The World

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned – Romans 5:12

A Fallen World

So last week, I touched on something that was an incredible revelation for me, and I thought I should dig deeper because it’s probably a big missing piece for others as well. We live in a fallen world. Now, I think we all know that and have probably said it at some point, but what does it mean? What does it mean for us? What does it mean for those around us?

In the beginning, God created a perfect world, and put Adam and Eve in it. And, if you remember, at that point, God walked around on the world, and interacted with Adam and Eve directly. And life was good. But then, along came Satan, and sin. And he tempted Eve into biting the apple. And because Eve and Adam had free will, they made a choice, falling into the traps of the devil, and so we – and the world – fell. At this point, death became the ultimate repercussions for sin. And the world became Satan’s domain. Because, as we know, God cannot be in the presence of sin. He cannot look upon it. We then, spend the next couple thousand years trying to get back to God, which obviously we cannot, and so God sent His son to give us that connection back.

When Eve bit that apple, God didn’t step in and put his almighty hand between her mouth and the apple. He could have. But He didn’t. He gave us free will. Free will to do what we wanted with our lives. Free will to make choices. And, with Satan at the helm, we make the wrong choices. ” The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.”

Big picture

Big picture – when Eve and Adam bit the apple, the condemned us to living in Satan’s world. Think about it – after this God banished them from the garden (which we have never been able to find again on Earth.) and put them out to work the fields and endure hard labor and to always be bitten by the snake, and to always have the choice to crush the snake’s head. And then, God left Earth. I do not believe there is another mention of God stepping onto Earth after the garden. He gets close, he speaks from the heavens, he manifests himself into other things, but God actually stepping on the Earth – never happens again. Because, Earth, is Satan’s playground.

Here, Satan causes all these terrible things. He uses the minds of others to manifest his wants, to kill others, to hurt others, to damage things. To steal, kill, and destroy. That’s all Satan. And, it’s not God “allowing” it. This isn’t his place. As I’ve always said, He’s a gentlemen, and this isn’t his house. That’s part of why we’re asked to let God into our hearts, to give our lives to Jesus, to have a personal relationship with God. Because that’s the only way that God can do his will on Earth – is if we ask for it. We are his vessels to manifest His will here. Think back to the Lord’s prayer – “your kingdom come, your will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven.” We have to bring it down. We have to speak it into existence. We have to overcome the Devil, and demand that God bring His will into this world. Because, Adam and Eve already made the choice for us, that He had to leave, and we have to make the conscious choice to bring Him back down here.

Close Up

Another – closer example – would be the Year of Great Loss, all this crazy, horrible stuff was happening. And, I’m over here going, “God, why are you doing this?” “What is the point?” “Why is this happening to me?” But see, even Satan can make a puppet that looks like God. And, if he can convince us that it’s God’s fault that bad things are happening – then, ooooh what a way to shake your faith?!?! Turn you against your Savior? Make you believe that the one thing that can save you, is the reason you’re in the mess you’re in?!!? Then, he’s GOT YOU! God doesn’t do these terrible things! He did in the old testament, but He has made a new covenant with us.

And, if you think about it, during the my year. Satan was picking at me, doing all this mayhem. Turning me on my heels. I’m begging God in prayer to stop whatever’s going on. Then, during a prayer one morning, I had this revelation, that it wasn’t God. That it was Satan. Then, I changed the game. Realized that God and I were on the same team. That we had the Victory, together. That – we – together would defeat Satan’s plots. And, if you remember, as soon as I knew who I was battling against – it only got worse. It was like Satan was like, “Fine, if you know who you’re messing with anyway,” And then proceeded to roll up his sleeves and pull out all the stops. It only spiraled into this nightmare of chaos. (I never said it was going to be easy.) But, guess what? Who’s got the victory? I do. God and I do. Because as the rest of John 10:10 says, ” The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. ” or as Luke says, ” Stand firm, and you will win life. ” (Luke 21:19)

Believe in Jesus, give your Life to God, pray for Him to make you into the vessel He needs to manifest His will on Earth. Understand who your enemy is. Pray that God opens your eyes to the schemes of the devil. Pray for the peace that surpasses all understanding. Give your problems to God that He may make them into blessings. I mean, when I consider the Year of Great Loss, while it was happening, it seemed that there were no blessings in it. But, I’ve grown so much since then. I’ve used those experiences to grow. I’ve used them to help you grow, to help others around me grow. My life is so blessed now. And, even in the days that it’s not, I know who my real enemy is, and Satan will never pull that wool over my eyes again. I hope this helps. I hope this blesses you. I hope it removes the veil that Satan so enjoys having over many of us. That you never fall for this trick of the enemy again, and that you may be stronger for it. Take the victory, my dear friend.

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank YOU!!! Thank you, that you have given us the victory. Thank you for this time together. I pray Father, for all who read this, that they may never falls for this trick of Satan’s. That they may always see who’s really running these puppets. That they may have the deep understanding that we live in a fallen world. That You only wish for us to have life, and have it to the full. That you rain down your blessings upon us. That you watch over us, and lay your mighty hand upon our problems. That you guide us in your amazing wisdom, in your understanding that surpasses all understanding. That we may trust in You, even when we cannot see the forest through the trees, that we know who guides our steps, and where our Faith belongs. That You may always show us the way out, always show us where our next step will be. That you are Jehovah Shammah – the God who is there. You are here, and where we’re going and all the places in between. That We may understand that, and speak your kingdom into existence-here. Thank You Father for all that You do, and all that You are, and that we may draw ever closer to You. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

Mission’s Circle

This week, I’m focusing on Samaritan’s Purse. They do a lot of incredible things, and I’m sure many of you have heard of them over the years. Operation Christmas Child (which will definitely be a focus of mine in the month’s to come – as it is very near & dear to my heart) – but this week, I’m promoting because there is a current Ebola crisis happening, and Samaritan’s Purse is in there getting their hands dirty to help out. So, even if you cannot give – please pray for them. Pray for the workers, pray for the mission, pray for all those who are suffering this terrible illness. Pray for healing. Keep them in your prayers. Pray for them now. May God bless you and keep you always.

Samaritan’s Purse – Ebola crisis

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Salvation

 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, – Ephesians 1:19-20

Own It

I’ve been jamming out to one of my favorite Christian rock bands recently, who were really popular when I was pretty new to the Faith – DC Talk. And, at the intro to one of their songs, they have a little saying that really got to me this week.

The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today

Is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips

Then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle.

That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.

DC Talk, What if I stumble

This tied into another revelation I had this week. Our Faith is something we are constantly working through. ” Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, ” Phillippians 2:12

I say all of that to say this, our Faith is not something that we just have. We work on it. We exercise it. And the more we exercise, the stronger we become. Now, I would say in order to exercise it, you have to understand what you have. I think my Faith has grown significantly since I truly started to understand what my Faith meant. At its core. Let me attempt to explain.

We are saved by Jesus Christ who died for us that we may be free from having to pay for our sins, which also enables us to have a direct connection to the Father. – this is where a majority of Christians stop.

