How Will I Know?


Matthew 24:36 But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. (NKJV)

The media has shown over the years, people who have predicted the end of the world. We’re still here to proclaim them as eccentric. It is sad, because they affect the integrity of the truth of the Bible. Believers in Christ are not fooled. In fact, the Bible is clear – we will not know the time or date of the end of the world. So why would anyone, with wisdom, fool themselves and try to delude others by declaring that they do? We are to choose to have faith in God and believe in Jesus Christ as His son and our risen Savior.

Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. (NKJV)

The Bible gives us clear direction on this. In Matthew 24:4-7
And Jesus answered and said to them: Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (NKJV)

We are called to trust in, and believe in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Faith is to trust the words of the Bible. They are God-breathed. They are not of man. Yet, thousands still choose to follow their own passions. Many choose another God. Time will tell whether we have chosen wisely. For some the end will be a time of celebration, while for others it will prove to be a time of great mourning. The sad fact is that by then it will be too late to change direction.

Matthew 24:29-30 Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (NKJV)

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My Blinking Coffee Maker


A New Day

A New Day Dawning

My coffee maker is winking at me! Honestly: on and off, on and off goes the little red light. It’s actually telling me that the machine needs cleaning, but what it isn’t recognizing is that I have cleaned it — I removed every removable part that I can find; I removed the filter mechanism and replaced the filter, and then cleaned it some more just to be sure. But the blinking red light still winks at me! What is its problem? What have I missed? Every nook and cranny has been dealt with that I can see, but it chooses not to take any notice — and so-o-o, day in, day out, whenever I make coffee, the machine winks at me. I even tried to hide the light with a black marker — a big, black, permanent marker that I thought I could use to daub onto the little red light and mask it — well, that didn’t work! No way was it going to be hidden. I think I’d miss it now — I’ve become quite used to its presence.

Psalm 51:1-2 – Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. (NKJV)

When God sees the need for us to be cleaned, His light, the Holy Spirit, convicts us that unnecessary sediment is present in our spirits and hearts, the remainder of all the wrongs we have committed. He pursues us continually in many ways. He puts His people in our path to get our attention, to speak to us, and help us to recognize where improvement is needed. He reminds us continually through His Word — if in fact we are actually checking the interior of the Book. He will keep reappearing in many forms, reminding us that it is time for change.

Yet, how many times we try to mask Him so that we can go on doing what we are doing — things that we know He would not approve of. It’s as if we are picking up a big, black marker and trying to obliterate Him from the eyes of our hearts and spirits. We do that in vain because His light will not be blocked, however hard we try to make it happen. He will continue to pursue each one of us and make us aware of His disciplines and His way. His light will be ever present until we take notice and attend to what needs correction.

John 12:46-48 – I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him — the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. (NKJV)

Those who have received Christ need periodic cleanings, but others need to confess their sins and receive Christ’s forgiveness for the very first time. Only when we choose to conform and repent and call upon God in the name of Jesus to help us and accept us and change us from the inside out can we begin to understand what a difference His cleansing in our lives will make. It is a feeling beyond any other and cannot be adequately described by mere words — we’ve got to try it ourselves. Many years ago, He called me to change and to follow Him. Thankfully, He took over, and I had no control over the powerful spirit of love that wrapped itself around me. He walked me to the prayer rail of my (then) church, where I gave my life to Him. I have rejoiced in that action ever since. You can do it too!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I want to know You personally. I know that I have done wrong things in the past and I am sorry. I am willing, with Your help, to turn away from my sins and turn to You. I believe, Jesus, that You died for me and rose again for me. Please come into my life and change me and show me Your ways, right now. Amen.

Christians And Christmas


I live in a diversified, multi-cultural area to the northwest of the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This area I now call home was only a small town sixty years ago. Now it has multiplied into the thousands. And yes, things are changing — in the home, in the workplace, in retail business, and in our churches. Worship styles are changing from traditional to contemporary. Christians have to think of new ways to get the unchanging, true Word of God out in the open for those who do not know what it is to be a Christian. What better time than Christmas to do that?

Take for example the Santa Claus parade we just had in Brampton. It was watched by many, including a mixed group of many cultures from distant lands. It was held on a Saturday evening when the main street was sealed off to all traffic, except for the floats that were all lit up in different colours.

I watched with a certain bit of pride as our church here in Brampton took part, using a float loaded with parcels all wrapped up in anticipation of the greatest gift we can give. The nametags posted on the float declared the birth of Christ.

After the parade, I began thinking how, in our churches, we need to market what we believe in and keep Satan from slipping in through the cracks of the foundation upon which we built Christ’s church!

1 Corinthians 8:6– Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. (NIV)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we come to You this day as we approach the celebration of the birth of Christ, our Saviour and our Lord. May we never give up what You have given so generously to us who believe. Help us in spreading the good news as we have been commanded. In Jesus’ precious name, we pray. Amen.

