Choosing Joy This 2016 Christmas

We can Choose Joy this Christmas 2016. Photo image: negu.org

We can Choose Joy this Christmas 2016.
Photo image: negu.org

It’s the Christmas season 2016. We celebrate Christmas as the season of Joy.  “Joy to t he World,” as the hymn rings out.  For many, the season does bring joy.  For others, it brings heartache reminders of lost loved ones. Some cry because they don’t have the Hallmark Christmas they believe should be for everyone.

The truth is that none of us have families where it is “all as it should be,” as designed by God’s original design plan.  Nonetheless, I thank God for the good things, and there are many.  We live in a peaceful land.  I have a roof over my head and food on the table.  I am blessed with many wonderful friends and family members.  I do not take these lightly.

Even in good circumstances, people say hurtful things that cut to the heart.  This happened to me this week, and I found myself in the bathroom crying and feeling rotten.  I knew I couldn’t leave till I forgave that person.  I forgave them as an act of obedient.  It wasn’t how I felt.  But I know enough not to harbor any hurtful exchange, and to forgive the words, the moment, the misunderstanding of the heart.  I laid it down and asked God for a fresh heart to love this person and continue on. I had apologized for my part sincerely, and as best I knew how.  I had forgiven her for the things she had said that hurt me.  Now I had to wait for my friend to figure out what she would do.  I asked for comfort from the sting of the words.  He granted me this.  However, I felt raw and robbed of joy for the season.  Walking past the Christmas tree, I wanted to cry all over again.  I settled for sad.  I looked sad; I felt sad; I sounded sad.

At that point, God prompted me with an idea, “You could choose joy.”  Of course, I didn’t feel any joy at the moment.  I was about to reject the idea altogether.  He said, “You’ve forgiven her.  You know the friendship will continue.  You know there’s moments coming where you’ll laugh together again.  I’ve offered to take care of the issue and work on her heart. You know reconciliation is coming.  I know how you feel right now.  But you can choose to walk in the joy of forgiveness, and the joy of knowing there’s a new chapter coming.  You are invited to divinely exchange your sad feelings with the mantle of joy. You can consciously choice to be joyful…Now.” Really?

I knew the situation wasn’t able to give me joy right now.  But I could allow for the privilege to forgive and allow God to restore joy.  I could choose to focus on the other parts of the day, and the season, that were joy-worthy.  I could choose to stand in faith-filled confidence that we two friends would get to happiness together in each other’s company again.  I could choose to return to joy without losing the three days of sadness that it might take for this friend to respond to my voiemail, and revisit the accusation with a fresh set of eyes.  I could believe this would happen.  And meanwhile I could literally choose joy now.  It would not be based on the circumstances actually happening, yet. Rather, it was a choice based in confidence that God would restore the situation.

Choosing joy wasn’t a false pretense.  It didn’t circumvent my part of heart searching and getting to genuine repentance and forgiveness.  It wasn’t shoving the incident under the carpet where it would smell in three days.  It wasn’t burying the incident without processing.  It wasn’t pretending it had never happened.  Now it followed a genuine business meeting with Jesus laying out my flawed part of the exchange.  True repentance, forgiveness and willingness to move forward transpired before God.  He had heard and given his commitment to help.  Now it was time to proceed.  And it was his suggestion to “choose joy.”  Ephesians 5:2 says to “walk in love.”  Even when we don’t feel like it.  This time He spoke about joy.  I chose to put on a smile, allow Him to do what I could not do with my friend.  And pick up my lengthy “Things to To List” and move forward in JOY.  I told my face muscles to move from a scowl  into a smile.  I said, “All right.  Very funny God.”  Then I smiled again, and turned the corner from Sad Street to Pathway to Joy.

 

 

 


Prayer for a Child’s Eye

Remember that God has commanded you to be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid, because the Lord your God will be with you everywhere you go.”

Remember that God has commanded you to be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid, because the Lord your God will be with you everywhere you go.”

I pay attention to verses that talk about physical conditions because they can have some very real and literal interpretations. I came across this verse recently as part of reading all of Psalm 6.Verse 7 says,  ”My eye wastes away because of grief;  It grows old because of all my enemies.”

I remembered that a woman had brought in her young son to have his eye prayed for during the one of our Healing Rooms sessions. He had come in with a diagnosis in one of his eyes for “Lazy Eye.”  The team was happy to pray for him.

In the discussion, the mom shared that she and her husband were in the process of a divorce.  This causes grief in any young child.  She had also mentioned that her son had been prophesied over as having some special discernment giftings.  A mother hears these things often before observing them in the natural.  If the prophet was accurate, it stands to reason that the gift itself comes with certain spiritual enemies.  Both these things were referenced in this scripture verse.

During the actual appointment, the team saw other pictures and referenced other verses, which seemed to be a comfort.  The boy said his eye was seeing more clearly after receiving prayer. The mother was surprised at how comfortable he felt in the Healing Rooms.  He had stayed to finish up a drawing he had started.

Meanwhile, I made a note to pray for the health of the kids of people I know going through a divorce.  Asking God to bless children with health and energy is good thing.

 


Redeeming the Cost of Caregiving Warriors – Part 2

God uses the Cost of Caregiving to Turn the Tide of Entitlement and Selfishness

God uses the Cost of Caregiving to Turn the Tide of Entitlement and Selfishness

In Part 1, of Redeeming the Cost of Caregiving Warriors, we observed that many people pulled into the role of Caregivers didn’t choose this of their own desire.  The rule often gets thrust onto people who live the closest to ailing parents or who are retired or not currently married with kids.

The sacrifices of caregiving get noted in heaven, even if it seems no one on earth cares.  God does care and there is a value to doing things unto the Lord.  Instead of “I deserve” or “I shouldn’t have to” or “Why should I,” it’s a choice to submit and obey God.

Caretaking is a choice to give up something now for what God has later in His reward structure.  It’s the choice to invest in His priority plan, even if we don’t feel like our efforts are healing the person, much less ourselves, in the process.  In this choice to obey and do the right thing before God, we are sowing good seeds, both here and in eternity. Again the key is choosing to agree to meet the need and doing it unto the Lord.  When we offer our sacrifice of service up to the Lord, we are investing our sacrifices of caretaking with a cost against the “I’m too busy and too important” to do this myself attitude of our society.

Some people love their relative and want to be there in a difficult time.  Others don’t want to do things for their parents or want it to be a shared responsibility with other siblings, and it’s not.  It’s a high cost, considering the effort to be there physically, economically, relationally, and spiritually.

Please know that what we choose to do in love for God, as called, is used By God in an interesting way to combat the things God wants to combat.  The sacrificial service of committed Christians quite possibly is being used by God as warfare in the heavenlies against the selfish trends in our country.  We may never know.  It could also be accounted for by God and redistributed by God into heavenly currency. Unknowingly, we may be adding additional rooms to our heavenly mansions.

God’s eyes are on his righteous children.  What is being asked of us is being noted in heaven.  God cares about our burdens and sends help to meet the immediate needs.  Keep asking God for His perspective.  He can quiet our hearts and keep us going till He chooses to show us what the divine purpose is to our circumstances.  He can send help in ways we don’t expect.  Keep asking God questions.  Ask new questions.  Ask different questions.  He hears and He answers.  If you need hope, ask Him to send hope.  If you need encouragement, support, prayer, medicine, or help, keep asking. It does matter.  It all matters.  It all has value.  What we go through matters in heaven to God.

Catch t he first part of this story by clicking here Redeeming the Cost of Caregiving Warriors – Part 1.


The Grief of the Unknown Dad & Bringing Fathers’ Hearts to their Children 2

Revival Will Bring the Fathers' Hearts to Love their Aborted Children

Revival Will Bring the Fathers’ Hearts to Love their Aborted Children

Good people have chosen to have abortions in the past for all kinds of reasons.  Most of the attention has always focused on the woman.  It’s known that abortions have had their impact on woman years and years after the abortion takes place.  Women seem to recognize that the fetus given up was a child at some level.  Even if a doctor calls it tissue, it’s a very little person designed by God.

Every child has two parents, not just one.  Most of the genealogies in scripture talk about a man begetting a child.  Yet, in societies with abortion, men who have let women make the decisions about an abortion are still considered the father by God’s design.  How many men have grieved the loss of a fetus, or even admitted that it was their child? Few.  Even the laws to make abortion illegal have always focused on punishing the woman while the man walks away completely free for the same consensual act.

Healing comes when someone comes into God’s opinion of sin and confesses their sins.  God hears a person’s heartfelt confession and repentance.  They He forgives the sin and cleanses the person from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9. Letting Jesus’ blood come and cleanse us of our sins is what brings healing and wholeness to our lives.  We walk forward in mercy, forgiven by God.

When revival comes, I believe God will convict men and women’s hearts for the sin of abortion.  This will be part of turning the hearts of the fathers toward their children that God talks about in Malachi 4: 5-6. Some men may not even know they fathered a child.  God knows. Some men will care.  Some men will not care.  God convicts our hearts so that we can come and receive forgiveness.  Repenting means turning and not continuing to go in the same direction.  Revival is going to bring both men and women before the cross to ask for and receive forgiveness.  Given the statistics in America of abortions, revival meetings could be large and widespread. This will start to heal the hearts in our nation.  It will bring physical healing to some. And, it will bring healing to our land.  2 Chronicles 7:14

See Also The Grief of the Unknown Dad & Bringing Fathers’ Hearts to their Children 2


Forgiveness and Healing Go Hand in Hand

Let Prayer be Part of the Journey from Forgiveness to Health

Let Prayer be Part of the Journey from Forgiveness to Health

I had a good girlfriend call me yesterday to tell me about her health journey for the last 4 weeks, including surgery.  She had been cleaning her bathroom and bent over scrubbing when a searing pain gripped her body and has not left.  It stems from the lower part of her back and goes into her legs.  She has seen spinal cord experts, orthopedic doctors and muscle experts examine her, doing their “work” and still the pain.

In the midst of this excruciating pain, she thought back to her stepmother.  This woman rivals the stepmonster in Cinderella.  She made my friend’s life miserable for years, prevented relationship with her biological father, lied to people and to her government about ownership of land…many evil deeds.  Her daughter was raised to be just like her.

As the pain my friend is experiencing continues, she has realized her desire to forgive everyone in her life everything.  Being in continual pain reminds us of the descriptions of hell.  My friend commented that “No one deserves to go through what I am experiencing. I choose to forgive everyone everything and pray for their salvation- even my stepmother.”

So we walked through several forgiveness and bondage breaking prayers in the courtroom of heaven.  I sort of expected the pain to improve immediately.  I asked her what her pain level was at the beginning of our prayer time between 1 and 10.  She responded immediately with, “20.”  Okay.  At the end of our prayer time, she was grateful to feel the cleansing of the Holy Spirit over her and in her. But the pain was still present and we hung up so she could take her pain medication. I still believe her body will improve the commitment to forgive everyone everything.  She is still walking out this new path toward health.  Her mind and emotions and spirit feel clean and free.  My prayers and expectations continue on her behalf for physical healing.  But I know she’ll sleep free tonight.

 

 


Finding the Right Mother’s Day Card for Difficult Mothers

Finding a Mother's Day Card for a Difficult Mom is No Easy Task

Finding a Mother’s Day Card for a Difficult Mom is No Easy Task

Why is it that I meet so many people who have survived difficult Mothers?  I have thought of creating a Difficult Mother’s Club.  I meet so many women that come through sozo appointments who didn’t have easy, great Moms.  Neither did I.

It takes hours for find a card appropriate for Mother’s Day.  None of those sugary sweet cards fit that talk about the wonderful qualities in a mother.  That wasn’t our experience.  I search for something truthful.  One time I settled for a card in a foreign language since I couldn’t find one in English that said it truthfully.

We all have to honor our parents.  It’s a commandment, no matter what.  And the promise is for a long life, which we all want.  So how does one fulfill this?  My brother says to honor what is honorable.  No matter how short a list this might be, it makes sense.  One man got to the point by saying, “Thank you for not aborting me.”  That’s honest and direct.

Years later, I learned to see beyond the poor cyclical behavior part of my Mother to see her as a very wounded little girl.  It gave me the ability to forgive her and to love her.  She still said upsetting and harsh words.  Nonetheless the love was genuine for the rare glimmers of the person that I rarely saw.  I learned to honor and genuinely love her. My mother is in heaven now.  Every once in a while, I write her a love letter.

This year, in my devotions on Mother’s Day, I read Luke 8:35.  I see her now as sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed in righteousness and in her right mind.  Someday I’ll join her at Jesus’ feet and get to know the mother I never knew on earth.

 


Angel Knights Stand Ready to Rescue Prisoners from Prisoner City Part 2

Angel Knight Armies Wait for God's Command to Charge the Prison City

Angel Knight Armies Wait for God’s Command to Charge the Prison City

In Part 1, we see the Angel Knights prepare to rescue the saints trapped in Prisoner city.  The war wages between the forces of good and the forces of evil.  At this point in the war, negotiations of the war have ended.  The victor is Christ.  City by City, town by town, farm by farm, the land is being cleared.  Enemy forces, who have lost their communication systems, have not all heard.  Their supplies are being cut off.

Everyone senses invasion of God’s righteous army is coming.  Squirmishes will be squashed.  Showdowns are shortening .  The only unknown is the choice of the prisoners.  Will they position themselves, per the war instructions manuals of their training, on the ”righteous right side” of the prison city to wait for the rescue, or the “unrighteous and unstable sin side” of the city.  The sin side of the city is on man made landfill.  It’s ungodly, unrighteous mammon, and unregenerate.

One side positions themselves to look toward heaven and the other looks toward man made accomplishments and man made conclusions (explanations) of events. The city leans toward the sin side.

The angelic armies gather outside the prison city and wait for God’s command to move.  He sends forth His invisible Spirit to whisper directions to each saint inside the prisoner city to position for rescue.

Some steeds are being released one by one for their assignments.  These horses fly in and swoop up their saint and carry them out of danger. Others are being held back to go forth in a unified assault.  The horses paw at the ground, ready to charge.  The knights wait for God’s signal.  Trust in His perfect timing brings militant obedience.

Tension builds inside the city.  Prayers and praise continue to escape amidst the din of daily business.  Inexplicable miracles cause cheers and sometimes clashes with the enemy forces.  Anticipation and excitement grow in the hearts of the praying saints.

We pray in the Healing Rooms for God encounters with each person who comes for prayer.  May they hear clearly the voice of God.  May they experience the comfort of the Holy Spirit.  May Jesus’ healing touch reach their body, soul and spirit.   May they walk away more fully aware of God’s love for them.

 


Am I Bad for Eating Junk Food?

Eating Junk Food Doesn't Make Someone a Bad Person

Eating Junk Food Doesn’t Make Someone a Bad Person

We had a woman come in for prayer to the Silicon Valley Healing Rooms.  She had cancer and wanted prayer. We prayed for her.  When we asked if we could touch her back where the pain was, she said, “Sure.” We put a hand on that part of her back and it got intensely hot.  She said she could feel something happening.  The pain level in her back decreased as we prayed.

She asked if someone could visit her.  So two of our team members went to her home.  As they walked into her living room to pray for her, the woman noticed that they looked at her collection of skulls.  She immediately asked if she was a bad person for having skulls in her house.  It was her question and nothing was prompting her to ask that question.

The female prayer team member answered the question this way:  “If someone eats junk food, does that make them a “bad” person?  No.  Same theory works for the skulls on the shelf.  Having skills on display in the living room doesn’t make someone a “bad” person.  It just isn’t the wisest thing they could be doing for themselves spiritually.”  There are things that one eats that aren’t good for the body.  But the body usually survives one time, two times, many times.  But there is a “cost” to the body for consistent eating of “junk food” over an extended period of time.

Regarding  skulls on the shelf in a house, which is a permanent display item, it’s not particularly wise.  Most people when doing a spiritual house cleansing appointment would suggest throwing out such items to change the atmosphere.  Most people want love, joy and peace in their homes.  This comes with the Holy Spirit, when He is invited into a home.  People who walk into a place that has the presence of the Holy Spirit will pause and notice that the place “feels” calm and peaceful.  Tokens of death don’t make a person “bad;” it’s just not a good idea.  Over time, it can lead to unintentional consequences.  Change now and set up an atmosphere that doesn’t celebrate death.  All of us can ask God in prayer if there’s anything in our homes that doesn’t welcome Him.  Our houses become beacons of light when they are filled with the loving presence of the Holy Spirit.  This honors God.


Mixing our Faith in the Blender Part 2

Simply Mix God's Word with Faith

Simply Mix God’s Word with Faith

Hebrew 4:2  “For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.”  NKJV

In Part 1 of “mixing our Faith in the Blender” we looked at how we start our blenders with the word of God.

Then we add our faith.  Most Christians are constantly growing in their faith.  Each day we are adding more faith to the mix.  Again, we hit the blend button and the mixture blends, froths and gets poured out.

As we see our prayers for ourselves and others get answered by God, it increases and builds our faith.  So stories, sometimes called testimonies, of healings, miracles and answered prayers add to our faith.  We continue to pour this into the blender and press “blend.”  Each day we pour out this mixture as blessing and prayer, and fill it again the next day.  Each day the mixture gets richer and richer to be more and more a blessing to everyone around us.

 

So we keep reading the word.  We keep learning more about the word.  We keep growing our faith and adding our faith to the mixture in the blender.  We hit the blend button every day.  Pour it out and refill.  It’s a beautiful process.  It is the Lord who replenishes and edifies us all to be blessed and to be a blessing.  Our quiet times with God transcend.  We hear truth in sermons and in song and all around us.  As we pray more (pour out) our faith grows and the ability to understand scripture transforms.  Our “mixture” gets richer and we start to become all that God intended for each of us to be on earth.

See Mixing our Faith in the Blender Part 1


Mixing our Faith in the Blender Part 1

Simply Mix God's Word with Faith

Simply Mix God’s Word with Faith

Hebrew 4:2 reads,  “For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.”  NKJV

I recently came across this verse while preparing for a talk for our Healing Rooms Team members before praying.  When I read the word “mixed,” I thought of a blender.  Every time we get together and pray for someone, we are hitting the “Blend” button.  We pour in the ingredient of the word of God.  The more words of God we know, the richer the ingredient base.  Then we add a measure of faith. We click the blend button.  And the blender whirs.  It creates a frothy mix that is ready to be poured out.  We pour out when we pray for people, when we comfort people and when we encourage people.

After pouring out everything we have, we go back to the kitchen and mix a new batch.  We replenish ourselves by taking time with God and learning more of His truths and promises.  As the first core ingredient, we remind ourselves of His love for us.  Then we add Biblical truths and Biblical promises. With the promises, we check to see if there are any conditions and do these steps in obedience to God’s word.  As we do these, our faith increases.  We add more promises of the Bible as directed by the Holy Spirit.

Mixing our Faith in the Blender Part 2