Get out your favorite version of the Holy Scriptures and turn to 2 Chronicles 7:14

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mighty Women of God

I've been blessed with the friendship of many mighty women of God. And with the opportunity to sit under three of them, in particular, as they taught on spiritual warfare. One has gone to be with the Lord, another I'm currently unable to locate, but if I never find her again on this earth, I know I'll see her and hug her in Glory. The third is alive and well, and ministering in Southeast Oklahoma. Thank You, Lord for these women.

One of the three was holding an evening meeting in the church my husband and I pastored. She was a petite lady in her early seventies. Now, any time any one of us dares to publically expose Satan for what he is, we are inviting his wrath. This brave little lady called him foolish. She berated him in every way and said "I laugh at you, Satan, because you are a fool."

And then, she threw her head back and laughed, loud and long. She invited all the ladies in attendance to join her in a hearty laugh at Satan's expense. The sanctuary was filled with boisterous noise . . . but not joyous laughter. In fact it had a hollow, eerie sound. I'll never forget the chill that went down my spine as I listened.

Satan was enraged. And I became engulfed in spiritual darkness.

Her ensuing message was very informative and well received. And the cloud that hung over my spirit eventually lifted, although it never completely dissipated. We had fellowship afterward, and then she prepared to leave.

I was talking with a group of visitors and she, with help from others, was carrying her equipment down the church steps when I heard a scream from outside. Running to the door, I saw this sweet woman of God lying in the grass to the side of the steps. She was conscious—but injured.

While we waited for the ambulance to arrive she told us she had not lost her footing . . . which would most likely have caused her to tumble down the stairs. Instead it felt as though she'd been pushed from behind, and over the side. There was no one behind her on the stairs.

Others, standing at the bottom of the steps, confirmed she'd not stumbled like one might expect, but her feet appeared to have lifted from the steps before she plunged sideways.

She suffered a broken wrist and bruised ribs. Being the trouper she was, it wasn't long before she was driving her car, headed back to church. Several of us were in the church building, milling around, talking and drinking coffee . . . waiting for service to start.

We heard a loud crash.

This soldier of God, so loved by the Lord and so hated by Satan was making a legal turn into the church driveway (her first visit since that fateful night) when the car behind her plowed into the back of her vehicle. The other driver claimed to have not even seen her car in front of him until they collided. We thanked God that our little warrior was not seriously injured.

Was Satan behind these attacks? I know what I believe, but we may never know for sure. But this I do know for a fact. As we pray for others, we should also pray for ourselves. Daily, build a hedge of protection around yourself as you go about doing God's will. Never forget to use the words . . . "In Jesus' name."

J-e-s-u-s spells d-e-f-e-a-t to Satan.

And keep fighting the good fight.

Because the battle is real.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mirror, mirror on the wall . . .

Who's the fairest of them all?


According to the scriptures, of all the angels in heaven, Lucifer was the most beautiful. Ezekiel 28:12 ESV states . . . "you were the signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty." Referenced to the King of Tyre, but believed to relate to his master, Satan.

So beautiful he was, he got "the big head". Aha, now I know where humanity picked up that characteristic. He decided he belonged on a throne, higher even than God.

Not only was he beautiful, he must have been very charismatic. How else could he convince one-third of the angels in heaven to follow him when God cast him out? There's no specific reference in the Bible confirming the figure of one-third. But it's generally accepted as so, partially because of a scripture referring to a great red dragon, and believed to be chronicling the fall of Satan as seen from earth. According to Revelation 12:4 ESV . . . "His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to earth . . .

Now, it should come as no surprise that he's still capable of appearing beautiful. And he uses that talent against us every day of our lives.

Would a man be tempted to cheat on his faithful wife of 20 years with an ugly old witch sporting a huge wart on the end of her nose? Probably not. However, if Satan can convince a pretty young thing to throw him a wistful look and a dimpled smile, he may stumble. But not if he has God's word on the tip of his tongue. James 4:7 ESV - Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

The problem lies herein. Many people don't believe in the power of Satan or the existence of demons. Therefore they can be easily duped into believing the beautiful lies that drip from the lips of Satan. Even to the point of rationalizing that which they are well aware is sinful into a God-given gift.

Satan's destructive powers are being exercised all over the earth 24/7. He's not omnipresent. So, how can he do this? With the help of his followers . . . his assistants . . .


The battle is real.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Are Demons Real?

An excerp from "The Devil's Digs":

They came from every direction to join the tight, close formation. Flying wingtip to wingtip. Had they been of the natural world, their presence would have blocked out the light of the sun as they passed between it and the valley below. But the darkness created by these vultures of the spirit world could be seen only with spiritual eyes.

“Snake-Eyes, when is the master going to give us physical bodies, like he promised?” a smaller demon called Slug asked the ghoul to his right.

“Shut up you fool, lest the master hear you and give you what you want. Don’t you know how cumbersome a physical body is? You can’t do this with a physical body.” He dove downward, out of formation and out of sight before the sound from his words had reached the ears of the foolish one. In a nanosecond he reappeared, coming from overheard.

Slug ducked his head.“Impressive, but, how can you frighten humans when they can’t even see you?”

“Our assignment isn’t to frighten them, you idiot. They do a good enough job of that to themselves with their wars and weapons of mass destruction. We’re to infiltrate their lives and destroy them from within. It’s a time-consuming process.

"If they’re already Christians, the best we can hope for is to get them to put their God on the back burner . . . not always an easy task. But we can consider our work a partial success if we sidetrack them to the point they can do no service for their King.

“If they’re not Christians, the master expects us to harden their hearts and bring them into submission to him. Severe punishment is meted out to anyone who fails to convert a likely candidate.”

Do Demons carry on conversations? That I don't know. That's part of  the "fiction" in "honest Christian fiction."

Do they even exist? You bet. And they exist for the sole purpose of taking a Christian's eyes off of the Lord, and keeping unbelievers from ever meeting the Lord.

Why do they bother with good people who are already out of Satan's eternal reach? In an attempt to bring dishonor to God. You've read these headlines (or similar ones): "Pastor Involved in Love Triangle." Those five words have the power to discourage an unsaved person from pursuing a relationship with Jesus. Thereby condemning him to an etermity with the evil one.

Why do they care? They're taking orders from their master: Satan.

You say you believe in angels, but not in demons? Then my final question to you is this:

When Lucifer (Satan) was cast out of heaven and his "followers" (errant angels) chose to go with him, what do YOU think became of his followers?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Walls Have Ears

God is omniscient. Satan is not.

God knows our hearts and our thoughts. Satan can only know where we stand from our actions and our words.

In my novel "A Handful of Demons" old man Hendricks gave Pastor McAlester a brand new, top of the line Cadillac. No strings. At least, none attached to Mike Hendricks. The demon of pride, now that was another matter entirely.

But the demon of pride didn’t tell all. He didn’t reveal to the others his pièce de résistance. The event that would leave Edward McAlester wounded and bleeding—not financially, or even physically—but spiritually. The happening through which he, and he alone, would pierce McAlester’s tough armor with one sharp talon. Ripping and tearing, he would gain ingress into McAlester’s very soul.

He allowed the others to put their all into bringing the pastor down financially and saved his personal, reeling blow for last.

And today was going to be the day.

Yes, it looked like Pride was going to be the winner of this ghoulish contest. And so it should be. Hadn’t he put the thought of giving the pastor a Cadillac into old man Hendricks’s head?

And the senile fool gave God all the credit.

He’d seen the old coot on his knees, praying out loud to God about how to spend his money. All the demon of pride had to do was plant the idea. It was so easy. A few whispered suggestions and the geezer was hooked.

Oh, but that's only fiction, you say. Bear with me, and I'll tell you a story about a lady to whom I ministered quite a few years ago.

