Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Not Peace, But Division

The world is in chaos. Wars, rumors of wars, dissension, murders; crime of all nature. Without a doubt we are in the last days. Even the secular world admits it. You see movies, books and magazine articles about the apocalypse. I personally believe that we are in the "last" of the last days! "And he (Jesus) said also to the people, When ye see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway ye say, There cometh a shower; and so it is. And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say, There will be heat; and it cometh to pass. Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time?" Luke 12:54-56

Matthew 24:6-7 "And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places."

We pray for peace and things get worse. We often find ourselves feeling dismayed, fearful, and maybe even a bit frantic. The world has gone mad. People killing one another, people killing themselves. People who want nothing to do with God and therefore have no peace or hope.

Jesus himself told us in Luke 12:49-53 "I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished! Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law."

As Christians, we must remember to stay focused, to keep our eyes on the Lord. He has given us a book full of answers. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character], Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation]." AMP

These are things we already know, but perhaps need to be reminded of. Are you going through a battle? Are you being attacked from every side? Do your morals and beliefs "offend" those around you, even those who are closest? Have people that you thought would never turn their backs on you, turned their backs on you? Have you been betrayed by friends and relatives alike?

Take heart. Has he not told us...."Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.(?)" Joshua 1:9

“But you, O Israel, are my servant,You, O Jacob, whom I have chosen,The offspring of Abraham my friend, You, whom I took from the ends of the earth, And you, whom I called from its most distant parts.I said to you, ‘You are my servant;I have chosen you; I have not rejected you. Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be anxious, for I am your God. I will fortify you, yes, I will help you,I will really hold on to you with my right hand of righteousness.’ Look! All those getting enraged against you will be put to shame and humiliated.Those who fight with you will be brought to nothing and perish. You will search for men who struggle with you, but you will not find them;The men at war with you will become as something nonexistent, as nothing at all. For I, Jehovah your God, am grasping your right hand,The One saying to you, ‘Do not be afraid. I will help you.’ Isaiah 41:8-13

"Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the LORD." Jeremiah 1:8

Revelation 21:3-5 "and then I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “See! The tabernacle of God is among men, and He will live among them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be death; there will no longer be sorrow and anguish, or crying, or pain; for the former order of things has passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true."

We are seeing prophecy unfold before our very eyes. God's written word is coming to pass! We are a blessed and fortunate people to be living in such a time as this! So look up, because there is hope. Peace is on the way! Hold on brethren. He is coming back to rule and reign forever and ever. In PEACE.

"when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." Luke 21:28

Saturday, January 14, 2017

In a Fog

I'm a photographer.  Pictures are what make up my heart.  They are my passion.  They are love on paper.  (Well, these days, on a screen.)  

A few days ago it was so foggy you could only see a few yards in front of you.  Throughout the day I continually resisted the urge to grab my camera and ride around to shoot pictures. By early afternoon I'd caved.  With camera, keys, and my dog in hand my passion had won out.

I drove out of town on back roads, where there was little to no traffic.  It's where the best country scenery lies and I could pull over on the side of the road, get out of the car and shoot with less chance of being run over or be in someone's way.  

I drove through three surrounding towns until daylight no longer afforded the effect I was going for and with my heart full I turned the steering wheel towards home. 

Most of the places I went were very familiar, but it was so foggy I could literally only see a few hundred feet ahead of me.  In places, as I drove slowly through the thick fog, I couldn't see anything. Then I might turn a corner where the fog wasn't quite as heavy and I'd spy a beautiful valley, fields that sported snow blankets and thick, white cotton candy spun into evergreen trees.  But even though it was all familiar territory, still countless times I didn't know exactly where I was.  Visibility was so poor I only had a vague understanding of my location.  I had to rely totally on my sense of direction and memory to get back.

It was a special afternoon for me.  But even more special was that through this experience the Holy Spirit showed me something.  He showed me that this drive paralleled our christian walk with him. None of us can see what's out ahead of us.  We can't see the future.  We can take a few steps, but what's in front of us?  Is there a drop off?  Does the road keep going straight or does it turn right or left?  We are like blind men with white canes, tapping, tapping, trying to find our way.  

The Holy Spirit is our direction.  He is our memory.  He can take us through and get us to where we need to go.  If we would but hold to Him and let Him lead us we wouldn't have to worry about taking a wrong turn or coming to the end of the road and dropping of the edge of an abyss.  

Many years ago I would join in as my husband's family would sing:

"I'm using my bible for a roadmap
The children of Israel used it too
They crossed the Red Sea of destruction
And God was there to see them through.

They'll be no detours in heaven
No rough roads along the way
I'm using my bible for a road map
My last stop is heaven some sweet day."