He Reigns!

Monday, July 31, 2017

The End Times, The Rapture, & The Tribulation

Pastor Irvin Baxter's associate & son-in-law, Dave Robbins explains Revelation & Daniel's 70 weeks.
Common Rapture Misconceptions

September 23, 2017: Signs In The Sky?

There has been a lot of hype about what's going to happen on September 23rd of this year when the constellations move into a certain pattern. These are rumors and are being used simply to promote certain blogs and basically, this is another Y2K.

It is not the sign of the Rapture. It is not a sign of the end of days. It is simply an occurrence in the constellations. This goes on all of the time. Our stars move, our planets move, the sun moves... this is a well-known fact that goes back thousands of years. Simply because some of the constellations move in a certain pattern hundreds of years apart, and this is the first time that we get to see them, does not mean it is the Great Day of the Lord.

Some are using Revelation 12:1-2 "And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth," as the basis for claiming that this is the Rapture. This verse is actually a picture if Israel with the 12 stars being the 12 tribes, and the woman giving birth to a man child is a picture of Messiah - Jesus coming out of Israel. 

If we take a look at Matthew 24:29-31, we read Jesus' words explaining when He will return. "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." 

Notice He says, "immediately after the tribulation." And we know the tribulation is seven years long with the last 3.5 years being the great tribulation. The first 3.5 years, Israel is protected but during the last 3.5 years we will all experience the horrible things to come. Christians will not be spared the tribulation until the last trumpet sounds and Christ returns. The we will meet Him in the air and be with Him forever

(1 Thessalonians 4:13-17).

There is simply not enough time for everything to occur biblically before September. Read the Bible, study under someone who knows more than I do and pray for God to reveal Himself to you. I suggest Irvin Baxter's Understanding The Endtimes. The videos are also available on YouTube.

You can watch Pastor Baxter explain about the above topic when I asked him on the air. September 23 about 13.5 minutes in.

Another excellent resource is Rabbi Schneider at Discovering The Jewish Jesus. Rabbi has some excellent videos on YouTube as well.

Friday, July 28, 2017


For I know the plans that I have in mind for you,” declares Adonai, “plans for shalom and not calamity—to give you a future and a hope.

~Jeremiah 29:11 (TLV)

A familiar verse that we all know and have probably used. But when life takes a hard left, do we believe God? Do we trust His word? Sometimes, it takes a little time and distance in order for us to see God's hand in our lives. Sometimes, the event causing the stress seems so big in our eyes, it's difficult to see that God can be anywhere around.

"Now we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28, TLV)."

With time and distance, we can see how God works in our lives. Even the things that threaten to destroy our faith, bodies, minds, health, families, and the very structure of our existance can be used to change and improve who we are.

I was born with a bone disease and by the age of 34, I was in a wheelchair. I couldn't walk more than a few steps because my left hip had disintegrated. Over the next two years, I had surgeries on both hips and after a year, I could walk on a walker, and then a cane. But I hated that year in a wheelchair. I hated being "disabled." I had five kids still at home and everyone's life changed when mine did. Of course, I felt sorry for myself. I also felt angry. My body had betrayed me, my life had stopped, or so I thought, and God had let me down. I had prayed for healing: I had been prayed for by countless people who had annointed me with oil and laid hands on me. God didn't heal me.

Didn't I even have faith the size of a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20)? I thought my faith was strong. I was an ordained minister; I'd been all over the country preaching in jails, prisons, churches, and biker clubs. I'd seen people healed, saved, and their lives changed, surely I had some measure of faith! So if God heard and answered my prayers for others, why not for my own body?

While in the wheelchair, with husband at work and kids in school, I was bored out of my mind. At that time, the state had some great college grants for people like me, so I enrolled. I had nothing particular in mind, so I took classes that interested me--water exercises, English literature, sign language, and I found a class on grief. Having lost our 16-year-old daughter a few years earlier, I was interested. Not only did that class rip my heart out over and over, it changed the course of my life. I went on to get a degree in counseling with specialty certifications in grief counseling and addiction. And some 25 years later, that certification list has grown as I continue my education to this day.

