Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Pray for the Well-Known Prodigals

Greetings in the Lord!


Last night I was reading and turned to Ezra chapters 4-6.  Those are some interesting chapters because they are governmental letters written during that time, one between the officials of the Trans-Euphrates to King Artaxerxes, the Persian king, and his reply; and one from Tattenai, a later governor of the Trans-Euphrates region to King Darius, and his reply.  Both letters concern the rebuilding of the temple and city of Jerusalem.


You see, previously, King Cyrus had decreed that Jerusalem's temple and city be rebuilt, complete with the return of the temple's equipment from Babylon and building materials to be provided for the completion of the work.  But of course, Israel's neighbors opposed the rebuilding process and over time wickedly persuaded King Artaxerxes to stop the construction.  It wasn't until the reign of King Darius that officials were able to reverse that decision by exposing the original rebuilding decree of King Cyrus.  Amen! 


It is a word for us to remember today.  That even though "rebuilding" may have been decreed and the process started in our lives, we may still run into major opposition that will cause the construction to be halted for a time.  But never fear!  God is well able to bring to completion His promises of restoration in our lives.  God is faithful, and all-powerful, so what He has decreed will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Amen and amen.




There is another word for today.  It came in the form of a dream I had this morning.  It was a dream of Miley Cyrus, a word to pray for her.  In the dream she was partying with "friends" and having what she thought was a good time.  Then, at the end of the party, she wanted to take a group picture for the press of her "having fun."  Well, about five or six "friends" in the group turned their backs on her and refused to be in the photo.  Miley hadn't realized that they weren't actually friends, but rather they were there to make sure she kept partying and unaware of the direness of her situation.


In the second part of the dream Miley started to have breakdowns, sweating profusely, body shaking, and fearful of being alone.  She got to a point where she had to run away from everything, and went to see an older bald man who would "help" her.  In actuality this man was not going to help, but keep her mentally incapacitated.  They met at some entertainment/restaurant plaza and talked over dinner at an Italian restaurant, which was hidden from paparazzi and fans.  They made some plans to meet again in the future and she left. 


I met her right after that and had a moment to talk to her, asking her if she "was still a Christian", to which she said, "Yes!" 
"Really? Your performances don't show that.  I'm not sure God would be too pleased with the things you are doing."  But while she was still telling me adamantly that she was a Christian, sweat poured off of her face and she shivered uncontrollably.  I watched her face and there was a strange disconnect with reality, almost like she had no idea of what went on in her shows...or her life.  Realizing that her mind had been horribly shattered, I began to pray for her.  Immediately she fell to the ground and began having seizures with bolts of little lightening happening around her head.

I was scared for her and kept praying, and as I did, more young talents came out of the shadows going through the same thing that was happening to Miley.  They were all suffering from mental abuse/control from their 'producers' and 'agents' of the music industry. 


So, while this was just a dream, I discern that we as Christians should pray for Miley.  Yes, even though we are all repulsed by her stage performances and reviled by her videos and lewdness, we should pray that her enemies be scattered and that the power of the enemy of her soul, which we all fight against, will be broken off of her in Jesus' name.  It is too easy to judge those we see online and on TV, but if they were or are a Christian, we should pray on their behalves for God to intervene and bring them back to the flock.  Let's pray in Jesus name for the lives of this younger generation, even though they have gone the way of the prodigal, their life, as ours, is valued in God's sight.  Amen.




~Be blessed and be a blessing.      


     

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Risen Savior Lifts Up the Righteous

Happy Easter everyone!


Christ the Lord was risen today, hallelujah!  We serve a living Savior, who sits at the right hand of God the Father, who sent the Holy Spirit to fill us, lead us and guide us.  Amen.


The blessings of following this living Savior will never end for the believer of His words.  As Psalm 112 reminds us:


Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in His commands.
His children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.


Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever.
Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.


Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice.
Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever. 


He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.


He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, his righteousness endures forever;
his horn will be lifted high in honor.


The wicked man will see and be vexed, he will gnash his teeth and waste away;
the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.  Amen.


