Why this Virus? Part 1

This is not an easy time for the world. Life as we know it is just not the same. I shared in an earlier post that I used to ride in my car and wonder how long we would continue to enjoy life as we knew it. It wasn’t too long after these thoughts hit my mind that this happened. You may wonder why I would have such thoughts. Well mainly because I believe the Bible. And I know our world is full of sin and people are separated from God, and the church of the Lord Jesus Christ is lukewarm and God is not happy about any of it. And it’s His Will that His creation comes to Him. But it starts with those of us who have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

2 Chronicles 7:14 New International Version (NIV)

14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

So you see, it starts with HIS PEOPLE. Just open the Bible and read the story of Noah. God decided to destroy the entire world because of sin. So am I saying that God brought this virus into the world? Absolutely not! But he certainly has allowed it. This virus has come on the earth with a purpose and the purpose is to cause this world to CHANGE and acknowledge Him! And that will ONLY happen when the true church arises. I’m telling you there is a real church and a fake lukewarm church that preaches a user-friendly, fluff gospel that never talks about God’s judgment or requires people to repent, surrender their lives to Him, change and become true disciples and follow Him.

Revelation 3:14-22 Living Bible (TLB)

To the Lukewarm Church
14 “Write this letter to the leader of the church in Laodicea:
“This message is from the one who stands firm,[a] the faithful and true Witness of all that is or was or evermore shall be,* the primeval source of God’s creation:
15 “I know you well—you are neither hot nor cold; I wish you were one or the other! 16 But since you are merely lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth!
17 “You say, ‘I am rich, with everything I want; I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that spiritually you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.
18 “My advice to you is to buy pure gold from me, gold purified by fire—only then will you truly be rich. And to purchase from me white garments, clean and pure, so you won’t be naked and ashamed, and to get medicine from me to heal your eyes and give you back your sight. 19 I continually discipline and punish everyone I love; so I must punish you unless you turn from your indifference and become enthusiastic about the things of God.
20 “Look! I have been standing at the door, and I am constantly knocking. If anyone hears me calling him and opens the door, I will come in and fellowship with him and he with me. 21 I will let everyone who conquers sit beside me on my throne, just as I took my place with my Father on his throne when I had conquered. 22 Let those who can hear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.”

I keep hearing a lot of Christian saying they feel this virus is going to pass very quickly and we will get back to business as usual. I’m not so sure about that. You may wonder why. The reason is this virus has come with a purpose. God wants CHANGE and until that happens, we may stay right here in it.

The president is itching to get people back to work and I get it. It’s easy for me to talk like this because I keep getting my paycheck and am covered for a certain amount of time. But God is allowing this to get people to look to Him. People need to look past their own abilities and acknowledge Him.

But let me speak to believers. If you think you will continue in a lukewarm walk with God, you are sadly mistaken. And don’t think when I say these things that I am not talking to myself as well. I also need to improve my life in Christ. Less TV, more time in the Word and prayer. More witnessing. More yielded to His will.

But if you think this virus is going to stop just so God’s people can go back to sin, lust, gossiping, lying, watching porn, fornicating, committing adultery, using profanity and watching all manner of debauchery, you are deceived. And if you don’t make changes on your own, you will be forced to.

In part two, I am going to share a Word a Prophet gave years ago about this present day. Our grace period is up. For some of you, either you change or God is going dismantle EVERYTHING you created.

I am so used to sharing warnings with people who don’t believe me, it just never moves me when I am mocked and treated as though I don’t know what I am talking about. Why? Because that is the prophetic walk and I have countless experiences with sharing warnings from the Lord and seeing it happen, even when people didn’t think it would.

