PERSECUTED CHURCH: Our lives as Christians under the microscope.

We are on watch, we are targeted – by our own government. The Supreme Court is weighing in on so-called ‘gay marriage’ which can force churches, ministries, and Christian organizations protected by their 501(c)(3) status.

Should we be concerned? YES. Because Christians are persecuted outloud with hideous beheadings, and sometimes so quiet that it’s almost undetectable, or so the government hopes. In China, the hope of Jesus Christ is so abhorred and feared by their government, they are calling it “a restriction on the public space for Christianity” toppling them one at a time: “Compared to the Communist Party’s previous militant-style campaigns aiming at wiping out the religion, the latest crackdown is milder and its primary target is a symbol rather than the belief itself“, read the rest here.

A restriction on the public space for Christianity? Sounds familiar? It should, Bible studies, prayer meetings and church services in private homes in America have been targeted:

“A California couple has been fined by the city of San Juan Capistrano for holding Bible studies and religious gatherings in their home.” Read the rest here.
AND
“A Phoenix man has been sentenced to 60 days in jail after he refused to stop hosting Bible studies in the privacy of his home – in violation of the city’s building code laws.” Read the rest here.

Is this what’s coming to American churches as the LGBT community continues to target and persecute Christianity? Look to Annise Parker, Mayor of Houston. She took her LGBT agenda and manifested it as law to placate her own sin to make it appear normal; ‘City of Houston’ demanded “sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or Annise Parker. Pastors and churches and ministries said a resounding NO, claiming rightfully that their Constitutional rights cannot be taken away by anyone.

“This new draft law is just another attempt by the government to legitimize its existing illegal violent campaign of destruction and removal of the cross,” said Bob Fu of U.S.-based China Aid, which has documented that 448 churches have had crosses removed or buildings destroyed…..To continue to forcefully remove and ban the cross on the rooftop of the church buildings demonstrates the Chinese regime’s determination to contain the rapid growth of Christianity in China,” he said in an email.” Read the rest here.

Many smaller churches here in America are decidedly not tax exempt so that  they can continue to use their rights to Freedom of Speech, religion, and religious liberty. These rights are Constitutional and is supposed to protect individual American citizens, but are they protected under a 501(c)(3)? Many people would disagree with what protects us by something manufactured by the IRS and Federal Government.

In China, an article depicted Christian church crosses being torn down and in some cases, the entire church:

“The battle started when a government-hired crew tore down the metal cross atop the one-room church in this village surrounded by rice paddies last month…The next day, a church member used his own welding torch to put it back. He was promptly detained and questioned for 10 hours on the charge of operating a welding business without a license.” Read the rest here.

Tear down the Cross? Not one person can tear down what God has provided: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God,” [1Cor 1:18].

Doing nothing gains nothing. Jesus is knocking on the door trying to get back into the Church, we should let Him in and keep the government OUT.

PRAYER TIME: I claim Jesus FIRST.

Waiting die is not the abundant LIFE Christ has for us or died for.

There is a time in our church service when Pastor asks what our prayer needs are. And as I looked around, I see and hear what is contradictory to FAITH. It seems to me that many Christians have faith in the Pastor and Church, not so much in what Jesus did for each of us at the Cross. Has the Church given up on the basics of Faith and left it at the foot of the….pulpit?

Do we limit God? We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed…” 2Cor 4:8-9.

In this inner city church, there is too much sickness and strife, and I have to wonder if they think that prayer is a magic wand for other people and they just get the bits and pieces left over. Do they not have enough or any faith for themselves?

Where is Faith? Yes, Faith in the Cross is key, but are Christians leaving Faith there rather than living through Faith in Him because of the Cross?

Can we ever truly realize the power God gave us? Is this preached or taught in the Church? The Pulpit has to equip their flock to have this power. Then, is the Pulpit keeping this ‘secret’ to themselves or are they NOT equipped? I wonder at times if Pastors want their flock to believe only he or she has the answer.

Paul said: “I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” 1Cor 2:3-5

Protestant Churches [Episcopal, UMC, UPC, etc] deny the power, thus the deity, of Christ and put themselves in the position to be as God to their congregation. They go AWAY from the Cross of Christ TO a worldly appreciation of abortion, gay agenda, and liberal social justices that deny God. Parishioners of theses denominations expect the ‘Pastor’ to do the work for them, using the Pastor’s magic wand.

Then, when I see our wonderful Saints in Church who are in agony and without hope, remember that healing and restoration is in the Atonement, and we simply have to have Faith:

And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” So the Lord said, If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” Luke 17:5-6

Get your head out of your hands, look up…and believe.

