Dangerous Dragons

1 07 2013

The island countertop lay askew, having been ripped from its cabinet. Shattered glass lay everywhere; the front of the microwave was smashed in. Lemonade dripped from the curtains. It had been a loud, horrible fight, the worst one to date.

Three of my sons had high-tailed it outside when the battle began. I stormed out of the house to find them. I’d had it. We were “so out of here.”

As was my custom, I took my kids to my parents’ home to figure out what I was going to do next. The song, “Watch Me” played nonstop in my head.

(Note to self: pick better theme songs. I’d been singing this one to myself every day for about a year. It’s chorus begins, “If you think I won’t go, watch me. Watch me prove you wrong today.” No big surprise, here I was “proving him wrong.”)

During the next two weeks, I located a house I could rent, and was making preparations to move there. Just before signing paperwork, my husband called to see what I was up to. I “waved my little hand and whispered, ‘So long, Dearie. You ain’t gonna see me anymore.’ “

Seriously? I thought to myself after his call. If I leave, this will be marriage number four down the drain. Do I really want this?

No. I’m tired of being a failure.

Not knowing what else to do, I contacted the pastor at a local church and discussed our situation with him. He suggested my husband and I talk to him before filing for divorce.

We did, agreed to a truce, and I moved back home.

Through a series of events, we left that church and began attending the one we still call “ours” fourteen years later.

One day I was talking with our pastor, John Morrill (who lives with Jesus now). There was something that had been weighing on my mind, and I wanted to get his take on the matter.

“Pastor John, our decor is Asian. Consequently, we have a lot of dragons around our house. I know that they are worshiped in other cultures, but we don’t do that. Is it okay to have them?”

He thought for a minute, then said, “Do you know who the dragon is in the Bible?”

“Yes,” I responded. “It’s Satan.”

“Okay. That’s right. I’m glad you know that,” he said. “Well then, the only other thing I can show you from the Bible is this verse right here. It says, ‘Whatever you do, if it is not of faith, then for you it is sin.’ You’ll have to decide what to do with your dragons.”

When I got home, I knew what had to be done. My husband, new to the faith and fond of our dragons, would never understand or consent, so I asked God to cover me while I did my best to obey Him.

First I went through the house and removed every dragon I could find. There was quite a pile of swords, pictures, statues, candles, tapestries, and even a cabinet with Mother of Pearl inlaid dragons on it. These I burned, broke, or otherwise ruined.

Next I got out the bottle of salad oil. “Lord, I’m feeling pretty silly right now. I don’t understand how any of this works, but I’m asking You to honor my attempts to cleanse my home. Please close any ‘doors’ we’ve opened in ignorance. Please send Your Spirit to fill our home.” I “anointed” every place that once held a dragon.

I finished long before my husband arrived. I held my breath and wondered how on earth I was going to explain the removal of a few hundred dollars worth of “beautiful” decorations from our home. The wall next to the front door once had a four-foot by two-foot picture of two fighting dragons. Now it was a big, empty white space. There was no way he could miss it!

About three months later (!) he asked where the different pieces had gone. I told him what I’d done. At first he was a little upset. “Some of those things were gifts,” he complained.

One night I told the story to some friends. I finished with, “We haven’t had a single violent conflict in our home since then.”

My husband overheard my story. “Hey, that’s true! That was a couple of years ago. There hasn’t been even one fight like we used to have,” he marveled.

Like I said, this took place fourteen years ago. The difference from the last day “with dragons” to the very next one “without dragons” was like night and day. The days of violence are a dim memory.

Coincidence? We don’t think so.

Now we’re both hyper-vigilant, and routinely check books, movies, video games, and decorations. Things pertaining to the occult offend our Lord. We don’t want to glorify His enemy.

Has something come to mind while you’ve read this article? If so, make it a matter of prayer – see what the Lord would have you do.

Why hang onto dangerous dragons?





Jesus Uses Drugs

29 06 2013

This guest post is the testimony of  my dear friend, Jake. I wish you could meet him. He’s been part of our family for several years now, and a true gift from the Lord for my husband and me.

Nevertheless I Live

In my mind I was running from the most evil thing I had ever seen in my life, but I couldn’t move. Extending and holding its ground, the fence was a prison. The trees looked pale as death, predicting the howling efficiency of my demise. I was there in the back yard with him. He stood as a threat, promising to see my torn soul cast into agony. I was powerless and unable to either defend myself or run.

My mind raced like a movie – five movies – scanning in fast forward to find just a shred of reason for my expected misery. I knew what was about to happen, but didn’t want to admit it was my own fault. All my life I hid from the truth and I was perpetrating again…

I’d thought it was a good idea to go to Jason’s house that night. It was after work and we were going to take some Orange Sunrise, a type of LSD. I was in a much different frame of mind. I had no cares, no thought about the future. There was no reason to hope for joy, but at the same time no reason to expect death to be so cruel.

We took our LSD in his living room, giving it ages to “hit,” joking about work and other small talk until the “trip” began. I gave him a tape of our band to play on the stereo. It played a few songs while we were waiting for the fun to start. I thought we got a bad batch because nothing was happening. We were stoned, and I thought it would end there.

We started down to the mini-mart like we’d taken aspirin. The last normal thing I remember was walking under the lights. At the pinball machine, we dropped in quarters and readied ourselves for action. Furiously we strove to subdue one another, playing past our time and into the credits. It must have seemed odd to see us frantically playing a game that was over.

