Freedom

Joshua_10:12 , (Webster): Then spoke Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.

Jos_10:13  And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.

I heard that when scientists calculated time, they ran into some hours where daylight was extended and they were not sure why. Someone told them to consider the Bible and the battle of Joshua where the sun stayed in the sky beyond the normal amount of time. When they added in those extra hours their puzzle was solved.

The book of Joshua is intriguing because it tells the story of Joshua, Moses’ assistant taking over the leadership of the Israeli’s as they enter the Promised Land soon after Moses died.

Joshua needed to negotiate with the two and a half tribes that decided to stay on the opposite side of the Jordan in regards to fighting with the inhabitants of the land. Their warriors chose to fight for the benefit of their brothers and sisters going into the Promised Land and after the pledge got completed, they would return to their portion of property and to their families.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I think I’m communicating well with someone and then I find out that they didn’t understand what I was saying. Occasionally, I’ll listen to someone and they are clearly articulating their opinion and I will respond and think they agree with me, but they quiet down. Then when I finally realize I missed their point completely, we’re either free to move forward or they decide it’s too much work and they bail out of the relationship.

Joshua found he had to talk to the tribes of Reuben and Gad and half of the tribe of Manasseh to keep things going smoothly for the entire nation of Israel and then Phinehas the priest and heads of the nine tribes needed to address them as recorded in Joshua chapter 22.

Joshua 13:7, (Webster) says:  Now therefore divide this land for an inheritance to the nine tribes, and the half tribe of Manasseh,

Jos 13:8  With whom the Reubenites and the Gadites have received their inheritance, which Moses gave them, beyond Jordan eastward, even as Moses the servant of the LORD gave them.

They wanted to make sure that just because the Jordan divided them that they would not become a divided nation.

Jesus knew about divisiveness and He took an opportunity to instruct His disciples and the Pharisees:

Matthew 12:22, (Webster): Then was brought to him one possessed with a demon, blind and dumb; and he healed him, so that the blind and dumb both spoke and saw.

Mat 12:23  And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?

Mat 12:24  But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This man doth not cast out demons, but by Beelzebub the prince of the demons.

Mat 12:25  And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them, Every kingdom divided against itself, is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself, shall not stand.

Mat 12:26  And if Satan casteth out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand?

Mat 12:27  And if I by Beelzebub cast out demons, by whom do your children expel them? therefore they shall be your judges.

Mat 12:28  But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come to you.

Mat 12:29  Or else, how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and seize his goods, except he shall first bind the strong man? and then he will plunder his house.

Mat 12:30  He that is not with me, is against me; and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad.

Mat 12:31  Wherefore I say to you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven to men.

Mat 12:32  And whoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whoever speaketh against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

Mat 12:33  Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by its fruit.

Mat 12:34  O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.

Mat 12:35  A good man, out of the good treasure of the heart, bringeth forth good things: and an evil man, out of the evil treasure, bringeth forth evil things.

Mat 12:36  But I say to you, That for every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account in the day of judgment.

Mat 12:37  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Mat 12:38  Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.

Mat 12:39  But he answered and said to them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh for a sign, and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah.

Mat 12:40  For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly: so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Mat 12:41  The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, a greater than Jonah is here.

Mat 12:42  The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

Joshua’s name means Jesus, also interpreted as Yahweh is salvation. Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joshua

http://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/4122/if-joshua-can-be-translated-why-is-the-name-of-jesus-translated-jesus-but-his

So, Joshua continued the quest to deliver Israel from a slave mentality to the mindset that they were free and cherished by God and capable warriors against evil.

Jesus came from heaven as God the Son, the Son of David to set people free from sin and from the power of the enemy. He defeated the devil at the cross and purchased our redemption from God’s wrath due to our sinful nature and reconciled us to God. The devil got defeated and his power got short-circuited and Jesus enabled mankind to be victorious through Him.

According to a professor I heard way back in the 1990’s from Elim Bible Institute, whose name I forget, Satan is held on a tight leash when people love God and seek to follow His ways. When mankind turns away from God and lives a life pleasing to them, disregarding God, the leash loosens, so to speak, and the enemies’ power over people increases.

That’s why every time the Israelites served false gods and idols, God allowed them to go their separate ways and in effect said, “Let your other gods take care of you.”

Sometimes they repented and called out to God after seven years, sometimes they suffered for decades. In the book of Judges, God sent them another judge to fight on their behalf many times.

Why did the generations not learn from their grandfathers or their fathers or older brothers? I don’t know. Sometimes I figure things out right away. Other times, I’m learning and re-learning and re-learning and then it clicks and sinks in.

I’m very grateful for a compassionate and loving and merciful God. When I see young people making the same mistakes I made years ago, and I see the times we’re living in, I pray that God will get through to them quicker than He got through to me. Some sins will keep Christians out of heaven because they think God winks at sin. Paul continually said to the Gentiles that they needed to stay on the narrow path, with other words. In 1 Corinthians 6:8, (Webster), Paul says to Christians, “But ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

1Co 6:9  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

1Co 6:10  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

1Co 6:11  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

1Co 6:12  All things are lawful to me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

1Co 6:13  Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for lewdness, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.

1Co 6:14  And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.

1Co 6:15  Know ye not, that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of a harlot? By no means.

1Co 6:16  What? know ye not that he who is joined to a harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.

1Co 6:17  But he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.

1Co 6:18  Flee lewdness. Every sin that a man doeth, is without the body; but he that committeth lewdness, sinneth against his own body.

1Co 6:19  What, know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have from God, and ye are not your own?

1Co 6:20  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Paul keeps admonishing the Corinthians, so they’ll know how to live in a manner that pleases God. They used to be Gentiles and serve idols. He gives them hope in 1 Cor. 10:13, (Webster) :

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above what ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

And in verse 14 he tells them to flee idolatry. He wants them to be set free from sin, addictions, people pleasing, afflictions, and oppression from the devil, etc.

Martin Luther King, Jr. had a famous saying that is repeated often today, “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.”Martin Luther King Jr.

The source for that quote and image is: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/10538-free-at-last-free-at-last-thank-god-almighty-we

May God bless you.

 

 

 

 

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Third

In writing blogs about The Ten Commandments I’m up to the third commandment from Exodus 20:7:

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”

I don’t think I comprehend the name of Jesus, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit as God does. There’s power in the name of Jesus.

Jesus said to His disciples in John 14: 13,14: “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the father may be glorified in the Son. If you will ask anything in My name, I will do it.” (NKJV)

I helped in Children’s Church a few weeks back and we spoke of this commandment. I said, “What if every time someone got mad they screamed your name out in anger? How would that make you feel?”

To take it even further, if you could possibly imagine that you are the God of everything and everybody and you hear it when thoughts and utterances of your name comes up as derogatory cuss words, over and over again. How would you feel?

A perfect God, a righteous God deserves honor and respect.

On Christian radio yesterday I heard a fleeting comment by Pastor James McDonald referencing a past teaching. He said if we bear Jesus’ name inaccurately that’s taking His name in vain.

I’m writing a Young Adult novel and I had it critiqued last summer. My character said, “Oh, Lord!”

The editor posed the question, “Is this a prayer or is she taking the Lord’s name in vain?”

I was startled. Do I take the Lord’s name in vain – casually tossing it around?

In Proverbs, verse 18:10 (NKJV), it says, “The name of the Lord is a strongtower; The righteous run to it and are safe.”

“Help me to understand Your name and know You better, I ask Lord, in the name of Jesus, Amen.”

 

May God bless you!

 

 

Is It Easy to Trust?

Is it easier to trust people and God if you had a “Leave It to Beaver” upbringing? “Leave It to Beaver” was a late 1950’s and 1960’s television family sitcom with no dysfunction in the family.

 

They always worked out problems with calm, rational discussions. Disobedience or other wrong behaviors merited consequences for the boys: grounded to home for two weeks, work to earn money to pay for the neighbor’s broken window, or told to apologize to an offended party and make things right.

 

The two boys learned to work from their chores around the house. All family members shouldered responsibilities for a well-functioning household. They never seemed to have money problems, which was a little hard to believe. Sometimes they visited Aunt Martha only because of their loyalty to relatives.

 

Rarely, they mentioned going to church. They treated each other with respect for the most part, within their circle of four people, especially the dad and mom.

 

Shortly after that time frame, Americans learned to trust in medicine and science and logic. The Theory of Evolution started being taught as fact in the schools and Creationism stopped being taught over the last few decades. According to Answers in Genesis, “Currently, evolutionary naturalism is the most widely taught view of origins in the West, and for the past half-century, evolutionists have strenuously opposed teaching competing theories of origins in public schools.” answersingenesis.org/public-school/education-in-america/teaching-creation-and-evolution-in-schools/

 

 

Prayer was outlawed in the public schools in the 1960’s. Now, even though there is religious liberty on the law books, there are more and more court battles against religious freedom in America.

 

When my youngest son went to Africa on a short term missions’ trip a few years ago, he discovered Otto Koning’s “The Pineapple Story.”

 

We watched it on YouTube. In the years that Otto Koning and his wife worked with tribes in Papau, New Guinea as missionaries, he learned to trust in God’s power because he had to. Some of the natives finally came to Christ after many years because they saw the evil spirits back away from Jesus’ power as Otto Koning learned about spiritual warfare.

 

That particular teaching occurred under “The Snake Story.”

 

In Mat 7:7, (CEV), Jesus said, “Ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened for you.”

 

When missionaries speak at our church we hear that the reason people in other nations are seeing their loved ones raised from the dead by the power of Jesus’ name and we’re not is because they believe in the supernatural. They’re hungry for God and tired of fear and violence and trying to please their “gods” to no avail.

 

Christianity is growing rapidly in non-Western countries, despite persecution and death. To God be the glory for the good He does everywhere.

 

 

Birds

I remember in college a swarm of birds on the grass, outside my dorm.

My roommate, terrified of birds, wanted to help feed them. She gazed out our upstairs window and then implored me to take some crackers to them.

