Sleep Paralysis

I was doing Bible study with a prisoner who told me she often has sleep paralysis.

When this occurs she feels she’s awake.  Her hearing is keen,  yet she cannot move any part of her body. She cannot even open her eyes.  It frightens her and she feels vulnerable to demonic attack.

I told her I have experienced the same thing!  It is not uncommon.  It’s a phenomenon in which people, while they are falling asleep or shortly before waking, temporarily experience an inability to move. However, the few times it happened to me, I did not experience fear as she did.

This is what I suggested, and I believe it was from the Lord:  “The next time it happens, your mind will be awake. You will be able to pray in your thoughts, even though you cannot speak verbally. The Bible tells us to thank God for everything and in everything.  I suggest you use that time to thank God that He is bigger than this sleep paralysis. He is bigger than any problem you have.  Praise the name of Jesus in your thoughts and thank Him.  You will receive His peace and your fear will lift.”

She said she would.

  • SONG: DEAR LORD OF LORDSby Kathleen
  •  I will fear no evil, for you are with me.    Psalm 23:4 
  •  Give thanks in all circumstances;  for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.              1 Thessalonians 5:18
  • …always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.    Ephesians 5:20
  • Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.     Philippians 4:6-7
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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/

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Doing Church for the Old Folks

A friend and I were doing a church service for the old folks in an assisted living facility.  Most were quite elderly.

We opened by singing three songs of worship, followed by prayer.  I then shared an interesting statement our pastor had made. He said there are two types of people who attend church. There are true Christians and then there are churchgoers. They are not necessarily the same.

One lady spoke up in a loud voice. “If you are going to church then you are a Christian!  I was born a Christian and went to church all my life.”

Before I could respond another woman in the group shook her head and said, “Nobody is born a Christian!  Everyone must decide for themselves.”

I said, “Jesus once said in John chapter 3,  that no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.  I wonder if there is anyone here who has surrendered your life to Jesus Christ and then afterward experienced God making changes in your life.   You know you were born again.”  Hands went up. “Who would like to tell us about the difference God has made in your life.”

Several people shared sweet testimonies of true transformations.

Then the same woman with the loud voice again spoke up.  “Jesus has never made a change in my life!  Like I said before, I’ve gone to church all my life.”

I said, “When we make a decision to turn away from our sin and surrender our lives to Jesus, then the Holy Spirit comes to indwell us.  He begins to change us on the inside.  There may be someone here today who has never before asked Jesus to be the Lord of your life.  If you would like to give Jesus your life today,  you may simply pray and call on Jesus to save you.  The Bible tells us that “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

I then prayed aloud a simple prayer that anyone present could repeat after me.  The above mentioned woman was not interested.

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/

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What? This is a Yoga Class?

I arrived early for my Pilates class and was surprised to discover that for some reason I was actually late!  Moreover, there seemed to be a male substitute teaching the class!

I quickly unrolled my mat and began doing stretches with the group. But these stretches were different.  I raised my hand,  “Excuse me!  Is this the Pilates class?”

“No, this is Yoga—you’re early for Pilates. But stay with us. You’ll find it’s very similar.”

I was hesitant because I have always been suspicious of Yoga.  We once had a former guru from India speak at church.  He said, “There is no Hinduism without Yoga, and no Yoga without Hinduism.”  In addition, I once read an article about the required training for Yoga instructors.  It was indeed spiritual and confirmed what the former guru had warned.  It definitely had some Hindu and New Age influences.

I decided I’d stay for the remainder of the class, even though I felt some of the positions we were forcing our bodies into, could not possibly be good for anyone!

Suddenly the entire group loudly began to sing one note “OMMMMM” for what seemed like a minute.  Then they placed their hands in a prayer position and recited in unison several sentences in another language.  That ended the class and everyone picked up their mats and headed out.

I was curious and stayed to talk with the instructor.  I asked him if they were speaking in the Sanskrit language.  He said they were.

“But isn’t that the prayer language for the Hindu religion?”
He said, “Yes it is, but it’s also used in Yoga—Yoga is both peaceful and very spiritual.”

