Tell Your Storm: BE STILL

2023 seemed to come in like a storm. 

As if the previous years had not been hard enough from both a personal stance and in the earth, this new year came in like a hornet’s nest that had just been knocked to the ground. And you know how violent hornets can be when disturbed.

Destruction buzzed furiously as it crept out of hiding.

I felt like it didn’t matter that the few years before seemed intolerable and unrealistic. This year’s relentless assaults appeared immediately and with such determination that the previous years seemed like a baby’s lullaby in comparison.

Just look around you at the disasters, the deaths, the political madness that have been shouting throughout the earth, not to mention the personal woes that may have been trying to knock on your door. I have heard them try to knock on mine.

BUT…..YES, there is a but to this story!

If ANYONE has read the stories from the Gospels, you will recall the story of Jesus sleeping in a boat during a raging storm on the Sea of Galilee, as the disciples reacted in fear.

“Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.”   Matthew 28:4-26

The words that seemed to slip off the page and into my spirit were: “he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.”

Often we talk about we have little faith and/or how we must rest during a storm. These are great principles to live by. We should rise up in faith and rest in the Lord despite what we see, despite the storms raging in our midst.

But what was highlighted to me this time, was the concept to rise up and tell the winds and the waves – (the storms) – that are ravishing our lives: BE STILL.

How can we do that?

Jesus stated in John 14:12, “I can guarantee this truth: those who believe in me will do the things that I am doing. They will do even greater things because I am going to the Father.”  (GWT)

So how can we do greater things? He said we’d do greater things because when he went to the Father the Holy Spirit would come to the earth and fill his followers (and that includes you and me) with his power. (Acts 1:8)

But like Jesus we can do nothing on our own.  Jesus stated in John 5:19,20 that he could do nothing but what he sees his Father doing. He had spent a lot of quiet time, praying and learning to listen to his Father’s voice. (And we should follow that example. John 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice…”)

With that in mind, each miracle of healing that Jesus performed was different. For some he only gave a word at a distance, others he touched, some he sought after, and in other circumstances people sought after him. Each event was directed by his Heavenly Father.

Like the healings, the seasons in his life differed, as well. While in the boat, during the storm, he rested. But in the garden before his crucifixion, he prayed and he asked his disciples, as they slumbered, “couldn’t you stay awake with me for an hour?”  He later suffered unimaginably on the cross, though because of that, he triumphed in victory!

There were seasons to rest, seasons to war, seasons to suffer and seasons to conquer. He perceived the times and heard the Father.

I say all this to say that there are times and seasons for everything as Solomon had expressed in Ecclesiastes . God is always on the move. He is not stagnant. He is alive and his words are alive. There are times the Lord may ask you to pray for a particular person and other times he will want you to remain quiet.

In this season of time (at least in my life) I believe the Lord is saying: “Tell the raging storms that are surrounding you: BE STILL.”

So today, I thought about the storms in my life and in the lives of my loved ones, and said, with authority: BE STILL.

A calm and a peace has followed.

I believe there is great victory on the horizon for God’s people. That is why the darkness seems to be invading and why wickedness seems to prevail and why the voices of evil are screaming so violently.

It is the last screams of the dying giants that used to mock you. It is the last scream of the lies that tormented your soul. It is the last scream of defeat and hopelessness anxiously calling your name.

Don’t be afraid of what you hear or what you see because the Lord is saying to the giants in the land: BE STILL. He is encouraging each of us to slay the giants and quiet the storms that taunt us (and the God we serve) just as David did when he slayed Goliath. God has given each of us the authority in HIM to rise up in prayer and declare to the giants and say to the storms that rage war against our souls: BE STILL!

What are your storms? Rise up and tell your storms: BE STILL!

Storms will come
They can be strong and fierce
They scream and twirl
And like a sword, they can pierce

Where can you find freedom
From a storm that rages?
Is there a hidden place
From the war it wages?

There is a place of rest
In the one who spoke peace
Who with words of authority
Made that violent storm cease.

I pray for peace in your midst
During the storms you may face
But also for great victory
So stillness can take its place.

Be still and know that HE is God. God bless.

The Lady Behind the Door

I am not sure of the year, but the event echoes in my mind. It was a warm day under the hot Nevada sun. I had heard about a home Bible study group that was in a small senior apartment complex in the southern part of Henderson, Nevada. I attended a large church in Vegas and thought it would be great to get into a smaller group to actually form relationships with other people, instead of just being part of an unknown crowd.

So, I typed in the address that I had found on the website, into my cell phone’s GPS. I found the apartment complex easy enough and parked in one of the many spaces available. I had the number of the building and of the apartment, but once I walked into the courtyard, I wasn’t clear which building was which.  I figured I would simply knock on a door with the same number in hopes that I was at the correct building.

An elderly lady came to the door. I asked her if this was the apartment that was hosting a Bible study. When she told me it wasn’t, I thanked her and began to turn around to continue my search. But instead, the frail old lady looking back at me through the crack in the door asked if I could please come in and help her. She had wanted to watch a movie but didn’t know how to work her remote, nor was she sure which remote went to which TV or DVD or VCR player.

I hesitated because I was already late but couldn’t ignore the pleading in her eyes. She pulled the door  wide open to welcome me into her home.  As my eyes began to adjust to the darkness of her home from the bright sun outside, I saw her despair. I cautiously walked behind her as she led me into her tiny studio apartment. In that one-room home was a small kitchen on one side and a mattress on the floor on the other side with one lone chair. It was positioned in front of two old CRT television sets, each sitting on separate portable metal stands. One had a VCR player connected to it and the other had a DVD player connected to it. And cluttered on all the open floor space was jumbled stacks and stacks and stacks of movies, some were VHS movies while others were DVDs.

She told me she had wanted to watch a particular movie but wasn’t sure which remote went to which TV and/or which video system. I am not real savvy but thought I could try to help her. She mentioned that she was going to have someone come by but wasn’t sure when they would be there. And so, I set my purse and my bible on the floor and tried to figure it out for her. After several minutes it was all sorted out and she thanked me and then wanted to just talk. I listened to her stories and found out that in her younger years she had actually been a cook for a time for BB King. She proudly pointed to a lone picture of the singer on the otherwise empty walls.

We chit chatted a bit more as she walked me the few steps back to the front door. Because I don’t believe there is ever a coincidence in a believer’s’ life, I asked her if she knew Jesus and if she wanted prayer. She said yes to both. So, in the small dark studio apartment we prayed together. Tears streamed down her cheeks. We hugged before she left, and she asked if I could stop by again sometime. I nodded in agreement, thinking I probably would be here again anyway.

Surprisingly as I turned around, after she closed the door behind me, I saw the number of the apartment I had been searching for in the beginning.

I thought I would return the next time I came to the Bible study. And I want to proudly say, “I did return, and we became close friends”.  Wasn’t this a “God ordained meeting”? But instead, I have to report that I never did go back. The meeting moved locations and busyness took my time from me. After several months I forgot and eventually moved away. Sometimes it really bothers me. How could I not return? How could I forget a lonely person that longed for companionship? I can only hope and pray that God heard her heart, and though I know God forgives me I was not the blessed person to meet her need.

Fast forward several years later to December 2022 and several states north. I am attending a small church in the great northwest and have had the opportunity to create lasting friendships. From those friendships I was invited to a Christmas painting party. I love to paint, especially with friends. It sounded marvelous. One of those friends offered to give me a ride. She had been to the house before, so I gladly accepted.

The snow blanketed the roads, so it was difficult to find parking. She remembered though that there was an open parking lot near the home that was hosting the party. That was convenient. So, we parked and marched through the heavy drifting snow. We were coming in a bit late, so instead of knocking on the door we thought we would just let ourselves into the home.

My friend went ahead of me and announced our presence. Except there was no party there. There were no people. Were they in the back of the house? And then we heard a lady frantically asking who was in her home.

“Oh no,” my friend said frantically, “this isn’t the right house!”

I was hysterical. Part of me was laughing uncontrollably. The other part was anxious, and I pushed my way in front of my friend running towards the front door, loudly whispering behind me, “hurry”!

She, on the other hand, was trying to apologize and explain our plight. I hurried out the front door and hopped like a bunny through the deep snow, which I had previously dredged through, back to the parking lot and back to the safety of her car.  My friend was trailing behind me at a slower pace. I was still laughing uncontrollably when I opened her passenger car door and ducked under the dash. We could hear the owner of the house holler from her front door,

 “Are you the people who were in my house?”

My friend apologized and said she thought it belonged to a friend and she was sorry.

We did eventually find the house, which was only a few houses over. After the party my friend thought it would be nice to bring over some cookies and apologize again. I was not in agreement but followed behind her. My thought, let bygones be bygones.  

We knocked this time and an elderly lady, in her pjs and pulling an oxygen tank behind her opened the door. As my friend apologized again offering her a peace-offering of cookies she also asked if she knew Jesus. The lady said she did, but she had to stay at home these days because of her health and the weather. She watched on TV or online but didn’t have many visitors. I suddenly remembered that tiny frail woman in Nevada who longed for companionship, who was deeply touched when I prayed for her.

My aloofness turned into compassionate boldness. This was my opportunity to pray.  After getting her permission, I came into her home (invited). I held her hand as I began to pray. This was an individual whom God loves and did not forget but I felt the weight of loneliness surround her. Tears filled her lonely eyes, and she thanked us.

