Let it rain, rain on us

Remove everything that is the way of Your awakening, everything that hinders us from the calling. We Need YOU, Jesus! Open the floodgates of heaven, Lord! Let it rain! Pour Your Spirit upon us!

Eddie James sings it right. We need His rain! God help us, heal our land, turn our hearts back to You. I pray that as you listen to this you will sing, too. I pray your song becomes a prayer. We need an awakening. 

O’ God, forgive us.

These people draw near Me with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts hold off and are far away from Me.  Matthew 15:8

Call us to repentance, Holy Spirit. Hear our cry!

If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.      2 Chronicles 7:14

Let it be so.

And it shall come to pass in the last days, God declares, that I will pour out of My Spirit upon all mankind, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy [telling forth the divine counsels] and your young men shall see visions (divinely granted appearances), and your old men shall dream [divinely suggested] dreams. Acts 2:17

Open the floodgates of heaven! 

What’s Goin’ On?

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I have really been burdened lately, sometimes to the point where an anxiety attack threatens me. This is when I have to sit down, breathe, and remind myself of 1 John 4:4.

Little children (believers, dear ones), you are of God and you belong to Him and have [already] overcome them [the agents of the antichrist]; because He who is in you is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world [of sinful mankind].

I told my husband last night that I feel like the darkness in this world is rising up for its last stand. I read the news, look at social media, listen to people, and I feel evil around me. Thankfully my husband is the voice of reason and he knows the Lord; he reminded me that these things must happen. The Bible says it will happen and it will get worse.

But there is no need to panic or be afraid. Because…

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We are under such a spiritual attack and it is increasing. Do you see it? Do you recognize it? No, you are not imagining things and it is not just because “people are crazy!”

It is happening everywhere; in our homes, our schools, our government, Hollywood, and most disturbing is in the church.

Political Correctness has sucked many Christians into it’s black hole.  Too many are picking and choosing what truth they want to believe. They are not rightly dividing the Word. They hold a form of outward godliness (religion), although they have denied it’s power (for their conduct nullifies their claim of faith). 

Clearly these people do not know the word of God. So I have to ask, do they read the Bible? Do YOU read the Bible?

I could go on and on, but you probably see it in your feeds too.

Lately I have been feeling like I am in a fog. I have been feeling so lethargic, tired, for no reason. I have been struggling to concentrate and I have been feeling the enemy’s arrows flying at me.  It is like the lion is standing outside my door.  Sure sign of a spiritual attack!

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Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

This is no time to slumber! Jesus told His disciples what to look for as a sign of His return and the signs are here. We must be about the Father’s business!  Are you His? Then you have a purpose, a calling, and He has equip you with all you need to fulfill the call.

Do not get sidetracked. Recognize the attack and take your stand.

Will you stand with me? To the glory of God.

But you, beloved, build yourselves up on [the foundation of] your most holy faith [continually progress, rise like an edifice higher and higher], pray in the Holy Spirit, and keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously and looking forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ [which will bring you] to eternal life.  And have mercy on some, who are doubting;  save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy but with fear, loathing even the clothing spotted and polluted by their shameless immoral freedom.

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling or falling into sin, and to present you unblemished [blameless and faultless] in the presence of His glory with triumphant joy and unspeakable delight, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and power, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

-Jude 20-25

Be Free & Stay Free

The Violent Take it by Force; an open letter to the church

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Matthew 11:12

Most of us would not hesitate to defend a helpless person. If we see an elderly person fall down we would help them up. Or if we see a small child alone and lost in a city street, we would stop and call the authorities; it would be impossible for us to turn a blind eye to a helpless child. In times of natural and/or unnatural disasters, the supernatural steps in and empowers ordinary people to rise up and help. Wars have been fought to free enslaved people and many have sacrificed their own lives for the life of another.

You see, the world is the person(s) who needs help. Many have fallen and are lost. They are defenseless in a world darkened with deception.

Throughout history, just and unjust, wars have been waged. We are living in a time where there are no longer just rumors of war, but actual wars; in other countries and our own. Conflict is on the rise and people are divided. Division has breached government, friendships, and families. It has given birth to fear, mistrust, selfishness, and paranoia.

Across the globe there are hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and fires. People are suffering from illness and disease. There is a pill for everything; depression, insomnia, weight loss, high blood pressure, heart, constipation, ADD, ADHD, RLS, ED, thyroid, headache… and the list goes on. Those who can’t afford prescribed medication self medicate, opening the door to bondage of addictions. Recently I read an article about a plague taking lives in Madagascar. The plague?

Peoples hearts are failing them. The fear of the future is causing many to check out emotionally or physically through suicide. Families are juggling the bills, choosing between eating, electricity, or rent. The pressures have destroyed families, children are growing up unsupervised and without a parent. The rate of marriage is low as people hop from one relationship to another, our elderly are forgotten in nursing homes, and the transient state of our country has left many without the help and support of family.

Men don’t know if they are women, women want to be men, it is mass confusion! Equal rights now equal domination. To go against the grain is considered hate. Carnality is celebrated and to stand on Gods truth is to be labeled bigot, ignorant, and homophobic.

People are leaving churches, the Gospel message has been watered down across the pulpit, and many are choosing their best life now over God’s truth. Itchy ears are placated with political correctness and pats on the back; because His word doesn’t fit the worlds narrative and it is offensive.

The signs He told us to look for are here. His return is sooner than we think. He IS coming back.  It is time to WAKE UP, Church!

This is not the time for entertainment and to lose ourselves in front of a television or computer screen. We are not called to sit back, scratch our heads and live defeated lives; we are not to roll over dead! We are called to an abundant life! And I am not referring to prosperity preaching. I am talking about the abundant life of expectation. Expect God to move… through us!

But a move can’t happen if we are closed up into our own lives, too afraid to go into the world, and worried about what “others” may think of us.

“Adam and Eve were placed in the garden with a mission. God said, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.” It was God’s intention that as they bore more children, who also lived under God’s rule, they would be extending the boundaries of His garden (His government) through the simplicity of their devotion to Him. The greater the number of people in right relationship to God, the greater the impact of their leadership. This process was to continue until the entire earth was covered with the glorious rule of God through man.”

“But in Genesis chapter 1 we discover it’s not the perfect universe. Satan had rebelled and had been cast out of heaven, and with him a portion of the fallen angels took dominion of the earth. It’s obvious why the rest of the planet needed to be subdued – it was under the influence of darkness. God could have destroyed the devil and his host with a word, but instead He chose to defeat darkness through His delegated authority – those made in His image who were lovers of God by choice.”

“The backbone of Kingdom authority and power is found in the commission.”

– Bill Johnson, When Heaven Invades Earth (I recommend this book!)

Now I will remind you what we, His Church, have been commissioned to do with power and authority:

Jesus came up and said to them “All authority (all power of absolute rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words],baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually, regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of age.”  –Matthew 28:8-20

These signs will accompany those who have believed; in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will get well.” -Mark 16:17-18

 If you have read this far then I know this is for you. You are in agreement and His Holy Spirit is prompting you and you know there is more to life than this! You know you have been chosen and called. You feel the sting of conviction to be purposeful and be about His business.

Maybe you don’t know where to begin. You begin right where you are, but you do not stop there.

You begin in your home, with your spouse, children, or parents. If your family does not share your faith in God, then thank God you are there! They are your first mission field. “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified [that is, he receives the blessings granted] through his [Christian] wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be [ceremonially] unclean, but as it is they are holy.” -1 Corinthians 7:14

Then go into the world! Take His light into the schools, workplace, market place, for wherever you go you are carrying His light. “You are the light of [Christ to] the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp-stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven”. -Matthew 5:14-16

Always be ready to give an answer for the hope that you have!

The kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force! Now Go!

Come, let us be His Church together.

Oh, God, help us! Move our hearts with what moves Yours. We believe, help us overcome our unbelief. Create in us a new heart, a strong heart, a heart of flesh, that we may be moved with compassion and action to a lost and dying world. For Your name sake! In Jesus Name, Amen.

Be Free & Stay Free

Come Home

 

 

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I can’t think of a worse place to be than in a backslidden state; to know Jesus and then try to hide from Him.

It is folly to think we, His children, could hide from Him. He promised He would never leave us. Seriously, it is impossible to not be in His sight.

But that doesn’t stop us from trying, does it?

A few years ago I was foolish enough to try hiding from Him. When it seemed everything in my life was coming undone; I grew weary and began to rely on myself instead of trusting Him. In disobedience, I made one bad decision after another. I was on a slippery slope and boy was I sliding back fast. What a mess I made!

imagesYou see, that’s what happens when we give in to “thoughts” and emotions. The enemy uses our injuries to drown out the voice of God and then we find ourselves in a dark place, believing lies, and hiding from the truth.

I was once like Peter. Remember when everyone was running from Jesus and He turned to His disciples and asked them, “Will you also go away? Do you too desire to leave Me?” And Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life!”

After we have tasted and seen that God is good, it is a bitter pill in our bellies when we walk away.

I had mistaken conviction for condemnation. I was living in fear and depression. I opened myself up for all kinds of demonic attacks. Because of my injuries, I injured others and there was nothing I could do in my own strength (or cleverness) to stop it. God’s love for me allowed me to come to the end of myself.

I do not recommend backsliding. But, if you are already there, if your feet have already begun to go in the wrong direction, stop! You can turn around now. You do not have to be afraid or think you have committed the unpardonable sin. God is not angry with you, He is for you, not against you.

He loves us enough to give us a free will to choose. It is not His will or purpose for us that we should be in a position of injury; it is by our own choice.

Even though Peter was so confident he would never leave Jesus; he did. The same Peter who said he would die for Jesus still denied Him; not once, but three times!

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Did Jesus stop loving him? No! Did Jesus know Peter was going to deny Him? Yes!

We can learn much through Peter about the love of Christ.

Can you imagine for a moment? Peter walked with Jesus His entire ministry; side by side with God. He witnessed the miraculous! He watched Jesus heal the sick, cast out demons, and raise the dead! Peter walked on water with Jesus. Now you would think there could never be a way for Peter to deny Jesus, but he did.

Before we can come down so hard on Peter and naively declare, “Well! I would never deny Jesus after seeing all He had done;” take an inventory of how many times God has answered our prayers and still there have been times of doubt in our own mind.

Peter was broken. Strong, boisterous, quick to speak, Peter, was broken. But he didn’t stay broken. He grieved, repented, was forgiven, and then was used mighty by God.

I had finally come to the end of myself. I was so low the only way to go was up.

One night I was awakened by a clear voice, “Romans 8:28.” I tuned on the light, grabbed my Bible and read:

And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.

In brokenness and repentance I cried out to God and in mercy and love He answered. This was the beginning of my restoration. There are no surprises with God, He knows it all, He knows our coming and going, our sitting and standing.  Where can we go that He is not already there? (Psalm 139)

Where could I go from Your Spirit?

Or where could I flee from Your presence?

If I ascend into heaven, You are there;

If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.

If I take the wings of the morning,

And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

Even there Your hand shall lead me,

And Your right hand shall hold me.

If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”

Even the night shall be light about me;

Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,

But the night shines as the day;

The darkness and the light are both alike to You.

Psalm 139: 7-14

Beloved, where are you? Are you ready to lay down the guilt and shame? No matter what you have done, there is no sin greater than His forgiveness. Confess your sin, He knows it anyway, repent and turn back to Him. This is the Father’s heart; to leave the 99 and go after the one lost sheep.

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There is no condemnation for those who are in Him. His forgiveness is available; His love is without measure, unfailing, and never ending.

Search me, Father, know my heart and renew a right spirit within me. I confess my sins to You and I thank You for Your forgiveness. Fill me, God, with Your Spirit and steady my feet on Your straight path so that I will not stray away again. Hedge me in so I will know Your borders and boundaries. Thank You for working in me for the good and for Your glory. In Jesus Name, Amen.

And He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Luke 7:48

Be Free & Stay Free

 

 

 

Spiritual Litmus Test

 

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If you want to know where someone is spiritually with their walk with God, you do not have to look at the church pews, you only need to listen and watch.

There is a saying, “an apple does not fall far from the tree.”

Jesus said it this way, “For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit.  For each tree is known and identified by its own fruit. For figs are not picked from thorn bushes, nor is a cluster of grapes picked from a briar bush.  The [intrinsically] good man produces what is good and honorable and moral out of the good treasure [stored] in his heart; and the [intrinsically] evil man produces what is wicked and depraved out of the evil [in his heart]; for his mouth speaks from the overflow of his heart.”

Have you ever noticed married couples begin to look alike, talk alike, and even begin to think alike? Especially those who have been married for a length of time and have cultivated the intimacy through sharing each others hearts and lives. They can be in a crowded room and look into each others eyes and speak a language that needs no words and no one else can hear or understand, because they have an intimate bond that only comes through relationship.  This kind of relationship only comes through investment of time spent together, communicating, talking AND listening, sharing joys and burdens, and trust. It is a well guarded communion that no one or nothing from the outside can penetrate.

You can tell a marriage is in trouble when they begin to seek fulfillment, validation, companionship, etc… outside of the marriage relationship. They begin to esteem other people or things over their spouse. It may start off “innocently,” but I assure you there is nothing innocent about it. Where you direct and invest your time, finances, thoughts, is where your heart is and where your feet will eventually lead you.

This post is not about marriage in the sense of man and wife, it is about the marriage between our Savior and HIs Bride.

We are what we eat. We become what we digest, what we feed our minds eventually makes it’s way into our hearts and our spirits.

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I will use social media as an example, let us imagine it as a spiritual thermometer, OK. Browse through your newsfeed, and if you are brave enough, look through your own posts.

Imagine there are two trees.

dead treeOne tree is dying. It is rotten. Beneath the tree, lying on the ground, are rotten fruits that fell from the tree and the smell from the fruit is not appetizing and the only thing the fruit is good for is for the flies and the maggots.  It no longer produces buds in the spring, the inside is hollow and limbs are falling off. Infact, one of these days a good strong wind is going to come and blow that tree over and possibly cause injury to anyone who is under it.

The other tree is alive with life. Its branches are full of green leaves, the fruit it produces good treeis sweet, the trunk is solid and the roots are deep, no wind or storm will blow this tree over. Birds perch on the branches singing beautiful songs, and small animals play along the branches. Underneath is shelter from the scorching heat of the sun, because the tree is so big and healthy, it’s cool shade offers a place to rest; lovers have picnics under this tree, poets write in their journals, artist paint canvasses of beauty, children play safely, and daydreamers lay back and gaze into the full branches. This tree provides refuge, a place to rest, and inspires.

Now, look at your posts as fruit that fell from one of the two trees. Which tree did it fall from? Because I assure you, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

What is good fruit? Good fruit is: love for others, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. This kind of fruit is produced in us only as a result of His presence within us.

Soon, my friends, Jesus is coming back for His Bride. His Bride is faithful, pure, looks, sounds, thinks, and smells like Him. His Bride looks into His eyes unashamed and without fear, because He is her lover and her friend,  and she has not strayed. While His Bride waited for His return no one could entice her away from Him. She kept her heart and mind focused on Him. She lives a life of submission to Him,  through honor and respect, loyalty and love. All that He gave to her she guarded and nurtured. Her spiritual children have grown and they look just like Him.

What a glorious day it will be when He returns and we gather for the wedding feast He has prepared for us.

Please, my friends, be the good tree, producing good fruit. Because we all know what happens to the bad tree.

Be Free & Stay Free

 

 

Why pray?

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“Hey, how is your prayer life?” This is a question my friends and I would ask each other. It was the best question we could ask each other, there is accountability and encouragement in this question.

Do you have a friend you call when you are having a bad day, got a bad report, your kids are in trouble, your finances are coming in short, your heart is breaking, or even if you just got some great news and want to share it with someone? Unless your friends response is, “Let’ pray,” I am afraid, although you may receive momentary comfort, the conversation will not result in change.

God, the Father, sent His Son, Jesus, to give Himself up for us so that we may be reconciled back to Him. He is a relational God, His heart is for us. He never leaves us, He is always present, but are we?

Prayer does not have to be viewed as a “chore.” My goodness, what a horrible feeling if someone we love only comes to us because they feel they have to and not because they want to. It is an intimate relationship to be able to come before His throne of grace and pour our hearts out to Him. To share all we have need of and to thank Him for all He has and will provide.

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The more time we spend in His presence through prayer, the more we are changed and become like Him. You will know this is happening when your prayers become less “self” centered, and more for others. You will know you are falling more in love with Him when your prayers include more listening to what His Spirit says; when you are no longer talking “at” Him, but with Him.

This is a short teaching by one of my favorites, Jentezen Franklin, about prayer. I pray it encourages you and challenges you to focus more on building and strengthening your relationship with Christ through prayer.

Jentezen Franklin, Clean Your Mind to Pray, CLICK HERE

Distracted From Your Purpose

 

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Pesky distractions, we have all been  guilty of this at times, huh.

We set our mind to something and we promise ourselves we are gong to be productive… tomorrow. Then tomorrow comes and there is that distraction that seems so important at the time. I mean, come on now, we all know the world would fall off it’s axis if we didn’t just check the Facebook real quick, but there is no such thing as real quick, is there? Before we know it the day is spent and we say, “tomorrow,” again.  Sigh.

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Social media can be a good thing, in moderation. But, too many of us are living our lives on social media, and all the while, life is passing us by. We have friends we have never even met before, it is simpler to just like a post, comment here and there, send a Happy Birthday meme (because their birthday reminder showed up in our newsfeed) and paint a picture of how well adjusted and happy (or miserable) our lives are.

So much talk lately about “fake.” Most of us are more guilty of being fake than those we point our fingers at. With all our Christian memes we post, prayer requests that are liked and then forgotten, we have seemed to be so distracted we forgot what the last words of Jesus were before He ascended into Heaven.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually—regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28:19-20

Even Paul said:

Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1

Too many of us are running in circles and wondering why we are not getting anywhere. We ask God what is our purpose, but we seem to not really want to invest in it. It is like looking for something grand and shunning the most simple.

It is not how many Bible verses we can quote or what church we sit in on Sundays that really makes a difference. It is about how many lives we have reached with the love of Christ. It is about relationships.

Hell would like nothing more than to keep us busy, busy with good things and time wasters, because if we are busy then we can not fulfill the real purpose we are here. We are here to share the love of Christ and to point others to Him. We are to be making disciples. If this were not so, then we would immediately die and go to Heaven as soon as we are saved. But, we didn’t die, did we? We are still here and we are an extension of Him.

The world is dying and people are lost. They are seeking answers and the enemy would happily point them to the counterfeit. We are losing people to addictions and suicide. Families are falling apart. Kids are joining gangs, babies are having babies, the innocent are being exploited, people are going to bed hungry, and the list goes on and on and on…

We have the answer! The answer is Christ!If we have the love of Christ in us, we should not be OK withholding the truth and life from a dying people.

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You do not have to be a Bible scholar to share Him. It doesn’t require a certificate or degree to invite someone over for coffee, or to come alongside a young mother, or help a young man get on the right track, or sit with an elderly person.

We can not sit back any longer and say it’s the churches responsibility, because guess what… we are the Church.

As I read over what I wrote thus far, I am tempted to change it, because I really do not mean for this to come off sounding harsh. But, I am going to leave it as is, because I am a mother and I have children who live across the country, and friends all over the world, and unsaved family members, and maybe someone reading this post may be that someone who will reach out to them and help me love them into the Kingdom.

You want to know what your purpose is? Look outside, get off the internet and look outside, your purpose is someone out there. Maybe at your job, your grocery store, the gym you go to, the park you walk your dog, the homeless man down the street, they are your mission field.

If you have His Holy Spirit, then you have all you need to make a difference.

Be blessed and be a blessing.

Be Free & Stay Free