Monday, December 29, 2008

Answered Prayers

I am ending this 2008 year with great hopes for the new year. You see at the beginning of the year I visited my cousin's church. I don't remember why I was there, just that I was over taken by emotion seeing my cousin, her spouse, their three children, their significant others, and their children all sitting there together. Just the year before I remember visiting with my cousin, and she wanted to go to the church, but didn't want to go alone. It was such a blessing to witness that, and I started my prayer that I too would see this in my own family.

Today, I got to experience that first hand. Of course, we were late so we were kind of spread out, but Tim was there with me, at my side. Billie Jo was in the kid class - along with Katie (My niece) and Malachi (Tim's nephew). Dallas was behind us with Shane (my nephew). Laurin was sitting next to Garrit (My nephew) and my mom was sitting next to my sister. And an added bonus, my adopted spiritual kid (Still waiting to see him adopted into God's family) was sitting next to Tim.

So I admit, Tim didn't come completely of his own free will - there were ten of us and while Laurin can drive, she can only legally drive with one person under the age of nineteen outside her immediate family. Mom doesn't drive very far, so that ruled her out - which just left Tim. But he was there! It is an answered prayer - especially since it was not one of those Christmas programs or Easter programs which he has to attend.

PS - thanks Christine Caine for the advice during the 2007 Joyce Meyer's Women;s Conference - it worked!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008


I was reading in Matthew Chapter 4 about the Temptation of Christ last night and saw things with a fresh perspective. I mean most of us know about the temptation, but what the Word of God reveals is just really enlightening.

First I noticed that Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. Even in temptation He was led by the Spirit; He didn't just waltz into a bad situation He was following God's will, most surely to be an example for us. If Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit, even in temptation how much more do we need to be led of the Holy Spirit?

Second, I read in verse two He was hungry. I know Jesus was fasting for forty days, but I always think of Him on this earth as a super human deity, not a mere man sent here to walk out life just as we do.

Satan tempted him first in the physical. Your hungry, meet the need. So many times we give in to the temptation to compromise for worldly things - maybe to meet our basic needs or just to meet physical needs in general. We give in to the temptation. Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. He wasn't saying "I'm not hungry," just that his first command is to obey every word from God; Jesus knew that was His purpose in the wilderness that day. He obeyed His Father.

Then I noticed that in the second temptation the devil took him. I still believe that the Holy Spirit was with him guiding and directing him, just this time God gave Satan permission to led Jesus into the temptation. I think a lot of times instead of following the Holy Spirit, or being led into temptation, we put our selves into a tempting situation knowing it is a problem, plugging our ears, heart and soul to the Spirit's prompting of "STAY AWAY" and Satan just follows along coming in the door we opened for him, at which time He has free reign.

The second temptation Satan tempted Jesus to prove who he was. So many times we compromise who we are to prove something to someone. The fact is we are who God says we are. We can put that to the test, it will always come out true. However, as Jesus answered, we can not test God. I think that is one of the reasons that Shadrach, Meshach and Abendigo made the statement "Even if God doesn't." They believed their God would save them, but even if He didn't they would still follow Him. We do not need to prove who we are; we are everything God says about us. He can not lie, so it is true - no need to prove it, just live it. T.D. Jakes made a great comment - we can see a black box and if we say it is green, it doesn't change the fact that it is really black. If God says that same box is white - it will be white. That is how we must be; we must accept the reality of what God speaks about us in His word. He can not lie, He is just a gentleman and waits for us to let go of the lies we have told ourselves about who we are so He can reveal in us what we already are.

The last temptation was for power and control. Satan wanted the same thing that day on that mountain that he wanted when he was kicked out of Heaven - to be worshipped. He was even willing to give up something that wasn't his to give to get it.

How many times do we end up worshipping something that isn't even "all that?" We put the guy, the job, the celebrity, the church, the newest toy on a pedestal we think if we devote all our time and energy to it that it will be all we ever hoped and dreamed for. But the fact is their all tools of Satan because we are to 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only. Satan sidetracks us even with church to keep us from worshipping God and serving Him.

Another thought that came to me is "serving Him." How do we do that? The Bible says that if we have done it to the least of these we have done it unto Him. So we serve others. We serve those less fortunate, more fortunate, and everything in between.

When Jesus was done being tempted the Bible says "Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him." Eventually when we prove that we can stand up to the temptation it will leave us. Then we can be ministered to by the angels around us. Sure Satan will come back, but we just have to remember Greater is He who is in me, than he that is in the world.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Change your Perspectives

Have you even been on the mountain one moment and then felt like you were in the valley?

First you are on the mountain looking around and everything just looks great. Not that everything is perfect, but you just have that clear perspective looking out and can see the plain before you. Your perspective is one looking out and because things are in front of you, they seem possible and attainable. You are on top of the world.

Then without notice, you are in the valley. You feel like you couldn't go any lower. It feels like the world is coming down around you. Walls are surrounding you on every side, and you have an overwhelming sense that nothing will ever work out for you.

But if you stop to think about it, you realize that you never moved. Things changed because you allowed Satan to get in and change your perspective. You are still standing the same place that you were the day before. The only thing that has changed is your perspective.

You allowed Satan to draw your focus to what is surrounding you, the walls that surround where you are. He has drawn your focus to the place straight ahead or maybe behind you, the mountainous walls. He has chosen to get you to focus there, because he knows it will discourage you and stop you in your tracks.

But then you look up. You see that you are not in the valley, but on the mountain peak, right where you were before. You look up to see God on the next peak up desperately trying to get your attention "Hey, look up here" He shouts. His hand outreached, waiting for you to look up and in faith take His hand, to reach the next level in your journey.

At that point you have a critical decision to make - do you allow Satan to keep your focus on the mountainous walls surrounding you so that you feel overwhelmed or do you tell Satan to get under your feet and use him as a ladder to reach up to God's outstretched hand to reach the next peak in the path God has for you.

Change your perspective. Start looking up, no matter what you think you see before you, God will always bring you up to the next level if you reach up in faith!

Wrote Dec. 2, 2008