Rejoice! There is Still Time to Repent!

“The Holy Spirit will cause you to remember all things that I have said to you.”

This is something that Jesus said to His disciples and this is true for us also.

The first few years after I received of the Holy Spirit in a demonstrative manner (which occurred in January of 2016), I had a handful of visions and auditory experiences. There have been very few and most were in those first few years.

When these happened, having been raised a cessationist I had mixed feelings about it. I had considered that perhaps these were “abundance of business” dreams or “lying divinations.” So, I did not publish them. I did share most of them with at least one other person. I also forgot them. Sort of. I put them out of my mind because I did not know what to do with it all.

I’ve been recalling these lately and some of the information is not so pleasant for me. This is in-part why I stated what I stated in a recent Proverbs study about discretion. Some things might be better kept to ourselves. I don’t know, really. Maybe we should be bold.

In any case.

The details of one of these visions is starting to unfold.

I was in a room talking to a group of people. I turned to a black man (His race did not seem important at the time. This was before the racial tension really took hold of our nation). He had headphones in his ears. I pulled them out and told him that we are talking about the things of the Kingdom of God! He sat up and listened.

Behind me was a large screen television. I turned to see a woman on the screen. I recognized her as a “good” woman. She said, “Rejoice! There is still time to repent!”

Her appearance dissolved away and was replaced by many people—hundreds, maybe thousands—being baptized in a large body of water.

They faded away and were replaced by a vile, “bad” woman. She was standing on two sunken ships. Perhaps battle ships. She was angry and forceful with her words—which were no real or meaningful words. She only shouted, “I, I, I, I, I, I” over and over. I felt as if I were being attacked.

I turned to the group. They were furious with me. I knew that I was done. I woke up.

I don’t know the full meaning, and there is more that happened in the dream before the scene that I am sharing now. I don’t know what to make of it yet.

However, there is one idea that the Spirit has revealed.

We must choose. As a Christian people. Who are we going to be? Who am I going to be?

Are we going to be as the “good” woman who rejoices in the gospel of Jesus—rejoices in that there is still time to turn to Him and repent?

Or are we going to be as the “bad” woman who, without mercy, shouts and subdues her enemies? “I, I, I, I” Or in other words, “it’s all about ME! See what I have done! I have subdued my enemies! And you…you’re next!”

There are two women in Revelation and elsewhere in scripture. As the church, called to be one as the body of Christ and members of His Holy City, who are we going to be?

There is a time for all things. There will be a day of vengeance but there are some who take that day up too soon. They turn on those who wait on the Lord also.

No.

“Rejoice! There is still time to repent!”

And we have things to repent for. Despite what some say within Christian circles. Lord willing, I will be bold in that also to share what He is showing by His Spirit as He wills and the These Things Saith He articles unfold.

Meanwhile,

It is good to make a stand against all evil. However, in our stand, we remember WHO WE SERVE. We remember WHO WE ARE. We look to our own sins first instead of losing focus in our fight against the sins of others in a self-righteous, indignant, vengeful manner.

No. Not us. Not Yet. Not until “there is time no longer.”

For now…

“Rejoice! There is still time to repent!”

Psalm 56: In God We Trust

In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.

Psalm 56

Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me.

Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High.

What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.

In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.

Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil.

They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, they mark my steps, when they wait for my soul.

Shall they escape by iniquity? in thine anger cast down the people, O God.

Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?

When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.

10 In God will I praise his word: in the Lord will I praise his word.

11 In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.

12 Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee.

13 For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?

Link Arms with My Sister Against Tyranny!

Please subscribe to the above YouTube channel and share if you agree. Thanks to God for giving strength and courage to forsake all and follow Him. He is bigger than our fears. He is in control. We can turn to Him and remember what really matters.

Love you, Sis! You make that link strong in Christ!

Virtues and Vices: A Guided Exercise for Christians

What are your core virtues? What are God’s virtues? What are the virtues of this age that the world tries to impose on you?

Similarly, what are your vices that hinder you from keeping to the core virtues that you value and those that God values?

This world has its own moral code–its religion of sorts–and those who do not conform to these sets of virtues are accused, slandered, and ostracized.

I think it can be a good exercise to consider these things honestly.

First, what are your virtues? You can find a list of virtues Online. What are your top 20? Top 10? Top 5?

Next, what are your vices? With some honest self-reflection, it’s probably not difficult to name a few.

Lastly, what are God’s virtues and how do your current virtues or vices hinder you from living as you would like to?

