Sunday, January 25, 2015

Put On Your Combat Boots

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

Christmas Memories

Ah, Christmas memories. When we were kids, my younger sister Kim and I had different opinions about Christmas. She loved it, I loathed it. To me it was the interruption of my little schedule, too much running around from relative's house to relative's house, doing what Mom and Dad wanted me to do, versus not enough time with my friends. To her it was lights, magic and most of all...Baby Jesus. Oh how little Kim loved Christmas decorations....manger scenes in particular.

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

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..."

Stephanie Connor