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 

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Your Spiritual Confidante

 

Sunday’s Supplications (3)

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6I am weary with my groaning;

All night I make my bed swim;

I drench my couch with my tears.

 

9…the Lord has heard the voice

of my weeping.

The Lord has heard my

supplication;

The Lord will receive my prayer.

(Psalm 6:6, 9 NKJV)

 

In the above quote, we read of David’s distress about his circumstances. What I love about this man is his total honesty. He does not say that he shed a few tears. He uses language that reveals his utter desolation and sense of hopelessness. His relationship with God is such that he feels able to be totally transparent and vulnerable.

Despite David’s despair, at some point during his communication with God, he receives an assurance that the Lord has heard his tears, heard his supplication and received his prayer.

Dear reader, let me ask you a question – do you have such a relationship with God that when you pray, you are confident he has heard you?

It is obvious from the Psalms that David’s relationship with God was of utmost importance to him. No wonder God declared: ‘…I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart…’ (Acts 13:22 NKJV)

Fast forward through the pages of scripture and we meet another man, who is often referred to as the one whom Jesus loved (see John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20). This same disciple wrote:

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

(1 John 5:14-15 NKJV)

 

What is the thing that these two men of God from completely different eras share? It is their supreme confidence that God hears their prayers. And that confidence comes from maintaining a close relationship with the Lord.

And so let me ask another question:

How confident are you that God hears your prayers?

Women of Warfare readers, let me assure you today that we serve a God who hears and answers prayers.

 

This Week’s Prayer Focus:

Let us pray for ourselves and for one another that we will have a strong relationship with God, which leads to a heartfelt assurance that he hears our prayers.

PS: Don’t forget to put on your spiritual armour before entering the battlefield of prayer!

 

Father God,

I want to thank you for making me worthy to come into your holy presence. I want to thank you for granting me the privilege of entering into your throne room. I want to thank you for the precious blood of your Son, Jesus, which enables me to fellowship with you without fear or condemnation.

Lord God, you began this relationship when you bestowed your unconditional love upon me, when you accepted me into your family. I want to love you with all of my heart, soul and mind – the way you deserve and the way you command. I ask that you stir up within me an ever increasing desire to know you, to fellowship with you, to please and obey you.

Father God, I commit into your hands my brothers and sisters in Christ represented among the followers of, and visitors to this blog. I ask that during the days, weeks and months ahead you draw them into a closer relationship with you. And, as they draw near to you, I thank you for your promise that you will draw even nearer to them. I ask that this closeness will grant them complete confidence that you hear their prayers, that you are concerned about their welfare, that you are able to cause all things that occur in their lives to work together for their good, their benefit and their blessing.

Thank you for hearing my prayer and granting this request, which I ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.

© Carol Hind

 

Dear reader, God awaits you in his throne-room – will you keep that appointment, or will you be a “no show”?

Have a blessed week!

 

​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…

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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

Prayer Gem 11

Are you rooted and grounded in God’s Word?

 

The only currency God trades in is faith and ‘faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God’ (Romans 10:17 KJV).

As you immerse yourself in Scripture, faith takes root and begins to grow. And faith is what makes your prayers effective.

(Bob & Debby Gass – UCB Word for Today)

 

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Self-Scrutiny:

Are you spending quality time in God’s Word?

Are you allowing the word of Christ to dwell in you richly? (Colossians 3:16)

 

Prayer warriors and interns, be sure to put on God’s protective armour each day!

 

Women of Warfare readers – may God’s hand of divine protection rest upon you and your loved ones throughout this week.

 

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

 

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

Prayer Gem 10

 

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

 

Have you sent Jesus your kneemail today?

 

Behind some of the greatest spiritual awakenings in history was an unseen, unsung force known as ‘intercessors’. Many of the victories we celebrate in the open are first won by such people in the secret place of prayer.

(From: UCB Word For Today – 11 December 2016 – written by Bob & Debby Gass)

 

*Free postal copies of 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

 

 

Warriors and prayer-interns, be sure to put on God’s protective armour before going into battle! Here’s a prayer you can use.

 

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

 

 

 

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.

 

Heartfelt Praise

PRAYER PRAISE & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

 

Praise

PRAISE the Lord!

Praise the Lord, O my soul!

While I live I will praise the Lord;

I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

(Psalm 146:1-2 NKJ)

 

Whoever offers praise glorifies Me;

And to him who orders his conduct aright

I will show the salvation of God.

(Psalm 50:23 NKJ)

 

Prayer

Father God,

Right now we come into your awesome presence to honour you – not just with our lips but with our hearts and souls, with our entire being.

We come to offer you the praise and worship that you deserve because you are so worthy. We love you Father God. We want to love you more. We want to know you more. We want to understand your ways better because we want to glorify you, both in and through our lives.

Lord Jesus, thank you for your example of honouring our Father whilst you walked on this earth. As your disciples we want to do likewise, so we thank you for your ongoing prayers and intercession on our behalf. We realise this will not happen by our own efforts or willpower but by your Holy Spirit.

Holy Spirit, we call upon you as our Helper. Thank you for your anointing within us that teaches us. Teach us how to honour Father God, not only with our lips but also with our lifestyle.

Thank you Father God for hearing our prayer and granting our request. Amen.

 

(References: Matthew 15:8; Revelation 4:11; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:24; Zechariah 4:6; John 14:16, 26; 1 John 5:14)

 

 Worship

 

Women of Warfare followers and visitors, I pray that the Lord will draw you into a deeper experience of Him.  I pray your hearts will overflow with inexpressible joy as you spend time in his presence and take time to express your love for him. Share those secret desires of your heart in prayer, knowing he listens and knowing he loves you and desires to fellowship with you.

Have a victorious week!

PS: If you are reading this and you do not have a relationship with God but would like to, may I invite you to accept Jesus as your Saviour? To do so, you simply have to repeat the following prayer and God will do the rest (please don’t hesitate – your eternal destiny depends on whether or not you take this next step!).

 

A Prayer for Salvation and a Relationship with God

Father God,

I want to have a relationship with you. I come to you today in the name of your Son, Jesus. Thank you for making it possible for me to be reconciled with you. I realise I am in need of rescuing from the penalty of sin. I believe Jesus died for me and I accept He is the only way through which I can escape eternal punishment. I therefore repent of my sins and ask your forgiveness.  Jesus, I invite you into my life as my Saviour and my Lord. Amen.

 

Dear reader, if you prayed the above prayer, congratulations and welcome to the Family of God!

The following links will help you take your next steps in your new life and provide the guidance you need. I’d also suggest that you talk to a Christian friend and find a church to attend and receive support. You may also find the following post at my other blog site enlightening (Paradise Lost or Paradise Regained?), as this explains why the step you have just taken is vital for safeguarding your eternal destiny.

If you accepted this invitation to commit your life into God’s care and prayed the above prayer, please share the good news in the comment box below (don’t be shy!) 🙂

WoW! followers and visitors – no need to feel left out! If you’ve been encouraged, inspired or uplifted by this post, don’t hesitate to share your comments below. I look forward to hearing from you.

 


 

 

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!

 

Not on our terms!

FIVE MINUTE FRIDAY

Q: What is Five Minute Friday?

A: It is a 5min free write blog event hosted by Kate Motaung. Every Thursday Kate announces a one-word prompt on her blog at 10pm EST. The link-up is open for a full week, until the following Thursday evening. For further details on how to participate visit her blog at: Heading Home.

 

 

 

Five Minute Friday Prompt: SHOULD

John the Baptist languishes in prison.

He sends some of his followers to Jesus with a question. Are you the coming one, or do we look for another?

Why did John the Baptist ask this question? After all he had baptised Jesus. He had witnessed the Holy Spirit in the shape of a dove hovering over his cousin. He had heard the voice of God saying: this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. He had even testified that this same Jesus would baptise with fire and that he (John) was unworthy of even loosening the latch on Christ’s shoes.

So what happened?

Adversity happened. Disappointment and disillusionment happened.

John was of the impression that this Jesus, the one whom he’d faithfully served, testified about and prepared the way of his coming, the one whom he’d confirmed was the Son of God, should have been doing something about his situation. He felt Jesus should have been making moves to rescue him from prison.

[End of 5mins]

After all Jesus must have heard about what had happened to him. After all, this is why Jesus had come to the earth wasn’t it? To deliver the captives. To set them free. So why hasn’t he? Why didn’t he muster his power and spirit him away, out of jail? Or why didn’t he come before Herod, overwhelm him with shame and conviction regarding his sin, use his powers of persuasion and demand his release? Why? Did he not love him? Did he not care?

And so as he sits in the darkness of his dungeon, John begins to entertain doubts. John listens to the taunts and lies of the Enemy. John begins to hold a pity-party. And as a result, he sends his followers off to ask a question, which barely veils an accusation.

Should we look for another Messiah? Should we look for another Saviour? Should we look for another Deliverer?

The question implies that Jesus had been weighed in the balance of John’s expectations and found wanting. The question implies that if Jesus is who he says he is, if Jesus is who John had believed him to be, then here was an opportunity to demonstrate his authority and power, here was an opportunity to show his compassion and mercy. So why hadn’t he?

And isn’t that how we are, as children of God, as followers of Christ? Full of faith, solid in conviction—until adversity strikes! Then come the doubts, the questions, the crisis of faith. We sit within the prison of our circumstances, within the confinement of our fears and wonder why God doesn’t rescue us, why Jesus doesn’t zap the situation with his power and make the injustice, the intolerable pain, the ugliness go away.

How did Jesus answer?

“Go and tell John the things which you hear and see:

The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them…” (Matthew 11:4-5)

 

John’s direct question was answered. Jesus provides incontrovertible evidence that he is the one, the expected Messiah. However, Jesus also answered John’s indirect query or accusation. His response delivers a sting in the tail. And blessed is he who is not offended because of me! (exclamation mine).

What can you and I learn from this?

  1. Don’t doubt in the darkness of trial, what you once believed in the light of revelation truth and experience
  2. Our relationship with God does not preclude us from injustice or tribulation and Christ does not answer to our every beck and call.
  3. We should not allow offence to develop in our heart when our expectations of God are disappointed.

In the face of bewilderment, discouragement or fear, how should we behave? With confidence that God is with us, despite what the devil implies, or our circumstances suggest!

We are told:

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)

 

And so we have a choice – trust and believe, or question and accuse.

