Share the Wealth!

James 1:21, TPT, So this is why we abandon everything morally impure and all forms of wicked conduct. Instead, with a sensitive spirit we absorb God’s Word, which has been implanted within our nature, for the  Word of Life has power to continually deliver us.”

Psalm 49:6-7, TPT, “They trust in their treasures and boast in their riches, yet not one of them, though rich as a king, could rescue his own brother from the guilt of his sins. Not one could give God the ransom price for the soul of another, let alone for himself.”

1 Corinthians 1:5 TPT, In him you have been made extravagantly rich in every way. You have been endowed with a wealth of inspired utterance and the riches that come from your intimate knowledge of him.”

You are extremely wealthy–you just need to open your eyes! And you need to share the wealth!!

River Rain Ministries is now collecting every Bible and book, CD, DVD, tract, and anything other item of such eternal wealth that you would like to sow to those ministers overseas who truly want and need them to feed themselves and those whom they are leading to Christ and discipling! We collect these, then distribute them to two other ministries (Mission Cry and Love Packages) who load them on to sea containers, where this wealth is distributed to Jesus-following ministries in other countries; up to 175 other nations who crave more of the living Word of God!

Those who need and want these either cannot afford them, or don’t have easy access to them, or both! We have such freedom and extremely low costs to enjoy the Word of God in the United States of America–thank the LORD!

It costs money to store and distribute these items, of course. But there is no obligation to give anything other than what the LORD leads you to give; the Bibles and other materials full of the Truth of Christ is THE valuable thing!

If you would like to share your wealth by giving such materials to those who give materials, please contact us at Tonja@RiverRainCreative.com or riverraincreative@gmail.com, and we will discuss details of acquiring these materials to send to those eager to receive them so they can grow in Christ!

Unchanging God

Malachi 6 and 7, Berean Study Bible says, Because I, the LORD, do not change, you descendants of Jacob have not been destroyed. 7 Yet from the days of your fathers, you have turned away from My statutes and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD of Hosts. “But you ask, ‘How can we return?’…

“It’s a new season,” we hear every few months. Or, “Change is in the air.” Sometimes we’re uncomfortable with that, especially if we don’t know what to expect. But when we know God–that He is faithful, even when we are not; that He gives us every breath and every good thing; that Jesus died and rose again to give us amazing Zoe life (John 3:16, John 10:10); that He is monitoring every moment of our lives and working through His Spirit and His angels to bring about the very best for our lives, because He loves us–then we rest. We rejoice. We release our child-like faith and trust in our Darling Daddy God, and expect His best!

For He never changes. Praise Him, or we–in our weak, carnal human flesh–would all be destroyed by His Glory, His truly awesome Power, the very Essence of Him, the Divine!

God is good, and all good, forever. That will never change! His plans for us are good and all good, forever (Jer. 29:11). Blessed be the LORD, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever! (I Chron. 16:34).

Your Holy Health – Part II

In this humorous excerpt from my book, Happy Health, which I re-titled Your Holy Health, you will find a few tips–including laughter–to better health. (After all, the LORD says in that “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine” (Proverbs 17:22, KJV). Medical science has, of course, proven that God is right. They are beginning to catch up with the ancient Truth, Hallelujah!)

Your Holy Health – Part I

Thanks first of all to the living Word of God and worship and prayer, and then to the decisions to eat mainly organic and Non-GMO foods and get regular exercise, Clayton and I have enjoyed much greater health even than we did in our 20s and 30s! You can too. Here’s the first part of easy tips that really work–starting with a couple of myth-busters.

Myth: “Natural” means “organic.” FACT: “Natural” just means God made it, and man did not. “Organic” means it is a natural food or product that God made, AND that it has NOT had any man-made (READ: Harmful!) chemicals or other substances sprayed on the products, nor the plants they came from, nor put in the soil (i.e., man-made chemical fertilizers, etc.). “Non-GMO” means the food or product is NOT genetically (scientifically or chemically) modified from its original, GOD-made state. There are many levels of “organic” and more about non-GMO, but we won’t cover that here.

Myth: Organic food costs too much/a lot more. FACT: The truth–especially long-term, is that organic food actually costs less, and can cost MUCH less!
I cannot count the times I have been in a drug store or even passing the pharmacy at Wal-Mart and been so thankful I was not there to pick up a prescription, but to buy makeup or candy or something else I wanted.

The truth is that sometimes organic products do cost a little more. But unless you are talking about grass-fed beef or such, the difference is not that big. When you consider that YOU ARE WORTH IT and invest in organic and non-GMO foods and other products, you are making a very wise investment.

Overall, a lack of education and understanding is why many more people have not been eating well. But things are changing! Clayton and I used to drive a few hours to shop at a wholesale organic food chain, but many more organic and non-GMO foods are now available at the places we shop, and we’re thrilled.

Take a step and invest in your holy health by buying organic and/or non-GMO today!

For many more tips and much more info about these things, check out my FREE PDF book, which you can get here!


LEGACY: Crafting Your Child’s Future With Words

“Speak the Word (of God) only”–Amen!

The Roman centurion–a man without a covenant with God, a man of the “anti-Christ” people group in that day–understood the authority and power of speech, and Jesus marveled when he heard the man say, “Just speak the word, and my servant will be healed.” (Matthew 8:8, my paraphrase). The man obviously had faith in the authority of Jesus, even if he did not believe in Jesus Himself. But our LORD Jesus honored that faith!

The LORD honors our faith, and He honors His Word. When we have faith in His Word and speak it, His angels go to work to make it happen–because the King Himself backs up His Word.

Years ago, the LORD instructed me to teach a 6-week class on the power of speaking the Word of God over one’s children, and I did. The book, LEGACY: Crafting Your Child’s Future With Words came out of that class.

It is available here for you free, as a PDF, when you write Power@RiverRainCreative.com. Please feel free to share it, as long as it remains in PDF form, unchanged. May it be a P.O.W.E.R.* tool (Purposeful Operations With Eternal Rewards) to shape the lives of your children (and yourself and all over whom you speak the Word!) for Christ!

Worrier or Warrior?

Psalm 62:6, TPT For he alone is my safe place. His wrap-around presence always protects me as my champion defender. There’s no risk of failure with God! So why would I let worry paralyze me, even when troubles multiply around me?”

Proverbs 19:17, TPT, Every time you give to the poor you make a loan to the Lord. Don’t worry—you’ll be repaid in full for all the good you’ve done.”

Matthew 6:26, TPTLook at all the birds—do you think they worry about their existence? They don’t plant or reap or store up food, yet your heavenly Father provides them each with food. Aren’t you much more valuable to your Father than they?”

“Worrier or Warrior?” my dear husband said to me the other day. “We have to make a choice.”

Which are you?’ If you depend on yourself and the world (and even, sometimes, other people, who are prone to error sooner or later), you are a worrier. But if you do Proverbs 3:5 and 6: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths,” then you are a Warrior.

Trusting in the goodness and faithfulness of our INfallible (NOT capable of making a mistake!) Father God and His Son, the LORD Jesus Christ, makes us Warriors. As my pastor, Apostle Tracy Harris, states, “Peace is a force.”

When we keep our minds on Him, He keeps us in peace. When we choose to rejoice and praise God in the middle of junk, He sets an ambush against the enemy, and works victory on our behalf.

GOD IS FOR US and NONE can be against us and succeed! Let us remember, if GOD is for us–and He IS, if we have accepted His Son, Jesus Christ–then NONE can be against us for long. WE WIN!

Jesus Esta Vivo!

Marcos 16:7 Nueva Versión Internacional (NVI) Pero vayan a decirles a los discípulos y a Pedro: “Él va delante de ustedes a Galilea. Allí lo verán, tal como les dijo”.

Mark 16:7 (TPT), Run and tell his disciples, even Peter, that he is risen. He has gone ahead of you into Galilee and you will see him there, just like he told you.”

Mateo 28:6 (NVI)
No está aquí, pues ha resucitado, tal como dijo. Vengan a ver el lugar donde lo pusieron.

Matthew 28:6, ” He isn’t here—he has risen victoriously, just as he said! Come inside the tomb and see the place where our Lord was lying.”

Salmos 97:11 Nueva Versión Internacional (NVI):  “La luz se esparce sobre los justos, y la alegría sobre los rectos de corazón.”

In English, The Amplified Classic version reads (Psalm 97:11), Light is sown for the [uncompromisingly] righteous and strewn along their pathway, and joy for the upright in heart [the irrepressible joy which comes from consciousness of His favor and protection].”

Jesus–JesuCristo El Senor–Jesus Christ the LORD–is alive! No matter what is going on around us, He is our Help! He is our Strength! He is our Defender! He is our Provider! He is our Peace! He is our JOY!

True joy can only come from within–from Jesus Christ, Who is the Spirit of God, Who is the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22), so if we have Him, we have joy.

He’s helping me and others I know to realize that, if our joy is not apparent, then we either (1) need to ask Him to show us where to repent about something (because sin grieves our good, good Father Who loves us, and also grieves our spirits that are one with Him the moment we receive Christ; or (2) take authority over the lies of the enemy and remind ourselves of the wonderful Truth of the Word, Who cannot lie.

I really like the verse that states, “Light (revelation, understanding of God’s will, and especially of His love for us) is shed for the uncompromisingly just and righteous (which we are, the moment we receive Christ Jesus–because righteousness is based on what HE did at the cross, not on what WE do or don’t do! Thank God!), and irrepressible (unable to be held down, like a beach ball continually rising to the top when pushed under water, where it absolutely refuses to stay down!) joy shed for the upright in heart (again, upright–in right standing with God–is what we are in our spirits, our REAL selves, the moment we receive Christ Jesus in our hearts!).”

