Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Go and Skim No More

My hubby asked me this morning when do we turn the clocks back? (Daylight Savings Time... Fall back, Spring forward)... Anyway, I googled it and at first glance I saw, Sunday, October 21st.  Didn't dawn on me that I might have been wrong, (Daylight Savings Time was changed to November a couple of years ago) but I told him, "Oh, this Sunday."  And with that he walked away.  But I got a prompt to google it again.  So I did.  This time it said, Sunday, November 4th.  So I thought to myself, 'How come I didn't see that the first time?' and even googled it a few more times, and binged it to be sure, and that original date or site that I had found before, I could not find.  Not thinking too much of it, I shook it off as it was time for me to go to my hair appointment.

Ok, so what's the point, I hear you saying.  Well, I got to the hair salon and as I was sitting under the dryer, I sent a text to my hubby, telling him of my mistake, saying, "Daylight Savings is Sunday, November 4th.  Guess this is what happens when you skim over stuff, instead of reading it.  (Especially when you don't have your glasses on)."  But almost immediately after I wrote that, I heard God say, "Exactly.  And that's the problem."

“Too many of My people are skimming over stuff instead of paying attention to it.  He said that we are skimming over the Bible, instead of reading it.  He said that we are skimming over His instructions, instead of doing them.  He said that we are skimming over life even, instead of living it.  Letting days go by and even years without an appreciation for it and the people that are in it.”

God said those things that are important to us, we take the time to understand.  We pay attention to it.  We read.  We study.  We do.  That so often we pick up His Word and we skim over it, instead of actually reading it.  Reading and understanding is just like hearing and listening.  Just as we can hear something, but not necessarily listen, we can read something, but not necessarily understand.  Understanding requires a step more.  Just like listening requires action (that we take heed to what we hear), understanding requires that we apply our heart to receive wisdom.  To learn something that we did not know before.  

God then said that when I googled the date, I was so set on just getting a date than actually getting information, that I skimmed over what was there and only saw what I was so intent on seeing.  And not only that, because I did not have my glasses on, that only enhanced what I saw.  Or made me believe that what I saw was in fact the case.  He said that sometimes we are so set on getting what we want, on doing what we want, instead of actually doing what is necessary, that we miss it.  And we mess up.  And because we don't have on our spiritual eyes we are convinced that what we are doing is enough.  For whatever we think it is enough of.  Reading, listening, seeing. 

How many of us say that we are going to read the Word, and actually do set out to read the Word, but we walk away with little or no understanding?  Or worse, no revelation?  And how many of us have taken what we thought we read and passed it on to somebody else?  Feeding them false or misinformation.  Bless God that this was only a date about Daylight Savings Time that my husband had asked me.  But what if had been something more?  Like how many times must he forgive somebody?  Or what must I do to be saved?  We do not want to give people misinformation because we cannot take the time to read. 

Lord, Jesus help us.  Lord Jesus, help me.   It’s time to stop skimming and start doing.

God is real.

Be blessed.
Sis. E


Friday, October 12, 2012

I See Dead People

I see dead people.
Everywhere I go.
The mall, restaurants, even in church.
Oh, they don’t know they’re dead.
No.  They’re spiritually dead.
And that makes them blind too.
Oblivious to what is going on around them
And clueless to why things happen the way they do
For them anyway.
They’re like zombies, you know.
They have bodies, but no souls.
Walking around without a purpose.
Searching for something they can’t seem to find.
They’re dead.
Dead people have no vision.
Dead people have no destiny.
And it doesn’t have to be that way you know.
I was dead.
I was dead in my transgressions and sins, 
in the way I used to live when I followed the ways of this world.
Yeah, at one time, I too was dead,
gratifying the cravings of my flesh
and following its desires and thoughts.
But Jesus said that though we are dead,
We can be made alive through Him…

Now awake dead people.
Arise!  And Jesus will give you life.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Free To Love

You know I don’t know what it’s gonna take
I tried in so many ways to show them what they did to me
How much they hurt me
How I feel like they took a knife and stabbed it in my back
And just keep twisting it over and over and over again
Every time I see them
Every time I hear their voice
Every time the subject is brought up
It hurts
Why don’t they just see that Lord?
How many times Lord?
How many times must I hurt? 
Must I forgive? 
I am past the point of loving
I am past the point of bleeding
It’s their turn to bleed now.
After all it wasn’t me who did this to them
It wasn’t me who betrayed them
I continued to love them in spite of it all
I continued to give, I continued to believe
That it would work out
It wasn’t me who believed a lie
And who keeps believing it
Year after year after year after year
It wasn’t me who let them down
It wasn’t me who left, who died.
But I might as well have
As many times as they’ve killed me
Refusing to acknowledge my existence
My life
Who I am and what I care about
Not even caring enough to see it
To give it a second thought
To apologize
It hurts, Lord
And I can’t keep doing this
I can’t keep looking past their fault
And seeing their need
I can’t keep loving them anyway
Praying for them, anyway
I can’t keep crying…

I can’t keep forgiving them, Lord
Just to have them do it all over again
70 x 7 doesn’t work for me
Surely we must be at 500 by now
I know love doesn’t keep count
But how much they must be counting
As every day goes by, as every month goes by
And they refuse to forgive me
Refuse to move on
To let go
of something I haven’t even done
I know I need to forgive them, Lord
I just can’t do that anymore
I am bitter
I don’t want to be
I just want the pain to go away
I just want the hurting to stop
The tears to end
When are YOU going to do something about it?
Vindicate me, for I am innocent.
End the evil of those who are wicked,
and defend me
Cause them to see
Stop them from doing this to me Lord.
My soul hurts
And I long to be cleansed,
I long to be free from this pain
of resentment
of bitterness
of hostility
of anger
of unforgiveness

Forgive them Father for they know not what they do
Forgive me Father, because I do.

I forgive them Lord
And if I forgive other people when they sin against me,
You will also forgive me
And then I will be free again
to love.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Respond Accordingly

I was out today at a Shopping Center getting my nails done and afterwards drove over to Kohl's to return a few items.  As I pulled up there was a young woman and a bunch of people crowding around.  The woman was standing against the door of the store shouting at someone about something which I couldn't quite make out. But I parked my car and started walking towards the store.  And as I did that, I saw a cop car pull up to the store.  I walked closer and at that time a cop was taking the young woman and putting her in the car and the woman was yelling at the top of her lungs.  

She was telling the cop to let her go.  She didn't do anything.  He had no right to hold her.  He told her she was being arrested.  And she just kept yelling, “I didn't do anything!  I didn't do anything!  He grabbed me first!  He had no right putting his hands on me!  Let me go!  Let me go!”  On and on she went.  As I was getting ready to enter the store a lady, an employee and another lady started talking to me, and one lady said that she had not seen the whole thing, but apparently the young woman stole something and someone else that was in the store, grabbed her and tried to stop her.  The other lady said, "Yes, and you can always tell they stole something because they get loud.  And they are the first ones to blame somebody else.  But they are always yelling. Mark my words."  And the employee agreed and said, "I see it all the time."  So I listened for a second as I walked into the store and just proceeded to return my items.

As I walked out the store, I heard the Spirit say that is exactly how the enemy acts when he is caught.  He gets loud.  He gets belligerent.  He gets defensive.  And he gets violent.  When Jesus was teaching at the synagogue the people were amazed at his teaching, the Bible says. But a man was in the synagogue that had a demon and when it saw Jesus, the Bible says that the evil spirit began shouting at Jesus, saying, Go away, what do we have to do with you (among other things).  And Jesus spoke to the demon and the Bible says that after that, it (the demon) threw the man to the floor and then he came out of the man."  The demon was belligerent, defensive, he yelled and was violent.  

