Trump, Hillary & This Election – It’s Our Fault!

We are five days away from Election Day and I decided to share a few thoughts.  I believe there is a permanent hole in my tongue from where I have been biting it every time I see a political post on social media!  Has anyone else ever seen an election like this one?  I certainly haven’t!

So as we approach the big day, here are a few things to consider.

Trump, Hillary & This Election - It's Our Fault!

Disclaimer: this is written from the perspective of a Bible believer, for fellow Bible believers.  There are a thousand different angles from which one can view this election and the surrounding issues.  I’m addressing it from a Biblical background.  If you want to argue with me, make sure you bring your Scriptures 😉 Read more

Police Officers, Hatred, & People Created In His Image

Police Officers, Hatred, & People Created In His Image

The news channels were reporting a shooting in Dallas resulting in five police officers killed and seven wounded, along with two civilians.

My father had taken Abigail, Samuel and I on a quick trip to Florida to deliver a dog to the airport in Miami for a previous customer.  We were having a lovely trip and had just finished a wonderful afternoon at the beach hanging out with friends.  And then my blood ran cold by the news that met my eyes.

I laid there in my bed late that night … and the word “why” kept running through my head.  Those police officers were doing their job …. PROTECTING people.  Why were their lives taken in such a brutal, heartless attack?

The attack was planned for revenge because a white police officer shot a black man.  I have heard over and over again …. “Black lives matter!”  You know what … I completely agree!  Black lives do matter … I love black people!  But 2 Corinthians 5:16 says,

… henceforth know we no man after the flesh:

Read more

A Call To Prayer And Fasting

A Call To Prayer And Fasting - Temple Mount Ascension

Many people have heard this simple child’s prayer at some point in their life.  Few seriously give much thought about a child dying in their sleep.  For Hallel Ariel, a 13 year old Israeli girl, this prayer became a reality.

A Call To Prayer And Fasting - Temple Mount Ascension

On Thursday June 30th, she was brutally stabbed to death in her sleep, by a 17 year old Palestinian  man, who jumped the fence that encircled her Israeli community.  On a side note, after living in Israel we noticed how the Israeli communities had fences around them and the Arab communities did not.  Why?  Israelis generally don’t go into Arab areas to murder innocent people. Read more

Disney: Why Bible Believers Should Avoid The Magic Kingdom

Is there any company as well known and widely accepted as Disney?  From its incredible theme parks to outstanding movies, you can find the influences of this company nearly everywhere you turn.  Interestingly, most professing Christians are just as charmed with Disney as unbelievers … a distressing observation when you consider that professing Christians claim to believe the Bible.

Disney: Why Bible Believers Should Avoid The Magic Kingdom

Before I go any further, let me acknowledge that this article will probably step on some toes and it may offend some of you.  That is not my intention and I hope that you will receive what I say in the spirit in which it is written – one of love, compassion and concern.

When I was very young, my parents were convicted to not allow Disney into our home.  We children knew who Mickey Mouse was but we were taught to not play with him or any other Disney characters.  Why?

Well, what are some of the main words that come to mind when you think of Disney?

Magic.  Sorcery.  Wizard.  Enchanted.  Witchcraft.

Does any of that sound familiar?

Within the past few days, there have been many people upset about the possibility of Disney turning Elsa, the main character from Frozen, into a lesbian.  Most of these people are upset because they consider homosexuality to be a sin – an abomination, according to Leviticus 18:22.  But it has not seemed to occur to these people that Disney has been propagating sin and abominations ever since its establishment.  Let’s take a look at a few Scriptures.

“There shall not be found among you anyone who … practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.  For all who do these things are an abomination to YHWH.” – Deuteronomy 18:10-12

Shall we dive a little into the meanings of these words?

H07081 Kecem – divination, witchcraft.

In 1 Samuel 15:23, we are told that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.

H5172 Nachash – to practice divination, practice fortunetelling, take as an omen
H6049 Anan – to practice soothsaying, conjure

Leviticus 19:26 tells us, “nor shall you practice divination or soothsaying”.

H3784 Kashaph – meaning to practice witchcraft or sorcery, use witchcraft, sorcerer/sorceress

“You shall not permit a sorceress to live.” –  Exodus 22:18.

H3049 yid’oniy – a familiar spirit, soothsayer, necromancer

“Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am YHWH your God.” – Leviticus 19:31

“And the person who turns to mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people.” – Leviticus 20:6

“A man or a woman who is a medium, or who has familiar spirits, shall surely be put to death; they shall stone them with stones. Their blood shall be upon them.” – Leviticus 20:27

It seems pretty clear from these verses that everything pertaining to witchcraft, sorcery, magic, etc, is a sin and abomination.  And just in case anyone objects to solely using passages from the Old Testament scriptures to support this view, let’s see what the New Testament has to say about it.

Galatians 5:20 tells us that those who practice witchcraft (G5331 pharmakeiasorcery, magical arts) will not inherit the kingdom of God.  In Revelations 9:21, witchcraft is mentioned in connection with idolatry, murder, sexual immorality and theft.  And we are told in Acts 19:19 that when those who had practiced witchcraft came to faith in Messiah, they burned their books/resources.

I am not aware of one instance in the Bible where witchcraft or sorcery is exonerated.  So then why is it acceptable to welcome these things into our homes in the form of entertainment and children’s toys, and pay money to experience them at theme parks?

Disney: Why Bible Believers Should Avoid The Magic Kingdom

When my sisters and I were discussing this issue, and I mentioned that I have never heard anyone give a Biblically sound reason for embracing Disney, one of my sisters told me she was talking with a girl she had met and the girl mentioned how much she enjoyed these things.  When my sister mentioned that the Bible forbids them, the girl replied, “Yes, it does say that, but you can learn so many good morals from them!”

It would be laughable if it weren’t so pitiable!  Why don’t we welcome adulterers and murderers in to learn good morals from them as well?  In the eyes of the Almighty, are those not the same type of sins as witchcraft?

Disney is often referred to as ‘the magic kingdom’.  Since the Bible tells us that magic is an abomination and those who practiced it were to receive the death penalty, would it not be more accurate to call it ‘the devil’s kingdom’?

For anyone who is not quite convinced, I want to talk about Disney movies for a minute.  I have never seen a Disney movie – and I don’t plan to either!  But I decided to look up the plot summaries of seven of their well-known productions.  Let’s read through them and every time you see the references to magic, witchcraft and sorcery (which include things like fairies, wizards, trolls, spells and enchantment), remember that these things are an abomination to our Creator.

Frozen
Anna, a fearless optimist, sets off on an epic journey – teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff and his loyal reindeer Sven – to find her sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom. From the outside Anna’s sister, Elsa looks poised, regal and reserved, but in reality, she lives in fear as she wrestles with a mighty secret-she was born with the power to create ice and snow. It’s a beautiful ability, but also extremely dangerous. Haunted by the moment her magic nearly killed her younger sister Anna, Elsa has isolated herself, spending every waking minute trying to suppress her growing powers. Her mounting emotions trigger the magic, accidentally setting off an eternal winter that she can’t stop. She fears she’s becoming a monster and that no one, not even her sister, can help her.

Tangled
After receiving the healing powers from a magical flower, the baby Princess Rapunzel is kidnapped from the palace in the middle of the night by Mother Gothel. Mother Gothel knows that the flower’s magical powers are now growing within the golden hair of Rapunzel, and to stay young, she must lock Rapunzel in her hidden tower. Rapunzel is now a teenager and her hair has grown to a length of 70-feet. The beautiful Rapunzel has been in the tower her entire life, and she is curious of the outside world. One day, the bandit Flynn Ryder scales the tower and is taken captive by Rapunzel. Rapunzel strikes a deal with the charming thief to act as her guide to travel to the place where the floating lights come from that she has seen every year on her birthday. Rapunzel is about to have the most exciting and magnificent journey of her life.

Brave
Merida, a Scottish princess whose interests include archery and horse riding, is told by her mother that her interests are not what a princess should be doing and that she has to marry. But Merida chooses to defy her mother. And when she and her mother have an argument Merida rides off and meets a witch. She asks for a spell to change her mother. And the witch gives her a cake which she gives to her mother but the change is not what she was hoping for. So she tries to find a way to fix it.