If you don’t know Christ, know that He died for you and wants to become your Savior, LORD, and Best Friend Forever–and He is serious about you! Just close your eyes and pray, “LORD Jesus, I believe You died for me on the cross and rose again, and live forever. I believer You are returning to take all who believe in You to Heaven, to Paradise, to live forever, when this body dies. I need You, Holy LORD, to please forgive me and save me, cleanse me, heal me. I know You are the Source of Life, and I receive You. Thank You!

He has already made the way; He’s just waiting for you to agree and let Him be your Savior and Friend. HE IS THE MAN! He loves you and has a wonderful Plan for your life–better than you’ve ever dreamed! So go for it–what are you waiting for?!

Jesus esta vivo! He is alive, and good, and waiting for YOU–to give you much more joy and abundant life (John 10:10) than you can imagine!


It Just Gets Better

Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear, revere, and worship You, goodness which You have wrought for those who trust and take refuge in You before the sons of men!”         –Psalm 31:19

As one preacher we listen to says, “It (God’s goodness) just gets gooder and gooder!”

As he (Brother Dave, on www.moorelife.org) knows, that may be bad English, but it’s so true!

God is GOOD. ALL good. I am continually amazed at His goodness–even to me while I was doing many things against Him (some I knew about, some I didn’t, but I was still doing them. He is so merciful!)

There is NO evil in Him, nor does He cause evil. He is holy. He is righteous. He is true–He is Truth!

But you don’t have to take my word for it. Take His!

God is up to any challenge you can make. He can handle it. He–Jesus Christ–IS “The Man”!

Thank God He DID come as a man–so He could experience all the junk you and I will ever go through, and then pay for it–so we could go FREE!

Call to Him to make Himself known to you today. He will!

My Faithful Father

“The same way a loving father feels toward his children— that’s but a sample of your tender feelings toward us, your beloved children, who live in awe of you” .Psalm 103:13  TPT

“But Lord, your endless love stretches from one eternity to the other, unbroken and relenting toward those who fear you and those who bow facedown in awe before you. Your faithfulness to keep every gracious promise you’ve made
passes from parents, to children, to grandchildren, and beyond.” 
Psalm 103:17, TPT

God is so very good! Every breath is from Him. Every good thing is from Him. He is good to all, even though so many people will never acknowledge His goodness, and many even curse and blaspheme them. Yet He has made the way for them to be free and go to Paradise with Him forever–if they will just agree.

Our dear pastor, Apostle Tracy Harris, said today that the highest title of our Creator is “Father.” I agree. Our congregation sang “Good, Good Father” a capella–and it was powerful.

He reminded us that, in Luke 15, when the prodigal son took his inheritance and left to waste it, then decided, in his shame, to return to his father and ask to be a hired servant so at least he would have food to eat, that the father (who’d been watching every day for him to return!) ran to meet him. He cleaned him up, put a royal robe on him, and threw him a party.

The father didn’t even talk to him about his sordid past. He had forgiven his son even before he left home–because he loved his son. No matter what wrong his son did, he would always be his beloved son.

That is like the gift of righteousness that the LORD our Father gave us when He sent Jesus to die on the cross to pay for all our sins, and rise again to give us new life (John 3:16).

God the Father chose to forgive us before we were ever born–knowing that every human is born into sin, because of the treason of Adam, when he agreed with the devil against the word of God (Genesis). He provided Jesus, the New Covenant, Who took all the curse–all the wrong, all the sin, all the junk–and made it so that anyone who agreed that they needed the power of Jesus’ cleansing blood could be free, and not have to pay the eternal penalty for their sins.

But God’s goodness doesn’t stop there! Not only does every person who agrees to come into partnership with God’s Son Jesus become pardoned forever from their sin, but also gets the current protection and supply, friendship, and healing, that only these adopted children of God are rightfully due! In addition–and best of all–there is the eternal life of the spirit in Heaven with God and Jesus forever, after the body dies!

The LORD our Father (once we receive Jesus as our Savior and LORD) is so good, and we can know Him personally. Wow.

We love You, Daddy God, Abba Father, and we bless Your holy Name forever!

A Dancer After His Own Heart

Psalm 30:11 (TPT), “Then he broke through and transformed all my wailing into a whirling dance of ecstatic praise! He has torn the veil and lifted from me the sad heaviness of mourning. He wrapped me in the glory garments of gladness.”

Psalm 63:11 (TPT), These liars will be silenced forever! But with the anointing of a king I will dance and rejoice along with all his lovers who trust in him.”

Psalm 87:7 (TPT), “And the princes of God’s feasts will sing and dance, singing, “Every fountain of delight springs up from your life within me!”

When I was growing up decades ago and watching television at home, I wanted to be a dancer like those on “Solid Gold.” Or so I thought. To me, they were lovely and graceful. That seemed like power–especially to a skinny shy girl who too often felt afraid.

Now I know, of course, that those dancers were doing sensuous moves to worldly, soul-disturbing sounds.

But the LORD is faithful–the more I came to know His Word and love Him, the more I could not help but just get up and rejoice–and dance! And it grew from there. I started exploring praise and worship dance, and made some flags and would practice in the living room. But I wanted more.

I wanted to touch His heart. I wanted to make my moves a prayer.

