Archive for the ‘Motivations’ Category

Simplify Christmas

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(Partners, as you will see, some of this content was already sent to you in the December Partner Letter.  We wanted to share some of those same insights with all our readers, therefore, I edited, added a bit and sent this out to all readers.  I am sure you will enjoy reading this once again with its updates and additions.)

I can hardly believe we are in December!  It seems impossible that Christmas is upon us, but here it is.

I love this time of year.  I love Christmas.  I love giving.  Not only at Christmas but throughout the year.

I know Christmas is not all about giving…but in a way it is.  God so loved each one of us that He gave all He had…His only begotten Son and all that went along with Him.  What a privileged people we are!  He is and always will be the best gift ever!

This year has been different for me.  I have a picture that hangs up over my fireplace, it says “Simplify Christmas – Celebrate Christ.”  Those words are what I choose to remember each year – this year even more.

This year, although I love the lights and decorations of Christmas, it hasn’t held its normal appeal to me.  I have wanted this Christmas to be simple.  I decorated in a simple fashion this year.  I got my shopping done early and made way to simply enjoy the season and celebrate Christ.  Or so I thought.

Once I thought I was finished, God began to talk to me about giving this year.  He instructed me to give gifts to a list of people that I don’t normally give gifts to.  He wanted them to know how special they are.  Therefore, I went shopping again and found gifts for each person on HIS list.  I had Breanne wrap them and I put them in the mail.

Proverbs 11:24-25 says; One gives freely yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.  Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.

1 Peter 4:10 says; Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

One freely gives and yet…grows all the richer.  This is what I experienced as I was searching for the perfect gift for each person on His list.  I was enriched…I was watered.

Once that task was completed, He continued to talk to me about giving.  It seemed everywhere I turned there were needs.  But God is faithful and He always makes the way for the needs to be met…if we are willing to be that vessel.

It is God who puts giving in our heart.  Giving comes from the same heart that love and kindness comes from.  I have learned this; the more I seek God, the closer I get to Him, the more I want to give to others.

That is what Jesus Christ is all about.  God loves us so much He gave.  We too should love others so much that we are compelled to give.  We should love God and His people enough that when He tells us to bless others, we don’t question it, we simply obey.  We obey with joy and excitement at what the gift will mean to the recipient.

I don’t know what Christmas means to you.  To some people it only brings stress.  It should not be so.  We give from our heart.  It doesn’t even have to cost money, we can give a smile, a hot meal or simply sit and visit.  Loving one another is the best gift we can give.

I love a surprise, don’t you?  Can you imagine the joy when someone unexpectedly gets a gift that came straight from the heart of God?  I can.  And it brings me great joy!  I believe it brings God joy as well.

This year, as you celebrate Christmas…make your list and check it twice but take a moment to ask God what He would have you do.  Ask Him who He wants you to bless.  Maybe there is someone He wants you to give a gift to, in His honor – if so, do it.  I promise you will be enriched as you do.  Honoring others through giving is a powerful seed to sow. The Christmas season is a great time to honor those who have sown into your life all year long.  It’s a great time to show them you care and appreciate the gifts they have poured into your life.

May you each have a Merry & Blessed Christmas!  May Christ pour out His goodness on you as you celebrate Him.   Keep Him as the center of your home this holiday season…and as the center of your heart.

We are believing God that you will finish strong this year and begin the new year with joy unspeakable and full of His glory.  In your home, in your body, in your family and in your finances.  To God be all the glory!

Simplify Christmas – celebrate Christ.  Bring Him glory this month!  And let all you do be done in love.  For after all…He IS love.

 

Meditation:

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6

 

 

 

 

 

Hand in Hand, Heart to Heart

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Over the weekend, I read something that Mark Rogan from New South Wales shared online that really touched my soul.  I want to share it with you today – I pray you will be as blessed by it as I was…

About 4-5 weeks ago now I was picking my kids up from school.  As he likes to do, and I love that he does, my 12-year-old son Dane took my hand as we walked to the car. We had only walked a few steps when he said something to me that the Holy Spirit was immediately all over!

He said, “our hearts are now beating in sync!” I said, “what do you mean?”

He said, “if you hold hands with someone and your footsteps synchronize, then your heartbeat synchronizes as well.”

Well, as soon as Dane finished saying that I felt Holy Spirit come on me. As we walked, and over the next few days, I talked to the Holy Spirit about it.  This is some of what He said.

“When you are feeling overwhelmed or distant from Me, just close your eyes and imagine you’re holding Jesus hand and you’re walking along together.”

I dare you to do that and not see Him smiling at your and just so happy you are there with Him.

As you do your heart will come into sync with the one who loves you the most. You don’t need to say anything or be anything.  Just hold His hand and walk with Jesus and let Him do what only He can do. He knows what you need before you even ask! “Just let Him minister to you” Holy Spirit said.