A few examples:

  1. My own late brother (who was a Pastor) after his wife divorced him, married his mistress. I warned him, his wife would die and he would have to keep preaching like Ezekiel did. My brother showed the written Word I gave him, to a proven prophet and they determined that it was NOT from God. But 22 years later, during the sweetest time of his marriage, my brother was devastated when his wife died at the young age of 51 and he had to continue to minister just like Ezekiel. (Ezekiel 24)
  2. The Lord gave me a Word for a different Pastor, (my Pastor at that time), telling him to come off the road and focus more on his congregation and take a salary from his church because part of his purpose going out ministering was money. He got fighting mad at me for sharing that world. The SAME DAY I shared the Word, the Pastor had a series of mini-strokes and was out of his pulpit for about four months. The next time I saw him, all he said was “that was a powerful Word you gave me”.
  3. I once gave another female pastor a Word about dismantling her church. If I remember correctly, it was like she was not mature enough to be overseeing a congregation. Well she kind of did receive the Word but still continued to lead the church until she brought a “pyramid scheme” to her church. Once everyone lost their money because of the scheme, the church dismantled and she was forced to move on.
  4. I also gave another Pastoral couple a Word about dismantling the ministry and this I think has to do with the Pastor’s strong lustful spirit. He only had about 3 members, but God did not want him tainting those members. They received the Word at first, but later, rejected it, but the church folded in a short time.

So am I boasting? Of course not. I am just sharing my track record because I am about to share something that is going to be devastating to someone. God often sends warnings before major things are about to happen. So it’s with a heavy heart that I share that I saw the death of a beloved little boy. Someones son. This boy was so special to his father, but it’s like God has to take the boy to get his father’s attention because his father is so rebellious and would not fully submit to God. There are changes that the father needs to make but he refuses. So can this judgment be reversed? I’m not sure. But I had to share this. Someone will read these words and they will know that this is for them. This Word was recently confirmed when a friend of mine asked me point blank if I felt God was going to take this particular man’s child. I was shocked when she asked me because I had never ever shared what I felt God was saying with anyone. I felt sick to my stomach because it was a devastating confirmation and I felt the time was drawing closer. Hearing her question made me have to acknowledge that is what I had in my spirit. Well, that’s enough for now. I know this was a heavy post.

Life, Death, that Virus and the New Normal Pt. 2

After having my two oldest siblings die, I had so much to do, I couldn’t see straight. Especially with the death of my sister. I am the only sibling living here in Florida, so after two of my brothers came down for the memorial and to help me clean out the apartment, I was left with the aftermath of death. I hope that doesn’t sound cruel, but that is what it felt like.

At first, I was not even going to have a service, because my sister had no friends. But her church family wanted to have something and they were so gracious to help. Then, I had to forward mail, take care of the bills. I had to return the modem to the cable company, return her phone to the cell company, turn off the electric, stop this and stop that and the list goes on. And frankly, I was exhausted.

So here comes this virus, which I know it’s a curse, but it’s been a blessing for me. (I hope that doesn’t sound uncaring). I was telling my brother the other day, that in the midst of all of this, I am so blessed that I feel guilty. People are dying and losing their jobs and I am not. But my brother told me, don’t feel guilty, because we (God’s people} have a covenant with God).

Last year from January to July, I was working for a company through a government employment program. Finally, in July, my boss decided to bring me on as an independent contractor for more than double the money. In the midst of that this the Lord told me to tithe double. Now, this was a crazy sacrifice, but I obeyed and I see why I was instructed in this manner.  Just a few months of being brought on as an independent contractor, I got a raise and then finally, my boss offered me a permanent full-time position with benefits. But here is what is the real blessing. I switched to the company payroll, right before this virus, which has afforded me the security of 60 days’ pay since the company is shut down. And even after the 60 days, there is an emergency fund. We are working from home, but it’s pretty much like a vacation. The workload is very light and we have a staff meeting once a week and we can report our 80 hrs every two weeks!! I want to shout for joy every time I think about it. I got on the payroll just in the nick of time! I had been going non-stop since my brother’s death, so this interruption for me had been a blessing in disguise.

See why I feel guilty? I am well aware that this is not the experience of many others. Some are sick, some have buried loved ones, and some don’t know how they are going to pay their bills, but all I can say is those of us that love God, we have a covenant! Now that doesn’t mean nothing bad can happen, but it means that we are covered through the good the bad and the ugly!

If you want God’s covering over your life you need to accept Jesus, as your Lord and savior! Accept Christ today, so you can be in covenant too!

