“I No Longer Believe in God”

A friend confided in me that her daughter, a university student,  announced that she no longer believes in God.  Moreover, she recently moved in with her boyfriend!

Her parents were disappointed in both announcements, but stunned at their daughter’s declaration–that she no longer believes in God!  She had been a strong Christian in high school and faithfully attended church and youth group!

Unfortunately, the above situation is a growing trend.  A pastor to college students explained that whenever one of his students tells him he no longer believes in God, he’ll ask him about his love life.  He said that if Christians become involved in sexual sin they will know it’s wrong and experience uncomfortable feelings of guilt.  But if they believe there is no God to be accountable to, then it’s easier to continue in sin.  Typically, they will begin to seek like-minded friends who share their atheistic views.

The psychological term used to describe those feelings of discomfort that result from holding two conflicting beliefs is Cognitive Dissonance.  It’s simply an inconsistency between beliefs and behaviors. Something must change in order to eliminate or reduce the dissonance.

This growing tendency toward unbelief is common among secular university students today.  I believe it’s another sign that our Lord Jesus is soon to return.  Please pray for our young friend and for the multitudes of young people who have turned away from God–that they will return to Him before it’s too late.

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This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:   http://www.godlife.com/gospel/  and  http://www.godlife.com/en/about-christianity

Posted in Atheism, COLLEGE CAMPUS, Love & Romance | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Spirit House

We were privileged to travel to Cambodia and actually visit some private homes. I noticed the homes in the villages each had a small spirit house outside, usually perched on a pedestal, facing the front of the home.

Some of the spirit houses were painted gold with beautifully carved curlicues. Their fronts were open or had large porches where people would offer fresh fruit, rice and flowers. Most had burning candles and incense.  We were told the purpose of a spirit house was to protect the home from evil spirits.

Cambodia is 95% Buddhist.  Those we met were lovely. They were kind. Yet in talking with some, it seemed there was an underlying fear.  Their lives are dictated by their beliefs in reincarnation and karma. We learned about the many superstitions that control them. They seek advice from fortune tellers before every important decision, even purchasing a motorbike.  If the stars do not indicate a good marriage match, they don’t marry.

Since Buddhists don’t believe in a personal God, I asked our guide about their many prayers. If they don’t pray to God, then to whom do they pray? He couldn’t give me a direct answer except that they meditate on positive thoughts. Often their prayers go out to the universe, to no particular thing or god. They may pray “that all people be happy or cured or enlightened.”  He said it was another approach to Karma: “The positive thoughts toward others will bring positive thoughts to the one praying.”

He said most of the people in Cambodia are poor and suffer hardship. “We believe we were born in Cambodia because we were evil in our previous lives. My own personal goal is to be so very good, that in my next life I’ll be born in America.”  He was serious.

These precious people have no assurance of salvation, no Savior from sin and no promise of heaven. Instead, they are trusting their good works and their spirit houses to protect them.

To me it was heartbreaking.  I was glad I’d brought along booklets about Jesus, as they were well received. I was just sorry I didn’t bring more.

  • People are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.  Hebrews 9:27
  •  ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”   Revelation 21:4

SONG:  John 3:16-18Music by Kathleen

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This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:   http://www.godlife.com/gospel/  and  http://www.godlife.com/en/about-christianity

Posted in DOCTRINE, PEOPLE, TRAVELING | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Seeing Clearly Through the Smog

It was on a smoggy day that I received an unexpected letter from someone I loved.  I wasn’t prepared for its disturbing contents which hurt deeply.

It was a letter of anger and bottled-up emotions, being vented in one huge explosion. Granted, some of the accusations were valid, but most were not. The ones that were, I felt, were merely careless oversights, the result of my insensitivity. The accusations that were not valid left me feeling confused and angry.

