Posted in poem, Uncategorized

The Lamb, Slain and Alive

poem finala

By Elizabeth Prata

The Lamb, slain and alive

By Elizabeth Prata

My Living Hope
My precious Savior
Resplendent in glory
He came down

Unclean! Unclean!
All we are unclean
The Holy and perfect One
He came down

He dwelled among us
He lived sinlessly
He ministered constantly
He came down

My sin, my sin so great
So dark, so depraved
The Fountain of truth to wash me
He came down

He obeyed the call of the cross
Taking God’s wrath
He died in pain and alone
They took Him down

In the tomb He lay
Wrapped and bloody
But on the third day
He conquered death and rose up!

Jesus stayed and taught
He loved and comforted
Yet 40 days transpired
He went up!

His return to glory a triumph
The Lamb who was slain is alive
His return to heaven so joyous
Father and Son and Spirit united

He is not here. He is risen!

Posted in discernment, Uncategorized

Practical magic’s resurgence

By Elizabeth Prata

The NY Times published an article titled The modern charm of practical magic. I found it interesting for many different reasons. I was not saved by grace of the Lord Jesus until I was 42 years old. I spent all of my adulthood prior to the salvation moment, searching for the magic key to the magic in life, the unexplainable, explained. I dabbled in lots of different kinds of magic. Ouija boards, Kirlian aura photography, dreamcatchers, sage burning, Reiki, astral projection, summoning spirits & spirit guides, clairvoyance…

We all want to know what’s on the other side. We do enjoy peeking behind the veil, knowing the unknowable. Because, the unsaved person knows there is a higher power. (Romans 1:19-20). They just deny Who it is. ‘Oh it can’t be God. It must be runes…solstice…labyrinths…”

The NYT article says that they notice more than ever, people seeking answers through magic,

You may have noticed it at work. Perhaps your co-worker has ornamented her cubicle with rose quartz crystals? Has a friend uploaded an I Ching app onto his phone? Or maybe your boyfriend blamed his failure to respond to your text messages on Mercury being in retrograde? 

Why magic, and why now? The lack of religious faith so prevalent in our age is an anomaly in history. Magic, which usually does not demand faith in a particular deity, or the sometimes exclusionary imperatives of organized religion, allows people to access a sense of the miraculous on the level of the quotidian.

The article concedes the yearning for a higher power but subtly warns against it actually being God,

There is relief to be found in simply accepting a higher order, in letting go, but what of appeals to reason? Is it not important to disbelieve things that aren’t real? Might faith in the healing powers of a vibratory sound bath lead the next day to outlandish conspiracy theories?

I liked this NY Times article, for many reasons but mainly for its use of my favorite word, quotidian. Where else are you going to read an essay where the author uses such a fancy word which means mundane?

The Christian is bombarded with practical magic all the time. Did you know that? The fads are part of the devilish worming into your home of these magical activities. Labyrinths, Breath prayer, mantras, prayer beads, Mandala coloring books, the false gospel of telling you your words have power, drawing prayer circles, horoscopes, seeking the Presence (which is actually summoning spirits)…and more, are just different kinds of old magic that satan is using to take your eyes off Jesus.

Beware of the charm of practical magic, brethren. The warning is not just for unbelievers, but for believers. Satan insinuates practical magic into our lives under the guise of it being Christian, but it never is. We have the answers. We have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16). Our answers are in the all-sufficient Bible. We do not need additional practices that promise to deliver information, (but never does), or promises to give added insight (but won’t) or gives a special closeness to Jesus (but never does).

Here are some resources about the dangers of Christian magic:

Desiring God:Jesus vs. the Occult

Critical Issues Commentary: Contemporary Christian Divination

GotQuestions: What does the Bible say abut Divination?

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Gadara & Sychar: A Tale of Two Towns

By Elizabeth Prata

Gadara, where Jesus healed a demoniac

When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. 35 Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. 36 And those who had seen it told them how the demon-possessed man had been healed. 37 Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. (Luke 8:34-37).

By David Bjorgen – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Sychar, where Jesus met a woman at the well

Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his word. 42 They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.” (John 4:39-42).

In one town, they saw Jesus perform a miracle, delivering the man from his legion of demons. Jesus demonstrated his sovereignty over creation, including the demons in the spiritual realm. The people saw, and rejected.

In another town, one woman’s testimony, a well-known immoral woman, seemed to have been changed. Her shame was gone, or at least diminished in the face of the incredible news that this man who told her all she ever (shamefully) did (but seemed to love her anyway), could be the Christ.

Source: Sychar. Earthly Footsteps of the Man of Galilee, 1894

Things to ponder:

1. Just because they witnessed a miracle does not mean that belief always follows. Some believed because of the signs (John 2:11, John 2:23, John 11:45). Others saw signs and miracles and did not believe (John 11:46).

2. Far from being dry, dusty, and unnecessary, doctrine leads one to faith and repentance. Doctrine is the act of teaching or that which is taught. “Doctrine is teaching imparted by an authoritative source.” (GotQuestions). Like the Bereans who consulted the word after hearing Paul, the townsmen of Sychar were open to hearing Jesus teach. They listened and heard. “And many more believed because of his word”.

3. Some in the same crowd or the same room or in the same family believe, and others don’t. That’s the way it always has been and always will be. Some wonder why that is when we all have free will. Our will isn’t as free as one thinks it is. Our will is a slave to sin, it’s bound. Belief comes when Jesus opens ears and eyes to see and repent, gives a spirit of repentance. He intervenes from outside of earth, outside of ourselves, from heaven and breaks the binding of our soul to sin by giving us the Holy Spirit. There is nothing in us that can awaken our dead soul. Picture Lazarus dead in grave cloths, awakened by the sovereign call of Jesus. That was a picture of God’s sovereign election of individuals to save whom He decided in eternity past to save, before history began. Did Lazarus have free will? Only to remain dead.

The Reformed view of election, known as unconditional election, means that God does not foresee an action or condition on our part that induces Him to save us. Rather, election rests on God’s sovereign decision to save whomever He is pleased to save. (Source: Ligonier, Tulip & Reformed Theology: Unconditional Election)

Two towns, Gadara and Sychar. Two individuals in the same family, the unconverted and the saved. One rejects and departs, one repents and believes. Continue to pray for those in unbelief.

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Poetry by Kay Cude: Unity in Christ

Artist’s Statement:

I was compelled to do a piece about “unity in Christ” and what Christ means, not what “we” assume He means. [The picture] is Christ the Lamb of God who manifested all that “unity” of the redeemed in God the Father and God the Son!

For more information on the topic of unity, please see Mike Oppenheimer’s (Let Us Reason) pieces on “UNITY”, (“The Gospel of UNITY,”  and “Unity Without Truth or Christ,”

Photo and poetry below. Used with permission.
kay cude unity.jpg

Posted in el panecillo, mary queen of heaven, quito, satan, Uncategorized

Woman of the Apocalypse: El Panecillo statue in Quito

By Elizabeth Prata

El Panecillo is a tourist attraction in Quito Ecuador. I was in Quito some years back and I snapped a photo of the famous statue. Then I messed with it in Photoshop and it came out like this:

Kind of end of the world doomish, don’t you think? I always titled it in my writings or categorized it in my files as “Angel of Quito”. Here is my original:

angel of quito

Here is the statue from wikipedia, full-on:

But before I even was saved, or knew Jesus, or knew the background of the statue, I was interested in it. I learned that it was called “The Woman of the Apocalypse.” But then I learned even more about the statue and what I learned made me sad. Because it is all wrong, I tell you, all wrong. Here’s the scoop.

The statue is not of an angel. It is of Mary, Jesus’s mother and termed in Catholic circles, The Madonna. Traditional iconography of Madonna statues is that she is standing on the globe and stepping on a snake, which indeed she is in the Quito statue. More unusual, are the wings. Madonnas are not typically adorned with them. The circle above her head is the circle of twelve stars as referred to in Revelation 12:1–18. Protestants usually interpret the verse describing the woman with 12 stars as mother Israel and her 12 tribes of sons.

