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A Witness in the Devil’s Den

Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. (2 Corinthians 1:9)

Although most bars stir my spirit in a negative way, I occasionally enter one for the food. I don’t know why they have such good cooks. Such was the case at a bar near our cabin, that and the fact that there are few places to eat out in the northern tier. I must admit I felt very uncomfortable the first time we went there to eat. I didn’t even enjoy my meal. Regardless, I agreed to go there several more times and found certain foods to my liking.

This spring Gene offered to take me there again. It was a slow night. The owner/waitress paused at our table for conversation. It led to Gene telling her about my cancer experience. She was most sympathetic as I added the events of the previous year. In 2016, I was treated for melanoma. Gene’s psa began to climb again, eight years after having his prostate removed. He had to have 38 radiation treatments, Our younger daughter had thyroid cancer and had to have the gland and all the lymph nodes on the right side of her neck removed and radiation three months later. My one sister had a benign tumor on her adrenal gland and had to have surgery. My other sister was also diagnosed with breast cancer, had a lumpectomy, and radiation. My mother fell, was placed in a nursing home in November and met Jesus January 5, 2017.

The waitress shook her head in dismay and said, “Some say God won’t give you more than you can bear. I never understood that. It seems to me He gave you and many other people I know more than you can handle.”

I may have read too much between the lines, but I heard a cry of despair and a desire to believe. She looked so puzzled and forlorn. Her heart obviously ached and struggled with why God expected people she cared about to bear up under great hardships.

I agreed with her and told her so. “God does give us more than we can handle. It’s His intent to bring us to a place where we have to give up on our own resources and strengths and fully rely on Him. That was what this journey through cancer wastelands taught Gene and me.”

The waitress smiled and nodded. Her eyes glistened. “That makes a lot of sense to me. I can believe that.”
She seemed to have had a great burden lifted from her shoulders at that moment. And so did I.

Jesus would eat there. He would share His message of repentance, love and grace with her. He wouldn’t judge me for going there either. In fact, I believe He sent Gene and me there that evening to have that conversation with His bewildered child. Too often we limit our area of witness because of self-righteous thinking.

I look forward to going to that establishment now, not because of the food, but because of the waitress and other people I may meet. Who knows. God may have another opportunity waiting for Gene and me to share His wonderful news of salvation.

How about you? What unlikely place have you found opportunity to witness?

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

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C is for Covenant

And God said to Noah, “This [rainbow] is the sign of the covenant (solemn pledge, binding agreement) which I have established between Me and all living things on the earth.” (Genesis 9:17 AMP)

Design 1Jumping ahead a few generations brings us to Noah. During his lifetime, people became so wicked God grieved and regretted creating them. But Noah found favor in God’s eyes. So God, while determined to destroy His creation, told Noah to build an ark in which he and his family would be saved. Although God planned to eliminate everyone else, He gave the populace of the earth time to repent and join Noah on the ark. Instead of listening to the call of repentance, they mocked Noah. For one-hundred twenty years, Noah pleaded with his neighbors to turn from their wicked ways. For one-hundred twenty years, Noah and his sons labored on their ark. For one-hundred twenty years, everyone else laughed at Noah and grew more wicked than before.

Finally, the day arrived when God told Noah to enter the ark along with his wife, their sons and their wives, and the animals God designated for them to take. It rained for forty days and forty night without ceasing. They remained on the ark for a total of 375 days. When the ground was dry enough for them to depart, Noah built an altar and offered burnt offerings on it. Pleased with Noah’s sacrifices, God made a covenant with him, stating He would never totally destroy the earth with water because of man’s wickedness. The rainbow is a reminder of that covenant.

Noah’s story begins in Genesis chapter 5 verse 28 and continues through chapter 9.

How about you? What reminds you of Jesus that begins with the letter C?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

Generational Curses—Stop the Slavery

And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. (Acts 12:11-12)

Anger Paints an Ugly Portrait colorGenerational curses come in many forms from drug and food addictions to anger induced rage. Not every obese person, tyrant, or pedophile can claim their conduct stems from a generational curse. We all have a sin nature and basically choose the path we travel. But some of our characteristics are passed down from generation to generation as the Bible says, “The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation” (Numbers 14:18). We learn and repeat the behavior patterns of those around us—good and bad. But generational curses go deeper into the soul than learned behavior.

How to recognize a generational curse:

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Next Week:

We’ll discuss Being Set Free through Recognizing Our Needs. Prepare by studying Luke 18:35-43.