What is the takeaway from this? For me there are many things.

  1. There are a lot of people in this world…a lot of people going through heartaches. I hope to return and visit this lady, and that is our plan. We NEED one another. Look for opportunities to spread hope.
  2. Be ready in season and out as found in 2 Timothy 4:2 ” Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction.” (NIV)
  3. When or if you make a mistake, ask for forgiveness and move on. I would have loved to return to the lady at the door in Nevada. But, though I didn’t I believe God still comforted her, but I missed out on the blessing.
  4. 1 Corinthians 1:27 sure comes in play. “Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.” (NLT) Both of us looked so foolish but in the end the lady was blessed.

Know this: If he can use me, he sure can use you. Be ready.

Happy 2023.

God Bless.

Freedom

Are YOU Fee?

So many people claim they are free.
They say they are now who they were created to be.

They change their hair, their bodies, their style
Thinking this is the answer, and it is for a while.

But surgeries and drugs and the clothes that you wear
The choice to be he, she, or they or the style of your hair

Will NEVER change who are you are inside.
It is only a temporary place to hide.

It’s a place where you feel accepted
By the society where once you were rejected.

It’s a place where the “others” who never understood
Can leave you alone or you hope that they would.

It’s a place where those who struggle like you
Now comfort and applaud your point of view.

But down deep inside are you really content?
OR down deep inside are your weary and spent?

Can your appearance really make you whole
From the confusion that twirls in your mind and soul?

If you feel there must be more, it’s true.
If you really want to be satisfied –with YOU-

There is ONE who loves you more than you know
He is the one who will never let you go.

He is not a religion or practice or thought.
He paid for your life. With his blood you were bought.

He loves you for you and all you are or will be
He is the ONLY way you will truly be free.

SO ARE YOU FREE?
You can be!

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only son. That whosoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

“So, if the son sets you free you will be free INDEED!” John 8:36

God Bless.

IT IS EITHER BLACK OR WHITE

Do you feel the days are growing darker spiritually? To some there seems to be a line in the sand that is evident. This line is dividing the darkness from the light. It is becoming increasingly apparent. You are either on one side of the fence or the other.

Others feel that those who are standing for Biblical righteousness are the ones making this divide. If only people would love or be more tolerant. And so instead of a division between the dark and the light, they see the division between those who love and those who judge.

I know God is the embodiment of love. 1 Corinthians 13, states that faith, hope, and love remain, but the greatest is love. It also states that if you don’t have love, you are just a clanging cymbal or in some translations a loud gong.

You see the “clanging cymbal” version of Christianity when people throw words of condemnation towards other people in a condescending nature such as toting signs that read: YOU ARE GOING TO HELL. Unfortunately, that is how some people envision Christianity and why many walk the other way. They believe it is full of judgement.

Then there is the other side of the Christian coin that states since God is love we need to accept all lifestyles. We need to embrace our differences and become tolerant.

This is where there is a bit of a gray confusion in the body of Christ. What does God mean by love?

Do we just accept everything, or do we need to interpret the Bible literally? How is a believer to act in these times of change in our society? Are we to make a stand? Or are we simply called to love and accept everything?

What is love anyway?

I love my kids, but I also set boundaries because of that love. I tell them there are rules because I love them. I never allowed my kids to play in the middle of a busy street. Why? Because I KNEW that there was a great possibility that they may get hurt or killed. Seems like common sense, right? But when it comes to boundaries with the Lord, we make so many exceptions.

God sets boundaries, not because he isn’t the God of love but because he IS. He knows that certain lifestyles will lead to death. He knows that certain choices will lead to death. Does he give us our own will? Again, yes. But he longs for us to stay in his boundaries so we can encounter victory.

In John 8 Jesus encounters the woman caught in adultery. He doesn’t condemn her, but he also says, “go and sin no more.” He didn’t accept her lifestyle, he accepted HER.

He was setting boundaries for her benefit.

Jesus would not have endured such a great sacrifice of being tortured, going to the cross, going into the depths of hell to take the keys of sin and death to only say…hey, stay in your sin and don’t worry about the consequences. He did all that BECAUSE he DOES love us.

So, we shouldn’t be a loud gong or cymbal and scream insults. We ARE to walk in love, but a love that shows the truth that sin causes. If only we could see into the spiritual realm to understand the powers that fight for our souls.

The spiritual world is filled with the demonic and the angelic. What we see isn’t all that there is in this life. You don’t just hear this from believers, it is heard from people involved in witchcraft or the occult, as well. There is power in the supernatural, both for good and for evil. Scriptures states that the same POWER that raised Christ from the dead lives in us (those who have accepted him as their Lord and Savior –Romans 8:11)

Wow, that is intense! But most people don’t even touch that part of reality. They are too focused on the reality that is visible, the reality that allows them to enjoy the pleasures of this world.

