What To Do Until. . .

 

waiting

We’ve all had words of encouragement spoken over us from time to time and I think these types of Words are wonderful; we all need encouragement and affirmation. What I wanted to talk about are the Words we’ve received that are Words of destiny, those bigger, life-changing words. They’re the words we long to come to pass, the Words we’ve been looking for ever since they were spoken to us – those Words.

What do we do with those words? Are they sitting on a dusty shelf, long given up on, or are they stuck in your Bible where we can ponder them, meditate on them? The answer to this question is kind of important. It shows where our faith is in those Words coming to pass.

Are we making ready, preparing for when the Words are here, having been fulfilled?

Let me give you an example of preparing, by faith for those things that are not, as though they were. . .

There are always things we can do to prepare for something that hasn’t arrived yet. When someone is pregnant, they do things to prepare for the baby’s arrival. They buy beds, sheets, diapers and car seats, just to name a few things. The parents are expectant of the arrival, (and with a child too, obviously), they spend much of their time preparing for something they have faith will happen.

Another example I’ll use is Thanksgiving since that is almost upon us here in the USA. To help me prepare for a day of cooking and baking that is like no other, I can do a make-ahead version of pie crust so that the morning of, I simply pull out my bag of prepared ingredients, pour it into a mixing bowl, all the liquid and within minutes I have fresh pie crusts, ready to fill and bake. I can do the same with the dressing for the turkey. I can cut up the bread, toast it and prepare it all the way to baking – that saves tons of time on Thanksgiving Day. I can assemble all the dry ingredients for muffins or cakes if I like, also. Being prepared ahead of time is actually an act of faith.

Pie preperation

How is it an act of faith?

When I prepare pie crusts well in advance of the day they will be used, I show faith in that day coming. If I had no faith, or even hope that the day I needed those pies would arrive, I wouldn’t even bother preparing anything in advance. This may not seem like it’s faith at all but, it is. Faith doesn’t have to be big or even about something big. That was never the point of Matthew 17:20.

Pre-setting your dining room table a few days before your guests even arrive is a sign of faith also. You are doing something in expectation of the event!

My point is, there are always things we can be doing in preparation for things that haven’t arrived in our lives yet. Be it a prophetic word about your destiny, your ministry, a baby yet to be born, or even your long-awaited spouse; we can prepare! We can do things to make ourselves ready. There are things that we have to do in order for those things to happen.

Not only are there things we can be doing that make us prepared when that word finally comes to pass, there are things we HAVE to do that will propel us closer to where we want to be and make us ready for the things we desire to have. It takes faith and hope to do this, it takes action on our part to make ourselves ready and be who we need to be when they/it arrives!

We aren’t supposed to sit around with our hands out as if we’re expecting things to literally fall out of heaven into our laps. Of course, no one means to do that but sometimes we’ve lost hope and we are doing nothing that is an act of faith. We’ve lost hope in our dreams and those words have gotten dusty on that shelf in the closet.

 

Something we can do is to ask God what we can or need to do to prepare and make ourselves ready. What is it we need to study? What is it we need to learn? Do we need to start walking out some of these Words as if they already are? I don’t know, but God does, and I’m pretty sure you may have an inkling of the answer.

Wait upon the Lord, as in Isa 40: 31

But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

The word wait here is a verb. (Strongs) If we don’t ever do anything, why would be worried about growing weary? This verse is talking about waiting on the Lord, meaning – doing something and not grow weary in the doing!

One thing I really feel very strongly we should do and do right now is, take out those words – examine them and read them out loud with such a force you actually start believing they are driving up your street, about to knock on your door!

We are supposed to be moving toward that thing. We are supposed to be building a place for that thing to land! That prophetic Word is like an airplane, we have to build a landing strip so it can land!

landing strip

Come on! Let’s do this thing – great things are on the horizon about to overtake us, if we will but have the faith to make a place for it to happen!

+G

 

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An Angel at the IRS

 

Customer service pic

A few years back I encountered an angel at the IRS.

