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Please stop trying to make church cool

Trying to bring God down to earth sometimes comes off as merely bringing Him down.

https://wouldyouconsider.net/2014/07/11/the-subtle-world-of-christian-legalism/

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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.

Living on the Interest – A Life Fulfilled

How to live the happy life God created for you

Leontyne Price was born in a small Mississippi town and traveled to New York to study at the famed Julliard School of Music. Subsequently she became the first African-American to star in top-rated operas, famous on every continent where opera is revered.  Describing her training she said, I “invested for many years in the principal” of my voice and then continued to the end of her career “singing on the interest.”  I’d never heard anyone refer to interest, much less a talent, as other than cold cash.

Spending Your Life

Time is money so how you live will produce payments to you later in life. Our whole life, not just our money is an investment of time, energy, and purpose. If we develop our talents thoroughly eventually we end the strain of trying to do better and better.  There is a time in our lives, not when things are easy, but when our professional status is like gliding.  All the energy expended previously is now keeping us airborne and productive.

This is the quality that distinguishes an actor who can play roles well into his 60s and 70s, versus one who lasts only so long as her talents are marketable.  This is the ability authors gain when they continue to write good books and not just re-write the first big seller.

James A Michener continued well into his 90s writing highly detailed historical novels.  About Centennial he said with amusement, “After you read this you will know more about Colorado than you ever cared to know.”  You could say that about all his works, but that is what made them great, the attention to minute details.  He would do so much research that when he completed one project he had almost enough for another book.  His vast personal knowledge based on research had the bizarre effect of increasing itself the more he used it.   He was writing on the interest.

Martin Luther King Jr. a Giant before 42

Martin Luther King, Jr in spite of dying at 42 years of age still lived on interest.  He studied great literature and his speeches are filled with Biblical allusions and references to history. He spoke with what appeared to be little effort at all. His most-quoted “I have a Dream” speech is a literary gem replete with quotations from other works.  That alone makes it worth literary study. Anyone can be a black activist, or a white activist as well, but not everyone can move millions to passion, purpose and hope.  He had invested in great literature and became a literary force in the process. Millions live today on the interest he built up for his country.

Two friends of mine have been married 50 years.  Not in the best of health now their marriage is supported only by interest.  Because they have invested so much in each other’s lives and the marriage between them, they no longer have to work at it.  Some couples act lovey-dovey, but not this pair. People frequently ask them about being happily married even when no one has previously broached the subject.  In other words their investment shows.

Let me tell you the sad story of a friend of mine whose marriage collapsed after 30 years.  She described it in the same terms we have used here, unaware of Leontyne’s prophetic words.  She said she had devoted herself to her husband believing her marriage was a 50-50 proposition and for many decades investing in the “marital” bank, even neglecting her relationship with her children. Overwhelmed, one day she was forced to seek support for herself but looking into the joint account balance, she found it barely open.  Not only had her husband not invested anything in their account, but he had been withdrawing her steady payments.  The account, like her marriage, was closed. 

Marriage counselors, especially Christian ones, are often astonished by the numbers of Christian marriages that go under.  That story sounds like a good explanation to me.

Itzhak Pearlman, famous first violinist, was playing one day with the orchestra when one string broke.  Without missing a beat he finished the rest of the concert using only the 3 remaining strings.  Gleefully, the audience rose to their feet in a cheer.  This is called playing the violin on interest.

Know when to move on

Sometimes success is knowing when to move on.  You have never heard a second rate song by Doris Day, at one time the biggest box office draw in Hollywood, and for good reason.  She knew when to leave the stage.  She spent her older years working for the betterment of animals.  Living on the interest also knows when to turn over the reins to a new generation.

This quality permits a tennis star to leave the court when days of raw physical prowess are behind to become a great coach or talented sports observer.  The same qualities that make a good football star can also make a good stock broker, or inner city minister.  They are living on the interest.

The interest payment is relative to the initial investment

When the investment of principal is not there, or it is inadequate, that also shows.  The skater swings out too wide and catches herself on the board surrounding the ice; she jumps and nearly falls.  The skier flies high but lands and slides into the spectators. We groan.  In contrast the professional makes it all look so easy and effortless.  That is living on the interest.

If you continue to draw down the principal of life eventually there is nothing there.  Many elders wake up to find themselves 70 and broke!  There is little energy left and the principal is gone.  Many a pop star has endured 10 or even 20 years, then we learn they die in an alley somewhere, maybe alcohol, drugs, or profligate living has stripped them of both principal and interest. 

Every year a news reporter digs up a story on an aging celebrity recently found in the streets, flop house or rescue mission – a big name at one time – how they fell from fashion and are now living on the handouts from others.  They thought the principal of their talent would never go away.

