Thursday, November 14, 2013


 I have a hard time keeping my house clean. It isn't that I don't try, but my house, as long as there are kids, cats, and projects, will never be spotless.Sometimes I leave the house, and then come back, and when I walk through the door, there will be a strong, really bad odor, like something is rotten.

Why didn't I smell it before? And where is it coming from? I'll spray room freshener to try to help, and it might a little, but I still have to find the stench. I will start a search that doesn't stop until I find the stinky culprit. It is often a bag of potatoes that has turned bad, or garbage that didn't get taken out when I asked somebody to do it, or the garbage disposal needing a little attention. Once it was Andy's coat. He had gone fishing, and stuck a bag of raw shrimp in his coat pocket and forgotten about it....and set it next to the heater where it remained for a couple of days. THAT WAS DISGUSTING.

Sometimes our life, or for those of us involved with a church, will go through this, too. Something becomes rotten, and we don't realize it at first, because we are around it so much that we just get used to it. Maybe it is an attitude, a way of doing things, a relationship, or a situation that needs to be addressed, but nothing is addressed or dealt with. Sometimes it is something that we used a lot or found useful or beneficial in some way, but didn't to take care of it, so it began to stink. Sometimes it requires stepping back or removing ourselves from the situation in order to realize something stinks.

Just recognizing that something has gone bad, does not fix it. We could end up spending years knowing something stinks but we don't know what exactly it is. If you don't figure out what is rotten, where it is, and remove it or clean it up, guess what? The smell ain't gonna get any better! It is going to spread, and continue rotting.

We might try to cover it up for a while, and it may fool some people, but the stink is still there. It will get to a point where we think we are fooling others with our sweet smelling sprays and candles, but we are only fooling ourselves. The foulness is still there. We have to seek it out. Identify it. Remove it or clean it up. This might mean removing a habit from your life, something that has become an idol or obsession, a relationship, or like in a church, a way of thinking, a common attitude or viewpoint, or a person causing harm in the position in which they have been placed.

Sometimes  we are so used to the stink that we don't realize it is there and it requires somebody else telling us about it. This requires being open to accountability to someone else. We all need this, because none of us are perfect and we have our blind spots. We need someone to come alongside us and show us what we have missed, that really needs our attention, and others need that from us.

Looking for stink isn't something that we have to deal with just once in our lives. It must be a regular habit. Things get overlooked or neglected and will become a problem. We have to be aware of what can possibly turn bad and deal with it as soon as we recognize it. Or better yet, deal with it before it goes bad.

So I ask, what stinks in your life? And what are you going to do about it? "Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind." Psalm 26:2 "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." Psalm 51:10

The Lord Told Me...

Jeremiah 23:25-40

 Be careful what you say is what the Lord says. God takes His Word very seriously, and so should we. We can cause major damage to a person's life if we declare a message from the Lord when it is really just us, whether the message we proclaim is good or bad. Use wisdom and really know the voice of the Lord before speaking in His name.
 25 “I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, ‘I had a dream! I had a dream!’ 26 How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds? 27 They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forget my name, just as their fathers forgot my name through Baal worship. 28 Let the prophet who has a dream tell his dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?” declares the LORD. 29 “Is not my word like fire,” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?
 30 “Therefore,” declares the LORD, “I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me. 31 Yes,” declares the LORD, “I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, ‘The LORD declares.’ 32 Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares the LORD. “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,” declares the LORD.

 33 “When these people, or a prophet or a priest, ask you, ‘What is the oracle[d] of the LORD?’ say to them, ‘What oracle?[e] I will forsake you, declares the LORD.’ 34 If a prophet or a priest or anyone else claims, ‘This is the oracle of the LORD,’ I will punish that man and his household. 35 This is what each of you keeps on saying to his friend or relative: ‘What is the LORD’s answer?’ or ‘What has the LORD spoken?’ 36 But you must not mention ‘the oracle of the LORD’ again, because every man’s own word becomes his oracle and so you distort the words of the living God, the LORD Almighty, our God. 37 This is what you keep saying to a prophet: ‘What is the LORD’s answer to you?’ or ‘What has the LORD spoken?’ 38 Although you claim, ‘This is the oracle of the LORD,’ this is what the LORD says: You used the words, ‘This is the oracle of the LORD,’ even though I told you that you must not claim, ‘This is the oracle of the LORD.’ 39 Therefore, I will surely forget you and cast you out of my presence along with the city I gave to you and your fathers. 40 I will bring upon you everlasting disgrace—everlasting shame that will not be forgotten.”

