The images below go with a blog sent out today. Click on each to expand and read context. There is no political statement being made. There is however, spiritual statement being made.
Note all the nations where illegal immigration is happening. I'm not aligning myself in agreement with the personal comments of people who made each post. I am however alarmed by what is happening. The church is not ready, mentally, physically, or spiritually to engage the way Christ would expect of mature believers. We're mostly not ready to lay our lives down.
The pictures are visuals for you to see what is NOT being reported in main stream media, but what people are experiencing around the world with illegal aliens flooding into Christian nations. Nations are shifting, and so have Christians, both in the wrong direction. The full blog is about observing these spiritual shifts, and tuning our ear to what the Spirit of the LORD is saying to us. While what you read below is disturbing and negative spin, if we return to the LORD, there is opportunity for great Harvest in all nations! These pictures are not being posted to stir up hate, they are being posted for each of us to assess if our spiritual apathy has set us up for what is happening? And to return to the LORD. Many will and are already rising up in anger.
Will Christians be different?
So, if you cannot look at these pictures and not feel or spew hate, you probably should not look at them, and instead take whatever is rising up in you to God. Ask Him to heal, help, and transform you.
(Hopefully you hear the tone and message changing and sense how God is shifting me. More will come in this direction as I obey. For now, spend time with Him in prayer and challenge yourself to grow! Ask for more of the Spirit! Use our podcast episodes to process with God and be filled to the measure with the fullness of God! Blessings!) If you'd like to get the content for this blog, sign up and I'll send it to you!
So all week I have been down with a sinus infection after pulling up some old rug upstairs 🙁. It's a different way the LORD "makes you lie down", Psalm 23:2a. But the lying down was necessary as He began the week telling me to "slow down". You heard that if you listened to Tuesday's podcast.
In the lying down to get better, I started reflecting on healing waters that I got to soak in at the end of June. And in that, I realized I hadn't really shared the experience with you the way I wanted to yet! So today is that post, complete with 2 videos and some pictures with captions for context....
If you've been getting the email blogs for last couple of months, you know that at the end of June, I went on a road trip that was part vacation, part ministry. I've referenced it a few times in email blogs I've sent and in some podcast episodes, but haven't shared many pictures or videos of the first part which was the "restoring my soul part". I've wanted to give the LORD public thanks for it. He was so kind to refresh me with natural beauty of His making, with quiet, still waters to restore my soul! Be encouraged as you read, that it is His nature to bless and restore His servants!
First how did this "restore my soul" trip come about? It came about as I started dreaming about "what if"...
"What if" I could go on a "healing waters" type of vacation within a reasonable budget? This made me remember that I always wanted to visit a place with natural healing springs. So I got on the internet and found a place within driving distance called Warm Springs, VA. Turns out they have a natural hot springs, one with a facility that was under renovation, but was recently opened in Spring of 2023. So I booked a bed and breakfast nearby, and hoped it would be a refreshing part of my get-a-way.
God answered big time!!!
Right below this post, is a video of one of the natural hot springs that I experienced! This is a natural stone basin whose octagonal facility recently underwent a $4M renovation. This place was established way back in 1761! It was the first spa structure in America! It was not covered by a bath house until the mid-1820s, at which point it was covered by an octagonal frame building. A second structure, the Ladies’ Bath House, was built in the mid-1870s. As you will see in my video, there are changing stations, as well as pool noodles so you can float easily and relax in the mineral rich waters! It was an amazing experience and soooooo relaxing! Float times are one hour and cost just $35.
One the day I went, it was an unusually cool and rainy summer day. Normally rain ruins a vacation, but for this experience it added to the refreshing! I was glad it was not a hot, sunny day because when your body is immersed in 99 degree water for one hour, I wouldn't want to be sweltering in sweat, sun beating down on me. It was wonderful to have a cool breeze to refresh me and living water from the sky (rain drops) gently falling. There is also a generous white noise experience from the sound of the spring waters tumbling out of the basin, and into the natural creek outside. I did a women-only soak, and it was just 8 of us ladies. And while they didn't have to do so, everyone stayed silent and simply floated in the water. It was absolute bliss for this introvert!
