Thursday, 26 April 2012

What is Christianity

Standing Firm in Our Commitment to God

  It is clear salvation is a free gift of God because as sinful beings, there is nothing we can do to obtain it on our own. All we have to do is accept it and do as He commands, standing firm in our commitment to the Lord through out our lives. Christ came to earth, born of the Virgin Mary, died on the cross as the perfect sacrifice for our sins, and for our part we are called to believe in our hearts and confess with our lips before man that Christ is Lord. By doing so, we are making a commitment to God and receive power over sin, to change our lives. By devoting our life to Him, we are born again, a new creation; and our eyes are opened to His ways, which is opposite to the ways of the world.
As His Word is revealed to us, and our eyes are opened to the truth, we have the option as creatures of free will to either follow His commandments or turn back to the ways of the world. God is asking us not only to believe in Him, but also to show our commitment to Him by changing our lives. First we are told to turn from sin. Then Christ tells us the greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all your heart, mind and soul, which is done by serving the less fortunate. God promises that the cross we are given to carry or the work He has for us will not be a burden and having the Spirit of the Lord with us, we have the ability to do as He asks.
To make this change from following the ways of the world to following the ways of the Lord is a choice we have to make on a daily basis. It is not a one-time decision we make, but is a journey that lasts until we die. It is a process, and the Lord is patient, but He wants to see the intention of our hearts during this process. It all sounds so simple; we accept salvation, make a commitment to the Lord, turn from sin and do the works He has for us to do. Well it is not as simple as it sounds because life happens.
Our Christian journey is one of maturing faith or in other words, the more we see the wonders of the Lord, the greater our faith becomes in Him. Even though we believe in our hearts and confess with our lips that Christ is Lord, it is still tough to follow His Word through service to others and turning from sin. It takes time to understand that His ways are superior to the ways of the world. Sure we all say we understand this concept, but when confronted with life’s problems and society’s morals we do not automatically do the right thing. We will never get it right all the time, but as I repeat myself, God looks at the intentions of our hearts and the progress we are making to live the life He commands us to.
Standing firm during the process of our maturing faith is essential to our salvation. In 1Corinthians 15:2 Paul says, “By this gospel you are saved, IF you hold firmly to the Word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.” Other verses that talk about standing firm in your commitment are, Mark 9:50, Matthew 24:12-13, and Colossians 1:22-23. As Christians, we are blessed beyond anything we can imagine, but are told we must do our part through the many choices we make daily to stand firm in our commitment to the Lord. As you grow in faith, the easier it becomes.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Experience True Prosperity

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. – 3 John 2

You may have read this passage in John many times, but today, make an effort to really focus on what prospering means to you. Make it personal. Think about as you read these words, what prosperity, true prosperity, looks like or would like in your life. Get a mental picture of this and hold onto it. Don’t wait, do it right now. If you are truly prosperous, how to you act, who is around you, what do you have, where do you live, and most importantly why are you prosperous.

It’s Okay to Prosper

If you had a difficult time imagining prosperity in your life, you may need to renew your mind to what God has really said about prospering you. The best way to do this is to consider passages from the Bible. As Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Now, don’t let the scripture you are about to read just sink into your intellect, take hold of it and let it be absorbed into your heart. Then, as soon as you possibly can, act on the Word that you read.

Even though 3 John 2 clearly says it’s God’s will to prosper you, you may still be stuck on a familiar saying, which is “money is the root of all evil”. This is from the Bible but it is missing three critical words. Read the scripture directly from the Bible from 1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” Notice, that it says, the love of money. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, you can fall into the trap of loving it.

Quick Tip: Start thinking of money as a tool. If you use a tool in the right way, you can do amazing things. For example, if you use a hammer appropriately, you can build a house. However, there are many people who have used a hammer very inappropriate ways, even to commit murder.

God’s desire is for you to prosper. See, how the Psalmist states it in Psalm 35:27, “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.” Think about that for a second, God gets pleasure when His servant prospers. You can make God happy by doing well. That is so awesome!

Prosperity Is More Than Money

When you envisioned what your life would look like if you were truly prosperous, did you see more than things money can buy? Did you see happiness and love? If you did, that is very good because prosperity includes every area of your life. You should experience prosperity in your relationships, in your emotional well-being, in your spiritual development, in your knowledge and wisdom, in your finances, and every other area of your life.

You have no doubt seen or know someone with lots of money who is miserable. If this is the case, then, you know that just having money is not really experiencing prosperity. In fact, with the exception of money, some of those people are experiencing lack in one or more of the other areas in their life. What good is money if you don’t have people around you who love you? What good is money if you are too sick to enjoy it? What good is money if it causes you so much stress that you have no joy in your life?

Use Your Prosperity to Bless Others

Instead of being a reservoir, which collects water, consider becoming a river, which channels water. When we are prospered, it is not only for us to enjoy the fruits, but it is also to share and help others.

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:

“He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.”

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.- 2 Corinthians 9:6-11

We are called to help those in need as Galatians 6:2 says, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” When you live in prosperity, which God wants you to do, then you will have the means necessary to help others. What a wonderful place that is to be.

Monday, 23 April 2012

The Uniqueness of Christianity

The Promises of Christ in the Bible

We all make promises. We promise our parents to be home at a certain hour, we promise our brother or sister to help him or her with homework, we promise ourselves we'll do better next time on our exams. We also promise God, as Christians, that we'll do our best to do things according to his wishes, that we grow up to be responsible citizens with fear of the Lord.
But we also had another person make us a promise. He told us he would come again and show us his Father's kingdom. That "person" is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. God gave us His son so we could be free from our own sins. Jesus lived a simple life, was punished and died on the cross. But before Jesus' death, he promised us, Man, many things that could be found in the Bible. These promises are a testament that no matter what, God loves us and will save us from damnation and welcome us to His kingdom in heaven, in due time.
"The Son of Man is come to save that which was lost." Luke 19:10
One of the things Jesus promised us is that he shall be the way to his Father's kingdom. You can look up this verse on the Bible. "In my Fathers house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you," John 14:2. So Jesus is preparing a place for all of us in his Father's kingdom. It is not ready now, but it will be in due time. Then the following verses talks about Jesus leaving, but he won't be away permanently. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, will come back to lead us to this place he's been preparing for a long time. Through this, Jesus promised us that he will come back as our Savior to take us with him to God's kingdom in heaven.
During the Last Supper, Jesus Christ left his twelve apostles with another promise: that God will send a Comforter to abide with them forever. Our Savior was leaving, but God didn't want us, His Creations, to be left wandering around like orphans. So He left us with a great teacher and guide that would wait with us until the second coming of our Savior Jesus Christ.
"...the Kingdom of God is among you." Luke 17:20
Last but not the least, the resurrection of Christ is also a sign of God fulfilling His promise. He said He would send us His only Son to save us from sin. We were saved when Jesus died on the cross. When Jesus rose up from the dead, it proved that he is indeed the Messiah that God had promised us.
God made promises to His creations and He fulfilled each one of them without fail. So as His creation that was created to His likeness, you should try to keep your promises. Being faithful to your promises is how Christ lived back then and it is how us Christians should live now.