Living on the interest means taking charge of your own life.  Judy Garland once complained that she worked herself to death but never saw a profit.  Her schedule was grueling.  When she died young, the people who spent her millions were identified but now it was too late for her.  She, like Elvis Presley, had been fed drugs to help her perform under intense pressure; it cost them their lives.  They might have been living on interest but the handlers around them were dipping into the principal of someone else’s life.  The robbed her talent for their own use. Talent never dies, we enjoy both Judy and Elvis today, but it can be wasted, mis-used, and stolen.

Winston Churchill could have easily become a sour old curmudgeon when the Parliament rejected his leadership after the 2nd World War, but he had learned that you can take your principal with you. He wrote many English history books receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Interest can be spent anywhere and any time, but the principal is yours and you can carry it with you wherever you want to go. You are the boss of your principal.

Our personal stories are not so dramatic but they can be just as instructive.  I am always a future-oriented person, building, studying, working towards the future.  Then when I was about 62 I woke up – Hey, I said to myself, I am living in the very future I have been working so hard for.  I need to start living right now and I did.  I started living on the interest of life invested in education.

Discussion questions:

1. What investment of your life (remember we are not ever talking about money here) has really paid off?

2.  Reflecting on your own life, is there any investment of time and energy that proved to be a complete waste?

3. There are 2 stories here about marriage.  While the details are sketchy, can you speculate on what caused one to succeed and the other to fail?  What do you think about the idea of “investing principal” in a personal relationship?

4. In our tragic stories here of Judy and Elvis we can empathize with their efforts and their talent.  Can you speculate on what they should have done to stop being used so badly?  Have you ever been used and called a halt to it?  What were the consequences?

5. Leontyne Price and her brother both became famous, he as an admiral in the United States Navy.  What do you suppose was common in their upbringing in the small town of Laurel, Mississippi that brought this pair of black children to such accomplishment?  What can we do for our children to set them on the path of valuable living?

6. How is it that “talent never dies”?

7. The author told of a time when she turned her life around and started doing things differently. Have you ever closed down one part of your life and gone on to something else?  Was it hard to do?  What prompted you to that decision?

#Christianlife #divorce #failure

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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 Mouth Cannot Say what the Heart Does Not Believe

One of the most important messages the church needs to hear

As a very young Christian I became a counselor for several Billy Graham movies during the 70s. They were quite popular and effective.  Graham trained volunteers who would be available after the movie to counsel audience members who wished to follow Christ.  We also gave them some simple but thorough written materials to take home.broken-heart-1294820__180  Each well thought out program began with the simple gospel message of personal sin, Jesus’ salvation and finally a public confession. 

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:10

We were instructed to ask the person to repeat the words of a standard confession in a few brief phrases after we did.

I had two little girls, one 10, the other about 12.  They listened respectfully. Then the younger of the two told how much she loved Jesus, and all her experiences in Bible school and church.  How happy she was! I was floored. I hardly expected that. The other girl was silent most of the time, but listened and behaved.

Public words spoken aloud

I began to read the confession in the book out loud, first for the younger, because I knew she already knew Christ and her example would motivate her friend. I would say a short phrase; she would repeat it.  She did it perfectly. Then I turned to the second girl.

Here is how her “confession” sounded. “I believe in brurb…gh….thh……”  She could not say the phrase. So I started again “I believe in blubbd…thgns…..psssnnsr….”   So I stopped.

I recalled a scripture from 1 John which was not in my prepared materials. No man can say except by the Holy Spirit that Jesus is Lord.

I John 4:22-23 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God;

So I stopped and asked her to repeat after me: “Jesus is God come in the flesh.”

She couldn’t do it. I tried it again. Again she could not say it.  Keep in mind that out of the mouth comes not just words and air, but also the spirit.  This girl was unable to say the confession.  Consequently I gave her the materials but in no way confirmed that she was “saved” because clearly she was not.  Inside the Spirit of God would not allow those words to come out.

Do not tell people they are saved when they are not

We do a disservice to people when we endorse their “salvation” so easily. The New Testament church believers were required to submit to  a year or two of review, cleansing and teaching. This was all the more important because Christians were being slaughtered by the Roman authorities, and in other parts of the Mediterranean as well. To allow into the fellowship the wrong person could mean your death or imprisonment..

How many people are blissfully living life, fully believing they are saved when their heart is not right?

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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.

A New Look at Christian Marriage & Divorce

I’ve urged, begged for delay, advised, prayed. But there comes a time when a situation must end.  God said, “Today is the day of salvation.”  It’s not a day in the future.  It’s right now.

2 Corinthians 6:2 For He says: “In an acceptable time I have listened to you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.”

Now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation.  God has eternity – we do not.

