Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Shack - An Unholy Dwelling

A little while ago a friend recommended a book to me titled The Shack. I had heard about it, saw it in piles at our local Christian book stores and because so many people in my large circle of friends were reading it, I thought I would consider reading it after I finished "Home to Holly Springs." Well, that day came and I borrowed the book. I was immediately sucked in by the story line of a young little girl being murdered by a serial killer. It wasn't gruesome and gory in detail, just emotional. The story drew me in because I knew that in this story the father was wrestling with his pain and his relationship with God and I was curious as to how he would come to accept the tragedy that was handed him and come to terms with the age old question "why" and still be able to love and serve God.

I read this book very slowly as my "free" time is scarce but I did arrived at the place in the book where God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are revealed. And as they were revealed, I was grieved and offended and had the urge to throw the book into the trash for the way that the writer portrayed our Heavenly Father, God; Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, and the Holy Spirit. But I didn't. I calmly put the book down and left it for a few days and tried to keep an open mind. I picked it up and read a paragraph or two more and then put it down for days. I was struggling with the content and how it contradicted the Word of God. I tried to remind myself that this was just a fictional book, but in the end I did not have a peace about continuing and I decided that my leisure reading time was better spent reading "Square Foot Gardening."

A day or two afterwards, I received an email from my friend who loaned me the book, asking me to drop the book, and to consider listening to a message from Dr. Michael Youssef, a pastor of Leading The Way Ministries. Dr. Youssef is a biblical expositor that Mark and I both enjoy. We consider him biblically sound and a man that follows so hard after God, that he would go through the trouble of dissecting a fictional book and exhort and admonish God's children. Here is the link:

Dr. Youssef only confirmed what I believe the Holy Spirit was telling me. I wanted to give him a standing ovation for speaking the truth and risking the anger and ire of his flock. And who knows maybe, I am risking the same.

I shared the link with my friends and relatives. A couple of family members and one friend responded favorably i.e. glad for the warning. Others said it changed their lives, but as Dr. Youssef asked; to what? And others said "It's just a fictional book big deal." And such were the responses of some professing Christians who cannot see the heresy in it nor will they consider it.

What's more...if Oprah has sung its praises isn't that enough for you to run the opposite direction? Good grief, she has led and continues to lead millions astray and with her universal religion.

This reasoning that "it is just a book" is mind boggling to me, because it is not so. It's a book that many are taking seriously like they take C.S. Lewis' books seriously and Pilgrim's Progress seriously. J.R. Tolkien's books were just books, but everyone could see the spiritual meaning behind these as well as the Chronicles of Narnia. Symbolism was used throughout all of these tales and it has won people to Christ because they see the Lord in His Majesty and they see the evil at work all through it's symbolism!

If someone held out a pan of double chocolate chip brownies and told you “I made this for you. I know you love dessert and have been craving a little treat, so this is for you!” Would you accept it with delight and devour it with great vigor? Would you devour it with the same vigor if they told you that some of the “chocolate chips” were really chunks of dog poo? Wouldn’t that stop you dead in your tracks or would you still eat it because they told you that in was 90% chocolate and only 10% poo?

What if they had never said anything, but you could “taste something funny?” Would you continue eating it because most of it tasted good risking illness and perhaps death or would you STOP and THROW IT AWAY?

My beloved sisters and brothers, please wake up! You're asleep and the thief has entered your home! If you don't start arming yourselves with the word of God, the evil one will rob you of everything until he has robbed you of eternal life. A thief never announces his arrival. He comes in quietly and subtly. He is cunning and clever and he knows when you are "asleep" or "nobody is home."

The sound of the trumpet is nigh! Will you hear it or will your head still be buried in the sand? Will you hear it or will its call be obscured by the singing of Kumbaya? Maybe, I'm the one that's wrong...I doubt it, but if I was, I would rather err on the side of being overly cautious than to be led down the road to perdition by an "emotional" and symbolic book. There are a million other books I can read that will improve my relationship with God. The Shack by William P. Young is not one of them.

Heavenly and Most Majestic Father, we are in the end times, and we know that the return of your precious Son, our Lord Jesus Christ is soon. Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last days some will turn away from what we believe; they will follow lying spirits and teachings that come straight from demons(1 Timothy 4: 1).Father, hold your children close to your bosom and don't let us go. Open our eyes and pour out your Holy Spirit on those who claim to be your beloved children and shepherds of your flock. Teach us and help us to be so in tune to your Word, your Holiness, your Majesty, that when you are about to be maligned, misrepresented, and falsely portrayed that we can see it, sense it, feel it, and act in a way
that would keep us in right standing with you. May it grieve us with the same magnitude that it grieves you. Quicken us Lord, for we understand that narrow is the way. In your Precious Son's name I pray.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

They Got Fed Up and Decided to Fight!

This is my wonderful sister, Marina, and a dear, dear friend, Patti, training for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

They both have had friends and family battle some form of cancer. Some have survived and others have not.
We praise God for those who are healed and determine with great purpose to fight and find a cure in the name of those who lost their battle.

Recently, Felicia's third grade teacher and our dear friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. We are believing Jehovah-Rapha (God our healer) for her healing because He still does that, you know. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Here is the amplified version of Hebrews 13:7-9..."Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is [always] the same, yesterday, today, [yes] and forever (to the ages)." Miraculous healings are still for today!

Each of them needs to raise $3000 dollars. Patti got a late start out of the gate but is now ahead of Marina. I am attaching both of their websites so that if you feel led, you can make a donation to help them reach their goal. We are believing Jehovah-Jireh to be their provider!
We serve an awesome God and anything you can give, will be a blessing to them.

And to God we give all the glory for his provision in funds, healing, and finally...a cure!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Guess what? It snowed! Although it only lasted a little while, we enjoyed the dusting. If it's going to be cold, it may as well snow.
This is what I call a "snow show"'s fun to watch and in a little while it will all be gone. Nothing to shovel at all!
Can't make any snowmen out of this! One day...we keep praying!
Here is Matthew getting his work done. No, he is not in his "jimmy-jams." That is "strictly illegal" as Mark would say. He just has his house coat on because we keep the house at 69 as much as possible. His house coat is warm and snuggly.
Here is Felicia getting her stuff done as well. No "jimmy-jams" either...just a warm house coat.
One thing the kids don't like about homeschooling is that we don't have "snow days."
Conor is working on his penmanship. We do D'nelian writing. It's an easier transition into cursive.
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