I was able to experience a second hot spring through a tip from the bed and breakfast owner where I stayed. He told me to make sure to visit Omni Homestead to just walk the grounds to enjoy it. He said that I wouldn't be able to use the facility since I was not a guest, but he said they let people walk the grounds.
So after the warm springs experience, I realized I had enough time to visit the Omni before sunset. I walked as much of the grounds and indoor areas as was accessible to me. It was amazing! During my wanderings, I grabbed the hotel activities brochure and noted there was a guest experience of pool and sulphur spring for hotel guests.
Initially, I was bummed that it was for hotel guests only, seeing priority first given to hotel guests also getting spa services like a massage. I saw the hotel was packed, so I figured with the number of rooms and the number of spa services, there was no chance of getting in.
But then next morning I felt stirred again to say, "What if?" "What if they don't have a lot people booked because it is cool again and forecasted to rain all day? What if they let me in? What if God steps in and gets me in?"
So I prayed and told the LORD that nothing is impossible with Him and and asked Him to help me. Then I called and told them, "I'm not a guest; and I do not have any spa services booked, but I would like to use the pool and spring facilities for the day. Will you let me do that?" The guy immediately says "Yes, what is your name? I'll reserve your spot right now." I squealed with delight upon hanging up! I knew my KING was in every part of that!
It did rain gently ALL DAY. And that was fine with me. I reveled in it. I realized because of the sprinkling, it kept people away! There WERE hardly any people enjoying the facilities! I had a blast! And typically I am not one to be in water for very long! I can't remember the last time I was in a pool for more than 30 minutes. But I spent 6.5 hours in and out of all of the water experiences! I cannot explain how truly refreshing it was to my soul!
The idea of the set up was that you are to go from hot waters to cold waters. It's a therapeutic activity called "contrast bathing". Blood rushes to your skin to help you cool down in the hot water and then blood reverses course and rushes to your organs to protect them from the cold. It strengthen your immune system and helps your parasympathetic nervous system engage for deep relaxation! It was so awesome! It makes me want to go back as I review these memories within this post!
I figured out a circuit and spent most of my time outside. I went from the hot tub to the eternal springs pool (cold water) to the natural sulphur springs (99 degrees) to the natural cold spring shower, to the dry sauna, then back to the natural sulphur spring, then the cold pool, to sauna, to pool, to sulphur spring, to natural shower, to sauna, etc. Over and over and over again. 5 hours went by in a flash! Then I finished up in the women's facilities! They have a steam room with essential oils being released and little stone cubicles that you tuck yourself into and do not have to see anyone else! It feels like you are in it by yourself. Your skin sweats out toxins. After that you are encouraged to head to the cold shower experience where you push a button to release ice into a bowl to rub on your face and body, then press another button for cool air, then another button for a cool rain shower. To warm up, you lay down in heated chairs contoured to your body and rest. Those chairs were amazing! So peaceful!!!
I didn't do the sensory shower which included a thunder storm audible experience. I finished up by taking a shower, putting on a fresh comfy robe and heading up one floor to the relaxation room and brought my bible. I read and praised Him, and ate fruit and drank herb tea. I felt so pampered by the LORD. Truly it was all more than I ever expected! The LORD was so kind to me to surprise and delight and refresh my soul in this way! So thankful!
As a servant of God, this experience was rest I truly needed! He saw. He knew. He provided and encouraged me to dream a little and think "What if..."
So consider, are you pouring yourself out in service for ministry? To others? He promises to refresh the weary! Ask! Pray! Seek Him! Pursue the rest HE promises!
He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul, Psalm 23:2b-3a.
Now take time to watch the videos and scroll through the photos! All glory to God! His handiwork! His provision! His goodness!
Believe! The LORD is your Shepherd! You lack nothing!
This video shows you the Warm Springs, VA hot springs pool. You are immersed in a natural mineral rich spring that is always at 99 degrees, as it releases from the earth! This spring is magnesium rich, while the one at Omni Homestead is sulphur rich!
This is a video from the horse stables down through a road that leads to the Omni Homestead resort. The resort dates back to 1766! There are many areas within the hotel that highlight George Washington! At the time he was a Colonel, and he gave a 300-acre land grant to Captain Thomas Bullitt to reward him for his services. Bullitt brought his militia to the hot springs in what is now Bath County, Virginia. In 1766, the Homestead hotel was constructed and named for the homesteaders who camped out in the area and built the hotel. The hotel was brought into national recognition in 1818 when Thomas Jefferson spent three weeks soaking in these pools to help alleviate his rheumatism. This area became an area known for its healing waters.