However the iconography that the Catholics ascribe to Mary is heinous in the extreme. For example, transferring the commonly understood interpretation of the woman as a sign of Israel, to her instead being Mary is very bad. Secondly, the twelve stars are the tribes, but to Catholic tradition, she is Mary, Queen of Heaven. “The Catholic teaching on this subject is expressed in the papal encyclical Ad Caeli Reginam, issued by Pope Pius XII. It states Mary is called the Queen of Heaven because her Son, Jesus Christ, is the King of Israel and heavenly King of the Universe. The Eastern Orthodox churches do not share the Catholic dogma, but have themselves a rich liturgical history in honor of Mary. The title Queen of Heaven has long been a Catholic tradition, included in prayers and devotional literature, and seen in Western art in the subject of the Coronation of the Virgin, from the High Middle Ages, long before it was given a formal definition status by the Church.” (source).

There is only one Monarch in heaven, Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Mary, of course, is not royalty and her station as shown above the world is a false elevation of who she really was: a forgiven sinner just like us. 

Worst of all are the iconic depictions of her stepping on the snake. In Genesis 3:15 we read, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” This is the prophetic pronouncement from God to Adam and Eve in the garden of the coming hope, Jesus Christ. Switching HIS work to crush sin and death (Dan 9:24; Rev 20:14) to Mary’s work is idolatry in the extreme.

As Matthew Henry said in his commentary of the crushed snake and bruised heel, “A gracious promise is here made of Christ, as the deliverer of fallen man from the power of Satan.” Mary does not deliver us from sin, though the cumulative iconography and traditional teachings of the Catholic Church is that she does.

So all that time when I was in Quito and I had been looking at this iconography in statuary and paintings, I never knew how wrong it was. After having snapped the photo and worked with it on my computer, I never knew how dishonoring it was to the Lord. But now that I am saved, I detected immediately the erroneous parts that made up a dastardly whole.

I don’t quite know what I’m trying to say here, other than how easy it is to be deceived. As a non-believer of course, the things of God make no sense and that person is not expected to be able to detect the nuances or differences between true and false doctrine, symbols, or idolatry vs. true worship. But as an unsaved person, I absorbed those false views, and after salvation I had to work at dispensing with the false notions that had littered my mind and heart.

Even Christians though, are often fooled by religious works that mirror something that seems full of truth but isn’t really. I have been surprised lately when mentioning some of the false things contained within Roman Catholicism, that fellow believers are not aware that they are even false in the first place, never mind being able to point to the bible on how or where.

Please always stay within the Word, in prayer, and in fellowship with Christians in these troubled days. We need each other, the false is everywhere and the true is harder to find. Bless His name, though, because on the Last Day, He will not be hard to find. He is coming in great power and glory (Rev 1:7) to demonstrate in power and glory (Mt 24:3) that HE IS FAITHFUL AND TRUE! (Rev 19:11). He is the only true God and there is no other. (Is 45:5).

Posted in Uncategorized

Kay Cude poetry: The Character of Sin

Still Life by Windberg
Still Life by Windberg

Right-click to open larger in new window. Published with permission

Artist’s Statement:

I was compelled to say something that spoke encouragement for “the saved to continue on,” even while recognizing and knowing the true character of sin, the taste and its aroma. Our efforts to reach the lost becomes harder each day; the news-media ridicules Christ’s redeemed, and with deceptive words, demands we not speak Gospel Truth. But we must “continue on.” I must keep fresh in my mind that previous centuries of the lost hated Christ, and that this present century of the lost will hate us (even as we the “saved” seek their rescue).

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Is it OK for Christians to be vegetarians/vegans?

By Elizabeth Prata

I receive questions from time to time and usually answer them via email. This was on a topic not often raised (in my sphere) so I thought I’d answer it here as well as having answered the person individually.

Q. I have a question.

Lately I have been reading about health benefits of eating primarily vegetables and eliminating or reducing meats and dairy from a person’s diet. I listened to one of John Macarthur’s sermons on seducing spirits from 1 Timothy 4, and it does say everything God created is good.

Meat and dairy seem to be linked to many of the diseases we have in this country and western civilization. For health reasons is it ok for a Christian to refrain from certain foods?

I would think we are free to choose based on health reasons, but 1 Tim 4 says everything God created is good. So I wonder.

A. Thank you for your question and for your long readership of my blog! I appreciate both so much.

The 1 Timothy 4 verse mentioned above is in verse 1-5,

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, 3 who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.

The false teachers were forcing an asceticism on the Ephesians that the Bible doesn’t command or even suggest. The John MacArthur Study Bible note says,

The false teachers’ asceticism contradicted scripture, which teaches that since God created both marriage and food, (Genesis 1:28-31, 2:18-24, 9:3) they are intrinsically good (Genesis 1:31). and to be enjoyed with gratitude by believers. Obviously food and marriage are essential to life and procreation.

The point was, no one has the right to force an asceticism on anyone, and all foods should be gratefully received because when God made them, they were good.

In Acts 10:10-15 God declared all foods clean, meaning the dietary restrictions placed on the Israelites was lifted.

On the more practical side of things, everything God created was good. Key detail: was. In the original creation, everything was perfect. When Man sinned and fell from grace, pollution and death entered the world. Botulism, salmonella, e coli, and other diseases cause us to select and prepare food very carefully. Our compromised human immune systems and tendency toward disease means we have to watch what we eat, especially if we have been diagnosed with celiac disease, diabetes, or other food-related conditions..

It falls to an individual’s Christian conscience as to what foods you would like to consume and how clean the conditions are when you prepare it.

I myself refrain from eating meat for both financial and taste reasons. I’m also a celiac and so for health reasons have to restrict gluten from my diet. There are many reasons one may want to restrict certain foods from their diet.

Because food restrictions are not prohibited nor commanded in the New Testament for NT believers, it falls in the gray area of Christian liberty. Even within these matters where there are no details, the Bible gives guidance.

Paul wrote about the law of liberty in Romans 14 and one of his examples was food. See the verses below.

For one man has faith to eat all things, while another, who is weak, eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. 4Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. Rom 14:2-4.

In his example of those who eat only vegetables being ‘weak’, don’t worry, he is not saying vegetarianism is a character flaw, lol. The context is one where the Christian who was refraining from eating meat was afraid to get involved in eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols. That’s no longer an issue since even the last remnants of the sacrificial system have dwindled away.

1 Timothy 4:3 says, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.

Here we see that food only becomes an issue when someone holding to some kind of authority imposes restrictions upon another. This is wrong, for God declared all foods clean. (Acts 10:15-16).

So if the question is one of personal conscience, health, or desire, and is not biblically forbidden, then not eating meat becomes a question of individual liberty, i.e. individual choice. As long as we’re not doing something that might cause a weaker brother to stumble, or judging someone by what they do/don’t eat, and we’re not violating a biblical prescription, then we may eat or not eat as one feels is physically wise and spiritually acceptable.

It’s worth noting that in the original creation, man was a vegetarian. He will be again in the future Millennial Kingdom.

Here is a resource John MacArthur recommended on the topic of dietary restrictions for the Israelites,

There’s an excellent paperback book called None of These Diseases, a little paperback by Dr. S.I. McMillen. Some of you may have read it. It’s very helpful in telling you why God gave Israel many of their laws regarding communicable diseases and dietary laws and what they could eat and so forth and so on.

Here is Ligonier Ministry with an essay on Christian Liberty guiding the believer when it comes to gray areas-

4 Principles for the Exercise of Christian Liberty

Friends, weigh in. What has been your experience with eating or not eating certain foods? (a different topic from the spiritual discipline of fasting)

Comments welcome below.