THE POWER OUTAGE

9 o’clock the other night I’m watching TV and the lights go out. No electricity in the whole neighborhood. Thoughts fly through my mind in rapid succession like bullets from an automatic rifle: “I’ve got a generator. I need to take it outside. I have to get my flashlight. It’s dark. I won’t be able to see out there. Sh..t, I should have recharged the batteries the last time. Do I have any other flashlights? In my car. Phew!” I’m just about to get up out of my chair and all the lights and sounds come charging back to life.

A couple days later I thought about not having the batteries ready for my flashlight when we had the power outage. It reminded me of the Bible story about the ten virgins with the oil lamps. They took their lamps to meet the bridegroom and go to the wedding. But only five took extra oil for their lamps so they’d be prepared. The bridegroom was late so the five without extra oil were running out of light. They thought they could borrow some from the others but that wasn’t going to happen.

We learn from this passage that each of us is responsible to get his or her own oil. No one else is responsible to read the Bible for us and no one else can do our believing for us. The women who were prepared, went on to the party and the others missed out. (Matt 5:1-13). This parable is about being ready when Jesus comes back. Nobody knows when that will be, but there will be a day when Jesus returns and everything changes.

“The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Pet 3:10). “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God” (1 Thess 4: 16).

Jesus said that when judgment day comes, every man will have to account for every idle word he speaks (Matt 12:36) and fire will try every work. Our works are to be built on the foundation of Jesus Christ. “If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss” (1 Cor 3:13-15). “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be?” (2 Pet 3:11).

People want to feel that their lives are meaningful and that they are contributing good things into this world. Once Jesus comes back, we don’t get the chance to do it over again. We only have one life to live here on earth right now, no reincarnation. We need to make every day count.

We don’t want to miss a chance to say something kind, do something significant for someone else, give a smile, help someone, minister healing, cast out a devil spirit, etc. “We are all the children of light” (1 Thess 5:5) and we can “walk as children of light” (Eph 5:8). “Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel” (Matt 5:15). Let your particular light shine.

The end of our world is imminent and according to the Bible, it could be any day. Let’s make a difference here while we can. If we think more often about Jesus’ return, we will live our lives more like the women who carried extra oil, rather than the ones whose light ran out.

Like it says in Romans 13:12, “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”

If we live like today could be our last, it just could be our best.

After the lights came back on the other night, I recharged the batteries for my flashlight. Today I’m recharging my heart for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Love, Carolyn

FREE this coming Thursday thru Monday you can download my WINGS sample book: COMMITMENT, from Amazon. Great chapters include GOING THROUGH THE EYE OF THE NEEDLE, PREACH YOURSELF HAPPY, SEEING LIFE IN A NEW WAY and RECEIVING YOUR HARVEST.

TERRIFYING SUMMER DAY

In the summer the grass on the hillside behind our house was long and dry—perfect for hours and hours of fun for the three of us kids. My sister, brother and I found big cardboard pieces to use for sleds. We crossed the street in back of our house, climbed through an open space in the barbed wire fence, hiked up the hill and got ready to go. Each of us grabbed the front end of our cardboard, pulled it up over our feet and down we’d fly all the way to the… bottom. Then we’d do it again and again all day, until mom called us for dinner. One time I was sledding alone.
 
I got tired early so I folded my cardboard and headed home. I carefully lifted up a section of barbed wire and my foot hit a small log in the path. All of a sudden I was being swarmed and stung by yellow jackets. They were all over me—my face, my arms, my head, even stinging me through my socks—and they just kept attacking. Yellow jackets aren’t like regular bees that die once they sting you. Yellow jackets can just keep on stinging. I must have disturbed their nest and they were mad. I managed to get myself out from under the barbed wire and ran to the middle of the street.
 
They followed me and surrounded me and kept stinging me over and over. I could do nothing to stop them. I panicked and froze there right in the middle of the street and screamed at the top of my lungs.
 
