Thursday, December 29, 2011

Laura's Encouraging Words: Happy New Year 2012

Laura's Encouraging Words: Happy New Year 2012: Since we will be leaving for our annual camping trip tomorrow, I thought I should do this blog now. This will be my last blog for the yea...

Happy New Year 2012

Since we will be leaving for our annual camping trip tomorrow, I thought I should do this blog now.  This will be my last blog for the year 2011 and the first blog for the year 2012.  I am sorry I missed wishing you all a Merry Christmas, as we celebrated the birthday of Jesus.  I know it is not His real birthday, but it is the day we have chosen to celebrate His birth anyway, which I think is a good thing to celebrate!

As you close your eyes New Years Eve (or New Years Day), may you remember as you wake up New Years Day, how much God took care of you the year of 2011.  You may feel like it was a tough year, but God still came through for you in many ways, I am sure.

As you look towards a new year, filled with uncertainty, may you remember those times God came through, and hold onto those memories, to help you to believe for good things from God, in the unknown future of 2012.  Many worry that the world will end this coming year.  Well, as we just went through a bunch of that hoopla this last year, I think you can trust God to take you through that unknown with flying colors.  Like Paul said, "Whether I live or whether I die, I live for Christ....".   That is our center.  Living for the Savior who lives inside of us.  I think we can all say, "He Who is in us, is greater than he who is in the world".  

As you celebrate on New Years Eve, may you find that your heart is full of thoughts of God.   May you be filled with hope for a wonderful year, and a year in which you see God answer prayers you have been holding onto for His timing.  May you find that He breaks the yoke of the enemy in your life, and may you find that He has surrounded you with victory.

I love each of you.  May you be blessed tremendously this coming year, and may you find that God is truly more powerful than anything you could have imagined.  It always troubles me, when I hear people give more power to the enemy than to God.  God is so much more powerful, so much more able to do impossible things, than we can even imagine.  He has even told us that.  And He has told us this, "That He is faithful, even when we aren't".  He never changes.  He is a strong tower we can run to, and hide in.  He is able to do battle for us.  He is able to defeat our enemies.  So, begin to believe that God meets you on a personal and powerful level.  Begin to believe that He is FOR you and NOT against you.  Begin to believe that if He blesses one person, He wants to bless us all.  I had a friend who heard a testimony I shared, and she said, "If God did that for Laura, He will do it for me."   I like that.  If He does it for one, He surely wants to do it for us all.  He loves you with an everlasting love.  Believe it, receive it, and live it.  Hugs and prayers, and a Happy New Year to you all.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

We all have things to be thankful for.  We have food, we have a roof over our heads, we have transportation.
We are blessed if our kids are healthy, we are healthy, and if we still have living parents.  We are blessed if we have siblings and if we get to see those siblings.  We are blessed if we have aunts and uncles and cousins.  We are blessed if we have nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews, or even grandchildren.  We are blessed if we are free to worship God.  We are blessed if we are free to speak what we believe out loud.  We are blessed if we can read and write and speak.  If we can see, hear, smell, touch, walk, run, or do any number of things that we take for granted.  If we can hold a baby, and see a newborn animal, we are blessed with the newness of life.  We are blessed if we get to experience the beauty of a sunrise, a sunset, a rainbow, the sunshine, or the moonshine, or to see the ocean in its power and glory or to see the mists in a forest glade.  Most of all, we are blessed if we get to be born anew in Jesus Christ.  If we have accepted His free gift, and then have the Holy Spirit's Power help us live each day in Jesus.

I pray that each of you will experience the blessing of a thankful heart.  That you will see God working in you, to look around you and find the places He has placed gifts for you to find.  Treasures to bring you to a heartfelt and grateful place.  It says in God's Word, "That out of the mouth, the heart speaks".  What do you want your mouth to speak?  Blessings or curses?  We choose which will come forth out of our mouths.  If we fill our hearts with wonder at God's blessings, blessings will spring forth out of our mouths.  But if we are continually finding the negative and faultfinding things around us, we will be speaking curses over our lives, because our heart is focused on the negatives.  The Bible says "We can speak life or death".  These seem the same, but they are just a bit different.  Because we need to understand that blessings lead to a more abundant life, and curses lead to death.  So, yes, similar, but not the same.  As we speak blessings over our lives, we see more of God's strength and power at work within us.,  When we speak the negative curses, we feel weak and unable to see victory.  We see more destruction and chaos and havoc in your lives.  Now, you may have those things in your life, due to the enemy battling you, and that is a different thing than what I am talking to you about.  What I am talking to you about, comes as a direct result of the words you are speaking.  It is the worry, or the "This financial mess will not ever be resolved" type of thinking, or the "I'll never be well" thinking.  Your job is to take those thoughts captive, and make them line up with the Word of God.  What does the Bible say about you, about us believers?  It says "We are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus".  It says, "That Jesus came to give us life, and that life more abundantly".  

As you think of the things I've said, think of why we celebrate Thanksgiving.  It was after a time of intense struggle for the pilgrims.  They had lost many family and friends.  They were weak and many were sick and hungry.  They barely made it through the first year in the New World.  But here they were, with a harvest to reap, and new friends to share it with.  Friends who came through to help save this struggling colony.  Friends who showed them the way to survive in this new place.  God has given us instructions on how to make it and survive in the places He's placed us in.  May you find your heart being filled with praise and thanksgiving to Him for what He does for you.  For Who He is, even if you don't know what He has done for you.  I challenge you to start finding 5 things to be grateful for each day.  I challenge you to make sure you are really grateful, and not just saying things without meaning it.  Think about the thing you are grateful for.  Now, think about how God has provided that for you.  I know you can do this.  I'd love to hear if this has helped you.  God bless each of you, on this wonderful day to celebrate God and what He does each day for all of us.  

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Birthday, Isolino

Today, I was planning on posting a photo of Isolino, for this blog, but found out, I can't do it yet, without a major amount of work, and right now, that just isn't possible, so, I pray you will all be ok without a photo on this and future blogs.  My computer got messed up about three weeks ago, and on the day when I was going to do a blog, no less.  I have been trying to work out the kinks of my keyboardless world, but it has taken me a while to figure some things out, and today, I thought I had a plan, and lo and behold, I can't access my pictures just yet.  So, instead of getting upset and just giving up, I am writing in spite of  "no photos", and I will continue to do so, until I can add them again.  You will just have to look at my flickr photos at the bottom and choose one for the blogs in your own minds!

