The Mystery of The Mystery of God

Our study in the 10th chapter of Revelation continues to offer mysteries. Last week we looked at the possible identities for the strong/mighty angel described in verses 1-3. Today we venture further into the chapter and find another mystery.

Before we read Revelation 10:1-7, let me remind you that you can download and print a drawing of the events of Revelation 10 that was done by my friend, Lisa. Click back over to last week’s post to find the download.

Ok, let’s take the time to read this entire section in order to gain context for our discussion today.

 

1 Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire.

2 He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land,

3 and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring. When he called out, the seven thunders sounded.

4 And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.”

5 And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven

6 and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay,

7 but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God would be fulfilled, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.

 

The Mystery of God

 

 

Here is a quick and dirty list of what is taking place in these verses:

  • A mighty angel descends from heaven
  • He holds a little scroll in his hand.
  • He places one foot on the land and one foot on the sea
  • His voice causes seven thunders to sound
  • John hears and understands what the thunders say, but is admonished not to write it down.
  • The angel swears an oath by God that says there will be no more delay

This is where we find ourselves in our study today…focusing on verse 7. Mighty angel declares that in the days when the 7th trumpet sounds the mystery of God will be fulfilled. This mystery was announced by God to the prophets of old (Amos 3:7).

So, what is this mystery of God?

The Greek word used for ‘mystery’ is musterion and it means, “private knowledge; a divine secret. Represents what is hidden, unrevealed, or unknown.” (Zodhiates Key Word Study Bible) This word is used several times in Revelation (1:20; 10:7; 17:5,7), and each time refers to something not yet revealed.

John tells us that the ‘mystery of God’ will be finished (telos) in the days when the 7th trumpet sounds, so we would be wise to find out what happens when the 7th trumpet sounds (Revelation 11:15-19). We have not studied this yet, but it is time well spent to take a quick look. Remember, the 7th trumpet is the third and final woe that will take place. At the 7th trumpet:

  • worship in heaven takes place
  • the temple of God in heaven is opened and the Ark of the Covenant appears
  • lightening, sounds, thunder, an earthquake, and hail all appear
  • the dragon begins to persecute the woman
  • the beast out of the sea and the beast out of the earth appear

It seems that the beginning of Christ’s reign takes place at the 7th trumpet, but also there is an increase in the persecution of Israel by the nations. As we move on in our study we will see that the wrath of God also begins at the sounding of the 7th trumpet and ends when the bowls are poured out.

While we cannot know for sure what the mystery of God is, let’s consider some possibilities:

  • The coming wrath and judgment of God
  • Why God delays judgment
  • Why Jesus has not yet come to earth to rule and reign
  • Why God allows so much evil on the earth
  • God’s completed story of the redemption of mankind
  • The full redemption of Israel

 

Friends, my hope is that, even with all the unknowns of Revelation, our study is whetting your appetite to dig deeper into the book. I also pray that your faith in the sovereignty of our God is growing daily. If we knew every detail about Revelation we would not need faith, so let’s dig into what God has revealed and trust Him with those things that remain a mystery. Until next week….

SDG/FCA!

 

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Okay, so I love to read. I love to read political thrillers. I also love political thrillers that are Christian based and no one does them better than Joel Rosenberg. He has several series out and all of them are wonderful. Here are links to the first book in each of his three political thriller series.

Notable Quotes

I read a lot.

And I am always finding quotes that touch my heart.

And I think to myself, “I need to remember this one or that one.”

Then I promptly forget it….or forget where I saw it.

So, I have begun to accumulate notable quotes in one place for later reference. Now I am hoping I will remember to look at my notable quote document when I am seeking out a quote!!

 

Notable Quotes

 

Today, I want to share with you a couple of the ones I have found in the last few weeks in hope they will speak to your heart and life as well. Feel free to Pin, Share, Tweet, Stumble, or whatever else you can do with them.

 

This first one really convicted me….I mean CONVICTED ME!

How often do I NOT pay attention to the people in my life. I half-listen to what they say, or I am too busy scrolling through social media to pay attention to them. Worse yet, while they are speaking I am conjuring up in my mind what my response will be to them. Sheesh! I have work I need to do in this area, people!