Our generation watched Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, “The Birds,” which scared us – big time. As horrifying as the film was, I convinced myself those birds did not act anything like real ones. So I took the crackers down to the birds.

I don’t remember the birds flying away when I entered the grassy square, although I imagine they would have before I got too close.

She was so happy to give the feathery creatures food. She enjoyed them from a distance. Her fears kept her from having peace in their presence. I know what it is to fear animals. After my daughter got bit by a dog, I battled fear.

I’ve quoted 2 Tim. 1:7 many times over the years and it’s helped:

2Ti 1:7, (KJV) For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

When you encounter a fear, maybe you’ll be able to speak this verse aloud or in a whisper so you can hear it. It’s amazing how helpful that’s been over the years. It does something inside of me and it does something in the supernatural realm.

Heb 4:12, (KJV) For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

This is one of my favorite verses. Have a great day. Mine was so full, I’m typing after midnight. Hopefully I’ll get the next blog out earlier. God bless!

 

Math and Writing and Weather

 

My husband the part-time math teacher is watching Algebra videos so he can learn the new arithmetic before he teaches it to his class. So, I’m learning if you have license plates with three letters and then four numbers the equation is 26 to the third power times 10 to the fourth power together – twenty six for the letters in the alphabet, ten for the digits 0-9.

So, 26 x 26 x 26 x 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 to get the possible number of varieties of license plate numbers which was supposed to come to over one hundred seventy-five million plates. Yowza. One hundred seventy five million seven hundred sixty thousand plates, to be exact.

I like learning math now that I’m not being tested for a grade.

I went to the library for a chance to write and to pick up a few library books I had on hold. I stayed a while because our furnace stopped working this first day of Spring with more snow than we’ve had most of the winter, although it didn’t stick. My husband called a furnace technician, so he worked on the furnace while I worked on typing the revision to my novel.

A couple of weeks ago we had no snow with temps around zero degrees F, so I wasn’t complaining about the temperature hitting 30 degrees. It was even supposed to go up some. I wrote and paid a bill and talked to a friend and read my Bible and then called my husband who said it was done. I went home to do more housework.

I’m playing catch up after being sick and I’m still tiring easily. My oldest daughter told me not to overdo it and then relapse in my recovery. I smiled.  “You know better than that,” I told her.

Although when I was young, I often pushed myself to exhaustion. So, I’m blogging after having just changed the linens. I washed linens and disinfected one spot of the house today. This morning, I swept and threw things away after starting the laundry. I washed dishes and did the library stuff. Now, I am exhausted, except blogging is easy on my health.

Last time, I think I mentioned I was reading a writing book by Sol Stein entitled, How to Grow a Novel: The Most Common Mistakes Writers Make and How to Overcome Them, Copyright 1999, published by St. Martin’s Press, New York, NY. I notice when things are outdated and then just ignore those points. I figure some writing tips are universal and there’s a lot of wisdom in this book.

His exercise that made me laugh when I tried it was to pick one body part of mine and write about it as Elia Kazan did for his autobiography. Kazan chose his face. I chose my baby toe. Who knows, maybe a character will use it one day, as Stein suggests or it may end up in my autobiography, if I ever get brave enough to write it.

I like writing books that suggest the perspective author stop a bit and write. That’s the point, isn’t it, to improve the craft?

Well, if you’re a writer and you’re stretching your brain with something that’s not language related, maybe that’s not such a bad thing. I used to believe I’d never be able to learn math. That was a lie. As I conquered some math, it increased my confidence. Not a bad thing. I don’t spend much time on math.

I spend most of my learning time on the craft of writing and on discovering more about God and His interests. After all, those are things I’m passionate about.

Power Releasers?

As I lay in bed this morning, I got thinking about God. I got thinking about God and mankind.

In recent sermons, my husband, the man who likes Science and Math and Business and People, has been preaching on the book of Genesis. In the beginning, God created. When He created man and then woman, it was the only time He said, “It was very good.”

After God created the heavens, the earth, the plants, the sun, moon and stars, the animals, He said, “It was good.”

We believe in a six day creation; one of the reasons is because God made the plants on one day and the next day He made the sun. He made mankind in God’s image, “Our image,” He said: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. He spoke the world into being.

So, if God is all powerful, why does He ask us to pray? Why does He include us in the running of this world? Be fruitful and multiply. Take dominion over the animals and the planet. In other words, be good stewards over the animals and over the earth. Treat them kindly.

In the Scriptures, it says, “Ask and you shall receive,”(John 16:24). “If two or more agree as touching anything on this earth, it shall be done of them by the Father,” (Matthew 18:19).”If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land,” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Are we power releasers? Why does God want to include us in helping to determine the condition of this world?

I wrote my ten year old grandson a letter about this idea of prayer releasing God’s power in a fashion that a ten year old would understand. He is a deep thinker. He loves super heroes. He doesn’t like bullies. Well, who does want to be bullied? 🙂

God is a creative God and we are made in His image. Maybe that’s why I feel more alive when I write. I’m looking at prayer in a much deeper way this day, because of His written word.