Monday, December 17, 2012

Power in the Name of Jesus

John 14:12-14 - Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it."
As I sat in the quietness of my living room this morning, writing in my journal, praying, taking time to sit & listen to the Holy Spirit... I was reminded of a story. 

A close friend of mine in college was a new believer. She had recently accepted Jesus as her Lord and jumped whole-heartedly into a relationship with Him. She began to dive into the Word of God. She began to seek Him with all her heart. Her simple passion and love for Jesus was refreshing. It was innocent. It was pure. You could see it in her zealousness, she was hungry for more of this Jesus that she had just met. 

She began to devour the Word, learning and reading about Jesus, memorizing scripture, learning the stories and acts that Jesus did when He was on earth. She came from a divorced home. I remember her telling me of how her mom dabbled in other things, things that did not line up with the Word of God. Her mom would prophesy to her about strange things, things that did not line up with the Word. Now, her brother had been into drugs and hung out with the wrong group of people. Sometimes when she looked at him, she was sure that he was demon possessed. The look in his eyes, the way he did things, he was most definitely off balance and not right. 

As I remember the story, one day she was at her mom's house. Her brother had just arrived, and through a series of events began to run at her with a knife. She ran through the house trying to get away from him as he chased her with this knife. As she slammed a door behind her, it was all that she could do to keep the door closed from him pushing it in. In her desperation, when most people would call upon "Mom" or "Dad" for help, being from a broken and unstable home, she did not do that. As a new believer, the only name she knew to call on was the name of Jesus! She stood on the other side of that door, as her brother was trying to push it in and all she knew to do was yell, at the top of her lungs, "JESUS! JESUS! JESUS!" She continued to yell, "JESUS!"

The next thing she knew, her brother was gone. He had fled the house, dropped the knife. Ran out through the garage door and was running down the side of the road. He had fled! At the name of JESUS, he could no longer be in the presence of her yelling it. 
James 4:7 - Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 
Ephesians 6:12-13 -  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]. 13. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
That was but ONE of the stories she had of a PERSONAL experience of spiritual warfare. But what a powerful reminder about the POWER in the NAME OF JESUS! Above ALL names, there is POWER in that name!! As we see above in John 14, Jesus himself was talking and reminded us, "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it." He said, whatever we ask in HIS name, that is the name of JESUS that he would do it! I take this so seriously that even at the end of a prayer, I don't say, "In your Name, Amen." I make sure to say, "In JESUS Name, Amen!" Such power in that ONE word, in that ONE name, Jesus!

Whether on an airplane, Psalm 91:5 reminds us, "You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day." I want my relationship with Jesus to be so close that at the FIRST sign of danger, my IMMEDIATE and first response would be to yell, "JESUSSSSSSSS!!!!!" 

Psalms 91 is such a GREAT promise for protection! I like to personalize this... check out how powerful  the Word of God is, in regards to our safety. This is verses 7-12. 
A thousand may fall at my side, And ten thousand at my right hand; But it shall not come near ME! .... Because I have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, my dwelling place, No evil shall befall me, Nor shall any plague come near my dwelling; For He (God Himself!) shall give His angels charge over ME, To keep me in all my ways. In their hands they shall bear me up, Lest I dash my foot against a stone.
What GREAT news!!! I remember the first time, as a new Christian, that I learned about these verses! I was in Costa Rica, away from home. I woke up in the middle of the night and there were cockroaches in my BED! YES! My bed! Cockroaches! Crawling by my ears, crawling by my head. I was petrified! I immediately freaked out, began crying and called my mom. As she woke up in the middle of the night to answer the phone, I began crying and just said, "Mom, there are cockroaches in my bed!" I was bawling. Mom directed me to Psalm 91. :) What comfort that brought me. That was the last night there were ever cockroaches in my bed. 

Whatever it is that you are doing, take the Word, take Psalm 91 and allow the WORD, allow GOD Almighty and the ANGELS that He has given charge over YOU, to be your protection! 

Be blessed today!

Friday, December 7, 2012

#253 - Christmas Overwhelmed?

Romans 9:21 (NKJ) - Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?
John 15:1-7 - I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser.
Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit.You are cleansed and pruned already, because of the word which I have given you [the teachings I have discussed with you].Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me.I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.If a person does not dwell in Me, he is thrown out like a [broken-off] branch, and withers; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and they are burned.If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.
Proverbs 31:15-16 - She rises while it is yet night and gets [spiritual] food for her household and assigns her maids their tasks.16 She considers a [new] field before she buys or accepts it [expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties]; with her savings [of time and strength] she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard. 

Good morning! Honestly, as I sit here sipping my 2nd cup of coffee, writing in my journal and just spilling everything in my heart and mind to the Lord, one sentence came to mind, "I'm ready for things to get back to normal." As I thought about it, that was a bit sad because it's ONLY December 6th!! The Holiday season is JUST starting. My whirlwind started at the beginning of November, North Carolina Leadership Conference, Florida Birthday with Grandparents, Georgia Thanksgiving, Kansas Business Trip, Mom's Night out Christmas Party (at my house), and blah, blah, blah... they were GREAT, but life has been anything but normal!

Do you know the feeling I'm talking about? I am not even unpacked from one event, to just dump my suitcase out and pack for another.... while the pile grows of things that need to be put away... or new suitcases come out while the others remain unpacked. 

So... here I sat, this morning in my Quiet Time, just spilling out my brain onto paper. Telling the Lord of all the things that I need to fix about myself, feeling frustrated and a bit like I'm still in the center of a whirlwind. Remembering the weird dream I had last night, waking up in a frenzy because I had "lost my basketball shoes and was running around looking for them and I didn't want to get left." (Weird! I don't have basketball shoes and haven't played since I was in 9th grade.)  So my dream was just another reminder of one area in my life I need to improve on...... argh..... getting more organized and being on time! 

I stopped my frenzy of all the things I "NEED" to do, the areas I "NEED" to improve on, the tasks that I "NEED" to get my head together on... I stopped. Then, I proceeded to just LISTEN. 

As I listened, this was what I heard: is all about staying connected to Me. Staying connected to the TRUE VINE. I will prune you & as a potter shapes, I will shape you. I will direct you in your tasks & priorities. 
Immediately the verses that came to mind were Romans 9:21 and John 15:1-7.

What happens when a branch is disconnected from a vine or tree? I had a "Mom's Night Out" Christmas Party for my mom's group on Monday night. Beforehand, I went out back and cut some branches off pine trees, got some sprigs of pine to make a centerpiece and decorate some random places. I even found a "Charlie Brown" looking pine tree and cut that down to decorate in a corner. Well... currently, my "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree in the corner of our eating area is staying artificially alive. It is in a vase with water. BUT, it will not stay alive forever. It is currently being artificially kept alive. It is disconnected from it's root system. As soon as I take it out of the water, it will begin to brown, dry up and die completely.

The reminder to me this morning.... as I've been feeling overwhelmed, a bit in a frenzy, my "To-Do" list of Christmas presents and exchanges growing, this morning as I slowed down long enough to LISTEN to the Voice of the Holy Spirit... I got a great reminder! Stay connected! Stay connected to the TRUE VINE. As I stay connected, like the potter directs the shape of the clay, the Holy Spirit will direct me. He will even direct me in keeping me productive on the tasks I NEED to be productive in. He'll direct me where to go and when to go. "No Amy, don't go there right now, they won't have what you need. Wait until Wednesday." Then, the store will receive a shipment, put items out and the item I was looking for will be newly placed on the shelf. I will not spend time in vain, or toiling because I will have taken time to listen.

It really is amazing!!! Because Jesus ascended into Heaven and left this earth, what a gift we have! But, even the disciples argued with Jesus. "NO Jesus, Don't go! Don't go!" Jesus responded, "But I am telling you the truth: it is better for you that I go away, because if I do not go, the Helper will not come to you. But if I do go away, then I will send him to you." (John 16:7 GNT) The Helper, Jesus is talking about the Holy Spirit. Isn't it awesome that WHEN we got saved the HOLY SPIRIT comes to live inside of us!! I remember growing up and as a child we would say that Jesus lived in our hearts. Well, it wasn't actually Jesus (since he was human and it would be hard to fit him in our heart), but it was the Holy Spirit. The Spirit part of the Trinity. 

Why is that such good news today? Right now? Because SINCE we have the Holy Spirit living inside us, we have COMPLETE ACCESS! All we have to do, is quiet ourselves enough to listen! John 10 talks about the shepherd and his sheep, "...sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.

How cool! When we accept Jesus into our life, we have the SHEPHERD leading us. BUT... we must tune our ear into HEARING and KNOWING His Voice, so that the other voices (ie: the voice of the enemy), when we hear those, we will NOT follow them but flee from them. It's a process and it begins with just choosing to quiet ourselves and listen. Shutting off the TV, the radio, our iPhone, getting away from the hustle and bustle, before our kids are awake... and with no distractions, just sitting and listening. 

So today.... are you feeling the "Christmas Overwhelmed" feeling? My suggestion (to myself!!), STAY CONNECTED. Being connected to the TRUE VINE is crucial more than ever during times like this. I feel so much better after just having a true quiet time this morning. Stay connected. Don't allow yourself to be cut off from the vine! The life cut off from the vine is ARTIFICIAL and TEMPORARY.... it's inevitable that someone cut off from the True Vine will not last. So, this holiday season, stay connected. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide and direct you, to save you time, free your life from toil, to direct you to be at the right place at the right time. Allow the Holy Spirit to position you for Divine Favor!! :) Because as a CHILD OF THE MOST HIGH GOD, that is EXACTLY what our Father wants for HIS  children! Divine favor! 

Be blessed! :) 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

#252 - Are You Being Pruned?

John 15:1-7 (GNT) “I am the real vine, and my Father is the gardener. He breaks off every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and he prunes every branch that does bear fruit, so that it will be clean and bear more fruit. You have been made clean already by the teaching I have given you. Remain united to me, and I will remain united to you. A branch cannot bear fruit by itself; it can do so only if it remains in the vine. In the same way you cannot bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine, and you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me. Those who do not remain in me are thrown out like a branch and dry up; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, where they are burned.If you remain in me and my words remain in you, then you will ask for anything you wish, and you shall have it.
Proverbs 31:15 - She rises while it is yet night and gets [spiritual] food for her household and assigns her maids their tasks. 
I got a Word this morning from the Lord that ROCKED me to the core! Not every morning is a morning that rocks me to the core... but this was one of those mornings! The revelation that I'm going to share with you will ROCK you and CAN change your life if you let it! Strap in my friend, strap in.

Tyler & I are coming out of a 4 year valley... a 4 year lull... a 4 year blah. After this mornings time in the Word, I have found it was a 4 year pruning! Now THAT is some pruning!!! Let me tell you a story...

For a little background, Tyler and I met on a mission trip in England in 1998. After 18 months of waiting and pleeing with the Lord, I finally saw Tyler again for the first time since our mission trip December 23, 2000. A little over a year later, we were married. Tyler gave a salvation message AT OUR WEDDING, offered the opportunity for people to accept Jesus as their Savior, and we were then married! That's different, huh?! We became youth leaders at the church we attended.... and 18 months after we were married, we also started our own business where we spent several years aggressively growing and having great success. Until 2008.

Over the next four years, we continued with our business at a less aggressive pace, but immersing ourselves in the Word, especially Tyler. I remember coming home from work on Wednesday and loving it! Tyler took off on Wednesdays during that time, committing to having a Day of Rest (DOR). He grew, changed, meditated on the Word... but continued to feel a strong sense that he was not released yet to build our business again with intensity. Though every bone in his driver body wanted to go and grow, like reigns on a horse, he was pulled back in.

Here is the Word I got this morning.
A bulk of the pruning is complete. Do you realize why? You both went for several years with NOT having a solid Quiet Time. You sought Me only out of need and desperation, not out of pure love and desire. Amy, the pruning was GREAT because the garden had been untended for a LONG time! A great gardener prunes daily! You never have to go through YEARS of pruning again IF you only allow Me to DAILY prune you!! Stay in communion. Stay in counsel with Me & you won't ever get too far off track!! It doesn't have to be painful. It will just be like daily maintenance. Daily maintenance is not like a MAJOR pruning of an untended garden. We had to do an overhaul, that's why it took so long. Weeds, even unwanted trees were growing up in your garden.
Wow. Talk about a wake-up call. I envision a garden with trees and tall weeds growing up everywhere.  A courtyard that could be beautiful, but instead is a weed-stricken mess. Do you remember the original movie, "The Karate Kid"? The one with Mr. Miyagi? Envision him trimming his Bonsai bushes in his courtyard. He had tiny scissors, trimming with accuracy and perfection. To the ordinary eye, you couldn't even tell anything needed to be trimmed. Why? Because he pruned daily!

What a revelation! If we STAY connected to the TRUE VINE, Jesus, like Mr. Miyagi's bonsai trees, we will never have to undergo major pruning. When we stay connected to the vine, when we allow the Holy Spirit to prune us daily, in a daily quiet time, large weeds or even trees won't have a chance to grow up in our garden. The Master Gardener will just daily trim with perfection. Bitterness, unforgiveness, envy, gossip and any other ugly thing will not have a chance to take root and begin to decay the inside of our hearts.

Allow yourself to be pruned, then STAY pruned! Allow the Master Gardener to prune you daily!

My challenge to you. Find a time, make a time, to be in the Word daily. Commune with your Father daily.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Part 2: Democrat or Republican.

At 10:00 pm last night, the race was too close to call. Some stayed up to realize victory, some stayed up until defeat was inevitable. While yet even others called it a night early heading to bed. The Democrat & Republican alike saying "I'll find out in the morning." 

The iPhone alarm sounded. Rolling over, he turns off his alarm. Immediately feeling the pit in his stomach return. "Did my party win last night?" He sighed and wondered, "Do I even want to look?" It won't take long to find out. In the darkness of his room, he pulled up his twitter feed, then Facebook feed.... 

Let's jump into the word this morning. 
Romans 13:1 - Let every person be loyally subject to the governing (civil) authorities. For there is no authority except from God [by His permission, His sanction], and those that exist do so by God’s appointment. 
Romans 12:15-16 - Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing others’ joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others’ grief]. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty (snobbish, high-minded, exclusive), but readily adjust yourself to [people, things] and give yourselves to humble tasks. Never overestimate yourself or be wise in your own conceits.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 - First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, requests, and thanksgivings be offered to God for all people;  for kings and all others who are in authority, that we may live a quiet and peaceful life with all reverence toward God and with proper conduct. 
Some, woke up to a day of rejoicing, while others woke to mourning.  Nonetheless, for the Christian, Democrat and Republican, we have a great responsibility to pray for our leaders and our country. It's easy to remember during such a crucial time for our country as an election, but it is actually a responsibility that is ours day in and day out of every year, not just an election year. 

If you follow me via our social networking options, you may already know how I felt this morning upon waking up. Whether my party came out victorious or not. But Tyler, as he always does, reminded me of a good verse. Romans 13:1, For there is no authority except from God, and those (authorities) that exist do so by God’s appointment. Like it or not, authority is put in place according to Romans 13:1, by God's appointment. Did you not like the results? Then pray. Allow your prayers to work and effect the next election. Allow your prayers to raise up the the Christian man or woman after God's heart. 

In response to taxes? :) What a fun subject, huh? I have an interesting view, that out of pure frustration, can forget at times. Often, when I look at the amount of money that comes into our house, sometimes I'm really excited until I look at the large chunk that is taken out to go to taxes. Argh. You may feel the same. Well, that brings me to a story that may help on the issue....

Several years ago, when we lived in an apartment, Tyler's vehicle got broken into for the second time. He walked out to see the window broken, the multi-disk CD player still in tact, but had obviously been pried, jimmied, and ratcheted until to no avail, the thief could not get it out. All of the ministry CD's were left untouched in their spot, but one main thing was missing. At that time, iPod's were a high commodity, just having come out. His new, shiney, sleek silver iPod was gone. It made him sick. 

The police came. A report written up. We were one of many in the area who had been broken into. 

Days went by. Nothing. Tyler was still angry. All of the valuable things he had loaded onto the iPod were important to him. He was frustrated. It was disrupting his normal routine of it's use. Until one conversation changed everything. Not naming any names or anything (uhhh, emmmm) but the most wild idea came out of the frustration. "Tyler, why don't you forgive the person and willingly sow the iPod into him? Sure it wasn't right, what he did, but God can turn things around in your favor." Tyler thought on it and decided it was a great idea! So that is exactly what he did. He prayed, forgave the thief, and though the iPod was already gone, in his mind and spirit willingly sowed it into the person. Knowing God is a God who operates on laws, one law we are familiar with is the law of sowing & reaping. Tyler sowed and was expecting to reap a harvest from that iPod he sowed. He believed for something better. He believed that he would receive something better than the iPod that he "sowed." :) 

I don't remember the exact timing of it, but about 1-2 weeks later, Tyler received a phone call. He had been chosen from a company we do business with to receive free cell phone service and the hot, new  iPhone that was getting ready to come out. He was going to be piloting an app, and they wanted his feedback. So... within days, my techy husband opened a box and drooled over his new iPhone. The gadgets, the apps, the features and even the free service were all part of the Blessing of the Lord! 

Call it coincidence? I don't. I believe because Tyler forgave and Tyler chose to sow, he reaped something better! And FREE cell phone service to boot! 

I say all that to say this. What about taxes? Each month, what if instead of grumbling and complaining about the big chunk of money going towards taxes, why don't you take on a new attitude? What about when you see the money go out, you verbally say, "Thank you Lord! I sow this money into our government. I gladly give and pray that you would bless our government. I pray that this money would bless everything it touches. I pray for a nation that has come back to you. I sow this money! I lift up President Obama, I lift up those in authority and thank you IN ADVANCE for a nation coming back to YOU!! In Jesus Name, Amen!" 

Try that and see how long it takes for the Blessing of the Lord to find you! For a raise at your job. For the new job you've been wanting. For blessings to find you wherever you are! Because last I checked, The BLESSING of the Lord makes rich and He adds NO sorrow with it! (Prov. 10:22) 

Even though you have no choice whether to pay your taxes or not, it's coming out regardless, but choose a different attitude. Like Tyler chose to do. Give with a cheerful heart, not begrudgingly and WATCH what happens.  
Deuteronomy 15:10 - You shall give to him freely without begrudging it; because of this the Lord will bless you in all your work and in all you undertake. 
2 Corinthians 9:7 - Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving].
2 Corinthians 9:7 (GNT) - You should each give, then, as you have decided, not with regret or out of a sense of duty; for God loves the one who gives gladly.

Monday, November 5, 2012

#251 - Democrat or Republican?

Deuteronomy 15:10 - You shall give to him freely without begrudging it; because of this the Lord will bless you in all your work and in all you undertake.
Proverbs 19:17 - He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and that which he has given He will repay to him. 
Proverbs 22:9 - He who has a bountiful eye shall be blessed, for he gives of his bread to the poor. 
Proverbs 31:20 - She opens her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her filled hands to the needy [whether in body, mind, or spirit].
We are on the eve of a very important day. The day we vote for who will be President #45 of the United States of America.

This morning, I'll just be honest with you, in my quiet time I was heavily rebuked! Put your stones down for a minute and I will be transparent with you. In my heart and in my mind, I have extremely strong convictions where politics is concerned. Granted, I don't take the time to study all of the in's and out's like I would like to. I think it would be so fun and interesting to really get into the details, but at this stage in my life, time does not allow. Nonetheless, I still have strong beliefs as a Christian. In the past, as I would be driving and get behind a certain bumper sticker shouting the opponent of how I vote, inside me it was like this different person would come out, almost like I wouldn't recognize myself. I would feel like I would get road rage, and immediately decide I did not like the person behind the wheel of this other car. I know, I know.... put your stones down, I know that that is not the right attitude to have. On the contrary, I would see someone with the other bumper sticker, the one whom I'm voting, and I would immediately think, or even say out loud to Tyler, "Oh look, there is one of my friends." I would classify them as one of my friends without even knowing them.

This morning, I was heavily rebuked. As I spent time listening to the Holy Spirit, in a rather unexpected rebuke, he said the bitterness and almost hatred I was carrying around was dark and hurting me. He said BOTH candidates needed prayer! And He is right. As it stands and according to my Christian beliefs, I'm pretty sure that neither candidate has accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. There is something to pray about!

As I received my rebuke and asked for forgiveness for the bitterness that I had, He gave me direction, He told me when I saw either bumper sticker that I am to PRAY. But what He said next was what got me really excited!!! Check this out!!!
"Amy, pray for the godly to rise up in politics. Your prayers DO MOVE things. The prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective. Pray for a nation after Me. Pray for the RIGHT people into office that this nation would come back towards Me. Amy, I forgive you, but I need you to turn the rage into compassion. Prayer. A nation after My heart! A leader, spirit filled who can hear my voice, receive a plan and implement it! I CAN get this nation out of debt. I can bring the country out! Imagine the President pulling together a Pastor's Conference and asking the Pastor's, based off the Word of God to put into place programs that would financially help the poor. That a plee would go out to Christians to budget in their finances to give to the poor. To help the widows and orphans and poor. What if the President would speak in churches across this nation pleeing, preaching for the BELIEVER to take the responsibility to help the poor. The widow. The orphan. Start with YOU!"
Whoa. Honestly, I would consider myself a "good Christian." I have a regular Quiet Time. I spend time daily trying to listen to where the Lord would have me and doing what. I do my best to help people. We give our tithes and offerings gladly. I love Jesus! I have a passion for Him and growing and learning. But honestly, even as what I feel I was, a "good Christian," we have been dropping the ball in this area. We do give to our church, and I know they support ministries that give to the poor, but we have never fully taken that responsibility on as our own. As THE BELIEVER, we have never owned that responsibility. BUT, it is rightfully ours! As the BELIEVER, it IS our responsibility to help the poor, the widow and the orphan.

Imagine.... if believers across the nation were to take 5% of their income and give to the poor. Allot that money to the needy... or even $10 per month! Imagine the hundreds of thousands of Christians giving. Do you think that we would need a welfare system long? If believers were giving like that, and millions of dollars were going to programs that would help the poor, just IMAGINE what would happen! The trillions of dollars that this country is in debt with, would dwindle. Imagine a country FREE of debt! Wow! Imagine the burden that would be released if just YOU were out of debt. What a grand scale for our nation to be out of debt.

Whatever your political affiliation, as a believer I'm going to ask you to do three things.
  1. Make sure to VOTE tomorrow!
  2. Pray for both candidates. Pray for both parties. Pray for the godly to rise up into position. Pray that right as we speak, the godly would be moving into position, they would be raising up wherever they are, that we could see the hand of God move on this country. Pray for the people running our nation to KNOW JESUS. To come to know Him as their Savior if they do not now. That ultimately the great commission, Matthew 28:19-20 would be in effect and people everywhere would be getting saved! "GO! And make disciples of ALL nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit." 
  3. Choose to GIVE! We are FINALLY making this a priority in our lives! Today, we are beginning our monthly giving to Oliver Gospel Missions. Feel free to give to this ministry, and/or pray for how and where you are called to give. Though, the responsibility is now known, need I point out the blessings that are coming back to you for abiding by the Word?!? :) Proverbs 19:17 - The LORD will repay you for giving to the poor! That's good stuff! Proverbs 22:9, you will be BLESSED for giving to the poor. Deuteronomy 15:10 - When you give freely not begrudgingly, the Lord will bless you in ALL your work. EVERYTHING you undertake, (ie: the new business, losing weight, your marriage, your relationships, your finances, writing that book) in ALL you undertake YOU WILL BE BLESSED! 
Wow! That is good stuff!! So... friend, believer.... let's get in the flow! Will you join me? 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

#250 - Tips from my Brother: Losing Body Fat %

Proverbs 31:17 - She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 - Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body. 

Physical fitness. Some of us like it, some of us don't! Nonetheless, to honor God in all aspects, means also honoring Him with our body. Working towards getting or staying physically fit as well as eating healthy foods that make us strong.

Today, I'd like to share some tips with you! Tips from my brother, WBFF Champion Body Building Pro, Fitness Model, Hollywood actor... James Ellis. I have some weight loss and fitness goals with a timeline on them and was talking to my brother yesterday for quite awhile. I'm into details. I like to know what works and how to maximize the minimum amount of time that I plan to work out during the week. The 4321 (or 4321 x 2) program that I have been doing has worked very good for me (10 minutes) in helping me get from 160 down to my current weight of 133 and MAINTAIN. If you are anything like me, I don't want to spend an hour working out. I put my time in as a collegiate cross-country and track runner, so I have ran my fair share of long miles, 5, 6, 10, 15 mile-runs. Now with kids, goals, a successful yet growing business, a home, etc, etc.... fitness is something that I want to do and get it done, then be able to go about my day. 4321 is a great option for that. I also know that it's important to "Muscle-Confuse, Muscle Confuse!"Or as my brother says "SHOCK" your body. Once you've been doing something for a long time, it's important to chance things up to confuse your body, shock it and allow other muscles to work. If your body/muscles get used to the same things done daily, over and over and over, the results will not be as good as they could be.

Today I implemented one of the changes I got from my brother. I figured if it can help me, I might as well share so it can help you too! We're on the pursuit of being STRONG Proverbs 31 women (as well as strong, and fit men!). As it reads in the amplified version of Proverbs 31, that means strong spiritually, mentally AND in physical fitness. Here we go....

Tips I picked up from my brother: 

    1. If you want to have the greatest amount calories lost that are FAT BURNING calories, do your cardio work out first thing in the morning
    2. Do your cardio workout on an empty stomach. What happens when you do your cardio workout on an empty stomach is that it grabs existing EXISTING fat that is on your body. When you have eaten first and work out, it grabs the fat from the food you ate. The carb you ate, the banana, the egg, etc. (Granted, if you plan on doing a weight workout after your cardio, you are going to need to have some protein. A protein shake or protein bar.)
    3. "When I was trying to lose body percent fat, I speed walked on the treadmill for 30-35 at 4-4.5 miles per hour (mph) at a 2% incline." - The Fat Burning Zone is done at 60-70% of your maximum heart rate. In this zone, 85% of calories burned are from fats!
    4. When speed walking make sure to move/pump/swing your arms. This helps to also burn body fat in your arms. 
    5. Ultimately, keep things switched up! SHOCK your body. If you do the same sort of work-out all the time, make sure to switch things up sometimes to get maximum effects.  
So... I learned some good things from my brother! He knows his body inside and out and is REALLY good about knowing what to do in order to get a specific desired result.

If you want more info on the subject, he wrote a helpful blog that breaks down some more details. Check it out: Cardio With a Purpose. 

SO.... as we pursue our relationship with the Lord, work towards becoming that Proverbs 31 woman, let's not forget the importance of fitness and taking care of our body! :)

Thanks JW for all the great tips! :) Love you!!

FB: James Ellis
FB: Scientific Body Sculpting
follow on twitter: @jamesellis3
website: James Ellis Fit

Thursday, November 1, 2012

#249 - Mental Growth!

Proverbs 31:17 - She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm.
What causes this Proverbs 31 woman to have strength? Personally this morning, I was looking into the mental aspect of strength. As I sat, meditating on this verse and the idea of mental strength, I started thinking of many things that would cause this Proverbs 31 woman to grow mentally for her God-given task.

Wouldn't you agree, for you or I to accomplish our God-given task, the actual assignment which we were put here on earth for, wouldn't you agree that we may have to stretch and grow? That most likely, we are going to have to do things that are, at first, maybe a little uncomfortable? That may mean, coming out of our comfort zone to make some phone calls to stretch us. It may simply be changing up our schedule to accomplish those God-given assignments. It may mean taking time away from the "normal" to begin a project, start that Bible study, volunteer as a youth leader, start that book, get certified as the instructor. All these take one thing, a step. A step, stretching, to do something we have never done before.

Maybe you have heard the saying, "Once you stretch a rubber-band, it never goes back to it's original state." Sure, it may go back to a similar shape and size, but once it is stretched, it does not go back to it's exact original form. This is the same with our minds, with our mental capabilities.

I began making a laundry list to these questions: "How do you gain mental strength? What would be mental exercises to get stronger." Here are a few of the things I came up with...

To Gain Mental Strength...
  • Organize: I must stop toiling in my mind! All those "To-Do" Things, lists, etc, I must get them down on paper so that they stop clogging up my mind. So I can stop constantly feeling like I have to "remember" them because they are important to complete. Once I put that item to paper, I can remember it just by looking back at the paper. "Oh yah! I need to purchase this item online so it can get here in time for me to finish that Christmas present! Wow! I need to get that ordered right away." 
    • Ways to do this? 
      • USE a calendar. It's not enough to just HAVE a calendar, I must USE it!
      • Utilize an organization system like GTD, Getting Things Done by David Allen. - Get things out of my mind to free up MENTAL energy to be able to handle/take on more. Have a systematic approach to actually getting the things completed that I have committed to paper. As David Allen says, "Having a next action item" for each item on my "To-Do List."
      • Get up earlier.
      • Follow a SCHEDULE. Allot things a time period.
      • TURN OFF notifications on phone, like FACEBOOK. Have certain times in the day that I check social networking. AVOID being like Pavlov's Dog, when I see that I have a FaceBook "1" or "2" or "3" on my phone, "*panting like a dog* Oh I've got to check FaceBook now, I have a message. I have a notification. Someone has communicated with me. I have to check it NOW! Now! Now! *more panting and fidgeting until I see WHO and what it is.*" - Check Social Networking during scheduled times so it doesn't STEAL time through out the whole day. 
  • Stretch: Do things that I am nervous to do...maybe scared to do. If it's making the phone call, "Eat That Frog!" (A book by Brian Tracy about not procrastinating!) Do the thing you don't want to do first! When you do this, not only does it clear things up mentally, allowing you to think about and do other things, but you've just stretched. You've just grown mentally. Once you stretch, once you've done something that you were scared to do, you have grown and like the rubber-band, you won't go back to your original state. Next time, you will "Eat That Frog" quicker, you will get that thing done that you didn't want to do quicker because you realize it really wasn't that bad. Hmmmmm.... like finishing taxes maybe? :) (Yikes.... speaking to myself there! I need to eat the tax frog!!) 
Those are just a few things that I thought of in regards to growing mentally. To working towards becoming the best Proverbs 31 woman I can be, that you can be. If we view our minds like the muscles of a weight lifter. Once a weight lifter begins doing the bench press, he'll gradually be able to lift more and more. 100 pounds may lead to 150, then 200, maybe 250 pounds or 300! BUT, the weight lifter doesn't try to lift 300 pounds from the start. He gradually increases it, growing those muscles, developing them, getting stronger and stronger. A new runner isn't going to start with a 10 mile run the first day. They are going to start gradually, working up to being able to run a mile. They may have to walk and run, on and off for awhile. Eventually, as they continue to work at it, they are able to run 1 mile, then 2, then 3, then maybe 5. As they gradually stretch, they will be able to do more and more. 

Mentally, as we gradually stretch, grow, organize, we begin to be able to take on more. We begin to be able to accomplish more. "Growth involves risk. Progress involves risk. A baseball player can't steal second while his foot is on first." What are some ways that you can begin to grow mentally? 

What are some other areas that you think help us grow mentally? What are some mental exercises that can help us to grow on our way to becoming the Ultimate Proverbs 31 woman? 

I'd love to hear your thoughts! :) 

Friday, October 12, 2012

#248 - The Christian or The Government?

Question: Whatever you are doing, whatever you are pursuing in your life right now, if you could ENSURE the Lord would bless & prosper it, would you want to know how? 

Question: If you could have your business blessed, would you want to know how to ENSURE the blessing of the Lord? 

Question: If you could have your finances blessed, would you want to know how to ENSURE the blessing of the Lord in this area?

Question: What about your relationships, would you want to know how to ENSURE the blessing of the Lord in this area? What about the dreams you have of being a successful writer? A cook? A teacher? A model? A realtor? An entrepreneur? Would you like to know how to ENSURE the blessing of the LORD on whatever it is that you are pursuing? Then today, this devotion, is for you!!  

Let's begin...

Deuteronomy 15:7-10 - If there is among you a poor man, one of your kinsmen in any of the towns of your land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not harden your [minds and] hearts or close your hands to your poor brother; But you shall open your hands wide to him and shall surely lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks.....10 You shall give to him freely without begrudging it; because of this the Lord will bless you in all your work and in all you undertake.
Proverbs 22:9 (NIV) - The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor. 
Proverbs 31:20 - She opens her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her filled hands to the needy [whether in body, mind, or spirit]. 
James 1:27 - External religious worship [religion as it is expressed in outward acts] that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world.  
Have you ever heard it said, 'The two things that you should not talk about with people are this: Religion & Politics?' In all actuality, those are the two most important topics. Today's post is not about whether you are democrat or republican, but today's post is about what YOUR RESPONSIBILITY is as a Christian, as the church, as the Body of Christ. Today is about you! Today is about stacking the cards in YOUR FAVOR to accomplish your goals & dreams. Today is about getting the WORD of God & God Himself working on your behalf!

This message is unsung! I've never really heard ministers talk much about it. I've never heard anyone emphasize it's importance. As Tyler & I sat this morning, drinking our coffee & having our respectable quiet times, he continued to interrupt my time with a statement like this, "Ooooh, this is good." Now, what do you say to that? :) "No Tyler, keep it to yourself, I don't want to know what is so good over there!" No, I definitely welcomed him to share, and he did. Then a minute later, "Oooooh, this is good." - "Alright, come on. Bring it," was my response.  So, he proceeded to share verse after verse after verse. And.... oooooh, it was good! I wasn't planning on writing a blog post this morning, but this was all just too good!

Whose responsibility is it anyways? With politics, debates, bumper stickers.... all in full swing shouting for one political candidate or another, where does the Lord fit into all of this? As believers, if we all have the same Bible, the same God, the same Holy Spirit, shouldn't our views be the same? Because my God, is the SAME God as the Baptist or Methodist down the road. Right? We serve the SAME God. So, I return to the question, "Whose responsibility is it anyways?" Is it the responsibility of the government to help the widow? Is it the responsibility of the government to help the poor? Is it the responsibility of the government to help the orphans? No, it is the responsibility of the Believer. It is the responsibility of the church. It is the responsibility of the Body of Christ.

Wait! Don't turn me off! Keep reading.... if you, like me, are thinking, "Oh great... one more responsibility to pile on my plate." And literally, it's like you are beginning to turn the nob to "off." Just wait... THERE IS SOMETHING IN IT FOR YOU!!!

WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME? So... what IS in it for you? Why should I be excited about yet ANOTHER responsibility? I know, you are a busy mom. Maybe a single mom, going to school, working full time, making dinner, doing laundry, and still trying to spend quality time with your kids... I get it! I get it! WHY should we be excited about this word, that in our busy lives, sometimes seems like a dirty word because we don't want any more of it.... you may have even said this, "If only I could go back to being a kid, being in elementary school when I had NO responsibilities!" I have definitely said that comment before. :)

OK... let's get into the GOOD news! WHAT IS IN IT FOR YOU?

When you give to the poor, when you give to the needy, when you, the believer, give to the orphans, THIS is what happens:  
THE LORD WILL BLESS YOU in ALL your work and in ALL you undertake.
Hey guys! I'm not making this up! I didn't come up with that statement! It came straight from the Bible.
And....we're not talking about greed here. We're not talking about being "greedy" because you are doing the right thing. It's OK to be excited about GOD HIMSELF blessing ALL of your work & ALL you undertake! It's OK to be excited about that. You SHOULD BE!

Look at the string of events...
  • A. You Bless the poor or needy by giving them some money... maybe helping with some monthly bills... a house payment, a car payment... maybe buying some Christmas presents for their children...
  • B. You are a teacher, not making a ton of money to pay your own bills.... but wouldn't you know it, THE LORD lays it on the heart of the administrator at your school, they take notice of you & what a great job you are doing and Whaaa-Laaaaa.... you get a raise at your job! You receive INCREASE! 
  • C. With your INCREASE, not only do you tithe off of it (give the top 10%)... but you also decide to sow some MORE money into the Kingdom of God... maybe a ministry that is having a great harvest in seeing people saved. 
Do you think GOD is OK with you being EXCITED about your INCREASE? I would say a hearty, ABSOLUTELY! :) 

As a Believer, as a Christian, it is OUR responsibility to help the poor. It is not the governments responsibility to raise taxes, implement more policies to get more of our money to put it towards this or that. It is the Christians responsibility to help the poor. The guy standing on the side of the road with a sign, it's your responsibility to help him. It's my responsibility to help him. Sure, we can't determine... is he just a "con-man." Once that money is out of our hands, we can just commit it to God. God, I did my part. I saw someone in need, and I gave. 

What's good for you? Check this out, Deuteronomy 15:11 says, "For the poor will never cease out of the land." The poor will always be here. What does that mean to you? According to the Word of God, there will NEVER be any shortage of blessings available to you. Do you need to be blessed? Do you want God to help in the current thing you are undertaking? Give. Reach into your wallet, roll down your window, the guy holding the cardboard sign... yah, him... today, choose to give. Or like my dad did... take him into McDonald's, buy his lunch. When you do that, when you GIVE, you put into affect this principle! You put into affect, GOD blessing YOU in all you do! And God's Word works, it does not return void!

What about the church? What about America? It's not the governments responsibility... but so many Christians aren't doing their part. Well then, let it start with you! Let it start with you. Remember & get excited about this....
THE LORD WILL BLESS YOU in ALL your work and in ALL you undertake.
Then, if you have a need in your life, put God in REMEMBRANCE of His Word! "Lord, I gave!" Stand by and watch Him work on your behalf!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Getting YOUR Prayers Answered!

Psalms 37:4 - Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.
Isaiah 43:26, 62:6 - Put Me in remembrance [remind Me of your merits]; let us plead and argue together. Set forth your case, that you may be justified (proved right)... you who [are His servants and by your prayers] put the Lord in remembrance [of His promises], keep not silence...
Isaiah 55:11 - So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. 
As I sat this morning as I began my Quiet Time with the Lord, I just wanted to hear what was on "His" mind. I don't do this all the time.... but have you ever thought, "Lord, what are you thinking this morning? What's going on with you?" :) Not like He doesn't have the WHOLE world praying to Him... and it's "awake-time" somewhere in the world all the time! Well... this morning was one of those mornings where I was curious. :)

In the still, quiet moments, sitting on my couch with my coffee, Pandora worship music streaming from our 'smart TV' in the background... I just sat & listened.
... I am here to accomplish My Word! ... Most do not pray My Word so these promises are not working for them.  
I took a few moments and decided to look up the word petition. Petition. According to the dictionary, it calls petition a formally drawn request , a request made for something desired, especially a respectful or humble request, as to a superior or one in authority. Petitions are most often known for being made in a court of law. A formal, drawn up petition/request. If you take a moment to think about a "petition" in a court of law, if you are like me, you would maybe think of something like this: 

  • Something that has been researched & drawn up.
  • Something bulleted or numbered off so that I can prove my point accurately and thoroughly. 
  • Something that I can include examples or stories with in order to further bring home my point. 
If I were petitioning for something in a court of law, I would MOST DEFINITELY have my ducks in a row so that the judge would see that I am serious. If I really wanted to win, I would walk in there with my stuff together, if you know what I mean, right? Wouldn't you? 

So, why don't we do the same thing with God...when it comes to our life? Our dreams? Our goals? The desires of our hearts? 

Isaiah 55:11 reminds us to put GOD in remembrance of HIS Word! To remind Him WHAT He has said, WHAT His promises are in His Word. He said Himself that the Word was put in place to ACCOMPLISH that which it was made to accomplish. So, with your dreams & goals, your wants & desires.... DO SOME HOMEWORK! 

If you were going to PETITION in a Court of Law, you wouldn't walk in there with NOTHING! Right?! You would have your stuff together, you would probably be in your nicest, most professional business suit. You would have your legal pad. You would have your evidence. You would have the facts. You would have it all! And, it should be the same when you come to God in prayer to petition a request. God has placed His Word here for us to USE IT to get what we want. Let me give you a few examples. 

Tyler & I, for our last two vehicles were believing God for them. Our first one was in 2009, we had believed for a Nissan Murano, and the 2nd one was earlier this year, we were believing for a Honda Odyssey. We found exactly what we wanted, we SOWED a financial seed for them, and we DAILY thanked God for them. We also put God in REMEMBRANCE of His Word. 

"Thank you Lord that according to Deuteronomy 6:11, you tell us we are to RIDE PROSPEROUSLY. We thank you Lord for our Honda Odyssey. We thank you for our swagger wagon, leather seats, a built in DVD player & Navigation would be really nice, but I could do without it."
Well... guess what we got? God outdid Himself! We got BETTER than what we were believing for! We got a 2012 Honda Odyssey Touring ELITE. Fully loaded. Heated seats. Tinted windows all the way around. A 16 INCH DVD player. 8 passenger. A built in COOL BOX to keep drinks cold. Several other extras ...and it DID have Navigation! :) I waffled on what color I wanted.... and was not specific on that. I kinda wanted dark grey, but never got real specific. We got a white one that Tyler drove right off the show room floor! :) Which... I never knew this, but driving a vehicle off the show room floor was always a secret petition he had. 

But the point.... we did our homework. We test drove it. We got pictures of it. We sowed financial seed for it. We found scripture, GOD'S WORD, to back up what we were believing for... then we put GOD in remembrance of HIS Word. And do you know what, His Word works every time! If you don't believe me, check out what HE says about it!! "My word (THE BIBLE/SCRIPTURE) be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it."

Do your homework. Send forth God's Word. Make your petition known to God, but have your homework to back it. Have "proof for your case." Pictures, Scripture, Seed sown towards your dream, goal or need. Present it to God and then STAND YOUR GROUND! Continue to THANK HIM for the desired result you are waiting on. You get serious about your dreams and goals, and God will help them come to pass! :) 

And friend.... Do not grow weary in well doing, because in due season you WILL reap if you faint not. Stand your ground until your petition comes to pass. We have proof sitting in our driveway. It does work.... and if it worked for us, it will work for you!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Timing or Toil

Good morning!! :) It's been so long that I've logged in, I forgot my password for the first round of "tries." Anyways... here I am... excited to share some good Word with you. Why? Because ALL the Word is good! God's Word changes things. God's Word brings peace where their may be toil in your mind. God's Word and Voice brings clarity where their may be confusion. Praise the Lord that we ALL have access to God's Word for our life!
Eccl. 3:1 - To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven
Let's try this on for size....tell me, have you ever found yourself having this conversation with God? "But God, when? When are you going to bring this to pass? When are you going to do it? How long do I have to wait to live my dream, to accomplish what I have been working towards? Pleeeeeeeease God! Will you please help it to happen now?" 

Have you ever found yourself having this conversation? Maybe you are going along through life, working towards your dream or goal, and one day you just get frustrated. You aren't seeing the results that you think you should be seeing.... or it appears that God is SLOW! "God! What is taking you so long?" :)

I'm sure Joseph may have thought this in his journey to seeing his dream become a reality. In Genesis 37, we see that Joseph was 17 years old when he had his dream. The dream? His brothers & parents bowing down to him. In Genesis 41:42, 46 we do see Joseph ascending to the #2 position of leadership in ALL of Egypt. Notice, he is 30 years old at this time, but even this success still is not fulfillment of his dream:  Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt.

In Genesis 42, we see that the 7 years of plenty in the land of Egypt had come to an end. At this point it had been 20 years since Joseph had had his dream. 20 years! In verse 6 we see final fruition, Now Joseph was governor over the land; and it was he who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed down before him with their faces to the earth. 

As I sat this morning in my quiet time, basically whining to the Lord, I was reminded of God's perfect timing! Like Ecclesiastes 3:1, there is a season for everything, timing for everything! Just as there was a season for Joseph's dream, there is also a season for my own dream/s. God has perfect timing for my dream. God is not late. 

The Holy Spirit reminded me this morning that the greatest thing that I can do in the pursuit of my dream is to do two simple things. 1) Listen. 2) Obey. If I do those two simple things, my dreams will surely come to pass. THOUGH, the fruition of my dreams coming to pass are still based upon God's timing. I can toil, and try to force my dream to come to pass on my own time, or I can listen & be obedient in the process of my dream coming to pass. I've toiled. That is no fun. I've tried to force things, only to be frustrated in the end. 

What if I want my dream to come to pass NOW? How can I accelerate it? ACCELERATE listening and obeying the Voice of the Holy Spirit! It seems so simple. Proverbs 3:6 tells us, In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. 

How are you doing in that area? Acknowledging Him in ALL your ways? "Where should I go today Lord? What should I do? What should I work on? Do you want me to call someone? Drop a note in the mail? What should my day look like? How can I be 'God-Productive'? How can I be productive in the areas that YOU want me to work Lord?" 

Acknowledging Him. It means fine-tuning that LISTENING EAR. He will direct you and me to be in the right place at the right time. He will set up the divine appointments. And while HE is bringing to pass the dreams that you have, you can ENJOY LIFE knowing that you are listening & obeying. You can continue to be obedient to His direction WITHOUT toiling and actually enjoy each day. Enjoy each day with your children, spouse, friends, family WHILE pursuing your dream. 

Listen. Obey. He will tell you what to do. Just as Noah received very SPECIFIC instructions in building the ark, God will give you specific instructions too!

Will you practice listening today?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Need Bravery? Need An Invincible Army?

Good Morning!! It's going to be short & sweet this morning... but I have a feeling that there are some people who need this verse this morning!
Habakkuk 3:19 - The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!
Everything you need lies in your reach! As a believer, you have EVERYTHING you need.... and this little hidden verse here in Habakkuk encompasses a lot of what most believers need today. To operate in the day to day, to move forward, to accomplish, to walk in their calling, here it is for you. Grab hold of it and allow it to continue to push you, to pull you, to conquer the hill you are about to reach.

Do you need personal bravery today? Access the Lord God.
Do you need strength today? Access the Lord YOUR God!
Do you need an invincible army? Do you need someone to fight a battle you are going through? Enemies? Cancer? Financial struggle? Debt? Problems in a relationship? Do you need an invincible army to pull you out?? Access the Lord YOUR God!

It says in this verse that HE will make you to WALK! Not to stand still! He will make you to WALK! To move forward! When it seems hard, when you don't seem to have the words to say, your bravery is at an all time low. When you don't know what to do or say, it says that the Lord YOUR God will help you to keep moving!!! He will help you to GAIN GROUND! In the area of responsibility. Do you need to take responsibility for something? Your weight? Your finances? Improving a relationship? Your house? Your schedule? Your job? When you grab hold of the Lord YOUR God, it says that HE will help you PROGRESS in these areas!!

I encourage you today.... take some time... access this invincible army that you have at your fingertips. Access this personal bravery that can emerge from you if you will just ACCESS IT! The Lord YOUR God is there to be all that you need! He is there to help you to succeed! To help you to win in your business. To help you move forward. To help you start a family. To help you beat cancer. He is there to help you to WIN ANY battle that you are facing!!! ACCESS HIM!

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Holy Spirit CAN Help...Will You Listen?

Hello! :) I know it has been awhile since I have posted! This morning I felt led to post something and feel that it will really help some people. Hope this finds you well. Life here is good! Tyler Jr continues to be a hoot & Trinity is as beautiful as ever! She is coming up on 10 months old! It is hard to believe. Praise the Lord for blessed, great & healthy kids!

Let's get started!
Habakkuk 2:4b - ... the [uncompromisingly] righteous man shall live by his faith and in his faithfulness.
Joshua 1:8 - This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success.
Pulling out of our subdivision do I go right or left? Which way should I go? This is just one of the simple decisions I have to make each week when Tyler Jr goes to his "MyGym" class. Should I turn right or left? I am sure you have similar decisions that you make daily. Simple decisions... but decisions that can make all the difference. Maybe not "life-changing", but in some cases, they COULD BE life changing!

The Book of the Law... The Word... The Bible. Allowing these Words to constantly be inside of us. The "Word" is also often referred to as God Himself. God is the Word and the Word is God. The Bible talks about how the Word is inerrant, God-breathed. Since the Word is God.... meditating on the "Book of the Law" shouldn't be as hard as we often make it. Earlier in my Christian walk, I would read this verse, Joshua 1:8, and think, This is impossible! I can't just sit around reading the Bible all day! I have things to do! Over the years as I have grown in my Christian walk, as I have drawn closer to the Lord, as my relationship with the Holy Spirit has continued to go deeper and deeper, this verse popped out this morning in my spirit and it made sense!

As I sat on the couch, with my cell phone on the table next to me, my never-ending conversation continued. "This is why I told you not to bring your cell phone into this time with us. It is very distracting. You keep doing things on your phone & it interrupts our time," the Holy Spirit said as He rebuked me for the simple distraction.

Meditating on the Word day & night. Since the Word is God, aside from reading our Bible, meditating on the Word can also be simply CONTINUING in an ongoing conversation with the Holy Spirit. As believers, He does reside within us. Before ascending to heaven, that is the very reason Jesus left, so that the Holy Spirit could be WITH US always! Daily! In each decision be our guide! Check out what Jesus says in John 14:14, 26: And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever.... But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.

The disciples didn't want Jesus to go. They didn't want Him to leave them. They simply did not understand the magnitude and importance of Jesus leaving. Aside from allowing Jesus to defeat death, hell & the grave, AND allowing people of all time to accept Jesus as their Savior.... by Jesus leaving allowed us to KNOW the answer to the question, "Do I turn right or left?" When we get saved, we then give the Holy Spirit a home inside of us! We become the temple of the Holy Spirit. And then, all we have to do to know the answer to questions, is simply quiet ourselves, acknowledge the Holy Spirit & ASK the question. Sure.... if it is not something you are used to, if it is not something you have done much or at all, it may take practice learning to HEAR His Voice.... but friend, I assure you, the Holy Spirit is there, like it says in John 14, to be your Counselor & Helper.

So... in the morning... on my way to MyGym... inside, in my head, in my spirit. I get to the stop sign where a decision has to be made.... I quiet myself after asking the question until I hear the answer. "Go right today. It will save you from some traffic." 

Similar conversations happen throughout the day as I acknowledge the Holy Spirit in my life. He continually answers simple questions.... and even hard questions in our ongoing, never-ending conversation. Praise the Lord that Jesus DID ascend to heaven so that EACH ONE of us can have a Counselor & Helper. Jesus was a man. He was flesh. He could only be in one place at one time. Praise the Lord that the Holy Spirit can help ALL of us, even at the same time! 

Today.... I encourage you... take the time to quiet yourself and listen to that still small Voice who is just waiting to talk to you!

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