George Floyd and The Gospel

The podcast below addresses the whole issue regarding George Floyd and all of the unrest we are seeing across our nation.  Of all things, this biblical perspective is done by two Christian men, who are BLACK.  Sadly, you won’t hear this biblical message at the most churches.  They don’t want to use the bible to address what we are seeing.  Rather, they prefer to use man’s ways to address something that is completely spiritual in nature.  Please take the time to watch (and share), this very powerful message.  The link to the podcast is below.

Just Thinking Podcast - YouTube

https://thebarpodcast.com/JT/index.php/2020/06/01/george-floyd-and-the-gospel/

The Ripple Effect

City of Covington seeks input, proposals for RIPPLE Effect ...

The Ripple Effect

When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, it started a ripple effect that has affected every human being since the beginning of time.  Because that happened so long ago, it is easy for us to think that our sin doesn’t affect anyone else.  However, that just isn’t true.  Let’s take a look at something that is all over the news right now.

We have likely witnessed the disturbing situation in Minneapolis, where the alleged actions of an abusive police officer resulted in the death of George Floyd.  The ripple effects from that are far-reaching.

We have a man who is dead.  His family is not only devastated, but left with many unanswered questions.  The public is outraged over the behavior of the police officer.  Four police officers have lost their jobs, and may have trouble gaining employment because their sin was such a public one.  They may also face criminal charges as well.  Their alleged actions have now put a target on the back of every other law enforcement officer, causing even more tension between the police department and the African American community.

As if this weren’t enough to deal with, now riots are breaking out all over the country.  Businesses that were already significantly impacted due to the current pandemic, have now become the targets of these riots.  There have been broken windows, looting, and fires.  Now they have another setback, and it is not their fault!  They are suffering the ripple effects from the alleged actions of one man.  

Yes, sin does indeed have ripple effects.  Scripture addresses the types of ripple effects.  First, it affects our relationship with God.  (Isaiah 59:2)  Next, it affects us and darkens our soul if we fail to repent.  When David sinned, he described it as his bones wasting away.  (Psalm 32:1)  However, it doesn’t stop there.  Mark 7:20-23 mentions several sins, but I will only deal with a few of them here.  Adultery not only affects the people committing the sin, but also their families.  Many of us have been victims of theft, leaving us feeling angry and violated.  It often leads to a distrust of people in general.  When theft hits a business, the ripple effect is higher prices that affect all of us.  Slander is another sin that has serious ripple effects.  It causes emotional pain to the one slandered, but can also affect their reputation, damaging them professionally and financially.

You may be gloating, thinking you can continue cherishing your private sin.  After all, sin is pleasant for a season, but it is also deceitful.  You see, each time you sin, your heart turns a little bit harder.  (Hebrews 3:13)  However, be sure your sin will find you out!  (Numbers 32:23)  You may not have to pay right now, but I promise you – judgment day will come!

For those who may be deeply entrenched in sin, what is the remedy?  Proverbs 28:13 tells us that those who confess and forsake their sin will find compassion from the Lord.  When we confess our sins to the Lord, He is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

To break the chains of sin that have bound us, we need to “deprogram” ourselves. The best way to do that is by reading our Bibles, for it holds everything we need to live a righteous and godly life.  (2 Peter 1:3)  We can allow the Word to “wash” over us, washing away those fleshly passions that had us bound.  (Ephesians 5:26)   We need to pray daily for the Lord to direct our footsteps according to His word, and not let any sin have dominion over us.  (Psalm 119:133)  This will result in us bearing fruits in keeping with repentance.  (Matthew 3:8)  The ripple effect will be that our lives will be a blessing to others and bring glory to God!

© 2020, Stacy R. Miller

My Thankful List

Practicing gratitude': Sharing blessings of recognizing Lord's ...

I have been trying to post thankful lists during this pandemic that are different from the normal things for which we are all thankful.  I have a couple of them from this week.

  1. I am thankful for how the Lord led my conversation with a coworker last week.  I casually mentioned an assignment I got from my publisher and how I had been struggling to come up with something to write from the scriptures they assigned me.   I told her what direction I felt the Lord was leading me to go, and shared a few things I was going to use on the topic assigned.  Suddenly, her eyes welled up with tears.  She said, “I needed to hear that!”  She told me today how she went home and told her mother, “It was like the voice of God was speaking to me through her.”  What a blessing!  I thought it was just a simple conversation, when it took a sudden turn and may make an eternal difference in her life.  How awesome is that!?
  2. Every year near Mother’s Day, I send thinking of you cards to those who have lost their moms within the last year.  As I left my office today, I just “happened” to see one of the people who received one of those cards from me this year.  What a blessing it was to see his face light up when he told me how much it meant to him.  He then shared about how hard this Mother’s Day was for him, so it meant so much to know that someone was thinking of him that day.  
  3. I’m thankful the Lord reminded me through these two situations that even when I may think it’s just another ordinary day, He can turn it into something extraordinary!

