Good News!

I am sure that you have heard of “the bad news bears.”  Nowadays seems all we hear is, “doom and gloom.”   Guess what?  I have some “good news!” God almighty is still in control.  He delights in showing Himself strong and in control in seemingly out of control, bad situations.

Exodus:  God’s children were in Egyptian captivity with no deliverer, an impossible situation? …GOOD NEWS, God through Moses delivered them, parted the red sea so that they walked on dry land to cross over to safety and provided every provision that they would need on their journey.

Daniel 6:   Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den with no way out, impossible situation?….GOOD NEWS, God stopped the mouths of the lions and saved Daniel. The Savior saved His servant.

Matthew 1:   Jesus was born of a virgin, impossible?…GOOD NEWS, all things are possible with God.

Matthew 14:  When there were no provisions, with five thousand hungry men, plus women and children and only 5 small loaves and 2 fish with which to feed them, that’s impossible?…..GOOD NEWS.  Jesus multiplied the fish and bread, then all were fed with 12 baskets left over.

Luke 24:6:  Jesus was crucified and in the grave for 3 days, an impossible situation? …GOOD NEWS, “Up from the grave Jesus arose,” and God raised Him from the grave so that we could experience salvation and have new life with God eternally!

I could go on and on.  I think the problem is that we have been reading and listening to the wrong source (the boob tube, the social media mess).

As children we sang the little song, “The B I B L E is the book is for me.” Let us get back to the book that has all of God’s promises, of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Now that is GOOD NEWS folks!!!

Joy

Phyllis

PRAYING FOR YOUR FAMILY

 As we begin the New Year, we all try to set some goals and resolutions for the new year.  For me it is seems to always involve, “no more sweets,” or exercising more. Most of us don’t do too well at keeping them.  I would like to suggest that we add one more very important priority. This is one we really need to keep. It is praying for our family like never before. The world today has so many evil obstacles in their lives.  The devil is like a roaring lion trying to kill, steal, and destroy. So much of our time is spent on other things that I am afraid we tend to neglect, or at least are inconsistent in taking them to our heavenly Father in prayer.  If we really believe that God hears and answers prayer, then we must PRAY.

  1. Learn to pray God’s will.
  2. Faith Praying: Matthew 6:10 “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is being done in heaven.” Find out what the Lord has in mind for your family and join the Father in praying His will. Psalm 36:9 says: “In Thy light, we see light.”  Which means that we must be in God’s Light ourselves as we seek to know how to pray for our family.
  3. Promise Praying: We must be led by the Holy Spirit and God’s Word. Match our speech with God’s promises. 2 Corinthians 1:20 “For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding YES.  And through Christ our AMEN ascends to God for His glory. NLT

 

  1. What can I expect when I pray?
  • He hears: Psalms 40:1 “I waited patiently and expectantly, and the Lord heard my cry.”
  • He speaks to His children: “My sheep hear my voice”: John 10:27.
  • “The Lord will fight for you and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest…..your God who goes before you, will Himself fight on your behalf.” Exodus 14:14

What have you found to be the greatest impediment to praying consistently for your family?

Galatians 6:9 “Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Oh, Father my desire for my family is taken from Psalm 27:4, that they may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of their lives and gaze on the beauty of the Lord and seek Him.

Joy

Phyllis

White as Snow

“Come now, let us reason together. says the Lord, though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” Isaiah 1:18a

Today I was in my art studio painting a dog portrait.  As I felt like I had not gotten the picture exactly right, I began to take alcohol and a Q tip to remove the acrylic paint from the areas on the canvas that needed changing.  I noticed that no matter how much scrubbing, there was some paint that never came off completely.  What ends up happening is that after it dries, I just try paint over the smug. Most of the time it covers, but I know that there is still a messy place under the finished painting.

I wonder if that is what we do sometimes spiritually.  The Bible is clear that we all sin (make mistakes.)  Instead of confessing that sin to Jesus, we try to get relief of the guilt by trying to forget it or just paint over it by trying to do better the next time. If we could just remember that we as God’s children have access to Jesus, our Savior that died and shed His blood on that old rugged cross, that we might be forgiven and have a new clean canvas.  By confessing our sin.      1 John 1:9 says that He is faithful to forgive our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

What can wash away my sin?

Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

What can make me whole again?

Nothing but the blood of Jesus

     Oh! precious is the flow

     That makes me white as snow,

     Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

Nothing can my sin erase

Nothing but the blood of Jesus

Nought of works, ‘tis all of grace_

Nothing but the blood of Jesu. (written by: Robert Lowry 1876)

Joy

Phyllis

Together

My heart grieves over the anger we are seeing and how divided we are as a nation, and even the people of the Church of the living God. The enemy has done his job well to cause chaos.  As I was reading the book of Nehemiah in my quiet time, I was reminded of what can happen when people from different backgrounds, skills, and opinions, set their minds and hearts to the task God has given them.

In chapter 1-3 we find that the leader Nehemiah, “was sent by God” to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem that had been broken down. He had volunteers to help. I was struck by the way the volunteers were about the work. Together the task was underway.