Yet in II Timothy 3, Paul states in verse 5 that people will have a form of godliness but deny its power. In other words, people would prefer to just be neutral. They may go to church but they don’t live like there is any power in the Holy Spirit. They refuse to even make a stand for righteousness.

If you only live by what you see in the natural, you may not understand the depth of what Jesus did on the cross, or the importance of making wise choices or understand people who stand up for the truth of the word of God.

Go IS love, however he neither flirts with sin nor wants us to walk down that path—BECAUSE of his love.

My prospective?

The days are getting darker, and evil is getting louder. And the divide between right and wrong seems to be getting wider. I do not want to throw out words of hate and condemnation as a clanging cymbal, nor do I believe we should sit quietly by and tolerate sin. God never did.

People’s eternities are in the balance. We need to pray for direction to lead them to truth and hope.

God is full of mercy and grace, yet his love and the sin of death will never be able to live together in perfect harmony.

Where there is darkness, the light becomes so much brighter. The best place for God’s glory to fall is in that darkness, like a seed that is planted in dark soil. It will grow into a strong healthy tree of life.

The days may seem like they are darker.

But: HERE COMES THE SON!

 

Evil is not winning

I haven’t written in some time. So much seems to be twirling around in my life and so I put writing on the back burner.

But there is also so much craziness in the world and we need to encourage one another. There seems to be either a sense of hopelessness or anger or people are just ignoring the situation that is arising in our midst. Regardless there is a battle in the heavens. And the enemy appears to have become louder and more assertive. Like Goliath who taunted all of Israel, the evil voices today mock those who stand in their path.

But like David, we need to believe in something greater. I mean REALLY believe. We need FAITH.

Hebrews 11:1 (KJV) states, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  

Think of it like this: Having faith is like having a ball of energy in your hands. That ball is like “the substance of faith.” It is alive and ready to be activated. You look at that ball and inside are your hopes, whatever they may be. You don’t see the answer to your needs in the physical realm. But hope is alive in the realm of faith. You just need to activate it by completely surrendering and putting your confidence in your Lord. It’s like throwing that ball of faith into your situation no matter what you might see with your eyes. Unfortunately, many hold onto faith that never gets activated.

Again become like David, who trusted God when Goliath mocked all of Israel and the God they served. What he and others saw seemed impossible. Those around him looked at the size of the man before them who appeared as a giant and who had never lost a battle. Goliath begged to fight someone in their camp who was brave enough or perhaps foolish enough, to challenge him. David’s confidence did not waver. Instead, his trust in the Lord was so adamant that it knocked down that giant of a man. David put action to his faith. He faced the giant who was mocking him and knocked him down with a few stones. Then he used the giant’s own sword to chop off his head.

We NEED to put our trust, our faith, and our confidence into action. We, each of us, need to believe without always having to see our miracle in the physical world first. Believe in the unseen. Believe that God is fighting on our behalf. Believe that he hears our prayers. Though others cower in fear we need to walk in confidence as David did.

In John 20:29, Jesus replied, “Do you believe because you see me? Happy are those who don’t see and yet believe.” (CEB)

And that is what I am doing now. I am joining other believers in the land that are believing without necessarily seeing what they believe. We are believing that America will be saved and putting action to our faith by our words, by prayer, but taking a stand, by doing what God has called each of us, individually, to do by faith.

Amid all this: God is Faithful. He always has been throughout the ages, and he continues to be. He can supply our need, whether it is for gas money or food or whatever we are facing. None of this is new to him.

Personally, he has met so many of my needs even when I may have made foolish choices or when calamities knocked on my door. There has been time after time when I wondered how I got through situations that appeared bigger than me.

God is faithful. Wasn’t he faithful to meet the needs of those in the Bible who saw such calamity? Didn’t he feed the widow who was the middle of a famine? Her jars filled daily so she could make bread daily. (I Kings 17). God made sure there was food during the many years of famine in Egypt and the whole region by giving Joseph wisdom to store food for the days ahead. His action of faith saved many people. (Genesis 37-50). What about those who walked in the wilderness for 40 years? They had all their needs provided.

He is the same God today.

He is faithful to hear our prayers and meet the brokenness of our hearts. He is faithful to hide us under the shelter of his wings as found in PS 91. All of PS 91 is great. But listen to these words.

“He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.” PS 91:4 (NLT)

We do not need to live in fear of tomorrow. We do not live in fear because God is not a god of fear but of love. He IS love.

His eyes are on those he loves.

“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:12 (ESV)

Lately I have been feeling like the gentle eyes of the Lord are on me. That may seem like a weird image to some. But it is like I see these gentle eyes on the world. He has the world in the palm of his hands, and he is watching those he loves.

