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Movie Review “We are Marshall”

Time was when the only occasion to read a movie review was right after it was released. The myriad of online sources, such as Netflix, makes any old movie available sometimes free, sometimes for a fee.

Dealing with Grief, Loss, Failure

I found “We are Marshall” free on Roku after working straight through for 10 hours on a nasty, complex project involving some evildoers who falsified information against a political candidate. The problem solved, I needed a “brain fast.” The review rating was 2 Plus. Mistake.

If we look at fiction of any kind, I’ll include singing and dancing here, we can learn. Art is a form of teaching we may not recognize while it is happening.

This movie is based on a real story from the 1970s. A small West Virginia college loses an entire team. The result is that every family, every business, every student is burdened not just with grief but waves of extended loss, frustration, failure and that covers everything they were, and do and now are no longer doing. Time is standing still. Their future is gone.

The head of the college advisers, for example, is asked to go home to his family after sitting in a local diner for several hours and he says, flatly, “I have no more family.” Shock flash freezes you in time and you cannot move forward. The movie pictures this perfectly which is why it appears to be slow. The process of dealing with grief can be very slow. That is part of the lesson.

The cure is an action plan

How can they move on? Enter star Matthew McConaughey as a new coach from another city working with only three depressed football players and a few remaining resistant staff. I won’t spoil the story with any more details. How the team, the town and the college all right themselves is the balance of the movie.

Winning over grief is everything

McConaughey is so quirky he blind-sides the college president and drags the students, new coaches and players, many unwillingly, into the future. One minute he is interrupting someone’s depression, another he climbs up on a roof to encourage a former staff member to return to the team. The former i.e. late coach preached that winning was everything. Now their foe is not another football team but their own emotional state.

Job’s Counselors

How easily we tell people – You got to start over, get a life, deal with the past, put a sock into, get involved. All the casual warnings and advice to the person just hanging on after a life-changing unexpected massive attack on the inner man. Death, especially violent unexpected death goes to the inner core and wounds parts you did not know were there.

Like Job’s counselors our efforts to minster life sound like death instead. We do this because we don’t know what to say. “Everything is going to be alright” is not a panacea. And in some cases, is not true.

Real, concrete, written out and planned goals actually do start the cure. Death is permanent, grief is not. It is a process and it must start somewhere.

You can’t “Move On” until you move

Yes, you will, you must start over but, you do not dishonor the past by making a new life.

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If you enjoy our articles here, please join the discussion by subscribing, and following us on Twitter @ImmaculateAssum and at Immaculate Assumptions on Facebook. Additional background material on the author and her writings can be found at AMAZON where you may purchase her e-book, Immaculate Assumptions: All You Heard about the Bible that Isn’t True.

#grief #loss #failure #depression #death

The Bitter Root

Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

This word “bitter root” appears only once in the Bible but it covers a huge territory of disaffected, unhappy and dangerous believers.  You do not find bitterness in the young.  They may be stupid, untaught, rash or deceived but not bitter.  It takes some time in life for that to appear and there are always causes. But one thing is clear.

Bitterness: A challenge to self-will

Children who do not get their own way are quickly disciplined by conscientious parents. If not they turn into arrogant “enfants terribles.” Adults whose self-will is challenged have a choice – either knuckle under to the will of God or deteriorate spiritually into a state of rebellion against life and those who cross their will. They can’t get back at God but they can make humans suffer.

Christians have about one year of a honeymoon with Jesus, or it may, as in my case go on for seven full years. But then come the tests. How will you react. God does not tempt us to do evil, but He does test.

The test is not for His benefit; He knows what you are made of, but you don’t. You need to find out what you are made of. Do you really take seriously the rules of holiness? Will you fold like a cheap lawn chair the minute you must make a moral decision?

Back when I was 22 or so, we needed furniture. I married a Southern gentleman but I did not know that Southern men thought all Yankee women were morally loose. So when I went out furniture shopping I didn’t realize the store owner expected me to test the bedroom furniture with him, personally. I was not even a little amused. I told him a quick goodbye, I told my husband and vowed never to buy furniture from that lecherous old man. My mother had a similar experience when she was in her 60s so these rumors die hard.

That is a valid test. God wanted me to know I was faithful when it would have been easy to get away with it. But what about the man who does not pass the test. His wife walks out on him, he is caught in some double dealing or worse yet, he is caught in a trap being scammed by others. He can say, God, you promised me a good wife – it is YOUR FAULT that she left. Or the businessman who is unwittingly drawn into a bad deal. He tells God, It is YOUR FAULT that I was deceived.

And in comes the “bitter root.”

And that is how you recognize it. These bitter people, more men than women but women too, all blame God for what happened to them. It may be huge losses on the stock market, it may be a house foreclosure, an unfaithful business partner or wife, a rape. And the man or woman says to God, “The Bible says, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ Where were you when I was raped. It is your fault God.”

It is your fault God

This past week I spent four days dealing with a group of people who have spent the last two decades on revenge against people they disagree with. This entire group is a profile in bitterness. One man killed his son – it was an accident, everyone knew that and the town forgave him, prayed for him, yearned for him to be free. But in his heart he has not forgiven himself and he hasn’t forgiven God. He seeks revenge against anyone, particularly those who appear to have authority. Like God, people who have authority are self-confident and are publicly righteous. They are confident in themselves. They make a good substitute for God as a victim of slander or whatever. He takes many people to court because he inherited some money. He does not know the forgiveness of God for himself, so he cannot offer it to anyone else.