Why hadn’t I been told long ago?  Why did she harbor her ill feelings to the point of becoming enraged? My initial response was that of self-pity and tears. Soon I’d gathered my thoughts and purposed to write a letter. I knew I needed to pray first, but I had to make it quick, because the letter had to be written now!

“Lord guide me,” was the extent of my prayer.  Then I began by explaining my side, and then perceiving that she was in need of counseling (mine), I proceeded to instruct her on the fruit of the Spirit, particularly self-control, patience and gentleness.  After a time, I had to leave for an appointment.

While driving, I experienced blurry eyes, not only from my tears, but from the smog.  “Oh Lord!” I prayed. “I feel so low, and this smog is awful!  Lord, Your Word says to come before Your presence with thanksgiving, so I suppose I should be thankful.  Okay, Lord, thank You for this day, even for the smog.”  And then it hit me.  “Lord, do I have to thank You for the letter too? Okay, Lord, thank You for the letter.  And the writer? Lord, You mean it?

I thought for a moment. “Yes, of course! Thank You, Jesus, for showing me so clearly…through the smog.”

That evening I began my letter anew. This time the Lord would be in control:  “Dear _____, Thank you for your letter. It was what I needed to bring me back down to earth. Much of what you said is true. I’m sorry for being flippant and disrespectful. Please forgive me for being insensitive. I love you.”

What peace flooded my dreams that night! Would the letter resolve the problems and rekindle our special relationship? I didn’t know. But I did know I had listened to God, and with obedience came peace.

Thank You, Jesus,  for even honoring my teeth-gritting thankfulness. I love You. Amen.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.                  1 Thessalonians 5:18

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[This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:   http://www.godlife.com/gospel/  and  http://www.godlife.com/en/about-christianity
Posted in DOCTRINE, PEOPLE, PRAYER WORKS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Killing Christians

I recently read Killing Christians: Living the Faith Where It’s Not Safe to Believe  by Tom Doyle… http://www.killingchristiansbook.com/  He also wrote Dreams and Visions. 

He begins by explaining that the Church in America is not strong because the Church in America is not under persecution. Persecution is what grows the Church.

His stories are about Muslims in the Middle East today who have unique introductions to Christ, most by dreams and visions.  It can be a death sentence for those who share their faith with others. We in the West cannot imagine the oppression these believers experience. They prefer torture or martyrdom over denying their faith.

Doyle suggests we ask ourselves two questions:  “Am I willing to suffer for Jesus?  Am I willing to die for Jesus? …From now until Jesus returns, persecution will increase and so will martyrdom.”

Doyle challenges us to pray for our brothers and sisters who live in danger. We all have good intentions, but we get busy.  He suggests the 8thirty8 challenge.  Set your watch or phone to 8:38 PM and when the alarm goes off, pray for those who, because of their faith in Christ, are in prison, persecution, or danger.  Your prayers can be current and strategic, rather than the anemic Lord-bless-everyone-in-danger kind of prayers. Simply link to  https://www.facebook.com/8thirty8  to learn specific needs. The page posts daily SOS prayer alerts for Jesus followers worldwide.

Doyle says, “The timing is significant. As nighttime falls on us in the West, daytime is just beginning in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. And what will they face today? It could be persecution or maybe even death. By praying each evening, you send believers there into the day with a prayer of blessing and hope–and with the promise found in Romans.  Stand with your family.”

Where did 8thirty8 originate?  It’s from Romans 8:38-39  “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

  •  Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.    Hebrews 13:3
  • Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.    Matthew 10:28
  • https://www.facebook.com/8thirty8  
  • SONG: GOD IS READY  – Words & Music by Kathleen; Robin Poem by Elizabeth Cheney–circa 1931

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[This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:   http://www.godlife.com/gospel/  and  http://www.godlife.com/en/about-christianity

 

 

 

 

Posted in DOCTRINE, HERE & THERE, PEOPLE | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Wood Chips

A house in our neighborhood has mountains of wood chips in the front yard. Over time the chips have been neglected, and lately there is a large pile out by the curb.

