Friday, August 21, 2015

Deal Breakers

Pardon me while I go off on a rabbit trail here - Bear with me, I promise I have a point.  

Back in the 80s there was a TV sitcom, can’t even recall the name, where in I learned a valuable lesson. The story line of the week was focused on the character who was a middle-aged humorless office manager being attracted to a woman who had come to do business with the firm. They were like two peas in a pod. Pragmatic, practical, logical. Both lacked passion equally but these qualities in each other attracted one to the other.

As the show progressed their relationship advanced to the marital contract stage where, at the end, they sat down in the office across from each other to negotiate. They each made a list of priorities. Things they expected, things they were willing to compromise on and finally the things that could break the deal. 

Of course, it was a comedy and consummately funny to witness the rapid, professional interaction of two people trying to find middle ground for a personal relationship as though it was only a dry business deal. As each tossed out the items on their list, it appeared they were coming to terms. And then, the deal breakers were put in play. Stalemate. In the end, they shook hands and parted, agreeing that the relationship could go no further.

[Cut to commercial]

I’ve thought about this fictional story and the buried wisdom in it many times in the last thirty years. I’ve watched people I love, blinded by passion, enter into unhealthy relationships because they weren’t willing to call out and name the deal breakers. The things one ought to know at the get go. And, consummate philosopher that I am I can see this in a larger frame.

Years ago a friend of mine was trapped in an abusive marriage and she often came to me to talk and vent as she was reordering the course of her life. She said something to me that I never forgot. She pointed out that girls, in particular, make a list of ten things they want in a mate. Then they look for these qualities as they are questing for their perfect life partner. She said, that’s the big mistake. Everyone, guys and gals, need to make a list of the top five things they cannot live with. I could add the list could even be longer given the culture we live in now.

But how profound! Think about it. You want what you want and sometimes you are willing to make allowances for the things that disturb you because the rest or most of the top ten criteria is met. And while it’s true, there’s no such thing as perfection, and no merger was ever launched with two perfect people, there are things that should not be overlooked - ever.

Someone commented to me recently there ought to be a list of red flags and warning bells. I replied that it’s been my experience that people don’t want to hear about red flags and warning bells when they are falling into someone or something else.  The human psyche is complex but highly predictable. We dismiss what we don't want to see when we are very much wanting something else we think we see.  

And this is the great frustration for me, because I am looking at a more incompassing picture here of how easy it is to dupe sheep. We are ripe for the picking. And that means in many areas, not just relationships. 

Not to put too fine a point on it there are red flags and warning bells. All over the place. There are deal breakers already on the table. Who is paying attention? Christ said that those who chose not to see would be blinded on purpose, ‘lest they see”. I take this to heart and admonish anyone and all to make your lists of the things you can not live with or abide by. Regardless in what category. 

Who are you willing to compromise with?

For Him,

2 Thessalonians 2:10-12…and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. (11)For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, (12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Brain Dead

I  called to make a grooming appointment for Auri. I’ve been taking him to the same place for five years. They, as they should, insist that his rabies vaccine is up to date. 

No problem. 

This year, though, we were on vacation when his annual shot came up for renewal. I had forgotten. I called to make a grooming appointment and they informed me that his records showed his shots were expired. I made an appointment to get the shots. 

Then, a few days later, I made an appointment for the grooming. I was told his shots were expired, I happily said they had just been done. I was then told to bring the paperwork. 

No problem.

This was back in late June. June 29th to be exact. Auri’s shots expired on June 26th. I showed the new paperwork, he was groomed. 

No problem.

Today, when I called for a grooming appointment I was told his shots had expired on June 26th. I replied that his shots were up to date, and furthermore they should have a record of his last grooming on June 29th. 

[Pause here while person looks up record.] 

Yes, she could see he was groomed on June 29th but that the information in the computer showed his shots were expired as of June 26th.

Now, at this point, I want to argue, with every fiber of my being. I want to ask the person if she understands that his last grooming could not have taken place on June 29th if his shots expired on June 26th. But, frankly, what is the point? I will produce the documents again and perhaps the person putting in the information will update the information. 

Perhaps I will just need to keep the documents in my purse.

But still I have to wonder - what has happened to logical thinking? Our brains are officially dead, or at least reconfigured to stop thinking when numbers and data appear on a screen, as though this is definitive, unarguable information. 

You might think I am over-reacting here.  I am just too old. Cranky even. But I remember when someone might have said, “Wait a minute... there must be a mistake here.” Instead of saying - “I don’t know what to tell you, it says here the shots are expired... .”

Like it or don’t, this is a problem.

For Him,


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Call To Prayer

The following prayer request came in my inbox. I’m posting it here for two reasons.

1. To ask that you pray for these Christians.
2. To warn you not to be foolishly complacent believing it can never happen here.

Pay attention. 

For Him,


Prayer Request from Dan and Marilyn Wilson.  Missionaries who are in the areas that are being attacked by ISIS are asking to be showered in prayer. ISIS has taken over the town they are in today. He said ISIS is systematically going house to house to all the Christians and asking the children to denounce Jesus. He said so far not one child has. And so far all have consequently been killed. But not the parents. The UN has withdrawn and the missionaries are on their own. They are determined to stick it out for the sake of the families even if it means their own deaths. They are very afraid, have no idea how to even begin ministering to these families who have had seen their children martyred. Yet he says he knows God has called them for some reason to be His voice and hands at this place at this time. Even so, they are begging for prayers for courage to live out their vocation in such dire circumstances. And like the children, accept martyrdom if they are called to do so. These brave parents instilled such a fervent faith in their children that they chose martyrdom. Please surround them in their loss with your prayers for hope and perseverance. 

