Bless those who curse you, Christian, Christians and Guns, Persecution at home, Testing Your Faith, Witnessing

Guns and Gold, Or God

I am re-posting this blog because recently I have had people tell me that they would shoot someone who came into their house or threatened their children. Thank God nobody killed the Apostle Paul before he was converted. What would the New Testament have looked like if someone had killed him when he broke into one of their houses in his zeal to wipe out the followers of the Way?

Members of the early church did not defend themselves against their persecutors. They prayed for them and laid down their lives. As far as we can tell from the historians, all of Jesus’ disciples, with the possible exception of John who was exiled, were martyred. The church was, and still is at times, built on the blood of the martyrs.

So what will it be

Guns and Gold, or God?

Jesus sign cropped

At the end of our driveway we have a sign for our business and store. On the east side of the sign we always have the name of Jesus and say something about him.

A man came into our store one day and said, “How can you be so bold to put up the name of Jesus on your sign?”

“We run this business for Jesus. What do I have to lose by holding up his name?” I asked.

“Maybe some people won’t buy your stuff,” he said.

“Jesus runs this business. He will direct sales to us,” I answered. “My responsibility is to point people to him.”

The man mused for a moment. He then told me that he was a Christian; he even led Bible studies and home groups. We had a good discussion about the Lord. As he got ready to leave, he asked, “You are investing in gold, aren’t you?”

“What for?” I said, “You can’t eat gold.”

“Yes, but when the monetary system collapses, you are going to need gold.”

“You can’t eat gold,” I said again.

“You won’t be able to buy anything if you don’t have gold,” he said.

“You can’t eat gold. It won’t be worth anything. We are making food. Food will have value, give us something to trade, if it comes to that.”

His forehead crinkled as he looked intently at me.

“Well, you do have a CWP don’t you?”

“A what?”

“A permit to carry a concealed weapon?”

“You have got to be kidding me,” I answered.  “Who would I shoot?”

“Things are going to get very bad. You are going to have to defend your property,” he said.

“I don’t agree,” I said. Then I gave him my perspective on guns, self-defense, and defense of my possessions.

“Let me tell you about one of my heroes” I said. “I met Dorothy Bennett, who was in her 80’s, in the dough nut shop in Lynden. She heard me and my mom talking about the Lord. She asked if she and her husband could join us. After introductions she told us that she had been doing radio broadcasts into Muslim countries, daily, for many, many years. She told us lots of stories. One of them was about a prayer meeting she and her husband, Richard, were holding in Africa. Genocide was going on in this part of Africa. People in that meeting had been attacked by neighboring, warring, tribes. Suddenly a man burst into the meeting. He was drunk. He had a machine gun. He threatened them all. He put the gun in Dorothy’s face and told her he was going to kill her. “Go ahead,” she said. “I’m going to heaven. Where are you going?” The man fell face down, on the floor, Dorothy’s husband, Richard, kicked the gun away. When the man got up, he was sober and saved.

“I hope,” I told the man in my driveway, “that I will have that kind of courage if I am ever faced with that kind of threat.”

I went on to tell him that I had thought a lot about this. The worst-case scenario would be, in my opinion—someone is torturing a child. I have been given the power to stop it by denouncing Jesus. I hope that I would respond by commanding the perpetrator to stop, in the name of Jesus! If he didn’t, I would assume that this was the will of God. Then I would speak to the child, “This is temporary. Have faith. We will be out of here soon.”

I told him that I read Voice of the Martyrs magazine every month. Christians are having this kind of experience, right now, in many parts of the world. I hope I never have to go through such a thing, but if I do, I hope that I can be as steadfast as they are.

The man said not another word. He got in his car and drove away. As I watched him leave, I thought. “Isn’t that interesting. Here is a guy that says he’s a Christian, but he questioned my “boldness” to hold up Jesus’ name. Then he showed me that he doesn’t trust the Lord. What he is really counting on, trusting in, are his gold and his guns.

Guns and Gold

This ad came in the mail. a few days ago. Tim was about to throw it away, but I told him I would keep it. It helps to illustrate my point.

I am not a gun control advocate. But I wonder why so many Christians are running to gold and guns instead of trusting in the Lord.

  • He told us not to love the world, nor the things of the world.
  • He told us to seek the kingdom of God.
  • He told us not to fear him who can kill the body but fear him who can send the soul to hell.
  • He told us not to worry about what we are going to eat, or what we are going to wear.
  • He told us not to worry at all!

Some men trust in horses, some men trust in chariots, but we will trust in the NAME of the Lord.

 

Becoming a Believer, Bless those who curse you, Divorced Christian, Persecution at home, Prayer, Testing Your Faith

My husband told me, “Either you quit going to church, or I’m leaving!”