Another fellow lost his job and his wife at the same time. He found this bitter group and joined. Another man did not finish high school and he is jealous and angry at educated people. This group is heavily involved with politics. People who can’t get their way first join churches where they try to take over. After a while they leave because the members can’t put up with them. Then they head for politics. This past week they had invented a complex scam against a candidate, a woman of course, and it was after a good bit of investigation, finally exposed. With money and time on your hands you can cause a lot of trouble. Which explains the last part of the verse.

Defilement

A political campaign was defiled. But more importantly the people who planned, executed and funded this scam were themselves defiled. God condemns liars. In Revelation we are told that the lake of fire is the final destination “for all liars.” Not just a few – but all.

Genesis 12:3 says those who curse God’s people will be cursed. All four women and the two men these the Bitter Root Company accused and even filed court charges against, are active Christians, not just one day a week Christians, but proactive. But you do not need to be a perfect person to have God defend you against accusation. You only need to be one of the “family.” And families stick together. If you have been charged or wronged by someone and you are a member of God’s family, you have a scripture to use to ask for redress of grievances.

God also says He hates the “accuser of the brethern.” That would include a large number of national television outlets, newspapers and magazines, Recently the McClatchy media group of newspapers went belly-up. I immediately thought, well, may God is dealing with the public media who profit by lying. The United States Supreme Court doesn’t slap their hands anymore so maybe they will change in the future. Slander and libel are not just a problem, they are sins and need to be treated that way.

It all started in the garden. When Adam was caught with his hand on the fruit, he said, Genesis 3:12

12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

So the first words spoken after sin is revealed are these – blame first the woman and then blame God.

I rest my case.

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If you enjoy our articles here, please join the discussion by subscribing, and following us on Twitter @ImmaculateAssum and at Immaculate Assumptions on Facebook. Additional background material on the author and her writings can be found at AMAZON where you may purchase her e-book, Immaculate Assumptions: All You Heard about the Bible that Isn’t True.

#slander #libel #politicaltricks #bitterness #unforgiveness #judgmentofGod

Elohim – The First Name of God

Elohim is a combination of two words – El, which means “high up,” and “im” which is a plural. For example, “dag” is Hebrew for fish, and “dagim” means fishes. Christians recognize this as a reference to the Trinity, or Jesus, Holy Spirit and Creator God. But in fact we must recognize the creator God as a multifaceted intelligence.

The first reference to elohim is:

Genesis 1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

Genesis is Hebrew for “Book of Beginnings.”

For our minds it is hard to conceptualize a God so huge that he is completely outside of a multi-billion-light-year-mile-space-time universe. But that is where the Eternal God is and what He began so long ago.

The Bible says that all men know this God in their “hearts.” It comes with being human. But it is hard to imagine a God like this, so Jesus said,

John 14:9 CEV Jesus replied: Philip, I have been with you for a long time. Don’t you know who I am? If you have seen me, you have seen the Father. How can you ask me to show you the Father?

It is many thousands of years from Moses writing down the creation story to Jesus and now to our day, but it is a continuous revelation of truth, precept upon precept, line upon line. We study the life of Jesus simply because studying God the Creator is so very hard.

Etymology of God’s Name

In China the name for creator God is “ShangDi.” I asked little children when I was there, what is God’s name? And that is what they told me without hesitation. So you see, atheism is not born into anyone.

The term is two words, Shang means “high above.” Shanghai is a city “above the waters.” “Di” for leader or ruler. Isn’t it interesting that in the three most popular languages on earth, Spanish, English and Chinese, the name of God includes the sound “di” – dios, (Spanish) dieu (French), divinity (English).

We have no record of the language they spoke before the tower of Babel when God came down and scrambled the languages, but we can guess that the word “DI” was there for the Most High God. I was once told the Hindus have 30 million gods so I do not include them in onomastics.

And that is the first thing God wants us to know – that He organized, created and revealed the universe to us and will continue to do so until the end of time when He wraps up history and goes on to a whole new program.

Cosmology and a creator God

So when we see the word Elohim we are to remember that the universe did not originate from sea water or tiny amoebae but because someone wanted a place to share with His People, plain and simple.

#cosmology #namesofGod

‘Til Christ be Formed in You

God woke me up at 2 a.m. and I watched most of this program that I found listed below on TV.

LIFE ON THE ISLAND OF JESUS – Premiering February 16, 2020 on ABC-affiliated stations. The true story of missionary pastor, Scott Campbell, whose ambitious dreams for ministry success crash into a disinterested spiritual culture, driving him into clinical depression and to the brink of suicide. The film explores how God uses great difficulties over time to transform followers of Jesus into new creations.

Why are you a Christian? What is God’s purpose for His being in your life? Perhaps you thought it was to be a good father, or wife, or seamstress, or lawyer, or landscaper? This TV show presents another viewpoint, quoting

Paul Galatians 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.

So God’s goal for saving you is to see you, as a “new creature in Christ,” take on the nature of Jesus. This is not about being a Christian carpenter, the professional Jesus, not a Christian preacher, the words of Jesus, not a Christian doctor, the profile of Jesus’ saving human bodies, but the formation of the nature of an internal Christ.

What will that nature be – a sacrificial one, a warrior person, a healing nature, a teaching profile? Clearly we do not know. Some of us think our job as a believer is to survive, surely now as the believers come under increasing attacks, but no. It is not about what you become to yourself, but what you become to Him.

For seven billion people on this planet, and He is Lord God over them all, the answer will be different, as different as their DNA. I don’t know. Do you? But I am going to find out if I can because I want to be in the center of God’s will.

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If you enjoy our articles here, please join the discussion by subscribing, and following us on Twitter @ImmaculateAssum and at Immaculate Assumptions on Facebook. Additional background material on the author and her writings can be found at AMAZON where you may purchase her e-book, Immaculate Assumptions: All You Heard about the Bible that Isn’t True.

