Monday, December 31, 2018

Change is Inevitable.

      Do you ever look back over the previous year and wonder if you have grown and changed at all?  I wish there were some sort of indicators we could put on our door posts, like we did when our children were young, to mark their phusical growth.  Because growth in all areas of our lives is increemental and cumulative it is difficult to remember from whence we came.  It is important to remind ourselves, though, that because we have set our hearts on things of God and asked Him to change us, He surely has/is!
   As I look back on journal entries over the years, sometimes I think I was wiser then, than now.  Do you ever feel that way?  Or that I am still dealing with the same areas in my life that were a problem many years ago.  I once mentioned this to our friend and mentor, Tommy Tyson.  He said that it may seem we are going round and round revisiting the same problems but in actuality we are on a spiral, so even though we see the same problem we are facing it at a higher level.  That encourages me!  I pray that one of these days I will actually get to the top of this spiral of visiting certain problems and not have to go around again, don't you?
    As always I determine to start the New Year better than I end this one.  This year, we actually started early.  On the day after Christmas we began a 40 day no white flour, no sugar fast.  Already I can see a difference.  We were eating entirely too much sugar!  Once I get over the fact I can't eat everything I see and begin to 'eat to live' instead of 'live to eat' I really don't mind and then as I begin to feel better, I always ask myself why I don't eat this way all the time.
    Another resolution I have made in most recent years is to begin the year reading the New Testament in Chronological Order (see blog post here).  This year we bought our children, their spouses, our grandchildren and their significant others, and a couple of friends,  the Passion Translation of the New Testament (which I love).  Then I had the N.T. Chronological Bible Study printed on laminated cards for them and invited them to begin it with us on January 1.  I think it will be inspiring for us all to be reading in the same place every day.  I asked them to share with a text or email some of their insights if they could.
     I invite you to join us, also.  We could have an online Bible Study. I would love to hear what God is showing you about your life, the world, me--anything.  Accountability helps in most every endeavor to change, so I pray when you make your New Year's resolutions you will also find some who will journey with you and help you stay the course.
    Blessings on 2019!  Have a wonderful "growing" year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

"9 Prophetic Strategies for 2019" Jamie Rohrbaugh

This is a promising word for 2019 from Jamie Rohrbaugh. It was posted on The Elijah List this week.   A great Christmas gift.  Merry Christmas!

A few days ago, the Lord began talking to me about what He has in store for 2019. When He did, He also told me several strategies we should use to see His will manifested in our lives next year. I believe these strategies will bless you also. Here are the prophetic strategies the Lord gave me for 2019:
1. Seven "I Am" Statements 
Father God is anointing people for total transformation, and it starts with redefining who you are. I believe He is calling us to write out seven "I am statements" to confess throughout the year. If you want to participate in this, write down seven statements that you will speak out loud over yourself from now through 2019. Make these seven statements start with the words "I am," and be sure they talk about who you are, not about things you do.
Some of your statements will naturally pertain to the most important things in life (e.g. being on fire for God). Others will be important because you need to redefine who you are in those areas. Your seven "I am" statements should all take your proverbial breath away.
These statements will frame your year. They should all make you feel like you are walking into a wide, new world—a wonderland of possibilities—because you are. Everything can change for you in 2019.
2. Get Serious
"The Lord desires to sit VISIBLY enthroned on all your circumstances. This is the year in which He will bring Himself more glory in your life than ever before."
You are about to graduate—and the serious ones will receive everything. Father God is pouring out a grace right now for total transformation. He is pouring out His anointing, grace, and help right now to assist people in redefining who they are on paper first, and then implement the changes in every area over the course of the next year. If you participate in the transformational process, I believe in one year and even one month or so from today, your life can be totally different. Just keep in mind that if you want this:
• There will be sacrifice.
• You will need a routine that you follow every day.
• You must define your path and write it down in advance.
• You must dedicate yourself to living purposefully every day.
It will be like final exams at the university. Final exam students usually study, rest, and study some more. Every moment is taken up with studying for the next exam, until the last one is over. But when the last exam is over, they celebrate BIG! They celebrate because they made it through. They celebrate because they achieved a milestone. They celebrate because they don't ever have to go back there. If you will treat 2019 like final exam week, you will not ever have to go back around this same mountain...and that is good news!
You will graduate, and you will enter your Promised Land. But, you'll have to be sober and vigilant. As 1 Peter 5:8-11 says: "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen."
You've been suffering awhile already. Now is Father's time to perfect you. The question is: Do you want what He has for you badly enough to "See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:15-16)? Because this is what it's going to take. Only the serious will appropriate everything He has. Everyone can receive mercy drops from Heaven, but only the serious ones will receive EVERYTHING God has for them. 
The Lord hit me with a sentence so strongly that it physically knocked me backward when I heard it: "The serious ones will receive everything." 2019 is the year when the serious ones will receive everything. As we go through our year-long final exam week, Father God will do more for us by His might than we could have dreamed. But, He is going to require us to be faithful and diligent. Our diligence is the basket in which we can receive His miracles.
Beloved, you are about to graduate, and you're going to be greatly rewarded when you do—IF you are one of the serious ones. So if you want total transformation, get serious today. Forget those things which are behind, and reach forward to those things that are ahead. Make every change you need to make and do it between you and Holy Spirit alone. (Photo via Unsplash)
The giants you see before you today, you can never see again. You can vanquish them, obliterate them, wipe them off the face of the planet. You can occupy your Promised Land so fully and completely that you will not recognize your life by the end of next year.
3. "Contend"
I believe this is the Lord's "word of the year." The Lord is calling people back to their old place of contending—but contending is no longer going to be laborious. It's going to be glorious instead. That is not to say that contending will be easy. The Lord is showing me that 2019 is going to also be a challenging year. Final exam weeks are always challenging! However, I believe it will also be the most victory-filled year we, as a Body of Christ, have ever experienced.
In order to see those victories manifest in our lives, we're going to have to contend. YOU are going to have to contend for whatever you want the Lord to do for you in 2019. It's not that Father isn't ready, eager, and willing to pour out His blessings on you...HE IS.
However, you passed a test recently. As a result of passing that test, you got promoted to a higher level. This higher level is a place in which you will experience higher-level warfare than you have ever experienced before. You will need to contend in 2019 because the Lord wants to bring you every victory—but you are now facing more opposition than you have ever faced.
4. Come Boldly to the Throne
The Scripture the Lord told me to stand on for the year is Hebrews 4:16"Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." In 2019, remember to pray boldly and expect answers. EXPECT Father God to pour out mercy, grace, and help on you when you pray.
5. Reclaim the Night Watches in Prayer
People in the early Church woke up to pray multiple times during the night. They prayed multiple times a day. King David of ancient times set aside seven special times a day for a praise break (Psalm 119:164). The Lord is calling His people to reclaim the night watch. The fourth watch (from 3:00-6:00 AM) is going to be particularly important and strategic, but you may hear the Lord calling you to prayer at any hour of the night. When you hear Him, say the words of Samuel the prophet: "Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears."
The Lord is pouring out an anointing for nighttime prayer that we have never seen before. He is reclaiming the night for His glory. In the nighttime hours, He is revealing the treasures that have been hidden in darkness. 
As it says in Isaiah 45:1-3"Thus says the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held—to subdue nations before him and loose the armor of kings, to open before him the double doors, so that the gates will not be shut: 'I will go before you and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the Lord, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel."
"If you will treat 2019 like final exam week, you will not ever have to go back around this same, dumb mountain...and that is good news!"
The Lord desires to sit VISIBLY enthroned on all your circumstances. This is the year in which He will bring Himself more glory in your life than ever before. If you want Him to do so, you are going to have to contend in prayer—praying violently and fiercely, knowing what outcome you want based on what the Lord promised you, and refusing to give up until you get what you ask for. In 2019, the Lord is calling people to reclaim their place and time of contending, and reclaiming the night watches is going to be easy.
You will find the Lord waking you and calling you to pray. You will have to overcome the urges of your flesh in order to answer, but you will find as soon as you do that your spirit will dominate over your flesh instantly. You will feel a holy ease and anointing to reclaim the night watches in prayer. In many cases, losing sleep will not even make you tired. Father may also direct you to make some health changes; if He does, those changes will help you reclaim your nighttime prayer watches. However, His anointing will do the rest.
6. Anointed Prayer Language
You will also experience a new anointing on your prayer language in 2019. Father showed me that many people have let their prayer languages lie fallow. If you are one of those people, the gift of tongues has become to you like a common thing. However, despite your feelings, your prayer language has always been a key to unlock the heavenlies for you. You didn't realize it, but the enemy was stealing your revelation and use of your prayer language by obscuring its wonder with fatigue and cynicism toward what felt like mundane charismata.
Starting today, I decree you are going to war with your prayer language. You will find Holy Spirit's anointing on your prayer language like never before. The Lord is unleashing barrages of declarations and decrees that will enforce His will on the earth. He is doing this through the prayer languages of His people.
7. What's On Your List?
Next, make a list of things for which to contend. You need a prayer list in 2019. Even if you have never used a prayer list before, you need one now. You will feel the anointing of Holy Spirit on your list as Jesus pours out His Spirit of grace and supplication on you while you are faithful to pray.
Contend for the things on your list over and over. Be one of the people of faith that Jesus said He will be looking for in Luke 18:1-8—people whose real faith is demonstrated by persistent, unyielding prayer. Stand on the wall in prayer until you see everything on your list accomplished.
8. Open Doors
Ask God to open doors you never saw coming. Specifically pray for double doors to open—and for the opening of doors and opportunities that were previously barred shut.
In many cases, Father God has allowed delays and hindrances in many things because the solutions you thought would solve your problem were not good enough. Every closed door means a better solution somewhere, for all things work together for your good if you love God and are called according to His purposes. Therefore, pray and claim God's promise to open doors and shut other doors as only He can do.
9. The Pioneer and Entrepreneur
Last but not least, 2019 is the year of the pioneer and the year of the entrepreneur. God has gone before you through a wilderness season and even into the Promised Land. Now, however, He is expanding your vision. He is reawakening many, especially in the fields of business. (Photo via Unsplash)
Many failed business ideas have made entrepreneurs in the Body feel like failures. However, Father God sees all of it as part of His building process. He is going to place His hand softly onto entrepreneurs and visionaries in 2019, thrusting them out gently again into the realms of business. This time, however, it won't hurt.
The Lord says to entrepreneurs and pioneers: "Many paths before you appear fallow, but one of them will blossom like a rose. You have done well, good and faithful servant, and have served Me in ways you will not know until I show you your fruit in the halls of Heaven.
"Now, however, I will reward you. Expect it to be difficult in the sense that you will have to work, but expect it to be easy in the sense that I make all things new. You will see the difference in this season, for it is the season of your reward."
2019 is Final Exam Week
I believe 2019 is full of promise, but it will also be a challenging year in which the serious shall obtain great reward. You will see the greatest victories of your life manifest this next year. To see those victories, you will need to contend like never before—but you will find the Captain and Lord of hosts in your prayer closet with you. His Spirit of grace and supplication is eager to work with you to glorify Father's name on the earth, and you shall be the vessel of His praise and victory. Hallelujah! (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)
Jamie Rohrbaugh
From His Presence

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

In His Presence by E.W. Kenyon

I've been reading E.W. Kenyon's book, In His Presence, again.  It is profound.

His writing style is different than I'm used to because he writes in sentences--not paragraphs--causing each sentence to stand out and be considered without embellishment.  As you can see, though, they are easy to read and understand, and there's no question of the meaning.
 He has this to say on page 12:
"To see a need is to have a call to prayer.  
There are people who will be utterly lost unless you take your place. 
Unless you do your part, men will cry against you through eternity.  
You can't plead that you have too much work to do.  
You can pray while you work.  
You can't put up the plea that you do not know how; you can learn if you wish. 
For you to disobey the prayer call is for you to disobey the call of your Father.  
The prayer responsibility today is the most important thing of our lives.  
Did you ever realize that there are men and women who are defeated and are breaking down in their business, home and spiritual life because we haven't prayed? 
 Let me change it; because YOU haven't prayed?
. . . If you are a mother or a wife, and live at home, there are certain duties which you perform every day for your family.  
The greatest duty that you will ever perform for your family will be the prayer duty."

That is pretty strong stuff, isn't it?  Very convincing and highly convicting!

Monday, December 17, 2018

From The Patriot Post Humor

Searching for a Restful and Meaningful Christmas

I must say this is one of the most enjoyable Christmases I've had in years!  Every year, I become  stressed trying to get the cards done, and the tree put up, and the shopping finished, and the baking and candy making done, and all the other things we have associated with the Christmas season.  I think the most stressful thing about it all is the time it takes to do all these things. By the time I'm through there doesn't seem to be nearly as much time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.  So instead of doing most of those things this year I decided to take a break and Country Guy agreed.  I didn't spend several days putting up a tree and decorating the house (and I won't have to spend several more taking down the tree and putting away all the decorations after Christmas) because we are not decorating--no tree even!  I know that is shocking for many people.  Some have even said, "How can you have Christmas without a tree?"  To those I am tempted to reply, "How can you have Christmas without an emphasis on Christ?"  I have longed for many years to have a simpler Christmas, so I guess this is an experiment--an attempt to figure out what are the necessities and to only do those.

I always enjoy doing our Christmas card, so I consider it one of the necessities.  This year I had the perfect space of time at the end of November since the class I was teaching skipped a week of meetings, so I got our card done early.  In addition to being an opportunity to wish friends and family a Merry Christmas, I consider it to be a type of journal for the year, adding photos and happenings.  I have been doing this for 20 years or so. and therefore have a record of the highlights of each of the years in my files.

I also enjoy baking but it seems I eat way too much of the sweets I make, so this year worked out perfectly.  I made over 400 cookies for Our Hometown Christmas last weekend which allowed me to enjoy the baking without eating so many!  I usually make a couple of kinds of candy, too, but that will have to wait till next year.

Shopping is probably the most stressful thing for me.  I would love to be a great shopper, but I'm not!  I dislike shopping for myself or anyone else so you can imagine how difficult and time consuming it is for me to shop for 18 others!!   My dream and intention is always to find the perfect gift for each family member but that never happens, so this year we will give them money.  We do this every year, but I also try to find something special to wrap up. This year I had a different idea and have followed through with it.  Hopefully, it will be meaningful.  If not, at least, I didn't waste a lot of time walking around shops to find a great gift.

How are you doing Christmas this year?  Are you someone--like my sisters--who love to shop and decorate?  Or are you like me and are also longing for a simpler Christmas?

However you celebrate, I pray this season will be a joyful, meaningful celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ for you and your family.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Repost of a funny photo

I was looking through old posts on my blog and came across this adorable, hilarious photo in the December 2012 post.   In the event you are needing a smile, I thought I would repost the photo today.


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Martinsville On The Move's Float

      Last Saturday was Our Hometown Christmas at Linn Park sponsored by Martinville On The Move with the Light Parade sponsored by the Firemen's Auxiliary.
     We are a little short on volunteers in our organization right now but we decided to go ahead and do the float to enter in the Light Parade in support of the Firemen's Auxiliary.  It is always fun to do once we get started but seems a little overwhelming before we begin.
     We think this year may have been our best!  One of the reasons why we could make it so beautiful was the use of the Littlejohn Grain service truck.  It has a generator that will support 10,000 watts!  That's a lot of Christmas lights so we didn't have to worry about overloading it and therefore added as many lights as we wanted.  Littlejohns also allowed us to use the heated mechanic shop to construct the float which helped tremedously since it was a very cold day.  Otherwise we would probably have quit before perfection.😀
     They also provided the trailer on which to build it, so I guess they should get significant credit for our success!

      Since the trailer had a metal ramp at the back (the rest of the floor was wood) Country Guy brought in a gate to lay across the slope of the ramp and we added a lighted angel to finish off the look.


Friday, December 7, 2018

Psalm 32 - The Passion Translation

   The Passion Translation of Psalm 32 is so meaningful to me!  I have been teaching a class on Integrated Healing this past semester.  One of the important premises of the class is built on recognizing, repenting and confessing sins so that we can receive (appropriate) the forgiveness and healing provided by Jesus on the Cross.  This Psalm affirms and confirms that this has been the way to deal with sin from the beginning.  The blood of animals was the substitute and forerunner of the ultimate sacrifice paid by Jesus.  Because so many of us have not recognized our sin and confessed it as such, we haven't appropriated the blood of Jesus to our lives to remove the sin and therefore are carrying the consequences in our bodies, often in the form of physical illness.  David gives us an example of how to deal with this as he relates his experience to us in Psalm 32.

Psalm 32 - Forgiven

 How happy and fulfilled are those
    whose rebellion has been forgiven,
    those whose sins are covered by blood.
How blessed and relieved are those
    who have confessed their corruption to God!
    For he wipes their slates clean
    and removes hypocrisy from their hearts.
Before I confessed my sins, I kept it all inside;
    my dishonesty devastated my inner life,
    causing my life to be filled with frustration,
    irrepressible anguish, and misery.
The pain never let up, for your hand of conviction
    was heavy on my heart.
    My strength was sapped, my inner life dried up
    like a spiritual drought within my soul.
Pause in his presence
Then I finally admitted to you all my sins,
    refusing to hide them any longer.
    I said, “My life-giving God,
    I will openly acknowledge my evil actions.”
    And you forgave me!
    All at once the guilt of my sin washed away
    and all my pain disappeared!
Pause in his presence
This is what I’ve learned through it all:
    All believers should confess their sins to God;
    do it every time God has uncovered you
    in the time of exposing.
    For if you do this, when sudden storms of life overwhelm,
    you’ll be kept safe.
Lord, you are my secret hiding place,
    protecting me from these troubles,
    surrounding me with songs of gladness!
    Your joyous shouts of rescue release my breakthrough.
Pause in his presence
8–9 I hear the Lord saying, “I will stay close to you,
    instructing and guiding you along the pathway for your life.
    I will advise you along the way
    and lead you forth with my eyes as your guide.
    So don’t make it difficult; don’t be stubborn
    when I take you where you’ve not been before.
    Don’t make me tug you and pull you along.
    Just come with me!”
10 So my conclusion is this:
    Many are the sorrows and frustrations
    of those who don’t come clean with God.
    But when you trust in the Lord for forgiveness,
    his wrap-around love will surround you.
11 So celebrate the goodness of God!
    He shows this kindness to everyone who is his.
    Go ahead—shout for joy,
    all you upright ones who want to please him!