No way, you say? Well, listen to this…

A year or so before the market crashed in 2008 we found ourselves behind on payroll taxes in our family business. If this has ever happened to you, you know it’s so hard to catch back up, much less stay current with the taxes.

I had been running behind for a few months and was in the middle of the catch-up game when I received a letter in mail – a dreaded letter in the mail! It was from the IRS and it stated that I needed to contact them within a few days or they would come in and shut down our business.

If that wasn’t scary enough, they said we owed over $4000.00 and it would need to be paid immediately – seriously? Obviously, if I had that kind of money, I wouldn’t have been behind in the first place.

After freaking out for a bit I called some intercessor friends of mine and told them what was happening. My plan was to call the IRS the next morning from our house instead of the office. Having the intercessor’s cover me in prayer while I talked made me feel much better.

When morning arrived, I told Paul to not expect me at the office for a while because, from past experience, I knew I might be on hold for quite some time. I’d been praying in the spirit all morning and before I picked up the phone to make the call, I remember praying and asking God for an angel. I also asked that my call would be answered within the first few rings and I would not be put on hold.

My call was answered on the third ring. There was a person on the other line, not a computer. I wish I remember the woman’s name but sadly, I do not. I explained the letter, giving her the case number and all the information she required and she asked me to hold while she pulled my file. But before she could put me on hold, she stopped and asked me if I would give her my phone number in case we got cut off accidentally. That was a first, I have never had someone in a government office ask for my number, much less be concerned that we might be disconnected – meaning I would have to start all over again with a new person when I got connected.

I gave her my phone number and she put me on hold. She was gone about 5 minutes, which is a long time to be on hold, listening to some pretty awful music! While on hold, I was praying furiously, if that’s possible.

She came back on the line and said, “There seems to be a problem here.” That made me a little nervous!

She said, “The amount owed is $4,000.00, but the problem is, you don’t owe us that money.” I was very confused.

I told her, I didn’t understand and was somewhat confused. Could she please clarify?

She explained that they there had been an error on my account and I had, in fact, overpaid my taxes. Instead of my being behind like the letter stated, the IRS owed me the $4000.00 for overpayments.

I was pretty much in tears. You can’t imagine the relief and thankfulness I felt. I have no idea what had just happened to turn this around, and not only around, but in my favor!

I thanked her again and again for her time, her help and for her kindness for she was extremely kind and that had nothing to do with the favor I ended up having

As I was about to hang up the phone, she said, “If anyone asks, be sure and tell them that angels DO work at the IRS!”

Anges

 

I could hardly hang up the phone I was weeping so hard. Wow, just wow! God is so good. Not only did both of my prayers get answered, immediately, He even went so far as to turn everything around to my favor.

So let it be known, far and wide, there absolutely are angels that work at the IRS! And if they can work there, they can (and do) work in every situation you find yourself in. Pray and ask and you shall receive! We have not because we haven’t asked. Also, be specific in what you ask for.

 

Falling in Love, Again

Falling in love - again

Falling in love is one of the sweetest things in life. Who are you falling in love with today?

I fall in love with my friends over and over again with each experience or conversation we have. No, that doesn’t make me fickle because I fall in love all the time – it’s not like I fall out of love with my friends. It’s more about my knowing them deeper every time we connect and that gives me more reasons to love them.

Falling in love can be (and is) a conscious decision we GET to make with each encounter we have.

Choosing to love people is really a gift. Love is so much easier than judgment and offense. When we learn to look for the treasure in others, we will begin to see them through the eyes of our Father. He has placed treasure in each and every one of us and it is our good pleasure to find it, brush it off and polish it up. We are made to make each other shine!

So often we don’t see the worth that is in ourselves – it takes someone else to point it out or reveal it to us. We are blinded by our past wounds and difficulties. Have you ever met someone who is simply amazing and they impress you by everything they do? I have and the crazy thing is, they don’t know any of this. They don’t know they are amazing – they feel the exact opposite actually. When I mention some of these things to them, speaking how I see them, they are frankly incredulous. They have never seen themselves in that light.

