I have NO idea how much time we have left. It all seems so dark and unattainable and scary. We spend our entire lives for whatever the epilogue is for us. The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting colder.
Actually, I’m talking about retirement.
The way of the world today, in the past couple of decades, has made it harder, if unattainable, to “retire” in the true sense. GONE are the days of the gold watch, pension, health insurance and life insurance that was freely given to long-time employees. GONE are the days of a job that allowed you to save money for a down payment on a house, saving for your kid’s college, or just being able to live until you die without starving or languishing in a subpar nursing home ALONE.
Now dump covid on that. That’s the retirement most Americans are looking at right now.
The way of the world is choking all of us, without apology, financially and spiritually. We are obsessed with the next dollar because it could be our last. I do not understand why the government steals our money all of our working lives just to push us off the edge, thanks for nothing. At times it keeps me up at night, steals my breath and my joy and my peace. The amount of pure evil is blinding.
We may be retiring soon but that doesn’t mean ministry is over. And it shouldn’t be for you, either. That is one thing that cannot be stolen from us. The promises of God and Gospel of Christ are relevant to a still dying world. We can never allow the enemy to surround us with lies ever again. We may not be able to age out the way we hoped so we’ll redeem the time, love our neighbor, restore that which was lost.
Someone, somewhere still needs to hear what God wants you to say. Speak up until your last breath.
Mine was FABULOUS. Really. Every lap around that mountain gives us the opportunity to learn, even if you’re doing the same thing over and over. This unscheduled “trip” was not a journey away from Jesus and ministry, but to clarify and make clearer the Man He is and the words in red.
Some of my mountain trip was my renewed interest in the Jesus movement from decades ago. The kind of hippie way of following Jesus seemed so pure and unencumbered. Yes, there were issues with the doctrine, but the essence was of it reminded me of the unhindered love of the Gospel preaching to every creature without fear.
We fear mean people. We fear backlash. We want ‘peace’ but not the peace that passes all understanding. I, too, wanted to be LEFT ALONE. But ministry is PUBLIC, so says the Book of Acts, which has no end until Jesus comes back.
So, what cool stuff did the mountain trip teach me?
Your opinion has VALUE.
It is acceptable to listen to and glean from other ministries.
Strengthening discernment is the best workout EVER.
No two ministries are ever exactly the same.
Love does not mean acceptance.
Perhaps the hardest thing for a Christian and Minister to do is accept who WE are rather than caving to others. And by that I mean other ministries or the sister who prays more or the brother that gives more, etc. YOU and I are completely unique in our walk with the Lord and we should give a great big HALLELUJAH for that! Jesus wants us to be fishers of men, not a bunch of Stepford wives and clones.
Christians use social media to demonize other Christians and ministries. Shame on them. God hears them. But didn’t I do the same thing “in the name of Jesus”? Sadly yes. But then the mountain showed up! Thank God for the mountain!
Believers do not have inherent light, but we do have reflective light. So let your light so shine, for He is our source, a public acknowledgement of Jesus. Angry social media armchair preachers are the clanging cymbals of “ministry”.
To make sure I was correct, that I was reading scripture correctly, I asked a Pastor, with whom we are ordained, a question: Can Christians ‘judge’?
Jesus said, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment,” (John 7:24).
Christians take ‘judge righteously’ out of context, definitely making their own rules as they judge along. But remember that the Bible does give us ‘rules’ to judge by. For instance: homosexuality, abortion, idol worship, adultery, to name a few. As Christians, we are to ‘judge righteously’ THE SIN, not the sinner. Unfortunately, the opposite is the usual ‘norm’.
As a sinner, before salvation, I made many mistakes that were evil and should have been judged with righteous judgement. And in a perfect scenario, the person who called out my sin would lovingly follow up with the Gospel and leading me to the Lord. My conversion did not happen that way, but it should have. Judging without having Biblical precedence leads the sinner to see a wagging finger, not a loving gesture.
To answer the question I gave my Pastor, YES, we can and should judge, or discern, righteously especially to the brethren, the House of God, and the sinner. BUT it has to be the intention to set the sinner free, and to give the brethren correction if they sway from the Truth.
We are all accountable to a Holy God, saved or not.
“For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1Peter 4:17)
In the spirit I saw a Fence
And it was without end.
I considered my defense,
But I could not judge.
As in my youth, I pled,
My appeal was not heard.
Who has my heart?
