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!

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#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!

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.

Freedom Living is Possible-Part 2

freedomWhen life becomes too hard what do you do?

Family or relationship issues, drugs, alcohol, pornography, gambling, pride, anger…

Do we have to live with these issues?

Does anyone have answers for this?

Seems like more questions than answers. But there are answers. This blog seeks to help with those answers. At least to point you in the right direction.

This series is focused on the most overlooked, underutilized and most misunderstood ministry of Christ.

Deliverance

This is more than a topic. It is more than a ministry. It is a process. The entire Bible is one deliverance after another from Genesis to Revelation. Deliverance is for everyone. It starts when you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and ends when your life on earth is done. The church is hurting because these principles are not taught as completely anymore. The entire truth of what Jesus did through his life, death and resurrection has been watered down and lost over the years. But the truth is still there and Jesus does save, deliver and heal to this day. He does have all the answers.

The previous post in this series, Part 1, begins to define Deliverance and discuss some frequently misunderstood statements and questions.

Now, we will look at all the ways Jesus delivers us. There are so many. I realize I don’t know every method yet. But I have experienced many. I have studied many more.

  1. Sovereign Move of God

Some people with a life controlling issue like drugs might be completely delivered all at once from that addiction. It’s an awesome sight! I was witness to this recently when a lady who was addicted to drugs and alcohol was set free after one night during prayer service at revival.

Others have been delivered from anger issues. Some from love issues. They had difficulty receiving and feeling loved or loving others. After one moment with Christ all those issues are gone.

It would be wonderful if this sovereign move of God was the norm. Some things may come immediately but others must be a process. Never underestimate the process! It is a worthwhile journey creating in us the fruits of the Spirit.

  1. Power of Authority

Here’s an example: Let’s say a police officer walks into a retail store and a thief is there. That thief will immediately leave because of the authority of the police officer.

Now, not every demonic attack you are under will leave the moment you get saved or decide to undergo a deliverance session or submit to prayer. But many will.

Other times we speak with the authority of Jesus Christ and command the demonic oppression to leave. Either way, it’s all the authority of Christ.

  1. Power of Process

This is where you get to walk out what the Bible says by applying God’s truth to your life. Practical application.

This is an entire post on its own. Most of deliverance is this method. Key points for this:

  • Don’t walk it out alone. You need a godly friend, mentor, pastor, teacher, someone to confide in and keep in truthful contact with.
  • Daily reading of the Bible is necessary. God’s Word changes us from the inside out. It is not through our might or power but through the Spirit of God.
  • Deliverance sessions with a balanced and Biblical deliverance ministry is most helpful.
  • Apply God’s truth to your life and reject the lies of the enemy.
  • The truth will shine the light on the dark areas of your heart and you will be able to see your identity in Christ

Holy Spirit led deliverance ministry is the most effective and thorough method for this process. Deliverance ministers mix biblical counseling, Bible verse teaching, Bible truths and Holy Spirit led prayer to walk you through the process of becoming free from addictions, destructive behaviors and bitterness, anger or pride.

  1. Discipleship

Closely related to Process Deliverance, this is the spiritual process that will happen over time as you read God’s Word, attend church services, and hang around with godly people.

As you learn the principles taught and apply them you will see some measure of freedom in your life.

This is very important part of your walk to freedom and is a lifelong strategy for freedom.

      5. Holy Spirit

Whether you realize it or not the Holy Spirit is already at work in you. Even before you accept Jesus, He is speaking to you and teaching you. He is the great Teacher and Comforter.

I always say “You can’t be someone’s Holy Spirit”. That means that you cannot change anyone. You cannot nag your spouse into changing anything. We can’t even change ourselves usually. It takes the work of the Holy Spirit. For any effectual deliverance He is involved in every step.

      6. Prayers of Intercession

There was a lady (call her Joan), that was so severely affected by the demonic that she was put into a psychiatric hospital. Her friends were godly women and decided to meet on a regular basis to intercede for Joan. They did this for several months. One day, the hospital decided that she was well enough she could go home for a short visit. During that time the women continued to pray. By the time she went back her demeanor had so completely changed that the hospital workers did not recognize her. A few days later she was dismissed from the hospital.

Prayer really can change things. I don’t understand how a prayer can affect the spiritual world so much but the Bible teaches it and its truth.

      7. Bible Based Counseling

Any other type of counseling might help but only God’s Word can set you free completely and totally.

Some measure of freedom can be reached through counseling. Sometimes you need a one on one session to see your problems as they really are.

      8. The Bible

This is not just a collection of stories or a history book. This is living Word of God for us that transforms lives, heals, and directs.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

This cannot be an exhaustive list. God is bigger than we can imagine and I’m sure HE has multiple ways to set people free. In fact, He doesn’t just use ONE method, He uses many over our lifetime. The end result is the same…FREEDOM!

 

A good deliverance ministry uses many methods to reach the end result of deliverance. But it is up to the individual to continue to apply the truths taught in practical application to their lives.

Ask the Lord to show you if you have an area of your life that still requires HIS freedom.

Here’s some resources:

Wellsprings Ministries

International Society of Deliverance Ministers

 

The Great Awakening

azusastreet

Go listen to this:

http://podcasts.ibethel.org/en/podcasts/resistance-persistence-and-breakthrough

I haven’t posted in a long time. A bit of a sabbatical, I guess.

But I am stirred today by His Spirit.

My daughter called me a couple of days ago and said that she and a pastor friend want to go to the Azusa street ….something or other….you know how parents can half listen and assume at the same time?? Yes, terrible of me to admit, I know.

I was both excited and dismayed my daughter wanted to go. Excited because my prayer and dream is for an “Azusa Street” like revival to come again. I read the books. I pray all the time for it.

Dismayed…well, those plane tickets are really expensive.

Today, just like any other day, I slept too long pushing snooze. Did manage to make it to the gym. And at the gym, listen to a Bethel Church podcast. I love Bill Johnson’s preaching! It was the podcast linked above. Please listen. After that I chose another podcast. Just happened to be Beni Johnson.

I started crying.

Then praying. I am stirred to my very core. I cannot stop! Every part of my being is crying out for more of GOD, more of HIS Spirit! Just MORE God!

I must fast. I must pray. I must get as many people to that place on April 9th as I can. 

So, here it is. My plea for you to join me in prayer and fasting for this event. I believe God is pouring our His Spirit on all flesh. This is just the beginning. WE  are living in an exciting time in history.

I pray you are stirred today and feel HIS presence where you are while you read this and will be drawn to HIM and cry out for MORE!

 

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

When you’ve lost a loved one

file6101306948456What do you do when you’ve lost a close loved one?

The pain, grief and sorrow can be unbearable at times. The questions … Is God even listening? Has He forgotten me? Why did He allow this to happen?

The feelings of despair and loneliness lead to statements like… “I’m alone” “No one understands”

 

 

Some people feel responsible in some form for the loss “it’s my fault, if I would have been there or done….”

I bring you good news in the face of death there is life. Jesus will restore and renew as he brings healing to your heart. You can have joy again. You can have peace. You can stop feeling lonely.

To be honest I didn’t know if I was ready to talk about this subject. This particular post has sat in “drafts” for a long time.
All I can do is tell you how I made it through…with the help of the LORD I made it.

I was really unprepared when my brother called to say Dad was dead. In his home, he fell asleep and never awoke. On this side of Heaven anyway.

As the pastor of a church I had seen Dad preach with many ailments and nothing ever stopped him. Apparently, that Sunday morning he was not feeling well.

I can’t describe the emotions. I couldn’t seem to “feel” them all at once even though they seem to flood me until it was almost unbearable. I can’t even tell you what I was thinking at the time. It seemed like a dream. I was in total shock and disbelief.

I knew my brother very well. I knew he was not joking. However, he just had to be…HAD to be. Because my Dad was unstoppable and so young!

I could recount the details of the days that followed. I could tell you the prayers, the faith, the friends, support and an amazing funeral that my brother preached himself. Living through that was like auto-pilot. The true test was the 2 weeks after…the 2 months after and yes…even the 1 year after.

Allow me to walk you through what I believe was the Holy Spirit walking with me through this trying time.

1. My family has a weird idea of life and death.

2 Corinthian 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

I say “weird” because it is based on the Bible and NOT on the consensus of the worlds opinion of life and death. Dad and I had many discussions of how often and how much we longed to be in Heaven with the Lord. We talked of how this life is “but a vapor”. We talked about how great Heaven will be. I mean we LONGED to be with Jesus.

We joked about throwing a party when we die because we will be in Heaven and that is the best thing in the world. We should not mourn but rejoice.

2. God, himself, put a limit on how long we should mourn

That may seem cold to some people. However, there is a reason. There is a healthy mourning time and an unhealthy, almost other-worldly mourning that turns into idolatry and becomes sickness to our mind, body and spirit.

In the Old Testament read how long God would allow mourning. After 30 days it was over. Move on. Why would God put this limit on such a personal, deep, painful event? Because God knows the  BIG picture. He sees into the other side…into the eternal.

Satan, our enemy that seeks to devour and destroy, will use the time of mourning to turn our hearts away from the Lord. He will use it to cause resentment and bitterness. Gangrene will set it in our hearts if the open wound of death is left untreated too long. “let the dead bury the dead” resonates with me. The dead in spirit will spend a great deal of energy, finances and time mourning a loss until that’s all they have left is the mourning.

3. God reminded me of TRUTH

Mark 12:26And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? 27He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.

As I was reading the Bible shortly after Dad’s death I read this verse and the Holy Spirit spoke to me.- He is alive.

Eternity we will be together. Stop mourning and start rejoicing.

Life on this earth is so short. To spend the entire time worried and anxious over grief and despair is not worth this precious short time.

4. I decided Legacy was more important than grief

Dad left a legacy of “be about your Father’s business”. Dad was a worker in the Kingdom of God. He worked tirelessly to spread the Good News of Christ. I decided that my life should represent that truth. To give up was not an option. To drown in self pity was not an option. I determined the best way to honor my Dad was to honor my Heavenly Father and be about HIS business.

I still missed Dad. I missed his wise counsel, our long conversation about anything and everything. I missed his hugs most of all. As my children grew up I missed the opportunity to ask…”was I that bad?” and “what did you do?”

He was my pastor, my mentor, my friend, my Daddy, my confidant, my kick-in-the-butt when I needed it…he was my adviser…

God is so faithful to those who will trust in Him. He will turn your mourning into dancing. He will give you peace that surpasses understanding. He will hold you up when you can’t stand on your own. He will be your strength when all is gone. He will be your friend when you are lonely.

Trust Him. Turn to Him. Talk to Him. Read His Word. You will find answers to your questions. HE will be the father to the fatherless. The husband to the widow. The friend to the outcast.

I cannot describe to you how much closer I am now to my Heavenly Father. I may have leaned too much and too often on my Dad’s wisdom and his prayers rather than seeking God for myself. But when you don’t have anyone else to turn to and God is all you have …HE will not disappoint. My life is so rich and full of God’s love, grace and mercy. I depend on HIM. I love HIM. I seek HIM.

What caused this post?

Recently, a friend lost her husband. A mighty man of God. A man my Dad loved and admired went home to be with the Lord too. After watching my mother struggle for years from that loss I knew a little about what my friend would go through. I pray for her. Her pain is only one God can heal. And HE will.

Practical application:

Repentance and forgiveness…yes, even about this subject. This is the healing process.

If you feel responsible in any way–pray–I choose forgive myself for>_____< (insert what you feel responsible for…not being there, not doing something, etc)

If you ask “Why God? Did you take him/her away?”–pray–I choose to forgive you God for taking/allowing him/her to die. I know that you did not “take” this person from me. I know you love me. I know you are the GOOD Father and nothing evil can come from you. I know I may not understand it all but I trust you Lord. 

If you blame someone else –pray–I choose to forgive this person to taking the life of >>>>>(insert name)<<<<<. 

>>continue….I let it go. I allow you, Holy Spirit to take away the pain, the grief, the unforgiveness. I repent for holding onto to it so long. I give it to you Lord. Come and heal my heart and tell me your truth about this situation. 

I pray for those that struggle with the loss of a loved one. I pray you are girded with Truth. I pray strength from the Lord to be with you. I pray for peace as you walk and a the light of Christ to guide your way. I pray that your heart will be open to hear the Lord speak. I pray for God to send people to comfort you but most of all the great Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to comfort you every hour of each day. Amen.

 

Secret to Success

large__5844929080 The world has found nominal success through persistence and perseverance.

They trust in their own power, own understanding, their own ways.

The greatest basketball player is Michael Jordon. He didn’t just practice now and then or when he felt like it.

Michael Phelps who won all those gold medals and set new records didn’t just swim sometimes. They both practiced their sport continually until they became the best.

 

However, God has all the answers and enjoys the success of His people.

Ps 35:27-28

27 Let them shout for joy and rejoice, who favor my vindication; And let them say continually, “The LORD be magnified, Who delights in the prosperity of His servant.” 2 8 And my tongue shall declare Your righteousness And Your praise all day long.

The secret to true, everlasting, success is in the Lord. You are made in His image to reflect His glory and bring honor to Him. And He delights in you and in your prosperity.

The way to honor God and live an abundant life is to be persistent and intent every morning when you get out of bed to glorify God in your life. That doesn’t mean just sometimes pray or honor Him but to continually practice, be persistent and persevere daily in prayer.

It starts with recognizing Him and praying every day.

Thank Him for another day and for all the blessings. You can ask for things. But remember to ask God, “God what can I do for you today?” “Who do you want me to speak to today?” ”Who can I help today, serve today, or encourage today?” “How can I honor your Name today with my hands, my feet or my mouth?”

We are His servants and we serve where we are planted in our circle of influence. We lead from our position of honoring God in every aspect of our lives. And He will honor you. You will be blessed with blessings far above money, riches or fame.

Matt 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

 

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you for all your blessings, love and mercy on my life. I thank you that I live another day to honor you in my daily activities. I ask for strength today to do your will. I ask you to lead me to hurting people that I can help. I ask you to give me words to speak to bring healing, joy or encouragement into someone’s life. I ask that you use me today as your hands, feet and mouthpiece to show your love. Let me lead people to you today. In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

Overcome Your Bad Thoughts

trashNegative thoughts cause negative emotions.  Thoughts like “I’m not good enough”, “I can’t”, “I was born this way”, “my parents are like this, so I have to be”, “Why try?”, “I’m no good”. Thoughts of suicide. Thoughts that run through your mind constantly. Some only at certain times. Nonetheless, they seem never ending sometimes and come at the most in opportune moments to amplify weakness, destroy hope and tear down our confidence.

Are these thoughts ‘normal’? Doesn’t everyone have negative thoughts?

Thoughts like these are the garbage of the mind.

It’s time to take out the garbage. It is not normal and you don’t have to live with them, tolerate them and believe them.

My confession:

No one ever told me to think about my thoughts. No one ever said ‘hey, those thoughts aren’t healthy’. No one ever said that every thought you have may not be your own. Sure, I knew about Satan from the Bible. I read the scriptures that said he seeks to devour, to steal, kill and destroy. But no one ever said HOW that happened. Or HOW to overcome it.

The war for the mind is much more subtle than an ugly creature carrying around a pitchfork like the cartoons.

There isn’t an angel on one shoulder and a little demon imp on the other. But that is a good depiction for the battle for your mind. If the enemy whispers thoughts that make you doubt, fear, lose hope, despair, feel rejected, feel unimportant, feel abandoned, like no one cares, can’t do anything right…

Then your emotions follow suit. How do you feel when you have these thoughts? Not too good, huh?

Ever wonder why when you are feeling really down the thoughts seem to be more severe?

What’s the answer? How can we take out all this garbage?

The answer:

Matthew 6:9-13     9 Pray, therefore, like this: Our Father Who is in heaven, hallowed (kept holy) be Your name.

10 Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven (left, remitted, and let go of the debts, and have given up resentment against) our debtors.

13 And lead (bring) us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

The answer does not have to be some complicated ritualistic or psychiatric event. God makes it very simple.

Prayer

Above is an example of how to pray and defeat all those negative thoughts the enemy uses to oppress.

There is no science, no formula. Just believe that the God that created you can also help you. He takes out the trash for you. All you have to do is tell Him about it.

1. Address Him. It’s by His power and authority that everything is done.

Heavenly Father. He loves you no matter what you think about it doesn’t change it. Even if you don’t understand the kind of “agape” love that is self sacrificing and loves with no strings attached; He still loves you.

2. Repent for believing those thoughts.

“Heavenly Father, I repent for agreeing with those lies about myself. (say each one out loud that you have thought about yourself). I break all agreement with them.”

3. Let them go.

“I purpose and choose to forgive myself for saying those lies. In the name of Jesus I cancel all Satan’s authority I have given through believing these thoughts about myself.”

4. Allow God to heal you from the damage of those thoughts.

“Holy Spirit, come and heal my heart and tell me your truth about who I am and what I am.”

You can hear God speak to you. It may be a feeling, a release, a peace, good thoughts that bring joy and peace. Just wait. God is faithful.

This is just the beginning:

God desires to heal every wound you carry. Every dark secret. Every sin. Every bad thought.

Nothing else works. Give Him a try.

See these other posts for more information on the subject.

Thoughts Reveal Your Heart

Why Don’t I Feel Loved

Answers To Our Own Darkness

Authority & Power

How to Overcome the Past

Contact via email if you would like someone to pray with you. Someone from our prayer team will contact you.

isaiah54project@hotmail.com

Or, for 1 on 1 counseling with a reputable prayer ministry contact this group. http://akwellspring.com/

Be blessed!

 

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