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Magnify!

Magnify. Growing up, we never had PlayStation, Wii or Xbox. We lived on a small ranch in Colorado and had a lot of work to do. Cleaning stalls, painting fences, irrigating the pasture and picking up rocks (Colorado soil grows rocks) were necessities of the life we lived.

My brother and I are only 17 months apart in age, and we were really each other’s entertainment. We spent a lot of our spare time riding our bikes and creating adventures. Our imaginations worked overtime to invent new games. Cowboys and Indians was a favorite, as well as building forts and hideouts. We even had a secret place in the hayloft of the barn. read more

When Bad Things Happen to Good People

One of life’s most perplexing mysteries is why bad things happen to good people. We have all heard the stories of how the most dedicated teenager in the church was abruptly killed in an automobile accident, or how the beautiful young mother with three children is stricken with cancer and suddenly passes, leaving her infants to be raised by loving family members. Why the righteous suffer has always been an enigma.

There is no one set reason or explanation as to why bad things happen. However, after years of ministry, I have some observations as to what may, at times, help prevent bad things from occurring: read more

The Therapy of Forgiveness

When I first met my husband, Jim, he was a man with a past. For the prior 15 years he had been a heroin addict on the streets of Chicago, involved in every kind of sin imaginable. He had been an alcoholic as well, and to support his addictive lifestyle he had become a criminal, spending much time in jail. He had married and divorced not once, but four times.

On January 21, 1972, Jim knelt before the Lord and prayed a very simple prayer: “God, I don’t know much about you, but if you’ll make me happy like these Christians here [at Chicago Teen Challenge], I’ll do anything you want me to do.” read more

Find God!

What could be more important than finding God? Take a day, a week or a month and do nothing but seek Him, persisting until you find Him. He has promised, “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13).

If we truly find Him, no one will have to tell us to be humble. No one need convince us our old natures are as filthy rags. As we truly find God, the things that are so highly esteemed among men will become detestable in our sight (Luke 16:15). read more

Rest in the Storm

My husband, Steve, and I once owned property that had an eagle’s nest on it. One day after a spring storm we went out to check on the property and found that a third of the nest had been blown down.

As I looked at the fallen pieces, it occurred to me that often when we think of eagles we picture the majestic bird that is our national symbol—a bird that is able to soar high above any tempest that might come along. We rarely think of eagles as having to go through storms. read more

The Movie

One of the things that good “Baptists” did not do back in “the old days” was go to the theater. As a very young boy I wasn’t sure why, but it seemed to have something to do with going to heaven, along with not having long hair (guess that shows my age).

One summer, when I was about 9 or 10, my brother and I went to stay with some adult friends in Albuquerque, N.M. They were a bit older than our parents and had no children. We loved going and staying with Herman and Cleo. This particular summer, the movie Bambi was in a theater in their city. Cleo decided to take us. She reassured us that it would be fine and that she would take the blame.

I remember my emotions so clearly. Fear … coupled with childhood excitement. We got popcorn and the lights dimmed as the movie came on. The story opened with Bambi as a new fawn simply trying to get his legs under him to stand up and walk. We then delighted in his adventures with his friends, Thumper and Flower.

The music, songs and scenes made us smile and even laugh out loud. Bambi even meets Felin, the little doe fawn. Love blossoms. What a joy! Then, suddenly, out of nowhere, things changed. “Man,” as the movie calls the hunter, disrupts the peace and quiet. In horror and fright we watched as Bambi’s mother is shot and killed. Who shoots a baby’s mommy?

As if that wasn’t bad enough, a short time later the forest is burned to the ground, once again by “Man.” First Bambi is orphaned and now he is homeless. Suddenly I understood why Baptists didn’t go to movies. I can remember wanting to leave. This “movie” thing was not what I had hoped.

Then, the scene changes dramatically. Springtime arrives. New growth comes and lying in the bushes is Felin with two fawns. The camera pans back and there stands Bambi on the bluff looking over his kingdom, the proud “Prince of the Forest.” As horrible as things had gotten in the movie, I was glad I stayed. The ending made it worth it all …

Look at Revelation 21: “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth … and I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them … And God will wipe every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death.’ … Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful’”  (Rev. 21:1-5, emphasis added).

This world we live in is full of sorrow, pain, tragedy and trials. Sometimes, if you are like me, you feel trapped. Afraid. Wondering what it’s all about. Remember this, the evil one, Satan, is the “prince of the power of the air.” He runs free in this world. He has turned God’s wonderful creation into his playground. Sin, filth, degradation and unforgiveness abound. Life often seems unbearable.

However, here is the joyous good news. We know what the end of the “movie” is. Our Champion, Jesus Christ, wins. His kingdom is restored. Alpha and Omega destroys the enemy once and for all. There is hope, because we have His Word, which records the end of the story for all to read.

As you journey this week in your Christ walk, rejoice. We know the end of the story. Life may be tough right now. You might have some health issues, or experienced the recent loss of a loved one. There may be strife in your marriage. You might not have enough money to make ends meet. Do not lose hope! Just when you think the “movie” could get no worse, your Champion will be there.

And in the end, we win in a big way. There will be no more tears. No more mourning, or pain or even death, but life eternal. Everlasting. And we will cry with the saints of all time, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God” Just hang on. The end of the “movie”—the end of the story, recorded for all to read—makes it worth it all. I promise.

PRAYER POWER FOR THE WEEK OF 10-3-2011

This week look beyond your circumstances and “enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.” Thank Him that we can rely on His Word and that what He has promised He will fulfill. Continue to lift up Israel when you pray for our allies, and remember our military and their families. Thank Him for the continual protection of our nation and pray for repentance, revival and righteousness to permeate every aspect of our society. Pray for your pastors, for unity in prayer and purpose and more laborers for the harvest. Ps. 100:4; Rev. 21:1-5

To enrich your prayer life and learn how to strategically pray with power by using appropriate scriptures, we recommend the following sources by Apostle John Eckhardt: Prayers that Rout Demons, Prayers that Bring Healing, Prayers that Release Heaven on Earth and Prayers that Break Curses. To order any or all of these click here. read more

Seeing the Big Picture

“Our shipment will be here tomorrow,” announced my husband, Terry, as he was reading his e-mails.

The “shipment” was a beautiful bedroom set, consisting of a bed, two end tables, a chest of drawers, a mirror and a huge armoire – all sale-priced and perfectly designed for the dream house we had in mind.

The only problem was, we had just moved halfway across the country from our former home and were stuck for seven months in a tight, cramped apartment. Though we were sure our dream house was a future reality, we were now faced with the dilemma of fitting dream-house-sized bedroom furniture into a living space much too small for it.

Terry saw my discouragement and reassured me: “Honey, we’ll find a place for the armoire. How about next to the dining room table?” I agreed, but not without shuddering at the thought of its doors flying open to dinner guests, revealing unkempt piles of underwear.

Lord, what had we gone and done?

Were we wrong to believe we could have dream-home stuff while living in a small apartment? Were we wrong to dream at all?

For some reason, I thought of Nehemiah, who was called by God to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem (see Neh. 2-4). In order to step into God’s plans for restoring the wall, he first had to get beyond what he saw in the natural – terrible destruction and the animosity of those who “were deeply disturbed that a man had come to seek the well-being of the children of Israel” (Neh. 2:10). Even when he was derided and threatened by his enemies, Nehemiah continued to work on the wall and to encourage those with him to persevere.

I realized that Terry and I were somewhat like Nehemiah – looking beyond our present circumstances and envisioning a bigger picture for our lives than what was in view at the moment.

Today, I invite you to consider something God is calling you to do – plans for you that go beyond what presently meet your eye. Perhaps He is directing you to begin a new career, start a ministry or step out in faith for something you’ve never done before. God’s Word tells us to live not by what we see (“the seen”) but by what we do NOT see (“the unseen”): “We do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18, NKJV).

I ask you to join me in stepping out of the scope of YOUR vision into the scope of HIS vision for you. God’s Word reveals the scope of His vision:  It tells us that God “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Eph. 3:20).

When Nehemiah built the wall, he did it by stepping out in faith. He went from the reduction and destruction of the past into production for the future. When Nehemiah began to build the wall, he stepped into God’s vision, or big picture, for him.

Regardless of where you are or what you’ve been through, God has a big picture for your life – one that is bigger and brighter than what presently meets the eye. And He is more than able to bring it into focus for you and cause it to become reality! Don’t be afraid to dream big.

PRAYER POWER FOR THE WEEK OF 9/26/2011

This week put action to your faith concerning the things God has called you to do. Thank Him for the “big picture” He has for your life, and the wonderful harvest, healing and impact He’s bringing around the world. Continue to pray for our country’s leaders as they strive to restore the economy and move the nation in the right direction. Remember Israel as it faces challenges in the United Nations and pray that we will continue to stand in its support. Start praying for the 2012 elections and remember those persecuted for His Name’s sake. Neh. 2:11-20; Eph. 3:20

To enrich your prayer life and learn how to strategically pray with power by using appropriate scriptures, we recommend the following sources by Apostle John Eckhardt: Prayers that Rout Demons, Prayers that Bring Healing, Prayers that Release Heaven on Earth and Prayers that Break Curses. To order any or all of these click here. read more

Never Too Late to Believe

Several years ago, I accompanied my niece Shae and two of her girlfriends to a Girls of Grace conference. The event, sponsored by Christian recording artists Point of Grace, was geared to the needs of teen girls. read more
Time-to-Defeat-the-Devil-WEB

Are You Ready to Overcome?

Did you know that when you speak from your spirit man you overcome? All of the testing you are going through is linked with the word of your testimony that comes out of your mouth, and is produced at the end of your testing. Your spirit man is like the Ark of the Covenant, where the testaments were placed and secured for all mankind. When you endure the enemy’s temptations and your own soulish carnal ways, your spirit man develops an overcoming power.

First, let’s make sure we share the same definition of the word testimony. All of them are essentially the same thing: the story of a person’s spiritual journey. Basically, testimony is defined as someone’s personal spiritual narrative. And while our testimony includes parts of our biography, that isn’t the heart of it. Let’s set aside the definitions dealing with legal or courtroom testimony and focus on the spiritual dimension.

Testimony is evidence in support of a fact or assertion, proof, or a public declaration regarding a religious experience. To testify means to express or declare a strong belief, to make a statement based on personal knowledge in support of an asserted idea, to declare publicly or make known, and to bear witness or provide evidence for.

The Word of God is full of people who testified to the power, majesty and mercy of God.

Joseph testified to his brothers when he said: “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about, as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid” (Gen. 50:19-21).

Job told the Lord, “I know that you can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You” (Job 42:2).

David said, “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4).

Mary declared, “For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name” (Luke 1:49).

Stephen, moments before he was stoned, said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” (Acts 7:56)

Paul said to the Philippians: “Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:12-13).

One thing all of these testimonies have in common is that each one of the speakers directs our attention to the Lord. Our testimony, like our worship, is meant to magnify the Lord—not our own ego. Only when Jesus is exalted will our testimony bear the witness of the Holy Spirit.

There are times when your soul needs to hear what your spirit has to say. In 1 Samuel 30:6, when David and his men found that Ziklag had been burned and their wives and children had been captured, David “strengthened himself in the Lord.” In fact, the ones who were with David wanted to stone him. They obviously had not been fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit, so David had to strengthen himself. His soul really needed to hear what his spirit had to say.

Have you ever had to encourage yourself? At times like that you want to be sure that you have a well-nourished, strong, healthy spirit that has been fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit, because there may not be anyone else around. If you had to encourage yourself, if your spirit had to encourage your soul, how would you do?

Let me encourage you to nourish your spirit, worship, and minister in the power of the Holy Spirit. Exercise your spirit, resist the devil, run with endurance and walk in the Spirit. And keep your spirit in fellowship with the Holy Spirit so that you are becoming more like Jesus and are connected to others who are doing the same.

The blood and the word of your testimony will overcome the world, the flesh and the devil. You are empowered to overcome, and you win in the end!

Adapted from Time to Defeat the Devil by Chuck D. Pierce, copyright 2011, published by Charisma House. As the church undergoes another historical shift, Dr. Pierce reminds you to stay connected to the Head and shows you how your defeats in a former season can become victories and triumphs in the next. To order a copy, click on this link.

PRAYER POWER FOR THE WEEK OF 9-12-2011

This week encourage yourself in the Lord by declaring His Word and testifying of His goodness, faithfulness and omnipotent power on your behalf. Speak the Word over your circumstances and use it as you pray concerning every aspect of your life. Pray that Christians would repent, and unite in purpose to fast and pray for revival, the nation, and the spread of the gospel. Continue to pray for protection over our nation and our allies, as well as our military and their families. Remember Israel and ask for more laborers for the ripe harvest fields. Pray that President Obama would continue to seek God for wisdom as he leads the nation in these perilous times. 2 Chron. 7:14

To enrich your prayer life and learn how to strategically pray with power by using appropriate scriptures, we recommend the following sources by Apostle John Eckhardt: Prayers that Rout Demons, Prayers that Bring Healing, Prayers that Release Heaven on Earth and Prayers that Break Curses. To order any or all of these click here. read more

Taste and Feed

Mrs. Smith has actually been the premier apple pie maker in our home. My wife makes the best coconut cream pies in the world from scratch, which is the only way I will have pie. Since I don’t like apple pie, it never bothered me to just let Mrs. Smith handle that area. read more

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