I was thinking as I passed by,  that I could use a bucketful of those chips for my small garden. Perhaps there were more than they could use and they’d put them out by the curb hoping someone would carry them off.

I knocked on the door and a small boy, about two,  opened the door.  I asked him if his mommy was home.  Soon his mother appeared with a newborn in her arms. She explained that the wood chips had been delivered some time ago, but they’d been too busy to distribute them.  But if I only wanted a bucket, I could help myself.  So I filled my bucket and as I was setting it into the car I noticed my tracts in the back seat:  Promises for Mothers  and another called  Promises for Fathers.

I again knocked on the door and told the young mother that I just happened to have these little pamphlets in my car.  “These are promises from God to mothers like you!”  I also offered her one for her husband.

She seemed delighted. “I would love to read this!  So would my husband!  Did you say you “just happened to have them in your car?”

“That’s right, they must have been meant for you!”

When I returned home I grabbed from my shelf a CD of children’s songs about Jesus and then picked a few avocados from our tree and delivered them to this sweet family.  I enclosed a note inviting her to call me when she wants more avocados.  “There are some on the lower branches that your little son could reach.”

Then I went to the food store and there was a young couple with their three-day-old daughter.  I admired the baby for a minute and then remembered I had more tracts in my purse!  I pulled them out — one for Mom and one for Dad.  They were so appreciative and thanked me repeatedly!

Two days later I received a text from the mother with the wood chips. “Thank you for the sweet note, the CD and the avocados. All are appreciated.”   I’m praying that when she’s ready for more avocados she’ll give me a call.

“LORD GOD,  speak to the hearts of these precious young parents as they read Your truth. Draw each of them to Yourself.  I ask this in the matchless name of Jesus, Amen.”

  • But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord.  Always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.    1 Peter 3:15
  • You may want some tracts to share as well!  Unfortunately, the following links omit two pages of the message of these excellent tracts.   Promises for Mothers:   https://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product_slideshow?sku=163535&actual_sku=163535         Promises for Fathers:   https://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product_slideshow?sku=163520&actual_sku=163520
  • SONG:  ONE BUSINESS IN LIFELyrics by C.T. Studd, circa 1900; Music by Kathleen  

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[This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:   http://www.godlife.com/gospel/  and  http://www.godlife.com/en/about-christianity
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Nobody Wants Bible Study Tonight?

One evening I walked into the day room at the juvenile hall and discovered that none of the guys had requested Bible study that night. Not even one!

So I walked among the minors and asked them myself.  It was true.  Nobody wanted to attend Bible study.

I decided to leave, but first I raised my voice and asked,  “If you don’t want Bible study, then is there anyone who would like special prayer?”

Suddenly one hand went up, “Yes! I need prayer!”
Immediately three more hands went up.
Then five hands went up.

They followed me into the classroom and one said,  “This is the first time in my life that I have ever been to anything religious.”

I said, “Well you haven’t come to anything religious tonight either.  Jesus will be our focus, not religion.”

I prayed for each of them, as I said I would, but then they all wanted to stay and hear the good news about Jesus.

Forty-five minutes later all but one wanted to give his life to Jesus.

[This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:   http://www.godlife.com/gospel/  and  http://www.godlife.com/en/about-christianity

 

Posted in JAIL & COUNTY JUVENILE FACILITY, PRAYER WORKS | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

“I’m Bisexual”

As an online missionary for Global Media Outreach, I’ve been mentoring 20-year-old Mary  from the Philippines for several months.  Recently, she admitted something new: “Even though I’m a Christian, I need to tell you that I’m bisexual. I’ve never had a sexual relationship with a male or female, but I’m attracted to both men and women.  What should I do?”

I prayerfully responded, “You say you are bisexual.  That means you are both. That means it should not be too difficult for you to eliminate the type of relationship that offends God and cling to the one that honors God.