Man is not given unlimited time to do what he has to do. 

The Psalmist says, Seek ye the Lord while he may yet be found. Call upon Him while He is near and he will abundantly pardon.”

Isaiah 55:6   So there is a time when maybe He is not to be found? Not near? Not pardoning? When is that? Those dry, unavailable times will be experienced by us all.  We need them to prove to us that God is real, that He is interested and involved with our lives.  His absence makes that real.

We do not always have an option.  Perhaps Christians do a disservice to people when we tell them of God’s mercy, so full and free, but never warn that the time may slip away, and never be available again for a very long time.

There is even a special time for cities, nations, and others.

Matthew 23:37  “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you, how often I would have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would not!”

For this luckless city rebellion to God’s call for mercy (not judgment necessarily) resulted in two thousand years of isolation and grief only to be restored May, 1948.

Ministers see marriage counseling as a mess

Too often they will duck behind the scripture, God hates divorce.  Of course He does.  He hates liars, slanderers adulterers, drunks, liars, and rebels too.  But what he also hates are people who are keeping a marriage together when one of them has turned his or her back on the Lord, or refused to quit some sort of addiction, or misused money, or sexually abused any person, male or female, or joined a cult.  God hates all this group as well.  And you as the spouse, are entitled to hate it as well.

No, you don’t hate the person, but you do not need to be tied to someone in serious sin just because it is hateful. And ministers have no business trying to keep those marriages alive when one of them is clearly “dead” as far as the Kingdom promises are concerned.

For myself, I am not allowed to take sides with either husband or wife.  I must take sides with the Lord, though I may not know His position on the matter, and certainly I don’t know the history.

There are no saints in marriages

Marriages are not made nor kept by saints, but by sinners.  And even the best of believers has a limit.  It is important that the reasons be known to them of course.  Another man in his 70s just received divorce papers from his wife.  The lawyer should be ashamed.  The woman is on mega pills of all sorts and for her to sign anything “legal” is questionable.  That is not a marriage breakdown but a physical one.

Every case is different. That alone should remind us not to judge too harshly.  Marriages involve 3 people, the couple and God, just like in the Garden of Eden.  You will recall then that after the sin was exposed, the marriage was the first thing to get out of whack.

Denial is a continuing problem

In 45 years in ministry I can guarantee that usually neither the husband nor the wife will tell the truth about why they have chosen separation. I have learned that many women have committed adultery and for some reason are unwilling to confess and ask for forgiveness.  When I bring this possibility up to the husband they always reject the idea.  I have no idea why they can’t accept the possibility, but it is the most common reaction. Men will blame the wife and then proudly confess adultery.  But often it is money as well. And so it goes. It is not really our business unless that person is a paid church official.

In any event, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:15

“But if the unbeliever departs, let that one depart. A brother or a sister is not bound in such cases. God has called us to peace.”

And it doesn’t mean that someone is an unbeliever because he or she leaves – anyone can leave if that is the arrangement. They need peace and we can provide it to one or both of them without taking sides. If we do take sides we bring unnecessary judgment down on our own heads.

New Problems in society

The 20th century is one of addictions – drugs,  alcohol. video games, pornography which experts say is harder to be rid of than heroin, movies, television and spending money.  The last of these is made easier by having sales on the tube 24/7. People also have additional health problems – dementia, aggressiveness such as Sundowners syndrome. Some spouses will refuse to talk – for years.  Others will rant and rave.  The health care system as it applies to mental problems is weak and indecisive.  Doctors refuse to say something simple, like that person is crazy.

Crazy is like any other problem.  A doctor may refuse to identify it; but we all know it when we see it.  The person with 40 guns in a back closet, or bomb materials in the garage.  This is not normal and if that is in your home you can be sure God will not want you to stay there. Animal abuse is so serious that the FBI has identified it as a Class A felony, a practice which local legislatures should endorse

You should also tell the police.

The Church is to judge not marriages, but leadership. I Timothy has long instructions on selecting leaders, and then not by individuals but by the whole group.

#marriage #divorce #separation #peace

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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.

Dreams and Interpretation – a Testimony

Dreams and Symbolism are frequently searched on these blog pages. What follows is an example of a series of dreams and their interpretation over a period of 10 years. The dreamer had the good sense to consult some friends about the meaning of the dreams. They were all connected. This is a model for you to find the meaning of your dreams. It is important not to interpret them as being a natural event, that is, all the dreams about having a baby at no point referred to a real human child.

Jennifer LeClaire:
Birthing Your Prophetic Dreams May Mean Changing Direction

Jennifer LeClaireI call them “baby dreams” – and these prophetic encounters have been a running theme in my life over the past decade. It seems God has been laboring with me to birth a new thing for nearly that long. Along the way, there was at least one Ishmael, a couple of near-abortions, and plenty of spiritual warfare. But God in His grace somehow worked all things together for good.