When you Pray? and to Whom?

buddah-173621__180

Simmie and her husband are immigrants from Indonesia.  She escaped from China and is an implacable foe of Communism.  Together they run a successful beauty shop known for high quality work.  They both wear the brown prayer beads that identify Buddhists; both are very happy and fulfilled in their lives.  They remember President Ronald Reagan’s defeat of the Soviets and are conservative voters.

I like my appointments early so when Simmie shows up I am already there. She takes about 5 minutes  before work to stand in front of the little plastic Buddha in a corner of the shop.  She gives a daily offering, which is often fruit, and says some prayers standing there silently. (Buddhists in China eat the fruit for lunch.) Orientals are a quiet sort anyway.  Then she begins her work day.

I marvel at this sight.  Here is a plastic Buddha manufactured by presses in the Pacific Rim (even by those new copy machines filled with liquid plastic)  and painted with fake gold.  Sometimes these Buddhas are ceramic and covered in real gold.   But no matter.  I wonder, “Whatever good will that do? This is just plastic; he can’t talk back.“

Most people, even some Buddhists, don’t know that Buddha did not claim to be God, only that he had the wisdom of God.  And in fact, many people are wise. 

This is a god who cannot answer

My God can talk back. I want my God to tell me, “That is a stupid idea,” or – “You are on the right track.”  I left Texas because God said, ”Start packing.” I could not be happier with the results of the move.  Buddha can’t tell me that. 

In China I asked one teacher, a  Buddhist, “What is God’s name?”  She answered, “Shang Di.”  That is the Chinese word for the creator God.  Then I asked, “Do you know His first name?”  She did not.

I said, “His first name is Jesus.”  In October 2018 someone told me she accepted Jesus as Messiah, finally after 10 years.  These things take time.

What do we do with the Simmies in our midst?  We need to tell them that our god can talk back.  Not through a priest, or even a prophet, but directly.  I love hearing testimonies of people who have Jesus show up – sur-prise, sur-prise.  He will do it.  When Christians pray.

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If you enjoy our articles here, please join the discussion by subscribing, and following us on Twitter @ImmaculateAssum and at Immaculate Assumptions on Facebook. Additional background material on the author and her writings can be found at AMAZON where you may purchase her e-book, Immaculate Assumptions: All You Heard about the Bible that Isn’t True.

#prayer #Buddhism

DO NOT miss this film

LIFE ON THE ISLAND OF JESUS

– Premiering February 16, 2020 on ABC-affiliated stations. The true story of missionary pastor, Scott Campbell, whose ambitious dreams for ministry success crash into a disinterested spiritual culture, driving him into clinical depression and to the brink of suicide. The film explores how God uses great difficulties over time to transform followers of Jesus into new creations.

Its viewing will end sometime in April of this year. It was a life changer for me.

The Theological Difference between the Republican and Democrat Parties

WATCH “So God made a Farmer”🎵

You do not need to be a farmer to appreciate this.

This year 2020, Americans will vote a long ballot, perhaps one of the most important elections of all time. You probably have already made up your mind about the President but there are many candidates and the father away you go from the top down, the farther away from the voter the individuals seem to be.

Personalities ruled

The differences between the parties are in stark relief this year. For the past 40 years or so American elections focused primarily on personality. This is now the center message of the Democrats. Hillary Clinton was to be the first woman president; Obama was the first black president. Bill Clinton was a popular person with both men and women. And the Republicans who won, such as Ronald Reagan, were charming and personable.

Public criticism would focus on hair styles, silly wording, and other social mistakes. President Bush Number One became a laughing stock when he became sick at a foreign dinner or stumbling on some steps – all personality issues. None of this had anything to do with running the country.

Policy is now King

But with the election of Donald Trump, elections are now all about policy. Trump is criticized for his personal activities, tweeting, taking on verbal enemies, and making no bones about what he thought. But his platform, and that of the Republicans on down the line is all about policy. And as a consequence much of the political reporting and advertising is bold faced lies. The lies are to minimize personality mistakes, and to maximize the policy errors, or to negate them. Learning the truth about any person or topic is becoming a wasteland.

Media as a propaganda machine

In the beginning, the general pubic was not aware that they were being lied to. Not direct forms of lies, but the omission of details which would show that what was said was essentially not true. A simple example that many candidates of all parties are acquainted with is the news story about the legislator who voted for or against a certain bill. Not one word would be included to indicate to the reader what was wrong with the bill – or what was right about it.

The reader was left thinking this was a horrid bill because he voted for it, or it was a terrific piece of legislation because the poor legislator was too stupid to know otherwise. In 100% of these cases, the person being talked about was not allowed to express his own stand on the topic. And this kind of news article is the most common.

Recently major newspapers went belly up

It took a while, but the public finally caught wise – they were paying money to be lied to. Will these newspaper come back? Maybe and maybe not. But the public at least now knows that various media have been deliberately fudging on the whole story, telling only what parts they thought were true, or only those parts they wanted you to believe about a person on the ballot or the issues. This mismanagement of the news is probably the main reason we have such a deep division in the country.

A lie travels around the world before the truth gets on its shoes

Perhaps the bankrupt newspapers will learn. Meanwhile the same mis-reporting is a staple with cable news stations who are also watching their viewership reduce. Some TV conglomerates are supported by profits from other profit streams. This won’t last forever. For example, I watched CNN only ten times in 12 years – in an airport – being forced to. CNN tells its advertisers that they are the most watched news in the world. They count every person in every airport. It is a false number because so many people in airports don’t watch CNN or prefer to listen to another version of events.

