I have noticed, as I’ve been posting on my blog and otherwise building this River Rain Creative Arts site, that at times, the screens I’ve been on–although they look exactly the same otherwise–have sometimes shown the words, “Not secure.” I could not figure that out for a couple days. Then the LORD gave me wisdom and I realized that, as Apostle Tracy Harris preached to us yesterday, there are various doors, and we must be careful to come through the correct ones.
Obviously, there were times when I would transition (unknowingly, till the LORD made me aware of this and showed me how to prevent it) from a “Secure” page where I could modify the site, to a “Not Secure” page, where others might oversee the sensitive information.
That will not happen anymore, however, because the LORD has made me aware of the difference and now I make sure to only enter my information on the Secure pages.
It all has to do with coming through the correct doors, and in order. It was when I tried to “save time” and not come through the correct channels that the “door” (or, portal, which is what computer websites are) led to a place that could be compromised.
As Dr. Bill Winston says, we in the true Church must “rise with no compromise.” We must come through the correct door, at the correct time. We must stay in the right place, then we will be secure.
Prayer: LORD, help us be sensitive and obedient to Your Voice! Spirit of Truth, lead us into all truth!
Jesus Himself is The Door (the only one!) to the abundant life of peace on earth, and eternal life in Heaven after this body dies.
3 Jesus answered him, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus said to Him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter his mother’s womb again and be born?
5 Jesus answered, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, unless a man is born of water and [[a]even] the Spirit, he cannot [ever] enter the kingdom of God.
6 What is born of [from] the flesh is flesh [of the physical is physical]; and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.
16 For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten ([d]unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.
17 For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.
18 He who believes in Him [who clings to, trusts in, relies on Him] is not judged [he who trusts in Him never comes up for judgment; for him there is no rejection, no condemnation—he incurs no damnation]; but he who does not believe (cleave to, rely on, trust in Him) is judged already [he has already been convicted and has already received his sentence] because he has not believed in and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [He is condemned for refusing to let his trust rest in Christ’s name.]
What is “Covenant Culture?“ It is a spiritual thing. It is living out of one’s spirit (the true, eternal, real you!). It is living in the Covenant of Grace, provided for us by LORD Jesus Christ, when He shed His pure blood for us on the cross over 2000 years ago, to pay the penalty (that we could never pay!) for all we would ever do wrong in our lives. He did this so that we would not have to suffer in any sense, because He loves us. Never did He want us to experience pain nor hardship nor lack of any kind! He came to restore to us what is ours, through the perfect Plan of God. But we must ask Him for it, and know that He is good and wants us to have it.
So Covenant Culture is living in the Original Plan of the LORD, the abundant life (John 10:10). This is the overcoming life, where we have peace and joy in spite of being in this world and experiencing less-than-heavenly circumstances. It is the life where we know that the Word and Spirit of God alone are our strength, and our faith (believing His Word, both in the Bible and as He speaks to our spirits from within us) are our victory!
The verses below will help you understand more.
[ Place Your Life Before God ] So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Also, Proverbs 18:4, AMPC:
The words of a [discreet and wise] man’s mouth are like deep waters [plenteous and difficult to fathom], and the fountain of skillful and godly Wisdom is like a gushing stream [sparkling, fresh, pure, and life-giving].
Ask the LORD Who is the Spirit of Truth (John 14:15-17, John 15:26-27, I John 4:4-6) to teach you more about Covenant Culture, and how to live in it, for it is your privilege, honor, and right, when you receive Jesus as your Savior and LORD!
Elizabeth Howe is a delightful sister in Christ who loves the LORD. She is also a gifted photographer, who specializes in photos for home and family, which includes her exploring new realms of photography: birth art. What a precious concept, to capture those timeless and unique life-changing moments!
Before I spoke with Elizabeth today, I had not heard of birth art, but after talking with her and looking at her fascinating photos, I had to share her site with you.
Check out Fresh Wind, for photography that is out of this world!
I am so thankful that the LORD truly orders our steps and directs our paths (Proverbs 3:5,6) when we trust in Him! Today, I had the privilege to be with my dear husband and receive deep revelation on prayer, and our responsibility to pray for America. The anointed apostle who taught us is from another country, and says she and others pray and fast for America–for they know that the condition of America and our leaders affects the rest of the world.
We have a great responsibility to not only pray for America and our President and other rule-makers, but to repent for our sins, those of our ancestors, those of our leaders, and anyone else for whom he LORD leads us to ask forgiveness.
First of all, then, I admonish and urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all men,
2 For kings and all who are in positions of authority or high responsibility, that [outwardly] we may pass a quiet and undisturbed life [and inwardly] a peaceable one in all godliness and reverence and seriousness in every way.
