Seek Wisdom – Bring the Solution

Books - seek wisdom

We have the answers needed, for ourselves and those around us. That doesn’t make us know-it-alls.

We have access to all the Wisdom we need, for ourselves and for others – all we have to do is ask.

We have access to the Holy Spirit who dwells inside us – we need only to be still and listen to him and he will give us the answers we need. Those answers are for our own circumstances and for those we pray for.

If all the above is true and it is – who are we praying for? Are we mere men who only reveal the darkness around us, or are we saints who bring light, aka, the answers and solutions to the needs of those around us?

Are we praying for those who are in the news that gets caught up in wrongdoing?

Are we praying for the problems in our neighborhood?

Do we seek wisdom from above for the answers we and others need?

Are we truly, truly praying for the solutions to these circumstances or are we praying for them to become “right” in our own understanding? I don’t know about you but oftentimes my understanding is a bit skewed to match my current circumstances – not the Truth of the reality around me. (Prov. 3:5-6) If we trust God and use his wisdom, we won’t need to lean on our own understanding.

I mention all of this because I think we as believers don’t actually believe. I mean that in the sense that we don’t act or respond to things like we believe. When others see us they don’t see us as an example of Jesus.

We can’t profess things we don’t live.

Maybe we are only doing what we’ve been taught to do. Maybe we are having such a hard time in our own lives that we only see things through that distorted lens.
I don’t know but I include myself in these things. I’m not exempt from reacting out of my own circumstances at times.

What I do know is this – speaking those things that are not, as though they were is a powerful weapon against darkness. (Rom 4:7) When we do this, we are declaring what God has spoken to us and it sets our eyes toward it. It’s a powerful weapon of encouragement to us and to others. Speaking the solution, as opposed to speaking only those things we see with our natural eyes change our focus to HOPE and dreams. When we only see and speak of darkness, there isn’t any hope, there is no life and when we live in that place, we have put our faith in the wrong kingdom.

Please understand, this is not a message of condemnation. No, it’s a message of hope and a reminder of the access we have so we CAN be light and salt in this world that is in need of us to stand up in who we are and reveal the kingdom to them – even if it’s by praying for them, declaring a future and a hope over them or by simply loving them where they are.

For there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…

So let’s go out bring the answers and solutions to those around us and not spend our time pointing out darkness. Sure it’s there but what are WE going to do about it? Ask God, he’s waiting for you.

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Speaking in tongues – judging not the Body

Sunflower half

 

Speaking in tongues…

Acts 2:4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

 The scripture referenced above is the one I think of most often when I think about speaking in tongues and maybe I’m not the only one.

Do we all think this? Do we expect everyone, ALL to begin to speak in other tongues when they are filled with the Holy Spirit? Do we allow for any exceptions in this?

I hope so, my experience is an exception.

The day I surrendered to Jesus was an ordinary day, starting out like many other days. I was in my breakfast room it was only me and Father God; no one else. There wasn’t an altar call that led me weeping down to the front of the church to repent of my sins and beg that Jesus accept me. No, it was nothing like that at all…but that is another story for another day.

At that time, I didn’t know a thing about speaking in tongues. My husband was praying for people in the Healing Rooms every week and fairly soon, I began to join him there praying for people too.

As it turned out, everyone in the Healing Rooms spoke in tongues. Apparently, it was a big deal and it WAS the definition of intercession, at least according to one of the leaders there. Well, guess what folks; I didn’t have my prayer language yet and that made things a little awkward. Yet, even though I didn’t have a prayer language, I still heard and was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Every Saturday morning we went to the Healing Rooms to pray for people. Before those needing prayer arrived though, we would always have intercession over the day and the needs of the people coming, or whatever the Holy Spirit led us to pray for. We started off by worshiping first and then we would move into let into intercession.

During intercession, most people would pray in tongues, their prayer language. When they did, I kind of felt left out because I didn’t have a prayer language yet. One of the leaders kept telling me to pray in tongues, use your prayer language! I had to confess to him I didn’t have a prayer language yet.

Sorry.

Once I confessed I kept feeling like I was viewed a little differently than everyone else. I felt like my “salvation” was in question.

I began to believe it and I hated it! I felt like a fraud. Since I thought I couldn’t contribute to the intercession, the only thing I could do was whisper “Jesus” over and over again while everyone else interceded. I wanted to give up and go home. It didn’t help when the leader kept looking at me as if I wasn’t trying hard enough! He was a little frustrated with me; I was a little frustrated with me. I couldn’t figure out why I was different and what I did wrong that didn’t allow me to have this gift. I began to dread intercession and wished it were over so we could pray for the patients; that I could do.

