Spaghetti or Waffles

 

 

 

Raw homemade pasta with pumpkinHave you ever heard the analogy that women are like spaghetti and men are like waffles? Women’s thoughts tend to overlap and intertwine together in an elaborate patchwork of words, actions and pictures mixing together like a big pot of pasta! Men’s thoughts tend to be compartmentalized, rarely touching, if at all, but still their own elaborate patchwork of words, actions and pictures.

 

Sweet Belgium waffles

The husband of one of my good friends says he even has a box or compartment for nothing. He says it is his compartment where he simply is. How can this be?! How on God’s green earth can he have a box for nothing? No thoughts, no distractions, no nothing?! I have to, no, I must find my own box of nothing!

This morning as I read through Acts and came to 14:23b …..“with prayer and fasting.” It stood out at me because I had just read a few days ago in Chapter 13 ….“fasted and prayed.” These two instances had me thinking about when the disciples asked Jesus why they couldn’t drive out the demon in the boy from Mark 9:27-29 and Jesus told them this kind can only come out through prayer and fasting. Some translations list prayer only but the original Greek states prayer and fasting.

The Holy Spirit began to impress on me that not only is it important to stay connected to Him through prayer so that we can have a clearer understanding of his power, his will for our life and how he wants to work through us on behalf of others, but that fasting brings us to a deeper level of understanding where we begin to ‘see’ through prayer.

Fasting is directly related to the Day of Atonement, the day that occurred once a year when the Nation of Israel would seek atonement for their sins.

Atonement is God restoring harmony and unity between Himself and humanity. Because of God’s atoning grace and forgiveness we experience a restored relationship with him in spite of our sin because of our belief in his beloved Son Jesus.

We are “at-one-ment” with God. Fasting then, draws us closer to God where we can experience being one with him. Fasting brings us to a place where we can experience a box of simply receiving his lavish love for us. No thoughts, no distractions, only His love. Fasting makes us aware of the gift of atonement that is the result of what Christ did for all humanity as he hung dying on a tree at Calvary. The forgiveness of sin, the defeat of death and eternal life for all who believe.

set of gift box isolatedPrecious One, join me in preparing a box among the compartments or spaghetti of your mind. Not a box of nothing but a box of simply being. Being at-one-ment with Him.

Shalom!

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The Watches Of The Night

Digital Visualization of a Moonset

Our Women’s Bible study is doing a topical study on discipleship. In addition to the study homework, reading through the book of Acts is another level of deeper involvement in the study. I have been reading through a chapter a day and am fascinated by what Holy Spirit is showing me that I haven’t paid attention to before.

I am particularly fascinated by the praying that takes place in chapters 9 and 10. In Acts 9:10 we find the Lord calling to Ananias in a vision. It is most likely that Ananias was praying because visions and prayer were often associated with each other in the books of Luke and Acts. Further along we find Ananias praying over Saul so that he may see again and be filled with Holy Spirit.

In Chapter 10; Cornelius, a Roman centurion, from the Italian Regiment ( now, that has never stood out at me!), and who was, along with his family, devout and God-fearing, was praying one day at three in the afternoon. Guess what happened? He had a vision! The next day at noon Peter was praying and…he had a vision!

All of this had me thinking about the watches of the night. The night watches were designated times that soldiers or guards would stand watch for any threat by an enemy. In the OT the watches were broken down into 3 times; sunset to 10:00pm, 10:00pm to 2:00am and 2:00am to sunrise. In the NT a fourth watch was added. The first watch ends at 9:00pm, then 9:00pm to 12:00am, 12:00am to 3:00am and 3:00am to 6:00am.

Recently I had the opportunity to teach on Matthew 28:19,20 and I discovered that the word obey in the v.20 is actually the word observe in the original Greek and it means to spiritually guard. When I think of spiritually guard it reminds me of the armor of God in Ephesians, which is a depiction of a Roman soldier dressed and fitted for battle.

We, as believers in Christ, are like the picture of the Roman soldier ready for battle. We are clothed and equipped with several items, among them the helmet of salvation, which protects our mind, the breastplate of righteousness, which protects our heart and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, which is Jesus himself and protects our soul!

Think about the times you have been awakened during the night for what may have seemed no reason at all. Has it been during the watches of the night or fairly close? I am often awakened at 3:00am sometimes I go back to sleep and sometimes I will pray. A few mornings ago, at 3:00am, I woke up and asked God what he wanted me to pray about. I heard Holy Spirit whisper, “I am calling the Body of Christ around the world to stand the watches of the night.” “Pray that they will listen and accept the call.”

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1Peter 5:8.

Can you imagine what it would look like if every believer in Christ accepted the call to their designated watch of the night?! There wouldn’t be anything for the enemy to devour!

And should you think you would be too tired to go on with your day if you stood your watch.

He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power. Isaiah 40:29.

Precious One, will you go to bed tonight clothed in the full armor of God and answer his call to stand your watch of the night? I will join you.

Shalom!

The War Room

 

Pray Computer Keys Showing Worship And Religion

A few nights ago I had the opportunity to watch the movie War Room, in short, a movie about a woman, Miss Clara, who devoted her life to prayer and taught other women her method of praying. In reality she was sharing her deep faith and trust in God that led to this fantastic prayer life.

Prayer is one of my passions. I have been praying to God since I was about 7 or 8 years old. I was raised in a different religion at the time but I had the faith of a small child that I was indeed praying to the God of heaven. I have dedicated times of prayer but mostly I talk to God all day long. Talking with Him helps me to feel connected to him.

But, let’s face it, at least for me, sometimes prayer can become a chore rather than a sweet and intimate time with the Lord.

I was reading through Ephesians 6:10-18, commonly known as, the Armor of God. In verse 18 we are instructed to pray in the Spirit on all occasions and with all kinds of prayers and requests.

I was taken by “pray in the Spirit” and did some investigating. I found that in the original Greek text Spirit means possessed, influenced or controlled by the power of the Holy Spirit in his knowledge, desire, deciding and acting.

Perhaps what causes prayer to become chore like is the fact that we are not asking the Holy Spirit to influence our prayers with his power in his knowledge, desire, deciding and acting. This is so simple! I think the challenge is that in order to allow the Holy Spirit to influence us we have to surrender our will, our thoughts, our prayers and what the outcome of our prayers might look like. We have to place our trust in an unseen God with the faith he has blessed us with for the words given to us by the Holy Spirit in prayer.

Precious One, I am starting today to pray in the Spirit, in his knowledge, desire, deciding and acting and waiting expectantly with great anticipation in my soul for the answer to my prayers. Will you?

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:18

Shalom!

 

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!