Defining Moments

This week I’ve been reading Defining Moments God Encounters with Ordinary People Who Changed the World by Bill Johnson, with Jennifer A. Miskov, PHD. Pastor Bill says Jennifer is a historian and did most of the research. He fleshed out the life of the person in each chapter, then related it to what we need to be accessing today from what they encountered in past decades and generations. Those included are: John Wesley, Charles G. Finney, Dwight L. Moody, Maria Woodworth-Etter, Carrie Judd Montgomery, Smith Wigglesworth, John G. Lake, Evan Roberts, Reese Howells, Aimee Semple McPherson, Kathryn Kuhlman, Randy Clark, and Heidi Baker.

As Pastor Bill says, these people were not perfect, but each had a major encounter with God and pressed in to make a big difference in the world for His glory. The last chapter is titled Just the Beginning. What would happen in your life and realm of influence if you surrendered to the Spirit of God and did great exploits for the Kingdom? I have been reading Smith Wigglesworth’s chapter for several days and these things have stuck out for me, which are found on pages 121, 130, and 132.

“Fear looks, faith jumps.”

Arriving at a home similar to the account of Jesus coming to Lazarus after four days, the family told him he was too late. What did he respond? “God has never sent me anywhere too late.”

“If you do not venture, you remain ordinary. If you do the impossible…”

Bill Johnson acknowledges many other people have done biographies of these heroes of the faith, so his aim is not to repeat those, but to use these life stories to outline a course for us to follow for seeing a sustained move of God. Are you ready to dig in and spend concentrated time with the Lord until the Spirit falls like fire and launch out into the depths of what He has for you? I am in the last week of the Exploring the Prophetic, and the book Defining Moments is igniting what I am learning over these ninety days of study. The prophets report that God is doing a new thing; we must prepare for deployment against the spiritual enemies, principalities and rulers in high places in the heavenlies that Apostle Paul told us about in Ephesians chapter six. Everything the heroes of faith accessed before us is what we need as a base to inspire us for this next move of God.

Where ever you’re at, whatever challenges you are facing, I encourage you to hold on, help is on the way! As I read about these glorious moments of God in the past, I have no knowledge that my ancestors alive in those times ever got involved in what God’s Spirit was doing. I know I do not want to miss what’s coming in this generation, as the glory of God is preparing to fall like never before! Each follower of Jesus, as well as those who haven’t encountered Him yet, needs to be ignited to accomplish what’s ahead.

I pray you will follow hard after God and experience wholeness in Christ Jesus. I can’t wait to see what the Lord does in the next week, so I’ll see you then!

Shalom my dear readers!

Musing on God’s Love

I am surrounded by voices in books, videos, podcasts, and more with, “It’s all about love!” The essence of the cross of Christ, the aim of all prophetic utterances, the crux of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues, the basis for all social work and all teaching, the reason for families. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

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So, I can speak with tongues of men and angels, prophecy, understand mysteries and know everything, have strong faith, give all I have to the poor, or die a martyr’s death, but if I do it without love, it means nothing but a clanging cymbal or vocal cacophony. It is said God’s Great Exchange is Jesus Christ paid a debt He did not owe for a debt we could not pay. He did it all for love; the goal being reconciling us to our Father God.

John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

What is love? Love is the essence of God, displayed in Jesus Christ, administered by the Holy Spirit. Let’s look at what this all means.

Photo by Luiz M. Santos on Pexels.com

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, against such there is no law.

We want these fruits in our life, but how do they grow? Human nature is bent toward selfishness and evil from birth. We are not naturally joyful, peaceful, or longsuffering. It takes conscious effort to show kindness, goodness or faithfulness to others; especially if they are not like us. Some personalities are more prone to these virtues, but even they don’t go far when pushed.

It is clear from Scripture that there is none righteous besides God. We may pat ourselves on the back for our achievements when comparing ourselves amongst ourselves, but our ultimate comparison is to the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Again, He knew no sin, but became sin for us to save us from ourselves and bring us back to our Father. No wonder we have an orphan spirit until we find our way to Him through Jesus’ sacrifice and victory! The Apostle Paul urges us to meditate on these things:

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

We need to look through God’s eyes of love to see these things. What is true? What is noble? What is just? What is pure? What things are lovely? What things are good to report? What is virtuous? What is truly praiseworthy?