God took a situation that I hated, didn't understand, had left me in extreme pain and used it not only for my good, the good of others but also for His glory. Without that wheelchair, I wouldn't have gone to college when I did. I wouldn't have become a counselor. I wouldn't have worked in prisons, for probation and parole, I wouldn't have started groups for addicts, abused women, or grief support. My life, and hopefully, the lives of others, were changed because God had a plan for my future that I couldn't have imagined or seen with a telescope.

When we look at our life situations, we can only see the moment in front of us but when we look to God, we allow Him to intervene on a level that only He can imagine.

"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have shalom. In the world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world!” 
~John 16:33

©Marie McGaha 2017

No reproduction without author's permission

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

No Excuses

Romans 1:20-21 (TLV)
"His invisible attributes—His eternal power and His divine nature—have been clearly seen ever since the creation of the world, being understood through the things that have been made. So people are without excuse— for even though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. Instead, their thinking became futile, and their senseless hearts were made dark."

Have you ever noticed that people who say they don't believe in God are the first ones that use His name in vain, and they're also the first ones that want prayer when something goes wrong in life? I'm not talking about just atheists but all non-believers, or at least all of those who profess that they don't really believe in God.

We are made in God's image. All human beings are made in God's image. A God-shaped hole was placed inside of us when we were created and the only thing that is going to fill the God-shaped hole within us is God Himself. We all have a natural instinct to run to daddy when something goes wrong. As children we run to our Earthly fathers but as adults that need deep within us to run to our father was put there by God for us to run to Him.

All of creation, including us, know there is a God. We have to work really hard to avoid God and to avoid our belief that there is a God. I remember back in my younger days when I was trying to "find" myself and figure out things, I started practicing Wicca, which is mostly just a bunch of tree huggers who refuse to believe that God is God, and want to believe in Mother Earth and all of that kind of stuff that's really just purely stupid. It took physical work for me to believe in this Pagan practice of Wicca. It didn't give me any sense of fulfillment, it didn't give me any sense of worshipping something greater than I am; and isn't that what we're all looking for -- Something higher than we are, something greater than we are, some meaning to our existence? I didn't find it by burning candles, or waving a knife around, or looking up at the full moon.

Psalm 42:7 tells us that deep calls to deep, that is, the Spirit of God calls to our spirit because there are things that only the spirit can understand. There are things that only the spirit can relate to, and the only thing that our spirit can truly relate to is the Spirit of God.

He is the vine and we are the branches, apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5). So is it any wonder that so many lives are in disarray? Is there any wonder that the world is as upside down as it is today? We try so hard to do things on our own when we weren't created to do things on our own. We were created to do things through the power of God. When Adam and Eve were created in the Garden of Eden, they walked with God and talked with God on a regular basis. We were created in God's image to be a friend of God, to commune with God, to be part of the perfect world He created in the Garden of Eden. With that failing, God created the perfect Sacrifice so that we would not have to do things under our own power; so we would not have to follow the ruined nature of man. He sent Jesus Christ, the fleshly embodiment of God Himself, to be a pure sacrifice for us so that we could come back to the perfect relationship that was originally created in the Garden of Eden.

God simplified all of the Law and the Prophets so that we would not have to do anything under our own power, except confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and accept Him as our Lord and Savior. That's all we have to do and Jesus Christ does the rest. Anyone who does not do that is missing out on the most basic part of human nature and that is God within us. We fill that God-shaped hole with everything except God, and when it doesn't fit we move on to the next thing. But nothing is ever going to fill that void because God is the only One who can fill that void.

God came to Earth in the flesh of Jesus Christ to fill that void, to be the propitiation for our sins, to be everything that we cannot be on our own. He came as a sacrifice for our sins against Himself, to keep our very souls until the day that we are in Heaven with Him forever. He is not looking for perfect people, He is looking for faithful people.

