Sunday, October 30, 2011

When the Crosses are Gone: Michael Youssef

In this 2002 photo shows the Mojave Cross in the Mojave National Preserve. Authorities say the 7-foot-tall cross that sparked a U.S. Supreme Court dispute has been stolen. The National Park Service says someone cut the metal bolts holding the metal-pipe cross to the top of Sunrise Rock and made off with it Sunday night or before dawn.
I am listening to Michael Youssef's sermon on "When all the Crosses Are Gone." He has some really powerful things to say. One thing I was unaware of that happened this summer was that the cross in the Mojave desert was taken. I am certain it was a result of radicals or even our government. Two weeks before was the court hearing about this cross and its alleged offensiveness. I can see the affects of what Michael is warning us about. It doesn't surprise me. God says in the end days those who Believe in Jesus would be persecuted. Christians will die and be handed in for money or power. It has to get this way somehow and we are seeing the beginning of how this will come about. The world will no doubt try to get rid of Jesus and it will be harder and harder to live for the Truth because it wont be accepted.

Another really horrible example is Caldwell Memorial Park. They actually removed the cross from their building. An article is here: Church Removes Cross. He actually says when he interviewed as to why, was that Allah and God are bascially the same. In Jesus Name this is not true. This is a lie and God says in the Bible that there in NO OTHER NAME by which we are to be saved.

So what do we do? My first initial response is to be angry and react, but I know I have to look deeper for the right way to see this. My second is that I am not surprised...God already told us this would happen. He told us to not fear and keep sound doctrine. I also believe the churches in Revelation are churches we see now. We must know Truth so we do not abandon our call to stand out from the world. It may happen slowly over time and this is a way it is already beginning. God says be on gaurd. Do not fear these times. The only thing we can do is seek the Lord and ask Him to keep His Truth before us. That will be our sheild.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hmmmmmmm......

Do you think bugs talk to each other? I snapped this photo at the lake and didn't realize the yellow butterlfy had a friend he was talking to, until I looked at it later. What do you think they are saying?

Food for Thought by Doug Phillips

The fear of the Lord is to hate evil. (Proverbs 8:13)

By Doug Phillips

Our country is in the grip of a fear crisis. The tension because of this fear is almost palpable. There is fear over elections, fear over the economy, and fear over hundreds of other issues ranging from the environment to terrorism.

The one fear that America is missing is a fear of the Lord. As a people, we no longer fear God. Because we do not fear God, we no longer hate evil (Proverbs 8:13).

Instead of hating evil, Americans toy with it. We toy with holidays like Halloween that were conceived in evil and that promote the “cute-ification” of evil, whether that evil takes the form of witchcraft, sorcery, ghoulishness, or some other form of malevolent imagery paraded before our children. We laugh at the very things that the Lord describes as “abominations,” and we find ourselves obsessively fascinated by, and attracted to, all things dark.

Yet we do not fear the Lord.

Those who “hate evil” are very scary to a secular society that fears man more than God. They are scary because they dare to declare that there are absolute standards by which society must be governed. They are scary because, if they are successful, industries like Hollywood that make billions of dollars by promoting ungodly fear will lose their influence. They are scary because such people will not be swayed by political candidates who use fear as a tool for manipulation.

With this in mind, I offer you the five “scariest” things you can do this Halloween:


