It’s a War – Prepare for Battle {8.31.16}

If you remember 9/11, you know that many people sought God after those horrible attacks on our soil. Sadly though, many turned away as it seemed our nation was “back to normal” so to speak. Well, it’s not back to normal. Look around. Turn on the news. Read the paper. We don’t have to look far to realize that we are in the middle of a war. There are battles all around us – in our homes, our neighborhoods, our communities. Though the fighting is much fiercer in our nation than ever before, war is nothing new. It’s been going on since the Garden of Eden. What we often fail to realize is the war is not between ethnic groups. It is not between classes. It is not a fight between the law makers, law breakers, law enforcers or law abiders. It is not between special interest groups. The war is between good and evil, God and Satan. We know that in the end, GOD WINS and Satan loses. But, we must still fight the daily battle here on earth. Satan is a liar and deceiver. He wants us to believe that our enemy is flesh and blood (our neighbor). We are all so worried about “self” sometimes that our vision is clouded and we don’t really see or care about others. Satan tempts us to evil and then by our own fleshly desires, we head down that path of us versus them, our way is the only right way. Don’t give in to that temptation.

Matthew 5:44 “But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

God created us all equal, all formed in His likeness, wonderfully made and perfectly formed for His glory and purposes. It is a spiritual battle. It is here and it is fierce. We must prepare to fight and win!

The thing about war is – we must choose sides.

We are either for God or against Him. We can’t sit on the fence or bury our heads in the sand any longer. The “silent majority” in America has been silent too long!  We woke up from our slumber and realized things were not what they had been, not what we wanted. It’s time to take a stand and kneel in prayer.

In war we must also prepare for battle.

We can’t just jump in and do something. We can’t just start shouting ideas that we have not thought completely through, let alone prayed about. We must prepare. God has provided the weapons we need (the armor of God) in Ephesians 6:10-18. He tells us to be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.the whole armor of god.png It’s not us against them, it is good against evil. It’s not the people we are fighting, it is the spirit behind their words and actions.

If you have seen the movie “War Room”, you have seen a battle fought and won by the power of prayer. Prayer isn’t just a way to change a circumstance, it changes us in the process. Whether we know it or not, sometimes our attitudes need a little adjusting. God can help us with that as we seek a relationship with Him through faith in Jesus, prayer, and reading His Word. There is a reason God tells us to pray for each other (friends and enemies). Prayer is powerful. In prayer, we invite God into the situation and surrender to His will and His way. Be persistent in prayer. I’ve seen prayers answered that frankly I had almost given up hope on – you just never know when or how God will answer but He Always Does! It’s been my experience that’s it’s usually just in the nick of time.

Mark 14:38 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

So…whose team are you on? Are you preparing for battle? Are you fighting the war on your knees?

Romans 2:6-11 “God will give to each person according to what he has done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism.”

A Funny Thing Happened on a trip to Mt. Rushmore {8.26.16}

Gravity. It’s a good thing. It keeps us all from flying off the earth. It does, however, sometimes bring unwanted surprises. I have had multiple encounters with birds and gravity. Need I say more? The first time was years ago. We had just installed a swimming pool and it was filling with water. I thought it was a good chance to get some sun so I was laying in the shallow end while the deep end was filling. All of a sudden I thought I was hit with a baseball. Right color, wrong thing. UGH!  Thankfully I was already near water. I have never washed anything off so fast in my life. Fast forward and for a few years in a row on vacations in Florida. I can’t remember how many times I had the same experience. It became a joke – on me! For some reason though, I was the only one targeted. Thankfully the messy attack always landed on exposed skin and not in my hair or on my clothes. Still – NOT FUN! GROSS, to say the least! I’m telling you – my family took great risks in being near me out in the open. You would think these were freak accidents but then I remember a story my Mom told me about when she was a teenager. She was walking to town with a girlfriend. She had a scarf on her head (thankfully) and was targeted by a bird. YUCK. But, she could at least take the scarf off and continue on her way. But, that was not the end of the story. On their way back home, YEP – you guessed it. She got it again!  Only this time – no scarf. I’m beginning to think it runs in the family. I sure hope it doesn’t happen to our daughter!  So far so good where she’s concerned.

