Mount Moriah

Mount Moriah

Have you ever been in a tight spot, needing an answer from God, yet hearing nothing?  Those times remind me of when Abraham was called to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Moriah.  It just didn’t make sense when God asked him to sacrifice this son of promise.  Yet Abraham never wavered.

Sometimes God takes us to Mount Moriah.  His goal is to increase our faith in Him.  Will we be found faithful or faithless?

I recently went through a Mount Moriah experience.  When the Lord called me to teach, teaching became my “baby.”  After all, it was birthed out of a promise He had spoken to me in a dream.  After teaching for several years, I was feeling like I needed to step down for a while, yet the Lord had not specifically told me to do so.

Some of the thoughts I wrestled with were:
·    I had been called by the Lord to teach.  That calling had not been revoked.
·    Sometimes the need is the call.  – The church clearly had a need for Sunday school teachers.
·    I kept pondering some wise advice:  “When you don’t know what to do, keep doing what you’ve been doing.”
·    If I step down, will I ever teach again?
·    Will I lose my passion for teaching?

I knew I needed to submit my class information to the church secretary within a week.  To say I was really feeling the pressure at this point would be an understatement.  Still, I had not received a clear word from the Lord.  I finally decided that I would type up the information for the church secretary early the following week.

On Sunday morning, I headed out to church.  Before I left the morning service, God clearly spoke to me – not once, but three times!  And He did it through three different people!  Each time, it confirmed that I was to step down from teaching.  I accepted His words with joy and felt tremendous relief in knowing that I finally had the answer for which I had been searching.

While I couldn’t understand the “why” of needing to step down, God knew.  Within two weeks of stepping down, He led me in an entirely new area of teaching — one which was going to require a great amount of time and preparation.  Had I kept teaching, I would not have been able to devote the time necessary to study for this new class.

I am so glad I listened to Him, even though at the time, it just didn’t make sense to me.  This new study has been on Bible history and I have found it absolutely fascinating.  Just talk to some of my closest friends.  They will quickly tell you that my excitement over Bible history just gushes forth.  Bless their hearts – I am so glad they still put up with me!  I keep telling the Lord to be sure to reward them good for bearing with me in this journey.

So, when God takes you to your own Mount Moriah, obey Him even when it doesn’t make sense.  Sister, I believe you will be amazed at what happens on your Mount Moriah.
© 2007, Stacy R Miller

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Motherhood – A Labor of Love

Motherhood – A Labor of Love

I have always been fascinated with pregnant women, so when I became pregnant myself, I was even more fascinated.  I loved being pregnant, and was constantly looking in the mirror at my growing belly!  How awesome that God chose women to have the blessing of carrying a child.  Even so, when it came time to deliver, well that is another story!  Those labor pains were no fun at all.  Thankfully, I only had hard labor about 30- 40 minutes before they rushed me down for an emergency c-section.  I have heard many stories of women who were in labor for over 30 hours.  I’m sure that some of you have your own stories about labor!

While I was pregnant, I kept having an intense burden to pray for Dennis Rodman (a former NBA star).  It became a joke that my “focal point” during labor would be a picture of Dennis Rodman.  Believe me, when those hard labor pains hit, looking at a picture of him was the last thing on my mind!  I so clearly remember that while in the middle of a big contraction, I heard the words “the baby is breech, we have to get her to surgery right away.”  My immediate thoughts were “Thank you Jesus!  I’m not going to feel pain much longer!”

I looked up the word “labor” in the dictionary and it said, “physical or mental exertion; work, to work hard, to move slowly and with difficulty, to suffer, to be in childbirth.”  It is obvious here that when the labor pains stop, the real labor is only beginning.  It is very hard to adjust to getting up several times every night to feed a new baby.  It’s a lot of work, just trying to get out the door with an infant.  There is always so much that needs to go with you besides just the baby!  Then there is all of that extra laundry that a wee one can cause!

As the baby gets older, there is the teething stage, then the separation anxiety stage, and then the potty training stage, and the list goes on and on.  I remember how every Sunday I would literally have to peel Rachel off of me to leave her in her class.  It was such a battle that by the time I got to my class, I no longer felt like being there.

