The Vitamin We Need to Live…Eternally!

The other day, a friend of mine sent me a link to a video about COVID-19 and Vitamin D.  In this video, Idaho doctor Ryan Cole tells his audience Vitamin D helps prevent the common cold, COVID-19, and even death. You see, every cell of the human body has receptors for Vitamin D. Every single cell needs one thing, the same thing: Vitamin D. And where does Vitamin D come from? The light that shines on the people of the earth: the sun.

So, what does this have to do with living eternally? Well, Vitamin D, or lack of it, could lead one to death. In the same way, a lack of Jesus will lead us to death, and not one in paradise! He saved us from eternal damnation. He is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father (God) in heaven except through Him. Jesus, in a sense, is our spiritual Vitamin D! Every cell of our bodies needs Him. Without Him, we cannot enter the gates of heaven someday, as we are sinners. Jesus was the only perfect person to walk the face of the earth. He was sent to this world to teach us about God, how to live, and heaven. He performed miracles, healed the sick, and changed lives. Jesus was and still is the “nutrient” we need for a purpose-filled life and a future with Him in paradise when we die.

Scientists tell us how Vitamin D helps our health. The Bible tells us how Jesus helps our souls. On the last day of His life, Jesus offered himself as a sacrifice, like a Passover lamb, to pay the price for our sins. That selfless act of surrender, the torturous beating that occurred, the painful carrying of the heavy wooden beam, the excruciating suffering of His flesh hanging by nails on the cross, and finally death, is what gave the generations the right to enter the Kingdom of God one day.

How do we get this nutrient, this Jesus-brand of Vitamin D? It’s simple. Look at Romans 10:9-10 in the Bible:

“Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”

Confess Jesus is Lord + Believe God raised Him from the dead = Receive Salvation

When Jesus died on the cross, He made our salvation possible. When we accept Him, we are saved from going to Hell. It is as easy as taking a vitamin, like Vitamin D! From then on, the Son of God will continue to shine down on us like the sun in the sky. We absorb the goodness He radiates into every cell of our bodies. This protects us from the evil one until we meet Him for eternal life in heaven!

Now, for some “nerdy” observations:

The etymology of the word “vitamin” is a combination of the Latin “vita” or life and “amine”, which comes from the English term amino acid, a building block of protein. Proteins are essential for life. Amino acids in the right combination can take the place of proteins. This is why my Brazilian husband grew up on a diet of rice and beans every day! Together, the amino acids in the two make up for lack of a true protein. Jesus is like the complete protein…life-giving. We are like the solitary amino acids…not able to have life on our own. Jesus substituted His life for ours. He is the beans scooped over our incomplete meal of rice. Without Him, we would die. With Him we have life!  

The type of Vitamin D doctors prescribe is D3. In the case of salvation, the D stands for “death” on the cross for 3 hours, at 3 PM, and He rose from the dead on the third day. Jesus is our personal, life-giving Vitamin D3!

Own a “Corona”

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The word “corona” can be translated into many languages as the word for crown.  Society regularly places invisible crowns on world leaders, athletes, and those in the entertainment industry.

In this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, people have placed new crowns on the heads of doctors, nurses, EMTs, and all in the medical profession–and rightfully so.  Today I saw a meme on Facebook lauding truck drivers and supermarket employees–yes. We are so thankful for them, as well.  Teachers, too, have been coronated for their amazing adaptability from classroom educators to on-line facilitators.  Finally, parents of school-aged children, who never intended to stay home to educate their children, while working from home and trying to balance it all, have earned their crowns through social media.

What about you?  Did you get your crown?  While we see the extraordinary efforts of others during the current pandemic, feelings of inadequacy can plague others.
Who, you ask?

  • The unemployed (before Coronavirus)
  • The unemployed (because of Coronavirus)
  • The elderly
  • The homemakers without young children

I will admit the last bullet point is my current situation!  In my own family, I have a husband who works from home in the transportation industry, a son working in the fast food circuit, and a daughter who just took on a position in a supermarket.  All of these are considered “essential services”.  My kids have also transitioned their college courses to online and have no need for this stay-at-home, former homeschool mom’s help!