Satan had gotten a foothold in her life early on. And though she'd recently given her heart to Jesus, she lived with constant regret at all the years she served the wrong master, all because of a prayer she uttered in despair at the age of nineteen.

Home from college on summer break, her friends had introduced her to a handsome young service man who was home on furlough. The attraction was instant and mutual. They were quickly seeing each other every evening.

The young man was much more worldly than she, and it disturbed her that at the end of each date he'd cajole her to allow him more intimate leeway than she was raised to permit. This went on for several weeks. Then one day, he didn't call. Or the next day, or the next.

She couldn't reach him by phone. So she had her friends check on him. And, yes, he was alive and well. The young lady fell into a deep depression, because she really did think she loved him, and that he felt the same for her.

At this point of the story I am reminded of an old song, It's All in the Game. The words go like this: "Once in awhile he won't call, but it's all in the game." And I get angry that to some . . . love is only a game, while to others it is life.

Well, the young lady was at home alone, on her knees scrubbing the kitchen floor for her mother. Tears fell and mingled with the soapy water on her scrub rag. Her thoughts began pouring from her mouth in audible words. "God, if you will only let him call me, I will do anything—anything—he wants." Three minutes later the phone rang.

She considered the phone call an answered prayer. What happened that very evening spit in the face of every decent thing her mother had taught her, ruined her ensuing first marriage, and turned her toward a life of sin. And after that night the young serviceman never called back.

Twenty years later, she found her way back to the Lord.  But it wasn't until she and I talked and prayed together that she realized she'd been duped.

Yes, the battle is real.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I'm led of the Lord to . . .

How many times have you heard that statement, only to next hear something totally unscriptural come out of the mouth of the speaker?

Normally, you'd only hear a Christian make the statement they were being "led of the Lord". It's not standard fare in a non-believer's vernacular. So, your first thought is "this is going to be something scriptural." But so often it isn't, because even Christians sometimes mistake their own voice, (been there, done that) or worse yet, the enemy's voice, for that of the Almighty.
The enemy can sound beautiful. That's his pleasure. The enemy can be convincing. That's his job.

In "Ian's Song" Mike Morgan feels "led of the Lord" to go to Houston and minister to the down and out. He's so sure that's God's plan for his life he doesn't notice the obvious clues God's throwing in his path.

"You a preacher? You sure don't look like no preacher I ever seen."

Mike stifled another laugh. He's an outspoken old rascal. "Well, I'm not actually a preacher yet. Just graduated. But I've got the call, and I think the Lord would have me in Houston. Just trying to follow His lead, and that's what I'm hearing from Him right now." Mike shrugged his shoulders. "He doesn't always make Himself real clear."

The old man took a long swig from his coffee cup, stood up, and threw some change on the table. He picked up a dirty cowboy hat from the seat, jammed it on his head, and turned to go. He paused at Mike's booth. "Maybe you just ain't listenin' real clear."

Speaking from my own experience, I've found if I get a word from the Lord, I'll get a confirmation from another godly source. Without that confirmation, I'd be very cautious.

Rule of thumb: Does the word you've received line up with God's word?

God has given us a lot of clues as to what He loves and what He doesn't approve of. There is the obvious yardstick by which to measure: the Ten Commandments. Is your word from Him in alignment with them?

And there are seven things listed in Proverbs that God hates: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among the brothers (and sisters - my words).

He's got many more. Sometimes it's necessary to do some research into His likes and dislikes. Because you can bet your boots, He's not going to lead you to do something that's not in line with His teaching.

I knew a young man who said the Lord was leading him to build a church. In a specific place. He bought the land and accepted building funds. Then one day he said the Lord was leading him in a different direction and the church plan was abandoned. He probably returned the funds. I don't know. And that's not the point. I just have to wonder . . . did he hear from the Lord. Or had he heard from himself? God's not as quick to change His mind as mortal man.

