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

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Don't accept Satan's offering.

A couple of days ago, I read with interest, a FaceBook post by a lady I don't know.

She was informing her FaceBook friends (and I suppose her personal friends) that she no longer wished to talk to anyone interested in dissing their husbands. She said she'd be glad to pray for and try to help anyone who came to her and admitted they had a problem in their marriage, but no more (and she was emphatic) would she discuss spouses in a deragatoty manner. She said she felt obligated to the complainer to join in and diss her own husband . . . or agree that the other's husband deserved  distain.

I mentally filed the post into my "to each his own" file and continued down the long list of news feed posts. Moments later a response popped into my mind. And wouldn't you know . . . FaceBook, as it often does . . . had carried that post off to la-la land . . . never to be seen again.

Well, the more I thought of it, the more I felt the lady's post needed a better response than the "Preach it, sister" and "Count me in." answers she was receiving.

I'm sure she'd hoped to make the offending ladies feel guilty, and thereby stop their unsavory practice. But did it have that effect? Most likely not. I remember thinking, "So you've never needed to vent about your spouse? Aren't you the lucky one?"

To me it seemed a little akin to saying "If you don't love my Jesus, I don't want to talk to you." One would certainly limit their chances to witness if they took that stand. And adding that you're available for prayer and councel doesn't help much. Most people won't come out directly and say "I need help." You must be perceptive in detecting a problem, then you usually have to cajole them into admitting they have one, if you're hoping to help them address it.

A woman who disses her husband is having marital problems,whether she wants to admit it or not. It may only be her problem . . . but there is something wrong, because that isn't the way God meant for our relationships to play out. It should be "you and me against the world, babe."

When a friend comes to you with snide remarks about her spouse . . . this is your chance to help her get to the bottom of her resentment. It could be your chance to save a marriage that is just beginning to crumble. You don't have to throw your own husband under the bus to make her feel okay about herself. (Although I would avoid talking about him in glowing terms at this particular moment.)

But you could point out several things that your friend may not understand.  #1. Men are not born with a romantic spirit. It's learned. Maybe he hasn't had the opportunity to learn yet. Maybe you could help him. #2. Men look at everything differently. No matter how important your purchase of a particular piece of furniture is, it doesn't compare in urgency to the football game that's currently being aired. Say what you will . . . this is life. If that makes you miserable, you're just going to have to get over it. God made men to be what they are . . . not what you wish they were. #3. Last, but not least, I read some time ago a very wise mantra: "If his manner of loving doesn't meet your expectations, remember he's loving you the best way he knows how."

Keep in mind, ladies . . . Satan is always standing by to hand you a wedge to force between yourself and your husband. Don't accept his offering.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

What Constitutes a "Christian Nation"?

What is a nation but a family brought together by their mutual citizenship?  And their country is their home.

So, let's start with a home. What constitutes a Christian home?

Simple. A man and a woman who determine they and their children will live by Christian standards, and follow through, have founded a Christian home.

If they are deeply caring Christians, they may invite others into their home. Especially those who are in dire need. "Tired, poor, wretched" to quote our great Lady Liberty. They won't turn someone away because they're of a different faith. They'll feed them, clothe them, and help them get on their feet.

It may even come to a point where their "guests" become permanent residents in their home. They may be sheltering a Muslim . . . a Jew . . . or an athiest. At this point, are they required to say "Our home is no longer a Christian home. We are multi-cultural now."?

Absolutely not. It's still a Christian home. A stronger, more evident Christian home by their generous deeds.

America was founded, in much the same way as the above Christian home . . . with Christ on the lips of our Forefathers even as they forged our the Constitution of the United States of America. Founded is the noteworthy word in this concept. Christianity is our foundation! You can't strip a home, a house, a building, an organization, or a nation of it's foundation without tearing the whole thing down.

Does anyone have the right to deny - thereby strip - us of our foundation by announcing to the world that we're no longer a Christian nation? Can one man make this determination because he doesn't understand the principles of integrity? Can he throw out what our forefathers built because he desires a different kind of nation? One that's like the rest of the world.

America has never been like the rest of the world. America is exceptional. The reason it's exceptional is because it was founded on Christian beliefs. If we're going to stay exceptional we must adhere to God's principles. How can we expect Him to bless our nation when we continue to deny Him?