The Significance of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ


Baptism - The Purpose of Getting Baptized


Sunday, 22 April 2012

How to Study the Bible

How blessed we are to have God’s Word written for us to read and enjoy every day! The Bible is full of wonderful stories of love, sacrifice and salvation as well as poems, advice and encouragement. The Bible has been translated into hundreds of languages around the world and is still being translated as new languages are discovered in remote foreign countries!
Reading the Bible is different than studying the Bible. Changing the way you read or study this wonderful book can help you better understand what being Christlike is about, and what it means to live your life as a Christian. Reading the Bible can give you an idea of Christianity as well as information about people living in Biblical times. Studying the Bible can allow for a more in-depth experience as you immerse yourself in God’s Word and literally pick apart the book, the chapter, the verse or the word!
If you would like to study the Bible, here are a few tips to help you along the way. First, decide how you’d like to read through the Bible: would you like to read it cover-to-cover and then go back to examine areas that impacted you more than others? Would you like to read only Old Testament books or New Testament books? Is there a specific topic you’d like to study? When you figure out how you’d like to begin, grab your Bible, a notebook (a new journal would be perfect) a pen and a highlighter. If you’d really like to get into the Bible, grab a concordance and a Bible dictionary.
A concordance is a book that cross-references words and concepts in the Bible. For example, if you’d like to study forgiveness, a concordance will tell you every verse that “forgiveness” is used, as well as “forgive” and “forgiven.” If you don’t have a concordance, check for an online resource that is available for use!
A Bible dictionary will help you understand words or concepts that may not make sense to you. For example, if you aren’t sure what “galbanum” is, you can look it up and discover the meaning behind the word! (Galbanum is a spice). Some Bible dictionaries will also provide information on Bible characters from a historical and genealogical perspective.
When you begin reading the Bible, do so slowly. Taking a sentence and reading it through once or twice, and then once out loud, can also give you a different idea or meaning. Emphasize each word, understanding it’s individual meaning as well as the meaning in the sentence. For example, read the following placing more emphasis on the bolded word than the non-bold word: “God is love.” “God is love.” “God is love.” This one short verse speaks a lot of information about who God is.
Consider the writer of the book you are studying. Who were they? How old were they? Where did they live? Why did they write this particular book? Also consider the time of which the book was written: was there a war? What was the history that took place during this time?
There are many resources available to help you discover more about the Bible to enhance your reading experience! Pray and ask God to help you understand His Word as you seek to be closer to Him!

The Lord's Way is Always the Best Way

The Lord’s Way is Always the BEST Way Even if it Hurts or is Hard For Us

Have You Been Attacked by Demons in Your Sleep?

Is the Bible Reliable

By: Christine Bettridge

The Bible is a Book that is loved around the world. Its followers live in every country and in every climate. Those who read it regularly love its pages and often do not get enough of it. Many even devote their life to the study of it, going after many degrees. But is it a love well-placed, or is it an obvious blind-sidedeness? Is there some real proof that the Bible is reliable? Is it for the people of today?

If one is honest, and will take the time to honestly learn the truth, the answer is that there is plenty of proof about the veracity of the Bible. While there are many books that deal with the subject (apologetics), most know very little about them. This article will deal with how you can know that the Bible is reliable.

Its Claim To Reliability
This is most important, simply because if the Bible claims to be true and it isn't, then it is not reliable. One of the many places that the Bible claims to be infallible is in Psalms 12:6,7, which says: "The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever" (KJV). Here the Bible is spoken of as being as purified silver - having been refined seven times. In that day, a seven-fold purification process meant the silver had no dross, or error, in it. The next phrase shows how long it will be kept that pure - for ever.

After having studied the Bible for many years, and looking at it with open, and believing eyes, many find it to be just as was predicted - without error. Here are some ways that we can know the Bible is indeed the Word of God.

It Is Reliable In...
1. Its Theme

From cover to cover the Bible has but one theme - redemption. To have this degree of unification of thought, by 40 different men, who spanned over 1600 years of time, is most incredible. Redemption is always by faith, through blood.

2. Its Historical Records

For many years scoffers mocked the Bible because it mentioned a large and very powerful nation called the Hittites. They mocked because there was not one shred of evidence archeologically that they ever existed. But one day, archeology caught up with what the Bible taught, and shovel full after shovel began, around the turn of the last century, to uncover the truth. Others have also wondered about Sodom and Gomorrah - until recently. These cities have been found - and yes, they were burned by sulfur and brimstone, near the edge of the Dead Sea, just like God said. Other archeological findings have revealed seashells at the tops of mountains - all around the earth - sounds like evidence of a world-wide flood - just like the Bible says.

3. Its Scientific Facts

While it is true that the Bible is not a textbook for a science class, where it does mention science, it is always scientifically correct. Interestingly, many of the facts of science that are referred to, were written more than 700 BC! The Bible speaks of the "circle of the earth" (Isaiah 40:22 - written around 700BC); of the hydrologic cycle (Ecclesiastes 1:6,7 - about 1000BC); of the wind traveling in circuits (cells) - Ecclesiastes 1:6; and physiology, "the life of the flesh is in the blood" (Leviticus 17:11 - around 1460BC!) - which if man only believed its truths, they would not have bled George Washington to death!

4. Its Prophecies

Many of today's so-called astrologers make very general predictions - simply because that makes it harder to show that they are ever wrong. But the Bible is very different here. First, the Bible declares that if any so called prophet is ever wrong - then they were not sent by God (Deuteronomy 18:20-22). God is not afraid that He will ever be shown to be wrong. A second thing is that the Bible gives very detailed prophecies. Concerning the life of Christ, there were many prophecies. Peter Stoner, once Chairman of the Departments of Math and Astronomy at Pasadena City College and at Westmont College however, in his book Science Speaks, wrote of the probability of just eight of these coming to pass. The odds that he calculated, which was verified by the American Scientific Affiliation, was said to be 1 in 10 to the 17th power! This means a ten followed by 17 zeroes; or, to put it in plain English, only one man in 1X1017 could possibly have fulfilled just eight of those prophecies! And when you think about it, there are currently only 6 billion people (6X108) on earth now. But there were actually more than 400 prophecies, not just 8!

