Friends,
It is absolutely alarming to watch, time and again, “Christian” friends making choices that are in direct disobedience to God’s Word.  I’m talking about friends that go to church and Bible studies, and who even have at least some kind of minimal ministry themselves in spreading the Gospel.  What is going on?!

I can only conclude that these people are not truly meditating on God’s Word in order to please Him, but for some other reason so as to bring themselves prestige or benefit.  Or maybe, like many, they are just reading a paragraph or so on the run.  Or maybe they are just not taking what they read and hear to heart, and are therefore not putting the Word to practice.  Whatever the problem, they are sinning –sinning by disregarding God’s Word as that which is to be fully, and at all times, obeyed.

Most of the world recognizes that Americans have a major problem with lust and greed.  They want and want, and they are never satisfied –whether in the area of sex, money, power, fame, or possessions.  For example, no matter how much fame a person has, they see that someone in the world has more than them, so they can’t be happy with what they do have.  If someone has a beautiful wife, there are so many other beauties out there, that the man wishes he could get away with having a bunch at his beckon call.  Of course I’m speaking in generalities, but unfortunately it’s more common than anyone wishes to admit.  I doubt anyone can deny that almost everyone around them seems to harbor some kind of insatiable thirst for more, and that they themselves secretly (or not so secretly) do as well.

I especially shake my head in sad amazement at the gullibility of women.  There are so many singles out there, and instead of waiting on the Lord to bring them the right spouse of His choosing, and having the faith to accept that God knows everything about everyone, their needs, their compatibility, and the partnerships that will best bring salt and light to a decaying world, they run ahead of the Lord’s plan, searching and trying and bringing themselves and others pain and disaster.  What this is, is a rejection of trust in the God who is perfectly capable of bringing good things to anyone who asks, trusts, and waits.  I am not saying that a person can’t investigate “leads”; I’m saying that the attitude must be, “Only by God’s voice on this, will I go forward with it.”  However, in spite of red flags, many, due to loneliness or desperation, go forward unwisely.

What’s happening with women, is that they (most Christian-claimers, at least) are desiring a genuine, healthy, and God-pleasing relationship with a man who also loves God and wants the same.  However, though the men are pretending they want this, it’s not what they want.  Honestly, who of us knows one single unmarried man, especially if he is over 30 years old, who is sold out for the Lord and has proved his purity over years?  Ha, –few!  Most of us know not one.  Let’s remember that faithfulness means proving to be faithful over time.

Women need to get wise.  Dear, the man likely does not think you are the best thing around as he’s saying.  Instead, he has other women in mind as well, should you not cater to his lusts.  If he has spoken to you about sexual things, what pray-tell do you think he wants you for?!  But he wants you not even so much as to get his “sexual needs” met, but to receive some relief from his intense desire to conquer.  Almost all men (except those fully submitted to the Lord) have a driving lust to conquer, and when they see they’ve been unable or inadequate to conquer something (or someone) they’ve wanted, they are most assuredly on the prowl for someone else to subdue –in order to prove their power and charm.  The harder the goal, and should they get it, the more powerful they’ve proved themselves to be in their own mind –and to their friends.  This, besides the fact that these guys want women who won’t deceive them, is the reason they like to go after “Christian” women.  Besides, they know they’ll have the support of the Scripture-twisting church, while they, archaic as it sounds, consider women to be inferior, even their possessions.

Furthermore, if these men are able to entice “Christian” women to lower their standards, they have actually considered themselves, though they likely don’t admit it even to themselves, that they have prevailed over God!  But God has seen, and His wrath will soon strike such men with a heavy blow.  Get away.  You don’t want to be anywhere near them when this happens!

Yes, I know the suave man is giving you that sweet-talk you so crave to hear.  Yes, I know he’s giving you gifts and taking you places and treating you like a queen when you are at church or out on the town with him.  Don’t be fooled.  Watch what happens if he soon sees that he cannot conquer you.  –He will either drop you flat, or he will resort to cruel games with a seething fury that can really hurt you.  Have you even bothered to ask his mother and sister and daughters about how he has treated them over the years –and asked his secretary and his ex-wife too?  Many men pretend they were the victims in the marriage, through the divorce… but if the truth is exposed, the facts prove differently.  And as soon as he’s seen that he’s fully conquered you, and has used you and become bored with you, he will leave you for another.  (No, sorry men, I’m not a man-hater, nor a feminist.  I’m speaking from what I’ve watched over and over and over.)