John 3:16 New International Version (NIV)

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 10:9-10 New International Version (NIV)

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

 

Life, Death, that Virus and the New Normal Pt. 1

I was struggling with the title of this post because I have so much to write. A lot of it is personal, but how could anyone write a blog post without mentioning the dramatic changes that have come to our lives and the entire world.

I’ve had some dramatic changes recently, in losing my two oldest siblings within four months. My oldest brother had a stroke nine years before passing and he succumbed to complications last October. But the shocker was my sister. Even though she was 16 years older than me, and I am no spring chicken, she had dreams and visions and plans for the future, but she left here suddenly.

I was prompted to write today because I was going through some of my sister’s pictures that I took from her place when my brothers and I cleaned out her apartment. As I went through the photo albums, I pulled out the pictures of her and decided to throw the rest of the photos away. I started thinking that we accumulate all of this “stuff” only for people to toss it in the trash after we die. My sister never had any children, and a lot of her photos have no meaning to me. She took oversees trips, she had pictures of her ex-husbands family and I am sure some of those pictures would bring back nice memories for her, but now that she is gone, those photos have no meaning.

Ah, life…we struggle to make a name or not, accumulate wealth or not and then we die and family get’s what is left. My sister named me as a secondary representative to handle her estate in her Will, second to my brother who just passed away. She didn’t have time to change anything and I’m sure she was not thinking she was going to die. The process of probate has been a nightmare. My sister did not have much money and so far I have spent almost $1,000 dollars just to be named executor of her estate and file the paperwork with the courts. And I am still not done! Ah, life…and then death.

It’s important to have everything together as far as estate planning and a Will. I think by the age of 30, that should be done. It makes it so much easier for those who are left behind. My sister wanted to be buried, but she borrowed against her Life Insurance Policy and once repaid, it left very little to bury her the way she wanted. I know it’s controversial for Christians, but I made the decision to have her cremated. The truth is I had no choice. It was all I could afford to do. So if you want certain things done at the time of death, make financial provision for it.

My sister was a bit of a hermit. My father had her and my oldest brother who died in 2007 before he married my mother. Together my mom and dad had six more children. So there were eight of us. Now there are are only five of us. After I moved to Florida, I learned my sister had been abused as a child, more than once. The first time was by a cousin and the other time, she never said. Once she told me that, I finally understood why she acted so strange over the years and stayed to herself. She always stayed away for long periods of time and then we would see her again. Even while living here in Florida that is the way she functioned. The sad part is she was never healed. And she died alone. The paramedics said that she was probably lying on the floor for three or more days. Her apartment complex finally did a wellness check because she was late paying her rent and she was never late. Plus a package was delivered and it sat outside of her door for several days.

I know this is a sad story, but I am sharing it because sometimes we never let people in. Not even our family and then we come to a tragic end. My sister was planning a move to California. But I remember when she told me the Lord spoke to me and told me “that is not going to happen.”. I just assumed it meant she would change her mind. Not that she would die. Her walls were lined with boxes for years, planning for a move that never materialized. I guess I am sharing this because it’s now or never for some of us. Either we are going to get in place or get out of stuff that we shouldn’t be in, or just forfeit the promise. Don’t die without seeing your promise!

Hebrews 11:13, NASB: “All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.” Hebrews 11:13, NLT:

RIP Sis!

Younger Helen

 

Kobe

Last Sunday, after getting home from church, I decided to watch Meet the Press with George Stephanopoulos, which I had recorded on my DVR. Of course, the subject at hand was about the impeachment trial of the President. I was so annoyed at the denial of the guest that I decided to go to Twitter, to see what people were saying about the program. But when I pulled Twitter up, I immediately saw the news of basketball great Kobe Bryant. I actually had to do a double-take and page down to see if I was reading was actually true.

I immediately started calling my brothers to see if they had heard. Two of them hadn’t and one of them had. After talking to a couple of friends, I got a call back from one of them telling me that it had been confirmed that Kobe’s 13-year old daughter was with him and had died as well. After gasping and yelling “no, no, no”, my thoughts immediately went to Kobe’s wife Vanessa and the pain she would now have to walk through.

