Tag Archives: grace

Perspectives on the current crisis and coming cure

By Heather Walton

“I can’t believe this is America!” I’m not sure how many times I’ve said that in the past few weeks. This country is becoming decreasingly recognizable as the America I grew up in, as the America I committed to defend, as the America I once took great pride in.

Lockdowns, mandates, rioting, talk of a coming mandatory vaccine. Chaos around every corner.

Nothing is more shocking than the covert rise of socialism that has suddenly emerged into plain sight and that looms close on the horizon. How did this happen? Why do young people (and old) think this is okay?

We could analyze this from a historical perspective and trace the roots back to Darwin, Nietzsche, Marx, Dewey, and countless American Socialists/Humanists throughout the generations. The tentacles of this beast are pervasive and destructive.

We could analyze this from a political perspective and defend the free market economy from philosophical, economic, and biblical viewpoints, and we would see that socialism doesn’t work.

Instead, I would like to analyze this from a worldview perspective. How is it that our society has bought into the lie that we can create a Utopia where there is no poverty, no inequality, no difficulty? Where the government owes us peace, prosperity, and health? Where we allow a few to dictate to the majority of us that we are politically incorrect, homophobic, bigoted, privileged, and flat-out wrong if we have biblical values? Where trees and insects are more valuable than people? Where feelings dictate our perceived reality, and facts no longer matter? Where we fear the whims of children and ignore the wisdom of the elderly?

This is by design. The enemy masquerades as an angel of light and has deceived the whole world into thinking that humans can solve their own problems, that God is dead, that we evolved from primordial goo, that this life is all there is, and that we must therefore do everything we can to make it everything we can while we’re here. “You only live once! Follow your heart! Live your dreams! Live and let live! Love who you want!”

This year has been shocking to many, but it didn’t come out of nowhere. The world has been working toward this chaos for many years, and this chaos is part of the process of our evolution toward the grand finale, in which a cosmic battle will conclude.

There is a Satanic plot to steal, kill, and destroy, and that plot has been unfolding since the Garden of Eden. Today we see it manifested in so many ways, including blatant deception through the media and education, election fraud, division on every imaginable and created issue, and worldwide civil unrest. The devil and those he has deceived into working for his agenda are creating mass chaos so that they can be false saviors who bring order from chaos.

The Bible tells us that one day Jesus will return for his bride, the church. When He returns, we need to be ready. Church, be ready! He is coming soon. How soon? That’s a mystery. The Bible tells us we won’t know the day or the hour, that He will come like a thief in the night, that it will be sudden. However, we should recognize the season, but we have to be paying attention, and we have to guard our relationship with God as the day grows closer.

We are told to endure to the end, and we are warned a great falling away of believers in the last days. No matter what lies ahead — persecution, tribulation, martyrdom — we must be steadfast. There is nothing more precious or prized than our eternity, and nothing is worth missing the riches of an eternal home with our Savior.

There is one cure for what ails our nation — Jesus. That is all. Sound simplistic? Perhaps. It is a simple answer, yet not an easy one.

Many people believe that turning to Jesus is as simple as inviting Him into your life as your Savior. While this is part of it, this would be what Dietrich Bonhoeffer referred to as “cheap grace.”

According to Bonhoeffer, who was martyred for his stand against Hitler, grace is costly. It was costly to Christ, of course, but it also is costly to those of us who partake.

“The grace he (Martin Luther) had received was a costly grace. It was grace, for it was like water on parched ground, comfort in tribulation, freedom from bondage of a self-chosen way, and forgiveness of all his sins. And it was costly, for, so far from dispensing him from good works, it meant that he must take the call to discipleship more seriously than ever before. It was grace because it cost so much, and it cost so much because it was grace.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship (italics mine)

The American church has cheapened the concept of grace by, whether purposefully or inadvertently, deluding people into believing that they can simply say a quick prayer, asking Jesus to be their Savior, and then continue business as usual. Brothers and sisters, may we never be guilty of this heresy!

We are told in Romans 10:9-10 (ESV), “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” (emphasis mine). Lord means master, one who is in charge. Servants submit to their lord’s will and order their lives according to his wishes; they do not tell him what they will do or not do; they do not tell him what his orders mean or what he demands; they do not shape him according to their image and likeness. Their works don’t make them his servants; on the contrary, they do his work because he is their lord.

We are called to be disciples, which means students. We are to study our master and to emulate Him, and we are to teach the next generation to do the same. The Bible is clear about many matters of morality. If we choose to dismiss this divine instruction, we should not delude ourselves into thinking that Jesus is our Lord. And if He is not our Lord, then we serve the god of this age, the devil.

Make no mistake: Things in this world will get worse, and it will be increasingly difficult to live out the Christian life. The church must be steadfast. It may require everything we have, including our lives. Whether or not we are martyred in Christ’s name, we are to willingly die to ourselves daily, every day we have breath in our lungs.

The future of this nation and this world are bleak, yet we await a kingdom not of this world. In the meantime, we are called to shine forth as gold, to share the true Gospel, and to serve our fellow man. We are to worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth. And we are to “love mercy, practice justice, and walk humbly with our God” (Micah 6:8).

The current and coming crisis are the result of man’s sinfulness, for which there is one and only cure: the costly grace of the risen Christ! If you don’t know Him, I urge you to repent and surrender to Him today. If you do know Him, yet aren’t following Him as fully as you ought, I urge you to repent and surrender to Him today. This is the cure to all crises, both temporal and eternal.

A blessed year didn’t begin that way

This was my Facebook post on January 1, 2014:

“My Scripture for the incoming 2014 year: “… one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3: 13b-14)
I’m putting the past in proper perspective and focusing on God’s good plans for me and for my children as we move forward into the new year and new beginnings. God is on His throne, and I trust His goodness and faithfulness.
Happy New Year!”

Sometimes moving forward can be difficult to begin. At the beginning of this year, it was challenging at times to focus on the future, rather than on the past. But I was determined, with God’s help, to do just that. And trusting God to hold my hand (and at times to carry me) as I journeyed into unknown territory has paid off. If anyone would have told me at the beginning of 2014 what God would do in my life this year, I’m not sure I would have believed them. But as this year draws to a close, I must say that, despite my initial expectations, it has been the single most blessed year of my life. In this year, I have learned much about the grace of God, lack of control over others, how to truly trust the Lord, and what love really looks like. I have had the support and encouragement of family and friends, both old and new.

I have seen my dreams continue to come true in my business, which is also a ministry. Most days I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. I started this business during the most difficult time in my personal life, but God truly caused the growth. I believe I am doing the work I was created to do, and it’s an incredible feeling.

As significant as that is, I have to say that the most pleasant surprise of the year was finding true love and having the opportunity for a new beginning. I feel completely blessed to have a wonderful husband, and to be beginning a journey that started with a “Broken Road,” but has turned into a new path that I’m confident will take us to beautiful places.

So yes, God has demonstrated His good plans for me this year in a major way. But those plans started with a season of heartache. Putting the past in perspective and looking toward the future was the first step in being able to move forward. It wasn’t always easy to do, but the results were worth it.

The difference a year can make

Christmas Eve, 2014

I began this blog 14 months ago with the post “How should we respond to the consequences of other people’s choices?” The point of that post was that we often are affected negatively by the decisions other people make. The opposite can be true as well. We can be positively impacted by other’s actions.

This time last year, I was in the midst of a divorce that was the result of repeated devastation. I remember not feeling at all festive as Christmas approached the next day. All I could think of was that my family had fallen apart and that I would be sending my kids to be with their father at 2 p.m. on Christmas. Still, I had joy because I knew that Christmas isn’t really about presents or even about family–it’s about a baby who would grow up to change the world by giving His life for our sins.

During the agonizing process of divorce, several people told me that I would feel so much better after a year had passed. Repeatedly, I heard people say, “I know you don’t believe it now, but it really will get better.” They definitely were right, but even they had no idea what God had in store.

Soon after the divorce was final, I began praying for a “kinsman redeemer,” someone who would love me as Christ loved the church and who also would love my children. Two months later, God answered that prayer. We soon became best friends, then more than friends, and last week, we were married. Not only married, but parents to seven children between us. We are off to a good start for sure, and I look forward to seeing how God uses us in ministry together.

Just as my life seemed to be devastated last Christmas, due to negative choices made by another, my life is absolutely blessed this year, due to positive choices made both by myself and by a man who loves me with a 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love. Now I have what I never even knew was possible in human terms.

What a difference a year can make … and I look forward to the year ahead as I learn what further beauty God wants to create from the ashes of the past.

When does God do His best work?

Sometimes a little reflection is good for the soul. As I think back on the year behind, I realize much has changed. This has been the most difficult, yet most blessed year of my life. A year ago I was just on the beginning edge of a journey that I never could have foreseen with starting a school. I had let go of the security of the public school system, not having a clue how God was going to provide. I had no idea that He would turn my small vision of eight students two days per week in my home into fifty students, many of whom are full-time, and several teachers and classrooms. Sometimes we have to let go of what we have, in order to embrace what God has in store for us.

I also didn’t know a year ago that this would be the year of the most intense personal struggle I have experienced so far, and hopefully I will never have another to parallel or surpass it. Sometimes people, especially Christians, are tempted to sweep difficulties under the rug, either because they think that God will be shamed by their struggles, or because they think they’re “supposed” to grin and bear it for God’s sake. However, God can take care of His own reputation quite well. Not only that, but He actually gets greater glory when He can work through our weaknesses. I spent my whole 20-year Christian life trying to work hard to be the best I could, so that God could get the most glory possible out of my life. This year I finally realized, because I was desperate for God and incapable of opening and running a school in my own strength, or getting through a divorce in my own strength, that if I just let Him do it through me, He would do a much better job than I could have in all my best efforts. Resting in Him accomplishes so much more than working for Him ever can.

So this year has been a dichotomy of sorts, with great success and seemingly great failure running parallel. But I know the truth: God is great and He does great things with not-so-great people who are submitted to Him. While I would trade some of the circumstances of the past year, I wouldn’t trade the spiritual or emotional growth. I also wouldn’t trade the friends who have stuck by me, or the new ones I’ve made along the way.

God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.

I am looking forward to the next year of the journey. I have a feeling it will be a good one, though it will likely hold some surprises and may not be easy. Whether it is smooth sailing or a bumpy ride, whether there is delight or despair, whether there is happiness or heartache, I know that God is able to supply all of my needs and get me through anything, and that is something to celebrate.