Enduring Strength

Our daughter and her husband are raising four boys, and she likes to tell me about their “teachable moments.” I’m going to share my “teachable moment” from the Lord that may help you with enduring strength.

A few weeks into the pandemic, watching the news and understanding the effects of viral deaths, lockdown, lost jobs, and social injustice, my heart was extremely grieved. My empathy and compassion were overwhelmed. My husband retired, so we have not personally been impacted like others. Nonetheless, my heart took one stab after another. One early morning, the Lord told me to go to the book of James.

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)

The joy of the Lord is a fruit of the Spirit connected to our spirit man. Joy is an overwhelming sense of well-being, trusting that God is working in us and for us, accomplishing His purposes. It is a strength during trials. Joy during difficulties releases our faith in the One who can bring victory. Our faith is currently being tested at epic levels. Are we going to stand firm for Jesus in this hour of adversity? Will our faith continue to trust in God and not man?

The shaking that is taking place in our nation is not ending anytime soon. The exposure of darkness is greater than what we could have imagined. However, let me encourage you. The world’s shaking does not need to shake our faith which is steadfast on the rock of Jesus Christ! This is our moment to arise and shine, for the world to see a demonstration of the love and power of Christ Jesus!

As disciples of Christ, we must guard against the shaking of the enemy. There are ways to keep us steadfast. Below is a list of ways to stay strong in this hour and have enduring strength.

* Meditate on the word of God. “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does he prospers.” Psalms 1:2-3. The word of God keeps our focus on the Lord rather than the world. The word renews our mind and strengthens our faith.

* Pray. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6-7. Our prayers are important in this hour for our personal lives and the future of our country. Faith-filled prayers engage the power of God on our behalf, and grant us peace.

* Praise and thanksgiving. “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations.” Psalm 100:4-5. We thank Him for who He is and what He is doing. In every season there is something to thank God for. Praise and thanksgiving produce joy.

* Watch your thoughts. “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Cor. 10:5. The devil wants us to agree with His thoughts of destruction, producing division between every race and culture. Instead, we want our thoughts to be kingdom thoughts producing reconciliation and a godly life.

* Words are weapons. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Prov. 18:21.
Our words produce emotion and activity. We can curse and bless. The temptation is strong to curse people who have darkened counsel. Let’s be intentional to use our words to activate God’s love, power and wisdom.

* Play. While play is not listed in scripture, let me share the benefits. This is good for our soul and much needed during times of stress and intensity. According to Google, play helps: relieve stress by triggering the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Improves brain function by playing games that challenge the brain.
Stimulates the mind and boosts creativity, stimulating your imagination. Improves relationships and your connection to others by sharing laughter and fun. Keeps you feeling young and energetic by boosting energy, vitality and resistance to disease. Play is helpful in restoring our soul and diffusing intensity.

Our enduring strength comes from the Lord Himself, as we give Him time and attention. Our focus is not on what the enemy is doing, although we want to be aware and discerning. Our focus is on Jesus Christ who is calling us back to His embrace. He is renewing our strength to send us as light into the darkness. May the manifestation of God’s love and power be demonstrated every where we go!


Why we do Not Fear!

Fear is the substance of our enemy, the one who is lurking about to “steal, kill, and destroy.” When we agree with fear, it builds and effects our environment. We carry it. We talk about it. We release it into the atmosphere. This is what is happening all over our world right now. Spirits of fear are trying to control and delay God’s termination of Covid-19.

Fear opposes faith. It causes immobility and allows the enemy to have his way. In fear we cower, shrinking and trembling at what the news is portraying. We can understand why non-believers are afraid. This pandemic is out of their control, there are many unknowns, and much is at stake. Let me say it again, fear is the substance of darkness, the substance of the enemy who is trying to “steal, kill and destroy.”

John 10:10
“The thief does not come except to steal, kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

2 Timothy 2:7
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

Proverbs 18:21
“Life and death are in the power of the tongue…”

1 John 3:8
“The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.”

As followers of Jesus Christ, we do not give in to fear. “We walk by faith and not by sight.” 2 Cor. 5:7 The kingdom of God lives within us and this kingdom need not be affected by our external world. If we give in to fear, we cannot release the peace of God into our world. We cannot speak, “Peace! Be still!” to our storm if our peace is overruled by fear. What are we releasing into our families, our nation and around the world? Are we activating God’s domain? Heaven on earth? Or are we multiplying fear adding to the chaos?

Is God taking a coffee break right now, watching to see how the world handles this? No! He is at work this very second responding to the prayers of the saints, releasing wisdom, healing, provision and peace. Angels are on assignment. Lets’ come into alignment with Jesus, “who came to destroy the works of the devil.” Our words activate kingdoms, let’s activate the power of God to terminate this virus, not only in our nation, but around the world. Rise up in faith, speak and believe!

“Nothing is impossible with God!” Our God spoke the world into existence, delivered the Israelite’s through the red sea, brought forth water out of a rock, rained down manna from heaven, multiplied food from a boys lunch, healed the sick, set the captives free and raised the dead! He is the ultimate power source, able to annihilate any plan of the enemy!

Let’s agree in prayer:

Covid-19 you are terminated in Jesus name! Healing, provision and peace, be released over our leaders, families, nation and world! May the supernatural comfort of the Holy Spirit fill our homes. May this season lead into a great outpouring and time of redemption. Father God, bless every Pastor, small business and all those affected by this outbreak. Let our economy rebound and increase. Lord, help every mom with kids at home. May your love Lord, be expressed one to another. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Blessings.

Rest

Matthew 11:28 Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to Me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn My ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. TPT

God has me in a season of rest and I am learning this is not about taking naps. Rest is necessary and oftentimes overlooked. We run until we crash. Our bodies break down and we wonder why we are sick. As a culture, we believe that hard work is the ingredient to any path of success. Any lack of due diligence will find us asleep in a gutter somewhere. I have a strong work ethic, maybe it comes from raising four kids.

God knows, I can work my fingers to the bone for Jesus. A few years back I heard Him say, “take care of yourself.” I figured my nap here and there was adequate rest for my endeavors to advance His kingdom on earth. I live by lists, checking off my to dos, proud of my accomplishments. My relationship with the Lord is part of my list: prayer time, Bible study, writing, outreach, travel etc. However, an unexpected procedure was coming to force me into rest.

Last September, I went into the ER for medicine for a stomach ache that kept showing up. Next thing you know, I was admitted for a gall stone and a procedure was scheduled for the next day. After that procedure, the following day was gall bladder removal. My gall bladder was the largest the doc had ever seen. Apparently I had been having silent attacks for a number of years. I don’t have time for this, I remember thinking, I have plans. I missed a drive across the country with my grandkids, as our daughter’s family was moving to Texas. I missed a Voice of the Apostles conference with Global Awakening. Next I missed a missions trip to Brazil.

During this rest season, which is extending beyond my recovery, I am experiencing God’s love in stillness. I feel His presence wrapped around me like a blanket. He loves me whether I sleep or preach. Just as a parent loves their newborn who can do nothing, God loves us while we can do nothing. Think about all those people in nursing homes, imprisoned, and in the hospital. It is foolish to think they are not loved. I ministered in nursing homes. They are called, “rest” homes. God loves them as much as He does the evangelist bringing in the multitudes.

The Lord will give us rest as we go to Him and lay our burdens down at the cross. He will refresh and renew our life filling us with His peace. Resting in the Lord is to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen. It’s worship and thanksgiving and an invitation to draw near to Him. It’s aligning with the kingdom of heaven. Forced rest became a season of delight with the understanding that rest is more than just sleep. A place of stillness, hearing His voice, receiving revelation and renewal, my life is forever changed.

2020 Perspective

Good morning friends! It’s a great year to be alive and participate with the plans and purposes of God for our nation! 2020 is the number for perfect vision, and I believe we will see an outpouring of dreams and visions releasing clarity of God’s plans and purposes! Take note of your dreams and seek God for interpretation. The Bible is full of people having dreams as a form of communication.

Joel 2:28 “And afterward, I will pour out My Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. ”

God has been opening the eyes of His church, making aware the magnitude of demonic attack. The world is trying to dictate their agenda as being God’s, and we must be wise and discerning. As followers of Christ Jesus, we must not shrink back or allow compromise of His word to become a part of our assemblies. The Word of God, coupled with the Spirit of God, will bring new power into our churches with greater victories, bringing glory unto the Lord.

Isaiah 54:17 “No weapon forged against you will prevail.

Intercessory prayer in the church is no longer an option but a necessity. The power of prayer is our greatest weapon against the destroyer. The army of the Lord is arising and will take back what the enemy has stolen. I believe we shall see tables turned this year as the Lord reveals His truth and justice. Lots of warfare took place in 2019 and continues; however, I decree this year God’s army will regain stolen ground and conquer new ground.

Phil. 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

God is positioning His people in all spheres of society. We have the understanding that places of leadership and influence need godly men and women. The act of leading a quiet life while going to church is great, but if we are not reaching out to the world, it leaves opportunities for enemy takeover. If we are willing to surrender our lives to Him and allow Him to position us, God’s kingdom will advance, releasing salvation, healing and freedom.

Prov. 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge , and He will make your paths straight.

Wisdom is a central theme this year. Mankind needs the wisdom of God to bring solutions to the chaos rampant in our world today. Rather than jumping into battle with swords ready to slay dragons, we need to posture ourselves to hear and listen. Listening prayer, hearing God’s plan, will give us the strategies to proceed in a godly manner. We must be intentional to listen and hear from God. The noise in the world is loud; however, I have hope that God’s people prevail because we are hearing His voice and learning how to respond to the enemy’s tactics.

Proverbs 2:6 “For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. “

God is love. The posture of our heart must be one of love, not revenge. Praying for the lost, for those caught in the devil’s net, is what God calls us to do. If the entire Christian community released judgment and anger, no one would encounter the transforming love of the Father. We see God’s redemption for the thief on the cross. We see it all through scripture, God bringing restoration out of pain and woundedness. No one is beyond reach. Receiving God’s love brings salvation, healing and freedom. From this place of receiving, we love others with the love of Christ.

John 15:12 “My command is this: love each other as I have loved you.”

I believe we will see the glory of the Lord arising amidst the darkness this year, with power and love demonstrated on unprecedented levels. The enemy thinks he has the upper hand, but a mighty harvest is already in the beginning stages! God is opening our eyes and calling us into position to show the world the love and power of His Son, Jesus Christ. Let us not lose hope for our Almighty God is able to change a nation in a day!

Isaiah 60:1-3 “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. “

Political Encouragement

Do not let your Christmas be sabotaged by the impending impeachment news. The Lord recently encouraged me regarding His hand in our government and I felt led to share. I watched a clip on the news about how to make it through the holidays without arguing about politics. Disagreement or not, anger can arise over what’s taking place. Let’s be mindful of our conversations.

I was wondering and asking the Lord how He is going to clean sweep our government when evil has gained right of access and has permission to be there. Anytime enemy spirits occupy a territory, it is because they have an entry point. They have been granted or invited to come and bring their chaos and division. This is true of our political mountain. Looking at what’s taking place with the natural eye promotes a sense of foreboding, is our nation is doomed?

“Fear not! Only believe!” Mark 5:36

The news will not report the progress Trump is making. However, you can search this out. The list I read of all his accomplishments, was so extensive I did not finish. The following is what the Lord showed me and encouraged me with. His angel armies are positioned all around our governmental buildings. Trump has been able to accomplish the work of the Lord in the midst of the storm, due to angelic assistance and the prayers of the saints. Praying saints, praying the word of God, activates angels. They are here to assist the Lord’s plan of His “will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. “

Do not allow this season of celebration of the birth of our Savior, to be filled with anger and division over politics. Let’s watch over our words which can promote peace or discord. Jesus is the Prince of Peace and He provided the way for us to have peace in the midst of any storm. “Cast your care upon the Lord,” “pray in all circumstances,” and may “the joy of the lord be your strength!” Merry Christmas!

Harvest and You!

This time of year is beautiful for many reasons. Harvest time for crops is upon us along with leaves changing color, temperatures cooling and holidays coming up. While harvest in the natural signifies the gathering of crops, harvest in the spiritual signifies the gathering of the lost.

John 4:35, Do you not say, there are yet four months, and then comes the harvest? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.

This morning the Lord was sharing about the harvest and understanding people. With our modern day technology, you might believe that every person in the U.S. has access to hearing the gospel. At any given time we can find excellent teachers, preachers, churches and messages on every topic. As I told the Lord one day, “the U.S.A. is without excuse.” He replied that I have judgment towards North America and in order to minister effectively in this nation, that needs to change. I immediately repented and asked for His heart for our nation.

God opened my eyes to see the plight of North America. People who are lost hear the voice of the flesh and the voice of the thief. All their decisions are made from this standpoint. Their knowledge and understanding is derived from their environment, experiences and peers. Unless prayer pervades the darkness over the lives of the lost, the thief will have his way. “The thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy.” John 10:10

You and I are harvest reapers. The Lord showed me that every believer qualifies as a connector between the lost and Jesus. Believers in Christ are the ones who carry the kingdom of God and His message of salvation through Christ. This message needs heard with the love and power of God demonstrated. How can we reach our neighbors, our state and our nation? Prayer will open up divine appointments and courage helps us follow through. May we see the lost as Jesus does and help them connect to the greatest love of their life! “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. ” John 10:10

The Aroma of Christ

2 Corinthians 2:15-16 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing , from one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.

My husband and I live in an area with strong contrasting aromas. One day you walk outside and smell Hershey’s chocolate, which comes from their factory 30 minutes away. The next day you walk outside and smell manure being spread over nearby farmland. Each aroma is distinct and attaches to a specific cause. The same is true with the aroma of Christ. The aroma of Christ is with us wherever we go representing the Kingdom of God. Question is, does our aroma represent Christ? Do we smell like Jesus or the world?

People all over this planet need Jesus. They are lost, hurting, in captivity and heading towards eternal fire. Since we carry the kingdom of God, their needs can be answered through you and I. Everywhere our feet tread, the Kingdom of heaven can be released. Awareness of God being with us and His desire to reach a lost world is crucial. It’s easy to run errands and pay no attention to anyone else. Tuning into the Holy Spirit throughout our day, however, will open doors of opportunity to reach people for Christ. Approaching others with God’s love and compassion releases a favorable aroma.

What do people come in contact with, when they meet us? Is it the love, joy and peace of the Lord? Or the anxiety, anger and stress of the world? This is what family members, work buddies and everyone else will notice. The aroma of Christ is first and foremost unconditional love, for God is love. Love values people no matter what culture, color or behavior. No one is beyond hope, no one is beyond redemption. We are called to love people the way Christ loves us.

Time and devotion unto the Lord will strengthen our Christlike aroma. If we are too busy to spend time with the Lord, we will smell like the world. Strengthening our spirit man with God’s word, worship, prayer, praise and thanksgiving will create a sweet aroma. We will smell like Jesus, releasing the kingdom and presenting people an opportunity to encounter their heavenly Father!

Blessings.

Thrive

This morning while taking a shower I was thinking about my schedule. My showers are lengthy due to my think time. The next three months have a number of major events including: helping two families move (our own grown children), a family vacation, a conference and an international missions trip. I thought to myself, “I will have to kick into survival mode.” The survival mode has a mindset of, ” hold on til the ride is over. I have no control over whats happening. “

The Lord broke in and spoke, “not survive mode, thrive mode.” I had to process that a bit. My shower just got longer. How often is the question, “how are you doing?” Met with, “well, I’m surviving. Hanging in there. Life will be easier after this is over.”

Life with Christ is lived out by faith and grace. We trust God and believe He will supernaturally intervene in our circumstances. Having much to do, can be done in rest and peace thereby accomplishing more in less time. I have seen this happen over and over in my life. Spending time with the Lord should be priority, even more so the busier we are. Martin Luther said, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”

Thrive means to: prosper, flourish, succeed, grow vigorously, improve according to Webster’s New world College Dictionary.

The Lord is telling us we don’t need to be in survival mode, that even in the busiest of times we can flourish. Growing and increasing in Christ continues for a lifetime. God will help us maintain our schedule if we keep our eyes on Him. Having much to do is not a bad thing, as long as time spent with the Lord stays on the schedule.

If busy takes the place of prayer, Bible study, and one days rest out of seven, ask the Lord for help to rearrange your schedule. Putting the Lord aside during your busy season, means your flesh will take over with striving, producing stress, fatigue, anger and burnout. Instead, may we stay connected in every season by following this word in John 15:4, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”

Psalms 1:2-3
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does he prospers.

“What the World Needs Now”

A number of years ago in 1965, there was a song that went like this.

“What the world needs now is love sweet love, it’s the only thing that there’s just too little of, what the world needs now is love sweet love, no not just for you but for everyone…”

A love deficit covers the earth today breaking connections between God and man, husband and wife, parent and child and friend to friend. People are communicating to one another through social media believing their need for connection is met. There are scores of hurting people looking for “love in all the wrong places.”

1 John 4:19 “We love because He first loved us.”

1 John 4:8 “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. ”

1 John 4:11 “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

The ability to love God comes from God’s love to us. After loving God, we love ourselves. This may be tricky if we had parental issues growing up and lacked the love of our earthly parents. God’s love is perfect however, healing all the wounds of absent parental love. His love is not earned, based on performance or the result of good deeds. God loves us because we are His sons and daughters. He is our Abba Father. His desire is to have a personal relationship with all people and for them to experience His love, forgiveness, healing and freedom. Jesus will reveal Himself to you, simply ask.

We love God, we love ourselves, we love family and we love our neighbors. The Lord says in John 13:35 “By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” What does this love look like? How is it possible to love the lost and evil doers?

God’s love in us is capable of loving the unlovely. I recently heard a story of a Taliban leader coming to Christ. The minister reached him through love and he encountered Jesus. The power of love makes a connection to another man or woman’s heart. We love people through Christ and see them with His eyes of compassion, mercy, and potential. No person is beyond hope. No matter how deep the sin, forgiveness is available through Christ who died and rose again redeeming us from its power.

Let us walk in love, praying for all people and looking past their sin into their value as a beloved son or daughter of the Most High God. Their outward appearance is not ours to judge. We have not walked in their shoes or heard their story. Shame keeps them from entering a church therefore let’s be outrageous lovers and take Jesus outside the four walls and into the streets!

Africa Mission

I stared at the carefully cultivated hillsides while traveling into Uganda from Rwanda. The soil was dark and rich, the vegetation green and healthy. Workers in the fields were women swinging pick axes. There were no tractors, oxen or work horses. Thinking about the exertion on one’s back and neck almost created pain. Some women had their baby’s bundled on their back. Other small children sat in the dirt nearby. There are many homes without electricity and most roads are dirt, not pavement. It felt like backward time travel a couple centuries.

Our team of nine, led by Peter Seth Neuberger from Kashabba Tribe Ministries, came from Alaska, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Peter recently moved his family to Rwanda, from Tanzania. He is very familiar with the way of life there and was a superb leader. The mission in Rwanda was to train Pastors with open meetings at night. The mission in Uganda was to train Pastors in the day and have an open air crusade at night complete with tents.

Praise and worship in Africa has it’s own category. Dancing unto the Lord involves every body part moving! They know how to celebrate and rejoice! Often times we would see the dirt from the crusade ground turn into a cloud from the stomping of feet for Jesus! The women were dressed in brightly colored dresses, fancy shoes and the men wore suits to the crusade and church on Sundays. The last outdoor church service lasted a mere five hours including three and a half hours of singing and dancing before the speaker.

There was leading from the Lord to solidify Christian foundations. Our teachers spoke on: Love, A Healthy Church, Sonship, The Culture of Honor, The Fire of God, Forgiveness, The Feeding of the Five Thousand, Salvation, and Testimonies. After each teaching there was an altar call where people received salvation, healing or deliverance. The power of the Holy Spirit was evident and lives were transformed.

Everyone I prayed for with pain, was healed. I had a teenager receive Christ. Another teen was healed from intestinal worms. Some women received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Others were slain in the spirit and many received deliverance. With the teachings on forgiveness, people were set free through forgiving. This is my passion, to see people encounter the love and power of God! All glory unto the Lord!

God captured my heart for Africa. I had encounters five days during this trip. The connections to Pastors brought invitations to return. My friend and I took a duffle bag full of handouts: three spirit-filled study Bibles, a thinline Bible, seventeen children’s books for a primary school, two soccer balls, baby clothes, lollipops and some items our leader needed. The team received gifts as well: African shirts and dresses, and we felt so honored! Now I have a dress for my return trip!

In closing, I encourage you to pray for nations around the world. God is moving and people are coming to Christ by the tens of thousands. If you have an opportunity to serve on a missions trip and see another part of the world, you will be blessed. I went on this trip to serve and I received much more than I ever expected. As you give away you will be filled, whether here in the US or in other countries. Stay full of the Holy Spirit and be a fountain of living water. Blessings.

Mark 16:15 he said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”