©Marie McGaha 2017
No reproduction without author's permission

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

You're Gonna Die

1 Corinthians 15:41-44 (TLV)
"There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.
So also is the resurrection of the dead:
Sown in corruption, raised in incorruption!
Sown in dishonor, raised in glory!
Sown in weakness, raised in power!
Sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body!
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body."

Most people don't like to think about it, but we are all going to die. You are going to die, your mom is going to die, your children are going to die. When a loved one dies, even though we know death is a natural process and the end of life, we're never really ready for it to happen. Death is painful for us even if it's the death of a grandmother or grandfather who have lived out their lives and died at a ripe old age. Death is never easy for us to accept.

I have had a lot of deaths in my life. When I was 19 my first born son, Eric, died, and in 1992 my sixteen-year-old daughter Cassandra died. In between those years I lost grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles, and since then I have lost a husband and several grandchildren. Death is never easy and grief can be overwhelming. But we have to find our way through it and continue to live even in dark days when we don't want to. Life goes on whether we want it to or not.

As painful as death is when we lose a loved one, we can be comforted in the knowledge that if they were a Christian and loved the Lord, they are now in heaven. It is only through the grace of God and the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that we can get through this life, and especially get through the loss of life as we continue our walk each and every day.

Sometimes death makes absolutely no sense and we look for someone to blame. But when we are in Christ Jesus, we realize that there is no one to blame. Death is a fact of life and it is no respecter of persons. While the grief of losing a child is much different than the grief of losing a husband, which is much different than losing a grandparent or a parent, the sense of loss and the questions of why still remain. But when we are grounded in the word of God, we know that death is not the end because we know that our spirits live on, and while life on planet Earth may be over, life in heaven has just begun. We have the promises of the Bible that even though death comes to all, there is life in the Spirit and there is a reward for our faith in Jesus Christ. That reward is living forever in heaven, and the promise that we will see our loved ones again.

©Marie McGaha 2017
No reproduction without author's permission

Monday, July 24, 2017

Where's Your Focus?

Focus your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
~Colossians 3:2 (TLV)

Focus is everything. Our eyes focus depending on available light so we can see better. We have to stay focused at work in order to complete the daily tasks and keep the boss happy. We hear about staying focused in life from the time we start school. Stay focused and keep your eye on the prize whether it's graduating with a degree, getting a driver's license, or our dream car. Life is all about focus. So why do so many lives seem to fall off track?

The verse above explains it. We are to focus on the things above - the things of God through Jesus Christ rather than the things of this world. When we focus on Christ first, keeping His ways always in sight, we will have the "desires of (our) heart" (Psalm 37:4).

Too many people seek their own praise and glory instead of seeking God. Matthew 6:33 tells us to first seek God and His righteousness, and then everything else will be added to our lives.

Too many times we get bogged down in doing life on planet Earth that we forget about afterlife on planet Jesus. Our jobs, spouses, kids, friends, all can take our focus off Jesus and keep it on our mortal lives. Even our ministries can bog us down in the doing of them if we aren't taking time to be alone with the Lord and allow Him to both center us and be the center of us.

And finally, (sisters), "whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."
~Philippians 4:8

©Marie McGaha 2017
No reproduction without author's permission

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Devil Didn't Make You Do It

Now the deeds of the flesh are clear: sexual immorality, impurity, indecency, idolatry, witchcraft, hostility, strife, jealousy, rage, selfish ambition, dissension, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, just as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit God’s kingdom. ~Galatians 5:19-21 (TLV)

When I get a follow request on Instagram, I always check out the requesters posts to determine who that person is because we all know social media profiles can be deceptive.

One day I received a request from a young lady whose profile said she was a Christian and initially, her profile backed that up. However, the next time I saw a post from her, it's a video of her in bed, covered with a sheet over one leg, coming up over her belly and barely covering her chest. She writhed around under the sheet while telling viewers she wanted to be 'friends'. It looked like an ad for a porn site.

