Under Fire…

Unfathomable.

Photos and descriptions of the fires devouring the Colorado landscape are incredibly overwhelming.  Watching the force of the fire knocking things over before it reaches its hot fingers out to engulf all that is in its path.  Witnessing the devastation in the wake of the walls of fire and watching the depth of despair in all those who have lost due to the devouring wave of flames is heartbreaking.

It’s with incomprehensible sadness we observe the gripping saga of our friends in the west.

As I prayed for the firefighters, the people in the towns awaiting orders to evacuate, I felt the word Hell seared upon my soul.  The scene and those who have experienced the wildfire’s wrath have described it as “hell on earth.”  It prompted me to ponder Hell.

I wait anxiously to learn if my friends in Colorado Springs have anything left to return to at all or if their home and possessions fell victim to the indiscriminate path of the destructive fire.

One of them has been working with the fire fighters at the base camp where the toll on these brave warriors has been immense.  From flora and fauna to wild life to townsfolk, nothing has been left unscathed. 

But for most of these people, life will go on.  It will be a long road of restoring what the fire destroyed…but for those who end up in Hell, there will be no second chances.  Sadly what we are seeing in Colorado could be an eternal reality for those who don’t know about the message of salvation.

Just like the firefighters working tirelessly to save people, pets and property…we should have a compelling urgency to rob Hell of victims to engulf in despair. Each time I see the flicker of a flame on the news, I pray “God use me”.

Years ago, my best friend’s dad was severely burned and scarred.  She said there wasn’t just a physical transformation as he adjusted to a life of scars, she said he was spiritually transformed as well.  “Dad was never the same after experiencing the burning of his flesh.  He said it gave him just a taste of what Hell might be like and inspired him to try to reach more people with the Life saving message of eternity with Jesus,” she explained.  These recent fires are igniting a passion in my heart for the same.

I am sure this post will be challenged by people who wonder if there really is a hell.  It’s not a gamble I am

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willing to take.  My prayer for Colorado is Rain and Restoration. My prayer for the unsaved is to Find Salvation. My prayer for myself is to be courageous to reach those whose future is destined to be charred by the choice of unbelief.  Will you join me?

Point to PonderIf you thought hell was even 1/10th of the intensity of a forest fire, would you wish it on anyone?  Is there someone in your life you’d like to share Jesus with? I pray you have wisdom, courage and the words that will change their heart.

(Photos on the page except the one at right were from a Colorado Friend’s Facebook Page)

Mirage – Tasting sand or tears?

Still working on my class about Connecting with our Creator through his creations and I am exploring how the Bible mentions weather as teacher and consequence.  While looking at an old homeschooling resource about weather, I stumbled on a section on mirages.

 “A mirage is defined as: a naturally occurring optical phenomenon in which light rays are bent to produce a displaced (distorted) image of distant objects or the sky.

It is a real optical phenomenon which can be captured on camera, since light rays actually are refracted to form the false image at the observer’s location. What the image appears to represent, however, is determined by the interpretive faculties of the human mind.” (yeah its wiki but its right and in plain English)

“Peary could clearly see the mountain tops of “Crocker Land” across the polar ice pack, but it was only an Arctic Mirage.” (Copyright Lee Krystek, 1998)

Looking at images of mirages and reading stories about people fooled by them, either in the deserts, on mountain tops or even on deserted highways, something sparked in my mind.

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To have a mirage you must have heat and pressure.  Satan dwells in hell which is a hot place.  How often does he use a “mirage” of sorts to make something sinful or wrong seem acceptable? The father of lies  turns up the heat and distorts our view pressuring us to stumble.

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This happens when we take our eyes off where God wants us to be like when we don’t seek him before we leap into a new direction, relationship or ministry. 

A mirage may fool us into believing  that person seems way more kind and Godly than our spouse, that promotion way more lucrative, that opportunity way more inviting.  Perhaps the mirage makes us think that movie or TV show or that music is way less offensive and vile.

We are tricked into a distorted image of reality.  But we are ripe for it, if we’ve let our vision stray from the truth and the source of light – God.  Even NOBLE deeds can be mirages if they are NOT in accordance with God’s plan for our lives. Pursuing them, leads to disobedience.

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And like a thirsty soul in the desert uses his last bit of strength to fall hard over the hill to the oasis below, we fall hard into sin and the lies of Satan.  And for us, just like that thirsty soul, the reality is ugly when we hit the bottom and see the miragefor what it really is – a lie.  Heartbroken the desert dweller gasps sand and we who’ve broken God’s heart and possibly the hearts of others taste the salt of our own tears.

Point to Ponder:  Are you sucking in sand or tasting salty tears due to chasing a mirage?  What steps do you need to take to for a reality check. How can you fix your eyes on the true source of light?

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Who Hijacked my Jesus? Or Nature vs. Nurture

The other day I watched an amazing video of one of God’s best creations. It was a lovely black lab who “adopted” a litter of abandoned kittens and literally nursed them back to health. Remarkable feline and canine connected. I’ve pondered that change in species; the DNA differences, it’s a paradigm shift to see a dog nursing kittens and plucking them lovingly from danger.

That same day I watched a group of people in the name of my Jesus; taunt, mock and judge a grieving family at a military funeral in Washington D.C.

That is not what Jesus taught. If Jesus was still in human form would he link arms with that bashing, insulting “preacher” most definitely not. Did Jesus ever go to a funeral and taunt the grieving? Where is this example in scripture? It basically isn’t so how can they claim this action in the name of Jesus.

Last week I listened to someone extolling the virtues of an extra marital affair. She claimed the Lord brought this person into her life to make her happy; despite being married to her husband. Basically saying this “home wrecker” was an answer to prayer. Really? I looked for justification in the scriptures for extramarital relations and I couldn’t find it there either. Why was she giving Jesus the credit for this introduction? Can you picture it? Jesus saying to the Woman at the Well, “Oh yeah and here’s a number for another guy for you to check out despite your being married?

That is not what Jesus taught. Basically Jesus is being hijacked.

” For I am the Lord, I do not change’ Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.” In like manner Hebrews 13:8 says: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

It would seem in order to lend credibility to our beliefs, passions and desires we hijack the Jesus from the scriptures and morph him into something that justifies behavior, attitudes or actions. We use Jesus as an endorsement for our thinking no matter how unscriptural it is.

While a dog can change its nurturing habits it can’t change its nature it is still a dog.

God often changes his nurturing habits. Sometimes he loves us with tough love, sometimes he blesses us beyond belief. His nature doesn’t ever change “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” He is a changeless God.

I am the Lord, I do not change” (Malachi 3:6)

The Bible speaks to his character and his nature. The Bible is also called the Living Word of God. God is changeless. So is his Word.

We run a huge risk at morphing Jesus to justify us. When we change the nature of God, we change his character which in turn pulls us from the TRUTH of the scriptures that govern our lives. We then are governing our lives by a truth that is only our own truth, not the Truth of the Bible. This path leads us to sin. Because not obeying God is basically disobedience which can only be described as sin.

Point to Ponder: Are you morphing Jesus to justify something in your life? Would that be something Jesus would join you in doing or thinking?

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