Tag Archives: Christianity

How Shall We Overcome Our Fear, Anxiety and Depression? (Part 1)

I struggle with writing a series about fear, anxiety and depression because I don’t really suffer from these disorders. It’s not that I’m uncommonly brave or anything like that. It’s just that from my childhood until now, I’ve always had an attitude of “something good is about to happen to me.”

This becomes somewhat funny if you take the time to read my testimony because the Lord saved me on the day I was going to commit suicide. It’s not that I was depressed or anxious on May 20, 1985, it’s just that I had run out of options to save my home, car and family. My life insurance policy of $125,000 seemed to be my only hope. So I thought of it at the time as a business decision – nothing more.

Now, the only time I have ever truly suffered from depression was when a Christian friend with good intentions leant me his copy of Deliverance and Inner Healing by John and Mark Sandford. The book blends scripture with the teachings of Jung and Freud to supposedly rid believers of buried memories. The authors’ premise seems to be that Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the Bible are not quite enough to set captives free.

I began reading the book on a Saturday afternoon. And after about a hundred and fifty pages,  I became severely depressed and confused. The book had convinced me that my Bible studies and prayers were wasted efforts and that I needed the insights of inner healing, as outlined in this book.

I decided to go for a walk to clear my head.

As I walked down the sidewalk in a foggy daze, a Christian neighbor looked out his window and saw me. He felt I was in danger. He rushed outside and asked, “Larry, what’s your problem?”

“I’ve been reading a book entitled Deliverance and Inner Healing and it has really confused my faith,” I answered.

“Oh, that book is filled with psycho-babble and sorcery,” he replied. Then, he proceeded to outline the history of Agnes Sanford, John and Paula Sandford, Karl Jung, Sigmund Freud, inner healing and more.

“Jesus is the way, truth and light. Period,” he said.

His words instantly set me free.

Thus, if my depression on that Saturday is a small example of what many suffer on a daily basis, wow! It makes me realize just how debilitating and tormenting fear, anxiety and depression must be for millions of people.

Two female riders on my ride-share travels this week inspired me to write this article. We will talk about them in the future.

(Continued in Part 2) 

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Filed under America, Anxiety, Christianity, Church, Deliverance, Depression, Faith, Fear, Prayer, Prophecy, Spiritual gifts, spiritual warfare

We Need Heroes (Part 3)

 

John Nelson Hyde was born in 1865. His father, Smith Harris Hyde, was the pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Carthage, Illinois.

John Hyde graduated from M’Cormick Seminary in 1892. He was not an impressive student until the death of his eldest brother who had volunteered for the foreign mission field. It was then that Hyde prayed: “I’ll go wherever you want me to go, dear Lord.”

In a short while, Hyde discovered a newfound passion for prayer. His soul seemed to be set aflame. Prayer ended up being his pathway to greater things and the foundation of his life and ministry.

In 1892, at the age of twenty-seven, John Hyde departed by ship for India to preach in the Punjab region. After being at sea for a few days, Hyde remembered a letter from a family friend. He opened it and read: “I shall not cease praying for you, dear John, until you are filled with the Holy Spirit.”

The letter angered Hyde because he felt he had everything he needed. He crumpled it up and tossed it on the deck. A few minutes later, he humbled himself and asked the Lord to fill him with the Holy Spirit, no matter what it might cost him.

At that moment, John Hyde became Praying John Hyde.

Hyde was not a good missionary at first. He was slow of speech, somewhat deaf and struggled at learning the language. To the dismay of his missionary mentors, he instead spent most of his time studying the Bible, rather than language. Hyde felt he needed to learn the “language of heaven” first before he learned how to speak to the people. (He eventually became an easy and correct speaker in Urdu and Punjabi.)

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

God used discouragement and fruitlessness to drive John Hyde to spend days and nights fasting and praying for India and its people. His co-workers called him a fanatic and the “man who never sleeps.” Hyde ignored their words because he felt sustained by the Spirit, even though he had little sleep for weeks and hardly any food.

At the end of seven years, he had one solid convert. His missionary friends considered him unsuccessful, but once again, Hyde paid no attention to them. He continued to fast and pray, “Father, give me these souls or I die.”

Praying John Hyde persevered through his early years until he witnessed thousands of converts and revival break out in the second half of his twenty-year ministry as a missionary to India.