These are just a few snapshots from my travels which includes 1 night in a NY state park and then the rest are from Warm Springs/Hot Springs, VA. There are captions for each for a little context! Click to see full picture! Enjoy!
Are you stuck? Below is some personal testimony of my recent frustration with being stuck, plus 4 practical ideas (with resource links) on how to get “unstuck"!
We talked about being stuck last Friday in our private Facebook group! Myself and Cheryl Wells held a LIVE broadcast and talked about some tell-tale signs of being spiritually “stuck”, i.e. not moving forward in our faith!
We each presented 3 ways we've been stuck or seen others get stuck, and then we prayed for each area for breakthrough!
Interestingly, before the broadcast, the LORD had me add 2 more words to consider in evaluating being spiritually stuck. He added the words “stagnant” and “stubborn”. 🧐 Good additions, especially when you consider each definition.
Be willing to evaluate how you may be stuck. Consider each word. Ponder what the LORD is asking His people to observe about their spiritual state.
Stuck- unable to move, or set in a particular position, place, or way of thinking
Stagnant- not flowing or moving, and smelling unpleasant
Stubborn- unreasonably or perversely unyielding; difficult to handle, manage or treat; obstinate in a persistent manner.
God does not want us to be "stuck" in these positions! He intends this input be helpful and motivate us to turn! To pursue healing and supernatural transformation!
😬 Do you see yourself in any of them?
I took them to heart because I’ve definitely been feeling restless and stuck in routine and "sameness".
What have I realized? I’ve been missing passionate pursuit! I've been wanting something fresh and new with God! Yes, I have lots of sweet fellowship time with Him, but my routine is more about peace in His presence, more so than experiencing something new and challenging. I’ve felt a type of wall in this area that is maybe hard to explain or put into words. All I know is I’ve felt "stuck", i.e. the same.
Do you feel this way in your relationship with God? Are you longing for something fresh and new?
I decided (important phrase) that I needed to do something spontaneous in fresh pursuit of God!
As example, last Thursday night, I found a healing room service (prayer service) in Buffalo that started at 7pm. I haven't been to a healing prayer service since my early 40's! I figured it was time to open myself up to it again! But it meant several hours of driving and returning home quite late with a very early morning to prepare for Friend Friday. I pushed past the INTENSE feeling to stay home, quickly grabbed my keys and headed to Buffalo.
So....... I take the 1 hour drive. I get to the church, and there are hardly any cars in the parking lot, maybe 6. The church looks locked and dark. I’m immediately disappointed. Grasping for hope I think, "Well maybe they are in there, and I just can’t tell." So I get out of my vehicle and yank at the front doors which are locked of course. Then I'm knocking, ringing the security camera, with no answer. It starts to rain, so I head back to my Jeep. After a few minutes of feeling dumbfounded as to why I drove all the way out for nothing, I decide to double check the website. I’m there on the wrong night! Their service is Sunday night! The Thursday night service is at a different church another 20 minutes into the city! Ugghhhh!
What would you do in these circumstances?
Thunder and lightning starts, and I take that as my cue to drive back home.
As I get on the toll road, my attitude is an immediate mental and spiritual test. Should I beat myself up for making this mistake and lament for on the long drive home? Should I think God was punishing me and rejecting my efforts? Should I tell myself that God must not have been in this?
I firmly decide I will not do that to myself.
Here is something along the lines of what I said, “Lord I know you see my heart and I know you see why I did this. So, it didn’t work out. Oh well. That’s a bummer. But I’m going to enjoy this time with you anyways. I’m going to take this long drive home and loudly worship, pressing in for more of you.”
And that is what I did. And it was a joy-filled drive home! I landed on a radio station that had a great playlist happening. I sang the familiar worship loudly and passionately. In the process, I realized long drives with loud worship was something I used to do quite frequently, but haven't. It's something I desperately missed, but wasn't connecting with because I've been "stubborn" in this area.
I admit to not responding to many whispers from the LORD telling me to "sing".
In the mistake, God's mercy was redirecting me to something that I love to do. Drive and worship! It made me realize I DID NOT do it on my recent ministry road trip down to Virginia, through DC, and back home! That was a long trip not to spend time in worship while driving! I spent the drive time listening to directions and keeping the rest of the time silent!
God blessed that worship filled drive home from Buffalo. As I woke the next morning, I got fresh words from the LORD. He contributed those 2 extra words of "stagnant and stubborn" to add to the broadcast. And... normally I hate going LIVE, because it is just not a natural thing for me to enjoy being on camera, but I had a great time sharing and praying with Cheryl and pouring into the group! I felt a new sense of His life flowing through me!
Then this past Sunday I went to breakfast after church with a friend. She shared she was attending a multi-day Christian worship conference happening from July 24-26. It’s called Kingdom Bound; and is hosted by Darien Lake out towards Buffalo. So late on Monday, I considered again what I should do to break out of the norm and pursue God. I decided to spend all of Tuesday in extended worship at Kingdom Bound. Another drive out towards Buffalo!
I got up at 4:45am Tuesday morning (yesterday) to do the podcast, and to get some other ministry things done for the day. Then, I headed out, getting to the event by 11am. I returned home at 11:42 pm last night! It was a worship filled day and night!
In today’s Worship Wednesday podcast, you hear some reflections of how I was invigorated in my worship experiences while there. It was holy fellowship I didn’t know I needed to get "unstuck"!
Do you get a sense of what I am sharing? Do you see I'm taking myself out of my normal routine and finding fresh ways to pursue God? To get "unstuck"?
If you are stuck, stagnant, or stubbornly resisting spiritual growth; what can you do to stretch yourself and pursue God in fresh and perhaps spontaneous ways?
I know for a fact that some of you are wanting to know what to do! You've sent me messages and made comments on the broadcast post. On Saturday. I got an email from a podcast listener who admitted being stuck and wanting prayer. Along with praying for her, I suggested a few things.
Consider some of these things and see where the adventure may begin!
I hope some of these ideas inspire you to press in for more of God! Stir up your gifts! Fan them into flame! Seek His face! He rewards those who DILIGENTLY pursue Him!
Hebrews 11:6- And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him!
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If you are a Christian, there is a groan within. It will not go away. Do you know what it is, why it is there? Let’s pray about it today.
Discontentment is a problem for humanity. We always want more. Nothing truly satisfies. Maybe momentarily and for seasons we have contentment, but for the most part it doesn’t last. This is true even for Christians. But our groaning (Christians) within is different, and is set apart from the lusty groaning for worldly things. At least it should be. If not, we need to check ourself, before we wreck ourself.
For us, the groaning within is to be revelation of holy longing. We are to know that it means we long to be set free from our flesh life, and earnestly desire to be clothed eternally with our glorified state. We long to be set free from shame, from feeling exposed and vulnerable, from feeling lonely and dissatisfied. We groan and are burdened because we eagerly await the moment when our mortality will be swallowed up by life!
How does this hit you? Does that resonate within? Can you see why you groan?
You long for the flesh-based life to be destroyed. You long for the eternity God has promised. You long for the glorified state of eternal life free from sin, sickness, sorrow. The discontentment burdens and creates the groaning within. Connect with it. This will help you turn from thinking that "if my life only looked like this..." type of thoughts. Connect it is your spirit that will not be satisfied in this sin-sick world. You long for Jesus. ❤️
Direct your thoughts into the Spirit within you longing for holiness, for being set free from your flesh and being swallowed up by the life of God.
MEDITATE- How would your life look different if you redirected the groaning away from flesh and into the Spirit life God calls us to? Does it add more rushing around, or can you sense the Spirit of God calling you to slow down... and just enjoy a walk with worship music... talking to God as friend? Can you sense Him calling you away from worldly pursuits? Getting up early and journaling your reaction to a section of scripture? Would you take time to write a letter of thanks to God for your right now season? What is He teaching you? How do you need Him? Tell Him! Turn your eyes off your own pursuits... Consider things like helping a neighbor or serving in a ministry at church. Be content in the now... You have everything you need. You have Jesus.
