ISIS AND JONAH’S NINEVEH 2800 YEARS AGO

With the horrible acts of terrorism lately, I decided I better get out an article I wrote and re-read it. God’s given us a powerful way to affect better results in our world.

 

ISIS AND JONAH’S NINEVEH 2800 YEARS AGO

I was studying Jonah when the Lord jolted me with two instructions. The first was to look up the location of Jonah’s Nineveh and see if it is the same as where ISIS is murdering people today. It is. And the demons are just as vicious now as they were over 2800 years ago in Jonah’s time.

 

I read the following in Holman’s Bible Dictionary about the people of Nineveh in Jonah’s time: “They fought with the Israelites continually, their brutality renowned. They impaled their enemies on stakes in front of their towns, hung their heads from trees and covered city walls with the skins of their victims. And when they took prisoners they tortured them—men, women and children—by hacking off body parts, gouging out their eyes or tearing off their lips or hands.” Horrendous inhumane deeds, then and now: same evil brought about by the same demons.

 

Now I see why Jonah ran the other way when God told him to go to Nineveh. And that brings me to the second instruction God gave me: “Pray for the soldiers of ISIS. Some of them will turn.” I sure wasn’t expecting that!

 

Right after I got both instructions, I looked at the news on the computer and saw a video of an ISIS defector. It was God’s assurance to me and I know there will be more.

 

Jonah didn’t want God to do anything good for any of those murderers. And I wasn’t all that thrilled about praying for any of them either. But we have to remember who our God is. He “has no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God.” He says, “wherefore turn yourselves, and live” (Ezek. 18:32). We can pray that some will turn. The defectors are doing just that.

 

Another scripture we can pray is Isaiah 55:7: “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” I pray some will see and witness firsthand the greatness of our God and change allegiance.

 

But some will need a heftier impetus and motivation to change. Some will need to be brought to their knees and stripped of their power before they would even think of changing. God has put scriptures in the Bible for that too.

 

We know that people committing such horrendous crimes against humanity serve Satan, even if they don’t call it that. And Satan protects them, often pays them well and gives them a false sense of security.

 

But then we can pray verses like the following: “their bows shall be broken” (Ps. 37:15), “his violent dealing shall come down upon his own head” (Ps. 7:16), “let the creditor seize all that he has and let strangers plunder his labor; let there be none to extend mercy to him” (Ps. 109:6-13), “let their eyes be darkened so that they do not see; and make their loins shake continually” (Ps. 69:23).

 

Some other very powerful verses are: “Let the angel of the Lord chase them. Let their way be dark and slippery” (Ps. 35:4-6). From the New Testament, we can pray to let envy and strife be among them, “for where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work” (James 3:16).My best friend, Jane, and I have prayed this especially before holidays where we’ve heard terrorist activity is expected and I know it’s been effective.

Praying these scriptures is powerful. God’s mighty angels, who “excel in strength, do his commandments and hearken to voice of his word” (Ps. 103:20), will attack the demons who are protecting ISIS and working in them. God’s wonderful mighty angels will wreak havoc and destruction upon the plans and devices of the enemy, stripping them of their demon protectors and bringing them to their knees—putting them in the best place possible for switching allegiance.

 

God’s will has always been to save even the vilest of men. Have we forgotten how rotten the Apostle Paul was before his conversion?

 

He was a murderer of Christians just like ISIS followers and soldiers. Acts 9:1 says he was “breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord.” He was in charge, the leader who called for many to be murdered. Paul was one of those who Jesus called “children of hell” (Matt. 23:15) and one of the generation of vipers: “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” (Matt. 23:33).

 

The Christians in the first century church were powerful in prayer. I believe Jesus taught his disciples to pray for their enemies the way David did, the way I’ve shown you here. Paul’s miraculous change of allegiance is an indication of this.

 

His conversion was astonishing. It didn’t come about by the Christians praying nice things for him or being extra kind to him. It came about by him being struck suddenly blind, thrown down from his horse and having a volatile encounter with Jesus Himself!

 

Once Paul turned, the Christians in the area had peace. And that’s certainly what we want for the current-day areas where ISIS is working.

 

Jesus said, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matt. 5:44). I don’t think we’ve fully understood this verse. In situations where someone is committed to doing the devil’s work, the only good we can do for is pray for confrontation just like the Apostle Paul got, or that they be stripped of their power and see that the power of our God is greater.

 

I believe that if some of us will take these scriptures and pray them over the ISIS soldiers and followers, we will see more turn from their evil actions.