Desiring Supernatural Power from God

Word of warning to Christians:
You should not covet the ability to perform signs and wonders. Instead, you should live in obedience to God, preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all, and reaching out a hand to help those in need. Those lusting over miraculous power and abilities are no better than Simon the sorcerer, who sought to purchase the power that Peter had through God. Do not get caught up in coveting powers that are God's alone to decide who uses and who does not.

"But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.

But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.

Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the LORD for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me." (Acts 8:9-24).

 God's power cannot be purchased or taught to conjure up. Beware those who teach or train how to achieve possession of God's power to perform signs and wonders. It is a first step to witchcraft (witchcraft essentially is trying to control something that you do not have the power or authority to control). It is up to God alone to decide who will have the power to perform miracles. God decides who will receive which spiritual gifts. We can't manipulate God into giving us a particular gift.  No book purchased, seminar attended, or church service will teach you how to achieve the power of God. Do not be deceived. God will not give miraculous powers to those who are not living in obedience and are not ready to forsake all to follow him. He will not bestow power upon those who desire to use it for their own personal desires. God's powers are not used to bring glory or fame to ourselves. God's power is only used to glorify HIM and bring others to a saving knowledge of Jesus.
Do you want to perform signs and wonders? Why? What purpose do you want to achieve? And what price are you willing to pay? Those who do work in the true power of God and with miracles know that they will pay the price with their life. They will be forsaken by family, ridiculed, beat up to the point of death or maiming, imprisoned, and killed. Are you ready for that? Are you really? Following God in this radical way is not easy. Make sure you are ready  because he won't give this gifting to those who are not willing to follow him not only to death, but to forsaking life as we know it. If you are not ready for this, don't expect miracles to follow you.
Mat 16:4b (NIV) "A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign." People don't preach this scripture too often....because Christians are always looking for miraculous signs. I tell you these signs are not for strengthening a believer's faith...Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. We are to live by faith, not relying on miracles but living in obedience to God whether or not we see anything exciting. The signs are for those who do not believe, because they are not living in faith. They are to show the world "God is here. God loves you!"
If you desire to manifest miraculous power, you need to check your heart and your priorities. It has become more important to you than obedience to God. Align yourself with God's will. Humble yourself, and get right with God. Don't worry or obsess about obtaining power. If you are truly living for Christ and putting Him before your own agenda, then if you are ever in a situation where miraculous power is needed, GOD will decide when and where it will be used, and it will bring HIM glory, not money, fame, and popularity to you.

The Mark of a True, Maturing Christian

One of the marks of a Christian is the desire to help others. Because Christ has changed the believer's heart, given him a new nature, and resides in him by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, that believer longs to see Christ and His character put on display through himself, craves to see hurting people helped, and yearns to see broken people transformed into whole, healed, children of God. The Christian's supreme need is to see Christ glorified.

With Christ being the spiritual life source of a Christian, the fruit produced by a Christian should be love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.

How do you react to someone in need? Do you yearn to help, or do you look the other way? Do you assume that the one in need is a user looking for a handout, selfish, a whiner or having a pity party, or do you look for an opportunity to show the compassion of Christ? Does Christ work through you, or do you get in His way? How you react will show you what's inside of you.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Stormtrooper Dream

 I dreamed I was standing across the street from Kicks on Main St. looking up at the second level. There were a bunch of Imperial Storm Troopers with laser guns in their hands. Then a bunch of storm troopers lined up in front of the store.A crowd watched them, and we weren't sure if it was a joke, of if their guns were real. They pointed at the crowd as if going to fire on them. It was intense for a moment. Should we run? Some 80's rock started playing and they took their lasers and played air guitar on them like they were in a rock band.