There were lessons in this series of prophetic dreams. When I put those principles into practice it caused what looked like a stillbirth to become a healthy baby. I still don’t have all the answers, but God has made one thing clear to me: Sometimes a small shift makes all the difference.

The First Dream: Surrendering My Will

The “baby dreams” started about eight years ago. I had a dream I was pregnant. I was not happy about it because it was going to turn my life upside down – but I knew I couldn’t do anything about it. I tried to pretend it wasn’t real, but ultimately pretending wasn’t an option.

The lesson of this first prophetic dream was that I had to be like Mary, who gave her will over to the Lord despite the trouble it was going to cause her in the natural. I woke up and committed in my heart to let the Lord’s will be done in my life and moved ahead.

The Second Dream: Birthing a Man-Child

About a year after that prophetic encounter, I had a second “baby dream.” This time, I was in the hospital giving birth. When the baby was born, it was like a man-child. It had the appearance of a baby, but it had the features of a full-grown man. Immediately after the baby was born, he started running toward his goal. Those around me said, “It must be nice to birth a full-grown ministry. That’s what you can expect.”

The Third Dream: Making Adjustments

Fast-forward another five years. I was in a very uncomfortable position, having the weight of a church plant unexpectedly fall on my shoulders. I didn’t sign up to preach, pray, prophesy and administrate the whole church but that’s what was happening. I was at a crossroads, praying about whether I should exit or continue to bear the weight – and the spiritual warfare – of another man’s vision or move on.

I went to sleep and had another “baby dream.” This time I was pregnant. I still wasn’t thrilled. I was hungry and the only thing available was some strange combination of eggs and pepperoni. My chair was too low for me to comfortably type on my computer. I had to change into clothes I didn’t like. I was thinking about how I could possibly hit the gym with all of this going on. I thought about how I’d be 60 before this kid was grown.

In other words, I was doing a lot of natural reasoning. Eventually, I changed my clothes into something that wasn’t ideal but still wasn’t too bad. I ate the eggs for the protein and skipped the unhealthy pepperoni. I got a taller chair so I could type more comfortably. Then I woke up. I told one of my friends involved in the church plant about the dream, including the eggs and pepperoni. I had never heard of eggs and pepperoni as a dish – but it was one of her favorites. (Go figure. God wanted her to bear witness to the dream.)

From that dream I learned that I had to make sacrifices and adjustments to do the will of God. In other words, there would be some aspects of birthing this ministry that were uncomfortable, but there were ways to adjust to the circumstances and plow through the pain to get to the goal line of God’s ultimate will.

At first, I thought it was a message to keep bearing the weight of the church plant. But when the church planter manifested with wrong motives, it became abundantly clear that his vision wasn’t my burden to bear and God released me. He actually used the experience to push me into what He really had in mind the whole time.

The Fourth Dream: Shifting Your Direction

In the last “baby dream,” I finally got the message – and it changed everything. I was nine months pregnant but the baby had stopped moving. The baby wasn’t kicking or rolling or showing any sign of life. (This is about how I felt after leaving the church plant.) 

In the prophetic dream I thought the baby was dead and I panicked. Then, suddenly, I had the unction to shift the baby’s position with gentle pressure from my hand. (I later researched this and discovered there’s a name for it: the Diaphragmatic Release.) When I did, I could feel the baby kicking again. I knew all was well.

Here’s the lesson I took away from this dream, which connected with the previous baby dreams: Sometimes things look dead but you just have to reposition yourself for life. It doesn’t always take much. Just one gentle movement in the right direction can cause God to breathe on that thing again so you can birth it and begin nurturing what God has given you to steward.

If God has given you something to birth, it may be time to pull an Ezekiel and speak to those dry bones. It may be time to pull an Elijah and raise it from the dead. It may be time to walk away from the Ishmael, refuse to abort and just reposition yourself to receive what God intended all along. You could just be in the wrong place or in the wrong time or with the wrong people. When you decide to obey, when you decide to reposition yourself into God’s perfect plan, the baby he has given you to birth will thrive in His grace. Amen

From The Elijah List and from Charisma Magazine.

Jennifer LeClaire

News Editor at Charisma Media,
Founder of Jennifer LeClaire Ministries
Email: jennifer@jenniferleclaire.org
Website: jenniferleclaire.org

Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma magazine and author of The Making of a Prophet, The Spiritual Warrior’s Guide to Defeating Jezebel, The Heart of the Prophetic, and many other books. She is also director of the International House of Prayer in Fort Lauderdale.

To subscribe to The Elijah List go to:
http://elijahlist.com/subscribe

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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.