One day I was literally doing praise and worship to the LORD, and the thought to look up “prophetic dance” came into my mind. I discovered Apostle Lynn Hayden, of Dancing For Him Ministries, and was privileged to be taught by her for a the first year of her praise and worship school. She helped me go much deeper in my understanding and appreciation of the power of movement to the glory of God.

When at the conference, I was required to dance, and I wasn’t sure what I would do. I couldn’t seem to choreograph anything, so i just prayed and trusted the LORD to literally move me. He did! (But of course!) I was the last one to dance, and I had chosen a fast song by Danny Chambers, called, “The LORD Reigns.” It seemed like all I did was whirl–dance in circles–and I started clapping, and the crowd quickly joined in. I grabbed my Bible and held it up, and it was powerful. Glory to God!

Although I didn’t understand it fully then, this verse is what He did for me (among other things!): Psalm 30:11 (TPT), “Then he broke through and transformed all my wailing into a whirling dance of ecstatic praise! He has torn the veil and lifted from me the sad heaviness of mourning. He wrapped me in the glory garments of gladness.”

The LORD is the One Who invented dancing. In fact, certain authorities on the Bible say He loved to go to feasts and parties where there was dancing. If you haven’t danced, or even if you have, ask Him to make you freer. Throw off others’ opinions and dance to the LORD. It will please Him and He will work on your behalf in ways that may surprise you!

This night, after I danced to my LORD, He whispered, “You are, after all, a dancer after My own heart.” And that, my friend, is everything!

P.O.W.E.R.* Classes!

Starting this month, River Rain Creative Arts will be presenting P.O.W.E.R. Classes!

(1) P.O.W.E.R. Writing (2) P.O.W.E.R. Art (3) P.O.W.E.R. Worship (4) P.O.W.E.R. Foods (5) P.O.W.E.R.-Cise (6) P.O.W.E.R. Princess (7) P.O.W.E.R. Prince

P.O.W.E.R. stands for Purposeful Operations With Eternal Rewards, for from God is the true POWER, and we are on earth to use His POWER to transform ourselves and others as He leads into the image of Christ!

These Christ-centered multi-faceted classes are opportunities for you to have fun, learn new things about creativity, and design things that can forever change your life!

Elohim (God the Creator) has birthed them, and His Spirit never tires nor stops working. He is ever ready to create through you!

Contact Power@RiverRainCreative.com for opportunities for your small group, church, class, or other group to enjoy exploring the Creator in you!

Fees are very reasonable and include materials, books, and door prizes, plus the opportunity to have your work displayed on the River Rain Creative Arts site!

Better Than Elvis and Barbie Together!

“But Lord, your endless love stretches from one eternity to the other, unbroken and unrelenting toward those who fear you and those who bow face down in awe before you. Your faithfulness to keep every gracious promise you’ve made passes from parents, to children, to grandchildren, and beyond. You are faithful to all those who follow your ways and keep your word.” Psalm 103:17-18, TPT

I remember growing up (a few decades ago) and having Barbie dolls. Barbie could do anything and be anything, and I thought that was cool; a Big Deal.

I also remember my mom and many others–even today–making a Big Deal about Elvis. He had a nice voice, but he wasn’t that big of a deal to me, probably because of the type of character he usually played–more of a fake, which is a Big Deal to me.

Anyway it occurred to me that Jesus is even better than these two put together! There is no real comparison, of course, because Jesus–unlike the other two, is real. He is the Real Deal, which is a Big Deal.

Aren’t we all (at least secretly!) looking for The Real Deal?

Jesus is a real Man, and the true God, and His character is never in question. He helps us choose Him (the true Life) and then He rewards us for doing so!

Unlike Elvis and Barbie, He is omnipresent (everywhere at once), omniscient (all-knowing), and omnipotent (all-powerful)–except for one thing: He has chosen to give us humans a free will, and He will not override it (Deuteronomy 30:15-20). That is a Big Deal.

We can even choose to go to hell (literally, after our bodies die, forever!), but why would we do that? Jesus is everything we want and need!

” …11And this is that testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12WhoeverhastheSonhaslife;whoeverdoes not havetheSonof Goddoes not havelife.13I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (I John 5:11-13, Berean Study Bible)

Revelation 1:18 (TPT), (Jesus is) “…the Living One! I was dead, but now look—I Am alive forever and ever. And I hold the keys that unlock death and the unseen world.” 

Ah the unseen world; far more fascinating–and real–than the seen!

And Jesus is LORD of both!

Revelation 21:6 (TPT), Then he said to me, “It has been accomplished! For I Am the Aleph and the Tav, the beginning and the end. I will give water to all who are thirsty. As my gracious gift, they will continuously drink from the fountain of living water.”

Elvis and Barbie and all the superheroes in the movies together could never compare with Christ, the Living God. He, King Jesus, is returning soon, so why wouldn’t you side with Him, the Victorious, Glorious One Who gave you life?

Revelation 22:12 (TPT),  Jesus’ Final Words and John’s Final Testimony ] “Behold, I Am coming quickly! I bring my reward with me to repay everyone according to their works.”

