Tag: freedom

“But Now”

Sunday Sermon 2.5.22

It is said that there are two things that people hate. Change and boredom. Would you concur?

I raised my son with, and taught my middle school classes the oft trumpted reminder that, “boredom is a choice“. To this day I still believe it and live by it. I believe we can manage boredom. Change on the otherhand, is less under our control.

Change is what God is up to right now, though. He’s not changing, but times are and so are things for His remnant, those who have held on to Him during these perilous times. Check this out:

But now, I will not deal with the remnant of this people as in the former days, declares the Lord of hosts. (ESV)

Things have changed. I’m taking the side of of my core of surviving people. Sowing and harvesting will resume. Vines will grow grapes. Gardens will flourish. Dew and rain will make everything green. My survivors will get everything they need – and more. You’ve gotten a reputation as a bad-news people, … but I am going to save you. From now on you’re going to be good-news people. Don’t be afraid. Keep a firm grip on what I’m doing.” (TPT)

Zechariah 8:11-13

Although this encouragement was given by Zechariah to Israel some 500 years before Jesus was born, it couldn’t be more fitting for us today. And, we are well within our rights and understanding of Bible interpretation to apply Zechariah’s words to ourselves and not just Israel’s remnant.

The Apostle Paul teaches us that:

So, let’s look more closely at these tremendously encouraging words. I read them in my private devotions on 1.29.22, and felt such a strong impression and inspiration from them. So much so, I wrote it in my Bible, and then dug deeper into the text.

  • these things took place as examples for us 1 Corinthians 10:6
  • they are written down for our instruction 1 Coringthians 10:11
  • all scripture is breathed by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness… 2 Timothy 3:16

God is speaking to you, He is speaking to me. It is a promise of positive change coming!

God says, look, this is the way is was, and he lists a few specific situations. Zechariah 8:9-10 Then verse 11 BLASTS THROUGH with, “BUT NOW”. I love that. Everything that had happened was no longer the driving factor or revelant. It WAS that way, BUT NOW, things were going to change.

Whatever has marked your life in the recent months may have been big and heavy and oppressive, BUT NOW God is going to deal with you differently. Verse 11 tells us God is no longer going to deal with us as He did in past days! That is wonderful news to you (and me)!

Here’s the change – it’s all good and it is so amazingly encouraging and freeing. Look!

  • “there shall be sowing in peace” – there’s been enough division, quarrelling, warring and the days of peace are upon us.
  • “the vine shall give its fruit” – you will be fruitful. It is time for the fruit of your labors and efforts to spring forth.
  • “the ground shall give its produce” – the days of productivity are upon you. What you do will actually produce evidence, fruit, things.
  • “the heavens shall give their dew” – you are living under an open heaven of God’s blessing, outpouring and refreshing. Take full advantage and fill up, drink in.
  • “the remnant of this people shall possess all of these things” – those who have been clinging to God, His Word and His ways are the intended recipients of all these blessings!

Slow down. Stop. Go back and re-read those bullets. Those are promises for YOU, for NOW, because God is bringing change, now.

But wait, there’s more! (that sounds like an infomercial add, doesn’t it?)

It doesn’t end there. Zechariah 8:13 ESV

  • “you have been a byword of cursing…” – Christians, the God-fearing, Truth seekers, Jesus followers, believers who have been cursed, shamed, put down, humiliated, etc.
  • “so I will save you” – God is coming to our rescue. God is saving us from situations and God is turning it around.
  • “and you shall be a blessing” – the very ones who have been mocked, will be a blessing!

OMGoodness. When I read this passage last week, I physically felt that God was speaking it to the remnant of His followers. God was telling us that He was bringing change, doing things differently, because we had transitioned into a “BUT NOW” time.

Dear reader, you have transitioned! It is a new and different season for you. This is a season of peace, fruitfulness, productivity and fulfillment. The curses of the past have been broken and you have been released into a time of blessing, release, and possession of your dreams, and hopes in God.

It is altogether fitting that this passage closes with this phrase,

Fear not, but let your hands be strong.”

Zechariah 8:13 ESV

It is time to choose faith over fear and to get your hands dirty doing what God has put in your heart, or placed in your path. Whatever your hand finds to do during this season, do it with all your strength for the Lord and see His blessing on it. It’s time to produce. It’s time for fruit, evidence. It’s time for peace. And it’s time for you to possess all of these blessings so that you can be a blessing!

God is here to help you, save you and make you fruitful in what you do in 2022.

What has been, has been. BUT NOW God is doing something totally different with His remnant. Fear not and be strong!

Be a blessing,

Debbie

Silent Sentinels

The History Files

Strong armed by four men and two women, who strapped her to a chair, her arms and legs secured with leather lashes, they then forced her mouth open while one woman straddled her holding it so against her protestations.

A rubber tube was then inserted into her nose and pushed into her stomach. Blood ran from her nose while abrasions and bruises began to appear on her body.

Raw eggs and milk were then poured into the tube which then landed directly into her stomach. She later described the pain as “a ball of lead in my stomach”.

Against her will, she was being force fed.

This happened three times a day.

On one night, the superintendent of the prison ordered many to be severely beaten. These were mid to upper class women, who were beaten by the guards, all of whom were hurt, some to unconsciousness.