All these things as well as the fruits of the Spirit are attributes of God. If we want to know genuine love, we must think the way God does and speak the way His love does. Shawn Bolz says we should not look at the person in front of us the way they appear, but look into God’s love to see His ultimate plan for them and speak that into their life.

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Romans 8:37-39 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So, NOTHING can ever separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus! We are safe and secure in this life, no matter what threatens our peace. My prayer for you all is that you grow in the revelation of God’s love. That you may find the way to abide in Him, letting your roots grow deep in all He has for you. May the fruits of God’s love shining through you overcome every wile of the enemy, every tactic that keeps you from loving others. Shalom, my dear ones. Have a wonderful week walking with Jesus!

Holy Weekend!

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My devotional for this Maundy Thursday clarified that as fully human and fully God incarnate, Jesus Christ suffered all things we suffer, including mental anguish. He did not turn to the depths of despair as we do, but to Father God.

John 12:27-28 Jesus said, ‘Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? “Father, save me from this hour”? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!’ Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.'”

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What do you do when you encounter troubles? I know I am not always in the right frame of mind or in the correct spiritual stance when they come. We currently have one vehicle to drive, my husband’s truck, for an indefinite amount of time while the collision shop waits for back ordered parts for my Telluride repair. This has put my loving husband on edge, especially with the snow forecast and today being Prayer Connection for our Stonecroft women, which I lead. This makes two mornings in a row I needed the truck and had a challenge fitting in my morning devotion. Well, we both lost our cool, I finally tromped out the door so I wouldn’t be late, and had to repent and change my attitude on the drive to the prayer meeting. The words from Cyril of Alexandria from three-hundred and fifty years after Christ, paired with the above Scripture, gave me much to contemplate. We had two of our women come into prayer meeting an hour into the two-hour meeting, making the perfect time to share this devotion [from An Ocean of Grace by Tim Chester, p. 146-148] It is lengthy, but I promise it will bless you!

My Saviour, Jesus Christ, a man born of woman, not in deceptive appearance or mere fancy but rather by nature and in truth, possessing every human quality, except for sin-for that which has not been taken into your nature has not been saved-you are the firstfruits of a new humanity: in you our nature was restored to newness of life, for you are the second Adam.

For my profit these human feelings troubled you: in this way and no other could my healing come to pass. As a man you felt hunger and weariness; as a man you felt the mental anguish of suffering. Yet you were not agitated like we are, for the truth restored your courage. Fo you, the Word of God, were made one with your human nature in its entirety, so you might save the whole person.

After speaking of being troubled, you did not sink into silence but transformed the suffering which had affected you into dauntless courage. You despised death and the shame of suffering, looking only to what your suffering would achieve, beholding our death in your death, knowing the power of corruption would soon be destroyed, seeing the transformation of human nature to newness of life for ever.

The cross is glory. For at the season of your Passion, you willingly and patiently endured many insults, and voluntarily accepted sufferings for our sake which you could have refused. Suffering like this for the benefit of others is a sign of your boundless compassion and supreme glory.

We glorify you, too, because you overpowered death. And so we acknowledge that you are Life, the Son of the living God. And the Father is glorified when he is seen to have such a Son begotten of himself, of the same Nature as himself. He is Good, Light, Life, and superior to death, the One who does whatever he will.

Just as death was reduced to nothing by your death, and by your death alone, so also, Christ our Saviour, unless you had felt dread, human nature could not have become free from dread; unless you had experienced grief, there could never have been any deliverance from grief; unless you had been troubled and alarmed, no escape from these feelings could have been found.

With every affection to which human nature is liable, we find the corresponding affection in Christ. The affections of your flesh were aroused, not that they might have the upper hand as they do in us, but in order that they might be thoroughly subdued by the power of the Word dwelling in the flesh, the nature of humanity thus being changed for good.

So now when we feel overwhelmed by dread or grief or alarm, restore our courage with the truth of the word, and comfort our hearts through the Word made flesh.

Holy Week Thursday, Cyril of Alexandria, comments on John 12:27-28, Commentary on the Gospel According to Saint John, Vol. 2 (Walter Smith, 1885) p. 150-154

I leave you with thoughts of our Risen Savior and some words of encouragement from the Apostle Paul.

Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Tomb Empty With Shroud And Crucifixion At Sunrise - Resurrection Of Jesus Christ Empty tomb of Jesus at sunrise with crosses in background easter stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images
The Tomb is still empty! He has risen indeed!

On the Road Again!

