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!

Seasons of Life

There are seasons in life.

Seasons are demonstrated throughout nature. We experience winter, spring, summer and fall. But there are also rainy seasons, some with storms and tornados or monsoons. There are dry, hot seasons. In different parts of the world there are other kinds of seasons that may not be familiar to everyone. As a child in West Africa we experienced the bugabug season, where there would be so many of the insects that the ground was carpeted with them. In Alaska we had mosquito season, especially in the summer around tall grass and water. There is hunting and fishing season. There is planting and harvesting season. We even have football season, Christmas season etc.…

In other words, there are a lot of seasons in our lives. And then there is the season OF life. First you experience childhood, then the teen years, and young adult. Then perhaps you will experience the season of being a parent or grandparent and finally retirement.

Along with those are joyous times and painful ones, and then some that just don’t make sense.

I don’t know what you may be going through, at the moment, but I can guarantee that you will experience many of these along life’s journey.

Currently I am in a different season than I have walked through in some time. I don’t have the extra time to write as much as I would like, nor be involved in ministry, nor spend as much time with many family members, as I once have had in the past.

As I was contemplating this, I felt like the Lord spoke these words into my heart.

“Lean not into your own understanding.”

That made sense to me because I was trying to understand. I like to analyze and map things out and for some reason my path didn’t make sense to me. Does that make sense? So, taking away the pressure of life making sense, I can simply trust God.

That makes a lot of sense!

The “not leaning on your own understanding” statement is found in Proverbs 3. In fact, all of Proverbs 3 is good and encouraging and worth re-reading.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to him and he will make your path straight.” Proverbs 3:5&6 (NIV)

So, this season, is a season of trusting the Lord to lead me. I don’t have to figure it out. I am going to rest in the Lord. I am going to just submit myself to him. I trust the Lord with my family. I trust the Lord with my finances. I trust the Lord with my heart, and with my future. I trust that he will direct my path. I even trust the Lord for my country. I trust that God hears our prayers and I rest in that.

I know many people have experienced heartache and grief and perhaps disappointment. We have all walked through something that we don’t understand.

All I can say is:

PRAY
TRUST
REST

Rest in the God of creation who loves you more than one could possibly understand. Encourage those around you with this hope, this truth. He wants to direct your path and give you peace and perhaps stretch your faith a bit. His ways are always better and a lot higher than ours.

And if you are finding yourself in a difficult season in life remember, God promised that he would turn it around for your benefit. That is just the kind of God he is. Read Romans 8:28. Do your own research throughout his word. He is faithful.

Though I am currently not blogging as much as I would like, I will be on here as much as I can.

And in the meantime: I will TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL MY HEART. He will direct my path.

He will also direct yours as you submit yourself to him. Trust him.

God bless you in whatever season you are walking in today.

HAVE FAITH; MOVE MOUNTAINS

It takes faith to believe.

It takes faith to know that God created the heavens and the earth. It takes faith to believe that Jesus is the son of God and that there is no other way to God but through him.

And yet, once the faith is put into practice, explosive outcomes occur.

Certainly, you remember the part from the movie, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” when Indiana Jones musters up faith to walk off a cliff, hoping that he steps onto a hidden trail. Miraculously, his feet land on a rock pathway. Once he finds the “hidden” path he clearly sees the rest of the route. Though this was just a movie, it is a good example of walking by faith.

We must take the first step of faith. It is in obedience, believing that God will make a way, that miracles happen. He never fails us. He leads us from the moment we, by faith, accept him as our Lord. (He was the one who guided our steps that directed us toward him, in the first place.) And then he continues to guide us in every part of our lives. Instead of seeing with our eyes, we begin the journey of seeing with our heart and hearing with our spirit.

David may have seen a giant in front of him when he faced Goliath, but in his heart, he saw the power of his God and faith arose in his spirit. The same thing happens in each of us. We may see destruction. We may see defeat. We may see hopelessness. Those are the very moments we need to walk by faith, and not by sight. That is when we need to take courage and fight the giants in our lives with the Word of God.

“David replied to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies – the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.

Today the LORD will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead body of your men to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel!” 1 Samuel 17:46 & 47 (NLT)

David had unwavering faith in his Lord. He believed with all his heart that the Lord would not just pull him through, but that he would give him wisdom to DEFEAT the giant that taunted him and the God he served. He had such faith that he told his enemy he would die. How dare his enemy defy the God of Heaven.