Since Isolino's birthday falls around "Labor Day", we try to do something the weekend before or of, his birthday.  This year, we did a camping trip to "Cherry Lake" and were blessed that Roy, Jolynn, her boyfriend Jordan, and Kaylee were all able to go with us.  Unfortunately, Kristine and Nathan were unable to come, due to Nathan's cousins wedding.  We had fun, but they were missed, too.
Celebrating birthdays in our family is kind of important.  We try to make it special, for whoever it is.  Surprising Isolino, is near to impossible, so I have kind of given up doing so.  He is just very savvy, and seems to come in or hear things, so that he is rarely surprised by anything we do. He told me to surprise him, but I don't think so, honey.  I think he did get a nice surprise this weekend, though, with Roy deciding to come, and camp with us, and bringing Moo, we didn't know what to expect, but Moo was a good dog, and we found out, he loves to play in the water.  He had a blast and everyone had fun playing with him, too.

I believe God wants us to have fun in our lives.  He sure made a lot of celebrations for the Israelites to enjoy and remember things in.  Some are solemn occasions, but most are to rejoice and remember God's provision and protection.  On our birthdays, it is a good time to reflect on what God has done for us in our lives.  How He has protected us throughout the year, how He has provided for us, how He has brought us joy and times of His Presence filling us with wonder at HIM.

May you all be blessed on your birthdays, may you find that God has done more than you expected, and may you see the wonder of His plan in your life.  I watched "Soul Surfer" on the camping trip, and even though I had read of this young lady, in "Guidepost magazine", this movie brought out even more, what she had to go through, to win over losing her arm to the shark bite.  One Scripture quoted was Jeremiah 9:11  "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you, not to harm you..."  This was quoted before the accident had happened.  What an impact it had on her life, after the accident.  God does have a plan for your life.  He knows the number of your days.  He wants you to fulfill what He has placed in your life.  Don't let fear, discouragement, disillussionment, dismay, or anything else keep you from having a vision for your future, and holding on to the hope that God gives to each of us.  I personally ask God for help, when I am needing a bit of a lift from Him.  I ask Him to give me something to hang on to.  I asked for rainbows, for quite some time, and then God began giving me the sun rainbows (that are sun dogs) and He has let both Isolino and I see rainbows around the sun and moon.  But, He is not limited with those signs, He just asks us to open our eyes and watch for what HE brings.  I do not limit God with what He can do for me, I just ask Him to let me know when I see it.  I always do.  Even the beauty of a brilliant sunset, is a way of Him saying, "I Am here, do not fear".  This weekend, I saw a shooting star, which I hadn't seen in quite some time, and a hawk, flying down the canyon, and butterflies, and a star-studded sky, that was so brilliant and clear.  So many things, can speak of His love and care.  Let Him minister to you.  I had a friend, that needed a touch from Him, and she asked for something specific, and God gave it to her.  It blessed her tremendously, and spoke clearly to her, that she was special to Him, which she needed to see.  I pray you will know, how special you are to Him, and how your life has purpose and meaning.  God bless you all.  

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Gone To Glory

Last month I lost a dear friend.  She had struggled a long time with her health, and fought a long hard battle.  Some may say she lost the fight, but I don't think so.  She trusted God through it all, and in the end, she was ready to go home to glory.  She knew Jesus as her personal Savior, and was trusting Him to help her family through it all.  She wanted Jesus to shine through her, and since she owned a Bible book store, she was an evangelist at heart.  She always wanted others to know Jesus and to live a victorious life in Him.  Her smile radiated joy, and would uplift my spirit whenever I saw it.

There were many more losses of life in this month, and many I don't know about, but it seems to me, a lot of people are going home to glory, and some, like a dear friend of mine, who is in the rest home right now, are fighting the good fight to the finish.  Isn't that what we all want?  To have Jesus say to us, "Well  done, My good and faithful servant?"  I sure do.  I want Him to be so pleased with me and my service to Him.  I don't serve Him to get that word, but I serve Him, so that He receives glory.  It says in the Bible, that our good deeds will be seen by men, so that they can give God the glory for it, when they see it being done.  (my paraphrasing here).

My friend and her husband were well known in the community.  They both lived their lives for God.  I was unable to go to the funeral, but I did go to the viewing the day before.  I am sure the funeral and service were full, as so many people's lives were touched by Pam Wendt and her husband George.  I know that there were people praising God for His work in their lives and how it touched those people.  That is what we want, for God to receive glory for the work in our lives and how it expands to those around us.

Praises lifted to God, reflect His glory.  He inhabits the praises of His people.  Sometimes it is a sacrifice to praise Him.  Sometimes, our praises are given in the midst of our troubles and struggles.  We need to praise in good times and bad, in joy and in sorrow, and in each day we live out our lives.  As we draw to the end of our days, our joy should be more vibrant and more joyous, because we know that soon, we will see our Lord and Savior, face to face.  I know, when I was so afraid of death, I did not look at death as a good thing.  I struggled with finding joy in dying.  I was afraid.  When God took that fear away, I realized how much I could rejoice about the next step of our lives, going home to glory.  Since that time, I have no fear of death, but only want my life to reflect His glory, for when that day comes, that I lay down my head and die, I know I will be heading straight to glory, and there will only be joy and life and power in that glorious day.  I will see Jesus face to face, and will be sitting at His feet, worshiping Him with all my heart.

For a while, Isolino and I have been seeing the sun rainbows (sun dogs) that I have shown in this picture I took.  On that day, we saw these radiant light shows all day long.  We saw a rainbow around the sun, and different aspects of the sun rainbows.  I have had one person tell me of sun dogs, and since that time I have looked for them, and God has let me find them.  On this day, a couple shared what they had seen of the sun rainbows, and that is the first time in the close to fifteen years since first hearing of them, that anyone had told me of these beautiful rays of light and glory.  It was so wonderful to share with this couple, the joy of seeing this glorious sight.  I have tried to share these when I see them, with whoever is around.  Yesterday, we went to Sonora, and lo and behold, we saw two sun-rainbows a rainbow around the sun, and a upside down rainbow.  I shared the two sun-rainbows with a girl at the store we were at, and she had never seen them before, and she was blown away by how they were both on either side of the sun.  It was a glorious sight, as one of them was radiating with a light that was glowing so brightly, it was stunning to see.

That is how sharing the good news of the gospel should be for us.  A radiating light of God's glory being revealed in the darkness of this world.  I heard on the radio, a man calling in and saying he had found the station and because of what they shared, he asked Jesus into his heart.  Hallelujah, a ray of glory spilled out, and a soul got saved.  It is our lives, lived on the principles of God's Word, living for Jesus, speaking His Word in due season, watering the lives of those around us, and sharing our testimonies of Jesus living in us, that will speak to a dying world.  Let us work today, to let His Light spill out around us, to bring hope and healing to those around us, and let people praise God, giving Him glory, when they see us living the Word of God out in our lives.  We need to read it, and then, we need to act upon it.  It is living and active.  As we apply it to our lives, those around us will see the difference and praise God.

May you be blessed with rainbows of glory in your lives.  May you not fear death, but look forward with joy, to the world beyond us, that we will receive when we have fulfilled our destiny's for God.  God bless each of you this weekend.  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace and good will towards men.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful fathers out there.  I happen to think my dad is one of the greatest dad's there are, but I know many of you, would fight me to the finish, because you also think your dads rank numero uno.

My dad was a Navy man, ending up in a submarine slot, working with the radar control boards.  He left the military after 20 years of service, as a chief petty officer.  That is pretty wonderful, for a young man working his way up in the ranks.  He told me it was a very hard training period that all of them had to go through, and obviously, he did his best and was successful in his career.

At some point, in his younger years, he and my mom became Christians, and gave up the lifestyle they were living at the time.  They have lived for the Lord ever since, and my dad finally gave into God's call in his life, and became a minister/pastor after he left the military.  He is one of the best pastor's I have ever had the privilege of knowing, and it is because of his and my mom's love for the Lord, that I have such a strong foundation of faith.

My dad and mom had eleven kids, so you know their home was full of life.  My dad taught us to respect my mom, and if he caught us sassing her, boy were we in trouble.  I always respected my dad for how he stuck up for my mom.  It meant a lot to me, as a young girl, to see a man give respect and honor to the one he loves.  My dad also taught us that if he or any other preacher preached something from the pulpit, we had every right to go and check it out for ourselves, and make sure that what was being said, lined up with God's Word.  That is a pretty big gift, in this world of  "Do as I say, and only as I say" world.  I use this gift sparingly in my eyes, but maybe some pastors that have had me in their congregations wouldn't agree that I was so quiet in my opinions.  But, I do read my Bible, and I do confront what is not following closely to God's Word.  So, thank you, daddy, for allowing your daughter to seek after God's Truth for herself.

My dad loves his kids with a full heart, but I truly believe his delight is in his grand kids and great grand kids.  He loves those little and big ones so much.  I watch him with the littlest ones, and his love and care is so special to see.  Both he and my mom were great parents, but they are even greater grandparents, which is saying a lot about how wonderful they are.

I watch my own husband with his kids, and I know that I have been blessed with a loving husband to me, and father to our kids.  His greatest joy is to take us on outings and trips.  He loves to see nature, and share what he sees with all of us.  He has gotten each of his children to love fishing, even though the girls don't really care to eat the fish, they love fishing with their daddy.  I was never a real fish eater, either, but in being married to this wonderful man, I have grown to love eating fish, and if you ever tasted his fish gumbo, you'd love to gobble that up as fast as you can, because it is so good.  I have been telling him to make it again.  Maybe soon!  As you can see, he has impacted our lives in a huge way.

Our older daughter's and Roy always come to him for help with their cars, and he is always willing to drop whatever he is doing, to help them out.  What a loving gift that is.  My dad did the same.  Kaylee loves watching certain shows with her dad, and they laugh and giggle and make me smile just to hear them, and watch them.

Isolino's dad accepted me into their family, and treated me like a daughter.  I never had any problems with him, and he tested me one time, when we first got married, by making me eat a hot pepper.  It was really hot, but I knew this was important to pass this test, so I ate that pepper, and didn't beg for water afterwards, and he shook his head up and down, and indicated that I was all right.  I had passed the test.  I learned some Portuguese words from him, like "frio" and "cabeza".  He loves to use his hands when he talks, and I would get the understanding of what he said, just through his hand motions.  He loves his grandchildren, and many would fall asleep in his lap.

Our heavenly Father, is even better than our earthly fathers.  He says in the Bible, that "if our fathers, being good, give us good things, than how much more will He, our heavenly Father, give us good things?"  Think about that.  We tend to blame God when bad things happen, but really, it isn't God who is to blame, but our enemy.  God allows it, but He didn't set out to ruin something in your life.  He tests us, to see what is in our hearts, and that is why He allows the enemy to do things, but God gives good gifts.  He has given us all we have need of, but we just don't understand how to accomplish the tasks He's set before us, because we are not really in tune with His plans.  We try to understand, but we have a lot of stuff that gets in the way.  That is why we need to have daily Bible reading or meditating on His Word.  That is why we need to be in prayer daily and in a spirit of praise at all times.  I know all of that sounds hard, but really, we only need one Word from Him a day, to keep us focused on His will for us on that day.  Try it.  Ask Him to help you understand His Will for you each day.  Let Him "fix" what needs fixing, and help you stand up and be victorious in Christ.

I pray you will all be blessed by your earthly dads, but I really pray that even if you didn't have a great dad, that you would know how much your heavenly Father loves you and wants to help you in your life.  I pray that you could understand that the bad things that happen, aren't happening because God has cursed you, but because the curse came about through sin, and it is only the Blood of Jesus that can cleanse us from that curse.  It is God's greatest gift to us.  The Blood of the Lamb, that set us free.  That cleansed us from all unrighteousness, and took the sin upon Himself, so that we could truly live as conquerors in our lives, overcoming the enemy and being victorious in living a life to the Glory of God.  Let God help you to see that victory in your life.  Let God help you to know that your life is precious and that as your Father in heaven, He cares about you intimately and completely.  He wants to shower you with good things.  He wants your life to be full of joy.  Full of wonder at all He has done.  I pray you see that today.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cloak of Zeal

And He saw that there was no man and wondered that there was no intercessor [no one to intervene on behalf of truth and right]; therefore, His own arm brought Him victory, and His own righteousness [having the Spirit without measure] sustained Him.
For [the Lord] put on righteousness as a breastplate or coat of mail, and salvation as a helmet upon His head; He put on garments of vengeance for clothing and was clad with zeal [and furious divine jealousy] as a cloak.  Isaiah 59:16-17

We are told in God's Word, that Jesus, for the zeal of the Lord, went to the cross.  He is our zeal.  He puts zeal for God's Word, and God's Will, into us, as He fills us with Himself.  Without this zeal, our lives would be mediocre and lukewarm, which we know God doesn't want for us.  He has told us that He wants us hot or cold, but not lukewarm.  Being lukewarm, is like sitting on the fence, not being able to decide if we are with God or not.  We haven't made a choice of complete abandonment to His Kingdom.

Our family went camping this weekend, and it got very cold.  The first night, we had no trouble keeping a fire going, but the next day, it took all our efforts to keep that fire blazing hot enough, to warm us up.  Kristine's boyfriend, Nathan and I, were the keepers of the flame.  They had gone and gathered wood with Kaylee, and brought back a nice haul of wood to feed a fire.  Nathan sawed it up, and we had some nice smaller pieces, that would help start and keep, a fire burning.

