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Category Archives: Friends on Fire

Friends of Tuesdays Torch who are on fire for the Lord

Blog from February 22, 2016

February 22, 2016

07/16/18

By: Cindy Lundhagen

(A continuation from Monday) – warning…this covers a period of separation (from God that is) and you probably won’t like me much after reading this one (I’ll have to accept that risk and if necessary pay that price). It will be worth it if, in the end, you understand that this period illustrates that God never leaves. He is patient. He is faithful. And He is full of all-consuming love, mercy and amazing grace.

After graduating high school, I found my ticket out with an Air Force ROTC scholarship to Louisiana Tech University. I thought I could simply run away from my past and everyone in it. But I brought along a ton of baggage…more than I could carry. The way I survived my childhood was all about self preservation…fight when possible, flight when necessary and avoidance at all costs. The costs were devastating to both my sisters. My older sister endured some horrific things; my guilt lies in not saying or doing anything to save her. I left home when my younger sister was only 13 knowing full well the fate that could await her. They are both deeply troubled today. Psychologists would call it “Survivor’s Guilt”; I call it a personal hell you carry in your soul.

Don’t let anyone tell you that physical and emotional scars don’t hurt. Scars are surface repairs that simply try to bind; the healing has to occur down below the surface where the actual wound (aka pain) is found. If you don’t heal there…the scars will hurt. My scars were still hurting. I began to struggle with PTSD…nightmares and fits of pure rage over minor incidents most people would blow off. I confided in and loved someone for the first time…only to be devastated when I couldn’t be what that person wanted me to be. The relationship fizzled and eventually died. I vowed to never allow myself to be hurt again…by anything. I built a fortress to protect…from all things.

Graduated college and got assigned to Charleston Air Force Base. Finally freedom and money. But my issues followed me once more. Managed my life in ship tight compartments (or so I thought)…doing extremely well professionally and not so great personally. I didn’t know how to love and trust…so I didn’t. I got involved in lots of relationships where love and trust were not requirements. I discovered I could get physical satisfaction without emotional attachment…with virtually anyone I wanted whenever I wanted…so I did. I broke hearts and I broke marriages. Eventually…it all broke me. It was like I was emotionally vulnerable and emotionally dead at the same time. The turning point was when a man left his young child home alone to come see me. Potential harm to a child was a line I dared not cross. The thing was I didn’t know how to get out of my mess. I wanted to kill myself but I didn’t want to die. Yet again I had no where else to turn…except back to God. I begged him to either help me to end my life or to save it. I poured my heart out to Him that night; completely surrendered everything and left it all in His hands. At the end of the night I was still there and had reconnected with God in such an incredibly intense and powerful way. A few weeks later I found out I was pregnant. And I thanked God for saving us both…

The good stuff starts next Monday.

Cindy Lundhagen — Summerville, SC

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Posted by on 07/16/2018 in Friends on Fire

 

Blog from February 15, 2016

February 15, 2016

04/09/18

By: Cindy Lundhagen

As forewarned or promised…stepping forward boldly or doing something perceived as incredibly stupid…here I go. You see I don’t believe Jesus wants me to be silent about the glorious things He has done for me, what He is currently doing within me or how He wants to use me now or in the future. I think He wants me to sing out His praises…so that is what I intend to do. Sharing my story strengthens my faith and I hope it will yours as well or perhaps lead you or someone you know in His direction again…or for the first time. Jesus has helped heal deep wounds, has brought me peace and a promise of eternal salvation…which is the crux of my end message to you. I have no secrets anymore… Know that I am willing to talk to anyone at anytime about anything if it could help you.

So let’s begin. I started out in a “normal” family until 2nd grade…father, mother, older sister (2 yrs) and younger sister (5 yrs). We went off and on to a Catholic church of which I remember very little; I had a basic concept of God and prayer and that’s it. My mom began an affair, parents got divorced, and my mom remarried with custody of us kids. It didn’t take long to realize my world had been upended. Through the rest of my childhood, I experienced periods of poverty, sexual and physical abuse, and neglect. I was exposed to violence, alcoholism, abandonment and isolation, the death and destruction of things I loved, the attempted suicide of my mom and a host of other “really bad stuff” not imaginable to most kids. Though for me, the worst was feeling unwanted and unloved.