Beauty and the Beast
Prince Adam was cursed to a beast form by Enchantress who saw no love in his arrogant heart for others. The one way he could break the spell was to learn to love another and earn her love in return before the last petal from his enchanted rose fell, which would bloom until his twenty-first birthday. But who could ever learn to love a beast? Ten years later, Maurice, an inventor from a nearby village, becomes lost in the woods and seeks shelter in the Beast’s castle, the Beast imprisons him for trespassing. His daughter Belle, a bookworm who dreams of life outside her provincial village, finds him trapped in the castle and offers her place instead. The Beast accepts with a promise she’ll remain in the castle forever. In the beginning Belle views him as nothing more than a monster, he views her as difficult and stubborn. But the two soon taste the bitter-sweetness of finding you can change and learning you were wrong.

The Little Mermaid
Loosely based upon the story by Hans Christian Andersen. Ariel, youngest daughter of King Triton, is dissatisfied with life in the sea. She longs to be with the humans above the surface, and is often caught in arguments with her father over those “barbaric fish-eaters”. She goes to meet Ursula, the Sea Witch, to strike a deal, but Ursula has bigger plans for this mermaid and her father.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
The beautiful and kindhearted princess Snow White charms every creature in the kingdom except one – her jealous stepmother, the Queen. When the Magic Mirror proclaims Snow White the fairest one of all, she must flee into the forest, where she befriends the lovable seven dwarfs – Doc, Sneezy, Grumpy, Happy, Bashful, Sleepy and Dopey. But when the Queen tricks Snow White with an enchanted apple, only the magic of true love’s kiss can save her!

The Princess and the Frog
A modern day retelling of the classic story The Frog Prince. The Princess and the Frog finds the lives of arrogant, carefree Prince Naveen and hardworking waitress Tiana crossing paths. Prince Naveen is transformed into a frog by a conniving voodoo magician and Tiana, following suit, upon kissing the amphibian royalty. With the help of a trumpet-playing alligator, a Cajun firefly, and an old blind lady who lives in a boat in a tree, Naveen and Tiana must race to break the spell and fulfill their dreams.

 As I mentioned last year in my post about homosexual marriage, if people do not believe in the God of the Bible, then it makes sense for them to accept and practice what the Bible calls sin.  I don’t agree with them but I can hardly blame them!  But for those people who do profess to follow the Bible, in light of the passages presented above, I cannot comprehend how they find it acceptable to welcome Disney into their homes.

I will close with one more verse … after we are told in Deuteronomy 18:10-12 to not practice these things because they are an abomination, verse 13 tells us, “You shall be blameless before YHWH your God.”  The word for blameless means ‘perfect’, ‘upright’ and ‘without spot/blemish’.

I meant to only share one verse but the meaning of that one reminded me of another one!  Ephesians 5:27, speaking of the Messiah, says, “that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”

Dear friends, please hear this in love: we cannot be holy and spotless when we welcome magic, witchcraft and sorcery into our homes and lives.

Are You Casting Your Pearls Before Swine?

Are You Casting Your Pearls Before Swine?

There is a saying that I have heard since I was young and it goes something like this:

Never let an untruth go unchallenged.

In other words, when someone is propagating false information, don’t just stand by and ignore it.  Speak up and let people hear the truth!

On one hand, I agree.  I do believe it is important to speak the truth in whatever situation we are find ourselves, even if it isn’t the most pleasant task.  We should never be ashamed of the truth to the point of keeping silent because of potential ridicule.

Some time ago I saw a comment conversation on Facebook.  The topic was one with which I am very familiar and hold strong opinions, and my first reaction was the urge to speak the truth.  I wanted to absolutely obliterate the ridiculous nonsense that this person was spouting!  Because, it was nonsense!  Worse than nonsense: it wasn’t true.  Sometimes people can have varying opinions on issues and both can be right … in this situation, she was dead wrong!

If you have spent any time on the Internet, especially on Facebook, I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about.  Sometimes people just say the stupidest things, or believe the most ridiculous nonsense, and it’s our moral responsibility to set them straight.

Right?

Well … maybe not right.  You see, there’s another saying that I’ve heard ever since I was young and it goes like this:

Are You Casting Your Pearls Before Swine?

You know that person that was spouting untruthful nonsense?  I could have fired back with some facts (lots of facts!) and proved her wrong.  Do you think it would have made any difference?  Not a bit!  She wasn’t open to hearing/considering something different than her opinions and she doesn’t have any reason to respect what I have to say.

Maybe there is someone in her life whom she respects and who has the open door to share truth with her, and maybe she would be willing to listen to them.  But that person isn’t me.  She doesn’t know me from Adam and any time I spend in an effort to enlighten her would be wasted.

Now let me make a disclaimer (you knew that was coming, didn’t you!):

There are times when the Heavenly Father would have us speak up and it may not seem as though anyone is listening.  It may seem like an utter waste of time and energy and yet He has a purpose and plan that we cannot yet see.

I remember hearing the story about a missionary in Africa who was walking the jungle and came upon a troop of monkeys.  He heard the Father tell him to start preaching to the monkeys.  He felt a little funny about it, but obeyed.  After he had preached the Gospel message, he heard the Father tell him to give an altar call.  He started to argue then … an altar call … for monkeys???  But he obeyed and when he did, a number of women came out from behind the bushes where the monkeys were.  They had hidden themselves when they saw him approaching and he had no idea that he was actually preaching to them, and not the chattering monkeys!

So yes, there are times when we do need to challenge an untruth or a wrong action and, while it may appear that our actions do not bear any fruit, the Father is working behind the scenes in ways we can’t even imagine!  But here is my exhortation: make sure it is the Father speaking through you and directing your words.

Are You Casting Your Pearls Before Swine?

If you spend your time trying to correct every error you see on the Internet, you are going to wear yourself out!  And chances are, you’re going to become disillusioned and bitter because you can’t make people see the truth.  You’re going to be casting your pearls before swine only to have them trampled and then they will turn to attack you (Matthew 7:6).

There’s an awful lot of arguing going on.  People express their opinions (and sometimes they’re really dumb ones, no doubt about it!) and everyone else feels the need to prove them wrong and set them straight.  Let me ask you something: how often does it work?

How often have you seen someone post something crazy on Facebook … and someone corrects them … and the person says, “Oh wow!  I was wrong!  Sorry about that, let me correct myself!”

It does happen but I daresay it is way out of proportion to the amount of “setting straight” attempts!

Are You Casting Your Pearls Before Swine?

Think about pearls for a minute.  They are special.  They are beautiful.  They are expensive.  No one in her right mind would toss pearls into the pigpen to keep the swine busy.  I can hear it now … “I was just trying to help them to feel beautiful!”

Our knowledge can be like pearls, in fact, Proverbs 20:15 says, “But the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.”  Truth, wisdom, understanding … all of these are a special treasure for which we should be thankful.  But keep in mind, you don’t share your treasures with everyone.  Only with some.

The next time you see one of those glaring errors cross your screen, I encourage you to prayerfully consider – do I speak up?  Or would I simply be casting my pearls before the swine?

Are You Casting Your Pearls Before Swine?

Should Christians Celebrate Homosexual Marriage?

Should Christians Celebrate Homosexual Marriage?

Should Christians Celebrate Homosexual Marriage?

“So Hannah, what do we do for the Israeli youth? How do we help them?”

I was a little taken aback when an Israeli friend, a Jewish believer, asked this question up out of the blue. It wasn’t that I thought the Israeli believing youth didn’t need help … on the contrary; my general observation of the young people in the Messianic congregations is that there is an exceptional amount of worldly influence in their lives – much like the youth in the States. But I wasn’t sure the best way to verbalize the solution in a few sentences simply because … it’s much more complicated than that!  Where do you start? There is no quick and easy fix.

However as I collected my thoughts, I realized that the solution is in fact quite simple and my answer to my friend was, in a nutshell, “they need to learn the Scriptures.”

How many young people are advised to thoroughly study the Bible to learn what they should do (or not do) in their lives? I don’t mean reading a few verses for devotions every day, or listening to a sermon once a week. I’m talking about digging deep and studying the Bible as the manual for our lives.

Isn’t that what it is?

These thoughts came back to my mind in light of the Supreme Court decision a few days ago regarding homosexual marriages. You probably discovered, as I did, that if you don’t want to think about it, don’t look at your Facebook newsfeed! On the other hand, you probably discovered that the newsfeed on Friday revealed the opinions of other people – opinions that you may not have been aware of.