 


Quote about Generosity

 

The second quote comes from the Bible study I am currently doing with my small group. It is Priscilla Shirer’s Armor of God Bible Study. Dear Gussie, I am being challenged and convicted by this study…and it is a good thing.

There is a story that goes with this quote. A sculptor had done a huge sculpture of a horse, I think it was. After it was finished a man came up to him and questioned him about how he was able to create such a beautiful sculpture of a horse out of a large chunk of stone. The sculptor thought a minute and then said that he simply chipped away anything that didn’t look like a horse.

 

Holy Spirit's job quote Shirer

 

I hope these two quotes give you something to ponder for a few days. Let me know your thoughts about them in the comments. Until Monday, friends.

SDG/FCA!!!

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links. 

Here is a link to the Bible study I referenced above in case you want to grab a copy for yourself.

No Re-Gifting! Use the Gift You Have Been Given.

Today in our Authentic Christianity series we are talking about spiritual gifts. This passage, along with three sister passages (1 Corinthians 12:1-11, Ephesians 4:7, 11 and 1 Peter 4:10-11) have been the sources of consternation and disagreement in the body of Christ. Much has been written and preached about spiritual gifts over the decades, so I’m sure I have nothing to add that would cause a light bulb to go off in your head. For that reason, I am choosing to focus less on the gifts themselves and more on Paul’s encouragement to use the gift you have been given.

 

No Re-gifting Use the Gift You Have Been Given

 

Before we read the verses on which we are focusing today, I want give those who are new to the series links to past teachings so they can get the flavor of this series.

Authentic: Being a Stand-Out Christian in a Shut Up World

 

What Are You Willing to Sacrifice?

 

Will You Conform or Be Transformed?

 

Don’t Let Pride Take You Down

 

Stop the Fighting, We Are the Body of Christ!

 

My best friend, Cindy, and I have a long-standing joke between us. Cindy has the gift of mercy, among other gifts that are hers. Her heart breaks for those who are hurting and struggling. She has great compassion and feels things deeply. Me? Not so much. The joke is that when God was giving out mercy, I was in the ladies room! Once Cindy gave me a pack of tissues and on each tissue was a cartoon of a woman waving a Kleenex and saying, “Oh boo-hoo. Blow your nose and get over it.” Yep, she knows me well.

God gifted me with other gifts. I have the gifts of teaching and prophecy (no, I cannot foretell the future. That is not what prophecy means here). Because I do not have the gift of mercy I am not excused from being merciful. Cindy’s influence in the area of mercy has encouraged me to ask the Lord to help me be more merciful to those around me….to see them with the eyes of Christ. That does not mean I will suddenly be smacked with the gift of mercy, but I must be intentional about offering mercy when the situation requires it.

Let’s take a look at our focal verses for today. I’m giving Romans 12:5-8 to you in two versions…the ESV is first, then the Amplified.

 

5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;

7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching;

8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

 

Amplified Version

5 So we, numerous as we are, are one body in Christ (the Messiah) and individually we are parts one of another [mutually dependent on one another].

6 Having gifts (faculties, talents, qualities) that differ according to the grace given us, let us use them: [He whose gift is} prophecy, [let him prophesy] according to the proportion of his faith;

7 [He whose gift is] practical service, let him give himself to serving; he who teaches, to his teaching;

8 He who exhorts (encourages), to his exhortation; he who contributes, let him do it in simplicity and liberality; he who gives aid and superintends, with zeal and singleness of mind; he who does acts of mercy, with genuine cheerfulness and joyful eagerness.

 

In these verses, Paul is encouraging the Romans to use the gifts they have been given.

If you have the gift of prophecy (preaching, speaking forth, proclaiming God’s Word), use it!

If you have the gift of serving, serve!

If you have the gift of teaching, teach!

If you have the gift of exhortation (encouragement), encourage!

If you have the gift of leading, lead!

If you have the gift of mercy, be merciful!

Use your gift in the way that Jesus would have used it…..in faith, with generosity, excitement, and cheerfulness.

What if you are not happy with your gift, or wish you had a different gift? Well, sister (or brother), you cannot re-gift what God gave to you. You cannot decide that because you do not like it, you can just give your unwanted gift away or choose not to use it. Nope! It is yours, placed within you and assigned to you by God Himself because He knows it is perfect for you. No re-gifting allowed! If you ask God to help you see the plan He has for you to use your gift and to enable you to use it, He will. I will venture to take it one step further and say that you will never be satisfied and joyful until you are actively using the gift God gave you.

I want to encourage you not to run from your gift. It is how you are uniquely fitted to operate within and bless the body of Christ.

So, tell me, what is your spiritual gift or gifts and how are you using them to walk out authentic Christianity? Share in the comments.

SDG/FCA!!

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Want to learn more about spiritual gifts? Dr. Charles Stanley, known as America’s pastor, offers a wonderful study on them.

Guess Who? The Strong Angel of Revelation 10

When one decides to teach on an entire book of Scripture, there is a tension that exists between covering every single word and picking out key passages and elaborating on them. Today’s teaching is a place of tension. Do I pick the first verses of chapter ten apart, or do I offer a 30,000 foot view of them? Originally, I thought it would be the 30,000 foot view, but then as I read commentaries on the first four verses I decided it would be thought-provoking and instructive to offer opposing points of view on one portion of the verses and let you decide for yourself what they mean.

I want to begin, however, with a disclaimer. God tells us exactly what He wants us to know and not one more tidbit of information. So, when we come to a passage that does not give us all the info we would like to know, we must trust that: a) God knows and chose not to reveal, b) it likely is not crucial that we know, and c) we just need to trust God’s sovereignty in the whole thing.

 

Guess Who? The Strong Angel of Revelation 10

 

So, let’s take a look at the first three and a half verses of Revelation 10. Be sure to download and print the drawing of this chapter for your study time

.

 

1 Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire.

2 He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land,

3 and called out with a loud voice, like a lion roaring.

 

So, the issue on the table is concerning the identity of this ‘mighty angel’. Is he simply that, an angel, or is he an appearing of Jesus Christ to John? I will go ahead and tell you that commentators (that I highly respect) fall out on both sides of this question. Let’s consider the arguments for both answers.

 

The Angel is, well, an Angel

 

Dr. Paige Patterson, writing for The New American Commentary/Revelation, admits it is impossible to make an absolute identification. His personal preference is that ‘since the appearance of the Lord elsewhere in the book is largely undebatable….this angel is one of great prestige and authority. That he is called an angel is not determinative one way or another but must favor the view that this is not the Christ.”

Fair enough.

Commentator John MacArthur offers several factors that argue against this angel being Jesus:

 

  • The Greek word translated ‘another’ early in verse 1 is allos, which means another of the same kind, likely saying that this strong angel is an angel like the ones seen in previous passages, just stronger.
  • Anytime Jesus appears in Revelation, John the Revelator gives Him a clear and unmistakable title, i.e. ‘Faithful Witness (1:5), the Amen (3:14), Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David (5:5), the Lamb (6:1, 16; 7:17; 8:1), etc.
  • Other STRONG ANGELS who are clearly not Christ appear in Revelation (5:2 and 18:21).
  • MacArthur believes that it is ‘inconceivable that Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, could make the oath that this angel makes in verses 5 and 6. (stay tuned for next week)
  • This angel came down out of heaven to earth. If this is Christ, this would add another coming of Christ to earth that is not foretold in Scripture and that does not mesh with the biblical descriptions of the Second Coming (cf. Matt 24:30; 25:31; 2 Thess 1:7-8).

 

Good arguments from both scholars for this angel being just that…an angel.

 

The Strong Angel is Jesus

Dr. Warren Wiersbe offers some compelling characteristics of this angel that are like the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • He is Strong
  • The last time we saw a rainbow it was around the throne of God in Chapter 4. Now it is a crown on the head of this messenger perhaps signifying that he has been given authority by God.
  • Clouds – Jesus ascended to heaven in the clouds and He will return just as He left.
  • The angel’s face shines ‘as the sun’, corresponding to the description of Jesus in Revelation 1:16.
  • The description of the angel’s feet corresponds to the description of Jesus’ feet in Revelation 1:15.
  • The voice like a lion reminds us that Jesus is described as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.
  • In the Old Testament, Jesus appeared several times and was called ‘the Angel of the Lord. (Exodus 3:2; Judges 2:4; 6:11-12, 21-22; 2 Samuel 24:16)
  • The book in his hand. We learned in Revelation 5:5 that Jesus was the only one worthy to take the scroll and open it. It might be extrapolated that Jesus is the only One worthy to give His servant John the revelation.
  • The angel’s stance is one of a victor or conqueror who is taking possession of the territory he has conquered. Only Jesus holds the title deed to earth, sea, and sky.

 

Compelling arguments on both sides, wouldn’t you say? I have to say that my opinion, for whatever it is worth, is that this being is simply an angel and not Jesus.

What is your opinion? Angel? Jesus Christ?

I’ll see you next week.

SDG/FCA!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

I know all this study in the book of Revelation can be unsettling at times. The good news is that WE WIN and there is always encouragement for your heart from Scripture….even in Revelation. Perhaps you are looking for a bit of encouragement today. I’d love to share a little devotion book I wrote with you. It is called When Words Won’t Come.

Sharing Life: A Kitchen Hack

Fridays are all about Sharing Life with YOU! Women Sharing Life with other women. Titus 2 mentoring.

Sometimes we talk about Friendship:

Here

Here

while other times we talk about Faith.

Here

Here

Today, however, we are talking Food, and specifically a kitchen hack that I learned last year that has been a money saver. Not huge sums of money, but every penny counts, right?

 

Sharing Life A Kitchen Hack

 

So, how many of you have recipes that you love or that you would love to try and they call for 1 tablespoon or 2 ounces or some other ridiculously small amount of tomato paste? Yeah, me too.

The smallest size can of tomato paste that I have been able to find is 6 ounces and 1 tablespoon of tomato paste is only 1 ounce, so what do you do with the rest of that can? Well, if you are like me, you just throw it away. UGH, WHAT A WASTE!

Well, not anymore.

I learned last year that you can FREEZE tomato paste.

Who knew??!!

So, I proceded to take myself to the grocery and buy a large can of tomato paste (12 ounces).

Tomato paste can

 

I tore off small sections of plastic wrap, measured 1 tablespoon portions of tomato paste into each little piece of plastic wrap,

 

Tablespoon of tomato paste

 

sealed it up and put them in an airtight container in the freezer.

 

Storage Tomato Paste

 

Abracadabra!!! Now any time I need tomato paste in small amounts I simply pull my pre-measured portions out of the freezer and use them in my recipes. It is quick, easy, and economical. How ’bout that!!!

I would love to hear some of your kitchen hacks in the comments. Come on! Let’s share kitchen life!

SDG!

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Since we are talking about kitchen hacks, I wanted to give you links to some of my favorite kitchen products. If you are reading this post via email and cannot see the links, please click HERE to go to my website where the links will be visible.

Authentic: Stop the Fighting! We Are The Body of Christ

DISCLAIMER: Electronic media makes it difficult to convey emotion. Please, please know that there is not one smidgen of anger contained in this post. As you read it, I hope you will hear my heart of love for the body of Christ. I believe this is an important conversation to have, and I invite you to enter in.

 

Would you pardon me while I climb atop my soapbox for a moment?

Stop it with all the denominational fighting! Just stop!

 

Authentic Stop The Fighting Body of Christ

 

I grew up in the Southern Baptist denomination, and I am grateful for (most of) that upbringing. I learned about missions and Jesus and amazing old hymns and the beauty of an organ and piano and the order of service and the Doxology and Girls in Action and Acteens and Summer Vacation Bible School and ‘raise your hand if you read your Sunday School lesson this week’.

I also learned that women are not to be pastors and speaking in tongues is not actually an accepted thing and, dear Gussie, exclusivity. I think my Grandma might have had to be revived with St. Peter’s smelling salts when she stepped through the gates of heaven and discovered that there were Methodists, Church of God, Presbyterians, Lutherans, and many other people who affiliated with non-Southern Baptist denominations, or no denomination at all, right there in heaven.