One missionary was able to talk to her brother briefly by phone. She didn't say it, but I believe she believes it will be their last conversation. Pray for her too. She said he just kept asking her to help him know what to do and do it. She told him to tell the families we ARE praying for them and they are not alone or forgotten -- no matter what. Please keep them all in your prayers. 

This came this morning...Just a few minutes ago I received the following text message on my phone from Sean Malone who leads Crisis Relief International (CRI). We then spoke briefly on the phone and I assured him that we would share this urgent prayer need with all of our contacts. 

"We lost the city of Queragosh (Qaraqosh). It fell to ISIS and they are beheading children systematically. This is the city we have been smuggling food to. ISIS has pushed back Peshmerga (Kurdish forces) and is within 10 minutes of where our CRI team is working. Thousands more fled into the city of Erbil last night. The UN evacuated its staff in Erbil. Our team is unmoved and will stay. Prayer cover needed!" Please pray sincerely for the deliverance of the people of Northern Iraq from the terrible advancement of ISIS and its extreme Islamic goals for mass conversion or death for Christians across this region.


In this world we will face tribulation, persecution and fiery trials—"without were fightings, within were fears," according to Paul (2 Corinthians 7:5). We will be tempted, we will suffer for the sake of Christ, and the winds of adversity will try to topple the house of faith we build on the Rock of our salvation—Jesus—but we will walk in peace because of Him. 
~ David Wilkerson

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

One More Thing

Okay, it’s not another thing - it’s the same old thing. I’m a broken record, repeating over and over, trapped in one groove. However, I’m not completely alone. I recognize the same frustration in others who have been sounding the warnings for more years than I. 

It is very much like screaming in a vacuum, where you can see your mouth moving forming words that cannot be heard. But it’s not just that no one can hear, the angst comes from knowing that no one is listening, no one wants to hear that we are past the point of no return. And I, along with others, like Michael Boldea and Chip Brogden, and some who have already gone on to meet the Lord leaving behind solid Christ-focused teachings, have said in every way I know how that the day does come when you do pass the point of no return. The point in which there’s no going back, no reset, no slowing, stopping or reversing it now. 

That day has come. I can’t find a way to say it any other way. 

Recently I received a forwarded email from someone who thought I would appreciate the message there in. It was a ‘prophetic’ word from a pair of modern day self appointed end days prophets who run a ‘prophet school’ (whatever that is). The gist of the message was about God soon revealing what a glorious and amazing thing is about to unfold on mankind and souls being won over in a flash of turn around. 

Really? Honestly, that would be wonderful but I don’t find that in Scripture though, certainly not in Revelation. What I find is trouble and tribulation and ‘they repented not’.

Unfortunately, based on first hand personal experience with this kind of feel good prophesying I can tell you what is wrong with it, not that I wouldn’t love to believe it. First, scrolling slightly down the page, there are advertisements for jewelry and books and CDs and Videos. Red flag. Secondly the ‘God said’ technique of playing the higher authority card is the biggest red flag. How can one argue against another saying ‘God told me’ or ‘thus sayeth the Lord’?

Here’s the part where the frustration comes in: I knew it was useless to respond to the sender of the email that I see right through this kind of thing. First of all, speaking out does not cause critical thinking to commence and instead instantly labels me as a cynical doomer. You see, I ought to be thinking positively not negatively. Right. So, this shuts me down. How do I tell others that those who are making millions telling people what they want to hear rather than what they should be paying attention to are at high risk for being blind-sided? 

How do I make others understand that selling hope coupled with fear couched in hidden agenda is the worst kind of deluding. But that’s exactly where the wolves-in-sheep’s-clothing get their hooks in. Because, of course, people want to believe that there is hope, that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I get that completely. But what if these good news merchandise peddlers simultaneously warn of catastrophe even as they counter offer with hope only as a way to keep customers? Like a famous, once disgraced, TV evangelist who is selling solar generators for a mere $3500 donation to his ministry. A banner runs across the bottom of the Youtube video as he is explaining with terrifying graphics, that we could be nearing a time when increased volcanic activity could block the sun and launch solar winter. 

Tell me again how a $3500 solar generator can generate power when there is no sun?

It’s gotten so bad that even when we recognize the truth about the humanist self-help preachers/gurus who rake in millions and are responsible for leading so many away from the Gospel, we hesitate to speak out rather than be accused of being ‘unloving’, ‘judgmental’, and - heaven forbid - gloomy! 

Are things going to get better? Yes. Before they get worse? No. 

If you’re still reading - okay, so now what? Where do we go from here? What if we decide to get real and stop being sheep? What shall we pray for, brace ourselves for? Who do we believe/trust? 

I have personally found T. Austin-Sparks’ teachings to be timeless and foundational. 

Be strong in the Lord, relying on His mighty strength. (Ephesians 6:10 ISV)
“I can only remind you again of what a large place that has in the Word of God: be strong, be strong in the Lord in the strength of His might, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. Think again. Want to understand why the winds are allowed to blow so fiercely... the storms? To get us away from that natural, easy-going-ness or cheapness, lightness, frivolousness and to make us people of weight. Strength – through testing, through adversity – strength... to endure throughout all ages. There is much which is going to be carried away in the last great testing, and if, therefore, trial and adversity is the only way to deepen us, to put caliber into us, I suppose we must expect more of it as the time shortens.”
For Him,

(Matthew 7:15) Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves.  (7:16) By their fruits ye shall know them. Do [men] gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?