Challenges of Faith

This note was written just as the virus “pandemic” was really getting underway here is the US. I had also received a letter from a sister struggling with some very serious health issues, including cancer that was destroying her lower bowel and had robbed her of any bowel control. She was very miserable.

Good morning, Beloved of God,

Woof, there is really a lot going on right now! It has almost become fun to watch the news, mock the various voices, ploys, gullible dupes and see the fear of death that grips most of them. Well, not fun, but encouraging. Very many credulous sheeple now believe they have a real chance of dying from this “pandemic.” I just pray that it brings them to Jesus.

No bowel control is a tough one to thank God for. I keep a pack of adult pull-ups under the bathroom sink for problematic periods. (Periods of time, not actual ‘periods’.) Unpleasant leaks are often present in aging bodies, “but we also rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope: and hope doesn’t disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:3-5 WEB

I was confronted with this problem of rejoicing in the face of adversity yesterday when our tractor kept dying on me as I worked on a path to the top of our hill. The hillside is very steep, and the tractor has no brakes. To stop it, I can drop the bucket to the ground if the engine quits, but I cannot steer at all. The bucket alone would have little effect if I went careening down the steep hill. (There is a small, inconspicuous pedal in the corner I have never tried. I will have to see if that’s some kind of a brake.) [It turned out to be a gas pedal.]

I realized quickly though that God has given me a heart to rejoice when such frustrating problems crop up, and I was full of gratitude to God for his protection in keeping me from plunging down that hillside, tearing through the barbed wire fence and dropping down a 20-foot embankment to the road. There’s always something to praise God for.

While the world sees this flu bug as a legitimate death threat to themselves, their loved-ones, children and friends, we have no fear whatsoever. Because of our detachment and the Holy Spirit which indwells us, we are able to see through the ruse and at the same time invite Satan to take his best shot at us. We are safe in the Rock and the worst-case scenario for the world is actually the best-case scenario for us because destruction of this body sends us Home to be with the Lord.

Don’t be concerned about what they may inject you with while you sleep [during an upcoming diagnostic procedure]. No poisonous thing can harm us. Like Paul, we can shake the serpent off into the fire and go on with our lives unaffected. Do not be concerned about someone inflicting the mark of the beast or anything else on you as you sleep.

Casey and I were discussing that a day to two ago; why receiving the mark of the beast is so deadly. I am confident that it is not the actual act of being marked, but the decision to receive it that is so deadly. In some way, it is tantamount to committing the unpardonable sin: blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

That is the unforgivable thing that Christ warned the Pharisees about in Matthew 12. Even the loss of a soul through such blasphemy is grievous to the Lord. He told them that they could say anything they wanted to about Him. It wasn’t that He didn’t want to save them, but that by their actions, they had made it impossible for Him to save them.

We are saved and sealed, and cannot ever by unsaved by any act committed by ourselves or anyone else. I am also confident that marks of the beast will not be imprinted on anyone until we are very long gone. Anything else that might be injected into us, even a chip, is like the venom of that snake that bit Paul. It can have no effect on us.

I’m so glad to hear from you guys, even if it’s just a short note. We are standing together in the Lord. Wherever two or three are gathered together in His Name, Jesus is there. That’s us!

Pray for our tractor. What I have created is a gentle path across the steep hillside, through the woods that will lead to the hilltop when it’s completed. It will be an excellent place to ride the horses, with no traffic to spook Star. Diamond has no problems with passing cars and trucks, but will pretend to go lame when she gets very far from home. She is miraculously healed and eager to trot if she’s headed home.

I did get the entire cliff face cleared of the sand that eroded over the Winter so far. Hundreds of little caves that went a foot or so into the hillside have been completely erased. I’ll send some pictures if I think to take some when I’m out. The weather has been very mild this week and I removed sand the last three days.

Cliff swallow nesting sites.

Be encouraged, be at peace. You are in our prayers and on our hearts. Please let us know if we can help you with anything. God is providing. Hope to see you soon! We love you,    Jerry

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Photo Credits

  • Adapted from #91237724/Jankovoy-adobe
  • Moose Creek Ranch Cliff Swallows/Jerry Bartholomew
  • Don’t Mess With Israel by Greg Lauer