3 For such [praying] is good and right, and [it is] pleasing and acceptable to God our Savior,
4 Who wishes all men to be saved and [increasingly] to perceive and recognize and discern and know precisely and correctly the [divine] Truth.
We have a responsibility to live as the Covenant people we are; ambassadors of the Most High God, the LORD Jesus Christ.
We have a responsibility to use our words in prayer, in praise, in proclaiming His Word, and in the rest of our speaking, to speak in agreement with Him.
Who are we? Yet here we are–chosen and called and saved and being drawn by the Holy Spirit to go deeper and higher with the LORD, to ask and allow Him to continue to sanctify us and shape us into the image of Christ.
LORD, help us to awaken to the truth of the wonderful honor of serving You, our truly awesome God; our LORD, our King, our Savior–our everything!
I have been proclaiming and believing that the LORD is faithful to His promises–and He is–about restoring to me everything that has been stolen through the years; from what the enemy has done, what others have done to me, and even what I’ve done to myself.
I have seen Him do so much already that I am amazed and tears of joy and thankfulness often occur; Daddy God is just SO GOOD!
Our dear apostle, Brother Tracy (Harris, www.experiencehim.org) has been preaching that the LORD wants to restore not just most of our lives, but 100%. I choose to believe that, and started proclaiming this a few days ago–when I misplaced a flash drive with lots of writing on it. I asked the LORD to restore i, thanked Him for it, and sent my angels to get it.
My mind doubted, but I told it to shut up in Jesus’ name!
I cast my cares on the LORD; I released it to Him. Sure enough, my darling Daddy God–the Creator, Sustainer, and LORD of Heaven and earth; of the universe, and all life!–had His angels restore the flash drive to me.
How great and GOOD is our amazing, darling Daddy God!!
Today, ask Him to restore to you all that has been stolen–even if you don’t know it all. He does. He keeps the books. And He has only YOUR GOOD in mind!
My darling (most moments!) fourth grade students have grown in the art of being thankful–and in expressing that thankfulness, during two projects we have done lately for our English class. it is a priceless joy to see them realize more about how blessed they are (and these are kids in a school that gets 100% free lunches!).
First, after an overview of how blessed we are in America and, no matter how rough my students and I may think our lives have been, I explained to my students that we have not experienced the horrors and poverty experienced by at least some of the children rescued by Dr. Ron and Mrs. Anna Sherman at La Casa Hogar Del Corazon De Rey ( http://www.whitestone.ws/index.html ).
I have been careful to not share the worst of the scenarios, but my students have truly started to understand that, as native Americans, they are considered wealthy by much of the world.
My students wrote letters introducing themselves and telling what they enjoy, and also asking questions about what the children like. My sweeties drew pictures, and some even created art about the flag of Mexico to honor the kids. Some even wanted to buy canned goods and such to send them. (I explained to them that they could give online, for it would cost much more to mail things than to send the money for the directors to buy products themselves. My kids were shocked that we have to pay to mail things. However, I told them, we need to be thankful that American postage is the most economical in the world!)
The second project the students did to promote and deepen thankfulness was to write 100 statements starting with, “I am thankful for….” and they could part whatever and whomever they wanted at the end of those sentences. Most of them took off and truly enjoyed the project. I had them leave a space between each statement, so they could cut them into strips (after re-reading the entire list!) and put them into a “Thankfulness Time Capsule” bottle that I gave them, along with stickers with which to decorate it. I suggested that, especially if things seem to be going wrong, that they take some of those strips of things they are thankful for and re-read them; weeks, months, even years later. I shared with them that my husband and I do the same! (That reminds me; I have several more things to add to our big jar!)
A third project to enhance our understanding and practice of being thankful is to write a thank-you letter to the professor who invited our fourth grade class to a “Teaching and Learning Fair” at a nearby university, where my students were thrilled to participate in seven stations of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and brought back unique treasures they had crafted themselves in the learning process. This is also a second reinforcement of them learning to write a proper letter, of which I am thankful.
I am so thankful the LORD has sent me to this school to be part of these precious little ones’ lives, and to help shape them for the future. Blessed be the LORD, for He is good, and His mercy endures forever!
I love how the LORD speaks in nature and other things in His world (some call them “signs”). Him speaking this way to us is part of His Glory, His goodness– and He will speak this way to anyone who truly wants to see and know. You can ask Him to speak to you–and to help you make sure you know it is Him. He is good, and His mercy endures forever. He will help you!
Yesterday afternoon I was headed home from my position where I teach at a public school over a half hour away. As I admired the clouds along the way, I saw a slice of a rainbow, high in the sky. It delighted me. “Thank You for the Covenant!” I said. “You are so good!”
I enjoy driving (most moments), especially because I can get quiet and listen to Him, pray, worship, and enjoy His beautiful creation. As I quietly prayed and worshiped, I enjoyed His peace.
He loves to delight me with cool things, unusual things, and I am always ready to see them. As I drew near to the airport, which is right around the curve from my church, I saw two trains on the tracks–not a phenomenon in itself, but these were: Both were moving; with lights on, they were pulling many loaded cars–and they were parallel to each other; both headed the same direction, at the same time, only one was a few cars behind the other!
I knew this was a sign from my dear Daddy God to me about how He has double Glory for me (and you and everyone else)–if we will just believe and receive it!
Truly, this is the time for the double Glory–including double restoration; the restoration of what we should have had, and the restoration of ourselves to His original intent for us! The LORD is pouring out His Glory–as He promises us in Joel chapter 2 (and several other places!). Ask Him to help you believe and perceive and receive the double Glory!
23 Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord, your God; for He gives you the former or early rain in just measure and in righteousness, and He causes to come down for you the rain, the former rain and the latter rain, as before.
24 And the [threshing] floors shall be full of grain and the vats shall overflow with juice [of the grape] and oil.
25 And I will restore or replace for you the years that the locust has eaten—the hopping locust, the stripping locust, and the crawling locust, My great army which I sent among you.
26 And you shall eat in plenty and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord, your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you. And My people shall never be put to shame.
27 And you shall know, understand, and realize that I am in the midst of Israel and that I the Lord am your God and there is none else. My people shall never be put to shame.
from AMPC, www.Biblegateway.com
Check out Kim Potter’s article on “The Month of Kislev 5779″ for more about this, on her site for A New Thing Ministries!
My writing and other gifts are to “Create Covenant Culture Through the Arts”; to help others “Know yourself; know God; know who you are in God.”
You may not think you can write, but if I can do it, so can you! Persistence is the main thing, and being open to help! (If you would like me to coach you, contact me at email@example.com. My rates are very reasonable; I love to help people grow in the LORD and their gifts!)
These articles have been on FaithWriters.com for a few years. It is FREE to publish your work. Sign on today and the LORD can use YOUR writing to help others know Jesus Christ!
The LORD laid it on my heart to sow a lovely fuschia formal dress to a young lady at my school. She was very grateful, but told me that her mother said she couldn’t wear it yet; it would be kept for her to wear in high school.
So it is with the “clothes,” or mantles (callings, destiny, or whatever name you give the Plan of the LORD for your life and the gifts which He gives you to share Christ with the world and bring Him glory); we must grow into them. As we take step after step in obedience, the LORD is faithful to grow us up into Him, so that, when the time (and our spirits and souls!) are right, the spiritual clothing He has so graciously given us will fit just right, and be lovely to behold!
Faithful is He Who is calling you [to Himself] and utterly trustworthy, and He will also do it [fulfill His call by hallowing and keeping you].
Back to the student: This young lady, who is a very smart, sweet, and respectful person, is growing daily. She has the Favor of God upon her, for the LORD kept speaking to me to give her that dress. i had intended to wear it myself for P.O.W.E.R. Girl! workshops (More on that very soon!). But He gave us all that we have; everything is His. And when He leads us to redistribute His wealth and we obey, we are always both blessed and a blessing, and He is glorified.
I know the harvest off the lovely dress will come back to me in a harvest in the form that I need, for the LORD is faithful. Meanwhile, the young lady’s spirit was strengthened and delighted, and i believe she understands more about how her right attitude and behavior bring unexpected blessings!
Part of her calling as a student, and a daughter of God, is to display this righteous behavior, and already He is working in her life in tangible ways.
Part of my calling as a Believer is to be obedient to His Spirit to sow, and as I do (and as you hear and obey!), we are walking worthy of our divine callings and correctly wearing the clothes of Righteousness.
Isaiah 61:10, AMPC: I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
I am a 44 year old single Mom who has with the Grace of our Heavenly Father gone from a 5th grade drop out to having a College education with honors!
The greatest decision I have ever made is to seek him, learn to know him, and Love him. With God all things are possible and all I want to do is live my life for the Lord and share the gifts he has given me with the World.
The LORD inspired me to do a an ELA project with my darling (most moments!) fourth graders at the public school where I serve: to have them each write 100 things for which they are thankful, writing on one side of the paper, leaving a space between, so they could (after reading all those statements again, of course!) cut their papers into strips, having 100 “Things I am Thankful For.”
Then they put these into the glass “Time to be Thankful” bottles I gave them. I gave them stickers to decorate the bottles, with, and suggested that they pull the strips out of the bottles weeks, months, even years later, and reread all these things for which to thank God.
Truly, as I reminded them, with so much of the world–including America– having such hard times, we have so very much to thank the LORD for!
The LORD has been speaking to me lately, especially through birds! I am going deeper to discover what He is saying. Meanwhile, the birds have been getting closer — literally!
Today, I was having a joy ride (the REAL kind–where I drive and praise and worship Him and pray, just for the JOY of it!) after shopping a bit, enjoying the lovely light, praying, at peace–and a white crane came from my right and flew DIRECTLY across the highway RIGHT in front of my car!
It could not get any closer unless it had come inside, but of course the timing was perfect (only the LORD can do that!! LOVE IT!) and there was no danger. I just started laughing, DELIGHTED, and thanking Him that He is showing me IN DETAIL what I need to know! I’ve done some research and am getting a better idea…..if any of you have comments to add or insights otherwise on birds, please let me know!
Meanwhile, I am excited to have found this verse:
We who have been twice-born are not of this world. We are here–from Heaven–on a mission. That mission is to create Covenant Culture everywhere we go; to establish the rule of King Jesus, with whom we have an eternal Blood Covenant! (Matt. 16:26 and 21:43)
Romans 12:1-2 The Message (MSG)
Place Your Life Before God
12 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
(from www.BibleGateway.com )
For the first 9 weeks of my new teaching position this fall, I somehow forgot Isaiah 48:17-20 AMPC, and had much stress. I was working long hours and not spending much time in prayer or reading the Word, although I was still attending church twice a week and glancing at the Word some before I went to bed. When I did take time to actually sit down and read an entire passage, I would feel great peace. Tears would even come to my eyes, and I prefer to think it was thankfulness to God for His eternal Word, rather than just physical relief.
Much stress equals very little peace. But the sweet, gentle Spirit of the LORD reminded me to cast my cares on Him and start resting more. He also brought to mind that, contrary to my carnal thinking that “I don’t have time to exercise,” I needed it. Thank goodness I have many stairs to walk up every day at work, am almost always on my feet during teaching time and beyond, and walk about a quarter mile round trip taking the kids to the cafeteria and back. Some is better than none.
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 that you should go.
18 Oh, that you had hearkened to My commandments! Then your peace and prosperity would have been like a flowing river, and your righteousness [the holiness and purity of the nation] like the [abundant] waves of the sea.
19 Your offspring would have been like the sand, and your descendants like the offspring of the sea; their name would not be cut off or destroyed from before Me.
20 Go forth out of Babylon, flee from the Chaldeans! With a voice of singing declare, tell this, cause it to go forth even to the end of the earth; say, The Lord has redeemed His servant Jacob!
However, I still needed to improve in relaxing more in Him and get rid of strife within–some of which was being frustrated over discipline challenges with my (most moments!) sweet, smart 4th graders.
Our dear faithful Father knows us better than we know ourselves! He wants us to rest, and He knows us better than we know us. So I repented of the pride of trusting in myself and allowing stress (read: fear!) to harass and bother me! I started going to be earlier and rising a bit later, and just practicing staying in peace.
So now I’m doing much better at following His peace, His rest. I quote Hebrews 4 verses 1 and 2 over myself as I’m led (You can never go wrong quoting the Word over yourself, as His Spirit Who knows all things guides you!):
If you have received the LORD Jesus Christ as your Savior, then the River of Life is within you!
Let this poem the LORD inspired in me almost a decade ago wash over and refresh you!
Water is a Living Thing by Tonja K. Taylor, 2009
Water is a living thing
A necessary brook or spring
To cleanse, to nourish
to bring new life.
Ever moving, ever giving
All its fountains lithe and living
Smooth as glass or capped with white
All are drawn to its refreshing sight
Peaceful as a zephyr breeze
Bringing souls to bended knees
To pray when raging in the storm
Sculpting mountains into form
Cleansing beaches, changing lands
Washing humanity’s hands
Thrilling seekers with a fountain
Drop by drop, eroding mountain
Nourishing a dying man
Oasis in a sun-scorched land
Habitat of many creatures
Full of ever-changing features
Warring wells; muddied by strife
Symbol of a brand new life
Cleansing wounds made from strife
Flowing free to wash and give
New strength for weak ones now to live.
Water is a living thing
An ever flowing mountain stream
That represents the Holy One
JESUS–Water of Life, the Son