The True Meaning of Christmas

In the USA, as well as in some other countries around the world, we have the freedom to celebrate Christmas and other holidays in our homes pretty much as we choose to… But, because I’ve been hearing quite a bit of rhetoric lately about “the real meaning of Christmas”…I thought it good to share both some thoughts – and some facts on that subject…

First of all… In a standard dictionary, “Christmas” is composed of two words – “Christ” and “mas”… “Christ” being defined as “the anointed Messiah”… and “mas” refers to “a specified festival or celebration.”  The two words together – “Christmas”- obviously means “a CELEBRATION of Christ, the anointed Messiah.”… It has meant that since the first time Christmas was celebrated… And it still means that today.

So, why would people who do not even believe the gospel of Jesus Christ enjoy celebrating Christmas?… It’s really not that hard to understand… Most people like to give…because giving feels good!  It is good!  And who among us does not like to be on the receiving end of that giving?… We all do!  Giving is good and receiving is fun!… Maybe that is why in Luke chapter 2, the angelic host proclaimed “Tidings of great joy to all people”.. Peace on earth and good will toward men”- as they announced the birth of the Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”

God gave us this Savior for a reason…. He He gave.. He gave His only begotten Son – Jesus Christ- to be the “mediator between God and men” (I Timothy 2:5).  God so loved that He made a way for man to be reconciled to right relationship with Him.  God gave this gift of love to all men.. but to those who receive this gift of God – Jesus Christ the Anointed One/Savior/Messiah, there is a very special joy as we celebrate Christmas!  For truly knowing Jesus has never been a disappointment to anyone… He is the ultimate gift – the one that truly “keeps on giving”….

He came to give you a new birth in Him (John 3:1-8) – and life eternal!.. And God made it simple… You look to Jesus and ask for this new life in Him… It is the gift of God to you.”

The “bottom line” is this:  We can all celebrate Christmas the way that we choose to – but,  NOTHING.. can change the true meaning of “Christmas.”

Borne Out of the Fire

Borne Out of the Fire

We desire to go on with God… But what we do not see is that we are carrying things that cannot go with us – things we cannot take with us to walk in the next level of His glory… But because we do not see all of this in proper perspective.. (there is so much right now that we do not understand)… Indeed it does seem as though “we look through a glass darkly”… And thus we urgently plead, “Lord help me!”

And of course He is always there to lead us… (He can’t take us unless we ask – because in His sovereignty, God gave man authority on the earth – so that as James 4:2 tells us “…you have not because you ask not.”)  So – ask, we do – not seeing or knowing that between where we walk now and the place we desire to be – is “the FIRE or the RAGING waters!” But we ask, and so he leads us out… But before long, we began to think… “This must surely be a mistake!” I mean.. we were wanting to go upward, to get better!… But instead, here we are in a frightening place!

Now, water and fire can both destroy and wreak havoc… But carefully tended and directed, they cleanse and ready the ground for new growth – so that in the time that follows, out comes a thing for God’s use and our “beauty.”

Then through tears of joy, and with strengthened devotion – we look back – and our understanding is lightened!… Now I see!… There is no other way, else He would surely bring us… But should we come another way – I mean that He would just “zap” us – we would be “there” all right… And “there” would be “perfect!”… But who would He be?… Would we even know Him??

You see, there is so much “distance” between who He is and who we are – a world of difference – that it takes a lifetime just to begin to understand that difference… So that, how could we ever have a proper view of Him… if we had not seen the things that “fill up the way” between our mortality and Him??

Sure, now we see through a glass darkly… But each new level we press to brings us closer to His light, and we grow in our personal knowledge of Jesus Christ… Then from this new place of glory, I see Him more clearly, and do better understand the futility of the unregenerate man…

Indeed later, I shall see Him as He is – but for now I’m just learning and growing – so that I simply see Him in the best way that I can… I see him now through the eyes of my fellowship with Him, and as the word of God reveals…. Indeed that is God’s plan!

Thus He brings us through the fire.. or through the “raging waters.”… And frightening indeed it seems – until we come to the place of understanding.. THAT WE CAN TRUST HIM!  And that those hurtful things are brought along our path by our adversary (I Peter 5:8) who is seeking to devour any closeness of relationship we try to form with God… But God our Savior seeks to bring us safely to the other side… And thus you and I who seek Him, are “borne out of the fire.”



What Is My CROSS?….

If you’ve been a Christian very long – more than likely you have heard or read the scripture in Matthew 16:24; Luke 9:23 where Jesus spoke to His disciples (and to us) about “taking up your cross and following Me”. The question now IS… . Do you really know what that means?….. Because you do have to know AND understand what Jesus meant in that passage.. before you can answer the very important question for yourself….“What is MY Cross?”

Many Christians WANT to know the answer to that, but usually wind up with the assertion that their cross is any number of “hard things” that seem to follow their lives….

It will probably simplify getting the answer to that question – if I first tell you what your cross is not….Your cross is NOT ANYTHING that Jesus redeemed you from!

Redeemed means…… (In Galatians 3:13 & 4:5;  I Peter 1:18;  Revelation 5:9)….To buy back – paying the price required  for all that can be bought…   Here’s what some important scriptures tell us about our redemption through Jesus Christ:

“Christ redeemed us from the curse – being made a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13).  So, what is the curse?….What is it that Jesus redeemed us from?

In Deuteronomy 30:19,20,  God tells us that “life and death/blessing and cursing are set before us… . then He urges us to “CHOOSE LIFE!”:….He is saying “Follow My way – love and obey Me – for real life and blessing is in Me…… You can choose either one, but I urge you to choose life/choose Me!”

In the Garden man had chosen to live apart from God – and God honored that choice……. but God loved us and so He came after man (all men) to give us individually the opportunity to choose again.  God had a plan to redeem us from man’s original choice to live apart from Him …..So He sent His Son  – Jesus Christ the Anointed One – to redeem us… that is to buy us back again!. …….Even so He still gives each one of us the same choice to make….. Choose Me /My plan – or choose to live apart……. You can choose either, but I love you, He says – so choose Me – choose LIFE!

Psalm 103::1-4  names the benefits/blessings that come from choosing God’s way… He redeemed us from the curse – the consequences that sin in us or around us brings…..  Indeed, He redeemed us from the curse of sickness, disease, poverty, lack, etc….And our life as a Christian then.. is a walk by faith in the things which He has spoken to us.

