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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


 

Daily Boost

November 21, 2013 - The Battle Is Real

By Jeff Sandstrom

Have you ever wondered if all this is real? Could it be possible that for centuries upon centuries Christianity has been able to brainwash generation after generation into prioritizing a religion to control every aspect of their lives?

What if we're wrong? What if we all just have this compelling desire to believe in something where we can just pawn off all the things we don't understand?

In my hotel room recently, after watching a classic sit-com, I drifted off into a deep, deep sleep. Only a couple hours later I woke up ... but I wasn't able to move. I was paralyzed. The room wasn't just dark; it was pitch black. There was the feeling of something strongly putting pressure on my chest.

I was sweating profusely. I tried to scream, but I couldn't say a word. I tried to move and to yell as loudly as I could, but I was pinned to the bed and nothing but air came out. My skin was crawling, and tears streamed down my face. I was horrified.

Complete fear and trembling.

The Psalmist says something very similar: "The terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me" (Psalm 55:4,5, ESV).

Finally, I was able to scream the name of "Jesus." And I screamed it loudly. Very loudly.

In shock, not knowing what just happened and with no phone service to call anyone, I turned on the lights. As the carpet was being soaked with my tears, I began to pray. I read my Bible and sang to God.

Now why would I do that? Because I have a compelling desire to believe in something so I can pawn off the things I don't understand?

Something was in my room that night. It was real.

When you question your faith and your spiritual struggles and ask if all this is real, ask yourself if the everyday life you live is real.

The apostle Paul in his letter to the church of Ephesus said, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12, KJV).

We don't wrestle against flesh and blood. Flesh and blood is an expression used to emphasize that a person is a physical living being with human emotions and frailties, often in contrast to something abstract, like something spiritual.

We wrestle with something abstract. Spiritual forces of evil. Powers of a dark world. Paralyzing evil that harasses you in the middle of the night.

They are called powers and authorities for a reason. And there is only one name that causes them fear and trembling and brings you victory -- Jesus.

— Jeff Sandstrom and his wife, Ericka, served as associate pastors at 360Church (Assemblies of God) in Berkeley, Calif. (Earl and Jan Creps, lead pastors). The Sandstroms now oversee an Ethos house church in Chicago.

 

 

 

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