Category Archives: Christians

To Speak in Tongues or To Not Speak in Tongues? That is the question. (Part 3)

Praying in tongues quiets the mind. When Dr. Andrew Newberg, a neuroscientist, compared brain scans of Christians praying in tongues with Buddhist monks chanting and Catholic nuns praying, the study showed the frontal lobes—the brain’s control center—went quiet in the brains of Christians talking in tongues, proving that speaking in tongues isn’t a function of the natural brain but an operation of the Spirit (1 Cor. 14:2, 14). (Adapted from Seventy Reasons for Speaking in Tongues by Bill Hamon(Destiny Image). Reproduced by permission of Destiny Image.

An early step in my heart renovation happened during the winter of 1993 when I scheduled a teaching at a home group in Story City, Iowa, a fifty-five mile journey from Fort Dodge. My 1975 Chevy gas-hog of a pickup truck sat outside of my apartment with a gas tank resembling my empty billfold.

I already had a teaching ready for the group and felt the Lord had a way to somehow get me there. I prayed in tongues on my knees for an hour before a scripture crossed my mind.

One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his good deed (Proverbs 19:17).

“Lord, how will this scripture help me?” I asked aloud.

No response came, but I knew the scripture contained my answer. I memorized it and meditated on it while praying in tongues for another hour. The Holy Spirit eventually reminded me about giving all the money in my billfold to a poor woman who lived just down the street. The ex-husband was late with child support. The family needed milk and groceries.

“Okay, Lord. That builds my faith because I did give money to a poor person, but how am I going to make my faith work in this instance?” I said.

No answer again.

I returned to bowing on my knees and continued meditating on the scripture while praying in tongues for another hour. This time I felt the Lord instructed me to cut out a piece of paper and tape it over my gas gauge so the needle pointing to E could not be seen. My faith would then be in God and not in the gas tank. I followed His instructions.

The truck’s engine roared to life when I turned the key and headed out into the cold, windy, snowy evening. There was little traffic on the highway. My thoughts on the ride centered on whether an angel had a gas can and continually poured fuel into the tank or if the Lord recycled the fumes. I never figured it out, but I arrived at my destination without any incident.

The Lord has built in my heart a deep trust in prayer over the years. He is my Father, who loves me enough to bankrupt heaven for me. I ask Him to provide for whatever I need in the quiet of the prayer closet and seldom have ever mentioned anything to others. Thus, I never told anyone about my empty gas tank at the house group.

The meeting and fellowship lasted until midnight, but just before I left, a man handed me thirty dollars.

“The Lord told me to give this money to you,” he said.

I thanked him and let him know how much I appreciated his obedience to the Lord’s voice.

(Excerpt from my memoir, The Hunt for Larry Who.)

Be still and know that I am God... (Psalm 46:10)

(Continued in Part 4)

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Filed under America, Christians, Church, Gifts of the Spirit, Prophecy, Speaking in tongues

We Need Heroes (Part 1)

 

Most people have seen the movie, Titanic, and its fictional love story about a poor boy, Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio), and a rich girl, Rose (Kate Winslet), on an ill-fated ocean voyage. The movie won the 1997 Oscar for Best Picture. Its box-office sales of over $1.8 billion rank it as the second most successful movie of all time, behind Avatar.

Hollywood created its own fictional heroes for the movie script, but on April 14, 1912, there were many real heroes. One of them was named John Harper.

John Harper, a thirty-nine year old widower and a Baptist preacher, was traveling to Chicago aboard the R.M.S Titanic on its maiden voyage with his six-year old daughter, Nana. He was scheduled to preach some evangelistic meetings at the Moody Church.

At 11:40 p.m., the Titanic hit an iceberg on the starboard side of the ship. As soon as Harper realized the ship was going to sink, he took his daughter to a lifeboat and placed her aboard. “Nana, I’ll see you again someday,” he said to her.

Then, while flares lit up the sky, he marched up and down the decks yelling, “Women, children and unsaved into the lifeboats!”

At 2:20 a.m., a rumble arose from deep within the ship as it broke in half. Hundreds of people, including Harper, jumped into the 28-degree (-2 C) water as the Titanic slipped into its watery grave.

As soon as Harper hit the surface, he frantically swam from one person to the next, leading them to Jesus before the people succumbed to the icy waters and hypothermia. He asked one young man who clutched a piece of wood, “Are you saved?” The young man answered that he was not.

Harper tried to convince the young man, but the man refused to listen. Harper took off his life jacket and threw it at the man. “Here then, you need this more than I do,” said Harper as he swam off to other people.