In another instance, the Bible speaks of a father coming to Jesus on behalf of his son, whom he said, "he has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire or into the water."  And after Jesus rebuked his disciples for not having the faith to cast out the demon, He told the man to bring his son to Him and then the Bible says, “Jesus rebuked the demon in the boy, and it left him. From that moment the boy was well."  Jesus knew that the reason the boy acted so violently was because there was a demon in him.  The father said that the boy would fall into the fire or into the water.  That was the evil spirit trying to kill him.  (Side note... SICKNESS, of any form, is from the enemy... he comes to steal, to kill and to destroy.  Have enough faith to believe that God wants you whole.  That’s what Jesus died for and that's the way it should be.  I rebuke any form of sickness in your body right now in the name of Jesus and demand it to flee.  Come on out in Jesus name!).  

God said that whenever an evil spirit is confronted and not allowed to do what it wants to do, that spirit (that demon) is going to respond accordingly.  Violent, belligerent, loud, drawing attention to itself.  And then God said this, sometimes when we are confronted about things that we know we have done wrong, or are doing wrong, we respond the same way.  We get angry.  We yell.  We deny.  We curse (yeah, you do… wishing evil thoughts on a person, is cursing).  We may even get violent and slam a door or two.  Or want to slap someone.  But we act just like that evil spirit.  And just as it did not want to be confronted in the Bible, with the woman at Kohl’s, it does not want to be confronted when you are doing something wrong.

As I made my way home and just listened to the Spirit of God speak, the events replayed in my head.  I realized that I heard someone say, the young woman slapped somebody.  She threw her shoes off somewhere.  I saw her as the cop transferred her to another police car... she had no shoes on, her clothes were disarrayed as if she had been fighting.  Her hair was all over the place and she just kept yelling, cursing and denying the truth of what everyone else seemed to have seen, but her.  

It was enough to make me stop and take note of this picture and realize that sometimes I am looking (and sounding) like that myself.  And when I see it, I need to respond with humility, asking our gracious God to forgive me.  Quite a humbling experience to know that sometimes if we can admit it, we are "her."  And that’s not a good picture. 

God is real.

Be blessed.

A servant of the Lord,
Sis. E


Immediate Judgment

I came home from church on Sunday and did my usual, immediately uploaded the sermon into my computer and then I went on into the kitchen to check on the meal I was preparing for Sunday dinner, which was in the slow cooker.  (Side note… these things are wonderful if you can remember ahead of time that is what you want to do… lol)   Anyway, I stirred up my chicken, basting it with sauce and realized that it had made a little too much juice.  And as I went to pour it out, I heard God say, “Wait.”  And yet, I proceeded to pour it out anyway.  At just that very instance, juice from the crockpot splashed in the sink onto my brand new, bright white, linen dress.   Can you say upset? 

Then I found myself saying, “I’m sorry, Lord… but why-y-y-y-y?  Why couldn’t I just take care of that one last thing before I went upstairs to change and relax?  Why couldn’t I just pour the sauce out?  Why did you let this happen?”  And then I heard God say, “Immediate judgment.”  And as I listened more, He said, “No longer will you be able to get away with being disobedient, with not doing what I told you to do right away.  The time is now for immediate judgment.  Immediate correction for those who have wholeheartedly decided and claim to follow after Me.  Time is short and you must listen NOW.”

Then I heard the Scripture, “Judgment begins at the house of God.”  And God said, “Judgment is coming to His church, to His children, to those who are doing His will, FIRST, and it’s coming immediately.  It’s coming quickly and we must take heed and do those things that we have been taught to do and know to do is right.  We must really take heed to what He speaks to us and do it.”  So many times God tells us to do something, even simple things like picking up a piece of clothing off the floor at a department store that someone else dropped, or saying hello to someone, or go read, pray.  But He tells us to do things and we brush it off, as it not being Him, or it not being important, or we have other things we feel a need to do first.  But that doesn’t matter.  If God tells us to do something He wants us to do it when He says so.  Not when we feel like it.  And the time is now for our obedience.  Otherwise, there is going to be an instant price to pay.  Judgment.  Quick.

As for my white dress, God told me to spray it with some Shout a few times and let it settle and then wash it when He says so and the stain will come out.  Just as the stain of my sin (of disobedience) will come out. 

Whatever this means to you, wherever you are in your walk with God, know that judgment is nigh and it’s coming immediately.  But also know this that whatever judgment comes it’s for your good and, it is only meant to draw you closer to our loving and living God, who is ready to wipe away your sin, cleanse and make you whole.  (And He doesn’t use Shout to do it!).  Hallelujah! 

Be blessed.

A servant of the Lord,
Sis. E

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Trained Disciples

A few weeks ago my Pastor (hubby) began a Bible Study on the book of Joshua.  And in the first chapter, the Bible tells us on four different occasions to be strong, be courageous, be of good courage, and do not fear, in some form or fashion.  The second week of the Bible Study my husband had to go away so I had to teach.  And as I shared with our Bible Study class that evening, I was reminded of this picture that I had seen several years ago that was the epitome (the perfect representation) of courage.  This cat walking in the midst of some German shepherds.  And the cat is almost strolling, as if he is not afraid at all or taken aback by what he has to go through.  And although that night I didn’t have the picture, it was so vivid in my head I tried to explain as best I could.  Courage is having the strength, the mindset, to face danger, fear, or opposition with a bold confidence, just like this cat.  And as I said that, I promised that I would find the picture, and bring it to church.

A couple of weeks went by and at every opportunity he had, my grandson would try and remind me of the picture.  Finally last Sunday I remembered it, printed it out and brought it to church.  After teaching Sunday school, I showed it first to my grandson since he was so eagerly waiting to see.  But as I presented it to him and began looking at the picture again, God spoke this to my Spirit: “We need to be so focused and determined to get what God has for us, that we do not allow distractions to take us off course.”

And as I thought about that,   I was reminded how I found the picture.  That I put in a search for a picture of cats with German shepherds and what came up was “Dog Training.”  In particular, training German shepherds to be police dogs.  The article went on to explain that in order for them to learn how to focus on their mission, their purpose, they had to be taught, had to be disciplined so as not to chase after distractions.  One of them being a cat.  And what made these dogs stay away from the cat, was the reward that they were to receive for their obedience.  Some of these dogs, if you look at the picture, are taking great refrain to not go after that cat.  Some of them, you can see, are looking straight through the cat, almost as if he is not bothering them.   But both groups knew that if they just hung in there, if they just stayed focused, on the other side of their obedience, they would receive their reward. 

God said that we are much like those dogs.  That we are being taught. We are Disciples of Christ, being disciplined to obey.  And we have an even greater reward than these dogs, because we have the promises of God, which are ALL yea and amen.  But we need to stay focused on the end product, our reward, so that we do not allow things to distract us from getting them.

These dogs were being trained that if they stay focused on their reward, be it a biscuit, a steak or whatever, they will get it if they do not give in to the distraction.  And because they were so set on receiving that reward, I believe they had their eyes set on it.  Their mouths were probably watering over it.  And because they did not lose focus of that, they were able to refrain from going after that cat (their distraction). 

We are on a mission.  God has filled us with purpose.  And He promises that if we do not give in, if we do not give up, if we stay on our course, if we keep our eyes on the prize, we will receive the promise.  So when things come along to distract us, and yes, there are many things and there will be much more, we must stay focused knowing that we have a great reward on the other side of our obedience.  Just as those dogs did. 

I will say this again… We need to be so focused and determined to get what God has for us that NOTHING or NO ONE will distract us or keep us from getting it!”  Especially not our enemy!    There is a great reward waiting if we would just obey.

God is good!  And He’s real!  Oh, yes He is!

Sitting and Watching

I recently read a story about the history of a silversmith who explained why silver must go through a fire to be refined.  And the reason he gave is so that all the impurities can be burned away.  And the silversmith knows when that has happened, when he can see his image reflected in the silver.
But as I read this, what stood out for me in the work of a silversmith, was what he said.  “While the piece is in the fire, he must sit and watch it.  He must give it his full attention; otherwise the silver could be damaged.”
While the piece is in the fire, HE must sit and watch it. HE must give it HIS full attention; otherwise the silver could be damaged.  All I could say was, “Wow! God!”  And as He spoke to me, I want you to get this, while YOU are in the fire, God must sit and watch YOU.  God must give YOU His full attention, otherwise YOU could be damaged.  And the good news is that He does!  Bless the name of the Lord!

Malachi 3:3 says, “He (God) will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.”  Many times, some of the things that we are going through makes us feel like we are in a fire.  We feel like we are being tested, that we are being tried and the pain seems so severe, that we believe that if it does not stop soon, we will be destroyed.  But God!   God is sitting and watching you.  He is sitting and watching all that you are going through.  And just as the silversmith, He is giving you His full attention to make sure, to make certain, to guarantee, that you will not be destroyed.  He not once turns away or looks in another direction from where you are.  Hallelujah!

To refine means to reduce to a pure state.  To purify.  Another version of the dictionary says, it means to free from coarse, unsuitable, or immoral characteristics. It also means to acquire polish or elegance.  To use precise distinctions and sublety in thought or speech. 

A refiner is a person, a device or a substance that removes such impurities, sediment or other unwanted matter from something.

I want you to know that God is your refiner and you are in the fiery furnace for a purpose.  You are being made holy.  God wants to reduce you to a pure state.  He is purifying your heart, freeing you of unsuitable and immoral characteristics.  You are being conformed to the image of the Son, Jesus Christ.  In the fire, your speech is being changed.  You will no longer speak words of doubt, words of lack, nor words of fear, but your mouth will be filled with words of hope.  Words to encourage, to build up and to strengthen.  Words that speak life to dead things, words that call things that be not as though they were, words that declare victory over defeat.  Words that say I shall not die, but live to declare the glory of the Lord.  Words of faith.    Precise distinctions in thought and speech.

God is refining you.  God is removing the unwanted matter from you.  Those things that you have asked him to take away shall be no more.  Those things that you used to do, those people that are holding you back, those situations and circumstances that you have allowed to hinder you, God is taking them away.  In the fire.
And God is not leaving you alone.  He is sitting and watching you, His silver piece, His child, that you will not be destroyed.  He sees every little detail and He is watching that you won’t get burnt.

And when God removes you from that fire, just like the silversmith, God will then look at His reflection, His image, His likeness, His child and beam.   He might even show some teeth. J

And then you will say like Job, “But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.”  Yesss!!  Pure gold.

God is good!  And He’s real.

Be blessed.

A servant of the Lord,
Sis. E

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

From the Backyard to the Beach! (Revisited)

Having just celebrated our 30th Wedding Anniversary, made me reflect on some things.. in particular the faithfulness of God. 

When we first got married, we were all of 19 years old.  Totally unaware of the life that we had before us.  The good times and the bad ones.  The easier ones and the not so easy ones.  The downright hard times.  But God was faithful and while the first 15 years we did not hold on to Him, He certainly held onto us.  It was His love that carried us through when we did not know what to do.  It was His love that gave us direction and purpose and hope.  It was His love that helped us to raise our 6 month old daughter and our two children following. It was His love that held us when we were too stubborn to hold each other.  It was His love that fed us, when we did not know where our next meal would come from.  It was God’s love that kept us.

When we got married, we could not afford to have the church wedding that I so wanted, so the pastor of the church we wanted to get married in, came to us.  The setting: The steps outside of the backyard of our basement apartment (a converted garage).  After what we felt was a slight by our landlord for asking for his rent, the morning after our wedding, we went to Atlantic City (which would be our honeymoon) and spent what felt like the longest night in our history together.  We didn’t have much money and the little we had, we certainly did not want to give it to the landlord, so we got on a bus and took a trip hoping to ‘change our luck.’  But ended up spending up all of our little bit of “fortune” within two short hours.  So the rest of the night, at least six more hours, we just sat around the casino, outside of the casino, falling asleep on each other’s shoulders, until we were told “you cannot sit there,” waiting for the announcement, “Time to board the bus back to New York.” 

Years went by.  More struggles came and went.  And after two more kids and 15 years later, we were able to treat ourselves to what we called a “real” honeymoon, in the Poconos.  And as I reflected on this, the Lord reminded me of our 25th Wedding Anniversary and the testimony He had given us, “From the Backyard to the Beach.” 

God allowed us to visit beautiful Cancun, Mexico.  It was a refreshing, joyous and momentous occasion for us as we basked in the presence of the Lord and in the presence of each other.  I recalled there was a time when we couldn’t say that with peace in our hearts.  For many years of our marriage, went wasting by because of our dissatisfaction with who we were (which we often thought was because of the other person).  But God! We know Him to be a healer, a restorer, a giver of great gifts! 

We visited Mexico and while we were there God reminded us of a time when we didn’t even have enough money to buy a magazine to look at a picture of Mexico and here we were!  We were on the beach, in the water and God showed us where He had taken us.  How many of you know that God will sometimes take you back to bring you forward?!  And that is what He did.  Then He reminded us of some really hard times. He reminded us what life was like without Him, and showed us what it was with Him. 

At that time, He reminded us that 25 years ago, we were in the backyard of our studio basement apartment getting married and here we were 25 years later, standing on an exotic white sanded beach with crystal clear blue and green waters, along the shores of Mexico.  (It must be something about 25 with God!)  From the backyard to the beach!  And then you know what He did?  He showed us where He was taking us.  He said that this wasn’t the end.  It was only the beginning.  A new one.  Bless the Lord!!!!

And as I continued to reflect on that testimony and what God has done for us in our marriage, I can’t help but to take the time to share and to remember His faithfulness.  His great faithfulness and that promise that He spoke to us.  You see when God wrote that testimony He said, “This was only the beginning of the places where He would take us.”  And since then, we have been some places.  We have been allowed to travel.  To see some things.  To broaden our horizons.  As a couple, as a family, individually.  We’ve experienced some wonderful times! 

God has taken us places spiritually.  He has taken us places in our marriage.  I loved the man that I married 30 years ago and he wasn’t my best friend when I married him, but he has truly become so.  God did that!  A new beginning, just as He said.  And our marriage is stronger than ever.

God is faithful.  I want you to know that today.  If you’re single and He has spoken that He will give you a spouse, continue to wait on Him.  He will!  And she/he will be the one that God has personally shaped for you.  And if you’re married, things are hard, and it seems like they are always going to be that way… don’t you believe it.  Just continue to hold on and believe God to do a new thing in you (yes, you) and let Him take you (and your marriage some places).

Like from the Backyard to the Beach!

God is real.  And He’s faithful!

Be blessed.

A servant of the Lord,
Sis. E

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Greatest Story Ever Told... Yet

Whenever the Easter season, or for those who are ‘religiously’ correct, “the time that is told of the Resurrection” comes around, television stations and the like, show stories like The Greatest Story Ever Told, The Easter Story, The Story of Jesus, The Passion of the Christ, and others.  Some churches even put on plays depicting the life of Jesus.  And while it may be good as far as storytelling goes, what we need to understand is that the life of Jesus, is so much more than a story or a play.  And it is something that should be told not just around March or April, but every season of the year.

The real story of Easter, lives on in the personhood of Jesus Christ.  As all these stories end, they tell you that Jesus was crucified, BUT, He rose again.  So “Easter, the Resurrection” lives on. That is why I believe that to show television programs and movies, and plays, only at this time of year, depicts and sends the wrong message.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not condemning the shows at all to a degree.  The problem that I have is that they are stories.  Shown as such.  Made to highlight certain things, made to emphasize and to minimize other things, (often what the director deems as not important)  and they are made to stir up emotions.  And while they are based on real life and what might have really happened, often times the stories are embellished and over told.  The “director” adds some stuff to it and takes some stuff away.  And since this is the story of Jesus, what they are doing is adding and taking away from The Word.  (In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word became flesh.  Jesus Christ).  And there is a danger in that because God said, ‘Neither add nor take away from this book.’  (The Bible, His Word).  But the people who do the shows and direct the plays, when they do it for emphasis of a particular subject, they end up adding and taking away.   So you might say, what’s the big deal?  People are getting saved, they’re learning about Jesus… your point is.. what?   

Yes, people may actually come to the cross, they may actually accept Jesus and the work that He did, they may even learn something about Jesus, but some are operating based on their emotions.  It is not the faith that God requires that we have, that moves them, it’s their emotions.  It is how the strands on the violin are played before their eyes that bring them to want to say yes.  And in a few short months if you would go to these very same people, their emotional high is gone and so is their relationship with Jesus until the next time Easter season rolls around.  And that’s the danger. 

The Story of Jesus, the Easter Story is real life.  People need to know that.  It’s not just a story.  It’s not a fairy tale and it’s not simply pages in a book.  It’s the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  With real “characters”, for lack of a better word, with real life issues and circumstances, starring a real person, Jesus Christ, both man and God, who went to a real cross, really died and really came back to life.

The Greatest Story Ever Told, is not just a story.  And if we see it as a story we will tend to see it as a part of a book.  And as with all books, we can easily scan over or flip the pages of the parts that we don’t like.  We can close our eyes to the things that we don’t want to see.  We can look past some stuff that we don’t agree with.   And there’s a danger to all of this, because if we skip past some things, we will miss out on others.  And when we start to look for miracles in our life, they won’t manifest because we haven’t understood the instructions. The Word, on receiving the miracle.  Which you can only receive by faith.  Not by emotion.

The Passion of the Christ is not just a movie, it’s not just a story, it’s the gospel of Jesus Christ.  His life.  The beating He took for real.  And if we receive it as such, we will come to truly know, understand and receive all that He did as real.  And live our own lives based on what He did.  We will be reminded of Isaiah, “He was beaten for our transgression, bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him and by His stripes we are healed.”  When we receive Jesus as more than a story, we will confess His Word over our bodies, especially when they start acting outside of the Word, contrary to what we know Jesus did for us when He went to the cross and actually believe that we are healed.  

When we really know that The Easter Story is more than a play, we will live our lives on purpose, knowing that is what He went to the cross to give us.  Meaning and purpose.  A life and that more abundantly.   If we remember the life of Jesus and not just take it as story, when we see the cross, any cross, it will actually have meaning to us.  It will have significance.  We’ll remember that Jesus Christ really carried a cross, His cross, and so must we.  Because we all have our crosses to bear.

The Easter Story is more than a story because stories end.  But life goes on.  Jesus is alive! 

The Story of Jesus is more than a story.  It’s a script that is still being written, about a real God, Who still saves, Who still reigns, Who still heals, Who still performs miracles. 

The Greatest Story Ever Told is YET being written. 

And we need to put our faith in the One that is doing the writing, for real. 

Be blessed,

Sis. E


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

God's Hot Pursuit

I was reminded of a rerun of My Wife and Kids.  And for those of you who are not familiar with the show, it was a TV comedy back in the early 2000s starring Damon Wayans and Tisha Campbell about a husband, Michael Kyle, his wife (Jay) and their three children, Junior, Claire and Katie.  It was really a funny show, along the line of the Cosby Show.

Anyway, on this particular episode, Jay is away and Michael has to tend to the needs of Katie, his youngest daughter, who was about 7 at the time.  And everything that Michael tried to do for Katie wasn’t good enough for her.  She missed her mommy and she let him know.  “That’s not what Mommy does,” she said, “That’s not how Mommy makes it.”  And no matter how hard Michael tried to please her, he couldn’t.  So finally he sits her down and he lets her know how bad he feels that she doesn’t see how much he loves her.  And I don’t remember the exact words she said to him, but it made him say this to her, “Katie, I have been trying to win your heart since the day you were born.”  And you hear this awww, from the audience.  And it was a precious moment.  Because you could see how much he had been pouring out his heart trying to win Katie over.

And as I thought about that, immediately God spoke those same words to my spirit, “I have been trying to win your heart since the day you were born.”   God has been trying to win our hearts since the day we were born.  He is constantly pursuing us.  Constantly beckoning us to come.  To come to Him.  To follow after Him.  To come close to Him, to have faith.  To believe Him, to trust Him, to let Him in our hearts, to let Him fix things for us.  God is constantly trying to impress us in some way.  No matter how much we pull away from Him, no matter how much we show Him we don’t want to be bothered sometime, that it’s too hard to believe… God is yet in hot pursuit of us.  Calling us to draw nearer to Him and in the words of my husband, “Let Him Love Us.”

The Song of Solomon says in 2:10, “Arise my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me.”  Picture that God telling you that.  You are His darling, His beautiful ones.  In Isaiah, God says “come and let us reason together and He will make our sins as white as snow.”   In Matthew 11:28 He says, “Come unto Me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”     Our God, our Almighty God, bidding us to come.  And He never stops.  He is in hot pursuit of us.  Desiring us to believe.  Desiring us to be saved.

Jesus told Peter to come, just as God is telling us.  Desiring us to believe Him.  To take Him at His word.  He invites us to come boldly to His throne of grace that we may obtain help in our time of need. 

God is constantly in pursuit of us.  Of you.  Doing everything in His power to win your heart.  He sends people our way to speak a Word of life to us when we are feeling low.  He comforts us and gives us peace that we don’t understand.  He meets our needs when we least expect Him to.  He heals our bodies, takes care of our children and our loved ones.  Yeah, that was God when you look back at some things and you realize that somehow you made it through.  You are yet alive.  You are yet still here and so are they. 

God has been trying to win your heart since the day you were born.  So much so, that even before you were born He came up with a plan to save you, by sending Jesus to die for you.  That you would be whole, that you would have life, eternal and abundant. 

And I want you to know just like Michael Kyle did with Katie, God won’t stop bidding you to come.   He won’t stop loving on you, no matter how much you turn him away.  No matter how much you say nothing is ever good enough, He will keep on trying to show you just how much He loves you.  God is in hot pursuit of you and He has been since the day you were born.

I pray you let Him love on you and I pray you would come to realize just how much He wants to.

God is real. 

Be blessed.

A servant of the Lord,
Sis. E

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Follow The Leader

You said you want your life to change.
You said you’re tired. That you’re tired of being sick and tired.
It’s been a long journey.  A tough road... and you just want things to be different.
You want the promises that I have spoken to you to come to pass. 
You said you want to recover all the things that the enemy has stolen from you.
Then follow the leader.
Follow him.
Follow him as he follows Christ.
Follow him as he follows Me.
Speak the Word.
Your leader speaks My Word. I have put it in his mouth.
His tongue speaks of my righteousness.
It is a tongue of the learned, that he would know how to speak a word
in season to him who is weary. Follow him and live.
He speaks in a language that I understand.
He speaks words of faith. He speaks words of hope.
He speaks words of life.  Of strength.  Of victory.
He shouts unto Me with a voice I recognize… the voice of triumph!
Follow him.

Hear the Word.
Take the time to listen.
The leader pays earnest attention to the things that he has heard.
Those things the leader has seen Jesus do, those things he has heard Jesus did,
The leader does.
You have an ear, hear the Word.
Accept it and bear fruit. Keep it.  Meditate on it. Believe it.
The leader welcomes my Word as Truth and allows it to do an effective work on him.
A work that brings about change.
Follow him.

Live the Word.
Be a doer of it.
You see how the leader lives. Not by bread alone, but by My every Word.
His faith is on display right before you.
It is sign on his hand and frontlets between his eyes.
It is hidden in his heart that he won’t sin against Me.
Follow him.

Follow him.
Follow him as he follows Christ.
Follow him as he follows Me.
Follow him and live.