Where is my Love?
Then I heard Him from afar
As He came nigh,
“For I am on the Right side of the Fence
To make your paths straight.”
Witnessing on a public right-of-way is just as biblical NOW as it was in the times of Jesus. However, public being ‘public’ means that we have to share a public venue with religions who may not hold to the very foundation of Christianity. Think of it, all ‘religions’ are in prison ministry, homeless ministry, prolife ministry, etc. Then, what do we do as Christians – evangelize the lost or tell the other religions that come to the same venue they’re doing it wrong?
Hold fast, hold true, and hold on! Strike a balance or you are just as guilty as a man-made ‘doctrine’ that soothes the seeker, not save the lost. Always remember your task at hand, don’t sway to conformity, preach the Word.
“v1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, v2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, v3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.” 1Timothy 4:1-3
If it is your ‘ministry’ to go to venues and tell everyone they are doing it wrong – not witnessing to YOUR specifications – then you do not do the Will of God. If your are in public ministry as we are, remember the public does not need to see your displeasure with a fellow servant. That will create chaos that cannot be ignored. Remember your venue, remember Who sent you, remember the servant who led YOU to the Lord.
“But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” 2Timothy 4:5
Christians will have momentary glimpses of Glory but we will be tested. Despite what many religions and denominations teach, this world cannot get better before Jesus comes. But before He does come, we have to occupy and understand that Babylon is not our home, continue to teach and preach: “Preach the word! BE READY in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and teaching,” 2Timothy 4:2 [emphasis mine].
Babylon is rising and encompassing Christians and non-Christians alike. This new Babylon is forcing people who have lived and worked and raised families for generations away from their home to places they never thought possible. The new Babylon targets Christians to force them to commit to their agenda; this has already been proven true recently with ‘gender identity’ and forced ‘refugee resettlements’ and legalizing unborn child murder for 40+ years. The president has shown repeatedly that he is allowing Babylon to take over, reteach, and then target the non-believers of his agenda to wipe out God and morality. The best we can do as American Christians is BE READY; be ready to lose your home, lose your job, and have your Faith tested like never before. You will lose those who you thought were your closest friends, family members and even other ‘Christians’ will be used against you. Each of us has to BE READY to go, to preach, and to love again. Discernment and the Bible will be your guide.
The validity of the Constitution will be compromised, particularly our fundamental right to bear arms. This slow motion remake of ‘1984’ in plain sight should awaken every American Christian but will not. Self-protection will be considered a threat against the government and anyone associated with a ‘____ lives matter’ hate group, among others. These groups, and others, are marginalizing themselves into self-segregation rather than uniting as they say Christians do not do. Do not be fooled, do not let your guard down. Your Faith will be used against you to exemplify their agenda.
The Church is producing large numbers without basic doctrine taught or heeded. The very acts of abortion and sexual sin [homosexuality, plurality, polyamory, etc.] will be celebrated even more so with the help of the government or they will be targeted and categorized as ‘hate mongering’ for professing the Gospel. ‘Inclusion’ is the new and only agenda. The new Church will be low in numbers but mighty in Spirit. Jesus said to “Go into all the world”, and this will be played out in this dispensation because they will be NO OTHER WAY. Professing Christ will be hate speech, and has already been classified as such in certain groups and associations, most of whom have government funding.
America has been putting up with domestic terrorism of ‘____ lives matter’ rhetoric, murdering unborn children and persecution. This is not a new ‘ism’, this has been festering for decades. Targeting public places of any kind as places of derision of all things against Jesus is the new ‘normal’, like shutting down major expressways for demonstrations, etc.
Too many Christians are doing NOTHING in light speed believing that God will just show up. Of course God can do anything, but it is highly unlikely He will just show up and drag you out of Babylon without prayer, fasting, supplication, and readiness, “Why are we sitting here until we die?” [2Kings 7:3]. BE READY. Take the opportunities He gives you during these times of tribulation, “If He breaks a thing down, it cannot be rebuilt; if He imprisons a man, there can be no release”, Job 12:14.
Even so, there is GOOD NEWS!
God said [Jeremiah 29:4-14] to continue to have a family, work, cultivate, and worship Him WHILE in Babylon until we are brought back from our captivity. Truly, this part of scripture is for today and that day when we meet Him face to face. We cannot lose hope or our Salvation and purpose, we cannot allow persecution to determine who we are in Him or where our Eternal home is. We cannot allow a faulty government and false gods to keep us from bringing more souls to a risen Savior.
