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What is our calling in this era of persecution? What are the fiery darts that will distract us from that calling?

     Slowly but surely the Sleeping Church is being awakened to the horrific persecution against Christians in Iraq. Those who react with disbelief cannot deny the pictorial reports of innocent children lying dead in the arms of ISIS soldiers. Suffering and persecution seems rampant from Africa, to China, to the Middle East, and even America (remember 911?)

AND STILL THE CHURCH SLEEPS?

MAYBE NOT!

WAKE UP TO SATAN’S TACTICS TO KEEP US DISTRACTED WITH FIERY DARTS.

RECOGNIZE that Fiery Dart thinking will insure the Church remains dormant!

-Of course, the initial response for many is to pray.  But the fiery darts will attempt to convince us that praying is a hopeless effort. 

-The fiery darts will have us focus on the horrendous images in the news, on the internet to the extent that we will be overwhelmed. We will begin to despair that the evil cannot be overcome and will continue to spread, no matter what we do.

-Guilt, is one of the most effective of fiery darts. It’s poison will have us feeling guilty for every blessing that is ours, feeling guilty because we aren’t over there trying to help, feeling guilty because the fiery darts have tricked us into believing there is nothing we can do. The guilt will increasingly weigh us down with every passing day.

-We turn our eyes and thoughts away from the genocide because the fiery darts induce us to think it’s too horrible to bear. So we coil up within ourselves and hide from the evil. Besides it’s far far away from us. Perhaps, it will eventually die down and just go away!

BUT HERE IS WHAT GOD HAS TO SAY IN RESPONSE!

-First and foremost Pray!

     Especially, Christians all over the world, but especially those of us in the USA. Can you imagine anything more horrible than children being beheaded and entire Christian communities being assaulted by rape and death? I can’t. Then what would only add to this gruesome image would be for Christians to think that praying was a feeble act.

(REJECT THIS THOUGHT)

(REPLACE  THE FIERY DART THOUGHT WITH THIS TRUTH THOUGHT)

But here’s how Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:8-11 felt about prayers: 

For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers,2 of mthe affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us nrely not on ourselves bout on God pwho raises the dead. 10 qHe delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. rOn him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. 11 sYou also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf tfor the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.-

I would like to share with you a commentary made by a fellow blogger about the above verse as it relates to the heinous events taking place in Iraq and around the world.

The grievous trial that made them despair of even living was given so that they would not trust in themselves, but in the God who raises even the dead (He became their ONLY hope) AND the PRAYERS OF THE SAINTS HELPED HIM!  Can I just shout it again?  THE PRAYERS OF THE SAINTS DELIVERED A GIFT TO HIM THAT EVEN THEIR PRESENCE COULD NOT

http://robertsfamilyhope.wordpress.com/2014/08/08/awake-oh-sleeper/

Don’t know how to word your prayers? Here’s some help!

http://www.radical.net/blog/2014/08/take-action-looming-humanitarian-catastrophe/

  • Ask the Lord to awaken the world to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Iraq and to provide pathways for Christians and others to respond.

  • Ask God to miraculously protect the Yazidis and other Kurds who fled into the mountains; ask Him to provide a means of rescue and temporary homes for the refugees.

  • Pray that ISIS leaders and soldiers would experience the love of Jesus Christ and that their lives would be transformed.

  • Ask God to preserve and embolden the small remnant of believers in Mosul and Kurdistan, so that one day through their witness, every Iraqi might have the opportunity to hear the Gospel.

AND MIGHT I ADD TO FERVENTLY PRAY 2 CHRONICLES 7:14. 

You can also GIVE and here’s how!

BP: “Help respond to Iraq’s refugee crisis by donating to the International Mission Board’s general relief fund or by texting imbrelief to 80888, which will donate $10 to that fund. To give through Baptist Global Response, visit gobgr.org/donate or text bgr to 80888.” (More info here)

Christians at the polls; or not! Point No. 5

OR, No Vote; no voice!

OR, No Vote; no voice!

Point No. 5

I can’t get to the polls on election day.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiGfXr88iYE

The Fiery Dart of Excuse No. 5

I am confident that many Christians have legitimate reasons for not being able to vote or get to the polls.  These are particularly susceptible to the fiery dart that if you can’t get to the polls then it’s okay not to vote. If we do not possess the conviction that voting is a God-given responsibility, then we are prime targets for this fiery dart.

However,

If you do possess the conviction that voting is a God-given responsibility, then you will find a way to vote!  If you need someone to come pick you up so you can go vote, you will find someone who is willing to give you a ride.  If you are physically impaired, then you will find out how you can vote; perhaps by absentee ballot.  But remember, where there is conviction, there is action and you will find a way to express your voice.

And by the way fellow Christians, get out there and find those people who legitimately can’t get to the polls and offer your assistance. It’s the Christian thing to do! Remember, there are those with ulterior motives who will beat you to the punch if you don’t.

*     *     *     *

The window of opportunity to save this country for ourselves, our children, our grandchildren and future generations grows smaller every day.  But I firmly feel, if those 60 million eligible Christian voters would accept their God-given responsibility to vote, (and get registered, if they aren’t already) our beloved America could be saved! No more excuses, you hear me! Just Vote!

 

 

Christians at the polls; or not! Point No. 4

OR, No Vote; no voice!

OR, No Vote; no voice!

 

Point No. 4

My one vote doesn’t matter.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiGfXr88iYE

The Fiery Dart of Excuse No. 4

This fiery dart has been used for so long that you would think people would be wise to it.  Alas, it still finds receptive minds and successfully imbeds its poison into these minds. Satan blinds Christians (those who don’t bear the conviction that voting is a God given responsibility) from seeing that they are 60 million strong!  He isolates them and thus convinces them that they are alone! A dangerous place for anyone to be, much less a Christian.

However,

Here’s the truth that shoots the above excuse clear out of the water!

The video puts it this way, ‘You take one vote, based on biblical values, and multiply it by millions of other votes based on biblical values and what do you get? A landslide! It starts with one vote!’  Our beloved America is in trouble. Christians, we need to remember that we are a formidable force, if we will only band together!

I came across an article that proves and I mean proves the power of one vote. You have just got to read this:

 http://www.adawipartnership.org/Attachments/Voting_OneVote.htm

Wrapping things up next post, Point No. 5

 

Christians at the polls; or not! Point No. 3

OR, No Vote; no voice!

OR, No Vote; no voice!

Point No. 3

Our country is in a big mess. My vote isn’t going to change that.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiGfXr88iYE

The Fiery Dart of Excuse No. 3

Maybe now more than ever our beloved America is indeed in a big mess.  Christians all over the country are throwing up their hands in despair and as much as saying, ‘I quit’, apparently.  The fiery dart that their vote wouldn’t make a difference has been convincing enough to keep half of the 60 million Christians eligible to vote from making their voice heard.  Pretty powerful lie isn’t it!

However, 

Answer this question: How do things get changed in this country? If you said, voting, then you would be right. Read the history books! It’s an account of citizens who saw voting as a responsibility and allowed no one or thought to keep them from fulfilling that responsibility.  

Can you imagine the impact 60 million voters could have on turning things around in our country?

But wait a minute, that leads into my next post! Point No. 4

Christians at the polls; or not! Point No. 2

OR, No Vote; no voice!

OR, No Vote; no voice!

 

Point No. 2

I don’t like any of the candidates. The one I like isn’t even in the running!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiGfXr88iYE

The Fiery Dart of Excuse No. 2

If you don’t like any of the candidates, then don’t vote.

If we don’t feel strongly (it’s a matter of conviction) about fulfilling our responsibility as citizens of this great country of ours by voting, then we can easily be persuaded (or should I so manipulated) to solve our dilemma by simply not voting. If ‘Me’ is the center of our focus, instead of what is good for America, then we will strive to do whatever makes us happy.  If we aren’t happy with the candidates who are running, then not voting appears to be the solution to us.

However,

Replace the above reasoning (fiery dart) with the Truth Thought below:

The video I mentioned reminds us that we should, in cases like this, vote the better choice.  And remember, if Christians get registered and vote, due to our vast numbers, our combined voices will eventually become so loud that the type of candidates we would want to vote for will get into the running. 

Tomorrow? Point No. 3

 

 

Just Resist!

     As some of you may know, I write another blog about being a parent of a foreign missionary, giving a transparent view of what that’s like. This post gives some insight as to what I’ve learned about fiery darts as it applies to being the mom of a missionary. 

All 9 of my treasures!

All 9 of my treasures!

 

     Every time I see a picture of my 20 month old grandson or hear his voice when his daddy calls me, I get blasted with a huge onslaught of fiery darts such as:

-my grandson doesn’t know me

-the memories I am making with my grandchildren here always exclude him

-he has no memory of our time together (when he was 3 & 4 months)

-I miss out on the milestones of his development; first steps, crawling, first words, first tooth

-I can’t hug him, or hold him, or play with him, or rock him to sleep

-etc.

 

How on earth do I find a way to get through my days burdened with these thoughts?

The main thing I do is to RESIST these thoughts. Yes, they are true but what good does it do to dwell on them? I don’t particularly enjoy being miserable but if I allow these fiery dart thoughts to rule my thinking then miserable I would be.

What do I do instead?

I recognize them for the fiery darts they are.

I reject them. (I don’t allow myself to dwell on such thoughts)

I replace these thoughts with truth thoughts.

Such as:

-Thanking God for the time I got to visit him where I held him, sang to him, and lavished as much attention on him as I could.

-Looking forward to future visits with him for he will be 2+ and might even be able to remember me some.

-Resting in the peace that God will give us a special attachment for each other.

-Being content to share in his life though packages from home, and whatever media source God provides.

-Thanking God for the relationship I have with his parents knowing they will be deliberate about making sure my grandson will know me.

     But the main thing is to accept and be at peace with the call of God on his parent’s life, and giving them all the love and support they deserve. Philippines 4:6-7 is my stabilizing force in all of this:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.-

What does a fiery dart attack look like? (Refresher course!)

Negative thoughts produce negative behavior!

Negative thoughts came first; from that came this!

     Our little cartoon girl certainly would have been drawn quite differently if someone was trying to illustrate the result of positive thinking, don’t you think? !

 

REMEMBER,

What we think determines how we feel and what we feel influences out actions. A negative action is often the result of negative thinking!  p. 15 Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice.

     As I watch the destructive force being poured out upon people (Christian and nonChristian alike) via fiery darts, I am almost tempted to despair. (But I don’t give into that because I RECOGNIZE it is a fiery dart.) 

     For those of you who have a copy of my book and who read this blog, fiery darts have been exposed and you now possess the knowledge of how you have been (hopefully, it’s a past tense thing with you) manipulated.

     Of course, this doesn’t mean that you aren’t bothered with fiery darts anymore, does it? Nope, not at all, if anything the attacks come more frequently now! Well, that has certainly been the case with me.

A real life example of a fiery dart attack!

     There I stood in confrontation with a person whom I love and cherish. I had made a mistake and because of the stress that laid heavily upon this person their reaction to my mistake was blown totally out of proportion and negative thoughts (fiery darts, you see) fueled some very negative words as a result.

     At first, my response was to sincerely apologize (I was trying hard to respond, not react for I was keenly aware of the stress involved). But as the tension escalated, I soon realized that a sincere apology wasn’t going to suffice. After repeated attempts to apologize failed, I soon found myself bombarded mentally with fiery darts and I was struggling to stay afloat.  After all, I wrote a book about this very thing, I should know how to handle the onslaught (the fiery darts within my own mind), right? !

      Then, at a critical moment during our negative discourse, my confrontation partner spoke a “truth thought” that served to overpower the fiery darts swirling through my mind. Therefore, the tension slowly subsided and clarity with understanding prevailed. This confrontation ended on a positive note and the relationship between us was strengthened. 

Why?

1) Because we RECOGNIZED the fiery darts with which both of us were being attacked.  

2)We struggled to REJECT them, (not an easy task I can assure you, but we did it. Power of God’s grace, you know)  

3)Finally by REPLACING the fiery darts with truth thoughts we overpowered their negativity and peace prevailed.

