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THE FATHER OF LIES

WHEN HE LIES HE SPEAKS HIS NATIVE LANGUAGE

FOR HE IS A LIAR

AND THE FATHER OF LIES

JOHN GIVES US REPEATED WARNINGS ABOUT OUR ENEMY

ABOUT THE SPIRIT OF THE ANTI-CHRIST.


WE MUST BE ALERT TO HIS LIES, AND THEN, AS REBECCA SAID

“SMACK HIM OVER THE HEAD WITH THE TRUTH!”

 


We often fail to be alert, to realize that we wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with powers, with principalities, with the prince of darkness.

How clearly I remember a night when our boys were little and we had invited our new neighbors in Seattle over for dinner.

J. R. and John Brestin at 4 and 1

J. R. was looking at our guests and piped up, as only a child would:

“Do you guys love Jesus?”

The silence was awkward.

“Oh, oh — do you love the devil?”

We laughed, thankful for the comic relief. Then the man said:

“Well, little man, are those our only choices?”

I can’t remember how we recouped the moment, or if we did, but I do remember thinking, Yes — those are the only two camps. We’re either in the realm of darkness or the realm of light.

The spirit of the anti-Christ is everywhere. At the close of 1 John, he tells us “the whole world is is under the power of the evil one.” John gives us many “signs” to be alert to the spirit of the anti-Christ, and he also tells us the ultimate lie in 1 John 2:22 when he says:

Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ?

Kenneth Wuest, in Word Studies of the New Testament, explains that the word Jesus means “Jehovah saves,” and Christ means “anointed one, Messiah.” Therefore this denial is a denial of who Jesus is and of the atoning work on the cross He came to accomplish.

Early in my speaking ministry I was asked to speak at a retreat in my state for women ministers from a mainline denomination that I knew to be very liberal in its theology. My book, The Friendships of Women, had just been released and I think the retreat coordinators felt that friendship would be a light and “safe” topic, one that would not delve into the atoning work of Christ or His literal resurrection, neither of which they embraced. I accepted the invitation and prayed and prepared earnestly. It seemed an opportunity to share the gospel and its power within the framework of friendship.

When I arrived Friday afternoon they welcomed me. A fire blazed in the dining room of the lodge and we sat at tables eating pizza and answering light get-acquainted questions the coordinators had put at our places. We were laughing. The ice was broken.

But I was only about fifteen minutes into my first talk when the ice returned. The talk began well when I opened with how my closest friends and I had had a heated argument right in the middle of my writing The Friendships of Women. I told them we were talking about how to be good mothers, a dangerous topic, and we disagreed. We were full of pride and not careful with our tongues. One by one my friends left in tears. The women were attentive.

The ice began to form when I told them how God led us to forgive one another. None of us wanted to, but when we got alone before God He reminded us of how much we had been forgiven, and of the price Christ paid on the cross for us. How could we not forgive one another?

Eyes began to avert and papers began to rustle. The temperature dropped. The gospel is either the fragrance of life if you embrace it, or the stench of death if you resist it.

Afterwards, the plan was for women to stay up and play games. The retreat coordinator approached me and told me I didn’t need to stay. She also told me firmly that she wanted me to stay with the topic of friendship.

I went back to my room, prayed, and called my husband, telling him of the icy response. He promised to pray for me the next morning while I spoke.

That next morning I spoke about the friendship of Ruth and Naomi. I felt compelled to also show them how hidden in the book of Ruth was Boaz, a Christ figure who paid a ransom for Ruth. I told them the gospel is everywhere, from Genesis to Revelation, and it also turns up in every biblical friendship. I thought if they could just see how it is woven everywhere, it would open their eyes. But they didn’t want to listen. They began to turn to one another, muting me with their whispers.

Afterwards, I sat at the book table, but only a few browsed, and no one bought books. At lunch I was ushered to a table where I sat alone. I decided to pick up my tray and join a group of women, but as soon as I did, their talking ceased. I asked them to tell me about themselves, but they didn’t. One woman asked me why I was so dressed up, since this was a camp. Another asked me icily where I had learned to speak. I wanted to cry, I wanted to run.

I went back to my room and called my husband again, this time in tears. He listened empathetically and he prayed for me. Before we hung up, he quoted Peter to me:

 

Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the home that in you, yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.

1 Peter 3:13-16

 

“I’ll pray for you while you are speaking, honey.”

In my final session, I opened with my testimony, thinking that even if they didn’t believe the Bible, that this might persuade them. I told them how selfish and spoiled I had been – how difficult I was as a wife, how frustrated as a mother. I couldn’t see that the problem was my sin. I didn’t understand that the hunger in my soul was for God. It wasn’t until my sister came and shared the gospel and the dramatic claims of Christ that I began to see and to fear the Lord, which the Bible says is the beginning of wisdom. And it wasn’t until I surrendered to Him that I had the power of transformation in my life.

It was very quiet. Many were looking at their shoes.

Then I turned to the topic of friendship again, using Mary and Elizabeth and their excitement over being part of God’s plan to bring the Savior into the world.

Afterwards the retreat coordinator expressed her disappointment to me. She told me again I had not stayed with the topic of friendship as requested. She also told me I had been insensitive to use only biblical women who struggled with infertility as my models, for many there struggled with infertility. Though I recognized that as a fiery dart from the enemy, it still tore at my heart.

