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!

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!

Breakthrough Season

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

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

BREAKTHROUGH

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LIVE!

Amen and God Bless.

To Love or To Hate

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

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

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

Wow!

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

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

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

BUT –

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

LOVE is the key. God is love.

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

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

BUT –

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

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

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

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

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

The Lord gives us the ability.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For God SO LOVED the world…

God Bless.

It is a season of REST

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

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

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

How can we discover this rest?

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

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

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

It requires God’s presence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is a season of REST.

God bless.

 

 

Acceptance

You may not be old enough to remember, Cheers, the TV sitcom of the 80s. But perhaps you are familiar with the theme song, “Where Everybody Knows Your Name.” The stanza goes as follows:

“Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name,
And they’re always glad you came;
You want to be where you can see
Our troubles are all the same:
You want to be where everybody knows your name.”

In other words, you want to be accepted, just as you are. Acceptance plays a huge role in the lives of every individual. It is the exact opposite of being bullied and rejected. I believe that people bully so that they can force their acceptance upon others. Most likely they have been rejected themselves. They parade that rejection by rejecting others in hopes that they will get followers that will admire their display of power.

Wanting to be accepted, as well, the weak minded do follow this perverse display of power. You’ve seen it with global leaders. Who would willingly follow Hitler or Stalin or any other destructive personality? You would think it would be obvious to walk away from that vulgarity, but the desire of acceptance is overwhelming.

You can witness this as the display seems to evolve from the playground into the lives of world leaders today. You hear of the news of horror stories of children committing suicide because they were bullied, and not accepted. And others kill those around them in anguish of rejection.

The pressures of acceptance is so intense that individuals will go against their conscience so that they will be accepted by those around them. In fact, I am sure that the crowds that have been displayed on our streets are filled with people who have no idea why they are joined together to protest, except that their peers are doing it. It is the thing to do, if you want to be part of the “in group”. I’ve listened to street interviews asking what their opinion is regarding a movement and the individuals interviewed are clueless. They are just following the crowd. These are not the first days this has happened.

Think about the holy movement taking place when Jesus walked the earth. Crowds heard about this man that did miracles and they smothered him. But just as quickly when a few strong voices screamed to crucify him, individuals joined in on the band wagon and began repeating the same words. Those who didn’t were silent or scurried away.

It was the same with Paul. There was a huge riot when he and some of those witnessing with him, visited Ephesus. The people were angry but there was a confusion.

“Some people shouted one thing while others shouted something else. The crowd was confused. Most of the people didn’t even know why they had come together.” Acts 19:32 (GWT)

“Everybody’s doing it. I want to be part of the larger voice,” they may have thought, as many are doing in this hour. “I want to fill the longing of acceptance that rages in my heart.”

I recently listened to a testimony of a person that temporarily left the church because of being hurt and rejected by those she trusted. She explains that the rejection and hurt in her heart was so overwhelming that she began to look elsewhere. She found acceptance in the LGBTQ community. She explained that, that particular community of people is so welcoming of any person that is seeking acceptance. It is extremely easy to feel like you belong. From there she got involved in street gangs. You can read her story in her book, “Behind Enemy Lines” by Nicole Collins. Or watch her testimony on Main Street @ https://youtu.be/RfMV-e5g10g

It is very easy to compromise your beliefs or morals because of the power of rejection and craving of acceptance. I believe that is a main reason that people today are rushing towards that lifestyle. It is growing with rapid speed as it is a community which embraces anyone as long as you embrace their lifestyle.

Please accept me, please do not reject who I am. I need to be heard and acknowledged.”

As much as that is true. The lifestyle is a fraud to the “real” power of acceptance. In the end of that trail is an image of you standing alone, rejecting the one who loves you the most.

I have good news. The Lord promises he will accept you when those around you forsake you and disappoint you. There are churches and/or church goers who have lost the drive to tell the lost that there is hope. It is the purpose of the Gospel. The real Church is not a community club. It’s people who have been redeemed by the blood of the lamb and who desire to share that hope with others so they too can be set free.

Unfortunately, many in the church are not followers of Christ, so the purpose is tarnished.

But the Lord DOES accept you and will not leave you even if others do. Thus the Bible verses:

“But God demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (NIV)

“Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD WILL RECEIVE ME.” Psalm 27:10

The Lord again promises in Hebrews that he will NEVER LEAVE YOU OR ABANDON YOU.

At the end of every single one of Billy Grahams messages the song that would play was: “JUST AS I AM”.

“Just as I am, without one plea
But that Thy blood was shed for me
And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee
O Lamb of God, I come! I come.

He takes us just as we are. He accepts us! He doesn’t leave us as we are though. He takes us from glory to glory as we spend time in his presence, as we seek him. The Word states that if we seek him with all of our hearts he WILL be found. (Jeremiah 29:13) It isn’t that he is lost, we are, or were. It is just that we didn’t see him until we looked for him.

We are HIS.
I am HIS.
You are HIS – if you ask to be, if you want to be.

We are accepted into the family of God. People will let you down. None of us are perfect. But he is! That is when we need to forgive, as he has forgiven us. Forgiveness sets us free. And when you mess up, run to him quickly. He doesn’t turn his arms away from a broken heart. NEVER.

HE has already accepted you. Run home to HIM today.

If you do, one day you will be in a place where everyone knows your name, and everyone will be glad you came. It won’t be in a bar where there is brokenness and a life of troubles. It will be in a place called Heaven, in the very presence of the Lord.

Your name can be written in the Book of Life today.

 

Why Is It Wrong?

 

Why is it wrong to love the nation we live in
To believe in righteousness and not in sin

Why is it wrong to honor our flag that flies
Or the men and women who gave up their lives

Why is it wrong to respect the highest seat
Whose backbone is strong and won’t retreat

Why is it wrong to fight for a child’s life
And why does that cause such anger and strife

Or that its a man and a woman who become one
Or that you are born either a daughter or a son

These are basic beliefs many stood on so long
But now they’ve been challenged as bias and wrong

Because I believe different than you may hold true
Does not mean I have phobias or that I hate you

Those beliefs in my heart will still stand strong
I still have the right to speak, or am I wrong?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Spirit of God is Hovering Over the Earth Today.

The Spirit of God is powerful and creative and alive!

He is hovering over the face of the earth, TODAY, as he was in the beginning.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Genesis 1:1-2 (NIV)

The Spirit of God was hovering. The earth was formless. It was empty. There was only darkness. But the Spirit of God hovered. He brooded, like a bird that sits on its nest waiting for its young to be born.

As the children of Israel traveled in the desert from the land of Egypt to the promise land, they followed a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. They were following the Spirit of God. 

“As they moved each day the cloud of the Lord hovered over them.” Numbers 10:34 (NLV)

He brooded over them. He hovered over them.

Though there is more evidence of the Spirit of God throughout the Old Testament, let’s fast forward to the New Testament.

In the book of Luke we see that Mary is visited by the angel Michael. He says to her, ” The Holy Spirit (the Spirit of God) will come on you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” (Luke 1)

He brooded, he hovered, he overshadowed. He created. And Christ was born.

When Nicodemus asked Jesus how one can be born again, Jesus replied,  “You must be born of the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to the Spirit.” John 3:6

The Spirit of God again creates. He creates a new life in those who ask. It isn’t just a cleaned up life. It is altogether new.

“Anyone who is joined with Christ is a new being; the old is gone, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (GNT)

When Jesus was baptized the heavens opened and the Spirit of God came down in the form of a dove and RESTED on Jesus. A voice was heard from the heavens. “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” ( John 1)

The Spirit of God hovered, he brooded, he rested – to give birth to life, to give power to the powerless.

In the book of Acts we see the promised Holy Sprit, that Jesus foretold the disciples. He came like a mighty wind to give them power to preach the Gospel.

“Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to REST on each of them.” Acts 2:2-3 (NIV)

Remember the pillar of fire that led the people out of Egypt? I found that interesting that there was a fire that came down from heaven and separated into tongues of fire. Same Spirit. Of course, John the Baptist did explain that Jesus would come and baptize us with the Holy Spirit and with fire. (Matthew 3:11)

Again the Spirit of God hovered, brooded, rested and new life began.

The Bible states that The SAME Spirit that raised Christ from the dead. LIVES in US. Think about that for a moment. The Spirit of God, that created this world, that led the children of Israel while in the desert, that created the Son of the living God in the flesh, that rested on Jesus as he was baptized, that makes us into a new creation, that was revealed to the disciples to give them power to spread the Gospel, and raised Christ from the dead…

…LIVES IN US! That is pretty amazing and powerful!

As I was praying one day, I saw a vapor, a midst, or a cloud resting on the earth. I now realize that it is the Spirit of the Lord. He is hovering, brooding and resting  on the earth. He is wooing those who will come to Jesus. He is pouring himself out with power to those who are desiring him. He is so powerful, so strong, so intense, so full of creativity, so full of life, that if you don’t watch out, you WILL get caught up in his glory.

I promise you!

If someone is praying, those answers are coming. Do not grow weary. If someone is praying for your salvation. You will get saved.

“In the last days, God says, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” Acts 2:17 (NIV)

The Spirit of God is hovering, like in the beginning of time. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He does not change. He is brooding. He is waiting to created new life in you. He wants to give you power to live victorious and to spread the Gospel of life to others.

Get ready and expect his glory.

God Bless.

When Life Trips You Up

I woke up to a few words that the Lord put on my mind. Well, they are paraphrased because quite frankly I admit that I did not write them down right away. I figured I would remember them. You know how that goes.

(Note to self: Always write down your dreams and/or words from the Lord, ASAP.)

The essence of the words were: “Let go of the things that trip you up. The days are growing evil. You have to remain alert to hear my words.”

The verse that came to my mind is Hebrews 12:1.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set for us.” (NLT)

My first thought: “Seriously, the days are GROWING evil? I cannot imagine them getting worse.”

Then I thought about the things that trip me up and ensnare me, things that bring me down with heaviness.

WEIGHT THAT CAN SLOW US DOWN

Personally, I tend to want to take on all the cares and stress factors that involve my family, my future (their future) the heartaches of the world, the brokenness, the loss, the violence and the lies the world spews. Basically, I have a hard time just letting the cares disappear. I think part of that though, is the compassion of Christ. I pray or intercede often for people and circumstances. That could weigh me down, IF I do not give them to the Lord and leave the tears at the cross.

Also, my mind tends to want to relive past moments where I made an incorrect choice. IF I would let that play over and over in my mind it would drive me mad. But I have to take every thought captive and put it under the blood of Christ and remember that none of us are perfect. In fact, it is our very mistakes that create a testimony of the Lord’s faithfulness and grace. God somehow uses those very things to draw us closer to him.

What kind of things weigh YOU down? Is it fear, anxiety, anger, unforgiveness, frustration, hopelessness, despair? We have all gone down these roads. BUT remember these are just things that the enemy would love to put on us so that we CANNOT walk in triumph; so that we CANNOT walk in victory.

They slow us down.

“But those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak.” Isaiah 40:31 (GNT)

The answer to the things that slow us down is to wait quietly on the Lord and trust him. Let him renew us. How? By getting to know him through the Word of the Lord and prayer and hanging out with those that know him. We have to cast our cares on him because it is not the Lord that is giving us these thoughts of despair. We need to take authority of our thoughts and verbally put them under the blood of Christ so that we can have peace.

Basically think on things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and worthy of praise. (Phil.4:8) How important it is to have our mind and heart in the right place and practice them. That is how we will discover peace. (Phil 4:9)

There are simple “good” things that slow us down, as well.

Too much entertainment can become distracting, so that our minds are filled with other things constantly. That includes sports, TV, gaming, movies, books etc…Don’t get me wrong, these things are okay, BUT if our lives are not balanced they can take up too much time. Maybe you are a workaholic, or fill your time with so much ministry or volunteering that you don’t have time with Jesus. Maybe it is gluttony. That is a big one for the people in America. It’s just easy and the church doesn’t necessarily consider it bad. But it can bring on health issues that can distract you from your calling. And the list continues…

PLEASE UNDERSTAND: There are occasions that life consumes us with family issues or even emergencies. BUT take a few moments a day to seek the Lord, even in your car.

Think about it, what is weighing YOU down so that you are slowing down in the faith?

THE SIN THAT SO EASILY TRIPS US UP

We are not perfect. Each of us have weak areas that are not totally surrendered in our lives. It is these areas where the enemy will try desperately to get into our lives and wreak havoc. Do you tend to lose your temper or hold onto anger? Do you hold grudges and don’t easily forgive? Do you gossip. complain, are given to substance abuse? Are you easily tripped up by sexual immorality or are you lazy or even complacent?  Yes, even complacency will trip you up because the Lord said that he would rather that you were hot or cold. (Revelation 3:16). Perhaps it’s dabbling in dark magic or lying constantly or lusting things or stealing. Again, the list can go on and on.

We all have to deal with the things (or sins) that easily trip us up and become even MORE cautious in those areas of our lives. That sin will knock at your door, so to speak.  Ephesians 4:27 says “do not give the devil a foothold”.

“Be ALERT and of sober mind. Your enemy, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV)

Whatever it is that may cause you to stumble, put a stop sign up to the enemy of darkness. And by all means DO NOT hang out with those that dabble in those areas. Be wise who you choose as friends.

“Do not be misled. “Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)

The Lord reminds us to be sober and vigilant. We need to make time to listen if we want to hear the voice of the Lord. And how much more important it is as the days are growing evil and confusion is consuming the land.

These words were definitely for me. But I know that they are for someone else today, as well.

Finally, I pray that each of us can run the race with endurance so that we can be found faithful when we meet our Lord, and so that we have the energy and wisdom to encourage those around us.

God bless.

This Little Child I Love- why some live in the darkness of truth.

It is hard to imagine or grasp the belief system that took place in barbaric times when people sacrificed humans in order to appease a god. It is even harder to imagine them thinking that the best humans to sacrifice are those of the innocent; their own children.

I am sure there are still some cultures in third world or fourth world countries (these are the most poverty-stricken places; some that are hidden from society) that still may perform these practices today. These are places where there is no concept of a more advanced society or have any political stand. We, from more civilized countries, may be surprised by their pagan belief systems and traditions.

Yet in our civilized, prosperous and educated nation, these practices are still performed. It is not known as sacrifice or even murder. We conceal the practice with the word “abortion”.  To abort means to terminate prematurely. While we cry out in the defense of endangered species, sympathize with the heartbreaking commercials regarding mistreatment of animals and protest with those that have been offended or treated unfairly, our youngest suffer quietly. It seems like common sense to speak up for unborn children — common sense, right? And many do just that. Most do it from the kindness of their hearts.

Today, unlike any time in our past, we have the technology to view the inside of a woman’s womb and see a child moving in real-time. When I was pregnant with the first of my children I didn’t get the joy of viewing the child that grew inside of me through an ultrasound. But I was able to view my last child move around even though I was less than 2 months pregnant. Today it is common practice to have an ultrasound. Even 3D and 4D ultrasounds are available.

We can now watch time-lapsed videos from the moment of conception to a full term baby. The creation and development of a human life is breathtaking.

So the argument is not necessarily whether it is a child or not, although some would still argue that statement. To me it just seems obvious and common sense. But the argument is based out of fear. It is the fear of the future for the mother and/or the baby. It is the fear of timing and inconvenience or shame. It is the fear that women will lose their “rights”. We are led to believe that the woman is being dictated what to do with her own body. While it is her body that is hosting the child while it develops, it is another person altogether, growing inside her. It isn’t her body that will be aborted or terminated or “murdered”.  It is another person that will feel the sweep of a painful death.

The reason I am bringing up this extremely debatable subject today is because it has been getting a lot of attention recently.  It has been a hot topic since 1973 with the Roe vs Wade Supreme Court decision. But it hadn’t been discussed a whole lot on social media until Kavanaugh became a Justice of the Supreme Court. The fear that Roe vs Wade will be challenged is causing states, such as New York, to push an agenda that legalizes abortion up to full term.

People are so desperate to keep this legal and sear the conscience of this act that it has gone from a quiet private decision to bragging rights and celebration. It has been taken out of the closet, so to speak, and put on the stage for debate. I suppose that is a good thing because now it is getting the attention it deserves.

I wish so desperately that this wasn’t even up for debate. I wish I could simply ignore it and pretend it is not taking place. I hate knowing that unborn children are enduring incredible pain as they are murdered while society applauds.

If you are wondering how our society has taken so many steps backward just read Ephesians 4:18.

“Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their mind and hardened their hearts against him.” (NLT)

It would be good to read all of Romans 1 to understand where this thinking comes from but let me just add a few verses from the New International Version:

21- 22 – For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.

28 – Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.

32 –  Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they no only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”

You might asked, “What about Abraham? Wasn’t he going to sacrifice his own child?”

The story of Abraham obeying the Lord to sacrifice his son, Isaac, is found in Genesis 22.  Abraham hears the voice of the Lord to sacrifice his son. Isaac was the promise that was given to him (and the promise of many descendants) and he was willing to sacrifice that promise. He was trusting that God knew what he was doing. Abraham begins to obey the Lord, but the angel of the Lord stops him. God sees the obedient heart of Abraham, a man committed to him, and provides a ram instead.

Some say that the event went beyond obedience. It was the Lord’s hand stopping the shedding of child sacrifice altogether as it probably was more common in the cultures of the day to foreign gods.

It was also foreshadowing the steps that our heavenly Father would take to make a way for all sin to be paid for.  You see, blood has always been needed to cover sins. Before Christ, the priest would sacrifice a clean animal for the sins of the people. But God sent his son as a sacrifice for all mankind. His blood represents more than innocent blood being shed. It is the victorious blood of the Son of God which has the power to set us free from eternal death!

The blood of Jesus pays for all our sins, even those of abortion. Yes I do believe that is a sin, either done in ignorance or because of a hardened heart. But God has made a way for each of us to come to the Lord THROUGH HIS GRACE.

This is NOT a “bash you” because you had an abortion.  Instead this is to let you know there is another way. It is coming into agreement with the only true God, pleading that all should come to him. It is letting you know there is a place of forgiveness and peace. Sin brings grief.  James 1:15 states that when sin is completely developed or full-grown it gives birth to death. Hence God made a way to give us eternal life with him, through Jesus.

I understand that life choices can be very difficult and I understand that being pregnant may not have been a choice. I have been there. I was not ready when I was 19 and by 45 I had other plans. But when the nurse started to hand me a pamphlet with information regarding an abortion I KNEW that wasn’t an option. I knew that I could not even touch the paper it was written on. My heart was steadfast that God would make a way. Life is hard, but God can change a difficult situation into joy.

Some of you may not know there can be another way.

So with compassion in my heart I pray for those in difficult situations. Join me in this prayer:

Lord I pray that you will open the eyes of those lost in darkness. Give them grace to come to you with hearts of repentance. And give hope to those who honestly feel that this is the only way. Rescue the children that are being sacrificed and rescue the moms who are considering this or have already walked through this heartache. Finally, rescue those that perform these acts and those who have the power to change laws. Open their eyes. Lord have mercy on each of us.– Amen

As always, God Bless.