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Just wondering… We hardly hear about hell anymore in the Christian Church. It’s unfashionable, uncomfortable, un-politically correct. It’s fine and well to teach the other major doctrines of the Church. They’re good and solid.

-“God is love” 1 John 4:8

-We should love God. “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind “ Mark 12:30

-God loves us. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

-Of course we should teach that Jesus died for our sins. “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” John 4:9, 10

-It’s also good to teach people they need to read their Bibles. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16, 17

-It’s both needful and wonderful to teach people how to live the Christian life well and successfully. (I’ll spare you the several hundred Scriptures covering that one.)

-And the big one, of course, we should be teaching people how to be saved! “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:31

It’s all good, all necessary, all must be taught. But…why aren’t we teaching about hell?

-How can God be love and still send people to hell?

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9

-What did Jesus save us from, when he died for our sins?

The Bible says it’s better lop off your own body parts than to wind up in hell! Matthew 18:9, Mark 9:43, 45, 47

Luke’s description of the rich man in hell might give one pause. And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” Luke 16:23, 24

-Mathew lets us know this is no place for a party. “And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Mathew 25:30

-So does John. “and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night,” Revelation 14:10,11

It’s no wonder there are so many “luke-warm” Christians in the world today. How can we be truly grateful to Jesus Christ if we don’t know what it is He saved us from? Won’t we love our God, that much more, of we really understand and take to heart the horrible fate He spared us? What effect would that have on our obedience to Him? Wouldn’t we be more likely to share the Gospel, if we really believed in the future of those we love, who are unsaved? If we allowed the awful truth to move us, could we stand the thought of even one person being lost?

It’s easier not to think about hell. It’s much nicer to teach on the Love of God, and leave out the hard stuff. It’s certainly less controversial, and many Churches wouldn’t stand for such teaching. Makes this preacher think maybe the Apostles and possibly Jesus, Himself wouldn’t be too welcome in those Churches. They taught the hard stuff.

If we want true revival, if we want to see Christians on fire for God, and working the harvest with all their hearts, we have to start teaching the hard stuff. We’re going to have to teach hell.

done well.

This, my brothers and sisters in Christ, is how we make God smile.

Impact of this game on players’ lives can’t be overstated

I’m not messing with it, because there’s nothing I can add.

First let me make it clear that I’m not particularly fond of Halloween, but I have no high, lofty, righteous reasons for it. Maybe it’s because I’m not fond of spiders, skulls, or blood, or because I don’t believe in living mummies, vampires, or ghosts. (I said ghosts not spirits. Don’t even get me started on that. We’ll be here all day.) It could be a safety issue. If my grandkids want candy, I’ll buy it for them. Truth is, it’s probably just that I’m getting old.

That said, I want to talk about an article a friend pointed out to me today, which I find very troubling. The woman who wrote The Danger of Celebrating Halloween is described as, “a sought after conference speaker and preacher”. I don’t know her and have never heard her preach, but based on this article I do wish she would educate herself on the topics she chooses to tackle.

The thing that troubles me most about this article is the constant reference to witches, as if satan worship and witchcraft are interchangeable. I’ve known a few witches in my time, even practiced as one for a short period. I never worshiped satan, and they don’t either.

It also troubles me that she claims, with no proof, that Halloween candy is cursed. Exactly how is this happening? I work at a big WalMart, and have never seen people cursing the candy. Are the miniatures being cursed at the factory in Pennsylvania? Are people cursing the trucks as they roll by? What the heck is a “time released” curse, anyway. It sounds like a frightening catch phrase to me.

Those of us who refuse to take her word on these things are called “lukewarm” Christians. We are ignoring the dangers of this “dark night”, and that just pops my cork. What we don’t need in the world is more public “shooting of our own wounded”. What we don’t need in the world is more judgmental, self-righteous, know-it-all “Christians”. To loosely quote a another friend we do not need Christians “who are so cocky they would presume to advise the Apostles”. What we need is a little more love and understanding, and a lot less fear!

Kimberly, if you ever chance to read this, please understand I’m not angry at you but at the mess we all sometimes make of our own doctrine. And when I’m done with this I’m going to sit down and pray for both of us, my sister in Christ. I can promise you one thing, no demon will ever mistake this Christian for an occult worshiper.

