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The Roaring Lion, 1 Peter 5:8

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If Buddy ever roared like a lion, I’d go check my hearing, because we all know that a little, 19 pound dog is not going to roar. He’s going to bark, growl, snuffle, howl and “talk,” but not roar.

The Apostle Peter warned believers in his letter, 1 Peter 5:8, to be on the alert, not to be passive about evil.

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

Searching the internet, there were multiple claims that lions do not roar to frighten their prey into paralysis, as is commonly believed. I did find that the below website, http://www.Reference.com, had the most compelling reason:

“Lions use their roar as a way to remind other lions that they are in control over an area.” (https://www.reference.com/pets-animals/lions-roar-68fa05e474d85126)

As Christians I believe that we too often let down our guards and then wonder why Satan is able to “zap us” and cause us harm in life. We forget that, although Jesus defeated Satan at the Cross (Colossians 2:13-15), He has not yet returned to claim His kingdom. At this time, Satan is being permitted to rule over the entire earth.

“The Lord said to Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ Then Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘From roaming about on the earth and walking on it.'”–Job 1:7

My NASB version of the Bible has some apt descriptions of Satan in its Concordance:

“accuser, adversary, deceiver of the world, devil, dragon, enemy, evil one, father of lies, god of this world, liar, murderer, ruler of the demons and ruler of this world.”

We must question what we hear in the media, what thoughts come to mind and what other people around us are saying. People may not be telling us the truth: It might be deliberate or because they are just wrong, they are deceived themselves, or they are presenting opinion as fact. Before I turn on the radio, I pray some variation of: “Lord, please help me discern truth from error, and fact from fiction. Help me know when someone is trying to deceive me or just making a mistake. Help me know when someone is presenting opinion as fact. Help me now when I am being told the truth or not. And help me to tell others the truth and not mislead them.”

And even the health books I read, the authors claim to have the whole truth about the healthiest way to eat is, with the scientific facts to back their claims up, yet directly contradict one another: grains are bad, grains are good; wine is bad, wine is good; coffee is bad, coffee is good; beans are bad, beans are good, etc.

Jesus claimed to be “the way, the truth and the life.”–John 14:6

When we stay in God’s Word, we are entering into Jesus’ protection from lies. He is a good Shepherd Who sleeps in the doorway of the sheepfold to protect the sheep from the wolves who want to enter into the flock and kill the sheep (John 10: 1-18). Apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthian 11:14, warned us that Satan “disguises himself as an angel of light” in order to deceive us and lead us astray. Only by knowing God’s Word can we discern when someone is twisting Scripture or lying to us, telling us something is OK to do or believe when it isn’t.

I am not blogging about Buddy and God because I think I know it all, but these are things I, myself, need to remind myself of and am mulling over in my mind.

There is so much slander and deliberate lying in the media and by government officials nowadays. One must be constantly questioning what is being said–or consider what is being concealed and not said.

I was thinking about what I’m hearing recently and feeling afraid, not at peace. I wonder if people who hate this country or Capitalism or Christianity will gain more power and destroy our economy, our livelihoods and our freedom. I am letting the roaring of Satan frighten me. Yet Jesus defeated Satan at the Cross: The devil is now a toothless lion; He cannot have my soul, but he can still be very dangerous if I let him pounce upon me or tear me with his claws, but if I can stay out of his reach, I should remain safe.

And out of Satan’s reach is by staying close to my great shepherd, Jesus.

So when I get scared, I remind myself that Jesus GIVES me peace as a gift. I don’t manufacture it myself. It’s a gift He gives when I ask for it.

“My peace I leave with you; My peace I GIVE to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”–John 14:17, emphasis mine

And also have to remind myself that God is sovereign over all history and people. There is nothing out of His control:

“Who works all things after the counsel of His will.”–Ephesians 1:11

So please ask Jesus to grant you His gift of peace if you are afraid. He loves you and will take care of you, if you are in His flock. And, also, please ask for discernment every day, because no matter how smart or sophisticated we think we are, some people are very devious–or just very wrong.

Love from Dawn and her beloved Buddy

***

If you aren’t in Jesus’s flock, why not? My main regret in life is not coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus ten years sooner. I would’ve avoided so many dark and depressing days in my 20s with His guidance and love in my life. Why not sooner, you ask? So that I would never forget that there is nothing to return to before I came to Christ. Knowing God loves you and experiencing His presence is the greatest gift anyone can have. Why not ask Him to forgive your sins and invite Him into your life, to be your Lord and protector today?

 

 

 

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Getting Wet, Matthew 23:27-28

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When I walked Buddy tonight, I tried to reign him in on his leash to keep him close to me. Not to restrict his movement, but to try to shelter him under my umbrella so that he wouldn’t get wet from the intermittent rain. Being the usual headstrong terrier, he kept resisting me and pulling out from under the protection of the umbrella, with the predictable result.

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem,…” Jesus lamented in Matthew 23:27-28. “How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!”