I kept the fire burning, while they went on a drive around to the sights in the area.  I had to keep moving, filling, and blowing on the fire, to keep it going.  It had gotten quite cold, and with the temperature drop, and the wind, the fire kept wanting to go out.  Then the snow started.  That made the job even more difficult.  We were determined to have the warmth from that fire, so all of us worked on keeping the fire going, but Nathan and I, kept stoking that fire as much as we could, once they had gotten back.

That night, as I sat there, tending this fire, and working so hard to keep it going, I realized that is our job, as we put on that cloak of zeal.  If we fail to tend the fire of God in our hearts, we lose the flame, and it quits burning as brightly, as we need it to.  We may still have a fire, but it may just be coals of heat, and not the flame it should be.  Yes, the coals are hot, but without a continuous flame, it grows cold, and then your fire will be completely out.  It took great effort, to keep the fire going, but it was worth all our efforts.  It takes work to keep ourselves in the Word of God.  It takes work to keep a prayer life going.  It takes work, to keep the fellowship of the brethren.  Each piece of "wood" we continue to place upon our "altar" of worship and fellowship of God, makes our zeal more abundant and vital to our spiritual walk.

Zeal is a passion for something.  It is a burning desire.  It is a continuous walk forward, towards a goal.  It brooks no defeat to its goal.  It fights to reach the prize.  Paul says, "For the prize laid before me, I run the race...."  The prize he was talking of, was the Salvation of Jesus Christ, being the best ambassador for God's Kingdom, that he could be, being the best representative of God's Life within him, that he could be.  The prize was heaven in the end.  Being with Jesus forever.  Being crowned with a crown of righteousness that he could then throw at Jesus' feet.

What do you have zeal for?  I encourage you to put on the zeal of Jesus.  Be drawn to grow in Him.  Be zealous for bringing forth God's goals.  Be hot or cold, but get rid of apathy and lukewarmness.  I heard a wonderful thought on the "hot" or "cold" verse.  We all know hot is like zeal.  It burns within you and creates a fire of endeavoring to do all you can to glorify God.  But I always wondered about the cold.  I didn't understand that part.  A young man that I met, said it this way, "Cold is refreshing.  It is like a cup of cold, cool water on a hot summer day.  It cools you down, and refreshes your body with replenishing it wit"h what it needs."  I liked that.  The Holy Spirit is also called the "River of Life"  and "Living Fire of God".  Cold and Hot.  Hot and Cold.  May you be filled with the zeal of the Lord.  God bless you all.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

There are so many of us, that have been blessed with mothers we are so proud of, and who we love so very much.  Some of us are blessed to call our mothers our friends.  I am one who can say this is true.

My mom is an amazing woman.  She had eleven children, and even though she lost one of my sisters, she continued to raise the rest of her ten children with love, humor, and strength of character.  She mourned my sister Leslie's death, but was comforted with an image of Jesus taking Leslie to heaven.  She took that same faith that she had been given, and gave us a hope that is a strong foundation in most of our lives.

My mom took on many different jobs, wherever we moved.  She was a receptionist, secretary, office janitor, substitute teacher, and so much more.  She continued work, even now doing so much, that she can put me to shame with how much she does.  She has had many things happen in her life, and yet she has gone on with a joyful heart, and a strong belief in what God can and does do.

Her greatest treasures are her family.  She and my dad have been married for over 50 years, and are still very much in love.  They are the center of our large family, and we all fight about who will get them to live near by.  Those in Montana win for now.  They love, and are loved.  My mom has a huge and generous heart.  She gives one hundred percent, in whatever she does.

My mom is an artist, a cook, a musician, a chauffeur, a teacher, a helper, a worker, a singer, a mom, a wife, a grandma, a great grandma, and a woman who loves the Lord.  She uses whatever talent she has, to enhance and bring forth God's Truth to others.  She writes, and has written many  a letter to the editor of whatever newspaper is in her town at that time of her life.  She has written little tracts to put into trick or treat bags at Halloween, to bring forth God's Truth.

As you can see, I am proud of my mom, and proud to be not only her daughter, but her friend, and sister in Christ.  I pray that all of you, who didn't have a mother like mine, one you could be proud of and be blessed by, would remember that this day is still a day to remember that God said He'd be like a mother to you.  He will comfort you, bless you, and give you so much to be thankful for in your life.  Let Him take that pain, of a mother who wasn't all she should have been to you, and let Him heal that wound in your life, and bless you with a new appreciation of what He can do with that pain.  He will take it, and make you something greater than you could even imagine.

I ask God to bless all of you today, with the knowledge of how much He loves you.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Laura's Encouraging Words: Praying in the Spirit With All Kinds of Prayers

Laura's Encouraging Words: Praying in the Spirit With All Kinds of Prayers: "Pray at all times (on every occassion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all (manner of) prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert an..."

Praying in the Spirit With All Kinds of Prayers

Pray at all times (on every occassion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all (manner of) prayer and entreaty.  To that end keep alert  and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God's consecrated people).

And [pray] also for me, that [freedom of] utterance may be given me, that I may open my mouth to proclaim boldly the mystery of the good news (the Gospel).

For which I am an ambassador in a coupling chain [in prison. Pray] that I may declare it boldly  and courageously, as I ought to do.  Ephesians 6: 18 - 20.

Today is the National Day of Prayer.  What a wonderful day to talk about this piece of our armor.  How wonderful, that we can pray for each other and for our nation, not only today, but every day we live.  What an honor and a privilege, that we get to be a part of the very task Jesus has set Himself to do for us.  He intercedes for us in heaven.  We get to intercede for each other, too.

Paul, in this passage of Scripture, asks the Christians of his time, to pray for him.  He was one of the more well-known ministers of the Gospel of Christ.  He gave his all for the Gospel of Jesus.  He went through imprisonment, stoning, beatings, shipwrecks, and so much more, all to bring forth the Gospel of Jesus to a dying world.  He told of how he, too, had been an enemy of this self-same Gospel, but through the divine intervention of Christ, Himself, Saul, became Paul, and became a true ambassador of God.

For him to ask this of the believers of that time, makes us aware, that no matter how well we think we know Jesus, we need others to pray for us, to intercede for us, and to be aware, that we are all in need of encouragement, love, and support.  Prayer is a vital piece of armor, that can move beyond the natural realm and impact our lives in a supernatural way.  We are in a war, and prayer is so important to winning that war.
I remember one day, that I was at home in my kitchen, and I felt this overpowering need to intercede for my sister-in-law and her family.  I didn't know what was going on, but I truly felt a sense of this being a life and death situation.  I prayed for about an hour, and then I felt a release, that whatever had been going on, it was covered now by prayer.  Later on, we found out that it had indeed been a life and death situation, and they had gone over a cliff and landed with the front end down.   My brother-in-law was hurt pretty badly in his leg, and they all had some scratches and cuts, but they were all alive, and shaken, but not destroyed.

We won't all have such an intense call to prayer, and I have only had a few others like that in my lifetime so far, but that does not mean I stop praying.  I continue to pray as I feel led by God's Spirit, to pray.  God moves upon us in different ways at different times.  If you try and regulate prayer, it becomes a chore, and not the adventure in the Spirit that God wants it to be.  We need to allow God to be God, in our midst.

The disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray.  He gave them the Lord's Prayer.  I want to do more on that prayer in a later blog, so I am only mentioning it to you.  You can look it up for yourself right now, in Matthew 6:9-13.  He went on to tell them more of what they needed to do.
Prayer begins with us acknowledging God, as our heavenly Father.  We need to submit to Him, and His desire for our lives.  We need to pray with an ear towards listening for His direction.  We are prone to let distractions get in the way.  We need to concentrate on God's attributes, to help us keep focused on His ways.  He is our Comforter, our Healer, our Deliverer, our Strong Tower, our Salvation, our All in All.  The Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.

Our God is a supernatural God.  He is not bound by our eyes.  He is bound by our faith.  What I mean by that is that if we will have faith, He will do more than we can imagine, but if we doubt, we close the doors to His supply.  If you don't believe me, just think of the Israelites going through the wilderness.  They had 40 more years of wandering because of their unbelief.  Jesus told the disciples that they could have whatever they believed for, if they would just have faith of a mustard seed.  That seems incredible to us, but believe me, He meant it.  He means it for us too.  He wants us to walk out that door of "just existing" and into a life of "believing for more".  Just like Paul asked for prayer, that he might be bold and courageous to share the Gospel of Christ.  We need that same boldness and courage.  I love in Joshua 1 when the Lord speaks to Joshua to be strong and courageous and then the people repeat that same thing, telling Joshua that the Lord is with him.  I quote that sometimes to myself.  Reminding myself that God is with me.  He wants me to be strong and courageous in HIM.

Dear ones, I pray that you will be encouraged today, reading these words, and that it will encourage you to pray not only for yourself and your family, but for your church family, and for your neighbors, and for the nation, and for the world.  Pray for those who are lost.  For those who are in disasters, for those who are poor and needy, for those who have lost a loved one, for those who are afraid, for those who are alone.  There is no lack of areas for you to pray for God to be glorified and revealed in.  I pray that God will give you a desire to pray.  A desire to lift up His Name on high and to glorify Him, in interceding for those around you.  God bless you all.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Resurrection Sunday (Happy Easter) and Happy Passover

Today we celebrate the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  I took a break in the spiritual armor, to dedicate today's blog to Jesus.

I am so grateful for what Jesus has done for us.  He has given us new life, hope, and a reason for joy.  I am so thankful for God planning to give us this gift of His Son, so that we may have abundant life.  Not just existing, but truly celebrating each day as it comes along.  I don't do that everyday, but because of Jesus, I can.

May each of you, meditate on what Jesus means to you today.  What sacrifice He has given to each of you, and what He asks of you, today.  May the joys of His Spirit fill you completely today.  May you feel renewed and strengthened for the journey of life, as you begin to appreciate the total wholeness that Jesus won for you on that cross.

Happy Resurrection Sunday.  Happy Easter.  Happy Passover.  May each of these wishes, bring you a newer and deeper understanding of all Jesus is to you.  Powerful Redeemer, Resurrected Savior, and Lamb  of God, taking away the sins of the world.  God bless you all.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Sword of the Spirit

And the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God.  Jesus is the Word made flesh.  The Word of God.  The Living Word.  Jesus said that the Spirit "would lead us into all truth".  The Spirit will reveal to us the things that are Christs.  He will remind us of a Scripture in our times of greatest need.

I have been very overwhelmed recently with my health and with things at home and at work.   I have been in need of a Word from God.  Recently, I have been asking God to help me to lean on Him, and to give me His Word to hold onto in my times of need.  He has come through with many words of hope and encouragement, but the main thing, is that He has brought to my attention, the very real need of all of us, to speak His Word out loud to our circumstances.  You may say, "What on earth is she talking about?".  Well, I am not talking of earthly things, but heavenly things.  You see, we need to realize that this Word of God, is really truly real.  It is active and powerful.  It cuts through marrow and bone.  It divides the truth from the lies.  When you speak God's Word in faith, something happens.  God is faithful, and He acts on His Word to us.

We need to apply this Word to our daily lives.  When we read it, we need to apply it.  I always ask God how He wants me to apply the Word I have just read, to my daily circumstances.  You see, the Bible tells us we must not just read the Word, but we must also act on it.  So, when you read the Bible and God highlights that Scripture in your mind, due to the Holy Spirit quickening it to your heart, stop and ask God how He wants you to use this in your life.  What is He saying to you?  How can this Word change you?  Is He reminding you of something to do?  Is He asking you to forgive, love, or do some other action, that you have been having trouble doing?  Is He asking you to be more holy in your thoughts, attitudes, and actions?  How does He want you to act in relational situations?  You see, there is so much more God wants to impart to us, than our just reading through His Word.  He wants to activate His Word in our lives.  He wants us to live His Word.

I remember when I first started applying God's Word to my life.  It was like the Bible became fresh and new to me.  I couldn't believe this was the same Word I had been reading all my life.  I had always loved the Bible, but it is one thing to read the Bible for study, and quite another to begin to apply that studying to your own life in a practical and real way.  As I began to step out in faith upon what God was sharing with me, I began a new adventure in my walk of faith.  It is truly stepping from faith to faith, as you learn new lessons from God's Word.  I remember a pastor once saying that "the more I read the Bible, the more I realize how little I know."  It is like you are plumbing the depths and coming upon more depths of knowledge and wisdom and understanding.  If you have become bored in your reading of God's Word, I challenge you to begin doing this applying it in your life.  And if you are applying it in your life, and are still bored, than I challenge you to begin to ask God, "What is it I am supposed to be getting out of this?"  He will let you know.  Believe me, when I think there is no more to glean, He always shares something fresh and new, for me to explore and get excited about.  I will always be learning from Him.  His Word is indeed active, living, and powerful.