Okay,  but if we are redeemed from the curse – why then do we see so much sickness, poverty, lack and other such things among Christians that God’s Word clearly says that He redeemed us from?……Why?  because EVERYTHING – Everything!….. that we receive from God – we receive by faith (II Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 11:6…) Any number of scriptures verify that fact…..Therefore, as the Apostle Paul once said… we need to check ourselves “whether we are in the faith.”

But as humans we are used to thinking and walking by sight – our sense knowledge of seeing, hearing, feeling – so that we generally find it difficult to believe that God wants us to have something that we cannot see, hear, feel, understand etc. with our natural man’s senses….. Thus we have a hard time actually believing the Word of God….so that we often default to either ignore,  or to reason away many of the promises God has given us in His Word….. because we cannot reconcile ourselves to believe what we do not see or feel “currently” with at least one of our 5 natural senses!  We are thus trying to walk by sight – instead of by faith in what God’s Word has said.

Your cross and my cross is not some sickness…. God through Jesus redeemed you from that…. and He is not a man that He could lie or alter the words that He has spoken to us….Neither will He ever violate His written word in the things which He directs you to do to follow Him/His plan for you…..

.And in line with that, He is not going to buy us out of something (redeem us)… then turn around and put that same thing upon us as a cross to bear!…. No!…. But, indeed,  your cross and my cross is to follow Him, go the direction He tells you to go, make the changes in your dreams and desires that He asks of you ……   Does that sound dull or boring or too hard?  Indeed, it may sound to be so, but ask anyone who truly  knows and follows Him… and they will tell you without a second thought.. that the life that God offers us here is far better, far more rewarding than any life without Him can ever bring….

Your cross is whatever it costs you to follow Him/His plan for your life!



A Confession of the Faithfulness of God

I thank You, Father, that I am never alone…Jesus is always with me.

He will never leave me – and all of my life, He will never forsake me!

He will never forsake me… Because like God’s Word, Jesus is faithful and true…  To the end of all things, He is faithful and true!

Therefore I will not be afraid…

Though a mountain rises before me to stand in the way- I will not be afraid!..

I will not be afraid nor uncertain.. about the outcome of anything I face….

Though a storm may blow long and hard… I thank You Father God.. that You are with me and for me!…  So then, who – or what – can possibly succeed against me?

Even when failure appears eminent… as the enemy’s attacks are relentless….

But as I hold in my heart.. and in my mouth, the very sure Words of God – and with them do oppose every accusation and operation of the devil against me.. I am not uncertain of the outcome of anything which I face…

For God is with me and for me..whom shall I fear or of whom shall I be afraid? As I give thanks to God.. which always causes me to triumph in Christ Jesus!

For it is He who holds my hand.. saying.. “Fear not – for I am with you.. Do not be dismayed or discouraged, for I AM your God.  I will strengthen you – Yes, I WILL help you!  I WILL uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness.!” (Isaiah 41:10)….

SO.. as for me…I WILL praise Him who is the health of my countenance and my God.  I WILL delight myself also in His Word upon which He has caused me to hope….

And in my hope, I shall not be disappointed… For what He has promised, He is able also to perform!   And I am confident that every word He has spoken, He WILL  bring to pass.. as I keep my eyes on Him and His word in my mouth!

And if I stumble and get off track, His right hand will lift me up again…. He will lift me up again and help me get back on track… because He is there when I call… I KNOW He never leaves me…nor will He ever forsake me…  Therefore I WILL call on Him forever.. Jesus the faithful One!

For if God has said I win..then I long as I walk the storms of life out with Him!

And even as Jesus’ victory was – not apparent – to many, on the day they laid Him in the tomb … Even so are many of the victories which we wait for in Him!

For God is faithful.. and many are the blessings of those who trust in.. AND.. wait on Him!

Note:  After I published this post, a friend called me “to make sure I was okay”!  She feared that I was in a real storm that she didn’t know about…  So I decided that it would be good and helpful for me to come back to this post and explain that “Yes, I’ve been through many storms of life, but I know whom I have come to trust and this post is simply something that the Lord put into my spirit – to encourage anyone that is going through some storm in their life – that they can indeed trust Jesus.   He has become so dear to me and truly He is my Help.. and my Counsellor through any time of uncertainty – as He wants to be .. and will be.. to any and all who call upon Him.






Growing in Christ…In the Time and Place of Transition – Part 2

Early one day in March of this year  – as I was spending some time waiting on the Lord – quietly singing and  worshipping Him – I began to “hear writing”… Then, as I heard the words “large place” and “transition”…I began to write….

“The Lord wants to bring you into a large place.. It’s not about comparing yourself to anyone else. This is about the Spirit of God wanting to bring you into a place of greater freedom and peace…

It is a time of TRANSITION.. and those times can be uncomfortable as we begin to feel “different”- even a little strange – almost like we have lost some of the good things that He has put in us… and I just heard this example: It’s like when a good mechanic is putting something new under the hood.. and some other things are temporarily taken out and lain aside while He gets to the place He needs to get to.. in order to “install” the new part… Which will result in everything running better, smoother, easier to operate.

The enemy of course doesn’t want us to get to that larger/stronger place… So he does his thing to get us off track.. slow the work down .. to stop it if he can. He attempts to plant his thoughts into our thinking.. and to “club” and injure our emotions if he can get to them… For him to do this, we have to “let” him… but he comes so subtly that if we’re really busy with life .. it may knock us for a loop before we recognize that “Hey that’s the enemy trying to mess with my mind and emotions!” I need to stop receiving that!

Once we recognize who’s at work (i.e. “your adversary, the devil” – I Peter 5:8) trying to stop what God wants to do in our lives.. we can make the choice to stop him/resist him… But even if he gets us to the place of feeling so beat up and confused that we are at a loss as to how to get out.. We CAN – by embracing the word of God – set the enemy running and start turning things around.. We’ve all been there!.. all of us who have truly pursued after knowing God and fellowshipping with Him.. and we’ve all needed to learn – and then “choose to use” the authority God has given us…over ALL the operations of our enemy.