 

I will pray for defection and astounding conversion, but I don’t stop there. I also pray strongly that if they don’t turn or are not going to turn, then I pray Psalm 139:19: “Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God.”  I pray, “Destroy their plans and allow strife among their members and let them even kill each other and be killed, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

 

Jonah went to Nineveh and they changed their ways. Jesus confronted Paul and he changed. Some of you will confront the evil in these ISIS soldiers with the scriptures I’ve shared.  God bless you for that. You are making the world a better place through scriptural prayer and obedience.

 

Love, Carolyn

 

QUESTIONS AND EASY CHALLENGES

  1. Cite a couple scriptural references that we can use to pray for those who are like the sold out believers in ISIS.
  2. Who is on our side to wreak havoc on the plans and devices of our enemies? (Ps. 103:20)
  3. Who in the New Testament was a murderer of Christians? Cite the scriptures where he was miraculously changed.
  4. Do you believe God, through His son Jesus Christ, can change the heart of any man? Give a couple Biblical references.
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DELIGHT IN DIVINE APPOINTMENTS

divine appointment

DELIGHT IN DIVINE APPOINTMENTS

A little over a year ago I finished a project for one company and on the way home I felt an inner urging to go by and see a friend. When I got there he offered me a job. I didn’t have another job lined up yet, the timing was perfect and I started immediately.

 

People who don’t know better, might call this a coincidence. Did you know that in the Hebrew language there isn’t even a word for coincidence? The Bible says we’re either walking by the flesh or walking by the spirit. Nothing happens by chance.

 

When we even have the slightest inkling to do something and it doesn’t go against what the Bible says, then we are taking another step of faith along the good path the Lord has for us. Walking by faith gets us to these special times I call divine appointments.

 

Just like a doctor appointment, or the hairdresser or any other type of appointment in the natural, we don’t want to be late. When the appointments are set up by the Lord, they are going to be successful ones, so we need to respond immediately.

 

My experience wasn’t earth shattering but it did make a big difference in my finances for that week and that’s important enough to me and to God.

 

When we pray for help in walking by the spirit, and we determine to be aware of the Lord’s guidance to us, (one author calls these “God winks”), the results are always positive because the Lord Jesus and his Father God always want the best for us. All Christians can walk by the spirit.

 

God gives us a great example in Simeon. He didn’t have a degree or title and he was a pretty regular Jewish believer. Luke 2:25 says, “There was a man whose name was Simeon; just and devout.” This tells me he was doing his best to be a fair man and he was determined in his heart to follow God.

 

The Holy Spirit had revealed to him that before he died he would get to see God’s Messiah. Then on one ordinary day, “he came by the spirit into the temple” (Lk 2:27). There it is! He came “by the spirit”—the spirit of God gave him the idea to go to the temple, he did it and met his godly appointment.

 

It was the exact day and time that Joseph and Mary brought the young child Jesus to the temple! Simeon “took him up in his arms, blessed God and said, ‘Lord now lettest they servant depart in peace, for my eyes have seen thy salvation’” (vv. 28-29). The Holy Spirit inspired Simeon and he went on to give an awesome prophecy over Mary, Joseph and the child Jesus.

 

We don’t hear any more about this man Simeon and in fact this happened near the end of his life here on earth. But I believe God had this record put in the Bible so that we could learn how important and wonderful it is to respond to the urgings of the Spirit.

 

For me, it increased my finances for the week. For Simeon it was how he got to meet Jesus face to face.

 

Galatians 5:25 says, “Let us also walk in the Spirit.” And Romans 8:14, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”

 

We can pray, “Lord Jesus, help me to walk by the Spirit today and delight in those divine appointments.”

 

Love, Carolyn

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HOW TO GET BETTER AT LISTENING TO THE LORD

listening

I posted a similar story at the beginning of the year but I had an experience today that told me I needed to look at it again!

HOW TO GET BETTER AT LISTENING TO THE LORD

I’ve made a new friend at work, Kathy. One week she brought her little Chihuahua to work because it was healing up from a wound. I went into her office to see the little dog and we started talking. Today she brought some people into my area of the shop and Kathy and I got to chat a bit.

 

She told me she’d been to Illinois to see her family. I asked where in Illinois and she told me. Then I got distracted because I’d been in the same town many years ago. I started to think about that experience and totally missed hearing about the people she went to see. I stopped being in her world and was thinking about my world, way back when. Darn! Some of us really have to work on our listening skills!

 

We let ourselves get distracted by our own thoughts, rather than listening with our full attention and our full hearts to what the other person is saying. In this instance, I went on a mental journey to my own past experiences in the town Kathy mentioned. That’s really just rude.

 

At other times, we get busy thinking about so many things, that our brains are racing into future events, instead of staying in the present. The result is that we miss out on quality time just listening to each other.

We’ve forgotten how to have a conversation.

