Friday, May 8, 2020

THE STRIPPING OF POWER

Hello Friends! I am excited about coming to you today to bring the word the Lord has inspired me with. I have, as I am sure you have, been seeking Him diligently for His wisdom for these days in which we live. We are told in Corinthians that we have the mind of Christ as we walk in the Spirit. I want to share His thoughts. In saying that, several scriptures have come to mind for this particular post. 

I began to think of King Jehoshaphat who has long been an inspiration to me. When he was told, as we read in Chapter 20 of 2 Chronicles, that a great multitude was coming against him, his first reaction was very "human". He was afraid. Then the spiritual part of him took over. He set his face to seek the Lord! He knew where his help would come from. I won't go through the whole story at this time. However, there are some things we can glean from it for our present circumstances. When he moved in humility and obedience to the Lord's directions and began to praise and thank him in advance, he watched the victory take place. This vast multitude; these many armies; this foreboding enemy was totally made fools of and humiliated. They were completely annihilated. They basically began fighting against themselves and ended up destroying one another. You see the Lord told Jehoshaphat that the battle was actually HIS. He said to watch and "see the salvation of the Lord". 

Now I am not saying we should never stand up and do something or that we just sit idly by and watch the enemy of God's people get away with his evil schemes. What I AM saying is to keep our eyes on our Lord and Master and realize that the big battle has already been won! When Christ died on the Cross, Colossians 2:15 informs us that He, Christ, made a public spectacle of the principalities and powers of darkness; put the demonic forces and satanic powers to open shame. He stripped them of their power to hold his creation captive to sin and evil!! Wow! There is spiritual wickedness in high places. There are schemes and plans in process against the people of God and to keep the people of this earth from receiving the truth. What we have to remember is that satan is the father of lies and Jesus is the Way the TRUTH and the Light. There is NOTHING the enemy can do to destroy God's People, the Church of the Living God, the Body of Christ. If you are outside that realm, you are subject to defeat and spiritual death. Come to Jesus! Come to the Rock! Come to the only Way to Life! Come to the Cross! 

Now back to God's People. "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy but now you have received mercy." That is 1 Peter 2:9&10. We have a job to do... to proclaim Christ and Him Crucified and Risen! Psalm 125:3 is so critical to our day. "For the scepter (authority/rule) of wickedness shall not rest (remain) on the land allotted to the righteous, lest the righteous stretch out their hands to do wrong." God forbid after we have received the precious blood of Christ we are pressured into doing wrong by wickedness. Thank God for the promise of his deliverance. We can initially be afraid if that is our first reaction but then, we have to call on the one who is the destroyer of our enemies and in fact has already won the Battle. 

I believe our great country falls into the category of "the land allotted to the righteous" as it was founded on Godly principles and much blood has been shed throughout history to continue to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity" In this day of deception in our World... let us cry out to God to give us strength and boldness to "...let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:16. I cannot tell you what to do but we can follow the lead of King Jehoshaphat and fast and pray and admit we do not know what to do but fix our eyes on the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and watch the enemy be confounded once again. Take counsel from God the Father, Jesus the Son and God the Holy Spirit! Let those who have an ear hear what the Spirit is saying to the CHURCH in this hour.

Monday, March 23, 2020

DUST

Before I get any farther into my post today, let me say "Thank you" for reading! I am praying along with you all for the strength and health to get through these trying times. I would love to hear from you and pray for you. If you would like to leave a comment or prayer request you do not need to have a google account or a blog. You can choose the option to comment as "anonymous". Again, I would love to hear from you!

If you are like me, one thing you can never keep up with around the house; in your car; on your deck: in your shop, etc. is none other than, dust! As I was in prayer for the subject of today's post, the word "dust" came to my mind along with the Scripture verse: Psalm 103:14 "For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust." In other words, he understands that we are human. 

We know from the beginning in the Book of Genesis that we were created from dust. Man was "formed" by God and "breathed" into by God's own breath. God wanted to make man, male and female, "into our own image" speaking of the Trinity in Genesis 1:26 & 27, and he did. Man was special over all the rest of creation because he originally was given dominion over what God created. Mankind was designed to have personal relationship with his Creator. Through that first breath, life was given! Wow! Think of it! In many instances of CPR, we are able to breathe life into another human being. The difference is that God said, "let us make man in OUR image" meaning Father, Son and Holy Spirit. So, I believe that original Breath of Life gave us so much more than physical oxygen to our lungs. It made us not only physical but spiritual beings as well. 

God has been understanding our "humanness" from the beginning when he called Adam's name in the Garden after Adam had disobeyed him and hid from him. Simply said, Adam was told what to do and not to do and he chose to do the latter. He had a choice. At that time God immediately put his plan into action to restore the relationship. His plan of redemption kicked in. 

We are made in His image. God CHOSE to create us. He CHOSE to save us. Jesus CHOSE to die on the Cross for our Salvation. Holy Spirit CHOSE to indwell us. We are free through what Jesus did to CHOOSE the life he has offered and all the amazing blessings and provision through His Word, the Bible! Adam hid from God because of sin and disobedience. We hide from God because of sin and disobedience. He calls our name like he did Adams. When we respond to that calling, he restores and heals. It is our choice.

Now back to Psalm 103 verses 10, 13 &14: "He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities." "As a father shows compassion (or pity) to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him." "For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust." Our Father God, Creator LOVES us. His heart hurts when we hurt. His heart really hurts when we, his kids pull away from him in times of trouble. His heart hurts for those who have never come to him in the first place to accept the Salvation he provided through the death, burial and resurrection of his Beloved Son. He did it all for us. He is hurting right now over the suffering in the whole world. Sin, sickness and death came as a result of "choice". He cries out to us to respond to his call to return to him with our whole heart and allow him to exercise that compassion over us as we put our total and complete trust in him to bring us through these unprecedented times.

Let those of us who have become the Children of God through our Faith in Him (John 1:12) draw ever closer to him as we walk through this season. Let us draw closer to one another by using whatever resources are available while attempting to "obey the laws" that are an attempt at  helping us. We can use social media. We can make phone calls. We can write letters; send cards. We can continue to smile and wave and be kind and friendly to those we encounter. "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful", Hebrews 10:23. 

The last time I looked, there was plenty of dust around. As descending from the original "dust" of creation let us keep in mind we are all in this together and need to pray and encourage one another and keep our eyes on the one who is always watching out for us with love and compassion and trust and pray His perfect will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

Praying these words bring you encouragement and hope!

BarbaraJean

Friday, February 21, 2020

SURVIVE AND/OR THRIVE

It seems to me that surviving and thriving come in cycles during our lifetimes. Sometimes you are just trying to make it through a day. Obviously, if you keep breathing you will somehow see the sunrise the next morning. These times are difficult to say the least. Maybe you just experienced major surgery or the loss of a loved one or the destruction of your home and property to a tremendous natural disaster. Those are the times you feel like you are gasping for breath so to speak and hoping to make it to the end of that particular trial. Some people, sadly, feel they will never be able to face the future and they terminate their life on this earth. Heartbreaking! Life is hard! Let's face it. If you haven't discovered that fact yet, just hold on, you will! 

On the other hand, thank the Lord, we have those refreshing, invigorating times when we are full of energy, those times which have visited us due to the fact that we have had renewed vision for the future. Hope has hit us full force and we seem to see clearly what lies ahead and sense the deliverance from our present circumstances. Our faces are lifted; our hearts are lifted; the adrenaline is flowing and we feel there is nothing we cannot accomplish. 

So the cycle goes. There is a place where the "thriving" can be a continual flow. That place is in the spirit or the spiritual part of us. That is the part of us that is designed to live forever. The body and the things of this earth will pass away, but our spirit lives on. When our spirit comes alive in union with the Holy Spirit of God during rebirth through Jesus Christ our Lord, we begin to not only survive but thrive. 2 Corinthians 4:16 "Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day." As soon as you are born, you are in the "wasting away" process. Just like fruit. We call it ripening but it is actually dying. Interesting isn't it? You have to get that banana at just the right stage to enjoy its full flavor. If you wait too long... well, you can make banana bread out of it at least (a little humor). 

