Making Things Up

This is my week to face my fears. Today, I read a verse that reminded me of verses in Revelation.

Revelation 22:18-19, “I give fair warning to all who hear the words of the prophecy of this book. If you add to the words of this prophecy, God will add to your life the disasters written in this book; (19) If you subtract from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will subtract your part from the Tree of Life and the Holy City that are written in this book.” The Message

It’s the hardest part of writing this blog.

  • Did I read it in the Bible or hear it in a sermon?
  • What is the reference verse?
  • Is it in context?
  • Did I recently read it?
  • Can I find it again to quote?
  • Is it my own conclusion?

Ezekiel 13:2, “Son of man, preach against the prophets of Israel who are making things up out of their own heads…” The Message

I pray before I write each post. I know I will answer for every word, Matthew 12:36. I appreciate those who are praying for me. (Hi, Mom!)

August 7, 2019: Ezekiel 13-15.

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I’ve Provided…

I walk down the stairs like a contestant for “Miss America.” I look straight ahead and smile. I’m practicing for an exciting, slightly scary adventure.

I will be visiting a place that can only be accessed by walking down “see-through” stairs. I’m not a fan of heights and have nightmares about stairs with no banisters. But I will face my fears because I don’t want to miss a thing.

I met with my doctor and we went over the precautions needed. He’s excited for me. David’s excited, too, because…

…we’re going to Israel!

After the shootings last weekend in El Paso and Dayton, you would think I would not want to visit the Middle East. But God gave me these verses.

Ezekiel 11:16-17, “…I’ve provided you a temporary sanctuary in the countries where you’ve gone. (17) I will gather you back from those countries…” The Message

We’ve prayed for this opportunity for 25 years. We saved and lived simply. We sacrificed replacing the truck. That cut the gas, insurance, license, and maintenance bills in half. We canceled satellite TV – goodbye, Hallmark Christmas movies.

Our last vacation was in 2012. I stopped coloring my hair 13 years ago and only cut it twice a year. We gave up soda pop. I make my own cleaners and laundry soap. (I never joined a gym or paid for a manicure. We don’t drink or smoke.)

All of those little things moved us closer to our goal. We’ve cut back to the bare necessities. Packing will be easy!

Ezekiel 12:4, “You’ll take up your baggage while they watch, a bundle of the bare necessities…” The Message

Not only does God promise to take care of us, and bring us back safely, He promises to change us.

Ezekiel 11:19, “I’ll give you a new heart. I’ll put a new spirit in you.” The Message

Before writing this post, I hit the app to listen to worship music. The song, “Bigger Than I Thought” by Sean Curran of Passion came up. Before he sang the song, he sang…

“…It’s time to find your freedom. It’s time to let go!”

I will find my freedom and let go of my fears. I never believed we could go to Israel – but God is bigger than I thought!

August 6, 2019: Ezekiel 10-12.

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A Ruler Who Knows How to Rule Justly

We watched a dumb movie last night. It was dumb because they used subtitles and had the characters speak “caveman” gibberish. But there were a few redeeming qualities.

The tribal leader told his wife their son was stronger than she knew. He said it where his son could hear it.

Then he said, “He’s stronger than he knows.”

We are all stronger than we know, Philippians 4:13.

He gave his son the tools to survive. He taught him a leader must do hard things to take care of his tribe.

“You are not a leader because you were born into this family. You become a leader by taking care of others. Your job is to keep the tribe together.”

Jeremiah 23:5, “…a ruler who knows how to rule justly. He’ll make sure of justice and keep people united.” The Message

A title does not make me a leader. Who is following me?

A “tribe” does not make me a leader. Are they united working together with me or just tolerating me?

Am I fair and just? Do I move at the speed of the slowest and weakest? Or do I run over them?

Do I pile extra burdens on the strong instead of disbursing the weight among everyone?

Are the tribe members falling by the wayside and being left behind? Or worse – simply choosing not to participate?

Paul said seeking a leadership position is commendable. He gave the qualifications of a leader in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. But it is not an easy thing. We will answer for the care of each person in our “tribe.”

(By the way, I am not currently a leader.)

August 5, 2019: Jeremiah 23; Ezekiel 8-9.

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Whose Names Are Written

Every Sunday I pray for the church service. At the top of the list is salvations. I pray for souls to decide to follow Jesus. It’s as easy as ABC. They accept they are a sinner, believe Jesus died on the cross to pay for their sins and confess that He is their Lord.

When we do that, Jesus writes our name down in the Lamb’s Book of Life. (Jesus is the Lamb.) It’s what keeps us from burning in hell and is our passport to heaven.

Revelation 20:15, “Anyone whose name was not found inscribed in the Book of Life was hurled into Lake Fire.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Revelation 21:27, “…only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will get in.” The Message

I rejoiced as a lady walked down to the front to begin her journey with Christ. Just look around, we are running out of time.

Revelation 22:10-11, “…Time is just about up. Let evildoers do their worst and the dirty-minded go all out in pollution, but let the righteous maintain a straight course and the holy continue on in holiness.” The Message

If you would like to start this journey, click on the “Save Me, Jesus, Prayer.”

August 4, 2019: Revelation 20-22.

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The God Who Is

Today, I compared the description of the “Beast” with the description of God.