When we were potty training, my mom commented that Rachel was the only child she ever saw who was literally potty trained away from home.  For some reason, she was very fascinated with public restrooms.  (I didn’t understand it then, and I still don’t understand it!)  Of course, we never had her little seat with us that would attach to the toilet, so when I sat her down, I would take my hands and hold onto her legs so that if she would start to fall, I could grab her very quickly.  Then, if I needed to use the bathroom, she just had to mimic me, and put her little hands on my legs so that mommy wouldn’t fall into the potty!

As mothers, we are truly life-givers.  Not just by giving birth, but it is something that we do every day.  We do it with our words, through keeping a warm, inviting home, by being tender and loving in our actions, by imparting wisdom and instruction, to the food on the table.

Sometimes the growing which our children do can cause us more “labor pains.”  Like when given their first haircut, and suddenly the baby is no longer a baby, but a little boy or girl.

Later, there is the time that they want to leave the yard and go play with the other kids in the neighborhood.  Suddenly, I’m not the one she wants to be with all the time.  It was bittersweet.  I finally had a little more time to do other things, but I wasn’t so sure that I was ready for her to be out and about with the other kids in the neighborhood.  That meant that she was growing up!  What happened to my little baby?  She was just here a few days ago, and now, well, she’s growing up.  The pain of labor hits again.

Although I homeschool, I have heard the stories from other mothers about sending their child off to school for the first day.  There’s the labor pain again.  Later, we will probably all experience that labor pain of watching our child go off to college.  Does this labor ever stop?  NO!  As long as we are mothers, we are going to have some labor pains.

All mothers, at one time or another, are going to go through some suffering.  Romans 5 in the Message Bible tells us that we continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next.  In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged.  Quite the contrary, we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives! — God will use motherhood as a real pruning time for us.  I have grown more in my walk with the Lord since I became a mother.  It is the thing in my life that has caused the most sacrifice from me, but it has been worth EVERY bit of the sacrifice.

I remember hearing a lady on the radio talking about all the things which mothers do.  She used a term that I just loved!  She said that our title should be “domestic goddess.”  Don’t you just LOVE it!?  Shortly after hearing that term, I got a paper to fill out for jury duty.  What do you think I wrote down in the job title section?  You guessed it!  DOMESTIC GODDESS!  When I got called for jury duty, both attorneys commented on my response.  They both thought it was really funny.  — A quick side note here.  With everything going on at the time that I got called for jury duty, it would have been easy to question the Lord in why He was allowing me to go through that experience.  He knew good and well what He was doing.  It was a civil case that lasted three days.  It was very interesting to observe, not to mention that within a month of having done my civic duty, I was attacked by a pit bull.  You don’t find too many attorneys in church, but because God allowed me to serve on that jury and observe these attorneys, there was no question about who I was going to call to represent me.

Let’s look at some of the examples for ways in which we mothers labor.  Our job titles could be:  meal planner, chef, pharmacist, nurse, laundry attendant, chauffeur, teacher, personal care attendant (giving baths, etc.), bathroom attendant (wiping bottoms), maid, butler, bargain hunter, hazardous waste removal specialist (taking out the trash), germbuster (disinfecting the house after illness has been present), cheerleader (encourager), motivational speaker, accounts payable manager, scheduler, secretary, organizer, seamstress, inventory manager (writing grocery lists), snow removal person, lawn care attendant, arbitrator (settling arguments between the children),  principal (disciplining the children), life skills instructor, language interpreter (figuring out why the baby is crying), and finally, one which is critical for us to be:  the prayer warrior.  (I am sure that I left out many more job titles.)

Do you see it?  YOU ARE AWESOME!  Look at all of the things which God has entrusted us to do for our children!  He sees us as very capable or He wouldn’t have entrusted us with it.  Phil. 4 says that I can do ALL things through Christ, who strengthens me.  THROUGH HIM WE ARE ABLE TO DO ABSOLUTELY AWESOME THINGS!

Lord, I know how overwhelming life can be at times, even though I only have one child.  Many of my sisters have more children than I do, so I know that they get weary and overwhelmed at times.  Help them to remember that it is only through You that we can accomplish Your purposes in our homes.  Help them to get their focus on You each and every day, and to be faithful in not only asking for Your help, but in looking to see how it is that You are helping them.  Help them to see You right there with them each and every day.  Help them to see Your tender mercies, which are new every morning.  Amen.

