Archive for the ‘children’ Category

Mark 8:1-9 records Jesus feeding the 4000. The text begins with Jesus telling his disciples in his compassion that he is concerned about the people who had been listening to him for three days. He did not want to send them off without anything to eat. They had a few fish and loaves of bread which Jesus blessed and distributed among the over 4000 present before sending them on their way.

Mark 8:6 “He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. When he had taken the seven loaves and given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people, and they did so.”

Jesus addressed a basic need out of compassion for those who followed him, filling that need to overflowing. But it was not until the people obeyed the voice of the Lord, ordered themselves and sat down that they were satisfied. Can you imagine all of the commotion with thousands of men women and children milling around for three days and suddenly the Lord saying, “Please be seated!”

This is a reminder to me that when I am anticipating provision from the Lord, that I need to be seated. I need to be still. But before that I have to drop everything and focus on the Lord, giving Him my undivided attention so that I can hear his instruction.

Are you in a waiting pattern right now? Have you positioned yourself to hear His instruction? Sometimes if you want to be filled, all that is required of you is to be seated.

In life we all ultimately have to choose between two pains: the pain of regret or the pain of discipline.

No one but God knows the consequences of our country’s choice yesterday, but we do know that living with those consequences is inevitable. It is a reality of life. We can all blame the establishment for getting us into our current financial mess. But if we are all really honest with ourselves and examine our own bank accounts and credit debt, we are forced to admit some level of responsibility.

And so now we are promised change. Will our government begin to exercise discipline in its financial dealings? Time will tell. I feel compelled to ask, how much does it have to hurt before we are motivated to discipline ourselves? Do we have to be forced by our government to spend less because we have less to spend? Maybe change doesn’t have to begin at the top, maybe change starts with me.

We are a nation of super consumers. I am contributing to the “success” of my economy by raising four mini-super consumers just like me. I think we all realize (though some may be reluctant to admit it) that we cannot buy our way to happiness. Joy is not to be found at the end of the rainbow in a pot of gold. Perhaps if our culture valued giving more than it valued taking our current state of affairs would be playing out very diffrently. We regret the decisions of the past because we did not discipline ourselves for our future.

And my four mini-super consumers? Are they destined to live with the pain of regret tomorrow?

Not if I choose to live with the pain of discipline today.

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Heb 12:11

A German Lady Remembers and Speaks
Lori Kalner

In Germany, when Hitler came to power, it was a time of terrible financial depression. Money was worth nothing.

In Germany people lost homes and jobs, just like in the American Depression in the 1930s, which we have read about in Thoene’s Shiloh books.

In those days, in my homeland, Adolph Hitler was elected to power by promising “Change.”

He blamed the “Zionists” around the world for all our problems. He told everyone it was greedy Zionist Bankers who had caused every problem we had. He promised when he was leader, the greedy Zionist bankers would be punished. The Zionists, he promised, would be wiped off the face of the earth. So Hitler was elected to power by only 1/3 the popular vote.

A coalition of other political parties in parliament made him supreme leader. Then, when he was leader, he disgraced and expelled everyone in parliament who did not go along with him.

Yes. Change came to my homeland as the new leader promised it would.
The teachers in German schools began to teach the children to sing songs in praise of Hitler.

This was the beginning of the Hitler Youth movement. It began with praise of the Fuhrer’s programs on the lips of innocent children.
Hymns in praise of Hitler and his programs were being sung in the schoolrooms and in the playyard.

Little girls and boys joined hands and sang these songs as they walked home from school.

My brother came home and told Papa what was happening at school. The political hymns of children proclaimed Change was coming to our homeland and the Fuhrer was a leader we could trust.

I will never forget my father’s face. Grief and fear. He knew that the best propaganda of the Nazis was song on the lips of little children.

That evening before he said grace at the dinner table, he placed his hands upon the heads of my brothers and me and prayed the Living Word upon us from Jeremiah 1:4-5.

‘Now the Word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I
consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to The nations.”

Soon the children’s songs praising the Fuhrer were heard everywhere on the streets and over the radio. “With our Fuhrer to lead us, we can do it! We can change the world!”

