No Doubt!


20 No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God,
21 Fully satisfied and assured that God was able and mighty to keep His word and to do what He had promised. — Romans 4:20-21, AMPC

John 11:40  Jesus said to her, Did I not tell you and promise you that if you would believe and rely on Me, you would see the glory of God?

After powerful services at my church and online the past few days, during which my faith leaped and I know that I know that God is doing greater things this year than we’ve ever experienced before, doubt and unbelief and after-the-holidays heaviness has tried to creep in. I rebuke these things in Jesus’ name!

Our God is FAITHFUL! He can never lie. He IS the Truth and HE has been waiting more than all of us. It is HIS Time for Him to pour out HIS Glory–and we get to be part of it. HALLELUJAH!

Father, we bless You, and we thank You that You have chosen us to work with Jesus in these Last Days to complete Your work on earth, amen! What an honor and privilege! Help us to hear and obey Your loving Voice, and as we obey, we will be satisfied, prospered, and extremely effective in expanding Your Kingdom. Amen and amen!

RainWater – A refreshing drink of the Spirit!

Let this poem the LORD inspired in me almost a decade ago wash over and refresh you!

Jesus answered her, If you had only known and had recognized God’s gift and Who this is that is saying to you, Give Me a drink, you would have asked Him [instead] and He would have given you living water.

 

Water is a Living Thing   by Tonja K. Taylor, 2009

Water is a living thing

A necessary brook or spring

To cleanse, to nourish

to bring new life.

Ever moving, ever giving

All its fountains lithe and living

Smooth as glass or capped with white

All are drawn to its refreshing sight

Peaceful as a zephyr breeze

Bringing souls to bended knees

To pray when raging in the storm

Sculpting mountains into form

Cleansing beaches, changing lands

Washing humanity’s hands

Thrilling seekers with a fountain

Drop by drop, eroding mountain

Nourishing a dying man

Oasis in a sun-scorched land              

Habitat of many creatures

Full of ever-changing features

Warring wells; muddied by strife 

 Symbol of a brand new life

Cleansing wounds made from strife

Flowing free to wash and give

New strength for weak ones now to live.

 

Water is a living thing

An ever flowing mountain stream

That represents the Holy One

JESUS–Water of Life, the Son

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Fear For Life

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27 Reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death.Proverbs 14:27, AMPC

I was meditating on Proverbs 14 this evening after work, and realized afresh that, as I’ve been drawing closer to the LORD and trusting–and truly resting–in Him, while living a consecrated life as much as possible, that I have been enjoying more Zoe. This is the abundant life that Jesus speaks of in John 10:10.

God’s original Plan was for us to have perfect life, Heavenly life, with constant sublime companionship and communication with Him; unbroken fellowship. Sin corrupted that, but Jesus won it back. On earth, we have to relearn what we already would have known–that experiencing His Presence, His Word, His Spirit, is the ultimate satisfaction and joy, the whole purpose of man. (I John 2:29, I John 3:7)

So He Who has known us from before time was is helping us to know Him, to draw near, to relish and receive the revelation of His wonderful, incorruptible, eternal, unchanging Truth!

King Jesus–the Covenant of Yahweh!–is returning soon to reward those faithful to Him, those who truly fear the LORD by reverencing, respecting, and worshiping Him in obedience to His living Word.

Will you be found by Him?

Revelation 22:7, AMPC (Jesus says) And behold, I am coming speedily. Blessed (happy and to be envied) is he who observes and lays to heart and keeps the truths of the prophecy (the predictions, consolations, and warnings) contained in this [little] book.

James 1:18, AMPC  And it was of His own [free] will that He gave us birth [as sons] by [His] Word of Truth, so that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures [a sample of what He created to be consecrated to Himself].

Hebrews 11:16, AMPC But the truth is that they were yearning for and aspiring to a better and more desirable country, that is, a heavenly [one]. For that reason God is not ashamed to be called their God [even to be surnamed their God—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob], for He has prepared a city for them.

Sparkle!

Matthew 5:14 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.

John 8:12 Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the Light which is Life.

Sooner than we’d planned, my husband and I had to acquire a new car. After months of praying and choosing to be content to drive my 20-year-old Avalon (very nice in it’s day, but it’s “day” had pretty much expired), I powered down the driver’s window on the way home from an amazing church service (http://www.experiencehim.org) where God really moved.

The window refused to power back up, leaving a gap where uncomfortably cool air came in. Having known this day was coming, and also having been growing in my faith that the LORD is good, is owner of Heaven and earth (Psalm 24:1), and that He has only the best for us, His Covenant kids, I resolved at that moment that I was not investing any more money into the car. I released my faith right then for my new ride.

It took several days and lots of fuel, but praise the LORD Clayton and I were both on vacation from teaching school, and easily able to do this. God is soooo good! I was getting a bit discouraged after a few days of searching, but I know my faithful Father, my Good Shepherd, leads me by peace. I never had peace–until the last stop we made at Yokem Toyota on the last day, not even knowing if they had the 2014 Toyota Camry I wanted.

They did. They’d just gotten it in and had not even detailed it. But we had been praying and thanking the LORD for just the right one, and sure enough, I test drove it, and felt in my spirit that it was right. It drove smoother and seemed, as I told Clayton, more “weighty” than the others, in every good way. It had all the extras, which is how our loving Daddy works!

The salesman moved it to the front to have it prepared for us. The LORD gave us favor and we drove it home that day–in sunlight, as compared to the very rainy days before. What a blessing!

In the light, I saw my gray Camry in a new way; although it may have seemed kind of plain to some, when the light touched it, it sparkled, glistening silver–the color of redemption. My car is just like me, I thought. When the light of the Son, Jesus, touches me, I sparkle!

A Drink for the New Year!

It is time for new things! How about a new, truly-good-for-you health drink for the new year–the new you?! You deserve it, and I can teach you how to make your own, have fun, and start living a more abundant life!

Thus says the Lord, Who makes a way through the sea and a path through the mighty waters, Do not [earnestly] remember the former things; neither consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:16, 18-19AMPC

If you are looking for the ultimate health drink for 2019 that can change your life and save you money, try kombucha (also known as KT)! It is 99% free of caffeine and 99% free of sugar, so that even diabetics and those trying to lose weight or avoid sugar can drink it with no problem, while enjoying the good taste, immunity-building probiotics, and energy-boosting benefits!

My book, Your Holy Health, will be available on Kindle the first week of 2019, for the amazing price of just 99 cents, to celebrate the new year! Your Holy Health discusses more about kombucha and many other easy ways to enjoy greater health and energy to get God’s will done. If you would like more free information and a starter kit to make your own at home (it’s so easy, economical, and fast!), write me at Tonja@RiverRainCreative.com, with “KT” in the subject line!

Clothed With Rich Apparel

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. — Isaiah 61:10, AMPC

For a New Year’s Eve service, I was in the bathroom at a church and had dressed in a lovely tunic emblazoned with many small “diamonds” on the front and the sleeves that sparkled in the light. I had even put on fake nails that I’d bought months before for a special occasion.

I was celebrating the anointed words we would hear from a highly anointed apostle that I knew heard from the LORD. I was excited about what King Jesus would say and do–and what His Spirit would tell us about 2019. I had dressed up to celebrate Him and had even put on comfortable black boots with low heels. The Spirit of God had led me to dance at the altar for Him many times, and I sensed tonight would be no different.

A more mature woman came in the bathroom and “complimented” my outfit. It sounded nice, but I sensed something not pure about it.

The enemy loves to try to create offense and distract us, especially when the LORD is doing great things. I was so glad I had prayed and worshiped before the service, and the wisdom of the LORD came out of my mouth. Probably, things had been hard financially for this woman and her missionary husband, and only the LORD knew the sacrifices they had made. Although she always seemed well dressed, there may have been a dart thrown at her about clothing, or something else.

The LORD helped me to take no offense, although I was aware of the potential for it. The LORD put His words of grace in my mouth. “I’m love it when people give me clothes,” I responded, and smiled. “I’ve sown clothing for years, and now it’s coming back to me!”

I have heard from many well-known preachers of the Word that even fellow believers are not always glad when we their brothers and sisters in Christ prosper. I used to have that challenge too. It’s called envy!

The LORD tells us to be content with those things that we have, for He will never leave us nor forsake us. Hallelujah! He says, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”” — Hebrews 13:5, ESV

He also tells us to not compare ourselves to others; that is never wise!

