Lures: Biting the Bait

Duck Dynasty

Be careful little ears what you hear…

The first in a series

Have you ever watched an episode of Duck Dynasty? This reality show is about a Louisiana family that produces superior-sounding duck calls. An interview recently aired where one of the family showcased their handmade products, touting the best one named Duck Commander. They claim to have the most authentic-sounding calls of any other manufacturer, boasting that ducks are fooled into believing that they are hearing another live duck. This sound of trickery then lures the poor, unsuspecting birds into a death trap.

Dead Ducks

So what is the exact meaning of the word lure? Merriam-Webster defines it as:

1. An appealing or attractive quality, and 2. A device used for attracting   and catching animals, birds, or especially fish.

A duck call deals solely with the sense of hearing. Perhaps ducks can be fooled, but can the enemy also trick people in the same way?

A good example flies off the pages of ancient literature through the story of the hero Odysseus in The Odyssey. One of his adventures as he sailed home took him by the island where the Sirens dwelled. All sailors knew that their sweet, hypnotic singing was like a fishhook that slowly reeled in its doomed prey. Many wrecked ships attested to this fatal end, and not one of them escaped alive. In order to sail by and not be caught in this deadly trap, Odysseus first used earplugs to deafen his sailors. Next, he instructed them to tie him to the mast as they sailed by, giving strict orders that they not unlash him, no matter how much he pleaded. He wanted to be the first man to hear the luring songs without also losing his life.

Odysseus beat the evil Sirens at their game with the help of his loyal crew. But on another front, can people beat Satan against his luring games? Unlike The Odyssey, these deadly temptations are not fiction.

Satan has an arsenal of “sirens” that call out to everyone, tempting them with sweet sounds that are hard to resist as they lead to spiritual and sometimes physical death. What are they? In  part one of this series, we will specifically target music.

heavy metal music

Before God expelled him from Heaven, Lucifer was the leader of the angelic choir who created beautiful music of praise and worship to God. So is it any wonder that through gifted musicians he now creates and leads satanic music on the earth—music that glorifies him–the devil– with lyrics of death, destruction, and despair? This music certainly causes separation from God. At best, it may influence people to fill their minds and hearts with evil ideas that can negatively impact  their lives. At worst, we read and hear about so many young people who are influenced to commit murder and suicide because of specific lyrics, which lure them to commit these horrific crimes.

heavy metal 2

If Satan is trying to lure you with his lies wrapped up in music such as  heavy metal or rock, can you escape? Or do you believe–as do so many young people and teens– that you are immune to becoming hooked? Do you listen because it is the cool thing to do? Do you fear rejection if you don’t go along with everyone else?

Whether you are simply flirting or have already bitten the bait, there is good news. God has provided a way of escape from all of Satan’s sweet-sounding lures. Like Odysseus, we do not have the power to resist such strong temptation without help—but our help is from the Lord God.

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it (I Cor. 10:13).

The bottom line is that God will help you as you guard your ears from evil. Here is a clip of some of my favorite music by Chris Tomlin– to free you from the enemy, uplift and draw you closer to God– called Our God (Live). 

God bless you!

Is Heaven For Real?


I recently saw the movie, Heaven is For Real.

The curious thing to me is that the parents of Colton Burpo, who  are Christian pastors, had such a hard time coming to terms with their personal belief in heaven as a real, actual place.

What convinced them? It wasn’t necessarily Colton’s vision of his dad yelling at God in another room while Colton was in surgery.  It wasn’t even the description of a blue-eyed Jesus with those marks on his hands and feet. Neither was it the beautiful flowers and colors that are indescribable in human language. For Todd, the deciding proof for his belief lay more in Colton’s seeing Todd’s father, who had passed away years before. The most surprising element was that Colton saw a young adult version of his grandfather in heaven, not the elderly man he had become before his death. How could the four-year-old have recognized the wedding day picture of that young man, some fifty years ago, as the same man who had introduced himself to Colton in heaven?

Colton’s mother, Sonja, was even more disbelieving of the story, until Colton revealed that he had met his sister there. The little girl had no name, and she told Colton that she had died in her mother’s tummy. Perhaps other details of his eyewitness of heaven could be explained away, but it was impossible that Colton could have known these facts. Her disbelief dissolved in a pool of tears.

What do you think? Is heaven for real? Do we just accept these eyewitness accounts with blind faith? Although the Burpo family struggled to believe their son’s spiritual experience, my family has its own stories to tell.

My mother’s side of the family is a strong Christian clan who periodically has experienced the supernatural, especially at the time of death. My great-grandmother was a true saint during her lifetime, in which she spent ministering to her family, friends, and missionaries. She actually sat up and reached out her arms to the invisible right before she escaped from this life and entered eternity, pleading, Give me my crown! I want my crown!

What did she see? An angel that came to carry her away to heaven, showing her her waiting reward? Jesus Himself? We can only speculate, but I do believe that the curtain into the spiritual dimension was pulled back, allowing us to witness and to believe.

My grandfather also had a supernatural experience just hours before his departure into eternity. Lying in his hospital bed, he suddenly pointed and calmly said, “What was that–over in the corner? A star fell over there.”

I do know that this man, who had always been terrified of dying, was totally at peace and unafraid when it was his time to depart. Was that his angel who had come to escort him through the heavens and into God’s kingdom? He died shortly after seeing his falling star.

Are you convinced? Whose story would you have to hear to believe heaven is real? Listen to one from Jesus Christ.

Jesus comforted His disciples on the night of the Passover, before his arrest. After the meal was over and Judas had departed to betray Him, Jesus washed the feet of each disciple and spoke to them about what was going to happen. This was His story:

Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. –John 14:1-3 NAS 

Jesus also discussed heaven hours later at the crucifixion where He was crucified between two thieves. The one on His right begged Christ to remember him when He came into His kingdom.

And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” –Luke 23: 43 NAS 

God’s Word assures us in these and many other scriptures that heaven is for real.

Do you believe it?