be built out of living stones. My character needs to be built based upon consultation with God (prayer without ceasing), deliberate listening, then simply obeying. This may look inconsistent and discordant with the world, yet we are not called to imitate Christ but to be HIS workmanship.
Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain” Psalm 127:1
So here I am trusting the Lord to rebuild my house of character, but this time with living stones that he can rearrange and use as needed. This house may not be as I envisioned, but I am choosing to listen to and trust the architect of my faith. Then, not only am I being built with living stones but also I become an effective part of the living stone church that God has been building and using for ages past and ages yet to come.
I was just around 2 remarkable children–a big sister and little brother. The older sister is insatiable in seeking knowledge. Her unending “Tell me a story” continued until I found that I was digging deep into my very soul to satisfy her. As I shared stories from the family or experiences, I could see her eyes become dreamy as she pictured the story in her mind. In this exchange, she learned so much about me, much more than anyone else has ever really wanted to know. And I learned about her. As she asked questions, I learned what really piqued her interest. I could see how she compared things to her own life by her comments. We found our common interests and passions. What I learned from this remarkable little girl was: how to listen– really listen, how to get to know someone for whom they really are, and how to find the stories in life. I have supreme confidence that she will keep asking, seeking, and knocking at doors until she finds the big story of her own life.
Now to the lesson from the little brother. He idolizes his sister. He follows her like a puppy dog. He imitates her every move. If you comment on that fact, he is proud and not embarrassed because he “woves” (loves) her. I see this as the ultimate in loving.
The big sister is kind to him and enjoys his company (usually). If he does something cute and babyish, she smiles a tolerant and adoring secret smile like she is sharing his cuteness with you. She is not often mean or intolerant. So she is a good choice for him to imitate.
Ultimately, we all must pick role models for our lives. Every person will have some bad qualities in with the good, yet, we can find good, if not perfect, role models. And of course there is the best role model of all time. But we must each find our own way into his footsteps.
The following talk was given to a MOPS group on 4/25/12 by Kathy McLaughlin. Please comment or ask questions under “comments”.
My background includes practice as a physical therapist, as an organic gardener selling produce in a coop, a raw goat milk farmer selling jugs of raw milk from our farm, and a nutrition junkie. I love learning about nutrition. I also have a daughter in law who is a nutritionist who delights in teaching me. My other training which you may see hints of is in prayer ministry. I have been through years of training in helping people this way.
My interest in healthy diets ramped up drastically about 5 years ago when I first was diagnosed with breast cancer. A second cancer then a diagnosis of Non Hodgkins lymphoma kept me on the fast track to learning how to care better for my body. I generally restrain myself in talking about these thing until I see that someone is interested. It is my hope, that you are interested in getting your little people off to a healthy start in good body maintenance.
Before I start, lets just get it out there that I am not perfect in keeping sugar completely out of my diet. This purpose of this talk is not to add another thing into your life to feel guilty about. It is really to help you think outside the box with your family’s diet.
Another important point to emphasize, right off the bat, is that diet is not our healer–God is. The Lord designed our bodies to self repair. He also gave us the proper fuel for our bodies–food in its purest and least adulterated state.
As Hippocrates, the founder of modern medicine, said, “Let food be your medicine…” Food is not only a perfectly designed fuel, it is also an aid to recovery when the body is functioning at less than optimal. Yet, in its most manipulated forms, food can become a deterrent instead of an aid to health. Specifically, processed sugar in its many forms can be damaging to our bodies. I have heard it said that sugar is more addictive than cocaine. I don’t know if I believe that, however, I do believe that it is extremely addictive. Think yourself of the bad habit of sweets. You eat some then that craving keeps persisting. The only thing to do about it in my experience is to keep those foods away from me. After about 2 weeks the craving grows less.
I want to tell 2 amazing stories of personal acquaintances. The first was of my great uncle. At almost 90, his much younger wife talked him into cutting all added sugar out of his diet. He was in a wheelchair, unable to walk or do much self care. After stopping sugar, he walked again and regained much function. Both he and his wife gave credit to the change in diet as well as to God’s mercy.
The second tale is of a friend of mine who fell on ice a few years back. She was badly hurt, unable to walk or do anything without major pain. She started seeing a chiropractor. She says the the most important thing he did for her was to educate her about sugar. She stopped sugar and has a new beauty, vitality and no pain. Everyone notices the change in her–it is quite dramatic.
In the past 20 years, average sugar consumption has increased from 26 pounds per person to 135 pounds. Along with that increase, diseases which were rare have become common place like heart disease, diabetes, cancer,arthritis as well as many other degenerative diseases. Is there possibly a connection to proliferation of these diseases and our dramatic increase in sugar consumption?
What is it about sugar that is so bad for us when glucose provides energy for the body? Isn’t sugar just fancy glucose–aren’t all sugars eventually broken down into glucose which our body needs? Let’s have a “Sugar 101” class going back to the basics.
There are 3 categories to what we eat in the way of plant and animal based foods–fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Fats become fatty acids after the digestive process; proteins are broken down into amino acids; and carbs are turned into glucose. In the metabolization of all 3 categories of food, energy is produced for the body.
Foods with carbohydrates have been categorized by glycemic index and glycemic load. GI measures the increase in blood sugar from 50g of carbohydrates from that food. For example, 50g of carbohydrates from carrots is about a pound of carrots. A snickers bar is 63 g of carbs. GL takes into account the serving size and therefore the fat and protein in the food as well. It is a much better predictor of blood sugar response. High GL is >=20, Medium is between 11 to 19, Low is <=10. The lower the glycemic index or load–the longer it takes the body to break down that food into glucose. Conversely, a food with a high glycemic index is quickly turned into glucose.
Straight glucose is a value of 100. Table sugar is sucrose, a simple sugar easily and quickly converted to glucose, so it is relatively high in glycemic index about 64. In basic terms, simple sugars and carbs like processed sugar and grains are very high on the glycemic index. If you add fiber to those sugars, the glycemic index number goes down. Add proteins and fats and it goes down even more. The GL would reflect all of these factors.
Vegetables and fruits are generally low, processed grains and cereals are generally high, whole grains are generally low or medium. There are notable exceptions to these statements. Potatoes, corn, and parsnips are high. Bananas and some sweeter fruits are medium. This website will give you both the GI and the GL values: http://www.glycemicindex.com/foodSearch.php
Potato 104 36.4
Parsnips 97 11.6
White bread 70 8.4
Wheat bread 70 7.7
Sweet potato 51 12.4
Banana 51 12.2
Dairy 40-50 6 -10
Apple 39 6.2
Spinach, Broccoli, Green beans, Cabbage, Cauliflower
Meats and most nuts 0 except cashews
High glycemic foods encompass simple sugars including honey, maple syrup, fructose, table sugar, agave sweetener, and any number of sugars ending in “ose” (like maltose, dextrose, etc.) Here is a partial list of sugar in its many disguises. You are probably a label reader already. Add these words to your label reading vocabulary. High fructose foods like high fructose corn syrup are even more damaging because fructose is processed in the liver and excesses are converted to triglycerides.
Barley Malt Syrup
Corn syrup, or corn syrup solids
Dehydrated Cane Juice
Fruit juice concentrate
Sorghum or sorghum syrup
Sugar acts differently within a food like a fruit or vegetable. God made fruits and veggies with the right amount of fiber so that when the bonds of the molecules are broken down into their components, the fiber in the food makes the breaking down process take longer. Then the glucose is released into the body more gradually. The load on the pancreas is less. The body does not have the highs and lows like it does with simple sugars.
What does this mean in practical terms? We have all felt sugar highs and the aftermath of extreme fatigue which follows. We have seen kids act out when they have overloaded on candy. We know how miserable we feel when we have gorged on sweets. Does sugar do more serious harm than these obvious effects? ( Draw graph )
Here is an example of one of our family’s early experiences related to sugar. Our oldest son had a genetic weakness for chocolate inherited from his mom. As a young boy visiting his granddad, he was indulged in this weakness. Every visit, his grandpa would make him fudge. Inevitably a horrible nosebleed would immediately follow. We finally made the connection between high sugar foods and his nosebleeds.
