The Daniel Prayer

This is a six week study by Anne Graham Lotz, who is Billy Graham’s daughter. I cannot recommend this study enough! This has done more for me on a spiritual level than any other study that I have bought and gone through. I am in week four right now. You would need the study guide which you can get off the website or other sites like Barnes and Noble. I also had ordered the DVD plus study guide for others to benefit from. I sent a study guide to my son, Derek, in New York. Here is the link to the Daniel Prayer website: https://www.studygateway.com/online-bible-studies/daniel-prayer-study-home-2/

Anne touches on various aspects of the prayer that Daniel prayed to God in Daniel 9. In the first video she has a small group of people that she is working with on how to do the study in the workbook. In all the other videos, so far, Anne is by herself and teaching you. I was so impressed with video number 4 that I watched it four times so far. There is a section at the back of each week’s lesson to fill in with what you have learned from the video. Here is a link to video number 4: https://www.studygateway.com/online-bible-studies/daniel-prayer-study-home-2/session-4-pleading-in-prayer/ I did just as Anne had done and wrote down things I know I’ve been guilty of from the list she has on pages 147-149 in the workbook and will do the same as she did and every day for the next seven days go over that list with God to see where I am failing. She does mention some of the sins in the video but the list in the workbook is longer; 21 sins listed. I would call this spring cleaning for your soul, even though it is not spring. She called it a personal revival. That is very true. I guarantee you will feel revived from this. I look forward to getting rid of each and every one of those sins because I want NOTHING to stand between me and my God.

If you feel your prayer life going flat or you just need to get closer to God (and who doesn’t?) then do yourself a favor and buy this study guide and watch the videos. You won’t regret it. I can see why her father, Billy Graham, has called her “the best preacher in the family.” God has gifted her mightily.

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Review of Coffee For Your Heart

I am very familiar with Holley Gerth through her blog, Coffee For Your Heart, which I receive emails from when she has written a new post. http://holleygerth.com/ I do have another of her books, “What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days”, which is a series of encouraging devotionals that start with the name of God. (“God Is Thinking About You Today,” is one chapter heading.)

Well she has written a number of books and this one is actually named after her blog, “Coffee For Your Heart.” First of all, let me say that Holley has a wonderful gift of encouragement and humor. When her posts land in my inbox it always brings a smile because no matter what she is writing about, you can’t help but feel better after you’ve read it. “Coffee For Your Heart” is a book of 40 short devotionals that have areas for you to respond to her prompts or questions. This is under the heading of “Reflect”. Then she has a short prayer of response and then something to remember. She deals with a variety of topics, all aimed at encouraging the reader. Titles such as Accepted, Wonderfully Made, Forgiven, Loved are examples. This is all to let you know how much God loves you and in so many different ways. His love is constant and He never abandons or rejects us. But sometimes we feel in need of a Divine Hug and this is one of the ways God gives it to us.

I truly feel blessed by her writings and in our present day with all the negative things we have to deal with, our trials, warfare from our enemy the devil, and other problems it is nice to get some positive reinforcement from Christian ladies like Holley. She has a great sense of humor and I laughed out loud when I read how she was not a morning person (neither am I!) and that she had one time put a piece of chocolate on top of her alarm clock to bribe herself to get up. She woke up, ate the chocolate and went promptly back to sleep!

I highly recommend her books for anyone in need of a lift, a little encouragement and some humor to go with it. This book was also previously published under the title “God’s Heart For You.”

Also see review under user name Wildstar on Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/coffee-for-your-heart-holley-gerth/1125446694?ean=9780736970945

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World War II and The Devil

I had recently watched the longest documentary on WWII that I had ever seen. It’s on Netflix and it’s called The War; a documentary by Ken Burns. The first episode was over 2 hours long and each subsequent episode was almost 2 hours long. So I watched a total of just over 14 hours. The backstory was of some families in four cities across the United States and the soldiers. You can’t appreciate what they went through till you watch something like this. First of all, the U.S. army was little more than that of Romania at that time and still had guns from WWI. (That eventually changed when they got better weapons.) The U.S. was not prepared to jump into another war but the Japanese changed all that with Pearl Harbor. Kids were drafted. They were kids to me because they were sometimes younger than 18 years of age and even into their early twenties. They had to be hastily trained and thrown into battle, inexperienced and scared to death. Never mind what Patton, played by George C. Scott, did to that one soldier who was suffering from battle fatigue. He may as well have slapped every single soldier that was laying there wounded in the hospital because they were all frightened. One soldier in the Ken Burns film said that he was shaking so bad from fright while in the European theater that he was relieved to find out that another soldier near him, who was more experienced (and maybe by only a few months), was also shaking. But they pressed on. They got tough and better.

