Category Archives: Encouragement

The Rubber Stamp

2-7-2020

 

    Lord, set the pace, give me strength and faith to stand next to you and match your stride.

    “Come up here, look into my eyes and see the fire. Beloved, my fire burns for you. My hand is forever outstretched to you. Granted, granted!”

    I see a rubber stamp slamming down on my petitions, my prayers, my requests. Granted! Red ink! Granted! These petitions are legal documents. The decree has been made; the judgment rendered. The Lord has given us favor. Granted. “You have full freedom and authority. Hold your judgment paper up, rebuke the devil. You have legal permission from My courts. All of My power I give you.”

    I have what I asked because I asked in faith. Because of faith, it has been granted. It’s nothing I did, it’s only because of belief in the Lord of Lords. That’s all it takes. Belief. When I look at the back of the rubber stamp, the letters imbedded in the rubber, I see they are a mirror image. When stamped upon the legal petition, the letters are right, clearly readable, in order, and permanent. The document is entered into the record book. Two holes are punched at the top of the document and it is permanently placed on the right side of the court file. It is law, it stands on it’s merit as a final decree that can’t be overturned.

    “Hold up your copy of my granted judgment to the devil’s face and remind him he has no legal right. It is finished.”

 

 

 

Lost and Found

    There’s a parable Jesus told in Luke 15:1-7 about the good shepherd finding the lost sheep. He was teaching unbelievers using an illustration that the culture would perfectly understand. It went like this. A shepherd had 100 sheep that he owned and protected. As he counted them, he discovered that one little animal got lost and was not with the rest of the flock. He left the 99 and diligently sought to find the one little lost lamb. He frantically searched and when he found it, he lifted it up to rest on his shoulders, then carried it back to the fold. As soon as he got home, he called his family and friends together for a celebration. He rejoiced with all his neighbors that his little lost one was found. Jesus told this story to illustrate how the Kingdom of Heaven works. Jesus searches for the unbeliever, He weeps for them and prays for them. He will leave a whole group of righteous people to find just one who doesn’t know Him. He will enable that one to be lifted up on His shoulders and brought home. He will cause another to strike up a conversation with you or create in you a hunger for the reality of God’s love. He will draw you. There may be a huge church full of people worshipping God on a sunny Sunday. The Lord loves that. But if one unbeliever is drawn in; if just one person comes into the church because something urged him to and choses to believe, then all of Heaven breaks out into joyful celebration at the salvation of that one. Jesus seeks your heart, He comes for you, He draws you specifically, by love. He adores you. And He has already planned a party in Heaven in your honor.

    There is no coincidence that you believe. There is absolute hope and joy for you if you don’t. It’s not up to you to find Jesus. Jesus is finding you. There are several parables told by Jesus in Luke, bringing home the message that Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. God the Father sent His son Jesus, to find you. God put every human being into the hands of Jesus. Jesus looked for you, He looks for every lost one on the planet. No one is left out, no one is not good enough, no one is unwanted. Jesus does the searching simply because He loves you desperately and wants to present you to His Father. He breathlessly longs for you. As I read that, I was completely humbled and filled with awe that God sent His son to come after me. I wasn’t worthy of anything; I sure didn’t want religion and I was a mess. But He came specifically for me, He targeted me, and He saved me from myself and destruction. He healed my body from debilitating disease and opened my heart to truth. That defies logic! I quickly learned that human logic is not faith and is flawed by opinion and arrogance. We fight hard to have our opinions and beliefs and we want to think we are right. But faith is logical when the human grip of fear and control surrenders to the absolute love and freedom of Jesus. Beloved, just go for it! Live in peace and have more fun than you thought possible! Blessings.

 

 

 

Stay in Your Lane

    I was driving interstate 84 near Nampa, Idaho the other day. A large diesel pickup truck pulling a covered utility trailer was loudly weaving in and out of traffic. He was going too fast and was careless. It made me feel agitated to be close to him. His recklessness was causing me to work harder to keep out of harm’s way. I was not enjoying my ride. If he would just stay in his lane, the whole road would be smoother and safer for everyone.

And so it was for the early Church in Acts 6. Pentecost had just taken place. Thousands were coming to salvation and the infilling of the Holy Spirit. There was abundant joy in the streets as people heard the good news. Programs were initiated to feed the widows and orphans, things were happening, people were zealous to know about Jesus. The number of followers, disciples, was growing every day. There arose a disagreement between the Hellenists and the Hebrews. Now these are two different groups of Jews living in Jerusalem. The Hellenists were Greek, and the Hebrews were natives of Israel. Both groups were followers of Christ. Both had a different world view and different culture. Both wanted to make the programs and charities work, but they disagreed on how to do it. Meanwhile, the 12 disciples were devoted to prayer and intercession for this amazing new revelation of God happening right in front of them. They knew from the example of Jesus, that the only way to understanding and wisdom was through prayer and intercession. The battle was on immediately, the devil did not want this movement to succeed so he started strife. The 12 recognized their dilemma and refused to be distracted by division and silly arguments. After seeking God, they asked some very trustworthy devotees to find 7 men who were of faith and integrity. These first Deacons were appointed to run the everyday administration of the Church. That delegation of authority freed up the disciples to pursue their assignment of prayer. In that exact moment, the Lord promoted the 12 to the office of Apostle. They were released to pray and take the Church on to greater things. The Church, (the body of believers), survives today because of the alignment with God through prayer.

    The Church grew exponentially as a result of the apostles’ dedication to communication with God and praying out the plan of God. More and more people were filled with the Holy Spirit and given gifts to edify one another. New disciples were raised up to work according to their giftings in administration, hospitality, healing, teaching, prophecy, exhortation and more. They shared all things and worked together in harmony and the groundwork was prayer.

     Are you given the gift of healing? Do that. Does the person gifted in hospitality tell the one gifted in administration what to do? Does the one gifted in exhortation correct the evangelist’s itinerary? Beloved, stay in your lane. Be you and complete your assignment so you may prosper in your calling! I thank God for you! Blessings.

    

Celebration

 

    This vision was received on December 25, 2019 and now is the time to release it.

    The transition from 2019 to 2020 looks like only a day, but remember, in the Kingdom of Heaven, a day is as a thousand years. A thousand years is as but a day. There has been much preparation for 2020. Hustle and bustle. Troops of angelic forces have been delivering messages and working to bring things to this point in time. The prayers of the saints (believers) have been collected in huge golden bowls. The bowls sit upon tall ornate alabaster pillars to decorate the grand dining room in Heaven. The tears of the believers have been carefully taken out of storage and displayed in glistening crystal splendor. Tears are precious to the Lord, not one has been lost. This room is royal in its magnificence. Royal purple fabric drapes the walls between columns of ornately carved gold. The floor is gleaming crystal and jasper. The ceiling is high and covered with a golden dome. I cannot see the end of the grand banquet table; the expanse is far past my line of sight. The room is empty of people, it is being prepared. The kitchen is awhirl; the silver being polished, rich delicacies are being prepared. The great auditorium is being shined and prepared as well. The red velvet seats are plumped and ready for the big show. The inhabitants of Heaven are making themselves ready to attend the unveiling of 2020. It is coming together in excitement and anxious joy. God is preparing to reveal mysteries.

Back in the dining hall, the musicians are practicing in the orchestra room. That room is open; an adjacent room that’s recessed off the side of the dining room; set into the wall behind the pillars. The purpose of this celebration is to bring all believers together in worship of our king Jesus. It’s not for entertainment, but for worship. Spontaneous worship. When the worship starts in Heaven, it will start on earth, spontaneous bursts of glorious praise. Let it be on Earth as it is in Heaven!

    While Earth goes on about its business, it is oblivious to the business of Heaven. I’m about to change that says the Lord. I’m going to reveal Heaven on Earth. Glory and honor are coming. Waves are coming, waves of glory, awakening and revival are coming quickly. Stand still and see the glory of the Lord. All of Heaven eagerly waits or the dawn of January 1, 2020. They will be seated in the great auditorium, watching the day dawn all over the world. It is a momentous occasion. Heaven celebrates the beginning of the days of the Lord.

    I believe this celebration took place. I believe the coming days of 2020 will bring overwhelming joy. Pray for it! Blessings.

Unveiling Truth

    It was prayer time for me on January 24, 2020. “What do you want to talk about today Lord?” Suddenly I saw myself walking up a staircase made of massive pieces of precious stones mixed with vapor. I entered Heaven’s throne room. The Father asked me to take the seat to His left which happens to be vacant at the moment. Before I got here, I was sitting at my desk interceding for some things happening on earth today. I thought to myself, why am I sitting here praying up, when I can pray straight across, face to face? I was praying in faith; I was praying effectively, and it felt powerful. I know I was following the Holy Spirit as we moved from topic to topic together. However, there nagged at my spirit the knowledge that this important prayer session could be more powerful, more confident and more intimate. I knew that and had been there before. That’s when my position changed from my desk to Heaven.

    The Lord looked at me with adoration. His love is all consuming. His eyes twinkle. He is happy to invite me in. We talk about the things on my heart. We converse back and forth in loving harmony, comfort and peace. This is effective prayer, a face to face conversation with my Father. I know He hears me and I’m confident He will do something about these issues. It might not look like my idea of the perfect remedy, but I know that going in. I know He has a better way. I just want to talk to him about it and He is going to handle it.

I think God is turning “religion” on its head. I think God is revealing His heart and breaking down the walls of manmade religion to open eyes to His lovingkindness and justice. I think God is showing that He is approachable, He is interested, and He finds you fascinating. In fact, His arms are open wide to hold you and speak to you in the deep places of your heart. He longs to validate you, correct your misconceptions and fill you with His overwhelming passion. I think the unveiling of truth is here. God is in fact, a mighty force, a fearsome Father filled with love and righteous fury for the children he created and desperately loves. He is not a vengeful, mean and frightful force who is too high for you to reach. He is a beautiful Father who is not influenced by begging and pleading and hoping that He happens to be listening to your desperation. He is always there, He is always waiting for you and listening to you, longing for you to realize that by just believing in Him, answers every question. I believe God is showing us that it’s companionship and conversation he desires from us; what He created us for. God loves a broken and contrite heart; a breaking of our belief systems that diminished the knowledge of His love. His forgiveness is quickly given, His love heals the broken heart and His kindness raises us up to our place of sonship. Blessings.

    

    

    

 

Iron Sharpens Iron

    Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend”. Have you ever had a friend that was bold enough to speak truth into your life? Bold enough to risk angering or offending you because they value you and want you lifted up in maturity? I do have a friend like that. She has hung in there with me for 25 years, speaking truth in love, praying for things I could not see, and loving me for the spirit in me that God created for His good pleasure.

    I used to be very immature in faith, but I dearly loved Jesus. I would get angry with people and resentful for always being corrected. I didn’t understand the value of iron sharpening iron. Simply put, wisdom and maturity allow acceptance of sharpening. There was a long time that I felt insignificant, didn’t measure up, would never be enough, or right, or good. However, at the same time, I knew my friend loved me and wanted me to grow in faith with understanding. I didn’t know anything about spiritual warfare. I didn’t know Satan was the accuser of the brethren, and I didn’t know he hammered lies into my head, created offense and used it all to destroy me. I thought every corrective word was an attack on my character. I thought church people were mean. I hardened my heart. I was deceived into believing all those lies. And I didn’t tell anyone, I suffered alone because I didn’t think my feelings were valid.

    But God intervened! He delivered me from offense and turned those accusations and criticisms into the understanding of the loving words of wisdom they were meant to be. He softened my heart, opened my eyes and untwisted the words I heard. Scripture washed my heart and healed me. My spirit was renewed, my soul (mind, will and emotions) were corrected to see the truth in Christ. The word of God opened my eyes to see the character of God, His fatherly love and grace. I believed the Word, I believed what it said about me. I believed I am dearly loved, I am healed, delivered, provided for and protected. I have the mind of Christ, I don’t have a spirit of fear, but a spirit of love, power and a sound mind. I possess those things so deep in my spirit that they cannot be removed. I became able to be sharpened. I saw truth in love and attached myself to it.

    A dull knife is worthless and even dangerous. A sharp knife has been renewed, finely honed, ground on and formed into a sharp, effective instrument.

    God is faithful to enlighten, strengthen and mature those who seek Him. He said He would never leave us or forsake us. We go from glory to glory, deeper and deeper with Him. He sends us true godly friends who speak the truth and do not compromise. These are the friends to invest in. The one who is not afraid to speak truth is the one to listen to. Take in those words and prayerfully digest them. Pray that every seed of truth will flourish in you. Pray every tiny particle of faith and love be multiplied back to that friend. Honor that friend, love that friend. She was truly sent into your life by God to come alongside you.

    I’m truly grateful for my friend today, and I’m grateful to God for maintaining that long term friendship, making our fellowship actual worship, and bringing fun and adventure to one another as we remember God’s word. Iron sharpens Iron. I pray this word is iron to you today. All glory to God.

Blessings!

Shortcuts and Pie Crust

    For years I’ve been making pie crust in my food processor. I skipped over the old-fashioned method because it’s tedious and messy. The problem is, it’s not as deliciously flaky and not as pliable to work with. I’d even say it was a bit temperamental and broke easily. I would end up getting frustrated because all the work yielded a beautiful pie that had a so-so crust. For me, pie is a delightful combination of sweet filling blanketed in a slightly crispy, slightly salty crust that hits all the right notes and melts in your mouth. I kept making it that way though because it was supposed to be faster and easier. This year for Thanksgiving I made a mince pie with butter pastry. For some reason, I decided to use a hand pastry blender instead of getting out the heavy food processer. I guess I must have known the long way might be tastier. It was perfect. Shortcuts aren’t always better, just faster.

    That got me thinking. It’s just like that with prayer and following the prompt of the Holy Spirit. We try to make it faster and easier to fit it into our busy lives. We shut our ears a little to His voice and tell ourselves we will listen later. It’s not easy carving out that extra hour to sit in the presence of the Lord. We know that skipping time with God leaves us unsatisfied completely, but it will do till we have more time. Sure, we might be a little temperamental, a little short of kind to others, but we can deal with it later. At least that’s what we tell ourselves; we are doing the best we can in the moment. In pie making, you want the fat molecules (the good stuff that brings it all together), to blend perfectly with the salt, flour and ice water. In the food processor, it all whirls too quickly. The heat from the motor warms up the fat and makes it sticky. The flour blends too rapidly and not enough air is infused between the layers. When I used the long, slow method with the simple hand tool, the crust blended perfectly, was flaky and rich.

Look at it this way. Our fat is the good, deep, yummy part of our soul and spirit that we yield up to God because we love Him. When the best of us is blended with the Holy Spirit, revelation, peace and joy is the dynamic result. The perfect intermingling of our hearts with God’s doesn’t happen in a rush. It takes a process, a slower yielding of ingredients to become harmonious, rich and satisfying. But the wind of the Spirit faithfully blows through us, adding lush texture and flavor. Keep pressing in my friends. Keep seeking the face of a loving and kind God who will bring you into perfect fellowship with Him. He waits for us, He is jealous for us. Imagine that! The God of all creation waits for us! He loves you so!

Blessings for a wonderful new year.

20-20 Vision in 2020

This word came as I was driving home from church yesterday.

The new year will bring 20-20 vision; a new clarity and understanding into all things. There will be a settling of divine purpose, a shoring up of foundations and an acute spiritual awareness in the Body of Christ. As eyes open to the magnitude of the Word and the Spirit, a clean transparency of heart will be craved. People will fall at the feet of Jesus in repentance and revival of spirit. Pain, sorrow and loss will melt away. 20-20 vision in 2020 will change the path of many to the new road that leads to glory. Bless the Lord Oh my soul, will be the theme! Revelation will come in frustration free packaging. Saving grace, saving grace! Good news! That’s the new anthem of the Body of Christ.

Resistance Training

    Resistance training for the body is very effective at strengthening muscles and burning off unwanted fat. To get results, one must persevere. Muscles must be retrained to work in a different manner that’s more efficient and stronger. Resistance brings muscle growth and development. That strength brings a leanness, a confidence, a healthy dependability on your body and its function.

    Resistance in the Spirit works much the same way. To resist the devil (James 4:7) brings strength and wisdom with freedom and confidence. What’s the common denominator?? You are. You must persevere, you must put in the work. Repetition is key, until it’s ingrained. In one, you must know your body and its limitations in order to strengthen them. You must know how to properly use the equipment. Then, it’s a matter of repetition until you reach your goal. At that point, you confidently maintain your strength and it becomes easier.

    So it is in the Spirit. We know from James 4:7 that we must resist the devil and he will flee from you. In fact, all the book of James is a wealth of practical knowledge for persevering in trouble. Just reading it made my heart leap in joy! Resistance requires repetition, stretching and perseverance. You must know the word of God which is your source of power and authority against Satan. You must adhere to the belief that God’s word is truth, then speak accordingly. Speak that word and the power of heaven is released with explosions of glory. This is your equipment. In James, it is written that perseverance brings victory. We absolutely will conquer if we resist. When the goal is reached it’s easier to maintain that strength and freedom. Battle fought; battle won!

    Therefore, we continue resistance training, becoming more like Jesus every day, conquering temptation and attacks, with perfect victory. How wonderful is that! Bless the Lord O my soul and all that is within me! Bless His holy name! So, resist the devil and he will flee from you. Go in confidence! Jesus paid the cost on the cross so go in freedom and expectation of abundant life! Blessings.

Love Never Fails

    As I read Habakkuk chapter 2 this morning, it became so clear that these words apply today every bit as much as they did back in this prophet’s day. It seems to me, that God is clarifying that we have a choice. To choose righteousness brings protection and promise, even though we might need to go through a process we don’t understand. On the other hand, to choose ungodliness eventually brings the unavoidable price of judgment and penalty. Sin is a real thing, it brings bondage, addiction and death. Habakkuk was wondering why it was taking God so long to avenge His people, allowing them to suffer at the hands of the Chaldeans. Remember, Jesus had not come to earth yet. Salvation was through the law, not grace. People subjected themselves to judgment for their disobedience; both the righteous and the unbelievers. For us, it’s different. Thank God we can choose to believe Jesus and that alone results in salvation by grace, the unmerited favor and forgiveness of all sin, past, present and future.

Look at Habakkuk 2:4. “Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him. But the “just” shall live by faith”. We are just, we are found righteous because of Jesus. We live by faith in the steadfast goodness of our trustworthy God. In times of adversity, we stop looking at the problem, and focus on Jesus because He is our redeemer. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. The result of trusting the Lord is peace in every storm, hope in the outcome, and a knowing that God is at work in us to do and to will for His great pleasure. We always win because Jesus paid the price of our unrighteousness. We have access to abundant life and freedom. It’s just a matter of submitting to His plan.

    So, Habakkuk wants to know why the intervention of the Lord tarries. People get battle weary and war torn. God’s ways are higher than our ways, that’s why we have faith in Him. Perhaps rescue lingers because God is giving those ensnared by sin, time to see their own wickedness and repent. Perhaps the Holy Spirit is dogging them, convicting them because He dearly loves them and desires to free them from the straight jacket of sin. It’s written that it’s Gods desire that none perish but come to the knowledge of God. He has His hand out, He wants everyone to come to Him. Maybe it’s not about us, but about those who do not know Him. You see, we know God. We know His mercy and grace. We know love never fails. We know to wait on the Lord patiently because He has a better plan. That is faith. I think this chapter is a reminder to live patiently by faith while God works in the lives of others. In the interim, we have a life of peace and adventure, provision and hope.

    Sometimes love asks us to wait.