I messaged her and asked why she would disrespect herself and God by posting such a video while professing to be a Christian. We chatted back and forth and she agreed with me and removed the video.

A few weeks later she posted some other sexual pictures of herself and commented about drinking at the clubs, and picking up some guy. I messaged her again. This time her response was, "I'm only human and I sin. I'm not perfect but that's what God is for."

My responses were Scripture on sin, sinning, righteousness and Holiness. Her answers weren't rude but she was not happy and said I must be taking the verses out of context because there was no way we could be expected not to sin.

Funny how we can justify our lives to make what we are doing seem right in our own sight. Proverbs 14:12 says, 'there is a way that seems right to man but it's end is death.' Justifying our sin might make us feel better and it might make others nod in understanding but it still won't fly with God.

"Be holy for I am holy," is what God tell us in 1 Peter 1:16. God is perfect and even though we are not, He sent a perfect sacrifice to atone for our sins - Jesus Christ. It is through faith in HIM that we are justified, sanctified and made righteous but we must also work out our salvation with 'fear and trembling' (Philippians 2:12). Jesus said, Go and sin no more," (John 8:11) after saving the adultress from being stoned to death.

Colossians 3:5-6 tells us to put "to death" our earthly, or carnal, natures, which tells us we have control over those things. It's not the devil, demons, or any other outward influence that causes us to sin, it's our own sinful nature. But through the power of the Holy Spirit we have power over sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:57).

©Marie McGaha 2017
No reproduction without author's permission

Thursday, July 20, 2017

What Happened to Godly Marriages?

Proverbs 30:18-19 (TLV)
"Three things are too amazing for me, four I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a serpent upon a rock, the way of a ship in the heart of the sea, and the way of a man with a maiden."

This verse always makes me chuckle. Written so long ago, yet that last part is still true today. Do you remember how your husband acted before he was your husband? How it was between you those first glorious months of wedded bliss? We can all get a little silly when we first fall in love and all those endorphins and pheromones are zinging around inside of us. They don't call it 'crazy, stupid love' for nothing! But marriage is more than pheromones and romantic walks together. While those things are wonderful, a relationship with the opposite sex has to be founded on more than physical attraction. Yet we see marriages continually ending in divorce, even among Christians. The divorce rate is now 53% even among church-going Christians. What has happened to our marriages?

The Bible tells us a husband will "cleave unto his wife" (Genesis 2:24), and "the two shall become one" (Mark 10:8). A relationship nothing less than death can separate (Matthew 10:9). So how are so many Christians winding up divorced?

Of course there is no one single answer but a good clue is in the world around us - the less important Jesus becomes in our lives, the less we act like Him and the more we act like the world around us. The less important Christ is, the less important our lives and relationships become. The less we come to church, more of the world seeps into every area of our lives. Contrarily, when our focus is fully on our relationship with Jesus the less world we will see in our lives and relationships.

Our marriages were created as a triangle with God at the top point, and spouses at the other two points. Inside the triangle is everything else - home, kids, jobs, finances, friends etc. With spouses at the bottom points, you have no choice but to keep looking up.

©Marie McGaha 2017
No reproduction without author's permission

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Who Are You?

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female—for you are all one in Messiah Yeshua." ~Galatians 3:28 (TLV)

The Who sang, "Who are you? Who? I really wanna know. Who are you?" That is something we tend to to turn inward and question about ourselves from an early age. We spend our younger years trying to 'find' ourselves, acting one way or another, dressing this way or that, trying to belong, to be popular or cool, and hopefully, we figure out we are who we are and don't waste our entire lives being something else.

God made each of us individually for a reason. He has never looked for cookie cutter people, or cookie cutter Christians. He gave each of us a personality different from others, yet complimentary to others. He gave us different talents, likes, dislikes, etc but He intended each of us to use those talents to glorify Him and to help one another. But often, we can see the talents and wonders in others though not ourselves.

1 Peter 4:10 says, "As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of the many-sided grace of God."

Your gifts are the talents, abilities, desires to do something in particular. The fact that you may not have the resources to achieve what God has placed inside you to do doesn't mean it's impossible, for "all things are possible with God" (Matthew 19:26). Whatever God has begun within you, He will complete if you don't give up.

I have a friend, Sue, who had the desire to help women who were addicts. She wanted to open a residential facility that not only dealt with the addiction, but also taught women the fullness of the love of Jesus. She had no formal training and no resources to accomplish her goals but she had a vision she wouldn't let go of. Instead of focusing on what she didn't have, she focused on what she knew to be true - God brings to completion whatever He begins (Philippians 1:6).

Sue tackled one thing at a time. First, she enrolled in the local community college to get her degree in addiction studies, then she began seeking those who were like-minded and could help her toward her goal. And she continued in faith and prayer to believe God would complete the task. It didn't happen overnight and it wasn't always easy to get others to see her vision, but Sue persevered. Now, more than 25 years later, she is the founder of Streams of Living Waters in Humboldt County, California and has helped hundreds of women get clean and sober and to become the women of God they were created to be.

No matter your circumstances, there is a higher calling on your life. No matter who says you can't, God says you can. He has made you capable and stronger than you think you can be. He has equipped and empowered you to be a mighty woman of God who can change the lives of others.

©Marie McGaha 2017
No reproduction without author's permission

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Practice Patience

Ephesians 4:32 (TLV)
"Instead, be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving each other just as God in Messiah also forgave you."

The other day I was listening to my grandchildren having an argument over something and call each other names, and hurt each other's feelings, and then somebody started crying and came running to Nana. I sat them down to have a talk with them about the way they spoke to one another. I told them if I didn't know they were brother and sister and actually loved each other, I would think that they really hated being together. Megan told me that he was just a little brother who bothered her all of the time and she just couldn't stand it. Dax told me that she was a big sister who is always mean to him.

I began explaining to them the way Jesus says we should treat one another and how we should always love one another, and speak kindly, show kindness, and be gentle with one another. I asked if they talk to their friends like that, and they told me they were nice to their friends. I asked them why that was and they said because if they weren't nice to their friends, their friends wouldn't play with them.

And I got to thinking about how sometimes it is easier to be kind towards people we don't know and how it can sometimes be difficult to be kind towards the people we live with every day.

No one can aggravate me more than my husband. Sometimes I think he enjoys aggravating me and
does it on purpose!  We can get on one another's nerves once in awhile and sometimes we say harsh things that we don't really mean. In our frustration, the people closest to us are often the ones that see the worst side of us.

It's a terrible thing to think that we are kinder to strangers because we don't want them to see our bad side, the side we don't mind showing to our family every single day. But that isn't how God wants us to treat anyone especially not our families. Jesus was an example to each and everyone of us to be patient, kind, loving, generous, patient, patient, patient...

I get very impatient when I'm driving - people in other cars just seem to do that to me. So thinking about the verse above, I began this little habit of saying, 'practice patience, practice patience, practice patience,' until it makes me laugh and I can continue without feeling frustrated. So I started doing that when I feel frustrated with other people at home or wherever I might be. I want to practice patience in all things, but especially with the ones I love.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Be A Josiah

"Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses."
~2 Kings 23:25

Josiah's father was an evil king, as were most of his predecessors. They had ignored the word of God, they had allowed the people to build altars to false gods, and they had allowed the sacrificing of children to Molek to continue, as well as the worship of idols. Not only were the people doing this but the temple priests followed the same path. However, when Josiah read the Book of the Lord, he realized the sin going on in the country and put a stop to it. Josiah followed the Lord in a way no king since David had, and he led his people back to the Lord.

We are all like the children of Israel who turn our backs on the one true God, the Lord of Heaven and Earth, the one who created all things, and we follow the false gods of this world. Whatever Idols we follow whether it be money, our jobs, fame, success, or any of the other things that do not glorify God, the one true God, we are following false gods. That can also include our spouses and our children. Our families can become our Idols as well. Anything that we put before the Lord of the universe is a false god.

Getting our priorities straight is something we hear a lot about. But in a worldly way, getting our priorities straight is still not a Biblical view of priorities. Our priorities have to begin with Jesus Christ. He has to be first in our lives for everything else to fall into place. When Jesus Christ comes first in our lives and we put away all of our idols, then our lives begin to make sense in a way they never have before.

There are many things in this world that are upside down. Everything from religion to politics to personal lives to world views, are upside down. We look at the things going on in the world and shake our heads wondering how it came to this, but the truth is, it's always been like this. The only reason it seems worse now is because we have a wider view of the world than we ever had before. We have the technology that gives us a view completely around the world and that was something we never saw before. In the past,  we only heard the Nightly News that reported just the top points but glossed over the true tragedies of the world. The world today is quite literally the same way that it was when Josiah was king, we just have more toys.

The other thing that has not changed is God is still God. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever and He is still looking for the Josiahs of this world who will stand up for what is right, for what is true, who are willing to knock down the idols of this world, and proclaim the Living God, Jesus Christ is the only one worthy of our worship.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Purity & Modesty

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age ~Titus 2:11-12

Purity and modesty seem irrelevant in today's society. Both men & women wear less clothes in public than what was once worn in private. Appearing scantily clad or even nude in magazines and on TV is the norm for models & actors these days. And what performers are doing on stage these days would've gotten them arrested 50 years ago!

Our lives are inundated with a perverted idea of 'sexy', and our children are exposed to it from a very early age. But this idea of dressing and behaving in a way that entices and invites is not part of God's plan.

As people of God, we are to model decency, modesty, and purity in our lives, in dress and in actions. From the way we dress to the way we speak, we are to model Jesus for the world to see. After all, if we look like the world and talk like the world and act like the world, how will the world see Christianity as anything different than everything else in the world?

Unless there is true conversion of the heart, there cannot be conversion of life. We cannot be Christians by words only; Christianity involves our entire being. It is a complete change from our old lives into a brand new being, much like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly.

1 Peter 1:14 tells us "As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance..."

What message about Jesus does your life send to others? Does your speech glorify Him? Does your way of dress respect Him? Do your actions emulate Him?

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Sin of Cover-up

And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
~Hebrews 4:13

Recently, on 60 Second Scripture, I read from 2 Corinthians 5:10, "we must all appear before the Judgment seat of Christ so that everyone may receive what is due him for the things done in the body, whether good or evil."

This got me to thinking about our current passage in Hebrews. Everything we say, everything we do, everything in our hearts, every thought in our heads, is known to God; there is nothing that He does not see no matter how well we think we hide it.

Our nature is to hide from the truth. From the time we are small children if we are asked what we have done wrong, we will say 'nothing' and look guilty while trying to look at the ground or anywhere but up at our parents. We are the same way with God. We try to pretend that everything is alright in our life, but we cannot look at God and say we have done nothing wrong. We continue to try to hide things from childhood on through adulthood, either because we know what we have done is wrong, or because we are ashamed of what we have done, and because we really don't want others to see us for who we really are.

But God knows who we really are, after all, He created us. He knew us before we were formed in our mother's womb, He knows the beginning from the end, and whatever we are going to do in life, He has already seen.

Even in our Christian walk there are things that we like to hide from others, and from God. We don't want people to know how we act at home with our spouses, that we get angry and yell at them sometimes, or say things we shouldn't, or say hurtful things to our children. We don't want anyone to know those dirty parts of our lives that we try to pretend don't really exist. The problem with hiding those things is that eventually, they come to light for everyone to see. But mostly, God sees them as they occur, and in fact, God knows they're going to happen before we even open our mouths.

We see many accounts of this in the Bible from Jonah and the incident with the whale to King David when he had Bathsheba's husband sent into battle to die so he could cover up the affair he had with her.

We are a deceitful people. We want to run from God, we want to hide the truth, we like doing things in the dark so that no one knows or sees what we are doing; we like to whisper so no one can hear us; we like to say things behind people's backs; there truly is nothing good within us. At least not on our own.

If we go down a few verses in Hebrews, 5:16 says, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in the time of need."

There's a lot of sin in this world & we see it all around us. Every day on the news we see sin abounding, but I don't think there's a greater sin than the sin of cover up. We're trying to hide something that can't be hidden, at least not from God, and not even from others because eventually, our sin finds us out. So I ask you today to examine your heart to see if there's anything that you're trying to hide from God, and from others. If there is, confess your sin to God, confess the cover-up, ask Him to forgive you because He is gracious and full of mercy, and He will answer that prayer. He will forgive us anything. No matter how dark the deed may seem to us, it's already been seen by God and there's no reason not to ask Him to forgive us.

Don't let sin, or the sin of cover-up, rob you of your salvation because that's what it can do. Sin is like a sore, it festers up. It's like that flesh-eating disease, once it starts, it just multiplies and drags us farther from God.

God loves you so much. It's one of those kind of loves that here on Earth we think we can imagine it by thinking of how much we love our own children, but our love for our children doesn't even come close to the love that God has for us. So don't let yourself be separated from the love of God because you're caught up in the sin of cover-up. I pray in Jesus'' name that each and every one of us will bring all of our deeds to light, ask God to forgive us, and to continue forward, walking in the light and the love Jesus Christ, Amen.

Monday, July 10, 2017

At Just the Right Age

In the twenty-seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Azariah son of Amaziah king of Judah began to reign. He was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years.  ~2 Kings 15:1-2a

Age has nothing to do with your ability to serve God. Whether you are a kid or in your golden years, you can serve God. God is no respecter of persons, and He doesn't care what the calendar says. God only cares about your heart. God only cares if you have accepted His Son Jesus, and if you are willing to go where He leads you. You are never unable to serve God no matter your age. From the youngest child to the oldest person, there is still something living within you that can further the Kingdom of God.

At my church in Oklahoma there is the sweetest lady in the world who I love dearly, who came to the Lord and was baptized when she was 89 years old. What an amazing testament to the saving grace of God.

You are never too old to serve God, and you are never too young. God can use you wherever you are, no matter your age, no matter your physical abilities, those things mean nothing to the God we serve. All He is looking for is a willing heart, someone He can use, someone who will step out and speak the words given by the Holy Spirit.

God is not forceful. He will never make you do anything you don't want to do. God is looking for those of us who are willing, no matter what our backgrounds are, no matter our education, no matter our circumstances, God is able to use each and every one of us. But it is up to us.

One of my favorite verses is from Isaiah 6:8: And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”

In 1994 the Lord ask me that question and I said, "Yes Lord, send me." And He did and I've never regretted it. I continue to this day to go where the Lord sends me, to say what He wants me to say, and do what He wants me to do. And over those years I have suffered a lot of physical problems. I've had three hip surgeries, I've had a hysterectomy, I've had neck surgery and the list goes on with cataracts, arthritis... you name it, I seem to have it. But my physical being is of no consequence because all that matters to me is the Kingdom of God, and getting the word about Jesus Christ and salvation out because this world as we know it is coming to an end very soon. Jesus is coming back and people need to know what lies beyond that. Even if Jesus wasn't physically coming back, we are all going to die, we are all going to stand before our Lord and Maker. Everyone of us are going to have to answer for what we did on Earth, for the words of our mouth, for our actions, for everything that we have done. We are going to have to answer for that. But if we know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we don't have to worry about those things because they are forgiven, because the devil has no power over us, and even though he is our accuser before God, Jesus is our Victor. He is our advocate, the One who is on our side, and He is the One who is going to tell Satan to shut up and leave us alone. He's the One who's going to tell the Father that we belong to Him.

You are not too old. You're not too young. You are just right. And now is the right time to stand up and say, "Yes Lord, whatever you want, I will go for you."

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Everything Is All Right

"Run to meet her and ask her, ‘Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is your child all right?’”

“Everything is all right,” she said.
~ 2 Kings 4:26

This is the story of the Shunammite woman who was old when Elijah told her that she was going to give birth to a son and she did. When he was a child he died. The woman went to where Elijah was, and as the story turns out, Elijah did the same as his mentor Elijah had done, and laid across the boy and the boy came back to life.

I have lost a son, a daughter, and several grandchildren. There's nothing more difficult for a mother than to lose her child. No love is greater,  and no heartbreak is worse  for a woman but the Shunammite woman, who should have been in a panic, who should have been wailing, crying and grieving over her lost child did none of those things.

Instead, she went to the prophet who had told her she would have a son and when she was greeted and asked how everything was, she did not cry and say,  "My son is dead," she said,  "Everything is all right." It reminds me of David whose infant son died. (2 Samuel 12:16-23) He fasted and prayed while the son was sick but when the baby died, he got up and ate and everyone asked, 'why aren't you grieving, this child is dead' and David said,  "he cannot return to me but one day I'll go and be with him."

I'm also reminded of Job, who, after having lost everything that he held dear, said, "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord." (Job 1:21)

It's important for us to remember as followers of Jesus Christ, as believers in God, that no matter what happens, if we are faithful and we truly believe that our steps are directed by the Lord, no matter how disastrous it may seem, no matter what we may lose, no matter how low it may seem that we are going, no matter if we lose everything that we hold dear, we can still be like the Shunammite woman and say, "Everything is all right."

"Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul

It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul" (Audrey Assad)

Psalm 46:1-3 – God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.

Friday, July 7, 2017

You Are Not Forsaken

“And they will call them, “The holy people, the redeemed of the LORD”; and you will be called, “Sought out, a city not forsaken.” Isaiah 62:12, NASB

I have been through a lot. I was sexually abused as a child, I was physically & emotionally abused in a relationship when I was young, I've abused drugs & alcohol, and I've been about as low as a person can go. I spent years blaming myself & others, beating myself up, feeling guilty, being angry, and finally learning to move on but the one thing I couldn't do was deal with others who spoke about similar struggles.

I guess it brought back too many painful memories, thoughts, emotions, and perhaps, it was a form of PTSD. However, God kept placing people in front of me who had the same life experiences I did, and I told God I just couldn't deal with other people's problems. Then, due to a genetic birth defect, I wound up in a wheelchair for a year before undergoing two painful hip surgeries. Sitting in a wheelchair gave me a new perspective on life. It also gave me something else, humility.

I never thought myself to be prideful but in the midst of learning to overcome my own demons, I had actually begun to act as if I had done something more or better than others. I had come out of the darkness. I had pulled myself out of the gutter. I had pulled myself up by the boot straps. I was strong. I was brave. I faced my demons, stood my ground and backed them down. Thereby, others who didn't overcome their problems were weak.

God had a sit-down with me. A year long sit-down where I struggled just to get from room to room. I was also attending the local community college, which had lovely hilly grounds, and I wasn't in a powered wheelchair. Life was a struggle in a very real physical sense. After two hip surgeries, I was on a walker, and then a cane.

The process took about two full years. I hated everything about my disabilities. But God used that time to teach me that while I had been responsible for making the decision to get out, to come through the darkness rather than be consumed by it, my strength came from Him. Even the decision to come to God was from His Holy Spirit. And that without Him, I would still be wallowing in that gutter.

While I had the desire, it was from God, but more than that. He wanted to use the work He began in me to bring others to a place where they could also reach others. It was not a singular event, a blessing for my life but a manifold blessing that had the potential to reach thousands of women who were just like me.

There is no 'me' in Jesus, but there is an 'us' and like Jesus, we aren't here to walk alone but to bring others along while we walk with Him. No matter what you are dealing with or have come through, you have not been forsaken. Your story is powerful, and you have an amazing ability to overcome through the Blood of Christ. He makes us brave and strong and able to pass on to others the strength to overcome every situation, every demon, every nightmare, and wake up in the bright & glorious light of God's love.