 

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Prayer Gem 9

 

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

1 Peter 5:8-9

 

In my Bible (Spirit Filled Life Bible – NKJV), the above passage has the following explanatory footnote below:

Resist: The active imperative indicates an assertive stance against the Adversary’s operations. Because of the Devil’s aggressive hostility, Christians must be spiritually alert, not only to withstand his attacks (employing the armor described in Eph. 6:10-18), but in prayer and spiritual warfare opposing him.

 

***     ***     ***

Question:

  • Are you asserting the authority Christ has given you?
  • Are you opposing the advances of the Enemy against you and your loved ones?

Spiritual warriors and prayer-interns, be sure to put on God’s protective armour before doing so!

 

 

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 !

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

Prayer Gem 8

 

 

Prayer creates a personal change in your life. Nothing you can do will benefit you more than prayer. Through prayer, you create an account balance in your favour in God’s spiritual bank. Through prayer, you will benefit spiritually, mentally and physically.

Paul Y. Cho

 

The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,

To all who call upon Him in truth.

Psalm 145:18

 

 

Have you sent God your knee-mail today?

 

 

 

 

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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The Scourge of Rejection

The following is a long-playing instrumental music (don’t be put off!). I am not expecting you to listen to the entire album but you may enjoy listening to it playing softly in the background, whilst you read this post. And then when you have finished reading, please don’t rush away. I’d certainly encourage you to sit and listen for just a little while longer. Allow the Lord to minister to your soul and spirit.

 

 

Dear fellow-bloggers, friends and visitors – forgive me!

A few mornings ago, as I was worshipping the Lord, the phrase Praise, Prayer & Worship Wednesday suddenly entered my head. I then realised that I’d missed last month’s feature post. I am not sure whether anyone noticed. If you did, please accept my apologies!

I cannot believe how fast the month has flown. So fast, in fact, I hadn’t even realised that the last Wednesday of February had come and gone.

Now, I obviously cannot roll back the time. So for the benefit of anyone who did notice and perhaps missed this feature and, because I truly want to honour God on this blog, I’d like to focus today’s post on doing just that. I want to praise and glorify my Father God.

 

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thankyouheartpda 

I have come across many in my life who for various reasons have rejected me and systematically seek to rob me of my dignity. They do not welcome me into their presence.

And there are those who, whenever I happen to be in their midst, never miss an opportunity to show me their contempt, to subject me to mockery, ridicule and scorn. Yet who are they? Are they not fellow human beings? Are they not fallible flesh and blood individuals, just as I am?

However, for some reason, these people have elevated themselves above me in their thinking, in their behaviour toward me. They have lifted up themselves in their own estimation and chosen to exclude me from their ‘acceptance’ club. They continually seek to hurt me. And they often succeed.

But I thank them. Sincerely!

Why?

Because the weight and constancy of their unkind treatment has opened my eyes to the expanse of God’s continual grace, lovingkindness and mercy.

Yes. My wonderful Father God, who is God indeed, who is exalted above the heavens (you can’t get higher than that!), finds it in his generous, loving heart to include me, to make room for me in his life, to even want to share that life (eternal life, abundant life) with me.

I know from personal experience that when I enter into that atmosphere of sincere praise and worship, when I enter into God’s awesome presence, when my spirit connects with my Father God’s—I sense the holiness, the loveliness, the majesty of his awesome being. And when I reflect on the privilege that this wonderful being has granted, in inviting unwanted and unworthy me into His throne-room, I am overcome and overwhelmed.

Charles Green, a contributing author to the Spirit Filled Life Bible (NKJV), says:

Man was created to live and breathe in an atmosphere of praise-filled worship to his Creator.

My first thought as I read this was of a fish taken out of water, taken out of the ideal environment in which it was created to survive and thrive. To fail to offer God the fruit of our lips, and our free-will sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving, is to be like a fish out of water.  It is removing ourselves from the atmosphere and environment in which we were created to survive. And guess what? The Enemy of our souls, is always seeking to discourage us from praise, prayer and worship, because he knows that therein lies our spiritual strength.

Satan, my enemy, (and yours!) has sought to surround me with pack-bullies. He has worked hard at promoting an atmosphere of contempt around me. But I refuse to be hemmed in by thoughts of intimidation, fear and rejection. I refuse to be defined by the words and actions and attitudes of those whom the devil deploys to come against me, who walk in the counsel of the ungodly, choose to stand in the path of sinners and sit in the seat of the scornful (Psalm 1:1).

I refuse.

And so Father God, today I want to celebrate your goodness. I want to praise you:

 

I will extol You, my God, O King;

And I will bless Your name forever and ever.

Every day I will bless You,

And I will praise Your name forever and ever.

(Psalm 145:1-2)

 

And I offer you my heartfelt prayer:

Father God,

Thank you for your unconditional love. Thank you for your acceptance. Thank you for that wonderful sense of peace that your awesome presence exudes. Help me to bask in that holy presence, to allow your peace to soothe my soul.

I worship you today in spirit and in truth. Accept my humble sacrifice. May my offerings of praise, prayer and thanksgiving, rise like sweet incense to your throne. Amen.

