Monuments

We are in the midst of competing ideas to either keep or remove that which conjures up images and heart-rending feelings of our past that cannot be erased with even the strongest refiner’s soap. We are at odds as to how to accomplish even the most basic ways to heal. Monuments and symbols of our dark history that led to our nation’s civil war have revealed how much bitterness is still alive in the hearts of so many. Every heart is being laid bare in the midst of this tumult. The din of confused and angry voices seems to be on every day’s page. You already know what to expect when the page is turned.

Mary Shelley wrote in her novel Frankenstein, “Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.” But this history of events in our country is not sudden. It has been going on since 1619. Yet so many have not come to terms with this country’s sin. So many people want to hold on to monuments erected to honor those who fought against our union. For every statue that comes down, there is an opposing reason of why it must remain and how it is part of our heritage and history. This is not a history we can forget. But we must be unified in our efforts to remove this evil and disgraceful stain from hindering our ability to move forward into healing.  Right now, we are like that monster in Shelley’s book that has been resurrected and is alive. It’s hideous and it cannot walk unseen in the light of decency.

Monuments honoring those who rose against our nation in civil war were built by those who still harbored feelings that led us into civil war. Groups like The United Daughters of the Confederacy and Sons of the Confederate Veterans endeavored to defend the Confederate states. Periods of time when most monuments were erected coincide with a point in history when segregation was in a time of strength and disenfranchisement of Blacks was at its height. Keep civil rights down. Schools and living fully segregated. I witnessed those years in the 1950’s when people of color were not allowed in classrooms with me. When, as a small boy in North Carolina, I could see blacks on one side of the street and whites on the other in downtown areas. No blacks allowed in restaurants that I could go to. Separate water fountains. These years of reconstruction after the civil war brought in new horrors. The KKK. Lynchings for fabricated crimes or slights as innocent as just not knowing your place. One should wonder, and even be confused, as to why such monuments that are derived from a mindset of white supremacy would still be standing during such trying times. But they are. The greatest legacy of the United Daughters of the Confederacy was their Mount Rushmore of the Confederacy completed in the 1960s. This monument depicts Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Jefferson Davis. It is still revered.

In Chapter 6 of the book of Judges, the Lord is speaking to Gideon. He is telling Gideon what he must do, but Gideon is afraid and tells the Lord that his clan is the weakest and he is the weakest in his father’s house. Yet, when the Lord first addressed Gideon, He called him a mighty man of valor. The Lord told Gideon that he was chosen to tear down the false images and altars. Gideon obeyed, but he did it at night because he feared his father’s household and the men of the city. The men of the city were in fact enraged at Gideon’s action and wished to kill him. Gideon’s father stood up for him and asked the men of the city if they would plead for those false idols. The Lord was then with Gideon in great power. I feel that we are being called to stand up against that same spirit that seeks to protect these monuments of shame. It is imperative that we address this now because protecting that which is a replica of evil deeds only leads to more hate and division. As Jacob told his household in Genesis 35, “Put away all these foreign gods from among you. Purify yourselves and change your garments.”

Change can be messy. Even destructive. Emotions and pent up feelings of injustice can cause the pendulum to swing in a way that pummels all within its arc. I understand, as best as I can, the depth of emotions that are being felt. What I have trouble coming to terms with are those who defend the monuments as our proud heritage and wish to punish those who want them removed. There are those that say if we remove these statues and monuments then we may as well get rid of the Pyramids, or the Colosseum, or even the Temple on the Mount because they were built with slave labor. One prominent prophetic minister on the west coast facetiously said that maybe we should get rid of books in the Bible by men like Moses, the Apostle Paul, and the Psalms by David because they were murderers. I’m sure these same people wouldn’t disagree with removing statues of people like Herman Goring or Heinrich Himmler. But they were evil Nazis. Even Germany doesn’t venerate their World War II Nazi leaders! It’s funny how we can so easily condemn one thing yet not see our own connection to an evil past. People are defending the indefensible. Carl Sagan said, “If it can be destroyed by the truth, it deserves to be destroyed by the truth.” We need to open our eyes. As Jesus said in John 4, “You worship that which you don’t know.” You might think something is acceptable, but what about when it’s exposed to His light? Can we say that we are walking in the light as He is the light? Ask Him.

Right now, every action we take in response to the factions in our society are vitally important. People all over the world are watching. All Heaven is also witness to what we do and how we react. We have no excuse for trying to fortify a foundation whose cracks and faults have been laid bare. Now is the time for all to be so cognizant that we are in a position to educate a new generation and help heal other generations.  How do we teach our children and those we are spiritually in a place to mentor? Words from the Crosby, Stills, and Nash song, Teach Your Children Well, come to mind. “You who are on a road, Must have a code you can live by. And so, become yourself, Because the past is just a goodbye. Teach your children well. Their father’s hell did slowly go by. And feed them on your dreams. And the one they pick is the one you’ll know by.” Teach them well and it will be seen. Do it now why it is still today. We have no idea how important of an example we can be.

