I Choose Hope!

 

Hope

When you look around today, as a Christian, it’s difficult to not lose hope.  It’s easy to get discouraged.  The states of our world, nation, state, and even our families are dismal at best.  We are living in a time when things seem totally out of control.  Hate, intolerance, and offense are words heard daily and usually aimed at us.  People have different ways of dealing with all that is going on.  Some people rant and rave, but put no action to their words.  Other people placate and try to be the devil’s advocate.  Yet, still others bury their heads in the sand and hope that when they come up for air it will all be better.  To tell you the truth, I’ve spent time in all of these camps at one time or another.  If we don’t directly feel the effects of those things around us, it’s easy to let someone else fight the battle or deny the battle even needs fought.

At the beginning of every year, for several years now, I’ve taken the month of January to do some soul searching.  This year is no different.  I like to look at the upcoming year, set some goals and get back in physical and spiritual shape after the chaos of the holidays.  People may attack the New Year in different ways, but for me fasting and prayer seems a good way to start.  So as I was lying in bed praying and thinking on all the negative things swirling around me, the Lord was gracious.  He put some new thoughts in my head about the situations we seem to be facing.

So this year, I choose hope.

Let me explain.  It is really easy to get wrapped up in all that is wrong in our world; both locally and globally.  It’s human nature to gravitate to the negative.  Any news outlets or social media sites are filled with all that is wrong.  What we as Christians often fail to remember, and what the Lord so graciously reminded me of, is in Nehemiah 8:10, “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is our strength.”  It may look as if we are losing the battle, and honestly, I think we are, but there is hope.  Our God is still on the throne.  Jesus is still sitting at His right hand.  Nothing that is happening here on earth surprises them.  Oh, I do think it saddens them, but They know all things.  There is nothing new under the sun.  They are sovereign and They know the entire plan.  So, I find peace and rest in that.

I also draw hope from those Christians around me that I see doing great things.  I draw hope from the mother of four, who for the last 13 years has selflessly fought on the front lines for religious freedom.  Even in the midst of constant criticism and attacks, she presses on.  I draw hope from a loyal friend who is fighting tirelessly for the unborn, even in the midst of naysayers who tell her it can’t be done.  I draw hope from a small country church whose numbers are dwindling, yet when given the opportunity to sign a petition for religious freedom, nearly every person signed.  I find hope in a county councilman who believes in our county and that we can make America great again by building from the ground up, starting at the county level, building on Biblical principles.  I find hope in that I still live in a school district that is not ashamed to speak the Word of God or sing songs about Jesus in their Christmas program.  I find hope in my children, who see what is going on in the world and can look at things through untainted eyes and clearly know right from wrong.  I draw hope from those who are in seemingly impossible circumstances, yet by the grace of God press on.  God chooses the most unlikely and seemingly under qualified to do great things for Him.  So, I have Hope!

I don’t know what this year will bring to our world, our nation, our state or in my family.  In my plan, the way I would like to see things go; there would be lots of changes for the good.  Luckily for all of us, I’m not in charge, because I would mess it up!  But I know Who is in control and He’s got this!  He’s got all of it, down to the smallest detail.  I plan to do my part.  He does not call us to be spectators.  Actually, the part He has called me to do scares me to death, but I am resting in the fact that in my obedience, He is in control and He will get the glory. I found this verse today and it seemed so fitting.

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.  We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure.  We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.”  Hebrews 6:10-12

We do not labor in vain.  God sees our efforts.  Our rewards here on earth may be few, as a matter of fact, they may seem like a curse at the time, but I look forward to our eternal rewards which can never be taken.

I have a feeling that this year will be nothing like I expect or want, but I’m going to try to be ok with that.  I know who holds the future and He holds me in the palm of His hand.  We may not win the battles here on earth, but I know Who wins the war!  He is coming soon to take us home, where we will stand in victory.  So, no matter what this year brings, I choose HOPE.

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord.  Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.”  1 Peter 3:15-16

By living in the strength of the joy of the Lord, I hope that I can share that HOPE with others.  What about you, friend?  Joy and Hope aren’t just for Christmas.  I think it’s time we show the world where our Joy and our Hope come from-JESUS!  Will you choose HOPE, too?