The other thing He said was that if you’re holding his hand, you can’t get off ahead of Him or fall behind. You’ll be right where Jesus wants you to be.  Right by His side, hand in hand, hearts beating together! Completely synchronized with the lover of your soul!

So, I’ve been trying this at times and finding peace in the storm, though to be honest, not as much as I could.

Then yesterday morning before church, Holy Spirit brought it up again.  I felt I was to share it at church during our regular testimony time. I thought, “well before I do, I better check and see if there was any science behind what Dane had told me and God has been speaking to me about.”

And what do you know, there was quite a bit on it! The one that stood out is the one that I have copied in the link below. And do you know what? Not only do our heartbeats synchronize, but when the people holding hands love each other and have empathy for each other, not only do heartbeats sync but if one is going through pain, the pain will lessen!!!

And who is there but Jesus that loves you the most and has the greatest empathy for your pain?

Little did I know I was going to walk into church and the first person I went to say hello to was in great emotional pain that day. Immediately I knew why God wanted me to share this. He knew this couple’s great need.

So, I want to encourage you, if the busyness of Christmas starts to overwhelm you, or if life in general is hard right now, know that the lover or your soul, your Savior, is waiting for you to come and take His hand so your hearts can beat as one.  He can help ease the pain you’re feeling, whichever type of pain that is.

I also feel like the timing that God has had me release this is significant. I believe as one year draws to a close and a new year approaches, He wants us to be in sync with Him so as not to miss anything He has for us.

For His burden is easy and His yoke is light.

Science article on the sync of touch

Mark Rogan

I have read this writing many times in the past few days.  Each time I read it, one scripture comes to mind.  It is found in John 17:22; And I have given them the glory which You have given Me, so that they may be one, as We are one.

So that they may be one, as We are one.

It is the desire of God that we walk hand in hand with Jesus.  That our hearts will beat as one.  That we allow Him to so captivate us that our steps come into perfect sync with His steps.

Proverbs 16:9 says; We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.

Psalm 37:23 says; The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.

I find it interesting that the word ‘step’ in these two scriptures is defined in the Strong’s Concordance as companionship.  God never intended for us to walk this journey alone.  It was always His plan that we walk hand in hand with Him.  It was always His plan that our hearts beat as one and we become one with Him.

Today, take the hand of Jesus, walk with Him…until your steps synchronize, and your hearts beat as one.  Then, and only then, will you find peace for your soul.

(to contact Mark Rogan, or to let him know you enjoyed this article, email him at: mark@phoenixfs.com.au )

 

 

Meditate on this

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.  Galatians 2:20

 

 

Seize the Moments

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Seize the moments.  These words filled my mind as the presence of God permeated the room.

It was early evening.  My daughter and my two grandkids were visiting. To add to the noise in the room, my daughter was babysitting my eleven-month-old great-niece.  To say the atmosphere was lively is an understatement.

My granddaughter was watching a movie.  My great-niece, Paisley, was playing loudly with some toys.  My daughter was sitting on the couch talking.  My grandson was playing a game.  From my vantage point across the room, I sat and watched all the activity.

Moments later, Paisley, crawled over to a bookshelf and turned on the iPod.  Worship music filled the room, the noise ceased as the atmosphere changed.     Suddenly, the kids were playing quietly as peace saturated the room. The tangible presence of God filled the house, I took a deep breath as I basked in His presence.

In that instant, I again heard the words God had been speaking to me for weeks… “Seize the moments.”

In this busy world in which we live, it is often hard to carve out quiet time with God or His Word.

We live in world with a microwave, drive-thru, mentality.  Rush, rush, rush!  This is even more true during the holidays.

A few weeks ago, I began to think about this truth.

Life is busy.  Work is busy.  Ministry is busy.  How could I, in this hectic season, continue to carve out intimate time with God? Perhaps you feel that way as well.

If we desire to live the life of an overcomer, time with God is not an option.  Neither are family and work demands.  All must be attended to.  How then, with the busyness of life and family, do we carve out quiet time with God?

I began to pray and ask God to show me how to cultivate time with Him amidst the demands of life.  His answer to me was simple, “Seize the moments.”

How can we do this?

Here are some immediate thoughts that came to mind. Rather than looking for large chunks of time, we can take advantage of small spans of time.  For example:

  1. Drive time on the way to and from work or when running errands.
  2. When we find ourselves home alone and it’s quiet.
  3. Waiting in line to pick up the kids.
  4. Sitting in a waiting room for an appointment.
  5. Standing in line at the store.

We all have moments like these within our day.   Moments to seize, to grasp and spend quiet time with God.

Once the Lord showed me this insight, I began to look at these moments as a gift within my day where I could spend quality time with God.  I no longer struggled to find additional hours, instead I sought out the moments.