I pray we gain insight into what is necessary for healing to come to this land. We see spurts, but not enough to truly heal, as the wounds are so deep and so infected. We cannot allow this to become a political conversation. This is right and wrong. Good and evil. Life and death. Choose life. Embrace healing. I pray, just as it is stated in Ezekiel 36, “That the Lord sprinkle clean water on you and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

I urge you, my brothers and sisters, for the sake of the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to agree to live in unity with one another and put to rest any division that attempts to tear you apart. Blessings.

Current State of Unrest

So once again, people are speaking and opining on our national state of unrest. Viewpoints and answers to problems are being offered with such rapidity and conviction that one wonders why this current yet centuries old problem wasn’t remedied long ago. It’s as the prophet Jeremiah asked in Jeremiah 8:22  “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why is there no healing for the wounds of my people?” Yet, so much of what I’ve read by Evangelical leaders pontificate on the whys and reasons for this national continuing problem. Prophecies have been spoken and written that reveal recent insight into a growing racial tension even leading to violence. Where in God’s name have these leaders been? I have spoken and written about this for so long.  Yet it seems that one can get to the place where if you are not running lockstep within a certain crowd, you will not be heard. But “I can’t run no more with that lawless crowd. While the killers in high places say their prayers out loud. But they’ve summoned up a thundercloud. And they’re going to hear from me.” (From Anthem by Leonard Cohen)

In the book of Numbers 12, Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman he had married.  The fact that Miriam’s name is listed first indicates she may have instigated this offense. Moses’ wife, Zipporah, was a Cushite. An Ethiopian. And the color of her skin was part of the issue here. In Jeremiah 13:23, Jeremiah asks, “Can the Ethiopian (Cushite) change his skin or can a leopard change its spots.” This was an immutable fact. This aroused the anger of the Lord and Miriam was struck with leprosy. Moses’ prayers for Miriam’s healing caused the Lord to relent. But Miriam was still shut out of the camp for seven days. The disease, leprosy, may be contained today in most of the world, but hatred is not.  If you could see the disfigurement of people who walk in this disease of hatred of others because of the color of their skin, you would see their bodies have been contorted and deformed by the constant dripping of venom from their minds. Hatred is a most vile condition.

Our country was founded on principles of freedom and equality. Yet during that whole time, we were using slaves to build that which we were fighting to establish. We fought a major, divisive war that left wounds which still fester to stop this injustice called slavery. But we found other ways to enslave and keep one down. Parity and acceptance are still not equal for those with less pigmentation in their skin. Years have gone by and some achievements in civil rights have been made, but too many shades of disparity color this canvas in garish and nightmarish colors. In Psalm 13, David asks the Lord, “How long O Lord? How long will you hide your face from me?” Marvin Gaye sang, “There’s too many crying. What’s going on?” Different times, but things are still the same.

What we seem to hear most right now is the result of years of inequality. So, the focus is on the riots. And the reason for the depth of the hate and anguish is set aside as if not pertinent. Throughout history, when people have been mistreated, the end result is some degree of violence. Martin Luther King said that “riot is the language of the unheard.” Yet how many Facebook posts have I seen using Dr. King as the example of how people of color should behave? They have no idea of what that good man went through in order to bring about the degree of change he did. They forget what it cost him and that he knew that it would require even his life. I wish these people would quit using his statements and image. They have no right and are not of the same spirit.

Frantz Fanon, though not revered by some because of his beliefs, said in 1961, “When we revolt it’s not for a particular culture. We revolt simply because, for many reasons, we can no longer breathe.” This cycle of varying degrees of interest will go on for a while. Then we’ll wait for the next injustice to arrive. And it will. The dream the Lord gave me in 2012 clearly showed me how this will become worse and more insidious. And when we have direction from the top saying the word “Dominate” to Governors in regard to protesters, the best we can expect is an audible simmer that will again boil over.

I will not address those who resort to theft and destruction any more than I will to those outside agitators from the left and the right who come for a myriad of evil intentions. People need to realize that it was loved and quoted by so many when Peter Finch in the movie Network, said, “I’m angry as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” That’s how so many feel. That’s how I feel, and I can’t even begin to understand because I am white. But everyone should pay attention and realize that when the Lord said we are all one, and you decide to come up with your own explanation, there will be something you will answer for. People were up in arms over Colin Kaepernick taking a knee to injustice and now some of them see that is better than a knee on a man’s neck that kills him, or the resulting rioting of that action. I am taking a knee in solidarity.

Paul wrote to Timothy to do things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality. We all fall short of His glory and seem to make the same mistakes constantly. But this spirit of racism that is growing at an alarming speed must be dealt with. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Be it good or evil. If this is in you, confess it and ask Him to cleanse you. If it is in one you follow, either politically or spiritually, walk away from them. Be separate from that evil and have no part in it. 1 John 9-11 states, “He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”

We cannot survive with this pervasive hatred. Something will break and not be repairable. Take stock of where you are. The state of your heart. Is your heart is a state of unrest? “Ring the bells that can still ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” (Leonard Cohen) Walk in the light as He is the light. It depends on you to do your part to live peaceably with all men. (Romans 12:18)   Blessings.