Our connection to the Father enables us to have a personal relationship with the Almighty.

In our relationship with the Almighty, we are to work toward being Christ-like – as He was the perfect example that was sent to us.

We attain this movement toward being Christ-like by exercising the will of the Father in our lives, and bringing Heaven to Earth (manifesting the will of God on Earth through us.)

We are able to perform the will of the Father because the Holy Spirit lives in us, and through the Spirit we are able to perform the will of God. (But – we do have to “activate” it by speaking it into existence through prayer or speaking).

By working for the Father, through the Holy Spirit, we become more Christ-like.

^That’s it! That is what we are to be actively doing as Christians. I believe that is what is meant by “working out our salvation”. As I stated a couple weeks ago, it’s not that we are trying to attain fruit, it’s that we are trying to be more Christ-like, and the evidence of our behavior to be more Christ-like will be evident by our fruit.

Now some of you may be asking, how do I help bring God’s will on Earth? Or why does God’s will need to be on Earth? Couple key things to understand here.

After Adam, Earth was no longer perfect and it became the kingdom of Satan. That’s why, when bad things happen, it’s not God doing it. God only wants good things for us, but we live in a fallen world. God doesn’t do the bad things, but He does see us through them. So – in understanding that this is Satan’s domain, we have to be the ones to speak the Will of God into existence. God is a gentlemen. He always has to be asked to enter the situation. You can’t just expect Him to show up. You have to be the vessel that helps manifest his will into this world. That is part of why you have the Holy Spirit, it enables you to do the Will of God, when you ask for it.

I personally think that’s a lot to take in. This past week, it all literally came together like a giant ethereal puzzle that I had to digest. I was getting all these bits and pieces, and even my blog has been evidence that I’ve been putting it together, but this last week, I was slammed with the real, whole, entire concept that just put it all together.

One of the things I would implore you to try in the coming weeks, if you are interested in growing your Faith and deepening your connection with the Father, would be to pray this prayer over your life.

Let’s Pray

15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. – IN JESUS’ NAME! AMEN!!! (Ephesians 1:15-23)

Mission’s Circle

This week I’m focusing on the “Alpha House” out of Sioux Falls. This organization is a non-profit that focuses on helping unexpected pregnancies. They help teens who want to keep the child become more prepared, enabling them and connecting them with networks of organizations that will continue to sponsor and assist throughout the child’s life. They also help parents navigate the adoption process if needed. *As you will see they also have information about abortion, but in no way condone, refer, or perform them. They are mainly focused on trying to help parents of unexpected and/or unwanted pregnancies find help and assistance to ensure that the baby is placed in a healthy, happy home with informed people, and that those people know that they are loved and supported throughout the child’s life.

Alpha House – https://alphacenter.org/

Cup Overflow

“But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14

The Struggle is Real

When I started this blog, my ideas ran over. But, I’m currently running into a wall. Unsure as to what to write, but when these things happen, I just am honest. I can say that since I’ve always been honest to this point, and have made no promises as to what my blogs will hold, except that I will continue to try to let the Spirit guide me. And, as always, He does not disappoint.

We all go through these times. We all have times of “burnout”, of hitting the wall, of not really knowing how we’re going to move forward, or what our next steps are supposed to be. But as always, we just have to turn to Jesus. That’s the importance of having the strong roots. Of being tapped in to the Spirit. Of knowing where you’re strength and will come from, when you don’t have any left. It comes from God. The Almighty.

I could tell you why I think all this is happening, but at this point, I’m not sure it matters. Life happens, whether it’s stuff going on right now, or stuff that will happen in the future, we’ve all been here. Going through a sense of “blah”. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love this blog, and I love talking about it, but currently, I’ve just been struggling to know what to talk about next. Every time I try to get into the Word, and elaborate on concepts and ideas, my mind just wanders off. But, this week, I’m taking to heart that God is speaking to me, to all of us, to be comforted by these seasons. That God has told us that He will be our guide, our comforter, our strength, and our Savior! He always is. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he shall make your path straight.” Proverbs 3:5

The only way to go is forward, that’s how we’re designed, eyes in front of us, feet outstretched before us, moving forward. Satan is the only one that wants to keep us where we’re at, or even worse, in the past. Don’t go back there, there’s nothing for you there. It is the will of God, that you go forward. Always forward. He is the great Provider, the Deliverer, the One who lifts you UP!

What does the Bible say?

I can do all things who Him who gives me strength. Phillippians 4:13

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Isaiah 40:29

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Ephesians 6:10

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, the will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. Mark 12:30

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in my weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

I trust this is exactly what someone needed to hear. I know it is what I needed to hear. That last one, spoke to me. And reflected back what I said in the beginning, just being honest, I’m not sure what to say today, but there it was. God will see us through. God is always everything we need in this life. He is everything. Whatever we need, He’s got it. He’s got it in overflow. And, I’m proclaiming that this next week, I’ll have more, since this is a Holy Spirit blog, and I am just a vessel. Remain in Him, and He will remain in you. Keep His word in your heart, and you shall not stray.

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, you are the God of more than enough. Thank you for giving me this blog. Thank you for always knowing what to say. Thank you for your comfort. For your strength. For being our rock, our fortress, our strong tower, and everything we need. Thank you so much for being everything we could ever need. I pray Father that we continue to keep your words in our hearts, that our cup overflow into those around us. That Your blessings may always be more than enough. I pray that we grow in your love. That we wake up renewed every morning. Thank You for all that You are, and all that You would have us be. IN JESUS’ NAME!!! AMEN!!

Missions Circle

Kid’s Night Out was successful! We gave away A LOT of bikes, but more importantly shared the Word of Jesus, and had 12 kids give their lives to Jesus. Amen!!

You can read about the article here: Kid’s night out https://brookingsregister.com/article/plenty-of-fun-at-kids-night-out

To give more to the Missions outreach ministries at Holy Life, you can just go here and choose Missions. Thank you for all YOUR SUPPORT TO MAKE THESE THINGS POSSIBLE!! 🙂

God Bless!

Storytime

I was having a really hard time thinking this week about all the various things I could tell you, that I couldn’t really settle on one thing. But then, as I sat down to discuss this week, I realized it’s really been on my heart that some of my original items didn’t get as much spotlight as I felt they deserved. They were the reasons that I started this blog, were these stories. They spawned the need to share with the world what God is doing in my life. Some of the original #Godshowedup. So, I decided I wanted to give them another boost. Sometimes to move forward, you have to remember where you’ve been.