I smiled,  “I’m spiritual too.  I wonder if this facility would permit an exercise class that ended its sessions in a Christian prayer language?  It’s very peaceful, as well.”

He said, “I really don’t know.”
I smiled, “Just a thought.  Thank you for letting me join your class.”

  •  For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.     2 Timothy 4:3-4
  • ONLY ONE LIFEAuthor unknown, circa 1900; Music by Kathleen
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/

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Mammogram

I recently had a routine mammogram.  All went well until the technician wanted to do the right side twice.  Afterward she asked me not to get dressed until she could get a doctor to come and check it.  Hmm.

I waited.  The doctor finally checked the mammogram and then said I needed an ultrasound – now.  I again waited.  Then I prayed, “Lord, I’m getting older.  I know many who have had cancer.  If it’s my turn, then please work this out so You will get the glory.”

The technician finished the ultrasound and called the doctor back.  The doctor repeated the ultrasound, taking a long time.  Finally…  “This looks suspicious, but it’s not.  It’s just a cyst.  You’re fine.  Come back in a year.”

Whew!   I suddenly realized how blessed I am.  Many women are not told the result of a concerning mammogram until days later.  Then an ultrasound may be scheduled two weeks out.  The entire two weeks she’s thinking it may be cancer.

Somehow God wanted me to receive the good news promptly – and I am thankful.  I believe God still has work for me to do.  Everywhere I go there are people who need Jesus.

“Lord, open my eyes to the opportunities around me.  Then give me Your wisdom and Your words.  This I ask in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.”

  • So do not fear,  for I am with you; do not be dismayed,  for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.       Isaiah 41:10

THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU – Lyrics by Liana Wendy Howarth, Music by Kathleen

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/

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Posted in ILLNESS or HOSPITAL, PEOPLE | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Conversation With a Muslim

We were attending a large birthday gathering of Muslim friends.  Knowing my Christian beliefs, Ahmad said he wanted to talk with me. This fine gentleman holds a Ph.D. and teaches at a major university.  He came and sat next to me on the sofa.

“As you know, I have been a Muslim all my life;  I love my religion.  However, most of my extended family members are no longer true Muslims.  They’ve become atheists and are Muslim in name only.  When we came to this country, we were family oriented, committed to marriage, fidelity and to traditional values.  That has changed.  Not only is this true for Muslims, but the entire Western culture is becoming increasingly amoral.

“I tell my university students to wait until marriage before moving in together.  The immorality of today’s culture is destroying America.

“Islam has changed.  No longer do Muslims respect Jesus.  I don’t know why there’s been this change.  You see,  the Quran teaches that Jesus was born of a virgin and was a Spirit from God.  It teaches that Jesus was the Word of God, that He worked miracles and that He is going to return!  Yet Muslims rarely discuss Jesus anymore.

“One more thing, many of the mosques in the U.S. are encouraging terrorism. I know this as fact!  Yet Muslims don’t speak out. They’re silent!”

I mostly listened.  Then I suggested that perhaps HE should speak out.

“They won’t listen to me.  People don’t want to hear the truth.”

I had brought with me some DVDs,  just in case I might have an opportunity.  I opened my purse.  “I have something I’d like to give you. It’s a DVD on the life of Jesus.  It’s in your own language.”

He began reading the label.  “Wow!  There are several different Middle Eastern languages on the same disc!  I would love to watch this!  Thank you.”

“Perhaps after you watch it, we can talk again.  I’d like to get your opinion.”

  • For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.    1 Timothy 2:5
  • Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.     1 John 4:1
  • MY FRIENDWords by D.J. Higgins; Music by Kathleen
  • You may watch the Jesus Movie here:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWYuIe8ftHA

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/

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Posted in Atheism, Other Religions, PEOPLE, RAISING KIDS | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Teenage Girls Incarcerated

Nine incarcerated teenage girls walked into Bible study cursing and acting obnoxious. I raised my voice,  “If you don’t want to be here, you may leave NOW!  Who wants to be excused?”  They quieted down.

