What did He say?

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“Let us go to the other side.”

When Jesus says let us go to the other side, He was not making a Holy suggestion.

He was making a statement. He was announcing their destination would be the other side. Period.

Yet, a storm arose… one of ‘hurricane proportions’ the Bible says. And even though Jesus stated exactly what would be, His disciples took their eyes off Him, and on the ‘storm’- and instantly began to doubt Jesus.

Their faith was replaced with fear, when they gave in to doubt.

Why do people doubt what God tells us in His word?

Usually it’s because of their own experiences, their own understanding of things, what they hear others to say, what they see with their own eyes. All of these things lead people to doubt God when circumstances are different than what God’s Word says.

Consider healing, for example.

Gods Word says in 1Peter 2:24 ‘by His stripes you are healed.’ (Yet, at the moment- you may still be fighting symptoms, ‘feeling’ sick or in pain, or ‘hearing’ certain medical reports that don’t agree with what Gods Word says.

This is where many miss it. They make the decision to not agree with Gods report, Gods Word, and instead, they agree with medical reports, and their own understanding, own feelings, own perceptions of what they are seeing.

One might think and even say ‘yeah, I know that’s what the Bible says, but I am sick! I feel horrible.’ And Satan wins, because he succeeds in getting us to agree with his lies, even to start speaking his lies, because we give in to our feelings, and our own understanding of things…

WHAT???

Who do we think we are???!!!

We are NOT God! We do not, and cannot know all things!

Our own understanding is very limited in comparison to the understanding of God.

Our own thoughts are limited to our own experiences and knowledge but God‘s thoughts have no end and are all knowing.

Facts are things that we know at the moment but later can change.

Facts are composites of one’s opinion. Or of a temporary moment.

For instance- at the moment the fact is I’m sitting in my home working on this devotion. But that that will change in an hour when I leave my home and head on an errand.

Facts change.

Truth is truth regardless of what anyone individual thinks about a subject and truth can never change.

There’s always only one right way and only one wrong way.

Truth or false.

Gods Word is Truth. Always, without fail, 100 % of the time, Gods Word is Truth.

Gods Word changes facts when facts don’t line up to Gods Truth- WHEN we activate our faith in Gods Word, claim it for purses, and speak it boldly.

Notice further into this scripture account, after the disciples frantically woke Jesus up in fear, what Jesus said, and what Jesus did.

He addressed the problem:

He rebuked the wind and commanded the sea to be still.

The Prince of Peace commanded peace to the chaos of the moment, and immediately the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

Then He admonished the disciples (followers of Jesus), for being of little faith. He asked ‘why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?’

HE WAS IN THE BOAT WITH THEM, and they STILL jumped out of faith, into doubt, because of fear.

The disciples took their eyes off Jesus, forgot what He said about their destination, and allowed the ‘temporary’ moment to overshadow everything else- exactly what Satan tries to do with all of us!

And you know what? If we’re not careful, Satan will do the same thing to us, too. Causes the distractions to get our eyes off of Jesus and onto the problem. Do not let him!

People, Satan is subtle, and bold.

Even when Jesus is ‘in the boat’ with us, he Satan ‘roams around like a lion seeking whom he may devour.’ (1 Peter 5:8)

Resist him! Fear is of the devil- it’s a spirit that God says in 2 Timothy 1:7 He did NOT give us fear.

When God gives us His Word, we can count on Him to do what He says.

Mark 5:1 goes on to tell us “…and they came over to the other side of the sea.”

Now after reading of the magnitude of the storm that Jesus subsided with a few words, it’s easy to overlook these few words in this first verse of chapter 5. But I want to highlight them because they’re extremely important.

‘AND THEY CAME OVER TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SEA.’

Only because Jesus immediately addressed the problem first, commanded peace, and then addressed the disciples fear did they achieve exactly what He originally said would happen.

If we eliminate the in between text, it’s quite simple to see it.

Mark 4:35 “Let us go over to the other side.”

Mark 5:1 “and they came over to the other side…”

The enemy snuck right in there, didn’t he?

Satan heard what Jesus said. And he was determined to destroy the plans of Jesus!

In fact John 10:10 says “the thief comes but only to kill, steal, and destroy.” It’s his job description. It’s what he does. However in the same verse Jesus goes on to say “but I have come that you might have life more abundant. “

Noticed that word “might“? That’s suggestive that you may or may not. My opinion, based on other scriptures, is that the choice is up to us.

Do we agree with God or not?

Do our words and our actions line up with God’s Words? If so, and we use the authority God gave us to use His name, ALL circumstances that arise against us will have to cease.

When Jesus declares a thing, believe Him. Regardless of any circumstance.

We must train ourselves to ‘Trust in the Lord with all of our hearts, lean not on our own understanding, and in ALL our ways, acknowledge Him, and He WILL direct our steps.’ (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Determine now, no matter what, to agree with Gods Word and not your own understanding. In spite of temporary difficulties and apparent limitations, SPEAK THE WORD OF GOD ONLY. (Matthew 8:8)

Watch God perform and do exactly what His Word says- keep on speaking it. Line up with God and get Gods report.

This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith.” (1 John 5:4)

IF…

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How does a VITAL CHURCH grow?

It becomes LIFE to ALL.

“WHEN Christ who IS our life. (Colossians 3:4)… then you shall also appear with Him in all glory.”

“Vital” means LIFE.

“If” we truly are born again, Christ IS our life.

I sincerely and without no disrespect say “If” because God says this.

It’s NOT automatic- this ‘salvation’ or ‘born again’ experience I’m referring to.

Something actually happens in the spiritual realm to our spirits, we become a brand new, never before existed, created spirit. (1 Corinthians 5:17).

Just because we believe in God, and have knowledge that Jesus is God’s Son- doesn’t mean we have been born again, or saved.

Just because we go to church, doesn’t make us a Christian, no more than going to McDonald’s makes you a Bic Mac! God’s gift of salvation is 100% FREE, but cost God EVERYTHING.

But He doesn’t force it on us- it’s been offered, and is waiting for each of us to individually receive it, to receive Christ, who IS the gift of eternal life; as our individual Master, Lord, Savior, Redeemer, Deliverer, Healer, Provider, OUR LIFE!!!

Date to be a disciple, a follower of Jesus!

It’s conditional, based on each of our individual choice.

He is The Way, The Truth, and THE LIFE.

First thing first responders do upon the scene of an accident is ‘check your vitals.’ They are determining whether or not there is LIFE in us.

Life is a gift, and as believers, CHRIST is our life, and His GIFT of life is to be shared and multiplied. God is a God of increase.

Friends, we all have goals, and most include financial goals. And this is good. But what good is it to gain the whole world and lose our souls??? (Mark 8:36/Matthew 16:26)

As CHRISTians, our main financial goals in life is not to pack away as much wealth as we can FOR OURSELF; but to be able to give without end to those in need all over the world. To spread the gospel into all the world cost money.

The purpose of wealth is NOT to hoard it to ourselves.

I don’t want money for myself. I want it so that I am give it away, so that I can feed the hungry, clothe the naked, house the homeless, give drink to the thirsty- bless those in need, IN THE NAME OF JESUS. To bring JESUS to all I meet and ‘GO’ to find, seek and save the lost…

I’m not talking about those capable of helping themselves but don’t., or those trapped in addiction spending every donated dollar on their habit- they need help., too, but a different type of help. For those- I love them and pray for them to receive revelation of God’s presence, power and indescribable gift!

I speak LIFE over them, and plead the blood of Jesus over them. In their presence I speak ‘Jesus.’ ‘JESUS!’ At the name of Jesus, the demons tremble and every knee must bow. And His power is released! (James 2:19/Philippians 2:11/ Luke 10:17/ Mark 16:17-17)

I’m talking about the majority of our world struggling to find clean water to drink; food to eat, shelter- who need our answer, their answer, JESUS.

We must go TO THEM, and TELL THEM. We must SHOW THEM. We must CARE for them, and LOVE them, like the Jesus we confess.

This and this only is why I desire money. I desire what I can do with it for the Kingdoms sake.

This is why I give what I have. And to keep on giving what I have. It’s not a one time done. check off list thing. It’s GODS WAY.

This is why I am passionate about being part of “THE CHURCH”, (not ‘a’ church) and seek a ‘vital’ church (THE BODY OF CHRIST) who gets this!!!

Faith ACTS. It doesn’t sit still. It doesn’t remain in one place, content, like a ‘fat baby.’ I remember back in my singing days, singing an Amy Grant song called ‘Fat Baby.’ It’s time to resurrect this song, folks!!! It’s TIME FOR A GREAT AWAKENING!!! RISE UP!!! Get busy!!!

Here’s the lyrics- read them. Let them get deposited in your spirit. Are YOU a fat baby???

“🎼I know a man, maybe you know him, too

You never can tell; he might even be you

He knelt at the altar, and that was the end

He’s saved, and that’s all that matters to him

His spiritual tummy, it can’t take too much

One day a week, he gets a spiritual lunch

On Sunday, he puts on his spiritual best

And gives his language a spiritual rest

He’s just a faaa…

He’s just a fat little baby!

Wa, wa, waaaaa…

He wants his bottle, and he don’t mean maybe

He sampled solid foods once or twice

But he says doctrine leaves him cold as ice

Ba, ba, ba, ba…ba, ba…ba, ba!

He’s been baptized, sanctified, redeemed by the blood

But his daily devotions are stuck in the mud

He knows the books of the Bible and John 3:16

He’s got the biggest King James you’ve ever seen!

I’ve always wondered if he’ll grow up someday

He’s momma’s boy, and he likes it that way

If you happen to see him, tell him I said,

“He’ll never grow, if he never gets fed”

He’s just a fat, fat, fat, fat, fat, fa-at, fat…

Fat, Fat, Fat, Fat, Fat, Fa-at, Fat…

Fat, Fat, Fat, Fat, Fat, Fat, Fatttt…

Baby…🎼”

Don’t wait until you have ‘enough of the wealth’ YOU think is enough to start giving- you’ll never become a giver if you wait. Start now. Learn to sacrifice now. Become a giver now.

You have to give by faith, with your heart, with what you have now.

Trust God.

Hey, ALL of the earth is the Lords and the fullness therein. ALL belongs to God… we are only stewards of what He has entrusted us with.

Are we being faithful with it? Are we holding onto it with stingy fingers, even more tightly when the Holy Spirit touches our hearts to give, then we don’t?

Or are we trusting God with EVERY area of our life, including our finances? Are we???

God will take your gift, and will supernaturally multiply it; and will increase your ability to gain more; once your heart lines up with His.

The value of something is determined by what one is willing to pay.

God’s determined our value, ALL of mankind’s value, even in our imperfect condition, was the life of His only Son.

God is a giver. He held nothing back.

We are to follow His example, if indeed He is in us… we are made in His image. We are made to multiply, to increase.

Let’s give all we can selflessly, and see our world changed.

All of the worlds poverty, starvation, need- is solvable through the Christ who is in us…

‘IF’ we would but learn to see people as HE sees people…

‘IF’ we would but learn to love people as HE loves people…

‘IF’ we TRULY would obey and do what HE instructed us to do-we will see in God’s Word WHO we are in Christ, WHOSE we are in Christ, and WHO WE ARE CONNECTED TO IN THE BODY OF CHRIST.

Our body is the ‘new’ temple the Holy Spirit dwells in, if we are truly born again. Our body IS the ‘house’ that our spirit, and God’s Spirit IN OUR SPIRIT, contains.

May ALL our eyes open to this truth!!! May HIS Holy Fire consume us, and His passion ignite us!!!

“Now ALL who believed were together, and had ALL things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among ALL, as anyone had need…”

‘IF’ we truly desire to be obedient and to become THE church, THE bride of Christ, we need to do what He has instructed us to do, then we will be the vital “church” that grows!

This is how we will know- read what is written, when Peter was with the rest of the other apostles (followers of Christ, who were ALREADY BORN AGAIN):

“Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent. And let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you SHALL RECEIVE the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the PROMISE is to you AND TO YOUR CHILDREN, AND TO ALL WHO ARE AFAR OFF, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

“Then THOSE WHO GLADLY RECEIVED HIS WORD… So continuing daily with ONE ACCORD in the temple, and breaking of bread from house to house, they are their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with ALL the people. AND THE LORD ADDED TO THE CHURCH DAILY THISE WHO WERE BEING SAVED.”

(Acts 2:37-47)

‘Remember?’

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“Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember?”

Mark 8:18 ESV

That word of Jesus leaps off the page to me, ‘remember.’

And His question comes back to me ‘And do you not remember?’ every single morning… how could I ever forget???