Pretty much like we Christians have to get; tougher and better. I had recently watched sermons by John MacArthur on YouTube in which he spoke about Satan and how God uses him to bring about certain results in us.(along with how horrendous evil Satan is and we are his main target and how the rest of the world is in his control.) Like in the case of Job, God allowed Satan to have his way with Job, except he could not take Job’s life. Job was a righteous man and loved by God. But at the end of that long and heartbreaking stream of disasters, Job’s righteous was refined like gold and he was on a whole new level spiritually. Those undergoing very tough and long trials should take comfort in the fact that God is actually accomplishing something in them that will truly amaze them once they come out the other side. And perhaps God is taking His relationship with you to a whole new level; closer, tighter and more intense.

Right now both my sons and myself are going through so many different and relentless trials that would make the non-Christian hit the bars. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on my knees crying my eyes out before God. But God has never left me. He’s right there with me and my sons. It was a combination of the WWII film and John MacArthur that made me see things with more clarity. Sometimes when we are in an emotional upheaval we can’t see very clearly, so God will show you what you need to see in ways that you would understand. You’d be surprised at what weapons Satan will use against you. Even other Christians. Even attacking your personal relationship with God and try to make you doubt that.

Back to the war. In stark contrast, the German, Japanese and Italian armies were way more experienced and way more in number. These were all highly trained soldiers, especially the Germans and Japanese, and better equipped. The Japanese were also relentless. The enemy soldiers were much like Satan’s army, highly skilled and motivated and also vast in number. The attack on Pearl Harbor would be typical of Satan, who often launches surprise attacks and then continues relentlessly. We have a superior Commander-in-Chief; Jesus Christ. But if we do not put on the whole armor of God, we can be unprepared and a target for our enemy, Satan.

It took forever to launch D-Day, which was the invasion of Normandy and a major turning point to the war. What surprised me was to see, when the newspapers printed big headlines that the invasion had taken place, how many people crammed into churches and synagogues to pray for the troops. People were praying everywhere; on their jobs, in the shipyards where battleships were being built and every other place. You’d never see that now. It showed a lot of men in the shipyard kneeling in prayer. I was stunned. There was also a lot of sacrifice on the part of the American people as well as the British; gathering scrap metal and rubber to be turned over to the government to make weapons and other needed things. Plus, food was rationed and Americans had to become resourceful in what they cooked.

Factories were pumping out weapons, munitions, tanks, jeeps, aircraft, etc, in amazing numbers. Bombers were cranked out every 63 minutes and had over a million parts. Some of the things I had previously heard about WWII were clarified in this film. For instance, it was only the Japanese on the west coast were hauled off to internment camps. Not all the Japanese in the entire country. Also, the young Japanese-American men who were conscripted into the army from those camps turned out to be the most ferocious soldiers we had and the battalion was nicknamed The Purple Heart Battalion. They fought in Europe, not in the Pacific.

Like Satan, the Nazis and the Japanese threw everything they had at the allied forces.The Japanese were particularly brutal and barbaric toward their prisoners and the Bataan Death March was the most infamous. And like Satan, those Nazis who ran the concentration camps were pure evil in what they did to millions of innocent and defenseless people.

One of the Marines, who was in the Pacific, spoke about the relentless shelling and never knowing if the next bullet had their name on it. He said, “It was a matter of faith. You will survive if the Lord is willing or you will not. So you just take it.” This was in the battle for Guadalcanal. We have an Advocate, a King, who has died for us and will not let us go and who will fortify us and help us. In some cases, He will fight the battles for us. I had the experience of the Lord working behind the scenes for me when I had no idea what was actually going on. He worked quickly and decisively and truly amazed me. I will talk about that at a later date.

Sometimes it is so intense you don’t know how you’re going to make it through. But you will. Jesus will get you through because you are His. No matter what Satan throws at you, Jesus is right there. Don’t forget that. Jesus has defeated him on the Cross. Satan has already failed. He’s already lost. Don’t let him convince you otherwise. Don’t let his lies infiltrate and make you doubt God or feel like you are alone. You’re not alone.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of darkness in this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:12-13

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I’m Done With It All….