Shouting and laughing, we realized we were not in control any longer. The walk back to Jason’s  proved to hold my interest more than the walk to the store. The asphalt poured like thick, dark blood. The trees melted like wax on a hot stove. It seemed like we were descending with every step into an ember abode.

We looked at each other; his foolish grin contrasted my growing anxiety. It seemed only I knew where we were going. Gnashing teeth drenched the faces of those in agony plastered my eyes. In them I discovered where all the pain and hate of all the past ages had been. I was gazing into hell. In a twinge of terror, I searched my brain to think of how it happened – how I must have died! Death snapped on me like a trap. I wasn’t ready to die!

“How did this happen?” I thought, overwhelmed with conviction about my wickedness and God’s purity. I was condemned and I knew that I deserved hell. I was dead and gone, having wasted my chances for heaven – and trampled underfoot the sacrifice of the blood Jesus shed for me. “Oh, I wish I had one more chance,” I thought.

Jason turned to tell me that we were locked out of his house. He looked different. Standing there was this seven- or eight-foot demon. He pridefully strutted about the backyard, swaying with his cedar of a tail. His red, transparent body looking as if it could weigh four hundred pounds if it were from this world.

My friend seemed to be caught inside this evil spirit, not caring that he was being used.

In my mind, I was running from the most evil thing I had ever seen in my life, but I was trapped in the back yard.

“Are you Satan?” I kept asking, knowing he wasn’t. I had glimpsed him moments before.

The Prince of the Power of the Air was much like a snake, swallowing the inhabitants of the earth. He got me too, deceived me into believing that I had time to leave God out of my life until the time came for me to die – arrogant enough to think I would conveniently extract forgiveness from Him while on my deathbed.

Overcome with grief, I fell to the ground.

Hours passed with visions of my terrible new home, my missed opportunities to be saved, and the pain I caused my family by my death.

Still lying on the ground, I realized that I wasn’t dead. It had been hours, and after all it seems judgment would come swiftly. Scooping myself up from the ground, fear sliding off my back and realizing that I had one more chance to change masters, I fell to my knees and cried, “Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior!” I begged God to forgive me and save my wretched soul.

Instantly, the scene changed. Jason’s horrible companion was gone. The agony that filled my eyes and burned a scar into my mind, the faces of those in hell, was healed. I was free to go.

Jason seemed irritated at my spiritual escape. He said that he wanted to be the captain of his own destiny, that he wanted to make his own rules. Having just seen the end of that road, I thought him foolish.

I walked to my car, got in and slammed the door. Without giving the motor time to warm up, I left for home.

Later I read in the Bible that, “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” It took a long look into hell to make me realize that I had taken life for granted; that I had no other place to go but Jesus. I thank God for the gift of eternal life that He bought for me.

I’m thankful that Jesus uses drugs – to save someone like me.





Lions Eat Christians? What?

12 06 2013

Christians being eaten by lions? Now what’s wrong with that picture? I wondered.

Most have seen movies that include scenes with a Roman Colosseum. People are pitted against people, or against beasts. One of their favorites was feeding Christians to the lions.

Wait just a minute! From a Biblical perspective this is all wrong. Jesus (the Lion of the Tribe of Judah) doesn’t eat Christians. He loves and cares for them.

In an instant, a whole new understanding of prayer came into view.

No doubt, you’re familiar with the Armor of God: the Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Helmet of Salvation, Shoes that are the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace, the Shield of Faith, and the Sword of the Spirit…and an oft left-out piece: Prayer.

Let’s consider the shield for a bit. In the days of the Roman Empire, the one used was roughly 2 1/2 feet by 4 feet…big enough to shield the entire body. When a group of soldiers stood side-by-side, their shields formed an impenetrable wall.

Place them in a circle, and what do you have? A Colosseum!

For you see, when we join in prayer, we have effectively encircled our enemy. The Lion (always victorious) can then take him out.

Like I said, this is completely backward to the Roman Colosseum.

There are a few times in the Bible when the Lord says, “I looked for a man to stand in the gap, but could find no one.” The verse takes on a different meaning when seen in this light, doesn’t it?

This causes me to wonder how many times total victory was thwarted, the enemy allowed to escape, because I failed to heed the call to prayer. Hmm, mmm.

It came as no big surprise that Satan took one of God’s spiritual truths and turned it into a grisly game for entertaining the masses. After all, he’s twisted every other thing God designed for our good and His glory.

For instance, God invited His people to several week-long parties to celebrate their relationship with Him in song, dance, and pot-lucks. Today we have concerts where people gather for the sake of worshiping other people, sing songs that tear them down, and dance seductively. Some parties last all weekend – sometimes turning into orgies.

God invites us to be filled with His Spirit, Satan invites people to be filled with alcohol or drugs so that He can fill them and control them.

God designed marriage to illustrate His faithfulness to us, Satan destroys marriages, and many people in the process.

God uses stories to teach us about Himself. Hollywood uses stories to teach us about evil and vile things.

God wrote a Book, so did Satan.

God calls for gatherings for the sake of worship, so does Satan.

God instituted a system of animal sacrifice to atone for sin until Jesus gave the final sacrifice. Now, no more bloodshed is required. Satan still demands sacrifices – not of animals only, but of humans as well.

I could give many more examples, but you get the idea. Anytime we see perversity, we see a twisting of a spiritual truth.

…like Christians, who were eaten by the lions in the Colosseums of old.

 

Want more on our armor? Check out Is Your Skirt Flapping in the Breeze?