Posted in Blog posts

News! News! News!

TODAY’S BAD NEWS…

 

  • Scramble to recall 700k poison eggs
  • Food expert asks: Can we be sure baked goods are safe?
  • Record high of 4m wait for NHS ops
  • Be very, very nervous… Trump ramps up tension
  • Slavery and trafficking is ‘in every city and big town’

 

TODAY’S GOOD NEWS…

 

My God is alive!

My God is an unchanging God!

My God reigns supreme in heaven and earth!

My God’s thoughts towards me are more numerous than the grains of sand!

My God is able to cause all things to work together for my good!

My God loves me with an everlasting, extravagant and unconditional love.

My God is an awesome God!

 

 

 

Today, fill your heart with the good news of the gospel. Have a blessed weekend!

 

CREDIT: CC0 image courtesy of Gerd Altmann at Pixabay.com

Posted in Blog posts

Choosing a Journey of Joy

 

There was a song I used to sing in Sunday school that went something like this:

I’ve got joy, joy, joy, joy

Down in my heart,

Down in my heart,

Down in my heart,

Yes – I’ve got joy, joy, joy, joy

Down in my heart,

Down in my heart today.

 

As mentioned above, I used to sing it in Sunday school, yet if the truth be known, I really didn’t know what joy was. I suppose I thought it was just another word for happiness. I now know better.

I’ve since learned that joy is an ingredient of the fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22). I therefore now understand that JOY in the biblical sense can only be experienced by those who are born-again (i.e. who have committed their lives into God’s hands and accepted Jesus as their saviour and invited him to be their Lord).

Even so, I still didn’t have a full grasp of what JOY is, or what it looked like, other than I believed it was a higher, deeper expression of happiness.

Well, I recently came across a wonderful and insightful definition of this quality.

Bob and Debbie Gass, writers of UCB Word for Today  shares the following:

  • Happiness is external
  • Joy is internal
  • Happiness depends on outward circumstances
  • Joy depends on inward character
  • Happiness depends on what happens to us
  • Joy depends on who lives within us
  • Happiness is based on chance
  • Joy is based on choice.

Now it is obvious to me that happiness is an unstable emotion because it fluctuates. The pursuit of joy is therefore a wiser move. Why? Because Jesus says that the joy he gives, is a joy that remains:

These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

(John 15:11 NKJV)

 

As a woman of God, desirous of reigning in life through the power of Christ and aiming to walk each day as a victorious overcomer, I’m making a conscious decision to choose joy.

What do you choose?

 

CREDIT: CC0 image from Pixabay.com 

Posted in Blog posts

Rudeness, Respect and Reciprocation

 

 

Have you ever spoken to somebody and they didn’t answer you?

Have you ever made a request from someone but they did not respond?

How did it make you feel? Not blessed, I’m sure!

I know when I’ve been on the receiving end of such treatment, I don’t feel blessed. In fact such actions make me feel ignored, unimportant, even disrespected.

I recall a time when I submitted a piece of work to an editor, who wrote back expressing interest and indicating it would be published. I was over the moon. However, after this, I didn’t hear anything more. I waited. I wondered. I waited some more.

In the end, I contacted this editor to try and get an update. She didn’t respond. I waited a reasonable period and contacted her yet again. She still did not respond. I got the message but I felt upset and then angry.

In 1 Kings 18: 25-27 we read about the prophets of Baal, who called on their god from morning until noon but there was no answer.

As children of God, we enjoy the privilege of a loving relationship and can rest in the security of knowing that God hears us. We can be confident that he keeps his promises, yeah He honours his word.

Even should we feel that God has not granted our request, unlike the prophets of Baal, we can still be confident that he hasn’t abandoned us, that he is not unaware of our circumstances but has our best interests as a primary concern upon his heart.

In fact God’s word tells us that his thoughts towards us are innumerable.

 

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!

How great is the sum of them!

If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand…

(Psalm 139:17-18 NKJV)

 

Whenever I read this, I am challenged. Do I feel similarly about my Father-God? Are most of my thoughts focused on Him?

What about you dear reader?

 

*****     *****     *****

 

Posted in Blog posts

My Passion Fatigue

 

I’ve not written in my writing journal since 1stJuly.

I’ve not worked on my project since 30th June.

I’ve not been actively writing on my two blogs.

I’ve been lackadaisical for 15 days – possibly longer!

Even today, I didn’t feel like doing anything. Didn’t feel like pursuing my passion. Didn’t feel like writing.

At the back of my mind, I’ve known I should push past this feeling and just get on and do. I know when I put my mind to it that inertia flees and the interest returns. Even now as I write, I sense the spark of enthusiasm igniting. And, strange though it may sound, even my fingers feel exhilarated, as they move across the keyboard. I’m back – just like that!

So what kept me away?

Self-sabotage!

At least that’s part of the story.

The other part is that the Enemy is at work. I know he is. I know he does not want me to succeed. He does not want me to fulfil my potential. He wants another of God’s protégés to go to their grave with their gifts and abilities, dreams and vision still sheathed, undeveloped, unexpressed and unused.

And yet, even though I’m aware of this, I give in to uncool feelings. I give in to my I-don’t-give-a-damn inertia of the moment and allow it to take me into extended periods of self-sanctioned slothfulness, or complacent inactivity. And whilst I’m doing this, I hear a little voice saying “I don’t care” and I listen to that voice and silently endorse its rebellious attitude.

But now, as I write, I realise that deep down I do care. I realise that voice was not me at all, or if it was me, then it was the voice of the old Carol, the non-productive Carol, the I-do-things-when-I-feel-like-Carol-and-right-now-I-don’t-feel-like!

I know when I behave this way that later I’ll be remorseful. Later I’ll beat myself up for all the time I’ve wantonly squandered, watching NCIS, or watching some other person who has fulfilled their dream, whether it’s purchasing a house in the country or abroad, or cooking their way to celebrity fame, or some writer whose script has been made into a film or TV programme. I know it but yet I give in to the voice and call of apathy.

And during this time, I surf. I stalk the sites of other writers and bloggers. Successful writers and bloggers. I read. I admire. And I feel jealous. I read. I admire. And I hope to one day experience similar success. One day!

But that day has not arrived yet.

I have no one to blame. No one to point the finger at, as the reason for my sudden stagnation. No one but me, myself and I!

I can’t even blame those who stir my anger, who orchestrate scenarios designed to humiliate, whose antics provoke me to sit and stew over the way I’m being treated, or grieve about my loss of self-esteem. I can’t blame those whose actions or words I’ve allowed to distract me from my goals and my determination and my vows of self-discipline; whose targeted tactics I’ve allowed to sap my motivation. I can’t even really say: “the devil made me do it!”

Because in reality I am more mature than that – aren’t I?

I know better than to give in to that listless, why-bother? mode – don’t I?

I know I should gird up the loins of my mind and let the negative thoughts go, let the offending persons go, whom the Enemy uses following key moments of achievement, sustained productivity, or exuberant success, to knock me off my man-made pedestal.

I know I should let them go from my thoughts, let them go from my desire for retribution, let them go from the un-Christ-like deliberations entertained within my heart. I know I should do so, and do so quickly, graciously, mercifully, the way God does for me, but to do so feels all wrong to my hurting heart, my wounded pride, my stomped-upon ego, my self-righteous sense of justice.

And that’s the issue.

The “me”. The “my”. The “myself”. The interminable preoccupation with “I”.

It’s an issue because God’s Word says:

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

(Galatians 2:20 NKJV)

Christ decided that I was worth the cost of giving up his reputation, his equality and standing with God, so that he could fulfil his Father’s will and die for me, so I may experience Zoe life (the God-type of life), so I may experience reconciliation with God, so I may experience the stupendous, supernatural benefits of salvation.

Without Christ’s death, none of this would have been possible. And without Christ choosing to lay down his life and humbly submit to his Father’s will, there would have been no glorious resurrection.

Christ was mocked. He was rejected, he was falsely accused, even betrayed. But he found a way to rise above his circumstances, and fulfil his calling. Despite the misunderstandings. Despite the mud-slinging. Despite the malicious intent of people around him. Despite the Machiavellian manoeuvres of his arch-enemy.

This same Christ lives in me. This same resurrection power is available to me.

And so I have a choice. I can listen to the Enemy’s lies and suggestions and give in to the fleshly dictates of my heart, or I can do what I need to do—add works to my faith, add obedience to my knowledge, add self-discipline to my intentions and, having done so, emerge from the plots of pernicious folk, from the schemes and snares of Satan, from the inadequacies of Carol, as a purpose-driven believer, as a triumphant dream-achiever, as a victorious overcomer.

I can choose to be a victor.

By God’s grace I can, and by God’s grace I will!

Today, I choose to silence that rebellious voice. I choose to lay down my fleshly inclinations. I choose to rise up and resume my place as a victorious overcomer.

 

Prayer:

Lord, I choose to decrease and allow you to increase in my life. Father-God, let not my selfish will be done but your perfect will. Kingdom of God come, be manifested in my circumstances. Will of God be done, in and through my life, today, tomorrow and always!

In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

*****       *****       *****

Credit: CC0 image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

Posted in Blog posts

Today I pray for you…

Hello dear visiting friends,

Nowadays, I believe that the most precious thing someone could offer me is their prayer. So today when I came across this beautiful, heartfelt prayer, I not only wanted to share it with you but pray it over you.

Whoever you are, wherever you may be, know that this is God’s heart for you and your loved ones.

Please take the time to thank Jacqueline, who penned these words.

———————–💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 ———————–

a cooking pot and twisted tales

Praying woman

Today I pray for you..
I wish that you will find peace and healing as you hurt in any way.

Today I pray for you..
I pray that you will find strength to hold on,
And abundant Grace to see you through.

Today I pray for you..
I pray for a consistent hedge of protection,
around you and yours, especially in these confusing times.

Today I pray for you..
I pray that you experience mercy, where it is needed

Today I pray for you..
I pray that you will find succor,
Even from the most unexpected channels.

Today I pray for you..
I pray that your heart and mind,
May be generous in your dealings with mankind.

Today I pray for you..
I pray that your faith and hope remains undiminished,
Even when all seems lost,
Just a sliver of faith and hope will suffice.

Today I pray for you..

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Posted in Blog posts

​Developing A Lifestyle Of Prayer

Dear WoW readers,
When Jesus walked on this earth he said men ought always to pray. I know there are people who struggle with the concept of prayer, or find the practice of consistent prayer difficult.

The following is an excellent post I read recently, which I hope will encourage, inspire and motivate you.

Life On Purpose

Luke 18:1
And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;


Pray Always

Prayer is a daily activity.

It is like breathing, it should always be “ON”.

When you stop breathing you die.

So it is in the spiritual, when you stop praying you die slowly.


2Sa 11:1 — 2Sa 11:3
And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.

And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to…

View original post 565 more words

Posted in Blog posts

Cake and Compliments

 

Yesterday, I spent a wonderful afternoon with one of my sisters, who had spoiled and pampered me with a Virgin experience birthday gift.

We enjoyed a lovely champagne tea in the glamorous surroundings of a luxurious 5-star hotel and whilst we spent this precious “sister-time” together, she complimented me on how I looked and expressed appreciation for the way I’d taken care of our dear mother. As I thanked her, she made no bones about the fact that she felt I’d deserved her generous gift.

Whilst chatting, my dear sister revealed she had been reading my blogs. She was full of praise and admiration and her words were like music to my praise-starved soul. In fact some of the things she said were as if God himself were speaking to me and encouraging me.

My sister’s praise and compliments coincided with that of further positive and affirming comments received privately from someone whom I’ve come to view as a blogger friend (as opposed to a fellow-blogger).

These two experiences that came from least expected quarters, that came uninitiated, showed me how important it is to encourage one another.

The world revels in putting the boot in, pulling others down, operating out of envy. I’m sorry to say that the Body of Christ can be guilty of the same thing. Most of us are guilty of back-biting, criticising and judging others. And some are even guilty of belittling or snubbing fellow-believers. The Kingdom of God operates on another (higher) level. Are you occupying that higher ground? Are you an encourager?

The Word of God tells us that we are to encourage one another while it is still “today” (see Hebrews 3:13). And who amongst us does not desire appreciation… does not need encouragement?

May I challenge you dear reader? Find someone today and encourage them with your appreciation and sincere compliments (not false flattery!). Make it a habit to encourage others if not daily, then regularly. Your words just might motivate someone who sees themselves as a victim today, to shrug off their chains of captivity and stride forward as a victor tomorrow.

If you are a blogger, why not encourage another fellow-blogger? It’s nice to leave likes, but put yourself out—make the effort, make someone’s day and encourage them by leaving a meaningful comment. And don’t just visit your friends and favourite bloggers, Search out someone new, or check out one of your unknown followers.

Dear reader, whilst out trudging the highways of cyberspace sowing your seeds of love, have a blessed day!

*****       *****       *****

 

Has this post inspired you? Has it motivated you to act? Share your response in the comment box below. I’d love to hear from you.

 

CREDIT: the above CC0 image comes courtesy of Alexandr Kurilchik at Pixabay.com

Posted in Blog posts

Ditch Oppressive Opinions!

 

Dear precious woman of God,

  • Don’t remain a victim of past failures or hurts.
  • Don’t let the negative lens through which others see you influence how you see yourself.
  • Don’t let the negative words that others speak over, or about you, be the words that you say over, or to yourself.

Listen to what one man of God advises:

Your self-esteem must be based on God’s opinion, not someone else’s opinion or even your opinion. Your self-esteem is to be based on what God thinks. And God thinks you are fantastic!

Dr Charles Stanley – In Touch (April 2001)

 

So let me ask you dear woman of God – whose opinion will you choose to believe?

Ditch those negative beliefs and oppressive opinions.

Choose to be a victor!

 

CREDIT: CC0 Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

Posted in Blog posts

An Open Letter on Fathers’ Day

Lady Cee

7 Salvation Street

Pilgrim’s Peak

Jehovah-Shalom Province

***** ——————————————————-*****

 

To:      The God of all the Earth

 

Sunday 18 June 2017

Dear Father God,

I Love You.

There have been many times when I’ve told you how I feel about you. I’ve told you during my private devotional times, during public praise and worship sessions at church meetings, during my day when my thoughts run across you.

I love, love, love you—with all my heart, mind and soul.

If I am honest, I don’t think I’m at the point where I can say that I love you more than life itself but I do desire, hope and trust that the measure and quality of my love for you will increase more and more, will deepen and widen as time goes by.

Because dear Father God, you deserve all the love in the world, all the love in the universe. You are worthy of all love and adoration and I want to love you the way you deserve—totally, utterly and without distraction.

May I tell you why I love you dear Father God?

I know you know anyway because you are omniscient (love that word!). But I want to tell you anyhow. I want to spell it out in black and white for all the world to see. I want the world to know what a great God you are, what a wonderful, merciful, loving, gracious and faithful father you are.

I want anyone who reads this, who does not have such a relationship with you, to be curious, to covet the same for themselves, to even call out to you, asking that you reveal yourself to them and become their loving spiritual father.

I want this because I know there can be no greater association that anyone could possibly have in their life. I want this because I know that I know, that I know, there can be no more beneficial, life-enhancing and wholesome relationship that anyone could hope to have. I want this because you offer your love, your salvation package, as a free gift to anyone who desires it. And this free, generous gift is an absolute treasure.

And so my dear Father God, on this day, Fathers’ Day, a day to appreciate human fathers, it is only fitting that I acknowledge you and celebrate you and tell you how much you mean to me.

Where do I start?

First, let me thank you for your foresight in devising your plan of salvation. Let me thank you for not leaving me in the clutches of the Enemy but sending your Son, your precious, holy, only-begotten Son, to come down to Earth and lay down his life for me, so that I can be reconciled to you, so that I can experience and enjoy abundant life, soul peace and supernatural blessings. Thank you Father God!

I want to thank you Father God, for your precious, extravagant, everlasting, unconditional love and the assurance that this quality of love which you have for me, means you will always love me no matter how much I might fail, or fall short of your standards.

Dear Father God, I’m grateful that your love never changes, never diminishes and will never, ever be withdrawn from me.

Father God, as the years have passed and I’ve experienced the conditional love and even the rejection of others around me, let me tell you that the awesome depth, irrevocable quality and sincerity of your stupendous love has been thrown into sharp and stark contrast, when compared to the fickle love, or hatred of others.

For your unchanging, unconditional love, I most heartily thank you Father God.

I want to thank you for the future you have planned and prepared for me. Like all loving parents, you have provided the resources for me to succeed in life – all I have to do is ask, all I have to do is trust! And, unlike human parents, your resources can never and will never run dry, will never lose their value, or effectiveness, or impact.

What a wonderful God you are! What a wonderful privilege you have given to me. What supreme confidence you have placed in me. Amazing love! An amazing father!

Father God, thank you, thank you, thank you for divinely protecting me over these years. Even when I look back over my life to before I acknowledged Christ as my personal Saviour, to before I’d invited him to become the Lord and Master of my life, you had your hand of divine protection over and upon me.

I am humbled. I am astounded. I am utterly grateful. Thank you Father God!

My dear, precious heavenly father, I could go on and on about your goodness, about your attributes, about your marvellous interventions within my life but I won’t weary my readers.

Suffice it to say that I choose to acknowledge and celebrate you on this special day. Suffice it to say that I desire to honour you dear Father God, not only with my lips but also with my lifestyle. Suffice it to say that I adore you Father God, with all my heart.

Happy Fathers’ Day!

Yours truly,

 

Carol xx

(Daughter of the Living God)

 

PICTURE CREDIT: CC0 Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Posted in Blog posts

Make That Call!

 

 

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

(Hebrews 4:16 KJV)

 

Are you familiar with the TV programme: Who wants to be a millionaire?

In order to reach the 1 million prize-money target, contestants have three life-lines they are able to use at any time – ask the audience, 50/50 (where 2 of the incorrect answers are removed), or phone a friend.

The friend has been pre-selected by the contestant and is usually chosen for their knowledge, for their capacity to help the individuals when they are stuck for an answer.

The friend, who is contacted live during the show, now has the burden of expectation on his or her shoulders—the expectation of the contestant who called; the expectation of the presenter who wants the drama of the situation to bring value-added appeal to the show; who naturally wants the friend to succeed, so contestants can proceed to the higher paying questions. Added to all this, is the expectation of the audience rooting for the contestant.

Sometimes that friend may come up trumps but at other times, the person selected turns out to be the wrong choice, for they are completely unable to assist!

Do you need help?

Are you in need of:

  • Courage, to face your day?
  • Deliverance from a sticky situation?
  • Enablement to obey God’s Word?
  • Guidance to know what to do?
  • Wisdom in order to make a decision?

Well, God is your friend – call on him!

Call him today. He will not let you down. The Bible is full of scriptures supporting this fact but here’s one for starters:

When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stout-hearted. (Psalm 138:3 NIV)

 

In the day when I called, You answered me; and You strengthened me with strength (might and inflexibility to temptation) in my inner self. (Psalm 138:3 AB)

 

Now listen to what your Father-God has promised:

It shall come to pass

That before they call, I will

answer;

And while they are still speaking,

I will hear.

(Isaiah 65:24 NKJ)

 

Beloved child of God, victorious overcomer, dear women of warfare, may I counsel you today?

Make that call!

 

SELF SCRUTINY:

Who is your first port of call when you are in trouble or need advice?

 

Posted in Blog posts

Watch and Pray!

 

 

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.” Edmund Burke

 

My previous post, Don Your Armour, reminded us all of Paul’s words in Ephesians 6:10-18, where he encourages us to put on the whole armour of God.

God’s armour comprises not only the six elements of protective armoury and offensive weapons but also the requirement that we watch and persevere in prayer (see Ephesians 6:18).

Jesus himself, warned that we are to ‘watch and pray’ – Matthew 26:41.

So what should we be watchful about?

  1. Watch our hearts and attitudes. Proverbs 4:23 tells us we are to guard our hearts because it is from this central area (our inner being), that the current of our lives flow.
  2. Watch so that we do not enter into temptation—the temptation to be apathetic, complacent, slothful. The temptation to complain, or give up on our stance of faith. The temptation to walk in disobedience or pride. The temptation to belittle others, gossip or judge.
  3. Watch over the spiritual climate of your nation. Pray for your leaders, for those who occupy roles of significant responsibility. Pray for the liberty of Christians to live lives that are conducive to the moral absolutes of our faith.
  4. Watch over members of the body of Christ—those in your fellowship, those whom you interact with in your day-to-day life, those bearing the name of Jesus in your nation, not forgetting those who are suffering in far-off lands.
  5. Watch over the current affairs issue that tugs at your heart (e.g. brutality of dictators, persecuted Christians, the heinous crimes of sexual predators and religious extremists).
  6. Watch over our loved ones. Be diligent to ask for God’s protection over them as they go to school or work, as they travel to and fro, as they engage with individuals, who may or may not mean them harm.
  7. Watch over the happenings in Israel. Pray for that nation’s peace. Pray for the members of Christ’s body in that land. Pray for peaceful co-existence between believers in fellowships comprising both Jews and Arabs.

Why watch and pray?

Because, as Edmund Burke is attributed as saying (see above quote), the only thing we need to do for evil to prevail, is to simply do nothing!

Are you feeling helpless, even hopeless, about the injustices, mounting depravity and evils of this world?

Call on Jesus. Petition Jehovah. Summon the Holy Spirit.

We serve a God who is able to intervene, able to transform, able to thwart the spirits of wickedness that are at work in this earth.

Do you believe? If so, are you adding works to your faith? Are you praying?

Jesus asked: ‘. . . when the Son of Man comes, will he really find faith on the earth’ (Luke 18:8).

Well, what is your response?

More to the point, where will Jesus find you? Fighting in the field of faith, or despairing in the dungeons of doubt?

Children of the Living God, spirit-filled believers, Women of Warfare, come – let us do our part. Let us watch and pray!

*****       ******        ******

 

PICTURE CREDIT: the above CC0 Image comes courtesy of Jay Clarke at Pixabay.com

Posted in Blog posts

Don Your Armour!

 

If you know your Bible and are familiar with teaching on prayer and intercession, then I’m sure you will have come across Paul’s direction to the body of Christ in Ephesians 6:10-18.

You will know that as members of the body of Christ, we are encouraged to put on the whole armour of God.

How do we do this?

Pretty much like everything else we have to do when it comes to the supernatural things of God’s kingdom. We do so by faith and through confession (speaking God’s Word).

How did you get saved? You spoke (confession), when you invited Christ into your life and asked him to become your Lord and Saviour.

You believed (faith) that he would hear you and respond.

Whether immediately, or eventually, you experienced the reality. You received an inward witness. You knew that you were saved. You knew that you were changed. You knew that by some marvellous and mystical act, the Spirit of Christ had taken up residence within you.

And in a similar way, that’s how you put on your spiritual armour.

Put it on daily. Put it on before you go out into the fray of daily living. Put it on before you enter the battlefield of prayer. Put it on through confession. Put it on in faith.

If you’d like help in doing this, here’s a prayer you may use.

Victorious overcomers, prayer warriors and prayer interns – have a blessed weekend!

 

Do you agree with this post? Let me know your response in the comment box below.

 

Posted in Blog posts

Turn Your “Should” Burdens Into Blessings


 

Hello dear Women of Warfare! readers.

As you know this blog focuses on encouraging myself and others to walk as victorious overcomers. Its aim is to see women released from the shackles of any circumstances in their lives that seeks to keep them imprisoned as victims.

If you are anything like me, you can feel overwhelmed by the things we believe, or have been told that we should do or be. We should be the perfect wife, mother, lover, cook, whatever! We should be able to juggle impossible schedules. We should be this… We should do that… And the endless list continues.

Women of Warfare, if you’ve allowed yourself to become a victim of false guilt, other people’s demands, your own lofty goals, or frantic schedules, I hope the following post will encourage you.

Please read, reflect and respond.

 

Posted in Blog posts

Be Vigilant – Use Your Satan-Repellent!

 

Every amateur gardener experiences the frustration of planting their garden only to later find holes chomped into the leaves of their prize plants. It looks unsightly and it’s annoying!

There are many ways of getting rid of the pesky slugs and snails but the quickest and to my mind, the most effective, is to use slug repellents.

Many a time I’ve looked out of my bedroom window only to espy one of these creatures moving with focused determination towards a patio plant, to feast on its lush green leaves.

Quick as a flash I dive down the stairs, rush into the kitchen, grab the salt and make my way into the garden. It’s amazing how quickly these snails can move when the motivation of a nice succulent plant propels them!

Now, I know they’re God’s creatures but I didn’t invite them into my garden and if these creatures do decide to gate-crash, they should at least have the decency to see and not touch—certainly don’t have the temerity to chomp and chew. How dare you! My garden is not a free, eat-as-much-as-you-want salad bar!

So, you can understand why I have no compunction about pouring salt upon the cheeky blighters and watching them (with no small sense of satisfaction mixed with a tinge of disgust) turn into a yucky patch of slime. No compunction at all!

Why am I telling you this?

Because dear women of warfare, as victorious overcomers, we will often encounter situations in life that seek to chomp and chew its way into the succulent leaves of our spiritual growth. Satan, our Enemy, is the equivalent of these garden pests.

Any chance he gets, he will attack our minds, and try to destroy the fresh green foliage from all those positive Word-seeds sown into our hearts. He wants us to remain his victims.

So, don’t be passive. Don’t be complacent. Use your Satan-repellent. Use the Word of God!

 

Posted in Blog posts

Blog Event: Lady Cee’s 4Ws and 1H

Hello Women of Warfare followers. Do you like blog challenges? Do you like meeting new bloggers? If so, why not take part in this challenge?

I look forward to learning a bit more about the person behind the blog and hope you will join in.

Purpose-driven achiever

LADY CEE’S 4Ws & 1H Blog Challenge

(Challenge open Monday 15 May 2017 to Tueday 30 May 2017)

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Welcome to my debut blog event. I hope you will come and support me by joining in with this challenge.

The Challenge:

I have based my challenge on a journalism reporting technique known as the 5Ws and 1H. If you are not familiar with this and I have piqued your interest you can check out the following link: https://www.thoughtco.com/journalists-questions-5-ws-and-h-1691205

You will note that I’ve adapted this slightly for my challenge, hence the 4Ws (Who, What, Where, Why) and 1H (How).

How to take part:

Answer the following questions:

  1. Who would you like to be for a day?
  2. What flower or plant do you think represents your personality?
  3. Where would you go on holiday if money were no object?
  4. Why did you become a blogger?
  5. How do you measure personal success and…

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Posted in Blog posts

Push A Different Button!

Those of you who have read my posts for some time know that every now and again I share something from an excellent devotional resource that I use, the UCB Word for Today, written by Bob & Debby Gass.

I cannot recommend this highly enough. Even if you don’t get on with daily devotional books (for a long time I didn’t!), you can read it as a straight forward book, or dip into it from time to time (as I started out doing). Before you know it, I’m sure you’ll become a fan (as I have!).

The following is an extract from last month, which I feel led to share with you all.

 

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MIND-SETS ARE patterns whereby your mind automatically operates a certain way. That means you can set yourself up for misery by reacting to the same people and circumstances in the same way, and expecting different results.

Maybe you are saying:

‘After all these years I thought he’d change…’

‘No matter how hard I try, my family doesn’t appreciate me…’

‘How come I’m the only one who makes an effort to stay in touch?’

 

It’s easy to blame your problems on others.

‘Look what he’s doing.’

‘Look how long I’ve waited.’

‘Why doesn’t she call?’

 

We think the answer lies in getting the other person to do what we want, but that kind of thinking is self-defeating; it gives control to others.

Your happiness isn’t determined by other people, even though you’ve convinced yourself it is.

An experienced counsellor writes:

‘If you don’t like the same results… try pushing a different button. Look at your relationships. Is there a situation that’s going downhill despite your best efforts? Are you waiting for something to change, instead of doing something different? Stop pushing the same button, and ask God for clarity to see the situation honestly and to act with wisdom and responsibility.’

 

You’re not a victim of circumstances; you don’t have to stay stuck or keep going in circles.

Paul says, ‘Put off… your former conduct… and be renewed in the spirit of your mind.’

The word for you today is: you can change!

 

***     ***     ***

 

WoW followers and visitors, I hope you find the above useful, even timely. If you enjoyed reading and know someone who could benefit from this post please do not hesitate to share it. And why not drop me a line and tell me what you thought about it in the comment box below? I’d really appreciate your response.

*Free postal copies of The UCB Word For Today (UK and Republic of Ireland only) are available from: FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF

For the email version please go to: http://www.ucb.co.uk/word-for-today.html

 

The above CC0 images used are courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

Posted in Blog posts

I Appreciate You!


 

To my dear followers, friends and visitors of Women of Warfare! – I truly appreciate you!

 

‘Thank you’ dear readers and followers

For granting your precious time

To read, to like, or to comment,

In response to my prose, or my rhyme.

 

‘Thank you’ dear precious visitors

For choosing my place to stop by

For making my moments as inspirational blogger

A wonderful joy-induced high.

 

My sincere thanks to those who linger,

Over posts shared from a heart of love

‘Thank you’ to those who consume, digest and ponder

Who support me with words which affirm and cause wonder,

And spurs praise to my Father above!

 

© Carol Hind – April 2017

 

 

T H A N K    Y O U !

 

 

Posted in Blog posts

“A Thousand Worries”

Dear friends, followers and visitors I hope you all had a good Easter break.

I know from my own experiences of life, from my conversations with loved ones and from reports of world events that peace is a sorely-needed requirement in our lives.

Yet the peace we need is not the ‘peace’ of this world but the heart-and-soul peace that comes only from God. It is a peace that surpasses our natural understanding. It is a peace that protects us from being overwhelmed by anxieties, fears and worries.

However, we need to abide in that place of peace in order for it to remain effective. Failure to do so is like making travel or home insurance payments then worrying about the consequences of events that may or may not happen, acting as if you have no confidence in the provisions of the policy, or worse, acting as if there is no policy in place.

The following re-blogged post depicts what often happens when we pray for peace but fail to leave the matter in God’s capable hands. May I encourage us all this morning to share our concerns and anxieties with our Father-God, to thank him for HIS answers and resolutions and whilst waiting, to rest in his peace.

 

TBD {To be determined}

For every drop of trust, I hold a thousand worries
I have a thousand wants, a thousand needs
I bring to You
while making my own plans to get them done.
Thinking the peace comes from the thing received, achieved,
rather than You,
my flimsy patience begs me hasten,
encouraging my DIY plans to control my own fate.
But fate proves a heavy load
for my fragile hands, which now,
I see, hold a thousand worries once more.

So I come again, Lord,
making known my request.
You’re not just my backup plan;
You’re my peace.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

– Philippians 4:6-7

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Posted in Blog posts

Pick Up Your Cross!

 

What is your cross?

It is any situation that calls for you to die to the dictates, desires and demands of your flesh… that requires you to take the route of suffering knowing that death to your flesh will enable you to minister God’s life-giving spirit to someone else.

The “flesh” represents not just your body but also your appetites, inclinations, impulses, negative and contrary responses.

Now the cross we are expected to carry, the path we are expected to tread will be unique to each one of us.

In my case, crucifying my flesh requires me to remain silent in the face of lies, false accusations, scorn and ridicule. It demands that I walk humbly through the gates of self-denial and submit to the punishing nails of humiliation as my name, reputation and self-esteem are nailed mercilessly to my cross. It also demands that I bear this cross of perpetual shame with the right attitude, knowing that my Father God knows my thoughts and sees my heart.

A bitter pill to swallow?

Yes. Absolutely!

Now whilst studying the Bible, or listening to stirring sermons, God’s Word may at that time rejoice my heart. However, when later required to walk that word out, when faced with the reality of practicing God’s kingdom principles in the context of hatred, rejection or sabotage, the sweet experience of hearing that word or receiving that revelation, can become bitter.

Bitter because I’m now required to chew, swallow and digest an unpalatable portion. Bitter because God’s word is no longer a neat theoretical discourse filed away in my mind but a distressing practical experience to be suffered, to be endured.

I wonder how many of us choose instead to spit out the offending morsel. Love your enemies? Nope! Don’t fancy that! Rejoice during persecution? Sorry – no way! Turn the other cheek? You’re kidding me – right?

I wish I was but I’m not. I wish carrying my cross was as simple as fastening a piece of jewellery around my neck. But it’s not. Carrying one’s cross is not easy.

Yet carry it I must, since this is what Jesus did for me (and for you) from the time he was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane to the time he was cruelly impaled upon that cross at Golgotha.

Whether you believe it or not, whether you care or not, the truth is Jesus willingly suffered so that we can be reconciled to God, so that we can be free from the clutches and influence of Satan and, so we can be delivered from spiritual death – the devastating penalty of SIN.

 

For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.

For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.

For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps (1 Peter 2:19-21 NKJV).

 

So are you prepared to follow Jesus’ example? Are you willing to obey Christ’s command?

…If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me (Matthew 16:24 NKJV)

And he who does not take his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me (Matthew 10:38)

 

The choice is yours whether you eat God’s manna of obedience, or consume the meat of self-indulgence.

As his disciples, Christ expects us to take up our cross daily and follow him. Have you picked up your cross, or are you avoiding and disobeying his command?

Without the cross there can be no crucifying of your flesh (please note I am speaking metaphorically here). Without crucifying of self, there can be no experience of Christ’s resurrection life and power, and therefore no partaking of his glory.

 

…we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together. (Romans 8:16-17 NKJV)

 

Dear readers, be aware that between the stages of grace and glory lies a road of personal pain and self-sacrifice. Those who choose to skip this route will not be seen as overcomers in God’s eyes. Those who refuse to walk this narrow pathway will not earn the victor’s crown.

Spiritual warriors, prayer interns, brothers and sisters in Christ, your cross will be specific to the path and purpose God has ordained for you. Have you decided to emulate Jesus? Then pick up your cross!

 

Wishing all followers and visitors a happy Easter!

 

PHOTO CREDIT: CC0 image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

Posted in Blog posts

It’s A Love Relationship!

 

He brought me to the banqueting house,

And his banner over me was love.

Song of Solomon 2:4 (NKJV)

 

…Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;

Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.

Jeremiah 31:3 (NKJV)

 

Do you struggle to pray?

Let me ask you another question.

Do you struggle to love your significant other half, or someone close to you, whom you cherish?

Prayer is just that. It is a means of communicating with your Father God. The one who loved and continues to love you unconditionally. Every moment. Every day. Without exception! The one who has proved his love for you by sending his only Son, Jesus, to die for you.

Now, just as communication keeps your relationship going with your cherished loved ones, so communication keeps your relationship with God alive and meaningful. So treat prayer as a loving relationship between you and the Lord. And if you think of prayer along those lines then it should not seem quite so much of a struggle.

Brother Lawrence, author of The Practice of the Presence of God, aimed to make the love of God a priority in his life. He was known for maintaining a consistent level of communication with his Heavenly Father, throughout his day.

When you are in love with someone you want to spend as much time as possible with that person. You have a deep desire to know them and to know all about them. You are not shy or reluctant to express your feelings. You are thankful for their presence in your life, for the meaning they have brought to your life. And, if you are wise, if you cherish that relationship, you will express to them your heartfelt gratitude and appreciation. Not just once in a blue moon, but often.

Another feature of your love relationship is that you are not afraid to ask for what you desire, or feel you need. You ask. Whether you get it or not does not diminish your love for that person, or undermine your relationship with this individual.

As it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual. So apply the same principles to your relationship with God. Recognise that prayer is a two-way communication. A sharing of hearts. A revealing of hopes and dreams, of hurts and disappointments. A desire to please the other. A commitment. A shared intimacy.

Can you relate?

If so, then you can most certainly pray. You can pray faithfully and fervently, passionately and purposefully. Because prayer is a love relationship with the one who loves you more than you can ever fathom.

Prayer is love in action.

*****        *****        *****

CREDITS: All images are courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Posted in Blog posts

Too Busy? That’s A Poor Excuse!

Let me ask you a question. Are you too busy to pray?

I read a post recently at JOYFull Inspirations, which brought to mind a book I’d read some time ago by Bill Hybels, TOO BUSY NOT to PRAY. Hybels is the senior pastor of a large church in Illinois, USA.

The following is an extract from this book:

Prayerless people cut themselves off from God’s prevailing power, and the frequent result is the familiar feeling of being overwhelmed, over-run, beaten down, pushed around, defeated. Surprising numbers of people are willing to settle for lives like that. Don’t be one of them. Nobody has to live like that. Prayer is the key to unlocking God’s prevailing power in your life.

Dear WoW follower or visitor, if you feel life’s too busy for you to regularly set time aside and pray, then I have a challenging question to put to you – Is God a priority in your life? Be honest and search your heart.

We make time for the things that matter to us. Relationships. Parenting. Work. Business. Blogging. Even serving in the church! So, all things considered, do you really have a bona fide excuse?

Let me remind you of Susanna Wesley, mother of 19 children. You may recall that in one of my posts last year (We Salute You!), I shared how:

The difficulties and busyness of Susanna’s life, meant that her only means of escape to the prayer closet was to throw her apron over her head, warning her large brood of children that whenever they observed her in this state, she was praying and therefore not to be disturbed. Given this wonderful example from a woman who bore 19 children, dare we say of ourselves, that we do not have enough time to pray?

And, to give you another modern-day example, the post at JOYFull inspirations which caught my attention, was written by Letticia, a busy mum with 6 children.

Dear readers, let me encourage you to draw closer to God, to spend time in His presence.

I wish you an abundantly blessed and victorious week.

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For those of you who might be interested in purchasing this book visit: https://www.amazon.com/Too-Busy-Pray-Bill-Hybels/dp/0830834753 OR

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Bill+hybels+too+busy+not+to+pray

 

CREDIT: The above CC0 image is courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Posted in Blog posts

The Beauty of Prayerful Submission

 

The following is a beautiful post I came across today, which I’d like to share with you all.

If you (as Christ’s disciples did), feel your prayers lack oomph, or if you wish to increase your prayer prowess, do as this blogger did – ask!

God will certainly hear your prayer and grant your request. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you – that’s why he was sent – to come alongside believers and help. So ask! Ask today. Don’t delay!

💖 💖 💖

 

I have been asking Jesus to show me how to pray. I am often thinking that it’s in relation to how I pray for others, but there’s so much I need to learn. How to approach him, how to wait for him, what I need, what he needs to show me. This was where he […]

via empty vessel, living sacrifice  — Threads of a Remnant

Posted in Blog posts

Love’s Sacrificial Mindset

 

 

Image from Sophie Janotta (Pixabay.com)

Hello Folks,

I’m engaging in a bit of self-promotion here.

Having written my first guest post, I’d really love it if you’d be so kind as to lend me your support.

If you have the time and inclination, details are as follows:

Venue: StylishlyInspired

 

Hope you’ll enjoy reading and if you do, please don’t hesitate to let me know your thoughts.

Thanks in anticipation!

Carol

“…If you love what you are doing, you will be successful” – Albert Schweitzer

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Posted in Blog posts

My God is Able!

CC0 Image – courtesy of John Hain (Pixabay.com)

 

Fear not, for I am with you;

Be not dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you,

Yes, I will help you,

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

(Isaiah 41:10 NKJV)

 

It was 4.00am on a work day morning.

I lay wide awake in bed. Fretting.

My concern related to a new occurrence of an age-old problem, which looked as if it would never, ever be resolved. I could see no way out. No way around, or over this problem.

And God didn’t seem to be doing anything about it! Despite my repeated requests. Despite my firm stand of faith.

Fear began to voice its opinion.

What’s the point of carrying on with this project? – they’ll only undermine you anyway! No one’s really interested in what you have to say, so why bother?

Then self-pity put in her 10 cents worth.

Opposition is too strong, too much. Face it – they’re winning! And you know they are determined you won’t succeed. Is it worth putting yourself through the agro (aggravation)?

Then unexpectedly, up came bubbling within my spirit a chorus I used to sing years ago. It went like this:

God is able, more than able

To accomplish what concerns me today

God is able, more than able

To handle anything that comes my way.

God is able, more than able

To do much more than I could ever dream

God is able, more than able

To make me what he wants me to be.

The Holy Spirit had stepped in with his calm, cool, soothing voice of comfort. Isn’t it beautiful when that happens?

Immediately, I felt encouraged. God is with me, so who can successfully stand (and permanently maintain that stance of opposition), against me? After all, as is so clearly shown in the Bible, to stand against the people of God, is to stand against the God of his people and since I am his child then a stand against me is a stand against Him. Anyone foolish enough to try and oppose God is bound to come a cropper—eventually!

And since God is confirming that he is with me, I can cast ALL my concerns on him. I can leave him to sort everything out. Deal with what needs to be dealt with. Thwart those who need to be thwarted. I just need to be patient and wait on his timing.

My times (my past, present and future days) are in God’s hands, under his control. He has not shut me up into a ‘no way out’ zone with the Enemy, or with those whom Satan uses to do his dirty work (Psalm 31:8).

Thank you Father God!

WoW followers and visitors, don’t be, or don’t remain a victim of negative circumstances. Don’t entertain those thoughts that are contrary to God’s Word and will for your life.

When the Enemy sows those thoughts of defeat and discouragement (and believe me he will), you have a choice:

  • agree with him   OR
  • resist him!

To successfully resist Satan and his tactics within and against your life, engage the help of your Comforter and Helper. Ask the Holy Spirit to lift up a standard against the flood of contrary thoughts sent to swamp your mind (Isaiah 59:19b). Ask him to help you gird your mind with the truth of God’s Word (and ask Him to give you some scriptures to memorise and stand upon during times of attack). Then when Satan throws those thought bombs, you’ll be prepared and you will not become a casualty.

 

(PS: I was not able to find out who wrote the above chorus)

 

Dear followers and visitors, have a blessed and victorious week.

Posted in Blog posts

For God’s Sake, Let’s Grow Up!

 

Do you remember as a child how anxious you were to grow up?

Perhaps one of your parents, or a school teacher, used to measure your height against a wall at regular intervals and you took delight in the fact that you had grown taller since last month or last year.

Perhaps you watched one of your parents perform a task and you wanted to help because it made you feel “grown up”. Or perhaps when family and friends asked you your age, you added a half-year, or a three-quarters-of-a-year to your actual age because it made you sound older (I’m 6 and ¾ years old).

May I ask whether that same eagerness to grow, to mature, has transferred over to your spiritual life?

Are you as keen to imitate your heavenly father and Jesus, your older brother?

Do you take stock of your habitual actions and attitudes in light of God’s Word, to see whether they reflect those of a mature man or woman of God?

And if you do, are you satisfied with your conclusion?

There are several instances in the Bible where we are encouraged to grow and mature in our walk with the Lord.

Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby (1 Peter 2:1-2 NKJV).

 

 …till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect [i.e. mature] man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13).

So, as a child of God have you considered asking the Holy Spirit what area of your personality, or walk with the Lord you need to focus on this year, in order to mature as a believer, in order to walk as a victorious overcomer?

Do you have an accountability partner whom you can trust and with whom you can pray?

As a prayer warrior, or a prayer intern, have you set goals?

It could be as small as praying 5mins each day for a lost soul (whether family member, or friend), or as involved as engaging in diligent intercession for a nation notorious for persecuting Christians.

If having considered the above questions you feel there is a distinct lack in your life with regards to spiritual growth and maturity, between the time you were first born-again into God’s kingdom and where you are now, are you willing to do something about it?

tape-measurelynn-greyling-pixabay-348965_960_720Let me challenge you dear child of God to make 2017 a year of tangible personal growth, a year of perceptible spiritual maturity.

All God requires is a willing heart and obedience. So make him a proud parent! After all, given his amazingly generous sacrifice of love and, after all he has done for me and for you, he surely deserves to be – don’t you think?

Now remember, God doesn’t expect us to achieve all this through our own efforts.

‘Not by might nor by power, [i.e. personal ability] but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts. (Zechariah 4:6b NKJV)

So don’t hesitate to invite the Holy Spirit’s assistance—that’s why Jesus sent him to come alongside us in the first place!

And don’t forget to keep a record of your progress (perhaps through journaling), so you have some means of checking how much you’ve grown and so you have the evidence for which to give glory, thanks and praise to God.

Blogger friends and visitors, I wish you an abundantly blessed and victorious week and, I pray you will experience a discernible measure of growth in your spiritual life this year!

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What’s your response to this post? Please leave a comment in the box below and if you enjoyed reading, or felt challenged, don’t hesitate to show your appreciation by leaving a ‘like’. Thank you.

The above CC0 images are from Pixabay.com

Posted in Blog posts

Dear Valentine – I Love You

CCO Image - courtesy of Pixabay.com
CCO Image – courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

O Lord Jesus, I love you

And today I just want to say

That you have captured my heart

In an unbelievable way.

 

O Lord Jesus, I need you

And today, I express my love

With a heart so full of gratitude

For coming to Earth from above.

 

Dear Lord Jesus, I thank you

For surrounding me with your grace

For granting me every required resource

To overcome all that I face.

 

My precious Lord Jesus, I love you

And look forward to when I can see

Your beauty, your brightness,

Those nail-scarred hands

Which were marred to set me free!

 

© Carol Hind – 11 February 2017

 

Posted in Blog posts

Your Country Needs You!

CC0 Image - Pixabay.com
CC0 Image – Pixabay.com

 

Lot chose to live in Sodom and Gomorrah but the inhabitants’ ungodly behaviour vexed his righteous soul. However, if it were not for Abraham’s appeal to God, Lot may well have been destroyed alongside those degenerate souls (see Genesis 18:16-33).

Fast forward to today’s world and I think many of you readers will agree that it has reached a similar state of lawlessness and depravity.

The Bible declares that “…the whole world lieth in darkness” or “under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19). Certainly, as Christians and prayer warriors, the reprehensible acts of so-called Church leaders who abuse their power and position, the various international crises, the troubling escalation of social ills, can seem utterly overwhelming and unresolvable.

But hallelujah! We serve a God who is able (and willing) to heal our lands and deliver the ungodly from the grip of the Enemy (2 Chronicles 7:14). He is merely looking for someone to step into the breach, to seek his assistance, to plead for his mercy, to make a demand upon his miraculous might.

So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. Ezekiel 22:30 (NKJV).

Will you be that person? Will you allow God to transform your concerns into compassion? Will you don your spiritual armour today and pray?

Dear WoW! follower and visitor, your country needs you! Not as a critic. Not as a self-appointed judge. But as a committed soldier in Christ’s army, as a stalwart warrior. Please don’t hesitate to enrol and take your place on the battlefield. Your prayers can make a difference!

Wishing you all a blessed and victorious week!

Posted in Blog posts

Psst! Have You Heard…?

Carol, you are a sweet positive minded soul that I’ve been fortunate to connect with in this place. I would like to thank you for all your support, for your beautiful posts infused with wisdom and love. It’s been a pleasure relating with you. A Bit About Me My name is Carol and I am […]

via Getting To Know Beautiful Carol — a cooking pot and twisted tales  (before you click – please see intro below – Thank you).

INTRO:

For those of you who would like to have a personal insight into me the individual, the person behind the blogger, I hope you will visit Jacqueline’s site to read this interview.

If you have not already come across her name on your cyber-travels, I would be most surprised, as nearly everywhere I visit, her Gravatar image is already there amongst the likes, or the comments.  As I’m always telling her, Jacqueline is one of the hardest working bloggers I know (as a visit to her site will soon reveal – there are sooo many posts!), and her desire to collaborate with and support other bloggers, is just cause for admiration.

Posted in Blog posts

Promises, Prayer, Preparation

prayerreenablack-pixabay-1308663_960_720

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

Philippians 4:6 (NKJV)

 

 The following devotional is taken from UCB Word for today (May-July 2016), written by Bob and Debbie Gass.

***     ***     ***

 

The famous evangelist R. A. Torrey said two of the greatest secrets to effective prayer lay in:

  1. Studying the Word of God and finding His will as revealed in the promises.
  2. Taking these promises and spreading them out before God in prayer, with the unwavering expectation that He will do what He said.

Don’t tolerate prayerlessness in your life. Don’t allow the stress of so-called progress to dictate how much time you will sit at the feet of your Saviour. Crave those times. Schedule those times.

Grace L. Naessens puts it like this in her poem, The Difference.

I woke early one morning

And rushed right into the day

I had so much to accomplish

That I didn’t have time to pray.

 

Problems just tumbled about me

And heavier came each task

“Why doesn’t God help me?” I wondered

He answered, “You didn’t ask.”

 

I wanted to see joy and beauty

But the day toiled on, gray and bleak.

I wondered why God didn’t show me

He said, “But you didn’t seek.”

 

I tried to come into God’s presence

I used all my keys at the lock.

God gently and lovingly chided

“My child, you didn’t knock.”

 

I woke up early this morning

And paused before entering the day.

I had so much to accomplish

That I had to take time to pray.

 

If you are wise, you will stay ‘prayed up’ and prepared for the inevitable crises of life. It’s foolish to wait until trouble shows up at your doorstep to begin this essential spiritual discipline.

 

***     ***     ***

*Free postal copies of The UCB Word For Today (UK and Republic of Ireland only) are available from:

FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF

For the email version please sign up at: http://www.ucb.co.uk/word-for-today.html

 

CREDIT:  The above CC0 Image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

PS: It’s my birthday today and I’ve just discovered that I shared a birthday with R. A. Torrey!

Posted in Blog posts

WHAT IS YOUR EXPECTATION AND HOPE?

 

But as for me, I trust in You O Lord,

I say, “You are my God.”

My times are in Your hand

(Psalm 31:14-15a New King James Version)

 

New Year Expectations

Perhaps like me, each New Year you have an expectation that this year will be different. You look back at the past 12 months with disappointment because goals you set at the start have not been accomplished, hopes you had were not met and dreams you cherished were dashed. When this happens year after year, it is tempting to become cynical, or pessimistic, defeatist or even indifferent. Que sera, sera, you say to yourself (whatever will be, will be!) yet secretly you feel disappointed.

If the above scenario speaks to you where you are at, don’t become like Alexander Pope, who said:

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”

And please don’t give up on your goals, or on making plans for the future. That is precisely what the Enemy wants! Someone has said that “a failure to plan is a plan for failure!” Goals are not just for the highly ambitious, or for the career-minded. If you want to enjoy success, as depicted in Psalm 1:3, if you want to walk as a victorious overcomer, then you need to plan to make these things happen. If God has thoughts and plans for your future, then why not you?

 

Set Some Goals – Devise a Plan

A failure to plan, is a plan for failure!
A failure to plan, is a plan for failure!

May I encourage you to hold onto God’s Word this year? May I encourage you to focus your plans around His promises?

Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that our Father God has good, positive thoughts about us and pre-ordained plans. Depending on which version you read, He has plans to give us a future and hope (NKJ), or plans to give us an expected end (KJ). So what are your expectations for this year?

Do you expect more defeat, more disappointment, more reasons for discouragement and more experiences of failure?

If so, then you are listening to the wrong voice and you are entertaining the wrong thoughts. Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy. Make no mistake about it – he hates you! His aim in your life is to steal your peace, kill your hopes and dreams, destroy your expectations of God’s blessing and supernatural manifestations in your life. He wants to steal, kill and destroy your faith, knowing full well that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).

 

Be Aware of Satan’s Tactics

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The serpent deceived me… (Genesis 3:13)

And sometimes, because we are beaten down by life’s battles, because we have abandoned hope, because continuing to nurture our expectations in the midst of struggles, trials and temptations or because overcoming opposition feels too hard, we allow ourselves to become a prey of Satan’s manipulations.

We pay heed to his accusations:

against our Father (Has God said? Did He promise?)

against ourselves (You’ll never make it! What makes you think it will be different this time?)

and against others (They’ll let you down! Nobody cares about you! He/she can’t be trusted!).

And if we keep accepting his poisonous lies, if we keep focussing on the negative scenarios which he paints in our mind’s eye, then before we know it, instead of being dressed in the protective armour of God and standing our ground, we find ourselves clothed in the garments of depression and oppression. We begin to flounder in the marshy fields of fear, frustration and failure. We succumb to despair, or unbelief and become his victims.

Don’t let last year’s disappointments, or past hurts dictate this year’s outcome for your life.

 

Take a Leaf From God’s Book

God says we are to imitate him like dear children, so I’d like to encourage you this New Year to follow his example of faith, optimism and persistence. In Genesis, we read about God’s hopes and dreams at the very beginning. He plans to build a community of people who will dwell in a secure place of abundant provision and divine protection, who will live forever, loving and obeying him, enjoying close fellowship with him.

We read how God creates a beautiful paradise and places Adam and Eve within it. However, along came the Enemy in the shape of a serpent. We learn how Satan sowed contrary thoughts in the minds of God’s people and upset his plans. From all appearances, it seemed as if Satan had successfully sabotaged God’s dream.

 

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But fast forward to the book of Revelation and we see that God’s original dream for his beloved creation, finally comes to fruition. In between these two books, we read of his disappointment with people, his hurt, his anger. We see again and again, the undermining of his plans for His chosen nation, Israel. However, he never loses hope. His expectation for the future, for the ultimate realisation of his plans, remains intact.

 

Hope Stabilises Your Emotions

According to the Chambers 21st Century Dictionary, hope is defined as follows:

1a desire for something, with some confidence or expectation of success.

2A person, thing or event that gives one good reason for hope.

3A reason for justifying the belief that the thing desired will still occur.

4Something desired or hoped for.

 

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Let HOPE be your anchor

The Bible tells us that hope is an anchor for our soul (i.e. our mind, will and emotions). When the storms of life assail you, let down your anchor of hope. Anchor yourself to the truth, to the promises of God’s Word.

If God (who is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent), experienced disappointment and delay to his plans, should we as lesser mortals expect any different?

Let your hope be in God and in His Word. God and his Word are one, inseparable. Do you believe this? If so, understand that God and his Word are unchangeable, unshakeable. So let expectations of His goodness, mercy and power abound in your hearts. Let godly expectations and hope reign over disillusionment.

 

God Has Pre-planned Your Future

Why not entrust your future into our Father God’s hands? Entrust this year as part of that bright future, into his safe keeping. Ask God to reveal to you his thoughts and plans for your life. Keep a record of your hopes and expectations. Review them regularly. Pray about and make preparation for them. Ask God for wisdom and ask the Holy Spirit to show you what to do, how to do it and also to help you accomplish it.

When plans go awry, when things appear to be the very opposite of your hopes, dreams and expectations, remember God’s dream, as revealed in Genesis. Remember the Bible’s end from its beginning and encourage yourself in the Lord.

Don’t adopt Alexander Pope’s philosophy and mind-set. Instead:

“Hold fast to dreams

For if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird

That cannot fly.”

Langston Hughes

Instead, determine in your heart to walk each day, each week, each month as a victorious overcomer.

Women of Warfare followers and visitors, may your year be crowned with the Lord’s abundance. May 2017 be a glorious year of achievement, victory and success.

 

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PHOTO CREDITS:  the above graphics used are all CC0 images by courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Posted in Blog posts

The Gift of Words

 

GIVE A GIFT OF PRAYER

I recently read a beautiful blog post that inspired me. I am reblogging it below. Although the post is Christmas-related, I feel its message is still pertinent and, what’s more I’d like to challenge followers and readers to take this concept in another direction and give a gift of prayer this year to your loved ones (or even to your enemies!).

My challenge is to all but particularly to those who do not pray regularly, who see prayer as a dry difficult exercise, or last-ditch resort when afflictions arise or catastrophe seems imminent.

The Bible is replete with examples of people, who motivated by love or concern for others, used their words to send our Father God precious parcels of prayers. People like Moses, Abraham and Paul the apostle. And those gifts of prayers averted judgment, saved lives, strengthened believers during their trials.

I love receiving gifts. I also enjoy the pleasure of giving gifts to others that are appreciated, particularly when that person least expects it. Most of all however, I love to know that someone is holding me up in prayer. To me, when someone sacrifices their time to send petitions to God on my behalf it is like a precious gift.

Is there a friend, a family member, a work colleague, neighbour, or fellow-believer whom you could bless with the gift of your words in prayer this week, this month, this year?

Have a blessed week!

 

Two Drops of Ink: A Literary Blog

By; Michelle Gunnin

I am a natural encourager.  I am also a teacher.  It is not clear to me which came first.  Am I a teacher because I am an encourager, or is it the other way around? Either way, I have found great pleasure in building others up and helping them to feel valued.  I do this in several ways, but mainly I write notes.  They started off as handwritten expressions of appreciation.  Never underestimate the power of a good thank you note.  From there I started writing little memos just to brighten someone’s day.  When the internet was invented, my note writing grew to a whole new level. The speed with which my words traveled was amazing!  Notes turned into letters at the point when my typing speed surpassed my handwritten scrawl, and while I still love a handwritten note, the ability to communicate instantly has made inspiration…

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Posted in Blog posts

To All Fellow-Bloggers, Followers and Visitors

 

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HAPPY NEW YEAR – WOW FOLLOWERS AND VISITORS!

 

As the old year retires and a new one is born, we commit into the hands of our Creator the happenings of the past year and ask for direction and guidance in the new one. May He grant us His grace, His tranquillity and His wisdom!

Peggy Toney Horton, Does God Want Us to Be Happy

 

A New Year has tiptoed in. Let’s go forward to meet it. Let’s welcome the 365 days it brings. Let’s live well with love in our hearts towards God and all people. Let’s walk through its corridors with praise songs on our lips.

Anusha Atukorala

 

Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.

Brad Paisley

 

No, dear brothers [and sisters], I am still not all I should be but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God is calling us up to heaven because of what Christ Jesus did for us. Philippians 3:13-14

 

Lord, as the New Year dawns today,

Help me to put my faults away.

Let me be big in little things;

Grant me the joy which friendship brings;

Keep me from selfishness and spite,

Let me be wise to what is right.

A Happy New Year! Grant that I

May cause no tear to any eye.

When this new year in time shall end,

Let it be said: “I’ve played the friend,

Have lived and loved and laboured here

And made of it a happy year.”

Edgar Guest (1881–1959), “Prayer for the New Year”

 

Thank you dear followers and readers for supporting me with your visits, comments and likes. It is truly appreciated.

May the Lord bless and keep you throughout 2017. May the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. And may the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace. Amen.

Best wishes,

Carol

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https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com

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“…If you love what you are doing, you will be successful” – Albert Schweitzer

 

Posted in Blog posts

WHY THE ANGEL GABRIEL TOOK EXCEPTION (Part 4 of 4)

christmasbells-pixabay1150015_960_720DON’T FORGET THE CHRIST OF CHRISTMAS!

 

Yesterday, we looked at the matter of unbelief and how our limited understanding and experiences of life can get in the way of us exercising faith (which pleases God). I concluded Part 3 with the following question:

Do you believe that our Heavenly Father is a God who honours His Word? Do you believe in your heart (not your head) that He specialises in the impossible?

As we have seen in the case of Zachariah and in the case of Jesus’ proclaimed birth, although it may take years, decades, even centuries—that which God has spoken through his prophets, or declared in his Word, will surely come to pass.

Our Father God loves to upset the status quo. He does not conform to human expectations, or confine himself to the boundaries of natural laws. If your God-given purpose necessitates a miracle, then hey presto—your God will oblige!

 

Ditch Goliath-sized doubts – cultivate mustard seed faith!

Have you been praying and believing God for the impossible? Have you been waiting a long, long, time for God to honour a promise made to you years ago? If you have given up, or are assailed by constant doubts, I can relate. Why not try re-reading and meditating upon the truths of these two women’s stories. I trust they will not only encourage you but revitalise your flagging faith.

mustardseedsgokalp-iscan-pixabay-231302_960_720Women of Warfare, we need to watch that we don’t become complacent in our faith walk, plodding along with the God of miracles in our day-to-day life, yet not expecting the miraculous. Remember, we are not required to have Goliath-sized faith.

Jesus assures us that faith the size of a mustard seed will be sufficient. Unlike the seed of a mango or an avocado pear, the mustard seed is quite tiny. Now isn’t that encouraging?

Notwithstanding the above, if you do have problems with exercising your faith, with believing, take heart! God says he does all things according to the counsel of his own will. We have seen that even in the face of scepticism, God graciously answered Zachariah’s prayers and granted he and his wife a supernatural miracle.

Women of Warfare, please learn a lesson from Gabriel’s response to this priest’s unbelief. Don’t become sceptical and dismissive when it comes to God manifesting his power in your life. Like Mary, don’t hesitate to share your questions, concerns and misgivings with your Father God in prayer but then commit to allowing His Word, His will, his plan and his purpose for your life, to be fulfilled—within his timing!

Do you long to be a vehicle of God’s miraculous power? Do you want to be a victorious overcomer? Then be an incubator of God’s Word!

Both Elizabeth and Mary were ordinary women, in whom the power of God was released in a marvellous way. Our God is no respecter of persons. Are you prepared to be a vessel for his glory? Are you prepared to pray, to ask for your miracle then wait for and accept his timing? 

pfmh1-bible-1850905_960_720As you celebrate Christmas this year, remember and rejoice because God found someone who believed His Word and submitted to His will. Remember, the birth of Jesus took place because of one young girl’s acceptance of God’s inconvenient timing.

 

Have an exceedingly blessed and happy Christmas everyone!

 

 

CREDITS: All the above graphics are CC0 Images courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Posted in Blog posts

WHY THE ANGEL GABRIEL TOOK EXCEPTION (Part 3 of 4)

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And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

“Glory to God in the highest,

And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

(Luke 2:13-14 NKJ)

 

In part two of this series, we saw that as believers betrothed to Christ, if our prayer lives are barren, the responsibility for this is entirely ours.

Moving on with Luke’s account of the nativity story, let’s now consider Elizabeth’s husband, Zachariah.

 

Solid Belief, or Spiritual Scepticism?

Gabriel appears to Elizabeth’s husband, whilst he is carrying out his priestly duties. We understand through Gabriel’s words that Zachariah had prayed to God about his wife’s barrenness. He is now being told “your prayer is heard”.

Do you think Zachariah’s request had somehow been misdirected… had been bouncing around the heavenly sphere and only reached God’s throne around the time of Gabriel’s visit?

Of course not! Zachariah’s words were heard from the very first time he uttered his prayer. Perhaps it was years, even decades after his prayer, before Gabriel’s appearance. It would seem Zachariah had completely given up on receiving his prayer request, had even perhaps forgotten his petition. Clearly though, God had not!

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We can understand, maybe even relate to Zachariah’s response, as Gabriel tells him God is now intending to grant his request and that his wife will bear him a son. Zachariah is sceptical. Zachariah’s unbelief, based upon his sense-knowledge and experience of life, rules out the supernatural ability and intervention of God.

Compare Zachariah’s attitude with the Virgin Mary’s response when she learns that she’s about to conceive the long-awaited Messiah. Mary’s questioning of the angelic messenger sprang (understandably), from honest bewilderment and confusion. She is a virgin. She knows she hasn’t been intimate with a man. She’s aware that procreation requires sexual intimacy.

However, once Gabriel explained how the miracle would occur, her immediate response was humble submission. On the other hand, Zachariah’s questioning of Gabriel stemmed from unbelief. The priest’s response was not only an affront to the heavenly messenger but also tantamount to calling God a liar.

baby-tawnyvanbreda-pixabay784608_960_720Perhaps you are wondering, why Zachariah’s questioning should be seen less favourably than Mary’s. What was the difference between the two questions asked regarding two equally impossible situations?

I believe the difference lies in the fact that Zachariah, aware his wife was barren, was in effect asking God for a miracle. Gabriel confirms that his prayer had not only been heard but is about to be granted. The difference between the two individuals is that Mary believed what she had been told. You will recall from our discussion in Part 1 of this series, that without faith, we cannot please God.

Now, either Zachariah thought Gabriel had lied, or else he felt the miracle he’d sought was now beyond even God’s supreme power. Since passage of time had placed Elizabeth outside the cycle of fertility (according to human perception), he felt a miracle was now out of the question. He believed God’s intervention had to occur within the natural realms of possibility. Zachariah expected God to answer his request within a certain time-frame.

I believe we can make this supposition because of Gabriel’s response to Zachariah’s challenge. He says:

…you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time (Luke 1:20 NKJ – emphasis mine).

 Of Mary however, it is said:

Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfilment of those things which were told her from the Lord (Luke 1:45 NKJ)

Luke 1:37 further assures us that there is nothing impossible for the Lord. In other words, no word of God is incapable of fulfilment.

Do you believe that our Heavenly Father is a God who honours His Word? Do you believe in your heart (not your head) that He specialises in the impossible?

 

(To be continued/…)

 

CREDITS: All graphics within this post are CC0 Images courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blog posts

WHY THE ANGEL GABRIEL TOOK EXCEPTION (Part 2 of 4)

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 REMEMBER THE CHRIST OF CHRISTMAS!

 

My previous post (Part 1) concluded with the following question:

Is your prayer life barren—i.e. not producing results?

The Bible tells us that it was Elizabeth who was barren, implying that the biological reason for the couple’s childlessness may have been her fault.

Let’s stop for a moment and apply both Mary’s and Elizabeth’s situation to ourselves.

We have been espoused to Christ. In 1 Corinthians 11:2 Pauls says:

…For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

 

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Dear reader, if your prayer life is barren, i.e. dry, fruitless, ineffective—please know that the fault is not with Christ, your spiritual husband. Please know and accept that the fault lies with you alone.

We’ll move on now to take a look at the other woman in Luke’s nativity account.

 

Mary – an espoused virgin

Mary is a virgin, engaged to a man called Joseph, a descendant of the house of David. She is God’s chosen vessel to bring Jesus, the Messiah, into the world. Even though Mary is told about God’s plan for her life, she still has to accept what God proposes and submit to his Word in order for the miracle of Christ’s birth to happen.

Luke 1:38 tells us that she agrees. She says:

Behold the maid-servant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.

 

christmasmarydavidmark-pixabay-95559_960_720Now we’ve already learned that Mary is engaged. Her agreement to God’s will could potentially cost her relationship with her fiancé along with her plans for marriage. In fact, submission to God’s will was most likely going to cost Mary her reputation.

Again, let’s pause here, as I temporarily remove the spotlight from Mary, back to you dear reader. What price are you willing to pay for God’s plan and purpose to be fulfilled, for God’s will to be implemented in and through your life?

Are you willing to let go of personal dreams, to forgo your plans, to lose your reputation?

 

(To be continued/…)

 

 

CREDITS:

All graphics within this post are CC0 Images courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blog posts

WHY THE ANGEL GABRIEL TOOK EXCEPTION (Part 1 of 4)

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Remember the Christ of Christmas!

  

Jaded, or jubilant?

How are you feeling about this upcoming season? Excited? Expectant?

Or are you stressed out from all the running about here and there, anxious over the amount of money being spent, or sickened by the stench of commercialism which wafts from TV screens and shopping malls?

In all the hectic rush of making preparations, have we as believers become prey to the secular hype of the season, leaving us with little, or even no time to focus on the Christ of CHRISTmas?

 I trust we are not so familiar with the nativity story that the wonder of God’s marvellous gift to humankind no longer enthrals us.

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Stop! Step back, See

Sometimes it helps to stop, take a step back and examine the familiar from another perspective.

So let’s just do that now shall we? Let’s for a moment forget about the baby in the crib, the shepherds and wise men.

Let’s look instead at how two ordinary women’s lives were impacted by an extraordinary God. Let’s stop, step back and see what the Christmas narrative has to say to us personally about the miraculous experience of these two women.

Luke’s meticulous account of the Christmas story, brings Elizabeth and Mary centre stage. He showcases God’s awesome power in producing not just one, but two impossible pregnancies—one involving a virgin and the other, a woman who is described as “well advanced in years”, in other words well past the age of child-bearing!

 

Elizabeth – a blameless wife

Elizabeth is described as a “daughter of Aaron”. Now, as a woman directly connected with the Aaronic priesthood, Elizabeth would have been familiar with and subject to, the exacting demands of holiness required of the Levitical community. Indeed, Luke tells us that both she and her husband, Zachariah, were righteous and blameless (Luke 1:5-6). However, the couple are childless, a condition which in Jewish culture is seen as a curse, a condition about which Zachariah had apparently sought God.

Now, let me change your focus for a moment and shift it from Elizabeth to yourself. If you are a born-again believer, did you know that as far as God is concerned you are righteous, i.e. blameless?

Romans 5:1 tells us that we have been JUSTIFIED, which is a legal term declaring us as righteous, or signifying our acquittal. Derek Prince brings further enlightenment, when he explains that the terms means: just as if I had never sinned!

christmasglobepixabay-1883341_960_720Are you aware dear woman of God that you are a member of God’s holy priesthood?

And now you have become living building-stones for God’s use in building his house. What’s more you are his holy priests; so come to him—[you who are acceptable to him because of Jesus Christ]—and offer to God those things that please him (1 Peter 2:5 The Living Bible).

What is it that pleases God? We can find the answer in Hebrews 11:6—FAITH! We are told that without faith, it is impossible to please our Father God.

So, now we know (if we didn’t already) that we are priests, and as priests unto God, we are blameless. And as priests we are to offer prayers that please him, prayers that are inspired by faith.

Now, let me ask you another question – is your prayer life barren—i.e. not producing results?

 

 

(To be continued…)

 

PHOTO CREDITS:

All graphics within this post are CC0 Images courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blog posts

Que Sera Sera?

What are you doing to help mend our broken world?
What are you doing to help mend our broken world?

 

Have you ever looked at this world in despair? I can relate!

It is a rare event when media reports on international issues raise a smile from me, or a sense of belief that all is well with the world. I think I can honestly say that most times after listening to a news channel, or reading a newspaper, I feel disgusted, disquieted or depressed. And sometimes I can even feel ashamed to admit that I belong to the human race – in fact, somebody stop the world – I wanna get off!

When I see reports of police brutality against the mentally ill, or against black men, young girls and women, I feel outrage. When I hear stories about a high-ranking official’s debauchery and betrayal of trust (having participated in child abuse, or corruption or paedophilia), I feel sickened.

But however indignant and self-righteous I may be, it cannot compare to how God must feel about these things. Consider His response to Sodom and Gomorrah. Consider his attitude to the antediluvian days.

Are you troubled about these things? Are you concerned that the world seems to be getting darker and people more depraved, less tolerant?

If so, are you doing anything about it?

Me? (you ask). What can poor, inconsequential me do about this humongous issue?

Well, for a start, you can pray! You can stand in the gap for those individuals that touch your heart. You can intercede for those situations that vex your soul.

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There was a time in biblical history, when God’s heart and compassion moved him to do something. He wanted to bring healing, peace and restoration to the offending circumstances that he saw. However, he could find NOBODY who cared enough to stand in the gap and mediate between Him and those people, whose lives were at odds to his standards, whose lives were being insidiously influenced by the Enemy.

Do you care? And if you do, do you care enough? Are you willing to take time out of your charmed lives to pray? Are you willing to set aside your own disappointments, discouragement or despair to send God fervent petitions on behalf of others?

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If you are a member of Western civilisation, are you able to acknowledge that you are better off than a great many others?

Consider refugees living in cramped muddy conditions in a country that does not really want them. Consider those fleeing torture, or risking their lives and the lives of their children in vessels that are not sail-worthy, in order to preserve their lives, in order that they may enjoy liberty, freedom of speech, or freedom of religion. Consider parents in the developing world who don’t know where their next meal is coming from, who don’t have the means to feed and nurture their family properly.

 

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And moving closer to home, think of the homeless sleeping on a piece of cardboard in freezing weather, think of parents whose children have gone missing, think of those parents who’ve suffered the anguish and pain of children who have been murdered.

Perhaps you are thinking: Lady Cee, prayer is not my calling. I leave that sort of thing to my church prayer group, to those who feel called to the ministry of intercession.

Well, my response to you dear fellow saint is: poppycock! If that is your honest belief, then you are mistaken.

Listen to this:

Then He [Jesus] spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart (Luke 18:1)

…when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. (Matthew 6:6)

Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41)

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18)

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving (Colossians 4:2)

Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Now to whom do you think the above writers were addressing these words? To whom do you think Jesus was speaking? Is it only to those who feel called to prayer and intercession? No my dear friend. If you are a born-again, blood-washed child of God, if you consider yourself to be a member of the body of Christ, then God’s Word is being spoken to you!

Only deception by Satan, or ignorance of the Word of God and of who you are in Christ, or utter selfishness, or slothfulness, stops us from obediently taking our place on the battlefield of prayer.

So now you know!

And now that you know, what will you do? Will you care? Will you allow compassion for people and outrage against the Enemy to propel you to your prayer closet?

I am praying and trusting God that it will.

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WoW! followers and visitors, to those of you for whom this message is pertinent, my prayer is that you will not just read this post and go on your merry little way. My prayer is that you and I will hear the cry of our Father God’s heart and respond to his desire for someone to stand in the gap.

Today, I am challenging you and I am challenging myself to make a choice. Choose to be a mediator! Choose to stand against the exploits of the Enemy! Choose to care and pray!

And for those of you who are diligently praying, be encouraged – your efforts will be rewarded. Just continue the good work.

 

QUESTION:

How do you respond to disturbing world events? Has this post inspired you to act differently? Please let me know your response in the comment box below.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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PHOTO CREDITS: all the above photographs are CC0 images – courtesy of Pixabay.com

SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: the above biblical texts have all been taken from the New King James version

 

Posted in Blog posts

All Types of Prayer – Part 2

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CC0 Image courtesy of Manfred Antranias Zimmer (Pixabay.com)

 

 

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

Ephesians 6:13-18 The Message

The following is taken from the UCB Word For Today* devotional, written by Bob and Debbie Gass.

***     ***     ***

DIFFERENT TYPES OF PRAYER (2) – Extract from: 20 November 2015

Here are three more types of prayer:

1) The prayer of petition

You must learn to be confident in asking God to meet your needs. Jesus promised, ‘What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them’ (Mark 11:24 KJV).

If we’d stop trying to impress God, we’d be a lot better off. Length, loudness, or eloquence isn’t the issue; it’s the sincerity of our heart, the faith that’s in our heart, and the assurance that we’re praying according to God’s will that gets results.

 

2) The prayer of agreement

Jesus said, ‘If two of you … agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father’ Matthew 18:19 NIV 2011 Edition). When you’re up against something too big to handle alone, find a prayer partner and get into agreement with them. This isn’t for people who constantly live in strife, then decide to agree because they’re desperate. God honours the prayers of those who pay the price to live together in harmony (see Psalm 133:1).

 

3) The prayer of thanksgiving

When your prayers outnumber your praises, it says something about your character. Self-centred people ask, but rarely appreciate. God won’t release us into the fullness of all He has planned for us until we become thankful for what we’ve already received.

Petition avails much; praise avails much more! ‘In every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God’ (Philippians 4:6 NIV 2011 Edition). Powerful living comes through thanksgiving. We can literally ‘pray without ceasing’ (1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV) by being thankful all day long, praising God for His favour, mercy, loving kindness, grace, longsuffering, and goodness.

 

*Free postal copies of The UCB Word For Today (UK and Republic of Ireland only) are available from:

FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF

For the email version please sign up at: UCB

 

Women of Warfare! followers and visitors have a blessed and victorious week.

Posted in Blog posts

All Types of Prayer – Part 1

Hello WoW! followers and visitors, I’d like to spend some time focusing on prayer for the next few posts. After all, as prayer warriors and victorious overcomers, prayer should be an important feature in our lives.

prayingangelmanfredantraniaszimmerpixabay-297916_960_720

CC0 Image courtesy of Manfred Antranias Zimmer (Pixabay.com)

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

Ephesians 6:13-18 The Message

The following is taken from the UCB Word For Today* devotional, written by Bob and Debbie Gass.

***     ***     ***

DIFFERENT TYPES OF PRAYER (1) – Extract from: 19 November 2015

In scripture there are many different kinds of prayer. Let’s look at some of them and see what we can learn:

1) The prayer of surrender 

When Paul met Christ on the Damascus Road he prayed, ‘Lord, what wilt though have me do?’ (Acts 9:6 KJV). That’s like signing your name to a blank cheque and saying, ‘Here I am, Lord, do with me as you please. I hope I like what you choose, but even if I don’t I’ll do it anyway; Your will be done, not mine.’

You’re deciding to voluntarily follow God rather than trying to get Him to follow you. As a result He will do the work that needs to be done in you, so that He can do the work that He desires to do through you.

2) The prayer of commitment

The Bible says, ‘Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him’ (1 Peter 5:7 AMP). As long as you keep trying to control everything, your stress levels will keep mounting. But once you learn to hand things over to God, you’ll wonder why you spent even a single day worrying.

3) The prayer of intercession

The prophet Ezekiel writes, ‘I looked for someone… who would… stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land’ (Ezekiel 22:30 NIV 2011 Edition). ‘The gap’ is the distance between what is – and what can be. And when there’s a ‘gap’ in someone’s relationship with God due to a particular sin, as a believer you have the privilege (and responsibility) of placing yourself in that gap and praying for them.

(to be continued)

*Free postal copies of The UCB Word For Today (UK and Republic of Ireland only) are available from:

FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF

For the email version please sign up at: UCB

Posted in Blog posts

Don’t Be A Fool!

foolgerdaltmann-pixabay-140229_960_720

“Count your blessings and be grateful not a great fool.” ― Habeeb Akande

 

 

Hello dear readers,

Thank you for joining me on the final leg of my 6-day “thanks-fest”. I trust by now you are aware of how much I appreciate you all for taking the time to read my posts and interact with me. Given the amount of great content on the web and in the WordPress Reader, I count your continued interest and support an honour. Thank you!

And now to the task in hand.

Gratitude. Or its ugly and contrary opposite twin—ingratitude!

Whilst doing some research on this theme, I came across the following:

The Discipline of Gratitude means we are practicing and producing an attitude of gratitude, of being thankful, even when we cannot see what we have. This is an aspect of our worship of Christ—expressing to him our appreciation and reverence for how he has benefited our lives. We are grateful because his blood has redeemed us. This also has a relational application in that it helps us deal with others as we show our support, appreciation, and benevolence to them for how they have benefited our lives.

Dr Richard J Krejcir

 

Dr Krejcir’s observation, brought to mind the biblical story of Nabal. Are you familiar with it? If not, and you’d like to read it for yourself, or refresh your memory, the account can be found at 1 Samuel 25:2-38.

Nabal is a man who benefitted from the kindness of David and his warrior men, when they provided free protection to his herdsmen. This is a man who is wealthy and could afford to offer a gesture of appreciation without it affecting him materially. But this mean ingrate, not only refused to do so, but decided to slander David. Nabal acted true to his nature and the meaning of his name, which is “Fool”!

The biblical account provides us with an example of both gratitude and ingratitude. Nabal’s churlish behaviour, provoked outrage and almost cost the unnecessary and violent loss of life. In the end, only his life was lost!

Abigail’s generous expression of gratitude not only saved the day but prompted praise and thankfulness to God from David. He appreciated her generosity and wise intervention, which prevented him from taking matters into his own hands and seeking revenge for Nabal’s insults.

 

Ingratitude is a crime more despicable than revenge, which is only returning evil for evil, while ingratitude returns evil for good. William George Jordan

 

Ingratitude is an insult. It diminishes the ingrate. Gratitude opens the door to favour and goodwill.

As I have sought to encourage over the past few days, we are to reflect upon the goodness of God and thank him for the benefits he has bestowed upon our lives. However, we should also remember to thank those who’ve sown positive seeds in our lives.

Have you recently benefited from someone’s kindness? Have you thanked them, or thanked God for them and asked him to bless them?

 Women of Warfare! followers and visitors have a blessed week.

 

Posted in Blog posts

And the award goes to…


awardpixabay-166945_960_720
Lady Cee’s trophy of appreciation for blogger support

 

 

Hello dear readers,

This is the final leg of my 6-day “thanks-fest”. I do apologise for the delay in producing my final post. And whilst I am on the subject, can I say how much I appreciate and admire those of my blogging peers who produce a regular diet of uplifting and positive posts, almost daily and some even several times a day?!

I would also like to thank the following bloggers who have demonstrated their kind support by reading, liking or commenting on my posts relating to this theme on gratitude:

@humanity777 (x 3)

@ellisnelson

@Mack (x 5)

@Robert Lambert Jones III (x 3)

@Jonathan Camac (x 5)

@arm5

@Chris Nicholas

@mitchteemley

@Scarletpiper

@beautybeyondbones (x 4)

@thepearlsisters (x 2)

@The Bellezza Corner (x 2)

@thisisyouth

@Julius

@Dustin Meyer

@cedricramey (x 2)

@havau22

@beholdinghimministries

@LenelnJapan

@begintobelieve

@Bonsai

@Frank Solanki

@Sailing a 34’ Catamaran Named Chiron

@conversationcat

thank-you-pixabay1434501_960_720My sincere thanks to all of you for not only giving me your ear but also taking the time to respond with your precious likes and comments. Thank you!

And because I truly appreciate you and think you deserve a post to yourselves, instead of combining this ‘thank you’ with my final post (as originally intended), I am keeping the two separate. My final post in this series, is therefore yet to come.

Have a blessed day!

 

Posted in Blog posts

Minted or Bankrupt?

thanksheart-gerdaltmann-pixabay1577791_960_720
CC0 Image – Gerd Altmann (Pixabay.com)

 

Hello dear reader,

Thank you for joining me on day 5 of my “thanks-fest”.

 

And now just as you trusted Christ to save you, trust him too for each day’s problems; live in vital union with him.

Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him. See that you go on growing in the Lord, and become strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all he has done.

Colossians 2:6-7 (The Living Bible)

 

goldpixabay-744468_960_720None is more impoverished than the one who has no gratitude. Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.

Fred De Witt Van Amburgh

 

SELF-SCRUTINY:

Are you minted or bankrupt?

 

Best wishes,

Carol

 

 

Posted in Blog posts

Reasons to be thankful (Part 3)

CC0 Image – Pixabay.com

 

Do you know how blessed you are?

You have made it this far in the year – others planned to yet they have not!

If you are celebrating Thanksgiving today with family and friends, I wish you a joyous and memorable occasion. I pray for peace, unity and journeying mercies for you and your loved ones.

 

***     ***     ***

 

Welcome to day 4 of my “thanks-fest”. Thank you so much for joining me here.

In my posts (Reasons to be thankful Part 1  and Part 2) we saw that when it comes to our relationship with God, it is vital we develop and maintain an attitude of gratitude. We discovered that when we habitually express our appreciation to the Lord, we are able to make a sober assessment of ourselves and our achievements.

We learned that the practice of thanksgiving magnifies our Heavenly Father’s ability, attributes and authority above our personal circumstances, enabling us to transfer our focus from pressing needs, overwhelming fears and personal limitations, to the one who is the ultimate solution to our dilemmas, distress and disappointments.

Today, I’d like to get on with the business of thanksgiving.

Dear Father God,

I want to thank you for the following:

  • For watching over me throughout last night and keeping me safe from harm, danger and evil

  • For waking me up this morning to greet another new day

  • For your unconditional, everlasting and extravagant love

  • For accepting me as I am, despite my failures, faults and shortcomings

  • For rescuing me from the realm of darkness and translating me into your kingdom of light

  • For your promises to supply all my needs

  • For miraculous answers to my prayers

  • For divine protection in accordance with Psalm 91

  • For sending your Son to die for me, redeeming me from Satan’s clutches and from the curse of the Law

  • Because you have given me power (authority) over the Enemy and you’ve promised that when I exercise this authority, absolutely nothing shall hurt me

  • Because you have promised that no weapon forged against me will prosper (i.e. be successful in its intent to destroy me)

  • Because you are a covenant-keeping God

  • Because you are the only true and living God and yet you deign to visit me, help me and pursue a relationship with me

  • Because you are my God!

  • Because you have promised you will never leave or forsake me

  • Because you have promised that when I am fearful, you will be with me to strengthen and uphold me

  • Because you have promised to keep me in perfect peace, if I keep my eyes on you

  • Because you know the plans that you have for my life and those plans give me hope for my final outcome

  • Because you are able to do super-abundantly above all that I would even dare to ask or think. You are able to do infinitely beyond my highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams

  • Because you are able to cause ALL things to work together for my good (i.e. for my benefit, progress and welfare), no matter how bleak or impossible to resolve those situations may seem!

thank-youoberholstervenita-971644_960_720Finally, I thank you Father God for the everyday blessings of shelter, food and clean water. Thank you for my husband, our house and our jobs, which enable us to maintain our home and bless the work of your kingdom.

Thank you for your gifts and abilities invested within my life. Thank you for the opportunities (both current and future), to use these abilities and gifts for your glory and in service of your kingdom.

I am grateful that I live in a country where I am free to worship you without fear of persecution and that I have access to the Bible and other resources, which aids my growth and development as a follower of Christ.

Lord God, for all the above I thank you.

 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 

Best wishes,

Carol

https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com

https://plus.google.com/collection/Qw96cB

“…If you love what you are doing, you will be successful” – Albert Schweitzer

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I do hope you are enjoying these posts. Why not share your response with me in the comment box below? I look forward to hearing from you.

Posted in Blog posts

Reasons to be thankful (Part 2)

 

Hello precious readers!

It’s day 3 of my ‘thanks-fest’ and we are half-way through this 6-day event. Thank you so much for popping over to my corner of cyberspace. I invite you to join with me in celebrating the goodness of our Heavenly Father.

Yesterday, we looked at how expressing our gratitude to God on a regular basis, stops us from taking his goodness and undeserved mercies for granted. It stops us falling into pride, walking through life with blind arrogance, believing that our status and good fortune has been acquired solely by our own efforts or greatness.

Today, I’d like to focus on another aspect of gratitude.

When we take steps to reflect on God’s provision and protection, this allows us to magnify the Lord in our hearts and minds. We also stir up our faith and expectations regarding fulfilment of outstanding prayer requests and regarding those promises upon which we may be standing.

Now don’t get me wrong here—when I say God is magnified, I do not mean that our praise and thanksgiving makes Him any bigger. He is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. You can’t get much bigger than that!

No. When I say we magnify God, I mean that in our own hearts and minds, we have an increased perception and awareness of his greatness, goodness and glory. I mean we have deliberately chosen to enlarge and elevate our perception and experience of God, above our egos, petty whims, disappointments and undesirable circumstances.

When we think of a magnifying glass, it is designed to make something you cannot see clearly with the natural eye, appear magnified. But has that item you are observing been made physically bigger? No! It is the instrument used that increases our capacity to see the item better. In the same way, our praise and thanksgiving to God, our expressed gratitude does not make him bigger. Our praise and thanksgiving increases our capacity to see him better! Our praise and thanksgiving shifts our focus from the stuff we own (which can lead to pride of life), or the stuff we want (which promotes discontent).

When dealing with the Children of Israel, God orchestrated special times of remembrance, so that his chosen nation would not forget who He is and what He had done for them. Perhaps we should do likewise and set up our own mechanisms for memorialising personal milestones.

If you are familiar with the Bible, you’ll be aware of its many accounts regarding the nation of Israel and how they’d forgotten what the Lord had done for them. As human beings, we tend to have short memories! There have been times when I’ve looked back through my devotional diaries to see accounts of breakthroughs and answered prayers, which I’d completely forgotten about. Some of them have been so meaningful and momentous to me, I would never have believed that I could have forgotten them. And yet I did. The evidence testifying that I had done so, was recorded in black and white.

Now, if they hadn’t been documented, those wonderful acts of God, those precious answers to prayers could not have been recalled, and would not have been remembered. But because they were recorded, I was able to give my amazing Father God, jubilant thanks for past triumphs and miraculous answers to prayer. And that same evidence, enables me to give thanks in anticipation of His miraculous intervention, or wonderful provision in the future.

Before I close, I’d like to worship the Lord with the following song, which goes some way to expressing my gratitude to the Lord, for his unconditional love, abundant mercies and faithfulness. Won’t you join me?

 

 

Dear reader, do you have a way of memorialising significant milestones in your walk with the Lord? If not, may I challenge you to consider setting something up? It could be a journal, or a “forget-Him-not” jar, or whatever you wish.

Please share your response to this post in the comment box below. I look forward to hearing from you.

With heartfelt best wishes,

Carol

https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com

https://plus.google.com/collection/Qw96cB

“…If you love what you are doing, you will be successful” – Albert Schweitzer

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Posted in Blog posts

Reasons to be thankful (Part 1)

 

 

thankyouheartpda

 

 Welcome to day two of my personal ‘thanks-fest’. I appreciate you joining me.

Without further ado, let’s jump right into those reasons why we should be thankful to God.

The following pointers provide us with a biblical perspective for maintaining a heart of gratitude.

 

Reason 1:

The failure to be thankful darkens our hearts and causes us to entertain confusing and futile thoughts.

…because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Romans 1:21)

Chambers 21st Century Dictionary defines futile as follows: unproductive, unavailing, foolish, vain, or pointless.

Actions, are in effect, enacted thoughts, so if your efforts are consistently unproductive, or unsuccessful, perhaps the underlying cause is an unthankful attitude.

 

Reason 2:

A habitual failure to be thankful encourages a murmuring spirit, which God hates (see Numbers 21:5-7). God sees grumbling and complaining as ungodly traits (Jude 1:15-16).

 

Reason 3:

A thankful heart keeps us humble. We recognise that it is because of the goodness of God that we are able to enjoy whatever benefits and blessings we have. We acknowledge that if it were not for his breath within us, keeping us alive, we would not be in a position to work, or possess the capacity to make our efforts fruitful and productive.

Again and again, the Bible clearly shows that pride will deceive us into thinking that our achievements and accrued blessings are the sole result of our own efforts. We should take warning from the stories of Nebuchadnezzar and his son, Belshazzar.

Although both were influential Persian kings with great wealth, they were each humbled by God because of their boastful failure to acknowledge and glorify Him as the one who had exalted them (see Daniel chapters 4-5).

In direct contrast, we see that Daniel was accustomed to praying and giving God thanks, so God prospered him. (Daniel 6:10, 28).

God instructs us to:

…remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth… (Deuteronomy 8:18).

How do we remember him? By expressing our thanks and appreciation. By maintaining an attitude of gratitude.

 

Reason 4:

A thankful heart moves us towards wholeness and opens the door to experiencing the miraculous. Remember the 10 lepers? I love reading this account in the old King James’ authorised version. It reveals that whilst the 9 ungrateful lepers were cleansed from leprosy, the one who returned to express his thanks, was made whole.

To me that means those who were cleansed no longer suffered from the cause and accompanying symptoms that marked them out as lepers (i.e. rashes, sores and infection). However, I believe the one who was made whole, probably experienced a supernatural miracle – the re-growth of lost fingers and toes! And all because he expressed his appreciation to the Lord. What a wonderful fringe benefit!

 

Reason 5:

Finally, thankfulness when combined with praise or prayer requests, produces a dynamic and effective spiritual life and promotes confidence in the presence of God (Psalm 100:4; Philippians 4:6).

The Bible is replete with exhortations to thank God. In Psalm 107, the following words are repeated four times:

Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!

 

In light of the above, I would encourage anyone who does not currently maintain an attitude of gratitude to the Lord, to repent and make immediate amends.

Meanwhile Women of Warfare! followers and visitors, may the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; may the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Amen.

Best wishes,

Carol

 

“…If you love what you are doing, you will be successful” – Albert Schweitzer

https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com

https://plus.google.com/collection/Qw96cB

 

Posted in Blog posts

My 6-day Thanks-Fest

Dear Father God, I thank you!

 

CCO Image - Gerd Altmann (Pixabay.com)
CCO Image – Gerd Altmann (Pixabay.com)

 

Hello dear readers,

I’m pretty sure that many of you are engaged with preparations for your Thanksgiving meal. Since we in the UK do not celebrate this holiday, I (thankfully) am not occupied with such preparations!

However, I’ve decided that I will join you all with my own brand of thanksgiving celebrations and to that end, I intend to post daily for the next 6 days on the theme of gratitude. I do hope you will find time to check in with me and that you will enjoy the thanksgiving fare I plan to dish up for your consumption.

But before I leave you with today’s offering, may I confide in you?

I hope by now that people who are familiar with my posts will agree that I’m generally a thankful person. For those of you who are new followers, let me hasten to say that I’m truly grateful to God for his goodness and I do appreciate the kindness and thoughtful deeds of others toward me and my loved ones. I express that thankfulness to God, daily.

However, on reading past entries in my writing journal, I discovered that most of these entries reflected on the negative aspects of my life. I noted that my attitude of gratitude (a good thing), was being undermined by a habitual mindset, which leans heavily towards negative thinking (a not so good thing).

Now, since maintaining an attitude of gratitude is supposed to improve my general outlook on life, I don’t want this state of affairs to continue. Perhaps there’s someone out there who, having examined their life, feels similarly? If so, why not join me on my 6-day thanks-fest? I’d appreciate the company!

Without further ado, I have pleasure in serving you with our first course. Enjoy!

 

 

WoW! followers and readers – until tomorrow, au revoir!

Posted in Blog posts

The Secret of Effective Prayer

Prayer is our spirit making live contact with God's Spirit
Prayer is our spirit making live contact with God’s Spirit

 

The following is an excerpt from an excellent devotional magazine, Word for Today*, which is written by Bob and Debby Gass and produced by United Christian Broadcasters (UCB).

The extract below is from Reinhard Bonnke, founder of Christ for all Nations (CfaN).

***     ***     ***

PRAYER

Prayer is not just words. It is our spirit making contact with God’s Spirit. Life flows constantly from God like light from the sun. In prayer we expose ourselves to its rays and sunbathe in the warmth of divine love. We absorb His goodness.

We speak to God in prayer and He speaks to us any time He wants. God reveals His will to all of us – we don’t need to pry it out of Him. The aim of prayer is to bring us into line with His will, and then He hurries to answer. We can’t twist God’s arm by fasting, or impressive numbers of intercessors (James 4:2). He looks upon our hearts. If we want to pray prayers that prevail with God, we must first let God prevail in our own lives. Until we yield to Him, we shall never move the hand that moves the world. God wills only His own will. When our will is brought into line with His will, then His will can be done through our prayers, which become mighty indeed. His Word is His will.

When we pray, we pray on the same basis and with the same rights as Paul, John, James and Peter. We rank equal with the greatest saints. The promises to them are the promises to us. They prayed the same Lord’s Prayer as we pray. We have the same privileges as they had. God has no favourites except we are ALL His favourites. They had the same key to the door that we have – the name of Jesus. We do not need angels or saints to usher us into God’s presence. We are children and heirs – we have complete freedom of access into our Father’s house. That is a very good reason indeed for praying.

—————–

*Free postal copies of The UCB Word For Today (UK and Republic of Ireland only) are available from:

FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF

Tel: 0845 60 40 401

For the email version please sign up at: UCB

 

Image: CCO – courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

Posted in Blog posts

We Salute You!

 

CC0 image - Anne Ekland (Pixabay.com)
CC0 image – Anne Ekland (Pixabay.com)

 

Many of you, I am sure, will be aware that today is Remembrance Day. A day to commemorate the lives of men and women who’ve lost their lives defending our freedom. These men and women, whether willingly or from a sense of duty, or forcibly conscripted, found themselves on the battlefield engaging with the enemy.

Remembrance Day is a time not only to remember the fallen dead but also celebrate our war veterans and heroes and consider the members of our armed forces, who are currently away from their home and their loved ones, fighting for the cause of justice.

We salute these courageous men and women (both dead and alive, young and old).

But let us not stop there.

Let us turn our attention to a group of unsung heroes.

Allow me to highlight the contribution of certain Christian women (mothers and grandmothers), who  throughout the history of the Church assumed positions on the spiritual frontline, to pray for their loved ones.

These mighty prayer warriors, these sanctified soldiers, voluntarily enrolled within the ‘Intercessors’ Infantry’ and fought for the spiritual lives and freedom of their families. Many of these warriors have long since passed from this earth into God’s presence. However, their legacy of fervent, effective prayer and intercession should never be taken for granted and certainly never forgotten.

I refer to women such as Hannah, the mother of Samuel. Her fervent prayer for a son, whom she then dedicated to the Lord, for life, meant that this young boy who ministered to the Lord under Eli’s supervision, was described as one who “…grew in stature, and in favour both with the Lord and men” (1 Samuel 2:26). Coincidentally, we read a similar statement in Luke 2:52, made about none other than God’s only begotten son, Jesus!

I believe that because of Hannah’s prayers, this young servant of the Lord (mentored in an environment where other priests—Eli’s own sons—were corrupt, disobedient and disrespectful to God’s commands), was able to enjoy a close relationship with the Lord, in a context where the word and revelation of God, had become rare. Samuel continued to grow and flourish in the service of God and became an influential figure in the history of the Children of Israel.

Next, let us consider Saint Monica, the mother of Saint Augustine of Hippo. In his autobiography, Confessions, Saint Augustine recalls how his mother wept and wept for him, distressed over his wayward and unrepentant heart. In fact, Augustine reveals, that his mother wept more tears for him over the prospect of his spiritual death, than other mothers had wept over the physical demise of their children. I wonder, would we have been able to benefit from the writings of this early theologian and philosopher, had Monica not persisted in prayer for her son?

Again, we cannot forget Susanna Wesley, mother to John and Charles Wesley, two of our church history’s most notable evangelists. The difficulties and busyness of Susanna’s life, meant that her only means of escape to the prayer closet was to throw her apron over her head, warning her large brood of children that whenever they observed her in this state, she was praying and therefore not to be disturbed. Given this wonderful example from a woman who bore 19 children, dare we say of ourselves, that we do not have enough time to pray?

Let me take this opportunity to issue a challenge. Speaking to those amongst us called to prayer and intercession (and that is everyone in the Body of Christ), let me suggest that if we are constantly making excuses about our prayerlessness, we need to be honest before God and with ourselves. Let us admit that it is not time we lack, but the inclination!

I now turn my attention to Eliza, mother of Charles Spurgeon. He confides:

I cannot tell how much I owe to the solemn words and prayers of my Christian mother. It was a custom while we were children to sit around the table and read the Scripture verse by verse while Mother explained it to us. After that was done, then came the time of pleading with God.

His account evokes memories of my own childhood, when my recently deceased mother gathered her children for weekly Bible study and prayer. I can also testify to my mother’s diligence in interceding for the salvation of her offspring, which resulted in five of her seven children, turning their lives over to Christ. Alas, not all five continued their walk with the Lord but, over a period of 40 plus years, my mother’s intercession for her children never flagged—until she became incapacitated with dementia.

And how can we forget Catherine Booth, a spiritual general and trailblazer of her era? Along with her husband, William Booth, this spiritual heroine co-founded the Salvation Army. Catherine’s diligent prayers meant that every one of her eight children became active in the Salvation Army, two of which became generals.

All these women, whose voluntary enrolment in the army of God, whose selfless engagement on the frontline of a spiritual battlefield, produced men and women of valour and distinction, through their fervent prayers and intercessory warfare. Their prayers secured a rich legacy of theological writings, sermons and hymns. Without these ladies and other praying women throughout the history of the Church, our Christian heritage would not be the calibre that it is today.

Women of God and women of prayer throughout the ages, we salute you!

I turn now to the matter of ourselves in this time of fear, uncertainty and perplexity. I turn now to the need for modern-day saints, for committed men and women to take their place on the battlefield of prayer. If ever there was a time where intercessory prayer and spiritual warfare is needed, it is right now.

So let me ask, did you, or do you have a praying mother or grandmother? Why not take some time out today to thank God for them… to remember and celebrate their lives?

And, let me further ask—are you a mother, or a grandmother? If so, are you regularly praying for those children within your sphere of influence? Make no mistake, their spiritual future and welfare, and the spiritual freedom and heritage of generations to come, might well depend on you!

 

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