I’m not going to write about what someone else did or didn’t do or said, anymore. I’m tired of it and it effects me too deeply when I see something that is not right. Not to turn a blind eye to it but maybe just pray for that person because if their actions or words are wrong or un-Christ-like, they need help. I think I need some “spiritual white space”, as Bonnie Gray would say (she wrote a book on it). It’s a respite from everything but also includes rest and more time with Jesus. And I think I will be unsubscribing from some emails, too. It’s time to spring clean my spiritual house.

I’m just going to immerse myself in study and write about that or something that was in the news, like the continual radiation poisoning of our planet by Fukushima, which is still leaking billions of gallons of radiation into the ocean. If it is going to take Japan 40 years to clean that up, that’s 40 years of deadly radiation we have to deal with. http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-02-06-unimaginable-radiation-levels-detected-at-fukushima-mox-fuel-melts-through-reactor-floor.html A lot of it has been hushed up or just outright lies being told to the public. The people of Japan will suffer because of it.

Anyway, I have plans on writing a piece about the prophets which will require research. I had been thinking about their lives and the fact that some were completely alone. They didn’t have a support system of others and were sometimes asked to do strange things by God. But I’m not getting into that here.

I want to wish all of you a joyous Easter or Resurrection Day, for those who prefer to call it that. Let us celebrate with joy what our Savior has done for us. Peace to you all and God bless you.

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The Snake Kills With Its Mouth

The title of this post is borrowed from Max Lucado in a devotional about the betrayal of Jesus by Judas and why Judas kissed Jesus in the garden. (as opposed to just pointing Him out to the guards who came to arrest Him.)

I was particularly impacted by finding that erroneous translation of the word phobeo (fear)which I mentioned in my last post. I wondered how many women, having read that book, had no idea it was wrong. How many did Bible studies around the book and still not realizing it was wrong. Not everyone has a Hebrew-Greek Keyword Bible and, in fact, many don’t know it even exists.

We are used to accepting whatever is taught to us, which is a dangerous position to be in unless it is solely the Bible. And even in that, I discovered there are some serious errors in the various translations. In some cases, verses are totally gone from the NIV that appear in the KJV. Of the many verses that are gone are: Matthew 17:21, Matthew 18:11 and Acts 8:37. In some cases the translations are radically different as in Hosea 11:12. Here is the King James Version: “Ephraim compasseth me about with lies and the house of Israel with deceit but Judah yet ruleth with God and is faithful with the saints.” I made bold what I want to draw your attention to. Now in the NIV it says: “Ephraim has surrounded me with lies, the house of Israel with deceit. And Judah is unruly against God and even against the faithful Holy One.” You can see that the two verses are opposite on that one point. There are more like that. Like Gen. 27:39-40 To God this makes a difference. He doesn’t like His Word being fooled around with. You can see this for yourself. Just go to a bookstore and take the two translations off the shelf and compare. If you are at a Barnes and Noble, you can sit comfortably with a cup of coffee and a pastry and do it. I have an NIV which I had for over ten years till I found out about the errors from my pastor and also my friend, Walter. I keep the NIV just for this purpose and also because it is a Thompson Chain Reference and the reference part and archaeology part in the back are useful. Eventually, I will buy the KJV of that one.

For the first thousand years of the New Testament church history, there was severe persecution but the Word of God continued to spread and be translated into different languages. Back then it took 10 months to copy the scroll by hand. This continued on till persecution decreased a little around the 15-1600s. The copies, which had been copied again and again over the years, were all collected from around the world to be studied. Mind you, none of the translators had seen each other. After 1,000 years or five generations the copies, which were about 5,000, were compared. With the exception of some spelling differences in Biblical names, the copies were all the SAME. It was during the translation into English that we got the King James Version in 1611. Tyndale translated the Bible in 1525.

We also need to be careful of the outside books we read and what message are they sending us, as in the case in point of my last post. Another well known Christian author has a chapter in her book about how to make love to God. It seems she is caught up in the sensual. She even posted, twice, a picture of her bed and spoke about how it’s worn in the center from lovemaking with her husband. Why this is in the public eye is beyond me. (I had subscribed to her blog, unsubscribed, subscribed again to see if she changed, and then ended up unsubscribing again.) I ended up throwing her book into the garbage when I later realized what I had bought. (sorry Ann Voskamp) She keeps writing and people keep buying and she has a huge following. The devil is deceptive in his seduction. You can actually read words that should set off immediate alarm bells but don’t. Your eyes might gloss over the words, there might be slight discomfort and it won’t be till someone else or God Himself throws it back into your face to really take a look at. I know this from experience. Sometimes He has to take me by the back of the neck and shove my face into whatever offensive worded book and say, “LOOK!” (No, He didn’t really get off His throne to come down here to do that to me. I mean it figuratively.)

