NOT Pretend or Harmless
Pocket Full of Quarters Trek 2012
NOT Pretend or Harmless
By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady
He made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: 2 Kings 21:6 Because Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abominations, and hath done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, which were before him, and hath made Judah also to sin with his idols: Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Behold, I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle. 2 Kings 21:11-12
Tourists swarm lovely red rocked Sedona. They enjoy jeep & helicopter tours, hiking, touring the Chapel of the Holy Cross, and driving the upper and lower Red Rock loop roads. They wander around, picking out crystals, signing up for readings, getting pictures taken of their aura, and visiting portals and vortexes. Some come specifically for the mystical arts permeating the area but most tourists treat them as a “pretend” and/or “harmless” curiosity or entertainment.
I meet people dabbling in what is generically labeled “New Age” practices all over America. People tell of the powers they discover through these arts and I believe them. After all, these practices and their powers are recorded many places in the Bible. The Bible has stories of the workings of enchantments, demons, demon possessions, astrologers, familiar spirits, and wizards. The Bible calls them an “abomination that brings on the wrath of God” and I believe that too. I have witnessed that wrath in modern day families.
I meet young people who have left parents worried and confused as they join the rank of young people traveling in packs, living on the streets or in communal farms, and who join together in their worship of universal gods and goddesses, nature, and the universe. They follow astrology and join in discussion about the negative impact of things like Mercury Retrograde in their lives. Often when they finally return home, they have debilitating medical conditions, addictions, strongholds, and dependencies that many fight the rest of their lives.
I meet families broken hearted and torn apart as family members make life changing decisions based on information given to them via astrological signs, spiritualistic readings, the universe, or the “god” inside of them.
After what I have witnessed on the streets, I have to agree with a minister friend of mine who said, “They do get a plan for their lives – Satan’s plan.”
I was dining in a Sedona restaurant with my friends Susie and Gene, when I met a young woman named Denise. Susie and Gene had driven to Sedona for a weekend of evangelizing.
Denise wore black – eyeliner, hair, clothes and boots. I overheard her pouring out her struggles with spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical issues to the wide-eyed friend she was dining with. I began praying for her long before I talked with her. When I finally started a conversation, Denise welcomed it. The conversation resulted in Denise praying to receive Jesus. As I led Denise to Christ, I also had her ask God for deliverance from evil and strongholds.
Pocket Full of Change Ministries is a simple ministry – we love God and people and help people either meet Jesus or improve their relationship with Him. Deliverance prayers are not something I normally do but as the words came out of my mouth, Denise shuddered, tightened her grip on my hands, and repeated them emphatically.
“You hit on everything,” Denise said shakily when we finished. “Even deliverance. I just told my mother I think I’m possessed by demons.”
You can’t do what I do and not believe in demons. I’ve seen too much – too much of their power and destruction. If people say they are possessed, I believe them because I’ve already seen it in their eyes. Sometimes, like Denise, it is frozen look of horror. Other times, it is dead hollow eyes. The worst is the narrowing calculating look of rage and hatred.
“My mother is going to be happy,” Denise said. Denise shared the name of the local hotel where her mother worked and Susie, Gene, and I decided to pay Denise’s mother a visit.
Denise’s mother was very worried about Denise and excited that we had prayed with her. At age 12, this bar tender and mother met Jesus in a Southern Baptist Church. The experience was profound and life changing. Unfortunately, she did not have the family or friend support to continue on that path and did not stay active in church, Bible Studies, or Christian fellowship. When Denise’s mother moved to Sedona, she gradually adopted the ways of Sedona and began going to a “church” that accepts all gods, spiritual practices, and “spiritual” books. She told me the name of the church and it was my turn to shudder.
“Your daughter thinks she is possessed,” I said. “Do you believe it?”
“I do,” her mother said worriedly. “You should see her eyes when the change comes over her. She is angry and sick all of the time. It has ruined her life.”
Later in the week, I decided to take a walk through Denise’s mother’s “church.” Sure enough, I saw Bibles, pictures of various gods, including Jesus, books on casting spells, and advertisements for readings, healings, and mind – body – spirit retreats. I walked through their garden to see statues of Jesus, Buddha, Mary, and many goddesses.
As I walked, took pictures, and prayed, I felt the Holy Spirit whisper, “Denise’s mother has invited these demons into Denise’s life. Tell her.”
I wasn’t thrilled with those instructions but I went back to the hotel bar restaurant where she worked. I brought two of my books and asked her to give them to Denise.
“I walked through your church. You are right that they accept everything,” I said. “You said Denise was possessed. You also said you were born again. I believe you but as I walked through that church, I felt the Holy Spirit say that you had become a portal for demons to enter your daughter’s life.”
I was surprised that the word “portal” came out of my mouth. It is a word used by New Agers and I’d certainly never used it before. The dictionary definition of portal described perfectly what I knew had happened. A portal is a door or gate. The term resonated with the mother and she gasped.
“The Bible says the sins of the parents are visited upon the children. You met Jesus but chose to practice things that are an abomination to God. These practices bring down the wrath of God on families. I realize you may not have known better but the Bible is clear about this. I believe that is what is happening in your family.”
“I believe you,” she whispered. “The hair on my arm is standing up.”
I visited this mother several other times and took her information on local churches. She had already done internet research and promised that on Sunday, she and Denise would be in a church that worshipped God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit only and trusted the Bible as the word of God. I could see and feel the hope and relief she was feeling.
Spells, readings, crystals, vortexes, portals, and accepting other gods are not a game – they are powerful practices that evoke evil along with the wrath of God. To accept them is not being loving or accepting – it is enabling others to invite God’s wrath. I write this, knowing know how harsh it sounds but I write it out of love for those trapped by these things. These groups are the hardest I witness to and I see Christians and not-Christians trapped by and suffering from those practices. I believe what I have written both because the Bible says it and I have witnessed it. These practices are NOT harmless or pretend. They are real. If we practice them, we get Satan’s plan for our lives and trust me – that is NOT a pretty picture.
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