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

 

Christianity Today Part 1

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Burning Sage

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Crystals

Recently I had a discussion with a co-worker and he was talking about his church, but there was only one problem; he seemed to despise his church and everything that was going on there. I asked him how he felt about his church and why he wouldn’t leave if he was unhappy. Well he’s young, so he explained he was only there to keep his grandmother happy!

Image result for astrology

Astrology

Long story short, I found out this young man who is an elder at his church is not even saved!! He is into Buddhism, Yoruba..some of everything. This got me thinking about Christianity in today’s world.

I keep seeing celebrities talking about Christianity and I realize a lot of them have been exposed to Christianity or have been in the church, but a good deal of people don’t have a clue what true Christianity is all about! I noticed a celebrity recently talking about Jesus and praying, but in the next breath she was talking about burning sage! This is why people are so confused and why the state of  the church is so weak.

As I get older I can see that the we are getting away from the Bible and anything goes. You know longer hear any preachers talk about winning the lost, salvation, being baptized in the Holy Spirit, and the big one is Hell. People don’t talk about judgment, the penalty for sin, holiness or the rapture. Basically, today’s Christianity is about positive thinking, getting what you want from God and having a good life. It’s a lot of fluff.

Recently, a man posted on Facebook and exposed one of the popular “Prophets” for sleeping with his wife. This “Prophet” has a long rumored history of fornicating with women all over the country, yet he continues to “minister” all over the country. There is also another story of another minister who got a parishioner pregnant. He denied being the father, but after he was proven to be the father, he told the young lady if she didn’t abort the baby God would judge her. Can you believe that??

The truth is the church is suffering from the lack of true leadership and truth. Sound doctrine is absent from the church today, so people think their brand of Christianity is right. People only preach the easy stuff and hardly anyone is preaching righteousness. Personally, I want to hear a message that challenges me to change. I don’t want to only hear messages that make me feel comfortable all the time. I want to hear the MEAT of Gods word because I have long since graduated from the milk. God help us to get back on track!!

2 Peter 3:17-18 Amplified Bible (AMP)

17 Therefore, [let me warn you] beloved, knowing these things beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of [a]unprincipled men [who distort doctrine] and fall from your own steadfastness [of mind, knowledge, truth, and faith], 18 but grow [spiritually mature] in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory (honor, majesty, splendor), both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

The Foundation of Your Faith

bible3I’m finding it more and more frustrating when I hear people say they are Christians, but they don’t believe the Bible! But what I am understanding is that many people do not have the proper foundation in the Word of God. So as a Christians, what do you really believe about the Bible?

Here is what the Bible says about itself:

2 Timothy 3:16

New International Version (NIV)

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

2 Peter 1:20-21

New International Version (NIV)

20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

I think at the root of deception in the faith of many today is absolutely what one believes about the Bible. I believe that the Bible is inerrant. Meaning without errors. I believe there are no mistakes in the  Bible and that it carries a message for all times.

I also believe and know from study and going to Bible school that some things in the Bible represent the culture and customs of the times, but that does not change the basic truth of God’s word and what needs to be applied today.

I believe Christ was hidden in the Old Testament and revealed in the New Testament. Jesus was spoken of in the Old Testament before He came and of course his coming was revealed and shown to us in the New Testament.

I know that we are no longer bound by the laws of the Old Testament. Not to long ago, I watched an acquaintance get caught up in trying to follow the laws of the Old Testament, even down to not wearing fabrics that are blended (yes that is in the Old Testament) but she was missing the mark totally. All she needed to do is read the New Testament.

Galatians 3:23-25

New International Version (NIV)

Children of God

23 Before the coming of this faith,[a] we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.

What we must also realize is the God gave certain health, food and clothing laws etc to the Children of Israel. We are not the children of Israel. But does that mean we should totally ignore the Old Testament Laws? This may be confusing but here is what the scripture says about that:

Matthew 5:17-19

New International Version (NIV)

The Fulfillment of the Law

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

I know this may be confusing, but again you must understand that the Old Testament Laws were given to the children of Israel. But that being said, I believe there are still laws concerning sin that we should adhere to and the 10 commandments lays them out quite clearly.

I recently watched a Pastor and his wife justify why they thought it was alright to get tattoos (Preachers of LA reality show). They talked about how the Old Testament talks about not marking your body unto false Gods. So as long as you didn’t do it for that reason it was okay.

Well I personally think if you are in leadership, you have to follow an entirely different set of rules. Plus, God made out bodies tattoo free and perfect. So to me marking up your body permanently is saying you can do better. Seems like common sense to me (and yes I wear make-up, but I wash it off every night).

I guess the purpose of this post is to get you to think about what you really believe and why. What is the foundation of your faith? Is it that the scripture is infallible, or is it that it was written years ago and it doesn’t apply now? If the latter is your view, then you have a faith based on nothing.

Until you accept that ALL SCRIPTURE was inspired by God and use the Bible as your rule book, you faith is as shaky as it comes.

Lover Series: Love and Truth

youcanthandlethetruthHow on earth are you going to say you love someone, when you won’t even tell them the truth? Well that is NOT love. But I understand. The reason  people can’t tell the truth in a relationship is because they know the truth would totally change the relationship.

So girl meets boy. She is infatuated. I say infatuated, because she doesn’t really know the mans character. She knows what is being presented to her. But hey, don’t get offended. We all have character flaws. But girl is blind, and she wants to believe that her image of her dream man is real. There is only one problem. Her image of who he is, in no way resembles who he really is. Not that he is a terrible person. He just has some terrible problems.