By Kind Permission of the Author:  Anne Russell, Brampton, Ontario

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A Christmas Miracle


Today, I feel burdened!  We have a friend who has major health issues.  She and her husband have been estranged for years.  The sadness, I feel, is for her children and the fact that they have not been permitted contact with their mother for many years.  The sadness, is also due to the choices they have each made to not decide for themselves, to contact her.  They are all adults, but have had their minds and hearts hardened due to the ongoing negative comments, made by their father of their mother.

So this posting is to ask you for prayer for this lady! 

It is to ask God for a Christmas miracle for Christina. 

It is for prayer for reconciliation for this family (mother and children). 

It is to ask God for His peace, grace and wisdom to rule supreme in all their hearts and minds.

It is to ask for God’s spirit of love and healing to fill the hearts, minds, bodies and spirits of each member of this family, including the father.

It is to ask for A Christmas Miracle for Christina!

Thank you, and may God bless you as you pray for them.

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Love or Sin?


We all have the freedom of choice and recently, I chose to commit to a writing challenge.  The goal is to write 50,000 words through the month of November – the biggest challenge has been what to write about.

Someone once said to me, “The world is your oyster” – and thinking about that statement made me realize it also applies to my ‘topic’ dilemma!  It’s all very well saying that but ‘what to choose’ – as in a subject to write about is an overwhelming thought. 

Having considered much and deliberated even more – I decided to write about a successful author (fictional) looking back over – what had been a roller-coaster ride of a life for her and for her loved ones.

In developing this idea, it occurred to me that we all encounter ‘roller-coaster’ situations in our lives and often take advice from the wrong sources. 

The bible gives us simple yet very effective advice:  ‘Love Each Other” – imagine the kind of world we would live in if we respected one another, loved one another and did not judge one another? 

Consider this:

1 John 3:7-10  Children, don’t be fooled.  Anyone who does right is good, just like Christ himself.  Anyone who keeps on sinning belongs to the devil.  He has sinned from the beginning, but the Son of God came to destroy all that he has done.  God’s children cannot keep on being sinful.  His life-giving power lives in them and makes them His children, so that they cannot keep on sinning.  You can tell God’s children from the devil’s children, because those who belong to the devil refuse to do right or to love each other.  (CEV)

1 John 4:16b-21  God is love.  If we keep on loving others, we will stay one in our hearts with God, and He will stay one with us.  If we truly love others and live as Christ did in this world, we won’t be worried about the day of judgement.  A real love for others will chase those worries away.  The thought of being punished is what makes us afraid.  It shows that we have not really learned to love.  We love because God loved us first.  But if we say we love God and don’t love each other, we are liars.  We cannot see God.  So how can we love God, if we don’t love the people we (can) see?  The two commandments that God has given us are:  Love God and love each other”.

Sinful folk will not have your best interests at heart!  They will take advantage of you – your situation – your naivete – your weaknesses!  They will laugh at you – will not respect you and will certainly lie if it is to their advantage.  I know this to be fact – because I have encountered such people through my life;  they are very convincing and very manipulative and they will con you out of everything that is good and wholesome in your life.  They will NOT be lovers of God – nor will they believe in Jesus as His Son.  They will scoff at such beliefs; whereas if you choose to take the life-giving, life-saving advice that can be found in the Bible – your life can be immensely changed, for the better.

The Contemporary English Version or The Message are both written in every day language, that can be easily understood.  Try one of them and see for yourself, if you have the inclination – it will be well worth the effort.

 

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The Armour of God


One and Only Creator Lives!

I pray God’s armour and therefore His protection each day, for my husband, my children and their families; for my friends and church family and their loved ones and for myself:  so I can feel assured that each one of us is guarded against the darkness of this world, in which we live. 

It’s easier than we might think, to succumb to a life that is wrong, when we naively trust the people we meet, who convince us that they have our best interests at heart: a safe way to determine if they are trustworthy is to ask if they believe in the One and Only God – a God who cares for each one of us and is forgiving and concerned about us, a God who does not seek retribution or revenge, but only what is good for us.  If they scoff at us and that suggestion – they really are NOT concerned with our well-being.

Even if we are not believers (yet) in God and His Son, Jesus Christ – we can safeguard ourselves (just to be sure) by saying the following – every single day:

Ephesians 6:10-18

I put on the helmet of salvation – please Lord protect my mind – take away impure thoughts, critical thoughts and judgemental thoughts!

I put on the breastplate of righteousness – thankyou, that this covers my heart.  Protect my heart against feelings of anger or resentment or unforgiveness.

I put on the belt of truth.  Lord please expose things that are false.  Help me to live in truth, to speak truth and if need be, to stand for truth!

I put on the shoes of the gospel of peace.  Help me always to be willing to share with others the hope and peace that you have given me within my heart and spirit!

I hold up the sword of the spirit!  The word of truth!  Keep me faithful in reading Your advice in the bible and thank you that the enemy (satan and his spirits of darkness) run when Your Word is spoken!  Let us read it out loud each and every day, if we are in a comfortable place and are able to do this; otherwise let it be in our minds, then at least, we are speaking directly to You.