Immigration – We’ve Done it Wrong

The politicians on TV and elsewhere speak incessantly about “comprehensive immigration reform.” They have it backwards; they should be talking about what is the best policy for the citizens of the United States.

This article which you can click below looks at the issue from a 3,000 year old standpoint. There is nothing new about immigration and refugees. It is a permanent fact of world life. I hope this gives you a new view.

God’s Opinion on Immigration

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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.

This German Reporter Spent Time With ISIS…And Lived To Tell About It

This German Reporter Spent Time With ISIS…And Lived To Tell About It

Huffington Post article which shows the intensity of the religious war we have stumbled into.

Virus or no virus, we still have radical Islam to worry us internationally.

Personal Essay: Coronavirus Lockdown Is A ‘Living Hell’

Chinese resident 30 years old, Wuhan, China

March 3, 202010:55 AM ET

A RESIDENT OF WUHAN

Editor’s note: The author of this essay asked for anonymity for fear of reprisals by authorities for speaking critically of the Chinese government.

The government lockdown orders in Wuhan, China, have emptied the city’s streets. Stringer for NPR

As residents of Wuhan, China, my family and I are living in hell.

The city has been locked down for more than a month. Every night before falling asleep I have been confronted by an unreal feeling and many questions:

Read This Essay In Chinese To read this essay in Chinese, click here.

I know that coronavirus is the reason for the lockdown — but did life in Wuhan have to become a living hell?

Why were we notified about the city lockdown at 2 a.m. on the second to last morning before the Lunar New Year?

Why have I not been given any instructions from a government officer about how to cope when an entire city is on lockdown?

I’m nearly 30 years old. My family members and I have devoted ourselves to our jobs to build a better life — and we have largely succeeded. There’s only a little more to do before we reach the level of middle class.

But along the way, things did not go exactly as I’d hoped. I have been working hard in school since I was small. My dream was to become a journalist, and I passed the test to enter the best school for journalism in China.

After school, I learned that government supervision of the media meant that telling the truth was not an option.

So I gave up my dream and turned to another career. I kept telling myself that my hard work would reward me in my personal life. And to protect myself, I decided to shut up, to be silent about politics — even when I saw people treated unfairly by the government. I thought that if I followed that path, I would be secure, I would be one of the fortunate ones.

Now I realize that this is an illusion. A secure life is not an option with a political system that does not give us freedom to speak out and that does not communicate with us truthfully.

Now I realize that this is an illusion. A secure life is not an option with a political system that does not give us freedom to speak out and that does not communicate with us truthfully.

Wuhan resident

At the moment when the city was first locked down, I hoped with all my heart that China’s political system, known for concentrating resources to get big jobs done, could save the Wuhanese. But infected patients were treated in the hospital in Wuhan as early as the beginning of December, and for unknown reasons, the government held off informing the public and taking effective action.

So they missed the best window of prevention due to this cover-up. That knowledge has made me fall into desperation.

The order to lock down the city appeared from nowhere on Jan. 23 at 2 a.m., without any sign or explanation to residents — even though everyone knew what was up.

People rushed to shop at 24-hour convenience stores at 3 a.m. to gather necessary food and other items. We tried every method to escape from Wuhan, but the cage was already locked.

On new year’s eve, Jan. 24, I watched the glorious performances from a gala aired on CCTV, Chinese television. But our celebratory meal was sparse, pieced together from the few ingredients I’d been able to buy in that last-minute shopping trip.

Then on the second day of the new year, another order arrived out of the blue, notifying us that the Wuhanese shall not drive. But this order only survived for less than six hours — perhaps because the authorities realized that, with public transportation shut down, cars would be needed to drive medical staffers to work and back home. So community officers called upon residents of Wuhan to provide rides for many of these workers — and to get permits to do this driving. Under the pressure of massive criticism, the government had to revoke this order for residents to provide rides.

Other orders were issued that reflected the chaos. Residents were asked to donate rice and oil to feed the medical staffers at Wuhan’s top hospital since there was not enough food to guarantee meals for them. But we are the taxpayers. Shouldn’t the government be able to provide?

From former schoolmates who now work in the medical profession, I learned that medical workers were not given medical supplies and were exposed to a risk of death. Many people wonder: Why didn’t they go on strike? It is because they were informed that if they went on strike, their licenses to practice medicine would be revoked and their family members’ jobs would be affected.

Before this coronavirus, I always thought it was OK to sacrifice some level of democracy and freedom for better living conditions. But now I have changed my attitude. Without democracy and freedom, the truth of the outbreak in Wuhan would never be known.

Before this coronavirus, I always thought it was OK to sacrifice some level of democracy and freedom for better living conditions. But now I have changed my attitude. Without democracy and freedom, the truth of the outbreak in Wuhan would never be known.