Everyone and their brother have expressed their opinions and not everyone has been very pleasant about it. You can rant and rave about what a tragic thing this is (and I agree, it is) … that our country is going downhill (of course it is, it has been heading that direction for awhile) … that the Supreme Court didn’t define marriage so therefore it has no authority to redefine it (which is also correct) … that this will pave the way for the legalization of other types of sexual immorality (very well may happen) … that this same act will provide the right for gun owners to conceal carry without a permit in all the States (I don’t mind that one!) … the arguments can go on and on.

On a personal note, my heart seemed to sink further each time I saw another profile photo covered with a rainbow filter. And then I saw the counterstatement … the cross filter. It was on the profile photo of a young couple that bought a puppy from me last year. I didn’t know where they stood on the issue but my heart leapt all the way back up when I saw that photo! By now I have seen it on a few more profiles but I will always recall the inner feeling of relief when I first saw it on their picture.

Which brings me to the main point of this post – over the past few days I have watched as people who call themselves Christians have celebrated this decision. I even read somewhere that a pastor told his congregation “we are supposed to rejoice with those who rejoice, so we need to rejoice with the gays”.

Let me make something very clear: I don’t hate people who live a homosexual lifestyle, or those who support them. They are lost people who need the Savior just like any other sinners. I have done business with them and received very positive reviews after the fact – they obviously didn’t feel that we hated them, or even condemned or discriminated against them.

The newsfeed revealed no surprises when it showed that homosexuals and/or unbelievers were celebrating. In my opinion, who can blame them? And on that note, who can be surprised at the Supreme Court? After all, they did legalize the murder of innocent children over forty years ago. If someone does not believe in the God of the Bible, then who can complain if he/she is excited about the legalization of sin. We may not agree, but at least it makes sense!

Should Christians Celebrate Homosexual Marriage?

What does not make sense is when people who profess to be Christians express their support for this decision.

The Scriptures make it very clear that homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Neither will murderers, for that matter. Can you imagine if the Supreme Court were to legalize wholesale murder … if you just couldn’t stand someone and you really felt like killing him/her, you had the right to do it. Because our rights are based on the way we feel, correct? If you love a person of the same sex, you should have the right to marry … who is going to advocate that if you hate a person, you should have the right to get rid of them? Could we get Christians to support and celebrate this?

The meaning of the word “Christian” is “follower of Christ”. Personally, I prefer not to use the term because it is not well defined and can mean a variety of different things to different people. But for those who call themselves Christians, I challenge you to consider if you are really following Christ. Do you really know what His Word says?

Honestly, this is pretty simple: if you call yourself a Christian, then you are claiming to follow Christ. In that case, you will learn what the Bible says and do it – that is how you follow Him. If you aren’t willing to follow the Bible, then don’t call yourself His follower. Be honest!

The purpose of this post is not to say: you’re in sin if you’re celebrating the Supreme Court decision.

The purpose of this post is to say: if you’re going to celebrate it, don’t call yourself a Christian or claim to be a follower of the God of the Bible.

Because the Bible says that this is an abomination and those who practice it will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. That should concern us, especially those of us who have homosexual people in our lives whom we care for.

The phrase “we need to get back to the Bible” sounds a little corny but it is the absolute truth. If people are not grounded in the Word, they will be tossed to and fro. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

I challenge each and every one reading this to really consider the importance of studying the Scripture. And again, I’m not talking about skimming a few verses or even a few chapters. I’m talking about reading it like it’s our life manual, studying what it means, learning how to apply it to our daily situations and using it as a gauge to determine right and wrong. These are the days that are spoken of in Isaiah 5:20 – “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness”. If we do not have Biblical discernment, we will be swept along with the flow and will not be that chosen generation, royal priesthood and holy nation that we are called to be.

There is a terrifying passage in Matthew 7 where the Messiah says, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

The word iniquity means “unrighteousness” and “transgressing the law”. This means that there were professing believers … who had even done signs and wonders … and yet they were guilty of working unrighteousness. This is very serious to realize how people can be deceived … and on such an important issue as entering the kingdom of heaven.

May we all be convicted of any areas in our lives from which we need to purge sin and unrighteousness and may we draw closer to the Heavenly Father and learn better every day how to follow in the steps of our Savior.