Stamp out the Lies, #5

>> Sunday, January 30, 2011

Teenagers can't 
teach us anything.  

What a lie from the enemy!  

I met a young man, Dakota. He discovered me from my blog, actually, and I popped onto his.  He is:  a fellow blogger; a Christian who loves God with all his heart; a memorizer of God's Word; a writer of amazing blog entries far beyond his 17 years; a teen who has taught me some things since reading his blog, "A Look at Life from a Deerstand."  I asked him if I could use part of his post from January 20th then wished I had asked for the whole thing:)  Instead, I hope you hop over onto his blog from the link above.  

This is from Dakota: 

"No book in history has ever compared to the Word of God. It has been hated and loved; burned and cherished; neglected and trusted; criticized and yet never undefended. Many countries have banned Its use entirely, while others have built their very foundation upon Its words. Amazingly enough, what makes God’s Word unique is not the fact that It has proven so controversial, but that It has proven Itself accurate time and time again

  • Scientists once falsely believed that air had no weight, even though God had told us otherwise thousands of years earlier 
    "He established the force of the wind and measured out the waters"  (Job 28:25).
  • At a time when it was largely accepted that the Earth rested upon the back of a large animal or giant, the Bible spoke of its suspension in space. 
    "He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; He suspends the earth over nothing."(Job 26:7).
  • Long before the discovery of atoms, the invisible “building blocks” of Creation, God had revealed "universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible."  (Hebrews 11:3)
  • During an age when Science claimed the earth to be flat, Christopher Columbus sailed west through faith in the Scriptures: 
    "He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth..." (Isaiah 40:22)

    I've never once noticed any of those verses before.  It's amazing how alive the Bible is and still speaks to us today like it did when it was first written.  Thanks, Dakota!

    Another teen from the high school where I work is currently writing a post especially for me.  I can't wait to be able to share that with you.  I love throwing satan's lies back in his face, especially lies exposed by teens. 

    Let's learn from our teens.  Get in the Word.  Read it.  Let God speak to you through it, and then share it however and whenever you can.  Once you've heard the truth, it's hard to keep quiet!


Stamp out the Lies, 2011, #4

>> Sunday, January 23, 2011

Satan's at it again.  He doesn't even have to shout.  A whisper is all that's needed. "It's just a book.  No big deal.  It was written long ago; it doesn't pertain to now.  There's so much other good stuff out there.  Look!  You can even read books about the book."

I've gone through periods where the Bible is the last thing I pick up to read.  I don't know why.  No reason, I suppose.  Other times, I'm reading and I explode in growth and knowledge and I can't imagine not reading it.  Fickle.  I am so fickle.  Maybe that's you, too.  We are fickle people, for sure.  

There are places around the world where it's illegal to read the Bible; where it's hard to get a copy.  It's pathetic to think about the many different versions sitting on our shelves, dusty and unread.  

I'm about finished reading, Radical, by David Platt.  Soon I'll review it but for now, let me share with you what he has to say about Bible reading. 

"...we hold the matchless Word of God in our hands, and it demands a superior position in our lives... Do we realize the battle that is waging around us?  There is a true God over this world who wants all people to bow at the feet of a loving Savior, and there is a false god in this world who wants all people to burn in hell.  The battle is intense, and it cannot be fought with little thoughts in a daily devotional..."  (p. 191)

Did you notice that?  --There is a false god who wants all people to burn in hell?  ummm...that would be satan, the enemy.  

This is what God desires for the Bible to do for us:

"God has chosen by his matchless grace to give us revelation of himself in his Word.  It is the only Book that he has promised to bless by his Spirit to transform you and me into the image of Jesus Christ.  It is the only Book that he has promised to use to bring our hearts, our minds, and our lives in alignment with him."  (p. 192)

God wraps Himself around us as we read or listen, like I've been doing lately, to the Word. He reveals Himself to us.  He shows us what we need to do and He also shows us the wrong way to do things from the very human men and women that is written about in the Book.

This is Day 21 of the B90X.  69 more days to go.  Surely by that time, reading God's Word will be a habit I will not want to break.  Already, I crave my time with God. I marvel at what I read or listen to.  I can't help but share it with people around me.  My last story I wrote was about Esau.  His life captured me and I researched and I couldn't let it go until a story finally came out of it.  

It says in Hebrews 4:12, "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."

Don't give in to satan's lie - that the Bible is an old thing; that it should be thrown out like last year's electronic gadgets.  That is certainly NOT the case.  So whether you take that Bible off your shelf and blow the dust off; or you read online from places like; or you go to your local library and find the Bible on tape or CD; or you find dramatized versions online; or download it onto your electronic book; or all of the above, JUST DO IT! Let God capture your heart and speak to you.  Let Him love and/or admonish you through His Words.  I promise, you will never be the same again.  


Stamp out the Lies, 2011, #3

>> Thursday, January 20, 2011

In a Junior English class we're studying about the slave trading all the way through their travels to America.  As the teacher was giving an overview of what we would be talking about, the African Americans religion was on the list.  She said that even though they were treated so badly, they held onto their beliefs.  
I wanted to stand up and say, "Well duh!"  I can't imagine going through hard times without God in my life.  The enemy enjoys lying to us and saying that God doesn't care what we go through.  What a lie!  God is with us every step of the way, even when we turn our backs on Him for a bit.  He's always there.  
A couple of months ago I asked a few friends to write a testimony about their life with chronic pain, whether it's physical or emotional.  A dear friend Sunny, from Texas, responded to my call and I want to share with you what she wrote. 

I Will Worship Through the Pain 
By Sunny Shell, January 2011
“I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.”
~Psalm 9:1-2

I have more specialists than there are colors in the rainbow. I’ve complained about this in the past, but as I recount all God’s goodness to me, my heart is lifted towards heavenly things and I see my situation in a new light. Having so many specialists, must just mean I’m extra special (silly grin).

There’s no name for my condition. There’s no cure for anything I have, no assurance as to whether I will get better, worse or if the current treatments will stabilize me. Presently, my darling husband gives me 1,000 mcg of B12 in my arm every 2 weeks. I take 50,000 units of Vitamin D every 2 weeks as well as 2,000 units/day (this is after discovering 50,000 wasn’t enough). I take 400 units of Vitamin E for my fatty liver and 5 mg of Crestor along with 200 mg of CO Q10 daily for my high cholesterol. Recently, I’ve been tested for a rare muscle disease and am awaiting results. It’s never ending. Most days I’m hurting and am completely wiped out by ordinary activities.

All this, and I’m only 41 years young, thin and work out best as I can. So what’s a gal to do? Well, I could wallow in self-pity, whine and complain. Check. Check. Check. Been there, done that! Now what? 
Now, I turn my eyes, heart, mind and everything I have, towards Jesus, the Founder and Perfecter of my faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).
“The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. Let him sit alone in silence when it is laid on him; let him put his mouth in the dust -- there may yet be hope; let him give his cheek to the one who strikes, and let him be filled with insults. For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though He cause grief, He will have compassion according to the abundance of His steadfast love; for He does not willingly afflict men.”
~Jeremiah 3:25-33 
It is good for me to sit quietly, endure this trial, and wait for His deliverance. I’m so comforted in knowing that God doesn’t rejoice in my affliction, but He rejoices that the flames of my afflictions burn away all the useless chaff in my life that doesn’t resemble my awesome Savior, Christ Jesus my Lord (John 9:3).
I am a wife, mother, friend, writer, a chronically ill person, and so many other things. While all these things play a huge role in my life, they do not define who I am. Since the day of my salvation, I am forever defined by my relationship with Jesus Christ. How I choose to live daily, demonstrates the measure of my love and gratitude towards God for the greatest Gift ever known -- Jesus Christ. Therefore I choose to worship Him while I wait. Even in my darkest and most painful moments, I choose to remember that my illness does not define me. It does not make me who I am, unless I choose to let it.

My joy is not set in the hope that one day I may be healed, but my joy instead, is firmly established in knowing Christ and being known by Him.

"Christ is our best friend and ere long will be our only friend. I pray God with all my heart that I may be weary of everything else but converse and communion with Him"
~ John Owen, 17th century Puritan and lover of Jesus Christ

Thank you for sharing, Sunny.  The enemy wants to knock us down when the going gets tough but the Bible says that when we are weak, He's all the more strong in our lives - and that is a fact.  We can praise Him through any and all storms. 

Stamp out the Lies #1  
Stamp out the Lies #2


Donkey or Diviner

>> Saturday, January 15, 2011

Friday, a young man scooted a chair up close to me.  It was clear he wanted some attention.  He'd never done that with me before so I stopped what I was doing.  For some reason, he eyed the map that is on the wall behind my desk.  He pointed out where a friend of his lives, a friend that he knows online, probably from a game.  Anyway, he pointed out Iran or somewhere in that area.  I was feeling especially lonely and missing my very best friend, so I stood up and pointed out just how far away Mari lives from me.  I pointed out Illinois and then I took my arm and swept it clear to the left of the map until I noticed I had left the United States a foot before.  Wow.  

I was looking at a world map, not a U.S. one.  It put a whole new perspective to how far away she is.  On my U.S. map at home, she's at the very edge of the universe, in Washington State.  A lifetime away from me until I check out the world.  Then I see it's not really that far.  A mere 2,000 miles compared to another continent, that's nothing.  It's a five hour plane ride. It's a phone call or text away.  Even closer when we have the web cam up and going.

It's all a matter of perspective.  

But...sometimes we don't see what we should. In the B90X reading on day 12, we learn about Balaam and his quite famous donkey.  

Some men had come to Balaam because they wanted the Israelites cursed. God spoke to Balaam and said, "You must not put a curse on those people, because they are blessed." (Num. 22:12 NIV)

Balaam told the men the Lord wouldn't let him go.  Soon they came back with even more men to 'persuade' this diviner (a man who attempts to gain insight into a question or situation by way of a standardized process or ritual, often considered witchcraft.)  Well, long story short, God allowed him to go.

The next morning they set out on the journey.  Balaam had his trusted donkey with him and they went along quite nicely until the pesky animal went off the path into a field.  Another time he crushed Balaam's foot against a wall.  The last time, there was no where for the donkey to turn so he laid down in the path.  Balaam was spitting mad each time and beat the beast.  Or the beast beat the animal.  Whichever way you want to phrase it.

At long last, the donkey got to have his say, "What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?"

The donkey spoke and Balaam answered.  What's up with that?  “You have made a fool of me! If only I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.”

The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?”

 “No,” he said.

"Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown." (Num 22-28-31)

His trusted donkey saved him from an angel of the Lord that was in the road with a sword. The animal saw what was going on. He looked at the world with clear eyes, not clouded by the thought of money or fame and prestige, as Balaam's was.  The donkey even continued to act on what was unseen by man even though he was beaten several times.  I think I would have had much more to say to Balaam than this donkey did, and it wouldn't have been pretty, for sure.  (Actually, when I read on, in Numbers 31, Balaam gets killed when the Israelites take vengeance on the Midianites. I wonder how the donkey fared? hmmmm....)

We have to live by faith and not sight. (2 Cor 5:7) Faith reminds us that God is with us. He is leading the way, when we let Him, that is.  We need to look to God first and last and in between.  Our perspective should line up with God's for us.  It's all in how we look at our situation.  We can cringe and cry and wring our hands or we can run to God, ask Him for answers and listen to Him and act according to what He says.  

Quite often we have someone or something stop and knock some sense into us, much like Balaam's donkey.  I'm thankful for those brave souls.  I hope and pray that if God tells me to point something out to a friend, that I will be willing to do it, too.  Hopefully no beating is involved!

Let's keep our perspective right.  Spit shine those glasses so you aren't seeing cross-eyed and always remember to, "Walk by faith, not by sight."  Let's strive to be more like the donkey than the diviner.


So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt

>> Thursday, January 13, 2011

I'm in Day 11of my 90 Day Challenge but I have to admit. Shhhh... True confession time here: I got distracted. At least it was about what I was reading.  Okay, another true confession.  This is a rerun of the first time I started the 90 Day Challenge, before it was so cleverly named the B90X.  The red will be my new thoughts. 

Numbers 11:4-6 The riffraff among the people had a craving and soon they had the People of Israel whining, "Why can't we have meat? We ate fish in Egypt—and got it free!—to say nothing of the cucumbers and melons, the leeks and onions and garlic. But nothing tastes good out here; all we get is manna, manna, manna." (The Message)

The Israelites were fully taken care of. Every morning when they woke up, breakfast was waiting for them. Manna waffles, bamanna bread, manna souffle...  It was good for awhile but then they grumbled again. It was never enough for them. They daydreamed about those leeks and onions by the Nile. They seemed to forget the whippings and the hard labor.