When there are large amounts of sugar in the blood, it results in what is called glycation. The glucose end products attach to proteins. Glycation damages whatever it attaches to. This may be blood vessels or organs. It can do much damage by damaging the blood supply to organs like the kidneys or even to the eyes. It hastens aging and causes many serious problems. We all need to know that glycation causes our skin to sag faster. It causes the collagen fibers to become less elastic, thereby causing faster aging.
Definitively these following disorders are caused or worsened by high sugar diets:
Yeast infections, fungal infections, gut dysbiosis (imbalance of the good and bad flora or microorganisms living in the gut), diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity and obesity related diseases.
Here are some of the diseases to which sugar-laden foods almost certainly contribute:
Arthritis, inflammatory diseases, degenerative diseases, cancer, behavioral disorders, and gut disorders
How is this possible?
Lets start with proven facts then meander into theory. In simple terms, sugar feeds yeast and fungi. We have all heard of candida albicans. That is the typical yeast infection which many women get vaginally. It is also the cause of “thrush” which many babies get in their mouths and throats. Candida and many other harmful organisms are fed by sugar-rich foods. These bad bacteria overrun the organisms meant to inhabit the gut which aid in the digestion and break-down process. The resulting imbalance is called dysbiosis.
It could be said good health starts in the gut. The opposite is also true. When dysbiosis occurs it leads to a domino effect. When there is a predominance of bad microbes in the gut, bad health reigns.
Now we advance into theory territory–leaky gut syndrome. The basis for this theory is the idea that damage to the intestines causes the permeability to increase because the openings that let the molecules move in and out become enlarged.
This allows larger molecules of incompletely digested food to move out as well as toxins and bacteria which should remain in or pass through as waste. This is presumed to be the basis of many problems, such as allergies or autoimmune problems.
The solution for this problem is to repopulate the gut with good bacteria to create a healthy balance, to stop feeding the bad microorganisms, and to include lots of fiber in the diet. A healing diet for the gut is a diet low in sugar, grains, processed food and very high in veggies and somewhat less in fruits. Dairy and meat should be organic.
So, I am not going to tell you all of this without giving help in how to change your family’s diet.
Here are some great and easy foods to substitute for the snacks of processed or high sugar foods.
Cut up sweet potatoes
Apple slices with peanut or almond butter
Celery with peanut or almond butter
Red pepper slices (Any of these veggies are great with hummus)
Sugar snap peas
Raw asparagus shoots
Raw broccoli or cauliflower pieces
Flaxseed soda bread
Banana-peanut butter-egg pancakes
We had samples of some of these foods for our breakfast. These are not typical breakfast foods so I really stretched you in your eating this morning. When you eat these foods, savor the flavors and the sweetness. If you let yourself, you can change your family’s palate to appreciate these.
The name of a great cookbook to cook in a low glycemic fashion is Internal Bliss. The author never gives her name. I have only found this cookbook online. It is associated with the GAPS diet
Also a great breakfast is stir fried veggies with an egg on top. It gives your kids nutrition and energy. Another good one is Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes (with no grain). Or try a nutrition packed smoothie. There are recipes on my website– healingdiscoveries.com
These are all easy to have ready in the frig or to toss in a bag to take with you for on-the- go snacks.
This is the key to changing your family’s diet. Have satisfying and quickly available foods and healthy snacks available all the time. And do not have processed, sugar filled foods anywhere in the house.
When we are dying for a sweet snack, apples and peanut butter usually do the trick, but if not then a peanut butter banana smoothie will help.
Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie Recipe
2 tablespoons organic no additives peanut butter
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup ice
Blend in blender until smooth
We will make and have a sample of this today.
Here are four principles to finish up with for trying to eat well. If it gets near you it will get in you. So only bring healthy good foods into your home.
The second thing which is totally unrelated to sugar but related to the gift that I have for you is: If it gets on you, it gets in you. (Give out gift of natural deodorant made from baking soda, arrowroot powder and cornstarch.)
And thirdly to keep this all in perspective, self control is a very good thing on cleaning up our diet, but ultimately it is most important cooperate with God to let him clean our hearts up. Mat 15:10 – 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them. While we want to treat our bodies as God’s temples, ultimately it is our hearts that are most important.
The fourth principle is that just as food is medicine, the Bible is even more so. We can devour the Bible as our healing medicine. Prov 4:20-22 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.
I have no doubt of this truth whatsoever. God has restored me with his word and his touch.
Please help us in our quest to treat our bodies as your temples doing proper temple maintenance. However, please go much deeper to our hearts and show us how to let you fill our hearts with your Holy Spirit so much that we clearly hear and obey you. Let your word be our sustaining and healing food. Help us to exercise wisdom and self control regarding our regular food. Above all please let seeking to hear and follow you be our highest priority.
In Jesus name
Lest my body should make me take another line, I am constantly watching so
that I may bring it into subjection and keep it under.” (1 Cor.
When we become Christians, the impact of Jesus in our life changes our direction 180 degrees. We are heading our own way which is towards hell. When we hear the good news, that Jesus died for our sins so that we can have life with God eternally should we choose to accept it, we repent from going our way and choose to turn towards God. Repentance comes from the combination of Greek words meta which means “after” and the word “noia” which is to think. In essence repentance means “to think after”. In other words it is a change in direction of thinking and acting as a result of some influence. Repentance is a reaction to God’s influence on us. Biblically it is illustrated as turning towards God.
After we become Christians, we are turned towards God, following the example Jesus laid out for us in the Bible under the direction of the Holy Spirit. Yet, we all still get off track. Repentance is still necessary in our lives. Yet how does this work? Repentance, as a change in direction from our way to God’s way when we cr choose Christ as savior, is so clearcut. Thereafter, it can have much less clarity.
I was told that the following story is true– it is an excellent word picture of this concept.
When 2 planes are on the same track, air traffic control uses the lead plane as a guide for the second when the second plane can visually track the lead. Then air traffic control gives the guidance to the lead plane, thereby cutting their work in half.
The flaw in the system is that the second pilot in line often gets his focus on something else and gets off track. When air traffic tells him he is off, he will say “No, I can see the plane.” Air traffic says “Trust us, you need to make an adjustment.”
We have an air traffic controller–the Holy Spirit. We have a lead plane which is Jesus, as made knowable through the Bible. And we have a home we are heading towards–God the Father.
So easily we can be misled in our focus. ”Idol” is another word for anything that pulls us off of our path towards God.
Our air traffic controller (the Holy Spirit) speaks into our hearts when we begin to focus on an idol which leads us astray from God. He tells us how to adjust our lives. Getting off-track happens to all of us–something becomes more important ot . Anything in our lives can become an idol, even good things. We can even become so focused on staying on the path that we become legalists focusing more on the path than on our lead plane -Jesus.
The only safe thing to focus on is the lead plane (Jesus) and the only safe voice to completely rely on is our air traffic controller ( the Holy Spirit). Constant appraisal of our focus plus making sure our headphones are tuned to the Holy Spirit is the way to abundant life.
Something that I have hesitated to document in my blog occurred during the period when I was going through newly diagnosed cancer, a second cancer and a third cancer, along with all the treatments and surgeries over the past few years. Finally, I decided to put this strange happening in my blog with the thought that others may go through similar things and this remembrance might be a help.
In my life, I have tended to move back and forth between shame and pride. If I blew something, I put on the garment of shame and totally absorbed the devastation of it. If I did something well, pride puffed me up in spite of efforts to fight it. Both of these extremes have been very destructive.
