Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Witches on the Loose

Over the past month or so, I’ve been to Ghana, Togo and Benin in Western Africa, to several states in the USA and to Mexico twice. (Yep, been busy!) I’ve seen a lot of sadness, poverty and evil in those places. But the weirdest so far was on Swami’s Beach in So California. Witches. Yep, you read it right. Witches.

I was sitting there with my Italian friend, Katia, chatting about the Bible when I spotted what I thought was a mirage. (After all, it was hot and the sun was shining brightly.) I squinted in hopes of adjusting my vision. But Katia confirmed I was seeing fine. This was no mirage. This was some weirdo dressed in a long black robe, with very long, jet black straight hair, a wand and some charms.

The “person” was marking territory and chanting – moving in a sort of frenzied jive as if animated by an overcharged battery. Seemingly casting spells.

I later saw the witch with a man dressed in white. He looked like another witch. They were further up the beach and had planted posts and strung charms on them. They were swishes the ground as if casting more spells. It seemed the white character was training the black one. Most bizarre! But then again, to be expected at Swami’s beach, right next to the Self Realization Center.

My friend was shocked. “How can there be witches?” she said. . “Why would someone willfully follow evil?” I couldn’t answer that. But I did explain that evil-followers are plenty – including well-known names. For example, Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin is a renowned follower of Black Magician Aleister Crowley. Allusions to the Greek god, Pan, refer to Lucifer. Songs such as Most High mock Jesus Christ and honor darkness. (More info here.

My friend was shocked and I wanted to put her mind at rest, remind her that she was a child of the Light. I explained that as a follower of Jesus, she had nothing to fear. The evil one cannot touch us unless we invite him. Greater is He who lives in the hearts of those who’ve invited Him to be their Lord and Savior than he who is in the world. We walk through the valley of the shadow of death here on earth, but we need fear no evil. But neither must we be na├»ve about its workings.

No, we must not be shocked that there are those who choose to follow darkness. Rather, we must be sure that we do not propagate it unawares, that we are not flirting with darkness by pushing boundaries, by taking liberties God doesn’t want us to take, by keeping a foot in the world, by embracing all that Hollywood produces and letting filth and evil through our eye gates.

How do we do this? Simply follow Jesus every day, one day at a time. We die to self daily, taking up our crosses to follow Him. Simply. Reading His Word. Praying. Seeking Him. Sharing Him. Inquiring of Him and asking Him to shed His light in the dark areas of our souls. We ask Him to help us. We cannot do it of ourselves, for our souls cling to the dust. But we can do it with Him and through Him. So let’s choose life.

“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).

If you’d like to know how to change children’s lives through prayer, browse the Orphans First website. And join the Orphans First Prayer Chain.

Janey L. DeMeo
August 2009 © Copyright
www.orphansfirst.org / www.JaneyDeMeo.com

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Orphans First on YouTube

This is it. The Orphans First DVD. It needs to be updated (any professional volunteers?), but it'll give you a better grasp of the diverse impact Orphans First is making--especially if you haven't yet studied the website. You'll see children we've worked with over the years, glimpses of the different lands where we work and me (still in France at the time).

So, enjoy. And please pray for Orphans First.

Janey L. DeMeo
August 2009 © Copyright
www.orphansfirst.org / www.JaneyDeMeo.com

Friday, August 07, 2009

Led or Driven?

It’s taken longer to get back in the saddle since Africa than I’d expected. One reason is just the ever-increasing number of emails that needed attention upon my return—not to mention other issues. I was also exhausted. Not sure if it was the bout of sickness that tried to kill me in Benin and was secretly lingering and lurking somewhere deep within. Or if I’m just getting old. Probably a bit o’ both. Anyway, I’m slowly getting back in that ol’ saddle, which is why I’m blogging today.

Many issues are on my mind, not the least of which is how stupid some people are. I know. Not very polite of me. Not kind. But it’s true. Some people make the most stupid and selfish decisions and the repercussions are disturbing. So what am I beefing over now? The children of course. The innocent victims of people’s poor choices.

There are really only two ways to make a decision: Either you’re led by God (which usually means you’ve come to Him in prayer, sought His will in His Word, perhaps asked counsel from godly people, waiting on the answer until it seemed in obvious alignment with God’s will . . . ). Or, you’re driven by the flesh. And, trust me, the flesh is a hard task-master.

I am learning that it’s always better to be led by God than driven by the flesh.

“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).

I like this verse because it makes choosing easy. There are different choices before us. But only one is right. The one that God has chosen for us. That choice leads to life.

I also like this verse because I believe that if God requires that we “choose life,” then He must obviously make that “choose life” option clear to us. Or how could we choose? He makes His will known through the Bible, Scriptures. It’s up to us to find out what His will is. That means putting aside self-interest with His help.

So, why do I get so upset by those who make stupid choices? Because they are anything but life-giving. Take, for example, kids from divorced families whose parents choose whatever makes their own lives easy, regardless of their kids’ needs.

Just today I witnessed such a case. A parent moves the kids around from place to place, always looking for something better. Meanwhile, the kids have a strong dose of bitterness festering in their hearts. Parents make selfish choices as if they didn’t even have kids’ lives to consider at all. That is a choice of death. And it seems the children pay for it.

But there is one good thing I’m still learning about people’s “death choices.” They may make wrong choices but the story’s not over. And when it comes to kids, I feel a strong sense of advocacy coupled with a sense of inadequacy because I can’t do a whole lot to change what others choose for them. Or can I? Well, I can go back to the advocate in me and put it to work. I can pray.

Prayer changes things. Oh, it might not instantly change the situation thrust upon those kids. But as we persist in prayer, things will change in time. The kids’ hearts will become more tender, for one thing, in spite of their guardian’s poor decisions. Or the guardian may surrender to Christ—which would change a whole lotta things for the kids. Or God may close a door, block a way, thus sparing the kids from worse suffering. Whatever it is that God does as a result of prayer, He’ll do what’s best. And we’ll get changed in the process.

Prayer is never in vain. So, instead of griping about the unfairness I see, and the wrong choices others make that affect innocent kids, I’d best get praying.

If you’d like to know how to change children’s lives through prayer, browse the Orphans First website. And join the
Orphans First Prayer Chain

Janey L. DeMeo
August 2009 © Copyright
www.orphansfirst.org / www.JaneyDeMeo.com