Wuhan resident

What has happened in Wuhan is as if your house caught on fire and all your neighbors knew but forbade you from jumping out of the window. Only until the fire is out of control, and the entire town ablaze, do they slowly begin taking responsibility while highlighting their own heroic efforts.

Not everyone has the same privileges and rights. Because I knew how to get outside of the Great Firewall that blocks the Internet, I was able to obtain masks.

The younger generations, born after 1995 and in the 2000s, have good impressions about the Chinese system, putting the nation before all because they have been living in an era of prosperity and have yet to experience adversity.

The things that happened during this outbreak have greatly surprised those kids. For example, a young man scolded others on Weibo in the early days of the outbreak. He accused them of spreading rumors and argued that if we don’t trust the government, there is nothing we can trust.

Later, he said, when a member of his family was infected with the coronavirus but was unable to get treatment in the overcrowded hospital, he cursed and called for help.

When Li Wenliang, one of the doctors who first reported a mysterious SARS-like illness, died of the disease himself, a student commented on the Internet: “It was just the virus that killed him, so we should focus on the epidemics.” But then the student’s dormitory was appropriated for quarantine patients — and he was shocked and dismayed.

This is the lesson these young people are learning. When someone says we can accomplish something but we must pay a price, do not rush to applaud.

One day you may become the price that is paid.

There is a saying in Chinese that has taken on new meaning in this coronavirus era: “When the stick hits my own head, I finally understand the pain — and why some others once cried out of pain.”

Perhaps it is true that only China can build a hospital in 10 days, only China can mobilize so many people to devote themselves to the anti-epidemic agenda, only China can lock down a city with millions of people at lightning speed.

But people are not thinking critically. They do not understand that if we had human rights, democracy and freedom, we would have learned about what happened in Wuhan one month earlier. And the first whistleblower would not have died for nothing./30

I bumped into this essay by accident. Talking with a Messianic Jewish immigrant from Jamaica to Florida last night, I learned that NPR reported that Covid-19 was a virus smuggled out of China for the express purposes of infecting Chinese enemies. Now this is NPR you know – hardly a right wing news organization. In attempting to check on this, I found this testimony. It had the ring of truth, the disillusionment of the young people. I am so glad I lived in China because I appreciate their real life and understand what they are going through. Please pass this along. My blog is censored by Google, Twitter and Facebook, reducing readership by 3/4ths.

President Dwight Eisenhower speaks on political parties

If a political party does not have its foundation in the determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

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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#grief #loss #failure #depression #death

Do you love them enough to tell them the truth?

It’s obvious that if we can tell ISIS and other Islamic radicals that crucifying small children and raping men and boys as they merrily behead their opponents is a sure way to hell, we ought to be able to tell the truth to others nearby.  But where is it happening?  

People beg to be loved – do not condemn me!

Everywhere I turn someone is complaining that their sin is being condemned, and somehow we (the believers) are  responsible for it, or at least guilty of some egregious “un” Christian sin by not endorsing their evil behavior.

Two lesbian mothers recently complained that the church is condemning them, and not allowing them in fellowship.  Shame on you – they cry.  What nonsense is this – that the spokesmen for God – the Christian Church – is now expected to endorse the sin of two whiny females?

They have no place to go to church.  They wanted to worship God. I suggested to them that they try New Age or the Rosicrucians or maybe even set up a little altar in their home. Why would they ask God’s people to affirm what God Himself calls an abomination?  Is the Church going to risk calling God a liar?

God gives no one permission to change His Word

Of course, I am over-stating this.  But Truth at the core of everything God says has not changed.  God’s people have no right or ability to change God’s word.  We can only defy it.  If we defy and deny, we put ourselves in the same boat as these women – we become anathema to Him.

Apparently many pastors are now willing to affirm homosexual lifestyles and even in some sorry cases to permit a homosexual priesthood.  That is a final slap in the face.  And to what end?  They want these lost people to attend their churches? And for what purpose?

THEY ARE STILL LOST

 Pastors may think that continued sitting under the preached word will change hearts – but why should anyone who has his/her sin endorsed bother changing?  In fact the entire purpose of the gospel is that We CHANGE.  God doesn’t.

 Malachi 3:6 I am the Lord. I change not.

As the Supreme Court sits to decide on homosexual marriage the Church continues to have a duty to stand by God’s word and His Holiness. Franklin Graham said it best – When God changes His mind, I’ll change mine.

 

When you consider the way preachers have opened their arms to deny the Word of God, it is a wonder anyone is being saved at all. Once you let that horse out of the barn the entire stable can be let loose, and so folks bragging about adultery, or incest, extortion, lying, and you name it are happily joining to praise the god of Anything Goes. The Church has lost its way, and the congregation is lost.