Eliashib and his brethren built the Sheep gate, next to him the men of Jericho built, next to them Zaccur built, next to him Hassenaah built, next to him Meremoth built, next to him Meshullam built, and so on and so on listing names and brethren throughout the entire 3nd chapter of Nehemiah.  I was struck by all the people of different skills and opinions worked side by side together to rebuild what had been broken down. We must keep in mind that the enemy using Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem all the while was working to get them distracted, discouraged, and divided. They had one goal, to do the task that the Lord had set before them.  The wall was rebuilt in record time.

Can we see any correlation to our chaos and confusion today?

There is strength together.  Working side by side.

I traveled with about 25 ladies in a Women’s Retreat ministry for nearly 15 years.  At the, retirement gathering of that ministry, we were sharing some of the amazing things that we witnessed during our time together. I will forever be touched that during all those 15 years, I never heard a critical or unkind word from any woman on the team.  How could that be?????

We had one purpose:  Honor the Lord, each other, and serve the people, TOGETHER!

Joy,

Phyllis

Taking the Mask off!

2 Cor 3:18 “And all of us as with unveiled faces, continue to behold as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are continually being changed into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another from the Lord, the Spirit. (Amplified Bible)

As we have been wearing the masks everywhere during the Covid 19 pandemic that has swept our world, I could not help but think how uncomfortable it has become. My glasses fog up where I can’t see as well, my breathing is impaired, I can’t smile and be friendly with others like I love to do, and certainly having conversations and  being understood is much more difficult.

I am afraid that many times, we as Christians, wear our spiritual masks trying to hide the real condition of our walk with the Lord or the lack there of. Moses face shown with the glory of the Lord after he encountered God on the mountain, however as the days went by, the glory began to fade,  so he wore the face covering so that others might not see it fading).  Exodus 34:25-39 Could that be us?  Are we one way at home and another around other folks. Is the glory fading? What are some of the things that the spiritual mask covers?  Secret sins, ungodly TV or movies, critical spirit, gossiping, self-protection, and others that I am sure the Holy Spirit can bring to our mind.

It is time to repent and take off the spiritual masks!!!

What are we gaining by removing our spiritual masks?  We can see much more clearly the truths in the Bible, we can once again have that personal intimacy, and once again have those amazing conversations with our heavenly Father, and certainly now, we can freely breath in the breath and power of the Holy Spirit.

 And with an “open face,” we are being constantly changed from glory to glory into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Joy

Phyllis

 

My Determined Purpose

Many years ago, I read a little book by Bro. Laurence called, “The Practice of the Presence of God.”  Bro. Laurence had devoted himself to God as a monk and lived his life praying and doing what we might call menial tasks for his fellow brothers. He states that He made a commitment to doing little things for the Lord each day and to never deliberately stray from Him.  Oh, how the Lord gripped my heart of the necessity in my life for a much deeper and more intimate fellowship with my heavenly Father! I had found my self so busy serving the Lord that I had neglected the most important, worshipping and being in His presence daily.

What does it really mean to live and dwell in His presence? In Websters 828 dictionary it states: in close view, within, a spiritual Spirit to be present.  Psalms 27:4, “One thing I ask of Thee, oh Lord, that I will seek, inquire for, and insistently require that I may dwell in Your presence all the days of my life.”

“MY PRAYER”

That I may know Jesus—

That I may__

 progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him.

That I may __

perceive and recognize and understand the wonders of His person more strongly and more clearly.

That I may —

In that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection.

That I may __

 share in His suffering as to be continually being transformed in His Spirit into His likeness even to His death.

Taken from __Philippians 3:10

Joy ,

Phyllis

 

Christmas Joy!

The Christmas season is here once again.  I love the music of the season. I am one that starts listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving.  So I get to hear the song, ”Joy to the World” a lot.  What exactly does this word joy mean? According to Webster dictionary:  Joy: to rejoice, an emotion evoked by well- being, to have a feeling of great pleasure and delight. That is a human emotion that comes and goes with the sunshine or clouds in our lives.  Is that how we are supposed to live as Christians? Can we have a different and settled joy in our hearts and lives no matter the dark the clouds that surround us?

What is the answer? YES! If God’s Word says that we can, then we can!

Psalms 87:7 “All my springs, my source of LIFE and Joy are found in You , oh Lord.”

John 10:10 “The thief came to steal, kill, and destroy, but I came that you might have Life, and have it more abundantly.” (Agape Life, God’s Life)

In 2nd Peter the Bible states that the Lord has given us everything pertaining to Life. The question that we must ask ourselves is, “Am I experiencing the Life that has been provided to me as God’s child? Am I letting the enemy, people, circumstances, moodiness, etc. rob me of experiencing real joy, God’s Joy ?”

What to do if you are not living in that kind of joy?

  1. Be saved! John 3:16, 2. Be filled with the Spirit, 3. Feed your soul on God’s Word, 4. Decide! How do you want to live, 5. Transfer the eternal truths of God into experiential reality in our life by faith, trusting Him to keep His promises.