A time is coming to be released from the groaning, the dissatisfaction. Take heart! It is coming! In the waiting, let’s stay faithful to Him. Let’s press in and ask for His life now through us! Be content and thankful!
Follow along as I pray and respond where prompted...
Lord, thank you. Thank you so much for holy counsel in your word. 2 Corinthians 5:1-5 tells us why we feel so restless. You t;ell us why we struggle with discontentment. We are groaning. Yes we agree with your word! We long to be set free from the flesh.
Open yourself up now and say,
..."Yes, Lord I long to be set free from my flesh."
Lord we are burdened within, we feel the strain. Set us free from traps and lusts and acts of disobedience. Are we substituting holiness for pursuit of worldly things?
Ask the LORD.
"Reveal to me any area I am pursuing worldly things instead of saying no to temptation."
Wait. (Does anything come to mind?)
In the Name of Jesus, I bind up acts of the flesh in this one.
Agree with that.
I declare your promise, that you Lord, are faithful to provide a way out of temptation. Agree.
"Lord I agree that you are faithful to provide a way out of temptation."
Are you willing to say to Him right now...
"Jesus, in the next moment of temptation, I will cry out and ask for you to deliver me from temptation and turn away from my flesh."
LORD satisfy this one. Fill them. Direct their time and energies and life into Spirit-filled life. Grant them joy in discovering creative talents given by the Spirit, holy purpose that brings joy and peace. Quiet their flesh to wait with you, and lose time in your presence. May this one take You on walks and talk with you as best friend, lover of their soul, the One who is preparing a mansion with a room just for them. Life that is truly life awaits, a new body, eternal life away from the strain of this sin-sick world! Strengthen them to wait in the groaning, protect them as they earnestly wait for their mortality to be swallowed up by life! Thank you Jesus!
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR CHANNEL! TRY THE EXERCISES!
Do you have any confusion? Are you wondering about anything? Do you need to know the truth? In this video based prayer exercise, you'll position and say "Lord, reveal truth to me. Spirit of Truth, speak to me."
You'll ask Him. "What lies do I believe Lord? Where does my mind need to be renewed? God, speak to me. Jesus, teach me the truth. Open my eyes to see truth within Your Word."
And I come into agreement that the Spirit of the Living God will speak to you, that the Spirit of Christ will teach you, bringing refreshing, new beginnings, connecting you deeper with the love of God!
You were in the heart of God.
He’s had His eye on you for eternity.
He formed you in your mother’s womb.
You are not a mistake.
He formed you for His glory.
He alone knows the Way.
He has the answers.
Trust and obey.
He'll do it... in His strength.
He’s calling you to draw near.
You who wants to be held.
You who wants to stop processing.
You who wants a new beginning at any moment, every day.
You who needs healing and hope.
You who longs for affirmation and acceptance and a safe place.
You who will let go...
and let Him.
He doesn’t abandon.
He doesn’t lie.
He suffered to save.
You suffer to identify...
... to become like Him.
Turn from processing.
His promises fail not.
Believe little one.
Rush into His arms.
Tell Him everything.
Speak His life and promises!
You are not alone!
Call on His name and be still.
Listen for the whispers.
“I rescue. I save.”
“I know the way.”
"Look up little one."
"You are the apple of my eye."
"I am near."
"I am alive."
"Joy in my presence."
"You are mine."
I'm not proud of my old life. And I'm also not proud of some things in my life after Christ, even up unto the last several months. Things that cause us shame can be a continuous onslaught against the vitality Christ promises.
I don't discuss my shame with most others because I don't want to be associated with that part of my former life, or viewed by others through those past/current failures.
Being in ministry full-time, I have to give testimony. So I speak about my life experiences in general terms. I admit being in dangerous and abusive relationships, worshipping false idols, experiencing deep depression, being self-absorbed, trapped for too long in strongholds built by intimidating people that successfully coerced me to do their bidding through gaslighting tactics and deflecting their shame on me.
Life is messy. The warfare is real. The onslaught intense.
Is this resonating?
There have been many layers of shame to heal in me, and, for protection, I do hide those details from others.
But I don't hide them from Jesus.
From my experience, few others can be trusted to NOT use my shame against me.
But Christ CAN BE trusted to NEVER humiliate and expose me and heap abuses upon me.
He has a clear promise that those who look to Him, their faces are radiant✨. Their faces are NEVER covered in shame, Psalm 34:5.
What is this radiance the psalmist speaks of? It is likened to the dancing sheen of a flowing stream, i.e. the life forces of God flowing within, shining through you, beaming as an unquenchable light, reflecting like a sparkle, being cheerful.
Is this what you see when you catch your reflection unexpectedly?
Too many draw back or hide from God because they believe His gaze upon them is a microscopic view to magnify every flaw. Many feel dirty or unworthy, far from radiant.
What about you?
Do you feel the weight of guilt and shame at the mention of God? Afraid, the nearer you get to His presence, the heat of condemnation, the "ick" of sin will be a stench that rises?
Many feel this especially if in an active stronghold of sin. So to avoid perceived disappointment and expected chastisement from God, we wrongly reason that by staying away, the crippling feelings of shame will diminish. But, the opposite is true, it is only exacerbated.
Distance doesn't heal. Distance doesn't erase reality. Distance doesn't cover the skeletons in the closet of your soul that travel with you. Distance is death-knell to healing shame. It only perverts your perceptions of who He is.
"Who He is? Don't you mean who we are?"
God's word reveals to us that shame is not healed by looking more closely at our flaws. Shame is healed by seeking Him, asking to be rescued, by taking our eyes off ourselves and looking at Him.
Psalm 34:4-5 I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
Look to Him. Take your eyes off your shame and instead look at His. His?! YES!
Hebrews 12:2- Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the SHAME, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
He endured YOUR shame, walked out a sentence of humiliating exposure before God the Father and his enemies and casual observers and family and friends and followers. His shame trumps all other shame.
Yet He despised it, thinking little or nothing of it. His eye was on seeing you set free. Jesus was focused on the joy of you being healed, of His radiance✨ resting on your face!
So if trapped by shame, realize the path to freedom is drawing near to the face of Jesus and looking closely at the details of His sacrifice for you. He will heal you and set your free!
Click here to listen to Thoughtful Thursday's episode on Psalm 34:4-7. Those who look to Him are radiant!
Draw near! Practice His presence! Use the simple prayer exercises available Monday through Friday on PEACE BE STILL DAILY PRAYER DOWNLOAD to see Him more clearly. The podcast is found on all podcast and music apps! 80% of our listeners use Apple podcasts to listen, then Podbean, then Spotify! Blessings in His presence!
#testimony #Shame #healingprayer #Jesus #faith #prayercloset #prayer #bibleverse #christianpodcast #christianity #Jesuslovesyou #psalms #christianpodcast #pray
As 2023 rolls in, let's keep talking about our time with God... and how it can be fruitful and fun! Let's start our year in a flow of His presence...
First we can give thanks and reflect that Jesus did all the hard work! We have very few valid excuses for not scheduling some special time with Him.
We can make comparison to the ancient Israelites. Three times a year Israelites would travel to Jerusalem to appear before the LORD with sacrifices of atonement and worship. Depending upon where you lived, it may involve extended travel by foot and inclement weather to make the trip to the temple.
It upended personal schedule.
Your best offerings were required.
Those sacrifices were mostly animal sacrifices. There were several other requirements, but will not detail them here.
Men were required to make the trip 3 times per year. Women and children could, and would come. We see that Hannah went with her husband Elkanah, 1 Samuel 1:7. And that Mary and Jesus went with Joseph, Luke 2:41.
Those 3 trips are no longer required. Jesus perfected the requirements of the law for us. It's great gift and so much easier to worship and serve and spend time with Him!
Under the New Covenant, we no longer follow the Old Testament festivals, Colossians 2:16. As well, we know that the temple in which we now worship is our body in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit, 1 Corinthians 6:19. And we gather much more than 3 times per year, we are to gather in corporate worship on the Lord's day. And increasingly so, as we see the Day approaching, Hebrews 10:25.
So for scheduled time with God...
Are you back in person worshipping the LORD with other believers? Unless disabled or other great barrier, I greatly encourage you to break out of any habit of worshipping from home, and gather with other believers. May we surrender to that instruction for a greater measure of God's presence and peace.
Please pray for believers who won't return. I'm discovering it's an area of stronghold in many believers.
As one small example, before the holidays, I met with someone for prayer. She was really struggling over a decision, had confusion of mind, and great anxiety. I felt led to ask her if she had a church home. And then ensued a great wrestling match of wills 😌. She had strong feelings and thoughts against going back to church due to an offense she had experienced. She felt very justified.
I was gentle, but urged her with all I could, to return to a church of some kind that was bible-based. She was missing regular communion, a time we are to examine ourselves before the LORD, 1 Corinthians 11:23-32. (Some of us are sick and weak and worse, because we are skipping communion, 1 Corinthians 11:29-30). She was missing worship, a time we are to be singing together with the saints, Ephesians 5:19. She was missing hearing the word of God which is how our faith grows, Romans 10:17. These are just a few foundational things, that when missing, can easily take us off path... leaving our emotions and thoughts in chaos.
So for time with God... As 2023 begins, are you aligned with His instructions for worship, corporate fellowship, and maturing in Christ?
And as a bonus, have you penciled in any time with God that is just between you and Him? The pictures above represent an adventure I dedicated to Him this past Monday.
It involved stealing away and setting up by quiet waters. I imagined Jesus with me. We started out on the wrong foot because I became quite frustrated when my kindling didn't catch for the fire to start. I had to repent from pouting and complaining 😅😁. After, I got ahold of myself and didn't give up on the fire, and 30 minutes later, it was dancing happily. After that, everything fell into place and it was fun.
It's fun to sit by the fire and read my Bible. It was fun to talk to Jesus as if He was sitting next to me. Fun to gaze upon the quiet waters, and feel the warmth of the winter sun on my face. Fun to watch the flames dance. Fun to keep the fire burning. Fun to barbecue asparagus and fish, and roast a couple of marshmallows. Fun to take some photos of His glory all around. Fun to walk by the lake edge, and repeat a few scriptures over and over for memorization and deeper meditation.
21 When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered,22 I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.
23 Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
It was fun seeing him holding my hand as we walked and watched the sunset. I declared that He is guiding me with his counsel. He's coming back for me. He coming back for you. He will take us into His glory!
Time with Jesus is fun! Make it fun! Ask God to help you!
What do you enjoy? Take Him with you! Maybe a day painting a picture as you listen to worship and talk to the Great Artist? Maybe whittling a piece of wood into a cross and talking to Jesus about heart things? Maybe sitting by a fire and reading a book of the bible and making notes about what you learn about Jesus' personality? Maybe a long walk repeating a scripture for revelation and memorization?
Oh that we would take extended time with God, not because we have to, but because we want to. ❤️🔥.
BLESSINGS AND HIS FAVOR BE UPON YOU AS YOU SCHEDULE A DATE WITH YOUR SAVIOR!
he word that God put on my heart during today's exercise is "brave".
THIS IN RESPONSE TO THE BREATH PRAYER OF "WHAT DO I BELIEVE ABOUT JESUS?"
THE SPIRIT PUT ON MY HEART "HE'S BRAVE."
So my meditation today, and this week, and throughout the year needs to be, "How will the bravery of Jesus affect my choices, my belief, my pursuit of His supernatural help?"
BECAUSE HIS BRAVERY IS MY BRAVERY.
JESUS IS NOT REQUIRING ME TO BE BRAVE. HE IS CALLING ME TO BELIEVE IN HIS BRAVERY THROUGH ME.
RIVERS OF HIS BRAVERY FLOWING WITHIN ME...
That one word can transform my year. I'm excited to take more time this afternoon to go deeper into what that will mean, to go deeper into the waters of the Spirit's revelation!
How about you?
What might the LORD put on your heart?
Experiencing His promises begins with belief! Radical belief in Him.
Belief on Jesus' terms goes beyond believing that He is real. Belief on His terms means commitment, unshakeable confidence, being FULLY persuaded.
So when the Spirit put on my heart that I believe that Jesus is brave, that means I am deeply committed within that my Savior is brave! I have unshakeable confidence that Jesus is brave. I am fully persuaded that my God is brave! And that so resonates with me! I do deeply believe that Jesus is brave!
Now what? How will that affect my thoughts, my actions? Because my year and my days are not supposed to be built upon what I believe about me. My year and my days are to be built upon what I believe about Him.
Eyes off of ourselves. Eyes on Him.
So take the challenge today and ask yourself what you believe about Jesus. Let the Spirit help and direct you. It can be a very challenging and encouraging question!
What do you REALLY believe about Jesus? Sit with it. Breath and pray into it. Meditate. Write down what comes.
Because what you really believe about Him will drive your actions; and be the foundation of what you believe is possible! He promises "Rivers of living water flowing within!" Where could His supply take you this year? BELIEVE!
Here is today's exercise via browser access. OR CLICK ON PIC ABOVE TO LISTEN ON APPLE PODCASTS! Start your year with belief! What do you believe about Jesus?
John 7:37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
I received a few responses from the last email I sent out! Thank you! And see pic above for one! It really encouraged me! I greatly appreciate hearing from you and getting a little glimpse into how this ministry is impacting you. It's an honor to go into the presence of the LORD with you!
Note that in her message to me, she shared her word of "PRESENCE"! What a great word! It is a different way to say the word I shared, "Rivers of Living Water"!
God wants us. He longs for time with us. He will supernaturally transform us as we go deeper with Him.
C.M asked if I had a few scriptures to share with her. Here is one of a few I sent...
Psalm 42:2- My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
There is a thirst within. Jesus designed us this way. Our soul thirsts.
His presence is everything. Living water sustains us. He has a supernatural supply and flow to pour into us, that it may also pour out through us!
What scriptures would you think of to share with C.M? Send me an email! I'll forward to her!
And I'd still love to hear your "word" or "theme" for 2023! Reply to this email and let me know!
For going into 2023, we'll kick off with prayer inspiration around rivers of living water as the theme for exercises and meditations!
And as we enter the New Year, here is a prayer for you. Agree with me. Pray it out loud changing any language that aligns with your heart. Let it challenge you to go deeper, to cry out, to express longing for more of Him!
LORD God, I’ve wondered about some things that have happened this year and the whisper that eventually came after a couple of months of wrestling was, “I am the author of your faith.”
That word settled me. It helped me let go and trust you more. You allow things to take us deeper.
I pray that this one can see their confusion in the light of your hand intervening to author their faith. ("Yes God help me see.")
May they see each challenge as opportunity to deepen in trust with you. ("Yes God help me see.")
I pray for them to be able to see the highs and lows of their year in terms of your divine intervention, even when it is so hard to perceive. ("Yes God, help me see.")
You are jealous for us God. You establish our boundaries. You bring cleansing, correction, assistance, comfort and help. You see what is a hindrance to our growth. You want to reveal our hearts to ourselves. You see us clearly. We do not see ourselves clearly. You have to reveal our own hearts to us.
You show us hard things. May we admit what you are showing us. May we not resist the cleansing and sanctifying work you are doing. May we surrender.
You show us our faith. May we follow your voice and be willing to go deeper with you. Help us rejoice when we see that when push comes to shove, we choose YOU over the lesser things.
You allow cuts in relationships. May we trust you in that process and cling to you, knowing you are jealous for us; and no one is to take prominence over you. Help us keep you in the right place LORD, not letting children or spouse or pets or career or others or ourselves, take precedence over you being first in our hearts. May we be willing to take bold stands when necessary and not buckle under pressure to people-please.
You protect us from things we aren’t aware are dangerous. Thank you for intervening when we can’t see or perceive clearly. Be with us in our life decisions and re-direct us.
You've been faithful. You've provided. We have so many reasons to reflect and be thankful. We've had victories. Help this one reflect and see your Hand and Supply.
As we head into the coming year, help us hear your call to come higher. You want more of us. You want us to let go of fleshly things. You want us to take initiative. Your word encourages us to humble ourselves. May we do so. May we consider starting the year in a fast. Let us lay fear and excuse aside. You will supernaturally sustain us.
Less of us Jesus. More of you. Take us deeper into the flow… rivers of living water within. We want refreshing of your life within us, a supply that pours out so that others too may drink.
Be with this one. Establish them. Lead and guide them into new life, new beginnings, new hope each and every day of 2023. Amen.
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Prayer is Gift!
Hi my name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 25 year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and praying for His life in greater measure!