I hold up the shield of faith.  Thank you that you are my Protector, my Defender and my Friend, please continue to grow my faith and allow all that is good to flourish in my heart and spirit and my life!

Remember that if we truly (really and truly) believe that the one and only God is all-powerful and that Jesus Christ is His one and only Son – crucified – died – buried and rose again for each one of us – then we can be assured that God protects us and will bring us through much!

Keep us faithful in praying!  Amen and Amen!

In God we trust!

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Woke Up – Praise the Lord!


Psalm 118:24 – This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (NIV)

Woke up this morning — the sun is shining … the sky is blue with puffy white clouds … nice temperature … the soybeans and corn are growing … the flowers are blooming. Rejoice!

Woke up this morning — the sun is shining … the sky is blue … it’s hot already … the grass is dormant … the flowers are thirsty … we need rain. But, I won’t have to mow this week, I can water the lawn and flowers if I want, and I can turn on the air conditioner for my own comfort. Rejoice!

Woke up this morning — the sun is shining … the sky is blue … it’s hot, hot, hot and very dry … still need rain. But this, too, is a day the Lord has made, and I will rejoice!

Woke up this morning — the sun is shining … the sky is cloudy … the air is humid … autumn comes next when the leaves are beautiful. Rejoice!

Woke up this morning — I’ve got a home, clothes, food to eat, family and friends. Rejoice!

Every day is a gift from God. Some days, it’s easier to rejoice than others, but God, who creates every day, also created us. He is our Father; we are His children. God has promised He is always with us; He loves us; He knows our needs; and He wants us to seek Him out. On those days when it’s hard to rejoice and God seems far away, who do you think has moved?

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (NIV)

Prayer: Dear God, help us to rejoice in each day, drawing ever closer to You. Amen

(Received in an email message – original writer unknown)

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Joy in the Morning


Loss of a loved one is very painful.  Whatever your beliefs or your faith, the death of a family member or close friend leaves a vast emptiness inside your heart, that can overwhelm you and cause tears to fall without warning, and anger to burst forth without reservation.  You don’t want to see anyone – talk to anyone or do anything – because you hurt so much!

There is a beautiful passage in the bible, that can reassure you and, if you ‘hang on to it’, can give you a sense of hope while it creates peace within you, little by little. 

Psalm 39:5  –  “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning”. 

So, go ahead,  cry and grieve for as long as you need (your ‘night of mourning’) – because you will eventually experience the joy and gradual lifting of the sadness (the morning).

Don’t allow others to pressure you to ‘get over it’ and ‘get on with your life’ – give yourself the time you need to mourn but then, recognize when it comes time to get on with the everyday ‘stuff’ and get on with your life.

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Love


The media idea in our modern ‘throw-away’ society, instills in us (if we choose to believe it), that if it doesn’t work ‘get rid of it’ – whether it is a tool, a piece of furniture, a utensil or, more importantly, a person!  Seems that ‘modern’ thinking does not readily repair or work at improving much at all.

True love does not give up easily; it puts up with people in all their ways and all things.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (CEV)

Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud or rude.

Love isn’t selfish or quick-tempered.

It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do.

Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil.

Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful and trusting.

Love never fails!

I pray for you a pathway that leads to true contentment and love!

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Come Clean!


Whenever I think of those that I love being unwilling to discuss God and the spiritual realm, without thinking you are speaking of  “ghosties and goblins and long-leggedy beasties” – it really upsets me.  They complain “there’s got to be more to life than this”, while remaining adamant that they want nothing to do with faith and trust in a God unseen!  They remain unwilling to listen and so, I have to reluctantly give up trying to persuade them otherwise; instead, I now pray for them each and every day. 

I recently received the following prayers,  to intercede for them and I hope the original author, will forgive me, as I reproduce them (in part) here for many more to see (I do not know where to find ‘Kenneth’, whose name appears at the top of the photocopied page I was given) otherwise, I would make direct contact.  My hope is that sharing prayers it is not looked upon as a ‘copyright infringement’ (one can never be sure these days).

Unbelievers do not understand that there is a ‘battle royal’ taking place, in the unseen spiritual world,  for control of the hearts, minds and souls of each and every one of us.  Satan rules (for a time) on earth and so, for those that we hope to encourage to accept God and Jesus into their lives,  we need to pray that the powers of everything ungodly are bound, ensuring their freedom from the control of the powers of darkness.

Prayer:  You spirit(s) blinding the eyes of ____________, you stop what you are doing to keep him/her out of the kingdom of God.  In Jesus’ name, you stop NOW.

Then with a Godly request, pray the following:

Prayer:  Lord, send someone to ___________ with the Word of God.  You know who he/she will listen to.  I claim ____________ for the Kingdom of God.  I believe he/she will receive His salvation and deliverance.  In faith I praise You for it.

There is great power in prayer: do not underestimate it –  persevere with your intercession for any unbeliever in your family or social circle, and trust in God that change will happen.

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