Two friends have quoted the same Scripture to me recently.  It is in Isaiah.  "They that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength like the eagles.  They shall walk and not faint, they shall run and not grow weary."  But there is another addition to this.  Teach me Lord, teach me Lord, to wait.  My patience has grown weary, in this battle for health.  I have grown weary of waiting, but when I recently got these Words of Scripture, God is the one who reminded me of the waiting part.  He has told me it will take time for my healing, but I want it now.  Paul, when He went to God about his physical need, was told that "My grace is sufficient for you."  And Paul said "He would glory even more in his affliction, for God's glory to be revealed."  You see, my attitude has not been aligned with God's Word to me.  I have been impatient of the time it has been taking.  God's grace is sufficient for me too.  I need to remember that.  So, I too, will allow God's grace to do its work, so that God's glory will be revealed even more.

God has been reminding me of how much I am doing.  He helps me each day, to not get into "Poor, pitiful me mode", but to encourage an attitude of praise.  Isolino
Let the Holy Spirit speak to you through God's Word.  Let the Holy Spirit open your spiritual eyes with God's Word.  Ephesians 1:17 - 20 says:  "[For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of  insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him.
By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones).
And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength,
Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [Own] right hand in the heavenly [places].

You can go ahead and read the rest of that chapter, as it is very good!  Dear ones, God wants us to believe for big things.  He wants us to believe for good things.  He wants us to keep hope alive in our hearts.  He wants us to be alert and awake to the schemes of the enemy, so we can come against them with God's Living Word.  Jesus!  Speaking His dominion over our circumstances.  He gave us back dominion in this world.  Let us take His authority, as He gives it to us through His Word, and speak His Word over our circumstances to bring His Kingdom into our midst.  God bless you all with hope, joy, excitement, love, and most of all, a revelation of Who He is, in your lives.  Who He is in your circumstances.  Don't let hope and joy leave you, due to worry, fret, and fear.  Let God's Word speak Life to your circumstances.  Let Him bring forth answers to your prayers and dreams and hopes.  Go forth in peace and joy.  Go forth with praise.  Go forth with God's glory being revealed in your lives.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Helmet of Salvation

And take the helmet of salvation.... We put on the helmet of salvation.  We put on Jesus.  He is our head.  He is our salvation.  Through Him, we have eternal life.  It says in God's Word that "Jesus is the head of the church, building her up, as each member does its part, and submits to Him."  (this is my paraphrase of that wonderful verse).
     The helmet goes on the head.  It protects the head from harm.  It keeps the head safe from falls and falling objects and blows to the cranium.  It supports and covers the head with padding, solid strength, and a hard outer shell to repel any falls or blows.  That is why helmets in the olden days were made of iron or steel.  With modern technology, other substances have been found to be just as effective.
     Jesus protects us.  He keeps us safe from falling into trouble, He keeps us safe from the flying darts of the enemy, and the blows to our minds that the enemy fights us with.  He supports us like a strong tower.  He covers our minds with His Word, He is strong when we are weak.  He has already defeated the enemy with His power, so that the enemies arrows and darts are deflected away from us. The Bible says "He has a rod of iron."  Nothing is impossible for Him.
     Salvation is found in no one else.  In nothing else.  We can't make ourselves clean or whole.  We can only come to Jesus, and allow Him to do the work within us that needs to be done.  He is the gate by which we must enter the pasture of the Lord.  If we want to eat the good spiritual food He has for us, we have to come through Him.  I love that we are joined together in Him.  We each have a part to play, and in Him, we work to complete the plan God has laid out.
     I am so saddened by Christians who forget who  is the head of the church, the head of them.  When we forget that, we hurt each other by our own desires to put ourselves forward.  Each of us comes equally to the cross.  I remember telling a young lady coming out of darkness, that her sin was no greater than mine.  Our sin took Jesus to the cross.  We have equal blame.  There is none righteous, no not one, but Jesus Christ.  So, where do we figure that someones sin makes them more needy, or someones righteousness makes them more holy?  Yes, there are variations of darkness, but sin is sin.  The sin of pride is as witchcraft to God.  So, if you are walking in pride, you are already in witchcraft.  It is saying "MY will is more important than GOD'S will."  That is what witchcraft is, plain and simple.  It is trying to change something with your will, instead of allowing God to change that situation.  It is using control, intimidation, and manipulation to get someone to do what you want them to do.  Folks, we better get out of pride, really fast!  It is a pathway we don't want to walk down.
     I remember when I was younger and first married.  God told me very plainly, that I was not to try to manipulate or control with any means of my flesh.  I was to allow God to change those situations with His Presence and Power.  I wasn't to try and use my sexuality against my husband by denying him our bed, just to get my way.  That is very wrong, ladies and gentlemen.  We are to love the 1 Corinthians 13 way.  Not seeing a hurt or  noticing when we've been done wrong.  I have a long way to go to get to that kind of love, but it is something I am striving for, how about you?  We are to love just as unconditionally as we want to be loved.  Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.  So many times, I had to bite my tongue, so the hot virulent flow of anger would not spill out, like lava, burning all in its wake, with its brimstone power.  I would have to go and get quiet and still, to hear from my Head.  To get good understanding of what I needed to do and say.
     God reminds me, when I am angry about something or someone, "Laura, do you think you are any better than them?"  I tell you, that sure makes me get real humble, real fast.  I am reminded of my very real failings.  I am reminded that I, too, have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  My redemption is this, I serve a Living Savior, Who has forgiven me, and shown me the way to go.  I can walk free of that guilt and shame, as I lay my burden down at His feet, ask for forgiveness, and make things right, by forgiving those I am having a problem with.  He said "He will be faithful to complete the work He has started in me."  Glory Hallelujah!  I jump for joy at that phrase.  He will complete in me, the work that needs to be done.  I just have to submit to Him, and learn to work with my fellow body parts.  I need to give grace, if I expect to get grace for myself.  Isn't that what forgiveness is?  Unmerited favor with God?  He gives us favor, even when we don't deserve it.  Grace, God's Grace.

  Oh how we need the Grace of God in this time and day.  How we need to remember that while we were YET sinners, Christ died for us.  He didn't die for us when we got holy, He died while we were still in our sins.  Why can't we extend that grace to each other?  Why can't we choose not to be like the man, who when he was forgiven much, then demanded from his neighbor a pittance?  He was thrown into jail and the key was thrown away.  Brothers and sisters, we need to walk in grace more so now, than ever before.  The world is dark with
unforgiveness and pain.  I am talking to me, here, too.  I need to walk in more grace too.  I need to seek my Father's heart and stay in step with the Spirit, and be built up in love, in the Body of Christ.  I need to pray that those out there, lost souls who need this helmet of salvation so desperately, would find this loving Savior that I know.  This Jesus, Who came to set the captives free.  Hallelujah!
     I pray that each of you will find Jesus as your Head.  That He will cover you with His precious Blood.  His Blood that covers us with salvation.  From head to toe, we are covered by this helmet.  The Blood of Jesus covers us with power and strength.  With protection and light.  May you find out just how very much He loves you and how truly free you are in Him.  I love you all.  Be blessed by the Salvation of Christ, as He covers you like a helmet of protection and stands with strength and power to deflect all the wiles of the enemy that rises up against you.  His mind cover your mind.  His heart cover your heart.  His Spirit cover your spirit.  His eyes cover your eyes.  His Body cover each part of your body.  

