My offering for this week’s challenge: A Cloud Sandwich
To participate visit HERE.
My offering for this week’s challenge: A Cloud Sandwich
To participate visit HERE.
My darkest night has come,
The sorrow is so deep.
My grieving heart’s entombed —
So empty it can’t weep.
The storm around me rages,
And uses up my strength.
While memories and images
Besiege my mind at length.
But through the savage gale,
A voice so sweet and clear,
Rings out and then prevails;
Bids me let Him draw near.
For in His lovely presence,
The howling winds of grief
Stand still. His very essence
Is all-consuming peace.
His light condemns the darkness
And forces its retreat.
The night to dawn must hearken,
And death to Life concede.
photo: pixabay.com, monikabaechler
I simply have no sympathy for you.
You’ve played loose and wild for many years.
Stolen hearts and broken homes amassed;
You’ve been the fear of many wives for years.
I simply have no sympathy for you.
In my opinion — and in those I hear —
You’ve fin’ly gotten justice rightly earned,
And you’re the one, at last, drowning in tears.
I have a little news: In celebration of REPAIRED BY LOVE coming to Amazon in paperback, St. Ellen Press is offering a special one-week sale on the e-book version of that novel.
So from now until midnight next Sunday, September 17 (Central Daylight Savings Time) the e-book will be $1.99.
If you like reading on your Kindle, iPad, phone, or computer, you’ll probably prefer this version anyway. Personally, I have to admit that I really like holding a book in my hands, but don’t let me discourage any e-book readers out there from taking advantage of this surprise sale.
Buy it, buy it, buy it!!! HERE
The state of Florida, as well as the whole southeastern coast of the United States, has been preparing this week to face one of the most horrendous storms in the century. Our Gulf Coast — particularly Texas — is currently trying to recover from a storm almost as devastating. I have friends and family in both places, and their well-being is a priority in my heart. I live in the Heartland of the United States. Most years during the spring and fall, when our seasons undergo a major change, our section of the country, along with the section to the south and east of us, experiences frequent occurrences of severe weather. In recent years, there have been some devastating storms that brought hundreds of deaths and destruction to massive portions of the Midwest.
When horrific events like these killer storms develop, there are a number of people who automatically suppose that God is behind those events — or that He deliberately allows them as a way of teaching or punishing the people on earth. Nothing could be further from the truth, and in response to a number of misguided comments on that subject, by both Christians and non-Christians, I am posting this article in an effort to clear the record and bring to light the truth — both about devastating storms and about God.
Jesus said, in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.”
And there you have it, friends. Those words say it all. That one statement by Jesus gives us the definitive answer to the question of whether hurricanes, tornadoes, and other “killer storms” are from God. Do they kill? Do they destroy? Then according to Jesus Christ Himself, they are not from God. Where do they come from? They come from an aberration and twisted use of the natural elements that is orchestrated by Satanic power in operation on this earth.
God made all natural elements, including the elements of weather, to be a blessing to man. And even in Psalm 8, He tells us that man is to rule over “all the works” of God’s hands. But man rebelled against God and His purposes in the garden, and listened to Satan instead. His actions in response to Satan put man in a position of subservience to the devil, and that sin opened the door to a curse that would effect all of the created earth. (Gen. 3 / Rom. 8). When man gave Satan the right to operate in this earth, Satan then moved into a position of being able to take hold of any of the natural elements, adulterate them, twist them, and use them to inflict evil upon mankind — and the planet itself. He operates this way on a regular basis and then tries to convince the world that God causes it all. That’s Satan’s M.O.
However, that is not the last word in the story. God’s Covenant with man — which He calls a “covenant of peace” (Is.54) — restored man’s right to rule over the elements again — only through that covenant — and to take authority over those demonic powers. Even in the Old Covenant, the Lord expected His faithful servants to know how to use that authority over the natural elements. When Jesus is with His disciples in the boat, they are all still living and operating under the Old Covenant with God. But notice that when they are struck by a severe storm (Matt.8), He tells them that they are showing a serious lack of faith in responding in fear rather than authority. He finally stills the storm for them, but at the same time, He asks them “Where is your faith?”
Please note that He did not say, “God sent this storm as judgement for the evil that’s been going on.” Nor did He say, “God is sending this storm to test your faith.” We can’t believe two contradictory things at the same time, friends. We either believe these horrible storms are from the hand of God — or we believe Jesus and recognize them as an evil that we are supposed to take authority over.
As part of the New Covenant, Jesus literally bought back man’s right to govern in the earth as He was intended to do. We as believers are made the Body of Christ, and since the government is now upon His shoulders – His body – us – we are supposed to be “governing.” (Is. 9). The devil still has the right that man gave him to operate in this earth, but we now have absolute power and authority to bind his power and activity wherever we will make the effort.
Since the finished work of Jesus, we are now literally in the highest position of authority on this planet. Philippians 2 says that every created thing — in heaven, on earth, and under the earth — must bow its knee to and obey the name of Jesus Christ. Do we believe that? Ephesians 1 says that Jesus reins over all principalities and powers and that He is the head of His body – which is the Church. If we are His body, and all things are “under His feet,” then all things are under us as well. Do we believe that? Jesus made it so clear: “Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall injure you.”
We now have the blood-bought spiritual authority living in us to take command over every natural thing. All natural things were created by a Spirit God, and they will respond to the commands of the Spirit God in us.