The Bible Study

So, about 6 months
after my dad died, it’s morning time.  I’m getting ready for work, I’ve
been praying (I was now back to really praying – praying for this person, these
problems, etc.) And secretly, praying for a Bible Study.  Oh Lord, give me
a Bible Study, give me some people to help me grow.  I had been praying
for this for a couple years, off and on.  Sometimes, thinking I’d found
one, but scheduling would make it so I couldn’t go, one thing or the other,
etc. But here, on this frosty April morning, as I’m walking out to my car, had
just finished praying, getting ready to start my car and let it warm up for a
few before I head off to work, and I hear it, clear as day. “Why don’t you
start a Bible Study?” I stopped dead in my tracks. I felt like someone had
just knocked the wind out of me. “Me? A bible study? That’s
crazy….” And, then, “Well, maybe not so crazy.  I have a
couple Christian friends…. Maybe they would like to be a part of
it.”  Now, conveniently, for the only time that I can recall, I was
going to see both of them, independently, the next day.  So, I posed it to
both of them, and they were both ecstatic.  They would love one. 
Then, I told my mother about it in church the following Sunday, I’m starting a
bible study, and my mom wanted to join.  Alright, let’s do it!!  So,
we did.  Now, because of all of this, I had resolved myself, that when the
Holy Spirit tells me to do something, I do it.  The bible study, was just
the beginning.   

Cookies

Fast forward to
months later, and here the Bible study starts to bring forth some fruit – or
more appropriately cookies… Chocolate chip cookies to be exact.  


So, when our bible
study started, first of all, we dug in deep.  Most of the ladies present
were fairly well versed in the Lord, had seen him in our lives, etc. 
Therefore, we all felt pretty comfortable that it would be ok to just jump into
a hardcore bible study entailing the Armor of God.  Which, was incredible,
and for the most part what a lot of us needed.   But, when we really
started getting our feet wet, getting the rhythm of being in a bible study
down, and finally got through this hardcore meat-and-potatoes bible
study.  We all decided that maybe the next study would need to be an
appetizer, or a dessert, and as the quasi-leader-ish person of this study, I
did my homework on getting some promising books for the next study, and as a
joke, wrote down a book that had “chocolate” in the title.  This
book is supposed to be a totally light-hearted fun filled study for a
wide-variety of groups, and it really has been, but to bring us to where we are
now.  It has recipes in it, and every couple of bible study evenings, we
make some of these items together as a group.  But, part of the catch with
these is that, you’re not just supposed to eat these yourself, you are supposed
to share them.  Share them with non-believers or believers, or
whatever.  They’re conversation starters, and oh how God has blessed
that.  Conversation starters they are.


So, our first real recipe that we’re supposed to be making is cookies…  The most amazing
little chocolate chip cookies you’ve ever eaten.  Now, go out and share
them.  Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m not a very outspoken person
when it comes to my faith, or at least, I wasn’t.  So, now I have two
small bags of 6 cookies each, and I’m supposed to share these with a scripture,
to encourage someone… Great. 


Now, for the weeks leading up to this, I had started be-friending a lady at work a little
bit.  And, we were really getting on good terms, and life was going great,
the whole fast-friends business. Loving it!  So, of course, the Holy
Spirit says, share the cookies with her.   And, I’m like, “But,
I like her, and I don’t want to scare her off.” And, then, I was reminded
of my Bible Study, the bible study that has led us here.  The bible study
that the cookies came from.  And here, the Lord is nudging me to give her
the cookies.  And so, I did.  She was overwhelmed.  She was
touched. It began conversations of the fact that she had been wanting to go
back to church, but how, and fears of religion, and, and, and….


And, all these conversations I never would have had, had I not shared the cookies. Had I not
moved with the Spirit, to reach out, to someone who I had absolutely no idea
ever went to church, let alone had been feeling the tug of the spirit to come
back.  And, we have since only grown stronger, and I have only continued
to encourage her in her faith, and thanked God for the incredible experience and
opportunity.  *Small disclaimer, the other cookies that I shared have not
brought fruit that I know of, but maybe that will be a story for a later
day.  

Spoons (pt 1)

Ladies bible study,
next chapter.  Can I just say, for a book that was supposed to be light –
and more like an appetizer, we are digging deep and taking a bite out of our
faith here.  *Little background noise here, there is a lot happening in
all of our lives since this bible study has begun, and all of this is just
building, and everyone has been doing a lot of growing.  


We finally get to the end of the 3rd chapter of this book, and it’s spoon time. We decide to melt
some chocolate and make these little spoons, that again, like the cookies,
we’re supposed to share with people.  This time though, I have no idea who
I’m supposed to be sharing with, so they just kind of sit there, on my vanity,
where I pray, hanging out for a few days, and to be honest, I forget about them
for a minute.  Fast forward to Friday morning, my son is getting ready for
school, and I’m taking a minute to pray for the day.  I put my hand down,
and “Oh yeah, the spoons.” Well, I better bring them with me because
otherwise, I don’t know who else I’m going to give them to.  One lady I
know’s name pops into my head.  Oh, I bet she would appreciate one, I
don’t really know her that well, but sure.  So, I get to work, and I make
an impromptu oragami box to put them in, and bring them up to her office. 
And for the lack of anything better to say when she looks at me standing in her
doorway, “Hi. Good morning, I, um, have a gift for you.” And
practically drop the box on her desk.  I had a put a little note in there,
stating something to the effect of “God bless you” and have a
wonderful holiday.  And, she is just overwhelmed!  She begins to cry
a little, and hugs me, and just thanks me over and over.  We have a little
discussion about our faith, and how I got to giving her little chocolate spoons
this morning. And, it’s all very incredible.  And she says to me, that
tomorrow morning her niece is coming over for coffee, and she’s going to save
her spoons and share the gospel with her then.  WOW! How incredible. I’m
on cloud nine. These spoons are amazing, and God is amazing. And, until an hour
ago, I had no idea who I was going to share the spoons with.  *And, this
is just one of the spoon testimonies.  – spoons – to be continued. 

Spoons (pt 2)

Spoons continued.  Please know, we are within hours of sharing the spoons with the lady who’s going to share them with her niece.  I’m trying to get back
to work, and I kind of have another lady in my head, because you know – ladies
bible study – sharing with ladies… right? Wrong. So wrong. 😛

So, I get a phone call, from a higher up (like higher than my boss.)  Hey,
Stephanie, please bring me blah, blah, blah, work stuff.  Ok. 
*Please note here, I absolutely love my job, love the people I work with –
whole separate story, but just cannot emphasize that enough, I love my job and the company I work for* So, Ok, bring you stuff you need for a meeting – check. But, as soon as I put the phone down, the Holy Spirit goes – Hey, give him a spoon. And, I’m like, No – that’s crazy.  I like my job, and he’s a big
boss, and I’ll get fired.  And, the Holy Spirit is like, Give him a
spoon…. And, I’m like, aw man.  Here we go.  Now, in these
following moments, I’m walking around grabbing the materials requested to bring him, and I’m “rationalizing” in my mind, “Well, maybe that’s why
I have my second job right now, is because I’m going to get fired.  It’s
going to be OK, you know, I have a good church, and a good support system, and God won’t let me fall, and I’m supposed to share these spoons, and … I’m
going to get fired.  Well, maybe I won’t get fired til Monday….” On
and on it went.  But, I packed up the little spoons, and I wrote a little
note, stating I’m in a bible study, and I’m supposed to share these to share my
faith, and Jesus loves you – essentially.  And, I go to the office, and I
drop off the stuff, and I bolt (because he’s in meetings – so at least I don’t have
to see him face-to-face).  I’m no sooner back at my desk when the phone
rings.  Are you kidding me? I answer. 