God Uses Ordinary People for Extraordinary Things

When Joy Has Ceased

Lamentations 5:16

When Joy Has Ceased

With this current pandemic, people are starting to wonder what God is doing.  Is this judgment?  Is He reaching out, trying to get our attention through this worldwide virus?  There are so many questions about this virus, and so few, definitive answers.  When looking into the eyes of people, we are often greeted with a look of hopelessness instead of joy.  

As I was reading Lamentations 5, I saw so many things that reminded me of our current state.  Let’s take a look at some of the similarities.

Verse 1:  The people asked what had befallen them.  We are asking the same question today.

Verse 2:  Their inheritance was turned over to strangers.  With the economy shut down, the stock market has crashed, causing many to lose thousands of dollars.  Others have lost their jobs.

Their houses had been turned over to aliens.  If you see photos of EMS workers going to the home of a suspected Covid-19 patient, they look like aliens, with all of the protective equipment they must wear.

Verse 3:  They had become orphans without fathers, and their mothers like widows. This scene is all too common, with the thousands of deaths we have seen, due to this virus.

Verse 4:  They had to pay for drinking water and wood.  Due to the disruption to the food chain, we are seeing the prices increase, not to mention many items being unavailable.

Verse 5:  Their pursuers were at their necks.  This virus is so contagious, and there are so many unknowns.  For many, it likely feels as if they are being pursued by it.  

They were worn out, with no rest.  Everybody I talk to speaks of feeling exhausted all the time.  If not physically exhausted, they are mentally exhausted from worrying, or from watching too much news on the TV.

Verse 9:  They risked their own lives, just to get bread.  Sound familiar?  

Verse 14:  The elders were gone from the gate, and young men from their music.  We have seen the images of busy, city streets that are now empty, due to the lockdown.  

Verse 15:  Their joy was gone, and their dancing was turned into mourning.  I have heard many conversations where people complain about missing their non-essentials, missing their loved ones who are in quarantine, missing the simple pleasures of eating in at a fast food restaurant, just to name a few.  

So what are we to do?  Let me share a personal story, in hopes of giving you a word picture to help you.  

I work as a hospital operator.  The job involves much more than just answering phone calls all day.  If a patient codes (or flat lines), we are the ones who initiate the process.  We drop everything to page the team, in hopes of saving the patient’s life. Usually an adrenaline rush hits when we hear that loud alarm.  

When I was a new operator, I remember how that alarm would cause me to tremble every time it went off.  It wasn’t just from the adrenaline rush, but because I was so nervous about doing everything correctly.  However, as I gained experience, that familiar jolt gave way to a calm confidence.  

So what does that story have to do with how we are responding to the current pandemic, or to other trials of life?

Let me ask you something.  When situations suddenly arise in your life, how do you respond?  

Do you immediately become fearful, with your stomach tying in knots?  Do you immediately become enraged?  Do you head to the fridge, looking for comfort food? Do you call someone right away, looking to vent?  These used to be common reactions for me.  Thankfully, the Lord has been showing me a much better way.  

Just as a hospital operator needs to practice, practice, practice all procedures so they flow smoothly when an emergency arises, so do we.  How do we practice for our trials?  We do it by daily studying our bibles, digging deep into them, pondering what we read, and letting the Holy Spirit prick our conscience in the areas where we need work.  God speaks through His Word to us – that is how we get to know Him intimately.  We learn about His character, attributes, His love, and promises to us. By doing so, we will be less apt to panic and fear when troublesome times come.    

Because we have been diligently “practicing,” we will be able to declare the Lord rules forever, His throne from generation to generation.  (Lamentations 5:19)  This reminder that He still reigns, even in our trials, will increase our faith.  It will transform us so that our joy won’t cease.  (Lamentations 5:15) Though nothing may have changed outwardly, our inner being will be saturated with the peace of God that passes all understanding.  That peace will then give us the strength we need to endure.  It will calm our anxious heart so we can receive the wisdom we need from the Lord to help us.

Do you need to “practice” more to prepare yourself for the trials and tribulations of life?

© 2020, Stacy R. Miller

Plandemic Video: A Response

I would imagine most of you have heard about the Plandemic video with Dr. Judy Mikovits that was posted on You Tube and other platforms.  It went viral in a matter of hours.  Many professing Christians shared it with others and reposted it.   

John Haller offered a great response to this video.  I have cued the video to where he speaks about it.

I have also been guilty of passing on what I thought were interesting videos without vetting them.  

I think it is important that we talk about what the Bible has to say to us about this kind of behavior.

Proverbs 6 tells us God hates lying.  Lying would include untrue testimony — as in gossiping about something that isn’t true, or being a false witness.  In today’s society, it goes beyond just having a “lying tongue,” as is mentioned in Proverbs 6.  What our fingers type and post online would also be included.