So, women, when that man –that “Christian” man– admits that he cannot help but have sex with the women he dates, –run!  And don’t look back.  Such a man is warped and self-condemned.  Such a man who lacks self-control now will lack self-control later –and in more areas than one.  Such a man is not the Christ-follower he claims to be.  Such a man is not the godly man you desire to be a helper to.  Such a man will not make you happy, but will eventually –if not sooner than you’d guess– leave your heart broken and full of anguish.

Get away from such deceivers, women, and seek wisdom in God’s Word.  Take His warnings and commands to heart.  Otherwise you should consider yourself no better than a prostitute –a woman who gives sexual favors outside of marriage in order to receive whatever it is she herself is desiring.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Tender Forgiveness

August 30, 2012

Friends,
There seems to be a virtue that many people, including those who promote holy living, are largely missing from their hearts and conduct.  It is tender forgiveness.  Even though the King readily and completely forgave us when we repented, and even though He canceled the huge debt we owed Him for having repeatedly committed rebellious acts against His Majesty and righteous laws, sometimes we seem to think that we are more entitled to being thus forgiven than someone who sins against us.  However, to have such an attitude is wickedness on our part and an endangerment to our eternal soul.  (Matt. 18:32-35)

“But the one who has sinned against me hasn’t repented,” someone may complain.  If this is the case, and if we have confronted that person in love, and continually borne mistreatment from them in patient hope for a change, there is a time to leave.  But even in doing so, we are called to be like Christ.  This means that we must keep our heart tender, forgiving, and ready to reconcile should God lead the person to repentance.

This is the attitude we must have toward all people –even the most perverse and vile and criminal.  Are we too holy to do otherwise?  Are we better than God?  It was when we were still God’s enemies that He died for us!  (Rom. 5:8)  Jesus was God Himself, in bodily form (Col. 2:9), giving Himself up to die like a pathetic wretch, upon a cruel cross, so that we could go free.  Sin’s debt is eternal punishment (Matt. 25:41,46 // Rom. 6:23) –a banishment from all that is pure and perfect and wonderful.  But in His tender-loving compassion, God made a way for sinners to go free –and live free.  He did it by purchasing us with His blood (Acts 20:28 // Rev. 1:5) and saving us from His own just wrath against sin.  (Rom. 5:9)

A person who is filled with the Spirit of God cannot help but, even while he confronts and rebukes and preaches hard against sin, weep with great pain over the lost rebels out upon the hills of misery and corruption.  Even though he gives Hell-fire messages by day, at night his hours are filled with groaning, his pillow wet with tears of intercession, his heart aching for those who have not yet come to repentance, who have not yet come to the Fountain of Comfort, of Peace, of Healing.  How can we look at them without wanting to wail?  How can we look at them, dressed as they are in their torn and sin-spattered clothes, their hands scraped and muddy with the slough of the pig trough they’ve been groping in, and not want to run to them, throw our arms around them, and lead them to the River of Cleansing?  That is our own son, is it not?!  If not, how can we say the Spirit of God dwells in us?!  Is that person not God’s child, rebel though he may be?  He is, though Satan has stolen him, yes, maybe even from birth.  But has God not bought back, ransomed back, all those whom Satan seized for his own?  The Lord has, though it’s true that many will never accept that the payment be applied to themselves.

But for the ones we know, for the ones we see, is our heart not filled with grief until they are restored?  Jesus came into the world to deliver sinners –even the worst!  (1 Tim. 1:15)  He did this because God loved, and loves, the world.  (John 3:16)  Have we forgotten this?  Has false doctrine replaced the Truth of Love in our hearts?  Why these signs that say, “God hates”?  Finish the sentence:  “God hates sin.”  God does not hate people, even the worst of sinners, even while they are sinning.  He abhors their sin, and yes, He detests the perverse man, but this He feels the same way we’d feel toward the son of our own womb who might walk in perversion.  If we can loathe a vile son while also knowing there is, deep down in our heart, a forever love for him, a longing to see him repent, a knowledge that if he did, we would cherish him as before, should we not believe that God, who is Love (1 John 4:16), feels the same way?

Even in His harsh rebuke and anger toward the Pharisees and teachers of the law, Jesus still turned immediately to weep over Jerusalem.  (Matt. 23:37)  He said He longed to gather those rebellious, unwilling-to-repent, violent murderers into His arms –under His wings like a mother hen does with her chicks!  (v. 34-37)  His heart can hardly bear the pain of having to, because of His justice, hand over His children who have rebelled against Him (Hosea 11:8) –hand them over to their own willful pursuit toward destruction.

Oh, how God pleads:  “Return faithless one.  I will punish you no longer, for I am merciful.  Only admit your guilt, your rebellion, your idolatry.  I am your Shepherd.  I am your Father.  How gladly I want to treat you as My son and give you a beautiful inheritance.  Return to Me and I will comfort you, heal you, and restore you to health.”  (See Jer. 3:12-14,19 & 30:17 w/ Isa. 57:17,18)

And what are we, His ambassadors, supposed to be doing?  Yelling at them?  Maybe, rarely, if they can’t hear our warnings otherwise… but it better be done with tears.  Better yet, aren’t we supposed to be going over to their gutter, taking a cool cloth to their wounds, and sitting there with them until they feel better, until they come back to their senses, until they can look up at us with tear-stained cheeks, and say quietly, “Tell me again what you were trying to say.  This time I’ll try to listen.”

Then one day, one miracle day, the rebel son will weep with genuine contrition before His tender-hearted Father, and the Father will kiss him repeatedly, hug him, wash him, put into him a new heart, mind, and spirit, and restore him to his rightful place –there beside Him, He who is the King of kings.

If God forgives like this, how can we, we who were once in the gutter ourselves, grant any less forgiveness?

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Blind Bible Scholars

August 29, 2012

Friends,
There are some doctrines within evangelicalism which, if not believed, are considered by the majority to make a person somewhat heretical.  Some of these non-negotiable doctrines are true, but there are at least two that are false.  These are “Once Saved, Always Saved” and “Calvinism”.  If someone admits that they do not believe one or both of these, he is often lectured and ridiculed, and if this doesn’t change his mind, he is marginalized like someone who refuses to believe, or at least doesn’t understand, the true Gospel.

So, to avoid this, what is the common response of those who disbelieve or question the validity of OSAS or Calvinism?  The common response appears to be silence, or even an attempt to try, in their own minds, to reconcile these false doctrines with God’s Word.  But what this shows, is that, to them, being accepted by men is more important than holding to the Truth.

What happens then, is that because few people are standing up to state that the OSAS and Calvinism doctrines are not part of true Christianity, the timidity spreads and so then does the falsehood itself and people’s ignorance.  For when a lie is allowed to flourish, the more people it will deceive.

How is this situation any different than when the Truth was first being preached by Jesus and the apostles?  We read that back then many people believed in Jesus, but because they were intimidated by the teachers of the law, and because they did not want to be put out of the synagogue, they kept their beliefs quiet.

But do scholars of Scripture always know the Truth?  Did the scribes, Pharisees, and teachers of the law in Jesus’ day recognize the One whom the Scriptures were referring to –the very Scriptures they’d been studying so diligently?  No, they didn’t.  They were completely blinded by their own arrogance and sin, and they thus opposed, hated, and eventually killed the Messiah.  But they were wrong –because their doctrine was wrong, unrighteous, and of the devil.

