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!

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!

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)”

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).

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).

Forgiven

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36, ESV

New American Standard Bible 
And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise. Galatians 3:29

“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,  that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3;14-16, Berean Study Bible

The man driving the semi truck in front of us was sharing the good news, that he was “FORGIVEN”! The fish symbol Ichthys used by Christians throughout the world containing this one huge word says it all: If you have believed on Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world, and that He shed His blood to pay for the sins of every person, and received Him as your personal Savior and LORD, then you also are FORGIVEN–FREED. You don’t have to pay for your sins!

How can it be that simple? Don’t ask me. Just be glad that I’m not God. I am sure I would have made it much more complicated to be free and get to Heaven to live forever in Paradise with God!

But the LORD is good, and His mercy endures forever (Psalm 129:4). He created mankind, then, when man betrayed God and bowed to the devil, He sent Jesus to die and give His life to buy mankind back, forever (Galatians 3:13) .

The Gift of true Life is yours. Choose Christ today, and live! (John 10:10)

Victory Rests

30 There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord.31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord. Proverbs 21:30,31 (NIV)

Every time I see a hawk soaring, it reminds me of this verse. “Yes, I have the victory, and victory rests with the LORD!” I say. I see these hawks often–no matter where I travel in this region!–and I believe the LORD puts them directly in my path overhead, causing them (or one) to glide directly over me as I pass down the road. God’s timing is impeccable.

Once while I walked with my husband in a local park, we saw a hawk perch on the pole close to us. As he sat there, smaller birds dived at his head. He ignored them, serene and undisturbed. That is how we are when we dwell in the Secret Place of the Most High (Psalm 91); the true peace and confidence that we are right with God when we have believed in and received His Son, Jesus (John 3:15-17).

He is our Victory! He commands and helps us to trust in Him, and not ourselves (Proverbs 3:5,6). He is our faithful loving Daddy, and responsible for us. He delights in us because we hope in Him and fear Him. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and always makes a way, where there seems to be no way. AMEN!

We have the power to “just choose to believe,” as I heard Minister Jeremy Pearsons state years ago. So I ask the LORD to help me to choose to believe, and He does!

Psalm 33:4 (TPT), “For God’s Word is something to sing about! He is true to his promises, his word can be trusted, and everything he does is reliable and right.”

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 21:7 (TPT), For the king trusts endlessly in you, and he will never stumble, never fall. Your forever-love never fails and holds him firm.”

Psalm 31:24 (TPT), So cheer up! Take courage all you who love him. Wait for him to break through for you, all who trust in him!”

The Winning Coach

Jesus is the ultimate winning Coach–and the Bible is the ultimate “Play Book”!

“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:1,NIV

1 Timothy 2:2 (TPT), And pray for every political leader and representative, so that we would be able to live tranquil, undisturbed lives, as we worship the awe-inspiring God with pure hearts.”

“Life is simple unless you make it hard,” the LORD told me months ago. He is our fearless Leader, our Good Shepherd, our all-knowing Coach Who always has the Strategy for victory! His Strategies always and forever will come from the Word of God, the Book!

He is our Good Shepherd Who always leads us in right paths, for our best and His glory. He is good, good, good, and only good, and will never lead us wrong.

In other words, if we follow Him, we will win–every time. Circumstances and the enemy’s lies may may it seem like we are not winning, but the LORD is the Master of turning messes into miracles; ask me how I know!

17 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way you should go. 18 “If only you had paid attention to My commandments! Then your [h]well-being would have been like a river, And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” (Isa 48:17,18 NASB)

We need coaches. Some call them mentors, or spiritual mothers or fathers. There are differences that technically distinguish those roles from one another. But we can know this: Jesus is the Winning Coach, and if we listen to Him–through prayer (which sometimes involves just listening!), reading His Word, worshiping Him, making corrections as He leads us to, and otherwise doing what we know He is leading us to do, we win too! Jesus the LORD will never–and I mean never–coach us to do anything that does not align with His Word, for He and His Word are One!

This article forwarded to me by Larry from JesusOnline.com (a cornucopia of resources to teach you how to know and love Christ!) will serve as a vessel through which The Coach Himself will speak to you–simply and effectively, to help you win! https://jesusonline.com/keeping-an-eternal-perspective-in-a-temporal-world/

Check it out!  

Fear, You Don’t Exist!

2 Timothy 1:7: For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Amen! (ESV)

Years ago, I was really stressed about finances.

I had a nightmare that I lost my job, and had to run and hide because not having a job was against the law. I had gone to a friend’s home, secretly, and sat down to rest. Two bad guys from ‘the government’ burst in and the taller grabbed my leg and stuck a huge needle in it, supposedly as punishment for not having a job.

(Listen to the audio version of this at https://anchor.fm/rainwater )

But instead of screaming or writhing in pain, I just looked at the guy and calmly said, “Fear, YOU DON’T EXIST!”

The guy jamming the needle in my leg looked totally shocked, and almost choked. “What?!” he said–then disappeared!

The smaller guy looked shocked as well. “If he doesn’t exist, then I don’t either!” he said, and disappeared as well.

The LORD has not given us fear. Jesus has given us the spirit of POWER, and LOVE, and of a SOUND MIND (DISCIPLINE)! And The Govenment is upon HIS Shoulder (the Church! Isaiah 9:6)

Hallelujah!

Student Rights in School

Psalm 24:1 (The Passion Translation) David’s poetic praise to God[a] “\God claims the world as his. Everything and everyone belongs to him!”

Even as a teacher in public schools, many of these rights were hidden from me–till very recently. The couple I knew about and tried to operate in were definitely met with resistance from some people in direct authority when I taught. But JESUS IS LORD, and THE EARTH IS HIS AND THE FULLNESS THEREOF, AND ALL THE PEOPLES THEREIN–INCLUDING IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS (Psalm 24:1)–THAT ARE FUNDED BY OUR TAX MONEY!!!

Here are 10 rights of students in public schools, from the Truth for Youth Bible!

  1. The right to meet with other religious students and to form Bible Clubs.
  2. The right to express your religious beliefs through signs, symbols, and clothing.
  3. The right to talk about your religious beliefs and share your faith with other students on campus.
  4. The right to distribute religious literature (Bibles) on campus during non-instructional time.
  5. The right to pray on campus alone, with others, and during graduation.
  6. The right to carry or study your Bible or other religious literature on campus.
  7. The right to do research papers, speeches, creative projects or talent programs on religious themes.
  8. The right to be exempt from activities that contradict your religious beliefs.
  9. The right to celebrate or study religious holidays on campus.
  10. The right to study religious themes, religious literature, and religious history.

If you have any questions about these, please contact 800 REFIRES, or 800-733-4737!

Son or Sin?

I John 5:1-5, states: “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—[a]our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? And verses 11 and 12 from the Word of God state, “11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has [d]life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

Do you have the Son–Jesus Christ? If not, then you have sin, you are without God’s protection, and your spirit will go to hell forever when your body dies (Matt. 7:21)

God makes things simple: We either agree with Him and come into the Royal Family and enjoy His blessings and benefits–including amazing protection from evil–or we stay outside and try to do this complicated, pressure-filled life on our own. If we do not know the LORD Jesus as our Savior and become friends with His Son (Jesus), then God is not our Father, and we don’t have relationship with Him. We are on our own.

But thank God this earthly life is NOT all there is!

So there are two choices: God, or not God; Son, or sin.  Today, you choose–life, or death. The LORD Jesus Christ and the abundant life (John 10:10), where “the Good Life” truly does happen (and all the more as we learn God’s ways and follow them, for He is good, and His mercy endures forever! Psalm 118)–or doing life on your own, where things get harder and harder, and you wind up at the end of it all, going to literal hell (Luke 12).

But the LORD is ever ready to pardon, to forgive; that is why He sent Jesus! God is a good God. He is Love (I John 4:8). He made the way for all to know Him and have a wonderful life–then literal Heaven after the body dies on earth (Acts 26:18), with freedom from everything negative, the loving wonderful Presence of God with you always, interesting and productive things to do, and a beautiful, literal home all your own!

He says in John 14:1-3 (NKJV), “1 Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many [a]mansions; if it were not so, [b]I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

You can choose to remain as you are, in your sin, separated from God. But why would you do that? The God-life is amazing, and it just gets better. God is all good, and very kind and gracious and merciful! He is holy; His Standards are high, and no person can meet them, except to be covered by the Blood of Christ, which covers us when we receive Jesus (Rev. 12:11.

Jesus the LORD is returning to earth soon, to claim and receive and take to Heaven all of us who are His. Will you be going with us? If you think the earth-life is bad now, understand this: Without Christ and true Christians in the world, there will be no light. You must choose for yourself; no one can choose for you.

Even if you’re not sure this is real, don’t you want a better life than you have? Call to God and ask Him to help you find Him and know Him. Ask Him to prove to you that He and His good life are real. He will, for all who call upon the name of the LORD will be saved (Romans 10:13)!

P.O.W.E.R.* Girl Creed

Calling all P.O.W.E.R.* (Purposeful Operations With Eternal Rewards) Girls! Check out this Creed to see if you are a true P.O.W.E.R.* Princess!

As a Princess of P.O.W.E.R.*, I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the Son of God, the Savior of the world, and the righteous King of the universe. He was born of the virgin Mary (Matthew 1:18-25), lived a perfect and sinless  life on earth 33 years (Hebrews 4:15), preached and taught and loved all humanity (Luke 1:1), was crucified  for the sins of the world, died, was buried, and rose again the third day to live forever (John 3:16).

I believe Jesus appeared in bodily form to many on earth after His resurrection (Acts 1:3), then ascended to Heaven (Acts 1:10) where He sits at the right hand of God the Father (Acts 2:33) and continuously intercedes (prays) for us (I Tim. 3:16, Heb. 5:5, Heb. 7:26).

I believe He is coming again soon as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, to  gather to Himself those who have asked forgiveness for their sins and accepted Him into their hearts (John 14:28, Acts 1:11).

As a Princess of P.O.W.E.R.*, I agree to do these things:

  • Read my Bible daily, thank God for it, memorize it, speak it, and share with others what God teaches me from it!

(Suggestion: Read a Psalm and a chapter in Proverbs every day and take notes. John is also a very good book to read, about the Love of God. You will be amazed at what the LORD will show you, and certain verses will jump out at you and become very POWERful in your life! But if He leads you to read other places in the Word, that is great, for He is leading you by His Spirit. Go for it!)

  • Invite my dear Father God to be involved in every part of my day and my life
  • Thank Him every day for all the wonderful things He does for me
  • Listen often to music that glorifies Him, and sing along and regularly attend a Bible-believing church and other Christian activities
  • Ask God how to use my gifts, talents, strengths, opportunities, dreams and possessions to advance the Kingdom of God – for everything I have is His
  • Live my life in a way worthy of one who believes in Jesus by not doing things I know are against God’s Word
  • Encourage other young princesses to dare to know King Jesus, read His Word, and become a POWER Princess

If you agree, please print this agreement and sign it, and put it where you can see it daily!

_______________________________________________________________ sign your name, and the date, P.O.W.E.R.* Princess!

“For the kingdom of God consists of and is based on not talk but power (moral power and excellence of soul).” –I Corinthians 4;20, AMPC

GOD BLESS YOU, Princess of P.O.W.E.R.*–Purposeful Operations With Eternal Rewards! Now GO FORTH and CONQUER, for The KING is with you!  (Matthew 28:19,20)

Who Needs a Man?

James 5:17 (TPT), Elijah was a man with human frailties, just like all of us, but he prayed and received supernatural answers. He actually shut the heavens over the land so there would be no rain for three and a half years!”

About 15 years ago, I read a “joke,” that said something like, “I have a job, email, and pizza delivery. Why would I need a man?”

That is the way a person who doesn’t know God and how He has made us to depend upon Him and one another may think. But that person really does depend on “a man”–if only the “man” who supplies the job, the email service, who built the computer and lines the email comes through, and the one who delivers the pizza, to name a few.

The LORD God of Heaven and earth has chosen to need “a man” and by that, I mean a person–man or woman, boy or girl, who will hear His Voice and work with Him to bring about His Kingdom in this earth.

In Ezekiel 22:30, He says, “I sought a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land that I should not destroy it.” Wow–the LORD is so very patient and gracious, that the prayers of just one person coming earnestly and respectfully before the LORD can save a whole nation! There are many instances in the Bible about this.

Who needs a man? God does. Romans 5:19 is one Scripture the LORD has continued to bring to my awareness through the past couple years, to remind me that, when I–one man–obey Him and lift Him up, He can and will perform His Word and reach people: “For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.”

Jesus, The Man–Who left His diety and became a man to live among us, that He may understand everything that tempts us yet not sin, was one Man.

Hebrews 4:15 (ESV) states, “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way that we are,yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.… “

What can one–just one man (person) do? Much. There have been rulers that were wicked and accomplished much evil. The LORD never makes mistakes (Romans 11:29) and can use us to accomplish much good. He promises in John 12:32, “And I will do this when I am lifted up off the ground[a] and when I draw the hearts of people[b] to gather them to me.” 

When we lift up Christ, by letting Him live through us, first of all–and also by telling others about Him, He draws other people to Him. When His Holy Spirit convinces them of their need for Him and they agree, they will be saved.

So, as the song says, “This little light (life) of mine; I’m gonna let it shine.”

Who needs a man? GOD does. He needs YOU! He put you on the earth to know and enjoy Him and help others know how good He is. So just ask Him what your part is, or do what He has already told you to do, and He will work through you and multiply your efforts in marvelous ways!

“He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.” 2 Cor. 9:10, ESV



Dead or Alive?

Proverbs 18:21 (NASB), says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”

The LORD has been helping me be more aware than ever of what I’m saying, and the power of it. So many things I’ve said wrongly most of my life have come to my attention, and He is helping me correct them.

I have a question: Why do we say, “deadlines” instead of “lifelines”? I have become aware that, even as Christians, we have spoken this. The other day, it occurred to me when I read that word about a Believer having to meet a “deadline” to get a book finished, that we should exchange that word for “lifeline”–which is exactly what a book truly born of the LORD is–a lifeline to the abundant life of Christ (John 10:10)!

On this same subject, especially as a teacher of elementary-age kids for the past 30 years or so; Why do kids play “hangman” instead of “build-a-man?” With a few minutes of free time one day at the end of class, one student asked if they could play that game. I told them that was negative, but they could play “build-a man” (which is really what they are doing anyway; drawing blanks for someone to guess the word, and putting part of a “person” on the board every time the guesser got a letter right.

“...1speaking the truth in love, [g]we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,” says Ephesians 4:15. Love is the key word here, and the LORD is helping me with that too. I can see so many ways I have not walked in Love in the past–including through wrong words.

But we can do all things through Christ Who strengthens us, praise the LORD. As Gloria Copeland says, (quoted recently by Sarah Pearsons), we just “keep on walking,” and allowing the LORD to speak words of life to us–and through us.

God Always Rewards!

One of the key verses the LORD has used in my life is Proverbs 3:5 and 6: 5″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.”

Wow, God our dear Daddy is SO good! He is very patient, and helps us desire to hear Him; teaches us how to hear Him; helps us hear and follow Him; then rewards us for doing so!

To do these things, we must have faith–which is what trust is–that He is good and that He is a faithful Shepherd Who will only lead us in paths right for us. Even though there may be bumps along the way, that does not mean He is leading us into evil–that will never happen, for there is no darkness in God (I John 1:5), nor can He tempt anyone with it (James 1:13)! He is Good and ALL Good, and ONLY Good, as Psalm 106:1 (The Passion Translation) says, [ God Is Good ] “Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Everyone thank God, for he is good and easy to please. Your tender love for us, Lord, continues on forever.”

So the more I listen to and follow the LORD–no matter what my natural mind nor circumstances say!–the more I am rewarded–with the Presence of God Himself; with rich Revelation of Who He is, how very GOOD He is, and how SECURE I am in this Blood-bought Covenant through Christ!

Psalm 116:7, The Passion Translation (TPT) , says, “Now I can say to myself and to all, “Relax and rest, be confident and serene, for the Lord rewards fully those who simply trust in him.

Hebrews 11:6 (TPT) states, “And without faith living within us it would be impossible to please God. For we come to God in faith knowing that he is real and that he rewards the faith of those who give all their passion and strength into seeking him.”

GLORY!!! Why would anyone NOT want to serve our truly awesome God?!

FREEDOM! What Easter Really Means

What does Jesus’ death and resurrection mean to us? The simplest definition is: Freedom! Freedom from death, the curse, the power of destruction. Freedom from lies to live and love the Truth. Freedom from fear, doubt, worry, stress–freedom to be who God created us to be, and to be glad about it!

Here are just three verses (from The Passion Translation) about our glorious freedom in Christ!

Psalm 34:22  “But the Lord has paid for the freedom of his servants, and he will freely pardon those who love him. He will declare them free and innocent when they turn to hide themselves in him.”

Psalm 107:14 “His light broke through the darkness and he led us out in freedom from death’s dark shadow and snapped every one of our chains.”

2 Corinthians 3:12  “So then, with this amazing hope living in us, we step out in freedom and boldness to speak the truth.” (TPT)

Galatians 5:1  It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

It is for freedom we’ve been set free! If we humans desire for enslaved children and people to be free; if we desire animals to be free from abuse; if we desire creation to be free from pollution; if we desire our atmospheres to be free from stress and strife; how much more does the God of Heaven and earth want us to be and stay free–and enjoy it!

Freedom to live in Christ, to His Glory, is what I mean here. In submitting to His loving leadership, we are truly and forever free!

As He says in Galatians 5:1, “Let me be clear, the Anointed One has set us free—not partially, but completely and wonderfully free! We must always cherish this truth and stubbornly refuse to go back into the bondage of our past.”

If you have not received the freedom of Christ, or if you’re not sure, just choose to believe that God is real and good–He is the One Who created you and gives you every breath and every other good thing!

For God so loved the world–everyone–that He gave His only Son, Jesus, that whoever believes in Him should not die, but have everlasting life! John 3:16!

Say this out loud: “Dear Jesus, I believe you were crucified for my sins–what I’ve done against Your Holy Word–and I need You to please forgive and cleanse me. I believe You rose again after three days and live forever, ruling in Heaven and preparing a place for those who believe in You. Please come into my life and be my Leader and Savior and LORD, my best Friend for life. I receive You now and thank You. Amen!”

Now, if you just said this prayer out loud, the LORD is so good to hear and answer! All who call upon the Name of the LORD shall be saved (Romans 10:13)! He loves you and has been waiting for you to acknowledge and receive His loving leadership. Now, you have an eternal Covenant with Him, through your belief (faith) in what He did for you!

As Him to lead you to the right group of people who will help you truly grow in Christ, and to help you find the right Bible for you to study. He will. He loves you, and delights in you and will help you with every detail of life as you ask and trust in Him! As He says in Isaiah 65:24, “Even before they call, I will answer; while they are still speaking, I will hear.”

Trust Him and be free. He is faithful forever!