When we have a set of core values given to us in Christ that we can stand firmly on, we will not be “reeds shaken with the wind” that are given into the “virtues” or vices of this time. We can learn to say no to those who want to impose their will onto us.

I thought this would be a useful exercise, so I gave it a go myself.

Here are the top 10 virtues that I value most. I do not always keep to them as I should, but being aware might help me evaluate my actions. Am I living in accordance to my virtues or am I living according to the virtues of others?

  1. Love
  2. Truth
  3. Faithfulness
  4. Courage
  5. Humility
  6. Mercy
  7. Passion
  8. Wisdom
  9. Restraint
  10. Thankfulness

Other than feeling awkward, it is easy to flaunt virtues. What about my vices–the weakest parts of myself? How do these weaknesses keep me from living according to my core virtues?

I don’t recommend publishing your vices Online. I do so because I value truth over wisdom, apparently. I also hope that the Lord will reward my openness by helping me to overcome these areas while letting others know an important point:

We are not just one thing.

We strive against the flesh and the things of this world and we are all tempted and weak in something. It’s easy for us to hide our flaws and flaunt our virtues, but it is better to confess our sins to one another in faith and with hope of mercy and strength to overcome in Jesus Christ. That being said, here are my vices:

  1. Wrathfulness
  2. Feebleness
  3. Untrusting
  4. Contemptuous
  5. Contentious
  6. Reclusive
  7. Hasty
  8. Obsessive
  9. Indecisive
  10. Covetous

What are Jesus’s virtues–He who has no vices? There are almost too many to name. He is truly holy and perfect and none of us measure up.

However, He shares Himself with us.

The fruits of the Spirit offer some insight: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control. Jesus also values and provides truth, wisdom, strength, thankfulness, and fear of the Lord.

Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. — Revelation 7:12

All good things we have come from God through the name and person of Jesus Christ. If we continue to seek Him, He will give us His virtues and make us strong in them, no matter how twisted this world gets.

One day, we will live with Him in His Kingdom. We all need mercy and grace to be counted worthy of His Kingdom and the sacrifice of Jesus provides this for us. However, if we value Jesus–if He is our greatest idea of virtue–then He will conform us to His image overtime and we will not be strangers in a strange land when we enter His Kingdom. We will be right at home!

Watch “Combat Narcissism: How To Test For Narcissism And How To Fight Back” on YouTube

Tell them “no.” Good information. Especially the last bit about finding your core values and standing by them. They cannot be allowed to lead your life. It’s hell when they do. Consider this personally, socially, and politically.

Considering Proverbs 11:14

Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

It is encouraging to see people ban together against tyranny and evil forces in the world. As Christians, standing strong with one another in Christ is something we are good at. Jesus, in His remarkable wisdom and perfect will, has made it so.

We are a body knit together in Christ Jesus, as the scriptures say. We each have our own work to do and we must remain faithful to the calling we have. We cannot allow anything to distract us. Maybe we think that our work is not so important because there are other matters at hand that seem more pertinent to our time.

Whatever we are given to do, if we do so for the glory of our Father in heaven and the edification of the brethren, we will be successful. No matter how great or how small, because in the end we are all serving a singular purpose.

We are building the Kingdom of God as faithful servants who await the coming of our Lord who will one day reign and put all enemies of His Kingdom under His feet.

We cannot fail, because the one we serve has overcome already and He makes a way for us to overcome also.

This world is terribly divided. Even the Christian world is divided, but Jesus will call us all together and we will be made one even as He and the Father are one. This was one of His last hopes before He was crucified, and this hope has always been fulfilled within the faithful remnant of His people. Though we might disagree on matters that are not fully revealed to us, one day all mysteries will be revealed. Until that time, we can continue to unite in what matters most to us.

There is One thing we all have in common: our love for Jesus Christ and His gospel of a Kingdom in which He reigns. We pursue that to be fulfilled in our hearts by His Spirit; we pursue that to be fulfilled as we build one another up in the faith according to the gifts of the Spirit that are scattered amongst us all; we strive in faith, despite what this world throws at us, knowing that His Kingdom will eventually prevail…

Even if the Kingdom of Darkness seems to prevail for a time.

In all our strivings against evil in this world, we can rest in the promises of our Lord, Savior, Redeemer, Father, and Creator, Jesus Christ and the strength, guidance, comfort, and support offered by His Holy Spirit.

We cannot fail.