“Hey”

 “Um, hi there.  Well, thanks for
running that stuff right over for me.”         

  “Oh yeah, no problem.”               
                     
“Well, I’m really
calling about the other gift you left on my desk.”     
                     
*My brain says: Of course you are… “Oh yeah, sure.”         
                     
 “That’s really thoughtful of you, I really appreciate it.”   *I’m now absolutely, 210% floored.  Excuse me, what? I was slack-jawed on my end of the line. 

This was just the beginning of a at least 5 minute conversation, where we just
briefly touch on my ladies bible study and what denomination I am, and then
this happened.

Him speaking, “Well, I’d like to share this article with you about some stuff
that’s happened to me.  I’d fallen away from the faith for a while, and
then a lot of really miraculous stuff happened, and I just have this little
article that someone else wrote about my experiences, and this may seem a
little crazy, but you gave me the spoons, so maybe not.  Would you mind if
I shared with you?” “Oh absolutely!!”  So – disclaimer –
now I’m thinking, an article – like newspaper article, like little blip of a
whatever, but that’s cool, I’m excited, this’ll be neat, and look at God show
up, how incredible?! Like, I’m already ecstatic, and I can’t wait for his
e-mail to come through. 

Um, people, this was a four-page magazine article about him having visions/dreams (while he is fallen away from the faith), waking up in the dead of night, with inexplicable dreams and then he’s given a word.  A word that will take him to Bosnia…. where these dreams come true….  and he assures me that the stuff that has happened since then is even more miraculous… WHAT?!?! 

Because I shared a chocolate spoon people! Because I listened to the Holy Spirit nudge me to talk to him. To her. To them. To GO!! To GO where you are.  We have since discussed that he and his wife are trying to write a book and get it published, and I just so happen to know some people who’ve published some
books…. ?!?! 

The Holy Spirit moves, and lives, and if you’ll let him, LIVE IN YOU!! & And
Through you! And you too will have and experience the incredibleness that is
God. ❤

 

A foothold

” The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. ” Proverbs 18:10

I had an interesting experience this week. With this warmer weather, and the joys of summer coming into play. The gorgeous sunsets, the beautiful evenings, all the events that summer has to give us, and the bugs. Ugh, the bugs. I know they’re God’s creation too, but they need to stay out of my house. The only thing my husband and I can figure out, is that we had a neighbor shuffle recently in the house/apartments next to us… and someone has bed bugs. Now, I have never had bed bugs before, but it doesn’t take long to figure out why everyone hates them so much. During the time when you are sleeping, these little guys are feeding. A time when you are supposed to be safe and secure, resting and relaxing, and here are these little parasites munching away and disrupting you, when you are you’re most vulnerable. Just like Satan.

So, yesterday, when I got off work, I stopped by the store, and loaded up on supplies. Thursday before I went to bed, I had done some homework, and put together a game plan. And, as my family lovingly calls it, I went into full on “Mom mode”. Bad situation, handle it, move on. I hit the ground running, tackling the worst room first, cleaning EVERYTHING! And, it was kind of interesting, the whole time I was cleaning, vacuuming, and bagging everything up, I was reminded how we have to clean Satan from our lives. You have to get in there, and do every little inch of everything, otherwise, he’ll slowly creep back in. You have to make sure you’ve got everything covered, a plan for all of it, otherwise, you’ll miss something and he’ll use that chance to eek back in. But, also, once you’re done with the first sweep, you have to be diligent, you have to continue to keep an eye on it, so you can act at the first move to keep him at bay. These little guys are no different.

Funnily enough, right in the midst of all this, I also received a phone call from the bank that my debit card had been hijacked. Seemingly from the very mundane place where I grabbed lunch on Friday. Since my picking up lunch on Friday, there were a few attempts to use my card at some odd places around town – even though my card was with me. But, the bank was all over it. My debit card was quickly locked out, and the situation was under control. Again, like Us battling Satan. Swift crackdown. You can’t let him have the foothold, otherwise, he’ll just dig right in (and wipe you out!). You have to remember sometimes, you’re not his first victim, and you won’t be his last. He’s been at this game for thousands of years. He is the Father of Lies and deceit. He has ruled over kings and kingdoms, he has coerced people into doing unthinkable things. We are up against the most formidable foe. But, take heart, we are with the Victor. We are on the winning team. And God has a victory plan for us. We just have to live in Him. We must stay in His strong tower, and He will keep us safe.

As I quoted last week, “A Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.” (Charles Spurgeon) We have to keep His words in our heart so that when times such as these come, we are prepared. You have to read the Bible and be in The Word when times are good and peaceful, so that you have that ammo in your belt when you need it (and maybe there isn’t a Bible close by). You have to be so immersed in the Word that you can handle these situations when they’re happening. This, is the Strong Tower. The Tower that you make in your mind, with the Word, through building your relationship with Jesus, through prayer, through listening to God, through fellowship. All of these things work together to create the Strong Tower. You can’t just go to church on Sunday, and keep him out the rest of the week, and expect to have a Strong Tower – it’s more like a little, baby outpost (easily overrun). God’s not calling you just to go to church, that’s not what saves you. He isn’t calling you just to believe in Him, you have to trust Him. You have to immerse yourself in this relationship that you are called to have. Your relationship doesn’t end on Sunday. If you think about it, this is the only relationship that we treat this way. I’m only going to see this person, at this time, on this day, and only talk to them when I want to, but they’ll still be there for me? How would you feel if someone treated you like that? We are called to have a relationship, in every sense of that word.

Even to go back to my earlier analogy, a couple weeks ago, that He is the Tree of Life. We are the branches. We have to be connected, otherwise we’re dead. The next thought would be, how are you connected? Are you one of the little branches way out at the edges that easily breaks off? Or are you one of those big mama-jammas down near the base, tapped into the trunk, shooting off little branches of your own? You need a chainsaw to get those guys off, they’re so deep in there, you could cut them off on your own if you wanted to. Also, those big branches are healthy, aren’t they? Because they’re tapped into the source. The trunk that gives nutrients. When the weather gets tough, they’re still solid. Not those little guys, they break, sometimes with the slightest wind, they snap off into the air to be tossed about. Which one do you want to be? That’s the question here. That’s what you need to be asking yourself. You have the key. You have the trunk right at your fingertips, GRAB IT! Dig deeper. Don’t let the excuses of not enough time hold you back. Make time. This is your salvation! Let the grace of God live inside you.

What does the Bible say?