© 2003, Stacy R Miller

Anti-Christ, Abomination of Desolation, and Rebuilding the Jewish Temple

Abomination of Desolation

Teaching by Nathan Leal

This teaching was a 3-hour long teaching, so I took a lot of notes.   Rather than send you a link to the teaching, I decided to type up the notes for you because it’s a lot quicker to go through it.  There are 3 sections to this teaching, and it isn’t all about the abomination of desolation, but it is all very interesting and worthy of consideration.

First Advent:  Only the shepherds and the wise men knew a Savior had entered the world.  The shepherds were told by the angels.  The wise men somehow figured it out, thus why they are likely called “wise.”  None of the Israelites knew their Messiah had arrived on the scene.

Second Advent:  Since there is nothing new under the sun, and history tends to repeat itself, it is very likely that not many will recognize or understand the signs of the times for the second coming of our Lord.

Daniel 12:10 King James Version (KJV)
10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
Luke 17:20-21 King James Version (KJV)
20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
We have been taught so many things about the end times and where the anti-Christ will come from.  However, this is a new view I’ve not heard before, and thought it was very interesting.
Regarding John the Baptist, it was said that the spirit of Elijah would rest upon him.  This didn’t mean that Elijah was going to be reincarnated.
Luke 1: 17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
Some of the teachings I’ve heard on the A/C (anti-Christ) are that he will arise from Rome, from Europe, or from the Middle East.  The Bible mentions Assyria, Nimrod, and Babylon.  These are all the same region.  Now, could it be possible that when it speaks of the A/C coming from these areas, that it is really speaking of a spirit from that region?  Like a spirit of Babylon?
There have been discussions on who Mystery Babylon is.  If she is actually the United States, our nation would be under the spirit of Babylon.  That being said, if we truly are Mystery Babylon, it is HIGHLY possible the A/C could arise from our own land!  Keep in mind, Nathan isn’t saying this as a “thus saith the Lord.”  He is simply presenting it as a “what if?”
Jeremiah 39 New International Version (NIV)
39 1 In the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem with his whole army and laid siege to it. 2 And on the ninth day of the fourth month of Zedekiah’s eleventh year, the city wall was broken through.
Using the above scripture, Nathan believes we morphed into Babylon on January 20, 2013, which was the date of Obama’s second inauguration.  He lined this up with the above dates to see where it fit on our calendar, and Jan. 20, 2013 was the date.
Jeremiah 39:3 New International Version (NIV)
3 Then all the officials of the king of Babylon came and took seats in the Middle Gate: Nergal-Sharezer of Samgar, Nebo-Sarsekim a chief officer, Nergal-Sharezer a high official and all the other officials of the king of Babylon.
Nergal was a real person, but was also a demon from years past.  He was a god of war, in charge of hell’s secret police, and had great influence on laws and politics.
Proverbs 29:2 New International Version (NIV)
2 When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice;
when the wicked rule, the people groan.
Matthew 24:12 New International Version (NIV)
12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,
Obama changed the White House rug.  Instead of an eagle, it has a Phoenix.  Phoenix means America burns.  Look at America now — wildfires are rampant in the northwestern portion of our country!
Next we will examine some prophecies about the Anti-Christ and compare them with BO.
Daniel 7:20 New International Version (NIV)
20 I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three of them fell—the horn that looked more imposing than the others and that had eyes and a mouth that spoke boastfully.
10 horns could mean the NWO (EU).
Obama has influence in the North American Union.  He has influence in the EU.  He also has influence in Africa and was just there recently.
As for a mouth that speaks boastfully, BO is pompous, arrogant, and blasphemous.
Daniel 8:23 New International Version (NIV)
23 “In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a fierce-looking king, a master of intrigue, will arise.
BO has fierce features.  Nathan pointed out that if you take some of the photos of the pharoahs, their features are very similar.  He also speaks dark sentences from the Quaran.
Daniel 8:12 New International Version (NIV)