The scariest thing you can do this Halloween is to not make light of evil. Halloween was conceived in evil and has remained a celebration that uses children to promote a fascination with darkness and superstitious fear. Simultaneously, it makes light of things that the Bible describes as evil. Stand against such things, and the world will find you very scary indeed. The fear of the Lord makes men turn from evil (Proverbs 16:6).
The scariest thing you can do this Halloween is to not be fearful . The media wants you to be afraid of everything from overpopulation to global warming. The politicians want you to be afraid of the economy and political instability. God wants you to do what is morally right, trust Him completely, and never be gripped by an ungodly spirit of fear. You can place your trust and hope for this nation in the King of Kings. Jesus said: “And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him” (Luke 12:4–5). Believe this, and you will be light to the world.
The scariest thing you can do this Halloween is to completely skip Halloween and remember Reformation Day . It was 494 years ago that Martin Luther nailed his world-changing 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg church. These theses included rebukes to ungodly fear and superstition. 502 years ago, sometime near October 31, a baby named John Calvin was conceived who would dedicate his life to eradicating an ungodly fear of superstitious beliefs and proclaiming the gospel of grace. His emphasis on reformation, revival, and the sufficiency of Scripture had such far-reaching implications for nations like the United States that he has been described by Christian and secular scholars alike as the true founding father of America. The Reformers did something that was very scary to the world of their day. They stood against all forms of dark superstitions which grip the minds and souls of men. It was their emphasis on the fear of the Lord and the wisdom of Holy Scripture that was used by God to liberate untold numbers of men and women. But to remember the Reformers instead of Halloween is very scary to the world. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10).
The scariest thing you can do this Halloween is to refuse to watch or allow your children to watch any of the toxic Halloween and horror films emerging from Hollywood . America’s fascination with ungodly fear has made horror the most popular and fastest-growing film genre among youth. When parents allow their children to toy with this genre, they promote ungodly fear, and they contribute to the fear-factories in Hollywood that prey upon the youth of our culture. Say “no” to Hollywood horror and you will be dangerously scary to the media elite. “Fear ye not me? saith the Lord: will ye not tremble at my presence....?” (Jeremiah 5:22).
The scariest thing you can do this Halloween is to get on your knees as a mother and father and pray that the Lord will send you many children who will fear God, not man — children who will especially shun the glorification of witchcraft, the bondage of ungodly fear, and the “cute-ification” of evil that is promoted through holidays like Halloween. Cultures that toy with evil end up being cultures of death. The Christian response is to be a people of life. That means babies. It means fearing God by honoring His command to “be fruitful and multiply.” It means remembering that the Scripture describes children as a “blessing” and a “reward.” Raise children that fear God more than man, and that will be answer enough to our Halloween-and darkness-obsessed culture; for if you trust God over your womb and commit your children to a holy education, you will be very scary to the modern world. “Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord” (Psalm 34:11).

Persevero,


Douglas Phillips,
President, Vision Forum Ministries

Friday, October 28, 2011

Unless

© 2011 Inspired by Grace

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Instead

During our latest adventure to the lake house to mainly repair the damage to the boat dock from the fires this summer, I had some amazing time to reflect, seek, and listen. The weather was so perfect that I actually for the first time in months was able to stay outside during the day more than I was inside. Gracey and I adventured all over the place while Bryan slaved on a VERY hard project. Towards the end of our stay I was actually able to get a taste of how difficult it was. I walked away with some minor damage to my finger and arm, but I survived! One afternoon I dedicated to finding beauty. I walked around with Gracey and my big camera and snapped some neat photos. Later that day I sat on the porch, watched the water, and wrote down some things that were in my heart. I was thinking a lot about pain and how God see's our tears. I thought about Josiah and how much I miss him. I thought about some people who have lost their precious children too. I asked the Lord to speak to me on these things and two really neat things occurred.

One thing was: I was again asking God where He is. The day I held Josiah in my arms for the first moments all I could do was yell out to God "Do You see me?" I wanted to know the Lord was there. And as the weeks came univitedly I asked that same question over and over. I wanted to know He was there and I needed to renew that plea every day. It is not the same as asking why. It was saying "I need You. Show me where You are. I am seeking You now. Do You have Your eye on me?" At the lake I asked the same thing. My heart was sad. I told God I don't see Him and I needed to feel Him. At that moment a huge wind came. It flopped my hair all around. It brushed my face. He said, You may not physically see me, like you cannot see the wind, but my sweet daughter, you can feel me, like you feel the wind right now." I will see the Lord face to face some day, but that doesn't mean I can't feel Him now. Perhaps the wind cam show us more about Faith than what we want to see.