Now, each morning on my drive to work, I seize that time to worship God or to pray about my day.  When I find some free time at work, I go into our prayer room and spend a few moments with God.  I have made it my new habit that each time I discover a few free moments, I lay hold of them and seek the Lord.  In worship.  In reading the Word.  Or simply in giving thanks.

I will admit, when God first instructed me to “Seize the moments”, I didn’t think it could possibly be the same as spending hours alone with God.  I was wrong.  Moments add up.  Not only that, but perhaps you will find as I did, that when we capture these moments with God, His presence comes more frequently.  He begins to continually draws us to Himself, and we find ourselves in the presence of God more and more.

It all begins with seizing the moments.

During this holiday season, as life gets busier and more hectic, it does not have to affect our quiet time with God.  We only need to practice seizing the moments.

Begin to look for moments.  Moments to be with God.  Moments to pray or worship.  Moments to read the living Word of God.  When you find them, seize them!  Lay hold of them!  Live them to their fullest capacity.  It will be time not only well spent, but time invested.

 

 

Meditate on this:

You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  Psalm 16:11

 

 

Finishing Strong

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Beginning strong is easy. It is one reason we all look forward to a new year on the calendar.   It is a fresh start, a new beginning.  A do-over, so to speak.  But what about finishing strong?  It can prove to be more of a challenge.

As this year ends, I hear many talking about the things they didn’t see happen this year.  It seems many had perceived promises that they expected to see. However, the year didn’t bring everything they hoped it would. That can be disappointing.

Consequently, as we know, God doesn’t work on our calendar.  He is faithful and true.  His promises are faithful and true.  Everything He has vowed and promised us will come to pass, as we remain in faith.

Hebrews 3:14 says it this way; For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.

Hold our confidence…steadfast to the end.

How do we do that?  How do we remain steadfast in our faith?

In the Christian life, we are not sprinters…but marathoners.  Although both require hard work, there are vast differences in what it takes to excel.  Sprinters train for a short, quick, burst of energy.  This reminds me of a shooting star.

We have seen some of these in the Body of Christ.  A new minister will come on the scene and shine brightly for a moment and then you don’t hear of them any longer.  Why?  They did not train as a marathoner, but a sprinter.  They had a short, quick burst of anointing and then they were gone.

Therefore, to hold our confidence steadfast to the end, first, our foundation must be strong.  For a strong foundation, we must train differently.

Long distance runners train differently.

They learn how to conserve energy.  They learn to deal with the highs and lows of the race.  They train themselves to keep their eyes on the finish line.  They do not allow themselves to be distracted by anything or anyone around them.

Philippians 3:13-14 says; Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have laid hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus.

Preparing for a marathon is like preparing to finish the year strong in God. Longevity takes a strong foundation. It takes flexibility. It takes a willingness to adapt.  Life seldom goes according to plan; therefore, we must learn to adjust and move on.

What then is the key to finishing strong?  Endurance.

The apostle Paul wrote, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7, NKJV). He wasn’t boasting.  He was merely saying he had run the race with endurance and remained steadfast to the end.

Every Christian has a destiny, a course God has for them. It may be full-time ministry, accounting, farming, or it may be to be the best Mom you can be. Whatever your course, we are all called to begin and finish well.

Paul knew what it took to finish well.  He wrote, “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified” (1 Cor. 9:27).

This means we walk the walk.  We do not just talk the talk.  Paul lived what he preached, as should we.

1 John 2:6-7 says; But if anyone keeps His word, the love of God has been truly perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him: Whoever claims to abide in Him must walk as Jesus walked.

In life, we will cross many finish lines, but we never really finish the race until we stand before Jesus, our Lord.  Until then, we must continue to fight the good fight.  To keep the faith.  To hold our confidence steadfast to the end.

We must run our race daily, with endurance, steadfast to the end.  In doing that, we will finish this year and every other year, strong in God.

As this year ends, remember to run your race daily with endurance.  Remain steadfast.  In doing so you will finish this year – and every year, strong in God.

Do Not Let Go of His Promises

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As you know, I love when God speaks to me through one of my grandchildren. It is always very blunt and to-the-point. Never sugar-coated. I had a moment just like that recently one weekend.

My grandkids were spending the night with me recently and we had a fun afternoon together, but then it was bedtime. Brailee, my granddaughter, has this cute thing she does, probably because she doesn’t want to go to bed. She will come in my room at least three times and kiss me on both cheeks and at the top of my head, then hug me and say, “I love you Nana! Goodnight.”

However, that night was different.

After putting the kids to bed, I laid down fully prepared for Brailee to begin her trips to my room. She did not disappoint. Just before she ran in my room, I was talking to God about some things that have been happening and about one thing that I had been praying about for years. I had just finished talking to God about this when Brailee ran into my room.

As always, she kissed me on each cheek, then on my forehead, then she hugged me and said, “Goodnight Nana! I love you!”