Monday, March 21, 2011

Shield of Faith

Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one].  The shield of faith.  Jesus is our Savior.  It is by faith in Him, that we have salvation and the hope of eternal life.  He covers us with His Presence.  We are shielded from the wiles and dangers of the enemy, because of His saving blood.  Our faith in Him, gives us strength to lift up our shields, and fight the enemy with the Word of God.
     I think I shared this already in another blog, but it fits here, too.  I was being hit pretty hard by the enemy, getting beat up left and right.  I was at a point when I was just hanging on to Jesus with my fingertips.  I was standing as hard as I could in faith, knowing this battle was a heavy spiritual one, but one I had to win.  I knew I needed to get to the tape player and get some worship music on, but all I could do was sit there and pray.  I couldn't move.  Kristine came home from school, and she saw where I was at, and she went immediately to the tape player and put on the praise and worship music.  Within minutes of her putting on the music, I could move and I began to claim the promises of God.  That was my shield of faith at the time, worship music.  Believe me, the enemy ran.  He had put all his energy into putting me down, but with just one act of faith, he was defeated.  The flaming arrows he had been shooting my way, were deflected by my praising God.  I stood up and declared that this was the day that the Lord had made, and I WOULD rejoice in it.
     I was helped by Kristine.  She lived up to her name and planted faith into that situation.  I was freed from the chains the enemy had bound me up with, and folks, these were real spiritual chains.  The enemy knew I had recognized his plans in some area, and I was doing spiritual warfare.  This was his hardest hit, to keep me from going any further, but I was determined I wasn't going to give in, so I sat and prayed and stood my ground, until Jesus sent reinforcements.  Sometimes, that is all we can do, is wait until He sends help our way.  Just hold onto Him, and have faith to believe He will help you out of your distress.
     A shield covers you from head to toe.  Every part of you is covered from the enemy's weapons.  They are vital in warfare.  Today, shields are a bit different, but no less important.  Spiritual shields are mighty to bring protection.  Jesus covers you.  He protects you.  He gives you strength and power to go forward.  Shields in real life could help that soldier move forward against the enemy, by using the shield as a thrust.  It could be used as a weapon, and it could be used to blind the enemy.  Jesus blinds the enemy for us.  He covers us with His Power, so we are shielded and safe.  I have heard of many missionary stories, where they were protected by angels, as the enemy surrounded them, and it was only later that they knew there had been angels there, because the people would ask them, "Who were those mighty men protecting you?"  They knew they had been alone, except for God being there.  They knew that God had protected them.  This spiritual protection is real.
     Allow Jesus to be your shield.  Let Him cover and protect you.  Let Him deflect those fiery darts.  Let Him be a thrust to get you out of dangerous situations.  He will guard and surround you with His army.  Hallelujah, He is truly able to keep you.  As our pastor said on Sunday, "He reigns".  He truly does!  God bless you with His awesome Presence.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace

And having shod your feet in preparation [to  face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace.  We put on the shoes of peace, in our next step of preparing for spiritual war.  We have put on the belt of truth, and the breastplate of righteousness, and now, we put on the shoes of the Gospel of peace.  Jesus is the Prince of Peace.  He is the one who said, "My peace I give to you, not as the world gives, but as I give.  Peace that passes all understanding."
     The worlds peace says, "Come together.  Let's live in harmony.  Let's not fight.  Let's all just chill together."  I see a bumper sticker around our town.  It says, "Co-exist" and then it has all the symbols of different religions on the sticker.  The problem with that, is that our relationship with Jesus is not a religion.  It is a life changing realization that we need Him desperately in our lives, and we cannot exist without Him.  It is the deepest relationship of our lives, and it is not a religion.  It is knowing Him intimately, and being known by Him intimately.  That means, we can't co-exist with any religion, because we aren't in a religion, we are in a relationship, and that can't be changed, no matter how the world tries to change it.
     Yes, we go to church, but that is so we can have fellowship together with other believers, who also have that same intimate relationship with Jesus.  We are to live in the world, but to be seperate from it.  Our separateness is not of getting away from the world, but in our relationship with Jesus, we no longer think as the world does.
     Jesus told His disciples, that when they came into a home, they were to speak His Peace upon that home, and if a man of peace lived there, His Peace would stay upon that home.  If a man of peace did not live there, he was to take the Peace of Jesus away with him, when that disciple left that home.  That is how we are to be wherever we go.  We bring the Peace of Christ with us into every situation we go into.  If we are not living the Peace of Christ ourselves, we are bringing chaos and division, because we are being double minded, and it says in God's Word, that "a double minded man is unstable in all his ways."  We cannot have the Prince of Peace living in us, and walk in strife and division, without causing others harm.  We have to walk in Christ's Peace.
     Christ's Peace is not easy to walk in.  It means turning the other cheek when you have been wronged, and forgiving those who wronged you.  There is a passage of Scripture that says, "If you come to the altar, and you know someone has something against you, leave your gift at the altar, and go make it right with that person."  You see, God's peace has a cost to it.  It is not a touchy feely peace.  It is a peace that asks hard things of you.  Forgiveness, making things right, going the extra mile, praying for your enemies, blessing them, allowing God to be in control, and not you.
     The world's peace depends on "feelings".  You hear all the time, "Well, I don't feel I can forgive them, so I won't until I feel it in my heart."  Jesus says, "Forgive those who hurt you and despisefully use you."  It doesn't say anything at all about "feelings".  I remember a time I was having trouble forgiving, and Jesus told me, "Let Me do the work, you just choose to forgive, and I will take care of the rest."  In other words, it was my choice to forgive, that brought Christ's Peace into that situation.  It had nothing to do with my feelings, because my feelings were to continue waiting for a time I felt forgiveness in my heart.  Jesus asks us to "Choose".  Choose His way of peace.  That forgiveness meant, when that situation came to mind, to bless those people that had hurt me, and say again, "I choose to forgive them, Father, because that is Your way, and I want to be in step with Your Spirit, and to please You.  I am still hurting, but I know Your way is best for me.  Help me to feel that forgiveness inside of me, but until I do, I will choose to forgive them, whether I feel it or not, because You have asked me to."
     The world relies on blocking out all the bad feelings and only allowing the good ones in.  Cleanse your mind, feel the good, throw out the bad.  Jesus knows we can't forget, but He can help us forgive and live forward, in spite of those bad situations, and memories.  It may take months or years to get to the place where you will think of situations in your life, and not feel the pain of that time.  It's ok.  Just continue to forgive.  To bless.  To give it to Jesus.  Some time in the future, God will use that painful place to bring healing and hope to others, if you will allow Him to.
     The peace Jesus brings to us, will cause rifts and wars, just because it cannot compromise at its very heart.  The truth is the truth, whether it feels good or not.  When you are walking away from God, the Gospel message will not "tickle" your ears.  It will irritate and annoy you.  It will bring conviction and challenge to your life.  It will keep at you, until you  either acknowledge it, or turn from it in your own attempt to run from God.  That is why God's message of the Gospel cannot be compromised with.  Because the Gospel message is Jesus.  Jesus, who was born of a virgin, lived among us, died on a cross, and rose after three days, and went to heaven on a cloud of glory, and Who will come back again, to gather His people.  He came to give us the keys to the Kingdom of God.  To restore to us, the lordship of earth.  If we walk in His ways, we have the authority given to Adam in the garden of Eden.  We are no longer bound by the curse, but set free to walk with God.  Other religions won't accept who we say Jesus is.  We cannot say He is any different than Who He IS, God dwelling among us.  Emmanuel.  God with us.  Because He lives, we live.  His divine blood bought us the right to be called "sons of God".  Hallelujah!
     So, we do want to walk in peace.  We don't want to fight, but we are in a war, and that war means we live at peace as much as we can, but we hold our ground on God's Word and His promises to us.  We allow others to be themselves, but we share the Truth of God's Word, when God opens those doors to share with others.  We allow Him to show us the way.  Remember, our war is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers in heavenly places.  That is why we need to walk in God's peace.  He will show us when we need to listen, when we need to talk, and when we need to fight.  Let Him be your guide.  Remember, we are to walk in step with the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit will tell us when to go left or right or stop or turn around or which way to go.  If we are listening.  If we have hardened our hearts, because we don't want to hear "God's plan", or to "do God's plan", we will not be able to hear Him so clearly.  Let His peace soften your heart.  Be willing to be the one to forgive and to walk in forgiveness.  To be kind and do good, so you can overcome the evil plans of the enemy.  Remember, this is not just about you or me, Jesus came to save and seek the lost.  He wants to bring everyone into the Kingdom of God, and we need to be open to listening to the plans.  Let's remember when division and strife start acting up, it means there is something important at stake here, and we need to be extra alert and willing to be calm and listening to the Spirits call.  Let's not be a part of the problem, but a part of the solution.  Let's let God lead us into His Peace that passes all understanding.
     When we are in His peace, we will feel a stability that will ground us.  We won't be double-minded.  We will just know that God is working, and we will have an unerring trust in God's protection and covering.  I pray you will feel that true and blessed peace that can only come from God.  Jesus.  Let His blanket of love comfort you, bless you, and bring you to a greater understanding of your destiny here on earth.  You are called and chosen.  You are an ambassador of the Kingdom, an ambassador of peace.  God bless you with an abundance of His precious peace.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Breastplate of Righteousness