I felt the Holy Spirit move through me as I prayed for others. I was even beginning to hear His voice more. I prayed over people every week – I even used words of knowledge to speak into their lives so why couldn’t I speak in tongues? Sure I tried all the practicing and babbling that people will try and get you to do, hoping that would somehow trigger a language that is right there, just beyond reach, waiting for the right trigger to release it; all to no avail.

It wasn’t until almost a year later that I got this precious, long-awaited gift.

Paul was out of town and I went to a Kingdom Entrepreneurs meeting by myself. There was a guest speaker I really wanted to hear. (I can’t remember this gentleman’s name, sadly.) This man was a disciple of Dave Roberson, the author of The Walk of the Spirit the Walk of Power, which I had read two times already. I was so excited about this meeting that I was even willing to go without Paul which wasn’t normally the case.

During the meeting, this man told testimony after testimony about speaking in tongues. He spoke of how so many breakthroughs came in his life through this gift. My longing was stirred up so much while listening to him! I kept praying, “Lord, I want this gift!” “Lord, why can’t I have this gift!” and so the night went with even more stories.

When he had finally finished speaking of such powerful things, he did a version of an altar call; except this time it wasn’t for salvation – it was for the gift of speaking in tongues! I ran…lol. I was first in the line of about 8 other people.

When I got up there, he didn’t pray, he spoke to me instead. He then grabbed my hands, touched my head and said, “Speak” and I looked at him in a funny way. He said it again, “Speak”! And I spoke! I spoke so much I was laughing and crying, all at the same time. It was amazing, it was weird and I couldn’t stop! No seriously, I couldn’t stop! For three or four days, I spoke in tongues – out loud, under my breath, and even in my sleep.

It changed so many things. Now I could pray even when I didn’t know what to pray – finally!

Do I always know what I’m praying? No, I don’t. But what I do know is that when I pray/speak in tongues things happen in the spirit and in the natural. Things move that I don’t know about until much later sometimes.

Something I find interesting about praying/speaking in tongues is that my language changes over time. It also changes depending on the need. My prayer language for general intercession and warfare are much different. One is almost like worship and the other is more like a weapon. Neither is consciously decided upon when I start praying, it’s moved by the spirit.

Sometimes I pray out loud and sometimes under my breath – I think under my breath would be the most typical. You know, at work, at the grocery store, at the bank – wherever there is a need for prayer but not necessarily a need to be heard by everyone.

I probably take this gift for granted a lot of the time. It’s simply something I do, not something I think about. But whether I think about it or not it is an amazing gift from God that can and will move mountains. And by the way, it has nothing to do with salvation. Nope.

I tell you these things because we as a Body need to let God be God in peoples lives and give grace to those who may not be walking the exact path that we are. So what if they act or believe a little bit differently. So what if what they are currently preaching is “old hat” to you and you believe differently. It matters not! There is one Body, but many parts,  (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). We are not all supposed to be the same. How boring would it be if we were?

I have a group of believers that I have gathered around me. Or maybe it was God who did it. Either way, we are not clones, these friends of mine. We are a diverse group of believers who learn from each other and hold each other accountable. But, we are not alike in every aspect of our theology or beliefs. That is what Grace if for and we love and honor each other greatly.

I would admonish us all to give grace to those who differ from us. Give honor to those who are different because they are God’s favorite ones and He loves them more than we can even know.

(I apologize for about 4 different rabbit trails! 🙂 )

 

 

 

Compassion – Do we show it, or just talk about it?

Love lock pink

 

I was thinking about empathy and compassion this morning and brought to mind a post I shared a while back. It said, “Name a movie that made you cry.” There have been many comments on the thread, which is great, but not the point.  Many of the movies named have been pretty predictable while others have not. Many of these movies I hadn’t thought of in years and others I had never even watched, which is also, great.

But what got me thinking was some of the comments from people who said they never watched sad movies. Some even mentioned the reason was because there was already so much sadness in the world. Others didn’t explain their reasons…all fine and good too. There are many times I simply cannot watch a sad movie because I’m already in a sad place myself and what I need is joy and hope.

If we never watch sad movies, those movies that cause us to be in the midst of the suffering, does this speak of our compassion or our lack of compassion and empathy towards those around us? Is this something we avoid because it is uncomfortable and messy?

For instance, if we look at this through a bigger lens, I wonder what this says about the human condition when we avoid situations that we know will make us sad; you know, the widow down the street who not only lost her husband but has now just lost her son to disease or sickness. Or the man who just lost his job because he has addictions and can’t afford rehab and doesn’t know of any other kind of help.

