Thursday, December 30, 2010

As the Year Dwindles Away...

The close of the year always makes me reflective. This morning I seemed to go into meditative overdrive. For the past 2-3 years, I have been actively watching for the return of Jesus. Prior to that time, I was on the treadmill of life known as "Hurry Up and Succeed". I am so thankful that God saw fit to slow me down and open my eyes and ears to what was going on around me. I praise Him and thank Him that He took notice of me and cared that I was headed in the wrong direction...the one away from Him.

A few months ago, I decided to make a list of the ways that God has changed me in those 2-3 years. If Christ is truly in our life, we should be able to see what a difference He is making:

* He changed my focus from selling homes, making money and being recognized to Him and His agenda for my life and His return;
* My prayer life has had at least a fourfold increase;
* My love of the Bible has been increased which has increased my study time and my reading-it-for-pleasure time;
* My desire to what He wants me to do has increased;
* My faith has increased;
* My appreciation for who He is and what He has done has increased;
* My love for Him has increased;
* My love for the things He loves has increased;
* My hate for the things He hates has increased;
* I cry much more easily about injustice and sin;
* I am uplifted more by things that inspire me;
* I feel repulsed by obscene things more than I ever did before;
* I WANT to give support to worthy causes;
* I WANT to help others;
* I WANT to tell others about Christ and His love and the great effect He has on our lives when we turn them over to Him;
* I think about Him ALL THE TIME.

I wish you had known the before-me and now the after-me! You could know the profound difference now if you had.

Because I have been watching for Him now for almost three years, I can tell you there has been a not-so-subtle change in the world in those three years. I truly believe we are the last generation and that we will see the return of Christ. There have been many who have "date set" when He will return, and I believe the people who have studied these things and written them have revealed things previously unknown about scripture and the return of the real King. Many of the things written were very persuasive and believable. If you have an interest in following such things, here are a couple of web sites that provide ongoing watch services (please note, I do not endorse ALL that is written there, but I do believe in the sincerity of their hearts and their love for God. The rest you should take to the Lord in prayer.):

John McTernan
Daniel's Timeline
Signs of the End

Date setting aside, the thing that really keeps me watching is the voice of the Holy Spirit within me. I hear Him telling me that "time is short"; "keep watching"; "tell others to be alert and ready" within me everyday. Most people have begun to think I'm crazy or a little off or "negative". Telling a person they are negative is one of the main ways that people try to get you to shut up. No one wants to be a "drainer" or a "Negative Nelly", but I've decided that if my telling people that the Lord is coming back, the world is now in the hands of evil people and it's time to get serious about our relationship with the King makes me negative, then "Nelly" I will be.

I believe that there are several things currently in the news that will have a profound effect on society in the upcoming year. They are: the dividing of the nation of Israel; the homosexual agenda; the failure of the Church to teach the true gospel of salvation; the rise of Islam; and the rise of socialism/communism in the world.

These are things that believers in Christ should be well versed in. I know there's very little good news in the news, but we have to remember that there is GREAT news in the Bible, and we need to be reading that daily.

Unless you have a heart that truly wants to do God's Will, the message I have for you today about the new year and what it brings, will be one that will be hard for you to hear. It is also, for personal reasons, one that is hard for me to give, but the Spirit of God speaks, and I must listen and obey.

Daniel at Prayers for the People posted this video today and I believe His words and this video have a message that all should hear. The governments of the nations' insistence on dividing the land in Israel is going to be a big problem for all the people in the world. Zecariah 12:2,3

Two articles I read this week which address the homosexual agenda and God's Word regarding it, gave me great pause.

The Ordnance of the Amorites

and a brutal article from a lady named Devvy Kidd regarding the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. It's not for the faint of heart or easily offended. She minces no words.

It appears to me that the Church has taken on many aspects of the politically correct society that we are all so much of these days. I want to point out that Jesus was not politically correct. All he said and did was done at the direction of the Father and were done and said in love. His Word states in John 3:17:

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

God loves us all with an everlasting love. Even after Judas betrayed him to His death, Jesus called him "friend", and I believe if Judas had repented prior to His death, he would have been forgiven just like you and me. Since Christ did not come to condemn, neither do I. I know that there are many who believe they were "born" homosexual. Maybe you were, because God's Word says that all were born sinners, and that we must be born again. I am not trying to single out homosexuals, but ALL that are involved in sexual sin or impurity; i.e., porn addicts, pedophiles, beastiality, sex outside of marriage, adultery, etc.

The Word of God is very explicit on who WILL NOT inherit the kingdom of God:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,

One only has to open a newspaper or go to a news site, to know that Islam is on the rise around the world and is now a major force to be reckoned with in the world.

Last, but not least, you only have to have one eye open and able to hear in one ear to see and hear how fast socialism and/or communism is being embraced by countries all over the world. Freedom is quickly running down the drain.

Where can we go but to the Lord? He is our rock, our strong tower, and our shelter in the storm. The upcoming year looks to me like a year where we will want to have our secret place with the Lord ready and waiting to be put to good use.

Lord, my prayer today is that all who read these words will be struck with the realization of their need for you. May they not go in to the new year without turning their lives over to you. Strengthen them, then, Lord, to walk with you everyday, increase their desire to know and love you, and give them a desire to do any and all things which you call them to do, no matter what it is. In Jesus' name, Lord, give them your wisdom and sense of discerment. In Jesus name and for His glory and honor, I pray.

May Your Spirit be at one with God in the new year!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Why Wouldn't They Want Jesus?

In the cacaphony of the world, I seem to hear the following continuous themes:

Everyone wants why wouldn't they want my Jesus? He IS love. (1 John 4:8)

Everyone wants why wouldn't they want my Jesus? He is the prince of peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

Everyone wants why wouldn't they want my Jesus? He is no respecter of persons. He shows no favoritism. All are equal in Him. (Acts 10:34)

Everyone wants to be why wouldn't they want my Jesus? He is the joy of my strength and my salvation. (Nehemiah 8:10)

Everyone wants to be eternally why wouldn't they want my Jesus? He is eternal life. (John 10:28)

Is it possibly because He wants to be the number one priority in our lives and we are to love Him with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength? Is it possibly because He calls us away from sin and we are to live holy, set apart lives? Is it possibly because He might require us to give up something we love that is not worthy of Him or that He might require us to do something we don't want to do even if it would assure us of love, peace, joy and equality in our lives forever?

Think about it. Jesus is the Way to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Jesus is the truth about life, sin and death. Jesus is life...eternal life, eternal love, eternal peace, eternal joy and to be one with Him is to be equal with all other men and women. We all live by the same standards and requirements. He is the only way to do it. We do not have it in us to do it without Him.

May you find love, peace, joy and equality in Him in the upcoming year! God Bless and keep you.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

...and Mary Kept All These Things in Her Heart

You know how it is, moms, when our children do things, we store them up in our hearts to take out over the years, review and cherish because our children are so precious to us.

Mary was no different from you and me in that way, but her child certainly gave her many things to hold in her heart, didn't He?

I imagine that many are like me this morning, reading the first three chapters of Luke. It seems like I do that every year, and each year the story holds more in it that speaks to my heart as a mother and a child of God.

As I meditated on the Christmas story this morning, I paid particular attention to Mary. Maybe it's because my own children are getting older and when you add to that the fact that I've put a whole lot less muss and fuss in to the holiday the last two years, less focus on food, fun and shopping and more attention to God's Word, His Son, and living a godly life, but the words, "and Mary Kept All These Things in Her Heart" spoke to me. Mary must have spent the next 33 years storing up many things in her heart; many things that most of us mothers cannot relate to.

For example, Isaiah 53:3 says that Mary's son was a "man of sorrows", men "despised" him, "rejected" him, hid their faces from him and gave him no value. How does a mother hold that in her heart? I certainly know from experience that when my children are sad, but really not just feeling sad but living with sorrow day and night, or when other people make them feel unwanted and don't see their value, it gives me great pain in my own heart! Strong's Concordance states that the word "sorrows" is translated from the Hebrew word makove which means physical and mental pain and sorrow of the soul.

Another story in which Mary shows up is the Wedding at Cana in John 2:1-10. The wedding host runs out of wine and Mary goes to her son and tells him about it and so he tells his mother that it's not time yet for him to do miracles and reveal himself, but she tells the servants to do whatever he tells them to do and as a result, the wedding host ends up serving the best wine last when it is customary to serve the best first before everyone is tipsy and don't know what's what.

John tells us in his gospel that if all the things Jesus had ever done were written down that there would not be enough books to hold them!!!

Can you imagine being the mother of the son of God and watching Him grow up, learn to talk, say "mama" and "papa", take his first steps, lose his first tooth, tie his shoes and other ordinary things? If we as mothers of ordinary, everyday children store up their lives in our hearts, think about how Mary must have felt knowing that her son was the Savior of the world. Every thing he said or did must have made an imprint upon her heart and mind.

As we celebrate his birth today, whether it's in quiet contemplation or boisterous family gatherings, let us ponder anew the miracle that occurred that day in Bethlehem. That God himself saw our helplessness and cast off all about himself that was holy, godly, and supernatural, and became a "man of sorrows", "bruised for our iniquities", and "wounded for our transgressions" so that we might be restored to our intended relationship with God the Father.

Everyday is Christmas as far as I'm concerned. Emmanuel, God With Us, Prince of Peace, Kings, Jesus Christ, Yeshua, Messiah came and paid the price so that we might be set free from sin and its consequence...death!

If you ponder the things that Mary stored up in her heart, you can't help but celebrate the birth of her son!

Merry Christmas and may God bless you in the new year with his presence, his peace and his love and grace.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Prayer...the Ultimate Weapon in Spiritual Warfare?

What is the purpose to which we are called? We have been given the mighty job of completing the work of Christ on earth - to serve the poor, widows and orphans and to set the oppressed free by sharing the good news of the gospel, that I know.

This I am unsure of, but I thought the spirit spoke to me during my quiet time this morning that perhaps we are not taking this call from God on our lives seriously enough; or maybe it's just me. Maybe, just maybe, God needs us to be in serious contemplation of hearing Him call us out without notice to pray. How many times a day am I about my own business, when God might be calling me to prayer because of a spiritual war going on somewhere. That prayer for a person or a situation may be just what's needed to put into action the one thing that needs to happen for God's Will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven - you know...the snowball effect!

I know that God does not "need" me or any other person to accomplish what He wants to be done because He can do anything. God's purposes will be accomplished whether we are obedient or not. However, God does need to work in the hearts and lives of people and I believe that it takes prayer on our part to help that happen. If His purpose was to just wave a magic wand and exercise control over all humanity and creation, he could have done it that way. But God loves us, and He wants to work in our lives, my life, your life, their lives; and He does that when we seek Him and His purpose and hope for His will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven. We accomplish this by prayer.

I remember one night immediately after 9/11, I was awakened at 2:00 a.m., it was very quiet. All air travel had been shut down, and I live about 5 miles north of our local international airport, so it was really quiet. I knew in my spirit that something was going on somewhere that was of spiritual warfare in nature and that I was to pray. So I prayed intensely and purposefully for about ten to 15 minutes and then I layed down and went immediately back to sleep. That was thing...that I went immediately back to sleep because normally when I wake up in the middle of the night for ten to 15 minutes, I am awake for at least an hour or two. So I knew it was God calling me to prayer.

If I am not focused on the Lord's voice at all times, how do I know if maybe He doesn't call me several times a day to pray for something that is happening who knows where in the world? That prayer that He wants me to pray might be the difference in life and death for someone, or it might be the difference in God's messenger getting through. Remember how in Daniel 10:22 the messenger from God told Daniel he had been delayed by the prince of Persia. What if the fact of our listening to the holy spirit's urging to pray might be the difference in preventing a delay of this nature? God alone knows what all is going on around us in other dimensions. Have you ever read Frank Perretti's This Present Darkness? I highly reccomend it for a glimpse into what spiritual warfare is like.

My prayer today is that I and all of God's people will be given the desire to be intent on hearing the voice of God urging us to pray. I don't believe we have to know specifically what we are praying for, but if you hear God tell you that, too, definitely pray specifically.

Lord, Jesus, I pray that today your Will will be accomplished on earth as it is in Heaven. I pray that Satan and his followers will be defeated in their attempts to deceive, murder and destroy mankind. I ask further Lord that your people will be fully clothed today with your armor, the shoes of the gospel of peace and will be fully prepared to use the sword of the spirit in the defense of the gospel and for winning the battle for the souls of the lost and those in danger of being overtaken by the enemy. I ask this in the mighty, matchless name of Jesus Christ. The name above all names and to whom all creation will bow their knee and their tongue confess that He is Lord of Lord and Kings of Kings. To Him be the glory and honor forever. Amen.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

He Must Increase, I Must Decrease

I had my annual Christmas lunch with my before-we-were-married-roommates today. I love those girls. Women, really. Thirty years ago, we were working single young women looking for love and success, and it seems, in looking back that we were all in one accord in that our friendship was a vital link in our lives. Even though we see each other maybe three or four times a year (where we are all together), it never fails that when we are all together, it's just like we're still roommates pouring out our hopes, dreams and prayers to each other.

I love that our Father uses each of us to help the other in finding the missing piece of the puzzle that we've been looking for in our lives. My one friend talked today about how she had been spending a lot of time "fretting" (my word, not hers) about what was wrong in her life and how God "knocked up the side of the head" and told her to quit it; that to hear her talk, you'd never think she had a heavenly Father who had her back. He asked her how many families in the Bible she could remember who had no problems or trials in their families.

I remember thinking while she was talking that I would really like for the Lord to knock me up the side of the head once in a while.

I should have learned by now that when you are a follower of Jesus, you really should be careful what you wish for. Of course, you know what happened, right? No sooner had I gotten home from lunch and started pondering our conversation in light of things that had been happening in my life, than the Lord used it to knock me back into reality.

I've been feeling somewhat adrift this week. My prayer life has been dull. My worship has been forced. I've been fussing with my 11 year old who is home on Christmas break, and my husband is home sick with a really awful cold. Everyone seems to be on edge.

Maybe it's the holidays too, because this year I've felt lead to step back away from the holidays a bit. I've felt no inclination to decorate or buy gifts. I really think that I'm being lead away from taking part in a holiday that has been commercialized to the point where it has little mean to the majority of people and which really has no roots in Christianity at all. But now as I look at myself, I see that I've felt some self-righteousness about that. "Woo-hoo, look at me, I'm not taking part in all this hedonistic hoopla. Aren't I holy?".

The awareness of that started me looking at myself a little longer and seeing that while I have been praying for the holy spirit to increase and myself to decrease, there's still a lot of ugliness in me that I don't like and really want to get rid of.

I realized at lunch today that I felt a little envious of my one friend who is beautiful, older than me and looks younger, thin, vibrant and just got to re-carpet her whole house. I guess I was envious because I've been seeing myself as older than I'm supposed to be because of my physical condition, starting to show my age in wrinkles and weight (not so much gain but gravity), and after having been a successful business woman for years who could afford to buy and do pretty much whatever she wanted and who now is on a fixed income and can't afford to do much other than make ends meet, I felt sorry for myself. It hit me then, that I haven't conquered lust of the eyes. I'd like new carpet.

That made me realize that I haven't conquered the pride of life either. Because by being envious of her for being beautiful and younger looking and more vibrant, I was wanting to be proud of how I look and needing other people see me in ways that I no longer can be.

Add that to the fact that I already knew I hadn't conquered lust of the flesh yet because I struggle with focusing too much on food and buying clothing I don't need and (I'm sure) other such lusts of the flesh.

This all made me feel quite hopeless and defeated. Thank God for his holy spirit, whom Jesus called "the comforter". He came to me at that moment and reminded me that it's all because of Jesus that I have any righteousness. Yes, I am to keep trying to eliminate all sin in my life and live a holy and righteous life in the power of his spirit, but there is absolutely nothing I can do to earn my salvation. I am bought at a high cost, paid for entirely by the life Jesus Christ. He paid for my sins, the big ones and the petty ones; the simple ones and the complex ones, and it's only because of Him that I have any ability to stand before God.

I love my friends. They have been a mainstay of my life for 30 years. I would never want them to be hurt or lonely or without. I don't know why at that moment in time I was envious of one's relationship with God and the other's gifts of beauty, youth and extra cash for some new carpet, but I pray that God will forgive me. I love the Lord and I know He loves me. I can walk and move and think and for the most part I am healthy. I have a loving, caring husband and two children who I love very much. Are they perfect? No, but as described herein, neither am I. I have a nice home, more than enough to wear, eat and I'm warm and comfortable.

I can thank the Lord that every month He provides us with enough to make ends meet, along with some extras. Thanks to the Lord, we had extra money to give to the poor, to orphans, and to others who have much less than we do in addition to being able to support a couple of other small ministries this year.

It's a fine line to walk, but, how do I say this,...I know that by the grace of God I am doing better in resisting my flesh and my desire for stuff and needing human acknowledgement and accolades, but I also know that without the holy spirit nudging me in the direction of knowing that without Him I am nothing, I'd be right back in there, lusting, wanting and striving.

Sometimes I wonder, though, is it just me that struggles like this? It seems like I read an awful lot of Christian material that indicates that once you have the holy spirit you should not be susceptible to sinning like this.

I guess I will just keep on asking Him to increase and to let me decrease because I truly want people to see and hear Him and not me because I know that there is so little in me that is lovely or good.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I AM the Lord that Healeth Thee

Three days after the Israelites escaped Pharoah and his soldiers by way of the Red Sea miracle, God's Chosen People found themselves at Marah, the place of bitter water with nothing to drink.

They immediately began to murmur amongst themselves against Moses and wishing they were back "in the good ol' days" of slavery in Egypt where they had plenty to drink and eat. They would rather be slaves to the government with plenty to drink and eat than living life daily in the care and provision of the Lord of the Universe. Doesn't that sound like life today?

Ecclesiates 1:9 tells us;

The thing that hath been, it [is that] which shall be; and that which is done [is] that which shall be done: and [there is] no new [thing] under the sun.

People still would rather be slaves to the government instead of being free in the Lord. At least that's where I think America is headed. Everyday we lose more of the freedoms our ancestors came to this country to have...but that's not what I wanted to talk about today. Back to the land of bitter water...

Even though the people were murmuring against Moses, he spoke on their behalf to the Lord and the Lord showed Moses a tree to throw into the water and which once he had thrown it in, it made the water sweet.

Exodus 15:25,26 says:

And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, [which] when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I [am] the LORD that healeth thee...

Sometimes it's difficult in scripture to follow which proper noun the pronoun is referring back to with all the he's and him's, etc., but I interpret this scripture as saying that "God" made the Israelites a statute and an ordnance and that at Marah God "proved" or tested their faith.

The Lord thereafter tells them that IF they will (1) listen to the Lord, (2) do what is right in His sight, (3) listen to His commandments, (4)and keep them; that God would not inflict the diseases and plagues upon them that He had caused to inflict Pharoah and the Egyptians that HE WOULD BE THEIR HEALER, also known as Jehovah Raphah.

The Bible says that God does not change. So, we can trust Him today to be just like He was then to the Israelites. If we live pure, holy lives, listening to His commandments, honoring Him, and doing what is right in His sight and according to His leading by His Spirit, He will be our healer.

This morning, I am praising God! He is my healer. If you have read my last several blog posts, you know that I attended a healing seminar last week. On Thursday night of last week I had hands layed on me and a prayer of deliverance from parkinson's disease and dystonia. Prior to that day, I had episodes of dystonia every day, at least once a day and many times 3 or 4 times a day and sometimes episodes that lasted 1-3 hours at a time making it impossible for me to walk and causing me to have brain freeze for that entire time!

To date, from last Thursday, I have had ONE episode of dystonia that lasted maybe 30 minutes and one small episode that lasted about five minutes! You can't know what praise and thanksgiving I am feeling this morning and have been praising God for the past 24 hours.

I am still having shaking and weakness in my muscles, but I know that God is at work in my body and when His time is right, I will be healed completely. Will I have the dystonia episodes again? I don't know, but my faith is strengthened, and I am trusting in Jehovah Raphah to do what He said He would for me in His time and according to my faithfulness to Him.


I just want to clarify to anyone who reads this post that although I quoted the Old Testament scripture, and I believe that God is still our healer, I also believe that:

1) God doesn't state implicitly that there is universal healing for ALL;
2) When a person accepts Christ's sacrifice on the cross and submit his or her life to Christ, we become subject to life "in the spirit" as opposed to life "under the law";
3) We are to be led by the Spirit of Christ in all things, including his Will for our healing;
4) I do not believe that all illnesses will be necessarily healed in a physical manifestation but I do believe if God deems it to be in the best interests of everyone in the Big picture, that He will do so, and that God's idea of healing may be different than ours.

But still, I am praising and uplifting God because as I see it, my symptoms have been reduced. I submit to His wisdom in my life and will continue to thank Him for all the things He allows in my life in order to draw me to a closer walk with Him.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Conquering the Land

Judges 1:19-36 is the account of the Israelites going in to the Promised Land and their failure to clear out the remaining pagan inhabitants who lived there prior to them being able to settle down and live in peace and rest.

I have learned that the Old Testament history of God and the Israelites can be likened to the New Testament of Christ and the Church. For example, just as God was leading the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land; so Christ is leading his bride, the Church, out of the world and into the Kingdom of God to a land flowing with milk and honey.

God commanded the Israelites to destroy everything and everyone in the Promised Land in order for them to take possession, keep possession and be at rest in the land.

What I glean from this is that the Promised Land had been inhabited by people who worshiped other gods, and dedicated their lives, their families, their homes and all they had to those gods, and so the Land was filled with the sinful, detestable results of who these people were.

Likewise, Christ commands those of us who want to enter into His kingdom, to come away from all the things the world is so fond of: other gods (this can be anything that you love and contribute the bulk of your time, attention and talent to that is not God, Himself), worrying, complaining, fighting, pagan practices, sinful practices, etc. We are to take control of our desires, our wants and our pride. We are to destroy the strongholds in our life, offer them up to Him as a sacrifice and devote ourselves to living in His strength, His peace, His love and His mindset.

We are saved by our belief in Him as the son of God, our confession of that faith, and then it is up to us to put into practice that faith by slaying the giants that control our lives.

What controls your life... Other people?...Money?...Materialism?...Fear?...Food?...Alcohol?...Sex?...Drugs?...Pride?

For me, I would have to say that my life has been pretty much been given over to the control of God, but I am still working on an excessive love of materials things like my home, home furnishings, clothing, cars, etc., (I like things to look shiny, new and oh, so clean and tidy on the outside.) and food.

To have people (known or unknown) come into my home and see dust, disorder, mismatched materials, paints, etc., is a matter of pride. I know somewhere in there is a woman trying to make it look like her life is really put together but in reality, if you look closely, there are lots of cobwebs, dust bunnies, "junk drawers" and dirt. It's just not apparent to the naked eye.

Also, it seems like so much of my life is driven by feeding myself and my family, people wanting me to go to lunch, to dinner, to breakfast, for a snack or a coffee, and grocery shopping. Sometimes I just wish I could say, hey let's just have some fruit, some cheese and crackers, or a PBJ and be done with it. And sometimes, wouldn't you just love to say, "hey, let's just go have an ice cream cone, or whatever! Food has gotten so complicated and important not just as a fuel but as entertainment and over-indulged pleasure.

God knows my strengths and weaknesses, and his Word says that He will not burden me with more than I can handle. It is past time for those who are called according to His purpose to go forth to conquer the giants in the land; or as Lee Trevino used to say, its time to "belly the wedge and sink the putt"!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Divine Healing Seminar Part 2

The Bible says that we should test all things that are taught to us. 1 John 4: 1-3 (NLT)

Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. This is the way to find out if they have the Spirit of God: If a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ became a human being, that person has the Spirit of God. If a prophet does not acknowledge Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist. You have heard that he is going to come into the world, and he is already here.

Curry Blake is not teaching anything that I can discern that is not 100% backed up by scripture. He teaches from the scriptures. We have spent two days going through the Bible. Some things are in accordance with what I have previously learned, but some things are not.

He contends that:

* when a person is born again (their spirit re-generated by God), they receive the indwelling of the holy spirit.

* because the holy spirit of God lives within us and because Jesus said it was so, (Mark 16:16) we (as followers of Christ) have been given the power and authority to do the same and greater works that Christ did when he walked upon the earth.

* the church today is operating under an Old Testament mindset.

* the OT mindset is always looking for God to speak to them through another person.

* the OT mindset will always be trying to earn or deserve God's blessings rather than believe that everything we get from God, we get by grace.

* most people are waiting for a phone call from God when He has already sent them a letter. Most people are waiting on God to tell them specifically what to do and when to do it rather than realizing that God has already told us what to do and given us examples of how to do it. Any specifics we may need will be given as we go, and not until we go. If the how-to was that important, God would have specified how to.

* God works according to the principles of good management. He tells you what to do and gives you the parameters within which you must work, but then He leaves the how-to up to you.

* Once we accept the Word of God as our final authority, we must begin to retrain our mind to think in line with God's Will.

I had a friend post on facebook last night that his mother was very ill, in the hospital and that he needed prayer for her and the family. I prayed for her in the manner in which we were taught yesterday; typed it out on facebook as I prayed it myself, and then I told him that if he was with her, believed the prayer to be true, to pray it out loud and lay hands on her. This morning she was doing better. I have not heard so far how she is this evening.

I urge you to go to the John G. Lake Ministries web site and listen to their teachings on line. You can find them HERE.

I am going to be in class tomorrow and a healing service tomorrow night. I plan to continue studying his teachings from the Word of God mostly because he makes the gospel very simple, and he focuses on the freedom from bondage that Christ came to bring.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Take Up Your Mat and Walk....

The Divine Healing Technician seminar I am currently attending is being presented by the Curry Blake of John G. Lake Ministries and sponsor,Heaven Bound Ministries, here in North Carolina.

As a relatively young woman (53) who was diagnosed with parkinson's disease about ten years ago and who has been annointed with oil, prayed over many times and prayed over with the laying on of hands, and who has not, to date, experienced the manifestation of His healing power, I have recently begun to ask: Where is the power of God that Christ promised to his followers just prior to his ascension?

Many times in the past three years, God has used people (strangers) to point me in the direction he wanted to me go, and that is how I learned about this seminar.

I come to the foothills of North Carolina often. If I could persuade my husband to move here, I would do it. I love the mountains. I love the beaches, too, but there is just something about the mountains that move me. Maybe it's because they're majestic, mysterious and imposing...I don't know, but I'm drawn to them. I secretly believe in my heart that it's because the Bible so often refers to "God's holy mountain". Maybe I truly believe I'm closer to Him in the mountains.

I'm not really sure what I was expecting from this seminar, but with classes running from 9 until 12 and 2 until 5, I know I wasn't thinking that the time would fly by, but (at least) today it did!

Curry Blake is a soft spoken man. His belief in what he's teaching emanates from him. He says that he has seen the Lord raise nine people from the dead and that literally thousands upon thousands of people have been healed as result of learning how to heal according to God's Holy Word.

The class is comprised of about 200 people, I would say. As God would have it, I ended up sitting with a mother and her son who I connected with immediately and have so much in common with. I love when that happens!

I just thought I would put down in writing some of my thoughts and notes from the session today.

*Hindrances to Healing: The only hindrance to healing is believing that there are hindrances to healing!

*Healing is an act of war, satan is the only enemy, and continuing to minister healing is an act of faith. Sometimes satan is able to slam the door shut on our healing prayers, but we continue to move forward, praying in the name of Christ and to minister healing.

*You MUST be grounded in the Word in order to kick through closed doors.

*It is NOT about anything BUT the WORD OF GOD.

*You are releasing LIFE into the receiver of the prayer.

*(I thought this was very interesting)Mark 16:17-18 says that "these signs shall follow them that believe...they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover". Notice that the sign is for those who believe (the pray-er) and that there is nothing in there about "praying" for them. We have been taught what we "think" is authority, but limited authority is really no authority. Jesus has all authority and we are operating under His power, now our own, we have all authority because we have Him!!

*The traditions of men are the doctrine of the devil. (Matthew 15:2,3

*The amount of faith is not an issue because Jesus said that if you have the faith of a mustard seed, you can move a mountain". The doctrine of men is that if you have faith the size of a mountain, you can move a mustard seed!

*Faith is "rest"; it is not nervous, it is simple and easy.

*Religion is a strict taskmaster.

*Healing is a GIFT not a reward.

What really struck me was the simpleness of the message and that even though we were talking about healing, it was all so much THE GOSPEL; the one that changes your life, makes you love Him more than life and gives you the will to keep going.

He made us so that the enemy cannot touch us. BUT we must be able to relate current problems to past victories.

The message is a profound one; life changing. I am anticipating a wonderful class tomorrow, and I'll tell you all about it.

Divine Healing Seminar

I drove all day yesterday in the manner of the U.S.Postal Worker, through rain, sleet and snow to arrive last evening in Asheboro, North Carolina. For the next several days, I will be attending the John G. Lake Ministries Divine Healing Technician Seminar put on by Curry Blake and Heaven Bound Ministries.

If you would like to listen to the siminar, go HERE.

I will be doing a review at the end of each day. I have been asking for a while now, where are the sons and daughters of God who are being used for the healing of people. Jesus told the disciples that his followers would be able to do "even greater" works than those he performed due to the indwelling of the holy spirit.

Mark 16:16, 17

And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

I am looking forward to the Seminar and hope to report great things that the Lord is doing through his servants.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

As Wicked and Vile as It Gets

Psalm 101:3 says:

I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; [it] shall not cleave to me.

Art in America, especially "art" paid for by tax-payer money, has become extremely wicked and vile. So, when I laid my eyes upon THIS PIECE OF BLASPHEMY, I decided to post it here and set forth my opinion that ALL tax-payer money for this type of garbage should be stopped immediately. What say you?

Thinking Themselves Equal to God....

The Lord has led me to read the book of Isaiah completely for the first time. I have read many parts of it from time to time but never the whole book. This is an important book, there's no doubt about it. It is filled with who God is, what He has done and what He will do. It is filled with God's words spoken through the prophet Isaiah. It is filled with God's glory, His wisdom, His love, purpose and plan for mankind. It also shows God's derision for mankind's measly efforts to make his own god or be his own god.

I awakened very early this morning (about 3 a.m.) and knew that I was supposed to pray (which I did). I also meditated on the Word I had read before I went to bed which was Chapters 41, 42, and 43 of the book of Isaiah. The Lord showed me how several things I saw online yesterday were in complete accord with what I had read.

First, I saw this on Ed's site Not Another Conspiracy:

Genetically Modified Apple Won't Turn Brown

A little later, I was perusing the Fox News web site and saw this article on scientists manipulating mice so that they do not grow old.

Prior to going to sleep last night, I read the following in the book of Isaiah:

"Let them try to tell us what happened long ago or what the future holds.
Isa 41:23 Yes, that's it! If you are gods, tell what will occur in the days ahead. Or perform a mighty miracle that will fill us with amazement and fear. Do something, whether good or bad!
Isa 41:24 But no! You are less than nothing and can do nothing at all. Anyone who chooses you becomes filthy, just like you!
Isa 41:25 "But I have stirred up a leader from the north and east. He will come against the nations and call on my name, and I will give him victory over kings and princes. He will trample them as a potter treads on clay.
Isa 41:26 "Who but I have told you this would happen? Who else predicted this, making you admit that he was right? No one else said a word!
Isa 41:27 I was the first to tell Jerusalem, `Look! Help is on the way!'
Isa 41:28 Not one of your idols told you this. Not one gave any answer when I asked.
Isa 41:29 See, they are all foolish, worthless things. Your idols are all as empty as the wind.

For some reason, then when I awakened this morning and was thinking about these two articles, the Lord brought to my mind the scientists at C.E.R.N. and their large hydron collider with which they are trying to reproduce the big bang which brought forth all of creation (in their opinion). For more information, go HERE.

The Lord showed me during my prayer time that this is all about mankind making themselves out to be like God by manipulating His creation and trying to reproduce His ability to create something out of nothing. Whether it's making your own god out of a block of wood or a piece of metal, or setting yourself up to be god by playing with the gene pool of mice, men, food and more, it is IDOLATRY and therefore high on the list of things abominable to God. I was aware, in my spirit, of the Lord indicating that the Tower of Babel is almost re-completed for that is what is happening here. Mankind is once again trying to rise up to the level of and above God himself. God is not mocked and will not continue to put up with man's petty efforts to outdo Him. He is coming soon to mete out justice. Are you ready? Do you know Jesus as Savior of the world, the Son of God and the soon-coming King of Kings?

If not, I urge you to not delay, seek Him for all you are worth, and He will more than likely be found when you are bowed low, on your knees and asking Him to reveal Himself to you. Ask Him to show you your sin, to inspire within you a desire to repent, and to inspire the desire to change and conform to His likeness.

He is faithful and just . He will forgive all your sins, cleanse you from all unrighteousness and though your sin be as scarlet, He will make them as white as snow!

God bless you with His presence today.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Putting on the Mind of Christ

Putting on the mind of Christ is not as easy as it sounds. You first have to realize where you and He don't think alike, ask for forgiveness for your willfulness, and then ask Him to help you see life as He sees it and to give you the desire and the power to change your thinking.

I think, at the shallowest part of each one of us is the idea that we know everything (otherwise known as know-it-allness). We really think we don't need anyone (especially an unseen God) to tell us how to live our lives. I see it in people of all ages, even my 11 year old son. But look where that gets us.

Jesus' thoughts were always of what His Father wanted, what was best for mankind and very little about what pertained to himself. He sought only to do that which pleased the Father. That was the mind of Christ - striving to please the Father by doing only what the Father wanted him to do. That is what we are to do as his followers. Everytime the word "I" pops into the mind along with the words, "want", "will" "wish" "am", you might to put on the brakes a bit and think if those same words sound the same as "God wants", "God wills", "God wishes" and "God is". If you get an okay from the holy spirit; proceed with ears alert and eyes open. If there are no further bumps that slow you down and cause you to question what you're doing or the motive for doing it, I believe you can move on. But if questions continue to pop up in your mind, you might want to sit down and pray for God's wisdom and leading. That is, if you want to put on the mind of Christ.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Reflections on Thankfulness

I guess the Lord is making me think twice as hard about thankfulness this year. I posted a piece yesterday about how bland we are when we offer up thanksgiving to our maker, and here I am again today; seemingly with more to say.

Remember, when you think about who you're talking to, you realize you can be as open and colorful as you want to be, nobody hears you but your best friend forever - the one who truly can keep secrets if what you say is something you don't want anyone else to know. So, if you want to say, Lord, I am so hungry that I am surprised that my stomach didn't growl out loud in the meeting today. I am so thankful that you didn't let that happen. Whatever, anything you're thankful for, share it with the Lord. Let Him be your best friend.

After I posted my blog yesterday, two things occurred which caused me to stop again and think about things pertaining to being thankful.

First, my son's fifth grade class presented a program, and when I arrived at the program, I had no idea of the content because he had not been very forthcoming about it, so I went with an open mind and no expectations. This was a program about the "spirit of America" and remembering our heritage. The background of the pledge of allegiance was given, including reference to the words "in God we trust" being added in (I think) 1954 if I remember correctly, and it was recited by all. They then sang the Star Spangled Banner, gave the history of such symbols of America's freedom as the bald eagle, the liberty bell, the flag and the statue of liberty. They sang about four or five additional songs, including (can you believe it?) "When the Saints Go Marching In". I cried folks, because I could see the hope, the belief and the happiness on these little ones' faces. They put their whole selves into the actions and my heart ached. I hope and I pray that these little ones have a better life than the one I envision based on what I see happening in America today. I hope and pray that they come out of school with their freedom in tact (if the Lord has not tarried) and with their hearts in God's hands and their eyes focused on Christ. I hope and pray that there will be something of the "old America" left for them to enjoy.

Then, last evening, my son and I went to our Tuesday night cell group class for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders (I lead the girls). One of tasks was to write a letter to God telling Him what we are thankful for. I encouraged everyone to use some adjectives, be colorful and really describe the things that they love and appreciate. I was truly impressed by what I heard from the young girls.

Here is what God layed on my heart:

God, I am so grateful that you did not make the sky red. Red can be an angry color, and blue is so peaceful.

Thank you for autumn when everything is brightly colored and beautiful and leaves crunch under our feet and heavy rains cause us to stay inside, read books, play games and sip warm drinks.

Thank you, too, for winter and the way we can enjoy making snowmen, snowballs and snowcream.

I love spring, Lord, because everything is blooming, budding and being given new life, just like me.

Thank you, great Creator, that I was fearfully and wonderfully made, by You, right down to the mole on my right leg.

And, oh, God, don't let me forget summer, because I love summer, too. I thank you for the beautiful nights when I can sit on my porch and look at the moon and the stars and know you're there; listening with me, watching with me. I love that;...and, oh, and the flowers, too, Lord and the fresh fruit and vegetables; oh and fireflies and crickets and bullfrogs chirping in the neighbors' pond. There's so much, God; I can't even think of all the things I love.

Father, you have been so good to me. Who am I and what did I do to deserve such love? Thank you for for the gifts from your hand; all the things you created for me to enjoy, and especially for the love of Jesus, who thought I was worth dying for in order that I could be with you always.

And now, this morning, as I read during my quiet time, the Lord lead me to isaiah 25 which in my NLT Bible is titled, "Praise for Judgment and Salvation".

Isaiah 25:6-8.

In Jerusalem, the LORD Almighty will spread a wonderful feast for everyone around the world. It will be a delicious feast of good food, with clear, well-aged wine and choice beef. In that day he will remove the cloud of gloom, the shadow of death that hangs over the earth. He will swallow up death forever! The Sovereign LORD will wipe away all tears. He will remove forever all insults and mockery against his land and people. The LORD has spoken! In that day the people will proclaim, "This is our God. We trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD, in whom we trusted. Let us rejoice in the salvation he brings!"

If you have given your life to Christ, submitted to Him as your God, Lord, Savior, King and last, but definitely not least, Friend, the day is coming, my friend when we will sit at a Thanksgiving Feast with Him as our host, and our voices will not be meek or lowly, but we will be praising Him at the top of our voices, we will want ALL to hear how God loved us, bought us, sought us and restored us to Himself. There will be no bland praise and worship at that Thanksgiving Dinner. The Bible says we'll share the best wine and the choicest meat, there will be NOTHING to be sad or depressed about; no worries about money or making ends meet; no worry about disease or death--He has defeated death, and HE will wipe away EVERY tear!!!

If that doesn't cause you to rejoice and give Thanks today, I don't know what will!

Have a blessed, thankful, wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bland Thankfulness

Many people have a tradition this time of year where each person at the Thanksgiving table are asked to tell something they are really thankful about. Having sat through this many times through the years, it pains me to say that people almost always say the same thing, it's very generalized, and people always seem embarrassed to have speak out loud the things in their lives which they are thankful for. Is that you? Do you voice a bland..."my kids", "my family", "my job", etc.? Don't you think that God above and the people in your life would love to hear the depth of your appreciation for the things which enrich your life?

If so, I challenge you to sit down for 30 minutes or so in a dim, quiet room sometime between now and that day and ask God to truly show you how you have been blessed and try using some adjectives to describe God's faithfulness and generosity to you.

With that in mind, here's my list of what I am truly thankful for.

1) I am truly thankful that God bought me with the precious, priceless blood of His son, Jesus Christ;

2) I am truly thankful that God sought me and asked me to draw near to Him;

3) I am truly thankful for a husband who promised me "I will never do that again" and I know I can believe him;

4) I am truly thankful for a husband who is my very best friend, my defender, my lover and a hard worker;

5) I am truly thankful for my daughter who is thoughtful (by that, I mean "deep"), so loving, respectful, funny and kind (and she's beautiful inside and out) and who makes me feel like I am important in her life;

6) I am truly thankful for my son who is the result of a great love, who challenges me every day to listen to God on how to be a parent, who has a heart for God, is smarter than a whip and so handsome I'm sure that I will need God to get me through his teenage years;

7) I have been blessed beyond belief to have a home I love, plenty of food, clothes to wear, a bed to sleep in, I am warm when it's cold outside and cool when it's hot, my cup runneth over, truly;

8) I have been blessed with a great family of sisters and a brother, loving, kind in-laws, and extended family, but especially two sisters who are always there in the good and bad and to share the memories of our growing up and older;

9) I have three wonderful, caring, kind, loving women who I consider my "best" friends forever and without whom I wouldn't have been able to survive my own blunders, mishaps and life problems;

10) I am so thankful for my extended internet family of friends, sisters and brothers in Christ and acquaintances. People who God has used to help me grow up "in Him".

11) I am thankful for the parkinson's disease that God allowed me to have in order to draw me back to Him, His presence and His love.

12) I am thankful to be alive today when it is possible that someday soon I may hear the call to "Come Up Here" and so it will be that I will be with my friend, Lord, Savior and King, Jesus, forever.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Coming Out of the World

Revelation 18:4
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

This scripture has long been one of interest to me, and has caused me to raise my eyebrow and wonder "what does this mean, Lord".

A lot of individuals have propounded that God is speaking to his followers here to come out of the organized church routine. That makes sense so perhaps the church and it's lies and self-agrandization is part of what we are to remove ourselves from, but in my view, it is deeper and harder than that. It's not too hard to remove ourselves from the church system.

Notice that the verse counsels against taking part in her "sins" and therefore receiving of her "plagues"?

As I read this verse, meditated on it and prayed over it, it came to me, and maybe this is simplistic to you and others with deep roots in Bible study and Christ-like living; but I believe we are to literally remove ourselves from the "World Systems". You know, kind of like, being in the world but not "of" the world.

According to the dictionary on line, the words world and worldly mean:

WORLD: noun

1. the earth or globe, considered as a planet.
2. (often initial capital letter ) a particular division of the earth: the Western world.
3. the earth or a part of it, with its inhabitants, affairs, etc., during a particular period: the ancient world.
4. humankind; the human race; humanity: The world must eliminate war and poverty.
5. the public generally: The whole world knows it.
6. the class of persons devoted to the affairs, interests, or pursuits of this life: The world worships success.
7. a particular class of people, with common interests, aims, etc.: the fashionable world.
8. any sphere, realm, or domain, with all pertaining to it: a child's world; the world of dreams; the insect world.
9. everything that exists; the universe; the macrocosm.
10. any complex whole conceived as resembling the universe: the world of the microcosm.
11. one of the three general groupings of physical nature: animal world; mineral world; vegetable world.
12. any period, state, or sphere of existence: this world; the world to come.
13. Often, worlds. a great deal: That vacation was worlds of fun.
14. any indefinitely great expanse.
15. any heavenly body: the starry worlds.

WORLDLY: adjective

1. of or pertaining to this world as contrasted with heaven, spiritual life, etc.; earthly; mundane.
2. experienced; knowing; sophisticated: the benefits of his worldly wisdom.
3. devoted to, directed toward, or connected with the affairs, interests, or pleasures of this world.
4. of or pertaining to the people or laity; secular; neither ecclesiastical nor religious.
5. Obsolete of, pertaining to, or existing on earth.

Now think about coming out of that system, the "worldly system" or the system of this world. That would include but not be limited to: the way money is handled (for example, being in debt, or paying with credit cards), the way food is handled (for example, eating out more than you eat in or buying processed, poison food), the way school is handled (by the government for its benefit instead of the benefit of the student which may cause us to send our children to christian schools or home school them), the way that work is handled (lying, cheating, working untold hours and not spending an appropriate amount of time with our spouses, children and other family members), the way church is handled (hey, it's all about you're okay, I'm okay, God loves us and wants us to have "stuff", "money" and "success"), the way marriage is handled (it's my way or the highway), the way children are disciplined (time out vs. a spanking, if you have questions about his, go to the Book of Proverbs, i.e. here, here, or here to see what God thinks about disciplining our children.

Last but not least, I would like to say that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Coming out of the world, at least from the perspective of what God is saying to me, personally, is to come out of: halloween, christmas, easter, harry potter movies, harry potter books, moonlight movies and the like, Tosh.0, the latest fashions, the best house in the best neighborhood, the biggest bank account, being "sexy" for everyone including your spouse.

One thing that God spoke to me about this weekend is coming out of things like being poked and prodded by the TSA which means, no flying for me because I am opposed to x-rays and radiation (yes, microwave ovens, too).

Sounds like not just a big job but a huge one, doesn't it? I am quite challenged to think it is even possible, but the Word tells us that with God ALL things are possible.

So, I believe that even if we are taking small steps to be obedient to God in these things, He will honor it and make it possible for us to be successful in coming out of more and more of the things that do not honor Him.

Christ said that he came to set us free. Think how freeing it would be to not have to comply with ALL the many systems, programs, rules and regulations that have been enacted for "our benefit"; think of all the money and time it takes to maintain and care for all the things this world says that we should have (including a house and car); think about the possibilities of home schooling your child and growing your own food.

Maybe I was just born in the wrong century, I don't know, but this world and its systems are holding less and less appeal to me daily. Won't you, like me, start taking baby steps to remove yourself with this world? What is one thing you will do this week to get started?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Be An "Ass" for the Lord!

I read this wonderful note written by Pastor Zac Loh on Facebook this morning, and I thought that it was one I would like to share with anyone who might happen upon this blog. It is indeed insightful and spirit led.

Donkeys are looked upon as low class animals in some parts of the world. They are plain. But they are good servants to humans. They do their job without vanity and ego.

It goes without saying that we should aspire to be like them in serving God. Yet this world tells us differently. You’ve got phrases such as, “stupid as a donkey.” If we tell the people of this world that we aspire to be like donkeys, they will laugh at us for having this notion, they would think, “to be like donkeys …ha! ha!”

When you think of donkeys, you would also think of donkey riders. Of the few donkey riders in the Bible, there are two who were significant, namely Balaam and Jesus.

The first donkey, which was Balaam’s donkey, was a disobedient donkey in a good way.

And the second donkey, which was Jesus’ donkey, was an obedient donkey, also in a good way.

The first rider, Balaam, was a disobedient prophet who capitulated for earthly gains whereas the second rider, Jesus, was an obedient prophet who was faithful to death for heavenly gains.

First Donkey And Balaam The Rider

Then God’s anger was aroused because he went, and the Angel of the LORD took His stand in the way as an adversary against him. And he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. Now the donkey saw the Angel of the LORD standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand, and the donkey turned aside out of the way and went into the field. So Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back onto the road. Then the Angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on this side and a wall on that side. And when the donkey saw the Angel of the LORD, she pushed herself against the wall and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall; so he struck her again. Then the Angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. And when the donkey saw the Angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam’s anger was aroused, and he struck the donkey with his staff. Then the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have abused me. I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now I would kill you!” So the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden, ever since I became yours, to this day? Was I ever disposed to do this to you?” And he said, “No.” Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the Angel of the LORD standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell flat on his face. And the Angel of the LORD said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to stand against you, because your way is perverse before Me. The donkey saw Me and turned aside from Me these three times. If she had not turned aside from Me, surely I would also have killed you by now, and let her live.”

(Numbers 22:22-33)

but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man’s voice restrained the madness of the prophet (2 Peter 2:16)

In this first Biblical pairing of donkey-and-rider, Balaam was a picture of a leader who disobeyed the plan of God in the course of ministry. His donkey is a picture of a follower who was in submission to the leader `riding above’. This leader steered the donkey wherever he wanted it to go. What gives point to our study is that this donkey refused to obey this leader. This donkey had revelation. This donkey could speak. And this donkey saved this leader’s life!

If you are a follower, and when God has anointed you to speak …speak up …because you may be saving your leader from destruction. Your failure to speak up may result in negative consequences for your leader. You failure to speak up may spell disaster to your leader.

There was this highly respected minister of God who had such an admiration from people - to the point that there was a sort of an aura surrounding him. This leader had many pastors serving under his ministry umbrella. He wrote many books. And he founded a Bible College.

One morning before the Sunday Service began, God gave me a prophetic word for this minister. But because it was a `correction’ word, I withheld myself. I could not bring myself to do it. In my thinking, I was a tiny guy and this man was an institution!

For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Therefore I urge you, imitate me. (1 Corinthians 4:15-16)

Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1)

Paul was a senior spiritual person and a father of faith in Christ. When the Corinthians believers heard the teachings of Christ, they needed to see it in real life. Paul was a good example to emulate.

Then again, they had the teachings of Christ to compare Paul with. Paul added that they should imitate him even as he was imitating Christ. The word of God is a mirror. Paul had to reflect that. Otherwise, they did not have to follow Paul. It was as simple as that.

Listen, dear leaders, one of your followers could save you. One of your followers might be anointed by God to speak to you in revelation and help your ministry.

I once heard a profound statement made by `Mr. Pentecost,’ Mr. David DuPleissis, in a cassette tape. He said that `if God cannot use a new Christian to correct you, then you are not godly.’ It took me a long, and hard, time to understand this. Now, I am appreciating it.

I think of Peter and see what a wonderful leader he was. Paul, when he was still a young upstart, had the knack to publicly withstand this established leader to the face; he chided and corrected Peter in public (Galatians 2:11-16). A few leaders of today might have killed Paul’s ministry in hidden retaliation. Yet, Peter went into record openly defending Paul’s ministry (2 Peter 3:15-16)!

Second Donkey And Jesus The Rider

The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ The King of Israel!” Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written: “Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold, your King is coming, Sitting on a donkey’s colt.” (John 12:12-15)

One Bible teacher highlighted that we should not think that this donkey (pointing to himself) was dumb enough to accept all the shouts and praises.

As servants of God, we must not be dumb enough think that the admiration is for us. We should know that all glory goes to the One who anointed us. It is not for us, but for the One riding on us.

He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him. (John 7:18)

Humility is a subject difficult to tackle. In real life, the moment we feel that we have it; that itself is pride exhibiting itself.

What is humility? We can humble ourselves in the flesh. But it is not the humility that God is looking for. The purpose of humility is not so that others can admire our humility. The purpose of humility is so that God is glorified.

For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. (1 Corinthians 15:9-10)

God gives grace to the humble. The funny thing is, not only that God gives grace to the humble, we need His grace to be humble. And we need His grace to serve. Paul said that he was the least, and not worthy to be called an apostle. He then proceeded to mention the grace of God. It is evident that humility and grace is intricately connected. Paul worked much because the grace of God was working much with Him.

But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, (Galatians 1:15-16)

Paul was called through the grace of God. He served by the grace of God. The grace of God positions us so that we can be anointed. We cannot, by the flesh, strive to be anointed. We can never be good enough for God to use us. It is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of grace, who brings us to the place where we can be anointed (Hebrews 10:29).

We are a special assortment of God's manifold grace. Ministry grace differs with each person. We are not standard products from the factory assembly line. We each bear a unique handiwork of our Master, who is the potter, as we are His clay. He breaks us again and again …and forms us again and again …and we become more and more like the unique shape and design that He wants us to be. In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, we are informed of Paul’s experience with a chronic and painful trial. He asked to be delivered from it. Jesus answered and said, “My grace is sufficient for you.”

Jesus instructed His disciples to loose the donkey and bring it to Him, and saying, “The Lord has need of them.” (Matthew 21:1-3)

God has a ministry plan for each one of us. It is greater than any vocation, career or business. I pray that you will be loosed to be a humble donkey because ...the Lord has need of them!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Take Off Those Shackles

What do you think when you hear the word "slave"? It conjures up ugly visions of black people being owned by white people to do hard labor, and God alone knows what else. I read books that depicted a slave's life long ago that made my hair curl. I don't like to think about it, and neither do most other people alive and well on the planet today. Slavery, however, was not just prevalent in America prior to the Civil War; slavery has pervaded society from the beginning. Many have been slaves during the course of history, including the Israelites to the Egyptians and various other civilizations, including the Babylonians and the Assyrians. There's no doubt about it, slave and slavery are very dirty words in today's society.

The Bible says that we are all slaves to something. It's one of the horrible parts of being a human being. I look around me today and I see people (myself included) who are slaves to smoking, slaves to alcohol, slaves to the television, slaves to sex and/or pornography and the many spin-offs to that cesspool, slaves to food, slaves to fashion, slaves to power and slaves to money. There are SO many things that we can become enslaved to. Enslavement to these things destroy us. They eat us alive. We live for the moment that we can take part in doing these things while at the same time we hate ourselves for doing them. It seems that no one in the books of history has been exempt from this except for Jesus Christ, the son of God. Even Paul said in Romans 7:14-17

The law is good, then. The trouble is not with the law but with me, because I am sold into slavery, with sin as my master. I don't understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate. I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience shows that I agree that the law is good. But I can't help myself, because it is sin inside me that makes me do these evil things.

I don't know anyone who personally loves being enslaved to the things that torture them everyday, but so many won't do what is necessary to break the enslavement because the work is too hard. Just like it is hard work to do what is necessary to maintain a free nation, it is hard work to keep ourselves from becoming addicted to things which are almost impossible to escape from.

1 Cor. 7:22, 23 tells us that Christ bought us with a high price so that we would not have to be enslaved to sin.

And remember, if you were a slave when the Lord called you, the Lord has now set you free from the awful power of sin. And if you were free when the Lord called you, you are now a slave of Christ. God purchased you at a high price. Don't be enslaved by the world.

Come, and He Will Set You Free by Paris Reidhead

Knowing that Christ paid a very high price for us to set us free should make us, like the woman in the video, fall to the Lord's feet in praise and thankfulness, confessing that it is our sincerest desire to be His slave.

The wonderful thing about being Christ's slave is that we are slaves to love, truth, justice, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and "SELF-CONTROL"...all the things that do not go with enslavement to the things listed formerly. There is no peace, or joy that accompany being a food-a-holic, take it from me, and I'm sure that the alcoholic, the smoker, the heroin addict, the pedofile will all vouch for me on that.

On top of all of that, take note that Jesus told us that his yoke is easy and His burden is light. HE does all the work, we just have to plod along beside Him, watch what and how He does it and give Him the glory, honor and praise.

Take Off Those Shackles

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Out of Control Disciple

My church furnishes a daily devotional guide which I have found very helpful when I don't have a particular study that I am doing so I picked it up this morning to the following (how ironic that I just happen to have posted about this very thing in my last two blogs):

Putting Faith to Work

According to James, faith isn't really faith until we put it into action. It's not enough just to believe in Jesus in your head; you must allow that belief to transform your life and actions. Good works are the natural outgrowth of a true faith in Jesus. We only really believe the parts of the Bible that we choose to live out.

Read: James 1:22-24; 2:14-26

How has your understanding of Jesus affected the way you live? What would change if you acted on all that you claim to believe?

The question that seemed to settle in my mind was "Has my understanding of Jesus changed the way I live, and if, in fact, it has, how?

Do I really know what it means to live the life of Christ...what was Christ's life like?

I know:

...he knew God, the things of God, and the ways of God from his boyhood, and he taught them to others, (Luke 2). It doesn't matter what age you are, young, old or in between, we should all know God and be teaching others about Him.

...he was a son that all mothers want: thoughtful, kind, respectful, loving and obedient, one that would never give his mother any kind of trouble (except for pain in knowing that the world was not good enough for him and would do nothing but hurt him). If we are a mother or father, we should be teaching our children to act this way, and we should be showing this kind of love to our parents (nursing homes would disappear);

...that his family and friends doubted his claim of being God's son (Luke 4:24). No matter how much we are doubted, teased, ridiculed or threatened, we should allow no family member or friend to keep us from telling others about God and His plan for their lives.

...that Jesus was a straight shooter; a man who told the truth no matter what the consequences. Likewise, we are to be people of integrity; telling the truth no matter what the consequences are.

...he did not resort to violence to accomplish his mission, no matter how far he was pushed. My husband had me take a shooting class to get my concealed carry permit. Would I ever use it? I can't imagine it. I would much rather think I am like the young lady in this video.

...he did without. He didn't have a home, a method of transportation, an extra coat, a pantry full of food, or a closet full of clothes. He had just enough to do what needed to be done that day, and he relied on the goodness of God to suppy it.

...he didn't even have a place to call his own. Jesus said that birds have nests and foxes have dens, but the Son of Man has no place to rest his head. Life was hard in those days and he didn't even have a pillow top mattress to rest his weary bones on after a long day's work.

...he cared deeply for others. He had friends (lots of them, I believe); admirers, groupies; people who followed him everywhere he went; but, sadly, he didn't really trust anyone because he "knew" the hearts of men.

...he was willing to suffer for others, up to and including death. I have read many accounts of Jesus' torture before his death, and it certainly was not something that a mere man or woman would go through for a world of people who didn't deserve it and the greatest majority of whom would not want it, believe it or accept it.

There it is, the afflicted life: the life where others are more important, where life is not politically correct, life gives instead of takes, one does not have everything one wants, and you live by integrity, morals and laws established by God, no matter what the cost.

Do you have it in you to live that life. Just like old age, it is not for the faint hearted.

We had an altar call at our church last weekend, which is not a usual thing. Our pastor says that it's not a one-time, feel good, stand up and say a short prayer kind of commitment, but that it's a call to living the afflicted life of Christ. He passed out the attached as standard of living the afflicted life of Christ. Are you willing to sign up?

As of today, I am part of the Church of the Out of Control.
I've given up control to God. I trust and obey the Spirit.
I've jumped off the fence, stepped over the line.
I've pulled out all the stops, holding nothing back.

There's no turning back, looking around, slowing down,
backing away, letting up or shutting up.
It's life against the odds, outside the box, over the wall;
the game of life played without goal lines other than
"Thy will be done..."

I am not here to please the dominant culture.
I live to please my Lord and Savior.
I've stopped trying to make life work, and
started trying to make life sing.

I no longer live by and for anything, but everything God breathed,
Christ centered and Spirit driven;
I won't back down, slow down, shut down, let down
until I am preached out, teached out, healed out or hauled out
of God's mission in the world entrusted to members of the
Church of the Out of unbind the confined,
the overlooked or the under represented. that one day, He will pick me out
in the line up of the ages as one of His own.
And then, it will be worth it all to hear these words:
"Well done, thou good and faithful, out-of-control Disciple."

Saturday, October 30, 2010

You Sure Wouldn't Think I'd Screw That Up

After two blog posts about learning to rest in Christ and let Him live in and work through me and cutting things that are not of Him out of my flesh, you certainly wouldn't think that I would mess up as thoroughly as I just did. Let me tell you about it.

I was getting my hair cut. I am well acquainted with my stylist, so she knows my family, so of course, we were getting caught up and she asked me what my son was dressing up as to go out trick or treating. I said he wasn't going trick or treating. You could see the confusion on her face as she asked, "Oh, why? Would he like to come and go out with us?" I told her no that we lived in the country and that I just didn't want to take him in to town to go trick or treating, and we left it at that and you know what, I didn't give it another thought. The thing was, my answer was so glib; it just came out of me.

That night, as I was getting ready to go to sleep, I was going through my mind, re-living the day; thinking how I might have done some thing differently and if I had listened to the holy spirit, when it hit me...what I had said to her about trick or treating. I ran the whole conversation back through my mind, replaying it in my mind and really thought about what I had said. How did I ever let that go like that?

The truth is that God has convicted me about being in the world but not of the world, and in accordance with Revelation 18:4, that I need to come out of the world and not take part of the things that everyone else is taking part in. In other words, instead of coming out and saying that I felt that God had convicted me about taking part in halloween and that I was feeling led to not take part in the holiday (and thus, so, too, my son would not be taking part in the holiday), I gave her some lame excuse about living in the country!

I got on my knees and asked for forgiveness. All I could think about was Jesus saying that if we are ashamed of Him before people here on earth, he will be ashamed of us before God in heaven. Matthew 10:32, 33

Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

So, I made it a point to confess my sin, not only to the Father, but also to a friend yesterday, and then I fasted yesterday -- not from food but from another important (maybe too much so) item in my life, the internet.

Thank God that His mercies are new every morning, because it seems like my screw ups are new every evening!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Have You Crucified Your "Old Man"?

Praise my Lord above that He has put me into a new "learning phase" in my walk with Him. I have been feeling dissatisfied with my growth in the Lord because as I read the Word, it becomes more and more evident to me that there should be ongoing profound changes in my life if I am truly working out my salvation in fear and trembling.

That phrase itself, "work out your salvation with fear and trembling" has always puzzled me. If salvation is a free gift of God, then why do we have to work it out with fear and trembling?

The Lord has been teaching me about "flesh cutting", removing from my flesh the things that are not of God, or "crucifying my old man nature" described by Paul in Romans 6:6 (KJV) Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

I do not want to serve sin, and this body of mine and its lusts, my eyes and their inherent abilility to desire everything they see, and this awful pride that I have fostered over the years have made me a slave to sin in the past. Praise God that with the birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ, He has set me free from sin if I am willing to die to myself and allow His spirit to live in me more and more each day.

I believe it is this very thing that has caused me to be dissatisfied with my growth in the Lord. Many things have been cut out of desire for recognition at work, my desire to make lots of money, my desire to have lots of stuff, my desire to please people, etc., but there are things in my life that are still out of control, i.e., my love of food, my love of clothing and my pride, and which I believe God has been telling me to get under His control.

It's funny how you can ask for something every single day in prayer and yet when that still small voice speaks to you saying ever so quietly, "don't eat breakfast this morning", or "do you really need another coat, Kim", or "why do you need that person to think highly of you, Kim", it's just really too easy to toss it off as not really God's voice.

Just as God is made up of three parts, mankind is made up of three distinct parts: a spirit, a soul, and a body. God, in his wisdom, chooses to regenerate our spirit by the inner workings of His holy spirit. He also, in His love and sense of fairness, gave us the right to choose whether or not we would submit to this inner working. If we choose to submit to this working and accept his gift of salvation, our spirits are saved from eternal destruction, and our spirit will live eternally.

The soul, then, is that part of us of which the Bible speaks about in Matthew 10:28 which states: And be not afraid of them that kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. The soul then is a part of us which can be destroyed just like our body - it is what makes me characteristics, my thoughts, my actions, my beliefs, my wants, my needs and my willingness to surrender all of those parts of me to God.

In my last post, I talked about Sabbath Rest and how we are to live in the Spirit and do only that which we are prompted to do by the spirit. 1 Cor. 3:13-15 talks about how all our soulish work (work done out of our own flesh) will be burned away on the day we stand before the judgement seat of Christ.

But there is going to come a time of testing at the judgment day to see what kind of work each builder has done. Everyone's work will be put through the fire to see whether or not it keeps its value. If the work survives the fire, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builders themselves will be saved, but like someone escaping through a wall of flames.
Therefore, the soul is that part of us, or the surrender thereof, that we must work out with fear and trembling. For if we fail to surrender our soul in this life, it will be surrendered in the one to come. Our soul is that sinful part of us, the one that gives in to the lust of the flesh or the lust of the eyes or the pride of life.

God's Word says that we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:) and also that faith without works is dead (James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.) These works, without which our faith is dead, are the parts of our soul that are sinful and which we surrender to God as He works in us and which give life to the Spirit living within us. As we submit to Sabbath Rest, giving up our wants, desires and our own works, and listen to the leading and direction of God's Holy Spirit, we are working out our soul's salvation in fear and trembling.

I say to you, then, my friend, that this is not something to be taken lightly or casually. I feel an urgency within myself that the time allotted to me in getting this work done is short and I must use all of my energy towards laying down those things that God is requiring me to lay down to His authority.

I encourage you to read this entire teaching, To Perish or Not to Perish by Lyn Mize of First Fruits Ministry for a complete explanation of this difficult lesson.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What Does It Mean to "Honor the Sabbath and Keep It Holy"?

I was introduced to a piece of information today that startled me: There is much more tothe commandment to honor the Sabbath and keep it holy than to take a day off from our labors.

Are you like me? Have you been operating under the delusion that today's world and church has imposed upon us? The delusion that tells us that the commandment to Honor the sabbath and keep it holy means to not work one day out of every week, go to church and spend the day thinking and studying about God? Maybe this is common knowledge. Maybe I'm the only delusional person walking around, I don't know; and if I am, then my apologies to you for boring you with this diatribe.

Sabbath Rest is not just about not working one day a week; God wants us to rest from ALL our labors everyday and to live under the direction and guidance of the Holy Spirit! When it's put that simply, I think, "yeah, everyone surely already understands this". I didn't, though, and so maybe there's someone else out there that needs this information, too.

When God created Adam and Eve, He did not put within them the ability to discern right from wrong. They got their instructions daily, directly from God when they walked with Him in the garden. He told them to eat whatever they wanted except for one type of fruit; He told them to work the garden; He told them to be fruitful and multiply, etc. Adam and Eve were not caught up in anxiety, confusion, panic, worthlessness, or lack of direction. Each and every day God walked and talked with them and told them what to do, when to do it, how to do it, and they trusted Him and obeyed Him. They walked in a perfect state of peace and harmony with God knowing exactly what He would have them to do at all times.

It was not the fruit itself that brought condemnation upon Adam and Eve; it was in disobeying God's command not to do a certain act. The serpent knew that as long as Adam and Eve walked with God every day and did as He instructed them, they would be live in joyful existence with their creator, and it was only if he could get them to partake of his desire to "be as God" that he could put them with him on the road to death and destruction. It was in doing something that God told them not to do (working outside of God's Sabbath Rest) that brought about their and mankind's subsequent problems.

Jesus said that he only did what God told him to do and that he did nothing of his own will. It came to me, as I studied this, that in our world today we are rarely taught to consult with God, or anyone else in authority for that matter, on what we should be doing at any given moment. I see it and hear it all around me everyday: young mothers and fathers trying to reason with their children, trying to please them by asking "what do want?" "what do you think?" instead of just telling them...this is what you have to do or asking them, "what do you think God wants you to do?".

We should be instilling within our children a desire and a need to consult God on even the smallest detail in their lives from the moment they can understand what we are saying instead of instilling in them a desire to do what they want and to have their own way from their earliest days of comprehension. You might ask me what this example of parenting has to do with entering God's Sabbath rest, and my answer to you would be that if children cannot learn to follow the leading of their parents, how will they ever learn to follow the leading of the holy spirit?

I know that when a person surrenders their life to Christ, Christ can work many miraculous changes in them to bring them to the place where they live spirit led lives. But how many of us can say that we do nothing of our own volition; that in everything we do we are being led by the Spirit of God? That is the place where God wants us to be...resting completely in Him and being led of His Spirit.

For a complete understanding of Sabbath Rest, I would direct you to Joseph Herrin's teaching at his Heart4God website.

As Joseph would say..."May you be blessed with peace and understanding" in this matter today.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Decide Today to Live in Love

Take a moment, no distractions, focus and think of how the world would be if we would all decide today to live in love. Can you picture it? 1 Cor. 13 is called the "Love Chapter" of the Bible, and it is quoted almost without exception at weddings (as a past church organist who has played at many weddings, I know this to be true).

Mankind misconstrues love as a "feeling" and it is most certainly confused with lust and passion. True love was shown to us by Jesus as He walked the road set before Him by the Father, a road of sorrow, suffering, death and separation from God the Father himself for the good of ALL.

...IS the MOST important thing in life;
...IS KIND; NOT jealous;
...does NOT brag;
...IS NEVER rude;
...does not keep score of rights/wrongs;
...NEVER gives up;
...NEVER loses faith;
...IS filled with HOPE;
...IS God the Father, Jesus the Son, and God the Holy Spirit

Make a choice today to live your life in love. I believe you will be amazed at the fulfillment you will feel in your life once you do.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Vastness of God...

God showed me today how much I underestimate Him. It came to me as I was coming home from taking my son to school today that most of the time I don't see God as He really is. God is able to know me inside and out; from the feelings I feel, the thoughts I think, to the deeds I do, to how many hairs are on my head. Multiply that times approximately 9 billion (isn't that how many people there are on the planet today), then add to that the fact that He knows whenever a sparrow in the sky falls to the ground, and how all the lilies in the world are dressed. How's that for being a know it all? I don't mean that disrespectfully. God truly knows everything, and we have the gall to think He can't take care of any problem or obstacle that we come up against, or that money or some man or woman or some thing can help us more or better? I love the part in the Old Testament where He tells Elijah to ask the 450 prophets of Baal (1Kings 18:22-40) to take part in a contest of gods, the 450 prophets were to ask their god to set fire to a sacrifical bull and Elijah would ask the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to do the same, and whichever god did light the fire would be declared the one true God.

The holy spirit and prophets do have a sense of humor because we read in verse 27, Elijah began mocking the prophets of Baal with words like, "you'll have to shout louder," "maybe he's taking a nap," or "is relieving himself" when their god took no action. It's also amusing to me that they did indeed shout louder. We are told in verse 36 that Elijah calls upon God and in verse 38 God "immediately" lit the fire and burned up the bull.

That is the very same God we serve today. So where is that power? Why can't we call on Him and "immediately" have our requests answered? Jesus told the disciples that they (and we) would do greater things than He did while He lived and walked here on the planet. I know God is vast and all-knowing, so why are His people living such powerless lives? I guess one reason is that there are way too many of us "underestimating" Him in everyway everyday! Let's reach out and grasp the gifts promised to us by our Lord. Don't you want to walk in His power and authority? I do.

I am hoping that God will show me in the next couple of posts where we have gotten off mission and how to get back to doing the works He called us to.

Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.