The Storm of Confusion

I see a storm cloud forming. It rolls with power throughout the land.
I see a storm cloud exploding. It has violence in its hand.
It has brought so much confusion. It has brought so much fear
But it is just a cloud of vapor. It has no power to adhere.

Confronting this roar of confusion stands a mightier force.
Confronting this roar of lies; truth will run the course.
Love instead of fear; hope to those who need it most.
Confronting this cloud is;
  the LORD OF THE HEAVENLY HOSTS!

Lately I have tried to write and often I have stopped because I really do not know how to articulate what is stirring in my soul.

I thought to myself, “Why am I having so much trouble. Why am I so confused and conflicted in my soul? What IS right?” There seems to be so much confusion, even amongst believers.

The struggle in my soul was real. As I was considering these things I saw, in my mind, a storm cloud on the horizon. It was dark and it was ominous. A thought flashed into my mind, “That is the very reason that I was confused. Confusion, itself has been taking over our land, our thoughts, our hearts.”

There is confusion in the airwaves. Lies are splattered daily until truth is muddied. There is confusion in social media. There is confusion in the political realm, the healthcare realm, in the streets, in the workplace and even in the churches. It wreaks havoc amongst the young, old, poor, rich, with every race and sex.  People are fighting one another verbally, emotionally, physically.

It is crazy.

One person states this…another something totally different. It is like the spirit of confusion has been released so that people are blind. They are blind with offenses, blind with anger. It is “they said, they did; he said, she did” hour in history.

That is why it is imperative that we learn to listen to the still small voice of the Lord like Elijah heard.

“As the Lord was passing by, a fierce wind tore mountains and shattered rocks ahead of the Lord. But the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind came an earthquake. But the Lord wasn’t in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was a fire. But the Lord wasn’t in the fire. And after the fire there was a quiet, whispering voice.”  1 Kings 19:11b-12.

The Lord spoke in the still small voice. That is the voice we need to listen to. We need to read his Word like never before, hide it in our hearts and learn to hear his voice.

John 10 explains that the shepherd enters by the gate. The thief sneaks in to deceive the sheep. It is the thief who comes to steal, kill, and destroy.  But the sheep recognize the true shepherd’s voice and follow him. We are the sheep that follow the shepherd, Jesus. Learn to hear the voice of the Lord.

I think it is ironic that I have seen comics lately about being a sheep and following the government’s system. Sheep are followers. Which flock are you in? Are you following the quiet voice of the Lord or the loud voice of the world? And when I say world…I also mean doing things out of fear or anger.

There are a lot of voices out there. Pray daily that the Lord will keep in you in truth!

I can honestly say that I am not clear what will happen next. I am not sure what else will take place during this year.

But this is what I believe:

God is and will continue preparing his bride at ANY cost. I believe that the greatest revival that we have seen will transpire regardless of the calamity around us or maybe because of it. And we can be a part of that revival IF we choose. I also believe that the way God will move in this hour may not look like what we have seen in the past.

Jesus wrecked “religion” as it was followed, in his days. What he did looked different and scared many high-ranking religious folks. But he was ushering in the new promise. He healed people, and on the Sabbath! That was taboo. He ate with the sinners. He talked to and loved those of different races (i.e… the Samaritan woman at the well). He walked a path that was not “the norm” of the day.  He did not call out to the masses, though the masses followed him out of curiosity. He called out to individuals and said, “Follow me.” And they did, many following him to a sacrificial death.

They KNEW him. They got the revelation of the greater call, to bring the message of salvation. They brought life to the dying and hope to the hopeless. They destroyed CONFUSION by bringing truth. Jesus told his followers that they (we) will do greater things than he did. (1 John 14:12)

Today is a new day.

I believe we will be called to dark places because the purpose of us being in the world is to bring HIS light. That is why it is imperative, and I mean of utmost importance that we recognize his voice. Read the Word. Hide it in your heart. Stay connected with other believers!

( I want to add a side note: Be careful not to miss the mark. Make sure you follow the Lord into the dark places. If you go on your own you may fall into confusion following the sin. Hear the Lord’s voice and follow his lead so that those who are lost in sin will turn from it and follow truth WITH you.)

I join in with my brothers and sisters in the Lord and take authority over the confusion that is in our land. I declare TRUTH to break through like the morning dawn.

The storm cloud of confusion that swept among us all
Cannot stand long if we listen to the Lord’s call.
Take the time listen; take the time to pray.
Someone’s life may change if you heed his voice today.

Be a life changer. Walk in truth.

What Will be Your New Normal?