LORD, help us to set our minds on things above, and rejoice when others in the Royal Family prosper, in Jesus’ Name!

Our Faithful God!

2 Timothy 2:13 says, “If we are faithless [do not believe and are untrue to Him], He remains true (faithful to His Word and His righteous character), for He cannot deny Himself.

Our Faithful God reigns. He is faithful, even when we are not. He cannot be unfaithful, thank goodness!

God is faithful–or we wouldn’t be here! As I prepare to attend the amazing, life-changing-in-so-many-good-ways New Year’s Eve service at my church, I am so thankful at the faithfulness and mercy and grace of my darling Daddy God–Who knew me before the world began, and sent me here for such a time as this!

He loves me. He loves you. His love is perfect and true. And, praise Him! He is not mad at any person; we are His creation that He loves so much He gave His perfect Son, Jesus Christ the LORD, to be the ultimate sacrifice, who paid the price of the cross and hell and the grave, so we get to go free–and be restored to Heaven, from which we came–all for simply becoming Jesus’ Friend.

Simply by admitting that we need help–the Help of Jesus, our Savior–and asking the Father to forgive us of our wrongs, our sins–we get to be transformed into new creations, with new life, and the ultimate assurance of Heaven later–and some of Heaven now, as we learn His Word and abide by it!

But you don’t have to believe me. I’m living it, and my life gets better every day. Jesus IS the true Reason for all that!

Find a Holy Bible. Ask the true God to teach you the truth. He will!

The Christmas Surprise

James 5:16 : Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (ESV)

I had planned a very quiet Christmas, with just my Beloved and myself, sleeping in, exchanging gifts, and having time to rest and do other things I wanted to do today.

But the enemy had other plans. He loves to try to steal our joy and interrupt our peace. Clayton and I were dreaming deeply last night when there was a loud pounding on our door. My darling daughter had stopped by to tell me my dear mom, a widow less than two years ago, who’d suffered many afflictions, was once again in the hospital. Somehow we’d been unable to hear the phone.

Mom had fallen and fractured her hip and pelvis, even though a caretaker was with her 24/7. Bless her heart! The ambulance had rushed her on Christmas Eve to the hospital, and there she lay. So I was up at different times during the night checking on her.

However, God is never taken by surprise! What the enemy means for evil, the LORD Who knows all things always works for good for us who love Him and are the called according to His Plan.

This morning, I rose and made her some delicious peanut butter balls that she likes, determined to go bring her some cheer on this Christmas Day.  As the LORD often does, I figured He might have other things in mind too, and I knew there were hurting people everywhere at the hospital. So I took a Christian magazine, some Jesus’ Christmas Tree bookmarks (JCT bookmark_TKTaylor ), and an invitation to our church New Year’s Eve service. I asked Him to show me whom to sow them to.

Mom let me pray for her but was hurting too much to read the magazine and even had me take her treats back home till later. I spent some time helping her, then felt led to visit the ICU floor, where my Dad had died less than two years before, and where I’d spent a long month with Mom before that.

As I entered the ICU waiting room, there was one man there, asleep. I quietly left the materials, then went to the bathroom across the hall. The LORD impressed me to ask the man if he needed prayer. He woke and said, ‘Sure!” I told him my husband and I were lay ministers and he said he was a local pastor too, and was there for his mom. He gave me details of her afflictions and he and I prayed together.  I told him at the end that I expect a good report, even if I don’t know about it till Heaven!

Then I handed him theinvitation to our church’s NYE service, which is the 29th this year. Perhaps he and his family will come. Anyway, I know this was the LORD–and it was His surprise gift to me. Later that day, I received some delightful and very thoughtful gifts from my Beloved husband. However, the gift of the LORD directing me to be a vessel through whom the LORD ministered to my dear mom and the pastor and his family was the very best gift of all!

Ask the LORD how you can receive more of the priceless gift of being a vessel through whom He works to bless others this Season that we celebrate the living Christ!

For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Suffer Like This to Expand God’s Kingdom!

13 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.   14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God 15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.  — Mark 10:13-15, KJV

I am so thankful for the King James Version of the Bible, for it was the version the LORD used to cause me to start reading and loving  His Word when I was in the Southern Baptist Church in a small community about 45 years ago!  There were many words in there that I did not properly understand, such as “suffer.” I only knew it to be a negative word, and didn’t want to do any more suffering than I had to.

However, I’ve since learned that “suffer” also means “let.” Thus, when Jesus says to “suffer the little children to come to (Him), He means to let them, to not hinder them, to not discourage them, and, I truly believe, to purposely  encourage them to follow Him and to be examples of disciples of Christ.

As a teacher, it is natural for me to encourage children, and I am working at being a better example of Christ daily, so that they will be drawn to Him.

Children are not just leaders of the future; they are leaders now, and their pure spirits can easily receive the higher things of God. Let us be living letters of the love of Christ for them to read and understand–and to go and do likewise!

He is Keeping You!

23 The steps of a [good] man are directed and established by the Lord when He delights in his way [and He busies Himself with his every step].
24 Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord grasps his hand in support and upholds him. — Psalm 37:23, 24 (AMPC)

Our Daddy God is so very faithful! Every moment, He is watching over us, blessing and keeping us! His angels and Holy Spirit are guarding us moment by moment–and with eternal perspective, for He Who was and is and is to come knows all things, sees the end from the beginning, and thus goes ahead of us to thwart the plans of the enemy, as we observe and obey spiritual laws. And still, even when we are ignorant and disobedient many times, His grace and mercy cover us!

Friday afternoon I was tired, after a full week at school. I had reached my home city, and was at the light in the left turn lane ready to make the last turn before a couple blocks to my driveway. I was looking down, writing a note about something, and wishing the light would change. I was first in line. I glanced up a few times. Still no green. (Sigh.) I wrote again.

Then when I looked up, the left arrow was green.

Finally! And I bet the people behind me wish I would go! I thought.

Then, just before I started to turn, a car thrust through the intersection–through the red light–wayyyy past when it should have entered that area!

In other words, God protected me from what could have been a horrible wreck! If I had been impatient, or even not looking down writing, I would have been in the wrong place!

He is faithful to help us every moment, if we will let Him and be sensitive to His leading. I fully believe, upon reflecting about it, that He brought those thoughts to my mind–knowing I would want to write them down so I wouldn’t forget. He orchestrated even those tiny details to preserve me from evil; to keep me safe.

HE LOVES ME!! And HE LOVES YOU TOO!  Why don’t you look up and THANK HIM TODAY FOR HIS FAITHFULNESS!!

 

Choose Joy

22 But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, 23 Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [[a]that can bring a charge]. —Gal. 5:22-23, (AMPC)

“It’s joy!” I said, and laughed gently some more, watching my sweet fourth grade students giggle and look around at each other, delightfully confused. They had just come into my afternoon  class, and some started laughing for no apparent reason.  I could tell that they were not trying to be disruptive, nor were they scorning one another–I just let the LORD have His wonderful way!

Happy tears  came to my eyes also, and they noticed. “Look at Mrs. Taylor! Her face is red!”

Indeed it was, and I my heart felt so good. I could not stop smiling, and the kids smiled back.

As I’ve told them, we feel better when we smile. We get more oxygen, and it’s just so much better than a frown!

Part of my joy was thankfulness;  it is so wonderful to have the Presence of God with us always!

Many of us laughed gently a few minutes, then they started to settle down.

“What is joy?”one asked.

I love it when Daddy opens doors like this!

“It’s part of God,” I said. “A fruit of the Spirit!”

“Oh!” he said, and smiled. A few had not laughed, and my heart ached for them to experience the freedom and lightness that comes when the true Spirit of Joy, the LORD Jesus Christ, rises among us.

Truly, this Season, we have so much to be joyful about. Let us sing for joy to the One Who is faithful forever, for He died so we could live with joy!

Sing for joy, O heavens, and be joyful, O earth, and break forth into singing, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted His people and will have compassion upon His afflicted.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth and sing for joy, yes, sing praises!

Flags for America!

The LORD opened my eyes recently to pray these verses over America!
They raise their voices, they shout for joy; from the west they acclaim the Lord’s majesty.
So [as the result of the Messiah’s intervention] they shall [reverently] fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight [for He will come like a rushing stream which the breath of the Lord drives].
            Even more recently, I was honored to hear teaching by an apostle from South Africa, who said that she and her team pray and fast for America–for they know that what happens in America affects the world.
            So let us humble ourselves and pray and proclaim, and our good God Who founded and keeps and has had great mercy on our country will hear and answer!
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
They raise their voices, they shout for joy; from the west they acclaim the Lord’s majesty.
So [as the result of the Messiah’s intervention] they shall [reverently] fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight [for He will come like a rushing stream which the breath of the Lord drives].