Though times can be very challenging for the righteous, rest assured that your hope is not misplaced in the Lord.  In Christ Jesus we are more than conquerors, because the risen Savior lives in us!


~Be blessed and be a blessing.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Swing the Sickle, For the Harvest is Ripe


Greetings in the Lord!
Well, there has been a lot of teaching among evangelical and prophetic circles in the American Church about the significance of the four blood moons coinciding with the Jewish festivals.  Historically, there have been major events involving Israel during this time (you can learn more by watching or reading what John Hagee and others are teaching on YouTube or in their books), but I will only share what the Lord has shown me.


Around 1AM I saw the fullness of the lunar eclipse, the blood moon last night and marveled at its unique sight.  As I stood there looking at it, the familiar question came to my heart, "What does it mean?"  I really haven't studied it too much and every time I hear people teaching on it I am still left with that same question, unanswered in my pondering heart.


I went back to bed and prayed, "What does it mean, Father?"  And He simply said, "Joel 3."


So I opened my Bible and read the passage; it talks about God rousing all of Israel's enemies to war, drawing them to the "Valley of Decision," so He can execute judgment on them for all their violence and hatred of Israel.  Though they assemble with like heart and mind against the Lord, they will be swiftly defeated by God Almighty.


"Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe.  Come trample the grapes, for the wine press is full and the vats overflowing---so great is their wickedness!
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision!  For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision." 
The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine.  The Lord will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the sky will tremble.  But the Lord will be a refuge for His people, a stronghold for the people of Israel."  Joel 3:13-16.


Basically, the passage is saying that in the days when the moon and sun are darkened (blood moon signs, 2014-2015, as in the past), that the enemies of Israel will all be stirred up to wage war against her and those that love God, but the Lord will bring great victory and blessing to His people as He saves them by His mighty hand.  This is consistent with what other Christian teachers are saying.


However, there was one verse that jumped out to me, and it was this:
"Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe.  Come trample the grapes, for the wine press is full and the vats overflowing---so great is their wickedness!"  Joel 3:13


There are many in the American Church that are praying for the end time harvest, when masses of people will come to the Lord and take Jesus as their Savior.  For them, the "harvest" represents an exciting time.  However, this verse talks about the flip side to that harvest, and that is the "harvest of judgment" being poured out against the wicked who continue to wage war against God.  This dichotomous understanding reminds me of back in 2005, when the people were praying for revival for the US, and I said, "Yes, the Lord comes....to uproot, destroy, and overthrow; then to replant," for that was the word the Lord gave me from Jeremiah 1.


The American Church wanted the warm and fluffy version of revival, where people jump and sing and praise God, and yes, that did happen, too.  But the Lord's idea of revival is about holiness, and to that end much uprooting had to be done.  So, it was not a coincidence then, that the US started to experience some of the greatest economic, social and natural disasters of recent history during this time.  And guess what?  Many people did return to the Lord!  Sometimes revival doesn't look like what we think, and likewise, "harvest" won't either.


So, the word of the Lord still stands, let 2014-2015 usher in a big "harvest," blessings for the righteous and those that take refuge in the Lord, and defeat for those who wage war against God and His plans.  We will begin to see more evil alliances being made between nations that have an ungodly agenda against God's people and Israel; bold moves to try and tear down and plunder Israel and the nations that hold to the Lord; but in the midst of it all, powerful deliverances and moves of God among those who call upon His name.  Amen!


~Be blessed and be a blessing.   

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Wonderful "Wonder" Bread

Greetings in the Lord!


The Lord has been taking me to this passage of Scripture quite a bit over the past three months, and it comes up again today.  It is from John 6:28-29, and 32-40.


Then they asked Jesus, "What must we do to do the works God requires?"
Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent."


Wow--so simple, yet that is a very deep work.  To believe in Jesus is to have eternal life in Him.  To believe in Jesus is to follow His commands, and to walk in love.  To believe in Jesus is to turn to Him for all things, because He alone can meet all our needs.  That is why Jesus is referred to as the Bread of Life---He is provision, our daily sustenance.  In Him we will never hunger for the temporal things of this world, or thirst for sweet lies of the devil, for his drink and food is deceptive and leads to death.  Jesus is the Life and Light of this world.


