God IS Absolutely Good!

There are so many things rattling around in my head today, I’m waiting for it to settle and find out where to begin. First, fasting is going well, due to the grace of the Lord and my choosing to be flexible to what the Spirit is saying and what my husband is saying and trusting the Lord to balance it all out. It isn’t about food/no food, it’s about where my heart is at. Fasting is about denying my flesh so I can hear the Spirit of God more clearly.

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The last week or so, John works steadily, but at a relaxed pace, on the remodel of our extra bedroom and is ice fishing with a friend today, so I endeavor to use my time by myself wisely, an excellent opportunity to work on this post. I have already taken Communion with Experiencing Jesus Through Communion by Beni Johnson. It is Day 13 and I am learning again how Communion proclaims and applies the divine healing and wholeness Jesus bought by His body and blood sacrifice. Beni talks about people who believe healing and miracles ceased when the first apostles died; ‘cessationists’. Beni says:

“People can argue with theology, but your testimony is your most powerful tool… When we take Communion, remembering what Jesus accomplished on the cross, we are repeating the ultimate testimony again and again.” (page 67)

Do you trust that God is absolutely good all the time? Yesterday I began reading Preparations For a Move of God… In Your Life by Sandra G. Kennedy. What she shares are basic tenets of the Christian life. The first chapter “Is Jesus the Son of God?” brings the challenge: If He Is, How Does It Affect Your Life? Get it past your head knowledge and into your heart.

The second chapter “It Takes Faith To Know God” challenge: it’s simple, but do you trust God?

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him,

for he who comes to God must believe that He is,

and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Let us go to “The Lord’s Prayer”

Matthew 6:8 Therefore do not be like them [wondering what you shall eat or wear]. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.

So, we must trust that God knows everything we need before we ask. All we need on earth is already in heaven, which is why Jesus taught us to ask God for what we need and to bring things from heaven down to earth. There is nothing lacking in heaven. Because of Jesus Christ, daily sustenance, complete fulfillment of all our needs, divine healing and divine health and well-being are there for us to appropriate, for that is what heaven is like. When we pray in Jesus’ name, Father God sees us through His Son. Ask God to send down what you need, anything that concerns you. Seek Him and wait patiently for Him to do what you have asked, knowing He rewards those who seek Him, as you trust He will answer. When you ask, God sends angels to do what you ask [see Daniel 9 and Luke 1]. Release them to do it.

God has done all we need through Jesus Christ, our Messiah. As our Father, He wants us to put a demand on Him. God the Father, Son, and Spirit are in close relationship. There is so much love in this trio that they created humans to share that love with. Don’t miss your opportunity to put demands on Him and access what Jesus died to give to us. Going back to Sandra Kennedy’s book, in order to prepare for God to move in your life, you need to get back to basics. I think the most basic thing may be the song we learned as children:

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Jesus Loves Me

  1. Jesus loves me! This I know,
    For the Bible tells me so;
    Little ones to Him belong;
    They are weak, but He is strong.
    • Refrain:
      Yes, Jesus loves me!
      Yes, Jesus loves me!
      Yes, Jesus loves me!
      The Bible tells me so.
  2. Jesus loves me! This I know,
    As He loved so long ago,
    Taking children on His knee,
    Saying, “Let them come to Me.”
  3. Jesus loves me still today,
    Walking with me on my way,
    Wanting as a friend to give
    Light and love to all who live.
  4. Jesus loves me! He who died
    Heaven’s gate to open wide;
    He will wash away my sin,
    Let His little child come in.
  5. Jesus loves me! He will stay
    Close beside me all the way;
    Thou hast bled and died for me,
    I will henceforth live for Thee.

Anna B. Warner, 1860. verse 2-3 by David R. McGuire, ref. by William B. Bradbury 1862 Public Domain

All To Jesus I Surrender!

Forgiveness-2022 Word

Good day to you all, my faithful readers! Today I will share the word for the year that the Spirit impressed on me as well as what I am reading. This is day 7 of the 21-day fast and I am finding grace for the journey. I began with three days of liquids; mostly water, then began a small bowl of porridge in the morning and a small bowl of coleslaw in the evening [I made up a big batch of each so I wouldn’t be preparing food each day]. Last night, I shared some spaghetti squash noodles with homemade tomato sauce with John, but I did not have any meatballs. This morning the Lord prompted me to go back to liquids from now through the weekend. Our church is having a Spiritual Freedom weekend and I am on one of the prayer teams, so I want the best opportunity to deny my flesh and hear the Spirit.

I just watched Michelle Maggio of Michelle May ministries on YouTube and followed her suggestion to get quiet before the Lord and ask Him to give a word to concentrate on in the year 2022. Well, I got quiet and asked and the only word in my mind was forgiveness, so this is my word to concentrate on for this year. This is not surprising, as the Spirit is bringing people to mind that I need to release from my judgement.

I have been reading a lot, starting with The Prophet’s Devotional by Jennifer LeClaire, with forward by Cindy Jacobs. I plan to continue this devotional for all 365 days, Lord willing. If you are at all prophetic, which most Believers are, this is a great primer for what New Testament prophecy is and is not and how to walk in the way.

Last year in this blog, I shared Pastors Bill and Beni Johnson’s revelations on communion. When I saw an offer for this book, I jumped to buy it. I have the pre-made communion cups I bought last year and am taking communion with this devotional at a random time each day. It is excellent food for thought, teaching, and encouragement.

Paperback Stories from the Glory: Glimpses of Eternity Now Book

This is the third book I am working on. Kevin Zadai is letting Sister Ruth Carneal, who traveled for years with Sister Ruth Heflin, share her experiences with the glory of God through the years. Kevin comes in to add relative encouragement/challenge from his own experiences. This is the Scripture that’s been resonating in my spirit:

Isaiah 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the deser
t.

We are in a time of testing that is concluding with glorious culmination! The Lord is doing a new thing. Can you see it springing up all around you? The Glory is the Lord, manifest in and through and around those who believe in Jesus and walk with Him in the Spirit. I recall stories from the Azusa Street Revival in California in the early 1900s. They said the glory came down as a cloud and filled the building. The children were running in and out of it playing hide-and-seek! We have entered a new era in God’s plan for the earth. The veil between heaven and earth is thinning, and He is raising up a people who are fearless to do great exploits as the Spirit leads. Mass salvations and healings are manifesting and shall increase. The evil is coming into the light and people are ratting on each other, so justice shall be done. What a great time to be here on this earth and part of this brilliant move of God! I heard the sound of the Shofar this morning; it was a snowmobile in the pastures behind us, going through the new snow that is over a foot deep, but the sound came across as a blast from the ram’s horn and I take it as a sign from God.

Image result for shofar blowing. Size: 258 x 160. Source: www.youtube.com

John has been watching a lot of programs about history and much about developments that could not have happened if certain things had not occurred. One of the shows is exposing lies we’ve believed about history. Many of what John and I have watched covers the second world war, the atrocities, war maneuvers, trials and aftermath. My son gave me the book The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris for Christmas. I finished that and am now reading the sequel, Cilka’s Journey, also by Heather Morris. Cilka is a character you meet in the first book and this second book fills out her character, taken from true stories from the era. Russian soldiers liberated the camp, and because the German officers used Cilka as a sexual toy, they count her as a collaborator and spy. They convicted her with no chance to defend herself, along with others who “aided and abetted” the Nazis, and the Russians transport them to a Siberian work camp.

I reference all of this to connect you with the word the Lord gave me for 2022: forgiveness. Through these portrayals of things that have happened in the past, I am seeing multiple accounts of forgiveness and unforgiveness. This brings me to the last book I will share:

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

God Is Absolutely Good by Robin D. Bullock. I finished this book just as I began the fast. It will truly expand your understanding of the Bible and creation. It may overwhelm your mind as parts of it did for me, but it’s a good overwhelming. I stopped for over a week to ponder something in the middle of the book, which is why it took almost a month to finish. The biggest thing I took away from it is that the three parts of God and the names of God used in the Bible: Elohim, Yahweh, Lord, LORD, God, GOD… stand for unique attributes. YHVH, which we usually spell Yahweh, is the one that creates all things, the justice that governs. All of life revolves around planting seeds and reaping the harvest, as The Lamb slain before the foundation of the world; death that triumphed in life because Jesus was the good seed. Plant good seed, reap good things and life. Plant evil seed, reap bad things and death. At the end of the book, Robin takes the book of Proverbs and delineates the seed and the blessings or curses of that seed. This is a book you can use as a guide to life for the rest of your life! I surely need to train myself to speak words of blessing that lead to life and stop speaking words of cursing that lead to death and this book will help. I end with this Scripture:

Psalm 139:2324

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.

Photo by Gareth Davies on Pexels.com

Gathering Ends of 2021

If you look back to my February 18, 2021 post titled “Concentration for 2021” you will see the two Scriptures I have concentrated on this year:

Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

Romans 11:36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

This year has had many challenges, many hallelujah moments and drawn me deeper into the next phase of God’s plan for me. It was the first year since 2016 that John has been here the whole year, now that we no longer own a second house. Things began quietly, since John was recovering from shoulder surgery, going to physical therapy and laid low until spring. We had challenges that were a bit comical; one of us on each side of the snowblower, clearing our driveway. A great lesson in cooperation! You may remember all the puzzles and books I completed during those months.

Spring came with much rain, which made gardening and mowing the lawn challenging. John’s solar project got started about three months later than expected. We planted our garden in time to enjoy a bountiful harvest and to bless many people. I ended up helping spring clean at the neighbor’s motel when I thought I would not be working there this year. The Lord provided, so I was available when Barb had the greatest need and the money I earned went to godly use; besides all the books I ended up buying! Turns out when you belong to writing groups, everyone offers you their new book. I have my shelf in my office double-stacked with books and now I need to follow the Spirit’s leading to know which book to read when. Several are daily readings, so I need to decipher which one to use for 2022.

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Speaking of books, my son Chris got me The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris for Christmas. I finished reading it last evening. What an amazing story this was! Over the years, I have read many accounts of people’s lives during World War II and each is unique. Each gives a different aspect of God’s saving power amid atrocities and deprivation. Many do not recognize God’s hand in their story, but I can clearly see His saving power and ability to make people triumph in the worst possible situations. In this book, the friendships that grew, the favor with authorities, the good deeds done in the face of evil, all shine as you read Lali and Gita’s heart-wrenching/heart-warming story. Lali shared his life story with Heather just after his wife died and she did an excellent job of putting it together and filling in gaps as he shared many deep memories. You will love the postscript written by Lali & Gita’s son.

The Audubon 1,000 piece puzzle that took over a week to finish!

This is the puzzle my son Chris’ family brought me and they helped start it before they left for home the weekend before Christmas. It took a full week through Christmas season to finish it! Looks like the grace of God is upon our trip to Vermont for New Year’s Eve. We are finishing up laundry so we can pack, figuring how to use the food in the fridge that won’t last, and I just packed away the Christmas tree as John checked light strings. Amazing how the newer strands work and curious how the bulbs connect. I have an Action Bible and a young child’s Bible storybook to take to our granddaughters. John just bought a bag of fresh cheese curd to take to Chris, and he deems the deer mount he prepared for Chris’ Christmas present is ready to travel. Did I tell you the five-year-old left her stuffed reindeer with us the weekend before Christmas so we can bring it when we visit? I don’t think she understood it would be with us for Christmas; we thought we made it clear when she left it, but when Christmas came, she wondered where it was.

I am glad I saw new facets of the good work God is continuing to do in my life and being reminded that everything comes from Jesus, through Jesus, and returns to Him. I pray you can plug into the Holy Spirit of God and your relationship with Jesus as we enter 2022. I will seek the Lord to clarify my word for the new year, which I’ll share in my next post.

Our congregation’s annual January fast begins this Saturday, so I may not be actively posting for the next three weeks. If you want some pointers on fasting, what the Bible says about it, and practical tips, I recommend Pastor Josh Gmitter’s sermon from December 26, 2021. You can find it on this link:

Let me know how things are going on your end; you are in my thoughts and prayers, dear readers so let me know if there are specifics!

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photo from clip-art

Christmas Is Coming!

Welcome dear readers! Our family from Vermont is on their way to spend the weekend. The beds are all ready; I made the salad, the extra chairs are at the table and the new placemats look great. Presents are wrapped and under the tree, Christmas cards are all mailed out and extras packed away; but not too far! [in case I think of more to send] What else needs to be cleaned, prepped, put away, gotten out… before they come? Such is the busyness of preparing for hospitality.

Looks like the actual Christmas celebration will be quiet for John and me. We’ll Skype with the family, maybe watch a movie together, share a special meal. We’re looking forward to a trip to Vermont for our New Year’s celebration with our son’s family, and a possible trip to Los Angeles to see our daughter’s family in February. We haven’t been to California in at least three years!

I realize we are in various stages of life and have different holiday traditions. My husband and I are at the grandparent stage, with children scattered, which means visits from them and visits to them and much Skyping. You may have a house full of children, be in a home bursting at the seams with visiting relatives, or be a recent widow/widower, adjusting to life on your own. It may be empty nester syndrome, or newlyweds kindling new traditions from diverse backgrounds. Maybe you are expecting more than one of these situations, or I have not come close to your unique situation.

No matter where you find yourself this Christmas, I hope you remember the meaning of this season of celebration. This Christmas will probably differ from last because of the circumstances in the world, but in honor of our Savior, find things to rejoice in no matter what.

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

Christmas reminds us that at just the right time in history, God sent His son, Jesus. The light of God came down into darkness to open our eyes to the salvation and reconciliation we all long for. Fully God and fully human, choosing to come humbly as a baby from a human womb, He grew to become the perfect Lamb, slain from the foundations of the world. Only a loving, gracious Father God would think to prepare redemption for humankind before He created anything here on earth. As I shared in my Hanukkah celebration, I’ve had a new revelation of the Light that stepped down into darkness. Now we are at just the right time for our life on this earth, just as Jesus was here at just the right time. I believe the prophecies that the new year, even beginning now, is a time for things long-hoped for coming to pass. Dust off those old prayers, prophecies, dreams and God-given desires. Stand in faith and see the fulfillment of all these things appear!

Philippians 1:2 “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy… being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…”

My dear readers, join me in rejoicing as we travel through this Christmas season. Shalom!

Ready To Roll?

Sunday, about the time we went to bed, it started raining. It was very windy, and we heard a thousand people in the area lost power for about an hour in the middle of the night. The temperature hovered just above freezing, so we had no snow.

When I awoke, it was still raining steadily and windy. I had an eye doctor appointment at 9:05, so we both packed up a traveling breakfast because John wanted to stop at the lab and get his fasting bloodwork done for next week’s appointment. He also planned to go home that way from my appointment so he could get a haircut. We left the house at 7:30, which should have been enough time to get across the city to my appointment. When John walked into the building for the lab, he found a line of people waiting. He realized he would not get done in time, so we headed right to the eye doctor’s office and sat in the parking lot to eat breakfast.

About fifteen minutes early, I headed through the rain to the appointment. The assistant and doctor kept me busy with multiple examinations and I lost track of time. When they finished, I had an excellent report, an appointment for eleven months later to repeat the vision field test, and another for twelve months to do the yearly testing. Heading back into the rain, I found my way to our vehicle. John had been sitting for over an hour and had a revelation: scrap plans for his haircut, head out of town the other way, deposit my check, eat at Cracker Barrel, and Christmas shop.

What grace Father God showered on us! We noticed the rain, but it didn’t hinder. John usually gets completely undone by the end of Christmas shopping, but his good mood hardly wavered. As we cruised several stores, he kept saying, “It’s alright, we’re not in a rush and I’m with my honey.” I want to remind you all, the Bible says, “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it unto the day of Christ Jesus”. [Philippians 1:6]

Image result for photos of electric company bucket trucks

As we pulled into the Walmart parking lot, we saw fleets of electrical bucket trucks amassed. John said National Grid was setting up to send them where needed because they expect many wire problems with the wind and rain; possibly turning into an ice storm. Our area previously dealt with a couple of major ice storms and has learned from those experiences.