I hear You, Lord! I DO remember, vividly…

August 27, 2011… a day our family was forever changed… a day that marked us- and defined our faith.

Now, today, 8/27/18, it’s been 7 years, and I still stand amazed at what my God has done, and continues to do, each and every day.

Let me tell ya!

Because of what we went through, going from death to life, with the power of our tongues ONLY because of Jesus, and speaking the Word of God over our daughter, she is fully healed and alive today.

She’s married, (3 years this December), a registered nurse, and serving the Lord in the Peace Corp in Zambia with her husband Asa, declaring the marvelous deeds of the Lord- making a difference every day in the lives of others.

We have a deeper, stronger faith. We went through the flood, ‘the valley of the shadow of death’ literally, and our roots are firmly established in the revelation of a Father who never leaves us. NEVER.

We came through the ‘valley of the shadow of death’, when we emerged out of the deep end, and we have an awareness of God‘s abiding presence that forever changes the way we see impossible situations. NO one can tell me a situation is impossible when God’s involved, because I know otherwise!

Don’t ever settle for less than what God redeemed us from! Nothing is impossible with my Jesus!

God.

He was in the van with us. He was our ‘ever present help in our time of need’.

The moment we cried out ‘JESUS! Jesus, Jesus!’ He was right there, working on our behalf.

He sent His Holy Angels, who navigated my husband out of a treacherous situation… from the drivers seat, through a crushed door and broken window, glass everywhere… across LIVE POWER-LINES, in the pouring down rain- the Angels protection shielded him from harm, assisted him in getting her unbuckled and out of the pinned position of being sandwiched between the rear of her seat and the roof of our crushed van, over the the passengers side where both her Heavenly Father and her Daddy waited.

“Even if I go through the deepest darkness, I will not be afraid, Lord, for you are with me. Your shepherd’s rod and staff protect me.”

Psalm 23:4 GNTD

Honestly, when the tree fell suddenly on top of our van while we were driving, only five minutes from home… we were thrust into total darkness. The span of the tree so big, it covered our van… and the shield of our eyelids when we were thrown into unconsciousness also was utter darkness.

When my husband awoke first, his first instinct was survival and protection. Searching frantically for a cell phone to call 911, realizing the gravity of our situation he attempted to wake me, ‘WENDY! WENDY!’ he hollered my name multiple times. I seemed to hear him as if in a dream, with his voice sounding far away, though he was sitting right next to me…

My hand went to my head and neck, exploding in pain… then I heard these words:

“MORGANNE’S NOT BREATHING!”

These words reached into the depth of my darkness, my eyes flew open, heart was shocked into beating…dazed, seeing broken windshield and tree limbs covering us, trying to move my body around towards where our daughter was sitting, and then seeing her there… lifeless, like a rag doll, long arms and long hair hanging over side of seats edge alongside her knees…with the rear of her seat folded on top of her, the roof of the van pinning on top of her-I instantly was gripped by a level of fear and panic I never experienced before in my entire life!!! A sight forever branded on my heart and in my mind- not a day goes by that I don’t ‘see’ that gut-wrenching image…

I knew I needed to speak but the enemies grip on my throat was so tight it seemed literally impossible.

BUT GOD!!!

The power of the living Christ within me through my Helper, the Holy Spirit, arose a mighty spirit of faith. In fact, the very same power that raised Jesus from the dead was activated in me-and I cried out ‘Jesus!!! JESUS- HELP MY BABY GIRL!!’

As I twisted in my seat, I reached out my hand and touched her pulse, on her neck and wrist. THERE WAS NO PULSE! NO HEART BEAT!

Words of LIFE, God’s Word, started flowing off my tongue, guided by the Holy Spirit, as I laid my hands on her- ‘Morganne will live and NOT DIE, and shall give account of the deeds of the Lord! It is written! When believers lay hands on the sick they SHALL recover! We resist you Devil! We submit to God, you MUST FLEE! Go! Leave her alone! She will live and not die in Jesus Name!’

And we prayed in the Spirit, kept saying ‘Jesus! Life! Help our baby girl! JESUS! LIFE!

6 minutes from when we found the phone and called 911, she remained unchanged…Lifeless.

But our God breathed life back into her, by HIS Words we uttered over her.

She started to breath. And rescue arrived… they pulled her out of the narrow opening on the passenger side of the van; no time for jaws of life or crane to remove tree…

And took her to the emergency room. Praise God for first responders!!! We do, all the time!

Throughout our ordeal, a total of 13 initial days in two hospitals-finding out of her massive blood loss and brain bleeds, fractured skull, multiple hematomas and subdermal bleeds, major brain damage on both lobes and brain stem, hearing the words ‘1-5% chance of survival with little to no quality of life if she makes it’ , emergency ground medic transfer to MCV during the height of Hurricane Irene, followed by a 9 hour brain surgery then hooked up to life support for three days… we held tight to God’s Word and each other.

Our son and older daughter with us, we kept praying and speaking God’s Word of life over her. A nightmare for each one of us…only we ALL were living in the same one.

We fought the good fight of faith. We refused the reports we were hearing and only believed God’s. We kept on saying she would fully recover and that it would be expedient. Nothing else was acceptable. It didn’t line up to what we believed, and we believed GOD.

On the third day, she awoke, though her journey of recovery and HER fight of faith was just beginning.

It was soooo hard seeing her in pain! Seeing her swollen beyond recognition; all of her long beautiful hair, gone- replaced by vicious staples across half of her head… all a testament now of the incredible God we trust in and serve, and of her amazing strength.

Fighting severe pain, inability to see in one eye, unable to walk, she kept saying ‘I need to run!’ Even though she couldn’t even yet stand. Doctors and nurses told her ‘honey you need to understand that you have a severe brain injury. You can’t do what you used to be able to do. This is what having a traumatic brain injury is about, it’s for life, this is your new normal.’

Our feisty girls response? ‘Will you stop telling me what I can’t do when my God says I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength?!’

On the 13th day, against all odds, our daughter WALKED out of MVV to our vehicle, on her own two feet! She refused the wheelchair. Of course she refused it- she was making a statement without words, she didn’t need it!

The next day, she surprised her team at an invitational run; and on the way home stopped at the storage yard where the wreckage of the vans remnant remained… seeing her standing there, looking at the van, I knew we were looking at what a miracle looks like. Another image branded forever on my heart…

Two weeks later after intense physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy, and lots of prayer, she returned for a consequent brain surgery to reattach her bone after swelling went down… and after another five days of intense pain, and hospitalization at MCV, she was home again.

And, one month after original accident on September 30th, she returned to school- to all her advanced and AP dual enrollment college classes, and that afternoon?

Morganne ran with her cross country team!!! I’ll never, ever forget it.

The power of the tongue… Like a rudder on a ship- it’s so tiny in size yet it powerfully steers the direction of our lives by the words off our lip.

When we line up our words with God’s Words- life will always follow.

“What you say can preserve life or destroy it; so you must accept the consequences of your words.” Proverbs 18:21 GNTD

“Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.”

Proverbs 18:21 MSG

This year is bittersweet, as we always commemorate this day with an anniversary dinner to honor God and thank Him for saving us, and for restoring our daughter back to life, miraculously… but with Morganne being thousands of miles away across the world from us, we will celebrate in two separate time zones, and in two parts of the world.

We will always remember, Jesus, what You’ve done for us. We will tell the world of Your goodness every opportunity we have-

‘We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the words of our testimony’. (Revelation 12:11)

If I could encourage one person not to give up by ‘remembering’ and sharing what Jesus did for us, then our trial has been worthwhile.

Jesus Himself tells us in Mark 11:22, ‘Have faith in God.’ We live by faith., and never stop thanking Him for the incredible things He has done.

We remember…

Hope.

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All throughout the winter, I have been driving past this tree on my way to and from work.

Always captures my attention…

This tree has a lesson. So does this empty fruit basket.

It’s been speaking to my soul. And yes, trees can speak.

We read about Jesus speaking to the fig tree in Mark 11… it spoke back to Him, in obedience. It heard what He said, and did what He said.

Regarding THIS tree-and THIS empty basket…

Most specifically the little fruit basket sitting as if it’s waiting. It has been speaking to me.

A lot.

It is a symbol of hope and of new life.

When we look at things that seem lifeless and hopeless, the more we let our gaze dwell there unchecked, we grew weary and depressed.

This image paints a different picture to focus on-if only we have eyes to see and ears to hear…

The tree branches are empty.. there’s no sign of life…

There’s a hint of life however on the bottom, of the green grass starting to grow… but the symbol of hope here is in the empty bucket waiting at the bottom… it’s a sign that good things will come in the future.

I believe this is a message to encourage somebody.

Are you facing a hopeless situation?

Anyone feeling as if life will never come again the way you want it to?

God has different seasons in our life for a reason.

While we learn to wait on God, let’s purpose to trust Him!

“Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrew 11:1),

Based on the true uncompromised Word of God!

We need to learn to be obedient and to do what God says to do, in order to get the results God says we can have.

“call those things that are not as though they are!” (Romans 4:17)

God is a speaking Spirit!

He spoke everything into existence and to this day there are new galaxies still being created based on His original command to exist!

“Words are powerful! Words can be our salvation and words can be our damnation.” (Matthew 12:33 MSG)

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue!” (Proverbs 18:21)

What are we saying?

What are we declaring?

What are we confessing?

We need to learn to look adversity directly into its face and declare our victory!

Like this little basket sitting at the foot of this barren tree, waiting for the right season of fruit to come-anticipating…

let’s “trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not on to our own understanding- in all our ways acknowledge Him and let Him direct our steps!” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Lets look with eyes of faith! And speak into our future right now the expected end!

Be encouraged, dear loved ones- hope never disappoints!

Little Children’s Imaginary ‘Friends’ Have Spiritual Purpose

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Often times, little children have imaginary ‘friends’.

To them, they ‘see’ their ‘friends’ as real people. They confide in them. They are content for hours spending time with them.

They talk with them, eat with them, play with them- as if they are REAL people.

Little children are given great imaginations by God! They love to sit on the floor and pretend real life situations and act them out.

They make up stories, acting out with dolls, or toy cars, or they ‘play’ house or doctor, policeman, cowboy etc.

Many times when my children were little, they’d say “Mommy, come play with me!”

And quickly they’d assign me a position-a role to act out “You be the mommy, I’ll be the baby.”

Without effort on their part, they’d come up with the most natural conversations as they play-acted. But for me, it was not as easy to ‘pretend’ anymore as a grown up.

I loved watching my children play alone content with their ‘imaginary friends.’

They’d be oblivious to me standing in the doorway,observing their conversations, lost in play as if I was the invisible one and their ‘friend’ was more real than me.

I believe God gave little children the gift of imagination, and especially imagination friends for a reason.

It teaches them at a young age to be comfortable with themselves talking out loud to an ‘invisible’ yet very important figure in their life they believe to be real.

Colossians 1:15 (NLT) “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation”

The gift of a childlike imagination is from God. Children have innate unquestionable faith. They ‘see’ with the pure, undefiled eyes of faith.

Playtime for a little child with an unseen ‘real’ friend, is prayer preparation time with an unseen REAL God!

I believe God gave little children the gift of imaginary friends to allow them to grow comfortable talking out loud to their unseen friend/s, so that without question they will be able to ‘see’ Jesus, and talk with God whom they can’t see, but know is there.

When we ‘see’ Jesus as our real, personal living friend- when we become comfortable as as child talking with Him openly and anything and everything- we will ‘become as a child.’

“And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)

Wake up Church!

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I find it interesting that so many people in America place their value and worth on their possessions.

Material possessions, value and appearance of vehicles, houses and church buildings; yet Jesus did not put importance on things.

In fact, other than the clothes on His back and the sandals He had on His feet, He had no material possessions.

Jesus didn’t have a house to call His home. He left His home, he became homeless, so that we might find our eternal home in Him.

He didn’t stay in one place. He was nomadic. Truly, Jesus was a ‘mobile church.’

He initiated ‘Go Ye.’ He gave us the example- watch what He did.

That’s how we are to do. GO to the people, be about teaching, preaching, and healing all who are oppressed.

Jesus placed all importance and emphasis on people. PEOPLE. All people.

He knew people are a priority for God. So people (not buildings, not clothing, not material items) should be important to us as followers of Jesus.

He left His everything in Heaven to come to earth and give us ‘everything’ -Himself.

Yet many reject Him, and chose their ‘g’od of self, and chose ‘things’ to love.

People are created to be loved while things are made to be used.

But often times, we have this backwards because many are holding onto their things that they love and use more than being willing to let go and give to those who are in need.

Sadly, this is true within the walls of churches all across America. Is this bringing honor and glory to God? (Colossians 3:17; 23)

The Bible says that Satan has blinded the eyes of man, and I can see where lust for money and things has blinded eyes to real needs of so many people.

People living here in our own town have genuine need such as a roof over their head, food to eat etc. as well as people in other countries who are just as valuable to God.

I just returned from a mission trip in Africa with husband and one of our daughters.

The stark contrast of lavishness and luxurious things money is spent on- even within our own churches-give me cause and pause to think:

Is this pleasing to God? Are we really being good stewards of all God has given us? What is God thinking?

Do we really have Jesus’s priorities?

How are we really living biblical values?

Are we putting needs of people before our personal comfort?

Unless you leave your country and travel to another, you really have no idea.

It’s so difficult coming home and seeing the thousands of things that we take for granted that many have never experienced.

A bed that soft and comfortable with clean sheets with pillows with blankets…

Climate controlled rooms with air-conditioning, or heat adjustable at a moments touch of a control-

Clean, accessible drinking water whenever and wherever we are.

A roof over our head that covers multiple rooms in our house filled with multiple things that we don’t even use…

Stores everywhere within a moments reach that we can buy anything to our hearts desires.

Maybe it’s time we line up our hearts desires to mirror God’s Heart.

Maybe then, real people with real needs will see a real Jesus in us… and start receiving real love.

Food for thought…

“IF”… Faith ACTS

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How does a VITAL CHURCH grow?

It becomes LIFE to ALL.

“WHEN Christ who IS our life. (Colossians 3:4)… then you shall also appear with Him in all glory.”

“Vital” means LIFE.

“If” we truly are born again, Christ IS our life.

I sincerely and without no disrespect say “If” because God says this.

It’s NOT automatic- this ‘salvation’ or ‘born again’ experience I’m referring to.

Something actually happens in the spiritual realm to our spirits, we become a brand new, never before existed, created spirit. (1 Corinthians 5:17).

Just because we believe in God, and have knowledge that Jesus is God’s Son- doesn’t mean we have been born again, or saved.

Just because we go to church, doesn’t make us a Christian, no more than going to McDonald’s makes you a Bic Mac! God’s gift of salvation is 100% FREE, but cost God EVERYTHING.

But He doesn’t force it on us- it’s been offered, and is waiting for each of us to individually receive it, to receive Christ, who IS the gift of eternal life; as our individual Master, Lord, Savior, Redeemer, Deliverer, Healer, Provider, OUR LIFE!!!

It’s conditional, based on each of our individual choice.

He is The Way, The Truth, and THE LIFE.

First thing first responders do upon the scene of an accident is ‘check your vitals.’ They are determining whether or not there is LIFE in us.

Life is a gift, and as believers, CHRIST is our life, and His GIFT of life is to be shared and multiplied. God is a God of increase.

Friends, we all have goals, and most include financial goals. And this is good. But what good is it to gain the whole world and lose our souls??? (Mark 8:36/Matthew 16:26)

As CHRISTians, our main financial goals in life is not to pack away as much wealth as we can FOR OURSELF; but to be able to give without end to those in need all over the world. To spread the gospel into all the world cost money.

The purpose of wealth is NOT to hoard it to ourselves.

I don’t want money for myself. I want it so that I am give it away, so that I can feed the hungry, clothe the naked, house the homeless, give drink to the thirsty- bless those in need, IN THE NAME OF JESUS.

I’m not talking about those capable of helping themselves but don’t., or those trapped in addiction spending every donated dollar on their habit- they need help., too, but a different type of help. For those- I love them and pray for them to receive revelation of God’s presence, power and indescribable gift!

I speak LIFE over them, and plead the blood of Jesus over them. In their presence I speak ‘Jesus.’ ‘JESUS!’ At the name of Jesus, the demons tremble and every knee must bow. And His power is released! (James 2:19/Philippians 2:11/ Luke 10:17/ Mark 16:17-17)

I’m talking about the majority of our world struggling to find clean water to drink; food to eat, shelter- who need our answer, their answer, JESUS.

We must go TO THEM, and TELL THEM. We must SHOW THEM. We must CARE for them, and LOVE them, like the Jesus we confess.

This is why I desire money.

This is why I give what I have. And to keep on giving what I have. It’s not a one time done. check off list thing. It’s GODS WAY. It’s a lifestyle of a Christian.

This is why I am passionate about being part of “THE CHURCH”, and seek a ‘vital’ church (THE BODY OF CHRIST) who gets this!!!

Faith ACTS. It doesn’t sit still. It doesn’t remain in one place, content, like a ‘fat baby.’ I remember back in my singing days, singing an Amy Grant song called ‘Fat Baby.’ It’s time to resurrect this song, folks!!! It’s TIME FOR A GREAT AWAKENING!!! RISE UP!!! Get busy!!!

Here’s the lyrics- read them. Let them get deposited in your spirit. Are YOU a fat baby???

“I know a man, maybe you know him, too

You never can tell; he might even be you

He knelt at the altar, and that was the end

He’s saved, and that’s all that matters to him

His spiritual tummy, it can’t take too much

One day a week, he gets a spiritual lunch

On Sunday, he puts on his spiritual best

And gives his language a spiritual rest

He’s just a faaa…

He’s just a fat little baby!

Wa, wa, waaaaa…

He wants his bottle, and he don’t mean maybe

He sampled solid foods once or twice

But he says doctrine leaves him cold as ice

Ba, ba, ba, ba…ba, ba…ba, ba!

He’s been baptized, sanctified, redeemed by the blood

But his daily devotions are stuck in the mud

He knows the books of the Bible and John 3:16

He’s got the biggest King James you’ve ever seen!

I’ve always wondered if he’ll grow up someday

He’s momma’s boy, and he likes it that way

If you happen to see him, tell him I said,

“He’ll never grow, if he never gets fed”

He’s just a fat, fat, fat, fat, fat, fa-at, fat…

Fat, Fat, Fat, Fat, Fat, Fa-at, Fat…

Fat, Fat, Fat, Fat, Fat, Fat, Fatttt…

Baby…”

Don’t wait until you have ‘enough of the wealth’ YOU think is enough to start giving- you’ll never become a giver if you wait. Start now. Learn to sacrifice now. Become a giver now.

You have to give by faith, with your heart, with what you have now. Trust God. Hey, ALL of the earth is the Lords and the fullness therein. ALL belongs to God… we are only stewards of what He has entrusted us with.

Are we being faithful with it? Are we holding onto it with stingy fingers, even more tightly when the Holy Spirit touches our hearts to give, then we don’t?

Or are we trusting God with EVERY area of our life, including our finances? Are we???

God will take your gift, and will supernaturally multiply it; and will increase your ability to gain more; once your heart lines up with His.

The value of something is determined by what one is willing to pay.

God’s determined our value, ALL of mankind’s value, even in our imperfect condition, was the life of His only Son.

God is a giver. He held nothing back.

We are to follow His example, if indeed He is in us… we are made in His image. We are made to multiply, to increase.

Let’s give all we can selflessly, and see our world changed.

All of the worlds poverty, starvation, need- is solvable through the Christ who is in us…

IF we would but learn to see people as HE sees people…

IF we would but learn to love people as HE loves people…

IF we TRULY would obey and do what HE instructed us to do-we will see in God’s Word WHO we are in Christ, WHOSE we are in Christ, and WHO WE ARE CONNECTED TO IN THE BODY OF CHRIST.

Our body is the ‘new’ temple the Holy Spirit dwells in, if we are truly born again. Our body IS the ‘house’ that our spirit, and God’s Spirit IN OUR SPIRIT, contains.

May ALL our eyes open to this truth!!! May HIS Holy Fire consume us, and His passion ignite us!!!

“Now ALL who believed were together, and had ALL things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among ALL, as anyone had need…”

IF we truly desire to be obedient and to become THE church, THE bride of Christ, we need to do what He has instructed us to do, then we will be the vital “church” that grows!

This is how we will know- read what is written, when Peter was with the rest of the other apostles (followers of Christ, who were ALREADY BORN AGAIN):

“Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent. And let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you SHALL RECEIVE the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the PROMISE is to you AND TO YOUR CHILDREN, AND TO ALL WHO ARE AFAR OFF, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

“Then THOSE WHO GLADLY RECEIVED HIS WORD… So continuing daily with ONE ACCORD in the temple, and breaking of bread from house to house, they are their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with ALL the people. AND THE LORD ADDED TO THE CHURCH DAILY THISE WHO WERE BEING SAVED.”

(Acts 2:37-47)