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  • Rotten Apples

    Posted on October 30th, 2013 rhonda No comments


    “You belong to your father,

    The devil,

    And you want to carry out your father’s desire”

    John 8:44


    Psalm 37:20 says that “the wicked will perish: The Lord’s enemies will be like the beauty of the fields, they will vanish – vanish like smoke”.  I didn’t get the comparison between the wicked and beauty.


    I’m a city girl, so I don’t go to the fields.  I go to the Botanical Gardens, which are lovely.  All the plants, flowers and tree are well tended, unique and good to look at.  The gardens are serene and sweetly scented.  A co-worker gave me a plant for my windowsill.  It’s pretty.  Her gift was an act of kindness.


    In my mind, beauty and wickedness do not go together.  Satan, however, embodies both.  He masquerades as an angel of light (II Corinthians 11:14).  Satan used to live in heaven (Rev. 12:7-9) before being thrown out; and I understand that there is nothing ugly in or about heaven.


    So why shouldn’t Satan’s children take on the likeness of their father?  They’re beautiful on the outside and ugly on the inside.  Rotten apples.


    “Do not fret because of evil men

    Or be envious of those who do wrong

    For like the grass they will soon wither

    Like green plants they will soon die away.”

    Psalm 37:1





  • Only Joking!?

    Posted on October 22nd, 2013 rhonda No comments


    Like a madman shooting firebrands

    or deadly arrows

    is a man who deceives his neighbor and says

    “I was only joking!”

    Proverbs 26:19


    I got into a conversation with someone about online predators.  Girls are being preyed upon by men who tell them “I love you.  And if you love me, you’ll take a topless picture of yourself and send it to me online.  If you’re not willing to do this for me, it means you don’t love me”.  Once he has the initial photo, he can blackmail her into sending more & more explicit photos, and even into meeting him so that he can take further advantage of her.


    Did anyone ever sit down and teach you what real love was, or did you figure it out on your own through trial and error?  People have told me that they love me; but I don’t have any childhood memories of an adult sitting me down and giving me the definition of love.  Just in case you don’t know, I Corinthians 13:4-6 defines love as follows:


    Love is patient, love is kind.

    It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

    It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,

    it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

    Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

    It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.


    People, especially children, must be told explicitly to stay away from anyone coercing them into acts that consequently make them feel dirty, ashamed, fearful, worthless, depressed, and hopeless.  When people ask us to commit sin, we know that their hearts aren’t pure and that we should stay away, because Christ teaches us that words come from the heart (Matthew 15:18-19).


    Christ requires our obedience (II John 1:6) as a sign of love for Him.  Fortunately, Christ does not going to ask us to do anything evil.  In fact, we find our purpose and self-esteem in Christ. 





    “Do not drag me away with the wicked,

    with those who do evil,

    Who speak cordially with their neighbors,

    but harbor malice in their hearts.”

    Psalm 28:3



  • Pressure Cooker

    Posted on October 15th, 2013 rhonda No comments


    This woman said to me,

    “Give up your son so we may eat him today, and tomorrow we’ll eat my son.” 

    So we cooked my son and ate him.

    The next day I said to her,

    “Give up your son so we may eat him”;

    but she had hidden him.

    2 Kings 6:28-29


    It’s shocking that the complainant is not ashamed to admit, to the King, that she ate her own son.  Presumably, she wants the King to coerce another woman to sacrifice her son to be a meal for both of them.  Desperation will make people do things that were once unimaginable.


    Do you remember the Indiana Jones franchise?  One staple of that type of movie is the scene where our hero is trapped in a room; and then the walls start to close in.  If our hero doesn’t do something soon, he’ll be crushed to death.  Some movies will add steel spikes to the wall, so the hero will be stabbed & then crushed.


    This society has become an Indiana Jones movie, and the walls are closing in.  People are working harder for less money & benefits.  People are being paid with debit cards and are finding it harder to open bank accounts.  People are tired, and a feeling of fear and desperation has long settled in.  Now, with the government shutdown and “debt ceiling” talk, the fear is just deepening.  The desperation is mounting.


    A time like this may present an opportunity to witness.  Watching the news is almost like watching a horror movie.  I simultaneously find it interesting and scary.  Every now and again, I have to either take a break from the news, or try to end my day with someone who is preaching God’s word.  It’s comforting to know that I have a God in heaven that owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10) and is willing and able to provide for me.  I don’t have to get worked up about what’s going on in the national or international economy, because I’m the daughter of Elohim, creator of the earth, and owner of everything in it. 


    Other people need the same assurance.  I’m committing to look for opportunities to share the gospel with people and relieve them of the sense that the wall are closing in.  No one needs to “eat” their own.  I’m committing to letting other people know that, in their time of distress, Jehovah Jireh will answer. 


    “I have had enough Lord,”

    he said

    “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”

    Then he lay down under the tree & fell asleep.

    All at once an angel touched him and said,

    “Get up and eat.”

    He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals,

    and a jar of water. 

    He ate and drank and then lay down again.

    I Kings 19:4-6



  • Persecution Purifies

    Posted on October 10th, 2013 rhonda No comments



    gather together all the Jews who are in Susa,

    and fast for me.

    Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day.

    I and my maids will fast as you do.

    When this is done, I will go to the king,

    even though it is against the law.

    And if I perish, I perish”



    A pastor said that persecution is actually necessary for us, because it will force us to decide to lean into God completely, or leave God completely.  Persecution purifies us.


    Esther is a positive example of what to do when being persecuted. Esther, her family, and her people were taken captive & exiled in Babylon.  Then, the Persians defeated Babylon and Israelites were able to live on foreign soil freely.  Ironically, it’s then that Haman tells Israel that it would be destroyed.  Esther evolves from being a young woman hiding her identity and initially reluctant intervene on Israel’s behalf, to a leader who’s willing to risk going before the king, confronting her enemy and exposing her own identity.  How did she do it?  Pastor said she did it because she had a Mordecai, who was an Old Testament figure foreshadowing Jesus.  Mordecai mirrors Jesus in that he:

    • Didn’t bow to Haman (Satan) – Esther 3:5
    • Had a burden for God’s people (4:1)
    • Imparted his burden to Esther (4:12-14)
    • Prayed
    • Defeated Haman & his sons with the gallows (tree) that Haman originally built to kill him (7:9-10; 9:14)
    •  Spoke back to the devil through writing & distributing letters stating the authority & victory of God’s people (8:9-14)

     The next time we’re in trouble, we should look to Esther for an example.


    “For He will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. 

    He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver,

    He will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. 

    Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness,

    and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord,

    as in days gone by, as in former years.”

    Malachi 3:2-4



  • A Heart of Flesh

    Posted on October 2nd, 2013 rhonda No comments

    First of all,

    you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come,

    scoffing and following their own evil desires.

    They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ He promised? “

    2 Peter 3:3-4


    I read the newspaper and got angry – again.  The article is entitled, “Once Scorned, but on Revenge Sites, Twice Hurt”.  Essentially, in the aftermath of a breakup, ex-boyfriends are now posting naked pictures of their ex-girlfriends on “revenge websites”.  The article discusses the movement among victims to impose legal penalties.


    I took a few minutes to ask myself why this kind of stuff makes me so angry, especially when it has nothing to do with me (thank God!).  I should praise God that He’s given me a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26), one that is empathic and can “rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15).  I’m able to envision the shame and rage that someone would feel if they were put in that situation; and able to feel their anger and being helpless to prevent their victimization & humiliation.


    I get angry because I forget that the “Lord is not slow in keeping His promise” to bring justice.  One of the things that is especially hard for me to remember is that, for the wicked, just being who they are is a punishment.  When I’m angry, it’s an uncomfortable feeling.  I get hot.  I feel tense.  I get headaches.  I don’t like being really angry, because it just doesn’t feel good.  Yet, because I’ve put my faith in Christ, I’m one of the righteous.  I’m a daughter of God & a royal priest (1 Peter 2:9).  I get relief from my anger in Jesus Christ.


    However, where’s your relief when you have a heart of stone, unable to forgive, angry & vengeful all the time, and bent on the destruction (literally or metaphorically) of other people?  Even though the wicked sometimes appear to be flourishing like a green tree, they must be miserable on the inside.  They say “misery loves company”.  Think of what kind of torment a person must be feeling on the inside in order to treat someone else so horribly, and pray for them (Luke 6:28).


    Pray – and make sure they pay hefty fines & go to jail.  I posted the article below.  I hope you have a heart of flesh, too.



    But do not forget this one thing, dear friends:

    With the Lord a day is like a thousand years,

    and a thousand years are like a day.

    The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness.

    He is patient with you, not waking anyone to perish,

    but everyone to come to repentance.

    2 Peter 3:8-9