God calls to each of us to run to shelter under His protecting umbrella, yet people think God is trying to crimp their lifestyle with His rules of behavior, so they willfully resist Him and go their own way. As a result, they get wet with the eventual unhappiness and consequences of their behavior. Sometimes they even curse God for their circumstances, when all along He was warning them to turn back.

But God is merciful and loving. When you repent of your willful disobedience, He opens His arms wide and pulls you into His loving embrace. He doesn’t reject anyone who comes to Him.

“And the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.”–Jesus, John 6:37b

Why not give your heart to Jesus now?

Dear Father, I thank you that Jesus, God In the Flesh, took the punishment for ALL my sin on the Cross. And was resurrected bodily to give me eternal life. Please forgive my sin. I invite the Holy Spirit to live His life through me and to guide me. Thank you for loving me.

Please attend a church service this Easter where Christians love and worship the King as described in the Bible. And let them know that you just recently gave your heart to the Lord so that they can assist you in your new life’s journey.

God bless.

Dawn and Buddy

 

Unbiblical View Of Nature, Genesis 2:15

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I recently vacationed at Ocean Shores, an ocean beach in Washington State. I was walking Buddy in the back of our hotel when he refused to move. It turned out that the grass was full of some sort of stickle burrs. I carried him back to our room and used a pair of tweezers to pull the thorns out of his paw pads. He didn’t squeal once and remained still while I pulled the thorns out of his paws. What really upset me was that there were no warning signs not to walk your dog on the grass. I subsequently warned every dog owner I saw about the bad lawns.

This is going to be a little controversial but why blog if everything I say is predictably boring?

“Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.”–Genesis 2:15

One of the very first jobs God gave Adam and Eve was to tend and care for their natural environment which was perfect. The Fall and separation of humankind from God, the source of life, had not yet occurred. Yet, nature required tending.

Nature was never created, nor intended, to be a HANDS OFF project.

God intended for us to care for the planet. Not to let it “go natural”.

If a perfect environment, an Eden, required maintenance to keep it healthy, why would a fallen world not require EVEN MORE work to keep it functioning properly?

Years ago I heard about a piece of property that a nature conservancy group purchased to let it go natural and untouched. It was “hands off” to humanity. What occurred is that the undergrowth went wild and choked off the plants that the forest needed to keep it healthy. The forest began to die.

In the Seattle area our air has been unhealthy for over two weeks because of the wild fires burning in our state and the air being blown down southward from the wildfires in Canada. Dead wood and debris was allowed to accumulate in our forests to create the perfect massive acreage of kindling for potential fires.

I’ve also heard in the past about how the native Americans used to tend our forests to keep them healthy. They did not consider the forests “Hands Off” territory but ensured that they were well maintained. Sadly, as they were forced into reservations, their maintenance of the forests ended.

My main point is, and will always underline all that I blog about on this site, that every single problem we face can be traced back to a rejection or neglect of some Biblical command or principle.

ALWAYS.

God bless you. Have a wonderful weekend. And please stay safe.

PS. I realize I’ve made some claims about what I’ve heard or read in the past, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of time finding the material to document this blog post for you. I really want to get to bed on time tonight!

How to Fight Evil, Ephesians 6:10-18

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As much as we love our pets, they are not made in the image of God, as we are.

Buddy does provide me with unconditional love, his companionship, and another listening ear to keep me from feeling afraid at night when I’m alone. He would risk his life to protect me from someone far bigger and stronger than he is.

But Buddy cannot protect me from supernatural danger.

Based upon the story of the prophet Balaam and his donkey, it’s possible that the animals are able to see spiritual entities more easily than we can. (Numbers 22:21-33) But this is speculation on my part.

“Put on the full armor of God so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our warfare is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day…”–Ephesians 6:10-12

So what is this armor? The summary is: truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (the Word of God). (versus 14-17)

And how do we do that? Pray (vs 18) at all times and “be strong in the Lord and the strength of His might” (vs 10).

Please note: HIS MIGHT, HIS STRENGTH. And we access His power and might through prayer, reading and memorizing the Word of God (Holy Bible), and believing what the Bible says (faith) and acting according to its instructions (obedience).

Faith in the Word of God: trusting in the hard times that God is faithful, loves us, and will keep His promises to us. Obeying and acting according to God’s ways, although sometimes it FEELS better to do something else. But we cannot know what those promises or instructions are if we aren’t reading the Bible, the source document for those promises.

The Word of God is our only offensive weapon against evil. It’s really important, in these difficult and deceptive times, to meditate upon the word of God day and night (Psalm 1:2). Its our filter to recognize lies.

Jesus gave the example of how to defeat the devil and his deception, by quoting from the Old Testament, and relying upon the Word of God when Lucifer came to tempt him after his 40-day fast. After successfully passing the three temptations, Christ began his earthly ministry (Matthew 4:1-11).

And it’s vitally important to pray that the Holy Spirit guide us before we begin reading a Bible passage. It is spiritually discerned, requiring His guidance. (I Corinthians 2:13)

The world offers lots of distractions: movies, video games, YouTube, Facebook, the Internet (blogs–EEK!), cable news, etc. that can keep us from taking some time to read the Bible.

