Angels Among Us

Had a knock on the door recently and two men and one lady wanted to talk to me about ANGELS – I was gobsmacked to say the least because Angels were far and away from my thoughts at that moment.

They chatted about this amazing new world that was coming and the mighty part that Angels will have on that day – I was taken aback a tad and struggled a lot in what they were saying.

Right at the outset of this blog I must admit that I don’t know a lot about angels – all I do know is that they are heavenly beings created by God and worship Him constantly – also they are there for specific reasons such as announcing very special events such as the birth of Jesus and many more events recorded in the Word of God.

Getting back to my visitors that Saturday morning, and I must add here that they did sweep me away with their knowledge of angels and their purpose.

I had nowhere to go really except to say that I did indeed believe in Angels and their purpose specifically granted to them by God almighty.

I did say however, and I suppose this was the reason they left my home shaking their heads, convinced I was way out of line and utterly wrong, was that I truly believed that Jesus was higher than the Angels and in fact he was equal with God and part of the triune Godhead being the Father, Son and Spirit. I quoted John 10:30 when Jesus spoke to His disciples saying “I and the Father are one”.

Before they left, they told me that “Jesus is like God – He’s close to God BUT he is not God”. It was at this point that I said to them “Jesus is Jehovah to me” – and that’s when they left me.

In Isaiah 6:1-7 we find angels in the vision of Isaiah touching his lips with burning coals in an act of consecration. In this vision we see the primary acts of these amazing creations of God standing or flying around and above God’s very throne continually declaring God’s holiness. They exist simply to attribute worth to God. announcing the perfection of His character. These powerful, majestic beings are perfectly fulfilled doing nothing other than worshiping God.

It’s amazing, when we think of it, that the very act of worship and praise that we offer to God is resoundingly upheld by the angels in God’s presence doing exactly the same thing. We are not alone in our worship, Angels are continually before God’s throne.

Throughout the scriptures, as already mentioned there have been a lot of recorded instances when we see angels visiting. Sodom and Gomorrah is a prime example – appearing in human form these heavenly creatures rescued Lot and his family from the destruction that befell those cities.

Another example is when an Angel appeared to Elijah suffering from an acute bout of depression and hunger when Jezebel was out to execute him. Angels appeared to Abram and Sarai announcing the impending birth of Isaac in their old age. And so it goes on many times recorded for us.

There doesn’t appear to be in the Bible a mention of personal or guardian angels mentioned in the Bible but there have been recorded plenty of instances when people have actually seen angels guiding them and in all sorts of situations.

In her book Tramp for the Lord, Corrie Ten Boom that amazing woman arrested by the Nazi’s for protecting and hiding Jewish people during the holocaust was convinced that angels protected her when she was openly on a bus smuggling bibles. Apparently guards boarded the bus she was on and searched everyone looking for contraband of any description.

If she had been caught she would have been arrested, imprisoned and even death was a possibility. As the soldiers approached searching everyone seated there, she closed her eyes and literally felt a presence guarding and protecting her – the searching soldiers went straight past her and continued the search.

Hard to explain but surely if our powerful God sent angels to protect and guide people thousands of years ago the same can be said of today.

Esther Mass, well known to dozens of missionary kids around the world, was on her way to church on April 13, 1988. A short distance from home she was involved in a car accident. Almost immediately a man approached at her van door. He took Esther’s hand and at his touch a comforting peace spread over her. The man was in his thirties, he wore tan work clothes and needed a shave. He asked one bystander to call 911.

When Esther asked his name, he said he couldn’t tell her his name but that she would be fine. He stayed until the emergencies crew arrived and then was gone. He may not have been an angel but his ministry fits with what we know from the Bible about what angelic care is like.

Then of course we see hundreds of times when no matter how hard we may pray we are not spared the trials and tribulations we may be going through.

All I know is that our God is awesome, holy and so mighty – How can we puny humans put our mind into the mind of God – of course we can’t.

We just have to have faith knowing that our mighty God is the mighty God who saved us and that there are tens of thousands of angels surrounding his throne glorifying His holy name and that one day we will know for certain just why and how these amazing events take place.

As Christians we live in a world of crisis and security alerts – every day we seem to face some new threat. Even spiritual enemies are out to deceive us. We should take heart because our strength is in the protection of the Lord no matter in what form it takes.

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I’m Not Less Than…

In every home there is usually some sort of do’s and do not’s lain down for the children. Don’t run in the street, don’t touch the stove fire, take the garbage out, make your bed, don’t hit your sister/brother. Each child is taught what they should and should not do.

But what about healthy boundaries? What is a boundary? It is a line drawn in the sand, so to speak, that another can not cross. “You will not hit my sister, you will not use bad language in my presence, you will not break the vows of our marriage.” These are just a few of what is called healthy boundaries.

When a family has abuse; be it physical, emotional, or sexual within a family, boundaries are ignored. Its okay for Dad to sneak into his daughters room at night, its okay for Mom to get beat up by dad, its okay for brother to watch sister take a bath.  Healthy boundaries are ignored and never set in place leaving the child to never learn what is okay and what is not. There are no healthy examples for him/her to follow.

Self respect, low self-esteem, and loss of dignity can be some of the results of having never learned what healthy boundaries are. In order to survive many will turn to trying to please everyone so they will feel loved and accepted. Susie will pretend to be the perfectly sweet girlfriend and shrug off the insults her boyfriend slings at her. She’ll try very hard to be what Mom, Dad, or whoever wants her to be leaving self behind to suffer quietly. Tommy will be okay with hitting his girlfriend or demeaning her to his buddies.

It is imperative that we all learn what healthy boundaries are and how to put them in place. In my own case, my Dad controlled me. There was mind control, manipulation, secrecy, and abuse. For years I never knew I could say, “No” to anything. It took a psychiatrist, in my later years, to teach me that I did not have to listen to the insults and demeaning and accusatory remarks that my Dad would make to me. I had to learn to say, “You will speak to me with respect or I will hang up this phone!” And I did. I set a boundary and adhered to it by hanging up the phone when he began his rants. In time, he learned I meant what I said and began to speak to me in a more respectful manner. Believe me, it is a very powerful feeling of victory when we see positive results from setting a boundary and having it honored.

That is what we must do to overcome a life without boundaries. We start small. We can’t make a legal pad length list of boundaries and expect to be victorious. Those boundaries we set are going to be fought against by some people; friends and family members that have ignored your requests are not going to like having to adhere to the new you. Stay strong in your conviction.

Once we have stated the healthy boundary we must adhere to it! If, for example, we tell someone they are not to open the bedroom door without knocking or just “drop by” without calling, then stick to it! State the consequence of the inappropriate action and stick to it. Otherwise you’re wasting your breath.

God did not create us to be door mats or to be talked down to, disrespected, ignored, or made to feel less than. Neither did He create us to be like someone else. So stop trying to please everyone else! It’s exhausting and a waste of time. He created us in His image. That means we are to be loved, respected, honored, and listened to as a child of God. If you tell someone, “No” and they ignore your no, they are trying to control and/or manipulate you. Your yes means yes and your no means no. And you don’t have to explain it!

Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend authored a book titled, “Boundaries.” They also authored a workbook to go with it, “Boundaries Workbook.” These can be found on Amazon.com and I highly recommend getting both and go to work becoming all that God created you to be.

Another book I recommend to help in overcoming the “people pleasing” issues, which greatly are tied to the issues of boundaries, is a book by Joyce Meyer called “Approval Addiction.” Also found on Amazon.com

We deserve to be respected. We cannot, and never will be able to please everyone. God created you and threw the mold away. You are one of a kind, special and loved by Almighty God. Be who you are and don’t allow others to dictate who they want you to be or to treat you less than you deserve to be treated.

Blessings to you as you step into freedom.

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Ya’ Just Never Know

The weeks have been long and tiring for the woman. Her husband has been ill and now as she stands by his graveside the tears flow. She didn’t think she had any more tears but her wet cheeks have proven her wrong.

Her friend stands beside her and places a hand on her shoulder. “He’s with the Lord now and no more sorrow, no more illness. He’s at peace.” her friend whispers to the new widow.

The widow looks at her with crinkled eyebrows. “He wasn’t a believer. He’s in hell!” She bursts out sobbing and her friend pulls her into a tight hug.

The widow sobs in her friend’s arms as the people quietly back away and begin returning to their cars. Slowly the tears abate and the widow apologizes to her friend for her outburst.

Her friend looks and there’s a Man standing near the Oak tree. He looks familiar. The friend nudges the widow. “Do you know Him?” she asks. The widow glances over to the Man and suddenly sucks in a breath.

The Man approaches her and with love in His eyes He opens His arms to her and she quickly embraces Him as tears stream down her face.

The Man caresses her back gently and whispers in her ear, “Be not downcast, My daughter, for Jack is in heaven. He gave his life to Me and has been forgiven.”

The widow suddenly pulls back from the Man, “Oh praise be to God. Thank you Jesus!” she shouts.

Her friend stands transfixed, not knowing what just happened.

(Sue’s version) Matthew 5:4

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