The giants in our lives will fall, as well. They won’t just fall; they will be destroyed! They will die! The Lord stated that NO weapon formed against us will prosper. (Isaiah 54:17)

It starts with BELIEVING anything is possible. It starts with believing what our Lord says. It starts with faith.

Faith is powerful!

The Lord said that if we had faith, as little as a mustard seed we could move mountains. NOTHING would be impossible. (Matthew 17:20)

Faith was powerful then and it is powerful now.

Even in my personal life, situations that seem impossible to untangle, have been miraculously straightened. And I have heard testimonies of the impossible in the lives of others.

All we need to do is BELIEVE.

Remember the story in the Bible about the father who wanted his son to be delivered from demons that were trying to kill him? He asked Jesus if he was able to help him. Jesus told him that everything is possible for anyone who believes. The father wanted to believe and asked the Lord to help him overcome his unbelief. (Mark 9)

It only takes us to believe and yet, even if we struggle with believing, we need only to ask the Lord to increase our faith. The Lord takes what we give him and expounds on it.

Think about the time Jesus took the small amount of bread and fish and fed 5000! It really IS all about him and the power of HIS hands. We need to simply believe and walk out our faith, no matter how small it may appear. He accomplishes the rest.

Once while at a prayer meeting, we prayed for a local government leader. During the prayer time the Lord showed me a picture. I saw the person we were praying for lift their shield towards heaven. I noticed that the shield itself was not large. It was only the size of a dinner plate, yet the person lifted it confidently in faith. Suddenly I noticed that a large invisible force field begin to shoot out from the small shield. It covered the individual completely.

Then I understood.

The Lord just asks us to lift our shields of faith, no matter what size they may be. He takes our sacrifice, our praise, our faith and creates greatness from it.

As we exercise our faith, he causes it to grow. And soon faith allows us to believe in more miracles. As each prayer is answered our hope rises, our fears lift, and faith becomes our lifestyle.

Living by faith does not mean we have little.
It means we have all that God desires for us.

He is our shield. He is our protector. He is the lifter of our souls.

When Moses put his staff into the sea, it parted. It was not the staff that parted the sea. It was his obedience and his faith that the Lord would deliver him. The Lord did the rest.

Like Moses, our part is to stand in faith and believe. Everything else is in the Lord’s hands. He provides our needs, our miracles.

He is a good God. He is good when there are blessings. He is good when evil appears to prevail. He is good when darkness covers the earth. And he is good when we see a mighty miracle take place.

Quit looking at the impossible situations that appear to be looming. Instead look at the Lord of the host of heaven. Keep your eyes focused on him. Speak to the giants that stand in front of you and say,

“How dare you defy my Lord. I refuse to bow to fear. I refuse to bow to unbelief. My God will supply all my needs. My God will strike down the giants that taunt me. Greater is he that lives in me than he that lives in this world. God will rescue me!”

HAVE FAITH. MOVE MOUNTAINS. BELIEVE.

God bless.

Will You Dance With Me?

I saw a post the other day about dancing with the one you love. And suddenly I felt like the Lord said to me, “Will you dance with me?”

I thought that was strange and different.

Would I dance with him? What does that even look like?

Would I allow him to take me to a place where my heart does not look at the circumstances? Could I just look into my Lord’s eyes and see nothing else that swirls around my world? Could I spend quiet time with him and relax and enjoy the music that comes from his heart as I follow his lead?

“Will you dance with me?” he asked.

There were many seasons of victory when his children danced. I think of Miriam and the other women who danced victoriously after the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea. The Egyptians, who were in a mad chase close behind them, were determined to kill all of them. Instead they drowned and fell to the bottom of the sea. Afterwards praise and worship before the Lord filled the sojourners hearts as they worshiped the Lord in dance and song.

“Then Miriam, the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine and led all the women as they played their tambourines and danced.” Exodus 15:20 (NLV)

What about King David? This man, known for having a heart after the Lord, would often dance before his Lord. His heart was filled with gladness. He couldn’t dance enough before the God who rescued him time after time! God had been faithful to deliver him from a lion, a bear and from Goliath, the arrogant giant of a man. The Lord gave him victory on the battlefield over and over. He worshiped the God who forgave him for making a choice to sin and took him back as his own. He was in love with his Lord and his worship showed it!

Those dances were part of worshiping the Lord. What does it mean though, to dance with the Lord? The key word: “with”.

To dance as a unit takes a lot of time, a lot of practice. It takes getting to know your partner so intimately that you can flow as one, each hearing the rhythm of the music, yet stepping in unison. It takes learning the steps together and already knowing what your partner will do, trusting his every move. Your eyes become connected, as does your heart.

When one of my children was very young, a neighbor dog ripped open his leg with his sharp teeth. We rushed him to the emergency room where they had to stitch up the wound. The doctor told me to look into my son’s eyes and distract him so they could insert a shot into the wound to numb his leg. I got as close to him as I could, eye to eye, speaking gently and confidently to him. He never took his eyes off me and was able to endure the pain.

That is what Jesus wants for us. He wants us to keep our eyes on him, always!

The world around us may seem to be growing darker. But as we keep our eyes on him, all we see is his glory. That is what Peter experienced when he walked on the stormy waters towards his Lord. If he kept his eyes on Jesus, instead of the storm, he could walk on the water. (Matthew 14:22-23)

The Lord wants us to keep our eyes on him. He wants us to focus on him instead of the storms in our lives. He wants us to live in peace and hear the rhythm of his heartbeat.

If I am to be his dance partner, I must know him more deeply. I must learn to instinctively know his moves; keeping my eyes focused on him so I can follow his lead. And when he throws me into the air, I have to trust that he will catch me, as we have done throughout our time practicing together.

It takes dance partners time, practicing over and over, until they have learned to dance in harmony.

Those words came back to me. “Will you dance with me?”

My reply:

“Will I take the time to get to know you? Will I learn to follow your lead and the steps you have already prepared for me? Will I listen intently to the music that vibrates from your heartbeat into mine? Will I learn to keep my eyes on yours, trusting you wherever you lead me?

Will I spend time with you so we can learn to dance as one?”

My answer: “YES!”

What will your answer be?

The Lord asks, “Will you dance with me?”

Will Haman Swing From His Own Gallows?

Perhaps you remember this story:

A young lady, who walks in the fear of the Lord, is chosen to be queen, only to discover that a leader in the king’s court has decided that he will have her people annihilated. Of course, he does not know they are hers. Still, with the king’s proclamation, he puts out an order to have all her people destroyed. The young lady is devastated and prays and fasts, along with many others, before petitioning the king for the lives of her people, risking her own life. The king is moved by her petition because he loves her. The tables are turned…the accuser, who is driven by hatred and jealousy, becomes the one who is put to death. She petitions a second time so that her people will be able to fight for their lives. Many of the very people attacking her people, fall to their own deaths.

Her petitions to her Lord first and then to her king, saved her life and those she loved.

This, of course, is a very short synopsis of Queen Esther’s story.

There are many interesting facts about this story.

The Lord appointed Esther.

It was definitely the Lord who raised Esther up to be queen. It wasn’t that she sought the position of queen, nor that she necessarily wanted to speak out to save her people, for fear of her own life. The Lord could have used another source to save his people as her cousin, Mordecai, stated,

“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews WILL arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14 (NIV)

She did have a choice, but God had put her in the perfect position.

Mordecai was already in a good position with the king.

I thought it was interesting that Mordecai had already saved the king’s life while Esther was in the king’s palace. He heard about a plot against the king’s life and warned Esther who told the king and gave credit to Mordecai. This was already established before there was a plot against the Jews for annihilation. God had used what was meant for evil to bring good.

God was preparing the king’s heart.

It is noteworthy to realize that while Haman was plotting to have Mordecai killed because he would not bow before him, the king was reading through his book of records and discovered that Mordecai was not rewarded for saving his life. How did he miss that before? He wasn’t sure what to do to reward him so asked Haman, who thought the king was talking about honoring him, instead.

Although it was death that Haman had so craved for Mordecai, the king had Haman honor Mordecai. Can you imagine the anger that rose up in Haman’s heart? How on earth could this Jew be honored with the king’s robe and paraded around the city? He was so driven by jealousy and anger. It must have been extremely humiliating and aggravating to him. But he knew that soon Mordecai would see his death because of the proclamation he had snared the king into proclaiming.

Crazy enough the Lord had other plans. He moved on Esther and she fasted, as did her servants, as did all the Jews in the land. They fasted and prayed and called out to their maker. Instead of her people being killed, those who intended evil on them all died. Haman hung from the very gallows he had intended for Mordecai. Some versions of the Bible stated that they weren’t gallows, as we know them, but poles that impaled the victim.

As I have watched the display of anger that has infested the attempts to impeach the President of the United States, the Lord reminded me of the story of Esther. There has been plots to destroy our president in any way possible. Jealousy that he is president is driving some individuals mad and have for almost 3 years. How could he be paraded as the President of the United States? Wasn’t that role intended for someone else? Surely, they must think, “We will plot another way to destroy him.”

I have been praying that the Lord would continue to use him, as he has been open in restoring God’s plan for America. I know that many believers are not on the same page and yet, others are. They have been earnestly praying for him, for America, for the Holy Spirit to sweep across the nation, once again. One of the most important issues to me is the president’s willingness to protect the unborn.

He also stands up to those who have always had their way, to the media who mock him and to country leaders that used to laugh at America. He isn’t doing this to pad his wallet and is not willing to bow to the same politics as many have in the past.

Back to the story. Haman had gone home and told his wife how indignant he felt because this Jew would not bow to him. She was the one that encouraged him to build gallows for him and have him killed. It satisfied Haman. He was puffed up with pride and filled with this one desire:

“Destroy this man! And destroy any person like him!”

Mordecai asked Esther to petition the king. She was afraid but spent 3 days fasting before her Lord, as did her people. They wept before God and asked for favor. And then, with boldness, she petitioned the king, who could have had her put to death.

I see our President as Mordecai. He will not bow before those that are throwing around their weight. He will not bow before the pressures of politics. He wants the best for the American people whether they voted for him or not. His life as the president is on the line.

Like Mordecai, he needs people to pray. If we are like Esther we will fast and petition the KING, our Lord, on his behalf and on the behalf of the American people.

We need to come boldly before the King of Kings and plead for mercy for our President who is always under attack, mercy for people that stand with him and mercy for America, as a whole.

Even as I write this, I feel like Esther pleading before my Lord for mercy. I am speaking boldly about a subject that isn’t popular, a subject that has gotten many people ridiculed, rejected and some even beaten, all because they choose to stand behind a president they believe in.

Are you an Esther? Will you pray? Will you pray that God’s will, will be done? Will you pray for truth? Will you pray for justice? I’m not talking about just complaining or arguing about the obvious, but PRAY, with bended knee before your Lord.

The last couple days I kept hearing in my spirit: “Haman will swing on his own gallows.” This is not about a people group. It is about the anit-christ spirit rising up and attacking with vengeance.

He has already anointed you to pray.

The president is already in a good position, set by the Lord.

The King’s heart is ready to hear your petition.

Like Esther, please petition your KING!

Homosexuality and the Church

This summer, “Songs of Praise,” a show on BBC, aired the union of Jamie Wallace and Ian McDonald, which created controversy within the Christian community. It wasn’t necessarily that it was a same-sex marriage that ignited the controversy. It was that it was performed in a Christian church and broadcasted on a faith-based show.

Many people were delighted that the church is coming into a new age of thinking. For some reason people today seem to think that the homosexual lifestyle is a brand-new modern romance and that people who celebrate the traditional marriage, do not understand. The truth is that homosexuality has existed for thousands of years. It is true that it may seem like somewhat of a new lifestyle because it is more widely accepted. This has a lot to do with the ability to spread news throughout the world via TV and the internet.

There are still cultures today that forbid it. According to Biblical teachings, it is a sin. Jesus said while on the cross, “Lord, forgive them because they know not what they do.” A lot of people truly do not think it is wrong. Like Jesus, we as believers pray for God’s forgiveness in their lives and at the same time pray that their eyes are opened to truth.

I am not writing this article to the unbeliever; however, as I understand they are accepting this lifestyle because they are viewing it without the light of truth. I am writing it to the believer, who claims that Christ is their Lord and yet walks in this lifestyle. And I am writing it to those who although, may not walk in this lifestyle, praise and celebrate people who do.

“For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?” 1 Corinthians 4:12 (ESV)

“My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” James 5:19-20 (ESV)

Those who believe in the teachings of the Bible know that there is a community of believers, who are missing the mark.