TRANSITION.. it’s a time to be quieter – and spend time – in the different ways Jesus gave us to use to set our focus on Him…and incorporate the Word of God into our daily lives.. For the challenges of the times in which we now live.. and the important decisions we all have to make – our time to invest in getting to know and learning to hear God – is indeed a very precious and valuable thing. relation to a time of transition….the word “test” was mentioned… It could be “like a test” – in that it enables us to see where we are actually walking…and to note the areas where the enemy occasionally works his way in to steal from us. But that information is for us.. because God is NOT “grading us” to dock us in some way.. but rather, as we see those areas we need to do better in.. we can make up our mind to “do better” – using the tools/weapons God has given us. This is a progressive work taking place in each of us that believe.. You are not competing with anyone.. because God has put things in you that are not exactly like anyone else!

It’s not a time to be fearful of, but a time to “let” your spirit man rise..(with all that God has put in it) and be dominant over your flesh. It’s a time to exercise yourself.. stir yourself up to apply/walk in those things that the Lord has shown you.. and put into your spirit… Your spirit is stronger than your flesh.. And you will see that – every time you CHOOSE to let the things of the spirit be the dominant factor in your life – you are winning a battle!  Hebrews 5:14.. “Strong meat belongs to those, who by reason of use, have exercised their spirit to discern between good and evil.”

God loves us so dearly – that He purposes to help us grow – and move forward…Because God is always about raising up mature sons and daughters.. which brings increase both to our own lives… and to the Kingdom of God…

And for those who are hungry for this….

I just heard Him say to tell you “that many victories await you”… And with that,  He just referenced John 15:16 “You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you – that you should go and bring forth fruit – and that your fruit should remain.. that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it you.”

And growing into that particular place in Christ, is a major reason for trusting and staying quietly close to Him during a time of transition.




Battles – and “Suddenlies”

When our desire/design is to go forward in the things which God has shown us, or asked us to do…. we WILL encounter some battles!…  And often, some very unexpected things may come our way as well. The word of God often refers to those a “SUDDENLY.”

We see two kinds of these “suddenlies” in the scriptures, as well as in our own lives.  One kind is initiated by our enemy/adversary  (aka the Devil – 1st Peter 5:8). This “suddenly”seems to come out of nowhere – hits us from somewhere out in “left field” – threatening to overthrow the things we thought we had gotten a handle on… and pull us down into all kinds of care…

But thank goodness!..there is another kind of “suddenly”- the kind that comes along when you’re still hanging in there…but it looks like there would be no way for change anytime soon – not for the circumstances we’re facing!

BUT… because we persevere and fight the battles – even in the midst of conflict with our own soul…you know….the battle to “believe God”… even while your mind and senses are saying “you can’t win this fight!”  And when you do fight..the good fight of faith…there will always be conflict  with your own soul… as you make up your mind “WHO” AND “WHAT” you’re going to believe!  (Shall I believe what I see right now – or hold on to what God has said??)

It’s not easy to win over what we see, hear, or feel – but this is the very time that we must – do battle and labor – not necessarily to “fix things”- but to keep our eye on God!… We keep our eyes on God as we remember the integrity of His Word – in what He has said to us… AND.. the effect of praising God…  right in the midst of our tough situations… like we see in Acts 16 where Paul and Silas in prison.. were singing praises to God!…

Yes, they worshipped Jesus right in the middle of their problem.. which put God “in charge”… And indeed God came right into the midst of that problem… For suddenly there was a great earthquake.. so that the foundations of the  prison were shaken…  (representing the very root of the problem)… And immediately all the prison doors were open!!

All the prison doors were opened – and all of the prisoner’s bands were loosed!…So that everyone in the situation with them.. were affected for good.. by Paul and Silas’s victorious attitude.. even the attitude of worship and praise while still confined to a prison.. Which attitude opened the door for God.. to release this big “suddenly” – even the earthquake that opened the doors – for all of the prisoners!

You see, we can have good suddenlies when we invite God to be involved – “Suddenlies” – of various “shapes and size”- which can overthrow the negative things that the enemy has sent to overwhelm us … Because God is able to do much more than we can ask or think .. when we have the faith to worship and praise in the midst of our problem… AND.. say, concerning our need… the thing that God has said….

And those are the very things, likewise… that are prescribed by the Word of God… to bring the battle with your own soul and its contrary naught!…. which will make it much easier to keep moving forward in the things which God has shown you,  or asked you to do!  So take heed to pay attention to the things prescribed by the word of God… And remember with joy each “suddenly” He has already sent to rescue you!…Which will cause the peace of God to “rule in your heart”….as you – through faith and patience – obtain every promise!




A POETIC PROMISE – Which I Chose to Believe

Things can change within a day.. a week.. a year.. or even within an hour!

Things are going to change…

The wall – even  that wall standing in front of you – WILL come down!

Like the Berlin Wall – your wall also will be torn down….. (HOW??)

As believers – we just decree what God has said/shown us!

For there is enough power in any word that God speaks.. to bring it to pass…

Your part and mine – is to decree what God has said..  which means that we speak in line with what He has said… regardless of what we hear or see!

That’s what II Corinthians 4:13 refers to as “the spirit of faith speaking”….

We speak because we believe… and then wait and watch Him do the work!

He will do the thing He promised!

And here’s a “poetic promise” He spoke to me some time ago…

“I will perform it.. and you will see..

I will perform it – that which I promised thee!”

And things will change!  Just dare to believe that I mean what I say…

Things will turn – even from the things of the curse to a blessing!

Indeed – the power of life and death are in the tongue.. (Proverbs 18:21) – and those who love it will “eat the fruit thereof…

Forget it not…and you will see..”life” rise up in place of death… according to all that you will – in Jesus name – believe and decree!



And just to let you know — this “poetic promise” — for me came to pass (big time!).. exactly 4 months to the day..after it was given to me!  I believed it, received it, and decreed it… The result being that it came to pass…It happened because this is a spiritual law that God Himself set in place and God’s word is always true! 

(Note that there are both longer and shorter times we wait to see our promise come to pass – but you can know that from the moment you set yourself to believe, God goes to work… He works to influence for good.. move things around or out of the way, and otherwise work to bring that promise to pass!)



Growing in Christ…. In The Place and Time Of Transition

Sometimes the Lord wants to take us to a new place in Him – a good place, a better place – than where we are at in our present relationship and walk with Him… and we think “Hey, that’s great”… but when things begin to feel  different”.. perhaps even a little strange.. We begin to wonder “what’s going on… and “where am I missing it”?

It’s a time of transition…but on the way… as we begin to feel “different” –  it can be quite uncomfortable – almost like we have lost some of the good things that He has already put into us!…. But in this time that is intended for growth and healthy change.. we have old wrong attitudes and habits that do not “fit” the new place He wants to take us to.  These wrong attitudes and habits are things that He wants to help us see – and turn loose of.. so that we can follow Him on in to that new place in Him that He is calling us to walk in.

We may feel alone in the place of transition – but God has never turned loose of us!  And it is in this time of feeling “different” – perhaps even feeling that we’ve lost our way – that we must learn to choose to take and use from the table God has prepared for us…..  It is right there before us… But we have to learn to choosein the very midst of the pressure that our flesh is feeling (in particular our emotions) – to take from that table He has set before us…

For like money in the bank – it does us no good until we reach out and draw on it…In this case we need to draw on and use the “tools” He has given us to use in the good fight of faith that we are called to walk … Tools like giving thanks, worship and praise to God.. as well as learning to  respond to our negative feelings and emotions.. with the word God has spoken concerning the time or situation we are in.  All of these are “tools” God has set before us… tools that will get us to the other side of the “crisis” we feel.

All of these things are “on the table before us” as a part of our provision/our authority in Christ..  And so much greater is this provision that Jesus “bought” for us than any thing that the enemy can throw at us…. For as we look to Him.. God is working all around us!… To say that He is not (simply because what we see is an unfinished work) – is to deny His faithfulness… It is to embrace the lie of our adversary (I Peter 5:8,9)… And to do that is to choose defeat….

For ultimately, we will win if we do not quit!  (Galatians 6:9)…Thus we take our stand – we take our stand on what God has said and done for us… “And having done all to stand – we stand – on the everlasting word of God! –  (especially the Rhema words that He has given to you for a particular situation )… given you for fighting the good fight of faith!!

But many times – instead of using the tools that God has provided for us – we choose to call somebody to pray for us…(I know because that is what I always used to do!)  And it is not “wrong” to call for prayer support –  but – ultimately we each have to learn (at some point) to stand and use what God has already provided for us  …. in order to continue.. GROWING IN CHRIST… a place and a transition that you will like!


The Greater Side of God’s Plan….

We can get so busy trying to “help people change”  that we overlook the greater side of God’s plan… which is for every person to know His love!  And this is incredibly important -.because when you  KNOW the love God has for you.. then you will also understand that He is “for you” –  and not against you!!

We all have strongholds to work through and come up out of… and when these are looming before our eyes…it may seem that everyone is against us and that God doesn’t care… But on the reality side of that.. is His Love! 

Indeed, there are other factors that do come in to work against us… But even as the word of God tells  us in Romans 8:31-39… It is God’s desire that nothing separate you from His love…. It’s not God that brings  oppression!! I Peter 5:8 expresses this truth very clearly… that “your adversary the devil” looks for ways to bring harmful things and hurt into your life… and to devour the good things that belong to you from God… To accomplish this he works to build strongholds that will hold us captive in our minds.. to keep us from knowing God and His love… or from even seeing that it exists for us!!…

When all the time….

God and His love IS the one constant reality!   And His goal and desire is to touch each one of us with that love…. For…AS WE SEE.. and behold His love, we are changed and yokes of bondage in our lives are being destroyed!  Hallelujah!  Thank you for buying us that freedom Lord Jesus!

In view of those things,  it is easy to see why the enemy (our adversary the devil)  works to “blind people’s minds” to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ  (II Corinthians 4:3,4).  For… knowing the love that God has for us “casts out fear”… which the enemy uses along with deception – probably more than anything else – to rob people of the good life which God desires for all of us.

So.. while we are busy trying to help people change,  we mustn’t forget the greater side of God’s plan – which is “to know and believe the love He has for us”….And that God and His love.. IS.. the one constant reality!

Things to Know About Bringing Light Into Darkness

Romans 8:37-39 tells us something that is pretty incredible… where it says that we “are more than conquerors through Christ” – and “that there is nothing that can separate us from His love!”  And I John 4:16-18 tells us that.. if we “know and believe” this love that our Father God has for us.. then we can walk free from fear… which means that we do not have to live and walk in the oppression of the things that come against us from the enemy….

And when we know  that all the promises of God are “Yes and Amen” in Christ Jesus (i.e. they are forever settled in God’s mind)…Then we can “hold forth” the words which God has spoken..and begin to overturn the operations of darkness that our adversary the devil (I Peter 5:8) sends to work against us to rob us of what God has promised…. Because when we speak  in agreement with what God has said… we “let God arise and His enemies be scattered!”

This is because God is one with His word… If He says it He means it.. and He purposes to bring those things which He says to pass!  Indeed, He watches over His word to perform it… He just needs our agreement with those things which He has said to us… (He needs our “agreement”because God gave dominion and authority on the earth to man – for a season….Genesis 1:27,28 & Psalm 115:16).

And if something is working contrary to what God has said, then it is indeed an “enemy” to His will!… And that is where (and why) we come in and speak His word over that situation… Thus we “let God arise” – to begin to scatter those things that are opposed to His word/His will for that area of life…. Indeed.. when we speak according to God’s word, we are saying – in effect – “Father, let Your will be done in this situation”….  Thus we bring the light of His word and His will into the areas of darkness!


A Very Present Help in Trouble …. He’s God Right Now!

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”  (Psalm 46:1)

God IS the Great I Am…. the ever present, eternal, self existing God.

And He’s “God right now! 

He’s not going to be God.. He IS God – right now!!

We often remember the good things He’s done in the past – how He helped us and delivered us in some difficult situation… And indeed, we should remember!… For that’s our experience with Him… And “experience gives HOPE” –  hope for the areas of life where we need His help TODAY!

As believers – when we accepted Jesus as our personal Savior – God accepted us into His Kingdom as members of His family.  So now, more than ever, God IS our refuge and our hope…and He IS a very present help in time of trouble!   (FYI.. “Present” in that verse in the original Hebrew text means:  “to come forth to”.. + “be enough”…. He is there and He IS ENOUGH!! )

God wants us to learn to trust Him.. and out of that call upon Him for the help we need – for our own life or to secure help for someone else…  We can call on God our Heavenly Father.. with confidence..knowing that He hears and He cares!  And the great thing is that.. He does not wait for you and me to be perfect before He will answer our prayers and our call for help…It’s enough that we recognize our need.. and WANT His help….

And even when the need that’s pressing heavily upon our heart..involves a problem area in our personal life – an area where we need to make a change in our behavior or in a habit pattern.. He is so ready to listen… and forgive… Ready to extend His grace to us to help us start making the adjustments we need to make…

Whatever the problem.. when you and I call on Him in our time of need – be it urgent or otherwise – He WILL come forth to help us!  Our part is to “call on Him” ..ASK!.. Because He’s God right now.. and He wants to be there for you in your time of trouble.


(How many times have I called on Him for help in some serious situation that comes up – or just to help me turn things around when I’ve done something “dumb”?… how  many times?  More than I would like to admit to you – but how glad I am that I did turn to Him.. Jesus… He is my help, my hope and my God… totally able and reliable.. and for me, completely unforgettable… He’s God right now… and He loves and wants to be there just as much for you.)



When “Ask” is More Than a Request….

“Ask” is such a small word… But when we understand what it sometimes refers to – the effect can be a powerful thing.

Now what I mean by that.. is the fact that the little word “ask” in the New Testament .. has more than one use or meaning!… So let me explain when the original Greek word for “ask” has such a powerful effect: ….

To begin this explanation – I will tell you that there are at least five different Greek words used in the New Testament..  all of which are very often translated “ask.”  Here are 5 different Greek meanings for the word “ask” ….

  • Ask..  as a question (to ascertain by inquiry)
  • Ask..  as a request or favor
  • Ask..  as a search for something hidden; investigate
  • Ask..  as a petition for help; beseech
  • And finally the “ask” we are going to focus on here – which is “to call for something due; to require  (see #154 & #4441 in Strong’s Concordance)

In Matthew 11:12,  Jesus gave voice to some very interesting words….”From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence (to crowd into); and the violent (a forcer) take it by force”  (to seize, catch away by force, to take for oneself.)  It is the taking by force – the seizing that the “ask” (Strong’s Greek #154) refers to… “calling for what is due” – from the Kingdom of God.  You are not resisting God, but the forces of darkness – the “authority and jurisdiction of darkness” from which we’ve been delivered (Colossians 1:12-14) !

Why “seize” it?… You must actively take hold of what God has promised – because “your adversary the devil” (I Peter 5:8) will not sit passively while you receive all the things that belong to you as a believer in the Kingdom of God!... The Word of God is very clear about that in Matthew 13, Mark 4 and Luke 8 – in the parable of the sower – which tells us that any time we have a promise from God, the enemy comes immediately to snatch the word of promise away from us – to keep us from receiving it.  That is where we must not be passive!  But we must stand (which is an active upright position) – holding forth the word of promise in faith – against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:10-13).  It is an active resistance – not as those who lie stretched out passively under his influence while the enemy takes their goods….

And thus, we are back to the scripture on seizing the Kingdom of God by force – which does not mean that we are to be forceful and demanding with God! … No, indeed .. “for it is His good pleasure to give us the benefits of belonging to His Kingdom  (Luke 12:32)… What we are being told is to “ask” (#154) – call for what is due!  It is like when you are writing a check on an account that belongs to you… You don’t get nasty with the bank – and they aren’t upset with you for “calling for” what belongs to you!  Indeed the bank is working with you… And so is God!!  It’s all for the increase of His Kingdom – and His plan is to increase you too – i.e. “blessed to be a blessing”… That’s how God the Father operates… He would like to touch a lot of people through you that aren’t open to Him any other way!

We are talking about a whole lot more than money here.. because we are co-laborers together with God in establishing His Kingdom on earth.  We have a part to do.. because He has “given (assigned or appointed) the earth to man – for a season of time.  (Psalm 115:16)   Indeed, in Genesis 1, God the Father – in His sovereignty – chose to give the authority over the earth to man.. Then after man “fell” from his place of relationship and fellowship with God – God made a way to get man’s authority.. directed by God.. back into the earth  – i.e. He made a way to reconcile man back to Himself by Jesus Christ.

Now we know that when any man receives Jesus, that man becomes a citizen of God’s Kingdom – but as a man – he still has God given authority on the earth…to the end that he can co-labor with God to establish the kingdom of God on the earth.  This is the place where we must “call for what is due.” God is the powerful one that set everything in place (Is God sovereign or what!!)But He needs us to use our God given authority in the earth to “call for” the things that we need to live according to His will and do His bidding….

This is when and where it is right to 154 – “Ask” – call for what He has promised – so that He can “supply all our needs” in and through our relationship with Christ Jesus.  He doesn’t count it as a request, but as a call for what is due His sons and daughters who live to please Him and see His will done on the earth.  This is when “ask” is more than a request!


Note: The Greek word for “Ask” #154 – is used more in the New Testament than any of the other Greek words for “Ask”.  Here’s just a few examples of the 154 Ask ….

John 16:23,24,26,30      James 1:5,6    James 4:2,3      I John 3:22

“Hitherto have you asked nothing in My name – ask (154) and you shall receive – that your joy may be full.”   John 16:24  !!












Worship From the Beloved Place

I am accepted in the beloved…. God’s holy word tells me so!  (Ephesians 1:6)

My Father who cannot lie – received me – when I received Jesus.  God the Father has loved and accepted me… endued me with His grace.. and I am highly favored in that special place – that place/that state called “accepted in the beloved.”

Father God, thank You… I’ve been born of Your Spirit…(John 3: 1-8).  Indeed, I accepted Jesus, and You accepted me!   You accepted me and translated me into the kingdom of Your dear Son… Who redeemed me… By His blood He bought me out of the hand of the enemy… And now I have a place in Your family, Father – You have accepted me in that beloved place.. Glory be to God! (Colossians 1:12-14 & Psalm 107:2)


I thank You Jesus – that in that place Your blood continually cleanses me.. It cleanses me from all sin – and sin’s disgrace!  (I John 1:7-9)  It cleanses me of all unrighteousness and guilt… Hallelujah Jesus – You are wonderful and good!.. I’m so glad to belong to You Heavenly Father… I love, worship and adore You!  You alone are worthy of my worship, of my praise – for You alone are God!  And I thank You for accepting me in the “beloved place.”


The Resurrected Life

Put the past behind you!…..  Turn loose and step into that fresh new day.

No man can stop you.. This is “God ordained!”….

The resurrected life… “fresh”… with no mistakes..

New – walking a different way!

Lay down the pride – this having to answer/explain – thus to “fix” everything.

It doesn’t matter if you’re wrong.. or if you’re right.. Let it all go!  Let it go –  and thus turn loose of living to defend your life… And trust God to be your defense!

“Be still and let Me “be” God in your life” He says…”And you will see that is the way to show (whoever needs to know)… “what is what” and Who I Am”.. “Isn’t that what your life in Me is really all about?”

So lay down the pride – even this pride that will not rest until you get everything just right… And THAT is beyond your power both to see how – and to do!

So, let go!  and enter into that place of rest which I have prepared for you.  It starts when you decide to “seek first the Kingdom of God – setting your focus and your efforts on Him – Who has already “fixed” everything for you!!

Oh the peace that awaits you in that place – the abundance of joy and grace…  Walking in His righteousness… Knowing you have none of your own….

Time to rise up, look ahead, and leave the things of death behind you.. to walk in life anew – even the resurrected life He has called you to…

Understand that the past cannot go with you .. and there is no time and no place in Him to “vindicate self.”  Self must be denied to walk in this resurrected life…

You must lay it all down – this “demand” to be justified… For when God is your defense, there is nothing to prove… Oh, the freedom in that – just to rest in Him… humble yourself under His mighty hand – and thus receive grace to conquer and reign.. over all the inequities of this life!

And because You’re wonderful and good, Lord… I can lay down shame where the enemy has accused me.. And even in the place where I have failed to walk altogether uprightly… when I turn to You, Your righteousness vindicates me!  This is the place where all things become new again – the place of the fresh start – the walk without pride.

The key is to look at Jesus… Keep your eye, your focus on Him/His life – and so walk in the standing with the Father Jesus gave you… Walk with Him – could anything be better?  There you’ll find true vindication – as His glory surrounds you!

The “price” of all of this….?   Set your focus on Him – and don’t look back!   (Why would you want to – when you can be done with what is behind you!) Your walk, your direction – HE is your life… There’s nothing to prove or to clear up – not when you are done with all of that!!  Just step out and walk after Him… His righteousness is your “justification”..great joy and peace the reward

….. of the resurrected life.






The Lamb of God… Love’s Perfect Sacrifice

Lamb of God… love’s true story.. brought the Lamb down from glory…

Love divine.. Jesus made it yours and mine

God so loved – His holy Word says…

That He gave His Son to redeem mankind…

He came to redeem us… from the effects.. of the law of sin and death…   (Romans 8:1,2  &  Romans 5:12-21)

Indeed, Jesus came not to condemn..

but to redeem – to buy us back – from sin’s default…

Even the deepest kind of poverty and lack .. manifested in spirit and soul…

Never enough of any good thing and always searching for that missing part.. something that would light up and bring hope and comfort to a man’s heart…

That’s why Jesus came – and even as the scripture says… “the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus.. will set you free… It can deliver any man.. from the law of sin & death”! …

And that truly means something .. because there’s nothing on earth you can “buy”.. that will allay the effects of that darkness which doth reside…

In the spirit of the one who has never in some way cried “Lord Jesus forgive my sins…Come in and heal my life…and with me forever reside.”

That’s why Jesus came… the Lamb of God…  love’s perfect sacrifice….

Jesus came and laid down His life..

That you and I might know the love God has for us…

To know Jesus is to know the God kind of love…

And to follow Him  (learning to listen to the direction the Spirit of God gives) is to know the God kind of peace…and the abundant life that only He can give

That’s why Jesus came… to be the Lamb of God… love’s perfect sacrifice.



Building the Trust Factor Between You and God’s Word

“In the beginning was the Word.. and the Word was with God.. and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.”  (John 1:1-3)

The Word was God..??  God spoke the Word – and all things were created.. They were created according to the Word that He spoke… “Light be”.. He said in the beginning – and light was”…. And in the same way ALL things were  created..  (Genesis 1:1-31 & Hebrews 11:3).. “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Rhema (spoken)Word of God.. so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”…..

If you have a problem believing that.. it could be for a couple of reasons – one of them  being that you may have tried to understand who God is.. based on the way your life has been lived… Another reason being… that you may not have stopped to consider – “that the heavens declare (enumerate, tell, make known – and even celebrate) the glory of God.. The sky that is visible to your eye.. displays His handiwork/His operations!”… And right at our feet – the grass that we appreciate and care for… have you ever considered that with all our knowledge and technology.. no man has yet been able to produce (“from scratch”) a single blade of that grass?!!  Plus take a good long look around you at all the order of the natural things we can see in the universe… And after that good look and some thought – can you still believe that something as diverse and ordered as what you just saw and considered.. began as a single cell (where did IT come from?).. or had its start from an explosion of gases?!!  I’m not trying to mock anyone – I just want you to THINK… Because it all started somewhere .. from something/someone that is ALIVE – and able to impart LIFE.”…

The Word was a living thing as God spoke it to create and make all things.  That is because the Word IS a part of God Himself.. God and His Word are one.  What God says “IS”... What God says WILL BECOME… because.. behind every Word of God is His integrity.. If it were not so, we could not depend on night and day.. or seedtime and harvest.. the four seasons.. or all the other things which He spoke the Word to set in place to continue… “as long as the earth remaineth”… They continue this day according to the Words that God spoke… (Genesis 8:22;  Psalm 119:89-91)… And God upholds all things by the Word He has spoken concerning it.  (Hebrews 1:3)

What does all of that have to do with our lives today??  That is a good and legitimate question.  Psalm 119:89,90 assures us that “Forever, God’s Word is settled in Heaven.. His faithfulness to all generations.”  God’s Word is the same today as it was in the beginning when He created the heavens and the earth by His Word… And today.. when the Spirit of God “quickens” a promise from the Word of God to us,  we can know that it is “a seed” waiting to be received by us into the good ground of a believing heart/our spirit …And as we “hear” and keep that word…it will “bear fruit” that looks like the promise God gave us!   (Luke 8:11-15)

Our part is to keep that word in our heart… hold on to what God has said .. and not allow our human reasonings… based on sense knowledge… to cave in and turn loose of the word when the enemy/aka the devil comes to  convince us that “it won’t work/things won’t change for you”, etc. etc.  (Luke 8:11-15).   The Word that God speaks has His life and ability in it.. to bring those things that the Word promises to pass! …. That is why God still “sends His Word” (Psalm 107:20).. TODAY.. to heal, deliver, and otherwise minister His grace and provision to those who take hold of that Word to keep it in their heart/spirit while it imparts the faith we all need to receive!….

And that process of keeping and holding forth that Word in the face of all the things to the contrary that we might see..or hear.. or feel – is called “fighting the good fight of faith.”  And that may take half a day – or – it might take half a year… But the experience of receiving things from God’s Word this way builds faith and trust in us… Because many of those things we believe Him for.. and receive.. are things that looked impossible any other way! And it brings you to the place that the “trust factor” between you and God gets stronger and stronger year after year… because faith in God grows as we interact with Him and His Word…



In Matthew 11:28-30  Jesus gave a wonderful and deeply heartfelt invitation to those weighed down by any kind of care….. “Come to Me – all of you that labor and are heavy laden.. and I will give you rest”… And from that simple discourse in the word of God the following lines came into my spirit….


Come to Me.. Do not be afraid.. I am “with you and for you”.. Do not let fear or discouragement stop you.  I AM your God!…

Come – and worship Me… I will meet you there…

You can be strong to rise up against fear..and the things that “come in the door” that fear opens… For My authority is in you to rise up over those things which the enemy has brought to stop you… Your fight is in the spirit realm – and that is where I operate to affect the natural realm.

So.. come to Me! ……. You will find the strength you need as you worship Me…. I love you!  Do not let people or pain from the past hinder you and rob you from returning to worship Me… I love you.. and I am stronger than any of those things….

Come to Me!   I will meet you – and you will know the peace that touching Me brings.. and the confidence that I have to give you.  There is a refreshing that comes to those who choose to draw aside to spend time with Me… And in My presence – you will find the answer to things that stop you from walking strongly with Me.

COME!… You “chase” other things – CHASE ME!  You’ll find Me waiting to touch you..  So come to Me and know how much I LOVE YOU!




Come to Me.  Do not be afraid – I am “with you and for you.”  Do  not let fear or discouragement stop you.  I am  your God.

Come – and worship Me.  I will meet you.  You can be strong to rise up against fear – and the things that come in the door that “fear” opens.  My authority is in you to rise up over those things the enemy has planted to stop you.  Your fight is in the spirit realm – and that is where I operate to affect the natural realm…. So, come to Me!  You will find the strength that you need as you worship Me.

I love you!  Do not let people or pain from the past hinder you and rob you from returning to worship Me.  I love you.  I love you – and I am stronger than…

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A New Song For A New Year

Can you believe that it’s already the middle of February?…. But here we are..

We’ve made the switch from the old year to the new..

But early on into the year 2016 –

God gave me a thought about that.. which I’d like to share with you…

It is..that..sometimes there are some new things we can add to our life..or do

Things that don’t have to be hard to keep – like the resolutions you’ve already “canned” – and left behind you!

It could be as simple a thing as getting some new music – or changing what you routinely watch on TV….

You might try putting a different picture on your wall – one that voices pleasant things and lends to peace – especially if your job and lifestyle is a busy or hectic one…

Those few things are just thoughts that came to me as I write – because the thing that the Lord actually said to me was about getting the new music…

And He even explained “WHY” this can be a good idea for some people…. especially if you know it’s time to move into some new things that God’s already laid out for you…. (We’re talking here about “good things” – not about chucking responsibility!)

In a nutshell.. the reason we may need the new fresh music.. is this… Our “OLD” music has “our emotional ruts” imprinted all over it…. Think about it – the music that we listen to.. deeply affects our emotions.. and we tend to go to the same music time after time.. knowing how it will make us “feel” before we even get there….

And if that is NOT a good thing for you – or – you just need to get “a different mindset” to be a little more ready for some new challenges or mountains to climb…  that He’s adding to move you a little higher…. Then this small change can be very helpful and you’ll love it as well…

And that – in a nutshell – is the reason you might want  to bring in some fresh music which could help redirect your thinking and get you ready for a new thing this year … That’s why God gives some of us a new song for a new year!



And I would like to add this scripture which just came to me – for any Christian who frequently feels down (25-30 years ago – that was “me”..That’s awhile ago, but I can still remember how it feels!) …. So, I want to share this scripture which speaks of the value that a new song can bring to your life and also affect the lives of others…..

Psalm 40:3  “He has put a “new song” in my mouth – even praise unto God... Many shall see and fear.. and trust in the Lord.” (He did this for me – when He brought me out of a “horrible pit” and set my feet upon a Rock – and established my goings.”.. Psalm 40:2)  Glory be to God!  He IS incredible!




The Tactics That Satan Uses to Deceive Us

I Peter 5:8… “Be sober, be vigilant – for your adversary the devil – walketh about, seeking whom he may devour!”…. And we can take note here that the very name of what he is (the devil – which means “false accuser, slanderer”).. tells us what he does so well .. Indeed – in John 8:44 – Jesus identified the devil as “a liar.. and the father of lies.”…

Okay.. the devil (aka Satan) is a deceiver… and realizing that – shouldn’t we then always be able to recognize him “at work”?  We could…. except that the problem with deception is.. that it is so “DECEPTIVE”!!  And since Satan is a being from the spirit realm, that makes it easier for him to carry out his deceptions generally undetected…. And that is even greater reason for us to identify and learn to understand the tactics he uses to get in to our thinking.

I have often heard it said that “Satan’s ONLY weapon against us is deception” – but did God give us any info in His Word to shed some light on “HOW” to recognize when we are being deceived?  Yes, He did… Because He wants us to LEARN how to recognize deception.. and to understand the tactics  that Satan uses to get into our lives with this deception.

The first piece of information that I would like to share about this is in Romans 8:14-16 & I John 2:27.. which tell us about the “witness of the truth” that God gave us in our born again spirit… And.. how the Spirit of God (aka the Spirit of Truth/The Holy Spirit ) has been sent to lead and guide us into all truth..(John 14:16,17 & John 16:13,14) ….He is the One who bares witness in our born again spirit.. He bares witness of truth.. and of error…. This “witness” in our spirit – along  with the information which we are given about “our adversary the devil” in the Word of God – is our greatest ally as we.. LEARN.. to recognize that witness in our spirit – and these “tactics”which Satan uses to gain entrance into our thinking.   

We can find a lot of information concerning those tactics in the Parable of the Sower – which Jesus used to teach the multitudes the “mysteries of the Kingdom of God.” In that parable in Mark 4, Jesus informs us of several very important things we need to  know IF we are to truly understand how the Kingdom of God operates…

( FYI – A parable is.. a short simple story of comparing one thing that we are familiar with.. with another thing which we are trying  to understand…. In the case of the Parable of the Mark 4.. we see the operation of the Kingdom of God.. compared to the familiar subject of the planting of a seed to produce a harvest…. In other words.. the Kingdom of God operates like the planting of seeds works in the grow and produce a harvest!)

  • The “seed” that the sower in this parable sows – is the Word of God – v. 14
  • People receive (or not) in different ways (verses 15-20)…. but one thing is the same for all of them – which is this – “Satan/aka the devil – comes immediately to snatch away the Word which had been sown in their heart”/spirit… v. 15
  • He comes to take away the seed (aka the Word of God)  BEFORE  we understand the value of that Word – i.e. – That, as we RECEIVE and KEEP that word.. it imparts into us the very “life” that is in every word which God speaks (Hebrews 4:12)… The life that is in that spoken word  produces “fruit” – fruit according to the thing which God spoke to us about in that Word. (v. 20.)…. It is helpful to recall…that God spoke, and the worlds were created by His Word (Hebrews 11:3 and John 1:1-3)…. No word that He speaks is without power to come to pass – including the words that He speaks to us – which come to us as “a seed”…We don’t have to understand altogether “HOW” this works…. only that it does (v. 26-28!!)
  • Satan comes immediately to snatch away the Word we hear…and these are the 5 tactics that he uses to get into our life to do that…..:
  1. Persecution (v.17) – to pursue to harass or injure
  2. Afflictions  (v.17)…i.e. pressures, anguish, trouble
  3. Cares of this world  (v.18,19) ..Cares produce in us one or more of these things:  anxiety and disquieting of the mind by worry & fear,  grief,  weighed down by responsibilities (which can be either “genuine” – or false ones we’ve taken on)
  4. Deceitfulness of Riches  (v. 19)…is woven around the line of thinking that having wealth will solve all things
  5. Lusts of other things  (v. 19)….revolves around an excessive desire to gratify the senses or bodily appetites

Those are the tactics which the devil uses to bring deception and thus some form of defeat in an area of our lives….The ultimate goal of the devil being what we see in John 10:10… which is that the devil/aka our adversary – only comes to kill, steal, or destroy…Everything he does is aimed at accomplishing  something from one of those three categories….

BUT.. The good news is that we have been redeemed out of the hand of this our enemy.. .Psalm 107:2 and Colossians 1:12-14 express that very well…. And being AWARE of that – and of the tactics that the devil endeavors to use to get into our thinking and thus into our lives…is our best guard against living in some form of deception….So would it not be good to take some time to thoughtfully and honestly …Go over the list of those 5 tactics that he uses – to see if any of those tactics are things that he regularly uses to get into your life.. to bring in deception… Because as it is often said.. “Forewarned is forearmed.”… We are not to be ignorant of the devil’s tactics!

Does Faith Come in Different Shapes and Sizes??

We all have problems that come in different shapes and sizes…. But none of them are too big for God to handle.  For the born again person who has gotten to know God reasonably well – and has began to have a pretty good understanding of the Kingdom of God  (that receiving Jesus brought us into) ….. You already knew that – i.e. That nothing is too hard for God!… But the real issue for most Christians about this – is.. How do I get God to “fix MY problem?” 

First off – The day you ask Jesus to come into your life – you have put yourself on the starting line of a truly incredible journey…. One that I’ve been on for 38 years and have NEVER regretted starting.. I’m in this for the long haul and I find myself always waiting for something  to be answered – even while I am still rejoicing over the last prayer God answered.. and the last miracle that I saw at His hand… There’s nothing boring about it.  As you press in to know Him more and more – there is an ongoing freshness in the relationship… For the longer you know Him, the more reason you will see to be in awe of WHO He IS – and HOW HE IS.   Jesus, my Lord and Savior – You are incredible!

What I am saying to you is that there is enough going on in your life at all times to keep you challenged,  glad, and hoping – all at the same time – as you walk through problems the way He directs you to, receive wonderful unexpected “suddenly” answers to prayers – AND WAIT – for things close to your heart that  “feel like” they’ll never change!…. All going on in your life at the same time!   And that – all because we’re still human and still have to deal with what we see, hear, feel, taste etc. – which things always stand to oppose walking by faith.

But God gave us the remedy for that… He gave us His Word – from which faith comes.. He gave us His wonderful presence to refresh us as we seek Him… He gave us authority over things that the enemy uses to oppose us.. and He gave us the gift of each other when we need someone “with flesh on” to stand with us.

Knowing Jesus is wonderful – but that alone doesn’t keep some storms from coming.  Yet we have His promise that “I will never leave you.”… and that He will supply all our needs …. And the reality of His presence and of His promises will continue to grow bigger and bigger within you – as you get started following after Him to know Him….And as you go – with your eyes on Him – you will find it easier and easier to trust…. And trust is a good nesting place for faith to root itself into your life and start to grow …. Faith to deal with any size and shape of problem…. “Because nothing is too hard for God” and “All things are possible to him that believeth.“…


So speak always in line with God’s word and according to the promise that He has given you concerning the problem you face…. because His word does not return to Him void … and though the problem may seem to grow into a mountain .. it will change..  It will change before God’s word does!

Psalm 16:8,9  “I have set the Lord always before me (I have His promises – and I’m beginning to see that He IS BIGGER than my problems)… Because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved…. therefore my heart is glad.. my tongue rejoices.. and my flesh also rests in hope.”   Glory be to God- Jesus, thank You.!  Knowing You sparks faith within me … faith big enough to deal with any size of problem!