Should You Vote in Election 2016?

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton at the third presidential debate, Oct. 19, 2016, in Las Vegas. PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

CBS News: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton at the third presidential debate, Oct. 19, 2016, in Las Vegas. PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Should I vote if I don’t like the candidate choices? Should I vote for Elvis (or other 3rd party)?

Are you feeling blasted, divided and confused on a new level about Election 2016? Are you sick of all the rhetoric? Both secular and Christian people seem to be in the same boat, confused, angry, and disgruntled. Many are choosing not to vote because neither candidate seems to have all or even some of the character traits we look for in a statesman for the highest office of President.

With all the information out there it’s hard to know who to believe.

3 things to consider as you weigh out your options:

1.The U.S. hangs in the balance

At least 3-5 Supreme Court Justices will be chosen by the next president. Your vote will have a deciding factor in whom is chosen. This will determine the path for America for generations to come. What are the BIG issues facing our nation and WHO do you want making those decisions in the Supreme Court? The president will be in office four years, maybe eight at most. Supreme Court Justices will be there a lifetime.

You can go to the websites of the Republican and Democratic parties and read what they stand for. Vote for the platform that supports key issues that will affect your children and grandchildren. This election will have a direct impact on THEM. Do you want the Constitution to be upheld? Or do you want a progressive doctrine that we have seen in the last year? Christians put in jail for disagreeing with an ideology or bakeries closed and religious freedom thrown out the door? (Unless you are Muslim, in which case they ignore your beliefs.) This is not the time to sit on the sidelines and hope for the best. If you don’t like the candidates vote for the platform that will choose Justices over the next 4-8 years that support what you hold most important.

2. Search out TRUTH and weigh it out by the BIG picture which is God’s laws and Kingdom principles.

I had a dream a couple of years ago. In that dream I flew to Heaven and into large room. In the room was a gigantic wooden desk. On a corner of that desk was a stack of  two desk organizers trays. On each tray was puzzle pieces in specific shapes standing on end in the shape of a nation. One nation represented on top and one nation represented on bottom. The pieces suddenly were jostled like a child’s Trouble Board with the POP-O-Matic dome in the center. Each piece became jumbled and chaotic. Then the nations changed and I could make out the shape of one was America. The puzzle pieces were in shapes of the states and some animals. When the the pieces were jostled like the dome on the Trouble Board game and became jumbled and chaotic one puzzle piece appeared in the center of the US, kinda over Missouri, and it said TRUTH in large letters. I woke up and knew to start praying for America for Truth and for all lies and corrupt behavior to be revealed and brought into the light…Everything done in secret brought into the light.

trouble-puzzle

 

I ask you to PRAY for Truth to be revealed during the next couple of weeks and even after.

I realize neither candidate is totally truthful. They are both carnal. However, I can guarantee one is way more deceitful than the other. More controversy surrounds Hillary Clinton than any other candidate ever during her entire 30 years in the public sector.

America is being shaken to the core. Every issue that has lied dormant is come out to show exactly how dependent on God we must become.

3. Remember the two P’s  “Pray and Praise” more than you listen to the media or the news outlets or Social Media.

Prayer and petitioning to God is our only hope. Praise releases His Presence.

Here’s what I decided to do…

First, I know I am voting for Trump.

Not because he is the best pick but because he will be the most fair to religious freedom, he will choose Supreme Court Justices that will uphold the Constitution and not use it to back their own ever-changing cultural agendas. He will be fearless to fight for our Nation and what is best for us. And I can honestly say that I see the media onslaught on his character as false. God sees the heart of a man. I see Trump like King David in the Old Testament, he was far from perfect. I see God’s hand on Trumps life right now. No other recent presidential candidate has ever been so clear as to his support of religious freedom. Look at his running mate!

(side-note if the elected president is killed which Vice-President do you want as your president??)

Second, I stopped listening to all the voices in the media and I am trusting God.

I am doing my part to vote for the platform that supports key points that are deal breakers for me….national security, abortion, Amendment 2, and religious freedoms.

I’m choosing to spend more of my time in prayer for Truth to come out and lies, deceit and corruption to be revealed.

Third, I am praising God more and more and declaring HIS Truth over us.

He loves us, He will never leave us, He will never forsake us! God is on the HIS throne and I serve HIM alone. No matter who is elected God is still in control of my life and HE will be with me. HE is my HOPE, not a president.

Notice, I am still voting because as God’s advocate, ekklesia on earth, and a citizen of this great-God-raised-up-nation- it is my right, duty and responsibility to vote. If I don’t vote, I have no right to gripe later. (SMILE)

As you prayerfully consider your choices in Election 2016, I am praying for you…the moral, value-based, good people of America. This election hurts your heart. It is the nastiest election campaigning in history.