Below is a brief review of the policy issues that separate these two major parties. The other small parties do not have enough numbers to generate any real results on the government and the way it is run, though they do impact, like the Green Party, certain pieces of legislation and regulation.

REPUBLICAN DEMOCRAT 
reduce size of governmentexpand size of government 
job creation via private businessjob creation via government expense 
strict adherence to the Constitutionthe Constitution is a fluid document 
reduction of welfareexpansion of welfare 
climate change is phony scienceclimate change is the need of the future 
national security (military) is job onemilitary takes too much money 
secure, defined bordersno borders 
lower taxes, lower regulationmore taxes, more regulation 
no federal funds for abortionunlimited abortion funding, possibly after birth
regulation on vapingregulation on vaping 
civil rights equal for allspecial rights for certain groups 
promote educational choicepromote public education 
no sanctuary citiessanctuary cities as a choice 
access to healthcare for allfree healthcare for all 
amnesty on a case-by-case basisamnesty for all 
 lower taxes  higher taxes.

You can see how one’s understanding of God would be reflected in this graph. The Republicans think of government as a stable, predictable institution with gradual change based on common principles. Democrats go with the flow.

For Christians who believe the Bible is the word of God, you will find them on the Republican side because they believe God said what he meant and meant what He said. Fluid maybe, but not all the time.

Democrats are likely to think of the Bible as a guidebook where the individual selects what he believes and leaves the rest to others. I have been in both kinds of churches and this describes them very accurately. It may not reflect the home office or the denominational position but what I see in believers, not just in America but elsewhere as well.

In England for example, there are recent rebukes to Christians for their belief, even forbidding them to speak. In America Republicans in particular would be horrified if any religious position, even those they do not agree with, were told politely to shut up.

In Liverpool Franklin Graham is banned for saying homosexuality is a sin. That is what the Bible says, and for Christians who believe the Bible is the rule book, repeating is acceptable because it is the word of God. In much the same way, the Constitution is considered the stable document equitable for all men. So you do not change the document – you get people to change to fit the document. Finland has a recent case similar to this.

Christians should expect that this kind of persecution will continue because critics who get away with it once will do it again. This division is not going away any day soon.

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If you enjoy our articles here, please join the discussion by subscribing, and following us on Twitter @ImmaculateAssum and at Immaculate Assumptions on Facebook. Additional background material on the author and her writings can be found at AMAZON where you may purchase her e-book, Immaculate Assumptions: All You Heard about the Bible that Isn’t True.

The Evil Heart of Unbelief

The Heart of the Matter

LISTEN TO Soften My Heart🎵

God says Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

The King James Bible has 884 references to the heart of man, and yes, God does know it. The heart we begin life with has this inside. We mya begin as innocent babies, but as we mature the divided heart becomes evident. We want to do good – we do not. We want the best – but we seek other options. We want truth but we speak lies. Adulthood is coming to grips with our basic nature. And then seeking an answer to our personal dilemna.

As a child we have hearts that can be brought to God because they are soft and pliable. But as we grow, if we do not heed the spriit of god calling to us hearts become hardened. This is soemthing we do as we respond to life.

This doesn’t happen overnight. Zechariah 7:12 Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the Lord of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts.

The story of Moses appealing to Pharaoh to let his people go is one of the increasing hardening of the heart in response to the pleas. God continued to give the ruler of Egypt a chance to change his mind. Changing you mind is fairly easy. When I discovered old produce at one grocery store I changed my mind and went to another. That kind of change is easy as the rationale is obvious. But when an attitude of change is required, that is a different story. Pharaoh was asked to substitute mercy for judgment – grace for law. He saw profits flying out the window. He could not afford to release his slaves. And his heart became hardened. It was a combination of God hardening his heart and he doing it as well.

Exodus 14:4 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord. And they did so. 1 Samuel 6:6 Wherefore then do ye harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? when he had wrought wonderfully among them, did they not let the people go, and they departed?

And that is the way God deals with us all. He gives us a challenge and then waits to see our response.

In these passage as in Exodus we see that the basic problem is self-will, The Pharaoh wants his own will. God has another will. Moses presents the will of God. This is the pattern of salvation. Man provides the call of God, and then a response is expected. Many believers will tell you of how over a period of years they knew God was calling them but they hesitated or backed off, and then finally obeyed. But how much easier it is to response properly and quickly.

We a;l struggle with a divided heart – art of us want our will and another part wants God’s will. Psalm 86:11 Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.

Clearly the Old Testament shows no hope for the hardened, evil heart of man. But there is a promise.

The cure is in Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

Curiously enough as you may know, God’s promises require a blood sacrifice to enforce a covenant, or a completed promise. In the Old Testament there is no sacrifice for this promise, not one time. But in the New Testament the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross does acknowledge this. That is why the Bible can say that the sacrifice of Jesus is the one and final blood sacrifice.

This is a good starting prayer.

Job 26:13 For God makes my heart soft, and the Almighty troubles me;

Prophecy – Trump, Pelosi & the Future of Humanity

Pelosi tells the world the agenda for the next few yearsYahweh (God) speaks to His people through the Bible or the Holy Spirit, the Ruach Hakadosh. But to general humanity, He speaks through events, weather, dreams, symbols, pictures, even traffic signs.

President Donald J. Trump represents law and order; Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, represents anarchy. She wears white, the clothing of the Nazi women supporters in 1938 as do her followers in the US House Chamber. President Trump presented his platform for the next election in this speech.

