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A Perfectly Timed Christmas Donkey Ride
– Mary A. LaClair
To all my readers: Have a Blessed Christmas and a Blessed 2019 !
What?? !! God had a nine months pregnant woman riding a donkey??
“Really, God, don’t you think that’s more than just-a-little unkind? These have been my thoughts for years. After giving birth three times, further contemplation on my part becomes: “When I get to heaven, I intend to question God on that matter”.
Luke 2:5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. KJV
Awaiting the birth of a third great-grandchild, I was allowed the privilege of accompanying my daughter and her daughter (my grand-daughter) in the birthing room. And as It happened, it was mid-December.
Again my thoughts flashed back to a very important, very pregnant woman on a donkey. “Gee whiz, God, how could you do that, it seems so unkind…”
Little did I know that God planned on answering me, by way of explanation, this very day —
There were two chairs in the room, since visitors were limited to two family members. So when the grand-daughter’s life-long best friend was briefly allowed in, I sat on, what looked like, a large exercise ball.
Wondering why it was in that particular room, I asked a nurse who explained:
“It’s called a ‘birthing ball’. Women sit on it, gently bouncing up and down. It’s supposed to help the baby move along in the birth canal.”
“Ah! Thus the donkey!!” …my mind comprehends!
There may be times when we THINK God is being unkind, when He is actually doing us a favor. Even so, we may not know this until much later.
Trust God that He will work things out for good in the end.
And it is OK to ask to eventually see that good.
It was a perfectly timed donkey ride.
ARE WE ABORTING OUR NATION OUT OF EXISTENCE?
405 words — Mary A. LaClair
This article was first published here in 2012. It is being re-run here, with some updated information. Updates are found in italics
In the 1960’s, progressives advocated that married couples limit offspring to three; two to replace themselves with only one to grow on, or as a spare. This is the thinking which I believe set the stage for decriminalizing abortion and homosexuality, anything went as long as we didn’t multiply ourselves. We couldn’t risk becoming an over populated country like China, or like India with their opium dens. (popular at that time). Coat hangers are their montra in 2018
The fear-mongering, counter-culture activists in the 1960’s once spread the poison idea that normal and natural reproduction would create a population explosion that our land could not handle.
They claimed there wouldn’t be enough trees to clean the air and provide fuel, or enough pasture land to feed the cattle and grow crops necessary to feed our growing masses.
The results are in. Illegal immigration brings into our country, foreign speaking people with no regard for legalities; and in numbers rapidly equaling exceeding that required to replace our own aborted Americans.
And guess what? There ARE still enough trees to clean the air, wood to burn, and there IS enough pasture land to feed cattle and grow crops.
The fear-mongering activists were wrong. And we believed them.
A group called Californians for Population Stabilization, (www.cap-s.org) (no longer found) which contends that high levels of immigration are ruining the quality of life in that state, released a report with studies that estimated there are from 20 million to 38 million illegal immigrants in the United States. THAT was back in 2012.
“While various sources place the number of abortions anywhere between 40-48 million, the centers for Disease Control and Prevention would approximate the number of abortions performed since 1973 to be 40,944,029.” (1973-2012) Source; Centers for Disease Control and prevention: Abortion Surveillance – United State 2003 Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report Vol 55, o.ss-11 November 24, 2006.
Lessons that should be learned? Beware of activists, even politicians, who cry ‘no more status quo’, and beware the ‘counter culture’, even those who peddle ‘hope’, thus implying there is no current hope. Will we believe hype again? Beware the unknown or we may become exiles in our own land because we once again believed a lie (the many lies).
How much longer can we murder
Americans and favor illegals?
IS IT FAITH OR IS IT A SIN OF PRESUMPTION?
900 words – Mary A. LaClair
A church deviating from the Word of God on important issues, issues which bring too much of the world into the church, I feel, has no right to presume upon God and call it faith.
Asking a Pastor if some churches weren’t guilty of the sin of presumption, I thought he hedged, and I did not get what I thought was an adequate answer.
So, I was surprised when, early one morning, while in the state of waking, a statement regarding presumption unconsciously dropped into my mind,
“Presumption puts oneself in the place of God.”
Hmmm…Scripture exhorts us to test the spirits to see if they are of God….therefore;
- time to contemplate, then after contemplating, time to check other documentation.