 

Plagues, chaos, vandalism, terror, confusion…America?

There were times in the United States of America when rebellion and anarchy and war broke out.

Then there were seasons of rest and peace; more in some areas than in others, but overall, we had long seasons of peace in this nation.

Perhaps because of the ability to view anything almost anywhere in the world in an instant, our nation and even our world seems to have gotten smaller. These are different times than times in the past.

The year 2020 has been not been what I imagined. I believe it will never look the same.

In times past, we may have never known that a virus was covering the world. Perhaps it wouldn’t have even reached our land or maybe it would have come, and many people may have lost lives, but then we would have moved on.

We may have never known that a man was unjustly killed by a police officer. (How very heart breaking.) It probably happened more times than we have realized before days of technology, but it was not known world wide until recent times allowed that technology.

We may have not heard, except through others, that towns were being burned to the ground and chaos ruled the land. Social media and smart phones now record such events. Again, these things have happened in the past but were not announced across the world like they are in the media today.

Today these things spread like wildfire and like wildfire ignite more anger and hate and chaos.

Today we are immediately aware because of our technology. Times have changed

Because of that we are witnessing horrendous events shake our nation.

These are the days in which we live.

Evil is devious. Evil is strong. Evil is loud. It has been in our nation since the beginning of the nation’s existence, and before. I believe there were times of refreshing and open windows of blessings from the Lord in our nation because, for the most part, we honored God. But because we have opened our doors to sin, the blessings of peace seem to have disappeared.

Still during this evil, hope does exist. The Lord is not caught off guard and always has a plan.

“So, shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.” Isaiah 59:19

I believe that the Lord, who sees all and knows all, who is aware of our past, our present and our future will never leave or forsake those who seek him during these hours.

Like I said in my last blog, the enemy of darkness is angry and afraid and will do all he can to bring unrest and destruction. He knows his time is short. And he comes ONLY to kill, steal, and destroy!!! (John 10:10) That is his only purpose. But on the other hand, Jesus came to bring abundant life.

Regardless of the purpose behind this chaos, though it is important, the real enemy is satan. It always has been.

The Lord still reigns. And people need his presence, his hope, his peace like never before.

I believe these riots, like the effects of COVID, are a wakeup call to the body of Christ. We need to always be prepared, not only to pray, but to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and walk amid the darkness. It is our obligation to bring HIS light and HIS hope. The only answer is Jesus.

There was a season in America when there was peace. Today injustice, hate and anger have multiplied.

During the days of the Roman Empire there was so much chaos and blood shed, as well. That is why the disciples thought, at first, that Jesus was going to raise up a revolution. Interesting enough, God chose a time of complete confusion to bring his hope.

God’s ways our not our ways.

As I write, it is Pentecost Sunday. And where I live it was the first day since COVID that I got to attend my church. I wept, thanking God for that opportunity, yet I was also aware that my country was being torn apart.

What is our place in this chaos?

I know I am to pray but we (you and I) are also called to spread the hope of Christ. The Lord will guide us. I want to hear his voice, in this hour.

God is NOT sitting back. He is STILL in control. He is STILL brooding upon the earth. He has heard the cries of his people that have been crying out day and night for his presence, not just in America, but around the world. Those kinds of prayers have been uttered from suffering individuals in other countries for years. Like the cries that went up to heaven during the years of slavery in which the Israelites suffered at the hands of the Egyptians, so God hears the cries of his saints today.

He is not turning a deaf ear. Evil is evil. But God is greater.

Greater is he that is in you and me than he (satan) who is in the world. (1 John 4:4).

The glory of the Lord will rise in this hour of darkness because the Lord is still on the throne. He longs to save us from our own destruction. He longs to bring us to THE LIGHT. Are we prepared to bring the gospel to a lost and dying world?

Jesus died a sinner’s death on the cross for our sins during the Roman reign. Though it surprised the disciples because it wasn’t what they expected, it ended up being so much better than what they had anticipated.

Jesus rose from the dead!

After he returned to heaven the Holy Spirit came upon them with POWER as seen in Acts 2. They went from hiding in fear to boldly sharing the gospel in a world that did not want to hear it. Yet many came to Christ.

During the turmoil today, like in the days of the Roman Empire, I believe the Holy Spirit will once again fill the earth with his glory.

“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions and your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord WILL be saved.” Acts 2:17-21

So instead of anger or fear reigning in your heart with all that has been happening in 2020, we should rejoice. We are found worthy to be part of this age, part of something so much greater. We can be part of the greatest harvest before his return.

Remember:

He will not leave or forsake us. Hebrew 13:5
He has a plan, a hope, and a future for us. Jeremiah 29:11
He wants us to rejoice in him, always. Philippians 4:4
He will fill the earth with his glory. Isaiah 6:3

He wants us to partner with him to bring in the harvest.

“He told them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into this harvest field.” Luke 10:2

Will you be one of the workers in the harvest?

Father,
I thank you for taking the very thing that was meant for destruction and using it to draw many people to you. Thank you that you are healing hearts and forgiving sins. We ask for your mercy. Hear our cries and heal our land. Teach us how to be harvesters in this hour and fill us with your boldness to go on the streets to bring the lost and broken to you. Amen

What will be your new normal?

WAKE UP! RISE UP! PRAY!

The other morning as I was getting ready for work, I felt like the Lord was saying to my spirit:

WAKE UP! RISE UP! PRAY!

I was obviously awake. This was a different awakening. This was an awakening in the spirit. This was a call to WAKE UP in the spiritual realm.

I thought about Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, praying in anguish as he knew what was before him. (Matthew 26)

He asked his disciples if they would stay awake and pray and said, “Stay here and keep watch with me.” When he returned, he found them asleep.

“Couldn’t you keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked.

Then he said, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

The second time when he approached them after praying in agony all alone, he found them asleep again and again said the same thing. When he returned the final time he said, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look the hour has come and the son of man is delivered into the hands of sinners.

I felt him say this: WAKE UP! RISE UP! PRAY!

I thought about the parable in Matthew 25 where Jesus shared the story of the 10 virgins and the kingdom of heaven. All 10 virgins fell asleep while they were waiting for the bridegroom to return. Five were wise and took oil for their lamps. Five were foolish and didn’t have any extra. Notice: they ALL fell asleep while they waited, but five had prepared themselves.

Suddenly there was an announcement that the bridegroom was returning. All woke up. But the five foolish had no more oil in their lamps and went to purchase more. While they were gone the bridegroom returned. When they came back it was too late to enter the wedding banquet.

I felt the Lord say: WAKE UP! RISE UP! PRAY!

If you have ever seen a movie about war in the days of old, you have seen an intense battle between two groups of determined people. They charge at each other with fierceness, boldness, and supernatural strength. As they run towards their opponents you can hear the roars of courage bellow out of their lungs. It gives them the extra valor to attack with all that is left in them.

That is what I am seeing.

It is time to be the warriors that God has called us to be. It is time to rise without fear. Fight for Christ. Fight for your brothers and sisters in Christ. And fight for those that need to hear the Gospel. We are NOT fighting people. We are fighting in the spirit realm.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” Ephesians 6:12

We fight or war in prayer!

I heard the Lord say: WAKE UP! RISE UP! PRAY!

This is the hour to wake up from the slumber that has swayed us to sleep. There has been a slumber that has been so heavy that it has caused most everyone of God’s children to sleep. (Yes, there are those that are alert and may have extra oil, but most have fallen asleep.) This slumbering spirit has caused us to compromise, embracing sin a little at a time. It has caused us to desire the pleasures of life more than the love of the Father. Most have more desire for entertainment or things than the desire to see people set free. (I am preaching to myself here.) It is far easier to do and more relaxing. Maybe it isn’t entertainment, as such, but we are preoccupied with this life.

I am NOT saying that we cannot enjoy ourselves. We need to take vacations. We need to have family time. It is fine to watch a movie or play golf. And it is a necessity to work. What I am saying is that sometimes other things can preoccupy our hearts and minds causing us to be distracted.

We may think: God is out there somewhere, sure, but not real to me. He is a part of heaven; we are part of the earth. He is so far away. He resides in a different dimension. He doesn’t really want us to “live out” the Gospel. We can just look like the world. I believe the Lord is calling out his own. He will shake what needs to be shaken. This recent pandemic has certainly caused us to appreciate the simpler things and has caused some people to seek the Lord in a stronger sense.

I heard the Lord say: WAKE UP! RISE UP! PRAY!

The enemy is at the door and he is preparing for a war like never seen before. His time is short. What we have been experiencing so far is just a foretaste of what he wants to arrogantly heave at us. I believe satan is trying to play his hand before his time because he fears what lies ahead. I believe the greatest move of the Holy Spirit is yet to come. Still, I hear the enemy’s feet stomping. I had a dream once that enemy troops were stomping in place. The only thing holding satan and his cohorts back was an invisible shield of God’s making. But one day the enemy and his troops will be released. The vileness will be far stronger than what we have experienced thus far. The only hiding place will be hidden in Christ. This is the hour to prepare and light your lamps. Are you ready?

And I felt the Lord say: WAKE UP! RISE UP! PRAY!

This is the time to wake up. This is the time to rise as warriors. This is the time to take the authority God has given us and PRAY. The Lord said if we have faith as a mustard seed, we can say to a mountain move, and it will. NOTHING will be impossible! (Matthew 17:20)

He also said that we will do greater things than he did while he walked this earth. (John 14:12)

It is time to rise in FAITH!

The enemy fears what is about to sweep across the nation, across the world. He fears the Spirit that lives within each of God’s children. Satan fears that we might really understand truth and it will set us free as we walk in the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit of the Lord is hovering upon the earth. He once told Ezekiel to speak life to the dry bones so that they will live. In this hour we can speak life to the inhabitants of the earth. I believe even where our feet tread, life is born. Declare life to your neighbors and to strangers. I believe we have the authority to declare life into every area where we walk, every footstep. We have not yet taken hold of the authority that belongs to us.

I believe the greatest outpouring is about to break forth throughout this planet.

I heard the Lord say: WAKE UP! RISE UP! PRAY!

I am not sure what the coming months or years will look like. But it is in prayer, that we will be given direction from the Lord. It will be through prayer that we will see the greatest outpouring of His Spirit on this earth.

I don’t believe that this message was for me alone. Will you wake up? Will you rise up? Will you pray?

You can be a part of something far greater than you have ever experienced.

WAKE UP! RISE UP! PRAY!

God IS Good

God IS good.

He is good when things go well
And he is good when they do not.

He is good when you are in health
And when you struggle with illness.

He is good when the storms come
And is good when the sun shines.

He is good when your pockets are empty,
Or when your bank is overflowing.

He is good when you’re surrounded by loved ones
And he is good when you taste loneliness.

He is good when a new life is born.
He is good when death’s door is at hand.

He is good when life is broken and hard
And He is good when life is easy.

GOD IS GOOD

Because ……

He died that you might live.
He has your best interest at heart.
He loves you unconditionally.
He is full of mercy.
He heals your heartache.
He forgives you continually.
He is always faithful.
He fights for you.

In the mist of tears he is your hope.
In the mist of sorrow he is your anchor.

He will never leave you.
He will never abandon you.

He answers you when you call.
He rescues you when you are weak.

He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

He is the Alpha…The Omega…The Beginning… Then End

He is the GREAT “I AM”’

God is GOOD….ALWAYS!

“O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” Psalm 34:8

AMEN

Sometimes Tears Are Prayers When You Have No Words To Say.

One of my favorite sounds is the sound of birds singing. Early in the morning as the sun rises and the sound of birds singing float through the air, I smile. Usually it accompanies spring, sunshine, green grass, flowers and new hope. It also introduces the summer season filled with trips to the lake, vacations and the sound of children playing and laughing outside. That is another sound that fills my heart with joy; the sound of children playing throughout the neighborhood, parks and even my backyard.

But this spring is different.

Life is different. Not only are we secluded in our homes, but schools and playgrounds; places filled with children laughing are closed. On top of that, in my part of the world, snow is still trying to fall from the grey clouds. The air is cold and windy.

This morning I heard birds singing in the early morning hour even though the air was cold and blustery. When I went to the window the sound of the birds quieted. I saw a single red robin perched on a branch of a leafless tree. He rested there for quite a while, standing against the cold wind that blew. His red breast puffed up to trap warm air like a winter coat. I wondered what he was doing there, alone.

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My eyes caught a flag flying at a distance from American the Legion, flapping in the cold wind. Above the wind, the sound of silence filled the early morning hour. It was if the world stood quiet while a demonic influence was trying to stealthily sweep the airwaves with pestilence and fear.

I looked back at the lonely robin, still perched in the leafless tree and I began to feel a tear fall down my cheek. I whispered without even realizing I was talking out loud, “Lord, take care of the robin. Lord take care of all the robins.” I do not know why my heart began to break. The single tear turned into weeping and I cried to the Lord again, “Take care of all the robins”!

I wasn’t crying for the robin, per say. I was crying out for the brokenness of our world, the brokenness of our country, the brokenness of people, people lost, people filled with fear, people dying, people dying without the Lord.

I wept for some time. Sometimes tears are prayers, when you have no words to say.

The Lord reminded me of this verse:

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “Matthew 6:26-27 (NIV)

By afternoon the winds calmed down and blue skies began to appear as the clouds parted. I heard several birds singing and I looked outside my window and that single robin was still perched in the leafless tree. Then I watched him fly away as if he had no care in the world.

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Lord, I do not begin to understand what is happening in our world today. But I know this: You will take care of me. You will take care of those who put their trust in you!

I began to quote a part of Psalm 91.

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Highest will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
PS 91:1-2 (NIV)

I choose to trust you, Lord, not just for myself, but for those who are lost, those that feel hopeless and afraid. Lord lead them to you. If I am to be the one to lead anyone to you, give me the words to say. Amen.

God bless.

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Called to be a Light

With the COVID-19 out on the loose people have become more vigilant with sanitizing, personal hygiene and social distancing. But there are some of us who still must work. Some are on the front lines, literally, working with patients. Others may have essential positions that do not include dealing with those who are sick, yet are still working in the public.

I have been working daily. I use sanitizer after handling money and clean my workstation often, but there isn’t exactly 6 feet between those in the office and those who we encounter. Some in the office just “deal” with it while others are beginning to become extremely anxious each minute they are working.

One individual, though she wears gloves, washes her hands so much they have become red, chapped and irritated. I heard her say, as she was diligently sanitizing, “I don’t want to touch their filthy things.” That stuck with me for some reason and of course the Lord reminded me of scripture associated with the statement.

In 2 Corinthians Paul explains the importance of keeping oneself from darkness and tells us that there is no harmony between light and darkness, between Christ and the devil.

“Therefore, come out from among unbelievers and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things and I will welcome you. And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:17 & 18 (NLT)

Of course, we must live and work among unbelievers. I don’t believe that is what the Lord is saying here. Paul states in 1 Corinthians 5 that if we didn’t associate with those of this world, we would have to leave the world.

During the COVID-19 virus that is sweeping the world, we are told to not touch anything unless it has been sanitized and to maintain social distancing. Why? For our safety, of course.

As believers we were already called to separate ourselves from the world. What does that look like? It means that we don’t compromise with sin nor join with those that do. Instead we look different than the world. That is not always comfortable nor easy.

It is easier to blend in.
It is easier to agree with the world.
It is easier to grumble and complain.
It is easier to gossip about others.
It is easier to be revengeful and unforgiving.

And the list of easier continues on and on.

It is ALSO easier to fall into fear during these times, as many in the world are doing.

But Jesus never told us that following him would be easy. There is NO EASY button. In fact, Jesus warned us that few would travel the harder road.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow, the road that leads to life and only a few find it”. Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV)

I never did understand the TV show called, “Highway to Heaven”. I am not sure what road they were on, but the road to heaven is not a paved highway, at all. Scriptures imply over and over that it is a road that will involve trials and sacrifice. But it also is one that involves a relationship with our Creator; which in turn reaps rewards of peace, hope, purpose, joy and eternal life.

Why were we warned, as believers, to separate ourselves and not touch the filthy things? Like the warnings of today during the COVID-19 virus, it is for our benefit. We are to separate ourselves to keep us from becoming infected with the sins and distractions of this world. Sin can only lead us down the road of eternal destruction.

We are called to be different, to be a light, to stand out in the crowd and go against the flow so that we can bring hope to a dying world.

It’s like the bride who walks down the aisle She is not dressed like anyone else. She stands out and looks different. And all eyes are on her.

We (you and I) are the bride of Christ. What is the purpose in being different? It is so that others can find hope in this world of despair.

In these days that seem to be getting darker and appear grim, we need to bring the light of hope. I pray that God would fill each of us with his boldness to complete our purpose and represent HIS light. The world needs Jesus.

I agree with Paul when he said: “Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.” Ephesians 6:19 (NIV)

My prayer is that what the enemy has meant for evil, God would use to draw people to HIM.  And I pray we can be part of that process.

God bless.

 

 

Seek Him

“If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

We have heard this scripture many times, so many times perhaps, that it does not penetrate our hearts:

King Solomon had built the temple that his father, David, had in his heart. The Lord met with him in the night hour speaking words of promise to him. This is when the verse from 2 Chronicles originated. It was for the nation. It was for Solomon.

Many times, we, as believers, have congregated together and prayed this and sought the Lord for our land. We have repented for the sins that our country has adopted. We have wept and interceded. That is powerful. Moses did that for a people who had forsaken their God. Prophets did that for the nation of Israel. The voices of “God’s people” have reached heaven many times. And the Lord spared nations because of those pleas.

In fact, if you remember, Abraham asked the Lord to spare the city of Sodom if just 10 people were found righteous in that city. In the end, the Lord saved only four people. Then the city was destroyed.