 

Have you been hurt – by a colleague, church member, wife, husband, close relative or friend? Then use that hurt to propel you into the arms of Jesus. He is able to relate (remember Judas!). He is able (and willing) to comfort, strengthen and restore. Just ask him!

Why not accept today’s invitation to visit with your Father God?

Image from: M. Maggs - Pixabay.com
Image from: M. Maggs – Pixabay.com

It is an open invitation. Spend time saturating yourself in his presence. Spend time cultivating an atmosphere of praise, prayer and worship around you, so that your Father God can heal and restore you. So that he can lavish his love upon you – the way you deserve. So that you can become the person, the victorious overcomer, God created you to be.

Fellow Christian bloggers and visitors may I encourage you to make God’s presence in your life a priority?

Have a blessed weekend.

♥♥♥

Prayer Gem 6

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The only currency God trades in is faith, and ‘faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God’ (Romans 10:17 KJV). As you immerse yourself in Scripture, faith takes root and begins to grow. And faith is what makes your prayers effective.

(Bob and Debbie Gass – 2016-17 UCB Word For Today).

 

 

Have you sent God your knee-mail today?

 

 

That Deadly Desire to Control

Five Minute Friday

Q: What is Five Minute Friday?

A: It is a 5min free write blog event hosted by Kate Motaung. Every Thursday Kate announces a one word prompt on her blog at 10pm EST. The link-up is open for a full week, until the following Thursday evening. For further details on how to participate visit her blog at: Heading Home.

 

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Five Minute Friday Prompt: CONTROL

It’s sad really. Diabolical in fact!

The way some people want to control you. Control your behaviour. Control your clothing and the way you dress. Control how you treat others. Control your destiny.

And do they want to control you for your own good? No siree! They want to control you for their ulterior motives. Are they seeking to control you because they love you and have your best interests at heart? No way! They care only about themselves.

Habitual manipulators seek to control you for many reasons. Because they want you to fear them. Because they wish to alienate you. Because they secretly, or openly despise you. Because they seek to hurt you. Because they have such a low self-esteem that the only way they can feel good about themselves, or assert themselves, is to undermine you, to control you.

And so they do, or think they do. But they have left one important factor out of the equation. One very BIG factor. God. God Almighty! The one who created heaven and earth. The one who crafted mankind and breathed life into their souls. They have forgotten that it is God’s breath in their nostrils. God, who upholds this world with the word of his power. This God, this God of gods, is the one in ultimate control.

END OF 5MINS

Now, isn’t it ironic that the one who actually has supreme power, control of all that happens both in heaven and on earth, is not so precious about it? Isn’t it staggering to realise that Jesus, equal member of the triune Godhead, decided he was not going to cling to control, to the authority, majesty and power he once held in heaven, in order that he might come down to earth, identify with the sin and frailties of humankind and lay down his glorious, sinless life, so that whosoever wills, may grasp the opportunity to become born-again in a new kingdom, with a new status, subject to new rules?

How many despots do you know or have heard of, who willingly relinquish power? How many dictators do you know, who graciously abdicate their place on the coveted seat of authority and power?

And why is it that if you do not agree with said dictator’s views then bombs, or the threat of decapitation, or torture, is their only response? Terrorism, not love, is their byword, their fear-inducing catchphrase.

Every day we hear, read about and see, heart-breaking scenarios of man’s beastly attempt to control others, almost as a matter of course. It is not uncommon to discover living amongst us in our nation, within our neighbourhoods, or even in our own families, a victim of a wife/husband beater, a survivor of human rights atrocities, or a reviled asylum seeker. These people are subject to perpetual ill-treatment, to constant violation. Many are helpless prey, caught in the snare of Satan’s demonic control.

I’m positive that practically every single one of us reading this post would strenuously condemn the attitudes and actions of abusers, bigots, despots or terrorists. And yet….

Yet, I wonder whether we are sometimes guilty of similar sins (albeit on a lower level). Do we use our influence in a way that seeks to control or marginalise others—at work, at church, at home? Do we boycott those we don’t like or disagree with? Do we draw others into our circles of reproach? Do we woo family and friends to critique parties and gossip sessions and send folks to Coventry, in order to hammer home our message?—obey, or you’ll pay!

If I’m honest, it’s easy to nit-pick, or magnify the faults and failings of others, particularly those who have offended me, or blackballed me in some way, or who don’t live according to my standards—and not realise that whilst condemning, criticising or judging others, those same imperfections which I self-righteously seek to highlight, exist in some measure in my own life.

As Jesus so humorously put it, dare we pass judgment on, or seek to address the misdeeds of others when there is a massive log in our eye, blinding us to our own faults?

And as Paul shrewdly observes:

Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. (Romans 2:1 NKJV)

Does that mean we should never speak out against wrong-doing, or seek to encourage or correct others? No! That’s not what I’m saying. But, as followers of Christ, and as Christian bloggers seeking to influence others, we should take note of Paul’s following query:

You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? (Romans 2:21 NKJV).

 His question certainly provides food for thought—and perhaps occasion for examining our own lives—don’t you think?

Women of Warfare followers and visitors, in our bid to influence, let us be wary of creating cliques and clubs, rather than communities. Let’s be careful not to marginalise or control others. And above all, let’s share what we have to say, or feel we need to say, in a spirit of true humility.