In 2 Timothy 2:15, we are told to be diligent to present ourselves to God, a workman who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly handling the Word of truth.  Verse 16 tells us to avoid worldly and empty chatter.  Hmm….wouldn’t that include gossip and bearing false witness?  Would it include watching, then sharing conspiracy theories without vetting them?  That verse goes on to warn us it will lead to further ungodliness, spreading like gangrene.  Verse 23 tells us to refuse foolish and ignorant speculations.  Conspiracy theories comes to mind again.

If that isn’t strong enough to get your attention, Revelation 21:8 tells us that ALL liars will have their part in the lake of fire.

Brethren, time is short.  We need to stay focused on the Word of God, not all of these things that could lead us down a dark path, and eventually lead us astray because they lead us into sin.

Pandemic Judgment?

SHEDDING SALVATION TEARS by Anthony Robinsonsr

Pandemic Judgment?

Jeremiah 9:21 speaks of death coming through our windows, entering our fortresses, removing children from the streets, and young men from the public square.  What an apt description of what we are seeing with this pandemic!

God’s judgment had fallen on the land.  Many people have said they believe this pandemic is God’s judgment upon our land.  I don’t know whether it is or not, but it sure wouldn’t surprise me.   Let’s take a look at scripture and compare what happened in Jeremiah’s day to what is happening now.  

So what happened prior to verse 21 that led to His judgment?

The people had become adulterers, a crowd of unfaithful people. (verse 2)

Their tongues were ready to speak lies, going from one sin to another, never acknowledging God. (verse 3)

Even their closest friends were deceivers and slanderers. (verse 4)

No one spoke the truth, and they would weary themselves with their sinning. (verse 5)

They lived in the midst of deception, refusing to acknowledge the Lord. (verse 6)

So does any of this fit our nation?  Sexual sin is rampant – fornication, adultery, and pornographic websites constantly tie people in a web of deceit and destruction.  What about spiritual adultery?  False churches abound, and the people who attend them are unfaithful, in that they don’t diligently search the scriptures like the Bereans did.  The result is they are clueless that they are being led astray!

Lying is another sin that abounds.  Social media is filled with drama from people who lie and slander one another.  There is so much lying in our government that no one knows what, or who, to believe anymore.

There are so many conspiracy theories surrounding the Corona Virus, Bill Gates, traceable vaccines, and China that it makes my head spin!  Obviously, the deception of verse 6 abounds in our nation.

One thing I have noticed is that people are spending so much time researching the myriad of conspiracy theories.  Doing so only adds to our stress, anxiety, and confusion.  We weary ourselves with the constant need to feel like we can gain a sense of control over what is happening in our world right now.  But look at the end of verse 6.  It says the people of that time refused to acknowledge the Lord.  I have a feeling many would rather search the Internet for answers than to search their bibles – the true source for wisdom, peace, and comfort.

So what did the Lord have to say in Jeremiah’s day to this nation filled with sin?  He said He would refine and test them, for what else could He do, because of the sin of the people? (verse 7)  He said they had forsaken His law, refusing to obey Him or follow His ways, choosing instead, to follow their own stubbornness. (verse 13)  In verse 16, He mentions sending the sword until He had consumed them.  The sword represents war and death.  I have heard our President refer to this pandemic as a war on the Corona Virus.

So what did the Lord tell the people to do back then?  He told them to call for the wailing women.  These women were called to lead the people of that day in expressing their grief over the judgment that was upon the nation.  In verse 20, the Lord calls upon them to hear and receive His Word.

So what should our response be today?  Rather than spending so much time searching conspiracy theories, watching Hulu and Netflix, and feasting on comfort foods, we should be reading our Bibles since that is how we hear the Word of the Lord today.  We should be repenting of our sins – both personally, and nationally.

I know this is heavy stuff to digest, but hold on!  The Lord tells the people what kinds of things He delights in.  Notice that it is what God delights in, not in what we delight in.  

First, we must not glory in our own wisdom, might, and riches.  We are to glory in knowing the Lord and understanding Him.  By diligently studying the Word, we will learn that He is a God who is full of love, justice, and righteousness.  These things delight the Lord! (verses 23-24)

So back to the original question — Is this pandemic the judgment of God?  After studying Jeremiah 9 and comparing what we are seeing today with what happened back then, it sure looks like it could be God’s judgment.  However, rather than focusing on whether it is, or isn’t, the judgment of God, we would do much better by concentrating on doing those things that delight the Lord.  Let Him take care of everything else.

© 2020, Stacy R. Miller

Thankful for Simple Things

Pin on Bible Verses

I have been looking for the Lord in simple, yet unexpected things.  I went for a walk with my daughter yesterday.  Due to time constraints, we opted to walk in our neighborhood instead of our usual route.  I’m so glad we did!  As we were taking that walk, we had to pass a lilac bush (one of my favorites.)  I paused for a moment, just to inhale that wonderful scent.  And then I voiced my thanks to the Lord for that very precious gift.

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