1 Peter 3:1-2

In the same way, you wives, be submissive to our own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of the wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.

I got saved in 1976, by myself, on a fishing boat in Alaska.

My husband went nuts. The attack  was not rational, reasonable or sane.  The only explanation is that his attacks were not from him; they were from the enemy of our souls. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers and powers and world authorities of this present darkness. (Ephesians 6:12) I came to understand that, but the battle was personal and fierce, and constant.  He threatened to kill me. He threatened to kill the pastor I had talked to. But I had learned the truth, and I could not be shaken. Jesus was my God. My husband hated me for giving my heart to someone else.

I likened myself to one of those inflatable children’s toys that has sand in the bottom. You can hit it from any direction, but it always comes back to center and stands up again. That was me. My husband didn’t hit me with his fists. He hit me with rages, humiliation, insults, belittlement, abandonment, disdain, disgust, contempt. He would hit me from all directions, but I would come back to upright and wait for the next hit.  

My husband and I spent summers on the boat, along with our daughters, then aged 7 and 3.  That spring I had flown to California for my brother’s wedding. While I was there my brother’s pastor had asked me if I had ever read the Bible. I said I had tried but it did not make sense to me. He showed me the verses from 1 Corinthians that explain without the Spirit of God it is impossible to understand the Word of God.

For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:11-14

Then the pastor asked me if I would pray this kind of prayer, “Holy Spirit, if you are real, show me the truth.”

There was no danger in that kind of prayer. So, for the first time in my life I got down on my knees and prayed.

During the next few weeks, the Holy Spirit showed me the truth. I accepted the gift of salvation.

The rest of that summer and fishing season I learned to stand on the word of God in the face of the devil’s attack.

At the end of the summer when it was time to put our oldest daughter back in school,  I flew home. I immediately found a church.  I loved the it! Never have I had such friendships, and such love. I didn’t know that I had been living in a desert, but I was getting filled at the oasis. I took the girls to Sunday School–and went myself. We went to worship service on Sunday morning and again on Sunday evening. We went to Wednesday night fellowship and I joined the Ladies Bible Study. It was the happiest experience of my life.

Six weeks after I got home from Alaska, my husband came home. His rage increased. He hated that I was going to church, and he hated that I was taking the girls to church. He screamed and stomped, threw things, stayed away from home, and insulted me whenever he saw me. He said over and over again that he would rather have his daughters be prostitutes than Christians. This became a mantra that my girls grew up under. I tried to keep them from hearing it, but I know I failed.

            In the Spring my husband went back to Alaska and I had several weeks of peace. But when I got back to the boat the battle raged again. I tried to keep my Bible out of sight and I tried to keep the girls from saying anything about God when their dad could hear them. It was impossible and we suffered.

            The highlight of the summer was when  my sister came to Alaska to work in the cannery. We helped her get the job and a place to live while she was there. She was the youngest of my sisters, 11 years younger than I, and had been the second one in the family to become a Christian. She was still in high school when she came to Alaska. She was a great comfort to me as we could spend time sharing the Lord when alone. 

During her stay we put the boat “on the grid” to clean the bottom of it. The grid was a set of timbers in the harbor that are underwater at high tide. At low tide, however, they are high and dry. If a person took his boat to the grid and secured it there during high tide it would come to rest on the timbers as the tide went out and eventually the boat owner could walk around under the boat to examine it or clean it. There were about 8-10 hours of dry time before the boat would float again at the next high tide.  We had rented a hotel room in town for the day since living on the boat with two little girls while the boat is on the grid is very hard to do. My sister was watching the girls while I working under the boat. My husband’s  harassment of me that day was far beyond what I could bear. He had driven me to tears and despair. Finally, I threw my tools down and declared, “I quit.” He mocked me as I slopped through the mud under the boat and left the harbor.

When I got to the hotel room my sister greeted and comforted me. I could not stop crying. Suddenly my three-year-old daughter came across the room with the Gideon Bible from the hotel room in her hand. She certainly couldn’t read. She didn’t even know what kind of a book she had in her hand.

“Mommy,” she said. “there’s writing in this book. Why did someone write in the book?”

I took the Bible from her and looked where she was pointing. Sure enough someone had underlined some verses. I looked up, amazed.

My daughter asked “What does it say?”

“It says, ‘Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest for your souls.’” Matthew 11:28

My sister and I started to laugh. Good for God. Praise the Lord. He used a hotel Bible, some else’s underlining and my tiny daughter to encourage me at a very low time. 

I went back to the harbor and finished the job. 

At the end of August I flew home and went to church. The pastor saw me come in the back of the sanctuary; he came down from the pulpit to welcome me. I had never had anyone show respect and welcome for me. I exhaled all the tension, and enjoyed every minute of fellowship I could get.

