He's your scarlet thread!

Jesus is Victorious at the Cross: He is Your Thread of Hope!

 

 

     Be encouraged child of God, we will win in the end! Jesus is victorious at the Cross!  He won back at Calvary!  Even though everything may look bleak or seem discouraging and dark, He is the light that will flood your soul and help you to “see” clearly in your circumstances.

     Moreover, He will come through to victory with excellence for you!  Only believe! He is truly victorious!  If you desire to learn from the Spirit of Truth, from God our Father in Heaven, and from Yeshua (Hebrew for Jesus), and depart from the spirit of error, this blog is for you! Pray that He will show you the right path to all Truth! He is your Thread of Hope!

    God loves you and has drawn you to Him either for healing, or for revelation of the truth here on this earth so that you can overcome . . . or both! Be very encouraged because His love supersedes all! His love is more powerful than any demon from Hell any day! Yeshua (Jesus in Greek) is far greater and more powerful than any antichrists! Only believe!

1 John 4:4-6  

4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is, he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.

6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

KJV  

Mark 9:24  

24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

KJV  

 

    So beloved, be encouraged when you are going through difficult times. God's desire is that you know that He only gives you what you can handle, and even though it may seem too much, He comes in like the “true hero” that He is, and saves you! It may not seem like the way you want it to be, but His goal is eternally yours.

      He desires that you prosper and be in good health even as your soul prospers. He wants you to be the “overcomer” that you were called to be! He wants the very best for you, and always know this, that His ways are definitely not your ways! For indeed, it is all about Him, the Lord and Savior of your soul, Yeshua HaMashiach—Jesus the Christ! 

     Discover the importance of seeking Him and drawing close to Him. You must discover this for yourself as you can be as close to Him as you want to be. You must learn to trust in Jesus alone, and not trust in “man!” Indeed, God is a “jealous” God and He wants you for Himself. It is the fear of and the following after man that not only brings a snare, but also can be quite destructive!

 

Prov 29:25

The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

KJV

 

Animated Rain photo: Rain sc510.gif

 

 

     Unfortunately, God’s greatest tempest in judgment is coming as the storm of all storms has already stirred. In greatest proportions, it has already begun with His people—first. Everyone is feeling the heat. Therefore, the importance of this blog is for today.  

 Hos 9:7

They who forsake God in the days of His visitation of grace shall be forsaken of God in the days of His visitation of “wrath and recompense" to the ungodly

 KJV

     Why does God allow the adversity you are in? Doesn't it seem that only when we are in adversity, is when we grasp onto our only Thread of Hope--Jesus of Nazareth? Then when the heat (sometimes 7 times hotter) comes upon us, we draw close and cry out to God, but when the heat seems to dissapate, we don't need Him any more. The truth is He wants to walk with you and talk with you all the time . . . like Enoch walked with God because He deeply Loves you!

Prov 13:12

 

12 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

KJV 

     Those of you who are close to the Lord, but don't understand why you are alone and no one seems to want to be with you--in persecution, know this, that you are not above your Savior who suffered before you. 

Ps 35:15-28

15 But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not:

16 With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth.

17 Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions.

18 I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.

19 Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.

 20 For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land.

 21 Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it.

22 This thou hast seen, O LORD: keep not silence: O Lord, be not far from me.

 23 Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgment, even unto my cause, my God and my Lord.

24 Judge me, O LORD my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.

25 Let them not say in their hearts, Ah, so would we have it: let them not say, We have swallowed him up.

26 Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at mine hurt: let them be clothed with shame and dishonor that magnify themselves against me.

27 Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.

28 And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long

KJV

Isa 59:19-20

9 So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.

20 And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD. 

KJV

Rom 8:28-9:1

 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.

34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

KJV

So stand on His word, and having done all . . . Keep standing!

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."
Galatians 5:1, KJV

Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved."
Philippians 4:1, KJV

 "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:"
Ephesians 6:13-17, KJV

The cry . . .

There Is ALWAYS Good News!






















With the almost non-stop flow of information that is coming at us these days, it is more important than ever that we be intentional about what we focus on. Thanks to our TVs, radios, computers, laptops, tablets and smart phones, there is a near-constant flow of updates, headlines, alerts, messages, e-mails and texts ringing, dinging, tweeting, and announcing to us what has just happened, what is happening, and what is about to happen. Amidst this swirl of 24-hour-a-day input it can be a battle to keep our eyes and hearts focused in faith on the good news of who our God is and His amazing ability to do the impossible in the midst of the difficult (see Luke 18:27).

Peter and Circumstances

In Matthew 16 we see examples of just how important and powerful it is to focus on God and what He is highlighting in the midst of information overload. In Matthew 16:13-19 Jesus and the disciples are discussing some of the many things the world has to say about who the Son of Man is. Some say He is a prophet. Some say He is John the Baptist. Some say He is Elijah. And others say He is Jeremiah. But when Jesus asks Simon, Simon is able to focus in on the reality of the good news, even when it seems the most amazing and impossible of all the reports.

Simon answers that Jesus is the Son of Man, He is the Messiah, the long-awaited Promise of Emmanuel, the Son of the Living God. Jesus erupts with praise for Simon, telling him that he is truly blessed because he was able to focus in on what his Father in Heaven was highlighting to him in the midst of the swirl of information. Simon's ability, in that moment, to focus on what Heaven was highlighting had a powerful and lasting impact – so much so, that Simon emerges from the moment transformed. He is given a new name, Peter, which means "rock."

Focusing in on the good news of who our God is and what He is capable of in any situation grounds us in the truth of Heaven and works to transform us and our circumstances.

Compare that to what we see in Matthew 16:21-23. In this passage, Jesus tells the disciples that they are all going to go to Jerusalem. Then He shares what will happen once they get there. Jesus lets them know that He will suffer many things at the hands of the leading priests, elders and teachers; He will be killed and then on the third day He will be raised from the dead. That is quite a bit of information to take in all at once.

Peter, who had done so well at focusing in on what Heaven was highlighting just a moment before, now blows it. He takes Jesus aside and says, "No, Lord! This will never happen to You!" Jesus then rebukes Peter and tells him that he is seeing things from a human point of view, not from God's. The mistake Peter made was to be overwhelmed by the report of what was going to happen, as opposed to being overcome with confidence in God's ability to miraculously turn it all to the good. See, Peter focused in on Jesus being arrested, then suffering, and being killed – the bad news, instead of focusing in on the good news – Jesus being raised from the dead!

Focus In On What God Has to Say

The key for us in this hour is not to ignore the information coming at us, but to remember to always focus in on what God has to say, and what Heaven is highlighting. We must never allow a bad report or alarming news to have a greater impact on us than the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the miraculous ability of our Heavenly Father to bring about all of His promises – no matter what.

So let's pray this month for the Body of Christ as a whole. Let's join in agreement and declare that:

1. We will seek first the Kingdom of God, maintaining an eternal perspective in all things and at all times (Matthew 6:33).

2. We will not give heed to reports of the world, or listen to the distractions and discouragements of the enemy, but instead we will clearly hear what the Lord is highlighting to us, and be encouraged (John 10:4-5).

3. We are strong in our faith and we believe that our God is well able – always and in all ways (Mark 5:36).

4. We will keep our focus on the realities of Heaven; we will allow our minds to be filled with the love, light and truth of Jesus; and we will dwell not on how temporary facts say things seem to be, but on how the eternal Word of God says they truly are (Colossians 3:1-12).

5. We will remain childlike in our faith, always trusting in our Heavenly Father to perform His Word and bring about His purposes (Matthew 18:3-4).

6. We will trust in the love of Jesus and cast our cares (concerns, fears, doubts, distractions, discouragements) upon Him, allowing Holy Spirit to comfort and strengthen us so that we can continue doing good, believing for the best, and contending for the certain victory (1 Peter 5:7; John 14:26; Romans 8:37).

7. We will be absolute in our resolve to continue on in our assignments, advancing the Kingdom and bringing Heaven to earth (Isaiah 50:7; Philippians 3:12).

8. We will praise the Lord in all things and at all times knowing that, no matter how things might look or seem at present, His Word never returns void but always accomplishes all it is sent to do (Isaiah 55:11).

Rob Hotchkin
XP Ministries
http://www.xpmedia.com/

God is a good God!

How Can God Let Bad Things Happen?

I recently had a conversation with a friend who is agnostic. Life has been very difficult for her the last few years. She has an aging mother to care for, a demanding job, and her life always seems to demand more than she can deliver.

As someone who has always “just” known that God exists, it is hard for me to relate to the difficult time that some have in recognizing God’s hand in this globe we inhabit. I know that the destructive acts of man and the gut-wrenching experiences that life sometimes hands out are some of the main reasons that cause some to question God’s existence. I have heard many express how they cannot understand how God could let those things happen if He is truly the loving God that so many of us describe and/or believe in.

I would wonder how a loving God could allow such things too if it weren’t for the fact that I understand that this life is, in a very real way, a school and to remove our ability to make decisions (even bad ones) would negate much of our ability to learn. One of the principal reasons for this “earth school” is to teach us faith, hope and love.

If God were to match each sinister act with an immediate punishment and every good act with an immediate blessing – it would not be long before mankind would figure out how the consequence “thing” worked. That might sound wonderful but it would completely eliminate our ability to effectively develop faith, hope and love.

In fact, if all consequences were immediate, it would only be a short amount of time before our ability to learn, as God’s plan is designed, would be completely compromised. No longer would we learn or strive to be better because of love, hope, a desire to build faith, or other selfless reasons. Instead, ours would be a world in which we were doing all the right things but for all the wrong reasons.

It would be like reaching the summit of Mount Everest without climbing. That experience void of preparation, challenges, and overcoming those challenges would be no more gratifying than brushing your teeth. No learning process or growth would have been involved.

This life is about personal growth, developing faith, becoming better and making the world around us a better place to be. As we strive to align our wills with God’s will – doing so for the right reasons and not because we have to or because we are being selfishly motivated is what will make our experiences gratifying.

Have you had an experience that developed your faith, taught you about hope or helped you to be more loving? Please share it with me at joannaoblander@mail.com

Ask God that you and yours would dwell in the Secret Place . . .
Just surrender and put your trust in God . . . speak the Word . . . your sword!

Send the Comforter Lord!

Enduring Grief

Linda Jeffrey

I don’t want to be sad today, but this week I am mourning over a recent conversation I had with a woman whose five-year-old son drowned in a lake. She relives that day of horror in dreams and what-ifs and her emptiness this first Christmas is overwhelming. It has been seven difficult months of laying down all hope for a different yesterday. The shootings last week have intensified her grief. She feels forgotten. While the whole world sympathizes with grieving parents, and angry legislators debate the whys, she faces the same emptiness in isolation and self-blame.

I have recommended the book of Job to her. Job is not a book of comfort; it is a book of reality, and part of healing beyond grief comes through embracing a loving and merciful sovereign God to whom belong all things—even our children. I come into this world alone and naked, and every good and perfect gift I receive in life is from the hand of the One who loves me and gave Himself for me. The whys of my life have been superseded by His gift of Himself.

Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. Job 1:21

It is a hard truth, but in a circumstance of grief where it seems like you’ve been robbed, that thinking must be stopped! Widowed for the third time at age 49? Does God love me less? Job helps me to see my loss through the filter of God’s pure goodness. Job was able to survive in grief because he was neither an idealist nor was he self-reliant. The idealist loves God in prosperity and curses God in adversity. He does not know God; he wants a gift-giver and super-hero protector. The ideal life avoids pain at all costs. Life is pitifully all about himself. The self-reliant one wants no God at all. His response to grief is stoic or blame-filled, or denied all together. Cleanse your faith of idealism and self-reliance!

In the depths of grief, Job held on to the true God who is good and merciful. Would you curse God and die? Job declares the question foolishness. What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips (Job 2:10). It is a hard season of the year, and I pray that you will be surrounded by family and friends who love you deeply. But if you are naked and alone, you are not slighted by God. You are called to “endure harness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (II Timothy 2:3). There is an eternal weight of glory that is mine. It is coming. Sorrow and sighing will flee away. My work here will be done one day.

And sometimes in the seasons of gray winter, and the false festive aura of the ones whose suffering is more private, we need to take personally the final admonition of Paul to the church at Corinth: “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.” (No, he’s not telling us widows to act like men.) He is saying, be strong! Be brave! Be valiant in your faithfulness! Be wholehearted in your faith!

Job is our life lesson in the darkest hour of grief, because he lost more than we have. He endured greater suffering. He never wavered. You cannot see God now in the painful darkness of your world, but for the grieving one, the words of Job 23 may be even more comforting than Psalm 23:

Will He plead against me with His great power? No; but He would put strength in me … But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold … I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food … and what His soul desireth, even that He doeth. For He performeth the thing that is appointed for me.

Oh, give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good. His mercy endures forever!

He is there for you . . . call upon Him and he will give you Peace

Why do bad things have to happen . . .

Excerpts, The New Answers Book

Tommy Mitchell

Why do bad things happen? Through the ages, human beings have sought to reconcile their understanding of an all-powerful, loving God with the seemingly endless suffering around them.

One prominent example of this struggle is the media mogul Ted Turner. Having lost his faith after his sister died of a painful disease, Turner claimed, “I was taught that God was love and God was powerful, and I couldn’t understand how someone so innocent should be made or allowed to suffer so.”1

Is God responsible for human suffering? Is God cruel, capricious, and vindictive, or is He too weak to prevent suffering? If God truly is sovereign, how can He let someone He loves suffer?

A World of Misery and Death

Each day brings new tragedy. A small child is diagnosed with leukemia and undergoes extensive medical treatment only to die in his mother’s arms. A newlywed couple is killed by a drunk driver as they leave for their honeymoon. A faithful missionary family is attacked and killed by the very people they were ministering to. Thousands are killed in a terrorist attack. Hundreds drown in a tsunami, while scores of others are buried in an earthquake.

 

How are these things possible if God really loves and cares for us? Is He a God of suffering?

Man’s usual response to tragedy is to blame God, as Charles Darwin did after the death of his beloved daughter Annie.

“Annie’s cruel death destroyed Charles’s tatters of beliefs in a moral, just universe. Later he would say that this period chimed the final death-knell for his Christianity . . . . Charles now took his stand as an unbeliever.”2

Is this the proper response? A correct view of history, found in the Bible, provides the answer.

Was God’s Creation Really “Very Good”?

In the beginning, about 6,000 years ago, God created the universe and everything in it in six actual days. At the end of His creative acts on the sixth day, God “saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).

To have been very good, God’s creation must have been without blemish, defect, disease, suffering, or death. There was no “survival of the fittest.” Animals did not prey on each other, and the first two humans, Adam and Eve, did not kill animals for food. The original creation was a beautiful place, full of life and joy in the presence of the Creator.

Both humans and animals were vegetarians at the time of creation. In Genesis 1:29–30 the Lord said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food.”

This passage shows clearly that in God’s very good creation, animals did not eat each other (and thus, there was no animal death), as God gave Adam, Eve, and the animals only plants to eat. (It was was not until after the worldwide Flood of Noah’s Day—1,600 years later—that man was allowed to eat meat, according to Genesis 9:3.)

Tommy Mitchell . . . the new answers book

 

Because eating a plant can kill it, some people claim that death was part of the original creation. The Bible makes a distinction, though, between plants and animals. This distinction is expressed in the Hebrew word nephesh, which describes an aspect of life attributed only to animals and humans. Nephesh can be translated “breathing creature” or “living creature” (see Genesis 1:20–21, 24). Plants do not possess this nephesh quality and so cannot die in the scriptural sense.

The original creation was very good. According to Moses in Deuteronomy 32:4, “His work is perfect.” Obviously, things are not like this any longer.

Why Do We Die Now?

If there was no animal or human death when God finished His creation and pronounced it very good, why do we die now? We see death all around us today. Something must have happened to change creation—that something was sin.

God placed Adam and Eve in a perfect paradise. As their Creator, He had authority over them. In His authority, God gave Adam a rule: “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17).

Sometime after God declared His completed creation “very good” at the end of the sixth day, one of God’s angels, Lucifer, led a rebellion against their Creator.3 Lucifer then took on the form of a serpent and tempted Eve to eat the fruit God had forbidden. Both Adam and Eve ate it. Their actions resulted in the punishment that God had warned them about. God is holy and cannot tolerate sin in His presence. The just Creator righteously kept His promise that punishment would follow their disobedience. With the rebellious actions of one man, death entered God’s creation.

Ashamed and afraid, Adam and Eve tried to escape the consequences of their sin by making coverings of fig leaves. But by themselves, they could not cover what they had done. They needed something else to provide a covering. According to the writer of Hebrews, “Without shedding of blood, there is no remission [of sin]” (Hebrews 9:22). A blood sacrifice was necessary to cover their guilt before God.

To illustrate the horrible consequences of sin, God killed an animal and made coats of skin to cover Adam and Eve. We are not told what type of animal was killed, but perhaps it was something like a lamb to symbolize Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who would shed His own blood to take away our sins.

Genesis 3 also reveals that the ground was cursed. Thorns and thistles were now part of the world. Animals were cursed, the serpent more than the rest. The world was no longer perfect but sin-cursed. Suffering and death now abounded in that once-perfect creation.

What Does All This Have to Do with Me?

If it was Adam’s decision to disobey God that brought sin into the world, why do we all have to suffer punishment?

After Adam and Eve sinned and were banished from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:20–24), they began to have children. Each child inherited Adam’s sinful nature, and each child rebelled against his or her Creator. Every human is a descendant of Adam and Eve, born with the same problem: a sinful nature.

If we are honest with ourselves, we will realize that Adam is a fair representative for all of us. If a perfect person in a perfect place decided to disobey God’s rules, none of us would have done better. The Apostle Paul writes, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12).

 

As children of Adam, we all inherit Adam’s sin nature. We have all, at some point, disobeyed a command from the Creator, so we all deserve to die and suffer eternal punishment in hell. We must understand that not one of us is innocent before God. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Not one of us is worthy to stand before the Creator of the universe because we would each bring a sinful, rebellious nature into His presence.

In the beginning, God sustained His creation in its perfect state. The account of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness provides a glimpse of how things might have been in the original creation. The garments of the Israelites did not wear out, nor did their feet swell for the forty years they camped in the desert (Deuteronomy 8:4). God is omnipotent and perfectly capable of sustaining and protecting His creation.

When Adam sinned, however, the Lord cursed the universe. In essence there was a change, and along with that change God began to uphold the creation in a cursed state. Suffering and death entered into His creation. The whole universe now suffers from the effects of sin (Romans 8:22).

The sad things (e.g., the death of a loved one, tsunamis that kill thousands, hurricanes that leave many dead or homeless, etc.) that happen around us and to us are reminders that sin has consequences and that the world needs a Savior.

God took pleasure in all of His creation (Revelation 4:11), but He loved people most of all. He uses the deterioration of the created universe to show us the consequences of our sin. If we did not experience the consequences of our rebellion against the Creator, we would never understand that we need salvation from our sin, and we would never receive His offer of mercy for our sin.

Most people easily recognize that there is a problem in the world. We need to realize that there is One who has overcome this problem of death and suffering—Jesus Christ.

Is There Any Hope?

Sadly, the consequences for our sin are much worse than life in a cursed universe. In addition to living our lives in a sin-filled creation, we must all die physically and then face a punishment much more horrible than anything we have ever known: the second death. The Apostle John tells of a lake of fire called the “second death” that awaits all those whose names are not written in the book of life (Revelation 20:14–15). This second death is the final punishment for our sin.

Even though we rebelled against Him and brought punishment on ourselves, God loves His children and does not want them to spend eternity in hell. Our merciful Creator has provided a way to be reconciled to Him and to escape the terrible eternal punishment for our sin. This way of escape is through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ, who is God, came to earth as a man, lived a sinless life, and then died to pay the penalty for sin. The Apostle Paul tells us that “as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life” (Romans 5:18).

God is righteous and justly sentenced man to death, so we received the punishment we deserve. However, God exercised grace because of His love for us and took that punishment upon Himself as the payment for our sin.

Take heart! Christ did not remain in the grave. He showed that He has power over death by rising on the third day after He was buried. Because Christ clearly demonstrated His power over death, those who believe in Him can know that they too will live, and death will have no sting. In fact, the Bible says,

So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:54–55).

In Christ, those who have received the free gift of eternal life can look forward to spending eternity with Him in a perfect, pain-free place (Revelation 21:4). As the Apostle Paul wrote,

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8–9).

Some may suggest that if God really loved us, He would put us in a perfect place where nothing painful can touch us. However, He already did that once, and Adam rebelled. Given the same opportunity, each one of us would do the same thing. God demonstrated His love by dying for the world and rising again. All who receive the free gift of eternal life will spend eternity with Him.

Compared to eternity, the time we spend here in a cursed world is insignificant. God will complete His demonstration of love by placing those who receive His salvation in a perfect place forever.

The Restoration of All Things

 

The Bible describes death as the last enemy that will be destroyed (1 Corinthians 15:26). Revelation 21:4 says that “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Those who have received salvation look forward to the time when the Lord will revoke the Curse and restore the universe to a perfect state like the one it had before man sinned (Revelation 22:3).

The Lord not only loves His children enough to die for their sin, He also promises to fix the ruined world by creating a new heavens and new earth (Revelation 21:1). And just as the first Adam brought death into the world, Christ, as the “last Adam,” brings renewed life into the world.

As Paul wrote,

And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit (1 Corinthians 15:45).

The Alternate View of History

Those who reject the Creator must explain how the world came into existence without God.

Evolutionists and most other “long agers” believe that 13–14 billion years ago, a big bang caused the universe to begin from nothing. Galaxies, stars, and planets formed as matter—scattered across the universe—cooled and coalesced. About five billion years ago, the earth itself began to form. The earth, it is claimed, cooled for a billion years or so, water formed on the surface, and in this primordial ocean, molecules somehow arranged themselves together to form the simplest one-celled life forms.