Walk This Way

What if you were walking on a dirt road, going from one destination to another, all the while deep in thought as to all that is transpiring in our country? Maybe deep in contemplative prayer or reflecting on a past experience you had with God. At some point, a man walks with you. He seems to know your very thoughts, as if you’ve shared them with him, but that’s impossible as you’ve never seen him before. He starts to relate scripture to your every experience. It’s not just this person’s familiarity with the bible that captures you, but it’s as if his experience is from firsthand knowledge. You find it a bit unsettling but realize you can’t pull yourself away. Your heart burns within you. Time seems to stop and all that matters in life is walking with you. Peace seems to rest on you in a way you’ve always hoped it would. You’ve just had an encounter like the disciples did in Luke 24 on the road to Emmaus just outside of Jerusalem. He who is everything just opened your eyes and your mind. Do not ever discount that this could happen.

Just as Cleopas, a follower of Jesus, experienced his redeemer in a way that was unexpected, so might you. Maybe it might be an angel that appears to you as a minister of the Lord. Maybe you’ll just be confused like the Apostle John was in Revelation 22. He started to fall and worship someone he’d mistaken. The one he presumed to worship told him not to do that. He said he was a servant just as John and his brothers the prophets were. He may have just been a redeemed man sent to provide John with information. Someone like that could walk with us, too.

Hebrews 13 tells us to continue with brotherly love and not to forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. I’d hate to miss that. Even those on the road to Emmaus would have missed it if Jesus hadn’t opened their eyes. Can you imagine treating Jesus in a way that would basically say you’re not welcome in my company? We do it all the time.

Jesus was an iconoclast. What if He walked into church with you and started to turn over a few tables. You might step away and say, “I don’t know this guy.” Or He may appear as He actually looked those 2000 or so years ago in Jerusalem. A very Semitic looking man. Not too tall. Bearded. He may not have had time to wash the dirt off from all His travels. Would your first instinct be to call ICE? Do you think he’s an undocumented Mexican? Or, maybe the Semitic look has you wondering. Maybe call Homeland Security? He was known as an agitator. Maybe some of what He’s saying doesn’t jive with what you consistently hear from a lot of current evangelical teaching. Yeah, there’s no way you can actually do all He’s telling you to do. Maybe you’ll stick with what many in power in the church are saying right now and consider those commandments more like suggestions. Yeah, that’s the ticket. How in heck can you truly follow all those Red-Letter teachings of Jesus in the gospels?

We need to consider we may have encountered things we are unaware of.  It’ll be shown to us one day though. In the meantime, we need to do our best to show love for one another. The love He shows us. By this we’ll be known as His followers. No other way. Walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and gave Himself for us. He may be walking beside you. Blessings.

Disguised in Hate

Original enhanced.jpg

I’m posting a picture of a scene of part of a regiment of Confederate soldiers posing before two southern mansions. One in that group is a relative of mine from the maternal side of my father. He was my great, great grandfather. His name was Samuel Claiborne Turner. A private in the 12th Regiment of the Virginia Infantry. He enlisted on March 25, 1862 in Patrick County. That regiment fought in such well-known battles as Second Manassas, Maryland Campaign, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. We found these pictures when going through my grandmother’s and her daughters’ estate. This scene reminds me of a particular house I frequently drive by that has an American flag flying outside and two Confederate flags. I’d love to ask the owner why he’s flying the Confederate flags, and why two. But I know others who still have a distorted allegiance to this flag. I despise what it stands for. This relative of mine in the picture represents someone wearing a uniform and following a flag that just disguises hate. And the hate is still alive and flourishing today. People just wear different disguises, but it can’t hide what’s beneath the trappings of their so poorly hidden malevolence. And multitudes are emboldened enough to wear their evil on clothes reminiscent of the KKK and the Nazi party.

Jefferson Davis, after the defeat of the Confederate States, said “The principle for which we contended is bound to reassert itself, though it may be at another time and in another form.” The lie of states’ rights and the right to govern oneself without excessive federal oversight has been inserted as the reason for our civil war rather than freeing slaves and restoring the union. I heard that growing up while living in the south. The war never ended. The 1960s brought legislation for civil rights and voting rights, but one would have thought that losing hundreds of thousands in our civil war would have guaranteed those same rights immediately. In his book, The Lost Cause, the Virginia Confederate and journalist, Edward Alfred Pollard wrote, that he was “profoundly convinced that the true cause fought for in the war has not been lost immeasurably or irrevocably but is yet in a condition to be regained by the South on ultimate issues of the political contest.” The true cause of the war, Pollard described, and the true hope of the South, was white supremacy. This distorted and ugly hope lives on. Not just in the South, but throughout our country. It’s gaining momentum. The problem is, for the majority, the more you hate someone, the more they hate you back. Spiritually, we have the means within us to diffuse this, but we don’t.

