Open The Floodgates!

fullsizeoutput_4bd

Last year, in an attempt to conserve water and because our state was in a severe drought, we set our sprinklers to come on once a week; just enough to give our plants a drink and hopefully keep them a brownish green.

The summers here can push upwards of 100+ degrees, and even though we live relatively close to the bay, we have micro climates causing the differing temperatures around this region. Needless to say, our plants began to die. I decided to start pulling out the dead plants to prepare our yard to become drought resistant. I started working on a fern like plant that was completely dead and thought that it would simply come up out of the ground with little to no effort. That was my first mistake. My second mistake was relying on the presumption of my first mistake and rather than test the ease of pulling this dead plant out, I grab a hold of it and yanked. Now, mind you, I was wearing some heavy duty, industrial strength gardening gloves; not those dainty gloves with cute designs of flowers and flower pots and gardening tools. There is nothing wrong with those glove, in fact I have owned many in my passion for gardening days.

Did I mention this dead plant had very dead thorns that were still as sharp if the plant had been alive? During my second mistake one of those thorns pierced through my heavy duty industrial strength gloves and into my skin. Thankfully, I was able to get the thorn out and continue my work.

Months later I realized that my finger was still sensitive where the thorn had gone into my skin and realized there was still a piece of the thorn left! With the help of some essential oils I was able to retrieve the rest of that pesky thorn.

Sensitive. That is how the subject of tithing can be. Very sensitive. I mentioned in this blog post about a Bible software I had been wanting and received a complimentary download of the basic package. It was while using this software that Holy Spirit began to speak to me about tithing from a verse in the book of Joel. I know, I was surprised as well and I love when He connects verses together and they walk hand in hand like the best of friends!

The seed shrivels under the clods; the storehouses are desolate; the granaries are torn down because the grain has dried up. Joel 1:17.

This verse reminds me of Malachi 3:10. While the NT does not comment on how much we ought to tithe, only that God loves a cheerful giver, signaling that we, indeed, ought to give.

And what does God say he will do when, we stepping out in faith, bring the full tithe to him? He tells us to test him. The Sovereign King of all heaven and earth and everything in it tells us to test Him and see if he will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing so great that there will not be room enough to store it! When was the last time you tested God with your tithing? Do you trust Him to do what he promises and to be Who He says he is?

The storehouses in Joel 1:17 were desolate because God’s children had turned away from God and having turned away they also stopped giving back to God.

Thank God for giving you the faith to bring your full tithe to Him so that there will be always be food in his house and wait expectantly as he pours out a blessing so large you will simply have to give more back to Him because you will not be able to contain it!

Precious One you were set apart to have faith that God will do what he promises and to believe He is Who he claims to be.

Shalom!

Advertisements

The Same Power

fullsizeoutput_47e

This morning I woke up singing the song “Same Power” by Jeremy Camp. Specifically, these words.

The same power that rose Jesus from the grave
The same power that commands the dead to wake
Lives in us, lives in us
The same power that moves mountains when He speaks
The same power that can calm a raging sea
Lives in us, lives in us
He lives in us, lives in us

These words remind me of Romans 8:11. If you are a believer in Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior then HIS Spirit lives in you! The same Spirit Who raised Jesus from the grave. If you grab a hold of nothing else today, may it be the truth that the Supernatural power of Christ lives in you and you can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you. Not some things but all things.

Precious One, dig deep into God’s word, He’s waiting there for you.

Shalom!

 

Follow me on FaceBook; Instagram

Prayers of a Pastor

fullsizeoutput_453

There we sat, the room empty, except for one other man. The light was dim and dingy. Off in the corner the television was on and bleating louder than it ought to have been. She sat next to me doubled over in pain with tears streaming down her face wondering what was taking so long. It was 3:30 in the morning. The man brought my attention to the rain that had started again and the howling of the wind.

I sat feeling helpless trying to control the panic beginning to creep in. I closed my eyes and began to pray. I simply said, “Jesus we need you.” The door opened and we were called back. The man came right up next to me and followed us. Just as I was beginning to feel unsettled about this, he said, “I want you to know I was praying for your daughter.” With a relieved smile, I answered, “Thank you.” He said, “As a Pastor that is my job.” I thanked him again and told him there is something special about the prayers of a Pastor.

As we sat in the exam room engulfed by the privacy curtain, listening to the activity of a busy ER, I marveled at HIM. His lavish love poured over us creating a sweet perfume for our souls. Before I ever uttered a word in prayer, God had already answered and placed that Pastor right near us.

If that isn’t love, what is?

Precious One, God is ever close, his love knows no bounds and he is always listening to the sweet tinkling of your voice.

Shalom!

PS she is fine and God is good….ALL the time.

No Longer A Slave To Fear

 

This morning as I woke up these words from this song kept resonating through my mind “I’m no longer a slave to fear.” And as I sit at our big living room window looking out at the slightly foggy, mostly gray, wet dampness, as night turns into day, I felt led to listen to this song.

Immediately, Holy Spirit began to download a plethora of information. Over the past several weeks He has shown me that while the enemy has come to kill, steal and destroy, the drought IS over. that HE, the one true living God is restoring all the years that the enemy has stolen. That as a believer in Jesus Christ we have the authority to tell the mountains, that stand in our way and take our focus off of God, to move.

In quick succession the following verses came to mind.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 1 Corinthians 3:17.

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36.

I believe fear is one of the greatest weapons Satan uses to keep us bound and tied down. Fear immobilizes us. We know deep in our soul what God has called us to do, what our gifts are that we hear God, but fear, fear steps in and distracts us from what God’s calling is for us.

Here are some of the lyrics to No Longer Slaves

You unravel me with a melody
You surround me with a song
Of deliverance from my enemies
‘Til all my fears are gone

I am surrounded
By the arms of the father
I am surrounded
By songs of deliverance

As I continued to listen to this song I realized this is what deliverance feels like. It isn’t some big production with glitz and flashing lights. It is a subtle, gentle assurance like the petals of a rose as they drop one by one until there is nothing left.

Precious One, you are no longer a slave to fear. You have been set free.

Shalom!

 

Put On Your Stompin’ Boots

img_2848

 

I sit at my desk looking out my big front window as the pre dawn morning begins to take shape. Commuters leaving their houses to get to their jobs, mostly likely traveling down the craziest two lane road left in our once small farming community, that has become one of the more expensive places to rent and own and raise a family. I pray for them.

And, as I sit and pray for my family I am struck by the many changes that have happened already in this new year. I no longer make resolutions for each new year because every day is an opportunity to become more of the person God created me to be. To be restored by Him and released from the years of familial spiritual bondage that takes our focus off of God and causes us to forget that we walk in victory, we walk in the love of a Savior who died a torturous death on a cross for the forgiveness of sins for all mankind. The bondage that causes us to forget the truth of God’s word and his promises.

Jesus said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” (Matthew 28:18). He also said, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” (Luke 10:19).

Father God gave his beloved Son, Jesus all authority in heaven and earth and Jesus gives us authority to trample on snakes, serpents, lions and scorpions. Interestingly, one of the words in the original text for serpent is monster. I think that is an accurate description of the enemy. And regardless of what childhood memories the word monster may bring up for you, we overcome all the power of the enemy and nothing; no man, woman or thing, will harm us; acting contrary what is divinely approved.

Here is the key and I can’t say this often enough, we must practice the spiritual discipline of reading and studying God’s word daily. A few verses back from the one in the cobra picture, we read:

If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling. Psalm 91:9.

When you make the Lord your shelter, the place you hang out the most, that safe and trusted place then surely you will tread on the lion and the cobra and trample the great lion and the serpent.

Precious One, press in and persevere, sit in the presence of the Lord and put on your stompin’ boots.

Shalom!

Red Letter Words

fullsizeoutput_352

As a believer in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, your identity in Him is a child of God, with all the benefits children receive from their parents, including the guidance and discipline of parents when needed. Not only that, those who believe are royalty.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9.

Our greatest example of what royalty looks like is Jesus.

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. John 5:19-20.

“I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” John 5:30.

“Jesus, by these words states categorically that He, who was the freest of men was not functioning as a free agent. He was not doing His own thing. He was not bound by the 21st century definition of freedom. When He said, “The Son can do nothing of Himself”, He was saying that, having shared in the glory of the Eternal Father, and being omnipotent Himself, He has used His omnipotence to lay aside omnipotence and be fashioned as a man. He was sill the Son. He was still the second person of the Trinity, but without form or comeliness, without majesty or splendor, in weakness rather than strength: God, reduced to a root out of dry ground, reduced to obedience, reduced to complete dependence. Although He could have called 10,000 angels because of Who He was in Himself and the authority yet resident within Him, He cried out in despair because of who He was in His submission to His God- appointed station in life.

Deity is not easy.” Lee Wilkerson The Letters in RED.

 

If we are to follow the example of Jesus, and we are, it can be said, royalty is not easy.

Precious One, you are called to a royal station in life. Let everything you do reflect this gift; your words, your thoughts, your actions. Ask Holy Spirit to help you, He will, He is really good at his job.

Shalom!

Infusion

file_000-86

If you have ever had the pleasure of smelling jasmine you know that it’s aroma can be intoxicating. It’s fragrance is warm and exotic. Even now as I look out our big front window and watch the beginning of the falling rain on this cold, windy and cloudy day, the memory of the scent of jasmine takes me back to bright sunny summer days spent relaxing in the perfect temperature – not too hot and not too cool.

Jasmine is also a prized essential oil. One of the processes of extracting the oil from the delicate flowers is through steam distillation. Steam is passed through the flowers causing its cellular makeup to break down and burst forth with its precious oil. Actually, the liquid that comes from the break down is a combination of water and oil, which is funneled into a vat where the oil floats on top of the water and is then collected to be bottled. It takes eight million jasmine flowers to produce just two pounds of this precious oil.

This process reminds me of the ongoing work of Holy Spirit in the lives of believers, especially when we are in seasons of being broken down so who we are in Christ can burst forth and that newness floats to the top and replaces old habits and thought processes and all that remains is a sweeter fragrance of who we are and are becoming in Christ, which we can offer as a beautiful sacrifice to God.

The distillation process is rarely easy but God doesn’t ask you to go through it alone. He promises to never leave you or forsake you and at the end of each juncture you are infused with even more of the sweetest aroma of heaven.

Precious One may the fragrance of who you are burst forth onto those you come in contact with today and everyday.

Shalom!