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Category: Devotional

Lorilyn’s Devotional Writings

SOCIALISM AND THE TEN VIRGINS: A Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts

“An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had failed an entire class.

That class had insisted that Obama’s socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich; a great equalizer.

The professor then said, ’Okay. We will have an experiment in this class on Obama’s plan. All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade, so no one would fail, and no one would receive an A.”

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.

As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride, too, so they studied little.

The second test average was a D!

No one was happy.

When the third test rolled around, the average was an F.

The scores never increased as bickering, blame, and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings, and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them, “Socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

It cannot be any simpler than that.”

😔😔

The above story, quoted from several sources on the Internet, may be spurious but it’s an interesting analogy of the mechanics of socialism. None of us are so Godly and self-sacrificing that we are willing to work our behinds off for the welfare of the State without regard to our own personal sacrifice and what the cost is to ourselves.

Socialism takes away the hard-work ethic that Americans historically have been known for and equalizes available resources for,  “the good of all.”

Socialism runs counter to my Christian beliefs because my freedom and ability to choose have been taken from me and what’s “good for all” has been forced on me by a godless government. The government is not wise enough to make the choice about what is best for me or my family, and when they rob me to give what is rightfully mine to someone else, most of the surplus ends up in the pockets of those who least deserve it.

In the Parable of the Ten Virgins, found in Matthew 25:1-13, the five young women who brought extra containers of oil for their lamps were not “forced” to share with those who didn’t. Why? Because there would not have been enough “capital” or oil available to take care of everyone who came to meet the bridegroom.

The five virgins without sufficient oil were not disabled—they could talk, walk, think, and reason, and it is implied by the context they could take care of themselves. Jesus called them “unwise.” The wise virgins instructed them to “go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.”

Implicit in the story is a free market economy where there are resources available to be bought, showing that the foolish virgins could have bought some earlier but didn’t.

The foolish maidens preferred to depend on handouts from the wise who had planned ahead, much like many today are looking for the government to take care of them in the form of bailouts for fiscal mismanagement; free money for cars, houses, and education; entitlements for government welfare; funding social issues like abortion, and now free health insurance that could bankrupt our country.

Jesus admonished us to help the poor, saying they would always be with us, the thought being, that no matter what a nation does to equalize wealth, it goes counter to God’s natural law.

Everyone is not guaranteed the ability to own a home, have health insurance, or whatever else our government decides should be funded by those who have more. The government will end up robbing its citizens to pay for what is not affordable.

Socialism is not sustainable because fewer and fewer will be able to survive economically at a high enough level to provide for those who are unwilling. Many will be duped into thinking they can’t survive to validate our government’s desire for ultimate control. The whole system will collapse under its own waste of misallocated resources and broken dreams.

Too many of our young people have been hoodwinked into believing they are entitled to “more.” Someone insisted in response to my arguments on Facebook, “the government is going to take care of me.”

Good luck with that thought. The problem is somebody has to pay. In the end, we all pay because we all suffer when the truly poor suffer, and there will be more who are truly poor.

When limited resources are squandered by propping up those who deserve to fail and the available capital is used by the government to equalize all there is, everyone suffers. We see this now and will see more of it because we are now using capital that doesn’t exist.

The future earnings of our children, borrowed money from other countries, fiat money created by our government, our Social Security, and probably, eventually, our retirement accounts, will be used to fund our fiscal irresponsibility. There will be a continued shrinking of the private sector as the government takes over more and more of the economy. A day of reckoning is coming. God’s law is a natural law. Those who have been deceived will receive their just reward.

As in the parable of the Ten Virgins, the wise virgins had enough oil, and those who were foolish didn’t. Those who seek the truth will be prepared.

God said in the end times He would send a strong delusion. I see a lack of discernment everywhere; sadly, most of all in our young people. Too many of them have bought into the lies fed to them by the educational system and powerful bureaucrats in Washington. I blame both the Democrats and Republicans. In many ways, I hardly even see a difference between them except when it comes to the issue of abortion.

I wonder if they do not know our history or if it’s just easier to believe the delusion rather than to seek the truth. Even Pontius Pilate, who represented the powerful Roman government, asked “What is Truth?” as the Author of Truth, Jesus Christ, stood before him. The question is, do you know?

I implore you to seek the truth while it can still be found. Who knows when the last bastion of freedom of information will be taken from us.

In China, much of their news is filtered by the government. The Google search engines remove “propaganda” the government doesn’t want the masses to know.

In Russia, South Korea, and Vietnam, Christians are imprisoned and martyred for speaking the truth; and now in Europe, Islam is the fastest-growing ethnic minority and Sharia law is becoming the norm. Muslims make it no secret what their agenda is by their attacks on our country, our faith, and our way of life.

Now the CCP is making inroads and will do just about anything to jeopardize our sovereignty. The WHO wants all the countries in the world to cede authority to them. It‘s not about freedom. It‘s about power. How long are we going to be in denial of the truth for the sake of political correctness?

While the government back in 2008 might have thought Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, AIG, and others were “too big to fail,” perhaps today nobody realizes a free United States in 2022 is not too big to fail. It is not even in question. Oil and food are already in short supply.

Don’t blink or you might miss the bridegroom. He is coming soon. Anoint yourself with Holy Spirit Oil and ready yourself with the gifts He’s given you. Spread the Good News in the midst of all the bad. And pray for wisdom. Remember, God is with us if we have His oil.

 

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THE THANKSGIVING I WILL NEVER FORGET: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts

 

 

Many years ago, I sat with my dad on the front porch one summer night in Marietta, Georgia. The stars shone brightly overhead, and the chirping of nightlife filled the air. We got into a discussion about whether we would live to see the turn of the century. I was a young teen at the time, but my dad was in his 40’s.

He shook his head. “I don’t think I’ll live that long. I’d be in my 70’s. Well, maybe.”

Both his parents died when he was young, so his words hung in the air, pressing in on me that I would probably outlive him and my mom, although my mother’s side of the family is long-lived—typically into their 90’s. My mom is approaching that age in 2021. Sadly, my dad didn’t make it to 2000. He passed away in 1994 from a brain tumor, but he was close.

My dad used to say that even though his body had aged, his mind was still the same as when he was young. I never understood what he meant when I was young. I suppose if you get Alzheimer’s, that’s not the case, but the thought that your mind doesn’t age like your body does is intriguing. How can that be? 

As I continue to stretch myself doing things I never imagined, I hope it will help keep my mind spry. I am learning Morse Code and pondering what my first sentence will be when I go on the airwaves. The biggest adjustment will be instead of sending out captions at 260 plus words per minute, I’ll be “competent” if I can send out ten words per minute using C.W. 

I just applied for Social Security and will be retiring at the end of the year. Where does the time go? I remember a poem I wrote by that title when I was around fifteen. Because my mother loved it so much, I even turned it into a song.

It’s so easy to lose track of years as they come and go and not even realize decades have passed in what seems like the blink of an eye. Since August, I’ve been an empty nester. Both my daughters have moved out. I even needed to replace the 20-year-old van that I bought when Joy was still an infant.

While I might be sounding a little melancholy, I’m thankful to be alive. And this Thanksgiving, I wanted to focus on how grateful I am for all the blessings God has given me.

I asked myself, what is my favorite Thanksgiving? At sixty-six, I’ve lived through quite a few. And the answer came almost as quickly as I asked the question. I want to share an extraordinary Thanksgiving story from when I was seven.

My mom and adoptive father married on November 3, 1962. Three weeks later, that Thanksgiving holiday, my life changed forever. The arrival of my childhood pet is a story made for Hollywood. But God wrote it for me before the foundations of the world.

At a tenuous time when my mother had just remarried, because we moved to a different area of Atlanta, I had to switch schools. I was a lonely, confused kid. Being forced to repeat first grade didn’t help. But God had His eyes on me. He knew I needed a special friend. Our loving, heavenly Father sent me a stray dog that taught me more about God and the meaning of love than most seven-year-olds could ever understand. That is—unless it was someone like me, someone who needed the kind of love only a dog can give.

Here is an excerpt from my recently published book, Tails and Purrs for the Heart and Soul.

 

Seven Years Old

 

One morning I awoke from a fantasy world more thrilling than Disney could ever create. I felt a wet, warm kiss on my cheek. When I opened my eyes and saw a dog, I wrapped my arms around her.

“Who are you?” I asked. As my dreamy eyes focused, I saw she was white, and somehow, she had walked into the house, run up the stairs, and found me in bed.

My mother stood across from me with a smile etched across her face.

I patted the dog’s head. “Where did she come from?”

“This is Gypsy. We’re going to keep her,” she said.

I blinked to make sure I hadn’t died and gone to heaven. Not that I even knew where that was, but I wanted to make sure I wasn’t starring in a Hollywood movie. Surely this was just make-believe.

A prominent movie director in New York once tried to convince my mother to let him take me to Hollywood. My mother said no, and I lost my only bid for Hollywood stardom. Instead, Hollywood discovered Hayley Mills. Everybody, when I was young, compared me to her. I’ve heard it said everybody has a twin. Hayley Mills was mine.

Everything faded into the bedroom walls as I focused on the bouncy white, playful pearl. While some might argue we saved her from a wretched life on the streets, I’d say she saved me from a very challenging, lonely childhood. Is dog not God spelled backward?

Mother told me how the night before, Gypsy snuck into the apartment through the door with my stepfather—who I call Dad for the remainder of the book—when he returned from the store to buy milk.

Soon Gypsy became my faithful companion and playmate. When I came home from school, she would be waiting for me at the door. I invented games to play with her. I would place my hand underneath the blanket and move it around, and Gypsy would “fetch” it with her mouth. I soon learned how much dogs love to chew on shoes, slippers, and record covers.

When I came home from school, I could hardly wait to walk her. When we returned after each walk, I would announce how many times Gypsy had used the bathroom, both number one and number two, to validate I was the best dog walker in the world. I cleaned up after her when she made a mess so nobody would know. I always had a deep-seated fear I might lose her.

One afternoon I arrived home from school, and I knew something was wrong. Gypsy didn’t greet me at the door, and I ran through the house looking for her.

“She’s gone,” my mother told me. “The apartment manager said we couldn’t keep her, and your father took her to a protected area. Don’t worry. She’ll be fine.”

“Where did he take her?”

My mother paused before continuing. “You know the apartment complex doesn’t allow dogs. We had no choice.”

My heart broke. I knew it might come to this. I’d overheard the whispers. I ran out of the room and up the stairs to my bedroom. Burying my face in the pillow, I cried. Gypsy was gone. I didn’t want to believe I would never see her again. Even at eight, I believed in miracles.

That night thunderbolts crashed outside my bedroom, and lightning pierced through the window shades. I imagined Gypsy in the darkness. I could feel her fur against my skin and see her dark, brown eyes pleading for me. I twisted and turned in bed as peals of thunder bounced off the walls. If Gypsy ever found her way back, I vowed to run away with her. I would never let anybody take her from me again.

The next day came and went. She didn’t return. I went to school, hoping she would find her way back.

After another stormy night, Wednesday arrived, the day before Thanksgiving. We were packing things to visit my new father’s family in North Carolina. My mother had recently remarried. We had yet to meet the extended family of her new husband—a brother and three sisters.

I kept looking up the hill in front of the apartment, imagining that I would see my dog come flying over the rise in the road. I knew it was almost impossible, but I hoped. I made one last trip to my bedroom. The car was loaded, and we were ready to leave. I picked up my pillow and remembered the first morning Gypsy awoke me and licked me on the face.

“God, please help Gypsy to find her way back.”

I walked out the door to get into the car. Glancing one last time up the hill, I saw something white. Was it, could it be—I dropped my pillow and started to run. My mind raced, and I ran as fast as my legs would move. It couldn’t be—but it was.

Tattered and dirty and barking excitedly, Gypsy ran toward me, flashing her tail in the wind. She had survived two nights of bad weather and found her way home through a raging storm. If she had arrived two minutes later, we would have been on the road.

I crouched down and held her as she whimpered and licked my face. I didn’t know I could laugh and cry at the same time, but one thing I did know—God brought Gypsy back to me.

 

 



“I will never let go of you,” I promised.

Gypsy squealed. For the first time, I believed in God.

 

🐶🐶🐶

 

 

All these years later, my faith in God remains steadfast. And as I wrote in my book Tails and Purrs for the Heart and Soul, I know I will see Gypsy again. My younger daughter Joy and her roommates recently adopted a dog from the local humane society. I’m smiling on the inside. The Roberts’ tradition lives on with my children, and that brings me great joy this Thanksgiving.

To learn more about my memoir, Tails and Purrs for the Heart and Soul, click on this link.  

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WHAT RESURRECTION SUNDAY SHOWED ME DURING THE 2020 CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts

Christians will remember 2020 as the year we celebrated Easter Sunday at home. My House of Worship had its Easter Service on YouTube, and around a hundred other Creeksiders attended virtually with me. A few hours later, my younger daughter and I ate a home-cooked meal. Then we rested—which is what the Sabbath should be, a day of rest.
The closest semblance to this Easter is when I celebrated Shabbat in Israel in January 1991. That was a few days before the U.S. launched Operation Desert Storm. In stark contrast to the United States, Israel shuts everything down for the Sabbath. Restaurants, shops, and even grocery stores are closed, and there are very few cars on the road.
Only since I finished my cancer treatment have I come to appreciate how important a day of rest is. I no longer work seven days a week, and even today, I caught myself picking up sticks in the yard and moving a few rocks. God calls that work—and in the Old Testament, God struck down a man for gathering sticks on the Shabbat (Numbers 15:32-36). I stopped when God brought to mind I wasn’t resting from labor like He wanted me to.
We all struggle with different things, and for me, I tend not to know when to relax. So I appreciated this special Easter when I didn’t hear cars zooming by, lawn mowers blaring, or sirens screaming. The neighborhood was quiet, and there were cars in driveways because people were home. Some walked their dogs, and I’m sure many, as I did, spent quality time with their family instead of the frenzied pace that marks the way of life for most Americans.
 
I put on my favorite Christian movie, The Gospel of John, from 2003, which is a word-for-word rendition of the fourth Gospel in the New Testament. Every time I watch the reenactment, I come away with a new insight or something God shows me that I hadn’t seen before. This time it was from John 9:4 (KJV): Jesus said, “I must do the works of him that sent me while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work.”
Disney World Parade
That verse struck me because so many people can’t work during the coronavirus pandemic. Schools are closed. Restaurants are shut. All nonessential services are under lock and key, like dry cleaners, barbers, and clothing shops. Sports and entertainment have ceased. National parks and beaches are deserted, and theme parks, like DisneyWorld, are closed. Even places of worship are not allowed to meet in many cities, including my own.
 
 
To make a point, although it’s not my main point, but it is worth mentioning because it has never happened in our democracy, it’s like we are living in a socialist country. Our government, at the national, state, and municipal level, are determining what is essential and what isn’t. If you disobey the local authorities, you risk huge fines or worse.
 
And dare I even mention the shortages of certain items, like paper towels, toilet paper, and hand disinfectant. Could we have imagined anything like that happening in America? How many times have scoffers laughed at the preppers? But here we are, with millions of people unemployed, airports shut down, and our capitalist system in peril—all because of an invisible enemy we can’t see.
I’ve captioned this last month dozens of breaking news reports and updates at all levels of government, including Trump’s first major announcement concerning the coronavirus on Fox News. This is the world we live in right now, but it hits closer to home when your loved one or a dear friend is affected.
 
One of my friends has metastatic lung cancer. Her condition has deteriorated during the CV pandemic, and strict rules are in effect in Gainesville, Florida, regarding healthcare.
 
My good friend had a brain MRI set up to diagnose the progressing paralysis on her left side. She went for her appointment on a hot day in a hot car. When they took her temperature, it was 1/10 of a degree higher than the acceptable range for incoming patients. They sent her home under the pretense she might have coronavirus.
 
When she told me this, sorrow filled my heart. Our healthcare has been triaged so that those who are most in need of care might get passed over. With only a hundred cases of coronavirus in Alachua County and a vast medical complex that services the entire Southeast, my friend was sent home for fear of a virus that’s barely touched Alachua County. The authorities deemed the threat of coronavirus more concerning to the public than her precarious health condition requiring immediate care.
 
I asked her, “Do those people have a brain?” Of course, they have a brain, but her desperate situation was not considered urgent. That’s socialized medicine.
 
But really, that’s not the point of why I’m writing this piece. The coronavirus has brought darkness over our country. People are afraid. Doctors and nurses must abide by a set of rules put in place by the government. The government is telling healthcare workers to triage patients and send some home. Who could have imagined that a patient would be sent home because of a mild fever when she came in for an MRI appointment related to battling stage IV lung cancer? And I don’t need to ask, whoever thought a day would come when people wouldn’t be allowed to work?
 
As Jesus said over two thousand years ago, “…the night cometh, when no man can work.”
 
Often prophecies are cyclical. The stage has been set for additional fulfillment of this prophecy.  We are seeing the “birth pangs” that Jesus spoke of in the Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24-25. Jesus also specifically referred to pestilences in Luke 21:10-11 (American KJV): ”Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers’ places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.”
 
Notice what Jesus said, following pestilences are “fearful sights and great signs…from heaven.” Nobody that I’ve heard has suggested this might be referring to the rapture. When Jesus was taken into heaven, his disciples stood by and watched him disappear into the clouds. Imagine what a fearful sight that would be and a great sign from heaven. The fact that it directly follows “pestilences” in Jesus’ chronicle of events is worth noting. Could the rapture be sooner than any of us have anticipated?
 
The coronavirus has been a pestilence and fearful sight.  One only has to look at news from around the world to see how much fear it has evoked. One only needs to go on YouTube to see mass graves dug in other parts of the world, even in New York City. The lack of ventilators has created widespread fear. Seeing people wearing face masks has been shocking, while thousands are huddled in their homes to escape an invisible enemy for which there is no vaccine or cure. What could be more frightening? 
 
As I focused on Jesus’ words, “I must do the works of him that sent me while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work,” the Holy Spirit spoke to me about darkness. 
 
Last summer, My daughters and I went on a week-long cruise in the Western Caribbean. One of the places we took a shore excursion to was the Rio Secreto in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. At sixty-three years of age, I have to admit, the trek through the caverns of the underground river was challenging. My daughters handled it with ease, but I had to watch my steps using the makeshift cane they gave us. I was glad I wore a helmet in case I fell.
 
 
I thought it would be like a stroll in the park. It wasn’t. However, I’m glad I went. After a brief walk through a spectacular rainforest, we came to the entrance of the underground river. We entered the cold water with great caution. 
 
After about forty minutes of climbing over rocks and through fissures in the cave system, we came to a beautiful underground lake. The only light was from our helmet lights and flashlights. I still find it hard to believe that the Rio Secreto existed in total darkness for thousands of years before it was discovered in the early 2000s by cave explorers.
 
Then the guide told us to do something unusual. He asked us to turn off the headlamps and flashlights and to lie down in the water on our backs. When everyone had complied, we created a circular formation joining hands with the person next to us on both sides. The idea was for us to be at one with nature. The guide took a photo of us in the dark with only his flashlight on for dramatic effect.
Being one with nature was not what I experienced. I had left my glasses behind in a locker in case I fell. I didn’t want to lose the only ones I brought on the cruise. That was probably a mistake as I could have seen better with my glasses. 
 
As I lay on my back with the water lapping gently underneath me, staring up at the darkness, I grew nauseated. I tried closing my eyes, but that didn’t help.
 
After what seemed like an eon of time, unbeknownst to me, the lights came back on. I had shut my eyes to shut out the darkness, and when I opened them, I saw several hikers were already standing, and the cave was more lit than dark. I thought my nausea would quickly dissipate when I had light again, but it didn’t. 
 
Even when we exited the cave, in natural sunlight, my nausea continued. It lasted for an hour or more before finally going away.
 
I wondered for months why I got so dizzy and nauseous. Then someone pointed out to me, “It was because you had no sense of spatial awareness.” In everyday language, I didn’t have a plumb line. In complete darkness, I had no frame of reference, and it made me disoriented and nauseous.
 
When I think about that experience, more than just the darkness bothered me. I had no sense of anything—up, down, left, right, what was near me, what was far away. Nothing. God did not create us to live in darkness. He is a God of light. Indeed, He is the light. He is our plumb line. When we are in darkness, we are blinded by darkness because we can’t see anything, and that makes us sick.
 
Matthew 24:22 (NIV) states: “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect, those days will be shortened.” Could Jesus be referring here to another darkness that is coming, once again when people won’t be able to work? Or could He be referring to the darkness we are experiencing now? Certainly, the CV pandemic has put us in darkness, darkness about the future, and darkness sharing the Gospel.
 
This may be prescient of a future longer-lasting darkness where no one will be able to share the Good News of salvation or be about the Lord’s business. It’s easy to miss the flip side of Jesus’ words. If the days are shortened, that means the nights are longer—more darkness.
 
To quote John 9:4 again, Jesus said, “I must do the works of him that sent me, while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work.”
 
I have no doubt the day is coming when we won’t be able to witness, when we aren’t able to share our faith or do the works of the Lord. The world will be in darkness, without God’s light, because people will be blind, enveloped in the darkness of the prince of darkness that is soon coming.
 
God keeps bringing to my mind the word “occupy.” We don’t know how much time we have before the Lord’s return, but we are to occupy and be busy doing the Lord’s work until we aren’t able, just as Jesus said.
 
As an aside, and this is just a personal observation, the rapture could occur several years before the seven-year tribulation starts. As the Bible states, it will come at a time when it is not expected. Matthew 24:44 (NIV) says, “So you also must be ready because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
 
In the meantime, Christian writers need to be proclaiming salvation in their books. Speakers need to be sharing the Gospel from their platforms. Bloggers need to be writing blog posts about the Lord’s return, and Christian media producers need to be uploading Christian videos to YouTube while they still can. 
 
Censoring is happening even as I write this post. Christian materials are being removed from social platforms at an alarming rate. Even on Facebook and Twitter, Christians are being silenced.
 
Strangely, we can’t share the Gospel with our neighbors right now. We aren’t even supposed to enter their houses. It’s not just in America. Half of the world has been enveloped in this pandemic, and millions are holed up in their homes.
 
If you have not accepted Yeshua (Jesus Christ) as your Savior, today is the day of salvation. When night comes, it may be too late. You may not be able to get on the Internet. You may not be able to work. You might not even have food to eat. John 3:16 states (KJV): “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son so that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
 
At Christmas, just four months ago, no one could have imagined we would be engulfed in a global pandemic. I knew about the coronavirus in Wuhan from captioning RT News (American media did a poor job of covering it), but I never in my wildest dreams imagined that it would grip the whole world as it has.
 
Most of my broadcast captioning is sports-related, so my income has been affected. I wait for the pandemic to end, but I don’t wait in vain. I expectantly wait for God to bring good out of all of this, and I pray that God will heal our nation, bring revival, and turn many to the Lord.
 
Please join me in praying for those in authority over us, for those healthcare workers on the frontline battling this pandemic, and for wisdom for our leaders—not a socialist one-shoe-fits-all kind of wisdom, but the wisdom that comes from God.
 
Out of the darkness, God shines His light, giving us hope and guidance. We can become, once again, one nation under God. May God be glorified as we seek to be His servants in these last days until He calls us home. Let us work while we can before total darkness comes and the light of Jesus is extinguished. As long as God keeps us here, we are that light unto salvation. 
 

 

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“AND I WILL RESTORE TO YOU THE YEARS THE LOCUSTS HATH EATEN…” JOEL 2:25 (KJV): Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts

“I took away her dreams,” my husband told the judge. His words stung. My dreams of bearing children, finishing my college degree, and pursuing my goal of becoming a writer seemed impossible. At thirty, I had hit rock bottom and had to start over in a dead-end job I hated. Tears welled up as I wept bitterly.
 
Thirty-three years later, I thank God he did not save my marriage. As an abuse survivor, I learned to be kind to myself. Prayer and reading God’s Word helped me to heal. I discovered freedom through travel. I found new ways to earn my college degree and studied internationally. I eventually earned my Master of Arts in Creative Writing. 
 
I learned to keep a short memory. I overcame bitterness by developing a positive attitude. I discovered beauty because I chose to look for it. I learned to love better and adopted two beautiful little girls from Nepal and Vietnam. I homeschooled them and learned patience. I chose to forgive. I was most surprised to learn that locusts can only eat so much. Then they die.
 
With the wind at my back and the sand underneath my feet, I no longer lament the years the locusts stole from me. They aren’t worth remembering. Only my footprints remain for others to follow. 
 
Instead, I’m thankful. Nothing is ever wasted, especially suffering. By taking that first step towards renewal, we can share our victories despite our pain. Others will be encouraged when they see our footprints and know they aren’t alone.
 
 
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NEXT MAN UP – ARE YOU READY: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts

 
 

I’ve often thought one of the neatest things about sports is the parallel you can draw between sports and Christianity. So, to give a wonderful example of what I mean, last Saturday I captioned a college football game, Kennesaw State University versus Wofford.

One thing that made captioning this game unique is that I actually attended Kennesaw State University eons ago when I took a history class. I believe it was an American history class. I’ve always been a history buff even when I didn’t know I was one.

For those who aren’t familiar with Kennesaw State University, it’s located in Kennesaw, Georgia, about twenty miles north of Atlanta. The College has an enrollment of about 30,000 students and the football team, known as the Owls, is a recent entry into the Big South Conference.

Last Saturday the Owls and the Wofford Terriers squared off in the first round of the FCS playoffs. I’ve captioned hundreds of games in every sport imaginable over the past twenty years, but midway through the second quarter, the ordinary game became extraordinary—at least for me.

Tommy Bryant, Kennesaw State’s star quarterback, suffered an injury and had to leave the game. Tommy had played every second of every game for the entire season. Jonathan Murphy, the backup quarterback, had not taken a single snap. For twelve games, he sat on the sidelines and watched.

I’d seen this scenario dozens of times before. A team works their tails off to make it to the playoffs only to have their star player go down, and their dreams of winning a championship go down with him.

So, I didn’t expect this game to be any different. Oftentimes, in the first possession, the team panics, fumbles the ball, and the opponent gets possession and runs it down the field for a touchdown.

But not this time. This unknown, backup quarterback came in and took over like he had been playing all season and led Kennesaw State to a 28-21 playoff victory. In the process, Jonathan set several records, including running for 206 yards, the most by a quarterback in conference playoff history.

As I captioned the game, I began to think about that young man, Jonathan Murphy. The Owls played their first game against Point University on August 31. From August 31 to November 30, Jonathan watched from the sidelines. Every week for three months he practiced with his team knowing that the chances of even entering the game were slim but also knowing he had to be ready if called upon at a moment’s notice. If Tommy Bryant became sick or injured, Jonathan Murphy was the next man up.

Week after week he practiced.

I never participated in sports at that level when I was young, but my daughter competed for years in gymnastics. From a distance, I could imagine the time Jonathan spent conditioning and practicing. I know the sacrifice it takes, the perseverance, and the determination to be the best.

I don’t know if I could be that self-sacrificing for my team. I’d want to be in the game. Maybe I might work hard for the first month, but surely toward the end of the season, I’d be depressed. Maybe I’d lose interest. But not Jonathan Murphy. He was ready.

Inspiration and insight came to me when the game was over. Is the Christian life not like that? We go for periods of time without trials or tribulations. Life is good. And then something happens, and life is not good. Life is hard. Are we ready when those times come?

I like the New Heart English Bible Translation of 2 Timothy 4:2: “Proclaim the word, be urgent in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with all patience and teaching.”

It’s not enough to just be ready when God calls us to step up—we need to be spectacularly ready, just like Jonathan Murphy when he came on the field and led his team to victory.

Is God worth it? Can we sit on the sidelines, tempted to think God doesn’t need us? Perhaps we slack off on our daily Bible reading, or we quit talking to God. Maybe we become a little worldly in our thoughts, or we lose that fire in our belly for the things of God. Are we willing to diligently work hard for Christ even if we don’t get noticed?

Sometimes, when I’m working on a book, I wonder if anyone will ever read my book. I remind myself when the evil one gets in my ear, “I write for an audience of one.”

In my twenty years of captioning, I don’t believe I have ever seen a young man come into a game like that, who had not played all season, and play so brilliantly. If anything, his poise and readiness inspired me to look into my heart and tell God, “I want to be that person for you, to be ready at a moment’s notice if called upon, always proclaiming Your Word in season and out of season, living my life for you, even when life is dull.

Let’s face it, most of life is pretty ordinary, but we never know when God will call us from the sidelines to be His man or woman of the hour. You or I might just be God’s next man up. I pray that I’ll be ready.

You can read more of Lorilyn Roberts’ blogposts at LorilynRoberts.com

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ETERNAL REFLECTIONS: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts

 

Why do you suppose in our soul as we age we don’t feel older?
Our bodies do, but our minds can go back to when we were young
and we can remember things like it was yesterday.
It makes you wonder if it’s because our souls
are eternal and God made us to live forever with Him 

— Lorilyn Roberts  October 18, 2019

 

Juneau, Alaska

 

☦☦☦☦☦☦☦☦☦☦☦☦

Be inspired…

 

Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska

 

Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska

 

Juneau, Alaska
Juneau, Alaska
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THE STORY BEHIND REAR GUARD PUBLISHING: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts

 

Shortly before I was diagnosed with breast cancer, during my quiet time, I had jotted down in my journal notebook Is 58:8 (New Living Translation):
“Then your salvation will come like the dawn
and your wounds will quickly heal
Your godliness will lead you forward
and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.
Another translation (New King James Version) renders it:
Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Today in my quiet time, I came across another passage alluding to God being our “rear guard.” I read in Isaiah 52:12 (King James Version):
For you shall not go out with haste,
Nor go by flight.’
For the Lord will go
Before you,
And the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
Back in 2017, when I stumbled upon those words in my journal, I was quite stunned by their prophetic implications.
 
I wrote them on the gray cardboard in the back of my journal so I could go back to the passage later. I didn’t know the significance of what I wrote when I wrote it, and I had no memory of writing it after my double mastectomy—or now. 

I claimed that passage throughout my one-year cancer battle that included surgery, proton therapy, chemo infusions, and reconstruction. I found great comfort knowing that God, in my words, “had my back.” I didn’t need to worry, He was protecting me, my wounds would quickly heal, and my godliness would lead me forward.

I knew whatever godliness I had was from God, so my belief at the time was that God would give me more holiness because His glory would protect me. When you face a cancer diagnosis, especially one as daunting as mine, you want all the protection from your heavenly Father that He gives you.
 
I’m now a two-year cancer survivor. Two people who went through treatment at the same time as me are no longer with us. I struggled with that at first. Psychologists call it “survivor guilt,” until God said to me, “They finished the job I gave to them. You aren’t done.”
 
I’ve thought about that since wondering what God has for me in the future. I finished the six-book Seventh Dimension Series in June. God made it clear to me that was a priority, and I’ve written a creative nonfiction novelette that will be published later this year. I’ve submitted it to the Tapestry Word Weavers Awards, and I am waiting to see if I won. I haven’t ruled out the possibility of sending it to a traditional Christian publisher.
 
Recently, I did some editing for a prominent Australian pastor, and when he paid me through Paypal, he was surprised by my corporation name—Roberts Court Reporters. He wanted to make sure it was me. About the same time, my representative from Lightning Source, one of my two publishers, said I would have a better chance of getting my books into bookstores if I had a publishing house associated with my name.
 
When I hear comments like that from two sources within a few days of each other, I have to stop and think—is God telling me something?
 
As I write this, I’ve now officially changed my corporation name in the State of Florida to “Rear Guard Publishing.” At first, I knew I couldn’t use a name that someone else had already claimed. I didn’t want it to be overtly “Christian” as I didn’t know what direction God was leading me, and I didn’t want to limit myself to children, YA, adult, fiction, or nonfiction. 
 
Roberts Court Reporters didn’t meet my current situation at all. I let my licensure lapse about a year ago because I hadn’t taken a deposition in over twenty years, and it was another expense that served no purpose except to boost my ego. It only took me about five minutes to come up with the name as I remembered the quote God had given me in Isaiah 58:8.
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Despite all the mistakes we make, God gives us “a future and a hope.” Even now, God is my Rear Guard, encouraging me to look ahead. Does God want me to write articles, write for the secular market, or ghostwrite? Should I continue to blog—which I love, or does God want me to focus on copyediting?  Or, should I keep on the steady course of broadcast captioning until a robot replaces me? I wait, expectantly, for God’s reply.
 
I’ve spent the last nine years writing books, and at times, the lack of sales has been discouraging. As a for-profit business, sooner or later, the IRS expects you to make a profit. Reflecting on that, I sometimes wonder, when does that intersection happen?  Perhaps it never will. Before I get too sad, I remind myself, “I write for an audience of one.” When I stand before God, He will examine how well I lived my life for Him, not how successful the world says I am.
 
One thing I know for sure: God has called me to write. I’m an author, and whatever form that takes, God has my back. He holds my future—just as He holds yours.

 

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THERE SHALL BE TWO MEN IN ONE BED: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts


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Luke 17:34 reads: “…in that night there shall be two men in one bed; one will be taken and the other will be left.” Recently I read that verse and I needed to think about it. Why did I not remember reading that before? Something seemed unnatural to me about it. When has it been a norm that two men sleep in one bed? Could that passage be signifying another sign of the end times—that it would be natural for men to have unnatural sleeping relations?
 
The passage disturbed me so much I went to a King James Bible published in the late 1800s to make sure the passage read the same way. To see God’s unchanging Word from a Bible over a hundred years old reminded me that no matter how much things around us change, God’s Word is unchanging.
In the last days, God has promised to reveal himself to those who are wise. When Jesus came the first time, he physically opened the eyes of the blind and shut the eyes of those who refused to receive him—the lost sheep of Israel. As the return of Jesus nears, discernment will be given to those who have the Holy Spirit. Their eyes will be opened.
Recently I watched a Youtube video, and a pastor made the same observation—he did not remember that verbiage. He wondered if it could be because of the Mandela effect—an event where many people incorrectly remember something from the past in the same way. 
 
 
 
Perhaps people had misremembered that verse. However, if God’s Word is unchanging, it must be because our eyes have been given more discernment.
In the United States, as of 2015, all fifty states allowed same-sex marriage. The boundaries between right and wrong and pure and profane have become blurred. In the Scriptures, profane usually refers to unnatural sexual relations.
2 Peter 3:3 states: …there shall come in the last days scoffers walking after their own lusts.”  The question becomes if two homosexual men are in one bed and one man is taken and the other is left, why would God take one and not the other? 2 Cor 5:21 states, “For our sake he made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Homosexuality is not the unpardonable sin.
Luke 17:34 gives much insight into what the world will be like before the return of Jesus. His shed blood has freed us from the bondage of homosexuality and many other sins the Bible says will be rampant in the last days. 
 
 
Click to Tweet:  I always remember, the deeper my own sin, the greater the opportunity for God to show his amazing grace to me—and that same grace is available to all who repent and ask for forgiveness. 

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BELIEVING LIES OF THE DEVIL – DID POPE FRANCIS REALLY SAY THAT: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts

 

Many years ago I watched a movie about a pastor who did not believe in the infallible Word of God. The passages he deemed irrelevant he instructed his congregation to cut out of their Bible. By the end of the movie, the Bible was in rags, and when trials and tribulations came, those divinely-inspired passages that the people needed were no longer in their Bibles. If my pastor said during a Sunday morning sermon, “I think this Bible passage is wrong and I will change it to…” I’d be looking for another church.
 
In fact, anyone who tells me the Scriptures are flawed is not someone from whom I would seek counsel. We can only see through a glass darkly now, and while there are many things I don’t fully understand, I know God will make it all clear on the last day.
 
While the movie was a fictional example of how the serpent can cause deception in a leader’s understanding of Scripture, it’s even more treacherous when the leader is the head of the Roman Catholic Church and 1.2 billion Catholics. I’m referring to Pope Francis’s recent approval of the changing of the translation of the Lord’s Prayer given to us in Matt 6:13 and Luke 11:4: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil…”
 
To quote Pope Francis: “A father [doesn’t lead his children into temptation]. A father helps you to get up immediately. It’s Satan who leads us into temptation. That’s his department.” The Pope’s new rendition of the Lord’s prayer to His followers is: “Do not let us fall into temptation.”
 
This stunning proclamation by Pope Francis leads to other significant questions that are at the core of the Gospel. Would a perfectly loving and Holy Father offer up His only begotten Son to be tortured, crucified, and killed as a sacrifice for humankind? Or what about when God commanded Abraham to offer up his only son Isaac as a sin offering?  
 
What kind of example is Pope Francis setting when he says the Bible needs to be changed to comport with his understanding of what Jesus meant?
 
https://amzn.to/2RDBYLG
Steve Cioccolanti states in his new book The Divine Code, A Prophetic Encyclopedia of Numbers, Volume 1 (Discover Media 2009-2019), “The devil knows that the worst thing he can do to you is to make you reject God’s Word and believe a lie instead (ch. 4).”
 
Examples abound in the Bible where Satan succeeded in his deception. Perhaps the most well known is in Genesis 2:17. The serpent asked Eve, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?’”
 
In another example where Satan failed, he misquoted Scripture when he tried to tempt Jesus three times in the wilderness. Jesus countered the serpent’s false accusations by proclaiming, “It is written…”
 
Steve Cioccolanti goes on to say, “There is really nothing for the believer to worry [about] once he or she knows his or her authority in Christ and uses the Name of Jesus in prayer (ch 4). ‘If you abide in my word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:31-32).’”
 
Romans 10:3 tells us we do not know the righteousness that comes from God and therefore we seek to establish our own. Isaiah 40:8 states: “…the word of our God shall stand forever,” and to quote Steve Cioccolanti in The Divine Code once again, “Jesus promised us victory over every stronghold not by praying against devils, but by putting God’s Word first (ch 4).”
 
The most precious thing we can touch and hold in our hands this side of eternity is God’s Word. Matthew 24:35 states, “Heaven and earth shall away, but my words shall not pass away.” By believing the Scriptures, all of them, even those parts we may not fully understand, we can escape any attempt by the devil to reject or retranslate God’s Word in a way we find palatable.
 
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions” (2 Tim 4:3).
The Lord’s prayer means exactly what it says: “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” We can rest assured that whatever temptation we face, God will provide “the way of escape, that we may endure it” (I Cor 10:13).

 

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“HE SAYS, ‘BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD’” PSALM 46:10 (NIV): Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts

As I was prepped for my third round of proton therapy treatment, I reached up to grab the bars overhead. Once I was positioned, the technician said, “Don’t move.” He closed the treatment room door, and I waited for the cancer-killing machine to start. The equipment started and stopped over and over. My arms became spastic and tired. When the machine finally finished, I broke into tears. I hadn’t moved for two hours. Later, my daughter dropped off some cards from friends to encourage me. Among the cards was a Bible verse: “Be still and know that I am God.”

Click to Tweet Click to Tweet http://bit.ly/LR-BeStill While I never had to stay immobile for that long again, the discipline of being still showed me how difficult it can be in times of stress and uncertainty. #devotional #blogger

However, if we are still, God won’t need to shout to get our attention. We’ll hear his counsel even if he whispers to us in prayer or boldly speaks to us through others. When we have moments of quietness, we’re less likely to become overly distracted by the busyness of life. Being still and waiting on God will also help to prevent us from making costly mistakes.

Because the tyranny of the urgent will consume us if we let it, we need to allow times of rest and relaxation. Many things can lead us astray or encroach on our lives unnecessarily. Quiet moments allow us to recharge—and that helps to keep us healthy, less stressed, and more content. 

Prayer:  Dear Father, help us to be still when we need to be still, ready to serve when we need to serve, and the wisdom to know the difference.

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AND I WILL RESTORE TO YOU THE YEARS THAT THE LOCUSTS HATH EATEN: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts

 “And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten…” Joel 2:25 (KJV)

 
“I took away her dreams,” my husband told the judge. His words stung. My dreams of bearing children, finishing my college degree, and pursuing my goal of becoming a writer seemed impossible. At thirty, I hit rock bottom and started over in a dead-end job I hated. Tears welled up as I wept bitterly.
 
Thirty-three years later, I thank God he did not save my marriage. As an abuse survivor, I learned to be kind to myself. Prayer and reading God’s Word helped me to heal. I discovered freedom through travel. I found new ways to earn my college degree and studied internationally. I eventually earned my Master of Arts in Creative Writing. I learned to keep a short memory. I overcame bitterness by developing a positive attitude. I discovered beauty because I chose to look for it. I learned to love better and adopted two beautiful little girls from Nepal and Vietnam. I homeschooled them and learned patience. I chose to forgive. I was most surprised to learn that locusts can only eat so much. Then they die.
 
 
With the wind at my back and the sand underneath my feet, I no longer lament the years the locusts stole from me. They aren’t worth remembering. Only my footprints remain for others to follow. Instead, I’m thankful. Nothing is ever wasted, especially suffering. By taking that first step toward healing, we can share our victories despite our pain. Others will be encouraged when they see our footprints and know someone has gone before. 
 
Prayer:  Loving Father, help us to follow your footprints in the sand as we leave our own, forgetting the past and looking forward to the future.

 

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KNOWLEDGE SHALL BE INCREASED: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts


“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: …and knowledge shall be increased.” Daniel 12:4 (KJV)

“…and knowledge shall be increased.” The amount of information available at our fingertips has exploded in the last few years. Scientists tell us until the early 1900s, knowledge was doubling every hundred years. At the end of 1945, that rate had increased to every twenty-five years. In today’s world, thanks to the Internet, the doubling of knowledge happens in as little as twelve hours.

 Examples of the exponential increase in technology are endless. The Chinese robot, Sophia, is the most advanced robot ever created. We ask Seri and Alexa questions as if they were human and smarter than we are. 

No more do we need wires running through our house to connect us to the other side of the world. We have wireless. We can call anywhere for free—or send an email or enjoy videos and jpegs on social networking sites from Antarctica to Timbuktu. 

This expansion of knowledge is linked to the Worldwide Web. Scientists predict every place on earth will be connected by the super-information highway in the next few years.


The three “W’s” in Worldwide Web are represented by the letter Vav in Hebrew, and it is the sixth letter in the Hebrew alphabet. Is there any coincidence that WWW, the symbol for the Worldwide Web, becomes 666 when switched to a numerical value in Hebrew? Because the number one source of information today is shared on a platform symbolized in Hebrew by 666, interesting questions arise. To quote Sir Francis Bacon, “information is power.” 

Most Christians know the number 666 is associated with the most powerful ruler that will walk the earth. He will control the information highway, including all buying and all selling. Those who want to survive will be forced to receive his mark on their right hand or forehead. Satan’s deception will come through this lawless one as well as others because they will not know the knowledge of the Holy One. The minds of unbelievers will be blinded, and because of hardened hearts, God will send a strong delusion that, if it were possible, could deceive even the elect.

 Too many will believe what is false. Too many will reject the truth because they prefer pleasure in unrighteousness. We are already seeing that today, and things will only get worse. Some will be enticed away from God because of their own lusts. Others will not be willing to endure sound teaching. We live in a “me-my-mine” world, where people believe they are entitled, are easily offended, and self-indulgent, where truth is relative and moral values reversed. Evil is called good and good is called evil.

Despite the chaos that is coming, God’s definition of knowledge in Daniel 12:8 is a different kind of knowledge that will increase, a knowledge that will fill the minds of Christ followers with understanding that far surpasses the knowledge of the heathen, knowledge far more significant and compelling than what can be found on the Worldwide Web.
When the Bible refers to “knowledge” in Daniel 12:5, the context does not refer to man’s knowledge bolstered by artificial intelligence or a beast system that’s coming. God’s promises include discernment that will help us to know the difference between real news and fake news, what’s right and what’s wrong, absolute truth and relative truth, and the difference between good and evil.

God created good and evil. He put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden. Just as Adam and Eve were tested, a time of testing is coming upon us, to separate the wheat from the tares—those who love the truth from those who love the darkness.

Where evil abounds, God abounds more. All manner of wisdom in the form of art and craftsmanship will be magnified. God only requires our complete obedience. By faithfully following our Lord and Savior, we can understand all knowledge and all mysteries.
No matter how dire the circumstances, the Word of the Lord is forever. God’s wisdom is sweet, like manna from heaven. Knowledge of the Lord will be as the waters cover the sea, and everything hidden will be revealed. We can take heart that those who love Jesus and are called according to his purpose will be full of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, from now until eternity.


You can read more of Lorilyn Roberts’ blogposts at LorilynRoberts.com

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WHAT NO EYE HAS SEEN: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts


“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him.”—I Cor 2:9
 
 
 
Many years ago I traveled to Nepal to adopt my first child. Nepal, located between India and China, is one of the poorest countries in the world. I had waited many years to become a mother, and now as a single woman, I felt God leading me to adopt a three-year-old girl. Her mother had died and her father was unable to provide for her.
 
I arrived in Kathmandu trusting God to lead the way. I was sure He would go before me, and I had no reason to doubt I would go home with my new daughter. But after two weeks of bureaucratic delays and attempted bribery, the adoption was denied. My hope that God would give me a daughter seemed impossible now despite my prayers and those of my friends. After spending hours in a remote village in Nepal, I headed back to Kathmandu, lifting my sorrowful pleas before God. Was there any way to reverse what seemed like a final decision?
 
A pastor of a local church in Kathmandu had been helping me, and he had an idea—that we would appeal directly to the Home Minister. Only he and the Prime Minister had the authority to reverse the decision that had been made against me.
 
That day arrived. We took a taxi to the courthouse, and I waited outside and prayed as my friend went in to meet the Home Minister. Within a few minutes, the decision was reversed, allowing me to adopt Manisha. I praised God for touching the Home Minister’s heart. I had no doubt, without God’s intervention, I never would have become a mother.
 
 
 
A flurry of activity followed to get all the paperwork completed to bring her back to the United States. On one of the many trips we made through the Himalayan Mountains, I was sitting in the van with Manisha waiting for Pastor Silas to finish up inside. It was quiet and cool as the sun hung high in the sky, and I was struck by the immense beauty all around us. The mountains seemed to reach up into the heavens and touch the throne room of God.
 
The passage came to mind as I was admiring God’s splendor:  “…no eye has seen.. no ear has heard…no human mind has conceived  the things God has prepared for those who love Him.”
 
I felt caught up to heaven at that moment anticipating the greater eternal home that awaited us when we would walk with Jesus and live with Him forever when there would be no bureaucratic red tape or governmental bribery or endless forms to fill out; where God’s love would be known in the remotest regions of the world, and we would see all of God’s majesty and splendor that we can only dimly imagine now.
 
 
 
In reflective moments, I’ve thought about that experience many times. Recently, however, God revealed to me something I failed to grasp. That vision wasn’t for heaven—it was for the earth. God was showing me my future.
 
As I thought about God’s glory that day, I failed to see His glory revealed in me—the joy of adopting not one daughter but two, returning two decades later and bringing Christian books to Nepal, working as a kitchen helper at a camp for kids in Juneau, Alaska; visiting inmates in prison and giving them hundreds of books to review for Christian authors; donating devotional books to an organization helping women caught up in the sex trafficking trade—God had plans I couldn’t have fathomed at that time.
 
While it’s exciting to think about what awaits us on the other side, God gives us gifts and talents in furtherance of His kingdom here. People need the Lord—the rich, the poor, the downtrodden the homeless, the drug-addicted, the businessman, and the nomads in Africa. The needs are great and the workers are few.
 
God gives us inspiring examples of people in the Bible who were just like us. People no one would have guessed were destined for greatness in the kingdom of God. Moses was a young baby left in some reed bushes in the Nile River. Joseph was sold into slavery and spent years behind prison walls. Esther was orphaned and hid her identity to protect her adoptive family from persecution. Ruth had no Jewish lineage but became the bloodline for the King of kings.
 
These mighty men and women are only a sampling of those God used. They simply loved God and served Him.
 
We are God’s workmanship, His hands, and His feet. We are His heart in a world becoming more and more godless and more corrupt, where good is seen as evil and evil is seen as good. Jesus told His followers, “Pick up your cross and follow me.”
 
God has given us gifts to serve Him in His kingdom here. He has knitted us together to love, teach, admonish, and encourage, and He wants us to share His artistry that moves hearts and souls. Jesus prepared the way so that others could see His glory in us.
 
What gift has God given you? Use it. What calling has God put on your heart? Pray about it. What longing keeps you awake at night? Ask God to fulfill those desires. What inspires you to be more like Christ? Study His character. What grieves your soul? Ask God to show you wisdom—what can you do to make a difference? What grieves our hearts grieves the heart of God even more.
 
Until God’s work is done, we can’t escape the tares of sin, but we can work towards sharing His kingdom with others. Christ’s body is a formidable weapon, and He works through imperfect people like you and me. His vision is beyond measure, His dreams outlandish, and His redemption incalculable. God has destined all those who love Him with a destiny we can’t imagine. If you hear His clarion call and long to see His glory in your life, don’t delay in responding. No bribes, scandals, or sin can hold back His kingdom here for those who want to serve Him.

 
To read my award-winning memoir, visit:  http://bit.ly/lpcod
 
To read more of Lorilyn Roberts’ blogposts, go to LorilynRoberts.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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MOSES SPOKE OF THE RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD – ALLUDING TO YESHUA: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts

See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live forever…Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people (Deut 32:39-40; Deut. 32:43).

Have you ever wondered if there was a reference in the Old Testament to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ? I came across this passage in Deuteronomy 32:39-40 and 32:43 while researching time reversals in the Bible for Seventh Dimension – The Howling.

www.arkcode.com (no longer available on the web) talks about in Resurrection and Possible Reversal of Time how God reversed the position of the sun by ten degrees in the Bible, which refers to the sundial (steps) of Ahaz. 

Most of the information in this article is way out of my comfort zone as I’m not a mathematician, but the reference to Deuteronomy was enlightening. Even in the Old Testament, God gave hints to a coming resurrection. In verse 43, He alludes to His return as the Messiah, to avenge the blood of His servants, render vengeance on His adversaries, and that He would be merciful unto His land and to His people.

Jesus will not return until the Jews, His chosen, recognize Him as their Messiah. As we near the days of the Tribulation, I’m always looking for passages in the Old Testament that are relevant to His return, particularly in the Torah. 

Interestingly, this passage also infers that no one can take away those whom God has called, that Yeshua lifted up His hands on the cross (death) and that His human life was swallowed up in victory (eternal life).

I look forward to the day when one-third of the Jews will come to know Yeshua as their personal Savior (Zech 13:9). Today is the day of Salvation. Don’t delay if you haven’t accepted Jesus into your heart.

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BEING A MOTHER REMINDS ME OF THE TRINITY: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts

 

With my younger daughter, Joy

 

Being a mother reminds me of the Trinity. I could never be a mother without a child to love. In the same way, God could never display His unconditional love unless He was in fellowship with the Son. Only through sacrificial love could God’s ultimate Glory be revealed, and that required a relationship with His Beloved Son. And now we are all His Adopted Sons and Daughters through the Holy Spirit. Three in One.
Without children, much of God’s love would have dried up in my heart, never to be shared. How much less God’s Glory would have been appreciated by me. My daughters would never have known God’s love through a young woman, abandoned and rejected, too young to be left childless, too full of promise to be left without Hope, and too hopeful to be left without Joy.

Thank goodness God uses flawed, imperfect human beings

I hate to think how empty my life would have been without my two beautiful daughters. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, friends and family, who prayed for me every step of the way to Nepal and Vietnam. And I thank our Heavenly Father for adopting us into His Forever Family. Eternity awaits.

 

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THE FOOL SAYS IN HIS HEART, THERE IS NO GOD: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts

The fool has said in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt,
They have done abominable works,
There is none who does good.
 
The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men,
To see if there are any who understand, who seek God,
They have all turned aside,
They have together become corrupt;
There is none who does good,
No, not one.
 
Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge,
Who set up my people as they eat bread,
And do not call on the Lord?
There they are in great fear,
For God is with the generation of the righteous.
You shame the counsel of the poor,
But the Lord is his refuge.
 
Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion!
When the Lord brings back the captivity of His people,
Let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.
(Psalm 14, NSV translation)
 
 
 
After I finished my breast cancer treatment in October, one of the commitments I made was to read the Bible in a year. I have only done it once before many years ago, and I felt like God wanted me to do it again. After three months, I am discovering many surprises I didn’t expect.
 
For example, I am further along in my walk with God now than when I read the entire Bible before. I know more, and I’m in a different place spiritually. Things jump out at me that I’m sure I read through before without understanding the deeper meaning.
 
While I was accustomed to reading the Bible on an almost daily basis, I tended to read my favorite passages and those to which I felt drawn. I’ve rediscovered a vast treasure trove of books and stories and life lessons I either never knew or didn’t remember. How exciting it’s been to see the things God is showing me.
 
For example, Psalm 14, I used to wonder what it meant when it says in the above passage, “They have all turned aside. Together they have become corrupt. There is no one who does good, not even one.”
 
Is that really true? Does no one do good? Perhaps taking it out of context that would seem to be what God is saying, but put into proper context, I realize now this Psalm is apocalyptic. It’s referring to the time at the end of the tribulation when God’s people have been removed or put into a place of protection, and the earth-dwellers who remain are wicked and corrupt.
 
The last paragraph is especially gripping to me: “Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion!  When the LORD restores His captive people…”
 
What is so amazing is that God restored the Jews to the land of Israel in unbelief, and David is crying out to God, “Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion!” We know that salvation came out of Zion through the death and resurrection of Yeshua Hamashiach, the Messiah.
 
The Bible says in Zechariah 13:8-9: “It will come about in all the land,” declares the LORD, “That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; but the third will be left in it. And I will bring the third part through the fire, refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ And they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’”…
 
Because my salvation journey began in elementary school with some classmates who were almost all Jewish (I was jealous for their God), I’ve always had a passion to reach the Jews with the message that Yeshua is their Messiah. Many Jews are looking for Him, especially the mystics because they can read the signs and they know the Scriptures. They just don’t realize it is His second coming that’s on the horizon, not His first.
I also believe that percentage-wise, more Jews will be saved than Gentiles in those last days. One-third of Israel, the Bible says, will come to know Yeshua as the Messiah shortly before His return. From what Psalm 14 says, it might be an even smaller percentage for the Gentiles.
 
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” How many times have we heard that in the news? How many times have Christians been mocked? Even if the earth-dwellers don’t say it outwardly, we know them by their works. And it will get worse, but there is Good News.
 
“For God is with the righteous generation” – Whether that means God will protect the righteous in the last days or that they will be removed, I’m not sure, but I believe it indicates there will be a tremendous revival before His return. I am praying for the church to wake up and realize that the time is now.
 

 

 
God has spoken two things to me:  Be bold and share the Gospel. A sense of urgency speaks to my heart. I plan on writing more blog posts where I share my testimony and what God is teaching me. I hope readers will be encouraged to read the Bible each day, remembering that God has something to speak specifically to you and to me. Oh, that we would crave to hear His voice!
 
You can read more of Lorilyn Roberts’ blogposts at LorilynRoberts.com
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WHAT IF I HAD TRIED HARDER: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts


“……My husband divorced me two years into his medical residency and married the radiation therapy tech who carried his child. She gave birth two weeks following the signing of the divorce papers at the courthouse. October 15, 1985, until recently, was etched in my memory as the worst day of my life. It was the day that my dreams of motherhood ended and the day that doomed me to court reporting forever. Depression was my comforter back then……”

Deborah Malone, an author friend of mine, has a blog Where Hope Blooms. She featured me for Christmas on how I’ve dealt with some of the hard places in my life. I share the link here to the whole article. I hope you find Christmas Ornaments from Christmas Past uplifting and inspirational.




 

 

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BREAST CANCER: TENTH TAXOL TREATMENT AND GOD STILL HAS MY BACK: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts

 
 
I had my tenth Taxol treatment today and all my numbers were normal! The PA said up to 85% of patients have neuropathy and is amazed I haven’t had anything. I continue to praise God and give Him the glory. I think the cold gloves are also helping, although, to be honest, it’s torture wearing them.

Food still tastes good also, which is a bonus. I’m wearing the arm sleeve through chemo treatment as the physical therapist said it would help to prevent lymphedema. I use it with captioning – most of the time. It’s very hot to wear in Florida. The radiation will increase the risk of lymphedema, so I need to do what I can now to prevent it.

Only six more chemo treatments. Two Taxols followed by four Adriamycin and Cytoxan. The Adriamycin doesn’t cause neuropathy, so I should not have to worry about that once I finish the Taxol until I start radiation. But Adriamycin can cause LOTS of other problems.
 
Joy drew this for me for Mother’s Day during chemo treatment
 
In the meantime, I feel attacks in other areas. I’ve had major on-air tech issues while captioning, things becoming strangely unplugged, communication issues with printer and computer, that suddenly start working after many many attempts, iCap issues with audio (I heard I’m not the only one with this one), incredibly slow issues with my internet provider, computer lock-up, captioning software lock-up, and I’ve had disappearing files (never happened) requiring me to rewrite shows that I’ve cleaned for repeat shows. and a couple of brain-freeze things.

I came back from the infusion today and went to sleep for three hours, turning on my alarm to wake me up before MLB captioning. I woke up, looked at the clock, and it said 7. I thought it was the morning and didn’t remember why I set the alarm, so I turned it off. I woke up at ten till 8 pm. I went on the air at 8. Well, that’s a terrible thing to do. So I worry about stuff like this.

My car is also on the fritz. I’m pretty sure it’s the transmission. I had it repaired once which cost $3,000 about five years ago. How much more money should I put into it with 230,000 miles? Last year I lost a few thousand because a company ripped me off. I was fixing to file a lawsuit with their corporate offices when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, so I ended up settling out of court with their corporate offices for $2,000, but I gave half that money to a retired lawyer friend that got my car fixed.

Otherwise, I would have been forced to buy another car because of the shop’s malpractice. The worst part is my car was unreliable and broke down all over town the entire summer as we tried to figure out what the auto store did to it. We did find everything they screwed up and fixed it, but I just can’t go through the stress this summer of an unreliable car when I’m dealing with cancer treatment.

Another prayer request. In my last post, I loaded an excerpt from The Prescience and sent a copy of it to a good author friend in Indonesia who is involved in Muslim-Christian relations as a missionary. He pretty much ripped apart my chapter, and, to be honest, I think he’s right. So I spent hours reworking it and then got another email from a good author friend in England who loved it. So then I questioned if maybe I should rethink everything. Both authors had great insights, and they aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive, in some respects, so please pray for me to find the balance I need in this chapter.
 
I continue to keep my eyes on Jesus, knowing He is the Author and my Redeemer. I have to remember that all redemption may not occur in this life. But I also know Hope never disappoints, and the Comforter’s ways are better than mine. So with prayers and God’s wisdom, I hope to beat every attack on me and give God the glory. He is teaching me many things through all of these struggles, and that brings me supernatural joy.

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BREAST CANCER: HOW WE SHOULD VIEW OUR BODIES: Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts

 

My comments were made in reference to the link below.  Confessions and Lessons by R.K. Patel

If you would prefer just to read my comments, I have copied and pasted them here.

As someone who just had a double mastectomy for breast cancer and undergoing breast reconstruction, I now have a new appreciation for my body. Like you (R.K. Patel, see article referenced), I had been critical of myself, and I have many scars also. It’s strange now that I don’t have my old breasts, while I’m thankful for the fake ones, I wish they were real.


Sometimes we don’t appreciate what we have until we don’t have that thing anymore, 
like good health. Cancer takes that away, especially when you are late stage. Now, I’m thankful for what God has given me, and I’m taking better care of my body, like eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. I’m making the time for a healthy lifestyle. 


The one thing I would add is that the Bible says our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, it’s incumbent to take better care of it so that the Holy Spirit can thrive. When we take better care of our physical bodies, we feel better spiritually and mentally. We make better choices. We live better, and since we aren’t running out of gas, so to speak, pulling ourselves down with negative thoughts and critical beliefs about ourselves, we have more to give to others. We will love better. We live out of abundance, not limited by our own personal needs.

Boundaries are important also. With healthy boundaries, we will know what we are comfortable with, and we won’t compare ourselves to others. Our bodies are holy, so we should be holy, in all our ways. When we do that, we will glorify God, and that should be our highest calling.

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