Clear Communication

Lately, I have been very outspoken about the evil one, his minions, and people who have bought into his propaganda.

This morning, during several attempts to communicate with followers that I have not heard from in a while, the system has reset itself and deleted what I had typed.  I consider manipulation of communications and censorship to be workings of the evil one.

Cutting to the worst case scenario, if anything suspicious happens to me, my brother has been given instructions on how to communicate with you and to let you know.  You know that if anything suspicious does happen to me, it is likely because I have told the truth and that the truth is a serious threat to the evil one.

May God bless us all and thank you, Holy Spirit, for protecting us. (In Your Name, Jesus, I pray that I may only convey what is true and helpful to those desiring to remain with You in eternity. )  Thanks be to God and to God be the Glory.

How to Win the War

The enemy is not a race of people. The enemy is not a religion. The enemy is not an ethnic group, a nationality, the government, a political party, a football team, or species of dog. The enemy is the evil one, his minions, and people who have bought into his propaganda.

When you hate, fear, get discouraged, doubt, study and/or spread propaganda about conspiracies you are giving your power to the evil one.

The only way to fight and resist the evil one is to strengthen your connection to God and to focus on Him constantly.

Do what you must to reconcile yourself to God; rid yourself of issues that block your ability to be close to God.  Purge yourself of resentments, insults and injuries, memories, abuses, diagnoses, and negative, limiting labels.

Forgive yourself and others.  Clean your slate, clear your plate, and unblock your spiritual connection to God.  If anything comes up, give it to Jesus in His Name and with the Blood of the Lamb.

Re-read “Don’t Hate. Just Don’t.”

Practice the Presence of God.  Re-read the piece on the teaching of Brother Lawrence on how to Practice the Presence of God….and do what it says.

Dwell on what is good and pure.

Strengthen your faith.

If you find yourself fearful, angry, discouraged, confused, doubting, or dwelling on past issues, give them to Jesus and go back to Practicing the Presence of God.

The battle is a spiritual one.  The evil one’s power is Spiritual.  Our defense must be Spiritual.  Giving in to negative thoughts and feelings gives him power.  Dwelling on God takes power away from the evil one.

Amassing weapons will not protect you.  Stockpiling food will not protect you.  Focusing on propaganda, conspiracies, and terrorist activities will increase your fear, stress, discouragement, anger, and a tendency to hate.  Crush the evil one by focusing your energy…your thoughts and intentions on God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Purity, trust, faith, obedience, humility, reverence…these attitude, practices, and postures protect you.

Spending your time and energy trying to be ‘wise, informed, shrewd, and prepared’ positions your heart too close to responding with anger, hate, and fear.  Don’t go there.  Align yourself with True Power:  Almighty God, His Son, and His Holy Spirit.

Trust.  Believe.  Have faith.  Be faithful.  Fight for the Good Side by giving your energy to, and getting your energy from, God.

May God bless you.  And to God be the Glory.

(Addendum, six or seven hours later:  Do not let the confident tone of this post mislead you; what I am recommending here is HARD.  Within minutes after posting this message, I began receiving news of disasters with my family members, friends, business partners, acquaintances, and fellow bloggers.  I responded with the expected anger, discouragement, and disappointment in my own lack of strength and resolve.  But I realize now that our success is not what is required but our persistence….our resolve.  I just told a friend that every time I fail to do what I have recommended here and stop and pick myself back up, hand my failures over to Jesus, and turn again to God, I give another slap to the face of the evil one, or as Brother Lawrence says, crush his head.  Every time.  A slap is a slap.  A crush is a crush…every time.  Don’t lose heart.  Keep it up.  Give it to Jesus and turn back to God.  A slap is a slap.  Thanks be to God.  Pray for me; I’ll pray for you.  We can do this.)