Because we so often can’t or don’t see the truth of who we are, especially who we are to other people, we walk around with half of our identity missing. This is why it’s so important for us to fall in love with people! They have no idea how lovely they are and if we don’t tell them, who will? All they will hear are the lies running around in their head that is designed to defeat them and keep them from being who they were made to be.

So again I ask – Who are you falling in love with today? Will it be a friend or will it be a total stranger? Could it possibly be a family member who is hurting? It’s up to you to decide.

G

Love Thy Neighbor

neighbors

The other morning while I was just waking up – you know, that sweet place between being fully awake and fully asleep, I was thinking about love. I was thinking about loving my neighbor and how sometimes it’s easier said than done. Yes, I do know the scripture actually says, Love your neighbor as you love yourself. But, we’ll save that “Yourself” part for another time.

I was pondering this and praying that God would give me a love for those who I seem to have a hard time loving on my own. Help me love even those who irritate me and make me twitch at the mere mention of their name. Help me love the (seemingly) unlovable ones.

After praying and pondering this, I had a sudden thought of actually falling in love with these people – my neighbors and others. Seriously, falling in love? But, the more I thought about it, the more it made perfect sense.

What better way to serve someone and demonstrate the kingdom at the same time. That is, without an agenda whatsoever.  People see agendas coming a mile away and there isn’t any real love in them when it comes to relationships like this. The end “game” is love, not another notch on your evangelistic belt. (I don’t have a belt, btw.)

For me, the Gospel is and should be preached by demonstrations of love and practical things that people need and can understand in their lives, more than by words preached at them. I find that when words are being used to preach the Gospel, it is for the Believing body. Not always, but this is what I see most often. It’s always pointless to point out what we think is wrong with someone, especially if we haven’t even taken the time to love well first. There is no fruit in that.

We throw the word “love” around all the time. Often when we use the word, it’s for things, to people. For instance:
I love coffee

I love bacon

I love these jeans

I love Sunday mornings

I love Christmas

We also use this word love when we think and talk about our friends and relationships – which is what I’m talking about here.

Can we take a moment and think about this thing called love? What is it really about?

When I met my husband on a blind date, oh so many years ago, I fell head over heels in love with him. My thoughts were always on him. What was he doing? Was he thinking about me? When would we get to be together again?

Things have changed only slightly these days. Instead of me being in a state of head over heels, – I am able to take my eyes and thoughts off of him so I can accomplish some things. (That is sometimes necessary for functionality!) But that is what love is all about. Falling in love with Paul is something that I choose to do every morning when I wake up. It’s like the “Groundhog Day” of love. I get to do it all over again but the difference is, I am full of love when I begin the day, not emptied out only to start from scratch.

I used the illustration of me and Paul about falling in love because it’s a perfect picture of what we are capable of as people: We can fall in love with those around us and we can do it every day.

This thing called love is really about choosing a place of humility. If we do that there will be no room for judgment or accusation for those who believe differently than us or act differently than we would in a given situation. We can love them because we give them honor from exactly where they are not someplace we think they should be.

 Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

Love never ends. . .(1 Cor. 13:4-8)

Falling in love with our neighbors is where the rubber hits the road. Love is a fruit of the spirit and if you know anything about fruit, it doesn’t suddenly appear. Fruit is grown from seeds planted and tended over time. Like fruit we won’t excel in love always, but we can develop love, deep love over time.

We need to treat people like our most beloved and cherished friend. We need to take the time to listen because they have a story that will rock our world and it needs to be told. If we treat them like beloved friends, that is what they will become. Can we love well enough to listen and actually show that we love?

I believe it’s time to fall in love with those around us. I believe it’s time for us to go out as an army of love and conquer the neighbors around us. Then let’s go take the world!

I’m falling in love, all over again.

G

Balance – My Experience

Balance

This morning I was pondering balance. Balance in where I place my focus and balance for my walk in the Kingdom.

I don’t spend much time at conferences seeking words and experiences but there was a time that I did. There is no condemnation in that but I decided I didn’t need a new word; I needed more time with God who is the Author of those words. That’s still where I am right now and it’s working out great.

Of course, people still give me prophetic words from time to time but there is a balance in that. I’m not seeking them; God is simply sending them when I need encouragement or direction. He’s cool like that.

And while I don’t do certain things like conferences anymore, I am aware that I can still get caught up in doing other things that can become just as big a distraction or even an idol in my life.

Balance – It’s what I need

I don’t want to spend all my time and energy on only one aspect of who I am called to be. I have spent many years working in “healing and deliverance”. It was all we did and it was all we focused on.  It was my identity. There was no balance there and that can certainly lead to burnout. Thankfully that didn’t happen but there was a danger.

What I do want is to be able to live each and every day to the fullest!  If I am only one-dimensional (doing only a single thing) in my identity or my calling, I will get bored and quit, thinking, what’s the point?

While I know that focus is wonderful and necessary to learn new things or accomplish tasks, it doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be diversity in what we do – our focus or vision shouldn’t become tunnel vision. When a lot of people think of me, they think of food. And yes, I do have a passion for food and even though I bake, I cook, and I post copious amounts of pictures of food, that is only one aspect of me: I also do many other things that feed people that have nothing to do with physical food.

Balance – It’s what I do

I spend time thinking and praying. I spend time writing. I spend time baking and cooking. I spend time conversing with my Etsy clients, and I spend time with friends and family on social media. All of these things are what I do and I love doing them. I have no desire to spend my days praying for people only, counseling only, and baking only, NO. That would be terrible. I want to do it all – and I will! I want to be authentically me in the fullness of my identity in Him because when I am being truly me, I can major on several different things and actually accomplish a lot.

Balance – do you have it?

I AM the Righteousness of God

 

Righteousness

Paul and I were talking and praying through some things this morning. He had a prayer sheet with a list of things to declare and start your day with – lots of I am statements that he copied from Al Mack’s timeline. Some of these statements got me thinking.

We all have learned that praying the Word back is a great thing to do. Our words have power and when we declare these things out loud, things happen and heaven moves. Paul likes to say, “The Kingdom is voice-activated” and he’s right. Our words do activate the spirit realm around us.

While going through the prayer points and declarations I kept thinking about how much every one of these requires faith and trust if we are to believe them. For example, how can I know I’m a new creation in Christ if I don’t have faith in that if I don’t trust that the Word is true?

Even though I was praying along while Paul was reading these out loud, I kept having more and more thoughts along the lines of how much faith it took to really believe what I was saying. Was it true, did I really believe what I was saying and praying; or was this just a mantra of ritualistic words that I was familiar with? Did I really believe this in my entire being or was this simply head knowledge?

After a few minutes we got to the statement, I am the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ (2 Cor 5:21) and my thoughts suddenly stopped. I realized that this was true – not just in my head but down in my very being, through and through. I believed it because I have faith in the other things He has said and it takes faith in every step and every statement to come to a place where I could emphatically state these things as truth. They weren’t empty statement or just words on a page.

I began to repeat some of the “I am” statements with the knowledge, with the faith of the truth that they revealed.

I am righteous because I am a doer of the word.

I am a joint-heir with Christ because I am righteous

I am holy because I’m a new creation in Christ. . .

I was realizing, deep inside and not just in my head, that I am these things and whether I’m feeling it or not, I am complete in Him. I lack nothing and I am far from oppression. Fear is simply a lie that I cannot afford to entertain.

Knowing this makes me able to walk in peace and joy no matter what the world throws at me. And, no matter what tragedies and difficulties that are around me I can remain in my identity and be of some use when needed. How in the world can I influence or help anyone if I don’t even know who I am?  I can’t, at least not for the good. And who needs influence if it’s bad? No one!

It comes down to identity. Reading these statements again this morning made me realize that I actually believe them all. My faith has grown and it encompasses all the vastness He says about who I am.