 

We need to slow down enough to really listen to each other. Besides practicing consideration and love for each other, it’s great practice for listening to the Lord. First John 4:20 says, “For he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” I could say, “For he that listens not to his brother whom he hath see, how can he listen to God whom he hath not seen?” Listening is an act of love.

 

If we want to get better at hearing from the Lord, we can take some steps in the right direction by practicing listening to each other. Here are a few tips that I think will help me and you too.

 

  1. Determine to engage. This works with people and the Lord too. We need to decide to give at least a few minutes of our time to them alone.
  2. Listen without butting in. Let them complete what they want to say and treat it as valuable.
  3. Ask questions: What? Why? How? Where? When?
  4. If you don’t understand something or you’re not sure you got it all, repeat it back to them and ask if it you got it right.

 

When we make the effort to listen to someone, we don’t want to let our minds take a selfish trip to the past, or an anticipatory trip to the future. We want to do our best to let our hearts and minds love and engage in the present.

 

I hope I get a chance to see Kathy tomorrow and do a better job of listening.

 

Love, Carolyn

 

WINGS: A Journey in Faith –Volume1.  True stories to ENTERTAIN, INSPIRE and ENHANCE your spiritual growth.

 

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PEANUT

Peanut2

PEANUT AND THE LAMB

My roommate Jane took a shortcut down the alleyway behind the paint store and found a little dog. His ribs were showing and he was shaking. She stopped her car and got out to see if the dog would come to her. Instead, he crawled under her car. That’s when she called me.

 

She says I know dog talk and animals will come to me, so I got some dog food and water and off I went. We both sat down on the cement in the alleyway and talked to him quietly and offered him nourishment. He would take a little drink and a bite of food, then run back a ways, tail between his legs, and just look at us.

 

Finally, after a half an hour of coaxing, he still wouldn’t come, so we called Animal Control because we didn’t know what else to do. But when we started toward our cars, the little guy sensed it was his last chance. He ran over and jumped into Jane’s arms. Then I put him in the front seat of my car and he snuggled up under my arm.

 

About that time a guy came down the alley. We told him what happened, and that we couldn’t keep the dog because of our aging cat, Snickers. He told us his name was Tony, and said his landlady recently lost her dog and was looking for another. Tony thought our little alley dog would be perfect so we made the arrangements in case we didn’t find the real owner.

 

Jane put up 40 signs to try to find the dog’s owner. We waited a week, and when no one called, we called Tony back and took the little one over. The dog stayed one night before we got a phone call saying they couldn’t keep him. Seems the landlady had territorial parrots that wanted nothing to do with a little dog. So, back he came to our house.

 

We called some friends associated with dog rescue groups and they found two people who said they really wanted the little guy. After the third week, they backed out, and now he’s ours. We bought him a bright blue collar and some toys and named him Peanut. He loves to eat and is filling out nicely. We took him to a nearby vet and found out that Peanut had his peanuts, so we got him fixed and now he and Snickers eat together and even play together.

 

This experience reminded me of the story Jesus told about the lost lamb:

 

Luke 15:3-7 “And he spake this parable unto them, saying, ‘What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

 

‘And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

 

‘I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.’”

 

God really loves every single one of us and doesn’t want anyone left alone and afraid. “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows” (Luke 12:6-7).

 

John 3:16 tells us, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

 

We took compassion on this little dog, looked after him and are giving him a great home. How much more compassion does God have for us and for all those who He finds in the alleys of life, emaciated and scared and just looking for the right home?

 

Love, Carolyn

 

QUESTIONS AND EASY CHALLENGES

  1. Have you ever taken in any stray animals? How did you treat them?
  2. When animals are afraid, how do you talk to them? Do you think some people are afraid of Jesus?
  3. Where does it say God hasn’t forgotten even one sparrow?
  4. What does it mean to you that God knows every hair of your head?
  5. Cite a verse that tells us something about God’s love for us.

 

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COMPASSION DOESN’T JUDGE

GodLovesYouThisMuch

COMPASSION DOESN’T JUDGE

After taking a look at the cover of my book, WINGS: A JOURNEY IN FAITH FROM THE EARTHLY TO THE HEAVENLY, Joe wrote me a note: “I’m sure somewhere in my heart of darkness I’m a little bit of a Christian. Well, I might be, I’ll look around, check the basement and the attic of my heart, there might be a little somewhere.” I let that sit and just prayed for him.

 

A few weeks later, Joe was at a writers’ group we attended. He sat down at the table. My roommate asked him, “How’s it going?” And he replied, “You don’t want to know!” But when bad things pile up, most people want to tell someone just to get it off their chests. So he opened up.