My mom came running out of the house and saw immediately what was going on. She grabbed me and quickly got me off the street and into our driveway. She turned the water on and hosed me down. Then she took me, sopping wet, into the house, where she slathered me from head to toe in calamine lotion, finally easing the pain of over a hundred yellow jacket stings.
 
This memory reminds me of the Bible story about the man from the Gadarenes. He was being attacked by a legion of devil spirits. Most sources say a legion can be as many as 6000 in number. The man was lashing out, tearing at himself and scaring everyone, that is, except Jesus. The man wasn’t in his right mind but Jesus had compassion on him and rescued the man. Jesus set him free from the attacks and the people “found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind” (Luke 8:34).
 
My mom rescued me and calmed the stings. Jesus rescued the man and calmed him. The man regained a sane mind rather than the insane one he got while he was being bombarded. Sometimes we act a little insane too when we get bombarded. Let’s follow Jesus’ example and do like it says in 1 Peter 3:8: “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble” (1 Peter 3:8).
 
Love, Carolyn
This week I have a free download, WINGS: Sample book C. It is 6 true life stories all on different aspects of FAITH. Find it on Amazon under my name.

THE UNKNOWN MYSTERIOUS INTRUDERS

Maybe it’s because they’re mysterious and unpredictable. We don’t understand them. What is it with their being visible only sometimes and invisible the rest of the time? People pray to them, give names to them and think we maybe turn into them when we die, but none of that is in the Bible. The whole subject can be confusing but bear with me as I go to some scriptures and shed some new light.

After Jesus went through the ordeal of being tempted in the wilderness, Matthew 4: 11 says “Behold, angels came and ministered unto him.” Luke 22:43 says, “There appeared an angel, strengthening him.” If Jesus needed the ministering of angels and the strengthening they could give, don’t you think we do? Of course we do. And don’t tell me that Jesus was special, so that’s why He got angels. John 16:27 tells us that God loves us as much as He does Jesus. So what God does for Jesus, He’s willing to do for us too.

Jesus told Peter, “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matt 26:53). And Colossians 1:27tells us it’s “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Isn’t God willing to do the same for the Christ in us as He did for Christ in the flesh? The answer is yes of course. Jesus said He could pray for angels and so can we.

In fact, He gave this instruction: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also” (John 14:12). Praying for angelic help is one of the works. Two verses later He adds, “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” Asking for angels is an “any thing.”

Jesus reiterates this truth, saying “, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you” (John 16:23). Angelic help is a “whatsoever.” Jesus could pray for angels and He expects us to do the same.

Philippians 4:13 tells us we “can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth us.” It doesn’t say all things except for asking angelic help. It says “all things” and the understanding is they are “all good things” because Phil 2:13 tells us “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

There’s nothing in God’s Word that says we have to get angelic help. But when we got born again, we made Jesus our Lord. Shouldn’t we be willing to follow His example? What’s our excuse? If we say we’re unworthy of angels, Jesus says we are worthy. If we say we don’t need them, Jesus did, so why wouldn’t we? Are we better than Him? Do we think it’s up to God to send them when He wants to? Jesus said all we need to do is ask and whatsoever we ask, we believe and we receive.

Do we refrain from utilizing them because we don’t understand them? God’s Word is for the simplest of men. Sometimes we get too intellectual and think we have to understand everything first, but that’s not God’s way.  Jesus teaches us to believe first, act, and then the understanding comes later.

In this article I am only trying to point out the additional value of angels to a believer. I am not in any way trying to belittle the magnificent power of using the name and the authority behind the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Nor am I denying the wonderful effectiveness of true prayer, or the supernatural moving of molecules when we quote scripture or apply the blood of Jesus over a person or situation.

I know our God is way more variegated and majestic than we have yet to discover. He has provided us with many tools and weapons for living victoriously. Why not employ more of what the Lord Jesus Christ has explained and opened for us to use?  

Psalm 103:20 tells us these previously unknown intruding angels are strong, and sometimes we just need that. Believe and ask.

Love, Carolyn

My book WINGS: A Journey in Faith is on sale in paperback from Amazon and is available in stand-alone parts, sample sections, and also the entire book of 61 chapters in e-book format.