Do not let this polarized world tear you to shreds, dividing us against one another and distracting us from the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus teaches many things that we must hold on to. We have to love what is true and stand by it. We have to love one another and stand by one another. We have to love our enemies in hopes that some might repent and believe the gospel. We have to seek Jesus to keep our hearts from corruption that breeds fear, resentment, self-righteous indignation, ungodly despair, envy, covetousness, and pride.

If we strive to keep His ways and live them, despite our failings, He will make a way for us and He often does so though His Body and His Holy City—which is all believers. We have a multitude of counsellors, perfectly equipped and joined together by their Creator—a Creator who lived among us, grieved as we did, was tempted as we were, hated as we are, killed as we will be…

And raised from the dead in victory as we will be!

We have the greatest Counsellor of all, and the world has no counsel except that of evil and corrupt men who only want to kill, steal, and destroy. They will fall eventually. Despite how they might try, we know how the story ends. ❤

The purpose of this bible study in The Proverbs is to consider present-day events in terms of the teachings and wisdom of Jesus Christ. Follow in WordPress or subscribe by email (red button at the bottom of each page below the comments) if you would like to join this discussion and receive updates of future posts. Visit the link above for easy access to all posts within this series.

Pray to the Father in Secret

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. – Matthew 6:5-8

Developing a healthy prayer life is important for a Christian, so we should consider what Jesus teaches us about prayer.

For one, what is the purpose?

We can see what prayer is not made for. It is not made for us to make a show of how dedicated we are as Christians. If we use prayer to be seen as religiously devoted, then that is what we will get. We will appear to be religiously devoted, but what good is that doing for us?

Rather, prayer is for us to honor God, thank Him, seek His guidance, and ask Him to provide for our needs and those of others.

Prayer focuses our minds and hearts on our Lord and opens us up to receiving according to His will for us so that we can be strengthened in this world against the evils and temptations that come against us.

Is there ever a time to pray to be seen by others? I think so. It depends on the purpose.

For example, some people like to lead prayers for those who are new in the faith and are not yet comfortable with prayer. Some might acknowledge the Lord openly in a prayerful way to bring comfort to another. Some might request prayer or show support by letting a brother or sister know that they are being prayed for. There is nothing wrong with that. These are good things for us to do.

What about vain repetitions?

Some people like to pray repetitive prayers, and I don’t want to condemn them for it. Some people find certain prayers comforting, like the rosary or the Lord’s Prayer (which will come up in the next article within this series). Jesus will see and judge as He sees fit for the individual. I think we should refrain from judging people in these matters. Instead, we should consider our own prayer life.

Do we pray, and if we do, why do we pray? Do we pray because it is expected of us? Do we pray empty prayers out of habit? Do we pray so that others might see us as good Christians?

Or do we pray because we want to turn our heart and mind towards God?

Here is another thing to consider.

We do not always know about the troubles that our brothers and sisters in Christ go through. We do not see their hidden prayers. We do not see their tears as they confess their sins to God and ask for help to overcome. We do not see someone struggle to use a gift given by God faithfully. We do not see someone pray for guidance before making choices in life or in service that we might agree or disagree with.

Many Christians also have trouble praising God or worshiping Him in public, not because they are ashamed, but perhaps because of scriptures like this one. I know of someone who was judged harshly because they did not sing loudly and praise Jesus boisterously during a church meeting. They were accused of not truly having the Spirit of God because they seemed unmoved.

We do not always know what someone is going through in the faith. Outward shows can be deceiving and a lack of outward shows could be a matter of personal preference. Jesus knows. He sees and He rewards according to His perfect will and timing.

This article is part of a series that considers the Parables of Jesus. Right now, we are looking at the statements Jesus made during His Sermon on the Mount, to which He referenced in His Parable of the Building on Rock and Sand. Visit the link for quick access to all articles written within this series. Subscribe for notifications of future posts.

These Things Saith He – Smyrna Overview

And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death – Revelation 2:8-11

As Christians, one of the hardest things to suffer can be the reproach of others who also call themselves Christians.

There are many who call themselves Christians, but they consider the things that God says are evil to be good, and they consider the things that God calls good to be evil (blasphemy).  

For example, there are times when being a Christian means forsaking the riches and pleasures of this world and seeking the riches of the Kingdom of God instead.

In so doing, we might appear to be poor in this world and therefore looked down upon by those who measure God’s blessings according to prosperity in the world.

This is even more true when false saviors come, promising peace and prosperity in return for allegiance—allegiance that requires one to deny the teachings of Jesus and embrace blasphemies.

