THE ILLUSION

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This is it….the big weekend!
Happy 4th of July…Independence day….a time to
celebrate America’s freedom.
Somehow, the traditional events of extravagant fireworks,
concerts, parades, barbecues, etc seem to lack the significance
of years ago. When we review all the rights that have been
taken away, it’s questionable what freedom we are celebrating!

I am remembering a beautiful summer evening from
last year. I had tied Stella dog to a tree in the front yard.
The leash was quite long and she loved having the freedom to
explore the front yard.
All was well until, suddenly, a large dog ran across our driveway.
Stella jumped up and took off after that dog with everything in her.
What happened next was horrible to see. When she reached the
end of that leash, the impact flipped her on her back; at the same
time a terrible sound came out of her.
Truly, I thought she was dying. ( Happy ending….the Lord
answered my tearful prayers and Stella recovered quickly.
I gained wisdom from the experience of what not to do.)

The analogy: America, like Stella, is under the illusion of
being independent and free. As a nation we have corporately
believed we are free. As individual citizens we have been proud
of our independence. Spiritually we proclaim we are free.
The only means of being free is to know the truth. John 8:32

FREEDOM: The condition of being free. The power to act,
speak, or think without externally imposed restraints.
INDEPENDENCE: Freedom from control or influence of
another or others.

The truth is our nation is almost at the end of its leash.

Pray for America!

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WRONG ADDRESS

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A letter came to our home address yesterday.
It looked important and perhaps even contained a check.
The problem was it was not addressed to us. I attempted to
find the person’s correct address online via various search
engines and then forward it to her.

During this process the Lord gave me the understanding of a
spiritual truth. When we correctly hear what the Lord speaks
to us and are obedient to His ways, we are in the right place
at the right time to receive all that He has for us.
God has good gifts for His children. However, too often, we are
not in the right place to receive them!

If we intentionally neglect physical care of our body and
purposefully indulge in harmful substances, we aren’t in the
best position to receive God’s healing mercies. In fact, rebellion
in any area of our lives positions us contrary to God.

Position can also be about geographic location. The Lord told
Elijah to go to Zarephath. He told Jonah to go to Nineveh. Jesus
told His disciples to meet Him in Galilee. He may be telling you
to go somewhere!

However, being in the “right place” is more than all this. What
the Lord specifically was showing me was the importance of
being correctly positioned spiritually, according to His call
upon your life. For example, If He has anointed you for worship,
you probably won’t shine as brightly teaching. He may have gifted
you to write, but you are busy doing something else.
Beware of distractions & foolish ambitions that promise much
but only deter you from your God given destiny, greatest anointing
and gifts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THE HORIZONTAL FLIP

Photo editing can be quite fun, but also quite deceptive.
You can horizontally flip a photo, causing the right side to become the left,
and the left side to become the right.

While I was thinking about this, the Lord began showing me that this is what
we often do with scripture!

Proverbs 16:3 instructs us to “Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.”
The amplified Bible provides a deeper understanding: “Roll your works upon the Lord (commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable
 to His will, and) so shall your plans be established and succeed.” 

Here’s the picture: we take our plans, like a heavy burden, and roll them onto the
Lord, Who then establishes/ structures them according to His will.
How simple! We start with God first, give Him our plans, and He gives us
the wisdom how to best accomplish them.

It doesn’t happen.

Instead, we do the horizontal flip! We bypass God, go forward with what we think
is great, and then ask God to work it out.

The deception is believing that we are more capable than God to establish
our ideas and make them successful.
Wow! The question is: What would cause us to have more confidence in ourselves
vs trusting God?

Could it be a control issue? A fear of letting go and trusting God? Lack of knowledge
of God- His nature and the truth of His word?

Good stuff to pray about!

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ANXIETY

Tonight I kept seeing people that appeared to be squashed down by some invisible force. Their bodies were like boxes….some were so compressed they barely had any necks. Others were extremely hunched over. They all seemed so sad and discouraged. This was a picture of anxiety.

Prov 12:25 Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression……

The “invisible force” of cares, fears, and sorrow, had become heavy burdens, weighing  down the people. They had become weak, as if all hope and joy had been squeezed out of them.

ANXIETY is defined as a relatively permanent state of worry and nervousness; an emotional  response experienced in anticipating some undefined misfortune. Research reports that 40% of a person’s anxiety is focused on things that will never happen. 30% on things about the past that can’t be changed; 12% on things about criticism by others, mostly untrue; 10% about health, which gets worse with stress; and, only 8% is about real problems.

Clearly, worry is a waste of time….Jesus asked “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” Matt. 6:27   Why then is it so hard not to worry? With that thought, I suddenly saw a snake trying to wrap itself around peoples heads. Too strange…but it must mean something….. It does!

I found that the word “worry” comes from an old English word that means to “strangle or choke”. Amazing…so worry functions like a snake (it’s the python again), squeezing all hope and peace out of our mind and heart.

The snake’s bottom line hasn’t changed from its first appearance in the Garden of Eden. It’s agenda is to choke out what God has said. Prov 12:25 Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression,  But a good word makes it glad.

Truth is the real remedy for anxiety. A good word from God awakens the heart to new vision, hope, and peace! We have a God Who loves us and has promised He will never leave us or forsake us.

“For the LORD your God has arrived to live among you. He is a mighty savior. He will rejoice over you with great gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will exult over you by singing a happy song.” Zeph.3:17

What are you anxious/worried about? What unknown fears are wrapped around you, strangling your hope…squeezing you into a panic attack?

Don’t let it happen….get your sword (the Word of God) and cut off the snake!

the SWORD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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AN INTERESTING VISION

An interesting vision: J CellEverything was in shades of black and white. There was a long corridor, dimly lit with florescent lighting which reflected shadows on a shiny, dark, cement floor.

Prison cells lined both sides of the corridor. Each cell had one or two people who seemed surprisingly content in their bleak surroundings. Even more amazing was the fact none of the cell doors were locked! How puzzling this seemed….in such an oppressive atmosphere, no one was taking advantage of escaping.

As I walked down the corridor, I discovered there were specific sections of cells, each section having it’s own name. 3 of the names I saw were “Pornography”, “Alcoholism”, and “Deception”. At the very end of the corridor, there was a plaque with these words: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil….” (Isaiah 5:20)

The prison guard, who had been watching me, was eager to explain. The reason no one even tried to leave their cells was they didn’t really want to be freed of their addictions or destructive behavior. In fact, they found relief and comfort in them. This was because they had become the means to escape or avoid aspects of themselves or life they didn’t want to deal with.

There it is….we resist giving up something that we have made our escape! It makes wrong right and bad good, but ultimately robs us of freedom.

Wow..may we  not be bound by seeking relief and peace in things that are ungodly!

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SPRING CLEANING

spring-cleaning

And now…suddenly….it’s springtime! The warm sunshine and fresh breeze brought back childhood memories.

This was the time of year my sweet mama, of a gentle nature, turned into a samurai warrior. My sister and I were immediately recruited to join the ranks in the battle against dust balls, greasy stains, and various unclean invaders.

This was a ceiling to floor attack.

Everything that could be picked up was taken outside and shaken. Nothing inside escaped being lifted up, inspected, turned over and moved. Cobwebs and mold were no match for brooms and bleach. Few items escaped the pulsating, soapy water of the washer and fierce heat of the dryer. Only high quality, delicate items were carefully hung outside to dry. The grand finale, after several weeks, was a stunning showcase of cleanliness and order.

I can’t help but wonder what would happen if we decided to “spring clean” our lives. Anything that didn’t agree with God’s Word and a goal of excellence ….physically- mentally – and spiritually, would be tossed out. This would be far greater and more intense than my childhood experience.

None the less, I believe God is cheering us on (like mama) to get the job done.

“But who will be able to endure it when he comes? Who will be able  to stand and face him when he appears? For he will be like a blazing fire that refines metal, or like a strong soap that bleaches clothes.  He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross.” Malachi 3:2

Scripture tells us not to be conformed to the world. The Message Bible says it this way: “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work,  and walking-around life – and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him”. Romans 12:1,2

Make a decision not to complain, to keep your eyes from unclean things, purify your heart, and walk in truth.

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and  meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.” Phil 4:8 Message Bible

AMEN!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ATTACHMENTS

SMALL CLIPS

I was certain …no, I was proud, that I had no attachments.
I was free and convinced of being unattached to external
circumstances. Nothing could hinder or slow me down.
Until…..just one small incident exposed the deception.

This isn’t about PDF files you attach to your emails. This is
about emotional attachments that join you together with
someone or something. Long standing attachments become
valuable sources of stability and reliability. When they are
threatened, the degree of attachment is revealed.

Such was my experience re my cell phone. My cell phone!
The phone number I had for approx 9 years couldn’t port to
my new carrier. The ensuing drama was short lived, ridiculous,
and painfully revealing.

The bottom line …my phone number had become my identity!
Those 10 digits represented me to others in every area of my life.
The task of reconnecting the past with the present via my new
number initially seemed an unquestionable necessity. The sheer
absurdity of that thought brought everything into right perspective!

The deeper issue was if I couldn’t let go of a cell phone number,
what about my life? Intellectually we can have all the right
answers, but in a real life confrontation, our response will reveal
whatever we really believe in our heart. Jesus addressed it this
way: “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you
give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” Mt 16:25

How easy it is to allow emotional attachments to people, objects,
and geographic locations overrule God’s presence and guidance
in our life. We become one with whoever or whatever we join our
self to…”But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.”
1 Corinthians 6:17  There’s my true identity!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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