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Susan Sinclair tells us the benefit chili supper and auction for Mount Zion School led by Cathy Cornett (who attends Dogwood Nazarene Church) was a resounding success last Friday night, bringing in a sizable amount to be used for building repairs and improvements. The Dogwood Church always enjoys participating in events that involve members of our congregation and community. Cathy extends her appreciation to everyone involved for their hard work and who donated auction items. A special appreciation is extended to Sue Brown who, as we understand it, provided an almost uncountable supply of delicious cobblers.
The Dogwood Local Missions Group, through Spirit-led teamwork, has purchased at an extremely fair price, two 16 foot used wheelchair ramp sections made from treated lumber, with accompanying metal steps, side rails, and platforms through Ava’s radio station “Trading Post”. What a blessing, and everyone benefits from this transaction, and we did well to wait on the Lord to provide. Sometimes, in my own experience, I wonder why I am encouraged “not to hurry” (so to speak) by the Spirit in certain areas, and as the president of this local missions group it can be a challenge to explain why things are not progressing at a faster pace to folks who are understandably excited about completing this project. But, I have learned to wait no matter what if the Spirit says wait. So we are on to the next step, the delivery and assembly of the ramp. Lord willing, with our volunteers working as they are able, setup will be completed in the next 2-3 weeks.
Friends, as our fall revival season rolls around, we all need to check that we are standing firmly in Christ, and that we are dressed for this spiritual battle (Ephesians 6: 10-18), knowing that the devil is going to attack each of us at our weakest point. To say that we have no weak points is to deceive ourselves, playing right into the devil’s plan of deception and destruction.
There is a way to know if there is a weakness that the devil will exploit to cause division among the church and our neighbors. It is simple to recognize, and once we know how to recognize the source, we will be equipped to combat it through love with the Word of God and prayer.
If something about a person irritates you, and thoughts start to play in your mind about how you are going to react to them about their irritating behavior, watch out! You are already in danger spiritually, but read on, because there is a way to save yourself a lot of torment.
We may not like someone’s hair, the way they behave, the way they dress, the way they raise their kids, the way they keep their house or lawn, the way they speak, or any number of things in their lives. Innocent observations may enter our minds seemingly out of nowhere (we think), but what they are, are seeds planted by the devil or a demon, or ourselves, that we nurture with our own sinful nature. This is called a critical spirit. As the thoughts continue to play in our mind’s eye, they gain strength, and, if we allow them to grow unchecked, they become what the bible calls a stronghold that now controls us and our behavior. There are many types of strongholds, but today we are talking about a critical stronghold.
II Corinthians 10: 3-6 gives the way to combat this type of warfare. “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: [people are not the enemy, the devil and our own sinful nature is] (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”
Our battle is not with the individual, or their behavior. We do not have to have critical thoughts of others, we can “cast them down” in Jesus’ name. Resist the devil and he will flee. If a person holds onto these thoughts for any length of time they will become trapped, in that way of thinking, and none of us want to be trapped. If you know of a person who is trapped in a stronghold and cannot get free on their own, pray for them, for our weapons are not carnal, but mighty-Mighty (in God) – to the pulling down of strongholds.
When we find ourselves having a thought that is unpleasing to God—Stop! It takes practice, but it is possible. God would not ask us to do something that He has not already supplied a provision. As we strengthen our wills with God’s help, through the Holy Spirit who lives within us, it gets easier to recognize and cast down ungodly imaginations.
The Lord gives us a great guideline in Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things”.
Until next time, God bless you and your loved ones.
Carol Boeddeker-Genet received a phone call from a person who was unhappy because of a Letter to the Editor a couple of weeks back. She thought that I was belittling Douglas County and people too poor to maintain their property, but wouldn’t stay on the phone long enough to discuss views. Again I must say that I live here by choice and pray for the good of my community and fellow citizens.
Yesterday the sweetest little cattle dog showed up at my place. I put her in my garage and found a phone number on her collar and was able to reach the owner. She was taken home at nightfall.
I appreciate Susan Sinclair for her insights in this week’s column. It is a re-awakening.
St. Leo’s Church is having a fund-raiser for Options Pregnancy Clinic. Every Sunday we have a special children’s collection and to date, have sent over ten thousand dollars to help struggling and orphaned children in other nations. It is so adorable watching the children take their collection up to the altar, especially the wee ones.
God bless and may you be well.