"For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."
"Sir, they said, "from now on give us this bread."


Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life.  He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.  But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.  All those that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 


For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me.  And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that He has given me, but raise them up at the last day.  For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."      


There are so very, very few guarantees in life, that Jesus is one worth holding on to.  Eternal life with Jesus in heaven, guaranteed, is some wonderful bread indeed!


~Be blessed and be a blessing.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Overcoming PTSD


Greetings in the Lord!


With another shooting on a military base, news headlines are re-examining the prevalence of Post Traumatic Shock Disorder (PTSD) among our military service people returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, in particular.  While certainly theirs is a stressful job and combat can leave deep emotional scars, I would like to examine this issue from another perspective--from a spiritual viewpoint.


We know the Bible teaches that we consist of a body, mind, and spirit, yet so often we do not fully take that into consideration as we go about our modern lives.  As life unfolds and events and experiences take place, we often overlook how the spirit realm interacts and affects our more familiar parts, body and mind.  We simply see a doctor for pain, a therapist for emotional wounding, and go about with life coping the best we can.  But I'd like you to consider the spiritual side.


For years I travelled worldwide playing professional basketball, spending time in places where corruption and wickedness are in full swing.  With my eyes I saw injustice, hatred, greed and cruelty near daily.  On occasion the Lord would allow me to see into the spirit realm to show me the demons at work behind the scenes.  The land was full of iniquity because devils had created wicked strongholds in the culture and the people just accepted it as "that's how we live."  Of course, they didn't like certain things that went on, but knew there would be reprisals if they did the right thing.  Believe me, there are places like that in the world.


And when you visit these dark places, these nasty devils like to follow you and try to attach to you if you are not careful.  That's why even visiting porn shops or drug havens is a dangerous idea--like the Old Testament taught--touching a defiled object defiled the person.  Well, now we are sending our troops to various dark places around the world and lo and behold, they are returning with "PTSD."--that is not a coincidence.  In fact, quite often missionaries and international NGO workers run into this as well.


I am not a member of the military, but both times that I have lived in the Middle East (Syria & Saudi Arabia), I returned home with spiritual "baggage."  In fact, to some degree, every dark place I lived in in the world I had to contend with some form of nasty spiritual baggage common to the place I visited.  It's not a case of having committed some sin while I was there per se (although repentance is a part of the "breaking off" process), but rather, it's just the way evil spirits like to harass and thwart God's people from following the call on their lives.
So, when I return home, I seek out an anointed person of God to pray and "break off" the attachments, "bind" them in Jesus name, and "loose" them to go back to the darkness.


I would recommend every Christian who travels where the name of Jesus is not received or being lived out to do the same thing.  It is the Biblical idea of "brushing the dust" from you when you leave a rebellious place.  Just pray that the blood of Jesus covers you and breaks off any ungodly attachments in Jesus' name.
However, with places like Syria and Saudi (and I'm sure Afghanistan & Iraq), it is different.  A person who brings home malevolent spiritual baggage from these places may go through a prolonged season of intense warfare.  The symptoms may include---fits of rage, severe annoyance with everything and everyone, depression, hopelessness, feel extreme hatred/racism, not wanting to be around people, etc.--all the symptoms of PTSD.  Never fear!  God is much bigger than the spiritual oppression you are going through.


So, in addition to whatever your therapist is telling you do, I would recommend approaching this battle like any other you've been prepared for in your life.  You will need to pray daily to God like you spend time with your buddies.  You will need to praise and worship God like you like to jam to your favorite music.  Give up alcohol and no guns; in fact, get rid of all those things that you'd be embarrassed to show God. 

Next, be persistent!  It will take time to walk out your deliverance.  The devils in these places are stubborn, so be more determined to walk faithfully with God--His grace is sufficient for you.  Be like the parable of the old woman and the unjust judge.  She went to him day after day to demand justice and eventually he gave it to her so he wouldn't have to listen to her anymore.  Well, God is way more loving to us!  We don't have to beg, bribe, or cry, just give your life to God--with all your heart--and Jesus is faithful to set you free.


