Saturday, December 31, 2016

LOVE ONE ANOTHER

"When a child loves you, they ADORE spending time with you, NOT just so you can feed them, but as you take time to connect with them, making goofy faces, smiling, laughing with them, they want more of you, they feel TRUE LOVE for you. A child does not know the difference between LIKE and LOVE.  Love is all they know, it is given freely. Childlike faith is to love and trust freely without conditions, without proofs. God is love. Within a pure heart, there are seven million reasons to rejoice, and be glad.  "Come, you who are blessed by My Father; take your inheritance....Jesus will say to His sheep "For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat....I was a stranger and you invited Me in....I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you came to visit Me." Matthew 25:34-36 NIV ---- The inspired living Word of God says "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God." 1 John 3:1 --- Sinners and saints, God loves us all.  A great example of this truth
is when God blinded the apostle Paul for three days as he traveled the road to kill more believers. This story is told so that we would be encouraged about the desire of God to use those who have sinned, have murdered, who have believed in previous false teachings. Paul's sight was restored and he openly professed that his head knowledge of scripture did not save him, or transform him, but it was God's unmerited love and grace that changed his heart of stone, and gave him spiritual discernment that he would love his brother, not kill, destroy, accuse or condemn.  "Whoever loves his brother lives in the Light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble." 1 John 1:10 --- We who have accepted Jesus know the truth "But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.  I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth....As for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you."  1 John 2:20-27.  With the indwelt Holy Spirit, we do not lack any spiritual gift, as our internal holy Teacher will not lead us astray. The Holy Spirit will give us discernment as we come to know our brother. We inquire of a brother's needs, and we trust that we are equipped to pray effectively for the purpose of loving him back to grace. AMEN 
"For our LIGHT and momentary troubles are ACHIEVING for us an ETERNAL GLORY that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes NOT on what is seen, but on what is UNSEEN.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." Bless the Lord O my soul, for we are renewed day by day! The Holy Spirit illuminates our minds, educates our souls, and instructs our hearts which way to go!  As frail humans, we fall short regularly, so we wisely place our trust in God's grace and forgiveness! The Word of God is consistent and the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, will never depart from us .  Seasons change, our life circumstances will change, but JESUS never changes.  LORD HELP us to love and forgive all others as YOU LOVE and forgive all those who cry out!  Even when our ears perceive a rejection, even when people act with the intention to harm us, help us Lord to hold on to the truth, that only LOVE will change the hearts of man. Holy Spirit help us to respond with grace, to quickly confess our goof ups, and to accept the unfailing forgiveness of God Almighty. Ruth Graham said "Those who have
affected my life the most deeply for good have seldom, if ever, been aware of the fact.  On the other hand, people who think themselves a blessing seldom have been" Our Lord will separate His sheep from the goats. The proud goats did not befriend strangers, they did not feed the hungry, they did not look after the sick, but they boasted of their good works and so God cursed them into the eternal fire. LORD HUMBLE US so that we may think more of our neighbors than of ourselves. Let us give without expecting an earthly reward of praise. Live out His Word "Do NOT be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers.  Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a
murderer, and you know that a murderer has no eternal life in him.  Anyone who has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?" 1 John 3:11 --- Help us Lord to NOT criticize the weakness of others, or say that we do not sin or fail in similar ways. TRUTH IS: "Nothing good lives in me apart from the love of God" God loves our pure hearts, not our appearance, not our good works. "All sin and fall short" This must be our confession and also our assurance of His ongoing love and saving grace. When we admit our weakness, when we tell our story, when we share our daily NEED to be renewed and forgiven, we attract others who also miss the mark of perfection, and His finished work is glorified. To never gossip, stretch the truth, speak ill of someone, envy, or covet what others have is IMPOSSIBLE for all humanity, including Christians. Our loving Father issues us mercy, grace, and comforting encouragement through His Word and through others. "Lord Jesus, examine my heart, help me to confess my shortcomings so that I may be a blessing to all those You have placed in my life."   AMEN
We are to PRAISE God in all things because He is there, He is listening, and He takes pleasure in us.  "Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; (Jesus was a carpenters son) not many were of noble birth. (Jesus was born in a barn).  BUT God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong." "I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.  My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power.  We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but NOT the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.  No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for IF they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." We are weak, but He who is in us is strong! How easy it is for us to become attached to a spiritual leader. When someone has helped us, our human frailty tends to make us feel loyal and dependent on that
person's opinion.  Paul warns us to AVOID taking pride in our association, in our professions of faith in a man, or in any leader. Stubborn loyalty to a man made idea, religion, opinion or doctrine leads to divisions in God's church. We are His hands and feet, all unique, all called to serve God, to bring God glory, not man.  We are wise to contemplate how we came to believe; and to Whom we believe in. Do we trust the evening news, Wall Street, the weather man, or in God?  If our mind is filtered with what we have experienced, with what we have memorized, then are we NOT listening to what the Holy Spirit is saying ~ but we are perhaps relying on imperfect, incomplete knowledge obtained from man. Any loyalty to a religion, an idea, or on a commentary ...subjects us to be deceived by the Liar who manipulates God's word to cause division and confusion.  The Deceiver rejoices when he effectively closes our minds to the Holy Spirits interpretation of scripture. Man is still inspired by the Holy Spirit and there are hundreds of scholars who interpret the Greek and Hebrew meanings, however, all commentaries are based on a plethera of opposing doctrines. "Finally my children, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might"  WARNING:  "Some of you have become arrogant.  For the kingdom of God is NOT a matter of talk but of power. What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love and with a gentle spirit?"  Jesus came, He spoke to the woman at the well.......Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would
have given you living water.”  “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?  Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,  but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  "I tell you the truth, Jesus answered, before Abraham was born I am."   “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work. Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.  Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true.  I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.” John 4:34 ~  "For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son also to have life in Himself. And He has given Him authority to judge because He is the Son of Man. “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in
their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned. "By Myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and My judgment is just, for I seek not to please Myself but Him who sent Me." JN 5:30 ~7:38 Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow within him. By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive."  "I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.  Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.  "O Lord my God, many are the wonders You have done. The things You planned for us no one can recount to You."  COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!
Jesus may wince at our ingraditude, but His grace covers the content of our unseen hearts and our unvoiced grumblings. God loves the contrite heart, the one that is unashamed to cry out in need of for mercy, grace and understanding... daily.  Jesus in the Person of the Holy Spirit is our constant companion, regardless of the human company we keep. He knows our intentions, our secrets, and the entire contents of our heart.  He cherishes our total dependence on Him. SCRIPTURES quoted... 1 Cor 1:7-9;  1 Cor 4:16-18; 1 Cor 1:26-27; 1 Cor 2:3-9;  1 Cor 2:10-15; Romans 7:34; 1 Cor 3:16; Psalm 89:15; Ephesians 6:10; 1 Cor 4:18-21; 1 Cor 6:1-5; Psalm 40:1-5 "Consider it pure JOY, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds." James 1:2 "And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weakness, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me." 2 Corin 12:9 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Hidden Christmas

Timothy Keller says many things about Christmas and the Gospel in his book. The Truth about Christmas as revealed in this book:
• Accept true gift, admit you’re a sinner. Be saved by grace.
• It is not simply about a birth but about a becoming.
• It shows us that Christianity is not good advice. It is good news.
• It means that God is working out His purposes. Promises fulfilled.
• It tells reveals the truth. God is in control of history.
• It means that for those who believe in Christ, hope is in Him.
• It is the incarnation of God as the human boy/man Jesus.
• The Son of God enjoyed being in his Father's house.
• The King has come into the world. Jesus comes as King twice. 
• Race, pedigree, education, wealth, do not ultimately matter.
• It means reconciliation and peace with God by grace happen daily.
• It is the increase of peace, both with God and between people.
• If you live like Jesus, there won’t be room for you in a lot of inns.
• Christmas means that salvation is by grace.
• Christmas means you can have fellowship with God.
• God continues to wait for you to know Him personally. 
• The incarnation, Christmas, means that God is not content to be a concept or just someone you know from a distance. The joy that Christmas brings, is the assurance that God’s love and care will always reinvigorate you no matter the circumstances of your life.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Faith is a Gift

Faith is a free gift from God, and the blessings of God are given to us because we trust in Whom we have never seen.  How does a person acquire faith?  By seeking and trusting God, by believing in God, in His sovereign rule, in His creation, in God’s way above the way of the world, or man.  What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen.  It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, (eternal life without pain, suffering, death or taxes) even though we cannot see it up ahead.  By faith, we believe that God created the world, the galaxies, the neurons, the atmosphere, the
human heart, the amazing human brain, all the animals, birds, fish, plants and the oxygen needed by all things.   Some hero’s of the FAITH were laughed at, had their backs cut open with whips, Peter was beheaded, Stephen was stoned, some were sawed in two. Because of Sarah’s faith she gave birth to Isaac when she was in her nineties. Then because her husband Abraham had faith he offered their son Isaac up as a human sacrifice.  Mary, Joseph, Jacob, Moses, Gideon, Jeremiah, Samuel, Joshua, David, Paul, Peter and even the prostitute Rahab were all ordinary people, and to begin with, their gifted faith was as small as a mustard seed.  Each trusted God by the faith God gave them when they first believed that a 
Messiah was coming, according to the holy scriptures. They did not have the bible as we do today, and none received all that God had promised them before they died.  The superior reward for our faith today will be delivered to us in heaven. All the people of faith mentioned in the Old Testament never saw God in the flesh, in the person of Jesus.   The God breathed holy Scriptures purposely shares many stories of un-renounced FAITH in the face of hardship, impossibility and persecution.  The old testament LAW’s purpose is to show God’s high standard, which is 100% perfection.  God knows that humanity cannot live up to, or live out a life of perfection, therefore, because God loves mankind so much, supernaturally, God came to earth as the person of Jesus Christ, to live, to teach by His humble example, to serve mankind, and to become the perfect sacrifice in order that all who believed in Him, could be washed, cleansed, made holy, and given the right to stand before a holy God, in the name of Jesus. It is by His authority, and by His will, not our obedience that we are given the faith to believe, and to overcome. People cannot be saved by keeping the ten commandments, nor can people throw away the gift of faith, or their salvation in their ongoing imperfect understanding of God's will and ways. When a person comes to believe in God, and that the sinless man Jesus died for them as a perfect sacrifice, and that Jesus rose from the dead,  then the Holy Spirit comes into them, never to depart, and the gift of faith is received.  Our Lord Jesus taught to pray the Lord’s prayer. Our Father who art in heaven…respected is Thy holy name Jehovah, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”  Hallelujah! God operating in us, His hope for glory.  Bible: Romans 4:16; Hebrews 11; Matthew 6:9; Colossians 1:26.  See comments below for more bible references regarding justification. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Truth or Fiction?

