The Tragedy of Unclaimed Love

 

What would convince you of someone’s genuine love for you?

In fact, how would you feel if you were the target of this young man’s love song?

 

I don’t know about you but after listening to such a passionate rendition, there would be little doubt in my mind about his feelings.

Well, as convincing and passionate as this man’s declaration may be, nothing can beat the ultimate expression of LOVE – God sending his only Son to die for me, for you, for the entire world.

And God wants you to know today that you are loved, from the crown of your head to the soles of your feet—regardless of your status, skin colour, size, age, achievements or failures.

You are loved!

Are you suffering? Do you feel forgotten, lonely or alone?

Take comfort in the fact that God loves you with an all-consuming, everlasting, unconditional love. Be assured in your heart that there is nothing in the world that you can do, to change God’s feelings about you.

Dear reader, if you do not already enjoy an ongoing relationship with your Heavenly Father, why not commit your life into his safe keeping and embark on the ultimate love relationship? There’s a special place reserved in his heart for you. So, why not accept and respond to God’s generous declaration of love today?

And to those of you who have already responded to God’s gracious wooing, may you know without the shadow of a doubt that you are precious indeed. And may you experience a greater awareness of your Father-God’s awesome love over the coming days and weeks.

With heartfelt best wishes,

 

Carol ♥♥

 

The above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

Sunday’s Supplications (2)

 

Are you fretting over a problem that has your stomach tied in knots?

Do you feel anxious about a situation over which you have no control?

Have you lain awake worrying over what you should do, what path you should take, what decision you should make?

Dear reader, I’ve been there!

Listen to what the Word of God says:

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

and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 (Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV)

 

It was the year of 2009.

My mother had just celebrated her 80th birthday.

A medical consultant had advised me that she needed a bypass operation. My mother, who hated hospitals and preferred to trust God for healing, rather than place her confidence in man, did not know what to do. She consulted her pastor. She consulted me, as her eldest child.

I was perplexed about what I should advise her. If she did not go ahead there was a risk she could have a massive stroke. If she did go ahead there was a risk that this invasive operation could take her life. The fact that she was elderly, increased this risk. Would she survive?

I dearly loved my mother, did not want her to go and was not ready to let her go, especially in such circumstances. So what (I wondered), was the best thing to do?

If mum didn’t have the operation and had a stroke, I’d blame myself. If she did have the operation and died, I’d blame myself. I had visions of all the family turning against me.

In the end, after consulting family members, we agreed she should have the operation. However, I was not content to leave mum’s fate in the hands of the medical practitioners. I took every single element of the situation that I could think about to God and asked him to divinely protect her. I approached others and asked them to pray also.

Whilst the operation took place, one of my sisters and I, sat in the chapel downstairs, praying and interceding. I recall my sister and I sensing a breakthrough and feeling confident and exuberant. Yet, when the operation took longer than anticipated, I remember my heart thudding with fear and me beginning to think the worst had happened.

Whilst outwardly thanking God for hearing our prayers and granting our requests, there was a moment when I stood outside the theatre ward inwardly bracing myself for unwelcome news.

God be praised! The operation was successful and the theatre nurses expressed amazement about how young my mother looked, given her age and how fresh, given what she had just undergone. We were absolutely overjoyed.

Dear friends, we serve a mighty God!

To conclude, let me share the following footnote in my Bible, which relates to the above verse. It says:

Prayer and peace are closely connected. One who entrusts cares to Christ instead of fretting over them will experience the peace of God to guard him from nagging anxiety.

(Spirit Filled Life Bible NKJV)

 

This Week’s Prayer Focus:

Women of Warfare followers and visitors, let’s commit our cares and concerns into God’s capable hands. And let us not forget our brothers and sisters in Christ who are currently struggling with anxiety.

 

Father God,

Your Word says I should roll my cares upon you because you care and will continue to care for me. I thank you that you are not only aware of my problems but you are also able to resolve them.

Father God, I realise that allowing anxiety to consume me is not going to change the situation. I acknowledge that I am powerless to change the winds of ill-fortune that blow my way. Help me to look to you, to trust in you and to rest in the knowledge that you can cause all things to work together for my good.