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Choosing Hope!

Where Were You When They Took Our Freedom?

Where were you

Are you a Christian?  I don’t mean the “Ya, I believe in God” or the “Ya, I go to church” Christian.  I mean a true, Bible believing, I live my life for Christ and I stand on His promises-type Christian.  I want to know…where are the Christians?  If you are a true Christian, do you feel it?  Do you feel the shift in the atmosphere?   Do you feel the shift in society, our state, our nation and our world?  Do you feel the great divide that is happening?  I do!  With all of my being I feel it!  And as I talk to other true believers, they feel it too.  It’s scary and it’s invigorating.  Some days it’s downright discouraging and other days it fills me with hope and expectation.

In Matthew 25:31-46, it talks about the final judgment when the Son of Man comes to judge the inhabitants of this world.

Verses 32 and 33 say, “Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on his left.”

I know these verses are talking about the end of times, but I’m seeing evidence of this happening right now.  All you have to do is look around, pay attention and you can see that our world is spinning out of control.  The news is filled with stories of wars both abroad and at home.  Some of those wars are taking place right in our homes.  Especially here in America, this once great nation, founded on the principles of the Bible, is crumbling at the foundation.  Where once the Bible was the ultimate authority on everything; laws, rulings, marriage, and life; now it’s the voice that screams the loudest, no matter how wrong they are.  It is these things that are being debated that are now separating the sheep from the goats.

It is not my place to judge how you stand on the issue of religious freedom, marriage, abortion, refugees, war, education, taxes, and the list goes on.  It is God’s place to judge where you stand on them.  His Word is very clear.  There are no mistakes, it is infallible.  There is no room for new translations that skew the Truth to be what you want it to be.  Personally, this is where I base my judgment.  It’s not my opinion, it’s God’s Truth, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s the final Word.  There’s no room for compromise.  And here is where we separate the sheep from the goats.

Again, I ask…where are the Christians?  There is a remnant.  I talk to some of them almost daily.  There are still those who see the crisis of this world and are willing to stand against the tide and not just apathetically sit in the church pews on Sunday.  I think people have the wrong view of Christ in the Bible.  I think they see Him as passive and weak.  He was anything but!  If you look real closely, Jesus picked His battles.  The only battles He backed away from were personal attacks.  He did not feel the need to defend Who He was, but what He did defend was His Father, the principles for which the Father sent Him to earth and the people who could not defend themselves.  Therefore, I believe we must do the same.  We must fight for the things of the Father, which are written in His Word and for those who can’t defend themselves.  It’s not a fight of hate.  Jesus offended a lot of people, not out of hate, but out of love.

My daughter asked me the other day, “My friend wants to know, if we are Christians, aren’t we supposed to love everyone.  And if so, what’s the big deal about baking a cake?”  I love that she is asking that question.  Jesus often answered questions with a question, so I did the same.  “If you were doing something that was wrong, bad for you, or was causing you injury, would you want me to support you in doing that and or help you stop?  For instance, if I knew you were having sex with your boyfriend (which we do not support, based on our Biblical beliefs), would it be right for me to invite him over and send you both to your bedroom?”  Of course her answer was, “NO!”  This is my point exactly.  We continued to talk about how I give her limits and step in and say “no” when she is doing things she shouldn’t because I love her.

We love people, therefore we don’t participate in things that support or condone destructive, sinful behavior.  It’s really that simple.

A time has come where the sheep and goats are being separated.  There’s no longer time for lukewarm Christianity.  There’s no longer time for pew sitting when the doors are open at the church and living as the world the rest of the week.  There used to be a saying, “Get off the porch or stay home.”  My sentiment is “get out of the pew or stay home!”  I’m not saying that going to church is bad, please hear me.  We need to continue to gather together for love and support and to hear the Word of God.  What I’m saying is… if that is all you are doing, what good are you for the Kingdom?  Maybe that sounds harsh, but the lost are not coming into the church buildings.  The battles for the foundations of our nation, built on the Word of God are not being fought in the pews.  The battle for the lives of the unborn and now the incapacitated won’t be won by sitting in the four walls of a church.