 

Secure or Not?

I have noticed, as I’ve been posting on my blog and otherwise building this River Rain Creative Arts site, that at times, the screens I’ve been on–although they look exactly the same otherwise–have sometimes shown the words, “Not secure.” I could not figure that out for a couple days. Then the LORD gave me wisdom and  I realized that, as Apostle Tracy Harris preached to us yesterday, there are various doors, and we must be careful to come through the correct ones.

Obviously, there were times when I would transition (unknowingly, till the LORD made me aware of this and showed me how to prevent it) from a “Secure” page where I could modify the site, to a “Not Secure” page, where others might oversee the sensitive information.

That will not happen anymore, however, because the LORD has made me aware of the difference and now I make sure to only enter my information on the Secure pages.

It all has to do with coming through the correct doors, and in order. It was when I tried to “save time” and not come through the correct channels that the “door” (or, portal, which is what computer websites are) led to a place that could be compromised.

As Dr. Bill Winston says, we in the true Church must “rise with no compromise.” We must come through the correct door, at the correct time. We must stay in the right place, then we will be secure.

Prayer: LORD, help us be sensitive and obedient to Your Voice! Spirit of Truth, lead us into all truth!

I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, he who does not enter by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way (elsewhere, from some other quarter) is a thief and a robber.

Jesus Himself is The Door (the only one!) to the abundant life of peace on earth, and eternal life in Heaven after this body dies.

I am the Door; anyone who enters in through Me will be saved (will live). He will come in and he will go out [freely], and will find pasture.

FREE PDF for You!

And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
            There are certain ways that royalty are trained to walk and talk. Our young people (and those a little older!) need to be trained and reminded (myself included) on how to operate in this world to the Glory of God.
             Here is a link to the article, and a FREE PDF of “The 7 Ps of Prince and Princesshood,” which the LORD gave me in 2014.   Feel free to share it, as you keep the copyright information intact.
             Have a peaceful Thanksgiving!
Tonja

Elaborating on Covenant Culture

John 3:3-6, and 1 6-18, AMPC

Jesus answered him, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God.

Nicodemus said to Him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter his mother’s womb again and be born?

Jesus answered, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, unless a man is born of water and [[a]even] the Spirit, he cannot [ever] enter the kingdom of God.

What is born of [from] the flesh is flesh [of the physical is physical]; and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.

16 For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten ([d]unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.

17 For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.

18 He who believes in Him [who clings to, trusts in, relies on Him] is not judged [he who trusts in Him never comes up for judgment; for him there is no rejection, no condemnation—he incurs no damnation]; but he who does not believe (cleave to, rely on, trust in Him) is judged already [he has already been convicted and has already received his sentence] because he has not believed in and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [He is condemned for refusing to let his trust rest in Christ’s name.]

What is Covenant Culture? It is a spiritual thing. It is living out of one’s spirit (the true, eternal, real you!). It is living in the Covenant of Grace, provided for us by LORD Jesus Christ, when He shed His pure blood for us on the cross over 2000 years ago, to pay the penalty (that we could never pay!) for all we would ever do wrong in our lives. He did this so that we would not have to suffer in any sense, because He loves us. Never did He want us to experience pain nor hardship nor lack of any kind! He came to restore to us what is ours, through the perfect Plan of God. But we must ask Him for it, and know that He is good and wants us to have it.

So Covenant Culture is living in the Original Plan of the LORD, the abundant life (John 10:10). This is the overcoming life, where we have peace and joy in spite of being in this world and experiencing less-than-heavenly circumstances. It is the life where we know that the Word and Spirit of God alone are our strength, and our faith (believing His Word, both in the Bible and as He speaks to our spirits from within us) are our victory!

The verses below will help you understand more.

Romans 12:1-2 (MSG)

[ Place Your Life Before God ] So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Also, Proverbs 18:4, AMPC: 

The words of a [discreet and wise] man’s mouth are like deep waters [plenteous and difficult to fathom], and the fountain of skillful and godly Wisdom is like a gushing stream [sparkling, fresh, pure, and life-giving]. 

Ask the LORD Who is the Spirit of Truth (John 14:15-17, John 15:26-27, I John 4:4-6) to teach you more about Covenant Culture, and how to live in it, for it is your privilege, honor, and right, when you receive Jesus as your Savior and LORD!

Birthing New Images

And it was of His own [free] will that He gave us birth [as sons] by [His] Word of Truth, so that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures [a sample of what He created to be consecrated to Himself].

 

Elizabeth Howe is a delightful sister in Christ who loves the LORD. She is also a gifted photographer, who specializes in photos for home and family, which includes her exploring  new realms of photography: birth art. What a precious concept, to capture those timeless and unique life-changing moments!

Before I spoke with Elizabeth today, I had not heard of birth art, but after talking with her and looking at her fascinating photos, I had to share her site with you.

Check out  Fresh Wind, for photography that is out of this world!

Our Words, Our Country, Our World

I am so thankful that the LORD truly orders our steps and directs our paths (Proverbs 3:5,6) when we trust in Him!  Today, I had the privilege to be with my dear husband and receive deep revelation on prayer, and our responsibility to pray for America. The anointed apostle who taught us is from another country, and says she and others pray and fast for America–for they know that the condition of America and our leaders affects the rest of the world.

We have a great responsibility to not only pray for America and our President and other rule-makers, but to repent for our sins, those of our ancestors, those of our leaders, and anyone else for whom he LORD leads us to ask forgiveness.

 

I Timothy 2:1-4 (AMPC)

 First of all, then, I admonish and urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all men,

For kings and all who are in positions of authority or high responsibility, that [outwardly] we may pass a quiet and undisturbed life [and inwardly] a peaceable one in all godliness and reverence and seriousness in every way.

For such [praying] is good and right, and [it is] pleasing and acceptable to God our Savior,

Who wishes all men to be saved and [increasingly] to perceive and recognize and discern and know precisely and correctly the [divine] Truth.

             We have a responsibility to live as the Covenant people we are; ambassadors of the Most High God, the LORD Jesus Christ.

We have a responsibility to use our words in prayer, in praise, in proclaiming His Word, and in the rest of our speaking, to speak in agreement with Him.

Who are we? Yet here we are–chosen and called and saved and being drawn by the Holy Spirit to go deeper and higher with the LORD, to ask and allow Him to continue to sanctify us and shape us into the image of Christ.

LORD, help us to awaken to the truth of the wonderful honor of serving You, our truly awesome God; our LORD, our King, our Savior–our everything!

Restoration: Daddy God Cares About Details!

And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.

I have been proclaiming and believing that the LORD is faithful to His promises–and He is–about restoring to me everything that has been stolen through the years; from what the enemy has done, what others have done to me, and even what I’ve done to myself.

I have seen Him do so much already that I am amazed and tears of joy and thankfulness often occur; Daddy God is just SO GOOD!

Our dear apostle, Brother Tracy (Harris, www.experiencehim.org) has been preaching that the LORD wants to restore not just most of our lives, but 100%. I choose to believe that, and started proclaiming this a few days ago–when I misplaced a flash drive with lots of writing on it. I asked the LORD to restore i, thanked Him for it, and sent my angels to get it.

My mind doubted, but I told it to shut up in Jesus’ name!

I cast my cares on the LORD; I released it to Him. Sure enough, my darling Daddy God–the Creator, Sustainer, and LORD of Heaven and earth; of the universe, and all life!–had His angels restore the flash drive to me.

How great and GOOD is our amazing, darling Daddy God!!

Today, ask Him to restore to you all that has been stolen–even if you don’t know it all. He does. He keeps the books. And He has only YOUR GOOD in mind!

My Students’ Thankful Hearts!

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and a thank offering and into His courts with praise! Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name!
           It is a wonderful thing when adults are thankful. We very well should be; we’ve had a lifetime to learn to appreciate goodness. But it’s another when a child is truly understands what it means to give thanks.

My darling (most moments!) fourth grade students have grown in the art of being thankful–and in expressing that thankfulness, during two projects we have done lately for our English class.  it is a priceless joy to see them realize more about how blessed they are (and these are kids in a school that gets 100% free lunches!).

First, after an overview of how blessed we are in America and, no matter how rough my students and I may think our lives have been, I explained to my students that we have not experienced the horrors and poverty experienced by at least some of the children  rescued by Dr. Ron and Mrs. Anna Sherman at La Casa Hogar Del Corazon De Rey ( http://www.whitestone.ws/index.html ).

I have been careful to not share the worst of the scenarios, but my students have truly started to understand that, as native Americans, they are considered wealthy by much of the world.

My students wrote letters  introducing themselves and telling what they enjoy, and also asking questions about what the children like. My sweeties drew pictures, and some even created art about the flag of Mexico to honor the kids.  Some even wanted to buy canned goods and such to send them. (I explained to them that they could give online, for it would cost much more to mail things than to send the money for the directors to buy products themselves. My kids were shocked that we have to pay to mail things. However, I told them, we need to be thankful that American postage is the most economical in the world!)

The second project the students did to promote and deepen thankfulness was to write 100 statements starting with, “I am thankful for….” and they could part whatever and whomever they wanted at the end of those sentences. Most of them took off and truly enjoyed the project.  I had them leave a space between each statement, so they could cut them into strips (after re-reading the entire list!) and put them into a “Thankfulness Time Capsule” bottle that I gave them, along with stickers with which to decorate it. I suggested that, especially if things seem to be going wrong, that they take some of those strips of things they are thankful for and re-read them; weeks, months, even years later. I shared with them that my husband and I do the same! (That reminds me; I have several more things to add to our big jar!)

A third project to enhance our understanding and practice of being thankful is to write a thank-you letter to the professor who invited our fourth grade class to a “Teaching and Learning Fair” at a nearby university, where my students were thrilled to participate in seven stations of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and brought back unique treasures they had crafted themselves in the learning process.  This is also a second reinforcement of them learning to write a proper letter, of which I am thankful.

I am so thankful the LORD has sent me to this school to be part of these precious little ones’ lives, and to help shape them for the future. Blessed be the LORD, for He is good, and His mercy endures forever!

Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name.

Double Glory!

I love how the LORD speaks in nature and other things in His world (some call them “signs”). Him speaking this way to us is part of His Glory, His goodness– and He will speak this way to anyone who truly wants to see and know.  You can ask Him to speak to you–and to help you make sure you know it is Him. He is good, and His mercy endures forever. He will help you!

Yesterday afternoon I was headed home from my position where I teach at a public school over a half hour away. As I admired the clouds along the way, I saw a slice of a rainbow, high in the sky. It delighted me. “Thank You for the Covenant!” I said. “You are so good!”

I enjoy driving (most moments), especially because I can get quiet and listen to Him, pray, worship, and enjoy His beautiful creation. As I quietly prayed and worshiped, I enjoyed His peace.

He loves to delight me with cool things, unusual things, and I am always ready to see them.  As I drew near to the airport, which is right around the curve from my church, I saw two trains on the tracks–not a phenomenon in itself, but these were: Both were moving; with lights on, they were pulling many loaded cars–and they were parallel to each other; both headed the same direction, at the same time, only one was a few cars behind the other!

I knew this was a sign from my dear Daddy God to me about how He has double Glory for me (and you and everyone else)–if we will just believe and receive it!

Truly, this is the time for the double Glory–including double restoration; the restoration of what we should have had, and the restoration of ourselves to His original intent for us! The LORD is pouring out His Glory–as He promises us in Joel chapter 2 (and several other places!). Ask Him to help you believe and perceive and receive the double Glory!

          23 Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord, your God; for He gives you the former or early rain in just measure and in righteousness, and He causes to come down for you the rain, the former rain and the latter rain, as before.

            24 And the [threshing] floors shall be full of grain and the vats shall overflow with juice [of the grape] and oil.

           25 And I will restore or replace for you the years that the locust has eaten—the hopping locust, the stripping locust, and the crawling locust, My great army which I sent among you.

          26 And you shall eat in plenty and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord, your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you. And My people shall never be put to shame.

          27 And you shall know, understand, and realize that I am in the midst of Israel and that I the Lord am your God and there is none else. My people shall never be put to shame.

from AMPC, www.Biblegateway.com

Check out Kim Potter’s article on “The Month of Kislev 5779″ for more about this, on her site for A New Thing Ministries!

 

90 FREE Articles to Help You Grow in God!

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