But let me tell you about God during this period. He was always, always there. He was a constant reassuring presence in the midst of a storm of chaos. He got me through many lonely days and terrifying nights. And I learned to pray…really just to talk to God when I had no one else.

Since I’ve read the Bible in the last few years, I often turn to John 6:16-21 when facing fear and circumstances outside of my control. In it Jesus walked on water in a stormy sea and his disciples were “terrified”. His answer to their terror is subtly profound, and important to grasp — he doesn’t explain himself; he simply reveals himself. “Don’t be afraid. I am here!”. Our assurance that everything will be OK has everything to do with the presence of Jesus in the midst of our fear. And more than quelling our fear, He invites us to walk directly into the fear, knowing that He is always with us, we are never alone and we are loved beyond belief by a mighty, mighty power that NOTHING can overcome.

Hang in there with me for a little more of my history…you’ll see the depths He has pulled me from and the lengths He went to…and then things will get interesting. Until next Monday…

Cindy Lundhagen – Summerville, SC

 
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Posted by on 07/09/2018 in Friends on Fire

 

THE NATURE AND CHARACTER OF FALLEN MAN

SEVEN FUNDAMENTALS OF THE CROSS

ONE: THE NECESSITY OF THE CROSS

III. THE NATURE AND CHARACTER OF FALLEN MAN

By: Brother Cliff

The nature and character of fallen man: the horror and depravity of sin.

Sin: deceived, selfish, lust, rebellious, pride, fear, guilt and shame.

Death: darkness, chaos, lies, anger, abortion, theft, war, disease.

Fallen man is deceived by sin. He is selfishly rebellious, prideful in lust, and driven by fear, anger, guilt and shame. He dwells in confusion and chaos; ever bound by lies. Sinful man is the prisoner of Satan.

Hopelessly captive; the servant of sin fuels and promotes death and the kingdom of darkness every day of their life.

1Jn 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

Fallen man:

deceived/wicked

selfish/lust

prideful/rebellious

fearful/guilty

shame/darkness

chaos

lies

anger

abortion

death

theft

war

disease

Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

Nature of God                        vs                     Nature of Fallen Man

Holy/Love                                                       deceived/wicked

Different/Self-giving                                      selfish/lust

Good/Severe                                                   prideful/rebellious

Righteous                                                        fearful/guilty

Wisdom                                                           shame/darkness

Just                                                                  chaos

Jealous                                                             lies

Fire/Light                                                        anger

Way/Truth/Life                                               abortion

Mercy                                                              death

Grace                                                               war

Patient/Kind                                                    disease

Gen 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

1Jn 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

Brother Cliff — Fort Mill, SC

 
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Posted by on 07/05/2018 in Friends on Fire

 

The Divine Nature and Character of God

Seven Fundamentals of The Cross

ONE: THE NECESSITY OF THE CROSS

II: The Divine Nature and Character of God

By: Brother Cliff

Holy Love

Holy: good, wholly other-than, unique, no comparative, different.

Love: severe, other-centered, self-giving.

Holy is far beyond the opposite of evil. Every attribute of God is incomparable to all other expressions. There is nothing, there is no one who compares. He alone is God. The eternal, unchanging God is Holy Love. He is a hungry, consuming Fire. He is everlasting Light. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is Righteous. He is Just. He is Jealous. He is Wisdom.

God is merciful. He is full of grace and kindness. God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is wholly, Holy Love!

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

God is:

Holy/Love

Different/Self-giving

Good/Severe

Righteous

Wisdom

Just

Jealous

Fire/Light

Way/Truth/Life

Mercy

Grace

Patient

Kind

God is immutable: unchanging, always the same!

Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Consider next the nature and character of fallen man: the horror and depravity of sin. From the moment Adam was deceived by Satan and then chose to sin by rejecting God’s Word, all of mankind have been the inheritors of his sin nature and its fruit; which is death. What is it about sin that is so horrifying and depraved in, and through the life of a sinful person?

Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

“sin entered into the world, and death by sin…”

Every time sin is committed it is directly enabling and promoting death in the world. Sin is the inherited nature and character of every descendant of Adam in the earth. All are sinners by nature, and by default; promoters of Satan’s kingdom of darkness through sin and death.

All that produces death; whether it be by disease, murder, war, abortion, prejudice, hatred, starvation, suicide, or any other means by which death comes, its spiritual root is always mankind’s sin in the earth.

This Biblical truth strips away the subtle lies of rationalization; justifying some sins as more or less ok, because they are not nearly as bad as others. All sin fuels death. Sin must be destroyed and the sinner punished as a promoter of death. That is why God has declared: “the soul that sinneth must die”. [Ezek 18:20]

Brother Cliff — Fort Mill, SC

 
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Posted by on 06/28/2018 in Friends on Fire

 

Blog from February 8, 2016

February 8, 2016

06/18/18

By: Cindy Lundhagen

Consider this fair warning in advance…I feel this compelling need to share what has transpired in my life…especially the last few years. If what I have to say bothers you…just ignore my Monday night posts in the upcoming weeks. And if you need to unfriend me as a result that’s cool too. But I’d ask you to tune in for a few…you see if bits of my story can help just one person I will have served my purpose here.

The last few years have been full of what I now call many, small under-rated miracles. Definition of miracle: an unusual or wonderful event that is believed to be caused by the power of God. Things have happened in my life that I can call by no other name and that have literally transformed how I view the world. You see I read the Bible for the first time two years ago and began going to church for the first time just over a year ago. I’ve had an unyielding belief in God all my life but thought the Bible was just an old book that was way too long to want to take the time to read, I didn’t see a need to go to church where I thought all the judgmental people hung out and I scoffed at the door-to-door “born again” Christian salespeople trying to push their religion on me. But God found “miraculous” ways to get to me and to bring me home to him and to show me all the pieces I had been missing. If he can do that for me…with my history and my issues…which have kept me in constant fight or fright mode…then he can do that for anyone…and he can and he will if one can let down the walls for just a moment and take that first small step. I now have a conviction or an obsession, if you will, that runs so very deep. And it truly is a Good News story. One that everyone needs to hear. You will be amazed… I’ll tell you more next Monday…

On a slightly humorous note…do you think in heaven we’ll be able to go to sleep to the sound of rain falling on a tin roof?

Cindy Lundhagen – Summerville, SC

 
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Posted by on 06/18/2018 in Friends on Fire

 

WHY WAS JESUS CRUCIFIED?

All messages from Brother Cliff can be found in his book titled

SEVEN FUNDAMENTALS OF THE CROSS

ONE: THE NECESSITY OF THE CROSS

I: WHY WAS JESUS CRUCIFIED?

06/18/18

By: Brother Cliff

Consider first the Divine nature and character of God: the beauty and majesty of Holy Love. God is Holy Love. He is wholly Holy and He is wholly Love. God; Who is Holy, is inseparable from the God Who is Love. The great “I AM” is ever and always all that He is at all times. God does not, indeed cannot, lay aside one aspect of His nature in order to manifest another. His Divine nature and various attributes are always in absolute harmony at all times.

Just as the Persons of the Trinity within the God-head are each identifiable and yet, inseparable; even so is the fundamental duality of the Divine nature of God. When someone attempts to separate the holiness of God from the love of God; emphasizing one while neglecting the other, they are in danger of misrepresenting the nature and character of God. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are wholly, Holy Love!

Psa 99:5 Exalt ye the LORD our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.

1Jn 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

Brother Cliff — Fort Mill, SC

 
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Posted by on 06/18/2018 in Friends on Fire

 

Starting Again

About a year ago I tried starting a new feature on Tuesdays Torch to include posts from our friends. This is Friends On Fire for the Lord who have a heart to share their stories and how their lives have been affected by the message of the gospel. Two of these friends of ours have written some messages and have agreed to share them here with us. It is our belief that sharing the perspective of other believers will have an impact on building unity throughout readers of this blog. Hope these posts from our friends will be a blessing to readers and that it will help grow their faith.

 
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Posted by on 06/18/2018 in Friends on Fire