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

The Gift of Victory

[youtube http://youtu.be/ZhT2j_1gJho]

 

 For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 5:4-5 NIV)

The hope of victory over the curse of sin began centuries before King David sat on the throne. God had made a promise to Adam and Eve that a son would be born who would take away that curse, which sentenced them and everyone after them to hard labor. Decades later, Lamech, at the age of 182, prove his faith in the promise when he named his son Noah and said, “He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed” (Genesis 5:28-29 NIV). This took place generations before God called out a nation unto Himself from Abraham’s seed.

Through the ages, the Hebrews failed, were enslaved, and freed many times; but they held onto the hope of Israel—a messiah would come to save them and to rule the nations.

Jesus was that Man. However, God’s plan of victory differed from that of the Jews.

  • They thought He came to overthrow Caesar, but He came to defeat the prince of the air.
  • They thought He’d ride a white warhorse, instead He rode a donkey of peace.
  • They thought He’d organize a mighty army, but He surrendered without a fight.
  • They thought He’d reign on earth, but His kingdom is in heaven.
  • They thought He died for a lost cause, instead He died for lost sinners.
  • They thought death won, but Jesus conquered death and lives today.

We are now on the other side of the cross looking back in awe with gratitude and looking forward to His second coming. Then He will return on that white warhorse as the conquering King the Jews anticipated. His army of saints will follow Him to war and celebrate the victory over the fall of the enemy—Satan.

How about you? Are you enjoying the victory that overcomes the world through faith in Jesus Christ?

Next time, we’ll review The Gift via another time-lapse art video that brings the whole subject together. Prepare by studying Romans 6:19-23.

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

But It’s Only a Tiny Stretch of the Truth

Spiritual Warfare

Part 18

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44 NIV)

Trust is like Blown Glass Once Broken, next to Impossible to Restore.

Trust is like Blown Glass Once Broken, next to Impossible to Restore.

I absolutely loathe being called a liar. Not that I’ve never misled someone or told an untruth, but I don’t deliberately lie. I have very deep feelings about lying. The practice stems from Satan himself. And I want no affiliation with that old snake.

Lying is by far the quickest way to break trust with our closest associates, friends, and family members. I used to drill my daughters about the importance of telling the truth in ALL situations, even if it meant punishment was sure to follow. I reinforced the significance of lying by promising a much more severe punishment if they chose to lie and I found out the truth. There are several reasons why I hammered them constantly with this concept.

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Next Week:

We’ll consider some of the lies the enemy tells. Prepare by reading, pondering, and praying about 1 John 5:20.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

Conquering Beliefs

Spiritual Warfare

Part 17

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say … .” (Genesis 3:1 NIV)

Dawning of a Brand New Day

Dawning of a Brand New Day

From the beginning Satan has messed with our beliefs. Adam and Eve had a simple life and belief came easy. They walked and talked with the Lord who came to them every evening. Satan could not attack their knowledge and belief in their Creator by insisting He was a figment of their imaginations. So the enemy devised a plan to instill doubt of the Maker’s words in the mind of the woman.

Our minds are the battle field and the place where the enemy always begins his assault. I mentioned this tactic in a post a couple of months ago. There are several things Satan wants us to believe:

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Next Week:

We’ll consider some of the lies the enemy tells. Prepare by reading, pondering, and praying about John 8:44.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

The Only Good Christian is a Dead Christian

Spiritual Warfare

Part 3

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:24 NIV)

Crucified with Christ

Crucified with Christ

To the enemy, the only good Christian is a dead Christian. He commands that no soldier of the cross be left alive. Should one survive, the gospel of Jesus Christ will continue to spread.

Don’t panic! Satan has no authority to kill any of us before our appointed time, which God determined before our birth. Satan can, however, kill our testimonies. When we act like the world in our speech, in our dress, in our temperament, our testimonies are deadened and worthless. He strangles our joy when we allow grievances to overpower us and refuse forgiveness to others.  He suffocates our enthusiasm for the things of God when we permit temporal self-gratification to rule our lives. Thus, we become complacent prisoners of war.

Most Christians in a complacent state don’t seem to realize they are being held hostage. In fact, some become quite comfortable in chains with no desire to be free. They become “By The Way” believers who sit back not wanting to get involved. They never dream of sharing their faith outside the church. They claim to respect other religions. Tolerance becomes their new doctrine.

If they remain complacent long enough…

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How about you? Are you a “By the Way” believer, an “In the Way” believer, or an “On the Way” believer? What’s your plan of attack?

Next Week:

Prepare by reading, pondering, and pray about Ephesians 6:10-17. Yes, again. We will study the armor of God at His appointed time.

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks