Let Freedom Ring

“For freedom Christ has set us free.” Galatians 5:1

fb_img_1428509650363

 

The 4th of July is a day in which America celebrates its independence. We are not under the rule of any one person. We were founded on the precept of “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Those who founded our country believed that we were all created equal by God, not any one human, and our rights stemmed from Almighty God. They affirmed that all people, “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

So, I ask you, “Why are there people who are assuming the power that only belongs to God? The leaders that were voted in by the people to protect our freedom as Americans—and more importantly as human beings—are restricting the one thing for which we were called into freedom! They have succumbed to the “world” and tried to limit access to the Word by taking prayer out of schools, disallowing Bibles in classrooms and restricting our young people by not encouraging them to know the Word of God. They have restricted the one thing that we stand for as a nation—our unalienable rights—life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—as pronounced in the Word of God, the Holy Bible.

No one can know the truth, which sets them free, if they are not acquainted with the commands of God. Our young people are lost, but they are innocent because there is no one to teach them of the One who can save them.

I remember when I was in grade school, we opened each new day in our individual class rooms with the Pledge of Allegiance, singing God Bless America, and a prayer. No one called anyone to join any particular religion or chastised each other. We recognized the mighty land in which we were blessed to live and God who made it all possible. How far we have strayed!  God have mercy! Lord have mercy!

We, as a nation are putting God to the test just as the Hebrews did and you know what happened to them—they were taken into exile not once but twice. Finally, God sent His Son as a final try to show them how much He loved them. And what happened? They put Jesus to death upon the cross. But, even that could not stop God! For Jesus is not dead! He is alive! Not only that, but He is coming again one more time to save those that believe. Those who do not will be as those who pounded on the door of the ark as the waters rose—lost forever. (Genesis 7:22)

Therefore, let us pray for the leaders of our country, that some mighty revelation will show them the path to true freedom. I believe that our God is mighty, and can soften even the hardest hearts. Let freedom ring, truly, as we all celebrate Independence Day together—all of us—and include the One who died to save us.

 

Father, bless us as a nation under Your rule that we may love You and our neighbors unequivocally. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

 

“If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

 

Galatians 5:1, 13   I Peter 2:16, 17   John 8:31, 32   I Corinthians 7:22

Acts 15:10

 

First Love

1224171815“…the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

Do you remember your first love? You were probably in high school. He or she was the most wonderful being God had ever created; being around him/her made you feel all giddy—like nothing could bring you down. Even now, thinking back on that moment brings a sweet feeling upon your soul. But, alas, in most cases, it came to an end.

Now, what I am about to say, will not make sense to you if you have not accepted Jesus into your heart and established a loving relationship with Him. My hope is that because you are reading this right now, it won’t be too long before you make that all important step and discover a love that will never leave you nor forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)

For those of you who have become part of the family of God, have been adopted, and are a child of God—I’m calling you to remember that time. Let me tell you about my time:-

It was a cold, snowy, winter’s night in January. My husband and I were young in our church-going days. And this was not just one service on Sunday, but a whole weekend of services! But, somehow we had committed ourselves to attending. I’ve got to tell you, it felt very strange, we didn’t know what to expect.

The second night (obviously the 1st night didn’t scare us away) the Pastor said there was going to be an altar call. I had no idea what an altar call   was, so I just sat and waited. It came time and Pastor Bill invited all who would ask for their sin to be forgiven and would accept the Lord’s mercy and grace to come forward and present themselves at the altar. “This must be the altar call,” I though.

My husband and I had been going through a terrible time. Finances, family upsets, and just struggling to keep our heads above water. I had no idea what I was doing but I felt myself rising from my seat stumbling over my husband’s knees, and walking down the aisle of this little, country church, towards the altar. Ole-sloo-foot was able to rattle my brain for a moment as I looked around and saw no one else moving. But the gravity of the pull of the Lord was too strong.

Soon I was kneeling at the altar. I was surrounded by what seemed like a cloud and I could hear the angels singing. I hear the Pastor praying over me, but what I hear most was a gentle, strong voice that portrayed a love like I’ve never known before, saying “Everything is going to be alright. I am with you.” I was in that cloud for the rest of the night.

We went home and went to bed, but I couldn’t sleep. I got up and went downstairs, picked up my hymnal and sang hymn after hymn, although many of them I had never heard, but somehow I seemed to know them. I have tried the best I could to walk with the Lord ever since.

Remembering that night restores my strength and leads me down the paths of righteousness. “The Lord is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation.” Psalm 118:14

Everyone’s experience is not the same, but it doesn’t make your experience any less legitimate. The Lord God calls each of us to Himself the shortest way we will go. For you see, “You did not choose me but I chose you…” (John 15:16) says the Lord.

Is the Lord calling you? Perhaps, He’s calling you to give testimony.

 

Dear Lord, thank you for Your gift of strength given to me through the presence of Your Holy Spirit. Have mercy upon me. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

 

Psalm 51:12   Romans 8:15   2 Cor. 3:17   Isaiah 12:2

Make the Call

0127180827“No one who believes in him will be put to shame.” Romans 10:11

 

“Let anyone with ears listen!” These are the words of God from Genesis to Revelation in one way or another. They are recorded through-out the Old Testament especially Jeremiah, Psalm, and Isaiah. God calls to all of us to listen to His still, small, voice. “Be still and know that I am God!” (Psalm 46:10) He speaks to you.

In a world filled with so much noise and chaos you wonder, “How can God hear the soft murmurings of my heart?” Maybe more importantly, “How can I hear God?” God doesn’t shout; He doesn’t raise His voice, yet a heart in tune with His Spirit hears as though He were the only one speaking. His voice is in the gentle wind; it is in the flower blooming from a tiny bud; it is in the birds of the air and the baby birds in the nest; it is in the sweet sounds of the baby in your arms. All you have to do is call upon Him, seek His face, then sit back and listen.

Jeremiah writes, “…call upon Me and Pray to Me, and I will hear you.” (33:3) It is up to you to make the call. The calling numbers are—“Lord I need You,” or, “Lord, I want to hear your voice,” or “Lord, fell my heart with Your Spirit.” Whatever you need He will provide—in His time. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says. “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven,” therefore, God has a plan—a blueprint made out for your life and He will provide what you need at just the right time. Meanwhile, listen and wait upon the Lord. But, do not hesitate to make the call.

 

The other day I needed to call someone to deliver a message that may not be received very well. I was hesitant to make that call. My pride was getting in the way of my common sense. Finally, I picked up the phone and with shaky fingers dialed the number. Actually, I was secretly hoping that no one would answer, then I could just leave a message.

black and gray telephone booth

The phone rang and rang, until finally someone answered. After exchanging our greeting, I  stated the reason for my call, all the time thinking the worst. There was silence. I gulped. Then I heard—“I am so glad you told me. I will see what I can do.” I gave a sigh of relief, for I had been holding my breath. The call ended and I smiled to myself saying a little prayer of thanksgiving to God.

I think this same scenario takes place when we need to call upon God. He is always waiting to hear our voice—a voice crying in the wilderness. Maybe it’s time for you to make your call to your Heavenly Father who loves you.

Dear Lord, I want to be filled with Your Spirit. Make me humble in Your sight. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

John 10:27   Jeremiah 33:3   Psalm 50:15   Isaiah 55:6   Jeremiah 29:12   Acts 2:21

Unlikely

0329181945b

“…that whosoever believeth in him…” John 3:16 KJV

I have a reoccurring dream in which I see on my dresser four individual creatures which are an “unlikely” group. They sit there quietly and seem almost alive, in fact, I even find myself talking to them AND THEY ANSWER ME! When I awake and try to remember who or what they are, I can’t. The last time I had this vision, a friend heard me talking and asked, “Who are you talking to?” And I said, “These on my dresser.” My friend looked at the images I was pointing at, then back at me, and laughed. And now I can’t even tell you who the four are, but I can tell you who they represent.

These four are an unlikely group, in other words, they don’t seem to go together—they are so different—different species in fact. Yet, they are perfectly peaceful with each other. They accept one another for who they are and what they were created to be. They fit together like pieces of a puzzle and, like the finished puzzle, create a beautiful picture.

Before I went to sleep last night I asked the Lord to make clear to me what He wanted me to do to reach people for His glory. I believe that God uses this reoccurring dream to speak to me, only I never paid attention before, or maybe, I hadn’t asked the right question. Anyway, last night or it was probably early morning, I heard His answer.

In my dream I was asking the creature on the end what I was supposed to be doing. He answered, “Write!” “What should I write?” I asked. “Tell them that just like the four of us [five if you include me] who are all so different, they too can get along and enjoy each other’s company. They can be blessed by the gifts God has bestowed on each one. And together they can make beautiful music that will touch God’s heart—tears will trickle down His face.” So, the next time you see it rain that will be God’s tears because someone, (maybe it’s you) has touched His heart.

Jesus died, shed his blood, to take away the sins of the WORLD! Not just certain individuals—but “whoever believes in him…”! Whether you are black, yellow, red, or white—or short, tall, fat, or thin—or rich, poor, or even destitute, Jesus died for you that you may come to him, pour out your heart, and be blessed by him.

Jesus not only died, but he rose and lives yet today. He wants to live in your heart if you would invite him in. But, remember when you do, it will not be the same ole, same ole. Your life will change—for the better. You will have a responsibility to live according to the Word of God.

But, don’t worry living according to the Word of God will not be a burden because it says “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4) In other words, once you say “Yes” to God your wants will be what He wants for you and He promises to supply all your needs. (Psalm 23)  He may take you into unlikely places, but “He will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

See, it doesn’t matter what those four images are that sit on my dresser, because they represent all of creation. Furthermore, God will give us His message through the most unlikely sources, if we will listen with our heart.

Dear Lord, I pray that these words will touch the hearts of many, or even one. May they glorify You in every way. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

 

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek me and find me, when you search for Me with all your heart I will be found by you…and I will bring you back from captivity. Jeremiah 29:11ff

The Tea Room

“…grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…”

 2 Peter 3:18

mug of beverage on white saucer
Photo by Emre Can on Pexels.com

Have you ever felt like you’ve stepped out of the chaos of the world into a perfect place of peace? Well, that is just what happened to my husband and me. The awesomeness of feeling, AND knowing, the hand of God guiding you is an overwhelming sense of being.

Wisdom, otherwise known as the Holy Spirit, is continually urging and guiding believers to a place of peace. Stepping into the little tea room in the midst of the surroundings of a chaotic world could have happened only by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

I have been reading a book series about a tea room in Maine. As I walked through the door of this real life tea room, I felt like I was walking into the pages of the book. Everything about it reminded me of the stories I had been reading. And the funny part about it is, when I shared my experience with my husband, he said he too felt like he was there, even though, he knew nothing about the book, except what I had shared with him.  Experiences such as this can only be orchestrated by the hand of God through the presence of the Holy Spirit.

We live in a chaotic world, but tucked in amidst the chaos are small pockets of peace. As you, the believer, experience these vignettes, you are being given a glimpse of heaven. If you ask the Holy Spirit to take you one step at a time to a place of peace, you will recognize it when you are there. God promises to answer the prayers of all who love Him and obey His will.

After this awesome experience there is no doubt in my mind that God will deliver me from the confines of this world to a place of heavenly peace, in His time my job meanwhile is to share my Godly experiences with you that you might come to recognize His presence in your life.

Brothers and sisters, we cannot remain silent! We must take the risk and share with one another. Yes, even the world, that they too may have the knowledge and wisdom of God the creator of heaven and earth. For you see, “…the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits…” (James 3:17) Therefore, be filled with “new wine” and God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, will give you the “peace that passes all understanding.” (Phil. 3:13) Claim God’s promise that He will never leave you nor forsake you. (Heb. 3:5) Walk with confidence believing “The Lord is [your] helper,” saying, “I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?” (Ps.27:1/Hebrews 13:6)

Dear Father, thank you for giving me glimpses of my heavenly home. Keep my faith strong as I pass through Your creation. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

 

Proverbs 1:20   James 1:5/3:17   1 Peter 1:22   1 Corinthians 2:6

Pray–Listen–Obey

“Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication.”

Ephesians 6:18

0913171454

“Do not be afraid—I am with you.” We read these words over and over again through-out scripture. But, I actually heard them! I had been struggling with a health issue for a few months; it was now time to go have the test that would show exactly what was going on. Ole-sloo-foot had me convinced that the outcome would not be good. Everything that I did during these past few months was tainted with fear. I seemed to be helpless to overcome it. Satan had slipped in a crack in my armor.

During this time of my struggle, God never left me. He was true to His promise that He would be with me always even to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:20) But, I was so controlled by fear that I could not hear His still, small voice. The Psalmist cries out, “O that today you would listen to his voice!” (95:7b) And, finally God got my attention!

The night before going for my test I heard a quiet voice saying, “Do not be afraid, I am with you.” I sat up and took notice, but still that “fear” kept niggling at the back of my mind. “What if we get caught in traffic?” I thought. “What if we cannot find the right building?” fear said to me. “What if we are late and cannot have the test?” the attacks kept coming.

Again next morning I heard the quiet voice again “DO NOT BE AFRAID—I AM WITH YOU” This time, every time “fear” started to erupt, I heard the words of the Father assuring me that He would lead us through the maze that lie ahead. Confidence began to eradicate fear. The battle was about to be won!

Through-out the day we were guided from one place to another. The Lord God placed caring and helpful people before us, and He gave us confidence and wisdom to ask the right questions to help us find our way. Oh, and the test? It wasn’t a death sentence—as “fear” wanted me to believe—but, it was a light in the darkness, and a sign of hope.

When facing uncertainty put your eyes upon Jesus. Open up your heart to your Creator and Savior, tell Him your problems. But, also be quiet and listen for God will answer your prayers. Then, however, there is one more step, you must obey what you hear. The Father will never tell you something that is not for your good. “Do not be afraid, for I am with you,” He says. God is not the author of fear. When you walk in the Spirit of the Lord, there is peace. (John 14:27)

Father, keep me safe beneath your wings. May I always come to you for guidance. Let me listen and obey Your still, small voice. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

“The Lord loves those who hate evil. He guards the lives of his faithful; he rescues them from the hand of the wicked. Psalm 97:10

 

THANKS BE TO GOD!

 

2 Cor. 12:9   Daniel 7:25   2 Cor. 2:11   Eph. 6:10, 11

The Fork in The Road

“…he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love.” Ephesians 1:4

0928171914c_HDR

When you and I were children we did things from time to time that displeased (to say the least) our parents. And, consequently we were punished. That punishment cleared the air and we were able to return to our loving parent/child relationship. I know some of you may not have such good memories of your childhood, and some of those memories may be distorted because of your own stubborn pride. God’s word says, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)

The Wisdom of Solomon transcends all time, so do not say, “That was written centuries ago and doesn’t apply now.” Things in the world may look different today, but pride, anger, and fear still run rampant among us. They are seeking a haughty spirit to inhabit. Our only defense is belief in the Lord Jesus, faith, hope, and love. And as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:13, “the greatest of these is love.”

I read about a young girl who felt unappreciated by her parents. She felt shoved aside because her brother had an illness that would eventually take his life and her parents had to give him more attention. One day she became so angry—her anger took her over—she ran away from home. She wound up on the streets of NYC hooked on drugs, pregnant, and eventually in jail. This young lady was only 16 years old! Her pride gave her a strong sense of self and she forgot who she was—a child of God created to love and be loved!

Our lives follow a path and sometimes when it comes to a fork in the road, we take the wrong one. It is painful. I remember when I was a child how painful my legs became from time to time. And my Mom would always say, “You have growing pains.” The same thing happens as you grow spiritually—there are “growing pains.”

Paul puts it this way, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways.” (1 Corinthians 13:11) Do not let anger, a false sense of pride, or fear of being rebuked rule your life. It is too precious to waste and you are too valuable to your Creator. He has chosen you to go and bear fruit that will not waste away and rot. (John 15:16)

So when you come to that fork in the road, choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19) The Father will never leave you nor forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5) He has vowed to be with you, “to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20b) So love the Lord your God, obey him, and hold fast to him for “it will mean life to you and length of days.” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

 

Dear Lord, help me to know myself as You know me. In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

1 John 1:9   Psalm 35:5   Proverbs 28”13   John 15:16