The more this world requires us to join with evil in order to maintain prosperity in this world, the more it will be required of us to forsake all for the sake of Jesus. There will be many who carry the name of Jesus that discourage us, stating that we should just do as we are told and enjoy a safe, comfortable, and prosperous life.

They will go so far as to slander those who stand with Jesus, saying that we are afflicted because we denied the ways of their false savior.

To be a devil means to be a slanderer, and the more this world is ruled by slanderers, the more the people of God can expect to be persecuted, imprisoned, and killed because of false accusations.

Though we appear to be poor in this world, Jesus says that we are rich. We are rich in our service to Jesus and He rewards us accordingly, and the most important reward is the crown of life.

Jesus tells us not to fear the things we suffer. Whether it is poverty, being hated by our Christian neighbors, or enduring false accusations that lead to imprisonment and execution, we know that Jesus is with us and there is no thing that we have suffered that He did not suffer first.

Jesus did not live a rich, honored life like the religious leaders of His day. Jesus was not accepted by His people. Jesus was slandered, arrested, beaten, and killed—all at the hands of His own. He knows what we will go through and He makes a way for us to endure the same. He was victorious and so will we be when we are raised at His coming.

Jesus is the first and the last. He was dead and He is alive!

Although we might not escape the first death that comes at the hands of our traitorous enemies who claim to worship God but instead worship this world, through faithfulness to Jesus and the grace of God that makes it so, we will not suffer the second death—which is the final, everlasting death that no man will escape.

Jesus says that we will endure devils (slanders) so that we might be tried.

There will come a time when we see what we Christians truly worship. Do we worship Jesus or do we worship this world? How much are we willing to lose for His sake?

“Whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”

– Jesus (Matthew 16:25)

I wrote in These Things Saith He: Contents that I will publish the drafts here first and offer opportunity for others to share their thoughts before the final work is completed.

I’m open to and greatly value the insight, experiences, and thoughts of my Christian brethren because we are a body knit together in Christ that is meant to work together without over reliance on our leaders. I am not your leader, but I do try to be faithful to what I have received to the best of my ability, and I look to Jesus for gracious judgment of my service and the service of all who truly love Him.

PREVEIOIUS CHAPTERS:

 These Things Saith He – Overcoming Ephesus

These Things Saith He – Scriptures for Ephesus

All Chapter Drafts: These Things Saith He

Being a Mom is the Best!

When I was newly married, I did not give much thought to having children. In-fact, we decided that we were not going to have children.

I’m not sure why my husband did not want children, but I know why I didn’t. There were a few reasons. One, I had no idea how to be a good mother, and I knew that. I figured that I’d just mess them up anyway, so why bother? I also saw all the suffering in this world and I thought, who wants that? Why bring someone into this mess?

I also thought that I was most likely infertile. Either myself or my husband because we didn’t take precautions and I never got pregnant.

Other than that, I didn’t think much about it.

Until my sister got pregnant.

I went with her to her ultrasound and I saw that tiny little life inside of her. How miraculous and wonderful!

I didn’t fully change my mind about having children, but I did begin to feel a kind of longing as I saw just how truly beautiful life was.

My sister had her first child, and this child was such a beauty and joy. Still is. ❤

Six months later, I had my first child, too.

My sweet baby boy, Seth.

One and a half years later, I had my second sweet boy, Riley.

I had some ideas about how to raise them, but I was focused on some things that seem kind of silly now. I also neglected some basic things that I wish I had known. I was not wrong before. I really did not know what I was doing, and it began to show.

By the time my children were ages 2 and 3, I had very unruly kids on my hands. They were sweet and incredibly brilliant, but their smarts and strong will—paired with a lack of discipline due to my fears of doing it wrong (and immaturity and lack of personal discipline myself), they were wild.

I don’t know who said this, but it is true: By the time your kids are three, they know whether it is their job to listen to you or your job to listen to them.

They ran the show, and they knew it.

Yet, I was also very busy working from home—to be with them, ironically enough—so they did not always get the attention necessary to form those oh so important attachments.

Let’s pause here. Here are two things I wish I had known as a young mom:

Discipline begins in infancy.

I thought that I should wait until my children were old enough to reason with before disciplining them, because to do so when they cannot understand was unfair. Wrong. So very, very wrong. Discipline starts from infancy, beginning with a simple and consistent bedtime routine.

Next, they must learn to obey the word, “no.” This begins as soon as they can reach for things or get into trouble. Next, they learn to manage their baser instincts of screaming, hitting, and so forth. I’m at that stage now with my current two-year old.

The first few years are critical for forming a healthy attachment.

Children need their mother, and nothing is more important than that. I understand that sometimes life makes it so that a mom has no choice but to work and provide for her children. However, as much as it is possible, make a point to prioritize mothering.

You can only get one shot at being someone’s mom.

You have a lifetime to build a career. The idea in our culture to build a career first and have kids next might seem to make sense, but I have found that the opposite is true.

Be there for your littles, because they are only little for a little while, and having a present, nurturing mother who they can trust and feel safe with is the foundation of good mental and emotional health.

Nothing is more important, so to whatever degree you can change things around to be a mom, choose being a mom. Let no one shame you, because if you choose otherwise, you will regret it and those sweet babies will suffer for it, and so will future generations if the effects are not mended.

Let’s make a third point.

You can fix your mistakes, and you will make plenty of them.

As I stated, I did not know how to be a mom, and it showed. My kids were badly behaved and though I loved them, the frustration I felt because of their behavior and the frustration they felt because of my absence made day to day life very difficult for us all.

However, there was a ton of joy and love also—and enough to force me to do something that I would not have done had I not became a mother.

I had to grow up.

I did not realize just how self-centered I was, how poorly disciplined I was, and how emotionally immature I was until I had kids, and until I loved them enough to realize that I could not parent them properly until I fixed myself first.

There were reasons why I knew that parenting would be a challenge for me, and I had a lot of deep issues to work on due to my own past and present circumstances.

However, bit by bit, progress was made. In some ways, it was one step forward and many steps back. Some days I thought all was hopeless and I would fulfill my greatest fear. I would mess up my kids beyond repair. But what could I do but keep going, and trust that as I healed, so would they? And this has been very true.

There is a lot of great resources out there for parents who do not know how to be parents, and it’s never too late to turn things around. However, it often means reparenting yourself, also.

Fast forward a few years.

My oldest son is nine. My second is seven. My third son, Myles just turned two, and so far, he is proof that by the grace of God, I can be a good mom.

My first two sons are doing just fine also. There are troubles that I know came largely from imperfect parenting during those precious and important formative years, but they are happy, kind, smart, healthy, kids who genuinely want to do what is right. God has been good to us.

I owe Jesus for it all.

It was after the birth of my first son that I started reading my bible after many years of thinking very little about Jesus. After the birth of my second son, I went through a very terrible personal crisis, turned to Jesus more fully, and committed my life to His service—and my sons to His service.

He has worked wonderful things, and though there are times when I still feel overwhelmed, exhausted, and those old fears crop up that make me think that I don’t know what I’m doing, or that I will fail them, or that I will mess them up, or that this world is too crewel, I just look at those wonderful children that God has made and I am thankful.

Life is good. Being a mom is good. It is also hard. It means dealing with pain and it also means facing the worst parts of yourself so that you can be there for those precious lives and give them a fighting chance in this world.

I don’t know it all about being a mom, and I know for a fact that there are moms who are much better than me. Maybe the things written here make some moms angry and others confused because they don’t understand why I had so much trouble.

Yet, I write this anyway because I know that there are many women out there who are terrified of being a mother. Maybe they are like me. Maybe they think they will just screw their kids up or maybe this world is too harsh for kids.

I write this because despite it all, I can say without a doubt that being a mom is the best! I would not trade it for anything, and I know that there is One who can help us if we want to grow as parents. Sure, you sacrifice yourself, but the parts you sacrifice are the parts that need to die anyway. What results is a life that is full of meaning, hope, and thankfulness.

Life is always better, and being a mom is not a choice that any mother truly regrets. Choosing to forego motherhood because of fear or the pursuit of ambitions in this world, however, is a choice that many women are going to regret.

Being a Mom is the Best!!

This post was inspired by a clip from The Andrew Klaven Show that addresses a serious problem.

FIVE UNPOPULAR TEACHINGS OF JESUS — Beloved Creative Studio

God purposed us to be His. He loves you! Nothing terribly unpopular here (everyone likes to be loved), but for everyone who has believed in Jesus for their justification before God, by the blood of Christ, He desires you to now be set apart. This is where the rubber meets the road. You are His…

FIVE UNPOPULAR TEACHINGS OF JESUS — Beloved Creative Studio

This is so well written. I had to share, and I plan to share more lovely articles from fellow bloggers and other content creators within the “Brethren Testimony” category. Enjoy!