Let the grave error of those Scripture-teachers be a warning to us all.  Let us take heed and not allow some other “scholar” to teach us the Truth of the Gospel, but instead study God’s Word on our own, in depth, and by the anointing of the Spirit of God.  And when we find out the false doctrines that are being taught within Christianity, let us stand up boldly, and in the Spirit of the Lord, expose these religious falsehoods and faithfully proclaim only the Truth.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

His Forever

August 28, 2012

Friends,
A song of worship the Lord gave me yesterday:

Jesus is… my Blessed King.
Full of splendor, You are.
Mighty God, the Prince of Peace,
Take me in You arms of love.

My Song, O Lord, You are,
My Rest, my Fortress, My High Tower.
My Comforter amid the stormy blast,
My Delight, my Strength, my Crown forever.

Always in Your loving care, O Lord,
I want to stay and hear Your voice,
Ever listening to You… and doing what you say,
Lord, for I love You and Your Word.

Lord God Almighty,
You are the One I need,
Please be near, O God, my Savior King.

Lord God Almighty,
You are the One I seek,
For You are the Treasure beyond all comprehension.

Glorious… compassionate… reigning in Your majesty.
Yet You stoop to come to me,
And whispering of Your love,
I hear I am redeemed.

Thank you… thank you…
Thank you… thank you…
Because of this… I want to say,
Lord, I am Yours forever…

Hallelujah… thank you…

Friends,
About jogging, there’s something I’ve always taken note of. It’s that the first lap or so is the hardest, and that if I can get beyond it, the rest of the course is almost easy. So what do I do if that initial part makes me feel like quitting? I slow down or even walk for a while. Instead of giving up I just give my body a break, a rest, and a chance to catch up to my mind’s determination to complete the goal. Then, for some reason, be it physical or phycological, I’m able to start jogging again, and can often then jog for miles if I choose. Of course wisdom keeps me from normally doing this since I don’t want to later pay by having cramps or shin splints because of not letting my body work up to that distance.

I believe we can apply this insight to other areas of life. For example, many schools begin their first day of their year today. So that means many teachers, kids, parents, bus drivers, etc. are likely going to have a stressful, maybe even chaotic, day. Even the whole week may be hard. However, it will help to keep in mind that it is the first lap which drains us, making us think we can’t go on, but that if we relax, grant forgiveness for mistakes, and not require perfection, the next lap will be easier, and the next after that even more so. Then soon we will be sailing along, knowing we can endure many miles or many days.

This applies to the Christian hike as well. The first few weeks may seem hard. –Hard to eliminate all the bad habits, worthless activities, corrupt friends, unhelpful thought patterns, and whatever else is getting in the way of pleasing God to the fullest. What should we do? We should give ourselves breaks, rests, and forgiveness. I don’t mean breaks so that we go back to sin, but I mean breaks in our striving, our sprint, our climb, our intensity. We should not think we can be Olympians immediately. We should not try to do routines that are for another level, but instead, at the onset, take some slow walks, sit down, relax, and just take joy in knowing we have a loving and kind-hearted Heavenly Father. If we pace ourselves wisely, then we will not discourage ourselves, but will be able to remain committed. Soon we will see that we’ve been growing stronger, and soon we will rejoice to see the first bloom of the flowers of future spiritual fruit.

The goal of jogging is to get our body and mind fit and healthy. The goal for our Christian life is the same –to be spiritually fit and healthy –and by God’s standards, not our own. God’s goal for us is perfection. (Matt. 5:48 // 1 Peter 1:15,16) However, so that we don’t give up during the first lap or so, let’s be wise and pace ourselves, taking rests, or going at a slower speed. And should we stumble, more precautions should be made, asking God to show us what they might be. (–More time in the Word, more sleep, more laughter, more alone-time, more outdoor meditation… or elimination of things that, even though they may be good things, keep us too busy or spent.)