The history of our country is filled with stories of wonder and heroism ~ founded on principles that all the world would look to as unique and God mandated. Even countries who profess to hate us and work to destroy us from within and without, have so many citizens that long to come to our shores. But we also have shameful periods in our country. So many nationalities were treated poorly. I’ve written before of how my relatives of Italian descent were looked down upon. So were the Irish, the Jewish, and eastern Europeans. But the main injustice was always reserved for people of color. Something about the color of one’s skin that causes an immediate judgement as to their decency and worth. Too many have been programmed to be suspect of people who look different from us, to the point, that even those who claim not to harbor this view, know there is a part where this is true within them. If we’re in a situation when a person of color is positioned where white is the majority, we may easily find ourselves free of outward prejudice and quite accepting as equals. But when that situation is reversed, and we are alone with others of color, we can easily become suspect and even fearful. We are used to being the majority.

I recently reacted to a post by someone I’ve known for years. The post said I’m proud to be white. The post wondered if you’d share it without fear of being seen as racist. Even though the person stated that they were proud of their heritage, I responded by saying it was seen as white supremacy. I have no problem with people who are proud of their ethnicity. But, ethnicity is not the same as the color of one’s skin. I’ve never said I’m proud to be white. I was born that way. Basically, into privilege. I also have no problem with those who have stood up and proclaimed black is beautiful or I’m black and I’m proud. The same with the American Indian. When people have judged you and classified you according to your skin color you must stand up. The color of one’s skin does not denote inferiority, intellect, ability, or decency. But that has been taught so long that many still quote those evil and wrong “facts” and still use them to judge. The people who still promulgate these vicious lies are not hiding. They are standing amongst us. They are running for office. That means those of us that know better must stand taller. We need to be a voice no matter the consequences. My response to the post I disagreed with cost me a friendship. I was unfriended. Told to F*** off. I used scripture to explain my feelings. But maybe I could have worked harder to explain more gently. But Christ does not look at color. He looks at hearts. And if we believe in Him, we become sons and daughters of the Most High God. That makes us brothers and sisters. That is not just a nice saying. That is scriptural fact.

We need to realize that throughout time people have been treated poorly. Sometimes savagely. But for a large percentage of people, you’ve not had this country discriminate against you because the color of your skin is white. We do not know what that is like. We may sympathize and even empathize, but we cannot truly know. You’ve not been told you were owned. And if you escaped to freedom, then returned because you were property. Beaten for the slightest infraction, again because you were property. Be classified as inferior or worthless. Separated from family for a profit. And when finally, you become free, new laws are put in place to control you. Some of these laws just “understood.” They still exist. In our all loving inclusiveness, we’ve added new ways to show disdain to the brown skinned. Or find new ways to go back on past forked-tongued treaties with American Indians. Still working to crush spirits.

We need to be extra vigilant as Christians today. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15 that we were not to be deceived. Evil company corrupts good morals and character. This includes what we allow to be spoken and acted on in our company. To go further, even following that which is morally wrong. If someone calls themselves a believer, yet that which they teach or profess is contrary to what Christ taught, reject it. We must come to a point where we are mature in the spirit, taking in solid food, so that our powers of discernment are trained to allow us to discern between good and evil. (Hebrews 5:14) Those who truly are Christians must not allow false teachings to be presented without a challenge. But, do everything in His love. Sometimes that’s hard. Proverbs 18:19 says, “It’s harder to conquer a strong city than to win back a brother who you’ve offended.” So sometimes we need to check our emotions. We are all called as believers to show who He is in us in all we do. Don’t get caught up in the vitriol of those who will say anything for a reaction or to increase poll numbers. Be separate from those worldly actions. Remember, we will be judged on how we treated others. How we loved. Proverbs 13:12 says, “When hope’s dream seem to drag on and on, the delay can be depressing.” (Passion Translation) But that desire, when realized, can bring new life to your soul. We see people every day who’ve had their dreams shattered or who must fight extra hard for what they get. Do not be a stumbling block. Be a blessing. If not in person, then in prayer.

I wait for the day when all flags of hate come down. When only His standard rises above us. When we have seen that every spirit not of God is no longer allowed to whisper evil to us and when those lies are no longer followed. Test every spirit to see if it is from God. Even with all the terrible things befalling the prophet, Jeremiah, embrace he wrote in Lamentations 3. He says with all that has happened, he still has hope. The Lord’s mercies are new each morning and because of them we are not consumed. He is my portion. I hope in Him. He is good to those who wait for Him. Hope and wait for the salvation of the Lord. Embrace this. And as the Apostle John said in 1 John, “he who loves his brother abides in light and he who hates his brother walks in darkness.” It’s that simple and direct. Blessings.

“You Can’t Get There From Here”

There is an old saying I heard as a young man, used sort of tongue in cheek, by Connecticut Yankees and by people all the way up to Maine. When you asked them for directions, their answer would be, “You can’t get there from here.” Well of course you could, but they were just being cantankerous in a friendly New England way. That statement is sadly becoming a matter of fact today.

I have found that even some navigation devices in cars are not updated. If you punch in directions, it will bring you close to your desired destination, but it will still be off. Some phones do the same thing. I was asking Siri for directions recently and was given enough info to be close to where I wanted to go, and right at the end I could see the location I had inquired about. All I needed to do was take a right hand turn. But Siri said to go left. At one time the location I was looking for was to the left, but directions in my phone were not up to date. No matter what direction you receive, it is incumbent on us to make sure the directions we receive are correct.