Rip ’em, Up, Tear ’em Up

Nancy Pelosi’s message is her plan – the plan of the globalists – to rip the country apart in pieces and in doing so divide the world into two armed camps unwilling to compromise of any piece of business, a situation of eternal war. She ripped it more than once, so we can expect this continual investigation and accusation to continue several times more. Her anarchist position is globalism and rule by the Self.

Martin Luther v. Papacy

You may compare this to the multi-century conflict of the late Middle Ages between the Papacy in Rome and Martin Luther. This war changed the face of the Western world and by extension, the entire remainder of world history. The Pope represented rule by religious law; Luther represented rule by secular law. The Papacy claimed to be the route to salvation; Luther said Jesus Christ, as God in the flesh, was the sole agent of salvation. It was this message that led to the formation of the Americas and leadership in the world.

Globalists on Steroids

Meanwhile, across the globe, other nations are doing what Nancy did – tearing their nations into pieces, or like Trump, trying to bring them back together. Britain floundered for years over the EU agreement and finally has been unified in leaving the European Union. Britain’s story is not finished; rejection of a simple gospel message by Franklin Graham was a surprise. So that nation too is divided. We expect free speech from an English-speaking nation.

China

Communist China is coming apart at the seams. The Coronavirus is only the last major blow, after the Hong Kong young people made it clear they would not knuckle under to the communist dictatorship, increasing religious persecution of dissidents even involving the killing of humans to harvest their marketable organs, a series of set backs, like the tariff wars, and the never ending resistance of both Tibetans and the Mongolians for China having taken their land. The Chinese believe earthquakes signal a move of God and two of these have influenced their history in major ways. Taiwan voted to make it clear they will have none of China’s poaching on their nation.

North Korea, Russia, Yemen, Germany, Venezuela

North Korea is a hospice country, spending what little income they have on the military – but you can’t eat bullets. Iran is facing a younger generation completely exhausted by the failure of the religious dictatorship. Both Venezuela and Syria decided to kill off their citizens, or force them to flee, and they flounder. Who will work and pay the taxes to the elites sitting on their backsides? Yemen is a war zone. Native Germans are fleeing as migrants flooded the country. Russia is trying to make a comeback as alcoholism, depression and low birth rates endanger her existence, but Russia has historically poor management skills.

Zimbabwe, South Africa

Zimbabwe killed or drove away all the farmers so they could confiscate the land. Surprise – the vandals did not know how to farm so you can imagine what happened to the food supply. Now they report that killers enter the houses of farmers in South Africa and kill the husband. You can guess what will happen. All this is occurring right now – today. You can read about this in the Epoch Times.

Every nation is now facing a choice – the valley of decision.

For eight years this blog has brought you a steady diet of symbolism as God looks at the world. Some other symbolic applications are listed here. Enjoy. There are lessons to be learned.

#LanceWallnau #JamesGoll #RushLimbaugh

Lies – The Chief Sin

Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Why, you might ask, are lies more important to Yahweh (God) than murder, or rape, or many others evils? Quick answer: It was the first sin which generated all the others and led to the downfall of the human race.

There are three major categories of lies:

  • deliberate lies
  • deceit and deception
  • dissembling

And why? Because the purpose of all lying is to control someone else. Yahweh (God) states that He, and He alone is in charge of His creation and everything in it. He gives the orders and because He is good, He gives good instruction. His control is for our benefit and the benefit of mankind. Lies substitute His control and make you the god in the situation.

We are all acquainted with deliberate lies. Mothers hear them first. Did you steal that cookie? No, the child says, as chocolate icing smears his face. That one is easy. When a man says he loves this woman and wants to marry her, maybe not so easy that he does not mean it. We all learn over a period of time to weigh information like that and give it time to prove itself. All information must be evaluated. As adults we know not to take seriously the manufacturer who states his goods will last forever.

Deceit and deception are harder lies to pin down. The Snake told a half- truth. On top of that it was misinterpreted. The snake told Adam and Eve they would not die if they ate the fruit. (We don’t know even today if it was an apple or an apricot.) When they finally did eat the fruit, they did not die physically, but they died spiritually. Since neither of them had any information about what a spiritual death was, they might have assumed that what the snake said was honest. Eventually, they did “die” physically although it was many generations later.

Deception is simply a more subtle version of deceit. I’ve seen male drama queens you can barely tell from real women because of their clothing and makeup. Unfortunately many preachers quote denominational doctrines as truth when there is not a scrap of proof in the Bible. We who hold the word of God forth must check what we say.

Dissembling is a word we no longer use and the pity for it. Dissembling is telling the truth with the intention of deception. For example, a candidate for public office tells us he was a Marine. What he didn’t tell us was that he was given a dishonorable discharge. The intention was for you, the voter, to believe he was a trustworthy person who could represent the military and that he had survived a grueling course of training.

It’s all about control

The results of all three of these forms of lying is the same – reason number two – the person wishes to control the behavior of someone else – an employer, a voter, a family member, a teacher, or some person in authority. Lying to protect yourself is correct in only one genuine case – when you are in grave danger from evil. I think of the woman who begged not to be raped because she said she had AIDs. The rapist backed off. But that takes great presence of mind.

Jesus said these words to the religious leaders of his time. (And we wonder why they sought to kill him?)

John 8:44 Your father is the devil, and what you are wanting to do is what your father longs to do. He always was a murderer, and has never dealt with the truth, since the truth will have nothing to do with him. Whenever he tells a lie, he speaks in character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

But this scripture is perhaps the best one of all.

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly perverse and corrupt and severely, mortally sick! Who can know it [perceive, understand, be acquainted with his own heart and mind]?

I don’t usually quote from the Amplified. If God is correct and we are born with a deceitful heart, then His insistence that we get a new heart and a new spirit makes ultimate sense.

