Brain Bucket

    My brother used to ride motorcycles and he referred to his helmet, as his brain bucket. The other night, I was drifting off to sleep when I was hit with nasty negative thoughts about myself. The thoughts attacked my basic personality, my core values and started to really discourage me as a human being. Suddenly I heard myself boldly speak out loud, “devil, you cannot penetrate my mind, my head is covered with the helmet of salvation”! Whoa! Wow! I turned the light on and wrote that down! Lord, what are you revealing to me right now?

    We are familiar with Ephesians 6:10-18, the whole armor of God. I’m even ashamed to say, I am pretty sure there’s nothing new in this, we have heard sermon after sermon on the topic. And yet, here I am, looking at it again with fresh revelation pouring out. I am properly chastised and ready to look again! We know the Apostle Paul is teaching us to take up the armor of God lest we leave ourselves exposed to attack. It’s interesting to me that the NKJV says “take up”, not put on. Paul is saying, grab it, take it, make it yours, speak it out and march. Verse 17 reads, “and take up the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” I usually just casually read that and assumed I have the helmet of salvation because I am saved. I moved on the part about the sword of the spirit. So, today I realized I need to back up and evaluate the sentence in its entirety. Here’s how I broke it down.

    According to the Illustrated Dictionary of the Bible, 1986, Thomas Nelson pub., the helmet was put on first because the head is the most vulnerable part of the body. Paul, the author of Ephesians, was a Roman citizen, and I believe he used Roman military imagery to enhance his lesson for us. It works beautifully and is just as relatable now as it was when he wrote the epistle. The Strong’s Concordance applies the number 4030 to the word helmet. Interestingly, I can only find that Greek word used twice in the new testament; Ephesians 6: 17 and in I Thessalonians 5:8. “… and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.” 4030, Pereklphaiaia, literally means to encircle the head. Salvation, 4992, literally means gift of God. To apply the helmet of salvation means to encircle the head with the gift of God. It’s a short rabbit trail, but hope of salvation means the anticipation with pleasure, expectation or confidence in the gift of God.

    Look further with me into verse 17. The sword of the spirit is defined as this: Sword, 3162 is literally a knife, or figuratively, a war or battle. (This is where I got excited.) Spirit, 4151, is pneuma, to breathe, air, or God, Christ’s spirit, Holy Spirit. Word, 4487, Rhema, is to speak, to pour forth, to command, to speak out. God gave Jesus to the world as His word, 3056 logos, the divine expression of God and the direct communication of God. Jesus is God, sent to earth in human form, to tell of the good news, that God is love, He desperately cares about all His children, and wants us to know Him. Christ’s act of death upon the cross opened Heaven to us and paid the price of our sin for us, brought us freedom from sickness and disease, poverty, delivered us from bondage to all kinds of sin, addiction, and ignorance, and set us free from future attacks giving us peace and hope. We are protected and cherished and all we need to do is believe Him. We will not suffer judgment or need for atonement, it has been freely paid for us, once and for all. God is excited and waits with joyful anticipation of spending eternity with us. God does not change; His word does not change. Once decreed, spoken or communicated, it is yea and amen, eternally relevant and the issue is finished.

    All this research into the Greek language was to magnify my own understanding of the truth Paul so eloquently conveyed. It is my contention that God was revealing to me something new in this very familiar scripture. To activate protection from attack, all we need do is respond with all the vitality and confidence given to us in the name of Jesus. Just the fact that we possess eternal life and cannot be killed, defeats the value of any attack. The more we study the word of God and know His heart for us, His plans, and His intentions, the more certain we become. The Bible says we are equipped, we have everything we need for life and godliness. We need only receive it, activate it, give it priority in our lives. How? Renew your mind by reading the word of God. Pray over the scripture, ask for wisdom, ask for change in your heart. Ask the Lord to right the places of wrong thinking and fill empty spots with revelation. Look for reasons to worship His majesty. Forget not His benefits. Rejoice in His holiness. We can’t expect to be effective if we are not willing to invest in what He has given us. It’s not all about us, it’s all about Him and His unending love, mercy and grace.

    So, when the battle comes, I will grab onto the full armor of God with all the vast implications of the privilege the uniform carries. I will encircle my mind with the gift of God and I will seize the sword that belongs to Christ’s Spirit, to God, and to Holy Spirit, knowing He goes before me and is my rear guard. The battle is mine says the Lord, and therefore, I am not overtaken because the very word of God defends me, promises truth and protection to me, guarantees victory, and most importantly, brings glory to God the father who is the creator and lover of my soul. So, I will engage, because the full weight of the name of Jesus has made me a warrior, confident only in Him, convinced of His unchangeable faithfulness. Thank you, Lord, for supplying me with a very effective brain bucket and the grace to employ it. Blessings loved ones!

Live in Peace

A time may come when you are given a choice to say yes Lord, and move out in faith, or stay put where you are comfortable or even thriving. It’s ok to say no Lord, He gives more grace. Let me tell you what happened to us as we stepped out in obedience to God.

A year ago, my husband and I clearly heard the Lord ask us t move. It was interesting because so many events leading up to that request, put us in the position to say yes. We prayed and researched for months until my husband clearly heard a call to a specific Idaho town. Before that, we diligently sought a new city in Oregon, but it wasn’t right. Nothing felt right except Idaho. After visiting, we were convinced, at perfect peace, and had a knowing that we belonged here. The enemy rose up against us. Friends and family just couldn’t understand how we could pick up and move. Things were said that cut us to the bone, relationships were strained. Is this what Jesus meant when He said some would have to leave family and security? But we knew we had to obey the Lord in this and let Him repair the breach.

Our house sold quickly, and we loaded up our belongings into containers, stored them and set out. We traded in my beloved car for a new truck and a small RV. Escrow closed at p.m. on July 16, 2018, we pulled out at p.m. It was 108 degrees, we were exhausted, frustrated and everything seemed wrong, but the Holy Spirit pulled us toward peace. As we hit the interstate, we began to relax and enjoy the adventure. This is significant. I kept hearing peace, “you will live in peace”. For months I heard that repeatedly. “You will live in peace”.

As we camped out for 10 weeks waiting for houses to come on the market, the Lord began to reveal that we were in a wilderness experience. Not a desert, but a wilderness. I re-read stories about the wilderness times of Jesus, John the Baptist and Moses. Just as they experienced, the Lord provided for our every need. I sensed it would be 40 days, and it was. These days were hard. It was hot, cooking was difficult in that tiny 154 square foot space. The Wi-Fi didn’t work, the cable TV was off and on. There were lots of frustrations and we had to work to keep our focus on the Lord and His purposes. We walked all over town for something to do and got to know it at street level. We talked to people at the farmer’s market, we went to almost every church. The enemy came in to steal our joy over and over again. I have to say, we had more fun in these days despite the hardships. We laughed more than ever, we spent time talking and dreaming and planning. We persevered because God’s character and faithfulness was more than enough to focus on.

At the end of 40 days there was a definite shift in the spiritual realm. As prophesied over us, double doors opened, and Heaven flooded us with one blessing after another. Keep in mind, our new town is very very small and there were just no houses for sale. We never got discouraged for some reason. We just knew. Then one day we stumbled upon a new street with 3 new homes. Although it was more money than we wanted to spend, we bought the home. It took a lot of prayer and faith to step out. The builder is a great man of integrity. He reduced the price for us, then did extra finishings to meet our needs. Every appliance was on sale, every utility had a special deal going on. We had incredible favor. Jesus gives exceedingly, abundantly more than we can ask or think. We are overwhelmed by his faithfulness. Just when I thought I couldn’t take much more of His generosity, we were able to buy a new car. So now, all that we gave up to say yes, had been restored to us; better, new, more equipped and beautiful. We remain debt free, completely unencumbered. I really don’t need additional confirmation that our move was of God! But there was more. Moving day came, and our builder had organized a group of neighbors to come and unload the storage containers. We had a pizza party, got to know them, and they did the heavy lifting. A few days later, another neighbor brought over a coffee cake to welcome us. I am amazed at the love these people exhibited to us, complete strangers.

Walking in faith is an interesting adventure. This has been a very hard time, but the most joyous and rewarding time. It’s a time of freedom in the spirit. We know that we know, that we are in the right place, on assignment. Every need is met, every question is answered. We walked out of the wilderness through double doors, into abundance. We had to pay a high price by leaving family and friends, and I am forever grateful and humbled by that refinement. This has been a time of discovery, of deeper faith, deeper spiritual gifting and appreciation for the cross of Christ. We know more about the love of God, His character and personality. He revealed more of Himself to us. He gave us wisdom and peace in the midst of a storm. I had to write it down lest I forget His benefits. I had to share it with you beloved friends, that you may be encouraged and know God watches over every little detail of life.

And by the way, we are living in peace, spiritually and physically. The name of our little Idaho town in Hebrew, is peace. I am overwhelmed.

The White Flag

    I was praying recently about some things that I was sick and tired of dealing with in my life. If I can’t fix it, get a grip on it or get over it, I need the author and finisher of my faith to take over and show me how to get free. So, I was praying and asking to see what the reasons were, what caused me to think the way I did about some things, what door did I open, and how to tear down strongholds that have hindered me from reaching my destiny. And God, being faithful and righteous and ready to help, began to put a vision before my eyes.

    I saw Jesus standing right there with me in all my attempts and failures, the trials and errors, the frustration and short-lived victories. He is standing there waiting for me to hand it over to Him, once and for all. I began to talk to Him. “Lord, forgive me for holding onto these things, excuses, justifications, ways of fooling myself”. “Forgive me for believing a lie when the truth was right there all along”. “I can’t do this anymore, I’m tired of my inability to control these situations”. “How do I get free from this”? “Lord, I want to give this to you, completely and totally”. “What will you give to me in exchange to seal the deal”?

    Jesus handed me a folded flag, a banner. It’s pure white. I know the Word says His banner over me is love, acceptance, forgiveness, purity, wholeness. “It’s a royal flag”, He says. “It’s to be used by a royal conqueror, one mighty in battle”. “You break the curse and the stronghold”. “Simply repent of believing and accepting a lie, renounce it, hand it to me, and accept my gift in exchange”. “This is a flag of surrender”. “The battle is over; the fighting has ceased”.

    Ok Lord! I began to call out things that hurt me, things that kept me from being courageous, things that stuck around in the dark corners of my mind and tormented me. I waved that flag of surrender over the things in my life that were bogging me down. The things that hindered my destiny and my quest to know the heart of God. I flew that flag over each named thing that held me back, repenting and renouncing. I laid all those things down in a heap and flew the victorious white flag of surrender over the whole pile! I began to shout and dance and laugh over the mess as Jesus stepped up and lit it all on fire. The bonfire consumed it all! It left nothing. My sacrifice of self-doubt and insecurity, of things I did that weren’t good for me, things I didn’t want to let go of, vaporized in the wind of the Holy Spirit. Even the flag caught fire and burned bright until I had to let it go. It all burned, a sweet-smelling aroma to the nose of God. Gone, forgotten, nothing left but a few ashes tossed into the wind. The Bible says God forgets our sin the minute we repent. It is as far from Him as the east is from the west.

    I felt light, empty of a burden, free and happy. Jesus lifted an urn and poured the oil of gladness over my head. He then poured the wine of His spirit over me, and then again, the oil of anointing. He said, “you are leaving all of this behind, it is gone, erased from our memory”. “Your new season begins, new life and vitality”. “Good things”.

    How Great is our God. I am in awe. Jeremiah 23:11.

Visions and the Reality of Heaven

I have been given visions of Heaven lately and I want to encourage you with what goes on in Heaven. Its not a distant place, it’s not mysterious and scary. Heaven is one little side step into the supernatural.

A few weeks ago, I was visiting Life Song Church in Stockton, California. Their worship is so full and amazing. As we were singing and praising, I saw in the Spirit, God the Father, sitting on His throne. He was watching us worship and a huge smile beamed across his face. His eyes lit up and sparkled with delight. Suddenly, He jumped up and began leading the singers and musicians; waving His arms with joyful encouragement to go higher in praise. His white garment flowed, the sleeves billowed, the exotic scent of Heaven perfumed the sanctuary. He was so happy, He bagan to dance over us, conducting, singing, and dancing with complete abandon. This is what God does, He enters in. He joins us, He dances over us with singing. He partners with us in worship and prayer and praise. Partnership with the Creator brings creativity and revelation. He loves us, He loves to lavish us with love and affirmation. He is not a distant God, He is right here beside us always.

On April 27, 2018, I was praying in the Spirit when I began to see a picture of myself standing next to the throne of God. We were holding hands and I was praying in the Spirit. I know that we are in agreement about something involving Arab nations. At this moment, we are one. The Father is sad, a tear falls from His eye. The Holy Spirit steps up to me and says, “Put your hand into the fire that surrounds Me. Hold my hand and pray. We are one.” Jesus enters the throne room. He said, “When you pray in agreement with Us, you honor us. Stretch out your hand to Me, we are one. When my people pray, they join hands with Us. They agree with Us. Mountains are moved, things are accomplished. We listen, we respond to prayer, and we change things. Every word you utter that is directed to Us, is acted upon whether you see it immediately or not. When you know the Word of God, you know the will of God. When you pray the Word of God, you are confident that you are in agreement with Us. When you pray in the Holy Spirit, you are in agreement with Us. Together we cause those mountains to move and fall into the sea. Together we accomplish those things on earth that have been preordained in Heaven.”

People, we are here for the pleasure and purposes of God. There is no greater fulfillment in your heart than to press into the higher calling of God. He is not far away, He is next to you. He finds you worthy right where you are. His hand is outstretched to take yours in harmony with Heaven. Be encouraged, you are vitally important to God, to the universe and to the Body of Christ. Just talk to Him. He is enchanted by your heart, your voice. He waits for you to know Him. He knows you intimately, He has invested Himself in you.

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The Black Cord

    Several weeks ago, I had a vision and a prophetic word concerning Syria. Not fully understanding the implication of every component, I set out to research some things and found fascinating information about the typical Arab man’s head covering. The scarf is called the ghutra, or the keffiyeh. It is held in place with a thick doubled cord, called the agal. The agal is a multi-tasking piece of equipment that is also used to whip the legs of camels to get their attention and force obedience. It is used to tie up the animal when necessary and it has cultural significance.

    The agal represents pride and dignity. The color of the cord and the thickness may differ in Middle East regions. Interestingly enough, because the agal represents pride and dignity, if the wearer’s integrity is in question, he may remove it as a statement of shame or dishonor. The entire time the American troops were present in Arab nations, men removed the agal because they perceived their dignity had been removed. The agal is part of a man’s personality, integrity and honor.

    As I was praying for Israel, I suddenly saw a group of white robed men with head coverings. Thick black cords secured their headscarves. These men were in a large black Mercedes limo that quickly pulled into a covered portico at the entrance to a large office building in Syria. They exited the car and walked very quickly and purposefully to the massive glass door of the building. The building was richly appointed and represented wealth and power. The men appear secretive, they are talking in hushed voices as if plotting something. They are haughty and prideful, yet they are uneasy about being out in the open, and rush to the safety of the glass doors.

    In my spirit, I heard the voice of the Lord say to me concerning Syria: “They are proud in their robes and covered heads, but the cords that hold their headscarves in place, shall become the noose that chokes them to death. Their necks shall be severed, their pride and wide strides shall cease. Their plans are folly. Satan’s authorities attempt to stand behind human authorities to oppose the work of God, and the spirit of deception stands behind them. Their wealth is about to be drained. They have squandered my blessings; the oil will dry up and their wealth will transfer to Israel.”

    I believe the Lord shows us things so that we might pray in agreement with Him. As I prayed for the peace of Israel, I saw a chance for Syria. I sensed it was the Lord’s will that the leaders of Syria would humble themselves and fall to their knees in repentance. Because oil is the vehicle of greed, power and misuse of God’s gifting upon their nation, it would be removed. Yet there always remains a way to God. It is written that Jesus is the Way. In His mercy, His arms are open, His love for them remains unchanged. It is folly to enter a glass door and not be seen. It is folly to think that secret sin and planned aggression against God’s chosen people Israel, will prosper. Please pray that their eyes are opened to the glory of God, the savior of their souls, the one who calls them out of darkness into light.

The Highway of Holiness

Often in the middle of the night, I wake and write down the time. This morning the time was 3:56 am. The Lord never fails to give me a scripture that corresponds to the time, so I keep a notebook on the nightstand. I knew immediately it was Isaiah 35:6. It was our first night back from a 3-day road trip that was a fun mini vacation to a place the Lord has put on our hearts. Isaiah 35 is a promise to us, and Mike and I have been drawn to this chapter again and again. This time there was clarity as never before. Verse 6 says: “Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.” I believe He is promising us joy and wholeness in our next life adventure. Our voices will be heard, and we will live in abundance of peace and happiness. But what really caught my attention was verses 8 through 10:

And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness;
it will be for those who walk on that Way.
The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it.


wicked fools will not go about on it.
9 No lion will be there,
nor any ravenous beast;

they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,
10 and those the Lord has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;

everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

My spirit began to leap like that deer and my voice rose up in praise. You see, life is a series of detours. On our road trip, we had to take a detour because road construction was going on in the main highway. That detour was short, but it was beautiful. We may have never seen that lush farmland had we not been obedient to the detour. The detour could have been a boring or a bumpy road; it could have been a desolate and dirty way, but it was not this time. It was beautiful because God works all things together for His plans and purposes and glory in our lives.

I believe the Lord shows us a destiny, a destination, a promise to look forward to. The road to that destiny may not look like we expect. There might be detours on the way to the Highway of Holiness that prepare us and mold us and sever us from unrighteousness. We need a little construction, rebuilding and restoring now and again. How can we get on the Highway of Holiness if there are still things we need to shake off? Keeping the promise of God before us, we press on. Perseverance is the vehicle to righteousness. When we arrive at the off ramp of our destination, we begin to leap like a deer and shout for joy! The promises and freedom overtake us, and we give God the glory. The doors open, the details fall into place, the momentum is unstoppable! We are covered in joy and safety and peace and love. God longs to remove us from captivity, to free us from man-made rules and regulations. He wants us free to stop “doing” and start just being His friend. Glory to God for His lovingkindness that goes from everlasting to everlasting! What an adventure!

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Phoenix Rising

    Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes of devastation and destruction, we rise. We, the believers, the Church, the Body of Christ, are each individually, a new creation in Christ. All the old things have passed away. We rise in victory over sin and death, disease and sufferings, emotional abuse and betrayal. We, are citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. The City dwells within us, empowering us to live in Kingdom wisdom and authority. The promises of God, the Words of God, are our source and shield; the truth, the love, uncompromised and ready in season and out.

    We rise, knowing we have full assurance of salvation, freedom and value to our Father. We rise, knowing we have the mind of Christ and are created in the image of God. We rise, in confidence. No weapon formed against us will prosper, and every tongue that speaks against us, we shall condemn. This is the inheritance and the life of a Kingdom dweller. We rise, secure in the perfect love of Jesus, the power of His might, His resurrection that conquered death, and the restoration of all things necessary for abundant life. It is humbling to know the God of creation has made us to dwell with Him. It is humbling that He chose us before the foundation of the earth, to enjoy a mutual, intimate, fellowship and friendship. It is His desire that all come to the full knowledge of Jesus and choose His salvation. He waits for us.

    We rise, in the power of the Holy Spirit, the same power that raised Jesus from the grave and conveyed us into the Kingdom of His love. We rise out of the ash heap of our former lives, free and victorious; ecstatic and overwhelmed with the goodness of God.

    We rise, we soar through the Heavens, we seek the face of God, we hear His voice, we hide under the shadow of His wings, and we worship with abandon. We hear His heart and pray from Heaven in agreement with Him. He rejoices over us with singing; He loves to set captives free and give us a future and a hope.

    We rise together, the Church, the Body of Christ, His peculiar people. We rise, knowing we will never be cast down. We can only rise.

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