I am not here to bash the Southern Baptist denomination. I really am not. My ‘letter’ is housed at the Southern Baptist church where I grew up, and I love that church and pray for that church. Southern Baptist just happens to be the well from which I draw my experience. No denomination is perfect, and many of you might have a similar perspective about your denomination. But, our time in Romans 12 today prompts me to step back with you so we can take a 50,000-foot view of the body of Christ and the scene that will one day be around God’s throne in heaven.

Let’s read these two verses…..

 

4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

 

You have a body….head to toe, inside and outside…it is a body that houses all sorts of organs, cells, membranes, ligaments, and muscles. Bones are connected by ligaments, tons of miles of blood vessels run all over your body, your brain is the control central, and your muscles allow you to walk and run. Your body is not just your brain. If you were only one big brain, you could not move or eat or kiss your sweetheart. If you were made up of only a pinky finger, you could not stand up.

Every part of your body is necessary to your physical well-being. Just let one part of the body malfunction and the entire body suffers in some way. Don’t believe me? Have you ever broken your pinky toe? Yeah! I rest my case. That pinky toe is important, people!

The same is true of the body of Christ…..regardless of the denomination in which you choose to worship…..if you name the name of Jesus Christ over your soul, you are a necessary and important part of the Body. Now, you may not like the way your toes look, but they are your toes and you must accept that and care for them because they are part of your body. So, let’s pretend the Baptists are the toes, the Methodists are the fingers, the Presbyterians are the blood vessels, the Church of God folks are the muscles, and our non-denominational brothers and sisters are the eyes.

Y’all, I am dying at all the exclusivity and condescension in the body of Christ. We are THE BODY OF CHRIST, knitted together in Him. We need those muscles and eyes and blood vessels, and even those toes and fingers. We need everyone who professes Jesus as Lord and stands firmly on the gospel in order to be a strong and functional body. We may disagree with Church of God folks about speaking in tongues, or the Methodists about sprinkling, but that does not give us the right to look down our noses at our brothers and sisters in Christ. Jesus said that the world would know that we are Christians by our L-O-V-E for one another in the body of Christ.

Even when I attended a denominational church, I did not label myself according to that denomination. If you ask me which denomination I belong to, I will tell you that I am a Christian because that is the label that I want others to associate with my life. My ministry is a non-denominational ministry. I have spoken at churches from many denominations. I seek to write from a Jesus perspective rather than a denominational perspective because I believe it encourages unity in the body of Christ.

So, friends, let’s use grape juice and wine. Let’s use the KJV and the NIV. Let’s use musical instruments and sing a capella. If we are going to choose a hill on which to die, for the love of Pete, let’s let that hill be the gospel of Jesus Christ, not whether to sprinkle or dunk. Let’s show love to our brothers and sisters in Christ and unity of Spirit to the world, so that the world will see Jesus.

I’m off my soapbox now! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post. Leave a comment or email me at info@leahadams.org.

SDG!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

Looking for a Valentine’s Day gift for your sweetie?

Shop Amazon Devices – $10 Off Fire Tablet 

 

Linking this week at:

Grace & Truth Link-Up

The Day When Discipline No Longer Works ~ The Sixth Trumpet

Do you recall when you were a child and your parents disciplined you? Perhaps it was a spanking, or time-out, or something else. The goal of discipline is usually to encourage a change in behavior or speech. All throughout Scripture there are examples of God using discipline to encourage heart change. Last week we saw the most sweeping act of discipline on the part of God that has ever hit the earth, other than the flood in the time of Noah. There is a difference in this discipline, however.

 

The Day When Discipline No Longer Works The 6th Trumpet

 

Instead of having the goal of reformation, the Revelation 9 discipline is retributive, which means that God is DONE and people are now being judged for their sin against Him. If you studied with us last week, you know that the events that will take place as a result of the sixth trumpet are horrendous and bring widespread death to the earth. Just when it seems like it cannot get worse, I’m gonna tell you that it will. Today in our study we examine two verses in Revelation 9 that are some of the saddest verses in the entire Scripture. Let’s take a look.

 

20 The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk,

21 nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.