Geology supports the order of creation.  Mathematics proves that creation was not random. Biology validates that each creature created reproduces after its own kind. Physics confirms that the world is running out of resources. Anthropology confirms that of all creation, only the human being can think, learn, listen and respond with intellectual writing. The Bible clearly teaches that God created a variety of species, organisms and man. The so-called contradiction between the Bible and modern science is: only a conflict in the opinion of the God created thinking man.  There are NO man made facts that can resolutely alter the Truth as revealed in the Holy Bible.  In the book of Genesis chapters 1-11, God lays out the origin of the universe; man and the nations, man's corruption, his own destruction, the scattering of man made beliefs and false gods.  God's plan to birth the nation of Israel, unfolds through a generation, born of a man named Abram. Chapters 12-50 tells the history of God's
rejection of those who refused to obey Him. The Father of all Creation tests and disciplines those He loves. God chose to teach and lead His people to trust and obey through the example of Abram. In chapter 12 of Genesis, God directed Abram to leave his homeland and go to Canaan. God changed Abram's name to Abraham (father of a multitude) and He promised Abraham that He would make a great nation out of his descendants. God made a covenant with Abraham in which He stated that the land of Canaan would be occupied by his descendants.  When Abraham was 100 years old, God told him that he would have a son through his 90 year old wife Sarah.  In spite of their laughable doubts, God fulfilled His covenant.  Isaac, the son of Abraham, was used to fulfill God's promise and Abraham's descendants became as numberless as the stars.
The promise of God passed from Abraham to Isaac. Then from Isaac's son Jacob, the second born twin of his sons. Esau was the first born of the twins. However, Isaac's wife Rebekah plots a deception.  She prods her second born, to disguise himself as Esau, in order that Jacob receives the blessing of their dying father.  Isaac blesses Jacob and sent him to Paddan-aram, to find a wife among the daughters of Laban. On his journey, Jacob rests and in a dream he receives a vision of a ladder leading up to heaven.  The Lord speaks to Jacob and reaffirms His original covenant with Abraham.  Jacob falls in love with Laban's daughter Rachel, however, Laban tricks Jacob on his wedding night. Laban's daughter Leah repalced Rachel in the wedding tent.  Jacob eventually marries both sisters and through them and two concubines, 12 sons are born.  Joseph was his first born son through his favored wife Rachel.  Jacob departs from Laban and soon learns that his twin brother Esau is coming to visit with 400 men.  Jacob is
terrified of Esau's probable revenge.  One night before Esau arrives, Jacob encounters an angel of the Lord. The angel changes his name from Jacob to Israel, which means "contender with God".  Israel learns that his brother Esau carries no grudge and Jacob AKA Israel settles in Shechem.  Joseph is Israel's favored son and he gives Joseph a multi-colored robe. Hatred and jealousy prompt Joe's brothers to plot to kill him, but then they simply strip him of his robe and drop him in a deep pit to die.  The brothers take back Joe's blood smeared, multi-colored robe to Israel. The father weeps for his dead son Joseph.  Joe is rescued from the pit by Ishmaelite traders who sold Joe as a slave to Potifar, an officer of the Pharaoh in Egypt. Joseph is soon elevated to a high position with Potifar due to his trustworthy wisdom. Potifar's wife attempts to seduce Joe, and when he rejects her, she falsely accuses him and Joseph is imprisoned. Two years later the Pharaoh summons Joe out of prison to interpret his dream. Joseph successfully forecasted seven years of prosperity followed by seven years of famine. The Pharaoh made Joseph the ruler over all of Egypt's resources to prepare for the famine. The famine affects Canaan and Jacob AKA Israel sends all his sons except Benjamin to Egypt to get grain for their tribe.
Joseph's brothers did not recognize him, but eventually Joseph reveals his identity. Genesis 47-1 "Joseph went and informed Pharaoh 'My father and my brothers, with their sheep and cattle and all that they own have come from the land of Canaan and are now in the land of Goshen." Genesis 50:15 "When Josephs brothers saw that their father (Jacob AKA Israel) was dead, they said to one another, 'If Joseph is holding a grudge against us, he will certainly repay us for all the suffering we caused him.' ....But Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid, am I in the place of God? You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result - the survival of many people."  Just like Jesus, Joseph was favored then betrayed by his brothers, and friends, then placed in a pit to die.  Jesus was rejected by his brothers, his community and was crucified and put in a tomb.  But God had a plan for Jesus and Joseph and God raised them up for His purpose. To fulfill His covenant to bless the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Jesus was lifted up from death, and returned resurrected from the dead for God's purpose, the salvation of the world. LESSON for ALL: Trust and Obey God to receive His blessings.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Bible Overview

There are sixty-six books in the Bible and Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are the key to both the inspiration and understanding of God and His story, His living Word to us.  The New Testament is a historically accurate document that proves Jesus Christ lived and spoke words of Truth.   The first century Jewish historian Josephus wrote “the so called Christ” whose disciples  “reported that He had appeared to them three days after His crucifixion and that He was alive.”  Jesus taught about the inspiration of the Bible and confirmed that the Old Testament is the divinely authoritative Word of God.  Jesus also promised that the Holy Spirit would lead His disciples in writing an inspired New Testament. Jesus said “Scripture cannot be broken” John 10:35.  Jesus also said that the Word of God “must be fulfilled” Read the book of Luke chapter 24: verse 44.
We also cannot neglect the fact that Jesus also stated that “ignorance of the Old Testament is the source of error.”  Matthew 22:29.  Obediently the New Testament writers also considered the Old Testament (OT) to be Scripture which is “inspired by God” 11 Timothy 3:16.   The critics of the Bible attempt to deceive us and cause us to choose between the Truth as revealed in the Holy Bible, and what they say "The Bible is a fairy tale for the weak"  Our choice is to accept the authenticity and the authority of the Old Testament or to disagree with what Jesus affirmed to be true.   
The entire Word of God is Truth, or Christ is not the Son of God.  We agree that Jesus told us the Truth, which means that the Old Testament is the historically accurate and divinely authoritative Word of God, or we deceive ourselves by criticizing the canonization of the Old Testament.  The word canon means “rule” and it refers to the sacred writings which are the rule for faith and practice among believers.  Today, Christ is our guide; He is the key to the interpretation of the Bible through the Holy Spirit.  There is no other way for a Christian to understand God’s Word.  There are three basic Holy Spirit revelations in which we may see Christ in the Bible.  1) Christ is the theme of both testaments.  2) Christ is the theme of each section of Scripture.  3) Christ centered themes are truths that are found in each of the sixty six books of the Bible.  The overall picture in the Bible is the person of Jesus Christ.  The Old Testament (OT) views the coming Christ by way of anticipation.  The New Testament (NT) views Christ by way of visible realization   The salvation prepared for in the OT was provided by Christ in the NT.  What Hope commenced in the OT is completed in the NT.  Matthew 1:21.  Christ is the theme of each of the eight sections of the Bible.
1) THE LAW (Gen-Deut) is the foundation for the coming Christ.  2) History (Josh-Esther) Christ the King is to come through the chosen nation, His kingdom on earth had to be formed. His kingdom come, His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  3) Poetry (Job-Song)  While suffering and rejoicing His people aspired for communion with Christ.  4) Prophecy (Isaiah – Malachi) Prophets held out hope of national restoration by Christ. Remember that Moses led Israel out of bondage through the Red Sea, but it was Joshua who took the Israelites through the raging Jordan River into blessing. Moses symbolizes deliverance and Joshua symbolizes victory.  5) Gospels (Matt-John)  In the gospels Christ was realized in the flesh. In Matthew Jesus
was made manifest in His sovereignty as King to the Jews. In John, Christ was manifest in His deity as God to the whole world. 6) History  (Acts) The historical manifestation of the Holy Spirit and in Acts the worldwide propagation of Christ began in Jerusalem. 7) Epistles (Rom-Jude) Paul’s doctrinal epistles repeats the phrase “in Christ”. Romans is redemption “in Christ”.  11 Corin is the jubilation or victory “in Christ”.  Galatians reveals emancipation “in Christ” Ephesians is the exaltation and unification “in Christ”. Phil declares the joy “in Christ”. Colo speaks of our completion “in Christ”.  1 Thess we experience an expectation “in Christ”.  11 Thess we discover a glorification “in Christ”.  1 Tim we are urged to faithfulness “in Christ”.  11 Tim we are reminded of the soundness “in Christ”.  Titus we are admonished to a steadfastness “in Christ” Philemon reads of our benefit “in Christ”.  8) Prophecy (Rev) Reveals the
consummation of all things “in Christ”  Through Christ all things were created and in Him all things are directed toward their final consummation. Christ is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega.   The word prophet comes from the word meaning “to announce”. A prophet was God’s mouthpiece, or the chosen human instrument through which God declared His message to man.  The broad meaning of prophecy is to forth-tell what God will do in the future.  These supernatural predictions form one of the strongest evidences that the Bible is the Word of God.  The prophets did not begin with Elijah or Samuel.  The first prophecy was about the coming Messiah, the Christ and was given by God to Adam and Eve.  (Genesis 3:15)  Enoch, the descendant of Adam also prophesied about Christ’s coming. (Jude 14).  Noah made predictions about his three sons (Gen 9:25-27) Abraham is called a “prophet” (Gen 20:7) and both Jacob and Joseph uttered prophecies (Gen 37:6 + Gen 49:10). Moses was considered a prophet (Deut 18:15) But Samuel started a school of the prophets (1 Sam 19:20). New Testament means ‘new covenant’, under which God forgives the ongoing unfaithfulness, mess ups, and wrong choices AKA sin of those who believe in Jesus Christ.  The definition of covenant:  The conditional promises made to humanity by God, as revealed in Scripture.  God’s covenant with “us”  who accept, believe and confess with our mouth that Jesus as Lord, we are saved, because His living Word, His promise to us is trustworthy, it is ever-lasting.  God's unchanging hope for us is that we trust Him, and listen to what "the Spirit is saying" and obey! Hallelujah!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Gratitude Attitude

Is the attitude of gratitude a useful asset? Does taking the time to list what you cherish worthwhile? In the midst of a trial is it wise to consider "what is the good, the value, the purpose of this?" Does complaining lift your spirit or the spirits of those around you? We all delight in and favor some people and experiences more than others. Do you delight more in the people that vent and complain, or in the people that tend to point out the positive and encourage us?  Truly, most people are thankful for some things more than others, but have you honestly listed what you are authentically thankful for? God tells us in His living Word to "give thanks in all things".  Obediently, have you thanked God for the
dismal days in which you were challenged to rise above the circumstance?  Even after a horrible experience, positive people look for the good and proclaim it. Have you been thankful for the ears to hear and the ability to laugh and sing?  How about being grateful for your sense of smell?  Consider a world without color?  Imagine if everyone had black hair, black eyes and black skin?  What if all the trees were black, and all the fruit was black.  Have you thanked God for the variety of color? It is easy to take a lot of our every day life for granted, but what if you did not have hands or fingers?  We could not hug, we could not easily type, write or play the piano without hands and fingers.  What
would the world be like without music or flowers?  All movies would be in black and white without that background music which helps to set the tone and communicate during the expanse of a movie.  Consider how singing effects your mood. Singing God bless America stirs many to think of victory, while singing the blues makes us reflect on times of sorrow. Some music makes our bodies sway and our toes tap and some loony lyrics make us laugh. The truth is God laughs and He sings over us and when we take the time to know our heavenly Father, we begin to understand the value of our relationship with Him and all that He has provided for our pleasure.
Listing and reviewing what I am thankful for...just before I celebrate my 65th year of living. Dear Lord Jesus, I am thankful for the husband the Lord chose for me. Why? Because Michael is a man after God's own heart and he honors me as his wife.  Mike is patient with me, and he give me space as I require it. My husband treats me with kindness and calls me his German princess.  Mike is generous in his desire to help around the house and he was willing to transplant himself in a foreign country.  I am thankful that my husband enjoys my quirky ways and the faces I make. He is proud to introduce me and quick to want to please me. We share the same "purpose" in this life and that is to draw close to our Creator, to walk in obedience and to please God and be of service.  I am thankful that God placed Michael in my life for His purposes, that we can be of service in our new community and laugh at the days to come.  My list continues that I may add the little and the big things that I grateful for:
1) My salvation and the ability to communicate with God, my Father, Jesus the King of kings.
2) My eyes to see beauty, my ears to hear music, and my hands to hug, and keep busy
3) The parents that God chose for me, and the lessons I have learned through struggles
4) The children God knitted into my womb, and the awesome priviledge of being a mother
5) The experiences I have been given that have increased my compassion and mercy for others
6) The many people He placed in my path to love, to encourage and to help
7) The everpresent Holy Spirit, to lean on, call on, and trust in for decisions to be made
8) Nature, trees, sunsets, lakes, the ocean, animals, flowers and the majestic vistas to renew me
9) God's living Word and His guidance, mercy, grace and deliverance from evil
10) My final destination, heaven, and the reunion with Jesus and my beloved family members

Friday, September 9, 2016

Who is Jan Hicks?

Who is this woman?  She is an adoring wife, a beloved mother, a devoted daughter, a respected teacher, a fun loving woman, and a published author who is after God’s own heart. She is a generous friend, a truth teller, a prayer warrior, a Harley rider, a kayaker, a great listener, and a thankful, transparent woman who has no shame --- as she has been supernaturally changed by God for His mighty purpose. JAN’s FAMILY:    Jan delights in her awesome blended family.  She has two sons, two daughters, eleven grand-children and one great-grandchild. In 2013 her sons took her on a special trip.  They traveled to San Diego to see the sights, sky dive and surf. Jan gives God the glory for His way of showing His unique ways of demonstrating His faithfulness. The Lord surprised her on this particular adventure by introducing her to a couple of high ranking Israeli Generals plus a USA Army Colonel, working in Special Forces. Jan and her husband pray daily that the Lord bless the USA and Israel so she felt this was a gift meeting from the Lord. She counts her personal relationship with Jesus as the top blessing of her life.  In 2014 Jan was surprised by her two sons with a new paddle-board for her 65th birthday.
She rides a Harley, and is delighted to spend days with family and friends out on the family boat. Jan loves horseback riding, kayaking and now paddle boarding. Her family gathers for annual reunions, and for the past 12 years, Jan and her mom enjoy a once a month mother-daughter day. During Spring break each year all available grand-kids are happy to travel with Granny for a fantastic time at the beach together. In 1991, both parents had worried that when Jan began passionately talking about all that Jesus had done for her, they were earnestly concerned that she was in a dangerous cult. They even dispatched Jan’s eldest son to investigate. However, while he only came to church to spy on his mom, during a church service, her son accepted Christ. Jan’s Dad and Mom accepted Christ in December 1994 as he was battling lung cancer. He moved in with Jesus 7 months later.  Her mother continues to serve the Lord today and was remarried to a minister in the year 2000JAN’s MINISTRY: Don and Jan Hicks have lived in the same neighborhood since 1993. For years (1993-1999) Jan worked in the same church that she got saved in. Her gift was to pray and the prayer ministry at this church operated 24 hours a day. Eventually friends from church encouraged Jan to begin an independent prayer ministry outside the church. They even financed a new prayer ministry and a website for Christians United Ministries, Inc. (CUMI) which launched in August of 1999. CUMI began with 12 prayer partners. God blessed their ministry and by His grace the website received prayer requests from churches and other online prayer ministries. Within a year, over 100,000 prayer partners joined from around the globe. Jan continues to work full time, without a salary, while Don works with their son doing restoration
construction to pay the family bills. Today Jan teaches a prayer model that brings healing to hearts that have been wounded or who remain in denial about past hurts. Many hard working Christians withhold pieces of their past from the light of Truth which prevents total healing.  The process she teaches comes from her personal healing experience. It includes closing doors to the enemy’s habitual ways of obstructing a person’s right to live a joy filled life. Jan is invited to share her amazing redemptive testimony at various denominations of faith. The power and grace of God transformed Jan's messy adolescent ways, supernaturally, in one hour. She is a beacon of hope for all who suffer through a life without passion or purpose. His power continues to restore whatever has been stolen from those who genuinely seek wholeness. Jan travels to Mexico in August each year as a teacher/trainer by partnering with Wellspring International School of Ministry. Wellspring combines CUMI and other ministry resources to teach and encourage pastors and their church
leaders to become certified in the simple method of prayer. The deep healing of the Holy Spirit, personally experienced by church leaders, is helping to restore health to the church that Jesus Christ began.  JAN’s HISTORY: Jan was born in Alabama, and raised in Pensacola, Florida. Her daddy owned a meat packing company, and her mamma retired from Sears and Roebuck as the personnel manager. Growing up, her mom and dad did not attend church themselves, but dad dropped off Jan and her brother at a local Baptist church every Sunday.  At the age of 12, Jan went forward to receive Christ Jesus with a gaggle of close pre-teen girlfriends. When she came home boasting of what she had done, her mother stated she was just following the crowd. Jan graduated nursing school and worked in a hospital, a private practice, and was a private duty nurse for Para and Quadriplegics. For a short time she worked in for a Urologist, and the last 5 years of her nursing career was spent working in a Family Practice Office in Foley, Alabama. Little did Jan know that her choices would soon lead her into a personal crisis. Jan first got married in 1967 and at the age of 20, she gave birth to the first of her two sons. That marriage ended up in divorce in 1978 and Jan went out seeking attention as she wildly celebrated her freedom with friends. JAN’s TESTIMONY: In 1979 Jan met a man in a bar, who said all the things a damaged young lady wants to hear. They moved in together and later Jan learned that her boyfriend was secretly shooting up hard drugs. Jan eventually
caught him and she sought to save him by using her knowledge as a nurse. Her boyfriend responded “How can you help me with something you know nothing about!” Jan, full of pride, insisted “ I might not know anything about illegal drugs, but I am smart enough to not get addicted!” In a dare to prove she was strong, Jan stuck her arm out to him. Her boyfriend inserted a needle into her naked arm and filled her veins with liquid cocaine. For the next 12 years, Jan’s arms were full of tracks from heroine, cocaine, and speed use.  Jan manipulated people to get the drugs she craved. She stole from her parents and she overdosed twice and was left for dead once. She was dangerous to herself and to others. Jan attempted to murder the uncle who had molested her as a child, by trying to put a meat hook into the back of his head. She also attempted to intentionally harm the boyfriend who introduced her to drugs.  Jan moved from Pensacola to Alabama in 1982 after getting married again. She continued as a nurse until 1986 when she took a job at Sears and was promoted as a Department Manager.  She wore a mask and hid her addictions and worked to support her drug habit.  Soon she was divorced again and back into the partying lifestyle.  In June of 1991 she was dumped by another live-in boyfriend because he had met Jesus and could not be seen with a ‘whore no more’.  Jan deceived herself into thinking that she was doing okay. By the will of God, on August 4, 1991 that same boyfriend, who was raised by a preacher, and left his home as a prodigal, 
God used him to extend Jan an invitation to church. Jan declares that she only accepted his invite in a desperate attempt to win back the heart of this man. She admitted that she had no desire to turn her life over to God. His will be done on earth, and in us, as we stubbornly submit. During the music and the sermon Jan began to weep. She thought foolishly “If I go up to the alter this ex boyfriend would get credit.” After the service they drove 17 miles back home. Jan was sobbing and requested that he take her back for the music service at 6:00 pm. This inter-denominational church was celebrating their new sanctuary that night and afterwards Jan said “We need to talk”  This ex-boyfriend at one time had been a seminary student, but when his wife divorced him, the seminary kicked him out. He had been angry at God and the church, but he was redeemed and wanted Jan to experience new life in Christ. Later on that night Jan cussed him because he drove her back to the church to speak with the Pastor and his wife. On August 4, 1991 at 9:30 PM after the pastor prayed with Jan, her heart opened and she honestly confessed to God “You know all that I have done, and I am not sure you could use me, but I ask You to help me stop using drugs, alcohol, tobacco and pornography. Jan knew her home was filled with all sources of evil habits. That very night Jan was totally delivered from any desire for drugs, or alcohol. She went home and tossed all substances into a burn barrel. Two weeks later Jan was baptized and delivered from three and a half packs of cigarettes a day. In October of 1991 Jan heard a man named Don Hicks
give his testimony at church. His story of bad choices matched her own struggle with addictions. Jan was moved by the Spirit to ask Don if he would talk to her incarcerated girlfriend. They went to talk over coffee. They talked for hours and soon after began seeing each other every day. Within three months after their first meeting they got married on Jan 3, 1992. Don’s dad was also a preacher, and Don also left home as a prodigal son. He had tasted all that the world had to offer and returned home to Christ in Sept of 1991. Don was also supernaturally delivered from all his addictions which cost him about $20,000 each summer. Don worked in construction and throughout their brief courtship, together they attended either a bible study, or some kind of church function every night of the week. Don led Jan into the Word, the importance of tithing and prayer. Jan Hicks took possession of the indwelt Holy Spirit. Nothing but the indwelt Holy Spirit could ever satisfy her hunger to know God. Jan said YES to God and she allowed Him to inject His living Word into her soul, her body and mind.  Don and Jan Hicks are blessed with an awesome blended family. Don's two daughters refer to Jan as "Mom" and her two sons introduce Don as "Dad". Everyone in the family has crossed over to Freedom in Christ.  The book "Crossing2Freedom", by Jan Hicks“If you find yourself bound by your past --- and try as you might, you are unable to move away from the lingering pain of old hurts, Jan's book encourages you to pick up your mat and walk into all that God has personally intended for you. 
Crossing2Freedom is a must have BOOK for anyone that truly wants to be healed. I learned how to pray effectively and to release certain chapters of my past to the Lord. I live free from the urge to dwell in the hurts of the past. Jan is the real deal, and so is her book. This isn't a book of theory, Crossing2Freedom was written with the blood, sweat, and tears of her own personal journey to absolute freedom in Christ Jesus. Jan has an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying, and she walks her talk by the Holy Spirits leading.” Written by a thankful student in Mexico 2014. You can order this life changing book by clicking here: Christians United Ministries

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Cross to Freedom

The following question is entirely relevant today. Who needs spiritual healing?  Nations of people. However, most Christians or people of faith will deny that they need any spiritual healing because they have attended church and studied God's word for years. They believe that their soul is " just fine" That all wounding, all jealousy, envy, hatred, rejection, neglect, bitterness, self-doubt and unbelief have been confessed and healed.  Jesus knows our hearts, minds, fears and individual soul needs better than we do.  He died on the cross so that we could enjoy freedom in Him. The truth is IF a person shares an emotionally painful memory from their past, then Dr Mathais would say that some degree of anger or bitterness is present and our spiritual health is not what the Lord would hope for us.  Wounds left unattended fester and spill out into our minds and we may deny it all we want, but when our tongue speaks intentional words to wound others, our spiritual wounds are making themselves known. Jan Hicks points out in her internationally effective book entitled 
"Crossing to Freedom" we are all wounded in some way.  You may have denied it for years, but if a wound is yet seeping, it will come to the surface in the form of jealousy, envy, or in feelings of inadequacy as we compare ourselves to others.  The soul is wounded by Satan, for he is the thief, he is God's advesary, he is the Liar, he is the voice that gives us ample reason to be mad, angry, judgemental, critical.  He is invisible, he is the temptor that is also known as the prince of the air. The one who lingers in the quiet of our thoughts to frustrate our peace as we feebly, in our own strength, keep silent when we feel tormented by raging thoughts to attack another with accusation and blame.  Within the text of John 8:44 - Jesus told the self-righteous Jews, that they were indeed descendants of Abraham, but by their stubborn
behavior, Jesus told them that in their spirit, their father was NOT God, but the devil.  These prideful Jews who studied scripture believed that they were RIGHT, they did not acknowledge Who Jesus was, because they insisted that they were scholars, and that they knew more than He. They argued with the living Word of God, with Jesus who knows the hearts and needs of all His sheep.  With their hearts set against the Truth, with an attittude of spiritual superiority, their spiritual eyes remained closed as Jesus told them "Before Abraham was, I am".  God used a doctor to make a clear declaration of the purpose of Jesus Christ.  There are five statements of purpose in Luke 4:17-21.  Those five reasons why Jesus came down from heaven to walk among a suffering people who were seeking a Savior are 1) To preach the good news to the poor in spirit.  2) To proclaim freedom to the prisoners, to the slaves of sin.  3) To recover the sight to the spiritually blind, to bring people out of denial and into the truth.  4) To release the oppressed, the downtrodden, 
to those who carried the burden of shame, guilt, bitterness, resentment.  5) To proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. First of all God wants those who are broken to hear the truth. Secondly God wants us to know that we can find healing for our wounds. Thirdly, God wants us to "see" the truth about the wounds that Satan instilled in our minds against our family, our neighbors and ourselves. In regard to the Liar, our enemy, what does the Word of Jesus say about the power of Christ in Luke 10:18-21?  "He replied, 'I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.  I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to
overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.  However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said 'I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.  Yes, Father for this was your good pleasure."  In ther words, our pride prevents us from admitting that we need the authority of Jesus to overcome the enemy and receive a healing of our wounds. The simple minded believer receives power and authority, not necessarily the wise and learned, to overcome, to be healed. If we are to heal, according to scripture, we are to heal in the name of Jesus.  If we teach that there is power to heal, we teach that this power comes from Jesus. God placed power in the name of
Jesus Christ for us to use as a weapon to use according to His will.  The name of Jesus Christ will bring healing to our lives, and He receives all the honor and glory for what He accomplishes through our obedience to pray in His name.  (Acts 2:38; Acts 3:6-7; Acts 4:10; Acts 9:27; Acts 10:47-48) All humans have a natural desire to resist change and to resist being told what to do.  We mask our pain with a fake smile and pretend that we are "just fine" because we feel that we
cannot show any weakness.  "He is strong, in our weakness"  A man that was wounded physically and spiritually cried out in Job 14:1-9 "For there is hope in a tree....if it is cut down, it will sprout again, and that its tender shoots will not cease."  The tree represents a man, and its tender shoots, its root, the seed of God planted within. That which is in us will not cease to seek outside itself, its own limited beliefs, its circumstances to tap into the living water, the Holy Spirit. "It will sprout again!" A man who has been cut down can be restored and bloom with much fruit.  "This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit." John 15:8 ~ As Christians we say that we trust God's will, His plan and His purpose for us. His word tells us that He came to set the captives free. God also says "We cannot heal a wound that we declare is not there." Is the joy of the Lord visible in your daily countenance?  Do you look downtrodden? Do you attempt to conceal the truth with a smile? Pray this prayer. In the name of Jesus Christ,
Oh Father God,  I give the Holy Spirit in me permission to reveal any area of woundedness that I am not aware of.  Open my eyes Lord that I may see and allow You to heal any hurts so that I may be pure in mind, body, and soul.  Restore my belief that I am already filled with the authority to trample on the enemy of my soul.  In Jesus name, AMEN ~ Repeat this blessing to your spirit. "To my spirit, I bless you with a profound reconciliation to God and His purpose, that my soul be totally healed. I bless my spirit with the full illumination of scripture.  I bless my spirit with the joy of speaking with God's authority and sending Satan back to hell. I bless my soul with the ability to see good in what man or beast meant for harm. I bless my spirit with the joy of personally experiencing God daily. I bless my spirit in the name of El Shaddai, my all sufficient Father that I be a reflection of His glorious light in dark places.  I bless my spirit with the truth of the divine nature of Yahweh and His immense love for all people. I highly recommend that you read the post below entitled "Who is Jan Hicks".  Her supernatural healing and transformation will give you hope in what He can accomplish through one healed soul. A great book entitled "Daily Spirit Blessings" by Sylvia Gunter is great for restoring the truth and displacing the lies of the one who seeks to destroy us..

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Prepare to be Healed

Do you have stress in your life? That is a crazy question because we all have stress! To uncover the root cause of stress I highly recommend taking the time to read Jan Hick's book "Crossing to Freedom" Jan and many other Christian leaders teach together at the annual Wellspring Ministry Conference at YWAM here at Lakeside. IF we want to pick up our mat and walk in the freedom that Jesus Christ offers we must be obedient to His inner nudge. Click here: Pray with Others "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”  Matthew 18:18-19   "How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. “  Matthew 17:17 NKJ - JUST DO IT, read this article in its entirety -  “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do,
he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.  And whatever you ask in My name, that  I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:12 NKJ  “Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in Me.”  … Jesus said to him “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:1-6 NKJ Dear heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus, I give you permission to examine my heart for any wicked way and I covenant with You that when You reveal a wicked way, or any confused or perverse thought, that I will repent and ask for Your forgiveness.  I set aside this time for You and ask that the Holy Spirit
be in charge. In the name of Jesus, I bind all evil spirits and render them powerless to interfere with the restoration of my soul to purity.  Lord Jesus I desire that our intimacy be joy filled, I invite you Holy Spirit to prick my conscious to make me aware of anything that is not from You.  In the name of Jesus, I come before you with a humble heart, full of thanks because Your plan included that ALL my sins were to be paid in full on the cross.  Satan, in the name of my Lord Jesus Christ, and by the power of His blood, I cancel all of Satan’s power and authority over me and I legally and forever bind the spirits of deception, lying, false accusation
and confusion! Today, in Jesus name and by the power of His blood,  I pronounce that I will never again fall victim to the attempts made for these spirits to enter and destroy my intimacy with my Lord Jesus because I refuse to be offended.  Lord Jesus I ask that You help me to love myself, and ALL my neighbors as You love me, with forgiveness, mercy and grace. Heavenly Father, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and as an act of my free will, I confess, repent, and renounce any pride or rebellion that is in me, or operating in my life, and in all my generations, clear back to Adam.  Holy Spirit, heal my heart and mind.  I ask You Lord Jesus to forgive me for any bitterness and any unforgiveness  that I hold towards those who have  offended me.   Forgive me and all my generations for resisting the full power of Your written Word.  I release myself from the religious spirit in me and ask the Holy Spirit to seal me with the Truth, according to Thy will and power.  Holy Spirit please speak your words of truth to me for I am humble, receptive and  listening. 
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