Friday, July 27, 2007

The Art of Deception

As an archer, I use deception every chance I get to fool the animals I'm hunting. There are camouflage clothing, lures and scents, decoys, and tree stands to name a few ways to fool the animals. I have even been known to roll in a fresh bed of a stinky bull elk to hide my scent; but found out later I might be banned from camp. The better an archer uses deception, the more opportunities for shots.

I had a dream the other night that was about deception. Now I usually don't remember much about my dreams but this one was very different and very real. I this dream I was called by God to join Him in the air above the earth. That was very cool being able to hang out with God and see down like He can. We were able to view all the earth at once and see individual people from all nations. Wow, I was pretty awe struck at first ; then I began to notice the people. They all had chains on their bodies. Some only had a few and others were so weighted down with chains from head to toe that they could barely move. I could see their faces of despair. I went from wow to confused very fast so I asked God what I was seeing.

He said the chains represented the hold Satan had on these people using his power of lies and deception. I was suddenly engulfed in sorrow for these people. God said "They don't understand. I came and set them free but they don't call on me to help them. Many of them don't believe in me. They have let Satan fool their minds." He told me He wants a relationship with them and for them to seek power from HIM to resist Satan.

Jesus talks much about this in Matthew 24. He warns us to be on watch for the master of deception. In Matthew 11:28 He gives us assurance that if we seek Him we will be given rest and freedom from our burdens.

We all carry chains. Chains of sin and guilt, of despair. of low self esteem and many other chains of burdens that we need to release to God. He is a loving Father waiting for us to seek Him out so He can help us overcome anything in our life.

Don't let Satan keep deceiving you : God has already won the battle for us.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Finishing The Race

Ardella and I get caught up in the Tour de France even though we are not bike riders. It is interesting to see bike riders give it their all for a good finish in such a demanding race. This year has been very different with no one clear leader and so many new riders.

The Apostle Paul would have liked the bike race as he often made reference to running the race and finishing well. I believed Paul liked good competitive sports. In Acts 20:24 he says" if only I finish the race and complete the task". He was referring to spreading the gospel and completing his race in life . Paul's goal was to go to Rome to preach the good news of Jesus and he was granted that opportunity. He was a witness for the gospel even in chains and in a dark dungeon. The Romans could not stop him. Paul went from the high rank and status of a Pharisee to an apostle for Jesus . His life went from persecuting Christians to being persecuted for being a believer in Jesus. Paul had a dramatic conversion by meeting Jesus personally on the Damascas Road.

Jesus is waiting to meet everyone personally. He is not a religion, He is a relationship. He wants us to get on board and run the race with Him. Life is about finishing well and enjoying an eternity with the King of Kings. It is one race we can't afford to lose.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Permission Granted

Sunday afternoon we went to the woods to pick dewberries; they are like a wild blackberry but grow on the ground. The black small berries are delicious but watch out for the thorns. We were leaving the cabin area and everyone was going to ride in our truck so I jumped in the back to ride. Our granddaughter, Lizzie crawled in too and Grandma came to shut the tail gate and asked Lizzie if she should get in the front. Lizzie started to slowly back out of the bed of the truck but I could see in her eyes that she was waiting for my permission to join me . I said, " Lizzie , do you want to ride back here?" A big smile came across her face as she darted forward. It was her first time to ride in the back of a pickup truck. On the way back I noticed a new confidence in her look. She had grown a little on that ride; reached a new milestone in her life. Permission granted.

God did the same thing at the cross of Calvary. Jesus took on all our sins and died for each one of us who believe in him as our savior. So when we seek Him and ask Him to forgive us , He says" Permission granted."