Soon after that Papa, a pastor, was turned away from visiting elderly parishioners in hospitals. The people he had come to bring comfort of God’s Word, were “no longer there.”

Where had they vanished to while under nationalized health care? It became an open secret.

The elderly and sick began to disappear from hospitals feet first as “mercy killing” became the policy.

Children with disabilities and those who had Down syndrome were euthanized.

People whispered, “Maybe it is better for them now. Put them out of misery. They are no longer suffering.And, of course, their death is better for the treasury of our nation. Our taxes no longer must be spent to care for such a burden.” And so murder was called mercy.

The government took over private business. Industry and health care were “nationalized.” (NA-ZI means National Socialist Party)

The businesses of all Jews were seized. (Perhaps you remember our story in Berlin on Krystalnacht in the book Munich Signature)

The world and God’s word were turned upside down. Hitler promised the people economic Change?
Not change. It was, rather, Lucifer’s very ancient Delusion leading to Destruction.

What began with the propaganda of children singing a catchy tune ended in the deaths of millions of children.

The reality of what came upon us is so horrible that you in this present generation cannot imagine it. Our suffering is too great to ever tell in a book or show in a black and white newsreel.

When I spoke to Bodie about some of these things, she wept and said she could not bear to write them.

Perhaps one day she will, but I asked her, “who could bear to read our suffering?” Yet with my last breaths I warn every Christian and Jew now in the name of the Lord, Unless your course of the church in America is spiritually changed now, returning to the Lord, there are new horrors yet to come.

I trembled last night when I heard the voices of American children raised in song, praising the name of Obama, the charismatic fellow who claims he is the American Messiah. Yet I have heard what this man Obama says about abortion and the “mercy killing” of tiny babies who are not wanted.

There are so few of us left to warn you.

I have heard that there are 69 million Catholics in America and 70 million Evangelical Christians.

Where are your voices? Where is your outrage? Where is passion and your vote?

Do you vote based on an abortionist’s empty promises and economics?
Or do you vote according to the Bible?

Thus says the Lord about every living child still in the womb.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.”

I have experienced the signs of the politics of Death in my youth. I see them again now.
Christians! Unless you stand up now, you will lose your freedom of religion.

In America priests and preachers have already lost their freedom to speak openly from their pulpits of moral danger in political candidates.

They cannot legally instruct you of which candidate holds fast to the precepts of scripture!
American law forbids this freedom of speech to conservative pastors or they will lose their “tax exempt” status.

And yet I have heard the words of Obama’s pastor Damning America!
I have heard the words of Obama damning and mocking all of you in small towns because you “Cling to your religion.”

But I am a woman whose name is unknown. My life is recorded as a work of fiction.
I have no fear of reprisal when I speak truth to you from the pages of a book.
(Though the Zion Covenant books are mocked and condemned by the Left in America.)

I am an old woman and will soon go to be with my Lord.
I have no fear for myself, but for all of you and for your children, I tremble.

I tremble at the hymns to a political leaders which your children will sing at school.
(Though even now a hymn or a prayer to God and our Lord Jesus is against the law in public school!)

Your vote must put a stop to what will come upon America if Barrack Obama is elected.
I pray you will personally heed this warning for the sake of your children and your grandchildren. Do not be deceived.

The Lord in Jeremiah 1:7-8 commands every believer to speak up!

“Do not say, ‘I am only a youth,’ for to all whom I send you, you shall go,
and whatever I command you, you shall speak.
Do not be afraid of them for I am with you, declares the Lord!”

I am in Prayer for you, and for the Church!
Spoken to you in the authority of Jesus the Christ,
the Name Above All Names,
Lori Kalner

This is a Call to Arms for mothers everywhere.  Satan’s time is short and he has declared war on your family.  He is successfully enticing Christian mothers all over the world to sin.  One thing is evident:  Godly mothers do ungodly things.  Oh, you already knew that?  Are you living evidence of that fact?  You bear the image of a Holy and Righteous God making you the target of an merciless and ferocious enemy, hell-bent on destroying you and all that you hold dear.  But Mom, it is you who are called to be the defender of your domain!  What hope do you have? What hope does your family have against this prowling lion? 

