Category Archives: The Blog

We ARE in a boat, going through a storm

Greetings to each one this last day of 2020 in the name of our Lord, Jesus, the Christ, the Anointed One of God whom He promised to send to crush the head of “that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world.” Yes, thanks be to the LORD God Almighty who gives us the victory!

I remind you of perhaps one of the most well-know episodes in the lives of the disciples of Jesus more than 2000 years ago. —Mark 4:35 through Mark 5:20

photo courtesy of Catholic News World

Jesus said to them, “Let us go to the other side.” 

He had a plan and a purpose for going to the other side. They all got in the boat and began their journey across the water, wondering what could it be  that He has in mind to do?  Then out of nowhere a vicious storm began arising. Because of an exhausting day of ministering to people’s needs, Jesus was in the hinder part of the boat sleeping. As the storm became fiercer, the disciples, like many of us today, began doubting the purpose and plan of their leader. 

Don’t lose focus

Well, as you already know, they woke Him up, He calmed the storm and asked them, “Why are you so afraid? Where is your faith?” In other words, He asked them, “Why don’t you believe what I said, ‘Let us go to the other side’?” They lost focus of the purpose and plan of God. Have we lost focus as well? Have we lost focus of God’s purpose and plan to see the gospel permeate the four corners of the earth?

When they got to the other side perhaps one of the greatest miracles of all in the three and one-half years of Jesus’ ministry happened. A man possessed of up to six thousand demons was set free and was restored to his right mind. Then Jesus told him, “Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord has done for you and how he has had compassion on you.” 

He went back to his home town and led his neighbors, family and friends into a personal relationship with the Lord, Jesus, the Christ. This man going home to his family, neighbors and friends was the purpose and plan Jesus had in going to the other side. The man went into his world and preached the gospel to those around him. (Cf. Mark 16:15 — ‘Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.’)

Fierce storm

Folks, our world is in the fiercest storm since its beginning. There is a spirit of evil that permeates (and even possesses every nation on this globe. It desires more than anything to rule the hearts and lives of us all. It desires to steal away the freedoms that have been given us by our Creator. Let’s not be afraid of the winds, thunderings or bolts of lightening. Jesus is in the boat with us!

Finally

Listen, we are on our way to the other side. God’s purpose and plan to have the gospel reach around the world is still very real, valid and active. This next year, let’s not lose sight or be afraid of the fact that Jesus said, “Let us go over to the other side.”

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come.” —Matthew 24:14

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage . . . For, brethren, ye have been called to liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” —Galatians 5:1, 13

Meet the カノコ (kanoko) lily

Meet the flower of Munakata City,  Japan — カノコユリ Kanoko Lily . It can be found throughout the fields and areas of green in our bed town city of about 97,000 people. 

I visited the city hall the other day and saw its magnificence in full bloom and smelled its fragrance right near the front door. Look at it closely! See the six petals? In the back there are three pointing downward, the one pointing lowest is kind of hidden behind the red stamens. In the front there are three pointing upward. Six altogether. Most of you know I’m a Bible teacher, but I must share again that in Scripture the number six ALWAYS refers to man — that includes you and I — because he was created by God (with a capital G) on the sixth day. 

The three behind-the-scene petals pointing downward I believe reveal the triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit . . . His love and compassion. Yes, God is always found behind the scene in people’s lives. We so often don’t even realize He is there, but He is! He’s always there, stooping (pointing) downward to lift us up when we look up and cry out, “Oh, God . . . ”  And then there are the three petals out front, pointing upward, significant of you and men (body, soul, spirit) when we cry out for God’s intervention. We can ALL relate, can we not? 

The most startling, visible part of this flower is the red spots, or what look like drops of red on every petal, the behind-the-scene petals and the out-front petals. Are you getting the picture?

Yes, our salvation, our restoration to fellowship with God has always been uppermost in the mind of God. In old Israel lambs were killed, butchered and offered as a sacrifice for the removing of the Israel’s sin, for the yearly restoration of fellowship with God. The blood of the lamb had the cleansing power. John, who wrote the most famous verse in the Bible (John 3:16), saw Jesus from afar off and declared — “Behold, the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world” John 1:29.Another early church leader declared — “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission (removing) of sin” Heb. 9:22. 

Wow! What a lesson — all from a flower! 

Effects of Spiritual Vacuum

I want to share an excerpt from a small book written by Billy Graham and first published in 1963….it gives some insight into why our nation is in the mess it is in and also an idea of how quickly the souls of emptiness have become filled with evil in our own country. How desperately we need a Revival among people who are slumbering and sleeping in the Kingdom of God and preparation for the move of God in a great In-Gathering we know the Word of God has promised in the last days.

Here are some excerpts from a little book written by Billy Graham. It was written in 1953 and then re-published. The one I have is from 1977. 