And all because no one loved them enough to tell them the truth.

#sodomy #homosexual #spiritoferror

It’s Easy to Lie about the Crusades

crusader…. because Americans pay so little attention to history.  The media, and more recently the former President {Obama}, can say what they will.  It is as though time began last week and no one will know the difference. This article should straighten things out.

Jihadis 14, Crusaders 2 from National Review Onine
The president Obama perverts history (again).

By Ralph Peters

In his ignorant and bigoted remarks to religious leaders this week, President Obama parroted jihadi propaganda. Bored (when not annoyed) by facts, the president referred to the Crusades and the Inquisition as evidence of the horrors religion can wreak. That kind of talk emboldens the Islamist line that Christian bad behavior justifies the Middle East’s bad behavior even today.

The president knows as little about history as he does about warfare, and even less about religion. But he’s not alone. With the Left’s successful destruction of history instruction in our schools and universities, even “well-educated” creatures of Washington accept the Arab fantasy that the cultural incompetence, practical indolence, and spiritual decay of the entire Middle East stems from Richard Coeur de Lion’s twelfth-century swordplay. (more…)

‘Intellectual Suicide’ He’s Waging a Battle Against Political Correctness — and Has a Warning for Churches That Sway Aimlessly With Cultural Whims

FIVE YEARS AGO THIS WARNING

Originally from The Blaze

Feb. 24, 2015 2:03pm Billy Hallowell

TheBlaze’s coverage of the NRB Proclaim conference is brought to you by the movie “Yellow Day” and The Rose of Bethlehem.

When author Joe Battaglia started seeing some troubling trends in politics, media and Christian culture, he decided to take action, penning a new book about the political correctness and “intellectual dishonesty” that he believes are running rampant in contemporary society.

Battaglia, who is attending the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville, Tennessee, this week, and is the founder of Renaissance Communications, told TheBlaze that he’s concerned that many people in today’s society seemingly bend over backwards to avoid offending others, while sacrificing truth and facts in the process, laying out his views in the new book, “The Politically Incorrect Jesus.” (more…)

Happy New Year

Lord, this year let me be a bridge over which Jews can walk into the Kingdom of God, and where Christians can walk back into the Chosen People for one united fellowship under the King of Kings.

The Valley of Decision 2020

Joel 3:14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.

This is the year when everyone will take sides – are you going to save the
American Republic or are you inviting a socialist state to rule. The deciders
are corporate giants like NBC, media giants in New York, Washington DC and Los Angeles, sports leaders such as ESPN, small corporations like Chick-fil-a, and governments large and small. And every other adult individual and family will be required to take a stand as well. And when they do, their true center will be exposed.

Christianity Today, a long running Christian magazine, was always
thought to be boldly Christian. When it took a stand, the world discovered that it was supporting open borders financed by anti-Christianity George Soros’ money. Franklin Graham, Billy’s son, condemned the magazine’s position and exposed that his father voted for Trump. If the magazine had not taken a stand, neither would anyone know all these other facts about funding and support.

The impeachment process, besides costing over half billion over a three year period in Congressional salaries alone, exposed the bias of virtually all the people working in Congress.

Taking sides is Yahweh’s will

It’s common to hear people praise and encourage agreement, but we find none of this in scripture.

Yahweh said, “Can any two walk together lest they be agreed?”
Answer – No. We have no agreement with evil, or malice, or even wrong motives. Men of good will have a hope of peace but there is no peace for the wicked. What agreement He asks is there between Christ and Belial (a term for evil). There are may occasions in life when we must take a stand.

2019 is a year when men of evil intent are being exposed in large numbers.
We expect judgment if open crime, but Yahweh is looking at the hearts of man as well. Political leaders especially because they are in the public eye cannot hide their crimes. Jeffrey Epstein, a serial sex trafficker, could not hide behind his $400 million dollars in the bank. Being rich or powerful can keep you hidden just so long and then – poof. It is all out in the open and the
general public must take sides.

2020 is a time of judgment

Yahweh judges those who go against Him. He has a great deal of tolerance. He might wait 70 years, but eventually He says, “Time’s up.” Exposure of
evil doers serves as a warning to common folk that there is a time of judgment. Many individuals some very famous, others we never heard of are publicly supporting one side or the other.

Pew Research shows these wide gaps in public opinion.

He says, these words:

1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord
come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and
will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have
praise of Yahweh
.

Hong Kong, Syria, Iran, Yemen, North Korea, Venezuela and in many other
places that do not make the headlines, there is war or riots or controversy,
not just in the USA. Britain after 2 years of waffling finally made a solid
decision one way. Hundreds of thousands of refugees are moving across the
globe, changing the course of history with their feet. Europe
especially has suffered from migrants moving across many borders.