As in the natural realm, so in the spiritual, the saying goes. National Grid and our weather people are preparing for a major catastrophic event. The prophets have been speaking about a major event likely coming from the power grid being damaged. I believe the power of our spiritual enemies also has impending damage. Also, the rain and wind, which turned to sleet in the wee hours of the night, stopped after about twenty four hours. I’m reminded that God promises in Psalms that weeping endures for the night, but joy comes in the morning.

The time is ripe for a move of God. Are you ready to roll with the punches and come out victorious? God’s plans are good and this time of tribulation shall come to an end soon! We will see the victory if we do not faint before the end. I ask for and receive grace from Father God each day. It keeps me in His peace in Christ Jesus. I hope you can grab on to His strong anchor and hold on. If your job is to be the “bucket trucks” with boots on the ground, step up to it. If your job is to be the one on your knees, drop down and pray in power. If it’s your part to write encouragement, then get to it. Man the positions God has planned for you since before you were born! We’re going to see the victory if we stand firm and do the good works before us.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Hanukkah!

Welcome to another celebration to share! Last evening, November 28, was the first day of Hanukkah. I bought this menorah on Amazon last winter, just after Christmas. I chose it because of its compact size and the fact it uses birthday candles, which is easier for me than a full-sized menorah. This metal angel tray works well for it. As a Christian, people ask why I would celebrate Hanukkah. First, I had a Jewish grandma who had a wonderful menorah and we would watch her light it sometimes if we visited her home at the right time. Second, I appreciate the symbolism of how Christ came into this dark world to shine the light of God. Third, it reminds me our God is a God of miraculous provision, making one day’s lamp oil last for eight nights. Here is the menorah I’m speaking about.

Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a Jewish festival commemorating the recovery of Jerusalem and subsequent rededication of the Second Temple at the beginning of the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire in the 2nd century BCE. from Wikipedia

I do not believe Christians are obligated to celebrate Jewish feasts and festivals, known collectively in Hebrew as the Moadim [appointed times], but we get to if we choose to. It can bring more meaning to the Jewish celebrations when we know the Word of God because all the festivals point to Christ Jesus, the Messiah, and He has fulfilled most of them and will complete them on His triumphal return. For example: the Passover seder is an interactive way to teach God’s care for His people and His great power, bringing the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land with a mighty hand. So, each celebration of a Moadim illustrates what God is like and brings a clearer understanding of the Bible. As believers in Jesus Christ, He is the oil that keeps the light that shines in this dark world burning in and through us. Also, the Maccabees not only burned oil in the lampstand, they first cleansed the temple from the idols and desecration. We also cleanse our temple when we apply the blood of Jesus to our souls.

Isaiah 9:2 The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined.

1 John 3 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

My menorah set to light for the second evening at nightfall tonight.

As a child, I never had the full celebration of Hanukkah with my grandmother, but at Christmas we would get a mesh bag of chocolate gelt; gold foil- wrapped chocolate coins- in our Christmas stockings. Children have a game where they spin a dreidel, a top with four sides, a Hebrew letter on each. I am not familiar with the game, but know gelt coins are prizes for winning.These days, Hanukkah is competing with Christmas celebrations. They celebrate eight nights with gifts and feasting. We celebrate Christmas Eve & Christmas day, some still celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas or the four weeks of Advent. There are many other treats associated with this celebration. Here are a few I found:

Sufganiyah is a deep-fried donut, filled with jam or custard and topped with powdered sugar. A Hanukkah-themed advent calendar filled with candy will also satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth over the eight nights of this holiday. Also, potato pancakes called latkes topped with applesauce are a staple for celebrating Hanukkah. I found this info and much more for your friends who celebrate Hanukkah at:

http://www.gwhatchet.com/2019/11/25/gift-guide-for-every-night-of-hanukkah/#:~:text=Gift guide for every night of Hanukkah 1,their name. … 8 Eighth night%3A Journals.%20

Photo by Geraud pfeiffer on Pexels.com

John 8:12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

Friends, let us shine our lights brightly as we walk in the love of God in Christ Jesus. May the Holy Spirit fire ignite your spirit and soul to go forth and do great exploits for His kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven. Until we meet again, Shalom to you all.

Giving Thanks Together

Lunar Eclipse

Did you catch the lunar eclipse on November 19th? My husband got outside just in time to catch the moon beginning to come out of the eclipse. Apparently, this has not happened since King Henry the 8th. Do you think God is giving us spectacular signs in the sky for such a time as this?

Give thanks with a grateful heart to the Holy One, who keeps us through all trials and tribulations. Thinking back to the beginning of the COVID debacle, it began with a spirit of fear falling on people, escalated to a spirit of confusion, then added the spirit of greed. Now we have a lingering spirit of COVID and spirit of infirmity lingering. We need to bind these spirits in Jesus’ name and command the spirit of peace, true Shalom to replace all of this. Let us obey Jesus’ command to pray for laborers to be sent into the harvest.

Matthew 9:37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

This brings me to the fact that each of us here on earth who belongs to Jesus is part of those laborers. We must prepare ourselves to be vessels for the Holy Spirit to pour out of, learning to listen to the Lord’s voice and walking in love and obedience. What is hindering you? I’ve been doing a bit of floundering and need to tighten up my daily use of time to make room for unhindered rhythms of grace to flow through me.

The following video made a huge impression on me. This is the first time Heidi Baker has done a conference in eighteen months. She shares that God let her know there was a wilderness ahead. From her home in Mozambique, she immediately contacted her ministry and told them to send two containers full of food to her. As we know, “all hell has broken loose” in the last two years, but she shares how God is being glorified and the gospel is advancing. Churches being burned? Where two or three are gathered, the Lord is in the midst. The food made an opening for the love of God to be manifest in Mozambique and the church is awakening and thriving even without buildings! Remember: what the enemy means for evil, God uses for His good. His plans will come together; even in our own lives! NOTE: if you’re not familiar with how the Spirit of God works, on this video Heidi is drunk in the Spirit, overcome with the love of God. As with the priests of old when the glory filled the temple, she was having a hard time standing in the Presence! That Presence coming through my TV brought me to my knees and into holy laughter for the first time in quite a while. I pray we all have time to experience being so humbled and wrecked by the great love of God as Heidi Baker has been!

I hope you have time to hear her full testimony and you are encouraged to press on and press in by her exhortation from Scripture.

On this week of Thanksgiving in the USA, I leave you with the Doxology we used to sing in the Presbyterian church after the offering. May it fill your heart with praise and thanksgiving not just this week, but throughout each day of your life.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host:
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

https://www.beliefnet.com/prayers/catholic/praise/the-doxology.aspx

Wait On The Lord!

Psalm 27:14 Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the
Lord!

We are emerging from generations of bondage…

 being set free.

Can you feel it?

The Lord is doing a new thing!

Can you see it?

It’s breaking out all around us!

Psalm 27:13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living
.

This sunrise is a photo my husband John captured for me on his way to his tree stand a few days ago. I think even he is seeing God’s glory in the sky! Have you noticed?

Last evening I watched The Amish And The Reformation with host Joseph Graber. He traced the roots of Christianity and the Reformation and showed where the Amish began and where they are at now. Jacob Amman, the founder, broke off with the traditional Church when he began reading the Bible for himself, finding out that salvation was by faith alone, and baptism was for believers; not infants. This group began with a solid foundation on the Word of God, but fell into traditions of men over the generations. In the early 1990s, Joseph Graber’s family began reading the Bible for themselves and sharing with others what they were discovering, which put them at odds with Amish traditions and caused them to be excommunicated.

https://www.myamishstory.com/

If you research history, a person experiences revelation from God, builds a religion around it, stops pressing in for new revelation, then becomes legalistic. How then shall we live in this new era of God without falling into making His revelation into legalism?

We are on the third chapter of Romans in our study at church. The Jewish people have an advantage with God because He committed to them His oracles. If we did not have the law from them, we would not know that we are sinners. Their unbelief does not nullify God’s faithfulness, but brings us to the knowledge of sin as well as them. It is clear that the law cannot justify us; only faith in Christ can. He has made a way for the Jew to be justified by faith, the gentiles through faith.This imputes righteousness to all and upon all. As the Messianics remind us, “The Root supports you” [the wild branches grafted in]. So, if God had not chosen the Jewish people as His nation and given them the law that shows us none is righteous, we would not know that we cannot achieve righteousness by our own efforts. Then we would not realize we need what Christ Jesus did for us to be reconciled to God and man. Which brings me back to legalism and traditions of men. It’s human nature to want to structure rules around our lives in order to know where the boundaries are. It seems easier to follow rules than to realize our own rule-following will not save us. Hallelujah! What a Savior is our Lord Jesus Christ!

Returning to the first Scriptures I posted, I ask you a question: as we walk through all that is ahead, can you remember to take time to wait on the Lord? In His strength, we shall prevail against the evil one and enter into the glory of God that is being poured out on earth. Ge ready for signs, wonders and miracles as we step into the greater glory that is falling on us! I leave you with a much-quoted Scripture that supports those before this. I pray you experience new facets of Shalom and greater measures of glory in the days ahead.

Photo by Frans Van Heerden on Pexels.com

Isaiah 40:30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
31 But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

Amen!

Christmas in November

This title came to mind from a prophet on Elijah Streams I listened to recently. God is doing a marvelous thing in our midst and I am overjoyed! We had an excellent Operation Christmas Child box packing party at our church last evening. Our youth group and the local football team, people from our congregation and the community, gathered. It was pizza for all and many hands making light work of the abundance that was provided. Our goal of 150 boxes rose to a total of 228. Praise God from whom all abundance of blessings comes! May the Lord use all these gifts to make room for the gospel around the world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

In other news, I was part of Leslie Leyland Fields’ four week Saturday morning writing seminar on zoom. She used her book, Your Story Matters, and taught us how to capture memories and write them down. Here’s a quote from the first chapter in this book:

“I’m going to guide you through this writing process chapter by chapter, but my words are only invitations to yours. In the end, your words in response to mine are what will matter most.” pg. 21

At the end of each chapter, Leslie has “Your Turn!“, where you can practice what you’re learning. She also includes examples from her other students to help you. Of course, the four weeks were not the full course; she did not cover the entire book. The Lord provided the funds for me to buy her eight-week course and all it includes for half price, $195.50, at the end of the seminar. I have paid for life-time access to the course, subscription to Mighty Networks, and support. One participant said she paid over $1,000.00 for a writing course that wasn’t anywhere near what this incorporates. As for the book, I recommend it to anyone who wants to get their life story down, even if you never publish your own book. It is extremely encouraging; Leslie has a lot of life behind her, raising six children on Kodiak Island in Alaska, and being part of a commercial fishing family. She has been an English teacher, taught many groups of people, and if you can find the free four week classes, which should be on YouTube, go for it! I agree with the saying: “Everyone has a story to tell, ” and when we do, it gives glory to God. Many tales from my growing-up years are being brought into focus by Leslie’s teachings.

I want to leave you with challenging Scriptures from K.P. (Metropolitan) Yohanan’s new booklet, Dependence Upon The Lord.

Thus says the Lord:

Jeremiah 17:5 “Cursed is the man who trusts in man
And makes flesh his strength,
Whose heart departs from the Lord.
For he shall be like a shrub in the desert,
And shall not see when good comes,
But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness,
In a salt land which is not inhabited.

Jeremiah 17:7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.

Notice, verses 7-8 are from Psalm 1. In these challenging days, what or whom are you trusting? Take a moment to examine your heart and realign yourself with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Until we meet again, Shalom dear readers.

Rape and Holding On

Good day to you my readers. Today I start with a shocking item of news my husband John shared with me. His demeanor was disbelief and disgust as he said, “A woman was being raped in the subway. Instead of rescuing her, people were videoing taping it!”

What does the Bible say about rape? The first rape mentioned was in Genesis 34. The local prince seized Dinah and raped her. When her brothers heard about it, they were shocked and furious. Of course, the brothers followed their fleshly nature and took revenge… not good in God’s sight?

We find the Jewish laws about rape in Deuteronomy 22. If a man meets an engaged woman out in the country and rapes her, then the man shall be put to death, but the woman has committed no crime because we assume she screamed, but no one was there to rescue her.

Deuteronomy 21-22 has a story most people do not remember from Sunday school or their own Bible reading; I’ve never heard it used in a sermon. A Levite man took for himself a concubine and she “played the harlot”, returning to her father’s house. The Levite went to retrieve her, and the father-in-law was thwarting his attempts to leave with her. When they finally escaped, they ended up in the square in Gibeah, amid depraved Benjaminites. A man insisted they couldn’t stay outside for the night and invited them to his home. Here’s what happened:

Gibeah’s Crime

Judges 19:22 As they were enjoying themselves, suddenly certain men of the city, perverted men, surrounded the house and beat on the door. They spoke to the master of the house, the old man, saying, “Bring out the man who came to your house, that we may know him carnally![the men of the town were deep into sodomy]

23 But the man, the master of the house, went out to them and said to them, “No, my brethren! I beg you, do not act so wickedly! Seeing this man has come into my house, do not commit this outrage. 24 Look, here is my virgin daughter and the man’s concubine; let me bring them out now. Humble them, and do with them as you please; but to this man do not do such a vile thing!” 25 But the men would not heed him. So the man took his concubine and brought her out to them. And they knew [raped] her and abused her all night until morning; and when the day began to break, they let her go.

26 Then the woman came as the day was dawning, and fell down at the door of the man’s house where her master was, till it was light.

27 When her master arose in the morning, and opened the doors of the house and went out to go his way, there was his concubine, fallen at the door of the house with her hands on the threshold. 28 And he said to her, “Get up and let us be going.” But there was no answer. So the man lifted her onto the donkey; and the man got up and went to his place.

If you read on, this turned into a more gruesome scene as he cut the dead woman up and sent her pieces to the other tribes. This began the war between Judah and Gibeah, which wiped out the major part of the tribe of Benjamin. As with all biblical stories, this one shows God’s justice mixed with the human sense of justice. Someone said if the devil can’t get to you any other way, he will work to get into your body by having someone rape you. It’s said to be an attempt to show dominance or contempt. Most men/women who commit such sin are trying to gain control over their victim; from demonic influence or human depravity.

The enemy’s tactics have not changed since the book of Genesis; the way he works to use God’s children continues if we do not turn to Jesus to cleanse our hearts and minds. Corrie Ten Boom shares the horror of her mother being raped repeatedly by the soldiers until she died as they were being loaded on the train cars to go to the concentration camp.

Remember, I told you last week Pastor Sam is beginning a study of Romans this Sunday? This morning I listened to Alexander Scoresby reading this book on YouTube to prepare. Working on this post, verses stuck out to go with this story I’m relating. Chapter 1 speaks about what God thinks about sinful man. They have no excuse because God has made it clear what is right and they choose to make idols of created things instead of worshipping their creator. Verses 26-32 describe what happens to people who do this [might explain what’s happening right now!]

Romans 1:26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

Yes, I realize I can get called all kinds of names for pointing out what God says in the Bible about aberrant sexuality. May this post jog many out of spiritual slumber and give you insight into the enemy’s tactics which are blatantly in our faces these days. There is hope! I was just watching Derek Prince teaching about blessings and curses as I sliced and packed away the last of our peppers. I share it with you, hoping you may find help in this time of need.

Derek Prince; How to Pass From Curse to Blessing.

He who began a good work in you shall be faithful to complete it! I leave you with this bright vestige of this long, mild, fall weather which my loving husband brought in for me to enjoy. I pray you live in God’s Shalom until we meet again.