Unchanging God

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

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

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

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

Your Holy Health – Part II

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

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!

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!

Better Than Elvis and Barbie Together!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And Jesus is LORD of both!

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

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

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

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

It’s Available Now!

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

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

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

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

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

Look at the Clouds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Road Less Traveled

Psalm 119:105 [Full Chapter]  TPT 
[ Truth’s Shining Light ] Truth’s shining light guides me in my choices and decisions; the revelation of your word makes my pathway clear.

Psalm 25:12, (TPT) “Who are they that live in the holy fear of God? You will show them the right path to take.

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.”\

TPsalm 25:9, (TPT), Keep showing the humble your path, and lead them into the best decision. Bring revelation-light that trains them in the truth.”

Our Father God is so faithful! I was in another city headed home, but it was about 5:00, time for rush hour traffic. I had planned to return the faster way via interstate. But the LORD impressed me that I really did not want to be on that road at this time. So, I took the road less traveled–and was I ever glad!

It turned out to be a delightful, relaxing trip, with a much slower pace, rare traffic, and a wonderful time of worshiping and just fellowshipping with the LORD. I enjoyed His sweet Presence in some high praise, the lovely sunshine, blue sky and fluffy clouds, and the serene and verdant farmlands. God is good!

The book of this same title by M. Scott Peck is famous. I have not read it, but from reading reviews it seems based on real Christianity–facing and working through problems; part of human existence. I do not know if the author credits the Word of God, Jesus Christ, as the Answer.

As far as this world goes right now, Jesus Christ IS the “road less traveled,” although HE ALONE is the True Path to all you ever need and want; He alone is the Door to eternal Life.

22 Jesus ministered in one town and village after another,[a]teaching the people as he made his way toward Jerusalem. 23 A bystander asked him, “Lord, will only a few have eternal life?” Jesus said to the crowd, 24 “There is a great cost[b] for anyone to enter through the narrow doorway to God’s kingdom realm. (Luke 13:22-24, TPT)

John 3:15 (TPT), “…so that those who truly believe in him will not perish but be given eternal life”

John 3:36 (TPT), “Those who trust in the Son possess eternal life; but those who don’t obey the Son will not see life, and God’s anger will rise up against them.”

But I know in Whom I have believed–and it is Him! He is real, He is good, and He is Truth.

You don’t have to believe me. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you. He will!

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)

Truth Treats

The Truth will Set You Free    (John 8:30-32): “As Jesus spoke these things, many believed in Him. So He said to the Jews who had believed Him,“If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”… Berean Study Bible

from Acts 4:19, 20: “…Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” 

For short Christian children’s stories, humor, Bible studies, and encouragements otherwise, check out these recently posted podcasts:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/rain-water/id1460709284?ign-mpt=uo%3D4

I’d love to hear your comments! I am currently in the process of recording The Adventures of Princess Pearl, P.O.W.E.R. (Purposeful Operations With Eternal Rewards) Girl! Book One, as chapter-by-chapter podcasts. Please spread the word!

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)!

Spill Your Guts and Rest

Psalm 34:18 (MSG) says, “If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.”

 Here’s the same verse in The Passion Translation (TPT): “The Lord is close to all whose hearts are crushed by pain, and he is always ready to restore the repentant one.”

I’ll take both of those. I’ve been both–kicked in the gut (even by those very close to me, including leaders from whom I least expected such!), and repentant. It has amazed me how, even though I felt totally like I was the one to whom others should repent–that the LORD had me be the “bigger man” and approach others first to apologize for “being rude” or “whatever you think I’ve done wrong.” It usually took Him a couple days to get me to agree with Him, but He knows all things and I’m sure that was part of my overcoming healing process!

If anyone knows what it feels like to be “kicked in the gut” emotionally, and betrayed by leaders and those closest to Him, it’s Jesus! Even though the Disciples spent three years with Him, there were still many things recorded that He told them that they just didn’t get. I doubt He “spilled His guts” to anyone but the Father–especially since He only did what Father God told Him to say (John 12:49).

Don’t we feel better when we “tell all”? Sometimes–many times–it’s flesh, our carnal nature, just wanting the satisfaction of talking negatively about someone or something. It’s a kind of “vindication,” even if we don’t do or say anything directly to that person.

And it’s hard not to do that, especially when we feel righteous indignation, and have no idea of what we did or may have done wrong. I’ve gotten much better through the years about not sharing all the junk with anyone, not even my spouse (although he is a good and patient and understanding listener), for it really doesn’t do much but drag us both down. It doesn’t solve the problem.

Also, as sometimes has also happened, more offense can occur, which can create more problems!

The LORD tells us to set our mind on things above–good things–for a reason. He knows us better than we know ourselves!

And, He tells us in Psalm 62:8 (ESV) to “Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.” 

Jesus has experienced every emotion, rejection, and torment that anyone ever has or will experience, so He totally understands. So “spill your guts” to Him, and He will comfort you in amazing ways. Trust in Him (Proverbs 3:5-6) to work everything out for your best and His glory, and He will. Ask Him to help you relax in His faithful love!

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?!

The Christmas Surprise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Suffer Like This to Expand God’s Kingdom!

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

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

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

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

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

He is Keeping You!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Choose Joy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What is joy?”one asked.

I love it when Daddy opens doors like this!

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

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

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

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

FREE PDF for You!

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

Restoration: Daddy God Cares About Details!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Double Glory!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

from AMPC, www.Biblegateway.com

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

 

90 FREE Articles to Help You Grow in God!

https://www.faithwriters.com/member-profile.php?id=64826

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 riverraincreative@gmail.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!

Growing Into the Clothes

Because of this, brethren, be all the more solicitous and eager to make sure (to ratify, to strengthen, to make steadfast) your calling and election; for if you do this, you will never stumble or fall.
[For it is He] Who delivered and saved us and called us with a calling in itself holy and leading to holiness [to a life of consecration, a vocation of holiness]; [He did it] not because of anything of merit that we have done, but because of and to further His own purpose and grace (unmerited favor) which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began [eternal ages ago].
So then, brethren, consecrated and set apart for God, who share in the heavenly calling, [thoughtfully and attentively] consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest Whom we confessed [as ours when we embraced the Christian faith].

 

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!

I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.

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].

With this in view we constantly pray for you, that our God may deem and count you worthy of [your] calling and [His] every gracious purpose of goodness, and with power may complete in [your] every particular work of faith (faith which is that leaning of the whole human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness).
I therefore, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to and beg you to walk (lead a life) worthy of the [divine] calling to which you have been called [with behavior that is a credit to the summons to God’s service,

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.

Dear Deb’s Amazing Art!

(Deb sent me her bio this morning. She will very soon have her own page and be uploading photos of her amazing art! Meanwhile, I have an exquisite necklace she hand-crafted for me. Watch for pics!–Tonja)

 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.