I said, “I love you too, baby.” She started to run back out of my door and into her room when suddenly she stopped and turned around.

She said, “Nana, do not give up on ANY thing, not one thing.”

I sat up in bed and asked, “Brailee, why did you say that?”

She replied, “I don’t know.” And then she jumped up on my bed. She took her little hands and put them out in front of her as if she was pushing something. She said, “You may have to push really hard.” Then she positioned her little hands like she was pulling on something and said, “Or you may have to pull really hard.”

As she jumped down off my bed, she exclaimed, “No matter what you have to do Nana, push really hard or pull really hard, do not give up on ANY thing, okay?” She did not come back into my room that night, yet she left quite an impression.

I was reminded of the words spoken over Samuel in 1 Samuel 3:19. The Word of God said not one of his words fell to the ground and all came to pass. Everything God had spoken to him manifested.

I was also reminded of Habakkuk 2:2-3 which says: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”

Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision the people perish.” One translation of the word “perish” in the original Hebrew could also be written as “let go.” So, you could reword the verse, “Where there is no vision the people let go.”

We cannot let go. We must stand firm in the faith and continue to stand against all odds.

Romans 4:16-19 in the NKJV says, “Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (as it is written, ‘I have made you a father of many nations’) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.”

Abraham believed when there was no reason to believe. He believed when natural circumstances shouted it was impossible for it to happen. When there was no way in the natural, he continued to hope. That is exactly what we must do as well. Hope when there is no visible reason to hope. We must hope when it is against all odds and impossible.

It is then that we must remember that the same God who calls those things that be not as though they were, is OUR God and if He has said it, He will bring it to pass. There is no other option if we do as Brailee said and refuse to let go of ANY promise we have been made.

It is at that time that we must keep our heart right, our words right and continue trusting God. We serve a good and a faithful God, who will do exactly what He said He would do – you can count on it! He will not fail you. Do not let go of anything the Lord has promised you. Do not let go! It doesn’t matter how hard you must push or pull, refuse to let go. Instead stand and see the manifestation of the Lord.

 

Meditate on this:

But as for you, be strong; don’t be discouraged, for your work has a reward.  2 Chronicles 15:7

Deep Roots- Awesome Harvest

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“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22)

We have often heard this Scripture described as seed – time – and then harvest. But what really happens after a seed is sown? The Bible says seedtime and then harvest, but what is taking place between those two? Does a seed produce an immediate harvest once it is planted in the ground?

I have planted vegetable gardens and I can answer that question from experience…no.

Once the seed goes into the ground, there is always a period of waiting in the natural. So, what happens during the waiting? What comes after the seeds?

Colossians 2:7, in the New Living Translation says: “Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”

Once the seed is planted, a root system must be developed. When the seed of healing is planted in you, healing doesn’t always immediately manifest. Yes, the seed has been planted, but healing most often comes when a root system of healing is developed in you. You will nourish that seed and nourish that seed until one day…healing springs forth.

It’s the same with prosperity. When the seed is planted in you for sowing and reaping, you begin to sow seeds, but harvest doesn’t often come as quickly as you would like. Most often, God begins to build a root system in you concerning giving and tithing and as you continue to trust God in this area, harvest will begin to come, just as it does in the natural when we sow seeds into a garden.

Recently, I studied root systems and how to produce a strong root system, one like Colossians 2 speaks of, a deep-rooted system. I found a few things are needed.

First, we must keep out weeds and bugs that would want to destroy the seed before it can produce the root. Song of Solomon 2:15 tells us it is the little foxes that spoil the vine. Bugs and weeds are often little things. So it is in the spirit. It is often the little things that stop our roots from growing deep into God. We often allow little things to get us off course, hence, we are allowing weeds to suffocate our seeds.

Little things would be things like gossip. Little things like bitterness. Little things like refusing to forgive. These things will stop your roots from growing deep into God.

Next, in order to have strong roots, we often need fertilizer. Fertilizer is defined as a substance added to help growth.

Hebrews 11:1 says: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.”

Substance is defined in the Strong’s Concordance as: the steadfastness of mind, firmness, courage, resolution, confidence, firm trust, assurance. It is also defined as foundation. Faith is and must be our foundation, faith in God and in His Word.

Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”

Just the other day, I was thinking about what we sow into us. You see, there are several things we can sow into us according to the Word of God: life or death, blessing or curse; light or darkness.

Each day we sow something into our life, either something that produces life or something that doesn’t produce life. If we spend four to eight hours a day playing on our phone or tablet, are we sowing life? No! Then we cannot expect life to flow out of us. If we spend half our day watching television that is not in line with God and His Word, we are not sowing life.

We must spend time with God, in His presence and in His Word, if we want life to flow out of us. The ONLY thing that is going to flow out of us is what we put in us. Therefore, daily sow life producing things into your own life. Faith is our substance, or our fertilizer, in our life. To build our faith we must spend time with God and in His Word, listening to Spirit-filled messages, reading our Bible, or reading life-producing articles by anointed men and women of God.

It is often the little things that stop our roots from growing deep into God.

Finally, to have a strong root system, we need watering…deep watering. While searching for tips for strong roots, I came across the following statement.

When watering your plants, water deeply. Light watering tends to encourage roots to concentrate closer to the soil surface where sudden drying is problem. Deep watering, on the other hand, fosters deeper and stronger root systems. I just love that! If you want deep roots…water deeply!

John 4:13-14 says, “Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.'”

John 7:37-39 says, “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”

Ephesians 5:26 says, “That He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the Word.”

Jesus talks about water as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. He also talks about the water of the Word and the truth that it sanctifies and cleanses us. If we are then to water our seed deeply, we must do it with the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.

To develop deep roots, we must then go deep in God’s Word and deep in spending time with the Holy Spirit and praying in the Spirit.

Let your roots grow deep into Him.  He is showing us just how to do that, how to have a deep root system. After the seed, comes the development of the root. Then the harvest. Make sure your roots grow deep into Him today…in doing so, you will see the most awesome harvests of your life.

 

Let your roots grown down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Colossians 2:7

 

His Covenant Promises

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This week as I was praying about some things, I was reminded of a dream I had a couple years ago.

In my dream I was riding in a vehicle with a friend of mine. She began to drive erratically.  I said, “Listen, just pull over and let me out. I don’t want to ride with you driving like this.” This was odd to me because I have been in a vehicle with this person many times and I have always thought she was one of the best drivers I know.

As the dream continued, I looked around me and saw it was pitch dark, darkness was all around me. And there were creepy things on the road, it looked like I was going through an evil place. There were Halloween signs everywhere and creepy things hanging from trees. It was weird, to say the least. Suddenly something caught my eye.

Out of the left side of my vision I saw a rainbow begin to form. I exclaimed “LOOK AT THAT”‘ I watched as this rainbow literally formed across the sky, filling the sky with glorious colors. I stood there stunned, watching this rainbow form from the very beginning of it to the complete end of it. It was a marvelous sight.

I looked away to tell someone to look at it, and when I looked back there were two rainbows across the sky. Suddenly I saw a double rainbow filling the sky that had just moments before been utter darkness. It was absolutely stunning. I said to myself, “Wow, I haven’t seen a rainbow in years.”

I woke up.

Upon waking, I knew God was speaking to me and I knew He was telling me that even in the darkest times, His covenant remains in place. In the darkest places of our lives we will find that His covenant promises shine brighter than any darkness possibly could.

Isaiah 60:2 says; “For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.”

I don’t know about you, but that is good news to me. I see the dark getting darker in our earth, however, I also know the Word of God and it says when dark times become darker, His glory will be seen on us. His glory will absolutely outshine the darkness!

As I thought on this dream, several scriptures flooded my mind. I meditated on how I saw the rainbow form from the beginning to the end. I ask God what He was saying to me and He gave me a couple Scriptures. First of all, Revelation 1:8 says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’

And, He gave me 2 Corinthians 1:20, “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”

God is God from the beginning to the end and His promises are always yes and amen. When God speaks a word to us or when we grab on to the promises of God, we may experience some dark times in the process of seeing those promises come to pass, however, His covenant remains intact. His promises do not change. His glory WILL be revealed in us if we hold fast to the words He has given us.

As for what He was saying through the rainbows, to me it was quite clear. Allow me to remind you of a couple Scriptures concerning His rainbows and His promise.

Genesis 9:13-15, “I do set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between Me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.”

Friends, this vivid dream from God was an awesome reminder that our God has a covenant with us, not only with us, but with every living thing on this earth and with the earth itself.

God does not alter His promises. Psalm 89:34 says, “My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips.”

Finally, He spoke to me of the double rainbows and led me to some Scriptures that I just love!

Isaiah 61:7 says, “Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, and instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore, in their land they shall possess double; Everlasting joy shall be theirs.”

Zechariah 9:12; “Return to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope. Even today I declare that I will restore double to you.”

Oh, my goodness, our God is speaking to us today. Those of you who still have hope, who are literal prisoners of hope. Those of you who refuse to give up hope, in spite of the dark season you have walked through, to you, God will restore double! Praise the Lord. It is His promise to you and He will not alter that promise…get ready for the double restoration!

Being reminded of this dream was so encouraging to me. I hope it is to you as well.

Remember, make sure you are “riding” the journey with the right person, in the right vehicle and then don’t allow the darkness to overcome you. Instead, look up! His covenant promises remain intact and they are yes and amen. He is true to His Word, He will not fail you. You, prisoners of hope, the double is on its way!