The campaigns are almost over. Then begins the next presidency that will decide the future for the next 30-40 years, the America that your grand-children will grow up in. This is not the time to sit this one out!

Heavenly Father, I thank you for all the kind-hearted, good people, that you raised up in America for such a time as this. Remove blinders from our eyes and reveal TRUTH to our hearts. Give us a clear understanding of our choices and reveal YOUR heart to us. Remove the doubt and fear that causes the disappointment in our hearts and minds. Release hope and peace to us, your children.

I release TRUTH over America that every corruption will be revealed and laid out in the open for all to see. Expose the enemy and roots of iniquity. I pray that every spiritual enemy that is binding up truth be taken out and every deception silenced. I pray that God’s will be done on earth and in America as it is in Heaven. In Jesus Name, Amen!

How do you Thrive in the tough seasons of your life?

growDo you ever feel like all you can do is SURVIVE the difficult seasons? If you can just get through this maybe things will get better?

I love the song Thrive by Casting Crowns. I sing it often and there is so much truth in that song. I never thought about how God WANTS us to thrive not just survive.

 

 

But then that negative voice in your head says something like “It has to get worse before it gets better” or “when it rains is pours”?

God is showing me that we CAN “thrive” even in the worst situations if we remember some key truths.

How do we THRIVE in those tough seasons?

  1. Trust God! God is GOOD! He does not cause bad things to happen but He can use bad things to create good things. He is amazingly creative and always looking to make the best out of us and for us.
  2. Allow this GROW you. When it rains it pours…and the rain waters the fields and the plants grow. Think of yourself as a plant in the field and the rain is feeding you, allowing you to grow in ways you never thought possible. Hard times cause us to realize just how strong we are. They allow us to lean into God a little bit more. Ask God to show you areas where you need to grow.
  3. Choose to stay unoffended! This is so important to your growth and your spiritual walk. Tough times can become worse when we allow ourselves to be easily offended by others. Whether at work, family, or even by God because we think He should do things differently. Choose to forgive quickly.

Difficult situations and seasons in life are unavoidable. Bad things, unfair things, and sad things will happen. How we choose to handle ourselves in these situations will make a big difference in our future.

I believe just like the Israelite’s had to wander in the dessert for 40 years, how we choose to conduct our behavior can mean staying longer in the tough seasons.

3 things NOT to do:

  1. complain
  2. whine
  3. blame others

If you read Exodus you will see the correlation between the Israelite’s and us when we handle difficult seasons. Last thing I want to do is stay in the dessert longer than I need to because I refuse to grow or make the situation worse.

Here’s a prayer for you in those tough seasons of life:

Heavenly Father, I choose to trust you in the good and the bad. I know you have my life in your hands and you will see me through every season in life. I ask you to show me the areas where I can grow. Show me when I am becoming offended so I can forgive quickly. Thank you for giving me strength to overcome, wisdom to make good choices and grace to make it. I choose to praise you in every season! Let me life glorify you. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Blessings!

#1 Most Under-used Spiritual Weapon that you need right now

forgivenesThis is a weapon every Christian must use to fight the enemy of your soul. Not using it leaves you open to resentment, bitterness and anger that magnifies emotional scars and wounds. It divides and harms relationships.

Using this one weapon sets us free from the pain the enemy inflicts upon us. It is also a weapon of obedience.

It is a not-used-often-enough weapon. In fact, many don’t think of it as a weapon. A duty at most. But it is a weapon of mass destruction to the enemy’s camp. Satan fears this weapon more than you can imagine. It is part of a two-prong sword:  Forgiveness and repentance – go together to set us free from spiritual bondage in our life.

Forgiveness is key!

How does it work?

Jesus talked about forgiveness frequently. It’s in the “Lord’s Prayer”. It is the topic of many parables.

My favorite is in Luke 17.

Luke 17:4 Even if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times returns to say, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” 5The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6And the Lord answered, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.…

Forgiveness is an act of faith that releases Jesus Christ’s healing and restoration to your life. Forgiveness means to let go, or release. When you do this you let go of the right for vindication and  judgement on the other person. You release that person and that situation into God’s capable hands. He takes on your cause. Then he gives you healing in your heart in return.

What happens if you don’t forgive?

bitterness

 

 

Choosing NOT to forgive is a seed. That seed of unforgiveness becomes like a root in your life. That seed grows and is fed with resentment and anger. Once it is fully grown it becomes a root of unforgiveness with branches that produce hurt, pain, bitterness, resentment, anger, judgement, etc. The fruit of a bitter root is poison to your relationships. Even people that were unattached to the situation or person are prey to that poison. It affects your thoughts about yourself and others. The Bible say s it “defiles many”.