Six weeks later my husband came home. Before the first Sunday, he laid out his ultimatum. “Either you quit going to church or I’m leaving.”

He meant it.

I was crushed.

I went to our bedroom and threw myself across the bed in tears before the Lord. By this time I had memorized 1 Peter Chapter 3:1-2 about wives being submissive to their husbands even if they are disobedient to the word.

In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. 1 Peter 1:1-2

“Oh, Lord,” I cried. “You know how much I have loved this church. You know how much I love the fellowship. I have been so loved. But I know that you hate divorce and I know that your word says for wives to be submissive to their husbands. You also said that this can be a way to win them to you.” With flowing tears and a broken heart I laid it down. “All right, Lord. I’ll quit going to church. I know you can sustain me without it. I submit to your word.”

How my heart ached!  Sunday mornings were the worst. But I had made a commitment and I stuck to it.

That was 1977.  We stayed married for 20 years after I became a Christian. We were divorced in 1996. I will write more about that in another post. Today, as I write this, the year is 2019, 43 years after my rebirth.  How do I see those years of persecution now? I am, and will be eternally,  thankful for them. Why?

  • I learned that all I needed was the Lord. He sustained me by his Spirit and his word. I grew quickly. I stood firm. I learned I did not need to go to church to walk with Jesus. I learned my theology straight from Holy Spirit and the Word of God.
    •  When I did, at last, start to attend church, I was surprised to learn that everyone’s experience was not like mine–persecuted to be a Christian. Didn’t Jesus say don’t be surprised when they hate you?  John 5:18 and 1 John 3:13

 

  • When my children made their life commitments to the Lord, they knew they were going to war. Accepting Jesus as their savior was not a Sunday School picnic activity. Their father told them he had failed as a father because they had become Christians. My daughters will not be shaken. They each married a Christian man. Their children are being raised in Christian homes. Both of my daughters serve the Lord in their families, and in their vocations. The younger is a Young Life director, the elder is a pastor’s wife; she heads up a prayer and healing ministry in their church.

Praise God.

 

To read the story of my conversion click here: https://gracegloria.com/2017/01/03/conversion/

 

 

Cauliflower Tortilla, Cauliflower Tortillas, Recipe, Uncategorized

Cauliflower Tortillas

Several months ago Tim and I started the Keto diet. We have lost some weigh, and feel great, but we have missed tacos. Today I made cauliflower tortillas. I decided to share the recipe.

 

Cauliflower Tortillas

Tortilla Case

1 Three Pound Bag Green Giant Cauliflower Rice (Costco)

2 Eggs Slightly Beaten

¼ Teaspoon Salt

Other Seasonings—Your choice: Paprika, lime zest, cilantro (yuck, tastes like soap to me—that is a genetic thing, really.), cumin, black pepper or – use your imagination. I would recommend not more than ¼ teaspoon of each, though

Tortilla Equipment

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven and pizza stone to 400 degrees F
  2. Steam Cauliflower. I use my Instapot on the “rice” setting. I add about a cup of water
  3. Drain Cauliflower, and violently squeeze the water out of it! I use some silicon oven mitts.
  4. Transfer the drained cauliflower to a medium mixing bowl, and then add eggs, and seasoning
  5. Separate the mixture into 8 equal portions. I weigh the whole, then divide by 8
  6. Place each portion on a piece of parchment paper about 8 inches square
  7. Press each portion into a 6 inch circle using a separate square of parchment paper on top. I use my tortilla press—very gently!
  8. Place tortillas, with the paper underneath,  on the hot pizza stone.

IMG_0036

  1. Bake for 5-6 minutes.
  2. Flip and bake another 4-5 minutes. When they are done, they will look it! They will be slightly brown and curled around the edges.
  3. Stake and keep warm in a towel or tortilla dish and serve!
  4. Or, allow to cool on a rack to use later.

 

Tortilla Crop

Becoming a Believer, Sibling squabbles, Testing Your Faith

Out of the Mouth of Babes

broken heart love sad
Photo by burak kostak on Pexels.com

 

When my granddaughters, Hannah and Audrey, were 5 and 3 years old, Hannah did something unkind to her sister. My daughter reprimanded Hannah.
Afterward, Audrey asked her mother “Mom, did you ever do anything mean to Heather?”
“Oh, yes,” Jasona, answered, “sometimes I was mean to my sister, too.”
“What did you do?”
Jasona related some story of her childhood when she had been unkind to her younger sister.
Audrey listened, then asked, “What were you thinking?”
“I don’t know, Audrey,” Jasona answered. “I don’t know what I was thinking.”
Three-year-old Audrey thought about that for a moment, then she said,

“You were listening to the sin in your heart.”