During the intense part of my battle with cancer, I had an interesting and weird experience. Very literally, my mind played videos of my past failures (sins of commission and omission) in perfect clarity and detail. These occurred in my brain one after another in a very orderly fashion. Instead of repeating my usual practice of donning my cloak of shame, I took each revelation of sin to God in repentance as they came up. It was a hard, but very cleansing time. It felt like it brought self righteousness to death in me. I found judging others, which I was prone to do, much diminished.
There finally reached a time when these videos stopped playing in my mind and I thought this whole process was complete. I counted myself a different person and had much less problems with the cloak of shame dropping over me at the least error. However, in all honesty, pride still puffed me up easily over the most minor achievement.
This week something happened which could have turned destructive or constructive. Thankfully, it ended on a positive note.
I had a huge argument with Lee over something minor, and it left me with intense self-doubt. On top of that, I offended someone when I responded to something she said with what I thought was constructive advice. The two events together led me to seek God’s face.
The upshot of this whole story is that I landed smack in a word from God– Proverbs 3:7. ”Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.” That took me to another verse–Isaiah 5:21. ”Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.”
It hit me that this was still a problem for me. It was the next step in the cleansing and humbling process. I thought that I had wisdom to offer.
Here is the joy in the discovery. I can learn to be quiet and wait upon the Lord. Change is a choice available to me. Thank you Jesus!
a word from the Lord to get humble, pray, seek Him and repent!!!!!!This is long but read every word – especially last section.
Calling the Sons of ZadokMorningStar Prophetic Bulletin #70
America is suffering under a vacuum of leadership. This is not just in government but also in virtually every major center of influence, including the church. In Isaiah chapters three through five, we are told that capricious, immature leaders are the beginning of the judgment of God for the nation that turns from God and falls to the ultimate depravity of calling good evil and evil good, and for dishonoring the honorable while honoring the dishonorable. That is an accurate description of America. It will take more than an election to get us out of the mire we’re in. We must have revival. We must have another Great Awakening or we will not survive much longer as a Republic.
This is not to imply that the elections are not important. America and the rest of Western civilization have been led to the edge of a most dangerous precipice. Even Tony Blair, the recent Prime Minister of Great Britain who is from the liberal Labor Party, warned recently that Europe could not long survive if they did not forsake the entitlement mentality. The whole world is about to crash on the rocks of financial bankruptcy, but financial problems are just a root of something worse. The West has lost its spiritual and moral underpinnings without which we cannot survive as a free people.
A financial change of direction could buy us more time, but without a change of heart, we will end up at the same place very quickly. America has fallen into virtually every trap that the Founding Fathers warned would doom the Republic. These warnings were specific and clear and the results of going the direction we have gone were accurately foreseen. These warnings have been repeated often from Congress and the Oval Office, but nothing has been done to change the course. Leadership requires more than knowledge of what needs to be done—it requires the courage, resolve, and endurance to take the helm and steer the ship out of danger.
Again, our problems are not just economic problems—they are character problems. The economy is just a reflection of the sickness of heart we now have. We do need to evaluate what is being done and what the consequences will be if we do not change our course, but we also need to evaluate why we have been doing them.
The whole world is entering “the valley of decision.” What is going to be our decision? If we follow the crowd, we may feel more secure for a time, but we also may be putting ourselves in far more jeopardy. The same crowd that welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem by crying, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord,” were just five days later crying, “Crucify Him!” The discernment of the crowd in such matters has seldom been good. We each must have in our own core a moral compass that we will navigate by regardless of whether others are going that way or not.
The Sons of Zadok
In Ezekiel 44, the Lord said that the sons of Zadok would be the ones honored with coming near to Him and ministering to Him personally. Zadok was the high priest during David’s reign. When all of Israel went astray and followed after Absalom, Zadok picked up the ark and followed David even though it seemed that this would be certain doom. Zadok did not do what was politically expedient, but he did what was right. He knew that the Lord had anointed David as king and that He had not anointed Absalom. David was still the king, even though “all Israel” did not see it that way. The crowd paid a dear price, but Zadok’s reward would last forever. To this day, his sons are those whom are closest to the Lord.
Who are the sons of Zadok? When the Pharisees told Jesus that they had Abraham as their father, the Lord replied to them, “If you are the sons of Abraham, do the deeds of Abraham” (see John 8:39). Likewise, the sons of Zadok are the ones who do the deeds of Zadok. Do we have the faith in God and the substance of character to go the way we think is right even if everyone else goes the other direction? That was the resolve of Zadok, and we are in desperate need of that kind of leadership right now.
There is a great danger with a vacuum of leadership because it always has been the greatest opportunity for tyranny. Americans have lost more of their freedoms in the last three years than possibly in the last two centuries. Recent Obama Administration orders have been described as a frontal attack on the Catholic Church, but they are much more than that. They are a very basic and bold attack on the entire church in America, as well as religious liberty in America. If the church in America continues to sleep through what is being done to it, then it will very soon wake up dead.
Where are the voices like John the Baptist who would challenge Herod? This is the time for courage and unyielding resolve. If we are afraid, we will be killed like John the Baptist. We must remember that there are worse things than dying. It will be far worse to stand on that great Judgment Day as a watchman who did not sound the alarm or as a shepherd who did not protect those entrusted to them.
In Revelation 21:8, we see that the “cowardly” are the first ones thrown into the lake of fire. The cowards precede the unbelievers, the sorcerers, and even the murderers to this doom of “the second death.” It will be much better to suffer now, even imprisonment or death, than to suffer then. There is no place for cowardice in the true faith. The Lord made it clear that those who sought to save their lives would lose them, but those who would lose their lives for His sake would find them (see Matthew 16:25). This is our time. This is our watch. Will we show the courage that is demanded of the true servants of the King?
We are hosting a Prophetic Conference on February 23 – 25 at Heritage. These are always encouraging as we witness growing prophetic gifts that the Lord has given to His people in these times. Even so, there is much more to the prophetic ministry than prophetic gifts and experiences. The one the Lord called the greatest ever born of woman, John the Baptist, rarely had prophetic experiences, but he was a preacher of righteousness and justice with an uncompromising resolve. His message of repentance compelled the entire nation to come out and listen to him. Repentance has to be preached to prepare the way for the Lord. It is the most important message that we can preach in this hour.
Both righteousness and wickedness are what God defines, not what political correctness says they are. Not long ago, America was a nation that possibly aligned itself with God’s definition of righteousness and justice possibly more than any other nation. Because of this, we received what God promised to any nation that walked in His ways. Now we are starting to suffer the consequences that He warned would come upon the nation that departed from His ways, and this began with a vacuum of leadership.
The answer is not to pursue leadership, but to pursue the repentance that will lead us back to God’s favor, and then He will raise up righteous leaders. In II Chronicles 7:14 we are promised, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin an heal their land.” Here we see that the Lord requires four things to heal a land:
3) Seeking His face
4) Repentance from wickedness
These are required of the Lord’s people, not the heathen. It seems that a new humility is coming upon much of the church, which is encouraging. We also have had some of the greatest prayer movements in history raised up in recent times. Multitudes of Christians, especially youth, are now seeking an intimate relationship with the Lord. These are all very encouraging signs. However, there has been little or no repentance from wickedness. In- depth studies reveal that even the most devout Christian groups have fallen to such a level of unrighteousness and the sins that the Lord called “wickedness” that Christians are no longer distinguishable from non- Christians in basic morality and integrity. This is an appalling and biblically terrifying state for the church in America. It has happened on our watch.
The Opposite of Zadok
Eli, the high priest who raised the prophet Samuel, is a striking contrast to Zadok. Eli had been a faithful priest in the house of the Lord his whole life. He loved the Lord so much that when he received the news that the ark of God had been captured by the Philistines, he fell over and died. Yet he was given one of the worst rebukes from the Lord in Scripture. Why?