You may see more evil screaming. It may even vex your soul. But evil is NOT winning. It is just being loud. We are not to shrink back in these days or compromise truth. We are to listen intently so we can follow the Lord’s lead. And then walk in peace, boldness, and confidence in our Lord who loves us unconditionally.

Become a David today.

God Bless.

God Hears

I sat quietly alone on my loveseat with the gas fireplace roaring beside me. Though the TV was on, it was set to mute as I considered my next move. I glanced at my injured foot which was now in a “boot” resting on the coffee table in front of me. I sighed. No one else was home. I just wanted something cold to drink but knew how difficult it would be to hobble with my crutches into the kitchen and return with a cold satisfying drink.

So, my dilemma, as simply as it was: Should I relax my newly broken foot or did I really need a refreshing drink. To myself, yet out loud, I said in despair, “there is no one here to help me”.

Immediately my mind raced to the story of the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda. It is found in the 5th chapter of the Gospel of John. Apparently the sick, the lame and the blind would sit by a pool of water. It was said to have had healing powers when it was stirred – some translations state that it was stirred by angels.

Some scholars believe the pools were at a pagan shrine or temple honoring the Greek god or demigod Asclepius, the god of medicine or medicinal powers. It was said that the healing snakes stirred the waters. And the scholars contribute the medicinal powers and stirring of the water from bubbles that arose from the mineral springs. Others debunk this theory.  Regardless, a man sat by this pool of water for 38 years with no one to help him get in. He must have come to a place of despair.

It reads like this from the NIV translation:

Sometime later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.  One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” 

“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. John 5:1-9

What I found interesting about this story is that Jesus walked into the midst of a pagan shrine (if that was the case) not caring about the “protocol” of the day. According to scripture he only approached one individual and healed him, on the Sabbath mind you, which was also against Jewish tradition.

He heard the man’s heart even though the man never asked the Lord to help him. We have heard other stories where people called out to the Lord, but not in this circumstance.

God’s mercy and compassion for those in need, for those who cry out from their heart, is amazing.

It made me realize that he hears, even when we don’t speak. He hears even if an individual doesn’t realize who they are calling upon.

I don’t care if you are:

in a prison cell
amid a war-torn country
in a COVID ward
on center stage
looking in the wrong direction for help
rich and famous
poor and alone
amongst friends
amongst enemies
feeling lost
in a church family
in a cubical
homebound
living on the street
a drug addict
hopeless
or seem to have it together…. God hears the heart that cries to him.

Where do you find yourself today? What is your situation?

I am telling you DO NOT GIVE UP. DO NOT LOSE HEART. GOD HEARS!

Isaiah 65:24, “Before they call, I will answer. While they are still speaking, I will hear.” (NIV)

Psalm 139 explains that he knows everything about you and cares. He knew you before you did. And Romans 8 states that NOTHING can separate you from the love of God.

What are you waiting for? What can you lose?

Dear Lord, Hear those who are crying from their hearts, those in despair, those who are in need and even those who do not realize yet that they need you. Amen

By the way: I was able to grab that drink. I just had to guzzle it right there at the refrigerator. And then I hobbled on my crutches back to the loveseat to rest my foot on the coffee table.  And soon my family returned home. I am grateful that I have something to drink, a couch to sit on in a warm house, and for those who are caring for me, as I heal.

I am mostly grateful for God who will never leave or forsake me, who took the time to go out of his way to heal a paralyzed man thousands of years ago when he had no one to help him. God is the same yesterday, today and forever and so I am grateful that he continues to heal today.

Remember: He cares about every detail of your life…and loves you.

God bless.

Destruction of War vs the Glory of God

Quiet cackling was heard in the darkness. Whispering followed, but it was not said in words that could be understood. If any person had been able to hear or perceive the voices uttered in the darkness, a chill may have gone down their spine, even though the words were unclear.

From that darkness Abaddon, the demon of destruction, had been able to breathe into a certain man’s thoughts. The man had often opened his mind to possibilities that intrigued them. And since he was pondering those thoughts more often, they knew eventually their thoughts would become his, as he claimed their sinister plans, as his own.

The demon knew that thoughts of power and dominion filled the man’s mind until he felt he was mad. He was often troubled by these notions and had become weary of trying to keep them at bay, without voicing them aloud. He tried to present somewhat of a smile whenever he was around other dignitaries, yet the voices continued to echo in his mind. He would have to wait…wait for an opportunity to arise so he could continue with his plans.

There were other nations, other leaders, who had had the same thoughts twirling in their minds. This individual, who was consumed with intense, brutal power, hoped that perhaps these other nation would join him to strengthen their forces. And then…then he would deceive even them, and reign supreme.