It’s time for Christians to go to the battle front.  The time for apathy and ignorance is over.  It is far too costly.  It’s cost us prayer in schools, it’s cost the lives of millions of unborn babies, it has cost the sanctity of marriage, it has cost the Word of God being taken from the halls of government.  Should I go on?  Right now, it’s costing us religious freedom.  What does that look like?  It means that Christian business owners lose their businesses, our daughters are subjected to boys in their locker room showers and bathrooms, Christians in political offices are removed from their positions or arrested, Christian agencies are forced to go against their Christian beliefs or close, and again, the list goes on.  We can’t fight these battles from the pews.

God has given us the authority to trample on snakes and scorpions(Luke 10:19), not hide in the pews.  Why are we not using it???

“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?” -Romans 8:31

Please Christians…wake up!  Stand up!  Suit up with the armor of God!  The battle is raging on all fronts.  The battle cry has been sounded!  Where are the Christian soldiers?  Where are the prayer warriors?  Where are the children of God who are willing to stand on the Word of God and not back down?  We need YOU!  I need YOU!  There is power in unity of the body.  This battle is not about you and me.  It’s about the generation we are raising and the generations to come.  If we lose these battles, these children will grow up in a very different world than we did.  They will not be able to live out their faith in the public square, they will not be able to stand up for their faith without persecution, and their rights will be stripped before they ever even had them.

When they ask, “Where were you when they took our freedom?” what will you say?

I see evidence daily that Christ is coming soon.  My very being longs for His return, but if He should tarry, my heart breaks for the world that will be left, if we don’t act now.  Souls are at stake.  Our time is short; we must be living out our faith in real practical ways, not cowering in the pews until His return.  How will He find you?  If you say you are a Christian, yet you don’t see the urgency, might I suggest you may be a sheep following the wrong shepherd?  If that’s not the case…you may just be a goat!

Following His Lead,

“Go to Hell, In the Name of Jesus!”

victory mountain

This past weekend, I was blessed to serve on a women’s spiritual retreat.  I attended this retreat 13 years ago and it was life changing for me.  Unfortunately, I was under the delusion that this was the end of my spiritual troubles.  I truly believed that I had left my baggage at the foot of the cross and now Satan had to leave me alone.  I had experienced God in such real and amazing ways that weekend and being young in my faith, expected smooth sailing once leaving that mountain top.  Little did I know that my enemy knew where I had been and was waiting to pull the rug out from under me, when I least expected it.  Over the years I’ve found that after mountain top experiences, often come the lowest valleys.

This weekend, as we were in the chapel, I was praying for the ladies that were experiencing this weekend for the first time.  I was praying for them to really let go and let God have control of their lives.  I was praying for release of those things that were hindering their walk with Christ.  During that time of prayer, I was reminded of the struggles I had when I returned home from my weekend all those years ago.  I had returned unwarned and totally unprepared to deal with the attacks of the enemy.

So, as I sat and prayed, I felt impressed by the Spirit to share the reminder and give a warning to those leaving this weekend on a spiritual high.  I wasn’t quite sure who the message was intended for, so I shared it with the girl sitting beside me.  She agreed and said she had experienced that before as well.  After the service, I mentioned my thoughts to the pastors.  To which one replied, “So when do you want to share about it?  God gave the message to you, not me.”  I was not expecting to share with everyone, I was simply asking if it was going to be addressed before the weekend concluded.  Next thing I knew they were lining up a time for me to share the thoughts that the Spirit had impressed upon me.  It would be the following morning.

That night, long after everyone else was in bed, I was praying and writing the words the Spirit laid upon my heart.  I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to turn out, but figured if the Spirit spoke, I should listen and obey.  The next morning, when the time came I was shaking from head to toe, totally scared out of my mind, but confident that God was in control.  As I began to speak, the Spirit took over.  This is the message He gave me…maybe not word for word, but something like this.