Do you feel like everyone around you is making a difference?  Do you feel like you’re in limbo?

In good times and in bad, we all have a part to play–even if it’s not obvious.  Ask yourself these questions if you feel like you are doing nothing important:

  • Have I prayed for the sick, the doctors, the first responders, the essential personnel?
  • Have I stayed home as much as I can to prevent the spread?
  • Have I surveyed the stores for current situations of rations and shared that info with others; or, fed my family creatively, using what was on hand?

If you’ve prayed, stayed, or surveyed, you have made an extremely valuable contribution to the cause!  The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 12:12:

“There is one body, but it has many parts.  But all its parts make up one body.”

E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E is needed for the body of Christ.

In verses 18-20 of the same chapter of 1 Corinthians, we are reminded that God’s got us right where He wants us.  We all can’t have the same functions and purposes.  We need to work together, as one body, doing our unique jobs.

But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.  If they were all one part, where would the body be?  As it is, there are many parts, but one body.”

I suggest you read this whole chapter of 1 Corinthians 12.  It will give you peace in knowing you are essential.  Maybe your essential service is to help, support, love, and pray for those in “essential services”!

Now, do me a favor.  Think of one thing you have done for another during this time of the Coronavirus pandemic.  Acknowledge it.  Tilt your head down.  Feel that big, beautiful crown being placed on your head.  Hold your head up high.  Congratulations!  You are now the worthy owner of your very own “corona”!

May God bless you and keep you healthy!

What? Me Worry?

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God knows I like things in 3s…especially confirmations of His voice.  Lately I’ve been asking Him to let me know what I should do about a worrisome situation that’s been heavy on my heart.  Today, I saw a Facebook post by “Time Warp Wife” of Miss Clara, the prayer warrior in the film War Room.

“You need to plead with God to do what only He can do, and then you need to get out of the way and let Him do it.”

Confirmation #1.

Then, my friend Audrey posted a meme with these appropriate words:

“Lord, if it’s not Your will let it slip through my grasp and give me the peace not to worry about it.”

That was confirmation #2!

Finally, because God knows I need to either be hit over the head with a board or encounter something three times to know it’s His voice and not my own thoughts, I opened my Bible, hoping I would randomly turn to a page that had a third confirming verse.  I turned to the book of Ezra.  I don’t remember ever reading Ezra!  I scanned the page that included the end of Chapter 4 and most of Chapter 5.  It contained letters to kings.  Nothing stood out to me until I decided to look where my finger naturally (or perhaps in this case supernaturally) rested on the page.  And there it was!  The verse I needed to see:

“Now issue an order to these men to stop work, so that this city will not be rebuilt until I so order.” (Ezra 4:21)

Yay!  I get it now, God!  I’ve been trying to come up with the perfect course of action on the matter weighing me down. I considered leaving the situation alone, but I always try to fix things myself.  Some things cannot be fixed by our best efforts.  Sometimes, only God can set the wheels into motion.

So, going forward, here is my new action plan:

— I will PRAY and then move out of God’s way

— I will RELEASE worry and not take responsibility for fixing everyone and everything

— I will STOP working on the situation and wait for God to do what He will

We humans forget how small we are and how great God is!  Our Father is the powerful almighty One, who knows all things–past, present, and future.  He understands the game of life:  the players, their strategies, and exactly where the chips will fall.  Our mere mortal minds cannot perceive this.  We think in the now, plus a few years.  He thinks eternally.  Knowing that, it’s ridiculous to think we can change things outside our control, or worry about them.  However, to Him we can pray.  We can pause.  We can praise.

Stress and worry are exhausting.  Go on vacation from it.  Let God refresh you by allowing Him to carry your burdens.  And the next time a difficult situation occurs, you can truly say, “What? Me worry?  No!”

Asking for Miracles

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“But if I were you, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him. He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.”
(Job 5:8-9) 

If you have a seemingly impossible situation–debt you can’t imagine ever getting out of, a health condition your doctor can’t figure out, a relationship that seems cannot be repaired–ASK FOR A MIRACLE! Make your request not to “The Universe”, but to GOD! I think most people don’t think to ask specifically for a miracle in their lives. They might pray that they will feel a little better or that they can pay the bills just this month, but that’s not asking for a miracle. Go whole hog! Ask for God to fix it all. Believe that He can. Then, thank Him when it comes.
 
All through the Bible, we see examples of God’s miracles. Often, only the New Testament miracles of Jesus come to mind (turning water into wine, the raising of Lazarus from the dead). After Jesus’ death and resurrection, His apostles were given miraculous healing powers. Even Paul, former Christian Killer, was able to heal and raise people from the dead! All this was possible only by proclaiming the name of Jesus and through the power of the Holy Spirit. Also, when reading the Old Testament, God performed miracle after miracle. How else could the Red Sea part or manna come from heaven, or the sun stand still for Joshua…because he asked for a miracle.
 
“There was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD listened to the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel.”  (Joshua 10:14)
 
Do you have a need that seems impossible? Do be afraid to ask for a miracle for yourself! Pray to the One who can make it happen. Have faith. Believe. God loves you!
 

You Are…

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I just got back from dropping my son off at school, so you know what that means–prayer time!  Today was another one of those mornings when I tried to pray, but I was sounding completely inarticulate and distracted.  This was probably due to the conversation about college options on the way to his school!  Gulp!

As I pulled away, I just couldn’t think.  I was at a loss for words, which is very unusual!  I looked ahead as I drove eastward and just squinted in awe at the big yellow ball in the sky.  It was a gorgeous sunrise earlier.  Pinks and blues filled the morning atmosphere.  I couldn’t help but say, “Wow, Lord!  You are amazing!”  Then, “You are such an artist!”

You are.  That became the basis of my prayer time with God.  I started to think of all the attributes and functions of our Father.  They just kept flowing like a river:

You are amazing.

You are strong.

You are merciful.

You are loving.

You are our leader.

You are a disciplinarian.

You are an architect.

You are our hope.

I continued saying, “You are,” more times than Lionel Richie on tour back in the 80s!  I had ten straight minutes of declaring the possessive adjectives and nouns of God! (Sorry!  That was the nerdy homeschool mom in me who used to love diagramming sentences and analyzing the seven sentence structures with her kids coming out!)

This was another form of worship that God revealed to me.  It’s not just about singing.  It’s about recognizing who He is and how great He is.  In my last blog post, “Praying in My Little Red Corvette… Actually, My White Hyundai!” I came to realize worship can be recognizing God’s gifts to others.  Today, I worshiped Him by declaring all of the things that make Him him!  Don’t we feel good when our friends and family tell us something great they see in us?  I imagine it’s the same with God since we were created in His image and likeness.

Worship God every single day.  Worship God in every way!
______________________________________________________________________

Is there a unique way you like to worship God?  Please comment! 

 

 

Praying in My Little Red Corvette… Actually, My White Hyundai!

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Every morning after dropping Paulo off at school, I immediately start saying my prayers…out loud…in the car! Today, I was feeling a little weary from a mentally-exhausting day yesterday. I said, “Lord, I am so sorry, but I just want to listen to some good music right now to decompress. Please accept what I normally say as my prayers, as my prayers today.”
 
Then, Prince came on the XM 80s channel and I thanked God for the creativity He gave Prince, so I could enjoy his music. He was blessed with so much talent. God gifts. Then, I started thanking God for giving each and every one of us different gifts–gifts we can share with others! It could be the gift of playing musical instruments, accounting abilities, acting as a good coach, or just being the go-to person when someone needs a meal during a trying time. Can any one person possess all of these talents? NO WAY!!! We all need each other, even if we don’t know each other.
 
This “laziness” in prayer I experienced was actually a good thing–it led me to WORSHIP Him! And to THANK Him! And to PRAISE Him! Isn’t that what we are supposed to do when we pray? That, Folks, is how the Holy Spirit works. Always inspiring us, even when we don’t have the energy to put words together for prayer. Oh, and that thing I said about our different talents? It reminded me of a very popular scripture:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:1 (NIV)

So, my friends, “Let’s Go Crazy” recognizing and appreciating the God-given talents of everyone we encounter! Next time you hear “I Would Die 4U,” think on the face of Jesus–and worship Him, thank Him, and praise Him.

Who? Me? Read the Bible?

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Inspired by Matthew 11

“I don’t get it.  I read the words, but they don’t make sense.  I’ll never be a Bible scholar!”

Frustration can easily set in for a Bible newbie.  Often we start out reading the good book in order, beginning with Genesis.  Not too bad.  We understand creation, Adam and Eve, and Noah.  Then, we start getting into Abraham sacrificing his only son Isaac on the altar and start questioning:  Why would God ask him to do such a thing?  We eventually find out it was a test of faith for Isaac.  As we get deeper and further into the Bible, it can all seem like a lot to process.  It’s hard to get over the “thees” and “thys” if we’re reading the King James version.  Often, we just give up.  We don’t feel like we were God’s intended audience or maybe He wrote it for smarter people to interpret for us.

Nothing could be further from the truth!  Look at Matthew chapter 11.

“At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.  Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.” (Matthew 11:25-26)

See, Jesus explained that God has made things clear to regular people–not just those with a Divinity degree.  Sometimes, when we have that “childlike faith”, we simply understand.  If it still feels as clear as mud, try another version of the Bible for a while; or, cross-reference versions.  You don’t have to buy all of them–at least buy one hard-copy version that you love.  Then, mark it up!  Underline, write in the margins, make your own notes.  You can go to websites like Bible Gateway to see verses in all versions.

The Bible version I use in my blog is the NIV or New International Version.  Some people say the King James Bible is the most accurate, but I don’t have time to have to work through the Old English.  Other readers favor the Amplified Bible or The Message.  These versions include expanded text and easier language.  Just to give you an example of how those Bibles present the above verse, Matthew 11:25-26:

King James Version
“At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.  Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.”

Amplified Bible
“At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth[I openly and joyfully acknowledge Your great wisdom], that You have hidden these things [these spiritual truths] from the wise and intelligent and revealed them to infants [to new believers, to those seeking God’s will and purpose].  Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.”

The Message
“Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer: “Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You’ve concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people. Yes, Father, that’s the way you like to work.”

When you keep reading through the Bible, you will see connections and words echoed in the Old Testament and New.  Remember that story about Abraham and Isaac?  When Isaac asked Abraham where the lamb was for the burnt offering, “Abraham answered, “God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” (Genesis 22:8)  Doesn’t that sound like what God did for us?  He provided Jesus, the lamb of God, as a sacrifice, to save us from death. That sentiment is echoed many times throughout the Bible.  Every time you come upon it, you will feel like you are “getting it”.

God will make His meaning clear to you.  Keep reading the Bible! The more you do, the more He’ll reveal to you.  The Bible is spiritual milk.  It will feed you and help you grow as a believer.  Don’t be intimidated.

 

 

2 Things We Don’t Speak Of…But Should

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Inspired by Matthew 10

There are two things a person should never speak of:  religion and politics.

Many Christian people subscribe to this personal philosophy.  I don’t.  To find out why, just crack your Bible open to Matthew, chapter 10.

Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.  But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33)

God wants us to talk about Him (the religion part).  Yes, this is uncomfortable for many to do.  We come up with a lot of excuses:

— “I don’t want to impose my religion or my God on anyone.”
— “What if I’m known as a “Holy Roller” or “Jesus Freak”?
— “That’s personal.”

When we share the gospel, we are not forcing our faith on others.  Instead, we are giving them a chance to hear about our Father.  Next, we testify how He has worked in our lives and the lives of others we know.  Then,  we allow the individual to decide if they would like to learn more.  You are a walking advertisement for God.  You aren’t selling religion–you’re helping to save souls.

Holy Roller.  Jesus Freak.  If someone calls you that, say “Thank you,” and mean it!  We should wear those titles with even more pride than “Packers Fan” or “Stay-At-Home Mom” or “Honor Roll Student”.  Since we are to find our identity in Christ, those titles are fitting!

Sharing religion is personal.  Yes.  When we talk about our experiences with Him, it is.  However, God is not just our own Father.  He is everyone’s Daddy–even the people who don’t know about Him!  We can’t be selfish.  We need to share Him like we shared our earthly fathers with our siblings.

One of my all-time favorite movies is “Elf”.  Believe it or not, Buddy the Elf gives us a good, albeit, awkward, example of a testimony on how he found his father and his love for him.  Remember the part when Buddy’s father asks him perform his singing telegram?  Here’s what he “sang”:

“I’m… I’m here with my dad. And we never met. And he wants me to sing him a song. And, um, I was adopted. But you didn’t know I was born. So I’m here now. I found you, Daddy. And guess what? I love you. I love you. I love you!”
(Elf, 2003)

Christians, God wants us to talk about Him, but it doesn’t have to be in a singing telegram.  He also wants us to talk about politics.  We don’t have to specifically mention political parties or candidates’ names, but we absolutely must express how we feel about issues, especially those pertaining to abortion, marriage, and religious freedom.  Write and call our government representatives regarding their votes on these issues.  Enlighten those running for office how we feel about these hot topics.  Also, we should feel an obligation to inform our fellow Christians of where these candidates stand on the issues, so they can make informed voting decisions.

Talk about religion and politics.  They’re not taboo.  It’s what God commands us to do.  If we recognize Him in this life, He will recognize us in the next!  Wear your “Hello! My Name Is Christian” sticker with honor!


Elf. (2003). [film] Directed by J. Favreau. (USA): New Line Cinema.

Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves

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Inspired by Matthew 9

I never thought “Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves”, a 1971 hit song by Cher would pop up in my mind while reading the Bible, but here I am writing about it!  The song describes the singer’s colorful family and how they earn a living…and how they are judged by it.

Matthew chapter 9 takes us to an intimate dinner at Matthew the Tax Collector’s house.  You could say these are the “Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves” of the Jesus Era.  The guest list baffled the Pharisees:

While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples.  When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” (Matthew 9:10-11)

Jesus responded, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” (Matthew 9:12)  Jesus knew His followers, “the healthy”, bought into his message and would go wherever He was preaching.  He wanted to reach the “spiritually sick”.  He met them where they were.  By doing this, He was able to show love, share His message of hope, and encourage them to transform their lives.  If He sent them a dinner invitation, do you think they would consider themselves worthy to dine with Him?  He had to go out there and actively pursuit them.

We, too, as followers of Christ, must go reach the hopeless, right where they are.  There could be church on every corner and yet there could be a junkie or a call girl right across the street from each one.  Just because there is a building doesn’t mean they will enter it…even if they know it would be good for them.  As my friend, Christian author and blogger Rivera Douthit recently taught at a speaking engagement I went to, we must “Take the church to the people.”  We need to stop worrying what other people will think.  Hurting people–whether behind bars at jail, in a strip club dressing room, or on a street corner covered in newspaper–need Jesus.

I am a huge fan of helping people where they are.  When we do this, every time we leave them, we lower the drawbridge to get out.  They might not be ready to leave their situation, but they are ready to hear more about Jesus’ love and redemption and hope for the future.  We must return to them, crossing the drawbridge we left down.  In time, they could be ready to leave their shelter of hopelessness and cross over the drawbridge to freedom.  Without leaving a bridge for them to cross, their only options are a.) stay in their sinful, hopeless life; or, b.) plummet to their demise.

Jesus is life.  We can be the bridge.  We mustn’t avoid the gypsies, tramps, and thieves around us.  We must embrace them with the same love Jesus gives us.

“You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”
Leviticus 19:18 (NKJV)

satan is Smiling

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Inspired by Matthew 8

Two girls
from Bartow, Florida,
11 and 12 years young,
conspired to kill innocent schoolmates
in the bathroom,
drink their blood,
and then, 
kill themselves.
To school they brought kitchen knives,
a knife sharpener,
a pizza cutter,
scissors,
a goblet.
A robocall from school alerted a parent her child was not at school.
She was.
Thus began the search for the girl.
She and her friend were in the bathroom…
waiting.
Ready to carry out their plot.
Ready to kill.
Ready to die.
For satan.

 

This is not the plot of a teen horror flick.  Sadly, on Tuesday, this narrative was carried out in live action.  Praise the Lord, the police found the girls before they could harm anyone or themselves.  How could something as sinister as this even come about?  When I was their age, I was sitting by the radio, waiting for my favorite Duran Duran song to come on the radio so I could hit “Play” and “Record” simultaneously on my stereo!  I was playing Mad Libs with friends.  Cheerleading and practicing back walkovers on my grassy front yard.  Riding bikes to friends’ houses.  Fighting with my older sisters to use our shared phone.  Today’s children do not share such a wholesome youth.

Were these girls demon-possessed?  It is very possible.  Media accounts detail some interesting facts in their story:

  • They devised their plan after watching horror films;
  • They searched the internet for ways to kill with a knife, while blood-letting quickly;
  • They believed their murders (sins) would get them into hell;
  • They scrawled violent song lyrics on their murder map;
  • They Snapchatted clues about the planned murdering spree.

I believe there are dark forces in this world.  They want your blood, but they want your childrens’ even more.  The hook comes from music, movies, and social media.  Oh, and you know the über-cool teen store Hot Topic?  They now sell Blackcraft brand clothing.  Dress your darlings in Baphomet, pentagrams, and “Lucipurr”!  If my child came home with a hoodie that read “Unholy”, I would have to perform my own unholy ritual of burning it!

All teens and pre-teens will say, “I don’t get affected by this stuff.”  I pray they don’t.  Maybe the parents of these young murder plotters heard that line, too.  We need to be proactive as parents and know what they are listening to, watching, and buying.  We need to teach them the Word.  And we 100% need to FROG–Fully Rely On God.  We must pray to Him specifically that our children will not get involved with the dark arts.  Innocent colored stones to create a certain feeling can quickly become a hex on someone.  Pray without ceasing for your children’s protection from possession.

Scared yet?  Never fear.  In Jesus, there is always hope.  Evil can still be cast out.  Spiritual scars can be healed by the Lord.  Matthew chapter 8 contains a lot of healing of the people:  physical and spiritual.  Jesus drove out demons–on more than one occasion.  “When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick.” (Matthew 8:16)  Jesus even healed possessed men and put their demons into swine. (Matthew 28-34)

If you don’t believe Matthew, you can read what Mark had to report about Jesus casting out demons.   Here’s Mark 1:25.  “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.”

There’s also Mark 32-34:  “That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.”

The Gospel of Luke also contains references to Jesus’ healing of the demonically-possessed, and there are many examples of this in the Old Testament, as well. But what about the modern age, today?  Does this still happen?  Yes.  The Catholic Church continues to train priests in exorcism.  That alone tells you satan is still seeking souls to snatch; and, demons are being driven out.

Fight him.  Pray.  Read the Bible.  Fill your eyes and ears with good things and discard the bad things.  Grow your faith and cultivate it in your kids.  Speak life over your children, so death cannot take root.

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
(1 Peter 5:8-9)