In conclusion, it should be easy to say along with David, "Thou art near, O Lord; and all thy commandments are truth. Concerning thy testimonies, I have known that thou hast founded them forever" (Psalm 119:151,152).
Author Bio
Christine Bettridge has loved writing since childhood. She has written Plays, poetry and many articles. Her latest e-book End Time Secrets recently released by Cypress Street Publishing has caused an order frenzy since its release. It can be ordered, downloaded and read right now through the publishers website at End Time Secrets She also is the editor of the article directory,, Above All Content.
Article Source: - Free Website Content

Having Faith In God’s Word And His Healing Power

"WHAT EVER YOU DO IN LIFE LET GOD DIRECT YOUR PATH, FUTURE AND YOUR DESTINY."By Yvonne Lee Brown November 18, 2005The Word of God cannot work without ...

Yvonne Brown
By Yvonne Lee Brown November 18, 2005
The Word of God cannot work without Faith. You cannot understand without Faith. Speak the word of Healing and you will be healed. Faith is certain of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. God’s word is living and active. It penetrates to driving our Body, Mind and Soul.
Praise the Lord in the mist of the Problem.
Ask God for his Help.
Listen to the Lord.
Pray for deliverance.
Always think Positive.
Raising the bar is getting closer to God.
Every Season in your Life has a Purpose.
Our Lives are determined by the Season’s.
Go from Pain to Power.
God cannot Heal a thing by saying it is not there.
You must admit your Present Condition.
Your true Beauty is in your Inner Self.
Life and Death are in the Power of the Tongue.
Your Mind plays an important role in your Victory.
Nothing is to Hard for God.
Life is Lived from the Inside Out.
All we have is Today
The Future is the Past that has not happen Yet.
God is in Control of History he Work out everything for his Purpose.
God never brings you Out without bringing you Into.

If we believe, you will receive. Whatever you ask for in prayer. Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, Believe that you have received, and it will be YOURS. !!!!!
About Author: Retired Verzion Telephone Company employee. I am a entrepreneur at heart and Network Marketer. A new web site owner of This website is about cancer and how Prayer Heals. Trusting God in all things that he will work it out. This is a exciting new site with lots of cancer information and products and shopping. Stop bye and visit with us soon. !!! Our E-mail
About Author: Retired Verzion Telephone Company employee. I am a entrepreneur at heart and Network Marketer. A new web site owner of [] (link: This website is about cancer and how Prayer Heals. Trusting God in all things that he will work it out. This is a exciting new site with lots of cancer information and products and shopping. Stop bye and visit with us soon. !!! Our E-mail

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Forgiveness: Release from guilt, despair and depression.

Be set free from the bondage of hurts and unforgiveness.

