Monday, October 28, 2013

From Prison to Praise

Friends,

A few days ago I wrote and told you I wanted to help other women find their voice and share what God has done for them. Not everyone has a blog or a website but each one of our testimonies are precious and powerful. People need to hear them because by sharing our lives and our stories, we encourage others.

The following story was sent in by a dear friend named Mary from Tuscon, AZ. I am so grateful that she took the time to write it out and send it in, because it shows what God can do in a person's life. He wastes nothing. He will take our pain and turn it around and let His power and anointing flow through to touch others. The pain of what she went through touched my heart as I know it will touch yours, too. So many of us have gone through terrible things, but God can redeem them all and turn those things into a platform to reach others who are also in pain. Today, Mary's story is shared with the world in an effort to give other women hope, and faith to trust the Lord with their pain and sadness. I love what Mary wrote about how God has bigger things in mind for us than we do! May this story bless you as it has blessed me! 


"I am where I am today because I had a praying mother. I always begin my story with that because it is important to acknowledge the power in prayer. God is so amazing and I know if He can heal my heart He can heal anyone's. I love that He uses cracked pots so that His Light can shine through because I am definitely a cracked pot. When I read that Moses was a fugitive and Jacob was a cheater and Gideon was a scaredy cat and Jeremiah was just a boy and Elijah was depressed and Paul was a murderer of Christians. I knew I was in good company and God had a place for me too.

My parents were great, my relationship with my peers throughout school was strained to say the least. I was heavily bullied and gang raped by boys I had grown up with my whole life. I grew up in a small town where everybody knew everybody. After the rapes, they told everyone in town how I was a willing party so I not only suffered the shame of multiple rapes, I now had to endure the ridicule of the taunting and the laughing at me and the name calling, Not to mention the hatred of the other girls because I was labeled very negative names. Taking my life became an option and I knew I had to get out of there.

My parents allowed me to go and live with my sister in California. I never told them what happened but they knew I was having issues.  I began to steal from my sister to buy marijuana so I would have friends . Because of my experiences i didn't think I could be liked for me. I married the first man that wanted me and he was very physically abusive. That was only the beginning.

For the next 35 years my life consisted of crime and drugs and abuse. I did 4 prison terms, have been married 5 times, 3 children and 1 abortion. I lost custody of my daughter when she was 2 due to my alcoholism and my drug addiction and repeated the cycle 10 years later when my sons were 2 & 3. Luckily their fathers stepped in and they raised them. I got saved in 1993 but formed no relationship with Jesus. I didn't know how. In 2009 at age 52 facing 10 years in prison God met me right there on the floor of my jail cell. He cleaned me up and He put me in a position leading a Bible study as an inmate for the next 3 years. 

In my sentencing I watched the Judge literally change his sentence for me in a matter of seconds. You could see that God had spoke to him. He was a Christian man.I am sure God arranged that as well. He went from a sentence of 8 years to 3.5 years in seconds!!! I had already done close to 3 years so I released in a couple of months. Truly this was God..

Please do not misunderstand me..God did not take away the consequences of my choices, He only shortened them. He knew my heart and He saw that I had finally found the answer to living for Him.

It is staying in His word. Such a beautiful place of love is His word. I have been home 2 years now and God continues to bless me. All 3 of my adult children have moved here to be closer to me and get to know Mom..They know Jesus is responsible for who I am today and what better testimony to my children. I still have my share of problems believe me, but with God all things are possible. Today I fight my battles on my knees instead of in a bottle or locked in a room high.

You see, God's plan is never instant. I believe sometimes he allows us to go though the things we do because we will use that experience to help others. In 1993 when I got saved in the jail, a lady prophesied that I would work with women one day. Leading that Bible study was part of that prophecy..but don't you know that our God had more in mind? Recently I was approved for our church prison ministry to work with women coming out of prison to make that transition into society living life on purpose. One of the girls in my group in prison got out and died of a drug overdose 6 months later at the age of 24. She was my room mate as well and a very close friend. It was then that God gave me this vision, that women need a place when they come out to feel connected. Her mother had found notes written to me afterwards but never sent where she was struggling. For Brettney and any any woman like her..God is now giving me that place..I will honor Him and Brettney's memory with this opportunity He has given me.

God has healed my heart..His light is shining bright through this cracked pot.. :) He loves us so..remember Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted, to save that which is lost. If that is you today..Come..Jesus is waiting..Just call on His name, He will meet you wherever you are..just come.."

Saturday, October 26, 2013

When God Breaks Your Heart for What Breaks His

It's almost midnight and I can't sleep. The whirring of the fan and the soft feather pillows are not a comfort this night. Too much weighing on my mind. A restless heart wrestles with God. There's this kid...and I can't get him out of my head.

Unkempt and dirty, he rides around the neighborhood riding his scooter...always alone. You know this kid, too. The one that knocks on your door and wants to know if your kids can play, and the first thought you have is..."Um, listen kid, I feel sorry for you and all, but I'm just not sure you're a good influence, ya know? I know it's not your fault, but..." And you find yourself shutting the door in his face more than you allow him in. At eight years old, you can see his future mapped out for him. Absent parents. In and out of jail with no thought of how they have abandoned the kids they brought into this world. Grandparents who are so broken themselves they can't properly care for anyone, now struggling to raise a kid they don't seem to want or care much about. And others can only say, "Well, it's better than being in the system."

This kid. This kid has family but lives like an orphan. And it's breaking my heart.

Midnight comes and goes and still I can't sleep because now the Lord is nudging me to pray my best mom prayer over this kid. See, a mother knows what this kid needs. He needs a family. He needs someone to love all over him and let that love and concern wash away that brokenness. That lie screaming in his face that tells him a thousand times a day he's rejected, unwanted and nobody cares. He needs a mom that will hold him and rock him and whisper in his ear that someone does care...He needs a dad that will set some healthy boundaries for him and show him how to respect himself enough to say no to trouble when it comes knocking. He needs a dad that will raise him up right, show him how to hold a door open for a lady, treat a woman with honor and respect. He needs a dad to teach him the value of a good education, hard work and being kind to others. But see, that takes commitment, and that requires something...something I'm not sure we can give enough of to make a difference.

Tears spilling onto my pillow, now feeling a burden for this kid like I've never felt and my heart is still twisted into knots. "God, your word promises that you set the solitary in a family. This child needs a family. Will you do that for Him, Lord? Will you? Because He needs it sooner rather than later. Don't let this boy become another statistic." I find myself pleading with God not to let this boy go down the same road as his parents. I don't want him to repeat those same mistakes. I want to see that generational curse broken. Yes, this kid can be trouble sometimes. He is the problem child in my complex. But he isn't a bad kid. He is an unparented kid. An unwanted kid. Neglected and unloved. My stubborn, reluctant heart is still wrestling with God. "Am I this boy's keeper, Lord?"  "Did I ask for this? Don't you know I have enough on my plate with my own kids, my own family?" 

My mind momentarily wanders to the story of the Good Samaritan. Am I my brother's keeper? Is that what this is all about? I begin to question God again. "What exactly are you asking me to do here?" Because I'm smart enough to know that when God begins to break your heart over something, He's also asking you to be part of the answer.

Morning comes all too soon and once again this boy is on my mind. Thoughts of sadness overshadow my day before it's even begun. I pick up my Bible and read Psalm 68:6.

"A father to the fatherless; a defender of widows is God in His holy dwelling. God places the lonely in families; He sets the prisoners free and gives them joy, but the rebellious live in a dry, sun scorched place."

As I prayed for this boy to receive a family, I know in my heart that family is mine. I don't know where that will lead any of us. I don't know what all that means at this point. All I know is, somehow I have to give more of myself than I've been willing to do in the past. Because the broken can't give away what they don't have, and somebody has to love this boy. He is just one of many. One of many that has the potential to grow up and be the second or third generation of his family, repeating the same mistakes as his parents and someday possibly fathering a child and ending up walking away...because somebody didn't care enough to show him the right way to love. I could say it's not my job to do someone else's responsibility. I could say that and walk away and ignore the weight of conviction as I watch this kid wander by himself day in and day out, around the neighborhood. I could look the other way and go back to bed when this boy is wandering the parking lot looking for his grandpa, wondering why, when it's already dark, no one is home to tuck him into bed and make sure he's safe. I could say no to a lot of things, but I'm wondering if I should. After last night's heart wrestling with God and a heart wrenching prayer, how can I? Somebody has to love the orphans, the homeless, the cranky neighbor across the street and the multitudes of people that cannot heal or find their compass in life, all because they are broken. The sad thing is, I had this sudden realization that I had put years and years worth of prayer and effort into trying to love others that didn't want my love, didn't appreciate my prayers or and didn't want to be knit together as family. I spent so much energy frustrated, resentful and angry over the rejection from those that did not know how to accept that love or give it back, that I completely missed the one right under my nose practically crying out for someone to heal his brokenness. His heart is torn and bloody and needs to be bandaged. And now I know. For years there has been one specific prayer that has gone unanswered. It was our family's prayer to find the right church and know we were an integral part of something bigger than ourselves. God has answered many other prayers, yet that one thing He remained silent about. Now it all makes sense. We were people looking for a family, yet God has called us to be spiritual parents and He is going to bring the rest. Spiritual children. Maybe you've been asking God where you fit, also, and haven't quite found the right place.

All I can tell you is, keep asking; keep praying for God to lead you to the right people. Because church as we once knew it is no longer the same. That paradigm is changing because there is no way that current model of church is sufficient to hold the harvest. Those nets are too small. Our concept of church doesn't have to be within the four walls of a local building where people meet. We are the church and Christ is in us. The Christ in us longs to touch those that are lost, hurting, abandoned and alone. He longs to set the lonely in a family where He is the Head, and the Father's love can be poured out on those He knits together. You just have to ask Him where to find the moms and dads and sisters and brothers that He wants to be a part of your life.  They're out there. Spiritual mothers and fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and little ones. They need you, and whether or not you are ready to accept it, you need them. You. Need. Them. We each have something valuable to offer someone else. Maybe you can teach that lost young man a trade. Give him some loving, fatherly advice. Or give that pregnant teen a home and stability until she finds her way. Maybe you can offer a meal to that elderly person that is so lonely inside her apartment she feels everyone has forgotten her, or that young person that could use some help with his homework. I don't know what you have, but you have something to give. Just give it without judgment, no strings attached. What seems small in our estimation could mean the world to someone else. It could be as simple as a hug or a kind note in the mail. It could be a prayer or letting someone else know about the God that answered your prayer. There is someone God wants to send you to, you just need eyes to see them. They need hope and you need to give a part of yourself away. You are their miracle, and somehow...though you may not understand how...they are yours. Our miracles are wrapped up in each other, you know. Someone out there is praying for you to find them and become knit together with them.Others may not even know how to pray, but God will answer anyway...simply because HE LOVES US THAT MUCH. He knows what we need before we even ask and He will have someone else pray and ask on behalf of someone else's need. He is a good Father that is always looking for a way to take care of His kids. Ask, seek and knock. For everyone that asks, receives. Those that seek, will find. And those that knock, the door will be opened to them.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

God Is With You, Even When You Can't Feel Him or Hear His Voice


Friends, I have shared many of my own testimonies and life experiences with you through this blog. I hope you find them helpful and encouraging. I know many people struggle with hearing from God. Sometimes when we are going through a difficult time we wonder whether or not God is there, or why it feels like He isn't listening. 

Recently I asked a friend if I could share her testimony with you. There is someone out there that needs to hear this! I want to encourage you to share your testimonies with the world, but perhaps some of you need a forum to do that, or maybe you need a little help getting your feet wet and taking that first step of faith. I want you to know I care, and I want to help YOU find your voice and share your story with the world. Telling your story has the impact to transform you from the inside out and break you free from all your fears, insecurities and false concepts about who you are. Sharing my testimonies and my experiences with the world has freed me from a lot, and I want to help others break free from all their personal limitations, too. I believe that together our voices will create a ripple effect. Do you have a testimony to share? Contact me at xpectamiracle@yahoo.com.

Here is a testimony from a woman by the name of Patty Mcgehee. God has done some amazing work in her life and she gave me permission to share her story in hopes that it helps reassure others of the constant abiding presence of the Lord. Here is Patty's story:

I had a vision of Jesus taking me on a journey. I won’t go into all the details now because it would be too long to read, but, in short, in this vision, God told me that even when I can’t see him He is always there. A year later, I ended up in a situation where I had been held hostage, beaten and raped. I thought I was going to die. I didn’t think I was going to make it out of that situation alive. On the inside, I was begging God to save me…to send someone to help me. He was silent. I kept asking Him, and the more He was silent, I thought, “Okay Lord, if this is it…If I’m about to come home, so be it. After a little bit more time the Holy Spirit had brought to my remembrance of the vision I had a year earlier, and He said to me, “What did Jesus say to you in the vision?” Within my heart, I replied, “He said even when I can’t see Him, he is always with me. The Holy Spirit replied to me, “Yes.” Right then I knew somehow some way I was going to be delivered. I had so many concussions. My head was so swollen. I had a tumor on my jaw all my life and I was afraid I was going to die, the pain was so severe. I wasn’t trying to call upon him. I could hardly think, but in my great distress I said the name of Jesus just because the pain was so great. Each time I said His name my captors looked frightened. By the third time I said His name, a SWAT team appeared in the doorway and I was rescued. It wasn’t until days later that the Holy Spirit spoke to me concerning the name of Jesus. He said, “Even though you  weren’t even trying to operate your faith, weren’t you delivered at the mere mention of his name?” It struck me. My help showed up within seconds of speaking His name. Even when you can’t see God in it, He is always there; even when He seems silent.


Here is a wonderful reminder of God's promise in the Amplified Bible. This is the second part of the scripture in Hebrews 13:5(b)..." for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not,I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down (relax My hold on you)! Assuredly not!"


Miracles Happen When You Believe

The last couple of days I've had that song “When You Believe,” by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston floating in my head. I kept humming it all day and thought, Lord, "Yes...Lord. When we believe anything is truly possible!"

Many years ago, my husband and I were moving from California to Florida. We were not in the best emotional or spiritual condition at the time and I had been very distressed. All of a sudden we passed a large billboard that said, "Miracles Still Happen," Psalm 46:1. That night we took an unexpected detour off our intended route to stay at a hotel in Texas. As we got into the room, we noticed a Bible laying open on the table. It was opened to Psalm 46. A few days later, as we got to our destination in Florida, we had on the local Christian radio station. A song came on and it was the words to Psalm 46! Well, we dropped everything and raced over to this church that was live on the air. As we opened the doors to the sanctuary, we were blown away by the incredible worship, dancers and banners. It was almost like sensory overload and it felt like a little taste of heaven. It was so refreshing and just what we needed. God was showing us that He was leading us. He was very much involved in our circumstances and He wanted to encourage us. He wanted to open our eyes to see that He was with us! 

Our Father is so loving. He cares for what hurts our heart and robs us of joy and hope. He doesn't want us to be full of fear or insecurity, and He doesn't want us to wonder if He is with us or not. YES, He is there - do not fear! I don’t know what you are praying for today, but I wanted to encourage you to take the limits off!

How often we allow anxiety to speak louder than faith. Just because you haven’t received the full manifestation of what you’ve prayed for doesn’t mean God has said “no.” All His promises are yes and amen! Did Jesus not say that we would see miracles if we would believe?

Miracles happen when you believe. Sometimes we confuse hope with actual faith. They are not the same. We need hope to lead us into faith. If you believe, you have trust, and trust does not waiver in fear. Trust is not double minded. Trust is confident assurance in the One in whom our confidence is placed. Sometimes we forget our confidence is not supposed to be in things like the government, our employer, our insurance company, doctors, or ourselves. We get them mixed up because we tend to turn to those things for solutions to our problems. Doing that has the potential to take God off the throne and put something or someone else in its place. If our anchor of hope is in the wrong thing, what we feel is double mindedness, anxiety and insecurity over the situation.

Negative circumstances, whatever they are, take time to reverse. Every prayer, every declaration helps turn the course of the situation. Sometimes we have misplaced our faith and actually put our faith in ourselves or others, as if they are responsible for turning the situation. If fear is the spirit at work, people can often try to resort to manipulation and control. God does not need our help as such, and often our best efforts to ‘help God,’ keeps Him from being able to work. Friend, if you need a God intervention, then give Him room to work. The situation is not yours! Jesus died for it. It belongs to Him. Do you need to give something back? Perhaps it is time to take inventory. If faith is in the wrong thing, fear will over ride your thoughts. Our faith must be in Christ alone. Turning the situation is GOD’s JOB. Not ours. Put fear in check. Start thanking Him for turning the situation around.

Praise Him for turning complacency into commitment. Thank Him for turning that rebel into a reformer. Thank Him that illness and disease are repelled and healing manifests according to His word. (Did you know illness and disease can’t attach to the anointing? Anything with death attached to it must die!). Thank Him that your needs are met according to Psalm 23:1. Thank Him that He is faithful to watch over His word to perform it. HIS WORD. He is faithful to perform HIS WORD. Not ours. Declare HIS WORD over that troublesome situation!  


Faith comes by hearing, and hearing the word of God. Faith kicks into a higher level when we declare His Word because HIS WORD never returns without an answer! (Read Is. 55:11). WHEN YOU BELIEVE… WHEN YOUR FAITH IS IN THE PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST – His faithfulness, His character, His integrity…then you shall have what you have asked for in prayer. All things are possible to those that believe!

Here is the link to that wonderful and very powerful song "When You Believe," by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. What a beautiful way to encourage your faith today! 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Get Back Up Again!

We all know what pain feels like. The day that phone call came from the doctor's office... The knife in your
back from betrayal of a close relationship...maybe it was the day your spouse walked out or the feeling of hopelessness over that rebellious child. There are times when we all take some serious hits from the enemy. Those are the times when we we experience the kind of pain that leaves the wind knocked out of you, where your renegade thoughts are like a runaway train and hope seems too far in the future to wait for.

And then, there's the anger. The anger of  shattered dreams, waves of despair and nagging fears over the future. Perhaps you've experienced some of that, too. There have been times when we go down pretty hard.The most painful thing, I think, is the smug delight of our injury that we know comes from the enemy.

One of my favorite scriptures is from Micah chapter 7."Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light." Micah 7:8. God promises to bring us out of darkness where we will see His righteousness, and He will execute judgment against the enemy. Do you know how He does that? He does such a marvelous work in us that every lie and judgment spoken against us is refuted according to His promise in Isaiah 54:17.

The day came when I stopped feeling sorry for myself and got back up again. Because, you see, Holy Spirit pulled something up from so deep inside of me I wasn't sure if it even still existed. It started slow...like a faint dawning of something transforming within me. Then it became my roar. It's that primitive, powerful heart cry that says, "I WILL NOT LET YOU HAVE ME. I WILL SURVIVE THIS!" It's like that mama lion roar that lives inside of every woman. You know what I mean. It's that kind of fierce when someone does something wrong to your loved ones. God help the person that touches my child...my family...Yeah... THAT kind of fierce. Just thinking of it makes your countenance change. It had gotten buried deep under leayers of depression and bitterness for a while, but Holy Spirit lifted it up from the inside of me and when I got up, I got up swinging. Because sometimes you have to get back up and fight for a dream that no one else sees but you.

You may have went down in the third round, but there are still 6 rounds left and Coach won't let you quit. He's right there behind you, whispering in your ear..."I won't let you quit! You still have it in you...I believe in you...together we can win this. Get up, get UP and get back in that fight!" And as you listen, He whispers strategy in your ear..."Hit high! Use your left! Uppercut, now, take him down!" That is what the Holy Spirit does for us. He pulls something out of us we didn't know we had left.

When we get back up, God sees to it that we hit the enemy hard enough to make him wish he never messed with us. He gives us understanding, insight, strategy, and power to lift others off the mat. Some of them aren't even in the ring anymore. The coach is still there, waiting for us to make a decision and go for the win. Maybe today you hear Him urging you to GET BACK UP. God wants to give each of us the strength to take the enemy down. He gives us courage to face those skeletons in our closet and not be afraid. He gives us peace about sharing our testimonies and letting others know what God did for us. Because our reputation isn't about us. Our story is not longer about us; it's about Him. Dig deep, friend, and find that roar deep within you. Get your fierce back. It's your time to get back up again.

Toby Mac - Get Back Up Again

Friday, October 18, 2013

When Your Story Becomes God's Story


You are not insignificant. You are beautiful, kind, compassionate and stronger than you think. You did not go through the things you did to have your voice silenced. God brings purpose out of everything as He turns the shadows into light. He turns shame into strength, pain into power, and sorrow into gladness. He takes all things and turns them around so that even from heartache we are able to declare "He works all things for my good because I love Him and I am called with a purpose." This is how we realize that somewhere in the process, our story became HIS story, and HIS story always ends in triumph. The important thing to remember is that our moments of weakness, no matter how many there are, will always pale in the light of the sweeping win God has written into our story. As we follow Christ, He carries the day so that we come out on top. There is no misfortune or injury that can outshine the glory of God. All of our lives are an open book, for we are living epistles. We are containers for His grace and glory, a lighthouse that sends out beacons of hope guiding others to their safe haven so that they can find peace in the midst of the storms of life. Your story matters. Find your voice and share your testimonies, because others need to hear what God has done for you! You are a miracle, waiting to be poured out into someone’s life. You are blessed with all that God has, so that you can give it away as a blessing to others. The key to living a life without regret is to love generously. Forgive quickly. Live graciously, and bless abundantly. It is the unselfish act of loving others unconditionally that fulfills the human heart. Where there is love, there will always be great miracles.
 #HealingtheHeartofaWoman,  #God'sloveneverfails, #Strongerthanyouthink

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What Is A Spiritual Octopus?

I have noticed people have searched for information regarding a demonic spirit similar to an octopus. I would like to take the time to address that today. Sometimes people will get a prophetic insight, a dream or other clue that the spirits involved are so intertwined it is like an octopus. Often the characteristics of a person bound or afflicted by this demonic entity seem so overwhelming that the thought of deliverance can seem hopeless. There is hope for your impossible situation, and Holy Spirit is the One that can help you figure it out!

An octopus has very long arms that signify a long reach, and many suction cups on the underneath of their arms to help them stay attached to whatever they are after. When an octopus wraps itself around an object, it can be so tightly attached that it is virtually impossible to pry it off. Spiritually speaking, when a demonic entity like this is attached to someone, it can seem virtually impossible to be able to reach the person affected. This is because it is a mind blinding spirit. The enemy holds people in such a tight grip that it's against their will; it's forced upon them. Satan uses this force as mind control to cause spiritual blindness and control his victims. Fear is also a huge weapon from the enemy to cause mind control. Fear of man is probably another issue you should address.

It is especially important to note that if there are people in the family that have had involvement with the occult, secret societies or made any ungodly oaths or covenants. Those need to be broken by prayers of renouncement. The enemy looks for open doors to work through, and it's our job to be very thorough so that we don't allow him entrance into our lives. More importantly, is to make sure we don't allow the enemy access to our children's lives through our ignorance of how he works. We don't want our kids and grand kids to go through life with unbroken curses hanging over their heads, so be spiritually responsible. Do your homework. Make that extra effort to be diligent and pray those prayers of renouncement! We have a very thorough one on this site called the Breakthrough Prayer. Here is the link. If it seems too overwhelming to do all of it at once, take it in chunks. Read through it and highlight some of the areas that pertain to occult involvement and secret societies and do them first, then take another chunk the next day and so on until you work through it. Believe me, it is a powerful and effective prayer and it does get results!

I hope that has helped address some of the questions regarding the topic of a demonic entity that seems to have the appearance of a spiritual octopus. Just remember, no matter how overwhelming a situation may seem at first, the Holy Spirit is your best friend, helper and counselor and if you ask Him to guide you through a deliverance issue, He will. That is HIS JOB! Ask Him for the keys to unlock the heart. YOU are anointed to set captives free, open blind eyes, and release healing to those that are suffering under the weight of oppression. Everything Jesus did, you can too, because the great I AM lives within you! The same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead lives inside of you, and HE is more than enough to defeat all the power of the enemy! 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

God in Human Vessels


God in human vessels, all around us. He loves us so much He pours himself out into humanity so that He can reach more people. Many of the conversations we have with others may feel ordinary, but consider the fact that what appears ordinary could in fact be GOD in your midst, looking for a way to encourage your hope, minister to your need, or solve that situation that's been causing you frustration. So many times when Jesus appeared to others they didn't recognize the time of their visitation because they didn't recognize his form. How many times have you prayed for a God-intervention, a divine appointment and then wondered why the prayer seemingly went unanswered? FAMILIARITY is a killer because it discounts the power of GOD in human vessels. Your perception of what a divine encounter looks or feels like could trip you up so that you miss what God wants to do - in you and for you! I cringe to think how many times God shows up in each of our lives but we proved to be not yet ready to receive what He had for us simply because we allowed familiarity to reject the vessel God put in our lives to work through. God loves us so much He keeps giving us opportunity after opportunity to receive the blessing He has for us. We prove our readiness by humbling ourselves to receive His chosen vessel and His chosen method of our healing. In the Bible, there was a man named Naaman. He was a man so full of pride he had to get very desperate with in incurable disease in order to humble himself enough to the point of obedience, and when he did, God healed him. Naaman had to surrender his pride because GOD opposes pride and releases His grace and help to the humble. God would have healed him sooner but Naaman was too stubborn. Do you think we can be that way too sometimes? Insistent on God coming to us on our own preconceived ideas or terms? What you need out of the anointing may be a physical healing, it may be a deliverance issue or something else, but we must let this be a lesson to us all: Don't despise the presence of the Holy Spirit in others, for you never know when that rejection could be a person's last offer of healing. Keep your wonder alive by honoring others. Imagine what God can do by the expectation that HE is in human vessels placed all around you, waiting for the right responses from people that move Him to draw closer to us. When expectancy builds...when faith and love for the Holy Spirit living in others grows, miracles happen. Today could be your day for the sudden, miraculous interruption of God coming to meet you and provide the answer you've been waiting for!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

I AM IN YOU


Do you realize that everything God is, He put inside of you? When Moses shied away from his calling and feared the response of others he asked God, "Who shall I say sent me?" God answered by saying, "Tell them I AM WHO I AM." "Tell them, I AM sent me to you." God didn't say who he was, but who He IS. I AM means ever present, always in existence, all knowing, all powerful. The most amazing thing is, God came in human flesh through Jesus, then deposited Himself in human flesh once again by coming to live within those that accept Christ as their Savior. YOU BECOME ALL THAT HE IS. Wrap your head around THAT. That is the awesome God we serve. So...you think you have a problem? God just laughs and wonders when we will wake up and realize how much potential we have within us.

Battling Depression? Jehovah Rophe is your healer!

Did you know that depression and anxiety come from a war between your spirit and your soul? When you dwell on negative thoughts...when you believe the lies of the enemy...when you disbelieve God's word about WHO YOU ARE, a war ensues between your soul (who is battling with the deception and lies) and your spirit, (who is aligned correctly with the truth). In order to effectively overcome the depression, you must REJECT the lies and accept the truth. Jesus died for your victory. When He went to hell before His resurrection, He took the keys of authority away from the enemy and gave those keys to God's children. USE YOUR KEYS, BELOVED. Jesus is your healer, Jehovah Rophe. Shake off the worry, the doubt, the fear of your situation and let your spirit man take it's rightful seat of authority. Your doubts will vanish. Your fears will run out the door. The CHRIST IN YOU is powerful and effective to meet every need and answer every prayer. All your promises already have a YES and AMEN through the Father. PROOF: "I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!" Isaiah 65:24. So...what were you worried about?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Remember Who You Are

Something a little different today, to help you remember who you are, where you came from, and to be true to the real you.


video

Here's a song I really like. Enjoy!

Remind Me Who I Am by Jason Gray

Thursday, October 10, 2013

When Loyalty is Tested

Several people recently have expressed a deep disappointment over the sense of betrayal and disloyalty in close relationships. I thought, boy there seems to be a lot of that going around right now. Then it hit me: when a shift in direction approaches, God always allows circumstances to reveal the people in our lives that truly want our success and those whose loyalty is compromised. Knowing the difference is what allows us to let go of certain relationships without feeling guilty. Not everyone can go with us into the next season.


Loyalty is tested both when people experience failure and when they experience success. Sometimes when people fail everyone they once thought was a friend or supporter walks away. Disappointment or embarrassment at being associated with someone going through failure can be perceived by those close to them as sharing in that person’s guilt, shame, or collapse and so they opt towards self-preservation in order to protect their own reputation. While this proves to be disappointing to those going through a difficult time in their life, ultimately it proves the depth of loyalty and friendship, and those that are insincere. Will Smith has a great quote that goes something like this: "If you're absent during my struggle, don't expect to be present during my success." Sometimes the difficulties we face help weed out those that have selfish agendas.


Loyalty and relationships are also tested when people begin to enter a new level of success, promotion, favor and blessing. Some people are only loyal to a point; but the success or blessing of one person can often trigger competitive feelings in those close to them. Jealousy, envy and competition are relationship killers. There must always be a sense of a winner and a loser, because jealousy and envy are fueled by lust. Lust for power, recognition, promotion or simply the desire to win accolades of others can foster the green-eyed monster of jealousy and envy. The reality is, that weakness was there all along. The circumstances were just not developed enough in order to trigger certain responses that gave away what was really hiding underneath the composed exterior and friendly appearance.


Remember that at one point or another everyone in life experiences a Judas situation. Your Judas does not arise from your enemies or those you already perceive as a competitor; the betrayer arises from those closest to you and has the potential to do the most harm. Betrayal can run quite deep. Sometimes it is a best friend, a mentor or trusted advisor, a superior on the work scene, business partner or even a spouse. The danger comes when the mask slips off and you recognize the potential threat, but choose to continue to make yourself vulnerable to those that have an open door for the enemy to work through. Those that can't be truly happy for your success will show it in one way or another. All you have to do is watch for the signs and then ASK GOD FOR THE APPROPRIATE RESPONSE. 


James 3:16 warns us, "For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work." Envy, jealousy and competition always lead to discord and divisiveness because those emotions are ruled by pride. Whether a person recognizes it or not, they are the very things that disqualify people for promotion. Factions arise in order to determine who has the godly characteristics of honesty, integrity, humility and trust in the Lord. These things determine who is approved and those that are not. (see 1 Cor. 11:19). These are the things God looks for when reviewing people to see if they are ready for promotion. The Lord is so very gracious to His people that He allows those He wants to promote to see and recognize the dishonorable qualities in others. In this way, they recognize what they do not want to become so that they will choose the path of humility and trust in HIM. He will promote, advance and increase those that choose to trust Him rather than try to gain their desire by their own strength. Consider what God says in Ps. 44:3. “For they did not gain possession of the land by their own sword, Nor did their own arm save them; But it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your countenance, Because You favored them.”


Many people feel the only way they can advance towards success is by incorporating cutthroat tactics in order to win at all costs. These things include stepping on others, ruining other people's reputations, creating a false reputation aimed to please people, acting deceptively in order to create followers, and crushing those seen as opponents. It can be very, very difficult indeed if people we thought were on our side actually turn and take the side of an adversary. The enemy will introduce all manner of deceptive ploys in order to tempt us to sabotage our own future through emotional responses. If the enemy is enticing you to react to an emotionally charged situation, you need to remember that it never works out well for the bait. Be careful. 


His word reminds us in Deut. 9:4 that we do not advance by our own strength, nor do we warrant great pats on the back for our own righteousness. "Do not say in your heart when the LORD your God has driven them out before you, 'Because of my righteousness the LORD has brought me in to possess this land,' but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is dispossessing them before you.” It’s really not about how wonderful we think we are! We are given the opportunity to advance because of the dishonorable characteristics of those “giants” already in the land. Sometimes the things that must be confronted are in others, other times they are within us. The giants are the things that stand in our way of possessing our promises:  fear, intimidation, the need for approval and validation outside of God, anger, or other fleshly responses are what the enemy hopes to pull out of us. Tests arise on the brink of a breakthrough in order to tempt us to react out of our flesh and thus disqualify ourselves for promotion. Be aware of these things as difficulties arise, or the sudden indication of a Judas in your midst. Those temptations to respond out of emotion are like bait on a hook. The enemy is trying to reel you in and get you to do something you might regret later. The little quote, “Stay calm and carry on” are words of wisdom at such a time. Don’t let the enemy rock your boat! Above all, remember that tests do not come when we are prepared for them. Tests come when we are tired, weak, vulnerable and off guard. PRAY NOW to recognize them when the tests show up, and to have the right response that will help you pass them.

