Posted in theology

JoJo Siwa affirms satan’s agenda

By Elizabeth Prata

Sound like a harsh headline? It isn’t, it’s just biblical truth. There are two agendas in the world; God’s, and satan’s. We either belong to God, or we belong to satan. We do what God wants (enabled by the Holy Spirit), or we do what satan wants (according to our sin-nature).

Kids are impressionable and they follow personalities and celebrities, and believe what these people say, usually unquestioningly. That is why there was an outcry when it was revealed that a children’s Sunday School curriculum coloring book at ‘Pastor’ Steven Furtick of Elevation Church’s Sunday School referred to himself as the person to unify around, rather than Jesus.

Kids are always following some fad or another, lol. The TV Show Hannah Montana starring Miley Cyrus was popular for a while. So was Raven Symone, Hilary Duff, Zac Efron… the list of celebs that children look up to is always endless. Some have staying power, most don’t. But along the way these celebrities accumulate a huge following and wield a powerful influence over children.

Enter 17-year-old JoJo. She began her career at age ten and for the last seven years has gathered a following on Youtube to rival The Beatles in their heyday. Look-

Youtube Subscribers – 12.1 million.
Followers – 31.3 million.
Total views – 3.4 billion.

She has a business empire, in which she is spokesman for JC Penney, Kohl’s sells her products, and more. She signed her first business deal at age 13.

Wikipedia: “Joelle Joanie “JoJo” Siwa (born May 19, 2003) is an American dancer, singer, actress, and YouTube personality. She is known for appearing for two seasons on Dance Moms along with her mother, Jessalynn Siwa, and for her singles “Boomerang” and “Kid in a Candy Store”. Siwa posts daily videos of her day-to-day life on her YouTube channel, “Its JoJo Siwa”. She was included on Time’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2020.”

Most influential. Hmmm. In the world. Amazing for a youngster. Her ‘brand’ is sparkly bows, cute, catchy songs with innocuous lyrics, and was seen as ‘mom-approved’.

No more.

She came out as homosexual this month.

JoJo Comes Out as Gay, reports this site, as well as many others. It’s big news. And, we see the verse from Romans 1:32 comes to life. Many are heartily approving of the sin JoJo is now actively promoting.

and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them. (Romans 1:32).

Satan is a wily opponent. He was sly when he deceived Eve (2 Corinthians 11:3). He is said to be crafty in Genesis 3:1. He is the deceiver of the whole world says Revelation 12:9. How sly is he to gather impressionable children to a seemingly clean pop star, mount her business empire to towering heights, heap up her followers, and then when the kids are hooked, pull a bait and switch to promote homosexuality, an abominable practice to the Lord. This is another sad example of satan’s wiles. He is a restless and ever-working enemy.

Secondly, no one who is not a Christian with the Holy Spirit inside them, can resist sin for long. It is our very nature. It might be hidden for a time, but it will show eventually. And it is never hidden from God who sees the thoughts of man and knows what is in a man. It’s dangerous to follow or idolize to anyone not a Christian (and even then…) because if they are not converted by repentance and faith, their sin will emerge. (Numbers 32:23). There are only two tracks in life, sin or repentance and faith.

I’m very sad over JoJo’s decision to further her sin by choosing homosexuality. She can sing “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga all she wants, but the only way we’re born is in sin. We need to be born again by faith in order escape the inevitable eternity for all unforgiven sinners.

Parents, be aware that JoJo Siwa is no longer ‘mom-approved’. She is sinking deeper into sin. Pray for the gal, and for her impressionable child followers who look up to her.

Known for bright outfits & sparkly bows, JoJo’s outfits are tending more toward drag queen than bouncy teen. Photo source
Posted in theology

Prata Potpourri: Sermon note-taking, hygge, Sarah Edwards doc, Diagnostic Questions, & more!

By Elizabeth Prata

I’ve gathered a few items that may interest you:

Recently I went through the Ligonier series on the biography of Jonathan Edwards on Amazon Prime. (The series is included in Prime. Taught be Stephen Nichols, it’s an easy going and absorbing series on the life of the theologian acknowledged to be the most intelligent America has ever produced. President of Princeton (then called the College of New Jersey), sparker of the Great Awakening, missionary to the the Native Americans, Edwards is well known. But…His wife Sarah was his partner and supported this remarkable and sometimes difficult man in ways that are God-glorifying. Now, Media Gratiae has announced a documentary in the incomparable Sarah Edwards!