I avoided eye contact with two girls who appeared angry and also manly.  Little by little I’d glance at each of them and smile.  Little by little they began to soften—and then smile back.  They were both pretty girls;  after awhile they even began to look more feminine!

I explained that when we surrender our lives to Jesus, His Holy Spirit then comes in and transforms us. He changes our desires so that we begin to want what He wants. Some of the girls said they have addictions they cannot break unless they’re incarcerated.

I talked about the importance of letting God know you are serious about wanting help.  Show Him by letting Him see you spend time reading His Word–and let Him speak to you as you read. You might even get down on your knees and spend time just praising and thanking Him for what He’s already done for you. The Holy Spirit wants to come in and transform lives. That’s what He does!

During the last 30 minutes they seemed to hang on every word.  I talked about the dangers of pornography, that it’s addictive and progressive. “What goes in through our eyes and ears can remain inside and cause disturbing thoughts for years.”

The deputy stood outside the door, glancing in every few seconds to make sure there was no disorder.  Later I thanked her for her diligence and invited her to come inside and join us next time.  She said she would.

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/

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Posted in DOCTRINE, JAIL & COUNTY JUVENILE FACILITY, RAISING KIDS | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Why is Good Friday Good?

It was Easter week and I was fishing off the pier with our eight-year-old grandson. We untangled the lines, baited the hooks, then sat on the bench to wait for a catch.  I’m thinking to myself,  “This is going to be a long morning.”

Then…  “Isn’t this fun Grandma?  I mean, even if we don’t catch anything, it’s just fun, isn’t it!”

“It sure is,  Ethan!  But the best part is being with you!  Tell me something. Do you know what day tomorrow is?”

“It’s Good Friday, Grandma.  It’s the day we remember that Jesus died on the cross.”

“That’s right!  But if it’s the day Jesus died, then why is it called GOOD?”

“It’s good Grandma, because Jesus died for our sins so that someday we can go to heaven.  If He had never died for us, then we would still be in our sins—and we’d go to hell!”

“You’re right, Ethan!  I’m glad you know this.  God has given you parents who love you enough to teach you the most important story in the history of the world.”

Just then I noticed a seagull walking toward our small bait bucket.

“Ethan!  Quick!  Put the lid on the bucket!  That seagull is after our bait!”

Ethan scrambled to secure the lid.  Whew!  That was close.

Then… “Grandma!  The seagull is still walking toward the bait bucket.”

“It’s okay, Ethan.  The lid is tight.”

“GRANDMA!  OUR BAIT!”

We watched in shocking disbelief as the seagull flew high in the sky carrying off our bucket of bait—in his beak!

  • Teach [God’s Words] to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.             Deuteronomy 11:18-19
  • God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.    2 Corinthians 5:21
  • ONLY ONE LIFELyrics by C.T. Studd, circa 1900; Music by Kathleen

[This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become an empty shell, 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.whoisjesus-really.com/  and www.godlife.com
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Posted in BEACH, DOCTRINE, RAISING KIDS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Donate His Organs?

What a blessing to hear a family member share her testimony before an audience of Bible students.  After many years, Lauri’s story remains a vivid memory in our family’s history.

During a large holiday gathering, her 3-year old son Jack was found at the bottom of the pool, purple and lifeless. CPR was started immediately.  The paramedics were able to get his heart beating, but not his breathing.  He was put on life-support at the hospital. His parents were told his chance of recovery would diminish if he did not awaken within 24 hours.

Three days later there had been no change.  He was still on life support when the doctor asked Lauri if she would consider organ donation.   What?  Lauri was not ready to give up hope!

When the doctor left the room she took hold of  little Jack’s hands and poured out her heart to God, begging Him to restore his life.  Seconds later Jack opened his eyes and tried to talk. The respirator was quickly removed and the next day they took him home, recovered!

I praise God when I look at Jack today, now grown, healthy and raising a family of his own. He is living proof that God is still a God of miracles.

Yet what about Emily, the precious 7-year-old who succumbed to cancer despite countless prayers? Little Emily loved the Lord Jesus.