We are told in Jeremiah 6:16 to ask where the good way is, the good path, and to walk in it. There you’ll find rest for your souls. But those hearing the word said they would not walk in it. This is similar to where we are today. We hear directions from every imaginable source. Friends, TV pundits, newspaper editorials, politicians, as well as church leaders. Depending on their political or religious leaning, you can end up receiving so many opposite opinions in a matter of minutes. Which way do you turn? Luke 1 speaks of the Dayspring from on high who will guide our feet into the way of peace. But anyone with even a modicum of understanding has to realize that peace is a rare commodity in this building chaos. It’s not supposed to be that way though. Jesus told us to not let our hearts be troubled. Yes, we would hear rumors of wars and conflicts increasing at alarming rates. People would not listen and follow wrong teachings. The world would be battered by storms and earthquakes. But we are supposed to put our trust in Him. The tendency by many is to trust in that which brings immediate relief and offers an easy solution. Another troubling tendency is to follow those who have some truth but are still far from the path He set for us.

People look for shortcuts. Proverbs 16:25 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” How far do you go down a wrong road before you realize that it is the wrong one? Or before you realize that you’ve followed someone with solutions that feed a part of you where anger, resentment, hate and so many vile things are buried. Soon you are walking that path and starting to sound just like those, who at one time, you would have turned away from. If you say you are in Christ, then you know the path He chose for all of us. You are aware that His sheep hear His voice and the voice of another they will not follow. If even 10 or 20 years ago you would have been horrified and disgusted by what you hear coming from so many leaders, both political and religious, what caused you to start listening to them? When something is wrong with us physically we tend to go to a Dr. And most are wise enough to choose a good Dr. But too often, when we are spiritually afflicted, rather than drink from the wells of salvation, we tend to be drawn to muddied and polluted waters that will only make us sicker.

Troubling things we are constantly bombarded by are not going to let up. They will intensify. Our part is to press in closer to Him. When things become unsteady, we are to hold on to the Rock. The problem only gets worse when we tend to double down. Not admit we took a wrong turn. Listened to directions that did not line up with scripture. And to those religious leaders who cannot disconnect from faulty and misleading navigation systems, they must realize they’re causing others to fall in a ditch they might not exit from. All of us must realize we have a road set before us that leads to eternal promises. But if we continually listen to the dissension and hate filling the air and allow it to take up residence in us, then we must realize we cannot get to that path He has for us from here. The Passion translation of Proverbs 4:26 says, “Watch where you’re going. Stick to the path of truth, and the road will be safe and smooth before you.” If we give attention to all His instructions and pay attention to His directions, and if you fill your thoughts with His words, then they will penetrate to the depths of your spirit. Then you will be able to get there from here. Jesus promised that He would leave His peace with us. Not a worldly peace, but His peace. And He also promised that He would leave us with the Comforter who will lead us into all truth. Ask Him for directions. Blessings.

Permafrost ~ A Prophetic Message, Part Two

I spoke in my last posting, “Eight Words,” that I would share more of what I was shown prophetically for our country. Certain warnings are given many times and it is incumbent on us to realize that at some point the warnings will cease. At this point we’ll be held responsible for our inaction in not trying to bring Godly change and making right what is wrong. It is within our power to do so.

One warning He has shown me is the underlying hate in our country. It is rising to the surface at a faster pace every day. It is proving to be so insidious in how it is undermining all that is good in our country. The soil in this country contains both the word and Spirit of God planted to bring forth a crop to be used for His purposes. That same soil contains the blood of the innocents murdered and of those who could not come to agreement on what was righteous and settled their conflicts through war. We are at a crossroads of deciding what the right path is. There is only one.

This increase in the rise of hatred was shown to me as the example of “melting permafrost.” Rising temperatures have affected areas like Siberia and Arctic regions. This rock and soil has been frozen for thousands of years. Now it is melting and this has allowed rotting animal corpses and plants and mosses to release gases into the atmosphere that contain deadly bacteria and viruses like anthrax and smallpox. There are scientists that believe even some unknown diseases may be released. The animals that were once a stopgap for these diseases escaping are no longer there. Some have suggested reintroducing bison, reindeer, moose, and musk ox to these areas. Herds of these animals walking over these areas, compacted the snow so it didn’t remain fluffy and melt so easily. This would be akin to introducing right minded people into areas of discord and hate to tramp down what is infectious and evil. We are supposed to (Romans 16) tramp this evil beneath our feet. It is God that crushes this evil but he does this under OUR feet. We’ve abdicated this position of authority in too many instances. Just as it is imperative that we fix the problem of melting permafrost and that which is released from the ground, so must we remedy this hate that arises from our hearts.

We have allowed some people to have a voice in our lives that at one time we would have rejected outright. There are some who profess to follow Christ but take positions that cause more stress fractures in the hearts of too many. I’ll address this in a future prophetic posting. We are to have the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5), but instead, too often, see it replaced with hatred, contention, outbursts of wrath, and selfishness. Just as our mouth should not speak forth both blessings and curses (James 3), neither should our heart be open to both light and darkness. We will be of no use to Him like this.

