Spiritual Warfare Prep

Spiritual Warfare Prep
We Are In The Lord's Army

Monday, May 29, 2017

Are These People Scammers, Or, Are They People With Great Needs? How Would We Know?

I am torn about writing this article, but, I believe I must do it, and do it soon.

Let me start with an episode of something that happened to me about a year and a half ago. I will try to make a really long story as short as possible.

I will actually share a couple of stories, hoping you will understand the point I want to make from one of them.

About a year and a half ago, I was on my Mac computer, and a screen came up saying that my computer was infected with a virus. The warning looked like a typical Apple message, so I heeded. There was a phone number to call and someone would help me fix it.

Stupid me calls the number (I found out later on that I should have just called Apple first). After spending a couple of hours with 'Alex' looking inside my computer and fixing the virus that I supposedly had, and about $500 in cost, I wondered if I did the right thing.

I contacted my Mac group through email, and they told me I had been scammed. I put a post about it on Facebook and my friends said that they thought I had been scammed. I called Apple and they said I was scammed. I was also told that Mac computers do not get viruses.

The man named 'Alex' had a deep Indian accent. I contacted my credit card company, and disputed the charge. They said I had to personally try to work it through with the company (BrainBro). I called and got about half of the money back.

Brainbro insisted that they were not scammers and that my computer did indeed have malware (they changed the condition to 'malware' since I informed them that Mac computers did not get viruses).

Since that time, I have gotten phone calls from 'Alex' and other people with Indian dialects. They would let me know that they were aware of my computer having more malware. I remember one time they actually hung up on me when I told them that they were scammers.

More recently, I have gotten phone calls from this company or an associate company, saying that they are going to refund me all the money. So, I stayed on the phone, talking with a woman with a deep Indian accent this time. She did not speak good English. She had me download something called 'Team Viewer' which made it possible for her to look inside my computer.

If someone is going to refund your money to you, why would they need to look inside your computer? I couldn't even use my mouse because she was using it. Not sure what that was all about.

The phone call was disconnected. She kept trying to call me back. She would send messages through Team Viewer asking me to take the call. Meanwhile, I called Apple and was able to disconnect from her on the computer.

The phone kept ringing. I did not answer.

Today, the phone rang again. The person had already called before but no one answered. This time I answered. It was a man with an Indian accent telling me that the company was going to refund my money. I told him he was a scammer, etc. I hung up on him.

(The only caller I.D. on these phone calls was that one was from Kissimmee, Florida, and the other one was from New York).

Last year, our credit card was hacked. It would have been the same credit card number I gave to Brainbro. They used the card in New York to buy groceries and gas with.

We have had our credit card number changed several times since then.

But what I want to really share with you is something kind of sad and disappointing. And puzzling too.

People know how to play on your sympathies. People also know that others are especially sympathetic toward children. Plus, people know that if you are a professing Christian, then you will give money to the poor, especially children.

Here's where the story gets tricky.

Months ago, I made a new friend at church. We exchanged our names so we could find each other on Facebook. I had a hard time finding her, as there seemed to be a couple of people with her name. She told me that she tried sending me a friend request but it would never go through.

I checked my settings and found that I would only receive friend requests from people who have at least one mutual friend in common. I wondered why I did that. So, I changed my settings to receive any friend requests from people, so that my new friend could send me a friend request and I would get it. I left the setting open and it wasn't long before I realized why I had it set to receiving only friend requests from people who had mutual friends with me.

During that short time I had the settings open, I received some friend requests. The first one, I checked over the profile page. It looked innocent. It was from a lady in India. I thought to myself, 'no harm' here, so I confirmed the friend request.

Immediately, the woman contacted me. It was around midnight, and she called me on Facebook. I couldn't answer because people were sleeping at my house. She sent me a ton of pictures. She told me about her life. Not too long after this, then it happened.

The requests for helping to meet the needs for the orphanage were being brought to my attention. What was really puzzling was that this woman never seemed to sleep. No matter when I was on Facebook, she would find me. She would send me a nice message. She would 'like' a lot of the things I posted. But I found it strange that she was always on Facebook. I thought people in India do not have much in the way of technology and the Internet, but maybe I am wrong.

The personal messages continued. And they still continue along with pictures and requests for donations. And I am puzzled.

My mom would have said, 'You are too nice'. I would just hate the thought of not helping this person if she really is in need, not that I am in a place where I can help financially, but, if something needs help, I will be glad to at least be praying for it.

I have asked what others thought about this. Some believe this woman is a scammer. I just don't know. I would feel terrible if she is just a lonely person who lacks material things and wants a little bit better life. But, on the other hand, I do know that scammers can really talk like nice, caring people.

The other friend request I got was from a woman in Africa. It seemed similar in some ways. I did not respond to her request. She also gave me her telephone number as if I should call her sometime.

I wonder if I would have 'confirmed' the friend request, if this woman would have also had financial needs for orphanages and children's health care situations that the lady from India had.

Do people in these other countries think that Americans are rolling in dough and just waiting to find a place where they can donate their money? Or, could they really be scammers in disguise? I really would like to know!!

There is a guilt feeling you get when they bring needs to your attention. But when you are supporting many people in other ministries, you only have a certain amount of money to delegate to everyone. And new needs come up everyday.

We have places we pour money into, but they are around here. We have poor people in America that we would like to help get back on their feet. Are we obligated to give to someone we really don't know, in a faraway country before we give to those who live here in this country who have great needs?

I am aware of the understanding that other parts of the world have concerning our Western World here. They would think that everyone should be equal and that those who are wealthy, which are the Americans, should give up what they have so that others in their countries can equally have their share of material goods. I think it ties in with the 'Yin and Yang' theory. (For every boy who has video games, and lots of toys, there is a boy suffering who has nothing). In other words, it is American's fault because of the wealth that's in our country. That means, to them, that an equal amount of people in another country, such as the one they live in, will be poor. If we have 50 boys with video games, bikes, computers, etc., then in India, there will be 50 boys without anything, according to their theory.

I also understand that our former president believes that people who do well (like those in America) should be forced to give to others who do not have, because everyone has to be equal. We are all equal in value, but we are all different because God made us all unique and gave us giftings and talents (skills) to use to serve in our communities and to make a living to provide for ourselves and our families. The former president believes that those who achieve and work hard have become successful, not because of their hard work, but because they 'stole' their success from others. (Kind of like the Yin/Yang theory).

Anyway, I do not want to offend any of my friends who are from India or Africa. This is not an assault on them. This is just a question of wanting wisdom to know who are the scammers and who are those in need, and how can we best help those in need. Sometimes, we think we can help people, but we end up doing more harm than good. Sometimes, we even get scammed.

Feel free to comment on this article or share your own experiences here.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

What Lessons Can We Learn From An Abused Woman?

Here is a very sad story about a woman who had a relationship with an abusive man. While there is a sadness for this woman, to a degree, I want to carefully help us to look at this situation in the light of what the Scriptures say. What can we learn about this? How do we look at this situation and similar ones without acting like we are 'casting the first stone'?

We are all in a mess as long as we live in this darkened world. Many people suffer at the hands of others. There are many unfair situations. But could some of these difficult situations be avoided by having the wisdom of God and by walking in the fear of the Lord?

Again, I want to make sure that no one thinks I am judging this woman or casting the first stone at her. We all get ourselves into messes like this at times, and we should be grateful when someone helps pull us out. Does everyone who is in a mess like this want out though? Has everyone heard of the way out and the only ultimate answer to our difficulties?

The story:
A woman who lives on the West Coast, describes her relationship with a man who abused her. After she was able to leave him, she saw him on the street. He did come after her, and although he did not actually meet up with her, sent her a note saying he would like to reconcile.

The woman was beyond terrified of this man because of what he had done to her. She had a restraining order to protect her from him. Whatever things ended up happening, this woman was affected mentally and needed medical help for her mental illness.

The article describes many things she went through. The man had already destroyed 3 relationships with other women whom he also abused terribly. He was even an actor and acted out a scene of abuse, which should have given a clue of his potential for harm.

The woman got pregnant by him and had to get an abortion. She went to Planned Parenthood and couldn't imaging having the baby who was the son or daughter of the man who tried to kill her.

Now, the woman complained about the GOP. I had to wonder what connection the GOP would have concerning this abusive relationship. So, I went through the whole article and it simply said that she had now a 'pre-existing' condition (her mental illness because of the abuse) and there would be no money to pay for her insurance because, according to her, the new insurance act that was recently passed, would not cover pre-existing conditions or would make the cost of her insurance too high.

The woman also lived on the West Coast, and seemed to identify herself as a Liberal. There was some bad language in the article, and God's name was taken in vain.

There was nothing in the article that indicated that she was married to this man. She also mentioned her relationship with men as 'partners' not husbands or boyfriends.

You can find this article here: https://medium.com/@kivabay/men-who-try-to-kill-me-703a526ee152

It is sad when women have to live in fear and experience the agonies that go with being abused. I don't want to make light of that, but I am not going to focus on that now. I want us to look at cause and effect in this article. We could save ourselves from much anguish if we learn from other people's experiences.

Here are my conclusions on how to look on this article:
* People today are ignorant of the Scriptures, and what God is saying to us.
* Many in our society have no fear of God.
* In the olden days, there was a standard of right and wrong. Today, much of that standard is gone.
* God tells us to be pure sexually, for good reasons.
* When we live in sin, our sins multiply and have consequences.
* The Bible tells us to stay away from angry people.
* We get wisdom from the word of God. If we don't know God's word, we will make foolish decisions.

Application of the story:
* The woman chose to live with an abusive man, even though she wasn't aware of his abusiveness at first.
* Choosing to live with someone and have intimate relationships outside of marriage is forbidden by God. We can see some of the ramifications of this in this story.
* There is always a foolish woman waiting for some man to love her and give her attention. A man who has had three abusive relationships should never be accepted by another woman in a relationship. That person is unmarriageable.
* Having an abortion, and especially expecting the state to pay for it is like trying to take 2 wrongs to make a right. Carrying and delivering a baby is part of the responsibility of having a sexual relationship. She had no right to kill her baby over this.
* The woman was steeped in believing the lies of the Enemy to her. She totally bought into his lies, and is continuing to do so.
* I guess it is easy for woman to just make a decision to live with a man vs. marrying him. And even doing that without really knowing the man's background first.
* The woman even bought into the lie that the GOP is going to enable her ex partner in continuing to harm her. She is looking for someone to blame because she believes she won't be able to get medical help.

Friends, this is what life looks like for those who are living in darkness. They get into the wrong kinds of relationships, then they get hurt, then they look for someone to blame.

The answer to all of this is found in the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Gospel means 'good news'. That implies that there is 'bad news'. The bad news is that we have been listening to the voice of the devil for so long, and we are in darkness. We need to be delivered. But, here's the problem: we have to be delivered on God's terms, not our own. Society teaches us to do things our way. Society teaches us to be selfish, and then when things go wrong, blame others. God never intended for women to live (or die) in abusive relationships. But God never intended for women to live with men outside of a marriage relationship either. God never intended for women to have abortions. God does not want people to live homeless either.

We make choices. When we choose to live against the principles in the Bible, there will be consequences. God doesn't have rules just to make us miserable. Our parents didn't give us rules to be mean. The rules protect us and keep us safe. But if we spit in God's face or reject Him, what else should we expect?

I am not saying here though that everyone who has been abused or is homeless is not following God. What I am saying is that God will take care of us, but we must be under His umbrella of care. We cannot be sleeping around and getting abortions, and expect God's blessings on our lives.

Maybe you have lived through all this hellish type of living, and maybe you want out. It is a cycle. If you are an abused woman, you have to break off with your man. God can help you.

You cannot consider getting an abortion, even if you believe in 'a woman's right to her own body' (which is another lie of the Enemy). You can put the baby up for adoption. There are many who would love to have your baby in their homes.

You also cannot blame others for the outcome of your decisions. You must learn how to take responsibility for your actions. God can also help you with that.

For more information on the Gospel message, please go to http://thegospelconversation.blogspot.com or http://test4gp.wordpress.com

Please, I urge you to get help if you need it. Find a friend or church that you can trust. It is of utmost importance.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Lost Angels Cannot Be Redeemed

The Bible has a lot to say about angels. They are created beings, like humans are. The Bible doesn't say that the angels are created in God's image though. They are full time worshipers of God, and they serve Him continually.

Did you know that there was a time when all angels were good? At some point, if we understand the Bible correctly, the devil rebelled against God and fell to the earth. In the book of Revelation, it talks about the angels who followed the Dragon were also thrown to the earth.

The devil came to Eve in the Garden of Eden, and lied to her. He basically led her to believe that she should not trust God. So, she followed the devil's advice and the whole human race was plunged into sin. Read Genesis 3 for more information on this.

God promised to send a Redeemer. Throughout the Old Testament, there were clues about this coming Redeemer. When God sent His Son to earth, around 2,000 years ago, Jesus fulfilled the clues that were given concerning the coming Redeemer.

God was gracious to mankind in sending a Redeemer. But in an interesting way, the angels who sinned do not have a Redeemer. Jesus didn't die for angels, only for people.

Here is what the Bible says about the angels who sinned:

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment,  and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.

2 Peter 2: 4-10 ESV

But the fate of human beings will be the same for those who do not repent of their sins and put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Redeemer and Savior. 

This is the fate of the devil and false prophet:

And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them,  and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

The fate of human beings:

And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Revelation 20: 9,10, 12-15 ESV

We have the opportunity to be redeemed and saved from our sins. We can receive a new heart that will love instead of hate. We can love what God loves and hate what God hates. God will give us the power to change and to overcome the struggles we have with our sinful natures. But, we must respond to God. We don't get saved by just believing facts about God. We must let go of our desires to live for pleasure and selfishness. God will help us to turn to Him, but we must respond to Him. 

For more information on how to be made right with God, please go to http://test4gp.wordpress.com

Does Having Standards Imply Bigotry or Bias?

Where do I begin? Today, I posted on Facebook an article having to do with Target promoting Gay Pride Line, which is a line of clothing catering to homosexuals.

Last year, Target came up with the bright idea of allowing men to have permission to use a woman's restroom if the man feels like he is a woman and prefers to use the woman's room. This allowance could lead to a lot of different problematic situations that I will not go into at this time. After that incident took place, I made a personal decision to not use Target anymore unless someone either gave me a gift certificate or if someone was registered there for their wedding or baby shower.

What is wrong with Target allowing men to use women's restrooms and vice-versa? Well, starting with the Bible, the whole way of thinking that homosexuality is right and normal is covered. The Bible has a whole lot to say about how we are to use our bodies, and there are boundaries in what we can do with our bodies, or what we can do to other people's bodies.

A note about the Target issue: Although we don't agree with Target's policies, and we know the Bible teaches that homosexuality is wrong and will be punished, in no way do we reject people who are homosexuals or transgenders. They are people who are created in God's image, and, like all of us, are slaves to their sins. They need the Gospel message, just as we do, for the sins we have committed. We are all subject to the temptations and trappings of sin, and we all need a Savior from sin.

The Bible is very clear that marriage is made up of one man and one woman. God designed men and women to marry and have sexual relations. That is a good thing. It is a beautiful thing when used correctly. But when it is used in any other form, it is wrong. It will be punished by God.

The problems we have today in our society stem from wrong thinking, and a philosophy that tells us that whatever is truth to us, that is our truth. In other words, truth is subjective. So, if the Bible says that being immoral is wrong and God will judge immoral people, if I believe that it is ok for me to be immoral, than I have a 'right' to immorality. Somehow, God's standard gets left out or is subject to our standard.

So, if I have a standard that wants to protect my privacy in a restroom, that standard actually becomes subject to a greater stander, that of one which says that a man can come into the restroom I am using because his feelings of desiring to be a woman and use a woman's restroom to express his feelings, I must be subject to that.

If I put a post out about this on Facebook, people will call me a bigot. They did today. How does one live in their boundaries when someone else's newly created boundaries cross over theirs?

One of the comments expressly said that I didn't know the Bible because it is a book of God's love. So, that brings up the question which is the title of this article. Does having standards imply that a person is a bigot if they have standards? A more intense question is, is God a bully because He has standards? Do His standards violate His characteristic of love?

The person who wrote the comment on God's love was correct. The part that is hard for us to understand is that although God is love, and God loved us so much that He sent His Son to die for us, in our place, is that God has standards. If God didn't have standards, then He wouldn't have had to send His Son to die in our place. We could never measure up to God's standards, but Jesus did. That is why He was the only one qualified to die in our place, to take our sins away.

I think this post-modern thinking has messed people up so much. The second commandment says that we cannot make for us a graven image of God. We cannot make a god to suit ourselves. That is why it is so hard for a post-modern person to understand the message of the Gospel. They don't understand that God has standards, and if they do understand that God has standards, they call Him a bully.

They want to take the shortcut to escape hell. They want to believe that God is all-loving and all-forgiving, and that all they have to do is mentally accept the facts that are true, and they are good to go. They don't want to understand that God does love us, and that His love is so great that it provided a way for Him to make for us so that we could be redeemed from our sins. When it involves a personal response from the person in order for salvation to take affect in the person's life, they say, 'forget it'.