So where are we? you ask. Where are we now and where are we going? Let me tell you where we are and what we are. We are a nation of empty people. Our heads are crammed full of knowledge, but within our souls is a spiritual vacuum.(1)

We complain that the youth of this country has lost its drive, its push, its willingness to work and to get ahead. Parents don’t seem to realize that their well-educated, carefully brought up children are actually empty inside.(2)

America is said to have the highest per capita boredom of any spot on earth! We know that because we have the greatest variety and greatest number of artificial amusements of any country. People have become so empty that they can’t even entertain themselves.(3)

You may think that boredom is a minor matter. Everyone gets bored sometimes, it’s only natural. But let me tell you something about boredom, and this dangerous apathy that is creeping over the land and over the minds and hearts of the people. Man is the only one of God’s creatures who is capable of being bored with itself or it’s surroundings. This is very significant, for the Creator never does anything without a purpose, and if He gave man the capacity for boredom, He did it for a purpose. (4)

Boredom is one of the sure ways to measure your own inner emptiness! It’s as accurate as a thermometer for telling just hollow your inner spirit really is. The person who is thoroughly bored is living and working in a vacuum. It is one of the unfailing rules of this universe that all vacuums must be filled, and filled immediately.(5)

We do not have to go back to ancient times to see what happens to a nation of empty people. We need look no further than the recent history of Germany, Italy, and Russia to see with what deadly speed nature fills up the vacuums that occur within us. Fascism and Communism can find no place in the heart and soul of a person who is filled with the Sprit of God, but it floods with the greatest ease into the minds and hearts of those who are empty and waiting. Nature abhors a vacuum, but it is up to us as individuals to determine with what our inner vacuums will be filled. (6)

One last paragraph from this book:

So that is where we stand today–a nation of empty people. We have tried to fill ourselves with science and other things we thought we wanted,, but we are still empty. Why are we empty? Because the Creator made us for Himself; and we shall never find completeness and fullness apart from fellowship with Him.(7)

Thoughts from Alice.

Can we understand why some people choose the easy way out and want the government to be their sugar daddy… they are empty inside…they are bored and need to be entertained. Is emptiness the fuel that has fed the Opioid epidemic and much of the crime we hear about?   If only they would look to the Lord and find fulfillment, joy, peace and never boredom.   The world is ripe for ingathering.  

I think about things like the above post and it helps me know how to pray. I like to pray with understanding and target specific things. Consider the words of Billy Graham and understand it is much worse now than it was in 1963. Please join me with this information in your hearts and minds and let’s take back the minds of the politicians who are empty souls and given to narcissism and greed and following other Gods and the Professors, college students and youth of our nation who are filled with pretend and electronic games and busyness for the sake of being busy because they are bored—-Let’s unite in prayer and we will make a difference.

All excerpts (1-7)taken from Billy Graham book : Peace With God…1963

CALL TO PRAYER ON CWA

There are many things on my heart today. My heart breaks when I hear of and read all of the turmoil in our nation in this day and age.  I am not ashamed to say I am especially grieved over the unbelievable choice of the politicians who are running our country to be happy and almost giddy about passing a law that agrees with abortion to say nothing about killing precious babies who have already been born into this life whole and perfect.  Doctors who have taken an oath to preserve life are killing wantonly without consequence.  But there will be consequences. This is an attack against the Lord by the devil and those he has lured into his grip. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life are not a myth but traps for humanity and the scripture plainly says they are not of God.  I John 2:16.  “For all that the world can offer us—the gratification of our flesh, the allurement of the things of the world, and the obsession with status and importance—none of these things come from the Father but from the world.”

In this day and age everything is turned into something political. Murder should not be political but I find if I’m not careful I look at things that way as well instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to me and show me what is reality.   I have a dear friend who shared something with me some time ago. He challenged me that what I was seeing may not be reality just as a magician can make you think you see something in one hand…he is hiding something else in the other hand.  He always said just be calm watch what is in the other hand and see what happens.

Today my spirit is telling me what is in the other hand. It is an evil master plan of the devil that seeks to destroy God’s purposes for pro-creation one way or another.  The devil is busy recruiting followers who will be the front or face for his diabolical deeds and in this day and age it is the politicians who are running our country.   They put on a big front while seeking to be elected and then turn into the devils tools against humanity.  I know this is very hard to hear but we have to face this and not run…We must, as individuals, draw closer to the Lord and be filled to overflowing with His love, and His Spirit and pray for an outpouring of His presence in our lives and the wisdom to make a pronounced difference in this world.  He is not willing that any should perish. But please consider this.  The scripture says if a man even looks at a women with lust he is guilty. So I ask, those who have voted for infanticide, are they not guilty of murder. That is a sobering thought.   What I pray you will take away from this is to fight with your prayers and draw closer to the Lord.  Pray for the Generations.  My heart cries for the generations who are being disposed of one tiny baby at a time.   God help those who kill the innocent children.  There is no such thing as a “throw away” child.

