Tag Archives: die to self

M12H Overcome Fear of Death

The Scripture for this chapter—overcoming by the blood and by the word of our testimony—was another theme Scripture for our women’s group. However, the last part of it was not on our promotional material. “Not loving our own lives so much as to shrink from death,” means we must face the physical part of death when it comes to following Jesus as His disciple. This initially seemed too hard for our group to bear. Letting dreams die, as an example, is only a spiritual aspect.

overcome fear of deathRuth said to Naomi: “May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me” (Ruth 1:17). This is true commitment. Is our commitment to Jesus Christ this strong? We need to make this decision now before we should ever be faced with it. One member of our group had a vivid dream which brought her to this choice on February 8, 2003. It was Denise. She fell asleep listening to Scripture tapes. She was praying for God to fill her with His Spirit and to change her.

Denise overcame fear of death for Jesus Christ’s sake

Denise dreamed she was in a huge, tall, apartment-type building. Suddenly, like cell phones, everyone had a small, hand-held computer. She wrote:

On the top floor, people were dressed in blue body suits including faces masked in blue. They were playing a musical type instrument, swaying back and forth. On the back of their heads at the base of their skulls were blue tubes like a vacuum hose leading to a laptop computer in the center of the room. On the screen was another blue screen with a diamond-shaped box that turned slowly; it rippled like when touching water. It was all evil, and addictive like a video game and brainwashing.

My two friends and I were awakened suddenly with yelling to get out of the building—very urgent. On the street, everyone had the same laptop computers. Leaflets were passed out—folded in quarters. Everyone who looked at it seemed entranced.

Back in the apartment was a man watching us very closely. We pretended to be engrossed in the computer, but were not. He put his cell phone away. I grabbed my friend, who had a leaflet, to take her into the bathroom to warn her that this was all evil. As we got to the bathroom, two mean-looking men came out. They had sores all over their faces. In the bathroom, two more men were standing in front of the sink, looking into the mirror. One man ran his hand through his hair and the red hair that was on top of his head was in his hand. He said, “Look, I am a new creation.” And then I saw a razor in the sink and he proceeded to shave the sides and back of his head and his beard and when he was done (like a second later) he started praising God and singing. The guy next to him did the same thing, but he had his hair.

I felt the Holy Spirit come upon me and I wanted to join in, but I stopped myself. A few moments earlier, I looked at my friend and she was just like those men we saw leaving the bathroom. She had sores on her face—looking mean and full of hate. As I listened to the men singing praise, I knew that if I joined in, I would either be killed or put in prison. I chose to join in.

There is no other choice for me. As I make that decision right now, I know that no matter what happens to me, I will sing praises to God and that what I might suffer through will only be short lived. Next, my husband woke me up.

Jehovah Shammah - do not shrink from death

The Lord has given Denise a message for Christians

She is very passionate when she says, “I just want to share something that is deep in my heart. Most people do not realize the persecution of Christians that is going on today. In fact, most people do not even have a clue of the history of Christian persecution and martyrdom. Just going from 33 A.D. thru the year 2000 there have been roughly 69,421,230 Christians who have been martyred for their faith. The surprising number is that 65 percent of this persecution has taken place in the last 100 years.[1]

“It is time to WAKE UP! WAKE UP! Stop sleeping, sleepy Christians. It is time to become REAL with our faith! Be in God’s WORD like never before! Share your FAITH like never before! While we have the FREEDOM to do so! It doesn’t hurt to speak out to protect those freedoms that so many men and women in our history have bled and died for! We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but we all know that our world is changing and things are not going to be as they once were! We cannot afford to be caught off guard! We must stand together as ONE voice! More importantly we must fight the good fight, keep up the race to the finish and keep the faith! SO WAKE UP, Sleepy Christians! WAKE UP!”

[1] D.C. Talk with Voice of the Martyrs, Jesus Freaks, Vol. 11, (Bethany House, 2002, Bloomington, MN), p. 352-353.

M9F How Can We Move Out of the Saltshaker?

“I wanted others to see Jesus in me and to have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, but it wasn’t happening. It didn’t happen until I spent time on my face before God where He revealed I had self in the way. I found that as I daily asked for the Lord to take over, and for self to die, things changed.” Patty LaRoche is a spiritually salty, four-sided, balanced Christian who makes others thirsty. Why? Because she moved out of the saltshaker.

Patty LaRoche’s Saltshaker Story

What does it take to get out of the saltshaker? Patty LaRoche, wife of famous baseball player, Dave LaRoche, learned what it would take before anything like that would happen.

Patty was five months old when her father died and her mother was five months pregnant. At age eleven, Patty held her first job to help her mother with expenses. When in high school, she took drama, where she found her mouth worked well for her and won a trophy. No longer did she feel inferior, ugly or poor. She believed, “I can do something.”

Patty’s mother brought her children up in the church. However, Patty came away feeling like God was someone to fear—a judgmental God with a great big club in His hand ready to jump her if she got out of line. She thought if she died with a mortal sin on her soul, she would go to hell. She incorrectly believed getting to heaven was all about being good enough and working her way there.

Patty met Dave when she was a flight attendant. She married him without the blessing of her church, thinking she could eventually get him to join her one and only true church (as she had learned)—the only way to get to heaven. It did not work.

As a professional baseball pitcher, Dave was on the road. Patty followed the seasons with him. Very tragically, they lost two babies under very bizarre circumstances. One doctor actually broke her water causing the baby to be born premature, so he could be known as the doctor who birthed the child of Dave LaRoche.

Depressed and with her wine and cigarettes, Patty spent most days in her pajamas—mad at God and feeling He was mad at her. A girlfriend called, “Patty there’s an evangelist in town.

How about going with me?”

“No. I’m already in my pajamas. I can’t go.”

Her friend persisted and came to pick her up. They sat in the back of the church. The evangelist asked them to open their Bibles. She had no Bible and had never been asked to open one in church before. After twenty-seven years, Patty heard the plan of salvation—that her sin was as filthy rags. For the first time she heard Ephesians 2:8-9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”

No, I have to do good works. But the Holy Spirit got hold of her and the tough wall around her heart melted at hearing the Word.

When the invitation was offered, Patty literally ran down the isle and wept, and wept and wept. God filled her up, and up, and up. For the first time she had a foundation and realized God had allowed her to go through what she had so she would ask, “God, who are you?”

As her friend drove home, Patty stuck her head out the window and yelled to each person on the street, “Jesus loves you! Jesus loves you, too!” She could not help herself. She was a new creation in Christ Jesus.

That night after getting home, Dave called, “How are you doing, Patty?” “Oh, I had a great night!” Silence.

I can’t tell him what happened. He’ll think I’m wacky, she thought. Then she blurted it out,

“I got saved tonight!”

“I became a Christian two weeks ago, Patty, but I couldn’t share it with you.”

yellow lillies with text Because El Elyon I am in balance

We have to move ourselves out of the saltshaker

In thirty years, Patty moved with Dave thirty times. In each place they found a church they both attended. She shared Jesus with everyone God brought across her path. She felt she was not Bible smart, but she had her own testimony to share and she did—just as the Samaritan woman shared—the one who met and believed in Jesus at the well (see John 4).

Dave began coaching the Chicago White Sox when their three sons, who also played professional baseball, were in their teens. The player’s wives did things together, but it seemed the coaches’ wives were not included. Patty did not know what to do about it. In her devotions she read Matthew 5:13, “we are the salt of the earth.” The word are said to her that she needed to do something—but what? She prayed and prayed about it. Get the women organized, was her answer. She organized a softball team and a women’s Bible study.

She approached an African-American wife and said, “Hi, are you ______?”

“What do you want?!”

“Well, uh . . . well, ooh . . . we’re starting a softball team and a women’s Bible study.”

“I want to do both. We are having that study, and we are having it at my house!”

Patty learned this lady had previously been isolated which caused her to build walls against others. It was an amazing summer. In Patty’s vibrant joyful spirit she says, “Christians are Christians, like dogs are dogs and chase cats. We should not have to ask ourselves if we are a dog and if we chase cats. Getting ourselves out of that saltshaker means taking risks. And Jesus tells us if we are ashamed of Him and His words, He will be ashamed of us” (see Mark 8:38).

Today, Patty teaches high school speech, has taught forensics and still loves and teaches drama. She and Dave make Kansas their base of operation. She is booked weekends speaking around the country with Carol Kent’s Speak up Speaker Services. You can search for her Web page, under “inspirational speakers” at: www.speakupspeakerservices.com

Patty can say of God Most High, “He brought me out into a spacious place . . . You broaden the path beneath me” (Ps. 18:19, 36).

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