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!

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

Gone Forever!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus is Alive!

John’s Vision on Patmos
17 “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. But He placed His right hand on me and said, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last, 18 the Living One. I was dead, and behold now I am alive. I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and of hades. 19. Therefore write down the things you have seen, and the things that are, and the things that will happen after this.…Berean Study Bible

Jesus the Christ, the ONLY Savior of the world, is alive! He was crucified on the cross over 2,000 years ago to pay for the sins of every person, and His pure blood paid it all! Then He rose again on the third day. He now lives in Heaven, forever praying for us to the Father, and He is returning to earth soon to gather all who believe in Him, that we may go with Him to live forever in the true Paradise!

But you don’t have to take my word for it. Call out to Him in sincerity, and He will answer! All who call upon the name of the LORD will be saved! Get a Holy Bible and ask Him to help you understand it. Go to a church that preaches the entire Bible and ask the leaders to pray with you and help you understand.

Pray this to discover God: LORD, although my brain says this is crazy, I choose to believe that You exist and that You are good. Me and all these people and this amazing earth did NOT just happen by accident! I am calling to You now to make Yourself known to me; to help me discover You. I want to know You. I need Your help to make it in this strange and troubled world! But I hear that You give peace and rest and safety. I need that and I thank You for all this now.

HE WILL ANSWER! It may be different than you think –But He is forever faithful!!!

Blessed be the LORD, for He is good, and His mercy endures forever!

Trust Him Totally

Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision you make. Become intimate with him in whatever you do, and he will lead you wherever you go.[a]  (Proverbs 3:6 Or “He will cut a straight path before you.”)

The Lord is with us always–even when we don’t feel like it! Thank goodness we don’t go by feelings!

This is a weird and sometimes trying time we’re in, as the LORD is shifting situations and people; rearranging us His own and bringing us into the most glorious Time ever–and what an honor that we get to be on planet earth in His will, partnering with the Most High to accomplish His Kingdom purpose!

Say this prayer to draw closer to the LORD and receive His help:

LORD, we ask You in Your gracious love and mercy to help us truly trust in You totally; to rest and rejoice, and know that, really, we are nothing without You and we can do nothing without You–yet we are Your precious children that You chose before the world was made to live now and love you and work with You. Hallelujah! We receive Your help! We love You, Father God!

Forget the Feelings!

“7 for we live by faith, not by what we see with our eyes.” TPT, 2 Cor. 5:7

What we see usually causes us to feel. This can be good or bad; we only want to choose those things that please the LORD, so what we see will cause us to have feelings that glorify Him. (2) to understand that believing in God (faith) does not depend on what we do or do not see, nor on what we do or don’t feel.

Years ago, I went up and received instant healing for my arm that had been strained. I marveled at the miracle as I walked back to my seat. I knew my arm had been healed, but wondered in my mind why I hadn’t felt it–like I had before when I’d received an instant physical healing.

The Holy Spirit, Who knows all things–including every thought we’ll ever have, every word on our tongues before we speak it–said immediately inside me, and emphatically–as if I should have already known this–“You don’t have to feel it. JESUS felt it!”

Wow, forgive me, LORD!

Pray this: LORD, please help me remember that Jesus felt everything I’d ever suffer–spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically, socially, even financially–and that because He suffered, I don’t have to. Thank You! Also please help me remember that faith is not a feeling, and I walk by faith and not by sight, meaning, I don’t have to feel like my faith is working to know it is. I go by what Your Word says!

He Has Made Us Glad!

Psalm 126:3 is one of my favorite verses! “The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy!”

It is such a favorite that it became the theme verse for our marriage ceremony (14 years ago, October 1!).

If you’re having a challenge being positive, start saying this verse out loud. Better yet, sing it! I do that often–sometimes as I’m overcoming, sometimes for sheer joy and thankfulness.

Truly THE LORD IS GOOD! Every good thing that has ever happened in our lives is from Him, our darling, faithful, loving, kind, merciful, generous, beautiful Daddy God! Amen!