 

Due to environmental stresses and other forces, directionless mutations, say evolutionists, led to survival advantages for certain organisms. These organisms gradually changed into progressively more complex organisms. The strongest organisms were able to survive and reproduce, and the weaker organisms died off or were killed by the stronger creatures.

This merciless process eventually produced ape-like creatures who evolved into man himself. Thus humans are the ultimate product (so far!) of millions of years of death and suffering.

This naturalistic view of the universe uses the fossil record as proof for the belief that creatures became more advanced over millions of years. This view teaches that the fossil record is a record of millions of years of disease, struggle, and death. The late famous evolutionist Carl Sagan declared that “the secrets of evolution are time and death.”4

Evolution requires millions of years of struggle and death.

Does This Really Matter?

 

The Bible says that death came as the result of man’s sin. Evolution says that death has always been a part of nature. Can both be true? Obviously not.

If the fossil record represents millions of years of earth history, there must have been millions of years of death, struggle, and disease before man appeared, contrary to what Genesis teaches.

“Theistic evolution” is an idea that attempts to merge the Genesis account and the concept of millions of years of evolution. Theistic evolution postulates millions of years of death before God stepped into the process, at some point, and created the Garden of Eden. Theistic evolution requires God to call millions of years of death and suffering “very good.”

On the other hand, if the fossil record is the product of a catastrophic global Flood in which vast numbers of organisms were suddenly buried in chemical-rich water and sediment, the need to postulate millions of years of history goes away. God’s account of a perfect world ruined by sin and destroyed by a watery judgment (Genesis 6–9) is consistent with the fossil evidence in the world.

God’s promise of future restoration, “the restitution of all things” (Acts 3:21), would be nonsensical if evolution really happened. Only an original creation free from death makes God’s promise of restoration logical. A perfect creation cannot be the promised future restoration if no perfect creation existed in the past.

 

Where Do Caring and Mercy Come From?

While many evolutionists cry out that a loving God is inconsistent with this world of cruelty we inhabit, they conveniently overlook other things. For example, how does evolution explain mercy, charity, and caring? If evolution is true, the driving force of nature is “survival of the fittest.” Those less able to compete are destined to die. Any attempt to rescue these “less competitive” people would be to work against the most fundamental force of nature. The existence of doctors, hospitals, charitable organizations, and even a police force is contrary to raw evolutionary forces.

The evolutionist has no basis for moral judgments. If man is just the result of millions of years of evolution, our behavior is based on random chemical reactions. There is no ultimate moral code. All morality is relative. So if a person needs money, why is it wrong to rob someone? According to evolution, the stronger person should succeed. Might makes right. So, in the evolutionary view, such violence is a natural, and necessary, part of the world.

Those who have a worldview based on the Bible have a consistent basis for acts of kindness, charity, or caring. We are commanded in Scripture to love our neighbors as ourselves, to perform acts of mercy, and to care for the widows and orphans. If we take evolution to its logical conclusion, we will conclude that these widows and orphans should die because they are a drain on the resources of nature.

Only Bible-believers ultimately offer the world a basis to make moral judgments. Those who reject the Bible have no basis for morality.

What about Individual Suffering?

In John 9 Jesus addressed the issue of personal suffering. When His disciples assumed that a man’s blindness was the result of the man’s sin, Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him” (John 9:3). Jesus did not consider the man’s suffering to be wasted or capricious, because God would be glorified in the man’s life.

The book of Job tells the history of a righteous man who pleased God but nevertheless suffered the loss of his wealth, his ten children, and his health. His friends were sure his sufferings represented judgment for some secret sins, but God denied this accusation. Many people have taken comfort simply in knowing that their personal tragedies did not necessarily represent personal judgments.

Jesus demonstrated that His love for us is not incompatible with personal suffering when Lazarus was sick and about to die. “When Jesus heard that, He said, ‘This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.’ Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus” (John 11:4–5).

Jesus clearly loved Lazarus and his grieving family, but He was able to see a purpose to suffering that they could not see. Christ clearly revealed to them that He had power over death (by raising Lazarus from the dead), even prior to His crucifixion and resurrection.

Jesus commented on the purpose of tragedy after the tower of Siloam collapsed, killing eighteen people. “Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:4–5).

These examples show that it is not necessarily an individual’s sin that leads to suffering, but sin in general already has. God may use suffering as a reminder that sin has consequences—and perhaps for other purposes we do not fully investigate in this chapter. But the presence of suffering does not mean God does not love us. Quite the opposite—Christ came and suffered with us and took that punishment when He didn’t have to.

In times of suffering, Christians honor the Lord by trusting Him and knowing that He loves them and has a purpose for their lives. The presence of suffering in the world should remind us all that we are sinners in a sin-cursed world and also prompt us to tell others about the salvation available in Christ—after all, that would be the loving thing to do. We can tell people the truth of how they, too, can be saved from this sin-cursed world and live eternally with a perfect and good God.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:17–18).

 

Footnotes

  1. Associated Press, Ted Turner was suicidal after breakup, www.nytimes.com/aponline/arts/AP-People-Turner.html, April 16, 2001. Back
  2. A. Desmond and J. Moore, Darwin: The Life of a Tormented Evolutionist, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 1991, 387. Back
  3. The Bible is not clear when Lucifer rebelled or when Adam and Eve sinned. However, we can surmise that it was not too long after God put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, as He told them to be fruitful and multiply, and they obviously had not had an opportunity to conceive a child before they rebelled. Back
  4. C. Sagan, Cosmos Part 2: One Voice in the Cosmic Fugue, produced by Public Broadcasting Service, Los Angeles, with affiliate station KCET-TV. First aired in 1980 on PBS stations throughout the US. Back

 

Cry out to God . . . let the tears fall . . . intercede

When We Don’t Have the Words to Pray by J. Lee Grady

When tragedy strikes like it did last week in Connecticut, it’s OK if you are speechless

Some members of my church gathered near the altar last Sunday to pray for those affected by the recent school massacre in Connecticut. Our pastor had a list of the victims, and he asked that we mention each of the families by name.

It wasn’t easy to read that list. It included Daniel Barden, age 7; Charlotte Bacon, 6; Olivia Engel, 6; Chase Kowalski, 7; and Jack Pinto, 6. A total of 20 children died in the shootings, plus six adults, including Victoria Soto, the brave first-grade teacher who herded her students into a closet when the gunman approached her classroom. She was 27, the same age as my oldest daughter.

Some people in my church found it too difficult to pray out loud. That’s understandable. But how exactly do we pray when tragedy strikes?

How do we frame a prayer for the families of little boys and girls who were pumped with bullets in their suburban school? How do we go back to a normal routine when it seems all that is innocent in our nation has been shattered?

Prayer formulas just don’t work in times like these. I believe it’s OK to feel helpless in heavy moments. God has already made supernatural provision for us.

Romans 8:26-27 says: “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (NASB)”

This is one of the greatest miracles of our new life in Christ. The Holy Spirit prays continually inside of us, and He always has the perfect prayer—especially when we feel helpless to articulate the problem or to ask for a solution. The Spirit is praying the perfect will of God. And He does it 24/7. This is amazing!

Often we reduce God to formulas. We charismatics excel in telling everyone exactly how to pray in every situation, how to bind demons, how to break curses, how to command money into our bank accounts and how to discern the enemy’s strategy behind every problem so it will go away automatically. But life does not always follow the points in Six Steps to a Victorious Life. (Read the book of Job for proof of that!) We are not robots, and we can’t just recite programmed “faith confessions” when hard times hit.

It’s OK to feel the pain. It’s OK to weep or groan or sit in silence before God. And sometimes one of the most therapeutic things we can do is speak in an unintelligible prayer language—which we don’t understand. The Bible says the Spirit—who is called “the Comforter” (John 14:16)—prays inside of us even when our emotions are raw and our thoughts are muddled. And He can rekindle hope when we are at our lowest point.

The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School happened just 11 days before Christmas. As soon as I heard about the shootings I was reminded of the darkest chapter of the Christmas story, a gruesome scene that is never depicted on holiday greeting cards. After Jesus’ birth, King Herod sent his henchmen to Bethlehem and massacred every Jewish boy age 2 and under because he feared the coming Messiah (see Matt. 2:16-18).

The first Christmas was not a festive occasion. Yes, there were glorious angels, a bright star and gifts of frankincense and myrrh. But the story also included an enraged tyrant who massacred innocent babies. Bethlehem’s angelic chorus was mixed with the uncontrollable sobbing of mothers and fathers whose children had been murdered.

Evil and good exist side by side in this fallen world. As long as we are on this side of eternity, we will be engaged in a spiritual war. Until Christ returns there will be tragedies like what happened in Connecticut. But our greatest hope is that the baby who was born in Bethlehem’s manger will soon crush Satan under our feet and wipe every tear from our eyes.

As you mourn over this loss, or struggle with your own pain and disappointment, give God your feeblest groan and let Him make it a perfect prayer.

J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma and the director of The Mordecai Project (themordecaiproject.org). You can follow him on Twitter at leegrady. His latest book is Fearless Daughters of the Bible.

Close your eyes . . . and listen
In these difficult and painful times, we need God more than ever!
Rest in God . . . put your trust in Him!
He will never leave you nor forsake you!

Remember all the times I have been here for you!

I was always there for you beloved. . . even in your darkest moments in life. I was there! I am the one who will never leave you nor forsake you! Please don't ever forget! I am here for you! I am genuine! I am real! I hear all your tears . . . I hear all your fears! I love you!

For All the "innocent" children . . .
My Hope is in You . . .

God sees the injustice . . . He sees the lies and deception

 

 

Isaiah 59

King James Version (KJV)

59 Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:

2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.

4 None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.

5 They hatch cockatrice' eggs, and weave the spider's web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper.

6 Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands.

7 Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.

8 The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.

9 Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness.

10 We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noon day as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men.

11 We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us.

12 For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them;

13 In transgressing and lying against the Lord, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.

14 And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.

15 Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.

16 And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.

17 For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.

18 According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence.

19 So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.

20 And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord.

21 As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever.

Hope deferred can make the heart sick . . . but when the desire come . . .

 

Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

Proverbs 24:14 Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Hope of Eternal Life and Salvation

Titus 1:1-2 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies,promised before the ages began

Titus 3:7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

1 Corinthians 15:19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,



 

Give your pain to God each morning until hurts no more . . .
Listen . . . hear this with your heart . . .

Christ is our only Hope

People see nations torn apart by war, the Middle East in turmoil, and our own country struggling with massive economic and social problems. The only hope for each and every person is Christ.

The Only Hope is Christ
by Franklin Graham

World history centers around Israel. As news unfolds, now and in the future, the key nation to watch is not the U.S. or China, but Israel. The Bible says, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6, NIV).

In recent weeks, we’ve seen political upheaval spread through Arab countries of the Middle East. Regardless of the short-term outcome in each place, underlying all of this conflict is radical Islam. Much of this effort, publicly or secretly, is under the banner of the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that was founded in Egypt decades ago and has been active in many countries ever since, including the United States. Its two most basic goals are to replace governments and constitutions in order to bring nations under Sharia law, and to destroy Israel and drive Jews into the sea.