What do we do with that authority? In Mark 11 — as well as several other scriptures in the Gospels — Jesus says that if we will speak to a mountain or a tree and tell it to move, and not doubt in our hearts, but believe that it will come to pass, we will have what we say. And He clearly demonstrated that the same action works with a storm. Do we believe Him?
Unfortunately, some Christians seem to think that all natural calamities are some kind of judgment from God. There will certainly come a time for God’s judgment to be unleashed — at the end — but that time is not now, if we are to believe the commission of Jesus Christ to His church. Jesus said twice in the Gospel of John that He did NOT come to judge the world, but to save it. He then told His disciples, and all of those who would become disciples, to follow His specific examples and continue to carry on that work of taking the Gospel to the world. That being the case, we need to get into agreement with Jesus and say God is not judging right now; He is delivering the grace and mercy of the Gospel of salvation.
HOWEVER: We do need to be aware that when a nation or a people deliberately throw God’s Word in His face and deliberately take a stand or practice things that God clearly says are against Him and His ways, they are literally opening the door to an attack from demonic power. When we do those things, we set ourselves up for that attack — even invite it. God isn’t sending it, but it will come. But even in that kind of situation, God has repeatedly shown mercy and turned destruction away from people — even in the Old Covenant — because faithful believers prayed and took a stand of faith.
Many times in my own life, I have experienced the power of God’s Word and the name of Jesus Christ taking authority over destructive storms, and as a result, I’ve seen those storms dissipated, turned away, and or destroyed. Many other believers have experienced the same thing. And yes, I’m talking about deadly tornadoes and hurricanes as well as severe thunderstorms.
But when you are facing a huge battle, sometimes you need a huge, united front to win. The need in this nation is for a strong united front of faith on the part of the Christian believers to stand in authority against these deadly storms and weather systems. This whole massive movement of deadly, destructive weather is nothing but a spiritual war being waged by demonic forces, using natural elements. We must learn to recognize it as such and command the demonic forces to take their hands off — and command those elements to obey the purposes of God in the name of Jesus Christ.
Come on, Church! Rise up and take your authority! If true believers in this nation will unite in faith, take a strong stand on God’s Word, and take authority over these destructive storms in the name of Jesus Christ, the storms and elements of weather have no choice but to obey.
Created by feet of Shoshone buffalo hunters, the trail had eventually become a stage coach road. But today, Hiram Baker plodded it alone – hungry, thirsty, bone-weary. His horse had given out two days ago, and all that kept him going was the love of a blue-eyed woman waiting for him beyond that mountain range. Cecilia had promised to marry him as soon as he was released from prison. Eight years could change a woman’s heart … but he knew Cecilia. Her heart could feel his, and those blue eyes would see him as he crossed over the summit.
Follow this link to participate in this week’s Friday Fictioneers and share your own 100-word story.
Composed in memory of my dearest friend, who went from this life 10 days ago — much too soon and too quickly: Kent Bartholomew Mann (1957-2017).
Yes, it’s just a little book — only 68 pages — but it’s the first book I’ve ever done that’s totally devoted to cinquain. As most of you, my readers, know, I fell in love with this unique American poetic form a couple years ago, and since then I’ve written cinquain on almost every subject under the sun.
So if you enjoy poetry — and having fun with it — you’ll probably enjoy this book. It was just launched today on Amazon. You’ll find a very short sample on the Amazon site, and many of you have read most of the poems that are in it as I’ve created them and published them individually on this very blog. But so many were written a couple years ago, that I don’t think you’ll find it boring to revisit them —- that is if you enjoy that form of poetry to begin with.
Anyway, you can find the book HERE in paperback for only $4.95. (I should probably tell you that some of the poems have accompanying pictures, and the Amazon sample shows those pictures in color. However, the actual book has black & white pics.)
I lost my very best friend last night. Kent Bartholomew Mann. He was killed in a bicycling accident just a few hours after we’d been working together editing one of my books. For many years, he was a constant support and encouragement to me in my writing and my ministry, and the loss is much deeper than words can convey. I’m sharing this picture because it is of the gingerbread house he put together just a few years ago because he had always wanted to do one as a kid but never had. So in his mid-fifties, he decided it was time. For me, it represents so many of the positive things that were part of his character and personality.
I appreciate your prayers.
Both day and night.
No time for normal stuff
Like keeping up to date with blogs.
That very soon
Stressful pace will slow down
And I can visit online friends.
Sometimes it’s the simplest things that make our life happy. Each time I look at this picture of the donkey, I find myself smiling. I wrote this story some time back in response to a flash fiction challenge, but I found myself thinking about this picture as I pondered my “smile” this week, so I decided to share Clover’s story here.
Clover nuzzled the sweet-smelling ground cover that had inspired her name. She lived here now, on Old Jake’s homestead, having stumbled onto it by accident – or by Divine intervention – after being beaten by her previous owner and barely escaping. Limping through the stormy night, she’d eventually collapsed in this sweet-smelling field.
Next morning, Jake had found her, huddled in pain and traumatized by her injuries. He’d bathed her wounds, fed her, petted her, and made her his own. She had the run of the farm, but her favorite spot was this field of sweet clover where she spent quiet days being grateful to Old Jake for his love.
To participate in ‘Weekly Smile’ visit “Trent’s World.”