12 Because of rebellion, the  Lord ’s people and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and  truth was thrown to the ground.
BO doesn’t follow what he says.  When speaking during his campaigning, he said he believed that marriage was between a man and a woman.  Look where we are now with the SCOTUS ruling on gay marriage, and the rainbow that appeared on the White House.
How about this one:  “You can keep your health insurance.”?
Daniel 11:37 New International Version (NIV)
37 He will show no regard for the gods of his ancestors or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all.
He does not regard the God on whom our nation was founded.  If you google “Is Barack Obama gay?” you will get some very interesting results.  As for magnifying himself above all, he did make the arrogant statement, “I’m a pretty good president.”
Daniel 8:24 New International Version (NIV)
24  He will become very strong, but not by his own power.  He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy those who are mighty, the holy people.
This verse makes it clear that the A/C is strong, but his power is not his own.  Have you ever wondered how in the world BO has managed to do some of the things he’s done?  Perhaps it is because he has another “power” residing within him.  Is the favor that seems to be resting on him demonic in nature?
As for devastation, are we seeing devastation in our nation — economically, morally?
When it says he destroys those who are mighty, this would be our military.  Our military has been drastically reduced since BO has been in office.
We’ve seen him speak out against Christians, change policies regarding religious freedoms.  It is very obvious he hates Christians.
Daniel 8:25 New International Version (NIV)
25 He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.
There are some psychologists who say BO is narcissistic.  He is very smooth and deceptive.  I’ve seen some video clips on you tube that say he uses a form of hypnotism with the way he delivers his speeches.  I’m not sure if it’s actually true, but it’s interesting to note, based on the above verse.
Daniel 11:39 New International Version (NIV)
39 He will attack the mightiest fortresses with the help of a foreign god and will greatly honor those who acknowledge him. He will make them rulers over many people and will distribute the land at a price.
ISIS could be the foreign god mentioned here.  He also honors those who acknowledge him — he has placed many of his Muslim Brotherhood in his administration/cabinet.
ISIS is currently distributing land at a price in the Middle East.  There have been documents leaked that show the CIA is funding ISIS.
Moving on to a different topic, Nathan brings up something about the Abomination of Desolation which is definitely food for thought, and not something I’ve ever heard taught in Biblical prophecy, but it certainly makes sense.
Matthew 24:15 New International Version (NIV)
15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—
Mark 13:14 New International Version (NIV)
14 “When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ standing where   it  does not belong—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
The above verse mentions the word IT.  IT is not a person.  It’s a thing.
Now we’ve heard a lot of talk about Jerusalem building another temple and starting to offer sacrifices.  Since Jesus was the PERFECT SACRIFICE, there is no longer a need for any sacrifices.  So if they start to offer animal sacrfices in the temple, it would be an abomination to the Lord, for it is trampling the precious blood of His Son!
Let’s look at what God says about sacrifices:
Isaiah 66:2-3 New International Version (NIV)
2 Has not my hand made all these things,
and so they came into being?”
declares the  Lord .
“These are the ones I look on with favor:
those who are humble and contrite in spirit,
and who tremble at my word.
3 But whoever sacrifices a bull
is like one who kills a person,
and whoever offers a lamb
is like one who breaks a dog’s neck;
whoever makes a grain offering
is like one who presents pig’s blood,
and whoever burns memorial incense
is like one who worships an idol.
They have chosen their own ways,
and they delight in their abominations;
In the above, God was upset with them because their hearts were far from Him.  They were choosing their own ways, not His, so their offereings were an abomination.  However, now that Jesus has become the final sacrifice, any animal sacrifices will be an abomination to the Lord.
Nathan mentioned there is a church in America (unnamed) that is planning a trip to Israel once the temple is up again.  They are excited about the whole prospect.  Now let’s look at a stern warning from the Lord:
Hebrews 10:26-29 New International Version (NIV)