Lately he noticed that the strength of the once great nation of the “free world” was waning. If this continued, it would not be long before he could show his own power and react to those voices, those thoughts and then he could present his true colors with force. But now, he must wait.

The cackling and screeching grew louder as other minions and spirits around Abaddon joined him in his disturbing strategy. They laughed and gloated, rubbing their hands together, satisfied with what was about to transpire. Not since World War II had they been called to join the ranks of such destruction, but their moment was quickly approaching.

It had been such a delight to stand by past leaders as they encouraged destruction upon many nations. But this would be far superior. Abaddon knew or thought he knew “the time” that awaited him was soon to be his, so he could reign with destructive power. He had tried this before, but it was stopped because of unity of the nations, because of prayer of the saints. But these days were going to be different.

People from the “free world” had grown weak, powerless, and apathetic, as had many nations. Most had stopped caring. Long ago they traded love for lust, caring for power and common sense for control. Their own power-hungry agendas had plagued their hearts and minds. It had become easy to conquer from within. These nations had already been overcome with delusion and fear.

Fear swept the entire world through sickness, plagues, and death. Now fear would rule with war, power, and destruction!

Besides, those who did care were no longer in power amongst the nations. The people of the world had become blinded by their own desires and fear and would be caught off guard. And even if they did decide to unite, it would be too late because no one was listening.

And the saints, if there were many left, were more concerned with their own wellbeing to even notice what was happening. Most no longer listened to the Holy Spirit, took time to pray or even read the Bible. They had become consumed by things, riches, and fame. Those who could be called saints had filled their churches with compromise and judgement. They, too, would be caught off guard.

Abaddon gathered his legion together and announced how he had control of the violent leader. Now he would reign with power and use him until he was destroyed. Not only did he have control of this man, but there were other leaders and countries that had been influenced with the same agenda, and demons had already been assigned to their post, opened to their command. Together they would unite. Together they would destroy the “free world.” Finally, they would be able to spill out their hatred for mankind, in the fashion they had been lusting for.

It had already begun. War was already spilling blood. Destruction was in power.

But…..but…but…

The earth started to shake.

“What is going on?” Abaddon declared in rage. A small imp pulled on his arm, as a frightened child might do to his overbearing parent.

“WHAAAT?” screamed the angry demon.

“We may have a problem,” said the timid imp.

“Go on…” Abaddon seemed annoyed.

“It seems we may have miscalculated the situation,” the imp cowardly wimpered.

“What do you mean….miscalculated?”

“It seems, that there are some praying warriors that walk in authority and power that we may have not anticipated.”

An incredible deep throated growl came up from the belly of Abaddon.

“NOOOOO” he screamed. “NOT AGAIN!”

The demons beside him fell from the torturous anger that was growing in the atmosphere.

The earth shook again, this time with far more power.

The demons looked around with fearful anticipation. They observed a huge wave of water coming towards them. But it wasn’t water like the water that fills the earth. It glimmered with such magnificent and brilliant light that the demons were blinded and confused. The depth of this wave became so heavy that they could not move, and the smell was so sweet that they began to regurgitate.

The water was alive!

The demons screamed one more time as they finally realized: It was God’s Glory!!

Accompanying HIS GLORY was a legion of mighty warring angels, so many that the wave of God’s glory and the angels blended as one.

And His Glory was filling the earth and those warring, praying saints were rejoicing. Their voices reverberated with so much praise that the chambers of hell shook.

The demons screamed as they tried to escape. They were being trampled underfoot by hope, faith, love, and mercy.

The earth shook another time.

And this time the wave of HIS GLORY covered the earth. Anything and everyone in its path were being washed.

Abaddon realized, in anguish, that he had gotten it wrong, AGAIN. His time had not yet come. He growled in defeat as he watched the Glory of God fill the earth. He began screaming in agony as many whom he thought he had in his grip, were affected by that Glory. Others ran in fear, as he and his demons had.

For now, he would have to wait.

***********************************************************************************

I have no doubt that our prayers change the atmosphere and create miracles.

“He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree. ‘Be unrooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.” Luke 17:6 (NIV)

“For the Lord will rebuild Zion and appear in his glory. He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea.” Psalm 102:16 -17 (NIV)

There are so many more scriptures on prayer. What I want to express is this: the enemy THINKS he has control. But it is God who is in control!!! Pray without ceasing. Do not grow weary. Believe in his goodness. He HAS already overcome the world and WILL answer our prayers.

Be of good cheer. Pray and believe and watch. For God is good. Amen

God Bless

When Circumstances Don’t = JOY

JOY unspeakable?

What does that mean? To some of us, and to those who are going through traumatic circumstances it can seem unattainable at times.