You may not realize it. We push the painful memories way down, lock it away and throw away the key. It doesn’t stay forgotten and it doesn’t stay hidden. We just grow accustom to the pain. We justify the unforgiveness. We tell ourselves it’s just a part of life, or they don’t deserve to be forgiven, it was a long time ago, don’t be a wimp about it…. and many other excuses not to deal with it.

Truth is it takes an act of your free will and a declaration from your mouth to apply forgiveness and receive the benefits Jesus gave His life for. 

There’s a reason Jesus compared unforgiveness in Luke 17 to the roots of a Mulberry Tree. It has very deep roots.

Forgiveness is an act of obedience to our Heavenly Father. He commands us to forgive. Jesus gave us an example of how God feels about it when we don’t forgive in Matthew 18:21-35. Hint: he doesn’t like it.

32Then the master summoned him and declared, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave all your debt because you begged me. 33Should you not have had mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had on you?’ 34In his anger, his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should repay all that he owed.…

How can we think we are better than anyone else in the entire world and history of mankind that we can ask for forgiveness of our sins and wrongs but hold sins and wrongs of another person against them?

It is not wise to think we should have that power. I’m glad God didn’t give me the power of who gets forgiveness and who doesn’t. This world would be even more messed up!!

So we know why it’s important, what it does and why we should do it. Now, HOW do you forgive?

It’s not complicated but 3 things are very important:

  1. Declare it out loud with your mouth
  2. Say it with faith in Jesus that He is the great forgiver and healer
  3. Listen to the Holy Spirit and receive what God wants to do in your life to heal you.

Great example of a Forgiveness prayer:

Heavenly Father, I choose of my own free will to forgive _______________(insert the person’s name) for hurting me by ________________(insert what the person did to you and it made you feel). I release and let it go to you. Holy Spirit come and heal my heart of all this pain and heal the pain in the memories. Come and tell me your truth about this situation. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Then Listen.

If you begin to have thoughts about another painful memory, that’s ok, it is God bringing up things that need forgiveness. Pray this prayer for each painful memory. That is God’s way of cleaning up the mess and yanking the bitter roots out.

If you are struggling to forgive read this previous post Can you forgive when the person that hurt you will never say “I’m sorry”?

Be blessed today as you go on your journey to living a forgiving lifestyle!

 

***BibleHub is my website of choice to look up Bible verses! All verses posted on this site come from here. Happy studying!

Can you forgive when the person that hurt you will never say “I’m sorry”?

imsorryYou may be hurting because of what someone did to you and there is no way that person will ever apologize. Maybe that person died. Maybe that person is long gone from your life and for good reasons. Maybe it’s best you never hear from that person again. Maybe a heartfelt conversation is impossible.

What do you do when you they will never say “I’m sorry I hurt you”?

An apology has such power to begin the healing process in your heart and mind. However, when it’s not possible what do you do?

Have you every heard this? or thought this?

“When he/she apologizes I will forgive.”

Does that mean you can never move past this hurt and pain?

No. You can move past this hurt and pain. It is possible.

  1. Why do we need to forgive?

You must first know why it is so important to forgive. Read this Why should you forgive someone that hurt you

Basically, NOT forgiving is like drinking poison and expecting the person to die.

Unforgiveness only hurts you. It has been proven that it can cause physical illness and emotional distress. It binds you to that person emotionally and chains you to those traumatic memories.

Forgiveness releases you from those chains. It begins a healing inside you.

Forgiveness is for you NOT the other person.

2. Do you need an apology?

As much as an apology is nice. And it’s great when it’s possible but sometimes it’s just not possible. Sometimes it causes more pain.

Consider this…

If seeing or hearing from that person will open up more wounds or cause new wounds don’t do it.

If asking or approaching for an apology will put you in danger-  don’t do it.

If asking or approaching for an apology will cause pain to the OTHER person – don’t do it.

 

An apology is not necessary.

3. You may be wondering by now, then HOW do you forgive without an apology.

There are many ways. I’m a believer in doing something with your hands and your heart when the pain is deep and traumatic.

Here’s some ideas…

Write a letter to the other person. Don’t mail it. Burn it or share it with a trusted relative, friend or counselor. If you have never told anyone about what hurt you DO IT!

For visual people or artsy people, Draw how it made you feel. Again, burn it or share it, or both.

Whether you choose one of these ideas or find one on your own the next step is critical.

You must actually forgive. Say it out loud and mean it. Even if it’s hard.

Remember, you are NOT condoning behavior by forgiving. You are releasing yourself from the link between that person and you.

Time is not a healer. As anyone that has every been wounded deeply knows the pain doesn’t go away with time. At best you learn to live with the daily onslaught of negative thoughts, harmful memories and hardened heart towards others. Actually, time only creates an incubator. Unforgiveness left to fester and grow into resentment and bitterness.

Hebrews 12:15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.

A root of bitterness is not hard to detect when you know what to look for. It affects relationships, your ability to relate to others in a healthy way, it affects your thoughts and emotions. You will hear it in how you talk. You will feel it in the way you react to others and at your job. Many stress and anxiety disorders come from bitterness left untouched and festering. Like a sore left to heal on it’s own, it becomes infected.

Forgiveness is not dependent on the other person. It is your choice. It literally means ‘to let go’.

Are you ready to let go?

Here’s a simple but powerful prayer…

Heavenly Father, I choose to forgive _____________ (enter name) for ______________________(enter what that person did) that made me feel ___________(enter how it made you feel: lost, abandoned, scared, physically hurt, emotionally hurt, etc. Say it all, get it all out). 

I purpose and choose to forgive ____________(name) of my own free will. I let it go and give it to you. Father, I ask you to heal my heart. Heal all memories of this incident so they will not play over and over and cause me pain. Heal my emotions as related to this incident. Fill me with your love and peace. 

I ask you to show me any false belief systems I created based on this incident or this person. And tell me your truth about this. Amen. 

Now, sit quietly and listen for the voice of the Heavenly Father speak to your heart. You may feel peace. You may feel love. He speaks in so many various ways. Just let him heal your heart. Crying is healing.

If you think of another memory that causes pain. Forgive again. Forgive for each individual memory until all the pain begins to go away and you begin to feel free. I promise it is possible to be free from the pain and only God can heal the wounds. Not time, not hurting the other person. Only God.

 

 

 

Why should you forgive someone that hurt you?

poison 2

I once heard a quote “not forgiving is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”.

Those words are truer than you realize. Unforgiveness turns into resentment and grows into bitterness. It affects you physically, emotionally and spiritually. It is like poison. Unforgiveness toward one person or incident will affect your decisions, how you see yourself, and your relationships with others over your lifetime.

Forgiveness is Biblical. But secular scientists are discovering that illnesses and diseases can be caused or made worse by unforgiveness.

Most people choose NOT to forgive because they have a misunderstanding of what it is.

So what is Forgiveness?

It is an act of your will. Your choice. It is not a feeling. You must say “I forgive…” from your mouth and from your heart. Even when it is hard it must be said out loud.

Matthew 6:9-13 Jesus teaches us how to pray. The following verse is a key verse to our physical, emotional and spiritual health.

Matthew 6:12 (NLT) “…and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us”

In the very next verse 13 He says “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” These two verses are connected. If you forgive you are also delivered from the “evil one” Satan, the accuser, that comes to steal, kill and destroy.

When you forgive you apply the blood of Jesus to your wounds, emotionally and spiritually. That blood of Jesus has the power to set you free from all power the enemy may try to plant bitterness in your heart.

Unforgiveness chains you to the one that hurt you. Forgiveness breaks those chains.

It is an act of obedience to God

God shows mercy to us. We must in turn show mercy. No one deserves mercy. We do not forgive because someone deserves it. It is not for us to decide who deserves mercy. It is simply for us to obey God and His commands to forgive every time and to every person. Let Him take care of the rest. When you walk in obedience you will walk in so much more freedom. Carrying around unforgiveness weighs YOU down. It doesn’t hurt anyone else but you.

Matthew 6:14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive yours.

When you forgive someone that hurt you Jesus breaks those chains that bind you to that person spiritually. You lay the situation as His feet and He begins the healing process for you. He is the one that Judges, and will repay. You become free.

breaks chainsSo what is the process if you choose to NOT forgive?

I’m sure you have been through it a million times…I know I have. You are bombarded in your thoughts. You re-live the hurt over and over again. It may replay in your mind like a terrible movie. This causes you to be a victim over and over again, causing emotional pain, feelings of powerlessness.

 

Then resentment sets in. This becomes bitterness. You will say things against that person like “I hate…”, you will condemn, and every memory about that person will be discolored.

That person will “push your buttons” and anger you easily. This is sure sign you have unforgiveness toward that person.

You behavior and emotions become affected by that person. You may be happy until you think about that person or a memory affiliated with that person and suddenly you may be mad, sad or indifferent.

What do you do if you have these signs?

It’s time to forgive. Remember, forgiving doesn’t mean you allow that person to harm you anymore. You don’t even have to be friends with that person. You are not condoning bad behavior. You are letting go of any debt you feel someone owes you.

The amplified version of Matthew 6:12 says “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgive (left, remitted, and let go of the debts, and have given up resentment against) our debtors.”

Here’s how to pray to forgive…

Heavenly Father, I purpose and choose to forgive ____________ (name) for doing _____________ (fill in the blank). I choose to let go of that debt and let you handle it. I ask you to heal my heart and take away the pain of every memory associated with this. Tell me your truth about this situation. And tell me your truth about me. Amen.

#loveyourself

love 2It’s true. You do have to love yourself before you can love others well.

I can remember the time when I didn’t love myself. I didn’t realize it. I sure wouldn’t admit it. I wouldn’t believe you if you told me.

So how did I realize it?

Little by little. I really didn’t realize it until I started to LOVE myself..accept myself. To know I am accepted. To know I am worth loving.

Jesus eroded away every reason I had for disliking myself. (I use the word “dislike” because “hate” is too strong a word.)

How did I start?

I forgave myself.

Forgave what?

Lots of things. All the hidden skeletons. All the regrets. All the mistakes. All the things I should have known better and did anyway. Even some things that were not my fault but I took ownership anyway.

What did the “dislike” look like?

It was all the thoughts and self-comments that said….

“I can’t believe I did that!” (in disgust)

“I have ugly arms”

“I am ugly, I am fat; I am stupid”

“Nobody wants to be around me”

“I have no talent”

“I can’t do anything right”

“I deserve that” (if it was anything bad)

“If I do this perfect maybe someone will notice me”

“If I do this perfect I will be somebody”

“If I do this right I won’t be a failure”

“If I didn’t have bad luck I would have no luck at all!” (yeah, that’s a song…I’m singing)

It wasn’t just thoughts.

It came out in how I expected to be treated.

I expected:   to be ignored, to be rejected, to fail…

It also came out in how I treated others.

“I’m not good at relationships” “I don’t have many friends” “I’m ok alone” “I don’t need anyone”

The relationships would become strained. Sometimes I would self-destruct or sabotage. It was easier. (Did I realize I was doing this??? NO!)

I also blamed others for the difficulty of a strained relationship.

The worst is when it affects your kids. Not loving myself led to perfectionism. A perfectionist mother is difficult to live with. The relationship becomes performance based. Criticism and judgment become the norm all in the name of “helping”. That is really code for “fixing”. When you feel like you need to be fixed it’s easy to try to fix others.

It’s hard to forgive others when you won’t or can’t forgive yourself. Constant negative self-talk only increases the unforgiveness and perfectionist behavior.

Warning signs:

Negative self-talk

Grudges

Difficulty forgiving

Justifying grudges

Addictions

Perfectionism

Being critical of everyone else AND yourself

Judging everyone’s weaknesses by your strengths

How do you fix it?

  1. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you.
  2. Be aware of your thoughts and intercept every negative one
  3. Intentionally say positive things about yourself. Find ways to compliment yourself.
  4. Forgive yourself. Say it out loud! “I forgive myself for….”. Start off easy at first. Then you will find lots of ways you let yourself down. Forgive yourself for each of them.
  5. Ask the Holy Spirit to tell you TRUTH about yourself.
  6. Find scriptures in the BIBLE (since that contains the truth about you…all the positive things) and write them down, say them out loud, put your name in them.

Example: “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” “I am accepted/adopted”

  1. Be patient. It takes time. You didn’t become this negative about yourself overnight. It will take months even years to undo the negative habits. But it will happen.

Then one day…you won’t even have a negative thought about yourself all day.

And the best part….You don’t expect the worst out of yourself or people. You can trust easier. Relationships are easier. You don’t feel rejected all the time.

A negative thought is easily identified and the truth readily applied.

You can’t love others until you love yourself.

Matthew 22:36-40 36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

You WILL love others to the same extent as you love yourself.

What does the OTHER side look like? (When you do #loveyourself?)

  1. Instead of perfectionism, you live in excellence. This is much more fun! You do your best. You improve on your worst. It is not performance driven. Not critical of yourself.
  2. Invest in yourself. Because you are worth it! You are valuable. For you, it may be exercise, reading books that challenge you and grow your abilities, or spend your resourced on yourself.
  3. Criticism becomes constructive instead of destructive. You can take criticism without falling apart or becoming defensive.

I’m sure there are lots more benefits haven’t named in my own life yet.

How are relationships affected?

  1. They heal!
  2. Communication is easier
  3. Your kids don’t have to perform to feel loved and accepted. They just know they are.

Can you imagine the environment when a kid reacts and acts from acceptance everyday than judgement and criticism or fear of rejection?????

  1. Since you accept yourself more readily, it’s easier to accept others even in their faults.
  2. More “grace” in relationship and a whole lot more “mercy”.

Try it. How many more benefits can you add?

 

 

Billy Graham – The Great Awakening

I believe this dream is true revelation as a sign to believers. I also believe this should be covered in prayer. I ask all believers to pray for the great harvest. Pray for signs and wonders and for God’s Glory to fill the earth. God Bless you today as you make the connection to your true purpose on this earth…to release the Glory of God everywhere you go.

Zombies in Church?

cat-1333926__340I don’t watch zombie movies or shows. I do see an increasing infatuation with the concept in the world. I do not have that fascination with the “un-dead”. However, I do see an incredible resemblance to the church-at-large.

Stick with me for just a minute…

I admit to actually being a part of this church “un-dead”. Alive, aware of God and the atoning work of Jesus Christ yet oblivious to Him actually at work in my life. A part of my life that I might actually have to change.

As a life-long Christian, the concept that there may be more to this life of Christian was foreign to me. I do everything I am supposed to do, I read the Bible. I pray for myself and even others. I give my time and money. I attend church regularly. What else am I supposed to do? I don’t get it. How can there be more?

BUT…yes capital B-U-T…

This verse haunts me

Mark 16:17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

These signs will follow those who believe…

Another one sits right there, ever before me taunting me to ask the Lord for more.

John 14:12 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.

Believes in me will do greater works…

As a person who sits each week in a church seat, praying, worshiping, reading, studying, teaching…and that is not enough. I know God has more for us. I seek more.

I am tired of remaining a part of the zombies in churches. A Christian was never meant to be a pew warmer or mere spectator.

I am dissatisfied with the status quo.

In Bill Johnson’s book “The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind” he says about believers, “They develop anesthesia that deadens their sensitivity to personal transformation. They are robbed of experience and can only recite back principles. It is pure religion, form without power.”

How much of church goers know a great deal of Word and Christian vocabulary but lack the personal transformation that shows through actions and change that they KNOW a real God and REAL Savior?

Bill Johnson also makes an interesting and challenging statement: “Revelation should change our hearts before we could ever explain what we learned.”

Here is part of the problem…

1. We measure God’s ability by our experience.

Someone, somewhere prayed for someone to get healed and that person was still sick. The reigning doctrine becomes “God doesn’t heal anymore” “Maybe it’s not God’s will” “I didn’t have enough faith” “The person didn’t have enough faith”. And it’s really more than doctrine it’s a paradigm, a mindset.

We need to change our mindset to be in line with scripture. It is God’s will to heal. He is able to heal. We don’t always understand the word Faith. I heard a story one time about a man who wanted to see God heal. He prayed for 100 people and no one was healed. Finally, he persisted and the 101 person was healed miraculously. We give up too easily sometimes because it didn’t happen our way. I believe we should keep pressing in action and God will do the rest. Pray for 100 people until you see miracles…why not?

2. Doubt and Fear

We don’t risk what we can’t imagine.

We are afraid to look like a failure if someone does not get healed. Or look like a radical for doing something out of the ordinary. You know what? It’s not about me, what I look like, or someone else’s opinion of me. Look at the prophets of old or John the Baptist. They did some crazy things and God used them mightily. Who cares what people think…because when someone gets miraculously healed it won’t matter.

3. We don’t ask for it.

Remember that whole excerpt about you have not because you ask not, and to whomever asks it shall be given? Now, we are not talking about asking for a million dollars although God can provide. We are talking about fulfilling the words of Jesus in the scriptures above. Ask God to show you and use you. Ask Him for more!

I recently heard a revivalist preacher who has seen thousands of miracles challenge listeners to pray for 7 people to be healed and watch what God will do. 7 random strangers, 7 sick people…who is up for the challenge?

 Prayer:

God use me! I choose to be available to you today. I choose to be a vessel for use in the Master’s kingdom. I choose to believe, help my unbelief. Amen

The Unknown God

Greek & Roman altarsDo we really know the God we serve? Is it really the God of all creation?

Or is it a pretty-packaged god, made in our own imaginations?

I say this because I observe that we are very religious in all aspects. Most people that call themselves Christians live a very religious life. Many even live what most would call a “holy” life. Abstaining from lusts and all sorts of ungodly behavior. That is to be commended. We do not live in ancient Greece but what Paul dealt with about 2000 years ago is not much different than today both in secular circles but also in the Church.

Acts 17:22So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. 23“For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you.

If you will humor me for just a few minutes I will explain my dilemma.

Imagine, if you will, an altar. Not just any old altar but the altar of your life. On that altar sets all that is truly important to you as exposed by your checkbook, ways you spend your time, what you watch, what you say, what you listen to, and who you spend your time with and other things that are important to you.

On that altar are statues (idol) that represent each item of importance.

For example, one such statue might be of a human, because you fear man’s opinion more than God’s opinion and political correctness or other’s opinions determine who you are. (this is one of my problems, just so you know; can’t teach what you haven’t already been through)

Another statue might be yourself, because most of what you do revolves around what is comfortable for you, what you want, your dreams, aspirations, success in your own eyes, etc. (yeah, I have this one too, we can’t all be perfect now can we?)

Another might be a TV. Now that one hits home doesn’t it? That black box that gets more of our time and energy and speaks more into our life than the Word of God. (can’t deny this either)

Another might be the job. Not just any old job but either the one you long for above all else that means success for you that you are willing to sacrifice all else or it’s just a job that encompasses all your energy so you have nothing left for anyone else.

So you get the picture? I’m sure there are many more “idols” that we set up in our life. But what really got me is the one to the “UNKNOWN GOD”. I “KNOW” God, personally. I have a relationship with Him. He has revealed Himself to me in more than one way. However, I don’t live like I know the God of creation. Look at the rest of Acts 17…

23For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription:TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.

24“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.

This God is not one can claim to know lightly. This God requires our ultimate worship- in Spirit and in truth. This God requires a change to happen in us. This changes what we do, how we talk, what we watch, how we treat money. This requires repentance-a turning away, changing our mindset, renewing our mind with the Word of God.

I feel I have done a great disservice to God, the one and only true God of all. I have placed other gods in my life. I have worshiped at the feet of self, money, man, and sin. I have idolized other things in my life above HIM. I spend my money on non-kingdom things, I pursue non-kingdom things, I spend my time at anything other than living for HIM.

2 Timothy 3:5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

This scripture describes people who have a god(s) but NOT THE GOD. Christians, it is evident by these things…

1. Religion without relationship

To have a relationship requires Time and Energy. It requires talking to Him, reading His Word. Living a life of worship and devotion. Do you spend more time communing with God or watching TV or reading books?

2. No power

Read the book of Acts. Everywhere the disciples went (not just the Apostles) mighty signs, wonders and miracles followed the Word they preached. The power of Almighty God was evident to prove His Word. We don’t have that power because we have too many “idols” on the altars of our life.

3. No presence

I change what I read, what I watch, listen to, who I listen to and what I do because I love God and I LOVE His Presence. I don’t want to separate or grieve Him because of the things I allow in my life or poor choices I make. I choose to walk as holy as possible and when I mess up I repent quickly. I am quick to know He is always near me and always loves me. Because of that I am careful what I do.

The worst thing you can do right now is say to yourself “so-and-so needs to read this…he/she really has this problem”. We ALL have this problem.

The problem with all these idols in our life is that we water-down the ONE True GOD. We package Him in a cute little box and bow just the way we want Him-our way. Some people package Him as a distant, un-involved father figure. Some package Him as a tyrant, waiting to strike them with a lightening bolt. Others just package Him in a nice 2 hour service on Sunday mornings. But live however they want the rest of the week. God is still the “Unknown God” to them. They do not know the REAL God, Jehovah.

Is your God the one in the Bible? I know that sounds like a silly question…but just think on it for a minute. Compare your mindset of WHO God is to the Word. Have you ever blamed God for something bad that happened? Then that’s not really GOD that you serve. You serve a man-made god. Jehovah is good and is always good and all good things come from HIM. Do you still maintain sin in your life and justify it? God loves you and wants all to come to repentance but He is also a just and holy God. What you serve is man-made. Have you truly changed the way you live your life? Because when the one and only God is served you not only change but want to change. If not, then you serve a little powerless man-made figment of your imagination.

I believe that the Body of Christ, all who love God and are called according to His name-Christians-is being called to a higher standard today. Again I say “read the book of Acts”. That is a picture of what should be happening in the lives of all believers and if it is not we must seek God’s face, His true face, until we see his power and presence in our own lives today. We must seek the one true God until all other idols are crushed in our lives. Until we see Him for who He really is, not just a micro-sized version but ALL of who He is according to scripture and revelation. He will reveal Himself as you seek His him.

This is my prayer…

…your Kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven…

Lord come…your will be done in my life as it is in Heaven, I bend my will to yours, I choose you over everything else. I want more of you in my life. Teach me who you are. Reveal your goodness to me. Open my eyes to see the revelation of your greatness and power. I want more of you, only you. Amen

The House that SELF Built

photoI just read a quote from a man, Jack Deere “If I let out what I was feeling now, I might destroy the self I had worked so long and hard to build.”

This author made this statement when God began to get all up in his business and began to deal with the hidden areas of his life. It may be time to let God tear down the SELF that we build and re-build into the HOUSE built on the ROCK

 

 

 

 

God has a way of doing that when we are open to Him. God reads our mail.He knows every hair on your head, every thought…everything!

Yes…He can read our mail and He has an opinion about it…however, when we don’t want to listen we don’t hear and thus we don’t learn or grow.

Jack Deere was the typical religious traditionalist, very skeptical if God will actually speak to people in present times especially through a prophet or through a person by the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The statement above was made as a prophet told him everything he had been through in life and what God was planning to do in his life. After it was over he left without saying or acknowledging that any of it was correct. Afterwards a friend asked him about it and Jack said it was all right on.  Sounds great right?

Most people are waiting for a prophet to come and tell them what they need to do, say, etc. God can use prophets and other people to help us along but He will speak to you if you will ask Him and turn on your ears.

Back to the “Sounds great right?”….Look at what he says…”destroy the self I had worked so long and hard to build”.

We all build a SELF. We have an identity that we “created” in our minds, or was created for us by the opinions of others.

Finish this sentence with at least 10 statements about yourself– “I am ….”

What did you say? Many people start off with superficial statements like I am blond or I am a man or I am a great fisherman…

But as they talk longer and if you had to say 100 statements about yourself you might say things like ” I am strong. I am honest. I am opinionated. I am outspoken. I am shy. I am quiet. I am smart. I am ugly. I am worthless. I am unloveable. I am a sinner.  I am not pure. I am a terrible husband…wife…mother…father. I am fat. I can’t do anything right. I am not as good as..

I am ………………………………………………….

My realization is this…I am what GOD says I am.

Does what YOU say match what GOD says?

The Bible compares us to a house and a temple. We are being built up as we go through our life. What is doing the building in your life? Is it the opinions of others? Is it the negative, hateful thoughts?
Or, is it the WORD of God and His Holy Spirit that is building your opinions of yourself and your attitudes of your heart.

What is so wrong with building yourself?

 

I am speaking of the incorrect assumptions we make of ourselves that become our present and affect our future.

One example is a young woman who was abused by a neighbor. She grew up in a religious home. She never told anyone what happened because she (wrongly) believed it was her fault and that no one would believe her. As she aged and the thoughts of shame, resentment, anger, hurt, all came back and she struggled with relationships. At times she would say to herself…You are strong, just live with it that’s what good Christians do.

So she held it inside instead of talked about it.

If the self YOU build hides pain, carries un-forgiveness, harbors resentment, lives with bitterness or pushes hurtful memories away, you will find that the SELF you built is a hollow shell of the YOU God is trying to transform and heal.

God has an interesting method of healing that requires LIGHT to shine and uncover the yucky, the bad and the hurtful. As His light shines on those hidden and try-to forget areas of our life healing happens. Transformation happens. A hard heart is turned soft. A bitter person becomes loving.

Those 100 Statements can shine a light on what is hidden in your heart. Each statement that does not line up with the Word of God represents an area that SELF built. Allow God to show you those areas. Allow Him to heal those places. Allow Him into your HOUSE you will not regret it.

Proverbs 24:3 By wisdom a house is built,

and through understanding it is established;

4through knowledge its rooms are filled

with rare and beautiful treasures.

Warning:

You may feel a bit….un-built….for a time. As the broken becomes apparent and you see the brokenness in your life I promise it won’t last long as you submit to His Spirit. Healing comes so gently into your life.

1. Spend time talking to God and asking Him to show you these things that are broken

2. Spend time reading the Bible and find scriptures that speak to your life.

3. Forgive quickly, repent when necessary

4. Find a godly mentor, Bible study, pastor, etc that can help you. You are created to be in community with Jesus followers to love you and pray with you.

Proverbs 3:5Trust in the Lord with all your heart

and lean not on your own understanding;

6in all your ways submit to him,

and he will make your paths straight.

7Do not be wise in your own eyes;

fear the Lord and shun evil.

8This will bring health to your body

and nourishment to your bones.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, un-build me. Show me the areas of my life that needs your touch. Reveal the areas of my heart that require your healing. I submit to your Spirit to speak to me and I will answer with repentance when required and with forgiveness when needed. I yeild completely to you. Re-build me with your Word. Re-build my life according to your guidance and love.

I know you love me and have a purpose and plan for my life. Purge the ugly, the bad and the sin out of my heart so I can be a vessel of honor to be used in your Kingdom to reach others.

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self – control. 

Matthew 7:24 Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.

 

 

 

 

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