Category Archives: Discouragement

Ride #955

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I have been driving full-time for Uber and Lyft in the Phoenix area since September 7, 2019. To date, I have 981 rides.

The glamor of driving for Uber had certainly lost its luster for me until recently. Driving two hundred to three hundred miles per day in heavy traffic. Looking at the GPS app with one eye while trying to avoid a driver who is texting as he/she drifts across my lane with the other eye. Needing to use a restroom so urgently that I thought my kidneys would explode and then learning the gas station I stopped at had no public restrooms. Yipes! All of this and more is a part of my “living the dream” as an Uber driver.

Plus, I am trying to juggle four writing projects, a new podcast idea, prayer time, Bible study and oh yes – a wife. And just so you know, I will be 74 years-old in three weeks.

The above will give you some background for this article.

Three days ago, I was in my bathroom preparing myself to drive the afternoon rush hour shift. I happened to click on a video, showing young house church Christians receiving their first Bibles, which had been smuggled across the borders by special agents from Asia Harvest. These young believers were weeping and crying, overjoyed just to finally touch a real Bible and have one of their own.

The video broke my heart. I said aloud, “Lord, You know that I want to help raise money to help provide Bibles and whatever for Chinese and North Korean believers, but NO! You have me driving for Uber and accomplishing nothing for Your kingdom.”

I was a little too passionate and too loud with my complaint to God because Carol overheard me and asked who I was talking to in the bathroom. I told her about my prayer and broke down weeping in my frustration.

The Father did not correct my attitude but instead, He sent ride #955 two days later.

As I drove up to the pickup point at the hotel, all that I knew about the ride was that her name was Bianca and the ride would be an airport trip of approximately twenty miles. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary at the time.

She spoke on the telephone for the first few minutes of our ride together. When she finished, she asked, “Will we be able to get close to the door at the airport?”

“Yes,” I replied. “Do you have a problem?”

Biance then described her autoimmune problems and her special type of arthritis.

“Wow!” I proclaimed. “How can all of this happen to a pretty twenty-five year-old gal like you?”

She laughed. “I’m no longer a spring chicken. I’m thirty-nine years-old. Plus, I can’t get rid of my smoking habit, no matter what I’ve tried.”

“I used to smoke, but I quit.”

“Really? What did you do?”

“Actually, the Lord delivered me of my smoking habit. He was so successful that I did not gain a pound and had no desire to ever smoke again.”

“I’m a Christian, too. I wonder if He would do that for me,” she replied.

“Sure, He’d do it for you. Just ask Him.”

The conversation turned to her unusual name of Bianca, especially for an Asian girl.

She laughed. “I’m North Korean and my mom just wanted an unusual name for me.”

“Wait a second!” I proclaimed. “How did your family escape North Korea?”

Bianca proceeded to tell me how her grandfather was a wealthy businessman in North Korea. He saw that the nation was turning communist and decided to leave everything behind and escape to South Korea and then to America. He along with a few others left at night. One man carried Bianca’s mother on his back the whole journey. Sadly, her grandmother refused to leave North Korea and was never heard of again.

The little North Korean group eventually arrived in America and prospered.

“Let me tell you a vision I had about North Korea,” I said.

“Yes, go ahead,” she said.

“In the vision, I was transported to a prison cell in North Korea. I could actually feel the bitterly cold temperatures. There in the cell was a naked teenage North Korean Christian girl. Her nakedness did not arouse me at all and I knew she had been repeatedly raped and beaten by the prison guards. She was so hungry and thin. I heard her say, “Lord, why do You treat me like this? Can’t You help me?

“I watched the scene in total helplessness. Then, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, “Will you trade places with her?

“The Holy Spirit’s words stunned me. Thoughts flew through my mind. Carol wouldn’t know what happened to me. I wouldn’t see my children or grandchildren again. The guards would rape and beat me. And so forth.

“But then I remembered what Jesus did for me on the cross and how He saved me on May 20, 1985.

“Yes, Lord, I will trade places with her.

“The vision ended and I returned to my bed,” I said.

“I can’t quit weeping. Your story has broken my heart,” she replied in a weak voice.

We arrived at American Airlines. I pulled over to the curb.

“Before you leave, let me pray for you,” I said.

We held hands and I prayed for her healing and her calling to come forth in her life. As the words came forth, I knew she would make a difference for the Christian North Korean prisoners in the years ahead.

I drove away, knowing that if I continued driving for Uber and never did much else for the Lord and the Kingdom of God ever again, I could live with that. It was up to Him and not me.

You see, Ride #955 made all of my driving worth it.

Remember those who are in prison, as if you were their fellow prisoner, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body [and subject to physical suffering]. (Hebrews 13:3 AMP)

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Filed under America, Christianity, Discouragement, Faith, Persecution, Prophecy, Suffering

Does God Ever Let Us Down?

Another believer and I recently listened to the Christian song, King of My Heart. The words of the chorus – “You’re never going to let me down” – prompted a discussion between us.

“Those words aren’t always true,” said the believer.

“Really?” I said, not having a better answer at that moment.

“Those words certainly haven’t been true for me!”

Then, the believer proceeded to list various times how God had let the believer down. Most of these were financial disappointments with a couple of unexpected family deaths tossed into the mix. Our conversation died after a few minutes.

I returned to my work, but I spent the next few days meditating over the words of the song before I came up with a better answer.

So, does God ever let us down?

YES!

That is, God will always let us down if we view Him through our uncrucified American mindset which believes God is our Sugar Daddy in the sky who will keep us from any hardships or disappointments while we live here on earth.

Jesus warned us ahead of time about this when He said: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Brother Yun gives a pick-up-your-cross-daily point of view in his biography, The Heavenly Man:

Once I spoke in the West and a Christian told me, “I’ve been praying that the Communist government in China will collapse, so Christians can live in peace.”

“This is not what we pray!” said Brother Yun, a Chinese house church leader. “We never pray against our government or call down curses on them. Instead, we have learned that God is in control of both our lives and the government we live under. Isaiah prophesied about Jesus: ‘The government will be on His shoulders.’ 

“God has used China’s government for His own purposes, molding, and shaping His children as He sees fit. Instead of focusing our prayers against any political system, we pray that regardless of what happens to us, we will be pleasing to God.

“Don’t pray for the persecution to stop. We shouldn’t pray for a lighter load to carry, but a stronger back to endure. Then the world will see that God is with us, empowering us to live in a way that reflects His love and power.”

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (Romans 8:28 AMP)

Once, we give our lives to the Lord, we become clay in the Potter’s hand. He uses every disappointment, affliction, persecution and whatever to mold and conform us into the image of His Son. The Father’s desire is that we might count everything else in our lives as rubbish when compared to knowing His Son.

So, does God ever let us down?

No!

None of us will stand before Jesus at the Judgment Seat of Christ and accuse our Father of letting us down. This won’t happen, but sadly, many of us may be shown how we have let the Father down.

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Filed under America, Christianity, Discouragement, Inspirational, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Spirituality

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