The schedule said I got off work at 11pm. I finally clocked out at 12:15am. Walking past a few folks waiting to clock in I thought to myself, “Welcome to hell.” To say it was a rough night at the BECG (Big Evil Corporate Giant) would be a huge understatement. My legs, feet, and back hurt, and I still had to shop, before going home. The searing pain in my hip hit as I was putting the cart up, after loading my groceries into the car. Thanking God that the car was close I limped to it and got ready to head home, wanting nothing more than to cry all the way. I turned the radio on and “There’s a Light at the End of the Tunnel” started to play. Thanking God again, for knowing just what I needed and forgetting the tears, I turned it up loud, and sang most of the way home.
 
Did God know I would need that close parking spot, 11 hours before I did? Did He make sure I got it? Was He responsible for the DJ’s choice to play that particular song, at just the moment I needed it? Is God concerned with the little things?
 
I have friends who hold the opinion that we shouldn’t bother God with little things and should only ask His help with the big stuff. But the Bible says that God will provide the things we wear, eat, and drink.
 

“Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith? “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.” Luke 12:22-31

I guess the argument could be made that those aren’t little things, after all we were taught in school that food, clothing and shelter are necessary for life.

Let’s take a look at Luke 12:6,7 “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

The very hairs of our heads are numbered! God knows every time one of us looses a hair! I know there are some who count the hairs left behind in the brush, but that’s such a small thing, most of us don’t even notice.

Is God always going to make sure I get a nice close parking space? Of course not, because that might not always be His will for me and might not be the best thing for the circumstance. Will He see to it that I am never hurt or disappointed? No. Will He heal my hip or fix my feet, legs, and back so they don’t ache at the end of a rough night? Probably not, and that’s okay. He is the Lord God, Creator of all things, and I trust him to know what’s best, even when it’s unpleasant or even painful. Is it silly to thank God for a parking space or a song? Not according to the Bible.

Ephesians 5:15-20 “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,”

We are to give thanks always for all things.

For all things?! Yes, for all things. It can be tough to give thanks for the things that hurt or are unpleasant. There is only one way to reach that point, prayer.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Pray without ceasing is a big goal, and not one we are ever likely to reach, but it’s absolutely worth the effort, as is learning to give thanks for the things in your life you wish weren’t happening, because that’s were internal peace comes from.

Philippians 4:6,7Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Father, thank You, for the parking space.

 

 

 

 

When someone says “God” what image comes to mind? Is it an all powerful angry being waiting above to thump you on the head or make things go badly for you, if you do the wrong thing? Are you convinced that you been so awful, gone so wrong, that He couldn’t possibly love or forgive you? Do you feel as if you’ve been picked on by the All Mighty? That’s not the image the Bible gives of our Creator.

Jeremiah 29:11 tells us what God thinks about us.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Child, God is not mad at you.

1 John 4:8 tells us that God not only loves but is love. “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

And there is the ultimate expression of God’s love.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
1 John 4:9 “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.”

We call Him, Father, but we must be careful not to let the imperfect image of out earthly father overshadow who God truly is.
Luke 11:9-13 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

Child, God is not mad at you, and he doesn’t want you to be afraid of Him.

Yes, I know the Bible says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom…” (Proverbs 9:10) But the word “fear” here means “respect” not knee knocking fright.

Like any good father, God will let you suffer the consequences of your own actions, although many Christians, including myself, have noticed that said consequences are often muted by God’s mercy. And like any good father, God will discipline His children.
Proverbs 13:24 “He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.”

Correcting one’s children takes time and effort. It would be much easier to allow them to do as they please, but of course, because we love them we take the time and put in the effort to discipline them properly. God does the same for us.
Proverbs 3:11-12 “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor detest His correction; For whom the LORD loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.”

Child, God is not mad at you.

In fact, He’s crazy about you, loves you, and wants to spend all eternity with you.
2 Peter 3:8-9 “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

God is not mad at you.

He has made a way for you to spend eternity with Him. It’s yours for the asking.

“Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

I guess by now everyone has noticed that music is a huge thing for me. A song can effect my mood for hours (sometimes days), so I choose my radio stations carefully. Of course music is also a large part of my worship, sometimes a song can say the things I’m feeling with much more elegance than I could ever manage.

The healing process is well on it’s way, since allowing myself to grieve. I can even manage a prayer that isn’t exclusively for someone else. Some of you know what a big step that is.

This is where I want to be.

The Motions –Matthew West

This might hurt, It’s not safe
But I know that I’ve gotta make a change
I don’t care, If I break
At least I’ll be feeling something
‘Cause just ok, Is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of life

I don’t wanna go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day
Without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking
What if I had given everything?
Instead of going through the motions

No regrets, Not this time
I’m gonna let my heart defeat my mind
Let Your love, Make me whole
I think I’m finally feeling something
‘Cause just ok, Is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of life

I don’t wanna go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day
Without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking
What if I had given everything?
Instead of going through the motions

Take me all the way
Take me all the way
Take me all the way

I don’t wanna go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day
Without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking
What if I had given everything?
Instead of going through the motions

I don’t wanna go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day
Without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking
What if I had given everything?
Instead of going through the motions

Take me all the way
Take me all the way
Take me all the way

I don’t wanna go through the motions

It seems one must admit how hurt they are, before healing can begin. It’s amazing the lengths God will go to in order to bring said healing and peace to His children. I wish I had the words to describe yesterdays service, how the Spirit settled over the entire congregation, and how He used a song to begin the process for one broken, battered, weeping child of God.

Cry Out To Jesus – Casting Crowns

To everyone who’s lost someone they love
Long before it was their time
You feel like the days you had were not enough
when you said goodbye

And to all of the people with burdens and pains
Keeping you back from your life
You believe that there’s nothing and there is no one
Who can make it right

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He’ll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus

For the marriage that’s struggling just to hang on
They lost all of their faith and love
They’ve done all they can to make it right again
Still it’s not enough

For the ones who can’t break the addictions and chains
You try to give up but you come back again
Just remember that you’re not alone in your shame
And your suffering

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He’ll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus

When your lonely
And it feels like the whole world is falling on you
You just reach out, you just cry out to Jesus
Cry to Jesus

To the widow who suffers from being alone
Wiping the tears from her eyes
For the children around the world without a home
Say a prayer tonight

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He’ll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus

Father, thank You, for loving this selfish, arrogant woman. Thank You, for bearing my anger and pain, and showing me the way to peace.

Watching a man and his two children baptized today, as his wife looked on with joyful tears streaming down her face, reminded me of why I do what I do. It’s more than the directive I feel coming from God, though that is a large part of it. It’s the incredible joy felt when I am blessed with the job of introducing someone to Jesus.

The Jesus I know is not that gorgeous, long-haired fellow with the sappy smile you see in so many paintings. He’s not a weakling nor a wimp, despite how badly He was treated while He was here. Yes, Jesus is “The Lamb of God”, but He is also “The Lion of Judah”, the “Alpha and Omega”, “Redeemer”, “Light of the world”, “Lord of all creation”, “Lord of lords”, “King of kings”, and “God with us.” He is my risen Savior.

The Jesus I know is strong. He was strong enough to face the criticism of the religious leaders of His day, strong enough to drive the money changers out of His Father’s temple, strong enough to heal the sick, give sight to the blind, give a voice to the mute, and raise the dead, strong enough to defeat demons, strong enough to flatten a troop of Roman soldiers with just His voice, strong enough to survive being scourged, and strong enough to stay on the cross and bear the sins of all mankind.

The Jesus I know is kind. He was kind enough to save a groom humiliation during his wedding supper, kind enough to have pity on a leaper and on a woman caught in the act of adultery, kind enough to bless little children, kind enough to not only forgive Peter but to make him great, kind enough to make sure His mother was cared for, and kind enough to forgive those who nailed Him to the cross. Jesus is kind enough to use a mess like me.

The Jesus I know loves. Loves us so much He gave up heaven, came to this earth as a helpless baby, submitted to His earthy parents upbringing, and in the prime of life started a ministry He knew would only last three years. Jesus loves us so much He bore the pain of the turning away of His Father’s face, so we wouldn’t have to. He loves us so much that He not only died for us but rose again on the third day to give us a secure hope in His resurrection. Jesus loves us so much He wants us to spend eternity with Him.