The other day, during my "God" time, He directed my mind to integrity. My desire is to be a person of integrity, according to His word. A person of integrity does not lie, steal, cheat, or be unfaithful. Wow. Integrity covers a lot of territory.

A person of integrity doesn't break a promise. If the promise was accepted and believed because of your declaration of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and you renege . . . ooh, travel that road at your own peril.

While I was delving into this subject, He dropped another word into my heart. Compassion. Whoa. If you have integrity and compassion, looks like you 'bout got all bases covered.

You know, with God there are no coincidences. So, I can only believe He was leading me directly into my next discovery—my new favorite scripture. Over coffee, I picked up the morning paper. Our daily newspaper prints a verse of scripture in each issue. You'll never guess what the verse was that day.

Micah 6:8; This is what the Lord requires of thee. To do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with thy God.

To do justly . . . integrity. Love mercy . . . compassion. The same words He'd given me earlier.

Are you being led by the Lord? Have you completed your last assignment from him? Kept all your promises? Does your plan line up with all of His teachings? Are they just? Are they merciful to all concerned?

I have no desire for renown, if not for integrity. Nor remembrance, if not for compassion. For it's by these two qualities alone that mankind has its worth. LWW

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Summer of 2011

By my total page view indicator, at least 54 people have viewed this blog since July, only to find it had been abandoned.

It was in July that God blessed me by answering one of the most pressing requests I'd ever laid at His feet. He gave me exactly what I'd been praying earnestly for . . . for many months. I was on cloud nine, and praising Him with all my might.

Satan hates a happy Christian. Did you know that? I guess I'd forgotten that little fact, because I was kind of surprised when my bothersome, nagging cough suddenly turned into a debilitating illness. I was afraid to leave the house for fear I'd have a major coughing attack and collapse in a public place. I couldn't sleep at night. I couldn't even sit at my computer and write a blog. I was downing cough drops like popcorn, until they became ineffectual. Three doctor visits over six weeks brought no improvement. The demon of fear even poked it's ugly head into the picture.

It was about then that I received a major blow from my publisher. Through no fault of my own, my debut novel would not be published as a paperback book as contracted. It would be e-published. Because I'd promised many people (probably hundreds) that it would be available "on the bookstore shelves" next year, this deviation from the contract was devistating to my pride, my credibility . . . my very soul.

Rightly or not, on the advise of several friends in the industry, I quietly opted out of the contract without causing a fuss. But my heart lay sodden in my chest and I lost all interest in even trying. I dropped out of FaceBook, never once clicked on my blog, and even got off internet for a while.

Then several serious financial issues arose involving loved ones, which I won't relate lest I break a trust. Suffice it to say, the summer and early fall of 2011 broke my heart and my spirit.

I've said all that to say this: Satan doesn't want my books to be published. They give God all the glory and expose the devil and his imps for what they really are.

But God is faithful. Another publisher has expressed an interest in my novels. And I just found out that two of my short stories and several of my poems are slated for publication. Glory be to God.  He will always be victorious. Satan never has . . . and never will . . . win a battle against our God.

In every story there is a turning point. And I'd like to relate to you where the breakthrough came for me.

I have my best times with the Lord early in the morning, before the world starts making its demands on me. At my lowest ebb I awoke one morning with tears in my eyes and the Lord's name on my lips. I confessed to Him that I didn't know where to go from here. I felt like I was at the end of my rope. "Help me," I cried. "Help me climb out of this pit of despair."

A song popped into my mind. A secular love song, of all things. A favorite of mine from childhood. Most of my younger friends have probably never heard it. I laid in bed and delved into my mind to bring forth the words. When I did, I realized God can use even a secular song to comfort a broken-hearted child. They were His words of choice to me, in my hour of distress.

The name of the song is "Always" And the words go like this:

I'll be loving you, always. With a love that's true, always.
Things don't go as planned? Need a helping hand?
I will understand, always . . . always.

Days may not be fair, always. That's when I'll be there, always.
Not for just an hour. Not for just a day. Not for just a year.
But always.