The political turmoil we have witnessed in Egypt could eventually result in the Muslim Brotherhood coming to power there. A leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, speaking a few days ago to the Arabic-language news media, said that under any new Egyptian government, “the people should be prepared for war against Israel.”

Whatever happens, the Bible tells us the ultimate outcome. “The Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the human spirit within a person, declares: ‘I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. … On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem’” (Zechariah 12:1–2, 9).

The Bible also declares that the last battle of history will be fought on the plains of Armageddon in northern Israel when the nations of the world fight against the Lord. My friend, these things are coming.

Before then, there will be tribulation—the Great Tribulation. There will be a one-world monetary system where people must receive the mark of the beast on their right hand or forehead. People will not be able to buy or sell or trade without this mark. Already today, many people in this country, Europe, and other countries around the world want to develop a unified worldwide monetary system. According to reports in the New York Times, even the pope has suggested that an answer to international economic upheaval would be to establish a “true world political authority” with power to regulate the global economy.

In the midst of all this, what are we to do? Dig a hole and hide? Throw up our hands and quit? No. We are to take the Gospel to people everywhere. The Gospel is the only message that can save. The Bible says, “With the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. … Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:10, 13, NASB). All people are sinners, and all sinners are doomed to judgment. But God doesn’t want anyone to perish (see 2 Peter 3:9). He wants people saved from a judgment that leads to everlasting torment.

The Gospel is the “power of God for salvation” (Romans 1:16). It is a spiritual atomic bomb that destroys the power of sin. This is incredibly good news—salvation is available to all who commit themselves to the Lord Jesus, believing that He died for our sin, shed His blood on the cross, was buried in the grave, rose to life on the third day, and gives us eternal life with Him. This is our hope.

That is the message we are proclaiming in cities across North America this year from the Jersey Shore to Southern California, and from the Colorado Rockies to the Great Lakes to the Great Plains of Manitoba. It is what we will also proclaim in cities of Asia and Europe and Africa.

I will preach March 25–27 at a Crusade in Liberia, a West African country that has had strong historic ties to the United States going back a century and a half. Over the last 20 years, Liberia endured two ruinous civil wars fueled by ethnic and political rivalries, devastating the country. The nation is just beginning to recover, and people are very open to the Good News about Jesus Christ. Pray that the life-changing hope of the Gospel will penetrate many hearts.

People see nations torn apart by war, the Middle East in turmoil, and our own country struggling with massive economic and social problems. The only hope for each and every person is Christ.

We need your prayers and your support as we take the Gospel to the men and women of our generation and to the young people of the next generation. This is urgent work. People are dying every day without Him. Let’s not allow evil to triumph; let’s not give up striving to make Christ known.

Thank you for standing with us. I won’t give up. Satan is the author of confusion and destruction, but our God is “mighty to save” (Isaiah 63:1).

 

Franklin Graham

Abhore that which is evil and cleave to that which is Good . . .
Who am I . . .

Thread . . .

Jesus the Constant Thread

Jesus spoke the world into existence with his Father (Gen. 1:26; Col. 1:16-17), and everything was good. All of creation was in right standing before its Creator. Eden was good and beautiful. Obviously, we know that things are broken now. There is suffering, evil and confusion in the world. We feel a sense of exile, and we wonder who will make things right.

Throughout the Bible, a coming hero was continually being revealed. God’s people knew someone was coming to restore the rebellious and fallen condition of the human heart and the physical creation. Throughout human history, there runs a thread of redemptive hope that comes to a head in Jesus Christ.

And when Jesus appeared in human flesh nearly 2000 years ago, dying on a cross and rising from the dead, He proved Himself a Divine superhero capable of destroying the greatest foe imaginable: death through sin. By believing in His life, death and resurrection, we gain right standing before God; we can return to Eden in a relational sense, and one day, in a literal sense (Rev. 21:5).

The totality of the Gospel

The good news of Christ’s life, death and resurrection speak to our entire human experience. His perfect love does amazing things. Through our salvation in Him, we receive the Holy Spirit, and He begins an other-worldly work in us by:

  • Eliminating our guilt (Rom. 3:23-25; Heb. 13:5, 1 John 3:1)
  • Providing purpose and meaning in our lives (John 15:13; 1 Peter 2:21-24)
  • Renewing our identity (Eph. 2:19-22; 2 Cor. 5:17, 20; John 1:12, 15:15)
  • Casting out fear (John 10:27-29; 1 Cor. 15:55-56
  • Promising eternal joy (Rev. 1:17-18, Rev. 21:4; 1 Peter 1:3-4; Job 19:25-27; Ps. 16:11)

 


What's next?

When we repent and turn our lives over to Jesus, He calls us to experience community and love with other believers. Summitview’s small groups are designed to strengthen our relationship with Christ.

Summitview

God will always be with you . . .
Was blind . . . but now I see . . .

Amazing Grace .. ..

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we've been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.

 

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

Beloved . . . don't ever give up!
When Mercy found me . . .

Thread of Hope . . . from the Father God

FIRE BY NIGHT

"Reflections Upon Reflections" [of The Father's Heart]


...."You, in Your great compassion, did not forsake them in the wilderness; The pillar of cloud did not leave them by day, to guide them on their way, nor the pillar of fire by night, to light for them the way in which they were to go".... Nehemiah 9:19 NASB

 

November 19th 2012
THE VISION OF THE "LARGE HEART"

VISION:


I saw a very "large heart" in Heaven and, then, I saw a what looked like a "thread" proceed out of the large heart. The thread was supernaturally attached to the heart of a child on the earth, and it was "transparent"
[having the appearance of spun gold] but was so thin that it was almost "invisible". I knew just in looking at it [by revelation] that it was "indestructible" in spite of the fact that the thread itself was almost invisible - and "seemed" like it could break at any time.

"transparent"- having the property of transmitting rays of light through its substance so that bodies situated beyond or behind can be distinctly seen;

"invisible" - not perceptible by the eye; withdrawn from or out of sight; not perceptible or discernible by the mind;

"indestructible" - unbreakable; permanent; enduring; cannot be destroyed;

The Father spoke to me and said:

The "large heart" is representative of My Love - and the totality of My Fatherhood. The "thread" proceeding out of the large heart is representative of the supernatural connection that I have with each one of My precious children - a supernatural connection that will perfectly sustain them through all that they will face in My service.

"separate" - to keep apart or divide, as by an intervening barrier or space; to force apart; to disconnect;

...."Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, 'For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.' But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord".... Romans 8:35-39 NASB
 
I need thee . . . every hour . . .

Wait on the Lord . . . don't stop!

Practicing Patience When God Has You Waiting

Written by Barbara Erochina

Some days, it is a lot harder to be patient. When we’re bringing our concerns to the Lord again and again, we grow tired of waiting. It soon begins to feel like our prayers are falling on deaf ears. Often our desire is to take control and just “do the best we can”; it is our fleshly reaction to the silence. We know Galatians 5 lists patience as a fruit of the Holy Spirit so we confess our desire to rule our own lives. We ask the Spirit to fill us, empowering and directing us even as we continue to wait on the Lord.

This doesn’t mean our circumstances change. Our only child remains sick in the hospital, the thread our marriage hangs on continues to splinter, and the hope we’ve held on to for years fades with increasing speed. Having prayed fervently about whatever issue you are facing too many times to count, it’s easy to feel your bank of patience depleting once again. On these days, let these reminders on the nature of patience be an encouragment to you as you continue to wait.

You are not alone in the waiting.

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” – Romans 8:22- 25 (New International Version)

Waiting is a common experience. All your brothers and sisters in faith, as well as all of creation know what it is like to wait on the Lord. Consider those who have waited before you: Job, David, a myriad of Prophets. There is plenty of encouragement in the Bible concerning a need for patience and those who have excelled in it. James 5:7, Colossians 1:10-12, Psalm 40:1 and Revelations 14:12 are just a few examples of the myriad of passages about the topic.

The New Bible Dictionary defines patience as “God given restraint in the face of opposition or oppression”. Patience is only needed when there is a reason to not wait. It is only necessary in the face of opposition. This is why seeking patience is in many senses a battle. The promise we can lean on here is that patience is God given restraint. The Lord is the one who provides us with spiritual armor to go into battle. We often think of patience as mere endurance, but such logic is faulty. We are not exercising restraint on our own strength. In truth, our only responsibility is to trust that God will provide the strength to hold on, and then act accordingly to our faith in that promise.

How is this strength given us?

We receive this strength by being filled with the Spirit. As Christians, we know that the ultimate source of patience lives within us. Our role is to trust that the Holy Spirit does live within us, and ask Him for strength to persevere in whatever situation we find ourselves in. This is a provision we can claim by faith as taught us in Romans 5:1-5.

Patience as listed in Galatians 5 is often called longsuffering. The original Greek word is makrothumio, meaning “long temper”. We are to keep a long and slow temper towards God, others and ourselves. This spiritual posture calls for grace. It is grace that compels us to trust God, grace that we can extend to others when they hurt us and grace to forgive ourselves when we stumble and fall.

The experience of waiting on God reminds us that our reality as Christians is not within our apparent circumstances, but rather in the truth of Christ’s love and life in us. This gives us hope as Romans 8:28 assures us that “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” It is not in our abilities to know the time or way in which God will work things out. Ecclesiastes 3:11 and Isaiah 55:8-9 are great reminders that these rest solely in the domain of God’s knowledge. Our role here is to trust the promise of Philippians 1:6 and wait with hope as God’s brings about to completion the good work He began in each of our lives.

What is our role in the battle?

Consider again the definition of patience as God given restraint. God allows us to access divine restraint, but it is our choice to accept it and act in willful obedience. Adam and Eve were given complete free will. They were gifted many provisions in the garden so they wouldn’t need to partake in the fruit that was forbidden. However, they chose to not exercise restraint and instead disobeyed God’s command. When we use God given restraint to wait on His will and timing, we renounce their fallen actions and step out in obedience towards God.

There is purpose in the process. Take a look at Hebrews 12:2. Waiting on God forces us to look to Him. It casts our eyes rightly to Christ as the source of our faith and the assurance of our salvation. It reminds us that Christ’s death and life is the reason we can be filled with and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Trials cause us to persevere by deepening our knowledge of God and relying on him more intentionally. As James 1:2-4 tells us it is here that a mature and complete faith is grown.

Standing patiently when we wait on the Lord does not mean being stuck at a standstill. Consider Ephesians 6 which instructs us to “put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then.” To hold ground by remaining obedient to the Lord while waiting is not passive. Note that the word stand is repeated three times. Patience is an act of the will to claim ground for the Kingdom of God, and is rewarded richly by Him. Revelations 3:10-11 tells us of God’s care for those who persevere through the battle.
Whether we feel we lack patience to wait on God, or to continue to love those that may be hard to love, we do in actuality have access to all the patience we need. We can trust God to give us the strength to bear our circumstances and instead use the time of waiting to grow in intimacy with the Lord.

The word of God . . .

PRAYER FOR HOPE . . .

A Prayer for Hope

 

Heavenly father, I am your humble servant,
I come before you today in need of hope.
There are times when I fell helpless,
There are times when I feel weak.