Hyde died in 1912 at the age of 47. Interesting enough, Hyde’s style of praying – intense travail – took its toll on his body. His heart moved out of its natural position on the left side of his chest to a place over on the right side.

Today, Praying John Hyde is known as the Apostle of Prayer.

I believe in the days ahead, we will see God raise up hundreds of prayer fanatics like John Hyde.

(Continued in Part 4)

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Inside Israel

Once again, it’s time to hear from our sister in Jerusalem about what she is witnessing there as a believer in Yeshua. Put your prayer shawls on and pray for Israel and Sister J. Now here she is —

Greetings, in The Name of Yeshua h’meshiach,

The Victor, Who, after all is also CREATOR, and Deliverer and Truth and Light. The Living Word. The eternal Way through all of this that swirls around us.  May HE be glorified and blessed!  May you also be blessed and encouraged.

This letter has been a BATTLE to even begin.

Life has been an increasing battle (I have no doubt that you have noticed and that it is the same for you).  As I finally sat down to begin this letter, the mouse and keyboard for my computer gave up the ghost.

I am so completely intimidated by technology that it took a great deal of courage to pronounce it dead, dissect it from the computer (it is wireless (which should speak volumes about my abilities) and bring it downtown.  I told the sales girl, “My keyboard and mouse just died. I want another just like this.’

I told her in a shaky voice, half expecting to be told that these are antique and aren’t made anymore.  Thankfully I had prayed and her maybe 19 year old expertise replied, “Sababa, “(which is Hebrew and Arabic street talk for something like: “Cool, great, no problem, what-ever.”

In no time at all, I was home praying again that I could really do this.  As you see PRAISE GOD. It works.  I ATTACHED A NEW KEYBOARD AND MOUSE AND MIRACLES DO HAPPEN!

The heaviness and reality of the hour that we live in was brought home vividly to me at the shuk today.  It was crowded by the time that I got there. So I went to an Arab vendor whom I have known for many years and trust.  “Where are these clementia from?” I asked.

‘They are NOT from China!’ he answered.  ‘See? Look at the box. Jaffa. They are from Israel.’

As I went to the apples I saw that he had written on the sign” “Israeli apples.”

I looked at him and said, “I work in a doctor’s office and this is serious what is happening now.”  I was afraid that maybe he was thinking I was a bit loony.

He grew very serious.  “I know,” he answered.  “This is life and death but you know what?  It is God’s judgment on the world. How many thousands of years has He sent His prophets to us? And how have we listened?  We haven’t! We cheat and hate and say it is good when it isn’t. Everything that He told us not to do. Oh we agree with our mouths but the day of His judgment is here for the earth.’

Our eyes met in spite of the fact that he is an Arab Moslem man and I a Jewish disciple of Yeshua, there was total agreement. “We get it.  God, God Almighty, God Who is real and alive is not happy with us and we would have to be blind not to see His Hand.  And of course, things like plague cross country boarders, political parties, races, religions, and economic barriers. We can’t say, “YOU did this and need to repent.” It must be “Woe to us for we have sinned and not listened and not turned back to Him with our hearts in our hands.”

THIS is the climate that I see here today.

And with THIS report I will begin the letter.

Most of you thought that I would be at the IFI Prayer Conference.  I did too.  I was hoping to see some of you there although I do not go to visit, for it really is a working (PRAYER) conference.  This is the third our of 4 years now that we had a crisis on the one day that I am able to join the conference and, having truly prayed. I can only say, “Yes Lord.”

It seems to me to be enemy intervention, but I have not prevailed and so I must leave it before Him.  This year my husband VERY suddenly got extremely ill with a fever of above 102 (39) that wouldn’t come down.  There was no warning. He was fine and then suddenly shivering under the covers.  If he were younger, I might have left him sleeping but after consulting the emergency doctor I knew that I couldn’t leave him alone. So I didn’t.

Did the enemy win?  No. I prayed anyway, just not with my brothers and sisters.  All of the messages from the IFI conference are free and easy access to listen to on line RIGHT HERE IS THE LINK.  I encourage you to take advantage and listen.  At the IFI conferences we pray during the day but in the evening there is a message given concerning Israel by mostly local leaders.

And during the time of the conference, (wouldn’t you know it…what perfect timing!)  there was finally the unveiling of the “American Peace Plan.”  Here at home, I listened with the rest of the country. It was quite dramatic, but one thing kept quietly beating in my heart:  ‘THE LAND MUST NOT BE DIVIDED!”

I heard what America said. I heard what The Arabs said. I heard what the Palestinians said and I heard what the Israelis said but I could not forget what I know that GOD has said:  ‘The land is not yours, but MINE.”

The fear of God entered my heart. This is not to toy with.  There is a silence in my heart. I don’t know what to say other than that. To my great surprise, the bus was quiet the next morning, even while the news was on. Everyone was listening but NO one was commenting.  That is unusual.  That happens when things are serious and no one dares to have an opinion.  The look on the faces of the other passengers was serious and stoic.  It continued at work: no comment.

Years ago, I had begun to make a list of scriptures that said that we should not divide the land.  It is incomplete, but here is what I had written down. Some speak not directly but to the heart of the issue:  Leviticus 25:23,  Joshua 9:24 (the Gibeonites knew the promise!), Joshua 13, Nehemiah 9:8, Exodus 34:12, Joel 3:1-3, Acts 13:17-19.

In a way it reminds me of the commands to husbands and wives (Mat 19:6 and Mark 10:9 “So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” And yet, it is a hard one to keep. Sort of like the commands concerning The Sabbath and God forbid that we should be legalistic. There is this verse and that verse. BUT IN MY HEART RESOUNDS THE INTENT OF GOD THAT THIS LAND BEING DIVIDED IS A SIGN OF JUDGMENT AND THAT THIS LAND IS HIS AND NOT OURS OR ANYONE ELSES.

And while this is going on (and yes…violent responses are taking place…a car ramming last night injured 12 soldiers…there was  a stabbing attempt against a border officer this afternoon at one of the gates to the Old City). China is brought to her knees by the Corona virus, how itty bitty microscopic.  China is brought to her knees and it remains to be seen if the rest of the world will also follow suit.  It is certainly worthy or more than a pause!

I will NEVER forget last year’s brush with death when I was in the hospital with influenza and pneumonia and how clearly The Lord spoke to me out of 1 Chronicles 21—  the POWER of David’s intercession as he stood between the death angel on the very spot that was to become the temple and PREVAILED over the PLAGUE that God had sent to judge.  TEACH ME, LORD, TO PRAY!  THAT I MAY KNOW YOU AND THE POWER OF YOUR RESURRECTION AND THE FELLOWSHIP OF YOUR SUFFERING, BEING MADE CONFORMABLE TO YOUR DEATH. This remains my prayer and I have no doubt that it is yours as well.

And AGAIN, my Pastor sent out a wonderful prayer letterwhich I will attach rather than go on.  As a personal note, our daughter Sarah and two of the three children, Ana and Asher, are planning on visiting for a week or so from London 15 Feb.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS…FOR US…FOR ISRAEL…FOR HIS PURPOSES…FOR THE LORD TO BE GLORIFIED!  May The Lord FLOOD you with Himself!

Lovingly,

your sister J

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We Need Heroes (Part 2)

 

The historian Josephus stated that the Apostle Paul was four feet six inches tall. Chrysostom wrote that Paul’s body was crooked, his head bald and that he had a hook nose. The Corinthians said about Paul:

“For Paul’s letters,” they say, “are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” (2 Corinthians 10:10)

Okay, Paul was not a hunk!

Saul (Paul) was born in Tarsus, the capital of Cilicia (in modern southern Turkey). He was circumcised on the eighth day, a son of a Pharisee and from the tribe of Benjamin. He was brought up in Jerusalem under the teaching of a noted Pharisee named Gamaliel. Paul later described himself as a Hebrew of Hebrews.

As far as zeal for the Law, Saul of Tarsus hunted down believers of the Way. He tortured them, threw them into prisons, forced them to blaspheme and consented to their deaths. He had letters of authority from the chief priests allowing him to  carry out his vendetta against believers of Jesus, even in foreign cities.

Without a doubt, Saul of Tarsus was the most feared man by followers of Jesus.

Then, in one of the most remarkable experiences in the Bible, Saul encountered a light from heaven and fell to ground. He heard a voice say, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”

Paul replied, “Who are You, Lord?”

The voice replied, “I am Jesus.”

In this short exchange, Paul was turned around 180º, converted and became willing to suffer and die for the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. He wrote almost two thirds of the New Testament before he was beheaded outside the gates of Rome.

In the days ahead, the Lord is going to shine His light on numerous individuals who hate Christianity and its believers. These enlightened individuals will come out of leadership positions in abortion, LGBT, porn, Hollywood, transgender, media, politics and other professions.

And just like Saul of Tarsus, these enlightened individuals will rise up and become zealots for the faith, willing to die for their Lord.

(Continued in Part 3)

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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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Inside Israel

Once again, it’s time to hear from our sister in Jerusalem about what she is witnessing there as a believer in Yeshua. Put your prayer shawls on and pray for Israel and Sister J. Now here she is —

Oh LOVING GREETINGS DEAREST sisters and brothers – beloved – chosen to follow The Lamb and then choosing to follow Him,

May you be encouraged toward Him, blessed and edified and may The Lord, The Light of the world, The only begotten Son of The Father, The Lamb, MESSIAH, The Word made flesh, THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, THE GREAT I AM, MAY HE ALONE BE GLORIFIED, blessed and comforted in His children today.

Greetings! As the year draws toward a close.  Greetings as we choose, TODAY, HIS LIGHT.

The eight candles and the shamas, the middle, lifted up servant candles, are freshly lined up in our Chanukiah, waiting for my husband to come home from work. It is the last light of the 8 day celebration tonight.

Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter.And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. (John 10:22-23)

The Light of the world, walking in His Temple during the feast of the dedication…the feast that celebrates re-dedication of the temple after its desecration by the Greeks who (among other atrocities) sacrificed un-kosher pigs (Also the swine is unclean for you, because it has cloven hooves, yet does not chew the cud; you shall not eat their flesh or touch their dead carcasses. Deut 14:8 and Levit 11:7 for just two examples) on the holy altar of God.  Modern Chanukah celebrated the triumph of the Maccabees over the Greeks, but the most important part to mea nd the part that I grew up hearing about most and wondering at was that when the filth was cleaned out of the temple and the Priest went to light the menorah – the eternal lamp – there was only one sealed flask of the prescribed oil.  Enough for just one night!

The oil took a week to prepare. So by faith he lit the one lamp BUT GOD!  WHO WAS RICH IN MERCY THEN AS NOW, MULTIPLIED THE OIL NIGHT AFTER NIGHT. FOR 8 NIGHTS THE LAMP BURNED UNTIL THE FRESH OIL HAD BEEN PREPARED ACCORDING TO THE DIRECTIONS THAT MOSES HAD BEEN GIVEN BY GOD AND DELIVERED TO THE PEOPLE.  Chanukah!  The festival of Light, of multiplied Light!  And THE LIVING LIGHT WALKED IN THE TEMPLE.

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow me… (John 10:27) 

He said during Chanukah in the temple,  the temple that was His.  What a picture!

But He is STILL walking here and where you are as well and STILL reasoning with those who will listen and still speaking to all who will hear.  I think about that in the hustle and bustle of the packed train and bus.  At least I TRY to think about that, to remember that for THIS cause He came, NOT because we were righteous, but because we are filled with sin and darkness. Yet Abba created us for Himself and He still reaches out and loves us.

I looked around at the faces today on the packed train. When I left for work at 6 this morning I was surprised to see the train full.  Usually on my way to work it is reasonably empty but today it was jammed and I wondered what was going on.  Perhaps they were all going for their flu shots?  Influenza is particularly virulent this year.

I didn’t have much time to wonder because once at work I was surrounded by throngs of sick people who had NOT gone for their flu shot and were now at the doctors with influenza.  It was a BUSY day!  Coming home, traffic was at a standstill.  It took me 45 minutes to get to the train by bus.  So many big families, baby carriages and twin strollers crowded the aisles of the train as little ones peered out of the windows with small happy faces.

This year, it didn’t seem as if as many locals were stuffing themselves with sofganiyot (the traditional oily jelly donut),  latkas ( a sort of potato pancake) bunuelos or sfenj (sort of like sofganiyot, a more middle eastern traditional fried sweet dough). None- the-less, the tasty fares were everywhere as Jerusalem hosted a record-breaking number of tourists this year and they wanted to taste it ALL. So our bakeries weren’t TOO impacted by the health concerns of the locals.

Large electric Chanukiahs dot the city neighborhoods and at sundown people gather around them as they are lit and sing traditional songs.  It is a festive time.  We used to have one of these large public Chanukiahs across from our apartment but there was none this year.  When we first made aliyah, they were gas lights.  I loved watching them and their flames flickering in the wind.  Now they are electric bulbs. Times are rougher now. People are rougher. And times change all things.