I’m planning to blog more on these verses, but please note that in these trying times, when we see so much fake news and anti-Christian bias (and anti-Semitism) increasing in the USA, to remind ourselves not to be angry or hateful toward those who who are in bondage to untruth.

For instance, I just read this verse recently:

Apostle Paul adjures us to be “in no way alarmed by your opponents, which is a sign of destruction for them…”–Philippians 1:28

I really needed to be reminded of this admonition. When I hear the news, it’s easy for me to be alarmed. The Holy Spirit has to check my thoughts frequently some days as I get frustrated with deceived, or deliberately deceptive, people who spread lies and seem to get far more media attention than the good people trying to protect our laws and Constitution. I have to remind myself that it’s a sign of their ultimate destruction, their pending separation from God forever, and to feel sorry for them, rather than be angry, and pray for them to repent and escape judgment.

By praying for someone else in spiritual bondage, I am blessing not only the other person, but also myself: My spirit calms down and someone is getting prayed for who really needs it. Following God’s instruction is better for my health, because I’m not stressing my spirit with anger. Also, I am reminding myself, when I pray for those I feel frustrated toward, that I too was once deceived and separated from God and His life-giving Spirit, and needed mercy, before I finally believed that Jesus was Immanuel, God in the flesh (Matthew 1:23), Who died for my sins and was resurrected to give me everlasting life through the power of the Holy Spirit. It helps to humble me and not “virtue signal” or feel superior to someone else.

God bless you.

Please stay cool in these hot times.

Dawn and Buddy

PS. I do believe animals go to heaven. I’ll blog on that one day. (Revelations 5:13) And once again, where I was intending to go with this posting, I meandered elsewhere. But I pray what I should blog about before writing one word. I have to trust that this is what someone who reads this posting needs to “hear” right now.

Fences: Proverbs 1:32-33

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Buddy is inspecting the posts for the new fence about to be set up. He’s still suspicious of the fence and, fortunately, stays away from it. He doesn’t realize that the fence is there to keep him safe.

The same with God’s Word. The Lord doesn’t give us rules of living to keep us from having fun, but to keep us safe. We’re free to run anywhere we like as long as we stay within the fence line. But when we disobey His laws for living in the Bible, then we come to harm.

Like Buddy who almost got hit by a van in the nearby street, sometimes God is merciful and protects us when we act foolishly. But sometimes, if we persist in disobeying, we may be disciplined or do ourselves harm. It doesn’t always come immediately as I’ve found, in my experience, He gives His children a chance to repent (which merely means to “change your mind and go the other direction”) before allowing the consequences of disobedience to occur.

“For the waywardness of the naive will kill them,…But he who listens to me (God’s wisdom) shall live securely and be at ease from the dread of evil.” NASB

Watching My Path: Psalm 142:1-3

 

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Buddy and I recently went to Ocean Shores, Washington State. It was fun to watch him find his own way from the beach along the various paths through the dense brush back to the hotel area. I tried not to guide him but, holding onto the leash, allowed him to find his own way.

Sometimes it seems like we’re just wandering through life all alone and no one cares enough to walk with us. But the invisible Lord is watching over us at all times. If we’re a child of God, (the Holy Spirit dwelling within us), then we can be certain that when we call out to Him, He hears us.

“I cry aloud with my voice to the Lord; I make supplication with my voice to the Lord. I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare my trouble before Him. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, You knew my path. In the way where I walk…” NASB

Wandering: Hebrews 10:23b-25

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Buddy gets a daily walk. In our neighborhood is a small pond, habitat of ducks, crows and on occasion a blue heron. Every Spring the large flock of ducks scatter to other areas while a few stay and begin families. This year one mother duck had 7 eggs but four were destroyed somehow. Three ducklings survived to hatch.

When walking Buddy around the pond, I checked on the three survivors. Two ducklings always stuck closely together while the third wandered alone, circling around the pond. I feared greatly for this adventurous duckling, because occasionally bald eagles would perch in the limbs of the cedar trees in the small park above. Last year a family member intervened to prevent an eagle from carrying off a small duck.

Just as I feared, one day the third duckling was gone. I never saw her again. The other two, nearly grown now, still stick closely together and rarely are out of the mother duck’s watchful eyes.

I feel sad every time I walk past the pond because I think about that little duckling who didn’t survive, who may have been carried off by an eagle or raccoon or some other carnivore.

Because she would not stick close to her family.

“He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another…” NASB

There are some Christians who don’t believe they need to attend a church; they can go it alone. But we not only need the encouragement of other Christians, but our brothers and sisters prevent us from straying away and getting “eaten up” by a world system that is hostile to our faith. It’s also easier to engage in good deeds as a group. For instance, the Protestant churches in our area rotate, taking turns providing fresh (usually homemade) food for the homeless in a Catholic Services program that provides shelter and training to help them get back onto their feet. That way, the burden does not fall onto just one group of people. Most churches, such as ours, also has a benevolence fund to assist Christians in need.

We need each other. Try not to get eaten.