Ezekiel 11:19 And I will give them one heart [a new heart] and I will put a new spirit within them; and I will take the stony [unnaturally hardened] heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh [sensitive and responsive to the touch of their God].

It’s a promise.

#typesoflies #newheart #newspirit #controlfreaks

Bible Study Lesson 7

Everyone needs to know what God (Yahweh) said.

Today we’ll continue a list of other beings:

Angels:

Angelos in Greek means messenger. There are two kinds of messengers, those from God and those from Satan. They not only bring messages but also do tasks for their master. Where did they come from?

Satan originally was named Lucifer, light bringer, that is bringing light from God. But he got uppity, thinking he was god-like and he rebelled against the will of God. One third of the angels followed him and they were all changed into evil creatures.

Here is he is called the covering cherub,; he covered the throne and all that reflected glory lit him up. It was too much. And this happens to us too, when we star thinking we are something we are not. He also is said to be the angel in charge of music, or was.

Satan said these words in Isaiah 14:12-14

12 “How you have fallen from heaven,
[g]star of the morning, son of the dawn!
You have been cut down to the earth,
You who have weakened the nations!
13 “But you said in your heart,
‘I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne above the stars of God,
And I will sit on the mount of assembly
In the recesses of the north.
14 ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.’

Note that he said “I will” five times. Then God said in response:

15 “Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol,
To the recesses of the pit.
16 “Those who see you will gaze at you,
They will [h]ponder over you, saying,
‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble,
Who shook kingdoms,
17 Who made the world like a wilderness
And overthrew its cities,
Who did not [i]allow his prisoners to go home?’
18 “All the kings of the nations lie in glory,
Each in his own [j]tomb.
19 “But you have been cast out of your tomb
Like [k]a rejected branch,
[l]Clothed with the slain who are pierced with a sword,
Who go down to the stones of the pit
Like a trampled corpse.
20 “You will not be united with them in burial,
Because you have ruined your country,
You have slain your people.
May the offspring of evildoers not be mentioned forever.
21 “Prepare for his sons a place of slaughter
Because of the iniquity of their fathers.
They must not arise and take possession of the earth
And fill the face of the world with cities.”

22 “I will rise up against them,” declares the Lord of hosts, “and will cut off from Babylon name and survivors, offspring and posterity,” declares the Lord. 23 “I will also make it a possession for the hedgehog and swamps of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction,” declares the Lord of hosts.

God identifies also Babylon, where Satan rules. Babylon is a word which means “gate of the gods” indicating the collapse of everything Satan and his crew have done for many thousands of years. As we see murder, rape, theft, thugs, beheadings, shooting, evil-plans and doing, we need to have hope that all this at some point in history will end. What God has promised He will deliver. “I am the Lord. I change not. Malachi 3:6. “

Be sure to highlight your Bible passages. Start writing down questions you have. There are over 32,000 verses in the Bible so do not be surprised if it takes years to answer all your questions.

Forgiveness is Job One

The first duty of all men if they want to know God

Selling forgiveness is tough work, not just to individuals but whole societies.  Many in Judaism do not forgive as a matter of established doctrine.[1]  Genocide, the Islamic position against the State of Israel, is unforgiveness nourished over 3,000 years; and the Chinese told me frankly “I will never forgive the Japanese” for what they did in the 1930s. 

Forgiveness of others is hard work for most alcoholics, not the least in forgiving themselves, and many late-middle-age people today have not forgiven the United States military for their mismanagement of the Vietnam War.  When a well-known minister said in the newspaper that he would never forgive the man who sold his teenager drugs, he found his congregation slacking off.  People know instinctively that this is wrong.

But now to the gift.  A decade ago after being hired in a job I soon discovered I was being sabotaged.  I won’t go into detail, but perhaps you’ve had a work situation like this one.  Eventually, I became physically ill and was forced to leave.  That was a convenient, honest excuse since I was baffled not knowing the source of the problems. 

While boxing up my goods an employee told me quietly and privately, “You are the 4th one in this job to be driven away.”  So in the end I knew who it was but not why.  Subsequently I went into business for myself, and as the story goes, lived happily ever after, putting the whole thing behind me.  Three years later I learned this man was having an affair with the very same employee who was my supervisor.  No doubt his guilt frightened him into thinking anyone too close to the situation might expose him, so we were all sent packing.

Now a decade later while living in China I learned he was up to this same stuff again.  The Bible says that we should confront those who have sinned against us.  So I contemplated contacting him despite the 12,000 miles which separated us, but I finally put the idea out of my mind.

Then one day sitting alone at my computer God gave me a vision, as the scripture says, “in the twinkling of an eye.”  For a split second I was ushered to the Great White Throne Judgment, a sight so frightening I can remember the details to this day.  God was excoriating this same man for what he had done, not just to me of course, but the four others and even more after that. There is no way to put this into human terms because it was, after all, God and the Day of Judgment.

The Great White Throne

It was as though one stood stark naked in front of 100,000 people.  The withering rebuke was like nothing I had ever heard, and while I was only a spectator, I was thoroughly frightened.  I can understand why the Bible says in Revelation that there is total silence in heaven for one-half hour.  I was speechless. When we fail to forgive we take on God’s rightful position.  When we fail to forgive we take on God’s rightful position.  He alone gets to decide on payback, sometimes using governments through the Civil and Criminal laws to carry out His will or eventually the Day of Judgment.     