Have a blessed and victorious week!

 

PS: The linkup for this prompt has now closed.

 

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.

Our Magnificent Father

PRAISE PRAYER & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

(4th Wednesday of each month)

 

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 CC0 Image courtesy of Gerd Aldmann – Pixabay.com

I recently read an excellent book on prayer, Destined For The Throne, by Paul E. Billheimer. In it he discusses the place and importance of praise. In a nutshell he says that praise develops our character, is good for our mental health, decentralises self and contributes to inner peace.

Billheimer also points out that both heaven and earth are engaged in one grand, uninterrupted chorus of praise to our creator.

If our life on earth is a dress rehearsal for the life to come in heaven, we’d better get with the programme. Praise and worship is not just for Sundays or mid-week meetings. Praise, prayer and worship needs to become an integral part of our daily lives.

 

Praise

20 . . . Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for he alone has all wisdom and power. 21World events are under his control. He removes kings and sets others on their thrones. He gives wise men their wisdom, and scholars their intelligence. 22 He reveals profound mysteries beyond man’s understanding. He knows all hidden things, for he is light, and darkness is no obstacle to him. 23 I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers . . .

(Daniel 2:20-23 – The Living Bible)

 

Prayer

Father God, we want to thank you for the privilege of being able to enter into your holy presence and fellowship with you. We come with boldness into your throne-room, to enjoy your presence, to present our needs and petitions.

Lord Jesus, you said a time would come when men’s hearts will fail them for fear. As we listen to and read the media reports, there are world events that could perhaps instil fear in our hearts. Thank you for your peace that surpasses natural understanding. Holy Spirit, minister that peace to our hearts and minds today and in the coming weeks.

Father God, in obedience to your word, we pray for our leaders and particularly for those who hold key international roles. We commit their lives into your hands. We ask that you direct their decisions. We pray that you will grant them wisdom, knowledge and understanding and that you will help them to rule with integrity and in justice.

Summon your power O God. Show us your awesome and miraculous might. Let your will be done on earth, as is being done in heaven. Our eyes are upon you, as we wait for the revelation of your grace and glory.

We ask this in faith and in the mighty, matchless name of Jesus. Amen.

 

Worship

 

 

 WoW! followers and visitors, have a blessed and victorious week.

 

 

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…

View original post 1,098 more words

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Prayer Gem – 2

 

prayergems2

That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you’ll get God’s everything.

And when you assume the posture of prayer, remember that it’s not all asking. If you have anything against someone, forgive—only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean of sins.

(Mark 11:24-26 The Message)

 

God awaits you in His throne-room!

 

 

 

Prayer Gem – 1

wowgem-pinkroses-142876_640

My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;

In the morning I will direct it to You,

And I will look up.

(Psalm 5:3 NKJ)

 

 

Let my prayer be set before You as incense,

The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

(Psalm 141:2 NKJ)

 

Have you prayed today?

 

Whether you have or you haven’t may I encourage you to read the following poem written by yours truly, about the benefits of daily prayer?

God awaits you in His throne room!

 

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.

 

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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.

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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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

 

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!

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.

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*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

 

 

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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The Stain Of Ingratitude

PRAISE PRAYER & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

  thankful4today-pixabay-1081614_960_720

CCO Image – courtesy of Pixabay.com

  

If there’s one thing I just can’t abide, it is blatant ingratitude!

Whether it is as minor as the rudeness of an untrained child (who ought to know better) that grabs a sweet from your hand without saying “thank you”, or as major as the malicious person who conveniently forgets your former kindness and stabs you in the back with the knife of pernicious gossip, or deliberately plunges the lethal blade of false accusation into your reputation, or turns a blind eye to your hour of desperate need.

Ingratitude stinks! But it can be all too easy to spot ingratitude in others, yet not be aware of the varying shades of an unthankful heart within one’s own life.

If you got up this morning, you owe the breath in your body to God. Did you thank him? Are you grateful that you are alive when there are so many others who’ve had their lives snuffed out prematurely by famine, murder, war, terminal illness or tragedy? Or are you obsessing about what you don’t have… about unmet desires… about disappointed dreams?

If God had only sent his Son to die for you and me, in order to rescue us from eternal death and destruction, this would have been enough. But he has gone beyond that. He has ensured that we are not alone and defenceless in this troubled world and, he has equipped us with tools, to ensure we emerge victorious against the Enemy of our souls—should we choose to use them!

There are people blindly grasping at the straws of pseudo-spirituality through dubious avenues, whilst looking for an authentic connection with a higher being. Yet, those of us who know the Lord as our personal saviour, are privileged to have the most powerful being in the entire universe reveal himself to us, and furthermore, open the door to unfettered fellowship with him.

So, let’s not become like the Children of Israel, who became dissatisfied with their lot, took God for granted and failed to acknowledge his unfailing mercies, goodness and provision. Let’s take the time to offer him our sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving. Let’s celebrate our Father God.

 

Praise

I bless the holy name of God with all my heart.

Yes, I will bless the Lord and not forget the glorious things he does for me.

(Psalm 103:1-2 – The Living Bible)

Prayer

Father God,

This morning, I choose to enter with thanksgiving, into the gates of intimate fellowship with you. I choose to enter into your holy courts with praise. Today, I choose to forget about my anxieties, needs and problems and remember the wonderful benefits of my salvation.

Thank you for sending Jesus to die for me, indeed for the whole world. Thank you for your unconditional love and your unmerited mercies, which are available every single morning. Thank you for your peace that surpasses natural understanding and for your promise to keep me in a state of perfect peace, when I focus my mind upon you.

Almighty God (Elohim), I praise your awesome name. Lord God (Jehovah), who can compare with you? You are a covenant-keeping God… you are the true and living God… you are the sovereign ruler of Heaven and Earth—and besides you, there is no one else, there is no other supreme being!

 

Worship

 

 

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

   

Alpha and Omega

PRAISE PRAYER & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

 

CCO Public Domain - Image from Pixabay.com
CCO Public Domain – Image from Pixabay.com

 

A little while back I made a vow to myself.

Today, I renew that vow. Never, ever again, will I ascribe the word “awesome” to anything, or anyone but my Father God and his Son, Jesus Christ. Never!

Why?

Because there is nothing and no one besides them worthy of such an adjective. NOTHING and NO ONE!

My dictionary (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary) gives the following definition for the word awesome:

  1. causing awe or deserving awe
  2. colloq: completely and utterly wonderful

Now let’s look at the word “awe”.

  • noun:    admiration, fear and wonder
  • verb:     to fill with awe, in awe of someone or something – filled with admiration for them or it, but often slightly intimidated too.

Yet even these definitions do not go far enough for me when it comes to describing my Father God. So, bearing these in mind, let’s also consider the following:

“And they saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity.”  (Exodus 24:10)

 

“Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven and One sat on the throne.

And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.”  (Revelation 4:2-3)

 

“And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it.

Also from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the colour of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around.

Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.”  (Ezekiel 1:26-28)

When you read these verses, together with their surrounding passages describing the hosts of angels, the 24 elders and the 4 mind-boggling creatures, all bowing down or prostrating themselves in worship before this Being of jewelled fiery brilliance and utter purity, you cannot help but be awed. You cannot help but say: “You are awesome Holy God!”

Imagine standing before such a One. Would you be absentminded? Would you be flippant? Would you be querulous? Would you dare believe that a paltry sacrifice of auto-pilot praise and worship would suffice, as you might do in a church meeting, or even in your devotional time?

When Jesus was on this Earth, he declared that God was looking for worshippers who will worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24).

Our Father God is accustomed to an atmosphere of undiluted, uninhibited and exuberant praise from beings and creatures that are always in his presence—day and night.

Does not this fact, plus the wondrous reality of his exquisite being make you want to step up your game and worship him wholeheartedly, worship him more often, worship Him from a new perspective—as One who alone is AWESOME?

I sincerely hope it does. I pray that you will be prompted to ask our Father God to give you an increasing and ongoing revelation of his holiness and majestic being. After all, he is surely worthy of our devoted praise.

*****   *****   *****

Praise

You are worthy, O Lord,

To receive glory and honour and power

Who shall not fear You, O Lord,

And glorify your name?

For You alone are holy.

(Revelation 4:11; 15:4)

 

Prayer

Father God, we have heard and read much about you. We even enjoy some semblance of a relationship with you, for which we are grateful. But Father God, we want to become so intimately acquainted with you, so reverential of your wondrous person that our very hearts and souls stand perpetually in awe of you.

Take us on that journey Lord. Motivate us to seek your face as never before. Help us to ascend those heights… to plunge those depths and explore the ever-widening horizon in our knowledge of you.

In Jesus’ name we earnestly pray. Amen.

 

Worship

 

WoW! followers and visitors – have a blessed week and may the peace of God rest upon you and upon your loved ones.

Boost your psychological well-being

Hello dear followers and visitors,

A new day brings a new opportunity to express our gratitude for God’s goodness. I read somewhere that expressing praise to God is beneficial to our psychological well-being.  So get stuck in!

Whether today finds you feeling on top of the world, or down in the spiritual dumps, our Father God is still worthy of our praise.

PraiseTheLord(picmonkey)

 

Shout Hallelujah, you God-worshippers;

Give glory, you sons of Jacob;

Adore him, you daughters of Israel.

He has never let you down,

Never looked the other way

When you were being kicked around.

He has never wandered off to do his own thing;

He has been right there, listening.

(Psalm 22:23-24 – The Message)

 

Will you take time out of your day to bless the Lord? Will you set aside your schedule to offer sacrifices of praise to our Father God?

WoW! visitors and friends – have a blessed and victorious week.

 

An Olympic Godhead

FIVE MINUTE FRIDAY!

 

Q: What is Five Minute Friday?

A: It is a 5min free write blog event hosted by Kate Motaung. Every Thursday Kate announces a one-word prompt on her blog at 10pm EST. The link-up is open for a full week, until the following Thursday evening. For further details on how to participate visit her blog at: Heading Home.

(Although I’ve missed the link-up for this prompt I’ve decided to post anyway).

 

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Five Minute Friday Prompt: TEAM

 

Team.

A word that conjures a picture of unity and togetherness. Everyone on the same side pulling together! That’s the ideal.

I’ve been part of a team – such as a netball team, such as an editorial team. These teams more or less lived up to that ideal. We all worked together for a common goal—whether that was to beat the opposing side, or to produce a great magazine issue.

I’ve also been part of a team that did not live up to this ideal. Where members back-stabbed and undermined and sought glory for themselves in order to shine, in order to get on and move up. Unpleasant!

What (I wonder), would it be like to work in a team such as the one the Holy Trinity are part of (Father, Son and Holy Ghost)? Each member celebrating the other, co-operating with each other, consulting and agreeing with one another on momentous decisions: “Let us make man in our own image”.

What would it be like to be equal in power, in ability and authority, and yet submit graciously to the other team members? What must it feel like to allow the separate members to shine… to do what they are tasked with—without getting in the way, without questioning, without plotting to grab the glory? Oh the unimaginable bliss of complete and utter unity!

Holy Godhead, how I envy you! How marvellous it must be to work in such an atmosphere of total unity and respect.

Father God, sweet Jesus, divine Holy Spirit – you are the true Olympians!

 

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Question:  Do you have any memorable team experiences you would like to share (good or bad)? 

 

     

 

 

Five Minute Friday: LIFT

Q: What is Five Minute Friday?

A: It is a 5min free write blog event hosted by Kate Motaung. Every Thursday Kate announces a one-word prompt on her blog at 10pm EST. The link-up is open for a full week, until the following Thursday evening. For further details on how to participate visit her blog at: Heading Home.

 lift(fmf)-768x768

Five Minute Friday Prompt: LIFT

 

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—

From whence comes my help?

My help comes from the Lord

Who made heaven and earth.

(Psalm 121: 1-2 NKJ)

 

The above declaration implies that the writer has made a decision to change his focus.

How many times have you felt despondent… felt bereft of hope because life stood up and slapped you in the face instead of gracing you with the smile and gifts of fortune and favour? And how many times have you dwelt on your circumstances and decided that life is hard and unfair?

I recently felt this way.

I’d taken a blogging break and had planned to use the time to work on a long-standing project. My mother’s health suddenly deteriorated to the extent that she was eventually hospitalised and, following discharge, needed full-time care. I decided to take a break from work in order to provide that care.

Daily hospital visits, stress, weariness and the further demands upon my time meant my project was once again consigned to the back burner. The little scrap of time left to me late in the evenings meant I only wanted to eat and relax before going to bed (here read watch TV, or check and despair over my dismal blog stats!).

Added to this, I felt completely overwhelmed by the extra responsibility and was also concerned that I might not be patient enough, mentally or physically strong enough to follow through with this commitment.

My eyes were on my circumstances, on the enormity of my problems and not upon the greatness of my God. It’s easy to do right? To preach it and write or blog about it, but when it comes to the crunch, forget God’s commands and promises and fail to walk in his peace and strength. And before you know it, all the prayers and meditation and bold confessions, all the effort you’ve put in to familiarise yourself with God’s Word and endeavour to submit to his perfect will, have retreated from your consciousness and disappeared from your vocabulary.

“Hath God said…” whispers Satan within your mind and before you can say: “Get behind me!” you have fallen victim to overwhelming doubts, fear and even unbelief.

Dear reader, if these words speak to you where you are at right now, please join with me by lifting your heart and the eyes of your understanding and refocus them upon Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith. Please join with me by discarding your constrictive cloak of heaviness and don your glorious garment of praise and thanksgiving.

Let’s wholeheartedly lift our eyes to our Father God in Heaven (who graciously loves, protects and provides for us) and let’s declare our trust, faith and confidence in Him without reservation.

WoW! followers and visitors may you experience the peace of God that transcends human understanding throughout the coming weeks and may you rest in his comfort and abide in his presence.

 

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Celebrating the Father-heart of God

PRAISE PRAYER & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

father+baby(Pixabay)-22194_960_720

 

Praise

Every good and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning (James 1:17 NKJ)

Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. (James 1:17 TM)

 

Prayer

Father God,

I don’t want to merely read about, or sing of your goodness. I want to be wholly convinced of it. I ask you to settle this truth deep down in my heart. Help me to stand firm in that assurance, even when things do not go according to my plans or meet with my expectations.

Father God, draw me closer to you with your gentle cords of love. Continue to work within my heart so I may fulfil your perfect will according to your satisfaction and your delight.

In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

Worship

Chris Tomlin and Pat Barrett – You are a good good father

(Please don’t skip this – take a moment to sit before God and allow him to minister to your heart)

 

WoW! followers and visitors, may I encourage you to draw closer to your Heavenly Father this week and rest in His unchanging goodness, peace and security? Have a blessed and victorious week.

Blogging Break

Image from Sophie Janotta (Pixabay.com)
Image from Sophie Janotta (Pixabay.com)

 

Dear fellow bloggers, followers and visitors,

When I first started blogging I had no idea just how time-consuming this would be. I had not reckoned on the time it takes to interact with others, or the amount of time required to maintain a site. Even though I don’t post as regularly as some others, I’ve found my posting schedule difficult to maintain.

For various reasons, I’ve decided to take a 2-3 month break from blogging, so this will be my last post for a while.

Image from Pixabay.com
Image from Pixabay.com

I’d like to thank all those who have visited and supported me with your comments, likes and encouragement and trust you will still be around when I return.  And I’d like to thank all those bloggers who have, despite their personal trials and busy lives, made time to share their inspirational posts, creative endeavours and beautiful images which have truly, truly blessed me these past few months.

Keep up the excellent work and I look forward to re-connecting with you in the near future.

Best wishes,

 

Carol (aka Lady Cee)

 

A Warrior’s Cry

specialbottle(SvetlanaKlaise)-1131237_960_720Image by Svetlana Klaise (Pixabay.com)

 

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Warrior:

  • a skilled fighting man, especially one belonging to earlier times
  • any distinguished soldier or veteran
  • someone notable for strength of spirit or indomitability

Chambers 21st Century Dictionary

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I wonder what image came to mind when you read the title of this post.

Was it the bloodcurdling scream of a fearless combatant charging into battle, brandishing a sword or club?

Well, that is not the warrior’s cry I am speaking of here. I am not referring to the war cry of a superhero. No! I am speaking about the whimper of a wounded one. I am describing the desolate tears of an injured soldier on the battlefield of life.

Dear wounded warrior, be assured. God sees your tears and recognises your fears.

Did you know that he preserves your tears in a bottle? Fancy that! We preserve vegetables or fruit but God preserves our tears. How loving and precious is that?

Don’t believe me? Listen!

You have seen me tossing and turning through the night. You have collected all my tears and preserved them in your bottle! You have recorded every one [tear] in your book. (Psalms 56:8 Living Bible)

In fact, the Bible gives clear evidence of the lengths to which our Father God has gone, in order to show us how much he cares. Isaiah 49:16 tells us that we are inscribed upon the palms of his hands.

Have you ever felt as if your life has been ruined? Do you ever feel despondent about your future? If so, what is your response?

In 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 we read about a woman whose distressing experience of childbirth prompted her to name her son Jabez. The literal interpretation of this name is: He will cause pain.

Can you imagine being saddled with a name like that? Particularly as in bible times, your name was a reflection of your person, a prophetic foretelling of your future. Every time someone called you, spoke to you or about you, they were affirming and confirming the meaning of your given name. They were re-affirming your destiny: “He will cause pain!

Fortunately, Jabez decided he was not going to accept the cards that life had dealt him. He was not going to allow his life, his future to be determined by his mother’s response to a painful experience. He decided that his mother would not have the last word. This unlikely warrior decided to take charge of his fate and change the course of his destiny.

So Jabez enlisted the help of the only person who possessed the power and resources to alter the course of his life. He turned to God in prayer. He appealed to his Father in Heaven and made a specific request regarding how he wanted his life to be—and God granted him his desire.

Jabez could have chosen to wallow in self-pity and remain a victim of his circumstances. He could have lived a life of misery and defeat and felt justified about blaming his misfortune upon his mother.

Instead, he chose to turn his predicament into a prayer project. He chose to refocus his eyes and thoughts and fix them upon God. He chose to cry out in faith and believe God for a future filled with blessing, increase, favour and protection. He decided to superimpose his words and his desired future over his mother’s negative declaration.

And note, Jabez was not only concerned about his future, his own well-being. He cared about the well-being of those around him and asked God to preserve him from evil and keep him from causing pain to others.

Wounded warrior, God loves you. He has seen your trials. He has noted your tears. He is willing to act on your behalf. Will you rise up in faith? Will you refocus your thoughts? Will you refuse to accept the words the Enemy whispers into your heart? Will you take those hurtful words that were flung at you by family, friend or foe and instead of absorbing, or mulling over them, allow them to provoke you into calling upon your Father God and believe Him for the wonderful destiny he’s ordained for your life?

Dear warrior, I know you have the strength to rise up and win. I know God has empowered you with his Word and with his weapons of warfare.

So will you take a leaf from out of Jabez’s book? Will you direct your petition to God—not just for yourself but also on behalf of others?

I know you can—I pray you will!

New Post! (Purpose Driven Achiever)

Hello Fellow Bloggers,

I write for another blog site but for some obscure reason my posts from there do not appear in the Reader. Consequently, I have no means of driving traffic towards this other blog, or making potentially interested bloggers aware of its existence.

I am therefore resorting to advertising my new posts through my Women of Warfare! (WoW!) blog and appreciate your forbearance.

 

tri-delta(Character-JohnHain)-651443_960_720

Charisma or Character?

In his best-selling publication, The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren said that when we understand life is a test, we will realise that there is no situation we face and no incident that occurs, which is insignificant.

So, what is the purpose of tests?

Deuteronomy 8:2 provides a clue:

And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.

And Rick Warren further elaborates on the purpose of tests. He says:

Character is both developed and revealed by tests

And so, in this post, we’re going to take a look at character.

To read this post in its entirety please visit: https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com/2016/03/18/charisma-or-character/

 



 

 

 

Give God Your All

Image from: Pixabay..com
Image from: Pixabay..com

 

Has your life been a failure so far? God can change that! Have you enjoyed a measure of success? God can take you to a higher level of achievement! Want to maximise your potential? Make yourself available to God! He is able to do infinitely beyond your highest desires and dreams.

To read more please visit: https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com/2016/01/22/give-god-your-all/

 

PS: if you are so inclined, please leave your comments and/or likes in relation to this post  at my Purpose-driven achiever site. Thank you.