A few years ago, that wasn’t the case. I used to read things like this all the time but, I only read them believing they were wonderful but not actually about me. Today the epiphany was, I am all of these things and the peace I can enter into and not have to ever leave is the fruit of that. Today the truth that has been in my heart finally reached my head! Understanding has arrived.

Time to exhale.

Photo credit ~ Aaron Burden (https://stocksnap.io/photo/MCC6WG6ZN5)

 

Revealing of the Sons of God?

Drawn to the light

Do you ever think about those scriptures that say, For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (Romans 8:14) and this one, For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God? (Romans 8:19)

I do, I often wonder what it will look like when the wait is over. I often wonder if I will ever be seen or known as a Son of God.

Last night I (eventually) got a glimpse of one possibility of how it might look. . .

I can’t say it was totally unexpected but when the attack came, I was shocked at how utterly ridiculous it was. Even though I halfway expected something, I didn’t expect what did come.

**********

When you find yourself being attacked you might want to take a step back and see what is really going on. Yes, it hurts when this happens. Yes, emotions rise up, you will want to defend yourself and refute the accusations. Believe me, I know all about it. Actually, I’m standing in this exact spot right now.

In order to see what might really be going on, we have to go deeper. Attacks are often reactionary as opposed to being responsive. The first is emotionally driven and the second is thought driven in their simplest forms. In this case of an attack, we are looking at the emotionally driven reaction.

In order to distance myself from an attack, I have to step back and look deeper to see what might be motivation or cause. (Even if it’s only perceived by them) Often it has more to do with the person that is attacking than the one who is being attacked. And often it has to do with wounds and hurt that have not been properly dealt with or healed.

Unhealed wounds can cause bitterness and negative feelings.

Resentment over things that have happened to us can make us feel like victims and that in turn sometimes causes us to make inner vows that we think will protect us from further hurts.

They won’t.

Well, they will but it will only be for a very short time. Eventually, those vows will become a prison that not only keeps things from hurting us again, they also keep anything good from getting in – like healing! Those wounds will begin to fester and become toxic. This is when seeming unreasonable attacks take place. Unreasonable to the person on the receiving end, that is.

When I was attacked last night, I’ll be honest with you – I wanted to attack right back! I vented, said a few (or several) things that weren’t very lady-like and even started writing out a reply to the person. Thankfully I have a husband who hears from God who advised me to wait, not respond until tomorrow. And also thankfully, I’m wise enough to listen to him!

Before falling asleep I repented for my behavior and outburst of wrath towards this person and asked God to soften my heart towards them because I certainly couldn’t do it all by myself. I didn’t sleep well. The enemy was having a heyday with my thoughts. It was difficult to rein them in but for the most part, I recognized his tactics and told him to stop. Mostly they did.

While drinking coffee this morning, Paul and I talked about the incident more. It was occurring to me that this person was very unhappy and had a very negative outlook on life. I gleaned this not from a place of judgment but from previous conversations I had with this person. Looking at the larger picture, I realized there had been signs that I didn’t recognize at the time.

This person was wounded and expected everything would be a problem, everything would go wrong. They were bitter because they hadn’t been healed. It broke my heart, but in a good way. (Not like when they attacked me. That one hurt, this one hurt differently) We were able to pray blessings and healing over them in a very sincere way. I was able to forgive them and let any resentment or need for punishment fall to the ground.

Yes, I was attacked but at the end of the day, it wasn’t about me. It was about them and their dissatisfaction with themselves. I am still praying for them, prayers of healing and prayers of discovery. I continue to pray they will discover what love is and Who Love is. I pray they will encounter joy and peace and kindness in the most unexpected places.

It’s not always easy to pray for those who hurt us but who said it would be? The easy path is not always the right path to take. The path that pushes us past our comfort zones causes us to take our eyes off our own selves and makes us love stronger, is the one that will bear much fruit. It is the path that will identify us as Sons of God.

The whole world is waiting, you know. The world is waiting for a light in the world to be drawn to – that Light is in you!

(Photo credit ~ https://stocksnap.io/photo/3E6O5228GU)