It’s an amazing honor and privilege to be used by my Lord and Savior, one I don’t take lightly, but it’s the joy of introducing someone to the Jesus I know and love, seeing the joy in their eyes when they really understand, knowing that one more soul has been added to the kingdom of heaven, that’s what keeps me going.

History – a chronological record of significant events often including an explanation of their causes.
Herstory – a chronological record of significant events of my faith and service including an explanation of their causes.

Willohroots requested the whole story of my road to faith and service, so here it is. It turned out to be very long, but my favorite evangelist, David Ring, says if I don‘t tell it, it won‘t get told. Hope you can stay awake.

I think faith often starts in childhood. I know mine did. I can only remember one time my family attended church, and it was long enough ago that they had a smoking section, but my mother often spoke of God and His love. I remember her trying to explain the triune God, when I was about four. (Yep, four; can you imagine!) She did as good a job as anyone, and I’ve never struggled with that doctrine the way some have. It may be as simple as believing, because “Mom said so.“ But it works. She also allowed me to attend vacation Bible School, each summer, and always encouraged me to go to church with my friends when invited. It was during one of those visits, to a friends church, at twelve, that I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. (Becky B., if you ever read this I owe you my very life.)

Unfortunately, we got tied up with Jehovah’s Witnesses shortly thereafter. I can’t call that time a total loss, because it instilled in me the importance of Bible study and reaching out to others. And how many people can say they were baptized on the fifty-yard-line of Texas Stadium? I did however become very confused about Jesus, and lost my trust in Him. After falling away I tried a lot of other roads, including Wicca, but when life was at it’s worst and I really needed someone, I always found myself at the foot of the cross. I kept searching for someone/something to fill the void. Men didn’t do it, and I have three ex-husbands to prove it. Four children didn’t do it, though they came closer than anything else. Liquor, pills, pot, work, friends, none of those things filled the empty space inside.

Then on September 11, 2001 suddenly and without warning, our entire country went into mourning, causing me to consider ending my life. For that to make sense you need to know that I’m an empath, which is not something weird or spooky. It simply means that I feel the strong emotions of those around me. Fear, anger, and sadness surrounded me, and I couldn’t escape, even for a moment. The only peace I felt was when my husband and I attended a memorial at the church across the street from where I worked. Then and many times since then I’ve had the feeling of being held as I wept. Doug must have noticed, because he was the one who suggested we actively begin seeking a church to attend regularly. Of course, after visiting several and not finding what we were looking for it kind of fell by the wayside.

A few months later, a friend invited me to a women’s retreat at her church, and paid my way, because there was no way I could afford it. It started out with a silly PJ and crazy slipper night, and turned into one of the most important milestones in my life. Suddenly I had an appetite for God’s Word again, and found myself on my knees rededicating my life to Him. Well, He doesn’t take a thing like that lightly, and soon Doug and I were attending his mother’s church regularly. During a Sunday service, we simply looked at each other and said, “Let’s join.” Neither of us even knew the other was considering it! A week later we were baptized together, which has turned into a huge strong point in our marriage.

It really was a great church, on the small side, with as sweet a spirit as any new Christian could hope for, and Brother Dan, the pastor, was a great teacher. I still had a trust problem with Jesus, and was trying to work it out when The Passion came out. It broke my heart and sent me running to my Savior’s arms.

We were at that church for three years, and as with most things, I jumped in head first, always carefully avoiding stepping over my bounds as a woman. With the encouragement of our piano player, Marlene, I was singing specials with the bravest of them, and found myself teaching Sunday school and leading children’s church. As most good things tend to, it ended. Our church split, my Sunday school class of tough little girls vanished, and children’s church was down to three little boys, so they were moved to the regular service. Our best friends left with the Pastor and began a new church, where he abandoned them right away. We were heartsick, for them and for us.