I tell this story to lead up to what happened this past week when we traveled to Mt. Rushmore. What an incredible thing to see. If you haven’t been there and get a chance – GO! You will not regret it. Anyway, we had viewed the monument but took the path closer and underneath following a Park Ranger. Pete (my husband) had moved a bit ahead and I was still listening to her speak when all of a sudden something hit me in the face. It felt like a rock. It certainly made a loud sound because women who were standing in front of me turned around to see what had happened. I could not figure it out at first. I didn’t see any rocks and there wasn’t anyone behind me. Finally when I looked down, there it was – the culprit. A pinecone. Now this was not the kind of pinecones we have in our backyard. I guess the Ponderosa pines up there grow them differently. It had sharp points on all the edges. It hit me right between my right eye and ear on my temple. It was red right away and had scratches that were welts. By the next morning, they had scabs. Real Pretty. I wonder what people thought when we went out to eat. The good news is that it’s better now – 5 days later. Pete said, “If it’s not a bird, it’s a squirrel attacking you.” We laughed but I had to wonder – WHAT NEXT?!

Well, the next day, we went hiking (and panning for gold – that’s another story). While Pete was panning, I was walking the very narrow path down by the creek and taking a lot of pictures. I looked down and about 5 inches in front of my foot, a snake slithered across the path. I stopped dead in my tracks. Thankfully it was a harmless snake but we had been warned that the rattlesnakes were really heavy there this year. Just what I wanted to hear! I was told that the good news is – all the hospitals are stocked with anti-venom. If we just knew where the hospitals were. I thought I was well prepared for this trip but unexpected things always seem to happen.

Don’t get the wrong impression – we had a very wonderful trip and hope to go back again. Many blessings, laughs, and good times. All the people we met on our trip were friendly and helpful. But I am considering…do I need to carry an umbrella and wear steel toed boots from now on?  I have to tell you that the only thing I want to see coming at me from the sky is Jesus when he returns for His children. Count me in on that trip! I’m prepared. Are you?

Luke 17:24 “For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other.”

Matthew 24:31 “And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.”

Going for the Gold {8.15.16}

Are you caught up in the Olympics? I am! What a blessing to have the ability to record events even when I’m not at home to watch. Some things about new technology are pretty fantastic (as long as you still have young people around to help when you have questions – thanks kids). Anyway, back to the topic at hand. OLYMPICS!!!! gold medalI am not an athlete by any stretch of the imagination. The closest I ever got was twirling a baton (which I loved). But, every athlete needs someone at home cheering them on and encouraging them. That’s where I come in. I so much appreciate not only the gifts and talents of these incredible athletes but the strict training and commitments involved in making their dreams come true. [Just a side note of cheering for my son Kyle who has become quite an athlete himself in triathlons and iron man competitions – way to go! You deserve a gold medal in my book.]

1 Corinthians 9:25 “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” olympic training schedule

While Olympics and any kind of competition is fun, we are all in another kind of race. It’s not a competition between each other but together, we can all win the ultimate price. How about that? We don’t even have to be athletes in the Olympic sense! We can still win!!!!

Philippians 3:14 “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Check this out:

  • Our entrance fee has been paid and there is no need for a sponsor. JESUS PAID IT ALL ON THE CROSS
  • We have a coach that NEVER leaves us and always guides us into truth. THE HOLY SPIRIT LIVING IN US
  • And after our race is finished and we go home, THE FATHER IS WAITING FOR US WITH LOVING ARMS

And…we have a new home. You can read all the details in Revelation 21. Here is our “gold” at the end of our race:street of gold

Revelation 21:21 “The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass.”

If you have not yet selected a team for the race of live, I urge you to do it now. We never know how many more events we have before the race for us ends.

Romans 10:9 “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved.”

Hallelujah!  Our “GOLD” is waiting for us. Let’s run the race with perseverance and stay on track, not looking to the left or right. The road is narrow but it is straight and we can’t get lost if we keep our eye on the prize.

Go Team USA! GO TEAM GOD!!!!