Yes, it breaks our heart, it really does but it would hurt in a different and more tangible way if we were to go and enter into that suffering with them. I think there is a fear of involvement that wants to keep us “safe” behind our doors. It’s easier to talk about compassion than it is to show compassion.

If we were to simply go and let them know they’re not alone or to let them know there is someone who loves them and can maybe help, it might change their world. Yes, that would definitely cost us something in the end.

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I do think we (I) need to count the cost more and pay the price for others. What’s the worst thing that can happen, we make a new friend? Or we get to help a neighbor gain freedom? Who knows? I need to come out of the “safe” cave of me and GO out more and then enter into the lives around me.

What about you – are you showing compassion or simply talking about it? What are your thoughts?

Changing the Atmosphere

Atmosphere changers

We are Atmosphere changers!

We affect the atmosphere we inhabit. Atmosphere changers do just that – they change the atmosphere, for good or bad.

The last couple of days I’ve been thinking about how my attitudes and stances affect those around me. (In the world we live in, “around me” can mean physically or even social media – basically any place I have influence whether positive or negative.)

What am I bringing to the conversation when I comment on someone’s post or reply to someone’s question? Do I come into agreement with negativity and join in the pity party? Or do I consciously turn the conversation to seeing the goodness in things and maybe bringing hope where none was perceived before? Do I encourage them to see things from another perspective, or do I simply agree with all the despair?

If someone is experiencing goodness and joy already, do I want to bring them down to my level because I’m having a bad day? Both of these instances will change the atmosphere. So, am I problem focused or am I seeing blessings all around me?

Sometimes I think we (I) need to stop and think about how our attitudes affect those around us.

We are not an island – our attitudes and stances touch others and can have more of an effect than we realize. If I have a bad attitude, my stance will be rigid and I will not be moved to any sort of compassion. My words will be few and maybe even harsh – and sadly history shows that I won’t even care, at least in that moment. Is this what I want to bring into a room? Is this how I encourage others?

Hardly

I encourage others to do better and be a better person by managing myself first. I will never forget the Danny Silk quote, I can’t control anyone; I can only control myself, and then only on a good day! The “control” he’s referring to has to do with influence. If I’m under control, self-control, and my attitudes love and peaceful, I will have a tremendous effect on those I encounter.

You know if you’ve ever flown in an airplane, the flight attendant always tells you that if the plane loses cabin pressure, put your own mask on first. That way you will still be breathing and be able to help others around you. This is managing us first.

I have to be conscious of what change I will bring to the atmosphere. If I’m not in a place to bring a good shift, I need to walk away and go deal with myself; maybe even a time-out if necessary. (smile)

If I am focused on blessings and the goodness all around me, I can affect someone else’s attitude and perspective simply by allowing what’s in me to pour out on them. How cool is that? This is what I desire and I pray will be more and more prominent in my life.

From this place of contemplation, I would like to encourage us all to give thought to our words; to proactively bring hope and encouragement when we walk into a room, (physically or cyberly.) I would also encourage us to check our attitudes in how we deal with people and issues we may not agree with at the moment. (There’s always room for us ALL to grow and learn more.)

Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God. This is the atmosphere we are bringing to bear.

Try talking about your blessings more than your problems ~ Toby Mac #speaklife ~ It makes the atmosphere around you much more pleasant. No, seriously….

Photo credit ~ https://stocksnap.io/photo/4KMRMHQIJD

 

My Eyes Were Healed!

2014-11-29 13.22.01

 

The blind can see…

 On December 2, 2006, my eyes were healed. Although it took me a day or so to realize it, they were healed on that date.

Every year Bill Johnson came to Nashville for the weekend and spoke at a conference that was hosted by two different churches here in town. One night he spoke at Grace Center (church) and the other night he spoke at Belmont Church. In December of ’06, he spoke at Belmont Church on Saturday. We had been looking forward to the occasion for a long while.

To back up a bit, I got “saved” in late February of 2006. It was a crazy year, at least compared to any previous years of my life! I immediately began reading all of Dutch Sheets’ books so I could learn how to pray and maybe even figure out what this “intercession” business was all about. No, that didn’t teach me to pray. I learned a lot but what I really was wanting was to learn how to pray like Paul and some others from the Healing rooms – and that just didn’t happen. (God didn’t want another Paul or anyone else! He wanted me, and I am very different from them.)

After getting frustrated by not learning what I thought I wanted to learn, I started reading everything Rick Joyner had written. I started with the Final Quest, The Call and Torch and the Sword. Then I moved on to all his other books. This was all so fascinating! Where had all this stuff been my whole life??

