Don’t Give Up!

No matter what has happened or is happening, be aware of the living, loving Father who watches over your life with every beat of your heart.  He knows the wrong’s the hurts and hurdles. He knows the plots the schemes and the traps. He sees them all and says to you, “My child, DO NOT be afraid! Though sorrow may last for a night my JOY…my COMPLETE supernatural JOY will reach down from the heavens and wrap you in the morning light. Yes, many have come against you, many fiery darts of the enemy.”

But your Father says…“I will hold you!  I will carry you!  I will strengthen you! Do not be afraid!  I have seen all and in My time…in My way it will all make sense.  As of today this moment in time walk by faith AND NOT SIGHT take My hand!  I know you don’t understand but trust Me when I say I love you with an everlasting love and THIS IS NOT THE END!  You’re my child! I love you.  I have purpose for you. I have given you the sword of the Spirit. The power of the Holy Spirit and the authority in my name!  You will walk and not faint.  You will run and not grow weary!  I say REST.  Rest in My grace that is your place. Those dreams those desires…Yes, everything will come to completion as you trust in Me. This IS NOT THE END. SO LAUGH AND BE JOYFUL!  SO SING AND SHOUT THE VICTORY! Together with Me WE WIN!”

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.  – 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

God will bless you If you don’t give up when your faith is being tested. James 1:12

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Listen

Life is a daily classroom of teaching and instruction, if we are willing to listen and follow through. My most recent lesson was simple, profound and forever life changing. Here’s the lesson;

Don’t ignore the prompts and nudges from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not only the Comforter but the Great Teacher and Guide.

I woke up absolutely consumed with thoughts of a cousin who was currently in the intensive care unit.  It was a cousin I had never been really that close to but that really didn’t matter at the moment. All that mattered was him!  I had to go see him, nothing was more important.

It wasn’t a still small voice giving me an instruction. It was just an impression in my spirit—a knowing that something wasn’t quite right.  I reached out to one of his children and asked, “Is your dad saved? Has he made Jesus the Lord of his life?”  She said “I’m not sure.” I told her we have to make sure. Let’s make sure together!

Everything I expected upon arrival at the hospital was present the grief, the pain, the tears.  His face is still in my thoughts right now as I type this.  The way he held my hand when we prayed and how he wouldn’t let go. The way he said “I love you too.” It is all still very heavy on my thoughts.

Sadly he had been shown “religion” his entire life and not a “relationship” with a living, loving Father. The church had failed him but I was driven to remind him that Jesus would never ever fail him. I asked him the greatest question you could ever ask at his bed side, “Have you ever made Jesus the Lord of your life?”  His answer was solid and truthful, “NO.” My response was. “Would you like to?” His answer again came solid and truthful “YES.”   I asked him to pray a prayer with me and he repeated the prayer with his children and grandchildren surrounding the bed.  He repeated every word strong, fully aware and fully sincere.  It was in that moment that the presence of the Lord came and heaven touched earth.  When we finished that prayer my cousin said something that I will never forget as long as I live he said, “We did it!” I sobbed! He said it again, “We did it.”  It was almost like he knew how God had pushed me all the way to his bedside.  That he was hanging on for just this moment in time so that now he could move on with complete Peace that he had made Jesus his Lord!

At 11:00 a.m. he was born again from above, translated out of Darkness into the Kingdom of God’s dear Son. Saved! Safe! Secure! Forgiven!

At 5:08 p.m. the same day he was Home in Heaven.

Since his passing I’ve been emotional, unable to focus and changed. Just changed! I’m thankful for the Holy Spirit, thankful for an open heart, thankful for a God who answers when we call, thankful for JESUS who defeated death, Hell, and the Grave.

THANKFUL.

On the way to the hospital that morning the enemy had flooded my mind with several lies.  Thoughts that ran in my mind; “You’re going to minister? Your own life is a hot mess!” I could almost hear Satan’s mocking laughter.  “Someone else will do it, another minister is sure to be at his bedside.”  ALL LIES! NO ONE was there.   And if we all had waited for our lives to be perfect we wouldn’t have a church or ministry on this planet. We are all broken and that’s the exact reason why we need JESUS!

Life lesson:

When God whispers a name to you, when you can’t get that person off your mind and heart, RUN to that person. God has a reason for those promptings. Don’t assume someone else will help! God’s speaking to you! You’re not here to just live and die. You are here on assignment from Heaven to fulfill Gods plan. You are not a human being having a spiritual experience you’re a spiritual being having a human experience! This is not our home.

Who do you have on your heart right now? What’s God saying? Obey! God’s on the move and God wants to use you today.

Listen.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8

When you have JESUS you have everything!

When you have JESUS you have everything. He’s with you, right now in this moment. 

I’ve lived enough trips around the sun to learn firsthand that He is the one and only one who keeps His promises.  He is the Promise Keeper. Not some promises, but He uses this word over and over in the Holy Scriptures, it’s a word I’ve grown to love it’s the word “ALL.”   ALL of his promises are “Yes!” and “Amen!” He heals me of ALL my diseases.

The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all. Psalms 34:19

In the greatest loss or disappointment when you awake to what seems a nightmare there is a deep knowing that someday, somehow God will make sense of all this. God will have the last word.  The scars, the wounds the hurts that have been hurled your way. God will make sense of it all.  The Promise Keeper shouts, “Hey YOU, (insert your name here), I’ve begun a good work in YOU! I will continue that work until the day of Christ.” So little by little and day by day, His mercies are new every morning and He is transforming you into a masterpiece fit for the Master’s use. His use!

So when your feet hit the ground in the morning instead of being steered off your destiny by a text or a call or a distraction, set up from the enemy to cloud your mind, dig deep into planting your face right in His. Face to face with the One who can fix it all, heal it all, restore it all, and make sense of it all!  

The Promise Keeper says, “If you seek me you will find me if you draw close to me I WILL draw close to YOU.”

That’s a PROMISE from the Holy of Holies, from the Author and Finisher of Your faith. It’s a PROMISE from the Ancient of Days.

So right in the middle of the chaos and confusion, you will have CHRIST which is TRUTH, which is LIGHT, which is PEACE.  It’s yours just for the taking!  Remember wounded warrior you’re not alone, never truly alone and Abba has all you need for all your days including this one.  When you have JESUS you have everything. He’s with you right now in this moment and ALL always means ALL!  Just breathe, He’s got this. More importantly, He’s got YOU!

HE is a GOOD DAD!

With chubby little fingers and a smile that would melt the coldest heart Elianah, my six-year-old, stands in front of me.  With curly blonde hair and big blue eyes that hold so much love and wonder she very carefully hands me her letter to Santa. “Will you give it to him?” she asks?

“Well, of course!” I reply with great enthusiasm.

I take the list and look over every single item written in crayon and chuckle at the precious misspelled words.  It’s so cute I want to frame it.  As Elianah’s daddy, this scrap piece of paper with her Christmas wishes has NOW instantly become my TOP priority. As her father, I desire to give her every single item her heart so desires.  I WANT TO BLESS HER!  Why? Because I’m her father and I love her and desire to lavish her with MY LOVE.

Listen, maybe your earthly father is gone either physically or emotionally but you’re NOT ALONE! You still have a DADDY that loves YOU!

Your HEAVENLY father wants to LAVISH His LOVE on you the exact same way.

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”   Matthew 7:11

So ask.  We have not because we ask not. So ASK that your JOY may be COMPLETE.  Jesus said whatsoever things you desire, believe that you receive them and you will have them.

The LOVE I have in my heart for my daughter, Elianah, is THE LOVE your Father has in His heart for you. He not only hears you He sees the much-needed desires. He feels the desires written on the table of your heart. Your needs have INSTANTLY become His TOP priority. Simply because you are his child and he is your Father.

I’m believing God with you that those things that are heavy on your heart as we close out 2016, those things that can’t be wrapped and put under a tree, will come to pass in your life as a miracle you’ve been praying for and 2017 will be the year of Answered Prayer for YOU a child of GOD!

God knows EXACTLY what you need. HE is a GOOD DAD and with HIM EVERYTHING is POSSIBLE!

“Abba, Father, he said, everything is possible for You.”  ~ Jesus  (Mark 14:36)

Prince of Peace

Peace…

“For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”   Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)

I don’t know about you but I know about me and the above verse is healing medicine to everywhere I hurt right now.

Taking a holy pause and thinking deeply about each of these words…COUNSELOR, FATHER, PEACE.

– Counselor, while confusion swirls and darkness seems to be hiding around every corner.  The counselor of all counselors who made you and knows you better than you know yourself awaits to teach, counsel, instruct and guide. We just have to listen and obey.

– Father, He is the FATHER who knows YOU by name.
Does He really hold every tear we cry? Yes, yes He does.  You’re not alone, the one who placed you here for such a time as this sees, cares, and knows ALL. He AFFECTIONATELY loves you like a father loves his child.

Do not worry, God did not create you to abandon you.

– Peace, that thing that keeps you up at night or haunts you first thing when you awaken, the situation that you have no control over…The PRINCE of Peace whisper’s HUSH to that raging storm. Many Christmas Eve’s I’ll go visit my grandma who lives in the country.   As I leave her house I always take a moment to stand in the middle of the gravel road that winds down to her house and there I look up.  No city lights, no noises, just the cold crisp air and stars upon stars.  Sweet holy peace. The silence and the majesty of God Almighty as He lights up the sky with twinkling lights, sweet Heavenly Peace…that’s my prayer for you this Christmas.

May you lovingly feel the embrace of your Heavenly Father while He whispers instructions on what decisions need to be made all the while being flooded by supernatural peace that passes all human understanding. Peace is the gift of believing in a Mighty God who hears and answers prayer.

Peace, peace, heavenly peace …

 

 

Emmanuel, God with You

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Matthew 1:23

Emmanuel God with us…

Emmanuel God with YOU.

God is with you right now as you read this.  His love and thoughts of you is why your heart is beating.  With every beat and breathe He is saying, “I…love…you. I…Have…A…Plan. Do…Not…Fear.”

In your brokenness and your concerns and all that keeps you up at night He is with YOU.

You may have even recently said, “Why does everything seem so broken?”  You may think it’s broken but what IF the Lord is saying, “That which you think is broken is actually falling into perfect place to give you all that you’ve prayed for.”

God is with you.

God sees your tears. You’re not alone, He knows you by name, knowing even the number of hairs on your head. He is concerned with every detail of your life.  All that matters to you, matters to Him.

If God was to open your eyes to the spiritual reality around you right now you could not take in the awe and the splendor.  You would see the warring angels standing at attention guarding you and His very presence surrounding you as you go about the most mundane tasks.

He would say, “Child, Fear Not, if I’m with YOU then WHO can be against you?”

Tell Me your worries and cares and then listen.  I desire to give you counsel and peace that passes all understanding. I desire to work alongside you to harvest dreams for the New Year.  I want to make sure that all of My promises come to pass at last. Remember Ephesians 3:20…

“I am able and willing to do EXCEEDINGLY more than you can possibly imagine or even dream.”

So speak to the STORMS and say HUSH!  Tell FEAR to leave and REST in my PEACE! Be still and KNOW that I AM GOD!
After all Emmanuel God is with YOU.

I Love You More…

I don’t know who this is for?

I don’t know how broken you are?

I won’t even try to understand what happened.

It’s hard to breathe.

You have even said, “Is this real life?”  (SIGH)

I want you to know desperately right now in this VERY MOMENT that GOD sees and

HE ~ IS ~ WITH ~YOU!

His name is Emmanuel…which means GOD is with us!

So beloved friend … GOD IS WITH YOU!   You’re not alone. He’s holding you now.

The power and the presence of the Holy Spirit is yours for the taking, just reach out and

feel His embrace. 

He may very well choose to fall on you in power and do a supernatural operation on your heart right now…or He may send friends from near and far to text, call and show up just simply to be His hands and feet…TO LOVE ~ TO hold ~ TO embrace.  You’re never truly alone. Don’t buy the enemy’s lie that you are. It’s not true. Don’t believe a word of it.

I’m praying right now for the eyes of your understanding to be enlightened.

That right now YOU would know the HOPE of your calling and to understand how deep and how wide and how high IS HIS LOVE for you. May He OPEN your eyes to the SPIRIT and allow you to see the WARRING ANGELS standing and guarding your every move.

YOU ~ ARE ~ NOT ~ ALONE! 

You never are.

YOU ARE LOVED!

He is with you. Emmanuel….

“Fear not, for I am WITH YOU; Be not dismayed, For I am your God.

I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my 

righteous right hand.”    Isaiah 41:10 

 

Hurting? You need this!

Did it cut you to your core? Shatter your trust?

It’s bad enough that you were hurt—deeply—but what’s worse is that it lingers.

Perhaps you’ve found it harder to get up in the morning. Your smile has waned. It’s harder to laugh. The light in your eyes has dimmed. And, you find it harder to trust…anyone…

Friends and family have noticed. And you’ve heard their concerns.

“It seems like you’re not as happy as you used to be.”

“I’m worried about you.”

“We miss the old you.”

But you? You just wonder exactly how much longer it will hurt like this.

You’re not alone. I know because I have been there. No, I don’t pretend to know your exact circumstances. But if you’re anything like me—when you start thinking or talking about what caused your pain—you find that what has settled gets stirred to the top. And before you know it, it feels like it happened just yesterday.

Here’s how I get back on my feet. I hope it will help you.

1.) God is ever faithful. Man will Always let you down. God Never ever will. There are no perfect people. Keep your eyes on the One you CAN always trust: Jesus—the Author and Finisher of your faith. Hebrews 2:2 (The Message): Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

2.) My identity—and yours– is not found in others. Our identity can only be found in our Heavenly Father who calls you “beloved,” and loves you far more than you could ever wrap your mind around. Grab a Bible (the all-time best seller—there has to be something behind that my friend), and discover who you are in Christ. A few places to start are John 1:12; 1 Peter 2:5; and 1 Peter 2:9-10.

3.) Guard your heart. Even if you have been sorely wronged. The very issues of life flow out of your heart. That’s the way God created us. Cry out to Jesus…tell Him everything. Ask Him to cleanse your heart. And then—brace yourself, this is the hardest part—forgive. I’ll say it again: FORGIVE. Not for their sake but for yours. This is where healing begins. Proverbs 4:23 (NIV): Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Pray for those who hurt you. 

Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. ~ JESUS (Luke 6:28)

4.) You and I will not be accountable to God for how they behaved. The onus is on them. I am only accountable for my heart toward them. As are you. Forgive. Release the hurt. Move on. Life is too short. Don’t waste it being hurt. I know it’s hard. Yet remember….

5.) God is your victorious Warrior, and He alone will have the final say. 2 Chronicles: 20:15b (NCV): The Lord says this to you: ‘Don’t be afraid or discouraged because of this large army. The battle is not your battle, it is God’s.

When one is hurt, sometimes the tendency is to run from the church. If you find yourself doing this, you’re running in the wrong direction. Make a U-turn, and join with fellow believers to further the cause of Christ. Give God a chance to turn your hurt into something beautiful. Your journey there—and back—will most assuredly be someone else’s answer to prayer. You’ll catch their glance, you’ll see the light in their eyes has dimmed, and you’ll know…

People don’t determine your destiny; God does. His plan for you is greater than any you could dream on your own. Every morning, when you put your feet to the floor, trust in him.

We Win. No Matter What!

We all need Victory in some area of our lives; God wants us to live a life of Victory.  Be encouraged today that we can’t have Victory without a few battles along the way, and we all have them.  You are not alone!  You may be in a battle right now at this very moment, hold your head high and declare these promises over your life and situation.  Remember the battle is not ours but the Lords and he is our Victorious warrior.  We are on the winning side.

The Lord your God is with you, the Victorious Mighty Warrior who saves.  He will take great delight in you; in his love he will calm all your fears.  He will rejoice over you with singing.  Zephaniah 3:17

Proverbs 21:31 – The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but VICTORY rests with the Lord.

Deuteronomy 20:4 – For the Lord your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and will give you VICTORY!

1 Corinthians 15:57 – But thanks be to God, who gives us the VICTORY through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 John 5:4 – For every child of God defeats this evil world and we achieve the VICTORY through our faith.

2 Corinthians 2:14 – In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual VICTORY parade.  Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ.  Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance.

I’m praying 2016 is the year of Victory!  Not only for my family but yours, in every area that matters to you! God delights in every detail of our lives, be confident that everything that matters to you right now, matters to him. With him, we win!

When Running Is Easy.

A son in the Bible asked for his father’s inheritance early.  He more or less was saying, “I wish you were already dead, Dad.”

He took his inheritance, ran away and blew all the money.  Having nothing left, he ended up eating out of a trough with pigs.

That is when his “Aha moment” occurred.

He asked himself, “What am I doing here?” So he got up and went to his father.  He knew his father was good and knew his heart and character. This story goes on to say that the father was looking for his son from afar off. When he saw his son returning, he ran! He ran to his son grateful for his return.

Before a sincere apology or a long list of excuses, the father ran to his son because he was just thrilled his son had finally come home.

There is nothing like coming home.

“The father kissed him and welcomed him to all he had.”   Luke 11:32

A story that perfectly represents God’s love for you, friend.  That’s a Father’s Love!

He is looking for you right now.

Think outside the stained glass windows and Christian television preachers with slicked back hair with one hand on the Bible and one in your pocket.

You have a real Dad who adores you and loves you and knows everything about you and still says…

“I love you!”

You may go days without even thinking of God but there’s never a moment when He’s not thinking of you.

“My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore.”  Psalms 139:17-18  

It’s hard to wrap our minds around a love like that.

Many of us have grown up with broken relationships with strained, absent or based on conditions with our earthly father.

God, our Heavenly Father, isn’t like that.

His love is unconditional.

Nothing can even separate you from the Father’s love.

None of these things:

“Not death or life, not angels nor demons, not our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.”   Romans 8:38

Several times a day, I say out loud, “God loves me. My Father Loves Me. God is good to me. My Father is watching over me. God is for me and not against me.”

His arms are wide open waiting for you to run to him.  God knows the worst about you. Nonetheless, He is a loving Father who loves YOU the most.   

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1