From my contemplation:
…to presume something will happen puts oneself in a position of God, expecting God to act on our thoughts.
…it could have an effect of making God our puppet.
…people go to the casino because they PRESUME they’re going to win. However, there is no basis for having FAITH they’re going to win.
…presumption and faith are not the same.
…arrogant confidence is nothing more than presumption
From my research on the net:
…Faith is believing that things will turn out the way they are meant to be; presuming is believing things will happen the way you want them to happen
…To have FAITH is to believe that God will act on His word
- an idea that is taken to be true, and often used as the basis for other ideas, although it is not known for certain.
- behavior perceived as arrogant, disrespectful, and transgressing the limits of what is permitted or appropriate.
- the act of believing that something is true without having any proof – from Google although #3 on its own could also describe faith – presumption includes the prior two
Does the Bible mention the sin of presumption? Maybe not in those exact words, however it DOES give an example of the sin of presumption.
“But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.”
Saul was guilty of the sin of presumption when he would not wait for Samuel to make the sacrifice before going to battle.
Saul presumed that he could do the sacrifice. He assumed, or for this purpose, he presumed e could go through a red light because he was in a hurry, and couldn’t wait.
After all he was doing the same thing that Samuel would have done, and Saul himself was the king.
What difference would it make, he reasoned, if he offered the sacrifice to God.
He presumed God would approve.
The kingdom was torn from Saul because of presumption on his part.
1 Cor 10:9 : “ Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents”. KJV
James 4:13 :
“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money’, why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.” NIV
“Here is the difference between faith and presumption. In genuine faith, it is God who initiates the desire for change, and we respond with obedience to what God has initiated. In presumption, it is we who initiate the desire for change, and we try to force our desire on God by one means or another.”
“In contrast, presumption is setting our opinions of what God will do above what God has said He will do. Something that we are seeing far too much of in the church today.” — Ray Phillips
As respects professors of religion, one observes, they sin presumptuously
(1) when they take up a profession of religion without principle;
(2) when they profess to ask the blessing of God and yet go on in forbidden courses;
(3) when they do not take religion as they find it in the Scriptures;
(4) when they make their feelings the test of their religion, without considering the difference between animal passion and the operations of the Spirit of God;
(5) when they run into temptation;
(6) when they indulge in self-confidence and self-complacency;
(7) when they bring the spirit of the world into the Church;
(8) when they form apologies for that in some which they condemn in others;
(9) when, professing to believe in the doctrines of the Gospel, they live licentiously;
(10) when they create, magnify, and pervert their troubles;
(11) when they arraign the conduct of God as unkind and unjust.
See Walker, Sermons, vol. 1, ser. 3; South, Sermons, vol. 7:ser. 10, 11, 12; Tillotson, Sermons, ser. 147; Saurin, Sermons, vol. 1, ser. II; Goodwin, On the Aggravations of Sin; Fuller, Works; Paley, Sermons; Bishop Hopkins, On the Nature, Danger, and Cure of Presumptuous Sins.
“In contrast, presumption is setting our opinions of what God will do above what God has said He will do. Something that we are seeing far too much of in the church today.” — Ray Phillips
Perhaps in a next article we should think about how salt loses its savor…. Selah…
For further talk on when presumption is a sin:
SOMETIMES GOD SPEAKS TO US IN THE SIMPLEST OF THINGS
By — Ruth Anderson
( It is with great pleasure that Ruth Anderson has granted permission to have this article posted here. Ruth is a teacher, has long been active on church ministerial teams and church leadership. I appreciate being able to share her wisdom with you, my readers. )
I attended an event this past Sunday. In my heart of hearts I really believed that there would be a move of God on that day. I reached out to churches and groups and church leaders and those with giftings and abilities to attend the event with me. I was hurt and bewildered why some with a calling on their life couldn’t see the potential in this opportunity to reach thousands of people and hundreds of children. Church leaders and evangelists and Prophets all told me this was for me. I didn’t understand at the time.
At the event there was a bear, a living breathing creation of God. The Game Commission had trapped it. This bear, when it was brought out of the trap had a problem. It had mange. Now mange is a little mite that gets on the bear and causes the bear some problems. For this bear the little mite had caused it to lose hair on the bear’s face and shoulder. It also caused the bear to be underweight for its age. Because of the mite the Game Commission would not let anyone touch the bear so that this mite would not spread to people.
