(No offense to the Marines, in using this twist on their motto).
This past weekend was a rough time in our family. My father-in-law, who is in an assisted living memory care facility, has been increasingly agitated and confused, and is recently becoming combative. As a retired RN, I know this is not uncommon in dementia, however, there are several reasons why the trauma of this past weekend were completely avoidable, and now we are in the process of trying to iron those things out. Bottom line, when you are paying out of pocket for very expensive specialized care, out of the funds meant to last until death of both spouses, and hard-earned and planned for, it is unacceptable for an 88 year old man in the tragic grip of dementia, and this dementia and his unsteady gait being the sole reason for seeking said care, that the man should be uprooted from the facility which has become his “home”, and find yourself handcuffed to the bed, and have to spend a whole month paying to be in another facility, on top of paying for his space at the other one. Unconscionable, and utterly unacceptable.
The short version of what happened, is that poor communication among staff, failure to initiate contact for a physician re-evaluation, and failure to follow protocol, resulted in a situation that involved my husband and his mom, seeing my Father-In-Law subject to social work and psychiatric evaluation and an involuntary removal/transport and admission to a state geriatric psych hospital two hours away. All of it due ultimately to the failure of the facility to get his medications properly adjusted and believe me, we are not happy.
In effort to get to the bottom of things, which we have not entirely accomplished yet, many conferences took place and have yet to take place. One of which may include a lawyer on our side. In the course of that, we caught at least one staff member in a blatant lie. And it was that conversation that set the other staff into a flurry of damage-control mode (a.k.a CYA).
The whole matter was further compounded by what I shall call fissures in the inter-family relationships long-left unaddressed. When those are present, they inevitably will rear their heads when the pressure is on.
The positive takeaways from the experience thus far, however, are 1) That these things have been brought out into the light of day where the enemy no longer has the cover of darkness working in his favor. Praise the Lord! 2) I have been praying about these relationship dynamics for over twenty years, and I see this as finally getting down to those deep inner layers of the proverbial “onion” that has to be peeled back layer by layer. 3) The staff is on notice and will likely tread very cautiously after this. 4) My mother in law now knows that I am in her corner. 5) My father-in-law is now in a different and very highly respected facility with the ability to address the problem that was created by the assisted living facility.
What I keep repeating, to myself and my husband and M.I.L., is “we have to remember who the enemy is, and who the enemy is not”.
Years ago, as the Lord instilled the call in me to study Prophecy and be a watchman, the Holy Spirit guided me in a specific continual prayer that He, knowing what lies in the future, would “make us what we ought to be, and prepare us for what He knows lies ahead”. And as I stepped away over the Holidays from posting, I knew that the break may be permanent, or it may be meant to be a season of rest before the next wave.
It is abundantly clear that the latter is the case. What a whirlwind has the first 12 days of 2016 been!!! Am I right?
My friend J.H., who is in ministry and follows the world prophetic events as well, and lets just say, “knows what time it is”, sends me links from time to time, as do a handful of others. I always appreciate anyone who gives me that kind of a heads-up and encourage you to use the Contact S.T. Lloyd tab at the top of the homepage (drop down menu under the “About” tab) to get in touch. The more eyes and ears, the better! Anyway, J.H. sent me an article from Walid Shoebat about Erdogan and a recent vote in Turkey as to making him the head of the Muslim Caliphate.
Here are the clickable titles of the articles that will open them in a new window, the first from December 27th 2015, and the second from just six days ago :
BREAKING: Majority of Turkish Voters Say ‘YES’ To An Islamic Caliphate And Want Erdogan To Soon Be Declared Caliph Of The Muslim World
I am going to try and do better at making disclaimers on a post-by-post basis, because even though I have often stated my position on various things, I think sometimes people think (and probably it is a reasonable assumption) that anything I post, I agree with. Walid Shoebat is one of our brothers in Christ, who believes the Antichrist will be a Muslim. I do not subscribe to that theory, although I don’t rule out the possibility that since the Antichrist will not regard the god of his fathers, that he could be both ancestrally Jewish, but ideologically a Muslim. Regardless of whether the import and magnitude of the facts conveyed in the above-linked articles, be the Mahdi and Antichrist one and the same or not, the fact that a significant swath of Muslims sees one man as their chosen one, is pertinent in the same way America and the world so quickly and unquestioningly embraced Obama as a Messiah-like figure. It proves how ready the world is, for the arrival of the Antichrist!
I have had many days over the past few weeks in which I wanted to post, but the Lord wasn’t giving me the words. There has just been so much to digest! And increasingly something in my Spirit says: “Easy now, caution is the order of this hour”.
So I guess that is the crux of my message: Walk circumspect, for the days are evil.
We are going to have to really, really guard against things like existing family fissures, and not give the enemy even the smallest toe-hold to sink his claws into. If you have something between yourself and a loved one, that you know you should have addressed by now, and have been putting it off, you need to do it NOW. It could mean the difference of how you weather the coming “shaking” which I believe is about to be released.