So, when a task seems too difficult, when holiness seems way too far out of reach, when weariness or discouragement engulfs us like a smothering weight, let’s just take a rest, wait patiently for our strength and joy to return, and then get up and go forward, being more careful and wise and tolerant, but always determined to reach the goal.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

_______,
I was saddened to read your email. Yes, the police, as a whole, are not good and honorable people themselves and therefore often harass evangelists. Definitely some of them, as well as some other evangelists, have been those who have tried to be at enmity with me. However, I am of the belief that we are to try our best not to engage in words with anyone who is acting rude, hostile, or getting angrier and angrier. I’m sure that standing outside an abortion clinic or some X-rated place is more stressful than what I do, but I believe we are to be full of grace and compassion even to those who are perverts and murderers. (Col. 4:5,6) Many of them are acting out of fear, stress, anxiety, shame, hopelessness, etc., and we must tell them that what they are doing is against God’s Royal Law of Love and that it is murder and perversion. But we must tell them exactly the way we’d want to be approached if we were feeling polarized and were living in inner turmoil or home chaos.

I do not agree with many of the ways other street evangelists, preachers, and activist “Christians” are behaving. We live in a country that gives freedom of religion and speech, but with reasonable limits attached. There is no way we’d want Muslims or Wiccans or J.W.s or other cults yelling at every corner or forcing us to chant, practice yoga, recite verses from the Book of Mormon, or pray to the American Indian’s “Great Spirit” every morning in school. Many in the Christian Right are acting in a self-centered manner. If they don’t wake up themselves to what they are doing, we will soon lose the many freedoms we do have. Many are ungrateful and need to remember that the whole world is depraved, under the control of the devil (1 John 5:19), and that in spite of it, we, especially in America, are blessed with blessings too numerous to count. Besides, we overcome evil with good deeds, with words of blessing, with love, and with prayer (Luke 6:27-31 // Rom. 12:14-21), not with anger, hateful looks, or condescending attitudes. (Luke 6:41,42 // 2 Tim. 2:23-26 // James 3:9-18)

I’m not saying at all that you or your group are not being loving and doing it the way Jesus would. I’m saying that I am beginning to feel hesitant to tell what I do –or even continue to do it– because it is becoming known for rude behavior, anger, hate, condescension, and defiance to the laws of the state. This is alarming, especially when I viewed the video links of the street preachers having yelling matches with people while others refused to move to another corner as the officer repeatedly requested. When that young preacher got arrested are we supposed to think he is some kind of hero? He’s not. When certain people requested that Jesus leave their area, He did (Mark 5:15-19) and Jesus teaches us to do the same. (Luke 9:5) Besides this, God’s Word teaches us to obey government laws if, in doing so, we do not violate God’s moral laws. (Rom. 13:1,2) It also teaches us to spread the Truth, but to do so with humble, polite, considerate conduct. We are not to proclaim the Gospel for the sake of boldness, or to prove to our friends that we are some courageous hero, but in order to soften hearts so that people will repent and turn to their loving Creator.

I finally was able to look at that news website you sent me and read the article about M___ being harassed as he street-preached. My opinion is that preachers who go to festivals or Muslim prayer rallies to preach about Christ must consider themselves to be hecklers themselves. Would we want some Muslim coming to our prayer rallies and loudly preaching that we are going to Hell? And to preach at an exceedingly sinful festival is, it seems to me, to be a very unwise choice. For most people going to such entertainments have closed their hearts off from God, at least for the time being, and to instead preach where people are hurting, or weary of sin, or relaxed, or alone, will more likely prove to contain open hearts. To waste efforts, money, and time on deaf ears when there are plenty of ripe fields, seems unwise. I just don’t read in God’s Word where preachers went to pagan festivals to spread the Gospel. I do often wonder if such modern evangelists get some kind of sick delight in seeing the perversion for themselves and in being immersed in the debauchery up close and personal. Or maybe they’re just trying to be heroic; but that is pride, a sin abhorrent to the Lord.

Furthermore, I believe that we should stop giving lewd hecklers and activists news attention and that we should instead get on our knees and intercede for them until they’re transformed. If people would stop putting them in the news, they’d likely quit their ridiculous endeavors. I grew up with Agta women topless everywhere. It wasn’t anything nasty to them, though to show one’s thighs is what, to them, is lewd –yet some Americans were insensitive to that! So I’m saying that it’s not the end of the world if some people want to act like fools and degrade themselves in a culture that deems something shameful. Leave them alone and they should figure it out for themselves that they are the fools strutting around like the imbecile in the story of “The Emperor and His New Clothes”.

