About Stephen Nielsen

I'm an author, a self publisher, and a painting contractor. I live in beautiful Minnesota, USA . Welcome to my blog site.

As the World Fans the Flame of Racism

The thing that is most on my mind these days is how certain groups and people are fanning the flames of racism—mostly against the police. Black Lives Matter is the worst, but very influential leaders are also doing it, like the governor of Minnesota (my state), and the mayor of Minneapolis. Some of the things that are said are downright stupid and very damaging to the police—an institution that we ought to be respecting; for God has established it, and when we resist that authority, we are resisting God Himself (Romans 13:2). When our leaders talk against the police, they are spreading a message of disrespect against them and ultimately against God. It is no wonder that black people are rising up in rebellion against them.

I just heard that our governor has suggested that traffic cops maybe will not carry a gun. Because of one mistake made by a police woman, we are going to put in danger the entire Minneapolis police force. How stupid!

You know, if people would start respecting the police and do what they are told to do—like get out of their automobile…put their hands on the dashboard…etc.—we wouldn’t have the problems we are having. I think the police needs to crackdown more on people who don’t obey them. They are being too lenient. They ought to be giving out stiff fines for disrespectful language and certainly for not obeying their orders. The bible says,

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities…whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God (Romans 13:1-2).

But what can we do about governors who are telling the police to “backdown” and do nothing when there is a riot? All we can do is vote against them, but also pray. We have not yet come to the terrible times as it was in the early church when the Christians were under so much persecution by Nero and others. But it will be coming—if things keep going the way it has been. Those Roman dictators were all possessed by demons and were homosexuals. Yes, they were! They were given anything they desired to please themselves: young boys and girls were molested; and it was recorded that Nero used live Christians as torches to light his courtyard. These sins are returning to us—because of our latest policies in favor of homosexuals of all types—LGBTQIA, etc.

However, in all of the terrible trials we face and hear about, we can stand strong and rejoice in the Lord. He will always be with you and build you up. And know also that He is coming soon to receive you to Himself (read 1 Thess. 4:16-18).

How to Carry Burdens in Prayer

Prayer A to Z

When the Holy Spirit gives you a burden He also gives you the responsibility to hold it and carry it along.  For this reason, you must listen closely to the voice of God and give attention to those peculiar feelings of compassion He gives you for certain individuals.  Then when you feel a special mercy, tenderness, or pity for a person, give heed to this feeling—go immediately to prayer.

But give attention only to those unselfish concerns.  Pay no heed to those interests by which you will benefit from.  In this regard, be careful in your praying, as you pray for certain members of the opposite sex that you are attracted to.  Guard your heart, as your prayers may be nothing more than Satan’s trap to get you more emotionally attached, which in the end may have very destructive consequences. Overall, I think, to give yourself consistently and exclusively to…

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Trails with Meaning

The narrow most treacherous road may be the best one. As Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14,

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

A wide dirt trail. Easy to walk on. Many think it is easy to follow Jesus in His way. But as Jesus was walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”

Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head” (Lu. 9:57).

A grassy trail.

The grassy trail is a quiet trail and best for conversation. Two men one day reflected on their conversation with a stranger:

Luke 24:32
32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”


Five Functions of a Prayer Ministry

Prayer A to Z

The function of a prayer ministry is its purpose; and its function will tell us what it does; it will give us the reasons why we should have it. In this post we will discuss five functions of a prayer ministry.

Five Functions of a Prayer Ministry

1. It provides for teaching on prayer.Every prayer ministry should do some-thing to teach its people what prayer is and how to pray. If your ministry is in a church, and you are the head pastor, you should see to it that sermons are preached on prayer and that prayer is taught in Sunday school classes and bible study groups. Wherever your ministry is located, I think it would be good if you had prayer retreats and prayer conferences, where speakers would teach on prayer and where workshops would be given to learn about prayer. Moreover, you should encourage your people to…

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All are God’s Creatures: Turtles, Ducks, and a Chipmunk

It is amazing how many turtles are in this small lake. They like to crowd together. They seem to be a very social animal (reptile).

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8 but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
James 3:7-8

Diving for supper!

This little guy just loves the spotlight. I have found that chipmunks are not too afraid of humans. They make great pets.

It seems that ducks get along well with turtles.

I know every bird in the mountains,
and the creatures of the field are mine.
12 If I were hungry I would not tell you,
for the world is mine, and all that is in it.
Psalm 50:11-12

How Birds and Flowers Can Help a Christian

Our text for this blog is Matthew 6:25-30, where Jesus is giving a sermon to His followers.

Matthew 6:25-30

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

For many, food, drink, and clothing are the whole of their life. It is all they think about. And the world is doing its best to get us to live on that level. But Jesus has said that we should not be anxious about those things. And He points out two things in nature that will help us in that area—birds and flower.

BIRDS

Jesus said, “Look at the birds of the air [Look at and think about them].”

  1. They don’t sow or reap or gather.
  2. Yet God our Father feeds them.
  3. And we are better (closer to God) than they are; we are His children. So, He definitely will care for us.
  4. Also, what good will it do anyway to worry about these things. Will worrying change anything? Will it extend your life?

Let’s look at the birds and all humans, how God provides for them.

Birds: They do nothing to provide for themselves, yet God provides for them.

Humans: They have to sow and reap and gather for themselves, but then God alone will give the increase.

In both cases God provides. And though man must enter into the process (sowing, reaping and gathering), it is God alone who ultimately provides for man, because He makes it rain and He makes the crops grow.

Now let’s look at the argument from the standpoint of a Christian.

  • If God provides for both the birds and for all humans, how much more will He provide for His own family—His believers?
  • If He provides for mere creatures and for unbelievers, will He neglect His own Children? No!

If we reason these things out with ourselves, this will defeat anxiety and worry in us. If we realize that because He provides for the birds, He will most certainly provide for us even more, because we are His beloved children.

When you really see yourselves as His child, you should know that He will care for you. Maybe this is your problem. That you forget (or you don’t think about the fact) that you are His child and He loves you as His own.

FLOWERS

Flowers do nothing! Even birds have to look around for worms and seeds to eat; but flowers do nothing. And God makes them grow and look beautiful. He gives them the sun and the rain.

See how these flowers bend toward the west.

Have you noticed how flowers always face the sun? You may notice how in the evening they will bend way over to continue to look into the sun. We could learn a lesson in that.

If we look at (and think about) the flowers, we see the hand of God, His perfect creation, the glory of His creation. The flowers are perfectly clothed by God and are dependent on God for everything they need to keep living and to look good.

If God our Father so clothes the flowers with such beauty that last only a little while (a few months) will He not cloth us His children whom He loves and that lasts forever?

Jesus and the Pharisees on Divorce: from Matthew 19:3-9

This is our eleventh study. Please click HERE for an intro to this study. Today we will focus on the Biblical teaching of divorce.

Matthew 19:3-9

Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’  5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?  6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

Observations

The Pharisees asked Jesus about divorce, as always, to test Him—to see how much He knew. And they may also have been looking for more information for their own debates. The Rabbis Shammai interpreted the law as permitting a man to divorce his wife only for sexual immorality. But the Hillelites permitted divorce for any reason.

Jesus appears to side with the Shammai, but He also gave them more informaation than they asked for. He instructed them on what the original intent of marriage was—to be of one flesh. He also corrected them on what was said about a command of divorce. He said that Moses didn’t command divorce, he permitted it, and only for one reason, adultery.

Applications

I think these verses should definitely be studied by any couple who is thinking about marriage. And it is my opinion that if they can’t be serious about staying together for life, they should not be married. It is better to remain single.

Worship in the Millennial Kingdom in Israel — According to Ezekiel 43-45

Studying Bible Prophecy

003   We have been talking about what will go on on earth in the millennial kingdom of God.  Things will be very different then than they are now.  God’s people the Jews will be totally in charge and, strangely, you will see worship somewhat like it was back in Old Testament times.  And the Jews (and some Gentiles) in Jerusalem will worship in the millennial temple. There are several items that have always been in the former temples and that were part of the Mosaic system of worship that will no longer be used in the millennial temple and system of worship.  And this is understandable, for some of the former things such as the ark and the veil were designed to shut out people and protect them from the wrath of God against sins; but now (and forever), since we are under the new covenant, we may approach the throne of…

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My Adventure: Geese, Ducks, Path, the Dam

Today is Easter morning, and it was so good this morning to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and our life in Christ. As I am now at home relaxing in Him, I want to share with you one of my adventures about a week ago. I walked across the Coon Rapids Dam and along the Mississippi River. I will give you just a few of the photos I took along the way. This is Mr. Canada geese–very common in Minnesota.

I also saw these Mallard ducks. I don’t know why but the female always takes the lead. It is a picture of our backward culture, since the male (the husband) is to be the head of the wife (Eph. 5:23), though I suppose he can lead from the back.

Part of the way along the river is quite treacherous. But that is part of the adventure.

This is the Coon Rapids Dam, in Coon Rapids Minnesota. There is a walking path above the dam. On a windy day when you walk across you will feel sprinkles of water from the water falls.