Thursday, April 30, 2009


Many Christian congregations and organizations are preparing for the 58th Annual National Day of Prayer which is to take place on May 7th. The theme for this year is “Prayer…. America’s Hope” and is based on Psalm 33:22, “May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you."

Certainly Ps. 33 is a very timely passage for all of God’s people to meditate upon, and certainly the Bible is clear about the significance of prayer. This particular verse, however, seems to be misapplied. Not only does it not speak about prayer, it says nothing about the hope of America.

This same Psalm [v. 16-17] tells us that despite “thousands of events and millions of people from coast to coast gather(ing) for prayer”, a nation which depends upon a worldly leader, military strength and fleshly confidence will not find deliverance from the Lord, but rather brings itself into enmity against God!

If America truly desires to enjoy the unfailing love of God resting upon it, here are the conditions which Jesus sets out in Luke 6:27-31:

(1) Love your enemies [v. 27].
(2) Do good to those who hate you [v. 27].
(3) Bless those who curse you [v. 28].
(4) Pray for those who mistreat you [v.28].
(5) Do not retaliate [v. 29].
(6) Give freely [v. 30].
(7) Treat others the way you want to be treated [v. 31].

Americans argue to keep the inscription “IN GOD WE TRUST” on their currency, yet, the nation which fails to sincerely seek God for the fulfillment of the conditions set forth, fails to truly trust in the One to whom they are praying! A nation which fails to wait in hope for deliverance from God as their Help and Shield falsely hopes for the unfailing love of the Father [Ps. 33:18-20] to rest upon it.

I wonder if America spent nearly as much time, energy and resources fulfilling the spiritual warfare which Jesus sets out in Luke 6, as it does selfishly seeking to be blessed with “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” on this “National Day of Prayer”, what powerful things would be accomplished for the Kingdom of God?

Since “God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right” [Acts 10:34-35] [emphasis added], why the selfish demonstration of seeking hope and God’s unfailing love only for America?

True citizens of the Kingdom of God understand that-

“our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” [Eph. 6:12]

In other words, if it’s human- it is not our enemy! If it’s human we are commanded to love and fight for not against.

Our prayer should be that God would fill American citizens with the ability to be kind to the ungrateful and wicked, as He is. Otherwise, America has no hope! The reward of His unfailing love only rests upon those who are willing to show mercy by puttin’ their boots on, goin’ into “enemy” territory to Love, Do good, Bless, Pray for, Accept, Give and Treat respectfully. [Luke 6:32-36]


Thursday, April 23, 2009


It is unusual to enter a home or public building these days without being blasted with a strong and often offensive whiff of some sort of “air freshener”. My typical reaction is burning eyes, throat irritation and a headache. I’ve always assumed that this response was related to the artificial fragrance. I’ve discovered, though, that the concern goes far beyond that.

In an independent testing, the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) uncovered the hazardous group of chemicals, phthalate, in 86 percent (12 of 14) of the air fresheners tested, including those advertised as “all natural” or “unscented.” (

Phthalates are used in many products: vinyl, cosmetics, paints, sealants and more. In air fresheners, phthalates dissolve and carry the smell of fragrances. When released into the air, phthalates are not only inhaled, but also absorbed through the skin. These toxic chemicals disrupt hormone activity, especially thyroid function. Resulting complications may be birth defects, improper brain development, cancer, allergic reactions, asthma, and metabolism and reproductive abnormalities.

A 2005 European Consumers Union study found high levels of volatile organic compounds, including benzene and formaldehyde in some air fresheners. Benzene is known to cause leukemia in humans, and formaldehyde has been linked to cancers of the upper airways.

What is the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) doing about this? Absolutely nothing! Although other governments have outlawed harmful phthalates, the FDA not only does not regulate their use, but does not even require listing phthalates on content labels!

Just because air fresheners are a $1.72 billion industry and are estimated to be used in 75% of American homes, doesn’t mean that we can’t take action against this stinkin’ situation in our own homes! It is fun, easy, healthy and inexpensive to make air fresheners by blending almost any essential oils.

I purchase organic essential oils from Do not use essential oils that are not organic! Some of the non-organic essential oils may be as hazardous as the phthalates!

I like to change the oils that I use depending on the season or to assist with any health problems which my husband or I might be experiencing. You can find many aromatic and healthy air freshener recipes on the internet by searching “essential oil air freshener recipe”. Below is a recipe for a spring-time air freshener to get you started:

• 20 drops rosemary
• 8 drops sweet orange
• 4 drops peppermint
• 2 drops spearmint


• Use a 4 oz. spray bottle which allows room for shaking.
• Pour 1.5 ounces of distilled water into the bottle
• Add 1.5 ounces of high-proof alcohol, such as vodka.
• While considering the safety data of your chosen oils, add 30-40 drops of your favorite essential oil or oil blend. (Consider starting with 20 drops. Allow to rest for 24 hours before concluding that the aroma is too weak. Adjust to preferred strength in increments of 5-10 drops.)
• Shake the bottle prior to each use and mist lightly in the room.
Be especially careful not to allow the air freshener mist to fall onto furniture.

Do your olfactory senses and your health a favor, trash the store-bought and enjoy the satisfaction of making your own!


All content of this article is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. The author sells no hard products and earns no money from the recommendation of products. The information herein is presented for educational and commentary purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice from any licensed practitioner. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. This is best left to the Creator of the universe. In all health-related situations, “qualified healthcare professionals” should always be consulted. The author deems THE GREAT PHYSICIAN to be most qualified. The author assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material

Thursday, April 16, 2009


While we all desire to present ourselves as being in control and secure, problems of this world continually arouse feelings of powerlessness and fear. Although my words can’t do it justice, I feel compelled to share how, during a time of personal helplessness and trepidation, Louie Giglio’s presentation, “Indescribable” awakened me to how huge and powerful our Creator is.

God, using images of the huge, blazing hot sun captured by the Hubble telescope, together with the following verses, gave me a revelation which has completely exploded my understanding of Him:

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth….. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.” [Genesis 1:1]

By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.” [Ps. 33:6],

In order for something to come out of God’s mouth, it had to have first existed inside of Him! When He spoke, “Let there be light”, it wasn’t a puff of fire that miraculously appeared in the sky. Rather, a huge, raging ball of fire, 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit and 100 times larger than the earth came hurling up from the center of His very being at 186,000 miles per hour!

Consider that it would take 2500 years to count the billions of star in the Milky Way alone! Listen to King David’s description of this glorious creation.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge…. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world…. [the sun] rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat.”
[Ps. 19:1-6]

While it is important to appreciate the astounding beauty of creation, we are reminded through God’s prophet Isaiah that its purpose is to evidence our even more majestic Creator,

“To whom will you compare me? O who is my equal?” …. Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.” [Isa. 40:25-26]

As we face increasingly intense adversities, why should we hesitate to cast our pride and fear at the feet of our Creator, trusting and resting in the reality that He knows everything about His Creation and sustains it? Just as He named and holds all the heavens in their proper position, He is mindful of and will never forsake us. [Ps. 8:3-4]

There is a magnificent galaxy referred to as the “Darling of all Galaxies.” It appears as a brilliant whirlpool and at its center is a dark black hole. Until the most recent magnification was developed, that hole was a mystery. Do you know what is now visible there? A cross!

Why are we fearful? And why in the world would we ever need any power at all for ourselves when this great and loving God promises to care for us?


Thursday, April 9, 2009


Do you realize that over 112 million Christians worldwide do not attend a traditional church? In fact, every year, one million Christians leave the institutional church in the U.S.

According to the world-renowned pollster, George Barna, “as we entered into the twenty-first century, about 70% of all Americans relied upon some local congregation to be their dominant source of spiritual input and output”. However, by the year 2025 Barna expects that “only about one-third of the population will rely upon local congregations as their primary or exclusive means for experiencing and expressing their faith”.

Not only are many congregations finding it difficult to keep their doors open, there is a growing decline in the number of clergy younger than thirty-five. In fact, Barna “anticipate(s) the ranks of the fulltime paid professional pastorate to decrease by about one-quarter of the current level within the next 25 years”!

What in the world is going on? Is the church dying? Could it be that this is the last hour when multitudes will turn away from Jesus, showing that they never were true members of His Kingdom? Are these “departers” the antichrist! [1 John 2:18-19]

While it is a sad fact that many are being led astray, if we justly assess this mass exodus, we may discover not death but rather the image of a resurrection. Many are personally experiencing what it truly means to be a follower of Jesus.

Throngs of believers are waking-up to the reality that “church” isn’t something “they do” or “a place they go” but rather something they are. With the sleep swept from their eyes, these multitudes are recognizing that holding to “Let us not give up meeting together…” [Hebrews 10:25] doesn’t require sitting dormant in a pew every Sunday morning waiting for their next spoonful of spiritual nourishment.

Instead, they realize that the Church assembles wherever the Lord leads: homes, coffee shops, bars, internet, break rooms and street corners. [John 4:21-24] In fact, according to Barna, the number of known Christians in the USA gathering in these organic ways is already “20 million and growing by the day”!

Perceived as “rebels”, the members of this spiritual army don’t “belong to” any institutional church. They are fully satisfied with their membership in “the house of God”. [Hebrews 10:21] They understand that there is no biblical requirement to be “under the headship of a ‘pastor’”. Instead, they recognize their privilege and assume their responsibility of being priests [1 Peter 2:9] who receive orders and spiritual nourishment from the “Great Priest”, their Commander and Chief, Jesus. [Hebrews 10:21]

These 'spiritual rebels' aren't seeking to draw people into another form of the institutional church, but rather are calling people to gather in simplicity around Christ. Unshackled, worshipping their King is not an occasional event; their whole life is an act of worship. [Romans 12:1] Rather than tithing 10 % which God commanded as a guide for the immature believers of the Old Testament, everything these “revolutionaries” possess is committed to advancing the Kingdom of God: money, resources and abilities.

In reality, they aren’t attempting to be “rebels”. Nor is it their desire to even suggest “reformation” of the “established church”. Their passion is to be in the world demonstrating what it means to be “Jesus with skin on” wherever you are, without the restraints of a man-made agenda.

Kinda sounds like a “rebirth” of the New Testament Church, doesn’t it?

Sometimes what looks like death is in reality a resurrection!


Thursday, April 2, 2009


Inspired by our conversation last week, I quickly toured through the Bible finding 20-25 powerful emotions of the Triune God, for example: anger, compassion, jealousy, joy and sorrow.

Being made in the image of God, we can expect to experience a full range of emotions. Yes, the darkness of sin clouds our emotional wholeness, but God never suggests that emotions are evil or something to be discounted! Listen to what King David says about attempting to deny emotions,

"… Blessed is the man … in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away, through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped …. Then I acknowledged my sin to you… - and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found; surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him.” [Ps. 32:1-6]

The affects of suppressing emotions seeped out of David’s pores through agonizing physical symptoms. God’s response to David’s deception was pressure, like mighty waters driving David even further from Him. David found instead that it is honesty with God which results in intimacy, freedom and healing.

No matter how toxic, Jesus never commands us to muster-up control over any sin-infested area of our lives, including our emotions. In fact, we aren’t capable! Strong expression of emotions can be found throughout Scripture. Even Jesus didn’t suppress His feelings.

“In the days of His flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death….” [Hebrews 5:7]

With Jesus as our example,
how do we express emotions as God originally intended?

Allow me to offer a personal experience. Although aware of sin in my life, I never considered myself to be a “bad person.” One day, though, the reality struck! I realized that everything about me, including my emotions, is infected with self-righteous, self-sufficient, power-stricken sin! I was born that way and can’t change myself, no matter how hard I try!

So…what did I do?

Initially, I didn’t do anything! Just as the Holy Spirit took the first step by bringing me to this awareness, He also took the next step toward setting me free from this trap of hopelessness. He assured me that my only confidence is for Jesus to live in and through me; His righteousness, His sufficiency, His power and His emotions! There is no other hope!

It was essential that I purposely consider all my emotions, especially those inappropriately expressed and seek Jesus’ guidance to press through them. As important indicators, they often reveal deeper issues of hurt, fear, unforgiveness, shame, etc. which need Jesus’ healing and grace. Having acknowledged that I can do nothing without Jesus, I was ready to honestly present all my emotions to Him, while recognizing them as powerful tools in His hands.

Rather than being driven away from God by the mighty waters, offer up your emotions with loud cries and tears to the One who can save you. “Through lament we push into (not around) the cloud. Only then do we completely reach the other side, the place where we find Jesus waiting”1 with freedom and healing in His hands.


1 Card, Sacred Sorrow pg 86