Do not waiver but prepare. Gird up with the Truth, hold on and STAND FAST. If you are pushed away from your home, wipe the dust from your feet and go. If you lose your job, wipe the dust from your feet and go. When your church bows to Baal [government funded and approved God haters], wipe the dust from your feet and go. When Jesus said ‘Go out into all the world’, GO:
v16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
v17 But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues.
v18 You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.
v19 But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak;
v20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.
v21 “Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.
v22 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
v23 When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.” [Matthew 10:16-23]
Never would I have thought that any church or ministry would be prochoice/proabortion. Or at least that’s what I believed 35+ years ago. We’ve been in prolife ministry since 2008 and I am still overcome with sadness and horror of how the Pulpit handles the subject of legal baby killing – abortion.
I had a prophetic dream last night, one that should chill a Pastor to the bone. God showed me many things in this dream; He used my husband, my adult son, his pregnant girlfriend [which is actually not the case btw], and a host of people who were supposed to be family and friends. It was dark, it was foreboding, and it was hard to see. But first let me say that God shows me many things in dreams but never do the characters look as they normally do, actually unrecognizable. It like looking at your child, knowing it’s him [or her], but looks completely different. However, let me get to the dream…
God used people I love and trust to get the point driven home. My husband was going to take my son and his girlfriend to get an abortion. Naturally, I was horrified and couldn’t figure out why he was not. Every time I tried to talk to them, there was distraction. Everywhere I turned there were people telling them the abortion is okay. I spoke, I yelled, I pleaded, I physically pushed people back, and barely a head turned my way. I saw a slight eye glance to me from the ‘husband’ as if he unacknowledged or dismissed me. As I turned, they disappeared while other family members sent me to where they said they were, and it was someone else laughing at me. I woke up.
Here is the interpretation: The Evangelical [Non-Denominational] Pulpit is silently accepting abortion because of personal situations that make it okay to them, preaches nothing in the meantime to soothe their troubled and sinful acts of abortion. SO, my husband and I are ordained ministers, my husband having been a Pastor in our home and an associate at other churches in the past. I love him and trust him, as well as our family. The Church becomes a Christian’s family, the Pastor the head of the home and Church, thusly trust is assumed much like with your natural family. In my personal story, I trusted my mother and family, but they turned me over to the Devil, to abortion.
Bottom line: The Pulpit is the CULPRIT, ‘do as I say’ rather than be the example. The Church is continually hoodwinked because Pastors step away from the Word and the Resurrection to silently accept abortion [and other abominations]. The Bible has never said abortion is a viable way to correct a sin problem, not one time. Jesus told the woman caught in adultery to go and sin NO MORE, not cover it up and shut up.
Out of great failure comes testimony. I am reminded of Who is Light and who is darkness; we cannot see in the dark:
‘Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12
Without THE Light we see nothing and know even less. How can the Church expect to know if the Pulpit will not preach and teach the unabridged Word of God?
Jesus is the Light, He is the Answer. I believe the Pulpit forgets that Jesus was tempted for 40 days and is quite aware of ALL sin, especially ones committed in the dark like abortion. But He does offer us HOPE and a cure:
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2
This, my friends, begins in the Pulpit and should spread like wildfire throughout the Church and beyond. The Will of God is not darkness even though He is there in those dark times. Abortion is never the right answer to any question. A weak Pulpit is what ails the Church and chooses the battles that have no eternal value.
The prophetic dream I had should be a wakeup call to every Church-going Christian who supports their Pastor and his Ministry. I’ve always said ‘If you don’t ask, you won’t know’ – do you know your Pastor’s position on abortion? Have you ever heard the word abortion from the Pulpit? You have a right to know.
Jesus praying in the garden after the Last Supper, while the disciples sleep, by Andrea Mantegna c. 1460 (en.wikipedia.org)
And He came to his disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, ” So you men could not keep watch with me for one hour? Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation, the Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:40 -41
(Voice of the Persecuted) Many of us have often read these scriptures. At the time when the Lord Jesus needed his three closest friends to pray for him, these disciples exhausted from sorrow and found sleeping. One can only imagine that Jesus was grieved much in his heart. At the time when Jesus was about to go to the cross and lay down his life for us—at the time when Jesus was about to carry His cross to Calvary, so that we might have…
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Waiting to 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 many churches, 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.