The second thing was the Lord gave me another vision for a photo. The Lord speaks to me through photography. I will see a vision for a photo and then create it. This one was very special because it is about pain and tears. There is a sweet saying that God collects all of our tears, that He knows every time we cry and see's our sorrow. I believe God's Love has the Power to make our tears into something beautiful. This is what this photo is about...God turning our pain into beauty. The glass has collected the tears and the flowers are what they become. I collected all of these small little flowers one by one, and prayed that He would continue turning sorrow into beauty, especially for so many that are hurting over the loss of a child. This is what I saw and created that day to speak into this time.



"...to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair."


Isaiah 61:1-3

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Oh Be Careful Little Heart

This post is very important. I am so disappointed in Believers when it comes to Halloween. Why do we do this? Why do we compromise? Why do we insist on adhering to the world when Jesus said FLEE from evil? The more and more I think about it, the more and more it hurts to see those who believe in Jesus dress their children up on a day that is specific to the devil. Why would we even want to do that? I understand why UNbelievers don't catch the importance of this stand against this day...but I do not believe Christians have the same excuse when we know the Lord and seek His heart. I don't think it is harmless. I don't think it is funny. It is very serious. It has to be examined. Believers need to understand what they are "playing" with here. I am not mad AT believers...I am mad at the fact that it is so clear to see the affects of the demonic in our world and we chose to be blind during this fake and horrible "holiday." My heart aches for Fall Fests and Churches who create something for kids to do on this day because they don't want them on the streets or doing something else. Perhaps churches may even think it is some kind of ministry to do something that "happens" to involve dressing up and passing out candy AND be on Oct 31st. But listen my friends...LISTEN...God doesn't call us to be OF the world. He even states clearly that we will be hated by the world and that we will stand out. Why would we even remotely create an inlet for Satan to have his way? Why? I know the demonic to be VERY VERY real. Satan WANTS to steal, kill, and destroy. He WANTS us to think Halloween is innocent fun, but it is NO WHERE NEAR INNOCENT. There is a great purpose behind this day. There is a HUGE agenda and we as Christians need to stop our compromising and start standing for the Lord. It is more worth following “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8) LISTEN , listen to this verse. Here is some information on just how the OPPOSITE Halloween is from this verse (taken from a blog I wrote several years ago):

Many people today are getting ready to take part in a tradition they probably know nothing about. Maybe they understand its symbolism of being “the day of the dead” but to those who do not believe in such ridiculous “celebrating,” then why continue participating? I know many Christian people who are dressing their children up in costumes with innocent intentions of having fun and getting candy, but I believe this is wrong. Christians are supposed to stand for truth, not tolerance or even acceptance. I understand the concept of running around and getting candy is very appealing. In fact I myself joined thousands of children running door to door when I was younger. But something about it all doesn’t feel right, and that is because it is not a tradition supported in the Bible.

Here is an excerpt from The Temple News (http://www.thetemplenews.com/):

The actual concept of Halloween is derived from an early Celtic holiday called Samhein (pronounced sow-in) that took place at the beginning of the winter season on Oct. 31. This day marked the end of summer and the end of food abundance and plant vitality for farmers. Spirits of the dead were believed to roam freely. On the day known as "The Day of the Dead," living relatives would help their dead loved ones complete a safe journey to the afterlife. People would paint or carve scary faces on gourds and turnips and disguise themselves in outlandish costumes to scare away the evil spirits that were also thought to be wandering the earth that night.

There is no evidence in the Bible of a “Day of the Dead” where spirits come and roam the earth hoping for relief to live their afterlife. I mean come on! Doesn’t that sound ridiculous? Do we as Christians honor and pray to saints? No. We hear all this talk about Hairy Potter and parents not letting their kids read it, and here we are actually allowing our kids to dress up and pretend to be a witch? Is it supposed to be cute? I have no problem with make-believe or dress-up, but we really need to begin thinking about what we do as believers. If we are supposed to be in the world, but not OF the world, then we are not showing this by participating because it is fun.

If we just participate for fun, then our message is that we believe it is ok to do something because it is enjoyable and entertaining. Imagine if we used this thought for other areas of life? What becomes absolute truth? If making fun of people is enjoyable to us at the moment is this ok?