After they found a new pastor for their fledgling church, we went to visit them. They asked me to lead the song service that day, and suddenly I had a place to serve again. There is really nothing like building up a brand new church, so much to be done, and so few to do the work. I was in “Martha” heaven. There were some things I had to get use to though. Women were often called on to pray, and there was a woman on the finance committee! Funny, it didn’t take long.

It soon became apparent we had a problem. Our pastor was jealous of one of the founders of the church, and had begun to use the pulpit to blast him at every opportunity. He also started manipulating people to further his own agenda. We kept expecting him to get angry enough to walk out, and though I still don’t know why, I promised my friend I’d have a devotion ready, if we needed it. It finally came to a point where we had to ask him to leave. It was ugly and painful, and we lost several families, because of it. With the help of one of our other ladies, I was pressed into leading our services, while we looked for a new pastor.

I was about as freaked out as one person is allowed to be. My husband had just gone out of town for work, and there was no one I could talk to, well, other than God. I cried, and told Him I wouldn’t do it, couldn’t do it. I am a woman after all. Of course I just happened to be in Deborah’s part of Judges in my Bible reading. So I agreed, but I wouldn’t stand in the pulpit, and would only do devotions until one of the men was ready to preach. But they needed more, and somehow it had fallen to me to feed His sheep. It wasn’t long before I was in the pulpit, preaching. It seems there is very little difference in a devotion and a sermon.

Six months later, we did find a preacher. I had a few doubts, but everyone else was so happy. I shut my mouth and handed my charges over to his care and keeping. I did, however, stay the song leader. I don’t know that speaking up would have changed anything, but do wish I had tried. I stuck it out as the pastor’s thumb came down harder and harder, because my husband was happy there, and because there were some good things happening.

The toughest thing to deal with is that the pastor knows I feel called to ministry, and he simply can’t let it go. He always talks about how good it is to visit his home church, how they bless him with things for his church, and how they pray for and support him. He would not only deny me that, but actively try to destroy any ministry of which I am a part. In the end I had a choice, stay and destroy the church or go find the supportive environment I need and crave.

Doug and I have found a place where we can both serve, and which supports women in ministry. I get phone calls from people leaving our old church. Sometimes they’re in tears wanting to know what went wrong. It seems since we left the pastor has taken iron-fisted control. They are only allowed to sing from the hymnal he brought in, and he has questioned the salvation of several members, because they’ve sinned. There are other things, but that’s enough. Why did he wait until we left to do those things? Maybe because he knew I’d call him on them?

My independent Bible study starts Wednesday morning. Anyone who wants to attend will be welcome, and I plan to go invite a few folks the churches haven’t bothered with.

God worked too hard to break the chains that bound me, and no one is putting me back in them! If anyone has a problem with it they can talk to my Boss.

Father, help me always to remember that You’re not done with me yet, I’m just a sinner, saved by grace, and that minister means servant.

It’s a line from an old stoner movie, from my not so shiny past, but works well in this situation.

It’s bad. It’s really bad. People are calling, some in tears, wanting to know what happened and what they should do. I’m not going to go into it here, because I’m hearing everything second hand, and that would be gossip. But people are being hurt and driven away, and that’s just wrong.

So…

…I’m not going to raise my hand against God’s anointed.
Lord, help me remember it’s Your job to deal with him.

…I’m not going to spread rumors and gossip.
Lord, put Your arm around my shoulders and Your hand firmly over my mouth.

…I’m not going to going to be drawn into a flame war.
Lord, help me to not defend myself.

…I’m not going to give up.
Lord, keep me strong.

…I’m not going to let those who’ve been hurt drop by the wayside.
Lord, hide me behind the cross, and let them see only You.

But…

…I’ve got to do something. Can’t let this good, righteous, “I want to throw someone out of the temple.” anger go to waste. Right?

So…

I will start a Bible Study, for anyone who wants to attend.
Thank you, Father, for the excellent study to which You led me.

I will reach out to the community in love and understanding.
Lord, lend me Your eyes, and stop my quaking knees.

I will stay true to the truth, even when it stings.
Lord, help me to always remember I’m nothing more than Your work in progress.

I will stay strong and not fear.
Psalm 56:11 “In God I have put my trust. I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.

Matthew 28:19-20 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

Your prayers and positive thoughts would be appreciated.