 

I pray for hope.
I need hope for a better future.
I need hope for a better life.
I need hope for love and kindness.

Some say that the sky is at it’s
darkest just before the light.
I pray that this is true, for all seems dark.
I need your light, Lord, in every way.

I pray to be filled with your light from
head to toe. To bask in your glory.
To know that all is right in the world,
as you have planned, and as you want
it to be.

Help me to walk in your light, and live
my life in faith and glory.

In your name (Jesus) I pray, Amen.



Read more: http://www.prayers-for-special-help.com/prayer-for-hope.html#ixzz2C8fhUq8N

Lead me Lord . . .

Fear Not . . . I am your Thread of Hope . . .

Isaiah 41:10

King James Version (KJV)

10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

The question  is . . . will you believe that He is there for you? Think about how many times, Jesus saved you that you can think of. Now, think about how many times you don't even know that He saved your life? How about the many times you may have been late for an event and found yourself to be so frustrated and angry because there were delays holding you back from being "on time." It is possible that the delays were heavenly orchestrated so that you would be prevented from some sort of calamity or accident. You just don't know . . . do you?

God has always been faithful . . .
This too will pass . . . .


There is always hope
by Retha McPherson

Holy Spirit, thank you for being present here today. I praise You for wanting to touch so many hearts. Glory to God in the highest heaven!

It has been 15 months since Aldo’s accident in June last year, and I’m sitting here with a grateful heart. You won’t believe what I'll tell you today about what I have come to realize.

Father God, thank You for allowing the accident to happen. I know it wasn’t Your will, but You allowed this to cross our paths. Because if it hadn’t, my eyes wouldn’t have been opened, & I wouldn’t have been where I am today. And for that I will forever be thankful to the Lord.

About Aldo: I know the Lord is on a special journey with him. As He is with every member of our family. And whatever is happening in your life today, no matter what the circumstances are, remember Romans 8: Everything works together for good for those that love the Lord.

When you are in a bad situation, you don’t necessarily believe that, but I can assure you, God let’s everything work together for our good. At the end of the day it isn’t about you and me, but about Him. All about Him. It’s not even about our pain, or our suffering. Yes, Father God, it’s all about You. And it took me a long time to get there. I have struggled a lot, and I want to share this journey, my testimony, with you.

About 2 years ago my family and I went to New York. At the United Nations-buildings we saw a huge mosaic, depicting all nations and languages. This mosaic really impressed me. If you stood close by, you could only see the small pieces of tile it was made of. Tiles that can cut, that can hurt. But when you moved away and looked at it from a distance, you would only see the most beautiful of pictures.

I told Aldo to go and stand in front of the mosaic so I could take a picture. While I was doing that, the Holy Spirit said to me: “All the broken pieces of your life are nothing more than a beautiful mosaic of your future.” Those words touched me so deeply that I squatted right there to write them down in a notebook.

Back in South Africa I was speaking at an event and choose this as my topic. I explained that everyone has a choice, you can pick up the pieces of your life and put it together to create a beautiful new picture under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. You CAN pick up pieces and glue it back together. Because all the broken pieces of your life are nothing more than a beautiful mosaic of your future. Or, I explained, you can get mad at God and throw it all away. Or you can go into anger, something I see happening around me all the time.

Of course I didn’t really know then what I was talking about, because up till then I had a perfect life. If you would have asked me if I wanted something added to my life, I would have said no. I already had a wonderful husband, two beautiful children, a business that was doing well. On top of that I was still Mrs. South Africa at that time.

What was left to ask for?

On top of all this, I also served the Lord. But I only served Him because I was in church. I had 15 years of intellectual knowledge of Him, things that I learned in church. But it wasn’t Rhema, something I didn't know back then. I loved the Lord, yes, because I walked down a beautiful road. Yet, today, I know there’s much more, so much more, than to just be reborn. There’s much more to being a true child of God than what we are.

I know there is a treasure in being broken, but those are words that one doesn’t want to hear when you are in a bad situation. But there IS a treasure to be found in brokenness.

A week later I spoke at another event, this time at a prison near Pretoria. One of the inmates gave his testimony. He was a businessman serving 18 years jail time for white-collar crime. As you can imagine, he must have swindled quite a bit of money to end up with such a stiff sentence. I could identify with this guy – he was, after all, no tramp. And he told us how his kids were telling people that their dad went overseas. They couldn’t bear telling people that he was really in jail.

My heart went out to this poor man – yet, there was something flowing from him that I desired with my whole being. My whole being! The more he spoke, the more I realized he had something I didn’t have. Later, I burst into tears, and Thinus, my husband, asked what I was crying about.

I answered: “That man has something you and I don’t have.” My husband jokingly answered: “At this stage, my dear, it is an orange prison uniform.” But no, I knew this man had something I didn’t have, and that was the peace of God. The peace that surpasses all understanding. He got that peace because he died in himself.

We were driving back home, and I was still crying a lot. I said to my husband: “He doesn’t even see the sun that you and I can see. He doesn’t have the freedom you and I have, but look what he has! He lost so much, but look what he gained!

That night I got down on my knees, and I said to God: “Father, I am calling out to you, and I am asking you: I want that too!” The Holy Spirit answered: “Retha, it’s there for everybody, but not everyone takes it.” I said: “Lord, how does one take it? How do you get it?” The Holy Spirit answered: “You have to die in yourself.

Now, months later, I can tell you that we don’t just die in ourselves from our own free will. I want to encourage you to get down on your knees after you have listened to me. Tell the Father: “I want to die in myself.” What I wouldn’t do today to get a second chance to do that!

You know that song If I can only turn back time? How often have I thought that? If I can only turn back time. But I can’t.

However, you can make a choice today. I had to go through terrible things during the past few months. Why didn’t I die in myself earlier? Maybe because I was too full of myself. It is difficult – the more you are full of yourself, the more difficult it is to unlearn these things. Me, myself and I.

Exactly five days later we were on our way back from the Freestate, a province where I spoke at. At about 18:30 (6:30pm) we had a freak car accident on the Grassmere Toll Plaza, just south of Johannesburg.

There, on the highway, was a stationery vehicle without lights, right in our lane. My husband had no choice, he couldn’t go right, because that was the fast lane. He had to swerve to the left to avoid driving into this car. Our car hit a water furrow, and rolled and rolled and rolled.

When we eventually came to a stop, it was the worst of the worst, something I have re-lived time and again in my mind. My children were not in the car anymore. We struggled free from the car, and I realized my kids weren’t in the car anymore. When I eventually got out, it was only the silence of the night that surrounded me.

I called to them, and our little boy Josh then started crying from somewhere in the bushes next to the car. When I found him, he only had a cut to the head.

But we couldn’t find Aldo. I was running up and down the highway, scared and confused. I tripped over a suitcase and some wreckage and fell on the tar, my hands bleeding.

While lying there, the Spirit of God said to me: “These are the broken pieces of your life.” My whole being screamed: “Lord, no, not this, just not this!”

Grace led me to the opposite side of the highway where Aldo was lying. I found him there, lying in the bushes, that dark night in June. When I got to him, he was already in a coma. His skull was cracked and he was bleeding from the ears. I fell over him, trying my best to find a pulse. But I couldn’t find a pulse. As a mother, I just knew life was draining out of his body.

In that moment, lying over him like that, I realized: Whoever you are, however much money you have – only God has power over life and death.

I called to Him, pleading the blood of Jesus over my son. I knew all these things in my head. All those years in church I did listen! But it wasn’t Rhema!

While I was still lying over him, a car tried to avoid the accident scene, and was heading right for us. I realized I had to jump up, otherwise this man will drive right over us. I jumped up, and he stopped literally one foot from me. I looked into the huge lights of this 4 x 4, and something happened in my heart. A shock went through me, and my whole body started shaking as if electrical shocks were going through me. And then I was calm, and the peace that surpasses all understanding came over me.

Exodus 20:21 tells us that God was in the dark cloud. He is IN your difficult experience.

So many people since asked me: “But where was God then?” He was there, right there, and that peace calms one down.

I called to Thinus that I found Aldo. We called for the emergency helicopter and a young man arrived. He pushed a knife into Aldo’s lungs and told me that his lungs collapsed. “You must say your goodbyes,” he told me.

Another couple stopped at the scene, both medical doctors. The woman said to me that she was also a mother, but that it was time to say goodbye to Aldo. The helicopter left with him on board, and we followed in an ambulance.

When we arrived at the hospital, he was already in the theatre for a four-hour long operation. A big, burly, black doctor walked up to me and said: “Mam, I’m not sure if your son will make it.

I remember back at the accident scene, a car stopped, and a black man got out and started praying: “satan, in the name of Jesus, no death will take place here tonight.” He kept saying: “This boy will live and he will not die,” repeating it over and over again.

I was standing there, looking at him, thinking to myself: “Retha, would you have done this? Would you have stopped at the scene of an accident to pray for anyone?" Or would you have said: ‘Children, look to the left, let us just get past this’.”

That night I truly realized what the Good Samaritan described in Luke 10 was all about. Are you there for those around you? Are you one step away from somebody needing help, or are you sitting on the side, shouting that you’ll pray for him?

I realized that night that I wasn’t Jesus’ hands, that I’ve never been. And I praise God for that praying man.

When Aldo came out of theatre, they kept him alive with machines. Every machine you can think of. He was lying like that for a week.

After a week, on Saturday, I went home for the first time. I stayed in a room at the hospital, across the passage from the ICU, during the week. I was hurting, but calm. That Saturday night I had a dream. I saw my child’s fingers shrinking. It turned black and shrank, and I saw his lips shrinking and turning black as well. It was a terrible dream to have. I experienced in my spirit that I was watching my child die.

I said: “Aldo, why are you dying? But you know what, I have held on to you for so long, that I can’t anymore – it will be better for you with Jesus.” “Do you remember,” I asked him in this dream, “how I always told you it’s not enough that you know Jesus, but that Jesus should also know you?” “Mommy knows that you have accepted Jesus into your heart, but I have to let go of you know.

In my dream Aldo answered me: “Mom, speak life over me! Speak life!” I did so immediately. “In the name of Jesus, you shall live, and you shall have life in abundance.” I said it, and the minute I said it, I saw how his fingers started growing again and how the color came back to his lips. My whole being shook.

The next thing, in my dream, he was crying, although he was in a coma, which makes it impossible for him to cry. Startled, I woke up and wondered what on earth was happening to me. And I said to the Lord: “For a mother, going through what I’m going through at this stage, this sure was a terrible dream!” But that dream made me realize that life and death lies within the power of the tongue, just like Proverbs teaches us. (Proverbs 18:21) Anyone who uses the tongue shall reap the rewards of his words. It doesn’t say he might, it says he shall!

I could see, the minute I started speaking life, how Aldo’s fingers started growing and growing. John 10 says it beautifully: “satan came to steal, but I came so you can have life, and life in abundance.” In abundance!

The next morning early, back at the hospital, Thinus said to me: “Retha, we nearly lost him during the night. So nearly...” I told him, yes, I saw, my spirit experienced it. I know you might say that lots of people have dreams like this in times of trauma, but I say to you: “The Word of God teaches me that He speaks to us through dreams, visions and His Word. He speaks!