How can a person find joy in an age where the world is collapsing around us? How can a person find joy if they are in war torn surroundings (like we are witnessing today), or maybe in a free country but your finances have been depleted, your health is compromised, or your loved ones have perished? Where is the joy in that hour?

Joy is not the same as happiness. Happiness is temporary. It is a fleeting moment of something special. Perhaps it is your wedding day, a new home, a vacation, winning the lottery, or whatever it is that brings your personal happiness.

But what happens when there are real life struggles? What happens when life is not going according to your plans? What happens to happiness when there is a catastrophe or maybe something more subtle like weariness, hopelessness or depression that knock on your door? Where is happiness then?

Many times, accompanying an article about famous people facing a divorce, is a picture of them together, with the caption stating, “in happier times”. That is just it. It was HAPPY times. Things were going ok. But then something began to crumble under their feet and now they are splitting up because they are no longer HAPPY with each other. It was a temporary thing.

But joy is different. It is a strength that cannot be dissolved by circumstances. That is why the Word states in Nehemiah 8:10b: “Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” The people were sadden when they realized how much they had fallen from the Lord and rebelled.  But they were told to no longer mourn for their strength would come from their joy in the Lord.

Joy in the Lord brings strength to your soul in the midst of otherwise circumstantial defeat. It is a substance that cannot be moved. It is a foundation that is permanent.

Remember the parable about the house that was built on the rock vs the house that was built on the sand (Matthew 7:24-27)? The wise man built his house on a rock (a good foundation) and when the storms came his house stood strong. But the foolish person did not listen and built his house on the sand. When the storms came, his house fell.

If the parable applies to having Jesus as our rock and we are building our life on him, when the storms come, we will be able to stand, unlike the person who built their house on the sand. Their foundation had no substance. Notice both houses had to endure a storm. We will all go through storms. But building your hopes and dreams around what this world has to offer or people that may disappoint you, will cause you to fall into complete chaos when a crisis hits.

Just as Jesus is the rock (or foundation) of our salvation, he is also the rock and foundation of our joy. Our strength comes from him. Our joy is complete in him!

John 15 speaks about abiding in Jesus and his love and obeying our Heavenly Father, just as he did. Jesus continues, “I have told you this so that my JOY may be in you and that your JOY may be complete.” (John 15:11 NIV)

Our joy becomes complete only through Jesus. How does his joy become our strength? It comes out of our relationship with our Lord even through trials.

The joy of the Lord becomes our strength once we begin our journey with him, as we abide in him, as we become passionate about him more than anything else, as we completely trust in him whether there is a storm or not. It is part of who he is. And he lives in us!

It comes from our relationship with Christ!

The joy of the Lord is not an emotion that we have to muster up. It is WHO WE ARE. We become full of joy because the Holy Spirit lives in us. Our hearts become his habitation as we spend time with him, in prayer, in worship, in life, regardless of what is happening around us.

In HIS presence there is joy.

Psalm 16:11” You make the path of life known to me. COMPLETE JOY IS IN YOUR PRESENCE. Pleasures are by your side forever.” (GWT)

His joy empowers us. It even empowered Jesus at the cross.

“We must focus on Jesus, the source and goal of our faith. He saw the JOY ahead of him, so he endured the death of the cross and ignored the disgrace it brought him.” Hebrews 12:2a (GWT)

That is why “the things of this world can grow so strangely dim,” as the old hymn states.  He is our strength when we completely trust in him. That trust is not just in who he is, but who he is IN US and who we are IN HIM.

Whether you are walking in good times or fiery trials, as we get to know the creator of the universe, an unexplainable joy bubbles up from within.

In summary:

Jesus IS JOY to those of us who believe. JOY cannot be moved by circumstances because it has become part of who we are when we became sons and daughters of God the Father.  We cannot muster it up. It is a gift, as is salvation. That strength of his joy is found in his presence, regardless of any situation.

I pray that this becomes such a revelation to you. I pray the JOY of THE LORD consumes you in these hours we are facing. I pray that it doesn’t just consume you but that it flows over to those who have either forgotten who lives in them, as believers, or for those who have not yet tasted of the goodness of the Lord.

Be at peace in this hour.

(And I lift those up in Ukraine and other nations that are facing despair during these hours, whether war, weather or oppression. May God grant grace and mercy.)

God Bless.

The Glory of the Lord is Near.

The ground began to shake as billows of dust clouds rose in the distance. I could hear the sound of hooves beating against the ground like the sound of many drums. The rhythm came from within the dust clouds which increased with intensity as the clouds grew closer. As I looked out towards the horizon of the dust filled flat plains, I saw what appeared to be a legion of horses beginning to emerge from the clouds.

I couldn’t make out the color of any of the horses nor did I know who their riders were, but in front and center, leading the pack, I saw a white horse. Its rider appeared to have a fluorescent white glow surrounding him. And though I could not see the rider in detail because of the light, I saw that he held a scepter of some kind in his hand, (right or left I wasn’t sure). With the other hand he held firmly onto the reign of his horse as it galloped with a great force. The rider rode with purpose and determination.

I KNEW instinctively who this rider was. He was the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Make no mistake, he was not beaten or sickly or weak. Power and glory illuminated off him. He was a warrior, a leader, a king!  He was MY king!

I heard in my heart as I watched this mighty army approach: I AM COMING IN MY GLORY!

Immediately I knew that the glory of the Lord was on its way towards planet earth, towards America, towards me! There was magnificent power in his wake. No one would be able to stand in his presence. His promises were, yes and Amen.

“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so, through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” 2 Corinthians 1:20 (NIV)

No political leader, no agenda made by man, no power of darkness from the pit of hell itself, could stop this force.

AND THEN I AWOKE! Or maybe I woke first, or never really woke all the way until morning.  That is unclear and irrelevant.

The bottom line: The Lord IS coming in HIS GLORY, and he WILL sweep the nation (and nations) once again. He WILL bring in those who are lost, those who are wandering, and those who are seeking.

HIS GLORY WILL FILL THE EARTH!

“But indeed, as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord.” Numbers 14:21

According to some definitions: A scepter is an emblem of authority and sovereignty. Some also add: used by kings to show their earthly power.

The Lord comes with authority on this earth.

May God bless you with HIS peace.

Amen.

Season of HOPE

The waterfall was different from any I had ever seen, whether in person or in a video. It didn’t just flow from a single river which tumbled into the raging waters beneath it. Instead the waters covered all the walls of what appeared to be a complete circular canyon. And it wasn’t water like we are familiar with in this realm. Instead it was as bright as crystals. The shimmer was so intense with light that it was hard to even keep my eyes on it.  I KNEW this waterfall was different because I KNEW it was flowing from the kingdom of heaven itself.

This was the glory of God flowing down from his throne room. This was his blessings of mercy, of grace, of hope, of peace, of healing and provision and so much more. It was all there. It is all here– if we want it. It is all available to those who ask.

And I heard in my heart. “You have not because you ask not. There is so much more.”

This was shared at a prayer meeting and I believe is something the Lord wants to share with us as we are dealing with the darkness, confusion and hopelessness that seem to be covering the whole earth.  People may think all is lost. People may believe that there is no hope. But I want to tell you: there is great HOPE.

Our ways are defiantly not the Lord’s. He has so much more for us than I think we realize or understand.

That is the whole essence of the Bible. It is a message of hope. It was for the people that existed thousands of years ago and it is for us today. There is always hope.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NIV)

This world is shaking. Our nation seems to be toppling and the economy is imploding. Laws and mandates, beyond are control, are being implemented and changing our lives forever. What was once considered to be wrong is now honored and what was once considered as right, is now mocked.

Is this a new concept? Not really. It has been happening for eons. It is just new to us today. It is new to our nation. Destruction is trying to take the throne. It is even gloating as well-meaning people submit to its demands.

This reminds me of a dream I shared several blogs ago. It was the one where I was in a corridor with a couple other people watching others fighting for their rights, with protests and signs. They chanted with fist in the air toward a political figure of power that stood behind a podium. Then suddenly the shouts ceased as the political figure made deals with each person. One by one each person shook this person’s hand and walked away.

But we must stand and not bow.

What is taking place today is like the story of the Hebrew children (Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego) who would not bow to the idol of the day while many others, that may have been good people, bowed because of fear and intimidation. Because of their refusal, the three Hebrews were thrown into a raging fire. But they didn’t burn! Instead the king mentioned: one, like the son of man, is in the flames with them. Although those that threw them into the fire burned to a crisp, they were saved. It seemed impossible. (Daniel 3)

This is what is happening today. It can seem difficult to stand up for what you believe is right. I mean, well-meaning people are bowing to the demands today.  Even in my dream those same well-meaning people compromised.  It is so much easier. There were only a few that held out in the corridors, watching.

The Bible does say that the way to destruction is broad but the gate to life is narrow.

Don’t be discouraged. Don’t give up. Because seriously:

“They who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.” IS 40:31 (ESV)

This is a day of HOPE. One, as the son of man, (Jesus) is standing with you. He is walking through the fire with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.

Also: There is a waterfall, one unlike anything in this world. It comes from the throne room of the Lord. It is his glory And it is filled with mercy, grace, hope, peace, healing and provision and so much more to anyone who asks.

“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Revelation 22:1

You have not because you ask not. What do you need? God is faithful.

Be of GOOD cheer. This is a good time to be alive and walking on this earth because it is a season of HOPE.