Narrow Way

When we go through this life, it’s not unusual to feel unloved…but some people are displaced and unknown, or so they think. Sin will take you where you never thought you’d go….here you are.

We are not forgotten or forsaken by God [Deut 30:6], and He remembers us even in our worst of times.

God has KNOWN us AND has a plan for us since the beginning of the world [Jer 1:5]!

Do you feel worthless…hopeless…useless? Are you full of strife and pain?

YOU ARE NOT DISPOSABLE! YOU ARE NOT OVERLOOKED!

“Then why can’t I overcome this miserable life?” you say, I’ve said it, too. I had to ADMIT, BELIEVE & COMMIT…ABC. The Plan of Salvation is for EVERYONE, not just an elect few. Your mountain is not too high, your valley is not too low for Jesus.

Are you afflicted? Addicted? Alone?

A = Admit you’re a sinner who needs to be saved.
(Romans 3:23) “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

 B = Believe that Jesus died for you & rose again
(Romans 10:9) “That if you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

 C = Commit to accepting Christ as Savior & Lord
(Romans 10:10-13) “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation… for whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved!

Let Jesus be the LORD of your life today!

 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6

Addiction is NOT a Disease

I cannot agree more. The writer did a great job of what has been on my mind. As I’ve written before about being on the OTHER side of addiction, this so-called ‘disease’ is a nasty byproduct of sin. Since reading through the scriptures it’s easily seen that God is not a respecter of persons and every person is accounted for and precious to Him.

Addiction is NOT a disease, much to the dismay of my family members who believe this. My opinion is that people want to shirk some of the responsibility of their addiction to something or someone else calling it not just a disease, but a hereditary disease. Nothing can be further from the truth. God did not make one person an alcoholic, another a meth addict, another obese & diabetic, and another pristine clean. However, understanding that there is truth to generational sin will free the addicted from thinking in terms that it’s someone else’s mess they have to clean up. Rather, let the addicted understand, accept, and believe in restoration. ~ My Life as a Christian

Ministry of Minimalism

I do not believe for one minute that Christians understand anything about proper stewardship. Of course no one is perfect, but it’s as if no one is trying to stay out of debt and give as God wants us to. God wants to bless us but instead we want to BE God and bless ourselves with the newest smartphones, cars, clothes, jewelry, etc. Christians need to think in terms of what God has provided. His provision is perfect while our expectations are hugely inflated: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you,Matthew 6:33.

A homeless man asleep on the steps of a Church - their doors were closed.

A homeless man asleep on the steps of a Church – their doors were closed.

Want to live debt free? God wants you to! Jesus didn’t have a place to lay His own head, but we clamor for the latest and greatest…in His name:

“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon,” Luke 16.

Hmmm there it is….are we a servant in Christ or just shrugging along from church service to church service?

Conversely, we’ve held onto things for fear of not having enough. Again, it’s a symptom of not trusting God. But when God gives you to overflowing, it’s because He has plans for it! As Christians we are to ‘love our neighbor‘; God gives an abundance for us to use to help His children, not keep back from them: ‘But God said “Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?” So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God’, Luke 12.

I have to admit, I love our minimalist lifestyle. I feel free of the world and it’s traps. I can’t stand the frivolity of the way some Christians live; we are at war with the devil himself and we clamor for more clutter. And more clutter dims the view of our Savior.

We can’t have it both ways.

Love your neighbor as yourself, give to give, and God will Bless you more and in more ways than you ever could imagine. Minimalism will show you what you need rather than what you think you deserve; Christian minimalism shows you who you can help with the abundance you actually have.

Don’t be religious…be a Christian. And love.

National Sanctity of Human LIFE Day, 2015

katherinemarple:

CHURCH: As the pulpit goes, so goes the nation. We have abortion as law because the Church allowed it. Preach LIFE, love the unwanted and unplanned; they are the ‘least of these’.

©revkatherinemarple

Originally posted on KEEPLIFELEGAL:

PASTORS & FRIENDS: This Sunday, January 18th, is 2015’s National Sanctity of Human Life Day. Typically it is the 3rd Sunday of January, usually the Sunday before the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. President Ronald Reagan designated this day in remembrance and reflection of the sacred life of every person, born and unborn; the sanctity of LIFE:

“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27)

AND: “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” (1Corinthians 3:16-17)

PASTORS, will you preach a message of Life to your church January 18th? My fear is that Pastors will…

View original 459 more words

Just as it was, so shall it be.

We have spent so much of our lives telling God NO or LATER or SOME DAY. We took our lives, created and purposed by God, and rearranged them with sin and idol worship.

God does not change, we do. Seek Him, get back on the narrow path, don’t look back:

v24 Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven;
v25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.
v26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. [Gen 19:24-26]

Let this encourage you! No matter how far you have gone, you can come back! Yes, there are consequences and repercussion for sin but He gives us STRENGTH mightier than Goliath!

Then, just as it was, so shall it be:

Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. [Ps 100:3]

On the OTHER Side of Addiction

We hear on the news, internet, and other media sources about addiction, the addict, what the addict did, etc. Addiction is ugly and deadly. But I’m on the OTHER side of addiction, I’m his mom.

What seems like a million years ago, I was married to an addict. Saw it all with my own eyes…and so did my kid.

Every day I wondered if this was going to be THAT day. Will I find him dead? Will he crash his vehicle again? Is he in jail again? Will he come home? Will he hurt us again? Again and again, over and over…I waited for the other shoe to drop. It’s a surreal thing watching someone slowly commit suicide with drugs and alcohol and be completely helpless.

And every day of this marriage my young son watched and was witness to this daily chaos. As parents we want to protect our kids and home, but when you are married to an addict you’re too busy dealing with the addiction than trying to keep a home and family and a job. And for that I have begged God for forgiveness that my sweet child had to see this horror when all I had to do was just leave. I had to find out many years later that the cancer had spread.

The last day I saw him was 25 years ago, TODAY.

I won’t go through all of the gory details, that’s for me and God to know. But I do want to address what it’s like on the OTHER side of addiction….because that addiction spread like a cancer to one of my children.

Unlike a very bad marriage, you can’t just ‘leave’ your kids. An addicted adult child is much harder to understand and deal with because they are forever your children, not a bad marriage. I truly thought that after seeing with his young eyes how bad addiction was that it would be the absolute last thing that would happen to him. The cancer spread anyway and without any fanfare…yes, I was totally blindsided because I was never a drug user. Remember this the next time you think your kids aren’t paying attention to what you are saying or doing.

About thirteen years ago, I gave my life to Jesus and eventually became ordained…all before I found out about my son’s addiction. Now I have different eyes to see through and a different heart to love with. The hard thing for my kid to do was confess his addiction to me, the hard thing for me to do was accept the fact that it happened.

Just like with my ex-husband, I have to deal with codependency and enabling. I don’t want to make his addiction worse, I want to make his recovery extraordinary! But isn’t that just like a Christian, wanting to give the devil a great big ole black eye? Then what does a person do, on the OTHER side of addiction? Every day for me I struggle with wondering if I’ll get THAT phone call and every day he struggles with the real pain of detoxing. It’s harrowing, it’s hard and it’s exhausting.

Certainly I am NOT alone, although for the rest of you I wish it were just me. But as people on the OTHER side of addiction, we have to band up with the LORD and each other to face that precious face of our addicted adult child. This is a love I never knew I had but God is GOOD! He gives us this supernatural strength to see our kids with His eyes.

If there is one thing I would say to ANY addict, it is this: YOU HAVE NOT BEEN FORSAKEN. You are NOT an accident or mistake. Your life is NOT over. You are important to GOD! And here’s why: The Bible says “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” This scripture says that we are all known by God since the beginning of the world with a purpose and path already assigned to us. There is no mistake or accident, God does NOT make mistakes! God cannot lie! We are all His, and He is ours. 

If there is one thing that is foremost on my mind about my addicted adult child is that I never want him to feel hopeless or worthless. That kind of desperation paralyzes me; and if it does that to me, I cannot imagine what that does to him.

As a mom, I have said that I would die for my child if it meant saving theirs. I’m sure you’ve said the same thing. But One mightier than I has died for him, and died for me! Jesus is the only way to true salvation and restoration! I could die for my kid but that would do nothing for him when Jesus can give him the true love that will save his life!

Addiction is forever, so is Eternity. And for as much as I LOVE my son, God loves him even MORE!

Every day I wake up giving my kid to Jesus and trusting God to heal and restore him from drugs, then I ask God to keep my heart full of love and understanding with the right balance to help my kid, not hurt him. After that I thank God for a husband who cares for and loves my kid and me. I can’t imagine my life without either of these guys.

Recovery…restoration is one day at a time, for all of us, even on the OTHER side of addiction.

“To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3

TRUSTJESUS

 

#2015 is the Year of…Awakenings?

The Bible is ALIVE, the beating heart of God. It is showing through literal signs and wonders that we are in the end of end times. The world will never get better but it may seem quiet at times. And like a quiet toddler in another room, be VERY afraid. This is what the Lord told me:

MYLIFEASACHRISTIAN

Three tubs of aborted baby remains going to the incinerator.

