Into The Deep

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”

– Henry David Thorough

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January 7, 2019

As I opened this page to begin writing, the following quote was displayed across the top.  “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” – Henry David Thorough

Nothing is without purpose.  I’ve wanted to write and share for quite a while but was unsure of exactly what to say.  Now, I believe God is having me live out the words. 

“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.  Also there was no more sea.  Then, I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.  God Himself will be with them and be their God.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’  Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’  And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful.’  And He said to me, ‘It is done!  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.  I WILL GIVE OF THE FOUNTAIN OF THE WATER OF LIFE FREELY TO HIM WHO THIRSTS.  HE WHO OVERCOMES SHALL INHERIT ALL THINGS, AND I WILL BE HIS GOD AND HE SHALL BE MY SON.  But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.’” (Revelation 21:1-8)

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“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.  And from such people turn away!” (II Timothy 3:1-5)  

This was me.  It really was.  I must be honest and recognize that while trying to walk in my own strength to any degree, these attributes existed inside of me and showed themselves through me.  Even as a believer in Jesus Christ, it is possible to not be a true FOLLOWER.  God though, is completely faithful to glorify Himself and to grow those He has called for His own.  Through years of circumstances only He could orchestrate, He has drawn me to complete surrender.  No longer do I want my own way.  I’ve proven to myself sufficiently that my ways are not good.  My thoughts are not good.  My decisions are not good.  His are.  For every understanding of how “l am not” (good, capable, etc…)  Jesus reminds me HE is all-sufficient.  “I AM,” He assures us, in John 8:58b.  To every question, doubt, fear or inability I might have, Jesus answers with, “I AM.”

He IS… worthy, able, sufficient, everything.

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I was asked to come sing with some old friends at a church event. A father and son were visiting and would be singing and sharing their testimony.  Never having rehearsed together before, our worship had to be spontaneous, and as it commenced I sensed the LORD equipping and empowering us to sing to Him.  Our last song proclaimed loudly, “to Him who sits on the throne and unto the Lamb, be BLESSING AND HONOR AND GLORY AND POWER FOREVER….”  The LORD God, Creator of heaven and earth deserves all praise!  After the service, the speaker prayed with us and said something to me that rang true in my spirit and confirmed what the LORD had been putting in my heart…. “It’s time to run.  Hit the streets with His fire in your belly and God will be with you.”  

🎶 TO HIM WHO SITS ON THE THRONE – https://youtu.be/gCuTZvy_AsI

The next day in church, God reiterated this to me as the Pastor spoke of David’s mindset, “The LORD is fighting my battles.  I’m going forth in the LORD!”  The enemy is looking to sift us like wheat.  We need to be strong in the LORD and in the strength of His might.  Be awake, alert, vigilant!  We must resist the devil with everything in us to attain the victorious abundant life in Christ.  We are soldiers in the LORD’s army and must appropriate the tools He has given us (know God’s Word and pray like a warrior)!

It has taken quite some time, but I have come to truly understand that unless I’m a DO-ER of God’s Word, being just a hearer means absolutely nothing.  

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January 8, 2019

I woke up this morning with my first thought being to spend time with the LORD.  THANK YOU, JESUS!  I’ve been asking Him to turn my heart and thoughts to Him as He so deserves.  This is a milestone today and I’m committed to allowing it to become a habit every day for the rest of my life.  

I’m sharing a few things from notes I’ve taken over the last few weeks and then I will be continuing to write ‘real-time’, as things are occurring.  Looking back I’ve sensed a prompting to do this for quite a while.  

God wants to speak to His people.  God wants to walk with His people.  God wants to use His people to touch and influence this world for the next. 

“….BUT SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED TO YOU.”  (Matthew 6:33).  This is a profound statement with so much more meaning than I ever knew.   God graciously burns away ALL other things until we seek Him FIRST.  This can be a long and painful process according to how rebellious, stubborn and self-focused we are on the inside.  The outside can look just fine but God cares about what is truly in our hearts.  There is no hiding from Him.  He knows the truth and He is faithful to grow us up.

Sometimes it takes many trials and battles to become a seasoned warrior of Christ.  If we stay humble and moldable in His hands, difficulties start helping us to see the wisdom of His ways.  We begin to understand there is NO better way than His way.  When difficulty comes, we take comfort in the fact that since God has gotten us through worse, He will do it again.

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On 12/11/18, I did a word study in Psalm 96:1-5.  This Psalm emphasizes our calling to glorify the LORD in every possible way, all the time.  It strikes me how much this counteracts recent media events documenting big names in ‘contemporary Christian music’ passing up opportunities to share truth and give God the glory.  

‘O turn and travel about, strolling minstrelly, beholding and singing, breathing and being committed to the LORD, a fresh new thing, built and repaired, determined to kneel and greatly salute and praise and regard and submit to His lofty position, His honor, His authority and His character, always and perpetually, from one sunset to the next, show forth, bring, carry and tell good tidings of His deliverance, His aid, His victory, His prosperity, His health, His salvation and continuous saving, His help, His welfare…. that is open, wide and free, safe, all-avenging, defending, delivering, helping, preserving, rescuing, bringing salvation and getting victory!  Intensively recount and declare, celebrate, speak, talk, tell, write, record, enumerating and numbering as with tally marks His weighty goodness and splendor and honor – to the people, the masses, the nations, the troops… and His separate and distinguished wonderful accomplishments and hidden things too hard and too high, yet not for Him, His works and miracles He performs, things made great and wonderful, all His wondrous works… to all people, as a congregated unit, specifically a tribe, collectively troops, attendants, a flock.  For the LORD is great, exceedingly far above man and any and every thing, high and mighty and much more noble, exceedingly excellent, to be advanced, lifted up, magnified, promoted and proudly spoken of, our high tower… and to be greatly, vehemently, speedily, diligently, properly, especially, intensively, loudly and louder still, mightily much, quickly, utterly, very much and well praised (like a rake or a poker, for turning or gathering embers, like stoking a fire; or a firebrand marking His people), made clear (as sound or color) to shine, made a show of, boasted in, foolishly raving about, celebrated, stultified, commended, made foolishly glorified and given light, given to (as in marriage), worthy of singing and praise and rage and renown – to shine.  He is to be feared, morally revered, dreaded, reverenced above ALL (for all other gods are vain – idols of vanity, good for nothing, of no value, things of naught) but the LORD has made, accomplished, advanced, appointed, brought forth, bruised, has the charge of, committed, dealt with, has gotten ready, dressed, put in execution, exercised, fashioned, feasted the fighting man, finished, fit, furnished, gathered, gotten, governed, granted, hindered, held, journeyed, kept, laboured, maintained, made, met, observed, occupied, offered, officered, brought (to come and to pass), performed, practiced, prepared, procured, provided, put, requited, sacrificed, served, set, shewed the sin of, spent, surely taken, and thoroughly trimmed and very vexed to be His warriors – workmen to yield and be used, even the heavens (ALL THINGS)!’

Somehow we go through life thinking it’s all about us.  In actuality, we were created for God’s glory.  Period.  He should be our focus and our priority.  It is incredible when He reveals to us that if we seek Him with our whole heart, He draws close, provides everything we need, and blesses us with a deep peace and joy that can come from no other place!

In Psalm 23 we see the LORD is our Shepherd – this speaks of relationship.  David had many ups and downs yet through it all he trusted the LORD.  The LORD gives His life for His flock.  He is willing to do all that is necessary to protect His sheep.

We hear our Shepherd’s voice.  We trust it, respond to it, imitate Him and go where He leads us.  Following Him, we shall not want, lack or fail.  God will provide all we need to fulfill His purposes.  

He calls us and leads us by still waters – peace and tranquility that surpasses all understanding.  In Him is our resting place; our place of quiet; our place for refreshment.  He restores our souls and provides healing and repair from mental, emotional and physical stress.  In Him our vitality is restored.  He leads and transports us into paths of righteousness for His own glory, fame and memorial.  He has chosen us that we should be holy.  His Holy Spirit guides us into all truth.  

Though we walk through valleys (narrow gorges with lofty sides from which we cannot escape unless the LORD takes us out), we need not fear ANY adversity, affliction, calamity or distress. Understanding God’s love fills us with peace and quietness, not fear.   If we FOLLOW HIM, nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.  

True victory comes from full commitment and absolute surrender to Jesus Christ.  He guides and disciplines us.  He provides for us, protects us and preserves us by His power.  He stands with us as our Advocate.  He comforts and pities us.  He anoints our head with oil.  We are consecrated, chosen, sealed and used for His purposes.  We can trust Him to deliver us from our enemies.  We are to be slaves of Christ and as such, have no need to worry about ANYTHING.  Our cup overflows with abundance, saturation and satisfaction in Him, and His goodness, mercy, favor and blessings will follow us forever.  Jesus’ resurrection, ascension, victory and glory assures us, and He is the Victor over ALL tribulation and enemies!

Time is short.  The LORD is calling.  Spiritual restoration must take precedence.  It is time to BE STILL and KNOW that He is God.  Moses, at the burning bush, turned aside in his posture and in his thinking to look at the LORD.  We must make an effort to turn aside from what we think we know, in order to see Him.  God will reveal Himself.  We must take off our shoes to stand on holy ground – removing anything that stands between us and God’s intimate fellowship.

Jesus came down to deliver us from our taskmasters.  He came to free us from lies, and to lead us out of self-serving sinful bondage, and into victorious life.  

We must make a decision to go GOD’s WAY.  We belong to HIM.  

The disciples immediately left all and followed Jesus.  Are we willing?

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January 9, 2019

In the midst of the furnace of affliction, dreams are burnt up, our own efforts are burnt up and all that’s left is ashes.  

Sometimes this happens to get our attention.  

Sometimes it’s to get us moving.  

Sometimes it’s to burn up remaining dross or debris in our lives.  Sometimes it’s to warn us that we are headed toward destruction.

…and…

Sometimes it’s to do a new thing.

12/30/2018 – Worship was different somehow.  Each week as we are preparing to lead music, we know and acknowledge that unless God does it, our labor is in vain.  This week I had an even more radical understanding of this.  I was so tired and spent that I was falling asleep trying to select songs.  I prayed and fought my way through choosing 7 songs, and then headed to practice.  Once there, we prayed together for God’s hand, then smoothly rehearsed and easily narrowed down the 7 songs into a 4-song set.  We praised God for so evidently doing it all once again.  Saturday night and Sunday morning I sensed the LORD putting certain verses and things to say in my mind so I wrote them down….

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‘Sometimes it may seem like all of heaven and earth is against us.  We know we have an enemy who is a thief who comes to steal, kill and destroy… BUT…It never ceases to amaze me that God faithfully and continually draws us to Himself and to truth in His Word.  We can take comfort that if we’ve surrendered our life to Jesus Christ, the LORD is on our side.  He is before us, behind us and all around us as our strong tower and Defender!’

🎶 WESSEX BATTLESONG

‘I John 4 says, “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God – God abides in him and he in God.  And we have known and believed the love that God has for us.  And there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear!”’

🎶 NO LONGER SLAVES – https://youtu.be/bDnA_coA168

“For I know that in me dwells no good thing.  But it is God who commanded light to shine out of darkness who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.”

🎶 BROKEN VESSELS – https://youtu.be/GxPEH2Il8cM

🎶 MORE LOVE, MORE POWER –  https://youtu.be/d1W1bTtl4nY

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I was blown away sensing God’s power as we sang.  I knew I’d had absolutely nothing to give this week, yet in my weakness the LORD showed Himself strong once again.  To God be all the glory!

I didn’t know the LORD was preparing me for a very difficult thing, but beginning with this worship set, I sensed Him drawing even closer than usual.  

12/31/2018 – The next day was traditionally ‘New Year’s Eve’ and I really wanted to just find a place to go worship the LORD.  I searched online for about an hour and kept coming back to one particular church.  The Perfecting Church was about half an hour away.  Great!  I was excited to venture out and hear what God wanted to say!

The welcome was warm, and the worship was true and joyful.  I found myself laughing and crying, clapping and raising my hands throughout our time of singing.  My heart joined naturally with the others in the room and rang out zealously with exuberant praise of our great God!  

Once the message started I knew even more why I was there….

‘DEEPER’

(Luke 5:1-11)

The LORD wants us to go INTO THE DEEP – beyond our control.  

In this passage, Jesus was standing on the beach teaching the people.  He comes to us and talks to us.  The shore is characterized by CHOICE.  We hear what He’s saying and choose what to do with what He’s saying.  We may have enjoyed being on the shore in 2018, on dry land, able to step where we wanted to go.  

Jesus comes to the shore and wants to get into our boat.  This is when what we hear from Him becomes revelation.  The boat is characterized by ENCOUNTER.  Jesus has now gotten into ‘my space’ and I allow Him to push my boat ‘out a little’.  This becomes INCONVENIENT.  

The fishermen had ‘clocked out’.  They were washing their nets.  The boat symbolizes Jesus INTERRUPTING ‘my plans’ and now it costs me something because Jesus wants to use my boat.  Now I must take my time and resources and use them for HIS purposes. = “How much more do you want from me Jesus?”

We need to know what is our impediment and what is keeping us from going out into the deep.  At this point there are two choices:

SURRENDER vs. SEE MYSELF INCONVENIENCED

The DEEP is characterized by TRUST.  “Nevertheless, at Your Word…”. The Word of God is going to get into us and propel us beyond things we can ask.  When we go out into the deep, He goes beyond our dreams!  “Nevertheless, not my will but Thine be done” = beyond joy into the FULLNESS OF JOY!  

Can He get into your boat and employ all the gifts and everything else He’s given you the way HE wants? = TRUST = We will fall to our knees time after time!  And once we’re in the deep we must maintain TRUST because it’s ALL beyond our control….where GOD has to show us how to live it!

Forgive

Let go

Come with new, renewed faith because Jesus is going to come get into your boat and ask you to do things you can’t imagine!

GOD WANTS A BLANK SLATE!  

DROP YOUR OWN IDEAS!

NOT MY WILL BUT THINE BE DONE!

Take and turn our hearts like sails with the current of Your grace into the deep, LORD!

2018 was all about positioning us like those two boats, to do what He wants to do….. afflictions He delivered us from, trauma and disappointments He freed us from, hurtful memories, etc….

This was all so God could position us and launch us out to where HE has in mind!

—————————-Amen!!

1/1/2019 – I was asked to help a friend with some work.  I learned how to dig post holes and put up fencing.  From a cleanout, I received a few pairs of nice boots and a couple large leather bags perfect for carrying my books and sound equipment to church.  My ABBA Father is so loving.  His sweet, kind and detailed provision amazes me often.

1/2/2019 – My daughter asked if I’d like to meet for lunch, so the kids and I went to the mall near her, like last time.  She explained that Sunday during church, my soon-to-be son-in-law had felt led to write a check to me to help out with bills.  (Come to find out, right when I was leading worship at my church, the LORD was putting this on his heart!). I was blown away by God’s goodness and provision and prompting!  Amazingly, the check was the exact amount I’d withdrawn to pay for the remainder of the car, that had gone right back into the fuel pump repairs when Dad had tried to replenish it!  My God is an AWESOME God!!

1/3/2019 – I felt prompted upon waking, “Get up and get in the Word”.  

9:30am….. Text from a friend – ‘Isaiah 54 & 55 – “For your Maker is your Husband, the LORD of hosts is His name…. For the LORD has called you like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, like a youthful wife when you were refused…. Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money; Come, buy and eat… listen carefully… incline your ear and come to Me… hear and your soul shall live… and I will make an everlasting covenant with you… seek the LORD… call upon Him… forsake (your way and thoughts)… return to the LORD… and He will have mercy (on you)… and He will abundantly pardon (you)….”’

11:30am…. Text from my mom – ‘Psalm 90:17 – “And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us.  For no action of ours is beautiful, except the beauty of God be stamped upon it; done by His direction, His rule, His Word and for His glory.”‘

12:15pm….  Phone call…. Unexpected darkness…. “Then Job arose, tore his robe and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped, and he said: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there.  The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.’  In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.”  (Job 1:20-22).  I love You, LORD.

1/4/2019 – Had Bible study with my mom on the phone in the morning.  She shared her testimony and Bible verses the LORD has given her along the way, as her entry in *WARRIOR TRIBE*, a project on my heart containing testimonies and insights from individuals regarding what it means to be a warrior.  

I’m reminded how very thankful I am for the prayer warriors and steadfast friends who have ‘been there for me’ throughout this journey of life.  Not only has my ABBA Father given me His Holy Spirit to walk with me every single moment, but also these faithful ones who ‘somehow know’ (thank You LORD!) just when to pray and encourage.  My parents, my kids, and a couple special praying/encouraging ladies…..thank you.

Attended a going away party for a dear couple at church…. Stayed after until midnight organizing clothes for the clothing ministry Saturday.  

1/5/2019 – Did the clothing ministry at church from 9am – 11:30am.  Got PowerPoint done early. 

1/6/2019 – Reached out to every member in church.  Asked a friend to run PowerPoint.  Asked another to help next time.  This blessed them both, and the Pastor’s wife.  Praise the LORD to see the body of Christ in motion!  

Pastor’s Sunday school and morning message flowed perfectly as one powerful exhortation and call to battle!

Sunday school…

If we love the things of this world, it is spiritual adultery and we will not know the will of God.  (Mark 4)  The three dangers/weapons of the enemy/ways to be tempted are always the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and/or the pride of life.  “Do not love the world or the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in Him.  For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world.  And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”  (I John 2:15-17)  

If we recognize any of these, we must deal with it immediately.  We can NEVER let our guard down in ANY of these three areas.  “I say then:  Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things you wish.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law:  Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Against such there is no law.  And those who are Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”  (Galatians 5:16-25).  If we pursue the world, we will not SEE, EXPERIENCE, WALK IN, or INHERIT the kingdom of God.  (Even lust is the same as fornication/adultery and hatred is the same as murder.)

Never underestimate how powerful the flesh can be.  There is always a cost…. a horrible cost.  We learn and grow as we understand our frailty.  David’s, “I have sinned,” became, “I have sinned greatly!” as he saw himself and his failures more honestly in the light of God’s truth.  

Dietrich Bonhoeffer expressed this expertly, “In our members there is a slumbering inclination toward desire, which is both sudden and fierce.  With irresistible power desire seizes mastery over the flesh.  All at once a secret smoldering fire is kindled.  The flesh burns and is in flames.  It makes no difference whether it is sexual desire, or ambition, or vanity, or desire for revenge, or love of fame and power, or greed for money… Joy in God is in course of being extinguished in us as we seek all our joy in the creature.  At this moment God is quite unreal to us, He loses all reality, and only desire for the creature is real… Satan does not here fill us with hatred of God, but with forgetfulness of God… The powers of clear discrimination and of decision are taken from us.  The questions present themselves: “Is what the flesh desires really sin in this case?”  “Is it really not permitted to me, yes – expected of me, now, here, in my particular situation, to appease desire?”… It is here that everything within me rises up against the Word of God.  Powers of the body, the mind and the will, which were held in obedience under the discipline of the Word, of which I believed that I was the master, make it clear to me that I am by no means master of them… The adversary deploys my powers against me.”

For the ‘beauty’ this world offers, joy vanishes and we lose sight of God.  The enemy wants to kick dirt on us, ruin our testimony, ruin our relationships with our children, etc….

1.  WATCH AND PRAY

“Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation.  The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  (Matthew 26:41)

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”  (I Peter 5:8)

“But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”  (I Corinthians 9:27)

Feed walking in the Spirit and STARVE your flesh!  Fasting is a great way to do this.

2.  DEVELOP GOOD SPIRITUAL HABITS

Get your daily manna (God’s Word) in the morning!

3.  KNOW WHEN TO RUN

“Flee sexual immorality.  Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.  Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?  For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”  (I Corinthians 6:18-20)

“Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the LORD out of a pure heart.”  (2 Timothy 2:22)

Flee from wrong things to right ones and to the right people who call upon the LORD with a pure heart (= encouragement, strength, accountability)!

Morning message….

‘BE READY!’

As we enter 2019….

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.  Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.  Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us:  we we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”  (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)

ALL THINGS ARE NEW!  We can have great expectations for this coming year!  

Be ready for a FRESH START and A NEW BEGINNING!

1.  BE READY – for God to use you in a new way, to do something new in and through you (= excitement and expectation)!

2.  BE READY – for war/combat!  We are soldiers in the LORD’s army and we must have a soldier’s mentality!  Church is bootcamp.  

PRAY MORE!  Whatever lies in store, much prayer will be needed!  Get back to your war room/prayer closet and NO war or weapon can take us down!

3.  BE READY – to give an answer!  

a.  Live a holy, sanctified life (2 Peter) or else no one will care to ask you anything!  BE the difference and THEN they will wonder and ask why and how!

b.  Spend time with the LORD and in His Word to know what you’re talking about when they ask!

There are souls ‘in the balance’!  Have the answers ready by DEVOURING THE WORD OF GOD!  

It is in God’s hands who gets saved.  It is our job to just give the answers.  God will bring these opportunities to us.  What will we do with them?  

KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN!  Carry a Bible.  Carry tracts.  Ask the LORD to bring people across your path each day.

4.  BE READY – to say goodbye.  It’s never easy to say goodbye or to suffer loss.

a.  Have spiritual discernment- God will let you know when to go to someone before they go.

b.  Make a point to spend quality time with those who are leaving.  Savor the moments with loved ones, in church, etc…. We never know how long we have to do so.

c.  Take care of loose ends in your life if God is speaking to your heart…. LISTEN and OBEY.

d.  Make peace with your past and anyone you’re at odds with.  

e.  Be ready to go… anywhere He leads you!  Live His kingdom life!  As He grows you, He will nudge you, about ministry, etc…. He will reach out to you with things He wants you to do!

SEEK… HEED… LISTEN… OBEY!  

Never stop in your efforts for the LORD!  The clock is ticking.  It’s later than we think!

“But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.  For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Finally, there is laid up a crown of righteousness, which the LORD, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”  (2 Timothy 4:5-8)

Forget about past failures/regrets and move on with your life.  

Are we ready for Jesus to come?  We are eventually going to ‘go’, one way or the other!  We are either ready or not.  Make amends!  Take care of things!  Clean it all up!  

MARANATHA!

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I’ve been watching much of a certain teacher’s teaching lately.  His focus on deeply loving Jesus has been so good and helpful.  Through this studying, the LORD led me to The Last Reformation and I believe I just reached a serious milestone in my walk with Him.  This teaching on returning to authentic, organic, ‘Book of Acts’ faith, and true apprentice-like discipleship of Jesus Christ is filling in so many gaps and providing so much confirmation of things the LORD has put on my heart for years!  

I started going through TLR’s Pioneer School (28+ video Bible school series). I am so excited to learn and grow in this and to actually function and teach others what I learn.  I also sense that it is finally time to start writing daily.  As I seek to be truly led by the Holy Spirit moment by moment, I believe it is important to log events as they unfold as an encouragement to others.

1/7/2019 – I now have three new contacts with local TLR groups!  I’m amazed how the LORD is surrounding me with such a ‘great cloud of witnesses’.  I’m planning on attending a kickstart in Ohio the weekend of February 7-10th.  I was also invited to join a North Jersey group for their monthly Saturday events and/or Thursday studies.  

The Pastor of a church I used to attend called.  They are still looking for a new church building.  I shared with him what I’m learning with TLR and the Pioneer School.

1/8/2019 – Went with my daughter and other kids to David’s Bridal.  We walked in the lady said, “We JUST had a cancellation, so you can go ahead and come in right now!”  (Thank You LORD!)

Pastor from the Perfecting Church called to follow up on my visit…. Blessing!

(Just reading through a little of what I’ve been writing, I am so blessed to see how much movement is happening!  Absolute surrender is so crucial! We must truly have ALL other pursuits and interests burned away until ONLY Jesus is left.  At that point, we realize, “ALL I want is YOU, LORD…. Please take me…teach me…show me what it means to KNOW You… to WALK WITH You… to HEAR… OBEY and FOLLOW You!”…. and He does!!!!! (Thank You Jesus for all of who You are and all You are doing!)

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January 9, 2019

The last few days I’ve been focusing on just talking with the LORD throughout the day, acknowledging His presence, taking things to Him and asking Him to teach me how to really walk in His Holy Spirit.  

When I went to pay my electric bill at the town office, it ‘crossed my mind’ to see if the domestic violence volunteer information was still on the bulletin board since I lost it last time.  It was, so I contacted them, they sent an application and training starts in March!  I will be on a team that is on call for three local police departments.  When called in, we go and offer encouragement and safety options to a DV victim.

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January 10, 2019

I’m getting into the habit of getting up earlier.  When I wake up in the morning for the first time, instead of going back to sleep, I’m receiving it as time the LORD wants to spend with me.  I’m very happy for the ways He is growing and teaching me!  All glory to God!!

“But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.  And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.”  (I John 2:27-29)

I just finished adding all my notes/events that I wanted to share up to this point and now can focus on journaling ‘real time’ as things unfold… How exciting!

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January 11, 2019

I’ve been asking the LORD to speak to me even in dreams if He wishes to.  I usually don’t remember any dreams.  Last night I just remember sitting across the room, and making momentary eye contact with an unknown man that seemed comforting, like the LORD Himself comforting me. When I woke, I perceived two things from this….

1.  Before going to sleep, I had asked the LORD to remove any affinity in my heart that should not be there.  Through this dream I sensed He answered my prayer.

2.  I also sensed Him saying, “I have something for you”…. which reiterates the New Year’s Eve message about allowing the LORD to launch us out into the deep with Himself, with NO preconceived notion about ANY detail.  I realize I have gone from believing one thing to another thing and now have been subconsciously proclaiming this certain second path to myself.  This is a distinct reminder to not have ANY set path in my mind, and to just LET HIM reveal and unfold it to me, one step at a time.  There is REST in this!  Thank You, LORD!

Called my parents and did a study on the Book of Jude….

The introduction to Jude in my Bible says, “FIGHT!  Contend!  Do battle!”  (WARRIOR stuff again!)  “When apostasy arises, when false teachers emerge, when the truth of God is attacked, it is time to fight for the faith.  Only believers who are spiritually ‘in shape’ can answer the summons.”

This reminds me of one of the entries on my actual to-do-list….. “TRAIN LIKE A WARRIOR!”

Jude is urging his readers to contend for THE faith.  His main concern is to counteract false teachers.  

In verse one, we read, “Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ” (Bondservant = owned totally, with no absolute independence of one’s own – like clay in the Potter’s hand).  God can and does what He wills to do with us.  Romans 1:1, James 1:1, and 2 Peter 1:1 all state the same, “Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ”, “James, a bondservant of God and of the LORD Jesus Christ”, “Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ”.  We are not our own.  We are bought with a price.  

“…to those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ”.  (Called = chosen – taken for One’s self = God’s gracious initiative in summoning His people to Himself)  

“But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the LORD, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our LORD Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14).  (Chosen – preferred “from the beginning”, when God instituted it)  “For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who has established it, who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited:  I am the LORD, and there is no other”.  (Isaiah 45:18)  John Calvin described this earth as the ‘theatre’ for which God would work out His plan of salvation.  In God’s plans, He has a definite design!  

God’s people are SET APART – from sin/from the world for God’s special care and use!  “Blessed be the God and Father of our LORD Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time”.  (1 Peter 1:3-5)  “And the LORD will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom.  To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!”  (2 Timothy 4:18)  (Preserved – to keep one in the state in which he is in <saved by Christ>, guarded from loss and injury <and false teaching> by properly keeping the eye upon.)  Sinclair Ferguson states that while persecution of the martyrs can kill their bodies, false teachers can kill our souls.  Sometimes imprecatory prayers can be prayed, not for selfish gain, but strictly for defending God’s honor.  We are to contend earnestly and wage war against false teaching.  “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  (2 Timothy 2:15)

“Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.”  (Jude 2)  This was a common greeting….  (I want to use it for my new email signature!)

“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”  (Jude 3)

We are also to wage war FOR THE faith.  “The” is a definite article = There is only ONE faith.  “One LORD, one faith, one baptism… till we all come to THE unity of THE faith and of THE knowledge of THE Son of God, to a perfect man, to THE measure of THE stature of THE fullness of Christ…”  (Ephesians 4:5, 13)  “THE = the only one.  “Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in ONE spirit, with ONE mind striving together for THE faith of THE gospel.”  (Philippians 1:27)  (There is only ONE gospel = ONE “good message”, and only ONE body of belief.)

(Side note….. there truly is NO joy that compares to the deep abiding joy I feel when I’m pursuing the LORD and in His Word…. Thank You LORD!)

“For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only LORD God and our LORD Jesus Christ.”  (Jude 4)  (“Crept in” – sitting alongside of you.)  These are false teachers who infiltrate the church.  (False teachers/“PRETENDERS” vs. true disciples/“LEARNERS”)  “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the LORD who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.”  (2 Peter 2:1)  “They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.”  (Titus 1:16)  “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”  (Matthew 7:15)  They tell of one thing and do another.  They talk the talk but do not walk the walk.  Their focus is on making the externals look good, but remain internally unchanged.  They have not bowed their knee to the King of kings and LORD of lords!  They deny Him in their works.  They use God’s grace as license to sin, instead of counting the cost in true discipleship.  

Only by God’s grace and calling do we hear Him and respond to His call.  “And He said, ‘Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father’.  From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.”  We must be both disciple (LEARNER) and SERVANT of Jesus.  We must die to self daily.  “Then He said to them all, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.  For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world and is himself destroyed or lost?  For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.’”  (Luke 9:23-26)

Following Christ is costly.  We must DIE to self, NOT give in to it.  We must cease striving to build our own earthly kingdom.  This is only vanity and emptiness and will eventually burn up.  Instead, we must hand over control of EVERYTHING to the LORD and invite Him to use us to BUILD HIS KINGDOM which is eternal and will never fade!

I am now striving and pleading with God to do this in and through me.  Anything good is from Him, so if HE doesn’t do it, it won’t happen.  I really want this more than anything and everything now, am doing all I can to accomplish it, and do truly trust my ABBA Father WILL DO IT!!!  “….Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”  (Philippians 1:6)  “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)  

“Mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you,”

– Disciple & Servant of Jesus Christ

(I realized I’ve just spent four and a half hours with the LORD and in His Word….Thank You, LORD!  I’m looking forward to what the rest of this day holds!  Use it as You will!!)

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Later while driving, I remembered the song ‘WARRIOR’ my daughter had given me a while back and sensed I should listen to it.  She’d said it reminded her of me and she thought I’d like it.  The lyrics and strength of the song are perfect for this exact moment in time!  A skit filled with Biblical truth and power started formulating in my mind…. (Is this the first undertaking of SHOWFORTH ARTS? – I’ll share more on this later!)  I shared the song with the kids, and simply stated I think we should make a musical skit out of it.  James said, “I like that!” and started explaining what he could see for part of the song.  It matched exactly what I had envisioned.

“Blessed be the LORD my Rock, Who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle— My lovingkindness and my fortress, my high tower and my deliverer, my shield and the One in Whom I take refuge….”  (Psalm 144:1-2a)

🎶 WARRIOR – https://youtu.be/T2LmSDVZdNg

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January 12, 2019

I woke up feeling darkness and texted Suzanne asking for suggestions on how to get rid of it.  At the same time, I sensed I should look up the newest message by Francis Chan.  He began with the passage in 2 Timothy the LORD had given me on January 7th while beginning this blog!

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.  And from such people turn away!” (II Timothy 3:1-5)  

I got on my knees and pleaded with the LORD, “I don’t want to be one of these, LORD, please make sure I’m not… I want to be a true disciple….”

Shortly after, while driving to the store, still listening to the message, I suddenly sensed God ministering to my heart that He hasn’t created me a certain way for nothing; He hasn’t given me particular desires and wants for no reason; He works in us both TO WILL and TO DO of HIS good pleasure; and what good Father when His child asks for bread, gives him a stone?  Maybe His will is to fulfill the desires He has put in my heart, and maybe in the way originally thought, just not now.  In order to combat the darkness, I sensed to just shine with the love of Jesus, quietly.  Be quiet and wait on the LORD.  Just smile, and let the love of Christ shine through my eyes.  I also thanked the LORD for His sacrifice for me and for caring to walk with me and speak to me.  I believe YOU, LORD.  I am Yours and You are mine.  Help me not to doubt and fear.  As I learn more about being a true disciple of Jesus Christ, fill me with Your truth and protect me from error for Your Name’s sake and for Your glory alone!

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January 14, 2019

Friday night, my son found out last minute about a youth group gathering with his friends.  I sensed I should bring him, so I said, “Get in the car”.  He was surprised and pleased.  I explained this is the way things should be, simply letting God’s Holy Spirit lead, with no stress.  The LORD’s yoke truly is easy and His burden light if we will only silence ourselves and listen and heed what He says.

Saturday and Sunday became an impromptu time with my older daughters as well.  As my second daughter prepares for her upcoming wedding, I cherish these memories we are all making even more.  First daughter asked me to give her and my son-in-law a ride to their friends’ house where they would be carpooling to a Pastors’ conference on the West Coast.  These are precious moments.  I take not one for granted.  Thank You LORD for guiding me to ‘redeem the time’ and for ‘restoring what the locusts have eaten’.

Worship went the best it’s ever gone yesterday morning.  I can’t even express how exciting it has been to see the LORD grow us together into a unified sound with His power.  We just keep handing it all over to Him, knowing it has to be ALL HIM, asking Him to glorify HIMSELF in and through us.  HE is the One we all need, and HE is worthy of all attention, praise and glory!  

Pastor’s wife selected a set of songs she had no idea would speak directly to me and soothe my spirit immensely.  God, You are so good to us.  You reach out to us in our need with comfort and the affirmation of Your presence.  There is absolutely NOTHING like knowing You are walking with us.  Thank You for caring so much about us as individuals, and for surrounding and embracing us when we need You most!

🎶 MOVING FORWARD – https://youtu.be/OM8eVnrf8OQ

🎶 ALABASTER JAR – https://youtu.be/aXwb1rjgWvU

🎶 ABIDE WITH ME – https://youtu.be/GIuC9-4aB7Q

🎶 SET A FIRE – https://youtu.be/-Jzqq4B8H2Q

Pastor’s message piggybacked right along with the music, and he began by referring to Isaiah 54…..one of the passages the LORD had sent to me eleven days ago when I needed it greatly!  Once again, He is affirming His presence with me!  I deserve NONE of His affection, yet because Jesus Christ paid my ransom to rescue me back from sin and death, my Father God lavishes His love and tender care upon me!  This brings me to my knees in humble thankfulness, over and over again! 

🎶 WHO AM I? – https://youtu.be/hMPCNrWNCg8

Pastor’s message….

“‘No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn.  This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is from Me,’ says the LORD.”  (Isaiah 54:17)

1.  We have an enemy – the devil

     “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”  (I Peter 5:8)

     “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”  (Ephesians 6:12)

2.  We are at war – We are under attack

      We must KNOW our Bible!  We have weapons!

      “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.”  (2 Corinthians 10:4)  (….Sensing to PRAY DESPERATELY for loved ones….)

      “This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare.”  (I Timothy 1:18)

      “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”  (I Timothy 6:12)

      “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”  (I John 4:4)

      “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the LORD and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”  (Ephesians 6:10-11)  (Read Ephesians 6!)

3.  Our enemy is forming weapons against us

   The devil’s weapons:

     a.  Thorns in the flesh – lingering plaguing attacks by the enemy

Angels are God’s messengers.  Fallen angels are messengers of the enemy.  “And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.”  (Matthew 10:1)  (Mark 9:17-29)  “For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh.  This is the deceiver and an antichrist.”  (2 John 7)  “And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God.  And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming and is now already in the world.”  (I John 4:3)  There are many types of demonic oppression.  Sickness, sexual attacks, feelings of doom and gloom, feeling crazy…. are only a few…. Sometimes we feel like we might die of a broken heart.  A thorn in the flesh may linger so we must pray, pray, pray for it to be removed.  “And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.  Concerning this thing I pleaded with the LORD three times that it might depart from me.  And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’  Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  (2 Corinthians 12:7-9)

     b.  Fiery darts – short arrow-like attacks shot at us by the enemy

Examples are doubt, fear, worry, negativity, lust, anger, shame, humiliation, cowardice, pride, haughtiness, greed, covetousness,etc…

These fiery darts can go out quickly, unless we fan the flames and invite them to linger, fueling and feeding them.  We MUST have the armor of God on and pray these fiery darts be extinguished, casting them down in the name of Jesus!

“Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.”  (Ephesians 6:16)

God wants us to do our part = PUT ON THE FULL ARMOR OF GOD!

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the LORD and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints….”  (Ephesians 6:10-18)

We must be walking in the Spirit, fully armed and ready for battle!

“And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.  The night is far spent, the day is at hand.  Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.  Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.  But put on the LORD Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”  (Romans 13:11-14)

We cannot fight any of these battles in our own strength.  We would fail every time.  We cannot fight what we cannot see.  If we choose to neglect putting on the armor of God, it is like a soldier choosing to go out into battle, leaving all his weapons at home.  

All pieces of the armor of God are defensive except for two:

1.  The sword of the Spirit = THE WORD OF GOD (Eph. 6:17)

2.  The cloak of PRAYER = PRAYING ALWAYS (Eph. 6:18)

Employing these two weapons, we can have certain victory!!

In face of fiery darts, thorns in the flesh, cruel words, hateful words, lying words, gossip, slander, we must BRING IT TO GOD.  God doesn’t like it when someone messes with one of His kids!

A good example of this is Job’s wife taunting him in Job 2:9, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity?”  We must do right and know that our great God is our refuge and our Defender!  (Psalm 91). We must remember to Whom we belong!  God is going to take care of it, now, later, or in eternity!  REST IN HIM!!

“‘NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST YOU SHALL PROSPER, AND EVERY TONGUE WHICH RISES AGAINST YOU IN JUDGMENT YOU SHALL CONDEMN.  THIS IS THE HERITAGE OF THE SERVANTS OF THE LORD, AND THEIR RIGHTEOUSNESS IS FROM ME,’ SAYS THE LORD.”  (Isaiah 54:17)

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January 15, 2019

“‘The Spirit of the LORD God is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.

And they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations.  Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the foreigner shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.  But you shall be named the priests of the LORD, they shall call you the servants of our God.  You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory you shall boast.  Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, and instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion.  Therefore in their land they shall possess double; everlasting joy shall be theirs.

For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery for burnt offering; I will direct their work in truth, and I will make with them an everlasting covenant.  Their descendants shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people.  All who see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the posterity whom the LORD has blessed.’

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothes me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with jewels.  For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes all things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the LORD GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.”  (Isaiah 61)

I entered this time with the LORD seeking clarity of God’s vision for my life.  This passage of Scripture came to mind immediately.  In addition to showing me how ALL the things He has placed in my heart can be unified into one vision and purpose, He just seriously gave me understanding and comfort regarding the last seventeen months.  There was much purpose in all of it and it was good.  The LORD truly does work in us to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13), and He ensures that all things work together for good to those who love Him, who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).  Thank You, LORD.

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January 17, 2019

Yesterday I didn’t get time to write anything here, but in my morning time seeking the LORD, He gave me all the songs and words for Sunday’s worship.  It just flowed….

‘One thing I know.  God is God and we are dust.  Sometimes we may not understand His ways, but then He whispers, “BE STILL MY CHILD”…. And if, just if, we listen and get quiet…. if we let go of everything else and just seek His face and get in His Word and talk with Him like He’s the only One in the universe, He whispers again, “IT’S OK THAT YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND.  JUST TRUST ME.”  And sometimes, if we keep seeking Him desperately, He pulls us even closer and reveals to us more of His heart and more of His will.’

🎶 BE STILL AND KNOW – https://youtu.be/BgaHaioAjyg

‘Sometimes there are giants in the land…. giants of doubt…. giants of fear…. giants of opposition…. giants of circumstance…. We tend to fix our eyes on the giant… standing right in front of us…. threatening to overtake us…. BUT GOD tells us the battle is not ours, but HIS…. and there is power in trusting Him and refusing to doubt, refusing to fear, refusing to bow to life’s giants….  In GOD’s strength, we can victoriously RAISE A HALLELUJAH to the KING of kings and LORD of lords instead!’

🎶 RAISE A HALLELUJAH – https://youtu.be/awkO61T6i0k

“Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear.”  (Isaiah 59:1)

“Oh magnify the LORD with me and let us exalt His name together.  I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears!”  (Psalm 34:4)

🎶 STAND IN YOUR LOVE – https://youtu.be/1T2tMt0Ky6g

🎶 GOD, YOU’RE SO GOOD – https://youtu.be/7IIZIPtQuW8

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As I’m seeking God’s vision for this coming year, last night’s prayer meeting message was timely.  Pastor mentioned the importance of not getting ahead of the LORD.  I’ve learned this first-hand many times.  

Pastor’s message….

Reviewing last week…. ‘Why Are We Defeated By Giants?’

(Affirmation of this upcoming Sunday’s worship planning – “giants” – Thank You, LORD!!)

1.  We forget what God can do – 

2.  God needed more warriors like Joshua and Caleb – 

3.  Fear and unbelief – 

We must recognize our position in Jesus Christ.  Through Him, we are royalty and seated with Him in heavenly places!

4.  Murmuring and complaining – 

5.  Too little too late – We have wasted so much time in our lives!  We don’t want to wait until it is too late.  The vast majority of the Israelites ended up not being able to enter the Promised Land and died in the wilderness!  We must get busy for God NOW and use THIS TIME for HIS GLORY!

6.  Have no time for God – 

Is God nudging you?  Wait.  Listen.  Is this prompting for right now or for down the road?  We must not get ahead of God either!  Moses got ahead of God and spent forty years in the wilderness.  We must be in GOD’s time-table, not our own, not ahead, not behind.  Wake up.  Seek Him.  Listen.  Obey.

Now – ‘How To Overcome Giants’

1. Never, never, never forget the barrenness of the desert/wilderness!

The desert = emptiness and death.  Nothing grows in the desert.  The wilderness is a picture of when our lives were lost and in darkness.  

Egypt is a picture of being in bondage.  The Promised Land is a picture of the Christian life.  Don’t be afraid of anything but PREPARE FOR WAR.  The Israelites were only supposed to pass through the wilderness, but they turned aside and spent forty years there.  NEVER become content in the wilderness.  You’ll get used to the dark.  

In contrast, Caleb stayed ready for battle and was training other young men to be soldiers.  They were ready when it was time to go to war.  STAY ON THAT STRAIGHT AND NARROW PATH!…. Out of Egypt…. Out of the wilderness…..

(Just got a phone call from someone seeking counsel… God, You are so good!  You walk with us and teach us, moment by moment, working ALL THINGS for Your purpose…..)

2.  Be aware of battle fatigue – (LORD, LET US FINISH WELL!)

Most of the soldiers saw the giants and ‘threw in the towel’.  They said, “we quit!”, and gave up.  “The children of Ephraim, being armed and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle.  They did not keep the covenant of God; they refused to walk in His law, and forgot His works and His wonders that He had shown them.”  (Psalm 78:9-10)  These soldiers had weapons yet were not ready for battle.  They’d forgotten all God’s marvelous works and had ‘battle fatigue’.  Moses, surrounded by murmuring, complaining people wore out and got stuck in the wilderness.  

Caleb, on the other hand did not.  He didn’t forget!  He was a true WARRIOR.  He was ARMED and READY for battle, and was allowed into the Promised Land.  Years later, he stated, “And now behold, the LORD has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the LORD spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old.  As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war….” (Joshua 14:10-11)

Stop listening to the enemy’s lies!  Rebuke every negative thought, IN JESUS’ NAME!

“‘No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn.  This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is from Me,’ says the LORD.”  (Isaiah 54:17)

Joshua and Caleb were the ONLY TWO adults (out of half a million Israelites) to make it out of the wilderness and enter the Promised Land.  

In God’s strength and power, we must make it too, and reach and train others for battle!!

===============

January 21, 2019

Yesterday while getting ready for church I was just feeling ‘down’…. I thought of asking Pastor for prayer at church since he had recently preached about having to fight off feelings of ‘doom and gloom’…. Again, the LORD ‘showed up’ with provision of just what I needed without my having to ask a person.  (He’s teaching me to walk like George Mueller walked, asking ONLY the LORD for my needs…. When I read Mueller’s biography years ago, I desired to follow his example relying only on God.  Now God has me on a path of doing just that!  “…for it is God who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure…” Philippians 2:13.)

I turned on YouTube and went to the home screen where they offer suggestions based on videos you have recently watched.  My recent favorites (besides music for planning worship) have been Torben Sondergaard/The Last Reformation, and Marcus Rogers.  I clicked on the first video by Marcus…..

‘God Wants To Give You True Power For Your Life’

“….. God is mindful of you, exactly where you are…. God sees me exactly where I am, in the darkness, in the depression, in the things I’m battling with…..

“We have become so used to functioning from our own thoughts, but we need to get in line with the Spirit of God!  The Bible says God’s Word will not return unto Him void.  The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead is in us.  Through His Spirit that is in us, we are supposed to be the body of Christ, functioning as His hands and His feet and His mouthpiece! When we line up with the Spirit of God and the Word of God, the words that flow through us become His words, and that’s when they become effective!  They hit their target because He says His Word will not return unto Him void!  When God said “let there be light”, the word light echoed from His mouth and the light has never and will never go out until He says it’s time to go out.  

“This is why God says when we pray, we pray amiss, because we are praying from our own intellect, from our own understanding.  That’s why our prayers don’t have power.  But when we get in line with the Spirit of God,  and are in tune with Him, we can start to function in the dominion and authority He has given us.  We don’t understand His power.  He desires to raise up giant-killers, ‘mountain be removed’ faith-warriors.  These will not slay demons in ignorance just shooting in the dark, but from information, strategy, weapons ‘downloaded’ from the LORD.  When we surrender fully to Him, He will change the way we pray, change the way we fight, change the way we respond to people.  We will look at things differently and see things from faith.  David walked up to Goliath the way Adam walked through the Garden, with dominion and authority.  When we line up with God and His Word, holding nothing back, He will give us knowledge, sharp and attuned to each situation, like a scalpel in the hand of a surgeon.  Our prayers will no longer be amiss.  When we pray with the knowledge God gives us, we will see chains broken, minds restored, people delivered, devils cast out, territory taken back from the enemy….  God is raising up some ‘killers’ who are going to go to war in the Spirit, in faith, producing fruit…. GET IN THE WORD!  WE WRESTLE NOT AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD!  HE TEACHES OUR FINGERS HOW TO WAR AND OUR HANDS HOW TO FIGHT!  He’s had some people ‘in the gym’ in training in 2018, who are going to be unleashed on these powers of darkness in 2019.   Lies and darkness are going to be broken….”

———————-

January 22, 2019

Prayer meeting with the ladies last night was excellent.  I asked for prayer to discern only God’s will from now on, and for the LORD to lift the attack of darkness I’ve been feeling.  

Pastor’s wife mentioned being blessed by God directing me a couple weeks ago to ask someone to run the PowerPoint for worship.  I was excited to share that when I’d asked him again this weekend, while she was away, he mentioned he had worked at a radio station previously and had been wanting to help with the AV/sound system at church!  We were already blessed immensely by the LORD leading that situation, but even more amazed to find out more details only He knew!  OUR GOD IS THE ONE TRUE GOD!!!!  HE REIGNS OVER ALL THINGS!!!!

Another dear lady shared wisdom the LORD had given her about ‘having our own ideas’ and submitting them to the LORD, and God spoke to my heart again about the absolute necessity for us to WAIT ON HIM FOR EVERYTHING….EVERY THOUGHT, EVERY WORD, EVERY ACTION….. WE MUST STOP…. BE STILL…. AND BACK UP TO THE PLACE WHERE WE HAVE NO THOUGHTS APART FROM HIS…. WE MUST OFFER UP TO THE LORD A COMPLETELY BLANK SLATE ON WHICH TO WRITE HIS THOUGHTS, HIS WORDS, HIS PLANS…. WE MUST GET AND STAY IN TUNE WITH HIS HOLY SPIRIT AND ALLOW HIM TO RULE AND REIGN AND UNFOLD HIS WILL TO US ONE STEP AT A TIME…. WE MUST LISTEN AND OBEY, FOLLOWING HIM IMMEDIATELY, ONLY AS HE LEADS…. NOT ONE STEP AHEAD OR ONE STEP BEHIND…. BUT STEP BY STEP IN LINE WITH HIM…. MOMENT BY MOMENT…. THOUGHT BY THOUGHT…. WORD BY WORD…. ACTION BY ACTION….. GOD IS ABSOLUTELY SOVEREIGN OVER ALL THINGS… HE HAS CALLED US AS SOLDIERS OF LIGHT AND LIFE – TO WAR IN HIS SPIRIT – TO BE LIGHT TO THE WORLD AND TO FEND OFF THE DARKNESS….

(Right before typing this entry, I was updating my to-do list for the day.  Immediately after writing ‘book hotel for weekend’ I received a text that the rate had lowered by $10 per night!  One more detail ironed out with perfect execution by my Heavenly Father…. as well as confirmation of His will and His presence.  I’m amazed every day how closely He walks with us if we sacrifice EVERYTHING at His feet and seek HIM ALONE.  ALL GLORY TO YOU, LORD GOD!!!!)

I’ve been reminded several times to go back and look at my notes from May of last year.  I just found my old notebook.  At that time, the LORD had begun using me to lead worship occasionally by myself and I’d had a strong understanding that the ONLY way that could EVER happen successfully was if HE led and accomplished ALL aspects of it….  I sought Him for EVERYTHING.  He gave me some clear insights into life situations at the time, and also confirmation that He indeed was the One working in me to both will and to do of His good pleasure.  He has plans.  He also has the perfect timing for unfolding His plans.  Today, I’ve come to realize more fully that I ran ahead of Him in some ways, and have somberly repented of this in every way.  I hand back to Him all aspects of execution and timing and take my hands completely off.  I will be silent in thought and action, and just pray.  I know nothing unless He reveals it to me.  

I trust You completely LORD GOD, to lead and guide me, and to unfold YOUR perfect will before me.  Keep me in the center of YOUR will, on YOUR path, never ahead, never behind, never turning to the left or to the right, Father.  Not my will, but THINE be done, LORD.  I look forward to what YOU have in store.

At Starbucks doing office work… Overwhelmed by an urge to send a quick message of strength to a hurting soldier….

‘Constant desperate prayers are being raised on your behalf…. you are not alone…. warriors are joining together and going to war for you and your household….’

Immediately after sending that message, the music playing overhead resounded in my ears….🎶 “I’ll GO TO WAR…. I’ll GO TO WAR for you….“ 🎶

ONLY GOD COULD DO THAT!  The LORD God of Heaven rules over ALL THINGS and CAN and DOES use ANYthing and EVERYthing for HIS purposes and for HIS glory!!!!!!!!

==============

January 23, 2019

Recently, the LORD prompted me to research low-cost internet, and then He provided it very quickly!  This is a tremendous blessing, and will make work, music ministry and blogging so much easier!  The modem arrived a few days ago, earlier than expected, and now I can ‘go live’ with the things He’s having me write.  I’m so thankful for the clarity of vision He’s giving, and again, very determined to wait on Him for everything!  I have NOTHING of worth to think, say or do…. but HE DOES!!!!  His thoughts, words, actions, heart and will are ALL I want to express!!!!  Have YOUR WAY, LORD!  Rule and reign over ALL I think and say and do!!

==============

January 24, 2019

It’s late in the evening, around 1:46am…. I’ve been editing and making sure all the links work in this first post before I share it….

I just want to say that I’m extremely humbled and blessed with how God has me desiring to just spend time more time with Him…. mornings, evenings, events…. more and more I just want to seek Him and hear His voice…..

Prayer meeting and Bible study went well tonight…. Prayers are going up with zeal for strength and revival… for God to pull us back to where we have NO thoughts or plans of our own…. where we wait for HIM alone to quicken us to see and to do things HIS WAY!

Two ladies prayed very meaningful prayers over me – for victory over the enemy’s arrows of darkness, to hear the LORD’s voice powerfully as I’m being called to, and for open doors as I follow Him along the paths He is leading me on….. Thank You, Jesus!

The following song ‘came to mind’ as a great way to end the ‘evening’ and this initial post…. I look very much forward to posting here as often and as much as the LORD leads…. I trust He has excellent things in store!

”I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; the humble shall hear of it and be glad.  Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together.  I sought the LORD, and HE HEARD ME, and DELIVERED ME from all my fears.  They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were NOT ASHAMED.  This poor man cried out, and the LORD HEARD him, and SAVED him out of ALL HIS TROUBLES.  The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, and DELIVERS them.  Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; BLESSED is the man who TRUSTS IN HIM! Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints!  There is NO WANT to those who fear Him.”  (Psalm 34:1-9)

🎶 https://youtu.be/nGncW_ueyHA

Shame has no hold.

Fear has no hold.

Doubt has no hold.

Darkness has no hold.

Death has no hold.

JESUS CHRIST WON THE VICTORY

OVER ALL TIME AND SPACE

AND ONE DAY HE’S COMING BACK FOR ME!!

I’m just passing through this dusty earth

and all my chains are GONE!!

I’m FREE to shout….

FREE to sing….

FREE to worship the KING of kings and LORD of lords

with every breath He gives me….

and I’m GOING TO!!!

HALLELUJAH!!

”HOLY, HOLY, HOLY,

LORD GOD ALMIGHTY,

WHO WAS AND IS

AND IS TO COME,”

(Revelation 4:8b)

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