before the sun goes down

"Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the LORD do that which is good in His sight" (I Chronicles 19:13).

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Reason Behind the Name "Time to Win a Battle" Blog

The name of my blog is "Time to Win a Battle".

It comes from a statement that has both encouraged and challenged me in my Christian walk.  It has become my watchword:
 
"There is still time to win a battle before the sun goes down."

I take my watchword from the Scripture, "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world" (John 9:4-5).  Jesus said this.  He was telling how He must work the work of the Father, while He was physically here on earth.


I say this for 3 reasons:
 
#1 To remind myself that, like my Saviour, I also must work and do battle for Christ as long as I am in the world, to shine His light wherever I am.  The coming night for me is when I will be out of this world with the Lord, and I want to have done well in His service, redeeming the time (Ephesians 5:16).

#2 To keep in mind, that each day, I should endeavor to see how many battles can be won for Jesus (standing for truth, preaching the gospel, handing out tracts, encouraging the brethren, praying for the lost, etc.) before the sun goes down.  It puts me in mind of Joshua, who desired to accomplish as much as he could in the daylight (Joshua 10:12-14).


#3 To mark it down, that even when I fall, stumble in my walk, sin against my God, there is forgiveness and renewing with the Lord (Psalm 32:1-11, 130:3-4; I John 1:9).  Christian (in Pilgrim's Progress) was cast down before Apollyon. The foul fiend, roared in triumph, "I am sure of thee!" and gathered himself to make an end of Christian. But the pilgrim reached out, took fast hold of his Sword and cried out, "Rejoice not over me, my enemy! For when I fall, I shall arise!"  So saying, he delivered a mortal blow to Apollyon, and the smitten foe fled the field.  Christian had fallen, but yet rose again to win the battle.


So for these 3 reasons, I exhort you to live, work, and fight for the Lord our God while--
"There is still time to win a battle before the sun goes down."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Have We Missed the Signal?

When the people of Israel asked for a human king, the LORD commanded Samuel to tell them what a king would do...

"And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you:
He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots..."
(I Samuel 8:11).

Years later, II Samuel tells us...


"And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him chariots, and
horses, and fifty men to run before him" (II Samuel 15:1).

He was out to overthrow his father's throne, and become king. By craft
and conspiracy, he stole the hearts of Israel from the man after God's own heart. Why didn't the people loyal to the true king catch on right away, when he started doing after the manner of a king? They missed the signals.

In the book of I Kings, when David was old...


"Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and
he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him." (I Kings 1:5).

This other son now made his bid for the throne, and does after the manner of
kings, though the throne had been promised to Solomon. If it had not been for the swift action of Nathan the prophet of God, Adonijah might have succeeded,
for David and those loyal to him either missed the signal, or didn't know how to respond.

There are certain signals that can be perceived in those who are in favor of certain
types of government. Certain ploys, certain steps they take in preparation for takeover. But how many are blinded to the signals, or bulldogged into not speaking, into inaction.

In my country, we missed the signals long ago. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley
of decision, made the wrong decision, and chose not to speak, not to be heard.

Now the precious rights and freedoms given by the Creator, who created us equal,
have been relinquished one after the other. And the blessings that are given and come down from the Father of Lights, upon a nation whose God is the LORD are diminishing, for we, as a country in our policies, and as families and yes, churches, cast God's word behind our backs and arrogantly assume that the Lord will not see, nor regard it. That He will benignly pass over our lukewarmness, and still shower pleasantries upon our heads.

We have been silent:

-While public schools tossed out prayer and Bible reading "decrying religion" and then indoctrinate generations, yea, millions of schoolchildren, by the dumbest and most dangerous religion 
(tax-supported no less) in the world - Evolutionism.
-While 50 millions of unborn American babies have been hacked to pieces in their own mothers' wombs. Innocent blood has been shed very much, and those who oppose
such wickedness are branded "haters."
-While millions of Americans have been exposed and exploited to such an abomination as that of sodomy, etc., perversions of the design that God ordained, that brings
destruction upon its participants, those around them, and the nation that supports such an atrocity!

My Brethren, these things ought not so to be! Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?


How shall we answer? If we speak not to warn the wicked of judgment, their blood
will be on our hands? Christian, if you speak not for the innocent and for the righteous, then how shall ye answer Him with Whom we have to do? For we shall all appear before the judgment seat of Christ. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God. I speak this to our shame!

The signals! Have you missed them? They are being set up by the government, the media,
on all sides. Even now more are prepared, cloaked by subtle words and "responsible" sounding, but untruthful claims. The signals of more takeovers, overthrows of freedom and truth, unimagined by previous generations. Will your voice be heard?

Is there yet time to turn the tide? I know not. But I do know that that the Scripture tells
"when the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard
against him"
(Isaiah 59:19). 

When God judged His people for their wickedness, He sought for a man among them would stand in the gap, and make of the breaches in the hedge, that He destroy it not. Yet He found none. Even if it is too late, I am resolved that as the judgment continues to fall upon my people, the LORD will find me, standing in the gap.
 
As the king of Nineveh (weeping and in sackcloth) told his people, when the signal of destruction was preached in the streets, "Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from His fierce anger, that we perish not" (Jonah 3:9). 

Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to ANY people.

I must say, that I love my country, and pray for God's deliverance, and for the
awakening of my people. As with Daniel, I pray, "...[I] do not present [my] supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies"
(Daniel 9:18).

I beg God to give America what she needs, and not what she deserves
, for we deserve the worst destruction for our corruption, callousness, and cold-blooded massacres. God forgive America - United we have sinned!

"It is time for thee, LORD, to work: for they have made void thy law" (Psalm 119:126).

There is still time to win a battle before the sun goes down.

Friday, March 25, 2011

"Modern" Animal Fossils Found with Dinosaurs

I recently read an article published by Creation Ministries International.  In it, Don Batten interviewed Dr. Werner about living fossils.  It was fascinating and I recommend anyone interested to go and read it in full:

What is really amazing is the list of modern animals that have been discovered in “dinosaur age” rock layers.  It indicates that just about all the major phyla were living at the same time, thus supporting the Bible's record and causing embarrassment to the worldview of Evolutionism.

"If evolution did not occur, and if all the animals and plants were created at one time and lived together, then one should be able to find fossils of at least some modern animals and modern plants alongside dinosaurs in the rock layers. I set out to test this idea without any foreknowledge of any modern organisms in the rock layers. My results showed that many modern animals and plants are found with dinosaurs—far more than I ever expected to find.” (Dr. Werner)

Dr. Werner and his wife Debbie traveled over 100,000 miles and took 60,000 photographs. They looked only at fossils that were found in dinosaurs dig sites so that no evolutionist could claim that the fossils were not old. The fossils they studied were from “dinosaur” layers (Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous).

Below is a list of some of the animals that were found. It is my hope that the reader will go to the article above and find out more.

Modern Types of Animals:

Invertebrates-
Arthropods (insects, crustaceans)
Shelfish,
Echinoderms (starfish, crinoids, brittle stars, etc.)
Corals
Sponges
Segmented worms (earthworms, marine worms)

Vertebrates-
Fish
Cartilaginous fish (sharks, stingrays)
Boney fish (such as sturgeon, paddlefish, salmon, herring, founder, bowfin)
Amphibians
Frogs
Salamanders
Reptiles
Snakes (boa constrictor)
Lizards (ground lizards, gliding lizards)
Turtles (box turtles, soft-shelled turtles)
Crocodilians (alligators, crocodiles, and gavials)

Birds
Parrots
Owls
Penguins
Ducks
Loons
Albatross
Cormorants
Sandpipers
Avocets, etc.

"Contrary to popular belief, modern types of bird have been found...When scientists who support evolution disclosed this information...it appears that they could hardly believe what they were saying on camera.”

Mammals
Squirrels
Possums
Tasmanian devils,
Hedgehogs,
Shrews
Beavers
Primates
Duck-billed platypus

Few are aware of the great number of mammal species found with dinosaurs. Paleontologists have found 432 mammal species with dinosaurs, almost as many as the number of estimated dinosaur species. These include nearly 100 complete mammal skeletons...We visited 60 museums, but did not see a single complete mammal skeleton from the dinosaur layers displayed at any of these museums. Why don't the museums display these mammal fossils and also the bird fossils?”

Modern types of Plants:

Every major plant division living today was represented in the “dinosaur” strata, including...

Flowering plants
Ginkoes
Cone trees
Moss
Vascular mosses
Cycads
Ferns
Sequoias
Magnolias
Dogwoods
Poplars
Redwoods
Lily Pads
Horsetails

Very interesting.  If you'd like to read more on this topic, here are links to other resources...

Dr. Werner has written a book about this: Evolution: The Grand Experiment, Vol. 2.  You can find it here: http://usstore.creation.com/catalog/living-fossils-grand-p-122.html?osCsid=9t4uuuk3ut7e9so3s6jvub97j5

His first book of Evolution: The Grand Experiment (also excellent) can be found here: http://shopping.drdino.com/product-exec/product_id/920/nm/Evolution_The_Grand_Experiment_Package/category_id/21

There is still time to win a battle before the sun goes down.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Thirty Soldiers of Christ

This is a story based on an actual account in history that I heard when I was a youth and wrote out in order to remember and relate to others.  The events occurred in the days of the "Pre-Christianized" Roman Empire. I have often been provoked by the men in the story.  I am sharing it today that you might also consider their testimony...

The Roman army was the pride of Rome. It was known for speed and strength. There were legions of them! The generals were famous for their brilliance in military strategy and leadership. The men, strong and disciplined--loyal to the emperor and to Rome. This army was the most powerful and feared army in the world. They were virtually unbeatable. 


Now, in one of the renowned legions, I believe it was the one called the Eagles, there were thirty soldiers who were especially strong, and courageous. They were instant in obedience, powerful in warfare, and steady in service. These thirty men were also what the Romans called Christians. They were followers of the Jewish Messiah.  Jesus had been crucified, buried, and had come back to life. They believed he was the Son of God, and that He had died for their sins. They followed his teachings.

Their belief, as some may think, did not cause the to be unfaithful to Rome--it had the opposite effect. They were Romans. Jesus commanded men to, "...Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's" (Matthew 22:21). By following this command, they were even more loyal to the Caesar, and showed integrity in their personal lives.

 
And their General whom they served under, loved these thirty men. They were loyal to him, and feared not to take the most dangerous assignments. They were respectful at all times. They were the best men in his legion. They served with all their heart. And they won many battles for the Caesar.


Then came the decree that all soldiers in the Roman host must worship the idol of the Caesar. When the general received it, he knew that his thirty best soldiers were in danger. He called all his men together. And read the decree: “All soldiers of Rome shall offer sacrifice to the image of the emperor to prove their loyalty to him. Any who refuse to follow the above shall be killed.”


The men in the army instantly began to take turns offering sacrifice to the image. All, that is, except the thirty Christians. The general pled with them to obey but they respectfully refused to do it. He tried to reason with them--they didn’t need to turn from their faith inwardly, just outwardly bow to the image. This argument didn’t persuade them. The general, wanting to save their lives, then commanded them to follow orders. They again stood and said we cannot. It was the very first time they had ever disobeyed him. 


He flew into a rage. Now, it was wintertime and the snow covered the hard ground. The army was encamped beside a lake, which was now frozen. Out of his anger the General shouted, "All right! You know the penalty of disobeying the decree. Death! You will remove your armor, you will remove your shoes, and you will march out onto the ice, and you will stand at attention, there until you freeze to death."


Without hesitating, the soldiers began to disarm. Shields were put aside. Cloaks were cast off broad shoulders. Shining helmets were lifted off the head. Breastplates were removed, and belts and swords laid aside. They unbuckled their shoes, and taking them off, stood in only their tunics. The cold wind blew on them, and yet, none wavered. At the command, the thirty men marched out onto the frozen lake, barefoot and with out any protection from the elements. None tried to flee; none made an effort to escape.


As the general watched, they marched to the middle of the lake, and stood at attention on the ice. And as he listened, they began to sing. And these were their words that reached his astonished ears:

Thirty soldiers of Christ are we,

This we do not deny
Jesus gave His life for us,
And now for Him we DIE!


Their strong voices echoed over the frigid lake; the General heard every word. The song was sung over and over again.


Thirty soldiers of Christ are we,

This we do not deny
Jesus gave His life for us,
And now for Him we DIE!


For hours they stood at attention in this manner. The sun set, and the army slept in their tents. But the general didn’t go to bed. Instead, he stood by a fire onshore--he could not escape their song.


Thirty soldiers of Christ are we,

This we do not deny
Jesus gave His life for us,
And now for Him we DIE!


It grew dark, and it got colder. The general clasped his cloak about him, leaning upon his spear and staring into the flames. The singing was still to be heard, but it was growing fainter.  The warriors on the ice were weakened by the weather. But they stood tall, even then. And the winter breeze carried their words.


Thirty soldiers of Christ are we,

This we do not deny
Jesus gave His life for us,
And now for Him we DIE!


Suddenly the song stopped. The general, startled, turned toward the lake and squinted his eyes. What was the matter? 

 
One man was coming back, crawling on his hands and knees across the ice. His feet were frozen. As his comrades on the ice watched him go, the song was not sung. Everything was quiet. The general watched him reach the shore, bow down and offered worship to the image, and make his way into his tent.


The men on the ice stood at attention still, but no song came from their lips. There weren’t thirty of them anymore. 


The general pondered on how these same men had fought valiantly in battle; how they were the best men in the legion.  He could not deny that they owed their good fame to the Lord Jesus Christ--they had often witnessed to him of the gospel.  He knew these men had never disregarded his orders until now.


Suddenly, he threw down his spear. He removed his cloak and his armor. He took off his shoes.  And determinedly, he marched out on to the ice. When he reached the line of soldiers, he stood at attention, and began singing.

Thirty soldiers of Christ are we,

The soldier beside him joined in.

This we do not deny

Another and another-

Jesus gave His life for us,

‘Til every soldier in the line sang together the last line.

And now for Him we DIE!


And they did die. In the morning, they were found frozen on the ice.


These men were loyal to their authorities: their general, their country, and to their God.

 

They were faithful, unto death.
 

WHO FOLLOWS IN THEIR TRAIN?


There is still time to win a battle before the sun goes down.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My Salvation Testimony

I was raised in a Christian home. My parents were heavily involved in ministry, teaching at church and in Bible clubs around Kansas City . I had always heard the Gospel. My father was preaching to me and reading the Bible to me while I was still in the womb. When I was three and a half years old, I was convicted of my sin. I had lied and disobeyed my parents, and I came to realize that this was wrong and that the punishment for sin was Hell.

One night, I dreamed that I actually went to Hell. The darkness, burning, weeping and gnashing of teeth was all about me. I was quite relieved to wake up and find that it was only a dream. In my little child mind I knew that #1I deserved to go there and #2I didn’t want to go.

I went to my father and told him I was a sinner (He wasn’t at all surprised to hear this). He told me that God had made a way for me to be saved from going to Hell. Opening his Bible to John 3:16, Dad showed how God showed His love to me by giving God the Son, Jesus Christ to take my place. Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and came alive again, so that if I turned to Him and believed on Him to save me from Hell He would give me everlasting life.

I bowed my head and simply confessed my guilt and told God what I believed Jesus had done for me. I asked Him to save me. And He did. Since then, I haven’t always been faithful to my Lord, but He has been faithful to medirecting, providing, protecting and correcting. I know that I am saved, not because of how I feel, but because of what He has promised. A person is not saved by good works, but by the precious blood payment of Jesus Christ. There are many passages that proclaim the truth of salvation, but one of my favorites is the following:

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life” (John 6:47).

There is still time to win a battle before the sun goes down.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sampson and Suicide

Many people have asked the question: “if suicide is a such an awful sin, why did God answer Samson’s prayer?”  I think the better question to ponder would be: “was Samson really actually trying to commit suicide?”  I believe the answer is no.  Suicide is an awful sin, but Sampson was not guilty of it.  God answered His prayer because it was part of God's plan.

Let’s consider first Samson’s own words before his death—“Let me die with the Philistines" (Judges 16:30).  Samson may have had many failures in life, but he was a great hero of faith (Hebrews 11:32) even into his death.  God specifically appointed him to deliver Israel from the Philistines and Samson relied on God to provide, protect, and take him home when his task was done.  I simply believe Sampson saw his purpose had been accomplished and let God know that he was willing to die.  God could have kept Samson alive (whether he had asked for it or not) but He didn’t—it was obviously his time to go.  God was (and still is) in charge of that.   

Let’s look at other godly men in scripture who were willing (and even desired) to die for many different reasons—none being because suicide seemed the better choice.

Jacob (A.K.A. Israel) mourned the disappearance and supposed death of his beloved son Joseph for years.  When he heard and was finally convinced that Joseph was alive, this is what we find the father of the twelve tribes of Israel say: "And Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die" (Genesis 45:28).  Jacob obviously believed that God had kept him alive in order to see his son.  “And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen, and presented himself unto him; and he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while. And Israel said unto Joseph, Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive" (Genesis 46:29-30).  Jacob has raised his family, brought them into Egypt to survive the famine, and has now seen his son alive again…he is sure the Lord must be finished with him, and he says so.  He wasn't asking to die.  He was declaring that the desire of his heart had been fulfilled.  But God chose that Jacob should live for yet another 17 years (Genesis 47:28).  God chose to keep Jacob alive.

Elijah was a mighty prophet of God during the time of the divided kingdoms.  He had been sent unto the northern kingdom, Israel.  God had used him in wonderful ways and yet the prophet finds himself discouraged.  People can get that way, you know.  Elijah felt his life was over and there was no reason to go on.  We see him fleeing from the wicked queen Jezebel and letting God know he was ready to die. "But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and come and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers" (I Kings 19:4).  He wasn't contemplating suicide.  He was leaving it in God's hand.  But the Lord makes it clear that He wasn't through with Elijah yet.  Read through the rest of I Kings and into II Kings and you find that not only did he live to do a lot more, but he also NEVER DIED.  When it was time, the LORD carried him away into heaven (II Kings 2:11).

Jonah was one upset prophet.  I am sure you know the story. Twice he said, "...It is better for me to die than to live..." (Jonah 4:3, 8).  He had done what he had been sent to do—preach repentance.  God heard the people.  And Jonah, tired and frustrated, was fed up and ready to die.  God didn't take him home at the point that Jonah thought reasonable, did he? He instead taught this man an important lesson.
 
Simeon lived in Jerusalem. From the words of the Scriptures, we can assume he was probably up in years.  God had revealed to him that he wouldn't die until he had seen the promised Saviour, Jesus Christ with his own eyes. And he did.  What a precious account we read in Luke chapter 3.  After God allows him to see the infant Jesus, we are told, “Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel" (Luke 3:25-32).  Do you think Simeon was actively seeking to take his life?  Was he asking God to kill him before his time?  No.  He was merely recognizing that God had fulfilled His promise to him, and that He was ready to go.

All these testimonies show us plainly that "...man also knoweth not his time..."(Ecclesiastes 9:12).  Each one felt strongly that their purpose was accomplished and they simply told God so.  Whether or not God took them home was God's choice alone.  They were not entertaining suicidal thoughts.  They were not seeking to kill one’s self on purpose. 

I believe Sampson was merely acknowledged to the Lord that he was ready—the Lord agreed.  He was not committing suicide.  He was heroic even in his death.

There is still time to win a battle before the sun goes down.