God Hears

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

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

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

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

It reads like this from the NIV translation:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I don’t care if you are:

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

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

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

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

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

What are you waiting for? What can you lose?

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

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

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

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

God bless.

Destruction of War vs the Glory of God

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But…..but…but…

The earth started to shake.

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

“WHAAAT?” screamed the angry demon.

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

“Go on…” Abaddon seemed annoyed.

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

“What do you mean….miscalculated?”

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

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

“NOOOOO” he screamed. “NOT AGAIN!”

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

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

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

The water was alive!

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

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

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

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

The earth shook another time.

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

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

For now, he would have to wait.

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

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

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

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

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

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

God Bless

When Circumstances Don’t = JOY

JOY unspeakable?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It comes from our relationship with Christ!

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

In HIS presence there is joy.

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

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

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

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

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

In summary:

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

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

Be at peace in this hour.

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

God Bless.

The Glory of the Lord is Near.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HIS GLORY WILL FILL THE EARTH!

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

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

The Lord comes with authority on this earth.

May God bless you with HIS peace.

Amen.

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!

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.

It is well.

I could hear the sound of his heartbeat and the thunder of his voice echoing as I laid my head on his chest. Nothing mattered. I was in good hands. I was safe and secure. And so, I rested in his arms unafraid, without worry; filled with peace.

I must have been 3, 4 or 5 years of age at that specific time. Whatever age I was, that incident stuck with me. There were times that my parents would be visiting friends past my sister’s and my bedtime. I would fall asleep on the couch. Before leaving, my dad would pick me up and continue visiting while I was in his arms. As I lay my head on his chest his heartbeat and voice soothed me.

Today the Lord brought this memory back to my mind. He reminded me that He is my Father. I can rest in him as he wraps his arms around me. I like how the Passion Bible translates Psalm 91:4.

“His massive arms are wrapped around you, protecting you.
You can run under his covering of majesty and hide.
His arms of faithfulness are a shield keeping you from harm” Ps 91: 4.

I can lay my head on his chest and listen to his heartbeat and his gentle yet thundering voice guiding my steps. But I cannot do that unless I spend time quieting my thoughts so I can listen to his voice with my heart.

During these times, more than ever, we must be able to hear the heartbeat of the Lord. We must be able to hear his voice thundering in our souls, so we can heed his leading.

“These are trying times.”

I have heard that statement and read it in different places on websites or store signs.

There are riots, lies, fear and anger that fill the airwaves, social media, stores, the workplace, and the streets. Hardened criminals are being released, innocent people are being harassed and our economic society is being squashed. This is not the land I remember as a child. This is not the land that people traveled to searching for a better opportunity, looking for refuge and hope. Instead it has become filled with unrighteousness, selfishness, jealousy, and controversy.

I, for one did not see this coming. Thankfully, God knew it in the beginning of time. He is taking this opportunity to teach us to trust him and prepare the hearts of the lost.

Learning to trust him with our personal lives is just as important as learning to trust him for our society at large.

Even our best made plans can take twists that we do not expect. It is there that we could begin to lose hope. Perhaps you lost a loved one, a job or a dream and your hope has begun to fall and wither away like leaves in an autumn wind.

The Lord spoke to my heart recently, “Do you love me even when your plans are not what you expected? Do you love me even when you thought things would be different than what you see? Do you? Do you trust me when the land you are standing on gives way, literally and socially and economically? Do you trust me? Can you rest?”

As I was driving to work the Lord put the song, “It Is Well With My Soul” on my heart. I listened to it everyday on my way to work for quite some time and wept as I began to understand what the Lord was asking. I realized that my circumstances personally and the circumstances of our great land cannot and should not dictate our hope or peace.

I have shared the song, “It is Well with my Soul” before on this blog. But if you are not familiar with the story behind that song let me share a short synopsis. In the 1870s Horatio Spafford and his wife had lost their young son to pneumonia while living in Chicago. He sent his wife and four daughters back to Europe with intentions to follow shortly. The ship he sent them on sunk and their four remaining children perished. Traveling the same route back to Europe and viewing the spot where the waters unforgivingly took his children’s lives, he wrote the lyrics to the song, “It is Well With My Soul”

When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billow roll,
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.”

I don’t even understand that kind of tragedy. But was I willing to surrender my life, my loved ones, my dreams, and my plans to Him and completely trust him? Could I really say, “whatever my lot, it is well with my soul?

I go back to the image of me resting in the arms of my father when I was a little child. I remember that peace and security. Our heavenly Father longs for each of us to trust him, to rest in him, to lay our heads on his chest and to hear his dreams for our lives. He longs to share his heartbeat for this world. He has not lost hope. His heart beats for you. His heart beats for the lost. There are still souls to win.

Can you hear his heartbeat? Can you hear his voice thunder from his chest telling you, “I love you. You are in my arms. Trust ME.”

Listen.

Psalm 91:1-2
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
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.”

God Bless

The Storm of Confusion

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is crazy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But this is what I believe:

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

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

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

Today is a new day.

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

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

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

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

Be a life changer. Walk in truth.

WAKE UP! RISE UP! PRAY!

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

WAKE UP! RISE UP! PRAY!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That is what I am seeing.

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

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

We fight or war in prayer!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is time to rise in FAITH!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WAKE UP! RISE UP! PRAY!

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.