” The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. ” Proverbs 18:10

For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. Psalm 61:3

For he said to Judah, “Let us build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours because we have sought the LORD our God; we have sought Him, and He has given us rest on every side.” So they built and prospered. – 2 Chronicles 14:7

For thus the Lord says to me, “Go, station the lookout, let him report what he sees. “When he sees riders, horsemen in pairs, A train of donkeys, a train of camels, Let him pay close attention, very close attention.” Then the lookout called, “O Lord, I stand continually by day on the watchtower, And I am stationed every night at my guard post. – Isaiah 21:6-9

God, in her palaces, Has made Himself known as a stronghold. – Psalm 48:3

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers. – Psalm 1:1-3

But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever. – Psalm 52:8

Each of them will sit under his vine And under his fig tree, With no one to make them afraid, For the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken – Micah 4:4

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who is wise wins souls – Proverbs 11:30

“So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Matthew 7:17-19

“They will not build and another inhabit, They will not plant and another eat; For as the lifetime of a tree, so will be the days of My people, And My chosen ones will wear out the work of their hands. – Isaiah 65:22

Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree that we having died to sins, might live for righteousness. – 1 Peter 2:24

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you! Thank you for sending your Son to save us. Thank you for making a way, when there was no way. Thank you that we can have a personal relationship with you. That we can live in your Word, and have you build a strong tower within us. That we may know that You are God, in every part of our lives. That your hands may be at work within us, and that we may worship You in all that You are, and everything we do. We thank you Father for your Amazing Grace and Mercy! That you may help us to grow in Your Word. That we may be Your branches. That others may see Your light by us, and through us. Give us the still peace that You are, give us the glorious grace that we need, give us every nutrient You have Father. Give us the words, give us the actions, give us everything we need to live and grow closer to You. Help us be the Victors in You Father. Help us crush Satan under our heel. Make us the head and not the tail Father. Shine Your glorious love in us, and through us. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

Mission’s Circle

Kid’s Night Out! is this week!

Sponsored by my local church. They advertise in the papers and invite the whole community to a night filled with games for kids, and FREE BIKE GIVEAWAYS. They do this via Raffle. We’ve given away hundreds of bikes over the years, and while we’re raffling, we also share THE GOOD NEWS with everyone in attendance.

Article here from last year’s: https://brookingsregister.com/article/kids-have-their-night-at-holy-life

You can donate to this ministry here: Just choose “Missions”:

https://my.simplegive.com/App/Giving/holy241165

Slow down

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. ” John 10:10

For days I’ve been trying to figure out what we are going to dig deeper into for the tree and the branches, for the fruits of the Spirit. And for days, every time I’ve tried to sit down to do this, I keep thinking about something else. So, I deeply apologize, since I do have more things to discuss concerning this previous week’s topic, but apparently someone needs to hear this.

Loves the ones you’re with. I’m sure we’ve all heard it. We’ve all read items about getting so busy that we’re not paying attention to what’s happening right in front of our eyes. We get so caught up in getting this done and that, that we don’t slow down and just enjoy life. We need to do that more. Abundantly more. It’s one of the few regrets I can guarantee you will have a some point. At some point, someone will no longer be around, and you will regret not having shared more time with them. You, on the other hand, will not regret-not getting the laundry put away. We get so busy fussing over the smallest stuff that it steals our joy of the now. It takes away from the blessing that God has given us with the people that he has put in our lives. Or the blessing you are to someone else.

In my ladies’ bible study, way in the beginning, one of the ladies quoted someone (I cannot find the quote online right now). “Jesus never did 3 things. He never worried, never hurried, and he lived in the solution, not in the problem.” And, whenever I have felt life trying to catch me up, felt Satan trying to steal my joy. I have remembered that quote, because Satan trying to rush us into everything, is one of his tricks. There’s a reason Jesus took time to be an example of patience and calm, because he knew that it was one of the greatest things that would catch us.

I’ll give you some examples:

When blind Bartimaeus calls out to Jesus, and Jesus calls back to him to come over. Jesus asks what he wants, and when blind Bartimaeus says he wants to see, Jesus very casually bends over and spits on the ground, slowly makes some mud, and pastes it to Bartimaeus’s eyes. Then, tells him to go wash and he’ll be healed. Now, we know in other texts that Jesus could have just as easily touched blind Bartimaeus and healed him instantly, but he didn’t. In this moment, he took his time, and performed the miracle another way, nice and slowly.

When Jesus chatted with the Woman at the Well. They were on their way some where else. They were in the middle of something else. And, Jesus purposefully took the time to give us this excerpt that we have pulled so much meaning from in so many sermons. Right in the middle of everything else. We get the story of the Woman at the Well.

When Lazarus was dying, one of Jesus’s close friends, he did not drop everything he was doing and run to him. Nope. He took his time. Continued to perform miracles. And, slowly made his way to Lazarus.

I mean, the lists go on and on, those are just some of the ones I remind myself of, when I’m getting ahead of myself. Satan hates us, he hates everything God creates, and if keeping you busy, so busy that you don’t have time to look around you, and appreciate the life in front of you – and you let him, he’ll keep you busy to the grave.

As I was trying to find the quote, I did find another one that I had never seen, that really spoke to me.

“A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.”

Charles Spurgeon.

Take time to read your Bible. Take time to be with your family and friends. Take time to pray. Carve the time out. Don’t let Satan steal your joy. Don’t let him trick in being so busy that you’re not enjoying your life.

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.*

John 10:10 (emphasis mine)

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, I’m praying today that we slow down. I’m praying that you put your peace upon us. That we may breathe in your everlasting peace, and breathe out the busy-ness of the world. That we may reclaim our Joy in you Father. That we can rest assured that you sent your Son that we may have Life. Lives to the fullest. Lives full of Love and Joy and Peace. That we may live in each moment, and not get so ahead of ourselves. That we see Satan’s attacks for what they are. That we know who we are dealing with but that you will make our eyes open. That you will reveal your love and peace and joy in our lives. That we are the victors in you, Father. That you may wash over us with the peace that surpasses all understanding. That you help us to be still. Help us to live our lives how You want us to live them. In the now. Please watch over us, guide us, and protect us. Guide our footsteps that we may not falter. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!!

Mission Circle

I’m continuing to focus on Kid’s Night Out! June 11th!

Sponsored by my local church. They advertise in the papers and invite the whole community to a night filled with games for kids, and FREE BIKE GIVEAWAYS. They do this via Raffle. We’ve given away hundreds of bikes over the years, and while we’re raffling, we also share THE GOOD NEWS with everyone in attendance.

Article here from last year’s: https://brookingsregister.com/article/kids-have-their-night-at-holy-life

You can donate to this ministry here: Just choose “Missions”:

https://my.simplegive.com/App/Giving/holy241165

Fruit

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. ” – Galatians 5:22-23

Tree of Life

I had a moment this week, where I had an epiphany. One of those moments where everything came together and seemed so clear. Jesus is the Tree of Life. Now, I’ve heard this sermon before, where we talk about all the comparisons and verses that state that Jesus is the Tree of Life. I understood it. He’s our life-giver. But, this week, it all just became clear. If you want to have the fruit of the Spirit, you need to be tapped in to the Tree of Life. If you want to be a new creation in Christ, lean in.

Let me tell you about my journey a little bit here. Years ago, when I was a teenager, I was a terrible person. I was the little spitfire of rage. Life had dealt me a bad hand. I was just angry, and it oozed out of everywhere. You know, hurt people hurt people. Then, age started to soften me, a little bit. But, still just really angry about everything. Sometimes, it was all consuming. But, then, years ago, when I started really following Jesus, when I came back to the church. I prayed for God to give me a new heart, a heart of flesh. ( 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. – Ezekiel 36:26) And, as I have continued to lean in, as I have continued to seek Jesus and a personal relationship with Him, as I have asked to be a light for him, and to become more like Him – I have been transformed. I am a new creation in Christ. So new, that people don’t recognize me from my old life. So much, that people have a hard time believing me when I tell them how I used to be, sometimes I have a hard time believing it. Because God has changed me so much, and I’m so grateful. Thank God, he saves us from ourselves, and doesn’t leave us where we are.

Fruit

My epiphany this week was how being tapped in to the Tree of Life is what produces fruit. Now, that may seem simple, but here’s where I’m going with it. It’s not that we need to be praying for patience, kindness, gentleness, self control. We need to be praying to be like the Tree, and the Fruit will come. If you pray to be like Jesus, if you lean in, the fruit comes on its own. <— That! If you think about a tree, it doesn’t will itself to produce fruit, fruit just comes naturally. A tree is just soaking up water and sunshine, and fruit comes. It doesn’t need to think about it, it doesn’t need to will itself to produce fruit. The fruit is the evidence of the tree getting nutrients. Now, how much fruit, or how nice of fruit depends on the nutrients. But, I believe I was over-thinking trying to get this fruit. Becoming a new creation wasn’t necessarily something I thought about, I was just leaning in. I was just focusing on God, and asking Him to make me what He wanted me to be, and the fruit is just a byproduct. Jesus had all of this fruit. We just need to ask to be more like Him, and we’ll have it too. I’m just going to leave you with some verses this week, and we’ll continue digging deeper in the weeks to come.

What does the Bible say?

About the Tree:

7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not [a]fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.” Genesis 3:22-23

And he showed me a [a]pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. – Revelation 22:1-3

25 So he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet. – Exodus 15:25

About the Fruit

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. ” – Galatians 5:22-23

Love: Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. – Romans 5:5

Joy: 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. – Acts 13:52

Peace: 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. – Romans 14:17

Longsuffering (Patience): We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed. But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much [a]patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by [b]sincere love – 2 Corinthians 6:3-6

Kindness: 24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, – 2 Timothy 24-25

Goodness: 11 Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power – 2 Thessalonians 1:11

Faithfullness: 22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 Forassuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. – Mark 11:22-23

Gentleness: Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. – Phillippians 4:5

Self-control: But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control [a]perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. – 2 Peter 1:5-7

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for saving us from ourselves. Thank you, that you sent your son to die, so that we may live. That we may bear fruit. That we may shine your light for those around us. That we may be a blessing to everyone in our lives. That they may see you through us. That we become who you want us to be, and that your fruit may be evident in us and through us. Thank you Father for all your blessings. Thank you for your amazing goodness. Thank you for giving me words to speak and ears for them to hear. That we may grow abundantly in You, Father. That you work in our lives to bring us closer, that we yearn to lean in. Thank you for all that You are, and all that You would have us be. IN JESUS NAME!!! AMEN!!

Missions Circle

My missions focus this week, and for a few weeks to come, is Kid’s Night Out! Sponsored by my local church. They advertise in the papers and invite the whole community to a night filled with games for kids, and FREE BIKE GIVEAWAYS. They do this via Raffle. We’ve given away hundreds of bikes over the years, and while we’re raffling, we also share THE GOOD NEWS with everyone in attendance.

Article here from last year’s: https://brookingsregister.com/article/kids-have-their-night-at-holy-life

You can donate to this ministry here: Just choose “Missions”:

https://my.simplegive.com/App/Giving/holy241165

Build One Another Up

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Encouraging Each Other

So, I had an interesting experience this week. I started a ladies bible study group about a year ago, and over the course of the year, as I’ve shared with other women, I’ve received a lot of people telling me they would like to get involved. This past week, we were getting ready to launch our new book, so I had a kick-off party. I invited every single person who said they were interested over these past few months. I invited some other people who I thought might enjoy it. I shared the word like I was starting a church. I organized games, prizes, drawings, snacks, had the first chapter of the book made in mass so everyone could get a preview. It was going to be GREAT!! I was so excited. All these women getting together to share and grow in Jesus.

Now, my “core” group is great! We are all friends outside of group, we’ve grown and shrank over this past year. We’ve been through some rough stuff and some great stuff. We’ve gotten together and hung out, outside of bible study. We’ve been there for each other. We’ve had nights where we had so much going on in our lives that we’ve just shared and been there for each and to give encouragement or advice, or just shared testimonies of how Jesus is working in our lives, instead of doing the actual “study”. We’ve crashed other bible study events because someone else was doing something that we thought we’d all enjoy and set our lesson plan aside. We’ve had craft and cooking nights, where the items we make are meant to be shared with people outside the group, to share our testimonies and bring others to the faith, or simply encourage them on their walk. I’m so proud of this group, and so encouraged by them. They’re exactly what I want and what I need. I believe that this is a big part of why I have grown so much in my walk over the past year, is because I needed this. I needed a core group of fellow believers to help me digest everything I’m learning during the week, to help me apply these things to my life, to share their experiences, to share scripture they know and give me insight on what Jesus says I should do in this situation. And, I do the same for them. Part of what’s so fun about our group, we don’t all go to the same church, nor are we the same denomination. And, I believe that we’re all changed, and definitely better believers, and better people for it.

Now, back to the party…. We set up, we had a room big enough to fit everyone reserved, we had name tags, snacks, everything. My core showed up, helped set up, brought their snacks, we arranged tables, got the games out. And waited…. and waited…. and no one came. No one. Not one new person. We waited a good 45 minutes after we we’re scheduled to start. Not one.

But, you know what? We still had a great time! We learned new things about each other, we’ve all been hanging out for over a year, and I still learned new things about my group that I didn’t know. We won all our prizes 🙂 Everyone went home with something. We all decided that we really enjoyed doing the games and we would start doing something with new games at either every meeting or every craft/cooking night. We had a really good discussion about stuff that’s been going on. We worked out our schedule for the summer. We definitely ate a lion’s share of all the chocolatey good snacks and really enjoyed each other’s company. We made arrangements for the following week. And, everyone reminded me, that people weren’t saying “no” to me. And, I get that, but I was so excited because this whole experience has done so much for me, and I wanted to share that with others, but I guess that’s just not part of the plan yet. And, that’s ok. I’ll have another one in the fall. The people who are supposed to be here, are here, and the doors are always open. As we all know, the Lord has timing for everything, and we just have to trust it.

What does the Bible say?

Now, as my mother always says, when the bible has a “therefore” look at the before.

1 Thessalonians 5:8-10 ” But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.”

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

1 Thessalonians 5:12-28

12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you.13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances;for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.

23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

25 Brothers and sisters, pray for us. 26 Greet all God’s people with a holy kiss. 27 I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters.

28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Now, I believe that Bible studies are important because you need help. You need a group of people praying for you, a group sharing with you, giving you advice, helping you grow, reminding you what the Bible says about your situations, because:

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” 1 Peter 4:12-14

You are going to face trials. You are going to struggle. Because you’re a believer, and because we live in a fallen world. And, you need support. Just like you need church. Just like Jesus had the Apostles. Our relationship is with the Lord, but having those around you to encourage you and help you grow, I believe, are just as important.

19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” – Matthew 18:19-20

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you. Thank you for our experiences. Thank you for our chances to grow. Thank you for everything you do for us. Thank you for sending your Son to save us. Thank you for encouraging me in the Faith today, and every day. Thank you for the blessing of believers that you have brought into my life. I pray that you bring these believers and encouragers into the lives of everyone. That you may lay your hands upon others to encourage and to grow, and to find their people to help them along their walks. That you may lay the same fire in their hearts to grow closer to you Father. That everyone can find encouragement in those around them, that they walk closer to you Father. I just pray for your blessing in our lives. I pray that we see your work everywhere, and in everyone. Words cannot express how grateful I am that you laid it on my heart to start my own Bible study and that you gave me such an incredible group of people to grow with, and I pray for that blessing on everyone reading this. I pray that everyone finds a group or fellow believer to have such a relationship with to grow. To learn your word, to make them better people. Thank you so much for all You do Father, and what you will continue to do, in all our lives. IN JESUS’ NAME! AMEN!!

Mission this week:

Each week, I’ve taken to supporting a mission outreach, here’s this week:

Channel to Brazil

Read more about Marcondes Marques here

Speak Life

” The tongue has the power of life and death,
    and those who love it will eat its fruit. ” Proverbs 18:21

Change the Game

So, a few weeks ago, I discussed how changing the way I prayed has changed my prayer life. Which is true, but if you think about it, part of it is how I talk to God. How I talk in general, has also changed. You may have heard sermons where your tongue is a double-edged sword, or how you need to watch your language and not let foul things out of it, and all of this is true…. but, did you know, that you can speak life? Did you know that by not only trying to tame your tongue from evil, you can also use it to change your life? You can use it to make things happen… Let me explain.

” The tongue has the power of life and death,
    and those who love it will eat its fruit. ” Proverbs 18:21

So, there it is ^ in the Bible, which is just one of the many scriptures that discuss the power of the tongue. But, a few years ago, I walked into a church that actually practices this. A church that when we opened for prayer in the morning, the Pastor started praying, “That you may be the head and not the tail, that you will be above and not below, that God will open up his windows of blessings and pour them out upon you, that you will have exceptional overflow.” Ummm, YES, PLEASE?!?!? I started praying that over my life. I embraced that. And, let me say, God does not disappoint, I think we all know that I’ve shared that.

But, what else can the tongue do?

17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons;they will speak in new tongues;18 they 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.” – Mark 16:17-18

It speaks life! Don’t just try to tame your tongue not to curse, but to heal the sick, to claim your blessings, to drive out demons. I was talking to one of my Christian friends a few years ago, and I was complaining about some stuff that had happened that day. And, she says, “You know what I do? I go over to a door, and say, ‘Satan, GET OUT!’ and then I slam the door behind him.” She physically assists her tongue in telling Satan to get out of here! And, he does! It’s always so incredible! So powerful!

Another part of taming your tongue is not complaining. Have you ever noticed, the more you complain, the more there seems to be to complain about? But, if you don’t complain… there seems to be less to complain about? I think, it’s because, when we complain we’re admitting defeat, giving the devil his in. And he just uses that to jump all over us. But, if we claim Jesus, and Victory over our situations, God steps in. You know, one time, I made a joke about, “Not today, Satan.” but, then, the joke goes on, where Satan’s like, “But you’ve been putting me off for weeks now, when are we going to get together?” Now, at first I read the little joke, but, then I repeated it out loud to a few people…. then, I had the worst several weeks of my life, and had to claim Jesus all over my situation for a while to “undo” the provocation I had caused. I know that may seem silly, but I’m a little nervous just writing it. Because it’s real. We’re really at work in a war between the worlds, and although God has the victory, we live in a fallen world where Satan is most definitely alive and well.

It Heals

I recently listened to a missionary who suddenly fell very ill right before a missionary trip. She seriously considered going to the hospital, but she was afraid that if she went, they wouldn’t let her go on the trip. So she prayed about it. And the word she received, was to act like she wasn’t sick. Do all the things you would do, as if you weren’t sick. So, for almost an entire day, she was doubled-over, sweating, in agonizing pain, sick to her stomach, – going to church, standing up for worship, raising her hands and dancing for the Father, she went out to lunch (like they always do), she ate food (even though she had no appetite), she just kept going about her business and thanking God, praying to God, asking him for his healing. And, just hours before they were to leave, the affliction suddenly stopped, just as suddenly as it had began.

The stories of healing go on and on, I could probably do a whole entry just on ones I’ve heard. That’s because we serve the great physician. The great Healer. He’s the one who made us, he always knows how to fix us. I recently heard another testimony of miraculous healing of a cancerous tumor that had amassed to the size of an orange in a very short time, suddenly healing overnight after the laying on of hands. Verified by doctors both times, “Yep, definitely cancer.” to “I can’t find it.”

I mean, HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD?!? Speak it over your life! My God is GREAT, He can do anything and everything! You just need to believe, and testify to the power of His greatness! One of the things, I constantly remind myself when I start to feel doubt creep in, “I believe in the SAME GOD who raised CHRIST FROM THE DEAD!” Just that thought sends chills through me. That’s the God I serve. That’s my amazing, incredible, GREAT GOD!!

“Whoever would love life
    and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
    and their lips from deceitful speech. ” 1 Peter 3:10

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:6

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29

” The soothing tongue is a tree of life,
    but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit. ” Proverbs 15:4

“What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” Matthew 15:11

” Those who guard their mouths and their tongues
    keep themselves from calamity.” Proverbs 21:23

“The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the speech of the upright rescues them. The wicked are overthrown and are no more, but the house of the righteous stands firm.” Proverbs 12:6-7

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your goodness. Thank you for your grace. Thank you for your healing! Inside and out. Thank you for your mighty hand and incredible miracles. Thank you for this time together. We pray today Father, that you lay your hand on our tongues. That we may only speak life. That we may go forth in your Word, and shine your light upon others. That your healing rain may pour out upon us. That your light and love be so present in our lives that others ask us how to find You. I pray that we are the head and not the tail, that we have lives of exceptional overflow. That you open the windows and pour out your blessings upon us. That everything we could ever need, You would provide. I pray that you help us strengthen our Faith, that we see so many miracles in our lives that we can’t shut up about You. I pray that we all draw closer to You, that You draw closer to us. That You keep us in your arms, heal our afflictions, bless our lives, and that we may honor You with all that we are. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!!

Missions Ministry:

Each week, I promote a ministry here: (This is the woman who was going on a mission trip above). Please check out this week’s incredible ministry: https://www.gotellministry.org/

God’s Plans

“But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” Genesis 6:8

BRING THE RAIN!

I’ve had a story in my heart this week. And it all started with stumbling across this picture. It spoke to me. AMEN!! Sometimes, Faith will make you look stupid… until it starts to rain. I mean. It just flooded me with a particular story, which led to another, which has brought me to another…. and two of them, were after I saw this picture.

First Story

Let me share an interesting moment. Several years ago, my life had blown up in my face. I had just left a job of 5 years, with one of my favorite people, to start a new career path, and we were going to buy a house in the little town that the new job was in. And, I was loving the job. Everything was great! And, then, one day I got pulled into the CEO’s office, and proceeded to get eaten alive by the CEO and his right hand. I was able to pull out of buying the house in time, but it was all mortifying and heartbreaking! I still had a job, but if stuff was going to be like this, I wasn’t sticking around. And, in the midst of this angst, I put in an app at one company. That’s it, just one, and prayed for the best. It was all just taking a minute for me to really wrap my head around what was happening, so I hadn’t really hit the streets with my application yet. Then, our 1 vehicle started acting up, and I didn’t feel comfortable driving the 30-45 minutes to this job I was planning on leaving, anymore. So, I just quit. Turned in a resignation online, and just gave up. – This was on a Friday. I got called in for an interview on Monday. That all seemed well and good, couple days went by, I get called in for the next interview. Now, this job was entry-level, but bills don’t care right? So, I go in for the second interview, and I’m thinking I’m going to be talking shop, which I can do. And, they throw me a curve ball, and give me a manager who I don’t think has done “shop” a day in her life. So, I’m answering the ticky-tacky questions that they’re required to ask, and we get all done, and she just flips the paper over, and looks me dead-in-the-eye, and says,

“What are you doing?”
“Excuse me?”

“What are you doing? You obviously are way over-qualified. What are you doing?”

She caught me so off-guard, I just told the truth.

“Well, my career just blew up in my face, I just backed out on buying a house, and I still have to pay my bills. I’m good at running machines, you have machines, and I just need some time to think and figure out what I’m going to do.”

“Ok, thanks for coming in.”

So, of course, everyone’s like, how’d it go? blah, blah, blah. And, bar none, worst interview ever. But, that afternoon, they called, and I started that next Monday. That was over 5 years ago. I spent a year on the floor, four years as a Quality Technician in the Evaluation Lab, and I just got promoted to being a Buyer. Look at #Godshowup! It all seemed like utter madness when it was happening, but I wouldn’t have thought of it myself. Which is why I’m so glad, God has better plans for us, we just have to trust Him and HE WILL BRING THE RAIN!!!

Second Story

So, I met a man last night, who has an incredible story. 38 years ago, he was going through a similar circumstance. He had dreams, goals, things he had figured out with his life. And, he failed. It all blew up in his face, and he said, the whole time that God was nagging at him to minister, and he kept saying, “I will when ….” whatever. Well, all his whatever’s fell through, and here God had gotten him all alone, and was like, “Go”. And, he says, “With what?” God told him, “with what you have.” He had coffee and bread. This man lives near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Near the favelas. Where some of the poorest of the poor live.

He went out on the streets with coffee and bread. He stumbled across some kids (12-14 years old) who were so high they couldn’t even tell him their own names at first. After giving them some of the coffee and bread, one of the kids asked this man to spell his name. “Ok, what’s your name?” “Cisero” So, he wrote down the kid’s name on a piece of paper. And, the kid said, “Now, I’m somebody!” That simple act had made those kids feel important. He asked them if they wanted to know Jesus, they did. He led them in the Sinner’s prayer, and talked with them a while more. Then, right as he was getting ready to leave, one kid yells out, “Hey, you coming back tomorrow?” The man said, “Yes. I’ll see you tomorrow.” This was the beginning of his ministry.

Over the years, he has helped thousands of kids break the cycle of poverty. He now leads a ministry group that orchestrates a school for the kids of the favela teaching them photography, music, art, computer skills. They have one of the only computer labs in the city! Feeding them every day! Feeding their entire families a couple times a year! Encouraging them to fellowship with each other and minister to others. Sometimes they help the kids all the way through college, and all the while teaching the love of Jesus. WHAT AN INCREDIBLE MINISTRY!! It seemed crazy, and then GOD BROUGHT THE RAIN!!!

Third Story

So, I’m talking to the guy a little after service is over, and we start discussing some different stuff, and I tell him about my blog. This peaks his interest. He needs a Marketing Manager for their Facebook and social media. They’re so busy down there with the day-in and out of the kids and activities that they’re struggling to get the word out to people to help their ministry. Well, because I have my blog, I also have a social network. I tell him I will reach out to the ladies who also have Christian blogs to see if someone might have the skills he’s looking for. So, I get home last night and post it to the FB page. I’ve already had two people reach out who are both looking for a ministry, and have been to the area in Brazil and would love to be a Marketing Manager for him! People who have been praying – for rain! and – GOD BROUGHT THE RAIN!!!

Now, if I hadn’t started a blog, we would’ve had an entirely different conversation. If I had stayed home last night, I never would’ve met him. If I hadn’t…. believed that God would bring the rain. I don’t know that I’ve ever posted something to this FB group, except for the usual stuff we do, reading each other’s blogs, encouraging each other, etc. But, last night, I jumped on and threw it out there. And God brought the rain. He always does.

All of these stories have also inspired me to try to see if my ladies’ Bible Study would be interested in doing free will donations to featured ministries every other month. AND, I will be promoting a ministry in my blog. You can check out this gentleman’s ministry here, and donate or sponsor a child, or just pray for them! Because who doesn’t need more prayer?!?!

I hope these encourage you. I hope they bless you. I hope you know, that if you have faith, God will always bring the rain!! He never fails, never gives up, and he’s always there. One of my favorite Pastor Kevin quotes, “God has more faith in you than you do!” Tell him to BRING THE RAIN!! He will not disappoint.

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your faithfulness. Thank you for your everlasting rain. Thank you for always showing up, right on time, all the time. Thank you that you give us the examples of Noah and people along our walks to reassure us that you will always bring the rain. You are the beginning and the end, the SAME GOD as Noah and Abraham, and who raised JESUS FROM THE DEAD, is the SAME GOD TODAY! You’re always there. Always watching, always ready to catch us, and show us something better. Give us the Faith and the peace to trust your will, and that you always have something better in mind for us. Thank you Father that you have more Faith in us than we do, and may we all learn to have the same Faith in you. Thank you for all that you are and all that you would have us be. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

To learn more about Marcondes Marques and his ministry. Check out @ChanneltoBrazil on Facebook or go to their website: http://www.thechannel.org

For More stories about God Bringing Rain:

God who provides

Don’t quench the Spirit

Cookies

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