A friend drew my attention to comments made by Israel’s IDF (military) Chief, Aviv Kochavi this week as he spoke before the conference at the Interdisciplinary Center in Hertzliya.  They were sobering.  He spoke of our now open and undercover operations in Syria and around the area against Iran, which have been far more frequent and brazen,”even at the risk of war.”

He warned Israeli civilians to “mentally prepare,  for heavy fire will be directed against our home front….I’m looking people in the eye, and saying, there will be heavy fire.  We have to recognize this and we have to prepare for this…We have to prepare for this militarily… the civil hierarchies have to prepare for this… and we have to prepare for this mentally.”

Yes Lord.  “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow me…”

We trust You Lord, through whatever fire we must pass that You will lead us and that Your rod and Your staff and Your Voice WILL lead and comfort us and enable us to walk in a manner that will glorify You.

My mind turns to another local news article that I saw: “11 Christian men executed in Nigeria by Isis as retribution for the death of their leader…’

I thought about those 11 Christian men who were chosen because they were Christian, and went with Him into the fire, and came out the other side into His Presence.  ‘Prepare us mentally, Lord, to be part of Your solution and not part of the problem!’. 

 

And time has run swiftly and now it is the eve of 2020!

When we made aliyah, this was definitely a day NOT mentioned.  It was a distinction made on the Western calendar – observed in the west – and NOT on the Hebrew calendar. NOT observed here!  If someone said, “Happy New Year,” everyone around him frowned in obvious disapproval.  We made aliyah during the days of the Russian aliyah, and the secular Russians celebrated New Year (Sylvester) the way that secular westerners celebrate Christmas. Yes, it was frowned upon.

Times change.

It seems to me that the major foreign languages that I hear today on the trains and buses are French and English.  The Hebrew and Arabic/Russian signs have been replaced for the most part by Hebrew and Arabic /French / English.  Is it the dramatic rise in anti-semitism in the west?  Perhaps.

With the rise of western immigration, the New Year according to the western calendar has pressed through.  I hear of and see signs announcing restaurants celebrating, balloons appear with 2020 written on them. Among the western young people on the train I see a party excitement and listen to their plans, somewhat in  dismay. Is it my age?  I think about how He had come into my life just before I was 30 and am thankful that He gave me direction that these poor sheep do not have yet.

And so I pray.

And I pray to pray because I don’t pray enough and can get weary in well doing.

But my people stand at the door of what?  Eternity for sure! And how can I but pray??

Lovingly, your sister,

J

 

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Forty-Seven Years of Legally Murdering Babies (Part 3)

Somehow, we American Christians believe God owes us a revival of sorts. You know, a wind of the Holy Spirit to cleanse our hearts and remove  our spiritual lethargy and apathy.

My answer to that is where was China’s revival before Mao laid siege to the mainland of China and murdered over 60 million people? A huge percentage of these deaths were Christians.

And where was Jerusalem’s revival before General Titus and his Roman Army surrounded the city and killed a million Jews?

You would think the fear of the Lord about what God plans on doing to punish America for the blood of 61 million defenseless babies crying out to Him would be enough to stir us to fast and pray in repentance before Him, but so far, that hasn’t happened.

After forty-seven years of abortion, what do we think?

That maybe God has given us a pass because we have built big churches, sing new songs and have bumper stickers on our autos proclaiming our faith. Is this it?

Oh dear!

It’s my belief that God hit the pause button on His judgment clock for America when Donald Trump became president. How long will this pause last? One more year or five more years? That depends on God’s grace.

What should we do in this pause period?

…The day of the Lord is an awesome, terrible thing.
    Who can possibly survive?

That is why the Lord says,
    “Turn to me now, while there is time.
Give me your hearts.
    Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning.

Don’t tear your clothing in your grief,
    but tear your hearts instead.”
Return to the Lord your God,
    for he is merciful and compassionate,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
    He is eager to relent and not punish.

Who knows? Perhaps he will give you a reprieve,
sending you a blessing instead of this curse… (Joel 2:11-14 NLT)

(Conclusion)

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Filed under Abortion, America, Christianity, Falling Away, Fear of the Lord, Murder, Prayer, Pro-Choice, Pro-Life, Prophecy