Practices Necessary to Acquire the Spiritual Life

First.   The holiest, most universal and most necessary practice in the spiritual life is the presence of God. To practice the presence of God is to take pleasure in and become accustomed to His Divine company, speaking humbly and conversing lovingly in our hearts with Him at all times, and at every moment, especially in times of temptation, pain, spiritual dryness, revulsion to spiritual things, and even unfaithfulness and sin.

 

Second.   We must apply ourselves continually to the end that all our actions may be little spontaneous conversations with God, coming from purity and simplicity of heart.

 

Third.   We must weigh all our actions without the impetuosity or impulsiveness that mark a distraught spirit. As we carry out our duties, we must work gently, tranquilly and lovingly with God, asking Him to accept our labor. Through our continual attention to God, we will crush the head of the devil and make his weapons fall from his hands.

 

Fourth.   During our work and other activities, and even during our times of reading or writing, even though they may be spiritually oriented — and yes, even more during our outward devotions and prayers aloud — we ought to stop for a short moment, as frequently as we can, to adore God deep within our hearts and take pleasure in Him, even though we might have to do this momentarily and in secret. Since you are not unmindful of the fact that God is present before you as you carry out your duties, and you know that He is at the depth and center of your soul, why not stop from time to time, whatever you are doing — even if you are praying aloud — to adore Him inwardly, to praise Him, to beseech Him, to offer your heart to Him, and to thank Him?

 

What could please God more than for us to leave all created things over and over each day in this way in order to withdraw and worship Him in our hearts? Not to mention the fact that this is the way to destroy self-love, which cannot exist except among us creatures. Inwardly returning to God in this way rids us of self-love without our being aware of it.

 

Finally, we can give no greater witness to God of our faithfulness than by continually renouncing and turning from the created things around us to take pleasure, even for a single moment, in our Creator.

 

This is not to suggest that you should withdraw inwardly forever. That is not possible. But prudence, the mother of virtues, will guide you. Nonetheless, I maintain that it is a common error among spiritual persons not to withdraw from outward things from time to time to worship God within themselves and to find comfort and pleasure in the peace of His Divine presence for a few moments.

 

This digression has been lengthy, but I thought that the matter demanded all this explanation. Let us return to our discussion of spiritual practices.

 

Fifth.   All this adoration must be done in faith, believing that in truth God is in our hearts, that we must worship, love and serve Him in spirit and truth, and that He sees all that is happening or will happen in us and in all creatures. We must believe that He is altogether independent of everything and that He is infinitely perfect and is worthy by His infinite excellence and His sovereignty of all that is in Heaven and on earth. We must believe that He can dispose according to His good pleasure in time and in eternity, and that we justly owe Him all our thoughts, our words and our actions. Let us see that we do it!

 

Sixth.   We must study carefully which virtues we need most, those which are the most difficult to acquire, the sins into which we often fall, and the most frequent and inevitable occasions of our falls. We must run back to God with complete confidence when an occasion for spiritual warefare arises, remaining steadfast in the presence of His Divine majesty, humbly worshipping Him and presenting our miseries and afflictions to Him, and asking Him lovingly for the help of His grace. By doing this, in God we will discover all virtues without having any ourselves.

— Brother Lawrence

Don’t Hate…Just Don’t

The opposite of Hate is not tolerance.  I’m not even going to suggest the opposite of Hate is Love.  The opposite of Hate is an appropriate response that does the opposite of playing into the hands of the perpetrator and/or the evil one.  The family members who forgave and asked God’s forgiveness for the one who murdered the nine blessed church members last summer, did the opposite of Hate…and gave no power to the man’s cause and no power to the evil one.  And THAT is how it is done.

That situation was complex and not all family members bought into the Amazing Grace expressed in that courtroom and that is Fine and totally understandable.

An appropriate response to expressions and actions of evil can take many forms but does this one thing: it weakens the influence of evil.  Hope, faith, optimism, perseverance, kindness, gratitude, forgiveness, telling the truth, resolute conviction that Christ Won the battle on the Cross and Nothing can change that.  Nothing.

