Saturday, December 18, 2010

Expecting the Christ

This time of year you see a lot of people getting ready for “The Claus”. Shopping, parties, cutsie sweaters with matching socks, and “stockings hung by the chimney with care”. Then the season has come and gone, and all that lingers are the decorations we accidentally miss as we put our house back in order, and the debt we went into to make sure that everyone around us got what was expected. But what if….just what if…what was expected was The Christ?

In Matthew 1:20 the Word says that “while he (Joseph) thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.” Mary was truly “expecting” the Christ. For 9 months she dealt with questions, pointing, ridicule, and shame put on her by others because she was literally and physically expecting Jesus to appear. God had chosen her. That did not mean the road was easy, it meant that He would also enable her. Day by day she would live expecting Jesus Christ, but also the hand of the Lord on her through her journey. Truly she was blessed.

Later, John the Baptist would also live in expectation. In Luke 3:15-16 we read “and as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” The people of the day knew the prophecy of the coming Christ. They got it wrong, but at least they were looking for Him to come. John the Baptist had it right. He was doing all the Lord had asked of Him in expectation that The Christ would soon come. He lived his life serving a King that he did not fully understand or even realize was close by, but when God was ready for His Son’s role as the Christ to be revealed, John had lived in expectation long enough, and dedicatedly enough that He knew The Christ when He showed up. Would you or I? Have we lived our lives in quiet obedience with our eyes open for The Christ to be revealed to us in our day? Do we truly expect the Christ to walk in our days and our hours with us? Do we live like we even know Who He is?

Paul also walked in close relationship with the Lord. In Philippians 1:19-21 we hear Paul’s words as he writes, “For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” The Christ, His earnest expectation. His intense anticipation, and from the head, as the original language speaks it. Meaning? The thought of The Christ was always in the front of his mind. He lived his life intensely mindful of watching for The Christ in all things, in all conversations, and in everything he did. He lived his life with the purpose of serving The Christ with all that he was and all that he had. Now, he had met the Lord face to face. Once a murderer of the Christians, he met the Lord face to face on the road to Damascus, and was never the same again. Some of us have met The Christ. Some of us have come face to face with Him as He searches us out, calls us to Himself, and hands us His gift, paid for by His blood, His gift of salvation and trust in who He is. Others of us have heard Him calling and turned the other way. For some, this may be the first time you have even thought of this life changing Christ. Can I just tell you that living a life “Expecting The Christ” is the greatest gift you could receive. James 1:15 states that “when lust has conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” You see, whether we realize it or not, we make a choice. We either live Expecting the Christ, or we choose to expect sin and its price of death. The best gift you can give your family this year, is the gift of knowing Christ yourself. God says he sets choices before us this day…life and death, blessings and curses. And then He gives us the answer just in case we were confused. “Choose life.” Choose Christ and live. Live a life of great expectation. Meet him face to face today, and have your own Damascus road experience. Call out to Him and He will answer you.

For those of you who claim to be living a life of expectation and intense anticipation. Sometimes the world around us can steal our zeal. Cheesy way of saying it, yes, but true. We get dull, we get lukewarm, we doubt our vision or desires, and we get to where we blend in with the crowd. Take a look back at Matthew 1:20. I am just going to quote a section. “that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.” Do you see it? Babies are not the only lives that God births within us. He births ideas, gifting, ministries, prayers, understanding of the scriptures, and love. Not too long ago, I was whining to God about our ladies ministry. What I thought it should be or look like by now, was this really what He had called me to, was I just out there living my own ideas separate from Him, because I just knew that if He had called me to it, He would have made it look very different. This verse was in my daily reading …that day. When I read it, it jumped off the page at me. What was conceived in me…the vision of what He had given me to do, the heart for the women’s ministry…was conceived by the Holy Spirit. He put it there. He had a part in it. He was nurturing it and growing it as only He could. What an amazing God we serve. What are the dreams He has given you? Have you turned your back on them because they did not look the way you thought they should? What about The Christ Himself…have you quit living “Expecting The Christ” because it did not go the way you thought? What will it take for you to return to living your life in intense anticipation of seeing The Christ at work in you, through you, and all around you?

