Archive for the ‘life’ Category

OK, I’m ready to admit I have a problem–a lack of consistency in my life. I do a lot more thinking on God’s Word than I do reading it. The only thing I have been consistent about reading the Bible is consistently forgetting to do it or doing it “later.” I have been resting on Ps. 37 for a while. I think there is much the Lord wants to show me here.

Ps. 37:3 “Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.”

Cultivate faithfulness. What does it mean to cultivate faithfulness. How do I do that? What does that even look like? Hmm, it is probably the opposite of inconsistency.

Deut. 30:20 … “by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and holding fast to Him;”

How do I cultivate faithfulness? By loving God, obeying His voice, and trusting Him.

Psalm 37 says to delight in the Lord, commit your way to Him and trust Him. So cultivating faithfulness does not begin with a checklist. It begins with a heart attitude of trust. Perhaps thinking on Gods’ Word is not the end of my faithfulness, but the beginning. A mind and heart focused on the Lord is a heart that is prepared to have faith and to cultivate that faith in otheres. I need to put away the shame that the enemy tries to make me wear becuase I failed my “to-do” list. I may have failed mine, while at the same time accomplished the Lord’s purposes.

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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

        I’m voting Democrat because I’m way too irresponsible to own a gun, and I know that my local police are all I need to protect me from murderers and thieves.
       
        I’m voting Democrat because I love the fact that I can now marry whatever I want. I’ve decided to marry my horse.
        
        I’m voting Democrat because I believe oil companies’ profits of 4% on a gallon of gas are obscene but the government taxing the same gallon of gas at 15% isn’t.

        I’m voting Democrat because I believe the government will do a better job of spending the money I earn than I would.

        I’m voting Democrat because freedom of speech is fine as long as nobody is offended by it.
        
        I’m voting Democrat because when we pull out of Iraq I trust that the bad guys will stop what they’re doing because they now think we’re good people.
        
        I’m voting Democrat because I believe that people who can’t tell us if it will rain on Friday CAN tell us that the polar ice caps will melt away in ten years if I don’t start driving a Prius.
        
        I’m voting Democrat because I’m not concerned about the slaughter of millions of babies so long as we keep all death row inmates alive.
        
        I’m voting Democrat because I believe that business should not be allowed to make profits for themselves. They need to break even and give the rest away to the government for redistribution as THEY see fit.
        
        I’m voting Democrat because I believe liberal judges need to rewrite the Constitution every few days to suit some fringe kooks who would NEVER get their agendas past the voters.

 

Universalism is the belief that eventually everyone will be saved or go to heaven. This view stems from the idea that there is no eternal punishment. Universal salvation was originally proposed by Origen (185-254) who was an early church Father and apologist with a Platonic and Gnostic leaning. Origen’s ideology was considered heretical and eventually condemned by the Council of Constantinople in A.D. 553. The rise of universalism in the twentieth century can be attributed to Karl Barth (1886-1968) who denied the inerrancy of the Bible, and other notable philosophers and theologians such as Clark Pinnock and John Stott. Most liberal theologians hold to some form of a universal belief system and a belief in relative truth.

 

At the helm of the Universalist’s argument is God’s omnibenevolence. The argument follows, “If God is omnibenevolent, He cannot allow His creatures to endure eternal punishment.” However many orthodox apologists have successfully refuted this argument. C.S. Lewis in his work The Great Divorce, proposed that while God loves the world (John 3:16) and desires none to perish (2 Pet. 3:9), He does not force love upon anyone. Jesus lamented in Matt. 23:37 ““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.” They were not willing, and He would not force them.

 

Scripture teaches an eternal hell to which human beings will be condemned. Jesus affirmed hell far more than he did heaven. Refer to Matt. 10:28, Matt. 13:40, and Matt. 25:41. Jesus description in Luke 16:23-31 is the most vivid. Further, Heb. 9:27 makes it clear that the human existence is fatal and at death all will face judgment. But “. . . Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God . . .” If sin does not reap an infinite punishment, what was the purpose of the cross? To stand at judgment before an infinitely Holy God without the righteousness of Christ will result in eternal separation from the presence of God. The full purpose in allowing evil is to overcome it in the end resulting in full and complete separation of good from evil.

 

C.S. Lewis said it best “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end. ‘Thy will be done’ ” (Lewis, The Great Divorce, 69).

 

If you are struggling with scripture that seems to support universalism, please send me a list of those scriptures and I will explain each of them within an Orthodox Christian view.