Father,

I thank You for showing me those people in my life that are loyal and those that not. Thank you for showing me the telltale signs that indicate whether or not the people closest to me are supportive of my success or disloyal. Help me to know the correct response so that I do not say something I might regret later. Holy Spirit, I yield to you so that You may silence me before I say or do something the enemy might try to use against me. Let me see the intent of the enemy so that I can avoid the snares. I put my trust in You, Lord, for advancement and promotion at the time You see fit, and by Your hand. Let Your favor do for me what I cannot. In Jesus name, Amen.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Learning to Forgive Yourself

We’ve all experienced some sort of disappointment, hurt or wounding from others. That’s just a part of life, but have you ever noticed that you bring those same issues into new relationships? Do you find yourself reacting to silent emotional triggers that send you into the same responses, even though the person you are dealing with may not be anything like the person or people that previously wounded you? What about deep rooted issues within your own heart and mind…Do you find yourself struggling with negative thoughts about yourself? Do you find yourself angry, short tempered and constantly struggling to overcome a negative self-image or thoughts that leave you feeling defeated and depressed?

An example from my own life: every time I went to the gym, I found myself immediately angry and faced with defeating thoughts. I instantly found myself depressed and discouraged. I had enough insight to know that there were some deep rooted issues regarding former lovers, self-image and low self-esteem, and I found it easier to deflect blame on them for how their selfish desires made me feel. I blamed them for my hatred of anything that was connected to exercise because emotionally I connected it to having to please some one else's selfishness in order to gain their acceptance and (false) love. I had a lot of silent triggers that sent me backwards in time every time I thought of exercise, but I had developed a lot of inner rebellion towards self improvement in that area of my life. There was still a stronghold in place that needed to be torn down, because the enemy was certainly flying his flag of victory in that part of my mind. Inwardly there were many thoughts connected to the resentment I felt towards my weight and negative self-image, and a whole lot more. While it’s true that I was mistreated many years ago, I found myself at a crossroads. I had transferred that anger and negativity towards others onto myself, and twenty five years later I was still carrying around the weights of the past! Truth be told, it was myself I was angry with. I was angry and disappointed in myself for allowing my weight to get out of control and the lack of love I felt towards myself. I was still blaming men from the past for what I perceived in myself as someone unattractive and undesirable. The reality is that I really needed to forgive them AND myself. I had never even realized I needed to forgive myself because I was still comfortable shifting blame onto other people and avoiding taking responsibility for my own failure to love myself and take good care of myself. But that truth was a whole different can of worms to open, and there was a lot there I needed to face about myself. I had to decide whether I wanted to be free, or hold on to the same negative thoughts and keep struggling with myself.

Sometimes we still blame others and continue to make false judgments about ourselves as well as others in our life because we are still reactive to old emotional triggers. When we carry unforgiveness towards ourselves or others, we will struggle with the things mentioned above.

The truth will only make you free if you submit to it and accept it. One thing about truth is that God’s grace actually helps us surrender to the truth so that we can let go of the false judgments we’ve made about ourselves and others. Sometimes the very thing that we need in order to heal is to forgive ourselves. You may have heard that before, but have you put it into practice?

You need to hear yourself say it; to you…as the child you once were. What was your nickname perhaps, or your birth name? Tell that person, I forgive you for all the mistakes you made. You were a child. It is over. Your heavenly Father forgives you, too. YOU ARE FORGIVEN. You need to speak to that little child as though YOU are the Lord and tell that child (using the name you were at that time), “YOU are forgiven.”

You need to hear yourself say it; to the youth that made many mistakes growing up. Speak them out loud. Pull those things out from the cover of darkness and don’t let them hide anymore, because what is cloaked in invisibility has the potential to whisper dark things in your soul.

I don’t know where you are at in life, but you need to hear yourself say the things you have condemned yourself for, and speak to the person you are now, “I FORGIVE YOU.” I know why you did the things you did, and I forgive you for the mistakes you made. I forgive you for putting yourself though things that brought you shame, embarrassment and made you begin to reject the person God made you to be.

What ever you are still carrying around inside...some secret sin or a miserable failure of some sort...you need to tell yourself as if you are talking to a friend: "I FORGIVE YOU FOR THAT." Maybe it's a relationship failure and you're still carrying around the name of someone that is no longer in your life. Perhaps it's regret from something else. Tell THAT person…I FORGIVE YOU. I know why you did the things you did; why you didn’t love yourself enough to take care of yourself or make better decisions. I forgive the poor choices you made. I forgive the things you did to yourself that left you holding the burdens of shame, regret, and all the things that you did that left you having to pay the price of those consequences of wrong choices. I FORGIVE YOU, and your heavenly Father forgives you, too. Carry those burdens no more!

To the person you are today, by whatever name you have today, tell that person, I FORGIVE YOU. You need to hear yourself say the words, “I FORGIVE YOU, and I will no longer punish you with self-hatred, rejection, and unloving thoughts. YOU ARE FORGIVEN, and you are now free to love yourself. You are free to like the person you are today. You are free to unload those heavy burdens and slip that yoke of self-inflicted oppression off your weary shoulders. Until you confess your sins (and refusing to forgive yourself is a sin!), you cannot be forgiven. When you don't feel forgiven, your mind and heart will feel the weight of judgment. A heart that is under the heavy load of feeling judged is angry, defensive and judgmental towards others, too. But 1 John 1:9 says that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

Jesus said, in Matthew 11:28-29, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.…”

You will never learn to be gentle towards others if you cannot be gentle and kind to yourself. You will never learn to understand others and truly forgive them, if you cannot forgive yourself. You cannot let go of your past, until you let go of the unforgiveness, regret, shame, insecurity and false judgments you’ve made towards yourself. How can you expect to genuinely love others if you have not truly learned how to love yourself? Loving yourself means telling that child, that young person or person you were at every stage of your life the powerful most loving thought you can say to someone: I FORGIVE YOU. YOU ARE FORGIVEN, AND I CHOOSE TO LOVE AND ACCEPT YOU FOR WHO YOU ARE.” Once you can do that, loving yourself and accepting yourself will come easier. It all starts with you.


Father God,

I thank You for giving me the grace to help me forgive myself. I thank You Holy Spirit for helping me surrender the negative thoughts, self-image, and all the excuses. I choose to no longer blame others for my disappointments and wounding. I forgive everyone that has hurt, offended or disappointed me. I will not continue to blame myself, either. I take responsibility for my part. I own the truth. I reject all false judgments I have made about myself and others. I ask Your forgiveness for rejecting the truth of what Your word tells me about the person you created me to be. I choose to no longer reject myself, but to accept the person I am today and to know that You have a plan and a purpose for my life that is greater than what I can see at this moment. I am loved and accepted in Christ according to Ephesians 1:6. I release all false burdens and ungodly yokes. I will not wear them anymore! I choose freedom and I choose to accept myself. In Jesus name, amen.



Saturday, October 5, 2013

Unraveling the Plans of the Enemy

I saw something very unusual in a dream. Many people were gathered in what seemed to be a marketplace setting, yet they were standing in rows like a large church service, and the many rows also seemed to have dividing lines like people grouped in squares. Each square represented a different church, yet there were no walls, just little demarcations separating each one. I walked down the center aisle with rows and rows of people on either side. They seemed oblivious to me and kept on worshiping, yet as I passed by I noticed that there were people the enemy had planted in each ‘church box.’ They were full of hate and took note of those that could discern who they were and see them for what they were. All of a sudden, it was like they all received a cue from some unknown place telling them it was time to rise up and attack. They were very aligned with one another and there was a set time for them to arise. They were banded together in a unified cause.They did it quietly at first, to try to fool some people by deception and gain more followers. The forced conversion was not an obvious thing; it was subtle and deceptive until the enemy felt overconfident and strong enough to overcome the rest of the Christians. This is often a spirit of Absolom at work, along with a spirit of Jezebel, or a witchcraft assignment. A strong presence of fear usually accompanies it to intimidate others.

There were some people that did not want to cooperate with the Satanists and they began to be ganged up on and attacked and killed. The enemy had placed these people in the midst of the Christians to deceive them and make them believe they were one of them, yet they were actually placed there to CONVERT the Christians that lacked discernment and could not tell the difference between those that belonged to Christ and those that did not. These people had the appearance of gang members to those that could discern the difference. Gangs refer to those who have an ungodly family or band of followers. They were easily offended and angered by many things, and they took out guns and began to shoot at others that could see them for what they were and understood their agenda. They bullied and shot at those that would not cave to their intimidation tactics and surrender to forced submission to conversion. (Bullets indicate words. Slander, offense, anger, gossip, false accusation, etc.) I witnessed a murder and the gang members turned on me and began to shoot. I grabbed my child (Child represents sometimes a natural child, something you hold dear, a ministry or spiritual child) and began to quickly declare the promise in Isaiah 54:17, that no weapon formed would hurt me or my family. I actually said, "AND THOSE WEAPONS WILL NOT FIRE, THE BULLETS WILL NOT HIT US." The scripture says, “No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, said the LORD.”

Friends, this dream can have several different applications depending upon where we find our relationships, but the implication is clear. Satan has people disguised as those we would trust in order to convert the unwise and unsuspecting. God has given us a warning of the enemy's intentions and we must now take the word and declare it over all that pertains to us, our churches, cities, communities and our nation. As we can see, the enemy is very unified in a common cause to destroy others. We must be equally unified in our prayers and collaborate efforts to warn others and defeat the enemy's tactics of warfare. Pray, then share with those you feel God is telling you to share it with.

PRAY:

Father God, 

I thank You for uncovering the enemy's agenda and making us wiser than our adversaries. I declare according to Your promise in Isaiah 54:17 that NO weapon formed against me, my family, the ministry you have called us to, our jobs and workplace, our vehicles, the relationships you've given us, our home, family and all that pertains to us - NO WEAPON WILL FIRE AND NO BULLETS WILL STRIKE US. EVERY WEAPON THE ENEMY ATTEMPTS TO USE AGAINST US SHALL FAIL IN HIS HANDS, IN JESUS NAME. 

I declare that the body of Christ and those in our lives will be given new eyes to see with discernment and understand the plots and schemes of the enemy. I declare that the enemy's plans are unraveled and NO WEAPON WILL COME NEAR US. I claim the promises of Psalm 91 for me and my family and I thank You that You watch over YOUR WORD to perform it. I declare that only those things established by the enemy will fail. That which is established by God shall be kept safe and shall prosper. What God has joined together let no man divide. In Jesus name, amen.