Revelation 17:8, “The Beast you saw once was, is no longer, and is about to…head straight for Hell…” The Message

* * * * * * *

Revelation 1:4, “…The God who is, the God who was, and the God about to arrive…” The Message

Whatever “beast” I’m facing will not last. It’s headed straight to Hell.

Why? Because the God I serve has always been, always will be, and will come to my rescue. Nothing can win against Him!

August 3, 2019: Revelation 17-19.

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All Comforts Provided

“Are you getting out at all?” the doctor asked.

“Yes, a few hours 3 times a week for church.”

“I’m glad,” he replied, “I know how important your faith is to you. Going to church is medically necessary.”

We talked about precautions to use when going out for extended times. I told him I went out every day when my brother from Virginia visited. The result? A sinus headache for a week.

“I look normal – but stay at home most of the time.”

“Yes,” the doctor agreed, “but I saw you at your worst. I’m glad everything is under control.”

He was talking about 2008 when I became totally housebound. I was reacting horribly and couldn’t leave the house without Prednisone. (I still haven’t completed the projects I planned that year.)

When God leads me to a desert place, He provides for my safety and comfort. He gave me everything I need to survive.

Revelation 12:6, “The woman herself escaped to the desert to a place of safety prepared by God, all comforts provided her for 1,260 days.” The Message

August 2, 2019: Revelation 13-16.

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A Sign of a Change of Heart

Let’s play a game of “What if.” What if some of the events in Revelation already took place.

I am not a prophet. I am not a Bible expert. I do not understand all the events in Revelation.

But I think of John the Baptist. He came in the spirit of Elijah, Luke 1:17; Matthew 17:12. The Jews were looking for the physical body of Elijah. They didn’t recognize him.

So – what if the scorpions that stung infected people with the HIV virus? (It’s not because Revelation 9:5-6 says the sting did not kill them.) Those who contract HIV suffer horribly and long to die. If that were so, would I live differently?

Revelation 9:20-21, “The remaining men and women who weren’t killed by these weapons went on their merry way – didn’t change their way of life, …didn’t quit centering their lives around lumps of gold… (21) There wasn’t a sign of a change of heart. …” The Message

There are horrific and unthinkable things happening every day. Do I just go on my merry way? Do I need to change my way of life? Is my life centered around money? Do I need a change of heart?

“Search me, O God.”

August 1, 2019: Revelation 9-11.

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Ascend and Enter

In “Certain Peace in Uncertain Times: Embracing Prayer in an Anxious Age” Shirley Dobson shared an acrostic for prayer: P – Praise, R – Repent, A – Ask, Y – Yield.

I recently added praise to my quiet time. Today’s songs were “Fear is a Liar” and “No Longer Slaves.”

Repenting before I pray adds boldness and freedom to my conversation with God. I know my mistakes and failures are washed away by the Blood of Jesus. I can ask for anything but I yield to His will.

Why take all this time to enter into His presence? That is where I find answers.

Revelation 4:1, “…Ascend and enter. I’ll show you what happens next.” The Message

July 31, 2019: Revelation 4-8.

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I See

My journal entry today looked like a “To Do” list. God sees all that I’ve accomplished and my motives and attitudes as I did each task.

Revelation 2:2, “I see what you’ve done, your hard, hard work, your refusal to quit. …” The Message

Jesus sees our hard work, refusal to quit, that we can’t stomach evil, we weed out pretenders, are persistent, courageous, and never wear out. He also sees we walked away from our first love and how far we’ve fallen, Revelation 2:2-5.

He sees our pain and poverty, but also our wealth, Revelation 2:9.

He sees we live on Satan’s turf, continuing boldly, never denying His Name. But also indulging in unholy parties, Revelation 2:13-14.

He sees everything we’re doing for Him, the love, faith, service, and persistence. But we let others mislead into Cross-denying, self-indulging religion, Revelation 2:19-20.

He sees right through our work, our reputation for vigor and zest, but we’re dead. Our busywork is not God’s work, Revelation 3:1-2.

He sees we’ve used our strength to keep His Word and did not deny Him. He will open doors no one can shut and keep us safe in a time of testing, Revelation 3:8, 10.

Father, examine my motives and attitudes. I repent of any that are not pleasing to you. Amen.

July 30, 2019: Revelation 1-3.

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Love You in Truth

Some regulars were gone from the E3 Center last Wednesday, including Paige, who takes care of the offering bag and the cash register money. (We empty the cash register every week.) We have a large team and everyone pitches in whenever someone is gone.

Pastor Monte stopped in after the adult service. We ran a bit later because it was “water night.” (No, I did not go down the water slide!) He visited with people while the youth changed clothes.

I explained about Paige’s absence and asked if he wanted me to lock the money in the cafe. He said, “Give the bags to me and I’ll take them to the office.”

I went back to the cafe and retrieved them. As I handed them to him, he said, “Thank you. Love you.”

I paused. (The pastors and leaders at Fairfield tell us they love us all the time.) I don’t talk with Pastor Monte often. That’s one thing about him and Pastor Peggy – they thank you and remind you they love you.

I know other Pastors love their congregations but do they ever say it out loud?

2 John 1:1, “My dear congregation, I, your pastor, love you in very truth.” The Message

Do we tell them we love them?

July 29, 2019: 1 John 4-5; 2 John 1; 3 John 1.

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