Jack Viljoen
The church is a sad testimony to the world. There is so much that does not conform to the teachings of Jesus and the other New Testament writers. And, worst of all, the leaders of the numerous institutions are more interested in their reputations, membership numbers and finance than they are in the well being of their flocks. Their image in the media is of utmost importance.
Whilst the flock is struggling with all kinds of personal issues the leaders are preaching well prepared sermons that contain no life-changing message. Furthermore, when it comes to counseling they use methods from psychology studied during their preparation for the ministry. They counsel from the mind to the mind. But the issues of life are issues of the heart and hence are spiritual in essence. Therefore mans methods are absolutely powerless when it comes to life issues.
Why is it that in the church, the divorce statistics are higher than those in the world? Suicide, child abuse and poor, if not non-existent, inter-personal relationships are accepted as normal behaviour patterns. Is this the Kingdom of God that Jesus taught about? I think not.
Proverbs 4:23 tells us to guard our hearts, for the heart is the wellspring of life. In 1 Corinthians 2, Paul talks about two kinds of wisdom; human and spiritual. We know about the human kind of wisdom, but Paul says that if we do not have the Holy Spirit we cannot receive the wisdom that comes from God because it is spiritually discerned. And, only the Godly kind of wisdom has any power to bring change and healing to the human nature and emotions. The sad part in this situation is that the majority of the church institutions are founded upon humanistic principles which exclude the Holy Spirit, and are therefore powerless to help anyone.
This brings us to the subject of this article. Unforgiveness.
You have been hurt; maybe only once or perhaps many times. You have sworn never to forgive or you have tried to forgive but cannot. You can face the perpetrators and put up a brave front. But you are wearing a mask. You have to hide your true feelings because, usually those who have hurt you are close; like family members. Inside you there is turmoil. Peace evades you. Bitterness is beginning to take root. You secretly plot revenge but you just cannot bring yourself to do it. Or, maybe you have tried to, and now you feel worse than before. Never the less whatever happens you are slowly losing your grip on life. You are being consumed by all sorts of wrong thinking. At the slightest provocation, of whatever kind, you fly off the handle and then feel remorseful. What makes it worse is that you feel to apologise but cannot, and so you make excuses for your behaviour and pass the blame.
Your self image is taking a beating. To compensate you begin to act strong even though this is not in your nature. You begin to control and manipulate those around you in order to gain the upper hand and feel good about yourself. You are on a downward spiral of despair.
Listen to what Jesus has to say about forgiveness:
John 20:23 If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven. The words are not forgiven are translated from the original as holden or retained. This is the same word used in Acts 2:24 where it says that death was not able to retain Jesus when God raised Him from the dead. A very powerful word; think about it.
In the Amplified Bible John 20:23 reads if you forgive the sins of anyone they are forgiven: if you retain the sins of anyone they are retained. Now Jesus was not giving us the authority or power to forgive sin: only God has that right. There is a far deeper problem facing us here. What Jesus was actually saying in this passage of scripture is this.
If someone sins against you, no matter what the sin, we are to forgive them. Did Jesus not also teach in Matthew 6 in the Lords prayer, that we are to forgive? Check verse 15 which comes after the Lords Prayer. Jesus said But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Serious isnt it? Many people sight Mark 11:22 24 as the great prayer of faith. But you never hear them quote verse 25 which is the key to unlocking that faith. Jesus said And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your sins.
Are you starting to get the message? Can you see the absolute power and release there is in forgiveness? Now back to John 20:23. If you are walking in Unforgiveness towards anyone then you have placed yourself in the bondage of Unforgiveness. You have retained the consequence of unforgiven sin, which is sin. You must understand that Unforgiveness is a sin. God requires, even commands that we forgive others just as He forgives our sin. If we do not forgive others we are sinning against our heavenly Father. And, furthermore we are making a mockery of Jesus blood that was shed for the forgiveness of our sin. Some would say, but I do Not sin. Well the Word says that you are a liar. Read 1 John chapters 1 and 2.
The other party lives oblivious to your predicament. It is not their hurtful actions that are the cause of your situation. No! It is your Unforgiveness towards them. Allow me to recount a true story that I was part of, and the beautiful results that God brought into peoples lives.
I was a group leader on a course teaching telephone counseling. A very important part of this course was helping the trainees to achieve wholeness in their lives. You cannot counsel from a position of hurt. Now you cannot coerce people to reveal incidences that have caused hurt in their lives but under the guidance of the Holy Spirit they do open up.
There was a lady in my group (let us call her Martie) that, although she said there was nothing in her past that had caused her to walk in unforgiveness, one day just decided to quit the course. She said that she was not worthy to help others. Self pity and a poor self image were beginning to show. A warning light went on for me. I asked her if we could have a chat at the end of that Saturdays session. Martie agreed.
Before we started talking I prayed and asked the Holy Spirit to lead us into truth. Well I had hardly finished praying when she started blurting out a whole lot of things concerning her mother in law. Martie was in her late fifties and had been married for more than thirty years. Apparently her mother in law did not like her and was always breaking her down. She was never good enough. Her cooking was openly criticised in front of the whole family. Her baking was so bad that it was not fit to be eaten. Her home was never neat enough. And so the criticism went on and on for more than thirty years.
Now that was all bad enough, but Martie started recording all these wrongs done to her. Yes, she kept a black book in which she had recorded the dates and the things had had been said about her. What is more she kept reading through these things to keep them fresh in her mind. She became in her mind what her mother in law thought of her; a failure. This was amplified by the fact that her mother in law had influenced her two sisters in law in the same way. She now had three people breaking her down. All these incidents were recorded in her little black book. This was another mistake. 1 Corinthians 13 says that love does not keep a record of wrong things done to us. This was only compounding the problem. Marties behaviour was outside of Gods law of love.
The Word of God says we are to love our enemies because love covers over a multitude of sins. The Word also says that no weapon used against us has any power to harm us when we walk in Gods love; and perfect love casts out fear. This poor woman lived in fear of the times when the families would get together.
Now I knew her husband and he had nothing but praise for his wife. Everything he had to say was nothing but praise for her, but she could not accept it. She was a failure in her own eyes.
But worst of all she had built up bitterness and resentment towards her mother in law and two sisters in law. Martie was trapped in that downward spiral.
By the time she had finished sharing all of this with me she was sobbing her heart out. I sensed that the Lord was busy doing something in her. I then shared John 20:23 with her and explained that the only way to be released from this situation was through forgiveness. But she had forgiven them she said. She had prayed and forgiven them. She had even written it all on a sheet of paper, handed it over to the Lord and then torn the paper up and thrown it away. Nothing changed.
There is a good reason why that never worked. It is simply that, it is not the way the Word says we are to deal with these matters. Jesus said, If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother, then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23 24.
Then Jesus goes on to say in verses 25 26, Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.
Now let us apply this to our real life story above. When we have anything like bitterness or unforgiveness in our hearts we cannot worship God. Worship is the gift of our lives that we offer to God. We first need to put those things right before we can truly worship in spirit and in truth and connect with our heavenly Father. Our wrong attitudes cause a separation between us and Him. Jesus instructs us to go and set things right. We are to take action and do something about it. If we do not go, then our adversary (Satan) hands us over to the judge (our minds and emotions), who hands us over to the officer (demon), who throws us into prison (the negative condition of our minds).
Can you see how we place ourselves in this prison? This prison is that hopeless state we find ourselves in and is brought upon by not setting things right as soon as they occur; things like harbouring grudges and bitterness. The last penny that we have to pay is the action that needs to be taken to set the issues right. That demon will continue to torment our minds with a negative bombardment of accusations until we have paid the price of seeking reconciliation; that price is humility.
You see, when Martie never attempted to set these issues with her mother in law right, her mind gave the demonic forces the power to torment her. That is why Jesus said that we are to settle matters quickly. Do not give the adversary the opportunity to mess with your mind. The scriptures say do not let the sun go down on your anger: do not give the devil a foothold.
But Martie was never taught how to deal with conflict situations. Now do you understand my opening statements concerning the condition of the so called church? Knowing all about the prophecies in the book of Revelation and how they relate to the book of Daniel will not help you one iota when you are facing issues in your life. Church leaders are too busy impressing their congregations with their knowledge and not teaching them about dealing with life issues. The congregations are caught up in pampering the pastor, molly coddling the minister and pleasing the priest. No one is really seeking God for His plan and purposes for His church.
Sorry, let me apologise for that statement about the leaders. They dont know any better. That is what they are taught in their colleges and universities. They studied the letter of the law without the help of the Holy Spirit and the Bible says of itself that the letter kills but the Spirit gives life. It is only in the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit that lives are transformed, not in being bombarded with humanistic knowledge. They dissect the Word (the seed) until there is nothing left to plant in order to bring forth life. A seed must be planted whole to produce life.
Back to Marties story. She agreed to obey Gods Word no matter how difficult it would be. Marties mother in law and her two daughters lived very far away so it would not be practical for her to go and put things right. I suggested that she write letters in which she should ask forgiveness for harbouring a bad attitude towards them, without mentioning their offense.
This may seem strange to you as they were the ones who had sinned against her. Correct but, remember John 20:23, Martie had retained the consequence of unforgiveness towards them! She wrote the letters and to her amazement she received prompt replies by telephone. All three said no, they were to blame and asked her forgiveness. Much crying and reconciliation. God is faithful and as the scripture says, He watches over his word to perform it.
Martie was totally set free and went on to complete the course, and became an excellent telephone counselor. Guess what the problem was that her very first caller had? Right! Unforgiveness. Martie was able to counsel out of her very own life experience and Gods faithfulness. Bless the Lord. Glory.
If you are struggling in the same area then read the scriptures above and ask the Father to give you the grace to apply His word. James says that it is the doers of the Word that are blessed. Do it and watch the miracle that God our Heavenly Father will do in your situation.
I know that there are skeptics out there who would say impossible, years of hurt just cannot be healed that fast. They are right; when it comes to humanistic counsel and tablets. But when we trust in a miracle working God and the power of His Word the impossible becomes possible. Bless His Holy Name.
May the Lord bless you in your search for the Truth.
If you need help in this area please feel free to contact me;
Best regards,
Jack Viljoen. The Church in the Fathers Heart.
P.S. Ephesians 4:32 5:1 and 2. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children, and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Your Eternal Destiny