So, if anyone in the military that you know is suffering from PTSD, take them to an anointed person of God---you may have to search it out, and ask them to pray deliverance for them/you.  Then walk out your deliverance with God Almighty.  On average it takes some months of daily personal prayer and praising God to feel completely strong again, but God is faithful.  The Lord is with you every step of the way.  He gave you a career in the military so you could learn to fight the good fight Amen.


Also, if that person or yourself have not been through total immersion baptism, then they/you should do so.  In fact, I strongly recommend to our Armed Forces that chaplains would do that for all consenting returning service personnel as soon as they land back on U.S. soil.  We can't afford to have any more spiritually oppressed military people or lose one more life in our Armed Forces.


~Be blessed and be a blessing.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Be Careful Not to Listen to the Ugly Frog

Greetings in the Lord!

A few days back I shared my dream about the big ugly frog I saw in a vision.  That frog represented propaganda, and more specifically, a rise of an intense cunning propaganda to recruit young men to radical Islam to fight for Jihad and the institution of Sharia Law.  Well, the Lord continues to give more insight from His Word into the people who push this propaganda: 

Pic from www.productiveflourishing.com

"Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with destruction.  Their throat is an open grave; with their tongue they speak deceit.  Declare them guilty, O God!  Let their intrigues be their downfall.  Banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against You."  Psalm 5:9-10.

You see, every rationalization they give to condone violent acts is a lie.  Every promised sensual reward in Paradise is a lie.  Every clever argument given to entice young men and women to carry out evil against humanity is a lie.  Every "political" justification is a deception; every "religious" edict is false; every amount of provision they give to recruits is nothing more than blood money---money that cannot buy eternal salvation or redeem a life from the grave, but only assigns a cheap price tag of what they think a life is worth. 

A couple days back I listened to an interview of one young Syrian recruit trying to sell the lies to his family, saying, "Won't it be good that I'll be one of the martyrs for Allah?"  His four year old sister replied, "No, we only have one Ali Abu."  Words of wisdom from a babe.  God Almighty does not ask us to shed our own blood for Him as a sacrifice, and He surely does not desire us to kill innocent people.  Only a false god, a demon speaking lies, would ever entice people to do such wickedness.

"You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with You the wicked cannot dwell.  The arrogant cannot stand in Your presence; You hate all who do wrong.  You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the Lord abhors."

"But I, by Your great mercy, will come into Your house; in reverence will I bow down toward Your holy temple.  Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies---make straight Your way before me."  Psalm 5:4-8.

It is important to begin to tell the truth about radical Islam--in the newspapers, on TV, and in our own conversations--as the evil propaganda is moving very swiftly to close the ears, blind the eyes, and harden the hearts of those who are vulnerable to the wicked spirit speaking in the propaganda.  There are so many reasons why one would be vulnerable, too, so an examination of that won't answer much, but just suffice that it takes a willing heart to sit under that teaching, and the mind-control aspect of this demonic spirit begins to program its listeners.  God loves people, all people, so to kill another person believing you are doing God's will is a lie from the devil. 

"But let all who take refuge in You be glad; let them ever sing for joy.  Spread Your protection over them, that those who love Your name may rejoice in You.  For surely, O Lord, You bless the righteous; You surround them with Your favor as with a shield."  Psalm 5:11-12.

~Be blessed and be a blessing.

 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Big Green Frog Shows His Teeth

Greetings in the Lord!

Just before waking up this morning I saw a vision of a large (size of a very fat cat), putrid green frog sitting next to my bed.  It just sat there, looking at me with its mouth completely wide open, exposing its sharp black teeth to me.  In my vision, I called for help in catching this huge frog.  As two people came to round it up, the frog jumped back and forth to elude them, then jumped out of my vision.

