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I’m glad it happened…

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2017 was one of the hardest years ever. I don’t want to repeat it. My husband and I went through a year of living hell, for reasons I do not care to share. We were relieved when the 1st of January came, and brought with it a new chapter.

This morning, I watched a sermon from Elevation Church, Steven Furtick. If anybody can preach me into a joyous mood, it’s that guy. He has a whole new look on the challenges of life. And I love it. Let’s face it, all these ‘so-called’ pastors, that preach prosperity, is talking a load of hogwash. Jesus told us it won’t be easy. The apostles showcased hardship for us in the New Testament. Nowhere are we promised a life of prosperity. True FAITH is holding on, DESPITE the circumstances!

If you had a hard year in 2017, I challenge to you to watch this sermon. Take an hour of your time, and invest it into your spiritual account of 2018!

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Christmas? Xmas? Nothing?

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Christmas time is not the only time of the year, where Christians violently attack each other, and non-believers, in word wars on social media. It happens with Valentine’s Day. It happens with Passover / Easter. It happens with Halloween. It happens at Christmas. EVERY.DAMN.YEAR.

It happens in other situations as well. Christians differ widely on issues such as the consumption of alcohol, smoking, obesity and others.

We need to get back to basics. And what is basics? The written Word of God, the Bible.

Let’s look at Romans 14 in this regard.

Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister[a]? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written:

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
    every tongue will acknowledge God.’”[b]

12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. 15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.

19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.

22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

What are the ‘basics’ in this chapter?

  1. Acceptance, without quarrelling over disputable matters;
  2. Respect for each other, as God has accepted us all;
  3. We will differ on our choice of sacred days, and that is okay – we don’t have to agree with each other, we still have to respect each other;
  4. Stop judging people who do not share your sentiments;
  5. Don’t place stumbling blocks in the path of another – if a person chooses to abstain from something, respect that choice even though you don’t agree with it; and
  6. Whatever you believe about these things, is an issue between you and God, not between you and the entire world that has to be fought out on social media.

So what am I saying? Stop it. Just stop it. You are doing nothing to bring unity in the Kingdom of God. Instead, you are causing strife in the body of Christ. What another Christian believes, is none of your business. It is between him/her and God. Keep your nose out of it. And keep quiet on social media. Your lashing out at innocent people is very damaging to the image of Christianity. Get back to the basics.

Standing in the gap

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Have you ever read the scripture about ‘standing in the gap’?

Eze 22:30 I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.

I learned about the principle years ago, and it is widely known in Christian circles. Standing in the gap means to pray for a person that cannot or doesn’t want to pray, for whatever reason. That verse, got new meaning. I have a story to tell. It isn’t a pretty story, but it has a marvellous ending.

My husband and I have been through a year of hell. Being an aspie, I cannot cope with unpredictability and uncertainty. And since last year October, that is all we had. Unpredictability. Uncertainty. Not knowing what is going to happen next. To tell you that it frustrated me, is a major understatement. It nearly destroyed me. Since August, I became very depressed. I just couldn’t see our way out of our circumstances. Gradually, it just became worse and worse. And my thoughts became dark. I wasn’t suicidal, as I will never do that to my husband, my mother and my children. We had a suicide in our family and I have seen what it does to those who stayed behind. But I really didn’t want to live anymore. I couldn’t handle life anymore. I wanted to die. Just die.

The night before last night, I could not sleep. Despite taking a sleeping tablet. I was arguing with God throughout the night. And I got more and more desperate. After a couple of hours, God told me we have reached the turning point, and things will start changing.

Only today, I got this testimony from a friend. That same night, God woke her up and commanded her to pray for me. I am going to translate her messages to me without changing anything.

“I woke up with a horrible anxiety and all I could see in the dark was your face, in a cloud. I jumped out of bed, went to the bathroom and asked God what I should do. I got back in bed asking God to direct me. God told me to pray for you; if I don’t, you won’t make it. I started praying softly but I couldn’t find rest. I jumped out of bed, and went to the room where you always sleep when you visit us. There I knelt beside the bed and starting pleading with God that He would keep you from committing suicide – that was the first thing I thought of! I pleaded with God to let you experience peace and love. Eventually I was crying to much that all I could say was ‘please God’. It went on for three hours. And then the Lord spoke to me again. He clearly said that if I didn’t stand in the gap for you, HE would remove you from your circumstances.”

God knew my heart. He knew I had no will to live left. But He also knew I still have work to do. So He got someone to stand in the gap and pray for me, when I was praying the wrong prayer. In His grace and mercy, He ignored my prayers and instead raised up a Godly warrior that prayed for me.

I am humbled. I am overwhelmed by God’s goodness and mercy. That verse will be special to me forever. And the warrior He raised up for me, will for always have a massive space in my heart. If there was disobedience, I might not have been here, to write this blog.

God is good all the time. And all the time, God is good.

We are not out of the woods yet, but things have started to change.