Please join with me in prayer for our nation and our politicians.  Prayer is our strongest tool. 

God and god

Today’s guest writer is Nils Olson who has been ministering in Japan as a missionary with his wife Andrea for more than forty years.

About forty years ago a former missionary to Japan, Mary Beth Frazier, shared a very simple thought. This has got to be the solution to all our woes if we can realize that . . . 

“An idol is something that can’t love you back.”

Idols. Hmm, let’s list some: money, sports, food, cars, jobs, travel, art, bad habits we can’t seem to stop, clothes, stamps, coins, books, pictures, statues, icons, customs, traditions, dessert, coffee, pottery, most all hobbies . . . and I think the list could go on and on. All of the above things are basically inanimate and show no signs of life, AND they cannot love you back. 

In our English language, there are two words that are spelled the same, but one is animate and the other inanimate. Are you ready for those two words? 

They are God and god. Most native speakers of the English language know the difference between these two lookalike words. The big God is all powerful, all knowing, all seeing, and exists everywhere. The little god is what the big God told us from which to stay away. Those little gods include images of things in heaven (luminary orbs), earth (trees, rocks, boulders, animals etc.) and under the earth (dead ancestors and famous people). The big God also told us we were to not bow down to them, or serve as a subject (a person who is under the dominion or rule of a sovereign) to them. 

The common factor of all these things we were told to not serve or bow down is that they are not alive, so it is impossible for them to love us back.

BUT, but . . . the big God is alive and loves us back! Now isn’t that a statement that is full of awe? That’s what the original word “awful” actually meant, but over the centuries we have changed the definition to mean exactly the opposite. 

So, saying “full of awe” takes us back to the original meaning where we can understand the statement —

—by an apostle named John who wrote and said, “God is love.” 1 John 4:8 and 16.

—by a prophet named Isaiah who wrote and said what the big God said, “ . . . you are precious in My sight, honored and I love you.” Isaiah 43:4

—by a king named David who wrote and said, “Your stedfast love extends to the heavens.” Psalm 36:5

—and by countless pastors, teachers and evangelists who continue to  declare, “For God so loved the world (me), that he gave his only Son (Jesus the  Christ), (for this reason) that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

So, the big God IS alive; He is NOT dead. He is NOT a myth. He is NOT a figment of imagination. He is NOT a legend. He is the big God; the One who made you in your Mama’s womb; the One who gave you your first breath when you came out of that womb. I wonder what your first cry upon birth really meant? Perhaps it was, “Praise the big God for giving me this life to live; for giving me a future; for giving me a family. Why, do you suppose, was that first breath given to us? Well, here’s the answer to that question, plus it’s the answer to those who may wonder “What good is this life, what is the purpose of my living?”

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

Wow! We finally know the purpose of our being here in this life! We were designed and created by the big God to worship Him, to enjoy His Presence, in which there is fulness of joy, or in another word, “pleasures forevermore.” 

God said of Himself, “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.” Isaiah 44:6. No little god can do for you what the big God can and desires to do. No little god can love you in return for all the devotion you give it. Notice the word “it” — “it” is not alive, “it” is inanimate. You might want to go back to the beginning of this article and read the noted list of some inanimate little gods. 

A guy named Paul, when he visited Athens for the first time, was walking around the city and observed countless idols throughout the city. He struck up a conversation with some of the religious folk one day and said, 

“Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being.’” Acts 17:22-27

You live and move because the big God gave you your life breath for the purpose of reflecting His life in the place where you are right now. 

This short one-liner verse spoken by the Apostle John will surprise you — “Little children, keep yourselves fromidols. Amen.” 1 John 5:21. Idols here are defined as whatever represents the form of an object, either real or imaginary. Keep yourselves, guard yourselves; avoid, shun or flee from idols. 

My simple definition of an idol: something that takes your body, soul or spirit from keeping the big God number one in one’s life. But, I think Mary Beth’s definition is easier to remember. 

The pull of the world is becoming greater and greater as we near the end. Therefore, sing this song for your protection:

A Song of Ascents — Psalm 121

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills.

From where does my help come?

2 My help comes from the LORD,

who made heaven and earth.

3 He will not let my foot be moved;

he who keeps me will not slumber.

4 Behold, he who keeps ( your name )

will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD is my keeper;

the LORD is my shade on my right hand.

6 The sun shall not strike me by day,

nor the moon by night.

7 The LORD will keep me from all evil;

he will keep my life.

8 The LORD will keep

your going out and your coming in

from this time forth and forevermore.