Romans 14:17 tells us, "The Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Spirit." We are admonished constantly in the Word, the Bible to  "walk in the Spirit". We are told to "pray in the Spirit". Throughout the Book of Acts and Today, those who have Believed in Christ and received him as their Savior have sought after and received the Gift of the Holy Spirit from Jesus who is not only Savior but Baptizer in the Holy Spirit and Fire, Matthew 3:11. The Fullness of the Spirit is the Key to continual "thriving" in your life. 

What happens in your inner being is what dictates not only surviving but runs hand in hand with thriving. I personally know the difference between surviving without the Holy Spirit within and thriving with the Holy Spirit within. Yes, when you receive Jesus, you have His Holy Spirit within but he wants you to do more than "survive" which according to the dictionary means to: "continue to live or exist; manage to keep going", he wants you to "thrive" which means to: "flourish, prosper, grow vigorously, develop well, blossom, advance, succeed, etc.". Doesn't that sound like something you would want for your children? You would want to give them every gift you could to bring them to that reality because of Love! That is why God wants us all to have "Fire" that only comes fully through the Baptism in the Spirit. Read the Book of Acts. Thank you Father God for your Amazing Gifts! 

People used to tell me I was a Survivor after having gone through trial after trial and still be smiling and positive. It made it sound like I had done something in my own strength. Can't. I am a Thriver because of His strength in my weakness. Because of the Fire of the Holy Spirit I will continue to have life abundant on the inside and it will reflect on the outside to give Hope to those he brings me in contact with. Jesus said before he left this earth that he would send us a Helper! I sought after and received that Helper and He is the Reason my life goes beyond surviving and into thriving! I pray you seek after and receive ALL God has for you today. "SEEK ye FIRST the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and ALL these things will be added unto you." Blessings to you my Friends!

Sunday, January 12, 2020

HOW'S YOUR DRIVING?

Have you ever been following one of those Big Rigs and on the back of it you see this question: "How's my driving?" Then it proceeds to give you a phone number to call to give your opinion. Have you ever asked the Lord: "How's my driving?"? Well, you probably haven't, at least in those words. You might say something like, "How am I doing in my walk with you Lord?" or "Am I pleasing you through my journey?" However we word it, those of us who care will at some point inquire of the Lord as to his opinion of how we are living our lives for Him. If you have ever watched the TV shows Cops or Live PD you will see many instances that the officers will pull over a vehicle because the driver is driving erratic. They are weaving in and out of their proper lane. It may be slight or they may actually weave into oncoming traffic. It happens all the time. The Bible tells us very clearly that "Narrow is the  Way that leads to Life". It goes on to say that "few will find it". Life is in keeping it between the lines. That may sound restrictive, especially if you are young. However, there is freedom in the protection of the "narrow way". When you are young, everything you learn seems new and many times you feel that something you come up with in your mind is new. It brings an excitement with the discovery and you are sure nobody has ever thought of it before. It happens in the world; it happens in the church. There are leaders in this mindset and there are followers. All of a sudden you have a new fad or a new trend. You have a sense of life flooding into your very being. I believe this is human nature. Did you ever consider there can be New in the Old? Hmmm. "The mercies of the Lord are New every morning", Lamentations 3:22-23. The Bible tells us to "Sing a New song unto the Lord." The "Old" never changes. "Jesus Christ, the same Yesterday, Today and Forever" Hebrews 13:8. His ways, His truth, His words never change. I was young and now I am old(er) and I have come to the conclusion that you cannot "get rid" of the old for the new. There is no such process. You may try but it will never work. Matthew 24:35: "Heaven and earth may pass away, but my words shall not pass away." How's your driving? Are you veering off toward this or that fashion or this or that "new way" or are you keeping it between the lines of the narrow way that leads to life. Jeremiah 6:16: "This is what the Lord says, 'Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it and you will find rest for your souls'. But you said, 'We will not walk in it.'" "There is a way that seems right to a man but the end thereof is the way of death." Proverbs 16:25. God never changes. Our nature is to be proud, the sin of Satan or Lucifer. I could go on and on about the dangers of pride and it's end results. I would just say, when we feel we have found a new way or a new answer or a new solution to a problem or a new way to worship God or live for him, we must remember "It is finished" spoken by Christ on the Cross and the words from 2 Peter: "His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence..." We don't have to seek a new way to make it to our destination. We need to keep our lives in the lane where the boundaries bring only life. "The Lord is my chosen portion and  my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance." Psalm16: 5&6. So, rejoice when you receive that Rhema (personal word for your life and direction) but always remember it will never lead you out of the Logos (written word or principles of God). As Christians, the Body of Christ, we are all traveling down the same road that leads to Eternity. None should be left out. The old the young the in between. Glean from one another as you obey the Word of the Lord and choose the narrow way that leads to life. We may occasionally ask the question, "How's my Driving" and instead of a phone call, we can lift a prayer to the one to whom it matters most, God the Father, and he will answer. Let us "drive" in such a way that others will be able to follow to a safe destination. "Broad is the way that leads to destruction." I want to always be able to truthfully say, "Follow me as I follow Christ". Blessing to you All! Happy New Year!

Friday, November 15, 2019

A SPIRIT ON THE MOVE STAYS ON THE MOVE

I was thinking recently, having turned 70, how much harder it is to do the things we did in earlier years. It could be easy for some to develop the mindset of,  "Well, I can't do 'that' anymore so I might as well not even try." Then, before we know it, we are occupying the big easy chair more and more. I like the television commercial slogan, "A body on the move stays on the move." Even though it is more difficult than in the past to accomplish some of the same activities of our youth, our health depends upon our staying as active as we can. Some of this comes from several years of being a fitness coach and watching the rewards of those who learned this principle. Some struggle with arthritis or fibromyalgia or a number of other ailments. However, they would show up faithfully, sometimes at 5:30 a.m. to do their workout, leaving with a sense of accomplishment and a good rush of endorphins and a lot of times with much less pain. Our spiritual life is somewhat the same. A pastor friend of mine inspired my title last Sunday morning. "A spirit on the move stays on the move." In the same way we get tired and discouraged or apathetic in the physical realm we can experience the same in the spiritual. Sometimes I have to literally force myself to workout. When it was  my job, I was without excuse. Now I go from enthusiastic to lethargic. Taking that first small step... doing those stretches sometimes does the trick. Keeping that same idea in mind for the spiritual, I was thinking of the steps I take to enjoy a real "Spiritual Workout." The end goal is to connect my spirit with the Spirit of God who looks for those who will worship him in Spirit and in Truth. One thing I do when I feel sluggish is to begin to verbalize to my Heavenly Father all the things for which I am thankful. I may begin with thanking him for my "daily bread" and then move into the basics of a roof over my head, hot, running water, comfortable bed, my wood stove, my car. Next, my wonderful husband, my children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, other family members, friends.... the air I breathe, for HEALING me, for SAVING me, for DELIVERING me! I humble myself in repentance. By this time I have gone beyond the "stretching" stage and into a full blown spiritual workout, singing and playing music or praising, down on my knees with hands lifted high or bowed low, hot tears of joy and gratefulness streaming down my cheeks. I have met the Master! His joy and peace flood in and I want to stay in his Presence and let the world go by! My goal is that of the Apostle Paul. Philippians 3:10 Amplified Bible: "For my determined purpose is that I may know Him that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly..." With physical workouts, you don't stop with one. For the greatest benefits, you continue on a regular basis. The same applies for spiritual workouts. Unlike the physical which can be limited by sickness, injury or disease, the spiritual has no limitations. Only sin can separate us from God and He has given us the way out of sin by the Door, the Way, the Gate into the Holy of Holies by His only begotten Son, our High Priest, Jesus Christ, where we can exercise our spirits and fullfill what we were designed for: (continuing with) Philippians 3:10: "...And that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection which it exerts over believers; and that I may so share His suffering as to be continually transformed in spirit into His likeness even unto His death, in the hope (vs 11) That if possible I may attain to the spiritual and moral resurrection that lifts me out from among the dead even while in the body." Seek Him as the early Disciples did to receive the promise of the Holy Spirit: Acts 2:39 (Amp.) "For the promise of the Holy Spirit is to and for you and your children, and to and for all that are far away even to as many as the Lord our God invites and bids come to Himself." Just as in any workout, you push through to obtain the best and stay in shape for the next. Pressing on with you toward the Goal! Blessings to you all!

Monday, September 23, 2019

MAKE THE WORLD GO AWAY

"Make the World Go Away" is a song that was written by Hank Cochran in 1960. He was on a date at a movie theatre and while watching the movie he became inspired and in the 15 minutes it took him to get home, he had composed the song. This song was recorded many times throughout the years and was performed by many, many artists including Elvis Presley, Eddy Arnold, The Osmonds, Alison Krauss. The list goes on. A British Band added it to their album in 2018. What makes this song so appealing? How many of us have said, "I feel like I am carrying the whole world around on my shoulders."? The very first line of this song grabs you. "Make the World go away." The meaning in the song seems to indicate that if things would just be like they used to with the person of their focus, things would be perfect. If they would just love like they used to; forgive the wrongs that had been done; say the words they used to; all their problems would be removed. Many times we seek answers from all the wrong places. Some seek relief through love. Some through drugs or alcohol. Even throwing oneself into gaming, sports or other hobbies seem to bring some form of temporary respite. We turn to social media to fill the gap. The point is, it is all temporary. Jesus said, "In this World you will have trouble..." It is going to happen, albeit sickness, injury, death or whatever comes our way. Life happens on this earth. Existence in this realm will include troubles. None of us can escape. However, another song came to my mind as well. Scott Wesley Brown wrote it in 1995 called "He Will Carry You". Some of the lyrics are as follows: "If He carried the weight of the world upon His shoulders, I know my brother (sister) that he can carry you." It states that there is no problem too big that God cannot solve and no storm too dark that God cannot calm. We all suffer the weightiness of the World at times. If we have any amount of compassion, we feel the pain of those around us day after day. We not only endure our own sufferings; we turn on the National News and watch the suffering of others before our very eyes and our hearts hurt. We see hunger, violence, earthquakes, floods, disease and death. We agonize because we don't have the power to "fix" things. We start a non-profit to aid the needy and cannot keep up with the need. We donate our money here and there and it is only a drop in the bucket. The only way to get the weight of the world off our shoulders which we're not designed to carry in the first place, is to give it all to the one who carried the weight to the Cross and died to give us hope beyond this world. He carried every bit of sin, pain, sickness, suffering and agony to that rugged, splintery tree and shed his own innocent blood and was crucified, buried and resurrected to open the way for us to someday leave this planet of suffering for a new and perfect existence with Him for eternity. Until that time, Psalm 68:19 is our promise: "Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens." He is the Burden Bearer! He can lift us up above the things of the World to give us "Hinds Feet in High Places". Habakkuk 3:19 "The Sovereign Lord is my Strength. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to go on the heights." We can be above, looking down at our circumstances with proper perspective as opposed to being crushed under the weight of them. This is such "good news" it makes my heart leap for joy. I invite you walk on the heights with me and cast the weight of the world onto the one and only one who is designed and has the capability to carry that weight, the Lord Jesus Christ. King of Kings! Master! Son of God! Healer! Provider! After all... He did say to "Be of Good Cheer" because he has overcome the World and opened the way for us to be Overcomers! God Bless you richly my Friends! We are going through together! Join with me in sharing this great truth to others who are laboring under their own load! You will experience the reward of doing so. 

Thursday, June 20, 2019

LIFT UP YOUR HEAD AND DO VALIANTLY

To "do valiantly" means to "do with courage and determination". Romans 12:3 tells us: "For by the grace given to me I (Paul) say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned." He goes on to basically talk about recognizing your gifts to and in the Body of Christ. In other words... recognize what and how God has made you. You were made for a purpose! To build up the Body of Christ and be a witness to the world of who God is and that through him and believing in his son Jesus one can have eternal life. The enemy of our soul has a goal to ruin God's plan for us. The more he can disgrace and degrade us the happier he is in his sinister way. Last time I wrote to you about the woman who reached out and touched the hem of Jesus garment. She had dealt with an embarrassing infirmity for over a decade. You can describe her as either timid or bold. It depends upon how you look at the testimony. However, what stands out is the fact that she was "determined" to reach out and touch Jesus. The result, "Daughter, you faith has made you well, go in peace, and be healed of your disease." No doubt she didn't keep this to herself. This probably snowballed into the spreading of the truth about Jesus to those in her sphere of influence. So many things come against us in this life. I narrow it down to three forces: the Devil, the World and Self. The three work together a lot of times. Satan is the "god of this World" so naturally he is going to work through it and feed our "self" with all the lies he can conger up. And, frankly, they are never new. They have repeated throughout the ages. Our "self" has been called to greatness through the regeneration process or being "Born Again" through Christ Jesus. We who were earthly are now heavenly, God, "...raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus..." Ephesians 2:6. Once you are his, you are a new creation. Everything has changed. You are being created in his very likeness! Talk about greatness! As you walk with him you recognize your purpose. You can determine to not be beat down any longer by the "three forces". You can determine to be what you were made to be. It is like Proverbs 22:6 tells us. When training up a child, you not only train him or her in the ways of God but according to their particular "bent" as well. God does that with us. As a child, I had no training that way. Any encouragement I might have had was more according to what someone else thought I should do and be. I use the example about the time as a young girl, my stepmother wanted my brother and sister and I to take dance lessons. So, brother and sister got to take tap and I was to be her little ballerina. Well, for one thing, I was about as limber as a stick and as graceful as an ox. I loved the sounds the taps on those shiny little shoes made as they hit the floor. I knew I had rhythm. I believed I was a natural tap dancer! However, in her mind she saw me as she wanted me to be. Graceful and flowing and flitting around like Tinkerbell. That was just the way she pictured me. I am sure she loved me but she didn't understand God's ways nor seek him at that time. So, back to Romans 12, God knows exactly how he has designed us and for what purpose. Once you recognize what that is and ask him to "create" in you. He promises to complete the work. In the last days, which we are now in, the enemy wants to degrade us... bring us down to his disgusting level in any way he can. My husband and I like to watch the Cops shows on TV. It breaks my heart to see what sin can do to God's precious creations. The degradation is unbelievable. "Sin will take you farther than you wanted to go, keep you there longer than you wanted to stay, and cost more than you wanted to pay." So sad; so true. We need to be bold enough to stand up and say "No!" 2 Timothy 3 tells us all about what Godlessness will look like in the last days. It will be all about the Devil, the World and Self or "Selfishness" brought on by not walking in the courage and determination God has given us. He commanded Joshua and the same command is for us today: "...Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." We are not to be like the "silly women (or men) laden with sins and led astray..." 2 Timothy 3:6. Our Father, Creator has greatness in store for us. He is just waiting to release us in our calling and gifting. When he does, we need to do it with all our hearts unto the Lord knowing it is him in us and it is for his purposes and glory. We can move forth "valiantly" recognizing we do not have to apologize for being who he has made us to be. There is nothing quite as exciting as watching someone move in complete confidence in the freedom of the Spirit of God. If God is with you, spread your wings and fly like the eagle. Don't hold back. "For God has not given us a spirit of fear (timidity) but of power and of love and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7 Step out and let God take care of the details!