We now as children of God have a choice.

Joy to the world, the Lord has come!  

Another Story of When God Comes in Revival!

In the early years of the 1700 – 1900’s the revival fires burned.  God sent powerful awakenings to: Wales, Scotland, Ireland, India, Korea, the United States and many other parts of the world.  God used many people such as John and Charles Wesley, George Whitfield, and John Hyde (known as praying Hyde). Hyde, a missionary to India, prayed for 12 years before he saw an answer to his prayers.

A revival began in Southern India where Amy Carmichael along with many others had been praying that a new visitation of the Holy Spirit would come all over India as it had in many other places.  Amy was a Protestant Christian missionary in India who opened an orphanage and founded a mission in Dohnavus.  She served in India for 55 years without furlough and wrote many books. On October 22, 1906 Jesus came in the close of the morning service.  It was startling.  Soon the whole upper half of the church was on its face on the floor all crying out to God, each boy, girl, man, and woman alike.  The sound was like a sound of waves or a strong wind in the trees.  I had never heard such a thing, Amy confessed.  Many outside rushed to the church.  Months later, most all of the children had been saved and most adult backsliders were restored.  Many in the village were converted and many were quickened to walk in newness of life.

Oh God, may we be found faithful to be fervent in praying, repenting of our sin, and seeking You above all else, so that You might pour out revival in our nation and world.  Oh Father, grace us again with Your Holy presence.

Burdened,

Phyllis

Parts of this were taken from “Revival Fires,” by Wesley Duewel.

Another Story of God’s Mighty Power

Job 42:5-6, “My ears have heard of You, but now my eyes have seen You.  Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”  Until we truly see our need, we have no hope to see the glory of God.  It is God’s nature to bless.  He wants to bless His children in a Spiritual cleansing and refreshing. Are we willing to prepare the way of the Lord, by prayer, fasting, and repentance?

Another story of God moving in revival in American history.

Charles Finney was greatly used of God to spread the revival fires in central New York in 1825.  On a Thursday night the Lord brought much brokenness to the leaders in the church where he was preaching.  God gave Finney a burden of prayer, and on Sunday, God suddenly came down in power. The people had begun to weep and sigh uncontrollably.  God gripped the people with such Holy Spirit conviction that Finney led in prayer in a low unemotional voice to restrain the people. Their sighing and weeping continued as they went home.  Everyone that came into that town felt a sense of God’s presence. The town was full of praying.

One story is told of Finney when he was invited to tour a large cotton mill.  He entered one large room where the girls were at the looms laughing.  As he walked toward the work area, one of the girls looked into Finney’s eyes and the loom stopped and the girl started to tremble. One after another all the girls began to weep.  Finney had not said a word. Oh, what glory when God’s presence changes not only the atmosphere, but all the people in it.

Burdened,

Phyllis

Some parts taken from ”Revival Fires,”  by Wesley Duewel

 

HUNGERING AFTER THE HEART OF GOD!

Many years ago I was given a book titled, “Intimacy with the Almighty” by Charles Swindoll.  God used that little short book to change my Spiritual walk.  At the time I was very BUSY in a women’s retreat ministry as well as BUSY working. It seemed that I was so BUSY doing all those “good” things for the Lord that I neglected the most important, spending more quality time in worshiping my heavenly Father.  Oh, I was having my rather routine “quiet time.” Notice that I used the word BUSY several time in the last couple of sentences. BUSYNESS was robbing me of an intimacy with my Lord. Here are several Bible verses as well as quotes from his book that made an impact on my journey into intimacy with the Almighty.

Hosea 10:12b, “It is time to seek the Lord, until He comes to rain on you.” Notice the word “until” He rains on you. No more skipping through the halls of heaven.

Romans 11:33 “Oh the depths of the riches, both wisdom and knowledge of God, how unsearchable are His judgements and unfathomable His ways.”

Psalms 42:1-2 “As the deer pants for the water brook: so my soul pants for You, oh God.”

Truly we are panting, hungering and thirsting for something, but can we honestly say it is for the heart of God? Richard Foster states: “Superficiality is the curse of our age. Instant satisfaction is a primary curse of our age.” Isaiah 29:8, 13 gives us a warning as the Lord warned Jerusalem. “Behold you are eating, but your hunger is not satisfied. You are drinking, but your thirst is not quenched. WHY? Because this people draw near with their words, and honor Me with lip service, but their hearts are far from Me.”

What are we to do?  Holy appetite suppressants: 1. Sinful activities. 2. A pleasure driven life. 3. Pride..     4. A success driven life. 5. A people pleasing life. 6. Cares of this world. 7. Make more- spend more- just want more. 8.  So many activities, sometimes, even good activities, but takes so much time that we neglect intimacy with the Lord.

Hunger satisfied:  Simplify: reorder our life…..Solitude: Cease striving, “Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.”…Silence: Cut out all the noise so we can hear His still, small voice ….Surrender: Surrender is the key that unlocks the vault of the Father’s best and deepest treasures.

Joy,

Phyllis