Here is the Media Gratiae blurb:

Sarah Edwards (working title) is an upcoming feature-length documentary on the life and legacy of one of the most influential women in American history. Sarah, maybe most notably known as the wife of Jonathan Edwards, is a remarkable woman in her own right. In this 90-minute documentary we will tell her story and consider modern day applications that arise from her example of Biblical womanhood, such as:”

  • What is a biblical woman/wife/mom? What does it mean to be a helpmate?
  • How do you know whether an experience is “of God” or not?
  • How can you cope with the psychological pressure that comes with being the wife of a pastor, especially one considered to be “a great man”?
  • How does a pastor’s wife manage a large household, the trials of being married to a sometimes-controversial pastor, financial concerns, and widowhood?
  • Sarah’s story helps us understand the struggles, sorrows, and triumphs of Biblical womanhood, challenging modern women to consider the legacy that they themselves will leave.

“The documentary will include a free study guide that can be used in small group settings. It will be similar to this one we did for LUTHER.”

Here is a good, 3-minute read from John MacArthur at The Master’s Seminary published a few days ago, on “The Struggling Disciple” –

Anyone who has ever been to a church camp has heard someone say, “You need to recommit your life to the Lord.” We’ve all heard messages about commitment, dedication, consecration, and so on. But do we understand what that means?

At Women Encouraged, we have a short exploration of “Friendship With The World: Some Diagnostic Questions“, and it begins well- “James 4:4 packs a punch. It’s not adorable or cutesy. It’s the kind of hard word designed to shock our senses and remind us where the line is. “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” It goes on with noting how to ask one’s self questions so as not to be an adulteress with the world.

Reagan Rose at Redeeming Productivity offered a 12-minute lesson on how better to engage with your pastor’s sermon. It is full of interesting and highly applicable tips, and I mean it’s really good. REEEEEELLLLYYY good! How to Take Sermon Notes to Focus Better, learn More, and Grow Spiritually. Run don’t walk to the link.

Carrie at Carrie’s Busy Nothings has a piece on the word hygge. If you’re a watcher of design shows, you know this is a popular Danish word for an untranslatable concept most frequently identified with lifestyle comfort. Sort of. Anyway, Carrie said she enjoys the word and the concept…until…it becomes an idol. Worth reading.

What’s better than a blog essay from Reformation Heritage Books, than an essay from Reformation Heritage Books on Joy, Even When Society Disintegrates ? Biblical and helpful, I think you will find their essay edifying. –> “It is quite easy to get depressed or go around feeling dread. What does the future hold? Will I be able to support my family? What will the world be like for my kids? How much more pressure can this nation bear before splitting apart at the seams? These and other questions raise the specter of uncertainty about our safety and prosperity. We begin to fear that Misery may be approaching us like an assailant we cannot fight.

But no, keep reading the essay!

I hope you find some hope or enjoyment from these links. As always, have a wonderful day and weekend!

Posted in theology

Exactly what ARE the ‘Treasures in Heaven’?

By Elizabeth Prata

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal …” (Matthew 6:19-20).

That is a familiar passage to us. We know what it says. We understand that we cannot serve two gods, mammon and Jesus. We comprehend that the love of money is the root of all evil. We all feel sad when the Rich Young Ruler turned away from Jesus, rejecting eternal salvation because he clung to his earthly wealth.

But what does treasure in heaven truly mean? What are the treasures in heaven, specifically?

Continue reading “Exactly what ARE the ‘Treasures in Heaven’?”
Posted in theology

Don’t let your ears be tickled

By Elizabeth Prata

Is Christianity in decline? I think this last COVID year has revealed professing Christians versus true Christians. More and more people are falling away. The Bible shows that that trajectory will only increase as time goes on.

There are not enough genuine Christians. “Genuine Christian” means a person’s faith and belief is founded on the life, death, resurrection, and Gospel of Jesus Christ. He bases his doctrine and teachings on the Bible and only the Bible. Too many people are lukewarm.

It is also true that ‘spirituality’ is on the rise. This is not always good thing however. Only those who base their doctrine on the life, death,and resurrection of Jesus Christ and demonstrate that faith through persevering and evident fruit can be said to be true Christians.

Any doctrine that tickles the ears will be sought by the faithless and weak. It is hard to accept that one is a total sinner, no better than filthy rags. There is none righteous, no not one. It is hard to offer one’s self wholly to God and do only His will. It is hard to set aside fleshly lusts and devote one’s self to Him. It is hard to walk His path and stay within His commands. Hard. Christianity is not for wimps.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,” (2 Timothy 4:3)

See, doesn’t this sound just great to a confused person: “God loves you and has a plan for your life.”

Are your ears being tickled? Are you in a false religion? Are you in a Christian church but enduring unsound doctrine from a false pastor? There is Hope! All you need to do is repent of your sin, and ask Jesus to forgive it. Ask for discernment and wisdom. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1John 1:9).

Don’t we serve a great and mighty God! Let Him restore you to the faith. Otherwise, remembering His promises are true … “This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.” (Jeremiah 17:5).

Posted in theology

‘But how do I GET that peace that passes all understanding?!’

By Elizabeth Prata

This will be short.

We have a Father who gives good gifts.
We have a Father who answers prayer.
We have a Father who loves His children, and perfectly, too.

If you want peace, joy, patience, etc., then ask. Ask the Father for anything aligned in His will, and He will give it. Not a Ferrari or a million dollars, but any request that honors him and glorifies His name, He will give. It is in His will to give the things that His children need. If you need peace today, ask.

What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is the source not your pleasures that wage war in your body’s parts? You lust and do not have, so you commit murder. And you are envious and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with the wrong motives, so that you may spend what you request on your pleasures.” (James 4:1-3).

And you see the danger in NOT asking. Staying content in our flesh results in quarrels, conflicts,and indulging our senses. Ask, ASK. Pray today for peace. He will give it.

EPrata collage- Peace in a DIsturbed World
Posted in theology

The Smell Test

By Elizabeth Prata

Do you pass the smell test?

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?” (2 Corinthians 2:14-17)

This is a beautiful passage, with many layered and deep elements. First, Christ uses His believers to spread the fragrance of knowledge of Him. Christ as the ultimate fragrance. The word “smell” can have many nuances, each with their own evocation of meaning. ‘Odor’ evokes something unpleasant, and the word ‘smell’ is simply utilitarian. But “fragrance” is a perfume…that is a sweet and wonderful aroma, evoking lightness and sweetness, as Christ is, of course.

Continue reading “The Smell Test”
Posted in theology

“I’m going fishing”

By Elizabeth Prata

Peter and the disciples had left their fishing professions when Jesus said ‘Follow me’. For three years the disciples saw amazing things like miracles and signs. They heard holy, perfect preaching. They saw crowds swell and they saw crowds dwindle away. They even saw a crucifixion! They heard of a resurrection, too, Mary came breathlessly to the disciples and said ‘I have seen Him!’ Remember, this is the famous race between Peter and John, and John wrote (‘I got there first’), lol. They saw the empty tomb and the folded head covering, and believed. Resurrection!?

Mary was instructed to tell the men to go to Galilee to a mountain He had designated there. (Matthew 28:10). Jesus appeared to Simon a few other times before the lakeside appearance at the Sea of Galilee/Lake Tiberias. (Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5).

So sometime between day 8 post resurrection and day 40 when He ascended, Jesus made various appearances to Peter and the others. They were told to go to a mountain in Galilee and wait. So they trudged the far distance from Jerusalem to Galilee, it must have taken some time to get there.

Once there, they went to the mountain. They waited. And waited. But Peter being Peter, impetuous action filled, did not wait.

Continue reading ““I’m going fishing””
Posted in theology

Week’s recap, & Calming-Down Techniques

By Elizabeth Prata

This has been an interesting week, hasn’t it? I’ve watched political events unfold at lightning speed, my mouth metaphorically hanging open. In my 60 years I’ve been witness to some of the most amazing events in history, but this past week, rather since November 3, 2020, has left me speechless.

If the Big Tech Oligarchs have their way we conservatives & Christians will be left literally speechless soon, right? I’ve tried to write essays this week that encouraged, that referenced some events obliquely without delving. I read a tweet from a missionary friend who wrote, “Husbands, guard your wife against information overload. She may not want to hear you constantly talk about how the US is falling.” So true.

I have to guard myself against that, and I LOVE information. The relentlessly bad news, coupled with near-impossible ability to assess its credibility, means I have to push away and do some calming techniques. I’ll lay those out below, but first ICYMI, a recap of the week’s essays:

Continue reading “Week’s recap, & Calming-Down Techniques”
Posted in theology

What’s that glow in the middle of the universe?

By Elizabeth Prata

In my earliest days of my walk with Jesus, I tried to witness to a close friend. She rejected Jesus as God, the notion of personal sin, and God’s creation work because, she said, Genesis shows that God made light before He made the sun, and that’s just illogical. You can’t have light without the sun, she asserted.

I didn’t have an answer to that, except that if God could make the sun He certainly could make light too, and in whatever sequence He wanted.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. (Genesis 1:1-5).

Continue reading “What’s that glow in the middle of the universe?”