Finally! Our first trip to visit family in Pennsylvania since early 2019! Our son invited us down to help with a tile project in the basement. What a difference from our last visit! Everything’s the same; nothing is the same. Me not being immunized yet, my husband suggested I wear an N-95 mask while traveling. I broke one strap when putting it on at the first stop, so he relented and let me wear my regular mask for the second stop. Pennsylvania has more chance of exposure, but I didn’t notice any closer interactions than in NY.

We encountered many tractor trailers on our drive from Northern New York, seeing a bit of the logistics employed to meet all our on-line ordering. Yes, we ran in and out of rain, but glad it wasn’t snow! We’ve been here two days, and the household has received two deliveries from on-line orders already. I have deliveries waiting until we return home, and we set our solar panel delivery for our project to ship from California the day after we get there.

We are sleeping in our elder grandson’s bedroom, which makes his distance learning have to adjust. Mom had to move into Dad’s office, which has a door, since the work in the basement is too distracting for her teaching kindergarteners on zoom. They noticed the background behind her wasn’t the usual! The grandsons saw the orthodontist the day we were traveling, so the elder is dealing with a new set of rubber bands and some pain. The younger is not so bad; he’s got spacers, which is less disruptive to normal life.

What does a day with a young family look like during lockdown? Boys in separate rooms with their own tablets connect with school sometime around 8:30. Mom starts with the kindergarteners about the same time in her office. Dad usually starts earlier, in his office. The younger boy eats lunch just at 11 and is back in his room by the time his elder brother and parents have lunch. The boys finish between 3-3:30, Mom at 4, Dad at 4:30. Throw in Dad taking off time for orthodontist appointments and figuring out who can take which boy to hockey around their schedules, and the family may be back together for dinner by 6:30-7 if the hockey travelers don’t eat on the way home because they’re at a late practice or game.

There are more new challenges to this lifestyle. The younger boy is not concentrating on schoolwork, and sometimes he doesn’t emerge from his room before five o’clock. He’s very social and misses interacting with peers in person. He lost electronic privileges for almost a month because he’s not getting work done. The older one is doing well because he likes a schedule. Once established, he is comfortable. Good thing, since the pain of braces rocks the boat!

It challenges the mom dealing with 200 kindergarten students and their parents. Soon, she will do individual assessments and doesn’t know how that will work out. The dad is not quite as challenged, since his home is his workstation for his FAA job, but everything has to shift when the kids are home full time. This is nothing new to me. I was a homeschool mom when my kids were young and it’s a change for any household, even if you have already been teaching them things as preschoolers. It’s always a change developing a teaching plan, schedule, and learning how you and each individual child learn and understand. You not only need to keep them on task, but have to keep yourself on task to keep the household running. My daughter in California and her husband both work from home and have hired a nanny to work with their two children and keep them on task while they work.

For my part of this trip, I am finding it a challenge to do my morning devotionals, the active things assigned in Exploring the Prophetic, exercise, and doing my computer work. It is nice relaxing with the family in the livingroom in the evening. We got to see several episodes of The Voice auditions my son has saved. We had seen none of them at home. We’re also watching a lot of hockey, of course; Go Penns! I enjoy swinging in the yard with the grandsons. One of them had a long lunch break, and we had a good chat outside.

On another front, Passover begins Sunday, March 28, as Christians celebrate Palm Sunday. Mitch Glaser from Chosen People Ministries suggest we take communion each day of Passover, which is seven days, sundown to sundown. Alternately, you can find on-line Passover meals you can attend. For more information, check out this link:

https://www.chosenpeople.com/site

I declare the floodgates of Heaven are being opened for you, in the Name of Jesus! We had a team from the Global Awakening School of Ministry spend a weekend at our church. They taught us more about hearing God, speaking for God, praying and declaring healing and giving impartation. By Sunday afternoon’s final prayer meeting of the conference, words of knowledge and healing began to flow from the front to the back of the sanctuary. Before we ended, everyone in the group had been spoken over, prayed for, had impartation, and each of us had spoken or prayed over several others. No one in the group left without a touch from God. Praise the Lord, one woman who’s had a heart problem, was released from the spirit of fear and infirmity that held her. Her sister was with her and also released from what was holding her. I’m excited with the impartation they have given us and learning to walk in it. It will be great to have another team come in the future, when our sanctuary can be full after this pandemic ends. If you’d like more information about Global Awakening or the school, here’s a link.

https://globalawakening.com/

Global Awakening:

Awakening the world to the goodness of God.

I leave you all ’till next week with the gift of God’s Shalom, dear readers!

Through The Eyes of Love

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From Ice Castles the movie

Through The Eyes of Love

Melissa Manchester

Please, don’t let this feeling end
It’s everything I am
Everything I want to be
I can see what’s mine now
Finding out what’s true
Since I found you
Looking through the eyes of love

Now, I can take the time
I can see my life
As it comes up shining now
Reaching out to touch you
I can feel so much
Since I found you

Looking through the eyes of love

[Chorus]
And now, I do believe
That even in a storm we’ll find some light
Knowing you’re beside me, I’m all right

Please, don’t let this feeling end
It might not come again
And I want to remember
How it feels to touch you
How I feel so much
Since I found you
Looking through the eyes of love

https://genius.com/Melissa-manchester-through-the-eyes-of-love-lyrics

If you’re old enough, you may remember this song as the theme song from the 1979 movie Ice Castles. I was sixteen that year and we girls all went to the movie theater and cried our eyes out over the story of young love and figure skating! We ice skated at the small rink on our way home from school; the village iced the tennis courts and had built a warming house where we could change our skates. It was my favorite pastime during our long North Country winters and gave us lots of dreams of Olympic performances and the beautiful ice dancers with their beautiful young man to hold on to. I’m not sure Melissa Manchester or the makers of the movie had Jesus in mind with this song, but I think it fits well with a personal relationship with the God of the Universe!

Through the Eyes of Love: Encouraging Other Through Prophetic Revelation by [Shawn Bolz, Matt Crouch]

This leads me to the book I read this week: Through The Eyes Of Love Encouraging others through prophetic revelation by Shawn Bolz. Shawn has revelation that prophecy and revelation knowledge all hinge on the love of God. We cannot impact lives for the Gospel without seeing people through God’s eyes of love. Shawn has learned through years of trial and error and experimenting with prophecy that it all boils down to how much the Lord cares about individuals. The first of his books I read was Translating God. In that book, he shared many experiences, many from his own life, that boiled all prayer and prophecy down to that love. In Through The Eyes Of Love, Shawn shares stories of people he has interviewed on his Exploring podcasts as well as his own amazing testimonies of how the Spirit has used him when he has been bold enough to step out in love.

God wants to speak to people right where they’re at. This book begins with connection with the Father. When we prophecy, it has to be out of a loving relationship. We need the true revelation of who we are as beloved children of God, then seeing others through that love, we can work from a healed relationship, knowing that acceptance comes from God and not from your gift. Then you can humbly let Him flow through you. Shawn covers marriage & family, life direction, restoration, entertainment, work, finances, government, and redemption. I think this covers all areas of life on earth that the gift of prophecy, used with love, can minister to others. I remember Pastor Penn Clark teaching our congregation how to use the gifts of the Spirit. Thirty-some-years later, the thing that has helped me most: think about what God wants to say to the person. I think sometimes I need a rock dropped on me to get things into my heart. I’ve always known the love of God is what brought Jesus to save us, the love of God sent Holy Spirit down to be our comforter, teacher, guide and friend. It has not always infiltrated my heart and soul how much I am loved by the Father and how much He loves others just as much. Shaw Bolz’s ministry has added a lot to my life, changing my outlook and thought life, which is seeping down into my heart and progressively manifest in my life. I recommend this book along with Shawn’s others, even if you don’t think you are a prophet. We are all called to prophecy, even if we don’t wear the mantle of the office of the Prophet. [Apostle Paul said he wished we all prophesied and that we should covet the gift of prophecy]

Going back to the theme song from Ice Castles, I can relate this love song to my relationship with Father God, through Christ Jesus. I was looking for love in all the wrong places after my Dad died. When I found a relationship with Jesus, I found a love that I didn’t want to let go. Through the years I’ve had a deeper revelation of Father God. I can see what’s mine now. I have seen a light that opened up another world for me. I have found the Love that will never let me go. I’m in a relationship that I could never have imagined when I first saw that movie, since I didn’t meet Jesus until five years after I saw it. I know from experience He’s with me in the eye of the storm. I know who I am, looking through the eyes of love. I am complete and I see others through His love and can call them into the completeness He has for them.

In the natural, I have experienced the love that was portrayed in Ice Castles. The first time my husband and I were together, we held each other and never wanted to let go. We still experience this feeling over forty years later, but I also experience this with my Savior daily and know that relationship will last through eternity. I hope you all experience this eternal love and share it with those around you. I pray each of us has a deeper encounter with the Lover of our souls and experience true Shalom this side of heaven.

March 2021-Count it all Joy!

Summary

This episode is also available as a blog post: https://musingsalonglifesjourney.blog/2021/03/13/march-2021-count-it-all-joy/

Transcription

March 2021-Count it all Joy!

What a beautiful surprise it was yesterday to have sun and sixty degrees! It was nice to spend some time outside planning projects for the coming season. This leads me to think that the Lord talks a lot about springtime and harvest. Our heavenly Father is all about planting, watering and reaping. In every area of life we are planting seeds, tending them, and working toward an abundant harvest. As the apostle Paul said:

1 Corinthians 3:6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

What areas of your life can you think of that you are planting or tending toward a harvest? This time of year, it’s definitely seeds to start plants which won’t go out to the garden until it warms up enough in May. Thinking of my grandchildren, I am tending the Gospel seeds I’ve been planting and nurturing since before they were born. In my marriage, I’m rejoicing in the fruits we have already experienced, and tending and watering our relationship toward more.

Growing in the Christian Life: A Guide to James (James)   -     By: Stonecroft Ministries

Our women’s group has begun this Bible study from Stonecroft, A Guide to James, Growing in the Christian Life. We are learning how to count it all joy when various trials come and to ask for wisdom when we need it. The verse at the end of the first chapter is James 1:2-3 and I add verse 4.

James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

The assignment was to summarize these verses in our own words. Here is what I wrote, including verse 4. “Dear Sister, consider all troubles to be an opportunity for great joy! Lord, my endurance has a chance to grow and I learn patience when my faith is tested. If I let these troubles teach me patience, I will become perfected and complete in Christ Jesus and will need nothing.” I like this harvest goal! When Christ Jesus comes into your heart, the fullness of God-Father, Son, and Spirit-live inside you. This means all the fruits of the spirit, gifts of the spirit, love of God in Christ and all other things needed for godly living are inside you. As we grow in our relationship with the Lord, we access more; sowing and reaping. In the Apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he explains how the grace of God works and how Christ works in us.

1 Corinthians 1:4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you

Why does Christ work inside us? To prepare us to do the works ahead of us, purifying us as we sow and water, working toward harvest.

1 Corinthians 1:7 so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Remember, this year I am concentrating on two things: 1. In Christ we live and move and have our being, and 2. God has begun a wonderful work in you and will be faithful to complete it to the day of Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

The goal of all this is a relationship with Him and drawing others into the fellowship of Believers. On another note; I’m learning how to turn my posts into podcasts. Bear with me as I work out the kinks!

Discipleship and Reconcilliation

Love, Paris (Women of Promise Book 2)

Just finished Natasha Metzler’s second book in the Women of Promise series. I couldn’t put it down! How did Paris get her name? What’s this attraction to Dan, the police officer from Emma’s village who is now on staff at the NYC mission? Will she be part of her sister’s wedding now that sis’ fiance helped her find Paris? What’s the secret of the apple pie? How will she make amends with her estranged family? Will Paris be able to heal and find a future? Does God really put the lonely into families? This story brought me happy and sad tears, and I learned much about redemption of relationships, more facets of God’s love and redemption, discipling young people, and what an effective ministry can look like.

Natasha has a gift for creating fascinating characters and descriptions that pull you right into the story and keep you turning pages. I recognized her inspiration for things like the old school that was converted for the mission’s use, the couches to make the sanctuary comfortable and inviting, the kitchen, and many other things I’ve seen in person in a friend’s mission in Northern New York where Natasha lives and where I am from. The model for discipleship of the new believers stuck out to me: they start with 1 John, then 1 & 2 Peter, followed by the book of James. This puts the young people on a firm foundation for a Christian life. Members of the staff mentor, and those older in the faith do peer mentoring. An outstanding discipleship model many groups/individuals could use! I give Love, Paris five stars!

In my lessons with my friend Cyprien, we are working through Communion With God (CWG) ministry’s Experiencing God Together book by Mark & Patty Virkler. The focus is on small group ministry. This week I am focusing on the true aim of teaching:

1 Timothy 1:5 Here is what teachers should aim at. God’s people should love each other with a love which comes from a clean heart, a clear mind, and true faith. *WE Worldwide English (New Testament)*

I believe I saw this in action in Love, Paris. Head knowledge, according to the Bible, puffs up; fills us with pride. Heart knowledge leads to that love which comes from a clean heart, a clear mind, and true faith. Paris suffered from her parent’s strict, religious way of life. They could not accept her due to her youthful rebellion twelve years prior to this story. Strict adherence to rules developed by man’s desire to fence in their God experience lacks the love of Christ who can bring wayward sinners back into the fold. We can have all the knowledge of the ancients and do great exploits and do many Spiritual things, but if we have no revelation of the love of God, we have nothing. This is what the Apostle Paul says in Corinthians. As humans, we like to have strict parameters to meet, a goal we can humanly define. We can accomplish this through head knowledge and teaching; focus on academics. God looks at the heart and bids us to come fellowship and learn His way of love, expressed in the sending of Jesus, fully human, fully God -bridging the gap-making a way of reconciliation.

***Did you know Disciple is the title Rome used for those who spread the Roman culture to their vanquished possessions? They found their conquered acquisitions did not follow Roman culture and law. So they trained Disciples to go live in those countries and teach them the ways of Rome. Jesus adopted the term for those who followed and learned from Him. As disciples, we are to learn the ways of the Kingdom of God and teach others to do the same.

Let us contemplate the depths of the love of God in Christ Jesus as we walk through this season of Lent. I’m on pins and needles waiting to see how Father God reconciles all that’s going on in our militarized capitol. Make preparations to experience His greater glory SOON! Don’t forget to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, Shalom to all of Israel, as Psalm 122 enjoins us to do. As Israel goes, so do we!

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Altars and Vaccines

This is the book I am reading this week. I’m taking extra time reading because I really want to understand Spiritual altars. Basically, there are Godly altars and evil altars. Think of the altars built by Bible patriarchs and compare them with ones built by Baal worshippers. Imagine Jezebel’s table she invited the prophets of Baal to join her at; a table can also be an altar, so watch out whom you are banqueting with!

Jacob's Ladder - Bible Story

Remember Jacob’s Ladder? When he lay his head on that stone to sleep, he did not know it was the place his forefather had built a godly altar; the angels still had an opening to connect earth with heaven in that place dedicated to the Lord. This account is in Genesis chapter 28. Returning to Elijah’s battle of altars with the prophets of Baal, their evil altar to a false god caused them to yell, scream, holler and cut themselves trying to get the un-speaking, un-hearing, un-seeing god to respond to them (I like when Elijah asks if their god has gone to the potty). God sent down holy fire to burn up the offering as well as the gallons of water poured on it! After that, the Israelites ran after and slaughtered the prophets of Baal. You can read this account of the righteous altar destroying the evil altar in 1 Kings chapter 18. Whichever altar is stronger wins. Are you dealing with sins of the fathers you can’t get out from under? Maybe you need to confront the evil altar your ancestors erected and raise up your own righteous one in the name of Jesus. I’m eager to see what else I learn from this book by Dr. Francis Myles. Oh, I got the book after seeing the author on Sid Roth’s ISN.

Have your “friends” inundated you with horror stories about the Covid-19 vaccine? It has caught me between the no-vaccine group and the get-me-a-shot ASAP! The talk with the ASAP group is, “How/where can we sign up to get one?” Even my husband’s doctor didn’t know how. Another one is, “I’m scheduled for one in a month, two hours away.” My husband was waiting after his immunization and got a text from our local pharmacy offering an appointment it took us an entire afternoon to drive to and from the clinic he had the appointment for. They schedule your second shot while you’re at the appointment for the first one, so there’s no reason to take an appointment at another venue. They also give you a sheet on symptom tracking and a number to call if you go to your doctor after the immunization. You get the second Pfizer 21 days after, Moderna 28 days after. The next ones being developed will be a one-shot deal, but only give 75% protection instead of 90 I got this info confirmed on the CDC website.

For the ‘anti-vaxxers’ group, there’re all kinds of fodder. Here’s a sample: 1. It’s developed using aborted baby parts 2. they put a tracer chip in to control you 3. things in the vaccine will alter your DNA 4. it will bring the ‘mark of the beast’ (for you fans of Apostle John’s Revelation). I went from not wanting it to, “Lord, if I get it, I’m trusting you to protect me from any complications.” So today, I signed up with our local pharmacy for alerts for appointments. I don’t expect one quickly, since I’ll only be 58 in May, have no major health concerns, and don’t work in a hazardous job. A friend of mine is on call for spill response cleanup and can’t respond to any calls until he gets immunized. The following is one link-there are several others available-providing appropriate answers to all the fear mongers, helping me decide.

https://www.cnet.com/health/microchips-and-mandatory-shots-dont-fall-for-these-coronavirus-vaccine-myths/

You may wonder how these two topics today connect. Not as randomly as you think! We build altars to the medical community, to the government, to the Facebook community… Immunizations touch on ethical questions, generational beliefs and other similar topics. The elder population was around when the first vaccines became available. My mother grew up in that era and took us to the doctor and got us medications with minimal provocation. At five, she nearly died of Scarlet Fever and said if the doctor hadn’t come each day and lanced her throat so she could breathe, she would have died. The polio vaccine made it safe to go swimming in the community pool during hot summer vacation days again. The whooping cough vaccine saved babies. My point in all this is: a vaccine made available will be desired by most of this cohort.

On the other hand, I have two friends who are young mothers whose sons have had problems since their first immunizations. One almost died. I question if the children are getting too many immunizations in too short a time. I think the immunizations my children got during the 1980s were enough of a load on their systems, and now there are several more added to the regimen, crammed into the same space of time. I know other parents who immunize, but not on the normal schedule. Breast-fed babies get immunity from their mother’s milk and shouldn’t need their own during that time period. If a preschool child isn’t in a group setting, they have lower risk of exposure and shouldn’t need the immunizations until school. Note: this is my own reasoning, not the medical community’s.

In conclusion, I want to encourage you to stay away from fear. The enemy can be compared to an alligator who does a death spiral to take its victim under, dismembering them piece by piece. I choose as an act of my will to refuse the bate and avoid the descent into fear and depression. My friends, choose life for the sake of your children and loved ones. Trust God for the good outcome that’s being prepared to end this time of trial. It’s à propos that our ladies’ group is beginning a study on the book of James, which begins thus: Profiting from Trials.

James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

Keep your eye on the course the Lord has set before you and don’t waver.

Concentration for 2021

If you’ve been following my blog, you know I have not chosen a word for the year 2021. I finally decided on not just a word, but a couplet of Scriptures the Spirit has quickened to me for the year which follows 2020’s Emmanuel, God with us. Here they are:

Romans 11:36 For from Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. [NASB]

Philippians 1:6 I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. [NAB revised]

I read the book of John during my January fast, which led me to doing a weekly study from Talking With Jesus Ministries,via zoom meetings with Rev. Cyprien A. Afrika, who is ministering in Kenya. I met him through LinkedIn and you can find things at: http://www.clsoionline.com/talking-with-jesus-ministries/

Getting back to my Scriptures for 2021, I’m learning what it means to have the spirit of God – Father, Son, and Spirit – living in all fullness inside this body I inhabit. If you think about this and search the Scriptures, the more you understand, the more there is to understand. What is our authority? What should our relationship be to the fullness of God in Jesus Christ living inside us? How can we walk as Jesus did, in constant contact with the Father?

1 Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.Now I’ll introduce the book I read this week, which fits right in.

What would you do if you suddenly found you had stage four breast cancer, and the doctor wants to do surgery, radical mastectomy, chemo and radiation as fast as possible? Well, Capt. Dale Black dug into the books at the library and devoured every book he could find about cancer. Eye opening, to say the least! Did you know cancer is not hereditary? Or that a German doctor who immigrated to the U.S. developed cures for nine different cancers? They poisoned him to death. This is a full exploration/expose of the cancer industry and what we need to do so we’re not sucked into the sick, money-driven system. Paula and Dale bring together the three parts of our being: body, soul, and spirit. Yes, we need to be physically healthy with a good immune system, but our soul and spirit also need feeding and tending to. A sick spirit can be more detrimental than a lowered immune system! This book is very healing and encouraging, even if you don’t have cancer or don’t follow all that Paula did to heal her being. Heck, all of us know someone close to us that cancer has touched!

3 John 1:2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

I pray you take this verse to heart as you feed your “earth suit” or “present tent”. We are a spirit that has a soul, that lives in a body, and we need to nurture all three on Spiritual and physical food! May you discover what it means as Emmanuel, God with us, inhabits your being; finding the abundant life Christ Jesus offers us, learning how to vanquish the enemy who comes only to kill, steal and destroy. (John 10:10)

Shalom!