 

 

Meditate on this:

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.  Deuteronomy 7:9

Touch Him With Your Faith

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Mark 5:25-30; “And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, and had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, when she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched His garment. For she said, if I may touch but His clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that virtue had gone out of Him, turned Him about in the press, and said, who touched My clothes?”

I have been meditating on this Scripture for a few weeks.

As you can imagine there must have been people pushing against each other and pressing in to see Jesus. Surely people were pushing other people out of the way to get a look at the Master, the Healer. After all there were thousands who needed and wanted a touch from Jesus, so what was so different about this woman?

Even the disciples asked Jesus how He could possibly know that someone touched Him with so many people surrounding Him and pressing in to touch Him. But you see, this was a different kind of touch, this was not a simple bumping into in a crowd. This was not a simple touch on the arm because there were so many people in one place, this touch caused the miracle working power of God to flow out of Jesus and He felt it when it left Him.

So how does one possess a faith that will touch God to the point that power will flow out of Him and into you? Let’s look at some other people who had that kind of faith, the faith that touches God.

Think about King David. The Bible calls him a man after God’s heart, yet as we read the Bible, we see that David made many mistakes. He even killed a man so that he could have his wife… this is a man after God’s heart? Yes! He had a faith in God that no matter what he did, he clung to God. You see, the word “touched” means fasten oneself to, or adhere to, that’s what Jesus said the woman with the issue of blood did when she touched Him; she clung to Him and clung to Him in such a way that virtue or the miraculous power of God came out of Him. And that is exactly what David did.

No matter what mistake he made, he ran to God. He did not run from God when he messed up; he ran to Him. Even when he knew he was under the judgment of God for his sin, still he clung to God. When he was afraid, it was God he ran to. When he was rejoicing in victory, it was God he sang to. And in doing so, he touched God with his faith.

What about Abraham? Abraham obeyed God and left his home and traveled to a land that God would show him. He did something many of us could not do: packed up and left everything behind and followed God. If that wasn’t enough, once God blessed him with a son of promise, when God asked him to give him up, he was willing to do just as God commanded. He touched God with his faith and a ram in the thicket was released on his behalf.

What about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego? Their faith in God brought them before a king who threw them in the fiery furnace, and turned it up seven times hotter. Yet, they stood firm in their faith and walked into that fire. Their faith touched God and He sent a fourth man to them to walk through the fire with them, they walked out unharmed, and they didn’t even have the smell of smoke when they walked out of that fire.

Every time someone’s faith touches God, power is released on their behalf. But let’s think about the other side of this Scripture for a moment. Luke 8:45 said that “multitudes were thronging Him.” That means there were literally thousands of people all around Him. Let me ask you a question today: are you one of the throngers or do you desire to be one of those who touch Him with your faith? There are many people who say they are following God, but few ever touch Him with their faith.

How do you become a person who not only follows God but touches Him with your faith? Simple, you believe that He is who He said He is.

Abraham so believed that God was who He said He was that he knew if his son, Isaac, died that God would raise him up. That’s how Abraham could say, “We are going to worship and we shall come again.”

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego knew that God was the only God that could be worshipped and they were willing to die for their belief. They were not willing to bow to any other God. Even though they knew God could deliver them, they declared that even if He didn’t they would not bow to another. This instance alone is a good test for your faith in God. If God doesn’t deliver you, will you still worship Him? If you can say YES then you, as they did, will touch God with your faith and He will be with you in the fire. He will not allow you to be burned and He will bring you out without the smell of smoke.

There are many people today who have touched God with their faith. I think about Oral Roberts who believed God when everything was stacked against him. He stood in faith even though most of the world thought he was crazy. But today, you can look and see what happened when his faith touched Jesus. ORU was birthed and they are still equipping students today to preach the Gospel with power.

Think about it for a moment. I am sure you know someone who has stood against all odds, perhaps it was against cancer or divorce, or financial devastation. They stood in faith and even though it may have looked like they were going down or had already gone down, their faith touched God and He moved every obstacle out of their way and sent His miracle-working power to work on their behalf.

You too can be a person whose faith will touch God. It’s easy; just believe that He is who He said He is. If you are facing illness, simply believe that He is the God that has already healed you. If you are facing financial problems, simply believe that He is Jehovah-Jireh, your Provider. If you are walking through a dark season in your life, just believe that He will never leave you nor forsake you. He is your light, He is with you, He has your back, He will not drop you and He will bring you through this unharmed…He promised. We serve a God who never, ever breaks a promise.

How does your faith touch God? The same as the woman with the issue of blood did. She pressed in; she was determined to touch Him, even a small part of Him. She was determined to touch Him, even though every doctor had told her it was hopeless. Even though she had spent every penny she had trying to get healed. Even though her mind was reminding her of all this, she pressed on. She determined that no matter how many obstacles stood in her way, she would touch the Healer and as she did, she was not only healed but made whole that very hour.