“In Romans 1:21-28  we read that God considers it sin when two people of the same sex engage in sexual activity.  Sex is only to be expressed between a man and a woman who are married to each other. That is the way God designed it.

“The Bible tells us to wait until marriage for sex.  The Bible has not changed. God has not changed. Read Revelation 21: 8 and see what happens to those who are sexually immoral.

“Mary, you are a follower of Jesus. That means you have received the Holy Spirit and all the fruit of the Spirit as found in Galatians 5:22-23: ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.’  You have received ALL of that, not some of it.  That even means you have self-control–you just need to exercise it!

“God will help you do the right thing. Obedience to God is not always easy. But God rewards us when we obey. You have started down the correct path by asking for help. This is a good beginning. You may have to distance yourself from any girlfriend you find yourself attracted to.

“Please be careful what movies you watch. Much is not good and can cause unnecessary sexual arousal and confusion. Do not look at any type of pornography. Porn is addicting, progressive and destructive. It can also lead to sexual confusion.

“In 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 it says,  ‘Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.’

“What this means Mary, is that even 2000 years ago when these words were penned, it didn’t matter which sins people were involved in. When they surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ they changed. The Holy Spirit began to indwell them and gave them the desire to change and also the power to change.  He is still doing that today.

“Godlife.com  has a specialty group of online volunteers who are experienced in answering questions about same sex attractions.  Please let me know if you would like to share your struggles with one of them and I will gladly put you in touch with someone.  There are also many websites where you can read testimonies of former homosexuals.  Go to http://ex-gaytruth.com/ex-gay-testimonies/ .”

I closed by writing out a prayer for Mary:  “… fill her anew with Your Holy Spirit so she will have the power to do the right thing.  Give her Your patience to wait until You provide a godly man for her, so they can honor You with their lives together.  I pray in the strong name of Jesus, Amen.”

  •  But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.    Revelation 21:8
  • For more information on Global Media Outreach:  http://www.globalmediaoutreach.com/ or, www.godlife.com
[This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:   http://www.godlife.com/gospel/  and  http://www.godlife.com/en/about-christianity

 

Posted in DOCTRINE, GLOBAL MEDIA OUTREACH, Love & Romance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Nobody is Born a Christian!

Today our power walk took us out on the pier where there were fishermen to meet. We watched one guy haul in a baby sting ray!  Another pulled up his crab basket with a small catch.

We enjoyed our chat with three young people: the two guys fishing said the fish were stealing their bait!  The young woman with them was putting her well-worn Bible into her purse, so I asked about her faith background. She said she was a Christian and all three of them attended the same Korean Church. We told them we were both Christians as well. She asked if we had been born Christians.

I said,  “Nobody is born a Christian. I grew up going to church, but didn’t begin studying the Bible until I was 27.  That’s when I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. That’s when I was born again.”

She said, “I too grew up in a Christian home, but Christ didn’t become my Lord until a few years ago.”

The guys both reeled in their lines and joined the conversation.  One said he was an engineer with NASA and grew up in a Christian home, but didn’t make Jesus the Lord of his life until five years ago.  He said it was after he saw a friend change from being a quiet church-goer to an on-fire evangelist for Christ. He investigated and soon he too was born again. The second guy, a university student, had a similar story:  grew up in a Christian home, but two years ago Jesus became real to him and changed his life.

Nobody is born a Christian.  Becoming a Christian only occurs after one is born again.

  •  Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again   John 3:3
  • [Jesus speaking:] Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.  You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’   John 3:6-7
  • SONG:  ONLY ONE LIFE: Lyrics by C.T. Studd circa 1900,  Music by Kathleen
Posted in BEACH, HERE & THERE, PEOPLE | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Depression & Anxiety

A couple of months ago there were several articles that came out stating that of all professions, it’s medical doctors who have the highest incidence of stress, anxiety and depression.

