Gone Forever!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Believe Anyway!

AMPC, I Cor. 10:13: For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ablity and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently. “

Yes, these are strange times, if you’re aware at all of what’s going on in the Spirit! And we who know our God (and believe Him anyway) are strong and do exploits! Yes, no matter what happens, we choose to believe anyway!

Only by HIS power and strength and wisdom and grace, though! Sometimes we think WE are strong and can do anything. We KNOW GOD is for us, and that NONE can be against us. We believe anyway–we know our faithful God has ALWAYS got our backs!

But that’s not the way we have always felt, is it? Thank the LORD we cannot trust feelings; they lie! But the Word of God is true, infallible, and unchanging, The Word of God, our Holy Bible, IS our Rock. It is the written Covenant of Jehovah, that He made by blood with the LORD Jesus Christ, for us–all for us; mankind; humans created in His image to be in His image, to be His loving forever family!

I have, for various reasons (most of them spiritual or emotional) felt physically and emotionally weak lately. That’s because my dear Daddy God–Whom I have asked to help me be cleansed and whole and free of anything that had still been holding me back from the fullness of all He’s called me to do and be–has been answering my prayers. But although I’ve felt very weak–weaker than in a long time–I have chosen to believe anyway!

My God is faithful, forever! He will not and He cannot be unfaithful! My circumstances and feelings have many times NOT agreed with that, but I have chosen (with His help! He is the Author and Finisher of our faith!–to believe anyway!

He is so very loving and merciful, generous and kind–and He knows what we can handle. The verse in I Corinthians 10:13 that talks about Him not giving us more than we know we can bear now has a deeper meaning for me: Besides tests and trials that we encounter because we live in this sin-sick world, it means (for me, at least!) that He will not reveal to us the ugly truth about ourselves in such depths that it would destroy us! He IS the Spirit of Truth, but He is also our Daddy God Who loves us without fail, no matter how great our sin!

So no matter what you’ve done (If you know you’ve sinned, repent–ask God to forgive you. He WILL!) or how you feel; no matter what even those closest to you say (meaning if it goes against what the Word of God says), choose to believe anyway!

If you think you can’t believe, ask Him to help you, and believe anyway that He will! (HE WILL!)

Romans 5:9 (TPT), And there is still much more to say of his unfailing love for us! For through the blood of Jesus we have heard the powerful declaration, “You are now righteous in my sight.” And because of the sacrifice of Jesus, you will never experience the wrath of God.”

THAT my dear reader, is what “Agape”–UNconditional Love!–is!!

And the world–even Christians!–has no clue about it, unless they’ve encountered Christ! So now that YOU know the truth and believe, go and help others. Help them to believe anyway!

Share the Wealth!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unchanging God

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

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

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

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

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!

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!!

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!

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!

Flags for America!

The LORD opened my eyes recently to pray these verses over America!
They raise their voices, they shout for joy; from the west they acclaim the Lord’s majesty.
So [as the result of the Messiah’s intervention] they shall [reverently] fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight [for He will come like a rushing stream which the breath of the Lord drives].
            Even more recently, I was honored to hear teaching by an apostle from South Africa, who said that she and her team pray and fast for America–for they know that what happens in America affects the world.
            So let us humble ourselves and pray and proclaim, and our good God Who founded and keeps and has had great mercy on our country will hear and answer!
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
They raise their voices, they shout for joy; from the west they acclaim the Lord’s majesty.
So [as the result of the Messiah’s intervention] they shall [reverently] fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight [for He will come like a rushing stream which the breath of the Lord drives].

 

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

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.