God hears the cries of his people for a nation. But as I was reciting the above verse in 2 Chronicles, I noticed something. You know how you can read a verse over and over and each time the Lord will show you a different aspect?

In this verse, I noticed he was asking HIS people to seek him. He was asking HIS people to turn from “their” wicked ways. THEN he would hear from heaven, forgive their sins and heal their land. Like I said earlier, it is so important to intercede for others, but this time I noticed that he wasn’t necessarily asking us to repent for what others were doing. He was asking us to repent from “OUR” wicked ways.

Suddenly I realized that the Lord was directing this to ME. I am called by him. I am responsible to turn to him, to seek him and to turn from MY wicked ways. I can pray for the nation and I can cry out for the Lord to forgive the nation for its sins (this is interceding and like I said, is part of the Christian walk) but this time I heard, “You are called by my name. Humble yourself. Seek me. Turn from “YOUR” wicked ways.” It became more personal.

Psalm 139:23 &24 (GWT) states, “Examine me, O God, and know my mind. Test me and know my thoughts. See whether I am on an evil path. THEN lead me on the everlasting path.”

The Lord takes us on a journey. He prepares us for a mission. He strengthens us when we are weary and cleanses our hearts from things that would distract us, things that would turn our hearts away from what he has for us. We are not here just to live, but to follow his voice for our lives.

Remember, he came to bring ABUNDANT life. It isn’t just about the best house, vacations and experiences. It is about KNOWING our LORD and drawing others to him.

So, I said:

“Lord cleanse my heart from anything I have in my heart that is not holy before your eyes. Cleanse my heart from anxious thoughts and distractions of this life that are whispering for my attention. Keep me on the straight and narrow. Help me to seek your face and hear your voice and show me if there is anything that is wicked in me. Forgive me Father (Why?) because, your ways are ALWAYS better than mine and you have a life full of abundance for me. Lord heal my heart. Heal me emotionally and physically in this hour so that I CAN intercede for those around me.” Amen.

During these hours, we should each be seeking our Lord so that we can be prepared to intercede on the behalf of others. Seek him.

God bless.

COVID-19

As I was thinking about the virus that has been sweeping the world, one nation at a time, the first thought that came to me was the scene in the Old Testament of a pole with a snake on it. I’m not sure why but that scene has not left my mind.

“But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”

 Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died.  The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So, Moses prayed for the people.

The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.” Numbers 21: 4-8 (NIV)

According to https://biblestudentdaily.com bronze represents human nature. The Lord had Moses make a bronze snake (snake representing sin) on the pole. All that looked on it would not die from the poisonous snake bites that the Lord had sent because of their sin of speaking against Him. It wasn’t that the bronze snake itself, had any power, but God saw the repentant and obedient hearts. Faith rose up in the hearts of the people and healing and life sprung from that.

Even Jesus used the example of the serpent on the pole as he spoke about himself. He said in John 3:14, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness so the Son of Man must be lifted up that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” (NIV)

He spoke of how he would die. Anyone that looks on him and BELIEVES will be saved from eternal death. I believe John 3:16 must be one of the most popular verses of all time.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever BELIEVES on him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

He was sent to the cross to save us because we sinned against the Lord. He came to bring life out of death.

Then in Numbers 16 a plague came to the children of Israel again because they grumbled and opposed Moses and even God who was leading him. This time the Lord told Moses to direct Aaron to take his censor (which I might add was also made of bronze) and put incense in it along with burning coals from the altar and run into the midst of the assembly to make atonement for the people so the plague would stop. Aaron did as he was instructed and stood between the living and the dead and the plague stopped. But 14,700 died.

You might ask. What does this have to do with this virus that is creeping across the nations? This was thousands of years ago. Is the Lord sending this plague because of sin and unbelief? I am NOT saying that. It would be very dangerous for me to make that assumption.

BUT what I am saying is that the Lord CAN and will stop this virus IF we call upon him! There is power in prayer. There is power in coming before the God of creation and calling on him to intervene.

When the plagues hit Egypt, it was the blood of a sacrificed lamb that was posted on the doorway of each Israelite household that signaled the angel of death to pass over them. No one in that household would die.

There is so much more power in the blood of the LAMB. The blood that Jesus shed. I do not think we understand the power of the blood of Christ. It was by his stripes that we can be healed.

As the old hymn goes,
“There is power, power, wonder-working power in the blood of the Lamb.
There is power, power, wonder-working power in the Precious blood of the Lamb.”

I had a dream years ago that a lion was roaring in the forest. He was sniffing for people to devour. I knew my children were in that forest. I prayed that the Lord would cover them by his blood. I saw the lion come right up to them, sniffing, but he could not smell them, nor see them, because of the blood of Jesus.

It reminded me of the verse found in 1 Peter 5:8. “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour”

So, what is the takeaway?

  1. Run to the Lord. Look to him, like the Israelites looked at the snake on a pole. He is your protector. He is your deliverer. He is your savior. He will heal you. NONE of this is catching him off guard one single minute. He sees it all.
  2. There is POWER in prayer. There is POWER in the blood of Jesus. Believe it and stand firm in prayer. Pray for your family, your neighbor, your city and nation. And if there is sin: repent.
  3. “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.” II Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) So rest in him. Trust him. He has you covered.

ABOVE ALL remember this scripture:

 “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” John 14:1 (NLT)

I am ME.

Ambivert- a person whose personality has a balance of introvert and extrovert features.

I wondered where I stood in the introvert/extrovert personality label. It felt weird because there are occasions that I just want to be alone and other times when I hunger for a social setting. Would that be an ambivert? Most people are considered ambiverts.

I always thought that an introvert was someone who was shy and an extrovert was outgoing. But an introvert personality is actually a person who recharges their batteries by having alone time. A lot of socializing can be overwhelming and exhausting. It’s just the opposite for the extrovert. Their batteries are recharged by being amongst other people. So, there can be shy extroverts and social outgoing introverts. And those who are a mixture of both have been tagged an ambivert.

Depending on the circumstances I respond in different ways, like an ambivert would. For example: Sometimes I want to be the person that meets new individuals at social gatherings, and other times I don’t want to talk to anyone. I suppose it depends on the function I am attending.

Knowing the difference in other people really helps to understand those around me. I understand why my husband will retire in the bedroom when our house has been filled with a lot of people. I understand why he had a hard time at Disneyland. Though he went (God bless him) it was a strain. I, on the other hand, though I would have liked to not wait in lines that seemed to take an eternity, enjoyed the crowds. I liked hearing the laughter, the people walking around me, the festivities. Crowds frustrate him, yet you can put him in front of a group of people and he has no trouble teaching on a subject he loves. I hate public speaking.

I understand my youngest who always wants a party at our house. She loves being around people and her batteries get recharged with social activities. When she was little, she told a few of the moms at her dance class that she was organizing a dance theme in the park. I had no idea. They approached me about it. I’m like, “no”.

Because she is an extrovert (gets her batteries recharged around socializing) yet can be shy, there were some difficult moments. She craved to socialize, yet had a hard time approaching new people. Her nephew on the other hand, who is the same age, is a social extrovert. He loves mixing in with a crowd and often when I would take them to a park when they were little, he would be seen running around with “new friends”. My daughter would watch him wishing she was more bold. One day at the park when my grandson, who was only 4 at the time, ended up with a bunch of middle school kids who were hanging out. I had to make him come back to me. He just craved to be a part of whatever was happening.

So what charges my batteries?

I do not always like to be alone. I would not enjoy going out to a movie alone, or eating out alone. I enjoy activity around me. I don’t even like the thought of living off the grid or even living in a very small town, though I have. And I would never make plans to get away to a cabin in the woods for a vacation, unless there were others to share it with me and plans were made.

There are times when being alone recharges my batteries and there are other times when socializing recharges my batteries. I guess I would be considered an ambivert, right?

But at the end of the day I do like to be alone with my thoughts. And when I get an opportunity I like to get away from everyone and write and sometimes even paint, or read a book. Quiet moments to just think, give me peace.

If I HAD to choose one, I would say that I am a social introvert.  I love to socialize; do not want to miss out on any get-togethers. That is why if I go to a new church I want to quickly get involved. As soon as I start a new job I like to connect with those like-minded. And when I move into a new community, I want to get to know the neighbors (somewhat). LOL

What recharges your batteries?

Bottom line: It doesn’t really matter. I am who God created me to be. We each have different visions, different goals, different personalities. And the amazing thing is that we are all created in the image of God.

HE MUST BE AWESOME!

For the Lord Most High is awesome, the great King over all the earth. Ps 47:2 NIV

There are as many mixtures of personalities and cultures and circumstances then there are fingerprints that match. We simply cannot be tagged and put in any box (although it certainly helps to understand one another). We each are a mystery created in the likeness of our Lord. There is no one else just like me, nor you.

I will praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” PS 139:14 NIV

I am ME.

 

 

Do Not Look Back

We often look back on memories of our past.

We may re-live our positive memories with fondness and perhaps long for those days. The negative experiences, on the other hand, can take a more disturbing residence in our minds. Like a loop tape, they play over in our minds to the point of wishing we could change a certain time span, as you see in sci-fi movies. Or they are buried deep into our memory bank and we throw away the key. A simple moment may have changed the direction of our lives.

As far as negative experiences in our past, I have heard it said, “Your past does not dictate your future.” In other words, whatever happened in your past that was negative should not dictate the ability to live the rest of life with hope and promise. Yet, many people use heartache from their past to excuse their actions, saying it’s not their fault that they act a certain way.

It’s true that some people have experienced horrific pasts and need Jesus to enter their lives and perhaps go through counseling. But I am saying that God CAN use any hard situation to prosper us and those around us. HE has a way of turning things around. In fact, II Corinthians 1:3 states that God will comfort us in our trouble SO THAT we can comfort others when they experience trouble and pain.

Regardless, we are to ALWAYS move forward.

Remembering the negative past is for the purpose of reminding us of God’s mercy AND to help those who are stuck in their past. We can; however, learn from the past.

Winston Churchill said, “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.”

So, we can LEARN from our past, BUT we should not camp there. We must MOVE forward. If we choose to live in our past –we will not grow into what we were meant to become.

In Exodus 16, the children of Israel, who wandered the desert for 40 years were told that manna, bread from heaven, would fall onto the ground every morning. There would be enough for that day. But what they did not use (except when they were to bake it for the 7th day) they were to throw out. If they didn’t it would breed worms and rot. We do not want to live off yesterday’s memories or experiences, good or bad.

I think there is more to that concept than we realize.

Even the Lord said that his mercies are NEW every morning. (Leviticus 3)

Paul shared his past in Acts 22 by talking about his background. He described how he was driven to kill those who preached the gospel. He continued by describing his transformation when he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. Since then he only pressed forward. He knew where he came from but did not stay there. The negative in his life was used only to show the power of God’s ability to change lives. He moved forward. He even stated in Philippians 3:13,14 (GWT):

“Brothers and sisters, I can’t consider myself a winner yet. This is what I do: I DON’T LOOK BACK, I lengthen my stride, and I run straight toward the goal to win the prize that God’s heavenly call offers in Christ Jesus.”

At the end of his life he said,

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7 (NIV)

We will not finish the race by stopping and taking a break and just chilling. And we definitely will not finish it by turning around and going back to the starting line. So we can’t finish the race by looking behind us and wishing our past was different or listening to the voices that say, “Just quit. Your life was broken from the beginning anyway. Why try?”

Even if an athlete falls in a race, he gets up and runs harder.

Often the children of Israel complained to Moses while in the desert. They wanted to return to Egypt because it seemed easier the way things used to be, even if they were slaves before. They didn’t want to walk forward through hardships to get to the promised land. They were content with slavery.

How about you? Do you want to remain a slave to the things of this world instead of pressing forward?

What happened to Lot’s wife when she turned to look at Sodom and Gomorrah burning in the flames of God’s judgement? She turned into a pillar of salt. I often wonder why she turned to look back, especially after she was warned not to. Was it curiosity? Was it rebellion? Was it one last look at what she was leaving behind? Whatever her reason may have been, looking back had its consequences.

There is something about moving forward that the Lord wants to impress into our spirits.

“Jesus said to him, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62

The Lord wants to encourage us to go forward. It is so easy at times to simply sit back and get comfy or obsess with the past.

But there is joy at the finish line if we do not give up.

(Jesus) saw the JOY AHEAD of him, so endured the death of the cross and ignored the disgrace it brought him. Hebrews 12:2a (GWT)

He saw what was at the finish line and it filled him with joy and gave him the determination to go forward.

If we could really see with 20/20 vision, as many are stating in 2020, we could see that God IS for us. We could see that the suffering of this age is NOTHING compared to the glorious life that is in front of us. THAT is why he wants us to move FORWARD. There is so much more at the finish line.

THERE IS MORE THAN WE CAN IMAGINE IN FRONT OF US!

Do not look behind you with longing. Do not look behind you with regret. Do not look behind you with defeat. The things in the past will not satisfy anymore. Press forward.

Our tomorrows with the LORD will be greater than we have ever imagined. What does God have to say about going forward?

“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you a hope and a FUTURE.” Jeremiah 29:11

Keep your eyes focused on the author and finisher of your faith as you continue to move forward. Press on.

GOD BLESS!