Life After Death

Jack Viljoen
Have you ever given any thought about what tomorrow holds, or as a matter of fact even today? Have you considered that today may be your last day on this planet? Maybe the next hour may be your last. Your age has nothing to do with when it could happen. A run away truck, a drunken or careless driver, a freak electrical storm, sickness, the list of causes goes on and on. Sounds grim, but it is very factual.
Your life is not in your own hands. Call it what you want to, providence, lady luck, departure time, etc. The point is that at sometime your life is going to come to an end.
No matter which religion you follow you still have no guarantees as to how long you still might have. Lifestyle gives no guarantees. Smokers live to ripe old ages and abstainers from both tobacco and alcohol die young. Motor manufacturers have come a long way in building safer vehicles. Accidents happen. Still no guarantee.
The only thing that is guaranteed is that one day you will depart this life as we know it.
What then? Knowing that we are destined to die what should we be considering? Surely it is the quality of life that we currently enjoy? Or perhaps it is how much good I can do for others? Maybe it is to try and be a better person? All of these are good motives but should our question not be Where will I spend eternity? Most religions have some kind of belief in life after death.
There are various responses to the life after death issue. Besides the religious answers, some people say that they dont believe in a life after death and that when you die thats it its over. No more feelings or consciousness, you are just dead. Strangely enough though, these same people, when faced with death quickly change their minds.
I watched a programme on National Geographic about an Airbus that ran out of fuel over the Atlantic Ocean en route to Portugal. The picture of fear, panic and hopelessness on the faces of most passengers told its own story. When actually faced with death the true beliefs come out. Why fear when after you die there is nothing? Why panic when you believed that after death there was no feeling? Why hopelessness when you never hoped in anything anyway? The Airbus never crashed but landed safely on some island. Everyone survived. But what now? Will they continue in denial now that the panic is over, or will they reconsider?
The truth is that all these brazen responses to the issue of death are merely fronts because most people dont really have any real answers. Deep down inside they know that there is more but they dont know what it is. They do not actually believe what they say.
I am sixty three years old and have had occasion to be at the bedside of a number of people during their last few hours on this earth. For some the fear, emotional agony and anxiety that manifested in the one breathing his last and also in family members, was quite disturbing. For others, the absolute atmosphere of peace that pervaded the room was beautiful. This included my own father. What made the difference?
Let us go back to what people believe concerning life after death. I am not going to enter into a lengthy discussion on the various religions. Most beliefs are centered in one or other religion. Then there are those who do not believe in any form of after life. They have no belief system whatsoever, denying the existence of any form of higher being such as a god.
I have studied all of the main religions and can only come to one conclusion. There is only one that offers a definite answer and that is Christianity. Many would disagree with that statement and for good reason. It would appear that Christianity is very disjointed with all the hundreds of different denominations and none agreeing with one another. The reason for this is very simple. They have a form of Christianity founded upon human principles which do not line up with the Truth. Each holds to a part of the truth and have then added rules and regulations according to their denominational stand. But true Christianity is not rules, regulations, rites and rituals controlled by man. It is a relationship built on love and trust between an almighty God and mankind.
If one goes back to the root of Christianity you will find it in the heart of God. The God of all creation. The God of the Bible. A study of the word Christian will reveal that it was first used in Antioch in about 45 AD to describe the followers of Jesus Christ. It never had a capital letter C and was actually a derogatory term used to mock those who believed in Jesus as the Messiah. God never called anyone a Christian. That term is used in a very broad sense today and it denotes people who go to a church. Another misconception. For further enlightenment on the subject go to For the purposes of this article God has made certain promises to His church concerning eternal life.
Back to your eternal destiny. Many people do not believe what is recorded in the Bible. This again comes from mans various interpretations of the Bible trying to make it justify his belief system. Thus all the denominations, disagreements, confusion etc. None of this negates the validity of the Bible as Gods word to us. All through the years people have been trying to discredit Gods word but it has stood the test of time and its integrity still holds true. Written by many authors over many years yet all their writings blend into a beautiful love story. The infallible word of a loving God. A story of the unconditional, sacrificial love of God towards His creation.
My friend are you prepared to lay aside all of your prejudices, philosophies and pre-conceived ideas? Remember it is your eternal destiny we are talking about. Read on.
Now comes the most beautiful part of lifes dilemma Jesus. Yes, Jesus Christ the Son of the living God. He, and only He, is the guarantee of a secure haven of peace for all eternity. Governments are passing laws forbidding the use of that Name. It is being removed from constitutions. They may be able to remove the Name, but the Person lives on for all eternity. A wise teacher and philosopher of old once said to a government trying to stop the use of the name of Jesus, Let it be, because if this is from man it will soon die out, but if it is from God no one will be able to stop it. And no one has.
From His virgin birth to His death by crucifixion and subsequent resurrection many have tried to bring doubt into peoples minds concerning the truth about Jesus Christ. Many have been deceived into believing the lie but many have also believed the truth. If you are one of those who have been deceived, remember this: a lie can be changed but truth is truth and endures for ever.
Are you prepared to go through life being deceived or are you going to exchange the lie for the truth? It is your choice. Should you choose Jesus Christ then you have also exchanged death for life. With Him there is eternal life in which there is no longer any fear of death, for you will be with Him for all eternity. Each day can be lived to its fullest with no anxiety, fear or hopelessness.
Jesus said,I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?
Should you choose Jesus you are in for the most exciting journey of your life. I made the choice at age 35. Today at age 63 I can say that I have never looked back I have a hope and an eternal future, and his name is Jesus.
There is a cost involved. You will have to surrender control of your life to Him. Think of it this way. He created you, so who better to direct your life than the author of life. The long term benefits far outweigh the cost. Think about it, long and hard. It is not a decision to be taken lightly. Your choice will determine where you will spend eternity.
Once you have made your decision to trust in Jesus then you need to visit and read the article on Relationship with the Father. This will help you with what to do next.
Should you decide that it is just too much for you to believe then you have sealed your own fate for now. I say for now because God is patient and is waiting for you to have a change of heart. He does not want anyone to be left out of sharing in His wonderful promises. He has not written you off, because He loves you. I invite you also to visit us on I am not part of any denomination. I am simply proclaiming the truth about a loving God, creator of the universe, and His plan for your life. It does not matter what you believe in now or your station in life and not even the lifestyle you are in at present. Forgiveness and acceptance are yours. God has no favourites.
Jesus reigns over all the earth. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Know that in your darkest hour you can always call out to Him. JESUS LOVES YOU.
With much love,
Jack Viljoen.
Jack Viljoen The Church in the Father's

Monday, 26 March 2012

Five Biggest Lies About Christianity

The Truth About Armageddon

Where's Armageddon

By: Christine Bettridge

Most of the world views this end time battle as some catastrophic event that will take place at the end of time. Christ is going to come back to the earth and defeat the Antichrist in this battle. Vernard Eller a retired college professor suggests selling tickets to this battle; it would bring in millions.