Never was I so eager to leave a retreat. I packed up my unsold books, carried them to my car, and drove home weeping. I had experienced a fraction of the pain that many of the prophets experienced every day all through their lives, and I didn’t like it. As far as I could see, the retreat had been a bust. I wept for the women themselves, for the sheep they were leading astray, and for my failure to break through.

I was so eager to get to Steve, to let him hold me and help me process the weekend. He reminded me that I had been faithful, and that was all God asks. He reminded me the women had a vested interest in not believing, for it’s hard to admit you have been leading whole congregations astray. He also reminded me that I didn’t know what might happen — there might have been someone listening, and with God nothing was impossible. When Ezekiel was his most discouraged, God showed him a valley of dry bones that came to life!

Steve and I didn’t talk in terms of idolatry, though I see it clearly now. If they embraced the gospel, they could lose their jobs, they would have to admit they had done severe damage, and they would lose one another’s approval. For those women, every idol was threatened: comfort, approval, and security. And I am sure the enemy was there, for he had a lot to lose. He was whispering his ancient lies, that God would not be enough for them.

But it isn’t just unbelievers who are lured and blinded. It is a battle every Christian faces every day.

 

A DAILY BATTLE

The difference for us is that we are in a battle we cannot lose, though we certainly stumble and fall along the way. Rebecca has told us of her fears of giving up over-eating at night. She wasn’t sure she could handle the pain. She wasn’t sure God would be there for her. But when she did move out in faith, He was there. What happens, and you are going to see this, is that victory leads to victory, because we see the lie more quickly, and we trust God’s faithfulness as we remember His faithfulness in the past. For example, Rebecca shared last week that she had made a mistake at work and didn’t want to own it. But she saw her idol of approval and went and confessed to her boss. This time she wasn’t as vulnerable to the enemy, because God had been there for her with her comfort idol, so she was able to trust He would be there for her approval idol. She smacked the serpent over the head with the sledgehammer of truth and he went slithering out.

Likewise, I so appreciated Kim’s testimony last week, of how God is helping her look at her sin in a new way — not that she could lose her salvation, as her old church taught, but that it could keep her enslaved to idolatry, and she wants to be free. The truth can slam the enemy on the head, and that is what we must do!

Anne made herself vulnerable and  prayed so honestly and vulnerably for the walls to come down in her marriage. I loved what she wrote near the end of the week about God pulling up the bitter root in her and her relying on the Spirit. She said she had HOPE.

Susan gave a wonderful testimony (which I will repeat in full in an upcoming post) of how seeing her idol is giving her more victory in the way she responds to her husband. Then others, including Joyce and Laura-dancer, encouraged by her vulnerability, shared they struggle in similar ways and asked for prayer.

Elizabeth saw a turning point with her daughter as she felt led to share the parable of the sower with her, and her daughter wept. Tears are such a sign of life! Though she says this will be a lifelong journey, she has HOPE.

Meg is experiencing victory with her besetting sin and praying she will care about the things the Father cares about.

Angela, though she is often laid low by Lyme’s disease, wrote of how she often is experiencing intimacy with the Lord in those times, seeing something new in Scripture, feeling flip flops in her heart. She shared a painful story of cruelty to her daughter, but also of responding in grace.

I almost waited to post Terri’s testimony below because she’s having a busy week — but when I reread it, and saw she has gone through the deep waters many of you are going through, I felt I should — for she could be a powerful mentor IN BOTH MARRIAGE AND MOTHERING. (Consider her wonderful daughter Stacy!)

So God is on the move!

 

SO TAKE THAT, YOU OLD DEVIL!

Because we are children of the light, let’s walk in the light. We are in a battle we cannot lose.

 

ICE-BREAKER AND REVIEW (Sunday-Monday)

(DOWNLOAD THE FREE SERMON NOW — YOU DON’T HAVE TO LISTEN TO IT YET, BUT YOU’LL HAVE IT READY IF YOU HAVE TIME. HERE’S THE LINK

1. What stood out to you from the above and why?

2. What stood out to you from Dee’s story of speaking to the women ministers? Why? (I’m thinking of using this in The Stonecutter so I want you to be honest, please.)

3. What do you learn from any of the testimonies that I quoted above or any other testimonies from the women on this blog who are seeing victory with the enemy?

4. Using an example of an idol in your life, what lie is the enemy likely to tell you? How can you be ready for him with the truth? Remember to get your sword ready.

 

BIBLE STUDY (MONDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY)

I realize this could be a frightening study, but it can be a powerful prayer guide. Our only two offensive tools against the enemy are the Word and a prayer of faith — so combine them and find power! Last week I finally got around to reading Philip Yancey’s book on prayer and it has revitalized my prayer life, which is my area of accountability. The enemy hates prayer, especially prayer that uses God’s Word.

So let’s go after the father of lies.


5. What is the ultimate lie according to 1 John 2:22-23? If you have someone you love who believes this lie, pray for him or her, using 1 Timothy 2:25-26. Paul prays that “God will grant them repentance, leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.”

6. John gives lots of red flags that let you know the spirit of the antichrist has a hold on someone. If you see these flags in yourself, then repent and move into the light. If you the flag in someone you love, pray for him. Find each flag:

A. 1 John 2:4

B. 1 John 2:9

C. 1 John 2:15

D. 1 John 2:19

E. 1 John 3:10

F. 1 John 4:2-3 (Keller discusses this so we’ll come back to it in the sermon part.)

G. 1 John 4:5

7. How does John encourage us in 1 John 4:4? Have you been able to slam the enemy with God’s truth this week? If so, share and encourage us!

8. Watch this video from the publisher of Kisses from Katie and find some ways she overcame the lies of the enemy with the truth: Link

SERMON (THURSDAY-FRIDAY)

9. WHAT COMMON LIE DOES KELLER TACKLE AND HOW DOES HE SLAM THE ENEMY WITH THE TRUTH?

10. KELLER TALKS ABOUT DENYING THAT CHRIST CAME IN THE FLESH. HE SAYS CHRISTIANITY, UNLIKE MANY OTHER RELIGIONS, DOES NOT TELL US TO ESCAPE THE FLESH BUT REFORM IT. GIVE AN EXAMPLE — CHOOSE SEX, FOOD, HALLOWEEN, OR WHATEVER YOU LIKE! (Some would say Halloween cannot be reformed for it was never from God, no Christian origins, but I think there are ways to overcome its spirit. I have an opinion on this and may share it if you are interested, but neither do I want to rabbit trail here.)


SATURDAY

11. HOW CAN YOU AFFIRM TERRI IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY?

12. WHAT’S YOUR TAKE-A-WAY AND WHY?

 

GETTING TO KNOW OUR BLOGGERS! TERRI!

I’ve been so glad to have Terri with us — I sensed her maturity right away, and felt a kindred spirit because of her prison ministry. I also was impressed with her daughter, and we have so many younger moms on this blog who could be blessed by her mentoring. This week she has two sisters with her, so she may not respond a lot til later. She had more pictures and I had trouble technically with them, but we might be able to get them on during the week. Note how she writes below that God has used her marriage to help her mature. What a good word!

Here’s Terri:


I was a teenager when God began speaking to me through the messages I heard at my youth group and  church.  God through the Holy Spirit convicted me of sin and I received the forgiveness of my sins and the assurance of eternal life.  The support I received from my pastor and my youth leaders were instrumental in my spiritual formation.

I  married my best friend who I met in church when I was 18.  After he finished seminary,  he served as a pastor, in for a total of 19 years  in two churches.  I loved being a pastor’s wife and having the opportunities to minister , especially to youth and to the women he brought into our lives.

My spiritual gifts are hospitality and helps/serving- and most of my life I have served as a youth leader in youth groups in the churches I have been in.  On my day off you will find me in the kitchen cooking or baking –often with my grandkids, or in my vegetable garden. I love to have people into our home to share food, fellowship and games.  Scrabble is a family favorite and Dawn and I have some friendly competition going on when we get together!

I have 2 sons and 2 daughters age 23-33 and two daughters in law, one son in law and 7 of the most precious grandchildren on earth—age 18 months-8 years /  I work 4 days a week and Friday is Grandma day, and I watch the two grandkids that live with us.

Some of my greatest challenges in my life have been control and anger.  My husband and I are polar opposite personalities.  I have a pretty big personality and I am quite strong and opinionated.  My idols have been affirmation and control, and God has often used my marriage to reveal areas of sin in my heart.  I have been a slow learner but thankfully I have a godly devoted husband who loves me and even in the tough times,  affirmed his covenant to God for a lifetime together.    A lesser man would have left me years ago.

God has used these online Bible studies to challenge me and I jumped in at a time when I was not connected to a local church.  The honesty of the women on the blog has been such a blessing to me and God has challenged me and keeps showing me how to walk closer to him.  The most significant thing to me has been Speaking truth to my soul and dialoguing with God to work through an area of struggle instead of trying to legalistically conform to what I know is the truth.  I want God to make it a change of heart not just a change of behavior.

This is Stacy and me

Husband Chuck
My oldest sons three daughters, Lily, Jane and Kate

Terri's kids

Susan, Dawn, Mom, Terri and Kristine (Terri's sisters and Mom)
Terri with grandchildren Gabi and Jake

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392 comments

  1. 10. KELLER TALKS ABOUT DENYING THAT CHRIST CAME IN THE FLESH. HE SAYS CHRISTIANITY, UNLIKE MANY OTHER RELIGIONS, DOES NOT TELL US TO ESCAPE THE FLESH BUT REFORM IT. GIVE AN EXAMPLE — CHOOSE SEX, FOOD, HALLOWEEN, OR WHATEVER YOU LIKE! (Some would say Halloween cannot be reformed for it was never from God, no Christian origins, but I think there are ways to overcome its spirit. I have an opinion on this and may share it if you are interested, but neither do I want to rabbit trail here.)

    I am going to choose women friendships like Elizabeth did cause i see soooo much growth in this area with myself..

    I used to be soooo attached to women in unhealthy ways and still can be, but have seen a huge difference, I used to be so attached that if they went anywhere at all on vacation whatever i would cry and the whole time would be thinking about them in my mind. I know its ok to miss them but this was WAY overboard. I used to cry when i left their house and cry because if i couldnt see them within a week, So just this last week, i was finding myself getting too attached to someone and i started crying to God and telling him, God this is unhealthy and is not right.. please fill me with your presence and help me to not cling to them. Then it happend again this past wednesday.. and again went to God and asked him to help me! So going from crying becuase i cant see them/ to Crying because i dont want to cling to them i want to cling to the Lord is great transformation for me!

    1. Meg, this is wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing this. Trust God in this area. I can relate. It is so easy to cling to people when we are so lonely. This is an area that God is still teaching me more as well.

      Oh, Lord. Thank you for the growth in Meg in this area of women friendships. Continue to do a good work in her, Lord Jesus. Open for heart to lean on You alone and yet at the same time open her eyes to the beauty of godly friendship when both friends are leaning and growing in the Lord.

    2. Meg,
      I was thinking about you and how you are the maybe the youngest on this blog with us and yet you are staying the course. This blog and women and teaching have been life changing for me and I sometimes wish I could have known these things earlier but good for you taking advantage of this at a young age.

  2. My husband, Maurice, has diabities real bad and has to have a toe removed today at 2pm….the bone is infected and the toe is real bad. Please pray for him. Thank you, love to all, Joyce

    1. Lord, I pray that You will be with Maurice right now. Give him peace and the comfort of Your presence with him. May the doctors and nurses caring for him be filled with Your wisdom. Help him to trust in their abilities. Please bring healing to his foot. I pray that this procedure would remove all of the infection and bring good circulation for healing. Be with Joyce also and give her peace and comfort. Help her to know just the right way to minister to Maurice. I pray also for Kendra that she would not be alarmed but comforted by Your Spirit within her. Amen

      Love to you Joyce.

    2. Amen to Anne’s prayer for Maurice,Joyce and family. This is scary. Hope everything goes well today.

    3. praying!!! how scary! Paul has had type one since her was 12 so we know how it is to live with it. I am praying for the dr. and Maurice, you have always praised him and love her so dearly im sure this is very hard for you and for your sweet daughter. praying praying praying!!!

      1. HE was 12:) ooops

    4. Praying too, dear Joyce!

    5. dear Joyce, just wanted you to know I am praying too for all of you

    6. Oh my, Joyce. I am so sorry…I am praying for a healthy recovery.

  3. 6.
    A. 1 John 2:4 One who says he is a Christian, yet does not keep His commands.
    B. 1 John 2:9 One who says he is in the light but is in darkness.
    C. 1 John 2:15 One who loves the world.
    D. 1 John 2:19 One who goes out from us.
    E. 1 John 3:10 One who does not love his brother.
    F. 1 John 4:2-3 One who does not confess that Jesus is Messiah and the only way to God.
    G. 1 John 4:5 One who is from the world and who the world listens to.

    7. The Spirit of God is always stronger than the spirit of antichrist. The enemy whispers to me all the time about things that can happen, trying to get me into a state of worry. I remember His power, love and past victories and I am delivered. Psalm 105 and 106 helped me with that this morning.

  4. Thank you, Pray Kendra doesn’t have siesures as she tends to whenever mom or dad is hurting, also .

    1. Father, I pray especially for Kendra that you will give her a spirit of peace from You. Prevent her from seizures that would add stress to Kendra and to Joyce and Maurice at this time.

  5. Leaving now for hospital

  6. My husband and I had a long talk about Joey this morning and I think he is on board with me now on the fact that we must get Joey into a new youth group even though he is very resistant. I need him to see this and I think he does now. I have picked a church and just finished spilling my guts to the youth leader there:o[ I am kind of emotional about all that has happened with Joey. But I did like what he had to say and I’m encouraged. The difficulty will be getting Joey there but much easier with my husband backing me. This is a huge answer to prayer for me!

    1. oh Anne, rejoicing with you on this! PRAISE!

      1. AMEN, thanks Elizabeth!

      1. Absolutely! Thanks Dee. This afternoon as I was cooking I caught myself all happy and I began to look at why. It was because I had hope in this youth leader. I do have hope in him but my real hope is in Jesus and nothing less! What I mean is that I was misplacing my hope and I caught myself. That is the lie and the truth is Jesus is all the hope I need. On Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand.

  7. Happy happy birthday little sister!

  8. 11. HOW CAN YOU AFFIRM TERRI IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY?
    Terri, I sensed from your first post that you were a woman of wisdom and I was right. I am thankful to have you here and am blessed by your Godly encouragement. God has blessed you with a lovely family. We will keep praying for your sister’s salvation and hope to hear from your daughter again soon.

  9. 12. WHAT’S YOUR TAKE-A-WAY AND WHY?
    I’m going to go ahead with my take away because tomorrow is a busy day for me.
    I felt attacked this week. There has been a heavy weight on me all week, oppressive-feeling. I’m thankful the victory with my relationship with my daughter is still good. But, I had also felt last week some victory over my approval idol, but this week I sank to the bottom on that. Feelings that I am not really accepted, not really like-able, that I’m seen a certain way…

    I was thinking today how EASY it is to believe the lies. Why do I listen as if they are truth? Then I thought of the women at the conference, it was easier, more comfortable for them, to believe lies than the Gospel. Why is it so hard to believe how deeply, utterly loved we are? For me, I know my own sin, I know my annoying habits, I know how I can come across, and I focus on all of that instead of the fact, the Truth, that the God of the Universe, wants me right beside Him. That my Savior, my Lord, rides in on that white horse, just for me. How can I let anything take away from that?

    So today when Dee shared the Utmost devotional, which I had just read at home, a little light came through. Then I looked it up in my longer version of Utmost for today, it ends with this: “everyone who does come knows that, at that very moment, the supernatural power of the life of God invades him. The dominating power of the world, the flesh, and the devil is now paralyzed; not by your act, but because your act has joined you to God and tapped you into His redemptive power.” The bottom line for me was when I am weak, go to Him and be empowered, beyond our imagination.

    Then I went back to the 1 Peter verse, specifically this part “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” 1 Peter 3:15, what stuck out to me is “be prepared”.

    When I feel attacked by the lies in my mind that I am not worthy, I am annoying, or less than…I come to Jesus, and I am empowered. I respond to the lies, prepared with my answer for the HOPE that I have. I tell the lies: “I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am made in Christ’s image. I will be like Him someday, and I will see Him face to face. He loves me, He really loves me, and nothing man can say or do, you lies of Satan can ever negate that Truth.” I must know the Truth, know what He says about me, know Him intimately, so that when the lies come, I am prepared.

    1. Elizabeth, this is wonderful! I am catching your excitement!

      1. Thank you dear friend.

        I am SO encouraged by the hope you have for Joey–you know, since I have been praying for him, God has given me such a heart for him, even without meeting him, I guess prayer works like that–and now I can share in the excitement of what God is bringing about!

        1. I will be sure to share what I see here. I hope it isn’t too much. Thanks for loving him and praying. Both mean so much to me.

    2. I was attacked by this same lie this week!!!! feeling like I will never be happy in my marriage and that just fooling myself when i put so much into it.
      thankfully i saw it as the lie and did not sabatoge our relationship which is what i usually do. i took those emotions to the Lord and waited in that pain until it passed. i just can not get over how much we are alike!

      1. I think I heard that hammer slam cyndi 😉
        love you sis!

  10. Wow, so excited to hear about Joey, Anne’s son, and Diane’s brother! God is on the move!!

    Elizabeth, I could be wrong, but I was thinking the closer you draw to God, and God is using you in a mighty way on this blog,-satan’s attacks seem to be ratcheting up-he wants to bring you down, but you have beaten him back down in his slimy pit with the truth! Praise God!

    Kim, I can’t find your post but I wanted to respond as I received it in my inbox. 🙂 It encourages me to hear how God is working in your life with food! What a huge praise! I think for me 1/2 the battle was seeing it was idolatry that caused it. You have won 1/2 the battle, and now you are having some victory!!

    Joyce, I prayed for your husband on the way home from work. I was late getting the e-mail, but I am praying for God to be His comfort in this time. It must be SO HARD to lose any part of your body like that!! I can’t imagine! I hope they have given him some good medication in case he has any pain. Keep us posted.

    1. Thanks for this encouraging word, my friend, this helps b/c I am one that has to understand why and this week I am befuddled as to why suddenly am I having such ease. We’re talking about 15+ years of struggle! If you are right and I am half there I will be ecstatic. Anyway, I want others to be encouraged by me but I don’t want to become annoying here on the blog if you know what I mean.

      1. Kim, NO..you wouldn’t be annoying! Hearing of how God is moving in you and helping you have victory here is going to Glorify HIM..I think satan would like for you to believe your testimony is annoying and if others feel that way, I am learning that perhaps God will grow them in Grace in that area. I am encouraged by you! OH and I also am thankful for when you said you were praying for us married women here-That meant so much to me and I knew you were praying. O.K. I NEED to get offline and start cleaning. 🙂

        1. Rebecca,

          I am cleaning my moms hair salon this morning so i am cleaning as well! Would you please pray that i would have a good attitude about it and get it done! Love you!

    2. Rebecca, I just saw this–thank you for your encouragement. There is an OLD Twila Paris song I loved when I was younger, the chorus says “You Are a True Friend, Pointing Me to Him, Lifting My Downcast Eyes, Turning My Gaze to the Sky”–totally reminds me of who you are~

      1. Elizabeth, Thank YOU! I love that song, and that is how I feel about you! I have been wanting to tell you this for a while-so here it goes- As you are drawing closer to God-(i hope I explain this well)-we benefit so deeply from it here on the blog and I know Satan will want you to start worrying about ‘what some might think’, and even tempt you to ‘pull back’, etc..-SO DON’T listen to that lie! I don’t recall if you said you have mentored women face to face. If not, you should-As you know God usually brings this to you as you go along-He gives you this desire and ministry, and sometimes expands it, but I see it in you-yet the beautiful thing I see in you is what I see in Dee-you don’t mentor in a way that is cold, or makes women feel like a project, rather you love them, earnestly pray for them. I wanted to encourage you with this today-love you sis. 🙂

  11. 9. WHAT COMMON LIE DOES KELLER TACKLE AND HOW DOES HE SLAM THE ENEMY WITH THE TRUTH?

    Lie: To claim that Christianity has the only truth is arrogant. People see religion and their views of exclusivity to be the main barrier to peace in the world today.
    Keller shows that every human being reveres something. Not all religions are equally valid. No one can operate in life without a set of answers to the big questions; (Why are we here? What is right and wrong?) Everybody has got a set of exclusive beliefs.

    10. KELLER TALKS ABOUT DENYING THAT CHRIST CAME IN THE FLESH. HE SAYS CHRISTIANITY, UNLIKE MANY OTHER RELIGIONS, DOES NOT TELL US TO ESCAPE THE FLESH BUT REFORM IT. GIVE AN EXAMPLE — CHOOSE SEX, FOOD, HALLOWEEN, OR WHATEVER YOU LIKE! (Some would say Halloween cannot be reformed for it was never from God, no Christian origins, but I think there are ways to overcome its spirit. I have an opinion on this and may share it if you are interested, but neither do I want to rabbit trail here.)

    My example of reforming the flesh has to do with dealing with interpersonal conflict. In my sinful nature or religiosity, I could easily write off my angry brother as a sinner in need of repentance, and have no more to do with him. I could view myself as superior and justified in my forsaking him. But in Christ, I can view him in humble love, pray for him and seek godly ways of reconciliation and honest conversation. That is not to say that it will be easy, but I do not believe I should simply turn my back on him at this point. Nonetheless, he does need to repent and I do need to let God do his work. I must let my brother live with the consequences of his actions.

    1. Praying for him Diane and for you to know how to pray and what words to speak if any. This is so hard. My heart goes out to you.

      1. I was about ready to sign off and read this. Oh no Dee! This must be painful for you. How would you like for us to pray for you and for her family? I am so sorry!

      2. I’m very sorry about your friend Dee.

      3. oh dear Dee, know that in my heart, I am sitting shiva with you. so terribly sorry, much love to you~

      4. So sorry to hear about your childhood friend. I’ll be praying for you. This is hard.

  12. Ladies,

    If you think about it, would you pray for a few ladies at work? The first is Baljeet, she is from India. She can speak English I found out today, but not well, so the ladies don’t speak to her much at all-actually never unless it has to do with work, so she sits silent at lunch while everyone talks-that bothers me. She told me today she speaks Bengali. I went to google translate and translated a phrase and it was real hard to try to emulate it or learn in her language, so today I told her she is going to have to teach me some phrases. 🙂 I decided I am going to keep trying to communicate with her in English too even if it is awkward-maybe as I get to know her I can understand her English better. Today I found out she doesn’t eat meat-I think that is from her faith although I forgot what religion that is where they don’t eat meat in India. Is it Hinduism??

    Also, pray for my boss. She found out I sang and would like for me to send her some clips of me singing. Pray God would move in that! She is an ex-mormon and her husband is Baptist. 😉 She said they don’t go to church and called herself a heathen. She said she was Baptized, but quit going.

    Ask God to open their eyes to the Gospel-He would draw them and that they would long for Him, and that I would be sensitive to His leading on when to speak and when to be quiet-and to serve and love while I am there. If my boss knows the Lord, pray He would quicken her and her husband’s hearts to come back into intimacy with Him.

    1. Rebecca, I so admire you for trying to talk to her. I am praying for communication between the two of you.

    2. Rebecca, Your coworker, Baljeet from India, is probably a Hindu. They believe in many gods (one of them is female cows). I spent 6 years in India the child of missionary parents. My husband and I also were on a short term mission trip to India this last February. I will pray for you to find a way to communicate God’s love to her. If you have any specific questions about Hinduism or India, I might be able to help although there is a lot I do not know. I have some friends who are Christians from India who might be able to help as well.

      1. Diane, You could e-mail me at rivka.4@live.com, I would love to hear more from your friends who are missionaries there. A very long time ago I made it a point to study the different religions in an effort to understand and then perhaps use that to share the Gospel, but I studied mostly the main-line ones-Jehovah’s witness’, Christian Science, Mormonism etc.. but I never did study Hinduism, Buddhism, and many others.

    3. wow Rebecca–all so exciting! And I love that your boss wants to hear you sing–praying that Baljeet would hear it too, and God would use it to light a fire in their hearts!

  13. 9. Keller attacks the lie that Christianity is exclusive when actually it includes any and all people.

    1. At least that was my take on it. Sorry to be so abrupt. Joey called me away before I could finish.

      1. And my train of thought evaporated.

  14. 10. I would love to choose food for this one. I realize I am slipping lately in this but when I dealt with my idol of food it seemed like a whole new world of enjoyment opened up for me. At first it was very hard because I had to say no to my flesh but as I came through on the other side it seemed that the Lord opened the windows of heaven in blessings of food. I enjoyed healthy food, especially fruit more than ever before. Just talking about this makes me realize that I have been letting too much sugar, fat and carbs into my diet. The result is that I don’t enjoy eating as much as when I had this flesh reformed.

  15. I think I forgot #8 which was a beautiful testimony.

    Katie did not wait for a revelation from God before she set about doing what is commanded in the word. She overcame the lie that there is nothing she can do about conditions in the world by doing the next thing that was before her (adopting the girls). She also asked herself if it was more important to please her father or the please God. That is a good example of how to speak truth to the idol of approval.

  16. 10. Terri, I see a beauty in you not only external but the beauty of a life devoted to God from an early age. God used your gifts together with your husband’s in ministry and I think that is so beautiful. Now you continue to pursue Him in growth. You are truly a woman of beauty.

    11. My take away is more of an ability to see the lies and speak the truth in the face of them. There are so many of them and often I just accept them without even thinking. What I have begun to do is recognize my mood and if it is low (and sometimes when it is high) I look to see what lie I have believed.

    I have so enjoyed the lesson this week. Dee, you said that it could be frightening and it was overwhelming to see the lies I was believing. It must be the healthy dose of truth and nailing that lying serpent. It was good.

  17. Maurice is home, resting with his feet up and Kendra and I are taking good care of him, (Kendra had no seisures!) and he is in no pain he said. (Just on Tyenal) He just needs to stay off of his feet as much as possible the next few days and take it easy. I was so scard as he has had feet problems before, but this was infected bone and even dead bone tissue on the end of his 4th toe. It was so swollen, it was as big as his big toe and was so red and warm. The Dr. said it had to come off today, right away.

    I truely believe it all turned out good, because of everyone’s prayers. God is so good and you all are my sweet sister’s in Christ. Thank you so much!

    1. Joyce, Yay!!! So glad to hear that!

    2. Yes, he had us all pretty concerned, Joyce. Praising the Lord with you for answered prayer.
      Now Jesus we ask you to complete the healing for Maurice. Lift up his good nurse, Joyce, and strengthen her as she cares for her family. Calm and give peace to sweet Kendra. Give them all a good night with good rest.

  18. Tomorrow is going to be a busy day for me-i have a lot of catching up to do around here, so I am getting on this evening.

    11. HOW CAN YOU AFFIRM TERRI IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY?

    Terri, I think I have said this above already, but I so love having you here, and your life witness encourages me and spurs me on-you truly put others’ needs and interests above your own.

    This is what I love that you said above: “The most significant thing to me has been Speaking truth to my soul and dialoguing with God to work through an area of struggle instead of trying to legalistically conform to what I know is the truth. I want God to make it a change of heart not just a change of behavior.” – I see so much how you love Jesus.

  19. 12. WHAT’S YOUR TAKE-A-WAY AND WHY?

    I answered that this morning-in detail-;-)

  20. 12. WHAT’S YOUR TAKE-A-WAY AND WHY?
    This lesson was really useful. I enjoyed putting the hammer down on the old serpent. Reminds me of the MC Hammer song, “It’s Hammer Time!” -if you haven’t heard it you are not missing much, grown man in a genie getup, enough said. 🙂 My take away is that starting my day with God, praying that He will be my victory-I am nothing without Him, understanding how very sinful I am outside of His righteousness and wanting to feel His pleasure and presence more than I want a few moments of pleasure from my idol has transformed me. One day this week I started to think about food and it scared me a little so I ran and got my Bible and said, “Jesus, have mercy on me and don’t let me fall.” After I read I felt the impulse leave. I also felt the Lord encourage me to believe in victory again.

    1. Kim, I woke up to read everyone’s responses and wow this is great! Praise God!

      1. Thanks, Rebecca.

    2. gave me a smile Kim–Hammer Time–love that! 😉

      1. It fit’s right?!

      2. It really does. Every time I comment or reload the page my computer pauses on the picture of the hammer.

        1. Okay Anne, mine pauses on that stinkin’ low down, lime green, slimey, serpent! Hahaha, it does then pause on the hammer though…HAMMER DOWN!

  21. Dee, going back to catch up here, I see where you pray for us all and our loved ones on Friday’s and other times also, and I feel so blessed and humbled to even be a part of this study. I do pray for everyone and never forget to pray for you, Dee and your loved ones at the same time, because without you, we wouldn’t even know one another. Your family, to me, seems almost like my family also, because I love to keep up on everyone and save your families pictures, just like I do everyone else’s here. I guess, what I mean to say, is all of you seem like family to me, because you are!

    Thank you again so much for your prayer’s. Maurice is resting peacefully and I just praise God for that and for everyone here.

    1. So glad to hear. I had not been able to comment but since I saw it I have been praying. So glad he is well and resting. Will continue to pray for healing.

  22. 11. HOW CAN YOU AFFIRM TERRI IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY?

    Terri,

    What a beautiful family you have. I love your wisdom that you bring to this blog. You are such a prayer warrior for me and others on this blog. Thank you for all of the encouragement and help that you have given me since i have started. I will keep praying for you as i know that you are busy! Love you Sis!

  23. Terri what a happy family you have! The grandkids are adorable. It looks like you are visiting a foreign country? I also have a husband who should have left me years ago….I am like you, strong personality and opinionated. It’s funny you say God has taught you through him. I think He is teaching me through my children. I hope I can have adult children like yours someday 🙂

    1. Laura Dancer

      Is this a picture of you and your daughter? are you the one with the sunglasses?

    1. Dee
      I will be praying for you in the days to come. I have no other words except I love you my dear sister.

    2. Dee,

      She sounds like a wonderful woman. Thanks for this: “we are all a vapor-we must keep loving, praying as long as there is life.”

      Lord thank you for the gift of a loving friendship you have given Dee and her friend since childhood. Lord thank you for the comfort you are giving Dee today as she grieves-thank you for the beautiful memories and thank you that Dee is walking in the light and turning to you once again through this. Lord, thank you for how you have and are enlarging Dee’s soul and thank you for how you are passing down your light through her to us. May her life lessons sear our souls and draw us ever closer to you-help us to not forget.

    3. My heart goes out to you, Dee, I pray for His comfort for all who loved her.

    4. Dee praying for your comfort. I am so sorry to hear this.

    5. Praying for you and all of her loved ones, I am so sorry.

  24. 11. Affirm Terri.

    Terri, I do not know who is the original author of my words of affirmation, but after reading your testimony I knew I had to share them with you. Thank you for sharing your family with us. Your grandchildren are adorable!!!

    “Fame may not be yours for a job done well but for the years to come persons can know God better because they were led by you.”

    BLESSINGS!!!

  25. Hey all if you have a blog you can sign up for booksneeze.com from thomas nelson to review books for free. One they have right now to review is Heaven is for Real. I think I am going to request it to review just because of all I have heard. I want to give it a fair chance for review. Anyway, I wanted to let any of you know who may have a blog if you wanted to do it too. I feel like i have not been fair in judging without actually reading it.

    Love you all praying your weekends are great in HIM!

    12 more days of antibiotic!! Legs very weak. I am teaching Sunday. My mind is ready so we will just work on getting me there and I will be good. 🙂

    1. Angela, as I read this and prayed for your teaching Sunday, I thought of just how much your life exemplifies this verse:
      “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Cor. 12:10

      1. Elizabeth, I love that verse…and your little picture!

    2. Praying for you, Angela

  26. I am not sure what my take away this weeks is.. i have been thinking about this all day! .. I feel like i just “breezed throught the week and not reallu thought too much of anything maybe because it was my birthday! I am not sure.. I guess maybe the snake us a take away cause that stuck with me all week.

    Is there someone on here that i can persoanlly e-mail and talk to about something? Not something that i want to go into detail here and not sure that any of you can even help.. i just need someone to process it with!

    1. Meg, I am not very good with advice but I will be glad to listen and pray. afalzone@gmail.com

      1. Anne, YES you are sister! I know first hand. 🙂

      2. Anne, you are the best!

  27. Meg, how did it go today cleaning your mom’s salon?

    1. Rebecca

      It was ok.. I can see the enemy working alot in my life this week, I had a bad attitude about it.. and was also having a bad attitude about not wanting to go for a run! what is up with that I LOVE running! Please pray!

      1. Meg,

        Sure! Sometimes our monthly hormones play into that-but it also might be an idol-comfort or control, rearing it’s ugly head-near sin is the bad attitude. I am not sure.

        1. Rebecca you could be right.. I did start my cylce on my birthday! But i was also really tired! my friend had a birthday party for me and i was out till 10:30 then i had to get up at 5:30 to do my paper route.

        2. Meg, yes, that can make you tired and enhance the attitude problem, or even create one that wasn’t there to begin with. Wow, when do you have to get your papers delivered by? Do you have a small or large route?

        3. Rebecca,

          My Papers have to be delivered by 7:00 am and i have 42 papers it takes me about 50 minutes.

        4. Meg, Wow..So you can’t get up any later than 5:30 then. 🙁 Sometimes that extra half hour of sleep helps when you have been up late.

        5. you want to know what is funny though? Sunday i dont have to deliver papers so I actually get to sleep in but i always seem to wake up at 5:30 anyway! 🙁

        6. That happens to me too, but I am an early riser-i love the early morning time so that is o.k. for me. Setting clocks back hasn’t mattered to me like it does my mom. I love to tease her about it. We are polar opposites in every way-yet we help one another so it is good. 🙂

  28. OK, Rebecca’s sweet encouragement has led me to tears, but I want to try to share this 🙂
    I just re-listened to Keller’s “Removing the Idols of the Heart”, one Dee has us listen to back in March. I was so encouraged, I wanted to share. I love how Dee has brought these sermons to life for me–I have listened to Keller for years, and actually one of my old pastors was called to lead one of the NY plants. But Dee’s studies bring another dimension to them–an extra step I have really needed.

    Anyway, this is the sermon, where he quotes Luther “All of Life is Repentance”. He says If looking deeply at my sin leads me to despair, then my worth is placed in my works. But if I understand the Gospel, then looking deeply at my sin, leads me to deeper repentance, which leads to deeper joy. He tells the story of the woman who washed Jesus’ feet, and how because she repented deeply, she loved deeply.
    When I despair, I am looking inward. Instead, I want my realization of my sin to lead me to brokenness, deep repentance, and deeper LOVE.

    ps–my new avatar is a note my daughter gave me today…a reminder for me of His grace and the gift of all your prayers

    1. Now you are making me teary eyed! So thankful for God’s grace and your daughter. Love the avatar. Love this post Elizabeth.

      He went to the cross so that my worth or value would be placed in Him-His works, not mine-That should lead me to deeper repentance and deeper joy. A red flag as to whether or not I see my worth in His works or mine will be if I despair when I sin. Just being reminded of this is so, so good. What love He showered on us. Excellent Elizabeth for me to meditate on tonight. Thanks for posting!

    2. Love this, Elizabeth. Deeper repentance=deeper joy! Love the love note, God has been busy! 😀

    3. Wow! that message sounds so powerful. I need to listen to it.

  29. If your in daylight savings time, don’t forget to “fall back one hour tonight” 🙁 Now it will be dark at 5:30-6pm here in NE. At least I’ll have more time to study the word and Praise the Lord!!
    It is actually 12:20! now
    Going to bed and pray for everyone here. Bless you, Dee….hope your day is better Sunday.

    1. My mom LOVES daylight savings when the hour goes back. She LOVES that extra hour of sleep. 🙂

  30. We watched The Tree of Life last night. It will take me a while to process it. I am glad we will discuss it here because there is much I did not understand.

    1. I just read this Anne, and thought–did I write this?! we watched it last night too–actually part Fri night, part last night–not all the way through yet. We keep pausing on the words–so rich. It is really an unbelievably written movie–the cinematography depicting creation, wow. I did struggle with the father scene last night, where we had to stop again. I will appreciate the discussion too.

  31. I watched with my husband and I was surprised at how he hung in there with me. He likes action movies. I am seeing some changes in our relationship too. God has been showing me some little things that I can do and he is responding. His reaction to the movie is a good example.

    Dee, I am praying for you this morning. I pray that God will give you assurance about your friend. Thank you for praying for us. I am seeing answers.

    1. Anne, I was set to watch it a while ago, but I wanted to with my husband and he wasn’t available due to his work schedule. I can’t wait to watch it.

  32. 12. WHAT’S YOUR TAKE-A-WAY AND WHY?

    I never wrote my take away this week yet. Right now, it is just that I need to keep pounding the truth of Jesus into my heart and mind even when my emotions do not agree and I feel overwhelmed by my faults and life seems hopeless.

    Touch my life. Still the raging storm in me! from Selah,”Part the Waters I Need Thee”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdPDKXRVnXw