Goodbye disappointment, condemnation and fear of failure!

Romans 4:15 “For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.”

There are so many ways guilt, shame and condemnation can get a hold of our thinking, but IF we remember what faith guarantees us, we will no longer be bothered by those voices. The choice is to live by faith and to understand what that means. We need to go back to what we did at first. That doesn’t mean what I did at first, or what YOU did at first, it means where grace from faith originated… with Abraham. Let’s look and see what Romans 4 has to say about it. I made a short video, less than 15 minutes to help you move from law based thinking to grace based revelation.  This isn’t all inclusive, but it may help you get on the right track to an “aha” moment if you need one.

Today’s Porch Chat: Romans 4:15

Do you feel like weeping? I do.

Jesus is coming soon!

How often have we heard this said. It’s easy to think.. “yes, he’s been saying that for 2,000 years.. what is SOON anyway, and what does it mean that he is coming?” 

These are good questions. 

What I can say, is that his prophets are weeping…Scripture says that “God does nothing without revealing it to his servants the prophets.”  You may not believe there are prophets anymore. Who are these people anyway? They are those who are wired to know what God is feeling and what is happening.  Sometimes we don’t even understand why we feel a certain way, but God speaks to us of his plans and we don’t even recognize it sometimes. 

I had a dream last night and all I remember is saying, “Inside, I can just feel weeping all of the time. I could weep at any moment I will let it out.” I have heard other intercessor friends talking about weeping coming over them. 

So, this morning, I sat down in my chair and out of my mouth began to flow the song lyrics, “Spirit of wisdom open my eyes. Spirit of revelation, open my eyes.”  I felt the tears come again and I saw what it would look like to face Jesus, not just in a brief thought, but if he came right near me, face to face and looked at me. Oh how his purity would penetrate my soul! I can’t help it…I just want to weep. Even now it is stirring in my chest and my eyes are close to tears. 

This is how I know, Jesus is coming soon. I know he will encounter all in one way or another. He is coming to prepare a pure and spotless bride. I am weeping and God is revealing the places in my heart that are corrupt, that were self-centered. The places where I had other cobwebs that blocked pure love. You may have them too. We all have them. They block the radiance of Christ from shining in us and through us. I have had moments of radiance and I know the feeling of it. It is bliss. It is pure love. It includes utter peace and comes with an incredible amount of authority and revelation. I’ve had a taste of it hear and there, but God wants us to walk in more, so we can light up the world with his love. 

Jesus is coming. His Kingdom is at hand. 

Because he wants to reach the world and he’s going to make us “reflective” and “inspiring”. He’s going to breathe through us and winds of change will come and the culture will change. Yes. The culture will change. Knowledge of God will be everywhere.

I don’t despair in hopelessness about the state of this country, because for years, God has been showing me what will come as a result of this wave of destruction we are seeing all over the land. There will be a turnaround in the White House. It will again be a “white” pure house. Revival, personal revival, is coming to this land. The nation will be singing one song of adoration to the King of Kings. All will know him. “Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the GLORY of the Father.” 

I know Jesus is near because I feel the conviction in my heart to just weep. There is nothing much to say, but to weep, because he is so close. When holiness comes that close, we all will weep. 

It feels good to weep. It is like God is washing my soul clean and debris is floating away with it. 

Do you remember old teachings that real men don’t weep, or that it’s weak to cry? 

That is the voice of pride speaking. How deeply rooted it goes into our soul, masking itself as protection, but it is destruction. God redeems through water, sometimes a few drops at a time. He does it with great love and great wisdom… through knowledge of his kindness. 

A Few Simple Words Heal the Soul

LET YOUR WORDS BE FEW….because that’s all you need to be free!

My confessions of today. I share this because I so enjoy the mercy and forgiveness we have in Christ, and so that if YOU are battling right now, you may find power in MY testimony. There is POWER in the confession of our mouth. 

I don’t think we often understand HOW we confess our sins and be healed, so I want to share how I have found it to work. God gave us authority so the actual words we speak are powerful. Jesus said the truth will set us free. Truth reverses negative things we’ve come in agreement with and renews joy in our lives. When we lose joy we can become weak and weary… and sometimes are more prone to sickness too. 

The Bible says also, “let your words be few.” It is the simple confessions, not just confessed once, but said over and over, like they are medicine to our soul. Mumbling is healthy and beneficial, so do it. Mumble the truth, or say it louder if you like. But let it be like a weapon against the contrary spirits that have taken residence in your life. 

Those contrary thoughts create strongholds that hinder our growth. As we pray, God is answering our prayers quickly, sometimes causing us to see the places where we have cracks in our armor or where we’ve blocked his perfect love.  I’ve been asking him to fill me with his PERFECT love, so I should expect that whatever is NOT in accordance to that will have to go first. When we remodel, the first thing that goes is the stuff that’s just trash.

Hebrews 10:14 reads “because by a single offering He has made perfect for all time those who are BEING sanctified.”

I praise God daily that when He looks at me he sees the white robe of Jesus. I have His Spirit within me joined with my own spirit. But, sanctification is still taking place in my soul. I have come so far, but I am still at his mercy daily as he uncovers places I have not yet seen or yielded to His grace. Oh, how often there are things we can’t see that are causing offense or bitterness.  I soaked in communion today and let the light of his body and blood flood my soul with every mouth full. (I’ve moved past styrofoam wafers so I can really grab ahold of Christ’s body and it’s tangible presence.) As I consumed him, I asked Jesus to shine light to every part of me and reveal what was hidden. I trusted His goodness and His perfect love as I let go.

Jesus, himself is our great Deliverer. He leads us though places we’d rather not go and takes our hand, smiling all the way… because he’s not worried. I love that I am a child of God and that my Father is not worried.

Now on to the “few words”…

Here are the few simple words I’ve confessed aloud this week that have brought freedom in the midst of a sudden onset of pain that led to a dizzying day of headache and fog. I know that everything that comes against me is an opportunity to grow and stretch in my faith in some way, so I chose to engage in the battle and get reward as I diligently sought out God’s truth that would set me free.  I want to seal up cracks or holes in my heavenly armor so no arrows get in the next time. Knowing we have a weakness always should lead us to Christ who strengthens us, who strengthens our faith.

1) I felt led to honor Jesus as deliverer.. so I just said, that over and over. 

  “Jesus, I honor you as deliverer….”

Then I meditated on the blood and body of Christ… I took some bread and juice and recognized it as his body and blood shed for me.. I held it for a while. I consumed it slowly, thankfully. I recognized the power of Jesus’s blood and body filling my body and entering my bloodstream. 

That… is the power of oneness. 

2) I realized a truth. There is no lack in my life.. I began to dwell on this truth and speak it aloud over and over. “No lack… I thank you God that I lack nothing… I lack nothing.”

3) As I continued in that, “Foolishness” came to mind. 

Foolishness? I don’t think I’ve ever confessed that one before, but surely doubt is foolishness. God knows his immense goodness and tells us that in the word, so it IS foolishness to doubt God’s provision and goodness. I renounced foolishness aloud, because this had to change and my sin had to be confessed with my mouth. How could I doubt God’s goodness like that? But, countless times I had. God, I confess and repent of foolishness and lay that at your feet. I was tired it, so I yawned and it left. 

I felt the Lord’s presence and work in my body and soul and realized this was having an effect. 

Oh Lord, how good you are and how easy it is to underestimate your goodness! How can I help but be grateful? (I had a few new simple words to confess now.)

4) I am so grateful. 

I began to speak that until it flooded my soul and remembered that an attitude of gratitude leads to joy. Joy is our strength. The devil just wants to steal our joy so he can launch a full on assault.  He can’t stand joy, because he is SO miserable himself. All he can try to do is make us miserable.  

So I launched the attach of gratitude. I started with my dog. He wanted to come outside too, and sit on the porch. I had not been too welcoming of our dog, but God loved him, so I knew I had to love what God loved. I began to thank God for my dog. He’s a loyal dog, a loving dog, a thankful dog. He enjoys the little things. I started to feel closer to him and had a desire to bless him… 

How simple it is to change our hearts. 

“I am so grateful”…. I kept it going…

I am so grateful for my husband. I’m so grateful for my husband… God brought to my remembrance the many good things and joy continued to come out and strengthen my spirit. 

And soon I wanted to make him lunch for the day…. 

Music to feast your soul on while you pray

Feast On Jesus, The Perfecter of Our Faith

1 Peter 2:2-3 
“Like newborn infants, long for pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation – if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.”

Have you ever seen a baby crawl toward something interesting that was also potentially dangerous? When my kids were small, just learning to crawl I was always keeping watch seeing what they might go for next. Where is the shiny thing that would catch their attention.

God often speaks in parables in our dreams. I had a dream last night that shows the troubles we face when we remain babies in Christ and neglect to learn from our experiences. In the dream, I was sitting on the floor in a room with an infant who was learning to crawl. He had his back to me and was facing a partially open door that was cracked open. His eyes lit up and offered he went! He started crawling toward it eagerly. Knowing danger loomed, I reached out to grab him, thinking,  “Someone could come through that door, push it open from the other side and it will hit the baby.”

Did the baby ask for my approval to crawl away to the open door? No, in fact, the baby’s gaze is NOT on me, but on the door of temptation. I quickly tried to grab the baby, but he was too fast, too eager to get to the door. In the next moment, some men came through the door, pushing it open and sure enough, the baby got bonked on the head.

I and the men gathered ‘round the baby and looked down on his poor little head. “Oh, boy,” I thought. “This wasn’t the first time this baby had done this same thing.”  There was a red spot and even scars where “baby that-away”  had been bonked before, and he obviously hadn’t learned YET.  I relayed to the concerned men that the pediatrician said that the baby’s head would be able to heal, even with multiple bonks because his skill tissue was still soft, but it was surely a sad sight! Would he learn? I hoped so! Thanks be to God that we can continue to grow and heal.

In the scripture above, we read, “…long for pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” Even when we get a taste of God’s goodness, it’s important that we keep our eyes fixed on him and allow him to guide us with the gaze of this eye, as Jesus looked to his Father continually to see what he was doing. We must learn how to navigate each new task or destination with discernment and must CHOOSE to keep our focus on Jesus.

“… long for pure spiritual milk…” What is pure spiritual milk?

I thought of this example.

God teaches us about how to grow up through the parable of human infant bonding and development. A baby is of nursing age has is not able to focus beyond the distance from the breast to his parent’s face. Beyond that, it will all be fuzzy and unclear.  As they grow, however, the things in the room around them become SO interesting as they can see farther and farther away. Have you ever tried to feed a distracted baby? They are constantly turning their heads away, turning away from the source of the milk. Sometimes they lack a full meal because of this. Time just runs out.

How are we like that in our walk with Jesus? We take in a little bit of Jesus, soak in a little bit of the Spirit, or try to read a little bit of scripture, and then we get distracted.  What distracts you?

My dream baby, baby that-away,  was tempted by a shiny light coming through an open door, so he turned his back on me and went off on his own. Do we do that in our walk with God? Sometimes we forget to include God in our decisions, or we just vier away a little bit and entertain a thought that pulls us down.  Jesus said in John 15:5 “…Apart from me, you can do nothing.” In the dream, I could not save the baby from its own ignorant idea. I was not in control of the baby. The baby had free will and would reap the consequences of his decision. Fortunately, the “doctor” in the dream said he could heal and hopefully would learn eventually not to run off without wisdom.

If want to mature, we have to fight that distraction and choose to stay in constant contact, in deeper intimacy with Christ. In order for Jesus to see what his Father was doing, he had to have his eyes on him always.

To remain in the peace of God, we must dwell in His presence, feed on his words, not be just snackers. If you’ve been a parent, you may have had a young child who preferred to “graze” between meals and then not eat their dinner at dinner time. As parents, we have to be sure to teach our kids the self-control necessary to just graze so they are hungry enough for a meal. Otherwise they’d try to live on Goldfish crackers and juice!  Snacking is not as fulfilling as a full meal and it doesn’t leave us satisfied for long. Likewise, spiritual snacking will not be enough to keep us in constant peace.

Let’s go back to the thought of craving pure spiritual milk. Think about how many times a newborn needs to nurse? This is a reminder that we can’t do much on our own before we need to return to our source of nourishment, Jesus.

I think of those sweet moments when I held my children and they looked up at my face, trusting me with no fears, no judgements. They didn’t think they knew better, so they never argued. They just consumed and gazed. Isn’t that the way to bliss with Jesus? We just gaze at him and consume what he pours out to us in return.

I pray God’s blessing on you today and offer this prayer you may want to pray…

God,  I want to gaze at you with continued adoration. Draw me to you. Take me deeper into your presence. Fill me with hunger for you and all you have. I believe there is healing in your body and blood, and mercy in the waters of your grace. God, you are the rock I will stand on. Take me deeper into your gospel of good news, where freedom is truly found. Give me CRAVING for you and willingness to stay close to you. Teach me to swim in the clear deep waters, to go deeper so I’m free of the murky bottom. I choose to dwell in you Lord. Thank you for a place of peace in your arms. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

Reading recommendation: Jesus said in John 15: 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Dwell in the words of Jesus and consume his heart for you in this chapter.

There’s a wonderful song that gives us a picture of how we can escape the cares of this world…

Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look FULL into his wonderful face, and the things of earth WILL grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.


Replacement Theology

Open your hearts to understanding. Allow the Lord to go deep and don’t avoid letting light into dark places in your soul. There are things that have been hidden that have to be revealed to heal and mend. God wants to heal and restore MORE than you can imagine. He’s uprooting every stronghold of abandonment and replacing it with sisterhood, fatherhood, and brotherly love. The Lord is healing emotions as he does this. Allow him in. It’s not introspection, it’s “replacement theology”. As you allow yourself to see the ungodly spirits and mindsets that have been at work in your life and your family, listen for what God wants to replace that with. Decree those life giving words over your soul until they sink in and find their place. Trust God in the process. He is with you. 

Suggested reading: 1 John 3

(Excerpt from The Passion Translation) “… 3 And all who focus their hope on him will always be purifying themselves, just as Jesus is pure.”

Are the Waves Rocking Your Boat?

I just spent the last two weekends at youth conferences. The Holy Spirit moved mightily in spaces he created and in full power when invited openly. There were mountaintop moments. More of these are to come for people. Yet, in the middle of that, there were afflictions trying to steal joy and attention. Afflictions cause us to examine what we believe. They cause us to have to choose what we will choose to believe.

Afflictions often attack our area of strength or joy. For example, my knee started hurting a few months ago after just sitting on the floor DURING prayer and worship time. It just felt out of whack. When I was to go with the students to a conference where there would be dancing and joy, it acted up the week before to the point where I could barely walk! So I did the opposite of what seemed logical. I chose to exercise. It got better that night for a while. I got prayer. One woman saw me dancing and new knee parts coming. I praised God for that, but it wasn’t going to come at that moment. Yet, I danced at the youth conference. It got more sore at the next one. AND, the Holy Spirit moved in powerful ways through each of these things. I got more prayer. A student was overcome with a spirit of intercession and saw the battle raging against me. It was intense. This battle is over more than a knee, or your health. In Mark 4, we read of Jesus and the disciples on a boat in a storm. During the storm, Jesus was able to sleep in the boat. Waves are crashing in to them, yet he is sleeping. What kind of mindset is that?!

Jesus knew that when he rose, when he chose to stand up, he would be able to speak and calm the storm, yet he felt no urgency to do it right away. He wasn’t worried the storm would kill him.

I think I need to say that again. Jesus wasn’t worried that the storm would kill him. Yet, The disciples faith was challenged as the boat rocked. They saw what was happening in the natural realm and forgot that nothing could touch them because they were with Jesus. It was not HIS time to die. We get so caught up in the swirl of the moment that we forget the big picture! Look at the big picture of your life. Look at your purposes and promises. Nothing has changed. You may be frustrated or disappointed but God’s not worried.

One of my son’s, Jack, was at the last conference and last night we had a powerful move of the Holy Spirit in our midst, mountain moving. When he got back last night he fell off of his friend’s hover board and hurt his wrist badly. I believe God tried to warn me, but I forgot the word for him I had “choose wisely”. Jack has a strange habit of laughing when he’s in pain. He belly laughs. This gift of JOY is Jack’s strength. Last night he said, “When I get hurt, I usually laugh. This time, I only let out a chuckle,” he said with concern. There is temptation to worry! That is the scheme of the enemy, but God says, “Trust me and have joy in the midst of this.” He is still our healer. He still carries our infirmities and diseases. He is still on the throne. But we must face our fears. Will you let your life situations rock your boat?

The disciples were not new to storms at the sea. They were fisherman, AND they were with Jesus. Maybe this storm was BIGGER than all the rest because Jesus WAS so close. Yet, what did they look at? Did they look at Jesus with peace? No, they were overcome by the tossing of the boat and the water in it. Jesus said, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Matthew 4:40)

I believe that Jesus is SO close to us. I’ve seen him fully present in power in the last two weeks, yet I’ve also seen storms hitting people to draw their attention to the enemy’s work. He’s desperate to get a little worship because God is getting SO MUCH! Our king is on the throne and he’s not getting off!

When the area we take the most joy in is removed, or threatened, how will we react?

One of my greatest joys is dancing in worship and the other is kneeling to pray. When I do each of those lately, I feel the affliction. Where will my attention be? Will I continue to fix my eyes on what God is doing in the moment, or will I be consumed with thoughts of lack, or even a thought about the affliction. I know God will heal it, he always has. He’s faithful to the end, but how will I react in the waiting?

Will I trust him and go forward with the things I need to do? Yes.

God, our Father, is for us. He is FOR us. He’s not waiting on the sidelines, watching us be destroyed. He’s active in the midst of us saying, look at what I AM doing. Celebrate it! Don’t let your troubles keep you in a bubble. I’m your DADDY. Do you think I’ll fail you? Trust me in EVERY circumstance. Submit where you need to submit and let me lead.

I believe control is being challenged in this season. There are remnants of control we still have to surrender. We want things to happen a certain way, but we have to believe we are in the hands of God no matter what our circumstance.

One thing this knee affliction has just reminded me of is that I cannot kneel right now, I am forced to STAND UP. Have faith that when you stand up and exercise your faith, the storm will cease. When many of us stand up and exercise our faith, the devil will find out that we really do believe he is defeated. It’s time to rule and reign as the children of God. Children are meant to play and enjoy the works of their Father. He delights over his children! Realize today, that God is delighting over you and set your mind to delight in him and in those around you.

Remember the disciples in the boat? They could have reacted differently. They could have seen the storm and said, “Praise God, Jesus is in the boat. Nothing can touch us. But, they let their minds and emotions get tossed by the wind and they looked away from Jesus. He was still in the boat, SO NEAR.

Scripture reading suggestions: Mark 4:35-41, Acts 3:1-10

Pray with me:

Thank you Jesus for your abiding love. It goes where we go and stays where we stay. Help us to remain in it and not let our hearts wander into the camp of fear and distraction. I will not fear death. I will not focus on the storm. I will speak to it and stay calm. I will not worry about what I think I might miss out on. I will not lament over what I didn’t get. I will live fully present in the moment so I can see where you are hovering and working around me. I will not be overcome. I will be calm in the boat and rest until I need to stand up and speak.

I believe you God, that you will fulfill all you have spoken. I will stand in faith. I will trust you to heal my every affliction and I will not let it become my identity.

I thank you Father that Your joy is our strength! We can have it no matter what the circumstance! No matter where we are! We can rest in storms and have faith when waves hit us. Wherever we have to go, your light will shine through us. Nothing is impossible with you. Thank you that you are with us in our every destination. Keep our eyes on the opportunities that can happen in every moment of the day. We praise you for your enduring love and steadfast connection to your children. Thank you Daddy! You’re the best! In Jesus’s name. Amen!

Living Above the Muck in Life

This week so many anxious thoughts tried to keep me occupied in busyness. My son is graduating this weekend, I have a large party with an unknown number of people coming and family coming to stay the weekend. On top of that, my husband is the preacher of the weekend at church. On those weeks, it usually becomes apparent what the theme of the message is. This week it is “God is my Defense”. The accuser was busy this week! Whether there are old lies pelting your mind, or human beings rising up in accusation against you, God is there as our defense.

I didn’t think I was really “actively” worrying, but I was constantly thinking about the details and could not rest in the moment. My son called it out when he said, “Mom, you need to take a bath.” I used to take a bath when I needed to have some alone time with God to relax. So I asked him why he said that. He said, “I see the word STRESS on your forehead.” I asked God, “Ok, I’m obviously not managing this as well as I think I am so what is the strategy you need me to adopt to keep myself in the moment and in a state of joy?

This is how I moved past it and into a state of productivity and joyful accomplishment again. I thought it may be helpful to share for others.

1) I recognized that sinking was not an option. My neck and shoulders were tight with stress and that would lead to a headache, so it had to stop. I had to let that heavy yoke go somehow. I could not afford a day of rest so I ran to God and prayed,

Lord, take this heavy yoke off of me and give me your yoke. Your yoke is easy and your burden light, so I release myself of every other yoke that is on my shoulders. Take the weight off! In Jesus’s name.

2) When I have no strength of my own, and feel weary, the joy of the Lord is my strength, so I listened to preachers who preached out of pure joy in the Lord and HAD joy. (Georgian Banov) I could choose joy and believe that God was the same today as he was yesterday. He was not worried. I was filled with the Holy Spirit yesterday, the week before and today and tomorrow will be the same. He is constantly with me. The devil was defeated at the cross and so he’s old news. He lives to get attention and that’s his primary weapon. I realized that again. The devil has been given a sentence of destruction and he’s only living out his time here. I saw Jesus bring a big foot down to the earth and crush all the things that opposed Him. Yes, everyone is under his feet.

3) I met with a friend who was thinking in a forward direction, even though she was having accusation come against her. She knew it was temporary and realized that the good that had just happened in her life often invited the enemy to try to steal that joy away. So we focused on the things God was doing and wanted to do! We left excited. Remembering the testimonies and focusing on what God is doing in our midst already is powerful and redirects our mind to the truth that God is answering our prayers even when we don’t remember.

4) When the voice of the accuser or the worry wart came at me, I just stopped and declared how worthy and good God was. I focused on adoration and prayed in tongues. I let God pray for me before any words of my own filled my lips. If you don’t have that gift of the Holy Spirit yet, ask him!

Luke 11:13 “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Ask God to fill you with his Holy Spirit. In Acts we see examples of the apostles gathering together, being filled afresh and going out again. This is what we do to survive in this world. Come to God. Submit to his presence. Tongues is a way to let God pray for you as he knows best. We don’t have to know all the details of the problem at hand, or the reasons for the accusations. Isn’t that freeing! We don’t have to figure it all out ourselves.
As I prayed in tongues, my mind cleared and wisdom and knowledge came to me.

5) Avoid comparison – It’s graduation party season and I could easily be tempted to compare how well I celebrated as I went to everyone else’s party. Did I decorate enough? Was the food ok? No. I am to celebrate out of who I am, to love my son with the gifts I have, not the gifts others have. There is not a right way to have a graduation party. There is not a right way to have a wedding, a family reunion or any get together. Don’t let comparison steal your joy. Live and be thankful for how God has moved in your own heart to bless. Be content with that. Focus on loving and doing good. Your own troubles will find their way to the door. Keep loving others in the midst of your own “mess”. Whether its a medical situation, work or tasks, it can be done as a offering to the Lord.

6) Avoid guilt – Do what God gives you permission to do. Be at peace about that. Many crises will rise up in the midst of busyness. Watch for distractions that will derail the things that you need to really accomplish. Know your place to accomplish the greatest good and what has to be put in God’s hands. He is a good manager of people, so let him. Don’t react and pridefully think you are the answer to everyone’s problems. Sometimes we are to be help, and at times, we help to much. Don’t think you need to help God too much. He’s the Savior, you are not.

6) Keep your PERSPECTIVE! Be content in all circumstances. Look at what there is to be thankful for and praise God for it as a PATTERN of defense against all the stresses of the world.

You are loved and God is fighting for you. He’s not worried. He gives you permission not to be. Go love and know you are loved. In Jesus’s name, Amen