“Ladies, we have had an amazing weekend thus far.  I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve spent the weekend in the lap of Jesus, my Savior.  We have be truly blessed.  We serve a wonderful God and this weekend, I believe we have walked on Holy ground.  There is still more to come, but soon we must leave this sacred place.  We will leave this cocoon and return to our worlds.  I don’t know what you are returning home to.  You may be returning to family, friends, work, school… life, but we are also returning to the adversary of our Lord.  Trust me…he knows where you’ve been.  He knows what you have done and he’s not happy about it.  He knows what you’ve learned and the power you have been given, but I guarantee he is banking on you not using it.

1 Peter 5:8 says, “Stay alert!  Watch out for your great enemy, the devil.  He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.  Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.”

There is power in knowing our enemy.  He knows us, he knows our weaknesses and he will exploit them.  But guess what girls…our God is bigger!  He’s greater and He wins!!!  And the same power He used to raise Jesus from the dead is in us!!!

In Luke 10, Jesus and his disciples had been traveling and spreading the gospel.  He appointed 72 other disciples to go two by two ahead of Him into every town and place he was about to go.  In verses 17-20 it says, ‘The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”  He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.  I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.  However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

Girls, He’s given us the authority to trample on snakes and scorpions.  Use it!  When Satan brings up your old junk that you dealt with here and left at the feet of Jesus…Use it!  When Satan stirs up dissention in your marriage and family…Use It!!  When Satan tries to steal your joy, ’cause you know he will…Use It!!  Get ready for the battle ladies.  It will come.  He loves to try to knock us off the top of that mountain.  Some of my biggest trials, temptations, and personal defeats have come shortly after a mountain top experience, such as a BWOC weekend.

But when that time comes and Satan tries to do what he does best…you have the authority to get all up in his business and in the name of Jesus tell him, “Get out of my house!  Get out of my marriage!  Get out of my job and get out of my head!!!  I am the daughter of The King!  Your time is short and I know the end of the story!  MY GOD WINS!!!!”

And all God’s people said, “Amen!”

You may not have just returned from a spiritual retreat or been on a mountain top experience, but our enemy is the same.  He comes only to steal, kill and destroy.  You too have the power and the authority to tell him where to go.  Use it!  Don’t let him steal your joy.  Our God is greater!  It’s high time we as Christians and children of The King, stop living in defeat!  It’s time to tell Satan to “Go to hell, in the Name of Jesus!”  The battle has already been won!  Praise Jesus!  Let’s start living victorious!!

Living in Victory,

Warning! Are You Ready for September?

Today’s blog will be different…

Today’s blog is difficult for me to write…

Today’s blog is difficult to read…

Today’s blog is a warning…

But please hear me out…

cross

 

Last Saturday, I had a conversation with a friend about what was to transpire in September.  Some of you may be aware of the events that are set to take place next month, but some of you may not.  It piqued my interest and forced me to do some digging and research.  After a week of investigation, I want to share some of my findings, but I challenge you to do some exploring of your own.  The resources are endless.  I have included some links, but there are many more out there.

 

In our lifetime, there has never been a series of events that are historically, scientifically, and biblically connected like the events that are set to unfold in September of 2015.

Biblical/Historical Significance:

September 13, 2015 is the once every-seven-years biblical day of reckoning on the Jewish calendar when all debts and credits are wiped clean. “Shemitah as it is called, is the Sabbatical year, which occurs every seventh year.  Shemitah is “Shabbat” (the Sabbath) for the land of Israel; the land “rests” in a fashion, similar to the way the Jewish people rest every seventh day (Leviticus 25:4).”

While observing Shemitah guarantees abundant produce, neglecting it leads to judgment.  Jeremiah foretold that the Jewish people would be exiled for not keeping Shemitah by not allowing the land to rest (Jeremiah 17:4).  When the Jewish people violated the law of Shemitah, God exiled them for seventy years until the land “enjoyed her Sabbaths” (2 Chronicles 36:19-21).

Jewish tradition teaches that exile is the penalty for the three cardinal sins of murder, idolatry, and sexual immorality, and for neglecting to keep the laws of Shemitah!  Our country is guilty on all accounts.  On the last two final days of Shemitah, the exact same biblical “day of remission,” which is Elul 29 on the Hebrew calendar, there have been record stock market collapses.  Our stock market is currently on a path leading to another collapse of historical proportions, along with numerous other countries’ markets around the world.