     "And having put on the breastplate of (righteousness) integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God."  We put on the breastplate of righteousness next.  We put upon ourselves, Jesus.  He is our righteousness.  He is the One God sees when He looks at us.  We are covered by His Presence.
     Remember, in another blog how I told you that our righteousness is as filthy rags before God.  It is only the blood of Jesus that gives us righteousness.  All our good works and deeds are nothing, if they are not done in obedience to Jesus.  It is His blood that bought us our freedom and right standing with God.  Our righteousness.  Rejoice in the fact that we are called "the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus."
     As we put on that breastplate of righteousness, let us remember that it is the blood that Jesus shed on the cross, that won us that freedom.  His blood bought us power over ALL the works of the enemy, because Jesus triumphed over them, as He conquered the grave.  One drop of His precious blood, wins us the battles, as we stick close to Him.  We are surrounded and covered by His protection.  He covers us with His wings, and He surrounds us with His angels.
     When I was first married, I was in a bad accident.  I was trying to help a friend learn to drive, and we were on a gravel road.  She was going very fast, and I looked over and I told her that she should slow down.  I thought she'd take her foot off the gas, and let the car slow down normally.  Instead, she hit the brakes.  I knew we were in trouble the second she did that, and I breathed, "Jesus, help" and then I saw us going from one side to the next, and then we flipped.  After the dust settled, we all got out.  She had her young son in the back seat, and this was a convertable.  We had landed in the only ditch along the road, right in the middle, so we were all ok, except where I had gotten hurt, and a few cuts and bruises they had.  The miracle didn't stop there.  If my cut had been just an inch right or left, I'd have been dead.  You can't count how many miracles happened in this one accident.  God's protection was there big time.  I had put on my breastplate of righteousness, as I breathed, "Jesus, help".  That righteousness, covered us.  Jesus.  He is our righteousness.  He covered me and my friend and her son.  Hallelujah.
     There are times in your life, too, that I am sure Jesus covered you with that breastplate of righteousness.  Why not begin to put this on each and every day.  Put Jesus' righteousness on your heart.  Ask Him how He wants you to act and walk and work today and each day.
     I encourage you to think about this.  To let Jesus show you the path of righteousness.  Sometimes, we think we know it all.  We think in our own intelligence, but why not let God help us to look into our hearts for His understanding and wisdom.  That is what the breastplate covers, our hearts.  You see, the Bible tells us our hearts are wicked.  They want their own ways.  Each night, I put on my armor, and I also pray that" the eyes of my understanding would be opened."  I pray that "my eyes would see, my ears would hear, and that my heart would understand."  He is the only One who can help me to see, to hear, and to understand.  I know He has helped me in more ways than I can ever imagine.  Try it, and see if you don't have better eyes to see with, ears to hear with, and a more understanding heart.  Let your heart be surrounded by His righteousness and see what happens.
     Each piece of this armor is vital to our lives.  Each piece brings a part of Jesus' power, to help us in our battles with the enemy.  As we surrender to His authority in our lives, we will see a more peaceful, loving, forgiving and understanding life happening inside us.  We will be more stable and secure in our understanding of who we are in Christ.  I encourage you to rejoice and be glad.  God is definitely for you.  God bless you with His covering.  God bless you with His righteousness.  God bless you with a more powerful witness in your life, due to your letting Him change you from the inside out.  I know you will have people asking you, what has happened to you?  How do you have so much peace, joy, or love in your life?  It is due to Jesus covering you.  It is due to you surrendering to Him.  Love and prayers to you all, my dear ones.