It Started With A Bowl Of Cereal

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One morning, when I was about eight years old, I was sitting at our kitchen table happily pouring a bowl of frosted flakes. This was a sweet treat for me because my mom rarely bought cereal in those days. For some reason, after I poured my bowl of cereal, I decided it was a good idea to also add sugar, a lot of sugar, to my cereal. I ate every bite!

Something happened to me that morning as I was pouring the extra sugar onto my cereal. There was a shift inside of me, a knowingness that I was about to get entangled in a web of deceit. Of course, eight year old me didn’t think of it as deceit, it was simply a feeling. However, as I reflect back I believe the shift was a spiritual one and I had opened the door to the enemy to begin his attack.

Fast forward to my early twenties and years of struggling with weight problems and a diagnosis of low blood sugar more commonly known as hypoglycemia. Someone afflicted with hypoglycemia produces too much insulin whereas someone afflicted with diabetes does not produce enough. The doctor that diagnosed me commented that if sugar were produced in that period of time, one would need a prescription to buy sugar, that is how bad sugar is for us. He immediately put me on a low carb diet. Wow! For the first time in my life I lost all the weight I had gained and had energy I didn’t know what to do with!

Jump with me to ten years ago. New doctor, new tests and a blood sugar reading of, wait for it…..NORMAL!! I knew in this moment God had chosen to heal me. There are some spiritual residuals left over, no pun intended. When I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed I immediately want comfort food – pizza is my favorite. When I am feeling sad, lonely, unheard or misunderstood I want sugar, specifically, candy. I have heard others say we don’t have to ask God what to eat everyday, but I do. There are some days I don’t have one iota of self-control when it comes to eating and if left to my own devices, well, it would be pizza for days!

Precious One, taking care of your body, spiritually, mentally and physically IS a sweet sacrifice to the King of the world. You have been set apart to do so. When you do it is a fragrant aroma lifted up to Him in true worship.

Shalom!

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God Speaks

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Not long ago I read something to the effect of God speaking only through his written word and implying that God does not talk to people on behalf of others or for the masses but that when He speaks to someone it is for that person only. This left me feeling very unsettled and because I am an internal processor it has taken me awhile to reconcile why I was feeling this way.

I believe, without any doubt, God speaks to us mainly through his word. That is why reading and studying his word is so vital to our spiritual health. But, I also believe God speaks to us in different ways; through dreams, visions, pictures and prayer. I also believe God gives us messages of encouragement and prophetic messages to be given away to others. He has done this through me many times and I always suggest to the one who is receiving a word from God through me that they take this spoken word to God and ask God what part of it is from him and what part of it can be tossed out, because many times my human-ness and my impressions can be mixed in with the message from God.

It is the hearer’s responsibility to be alone with God and pray about what was given. Oughtn’t we be doing this on a regular basis to begin with? Most of us attend church on Sunday or Bible study during the week, simply because one has been anointed by God to preach or teach does not mean we will ever get it right one hundred percent of the time, again, it is the hearer’s responsibility to go God and ask God for his discernment on what was preached or taught.

Paul gave these words of wisdom about worship in 1 Corinthians 14:26b.

When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All these must be done for the strengthening of the church. 1 Corinthians 14:26b.

When we always imply that what God speaks to one person should be only for that person we negate the truth of God’s word. All of these things including prophecy, further in the passage Paul addresses prophecy, are meant to strengthen the Bride of Christ! Have they and are they currently misused? Yes, BUT it is each believers responsibility to go to God and ask for his wisdom, his discernment on what was spoken or taught. Let’s give each other the freedom in Christ and encouragement to seek the spiritual gifts Holy Spirit wants to lavish on us; gifts that are meant for the greater good of the entire Church.

Precious One, “Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21.

Shalom!

 

Memories of Junior High Camp

 

 

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ScanYears ago, I was an adult leader with our Jr. High Youth group. Every year we would go to summer camp, and, every year there was one night we played hide and go seek. The adult leaders would take their Jr. Higher’s and hide and it was the job of the Pastors to find each group. We would all wear the darkest clothing we had. I still have my hoodie that I bought at camp just for this night and it is still one of my favorite sweatshirts! Now, I use to be very competitive, okay, I still am, but just a tiny bit especially when it comes to board games. I was determined this night that my girls and I would not be found.

Scan 5We hid down by a stream that had a huge fallen tree across it that one could walk over instead of the path we took. We positioned ourselves in a straight line in the shadow of the tree. It was completely dark except for the light of the moon. It was also very quiet except for the shouts and calls of the Youth Pastors attempting to draw everyone out. We sat and whispered to one another and giggled as one by one we could hear the other groups suffering the defeat of being discovered. There were a few close calls as we heard Pastors coming our way and turning around after finding ‘nothing’. Finally, after what seemed like a million years, the game was over and we were never found! We won! We won! We won! Did I mention I use to be competitive? My heart is racing recalling this memory! The funny thing is we were actually hiding in plain sight. Had anyone come from the other direction they would have been facing toward us and even though we were all wearing dark clothing the Pastors all had one advantage, they had flashlights!

Scan 3In Acts 17 we find Paul walking around Athens and he is greatly distressed to find the city full of idols. He even found an altar that had an inscription to an unknown God. This gave Paul the perfect opportunity to share the gospel message and Christ Jesus as the unknown God.

God had revealed Himself to the Athenians, who had been worshipping Him without knowing, well before Paul arrived. God the Father was there the entire time in plain sight! Oh, how the Father loves his creation, so much so, he will stop at no means to show his desire to be in a redeemed relationship with all his creation through his beloved Son, Jesus!

Scan 1Precious One, God is not a hidden God, He is right in front of you. He is in plain sight.

Shalom!

check out http://www.icr.org/article/genesis-chinese-pictographs/                                   for another amazing story of God in plain sight!

 

 

What Will You Bring?

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17.

I sit here this morning, having allowed myself to sleep in, it is after all a holiday here in our great Country. As usual my list of things to accomplish is long. Blessings to all you working moms who work outside the home as well as full-time in your home.

Before I get ready to open God’s word and immerse myself in the beauty and peace of what He has for me today, I make a quick perusal of a social media sight to see what others are up to. I stop by a prayer group to read requests and offer prayers on behalf of others, and Holy Spirit begins to whisper “Yaweh”. My next stop is to a group who is reading through the Bible chronologically this year. As I read what others have posted about their readings for today, Holy Spirit again whispers “Yaweh”. Now I am intrigued.

Although Yaweh is a name for God there is a specific meaning behind this name of His. I look up the meaning and find Yaweh is the Proper Name for God. Not only that it also means the one bringing into being, life-giver, giver of existence, creator. (Strong’s Hebrew 3068).

Last night our Pastor was speaking with us on the vision for our faith family. It was vision casting tied together with a sermon that gave me holy goose bumps and a desire to ‘let’s do this!’ You see, the past four years we have been in a season of being on a journey to discover Christ together. And while we are still a part of that journey, last night we entered a season of bringing true life to our community.

Bringing Yaweh.

Shalom!

 

At The Feet Of Jesus

Not long ago, I had an ‘aha’ moment. Actually, I have many ‘aha’ moments, but this particular moment came while I was reading Luke 10:41-42. I was working on a teaching and the Holy Spirit reminded me of these verses, and He guided me to the version in The Message. I don’t study from The Message but sometimes the Holy Spirit brings me there to further illuminate his word for me. Like the light from a lamp that is switched on; its brilliance fills the space it encompasses.

“The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.” Luke 10: 41-42 The Message.

2159-1013-A2201I have always felt that as Mary sat at the feet of Jesus it was to learn from Him. To hang on every word he said gaining his knowledge and wisdom, and while this may be true,  during this ‘aha’ moment I sensed the Holy Spirit saying to me, “she sat at My feet to receive from me.” Mary was modeling solitude. Simply being in the presence of God with no agenda, no prayer requests, no thoughts, no words, just quietness. Simply receiving his love. Do you love how Jesus describes himself? As the main course! And, don’t miss his promise to Mary, He won’t be taken from her! This promise is ours also, it is part of our inheritance in Him. For those who believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior, He will never be taken from us. Hallelujah!

A few days after this ‘aha’ moment a friend asked me to preview a teaching she is giving later this year. Wouldn’t you know, this verse is part of her teaching?! Oh, but it gets better, as we discussed this teaching she commented that her sense was that there wasn’t any knowledge transfer from Jesus to Mary going on. Mary sat and freely received the love of Jesus, which he freely gave! It always amazes me when the Holy Spirit confirms for us what he is speaking to us. He doesn’t have to but chooses to do so. I hope that I am always amazed by this aspect of our relationship!

Here is what I believe the Holy Spirit wants us to feel deep in our soul:

“Solitude is sitting at the feet of Jesus receiving his lavish love. Being refilled and replenished by the Holy Spirit. Being at home with Jesus.” T.B.

Precious One, I bless you with the lavish love of Christ.

Shalom!

Out Of Zion’s Hill

He was sitting in a grand chair, so brilliant that it shone like the noonday sun, but it dimmed in comparison to His magnificence. Perhaps the chair really wasn’t shining, it was Him and the overflow of his beauty onto the chair. She had her head in his lap, her long hair flowing about her. This was her favorite place to be, she always felt completely safe while here.

She was talking quietly with him, and as she did, she began to see doors open one by one, all around her. When she asked about them, he told her he indeed was opening doors that no one could close. He told her she would join others, many others, who would help usher in a new season, a season filled with hope and love and the welcoming of His Spirit. Then she heard what sounded like angelic voices, at least it must be because they sang with such power and at the same time so beautifully crystal clear.

Say, behold He comes, riding on the clouds
Shining like the sun, at the trumpet’s call
Lift your voice, it’s the year of Jubilee
Out of Zion’s hill, salvation comes.

Mountain

Out of Zion’s hill, salvation comes!

Shalom!

Song lyrics; Donnie Mc Clurkin