Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Just Another UFO?

Just in time for Halloween!

Well, not really.  It's happened lots of times before,
at all different times of the year! 

So, what is it?

Helicopters Surround UFO???
October 25, 2017

Could it be multiple objects in the night sky,
or one massive object?

Could it be a new type of satellite?  A drone?

A new kind of military hardware being tested out?

A formation of aircraft?

An elaborate Internet hoax?

Or, is this evidence of something else, something
that even the so-called "experts" in the fields of space 
technology and astronomy cannot really explain to themselves, 
much less to the inquiring minds of millions of
people all over the world?

My own thoughts about this ever increasing phenomena
is, that while I am hearing more and more reports of strange things people 
are seeing in the skies these days, my own curiosity is tempered
with a healthy dose of skepticism, not to mention more than just
a modicum of caution.

The fact is, folks, we are not alone in the universe.
However, what many believe to be alien beings, or "higher life 
forms with superior intelligence" from other planets, you
 can forget about those friendly "little green men" from Mars,
or even cute little space critters like ET...

Little Gertie (Drew Barrymore) gives homesick
ET a farewell kiss in Steven Spielberg's
"E.T. The Extra Terrestrial"

As much as I love this heartwarming fantasy about
a little boy named Elliot (Henry Thomas) who befriends
an alien stranded on the earth,  I know that this is not an
accurate portrayal of what is actually homing in and out 
 of the earth's atmosphere with more frequency
than ever before in these last of the last days.

If I had to pick a movie which better describes my feelings
concerning what a real alien encounter might be like here on earth,
it would undoubtedly be a film which I remember both fascinated
and frightened me whenever I watched it on television as a kid.

War Of The Worlds

Although the situation in the screen adaptation
 of  the H.G. Wells' story, "The War of the Worlds" seemed hopeless, with
mankind left devastated in the brutal destruction of the earth by 
 alien invaders from Mars attacking in sophisticated, impenetrable space ships,
it was only when the survivors on earth cried out to Almighty God for His
help and protection that the merciless assault ended, with the alien ships
 falling out of the sky and crashing to the ground, leaving an eerie silence
in their wake.The survivors, whom had been gathered together
praying inside churches, poured out into the streets to discover
that the relentless hordes of extraterrestrial destroyers
 were suddenly and mysteriously dead.

 "The aliens had no resistance to the bacteria 
in our atmosphere to which we long
since have become immune," 
 the narrator of the movie,
 English actor Sir Cedric Hardwicke explained.
 Once they had breathed our air, germs,
 which no longer affect us began to kill them.
 The end came swiftly.
.All over the world, their machines began to stop and fall.
After all that men could do had failed, the martians were
destroyed and humanity was saved, by the littlest things,
which God, in His wisdom, had put upon the earth."

"...which God in His wisdom, had put upon the earth."

 This last statement always makes me want to cry.

After all human beings could do
 in their futile battle against these evil creatures,
 it was God who quickly and thoroughly destroyed them in the end.
 I often think today that if the people in this story had only turned to Him
 for the answer in the beginning, there would have been no
monsters from outer space attacking the earth in the first place!

Of course, it was only a movie!

 I believe, however, that what is
 being perceived these days as "close encounters"
with possible alien life forms from outer space,
 as recorded by video cameras worldwide,
 and later uploaded to the Internet,
are, in reality, evidence of an established, unholy hierarchy,
  or, what the apostle Paul called in his letter to the Ephesians,
"..the master spirits of wickedness in high places, 
who are the world rulers of this present darkness.."

The prideful enemy of the souls of mankind 
even boasted of this allegiance of evil in the Book of Job,
 when Satan came to be among the sons of God,
 or the angels, who had gathered before the 
throne of the Lord one day.
This surprise visit apparently took place after
the battle in heaven, when the devil and a third of his
like-minded followers were cast out.
 While the other angels gathered on this particular day
apparently failed to recognize him among their ranks,
 God certainly took notice of Satan's presence!

"And the Lord said to Satan, "From where did you come?
Then Satan answered the Lord, "From going to and fro on
the earth and from walking up and down on it."
Job 1:7

By his own admission, the murderer, the accuser 
of the brethren, the father of lies, and all that is false,
 has been here since the beginning of recorded time, not only
 setting up the principalities of his kingdom
 over the lives of men and nations,
 but, establishing a celestial throne of deceptive,
"spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly sphere" 
 as the apostle Paul warned us about in Ephesians 6:12.

In these uncertain days we are living in, believers
in Messiah need to stay alert and to keep their focus on Him.
Our faith in Jesus Christ alone is our victory!

Furthermore, the study of and meditation on
the priceless and infallible word 
 that God speaks through the Holy Bible
 is our best defense against the rampant forces
of deception at large in the world today,
especially with the significant increase
of questionable "signs and wonders"
 appearing in the heavens above.

"Look well to yourself and to your own personality
and to your teaching; persevere in these things,
hold to them, for by so doing you will save
both yourself and those who hear you."
1 Timothy 4:16

The original video clip of a UFO captured
over the Temple Mount in Jerusalem
in February, 2011

Monday, October 30, 2017

Ghost Riders In The Sky

A haunting legend from the Texas Hill Country
 based on a real tragedy called Stampede Mesa.

During a fall cattle drive in 1889, an infuriated trail boss
named Sawyer drove his herd of cattle through a new
homestead built across the trail, crushing everything
and everyone inside the house

 A  violent thunderstorm suddenly blew up,
causing the confused cattle to panic even more,
 and keeping them running full force until they ran
off several cliffs to their deaths.

Unfortunately, the cowhands chasing after the
rushing herd could not stop their horses in time,
and they too toppled over the cliffs to their untimely deaths.

An old cowboy went riding out one dark and windy day
Upon a ridge he rested as he went along his way
When all at once a mighty herd of red-eyed cows he saw
A-plowing through the ragged sky and up the cloudy draw

Their brands were still on fire and their hooves were made of steel
Their horns were black and shiny and their hot breath he could feel
A bolt of fear went through him as they thundered through the sky
For he saw the riders coming hard and he heard their mournful cry.

Yippie yi ooh
Yippie yi yay
Ghost riders in the sky

Their faces gaunt, their eyes were blurred, their shirts all soaked with sweat,
He's riding hard to catch that herd, but he ain't caught'em yet
'Cause they've got to ride forever on that range up in the sky
On horses snorting fire
As they ride on hear their cry

As the riders loped by him he heard one call his name
If you want to save your soul from hell a-riding on our range
Then cowboy change your ways today or with us you will ride
Trying to catch the devil's herd across these endless skies

Yippie yi ooh
Yippie yi yay

Ghost riders in the sky
Ghost riders in the sky
Ghost riders in the sky

Ghost Riders In The Sky
Johnny Cash

"Ghost Riders In The Sky"
Words and Music by Stan Jones

Our Mighty Shield

Psalm 35
A psalm of David

Contend, O Lord, with those 
who contend with me; fight
against those who fight against me!
Take hold of shield and buckler,
and stand up for my help!
Draw out also the spear and javelin
and close up the way of those who
pursue and persecute me. Say to me, 
I am your deliverance!
Let them be put to shame and dishonor
who seek and require my life;
let them be turned back and confounded
who plan my hurt!
Let them be as chaff before the wind,
with the Angel of the Lord driving them on!
Let their way be through dark and slippery places,
with the Angel of the Lord pursuing and afflicting them.
For without cause they hid for me their net;
a pit of destruction without cause they dug for my life.
Let destruction befall my foe unawares;
let the net he hid for me catch him;
let him fall into that very destruction.
Then I shall be joyful in the Lord;
I shall rejoice in His deliverance.
All my bones shall say, Lord, who
is like You, You Who deliver the poor and
afflicted from him who is too strong for him,
yes, the poor and the needy from him who
snatches away his goods?
Malicious and unrighteous witnesses rise up;
they ask me of things I know not.
They reward me evil for good to my
personal bereavement.
But as for me, when they were sick,
my clothing was sackcloth; I afflicted myself
with fasting; and I prayed with head 
bowed on my breast.
I behaved as if grieving for my friend
or my brother; I bowed down in sorrow,
as one who bewails his mother.
But in my stumbling and limping they 
rejoiced and gathered together against me;
the smiters (slanderers and revilers)
gathered against me, and I knew them not;
they ceased not to slander and revile me.
Like profane mockers at feasts, making sport
for the price of a cake, they gnashed 
at me with their teeth.
Lord, how long will You look on without
action? Rescue my life from their destructions,
my dear and only life from the lions!
I will give You thanks in the great assembly;
I will praise You among a mighty throng.
Let not those who are wrongfully my foes
rejoice over me; neither let them wink with
one eye who hate me without cause.
For they do not speak peace, but,
they devise deceitful matters against
those who are quiet in the land.
Yes, they open their mouths wide against me;
they say, Aha! Aha! Our eyes have seen it!
You have seen this, O Lord; keep not silence!
O Lord, be not far from me!
Arouse Yourself, awake to the justice due me,
even to my cause, my God and Lord!
Judge and vindicate me, O Lord my God,
according to Your righteousness, Your rightness
and justice; and let my foes not rejoice over me!
Let them not say in their hearts, Aha, that is
what we wanted! Let him not say,
We have swallowed him up and utterly destroyed him.
Let them be put to shame, and confusion
together who rejoice at my calamity!
Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor
who magnify and exalt themselves over me!
Let those who favor my righteous cause
and have pleasure in my uprightness shout for joy
and be glad and say continually, Let the Lord be
magnified, Who takes pleasure in the
  prosperity of His servant.
And my tongue shall talk of Your righteousness,
rightness, and justice, and of my reasons for
Your praise all day long.

Thank You Dear Lord for redeeming the
lives of Your faithful servants with Your
great love and abundant mercy.

Jehovah Nissi
The Lord Our Banner

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Fifth Sunday Meditation: His Power Made Perfect

"...My grace, My favor and
loving-kindness and mercy is enough for you,
sufficient against any danger and enables you
to bear the trouble; for My strength and power
are made perfect in your weakness,"
II Corinthians 12:9

While in Europe researching my book,
"Of Whom The World Was Not Worthy"
(Bethany House 1979)

I traveled through Yugoslavia from Slovenia
to Macedonia. I interviewed factory workers,
peasants, gypsies, doctors, and laborers, as
well as former Communist party officials.

I wanted to know how Christians sustained 
their faith through the devastation of two world wars.
I heard story after story of courage in the face of
seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

I talked to those who had been imprisoned and whose
future seemed hopeless; people who had been sick and wasted
physically; frail women who fought in the Partisan army
against the Fascists with only sticks for weapons;
people who were starving, who ate scraps out of garbage cans.

These were brave people-weak, defenseless, people- but
those for whom the grace of the Lord was sufficient.
In their weakness, His power was made perfect.

Female partisans of the Prolaterian Brigade in 
Sutjeska,Yugoslavia during World War II.

I looked at my own life and asked myself if my weaknesses
were an opportunity for God's power to be made perfect in me.
Did I really accept His grace as sufficient for every situation?

The apostle Paul suffered a thorn in the flesh that he begged
the Lord to remove. The Lord responded not by removing the
agonizing source of pain but by giving the apostle the strength
to bear it. This is how God often works. He does not spare us
from suffering but enables us to conquer it.

I've seen shy people become great leaders, and I've seen physically
ill people become charged with spiritual energy and touch other
lives with the power of the gospel of Christ.

I've seen suffering people become shining examples of strength
and power. And through this I've learned that nothing can break
or destroy us when we allow our weaknesses to make us strong.

There is sublime joy in holy boasting of the power of God in
a life that is totally dependent on Him. There is a sublime peace
in accepting the sufficiency of God's grace by allowing Him to
be strong in us where we are weak.

Author Marie Chapian

"His Power Made Perfect"
By Marie Chapian
from the "Women's Devotional Bible"
 The Zondervan Corporation
(1990, 1991)

Saturday, October 28, 2017

With A Thankful Heart

"But know this, woman of God,
know this,
Many sisters in the faith
have walked this path before you..."

Ruth Bell Graham

I bring those whom I love to You,
commit each to Your loving care;
then carry them away again
nor leave them there;
forgetting You
who lived to die
(and rose again!)
care more than I.

So back I come
with my heart's load,
confessing my lack of faith
in You alone,
all I cannot understand
to You
Who do.

You know each heart,
each hidden wound,
each scar,
each one who played a part
in making those
we bring to You
the ones they are
(and dearest each to You
than us, by far),

now I give them
to Your loving care,
with a thankful heart,
-and leave them there.

"Commit your way to the Lord, roll and repose
each care of your load on Him; trust, lean on, rely on,
and be confident also in Him and He will bring it to pass.

And He will make your uprightness and right standing
with God go forth as the light, and your justice and right
as the shining sun of the noonday.

Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently
lean yourself upon Him."

Psalm 37:5-7

"Commit To God"

The Amplified Bible pictures us committing our load
to God by rolling it onto Him. It is helpful to note that we
can roll something that is too heavy to carry or to cast.
What are we to commit-to-trust-to God?

Ourselves. Psalm 22:8:

"He trust in the Lord; let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him, since He delights in him."

Our Burden. Psalm 55:22

Cast your cares on the Lord
and He will sustain you;
He will never let the righteous fall.

Our Souls. 1 Peter 4:19

"So then, those who suffer according to God's will should
commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue 
to do good."

Our Way. Psalm 37:5:

"Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in Him."

Our Cause.  1 Peter 2:23

"When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate;
when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted
Himself to Him who judges justly."

Our Works. Proverbs 16:3

"Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and your plans will succeed."

Reverend Billy and Ruth Graham and their children
from left to right: Virginia, Anne, Ruth (Bunny) Franklin, and Ned.

"Woman of God"
CTA Inc.

"Commit To God"
A devotion by 
Ruth Bell Graham, from
the "Women's Devotional Bible"
Copyright Ruth Bell Graham

"With A Thankful Heart"
from "Prodigals And Those Who Love Them"
By Ruth Bell Graham
(1991, 1999)
The Ruth Bell Graham Literary Trust

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A Prayer For Children

We pray for children who put chocolate fingers
everywhere, who like to be tickled, who stomp in
puddles and ruin their pants, who sneak Popsicles
before supper, who erase holes in math workbooks,
who can never find their shoes.

And we pray for those who stare at photographs from
behind barbed wire, who can't bound in the street in a new
pair of sneakers, who never go to the circus, who live
in an X-rated world.

Starving children in North Korea

We pray for children who bring us sticky kisses and
fistfuls of dandelions, who sleep with the dog and bury the
goldfish, who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money,
who cover themselves in band-Aids and sing off-key, who
squeeze toothpaste all over the sink, who slurp their soup.

And we pray for those who never get dessert,
who have no safe blanket to drag behind them,
who watch their parents watch them die, who can't
find any bread to steal, who don't have any rooms to
clean up, whose pictures aren't on anybody's dresser,
whose monsters are real.

A Christian victim of ISIS

We pray for children who spend all their allowance before Tuesday,
who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food, who
like ghost stories, who shove dirty clothes under the bed and never
rinse the tub, who get visits from the tooth fairy, who don't like to
be kissed in front of the carpool, who squirm in church and scream
in the phone, whose tears we sometimes laugh at, whose smiles
can make us cry.

We pray for those whose nightmares come in the daytime,
who will eat anything, who aren't spoiled by anybody, who
go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep, and who live
and move but have no being.

More than half of American Indian children in the 
United States of America grow up in extreme poverty on reservation lands.

We pray for children who want to be carried and
for those who must, for those we never give up on, and
for those who don't get a second chance. For those we smother...
and for those who will grab the hand of anybody kind
enough to offer it.

Child refugees in the South Sudan

Bless the beasts and the children
For in this world they have no voice,
They have no choice.
Bless the beasts and the children,
For the world can never be
The world they see.

Light their way
When the darkness surrounds them;
Give them love, let it shine all around them.
Bless the beasts and the children;
Give them shelter from a storm;
Keep them safe
Keep them warm.

Light their way
When the darkness surrounds them;
Give them love, let it shine all around them.
Bless the beasts and the children;
Give them shelter from a storm;
Keep them safe;
Keep them warm.

Bless the beasts and the children
Give them shelter from a storm;
Keep them safe;
Keep them warm.

Bless The Beasts And The Children
The Carpenters

"A Prayer For Children"
By Ina J. Hughes

"Bless The Beast And The Children"
Barry De Vorzon/ Peter L.Botkin