We still have time to work to bring a spirit of reconciliation and forgiveness to the forefront, but the change must start now. This spirit of racism, xenophobia, hatred, and even murder, is being fueled in ways that mirror emotions and actions from many years ago. Christians have come to tolerate and even accept the ugliest mindsets if it serves a purpose. What we hoped was getting better in our society was actually just below the surface and now is there for all to see. The permafrost of our souls is melting and what is being seen is alarming. Our position in the world, that I strongly believe to be God mandated, is diminishing. The light we are to be is dimming. We must be before Him that we may shine as He decreed. He is the light and any other direction not in step with Him leads to a ditch or even death. Like slow suffocation as the oxygen leaves the room. Breathe in His essence. Follow the one true path.

We must all hear His voice. Not in the chaos and turmoil we hear every day. He is in that still, small voice. We must listen for it with all that is within us. We are at a crossroads as spoken of in Jeremiah 6:16 that states, “Stand at the crossroads and look; Ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said we will not walk in it.” When you find yourself off the right path, heed what He spoke in Isaiah 30, “This is the Way, walk in it.” If we are His sheep, we’ll obey His voice. We are still at a place where His mercy abounds. No matter how dark it may appear to be getting, hope in Him. I pray you abide under the shadow of the Almighty and you realize that He alone is your refuge and very present help in time of trouble. Trust Him. Blessings.

Eight words ~ a Prophetic Message, Part One

On my Facebook posting of 1-14-17, I said I had been in deep intercession from what I heard spoken to me by the Lord regarding the 2016 election and events to come. The Lord speaks to us in so many ways. Too many to address in this posting.

There are two ways I hear the Lord speak that are the most profound. 1) An audible voice emanating from the midst of me, basically the center of my chest. The Holy Spirit speaking from where He took up residence when I accepted Christ as my savior; and 2) An audible voice speaking to me from right beside me. Close to me, just as a person would speak to me if standing beside me. Either audible voice will definitely get and hold your attention. Couple that with the awe of His presence, and you are a captive audience of one. I realize that many find hearing God spooky or weird, and many have claimed to hear His voice, when in actuality they have not. But those who take hold of the promise the Lord spoke of in John 14, realize that Christ promised us that the Holy Spirit would teach us all things. And yes, we would hear Him.

One week before the 2016 election, the Lord spoke to me audibly, as one standing beside me. When that happens, nothing else has the ability to distract us. I had been in prayer for days regarding the upcoming election. I knew the ensuing chaos would get worse. I felt Donald Trump could win this election and was bothered in my spirit over this. Actually, I was bothered by the thought of either candidate winning. Then the Lord spoke eight words. He said of Trump: He will win, but he will not serve. I questioned the Lord in detail regarding this, but He didn’t say anymore at that time. I did hear to keep my hands clean. I wrote in a candidate. A prophetic minister/pastor from Colorado heard the exact same eight words. We both heard not to write of this until after the election.

For a time, I wasn’t fully sure of the meaning of those eight words. Would Trump not end up being President? Would something happen to him so he couldn’t take office? Would someone do him harm? So I prayed protection for Trump, as anything done to remove him by harming him would cause even more division and hate than I already knew we were in store for. Since that audible word, the Lord has spoken to me in many different ways. I now realize that Trump will not serve at any time. “Service” is something that cannot be taken lightly. Jesus came to “serve.” He laid down His life. Any person in a position of trust and responsibility must learn to put the needs of others in high priority. There is often a laying down of self. One must provide something of value and dedicate their time to doing their best. No person in the armed services would want to be teamed up with a soldier that cares only for themselves. It can cost you your life. Those first responders running INTO, not away from, the twin towers on 9-11, did so knowing the cost. And so many lost their lives. So saying “he will not serve” caused me to become quite disheartened. I have been in prayer regarding this every day since the Lord spoke that to me.

What the Lord has shown me since then, I have been writing about in my blog and Facebook postings. Most include prophetic warnings and words of exhortation and encouragement. The end result is we must not become adversely affected by things we see on social media or on T.V. We cannot partake in that which only furthers this constant discord. I do pray always for our leaders and most importantly, I pray His mercy for this country. I pray we are all filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. Be strengthened with His might. Walk in His light so as to not be deceived. Do not fret because of those who walk contrary to Him. Trust in the Lord and do good. Commit your way to Him and righteousness and justice shall be your portion. Blessings.

Spiritual Vitamin D

The medical and holistic communities have been in agreement for years as to the dangerous effects of low vitamin D. The easiest way to remedy this is sunlight. Ultraviolet B light. UVB. Yet low vitamin D is still a problem and it can be helped by a supplement or, even better, a little time in the sun. But I’m talking aboutspiritual” sunlight. And the lack of this light from above, from Him, has become serious to the point of epidemic proportions. It leads to intestinal problems, immune problems, cancer, heart disease, asthma, and a myriad of cognitive problems. As Christians, in John 8:12, we’re told that if we follow after Christ, we’ll not walk in darkness and in fact have the light of life. But we’re warned in John 11:10 that by not doing so, we’ll end up stumbling because this light is not in them.