 

Feeling singled out? That is what the enemy would want you to believe, but you do not suffer alone.  1 Pet 5:9 says your sisters throughout the world are undergoing the same type of suffering.  There is a strange comfort in cooperative oppression.  Other moms struggle with anger, a vicious tongue, and secret sins that we do not dare utter.  You never speak of the sins committed in your most hideous and ugliest moments, keeping them secret even from the Lord–or so you convince yourself.  My dear sister, that silence holds you captive.

 

In Rev. 12:11 John says the Saints overcame Satan by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony. That is good news and bad news for us. The good news is that Satan cannot do anything about the blood.  You are living post-resurrection.  You are a receiver of grace, no longer an object of wrath and judgment – signed and sealed by the Lamb of God.  Just as God demonstrated at the first Passover, the blood of the lamb has been painted on the doorposts of your soul and neither Satan nor his demons can enter in.  You are a dwelling of the Holy Spirit.  The bad news is that although our adversary cannot control you from within, but he can and does try to control you through your circumstances.  Since he is defeated by the blood, the only strategy he has left is to influence your word, your testimony.  So you lose your temper, you react; you lash out and punish the people you love for making you angry.  Sometimes there is not a hint of love on your tongue — only the poison of sin.  Is that your testimony? Dear one, this is not a testimony that overcomes.

 

When was the last time you were really honest with yourself about your life, your lifestyle. When was the last time you took a really hard look at yourself, a moral inventory if you will? Most of us avoid such an uncomforatble introspection, some tragically live with a lifelong avoidance of the truth. But you and I need to face the truth before our holy God if we want to render the enemy defenseless. Don’t hide, don’t deceive, but bare your soul before God.

 

When Arnold Schwarzenegger was accused of sexual misconduct during the election for the Governor of CA, he did not take his queues from Clinton.  We can all picture the past president wagging his finger at the camera and adamantly stating, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”  And the ramifications of his sin went far beyond Bill and Monica, casting our entire nation into a cesspool of international shame.  No, Arnold quickly called a press conference and in his Arnold way, confessed and apologized.  And the other party threw their clipboards and election war plans to the ground in disgust.  He left them with no ammunition. I am not defending Arnold or his alleged behavior.  The point is this: you need to confess to the One holding you accountable and leave your enemy standing speechless dropping his war plan in the dust.

 

The guilt and shame of your failures, of your humanness is a triumph of an enemy whose greatest prize is the fall of a godly mother.  You are the white tiger he wants hanging on his wall.  Why?  Because if he can get to you, who is left protecting your children?

 

Today spend 15 minutes alone in prayer.  Write a letter to God.  Tell him about your darkest secret sins, your hateful thoughts, your frustrations, your anger, and your cruel fantasies.  Be honest with God.  He can take it.  He has big shoulders. 

 

Father God, you know all and see all.  There is nothing in me that is hidden from you.  I confess my failures to you.  It is against you that I have sinned and it is to you I need to be restored.  I love you, Lord God.  I lay my list of hidden sins before you.  I am broken before you and I need your healing power.  I need your power to work in me.  Place a guard upon my lips that I may not sin against you.  Strengthen my faith. Help me with my unbelief!  I am a woman after your own heart and my deepest desire is to please you.  I praise you Father for your mercy and grace.  Thank you for your forgiveness.  Because of your great mercy upon me, I can extend that same mercy to my husband and children.  Grant me an extra measure of patience and your holy discernment.  I believe you for the promises you have spoken to me.  I am your humble servant; use me according to your purpose.  Amen

 

 

Now tear up the letter into a million pieces and throw it away.  Did you hear that?  It is the enemy’s war plan dropping to the floor.

 

“as far as the east is from the west,

so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”  Ps 103:12

 

I initially wrote this in response to a question posed by one of the women in a Bible class I taught a couple years ago.

 Psalm 91

1     He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2     I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3     Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4     He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5     You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6     nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7     A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8     You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9     If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the Lord, who is my refuge—
10     then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11     For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12     they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13     You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14     “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15     He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16     With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

v     Why do you think someone might think that God does not keep His promises? Some say, “People suffer, even people who love God and in our eyes serve Him well.” or “We pray and pray and He doesn’t seem to rescue us.”