I'm not suggesting throwing out everyone who isn't a Christian. Our heart is big enough to make room for every legal immigrant. Even every American-born athiest. But they, and the world, need to understand . . . we cannot exist if we remove our foundation. The freedoms and bountiful blessings we all enjoy will go up in a puff of smoke without God's mercy.

We will be - like a building with it's foundation removed - a pile of rubble. 

Satan would like to see America in ruins.

But our God is greater than Satan.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Better is One Day With the Lord . . .

"For a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand outside.
I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God,
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness." Psalm 84:10 NAS.
A great song-writer and pastor friend of ours, Gary Lanier, wrote a song the week after the death of his adult daughter. "Better is One Day With the Lord." It touched my heart the first time we sang it, and it continues, ten years later, to flit through my mind when I least expect it. Reminding me that  " . . . to live is Christ, and to die is gain." (Philippians 1:21).
Suddenly my heart is having "old home week". The song "Grave Where is Thy Victory?" (Death, where is thy sting?) popped into my mind. And with it, an evangelist named Sonny Holland. Brother Sonny conducted a revival at the church we attended when my son, Billy, was thirteen. Under Sonny's guidance, my son accepted Jesus as his savior.
Billy's now forty-seven . . . in the living room with my husband, watching "Jeopardy." I hadn't seen Brother Sonny in all the ensuing years, though I'd thought about him many times. (And I'm just now getting in the habit of using Google to find people.) So, I looked him up. There are several videos on U-Tube of him singing. He wrote a song in honor of his granddaughter who's gone to be with the Lord. "For Every Valley, There's a Lilly."
I just put one on and called the boys in from the TV. Sonny's thirty-four years older, remember, but the minute Billy saw and heard him on my PC monitor, he said "That's Sonny Holland!"
He's still ministering . . . in a mighty way. I'm so proud of him. He now has a ministry to the poor in Nicaragua. I'd be honored if you'd look it up at You'll be blessed to see what they're accomplishing. And you may even wish to help.
They're fighting a battle with hunger, homelessness, and disease. And . . . our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness . . ."
And the battle is real.
Welcome to our small but friendly group, Sherree Chmitlin and Jessie Jessy!

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Holy Nation

A very frightening email regarding politics, which I received the other morning, sent me scurrying to my Bible to seek shelter in His word.  I was simultaneously struck by a profound statement made by my pastor the other evening: "Your body will do what it has been trained to do by your mind."

Somehow this combination sent me straight to Revelation. And I determined for the first time in my Christian life to study Revelation until I understood it. Always before I'd rationalize it was too deep and not meant to be understood by "the masses." At long last I realize, I'm not the masses, I'm a child of God. He wants me to understand His love letter. Not just the four books of the Gospel, or Genesis, or Acts . . . but the whole thing.

In the first chapter of Revelation a word which is seldom used jumped out at me. Nicolaitans. A Nicolaitan was an enemy of God. He specifically said He "hated their deeds." Nicolaitans were (are?) a sect of pseudo Christians. People who introduce Pagan rites and beliefs into their Christian behavior, thereby leading people astray. Because God especially hates Christianity that's defiled by Paganism, He instructed us —according to Revelation—to hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans.

One of the sites I visited while researching asked the question: Do the Nicolaitans still exist?

Likewise, I ask: Are there still those who claim to be Christians, but adhere to the ways of Satan, and admonish you to join them in their "rites?" Have good people been let astray to do things abhorrent to God, by others who profess to be Christians? Perhaps you could name a few laws which allow, and even encourage, U.S. citizens to ignore God's will.

We must learn to recognize the fruit of the Spirit, just as we should recognize the fruit of the evil one. Let the Word teach you to identify the enemy. Because he roams the earth, seeking whom he may devour. (And whom he may separate from the Father.)

Revelation 2:11  " . . . He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death."

One of the most important things we should keep in our hearts, especially when the world is pressing in on us, is: GOD IS IN CONTROL. We may not like what's going on. HE may not like what's going on. But He still has the whole world in His hands. 