Forgiveness opens up Vengeance  

But as to the gift.  “Vengeance is mine, says the Lord, I will repay.”  I knew that intellectually.  But why would I see this horrid sight.  I can only surmise that if I had not forgiven this man, neither would I ever had this chilling vision.  When we truly let go and let God, we get a Holy Spirit view of reality.  If I had sought or harbored any kind of vengeance I would have seen nothing – at least on this side of the grave.  The gift of revelation was mine because I had completely forgiven.      

The power of forgiveness is a frequent topic of preachers.  Evangelist Jimmy Johnson preached five days on forgiveness at a Christian Retreat.  When people complained about his johnny-one-note messages he said, “When they start doing it I’ll stop preaching it.” 

Every week you can hear on TV Charles Stanley preach on this subject.  Counselors and psychologists, from New Age to herbal homeopathy, from Black Women’s Health magazine and Edgar Cayce, address the power of forgiveness and its benefits to health.  Why spend $200 a hour to learn this – it’s right here free.  If forgiveness delivers us from headaches, stomachaches, back pain, sleeplessness, depression, anger and every negative thought our busy minds can conjure up, what a great gift forgiveness is to our mental health. 

Forgiveness is not a feeling

And you need not “feel” forgiving.  That is a trap.  Just make a decision about it and then take control of your mind and emotions and force yourself to forget it.  Unforgiveness is holding today hostage and the longer you hang on more and more tomorrows are held hostage.  Your freedom, your life is at stake. 

The gift you give yourself is the freedom from the depression and souring of your personality that unforgiveness brings.  And in my case I also had a chance to see the problem as God saw it. 

A leading psychiatrist said, “To know all is to forgive all.”  Not so.  God does not forgive everything just because He knows everything. All individuals must face a day of accounting, but He does it with His own parameters.  And that Day of Judgment also includes praise for duties and obedience met well, or ever better than that! 

Judgment is not simply a negative event.  There is no universal salvation which is what this shrink implies.  But neither is there universal damnation, because we know that innocent children before the day of accountability are accepted in His Kingdom. And of course there is also universal opportunity to settle our books with God before we need to face our accountability. The Bible says so.  The Day of Judgment also brings rewards.

Discussion questions:

1.         Do you know anyone who has made themselves emotionally sick (or even you) with unforgiveness?  How did they break free?

2.         Much of politics, and slanderous politics advertising is based on unforgiveness.  Can you think of some recent examples?

3.         The author says that unforgiveness holds today and tomorrow hostage.  What does this means?  Have you seen this happen to you or to others?

4.         Do you know of a case of physical illness caused by unforgiveness?

5.         The author brings up the issue of universal salvation.  The name of this doctrine is Ultimate Reconciliation.  How do you understand this issue?  What does the Bible say about this?  Why do you suppose people believe this?


[1]For an interesting approach to this see http://peacecenter.berkeley.edu/research_forgiveness_cohen.html.  Here the conditions and requirements of Judaism are exactly opposite from Christianity. God cannot forgive until (1) the perpetrator repents and (2) the victim forgives, which makes forgiveness for murder impossible.


Bible Study Lesson 6

Who’s Who in the Bible

Today we will give a partial list of Bible participants and how they fit into the 6,000 years the Bible covers. My husband loved football so when we went to the games he’d buy a program. “How will we know who the players are?” he would ask.

Me, I liked the Hebrew National hot dogs. But he was right, when you hear Christians talk about the Bible you can get confused because they know all these names.

God, Yahweh:

is the Hebrew name for the Creator God who has neither beginning nor end. My son said in Trinidad and Tobago they sing a popular Christian song, “Our God is an awesome God” but they change the words. They sing “Our God is THE awesome God” because there are so many other names out there pretending to be the Big Boss God in the Sky.

Adam and Eve:

the two original human beings. They were placed in a real garden on the real earth but they had, originally, glorified bodies which knew no disease, flaw or death. When they disobeyed God they lost the perfect body and got the body like the one you and I have now – flesh, with all the problems that comes with being human. They did not have any inherited disease, not even a sniffle so Ddam could easily live 900 years. But the length of life for humans deteriorated over a period of time.

Then after the flood, the terrarium canopy sheltering earth from harmful UV rays was taken away (all this is in the Bible) and people only had, according the scriptures, 70 years allotted to them.

The “Snake”:

Yes, the snake talked to Adam and Eve – This was the personification of the person of Satan who defied God with one third of the angels and they were all cast out of heaven. Demons and other evil spiritual forms have a soul, a personality if you prefer, and a spirit, because they are spirit, but they do not have a body. So Satan used a snake for communication with humans. Other animals also could talk with humans until after the flood when God put a fear of man in animals in order to keep them safer. Yes, all this is in the Bible.

Cain and Abel:

two of Adam and Eve’s first children. Cain murdered his brother so you can see sin was embedded in the human heart from the git-go. James Dean starred in a famous movie, East of Eden, based on this idea of envy between brothers. Eden is the name of the original garden which is identified on the modern map as parts of Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.

Bible:

The word Bible is the Greek word biblos or simply book, the only one claimed to have been provided to man by God Himself which is why it is capitalized.

Now read and highlight all of Genesis 2.

President Trump’s State of the Union Final Remarks

What Makes America Great

Final words of a 74 minute speech. February 4, 2020

“AMERICA THE LAND OF HEROES

This is the place where greatness is born, where destinies are forged, and where legends come to life.

This is the home of Thomas Edison and Teddy Roosevelt, of many great Generals, including Washington, Pershing, Patton, and MacArthur.

This is the home of Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Amelia Earhart, Harriet Tubman, the Wright Brothers, Neil Armstrong, and so many more.

This is the country where children learn names like Wyatt Earp, Davy Crockett, and Annie Oakley. This is the place where the pilgrims landed at Plymouth and where Texas patriots made their last stand at the Alamo.