Omniscience, Omnipresence, and Satan

Satan and his minions are not all-powerful, all-knowing, or all-present. Only God has these qualities. However, Satan does seek to counterfeit these qualities to deceive us into thinking he is like God.
Is it possible for Satan know what is in your mind? Can he read your thoughts? Are thoughts spiritual communication? When you pray, aren't you thinking thoughts to God? If so, and Satan is a spiritual being, can he hear or recognize that spiritual communication? Can Satan plant thoughts in your mind, or does he guide you to think certain thoughts? 
 God created angels with high intelligence. Satan is an angel, albeit a fallen one. Angels are so intelligent, that frankly humanity's greatest genius appears mentally retarded next to them. Satan hates that his authority and position as worshiper have been lost to a bunch of retarded beings. 
If Satan was originally given dominion over the earth, then he does know the intricacies of keeping it "in tune" so to speak. He knows not only spiritual and musical matters but also physical. He is very observant.He doesn't need to peer into your mind to know what you are actually thinking. He has studied human nature since Adam was first created. That's a long time to study human nature. If a hot looking woman walks by, he can tell if your temperature or pulse rise. If you lie, he sees your eyes dilate. He can listen to the subtleties in your voice. He notices how you react to things. Gathering all this information, he can deduce what makes you tick, and what your weak spots are. If man can study this in a small lifetime and use this information, think about one who has studied it over millennia, how well he has mastered it.
Guard yourself. Guard your thoughts, actions and your words. 
If Satan is so intelligent, then why did he revolt against God in the first place? For some reason he really thought he could pull off  overthrowing God. I don't know why he would think that and convince a third of the angels as well, but the fact remains that he really thought he could do it. He gave himself over to a reprobate mind, wilfully believing a lie. His pride in himself made him think he was bigger and better than he was. Did his pride and reprobate mind make him less intelligent? No. But it did blind him to certain things. That blindness in him also in some ways serves to protect us. Or maybe God just shields some things from his knowledge to protect us, such as, Satan pushes and he just keeps pushing and he takes it too far, so far that we decide after a while, that we are not going to put up with him any longer, so we go to God and fight back. If Satan wasn't blind, he would know to back off for a while and not push us into the protection of God. 
Knowing this about him, I would warn you not to make "warfare trash talk" about him. It does nothing but bring you down below the level that God wants us to operate at. It shows that we are relying on something in ourselves to show him up. God doesn't want any trash talk. He wants us to understand that any power to overcome Satan does not come from anything we do ourselves. It doesn't come from our intellect, or our mega spirituality. It doesn't come from following any formulas or rituals. It only comes from being covered by the blood of Jesus Christ, meaning, we must accept Jesus as our savior for that protection. We do not have power over Satan. Only God does. Living in obedience to God, knowing the truth in his Word, and trusting him for everything, is what we need to do to protect ourselves against Satan.

Just pretty fairies?

There is a lot of artwork by current-day artists, with the subject of fairies. I noticed this a while back as I was looking through some artwork that a teenage girl that I know, had printed off the internet. This girl was really into fairies, and I noticed that in every single piece of work---we are talking dozens of pictures---there was a crescent moon---either in the background or as a piece of jewelry or other accessory.It made me think that this cannot be coincidence. All these different fairy artists are including a crescent moon---why? 

I asked a friend who had been involved in Wicca, and this is what she knew:
Fairies (faeries) are magical beings that are part of Celtic folklore. They are pieces of the goddess' spirit (pagan counterfeit of the Holy Spirit). Christians have a cross as a spiritual symbol; the crescent moon is the pagans' symbol. It is a symbol of the maiden part of the goddess (the goddess being three parts: Maiden, Mother and Crone, another counterfeit). The crescent moon points to the right as the maiden; the full moon is the mother, and the crescent pointing left is the crone. 

Fairies were part of mother nature and took part in bringing about the seasons, and in paganism they are the counterfeit for angels. 

Very interesting, don't you think? We should be aware of this as we look at pictures of fairies. The fairies may seem innocent and beautiful, but as an artist myself, I know that nothing is unintentional in the composition of a piece of art. The moon wasn't put into each fairy composition just because it looked good. The artist has done their research into the origin of the Faerie, and they know what they are doing. That the artist is involved in paganism is a strong possibility.
 Oh, be careful little eyes what you see...