I believe she is in His arms today, perhaps more alive than any of us still walking the earth. Moreover, her parents are still able to praise God and trust Him.

Why are some healed and some taken?  I don’t know.  There are many mysteries God has not yet revealed to us.  Must He?

What we do know is that God is holy and just.  He desires that we know Him, love Him, obey Him and trust Him to be faithful.  I want to do that.

  •  I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death…   Philippians 3:10
  •  If you love me, keep my commands.    John 14:15
  •  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.    Romans 8:28
  • THE PARALYTICBy Kathleen – Words taken from Mark 2
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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Posted in DOCTRINE, PEOPLE, PRAYER WORKS, RAISING KIDS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Muslim with a Gun

I attended a seminar on the beliefs and practices of Islam by Rev. Mateen Elass, Ph.D.  It was held in a local church and widely advertised.

Upon arriving at the church, I was surprised to see a security guard at the entrance.  There was a gun in his holster and he wore a bullet-proof vest.  Hmm.  Has it come to this?

I decided to get acquainted with the guard during the break.   I learned he was from the Middle East and indeed, was a Muslim–a Muslim with a gun!   Oh dear!  The thought crossed my mind:  Fox?  Hen-house?

Later I noticed that while standing guard at the entrance, he was also listening to the presentation!  When it was time for lunch, I drove home to quickly grab a DVD of the Jesus Movie in his language.  When I returned I presented it to him explaining it was about the life of Jesus.

He seemed overjoyed!  “I have always known that Jesus is important, but I’ve never known much about His life.  Thank you.  I am happy to receive this.”

The seminar was most informative ending with an emphasis on ways to demonstrate love to our Muslim neighbors.  Dr. Elass is the author of several books, including Understanding the Koran and The Teachings of Jesus and Mohammad. You may read his blog at: https://mateenelass.wordpress.com/about/

Please pray for the young security guard, that he will soon come to know and love Jesus.

  •  Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.   Colossians 4:2
  • You may watch the Jesus Film here: http://www.jesusfilm.org/watch/jesus.html/english.html
  • You may watch the Jesus Movie in many different languages here:  http://www.thegoodbookcompany.com/watchjesusfilm.html
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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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Posted in DOCTRINE, Other Religions | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Phone Call – Glad I Didn’t Hang Up!

When our children were small there was no such thing as Caller ID.  The phone rang and we had no idea who was on the other end.

“Hello? Is this Barbara?” came a strange, masculine voice.

“Sorry.  You must have the wrong number.”

“Really? But you even sound like Barbara.”

“There’s no one here by that name.”

“But your voice sounds so nice…are you married?” he asked in a slow, sleazy way.

“Yes I am,” I replied tartly, wondering where this was going and breathing a prayer for an opportunity to share Christ with him.

“Oh, too bad,” he said.  “Tell me, do you ever go out on your husband?”

“No I don’t,” I answered.

“You don’t? Why not?”

By now I was convinced God wanted to use me here.  I said, “If you really want to know why, and if you will listen, I will tell you.”

“Yeah, sure, I’ll listen.”

“Well, just a few years ago I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ.  As a result, God completely changed my life and filled me with a deep love for Christ and a deeper love and respect for my husband. Because of that, I would never want to disappoint God or hurt my husband by doing something so foolish as going out on him. Nor have I ever had a desire to do so.”

My caller was silent for a few seconds. Then he said, “Ma’am, that’s nice…that’s real nice. Well, I guess I’ll call Barbara,” and he hung up.

I stood there still holding the phone, a little dazed. Why didn’t I ask him if he’d like to give his life to Jesus too?

“Lord, let there be a next time!  Meanwhile, thank You for helping me share a little bit with that man. Use that small amount of truth to touch his heart with the reality of your love and power.”

[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.whoisjesus-really.com/  and  www.godlife.com
[Looking for SHARE buttons?  Wish to LEAVE A COMMENT?   Go to: www.kathleensfaithwalk.com   and scroll to the bottom of page.
Posted in HERE & THERE, PEOPLE | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments