In 1974 I was sitting inside a chapel on a US military base just thinking about all kinds of things. There were maybe one or two other people in the chapel. I took out a pocket Gideon’s Bible I was given when I went in to the military. After sitting there a while I noticed the plan of salvation in the back of the Gideon’s Bible. So I read the information on how to be saved and read the prayer. I decided to pray that prayer to God and I signed my name and put the date November 1974. Nothing seemed to change in my life.
Nine years later I am sitting in a church service held in the pastor’s home in February 1983. I also said a prayer just like the prayer in the Gideon’s Bible but I was sitting at the dining room table. Everything changed in my life.
So what was different? I have tried to figure out what was different in 1983 compared to 1974. I have tried to reason out the differences. Why did I know I was truly saved in 1983 but in 1974, I said a prayer and I did not know? What changed? What was different? The prayer I said in 1973 was a flesh prayer. I said a prayer based on what my head, my thoughts told me. The prayer had nothing to do with my heart or a heart change.
I am really concerned that people have “said a prayer” and think they are saved and going to heaven.
When I look back at 1974 and try to figure out what was going on and I know I had never read the scriptures, I just glanced through them. I had collected bibles but never read them. It was almost like having an interest in God but never researching his word. Now I know it was God drawing me towards him.
During the years from 1974 to February 1983 I read the New Testament completely. Although most of what I read I did not understand I did understand many things that scared me. Specifically reading about hell and the lake of fire. I was trying to picture hell and a lake of fire in my mind and people in hell and people in a lake of fire.
I did not know my reading the New Testament would stir up my spirit man and my soul would be bothered. I started thinking about what would happen to me if I died.
As my regular readers know, I was in a music store and a pastor came in to buy an organ for their church. I was invited to their church service, in their house, so I went. I went because I wanted to investigate the things about hell and the lake of fire that I had just finished reading about in the New Testament.
After giving God 30 days to get through to me, I made a decision God was right and Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven. So it was February 2, 1983 I said the same prayer I said in 1974 basically. But this time, something changed.
When I hear preachers explain the truth of the gospel of salvation and then they say if you want to accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, say this prayer – it bothers me a lot. They never mention faith. They never mention believing must be in the heart not the head. They never mention salvation is in and from the heart changing towards God and confessing Jesus Christ with your mouth.
I can not find one, not one scripture that says, say this prayer to be saved. Like Romans 10:17 says, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. So the difference in my prayer in 1974 to my prayer in 1983 was I heard the word of God being preached for 30 days. That preaching of God’s word gave me faith. And I was willing to listen to what God was telling me, through that preacher preaching scripture. Then I had to make a decision because I told God I would give him 30 days and the 30 days were up.
I originally agreed to come visit that church in their house because I wanted to find out about hell and the lake of fire I had read about. Naturally, for those 30 days the preacher just “happened” to be preaching on hell and the lake of fire. It all scared me and I knew I did not want to go there so I got saved. So I searched the scriptures to find out if what the preacher was preaching was so. I looked up each scripture the preacher mentioned and read the verses for myself. It was true and I was convinced.
Friends saying a prayer does not save if it is not mixed with faith and confessing Jesus Christ with your mouth. I said a prayer in 1974 but it was not until 1983 when I said the prayer with faith. And when you believe on the Lord Jesus unto salvation, that is not believing with your mind but your heart. Why? Because when your heart believes you will change your life. You will listen to God. Yeah, you will make mistakes but you will repent of the mistakes. Why? Because Jesus Christ has your heart. You truly love him. And when you truly love someone, you want to please them.
Please make sure you are truly saved. Not that you said a prayer and go about doing what you want. You can click on How To Be Saved in our Menu above.
Until next time.
If you were to stand back and observe what is going on around the world today, you might ask, has everyone lost their mind? We ask why do terrorists kill innocent people? Why do children shoot up schools? Why does neighbor help neighbor after a hurricane when they didn’t speak much, before the storm?
Something happens to a person to cause them to do good or evil. You can plant good seeds in to people yet some decide to follow evil, why? Whether people follow good or evil, a thought is placed into their mind and they make a decision based on what they think usually. People make decisions based on information provided to them, from an outside source. It doesn’t matter if it is a nation going to war, applying for a job or deciding where to live, all decisions are based on information.
Information comes in to our mind and we make decisions based on that information. When you look at an overview of life, you realize there is good and evil. Some would say you need evil to have good. That is not accurate because God is good and God created all things. Satan chose to disobey God and tried to overthrow God. God gave freewill, Satan chose evil. But that topic is not my focus here.
I had someone say, if I look at your life, why would I want to be a Christian? Granted, they are only looking at an outward appearance but it was a good question. So I considered their comment and I see it as, their perceived information about the Christian life is based on what they see, in this world. It is like people look at someone’s possessions, or their wealth or their influence and decide, from what they see with their eyes, if that person is successful. I use to do that as a young adult in my early twenties. But no longer do I believe everything my eyes see.
So based on their thoughts of what success or wealth is, they determine if someone is successful by what they see with their eyes, in this world. The question is, where did they get their information on what success or wealth really is? Who defined success or wealth to them? Success or wealth can mean one thing to one person and something completely different to another person. Why? Does the definition of success or wealth change in the dictionary? Why can one person see something completely different than another person?
Now that we have laid some ground work, let us look at how information can make us or ruin us. How information can promote us or condemn us. How information can save us or destroy us.
One of the hardest things for man to do is control our thoughts. We are bombarded with information all day, every day. We are hit with advertising, news, thoughts of sin, thoughts of fear, thoughts of anxiety, anger, hatred, love, comfort and yes, thoughts of good and evil. Thoughts of country, politics, leaders. Thoughts of God, church, spiritual matters. When this information comes to us, we either receive or reject the information and we make decisions for our life based on the information we receive.
Remember when Moses sent out 12 spies to spy out the land God gave to Abraham in Numbers 13:17? Moses sent out 12 spies. All 12 spies saw the exact same thing. So why did only two of them, Joshua and Caleb, know God delivered the land unto them and the other 10 spies did not know? All 12 spies had the same information.
Numbers 13:25-33 KJV. “And they returned from searching of the land after forty days.
 And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land.
 And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it.
 Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there.
 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.
 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.
 But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.
 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.
 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight”
Even though all 12 spies saw the same thing, because two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, did not agree with the majority in their conclusion, the people wanted to stone Joshua and Caleb.
Numbers 14:6-10 KJV “And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes:
 And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land.
 If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey.
 Only rebel not ye against the Lord , neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not.
 But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel.”
We know, God got upset with the people and made them wander 40 years in the wilderness until they died off except for Joshua and Caleb and Moses. One would ask, how is it fair that Joshua and Caleb had to suffer 40 years of wandering when they believed God. Joshua and Caleb had to submit to God’s judgment on the people and submit to Moses’ authority. But God is a righteous judge and Joshua and Caleb were blessed.
We see similar actions today. Believers sometimes have to suffer through things because of other’s unbelief or lack of action. But God is a righteous judge and protects and blesses those who trust him.
The question is, why did 12 spies all see the same thing but only 2 spies saw victory? All 12 spies made a decision based on the exact same information. The answer is in how all 12 spies processed the information. And where do we process information? Our mind. So 10 of the spies were defeated in their mind. They let their mind defeat them and convince them they could not win. The 2 spies, Joshua and Caleb, knew they could not defeat the people but their trust was not in themselves. They believed God. They believed what God said and God would deliver to them the land.
A few posts back I mentioned how people try to manage the things in their life. But when a hurricane comes along, you can’t manage the wind, you can’t manage what trees fall or where they fall. Only God can manage the wind.
When you face things that seem impossible or hopeless remember, you win or loose based on your mind. You can say scripture but if you do not believe in your mind and heart the scripture, you let your mind defeat you.
God has plenty to say about our mind. Let’s look for real answers together. Until next time.
Although I plan on using these verses in reference to Hurricane Irma, I wanted to point out a few things. So here are the verses.
Deuteronomy 10:17-22 KJV ” For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:
 He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.
 Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
 Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.
 He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen.
 Thy fathers went down into Egypt with threescore and ten persons; and now the Lord thy God hath made thee as the stars of heaven for multitude.
Notice God is telling Israel he is the one true God of all gods? He is the Lord of all lords? What did Jesus say about himself? King of kings and Lord of lords in Revelation? Clearly, Jesus is God manifest (made known) in the flesh.
Notice how many people went to Egypt? Three score and ten. A score in scripture is 20. So three score is 20 times 3 or 60. So three score is 60, plus ten, is 70. When Joseph’s family came into Egypt because of the famine, 70 people came. These were Jacob and his family plus handmaids and workers of the family.
God prospered them and when they came out of Egypt they came out 430 years later. So from the time of Jacob and his family coming into Egypt to be with Joseph until the time Moses led them out of Egypt was 430 years and we know those who came out were 600,000 men plus wives and children according to Exodus 12. And, Israel came out of Egypt with the wealth of Egypt. Why? Egypt stole Israel’s wealth when they took Israel into bondage.
Relating to Hurricane Irma now, I would like to update you. From the point of the flesh and this world, Sunday night about 6 or 7pm we started experiencing an uptick in winds. There is a hedge row of large trees behind our home. I considered some trees may fall. Because the storm was projected to be a Cat 1 or 2 near me, we did not evacuate.
Many of you know I had moved into my mom’s trailer park, with her, when she was diagnosed with heart issues and then breast cancer. Because I sold everything to move in with my mom, when she went home to the Lord, I stayed living there.
Her mobile home is a 1986 meaning it did not have wind fortifications like newer mobile homes are required after Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Needless to say, I was concerned with the structural integrity of the home. In a Cat2 we could expect 80-100 mile an hour sustained winds with gusts to 110 to 120mph. Plus, we would be nestled between two mobile homes that would help break the wind.
Starting about 8:30 pm Sunday night, the lights started to flicker off and on again. Then at 10:30pm the power went off and stayed off. Around 12:30 am we heard trees started to fall around us. We sat with flashlights on and were talking about how we would handle a tree hitting the house. The wind was howling, the trees cracking or falling, the house literally shook.
Naturally, I had prayed, thought of the storms the disciples went through with Jesus and thought of Paul being shipwrecked three times. I asked God to dispatch his angels to put protection around the house and especially the roof. Suddenly we hear this loud thud on the roof and I knew a part of a tree or a tree had hit the roof. Then I reminded God how he is the father to the farherless.
I always thought I was trusting the Lord with my life. I have made decisions at times that I did not want to make, but I knew God wanted me to make a different decision than I wanted. So I thought I was trusting God. I didn’t have ear plugs so I wadded up some toilet paper and put those in my ears so I would not hear the storm. Hearing the storm is what causes fear.
I had no control over the storm but I could control how I responded to the storm. So I plugged my ears and started quoting scripture back to God on how he protects his children. Then I thought of the scripture where God tells us, we cry Abba Father. Abba is like saying daddy. I never had a father and I fall into the promises of God to the fatherless.
So I said to God, Abba Father, daddy save me, daddy save us. It was at that moment I realized, my life was truly in God’s hands. Normally we try to help God with our life by trying to manage things. But this time, I could not manage the storm. I could not manage the trees coming down around me. I could not manage the power outages or if the house would blow apart from the wind or a tornado. I could not manage anything other than how I responded to what was happening. So I chose to cry out, daddy, save me, daddy, save us.
I thought of times I said that to my mom when I was growing up, mom save me from ….. Mom would always come to the rescue. But I never had a dad, a daddy, so for me to say, daddy save me meant I had to fully trust my Heavenly Father to show me I could trust him to respond like my mom responded. Another words, God would rescue me and He did.
I got about 3 hours sleep Sunday night and when dawn broke Monday morning, my son and I went out to survey the damage. There were large trees down on both sides of my house. There were three parts of trees down on the roof but they did not penetrate the roof. I had a cracked window, no power and my bougainvillea, along with other landscaping was now ground cover.
Because there was a rash on ice and supplies, and I forget to make ice before the storm, all the food in the fridge is not edible and must be thrown out. And I just stocked up before the storm.
For me, God showed me how, as my Heavenly Father, I can truly let go and let him manage my life. How many times we do things from habit or from trying to control people, events or circumstances in our life and never think about asking daddy to save us, to protect us. We prepare for hurricanes here in Florida but we can not control the impact they have on us, our family or our property, only daddy can.
As I have said before, Florida and Floridians know how to deal with hurricanes and hurricane aftermath. I’ve heard half of the state has no power. With a population of about 18 million, that means 9 million in the dark. Neighbor works with neighbor in cleaning up, businesses and churches give away free food and drinks to residents, you see gas stations gerry rigged to provide fuel, supermarkets have only half of their lights on because they are running on generator back up. People give to cops and power crews free drinks and sandwiches. People truly work together including local radio.
Local radio stations broadcast information from electric companies, fuel, ice and food information and people call to inform others and officials what is going on in their neighborhood. There is no arguing, pushing or rudeness. People pray together and work together. It is a wonderful thing to see and experience.
Sure, you get those complainers or those who get angry with power companies because they don’t work as fast as the complainer wants. Those people need to learn compassion for others. And you get the traditional thieves who break into businesses or homes to steal. God is a righteous judge.
Then you realize your preparations pay off. You put containers in your bathtub filled with water and a capful of bleach so you can gravity flush your toliets. Your battery operated LED lights and solar lights for your yard provide indoor lighting at night. Then recharge solar lights in the daylight, courtesy of God. The water you stocked up on before the storm and you filled your car with fuel as preparing work. You have a TV antenna so when power comes on partly, you can get free over the air stations for news with your radio because your cable provider lost power too.
You sit in your car charging your smart phone so you can notify people you are okay, check your email and write a post for your blog. You remembered to get extra Clorox bleach for sanitizing surfaces, put in your toliets and to purify your water. You get large containers of Clorox wipes to clean your hands after the bathroom and keeping surfaces clean. You bought non perishable foods and a bag of your favorite candy.
The propane was filled and you can use your grill to cook and the burner to boil water. And you remembered to put tap water into baggies and seal them and put them in the freezer to freeze before the storm. So when the power goes out, your baggies will preserve your food in the freezer. You move perishables into the freezer with the frozen water baggies. Food left at 40°, after 6 hours, must be thrown out per the health department officials.
You picked up any prescriptions before the storm. And you always have a first aid kit incase of an injury. These are all things you can manage. Then you wait for the storm. Then God manages.
Through the storm, God has shown me I can trust my daddy, even though I do not see him. Never having a father because he abandoned us, you will never understand the fatherless unless you are fatherless. The fatherless do not know how to trust fathers. Nor do they have any father to teach them how to be a good father. So God teaches them. And God has a special place in his heart for the fatherless and for widows and his word, the scriptures, clearly explain that.
As Floridians including myself, try to get back to “normal”, I pray you will pray for the people of Florida to see God’s mighty hand in keeping us safe and providing for us. Until next time.
Here is a picture of one of the uprooted trees on one side of my house. Three different trees came down in that area. Notice how close those trees came to the house. The Florida room is 8 or 9 inches from the trees. But they missed.
Let me preface this saying, this is not about getting rich and getting a lot of money. And I am going off topic for this post, but for a reason.
People determine wealth as money most of the time. If someone has a lot of money, people think they are wealthy. The dictionary defines wealth as prosperity, external happiness. But not all wealthy people are happy. And there are places in the world where if you have running water in your house, you are considered wealthy. So the word wealthy is subjective.
One of the failures in recent “public” education is the teaching of wealth. Now stick with me for a bit. Public schools are an avenue of indoctrination. In the old days we had school houses run by locals. Then governments got involved by taking a percentage of every person’s income (through taxing them) and the governments would use your money to build schools and hire teachers to teach your children what they thought should be taught. Governments would also bill you every year through school taxes to pay the teachers and maintain the schools, at least that was the plan.
One has to ask if school houses were the better way to go. So governments set up schools using your money (because governments do not produce income, they take income from the people) and in the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s the schools used God’s word, God’s principles and prayer. We had generations growing up with this type of education, the principles of God’s word.
As the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s came, the “public” schools changed their curriculum and threw God out. They threw the scriptures out and they threw prayer out, all under the umbrella of “civil” liberties. (Civil liberties mean the policy and procedures of a community or government, not individuals). It was also during this time that England started exporting Charles Darwin’s teachings of evolution. And now we have generations who have grown up under different teachings.
The world says this is explained as a “generation” gap but it is really the generations were taught different teachings. And one day, if Jesus tarry, there will be no teachings about God unless believers stand firm on God’s word and teach God’s word and God’s principles.
You see, there was a switch made. The switch was started in the 50s and 60s and manifest in the 70s and 80s in public education. God was thrown out of public education. And now we have generations who have been taught the world’s ways, the world’s principles. And when things don’t go as taught or planned, we get chaos.
Wealth and money are one of these principles. And not that I planned on writing about wealth, I didn’t. But I have said, I post what God puts on my heart to post. And why am I posting this now? Because I heard a preacher the other day use the word traffick. It was the way he used the word that puzzled me. So let me ask you, what do you think of when you hear the word traffick? What does traffick mean?
The thing that caught my attention was when the preacher said God has a way to traffick. AND Satan knows God’s way of trafficking. I had never heard such a thing in almost 34 years of being saved. Have you? So I wrote down the word and his scripture reference. Later I looked traffick up in my 1828 dictionary and saw it is defined as trade; commerce by barter, buying and selling. Exchange or passage of goods or merchandise and not necessarily retail. To my surprise, traffick is a word that deals with wealth.
But the comment that Satan knew God’s way of traffick? When I looked traffick up in my concordance I found traffick is not bad but a way of obtaining wealth. Joseph tells his brothers to traffick in the land when they came to Egypt in Genesis 42:34. And we read in Ezekiel 28:5 KJV “By thy great wisdom and by thy traffick hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches:”
Notice it is not the traffick that was “bad” it is the pride that came from acquiring wealth from trafficking. Today, when trafficking is used it has a negative connotation because of “criminals” trafficking drugs or weapons. Jesus used trafficking in a teaching but he called it trade in Luke 19:15 KJV “And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.”
Notice in Luke 19 it was after the nobleman received the kingdom he sent his servants out to traffick / trade. So the trade was not for building the kingdom but used after.
So when Donal Trump talks about trade, you know he is talking about trafficking and trafficking or trade increases wealth. So NAFTA and the TPP are trade or trafficking agreements meant to create wealth for someone. If the agreement is not fair, it is taking wealth from one to give to another.
So you have to ask yourself, what do you traffick? If you want to increase “riches” as Ezekiel says, by wisdom and trafficking it can be done. Today, we look at trafficking not only goods but also services. God has given each of us gifts and talents and desires where we can traffick. Hopefully, people use these God given gifts and talents to bring honour and glory to the Lord as they obtain wealth.
Until next time.
As we start 2017 with renewed hope and excitement we have the promises of God to trust. I wanted to share some promises that recently reaffirmed God does bless us. The Lord promises to increase us and our children. And heaven, and the heavens are the Lord’s but the earth he gave to mankind. I hope you will throughout the year, speak these verses out loud and settle it in your heart, the Lord protects, blesses, increases and shields us. So I share these promises, not only to nations, but individual people too.
Psalm 115:1-18 KJV “Not unto us, O Lord , not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.
 Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God?
 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.
 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.
 They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not:
 They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:
 They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat.
 They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.
 O Israel, trust thou in the Lord : he is their help and their shield.
 O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord : he is their help and their shield.
 Ye that fear the Lord , trust in the Lord : he is their help and their shield.
 The Lord hath been mindful of us: he will bless us ; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron.
 He will bless them that fear the Lord , both small and great.
 The Lord shall increase you more and more, you and your children.
 Ye are blessed of the Lord which made heaven and earth.
 The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s : but the earth hath he given to the children of men.
 The dead praise not the Lord , neither any that go down into silence.
 But we will bless the Lord from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the Lord .
Until next time.