Embrace the New!

18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.
— Isaiah 43:18-19  (NIV)

To fully embrace the new, we must let go of the past. Why is that hard sometimes? We love the new things–but hurts and trouble from the past can be used by the enemy to try to dilute and discolor the wonderful new things the LORD is doing.

BUT GOD is our Help and our Shield, our Defender and Strength. When we ask Him, He loves to put His “super on our natural” and help us really get rid of the negatives, so we can enjoy all the positives!

God is a positive God, thank goodness! And Dr. Kenneth Copeland is quoted as stating that the LORD told him that, were it not for sin, He (the LORD) would never have a negative thought!

So, there are many reasons the LORD has to TELL us to forget the former things and to (on purpose!) set our minds on things above!

Sometimes the struggle to do this has surprised me, especially with all the teaching I’ve received through the years. And, it’s the struggle that we don’t like! In Heaven, there won’t be any struggle, and we’re not struggling with people, but within ourselves (usually, the root of the struggle is truly believing how much God has done for us and living it!) and with the (defeated, by the Blood of the Lamb, our testimony, and our knowledge of the Word and obedience to it!)

By the help of the LORD–repentance, forgiving others, prayyer, worship, reading and listening to and repeating aloud God’s Word, plus serving others and being an active part of a Bible-believing church–we can truly forget the past and set our minds on purpose to believe God and know that, for His kids, life just gets better! Amen and amen!

Let’s pray! Father, I want to enjoy all that Jesus died to give me–the wonderful John 10:10 life–the abundant Zoe life–and I need Your help! Show me how to get victory over everything that’s been holding me back, including hurts in my heart and other negative memories.

Help me to set me think about You continually, and to allow You to work in me and through me to help others know how very good You are, and that You are coming soon! Then I can enjoy the new things You are doing, and You will show me my part in them. Thank You, dear Father! I love You and thank You for loving me! In Jesus’ name, amen!

Stop Trying to Please Him!

“But I will give all my thanks to you, Lord, for you make everything right in the end. I will sing my highest praise to the God of the Highest Place!” –Psalm 7:17, TPT

8 “,…For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance as our way of life.… ” Ephesians 2:8-10, TPT

This week, I was seeking the LORD more intensely than usual. I’ve always been a go-getter, and have spent most of my life involved in several activities at once. That can be both good and bad.

Anyway, the second of these days of seeking, the LORD impressed me early that I’d worked too much the day before, and He wanted me to rest the second day. “Okay, but HOW do you want me to rest?” I asked Him. I was honestly confused for a few seconds–till I felt His gentle Spirit showing me that there was a root of performance pressure in that question! In my heart, I truly was searching for the most efficient way to rest!

What an irony! So that was wrong thinking, with a root of fear (of displeasing Him, of not being “efficient enough,” which is performance–which is FEAR. We do NOT have the spirit of fear, but power, love, and a sound mind, when we are God’s kids!)

I also realized hours later that procrastination is linked to performance pressure/perfectionism (fear), so I repented for all that, and asked the LORD to “replace the wicked (fear/perfectionism/performance pressure) with the righteous (deeper understanding of His love, and peace)! He did!

The LORD’s had to remind me often to REST during the years! And, like most of us, I’ve been guilty of thinking that, when I’m DOING a lot of things for the LORD, that that is acceptable to Him. Truly, He knows my heart IS to please and honor Him–and to let my Light shine so that all may be drawn to Him (Matthew 5:16). Amen.

However–just as I love my darling daughter (now, almost 23 and a college grad, plus about to be married in the spring!) am am PLEASED WITH HER, completely apart from her performance–so I was reminded that my Daddy God loves me. (And I’ve had good parents who loved me through thick and thin, no matter what.)

So we know that our loving Father God loves us and delights to give us what we ask when we are close to Him, because, as I John 3;21-23 says, “…21 Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God, 22 and we will received from Him whatever we ask ,because we keep His commandments and do what is pleasing in His sight. 23 And this is His commandment: that we should believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and we should love one another just as He commanded us.…: Berean Study Bible

So, if you’ve been like me–thinking God is mad at you, or at least irritated, or even disappointed or such (although we CAN grieve Him with our disobedience, like any rebellious child can grieve a parent)–then just say this prayer to the Father:

Father God, thank You that You have loved me since the moment You created me in my mother’s womb! And, from the moment I was born again by my faith in the blood of Jesus shed for me on the cross over 2,000 years ago, You have adopted me as Your child to lavish Your love on me–and You see me as perfect and flawless and righteous! My mind can’t understand that! But, just like I received Jesus in my heart by faith, I now choose to believe Your love for me–that You are pleased with me no matter what I do or don’t do (Your Grace!)–because I am Your beloved child! Please help me grow daily in a deeper understanding of Your faithful love! In Jesus’ Name, amen!

Gone Forever!

Isaiah 26:14, (AMPC) says: “They [the former tyrant masters] are dead, they shall not live and reappear; they are powerless ghosts, they shall not rise and come back. Therefore You have visited and made an end of them and caused every memory of them [every trace of their supremacy] to perish.”

And that is what came out of my mouth today, when I was literally burning several pieces of paper–upon which was written many things that had hurt me (since childhood!), that the LORD had revealed to me about 2 a.m. a couple of mornings ago, along with, ” Thank You, LORD, these bad memories, these negative emotions, and all their consequences, are powerless ghosts–GONE FOREVER, AMEN!! In the Name of Jesus, I forgive all these people of all their sins, transgressions, and iniquities against me, and I ask You to forgive me of all I’ve done wrong–or not done that I should have!–because of the hurts caused by enemy through these people! I forgive them, find no fault in them, ask You to heal them of any way I’ve hurt them, and declare Your perfect will over their lives!”

This is how we overcome–by forgiving and praying for those who have hurt us. (satan can never be forgiven; I just mean we forgive those people he has used, who SEEM to be our enemies!)

Clayton and I have been telling the LORD we yield to His Spirit for revelation and cleansing. We want to be free of all contaminants and be vessels He can use for His Glory in these last of the Last Days!

2 Timothy 2:21 (AMPC), “So whoever cleanses himself [from what is ignoble and unclean, who separates himself from contact with contaminating and corrupting influences] will [then himself] be a vessel set apart and useful for honorable and noble purposes, conscrated and  profitable to the Master, fit and ready for any good work.”

(This is a verse the LORD showed me as a 20-something, when I knew I had been born again, but that there was very much wrong in my life! I didn’t know how to fix all of it, but I knew that the Word of God was the answer! So the LORD has helped me persist in reading and meditating and living the Word, and The Word IS my life!)

I had been surprised at how many things I’d written (after hearing a female minister on a local Christian radio station say to write down all the things that make one angry, then act out the anger towards the people who hurt you; i.e., write a letter to them that you NEVER mail; or put their photo on something and throw darts or hit it with a bat……seems a bit radical, and the host was (to me) obviously uncomfortable with her advice.)

But she did, if I remember right, exhort us that we must forgive and that we’re NOT fighting people. The enemy just makes it seem like it.

But, “…we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. 13 Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. (Eph. 6:12-13, AMPC)

Far greater is JESUS the HEALER in us; El Shaddai, the LORD our Comforter; Dr. Rapha, the LORD Who heals us; Jehovah Nissi, the LORD our Victorious Miracle Banner Who forever fights for us; Jehovah Mekadisshem, the LORD our Sancitifer (Cleanser; Purifier); Jehovah Shalom, the LORD our Peace and Restoration; and Jehovah Tskidenu, the LORD our Righteousness! And these are just some of the many names of our one true God Who is ALL we need, every time, every season of our lives, amen!

So, although I had thought there might be more, that I was not finished with this horrid list, the LORD prompted me to BE DONE WITH IT; to MOVE ON; to GO FORWARD!

So, I joyfully took it to the back porch, held it up to Him (my Father Who loves me forever, beyond what I can fully comprehend!), and proclaimed that these things and their effects are GONE FOREVER! Then I tore the papers to shreds, and took the (red!) lighter that we keep to burn brush, and set them on fire!

Honestly, these shreds of the past were NOT burning fast enough, so I set them on fire in more places to speed up the process! I rejoiced as the past literally went up in smoke! I sang of my freedom and worshiped the LORD. Then, I stomped the ashes to nothing, and so is my past–nothing!

“I’ve got the Revelation; I am a New Creation!” rose up in me; a Spirit Song the LORD gave me years ago. Hallelujah!

I heard a pastor say once that everyone needs to be healed in some way. If something has continued to bother you during the years, there is a hurt there, an offense, that will NOT go away until you fully deal with it and receive your healing and restoration!

Even if you think you have nothing holding you back; no jags; no offenses; no place where the enemy could possibly mess you up, it won’t hurt you to say this prayer. Or, at least pray it for someone you know that could use some help. (Your words are more powerful than you may know!):

Dear Father God, I know You are a Gentleman and You only reveal things to us that are hurtful in ourselves, and that others have done to us, to help us be free of them and their bad consequences. I ask You to show me and (name of the person(s)) any place the enemy has hurt us (for we know we don’t fight people, and almost all the time, when we get hurt, the people are not trying to hurt us!), and help me and them to be free and healed and restored, so we can fully receive all the wonderful things You have for us, LORD! I know You hear me, for I pray in Your will as I John 5:14-15 says, and I receive Your answers! Also, please give us grace and wisdom and encouragement as You reveal yucky stuff to us that needs to be changed. We know You love us and only have our best in mind! In Jesus’ Name, amen!

Jesus is Alive!

John’s Vision on Patmos
17 “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. But He placed His right hand on me and said, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last, 18 the Living One. I was dead, and behold now I am alive. I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and of hades. 19. Therefore write down the things you have seen, and the things that are, and the things that will happen after this.…Berean Study Bible

Jesus the Christ, the ONLY Savior of the world, is alive! He was crucified on the cross over 2,000 years ago to pay for the sins of every person, and His pure blood paid it all! Then He rose again on the third day. He now lives in Heaven, forever praying for us to the Father, and He is returning to earth soon to gather all who believe in Him, that we may go with Him to live forever in the true Paradise!

But you don’t have to take my word for it. Call out to Him in sincerity, and He will answer! All who call upon the name of the LORD will be saved! Get a Holy Bible and ask Him to help you understand it. Go to a church that preaches the entire Bible and ask the leaders to pray with you and help you understand.

Pray this to discover God: LORD, although my brain says this is crazy, I choose to believe that You exist and that You are good. Me and all these people and this amazing earth did NOT just happen by accident! I am calling to You now to make Yourself known to me; to help me discover You. I want to know You. I need Your help to make it in this strange and troubled world! But I hear that You give peace and rest and safety. I need that and I thank You for all this now.

HE WILL ANSWER! It may be different than you think –But He is forever faithful!!!

Blessed be the LORD, for He is good, and His mercy endures forever!

Trust Him Totally

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.[a]  (Proverbs 3:6 Or “He will cut a straight path before you.”)

The Lord is with us always–even when we don’t feel like it! Thank goodness we don’t go by feelings!

This is a weird and sometimes trying time we’re in, as the LORD is shifting situations and people; rearranging us His own and bringing us into the most glorious Time ever–and what an honor that we get to be on planet earth in His will, partnering with the Most High to accomplish His Kingdom purpose!

Say this prayer to draw closer to the LORD and receive His help:

LORD, we ask You in Your gracious love and mercy to help us truly trust in You totally; to rest and rejoice, and know that, really, we are nothing without You and we can do nothing without You–yet we are Your precious children that You chose before the world was made to live now and love you and work with You. Hallelujah! We receive Your help! We love You, Father God!

He Has Made Us Glad!

Psalm 126:3 is one of my favorite verses! “The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy!”

It is such a favorite that it became the theme verse for our marriage ceremony (14 years ago, October 1!).

If you’re having a challenge being positive, start saying this verse out loud. Better yet, sing it! I do that often–sometimes as I’m overcoming, sometimes for sheer joy and thankfulness.

Truly THE LORD IS GOOD! Every good thing that has ever happened in our lives is from Him, our darling, faithful, loving, kind, merciful, generous, beautiful Daddy God! Amen!

Learn to be Wise!

Never stop learning. Actually, every day that you live, you may even accidentally learn something, like how to take a different route to work, how to be more efficient at something, or whatever. But when you learn intentionally, that’s when you enjoy the most and are the most engaged.

When you engage in learning more about the LORD, that’s the ultimate life experience! He is always with us and never-ending, endlessly creative, and His wisdom is beyond our comprehension. Yet He loves us so much, and delights to teach us His ways!

If you don’t know where to start, ask Him to help you learn that too. He will. He’s THE Master Teacher!

Learn to Play the Piano With P.O.W.E.R.!

NOW is the time! If you’ve wanted to learn to play the piano, especially for God’s Glory, then what are you waiting for? Starting early this month, Tonja will be recording and uploading many videos for you to access FREE to learn to play the piano and have fun doing it!

You will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is for you to learn and play!

And very soon, you’ll be able to access Tonja’s LIVE online coaching, for piano and many other subjects, in the P.O.W.E.R. (Purposeful Operations With Eternal Rewards) classes!

Check out more info here:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW31xsRh0biHOBdWPxkewNQ

Rest and Rejoice!

1 John 5:1,(AMPC), Everyone who believes (adheres to, trusts, and relies on the fact) that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah) is a born-again child of God; and everyone who loves the Father also loves the one born of Him (His offspring),”

2 John 1:3 (AMPC), Grace (spiritual blessing), mercy, and [soul] peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ (the Messiah), the Father’s Son, in all sincerity (truth) and love. “

“The LORD is faithful to His Promises,” the Holy Spirit whispered to me one day, when I was tempted to worry about finances and situations.

YES, HE IS! Or none of us would be here! He gives us every breath, every GOOD thing–and our lives are FULL of good things!!!

He helps and blesses and protects the just and the unjust–those born again and those not–and it is His faithfulness and mercy that keeps us all alive and heals and delivers and guides and provides–He is our good, good God and the good, good Father to all who believe in Christ Jesus His Son (John 3:16)!

If you don’t know the LORD Jesus Christ–what are you waiting for? He is the BEST Fried you will ever have, and He IS the all-powerful One Who can do everything you need Him to! He is so very kind and loving and generous and faithful! He wants to help you have the very best life you possibly can–and that is ONLY possible with Jesus Christ the Savior and LORD!

He is Love. He is Peace. He is Health. He is Direction. He is Protection. He is Restoration. He is Victory. He is the living Word of God. He IS Rest and rejoicing! He is all you really want and need, for in Him is true freedom and abundant Life! (John 10:10)

And He makes it so easy to become His Forever Friend–just ask Him right now to forgive you of your wrongs and save you from evil and come into your heart and be your Life Guide and King! He will, and you will never be the same!

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!