Okay, I digress again. I remembered a record I had when I was a teenager in the 70's. Of course, I don't know where my records are, not that I could play them anyway, with no archaic record playing machine:) But ohhhh! the beauty of the internet! It took me a little while because I had no idea who sang it or what the title was, but I did it - remember Keith Green? I couldn't find a good YouTube video to watch but it's a good recording. Take a listen.  Maybe it will bring back fond memories, it sure did me.

Good memories, huh? What a funny song but also a foot-stomper, too. Aren't we the same way? We always have something to complain about. We need to take some time to see how far we've come and how much we've grown. I'm still getting used to a life that isn't filled with constant chronic pain. Well, I'm going around that mountain again but maybe not as bad as before, anyway.  Yes, I said getting used to. I have to learn to travel in a much stronger body.  It's a different experience, a different mindset. I believe I've been walking in a miracle, a slow one, but a miracle, none-the-less. If God had made it happen quickly, my body wouldn't have been ready for the drastic change maybe. Or maybe my mind wouldn't have been ready. Like the Israelites, I had to walk around the dangerous enemies because my faith wasn't big enough to allow God to work? Hmmm... I'll chew on that one.  

I certainly don't want to go back to Egypt, not that I've made it to my Promised Land yet. It's been a long walk in that desert but I see myself continuously moving forward with some detours along the way, of course. It's a hard life.  I have close Christian friends going through a divorce, something they never thought in a million years would happen to them. The economy is jerking many around, causing people to lose homes and savings. It's a hard life for sure (and then my mind starts humming, It's a Hard Knock Life, from Annie.) It's a constant journey. Continual education. A faith-experience...

I can sit here and let my heart hurt and my mouth rail against the work of the enemy or I can cleanse my heart and mind and let God back in. God brought the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. He worked miracle after miracle. He's the same God. The very same. Soooo....I choose to watch God's hand at work in all situations. The unjust will get their just rewards. God promised. And we have our Promised Land waiting for us in Heaven.

I do NOT choose to go back to Egypt. No way! Bring on those manna-burgers, God. Send your manna-provision from Heaven. Let it rain down on all of us today. Help us all be grateful for it. Open our eyes and let us see You working. Don't let the enemy block our view. Take off our sunglasses and let us see Your glory!

I wrote this last year and there is still horrible things going on in this world and I still live with chronic pain.  But God is with us.  I just thought of something.  Epiphany time!  We may still be walking around that mountain but we aren't going backwards.  We continue to learn and grow every time we realize we've 'been there, done that.'  Maybe our walk around and up and over the mountain passes will be complete when we finally get to Heaven.  I don't know. It's a brand new thought for me.  I would love to hear what you all have to say about this.  And this time, I WILL complete the B90X!  :)


Stamp out the Lies, 2011, #2

>> Sunday, January 9, 2011

Jim and I were married for a long time before I heard this come out of his mouth.  I'm not sure what we were talking about.  Maybe I was whining, most probably I was whining:)  He said, 

Nobody loves me, everybody hates me,
I think I'll go eat worms!

I'd never heard it before he taunted me that day!  I don't know how many times I've used it since then on my own kids or the kids I work with at school.  

Satan whispers that in my ear sometimes. 'Nobody loves you, Laury.  You're nothing.  Nobody.'  And when I'm hurting or lonely, I listen to him, especially when the atmosphere I'm surrounded by seems to give testimony to those words.  'You're nothing.  God doesn't love you.  If He loved you, wouldn't you be healed by now?'  Right now, I'm crying while typing these words.

Even though I don't really believe the words, I may nurse them in my heart a little and then I get mad and other thoughts rise up that aren't true.  It starts with a little lie and it grows to something major until satan doesn't even have to whisper it anymore.  It's all me, baby.  His dirty deed was done, probably right after he said, 'Nobody loves you, Laury.'  I took over after that.

I grew up hearing the words, 'I love you.'  My mom said it to us lots.  Jim doesn't say it much.  He's a show-er of his love.  That's fine if that's the kind of love language I operate in, but it's not.  I want to HEAR it.  I want, I need to hear those three small words. 

Let me back up here for a second.  I know KNOW Jim loves me and he proves it every day and when he says, I love you, to me, it's especially meaningful.  I don't think it was said much in his house.  It's a difference in how we were raised.  My childhood home was much more demonstrative than his, for sure.  

