Resting in Our Destiny

(This was written in 2001. I have learned and grown and had my desired and thus life calling tweaked since then, but some things have remained the same. To me, the things that remain are the real parts of my destiny in the LORD!)

I used to complain a lot and be critical. Now I know that it was because I was frustrated; mainly, because I was not fulfilling the reason I am on the planet. That was 17 years ago. I’ve learned many things since then.

However, as I did then, and as you can do today, and as I believe it is good to do for oneself at least once per year–especially at the end of December or in early January–I asked myself some questions and wrote down the answers. 

There is something to this writing-it-down thing. Besides the physiological matter, there is the spiritual impact. And the LORD Himself said, “It is written….”

As I do often, I wrote down a few things that gave me joy. I knew the negative feelings were not from the LORD. So I started writing what I liked to do, for I’ve learned that what we like to do and what we are good at are huge clues to our purpose. 

I wrote:

“Doing nice things for others like sending goodies and notes in the mail, gives me great joy.”

“I delight in surprising people with words of encouragement–especially through the mail.”

“I like to express my appreciation to people, and that has made me many friends and allies–because it is so rare.”

“I like to read and write.”

“I like to be outside.”

“I like to listen to music that glorifies God.”

“I like to help people know the LORD.”

Even while writing these things, I felt joy. By writing them down, they helped focus my mind and heart on what I really wanted. 

While the LORD wants us to be content wherever we are, He also wants us to continually grow. We were made to stretch and grow; that’s what faith is–making decisions as we ask the LORD to guide us to do His will and fulfill our callings, and to help us to accomplish His Plans. 

His Plans for us are the very best (Jeremiah 29:11), where we will be the most successful–the most influential for His Kingdom; the most satisfied; the most prosperous; the most victorious; the most at rest!

So where do you start? Start by writing down what you love and want to do, and what you are good at. Usually, you enjoy doing that at which you excel. 

Then present the list to Him and say, “Thank You, LORD, that You are with me always, all around me, and in my heart (if you have received the LORD Jesus as your Savior. If not, do it right now! Ask Him to forgive you of your wrongs and come into your heart and give you eternal life. He will, as John 3:16 and 17 say, and Hebrews 9:28. It’s easy and the best decision you will make!), and I thank You that You created me and put me on earth for such a time as this. Help make that purpose very clear to me, and help me to do it. Please take my life and have your way. I love You. Thank You, Master! You are faithful to order my steps and direct my paths, and I trust You!”

I had always thought of the phrase, “Do what you love, the rest will come,” as in, if you do what you love, the money, success, etc. will come. But recently, the LORD showed me a deeper meaning:If I do what I love that I know is in His Plan for me, the REST–the relief and ease and refreshing, and the peace, joy, and deepest satisfaction–will come!

Laurie Beth Jones, in her book, The Path, suggests that our destinies have to do with what we love to do, and that perhaps we “forget who we were in Heaven.”

Let us remember that our time on earth is very short compared to eternity, and let us be about God’s business. 

The LORD Your God is with you, and He is your faithful Guide. Ask Him to guide you into His perfect desire, and to give you rest; peace. He will!

God Wants You Healed!

I Peter 2:21-24 says, “…For Christ also suffered for you, leaving you [His personal] example, so that you should follow in His footsteps. He was guilty of no sin, neither was deceit (guile) ever found on His lips. When He was reviled and insulted, He did not revile or offer insult in return; [when] He was abused and suffered, He made no threats [of vengeance]; but he trusted [Himself and everything] to Him Who judges fairly. He personally bore our sins in His [own] body on the tree [as on an altar and offered Himself on it], that we might die (cease to exist) to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.”

We know it is NOT God’s will for any person to have any health problem–not arthritis, not cancer, not ANY junk! Just like good parents protect their children from harm as much as possible, and make sure their children have good water, good food, and all the medicinal checkups and medicine needed when they need it, plus shelter and clothing and other needed things, we KNOW Jesus already defeated all this evil, including sickness, illness, and disease. He loves us and broke the power of every curse on the cross, so we can live a good life in health, strength, freedom, abundance and peace!

When we are born again by faith in the blood of Jesus Christ and what He did for us on the cross, we can truly–in the Name of Jesus, not our own name nor strength, for we are no match for the enemy–tell the devil (who is a bully and a destroyer) to get the HELL OFF and OUT of our body, in JESUS’ name!

Yes, the devil is a bully and destroyer, but FAR GREATER IN US AND FOR US IS JESUS CHRIST THE LORD, Who is THE LORD WHO HEALETH US and FIGHTS FOR US, AMEN!

When we are truly believing in Jesus and He is living in our hearts as Savior and LORD, we HAVE THAT PRIVILEGE AND POWER!! WE have to LEARN these things, cause the enemy does NOT want us to know how to overcome him, but FAR GREATER IS JESUS THE HEALER IN AND FOR US (I John 4:4) than the junk from the cursed evil one, amen!

It is NOT God’s will for us to have to get healed; He provided through the Covenant for us to walk in divine health every way. But thank the LORD He gave us docs and medicines to help us, while we develop our faith to RECEIVE His healing otherwise! Amen!

Many times the enemy can afflict us because of wrong words that we or others have spoken over ourselves. I have had to REPENT of speaking many wrong words, and also had to REPENT of judging and criticizing others, and having bitterness and envy and anger and unforgiveness in my heart!! these things–some of them that were there for YEARS, even DECADES!!–were allowing the enemy to MESS ME UP in many ways!! 

Bottom line is because I was NOT walking in LOVE, which is the opposite of all these things!!

Anyway, you know how we often counsel each other to “let it go” cause we know it’s BAD for us to be mad at people and stiuations. And you have fortiven many for much.  Anyway, we have to realize that WE ARE NOT THE JUDGE–of ANYone, and it’s been a hard lesson to learn.

There is ONLY one Judge–God, Who knows the hearts of all men and every word on their tongues, before they speak it. We can never know all others have experienced and why they have made certain decisions–nor the junk that was done or experienced by their relatives in their bloodlines.  Only the LORD knows ALL that is in one’s heart!

So, when we wonder why others don’t get healed or die early, bottom line is there are many things we don’t understand and never will. Those things are between that individual and the LORD. We don’t have to answer for them. We only are responsible for ourselves, ultimately, although we are supposed to pray for others. But God gives every person a free will–to choose Him, or death. 

 I’m just so GLAD that His mercy preceeds His judgment–that He is a LOVING God, for we ALL deserve hell and the grave, but GOD loved us SOOOO MUCH that He gave Jesus to pay for our sins and wash us CLEAN and to help us –just like we help our children. We want them to stop their foolish behavior, obey, and be blessed! We want them to forgive and share and love and be NICE. But they have to choose to obey, and sometimes they have to learn that lesson over and over till they get it. 

Those who don’t get it wind up dead or in jail. 

But what does this have to do with healing? It all comes down to obedience to the Word of God. 

Suffering is not from God. Never. He NEVER works with the enemy.  God is Light and there is NO darkness at all in Him (I John 1:5)! He has no evil and cannot be tempted with evil. HALLELUJAH! 

Until we learn the TRUTH–that GOD LOVES us and does NOT want us to suffer, but if we keep going our own hard-headed, stubborn WRONG ways (sometimes that happens just because we do NOT know the Bible, and the enemy knows it much better than us and can use it against us, cause he’s a legalist!), then God takes His hand of protection off, and the enemy is right there to cause trouble.

But God’s mercy is still amazing and when we ask Him to help us understand how we need to change and obey Him–cause He just wants to protect and love and help us, like good parents help their kids.  Good parents just want to cover and help and love and provide for their kids-and as soon as the rebellious child gets the right attitude and obeys (which is what “to repent” means), then the parents resumes the Blessing. The child is already forgiven by a parent who truly loves him or her, but the attitude of thanksgiving and respect and the obedience must be there to get the maximum blessing–and this includes healing in some cases.

Now, Jesus (Who is God’s Son and God Himself!) healed many–and NONE of them were born again (because Jesus hadn’t died on the cross yet)!  So there was sin in all those people, but His mercy preceeds His judgment!

However, there are times when the LORD will give us instruction to not do something, or to do something, to prevent the enemy from being able to afflict us with sickness or disease. We have to understand and choose to obey. It’s like someone who eats nothing but fast food, and doctors and parents and others, including the Spirit of God may warn them to eat healthy food with that, or stop fast food, or just eat it rarely. But if the person disobeys those wise instructions, that person probably will get a disease, or at least become very overweight, which can lead to many health problems. 

Our Father God Who created us, sustains us, and loves us beyond measure is very practical. If you study the Bible, you’ll find that He gave the children of Israel practical advice on cleansing and eating, even in the Old Testament. He also warned the people in both Old and New Testaments to be thankful! 

And even when we have disobeyed and opened the door to the curse (the enemy, the devil, IS the curse!), when we repent and cry out to our loving, merciful Father God, He is touched with compassion and pity for us, and will give us instruction on what doctor to go to, what foods to eat or not, what medicine or supplements to take, what kind of exercise to do, or whatever we need for us to be healed.

He is the Master of Restoration, and that’s really what healing is. When He created Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, He made them in divine health, and provided every good thing for them to eat and all else they would ever need to have the very best life of all. 

We live in a broken world, but we don’t have to be broken anymore, when we follow His wonderful Plan! 

GOD WANTS US HEALED. Jesus died for it. His will for us is abundant life, as He states in John 10:10.  He is the LORD Who heals us, and we praise His name forever! 

Paint With Your Mouth!

“I’ll write the book on Your righteousness, talk up Your salvation the livelong day, never run out of good things to write or say. I come in the power of the Lord God, I post signs marking His right-of-way.” – Psalm 71:12b, The Message

Words paint pictures in our minds. So when we write and we speak, we are creating pictures–both in our minds, and in the minds of those who hear us, whether they are reading written words or listening to our voices. Our job and joy is to paint God-pictures with our words!

The Word of God is the ultimate picture, and God, the Master Artist, has painted the picture of the perfect life, the “Zoe” life–the wonderful, abundant, happiest-possible life that Jesus died on the cross to give using His Word! Zoe is Greek for “life as God has it.” And that is what we all desire most. Painting pictures of Zoe life with our words is fun!

When we say God’s Word, write God’s Word in a note or email, send them in a letter, sing them at church, in the shower or to a group of our friends or family, we are painting a picture for others about the better life–the Zoe life–they can have. And that is why we are here!

There is great joy and satisfaction in writing God’s Word to paint pictures so others can see the real Jesus, whether we use our hands or our mouths. Psalm 45:1 says that, “My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.”

And, just as God has written His ultimate love letter–the Bible– to you. The Bible, which is the Holy Word of God, tells you all about Jesus, who is the exact representation, or “picture” of God the Father; and just as your parents have written you love notes and letters, creating lovely pictures of their care for you; so you too, have the wonderful power and privilege and freedom to encourage others by writing God’s Word to them!

In fact, God tells us to do that in Psalm 102:18: “Write this down for the next generation so people not yet born will praise God: ‘God looked out from his high holy place; from heaven He surveyed the earth. He listened to the groans of the doomed, He opened the doors of their death cells.’ Write it so the story can be told in Zion, so God’s praise will be sung in Jerusalem’s streets And wherever people gather together along with their rulers to worship Him.” (Ps. 102:18 The Message)

Let’s start today filling the lives of others with beautiful pictures of God by using our words!

Jesus Performed–So We Won’t Have To!

Jesus didn’t have to do it. He didn’t HAVE to die on the cross.

But He chose to, because He loved the Father, and because He loved us–to spare us from having to pay for all our wrongs, because we could never truly pay for them no matter how much we suffered or sacrificed!

God sent Jesus to earth for that primary purpose (John 3:16), but in the end, it WAS the choice of the Lamb to die for us or not.

After all He went through, even as He hung on the cross in pain much more emotionally and physically excruciating than we could ever imagine, the King of kings could have called 12 legions of angels to help Him down from the cross and destroy all those against Him!

But, though He sweated drops of blood, and asked, “Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me. Nevertheless, not My will, but Thine be done.” (Luke 22:42 KJV)

If JESUS hadn’t performed.Where would we be? Destined to hell, and without His divine love and faithfulness and protection and strength as we walk this earth! And, because He DID perform, we live under grace. Blessed grace! Amazing, wonderful, precious grace! (Eph. 2:8,9)

I used to battle perfection while performing, for God and for others, even for myself, but the LORD has helped me to understand that only the Blood of Jesus that covers me makes me righteous–perfect in His sight, and it has nothing to do with my performance! I understand that I am to do everything as unto the LORD and strive for excellence, but that is quite different from perfectionism.

Jesus performed–so we wouldn’t have to.

Our goal is to become perfect in Christ, mature and complete, and He will help us!

How to Walk in the Will of God

(This was written for kids, but we are all the “little children” of God!)

Many times, you will hear your parents and your pastors and teachers at church talk about “walking in the will of God.” What that means is to trust in God’s plan for our lives, and obey Him. It sounds simple, doesn’t it, kind of like two plus two equals four.

Most of the time, it is simple, unless we try to make it hard. One of the easiest ways we walk in the will of God is to trust and obey those people He puts over us, such as our parents, teachers at church and school, and other leaders. Sometimes we may not understand why they are telling us to do something, or not do something, and we may not even like it. We may think we know a better way.

It is usually okay to very respectfully tell our parents and other leaders what we think about something, and to ask questions. But we must remember that God put those people in authority over us and that He knows best, and it is His will for us to obey them. This is called submitting to authority.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise, that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth,” says Ephesians 6:-13.

Submitting to authority will continue all your life, no matter how old you are. It is the excellent plan of God, for we all must submit to authority. Even Jesus submitted to the authority of God the Father. He never did anything other than what God told Him to do, and He never said anything other than what God told Him to say.

So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” —John 8:28-29

Most important, Jesus submitted to the authority of God when He agreed to go to the cross and die to pay for the sins of every person that would ever be born. Jesus did not want to go to be beaten and made fun of and spit on and killed, especially since He had never done anything wrong!

He even very respectfully asked God the Father if there was some other way to save all people from the horrible death of hell because of their sins.

But God said no. So Jesus walked in the will of God by submitting to the authority of the Father; He went to the cross and died for our sins, so we don’t have to. Hallelujah!

Then God gloriously rewarded Him, for there is always a reward for walking in the will of God by submitting to authority. Some of the rewards Jesus received were that He came back to life and will never die, seized again the leadership of the universe from the devil our enemy, and lives forever as the awesome and perfect King of kings.

But His best reward is that He became the Savior; He provided a way for every person in the world who will believe and accept that He died for them and rose again, to know Him and come live with Him forever in Heaven! So it was definitely worth the LORD Jesus walking in the will of God by submitting to the Father’s authority.

Thank goodness He did, or none of us could be saved!

We all like rewards, and walking in the will of God by submitting to authority will bring us blessings better than we can dream. And, the very best reward of all is that our best Friend Jesus gives us the happiest life on earth and a glorious life in Heaven with Him when we walk in God’s will!

Do You Know Your Father?

Romans 8:15 says, “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

Galatians 4:6 says, “Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.'”

Do you know your father?

So many are fatherless today; lost, saddened, confused, searching. I am not speaking of your earthly father–for you can have a father and mother who are with you every day, but still feel like an orphan, spiritually or emotionally.

I am speaking of your Daddy in Heaven! The Bible calls Him, “Abba,” which means “Daddy God.”

Psalm 27:10 says, Although my father and my mother have forsaken me, yet the Lord will take me up [adopt me as His child].

The LORD has used that verse through the years, including recently to comfort and strengthen me, and remind me that no matter how authority figures act in our lives, especially when they have no clue of the whole story, that our LORD knows ALL things about us and loves us and UNDERSTANDS.

Abba Father, Daddy God, IS FOR US, no matter what. HE will correct us in love, where others miss it. No person but Him is truly awesome, and truly full of grace and truth and unconditional love!

This awesome LORD Who loves you beyond your understanding knows your name.

He knows everything about you and He’s interested! So very interested.

He WANTS to be involved. And He fought for you. He won custody of you, in the ultimate battle or all! He WANTS custody of you, but you must DECIDE to invite Him into your life, for He is a Gentleman!

He waits to shower His love on you, even today! He has so much to give you. He’s been dreaming of the day you will contact Him. He can’t wait to talk to you, to share everything with you!

He loves you, even though you’ve not yet known Him. And He wants to develop a deep relationship with you. He wants to spend time with you!

You may not be able to understand such love. Perhaps you’ve had an earthly father that was okay, but your relationship with him hasn’t been that great. Or maybe he was terribly abusive.

Perhaps you never knew your father.

But you can. Today.

All you have to do is let His Son, Jesus, introduce you. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that Whoever believes in Him should not die, but have everlasting life.”

John 3:17 says, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

If you want to know your real Father, the LORD of Heaven, Who is Love, then say this: Father God, I want to know You, as Daddy God. I thank You for loving me so much, even when I didn’t know You existed! I thank You for giving me life, and leading me to this writing, so I could know how to contact You.

I’m so glad that You are so excited about us having a strong relationship. I choose to believe and receive and agree with what Your Son Jesus did for me on the cross, by dying for my sins, then rising again to bring new life.

Jesus, please come into my heart so I can know the Father and You. Help me start reading Your Word daily and find a Bible-believing church, in Jesus name. Thank You so much! Amen!

Cocaine to Butterfly: The Power of Decision

(This is a true story and names have been changed, but names are the only thing that has been changed!)

Two days before I met Darlene, she decided to give up cocaine—for good–and the LORD met her where she was and started working mightily in her life.

When I went to the library that morning, I wasn’t thinking about a divine appointment, and I didn’t know that. I got out of my car and saw Darlene walk up over the hill, but really didn’t think much about it; there were people there often from the homeless shelter next door.

We happened to get to the sidewalk at the same time, so I asked her how she was doing. “Not too good,” she said, and I sensed a true heaviness in her. 

I looked at her. “Do you have a loving church family praying for you?”

She shook her head. “I got out of jail in October, and have been sleeping wherever I can since then.”

It didn’t matter about her past. I felt she was telling me the truth. What mattered was now, and but for the grace of God, I could have been her. (I’ve never done drugs like that, but I still had challenges and temptations to overcome, as we all have!)

I turned to her and said, “Do you know the LORD Jesus Christ as your Savior?” And she was honest. “No…..”

I recognized what God was doing. “Then you can know Him right now! He can be your Best Friend! And He is so good! He has a wonderful life for you!”

I led her in the prayer and she, crying, received the LORD!

Still being cautious because the enemy attempts to deceive, I was on high alert, listening in my spirit for any warning from the Holy Spirit.

I didn’t get one, so I proceeded. “Have you not been able to get into the shelter?” I knew the managers were kind Christians because my husband and I had ministered there every month for years.

I had a slight dart of fear, wondering what she’d done and why she couldn’t get in. But I knew that fear was from the enemy, so I ignored it. My mighty God had my back. Through the blood of Jesus, I had a covenant of protection with Him.

“Why can’t you get into the shelter?” I asked again. 

“I don’t have my ID card. But I can get one if I can just get to the Department of Finance and Administration. They have my records.”

“So you don’t have a job, or a husband?”

“No.” And she held up a loaf of bread. “The Friendship Center feeds me every day.”

I hesitated. We had cut up all our credit cards a couple years before, had made a vow not to borrow any more money from anyone, and were radically attacking every debt in our lives while we continued to tithe and give to various ministries. But I made the decision to trust God to guide me and to supply. “I don’t carry cash or a checkbook,” I told her. “But I have a two quarters to call my church and see if they can help. How much do you need?”

“It’s just $15 to get my ID card,” she said. And, again still checking with the Holy Spirit and feeling peace, as well as being surprised at the very low fee, I called my church. I queried them about programs, not knowing if we had any in place yet, although I knew it was a goal. And I asked them to pray. The LORD had orchestrated this whole thing, and my pastor was there and he and his daughter said they would cover me. That reassured me even more.

I put down the phone and told her, “Tell you what. I believe my husband and I can help you. But I have a few things to do. Meet me here at 2:00. I WILL be back.”

She hugged me and said, “Okay, I believe you.”

“Some of us ARE sincere,” I told her.

I finished my other errands and went home. And just like someone enjoying giving at Christmas, I went around the house, gathering things for her, i.e., a well-used Bible that my husband had just replaced for my birthday, personal items, my beloved battery-operated radio, even a butterfly ornament that I’d felt strongly should not be packed up with the Christmas tree—but should be kept out to remind me that this was my year of transformation. I wanted to keep it, but believed it would mean a lot to her, so I made the decision to give it to my new sister in Christ.

After all, this was also the year of transformation for Darlene!

“Thank You, LORD, You bless us to bless others!” I told Him. We Covenant people are so very wealthy with the goodness of God!

I packed some chocolate chip cookies that I’d made the day before, and put in some other snacks and goodies as well. I was tickled to give this to her, and thought, If I’m this excited to help rescue and restore someone, and to give to her—when I don’t even know her—then how much more is God eager to give and bless and rescue and restore, and He knows all about us, but loves us anyway!

We got in the car and I could tell she was nervous. She had also had to make the decision to trust, and I was glad she did. It may have been out of a sense of desperation, but sometimes that’s what it may take for us to make necessary changes.

We drove to the finance and administration office, just a few blocks away. Again, I knew the city buses ran close enough, and she could have walked. But I also knew this was my assignment, to help Darlene be rescued and on the road to restoration.

When we walked in, one of the clerks whom I’d met a few weeks before asked, “Can I help you?” I pointed to Darlene and said, “I’m here to help her.”

Darlene gave the information needed to get her card, and I talked to some of the other personnel, most of whom I’d known for years. I invited one to my church again, and testified about how the LORD had recently instantly healed my neck in a service, and how the LORD had healed another friend of mine years ago of a very painful back condition.

Shortly, Darlene turned to me and said, “It will just be $5!” I believe that small price was the favor of God too. I paid for the card, then made the decision to give the other $10 to her, for I’d thought that the price would be $15 for the card anyway. Darlene just looked at me, like I’d given her a thousand bucks, and said, “Really?!”

My heart ached. I wish I’d had a thousand dollars to give her, and I knew I felt a very slight part of what our tender Father God, awesome in His unfailing mercy and love, feels for each of us. And as much as He gives, He wants to give more.

Then again, I was more blessed than she, because I had made the decision to work with Him, so that He could give her the most priceless gift of all—eternal life. And truly, the little bit of time and money and possessions I had shared with her were nothing, nothing, nothing at all, compared to Him giving His life for hers!

How gloriously humble and awesomely, sacrificially, completely IN LOVE with us is our Father God, Who pities us, Who is so eager to deliver us, to cover us, to restore and bless us!

The LORD blessed us and the clerk found Darlene’s information. She went over to get her photo made, and as I smiled at her, I announced to a woman who had just come in, “Darlene just received the LORD Jesus Christ today!” I didn’t know if the woman was a believer or not, but she must have been, because she beamed at us.

“I can’t believe I got my ID card!” Darlene said, as we left. And I praised the LORD for His favor.

We headed to the shelter, and the clerk told us there were no beds available for women. “Show us what to do, LORD,” I whispered. I made the decision to wait on the LORD and trust Him to work on our behalf.

Meanwhile, one of the men who helped run the desk knew me and gave Darlene and application. “Can I put you down as my emergency contact?” she asked.

I made the decision to continue to trust the LORD. “Yes. Put me down as a friend. And here’s my phone number, but please don’t give it out; it’s private.”

“Yes ma’am,” she said. And I knew in my heart that she would keep her word.

A couple minutes later, Darlene whispered to me, “Should I put on there about me doing cocaine, even two days ago? But I haven’t done it since then.”

“Yes, tell everything. Tell the truth,” I told her. “I believe being honest will help.”

Meanwhile, I chatted with the gentleman that had given her the application. “You know, none of us can judge another, for every human is born with a criminal record—until the blood of Jesus washes it away!” He nodded, and I could tell that he hadn’t thought of it that way before.

She signed the application and waited. I believe she made the decision to trust in the LORD’s mercy and goodness.

Then the main manager who knew my husband and I heard my voice, stuck her head out of the office, winked at me and said, “Just a minute.”

She rearranged things—God is The Rearranger!—for Darlene to have a bed and be able to stay there!

I immediately had Darlene raise her hands to Heaven with me and repeat after me, “Thank You LORD Jesus for letting me get into the shelter!”

Then I led Darlene outside and prayed with her. I led her to renounce all of satan’s works in her life in Jesus’ name and ask Jesus to help her be strong and get to know Him. I told her that asking Jesus into her heart was the BEST thing she’d ever done, and that He had a wonderful plan for her life, and that it would get much better from here.

Darlene was amazed at how He moved for her at the shelter and otherwise.   She’d made the decision two days earlier to give up cocaine, and I believe the LORD honored her desire for a new life–and sent someone to introduce her to JESUS, the TRUE LIFE!

She had made the wisest decision of her life to call upon the holy LORD of Heaven and earth Who is Love, and He–Who had already made the decision to rescue and restore her over 2000 years ago–answered.

INVEST. CONNECT. EMPOWER. LOVE. Aren’t you glad God did?!

copyright 2010 by Tonja K. Taylor

17 Things to Help Your Marriage

Clayton and I have an arranged marriage. We certainly did not plan it, but GOD, the King of the universe, did! Hallelujah!

The King Himself made sure that, in spite of us, He orchestrated our lives and caused us to fall in love and marry, to fulfill His plan. Amen!

It has not been a perfect marriage, but He is perfecting itby perfecting us daily. AMEN! We love it! We didn’t have to look for a spouse. We didn’t have to seek each other. The LORD just made sure that our paths crossed at the proper time–“Kairos”. And we rejoice at the work of His hands!

So below, we share some of the things that have worked to make our marriage strong.

Marriage Tip #1: Pray for your spouse. Prayer is a very powerful way to show love. When we pray for someone, that is Love in action! Even more powerful is praying with your spouse. If you’re not praying together yet, ask the LORD to give you the timing and the words to approach your spouse about that. Unity is vital in Christian marriage, especially in these turbulent times!

Marriage Tip #2: Watch your wedding video (or flip through the computer screenshots or the hard copy photo album) every six months, and repeat your vows to each other, speaking along with the video, etc. Every time Clayton and I watch ours, we realize anew how gracious God is to have brought us together.

We also are so thankful that He helped us just mount up on the Holy Spirit in having everything we needed provided–even the bread that we used in Communion was replaced by some kind person–for the wafers we’d brought became soaked in the juice in transit to the church…

We’re not sure which one of us is the bigger miracle–we’d both given up on ever being married! But GOD’s plans are much bigger than ours, and we praise Him and rejoice!

The act of revisiting your marriage video and/or photos will remind you what a gift from God your marriage is!

Marriage Tip #3: Listen to your spouse, with your full attention–even when you don’t feel like it. You want him or her to do the same for you, don’t you?

Marriage Tip #4: When listening, do your best to refrain from giving advice. Just listen. If your mind wanders, refocus. Your spouse, and your marriage, is worth it. And you’ll know more of what’s going on with them, which is your privilege and duty to know.

Marriage Tip #5: Worship together–not just at church. We are all different, but find a worship song you both like and sing together–with the music, or, if you are comfortable enough, a capellawithout music. God inhabits the praises of His people. It may seem awkward at first, but keep doing it and it will become very enjoyable. Another form of worship is to repeat God’s Word out loud. He loves to hear His Word!

Clayton and I often sing in the car to the LORD, and not just on Sunday. We also sometimes go to the park, where he plays the guitar and we sing. (We’ve also been known to waltz under the park gazebo and hold hands and pray, and/or walk the path and pray. We usually have our eyes closed when we’re dancing and praying under the gazebo, but we did hear a fellow walker say once, “That is so COOL!” so, we’re being a witness, both for God and a strong marriage…Try it!)

Marriage Tip #6: Laugh together often. If you don’t already have private jokes, develop some! Rent a funny video–from a Christian store! Even then, be discriminating. It’s good to check with God first! If you don’t have peace about watching or listening to or reading something, don’t do it. The Holy Spirit is our Helper to give us discernment. He is our loving Father Who wants only the best for us. Trash in, trash out; it’s our duty to guard our hearts!

Marriage Tip #7: Try new fun foods and activities. They don’t have to be expensive. I once heard a famous worship leader share on a national Christian station that he and his wife go sample sweet snacks at various restaurants without really eating a full meal, just to have fun and be together.

My husband and I started walking together, and have started exploring healthier eating. It can be quite entertaining to see what new healthy things taste like and do for one’s body and mind, not to mention the added benefit of more energy and strength.

We’ve even experienced an infrared sauna together recently (he went once; I’m going for a full month) and plan to acquire one for our personal use when the time is right.

Marriage Tip #8: Thank the LORD every day for your spouse–especially if you are feeling upset at them at the moment. Just start speaking out loud whatever you are thankful for about them. Speaking out loud is especially powerful–for good or evil–so be sure and say the good things, the things you love about your beloved.

If you can’t think of anything good to say right then, ask the LORD to help you–and ask Him to help you not say things you don’t like! Also thank Him that He knows all, and that your spouse is obviously the perfect one–not perfect, but perfect for you–or God would not have put you together.

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unfathomable (inscrutable, unsearchable) are His judgments (His decisions)! And how untraceable (mysterious, undiscoverable) are His ways (His methods, His paths)!” —Romans 11:33, AMP

Marriage Tip #9: Hold hands in church, at the restaurant, in the car, in front of your kids, as you pray together…You get the idea! I’ve also heard (or read) that it’s wise to hold hands while disagreeing, because the warmth of the contact serves as a reminder that you are linked to this person, and that it helps you stay more calm than if you are not touching or not near your beloved. We’ve tried it both ways, and believe that holding hands during disagreements is better.

Marriage Tip #10: There are times, however, if one or both partners are so upset that all of their energy is going to overcome the negative emotions that they are feeling, that it is best to not have a “discussion” until the emotions are under control. It has been proven (by me, Tonja, if no one else!) that, when the emotions/flesh are in control, that the logical mind (as in, “If I really loved this person, I would not want to hurt them with harsh words” or whatever) checks out.

The enemy loves to get Christians out of a Spirit-controlled state (walking in the peace and joy and love of the LORD) into the fleshly, carnal nature where emotions (especially negative) are controlling the person, and that can be an open door for him to shoot fiery darts/wrong, negative thoughts into the mind of the one whose emotions are out of control, and those wrong thoughts more often than not come out as harsh words.

So my husband and I have discovered that it is best to not discuss things if one or both of us feels we need to cool off first. The best and quickest way we do this is to go to separate rooms and start praising the LORD, reading the Word, reading the Word out loud, talking to God, or a combination of these things. (We haven’t always been successful at this, but we’re getting better!)

As soon as we start turning our mind on purpose to God, we are starting to get back into the Spirit. This is extremely important for everyday life, but especially before we pray together or go to services together.

Marriage Tip #11: Don’t try to pray together until you have truly made peace. In our early days, my husband and I would start trying to pray to the LORD together, but we could not get very far before we’d have to stop and just confess to the LORD and one another that we were still upset.

Sometimes we’d talk for a few hours before everything was settled. Then we’d have to repent of strife. But then we would be able to truly pray, because fellowship with the LORD and with one another was restored.

Marriage Tip #12: When the enemy comes to accuse your spouse to you (and he will), just laugh in his UGLY face and praise God that the defeated foe wouldn’t be attacking your marriage if it wasn’t already so strong, and tell the LORD you are so thankful that He has given you a spouse that loves Him and loves you, and that is a person of the highest integrity, in whom your heart does safely trust–because Daddy God gives only the best.

Also remember to cast your cares on the LORD about your spouse, for it is God’s job (not yours, as this author has discovered) to make improvements in your beloved.

Marriage Tip #13: Understand that, especially as the LORD reveals things to you that need to be corrected, the correction must be made. If one has a weakness, you must address it and ask the LORD to show you how to getand keepvictory. Sometimes that involves not doing anything that would place you or the spouse in any situation to be tempted by the enemy.

There are often strongholds that must be demolished through the power of the Word, prayer, and repentance. Being brave enough to address these with the agreement of your spouse is extremely powerful. This requires extremely honest communication, and it is worth it.

Problems do not just go away. Strongholds must be torn down to go forward, and that almost always involves the agreement of both spouses to be effective.

Marriage Tip #14: Ask the LORD daily (preferably first thing) to honor your spouse through you; to minister through your words and deeds and thoughts to your beloved.

Marriage Tip #15: Ask the LORD to help you remember that your spouse, if a believer, is also your brother or sister in Christ–and anointed to be your Covenant partner.

Marriage Tip #16: Honor your spouse more than any other person in your life except the LORD Jesus Christ. This means more than your children; more than your parents; more than anyone else, except the One Who created and saved you.

Discover how your spouse experiences honor, and ask the LORD to help you do and say those things. (Sometimes honoring one’s spouse means not saying or doing certain things, within Biblical guidelines, of course. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. He knows all things!)

Marriage Tip #17: Bind the enemy from your marriage and plead the Blood of Jesus over it daily. Declare that your marriage gets stronger every day! This is one of the most important things to do for this supreme earthly relationship.

We believe these tips, if implemented, will help strengthen any marriage. Remember, marriage represents the relationship we the Church have with Jesus Christ, our Heavenly Groom!

How to Have GOD as Your Best Friend

King Jesus will soon return to earth! He will be coming back to get all who have believed in Him, to take them back to Heaven to live with Him forever (Revelation 22:12)! He wants to be your BIFF–your Best Invisible Friend Forever–and take you with Him to Paradise.

In Paradise, or Heaven where God the Father and Jesus the Son always are, there is freedom and joy and plenty of every good and beautiful thing. In Heaven, there are no bad things, no darkness at all. In Heaven, there is only the glorious goodness and light and love of the LORD!

God and Jesus are eager for you to come live with them after your life on earth. When your body dies, they want you to live with them in Heaven. The holy angels, and all the other people who died that love Jesus are there.

Some people think that, once a person’s body dies, they stop living. It is true that the body does not come back to life, unless the LORD brings it to life again. But your spirit, the life of God within you–the real you–is eternal!

Your spirit, which came out of God (John 1:1-3), lives forever! So the real you is a spirit, and your body is just a container to hold your spirit while you are on earth; like an astronaut needs a space suit to live in space.

When a person’s body dies, the spirit within that person immediately leaves the body and goes up or down–to Heaven, to live with God forever, or to hell, to be tormented by the devil our enemy forever.

This is absolute, meaning this is the way it is, and this is the way it will always be, no matter what any person says. So you have a choice; you can choose to serve and live with Jesus in the most wonderful life you can imagine, or choose to serve and live a horrible, tormented life with the devil, who hates God, and who hates you.

But God loves you, and every good thing in your life is from Him! He loves you so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus (the King!), to die for you, because He wanted you to be free to love Him and live with Him, and help other people know how good He is!

All of us have done something wrong, broken one rule of God or another. We can never be good enough nor do enough good things to get to Heaven (Romans 3:21-26Ephesians 2:1-10).

However, Jesus, the perfect Son of God Who did nothing wrong, took everything you and I have ever done wrong and paid the debt of sin by spilling His blood for us on the cross (John 3:16)! He wanted us to have the chance to be with Him forever in Heaven, and to enjoy getting to know Him here on earth.

Instead of us dying to pay for our sins, Jesus did it for us, because He loves us that much. He was crucified on a cross–the worst death anyone could die–and after three days, He came back to life (Matthew 28:6)!

Now He lives forever in Heaven, praying for us, helping us, loving us, and waiting for us to work with Him (Romans 8:34).

Once we ask Jesus to forgive us of our sins and come to live by His Holy Spirit in our hearts, God the Heavenly Father adopts us as His child! Jesus becomes our Savior, our Brother, and our Best Invisible Friend Forever.

Jesus brings us joy, peace, love, wisdom, and every good thing. Once He comes to live with us, He is with us always (Matthew 28:20). No matter what any other person on earth does, Jesus will forever love us and be with us!

None of us can get into Heaven to live with God the Father, Who is perfect and holy, unless we first become friends with His Son Jesus. Being friends with Jesus starts in our live now on earth, because once a person’s body dies, it is too late for them to choose Him.

Jesus the King of all is coming back very soon to get all of us who love Him, to take us out of this crazy world so we can be safe and happy and healed and have everything we need and want, in the wonderful life with God.

He will reward us for how we have lived for Him (Revelation 22:12). Although He loves every person He ever created, He will only take with Him to Heaven those who have truly received Him as Savior (Matthew 7:23).

If you would like to go to Heaven and have God as your loving Father and Jesus as your BIFF, and start enjoying the best life you could ever have today, just say this prayer!

Dear Jesus,
Please forgive me of everything I’ve done wrong and come into my heart and be my LORD and Savior and Friend! Help me get to know You and teach me through Your Word how to love and obey You, for You are the true King Who rules! And thank You for loving me so much. Thank You for saving me and helping me to enjoy and love You! In Your Name, amen!

Romans 10:13 says “All who call upon the Name of the LORD shall be saved.” So if you prayed this prayer, a miracle just happened–you became alive in Christ! Your spirit became new,; you became a new creation! The Spirit of Jesus just came into your heart to help you live a wonderful life!

The Holy Spirit also came and put a Heavenly mark on you to tell God and the angels and the devil and everyone else that you now belong to Jesus (Ephesians 1:132 Timothy 2:19)! And He will love and help you forever.

Now Jesus and His angels are having a party, celebrating your wonderful decision to become part God’s family!

Now, the way to learn all about your new Best Friend Forever is to read your Bible, His special Letter to you, His new dear friend!

Also, ask Him to show you the church family you need to meet with, to learn even more about Him and have other Christians to pray with you, and help you know wonderful it is to live with Him!

Welcome to the best life you could ever have!

Are You Supernatural?

Hey kids (of whatever age!)–How do you know if you are supernatural? And how do you experience it?

It seems in this crazy world that “everyone” wants to be supernatural. That’s why people who really want our all-powerful God, the LORD Jesus, are getting into witchcraft and palm reading and other junk that is very against God. They want to experience the supernatural. And they always lose, when they fool with the devil.

But there is a better Way. It’s easy!

What do you do to experience the true Supernatural?

Easy. You act like God–Who is eternal, all-knowing, and all-powerful.

How do you act like God?

Easy. You think like God, and do what He does.

How do you think like God, and do what He does?

Easy. You meet His Son, Jesus, and apologize.

You apologize for all your mistakes, and ask Him to forgive you and be your Savior, and BIFF (Best Invisible Friend Forever). You read His Book, (Superman Can’t Touch This!), study it, and do what it says.

What? You’ve never heard of this book? Well, maybe you know it by its more common name, the Holy Bible. That is God’s Superbook for people who want to be supernatural.

Read it, and memorize what it says. Think about what it says many times during the day, and before you go to sleep at night. Do what it says.

You can’t trust feelings. Simply make a life-changing decision to believe the Word of God and trust Him, the Holy Spirit Who is alive and with you always as the Spirit of Jesus in your heart.

Trust Him; He will help you!

He will help you act on His Word and think supernaturally, because you will be thinking and acting the way you were created to live–like God!

And that is so much better than Superman! Or Spiderman, or Batman, or any of the other “heroes” in the movies.

But why would you want to be supernatural?

Who wouldn’t? We were created to be supernatural, which is more than just powerful!

Most people want to feel powerful, like they know what they’re doing and are in control of their lives.

That’s why people who don’t know the real Jesus–the Eternal Resurrected King, the All-Powerful One–try to become powerful through following the wrong things, like magic, or drugs, or something else that’s bad for them that tricks them into thinking they are Superman.

But these things hurt them very much and can make them crazy or put in jail, or even dead!

Actually, we humans are really weak, and only God is strong. So to be truly powerful, truly supernatural, we must let the Lord Jesus live through us.

He is our very life. He is our strength. And we can only be truly supernatural–truly stronger than the make-believe Superman, when we let Jesus tell us what to do, and help us to do it!

John 6:63. AMP, says, “It is (Jesus) the Spirit Who gives life (He is the Life-giver); the flesh (our bodies) conveys no benefit whatever (there is no profit in it).”

This means that we can do nothing that is any good, nothing that truly is meaningful to God unless the LORD Jesus, the Spirit, does it through us.

How can we have the Lord Jesus, the true Super-power, live through us and make us supernatural?

Easy. We ask Him to forgive us of our sins and come into our heart as the LORD Jesus, our Savior who is the Holy Spirit, and live through us. Then, the more we listen to Him and follow His directions, the more we become stronger than Superman ever thought about being. The more we let the LORD Jesus–the true Superpower!–teach and direct us, the more supernatural we are!

If you abide in God’s Word (hold fast to His teachings and live in accordance with them), then you are truly His disciples, and you know the Truth and the Truth sets you free.

(John 8:31-32 AMP) Jesus is The Way, The Truth, and The Life.

When you know Jesus the Truth–Who is the King of the universe–and let Him live through you, you are more powerful than Superman. You are supernatural!

So, why wait! Ask the True Superpower–JESUS–to be your Savior and Best Friend today. Start reading and doing the SuperBook and be supernatural!

Altered Reality

At the mall a few years ago, my (then) preteen daughter wanted me to participate in a virtual reality ride with her. We chose one of the very few that didn’t appear to have demonic or violent or sexual scenes and titles, and that left us with a “runaway ice train” type thing, somewhere in the frozen tundra of Siberia, I suppose.

We leaned back in the seats, held the bars, and watched a very large screen that occupied most of our vision. While there were moments I seemed to feel involved in adventure, I still wasn’t scared–cause I knew it wasn’t real. It wasn’t reality.

I could see the “real” world–hear people talking, see them walk past and watch me in the game–in the periphery of my vision, and, even though it seemed in the game like I was going to smash into stuff and things were falling all around me and barely missing me and the train I was in was running off the tracks, etc.–and even though I could feel the vibrations and the turning, from the seat I was sitting on that was moving in motion with the movie–I was resting.

I was resting on the fact that, no matter how things seemed to be, they would not last, and they were not reality.

So, during that interesting two minutes, I realized afresh that this world we live in is the same–temporary, and not real–compared to the spirit world and eternity.

As 2 Corinthians 4:18 says, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Remember, as one pastor has stated, “Everything on earth is temporary. Just keep holding on and believing God, and things will change!”

And also remember that God is our Rock Who never changes, praise Him! “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

You can depend on Him!

Ask Him to open your eyes to how very transitory this world you live in is; how real the spirit world is, and to help you invest in eternity much more than temporary stuff.

You’ll never regret it, and it will help you live each day more purposefully for the Kingdom of God.

As You Are, Let Me Be

The LORD gave me this poem, that can also be sung. Praise Him!

As You are Light, LORD, let me be
A light to others so they’ll see
Your holiness and purity,
Your faithfulness and love.

A You are Love, LORD, let me give
My love to those with whom I live;
Help me to sow peace and forgive
AS You’ve forgiven me.

As You’ve forgiven me, my LORD,
Teach me to wield Your two-edged Sword,
To seek Your heavenly reward,
As You are, let me be.

Copyright 1995, Tonja K. Taylor

God Must Feel This Way!

Psalm 145:8 (AMPC)

The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.                                                                                               

God must feel this way–often! I was a bit frustrated, as one of my students asked a question about something I had just answered. Why have they not understood that I meant what I said the first time, and the second, and the third?! LORD, give them ears to hear and eyes to see, and hearts to understand and obey me!

I said these things to myself again, as I tried to smile at them, took a breath, and explained once more. I thought with fondness and new appreciation about our dear pastors, the apostles, who are extreme examples of patience and love with us, their flock–who had certainly not always believed and followed their deep exhortations and revelation the first time.

Nor have I fully believed and followed the direction of the Holy Spirit to me. But I am working on hearing and doing more fully and quickly. He is helping me.

Our hearing was perfect before the fall! I thought. Yes, it was, but after years of condemning Adam and Eve, the LORD helped me realize that, had I been Eve, I probably would have done the same thing.

In other words, I am not the Judge, and I am not to judge (unless He tells me). My job is to serve as a vessel to help these kiddos (my dear fourth graders) to learn as much as they can about math and English–and, most of all, about how to live a successful life. I insert God into the mix every chance I get, and He helps me by His Spirit inspiring the kids to ask questions about Him!

We have some wonderful conversations. The kids would love to talk about God all day, from what I can tell, and I have to remind them and myself that we need to focus on math and English. But I believe they are beginning to understand that God is in every part of life.

This reminds me of a verse I discovered a couple decades ago, which helped me know more about how the LORD delights in me:

Malachi 3:16 – Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.

It delights my heart to know that the LORD notes when we talk about Him. Likewise, my heart thrills when I hear my kids talk about the LORD and want to know Him better, because I know they are sincere. I also rejoice when I can tell that they actually have learned the math and English lessons!

My students–my kids–may not always listen to me, and they may talk when they shouldn’t sometimes.  They may even disrespect me; out of self-defense, out of hurts in their lives; out of ignorance. But I have done all of those and more to my faithful, loving, all-knowing, all-sacrificing God.  Yet His love and compassion for me do not fail!

I love and pray for them no matter what, and I tell them that, often. I know they are starting to truly believe me. Even when I discipline them, I believe they understand it is for their good, for love disciplines. (I also tell them I do not want to discipline them or cause them to lose blessings, but they must use their power of choice to choose well.)

Psalm 94:12Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man whom You discipline and instruct, O Lord, and teach out of Your law,

What I love the most, I think, is when I get love-art and love-notes from my students, and sometimes right after I have disciplined them.

Yes, God must feel this way. He must smile at us and be warmed in His holy heart— when we love His Presence, His people, His Word, His ways, and even His discipline. He is good and all good, and only good. There is nothing good in me but Him, but let Him increase and me decrease, and my students and the world be drawn deeper into loving our LORD Jesus Christ!

John 3:30He must increase, but I must decrease. [He must grow more prominent; I must grow less so.]

Even better is when I hear a student (or, especially, my own biological daughter, now a college graduate and about to be married, plus planning to have her own children a few years down the road!) speak back to me wisdom I imparted to them–when I thought they were ignoring me–years before!

So if He can do it with my daughter and students, then there is hope for me! 

Is it God, Me, or the devil?

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight,says Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

12 Who is the man who reverently fears and worships the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way that he should choose. 13 He himself shall dwell at ease, and his offspring shall inherit the land. 14 The secret [of the sweet, satisfying companionship] of the Lord have they who fear (revere and worship) Him, and He will show them His covenant and reveal to them its [deep, inner] meaning.” –Psalm 25:12-14 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

From what the Word says, the LORD guides us when we trust Him. This is what FAITH is, and I’m working to increase mine, to walk by trusting My Father Who knows all things and is all-powerful, and Who always has my BEST interest in mind because He loves me purely–instead of letting reason or my carnal, earthly mind and experience direct my life.

So, I have a couple of quick tips from major spiritual leaders that have helped shape my life: (1) If an idea stays with you, and you experience peace, and joy, and an excited sense of “rightness,” and, of course, it’s not against the Word of God (which means we must KNOW the Word as much as possible, plus truly be born again by faith in Christ Jesus so His Spirit can affirm the direction our souls (minds, bodies, emotions) want to go!), then it’s God.

Often, God leads us to do something (He is a Gentleman and never tries to force us to do anything!) that does not make sense to our minds. If it’s good, and you can’t figure it out, there’s another clue that it’s most likely GOD leading you to do it.

There again, we must define “good” by the unchanging, infallible, eternal Word of God, the Holy Bible.

The flesh (our carnal earthly selves) want to do things that satisfy our 5 senses. The devil, of course, wants to create trouble for us and others in whatever way he can, whether subtle or not, and may have a bit of truth mixed in, but if we’re not sure about an idea we do this: (1) Ask God Who is the Spirit of Truth Who will never lead us wrong to show us about the idea: and (2) wait a few days at least, if possible, to see if it goes away.

Praying for wisdom is another excellent thing to do to distinguish among ideas and see what the source is. Also, the closer we get to God; the more time we have in His Word and worship and prayer, the more we think like Him and can know “automatically” at least in some cases whether an idea is from Him or not!

Enjoy the journey and know that, even when we miss it, HE LOVES US and THAT LOVE NEVER CHANGES! HALLELUJAH!!

How to Have God as Your Best Friend

King Jesus was born over 2,000 years ago (Yes, in a manger, although the magi did not visit Him till about 2 years later, when He lived in a house with Mary and Joseph.) and then He went into full-time ministry at age 30, taught for 3 years, then gave His life to pay for the sins of every human that will ever be born.

Jesus the Christ was crucified on the cross, the most horrible painful death of all, normally reserved for punishing the worst of criminals (And He was innocent, but OUR SIN put Him on the cross!).

And then, after 3 days, He came back to life! Then He was taken up to Heaven where He rules and reigns Supreme, and ever lives to pray for us!

However, Hallelujah, He will soon return to earth! He will be coming back to get all who have believed in Him, to take them back to Heaven to live with Him forever (Revelation 22:12)! He wants to be your BIFF–your Best Invisible Friend Forever–and take you with Him to Paradise.

In Paradise, or Heaven where God the Father and Jesus the Son always are, there is freedom and joy and plenty of every good and beautiful thing. In Heaven, there are no bad things, no darkness at all. In Heaven, there is only the glorious goodness and light and love of the LORD!

God and Jesus are eager for you to come live with them after your life on earth. When your body dies, they want you to live with them in Heaven. The holy angels, and all the other people who died that love Jesus are there.

Some people think that, once a person’s body dies, they stop living. It is true that the body does not come back to life, unless the LORD brings it to life again. But your spirit, the life of God within you–the real you–is eternal!

Your spirit, which came out of God (John 1:1-3), lives forever! So the real you is a spirit, and your body is just a container to hold your spirit while you are on earth; like an astronaut needs a space suit to live in space.

When a person’s body dies, the spirit within that person immediately leaves the body and goes up or down–to Heaven, to live with God forever, or to hell, to be tormented by the devil our enemy forever.

This is absolute, meaning this is the way it is, and this is the way it will always be, no matter what any person says. So you have a choice; you can choose to serve and live with Jesus in the most wonderful life you can imagine, or choose to serve and live a horrible, tormented life with the devil, who hates God, and who hates you.

But God loves you, and every good thing in your life is from Him! He loves you so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus (the King!), to die for you, because He wanted you to be free to love Him and live with Him, and help other people know how good He is!

All of us have done something wrong, broken one rule of God or another. We can never be good enough nor do enough good things to get to Heaven (Romans 3:21-26Ephesians 2:1-10).

However, Jesus, the perfect Son of God Who did nothing wrong, took everything you and I have ever done wrong and paid the debt of sin by spilling His blood for us on the cross (John 3:16)! He wanted us to have the chance to be with Him forever in Heaven, and to enjoy getting to know Him here on earth.

Instead of us dying to pay for our sins, Jesus did it for us, because He loves us that much. He was crucified on a cross–the worst death anyone could die–and after three days, He came back to life (Matthew 28:6)!

Now He lives forever in Heaven, praying for us, helping us, loving us, and waiting for us to work with Him (Romans 8:34).

Once we ask Jesus to forgive us of our sins and come to live by His Holy Spirit in our hearts, God the Heavenly Father adopts us as His child! Jesus becomes our Savior, our Brother, and our Best Invisible Friend Forever.

Jesus brings us joy, peace, love, wisdom, and every good thing. Once He comes to live with us, He is with us always (Matthew 28:20). No matter what any other person on earth does, Jesus will forever love us and be with us!

None of us can get into Heaven to live with God the Father, Who is perfect and holy, unless we first become friends with His Son Jesus. Being friends with Jesus starts in our live now on earth, because once a person’s body dies, it is too late for them to choose Him.

Jesus the King of all is coming back very soon to get all of us who love Him, to take us out of this crazy world so we can be safe and happy and healed and have everything we need and want, in the wonderful life with God.

He will reward us for how we have lived for Him (Revelation 22:12). Although He loves every person He ever created, He will only take with Him to Heaven those who have truly received Him as Savior (Matthew 7:23).

If you would like to go to Heaven and have God as your loving Father and Jesus as your BIFF, and start enjoying the best life you could ever have today, just say this prayer!

Dear Jesus,
Please forgive me of everything I’ve done wrong and come into my heart and be my LORD and Savior and Friend! Help me get to know You and teach me through Your Word how to love and obey You, for You are the true King Who rules! And thank You for loving me so much. Thank You for saving me and helping me to enjoy and love You! In Your Name, amen!

Romans 10:13 says “All who call upon the Name of the LORD shall be saved.” So if you prayed this prayer, a miracle just happenedyou became alive in Christ! Your spirit became new, and the Spirit of Jesus just came into your heart to help you live a wonderful life!

The Holy Spirit also came and put a Heavenly mark on you to tell God and the angels and the devil and everyone else that you now belong to Jesus (Ephesians 1:132 Timothy 2:19)! And He will love and help you forever.

Now Jesus and His angels are having a party, celebrating your wonderful decision to become part God’s family!

Now, the way to learn all about your new Best Friend Forever is to read your Bible–His special Letter to you, His new dear friend!

Also, ask Him to show you the church family you need to meet with, to learn even more about Him and have other Christians to pray with you, and help you know wonderful it is to live with Him!

Welcome to the best life you could ever have!

34 Things a Righteous Woman Does

Let us rejoice and exalt him and give him glory, because the wedding celebration of the Lamb has come. And his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, shining bright and clear, has been given to her to wear, and the fine linen represents the righteous deeds of his holy believers.” — Revelation 19:7-8 TPT

Although I am sure there are more, here are 34 things the LORD showed me that a Righteous Woman (a righteous bride, a daughter of the King of kings) does. (This can also work for men, because technically, every born again Believer is part of the Body–the Bride–of Christ!)

  1. Refreshes others by sharing the goodness of God with them in the way she lives, what she says, and what she does and doesn’t do, according to His Word 
  2. Reveals the Truth
  3. Rejects falsehood
  4. Returns to the LORD and helps others to do so
  5. Rehearses no past disappointments, but the victories and goodness of God with thanksgiving, and the living Word of God
  6. Repents as the LORD convicts her, and helps others understand the need to seek Him and repent
  7. Responds in faith to the leading of the Holy Spirit
  8. Reveals the “mystery of God’s Love”
  9. Reinvigorates herself and others (encourages herself in the LORD)
  10. Respects God and others
  11. Reviews past victories—reviews her attitude, rids herself of all malice, etc.
  12. Renews herself (her mind, her soul) by time with the LORD, in His Word, through prayer, praise and worship, in His house, with His people, and by working with Him to perform what she is called to do
  13. Remembers God’s Rhema and Logos to her
  14. Runs in the path of His commands, for He has set her heart free 
  15. Reads His Word and studies it, going deeper as He leads
  16. Realizes the time is short, and she must be about the Master’s business—and that she cannot control the opinions of others, neither do those opinions matter
  17. Receives all the Blessings of the Covenant and walks in them
  18. Rides the River of His Spirit with great joy
  19. Reorders her life as needed to align with the perfect Will of God
  20. Rejoices in the LORD always
  21. Rids herself of all malice and bitterness
  22. Readies herself for change; stays flexible, totally trusting in the LORD with all her heart (Prov 3:5,6)
  23. Releases her soul to dream big! (Eph.3:20)
  24. Raises her hands—and her marriage, her family, her other loved ones and anyone else the LORD brings up to her—to Him
  25. Risks being criticized and looking like a fool to people while obeying the LORD
  26. Regards the LORD as holy, and is herself becoming holy (not religious, but adhering to His Word)
  27. Reiterates what the LORD has spoken to her in His Rhema Word and His written Word
  28. Rights wrongs—asks forgiveness, confesses her sins to the LORD, confronts by speaking the Truth in love, including correcting her children and otherwise acts as the LORD leads
  29. Resets herself when attacked by the enemy, with the Word, prayer, Godly counsel from trusted leaders (especially those who cover her), praise and worship, time alone with the Master Healer and Restorer
  30. Rests in the LORD, knowing He has “got her back” and is smiting her enemies and making a way of escape
  31. Reveres the LORD—His Presence, His Word, His Presence, His people, His ways
  32. Restores to others what they are due, as led by the LORD—through intercession, through personal involvement, and however else He leads
  33. Respects the LORD and His ways; respects others as better than herself; respects herself as a marvelous creation of God
  34. Regenerates herself with time with the Master Lover of her soul

Let’s pray: Father God, I know that I could never be good enough to earn Salvation, nor good enough to pay You back for what Jesus did for me on the cross. I know that there is truly nothing good in me except the Spirit of Jesus Christ, Your Beloved Holy Son, Who is the LORD our Righteousness! I ask You to help me to know more of Your Word so that Jesus my Righteousness can express Himself more fully through me, so those around me will see the real You and desire to be born again into Your Royal Family! Thank You for Your help. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

FREE Christmas bookmark for you to print and share!

Feel free to print and share this bookmark, with our original poem, “Jesus’ Christmas Tree.”  This simple poem can be used by the LORD to bring those with whom you share it to a saving knowledge of Christ. At the least, it will inspire them and help them better understand His love for all people in the earth!

You can also hear the poem “Jesus’ Christmas Tree”  on our YouTube channel!

 

Your Words Shape Your Life!

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” –Proverbs 18:21, NIV

To shape your life the way God wants it to be, you must speak the right words, and not agree with wrong words.

I am learning more about this. I have messed up horribly with my words in the past, and hurt many people–including myself! I have repented of and renounced those wrong words in Jesus’ Name; repented directly to those people as the LORD has led me for speaking wrongly to them, and to the LORD for hurting anyone, and asked Him to heal them, give them grace to forgive me, and restore them from the power of those wrong words.

I know He is faithful to do all of this, amen!

A couple of other verse references on the power of speech are: Matthew 12:36-37, James 1:26, James 3:8-10

So today, if you have not done so, free yourself and others from the power of your wrong words: Repent for them, which means to ask the LORD to forgive you, and cleanse you from them, and renounce them, in Jesus’ Name. Ask Him to replace them with good words, especially what He says in the Word of God!

The best words to speak to and about yourself and others, of course, are the truths from the Word of God, your Holy Bible. When you memorize God’s Word, it causes you to think like Him. Then the words you speak are much more often His words, which are the most powerful on earth!

WORDS SHAPE THE WAY YOU THINK
For good or bad, the words you read and hear affect the way you think. For example, how would you feel if your best friend looked at you and said, “Oh no! You look like you have been hit by a tornado! Your hair is all messy and you have dirt on your face and you have holes and marks on your clothes. And you look mad. You are obviously having a terrible horrible no good very bad day!”

You might run to the mirror, see yourself, and say, “I am messy and mad and I’ve had a bad day!” Even if you’d had fun getting dirty, your friend’s words might cause you to agree with those wrong words!

So, those wrong words would have caused you to think and speak differently than what was really true. And by speaking those wrong words, you will have caused yourself to feel bad.

Not good.

Now, how would you feel if your best friend said, “My, you look good! I really like your clothes. And your smile is great! You must be having a wonderful day!”

You’d really like what your friend might have said in the second example, wouldn’t you? You’d start to feel even better about yourself, because someone you respect showed you approval and admiration. And you would probably agree with them that you’d had a wonderful day, even if your day hadn’t been that good.

See the difference in the way those two kinds of words made you feel? Even just reading the example and thinking about it, your mind and emotions had different reactions

GOD COMMANDS US TO THINK RIGHT THINGS AND SAY RIGHT WORDS
Thinking on good things is the right thing to do, as God commands in Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

And remember what we think affects what we say. Once again:
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. (Prov. 18:21)

“Eating the fruit thereof” means that, when we speak good words, we enjoy good things that those words help to happen. The very best and most powerful words we can speak are those that God says in the Bible.

THE BEST WORDS TO SAY ARE GOD’S
Memorizing God’s Word is fun, and the more verses you learn and speak about yourself and others, the better life you and they will have! Here’s one to start with:

“And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” (Rev. 5:10) Amen!

When you speak God’s Word about and to yourself and others, you bring Him glory and You also serve as His helper to get His will done in this earth, which is to shape the life of every person to spread the Good News about Jesus, the Word!

A Different Kind of Christmas

(This occurred Christmas 2015 or so–Tonja)

I went to the library today. Before I left the house, I picked up a couple of Christian books I’d already read, and a few peppermints, thinking I might have a divine appointment today, so I could bless someone with the love of Jesus—the true Gift, and the real meaning of Christmas.

I was not disappointed.

As I picked up my book, I waited and watched. When I left the library, there was a young couple, probably in their older 20s, and I felt a sadness emanating from them. They wore backpacks as if they were traveling.

“How are you doing?” I asked them, and they conveyed that they were not having the life they wanted.

“It’s Christmas,” I said, “and I brought a book and some candy with me to give away. God in so good. Would you like this great book by Max Lucado called, The Glory of Christmas? I believe you’ll really like it.”

The woman said, “I love to read.”

“Great,” I said, handing her the book and candy, “you’ll like it then.” Then I looked her in the eye. “Do you know the LORD Jesus Christ?”

They both said they knew Jesus as Savior, and I asked if l could pray for them. “We need jobs, and don’t have transportation,” the man said. “I have a couple of felonies, and it’s kinda hard to find a job.”

The compassion of Jesus rose up in me. “We’ve all messed up!” I told them. “If God wasn’t so good, I wouldn’t be here! Let’s pray!”.

So we grabbed hands and bowed our heads, with people going all around us. “Oh Father God,” I prayed, “Your grace is amazing! We ALL have had a criminal record—and only the Blood of Jesus can wash it away! Thank You for Your mercy, and thank You that our sin is never bigger than Your grace!”

I prayed several more things, including open doors for them to get jobs, and for God to restore them. I know they were strengthened and encouraged.

The woman hugged my neck, and all three of us knew that our good Daddy God had caused our paths to cross–so He could give all three of us a gift!

To be a channel of God’s mercy and grace is truly the greatest gift of all, and I praise my Father God for His marvelous Christmas gift to me that day!

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

This video of Chapter One of The Adventures of Princess Pearl, P.O.W.E.R.* Girl! (Purposeful Operations With Eternal Rewards) includes the P.O.W.E.R. Girl Creed, a Princess Pearl poem, and a preview of the book!

Click here to get a FREE PDF of P.O.W.E.R. Girl Book One! Please write us at Power@RiverRainCreative.com with your comments, and we’ll be happy to post them in Book Two (upcoming very soon!) and the rest of the series!

LEGACY: Crafting Your Child’s Future With Words – Part 1

Proverbs 18:20, 21 (Berean Study Bible), says, “From the fruit of his mouth a man’s belly is filled; with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied. 21 Life and death are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

So, we want to speak what we want, and the Word of God is what we want–especially concerning our children. We know that the Word of God, the Holy Bible, is the Word of Life, so we want to “Speak the Word (of God) only,” Amen!

A couple decades ago, the LORD taught me the importance of creating a legacy for my child (A financial and material legacy for our children is important, of course, but I’m speaking of the spiritual and emotional legacy here.) by speaking the Word of God over her. It became very important to her (and to me, especially as a single divorced mother for almost 7 years, from the time she was about a year old!) that I bless her–speak the Word of God over–her daily.

I would speak  a certain set of Scriptures that He led me to pray over her, including when I dedicated her publicly to the LORD at my church on Mother’s Day, when she was three months old!). I usually did this in the morning, before I took her to daycare or school.

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 the words 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! 

So start shaping your child(ren)’s lives even more for God by speaking the Word of God over them today.  If you’re already doing so, HALLELUJAH!, and remember to ask the LORD for new Scriptures as your child(ren) mature. 

Also remember that, as the God-ordained parental figure, your words have power to shape your child(ren)’s lives! Even God parents and foster parents and of course Grandparents have authority to shape the lives of those in their family’s lives.

It is most powerful in the direct bloodline, but words move and change things!  So leave an excellent spiritual legacy in the lives of your children by speaking (including praying, of course) the Word of God over them, and watch what our good, good God, Who is the Living Word, will do! 

Also remember that, as the God-ordained parental figure, your words have power to shape your child(ren)’s lives! Even God parents and foster parents and of course Grandparents have authority to shape the lives of those in their family’s lives.

It is most powerful in the direct bloodline, but words move and change things!  So leave an excellent spiritual legacy in the lives of your children by speaking (including praying, of course) the Word of God over them, and watch what our good, good God, Who is the Living Word, will do! 

As Isaiah 55:10 and 11 say, For just as rain and snow fall  from heaven and do not return without watering the earth, making it bud and sprout, and  providing seed to sow and food to eat, so My word that proceeds from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please, and it will prosper where I send it…” (Berean Study Bible). 

HALLELUJAH, our God means what He says and says what He means, and we believe Him! 

Let’s pray: Father, I thank You for Your Living Word and the honor and privilege to speak it over my children and shape their lives for You. Please lead me to the Scriptures that You have for me to speak over them in this season of their lives. I thank You for Your help. In Jesus’ name, amen!

Be Adored!

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9, NIV

Who does not like to be adored? Every human I know likes to be loved, and sometimes we’ve gone overboard (okay, many times we’ve gone overboard!) trying to be loved by other humans.

Here’s a big clue: Mostly, humans adore themselves! And we learn to love. Yes, we have to LEARN to love, because we are each born with the sin nature of selfishness. As we grow and are taught correctly, we LEARN to replace that selfishness with love for God and others.

But here’s the real deal: Father God created us and loves us all anyway, since before He even made the world (and He made it perfectly!), and knew how we’d mess things up to be almost unfixable–BUT GOD. He sent Jesus to die for us and make things right again!

However, we have to CHOOSE to agree with Him, and receive Jesus as our Savior and LORD to be right with God!

We are, as humans that God (Elohim the Creator) made and gave life, already adored by Him! The only thing He hates is NOT us, but the sin that we’re all covered with–until and only when the Blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ, washes it all away and gives us His covering of righteousness–which just means “being right with God.” (John 3:15-17, Romans 3, 5, 8 and 10; Isaiah 61).

Bottom line is, before we’re born, we are ADORED by our loving Creator, and even MORE when we receive Jesus, His Son, because then we become Jesus’s brother or sister, and part of God’s Royal Family!

God loves us whether we ever love Him back or not! And truly, He chose us so He could lavish His love on us! He already had all the angels in Heaven, but He created humans–and gave us a free will–so we could CHOOSE to love Him back and enjoy the most divine, sublime relationship possible! Knowing the LORD is truly Heaven on earth!

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. –Romans 5:8, NASB

So, having had my own struggles in trying to be loved or adored by other humans (which is really useless, because human nature changes quickly and even the people God puts in our lives are not perfect and won’t always love nor adore us the way we know we desire and deserve! Only GOD–Who knows allllll the yucky junk about us and loves us ANYway–can ever love us like we want! And we were created to both adore Him and be adored by Him!

Let’s pray! LORD, I want to know You more. I want to know Your Love more. Jesus, please come into my heart and fill me with Yourself, for You are Love! I want to adore You more and help others to know how You adore them. I thank You for Your amazing Love and help. In Jesus’ name, amen!

Embrace the New!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stop Trying to Please Him!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God’s Special Touch When My Wife Flew to Heaven

(This was shared with me by Bro. Jess Nicola, our Guest Contributor for today. What a special touch indeed! He shared it with me and I asked him for permission to share it with on our site! God is truly THE COOLEST!! –Tonja)

Brother Jess says: “The LORD supernaturally arranged for the release of balloons at Barbara’s funeral. There was symbolism in every part of the balloons; even in the way the ‘wind’ took them up at the close of the service:

28 white balloons; 29 balloons (adding Jess’ pink one); 30 balloons (adding Harley’s yellow one).

The number 28 is the biblical number for “eternal life”. The number 29 is the biblical number for “departure”. The number 30 is the biblical number for “dedication”.

The color white means: the bride; purity; surrender; holiness; righteousness; light; joy; angels; saints; peace; triumph; victory; festivity; salvation.

The color pink means: pure heart of flesh; Messiah; glory; His children.

The color yellow means: celebration; joy; Shekina Glory; memorial.

The color blue (the ribbon on Shane’s balloon) means: Heaven, Holy Spirit, grace and mercy.

When the balloons were released, all but three flew up and away. The pink, yellow, and one white balloon hung up in the tree next to the graveside. At the end of the song, “Fly to Jesus,” the yellow then the pink released from the tree and flew up and away.

One white balloon remained nestled in the tree. When the graveside service was over and Bro. Orville said “Amen,” and the family began to hug…That one single white balloon amazingly weaved its way through the branches of the tree and soared slowly, straight up, remaining in sight for a long time as the family was visiting and saying their goodbyes.

It was like Barbara stayed until everything was done–and then, “Flew to Jesus.”

“Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the LORD in the air; and sho shall we ever be with the LORD.” I Thessalonians 4:13-18