I feel like we as Christians are slacking. I feel like we do not always think about the things we do because we don’t want to go against someone else’s opinion. But here it is. What are we suggesting to our kids? Most kids don’t even know what Halloween is. I asked some kids I knew and they had no clue. They do it because they are taught to do it. I actually was made fun of by these kids because I told them I don’t believe in Halloween. Doesn’t that say something? Kids make fun of someone, when they have no idea why they do something they do? Do we as adults? Shouldn’t we?

I know most people don’t do Halloween because they are about spirits walking around. I know this is not their intention. I know they are innocent and like to get costumes for their sons and daughters. I mean I would love to see lots of little butterflies. I am just asking some questions and stating that the meaning of Halloween doesn’t fit with God’s word and how can we make it?
We can't.

Peter I 5:8 Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour.

1Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

1Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons.

Here is another excerpt from a website http://www.exposingsatanism.org/halloween.htm

Halloween, All saints day, All hallows eve or All souls day is a festival. It was held to honor the Samhain the so called "lord of death". It was a Druidical belief that on the eve of this festival Samhain, lord of death, called together the wicked spirits that within the past 12 months had been condemned to inhabit the bodies of animals.

It was a pagan belief that on one night of the year the souls of the dead return to their original homes, there to be entertained with food. If food and shelter were not provided, these evil spirits would cast spells and cause havoc toward those failing to fulfill their requests.

Sacrifices were offered on this night to the dead spirits because it was thought they visited their earthly dwellings and former friends.

There was a prevailing belief among all nations that at death the souls of the good men were taken possession of by good spirits and carried to paradise; but the souls of the wicked men were left to wonder in the space between the earth and the moon, or consigned to the unseen world. These wandering spirits were in the habit of haunting the living...But there were means by which ghosts might be exorcised.
To exorcise these ghosts, that is to free yourself from their evil sway, you would have to set out food and provide shelter for them during the night. If they were satisfied with your offerings, they would leave you in peace. If not, they were believed to cast an evil spell on you.
In modern day Satanism and Witchcraft covens, this is the day when Satan himself comes to "fellowship" with his followers. Many changes have occurred over the centuries, but one thing ha stayed the same, the practice of giving an "offering" has stayed the same. Oh we do it under the name of fun but what is the real meaning? Is it still the same as in the old days? I say the answer is YES.


Ask yourself why you do the things you do. And remember you as the adult are responsible for teaching your children the truth.

Luke 17:2 “It would be better for him if a milestone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble.”

And back to this post: God says in the later days we will do what our itching ears want to hear, that people will give up SOUND doctrine to follow their hearts. I am asking for you to examine this day our world calls Halloween. I am asking for you to protect your children and not lead them into a situation that can cause evil forces to come. Our battle is with the rulers and principalities of this world. We are in a spiritual battle whether or not you want to admit it. We have to understand this. We need to ask the Lord to reveal the lies and deception within this.

Why would we even dip our feet into a situation that could possibly stand for this? And the TRUTH is that is does. Please please guard your heart and your children’s hearts during this next week. God is watching the earth for people who love Him and who will stand for His Truths no matter what others are doing.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Your Heart

Do You hear the heart?
Make sense of our cries?
How many times have You cried with us
when we've thought we were alone?
You are not a God who stays away
Who leaves us to bare the weight alone
If only we could see You
holding us up
with tears running down Your cheeks
If only we could hear Your Voice
calling Justice to the pain
You do not enjoy our sorrow
You do not stay numb
You feel
You rejoice and cry
If only we could see this
But for now we must Believe

"Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened,
That it cannot save;
Nor His ear heavy,
That it cannot hear."
Isaiah 59:1a