This night is referred to as The Night of Terror, November 14, 1917. Lorton, Workshouse for Women, VA, 20 miles southwest of Washington D.C.

These women, arrested and charged with trivial charges like “obstructing traffic”, were given the choice to pay a fine or go to the workhouse, where they would serve six months in prison.

Not all were force fed. But Alice Paul, one who was sentenced to seven months for obstructing traffic was treated so roughly and fed only bread and water, decided to go on a hunger strike. Again, the superintendent decided he would have no one “die” on his watch, and ordered her to be torturously force fed three times a day.

Her crime? Those women’s real crime?

Silently marching outside the White House, protesting the lack of women’s voting rights. Those women were called, “Silent Sentinels”.

News leaked about the night of terror and abuses within the workhouse and two weeks later the women were released.

Three years later, August, 1920, the 19th Amendment was passed assuring women as citizens and providing them the right to vote.

“The right of citizens to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the U.S. or any State on account of sex.”

The 19th Amendment

The right to vote has been passionately fought for. Not only for women, but for many disenfranchised citizens. Our nation has a rich history of many such battles, protests, and yes, finally victories.

The right to vote, the freedom to vote, as with all freedoms, is not free. It has not come without a high cost and sacrifices. Many there be with stories like the Silent Sentinels, who stood their ground amid persecution and abuses and thereby won the freedoms we enjoy.

In 2019, two billion people in fifty countries voted.

Next week, in America, citizens will again vote. (or like me, perhaps have already voted by mail.)

My prayer is that you will be one who takes your freedom and responsibility seriously and with your ballot and voice be that sentinel keeping watch over America and her values.

Cheers to you and to America.

Using your religious liberty

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or of the right of the people to peacefully assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The Constitution of the United States, Amendment I

We have no state religion mandated, nor should we have, and that was the desire and intentions of our founding fathers. They saw the damage it had done in the nations they left, which were cause and reason for their Atlantic crossings. At the core of most hearts who came, was the desire for religious liberty. Which included the liberty to be non-religious.

THAT is the foundation upon which our nation was built, regardless of how the history books have been rewritten to exclude the Puritans and Pilgrims.

Fact is fact. Erasing it from the page doesn’t change the fact, it changes people’s remembrance of the fact, or more accurately lack of remembrance of the true facts. And that’s what is being sought.

Did you know when the US Capitol Visitor Center was built in 2008, all references to God were removed from pictures, signs, and all else. The national motto, “In God We Trust” was removed and replaced with “E Pluribus Unum” – out of many one. Speeches were scrubbed, chairs and walls changed, and bibles removed. The Visitor Center was literally stripped clean of any references to any deity.

It was done to supposedly keep with Thomas Jefferson’s “separation clause” – you know, the one that he (supposedly) wrote separating church and state. (Even that is historian’s seeking to erase the facts, because that is not what Jefferson wrote at all in his letter to Danbury Baptist Assoc., in 1802.)

The Visitor Center designers were seeking to erase our foundations and build new memories into future generations. Memories that are devoid of God and His providence in America’s founding.

Have the facts changed though? No.

What has changed is us. Those of us who know the facts.

My favorite Reagan quote is –

Freedom is a fragile thing and never is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.”

President Ronald Reagan January 5, 1967

We have taken our liberties and freedoms for granted.

Having lost some of them in the recent months, we now see that more clearly than ever.

But the facts have not changed. We have liberties and freedoms and we must not allow them to be whittled away, or erased from memory. And yet, remember this quote?

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Edmund Burke, 1770

In this new decade, even amidst a devolving pandemic, I urge you to not be that good man who does nothing.

Be a defender of our rights, a preserver of our freedoms from extinction. We have many to defend.

Why not start now?

Start with prayer. Prayer for yourself, prayer for your family, prayer for your neighbors and friends. Prayer for this pandemic to lift, for businesses to reopen, the sick to be healed, workers to be strengthened. Pray for spiritual awakening in our nation, for freedom and justice to prevail, for truth to be upheld. Pray for God to forgive and bless America.

Tomorrow, Thursday, May 7, 2020 is the National Day of Prayer, but it doesn’t have to be, nor should it be a single day.

It is not a constitutional violation to have a day of prayer, quite the contrary. It is the exercise of your religious liberty.

Let’s exercise those religious liberties, lest we loose them.

Cheers to you.

Bust Loose

My theme for the start of 2020 has been “Bust loose”, or put another more active way, “Bustin loose”.

Although I don’t often reference The Urban Dictionary, I will here. Bust loose means, ” to lose ones temper in a surprising & entertaining way, exhibiting courage & testiness that clearly proves one’s status as a non-sissy.” (I exchanged “sissy” for the less crass word they used.)

SO here’s my take-away: It’s time to get down right angry at the things that have bound us up and bust loose in an entertaining and surprising way. Prove to God and the world you are not a sissy, or whimp. It’s time to BUST LOOSE.

From whatever is holding you back
From your longstanding fears
From those things (or that thing) that has tied you up
From the shame of the past
From mediocracy and the rut of familiar

” Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.”

Galatians 5:1


Cheers to you