The American Nation was carved out of the vast frontier by the toughest, strongest, fiercest, and most determined men and women ever to walk the face of the Earth.

Our ancestors braved the unknown; tamed the wilderness; settled the Wild West; lifted millions from poverty, disease, and hunger; vanquished tyranny and fascism; ushered the world to new heights of science and medicine; laid down the railroads, dug out canals, raised up the skyscrapers — and, ladies and gentlemen, our ancestors built the most exceptional Republic ever to exist in all of human history.

And we are making it greater than ever before! This is our glorious and magnificent inheritance. We are Americans. We are the pioneers. We are the pathfinders.

We settled the new world, we built the modern world, and we changed history forever by embracing the eternal truth that everyone is made equal by the hand of Almighty God.

America is the place where anything can happen! America is the place where anyone can rise. And here, on this land, on this soil, on this continent, the most incredible dreams come true!

This Nation is our canvas, and this country is our masterpiece. We look at tomorrow and see unlimited frontiers just waiting to be explored.

Our brightest discoveries are not yet known. Our most thrilling stories are not yet told. Our grandest journeys are not yet made.

The American Age, the American Epic, the American Adventure, has only just begun!

Our spirit is still young; the sun is still rising; God’s grace is still shining; and my fellow Americans, the best is yet to come!

Thank you. God Bless You. God Bless America.”

Bible Study Lesson 5

Everyone needs to know what God (Yahweh) said.

Start with the Basics

Let’s review. First you learned how to study the Bible. Lesson 2 covered where the Bible came from. Lesson 3 was on God creating everything. Lesson 4 showed how we ended up with so much trouble.

Today’s lesson is on basic knowledge that all people should know.

The book of Genesis gives us an overview of thousands of years of history. After Adam and Eve disobeyed God their station changed. God removed them from the beautiful place where they had been created and now they were under new rules.

This is from Genesis 3:

20 The Man, known as Adam, named his wife Eve because she was the mother of all the living.

21 God made leather clothing for Adam and his wife and dressed them.

22 God said, “The Man has become like one of us, capable of knowing everything, ranging from good to evil. What if he now should reach out and take fruit from the Tree-of-Life and eat, and live forever? Never—this cannot happen!”

23-24 So God expelled them from the Garden of Eden and sent them to work the ground, the same dirt out of which they’d been made. He threw them out of the garden and stationed angel-cherubim and a revolving sword of fire east of it, guarding the path to the Tree-of-Life.

This passage shows the reader how God has disciplined Adam and Eve, our distant forefathers, but God also decided to find a way to restore human kind to its original glory and position. This plan of His would take thousands of years.

First God set up a sacrificial system using the blood of animals. It must have been widely known because blood sacrifices are common through our history and throughout the world, all nations, both sophisticated and pagan. As you might suspect the system became a tool of the demonic and the sacrifice of babies was common. We think abortion is a new thing.

In order for God to demonstrate that this was a forbidden practice, he set up a situation where his faithful servant, Abraham, was asked to sacrifice his son. At the last minute, God supplied a ram for the sacrifice, and said, no more sacrifice of human beings. After all he did say, be fruitful and multiply. God wanted many people living on planet earth.

Then He said, another sacrifice would eventually come which would end the blood sacrificial system and bring about a new age. That person was Yeshua, Jesus.

Today take your Bible and read and highlight the following passage:

Genesis 1:1-18

After this Abraham was forever called the “father of the faithful,” meaning he obeyed God when he did not know whether or not he would receive his son back from the dead. And that is the definition of faith – doing the will of God without knowing the results ahead of time.

God’s Bucket List

Seniors talk about their bucket list, what they want to do before they die. Maybe God has a list for you too. Many of my older friends think they no longer have any position, value or duty now that they are not earning money or keeping up a busy household.

Not so. If you are going to live 10,000 years, plus, then your short life of 80 years is equivalent to 15 minutes of the total time of existence. A mere whiff.

God said He had a set of plans for you.

Jeremiah 29:11 Lexham English Bible (LEB) 11 For I know the plans that I am planning concerning you,’ declares[a] Yahweh, ‘plans for prosperity and not for harm, to give to you a future and a hope.

Think of this as a time of reward. Working for God and with Him has many blessings. So sit down with paper and pen and make a list of all the things you think He would want you to do. I was 67 when I went to China for the first time; it is one of the top highlights of my entire life, which brings blessings even today with Chinese friends by email.

  • Mercy Ships – Using your own money you accompany doctors and nurses around to various ports where the patients may have never seen a real doctor. You do not need to be medically trained, just know how to take instructions and be helpful to the full time staff.
  • Senior citizen programs – Social service agencies have placement for attendants who work with sick babies and children who need love and attention in hospitals and agencies. Many pay a small stipend which is not tax deductible and occasionally they have transportation services. You’ll need a physical checkup and a background check but they’ll be happy to have you.
  • Volunteer teachers are needed in schools, playgrounds, sports pavilions. Chick-fil-et at one time even had volunteers who offered to pray for diners.
  • God may want you to go back and get another degree, or learn to play an instrument. I wish I had time to learn the guitar – or to buy one.
  • I have a friend who is partially disabled. He gets into a little electric cart at WalMart and zips around, asking people if they want prayer. He hardly ever gets a “no” answer.
  • Your being out in the public gives you a chance to make an impact on someone else’s life. And when you do, it impacts you as well.

Now put your list in your Bible and don’t look at it for two weeks. Then open it up again and write down what God has told you to do. He might say buy an RV and tour the country with your niece! Be open ended about your life and God will fill it with meaning.

#bucketlist #Godsplansforyou

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