Getting Old Ain’t for Sissies…. BUT GOD

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My parents in the 1970s

I know it’s been a while since I published the last blog article (five months, oh well). Even just yesterday I was wondering whether I would be done with writing publicly as I have felt NO inclination to jot down my experiences with God for a rather long time. No time and no interest in blogging at all! Furthermore, I have experienced a very dry spiritual “blah time”. You know these times when everything seems to be so “normal”, so arduous and boring that you might wonder whether you had known God at all. 🙄

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Self under Arrest

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Imagine you keep meeting your loved ones not only today but also… yesterday… and tomorrow. This is both grammatically wrong and seems to be a ridiculous statement, right? Yet how often our thoughts keep strolling about situations that happened in the past (and cannot be repeated!) and about what might take place in the days ahead (although solely God knows the future). Of course, we know that we should live in the moment right now, but can we? If you ever tried earnestly, you know that it is hard work to simply experience a few seconds without your mind trying to run away through space and time, so to say. The apostle Paul said, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (cf. Gal 2:20 ESV) What does that mean?

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“The Rest of Faith” by T. Austin Sparks

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The following text has been made up of some excerpts from a longer article by T. Austin Sparks which is called The Rest And The Courage Of Faith.

“Many of us have not really entered into Christianity yet. What do I mean? Well, for one thing, the very door into true Christianity is the door of rest, the rest of faith. The very simple way in which the Lord put it in His appeal was – “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).” [Emphasis added]

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Good works pleasing to God

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Today I want to offer you an excerpt from a long treatise on REALLY good works by Martin Luther (not King). Sometimes we might have preconceptions and wrong ideas about how BIG good works must be or rather ‘look like’. However, our good works can be pretty small. They might even take place without anyone noticing them… but God. Now here is the part I chose of Martin Luther’s treatise (emphasis in bold letters has been added by me). If you want to read more, follow the link beneath the excerpt.

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How God Opens Man’s Ears to Hear HIS Voice

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Instead of writing a long blog post of my own, I offer you two biblical excerpts from Elihu’s speeches to Job after Job’s ignorant friends had tried to share their human wisdom with him who would suffer a lot. Sometimes we cannot understand why God lets us suffer without telling us WHY and HOW LONG it might take. But there must be a reason why suffering is necessary in our lives, even if we cannot see the reason right now. Here is wisdom that Elihu, inspired by the Holy Spirit, suggested to Job on (1) ‘How does God make us hear Him?’ and on (2) ‘Why does He not answer us as we expect Him to do?’

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Cults in Cyberspace: Just a Mouse Click Away

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Dear reader, I am still occupied with this issue about cultic dangers. After publishing a more encouraging blog post last week, here comes another warning about the subtlest, and maybe easiest way of how Satan could try to capture our minds. This particular topic has weighed like a burden on my heart for a few days now, but I would find no time to write it all down. Let’s start with a testimony by a woman who experienced ‘something’ on the internet which seemed to be so innocent in the beginning.

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Drawn toward the Light

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After many gray days lately, last week the sun came out for a short time again. Swimming under an almost clear blue sky in my favorite outdoor pool, I suddenly got aware of the fact that all human beings, even most animals and plants are drawn toward the visible light. These few sunrays made the water sparkle and glitter both on the surface and underneath. Due to the warm temperature inside (30° C, i.e., 86° F) the pool soon turned into a vapor bath. As the cold Eastern winds blew stronger, playing a funny game with these continually shaping clouds of steam, my heart was rejoicing over the ingenuity of our Creator. It was really an amazing spectacle!  🙂

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Seventeen Point Checklist for Unknown Groups

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John Hurt in “Nineteen Eighty Four”, George Orwell (Michael Radford, 1984)

I decided to publish another checklist that might be helpful to find out whether you or anyone else you know has touched on any kind of group (Christian, religious, political, esoteric etc.) that eventually turns out to be dangerous for spirit, body, and soul. Michael Clark and I translated this Seventeen Point Checklist from a checklist I would find years ago on a German website. Michael recently published a great blog article in which he described his own painful experiences in cults. The picture he attached to that post was very inspiring for me, so I also chose a photo from George Orwell’s “1984”. I recall how much I hated to read this book in high school about 36 years ago, such a dark scenery! :-/ Back to the check list: If you follow the link below, you can also see the pictures (cartoons) that go along with the German text which I changed slightly due to a, which I believe, inappropriate wording in one case. I wanted to follow the Spirit’s leading here as you might have already expected when you are familiar with my writings.

http://www.ebi-sachsen.de/sekten/checkliste.html

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“What Is A Cult? Recognizing And Avoiding Unhealthy Groups” by Jayanti Tamm

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Today I want to offer you a short excerpt, or more specifically, a list written by Jayanti Tamm who was born into a cult from which she could escape only 25 years later. Although her former guru, Sri Chinmoy, was not a Christian cult leader, I believe the chief features of cults she would work out in this list below are generally applicable to all sorts of unhealthy and anti-Christian groups, too. 

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A Pact with the Devil

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This time you might wonder at the topic I chose to write about. Like the charismatic issue that has bothered me for some time and eventually led to my last article, today I felt I should start to illustrate the possible dangers that might approach us in our every day life through people who are not necessarily Christians although they sometimes claim to believe in God. I am referring to ‘noble’, well-deemed people (mostly men) who might work as university professors, physicians, judges, notaries or bank directors. This list is anything but exhaustive. It might only serve to point you to the credibility their profession normally lends to them. What they all have in common is that they are (very) successful. Most of the times they are rich at that. Sometimes they become famous, too, sooner or later. However, they had to do something in order to get there. As German author and poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in his work “Faust” described, The erudite Faust is highly successful yet dissatisfied with his life, which leads him to make a pact with the devil, exchanging his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures.” (1)

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