Who Do You Work For?

wpid-img_20140306_140905.jpgIf you are a believer in Christ where do you put your hope? Is your hope in the media, in the world, or in Christ? As believers in Christ our hope ought to be in Him and him alone.

In view of recent world events I ask you, “Do you not know have you not heard you are only a sojourner in this land until Christ returns or calls you home?” Now, I am in no way making light of recent devastating world events, my family was directly affected by September 11th and we will never forget.

Do you understand that the events playing out in the physical realm are the result of a greater battle in the heavenly realm?

And, so, I ask you another question, “Are you praying about these events as much as you are talking about them on social media?”

The moment we became believers in Christ God gave us two of many very powerful tools. First and foremost the very Spirit of the living God lives in you. The same Power that raised Christ from the dead lives in every believer in Christ. Which leads me to ask, “how are you staying connected to the Vine?” Apart from Him we can do absolutely nothing, and connected to him we are blessed with His peace that is nothing like or in comparison with the peace the world attempts to offer us.

Changing my profile picture, no offense to those of you who have, will not stop this raging spiritual war. But prayer, prayer has the power to move mountains! Are you upset with the way your government is handling the threat of terrorism? If so, I encourage you to stop talking about it and begin or continue praying only. God’s word instructs us to pray for all those in authority so that we can live peaceful lives. (1 Timothy 2:2; emphasis added).  Part of our responsibility as believers in Christ is to share the love and hope of Christ not get caught in the fray.

And what about those caught up in the bondage of terrorism? Are you praying for them? I am. Why? Because they too were created in the image of God. Because God’s love, his grace and his gift of salvation are for all his creation. Romans 5:8 confirms this for us –

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Bondage is bondage regardless of what name is placed on it. And God’s heart breaks when anyone who is caught up in bondage and doesn’t know Christ as Lord and Savior dies because it means eternity apart from Him.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9. (emphasis added).

If you are a believer in Christ your life was paid for with a ransom; His blood that was shed for you. Your life is not your own, but belongs to Him and he calls you to share his love and his grace with the rest of humanity.

So, who are you working for? Are you placing your hope in Christ, even more so in these unstable and unsure times, staying so closely connected with Him that you can’t help but offer His hope to a frightened world, or are you allowing yourself to be distracted by the age old schemes of the enemy?

God’s word speak to us and tells us there is a time for everything.

A time to be silent and a time to speak. Ecclesiastes 3:7b

Silence may be golden but prayer speaks volumes. May the Bride of Christ arise.

Shalom!

The Privilege Of Prayer

hands-pack-2-4This morning one of my sweet friends messaged me a prayer request and I messaged her back with a prayer for her request. This led me to reflect about why I pray. For obvious reasons because God’s word says by prayer and supplication make all your requests known to God and his peace that transcends all understanding will guard your heart and mind. (Philippians 4:6-7).

As I think about these verses I realize I don’t pray because of what I will receive from God, I pray simply because his word tells me too. Yes, I am a bit of a rule follower, hey, every family needs one! But, I don’t look at this in a legalistic rule following kind of way. As I reflect further I also realize that my reasons for praying are quite honestly selfish.

Praying makes me feel close to God. I like the way I feel when I pray. When I pray it’s just me and God, even though many other people could be praying at the same time that I am, but in that moment it is just me and God. It’s as if I am an only child, which I know isn’t the case, but God has a way of doing that with his kids! That I also receive his peace when I pray is a beautiful gift from a good, good Father.

Praying also reminds me Who God Is. Praying reminds me how powerful a weapon God has entrusted to us to do his kingdom work.

I remarked to another friend that many times God will show me things I don’t necessarily need to know and when I ask him why his answer is always the same, “So you’ll pray.” Think about that for a moment. God shows us things not because we are entitled to know but because he trusts us to pray! That adds another skip to my step!!

Precious One it is a privilege and honor to pray for others. Who will you be in prayer for today? Ask God to show you!

Shalom!

Don’t Judge Me By The Clothes I Wear

fashion-girl-on-ornate-background_GJGp5-F_Don’t judge me by the clothes I wear you know nothing of my story. Rather walk beside me and share your love for Christ with me; share His glory.

You say that you are a follower of Christ; a born again believer. If this is so, why then, would you ever say, “I can’t believe her parents let her out of the house dressed like that”? You think I don’t know what you’re whispering to your friends as you glance my way with that look on your face. I thought grace and love were your compass.

You see, I grew up in a Christian home and you know nothing of my story. There was a time I was strong and confident but then I started to believe the lies the enemy whispers my way. Some days it’s a struggle just to hear the voice of God, though I try. Hand drawing heart in sand on the beach

And, if you are a parent of a son teach him to respect me regardless of what I wear. Teach him self-control, you know nothing of my story.

It is your love, it is the grace that God freely gives to you to  give to others and it is your prayers that will make a difference in my life. Won’t you be a part of my story?

Precious One, it is the season of Homecoming dances, Sadie Hawkins and the Christmas Ball. Many pictures will be posted online. Please be mindful of the words that come out of your mouth, especially before you hit the send button. While comments can be deleted, once they’ve been seen the damage has already been done. May your words and thoughts only be gracious and kind. May the ‘clothes’ you wear be those that others desire. You know nothing of ‘their’ story.

“I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:49 emphasis added.

Shalom!

Warrior Princess

Artwork by  P.O. Box 24 Bridal Veil, Oregon 97010 StreamsOfMercy@gmail.com  352-777-0123. Pic found on Pinterest.
Artwork by Todd L. Thomas P.O. Box 24 Bridal Veil, Oregon 97010
StreamsOfMercy@gmail.com 352-777-0123. Pic found on Pinterest.

She knelt before him her helmet under her left arm and wearing her administrative clothes. Her robe was long and lush and of the most beautiful hue of ecru. It was lavishly embroidered and had a fur trim all around. And her helmet, ahh, well, it was a gift from a very sweet friend who told her it was like a nuclear warhead with missiles and different projectiles ready at her command.

For weeks now he has been saying to her, “Listen, listen to me.” Her response was always the same, “What am I listening for?” Today as she knelt before Him he said to her, “Jael you hear My voice and you follow Me and I know you. My daughter, you are my beautiful warrior and my beautiful princess; a warrior princess and I anoint you.”

Interesting, because for a few years now she and one of her best friends have called each other SWP, which means Sister Warrior Princess. Curiously she wonders what the anointing is for since she has thought of herself as a warrior and a princess for a long time now.

To be continued….

My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27.

Shalom!

Paper Dolls

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When I was a little girl I would spend hours playing with paper dolls. The dolls came in a book similar to current day sticker books. Some had perforations around the dolls and their clothes making it easier to take them from the book and some had to be cut around and along the dotted lines, causing the anticipation of playing with them to grow and grow, until finally, they were free from the book and ready to be dressed and played with! The clothes had paper tabs on them that were folded over and that is how they hung or clung to the paper dolls.

I had a clique of paper dolls, they all hung out together and were nice to each other. I was the DollChainsDiagonal170mom, I led by example even at that early age. Sometimes I would line up my paper dolls as if the were holding hands, something like this picture.

What do you suppose it would look like if, spiritually, I held your hand and you held another’s hand and they held another’s hand and so and so on, until all around the world the hands of believers in Christ were held by each other and we began to pray for the lost of the world? I believe fear would be afraid and run and hide. The eyes of fear would be opened to the heavenly host and chariots of fire surrounding it on the mountain ridge! I believe millions will be saved, having heard the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

A few weeks ago, as I sat praying, I asked Papa to show me who around the world was praying the same thing that I was praying. Every afternoon my husband calls me, while on his long commute back home from work, and we talk about our day with each other. On this day that I asked God to show me who was praying like I was, my husband told me he was praying for a certain group of people who were persecuting others in another country and it was exactly what I had been praying for that morning and neither of us knew it until that moment of conversation. What makes the moment even sweeter is that my husband is a private person and doesn’t usually share what he is praying for or about.

Do you believe that God is omnipotent? If you do then you have to believe He is capable of doing anything, even linking the hands of his children offering up the sweet sacrifice of prayer together, united by Holy Spirit, throughout the entire Bride around the world.

20150702_094747-1Here’s my hand, will you take it?

Shalom!

Idolistic

 

 

 

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Photo courtesy of beautiful H. Towns.

The poor, deluded fool feeds on ashes. He is trusting something that can give him no help at all. Yet he cannot bring himself to ask, “Is this thing, this idol that I’m holding in my hand, a lie?” Isaiah 44: 20 (NLT).

Papa, whether we hold idols in our hands, or in our heart. If we cling to idols in our actions or our thoughts, on behalf of those who are yet to know You through your beloved Son Jesus, I ask for your forgiveness. And, for those of us who are your children, on our behalf I confess and repent. Thank you for showing us the idols in our life, for your unending grace and mercy and Holy Spirit thank you for your constant help in turning away from anything that is not of Jesus Christ. May we always be aware and see the glory of your light shining on all your creation! In Your life-giving Name, Jesus, Amen.

Shalom!

Things That Hide In The Dark

But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. Ephesians 5:13

Hands in PrayerFor a long time, one of my consistent prayers is thanking Jesus for bringing into the light that which hides in the dark. Especially in our community and neighboring communities. He is always so faithful to answer this prayer. But, what do we do with what is brought into the light? Most times, what has been hiding in the dark is unpleasant, shocking, sad and can cause feelings of frustration, anger or overwhelming anxiety. Having these feelings is okay, after all God created us with emotions and feelings. I believe what is important is what we do with these feelings. Will we allow them to drive our behavior in a negative way, or will we do what Jesus always did whenever he was faced with something to heavy for him to carry; He prayed. Scripture tells of the many times Jesus would go off and pray to his Father, especially when something was troubling him.

Please don’t ever underestimate the power of prayer. Lest you think you are not a “prayer warrior”, think again. It is part of your identity in Christ. We are to pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:16). Precious One, ask Jesus to start bringing the things that hide in the darkness into the light. And, don’t stop there, when he does, and he will, pray for the situation. Thank the Holy Spirit for laying his seed of salvation deep into the souls of those who were hiding in the dark. Thank Jesus that those in the dark choose Him! Thank God, I call him Papa, for protecting those in the dark who come into the light from the evil one who will attempt to steal away their newfound trust in Him! Hallelujah!

Finally, did you catch the hope in the above verse from Ephesians? All things become visible when they are exposed to the light, everything that becomes visible is light! Jesus is the Light of the world, (John 8:12), exposing the darkness, and I encourage you not to be discouraged when you hear of the messy ugliness that is exposed by the Light. Rather, rejoice that Jesus has done this and continue to thank him for the good work he has begun and will finish. Join Him; co-labor with Him through prayer.

Shalom!

 

 

Standing In Solidarity

10556347_10203188074035924_5704679394930315451_nWhenever you see this picture, join me and others, who are praying for those around the world who are being persecuted for their belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. I praise God, that here in our Country, for the time being, we can freely choose our form of worship.

But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 25:15.

Pray also for those doing the persecuting, for it is according the will of God. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2Peter 3:9 (emphasis added).

Shalom, the true peace of Jesus, not the peace of this world. 

 

You Are Chosen For Such A Time As This

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The Book of Esther is one of my favorites. I read the entire ten chapters this morning, intrigued by what I sense are some parallels of Esther’s story and what is going on in our world today.

Esther was a quiet but strong woman, raised by her Uncle Mordecai after her parents had died when she was a young girl. Even as a young woman she still sought and followed the advice of her uncle.

Esther was a Jew, but her husband, King Xerxes, did not know this about her when he crowned her his Queen. It was a different time back then! An evil man by the name of Haman, lived in Esther’s kingdom. He was driven by his pride and ego. At one time he was the king’s right hand man and required all the king’s subject’s to bow down to him. And they did! Except Esther’s uncle, who would bow only to God. This infuriated Haman and he tricked King Xerxes into issuing a decree that all the Jews in all 127 provinces of the kingdom be annihilated. Mordecai learned of Haman’s plan and he beseeched Esther to do something.

business_110008020-012914-intHere is what Esther did; she told Mordecai to gather all the Jews together and to pray for her and to fast with her and her maids for three days. Then she would go and see the king and plead her case. She told Mordecai, “If I must die, I will die.” A rather interesting thing to say. You see, during this period of time if anyone went to visit the king without his summons it was an offense punishable by death unless the king extended his scepter to the person requesting his attention, even the queen! Thankfully, King Xerxes extended his scepter to Esther.

The rest of the story turns out well for Esther and the Jews and I encourage you to read or reread this delightful testimony of God’s love. Allowing yourself to be carried away by the Holy Spirit’s description of this time in history.

What strikes me most about the story of Esther every time I read it, is her willingness to seek God on behalf of herself and her people. She fasted and prayed for three days and asked others to join her, knowing she would hear from God. She depended on God with all of her heart that she made plans to visit the king before she had even fasted and prayed and trusted the outcome to God even if that meant she would die.

What is going on in the world today is frightening and in some area’s atrocious is not a strong enough word to describe the actions of others.

But, there is hope! And, it is found in God’s word.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance. Psalm 33:12.

Ah, do you see the word inheritance? If you know me, you know I love looking for our inheritance in Christ throughout his word. God chooses to give us His inheritance through our belief in His Son, Jesus Christ! Think about that for a moment, let it settle into your heart and find a permanent place to reside. Everything God has he gives to us through our faith in Jesus! Our position here is to pray for the nations of the world that they would ask God to be their Lord and to share our inheritance with them through Jesus Christ! Guess what happens when we do? The nations are blessed by the One true God! Why? Because the nations and their people are seeking God.

When Solomon had finished the temple of the Lord and the royal palace, and had succeeded in carrying out all he had in mind to do in the temple of the Lord and in his own palace, the Lord appeared to him at night and said:

“I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices.

“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there. 2 Chronicles 7:11-16. (emphasis added).

The highlighted part of this passage is what I sense the Holy Spirit speaking to the nations, but I think it is important to read it in context with the surrounding verses. When you believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you become a temple for the Holy Spirit to live within you. Don’t miss the promise of the last line!

1232-vintagePrecious One be a Queen Esther! Seek God not only for yourself but for those in your sphere of influence, for your neighborhood, for your city and state, for your Country and for the nations of the world.

Shalom!

 

Hope For Today: Nehemiah 4:21-23

Here are my verses for today. What is/are yours and what does it speak to your heart?

So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out. At that time I also said to the people, “Have every man and his helper stay inside Jerusalem at night, so they can serve us as guards by night and as workers by day.” Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water. Nehemiah 4:21-23.

2499-1013-A2544Nehemiah and the Israelites never put their weapons down not even for a drink of water, they didn’t change their clothes and they worked by day and guarded by night. What work ethic! The Holy Spirit is always reminding me not to put my weapon down and not to take off His protective armor. What does this look like in the earthly realm? Our weapon is the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, simply put, NEVER stop fighting through prayer. What about his protective armor? I’ll let you look that up in Ephesians 6:10-17.

I declare God’s blessing on each of you today, according to His perfect will!

Shalom!