He Will Help You

“In keeping with [the oath’s greater strength and force], Jesus has become the Guarantee of a better (stronger) agreement [a more excellent and more advantageous covenant]. 23 [Again, the former successive line of priests] was made up of many, because they were each prevented by death from continuing [perpetually in office]; 24 But He holds His priesthood unchangeably, because He lives on forever. 25 Therefore He is able also to save to the uttermost (completely, perfectly, finally, and for all time and eternity) those who come to God through Him, since He is always living to make petition to God and intercede with Him and intervene for them.”–Hebrews 7:22-25 (AMPC)

The LORD is so faithful! Thank Him that Jesus is alive and is constantly praying for us, that He sent the Holy Spirit to be with us always, and that He is ever aware of every moment of our lives–and sculpting them to do what’s best for us and bring glory to the LORD!

I’ve recently come through an emotionally tough season, and even though God is so good and faithful and there was really has not been any of what most people would call “disasters,” I’ve learned to rest more in the LORD and realize just how much care/worry/fear/doubt/unbelief I’ve had. YUCK!

So, praise the LORD, knowing something’s not right in my soul, I can ask Him to help me. I can ask Him to receive me and show me what I need to confess and be rid of. He will show me, then I can go to my High Priest, the LORD Jesus Christ, and ask His forgiveness for every word that I have spoken not in alignment with His Word–even every thought of my heart that has not been right–and receive His forgiveness and cleansing. There is nothing like it!

Then I can ask Him to help me find Scriptures and otherwise speak words in alignment with what He wants for my life–which is always the very, very best! He ever lives to help us–that is why He was born, crucified, rose again, and lives forever!

Ask Him today to help you. He delights in you, and helping you succeed–even if it’s different than you think it might be. Relax and trust His faithful, everlasting love!

Learn to be Wise!

Never stop learning. Actually, every day that you live, you may even accidentally learn something, like how to take a different route to work, how to be more efficient at something, or whatever. But when you learn intentionally, that’s when you enjoy the most and are the most engaged.

When you engage in learning more about the LORD, that’s the ultimate life experience! He is always with us and never-ending, endlessly creative, and His wisdom is beyond our comprehension. Yet He loves us so much, and delights to teach us His ways!

If you don’t know where to start, ask Him to help you learn that too. He will. He’s THE Master Teacher!

Believe Anyway!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kids, Get Your Swords Out!

National “Bring Your Bible to School Day” is October 3! Kids have the freedom to bring their swords–their Holy Bibles, the living Word of God!–to their public schools, and talk about them! Now is the time for your child(ren) to make a statement and uphold the freedoms and values upon which the United States of America was founded! For more information, click on the Focus on the Family link below!

https://focusonthefamily.webconnex.com/co-oct3-bybts2019?refcd=779601&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIm57N98rv5AIV0MDACh1EvQmyEAAYASAAEgLZyvD_BwE

Rest and Rejoice!

1 John 5:1,(AMPC), Everyone who believes (adheres to, trusts, and relies on the fact) that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah) is a born-again child of God; and everyone who loves the Father also loves the one born of Him (His offspring),”

2 John 1:3 (AMPC), Grace (spiritual blessing), mercy, and [soul] peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ (the Messiah), the Father’s Son, in all sincerity (truth) and love. “

“The LORD is faithful to His Promises,” the Holy Spirit whispered to me one day, when I was tempted to worry about finances and situations.

YES, HE IS! Or none of us would be here! He gives us every breath, every GOOD thing–and our lives are FULL of good things!!!

He helps and blesses and protects the just and the unjust–those born again and those not–and it is His faithfulness and mercy that keeps us all alive and heals and delivers and guides and provides–He is our good, good God and the good, good Father to all who believe in Christ Jesus His Son (John 3:16)!

If you don’t know the LORD Jesus Christ–what are you waiting for? He is the BEST Fried you will ever have, and He IS the all-powerful One Who can do everything you need Him to! He is so very kind and loving and generous and faithful! He wants to help you have the very best life you possibly can–and that is ONLY possible with Jesus Christ the Savior and LORD!

He is Love. He is Peace. He is Health. He is Direction. He is Protection. He is Restoration. He is Victory. He is the living Word of God. He IS Rest and rejoicing! He is all you really want and need, for in Him is true freedom and abundant Life! (John 10:10)

And He makes it so easy to become His Forever Friend–just ask Him right now to forgive you of your wrongs and save you from evil and come into your heart and be your Life Guide and King! He will, and you will never be the same!

Victory At Every Step!

Who has roused up one [Cyrus] from the east, whom He calls in righteousness to His service and whom victory meets at every step?” (Isaiah 41:2, AMPC)

The steps of a [good] man are directed and established by the Lord when He delights in his way [and He busies Himself with his every step]”. –Psalm 37:23, AMPC

We trust in Him with all our hearts and lean not to our own understanding. In all our ways we acknowledge Him, and He directs our paths, says Proverbs 3:5,6.

These are just a few of proofs from the unchanging, infallible, eternal Word of God that, as we do our best to follow our darling dynamite Daddy God, we are always at the right place and the right time! If we are not and got off track innocently (and we only see in part and know in part while on this earth), our Father God’s mercy is so great that He covers us and protects us from harm and gets us back on track. HE IS SO GOOD!

So, as I heard Dr. Chuck Swindoll say years ago (from what I remember), “There is no accident in the life of a child of God.”

Our Father through His Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Truth) and His angels are always watching over us, inspiring us to good works, and leading us in right paths.

The LORD always leads us to read and listen to and speak His Word, and if what is happening in our lives does not line up with the Word, it is NOT God, and it will NOT bring victory. God’s Plan and Word ALWAYS brings Victory! It may not happen today, but IT WILL HAPPEN!

Keep the faith. Do what you know to do. Honor God in every part of your life, and realize that, if you have Jesus Christ, YOU ALREADY HAVE THE VICTORY!

In Him We Live

 “It is through him that we live and function and have our identity; just as your own poets have said, ‘Our lineage comes from him.” (Acts 17:28, TPT)

Revelation 4:8, The Passion Translation, Revelation 4:8, Each of the four living creatures had six wings, full of eyes all around and under their wings. They worshiped without ceasing, day and night, singing, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty! The Was, the Is, and the Coming!”

As I am learning, there is nothing sweeter, more sublime, than to experience the phenomenal living Christ! I agree with Benny Hinn and others that the Christian life is getting to know the LORD Jesus more–
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tn590WaKDc)–that the closer we get to the LORD, the more we want just Jesus!

If you don’t know Him, or want to draw closer, just call out to Him. He will help you desire to know Him better, and the more you get of Him, the more you will want.

Unchanging God

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

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

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

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

Worrier or Warrior?

Psalm 62:6, TPT For he alone is my safe place. His wrap-around presence always protects me as my champion defender. There’s no risk of failure with God! So why would I let worry paralyze me, even when troubles multiply around me?”

Proverbs 19:17, TPT, Every time you give to the poor you make a loan to the Lord. Don’t worry—you’ll be repaid in full for all the good you’ve done.”

Matthew 6:26, TPTLook at all the birds—do you think they worry about their existence? They don’t plant or reap or store up food, yet your heavenly Father provides them each with food. Aren’t you much more valuable to your Father than they?”

“Worrier or Warrior?” my dear husband said to me the other day. “We have to make a choice.”

Which are you?’ If you depend on yourself and the world (and even, sometimes, other people, who are prone to error sooner or later), you are a worrier. But if you do Proverbs 3:5 and 6: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths,” then you are a Warrior.

Trusting in the goodness and faithfulness of our INfallible (NOT capable of making a mistake!) Father God and His Son, the LORD Jesus Christ, makes us Warriors. As my pastor, Apostle Tracy Harris, states, “Peace is a force.”

When we keep our minds on Him, He keeps us in peace. When we choose to rejoice and praise God in the middle of junk, He sets an ambush against the enemy, and works victory on our behalf.

GOD IS FOR US and NONE can be against us and succeed! Let us remember, if GOD is for us–and He IS, if we have accepted His Son, Jesus Christ–then NONE can be against us for long. WE WIN!

My Faithful Father

“The same way a loving father feels toward his children— that’s but a sample of your tender feelings toward us, your beloved children, who live in awe of you” .Psalm 103:13  TPT

“But Lord, your endless love stretches from one eternity to the other, unbroken and relenting toward those who fear you and those who bow facedown in awe before you. Your faithfulness to keep every gracious promise you’ve made
passes from parents, to children, to grandchildren, and beyond.” 
Psalm 103:17, TPT

God is so very good! Every breath is from Him. Every good thing is from Him. He is good to all, even though so many people will never acknowledge His goodness, and many even curse and blaspheme them. Yet He has made the way for them to be free and go to Paradise with Him forever–if they will just agree.

Our dear pastor, Apostle Tracy Harris, said today that the highest title of our Creator is “Father.” I agree. Our congregation sang “Good, Good Father” a capella–and it was powerful.

He reminded us that, in Luke 15, when the prodigal son took his inheritance and left to waste it, then decided, in his shame, to return to his father and ask to be a hired servant so at least he would have food to eat, that the father (who’d been watching every day for him to return!) ran to meet him. He cleaned him up, put a royal robe on him, and threw him a party.

The father didn’t even talk to him about his sordid past. He had forgiven his son even before he left home–because he loved his son. No matter what wrong his son did, he would always be his beloved son.

That is like the gift of righteousness that the LORD our Father gave us when He sent Jesus to die on the cross to pay for all our sins, and rise again to give us new life (John 3:16).

God the Father chose to forgive us before we were ever born–knowing that every human is born into sin, because of the treason of Adam, when he agreed with the devil against the word of God (Genesis). He provided Jesus, the New Covenant, Who took all the curse–all the wrong, all the sin, all the junk–and made it so that anyone who agreed that they needed the power of Jesus’ cleansing blood could be free, and not have to pay the eternal penalty for their sins.

But God’s goodness doesn’t stop there! Not only does every person who agrees to come into partnership with God’s Son Jesus become pardoned forever from their sin, but also gets the current protection and supply, friendship, and healing, that only these adopted children of God are rightfully due! In addition–and best of all–there is the eternal life of the spirit in Heaven with God and Jesus forever, after the body dies!

The LORD our Father (once we receive Jesus as our Savior and LORD) is so good, and we can know Him personally. Wow.

We love You, Daddy God, Abba Father, and we bless Your holy Name forever!

Faith – A Poem by Deb

(from Tonja–Deb just shared this with me and I wanted you guys to be blessed by it. Also, be sure and check out her delightful art by clicking on this link!)

Deb wrote: “GOD IS SO GOOD!!! I wrote this 14 yrs. ago at 2 a.m. after 48 hrs of no sleep and thought for over 2 years now the last copy I had was lost forever (I have prayed many times for the words to come to me)and today going through some old pictures I made for Zach I found where I was doing a copy to frame years ago. First time ever posted. It was published when I wrote it on an online poem site, I was invited to come to Florida to read it but could not afford the trip. I lost the information in a move soon after. This was written over a many, many years before I began actively seeking a personal relationship with the Lord.):

 
FAITH
Faith is not something you find on the street. 
It’s something you find when you search deep inside and release all your anger. 
It’s when you take a moment out of your own life to notice a complete stranger. 
Sometimes we all go about our own lives without noticing everything that goes on around us. 
Until something like September 11th happens and reminds us.
Life is fragile, peace is not easily found.
Mankind can be beautiful, all you need to do is really look all around. 
We are all the same no matter what we look like on the outside.
We just have to have faith and learn to look past our differences, to look deep inside each person to the fragile feelings we all hide.
My faith is what keeps me going from day to day.
But sometimes you have to remember just to stop and pray. 
We can’t do any of this all alone.
You have to remember there is someone waiting for all of us in a place we can all call HOME…
Deb Azalea April 30th, 2004

Thrust Comes With Trust

(This writing was inspired by Clayton, who spoke this phrase, “Trust comes with trust,” to me. Love you, Dynamite Darling!)

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.”– John 3:17,MSG

Proverbs 3:5-6 Wisdom’s Guidance ] “Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision you make. Become intimate with him in whatever you do, and he will lead you wherever you go.”

This is the theme verse for our marriage–it has popped up from many ministers and ministries or other occasions when we’ve needed to make decisions and have been ‘spinning” about it. Of course we don’t want to grieve the LORD; we do not want to be deceived. It takes faith to trust in the LORD–and we’ve discovered it also takes faith to, as Apostle Tracy Harris, our dear pastor, states, “have faith in your faith”.

In other words, when we ask the LORD to guide us, we release our faith–we trust–that He does, then we must trust ourselves to be led by Him. So when we trust Him, and that we will be led by our Good Shepherd because we want to be and asked Him to, then we can thrust forward in getting Kingdom work done.

“Thrust comes with trust,” said my Darling Dynamite Husband, Clayton, a few months ago. “You have to trust the vehicle, the messenger–the LORD–to get you through.”

I agree with him. In fact, I wrote it down. Much revelation comes from this mighty man of God who is continually in the Word–reading it, watching it, listening to it, every day; and serving on the praise and worship team, running the camera, and doing whatever else needs to be done at our church. He does the same in this marriage and family and at every position he holds. He thrusts Godly excellence into every realm of his life, every day.

There are not many men like him! I am very blessed to be his wife, and I know the LORD has great things for him! Clayton has helped me learn (with God helping me) to trust, to love and receive love. True love is a phenomenal thing, and when one trusts the love of God, one can love others and thrust forward in life.

Growing in trust–in faith–to thrust forward in God’s will, is a lifelong process. One thing that really helps me is talking to God (prayers); also remembering God’s faithfulness and focusing my life on the Word; reading it daily; speaking it; listening to and watching programs about the Word. I ask the LORD to make me God-conscious. Just look back over your life and realize that every good things–even every breath–is a gift to you from our faithful Covenant God.

Forever He is faithful; totally trustworthy. He cannot be unfaithful and He’s always got your back. So trust Him and thrust forward into Zoe life! (John 10:10).

Joy Ride!

Galatians 5:22-23 TPT)
But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions: joy  “that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit. Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.”

Psalm 5:12 (TPT), “Lord, how wonderfully you bless the righteous. Your favor wraps around each one and covers them under your canopy of kindness and joy.”

Psalm 9:2 (TPT), I will jump for joy and shout in triumph as I sing your song and make music for the Most High God.”

Psalm 13:5 (TPT), Lord, I have always trusted in your kindness, so answer me. I will yet celebrate with passion and joy when your salvation lifts me up.”

Psalm 16:9 (TPT), My heart and soul explode with joy—full of glory! Even my body will rest confident and secure.”

Psalm 19:8 (TPT), “His teachings make us joyful and radiate his light; his precepts are so pure! His commands, how they challenge us to keep close to his heart! The revelation-light of his word makes my spirit shine radiant.”

Psalm 25:8 (TPT), “When people turn to you, they discover how easy you are to please—so faithful and true! Joyfully you teach them the proper path, even when they go astray.”

Wow, I just had a “Joy Ride” (NOT stealing cars, of course (Where did they get that? Silly people!))! And you can have it too!

A TRUE Joy Ride is what I call a great time in the LORD–usually while I drive, windows down and hair blowing freely, singing and praying in the Spirit, and just rejoicing in HOW GOOD GOD IS!!!), while doing a search on these Scriptures and reading them to post! It has been hard not to list all 250 that came up (Search for yourself in www.BibleGateway.com!), but there is one more that came to mind —

3 John 1:4 (TPT): “It is the greatest joy of my life to hear that my children are consistently living their lives in the ways of truth!”

Another thing: I’m not just talking about our joy, but the joy of the Father God Who delights in us when we seek and serve Him. He gets pleasure out of ours. He is glad when we believe and receive and enjoy all that Jesus His Son died to give us (John 3;15-17, John 10:10; Eph. 3:20)!

Rejoice in the LORD always–if you are feeling down, just start asking the LORD to help you remember all the good things He has done for you, and you will start feeling better in no time! There is power in joy. Things may have gone wrong–but let us remember ALL that has gone right! And the LORD is so good; He is continually protecting us from much harm, that we may never realize till Heaven! (If you do these things and are still “down,” then you need to seek pastoral help, or help from a counselor whom you are sure is a Believer in the LORD Jesus Christ! There may be deep-rooted issues from which you need deliverance. Ask me how I know!)

“And it’s true: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord Yahweh
    will be rescued and experience new life.”
(Romans 10:13, TPT)

– Ask the LORD Jesus to reveal Himself to you today! You need the New Life of Joy, and Jesus is Joy! Trust me, when you side with Him, you will begin the greatest Joy Ride of your life!!