Power house words that packs a MAJOR punch!

I love you!

Especially when we aren't feeling so lovable.

Just like last week in church, God met me again.  He especially chose a song just for me -- I'm sure of it!  Phooey on all those hundreds of others:)  It was just for me.  Well, anyway, as far as I was concerned, I was the only one in that sanctuary and God spoke to me and the tears streamed down my face.  The lights had just been dimmed and we sat in the short rows on the side so I wasn't too much of an embarrassment to Nik, I guess.  Jim Coonce, our worship leader, listened to God and chose a worship set that ministered to all our souls and helped us connect with God in worship and praise.  

We sang this song, Oh How He loves Us... and I heard, Oh how He loves you, the exact words I needed to hear at that moment, at this time in my life.

Such simple words with such big implications!
Oh how He loves us! 

When deciding what verse to use to back this up from the Bible, I came across an awesome website.  I hope you visit it often.  I know I will when I hear satan whispering lies in my ear again about my insignificant worth in this world and how unlovable I am.  It's a love letter from God.  This site shares fifty verses to prove that love.  Press those blue letters above.  Close your eyes and listen. Feel God's love.  He's with us.  His love is tangible.  He loves us so much.  He knew us before we were born.  He's preparing a place for us to live with Him forever in Heaven.

Hundreds from my church are doing the B90X and Satan's spitting mad.  He doesn't want us spending time reading the Bible.  When we know KNOW KNOW that God loves us, we want to spend time in His Word.  We want to read what He has to say.  We want to sit at His feet.  We want Him to dry our tears and comfort us.

I'm determined to not listen to satan's lies this year.  I'm going to do all I can to recognize those lies and stamp them out!  

Stamp out the Lies, 2011, #1


B90X - Week 1

>> Monday, January 3, 2011

This is the day that my church, First Christian Church of Clinton, Illinois is beginning the B90X!

I've tried this challenge before but I went about it the wrong way.  This time I'm committed and will be doing it alongside so many of my church family.

This time I've downloaded a dramatized audio version of the Old Testament so I can listen instead of read when I want.  That will be different for me.  I tried listening in ITunes but it loaded the chapters backwards.  I figured out I can listen in the Windows Media Player and it will read to me from the first to whenever I tell it to stop.

I'm excited to be starting out the new year with a whole church challenge.  Our Pastor, Greg Taylor, will keep us encouraged and moving towards our goal, both in church each Sunday and through his brand new blog:)

B90X is an intense workout.  Week 1's reading is Genesis 1- Exodus 29.  There is nothing like jumping into God's Word with both feet and letting His Spirit splash all over us and inside us!


Stamp out the Lies, 2011, #1

>> Sunday, January 2, 2011

Today was the first I've been to church in a long while.  Between sickness and ongoing pain and fatigue, it's easier to stay home; especially when I'm working and have to push each second.  I even declared that to a friend one day.  I get fed in other ways.  I missed going yet I wasn't harboring much guilt about it, except that when Mama doesn't go, the rest of the family tends to do the same.  (Can't you just see satan whispering all that in my ear?)

This is the first Sunday of the new year and I'd been off work for several weeks so I really felt it was the time to go.  I'm so glad I did.  So very glad.  Standing there beside my husband praising God is an awesome experience.  Standing in a sanctuary full of people doing the same is right, it's what we need to keep encouraged for another week. 

When thinking about this, I thought of trees so I researched a little about the giant redwoods.  These trees can grow up to 350 feet.  With something that tall you would think the root system would go down deep but I was wrong.  The roots only go down between 6-12 feet, not much compared to the 350' height. 

The reason they can stand tall and proud is because they are surrounded by a grove of trees just like themselves.  Alone, they would crash down at the first big wind, but together they stand strong through the worst storms.  Their roots intermingle together and give them strength.  

We need the strength and support and faith of others to stand tall as the storms blow in our lives.  Because of this, "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching."  Hebrews 10:25.

Let's don't believe this lie of satan, that we can worship on our own at home and don't need the fellowship of our church family.  It took a wonderful Sunday at church praising and worshiping God and being challenged in my faith by our pastor, to be reminded of this truth.  

Once each week I'll be blogging about satan's lies that we tend to fall for all too often.  Let's try to block his evil ploys together.  I want to live in the year 2011 with my eyes wide open.  Sounds like a plan, yes?

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