 

The earth is reeling from multiple judgments that have devastated the land, sea, heavens, and her people. Millions of people are dead; in fact, over half of the population of earth has been killed. It is in this scenario that we find Revelation 9:20-21 telling us that, in spite of all that has happened as a result of the seal and trumpet judgments, mankind does not turn to God.

Whaaat?? Are you kidding me?

This, my friends, is your classic case of hearts that are hardened toward God because of sin. Impossibly hardened hearts. Irreparable hearts. There is no mention of the Holy Spirit of God drawing the hearts of the unsaved to Christ. There is only judgment, which begs the question of whether there are believers on earth at this time. Has the rapture already occurred? Press hold on that question. We will return it.

Let’s take a look at five things in these verses of which mankind will not repent in that day.

Making idols and worshipping demons

In that day there will be rampant idolatry. People will create idols and worship them. Does that mean what they are worshipping will be little statues that sit on a shelf? Not necessarily. Even today, people worship all kinds of idols….money, status, homes, jobs, physical abilities. Behind every form of idol worship is one who feeds it and encourages it. That one is Satan. His goal is to counterfeit everything that God is and does, including worship. If he can get men and women to worship anything other than God, the devil has succeeded. In the coming days, he will be quite successful in convincing humanity to worship anything and everything other than God….and to not be repentant over it.

Murders

This one requires little explanation. The hearts of men and women will be so hardened and evil that murder will be rampant, and if Christians are still on this earth, surely they will be the prime targets.

Sorceries

The Greek word that is used here is pharmakeia which means the use of drugs. As a pharmacist, I see a rapidly advancing drug culture in our society today. In the last days, the use of drugs, potions, poisons, etc will be epidemic. They will be used as part of magic, sorcery, and divinations.

Sexual immorality

Another Greek word used in the original manuscript gives us insight. The word porneia refers to a preoccupation with sexual themes that is base, selfish, and abusive.

Hello! We are certainly seeing that take place in America and around the world. Consider the epidemic of human sex trafficking in the world today, as well as homosexuality and inappropriate heterosexual sex.  We ain’t seen nuthin’ yet, folks!

Thefts

A complete lack of honesty will be widespread over the face of the earth as people claw and fight for food, clothing, shelter, and medical care. It will be a dog-eat-dog world in that day.

 

No one will repent. Hearts will be harder than a diamond. It will be a sad and frightening time for humanity. The time to turn your heart to Jesus is NOW. Do not wait, friend. God’s forgiveness and mercy are waiting, but there will be an end to it one day.

Want to know more about why I choose Jesus? CLICK HERE.

SDG!

 

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links. 

Want to really dig into Revelation? Write out the entire book using a Journible. I love my Journibles and I think you will as well. Check it out.

Looking for a Valentine’s Day gift for your sweetie?

Shop Amazon Devices – $10 Off Fire Tablet 

You Carried Me – The Story of An Abortion Survivor ~ A Book Review and a Giveaway

What happens when an abortion survivor finds her birth mother… …who never knew her daughter was alive?

 Melissa Ohden is fourteen when she learns she is the survivor of a botched abortion. In this intimate memoir she details for the first time her search for her biological parents, and her own journey from anger and shame to faith and forgiveness. 

 

I am frequently presented with opportunities to review books and movies here on the blog. There are very few of those opportunities to which I say ‘yes’. If I choose to present a product to you, my faithful readers, I want it to be something that will enrich your life and bless your heart. When the opportunity to review Melissa Ohden’s book, You Carried Me, was placed before me, I knew immediately that I wanted to share with you.

You Carried Me

 

Ohden does a masterful job of sharing a story that is full of heartache, despair, joy, and healing in a calm and thorough way. Her life after learning that she is the survivor of a saline abortion includes teenage bouts with alcohol, pre-marital sex, and bulimia. Over the course of several years and with the blessing of her adoptive parents, she searches for her birth parents, gleaning little bits of information about them from time to time. The book includes an account of her first meeting with her birth mother 38 years after the attempted abortion. Ohden details the journey of healing through which God led her from anger and shame to faith and forgiveness. As a social worker, she has been able to help others who have experienced severe emotional trauma related to abortion, child abuse, and other issues that plaque our society.

Melissa’s very existence as a survivor of a botched abortion impacted so many people and this book is one family’s story that highlights the complexity of the issue. It will leave readers with more compassion for every woman impacted by abortion. This compelling human interest story, and the sensitivity with which Ohden personalizes issues such as adoption and women’s rights, will appeal to readers of all stripes.

Kirkus Reviews said the following about You Carried Me:

“A memoir of mothers, daughters, adoption, and abortion. . . . Ohden’s story is complicated, and she has impressively overcome significant emotional challenges. . . . [Her] perseverance is inspiring.”

 

I encourage you to learn more about Melissa’s book. Here are some ways you can do that:

Book Trailer

You Carried Me Page

Melissa’s Website

Melissa’s publisher is giving away 5 copies of the book. You may enter to win by CLICKING THIS LINK.

 

Want a copy for yourself? Here is the link to Amazon for You Carried Me.

Authentic Christianity: Don’t Let Pride Take You Down

The year was 2007 and God had just confirmed the call to ministry that He had placed on my heart. With a mixture of excitement and trepidation, I shared that confirmation experience with those closest to me. I received great encouragement from everyone…..except one. One person looked me straight in the eyes and said, “You will just make it all about you.”

Whoosh! I felt like a 50-gallon barrel of iced water had been poured on my spirit. I was crushed and I might have shed a few tears. What in the world was I supposed to do with that bomb?

I had to journey quite a few miles down the ministry road to realize that those words would serve as warning flags to my heart. You see, I can be very prideful and all about Leah. In fact, it is my nature to be prideful and self-serving.

What? You, too?

When my ears heard those words from my loved one, my heart immediately recoiled from the thought of making ministry all about me. With everything in me, I wanted ministry to be about Jesus. In and of myself, I have nothing worthwhile to offer. BUT, because of Jesus and the transforming work He has done in my heart and life, He can minister through me to touch heart and lives, if I will put Leah aside and let Him shine.

 

Authentic Don't Let Pride Take You Down

 

Today as we continue our examination of a true believer in Jesus, we come to Romans 12:3 and it is a doozy of a verse. Here it is:

 

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. (ESV)

 

Let me set the scene. Paul has just told the Roman church, in verses 1 and 2, that they must offer back to Jesus their very lives and bodies, AND they must say no to the world’s standards while taking on the standards and life of Christ. Verses 4-8 will be all about the various gifts that Jesus gives His followers for the purpose of encouraging and serving the body of Christ. Smack in the middle we find Romans 12:3.

Here is my very loose paraphrase of verse 3: Do not get on your high-horse! Remember Whose you are and Who has called you. You did not get these gifts…you do not offer yourself….you do not have the mind of Christ…because of anything you have done. It is all Jesus. Don’t get too big for your britches!

Y’all, pride should be conspicuously absent from the life of a Christian. We should never lose sight of who we were before Jesus saved us. We should never forget that without Him we would be in the ditch of horrendous sin in two minutes flat. We must never underestimate the depravity of which we are capable if we do not keep our eyes focused on Jesus. I must never….!

Paul tells us that it is absolutely imperative that we judge ourselves soberly and rightly, not thinking more highly of ourselves than we should. Seems to me that Paul is using a metaphor that suggests one must be careful not to be intoxicated on themselves. Let’s not become egoholics, friends!

 

May I close today with a quote from John Calvin that I believe is an astute reminder to seek humility for our hearts?

 

For so blindly do we all rush in the direction of self-love that everyone thinks he has a good reason for exalting himself and despising all others in comparison….There is no other remedy than to pluck up by the roots those most obnoxious pests, self-love and love of victory….This the doctrine of Scripture does. For it teaches us to remember that the endowments which God has bestowed upon us are not our own, but His free gifts, and those who plume themselves upon them betray their ingratitude. (Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2:10)

 

(I had to look up the word ‘plume’…it is a verb that means pride or congratulate.)

Every day my prayers include a plea for God to show me any pride in my heart. Let me tell you, friend, that is a prayer that God will answer, AND the answer may not always be jolly and glad. He has shown me some big uglies that have resided in my heart over the years, but He has always given me what I need to get rid of them. I am NOT saying it has always been fun, however. Satan wants us to stay mired down in pride. But, it has always been for my good. I want to challenge you to begin praying that same prayer. I promise if you do it will transform your Christian walk. Pinky swear!

Tell me what you are thinking? What have these Authentic posts planted in your heart thus far? I’d love to hear from you in the comments or via email at info@leahadams.org.

I scribed the entire book of Romans in my Journible a few years ago. It was a wonderfully enriching experience to write the ancient words on a page in your own handwriting. I encourage you to get your own Journible and try it.

Hell on Earth ~ The Sixth Trumpet

Hello there! I’m glad you stopped back in today for our series in the book of The Revelation. This is important stuff, y’all. God promises blessings to those who read and heed this book, so why wouldn’t we read it? Oh, I know many people are frightened of it, so that is why we are walking through it slowly. I want you to gain confidence in Christ from the book of The Revelation. It is a book that tells us WE (the saved by  grace children of God) WIN, and that Christ will take care of us. I want this study to deepen your love for, and trust in, God and Jesus.

Have you missed some posts in this series? There are about 50 of them that came before this one. Not a problem. Go HERE and you will find every single one of them linked in chronological order.

 

Hell on Earth The Sixth Trumpet

 

Today we return to the ninth chapter of Revelation where we will focus on verses 14-19. Last week we looked specifically at verse 13. If you missed that post, please go HERE and read it first. It will help you position the events of 14-19 appropriately.

 

Now, let’s refresh our memories of this entire passage.

13 Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar before God,

14 saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.”

15 So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, were released to kill a third of mankind.

16 The number of mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand; I heard their number.

17 And this is how I saw the horses in my vision and those who rode them: they wore breastplates the color of fire and of sapphire and of sulfur, and the heads of the horses were like lions’ heads, and fire and smoke and sulfur came out of their mouths.

18 By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed, by the fire and smoke and sulfur coming out of their mouths.

19 For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails, for their tails are like serpents with heads, and by means of them they wound.

20 The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk,

21 nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.

 

There is a lot going on in verses 14-19, but today I want us to consider two pictures: the angels and the troops.

First, the angels. There are four of them and they have a mission. They have been prepared specifically for the day of the sixth trumpet. And not just the day, but the very hour that the trumpet is blown. This tells us that God has a plan and He is working that plan. Nothing happens by random chance in this world. The end will come according to God’s plan, and not one moment before His appointed time.

Scholars have debated whether these are ‘good’ angels or ‘bad’ angels. They have been bound, and are now released to kill one third of the human race. After the deaths that occur at this trumpet, well over half of the earth’s population will be gone. (Current world population is estimated to be 7.5 Billion.) These angels have been bound, and nowhere in Scripture do we find ‘good’ angels bound, so it makes sense to me that these are fallen angels; angels that chose Satan over God in the fall, but who are still under the ultimate authority of God.

 

Let’s turn our attention to the troops that are released. The focus falls on the horses rather than the horsemen, and we are told the exact number of them: twice ten thousand times ten thousand, or 200 million troops released for battle.

Much speculation has swirled over the origin of these troops. It really is a futile effort because the Bible simply does not tell us specific countries of origin for the troops. We are much better served to focus on what we are told about them. We know that these horses are likely not actual horses because of their description: they wore breastplates, had heads like lion and tails like serpents. They wound people with their tails. From their mouths spew sulfur, fire and smoke, and it will be these three elements that will be responsible for the deaths of 1/3 of mankind. Remember that millions have already died in the earlier judgments. So, let’s assume that one billion more people perish in this judgment. The entire earth is now population by around 3 billion people or less after the 6th trumpet judgment.

Y’all, I cannot even begin to describe what the earth will be like. People who have not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior will die from incineration and asphyxiation all over the globe. This gives us as close of a snapshot of hell on earth as humanity will have seen to this point, and God is not finished yet. Next week we will see how humanity responds to this devastation. Until then, stay close to Jesus and stay faithful.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Would you like to know more about Jesus and why I chose to follow Him? Here are 8 reasons why I believe in Jesus.

In case you want to go deeper in your study, here is the link to another commentary on the book of Revelation that I use in my study.