For many years now, in my individualized personal training by the Holy Spirit, in this here thing we call the Christian life as a disciple of Jesus Christ, one of my “subjects” or areas of major, has been intercessory prayer. I took the “freshman level” a couple of years back, with a year in between for the Lord to continue showing me the implications and lessons of events that took place when I was in the midst of the intensive portion of that subject. That was when I was given the task of assembling and leading an intercessory team in my church. The spiritual warfare that year was so intense, that I almost “dropped the class” so to speak. And I suffered a physical relapse of symptoms that triggered another round of tests and evaluations, because the fallout was far beyond the scope of any previous relapse. But the Lord doesn’t allow us to be quitters. So I learned a lot, and I learned it in the heat of battle. But when that heat finally let up, I was sure happy for the break. It left me feeling, as we often do, that I went in thinking I had some idea of what I was about to endeavor, and came out knowing I would not have even tried, had I really known what was about to transpire!
Learning to walk in the Spirit is an arduous undertaking. I am sure that there are some people whom God chooses to hand this skill to, fully formed, in a single instant, and others who learn it over a long span of years. I am the latter. I can tell you that there is no way I could possibly stress enough, how critical it is that we not enter the activities of our individual day-to-days, without putting on that armor, and having those moments with the Lord first. And if you do mess up and get busy before you think to have your quiet time with the Lord, stop when you realize it, and take that time to acknowledge Him, ask Him his will for your day, acknowledge His sovereignty, and render thanks for your blessings. I also recommend a few moments meditating on a specific verse or passage before sleep, so that subconsciously you will set the tone Spiritually for the period while you are in the altered state we call sleep.
If you are at a stage in your spiritual life, that you feel like you try to read the Bible, and the words merely bounce off your eyeballs and you feel frustrated about your ability to take it in and make sense out of it, to really “absorb it”, may I encourage you? That is not an uncommon feeling for Christians to have. But here is how you need to look at it, in fact, let me do it this way, for word pictures save on the word count. Think of your Bible the same way a diabetic thinks of their insulin, or a heart patient thinks of his blood pressure pill.
The Word is potent stuff! In no way do I wish to belittle the Word by the following statement, but when you are in a hurry, “even a little dab will do ya” until you can get more, and a little is better than none at all. A sieve can’t hold water, but merely running water through it renders the benefit of leaving it cleaner than it was before you started.
Our lives are like a glass of water, and what we expose ourselves to, either contaminates the water further, or it dilutes the potency of the contaminates that are ever-present. The more you listen to worldly music, and expose yourself to unholy influences the muddier your water gets. The more you listen to scripture-based music, preaching, fellowship with other believers, etc, you make the water a little less tainted overall. Many species of lizards get their energy from the sun in the form of Vitamin D. That is why you see them seeming to lazily bask in sunny places. It is the same for Christians. In Him we live, and move, and have our being. What are you basking in? What are you putting into your cup?
The Lord has answered my prayers as to what His study plan is for me, for the coming year. I am excited about it because the more I am studying, the more I have to write about, and I really feel the Lord would like me to get back to more “organic” posts as opposed to news alone. God also has answered my question about what will work best for me for memorization, which is extremely challenging for me.
So, getting around to the thrust that inspired the title of this post, it is time to simplify. Just as our bodies narrow the bodily functions down to those only crucial to survival during a physical crisis, this is what we must do as Believers in this dark hour. Simplify in every way. Get affairs in order, and by that I mean, with God and with your fellow man. The more you leave un-addressed here and now, the more vulnerable that makes you to the enemy. The leaky roof you’ve been wanting to replace for years, is not the priority. The Spring cleaning isn’t either. There are more pressing things to think about now.
A couple of weeks ago in continuing to ask the Lord to teach me the effectual prayer that availeth much, He directed me to this passage in Psalm 145:
The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. 19 He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. 20 The Lord preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy. 21 My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.
He led me to consider particularly the phrase “that call upon Him in truth”. So I asked Him what it means. Clearly it is a qualifier, (if/then) so it is a very important piece of this verse which contains a promise. Promises of God are irrevocable, so if we get the conditions right on our end, we can fully trust He will deliver.
This is what He showed me:
Calling upon Him in truth, means until we have faced the music of whatever situation we are up against, don’t even file a grievance or request. If you have ought against a brother, or a brother has anything against you, go take care of it, or for you, the conditions for cashing in on the promise are null and void until such time as you have done that. Calling upon Him in truth also means acknowledging He is God and we are not, and He is fair and just, even when we can’t see it, and always has our good ultimately in sight no matter what He asks of us to endure or do. Unconfessed sin that you don’t want to give up, but know you are supposed to? Same goes! Guys, it is the final hour. That is not saying the rapture is tomorrow. But we are not far from that final buzzer, so to speak. And now is the time to share the gospel with your lost loved ones, now is the time to do business to be absolutely certain you are in right standing with your maker. You may as well start living like you have just been given a definite number of months or years by your doctor. Because it is the same principle. Impending death is sometimes the only thing that propels a person past the denial and the procrastination of addressing difficult and uncomfortable issues. If you are truly saved, and have unfinished business, trust me, it is better for you to address it, than for the Lord to address it, because His Word has clearly indicated He would much rather you judge yourself, than for Him to have to judge and either take away potential reward, or much worse, say to you “depart from me, I never knew you”. Is your salvation certain? Are there relationships unreconciled? If you are saved but have those unresolved matters, you will face God with them still on the books, and suffer shame and heartache and loss before the Lord at the Bema seat. When you get to heaven, you will be given a different kind of “cup”. This cup will determine your capacity for joy unspeakable and full of glory. The more obedient you are down here, the more you strive to weather life’s tests and tribulations with faith and grace, and a yielded heart, the bigger your cup is going to be up there. In practical terms, all of us are guaranteed a full cup, but some of us will have bigger cups.
If you have suffered some legitimate harm and wound in this life that you have allowed to turn you bitter, and cause you to withdraw from others, and your love has grown cold, repent of that. Because no one makes you bitter, it is always our own choice. Sin is never really “against us”, as per the example of King David, “against thee, and thee only, have I sinned”. Forgiveness is not easy. And one hard lesson but crucial, is that the person does not have to repent or even acknowledge the harm they caused us, in order for us to forgive them. We may not be reconciled, or ever trust them again, but we MUST forgive. To forgive is to permanently and willingly revoke all future rights to hold the attack/injury/wrongdoing against the wrongdoer. Because that’s God’s standard of what is forgiveness. That is because in order for someone to hurt or harm a Christian, as hard as this might be for us to accept, they are always either allowed or disallowed from doing so, by God Himself. Nothing touches us that doesn’t go through Him first. Do not be surprised at the fiery trials that befall you! They are for the perfection (making whole and pure) of your faith. And that is just one more aspect of “calling upon Him in truth”. Evaluate today, what you are spending your time and money and energy on. Take inventory and present yourself before the Lord in self-examination, asking Him to show you what you need to repent of, who you need to forgive, and/or seek forgiveness from, what you need to confess privately to Him . (Confession should only be as public as the sin, as a general rule, unless it is a stronghold in your life that requires accountability in order to overcome, such as a porn addiction). One more note; to repent is to merely acknowledge an action or attitude as in defiance of God’s express will for Christians. It may in no way eradicate the lingering “feelings” but over time, if you submit those to the Lord, He will take care of those for you too.
You want Him very near you in the coming days. Fulfill your end of the deal, as per the clear instructions of scripture, and you can face the coming days with utter peace. That is an ironclad promise! Call upon Him in Truth!
If you are unsaved, or unsure of your salvation status, calling upon Him in truth means you have to believe that Jesus is the son of God, came down and took the form of flesh-and -blood, lived a sinless life, and died on the cross to bear your penalty for sin, so that you might have your record of guilt expunged before God in His Holy Court, and that Christ not only died, but rose again from the dead, and that as History has thoroughly recorded, He is now reigning at the right side of God in Heaven, and serving still as your advocate and intercessor.
Today is the day of salvation. If you just read the above paragraph, you have been given the gospel. If you sense a tug on your heart or conscience, you dare not (and I am begging you not) to brush it off. That is the Holy Spirit trying to save you from the wrath to come. Even unreligious people seem to know that the end is near. A recent Barna poll indicates that a whopping 41 percent of Americans believe this, while the number among protestants is 51, Evangelicals 77.
The pope is calling for a one world religion, the Vatican has recognized officially, Palestinian statehood, clearly setting the stage for that moment when Israel is a burdensome stone to all nations of the world. Yes God could hit the cosmic pause button. Yes, there have been a few encouraging developments, such as Congress finally moving to defund Planned Parenthood and repeal Obamacare, and more and more Patriots in America standing up for Constitutional rights, and more and more European nations standing up to Sharia. But really, this has only served to firm up the polarity, as people choose which side of the cultural divide they stand on. These developments are not indication of a turning spiritual tide. They are more like that freak thing that happens right before a Tsunami. The tide sucks out to sea, people run in to observe this rare phenomenon, and then WHAM! Who can forget the footage of the Tsunami that brought us Fukushima?
Are you ready? Is your house on sand or solid rock? Because it’s a storm the likes of which this world has never experienced, that is headed our way. I don’t care who you are, or where you live, this is one storm no one will get to breathe a sigh of relief in knowing they escaped it this time. The rain is going to fall on the just and unjust. Then the just(ified by the blood of Jesus) will be taken out of the way, and the Tribulation will begin. Those who are left, will likely think they are already in the tribulation, which will facilitate their believing the Antichrist is the Messiah. God has already said this.
Dan Knezacek over at http://www.housetops.me, has written a book detailing his conclusions on the coming delusion, proposing even a false rapture event before the real one. I am not convinced of the veracity of everything he proposes, and may not in fact even thoroughly understand some of it, but because he does lay out scriptural evidence, and because we are clearly told a delusion will be universal at some point and inescapable once an individual has succumbed to it, I say Dan’s work has some merit and is worth your consideration. He has several posts on his blog about it, aside from the book itself, which you can find links to purchase on his site, and on Amazon.com.