There are so many layers to this tragedy. You have a mother who not only lost her husband but also, a child, which many people say is worse than losing a mate. Vanessa will have to endure both. She has a baby that is not even a year old. She will also have to deal with the grief of her children. Their oldest is 17-years old and will very much understand the loss. Of course, there is Kobe’s mother and father and siblings, friends and the world.

I did not know this man other than from Basketball, yet I was impacted upon hearing of his death. I immediately went into prayer because I know that only God can carry Vanessa through this kind of loss.

My thoughts went to how Kobe lived a charmed life which afforded him the ability to travel via helicopter to save time. He said he had to figure out a way to move around quickly, so he could spend time with his family and be present during special occasions. The thing his wealth afforded him, ultimately led to his demise.

This is my opinion, but sometimes when people are super successful and they endure endless accolades, it makes me fearful for them. When I looked at Kobe’s life, he was probably the greatest in basketball. His accomplishments were endless and he lived an extremely full life, maybe because his life would only be for 41 short years.

I prayed for Vanessa and continue to do so. I have also been praying for the other families. My heart broke for Mr. Mauser the husband of the assistant coach of the team Kobe’s daughter was on. He spoke so highly of his wife and my heart broke when he said, he was fearful of the future because he was going to have to raise his 3 young children alone. Then there is the Altobelli Famly. They were also split up. The mother and father and one daughter died and left behind a son and daughter who have lost both parents and a sibling. Jesus!

Then there is the Chester family. The mother and daughter died leaving a husband and two sons! And finally the 50-year old Pilot, Ara Zobayan.

So what can we say? Please don’t judge me, but I always ask the question, did this have to happen? Was this the plan of God? Was this his will? I always think that we have warnings about things. I noticed that Mr. Mauser said he was very uncomfortable with his wife flying on the helicopter. But of course. who would give up the opportunity to fly with Kobe Bryant? This husband seems regretful that he didn’t raise his objections. I know it’s all conjecture now, but honestly, this is how I think.

I remember a Pastor sharing a story about how he had just ministered at a church and suddenly the Lord spoke to him and said to go to another place instead of going home. He expressed this to his team and everyone, with the exception of his musician, went with him. The musician got on the plane but never made it home because the plane crashed. So what happened? The Pastor listened and obeyed God.

I believe in praying for God’s protection, but I also believe in listening and obeying. But you have to be in a certain place with God to allow him to change your plans. Most people just do what they want to do.

After I got my brand new car last August, a couple of people at my job started talking to me about having accidents. One girl, in particular, shared how she had an accident after getting her brand new car. I instinctively knew God was speaking. Well, that weekend the Lord said STAY HOME. Because I knew the stories I heard were warnings, I listened and obeyed. I had been in an accident several months earlier and knew it was not God’s will for me to crash my brand new car. I know most would say, couldn’t you just pray for safety? Well, a past experience having an accident after God told me not to use this lady’s car taught me otherwise. It’s about obedience.

What I just shared is for the living. Those of us who know God and want to live out our days. Listen. I remember JFK Jr’s mother begged him not to learn to fly a plane. After she died, he did it anyway and that was the way he died. I know what I am sharing is not popular, but hey, maybe this will help someone.

I think I have shared enough. And if you have gone through a tragedy recently it doesn’t necessarily mean you missed God or that he doesn’t love you. And if you find yourself is the worse tragedy ever, remember God loves you and He will see you through! RIP to all who perished on Kobe’s helicopter on that terrible day. My hope and prayer is that everyone on board knew Jesus and went to heaven. And remember to accept Jesus as your savior! Romans 10:9-10, John 3:16

Christina Mauser worked as a basketball coach and a teacher at a school where Kobe Bryant’s daughter had been a student.

Helicopter pilot Ara Zobayan perished in the crash. PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS

Parents Keri and John Altobelli, left, and daughter Alyssa, right, died in the crash.

Payton Chester, left, and her mother, Sarah, ‘were the lights of our family,’ their relatives said in a statement. PHOTO: CHESTER FAMILY

Image result for kobe and gigi courtside

Kobe and Gigi