A few minutes later, Harper returned to the man and successfully led him to Christ. Then, Harper attempted to swim to other people, but the icy waters were too much for him. “Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved,” he shouted before he sank under the waters.

Of the 1528 people that went into the icy waters that night, lifeboats rescued only six. One of them was the young man who later recounted how Harper had led him to Christ.

Declaring the end and the result from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure and purpose (Isaiah 46:10)

Maybe some will believe John Harper ran into some bad luck by being on the Titanic, but don’t believe that for even a second. You see, our loving Father looked into the future and knew the Titanic would sink on that fateful night. He could have stopped Harper from being aboard that ship by any number of ways if He had wanted to do that. But instead our Father used John Harper as His representative in the midst of a terrible tragedy. A man willing to fight the good fight, finish the race and keep the faith all the way to his last breath.

I truly believe John Harper represents the type of hero the Lord will be raising up in the days ahead as our nation seemingly heads toward its disastrous finish.

(Continued in Part 2)

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Filed under America, Christians, Church, End-Times, Faith, Heroes, Prayer, Tribulation

God’s Love Must Torpedo the Inner Cities’ Bitterness…Or Else (Part 3)

“I’m here because somebody marched,” Obama said in a speech in Selma, Ala. “I’m here because you all sacrificed for me. I stand on the shoulders of giants.” (Barack Obama, Selma, Alabama, March 2007)

During his first run for president, Barack Obama seemed poised to achieve many of the goals that activists like the Greensboro Four had first set. It was a mantle that he explicitly took up, calling himself a member of the “Joshua Generation.” As in: Moses got the Hebrews out of Egypt and nearly to the Promised Land, but he couldn’t cross over the Jordan. That task was left to Joshua.

“The previous generation, the Moses generation, pointed the way. They took us 90 percent of the way there. But we still got that 10 percent in order to cross over to the other side,”Obama said in Selma, Alabama, in March 2007. “So the question, I guess, that I have today is what’s called of us in this Joshua generation?” (David A. Graham, The Atlantic, October 12, 2016)

In one of the ironies of ironies, whites brought the gospel of the kingdom of God to the blacks. Some heard about Jesus from Moravian missionaries that boarded slave ships to the West Indies. There on the islands of St. Thomas and St. Croix they preached the good news to the slaves.

But most black slaves received the gospel with the backing of their Southern white plantation owners who were mainly Baptists. These same owners allowed certain black men to receive a little schooling so they could read the Bible and become pastors to the slaves.

These black pastors who could read studied how God delivered Israel from Egypt. This became the slaves’ hope – “if God delivered Jewish slaves, He will do it for black slaves, too.

Negro spirituals, such as “We Shall Overcome,” “Go Down, Moses,” “Wade in the Water,” and others gave voice to the slaves’ faith in God and encouraged other slaves. The songs were acts of faith and prayers at the same time.

There’s not much good which can be said about the evils of slavery, except that it produced a depth of the spirit in black Americans. This spiritual depth brought forth the Civil Rights marches and men like Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy and others who were determined to see the blacks set free.

The importance black churches played in the Civil Rights Movement and the years afterward can not be overstated. They focused their communities on the long-held promises of freedom and kept them moving toward their goal.

Yet, I believe Barack Obama spoke prophetically that black Americans “still got that 10 percent in order to cross over to the other side.”

How will this be achieved?

(Continued in Part 4…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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Filed under America, black people, Christians, Inspirational, Kingdom of God, Prophecy, Race, Race wars

Will We End up Being a Part of the Great Falling Away? (Part 1)

Most of us read Scripture through a foggy set of lens. For instance, let’s look at Judas.

I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me. (John 13:18)

Jesus chose twelve disciples, whose ages were probably between fourteen and twenty-two years old. Young kids. But oops! One of them was a teenager named Judas Iscariot.

Now think about it: was Judas a robot on auto-pilot to fulfill Scripture from the moment Jesus chose him until he kissed Jesus in the Garden?

No, of course not!

Jesus spent three years teaching and preparing the twelve chosen disciples to preach the Kingdom of God. He explained to them that He had to become the sacrificial Lamb and would need to die for the sake of others. He even told them, “One of you will betray Me.”

All of the disciples, including Judas, replied, “Is it I?”

Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it.” And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. (John 13:26)

This was the pivotal scene, which I believe was staged mainly for Judas’ sake. The disciple had to know that Jesus would have forgiven him if he had confessed his sin to Him, but Judas hardened his heart and Satan entered him at that moment.

