"Children are a gift from God, a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is His reward..."

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            The devil was holding a yard sale one day...                     
Written by: Angela Michael
March 2004
 

The devil was holding a yard sale one day and displayed his most useful tools, marked at different prices, on a table. Lying side by side were some of his most notable implements of destruction: hatred, envy, jealously, deceit, lust, lying and pride- all on sale. But over to the side of the yard on display was a worn-out tool that cost more than all the others combined. The tool was labeled DISCOURAGEMENT. When asked why it was more expensive than the other tools, the devil responded, “It’s more useful to me than any of the others. When I can’t bring down my victims with the rest of my tools, I use discouragement, because so few people realize it belongs to me.” Nothing paralyzes us, nothing stops us in our tracks like discouragement and its partner in crime, hopelessness. Discouragement and hopelessness are no respecters of persons. They keep the unemployed unemployed. The homeless homeless. The sick sick. They can even draw the most powerful ministry to its knees. When you’re overcome with discouragement and hopelessness, you can’t pray, you can’t worship and you become a victim of your environment. Discouragement and hopelessness drain you of courage, vision, faith, expectation and the will to make a difference in the kingdom of God . If the devil can get you discouraged and hopeless, then he has successfully neutralized you. You are left with only enough energy to feel sorry for yourself.  Which brings me to the story…Waaaa-Waaaaa Here comes the WAAA_Bulance.. As I stand daily outside these gates where children are dying daily, I notice the lack of foot soldiers

            I saw another church marquee the other day and with a thought provoking message, “Churches are hospitals for sinners, not museums for saints.” How sad and true, I thought to myself. Churches have become hospitals for sinners, haven't they? They used to be spiritual fortresses built in enemy territory where soldiers for Christ were recruited, trained, and equipped for doing battle against sin and evil in society with open bibles, convicted hearts, and committed lives.

        Today, they're largely filled with bedridden believers who pass the time in and out small group therapy, languishing over their ills and misfortunes – forever discussing their aches and pains with anyone who'll listen – lying around moaning and groaning about daily discomforts, inconveniences, and "felt needs" while being coddled and cried over by other patients waiting for their turn to be coddled and cried over – each looking at the clock and growing increasingly impatient that their pastor/physician has yet to make his appointed rounds, hold their hand and tell them what a wonderful and courageous patient they've been. You see, the last thing they want to hear him say is: "Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way…" because their hospital has become, for the most part, an eternal resting place and refuge from responsibility. In Ephesians 6:11, Paul tells us to "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." Notice he didn't say: "Put on your hospital gown, lie down, and wait quietly for your pastor to come by with his prognosis." Unfortunately, many of us have been convinced by our seeker sensitive friends that struggling through the Christian life means shuffling up and down the hallways of our hospital from treatment to treatment, shaking hands and exchanging sympathies and smiles with others we pass along the way. These patients' greatest fear is separation from their lunch trays, bedpans, and heart monitors and being sent back out onto the battlefield to face real opposition. If we could hear their thoughts, I’m sure they might sound something like: "It's dangerous out there and we're just not up to it yet! Besides, we have our health, finances, self-esteem, and social status to think of."  No, let’s just raise more money, add on another wing and bring in more beds and TVs because the need is great and the world is a perilous place. And, let's remember: A full hospital is a happy hospital! We're much better off investing our time in learning how to get along with the enemy, keep the peace, and avoid confrontation. Let's try to keep it positive, shall we, even if it means hiding the truth about sin and Hell. Because taking a public stand against unbiblical things in today's world might offend somebody and hurt our overall standing in the community, which of course, would be hard on the numbers and cost us valuable prospects. And, after all, we DO want our lovely hospital to continue growing and prospering in the community, don't we? So, let's make sure no one confuses it with a mighty fortress where, Heaven forbid, saints are seen bearing armor and swords and preparing for war. That just wouldn't be very Christian, now would it? ~Paul Proctor

            American War Casualties: Civil War- 498,332   World War 1- 116,708   World War 2- 407,316 Korean War- 54,246   Vietnam War- 58, 655   Persian Gulf War- 372   Iraq War- approx. 580 ? War on the Unborn- 45,000,000      In the past 200 years, over one million Americans have died for their country. Monuments have been built and speeches have been delivered, honoring these American heroes. America is now engaged in a war where there are no heroes, no monuments or accolades- only victims. Our society has declared war on its most helpless members- our unborn children. Since that war was declared on January 22, 1973, there have been over 45 million deaths.

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…" – Ephesians 6:12-17  It’s time to take the hospital gowns off and get back on the battle fields. God wants our obedience, not sacrifices. Partial obedience is nothing more than disobedience. Disobedience to His Word always has consequences, 1 Samuel 15:22-24. “Samuel replied: 'Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king…' Then Saul said to Samuel, 'I have sinned. I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the people and so I gave in to them.' ” We need to fear God and not man.     

            Be encouraged~ Angela           

To support and encourage Daniel and Angela please contact them - 
smallvictories@juno.com (email), 618-654-5800 (phone), 
or write them; Small Victories P.O. Box 143 Highland, IL 62249.