Gracey's New Ramp:The Bee's Knee's

Gracey is truly the Bee's Knee's. I have often wondered what that even means. I have only come up with the fact that bee's carry pollen on their knees to make honey...so technically the are very important and sweet! That's Gracey...sweet and excellent. But the truth is her knee's aren't acting really bee-ish. They are hurting her because she has luxating patella's. Her knee caps aren't able to stay in place so they pop in and out and sometimes cause her whole leg to lock. A few weeks ago she had a bad lock up and since then I have been trying to help her not jump on things. Our back door has a pretty lofty step and I have been wanting to create something easier for her to manage. And the other day Bryan and I accomplished a brand new Chawennie-RAMP! Again, I am amazed by Bryan's carpentry skills. He didn't need a plan or blue print. A measuring tape and a quick trip to Lowe's was all he needed....and of course me! I was Mrs. PowerTool that day. We had fun building this ramp for her and were curious to see how she would react to it. I knew we had to put some sort of "training wheel" on it so she wouldn't jump off or on the sides, so the white garden wire may be temporary so she will get used to it. She seems so happy with it and easily goes on and off of it.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Natalie's 8th Angel Day

There are so many thoughts that come to my mind today on Natalie's 8th angel day. I feel so sad, angry, and semi-in despair. When we buried Natalie 8 years ago it took everything in me to learn how to cope with her death and the fact that I was still alive. It took so much to figure out how to keep living and how to find Hope in the future. It took a lot of searching, crying, yelling, and sadness to acknowledge God never left my side, that He was crying with me, and that somehow He had a plan and the plan was for the Good. I sat at Natalie's grave yesterday and had some deep words with God again. I reminded Him of the Promise He made me that He would restore 3 things in my life, one being a child. I asked for Him to bring this Promise. We remembered Natalie by bringing her 8 beautiful sunflowers. But it wasn't enough...in the words of Bryan "We should be making her a sunflower birthday cake." Because we buried Josiah 6 months ago in a similar tragedy, the impact of Natalie's angel day was very hard, confusing, and made me angry in a way I haven't felt in a long time. I remembered believing God would somehow make it ok and that I had to believe in the future and keep His Promise in my heart. How can I say that this has happened? How can I look back into my life just 6 months ago and say that it is ok now...that God has done something wonderful since then in this area. But as the sun began to quiet, I realized the Lord was telling me again that He was there the day she was born, He was there the day her heart beat for the first time, and He was there the days and months that I cried and yelled in anger and sorrow. God said "I am not done yet. It is not over." So I left Believing. We drove away yearning for God's presence and desperately needing His Grace. I will keep Believing. Although it takes all that I have, I will Believe.

This past Mother's Day (one of the hardest days besides angel days) I asked the Lord to let me see my children. It was more of a physical sadness, a raising of the voice wanting my children with us, but God did answer my prayer. I had a vision of our 5 children in heaven. I drew it quickly in my journal and wrote a small explanation beside it. Only months later, my friend Jenn had a vision of our children too that nearly matched the one I had. I took a photo of the picture I drew and e-mailed it to her and she said that was it! She is a painter and asked if she could paint the vision and I said YES. I asked if I could post a photo of the painting and today is the perfect day in honor of Natalie Grace. The vision is of our 5 children, Natalie Grace, Malachi Bryan, Rachel Elizabeth, Jireh Tamas, and Josiah Keith walking toward a bright Light that is enveloping them. They are happy, clothed in robes with sashes. Natalie is in the middle of all of them holding each hand, keeping her brothers and sister together waiting for us. I can't explain enough the Joy that surrounded them. Natalie was proud to be the big sister. She lead them to His Throne.




Natalie,

I miss you and love you. I wish you were here with every ounce of who I am. You had beautiful lips, your nose was just like mine, your toes were small and soft. We shouldn't have to go through life without you, but we do. I want to live loving the God who created you, and live a life that would honor you as your Mother. I would have preferred to life Faithfully to show you how when you were alive, but all I can do now, is live Faithfully without you. Either way, I hoped it would make you proud. I know the Hope of seeing you is real. It is more real than even the life I live here. You are my first born and my legacy. You remind me what I have to come. Your life has unveiled the Power of Heaven and the reality of the Eternal. I love you always,

Mommy