I told Thinus about the dream, and how I saw Aldo dying, and how Aldo said we must speak life. Also how I told Aldo he will have life, and life in abundance, and how, the next minute, his fingers started growing. That’s just what we did then. We marched around his hospital bed, speaking life, speaking life.

Have you noticed how people can pronounce death? Over their marriages, their finances? And over their kids as well. Church people, they call themselves. I urge you: watch what you say, think what you say! Life and death is within the power of the tongue, and you shall reap the reward of your words.

Day 12 dawned, and Aldo was sent for a second operation, because his brain kept on swelling. The doctors told us that they will try one last time.

I went to my room across from ICU, and when he came back from theatre, I saw his heartbeat was dangerously low: only 32. It is then that they told me to go and phone my husband. But instead I went to my room and started calling to God with my whole being. With my whole being! God’s Word teaches me that He will answer those who seek Him. I have never before truly sought God, but that day, when I called out to Him, He answered me immediately. He said: “Retha, take off your shoes, you are standing on holy ground.” To come into the presence of the Lord, is holy. It’s holy!

He said something else: “My dear child, do you believe that my Son already paid the perfect price on the cross? For you?” I said, “Yes Lord, yes,” because I knew. That’s what I was taught in church – it’s an idea I grew up with. In my spirit I suddenly realized how I ran after doctors for days, just to see a glimmer of hope in their eyes. Instead, I should have been running after Jesus to find hope with Him. Jesus is the answer to everything. Jesus is the way, the truth, life!

A strange thing happened then. I was still on my knees, with my eyes closed, but in my spirit I saw how Jesus took 39 lashes. With the last one, the 39th one, I couldn’t see a human being anymore. All I saw was a lump of flesh. The Spirit of God told me that Jesus was beaten beyond recognition by then. Seeing this wasn’t like in the movies at all. What I saw there was beyond recognition as a human being. My whole being cried.

But then God said: “No, don’t cry. He did it for you. And for Aldo as well.” While I was still on my knees, I saw Him say: “It is complete, it is complete.

Those words, It is complete, went through my being and my spirit man awakened. I realized that was where my hope was. And I saw in my spirit how the veil in the temple ripped in two – a veil so thick that no human could have torn it. And a veil so high, so unbelievably high!

He said: “Retha, humanly this is impossible. There’s the veil, and it’s open.” And I saw, in my spirit, the outer court and the centre. And there, in the centre, I also saw a bowl filled with water. He said to me: “Come in, my child, and wash your hands. The outer court is the holy place, come and wash your hands so that you may enter into the holiest of places.” He then said: “The veil was rent for you to enter. Come inside, my child.

And I experienced how I was washing my hands. And how I entered the holy place barefoot, meeting Jesus there.

He said to me: “It is complete, Retha.” For the first time in my life I experienced what Jesus did for me on the cross. Then He said to me: “Are you willing to sacrifice your child?” Remember, Aldo’s heartbeat was 32 when I left ICU. I hummed and hawed. I can tell you honestly that I was afraid if I say yes, He would take him from me.

But now I realize that, whether He took him or not, God is in control in any case. I also honestly don’t want to have to make a decision like that about living or dying. God is in control.

He said: “Retha, sacrifice him to me.” Then a scripture in Matthew, that I wasn’t even aware of at that stage, suddenly came to me. (Matthew 10:37)“You, who love your son or daughter more than me, are not worthy of entering into my presence.” I immediately knew He was talking about me. Because for 10 years Aldo was my only child. And you and I as parents don’t know what we are doing. The Word teaches us that if we want to boast, we should boast in God. But what do we boast about? About our children, their achievements, the positions we are pushing them to reach. We boast about our dreams and ideals for them.

The Lord said to me: “Retha, kids are there to love. Not to boast about.” (1 Corinthians 1:31) And I said: “Lord, here he is.

Then the most amazing thing happened. I opened my eyes and I was in the throne-room of God, and the light was extremely bright. I can’t describe the light to you. It was the kind of light that can shine through one’s bones, so bright that I couldn’t help asking: “What is this amazing light?”. God answered me and said: (1 John 1:5) “God is light, and in Him there is no darkness.” To this day, you can wake me up at 1 o’clock in the morning, and I will remember those words.

And I saw my child lying there with God’s hands on his brain.

In the Gospel according to St. Luke it says: That which seems impossible to people, is possible for God. (Luke 18:27) You see, for the first 12 days after the accident I relied on people. God then told me: “Retha, I have been waiting for you for 12 days. What is impossible for people is possible for God. I made this brain, and I am going to fix this brain, in all its glory.” “He isn’t yours anymore – he now belongs to me. He was just given to you on loan, my child,” God said.

He continued: “He shall tell the world that Jesus Christ is alive. Don’t worry anymore.” God told me, He said it to me: “He’s safe here with me!” And also, “Go and walk the road with faith.

In the book of Hebrews it says faith is not what you see, but what you hope for. (Hebrews 11:1) The Amplified Bible says it even better: It’s the title deed of the things you hope for. And where do we want our title deeds? In the safe, of course!

But God told me that day that it’s here, right here. It’s available to every child of God. “Here’s your title deed,” He said. “Everything you hope for... tell me. What is your hope? Because here is the title deed. Take it, take it!

I experienced in my spirit how I saw my child healing, and running and doing everything. God said to me that He wanted me to see the final product. But while I was still looking, He said to me: “But far above what you can even dream of or pray for, I will give it to you. Go back now, and walk your road in faith.

When I opened my eyes, an hour and a half went by, and I was still on my knees. I realized I had to get back to ICU, because I remembered how it was going when I left. When I got back, Aldo’s heartbeat was 186, and they had a cardiologist with him! And I immediately realized that God has stepped in. Not even a month after that, he was taken off every machine in ICU. He still had a tracheotomy, and a tube in his stomach.

Just before we left the ICU, a doctor gave me an address and advised me to go and book Aldo in at this place. He said... I don’t even want to repeat what he said, I don’t want Aldo to ever know what they said...but he said “Aldo won’t be anything, ever. Nothing." I just stood there and looked at him. I shook his hand and thanked him. “Do you know,” I said to him, “that my God is alive?

I must admit that, before that day on my knees when I met God, I never realized that God was such a reality. I think the reason for that is that you and I don’t realize what He did on the cross for us. We never realized that we may enter into God’s presence. We sit in church Sunday after Sunday, and think that the pastor went to hear things from God, and he will come and tell us.

But why, then, did Jesus die? For the pastor? No, for you and me. For all of us. Praise God for that. For all of us!

We took Aldo to a hospital in Pretoria. It was much closer to our home than the hospital in Johannesburg. Because of this I could be with Aldo during the day, and Thinus could be with him every night.

After a month this hospital’s staff also told me that it was time to book him in somewhere. “We can’t do anything for him anymore.” We took him home, and employed day and night nursing staff to look after him.

His little body was stiff as a poker, in spasm. His eyes were closed. He was just lying there, not speaking at all. He had no bladder control, and was still fed through the tube in his stomach. The tracheotomy had to be cleaned daily.

One day I took him to the doctor and asked if he couldn’t give me something for the spasm in his jaw. At that stage it had been three months during which we couldn’t open his mouth. The doctor told me that he still thinks it would have been better if we booked him in somewhere. “They do this,” he explained, demonstrating with his own mouth. “They lock their jaws like this. Or they open their mouths like this.” He demonstrated again, and again.

I sat there, just looking at that man, asking God in my mind to forgive him. And hoping for his sake that the clock won’t strike twelve, because what if he gets stuck with his face looking like that?

My spirit was crying after that consultation. I loaded Aldo into the car and set off for home. But I cried so much that I could barely see the road. I said to God: “He doesn’t even give me a prescription, God!” But the Spirit of God answered me: “Retha, you HAVE a prescription!

No, I don’t, I answered.

He said: “My child, every day that you break the bread, you die with Me. Every time you take a drink of My blood, you rise with Me. Because I am the Bread of Life. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood will be one with Me.” He said: “Do it as often as you need it!

I can assure you, there were days that I felt I have eaten loaves of bread, so often I needed this. But today I can praise God for that, because when I looked again, something was happening to me.

Ezekiel tells us that we will be filled, and I could feel how I was being filled, filled with the Spirit of God. I felt how I was being filled until I started overflowing. And the Word of God tells us how streams of living water shall flow from your inner being. (John 3:8) And how you will be like a tree planted next to a river, one that bears fruit at the right time. (Psalms 1:3)

I could experience this, because I died in myself. There were days that I said to God there is absolutely nothing left of me. Nothing at all. He said: “If the seed doesn’t die, it won’t be able to grow and bear fruit. A tree is recognized by its’ fruit, not by its’ leaves.” (John 12:24) Remember Jesus cursing the fig tree when He walked past and saw it full of leaves, but without any fruit? (Mark 11:13-14)

God said to me: “That’s where I want you.” On days like that, days that it felt like my life was falling apart, I pointed out to God that my life was a mess. Then He reminded me about the 3D-pictures that I loved as a child. Remember those? You watch them until you are cross-eyed, but you still don’t see anything. And then, in a moment, it all becomes clear. Only then do you see the amazing picture behind it all. God said: “Retha, I want you to focus, to stay focused on Me, because there is an amazing picture behind all of this.

He reminded me about what He told Peter: “You will be able to walk on water as long as you focus on me.” (Matthew 14:25-31) And Peter had the faith to get out of the boat and walk on the water while still focusing on Jesus. I doesn’t say so in the Bible, but I can just imagine Peter’s friends shouting after him: “You are stir crazy, Peter!” And of course, the minute Peter started looking around him and stopped focusing on Jesus, he started sinking.

God also reminded me about the daughter of Jairus. (Luke 8:41-55) Remember, Jairus was in the temple with Jesus when they came to tell him that his daughter died. The first thing Jairus did was to look at the Master. People said to him: “It won’t help to look at Jesus, she’s dead!” But he kept on looking at the Lord. And Jesus told Jairus to look at Him. Jairus did – He looked into his Master’s eyes. Jesus told him not to listen to what the people were saying, and not to fear. “Jairus, just believe. Just keep on believing!”, Jesus said.

I learnt a valuable lesson from this: it doesn’t help to look at circumstances. It doesn’t help to listen to ‘them’. “Don’t fear, just look at Me,” is what I learned. “Look at Me, and keep on believing.” Wow, what a lesson this is under difficult circumstances. It’s difficult, but it works. And so I got up, with Jesus, and I could carry on with the journey.

I took him home and he was just lying there in his bed. Still stiff as a poker.

One day I picked him up, this child of mine, and we started walking with him. We would hold him, one on each foot. We had blisters on our knees walking him like that. Two would hold his torso. We put him on an exercise bicycle, each of us holding a foot, one holding his head, one his upper body. We kept him straight and sitting up like that.

And then somebody came along and said: “Retha, why are you doing this to your child? You know he will just be lying there forever.” But you don’t understand, I explained. “God has a vision for my child. Because in Genesis 22 He tells Abraham to go and sacrifice Isaac. And yet, Abraham says this amazing thing to Isaac: ‘My son, God Himself will provide for this burnt offering.

He didn’t say, “Isaac, Dad knows somebody in the community that could step in. He said God Himself will provide a lamb for this burnt offering.” Isaac and Abraham went up the mountain and Abraham was obedient to God. And God saw his heart, and sent an angel. The angel said: “Abraham, Abraham, stop! The ram is ready! The ram is ready!” Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide.

Provide. In Hebrew it translates to provision. God has a vision for you and me! The ram is ready - in my life and your life. He’s ready!

You’re asking me why the ram doesn’t come? Maybe because you’re not sacrificing your problem to the Lord. Maybe because you’re still sitting with it in your lap. God is waiting for you to be obedient; to sacrifice your problem so that He can sent the ram! We have a plan for everything. For our finances, for our marriages that are failing, for every problem! Jesus is the plan! Give your problem to the Lord today! The ram is ready!

So I told this person that God has a vision for Aldo. But there is another truth that you and I, as children of God, must learn: the day God gave me this promise that He will restore my child, He also said to me “But I need your faith.” Because God’s promise, without my faith, cannot make the promise come true. God’s promise plus my faith equals a miracle!

We often think that you and I can just sit back and receive. No, we must give the first step in faith, and that usually is the most difficult part. To blindly say “I believe God”. To say you as a human will give it your best shot. To say that you will do everything you can.

The Word tells us this: “You will hear a voice behind you, telling you to go left or right. And my peace will meet you.” (Isaiah 30:21) And that is how you will know if you are in the will of God. But you first have to step out and do it!

The occupational therapist one day told Aldo, sitting there in the chair with his stiff little body: “Aldo, I want you today to see what an A and a B looks like.” She was saying this to a child that was so clever, who did so well in school – something I always bragged about. But praise God - Aldo is still just as clever! I looked at him and my heart ached about the things she’s showing him. I was thinking to myself: “But he knows these things!” But I remembered that they told me in hospital, when he woke up, that he would have a memory loss of at least 10 years. And remember, he was only 12 years old, which must be why she was showing him these things.

Then the thought went through my mind: “No, no, I will restore him in all his glory.” And I realized that I have a choice. Who was I going to believe? His little body could but sit there. But he looked around him a bit, and saw a pen, and I saw it. “Aldo, do you want to write?” I asked. He nodded his head a little bit. I helped him holding the pen, because his right wrist was a bit shaky, and he started writing.

He started with A, right through to Z, and he wrote: ”Thank you Mom, that you never stopped believing.” For the first time since that day on my knees, I experienced: Jesus is alive! I screamed at the top of my voice: “Jesus, you truly are alive!” I screamed so much that my spirit man awoke!

I asked Aldo how old he was, and he wrote it down. Which school does he go to, and he wrote. What is Dad’s phone number? And he remembered. Everything, including the accident.

In that case, I told him, he was writing exams in two weeks time, and we would have to start studying. We sat there on the patio and he studied, but his concentration wasn’t too good, and every now and again he wanted to take a break.

We talked, and I started telling him about the four times we almost lost him. At that stage, he still couldn’t talk – he couldn’t talk for six months – but he indicated that he wanted to write something. I told him about the dream in which I saw him dying. He shook his head “No”, and started writing. “Mom, it wasn’t a dream,” he wrote. “Jesus told you to speak life over me, and you did. I am so glad that you did it so obediently. I cried so much, Mom, and I felt so sorry for all of you.” I kept quiet, and he wrote some more: “ Mom, if you didn’t sacrifice me, I would have been dead by now.

I got up and left him there, tied to his chair with bandages to keep him from falling off, and I ran up the stairs, calling out to God. “This is supernatural, Lord,” I cried. And He answered me: “How was I born?” “Supernaturally, o Lord,” I answered. “But why is it that you as my children stop there? You know that I am a supernatural God, but the minute I start doing supernatural things, you get scared! Or you frown, or you think it’s not natural.” “I am a supernatural God!”, God said again.

And He gave me the Scripture from John 11:40, a text I didn’t know at that stage. It was the part about what Jesus said to Martha, after Lazarus had already been dead for four days. He reminded Martha that He told them that those who believe in Him will experience His glory and His strength. Note that He didn’t say all who called him Lord, but all who BELIEVED in Him!

I went downstairs again, and Aldo continued writing. In time to come, he filled pages and pages with his writing. “Mom, why are you so scared?” he wrote. “Aldo, I don’t understand something. Where were you while I experienced these things in my dream?” His answer? “With Jesus!” He wrote: “Mom, while you were lying over me at the scene of the accident, Jesus came and picked me up. Mom, you even looked into His eyes!

I remember how I shook, and how the peace descended upon me. God is indeed in the darkest of clouds! I cried so much that day. But Aldo comforted me: “Mom, don’t cry. I was with Jesus all of that time. I remember Him telling you in His throne-room that I was safe there with Him.

Aldo still couldn’t speak, but wrote pages and pages every morning. He wrote JESUS, and circled the word. JESUS WILL LET ME SPEAK AGAIN. JESUS WILL LET ME SPEAK AGAIN. JESUS WILL LET ME SPEAK AGAIN. THANK YOU JESUS THAT I WILL SPEAK AGAIN! The next morning it’s the same thing all over again: JESUS, I AM GOING TO SPEAK AGAIN.

For a mother who used to bribe this boy with R5 for every 5 minutes he could keep quiet on our way from Pretoria to our home near the Hartebeespoortdam, this was a bitter experience. I was flat on my face: in front of his chair, in front of the bath, on the lawn. Under the table. On the table, everywhere. “Father, please just let my son speak again!” I cried, and I cried. I can’t tell you how much I cried. I realized then how incorrectly we handled our children.

One day Aldo wrote again: “Mom, don’t be so worried, I will speak again.” So I asked him: “Why do you write this every day?” “Because Jesus told me in heaven to speak life. Remember what I told you? He taught me: we should speak life!” And he wrote again: “I will walk again, I will speak again, I will be healthy again. I will heal 100%. Jesus already paid the perfect price for me on the cross.

He wrote it over and over and over. THANK YOU JESUS, FOR DYING FOR ME. THANK YOU JESUS, FOR RISING FOR ME.

He started quoting Scripture, and told me that we will be like trees planted by the river, bearing fruit at the right time.

He started a daily journal. One day he wrote about two children he met in heaven. One was called Anton, he wrote, and gestured in a circle around his head. “Mom, you should tell Anton’s mom that he is healthy!” He wrote down a place where we’ll find Anton’s parents, and that is exactly where we found them later. They told us that Anton had Down’s syndrome when he was alive, and that was what Aldo tried to indicate with the circle around the head.

He also wrote about Dwayne. His parents called him Dwayna, and when we met, Aldo wrote that ‘Dwayna’ was healthy and with Jesus and so happy. “He cannot wait for you to go there too.

I want to read you a few things that Aldo wrote in his journal:

  • Jesus will use us to preach His Word. We will tell the world that Jesus is alive.
  • God will do great things, great miracles. Because Jesus is alive. Be prepared.
  • Thank you God that I may be your child. Bless us and anoint us with the power and the Holy Spirit. Mom, tell people that Jesus is alive.
  • We shall see God on His throne. We’ll tell God what we did for Him here on earth. Mom, today, be what God wanted you to be: holy.
  • Jesus said: Who shall I send to preach my Word? Will we be obedient and go where He sends us?

Through all of this I started realizing that Aldo had been in heaven.

Hear what he wrote on October 17th, 2005: “We’ll see God in heaven, with the angels and other people like Abraham. Also Jesus, and Dwayne and Anton. Look forward with me to go back there. That is why I am sometimes so difficult, Mom – it’s because I want to go back there. Please Mom, will you also tell other people? People go to heaven, or to hell. Like Satan’s children go to hell, God’s children will go to heaven. We will live in heaven the same way that our God lives.

In another letter, he wrote the following:

  • To everybody seeking the presence of Jesus with me: be prepared for when He comes to fetch us, because it will be sooner than you think. Please can you accept Him into your heart, because otherwise you will go to Hell.”
  • Please do it soon, while you still have a chance. Jesus paid the perfect price for you and me. He showed me everything in heaven, and He also showed me hell.
  • And believe me, you don’t want to go to hell. Please, won’t you accept Jesus now? Jesus loves you so much, please just believe it. You are the reason why He sent me back. I didn’t want to come back, but He wants you to be ready. Love, Aldo.

At night He started calling out to Jesus. “Why are you calling like that?”, I asked. He was lying on his arms. He still couldn’t cry properly at that stage.

Mom, because everybody cannot enter there! There’s a bridge, Mom, a golden bridge that you have to cross. And after the bridge there is a huge door.” “Mom,” he said, “your pearls are nothing compared to those on that door. The door in that gateway is huge, Mom. With huge pearls on it. And inside, they have a wedding banquet.” I don’t know if your 12-year old knows about a ‘wedding banquet’, but mine certainly didn’t. He only knew about soccer and Playstation.

He said again: “A wedding banquet, Mom,” and then he started crying. At that time a friend brought me a book by an American woman. The book is called Heaven Is So Real, and theauthor (Choo Thomas) experienced heaven with God. The friend told me that everything Aldo wrote down, was confirmed by the experiences this woman had in heaven. I immediately started reading the book, and soon I came across the part where she described the golden bridge. And then she had my full attention.

She writes about people standing around, crying. Their heads were hanging low, and they looked very dejected and hopeless. She said “Lord, who are these people?”, and He said: “They are disobedient Christians.” “And how long do they have to stand in this barren, lifeless place?” “Forever my daughter. The ONLY ones who’ll enter the kingdom of God are the pure of heart, my obedient children. Let me explain: many call themselves Christians, but they do not live by My Word.

Some of them think going to church once a week is enough, but they never read my words, and they still pursue worldly things." Do you hear that? “Some, who even read my Word, don’t know Me and don’t have Me in their hearts.” After reading that I was in quite a bit of shock, and I asked the Father to speak to me through His Word. I didn’t want to risk making this painful journey, just to end up in heaven but not be ready.

Please speak to me through your Word, Lord.” He gave me a Scripture from Revelations 3 where it says “It would have been better if you were cold, or hot, but now you are lukewarm. And because you are lukewarm, I have to spit you out.” And also: “I know your works, for you say I’m rich and I’ve prospered and I’ve grown wealthy.” Those are the things we all like to say. “Do you see this, all these things? I have worked hard for them.” Me, me, me... “For you don’t see yourself: you are poor, you are blind, you are naked.

Note the next verse, it’s very interesting: “Therefore I counsel you, come and purchase from me.” Purchase means that there is a price involved. But Jesus already paid the perfect price. He cannot do anything else for you. He paid it. He took the 39 lashes. Now it is our turn, your turn and mine.

God says, “Come and purchase from me. Gold. Gold purified by fire, gold with the right stamp on. Come, buy clothes from me to cover your nakedness. Buy ointment from Me so that your eyes may open and you may see what’s happening in the Spirit.