From that website I also clicked on the site belonging to this preacher and his teammate. I was approached by these two guys and another one in their team at the Dallas Dart Train Station a year or so ago. Though R___ was a soft-spoken guy, I was not at all impressed by M___. He looked at me suspiciously from the moment his teammate introduced us, and when he read my tract, all he could do was rebuke me for not having something on it about repentance. I explained that I write and hand out different tracts every time because I often see the same people and I’m trying to encourage them to follow Christ and cast their cares on Him. I explained that many of my tracts do speak about repentance and holy living, but there’s also only so much I can say in my one or two short paragraph tracts. However, M___ just continued to treat me as inferior to him, so I ignored him the rest of the afternoon. I still wonder how many people are led away from the Lord by such aggressive behavior, and how much better evangelists could shine the Truth if all would take an honest look at themselves and their own conduct. We are to have compassion on the crowds but to be wary of those who preach hate and pride.

I was invited this month by another evangelist to preach with him at a certain location where I knew people would be standing in lines to get in a door. I said I’d pray about it, and after I did, I felt the Lord reminding me that He has not called me to preach where people can’t escape from my voice. At the bus and train stops people can walk away and still wait for their ride, or I might lift up my voice for less than 3 minutes as people are filing past me into the bus. True, I used to do it for much longer, but over the last two years I’ve hardly even preached, but have instead gone back to my old way of evangelizing –tracts and one-on-one witnessing and prayer, (while also wearing signs, which helps to advertise that I’m available).

Yes, we are to get the message of Jesus out to the masses –to the streets and places they’re at. But we must do so with tact, with compassion, with humility, and with consideration –the way we’d want it done for us. (Luke 6:31)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Waiting

August 25, 2012

Friends,
When we are waiting for God to fulfill a promise He has made to us, or when we are waiting for His instructions concerning a certain matter, or when we are waiting for Him to bring us the right job, spouse, or home, or when we are living with any kind of uncertainty, we should wait with calm and cheerful patience. We should not wait with inactivity, however, but instead be doing whatever good our hand finds to do. Is there a task God has already given us to do in the meantime? Then we should do it with all our strength as unto Him and take delight in the present –even if we are encountering great trials, and even as we continue to anticipate what God will lead us to do in the future.

Many people seem so obsessed with wondering about their futures that they can’t enjoy their present season; they can’t enjoy the moment they are in right then. Instead of appreciating a beautiful scene they’re passing, or instead of enjoying a lovely person in front of them, many people will be lost in thought, or worries, or texting as they make plans for next week. The future is so on their minds that they can’t stop and enjoy each moment.

Besides this, many people seem to think it’s okay to just sit back and wait for God to make His will known or make the promise or the miracle come about. No, there are almost always steps we ourselves must take –studying, going, making efforts… If we have done all we can, and there’s nothing more to do about it, then instead of flopping down onto the sofa and turning into a potato, we need to look about us, take note of others’ needs, and meet those needs. Does someone need a friend? Then befriend him. Take him regularly to a coffee shop, the library, a fishing hole… Does someone need a ride to the grocery store? Then take her. Do you have a vegetable garden? Then bring the lonely neighbor a basket of freshly picked home-growns with a Scripture verse on a friendly notecard.

The best thing to do while we’re waiting on God is to seek to love both Him and others fervently. And the way we do this is to give of our time and our energy –to worship God and to learn His Word, and to shine out Christ in every way possible, enjoying the present to the full.

And later? –When the Lord has brought our futures into our present? Well, we will look back on that past –the season through which we waited patiently, trustingly, and obediently… the season through which we found numerous other blessings to take hold of… the season through which we learned valuable lessons and priceless insights that we now incorporate into our ministries… and we thank God over and over that we did not lay down in discouragement and wait with idleness. For what we did as we waited was actually what, in the long run, brought about the Lord’s will for our lives.

There’s no reason, then, to be at all discouraged or afraid, even if we’ve been waiting what seems a very long time.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel