Knowing how precious you are to your heavenly Father changes everything.
I'm going to share something with you that not very many people—even my close friends—know about me: I'm a doll collector. I absolutely love dolls. Though I have some I have saved from the time I was a young girl, my interest in dolls has grown since my three children have advanced in age—perhaps because I miss having little ones around.
Whatever the reason, the dolls are a great substitute: They're always pleasant to look at, they don't talk back, and they're maintenance free! read more
NOT EVERY POLITICAL ISSUE IS DEBATABLE FOR BELIEVERS. SOME CHOICES CAN BE READILY DISCERNED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD AS RIGHT OR WRONG.
On Resurrection Sunday this year we had a special visitation in our church service, but it was not from the Lord. A group of men and women from New York visited my congregation that day.
From an insider I learned that most of the people in this group were on paid leave from their regular jobs in New York so they could work on a "special project" in Florida. This project entailed recruiting and encouraging people to vote in the upcoming election. read more
One day when I was driving down the highway, a song came on my CD player. Some of the phrases rang in my spirit: "I am so tired of compromising/ I am so tired of lukewarm living/ I want to go against the grain/ Set me on fire." As I listened, I was struck by the thought that many Christians today live in a state of compromise.
It hasn't always been that way. There have been times in history when the church lived by a different standard than the world. During the days of the early church, for example, the new believers went straight to the marketplace after being baptized in the Spirit and declared what had happened. As far as we know from the biblical record, no one told them to do that; they just had such an intense awareness of who Jesus is--glorified and risen--that they were compelled to share it!
Even in the midst of the persecution that attended their testimonies, they could not keep silent. The Bible tells us that many were scattered to other regions, and "those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went" (Acts 8:4, NIV). Miraculous signs followed those who believed.
A friend named Arthur Burt once told me a story of a farmer who found an eagle with a broken wing. The farmer rescued the eagle and put it in a chicken pen. Because of its injury, the eagle was forced to live like a chicken. But it wasn't a chicken; it was an eagle with a higher destiny.
One day after its wing was healed a visitor came by and noticed the eagle. He asked the farmer for permission to return the bird to its natural habitat. With the farmer's consent, he took the bird and headed for a nearby mountaintop.
The man's first attempt to set the bird free was disappointing. The eagle flapped its wings but didn't try to take off. It still saw itself as a chicken.
Knowing your areas of giftedness is important, but what matters more to God is your yieldedness.
Finally, the day had come. The servant stood before the door of the manor house with a sense of profound thanksgiving. Long he had hoped and prayed for the opportunity to join the household of the one who rescued him from a life of destruction and then distraction.
Now nothing was more important than using the culinary skills and talents he had honed so sacrificially for the benefactor who had done so much for him. The door opened. Standing before him was the lord of the manor and the opportunity to fulfill the dreams of a lifetime. read more
Are you feeling winds of change in the Spirit? Are you yearning for a new move of God? Prophetic voices say we are on the verge of such a move. Though the timing of this large-scale revival is in God's hands, you can position yourself for personal revival right now.
I once heard the story of a little boy who came upon a man in a shed shoveling pennies. When the boy asked the man what he was doing, the man told the boy to take what he wanted. The boy began stuffing pennies into his pockets as fast as he could until he saw the man a little distance away shoveling quarters.
Again the boy asked the man what he was doing, and the man responded that the boy could help himself. The boy immediately began to shove as many quarters into his pockets as would fit on top of the pennies.
Recently Charisma magazine reported on a crusade in Nigeria that was hosted by German evangelist Reinhard Bonnke. During the six days of the crusade, a record number of people--3.4 million--made decisions to receive Christ.
In a television interview not long after the crusade Bonnke said:"The tide is coming in! The immovable is now movable; the impossible is now possible; the incurable is now curable!"
I believe Bonnke's comment was a prophetic statement about the spiritual atmosphere in the world today. Many leaders, both Christian and secular, have sensed a turning of the spiritual tide. Related to the recent change of leadership in our nation, a secular newscaster declared that "God is in," and U.S. News & World Report raised the question, "Is America undergoing a spiritual awakening?"