I would have a T-shirt that says “Love…Just Love” but the word “Love” is difficult to define; it is nebulous and covers a lot of expressions and actions.  But, you know Hate when you see it.  Hate has a smell.

Don’t Hate…just don’t go there.  Keep your mind on the good: think about the strong response of Christians and non-Christians alike…everywhere…who are showing compassion to the families of the ones who were killed.  If your emotions are over-powering, shift them to righteous indignation and rail against the evil one but do it in the Name of Christ and with the power of His blood.  No rancor.  Bless persecuted people, everywhere.  No spitting hate.  Praise the Almighty.  No condemnation.  Sing Hymns.  Don’t despair.  Hope in Life Everlasting.

I never thought I would praise ‘the media’ but when the media refuses to publicize actions performed to gain attention, they are doing the correct thing.  Do likewise.  Do not give your energy to evil.  Shift your reactions away from a negative response to a positive one…somewhere.

The bottom line:  the evil one wants us to hate, wants us to despair, wants us to be fearful and disheartened.  Do not give him the satisfaction.  Jesus Is Victorious.  He is With you.  The Holy Spirit will give you the words to say and the words to pray.  God is In Control.

Thanks be to God and to God be the Glory.

 

I bought the T-Shirt.  No, I really did.  I ordered two purple T-shirts with the words “Don’t Hate” on the front, and “Just Don’t” on the back.  I gave the second one to an engineering student who works at the Mall and is getting his degree at Clemson University.  If you are interested in getting a T-shirt like it, I ordered mine from Spreadshirt.

I Find Myself in the Fray

I would rather not go into the details of how I found myself in a battle between good and evil.  I will simply say, the evil side has lost..not because of anything I have done but because death and evil lost the battle when Christ died on the cross.  The battle is won; Christ is victorious.  Grace IS.

I repeat myself, but this is not heaven; this is the life before the afterlife.  This is where battles are fought, where the tribulation will take place.  But until the time when Christ returns and takes the righteous up with Him, there is still work to be done.  Many (most?) people do not grasp that Christ has won.  When they hear the news of persecution and evil atrocities, they become increasingly frightened and disheartened.  They find it harder and harder to believe. That discouragement must be countered with assurances that Christ has died; Christ has risen; Christ will come again.

Christianity, the -ism, is not what is worth fighting for; it is the spirit and well-being of the fearful and downtrodden that is what is worth fighting for.  Jesus did not say, “Defend Christianity.”  Jesus said to fight injustice and atrocities wherever they are found and to whomever they are inflicted.  Injustices and atrocities take place down the street from me, in cyberspace, as well as on the opposite side of the planet.  People around us, particularly the weak and poor, feel totally helpless to do anything about the bad news they hear.  They need to be reminded to pray, hold fast to their beliefs, and when in doubt, hunch up close to Jesus.

The battle is, and always has been, a physical, material, psychological, and spiritual one.  There are people to feed, clothe, and heal.  There are hearts to mend and spirits to bolster.  There are people displaced who need shelter.  But they also need hope…to believe that this is not the end.  And they need to know that God Loves Them.  No Exceptions.  Regardless of what they have done…and left undone.

Be vigilant; be shrewd, be careful.  Protect yourself and others with the Name and Blood of Jesus.  But KNOW that He is Victorious and our eternity is sealed.  Smile.  Beam with happiness and joy at the good news of Christ.  The worst thing we can do is to spread fear and repeat news that does nothing more than scare people.  That’s where the power of the evil one comes from: fear and discouragement.  God is Big, Powerful, and Good.  The evil one and his minions are not.  In the presence of Jesus, the evil one shrivels and slithers away.  Know this and share it with others.

Thanks be to God and to God be the Glory, for ever and ever.

And all God’s children said…

 

 

(The image at the top is borrowed from the Leonardo da Vinci website..  It is a copy of Peter Paul Reuben’s “The Battle of Anghiari”)