As a sat up in my bed thinking, "What on earth was that?" I recalled a passage of Scripture from Revelation 16: 
"Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet.  They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty."  Revelation 16:13-14

Those three evil frogs of the passage were demons who had the assignment of spreading propaganda to deceive people, so they would willingly accept and support their evil lies and wicked agenda.  Ah, so the frog I saw was evil propaganda!  Being a political science major, I have studied the effects of propaganda and current trends of usage in governmental propaganda.  Beyond academia, the Lord has also quickened my learning to see wicked spiritual strategies and effects of propaganda.  The bottom line is, all propaganda has its roots in spiritual wickedness, for deception is darkness. 

Interestingly enough, the passage in Revelation 16 goes on with Jesus saying,
"Behold, I come like a thief!  Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed."  Revelation 16:15

Jesus is saying that He will return on a day that no one will know, so it is important for Christians to be vigilant against the deceptions and evil propaganda that, if we buy into them, will leave us spiritually weak, naked, and guilty before the Lord.  The "clothes" we are encouraged to wear and guard are our robes of righteousness.  So the question remains,
"What current propaganda are we to resist and be vigilant against?"

Well, for the US and most of the Western world, our evil propaganda comes through media outlets, whether that be TV, movies, music, newspapers, or magazines.  That makes Hollywood the right hand man of the White House.  And, we know that propaganda is very effective on the youth first, so look at "kid's" movies, TV shows, cartoons, and games to see what messages are being sold to the kids.  Obviously, these days there are way too many examples of media trying to mainstream homosexuality.  What's next--pedophilia?  Once you go down this road you open a huge can of worms.

Another major theme is the downplaying of marijuana's negative health effects.  Anybody using common sense will tell you that marijuana has way more negative health effects than beer or sugar, but contrived news articles (even 'science') will contend differently.  This is a form of propaganda.

Another theme that is popular in today's propaganda is the condoning of adultery and sexual sin (promiscuity).  We are not to commit adultery, end of story.
   
I've written many times about the proliferation of witchcraft and sorcery that is found in our culture today.  Certainly that had its own widespread distribution of propaganda when it first came out, but now we are onto the occultist sidekick, and that is Religion, or more specifically, the ushering in of the Religious spirit.  You see, without the Holy Spirit, Religion is just man's organization that promotes a set of rules--and punishments for breaking those rules.  Religion thrives on tradition, oppression, deception, and man's reason.  Religion was the reason why our forefathers fled to the US in the first place.  It's kind of ironic then, that the next form of propaganda will be to condone and promote a hate-filled, controlling "Religion," by endorsing Islam and trying to get Sharia Laws passed. 

So, to understand this, let's look at the 'hate' bill that was proposed in Arizona.  It was less about refusing homosexuals customer service and more about pushing a bill that legalized religious bias and hatred.  Initially, religious conservatives were supposedly the ones pushing that bill and looked like the bad guys.  But I find that hard to believe as quickly as that bill was endorsed by the legislature and given to the governor for signing--most of Arizona had never even heard of the bill until it was up for signing.  No way, that bill came down from higher in the food chain and only got stopped short of passing by a now, soon-to-be retired governor.  Pushed out of office?--probably, but we'll never know.

You see, if that bill had passed, "Religions" that actually do stipulate hatred and bias would then find a strong legal footing in Arizona.  Then, many parts of Sharia Law would have already been passed there, in effect.  Needless to say, not only is that a very scary thought, but this next propaganda about "religious freedom" will be very cunning and convoluted indeed.  The propaganda will push "religious freedom" in one direction, while opening the door for religious intolerance in another direction! 

Expect the propaganda to also promote false peaceful claims about Islam and make the issue out to be a civil rights claim, all the while pushing for Sharia Law that denies equal rights in practice.  The propaganda will try to recruit many unsuspecting young guys to Islam, as they desire the sensational claims made about Islam from TV shows like the popular, "Family Guy": "in our religion the women must do everything we tell them."      

Lord, we pray today that you open the eyes of our hearts to see deception wherever and however it may be found, and give us the vigilance and wisdom to follow in Your ways; to not stand with rebels, to not walk with the wicked, and to not sit with mockers as we live our lives from day to day, but to follow the leading of your precious Holy Spirit.  Fill us to overflow with Your love for others and for You.  In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. 

~Be blessed and be a blessing.