The devil’s seduction can be real sneaky and, of course, be quite overt and why some Christians are ensnared by pornography is beyond me. Like Christ stopped existing for that moment in time while they are busy fulfilling their lusts. If God chose to take that person right then and there, they would have a whale of a time explaining to Him why their orgasm was more important than their salvation. That goes for both sexes. I wonder how many Christian women sneaked into an early showing of “Fifty Shades of Gray” when it was released. Christians, who want to keep themselves pure till marriage, might have a bit of a hard time if their imaginations were fueled by someone else writing about how to make love to God. Satan on the sidelines stoking the flames of desire. Yes, I know about Song of Solomon but it does not say that God is having sex with His creation.

What you need to be wary of is anyone that preys on your emotions. The snake is still slithering out there and winding his way into your mind if you don’t have your guard up. Or helmet on. (Ephesians 6: 10-18) Any book that has you focusing too much on the past, when we are to look ahead to Jesus, or your emotions, which will keep you weak and ineffectual as a Christian, need to be avoided. Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might. (Eph. 6:10) Yes, many will go on about our lives being messy and, in some cases, tell us that Jesus gets in there with our mess. However, that is not really the case. He pulls us out of our mess, cleans us up and sets us on the narrow road. He does not wallow in it with us. I don’t want to stay in my mess. Do you? I want to get out of it and be holy, like God wants us to be. Be like Joseph (coat-of-many-colors) and run from sin and get as far away from it as possible. Run to Jesus who will handle this because only the power of the Holy Spirit can effect real change.

Guard your minds, guard your hearts because the devil is out there slithering and will kill with his mouth.

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Stop The Presses!

I got the book “The Uninvited” and I was all anxious to start reading it the next day. Curiosity got the best of me so I went and opened it up to a random spot, counting on God to guide me. Well, He did. But the results were not as I expected. I opened up to page 165 and began reading. It was fine. She was talking about the time Jesus went for a walk on the lake and the disciples were terrified and thought they saw a ghost. She mentions the Greek word “tarasso” which means “to set in motion what needs to remain still.” That’s true. I looked it up on an online lexicon. I went on to read some more, being intrigued,until I got to page 169.

Here is where it all changed. Referring again to the time Jesus walked on water, (That would be Mark 6:45.) Jesus says, “Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.” Lysa worked out of a different translation and said that Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid.” Same thing. But in the very next sentence she says: “The word used here means “don’t resist me.”And He climbed in the boat with them.” All right…something is off. I have a Hebrew-Greek Keyword Bible so I looked the verse up. The word “afraid” is underlined and has the number 5399. What that means is that when I look up (in the back of the Bible) in the New Testament (Greek) section what 5399 is, I will get the Greek word and all the possible meanings. The word in Greek is phobeo; to frighten, to be alarmed, to be in awe of, be afraid, fear, reverence. From Phobos–fear. To put in fear, terrify, frighten. (This is where we get all the words that end in phobia.) No where in the entire definition does it say anything about resist.

Being annoyed about this, I mentioned it to my son, David (a pastor), and he said to double check online by Googling the word and pick the lexicon definition that comes up. (to give the author the benefit of the doubt and also there might be some far-flung definition out there.) So I did. Same definition. Phobeo-to put to flight, to flee, to fear, to be struck by fear, to be alarmed…. You get the drift. So where on earth did Lysa TerKeurst come up with “don’t resist me”? Because it is wrong. Here is the lexicon: http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/phobeo.html

The Greek word for resist is anthistemi, which is pronounced anth-is-tay-mee. http://biblehub.com/greek/436.htm It means “I take a stand against, oppose, resist.” No where does that appear in the sentence where Jesus is telling his disciples not to be afraid.

I am greatly disappointed. If you quote scripture, and especially if it is the words of Jesus Christ, you better be right! And double check what you have written so there are no errors and you don’t lead someone astray. I am sorry I got excited about this book. I’m not even going to waste my time reading it. Because if there is one glaring error there might be more.

I should know better by now. Every time I read an excerpt from a book and get excited about it and then order it, I find it is not what I thought but a big disappointment. I apologize to all my readers for being misguided.

So I had to write this to inform anyone out there about it and I hope no one ordered the book.

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The Uninvited

That is the title of a book by Lysa TerKeurst. I had seen the title many times before but felt no interest in reading it until now. I don’t remember exactly from what devotional the excerpt from her book appeared but when I read it, I became intrigued. So, when a 20% off coupon for Barnes and Noble appeared in my inbox today, I went and ordered the book. Then I read a sample reading.

In a previous post I had mentioned that this was the start of another chapter in my journey with God and that it would entail more correction. Well, the image that most people think of when I say that (myself included!) is that it was going to be hard correction. What I learned today is: Never try to figure out what God has in mind till you get there because most likely you will be wrong. When I began to read the sample on of Lysa’s book on B and N’s site, this one sentence jabbed me right in the heart. She found herself with a big problem. She was due to leave on a flight and she realized she had forgotten to put her luggage in the trunk. I guess she thought her friend did it and her friend thought she did it. Either way, Lysa was in full panic mode. She called her friend who was going to try to get the luggage to her but there was only 15 minutes left before luggage would no longer be allowed on board. Lysa found an employee who handles luggage at the curbside check-in and told him her plight but he could not help her. She began berating herself for forgetting and calling herself names. The luggage handler suddenly turned around and said, “Not in my presence. Not in my presence will you talk about yourself that way. Absolutely not.” Lysa thought for a moment she was in the presence of an angel but she obviously was not. Those words hit me hard as if God had just said them to me. Tears welled up in my eyes like a cartoon character whose tears fill up half of her eyes before they spill over.

As I read further, Lysa described her young life with her emotionally absent father who was soon enough physically absent. He just packed up and left her and her mother. She suffered rejection because of that. Suddenly I was identifying with her more and more. The entire title of the book is, “Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out and Lonely.” Because I suffered rejection from before I was born when I later found out from my human father who said my mother didn’t want to be pregnant with me because I ruined her figure. And further rejection at the hands of my brother and two sisters who had horribly abused me when I was very young. They were much older than me; like ten, fifteen and sixteen years older. My father was a tyrant and I never felt loved. Rejection followed me all of my life until Jesus revealed Himself to me much later and ten years after I had left a legalistic church.

The scene prior to that was of a time in her adult life when she is remodeling her kitchen and had a friend come over because she was seeking his advice. The ceiling was exposed and he could see that one of the beams only went three-quarters of the way across. In other words, it was not really supporting much and was nailed to another beam and that was unstable and the whole thing was likely to come apart. She described the boards that were barely hanging on as looking into herself. She said for years she was expecting stability from a broken identity. She went on to say that she heard people talk about putting their identity in Christ but when something felt threatening, she would revert back to old thought patterns of feeling unloved and unwanted. Standing underneath the broken boards told her why. She said, “I couldn’t keep my old broken beliefs, nail a little Jesus truth to the side, and expect stability.”

Ah! That was it! The correction God is going to undertake is the old belief systems. Horrible, lingering bits of belief that was ingrained in me during my 19 years in a horrific legalistic church called the Worldwide Church of god. I used small “g” because they don’t deserve the use of the Big G for their persecution and demeaning of women and children and who painted a picture of God as a mean, vindictive Person. (One time my car broke down in the middle of the road and I was told by the pastor at that time that God was punishing me for whatever sin or infraction the pastor thought I had committed. That’s just a minor example.) But the real culprit was my childhood which set the ground work for getting sucked into that church and staying way too long.

As much as I thought I had weeded out all that old garbage, I realized that some parts of it had still remained and this is now the correction coming my way. God is going to lovingly correct that image that had been painted in my mind. Make no mistake, I love God with all my heart and He knows it. I know He loves me more than I can possibly know this side of Heaven. Bits and pieces of some of the old beliefs have been showing up in this heart-rending trial of my son, David’s, health. And I can tell you with absolute certainty that satan has been doing his part throwing those beliefs in there. Because wherever Jesus is actually leading me will require that ALL the old garbage will gone for good! Satan is feeling threatened.

One more thing: I have a distinct feeling this is going to be a very intimate and personal thing between me and God. I will get to see Him in a whole new light. Because I have been so badly abused and rejected, His approach is going to be decidedly more loving and tender than how His creation has treated me. And…I think I will finally be healed if all that emotional pain. This is the start of something big. 😀 And He gets all the glory.

P.S. I have written another post about this book and would not recommend it. I may be completely wrong about a bunch of things.

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