As I look back on that day, I am reflecting on what I learned. I believe it was a day that the Holy Spirit would have something to say. Perhaps He did and I was there to get the message.
As I looked on the bear, God’s creation, it brought tears to my eyes. To look at one of the creatures the Lord put here on the earth. As I looked at the body of the bear, I could see its claws, I could see its shape, its fur, its eyes, since it was sedated I was unable to see its strength but I know a bear can be powerful. Yet I could see the effects of the mange, how one little thing could affect the whole bear and since the bears own body was fighting against the little mite, the appearance of the bear showed the battle.
As I think about the body of the bear I reflect on the body of Christ, the church. Are we as strong as we could be? Are we as full grown as we ought to be? Are we as powerful as we should be? What battles are we fighting? Are we fighting the things that are in us and on us that are preventing us from growing into the powerful body the Lord has called us to be?
Reflect on this a little and consider what the Lord might speak to you through this.
A PASTOR’S REPLY – name withheld
the truth will not set us free? it is the truth that we know , Jesus said the truth you know shall set you free . Until you know truth, that truth cannot set you free. Below are just three examples of that truth.
Regarding the bear , it is symbolic of the church. See the church has been shot with a dart from the devil, just like the tranquilizer. Why was the bear shot ? Because he was sick.
THE CHURCH TODAY IS SICK. It HAS LET, PERMITTED, THE LIES, AND FALSE TEACHINGS TO CREEP IN AND GIVE GROUND TO THE ENEMY.
THE CHURCH ” SHOULD BE ” big like bear, strong, bold, and beautiful……………………… now it has let a little leaven, leaven the whole lump………………..the leaven of the Pharisees has crept in, little by little lie after lie…………………. How can we have 3 full days and 3 full nights from Friday evening till before sunrise Sunday? WE CAN NOT .
why do people accept lies , strain at gnats, while swallowing camel loads of sin. that bear is symbolic of the state of the church today , it needs to be healed , arise in its strength, and prepare for what is about to happen. Why were there so few that supported the event? that is the issue with the church today. They just want to support themselves, i , me , and mine. ME my four and no more! they will say they want to support others, but all the while they just want to steal from other ministries…………….. or because of the fear of someone stealing theirs they do not support others. The church like the bear is sick right now and needs a great awakening.
thanks for thinking of me, I hope this helps ……………. this is what came to me exactly as I read it from you !
— end —
Post Script; by Ruth Anderson:
Thank you Jeris for a well thought out article. I pass this along to my readers, that they may be encouraged and uplifted in these troubling times. May their faith and hope, along with ours, be renewed in the Power of God. Thank you for opening OUR eyes to these truths, so aptly gleaned by you from the Word of God! Thank you! Blessings to you and to all who will take time to read your gleanings…
[This is the thirteenth post about the Blessed Hope–the return of Jesus Christ (Wars and Rumors of Wars)]
Many Christians are aware of the prophecy that Jesus gave to his disciples concerning the last days. His prophecy includes these words: “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom . . . ” (Matthew 24:7, kjv).
In the last decades, we’ve been exposed to many wars. So many that we’ve almost become numb to this passage of Scripture. We shake our heads, feeling powerless in the face of ongoing conflict.
But could this verse have another layer of meaning we have missed? I’ve often wondered why the passage seems to repeat itself. Wouldn’t it have meant the same thing if only “nation against nation” had been written? Why the additional words about “kingdom against kingdom”?
Could it be that the kingdoms that are mentioned refer to conflict in the…
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Is God Obligated to Answer ALL of Our Prayers?
— Mary A. LaClair
2 Chron 7:14-15
14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. RSV (emphasis mine)
Because our land needs healing, let’s unpack this often quoted verse to its fullest. This verse is often heard with emphasis on the words “pray”. But that is not all this verse is saying. Not to be overlooked or diminished, which I think is happening, is the equally important phrase, “and turn from their wicked ways”.
How many times have we heard that part emphasized recently? The emphasis has been mostly on the word “pray”.
What happens if we do in fact pray, but do not in fact turn from our wicked ways?
Is God obligated to fulfill His part of the bargain …….if we do not meet or fulfill the ‘and’ words?
pray …AND seek… AND turn ….They are verbs – action words, if you will.
Who needs to take these actions? We need to know to whom this is addressed. Is it addressed to all people in general? Is it to God’s people? Who are God’s people? It tells us who they are. The ones ‘called by His Name’. The ones claiming to be ‘Christian’.
Can you see that we are the ones who carry the power to get our land healed? Wow! What power with God!
Why, then, is our land not being healed faster than it is?
We can pray, but unconfessed sin is a hindrance to our being heard. Three translations put the same verse this way:
18 If I had ignored my sins,
the Lord would not have listened to me. TEV
8 He would not have listened if I had not confessed my sins. 19 But he listened! He heard my prayer! He paid attention to it! TLB
18 If I had cherished sin in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened; NIV
This seems to deal with thoughts.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting. NIV
24 Can anyone hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? says the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? says the Lord. AMP
Do church leaders need to strain at gnats and swallow camels ?
No. I believe there are large camels of sin in our churches. Where does one start? Well, because of all the sexual harassment claims, let’s start with lust. It is big in the world today and has even crossed lines into the churches. Several high profile pastors have admitted they have been delivered from pornography, many more probably have not; and it is not limited to pastors. Anyone who wants answers to prayers needs to consider themselves. Getting pornography removed from the internet would go a long way to curbing these sins in the Nation and in the church. In view of much sexual misconduct in Congress ; and in view of disrespect for human life via numerous mass murders, whether by vehicle, bombs, guns, or infanticide (abortion at birth), now would be a good time to express the need to respect life. I suggest this may be done by re-criminalizing BOTH porn AND abortion. We did not have these problems when those laws were in effect.
Now may be the time to cite some causes for these national problems and correct them: lack of respect for women and for human life . These are problems for which this Nation should find solutions, and as Christians we should be able to offer them those solutions, but not just for benefit of the church, for the benefit of our government and our country. In solving their problems we might just also be solving our own.
Teaching proper respect for ourselves and for the opposite sex would go a long way, but the Lord says the action itself needs to start with us.
God can’t clean up the world until He first cleans up His church. There are secret sins and not-so-secret-sins hidden within the church.
According to the opening Scripture, which holds a promise: We need to get rid of these sins in God’s people if our prayers are to be answered. Will it start with you and me? If it does, maybe then God can clean up the world a little faster. And God knows we need it. Our prayers won’t get ready answers until we first clean up the church. We can’t expect the world to be cleaner than the church.
1 Peter 3:7
7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. NIV
WORK ON THE SOLUTION ! ……..
12 Who can discern his errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then will I be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.
14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O Lord , my Rock and my Redeemer. NIV
Encourage your flock to ask God to reveal to each individual any unconfessed and unknown sins which may be hindering their prayers. We should encourage repentance of sins while avoiding condemnation or even public confession. Blanket forgiveness of active sins without repentance is not God’s way. Jesus preached repentance. God can identify sin in those who ask, without producing excessive guilt. Repentance still needs to be preached today. Jesus is able to identify sin and convict individuals without condemnation. Let Him do it — but do encourage God’s lambs and sheep to seek God’s help in identifying their sin. Then, when you have cleansed yourself, pray for others to find the same courage of self examination and repentance.
but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. NIV
Blessings upon all!
One final word:
13 For God is at work within you, helping you want to obey him, and then helping you do what he wants. TLB
Is God in you? Pray the sinners prayer, admit sin, ask for His help, ask Jesus into your heart then seek His Holy Spirit more fully.
“Lord Jesus, I admit I’m a sinner, I need your forgiveness, please include my sins with those sins for which you died. Come into my life, help me to be all that you want me to be, come into my heart and let my spirit be born again into Your Holy Spirit, put my feet on the straight path and always guide me in thought word and deed. Thank you Jesus.”
If you prayed that prayer with sincerity, you may now claim the Scripture:
Phil 2:13 13 For God is at work within you, helping you want to obey him, and then helping you do what he wants. TLB
What do you say Pastors: will you preach self-examination and repentance to our church families?
Individuals: are we ready to seek God’s help in this?
God’s blessings be upon us as we work through things with Jesus!