The next morning Aldo wrote in his journal, like always. But he only wrote the words “Matthew 25”. I ran to my Bible, and there it tells the story of the ten virgins. Ten waited, but only five were ready. My first reaction was: “But Lord, at least they waited. Ten were there, waiting!” He said, “Yes, Retha, ten are sitting in church, but only five are ready. Five asked for oil for their lamps.” “Lord, what is this oil? What is this oil?

He said: “Retha, it’s my Holy Spirit. When I went up to heaven to sit on the right-hand side of my Father, I left you my Holy Spirit. And He will comfort you, He will guide you. He’s your advocate, your everything.

He said to me that everybody doesn’t experience Him. “But why not Lord?” I asked. He answered: “Because your sin is a wall, keeping you away from me so that you cannot hear the voice of the Holy Spirit of God.” “It’s inside you!”, He told me.

With a holy fear, not a scared fear, I opened my eyes that morning. “Are you here, Holy Spirit?”, I called. And He answered: “I am here with you, and I love you so much!” “I am here with you! Retha, I want to walk this road with you.

The Spirit of God then revealed Revelations 1 to me. The part where it says “I am here in all My glory to guide you.

I became excited in my spirit. First you have to die, and then God fills you with His Spirit. But first we have to die. And how often we don’t get the victory, and we don’t get abundance. I am telling you today it is because we are too full of ourselves. I am including myself when I say this: I’ve been there. I had to die before God’s Spirit could fill my spirit. And then those streams of living water could fill me up until I overflowed, and then only could I bear fruit.

God said to me: “Retha, I want you to stay in me. Just stay in me.” It says in Revelations 19:3 that He was riding on a white horse, and He had flames in his eyes. Those flames are His love for His bride. He had a rope dipped in blood and He was called the word of God. The Word of God. “Retha, stay in my Word, stay in me, and I will stay in you.

One night I called out to Him again, and I said “Lord, I am calling out to you with my whole being!” This time He gave me a vision of an egg and flour, the egg still in its shell and the flour just lying there. He then explained to me that I was the egg, still in my shell, and that He was the flour. “For years you have been lying in your shell in the flour. Your shell is ‘me, myself and I’. Your future value lies in the egg that is inside that!

And then I saw how the shell cracked, the egg white and the yellow flowing out. God said: “Retha, I want you to become one with Me. When this egg mixes with the flour, it will be one. Then, if I ask you to give me the flour, will you be able to?” “No! Can you take out the egg again? No, you won’t be able to!

I often hear people saying “I gave my problem to the Lord.” “But He is a bit slow, so I am taking it back!” “Of course you can do that if you are still in your shell, but once you and God have become one, He will never again let go of you.

Scripture teaches you and me that He wants to sign a covenant of peace with us. That means that everything that is mine, all my shortcomings, my hurt, my pain, becomes His. Everything that is His – His kingdom, everything that is God – becomes mine and I become one with Him. And he tells me that day: “And then my child, you will lack nothing, nothing. But then I will have to start kneading you, and that might hurt a bit. Then I will flatten you on all sides, and I will put you in a pan and after that you’ll go into the oven.

Believe me, the oven might be the best place for you, but it is not the nicest place to be. How many days did I spend looking out of the oven, crying, saying: “Oh, isn’t it better to be out there?” Then my husband said: “No, Retha, think again!” We were in that oven for a long, long time. And one day I saw how He took us out, took the bread out of the pan and broke the bread.

Then He looked at me, and said to me: “Retha, only now I can start feeding the world with you.

Tell me, are you useful to God, or are you still in your shell?

I was so excited, and thought “Wow! If that’s what God wants, that is exactly what He’ll get!

One morning, during my quiet time with God, I got the scripture that says “If you will stay in me, and I in you, then you can ask just what you want, and you will get it.” (John 15:6-7)

So, we are one, but why don’t we always get what we want? Because we still are not one with God. Being one with God asks of you to die first, and so many people along the road tells me that they want what I have, but they are not prepared to pay the price. Dear friend, you don’t have to pay anything. You don’t have to walk the same road I did. All you have to do is say “Yes, Lord!” and die in yourself.

It tells us in 1 John 5He who has the Son, has life.” Those who do not have the Son of God don’t have life. The life is in Jesus. Therefore you have to become one with Jesus. Not get next to Him, or around Him. In Him! You have to become one with Him, otherwise you will not see the kingdom of God.

He explains it clearly in Deuteronomy 8:40 how He walked with His people. “And,” He says, “I did that to humble you - to see what was in your heart, to test you. And I did that you to hunger you so that I could feed you with manna” Manna is God’s Word. But have you seen what somebody who isn’t hungry does with his food? He spits it out. But somebody who is hungry, on the other hand, wolves down a plate of food.

The Word of God must be like a fountain of living water that bubbles and bubbles. The more you have of that, the more you are being fed from the inside. After a while, the living waters will start flowing from inside you.

Tell me what’s coming out of your mouth? Is it streams of living water? Or streams of bitterness that are eating you up from the inside?

Then I realized, yes, there is more. Much more than merely saying “I am reborn, and now I am a child of God and His kingdom is now mine.” No, being the bride of God, asks of you to be pure, bathed in His blood.

I gave a talk at the women’s day event of Radio Pulpit. During my flight to Cape Town, I was talking to the Holy Spirit the whole time. Why? Because He is my whole life! And I asked: “Holy Spirit of the living God, please show me the bride. I want to be the bride, but what does she look like?” God’s Spirit is so faithful. He showed me the Scripture in Luke 10 where He sends out 72 people, two at a time. “They were called acquaintances of God.” That, to me, is the church. Any church. Me, you, any one of us calling ourselves Christians. We sit in church and think it’s fine

And then there were twelve. “Then there were twelve who came to Me and said Lord, will you please teach us more? We want to know more about you and the gospel. We need that, Lord.” But don’t get excited yet, because one of them, Judas, who sold Jesus out, was a devil.

But Retha, there were still three left, and they were called the friends of the Lord: Peter, John and James.” And He sent them into difficult circumstances. He taught Peter to walk on water, a lesson I am still praising God for. John and James He took to the mountain where Moses and Eliah were. (Matthew 17:1-9) Also when He went to pray for Jairus’ daughter, He only took the three with Him: Peter, John and James, because they were his friends.

God said: “Retha, but there was one who lied down with his head on my chest, who listened to my heartbeat. He loved me! And the kingdom of God has been revealed to him. His name was John!” The Spirit of God was upon me, and God asked me: “Where is the head of the bride?” And I answered: “On the bridegroom’s chest, my Lord.” “Yes,” He said, “yes!” “Because you and I are one. Retha, come and have communion with me. Everything that is mine, is yours. Come, my dear child.” I was silent.

He said: “Retha, do you go to your husband with a list of things you need before you have intercourse with him? Or do you go to him because you love him?” I had to bow my head in shame, because I realized then that, every time I was sitting at His feet, I had Aldo on my lips. He said to me: “No, my child, start saying thank you for the accident.

Shortly afterwards Aldo wrote something that I knew could only come from the Lord: “Mom, we have to start saying thank you for the accident, because only now God can start doing with our lives what He planned to. Mom, your life belongs to Jesus. I can see the throne room, and Jesus said He will fetch us, we must just be patient. The wedding banquet is ready, Jesus wants to fetch His bride.

Are you His bride, or an acquaintance of God?

Jesus didn’t die on the cross to give you religion. He did that to give you a relationship with the living God. With the living, supernatural God. Praise God for that! He did that so you can have life, and life in abundance. (John 10:10) He did that so we can face tomorrow!

Holy Spirit of God, I love you so much and want to thank you. Thank you that we can now open our arms wide, unlocking the doors to our hearts. Doors that only have a handle on the inside, Lord. We’re doing that so that you can have a look in there to see what’s going on. Spirit of God, come and fill us. Reveal everything that is bad, Lord. Reveal the bitterness in our hearts, the selfishness, the me, myself and I. I want to choose, like Paul, to die with you and to rise with you.

Today, I choose life. The Word of God says “life or death”. (Deuteronomy 30:19) I choose life, a life in abundance, with you!

Holy Spirit, please remove that which must go, and yes, I am at a point in my life where there is nothing left, and for that I praise and honor You. Lord God, come and fill us with Your loving liquid love. Pour it out in our spirit Lord. Just pour on and on, until it overflows. Because He is alive, I can face tomorrow.

If there is something in your life that you want to sacrifice to God today – maybe your marriage, your teenager, your finances, your business – do it, just there where you are. Get rid of the pride, the being grand, and put your hands in the air and say, “Lord, here I am. I want to receive your Holy Spirit. I confess today that Jesus Christ died for me and has risen for me, and that He is my savior and my salvation. And I declare that God’s Spirit lives in me, and He will guide me in everything I need.

Father God, thank you that I will lack nothing, for I am now one with you. In my life, forever, I will hear the voice saying, turn left or turn right. Thank you for your power in our lives.

If there is somebody here who hasn’t yet accepted Jesus as Lord, say after me:

Jesus, in the name of the Father, I accept you. Thank you for dying for me, and for rising for me. Thank you for circumstances, for bringing me to this point in my life where I realize that I am nothing without you. And please come soon, King Jesus, come and fetch us. We are ready, come and fetch us.

Father, I want to ask now that everybody who heard this message will say, “I will purchase gold from you, refined gold. I will purchase ointment from you so that my spiritual eyes can see. I will buy this cloth from you to cover my nakedness.

Spirit of the living God, I love you and I thank you for Aldo that’s alive. I pray today for his spirit, his soul and his body to come in line with God’s word.

Aldo, you will live and you will have a life of abundance, and you will tell the world Jesus is alive. You will heal completely, my dear child. You are going to speak perfectly. You are going to walk again, play soccer again. You will laugh again, cry again. You will tell the world yourself that Jesus is alive. Thank you Lord Jesus. Amen.

 

 




The Savior of the World . . .
I believe and trust in You . . .
When there's no hope, there is Grace!
Lord, I can't make it without YOU!
Jesus is our Thread of Hope . . .
I'm here but not for long . . .
I'm going home where I belong . . . Heaven is my thread of hope!
At the midnight hour . . . there is so much hope!

You are my Thread of Hope . . . Beloved!

"Oh Lord you are my Thread of Hope! Take away the pain! Merciful God . . . take away my pain so I can fly in your faithfulness, fly in your grace and stay close to you!" I want to stay close to YOU!"

Hope with His Love . . .
In Christ Alone . . .
He will raise you up . . .
Listen . . . God will take care of you
Rest in Me . . .
All I need is You . . .Lord
Promise Keeper . . .
Listen to the Voice of Truth not the lies of the enemy . . .
He who has ears . . . let him hear

A Thread of Hope I

Thread of Hope II

Click here to continue to next page

Write a new comment: (Click here)

SimpleSite.com
Characters left: 160
DONE Sending...
See all comments

| Reply

Latest comments

27.06 | 09:09

nice post

...
27.03 | 16:12

If you have questions for Kat Kerr here is her email: inquire@katkerr.com

...
23.12 | 09:52

Bless you Jacky! I so needed this Word today!

...
22.12 | 01:04

Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the convers

...
You liked this page