Refer to my blog post on The 3 R’s of Fighting Fiery Darts from which the above was derived: http://wp.me/p1ZA1r-9p 

God, Our Logistics Coordinator wrap up!

This my friend, is how you conquer the fiery dart of worry!

This my friend, is how you conquer the fiery dart of worry!

I am just a worrier. It’s the way I was made.  I can’t help it!

     The next time you make that statement or hear someone else make that statement, I hope you will refer to my blog posts. You see, worry is a major fiery dart! Worry will create all sorts of turmoil within your mind. That turmoil will make you vulnerable and a prime target for fiery darts that will undermine your trust and faith in God.  

     If you ever have any thoughts like the ones I opened with in this post, then plant your feet firmly in God’s Word and

1 – Recognize those thoughts for the fiery darts that they are

2 – Reject them outright for dear readers they are nothing but lies

3 – Replace them with Truth thoughts (go to your computer and type in the phrase “verses about worry” for there you will find a bunch of them. God has a lot to say about worrying) but I highly recommend,

 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:67 (NIV)

     Now that you have had the opportunity to read my last two posts illustrating, through personal testimony, why I see God as my logistics coordinator, I hope I have given you food for thought that will deflect all those fiery darts that tempt you to worry. He will prove to you, as He does for me over and over again, that He can be trusted to work all things out for my good (ooh, sounds like Romans 8:28 doesn’t it!)  That, my dear readers is a liberated way to live!

God – Our Logistics Coordinator! or How to Fight Worry! Part One

 

This is me; not trusting!

This is me; in worry mode!

 

     Awhile back, two of my friends and I took a road trip to attend a ladies’ retreat in the mountains; about an 8 hour drive from our homes. (Of course, that’s just the drive time; we stopped at Cracker Barrel going and coming. The two in one experience–eating and shopping, you know. Well then, let’s say 8+ hours.)  We learned a lot about each other, made a heap of memories, and discovered a rather unique character trait possessed by God.  It has taken numerous experiences for God to teach me that He can work things out without me fretting and worrying over how He’s going to do it.  So while I have been blessed by this trait of God’s, it wasn’t until this trip that I found a name for it.  And here it is:

Logistics Coordinator!

     A logistics coordinator, by definition, is someone who plans, implements, and coordinates the details for someone else.  After reading the illustration below, followed by the 2nd illustration in my next blog post, I hope it will become clear to you that acknowledging God’s ability to work things out for our good (Romans 8:28), is a powerful weapon in defeating worry.  So, let’s begin!

Illustration No. 1

     My friends and I were driving to a quaint little restaurant in the mountains for lunch. We had driven to this little lakeside restaurant the day before but had arrived too late to eat.  This time we left early enough to arrive in time for lunch and to enjoy a spectacular view in the process.  But while time was on our side as we made our way towards the restaurant on that picture perfect spring day, my gas gauge was not!  I notified my friends that we were getting rather low on gas and it might be a good idea to pray.  None of us could remember exactly how much further the restaurant was or even IF we had enough gas to get us there.  So, we prayed for a gas station!

    Now, here’s where the connection to Worry comes into play.  Under the circumstances, I am sure you can understand why we were sorely tempted to fret and worry.  You name the fiery darts that would be apparent on such an occasion and believe me Satan shot them at us.  And as I watched that gas gauge move closer and closer to the empty mark, and no gas station or restaurant yet appeared on the near horizon, I felt it was necessary that I come up with a plan just in case God’s plan was NOT to get us to a gas station in time.  I knew that my friends at the camp would come to our rescue, if needed.  But then we were in the mountains and cell reception was ‘iffy’ at best.  (Okay, sometimes you can over think a situation!)

     I resisted the fiery darts with all the strength I could muster from my lessons on how to fight (and win) against  such negative thinking.  I called on the 3 R’s of fighting fiery darts: 1)recognize the fiery darts  2) resist the fiery darts  3) replace the fiery darts (you remember, with truth thoughts.

https://fierydarts.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/the-3-rs-of-fighting-fiery-darts-revised-plan

     It was an effort on my part but by the grace of God, I maintained a controlled calm.  My friends were doing the same, but I knew it was a struggle.  The reason I knew that was because of all the wise cracks they were making.  When you are faced with a dilemma such as ours, sometimes laughter is a beneficial distraction.