The first word from the Lord that Samuel received was condemnation for Eli because he had let his sons fall into wickedness and bring a curse upon themselves, and Eli had not rebuked them. In this message, Eli was told that sacrifices and offerings forever could not atone for this sin. Eli admitted that this was the word of the Lord, but still made no changes. Eli was not told that his sins could not be forgiven, but that all of his good works, even if done forever, could not atone for his irresponsibility of not bringing the necessary correction to those who had been entrusted to his care.
This being translated for us today would be that all of the good works and charity in the world will not atone for the failure of letting those entrusted to us fall into the iniquity and wickedness that will be their doom. Are we the “sons of Zadok” or the “sons of Eli?”
The warning of Galatians 5:19-21 is very clear:
Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,
idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,
envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Make no mistake—“those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” It does not say those who have done these things, but those who “practice” them. If we have given our lives to Christ and we continue to live according to the flesh as described here, the message is just as clear in the other primary books of the New Testament, such as the Book of Romans, that we will perish.
In II Timothy 4, the Apostle Paul warned about the time when a great deception would come upon believers because they would “only want to have their ears tickled” or could only hear positive things. Much of the body of Christ in America has fallen to that state now since they will automatically reject anything they consider to be negative. As both the Lord and His apostles warned, such are heading for a terrible end.
An abundance of teachers and teachings today can make people feel better about themselves, even though their eternal lives are in jeopardy. Such teachings have so watered down the clear teachings of Scripture that they can make people feel comfortable in your sin, but they are deceiving you. Even the most devout can stumble at times; however, they will not rationalize their sin but rather repent. To repent means to both feel remorse and to turn from the sin.
Doctrines are now being promoted that since the New Covenant was established, the Lord no longer judges. The New Testament makes it clear that He not only continues to bring judgment upon sin, but that His judgment begins with His own household (see I Peter 4:17). The New Testament is also clear about the judgment that will come upon those who so dilute His Word as to become stumbling blocks to His people.
I have been stretched far beyond my own reasoning as I have beheld the mercy and grace of God for sinners. That He would love us so much to go to the cross as He did will be a marvel for all of eternity. That we can behold His patience in our own times because He does not want any to perish is a marvel. Even so, as the New Testament also makes clear, there is a limit to His patience, and we are foolish to presume upon it.
We are told Romans 11:22, we must “behold then the kindness and the severity of God.” Those who can only see His kindness without seeing His severity do not see Him as He is. Those who only see His severity without seeing His kindness do not see Him as He is. He is both kind and severe, and those who see Him as He is see both.
God is a righteous and just God, and all of His judgments are righteous and just. His judgments are not all negative, but can be positive, affirming the good. They can declare innocence as well as guilt. The biblical teachings on judgment have often been distorted, but the righteous always rejoice at His judgments. We also are told that the whole world will rejoice when He comes to judge the earth even to the point of the “trees will clap their hands” (see Isaiah 55:12).
The Scriptures are also clear that everyone will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ. This will be a good thing for the righteous and only bad for the wicked.
Many types of judgment from God are in Scripture, and only one is condemnation and only one is destruction. The rest are discipline from the Lord for those whom He loves. As we read in Hebrews 12, the most frightening thing of all should be if we are still living in sin and getting away with it. This means that we are not His. If we are His sons, He will discipline us.
America has been receiving His judgments because He still loves America, and this is evidence that He has not given up on her. Like an alarm that gets continually louder if we do not wake up, His judgments are getting increasingly severe. Even insurance companies have more discernment than some Christian leaders. What these leaders have called “acts of nature,” they call “acts of God,” and they are.
Many of the things being released upon the world are not directly God’s doing but are the removing of His restraints so that the world begins to reap what it has sown. This is clear in such places as Revelation 7. Even so, His releasing of these things is His judgment, and if we do not recognize it as such, no one will repent to keep even worse things from coming.
If this offends you, then you have a distorted, warped view of Scripture. Such will take what are in fact acts of love and interpret them as acts of condemnation. These are the ones Peter referred to as the untaught and unstable who will distort the Scriptures to their own destruction. The destruction is only necessary if we do not recognize the judgments and repent. God would much rather show mercy, but there is a time when judgment is necessary, and if this does not work, destruction follows. This is why the Lord Jesus lamented over Jerusalem. He would much rather have gathered her under His wings, but she rejected the time of her visitation, and destruction followed.
Let us repent while the judgment is still discipline, before it gets to the point of destruction. We are also told that we can judge ourselves and He will not have to do it (see I Corinthians 11:31). As the Lord Jesus made clear, if we do not humble ourselves and fall on the Rock to be broken, then the Rock will fall on us and grind us into powder. Let’s take the easy way out!
America is in jeopardy. “If you do not change your direction, you will end up where you are headed.” We will not survive much longer going in the direction we are headed. Much of 2012 may look like things are getting better, but when men are saying, “peace and safety,” that is when sudden destruction will come. We cannot look at external conditions to see how we’re doing—we need to look at our own hearts. If we will turn from that which will keep us from inheriting the kingdom of God, turn from our wicked ways, embracing the humility that would also compel us to pray and seek His face, it too will be evident as the rest of Galatians 5 declares:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25).
If we, God’s people, will “walk by the Spirit” instead of the flesh, then He will heal our land, and He will use us to do it.
SPECIAL NOTE ON THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION ORDER ON RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS
Last week, the Obama administration finalized a radical new rule that uses the health care law to require all health insurance providers to cover abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization as well as contraception, all free of charge. The administration based the rule’s “religious exemption” on a provision drafted by the ACLU, applying the rule even to religious organizations such as Catholic schools, hospitals, universities, and charities that oppose such things as a matter of religious belief.
The weak exemption the administration allowed applies only to religious organizations serving primarily people of the same religion. It is so narrow that Timothy Dolan, the Catholic archbishop of New York City and current head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote in the Wall Street Journal that “even Jesus and His disciples would not qualify for the exemption in that case, because they were committed to serve those of other faiths.”
Because Catholic institutions serve people of all faiths, the adoption by the Obama administration of the ACLU exemption language is an explicit and intentional assault on the Catholic Church in the United States. President Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius know full well that they are ordering Catholic institutions to violate their church’s teachings if they want to stay in business. They also know full well that they are explicitly running over the First Amendment protection of religious freedom that every American is supposed to enjoy as a birthright.
President Obama’s message to Catholics is clear: Catholics will not be able to build organizations according to their faith and the teachings of their church as long as they refuse to accept President Obama’s radicalism. President Obama’s order is a violation of the First Amendment right to freedom of conscience and an unprecedented assault on Christianity.
Catholics are uniformly opposed to the rule. Carol Keehan of the Catholic Health Association—an Obamacare supporter—expressed disappointment “that the definition of a religious employer was not broadened.” Even liberal Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne blasted the rule, arguing that “the Church’s leaders had a right to ask for broader relief from a contraception mandate that would require it to act against its own teachings.” Newt Gingrich, www.Newsmax.com
The following is a wonderful talk that I heard today at MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) by Mary Hamrick who is with Dragonfly Ministries. It explains what I consider to be a big picture truth in mothering. Enjoy!
Blessed Is the Mom Who Clings to Christ by Mary Hamrick (Dragonfly Ministries)
“CLING TO JESUS. Cling to His legs, His words, His ways. Never let go, always hold on, and always bring your needs to Him. Everything that you do for your children is recognized and emulated; choose to walk with the Lord and to live by HIS word so that the lives of your children will be impacted and blessed for generations to come.”
Blessed is the Mom Who Clings to Christ
Proverbs 31:28 “Her children arise and call her blessed.”
Psalm 127:5 Blessed is the mom who has her quiver full of children!
Blessed – held in reverence; honored in her home.