You can depend on Christ Jesus–Who is the Big Deal, and Who is the Real Deal. tAsk Him to help you today. He will!  And it’s true: Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord Yahweh will be rescued and experience new life. (Romans 10:13, TPT)”

It’s Available Now!

“2 Corinthians 6:2,” (TPT), “For he says, I listened to you at the time of my favor. And the day when you needed salvation, I came to your aid. So can’t you see? Now is the time to respond to his favor! Now is the day of salvation!”

“The funds will be available tomorrow, right?” I asked the bank clerk. She smiled. “It’s available now,” she said. “Immediately.”

“Now? Today?” I was surprised, and pleased. But it made sense. It was, after all, my money, and it should be available immediately for me to do with what I wanted. Just because I gave it to someone else to hold did not mean I had to wait to use it.

And so it is with the Blessings of my Covenant with God, I reasoned to myself. (Reasoning can be a trap, and against the truth of God, if it goes against what the Word said. But the LORD also says, in Isaiah 1:18 (ESV),
“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”

Jesus is ready now to help you. He has been ready for over 2,000 years (John 3:15-17), when He came to be born of a virgin, live on earth, die on the cross to pay for all we humans did wrong, and to rise again after three days–all to give us an amazing, abundant, satisfying, wealthy life (John 10;10)! Call out to Him in earnest, and He will answer (Isa. 65:24, Romans 10:13). Then you will start the greatest adventure of your life!

Faith – A Poem by Deb

(from Tonja–Deb just shared this with me and I wanted you guys to be blessed by it. Also, be sure and check out her delightful art by clicking on this link!)

Deb wrote: “GOD IS SO GOOD!!! I wrote this 14 yrs. ago at 2 a.m. after 48 hrs of no sleep and thought for over 2 years now the last copy I had was lost forever (I have prayed many times for the words to come to me)and today going through some old pictures I made for Zach I found where I was doing a copy to frame years ago. First time ever posted. It was published when I wrote it on an online poem site, I was invited to come to Florida to read it but could not afford the trip. I lost the information in a move soon after. This was written over a many, many years before I began actively seeking a personal relationship with the Lord.):

 
FAITH
Faith is not something you find on the street. 
It’s something you find when you search deep inside and release all your anger. 
It’s when you take a moment out of your own life to notice a complete stranger. 
Sometimes we all go about our own lives without noticing everything that goes on around us. 
Until something like September 11th happens and reminds us.
Life is fragile, peace is not easily found.
Mankind can be beautiful, all you need to do is really look all around. 
We are all the same no matter what we look like on the outside.
We just have to have faith and learn to look past our differences, to look deep inside each person to the fragile feelings we all hide.
My faith is what keeps me going from day to day.
But sometimes you have to remember just to stop and pray. 
We can’t do any of this all alone.
You have to remember there is someone waiting for all of us in a place we can all call HOME…
Deb Azalea April 30th, 2004

He’s Got Your Back

Psalm 66:9 (TPT), “There’s no doubt about it; God holds our lives safely in his hands. He’s the one who keeps us faithfully following him.”

Psalm 12:6, (TPT), For every word God speaks is sure and every promise pure. His truth is tested, found to be flawless, and ever faithful. It’s as pure as silver refined seven times in a crucible of clay.”

Psalm 37:3 (TPT), Keep trusting in the Lord and do what is right in his eyes. Fix your heart on the promises of God and you will be secure, feasting on his faithfulness.”

Psalm 69:13 (TPT), “But I keep calling out to you, Yahweh! I know you will bend down to listen to me, for now is the season of favor. Because of your faithfullove for me, your answer to my prayer will be my sure salvation.”

There is a God, and He is real, and awesome, and good! He is forever faithful, and that’s why we each have life. That’s why the world keeps turning. That’s why there is beauty. He gives us every breath.

And while He protects us from so much every day–things that would try to destroy us that we don’t even see–our choices also affect things. But He is a good Father that teaches us what is best, if we will just listen to Him. He loves us so much He sacrificed His only Son, Jesus, so we would go free and have an amazing, prosperous life (John 3:15-17, John 10:10)!

But you don’t have to believe me. Get a Bible and ask the LORD if He’s real. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you. He will! And then, you’ll be in for the most exciting adventure you’ve ever known!

Thrust Comes With Trust

(This writing was inspired by Clayton, who spoke this phrase, “Trust comes with trust,” to me. Love you, Dynamite Darling!)

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.”– John 3:17,MSG

Proverbs 3:5-6 Wisdom’s Guidance ] “Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision you make. Become intimate with him in whatever you do, and he will lead you wherever you go.”

This is the theme verse for our marriage–it has popped up from many ministers and ministries or other occasions when we’ve needed to make decisions and have been ‘spinning” about it. Of course we don’t want to grieve the LORD; we do not want to be deceived. It takes faith to trust in the LORD–and we’ve discovered it also takes faith to, as Apostle Tracy Harris, our dear pastor, states, “have faith in your faith”.