26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?
Nathan points out that by rejoicing in animal sacrifices, we are treating our salvation very casually.  We are treating the blood of Jesus flippantly, and trampling it underfoot.
When we look at the story of Esau where he sold his birthright for stew, it is a shadow of our inheritance in the Lord.
Hebrews 12:16-17 New International Version (NIV)
16 See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. 17 Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears, he could not change what he had done.
Esau was called profane for selling his inheritance for a single meal.  He was rejected.  Though he cried many tears, he couldn’t change what he had done.  If we treat our salvation/inheritance casually, we are like Esau.
Daniel 11:30 New King James Version (NKJV)
30 For ships from Cyprus shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and return in rage against the holy covenant, and do  damage.
“So he shall return and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant.
For Christians who aren’t truly watching the events taking place, they may get excited about the rebuilding of the temple because they truly don’t fully understand what is going on.  Remember at the beginning of this teaching what Daniel says:
Daniel 12:10 King James Version (KJV)
10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand;  but the wise shall understand.
By not understanding the end time events, Christians who get excited about the animal sacrifices will be forsaking the holy covenant (the sacrifice Jesus made and the covenant given to us through His blood).  Look back at Daniel 11:30, and you see where the A/C will show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant.  This will allow him to corrupt them with flattery and deceptive words.
Daniel 11:32 New King James Version (NKJV)
32 Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out  great exploits.
Nathan said to keep our eyes open and watch for a world leader to make a concession with Israel to rebuild the temple.  He will do this to flatter the Christians.  When the bible says, “Standing where it ought not,” could this be referring to a lamb that is about to be slaughtered?
Finally, Nathan gives us a new way to consider Daniel 9:26-27.
Daniel 9:26-27 New King James Version (NKJV)
26 “And after the sixty-two weeks
Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;
And the people of the prince who is to come
Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
The end of it  shall be  with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate.”
Where it says Messiah will be cut off, but not for himself, this is referring to the death of Jesus.
When it speaks of a covenant being confirmed, Jesus confirmed a covenant with us through His death.  Galatians 3 speaks of this:
Galatians 3:17 New King James Version (NKJV)
17 And this I say,  that  the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ,[ a ] that it should make the promise of no effect.
When it says in the middle of the week, the sacrifices come to an end, Nathan points out that Jesus ministered 3-1/2 years, which could be 1/2 of Daniel’s 70 th  week.  The other 3-1/2 years is yet to come, and will be the tribulation.  This could be what Daniel was speaking of in chapter 12:
Daniel 12:1-4 New King James Version (NKJV)
Prophecy of the End Time
12 “At that time Michael shall stand up,
The great prince who stands  watch  over the sons of your people;
And there shall be a time of trouble,
Such as never was since there was a nation,
Even  to that time.
And at that time your people shall be delivered,
Every one who is found written in the book.
2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,
Some to everlasting life,
Some to shame  and  everlasting contempt.
3 Those who are wise shall shine
Like the brightness of the firmament,
And those who turn many to righteousness
Like the stars forever and ever.
4 “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
Now I realize this is likely the first time you’ve heard Daniel 9:26-27 in this manner.  Please understand that Nathan isn’t saying this teaching is a “thus saith God” moment.  He is saying to view it as a “What if?”  Look at it as if you are an investigative reporter.  Put everything on the table, study it, and come to your own conclusions.
Personally, I found this teaching very interesting, and definitely something to consider in the times in which we are living.  As a word encouragement, I leave you with this thought:
Daniel 11:32 New King James Version (NKJV)
32 Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery;  but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out  great exploits.