How do I receive that blessedness? What can I do?
|Verse||Blessing for Mom||What she learns|
|Psalm 1:2||Blessed is the mom whose delight is in the law of the Lord||To delight in God’s word|
|Psalm 2:12||Blessed is the mom who puts her trust in the Lord||To put her trust in the Lord|
|Psalm 32:1||Blessed is the mom whose sins are forgiven||To accept that she has been forgiven|
|Psalm 37:23||Blessed is the mom whose steps are ordered by the Lord||To seek God for the right path|
|Psalm 37:24||Blessed is the mom who delights in the ways of the Lord||To walk in the ways of the Lord|
|Psalm 84:4||Blessed is the mom who abides in the Lord||To abide in Christ|
|Psalm 94:12||Blessed is the mom whom the Lord instructs and teaches||To allow the Lord to instruct and teach her|
|Psalm 106:3||Blessed is the mom who keeps justice and who does the right thing||To do the right thing|
|Psalm 112:1||Blessed is the mom who fears the Lord||To honor and love the Lord, to respect Him|
|Psalm 119:2||Blessed is the mom who seeks the Lord with her whole heart||To seek Him whom she can not see but whom she knows is there!|
|Psalm 146:5||Blessed is the mom whose hope is in the Lord, her God.||To put her hope in the Lord|
|Proverbs 3:13||Blessed is the mom who finds God’s wisdom and understanding||To ask HIM for wisdom and understanding|
|Proverbs 29:15||Blessed is the mom who disciplines with consistency||To discipline with love and consistency|
Blessed is the Mom Who Clings to Christ
Proverbs 31:28 “Her children arise and call her blessed.”
Psalm 127:5 Blessed is the mom who has her quiver full of children!
Blessed – held in reverence; honored in her home.
How do I receive that blessedness? What can I do?
|Verse||Blessing for Mom||What she learns|
|Isaiah 30:18||Blessed is the mom who waits on the Lord||To wait on HIS timing|
|Job 5:17||Blessed is the mom who God corrects||The importance of correcting her children|
|Luke 2:51||Blessed is the mom who treasures the lives of her children||To enjoy her children and pray for them.|
|James 1:12||Blessed is the mom who perseveres||To push through the toughest of situations|
Blessings of living God’s way:
Your children will arise and call you blessed. They will honor you. The blessings of your obedience will be passed down to your children. Your faith in God will be passed down to your children. The inheritance you will leave for your children will be a spiritual inheritance.
For the mom who clings to the Lord, she leaves a great spiritual inheritance for her children:
Proverbs 20:7 The righteous mom walks in her integrity; her children are blessed after her.
Psalm 37:26 The righteous mom is ever merciful and her descendants are blessed.
Psalm 112:2 Blessed is the mom who fears the Lord and delights in HIS word. Her descendants will be mighty on earth, her generation will be blessed.
Blessed is the Child Who Clings to Mom
The young child’s life is completely absorbed in her mother, whose life is completely absorbed in Christ
The mom teaches by example and the child learns:
|Verse||Blessing for the child who Clings to their mom||What the child learns|
|Psalm 1:2||Blessed is the child whose mom delight s in the law of the Lord||To delight in God’s Word|
|Psalm 2:12||Blessed is the child whose mom puts her trust in the Lord||To trust in the Lord|
|Psalm 32:1||Blessed is the child whose mom’s sins are forgiven||That humanity includes sin and forgiveness|
|Psalm 37:23||Blessed is the child whose mom’s steps are ordered by the Lord||To yield to God’s ways|
|Psalm 37:24||Blessed is the child whose mom delights in the ways of the Lord||To walk in God’s ways|
|Psalm 84:4||Blessed is the child whose mom abides in the Lord||To abide in Christ|
|Psalm 94:12||Blessed is the child whose mom the Lord instructs and teaches||To seek understanding from God|
|Psalm 106:3||Blessed is the child whose mom keeps justice and who does the right thing||To seek integrity|
|Psalm 112:1||Blessed is the child whose mom fears the Lord||Honor, love and respect|
|Psalm 119:2||Blessed is the child whose mom seeks the Lord with her whole heart||That God is real and answers prayers|
|Psalm 146:5||Blessed is the child whose mom’s hope is in the Lord, her God.||To trust in the Lord|
|Proverbs 3:13||Blessed is the child whose mom finds God’s wisdom and understanding||That wisdom and understanding come from God|
|Proverbs 29:15||Blessed is the child whose mom disciplines with consistency||To be teachable, humble, correctable|
Blessed is the Child Who Clings to Mom
The young child’s life is completely absorbed in her mother, whose life is completely absorbed in Christ
The mom teaches by example and the child learns:
|Verse||Blessing for the child who clings to their mom||What the child learns|
|Isaiah 30:18||Blessed is the child whose mom waits on the Lord||That God’s timing is different that ours|
|Job 5:17||Blessed is the child whose mom God corrects||Obedience to authority|
|Luke 2:51||Blessed is the child whose mom treasures the lives of her children||Unconditional love|
|James 1:12||Blessed is the child whose mom perseveres||That all things are possible with God.|
Blessings of living God’s way:
The child clings to her mother who clings to the Lord. While clinging to the mother, she recognizes and emulates the things that her mother does. The child recognizes that her mother gains her strength, wisdom and understanding from God. The child learns that God’s words are truth. The child learns to honor her mom because her mom honors God.
The cycle of learning to cling – teaching by example:
Proverbs 20:7 The righteous child walks in the integrity as taught by her mother.
Psalm 37:26 The righteous child learns to be merciful because her mother is merciful.
Psalm 112:2 The child learns to fear the Lord and delight in HIS word because her mother fears the Lord and delights in HIS word.
Blessed is the Child Who Clings to Christ
The older child pulls away from her mother and clings to Christ because that has been modeled by her mother.
The mom teaches by example and the child learns:
|Verse||Blessing for the child who Clings to Christ||What the child has learned|
|Psalm 1:2||Blessed is the child whose delight in the law of the Lord||To delight in God’s Word|
|Psalm 2:12||Blessed is the child who puts her trust in the Lord||To trust in the Lord|
|Psalm 32:1||Blessed is the child whose sins are forgiven||To seek and receive forgiveness|
|Psalm 37:23||Blessed is the child whose steps are ordered by the Lord||To allow the Lord to lead their lives|
|Psalm 37:24||Blessed is the child who delights in the ways of the Lord||To walk in God’s ways|
|Psalm 84:4||Blessed is the child who abides in the Lord||To abide in Christ|
|Psalm 94:12||Blessed is the child whom the Lord instructs and teaches||To allow the Lord to instruct and teach|
|Psalm 106:3||Blessed is the child who keeps justice and who does the right thing||To seek integrity|
|Psalm 112:1||Blessed is the child who fears the Lord||Honor, love and respect|
|Psalm 119:2||Blessed is the child who seeks the Lord with her whole heart||To seek the Lord|
|Psalm 146:5||Blessed is the child whose hope is in the Lord, her God.||To trust in the Lord|
|Proverbs 3:13||Blessed is the child who finds God’s wisdom and understanding||That wisdom and understanding come from God|
|Proverbs 29:15||Blessed is the child who understands discipline||To be teachable, humble, correctable|
Blessed is the Child Who Clings to Christ
The older child pulls away from her mother and clings to Christ because that has been modeled by her mother.
The mom teaches by example and the child learns:
|Verse||Blessing for the child who clings to Christ||What the child has learned|
|Isaiah 30:18||Blessed is the child who waits on the Lord||To wait on God’s timing|
|Job 5:17||Blessed is the child whom God corrects||To receive correction with gratitude|
|Luke 2:51||Blessed is the child who understands the purpose of life||A life of purpose|
|James 1:12||Blessed is the child who perseveres||That all things are possible with God.|
The cycle continues as the child grows:
Their children (your grandchildren) will arise and call them blessed. They will be honored. The blessings of their obedience will be passed down to their children. Their faith in God will be passed down to their children. The inheritance they will leave for their children will be a spiritual inheritance.