The Scriptures say "We are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation." WE are. While we should pray constantly that America turns back to God (and work diligently toward that end) remember as you pray . . . the nation the Scriptures are referring to is us. His people. Those who are called by His name. People of the Way. Christians. Believers. WE are His holy nation. And regardless of what happens in the rest of the world . . . or in the United States . . . WE are in good hands.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Upper Room

Witt Gregory lived in a stone ranch house in Southwest Arkansas. In his house was a hidden inner room, which he used as his prayer closet. He called it "God's room." It was his own personal "Holy of Holies."

A scene from "Handful of Demons":

Something was happening to the atmosphere in that tiny toom. The hair on his arms and the back of his neck stood on end. Silently, little by little, God's presence in that small space grew and intensified until it became so overwhelming Witt was compelled to lower his lean body all the way to the floor. It was as though a giant weight was pressing him from above. He was powerless to resist.

Lying on his back, he clamped his eyes shut against the intense and blinding light that filled every crevice of the room.

The door to God's room was closed, and there were no windows. Yet the sweet fragrance of wild clover and honeysuckle wafted in on a gentle breeze, and settled around Witt like a gossamer veil . . .

A prayer room, prayer closet, or upper room designated strictly for quiet time with the Lord is a "luxury" some Christians feel is beyond their finances. But you don't have to have a huge ranch house with a hidden room to experience your own Holy of Holies.

The first house Dee and I built after we married was quite small by American standards. I think it was about 800 square feet with a small loft area over the back half of the house. The loft was first designated as a bedroom for my teenage son. But when he "left the nest" I latched onto it and claimed it for an "upper room."

God was always there waiting for me when I came to call.  And I can't tell you how many times I stayed in that room praying for what seemed hours. Yet when I descended the stairs, there was always plenty of time to finish my chores. It was like He had made time stand still for me.

Thirty-three years, and many houses later, I'm back in a small house. No room for a prayer closet. So, temporarily, I'm using a bedroom for a prayer room. Or the tiny covered back porch off  that bedroom. We live in the East Texas piney woods so, weather permitting,  I often stroll through the woods and pray.

But I like the idea of God  having His own room in my home, so my mind is ever, EVER straining to figure out where I could establish our Holy of Holies. I have an idea I haven't shared with Dee yet, because he's the guy who's going to have to build it.  And he's working so hard just trying to finish the house that I don't like to overload him. :-)

A dear friend, who lives quite a distance from me, converted a simple clothes closet into her prayer room and sent me a picture. It's big enough for a chair, a lamp, and a rug. She's made it so inviting that I can almost see Jesus sitting cross legged on the rug, waiting for me . . . who doesn't do a lot of sitting cross legged. :-) . . . to come sit down in the chair and talk to Him.

Look around your house to see if you have a space you might be able to dedicate to Him.

It will give you greater joy than I can possibly convey to have a special room in your home just for The Great I Am. No matter how small. Unlike a room used for other activities besides prayer, it will become your very special place of refuge, and He will always have His arms open wide to receive you.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Heathen or not?

I missed church last night. I stayed home to watch the debate.

A friend called me a "heathen." She was joking. (I think.)

I don't miss Wednesday evening service very often. We have a big dinner at 6:00 . . . praise and worship from 7:00 till 8:00, and some of the best teaching and preaching I've ever sat under until 9:00 or so. I am so happy and so proud of my church, and our pastor.

So it was not a decision I arrived at lightly when I decided to skip church for the debate. It was suggested that I record it if I was so adamant about seeing it. I toyed with that idea for a short time, but rejected it.

I told my husband I'd prayed about it, and asked God if it was alright if I missed church to watch the debate. He asked if I'd received an answer, and I told him God said if it weren't for the fact that He can be both places at once, He'd choose to be in Denver at the debate.

All joking aside, I felt a genuine need to be watching it in real time. Praying as it happened. I lifted both candidates up for safety from any foul play. And I lifted my candidate . . . Mr. Romney . . . up for a clear mind, wisdom, confidence, and that his true nature would shine through.

This is such an important election. The future of our country and our freedom to worship are at stake.

I prayed as it was beginning and periodically throughout. And I praise God because I feel my prayers were answered. I couldn't have "participated" like this had I been watching a recording.

Here's your opportunity to "let me have it" or tell me what I did was okay. I promise to not be out of sorts if every one of you believes I was wrong to stay home from church. But I really, really would like your input!