In other words, when we ask the LORD to guide us, we release our faith–we trust–that He does, then we must trust ourselves to be led by Him. So when we trust Him, and that we will be led by our Good Shepherd because we want to be and asked Him to, then we can thrust forward in getting Kingdom work done.

“Thrust comes with trust,” said my Darling Dynamite Husband, Clayton, a few months ago. “You have to trust the vehicle, the messenger–the LORD–to get you through.”

I agree with him. In fact, I wrote it down. Much revelation comes from this mighty man of God who is continually in the Word–reading it, watching it, listening to it, every day; and serving on the praise and worship team, running the camera, and doing whatever else needs to be done at our church. He does the same in this marriage and family and at every position he holds. He thrusts Godly excellence into every realm of his life, every day.

There are not many men like him! I am very blessed to be his wife, and I know the LORD has great things for him! Clayton has helped me learn (with God helping me) to trust, to love and receive love. True love is a phenomenal thing, and when one trusts the love of God, one can love others and thrust forward in life.

Growing in trust–in faith–to thrust forward in God’s will, is a lifelong process. One thing that really helps me is talking to God (prayers); also remembering God’s faithfulness and focusing my life on the Word; reading it daily; speaking it; listening to and watching programs about the Word. I ask the LORD to make me God-conscious. Just look back over your life and realize that every good things–even every breath–is a gift to you from our faithful Covenant God.

Forever He is faithful; totally trustworthy. He cannot be unfaithful and He’s always got your back. So trust Him and thrust forward into Zoe life! (John 10:10).

Look at the Clouds

Matthew 26:64 [TPT), Jesus answered him, “You just said it yourself. And more than that, you are about to see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of God, the Almighty. And one day you will also see the Son of Man coming in the heavenly clouds!”

Psalm 68:34 (TPT), Give it up for God, for he alone has all the strength and power! Proclaim his majesty! For his glory shines down on Israel. His mighty strength soars in the clouds of glory.

Matthew 24:30 (TPT), Then the sign announcing the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn over him. And they will see the Son of Man appearing in the clouds of heaven, revealed with mighty power, great splendor, and glory.”

Clouds fascinate me, and I know I saw a heart (like the one people do with their hands) in the clouds today from My Daddy God to me, as I was driving and singing and praying on this lovely afternoon.

Today also clouds were all across the sky, lined up as if in ranks, like an army. This reminded me of Psalm 57:9 and 10: “I’m thanking you, God, out loud in the streets, singing your praises in town and country. The deeper your love, the higher it goes; every cloud is a flag to your faithfulness.

I have heard at least one pastor state that clouds in the Scriptures are often angels. That would make sense–for instance when the LORD returns and we who truly believe (John 3:16, Romans 10:13) rise to go with Him to Heaven: 1 Thessalonians 4:17 (TPT), “Then we who are alive will join them, transported together in clouds to have an encounter with the Lord in the air, and we will be forever joined with the Lord.”

So join me and look up! Our redemption is very near!

Joy Ride!

Galatians 5:22-23 TPT)
But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions: joy  “that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit. Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.”

Psalm 5:12 (TPT), “Lord, how wonderfully you bless the righteous. Your favor wraps around each one and covers them under your canopy of kindness and joy.”

Psalm 9:2 (TPT), I will jump for joy and shout in triumph as I sing your song and make music for the Most High God.”

Psalm 13:5 (TPT), Lord, I have always trusted in your kindness, so answer me. I will yet celebrate with passion and joy when your salvation lifts me up.”

Psalm 16:9 (TPT), My heart and soul explode with joy—full of glory! Even my body will rest confident and secure.”

Psalm 19:8 (TPT), “His teachings make us joyful and radiate his light; his precepts are so pure! His commands, how they challenge us to keep close to his heart! The revelation-light of his word makes my spirit shine radiant.”

Psalm 25:8 (TPT), “When people turn to you, they discover how easy you are to please—so faithful and true! Joyfully you teach them the proper path, even when they go astray.”

Wow, I just had a “Joy Ride” (NOT stealing cars, of course (Where did they get that? Silly people!))! And you can have it too!

A TRUE Joy Ride is what I call a great time in the LORD–usually while I drive, windows down and hair blowing freely, singing and praying in the Spirit, and just rejoicing in HOW GOOD GOD IS!!!), while doing a search on these Scriptures and reading them to post! It has been hard not to list all 250 that came up (Search for yourself in www.BibleGateway.com!), but there is one more that came to mind —

3 John 1:4 (TPT): “It is the greatest joy of my life to hear that my children are consistently living their lives in the ways of truth!”

Another thing: I’m not just talking about our joy, but the joy of the Father God Who delights in us when we seek and serve Him. He gets pleasure out of ours. He is glad when we believe and receive and enjoy all that Jesus His Son died to give us (John 3;15-17, John 10:10; Eph. 3:20)!

Rejoice in the LORD always–if you are feeling down, just start asking the LORD to help you remember all the good things He has done for you, and you will start feeling better in no time! There is power in joy. Things may have gone wrong–but let us remember ALL that has gone right! And the LORD is so good; He is continually protecting us from much harm, that we may never realize till Heaven! (If you do these things and are still “down,” then you need to seek pastoral help, or help from a counselor whom you are sure is a Believer in the LORD Jesus Christ! There may be deep-rooted issues from which you need deliverance. Ask me how I know!)

“And it’s true: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord Yahweh
    will be rescued and experience new life.”
(Romans 10:13, TPT)

– Ask the LORD Jesus to reveal Himself to you today! You need the New Life of Joy, and Jesus is Joy! Trust me, when you side with Him, you will begin the greatest Joy Ride of your life!!

Stirred to Give More

Psalm 9:4 (TPT), “For you have stood up for my cause and vindicated me when I needed you the most. From your righteous throne you have given me justice.”

Psalm 20:6 (TPT), I know God gives me all that I ask for and brings victory to his anointed king. My deliverance cry will be heard in his holy heaven. By his mighty hand miracles will manifest through his saving strength.”

2 Corinthians 8:10, 11 TPT), “So here are my thoughts concerning this matter, and it’s in your best interests. Since you made such a good start last year, both in the grace of giving and in your longing to give, you should finish what you started. You were so eager in your intentions to give, so go do it. Finish this act of worship according to your ability to give.”

John 1;16, AMPC, “For out of His fullness (abundance) we have all received [all had a share and we were all supplied with] one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift.”

“Giving is God-like,” I heard one minister say years ago. I agree. When we give, it is Love Himself flowing through us!

This morning, I was studying for an exam, but I kept thinking of my friend, whom I’d just discovered had many needs. She’d been in my church for months, and I knew she was a single mom, a cancer survivor, and not on top of the world, so to speak. She had made me an exquisite necklace for Mother’s Day, and I treasured it. But I didn’t know the hardships she’d been experiencing. When we were able to finally spend time together, I learned and close to finishing her degree in art, but she’d also shared with me that the LORD had told her to slow down, take less classes, and spend more time with Him.

I could identify with some of her challenges and struggles. It had been along hard road, but the LORD had brought me far from the past and I had started living in the Blessing of the LORD. That is His Plan for all people, and we who are His kids are promised that Life (John 10:10) when we do things His way. He loved us all so much that He gave the Best of Heaven–Jesus the Christ, God’s only Son–so we could live the “above and beyond” life. All we have to do is learn His Word and listen to Him. He is such a loving, giving Father, and so patient and kind and merciful. He wants us to succeed and enjoy what He gave!

Several times, I tried to overcome distraction today and study, but thoughts of my friend and what I could give would not go away. I got up and gathered a few household goods. “Thank You, LORD, You have given us soooooo much! Thank You that we have something to give! Thank You LORD for giving me generous parents who taught me to give!” I told Him. So I gathered a few things and put them by my purse, intending to take them to her tomorrow.

I tried to study again, and after about four rounds of this, I kept being stirred to give more. So I rose to gather more and more things that He showed me to give her–with the joy increasing–I finally just texted her and told her I was bringing it today. I did, and she and her son were thankful. I gave her quite a bit of stuff, but I really wanted to give more! It is the heart of God to give, and He answers that cry of our hearts to help us be like Him.

After that, I just spent some time worshiping and thanking the LORD, and praying in the Spirit. It was a lovely day–and made more lovely by the fact that I allowed the LORD to give through me! Okay, finally, I will be able to concentrate, I thought, and sat down at my desk.

I have been overwhelmed many times realizing that Christ has given me so much–and that billions (with a B!) of people through the earth would love to experience just one day, just one part of my abundant life! I don’t mean I live in a mansion nor drive a Lamborghini (yet, anyway), but I have so many priceless things money can never buy–because the LORD our God was so faithful and loving to give Jesus His Son for me, and for you, and for all who will just agree with Him.

My search of “give” in The Passion Translation (TPT) revealed 618 verses–more about how God gives to us that we give to Him or others. But to experience the highest reward in life, ask the LORD to show you how to give (Acts 20:35: “…it is more blessed to give than receive.”). He will. And on top of the fact that He gives us the desire to give to bless others, He provides the money and resources, time, energy, skills, and everything else that we give others–then He gives even more to us by giving us sublime satisfaction of sharing–and He causes our giving to be multiplied and come back to us, so we have even more to give the next time (2 Cor. 9:8)!!

He is and forever will be stirred to give more! We can never outgive God, and truly, all that we have, as King David says, comes from Him and we give Him and others only what comes from Him! (I Chronicles 29:6-18)

How amazing and wonderful and beautiful and good is our truly awesome Daddy God (Psalm 34:8)!

Good and Stubborn

Acts 19:9, TPT But some of them hardened their hearts and stubbornly refused to believe. When they spoke evil of the Way in front of the congregation, Paul withdrew from them and took the believers with him.”

Proverbs 3:35 (TPT), Stubborn fools fill their lives with disgrace, but glory and honor rest upon the wise. “

Psalm 32:8-9 (TPT), I hear the Lord saying, “I will stay close to you, instructing and guiding you along the pathway for your life. I will advise you along the way and lead you forth with my eyes as your guide. So don’t make it difficult; don’t be stubborn when I take you where you’ve not been before. Don’t make me tug you and pull you along. Just come with me!””

Normally, being stubborn is a bad thing. When we are stubborn, we are going our own way–and/or the devil’s–and no matter what we think or feel, we are not free. (Ask me how I know!) The LORD says that true freedom comes from following Him and loving others:

“Beloved ones, God has called us to live a life of freedom in the Holy Spirit. But don’t view this wonderful freedom as an opportunity to set up a base of operations in the natural realm. Freedom means that we become so completely free of self-indulgence that we become servants of one another, expressing love in all we do. Galatians 5:13, TPT

However, I just want to put in a plug for “good stubbornness”– for God first; He “stubbornly” refuses to quit loving us–even knowing we may never love Him, may even curse and scorn and refute Him. As 2 Timothy 2;13 says, “if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.”   Also Jeremiah 31:3 says, “The LORD appeared to him from afar, saying, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with loving kindness.Jeremiah 31:3, ESV 

And there are some other examples of “good stubborness” that I have come to appreciate much more: The “stubborn” Covenant love of my husband through the years; the “stubborn” love of my parents and daughter through the years; and the “stubborn” insistence of my 2014 Toyota Camry in not locking when I’ve (1) left the engine running (it’s so quiet I can barely hear it); (2) left the gear in something other than park; or (3) left the keys in the car. (Yes, I’ve tested this blessed vehicle on all three of those–and thank goodness for it’s “good stubborness” in not allowing itself to be locked! Rather, I give the thanks to my “stubbornly” faithful Daddy God!)

Perhaps the LORD also continues to be “stubborn” in politely insisting you do a certain thing (or stop doing a certain thing). This is good. He knows all things. He created you and loves you and has only your best interest in mind. If you are being stubborn and not obeying Him (This is bad.), ask Him to help you be courageous and obey. He will, and you’ll be so glad you did.

Ask me how I know! Great is the faithful “stubbornness” and goodness of our God, always leading us to our BEST selves!!

Are You Grafted In?

Romans 6:5 (TPT), For since we are permanently grafted into him to experience a death like his, then we are permanently grafted into him to experience a resurrection like his and the new life that it imparts.

  Romans 11:17 (TPT), However, some of the branches have been pruned away. And you, who were once nothing more than a wild olive branch in the desert, God has grafted in—inserting you among the remaining branches as a joint partner to share in the wonderful richness of the cultivated olive stem. “

John 15:1Jesus the Living Vine ] (TPT), “I am a true sprouting vine, and the farmer who tends the vine is my Father.”

 (TPT) John 15:4, So you must remain in life-union with me, for I remain in life-union with you. For as a branch severed from the vine will not bear fruit, so your life will be fruitless unless you live your life intimately joined to mine.”

The LORD is so funny–He has a great sense of humor, and He knows just how and when to comfort us. One of His names is, after all, The Comforter. Some versions use this term. Otherwise, BIFF (Best Invisible Friend Forever, as Princess Pearl, P.O.W.E.R. Girl calls Him, will work!)

John 14:16-17 “And I will ask the Father and he will give you another Savior, the Holy Spirit of Truth, who will be to you a friend just like me—and he will never leave you. The world won’t receive him because they can’t see him or know him. But you will know him intimately, because he will make his home in you and will live inside you.”

For some reason, I was thinking about hurtful things people had said about how slim I was. Being tall and slim has served me very, very well. It really is a blessing from the LORD. However, I’ve had some people through the years actually hate me for it, and some say hurtful things to me about my slimness–while some of them, at least, I knew were trying to achieve the same slimness. Sigh. Don’t you wonder how the LORD ever puts up with the carnality of us humans?

Anyway, I have learned to overcome through the years, and not be distracted by such temporal things (an excellent article on this is at Jesus Online), although it has not always been easy. (First, forgive those making fun of you; they know not what they do, so to speak…).

So I recognized these fiery darts (although slight, they were still darts), and spoke out loud (you cannot fight thoughts with thoughts; you must speak the Word, or Word-based truth, to shut them down. If they keep coming, you may need to check your heart to see if you have truly forgiven. Ask me how I know! But the enemy has no new tricks, so he’ll try to use the same things on you, even if you are free!), and said out loud, “Interesting that those who have called me a “twig” have been trying to become a “twig” themselves!” And I kept peeling my potatoes.

“A twig on the right Tree!” my sweet Daddy God said immediately to my heart. Joy bubbled up and I laughed for several seconds, with happy tears. “Yes! I am a twig that’s part of the Right Tree, amen!”

The Spirit of Truth is the Spirit of Joy, Who is the Comforter, Who is the Savior Jesus Christ, Who is our BIFF. Why would you try to do life without Him? Get a real Life (John 10:10) today–just ask Jesus the LORD to forgive you of your sins and come into your life and do something with it. He will! (John 3:15-17, Ephesians 3:20).