Listen it happens every day. Women find out their husbands are cheating. She didn’t realize he was a sex addict, or a porn addict. Many good men are in bondage to the flesh. Does that mean they are not good men? No, what it means is they are human, subject to the weakness of the flesh like we all are. But the problems comes when a man won’t tell his wife, or significant other the truth.

So girl meets boy, and marries him, but didn’t have a clue he was addicted to porn. So after she has a baby and they have to wait six weeks to resume their normal sexual relationship, he can’t handle it and his uncontrolled lust breaks out into meeting a co-worker or a stripper or prostitute and he cheats. Eventually, the wife finds out and is devastated because she never knew he had any of these problems. Are you appalled by this scenario? Trust me, it happens ever day.

Why start a relationship lying? Tell the truth. If a woman really loves you, then she has to deal with REALITY. Time is out for fantasy. But I get it. it’s easier to lie to her and act “brand new”. But that is just not the truth. This is why God often has to expose stuff. He knows some people will never own truth. If you love her tell her what you have really been doing and how you really live! And don’t sugar coast it either. Do it today! Don’t make God expose you!

Matthew 5:27-28

New King James Version (NKJV)

Adultery in the Heart

27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old,[a] ‘You shall not commit adultery.’[b] 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

God’s Got It!

truthorlieBefore the holiday, I took a few days to fast and pray and boy did I receive focus and clarity! When we seek him, He will make things clear to us.

I was concerned about a friend and had prayed for them and this past week they shared a dream and I knew that God was speaking, making the situation clear. Whether or not they will heed is on them. But God was clearly showing them that their thoughts are not His thoughts.

Sometimes we may be concerned about our friends and family, but we have to remember that God has it. He is able to speak to them and tell them exactly what they need to know. Whether they receive it, is on them. Once God reveals a thing, the responsibility rest squarely on our shoulders.

Our biggest prayer should be against the spirit of deception. It’s when we are deceived about the outcome of a situation, or are being deceived by someone, is when we have the most problems.

Pray for the spirit of truth to come. Time is out for believing or perpetuating a lie. But remember, God’s got it!

Psalm 51:6

King James Version (KJV)

6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

de·ceive

[dih-seev]  Show IPA verb, de·ceived, de·ceiv·ing.

verb (used with object)

1.

to mislead by a false appearance or statement; delude: They deceived the enemy by disguising thedestroyer as a freighter.
2.

to be unfaithful to (one’s spouse or lover).
3.

Archaic. to while away (time).
verb (used without object)

4.

to mislead or falsely persuade others; practice deceit: an engaging manner that easily deceives.

Can You Handle the Truth?

handle the truthMy best friend and I both grew up under my brother, who was our Pastor and we find ourselves praising my brother more and more about the firm foundation that we were taught. My oldest brother, now sidelined by a stroke, taught us the gospel of Jesus Christ based on God’s Holy Word the Bible. We did not get this positive-thinking milk toast gospel that people are being fed today.

Part of receiving God’s word is understanding that all that is shared by God is NOT ALWAYS POSITIVE. I feel sorry for these touch, feely Christians who have to be spoon fed the Bible with honey, in order to make it palatable. As this world hurries to a close those Christians are in for the shock of their lives!

But here is the real truth. Few people are students of the scripture anymore. We pick and choose what we want to read. And if we don’t like what it says, we don’t read it anymore. We stick to the scriptures that make us feel good about our sin and our disobedience. And we surround ourselves with people just like that as well. And then we attack those who share what they see in the spirit and label them rumor-mongers. But I say “can you handle the truth?”

Here is another truth. Everything in life is not as it appears and the sooner we accept that the better off we will be. There is a danger to seeing life only through rose-colored glasses and not be able to handle even the most constructive criticism. Here are a few examples.

I was following a Christian actress on twitter. Nobody really noteworthy according to the world, but she professes Christianity. And when I  follow a Christian, I don’t expect their posts to contain vulgar language. Well she tweeted a post with the f-word and a big bottle of alcohol and it said “grown”. I think it was her birthday, so she was “celebrating”. Well I simply tweeted her back and asked “Christian?”. Well she blocked me from her account. (good riddance). This is what I mean by touchy, feely Christianity. Posed with a simple question, she got offended, but it was alright for her to tweet out a vular post. Deliver me from these wimpy saints!

Here is another example of a different kind: I’ve shared often that before 911, my former Pastor, who is also a Prophet, sent out a nationwide letter warning people NOT to do business on September 11, 2001. One of the church members had a business meeting at Windows on the World Restaurant and because she believed the prophet and understood his track record, she cancelled her meeting, not needing an explanation. Well we all know what happened and we all know that nobody made it out of that restaurant alive.

So what would a positive-only hearing Christian have said? They would have probably rationalized it away and thought their meeting was more important and viewed those warnings as ‘negative”. And they probably would have ended up dead.

Can you handle the truth? It’s funny. When I share something I see or sense in the spirit, people usually always want to crucify me, but then they inevitably have to come back to me and tell me I was right. Yes, we love to stone the prophets!

So what should we do? Keep sharing the truth. Keep being misunderstood and keep being graceful when those touchy-feely Christians have to come back and apologize and say at the time, they just couldn’t handle the truth. Let them continue to walk in disobedience to God, and dig themselves deeper and deeper in a hole and have to learn the hard way.

Meanwhile be encouraged truth-tellers. Continue to warn, exhort and share it as you see it. Continue to talk about hell, judgment and what is going to happen in these last days. Continue to balance out this fluff gospel, that tells people we are going to live happily ever after, with the truth. Let them tell you that over time your voice is fading in to nothingness, because in a minute they are going to tell you just the opposite. And then when they come running for you, remind them of God’s grace and ask them “can you handle the truth”?

John 8:32

New International Version (NIV)

32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”