And they will leave an inheritance for their children:
Proverbs 20:7 The righteous adult walks in their integrity; their children are blessed after them.
Psalm 37:26 The righteous adult is ever merciful and their descendants are blessed.
Psalm 112:2 Blessed is the adult who fears the Lord and delights in HIS word. Their descendants will be mighty on earth, their generation will be blessed.
Blessed is the Mother who Clings
Recently I was in Texas to get a good dose of the grandchildren. It’s been a long time since I’ve had small children in the house, so the dynamics of having children all around brought back memories of exhaustion, laughter, and lack of solitude. One morning I was in the bathroom trying to get dressed for the day. About every two minutes there was a knock at the door, “Grammy, will you throw the football with me?” Then another, “Grammy, will you play hide and seek with me and the big rubber ball?” Oh, the sweet voices of a 6 year old grandson and a 5 year old granddaughter, competing for my attention behind closed doors.
When I finally opened the door, there stood three children. My six year old grandson holding a football, my five year old granddaughter holding a big rubber ball, and my one year old grandson holding a balloon. Immediately I was bombarded with, “will you throw the football with me?”, “will you play hide and seek with me and the big rubber ball?” and “balloon!”
Then I quickly remembered the part of motherhood that involves clinging children. Clinging to the legs, the purse, the apron. Never letting go, always holding on, always needing something.
My daughter recently read an article that stated the lives of children between the ages of birth and six years old revolve around their mother – the mother is the center of their universe. Around the age of six, the child begins to pull away from their mother and become more self-sufficient. So around the age of six, the child stops clinging to their mother and needs something else to cling to. Ponder that.
Recently I was asked to lead a devotional for a baby shower. The Lord gave me the verse from Proverbs 31:28, which says, “Her children arise and call her blessed.” I responded, “Oh Lord, not Proverbs 31. No woman can live up to those standards”, to which the Lord replied, “I didn’t say Proverbs 31. I said Proverbs 31:28, “Her children arise and call her blessed.” I then understood that the devotional was about the spiritual role of mothers in the lives of their children.
I contemplated what this verse really meant in terms of mothering. “Her children arise and call her blessed.” The dictionary defines blessed as held in reverence, respected. I reworded the verse to say, “As her children grow, they will respect and revere their mother.”
But how do we know how to raise our children? How do we know what is right and what is wrong? And if we mess up, how do we know not to throw in the towel? Where do our wisdom, strength and perseverance come from? Being a mom is the hardest job in the world. How do we know that we are doing it right? Are there blessings from God available to us as we raise our children? I began researching scripture to find the answers. The verses usually said, “Blessed is the man”, but I know that in God’s terms, He is referring to humanity, so I took the liberty of inserting MOM in place of MAN. Look at these verses:
“Blessed is the mom whose delight is in the law of the Lord.”
“Blessed is the mom who puts her trust in the Lord.”
“Blessed is the mom whose sins are forgiven.”
“Blessed is the mom whose steps are ordered by the Lord.”
“Blessed is the mom who treasures the lives of her children”
“Blessed is the mom who perseveres”
“Blessed is the mom who disciplines with consistency”
I remembered how children under the age of six watch everything that we do and learn from our example. These young children cling to us for life, sustenance and direction. As moms, we cling to the Lord for life, sustenance and direction. As the child clings to our leg, we cling to the Lord’s leg, so the child is benefitting from our clinging to the Lord because she is a direct recipient of the Lord’s teachings – coming through us! Picture it – the Lord leads the way, the mom clings to HIS leg, and the child clings to her leg. As the Lord leads, the mom follows the Lord and the child follows the mom. As long as the mom continues to follow the Lord and cling to Him, she will not be led astray. Same for the child; as long as the child clings to the mom who is clinging to the Lord, the child learns the ways of the Lord.
As the child clings to the mom who is clinging to the Lord, look at those same verses,
“Blessed is the child whose mom’s delight is in the law of the Lord”, for the child will learn to enjoy reading and studying God’s Word.
“Blessed is the child whose mom puts her trust in the Lord”, for the child will learn that the Lord is trustworthy and faithful.
“Blessed is the child whose mom’s sins are forgiven”, for she will learn about God’s grace and mercy.
“Blessed is the child whose mom’s steps are ordered by the Lord”, for the child will learn to yield their life and direction to the Lord’s guidance.
“Blessed is the child whose mom treasures the life of her child”, for the child will be raised with love, correction, guidance, wisdom and understanding.
“Blessed is the child whose mom perseveres”, for the child will learn to press on through tough situations and lessons, never giving up.
“Blessed is the child whose mom disciplines with consistency”, for the child will learn that there is a difference between right and wrong and God’s ways are best.
What about when the child reaches age six and releases her clinginess from her mother and tries to find her own way? Because she has learned by example, she will loosen the grip from her mother and tighten her grip on God. Now look at these same scriptures in that context:
- “Blessed is the child whose delight is in the law of the Lord.”
- “Blessed is the child who puts her trust in the Lord”.
- “Blessed is the child whose sins are forgiven.”
- “Blessed is the child whose steps are ordered by the Lord.”
- “Blessed is the child who treasures her own life.”
- “Blessed is the child who perseveres.”
- “Blessed is the child who receives discipline and teaching.”
The beauty of living for Christ is handed down through all generations. The Bible says
- “The righteous mom walks in her integrity; her children are blessed after her.”
- “The righteous mom is ever merciful and her descendants are blessed.”
- “Blessed is the mom who fears the Lord and delights in His word. Her descendants will be mighty on earth, her generation will be blessed.”
What mom doesn’t want her children and grandchildren and generations to come to be blessed by God? When you live your life according to God’s Word, your children will indeed arise and call you blessed. They will honor and respect you. The blessings of your obedience will be passed down to your children. Your faith in God will be passed down to your children. The inheritance you leave for your children will be a spiritual inheritance.
You ask, “what if I can’t do all of these things listed above?” Be encouraged; your life is lived out day by day, step by step. Ask God for His wisdom, understanding, strength and help; HE will lead you in being the best mom ever for your children.
CLING TO JESUS. Cling to His legs, His words, His ways. Never let go, always hold on, and always bring your needs to Him. Everything that you do for your children is recognized and emulated; choose to walk with the Lord and to live by HIS word so that the lives of your children will be impacted and blessed for generations to come.
Be blessed, be encouraged. Be clingy.
Mary E. Hamrick
I received some feedback from the last blog and realized that I needed to re-interpret what I wrote.
No dying going on here. I feel great–thanks be to God! What I was trying to say is this: I am rejoining the living. No separate food or feeling like I am left out of life because I am so limited in my diet. I am continuing to do no sugar and almost no grains but I am eating meat (preferably organic and pastured) plus some other foods that I have stayed away from. So that is the simple and practical translation of my last entry.
In my experience, there are phases of dealing with life after cancer or life with chronic cancer. The first phase is shock and horror. A big red C is constantly hanging in front of your face. This is the adjustment phase.
The next phase involves finding and pursuing your chosen path in reaction to the cancer–medical, nutritional, spiritual, any combination of these or remaining status quo. This is the proactive phase.
Finally comes the acceptance phase. Ultimately control is not in my hands. God numbers my days. I am sure that my choices affect what happens to me, however even with all of my efforts I cannot be in the driver’s seat. I have finally come to the place where I can relax and say as Esther did in the Bible, ”If I perish, I perish.” I am rejoining life instead of clinging to it. It feels good.
Again, things in my life conspired together to bring me to a point of understanding something: Loving God equals time with God. A friend challenged me to start spending 1 hour a day with God. How crazy hard this has been and there is no reason for that. I am not an encumbered person.
In this process of spending time with God, there was a lesson that there is no right or wrong way to do it. Even if I dozed off but was truly seeking the presence of God, I was blessed. I did find that God gave me a variety of ways to “talk and listen” to Him. However, I am also discovering that these may be individual. Each person may need to find his own methods of communication.
Just in case any of these methods are helpful, I will include them, for my time with God has evolved from my initial snoozing, then to one-way prayers, and finally to true communication.
In the beginning, I began to write out on index cards verses that struck me as prayers, promises, or personal needs from the Bible. These I put into the “I ” format and prayed back to God as coming from me. Also, I asked Him for what he wanted me to pray. At a suggestion from a friend, I started 2-way journaling. I poured out the concerns of my heart in a journal and listened for his response. then journaled what I thought He said.
The upshot of these prayers is that my heart has become even more concerned for the lost. These prayers have become my most important, as I finally understand that they are most urgent to God. My prayers are mostly for those that I love to know Him, but I pray lists for others’ loved ones also. These prayers were somewhat dull and repetitive so I began to bring these loved ones to the throne room in my prayers. I pictured either carrying them or taking them by the hand to the throne room of Jesus.
Interestingly. this process took on a life of its own. It seemed that God showed me pictures of what will be or could be as I prayed. One loved one resisted as I tried to take him to Jesus. I began bringing him and his wife as far as I could into the light that was coming out of the throne room, understanding that they were not ready for the encounter with Jesus yet. Their hearts had to be softened by His light and love before they could come into that holy room. Another, whom I viewed as an atheist, surprised me by going right into the throne room and going down on one knee. Since the onset of these prayers, the people in them have not stayed static–postures differ, expressions changes, and the distance from the throne seems to vary daily. I don’t see this a prophecy necessarily, more as God’s view of where each of these people has the potential to be. I take this as direction on how to pray to add my efforts to His drawing each of theses loved ones unto him. This has become the most important thing in my life.
The second thing that conspired to help my love of God is this– a sermon by Skye Jethani, http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/but-now-i-see/id363665348?i=97046494, yesterday that seemed to reinforce my understanding of loving God. We love God by hanging with him.
TIME equals LOVE. A hurried time with God, a mandatory Bible time, and some arrow prayers to God show Him that we are fitting Him into the periphery of our lives. We cannot be Christians in order to use God to control our lives or to deal with our fears. We cannot use our prayers to ask him to make our existence as we desire it to be.
We must seek God as our ultimate gift. He is what we seek; he is our goal. He is our answer — our pearl of great price. He is our security, our rest, and our deliverance. We don’t need Him just to make our lives better – we need Him to be our life. He is our great snuggler. He fills those deepest longings with Himself. He loves us, and there is no substitute in appropriating this love besides TIME with Him. Absorb Him! Know Him! Worship Him! Luxuriate in Him! He is there waiting for you.
“And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God who are called according to his purpose.” Rom. 8:28
We all love this verse, right? But do we really have any idea what it means? Certainly, I did not. In my mind, I translated the word “purpose” into “purposes”. As in, God has different purposes which are custom fit to each of us–or perhaps customized to different stages of our lives. The standard Christian response for our purpose here as Christians from the Westminster Shorter Catechism is this–”Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever”. In practical terms, what does that mean?
As a result of a challenge from a good friend to spend significant, good quality time with God in order to grow true communication and a better relationship, I have started spending bigger chunks of time with God. This has been such an adventure for me. The conversations seem a little more like true communication. Instead of my chattering incessantly to God, I am more clearly hearing some things.
Romans 8:28 is an example. Just reading it correctly, instead of rewriting it in my mind, was a good start for improved hearing. Also, I feel like I understand a more complete and practical explanation for our purpose from this verse: ”And I, if I am lifted up from the earth will draw all men to myself.” Jn 12:32.
My understanding of this verse was that when Jesus was lifted up on the cross in crucifixion, he paid for our sin as the perfect and sinless God-man. He did this to enable sinful humans once again to have a relationship with the triune God (like Adam and Eve did in the garden of Eden before they rebelled). Jesus lived his life with his focus upon this one purpose.
At this present time, I think this is the same purpose that God speaks about in Rom 8:28. We are to lift up Jesus over and over so that he can draw men unto him. We are to speak of the wonderful things he has done for us personally, we are to talk about who he is, and we are to bring others in prayer to him so that he can draw their hearts unto his heart. This is a purpose that I can understand. It does glorify God and it does enable us to enjoy him starting now, in this present moment.
It was brought to my attention that I may be giving the impression of saying “Don’t listen to your doctor and don’t do traditional treatment.” Sorry if I gave that impression– I firmly believe in using all the weapons available for the battle.
Chemo scares the fool out of me. That said, if the chances were good that it would cure my cancer, I would do it in spite of my trepidation. It has never been offered as an option for me. At this point, chemo does not effectively treat follicular lymphoma, it merely beats it back somewhat to extend life for a period. As far as radiation, I did have radiation just as my doctor recommended. If I could go back, I would change that to having an immediate mastectomy without any radiation. At the time, I did not know that was another medically recommended option. Plus hindsight is 20/ 20. One can always say: should have, would have, could have. There is no need for regrets when you are walking with God even if it seems you made a wrong decision.
So to those of you who are faced with decisions–I say don’t think traditional vs. alternative. Think what does God tell you to do? Ask him every step of the way, then don’t look back with regrets. Most of my decisions were made after asking God, and He has never let me down. There is not a formulaic answer in choosing your path except in this one thing–consult and trust God.
It seems to me though, that however one achieves healing through traditional medicine, alternative medicine, or an outright miracle, something needs to change. Disease in your body seems to me a warning sign that you are not doing proper temple maintenance. That is what this blog addresses, in addition to healing of the soul and spirit.
The other advice I would give to those going through cancer plus to their loved ones is this: do your research and be your own advocate. There are many choices along the way and the best intentioned medical people do not have time to educate in all of those options. Once you know your options plus know the disease you are facing, you know better how to pray and how to choose.
If you or a loved one are facing cancer here is a great verse to mediate on: Isaiah 45:3 I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
Healing seems to be a natural thing, something built right into our bodies. Yet, I have come to feel that all healing is miraculous–we just need eyes to see and ears to hear the truth of that.
Healing of our spirit and soul was also built into the original design plan. We were designed to forgive and let bitterness be washed out immediately. Never were we meant to harbor hard feelings or to carry the baggage of not forgiving. Before sin came to dwell in us and around us, it was man’s nature to live in love.
Often when a crippled mind or heart (or sometimes even body) shows up, there is unforgiveness involved. Knowing that seemingly unforgivable things happen, things which break my heart when I hear of them, I still know that healthy living only comes with true forgiveness.
So what is true forgiveness? When I think of an example of forgiveness, I often think of my parents. When it came to their children, they never failed to give complete forgiveness. When I did selfish, childish, dumb things and told Mom or Dad I was sorry, never would I hear of my action again. Actually, I believe my infraction was wiped from their memory. This is the type of forgiveness God gives to his children in the Bible. As far as the east is from the west, that is how far a repentant sinner’s wrongs are removed from him. (East and West never meet, so this is an unfathomably huge separation.)
Is it possible for us to exhibit that kind of forgiveness? Maybe to our children, with God’s help. But it is always there in our memory, right? I am convinced that there is a secret here that needs exploration. When we are not healed in body, mind and spirit, is it because the dregs of unforgiveness remain? Do we still tell others about our hurts? Do we go in circles by repeating our judging then falling into our same old sinful patterns? Could this repetitive pattern be because we are not following in the example of God in letting repented sin be removed as far as the east is from the west from those who hurt us?
All this said, what was natural in Eden is supernatural now, since we dwell in enemy occupied territory (life with sin). There is no true forgiveness without the blood of the lamb. Forgiveness at this point in time involves our choice, asking for God’s help, and receiving God’s gift. Is it possible to view someone who has hurt you as so clean that their sins are as far from them as the east is from the west? Yes, with God all things are possible. If you want a healthy soul, spirit and body, dig into this mystery with the help of Jesus.
1 You may be saying, “What terrible people you have been talking about!” But you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you do these very same things. 2 And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things. 3 Do you think that God will judge and condemn others for doing them and not judge you when you do them, too? 4 Don’t you realize how kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Or don’t you care? Can’t you see how kind he has been in giving you time to turn from your sin?
THE UNCRITICAL TEMPER (from Oswald Chambers–My Utmost for His Highest
Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Jesus says regarding judging – Don’t. The average Christian is the
most penetratingly critical individual. Criticism is a part of the
ordinary faculty of man; but in the spiritual domain nothing is
accomplished by criticism. The effect of criticism is a dividing up
of the powers of the one criticized; the Holy Ghost is the only One
in the true position to criticize, He alone is able to show what is
wrong without hurting and wounding. It is impossible to enter into
communion with God when you are in a critical temper; it makes you
hard and vindictive and cruel, and leaves you with the flattering
unction that you are a superior person. Jesus says, as a disciple
cultivate the uncritical temper. It is not done once and for all.
Beware of anything that puts you in the superior person’s place.
There is no getting away from the penetration of Jesus. If I see the
mote in your eye, it means I have a beam in my own. Every wrong thing
that I see in you, God locates in me. Every time I judge, I condemn
myself (see Romans 2:17-20). Stop having a measuring rod for other
people. There is always one fact more in every man’s case about which
we know nothing. The first thing God does is to give us a spiritual
spring-cleaning; there is no possibility of pride left in a man after
that. I have never met the man I could despair of after discerning
what lies in me apart from the grace of God.
For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and
with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you
This statement is not a haphazard guess, it is an eternal law of God.
Whatever judgment you give, it is measured to you again. There is a
difference between retaliation and retribution. Jesus says that the
basis of life is retribution – “with what measure ye mete, it shall
be measured to you again.” If you have been shrewd in finding out the
defects in others, remember that will be exactly the measure given to
you. Life serves back in the coin you pay. This law works from God’s
throne downwards (cf. Psalm 18:25-26).
Romans 2 applies it in a still more definite way, and says that the
one who criticizes another is guilty of the very same thing. God
looks not only at the act, He looks at the possibility. We do not
believe the statements of the Bible to begin with. For instance, do
we believe this statement, that the things we criticize in others we
are guilty of ourselves? The reason we see hypocrisy and fraud and
unreality in others is because they are all in our own hearts. The
great characteristic of a saint is humility – Yes, all those things
and other evils would have been manifested in me but for the grace of
God, therefore I have no right to judge.
Jesus says – “Judge not, that ye be not judged” if you do judge, it
will be measured to you exactly as you have judged. Who of us would
dare to stand before God and say – “My God, judge me as I have judged
my fellow men?” We have judged our fellow men as sinners; if God
should judge us like that we would be in hell. God judges us through
the marvellous Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Our little bird friend, Sweetie had two babies. She named them Slurpy and Chirpy. Slurpy was totally about eating. Chirpy loved to chirp.
When these babies were tiny and just developing their feathers, they chirped because they were hungry, cold, or because they wanted Mom or Dad to snuggle them. Once Chirpy became a little older, he noticed that birds chirped for other reasons. He started questioning his mom about it.
“Why are those birds singing? Why does that bird sing that song while that other bird sings a different song? Why is some bird song pretty and other times it sounds harsh or ugly?”
His mom patiently answered his questions, ” That bird is singing because it is happy. That other bird is singing to get that girl bird’s attention. Each type of bird sings it’s own song. Birds have different types of songs for different reasons. Sometimes they sing pretty songs, and sometimes they send warnings or scoldings which sounds harsh.”
Chirpy kept observing, questioning and learning until one morning he made a big discovery. He woke up really early–even before the sun was up. As the sun’s rays warmed the morning air, he heard the first bird start a lone song. Then others began to sing also until there was a symphony of song. Even his mother and dad were singing along. They sang with all their heart in a way Chirpy had never heard before.
When the chorus of song faded to silence, Chirpy asked his parents, “What was that beautiful music and how come I never heard it before?”
“That was the Hallelujah Chorus. You have been asleep every morning before this, just like Slurpy is now,” Chirpy’s dad answered.
“Wow, that was the most beautiful thing I have ever heard. How does each bird know what to sing, when to sing, and when to stop?”
“Chirpy,” his dad answered, “I want you to listen to your heart and try to hear the answers to those questions. Those answers are there inside of you. What is your heart telling you right now about this bird orchestra?”
“It tells me that I want to be part of this. It tells me that I want to lead it.”
“Listen a little harder, Chirpy. I think you will hear much more that that,” said his dad.
Chirpy was so eager to be part of this chorus and to lead this chorus that he was up the next morning long before the sun peeked over the horizon. He wanted to be the first bird singing.
So he started, “Chirp, chirp, chirp,” he sang. Silence echoed after his first attempt.
Chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp, CHIRP, CHIRP, CHIRP!” Chirpy got louder and more insistent.
“Chirpy, what are you doing?” his mom asked grumpily.
“I am leading the Hallelujah Chorus,” exclaimed Chirpy happily.
“Son,” his dad said, gently drawing him under his wing, “That is not the way it is done. You must listen to the chorus director. ”
“The chorus director? Who is that? “
“You know Him, Chirpy. He made you. He speaks to you in your heart. You just have to listen.”
The next morning, Chirpy woke up again very early. But instead of chirping, he listened and listened and listened. He listened when the chorus started and all the way through the end. He listened for the chorus master to speak to him. He never heard it.
“What happened Mom? I did not hear him tell me when to sing?”
“Chirpy, you have to listen with the ears of your heart. It won’t be loud, it will just be a little nudge or a whisper that you hear inside of you.”
The next morning Chirpy listened again. He thought he felt a little nudge inside his heart to start singing in the middle of all the bird song so he sang his heart out. But he was disappointed because he wanted to start all the birds in their singing.
Many days followed with Chirpy joining in the middle of the music as the little whisper in his heart told him. But he was still confused. ”Mom, why do we all sing like this in the morning?”
“Oh, son, I thought you knew. We sing to glorify the Director. He is our creator and we want to worship him in the first moments of our day. We sing to tell all the world how wonderful he is.”
The next morning, Chirpy woke up extra early. He felt excitement welling up inside. Something special was going to happen, he knew it. He waited in the quiet and dark and listened to his creator. Suddenly in the silence, he heard that wonderful whisper in his heart. ”Sing, Chirpy. Sing with everything you have.”
So, Chirpy did. With all the joy that rose up inside, Chirpy made music and started the chorus of birdsong. It was the desire of his heart and he knew that it was a morning he would never forget. It was the morning that he started the Hallelujah Chorus.
My sweet husband let me know that I have been mis-communicating big time in my blog and in personal conversations. This entry is an effort to correct those miscommunications.
My belief is that God and God alone is healing me (0r has healed me). The diets that I have tried, and all the things that I have changed in my life are an effort to do better temple maintenance–they are not what I am relying upon for healing.
It seems when you have a chronic disease, like cancer, it is often a statement that you were not following the owner’s manual in doing proper temple maintenance. In the case of humans, the owner’s manual is the Bible. All of my experiments and delving for information have been simply to find those pieces of the puzzle to fit together in order to get a better picture of how to take care of my body.
In the course of my investigation, I have read what the Bible says about nutrition. And I have explored many other expositions on this subject. Many of you who personally know me, may chuckle over my many forays into trying different diets.
This is the subject for another and much more in depth blog. Believe it or not, I feel like I have benefitted greatly from those diet trials in the sense of getting a big picture view and making a workable healthy temple maintenance program. I will summarize and review that in depth in another entry.
In this entry, I just want to say–to God be the glory. The last CT scan showed that the lymphoma is receding and I believe, God since then may have completely healed me. It is God alone who deserves all honor and credit. Amen!