In Hebrew the term is Harmageddon and is known as Armageddon in several versions of the Bible. Harmageddon means mountain (or hill) of Megiddo or Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible reads Mount Megiddo. It is a battleground situated at the south rim of Esdraelon. Megiddo is a plain situated between two mountains. It was a place for many bloody battles throughout history. Not just biblical history but secular battles as well. Let's take a look at some of the Old Testament accounts on the battlefield.

The bible first mentions Megiddo where a king was defeated by Joshua. (Joshua 12:21).

Another war that took place near the waters of Megiddo that Deborah and Barak defeated the Canaanites. (Judges 5:19).

Gideon won over the Midianites on the plains of Megiddo. Judges 7.

Ahaziah died on Megiddo after being stabbed by Jehu's arrow. II Kings 9:27.

Megiddo is where the Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt killed King Josiah. II Kings 23:29-30.

Another battle during in the last few decades and in some of our readers' lifetime was fought there. In 1918 the allied forces under General Allenby entered northern Palestine, through the Megiddo pass to take it from the Turkish forces, after which the British commander was named Viscount Allenby of Megiddo. So it can be concluded that it is a battlefield used during bible times as well as during some of our life times. This is the verse below that most take this doctrine from.

And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the almighty. Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his garments, lest he walk about naked and men see his shame. And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Harmageddon. Revelation 16:13-16.

Can we conclude there is going to be a great battle on the last day just from these few verses? Is there some doubt here to what this means? Does this actually make any sense at all? What are these frogs coming out of a beast and then out of a false prophet? Sounds like some movie in Hollywood. We may not know the answer to all the questions but if you consider who this was actually written for the truth will become clear.

This verse about Harmageddon is found in the highly symbolic book of Revelation. To try and make this verse something that will happen in our life time goes against the real message of the book of Revelation.

The Christians of Asia Minor were being severely persecuted by the Roman Empire and the whole book is based on the hope that they will have victory over their enemy and that their relief from persecution would come swiftly. Do you think these first century Christians were thinking of a war in Iraq while trying to persevere through the most trying of times?

I don't want to cover too much into about the book of Revelation as we will cover some on that later. But I must tell you of the when, the audience and why. The book of Revelation was written by the apostle John sometime in the latter part of the first century. John was exiled to the isle of Patmos because of his belief in Christ. Rev 1:9. Being exiled was the lesser of the punishments that Rome would inflict on Christians. He was made to work in the rock quarries and they were basically starved to death with little food, water and rest. However this book was meant to fall in the hands of the early Christians and more specifically the seven churches of Asia. They were the audience. They too were being persecuted for what they believed. Some were tortured and put to death in an inhumane manner. Nero an emperor in the middle to latter part of the century use to put animal skins on the privates of Christians so that the animals would attack them. Church historians say that even for some who were involved it was too much for them. This is the under what conditions. The book was written kind of like a code. The book of Revelation is very deep in the Old Testament roots and Hebrew. The purpose was to conceal and reveal to the intended audience. The Romans if they came across it would not understand because of the Hebrew roots. This is no different then other codes used in secular history.

The African slaves use to sing while working. Their masters must have thought they were very religious people. The songs they use to sing meant something to the others. Wade in the Water was one of them and there were many more. They sung about escaping slavery and traveling north to freedom. Unless I was the recipient of the message then I wouldn't understand. Since we weren't the actual recipients of the book of Revelation, it too would be and is hard to understand. Take a first century Christian and sing to him, Wade in the Water and see if they would understand. Show them a road sign on one of our major highways or tell them that someone has "road rage" and see if they would be quite perplexed. This is how Christians today are concerning the battle of Armageddon.

If there is no battle of Armageddon and it is totally symbolic then does it have any meaning at all? How do we go about figuring it out? One correct interpretation that no one can deny is, Whatever it meant to them (i.e. First Century Christians) is what the battle of Armageddon was or is or shall be, (W.B. West, Revelation Through First Century Glasses, [TN: Gospel Advocate], 109).

What was the message to first century Christians? Just like a battleground in Palestine it is a battleground in the heart. It is the war of and in the heart. It is not a physical war with guns and tankers. It is a spiritual emotional war. God shows us in the book of Revelation who is victorious. The church is victorious and is so prophesized by the prophet Daniel as well as Jesus saying the same thing about the kingdom. See Daniel 2:44 and also Matt 16:18. Jesus on trial says that his kingdom is not of this world. John 18:36. If Jesus kingdom is not of this world then why would anyone believe that the battle is of a physical nature? Additionally it isn't a question of who wins the war but rather how many Christian's God will take with him.

Christ foretold that some would fall away from the faith because of the persecutions. Their love would grow cold. Just read about the seven churches and their struggles in the first chapter of Revelation. The ones who stayed fought this battle of Armageddon everyday. Christians today fight the battle of Armageddon everyday, the battle between right and wrong. God's battle didn't have anything to do with a physical battle, but a spiritual one. II Cor 10:3-6. "Perhaps it suggests the place of decision," (James Burton Coffman, Revelation [TX: ACU Press], 367). This battle is much more stressful then a physical battle in which it's an emotional type of battle within the hearts and minds of Christians.
Author Bio
This an excerpt from the book titled End Time Secrets written by Christine Bettridge and she also is the editor of the article directory,, Above All Content. Visit her blog at:, The Bible Sound Blog.
Article Source: - Free Website Content

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Why Faith is Important in a Believer's Walk With God

Developing Faith - Using Faith to Find Your Life's Purpose

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Faith is defined in Hebrews 11:1 as "Being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. "(NIV). Faith is the foundation of a Christian's life because without it we cannot please God. To be called a Christian, one has to have a level of faith because we believe in an invisible God who we cannot perceive with our naked eye.
When we accept the Lord Jesus in our lives we are professing our faith in him and it is the first step to finding our life's purpose that is in line with His will. However,we cannot remain complacent once we have received him in our lives because we have an enemy who will endeavour to uproot us from our faith and bring us back to the world. It is fundamental to develop our faith once we have made a decision to follow Christ.
Faith can be developed by hearing the word of God, as Paul wrote in Romans 10:17 "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the word of God" Saints, we need to hear the word through preaching, teaching and reading the word. If we remain in the word, we will surely cultivate our faith and be able to stand firm against the wiles of the enemy.
When we are operating according to God's will for our lives we can, by faith, achieve our goals by believing and not allowing doubt to enter our minds. An example we can take from the Bible is that of Joseph who suffered many hardships but remained faithful to the Lord and consequently reached his full potential by becoming the second in command over the government of Egypt.
When faced with trials and tribulations, we must stand firm, because this is when our faith is being tested. Many believers are aware that when the situation seems unbearable, that is when we have to keep pressing on and that our breakthrough is eminent. Many Christians fall at their point of breakthrough because they give up too soon and lose their faith in God.
Christians, we can only reach our full potential if we put our trust in the Lord and fully submit to him. In addition to this, we have to do all things according to his will and the will of God is found in the living word.
In conclusion faith is the corner stone of a Christians life and without it, we are cannot please God. Our faith can be developed through hearing the word of God and when we have faith that is unmovable,steady and secure,we can achieve our life's purpose through the grace that comes from our Lord Jesus Christ.
Sharone Mlenga
I am a committed Christian and I constantly seek after the truth, I have been saved for 7 years and my passion for Christ has increased. I long to walk with Him all the days of my life
My Blog is:
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Saturday, 17 March 2012

Child of God, You are Protected!