Look at the hearts of so many who seem to have a voice that is being broadcast. Are they walking in love? Are they walking in the light as He is the light? Something is amiss. We are to guard our hearts as it is the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23). This anger and division among us has become a cancer and it is defiling many. It has led to chronic stomach issues from being upset at all we hear and read on a steady basis. Even His word is being twisted to give credence to an indefensible stance. If it is contrary to His word, why would we defend or promote it? Our hearts have grown cold. There is little room to love one another as He told us to. But what seems most apparent are the deleterious cognitive effects of walking on a path that is shown to have dangerous consequences.

People seem to be in a constant state of agitation. The least little thing will set them off. They seem to have no problem sounding off against others on social media in the most offensive ways. This has become an outlet for many to vent the worst comments to people they might have been acquainted with at one time. And to those they don’t know and cannot see? Well, they feel they have free reign to spew venom. I realize that this goes on everywhere, but I’m concerned as to the degree it happens with Christians and to so many I have known in my life. As Paul said to the church of Galatians, “Who has bewitched you?” In taking part in spreading of hatred and fighting amongst ourselves, we are not able to present an example to the world as to what it means to follow Christ. Can we have opinions? Of course. Can we stand for one side as opposed to another? Yes. But in doing so, can we express ourselves in a way that shows the flesh fighting against the Spirit, which is contrary to His ways? No!

Cognitive decline leads to the inability to make good decisions. Look around at all you see and hear, as well as the clamor of voices trying to outshout each other, and see how many good decisions you recognize. People have difficulty concentrating, as chaos is the order of the day. And as it says in Ephesians 2:2, our adversary is the prince of the power of the air. He loves this confusion and agitation. Forgetfulness becomes a major problem. Just look at all those who seem to have forgotten that Galatians 6 says “The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience that endures, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” These are to be without limit. But with a low reading of spiritual vitamin D, we see a prevalence of manipulation of others by any means ~ including hatred of those who get in your way or differ from you, senseless arguments, resentment when others are favored, temper tantrums and other outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, and dissension. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45) If lack of His light affects our hearts and minds, how can we effectively be examples of His love and truth? It can be depressing, and depression is also affected by lack of Sunlight.

So what do we do? We must take hold of the fact that through Christ, He has qualified us to be partakers of a glorious inheritance of the saints in the light. But we must walk in that light. If we allow our tongue to remain unbridled and to speak that which only causes strife, then we must also realize that we’ve strayed from the path of righteousness and preferred a walk in darkness. In government, business and in the church, too many provide bad examples and in fact cause much of the strife we see today. Do not allow this constant barrage of dark thoughts and actions to bring you down. Sit in the Light. Absorb as much “spiritual vitamin D” as you can. Every day! In Isaiah 26, it says that He will keep you in perfect peace if your mind is stayed on Him, because your trust is in Him. He also says He is the light. So “SONbathe!” Walk in the light, and just as it says in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” We can’t do that if we allow all that is going on in our country to rob us of the spiritual vitamin D necessary to live productively. There is one Great Light that is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all we ask or think. Ask for the Son. Blessings.

Stepping Out ~ Part 2

Stepping out into something new, especially when it is unfamiliar, can be unnerving and even frightening. Imagine John Glenn’s first space travel. Can you imagine walking in space like Ed White did in 1965 tethered by only a line to the Gemini IV spacecraft? Or walking on the moon? There had to be a great deal of faith coupled with awe and even some sense of trepidation, even with all the training. But they did it. We too are often at a place where we must step out knowing it is new territory and a bit scary. Maybe not to the degree the astronauts encountered, but still breaking new ground and knowing you might not be received or you might fail.

In January of 1993, I stepped into new ground for me. I was still digesting all the information I was hearing from the Lord after my 18 minute cardiac arrest in July of 1992 and not fully sure how to process it all. But I felt I heard that I was not only to take a new approach to church and how I perceived it, but to also take part in the intercessory prayer group of that church. I had never gone to a prayer meeting of any kind, much less by myself. In fact, if my wife didn’t go to church for some reason, I would also stay home. But I went, and what I received I never expected.

I was quiet and stood back as I usually do. This was totally new to me. I prayed, but this was different. And I didn’t pray out loud among people I didn’t know. There was no pressure to pray and I finally started to feel a little bit comfortable. The corporate anointing was tangible. The more I felt it, the more I pressed in to hear. Suddenly with eyes closed, I was caught up in a vision. There was a storm and the elements were so real I could feel the wind and rain. The Lord showed me things that were to come in this storm that would affect the church corporately and this church I was now attending. I fully expected to be wind tossed and sopping wet when I opened my eyes. It was that intense and real! But the Lord wasn’t finished. He expounded on what He had said and shown me, and set what he wanted me to hear in a prophetic word. But then He told me to speak it! At that time, I hated speaking publically. He would not let up. I felt as if my heart was going to explode from my chest if I didn’t speak! So I spoke it. You could have heard a pin drop. I’m pretty sure that’s not what they were expecting to hear, and actually it was a pretty heavy word. If I had been on the listening end of this prophetic word rather than speaking it, I’m not sure if I would have responded either. But a couple of people heard the truth in it, yet they kept quiet. It was to be held onto until the right time to discuss it. There was one person there who would become my best friend, and he never forgot the gist of it. Things started to prophetically speed up from that point on.

In Stepping Out – Part 1 posted on 12/17, I gave examples of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego stepping into areas where there lives could have been forfeited, yet they still stepped out. Even into the lion’s den. Even into the fire. In Exodus 14, we see the river parted before the Israelites step in. Prior to that, they were complaining and fearful of Egypt even after all the miracles they had seen. But in Joshua 3, when the Jordan River was high and flowing fast, God required them to step into the river first. Then the river was parted. Sometimes we are required to step out in faith disregarding what our eyes see. No matter the circumstances, He is always with us. Even in trials and hardship. He does not leave or forsake us. It’s getting that in our heads that is the hard part. As it says in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will direct your paths.” I pray that His most abundant grace abound to you, and that you realize that it is sufficient for all things. Be confident in Him. Speak out. Step out. Blessings.

Stepping Out ~ Part 1

One of the hardest things we do is to take a chance by stepping out. You leave the familiar and that which is safe to go out on a limb, and then turn and cut it off hoping the tree falls, but the limb remains airborne. Our first time doing this may be the hardest, but throughout life we are presented with new circumstances that make each decision to step out quite difficult. Each new challenge can produce feelings of apprehension just as profound as our first time stepping out into the unknown.

When I was a young boy playing little league, I finally got my first chance to enter the game as a pinch hitter. Our team was up by enough runs that the coach was trying to let every player on the team get a chance to play. I had yet to enter the growth spurt that would bring me from 5’7” to 5’11” so I was a bit self- conscious. And I wasn’t really that good, though I’d get better with practice and a chance to play. The first pitch hit me and I was happy to get on base. I went from being incredibly nervous to thinking I might do something great. I decided to steal 2nd base! I made the decision on my own. I didn’t look over to the coach to see if it was alright. I made it standing up! But then I heard everyone yelling and waving their arms. I finally realized I had stolen 2nd base, but the bases were loaded. My teammate that was on 2nd was halfway between 2nd and 3rd base. Poor guy was totally confused as to whether he should go back to 2nd or remain where he was. He couldn’t go to 3rd because our other teammate was already there. Kids and parents were yelling for the pitcher to throw the ball to 2nd but he was afraid that would allow the man on 3rd to score. The only choice was for me to go back to 1st. I went from having a big smile on my face to just wanting to disappear. If only God could strike me with lightning at least they’d be talking about the poor kid who died from a lightning strike instead of the idiot who stole 2nd when the bases were loaded. LOL! But, everything turned out OK. The coach later asked me what I was thinking. I didn’t respond. My silence was enough to show how embarrassed I was. But I took a shot. I never forgot that mistake I made. And I was grateful no one really razzed me for it. It was never really brought up again.

Life brings other opportunities to step out that have much greater consequences. In Exodus, we see Moses trying to make things happen himself. He attempts to defend a Hebrew being beaten by an Egyptian and ends up killing the Egyptian. He then spends the next 40 years in the desert until God gave him another chance to step out and lead Israel out of captivity. He was somewhat reluctant to just say yes. Moses asked who am I to do this? And what if the people asked who sent him ~ what would he say the name of this God was who sent him? He then asked what if the people don’t believe that You sent me? And Moses finally said I’m not a good speaker and I’m not equipped to do this. He finally started to get God a bit angry, but God helped him by sending Moses’ brother Aaron with him. Moses stepped out into years of hardship, but also encountered the miraculous and a walk of intense faith.

In the book of Daniel, we see Daniel’s three friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego step out in their faith and into a large, fiery furnace. They said they would serve no other gods and now they had to pay a price. But they were delivered without even the smell of smoke on their clothes. Daniel also was forced to step out in defense of his faith and spent a night in a lion’s den. He, too, was delivered. But not everyone that steps out is delivered safe and sound. The prophet Isaiah was sawn in half for the words he spoke. John the Baptist lost his head for the stance he took. Nearly every disciple of Christ was martyred for their belief. As it says in Matthew 19, they forsook all to follow Christ. Even their safety and their life.

We may not face such life and death situations every time we step out, but they can still be of vital importance, and they can be unnerving as we muster up the courage to take that step. We may end up with lasting scars, even if not seen outwardly on our body. But in the midst of these situations, character is being developed and faith is being strengthened. Stepping out requires a leap of faith, whether it’s in ministry, standing up for the oppressed, starting a new job, or taking a position that is in the minority knowing that you risk being castigated by others. But we must step out, regardless of the cost. The Lord says in Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” We must be confident of the fact that He is in charge and He’s begun a good work in you and He will complete it. So many more things will be presented to us where we must make a decision to step out into areas that cause trepidation. But, as the Passion Translation says in Philippians 1:9, “He is bringing us into the rich revelation of spiritual insight in all things.” Blessings.