Deceit

Apple bite     If Satan had a middle name,

it would be DECEPTION. Since the earth was formed and Adam and Eve were born, Satan has made it his goal to deceive mankind and draw them away from the Truth. He uses different tactics to match perfectly the weaknesses we each possess. For Adam and Eve, it was the desire for knowledge; for Abraham and Sarah, it was the desire for a child; for Jacob and Esau, it was the desire for the coveted birthright; for David, it was the forbidden fruit of another man’s wife; for Judas, it was thirty pieces of silver.

1 Peter 5:8 (NASB) tells us to “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” What does this say to you? If the above-mentioned patriarchs and even one of the chosen twelve followers of Jesus Christ could be duped by the devil’s deceitful ways, what chance do we have? Only One—that of daily throwing down the gauntlet of Jesus Christ. We are to be on the alert and guard our hearts and minds against the schemes of the devil. “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11 (NASB)

Now, let’s get down to where you live. What does deceit look like in your world? Sometimes we do or say something that seems so innocent on the surface, and then are shocked when it unfolds into a terrible mess. Shakespeare is often mistakenly credited with this illuminating quote: “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive” (It was actually penned by Sir Walter Scott (Marmion, 1808). No matter what the deception, does it not usually end in regret? As a child, my moments of terror over being found out were much worse than the actual punishment I received for breaking a rule. I have seen that same look of dread in my granddaughter’s eyes, and I find it difficult to keep a straight face.

A less familiar quote from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe states: “It is better to be deceived by one’s friends than to deceive them.” It sounds like he may have known Jesus, or at least adhered to His teachings—“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Luke 6:31 (NIV). I was deceived by a group of women years ago, and I will never forget the terrible ache in my heart. As I readjusted my emotional compass—through lots of prayer and a dear friend who listened to my tale of woe—I was able to move forward without striking back. I came to realize that they were not Christians and would be watching my reaction. I’ve never been sorry that I remained faithful to God and the Golden Rule—deceit did not win that day.

Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV) states “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” This verse gets to the core of it—we are all born into sin and are able to deceive even ourselves. It is only through a daily relationship with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit’s presence in us that we have the power to reject thoughts that lead to deception. Verse 10 goes on to say “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” There is a reward for doing life God’s way.

Unbelief

BloodMoonThe year is 2014, July 12th to be exact. Tonight the moon will be just 222,611 miles away from Earth, the closest distance during its elliptical orbit around Earth, known as perigee (as opposed to apogee when it is its furthest distance away from Earth).[1] This startling visual enlargement has given way to the term “Supermoon.”

During 2014 and 2015, there will be four “Blood Moons,” total lunar eclipses, in an uninterrupted series known as a “tetrad.” These blood moons are reddish in appearance due to refracted light from Earth’s atmosphere when it aligns perfectly between the sun and Earth. The dates of April 15 and October 8 in 2014, and April 4 and September 28 in 2015[2] coincide both years with the High Holy Days of Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles on the Jewish calendar. Interestingly, there were blood moons in 1948 when Israel became the State of Israel, and in 1967 when Israel fought the Six Day War and recaptured Jerusalem.

There has been a rash of skepticism associated with the blood moon events, demonstrating continued unbelief in the Master of the Universe. Critics of Christianity will many times point to science for their dissenting views; unless, as in the case of the blood moon, science points right back to the Jewish calendar and Old Testament prophecy. Ironically, skeptics are just like the Israelites of old in Jeremiah 6:16 (NIV) “This is what the Lord says: Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”

How hard these critics struggle to disprove the preponderance of evidence that is displayed in God’s creation. Paul states in Romans 1:20 (NIV) “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

David wrote in Psalm 19:1–4 (NIV) “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 reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”

Finally, Jesus said “There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Luke 21:25-28 (NIV) Jesus said this—not to scare us—but to prepare us.

[1] [1] WND Faith exclusive online report, “1st The Blood Moon, Now The Supermoon”foolqt_720p (1)

[2] [2] Bruce McClure; Deborah Byrd (March 30, 2014). “What is a Blood Moon?” Earth & Sky.

 

Final First Fruits “Pre-Pub” Book Signing

 

Butler Kirchner

Dining Floral

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tim and Sue Kirchner provided their beautiful home in Frisco, Texas for our final pre-release book signing party. It was a great event, with long-time friends and colleagues present to celebrate with us. Sue and Tim have been our special friends for fifteen years here in Frisco, and C.J. and I were very honored as they opened their hearts and home for this event.

As at previous book signings, I shared my journey of writing First Fruits, and gave them a glimpse of the challenges during the process, as well as the exhilaration of completing the book I was inspired to write for The Lord. As I continue to follow His lead, I’m open to where He sends me with His message of hope in building a relationship with Him.

The great song “Oceans” written by members of the singing group HillSong describe my spiritual experience perfectly:

“You call me out upon the waters – The great unknown where feet may fail – And there I find You in the mystery – In oceans deep – My faith will stand – And I will call upon Your name – And keep my eyes above the waves – When oceans rise – My soul will rest in Your embrace – For I am Yours and You are mine.”

Looking upward for The Way forward!

Susan

 

Palm Sunday and First Fruits Book Signing

Speaking        PALM  SUNDAY

On this beautiful Palm Sunday afternoon, I was honored to speak about my journey of First Fruits to a group of friends from Prestonwood Baptist Church, as well as my family. The event was hosted by my dear friends, Bob and Della Best, who live in Dallas, Texas. Eight other longtime friends participated in presenting a beautiful and delicious array of desserts and beverages.

Speaking briefly about the beginning of my walk with God, I then shared the journey of writing First Fruits from the day I began gathering scriptures on my PC to the day I told The Lord I would like to write a book. For the next 3-1/2 years I spent three-hour blocks of time when I wasn’t “doing life” writing what would become a 480-page book. It is a perpetual 365-day devotional with weekly inserts expanding on the different precept themes throughout First Fruits.

Next, I shared some of the things I learned concerning the monumental changes in the publishing industry, including my experience in sending out book proposals, and the reasons I landed and signed a contract with Morgan James Publishing out of New York on July 23, 2015.

Finally, I revealed my three-fold purpose for writing First Fruits, and closed by sharing an epiphany I’d had, followed by a reading of an excerpt on Suffering from First Fruits which pinpointed how my purpose was realized through a personal event in my life.

There are many things I’d like to share with groups, so maybe I will get a chance to come your way someday soon. Until then, let’s keep looking upward for the Way forward!

Hostesses EntryPanoramic