Monotonous Marriage

Monotonous Marriage

Has your marriage become one of just existing with one another?  Has it lost its spark and pizzazz?  Do you find that your marriage is boring?

When we said “I do” on our wedding day, we had high hopes for our marriage.  In our dreamy state of mind, we thought that the spark and fervent passion would never die.  All too often, reality sets in.  The next thing we know, we wonder what happened.

Just because a marriage starts out well doesn’t mean that it will continue to be a good marriage.  You must work hard at it.  It won’t stay exciting unless you work to keep it exciting.  You’ve probably heard it said that variety is the spice of life.

If you are struggling with a marriage that could use some added “zip” to it, start serving your husband with the attitude of serving Christ.  In Mt. 25:35-36 Jesus tells us that when we feed someone who is hungry, it’s the same as feeding Him.  When we give a cup of cold water to someone, it’s as doing it for Him.  When we clothe someone, it’s the same as doing it for Him.

In II Kings 5, we find the story of Naaman, who had leprosy.  He got offended when he was told to dip himself in the Jordan River seven times.  He thought it was a ridiculous thing to do.  Naaman’s servants asked him, “If the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it?”  It’s the same thing with us; if we are told to do some great thing for the Lord, we wouldn’t hesitate.  Yet, many of us draw back at giving fully of ourselves in our marriages.  If we would step out and truly serve our husband, as if serving Christ, we may find ourselves in the midst of a great work of God in our marriage.

I encourage you to go the extra mile for your husband.  Leave him encouraging notes or call him at work just to let him know that you are thinking of him.  When he gets mustard stains on his shirt, scrub his shirt as if you are scrubbing Christ’s shirt.  Run an errand for him as if you were doing it for Christ.  When he comes home, greet him with as much enthusiasm as you would greet your favorite person at church.  Massage his back as if you were massaging the back of the Master.  Let the Master’s touch reach down and rejuvenate your marriage!

© 2003, Stacy R. Miller

Modern Day Babylon

Modern Day Babylon

The culture we live in is much like ancient Babylon.  Tolerance for every religion except Christianity is portrayed on a daily basis.  When Christians speak out against certain sins, we are called intolerant.

Our culture worships many false gods, much like the Babylonians of old.  There are the gods of power, prestige, and prosperity.  Today’s culture is excessively caught up in serving the god of self.  We often hear people crying, “What about my rights?”  Self-esteem seems to be the buzz word of the day.  People push and shove to be first, never giving a second thought as to who may be getting hurt in the process, even if it is their own family.  During the Christmas season, you can count on hearing of at least one fight between adults who are fighting over the last coveted item on the toy shelf.

Daniel knew the importance of keeping a diligent prayer life in the midst of his captivity in Babylon.  Even when the law declared he could pray, he continued in his daily habit, praying three times a day. (Daniel 6:10) The results of a faithful prayer life paid off for him.  Even though he was put into the den of hungry lions, the angel of the Lord held their mouths shut until the king demanded those who accused Daniel to be thrown in, along with their families. (Daniel 6:24)

Daniel’s prayer life also affected a very prominent, pagan, Babylonian king.  Not only did King Darius acknowledge Daniel’s God, he did so publicly. (Daniel 6:25-27)

If we develop a daily habit of prayer, how might we affect our own modern-day Babylon?

We might change the expected outcome of an important election.
Perhaps we would see strip bars shut down in our city.
We may see positive changes in those who persecute us.
We may find ourselves in a place where we can affect influential people.
Revival may break out in our city.
We could even cause territorial strongholds to be broken in our home, our city, our state, our nation, and our world.

What do you want to see in your own Babylon?  Do you want it badly enough to develop a daily habit of prayer?

© 2007, Stacy R. Miller

Mind Your Own Business

Mind Your Own Business

I remember hearing it said that gossip is sharing any piece of information about another person that isn’t necessary.  Yet, how many times do we find ourselves doing just that?

On the Wednesday night before the FMA (Family Marriage Amendment) was coming up for a vote in the Senate, our pastor mentioned that there was some talk that homosexuals were planning to target some churches around the nation on that coming Sunday.  He briefly shared that they may picket with signs and/or try to disrupt church services.  He then mentioned that coming to churches was another one of their methods to get their own point of view heard.  Anyway, someone in the church wasn’t paying real close attention to what Pastor had said.  The next day I received a phone call from a friend who was very disturbed over something she had heard that our pastor supposedly said.  She proceeded to tell me that this individual told her that our pastor was opening up our church to homosexual advocates.  Because this person didn’t pay close attention to what was actually being said, they ended up slandering our pastor, speaking lies about him, tainting his character.

An area where I see falsehoods, gossip, and slander quite frequently are in the myriad of urban legends circulating on the Internet.  Time is a very precious commodity, and I don’t want to waste mine on reading that kind of trash.  Yet, I continually find that people keep sending them to me every week.  We would be wise to use some discretion when we receive these kinds of messages in our email box.  Rather than immediately sending them on to every person in your address book, check them out first to see if they are even true.  A great resource for checking to see if something is an urban legend is http://www.snopes.com/.  When I take the time to research these kinds of messages, I have only found about two of them that were actually accurate messages.

Recently, as I headed into the women’s restroom at church, and closed the door, I saw a note posted on the door.  It said that someone who speaks to you about someone will also speak about you to someone.

Proverbs shares some wonderful insights regarding being a talebearer.  A gossip is one who will spread rumors.  Yet, the flip side is that she who is trustworthy will stop rumors.  (11:13 NIV)  She who guards her lips guards her own life.  (13:3)  Many times gossip isn’t true, so when we share it, we are telling lies, and God hates a lying tongue.  (6:17)

So, how do we help to guard ourselves against this all-too-common trap?  In II Tim. 4:2, we are told to be ready in season and out of season.  If we want to do our best to be godly women, not given to the destructive habit of gossiping, we need to be prepared with a response so that when (not if) someone wants to gossip to us, we have a response ready to speak forth to them.  For instance, when Sister Busybody approaches you and says, “Did you hear about so-and-so?”, you can immediately respond with, “No, and if it’s something bad about them, I’d rather not hear it, thank you.”  Or another response could be, “Would this person care if they knew you were about to share this issue with me?”  Another way of putting it would be to say, “If you what you have to say about them is edifying, I would love to hear it!”  Sometimes a gentle admonishment is a good approach.  Share with this person a past experience, where someone has spoken something less-than-desirable about another person — a person whom you barely knew.  The end result was that every time you saw this other person, that conversation where gossip was shared is always in the forefront of your mind.  You might even share that having those kinds of thoughts always popping up isn’t pleasant, so you do your best to avoid having that happen again.

The Bible tells us that we are to correct, rebuke, and encourage.  (II Tim. 4:2)  Part of correcting or rebuking may be to stop people who have wagging tongues when they approach us.  Yes, it’s possible that we may offend them.  Yes, it’s likely that they may turn and stab us in the back because we dared to stop them in their sin.  But Sister, I ask you:  Whose applause and approval do you desire?  Do you desire the approval and acceptance of a gossip, who is likely to gossip about you?  Or, do you desire the approval of the Lord who was willing to die for you?
© 2004, Stacy R Miller

Merciful Mess

Merciful Mess

I love sharing personal lessons from my life in hopes that others can learn from my mistakes.  To me, it is a way to redeem those painful experiences, making all things work together for good (Romans 8:28).  The story I share here was a huge “life lesson” to me.  I gained much wisdom in regard to friendships after having gone through this experience.

Several years ago, a lady started attending our church.  I kept hearing from other people how fast she was growing in the Lord, how awesome she was, and how on fire for the Lord she was.  I thought, “I ought to befriend this gal.  She sounds really neat!”  That was my first mistake.  I took someone else’s word on this person, rather than seeking God’s will on whether or not I should befriend her.

It turns out that this gal was into witchcraft.  She was using her wiles and all kinds of manipulation on everyone in the church.  She caused division in the church and basically destroyed our deliverance ministry.  Had I not gotten wise to her devices, I think she would have destroyed my marriage with her lies.

Shortly after I cut off this unhealthy friendship, I read in Proverbs 12:26 where a righteous person is cautious in friendship.  I also saw in the next chapter where a person who walks with the wise becomes wise, but if you are a companion of fools, you will suffer harm.  I can not begin to tell you how much I wish I had known these verses before I met this woman.  I suffered MUCH harm because I was not cautious in friendship.

We live in a world where people need mercy.  For those who truly have a God-given gift of showing mercy to others, it can leave us vulnerable to being used or manipulated by others if we fail to counter mercy with discernment.  I encountered this with the woman who was attending our church.  While I was trying to show mercy to her, I was doing it on the say-so of other people.  What I ended up making was a merciful mess because God had not called me to show mercy to this woman.

Many times, I think those who operate freely in the gift of mercy may feel like they need to befriend everybody they meet.  Since we are to be cautious in friendship, it is clearly not God’s will for us to be close friends with every single person we meet.  We need to discern whom God wants us to have for our close friends.

When we choose to base our friendships on God’s principles, it might stir up controversy from those who don’t live by these principles.  We may be accused of being judgmental, when in fact, we are simply being cautious in friendship.  There is a huge difference between the two.  Since bad company corrupts good character, we should earnestly desire God’s will in our friendships (First Corinthians 15:33).

Are you making a merciful mess in any of your friendships?
© Stacy R. Miller

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