A young doctor who is a blogger wrote,  “My stress is constantly 1000%  of what I feel able to manage and it absolutely rules my life; I don’t go out, I don’t socialize and I feel on the verge of a mental breakdown constantly.”

I was astounded to read this!   I have both a husband and a son who are medical doctors.  My husband is retired, but he’s always been an easy-going kinda guy.  Through the years there were only a few stressful incidents.

Our son’s specialty is emergency medicine and he teaches at a major university medical school.  So I asked him his opinion of these articles.

He said, “Yes!   It’s a huge problem among doctors. We even have medical students who take medication for depression and anxiety.  It’s especially hard for doctors who work in the Emergency Department because it’s one of the highest stress areas.

So I asked, “Of those you know, both medical doctors and students who suffer from anxieties, are they Christians?”

His answer came quickly.  “No.  None of them.”

“What about you?” Has the stress caused problems for you?”

“Well Mom, Emergency Medicine is stressful, but I have the Lord. Trusting God makes all the difference.”

What joy filled my heart to hear that!   I wanted to immediately praise and thank God.

Yes, depression, anxiety and stress are increasing.  Yes, suicide is becoming a trend.  I believe it’s due to another trend–the trend to ignore God and His ways.  I believe God created us in such a way that we are the most content and the most at peace when we know Jesus, we know His Word and we trust Him with our life.  I’m reminded of the bumper sticker:  “No Jesus, No Peace;  Know Jesus, Know Peace.”  It’s true.

I might also add that there are times when even a Christian may commit suicide.  I believe it’s because he/she has believed the message of the enemy:  “You aren’t good enough. You’re a failure.  Nobody loves you. Nobody cares, not even God.”  Just watching the news these days can be depressing and overwhelming.  It can even seem hopeless when we take our eyes off Jesus and His Word and begin listening to the enemy.

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[This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:   http://www.godlife.com/gospel/  and  http://www.godlife.com/en/about-christianity

Posted in Atheism, DOCTRINE, ILLNESS or HOSPITAL, PEOPLE | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Divorce: Two Selfish People

My friend Roxanne saw a lawyer and filed for divorce!  “We are two selfish people who never should have married. Greg no longer attends church and living with him has become more and more difficult.”   Married ten years, there are no children. Roxanne is a Christian and knows from the Bible that God hates divorce.

So I asked her,  “Do the problems you have with Greg cause you to spend more time on your knees, to draw closer to God and depend on Him more?”

“Yes, definitely.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             I said,  “I know a pastor with a sign on his wall that says, ‘For THIS I have Jesus.’   It’s to remind him that when life gets difficult, he’s to trust in Jesus.  Our goal in life is not to strive for happiness.  We’re to strive to be holy.  Greg needs a godly wife.  Why don’t you try praising God and thanking God that He is sufficient for your needs. Thank Him for what you DO have. He rewards us when we’re obedient.”

Roxanne began questioning herself:  “Was I really walking with Jesus in my marriage? Could Greg see Jesus in me?   According to 1 Corinthians 7:14, a husband is sanctified by his Christian wife. Was I behaving as a Christian wife?  It’s easy for me to get selfish and critical, to focus on who I think He should be.  He won’t love my Lord unless he can know Him!  I have humbly asked God to forgive me. I’m turning myself around.”

Roxanne went shopping for a birthday present for Greg and became fast friends with the saleslady. They discovered they were both Christians and both in difficult marriages. While they were visiting, Roxanne’s cell phone rang. It was her lawyer. She told him confidently, “It’s off!  I’m going to work on my marriage instead.  I believe God is in the business of taking two selfish people and changing them, one at a time.”

The saleslady smiled and said, “It DOES get better.  Keep trusting Jesus.”

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[This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:   http://www.godlife.com/gospel/  and  http://www.godlife.com/en/about-christianity
Posted in DOCTRINE, Love & Romance, PEOPLE | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments