Archive | April, 2014

The Difficult Ones

12 Apr

Dear Lord,
I have this roadblock in my heart for certain sin, for certain sinners, the people that I really don’t know how to Love. There is evil in some people Lord. My list of unforgivable sin used to be so much longer, but You, Father God have brought me so far and changed my heart so much. I now can see beyond the sin in people to see the heart that needs so much love.Thank you, for that.
Today, I read scripture that hit me so hard. How do I minister to the evil people,to those that commit horrible crimes: Crimes of cruelty, crimes of evil, especially crimes against the babies! My heart turns to ice, not just for the sin but also the sinner.You showed Mercy on me,saved me from my sin. How do I walk with Grace, share Your Hope, yet have the discernment and wisdom to know not to cast my pearls before swine. Father, teach me, lead me, change my heart to where You want me to grow, and I will follow. We are called to speak Your truth to everyone, especially the lost. Guide my steps, I place my unloving heart into Your hands and seek forgiveness. Let me walk in Your light, with Your Love, Your desires, Your plans, Your eyes. Help me Father, because hate feels so awful in this heart so consumed by Your Love. ~ Amen

Matthew 9:37-38 (NKJV)
37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

Romans 10:1 (ESV)
10 Brothers,[a] my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.

Luke 19:10 (NIV)
10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

1 Timothy 2:4 (NKJV)
4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Luke 10: 17 NIV When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!”

18 “Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning! 19 Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. 20 But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.”

Matthew 4:10
Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'”

Matthew 9:34
But the Pharisees said, “It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.”

Psalm 34:17 (NIV)

17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.

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Changed

10 Apr

I saw an ad tonight for a beautiful kitchen. You know the one, state-of-the-art appliances, beautiful cabinets, gorgeous floor. I was shocked that I found no interest. I appreciated the beauty of it, but I didn’t desire it.

There was a time I would have poured over all the trend magazines, worked on new designs for the next dream home. Furniture, paint, colors, toys, clothing, designer bags… (Ok.. still love handbags, I am a work in progress). I realized, in that moment, how different I really am.

Transformation is not something we are ever aware of. How could we be? We are too self focused.

We zone in on our circumstances, our dreams, our people… our feelings. It is when we look back that we see how far we have come. Everything is changing so fast;I am changing so quickly. It’s weird to see this from an almost outside perspective. I have these challenges, these life altering times and hardships that are so swift in the processing. From shock, to fear to anger, to sadness, to seeing God’s hand, to seeing his plan, to hope, to joy, in a matter of days. I can’t explain this any more than this. I lost all I thought mattered and gained everything I didn’t know existed.

Who would have thought I would be this alive in Christ, this deep into my faith? I am the fun girl, the party girl. I am the woman with the controlling nature, the right and wrong, black and white side. Walking this path for Christ, by joining His Army..(did I know I was joining the Army?) we will suffer greatly as we struggle to let go of our version and plan for our life, and learn to embrace His version and plan for our life.

My passion has shifted so tremendously, what I value has changed completely. What gets me excited and what makes me afraid… completely different.
As I lose more and more of my attachment to the things of this world, my love deepens for the people of this world. Not so much their person, not who they are or what they do, but the soul of the person.

I love and miss what is familiar to me, my children, my family, my friends, and I am caught in this place that can feel so alone. My faith is so isolating at times, but that is my greatest Hope of all. He is leading me and I am following. Even as the pain of it settles in at times, He never leaves me alone in it. He has brought righteous, loving guidance. Gentle wisdom and loving friendship to lift me, to keep my eyes on Him with joyful faith.

There are no rules except to love the Lord. Love Him, seek Him and trust Him. The sinner will still sin. That’s okay. We grow and He will guide us where He wants us. Each path is so different, each lesson unique. No one path is greater than another, no need to compare.

I have learned that Faith, Trust, Hope, Forgiveness, Love, all the beautiful gifts of the Spirit, come in layers. Each layer of trial that is peeled back, is a new layer of healing. The best I can explain it would be a shower routine: We get mired down in the muck, we get dirty, we get weighed down. When you have had enough and are ready to be cleansed, you peel off this new layer of your struggles, (unforgiveness, injustice, heartbreak, fear, disappointment). You put that into the hamper to be washed clean by housekeeping. You step into the shower, letting the warm water comfort you, you slowly come to life. You slowly come clean and you feel refreshed. You step out and put on new clothes that have been chosen for you, bought for you. They are a gift. Sometimes it is simple clothing, sometimes it is rich garments with beautiful jewels. These are special items, they never need to be cleaned, you get to keep them and treasure them for ever and no one can ever steal them or take them from you.

That is the Love, Grace and Mercy of Christ. You are healed, made new, strengthened, surrounded, saved, by Him. You don’t even realize how far that Love will reach in until you begin that walk to find it. Suddenly, Grace walks in and everything is different. This makes me cry such tears of joy and gratitude. Jesus, the only name you need to know on a first name basis.

Luke 18
27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

28 Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!”

29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”

Rise Up or Lay Down

8 Apr

For greater things have yet to come…And greater things are still to be done in this City ~ Chris Tomlin

I am not psychic and I am not a prophet but I can read the writing on the wall. This world is clamoring and changing quickly.
The righteous have a feeling, a need, deep within our bellies. We know what we know, and it is a sense of turbulence and exuberance. We will be divided and we are, as never before. Christian against christian, brother against brother. There is unrest and need. We are called. We are called to be more, do more. Everything around me, brings me this message. I have had dreams of massive world earthquakes and destruction.Realize, I do not foresee the future, but this is all so etched in my heart, it is pouring out in my dreams. I have a deep, deep need to spread His love and His word to all I know.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV)
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

God is calling you, crying out to you. This is Easter, Jesus died to set you free and apart from evil. This doesn’t stop suffering (actually it can be quite the opposite at times) but throughout the suffering there is this amazing, distinct Joy that only comes from being saved. I wish you would ask Jesus to come in to your life, in your heart. To be comforted by the Holy Spirit. To be rescued and lifted all at once.

Psalm 42 1-2 NKJV: As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?

Jeremiah 17:14 (NIV) Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.

Below is one of many of my scriptures as of late. Today this was my reading from my one year bible plan this morning. My sermon on Sunday, my dreams last week of earthquakes.

God is calling us to rise up and be the disciples we are called to be. He is reminding us to be dressed and ready and waiting for His return. Always. I want to bring as many as I can with me, to that beautiful place in heaven.
I invite you to click on and read the link. The message I got from this is loud and clear to me. I always read in multiple versions.. and the message is so descriptive to me.
<a href="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=luke+12%3A35-59&version=NIV;MSG;AMP;NKJV

John 21:15-19 (NKJV)
Jesus Restores Peter

15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah,[a] do you love Me more than these?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”

He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”

16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah,[b] do you love Me?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”

He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”

17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah,[c] do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”

And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”

Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep. 18 Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.” 19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”
John 16:8-11 (MSG)
8-11 “When he comes, he’ll expose the error of the godless world’s view of sin, righteousness, and judgment: He’ll show them that their refusal to believe in me is their basic sin; that righteousness comes from above, where I am with the Father, out of their sight and control; that judgment takes place as the ruler of this godless world is brought to trial and convicted.

Who’s There?

4 Apr

Jude 1 (NLT)
Greetings from Jude
1 This letter is from Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and a brother of James.
I am writing to all who have been called by God the Father, who loves you and keeps you safe in the care of Jesus Christ.[a]
2 May God give you more and more mercy, peace, and love.
The Danger of False Teachers
3 Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people. 4 I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
5 So I want to remind you, though you already know these things, that Jesus[b] first rescued the nation of Israel from Egypt, but later he destroyed those who did not remain faithful. 6 And I remind you of the angels who did not stay within the limits of authority God gave them but left the place where they belonged. God has kept them securely chained in prisons of darkness, waiting for the great day of judgment. 7 And don’t forget Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God’s judgment.
8 In the same way, these people—who claim authority from their dreams—live immoral lives, defy authority, and scoff at supernatural beings.[c] 9 But even Michael, one of the mightiest of the angels,[d] did not dare accuse the devil of blasphemy, but simply said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (This took place when Michael was arguing with the devil about Moses’ body.) 10 But these people scoff at things they do not understand. Like unthinking animals, they do whatever their instincts tell them, and so they bring about their own destruction. 11 What sorrow awaits them! For they follow in the footsteps of Cain, who killed his brother. Like Balaam, they deceive people for money. And like Korah, they perish in their rebellion.
12 When these people eat with you in your fellowship meals commemorating the Lord’s love, they are like dangerous reefs that can shipwreck you.[e] They are like shameless shepherds who care only for themselves. They are like clouds blowing over the land without giving any rain. They are like trees in autumn that are doubly dead, for they bear no fruit and have been pulled up by the roots. 13 They are like wild waves of the sea, churning up the foam of their shameful deeds. They are like wandering stars, doomed forever to blackest darkness.
14 Enoch, who lived in the seventh generation after Adam, prophesied about these people. He said, “Listen! The Lord is coming with countless thousands of his holy ones 15 to execute judgment on the people of the world. He will convict every person of all the ungodly things they have done and for all the insults that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”[f]
16 These people are grumblers and complainers, living only to satisfy their desires. They brag loudly about themselves, and they flatter others to get what they want.
A Call to Remain Faithful
17 But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ said. 18 They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires. 19 These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them.
20 But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit,[g] 21 and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.
22 And you must show mercy to[h] those whose faith is wavering. 23 Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others,[i] but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.[j]
A Prayer of Praise
24 Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. 25 All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.
2 Timothy 3(NLT)
The Dangers of the Last Days

3 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
6 They are the kind who work their way into people’s homes and win the confidence of[a] vulnerable women who are burdened with the guilt of sin and controlled by various desires. 7 (Such women are forever following new teachings, but they are never able to understand the truth.) 8 These teachers oppose the truth just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses. They have depraved minds and a counterfeit faith. 9 But they won’t get away with this for long. Someday everyone will recognize what fools they are, just as with Jannes and Jambres.
Paul’s Charge to Timothy
10 But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance. 11 You know how much persecution and suffering I have endured. You know all about how I was persecuted in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra—but the Lord rescued me from all of it. 12 Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived.
14 But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. 15 You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

Mark 12:38-40 (NLT)
38 Jesus also taught: “Beware of these teachers of religious law! For they like to parade around in flowing robes and receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces. 39 And how they love the seats of honor in the synagogues and the head table at banquets. 40 Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be more severely punished.”

Matthew 7:15-23 (NLT)
The Tree and Its Fruit

15 “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. 16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 19 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. 20 Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.
True Disciples
21 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’
2 Peter 2:12-14(NLT)
12 These false teachers are like unthinking animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed. They scoff at things they do not understand, and like animals, they will be destroyed. 13 Their destruction is their reward for the harm they have done. They love to indulge in evil pleasures in broad daylight. They are a disgrace and a stain among you. They delight in deception[a] even as they eat with you in your fellowship meals. 14 They commit adultery with their eyes, and their desire for sin is never satisfied. They lure unstable people into sin, and they are well trained in greed. They live under God’s curse.

1 Corinthians 1:18 (MSG)

18-21 The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It’s written,
I’ll turn conventional wisdom on its head,
I’ll expose so-called experts as crackpots.
So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn’t God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb—preaching, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation.

Matthew 7:21-23 (AMP)

21 Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven.
22 Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name?
23 And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].

1 Timothy 3:1-13 (NLT)
Leaders in the Church

3 This is a trustworthy saying: “If someone aspires to be an elder,[a] he desires an honorable position.” 2 So an elder must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife.[b] He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. 3 He must not be a heavy drinker[c] or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. 4 He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. 5 For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?
6 An elder must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall.[d] 7 Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil’s trap.
8 In the same way, deacons must be well respected and have integrity. They must not be heavy drinkers or dishonest with money. 9 They must be committed to the mystery of the faith now revealed and must live with a clear conscience. 10 Before they are appointed as deacons, let them be closely examined. If they pass the test, then let them serve as deacons.
11 In the same way, their wives[e] must be respected and must not slander others. They must exercise self-control and be faithful in everything they do.
12 A deacon must be faithful to his wife, and he must manage his children and household well. 13 Those who do well as deacons will be rewarded with respect from others and will have increased confidence in their faith in Christ Jesus.