“The Christian Institute’s Director Colin Hart said: ‘It is deeply offensive to see same-sex marriage celebrated in such a way on what is supposed to be a Christian devotional programme.’” https://www.christian.org.uk/news/songs-of-praise-same-sex-promo-upsets-viewers

He continued to explain that the program was set up for those who cannot go to church and that the majority of Christian churches do not adhere to same-sex unions, especially in a Christian church setting. He stated that a faith-based show was no place to promote that lifestyle.

Jamie Wallace, one of the grooms, said, “Jesus preaches about love, inclusion, kindness and compassion.”

He also stated, “As a committed Christian, being able to marry the man I love with all my heart and soul, before God, in the church I love, with my family, friends and the congregation around us, is something I’ve dreamed of.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7370127/Gay-wedding-broadcast-Songs-Praise-time

He is right. Jesus did preach about, love, inclusion and kindness. But somehow Jamie missed the part about SIN and DEATH. God is a god of love, but he is also a God of justice and will not wink at sin. Instead, he LOVED us so much that he sent his son to DIE for each of us so we can be FREE from sin and death. That was huge!!! He didn’t make that enormous sacrifice so that we could continue to celebrate our sinful lifestyles! That would make Jesus’ blood, his death and raising from the dead, worthless. He wants us FREE from the bondage of sin.

If Jamie is a Christian, as he claims to be, perhaps he does not read his Bible. Or maybe he doesn’t have a personal relationship with the Lord that Christians experience.

If he had read some scriptures, especially in Revelation, he would understand that God instituted the marriage bond as an example of things to come, as he had done many times to explain the spiritual realm. The marriage unit is holy and pure. Scripture references Jesus as the groom who is coming for his bride, who is the church, the body of believers. If he read Genesis, he would understand that God made a man and a woman to become one and multiply the earth.

It is impossible for people of the same gender to become one. They can state that they are married and united but unfortunately will never be able to be one true unit. God created a man for a woman and a woman for a man. Simple biology proves that. To say otherwise, is mocking the institute that God created. And he stated that he will not be mocked. (Galatians 6:7)

All Jamie would have had to do was read the first chapter of Romans. Let’s start at verse 18.

“For God in heaven unveils his holy anger breaking forth against every form of sin, both toward ungodliness that lives in hearts and evil actions. For the wickedness of humanity deliberately smothers the truth and keeps people from acknowledging the truth about God.”

(Interesting how people easily dismiss and forget that God can express holy anger towards sin.)

Then let’s skip to verse 24-28. (TPT)

“This is why God lifted off his restraining hand and let them have full expression of their sinful and shameful desires. They were given over to moral depravity, dishonoring their bodies by sexual perversion among themselves, all because they traded the truth of God for a lie. They worshiped and served the things God made rather than the God who made all things—glory and praises to him for eternity of eternities! Amen!

For this reason, God gave them over to their own disgraceful and vile passions. Enflamed with lust for one another, men and women ignored the natural order and exchanged normal sexual relations for homosexuality. Women engaged in lesbian conduct, and men committed shameful acts with men, receiving in themselves the due penalty for their deviation.

And because they thought it was worthless to embrace the true knowledge of God, God gave them over to a worthless mind-set, to break all rules of proper conduct.”

Let’s make it clear, Christians, or believers of the teachings of Jesus are not cruel, mean, judgmental accusers. Reading the Bible, we realize that God is to be revered, even in our own lives. We try to live a life acceptable to the Lord because we love him and we seek to help those who are living a life that will lead them to destruction.

God loved us enough to destroy the sin in the world with a flood, destroy Sodom and Gomorrah by fire because of sexual perversion, and inspire Paul, by his Spirit, to write the book of Romans for the Christians then and now. God does not change. If he said it then, why would he change now?

We should humbly remember:
1. It is extremely important that we speak truth in LOVE. (1 Corinthians 13:1)
2. It is extremely important that we FORGIVE those who are confused. (Luke 23:34)
3. It is extremely important that we teach people TRUTH. (John 8:32)

I heard someone state how strange it is that the rainbow became the emblem of the homosexual lifestyle. The Lord used the rainbow as a promise that he would never flood the earth again, which, ironically, he did because of rampant sin throughout the earth.

What do you think? Where are you on this matter? Is the church behind times? Should we close our eyes and our mouths and simply say, “Que sera, sera. Whatever will be will be? Or do we just preach love and grace, ignoring the warning of his justice? Should we not warn those who call themselves Christians and perhaps save them from walking away from their eternity with Jesus? Should we not reveal hope to the lost so they can taste real freedom?

Do you think that God is, indeed, the same yesterday, today and forever as was stated in Hebrews 13:8? Or has he changed with the times and has accepted what he once called sin? If so, why bother going to the cross at all?

What do you think? Where do you stand? What will you do?

 

Breakthrough Season

I spent many hours driving on the highway this summer. During times when I was alone in the car, I prayed or simply talked with the Lord. People that may have observed this in the adjacent cars, may have assumed I was simply conversing on Bluetooth.

During one of those conversations I realized that my prayers had become declarations or prophetic proclamations. I began to say, “This summer I prophesy” …. the next word on my tongue was, “breakthrough”. Before I could even get the word out of my mouth the billboard sign on the side of the highway (it was one of these billboards that rotate advertisements) changed. Guess what the word was that filled the billboard?

BREAKTHROUGH

The word seemed to shine like a Vegas neon sign. Of course it was an advertisement of some sort. But the one word that took up most of the sign was BREAKTHROUGH, in bold letters.

Joy, excitement and anticipation filled my heart. Words regarding breakthrough began to spill out of my mouth like a river. I began to declare and believe BREAKTHROUGH over many of my personal situations, some that I have been praying over for years.

Faith bubbled over and I began to declare BREAKTHROUGH for others, for our land and our nation. I felt like I couldn’t contain myself. It was if I was creating life through those words as our Lord did when he created the world.

Suddenly Ezekiel 37: 1- 6 came into my mind.

“The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ I said, O Sovereign Lord you alone know.’ Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.’ This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know I am the Lord! So, I prophesied as I was commanded….”

Days and weeks later the Lord would put a person or a circumstance on my heart and I would say, “Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. I declare the breath of life to you”, whatever the, “you,” represented. I would prayerfully speak life to people; to hopeless situations, to dead dreams that laid dormant and to promises that were not fulfilled.”

Then today as I was watching TV, a story came on about a tunnel being drilled through 85 miles of bedrock. The commentator made a comment stating (paraphrased) “This is one of the biggest break throughs.” Of course, he was commenting about breaking through the bedrock. But it reminded me of the “Breakthrough” word again.

Now is the time for the biggest breakthroughs in our lives, if we believe.

So, I speak LIFE to each of us and to the prayers and dreams in our hearts that we have been praying for and believing for but have become dormant. There may be things hidden so deep that we may have forgotten them, things that may appear dead. I declare life to those prayers, life to our dreams, life in our churches, life to our land and our nation.

This is not just a word for me, but for each of those who walk in the Light. Take authority of the situations that are surrounding you and speak life by speaking God’s Word into the situation.

Only you and your Lord may know what you are facing. It is time to walk in breakthrough!

LIVE!

Amen and God Bless.

To Love or To Hate

Radio Show Host: That person is walking in outright disgusting sin.

Radio Show Guest: Is it okay for me to hate him?

Radio Show Host: I would say, yes. It cannot be tolerated. In fact, I would like the audience to join me in mailing this person a letter telling him that he is going to hell. I am going to do that as soon as I get off the air.

Wow!

These words, though somewhat paraphrased because real names are not used, blew my mind! I was randomly going through radio stations and came across this Christian station. I was surprised. I have heard of individuals who have acted this way, but never really understood how this concept can exist in the Christian realm.

Don’t get me wrong, I have had my share of this attitude staring me down. I have had people from church hang up on me, speak evil about me, turn me away, gossip, accuse me and criticize those whose lives are dedicated to the Lord.

But I took it all in stride, knowing that I was only accountable for my heart, that these individuals did not represent all believers and that we are all subject to fall. And so, I walked away from those with this attitude. That is not to say that I didn’t get hurt at times.

BUT –

It has also been church going Christians who have encouraged me and prayed for me and with me. Those I choose to rub shoulders with are those that have experienced their own difficult times yet have risen up as warriors and overcomers, filled with COMPASSION for the lost. They are those that believe in the power of the Holy Spirit, the power of prayer and the power of God’s undying LOVE.

LOVE is the key. God is love.

It is because of HIS love for each of us that Jesus came to earth to die so that we can escape sin and death. I have heard testimonies from individuals who have had near death experiences. They desperately try to explain how MUCH the Lord really LOVEs each of us.

It is his kindness that leads to repentance. (Romans 2:4) Condemnation will never lead to repentance. People who feel condemned always put up walls. I know, Ive been there. Love doesn’t condemn, that is the enemy of our souls who uses that measure.

BUT –

Love doesn’t compromise with sin either. That is also the enemy’s tool. All the talk about tolerance is dangerous because at times it means to tolerate sin. Compromise is an open door to confusion.

So, if we aren’t to walk in hateful anger towards those who flaunt sin as the opening statements suggested, and we are not to tolerate sin in our lives, nor compromise with it, something Jesus never did, what are we supposed to do?

How are we to love those that mock our Lord, those that make it their business to attack our values, or those that walk with arrogance or self-righteousness?

My personal answer: We fall in love with the one who IS love. IF we are consumed with HIM, HIS love flows out of us for others.

How can we accomplish this? It is by building a relationship with God. The way we build relationships is by spending time with those we say we love. In the case of our Lord it is through prayer or talking with him and reading his love letters (the Bible) and by being around those who have the same desire.

The Lord gives us the ability.

“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

Consider Steven who was the first martyr for Christ. He was so deeply in love with his Lord that he didn’t compromise his stand for Christ; he also didn’t retaliate in vengeance.

And as the murderous stones came hurtling at him, Stephen prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ And he fell to his knees, shouting, ‘Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!’ and with that, he died.” Acts 7:59-60 (TLB)

I want to learn to love others with the Lord’s pure love. Am I willing to die for those who hurl insults or attack my way of life or verbally abuse those I love? Jesus loved so much he died for us WHILE we were sinners.

That kind of love does not attack others, BUT it also doesn’t compromise in sin nor agree with those that do. The more we fall in love with the Lord, the more we desire to become like him. Ultimate love would be to say like Steven, “Do not charge them with this sin.” It is also standing strong, as he did, WITHOUT compromising. Instead, we should desire to help those in bondage to become free.

“that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” 2 Timothy 2:26

Father in Heaven, I ask that you baptize your people with your love so that we walk in its purity, not condemning those who are confused or lost, but instead, by your grace, mercy and wisdom, directing them to the way of freedom and truth. Amen

For God SO LOVED the world…

God Bless.

It is a season of REST

In a world where you see so much violence, in a land where the political realm is almost dangerous, this word keeps entering into my soul: REST.

There are many descriptions of rest but these best explain what is on my heart:

  1. peace of mind or spirit
  2. free from anxieties and disturbance
  3. to remain confident (trust)

How can we discover this rest?

“Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you REST.”  Matthew 11:28 (ESV)

“And he said, ‘My presence will go with you, and I will give you REST.” Exodus 33:14 (ESV)

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will REST in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91 (NIV)

It requires God’s presence.

  1. Come to the Lord
  2. Stay in his presence
  3. Dwell in him

It doesn’t matter what news you may hear, whether in the world, in the nation, or in your personal life, you can still rest and experience peace as you stay in his presence.

Yes, we do need to pray earnestly for our government, for those around us and even for ourselves. But ultimately the battle belongs to the Lord. In spite of what we might see, our confidence must rest in his faithfulness.

As believers we should always stay vigilant in prayer and reading the Word, because the enemy seeks to bring destruction. But in the midst of this: REST.

I was thinking about the season of King David. While he remained king it was a season of war and conquering. When his son, King Solomon reigned it was a season of peace.

I feel that this isn’t just a season that the Lord is giving to me personally, but it is a season that the Lord is granting anyone who desires it.

God has heard our prayers. Like he heard the cries of the children of Israel when they were slaves in Egypt, he will bring deliverance to us, as well. Though we see turmoil in this world, God is doing great miracles of deliverance in the realm of the spirit for each of us individually and in our nation.

Remember the story of Martha and Mary? Martha was busy doing what needed to be done, but Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet. And what was Jesus’ reply when Martha began to grumble about her sister’s apparent laziness?

“Martha, Martha, you are getting worried and upset about too many things. Only one thing is important. Mary has made the right choice and it will never be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42

If you have been diligently praying about a situation, he has heard your prayers. Make the choice to sit in his presence, listen to his words and REST in his faithfulness.

It is a season of REST.

God bless.

 

 

Unstoppable

All of us have been through those middle school years. For some the transition may have been smooth. Then there was the other half, whose transition came with many obstacles. Either way your life was changed. You entered as a little kid out of elementary school and left as a teenager ready to meet the high school years. Not only was your body going through transformation, but so was your mind and emotions.

If you are a parent of middle school children, or should I say tweens who end up as teenagers, it can be like a riding a carnival ride. You want to have fun, but you also realize that the ride was put together in only a couple days. It can be a little unstable and perhaps a little scary.

During one of those tumultuous rides I have had the privilege of experiencing, I was having a very serious talk with the Lord. I was asking for wisdom and felt the Lord gave me three areas that I could spend time praying over.

  1. Revelation of God’s love.
  2. Loving Oneself.
  3. Understanding the power of honoring (or respecting) one’s mother and father.

That sounded simple enough. But as I was thinking about those concepts, I needed to make sure they were stable in my life. First, I needed to adjust my oxygen mask, so to speak, then through prayer I could help adjust my middle schooler’s.

REVELATION OF GOD’S LOVE-

That is simple enough. We know the Sunday School song, “Jesus Loves Me”. We’ve read the bumper stickers, “Smile God Loves You” that is inclusive of a smiley face. I know how cliché these words can sound without the leading of the Holy Spirit. I have been told that God loves me since I was a child. But it took me a LONG time to get the revelation.

In my youth I worked hard for that love so I could have a pat on the back. And as an adult I resolved to have a godly home. But it wasn’t always the case and when I would make unwise choices for my life, I would beat myself up. If I let someone down, especially my heavenly Father, I would be angry at myself.

But if I REALLY had the revelation of God’s love, it wouldn’t have been such a strenuous walk. There was a time while I was beaten down emotionally and spiritually when the Lord spoke to my spirit to trust him. My reply: but I don’t trust myself! I knew that I was imperfect and would make mistakes.

Then I heard him say, “I never told you to trust yourself, I said to trust ME.” It is hard for those of us who want to have control to let go and allow the Lord to work in our lives and in those around us. But it is necessary to allow him to display his love towards us. So, I chose to take the step to trust God’s love.

It was that same love that David experienced. Though he had made unwise choices at times, his heart was humble, and he was devoted to the Lord. God said about him, “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after my heart, who will do all my will.” (Acts 13:22)

It was because of the revelation of God’s love that John could write, “the disciple that Jesus loved” about himself in the Gospel of John. He understood the deep love that the Lord had for him. It allowed him to stand with his Lord at the cross. It allowed him to endure suffering, as well. It also allowed him the honor to receive the visions to write the book of Revelation.

LOVE YOURSELF-

When I say to love yourself, I do not mean it to be a self-centered statement. It means to take genuine care of oneself. It’s concept: “I am worthy.” It gives a person the ability to make wise choices for themselves whether it is mentally, physically or even spiritually. It gives the individual the power to put up boundaries and surround themselves with positive input.

It loves the body you are in. It even makes it easier to consume the proper food, view clean content and make wise friendships and life influences. Believe me, this concept will keep you from much heartache.

Once you can love yourself, it will be easier to love those around you.

HONOR YOUR MOTHER AND FATHER –

Well, that is a nice statement and a great Bible verse. As parents is easy to want to share this one with our kids. But as I was meditating on it, the reality of its power became more evident.

“Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise; so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3 (NIV)

If you think about it, respecting authority creates peace. Respect for our elders, teachers, bosses, police officers, judges and our highest office –presidency, begins with honoring our parents. Those you see fighting police officers, destroying property in the name of protest, making rude jesters and comments towards those in authority probably never learned to respect their own parents when they were young. (Of course, perhaps no one took the time to teach them.) Regardless, honor brings peace, peace brings blessings. Blessings create the ability to enjoy your life with longevity.

Be Unstoppable-

Though there are many views and suggestions to help raise our children, tweens and teens, these three concepts are some of the tools they will need to face the giants that will try to defeat them. This isn’t just for the young. It’s for all of us.

There is transforming power in God’s love. We can only love him because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19).

How can we share his love without the revelation of his love towards us? How we can love others if we do not first love ourselves.? How can we bring peace to our families and our societies if we do not first show them respect?

I pray that the youth today experience a God-encounter inclusive of the powerful revelation of HIS eternal love for them. I pray that they will take that revelation to their peers. I am believing and praying that the Holy Spirit will transform our children, tweens, teens, their parents and grandparents so that our land can rise up with the knowledge of God’s love.

Then we will be unstoppable and can spread his Gospel .

God bless