You see, if you are battling illness and you continue to confess what the Bible says about you, no matter what you see or feel, your faith is touching God. If you are facing financial hardships and you continue to honor God with your tithe and give as God directs, and trust Him, confessing that He will meet your needs, your faith is touching God. If you are facing a crisis of your faith and you tell God, “I don’t understand, but I trust You,” your faith is touching God. When all hell has come against you and you stand in the face of it and declare, “devil, I don’t care what you throw at me, I am going to trust my God and I am going to worship Him no matter what,” I promise you, your faith is touching God.

As your faith touches God, He will release His awesome miracle-working power on your behalf and move Heaven and earth to get to you. He loves you that much! He wants to bless you that much! You mean that much to Him. Don’t give up, my friend. Press on in. Push your way in if you must, press on in and touch Him. Touch Him with your faith, you will be forever changed.

 

Meditate on this:

Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  Mark 11:24

 

 

 

 

 

The Fruit of a Thankful Heart

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As Thanksgiving Day ended, I couldn’t help but think about what the day held.

Thanksgiving includes turkey and homemade stuffing, family and friends gathered around the table, and football in the afternoon… a wonderful day to enjoy loved ones and relax. It’s great to enjoy Thanksgiving, however, for us who are in Christ, Thanksgiving should be more than a day, it should be a way of life, don’t you think?

A heart of thanksgiving is the will of God for the believer. In the Amplified Bible, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 declares, “In every situation, no matter what the circumstances, be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”

From Scripture we see that God’s will for us is to continually have a thankful heart. The Word of God doesn’t say be thankful for everything but IN everything. This is not saying thank God for the loss of a loved one or disease or a financial collapse… but it is saying, while you are walking through those challenging times, remember to be thankful that He is with you and He will strengthen you and He will bring you through.

I often tell my daughter and my grandchildren that we can find something to be thankful for in every situation, we may have to search for it, but it is there. There is always, always something to be thankful for. If nothing else can be found we can always be thankful that God loves us so much, He wanted us with Him so much, that He sent His Son, Jesus, to redeem us back to Himself.

As with all of God’s principles there are benefits, great benefits, for the one who chooses to have a heart of thanksgiving. One of my favorites is found in Philippians 4:5-7, “Let your gentle spirit, your graciousness, unselfishness, mercy, tolerance, and patience, be known to all people. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything, every circumstance and situation, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your specific requests known to God. And the peace of God, that peace which reassures the heart, that peace, which transcends all understanding, that peace which stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus, is yours.”

It is this heart, one of thanksgiving, that I have learned to cultivate. The word cultivate means to improve by labor and to refine. This means thanksgiving doesn’t always happen naturally or easily, sometimes we must work at it. We have to practice being thankful.

When we choose to cultivate thanksgiving in our heart and in our life, we have a promise. The Word of God promises us that the peace of God, that peace that reassures the heart, that peace which transcends all understanding, will stand guard over our hearts and minds.

In times of struggle or challenge, I have found if I will stop worrying and begin to give thanks, my attitude changes and my mind and heart becomes peace-filled.

Isaiah 26:3 says that God will keep us in perfect peace… when our mind is stayed upon Him. When we take our mind off the situation and place it back on Him, being thankful for who He is in our life, peace comes.

The true test of thankfulness is measured as we continue to give thanks from the deepest part of our heart despite the wounds and struggles of yesterday’s battles. We are not a people of weak faith. Mark 11:22 tells us to have faith in God; this Scripture is also translated as follows, “Have the faith of God or have the God kind of faith.” Our faith is not only strong when things are going well. As sons and daughters of the Most High God we have a resilient and continual God-kind-of-faith in a faithful, loving and living God, even and especially in the hard times.

Hebrews 13:15 in the Amplified Bible says, “Through Him, therefore, let us at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name.”

We are to constantly offer thanksgiving and praise to God. In this Scripture it is called “a sacrifice of praise.” Why? Because there are times that it is not easy to do, there are times that it is indeed a sacrifice, yet the Word of God is plain. Easy or not, a thankful heart is God’s will for us. God knows that it is a thankful heart and a mind stayed on Him that will bring us out of every challenge, therefore we give thanks… continually.

A heart of thanksgiving is pleasing to God! Psalm 69:30-31 says, “I will praise the name of God with a song and will magnify Him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bull which has horns and hooves.”

In Bible days, the people of God offered up animals as a sacrifice. Today, our offerings usually come in the form of money or things, yet in this Scripture we find there is something that pleases God even more than an offering… and that is one who will praise and lift His name with thanksgiving!

As we remember this past Thanksgiving Day, let’s also remember the words found in Colossians 2:6-7, “Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in, union with, Him, reflecting His character in the things you do and say—living lives that lead others away from sin, having been deeply rooted, in Him and now being continually built up in Him and becoming increasingly more,  established in your faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing in it with gratitude.”