 

Sometimes when we read scripture and it seems contradictory we can be sure of one of two things. God’s Word is inerrant in the original text so either our translation is in err or our understanding is in err because God cannot err. His Word is true and infallible, but we as fallible beings do err in our dealings with His infallible Word. So when we inspect this scripture that has brought hope to  millions, we will look at the context of the time of the author, who the author is addressing, what it meant to the first receivers of the song and what is the meaning of the text for us today.

 

v     When reading Scripture that seems contradictory, what are some things we can do to resolve the doubt? How might you study the passage?

 First consider the context of the passage then ask yourself some questions: 

Who is being addressed?

What were their circumstances?

 What was the orignal understanding at the time?

 What is God telling us today?

 

 Context: This Psalm was composed by Moses at the beginning of the 38 years of wilderness wandering, it was also during this time that the Pentateuch was written, the Law, much of which were rules intended to preserve the nation.  Paul says if it were not for the Law I would not have known what sin was. The Law reveals our depravity. And the nation of Israel was walking through that revelation and subsequent guilt from rebellion towards God.

 

 

  

v     Why is it vital that I believe God is Sovereign in relation to His promises?

 

 

 We have looked at God’s sovereignty and how important that truth is. Because if I am not convince that God is sovereign, then His promises will mean nothing to me. In fact I might even observe that God doesn’t keep His promises because my understanding of God is superimposed with my experience with man. Man fails, doesn’t keep promises and really has no power to ensure that any promise is kept. We wrongly transfer those weaknesses of man onto God, but God is not limited as man is. He is perfect love, complete, lacking nothing. The promises of God are identical with His character, to us as temporal beings, they are a revelation of the character of the Most High.

 

Even John Calvin at the time of severe persecution of the Protestants in Scotland created liturgical versions of this Psalm as a comfort. How did he find comfort in this Psalm when it didn’t seem to be true for his own life? Could it be perhaps because Calvin had an understanding of the whole picture?  

So let’s look at the Big Picture!

Psalm 90 focuses on man’s brevity, the fallenness of man, the spiritually dead, the state of existence every human being is born into.

Then Psalm 91 speaks of the hope salvation in the Lord, the gift for those who receive forgiveness.

And Psalm 92 praises God’s omni-benevolence, why a good and holy God can love a sinful and rebellious people.

  •  Who is the receiver of these promises?

 Verse 1 introduces a key characteristic of the intended audience. Who is the receiver of these promises? He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High. This opening is a confession of faith, “If you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is Lord, then you will be saved.”

  •      What do the names of God reveal of His character in this passage?

 Most High – whenever a name of God is used, it is a reference to that unique character trait of God that the passage reflects, in this case Adonai demonstrates His sovereignty

Almighty – Shaddai, demonstrates God’s power 

  •  What is unique about a person who dwells in the shelter of the Most High?

 Verse 2  is a revelation of the character of such a man. Instead of “I will say” the passage should read “He says”. Someone who trusts and reveres God, finds comfort within His presence.

 Verse 3 – “fowler’s snare” – capturing birds for food and other uses was a very popular method of employment, the traps were everywhere, temptation is everywhere. Falling into temptation is easier than avoiding personal sin.

“pestilence” – A literal translation would be “plagues of mischief” referring to the consequences of sin as a result of living in a fallen world.

 Verse 4 – the word translated “shield” in this instance is “buckler” which is a type of round shield that surrounded the soldier protecting him from all sides.

 

 

 Jesus says, in Mt 23:37-39

37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. 38 Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’
The Lord’s protection is freely given, but it must be freely received. For as long as followers of Christ are living on this earth, the enemy will have access to us, but he does not have authority over us. Unless we give him authority, and we all do make this mistake. What a gift of grace that we can choose to rest in His presence when we repent and seek His face!

 Part 2 will address the difference between enemy oppression and enemy opposition and how the hope of heaven drives us to persevere when our circumstances offer no visible hope.

Father God,