     And as so often happens, a few minutes after the ‘need to fill the gas tank asap’ light came on (causing the oxygen level to be seriously depleted as we all gasped for air) there appeared the gas pumps (not station, just a couple of dated pumps outside a run down little  mom and pop type grocery).  And next door to them was the restaurant; still open!  We were rescued!

     Wow, I came away from that adventure convinced I had the best logistics coordinator in the universe (and of course, I did. We all do, actually). There is one more experience that I want to share with you that will illustrate the benefit of seeing God as our very own and personal Logistics Coordinator!  However, this is enough for now, so I will wait till next post and bring all this to a conclusion then.  

This is My Reality–But. . .

Are you depressed over your present reality?

Do you find yourself wishing things in your life were different?

Are you a negative thinker, more often than not?

Well, my dear readers, don’t look now but you have become a victim of fiery dart thinking.  A fiery dart thinker has some curious characteristics. Here’s only a few:

Sees a cup half empty; instead of half full!

Focuses on self–primarily!

Knows little of contentment!

Is quick to find fault with others!

Lacks appreciation and gratefulness!

Has a difficult time accepting their reality; gets upset easily!

Nobody would want it said of them that they possess any of the characteristics from the list above.  And the good news is that while we may have such a negative bent, it can be overcome and brought under control.  But there are some things of which we need to become aware.

I have found in my own life, that there came a time when I needed to stop wishing things were different and to pray for grace to accept things they way they were.  When my problem was defined and I came to realize the power of negative thinking, only then did the light begin to shine:

As God continues to shed light on the darkness that plagued my walk with Him, I am developing an understanding of what has gone so wrong for so many. For it has become glaringly clear that negative thinking,. . . was at the core of my problematic walk with God…(FD p2-3)

While this game changing revelation didn’t occur until recent years (Oh how I wish it had but my reality is that it didn’t. I accept that and focus on all those powerful lessons I learned and am learning that I have to share with you), I have discovered some pretty exciting things.  Here’s a sampling:

I can be at peace in the midst of my storms!  (now I am not saying this occurs immediately but I get there a lot sooner than I use to!)

I see cups that are half full more often than not!

I’ve got more fight in me to resist those fiery darts so the negative thinking does not rule me as it once did!

I get attacked but I don’t fall down! (Hey, that sounds familiar doesn’t it!)  Well, it ought too, read this:

 We are experiencing all kinds of trouble, but we aren’t crushed. We are confused, but we aren’t depressed. We are harassed, but we aren’t abandoned. We are knocked down, but we aren’t knocked out.2 Corinthians 4:8-9 English Bible (CEB)

And may I add, that after an attack, I don’t dive into depression and turn on myself like I use to.  Those fiery darts just have lost their power to rule me! Yes, they grab me sometimes and depending on the degree of fire in them may shake me, but my training (you know, my lessons on fiery darts. It’s a book now!) empowers me to break free.  Hallelujah!

And you know that sense of contentment that seems to elude us far too often?  Well, let me just say, it doesn’t elude me anything like it use too.  And this verse contains the secret:    

   Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in what whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippines 4:11-13 NIV

And finally, I’m learning to pick and choose what I allow to influence me.  Certainly, not the world. No tv show, actor, or actress, or the negative attitude of others.  Nope, I resist those fiery darts (and like I said, some are tougher than others, but I plant my feet and resist) and turn my gaze upon what’s important to Jesus!

 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2 (NIV)

Sometimes, we encounter some pretty unpleasant and difficult realities in this world, but take heart we get to choose how we deal with them, 

I would encourage you to remember that you choose victory or defeat. And know that refusing to choose is a choice to fall and suffer defeat. Victory is yours as Deuteronomy 20:4 reminds us, “For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” (NIV) It is your choice! We know that Satan’s plans are to destroy us, but take heart for God has plans for us as well. Jeremiah 29:11, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”(NIV) FIERY DARTS: SATAN’S WEAPON OF CHOICE, p. 45