Overflowing with gratitude – now that’s a heart that pleases the Father. It is our prayer for you today that you will begin to cultivate a heart that is indeed overflowing with gratitude.

As you do, you will find just as the Word of God says, “All the days of the afflicted are bad, but a glad heart has a continual feast, regardless of the circumstances.” (Proverbs 15:15).

May your feast continue long after Thanksgiving Day!  May you have a continual feast in Christ, which is the fruit of a thankful heart.

 

Meditate on this:

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.  1 Chronicle 16:34

 

 

 

You Choose…

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After going through two weeks of my granddaughter, Brailee, fighting off sickness and infection, we were all exhausted.  When she began to improve, and I got some sleep, I couldn’t help but reflect on the past couple weeks.

It was hard.  It seemed to be a constant battle.  With no sleep, those kinds of battles are not fun.  However, we could not let up.

During this I was reminded of a time when Bryson, my grandson, was two-years old.

I had told my daughter I would watch Bryson while she ran errands.  Early that morning my daughter called and said he had been sick all night and I may not want to watch him.

I assured her it would be fine.  I instructed her to bring him on over.  She did.  Bless his little heart, he was so sick.    He would lie on the floor and hold his little head. There was no soothing him.  He could not keep medicine down. He was unable to eat.  He didn’t even want Nana petting him.

After hours of this, I was standing at the kitchen sink when the Lord spoke to me.  He sternly instructed me to deal with what was attacking his little body.  I walked over to him and laid my hands on him and prayed for him.

In a matter of moments, he put his head on my shoulder and began to cry.  Then he reached his little arms out for me to pick him up.  I picked him up and coddled him for a bit.  Then, I cooked him something to eat.  He ate and ate.  He began to act like Bryson, happy, laughing, playing hide and seek.

Later, I walked back to the sink and God spoke to me again.  He said, “stop tolerating the little things from the enemy – what you tolerate, I tolerate.”

I was reminded of the scripture that says, “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”  Matthew 18:18

Suddenly I realized something.  If Bryson had been suffering from a major illness, I would have immediately prayed and sought God.  I would have told that thing to take its hands off my little buddy.  But since it was just a cold, or stomach flu, I allowed it, I tolerated it.  Why?

Because it is normal, it happens to everyone.  Right?  Wrong!  The Bible says, “by the stripes of Jesus we were healed.”  Already healed.

The Bible says, “no weapon formed against us shall prosper.”  Isaiah 54:17

The Bible says, “we are redeemed from the curse and sickness of all kinds is a curse.”  Galatians 3:13

It also says I have authority over all the power of the enemy and that I shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.  They shall recover, every time.

Why would we tolerate anything, small or large, that the enemy brings to us?  We should not tolerate anything from him.  He has no legal right to bring sickness on Bryson. I know my authority.  Then…why would I allow that little boy to be sick for days instead of taking care of it from the beginning?  Simply because we often have the mindset that some things are normal.

We resist cancer but receive the flu.  Why?  We resist disease but receive weariness.  Again, why?   Would it be okay for the enemy to steal your entire life savings?  No?  Well, how about if he only stole $20?  Is that okay?  No, absolutely not!  Yet, some of these things, we tolerate from the enemy.

We won’t allow him to steal our husband or wife, but we often allow him to bring a little division in our home.  The Bible says that it is the small foxes that spoil or corrupt the vine.  It is the small things that lead to bigger things.  If you ask people why they divorced, it is not usually over one big thing but a lot of little things.

If a business fails, it is not usually over one big thing but a bunch of small things.  Division in a home doesn’t happen overnight, it is a bunch of small things over time.  Therefore, we must stop the enemy at the small things, then it will not become a big thing.

Ask God to show you what small things you have been tolerating from the enemy and then stop him in his tracks.  It may be a cold, or a headache, or missing a day’s work.  Have you ever heard the statement, if you give him an inch, he will take a mile?  That is how it is with Satan, give him a little room and he will invade your entire life.  Give him no place, no small place.

Matthew 16:19 says whatever we bind on earth is bound in heaven.  Do you know that scripture means whatever we allow on earth, God allows?  The Good News is whatever we refuse to tolerate, neither will God tolerate.  Stop tolerating the small attacks.  Stop allowing the enemy to get a foothold by bringing a small fox to spoil your vine.  Put your guard up and tell him, NO! in no uncertain terms.

You see God showed me something that day.  I am good at going after the enemy when it is a large attack but tolerate too many small ones.  No more.  No more for me.  I will stop the enemy at every attack, large or small.  He will in no way spoil my vine.  I hope you come to the same decision today.

Remember, what you tolerate, God tolerates.  What you allow, God allows.  It’s up to you, you choose.

 

 

Meditate:

Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.  Luke 10:19