Can You Hear Me?

Anyone who has walked with God for any length of time has figured out that God has a sense of humor. Just look at the platypus. Since I know He has a sense of humor I love to watch for it. Joy is one of the great gifts of God and I think He sometimes does things just to make us laugh.

Take for instance, my hair. Bear with me a minute….. I went to have my hair cut and styled a little over a month ago. Since the texture and curl has changed over the past year I thought it needed a cleanup to make travel easier. Now, you have to understand that I have rarely, I mean RARELY, been happy with the say my hair is cut by someone else. It’s like they don’t hear what I say when I tell them exactly what to cut and what to leave. So this time, not wanting to chance letting a novice touch it, I made an appointment at the local upscale salon/beauty parlor/massage therapist/spa – you get the drift. It was going to be expensive, I knew, but I really couldn’t deal with one more botched haircut.

You don’t sit in front of a mirror in this place when they cut your hair. They are artistes and therefore will reveal their creation when they are finished. I explained what I wanted and sat back to wait for the finished product.

It took over an hour. Snip snip. Spray. Snip snip. (Really?) Mousse. Gel. Blow-dryer. Comb. Brush. (OUCH!) An hour and sixty dollars later I had a beautiful stylish cut that would require a great deal of care and was not what I had asked for – well, technically, I guess it was what I asked for. It was shorter and layered.

I tried to deal with it and have been frustrated by it ever since. I do not have the time or inclination to spend thirty minutes a day styling my hair. Not only that, even when I try it never looks like it did the day it got cut/shaped/styled. This is why when I go to get it done I carefully explain that it has to be a no- to very low- maintenance style. Naturally, I was fed up. I’m about to leave the country again and have another trip in November. I simply cannot be messing with HAIR in the mountains of Guatemala!

With all of that in mind, earlier this week I walked into the local Hair Cuttery and told them I wanted it trimmed and shaped. They told me they needed to put all of my personal information in their computer before they could help me. I told them thanks, but no thanks, and walked away. This morning I drove eight miles to the next little local establishment and tried again. Thanks be to God, the girl said she would cut it. After fifteen minutes in her chair, she charged me thirteen dollars. Thirteen.

My haircut is adorable, if I do say so myself! It is EXACTLY what I wanted. After washing, it takes a minimal amount of finger shaping and it is done. No blow dryer. No curling iron. No flat iron. No hot rollers. Just arrange and go. I love it!

I’m pretty sure God is chuckling right now, because I know I am. I spent so much time and money trying to get something from the ‘experts’ and only got disappointed. Then I spent a little time and a little money with someone who LISTENED to me and got exactly what I wanted! You just gotta laugh!

Of course, there is a lesson in here for some of us. It’s a lesson about speaking what you want clearly and not settling for anything less. It is also a lesson about listening.

People are talking to us all of the time. I sense often that they are rarely listening to me but rather waiting for me to finish speaking so they can talk about whatever else is going on in their heads. How different our lives would be if we really listened to one another. We might hear things that surprise us. We might hear things that delight us. And, we might hear things we don’t necessarily want to hear. The point is, if we listen – REALLY listen – then we are able to help the one who is speaking. If we are not willing to listen to them and hear them we might as well not waste their time. People need to be heard and if we belong to Christ then we need to be the ones listening.

Father, give us eyes to see and ears to hear and hearts to understand.

James 1:19  Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath

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Your Gentleness Has Made Me Great

I love the Lord!  I love the way He’s always on time!  I love how He loves me!  I love that He honors my prayers and that He opens my eyes to see what He is doing in my life.  I love living life as a Christian.  When I think back on my pre-Christ days, I shudder.  Oh, thank you Jesus for finding me!

Relying on ourselves is the easiest way to disaster.  Oh, sure, we think we can do it all by ourselves.  WE make our plans and WE put them into action, and when things go wrong, WE tend to blame everyone else around us.  Perhaps they didn’t cooperate.  Or maybe they had their own plan and cut us off at the pass.  Perhaps they weren’t “as smart as we are” and couldn’t see the big picture. Whatever our excuse, WE stick to our plan and revise it and amend it and continue to try to make it work all on our own.  And sometimes, when we are really frustrated with everyone else’s lack, we lash out.  WE demean them, chastise them, denigrate them, and make them feel unworthy and worthless.  WE are our own worst enemy.

I have discovered through many years of trial and error that there’s a secret to living life in the midst of disaster:  it is in relying not on myself, but on the Lord of Glory.  He can take the most vile tongue and turn it into sweet music.  He can pick up the broken pieces of a soul and mend them, creating a beautiful work of art.  His smile of approval sets my heart singing and my spirit soaring.  His unconditional love makes my worst mistakes look like small pebbles on a rocky beach.

Through the years I have often turned to the Lord asking for Him to change me —  Change the way I think about a matter —  Mend my heart and help me to forgive —  Take my tongue and turn it to good and not to evil.  During this past year I have been asking the Lord to control my tongue — to make my speech gentle and my manner loving and humble.  These are not easy prayers to pray!  I know the Lord and I know that when I pray these kinds of prayers He will honor them, for this is exactly what He wants to make me:  gentle, loving, kind, humble.  And honor this prayer, He did!

This week I experienced what I can only describe as a miracle transformation.  I have been slowly changing for a few months, but this week I saw for myself to what extent the Lord of Glory had changed my heart and spirit.  In the midst of horrendous trials with customers and employees a brand new ME emerged!  Where I once would have snapped and snarled and threatened, I instead offered comfort, wisdom, retraining, AND — beyond belief — joined the crews in 90 degree weather while we repaired what should have been done right in the first place!  And miracle of miracles, I didn’t complain, I didn’t browbeat, and I didn’t make them feel like they were worthless.  Instead, by the grace of God, I was able to offer gentleness, lovingkindness and humility.  Only God can do that!

The outcome?  My employees are working more diligently than before; my customers are uber-happy; and my ‘team’ is really functioning as a team.  I feel GREAT!  And so do they.

The Lord is faithful.  If we want to be changed into His image, He will change us.  Sometimes it seems to take forever, and sometimes you turn around and BLINK, and the change has been enacted.  It takes a commitment of the heart.  But guess what?  It doesn’t take trying!  We cannot STRIVE to become like Jesus Christ!  We STRIVE to surrender to His Holy Spirit and submit ourselves to HIM, and He will do the work in us.

Praying for all of you who want to be more like Jesus.  I know that’s what He wants too!

Psalm 18:35 (NKJV) You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great.

Amazing Grace

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. . . .

When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Lord lifts up a standard. It is that standard I am blessing this morning. The enemy has surely come in like a flood. My fast is over and I have a $2,000.00 repair bill on the bumper of my NEW car, an assault against my family that has split it wide open, and now my daughter has two bulging discs in her back pressing on a nerve bundle that has totally debilitated her. Unable to work, her husband’s salary won’t support their family, no health insurance, and no naturally visible solutions for their woes.

BUT GOD!

The grace of God, the peace of God, the mercy of God are pouring down upon me like a sweet, spring rain. I’ve had to cancel one mission trip because of the great storm and I felt SO bad about that. I had failed God. I let family circumstances interfere with world missions. This morning, however, He met me here with words of encouragement and although I FELT like the one who had said he would go and then didn’t go, the Lord reassured me that my life and my times are in His hands — and He offered grace for my failure.

I sense I am on the edge of a brand new life – a brand new way of life. I do not know what plan the Lord has for the rest of my life but I am trusting Him to bring it to pass, and that trust has ushered in even greater peace.

If I were operating in the natural and someone handed me a plan, I would meticulously follow it to ensure the final goal would be reached. But God hasn’t handed me a plan. He has simply told me He has a plan and He will bring it to pass. So there isn’t much I can do unless He gives me a piece of the puzzle. When He does, I can be obedient. I think that is why I felt like such a failure when I canceled my mission trip – I thought it was part of the bigger plan that I did not see and therefore I was failing to complete my part of the plan. BUT GOD!

He has spoken to my heart and assured me that His plan for my life will be fulfilled. He has made it clear that I can do nothing to thwart His plan. I am not Jonah, running away from my calling. I am like Peter, who invited Christ to sup in his home and to touch his mother with healing.

God has a plan for each of our lives and He will bring it to completion. I have spent far too many hours agonizing over what His plan is for my life in an attempt to understand and to change my habits, behaviors, and lifestyle to fit His plan. What He has shown me this morning has broken another shackle off of my life. It is simply this: It is His plan. He is responsible for the implementation of the plan. He has chosen each of us to play a part based upon who He created us to be. He is not calling each of us to change in order to implement the plan, but rather, the implementation of the plan will bring about whatever change He deems necessary.

I have been making this harder than it has to be. God loves us and wants us to play a part in His amazing story. He has assigned roles and is placing us in the positions we need to be in in order to fulfill the call He has placed on our lives. We are in training every single day, right where we are.

I would love to see the big picture, but I know that if I do I would do something to screw up the plan and cause more effort than is necessary to get to the goal. So today I am, once again, resting in His love and the sweetness of His embrace, trusting Him to bring to pass whatever it is He is preparing for my life and the lives of my children.

And I’m trusting Him for your life too!

Bridegroom

One of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen was a young man escorting his bride to their waiting limousine. He held her hand gently, his arm around her back and lovingly cradling her other elbow in his other hand. His eyes seemed to take in everything that was happening around them while at the same time watching the ground before her so she wouldn’t stumble and still managing to let his gaze caress her face at frequent intervals. When they reached the limousine he carefully guided her to her seat, making sure she was protected and her clothing unscathed and, when he joined her on the seat, his position was one of protector and defender still maintaining an atmosphere of absolute devotion.

Such a sight is enough to make the heart of one who has never experienced such love begin to ache while tears come unbidden to the corners of the eyes. For those who have experienced such love in their lifetimes it is a sight that brings a reminiscent smile and joyful misting to the eyes. And for those who are in the midst of such love it brings joyful smiles and quick hugs as the emotions are shared.

For me, it was a reminder of just how much Christ loves me (us). He has taken up the position of protector and defender in my life while at the same time lavishing me with a love and devotion that is unparalleled by anything in my experience. Christ has, for me, already become my bridegroom. His leading is gentle and loving, His care is passionate and His love is …. well, beyond description. My vocabulary is inadequate to describe the depth and breadth of Christ’s love.

In my many travels I have always experienced the incredible peace that accompanies the Bride under the care of the Bridegroom. Whenever I am abroad His Spirit is with me, making sure I am cared for and protected. Accommodations are always more than adequate as is the bounty set before me. In truth, the only time I have felt like I wasn’t getting the proper nutrition was when I was in London – go figure! Yet in all of the physical aspects He is more than enough and, I have found, on the spiritual level His presence seems to magnify when I am not at home in my own little abode.

It is this care, this amazing love, that makes me feel so inadequate and unworthy. As hard as I try to follow His example of love, I invariably fall short. Even more amazing is that when I fall short He meets me right where I am and picks me back up, dusting off my knees and setting me back on my feet to continue going forward. And He walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me how much He loves me……ME!

Each day we are called to take His love to the lost, hurting, dying world. Each day. Some days I succeed, some days I fail. But each day He provides opportunities for us to be a witness, an ambassador, of His love. My prayer today is that you experience a new revelation of the depth of Christ’s love for you and that you, in turn, share some of that overflow with another.

John 3:16  “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son…..”

The End is the Beginning

Everything has a beginning and an end, even though we are sometimes unable to see it. Since coming to the Lord I have become comfortable with unanswered questions and concepts that are beyond my ability to comprehend. I dwell in a land of possibilities – dreams and plans and hopes – all of which are under the direction of Almighty God and thus completely possible. Very little surprises me anymore though there is much that brings delight and joy as I watch the Creator of the Universe change circumstances and move mountains to fulfil His promises and complete the works He has begun.

So, I wasn’t really surprised when I was awakened at 1:00 a.m. and heard a whispered “The end is the beginning.” Okay. I’m okay with that. And then, in completely uncharacteristic fashion for me, I asked “What end?” Are we talking about the end of my 40 week fast which is just around the corner? Are we talking about the end of life? Are we talking about the end of a relationship, or business, or ministry? What exactly are we talking about here?

I meditated on those questions for a bit and then forced myself out of my nice warm bed into the COLD family room at 3:00 a.m. Reaching for my Bible I offered a little disgruntled prayer heavenward, reminding the Lord that I’m not all that smart and if He’s trying to tell me something then it really needs to be clearer than the cryptic ‘the end is the beginning’. Sometimes I get so worn out trying to understand what needs to be understood, and I felt this was one of those things that needed to be understood because He was trying to communicate with me.

How wonderful it would be to say I had an epiphany or revelation as I read the verses that were displayed before me. I didn’t. I received many scriptures that spoke of mission trips – taking the truth to places previously unknown and sharing God’s love with people. This was followed with an entire study on power and authority, at the end of which I got an itch to study something called ‘unrealized power’. In my mind that was an indictment of believers who had failed to execute their calling, but what I discovered in my study was something entirely different. The Holy Spirit began to teach me about those who are operating in their gifts but whose power and authority are not recognized by those around them. Like Jesus who couldn’t do many miracles in His own home town because the people would not or could not believe He had such power. The limitation wasn’t in Jesus, it was in those around Him. Or when He calmed the storm and those present began to question what sort of man He was.

So what does all this have to do with my cryptic message? Well, as near as I can make out it is a jigsaw puzzle and I have to put the pieces together in a way that exposes the message. Perhaps the end of my fast will be the beginning of a new ministry in which people who know me will not acknowledge or recognize the power and authority the Holy Spirit will wield through me. That message makes sense to me in light of the hours I spent trying to figure it all out, but I will continue to meditate on it all and see if there is something else I am missing. Perhaps it is just a small piece of a bigger puzzle which will be revealed in stages. Only God knows for certain.

Nevertheless, I am spending each day in anticipation as I watch for the hand of God moving in my life and the lives of those around me.

Praying you exist in an atmosphere of joy and anticipation!

Peace Hope Future

It’s funny how naïve I can be, even at my age! Yet I am always surprised when I see how gullible we can be and how easily we can fall into the traps of the enemy. For myself, I am learning how to look for truth in the midst of all of the hyped-up messages being fed to the masses via news networks on television, radio and the internet. There is a lot of ‘junk’ to wade through and some of it that is so loudly denounced often turns out to be so very true.

A lot of what is out there has the primary purpose of keeping the masses distracted away from what is really going on. Most of it is intended to either outrage or terrify, and sometimes both. Like sheep being led to the slaughter people will believe what they are told to believe and will react, predictably, just as the purveyors of terror want them to react. It is sometimes so very sad to see that even Christians, who are supposed to know who holds the future and even have it written out for them, can become so gripped by fear that it paralyzes them.

Jeremiah 29:11   For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for peace, and not evil, to give you a hope and a future.

Peace. Hope. Future. That is the Lord’s plan for us.

Within the Christian community these days the cry of ‘Rapture’ and ‘Tribulation’ and ‘End of Days’ is so loud it is deafening. Everywhere I turn – whether to television or radio or internet – Christian leaders and laymen are pleading, crying, and shouting about the last days. The end is near (or here, depending upon who you listen to). I heard one person shouting his message from a pulpit, giving scripture and citing specific current day events that absolutely confirmed (at least, to him) that the rapture was imminent and Christ’s return just a matter of days! “Get Ready!” he shouted. And shouted. And shouted.

Jeremiah 29:11   For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for peace, and not evil, to give you a hope and a future.

Fear mongers. As any Christian knows the work of Christ is a work of grace. There is nothing to ‘get ready’ for – a true believer is already saved and is resting in that assurance, and no amount of getting ready is going to change their position in the Kingdom of God. We are either saved or we’re not – it is not possible to work our way into the Kingdom or to perform some acts of penance for the way we have lived. Either we are living for Christ or we aren’t – there is no middle ground. So, if you are a true believer, you are already ‘ready’.

Beloved, Christ is coming again and yes, He is going to call His true church out of the world before that happens. BUT – no one knows when that will be and even though it appears the world is spiraling out of control that is no reason to fear if you know Jesus, because He has a plan for you, to give you peace and hope and a future.

If you DON’T know Jesus or have chosen not to accept Him, or if you made a profession of faith but have never truly gotten to know Him or lived for Him, I encourage you to reconsider. We don’t want to be unprofitable servants. There is a peace available to those who know Him that goes beyond all understanding, and in the midst of these storms you can walk in His peace and joy, in the assurance that your future is secure in His hands.

If you DO know Jesus, I encourage you to get out among the masses and spread His peace. They are in desperate need of voices of reason and sanity amidst all the insanity.

 

The Heart of God

I have found an amazing place – the heart of God! Take a tour with me, won’t you? Follow closely and keep your eyes and ears open. You are about to experience a wonderful adventure.

As we step into this first chamber you will notice on your left a darkened corner. It isn’t totally dark as there is a soft glow, almost like candlelight, lighting the area. In the corner you can just make out the tiny swaddled bundles. There is no sound – no crying or laughing or cooing – other than the quiet soft hushed breathing of little babies. To the right you will see how much brighter this area is and the light is somehow tangible. You can almost reach out and touch the glow as you listen to the laughter that sounds like tinkling bells. There seems to be rain falling and yet it is salty to the touch and the drops seem to sparkle and glisten in the light. When the drops touch your skin they melt away and vanish. Look closely through the light and you can see the corner is filled with pregnant women, all of whom are laughing and crying with joy and anticipation. Straight ahead is the entry into the second chamber. The entry is extremely dark so please watch your step and try to hold on to one another. Here we go……

This chamber is dark so stay next to me, please. I know you can’t see much so focus your attention on your hearing. Soft crying is ebbing and swelling near us. The cries are muffled as if hands or hankies were held over the mouths. Off in the distant corner people are chanting and ranting, demanding their rights and privileges be sustained. In the corner nearest to us is the clink of metal and sounds of cleaning – vacuums and spray bottles and some sort of scrubbing sound. And off to the right, seemingly far below where we stand, is the sound of millions of crying babies. This is the place where God keeps all of the pain and sorrow He holds associated with sin. Stay close and don’t touch anything – we’re going down this passage to the third chamber.

How do you like this place? Isn’t it beautiful? Have you ever seen such vibrant colors? I could stay in this place forever. Listen to that waterfall! Look – right over there – do you see it? Those plants seem to be continually morphing, changing colors and shapes and sizes in an ever-changing display of beauty. Watch out! You have to keep your eyes open and your senses about you in this place. You could have been hit by that flying whatchamacallit. No, I don’t know what it was. I’ve never seen anything like it before but didn’t it look interesting? Way over there on the other side of the waterfall are the living creatures. Really amazing but don’t get too close. Off to the left you can see the oceans and seas all together in one spot and the life that is teeming within them. I bet you’ve never seen the ocean like this before! Now stay together and don’t touch anything! All of those things you see floating around above us are the creative genius yet to be released. This is truly the creation chamber – simply amazing!

Follow me now as we enter into the last chamber. You’re going to want to stay close to me or you’ll have an awful dry-cleaning bill! Watch your step – the floor is wet and sticky and slippery. Well, here we are. The chamber has a metallic smell and has blue walls which are dripping with a sticky red substance. The red substance seems to have a light of its own which makes it easy to see that this chamber is empty except for the liquid. This is the love chamber and the liquid is blood. Nothing else is held in this chamber except for the blood. Watch now – some of the blood is flowing out and covering an individual outside the room. Have you ever seen anything like that? Look at that person – they are completely overjoyed. How happy the blood has made them! I guess when you let it cover you then you experience the love. Awesome.

Follow me now as we leave the chamber. You have seen life, death, creation, and love in the heart of God. This concludes our tour.

1 Cor. 2:9   “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

Weeds

Sunday afternoon as we pulled into the driveway I glanced over at my garden and discovered something horrible had happened: someone had planted WEEDS! They were springing up here and there, not in great abundance but clearly some of them had been growing for a couple of weeks. Needless to say, the first thing on my to-do list for Monday was to weed the garden! I can’t have weeds taking over and disrupting the aesthetics of my flower beds!

I noticed that the monarda seeds were about gone so I cut those plants back. I usually leave the monarda for a while after the blooms drop because that is when the yellow finches show up. I love to see them hanging from the top of the stem as they eat the seeds out of the dead flower heads. I inspected the coneflowers and decided to leave them another week. There are still some flowers hanging on and plenty of seeds left for the birds.

I worked carefully around the crape myrtle trees which are in full bloom and dropping beautiful fuchsia petals all over the driveway. I didn’t want to disturb them any more than I had to because I didn’t want to be the cause of that glorious color leaving before its time. As I watched them wave gently in the breeze I couldn’t help but think about the toxic people in my life who had so often disturbed the blooms of joy and hope and left me naked and barren.

As I pulled the weeds I discovered a new one that I had not seen before. I’m not sure what it is but it is really quite lovely. In fact, I was tempted to leave it except it looked very prolific and I believe it would have taken over in a very short time. It is a creeper growing along the ground – in both the gravel and the mulch – and it has a very lacy look. It was also a bear to pull up. I had to do some digging to get rid of it.

I enjoyed the time I spent weeding the beds and pruning back those flowers that had finished blooming. There is just something about working in the garden that is so therapeutic. It is also a wonderful time for private, uninterrupted time with the Lord. After all, people don’t generally volunteer to help so I am left in peace to putter as long as I want.

As the Lord and I worked side-by-side He spoke to me in parables. We talked about the weeds that spring up in my life when I become lax or lose my focus, and He reminded me that He often prunes those things in me that have ceased to bloom, making way for a greater blossoming to come. We talked a bit about the beautiful weed that I almost left in place and He reminded me that weeds can spring up in our lives which are deceptively beautiful and which can quickly choke out the good fruit and beauty of our gardens. One example is when we talk about what the Lord is doing in our lives. Sometimes those testimonies take on a life of their own and the recipient of God’s glory can become prideful and boastful, as though they were deserving of the blessing that God provided or had in some way earned it. Testimony turned to boasting is a weed that destroys not only our testimony but also makes it impossible for new growth, and it hinders any possible evangelism because unbelievers instinctively know when God is getting the glory or we are taking it for ourselves.

I took this lesson to heart as I do not ever want anyone to think that I believe the good that I have received from the hand of God is because of anything I have done. I, more than anyone else, know that I deserve death and hell and but for the blood of Jesus, that is exactly where I would be headed. Thank you Jesus!

So this afternoon, as the temperature climbs and the grandchildren decide to nap instead of swim (say what?!?), I am taking inventory in my garden, searching for weeds and if need be, getting out the hoe and weed-killer.

Be a blessing!

Misfits

I have been so joyous in my healing and restoration and I wouldn’t want you to think my life is perfect, because it is not. There is much that needs to change but I am not concerned over it because I know who is in control. The greatest issue I have dealt with since my salvation has been feeling like a misfit, and I’ve discovered that no amount of healing and restoration is going to change that for me. I will always be a misfit. I sometimes forget that I am not the only misfit traveling the land. Last night I received a reminder.
I have been needing a haircut and something to be done with my ‘highlights’ (greys) for some time so I made an appointment to have it taken care of. I spent three hours in a salon chair and made friends with another misfit. She, too, is a Christian woman struggling to maintain purity and holiness in a world that constantly bombards with profanity, pornography, obscenity, abuse, violence, covetousness and greed. Raising a teenage son on her own, she fears for his future and prays almost nonstop for his present. She, too, has seen the devastation that this world’s ways bring into the lives of our young people and while her heart aches for what her son is facing on a daily basis she relies totally on the One who holds the future.
For three hours we misfits were not misfits. We were able to encourage one another and pray with and for one another. The world spinning out of control around us was unable to penetrate our ‘misfit bubble’ as we joined spirits to fight an unseen enemy. Misfits. Not ever at home in this world. Forever engaged in a spiritual battle for the lives of others. Longing for a home that is not to be found on this earth. Following an unseen Commander into war zones that would make the toughest marine cringe – battlefields of the mind and dimensions of the spiritual realm. Taking authority over demons and commanding circumstances. Misfits.
Today I am renewed in my spirit because I was able to fellowship with another misfit without interruption. I am looking forward to the next opportunity to discover another misfit and find common ground from which we can together take back stolen ground. Suddenly, being a misfit is no longer a bad thing for me. Somehow I have been transformed from a misfit into a member of an elite force – a force that only those dedicated to Him can join but that is open to all who choose to do so. Abba has given me some new adjectives to replace ‘misfit’.
Elite. Special. Choice. Exclusive. Unique. Exceptional. Distinctive. Matchless. Inimitable. Empowered. Victorious. Overcomer.
So … do you belong? How does this make you feel? Speaking only for myself of course —- WOOO HOOO!! GO GOD!

Daniel 11:32 King James Version (KJV)
32 …… the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.

Let’s go misfits! There are souls to be rescued!

Rak Chazak!

I’m so excited! Two more days. Two more days. JUST two more days! Actually, my fast ends at 6:00 p.m. tomorrow but for all intents and purposes it’s two more days until I get to eat. I’ve never ended a fast like this before – this excited, I mean. Usually it’s just another day but for whatever reason I’m really UP! I am full of excitement and anticipation about what is happening in the spiritual realm because of the fast AND I am SOOOO looking forward to some frozen chocolate custard (my menu item for lunch on Thursday J )

There is a down side to the fasting business – at least there is for me. Fasting seems to open spiritual eyes and give us clues and sometimes complete pictures of what the Lord is doing and planning in our lives or around the globe. That part is fun. It is really neat to see what God is doing and to be privy to what the outward signs mean. The hard part is that I have not been gifted with an ability to communicate those signs and portents in a way that others can understand and implement in their own lives. Instead, I end up offending someone or making them so confused they want to leave it all alone.

For instance, I’d like to be able to explain the spiritual benefit of fasting as it relates to warfare and spiritual victory. Unfortunately, while it makes perfect sense in my mind I cannot put it into words that make sense. It is like a many-layered cake which has to be delayered to be understood but I can’t seem to get the layers laid out in the proper sequence to convey the message I want to convey.

Or, there’s the spiritual weapon of walking. Yes, walking. I’ve tried to explain the significance and the power of Holy Spirit-filled believers walking around schools, government buildings, communities, etc. etc. but each time I end up with a message that just lays there and kind of fizzles a little bit.

Nope. Teaching about spiritual warfare isn’t my strong suit. Warring in spiritual warfare – that’s where I shine! I can fast for months on end. I can walk for hours making huge circles around communities and I have. I can worship and dance for hours. I can praise. I can pray. I can decree and declare. I can bind and loose. I can rebuke. I can do all of these things and I see great victories when I do.

Today I have a new weapon in my arsenal – RAK CHAZAK! The Hebrew battle cry has become my battle cry as I head into enemy territory and take back what rightfully belongs to God. RAK CHAZAK!

Won’t you join me? Let’s take back that stolen ground and let God turn around what the enemy meant for evil.

RAK CHAZAK!