Called to be a Light

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And the list of easier continues on and on.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless.

 

 

Seek Him

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, I said:

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

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

God bless.

COVID-19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, what is the takeaway?

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

ABOVE ALL remember this scripture:

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

I am ME.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So what charges my batteries?

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

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

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

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

What recharges your batteries?

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

HE MUST BE AWESOME!

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

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

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

I am ME.

 

 

Do Not Look Back

We often look back on memories of our past.

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

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

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

Regardless, we are to ALWAYS move forward.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At the end of his life he said,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GOD BLESS!

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?