All Jewish boys memorized the Psalms. So, there’s no doubt that Judas knew Psalm 41 by heart, but obviously he never once considered he would be the one to fulfill a prophecy in it –

Even my own familiar friend, in whom I trusted (relied on and was confident), who ate of my bread, has lifted up his heel against me. (Psalm 41:9 AMP)

Bad choices by Judas caused his name to be linked to betrayal forever because he fulfilled this Old Testament prophecy.

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

Almost every Christian has memorized this verse, written by Paul to the Thessalonians who were confused about the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. We now look at the verse as a New Testament prophecy.

But like Judas, memorizing and knowing this verse doesn’t mean we’ll avoid being a part of the thousands and thousands who will fulfill Paul’s prophecy about the End-Times.

(Continued in Part 2)

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Filed under America, Christians, End-Times, Falling Away, Forgiveness, Judas, Kingdom of God, Prophecy, Uncategorized

Prayers for Senior Citizens (5/30/2019)

 

Let’s stop blaming Democrats, Republicans, the media, social media and anyone else for America’s problems. And let’s start looking in the mirror at the major causes for our problems: me and almost every senior citizen in our nation.

We are the ones who inherited this nation from what Tom Brokaw called the “Greatest Geneation” and then allowed it to be turned into a selfish, government-reliant, money-hungry, anti-God, abortion-loving, self-absorbing, comfort-adoring, gender-confused generation, filled with our children and grandchildren.

The buck stops here for me…and hopefully for millions of others.

I refuse to spend my twilight years sitting in a rocking chair and just passing time until I die. I want to make-up for those years I failed to pray, fast and help shape my children and grandchildren into men and women of God who build His kingdom for His purposes.

My prayer today:

Lord, I repent of my apathy and lethargy over the last fifty years. Help me to deny myself, pick up my cross daily and follow You. And Lord, give me Your grace to be what You desire me to be now.

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for Christian Senior Citizens in America.

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Filed under America, Christians, Fasting, Geezers, Prophecy, Senior Citizens

Prayers for Businessmen (5/21/2019)

If you’re working in the marketplace, and you’re not the owner or the owner’s son, you’ll have managers supervising your work. Some of the managers will be good and a few might be bad. Yet even so, the Bible is clear on how we should treat all managers −good and bad:

Servants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not with eye service as men-pleasers, but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with good will doing service as to the Lord, and not to men. (Ephesians 6:5-7)

Paul reiterated these same instruction in Colossians 3:22, 1 Timothy 6:1, and Titus 2:9, but Peter took it a step further:

Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. (1 Peter 2:18 NASB)

Why should we honor our managers with loyalty and good service?

Knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free. (Ephesians 6:8)

If we are hoping to serve the Lord and have Him prosper us, we need to be loyal and honor all of our managers. If we struggle with any of our managers, we need to ask the Holy Spirit to help us. This is His job as our Helper.

But if for whatever reasons, we aren’t able to honor a manager or a company, then maybe we should resign and look for employment elsewhere.

My prayer today:

Lord, help us businessmen to love the managers who supervise us with Your love, the love You revealed to us on the cross.

Join us on Tuesdays to fast and pray for American men in the marketplace.

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Filed under America, Business, Businessmen, Christians, Fasting, Love, Prayer, Prophecy, Uncategorized

Praying Against National Discouragement (1/31/2019)

Since 1973, there have been over 61 million abortions in the US. In the world, there have been more than 1.5 billion abortions since 1980. (If you want to see a constantly updated abortion counter board, click here.)

Watching the numbers change at the abortion counter board are mind-boggling. They just keep moving forward. Each tick represents another dead baby. And another. And another. And so forth.

But let’s be honest, it’s easy to be discouraged about abortion, especially when we read about New York’s new up-to-the-time-of-birth abortion guidelines, the Virginia governor’s statement about babies surviving abortions and the media’s words.

Why even pray? Why even fast? It seems like such a waste of time. Might as well just not care at all anymore, right?

But what does discouragement really mean?

Being discouraged actually means we’re looking at our problems and seeing them as bigger and more powerful than our God and His leadership ways. But of course, none of us would ever admit this, right?

Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. Revelation 8:3-5)

Maybe my individual prayers are not making a big difference at the local Planned Parenthood Clinic, but that’s not necessarily my intention. I’m praying to the Creator to let Him know I agree with Him and His leadership ways against abortion and that I know my prayers will soon cause noises, thunderings, lightnings and earthquakes on earth.

That’s enough to keep me in the battle against abortion and other major problems.

My prayer today:

Lord, I pray that You would give each believer the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of You, that the eyes of our understanding would be enlightened about prayer and that we would know the exceeding greatness of Your power backing our prayers. (Based on Ephesians 1:17-19)

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for our nation.

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Filed under Abortion, America, Christians, Discouragement, Fasting, Intercession, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare