Sunday, July 12, 2015
Can God be trusted?
God promises us in His word that if we are faithful with little things He will trust us with bigger things. Do we extend that same level of trust towards Him? He is certainly faithful in ALL things...little and big. Do we trust Him in both? Let's start with the "little things"....
God shows us His faithfulness in "little", "common" miracles such as the rising and setting of the sun. Every single day! Every year, seasons change. OK, unless you live in Antartica or the Tropics...but you get my drift.
Every day (no matter where our head is- smile-) He keeps our feet on the ground with the perfectly balanced gravitational pull of our planet. The same gravitational pull keeps the ocean tides in line.
The world continues rotating on its axis...as it has done since creation. If you're like me some days all that spinning makes you dizzier than others.
The sun continues to shine. Below or above the clouds, it's still there even if we can't see it.
Day continues to be day and night continues to be night. Yes, even in those strange, remote parts of Alaska or Scandinavia...thier days and nights just sometimes last a little bit longer than ours!
As He gives us our daily bread, He reminds us to watch His provisions for tiny helpless sparrows. He faithfully feeds them too!
As He faithfully clothes us, He reminds us how He adorns even the lilies of the field and the wildflowers we see along the road.
All of these things, and many more mirror His plans and concerns for humanity. He cares for every part of creation.
His concern also gets very personal....He knows how many hairs populate each one of our heads. He knit us in our mothers' wombs and numbered our days.
He has a unique purpose for each one of our lives. Never feel like you are an exception to that. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made. As each snowflake that falls to the ground in the wintertime is unique, so we each have unique "fingerprints" and characteristics! No two of us are the same!
Another theme of "faithfulness parallels" laced throughout scripture is the theme of Israel. Co-mingling this theme with the theme of nature, the Lord tells us in Jeremiah that the only way His covenant with Israel can be broken is if the ordinances that He set in place for the sun, moon and stars are broken.
That's good news for both Israel and.....everyone else.
If God's promises to Israel will never be broken, neither will His promises to us!
Throughout scriptures, that nation stands as an amazing symbol of God's sovereignty, faithfulness and purpose. Even despite amazing obstacles, and times of their own rebellion. (Hmmmm sounds kind of like my own journey so far....)
Now on to the "bigger things"...well, bigger to us anyway. You know...the more personal things.
I've had disappointments, and I still have some unfullfilled dreams. Quite a few actually. I've had to move when I wanted to stay and stay some places long after I wanted to move on. You too? If so, does that mean God isn't faithful?
Here's why. One key to understanding God's faithfulness is recognizing that He knows WHAT is best for us and WHEN it should happen.
God is not a genie in a bottle...granting us all of our wishes, or even just three. He gives us what we need, and that is SOMETIMES a little different than what we "want."
He also never promised us life would always be wine and roses, but He did promise that lo, He'd be with us always, even until the end of the road. And then He's taking us home...so it's a WIN - WIN.
He made clear the disclaimer that in this world...this fallen world...we'd have trouble. (No! kidding!)
He then reassured us to TAKE HEART. Why? Because He has OVERCOME "this world". Who is an overcomer? The Lord and who-so-ever belongs to Him. So, we, too, can overcome because He overcame, and we belong to Him!
(if you don't belong to Him, you can. He stands at the door, knocking and waiting with open arms.)
To me, that's faithfulness..telling you how it really is...and promising to see you through it.
He tells us in His faithful word that "blessed is the one who perservers under trail" (James 1:12) Faith that is never tested is weak and not worth much. If it's never been tested or used, how do we know that it even works?
Faith that has been USED and made STRONG and DURABLE...all the dross burned off hrough trials....the foundation proved firm EVEN through storms...is to be celebrated like rare gold. For The Lord God is the refiner, FAITHFULLY making us into vessles of pure gold that will reflect His glory and share in the eternal benefits of His victory! Yes, I'd say He is faithful, and can always be trusted. What say you?
Luke 16: 10 "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much"
Psalm 145: 13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.
by Stephanie Connor
Saturday, June 13, 2015
Modesty is a word not well known to many women of the 21st Century. It has become a faint memory of a bygone time when civil hearts embraced lifestyles that had depth and true meaning. We now live in an age when words are represented by a string of letters in a text or tweet that is cold, faceless and lacks depth. Even the Word of God has become somewhat of a timeless fairy tale.
However, for every woman whose heart has been touched by The Master, a New and Living way of Life has been introduced to them. They, by the power of His Holy Spirit that indwells them, know that this 21st Century culture is not their culture and their modest lifestyle stands in stark contrast to those who encounter them. They tend to stick out like a sore thumb among the loud and flamboyant styles imparted by Vanity Fair, Hollywood and Victoria’s Secret, to name a few. They understood fully, by revelation of The Spirit of Truth, what St. Paul meant when he told Timothy how to instruct those women who had truly yielded their lives up to the New Life Jesus had prepared for them.
They understood perfectly what was meant by Paul’s desire that – “… women be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. (1 Timothy 2:9). They knew because they had truly surrendered their old culture of life for the New and Living Way Jesus revealed to their hearts by way of the Holy Spirit.
As those transformed women of God spent more and more time learning about the will and character of God they understood that trying to keep up with the Joneses no longer mattered. They realized that they didn’t have to look like their culture in order to be accepted because their hearts were set on pleasing The One Who saved their souls. These women knew that “…The Lord doesn’t see things the way (we) see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7(NLT)
These women understood that this world’s culture was no longer theirs. They longed for the promised transformation the Holy Spirit was making in them. They believed in the new identity they were given by God who said…”…you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. “Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.” They understood that “…as “temporary residents and foreigners” - (they needed to) keep away from worldly desires that wage war against their very souls. They were careful to live properly among their unbelieving neighbors..." 1 Peter 2:9-12
You see, those redeemed by God willingly embrace that they no longer are representative of this world’s culture, styles or mindsets. They realize that their “…body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is within them, which they have of God. The Lord says... "you are not your own! For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Women who have had a genuine encounter with The Spirit of God desire only to bring glory to God – not to themselves. You won’t find them wearing or adorning themselves with clothing, jewelry and anything else that would draw attention to themselves. They won’t be found wearing clothes so fitting as to reveal their every curve, nor will they wear clothing so sheer that it offers the eyes of others a view of their cleavage or intimate parts of their bodies. They would never think of drawing the eyes or longing of men, causing them to commit sin in their fragile consciences – all for the sake of being seen and looking like this world's culture. No, they would never cause their God given freedom to “… cause another believer to stumble (Romans 14:21).
In closing, women of genuine faith understand that “A beautiful woman lacking discretion and modesty is like a fine gold ring in a pig’s snout (Proverbs 11:22). They understand that “Those who let themselves be controlled by their lower natures live only to please themselves, but those who follow after the Holy Spirit find themselves doing those things that please God" (Romans 8:5). Any woman who is filled with the Holy Spirit knows and understands modesty because she has been taught by The Holy Spirit and follows His leading.
The Holy Spirit is the one The Holy Father promised to all His Children. He is vital and helps us understand The Word of God and empowers us to live by it. If we have not had an encounter with the Holy Spirit yet, all we need do is ask The Father. Jesus said – “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13). The Holy Spirit is our helper. There is no way we can serve or please God without Him. All we need do is ask.
Listen, daughter, and pay careful attention:
Forget your people and your father’s house.
Let The King be enthralled by your beauty;
honor him, for he is your Lord.
Monday, April 13, 2015
by Nadine Davis
I may catch some heat because of this post. However, I am compelled to post in hopes that those who have ears, hear The Truth discovered in this revelation. I myself had to repent for being more loyal to my friendships, personal priorities, plans and pursuits than to The Lord Jesus Christ. Only The Truth, when applied to our lives, will set us free!
Yesterday, the Sunday following Easter, I was a bit astonished to see how the numbers in our Sunday Fellowship dwindled from the Easter Sunday attendance of just last week. As I pondered the thought of why so many people have determined to make Easter Sunday more about their personal appearance than that of desiring to see Jesus, I was grieved. I asked the Lord, why? Why is it that people today are so deceived with themselves? It’s all about them and their own personal preferences. Even those who profess to Love God seem to have misplaced loyalty when it comes to serving God. That is when the Lord revealed truth to my heart. Not so much about what grieved me, but what grieved Him.
I learned that many of us have little or no commitment to anything or anyone other than ourselves and our personal priorities. When it comes to the things of God we will always defer to our own personal considerations and priorities. Nothing and no one takes precedence over our fleshly desires and preferences. We are unable able to see that strung out over time, there is a distinct pattern created out of the actions and activities of our lives. We are blind and oblivious to the unspoken testimony our lives portray that stand in stark contrast to our so-called professions of faith and love for God. We don’t get the fact that there are those who see it quite clearly day after day, week after week, year after year. The unfortunate thing is that many who do see it are complicit to our wickedness when they watch as we move through life this way and never say anything. They actually partake in our waywardness by not sharing Truth with us so that we may be healed.
Beloved, this is not about condemnation – it’s about Truth! As the Lord made clear this Truth to my heart I had only one response – repentance. I don’t want to be a men pleaser – I desire to be please God above men. You see, it is true that God is love. However, without rightly dividing the Word of Truth we err and misinterpret the truth. When you rightly divide the Word of Truth you will discover that the love of God also means correction and chastisement. We get booed when we share that Truth because it doesn’t make us “feel good”. But the Truth is that because He loves us He must chasten us! Hear is what The Truth reveals…Those whom I [dearly and tenderly] love, I tell their faults and convict and convince and reprove and chasten [I discipline and instruct them]. So be enthusiastic and in earnest and burning with zeal and repent [changing your mind and attitude]. (Rev. 3:19 AMP)
Correction cannot be compared to condemnation. They are not from the same source according to Romans 8 where it explains that…Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
Because our Father loves us – He gives us His Truth – not fleshly appeals that stroke our flesh with the touchy feelies and warm fuzzies we crave. Romans 8 goes on to inform us that as true Christians…Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. Beloved - Jesus knows our heart. We can fake out people but we can’t fool God. He knows! We can think that as along as things go our way and our plots and plans are fulfilled we are walking in The Spirit - Not so beloved. Having our way and getting what we want does not make us rich or righteous! It actually makes us blind to the reality of our ways. But because of the Love of our Savior who desires that we not be destroyed with the unrighteous, He says...Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. (Rev. 3:20). That is The Lord’s desire for us.
What we must do first is to agree with His Word and REPENT and Let Him sit on the throne of our heart. Let Him be the reason behind our comings and going! Let Him be the source and the center of our living . Does your job get better loyalties than your God? Do you defer to it as the source of your livelihood? If so, you’ve missed it. Does your mate, children and friends get better loyalties than your God? Do you defer to them for your approval and significance rather than your God? If so, you’ve missed it. Does your own personal preference, longings and desires get better loyalties than your God? Do you defer to your own heart as the decision maker for your actions or lack there of, rather than loyalty and service to your God? You’ve missed it beloved.
Jesus died to give us victory over this world, our flesh and the devil. Basically we don’t really have a legitimate excuse for exalting anything or anyone above our loyalty to Him. After all, the only reason we have Life is because He is the one Who gave it.
Have you checked out your Light lately? Does it shine brightly for Jesus or is it dimmed and obscured to the world? If so, we may have exalted our own personal preferences over the Light of God in our lives. If our lights are dimmed when our loyalties are seen by the world as being focused on every other thing than focusing on our King, our loyalties are divided. Jesus described His disciples as those who follow and are loyal to Him. He says they are clearly known by their fruit and the love they have for one another. Do we love our worldly pursuits and those who have no regard for the Lordship of Jesus. Beloved, you won’t get an apple from a briar bush. Nor will you get a cantaloupe from a cactus. It’s impossible!
Have you checked out your spiritual fruit? What is the main topic of our conversations? What is the focus of our daily itineraries? When people think of us what do you think is the first thing that comes to their mind? Is it our love for God and one another? Is it about our faithfulness to God, our patience, our goodness or our temperance? If you are not sure – ask God to reveal the Truth to your heart. Are your loyalties divided?
Beloved, it is the last hour and Jesus could show up any day. Let’s not waste time sweating the small stuff. Let’s repent and throw ourselves at the mercy of Our King. He has victory planned for us – victory over this world! Victory over our flesh! Victory over the devil!
Even Come Now Lord Jesus!
Thursday, February 26, 2015
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Necessary Seasons by Stephanie Connor
Necessary Seasons by Stephanie Connor
Cold. Bleak. Winter. A time to sit by the fire (or to long for a fire to sit by!) For some, this is a time of hibernation and rest. For others, it's a time of scarcity and struggle. Either way, it's just a necessary season in the cycle of life.
This is the most colorless of the seasons. During its duration, most flowers hide thier faces and most trees give up thier leaves, leaving a world of barren, blah landscapes. Then there are the evergreen trees. They stand as splashes of green amidst the grays and browns as our reminders that brighter color DOES still exisit, and in a few short months it will come back in full bloom!
Yes, the oak tree lost last year's foliage. But, the embyos of its new leaves are snuggled somewhere deep inside of its branches, awaiting thier queue that it's finally time to bud and adorn those branches with greenery and life again. Spring is coming! In times that seem dormant, we're always left with some kind of promise of renewal to come. The Lord never leaves us without hope, does He? Definitely not, when our hope is in Him!
During the frostier, more barren months of the year, based on what our eyes can see, there's not much growing is going on. But growth is indeed still happening in places that our eyes cannot see. While not much is going on up top in the branches, the roots of healthy trees are growing deeper and stronger underneath. As they deepen, they're hard at work seeking out nourishment from the soil to feed to their hosts. This kind of growth is necessary in order to support the more visible, outward growth that will occur later, during warmer, sunnier days. Trees must grow stronger before they can grow taller and spread their branches out wider and higher. Same thing with people, I think.
In these ways and more, the physical world around us mimics what goes on in the cycle of our own lives. Or maybe our lives mimic it. I've never been sure which mirrors which, but it seems that God in His wisdom certainly gave us, and the world we currently live in, necessary seasons. People, like the trees and plants around us, need various climates to truly grow. Cold and heat. Warmth and chill. Sushine and rain. Too much of the same might actually stunt our growth or even be fatal. Only the Good Lord knows how much of what each one of us needs.
God's word tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:1 "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens "....Just like the weather, some seasons of life are sunny and bright others are a bit less inviting....laughter, tears, mourning, dancing, scattering, gathering, birth...and yes, even death. But to the believer, while to live is Christ....even to die is gain.
Through the dreary winters of life we learn to depend on God's strength, and not our own. He's keeping us, even in the sunnier times, we're just less aware of it then. When we are rooted deep in God's word, we're sustained and strengthened by Him through the leaner times. We realize He is always at work even in the parts of things that we can't see.
Through the times of seemingly unbearable heat, we learn to stay hydrated on God's living waters. Those deep roots we grew last winter enable us to draw water from unseen sources, even during times of drought.
When we FINALLY find ourselves in those rare, more temperate seasons, we can take a few moments and enjoy the weather. Why not? We all need times of refreshment. These times, when we're under less pressure ourselves, we're more free to help others in need. These are also times when we can fill up our reserves so that we might draw from them later.
The only thing certain in this life is that seasons change. Good times or bad times, "this too shall pass". The good news is, as believers, we're not passing away, we're passing onward to glory. We're being transformed as we go, through all types of weather. And as we pass through, whatever we pass through, we're not walking alone, He is with us always, "even unto the end of the age".
"But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water, that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” ~ Jeremiah 17:7-8
Sunday, January 25, 2015
I attended a prayer conference in October 2014 sponsored by Moms In Prayer International. I am a member and we were celebrating 30 years of prayer and intercession. While there The Lord gave me the blog title "This Bride Wears Combat Boots". It represents the spiritual preparedness required as we enter the end times when spiritual warfare hightens because our enemy knows his time is very short. Just as The Bride of Christ must be dressed and ready, we as women must follow suit. The ensuing battle is escalating as described in Rev. 12, particularly where it warns..."And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ". (Revelation 12:17 NKJV) As women of God we are under fierce attack, right alongside the attack against The Bride of Christ. Our enemy knows that if he can distract and deceive, as he did Eve in the garden, our children and this upcoming generation have no hope of escaping his trap. Satan’s ultimate goal is to cause a great divide between God and man.
Woman was created as helper to mankind and to train up children to know and love God. No one enters the earthly realm except through women. Children are nursed, taught and raised by women. God designed it that way for a reason. However the enemy trickery keeps us on the run, distracted and deceived about ourselves and our calling. Thus, a generation can be born that does not know God, creating an atmosphere of wickedness and unbelief where The Anti-Christ can flourish.
We are at that place in time and must put our combat boots on and be ready and prepared for battle, even as we await our Savior's return to come rescue us out of this place. A time of great tribulation is coming and we will not be able to stop it because it is prophesied in scripture. However, victory is for those prepared and ready to stand for, and advance The Kingdom of God through their living because scripture also prophesies...Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” (Revelation 11:15 NKJV)
Thursday, January 1, 2015
One year, some new neighbors, the Fontana family, moved in across the street from our house. Lo and behold, once December 1st arrived, they decorated their house up like it was the little town of Bethlehem, complete with a life sized manger scene. Kim was in awe. She would often go into their yard just to stand there and admire the manger scene. Fortunately the neighbors didn't mind. Joseph and Mary were there at the scene, along with various barn yard animals, a few shepherds and, of course, the wise men bearing gifts....but most importantly Baby Jesus was there. In the manger. Kim loved the baby Jesus doll. Sometimes she would even pick him up to hold him and sing to him. Everyone thought it was adorable.
One night, there was a stir among the neighbors when Mrs. Fontana noticed that Baby Jesus was missing in action! Who could have done such a thing? Rumor on the street was that it was most likely some mean-spirited teenagers playing a prank. As the search for baby Jesus ensued, each neighbor joined in. After all, Mrs. Fontana had paid a lot for him!
My mother was soon embarrassed to find him in Kim's room, swaddled in blankets, warm and cozy on her bed. Of course I don't recall the next part word for word, but in my memory it went something like this:
"Kim, why did you take Baby Jesus?" mom asked, horrified and no doubt trying to come up with the best way to apologize to Mrs. Fontana.
"Because, Mommy, it's getting cold outside. The right thing to do is to bring Baby Jesus into our house and let him be comfortable here," Kim replied, not in the least bit sorry.
"Because, Mommy, it's getting cold outside. The right thing to do is to bring Baby Jesus into our house and let him be comfortable here," Kim replied, not in the least bit sorry.
Well, out of the mouths of babes.
The Baby Jesus figurine was returned unharmed to the Fontanas. The neighbors got a good laugh once they found out that the "thief" was just a little girl who was afraid he'd be cold outside that night.
Truth is, when we were kids, my little sister grasped what the whole Christmas season was supposed to be about. She knew who the star of the show was. It didn't matter when Jesus was born, it mattered that Jesus was born and that's what we were to celebrate. Even back then, I got caught up in all the busy-ness and distractions of the season (still struggle with that!) she just wanted to gaze into His sweet face and spend time with Him. Mrs. Fontana might have paid a lot for the doll in her lovely manger scene, but the real Jesus paid it all for her, you, me and anyone else who will accept what He did in exchange for forgiveness. Until we let Him in, He stands outside politely waiting. But He's not cold, or lacking in any way. He wants into our lives for our sakes. He doesn't need us, we need Him...DESPERATELY! If He's knocking, please let him in. If He's already in, please don't ignore Him. Spend time with Him, love Him and make Him comfortable in your house. You won't regret it!
May His peace and presence permeate your heart, hearth and home this Christmas season and beyond. God Bless!
Revelation 3:20 "Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him, and he with Me..."