Season of HOPE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But we must stand and not bow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Red Sea Impossibilities

As I entered the doors of the local hospital emergency room, once again, several different thoughts came to my mind. This hospital, the corridors, the ritual of checking in, the nurses and even the food, had become familiar for many reasons.

It was just a little over a year ago that I had taken my father to the ER, accompanied by my mother. He had battled heart issues for years and this time his implanted defibrillator went off with such strength it rocked him to the core. Since he had tested positive for that irritating pandemic, COVID, he stayed in the hospital. During those days, his defibrillator went off so many times he simply wanted to quit. But he fought hard so he could come home to his family that awaited his return.

After COVID he battled pneumonia and won! Though he did come home for a time he returned to the hospital because he became infected with MRSA (an infection that is caused by a type of staph bacteria). The infection demanded intense antibiotics which caused kidney failure. Eventually, during the cool of the season, with the trees turning multi-colors (his favorite season) he came home to hospice care.

It would only be a few months later that we would stand by his bed as he entered eternity.

Almost a year to the day that I first had taken my dad into the emergency room, I was driving my husband in. He had become ill with a high fever that lasted for a couple of days and didn’t seem to break, even with medication.

It would be a 10 day stay; first warding off sepsis that was trying to invade his body, and then going through several surgeries that would leave him without four of his toes. The first several days were crucial, but eventually I was allowed to take him home. He would have to remain off his foot for at least another month after he got home. I was becoming used to the daily care, thinking about the times I had helped my mother and sister with my father in the not too distant past. I was thanking God for sparing my husband’s life.

I thought this would be the last I would see of the hospital for some time.

But after work, as I pulled into my driveway, I got a phone call. My mother had gotten into a horrible car accident and was at the emergency room. I entered that familiar door and was led back to emergency rooms, again.

Despite that she lay in a neck brace and endured horrific bruises, she forced a smile. I thought. “I am glad she is alive!” Though bruised, a cracked rib and cracked pubic ramus, she was still alive! I was glad to drive her home that evening. She began to heal slowly while my sister and I watched her improve. Then one morning she complained about chest pains and here I was again, at the ER.

After many tests they discovered small blood clots had entered her heart and her lungs from the bruising in her legs. Not only had she survived the accident, but she had survived blood clots.

I sat by the bedside once again, trusting the God that had always been faithful.

The saying, “when it rains it pours” seemed to be appropriate.

PS 139 kept coming to my mind, especially the final verses.

 PS 139; 23-24 NLT
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”

I was being shaken. Often people say that God won’t give you more than you can handle. Well, I don’t always agree with that statement. He often allows more that we can handle on our own. He just gives us more of HIS GRACE. I thought, “What was in my heart? “I want God to lead me along the path of everlasting life. He is faithful to do just that.

These are precarious days. Our country seems to be shaking! The events that are taking place are events that test the core of our beliefs. Events that are affecting our personal lives, events that are affecting the future of America and the world are taking place in these hours.

We must be prepared to hear the voice of God. We must be prepared to obey his leading. We must be prepared to bring in the harvest for salvation.

We don’t know our future. We don’t even know how many days we are going to be on the earth. But it is important that we make most of our time.

As my mother is resting her weary body while it heals and my husband is being restored, I rest in the comfort of the Lord. I know there will be many struggles. I have witnessed them personally and among friends and family. I see them in our nation, and the world, at large.

Heartache, death, disease, violence, and trials don’t seem to stop, it seems. But it is part of this life. Jesus even said that there would be many trials but to be of good cheer for he has overcome the world.

What did Paul say in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9?

“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed”. (NLT)

God’s light always shines brighter in perilous times and impossible situations.

It has throughout history. I am SURE that when Moses reached the Red Sea and knew the Egyptian army was right behind them, he was wondering what God had up his sleeve. But he trusted God who delivered ALL of them, while their enemy perished.

I bet Esther was not expecting to have to plead for her people as Haman had declared that all the Jews should be slaughtered. It seemed impossible to have victory amid that disastrous proclamation. But God heard the cries of her heart and others. Not only did God deliver them, but Haman hung in the place of the one whom he threatened to have killed.

We can continue with Joseph who must have felt hopeless as he sat in a prison for years for a crime he never committed. He may have wondered how he was going to get out of this one. But God heard his cries and not only freed him but made him second in command of the nation.

What about Daniel, who was thrown into the lion’s den, David, who was sought by King Saul who wanted to kill him, or even Noah who was mocked for years and years as he built this huge ship where there was no water, and yet God saved each of them. And what about Peter who was delivered from prison by an angel. We can go on and on.

Even in modern times we have heard testimonies of God’s faithfulness when all seemed lost. There are testimonies yet to be heard from places like Afganistan, China or North Korea where it takes the faith of the God who still works in the impossible. DOES God hear his people?

Sometimes we must walk through things we thought we wouldn’t have to. Sometimes life seems hopeless. BUT GOD STILL hears our cries and delivers, ESPECIALLY when it seems impossible.

What are you going through? What thoughts are invading your mind? What trials are crossing your path that seem impossible and what fears may be knocking at your door.  What about the future of America? Has God heard the cries for this nation? I believe he is waiting for his timing for this nation and for your future. He is waiting for the impossible. When we reach the Red Sea of impossibilities, God WILL be glorified.

I pray that you trust him in the process of your journey. 

God bless!

Hope in suffering.

There was a single word burning in my heart. It was twirling in my soul. I tried to ignore it, but I seemed to keep hearing it. Even if I put my fingers in my ears, I could hear it in my spirit.

The word? SUFFERING

We don’t necessarily want to talk about suffering nor walk through that valley. But it is hard to avoid as it deviously moves throughout the world in one form or another. As the word was twirling in my mind and wouldn’t leave, I realized that the Lord desired to show me a different perspective.

There is suffering without the Lord and then there is suffering with the Lord. And there is a difference.

Think for a moment about training for a triathlon race. You would not be sitting around binge-watching TV while snacking on buttered popcorn.  Instead, you would be working out and eating right so that you can sustain your body. You would be teaching your body, mind and will the art of endurance, perseverance, sacrifice and confidence. Though the training would be grueling, it would produce the strength needed to win, or at least complete the race.

Suffering is like training for that triathlon. It is the catalyst that will create great rewards and great results. It isn’t the natural avenue we would choose to travel, but it is the very avenue that will lead us to our victory. And though we need confidence in ourselves to win a competitive race, we will need to put our confidence in the Lord, during a season of suffering, to become victorious.

In fact, confidence in the Lord will be one of the defining aspects between suffering without the Lord and suffering WITH the Lord.  Our confidence MUST come from resting in God. If we depend on our own strength our arms will get weak and our hearts will grow hopeless.

In Exodus lies the story of the war with the Amalekites. As long as Moses lifted his arms the children of Israel were winning the battle. But he could not keep them up alone. He needed someone to hold up his arms. The battle was won with the help of those who lifted Moses’ arms and with Joshua’s confidence in the Lord, as he and his men fought. (Exodus 17:8-5)

Suffering WITH the Lord is surrendering and trusting and still persevering with faith even when we see only darkness with our natural sight. it is walking with those who are going through hardships and lifting them up, as well as letting others walk with us.

It is ENDURING WITH CONFIDENCE IN CHRIST.

“My brothers and sisters be very happy when you are tested in different ways. You know that such testing of your faith produces ENDURANCE. Endure until your testing is over: Then you will be mature and complete, and you won’t need anything.” James 1:2

Like in that triathlon where the participant exercises to prepare for the race, we must exercise our faith to be able to endure. It is part of growing and becoming mature. As we learn to endure in the face of battle, wisdom increases and our confidence in the Lord becomes our strength.

But there is even more.

It is connecting with our Heavenly Father without any inhibition. It is trusting him so entirely that the world we live in begins to fade in comparison to his glory. It is being able to say, with Harotio Spafford, who authored a hymn after losing his children to the cold ocean waters: “It is Well with my Soul”.

How could he do that? He had built a relationship with the God of creation. He knew that the Lord was greater than his sorrow.  He knew that God’s love for him and his family overshadowed his circumstances. He surrendered his heart and heartache completely to the Lord.

A similar circumstance, though not as grievous, happened to me when I lost my 6-year-old at a campground in Colorado. He was only gone for a few hours. We didn’t know if he got lost in the woods or was taken by a stranger. But what happened to me in those few haunting hours was this: I chose to totally surrender to my Lord. I could do nothing. I could only pray and trust.

It is walking so close to the Lord that in your darkest hours, you know that he is still Lord. It’s as if you can breathe his presence into your lungs. You know that you know he will not let you go. And you relax in his arms and trust in his all-powerful mercy and grace.

Joseph experienced this confidence in the Lord when he went to prison for years for a crime he never committed. Though it may have felt like he was forgotten, he still held on to his faith in his Lord. After he was tested for a little while, he became the 2nd in command over the nation. After his season of suffering the Lord revealed his plan for his life.