Human rights are under attack across the planet from sex trafficking to
selling body parts in America and China, organs taken from political prisoners, usually of conscience.

Evil conversations are also coming forth; Luke 12:3 Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.

Yahweh is bringing all wickedness to the fore. But He is not unfair – He
also said He would not doing anything without first telling His prophets. So
now you know.

#prophecy #futurist #worldwidejudgment #comingjudgement

Symbolism of the Human Body

It’s taken me four decades to understand this passage in Corinthians in reference to a communion service of believers. But it was walked out in my life in a dramatic manner.

1 Cor 11:27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.

Sleep means to die in verse 30. To understand what this means, let’s examine what it does not say. It does not say to fail to discern a Christian, or a friend, or a believer, or a baptized person or the devil himself. It says failure to discern, not the Lord Himself, but His Body.

Who is the Body of Christ?

That’s us. But more importantly the “us” is not just Harold, Jenny and Roy, but to recognize the part of Christ’s body where Harold, Jenny and Roy function.

People totally outside the church of Jesus certainly know them in their stores, social groups and offices. But this situation is unique; that is when we as believers take on the garment of being “Christ to the world.”

About 40 years ago my husband walked in the house at supper and said, “The Lord told me that you are a liver in the body of Christ.” I smiled because Jesus had already shown me that. And in case you’re interested the liver is hidden and it does something no one like to see – filter out all the junk that goes through the body. In fact, this little blog has spent many years filtering out false teaching and corrupted understanding in Christian circles.

The liver

The liver is corrective. Livers do not add Christians to the Body of Christ; they don’t sing, they don’t run the front office; they just react to what is passing through. As you can tell, I am not necessarily a popular figure. “Oh dear – here comes the liver. What kind of crap have I swallowed now!” they worry.

But enough of my complaints. Let’s look at this in a practical manner. To bring up sickness and possible death for some believer-behavior, esp. in the New Testament is quite rare. We must pay attention.

Bones & Skin

Consider what bodies have: Bones hold a shape. Bones in scripture are symbols of priests, not Catholic ones, just people who lead and make the body upright. Then there is skin which symbolizes faith. Faith completely surrounds a body because you need to believe for your backside, past, the present, and the front, the future, what is below the feet and above the head. You are encased in faith.

The lungs

The lungs take in the word of God. My pal Jack reminded me that God only breathes out, never in. That is our breath too. Breath symbolizes Holy Spirit bringing in required oxygen which allows the body to exercise all its internal and external functions. That air is the immediate word of God, the ruach (Hebrew).

Human beings require air; spiritual man requires God’s present word to survive. We need a mouth, which symbolizes a prophet, eyes which symbolize seers (people who see) and ears symbolizing a group who hear the Lord. Hands and feet bring the gospel; they serve as mercy ministers and take the Body where Holy Spirit wants it to go.

Gall Bladder & Thyroid

The gall bladder removes bitterness, the kidney filters out water impurities, and the thyroid regulates the body. Have you ever been in a church or Bible study/prayer group where one person takes over? That is an unregulated group. That is a body that has failed to recognize the other parts of Christ’s body. And that is what can lead to sickness and even death. The thyroid is a regulator.

Six years ago a church leader banished me from the meetings as a false teacher. I’d never been confronted this way; most people just condemned me behind my back. (Or, avoided me if they have an issue.) A year later she ended up in the hospital three times with strokes. NO – I had not prayed against her. Jesus told his disciples not to do that – to leave judgment to Him.

I was just as surprised as you are. She had failed to recognize a part of His Body. Then later on a man who assumed some spiritual leadership in this same group, heaped contempt on me; I was astonished. Same deal – he did not recognize my place in the Body. After nine months he was gone! The group rebuked him.

Then some other spiritual leaders rebuked me for being “unforgiving.” They too had failed to see what was going on. As a 40 year veteran of the mission field, I’d never had any trouble seeing who was whom in a group. It’s part of the job.

God is just as interested in Fiji Islanders as he is Texans, and He is quite able to call and fit them into a Christian body in their home town. But friends in the American church had no experience with diverse people, ministries or God’s calls on individuals. I feel as though I have made a giant leap forward in understanding what God wants for the future of His People.

Clearly Church, we need to start making this part of the New Testament real. Jesus is not coming back for an unruly mob, a quarreling faction or a self-righteous bunch of over-educated, self-absorbed believers. He is coming for a team that knows, like a body, how to work together. That is our future.

#mandarin #chinese #allemand #espagnol #cantonese #francais

#Biblesymbols #dreaminterpretation #dreamsymbolism

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