Are you a Lover, Fighter or both? Spiritual Warfare and the 7 Deadly Sins

Regardless of the countless distractions, fears, and setbacks in life, if you are a fighter and ready for warfare, you are resilient and will tenaciously focus on the vision or goal that you have created for your life.

Mr. & Mrs. Smith
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rks3w-4UEk

John (Brad Pitt) and Jane Smith (Angelina Jolie), a couple in a stagnating marriage, live a deceptively mundane existence. However, each has been hiding a secret from the other: they are assassins working for adversarial agencies. When they are both assigned to kill the same target, Benjamin Danz (Adam Brody), the truth comes to the surface. Finally, free from their cover stories, they discover that they have been assigned to kill each other, sparking a series of explosive attacks.

I highly recommend writing out your vision or dream and cementing it with a mission statement so that it becomes clear and compelling.

Next, you may want to review it occasionally and record the different lifestyle changes that have taken place and make necessary adjustments as unforeseen events inevitably might occur and reshape the basic logistics of your vision.

Reviewing and adjusting solidifies your original foundation and helps you to ascertain whether or not you are thriving within your environment.

Speaking of thriving and surviving- Did you know that fighter pilots in World War II had different methods and tactics of survival they developed in order to remain steadfast through every mission they had to fly?

In order to get through the numerous moments of being tired, stressed and on the verge of panic at the sight of each new enemy plane, the fighter pilots would leave behind or carry sentimental objects that reminded them of loved-ones or they would make promises to their loved ones that they knew they had to keep.

For example, a letter that remained unread or a promise of marriage to someone left behind.

The following movie Unbroken: Path to Redemption, which was directed by Angelina Jolie is a magnificently portrayed example of survival and the strength of the human spirit in spite of numerous obstacles.

Unbroken: Path to Redemption
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kk1M_HwmFMM  

As a boy, Louis “Louie” Zamperini is always in trouble, but with the help of his older brother, he turns his life around and channels his energy into running, later qualifying for the 1936 Olympics. When World War II breaks out, Louie enlists in the military. After his plane crashes in the Pacific, he survives an incredible 47 days adrift in a raft, until his capture by the Japanese navy. Sent to a POW camp, Louie becomes the favorite target of a particularly cruel prison commander.

Also, as the fighter pilots in World War II story unfolded, I learnt that not only did they leave something or someone behind to look forward to, they may also leave something to complete.

That way their minds could focus on that thought and arouse or stimulate the necessary motivation to face one more “dogfight”, or survive another loss of a dear friend on the battle field and get through one more mission.

Just like in the movie Unbroken: Path to Redemption, the story I read illustrated where the real battle begins and ends.

The fighter pilots knew that while in battle the temptation to give in to physical wariness and breakdown under various psychological traumas was extremely high.

The real war wasn’t on the battle field- the real war was in the mind.

Alita, Battle Angel
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7pYhpJaJW8

Set several centuries in the future, the abandoned Alita is found in the scrapyard of Iron City by Ido, a compassionate cyber-doctor who takes the unconscious cyborg Alita to his clinic. When Alita awakens, she has no memory of who she is, nor does she have any recognition of the world she finds herself in. As Alita learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield her from her mysterious past.

See my previous article: The Fear of Oblivion- Are you Resilient? Lest we Forget: Remembrance Day

Even though we celebrate our veteran’s heroism, the ugly truth is many of them both locally and around the world have been exposed to numerous traumatic events.

Many Research Experts have agreed that most of the times, PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder) develops shortly after exposure to the traumatic event. Sometimes, it may even be delayed months or even years later and may be triggered by something that is reminiscent of the original stressor. Wow!

However, please note that not everyone who is exposed to a terrible event goes on to develop PTSD. It really depends on the individual and the nature of the event.

Some people, particularly those with preexisting emotional or personality problems, are naturally more susceptible to being scarred by traumatic events.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder was born originally on the battlefield and was known by a number of names such as “shell Shock”, “combat fatigue”, or “war neurosis”.

However, according to Allen Frances M.D. and Michael B. First M.D., horrifying experiences are by no means restricted to only warfare.

Community surveys that were done uncovered the fact that the majority of us have been exposed at some point in our lives to an event that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury.

For example, car accidents, natural disasters, torture, concentration camps, rape, sexual or physical abuse and other crimes.

See the two following articles which illustrates behaviors and circumstances:

Smooth Criminal/Love the way you Lie: Traumatic Bonding

https://www.teneishajohnson-dream.com/smooth-criminal-love-the-way-you-li

Fifty Shades of Play: Happy Valentine’s Day!

https://www.teneishajohnson-dream.com/50-shades-of-play-happy-valentines-

Dancing away the Depression: Discovering your unique Talents

https://www.teneishajohnson-dream.com/dancing-away-the-depression

Gaslighting

Let’s also not forget other forms of psychological manipulations such as gaslighting.

Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception, and sanity.

In order to gain more power, the person or entity makes the victim question their reality. It works much better than you may think. Anyone is susceptible to gaslighting, and it is a common technique of abusers, dictators, narcissists, and cult leaders.

It is done slowly, so the victim doesn’t realize how much they’ve been brainwashed. For example, in the movie Gaslight (1944), a man manipulates his wife to the point where she thinks she is losing her mind.

A gas lighter will tell you that you’d be a worthy person if only you didn’t have such a long list of negative traits. They attack the very foundation of your being.

When dealing with a person or entity that gaslights, look at what they are doing rather than what they are saying. What they are saying means nothing; it is just talk. What they are doing is the issue. 

Occasionally, they may throw in positive reinforcement to confuse you.

This person or entity that is cutting you down, telling you that you don’t have value, is now praising you for something you did. This adds an additional sense of uneasiness. You think, “Well maybe they aren’t so bad.” Yes, they are!

This is a calculated attempt to keep you off-kilter—and again, to question your reality.

Also look at what you were praised for; it is probably something that served the gas lighter.

Gas lighters know that confusion weakens people.

Gas lighters know that people like having a sense of stability and normalcy. Their goal is to uproot this and make you constantly question everything. And humans’ natural tendency is to look to the person or entity that will help you feel more stable—and that happens to be the gas lighter. 

They often project their opinions on their “prey”.

Many times, they are drug users or cheaters, yet they are constantly accusing you the victim of that very behavior. This is done so often that you start trying to defend yourself, and are distracted from the gas lighter’s own behavior.

Unfortunately, they may even try to align people against you.

Gas lighters are masters at manipulating and finding the people they know will stand by them no matter what—and they use these people against you.

They will make comments such as, “This person knows that you’re not right in your head or have a tendency to ‘go crazy’”.

Or “you’re always gazing off in space,” or “This person knows you’re useless too” or “This person does not trust you either” or “This person also does not believe you are capable of holding down a regular job consistently”.

Keep in mind it does not mean that these people actually said these things. A gas lighter is a constant liar.

When the gas lighter uses this tactic, it makes you feel like you don’t know who to trust or turn to—and that leads you right back to the gas lighter.

And that’s exactly what they want: Isolation gives them more control. 

Once again, they love telling you or others that you are crazy. This is one of the most effective tools of the gas lighter, because it’s dismissive.

The gas lighter knows that if they question your sanity, people will not believe you when you tell them that the gas lighter is abusive or out-of-control. It’s a master technique.

The more you are aware of these techniques, the quicker you can identify them and avoid falling into a gas lighter’s trap.  

Additionally, my bible tells me the following in Ephesians 6:12 (New International Version) NIV

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

According to Commonweal Magazine, The New Testament’s extensive language concerning malevolent spiritual forces is never humorous.

Apparently, the terminology varies and some texts speak of the Devil or Satan, while others speak of demons or unclean spirits which represent powers and principalities.

There are also such descriptions as the Ruler of the Power of the Air and the Dragon or Ancient Serpent.

Regardless of the description, when taken together, these terms point to a conviction, broadly shared by the writers of the New Testament, that a cosmic power, lesser than God but greater than humans alone, inhabited the world and worked against human good in a manner that was far from funny or creatively orchestrated like in the movies. 

Satan hates ALL humans and he does not discriminate!

At the personal level, the bible says that Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, speaks of Satan as a constant threat, one lying outside the community yet capable of causing damage within.

More cosmically he envisions “powers and principalities” which, though conquered by the death and exaltation of Christ, remain capable of opposing believers, who must continue to do battle “against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Once again, as I mentioned from Ephesians 6:12).

Similarly, Peter pictures the Devil as a ravening beast out to destroy unwary believers, and counsels them to “be sober and watch, because your adversary the Devil goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

In the bible, Luke imagines Satan as the arrogant ruler of a kingdom counter to God’s own, capable of granting great power to those willing to worship him, and commanding a vast army of demonic spirits.

John declares that “the whole world lies under the power of the evil one.”

Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ


Ephesians Chapter 1, vs 3:13, New International Version (NIV)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
In love

he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,

he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ,

10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.
 

13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,

14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

The Holy Bible

Finally, the Book of Revelation imagines the world caught in a cosmic battle between Christ and Satan, the great beast waging ceaseless war against the saints in unholy alliance with the corrupt power of an empire that buys and sells human lives and brands them with its mark.

The Thousand Years

20 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.

He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.

I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God.

They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

(The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.

Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

The Judgment of Satan

When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison

and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore.

They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them.

10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Now, many of the previous paragraphs and links illustrated negative behaviors and their affects, however, how many of you know that God’s correction is different.

With God’s correction-conviction is concerning the attitude or deed of the person and then there is a call for repentance.

Next, there should be an assurance of forgiveness and restoration to remind the individual of their value as God’s child.

7 Deadly Sins

People have always been known to be immoral, shiftless, and self-gratifying. For ages, humankind struggled to find a conceptual system to understand their spiritual shortcomings.

Wrath is manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury. It is also known as Anger.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-XO4XiRop0

As a beautiful young woman of pure heart, Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) has an idyllic life in a forest kingdom. When an invading army threatens the land, Maleficent rises up to become its fiercest protector. However, a terrible betrayal hardens her heart and twists her into a creature bent on revenge. She engages in an epic battle with the invading king’s successor, then curses his newborn daughter, Aurora — realizing only later that the child holds the key to peace in the kingdom. “
Maleficent 2
Starring Angelina Jolie

Speaking of wrath; from a biblical perspective, the New Testament also has references regarding the Great Tribulation and the wrath of God.

The Wrath of God and the three angels (Revelation 14:6-13)

6   Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth- to every nation, tribe, language and people.

7   He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgement has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”

8   A second angel followed and said, “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.”

Britney Spears, Toxic

9   A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand,

10   they too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.

11   And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.”

12   This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.

13   Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”

“Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”

Pride is excessive belief in one’s own abilities, that interferes with the individual’s recognition of the grace of God. It has been called the sin from which all others arise.

Pride is also known as Vanity.

Beowulf
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LETvY2mdls

In the age of heroes, a mighty warrior named Beowulf (Ray Winstone) arrives at the court of King Hrothgar (Anthony Hopkins) and offers to rid the kingdom of a vicious demon called Grendel. He successfully slays the beast but thus incurs the wrath of Grendel’s mother (Angelina Jolie), a creature as vicious and vengeful as she is seductive.

Babylon The Great, The Mother of Prostitutes and of the Abominations of the Earth

17 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits by many waters. 2 With her the kings of the earth committed adultery, and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.”

3 Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. 5 The name written on her forehead was a mystery:

BABYLON THE GREAT
THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES
AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

6 I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God’s holy people, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.

When I saw her; I was greatly astonished. 7 Then the angel said to me: “Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns.

8 The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and yet will come up out of the Abyss and go to its destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because it once was, now is not, and yet will come.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWA2pjMjpBs

9 “This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. 10 They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while. 11 The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.

12 “The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. 13 They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. 14 They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”

15 Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. 16 The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire.

17 For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to hand over to the beast their royal authority, until God’s words are fulfilled. 18 The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.”

Greed is the desire for material wealth or gain, ignoring the realm of the spiritual. It is also called Avarice or Covetousness.

Lust is an inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body.

Original Sin
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5l24CwewWc

Luis (Antonio Banderas) and Julia (Angelina Jolie) are bound together first by matrimony, and then, by fierce love and desire. But the closer Luis becomes to Julia, the more enigmatic she seems to be. For Luis, the loneliness which led to love becomes a passion which transcends reason and defies convention, as he and Julia engage in a dangerous dance that takes them across the landscape of Cuba, into obsession, eroticism… and perhaps even murder.

Envy is the desire for others’ traits, status, abilities, or situation.

Unbroken, The Path to Redemption
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kk1M_HwmFMM

Directed by Angelina Jolie
As a boy, Louis “Louie” Zamperini is always in trouble, but with the help of his older brother, he turns his life around and channels his energy into running, later qualifying for the 1936 Olympics. When World War II breaks out, Louie enlists in the military. After his plane crashes in the Pacific, he survives an incredible 47 days adrift in a raft, until his capture by the Japanese navy. Sent to a POW camp, Louie becomes the favorite target of a particularly cruel prison commander

Submit Yourselves to God (James 4:1-10 NIV)

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us[b? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proud
    but shows favor to the humble.”

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Gluttony is an inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires.

Like other bears, pandas spend most of the day eating and sleeping. Bamboo is the most important plant for giant pandas. They spend at least 12 hours each day eating bamboo. Because bamboo is so low in nutrients, pandas eat a lot of it daily.

Kung Fu Panda
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXi3Mv6KMzY

Po might just be the laziest, clumsiest panda in the Valley of Peace, but he secretly dreams of becoming a kung fu legend. When the villainous snow leopard Tai Lung threatens Po’s homeland, the hapless panda is chosen to fulfil an ancient prophecy and defend the Valley from attack. Training under Master Shifu, Po embarks on an epic high-kicking adventure as he sets out to thwart Tai Lung’s evil plans.
Angelina Jolie as Master Tigress in Kung Fu Panda
Angelina Jolie as Master Tigress in Kung Fu Panda

Sloth is the avoidance of physical or spiritual work.

Girl Interrupted
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BHHUBZf7y4
A lazy scence, featuring Angelina Jolie’s character called Lisa
Girl, Interrupted
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BHHUBZf7y4

Set in the changing world of the late 1960s, “Girl, interrupted” is the searing true story of Susanna Kaysen (Winona Ryder), a young woman who finds herself at a renowned mental institution for troubled young women, where she must choose between the world of people who belong on the inside — like the seductive and dangerous Lisa (Angelina Jolie) — or the often-difficult world of reality on the outside.
Playing God
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pqbja582To

One-time surgeon Eugene Sands loses his license for the negligent death of a patient for drugs addiction, and his life spirals into chaos. He finds himself in the employ of a shady gangster and soon becomes embroiled in dark and dangerous dealings.

The final sin as mentioned above was sloth and is said to be the avoidance of physical or spiritual work.

However, how many of you know that once you have been called, it is then critical that you share the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ?

According to Tim LaHaye and Thomas Ice, coauthors of Left Behind and Charting the End Times, it is difficult for non-Christians to understand that a God of love would allow the tribulation.

But I agree with them that God really wants to draw as many people as possible to Him before Jesus returns to set up His Millennial Kingdom, and He will use the Tribulation to get their attention.

They believe that in grace and love, He will give more supernatural signs and leadings of His Spirit than at any time in the history of the world, proving that he is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

In the book of Revelation, Chapter 3, the Bible says to the angel of the church in Sardis:

1   These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.

2   Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God.

3   Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.

Then to the angel of the church in Philadelphia:

7   These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.

8   I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.

9   I will make those who are the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars- I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.

10   Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.

11   I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. (Revelation 3:11)

Now in reverse, the two witnesses (Revelation 11:3)

3   And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” (Revelation 11:3)

Mr. Tim LaHaye and Thomas Ice states that in Revelation, we find the seven years divided into two periods of 1260 days, or 42 months, or three-and-one-half years, or “time and times and half a time” (Revelation 11:2-3;12:6,7,14; 13:5).

Every one of those time spans totals up to seven years. The first half, or first 42 months, is the Tribulation, while the last half is called by our Lord “The Great Tribulation.”

The Day of the Lord (1 Thessalonians 5:1-24)

5   Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you,

2   for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.

3   While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

4   But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.

5   You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.

6   So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.

7   For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night.

8   But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.

9   For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

10   He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.

11   Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Final Instructions

12   Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you.

13   Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.

14   And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

15   Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

16   Rejoice always,

17   pray continually,

18   give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

19   Do not quench the Spirit.

20   Do not treat prophecies with contempt

21   but test them all; hold on to what is good,

22   reject every kind of evil.

23   May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

24   The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

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Priest, Bible

The Forgotten Anointing (Jesus the High Priest) Flip a new page- Bible Upgrade

Most recently I was studying my bible and revisited what it should feel like to have the anointing or Holy Spirit functioning or operating within your life.

I learnt that the “Forgotten Anointing” is in part that which is experienced on your own and most definitely by yourself.

It is learning what makes the Dove (Holy Spirit), feel at home with you.

This anointing that characterizes the Dove is therefore tied to what and who you are as a person.

Thankfully, God is not looking over our shoulders with a magnifying glass to see what he can find is wrong or inappropriate about us.

I’m happy about that, because I know he would probably find many faults with me. Lol!

In the Bible, Hebrews 4:13 says,

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account”.

But I am reassured and encouraged every time I read my bible because Hebrews 4:12 states,

“For the word of God is ALIVE and ACTIVE. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attributes of the heart”.

Priest, Bible

Priest

And once again verse 13 states,

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account”.

And I am also comforted because I know I have Jesus as my great high priest. As it reads in Hebrew 4:14-16,

14  “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.

15  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are- yet he did not sin.

16  Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hebrews Chapters 5

1  Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.

2  He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness.

3  This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people.

4  And no one takes this honor on himself, but he receives it when called by God, just as Aaron was.

5  In the same way, Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him,

“You are my Son; today I have become your Father”.

6  And he says in another place,

“You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek”.

7  During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.

8  Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered

9  and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him

10  and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.

11  We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand.

12  In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk (dairy), not solid food!

13 Anyone who lives on milk (dairy), being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.

14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

Hebrews Chapter 6

1  Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God,

2  instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgement.

3  And God permitting, we will do so.

4  It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit,

5  who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age

6  and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.

7  Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God.

8  But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.

9  Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case-the things that have to do with salvation.

10  God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them

Earth Day Clean Up, Bible

Earth Day Clean Up

11  We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized.

12  We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

13  When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself,

14  saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants”.

15  And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.

16  People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument.

17  Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.

18  God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged.

19  We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,

20  where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.

In the Bible the book of Hebrews 7: 11-28

11  If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood-and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood-why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?

12  For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also.

13  He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar.

14  For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.

15  And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears,

16  one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life.

17  For it is declared:

“You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek”.

18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless

19  (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.

20  And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath,

21  but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:

“The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever’ “.

22  Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.

23  Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office;

24  but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permeant priesthood.

25  Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

26  Such a high priest truly meets our need-one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.

27  Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.

28  For the law appoints as high priests’ men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.

Hebrews 10:19-23

19  Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,

20  by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body,

21  and since we have a great priest over the house of God,

22  let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

23  Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

And I grow increasingly confident because as I continued to read my bible I learnt that by faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command,

By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain,

By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death,

By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family,

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going,

By faith Sarah who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children,

By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice,

By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future,

By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons,

By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt

By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.

By faith Moses, when he grew up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter

By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger

By faith Moses kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel

By faith the people passed through the Red Sea

By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days

And even by faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.

We must learn how to bind the strong man in our lives.

Jesus gave us his authority over the devil and his evil cohorts, yet I have learnt that we must be motivated to use it if we want to see results.

Let us consider what Jesus taught his followers:

In the book of Matthew Chapter 16:19, it says,

“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

To bind evil spirits means to restrain them by addressing them directly and forbidding them to continue their destructive activity.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, our words will weaken or remove the person from the enemy’s bondage and in prayer we then ask the Holy Spirit to minister to his or her needs.

Our prayers should then be directed to God, and our warfare at the enemy.

According to the authors, Quin Sherrer & Ruthanne Garlock of A Woman’s Guide to Spiritual Warfare, this tactic of binding evil spirits is especially effective when praying in agreement with a prayer partner.

The following is a hypothetical story to illustrate how we can become more effective in our everyday life:

Cadia is a spiritual warrior who’s learned to use this important tactic. One day she went to visit her twenty-year-old daughter Lisa, who had gone away to college. Not finding her at her designated residence, she went on in.

Appalled at the mess she found, she began to clean the apartment-straightening, dusting, sweeping, and scrubbing. She even cooked a meal, then washed all the dirty clothes lying around.

She knew her daughter was still adjusting to college life, but she was shock that her normally tidy and preppy daughter would have allowed her apartment to be reduced to such a deplorable state.

While putting things in order, Cadia found a bundle of torn and bloody undergarments amongst a small bag of “unknown substance” beside a used syringe and a small hand gun. It had one bullet in it.

At that moment, Cadia knew her daughter’s intent was to shoot herself and based on the evidence, the reason was obvious.

As a mother in the natural, she was devastated, but as a prayer warrior in the spirit, she was furious!

At that very moment, Cadia began to do serious spiritual battle for her daughter’s life.

She said,

“Thank you, Lord, for giving us authority to use your name to set captives free. I plead the blood of Jesus over Lisa, and ask you to protect her life.

I come against the strong man of rejection operating against my daughter, and bind your power over my daughter in Jesus’ name.

I come against the spirit of suicide, you will not have my daughter.

I come against the spirit of deception and psychosis, you will not have my daughter.

I bind all spirits of rejection, madness, hate, anger, murder, and suicide, in Jesus’ name.

I bind all unclean spirits associated with drug abuse, rape and chaos, and cut Lisa loose from past hurts and from unhealthy relationships.

I command the spirits that are binding and controlling her to release her, in Jesus’ name.

Lord, let your peace permeate her apartment. Show Lisa how much you love her and desire to set her free from the bondage of the enemy.

Thank you, Lord, for protecting her life and drawing her into fellowship with you in Jesus’ name.

Amen”.

Cadia then began singing and filling the apartment with praises to the Lord as she continued to cook and clean.

Before leaving that day, she left a note:

“Lisa- I did this today because I love you. No strings attached. Mom”.

A few weeks went by before Lisa decided to visit her mom in person and upon arrival her mother noticed she had lost weight and seemed nervous.

But Cadia did not judge or harass her daughter because she knew if she had not prayed for her daughter’s deliverance and shown unconditional love, her daughter might not have been alive today.

Perhaps one day her daughter will find the courage to share her story and seek professional help.

For now, she was glad Lisa had come home for the holidays. Cadia also knew she was greatly missed by her friends in the community and at church.

So, in conclusion, I will earnestly pray for a fresh anointing in my life when I am being attacked and for the Holy Spirit to continue to operate in my life, and because I am confident in Jesus as my High Priest my faith grows stronger every day.

Amen.

Would you be considered a gift that keeps on giving?

Have you ever placed significance on your birth-date? At Christmas time many Christians around the world celebrates the most important gift, the birth of Christ. There is debate by some as to the exact date of his birth. There is debate as to origin of Christmas.

However, there is no doubt that he was born both from a biblical and secular view point. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who came to earth in human form for one main purpose-to be the sacrificial lamb who would take away the sins of the world. I am thankful to God for his gift to mankind.

We are all created for a purpose. Have you found your purpose? Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”.

I especially like that verse because I was born in the month of August on the 28th day. I love it!

We each were given talents and abilities. I believe we are all gifts to this world and gifts don’t necessarily have to be the ones under the tree. Try this exercise. Place yourself under your Christmas tree-and think! I am a gift!

CLM Publishing, Gifts that keep on giving

CLM Publishing

Imagine yourself as a product. What words would be used by your promoters to market you? Would you be described as optimistic, creative, interesting, adventurous, tolerant, likeable and generous?

Hypothetically, those born close to Christmas Day could be considered double gifts. Hhmmm…I know many people who fall within this category. However, the question is- are they required to do double the work? (Lol).

There is not one of God’s children who cannot afford to give something to His work. You may think you can’t afford to give, or you may not be able to give a lot at first, but God blesses everybody that gives. If you’re not rich, that’s all the more reason to give, so God can bless you and help you have more.

I’ve come to realize over time that God’s finances work opposite from the worlds. The world says, “When I’ve got my first million, billion or even trillion, then I’ll start giving.” But the Lord says, “START GIVING what you’ve GOT NOW, and then I’ll give you more.”

Man says, “Me first. Self-preservation is the first law of nature.” But God says, “Put Me and Mine first, and I’ll take care of you afterwards” (Matthew 6:33). God’s way to plenty is to give sacrificially of what you now have. “There is one who scatters, yet increases more; and there is one who withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty” (Proverbs 11:24).

The faster you give it away and share it, the more He’ll heap it on and the richer you’ll become so you can share more. Covetousness hoards itself poor, but charity gives itself rich!

Most of us aren’t challenged by monumental crises and most of us will never have great influence, power or wealth. However, I strongly believe we are all called to be a blessing in some kind of capacity.

I can think of many people within the Cayman Islands community who give tirelessly to many charities and organizations, whose lives are dedicated to being a blessing to others.

Most recently I have noticed many people, who most would consider “foreigners”, extending their time, money and sincere willingness to the expansion and betterment of these beautiful Islands.

It is such an inspiration and a testament to the universal heart of who people truly are no matter where they have decided to call their home.

I am honored that they now consider the Cayman Islands their home.

There are also well-known billionaires who are famously known for their charitable endeavors.

From a poor Mississippi farm, Oprah Winfrey became a legendary talk show host. She is now labeled or known as the “Queen of All Media”. Her life story tells us of a young lady who rose from poverty to become the most-watched daytime television talk show host.

Oprah Winfrey Gifts that keeps on giving

Oprah Winfrey Network and Magazines

According to my most recent research, Oprah Winfrey was born on a small farm in Mississippi to a single mother, and was initially raised by her grandmother, who could only afford to dress her in potato sacks.

Unfortunately, she had a difficult, unstable childhood, often with little supervision, and was molested by family members. In her teen years, her father made education a focus. Hallelujah!

See my previous article Smooth Criminal/Love the way you Lie: Traumatic Bonding which illustrates abusive behaviors and where you can find help.

She won a speaking contest and subsequently a full scholarship to Tennessee State University. She began working in local media as a teenager and eventually landed a job as an anchor on A.M. Chicago, a morning talk show. Cool!

Her style soon captivated millions of TV audiences and she turned the show, which was quickly syndicated, into a smash hit. Not long after she was offered an acting role in the screen adaptation of The Color Purple, which catapulted the start of her acting career.

Most recently, she starred in another movie called A Wrinkle in Time.

Time Magazine, gift that keeps on giving

Time Magazine

I loved that movie!

Once again, another gift doing what she does best!

Inspiring the young and adding well deserved value to the older generation. She is definitely “Queen” status!

The Oprah Winfrey Show has now become her signature success, with 10 million viewers daily. She is the third woman in history to own and produce her own show. Her name has become an empire. Forbes estimates her net worth to be $2.8 billion (2018).

Bill and melinda Gates Foundation

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Did you also know that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the wealthiest charitable foundation by endowment ($40.3 billion USD)

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, previously branded as the ‘William H. Gates Foundation’, is a private foundation founded by Bill and Melinda Gates.

It was launched in 2000, and is said to be the largest private foundation in the United States, holding US$50.7 billion in assets. Wow!

Melinda Gates

Melinda Gates with President Obama

Throughout her life and career, Melinda Gates has strived to be a voice for marginalized people around the world, working to the bridge the gap of inequality, especially for women. For her, she says, it is a responsibility that comes with being Melinda Gates.

“I think you grow into a name over time. It’s taken me quite some time honestly.”

Gates tells ABC News’ Chief Business, Technology and Economics correspondent, Rebecca Jarvis on an episode of the “No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis” podcast.

“I’m in this position by luck. No other reason. I fell in love with Bill Gates. He fell in love with me. We decided to get married … if you’re in this position you have to do something for the women that you’ve met.”

Mrs. Gates began her career at Microsoft in 1987 and worked her way up to become the General Manager of Information Products where she eventually managed a team of almost 2,000 people. It’s there that she met her future husband, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, and the two were wed in 1994.

When she decided to leave the workforce, she says her husband was shocked.
According to Rebecca Jarvis’s podcast, Melinda stated,

“I actually shocked him when I told him I was going to leave. I had already made that decision and he was completely shocked because he knew how much I loved my career”.

Despite leaving Microsoft, Gates always knew she would eventually go back into the workforce in some capacity and she says it was her husband who actually gave her the push to go back “maybe even sooner” than she would have.

Today she is the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is one of the largest private foundations in the United States working to reduce inequality around the world.

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands

But it is her passion for helping women that led to the creation of Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company she founded three years ago to focus on women’s equality issues in the United States and to increase the number of women in the technology sector.

“I would often be flying home from these trips in the developing world thinking about equality and realizing we don’t actually have equality for women anywhere yet in the world,” she said.

According to various sources online, last year all-female led startups only received approximately about 2.2% of the total $85 billion invested by venture capitalists and for women of color that number drops to about 1%.

Through Pivotal Ventures, Melinda Gates is hoping to raise that percentage by investing in Venture Capitalists (VC’s) who are increasingly supporting female and minority entrepreneurs.

Gates said that the low percentage says more about the investors than the founders.

“I have met women — so many women who feel that they are voiceless; they’re voiceless in their communities, sometimes in their families, they certainly are voiceless on the global stage, she said.

“And so, I have decided that at some point I would have to step into this name and into this role and give them a voice.”

“That’s what I do now, no matter what room I walk into these days,” Gates added.

Talk about being a gift that keeps on giving!

If you can find both your passion and a way to share it with others, you’ll get twice the benefit.

Dr. Martin Seligman, regarded as the founder of the field of positive psychology, says he discovered that during the first positive psychology class he ever taught- students were asked to do one pleasurable activity and write up their experiences. The results were dramatic.

The pleasurable activities (hanging out with friends or family, eating great food, watching a movie or even exercising) paled in comparison to the effects of doing just one kind action.

Someone once said that there’s no greater gift than giving from your heart.

There have been and still are many people and organizations that have been gifts in my life- my family and friends, my past and present teachers, my past and present employees, all the churches of the Cayman Islands and the Cayman Islands Community.

I still believe that because of their collective support, I am still able to continue to exercise my faith and the purpose that God has for my life.

So, I passionately say, you must find your true purpose, live it, do it, give it and be it!
Just “B”!

You will benefit others and the by-product is a far richer and rewarding life.

If you are obedient to your natural and spiritual gifts as well as your talents, you will never get tired of doing it. This doesn’t mean it won’t be difficult or challenging, but you will become successful and fulfilled because you are finally aligned with your purpose.

Holy Bible

Holy Bible

For we are more than conquerors! As I stated earlier from Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things, I repeat all things-God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”.

And as verse 30 continues to state, “And those he called, he also justifies; those he justifies, he also glorifies.

It is God who justifies. So, because of Jesus everything and anything will work for good as we love God.

Amen.