This Christmas, how about we worry more about anticipating The Christ than we do the Claus. This much I know…the joy, excitement, and vision will not diminish after the 26th of December, or even the 1st of January. If we ever truly live our lives Expecting The Christ, it will carry over day to day, week to week, and year to year. It may not always be easy, we may meet opposition, but we must keep pursuing the goal of being able to say that “for to me to live is Christ.”

I choose “Expecting The Christ”.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Romans 16:20 Heel - Snake Encounters

Romans 16:20 “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.”

If any of you are wanting to cut down on the landscaping around your house, I am your girl. As some of you know I have recently inherited the job of mowing and weedeating around our house. Zero-turn…I am getting there. I can drive anything with a steering wheel, but using an oar type apparatus to steer around the yard is just nuts…I am getting it though. The weedeating though, is a totally different story. I have yet to master that discipline, but hey, I get the weeds down…along with sprinkler heads, flowers, siding, and anything else that doesn’t get out of the way in time! In order for my yard to have flowers and landscaping, it is going to have to be potted in cast iron!

This morning, after my quiet time, I was psyched and ready to partner with the weed-eater. I was weed- eating around a fence between our house and the pasture, when I came upon a snake. I have a miracle to report. I did not pass out, I did not fall down, and I did not run. I am so excited to report to you my first boot-snake encounter. Yes, I stomped on its head with the heel of my boot and then kept going with my weed eating. OK, OK….one disclaimer…the snake was only about 8 inches long, but still…I encountered a snake, and I was successful in killing it, and staying on track with what I was supposed to be doing.

It got me to thinking…that was a physical encounter with a snake, would I and am I as successful when I encounter spiritual snakes. Do I get right up to the point where I see the snake up close, and cower and run, or do I take a stand, and bruise Satan’s head with my heal in the power and authority of Christ and His precious blood. This may not be a “lady-like” story, but ladies, the truth is, we are in a battle. Satan is around us at all times. Sometimes we can not clearly see where he is, and just pray the Lord protect us, but there are times, like the physical story today, when we come across Satan in our path, and need to understand that we do have the strength, power, authority, and right, to crush him under our heels. Where does that power come from? Notice where I was prior to the encounter. In prayer and in the Word itself comes our strength and encouragement in this life. Take the time to soak up the power in the Word, and then rise up and walk “BOLDLY” in Christ throughout the rest of your day.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

National Day of Prayer

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Thank you Father for our freedom to have a morning like we had! Thank you to all of you for your prayers for our country, whether you were able to join us or praying from where you were...

God has been so faithful to us. Let's take this National Day of Prayer as a springboard. Re-dedicate yourself to personal daily prayer and the study of God’s Word. Decide to stand for decency in the way we dress, talk, live, the music we listen to, the movies we support, the TV we watch, the sites we visit on the computer, and especially how we treat each other. Quit complaining about our politicians, and pray for them. Get out and vote, and before you do, do your homework and prayer on who it is God has His hand on. Teach our children what is suitable as young Christian men and women, and model it for them in our daily lives. Husbands step up and be the Spiritual leaders of the household in love and leadership both. Wives, recommit to being submissive and serve our families with gladness and joy as Christ uses us to strengthen and mold them. Say NO to divorce, drugs, drinks, “alternate” lifestyles, immorality, homosexuality, and abortion. Do the hard things in life. Keep our minds and thoughts stayed on the things of God. Plug back in at your church. Raise the bar of expectation for ourselves, our brothers and sisters in Christ, our children, and our families. Stop living down to the defeated life Satan wants for you and start claiming the victory that your Savior paid for you to have. Get outside the 4 walls of our homes and our churches, and take the love of Christ to the dying world around us. Don’t just sing, “People Need the Lord”, but be willing to introduce them to Him. Allow Christ to use you as a vessel of His love for those around us, those He desires to be His children for eternity and has placed us in their paths for that reason. Do not settle for Christ being put up on a shelf. Renew your relationship with Him, and then go into your everyday life in His power and presence and allow Him to move and work and have His way in you and through you in all that you say and do.

That is the hope of our families. That is the hope of our churches. That is the hope of our schools and communities, and that is the hope of our nation.

Seek Him above all else. Let God be God, and let us listen to His voice, and speak His Word of Life.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Women Walking Boldly in Christ Conference

Since the Women's Conference last weekend, I have just felt this strange feeling of serenity that there were no words to describe. Here is the only way I know how.

Friday night, we were all exhausted, I had a migraine, it was almost 10pm and I was going back to the conference room to lock it up for the night. When I got there, the outside door was still propped open, the main house lights were off already so it felt peaceful to my pounding head, but the stage lights were on. I sat down on the back row, leaned back against the wall, propped my feet up...unladylike as it may be, and just sat there for a few minutes of quiet and prayer of reflection. As I sat there, the Lord allowed me to hear the most beautiful sound. The sound of women's voices. Coming softly in from all over the conference center. Some were just talking, some laughing in joy, some in prayer, some lifting up songs of worship and praise. I can not tell you what a beautiful sound it was. Just for an instant I realized that it must be just a tiny speck of the beauty God hears from us as we gather in worship, prayer, and joy in His presence. It was incredible. At that moment, the love He poured into me for those ladies was overwhelming. How much more love was He desirous of pouring out on us...and DID!

All I know is this...God was pleased that we had been obedient to His call. He was overjoyed at what He heard. He needs and desires for us to keep on loving these ladies. In all the group and individual efforts that went into this conference, He was pleased. In all the ways we got out of our comfort zones and allowed Him to use us, He was pleased. In all the ways we loved on each other instead of allowing the "tooth marks" to distract and divide us, He was pleased. "We" did not put on a perfect conference, but the Lord directed the one of His choosing, and we were faithful to follow after Him as closely and obediently as we could. That is the conference I will remember. That is how we are to judge the success of our labor... did we do as God directed? Were we faithful to our Lord? Did we honor Him and bring glory to His name? ...I believe the answer is absolutely YES.

I can never explain my gratitude for His allowing me to be a part of such an amazing assembly of walk-walking BOLD Christian women.

I love you all, but He Loves you so much more! We serve a faithful Savior.  Glory to His Name!

Hebrews 4:16..."Let us therefore come before the throne of grace with BOLDNESS, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Breath of God

Romans 1:12 "that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me."

How true this is.

If you have ever received bad news… you know… the kind that takes your breath away. Not the kind that completely devastates you, but rather just takes a few minutes to get your conscious mind around it. In my case, today, it is an event that is on one hand an answer to prayer, so I do not want to go to God ungrateful, and on the other hand, NOT the way I had wanted Him to answer. I am not quite sure how to handle it; how to manage my way through the season ahead; how to handle it with grace, bringing honor to our Lord, while my heart breaks at the same time. How do I give Him the glory He so richly deserves… and yet question why this is how He would answer our prayers.

How do we do it? We can do it because in those times in life, when our breath is not readily available, our Lord breathes for us. He breathes into us through His Word. He breathes into us through His grace. He breathes into us through our faith. He breathes into us through His love, and sometimes, He makes His love manifest to us through those around us.

My Godly, gracious, caring, sisters, who are filled with the Spirit, consumed by the Word, and acting under the Holy guidance of Christ. Sharing what God has done in their lives. Calling because God led them to. Sending emails that pricked their hearts and so they were compelled to share them with others. In all these ways, God helps those who have momentarily gasped for breath to breathe easy as His presence is found when they cry out to Him. Found, “as iron sharpens iron” and our faith encourages each other to stand firm in the faith of Jesus Christ, His love, His goodness, and His perfect Will.

Thank you for allowing God to breathe for me through you.


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tuesday Morning Sermon on the Computer - Dorothy Hammer

In reading God’s word this morning, I was reminded of how sometimes what we say can destroy our entire witness. In Galatians 1:10, Paul asks, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God”. As I continued to search and read, Paul’s words again popped out, “God does not judge by external appearance”. God looks at our hearts and our motives. Galatians is an excellent book to prepare us for our journey ahead. I encourage each of you and pray for you and myself that we guard our mouths remembering that sometimes what we mean to be cute or funny can hurt someone else deeply. I am so guilty of having a flippant attitude rather than taking seriously what someone else might be saying. What I regard as nothing may really be something to someone else. We need to be very sensitive to the questions posed by others. In the days ahead, we will become tense, irritable, anxious, impatient, frightened and other ungodly feelings. Ephesians 4:29-5:1-21 should be read often to remind us how to live.

4:29 You must let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only what is beneficial for the building up of the one in need, 1 that it may give grace to those who hear. 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 4:31 You must put away every kind of bitterness, anger, wrath, quarreling, and evil, slanderous talk. 4:32 Instead, 2 be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you. 3

Therefore, be 1 imitators of God as dearly loved children 5:2 and live 2 in love, just as Christ also loved us 3 and gave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering 4 to God. 5:3 But 5 among you there must not be either sexual immorality, impurity of any kind, 6 or greed, as these are not fitting for the saints. 7 5:4 Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting – all of which are out of character – but rather thanksgiving. 5:5 For you can be confident of this one thing: 8 that no person who is immoral, impure, or greedy (such a person is an idolater) has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

Live in the Light

5:6 Let nobody deceive you with empty words, for because of these things God’s wrath comes on the sons of disobedience. 9 5:7 Therefore do not be partakers with them, 10 5:8 for you were at one time darkness, but now you are 11 light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light – 5:9 for the fruit of the light 12 consists in 13 all goodness, righteousness, and truth – 5:10 trying to learn 14 what is pleasing to the Lord. 5:11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather 15 expose them. 16 5:12 For the things they do 17 in secret are shameful even to mention. 5:13 But all things being exposed by the light are made evident. 5:14 For everything made evident is light, and for this reason it says: 18 “Awake, 19 O sleeper! 20 Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you!” 

5:15 Therefore be very careful how you live – not as unwise but as wise, 5:16 taking advantage of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 5:17 For this reason do not be foolish, but be wise 22 by understanding 23 what the Lord’s will is. 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, which 24 is debauchery, 25 but be filled by the Spirit, 26 5:19 speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music 27 in 28 your hearts to the Lord, 5:20 always giving thanks to God the Father for each other 29 in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5:21 and submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. 30

Let us not be guilty of disregarding one another’s feelings as well as those we will be coming in contact with in the coming weeks. Let us not be guilty, also, of reminding others or bragging to others about our good works. We are not to be boastful. Often times we do a good deed and then ruin the testimony of our good behavior by telling others and complaining because some other did not join with us in doing good. We are not to judge others in this way. Each person has their own gift or gifts and we are to act accordingly while helping others in whatever way they may need us with eagerness. We should never bring notice to ourselves but remain humble in all that we do. We are not to judge others motives as to what they may or may not do.

I urge you in the coming days to read Galatians and Ephesians through in your morning devotional time. I desire to pray and read over this so that I can be better prepared for April 16 and 17.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Time for New Life

Acts 17:27-29 (New International Version) God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.' "Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by man's design and skill.

Grass is peeking up, trees budding, flowers blooming, and baby animals being born. Our barest human senses are reminding us that we are born desirous of birth and new life. It is an innate part of us to be inspired by these things.

However, birth and spiritual rebirth are only made possible by the Creator Himself, and are gifts to us from His Son, Jesus Christ. They were purchased by Him on the Cross, and gift wrapped for us individually at His resurrection. He gift wrapped our ability to be reborn and truly understand new life when He rose again on that third day.

What we fail to acknowledge, is that He knew the price all along. He did not just endure the agony of the cross for a few hours. He counted the cost for every healing, every act of mercy, every Word spoken in love, and every act of forgiveness. All of these gifts would be paid for on the cross to come. He loved us and counted us worthy of the price of the gift …and the awe inspiring gift wrap. His work, completed, in power and majesty for the love of you and I. And the gift continues today.

Bunnies, eggs, baskets and bonnets are cheap substitutions for the gifts we truly need to celebrate. Go to Him, not to buy a new dress, but to receive new life. Spend time worshipping the One who died for you, not something you dyed. Let’s celebrate The Resurrection, and hunt for Christ to deliver His gift of eternal life wrapped in the bow of His risen glory. Let Christ Resurrect your life.

No other has the power. No other has paid the price. No other has defeated the grave.

Acts 2:21: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

He loves you. Will you seek Him?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Moment's Rest

A Moments Rest

“’Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31

Some of you are wondering what in the world that could possibly be about. It has been so long since you were by yourself, in a quiet place, or even considering getting some rest that it seems like a foreign concept to you.

We have let our society tell us that if we are not going, doing, chauffeuring, tending to, nurturing, working, educating, cleaning, etc., that we are of less value. According to the scripture quite the opposite is true.

Even the Lord knew that if He was to have anything to give to the people around Him, He was going to have to let God pour something in. He desperately needed to be in communion with His Father in order to have the strength to perform His day to day duties, and even more so, His miracles.

How much more so do we?

OK, so maybe we are not running around town performing miracles, but God does wish to use us to bring blessing to others around us. In order to do that, we have to have something to give them, besides ourselves.

Take Mary and Martha in scripture. Martha was busy doing, Mary was busy resting at the feet of Jesus. (Luke 10:38-42) Both are needful, but Mary’s priority was letting her well fill up. How did it help? In Mark 14: 3-9, Mary was the lady who broke the alabaster box and anointed Jesus’ head as a sign of belief in who He was. Where did she get the boldness to serve her master in that manner? Where did the benevolence for such an expensive gesture, or the true belief and faith in Him come from? From sitting at His feet earlier, taking that moment’s rest, and allowing Him to pour into her heart and spirit the ability to do what she had before her later.

Allow God a moment in your life. Rest in Him for just a bit.

Get alone now and then with The One Who Knows Your Name.

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Personal God We Serve

I do not think I will ever truly comprehend the love or the care that our Lord Jesus Christ showers over us.  I know that we see Him show up corporately in worship, and that He leads and guides, and that the Bible says that even if it was just for ME that He would still have died for MY sins, but how to process that in the limited mental capabilities we have this side of Glory is beyond me. 

He is famous for it.  Examples? I have many, but two come to mind.  First, when we have gone to a Beth Moore conference in San Antonio, or the Deeper Still conference in Oklahoma City...10,000 women in that building.  All praising the Lord.  All listening to the same speaker(s).  All hearing the same spoken words.  But the Spirit of the Lord is able to whisper individual Words to each of the women there.  Individually.  Different.  Loving. Confirming.  Prophetic. Replies.  Whatever their need is to hear a Word from the Lord.  Then a weekend like this last one.  SBTC Women's Ministry Leadership Forum.  All different classes and topics, one main speaker, Cindy Wood, but more importantly, One, THE ONE AND ONLY, Lord, Who took what the ladies were saying, and confirmed things in my life from several different areas.  One lady stood and gave a message...the same message the Lord had helped me finish that VERY morning for an upcoming retreat.  Did you hear me...the SAME message...the same 3 scripture passages...the same topic, the same message!!!  I could only sit, with my jaw dropped, and cry.  Then in other classes, He spoke confirming our ministry ideals and goals, my New Years resolution of Total Surrender, the theme for our conference, I can not even name them all. 

I do not tell you this to say, woowoo look at me.  Quite the opposite.  I was doubting things I knew He had spoken to me because of lack of vision of what He was  going to do with it, thinking I was doing it in my own strength possibly, and even due to some criticism from other sisters.  He knew I was seeking him.  He knew that the purpose of my fast was to hear a Word from Him, to draw closer to him, that I was desperate for Him.  AND HE LOVED ME ENOUGH TO SPEAK A VERY PERSONAL AND LOVING WORD TO ME IN THOSE TIMES.

Praise be to the Lord God Who loves us enough to be intimately involved in our everyday lives, that is, if we invite Him to be, look for Him to show up, and listen to Him when He speaks to us.

John 10:27

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

Thank you Father for loving us so perfectly, personally, and precisely.

You alone are the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Separated to God

I hope that those of you who are fasting, are hanging in there with your Savior.  I pray that this has been an incredible time of closeness with Christ, and that you have taken full advantage of the time spent in this season verses just seeing it as a time of "doing without" something.  If so, your prayer life and Christian walk will never be the same, no matter how many times you have or have not fasted before.  By virtue, there is a physical sacrifice involved, but such a spiritual time of growth and renewal.  Focus on that.  Let God speak to you through this time of concentrated awareness of His presence in your life.   There have been several evangelists talking about fasting on TV over the last couple of weeks, and even primarily on the 21day fast.  God is so good.  One point that just struck me that a couple of them have touched on is prayer.  If you typically pray an hour a day, you are doing well, and have spent in 365 hours in communication with your Savior during a year.  Fasting increases that exponentially.  Fasting IS a continuous time of prayer if done with the right heart and purpose.  Therefore, those of you who have committed to this 21 Day fast, have stuck to it in spirit and in truth, and have used it as a time to draw closer to the Lord have just been in constant  communion with your Lord and Savior for the sum total of 504 hours during the full time of this fast.  A year and a third worth of prayer in 21 wonder Jesus said, "some things come about but by prayer AND fasting!"  Physically you have not been in prayer for the full 504 hours, but spiritually you have.  Thus the increased awareness of the need to be separated physically and spiritually in our lives.

Where the spirit says love, the physical says judge.
Where the spirit says endure, the physical says give up.
Where the spirit says FAITH, the physical says let me see proof.
Where the spirit says empowered, the physical says weak.
Where the spirit says YES, the physical says CAN'T.

Our entire Christian lives should reflect a striving to follow the Spirit not our own flesh.  Decisions should be made where the Spirit leads, not what the flesh can see and feel and hear.  God help us to be separated unto Him and in tune with the Spiritual side of our lives.  He can work wonders in those who will surrender the physical to Him in exchange for His spiritual filling. 

Finish strong.  Stay the course.  Do not give in to the temptations and the cravings.  God will meet you at the point of your need, even if it is at the lid of a soft drink, or bite of chocolate, or open bag of chips...whatever you are fasting....sacrifice it at the altar of your life and rise and walk with Him...the One who called you to this time, and will strengthen you and sustain you.  The One who knows your name.

In Him,


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Feeling or Knowing

As this fast has progressed, I have to admit I have been a little frusterated.  God has shown up, do not get me wrong, He is always so faithful, but I just have not had that "feeling" of His presence like sometimes.  You know, the goose-bumps when He speaks directly to you during your quiet time, the rush when He answers your questions before you even get them spoken, the warm-fuzzies when you hear Him whisper His praises for your obedience, or even the feeling of awe you get when you just get-it that the God of this universe could actually love and care for you.  I have felt AWEFUL the last couple of days, sick, tired, headaches, and then you add on top of that the lack of "feeling" Him at work, I was beginning to give in to the thought that maybe this particular fast was just powerless in some way...yes, some way associated with MY end of the deal, but powerless just the same.

Then I heard a message and it was as if God just put His Holy Hand over my mouth, so that He could get a Word in! 

  Luke 7:18-28 is the story of John the Baptist when he was in prison and sent his disciples to inquire of Jesus to assure him that Jesus was truly the one.  A couple of things have bothered me before about this story...1-he waiting for over an hour before acknowledging John's disciples request, and -2- he waiting until after they had left to say all the "feel-good" things about John that he had to say.  He simply sent John's disciples back to him with the message to tell John of what they had seen.  HUH??? What is up with that?  Well, this morning He cleared it up for me.  John did not need the "touchy-feely" and flowery words of Jesus his cousin, he needed the Truth of Christ.  In order to give that to John, it took a little time, but he loved John enough, that He spent the next hour performing miracles as hard and fast as it looks he could, and fulfilling prophecy, so that the disciples would have the PROOF and the TRUTH of the Word in Malachi's prophecies to take back to John. 

You see, it took a little while, and it was not the "feelings" that we would in our human mind expect and desire, but Jesus cared enough to send him the Truth.  And that is what we need to focus on these next few days.  Do not get caught up in the "feeling" or lack thereof of the fast, but hold out, persevere, and press-on until Jesus reveals the Truth of the fast to you.  The Truth of the spiritual battles that are being won by your obedience and discipline and even a small bit of sacrifice.

The same holds true in the story of Lazarus.  Jesus loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus, it is recorded in scripture, yet when He received word that Lazarus was sick, he delayed going...for days.  Why? again, Jesus could have cured the illness Lazarus had, but He loved those three enough, He wanted them to also have the fulfillment of scripture and prophecy, and the Truth of the Word, not the feelings of the world.

Hang in there, God is up to something, and Jesus has the Truth of the Word and is going to deliver that Truth right to your heart and your circumstance in His perfect time. 

In Him,

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Be Still verses Stand Still

Psalms 46:10

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

Exodus 14:13

And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today.

God’s Word has such rich contrasts. I have long been fascinated by the contrast in these verses, but as I look at them in relation to this season we are in together, they come alive even more.

In Psalms, BE STILL in Strong’s is defined as: H7503 A primitive root; to slacken (in many applications, literally or figuratively): - abate, cease, consume, draw [toward evening], fail, (be) faint, be (wax) feeble, forsake, idle, leave, let alone (go, down), (be) slack, stay, be still.

Exactly what we are trying to accomplish during these 21 days. Allow yourself to be weak. Allow things to cease, God to consume, be feeble in your own strength, leave behind things not needful. Let alone, let go, let down. LET GOD!!! Not for the purpose of laziness, or quitting, or giving up, or even giving in.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

So what does the verse in Exodus have to do with all of this?

In Exodus, STAND STILL in Strong’s is defined as: H3320 A primitive root; to place (any thing so as to stay); reflexively to station, offer, continue: - present selves, remaining, resort, set (selves), (be able to, can, with-) stand (fast, forth, -ing, still, up).

The people were being asked to stand firm in their faith in the Lord. Take a stand. Do not move. Stand firm in your faith.

The contrast is so powerful, because of the connection.

Just above this verse, God had met with the Israelites. They had been weak. They had waited…some 400 years…and prayed for a deliverer. They had come face to face with their Lord as He had just delivered them from Egypt. Now they were being asked to stand on the strength they had received during their season of “being still”.

This season is “being still” in order to allow God to deliver us, fill us up with His presence, allow us to come face to face with Him so that when this season is over, we are equipped, strong in our faith, armed with a fresh Word from the Lord, and ready to go out and “stand still” in the face those Egyptians in each of our own lives.

Just as God promised the Israelites, if we will “be still” He is able to equip us to “stand still” and tell us we will see Him exalted and our salvation accomplished.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

East from West

Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west,  So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

1 John 1:9-10 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

As we move further into our fast, know that it will do little good, and God will be limited to his response to you during this time, if you have not confessed your sins to Him, and LET HIM TAKE THEM, and FORGIVE you for your ways.

Call out to Him. Ask God to reveal any hidden, coveted, unrealized, even undetected sin OR HINDERANCES in your life. Anything that would keep you from being able to fully do His will or would damage your testimony of Him. Then wait. It is not enough to just ask and run…this is not drive through confession! Ask. DESIRE to know the things in your life that are not pleasing to God or that He just wants you to move beyond. Maybe you have not fully forgiven someone, maybe there are obedience issues, or even “partial” obedience issues, maybe it is a habit, or a lack of dedication to time spent in the Word…I can assure you I do not know it, and YOU may not either, BUT GOD KNOWS WHAT HE DESIRES FROM AND FOR YOU!!! Then wait on Him today. Give Him your full attention. Spend time allowing Him to not only convict you of those, but let your heart “be broken unto repentance”, confess them, let go of them, and let God take you in His arms of forgiveness and heal the hurt. He will do it. He loves you.

Today, day 3, is typically the toughest day of a fast. Our minds and bodies go into rebellion to this “new” thing we are doing to them. Today, you may physically feel the worst. Know this. Jesus felt all of this and more as He carried the burdens for all of our sins. We are simply feeling the physical rejection to a body that is subjected to sin and impurities. Let the feelings of withdrawal or craving bring reality to the “sickness” of our sins and how they make our Father feel. Then PRAISE THE LORD for calling you to this time of revelation, and for His faithfulness not only to show us our sins, but to remove them from our lives, and forgive us, and restore us to Himself.

Our one desire has to be Him. Only Him. All of Him.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Corporate Fast Day 2

Hey everybody...

This is such a God thing! There are 14 people that I know of that have joined this corporate fast. Each in their own way, each called by God to this time on concentrated effort to draw near to our Lord and Savior...

James 4:8  "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you..."

Spend as much time in prayer as you can. Spend as much time in the Word as you can. Give God the opportunity to reveal Himself to you anew and afresh during this time. Meditate on the scripture. Journal. Listen for His voice. Pour in all of Him you can. "Position" drawing hear from the One who redeemed you and called you to this fast. He has a reason. He has a purpose. He loves you.

I have already heard praise reports after just day 1....a sister who has been praying for her brother for years, and he has rededicated his life to the Lord just yesterday morning, what a life changing moment in his life, and that of his precious family. Also for the sister who now has a spiritual milestone of God answering the desires of her heart...and an answer to a ministry need as a miraculous sign that God is attending to the prayers being lifted up to further His Kingdom in our midst!

Jude 1:25  "To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen."

Today you will probably begin to feel some withdrawal matter what it is you are fasting! Keep praying...keep believing...keep asking God to be your sustainer. Know that Satan will battle you MIGHTILY in your efforts. Here are some tools: (1)stay in prayer (2) stay in the Word (3) keep pouring the water (4) do not deny your body the things you are NOT fasting... there is a tendency to cut way back on things we are not even fasting...take care of your body and mind, and trust God to do the same with the things you have fasted. (5) Keep going...if you slip just pick back up and keep trying.  God will look at the heart of your fast above your perfection.

Send your praise reports. If there are corporate fasting issues that you want to share, please do. If there are others who are also fasting that we do not know about, get them to send us their email information so we can strengthen each other and support eachother in prayer. We can pray for each other as well as our own requests. That is the purpose of a corporate fast.

In Him,


Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

Seems like such a trivial thing to say.  So brief.  Almost too concise.  How do you take a whole year of what God has done in your life and wrap it into such a cliche? And how can such an off the cuff wish fully capture the awe of starting off a brand new year that the Lord has planned for your life.  This year, as I look back through my prayer journal for the 2009 year, I am struck with wonder at how the hand of the Lord has moved.  I may not have known it at the time, and I may still not fully understand all it encompasses, but I know that the fingerprints of the Lord of this universe are all over my life and each one of those situations.  What an awe striking realization.  I am in the car, so I can not pull up the exact reference, I will get back to you on that, but it reminds me of the time Moses wanted to see God, and so God hid Moses in the cleft of the rock until He had passed by, and then let Moses see his back as He passed.  Can you say that as you look back over the last year?  Can you see all the places and situations where going into it, you could not "look on God face to face", but as the smoke cleared, you saw that He had so miraculously been there and saw the back side of what He had gone before you to make happen.  I pray that for each one of you tonight.  I pray you too take the time to look back over the last year, and let God reveal to you afresh the ways He worked in your life.  Take the time to offer Him praise for all He has done.  May our prayer also be that there are so many more of those this next year, that we see Him more clearly, and that we are very aware of the times that He has hidden us in the cleft of the rock and passed by us in all of His glory.