God's Miracle of Protection
by Nancy Quinn
3/07/2008 / Miracles

The multi-lane interstate was busy during evening rush hour and I checked each time I had to move over to the next lane. I had a couple miles to go before I had to merge onto the interstate that veered south toward home. As always, I checked before moving over into each lane and saw a grey car such a great distance away that I started to turn my wheel to the left to shift lanes again. The steering wheel suddenly jerked in my hands and moved me back to my lane. As I briefly glanced down in panic at my wheel wondering what was wrong with my car, a grey blur passed on my left going in excess of 100 miles per hour and I felt an evilness emanating from the car. This memory will stay with me for the rest of my days as I treasure this event as one where my guardian angel actually took a hold of my wheel and saved me from certain death. Another time a massive truck blocked my view in the lane next to me and when the light turned green, I poised to take my foot off the brake when his loud horn scared me. Just as I wondered who he was honking at, an SUV ran through the red light at top speed. The Lord once again protected me, this time using one of His children to warn me.

Have there been times in your life where you knew the Lord saved you from certain death? Knowing He loved me and intervened those times are still treasured memories to me. And even if you don't remember any distinct situations, that doesn't mean the Lord hasn't intervened. I'm sure there's been many times where He has been at your right hand and protected you without your knowledge. Who knows that the times we've been delayed going to work by an annoying phone call, or a slow car ahead of us as we're going home hasn't been the Lord's incredible timing to keep us out of the wrong place at the wrong time.

If you look up the word "protection" in the Bible you will discover a treasure trove of comforting verses. Isn't it a beautiful thought to know that the Lord loves us so much that He sends his guardian angels to watch over us? I love the comforting verse from Psalm 91:4 "He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection." As you go through your busy day, remember to thank the Lord that you are sheltered, protected and greatly loved.

Psalm 18:2 "The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety."

Luke 12:7 "And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows."

May God bless these words as I strive to encourage others in their walk with Christ. I'm also blessed with the opportunity to be a contributing writer to,, Full Spirit Magazine and - wonderful ministries that reach others for Christ!

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The Gift of Tongues

Gentle is the Lord
by Marijo Phelps
3/13/2009 / Miracles

For the three and a half years since I'd been saved I had been against speaking in tongues. If anyone even mentioned the subject, my toenails would curl, my claws would come out and the least I would do was abruptly change the subject. Then the Lord took me by the arm on a trip through Corinthians and revealed His Word to me in such a way that I couldn't avoid the issue.

Two weeks later, through a series of miracles, I was on my way to a Women's Aglow retreat in Oakland. I had BUTTERFLIES and tried to figure out how to stay home. After the Lord reminded me of all He did to get me there, I resigned myself to His will and went.

Shortly after my sister-in-law and I arrived we met her friend, Florence. Soon I began badgering her with "20 questions". It reminded me of the time right before I got saved when I wouldn't go down without a good fight! Her method reminded me a lot of the way I tease, but really get down to business, with anyone who is defensively questioning things of God. She was a kick!

So far, all ladies that I had met seemed really friendly, smiling and genuinely warm. I am not sure what I expected, perhaps a lot of hyperemotional, flighty ladies. Celia (my sister-in-law) might have the gift of tongues but Celia was different, or so I thought. It was probably because she was a relative and I knew her as a person and not as "one of those".

At our first worship session I really enjoyed the songs, prayers and praise. When someone started singing in tongues, the rest joined in briefly, it sounded just like a choir. I concentrated very hard on singing "hallelujah" and "thank you Jesus". We sang more choruses and more prayers were offered.

All the ladies leading this time were attractive and spoke in soft, moderate voices. I had imagined something out of Halloween perhaps?

All of the sudden, some lady in the front row, just a little way down from us, let out a screech and fell on the floor. The nurse in me wanted to go over and see what the problem was, but not very much. That was it! I was going home! But wait a minute, the speaker was saying that confusion was not of the Lord and that we were going to have scriptural order. The song leader started a new song and things went on, in order.

The next morning the Lord used a guest minister to reassure me again. He stated very strongly that in any service things needed to be done in order. He wouldn't even allow the gifts to be used without the strictest Biblical order.

Ok, Lord I guess there are some who speak in tongues who follow Your Word about order too.

The other major concern I had was about hyper emotionality. I was just sure that all of this "tongues business" was just a matter of getting worked up into an emotional frenzy. I observed people singing, very quietly in tongues with joy and happiness. Then, as if the Lord was trying to calm me, the speaker said we use the gifts to worship the Lord in the Spirit. She cautioned against getting into the flesh or the emotions saying we would only cheat God and ourselves. It sounded reasonable to me, but not what I had expected.

I must admit at this time that I was not too hot on a lot of singing, one or two songs and I was at my limit and started fidgeting.. At this meeting we could sit if we wanted to or stand, some clapped their hands, others folded them or raised them over their heads to the Lord, some even had tambourines, but in it all as a radiance of adoration for Jesus like I had never witnessed before. We were truly one in the Spirit and one in the Lord. We sang choruses, prayed little prayers, heard scripture and then a message which was super.

I thought about forty-five minutes had gone by. It was 10:00PM and we had started at 7:30PM! Praise the Lord! Everyone was so sincere. They really praised Jesus and loved Him, reaching out to each other. It was neat! Don't tell me I was starting to like this in spite of myself!

Gradually the Lord started unraveling the big knot within me. It was scars left over from the church I was saved in three and a half years before, which eventually split right down the middle, destroying many individuals in the congregation also. Jesus was touching my fears of big, old hotels and fires, frustrations of not being able to cry and express my sad emotions. He touched feelings left over from childhood of being on the outside looking in.

I was sharing these areas with Celia and Florence for prayer, when we all heard the sound of rain outside. I praised the Lord, if it was raining and I didn't have to worry about fire. The Lord could take care of and keep us! Intellectually, I knew this all the time, but try to convince my emotional "what if" part. I had already figured out a way to tie sheets together for a hasty escape out the window, only we were on the 8th floor and didn't have enough sheets. Ever notice what the devil will get you obsessing about to keep you from paying attention? I had also spent too many years as a burn unit RN.

We three shared in prayer. When we looked out the streets were dry. It had not been raining even though all three of us heard it. I already had the faith that God could handle my fears and was able to sleep soundly that night.

At breakfast we all shared with ladies we'd never seen before. We were open and really shared our hearts. I was being a "critical fruit inspector", really just waiting to see something negative. However, everyone seemed to sincerely love the Lord, there was just no way around that. Also, they seemed to be serving Him too. At this point the Lord began to take me out of denominationalism and doctrinism and into worship with the Body of Christ! How blind had I been, how stubborn and negative!

Before the retreat, the flier had mentioned special interest groups. Those groups included intercessory prayer, gifts of the Spirit, counseling etc. I knew from the outset which one I was NOT going to, you guessed it, the one on gifts of the Spirit. They had been pretty coy so far but I was not going to set myself up to get attacked and have someone insist I pray in tongues.

It was time to sign up and I had already narrowed it down to intercessory prayer vs counseling, then the leader threw in a clinker and suggested we pray about which one we were to attend. There went counseling, now it was between intercessory prayer and (gulp) gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Okay Lord, I really need a definite sign on this one. Let me open my eyes and have an "X" appear by the right one so I really know it is Your will.

And that small, still voice inside me said I should ask Celia to go to the one on the gifts with me.

Right about then the leader said "don't ask your neighbor to go to the one you just signed up for just because you are going".

Rats! I opened my eyes and my thumb was on top of the box marked "gifts of the Spirit", big deal, I was looking at that box before I started praying.

Bet if my thumb had been over the box marked intercessory prayer I would have leaped at the chance to go to that workshop, ahem.

The lady came by to collect the papers and I hadn't signed up for a workshop yet. I was reprieved for awhile.

When we got to the room Celia piped up and said, "Jo, I really felt the Holy Spirit telling me to go to the class on the gifts of the Spirit and take you with me but I wasn't sure how to tell you.."

I ran over and hugged Celia, then got nervous as all get out. We signed up for that class together.

OK, Lord, that was the definite sign I asked for, now, You protect me and don't let anyone attack me!"

All too soon it was the next day and time for the class. I was ready to fight until death the "tongues brainwashing" I just knew was about to begin. We got into the group, second from the last row, you know, the one by the door. There was a soft spoken, ageless lady who introduced herself and gave her testimony.

I tuned in to hear "raised Methodist then Nazarene, saved at age 9 and filled with the Holy Spirit 22 years later.."

Quick calculations told me she must have been filled with the Spirit at age 31. I was 31 sitting there that day. I had been raised Methodist, then was a professing atheist for 9 years, then got saved and became a Nazarene. She was fluent in Spanish and so was I right on down the line her testimony went SO similar to mine.

Now what, Lord, I know You want me here, at this retreat and in this particular interest group.

Then someone asked her a question about speaking in tongues. She had been lecturing for about a half an hour on the gifts of the Spirit and hadn't even mentioned tongues. This was hardly the brainwashing I had expected.

Later, we broke up into groups of three to pray. My request was that the Lord would refuel me, have His way in my life and give me anything He wanted me to have. I knew I was filled with His Spirit prior to this time; a distinct, one point in time infilling.

That day I wanted to rededicate and yield myself to whatever plan the Lord had for me. I prayed that I wanted any gift that He wanted me to have and then felt that nudge to pray more specifically. I did. I poured out my heart to Him while holding Celia and Linda by the hand. Then we stopped and they were both grinning at me, like cats who swallowed canaries, I thought.

"What are your grins about?"

"Jo, you've been baptized, Jo, you've got it!"

I knew I had Him and He had me, that happened over three years ago and I didn't speak in tongues then either. In fact, the only time I even came close to speaking in tongues was two weeks ago, the night after I had been taken through Corinthians by the Lord. I really prayed and while asleep that night I dreamed I spoke in tongues. Also, just the night before the class I was saying my nighttime prayers. Then I sang a chorus to the tune "Thank You Jesus, Thank You Lord", only the words were ones I didn't understand except it ended in Rabboni, which I knew was teacher, so I decided I made the whole thing up.

Besides, since I understand Spanish and a very little French, German, Hawaiian and Italian what if I made words up, that would be ridiculous.

But little sounds kept floating through my head that I wasn't making up, in fact, I would just as soon they weren't there! I didn't feel electric, ecstatic, or even excited, which isn't my usual style, not feeling excited I mean. I felt rather soberly peaceful and calm, subdued but not down. I certainly wasn't tingling from head to toe, or giggling, nor jabbering non-stop.

Lord, there are so few words in the English language with which to praise You and my love is so much bigger than that! Lord, I want only what You want for me, I don't want anything that isn't of You.

And when Celia and I prayed that night, in English, all kinds of little sounds kept coming into my head and they weren't Spanish, English, German or anything else that I knew. I wasn't conjuring them up, more like choking them down.

I Cor 14:2 "For one who speaks in tongues speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit"

A language the Holy Spirit prays through me and Satan will not be able to understand or intercept? A hotline to heaven, hum.

I still had a thousand questions, but I knew one thing, the Lord was delivering me from my prejudices, negativism and my SELF, that large chunk of me which said "if you don't do it my way, you aren't right!" Did I really think that way? Something like that, because I used to avoid everyone who spoke in tongues like they had leprosy.

I was running the water in the hotel bath tub and accidently hit the shower button. I got my hair and night gown soaked and just couldn't resist the urge to run down the hall and tell Florence I got "baptized"

And the Lord kept blessing and liberating. I started getting a picture of just how BIG He was and how very small and limited I had Him in my mind. Wow! I went from negative to positive. The Lord has delivered me from my SELF. There were still no fireworks, but a sober "feet on the rock" peace; deep and calm within me.

I am praising Him in every language I know and a new one that I don't know. But, after all, who am I to refuse a gift from the Lord? Even though He had to almost kill me to give it to me. I actually thought I was doing to die several times in the process and hopefully a part of me did!

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About Self

Saved by His grace in 1974, from 9 years of professing atheism into His loving arms. RN for 23 years, missionary with YWAM then statistical analyst for Every Home for Christ over 9 years. Living with my husband in the middle of a mountain meadow. GRIN! Wanting to spread the good news

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