Jesus embraced suffering because he trusted his heavenly Father regardless of what he was about to suffer. He had said, “Not my will but yours be done.” His love was and still is so intense for us that despite the hate and torture and grueling death, he went to the cross and into the depths of hell to get the keys of sin and death from satan.  There was a purpose for his suffering and a plan of victory.

Because He was victorious, we can walk in victory despite what we may be enduring.

The followers of Jesus walked in victory despite the suffering they endured because they had put their confidence in Jesus. Today many around the world are persecuted for their faith because the world hates believers as it hated our Savior, Jesus Christ. Even if you are in a free country you will still face opposition of many kinds. And it is a guarantee that you will face personal defeat, heartache and suffering sometime in your life. The word of God states that we should not be surprised by the fiery troubles that come to test our faith. Instead, we are to be happy to be found worthy. (1 Peter 4:12-13)

When I face opposition, I am learning to stop and consider that the Lord is preparing me for something greater. He loves each of us beyond the trials we face. It is those very trials and sufferings that we endure that will be our steppingstones to complete our purpose.

“We must focus on Jesus, the source and goal of our faith. He saw the JOY ahead of him, so he endured death on the cross, and ignored the disgrace it brought him. Then he received the highest position in heaven, the one next to the throne of God. Think about Jesus, who endured opposition from sinners, so that you don’t become tired and give up.” Hebrews 12:2-3

Jesus endured with joy because he saw the joy ahead of him.

The suffering you endure does NOT, will NOT and can NOT compare to the hope of his glory. He promised that he will NEVER leave or forsake you.

Romans 5:3-5
Not only that, but we REJOICE in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (ESV)

So, what is the difference between suffering without the Lord and suffering with him?

With him, there is a purpose and a plan. God is equipping and preparing each of us for our destiny.

With him there is a peace that passes understanding, knowing he has us in his hands.

With him there is a strength built inside each of us as we place our confidence in him.

With him there can be a place of joy despite what we see because we are building a relationship with our Creator.

With him there is a hope for our future.

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

There is a word burning in my spirit today. It is HOPE. Yes, we will endure suffering. But it will produce so much more in our lives. Be of good cheer. The Lord has overcome this world.

Amen and God bless.

Hope

All I see is darkness. I don’t even see shadows, nothing but cold blackness. Suddenly in front of me is a red cage with its door open wide. Then out of the darkness I see a reddish, disfigured being. I know it is a demon and its presence sends chills up my spine. It reaches for me with its claws to drag me into the prison of the cage.

I wake up screaming. My heart is racing and my breathing is shallow. I sense fear in my bedroom.

I immediately begin to pray.

What was that about, I thought, though I quickly knew.

The enemy of my soul was trying to draw me back into the prison I once was trapped. He thought for a moment he could bring such despair that I would gladly give into his plan. But what he didn’t remember is that the one whom the Lord sets free is free indeed. (John 8:36) I believe he was hoping that I would forget that promise. But I quickly held onto the truth.

I was wondering why everything was red. Doesn’t red represent the blood of Christ? But in a negative context it can represent anger and war.

There are so many reasons to be angry today. So many reasons to be in fear or frustration and apathy if we do not keep our eyes on the author and finisher of our faith.

In this season we, the body of Christ, are being tempted, tested, and tried. There were seasons in the past and in other regions where the same darkness seemed to cover the land. Today the darkness and deception appear to be taking dominion throughout the world. It is taunting the believer as Goliath taunted the children of Israel. Like David, we have authority to declare to any giant we face that our Lord will not be mocked and we can bring it tumbling to its demise.

I wonder how dark it was during the time of Noah? For 100 years Noah was mocked and ridiculed. Yet he continued to do what he knew the Lord told him to do. He heard the Lords voice above the laughter of the world. Despite the taunting, he pressed on to accomplish what he had set out to do: obey the Lord. In that day people continued as they always had, there was eating and drinking and marrying and giving in marriage. Nothing to them had changed. They continued in any sin they were enjoying and ignored the God of creation.

Today it looks as if the darkness is winning in every corner of the world. Do I think it is as dark as it was in the days of Noah? I couldn’t tell you. But the darkness and evil that accompanies it sure is gloating. It did as well in the days of Hitler. But the world has become smaller because of the internet. We now witness the evil giants rising and laughing, as they prepare to subdue.

The only thing I know is that the Lord will return one day and warns us that, like in the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Lord. (Matthew 24)

There is chaos and division in our land. We MUST stay in the Word of God to stay in truth because lies are spreading like a forest fire. We must believe what the Lord says above anything the world declares as truth. We must be careful what our eyes, our ears, and our hearts feast on.

These have been trying times for many. Personally, our family had been hit by the death of my father. I listened to my dad’s words that he wanted to share. He had mentioned over a year prior how much the Lord had impressed on his heart to be careful of compromise. He had taken the steps to hear God’s voice and follow his words. As the days got closer to him passing, he felt like the Lord was doing inventory in his heart and called out to the Lord to clean out any area that was not dedicated to the Lord. He ached for the church as it had fallen into compromising with the world above obeying the Lord. He warned that the church, and many who have called themselves Christians, were confusing love and grace for compromise and alignment with sin. And he is right.

So, when I had that dream of the demon pulling me back into bondage, I knew the enemy was trying to lure me back into compromise, back into laziness, back into the apathy that I once lived in. You think you are free but instead you are a prisoner of your own mind, your own unforgiveness and your own bondage.

Yes, there is darkness on this land, but there is freedom in Christ.

Like I have stated before, the Lord said:

“I’ve told you this so that my peace will be with you. In the world you’ll have trouble. But cheer up! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (GWT)

Today we need to hold on to those words. He has overcome the world! The trials and struggles we face will be the catalyst that will free us from whatever is holding us each in bondage. Those very trials will cause our faith to grow strong as James stated in James 1.

The Lord warns us in Hebrews to be careful that we do not refuse to listen to his words. Because of his great love, He WILL shake what needs to be shaken. Why does he do this? It is because he knows that sin leads to death. It takes us away from his presence. He loves us so much he will allow us to go through storms to get rid of those things that keep us in bondage.

I’ve shared before in my blogs that a storm or wind is coming and that you will need to hold on to him with all your heart, soul, and mind. “Winds of Adversity” September 30, 2018. But I also shared that his glory will visit us. “The Spirit of God is Hovering Over the Earth Today” March 19, 2019.

I believe that God will come in his glory with so much power. But are we prepared?

There is darkness on the land, but God is going to pour out his glory to those who are calling out to him. He will reveal himself to those who are seeking his face. He loves us SO much he is calling us to open our hearts to him and he pleads with us to be careful of compromise. It creates a lukewarm heart and he states in Revelation that he would rather us hot or cold. We should look different than the world.We need to be a light.

Are you ready? As long as you are still on the earth, as long as there is still breath in your lungs you can call out to him. He is not a religion. He is the creator of the universe and more. He loves you so much he does not want anyone to perish.

My dad was an evangelist at heart and he loved the Lord with all his heart. As a tribute to his life, I quote with all my heart John 3:16:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (NIV)

The Lord is going to return one day. In the meantime, you can be surrounded his light amid any darkness, as he walks through this world WITH you. Be encouraged.

God Bless.

Press Forward.

I cannot image the intense physical and psychological pressures that the firefighters are experiencing during these hours. Nor can I imagine the control or determination of doing the “right thing” in the face of threats and accusations that the police officers are facing.

But I do understand the wave of doubt and shaking that has tried to come upon the body of Christ as we continue to press in for our country and in our personal lives. I just keep pressing on, as are many others. I have seen worship breakout across the country outside the church buildings and rejoice. I know deep in my heart that our Lord is at work, regardless of what other things I may see or hear.

Paul saw and experienced many hardships but still saw beyond it and encouraged others. That is why he stated:

And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.” Galatians 6:10 (AMP)

He was always encouraging his fellow believers during heartache or blessings, while in chains in prison or as a free man.

Today is no different. We need encouragement.

That is why when the Lord showed me a picture while I was in prayer (for my own personal family crisis and for the nation) I wanted to share it with the Christian community.

This is what I saw:

I saw a ship floating on the waters. The bow was beginning to break through what appeared to be a thick glass window. It was at least a foot thick. Chunks of glass began to break and fall as the ship pushed through. I hadn’t noticed that there was even a window in front of the ship until then.  It continued pushing with more force and more power. On the other side of the window one could see clearer.  

I realized then that we have not been really seeing with clarity like we thought we had. Our vision was somewhat cloudy. We have heard 2020 is supposed to be a year of clearer vision. I believe as we join in unity and push through, we will begin to see what Holy Spirit has been trying to show us.

The word that came to my heart: Do not give up. There is breakthrough right in front of you. You are breaking through with his power this hour.

As I am writing this, I am listening to a worship group on YouTube. Before the worship they stated that they kept trying to record live worship, but their equipment kept crashing. (I am assuming they were talking about electronics?) Anyway, they finally were able to record and this was their prayer: “we pray that everyone that sees this will have glass shattered in their lives. All the glass of insecurity, all the glass of pain, all the glass of doubt will shatter, and we will find that Jesus is Lord. May we look more and more like your Son.”

The timing was perfect!!! But of course, the timing with the Lord is ALWAYS perfect.

I encourage each person that is reading this to press forward. There is breakthrough in your lives. Your prayers are on the precept of breaking through for yourself or for others. There is breakthrough against the things that have been holding you back in your walk with Jesus. There is breakthrough for hope, for healing and for salvation; or whatever you have been praying for.  When you break through to the other side your vision will become clearer.

DO NOT GIVE UP!

Wake up! Rise Up! Pray! Assume your authority and then charge forward. The breakthrough is right in front of you.

The Lord has heard your cries, like he heard the cries of the children of Israel as they cried to him to be delivered from slavery in Egypt.

Keep praying. Keep believing. Keep trusting. Press forward.

God is our deliver and will show his hand of deliverance. He loves his own and will not give us up into the enemy’s hands at this hour.

The battle belongs to the Lord.

“This is what the Lord says to you: Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:15 (NIV)

Keep on keeping on. God bless.

Live in the Moment

Will the real astronaut please stand up?

I was watching the new “To Tell the Truth” game show and on it were 3 people who were talking about being the astronaut that had accrued 665 days in space over the course of their career. I was interested to find out who the real astronaut was and waited with interest.

When the question: “will the real astronaut please stand up”, Peggy Whiston stood up with a big smile on her face. A question she was later asked was, “Did you miss the earth while you were gone?”

Her response, “I live in the moment, so I enjoyed the moments I had in space.”

Suddenly something stirred in my spirit. Was I living in the moment? Was I cherishing the very moment I was living in?

There are times I have regretted some moments of my yesterdays and then other times when I have become anxious about the moments in the future. Her words didn’t leave my heart and I began to ask God to help me to live in the moment and cherish each one. How could I have abundant life if I didn’t learn to enjoy the moment in which I lived?

Guess what title of the sermon was the very next Sunday? You guessed it, “Living in the Moment”. I kid you not. Again, the words burned in my spirit.

What was the Lord trying to tell me?

To me the statement, “living in the moment” was always equal to making foolish decisions. Wasn’t it living in the moment mentality that caused people to not consider consequences of their choices?

Isn’t planning using wisdom?

If you think about it, I am quite sure that Peggy Whiston planned. How would she get to the place where she was if she didn’t plan? She planned her schooling to accomplish her goals. And I bet she enjoyed those moments, as well.

Even the Lord plans. He planned his only son to come to this earth to bring hope to the world. In fact, the Lord himself says,

“I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. (Jeremiah 29:11) .

God plans.

Planning is an important part of living successfully,.

The speaker at my church that Sunday emphasized that he was not saying to not plan. Instead he was saying don’t live in the regrets of yesterday, nor the anxieties of tomorrow.

Living in the moment, according to google.com (we all google sometime) I found this answer: “Living in the present moment means letting go of the past and not waiting for the future. It means living your life consciously, aware that each moment you breathe is a gift.”

Aha. That made sense.

So living in the moment is enjoying each precious moment you have. It is not living in regret of the past and not stressing about the future. It is also being ready at any moment to go where and when the Lord calls.

I want to learn to use those moments wisely.

If you are reading this, you are still alive. And if you are still alive at this moment you probably are extremely aware of the hour in which you are living. These are tumultuous times, filled with evil and confusion.

Yet, we are each living in this moment of time for a purpose. What is the Lord saying to your heart? What is he telling you at this moment? Listen to his voice. Listen and follow through with what you hear in your heart.

In the moment he tells you to help those in need, follow through. In the moment he tells you to pray, pray. In the moment he tells you to speak, speak. In the moment he tells you to be patient and listen, listen patiently. Use your moments wisely.

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16)

The Lord was telling me to LIVE in the moment. He was telling me to quit worrying about yesterday or tomorrow. He was telling me to enjoy the moments of my life and be prepared at ANY moment to move by his Spirit.

What is the Lord saying to you at this very moment? I pray that each moment of your life will be lived in abundance.

Remember:

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I (Jesus) came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10 (ESV)

God bless

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?

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.

 

 

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.