Abortion will continue to drop and a resurgence will erupt in certain states to literally draw ‘customers’, I feel they may be NY, CA, WA & IL. Roe makes sure that every state will offer abortion services even it it’s just one facility left in that state. The murderous Left chants ‘undue burden’ which is an outright lie. But we know that! But does the general population? Not yet. That is the job of prolife advocates and conservative elected officials.

The Church will continue to get bigger and bigger, although not necessarily in the right direction. Jesus is not the focus of the Church at large, this was hard to see in person, but see it I did – out loud on the public steps of the local Statehouse. There is a surging ‘morality’ that mimics a so-called ‘churchy’ quality to make the agnostics and atheists feel good about child murder [abortion], assisted suicide [euthanasia, eugenics, genocide] legalizing pot [gateway drug use & abuse], praying to ‘mother’ [mother earth and/or mother god], etc. Cults will be on the rise, as well.  The Cross will still be shunned by the ‘elite’ but more people are listening than we give them credit for. Keep preaching!

MYLIFEASACHRISTIAN

On Christmas Day, two people sorting thru a dumpster.

Addictions & Afflictions of all kinds will continue to spike because of the economy, medical system & imposed socialism. More and more people are cohabitating and living communal just to survive & live; daily living gets harder and nearly unachievable. Too many people are on the government dole because of Obamanomics which created and/or exacerbated more drug use and poor eating habits, all of which creates more dependency.  Kids begin getting medicated by the public school system for the malady du jour [ADHD, etc] which leads them to accept pill taking, medications of all kinds as normal. Since drugs were normal as a child, this continues into adulthood.

MYLIFEASACHRISTIAN

PJ can’t read or write; thru circumstances out of his control, he is homeless…at Christmas.

Electronics will become the parent, homeschooling will be attacked again. Too much technology has taken the form of a parent, babysitter, even a physical school. And while homeschooling is climbing, and it should, it will continue to  be attacked and the government will quietly try to make it illegal. Be vigilant, stay awake, read everything you can get your hands on. Mainstream media of any kind can’t truly be trusted, I suggest finding online radio/media outlets to balance out what you hear on television/radio. Balance is key.

Christians will be called on to step out in faith to take in the weak and rejected; a safe ship in the storm. Trust God. Simply that, trust God. Most of us are just one major indecent [cancer, accident, spouse’s death] from monetary ruin. Just one thing can send us out into the street, homeless. Jesus never had a place to lay His head, how then do we expect there to be a place for us? While we cannot control everything in our financial lives, we can live as Christ did to do for the ‘least of these‘…because there is a great chance you will find yourself needing the love AND benevolence of another Christian:

“And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Matthew 8:20

A homeless man asleep on the steps of a Church - their doors were closed.

A homeless man asleep on the steps of a Church – their doors were closed.

Random acts of crime will climb more than ever; ‘protesting’ will climb as well. Ferguson has taught us to keep an eye out for protesters even in our daily grind. People going to work will be kept from going, people going to the hospital may die in an ambulance just trying to get through a protest, kids may not get to school, government will be shut down from time to time, and it will get more and more violent. 

Then what?

DO NOT FEAR BUT BE EVER VIGILANT! This world will never get better but we will have those calm moments, like with gas being under $2 [crummy example :D] but these momentary glimpses of calmness will be exactly that: MOMENTARY. These ‘lulls’ will keep people from rejecting the government norm of medicating the masses to keep them apathetic and lethargic. Take advantage of cheap gas, tax holidays, etc; but do not accept the message behind it. Bad times are here, the worst of times is coming.

And read THE BOOK! Your Bible will tell you all that will happen. Christians skirt around the Prophets of the Old Testament but I assure you, it is imperative that Christians read and learn about them to see what we have coming; remember BALANCE – the New Testament confirms what the OT foresaw. Click here to read the back of the Book….WE WIN!

God sent a Savior to help us and guide us…to protect us and save us! In the natural, it is UGLY…but in the supernatural, everything’s gonna be okay:

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Psalm of Thanks & Praise

In the very Heart of Worship, and in a song of Praise
There is unrest and lament.
Even when Glory shines so bright that it fills the room!
There is unrest and lament.

Shine so bright, my Morning Star
That I only see your Glory!
I will sing a song to You of thanksgiving
I will dance with Your Grace!

Oh, that I can only see You
In all things, to only see You!
Precious is Your abundance,
Grace is Your Gift!

In the very Heart of Worship, and in a song of Praise
There is victory and freedom!
And when Glory shines so bright that it fills the room
There is victory and freedom!

MYLIFEASACHRISTIAN