Clarifying the Plans


.John 10:10a (HCSB), “A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy.” So what is it that the Enemy desires to steal, kill, and destroy? The answer is obvious—anything God has planned for us!      p 13 FD’s 3rd edition

   It’s obvious that America is in trouble. Chaos reigns in hot spots throughout our land. Too many of our leaders have called upon human reasoning and false arguments to replace the Christian principles upon which our country was founded. Slowly but surely the foundations of our country are being eroded away.

  But you know the same is true for individuals. Rejecting God sets us on the same course of depending upon human reasoning and false arguments. The outcome of such a choice places our lives, families, and ,therefore, our country at risk.

And because we are not motivated to spend time with God in prayer and in His word, we are ignorant of the following Truths:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NIV

The second half of John 10:10 reveals an aspect of God’s plan for His children, “I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” p 13 FD’s 3rd edition

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV), ‘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.’ p 24 FD’s 3rd edition


How about we examine the two plans

Cooperating with God’s plan produces

… Galatians 5:22-23. This is the familiar verse describing the fruits of the Spirit. When God puts a thought into your mind, then, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, or selfcontrol, for example, is the desired end. The purpose behind thoughts influenced by God is meant to conform us into the image of His Son. p 54 FD 3rd edition

Rejecting God’s plan produces

Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. Galatians 5:19-21

So why do individuals choose Satan’s plan over God’s plan?

In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.         2 Corinthians 4:4 HCSB


Please open our eyes LORD. Lead us out of our darkness into Your Light!

Seasons of Attack

   No matter what season of life we may find ourselves, Satan knows exactly how to attack. Unwittingly, we succumb to the lies of fiery darts (for lack of time spent in prayer and bible study). Lies that tempt us to accept the stresses and strains of every seasons of life as, “Well, that’s just the way it is!” We don’t recognize them for the fiery darts they are. For example:


   Growing up in a Christian home, accepting Christ at nine, growing in my commitment to God. Reaching a turning point at 21…life took an abrupt turn and my relationship with God got a lot more personal.

Yet, fiery darts took advantage of my immaturity. 


   Being a young wife, wrapping up college, moving away from home, focusing my energies and thoughts on marriage, school, and living this new life! New home, new church, new college, new surroundings, no family…it wasn’t easy to maintain a consistent walk with God.

   I fondly remember those younger years as a mother of four. Always busy, running from one activity to another. Life was packed full with church events, caring for children, home, marriage. It didn’t leave time for much else.

Fiery darts found an entry as I began to be distracted from focusing on God.


   Children growing up, the nest starts emptying. Transition after transition throws obstacles in my way. Becoming a bit bewildered about how to handle life. Some problems have hung around so long, it’s a strong temptation to just become resigned to them. 

The fiery darts reflect a life too busy to sit at Jesus feet. Thoughts of confusion, frustration, and doubt coupled with fear tend  to rule my thinking. 


   Because of my age there are troubling concerns. Will my health hold out. Will I be able to make it financially? And as children move away (taking my grandchildren with them), loneliness begins to stalk me. Then there are some problems stubbornly hanging around with no solution in sight. And searching for a new purpose can be a bit daunting!

The fiery darts are defined by the fear and doubt lurking behind every troubling thought.

   In looking back on my journey, I have often pondered why it took so many years for me to reach the path that led out of the darkness of my negative thinking. I may never know the answer to that question. But I do know that while my journey was lengthy, so were the lessons I learned. pp 14-15 FD’s 3rd edition.

*      *      *

   Please don’t wait until the autumn of your life as I did, to have Satan’s attack plan exposed. Start learning it now, teach it to your children, grandchildren! 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 holds the key as to where to begin:

We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. NLT

Exposing the Hidden Enemy


 We have an enemy that must be identified! After horrible tragedies like the one we saw in Parkland, Fl., we grasp at an array of judgements in a frantic attempt to identify the enemy. Tragically, we chase one argument after another, never zeroing in on who the real enemy is. Therefore, the real enemy remains hidden.

   Obviously, Satan is our enemy, our adversary. He is the one who cunningly designs temptations that will steal, kill, and destroy (from John 10:10a).  Satan tempts that part of us that wants our own way and doesn’t like to be told what to do…that part that seeks to exalt ourselves…our fleshly nature. 

Consider the following:

What we think determines how we feel, and what we feel influences our actions. A negative action is often the result of negative thinking. Understandably, if Satan can negatively influence our thinking, then the temptation to act negatively will be hard for us to resist… p. 27, FD 3rd edition

   The weapon of negative thinking or fiery darts, is Satan’s most powerful weapon. But how is it that we as Christians, and even those who aren’t Christians, can be so easily manipulated and deceived? Sad to say, it’s very simple: 

When we don’t spend enough time in God’s Word, our ability to recognize the lies of fiery darts is equally diminished. In the place of God’s Truth, the world’s concept of truth generally begins to define our thinking. p. 43, FD 3rd edition

Of course, for those who have rejected God, it is obvious how they have been blinded to God’s Truth. The world’s concept of truth and their sinful nature defines truth for them and God’s Truth bears little, if any, weight. Satan’s job of manipulation, therefore, takes little effort. p. 43 FD, 3rd edition

   Fiery darts are designed to create a wedge of sin between us and God. Eventually, we will become blinded to the Truth, and we will be deceived into rejecting God’s plan for our lives.

I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10b NKJV


   Thought by thought our lives will take a downward turn. And individual by individual our country will spiral downward, as well. However, there is hope, if we genuinely desire healing for ourselves and for our country!



True Beauty is Ageless


   Growing old in our culture (the United States that is) can be quite discouraging and challenging. Contributing to this dilemma, is society’s obsession with an outward image. To be beautiful is to be young and agile. Beauty, therefore, is defined by an outward image. 

   If we buy into this definition, we become targets of the enemy’s fiery darts.  Thus, we may find ourselves laboring to maintain an outward youthful image. So where will that leave us when our hair turns gray, our skin has lost its elasticity, or the wrinkles in our face refuse to be concealed?

  Recently, I witnessed someone who is a contradiction to society’s definition of what is beautiful. She is an elderly woman, a former high school teacher of mine. I watched her as she slowly and carefully (and I might add gracefully) ascended the steps to her destination. While her hair is gray, and she is obviously not as agile as she once was there is one thing about her that has remained constant–her inner beauty. To me, she is as beautiful now as she was when she was my favorite high school teacher (when society only noticed her outward beauty). However, the nature of her beauty did not grow dim with age. 

   Of course, it’s not that we shouldn’t strive to look our best. It’s just that we need to understand that our true beauty comes from within. What’s on the outside will fade in time, no matter our efforts. 

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.

Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:3-4

Great Disappointments

Not long ago I read, “There is a higher purpose to be discovered in times of great disappointments.”

   But trust me, when great disappointments first arrive, the last thing we want to consider is what the higher purpose might be! More than likely our thoughts are consumed by the pain such disappointments precipitates. While the pain must be processed, we must

Consider the following:

   During times of great disappointment, we are particularly vulnerable to fiery dart attacks. Such attacks give rise to an ‘all about me’ mentality. We will be set on a course chartered by self-centered thinking.

   Thoughts of false reasoning are attracted by such thinking. Therefore, the pain we  encounter, as it is filtered through false reasoning, will only be intensified. 


   If we open our minds to the Comforter, our thoughts will instead be filtered through God’s Truth. We will find our hearing becoming more acute to His whisperings. We will discover that while the pain may linger, it will become more manageable. Gradually, our thoughts will settle down and we will know a peace that passes understanding.  And this is all ours, even if the particulars didn’t turn out the way we would have wished.

The higher purpose? 

   Our great disappointments surrender their power to defeat us when we focus on thoughts inspired by God’s Truths.

Trusting God in the hard times

. . . all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 HCSB

But what if God doesn’t work things out in the way we had hoped for? 

Those times are tough! And the fiery darts are merciless. We have a tendency to be mad at God.  We question God. We feel God is ignoring us. Sometimes, the way God works things out breaks our hearts. Peace evades us at times like these. We might even feel like giving up on prayer, after all what good has it done in those difficult times. We experience frustration when we open our bible because nothing seems to speak to our need. We cry out to God, “I just don’t understand what you are doing here God. This isn’t what I prayed for at all!”

We take on an ‘it’s all about me’ perspective. All we can think about is our own feelings. How disappointed we are. How hurt we are.  It’s at times like these, we must remember the following: 

We must trust God.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding;
think about Him in all your ways,
and He will guide you on the right paths. Proverbs 3:5-7 NIV

You know, God sees the bigger picture. He’s in charge and we have to submit to that.

We must remember that God desires what is best for us

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, Ephesians 3:20 ESV

Because He sees the bigger picture, God knows what needs to be done, so that the plans He has for us can be fulfilled.   Remember, God knows what is best for us. We only think  we do! We need to remember His thoughts are not our thoughts.   

God will sustain us (especially when things get rough)

Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. Psalms 55:22 HCSB

God knows we won’t get any relief if we insist on carrying that burden. He lovingly and patiently waits for us to turn it all over to Him. 

God loves us:

“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 HCSB

The reason we can calm down and trust God is because His love for us knows no bounds. Will God, who sacrificed His innocent Son for us, ignore us in our time of disappointment and hurt? That doesn’t even make sense. But we are tempted to forget that powerful Truth. The Truth that will set us free from the temptations meant to destroy us.

When to focus on Christmas?


It’s the Christmas season!


Time to get out my Christmas decorations.

You know, I would love to just be able to focus on the Christ Child.

And I will. Right after I finish decorating.


Wait! There’s all that Christmas shopping to do.

Family, special friends, school teachers, Sunday School teachers, 

My list gets longer every year!

Perhaps as soon as I finish decorating and shopping, and wrapping presents, then I can focus on the Christ Child.

Oh, but I’ve got Christmas parties  and Christmas programs that I MUST attend, and each one requires a potluck dish or a gift to exchange.

Surely when things slow down, I will have time to focus on the Christ Child.


Hold up! The family is coming over for a traditional Christmas family dinner.

What on earth will I fix this year? Gonna spend a wad on that grocery bill.

Surely, once that is completed I will have a moment to focus on the Christ Child.



Oops! Christmas is finally over. And I’m beyond exhausted! 

Did I ever find the time to focus on the Christ Child?

I’m t-o-o-o tired to remember!



Another Christmas has been undermined by fiery dart thinking! Putting our focus on the Christ Child must be done first and foremost. Then from that focus we will proceed to successfully celebrate Christmas! Amen?