 

The IRS just informed him that he owed quite a bit in past taxes for when he was screenwriting on TV shows and movies in Hollywood. Besides that, his air conditioning unit went out in the house he and his wife had here in Las Vegas. It had been over 100 degrees and nearly impossible to work in the smothering heat we get here. He told us it was an old unit and they were looking for a particular part that wasn’t made anymore. The A/C guys told him if they couldn’t find it he’d have to get a new unit for somewhere around $6000! He had deadlines to meet and was in a huge dilemma.

 

I told him we’d pray.

 

The very next day my roommate called him up on an entirely different matter but he was so excited he had to tell her what happened.

 

“You prayed and this got answered in a half an hour. The part they couldn’t find anywhere, well they showed up today with some parts, telling me it would cost around $800 to $900. When they came down from the roof, it was amazing—only $130! In the same half hour my 90-year-old mother called and said, ‘Heck, I’ll pay the IRS—the whole thing. Let’s get it off of you!’ You said you were going to pray and your prayers were answered. It’s a miracle! Our heads are spinning!”

 

God has compassion for people who are in a hard place, people who don’t even really know if they believe or not: “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness” (Lam. 3:22-23).

 

Just the fact that the man expressed that he might be a little bit of a Christian was enough for the Lord Jesus to work His compassion in my roommate and me to earnestly pray for this man and his wife. Strong compassion bypasses any judgment. And I’m so thankful to the Lord Jesus Christ for allowing us to be messengers of His love and miracles.

 

Love, Carolyn

 

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Here’s the link for Amazon. (Note: I offer a free download of one of my books almost every week)

 

WINGS: A JOURNEY IN FAITH

 

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FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD

FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD

My friend Wendy was in a bind with the deadline on some of the props she was painting for a large Summer Festival. She asked if I could help her today and even though I had planned to do something else, I said yes. Wendy is a good friend and I knew she really needed the help. So that’s what I’ve been doing from 6 a.m. this morning till 6 p.m. tonight.

 

The Bible tells us that we need to “be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving our own selves” (James 1:22).

 

“What is the benefit, my fellow believers, if someone claims to have faith but has no [good] works [as evidence]? Can that [kind of] faith save him? [No, a mere claim of faith is not sufficient—genuine faith produces good works.]

 

“If a brother or sister is without [adequate] clothing and lacks [enough] food for each day, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace [with my blessing], [keep] warm and feed yourselves,” but he does not give them the necessities for the body, what good does that do?” (James 2:14-16).

 

So I helped my friend Wendy today and we worked really hard and through some difficult upsets, but we did it together and it was a blessed day.

 

Love, Carolyn

WILL OUR PETS BE WITH US IN HEAVEN?

PEANUT AND SNICKERS – My two little love boys right now.

WILL OUR PETS BE WITH US IN HEAVEN?

All of us who love our pets have probably asked the question, “Will they be with us in heaven?”

The best answer I’ve heard is explained in a book I’m reading now, called Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. Dietrich Bonhoeffer tells the story himself:

 

“At 11:00 a.m. there was a knock at my door and a ten-year old boy came into my room with something I had requested from his parents. I noticed that something was amiss with the boy, who is usually cheerfulness personified. And soon it came out: he broke down in tears, completely beside himself, and I could hear only the words: ‘Herr Wolf ist tot’ [Mr. Wolf is dead], and then he cried and cried. ‘But who is Herr Wolf?’

 

As it turns out, it is a young German shepherd dog that was sick for eight days and had just died a half-hour ago. So the boy, inconsolable, sat down on my knee and could hardly regain his composure; he told me how the dog died and how everything is lost now. He played only with the dog, each morning the dog came to the boy’s bed and awakened him—and now the dog was dead. What could I say?

 

So he talked to me about it for quite a while. Then suddenly his wrenching crying became quiet and he said: ‘But I know he’s not dead at all.’ ‘What do you mean?’ ‘His spirit is now in heaven.’

 

So there I stood and was supposed to answer him yes or no. If I said ‘no, we don’t know’ that would have meant ‘no.’ . . . So I quickly made up my mind and said to him: ‘Look, God created human beings and also animals, and I’m sure he also loves animals. And I believe that with God it is such that all who loved each other on earth—genuinely loved each other—will remain together with God, for to love is part of God. Just how that happens, though, we admittedly don’t know.

 

You should have seen the happy face on this boy; he had completely stopped crying. ‘So then I’ll see Herr Wolf again when I am dead; then we can play together again’—in a word, he was ecstatic. I repeated to him a couple of times that we don’t really know how this happens. He, however, knew, and knew it quite definitely in thought.

 

After a few minutes, he said: ‘Today I really scolded Adam and Eve; if they had not eaten the apple, Herr Wolf would not have died.’”

 

I thought that was a great story and Bonhoeffer’s answer about genuine love and that God is love, was an awesome way to explain what we believe about our pets being in heaven with us.

 

Love, Carolyn

 

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