Heavenly Father, I call upon you today on behalf of all those within the circle of my influence who are worrying about their problems. In particular, I cry out to you for those within the Body of Christ who are perplexed, who feel they don’t know where to turn, or what to do.

Minister your peace to them. Minister the peace that surpasses their understanding. Enable them to take their eyes off the greatness of their need and focus them upon the greatness of their God. Help them to fix their eyes upon Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith. Grant them wisdom to make the right decisions. And, in situations where your supernatural intervention is required, manifest your authority, might and power.

I ask in faith and I ask in the matchless name of Jesus. Amen.

© Carol Hind

 

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

 

WoW followers and visitors, have a peace-filled week!

 

CREDIT: The above CC0 images are from Pixabay.com

 

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

Ditch Oppressive Opinions!

 

Dear precious woman of God,

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

Listen to what one man of God advises:

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

Dr Charles Stanley – In Touch (April 2001)

 

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

Ditch those negative beliefs and oppressive opinions.

Choose to be a victor!

 

CREDIT: CC0 Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

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

 

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

 

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.

 

***     ***     ***

 

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.

♥♥♥

Dear Valentine – I Love You

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

 

 

O Lord Jesus, I love you

And today I just want to say

That you have captured my heart

In an unbelievable way.

 

O Lord Jesus, I need you

And today, I express my love

With a heart so full of gratitude

For coming to Earth from above.

 

Dear Lord Jesus, I thank you

For surrounding me with your grace

For granting me every required resource

To overcome all that I face.

 

My precious Lord Jesus, I love you

And look forward to when I can see

Your beauty, your brightness,

Those nail-scarred hands

Which were marred to set me free!

 

© Carol Hind – 11 February 2017

 

Promises, Prayer, Preparation

prayerreenablack-pixabay-1308663_960_720

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

Philippians 4:6 (NKJV)

 

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

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

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

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

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

I woke early one morning

And rushed right into the day

I had so much to accomplish

That I didn’t have time to pray.

 

Problems just tumbled about me

And heavier came each task

“Why doesn’t God help me?” I wondered

He answered, “You didn’t ask.”

 

I wanted to see joy and beauty

But the day toiled on, gray and bleak.

I wondered why God didn’t show me

He said, “But you didn’t seek.”

 

I tried to come into God’s presence

I used all my keys at the lock.

God gently and lovingly chided

“My child, you didn’t knock.”

 

I woke up early this morning

And paused before entering the day.

I had so much to accomplish

That I had to take time to pray.

 

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

 

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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

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

 

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

 

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

And the winner is . . .

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: MIDDLE

 Jesus. Me. Satan.

I’m in the middle!

Three distinct personalities. Three different beings.

To my right is Jesus—Lord of lords, Kings of kings, Prince of Peace.

In the middle is me—redeemed child of God.

And to the left, is him—accuser of the brethren. Deceiver. Thief. Father of Lies. The Evil One.

Either side of me, each personality vies for my attention. Each being seeks to influence my thoughts, govern my actions. One lovingly seeks to do so for my ultimate benefit and welfare. The other maliciously intends to steal my confidence, to kill my dreams, to destroy me.

Who wins? The one to whom I accede control. The one to whom I submit.

I’d like to think it is always Jesus. I’d like to say: ‘Jesus, of course!

But unfortunately, that wouldn’t be the unvarnished truth. I have to admit that there are times, when I want to govern.

STOP [end of 5mins]

There are times when I question the Word and therefore I am questioning Jesus, since he is the Word made flesh. And there are times when what I want is more appealing to my ego, or my sense of comfort, or my understanding, than what Christ demands.

And so there is a tussle. There’s a spiritual wrestling between my soul (mind, will, emotions) and spirit, between my intellect or sense-knowledge, and the logic-busting, God-type of faith.

And what of the other side—Mr Diablo, Mr Evil personified? How does he fit into this scenario?

Well Satan, the devil, my enemy and God’s arch-enemy, hates me. So he seeks to muddy the waters. He schemes to undermine my faith. He challenges and sabotages my beliefs, which were based upon the unchanging promises of God’s Word.

His subtle questioning (Did God say. . . ?), his sowing of sneering doubts, (Well, God may produce miracles for Bible saints, or significant men of faith but what makes you think He’ll do it for you?), assault my mind daily, hourly, even at times moment by moment, until I begin to waver, until I, at times, agree with him and re-examine my thinking, my hopes, my expectations.

Who wins?

Dear reader, after years of suffering from this spiritual tug of war, I reluctantly report that sometimes it is Jesus and sometimes it is Satan.

But what about you? (I hear you ask). What about me? (I playfully respond).

Dear reader, I may well be caught in the middle but the truth is, there are only two master influences, two spiritual forces, at work in this world. The first and foremost is Jesus: the Son of God, the Living Word, the one who “upholds all things by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3).

The second (a significantly inferior power), is Satan: the one whom Jesus saw fall from heaven, the one whom Jesus conquered, the one whom Jesus disarmed when he arose from the dead in resurrection triumph and, stripping Mr Diablo and his evil principalities of their powers, made a public spectacle of them all! (See Colossians 2:15).

Even should I be deceived into thinking that I’m exercising my own will, governing my own life, the fact of the matter is, that in reality I am not! Either Jesus is, or Satan is (there is no middle ground)—and that goes for every single being upon this planet.

When I submit my thoughts, attitudes and actions in obedience to God’s Word then Jesus reigns. He is Lord of my life. But when I agree with the lies and suggestions of the enemy, which are contrary to the Truth, when I selfishly decide I want to do my own thing, then guess what? I come into agreement with the devil and I’m allowing him to manipulate my life, whether I’m aware of this or not, whether you believe it or not.

And if you don’t believe dear reader – think Adam and Eve. Think serpent. Think subtle deception. Think satanic manipulation, provoking self-willed disobedience. Think transfer of allegiance. Think paradise lost!

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CREDIT: CC0 Image – courtesy of Steen Møller Laursen at Pixabay.com

Prayer Gem 4

Morning by morning, O Lord

You hear my voice;

Morning by morning,

I lay my requests before you

And wait in expectation.

(Psalm 5:3 NIV)

 

 

woman-praying-waldryano-pixabay1935186_960_720

 

 

Praying is communicating with God. Through prayer we come to know the all-powerful and loving God, and who He is. Through prayer we allow God to direct our lives. I believe that how we pray (or how we do not pray) changes our lives far more than you can ever imagine.

Prayer shapes our lives.

Canon J. John (www.canonjjohn.com)

 

God awaits you in his throne room!

 

PICTURE CREDIT: the above CC0 image is by Waldryano at Pixabay.com

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

xmasangelskai-stachowiak-pixabay-1068844_960_720

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

“Glory to God in the highest,

And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

(Luke 2:13-14 NKJ)

 

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

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

 

Solid Belief, or Spiritual Scepticism?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Of Mary however, it is said:

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

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

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

 

(To be continued/…)

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Stain Of Ingratitude

PRAISE PRAYER & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

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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

 

 

  **************

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

   

Did You Pray Today?

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Image from Pixabay.com

  

Whilst on this earth, Jesus said: “…men always ought to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1 NKJ)

And so I would ask you to examine yourself today and answer the following questions honestly:

  • Do you have a consistent prayer life?
  • Do you feel your prayers are effective?
  • Do you believe a diligent prayer life is important to your relationship with God?
  • How happy are you with your prayer life?

In Matthew 6:5-7 Jesus uses the words: “…when you pray…” 3 times. He does not say “if you pray”.

Jesus therefore expected his followers to pray and, as we have read above, he requires that we always pray.

PrayerQuote(commentskart.com)

Prayer is not a last resort. Nor is it merely a spiritual means of God getting me out of a fix, or granting my desires.

Prayer is often associated with intercession, petition, supplication and spiritual warfare. However, it is not just these things. It is also communion or fellowship with our Father God. It is spending quality time in his presence, simply for the pleasure of being with him and wanting to know him better.

Prayer is a privilege. Are you availing yourself of this glorious opportunity to draw closer to God?

Now, if having answered the questions above, you feel that your prayer life is lacking, make amends without delay. Take a leaf from the disciples’ book, who asked Jesus to teach them to pray (Luke 11:1) and whilst you’re at it, ask the Holy Spirit to help you pray consistently.

Prayer-BibleQuote(quotesgram.com)

 

Make no mistake, as women of warfare who aim to walk victoriously in life, an active and diligent prayer life is indispensable.

WoW! followers and visitors have a blessed week!

 

 

 

 

Celebrating the Father-heart of God

PRAISE PRAYER & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

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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.

DID YOU…?

Have you sent Jesus your knee-mail today? (Image by: Gerd Altmann - Pixabay.com)
Have you sent Jesus your knee-mail today? (Image by: Gerd Altmann – Pixabay.com)

 

Did you…?

Have you spent time in the throne room today?

Have you spent quality time with Him, or did you rush away?

Did you linger at His feet?

Linger in His presence, so pure, so sweet?

 

Did you let Jesus soothe your soul’s pain?

Did you let him refresh you, once again?

Did you accept His Word’s healing balm

Whispered with love and authority

And with a voice so cool, so calm?

 

Did you give Jesus sufficient time?

To tell you about his love—

Unfathomable, unconditional,

Tried and true,

Ready at your bidding to be lavished upon you?

 

Or did you rush absentmindedly away?

Not give Jesus ample time today?

Ample time – for him to remind you

That he sees far beyond your limited view,

That his unfailing mercies

Are prepared and packaged just for you?

 

Did you pause in his holy presence?

So he could explain,

That you need not agonise,

Despair, or nurse that pain?

 

Dear wounded, weary, hurt or searching one

Relinquish your load,

Rejoice, and trust God anew

For the road to victory,

The key to your breakthrough,

Lies not in confusion, questions or tears

Lies not in rebellion, anger or fears.

 

Let me tell you dear daughter,

The solution you seek

Is available this hour, this day, this week!

Yes, the answer is found

In His presence profound,

In tarrying in His throne room,

Trusting His Word,

Waiting for his voice of wisdom,

Waiting patiently – not perturbed!

 

And should that answer come winging

From heaven’s miraculous sphere,

Remember to thank him,

Remember to praise,

Remember to worship the Ancient of Days.

 

© Carol Hind – July 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walls! Walls! Walls!

CityWalls(tpsdave-David Mark)-164825_960_720Photo image from David Mark – Pixabay.com

 

Whilst listening to a teaching by Joyce Meyer, she made an observation that went something like this:

“In order to wall others out, you are walling yourself in. Let God be your wall of protection.”

Her statement set me thinking, which then motivated me to find out what others had to say on the subject of walls. Here’s what I discovered.

For reflection

1)

We build too many walls and not enough bridges.

(Isaac Newton)

2)

Before you were born,

And were still too tiny for

The human eye to see,

You won the race for life

From among 250 million competitors.

And yet,

How fast you have forgotten

Your strength,

When your very existence

Is proof of your greatness.

You were born a winner,

A warrior,

One who defied the odds

By surviving the most gruesome

Battle of them all.

And now that you are a giant,

Why do you even doubt victory

Against smaller numbers,

And wider margins?

The only walls that exist,

Are those you have placed in your mind.

And whatever obstacles you conceive,

Exist only because you have forgotten

What you have already Achieved.”

Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

3)

“We all build internal sea walls to keep at bay the sadnesses of life and the often overwhelming forces within our minds. In whatever way we do this—through love, work, family, faith, friends, denial, alcohol, drugs, or medication—we build these walls, stone by stone, over a lifetime. One of the most difficult problems is to construct these barriers of such a height and strength that one has a true harbor, a sanctuary away from crippling turmoil and pain, but yet low enough, and permeable enough, to let in fresh seawater that will fend off the inevitable inclination toward brackishness.”

Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

4)

With no consideration, no pity, no shame,

they have built walls around me, thick and high.

And now I sit here feeling hopeless.

I can’t think of anything else: this fate gnaws my mind –

because I had so much to do outside.

When they were building the walls, how could I not have noticed!

But I never heard the builders, not a sound.

Imperceptibly they have closed me off from the outside world.

(Constantine P. Cavafy)

5)

For by you I can run against a troop,

By my God, I can leap over a wall.

(Psalm 18:29)

6)

“But love is much like a dam: if you allow a tiny crack to form through which only a trickle of water can pass, that trickle will quickly bring down the whole structure, and soon no one will be able to control the force of the current. For when those walls come down, then love takes over…”

Paulo Coelho, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

 

7)

Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.

(Maya Angelou)

 

For self-examination

Women of Warfare followers and visitors, let me ask you this:

  • Are you building walls, or have you already built walls around yourself, which are not only shutting others out but also cutting you off from potential opportunities?
  • If (like Cavafy), you believe that others have built imprisoning walls around you, are you willing to call out to God and ask him to give you the desire, energy and wisdom to leap over those walls that are keeping you captive?
  • According to Romans 5:5, God’s agape love has been poured out in our hearts. Given Angelou’s statement, do you accept God’s love can penetrate or dismantle any barriers erected as a response to past offences? Are you willing to humble yourself and ask God to make this happen and allow Him to do so?
  • Consider Kassem’s depiction of us as warriors. Does it enable you to see yourself as a victor, or an overcomer, despite any undesirable circumstances you may currently face?

 

Prayer:

Father God, deliver us from unhealthy thoughts and attitudes and emotions that drive us to erect walls around ourselves. Enable us to extend the hand of love and motivate us to build relational bridges. Amen.

 

Further Reading:

Want to explore this topic further? The following short post (There is no safety behind emotional walls) may be of interest.

 

Did any of the above quotes speak to you? Please share your thoughts and responses in the comment box below.

 

The Power of Perspective

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I used to see squirrels as cute creatures. Like other people, I enjoyed watching these tame animals scamper around park grounds, leap from bough to branch of a tree, or enjoy the adoration and hospitality of children. On occasion, I’d even feed them nuts or scraps from my picnic fare.

As far as I was concerned, squirrels were fully paid up members of an acceptable community of creatures (unlike flying ants, snakes or spiders). That was until I read that they came from the rodent family. All of a sudden, my perspective changed. I now saw these creatures as giant rats with bushy tails. In my heart and mind they were re-classified as vermin. And, when I became a gardening enthusiast, well that was it! I disliked them even more and promptly added them to my personal category of “mega-annoying animals”.

Just like that, my positive perspective of squirrels changed to a negative one. Knowledge contributed to that change.

Did you know that knowledge of God can alter your perception of any adverse situation you may be facing? Not head knowledge (mere mental assent) but heart knowledge, revelation knowledge.

God desires that we “know” Him (i.e. become intimately acquainted with him). John 17:3 reveals that eternal life is knowing the only true God and his Son, Jesus Christ, whilst Daniel 11:32b declares that those who know their God will be strong and carry out great exploits for Him. I like to think of some of those exploits as something prayer warriors accomplish – either conducting bold combative resistance against the Enemy of our souls, or presenting passionate petitions to our Father in the court room of Heaven.

Whatever difficulty we may be facing in our lives, or whatever circumstance we may be enduring, we need the strength of God to be able to overcome and emerge a victor.

If you are in a good place right now (experiencing no distressing worries), then wonderful! Great! Why not use your spiritual strength to encourage, pray for and support others? Is there a colleague, a neighbour, a friend or family member who is ill? In debt? Experiencing an insurmountable problem? Can you come alongside them and help? Will you show them the compassion and love of Jesus by supporting them with your prayers and intercession?

If you are already doing this – excellent! Continue the great work.

I faced a situation a little while back, where someone sought to unjustly penalise and discredit me. It undermined my peace. I called upon my best friend and her husband to stand with me in prayer. They also enlisted the help of their prayer group.

Fear and negativity had skewed my perspective regarding my circumstances. However, these godly friends were able to share scriptures with me, which changed that perspective. They could not have done this without their own knowledge of God, gained through their personal relationship with him. They could not have done this without a knowledge of his Word. And I could not have accepted the rhema* word God gave to me through them, I could not have been comforted and strengthened, if I had not previously acquired personal knowledge of his attributes, loving nature and character.

“The only thing you sometimes have control over is perspective. You don’t have control over your situation. But you have a choice about how you view it.” Chris Pine

Just suppose you were drowning and someone dived in to help you, someone whom you knew could not swim and had a fear of water, would you be confident that person could save you? Now substitute that individual with someone whom you know to be a champion swimmer and your perspective of the predicament you are in changes. Your confidence in his/her ability to help you, perhaps even save your life, increases.

Similarly, in times of trouble, your experiential knowledge of God, gained through intimate acquaintance with him will make all the difference as to whether you sink below your problems, wade/swim fearlessly through them, or should the occasion demand, allow Father God to rescue you. Furthermore, what you triumphantly overcome today, equips and enables you to help others tomorrow.

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God promises: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you… (Isaiah 43:2a)

Dear reader, let me ask you something: how well do you know God? What steps are you taking to increase your knowledge of him?

 

* Rhema = a specific promise from the Word of God, brought to mind by the Holy Spirit

Love Letter from your Father

An Open letter from our Heavenly Father to his wounded daughters in the Body of Christ

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My dear precious child in Christ,

Do you know how much I love you?

Maybe you do on a superficial level but you do not appreciate just how much I love you, the extent, the depth, the height. How could you? It is really beyond human comprehension. As my Word declares, my thoughts and ways are higher than your thoughts, your ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). But believe me beloved daughter – I truly, truly love you. Unconditionally. Absolutely. No strings attached. Nothing you say, do, or think will change how I feel about you.

How do I feel about you? I see you as precious. More precious than gold… than pearls… than diamonds… than all the things that this world deems as valuable. I have proved it – in that even when you were not aware of me, thought nothing of me, cared nothing about me, I sent my Son to die for you, so that we can be reconciled (Romans 5:8-10), so that I can make you my beneficiary, a joint heir with my Son Jesus (Romans 8:16-17). I want you to know there is nothing you can do, say, feel… nothing the Enemy can do, which can separate you from the deep genuine love I have for you (Romans 8:35-39). Nothing! Believe it and accept it and walk in the truth of it. Ask my Holy Spirit to reveal this fact to you in a way you can understand, absorb, accept and appropriate. I love you.  I. Love. You.

Dearest daughter, I see you. Your struggles, your hurts, your confusion, your loneliness. I see your indecision. Your disappointments and disillusionment with life, with me even, with those things you had imagined would bring you security and fulfilment. I see you. I know you. I hurt with you. Let me walk with you. Let me help you. Let me enfold you within my loving protection, within the safety of my arms and within the security of my Kingdom.

Don’t doubt my love for you. Unquestioning love eradicates fear (1 John 4:18). Fear robs you of all that I have planned for you since before you were even conceived. Yes, I planned for you to be here. I’ve planned your future (Jeremiah 29:11). So take my hand, trust me, walk with me and I will guide you, grant you the wisdom and the confidence and the tenacity to reach the end of your journey. But my daughter, I would not have you just focus on the end prize alone, on achieving that goal, on reaching your destiny. I would have you enjoy every step along the way.

And I would have you fight (because you will have to fight). Yeah, I would have you fight with confidence, with courage, with determination. For I have already given you the victory (1 Corinthians 15:57). Do you believe it? Do you believe my Word? Will you trust me? Will you agree that I know best and have given you my best and that your welfare is a primary concern on my heart – even when there are days and seasons where it seems the very opposite? Will you come on this lifetime adventure with me and, like Abraham (your forefather of faith), trust me to keep my promises (Romans 4:16, 20-21) and lead you through the unknown? Will you?

My dear precious one, faith is your title deed (Hebrews 11:1 *Amp). A title deed cannot be denied. It cannot be refuted. It cannot be ignored. Check that title deed often. Review it. Be confident that you already own the promises written in my Word (2 Corinthians 1:20). Circumstances, or the Enemy, or unbelief will deny this… challenge this. But you have a choice. A choice to agree with me, or agree with whatever, or whomever would challenge my Word. Have I not set before you, life and death (Deuteronomy 30:19), blessing and cursing? Choose Life. Choose Blessing. Choose Me!

Never doubt it. I love you. I. Love. You.

*Amp = Amplified Bible