Spiritual Minefield -by Lois Macdonald

Do you feel like you are walking through a spiritual minefield? Anxious about tomorrow and yet still chained to the past. Drowning in a sea of confusion, weighed down with old baggage and thoughts clouded with negativity. If so, it is imperative that you put on the whole “Armour of God” and fight the good fight. You, my friend, are under spiritual attack! “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8-9. He wastes no time hunting those who are already spiritually dead. But he has an insatiable appetite for the sweet, pure blood of Christ’s followers. This invisible enemy loves to attack the subconscious mind. The most complicated organ in our body, that functions rather like a conductor. A Maestro, working day and night. Listening unconsciously even while we sleep. When this gray matter of ours is uncluttered, it creates beautiful music. However, when our thoughts get cloudy and appear darker than usual, the chances are that our music is sending the dogs running for cover! If Left unaddressed, one by one the instruments will cease playing. The most courageous and healthy thing we can do if this happens is to seek professional help, including our pastor.

While it is seldom discussed, Scripture confirms that the mind is Satan’s favorite battlefield. We should never be embarrassed or surprised if we find ourselves under attack. Many of the famous Bible prophets, etc. found themselves in just such battles. Those who were in close relationships with God. All believers have the God-given power to fight the enemy in “Jesus name.” We can confront Satan by calling him a liar when he tries to feed us negative thoughts. Quote Scripture truth. He hates that! “And these signs will accompany those who believe in my name (Christ) they will drive out demons…” Mark 16:17. Dedicate your home to God and ask him to fill each room and those who enter and go, to be blessed. It is important to remember we do not need to be afraid of the outcome of these attacks because our Father has already won the battle!. Therefore, “Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine.” Isaiah 43:1.

In the end, “God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas but scars.” by Elbert Hubbard.

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Silence is Not Always Golden-by Lois Macdonald

“Silence is Golden,” was the unspoken rule of etiquette for children growing up during the 50’s and 60’s. Politeness was a symbol of good-grooming and breeding. Respecting your elders was simply a matter of fact. Little ones were invited to speak during the social get-together, only if prompted by a grown-up. Then they would be watched under the scrutinizing stare of their anxious parents, who expected their response to be carefully thought through before vocalized. A lesson that I believe should be revisited today, by children and adults alike! To break the silence, words were to be pleasing to all listeners. Although manners have done an about-face, hopefully, respect for self and others will forever be in fashion. So, what does Scripture say about being silent? Do the same restrictions rule over our prayer life? Must we hold back the things that lay heavy on our heart? Actually, the bible says there is, “A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak.” Ecclesiastes 3:7. NLT.

In silence, one can leave all worldly distractions behind, and draw near to your Maker. A time of intimacy, when we are free to bear our soul and renew our faith, fueled by God’s wisdom, love, and grace. In silence we can give our Father the honor and respect he is due. It is a sanctuary where honesty, repentance, healing, and salvation dwell. A place where “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:13. NIV. 

The question that many Christians ask themselves is, “Can I possibly admit that there are times when I am disappointed or even hurt by the outcome of something I have been fervently praying over?” Do I need to tremble in fear, expecting lightning bolts to strike me dead for allowing such feelings to cross my mind?” Or has our Father waited like a loving parent for the moment when we trust Him enough to surrender the secrets of the heart? I believe our Lord wants a personal relationship with all of his children. After all, “Nothing…is hidden from God’s sight…” Hebrews 4:13. There is a huge difference between feeling entitled to receive God’s love because of our good works and those who feel humbled before God, knowing He loves because of his amazing grace! In spite of our sin. Job was the perfect example of a man who needed to be put in his place in the presence of the “King of Kings!”

In conclusion. “Speak up when the time is right. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Martin Luther King.

However, “It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool than to talk and remove all doubt of it.” Maurice Switzer.

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Rest Assured or Afraid of the Dark -by Lois Macdonald

Do you sleep peacefully, assured of your Salvation, or are you afraid of the dark and the unknown?
The foundation of trust is built during our childhood. If our parents prove to be trustworthy, we learn to trust. If they are unreliable, believing in them and in others will be a challenge. Parents who raise their families on this foundation will teach their children to be sure-footed, planted firmly on the pathway leading towards Salvation. The only path that begins and ends in faith.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” John 5:24. Jesus’ promise of peace stretches far beyond any worldly understanding.
Proof that Christians can rest assured of their Salvation is found at the cross, where Jesus cried out, “It is finished.” And bowing His head, gave up His spirit. John 19:30. Only the blameless Son of God could reconcile sinners to his Holy Father.
The payment was made in full on the cross. A gift from God. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9. If we truly believe the Bible is God’s Word, we can rest assured with these truths.
“Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean; Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7.
The anointing of His Holy Spirit confirms our relationship with our Creator. “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,” Romans 8:16. It removes all doubt.
I have often heard Christians talk about their fear of dying. Believing they are not worthy of Heaven. It makes my heart ache for them and prompts me to share this comforting verse, “I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.” Luke 15:7.

Remember, hear, believe, repent then rest assured of your Salvation.

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Joy in Suffering -by Lois Macdonald

Joy, in suffering. Surely, it is not possible? And yet Scripture says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,” James 1:2 (ESV). Certainly not an easy pill to swallow, but once absorbed, the truth of this verse can bring hope to the millions suffering from chronic pain.

There had been no life-threatening moment when I recognized something was terribly wrong. No “near-death” experience claimed that day. I was attractive, self-absorbed, independent, career-focused and in my prime. Then without any notice, pain struck like a silent thief in the night, robbing me of my health. The familiar rug woven from threads of self-sufficiency and pride was rudely pulled out from under my fashionable heels. The world as I knew it, began spiraling out of control. Humiliation was my initial reaction, then disbelief, anger, and denial followed suit. A few well-meaning Christian friends (like Job’s), suggested unrepented sin could be the only logical reason for such a trial. Non-believers shook their heads in sympathy asking, “What kind of God allows suffering?” Thankfully, His grace never wavers. The more I reached out for His hand, the more God’s Holy Spirit drew me close to his Heart. Inner healing began taking place. Any bitterness and blame that had taken root, vanished as joy, purpose, love, and hope settled in. Am I joyful all the time? No of course not, but the wings of joy spread out further than mere happiness. Bringing hope and peace on the most painful of days. Lifting me higher so that I can see further than ever before, as I tackle each new hurdle. …We also glory in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-6 (NIV)

“The apostles left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus.” Acts 5:41.

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Innocence -by Lois Macdonald

 

Innocence lives under a veil of modest transparency
Filmy organza, pure simplicity, and unblemished lace
She holds a bouquet of wildflowers and white lilies
Wrapped in satiny ribbons and sweet baby’s breath
Unaware of her beauty she blushes at her reflection
She is the essence of virtue a bride worthy of a King.
by Lois Macdonald

I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10.

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Father God Knows Best -by Lois Macdonald

Our Heavenly Father said, “A joyful heart is good medicine…” Proverbs 17:22. He inspired King Solomon to write out this prescription for the entire world in 900 BC. Science catches up and validates its truth June 1, 2017. ScienceDaily News writes, researchers have revealed how laughter releases endorphins in the human brain. The more opioid receptors the participants had in their brain, the more they laughed during the experiment. Sorry science, but this is old news!

My Conclusion. “Father God knows best!”

Proverbs 11:22 ends with this warning. “…But a broken spirit drains one’s strength.” Science validates this truth, June 30, 2016. Almost 2,916 years later. The Australian Spinal Research Foundation released this news. Cortisol is the major player in …chronic stress. It’s responsible for weight gain …and it’s been implicated as the leading cause of osteoporosis, digestive problems, hormone imbalances, cancer, heart diseases and diabetes. And if that weren’t enough, it’s also responsible for adrenal fatigue, where you are physically exhausted but wired and unable to rest. Adrenal burnout affects your moods, elicits poor sleep and makes it difficult to concentrate or remember things. That’s just the start of the cocktail of dysfunction and damage that cortisol is capable of wrecking on your system.

My Conclusion. “Father God knows best!”

Laughter is not a hard pill to swallow. One only needs to watch a giggling toddler in a “jolly jumper” or turn on “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” to see first-hand how laughter can turn any frown upside down. Although we seldom think of God having a sense of humor, Scripture confirms that he Does. “Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Will a child be born to a man one hundred years old? Will Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” When she heard this news, she laughed and said, “God has caused me to laugh, and all who hear about it will laugh with me.” Genesis 21:6. We can see how contagious joy is, so why do we take ourselves so seriously? Is it during our teen years, when hormones are running amuck? Being constantly aware of every little imperfection. Or does it fuel our insecurities during adulthood? A time when we mask our humor under a garment of correctness, feeling that we should have all the answers by now? Two of the most stressful groups of adults are parents and church leaders. Perhaps it is time for all of us to fill God’s prescription and embrace the power of joy. Caution. It could be contagious!

Prescription. “A joyful heart is good medicine…” Proverbs 17:22.

My Conclusion. “Father God does know best.” by Lois Macdonald

 

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