2001 was a Shemitah year.  There was the dot com crash of 2001. On September 11, 2001, we were attacked on American soil by terrorists.  When the stock market reopened on 9/17/01 it lost 684 points in one day.

2008 was a Shemitah year.  On September 29, 2008, the stock market collapsed 777 points after nearly a year of economic collapse.

Jonathan Cahn Message of the Shemitah

September 28, 2015 is also the appearance of the final of the Four Blood Moons that align with the Feasts of the Lord within this century. There have been three Tetrads, or series of four consecutive Blood Moons with a total solar eclipse occurring somewhere in the sequence, that are tied to Jewish history.  Each time the four Blood Moons appeared on the exact days of Passover and Feast of Tabernacles on the consecutive years.

 

The first Tetrad of Blood Moons was in 1493-94.

In 1492, the Jews were banished from Spain when they refused to convert to Catholicism.  Christopher Columbus sailed to America and found a safe place for the Jews.  “The expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 was a world-changing moment.  The mantle of prosperity was lifted from Spain and placed upon the shoulders of an infant nation that would become the United States of America.  God almighty used the Four Blood Moons of 1493-94 as a heavenly billboard to mankind.”

 

The second Tetrad of Blood Moons was 1949-1950.

In 1948, Israel was once again declared a nation.  The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people, so this was a truly significant time for Israel and the Jews.  The first permanent Israeli government took office on January 25, 1949.  During the next several months, several truce agreements were signed and the borders were established.  It was during this time that the second series of Blood Moons occurred.

 

The third Tetrad occurred from 1967-68.

After years of wars, following their statehood, things came to a head in 1967 when the Arab nations united to come against Israel.  In the Six-Day War that ensued, Israel was blessed by the hand of God and after a series of miraculous triumphs, they won the war.  Jerusalem was finally reunited with the Jewish people for the first time in nearly nineteen hundred years.

 

We are currently in the midst of the fourth Tetrad of Blood moons occurring from 2014-15, with the final Blood Moon appearing on September 28th.

  1. Passover, April 15, 2014
  2. Feast of Tabernacles, October 8, 2014
  3. Passover, April 4, 2015
  4. Feast of Tabernacles, September 28, 2015

John Hagee-Four Blood Moons

The Jewish Jubilee year starts on Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement, which begins September 23rd at sundown into September 24th.  A Jubilee year historically means blessing for those who are humble and repentant and are seeking to hear and obey the Holy Spirit, but is also judgment for those who are unrepentant for their sins.  A Jubilee year happens at the end of seven sets of seven years or every 49 years, with the last beginning in 1967, the year of the Six-Day War, making 2015 the start of the next Jubilee year.

Jubilee Year 2015

Current Events:

September 17th is the deadline for Congress to approve the Iranian nuclear deal.

September 23rd Pope Francis, the 266th pope, is to meet with President Obama, on the 266th day of the year.

September 24th the Pope will address a joint session of Congress.

September 25th The Pope will be the keynote speaker at the UN in New York.  He is expected to endorse the UN’s new global agenda titled “Transforming Our World: 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”  The Pope has already called for a global government to fight climate change and poverty.

I must admit, I don’t know exactly what all this means, but I do know that it is a warning. Why?  Because, historically God has given warnings to His people before the coming of a great trial or disaster.  He also says we will not know the day or the hour of His return, but we are to watch for the signs (Matt. 24:33,36).  I’m not saying that Christ is returning in September and I’m not saying He is not.  Even the Son does not know.  What I am saying is these are the facts.  I don’t think it is by accident that He is lining things up in this way or that He is revealing it to so many.  I believe we may be headed into a time of great trials.  There is no end to the possibilities of the repercussions of these events that are about to take place.  We could see terrorist attacks, natural disasters, economic collapse, or all of the above…or we could see Christ in the clouds calling His children home. Either way, the message is this…all that matters is where you stand with Jesus Christ.

Look UP

JESUS IS THE ONLY ANSWER AND THE ONLY SALVATION!

No matter what September brings…Christ is coming…soon! So Look Up!  I’m ready!  Are you?