A couple of months later, I ran out of Rick Joyner books to read and discovered Bill Johnson when I saw someone reading his book, Dreaming with God. I thought, wait, we can do that?? I had to go buy that book…and eventually all the rest of them, too.

Do you see why I was excited about him coming to speak?

We went with a group of people we prayed with each week in the healing rooms. We all sat up front, about two rows back from the stage. As he usually does, Bill brought along some students from the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. They all came up on the stage and lined up. One by one, they called out words of knowledge for the people in the audience. Each time they called out a word, the people it applied to stood up. (It was always more than one person each time.) They called out things like pain in certain areas of the body; they called out bulging discs and even breast cancer. There were so many different infirmities called and so many people standing up. Everyone remained standing until they were finished with the words of knowledge. Then, we would all pray.

I sat in my seat watching in amazement. I had never been in a conference where they did this. This went on for more than 15 minutes when suddenly they called out astigmatisms. The girl sitting beside me stood up and when I didn’t, Paul nudged me to stand up too. I was a little shocked, lol. I wasn’t expecting anything for me – I wasn’t sick and I didn’t have any crazy pain! I stood up and joined everyone else that was standing. Okay, now the students had finished giving out their words. Bill Johnson came back up and took the microphone to instruct us on praying.

“If you are still sitting, stand up. You are the ministry team,” he said. “Lay hands on those around you. Ask them why they are standing and begin to pray; begin to contend for their healing.”

Those that were sitting, stood up and gathered around those who were already standing. A young man who was sitting behind me came over to me and placed his hands on my shoulder and after asking me why I was standing, began to pray. I have no recollection what he prayed but I do remember it wasn’t a long-drawn-out prayer. It was short and over very quickly. I had removed my glasses before he prayed. When he was finished, I didn’t notice anything different about my eyes but I thanked him anyway and put my glasses back on. I think I was a bit disappointed about not being healed but I let it go and began to pray for some others who were still standing.

Kyana is the girl who stood up just before me with the same word about astigmatism was now looking around, without her glasses, covering one eye after another. The look on her face was priceless! She was healed and she was amazed that she could see. Jealousy tried to speak to me but I said no! I was so happy for her. We both did a little happy dance in celebration.

It was an amazing night – with so many healings and miracles. I was blown away.

On the way home, wearing my glasses, I told Paul that it was crazy but I had a headache. I guessed it must have been all the excitement and didn’t give it much thought after that. We tried to stay up and talk about all the cool things that happened at the meeting but my head was getting pretty bad so we turned out the lights and went to sleep.

The next morning I put my glasses back on when I got out of bed because that is what you do when you wear glasses – especially after 30+ years! My head wasn’t any better; instead, it was actually getting worse. I was also noticing how this headache was affecting my vision; it was so bad that I was having trouble seeing with my glasses on. I kept thinking something serious must be wrong with my eyes!

When my eyes got so bad, I went and lay down on the sofa. The vision thing was making me nauseated and I was hoping that lying down would help. Paul came in and was a bit concerned. Then he got a puzzled look on his face, and said, “Why don’t you take your glasses off and see what happens?”

Well because I didn’t want to!

In the past when I went without my glasses very long, I would get dizzy and nauseated. And since I was already feeling sick, I didn’t want to make it worse. He asked me again so in order to make him stop asking me, I took them off… My head immediately stopped hurting! My vision was clear!

I was shocked! You mean to tell me I was healed and didn’t know it so I wore my glasses for a couple more days?  The answer was YES – I was healed and it never occurred to me that my glasses were now the problem!

My glasses, yeah.

I had just paid something like $600+ for my new progressive lenses but guess what? I didn’t even care! I was healed and was doing my very own happy dance.

Maybe God wants to heal your eyes? This is my testimony and you know, the testimony is the spirit of prophecy. I prophesy you shall be healed! You shall be made whole!

Is fear causing us to be problem focused instead of God focused?

Focus

I was sitting here thinking about some things in my life and I had this thought – does God wonder if we will ever quit looking at our problems and start looking at Him? I also wonder if we don’t sometimes make idols of our problems and difficulties. They are so often at the very center of everything we do and that makes me wonder sometimes about God’s thought on it.

If I spend most of my time worrying about problems and focusing on what might go wrong if this happens, or that happens, I would never accomplish anything. I just might have placed all my trust in the wrong kingdom. That’s fear, my friend. Fear wants us to have so much trust that bad things are going to happen that we completely forget who we are. We forget that our trust is in God – and that’s not good at all.

Fear is the number one thing we are warned against in the Bible and I think for a very good reason. Could it be that fear is so prevalent and such a great adversary that we need to constantly be reminded that it’s a lie? And not only that it’s a lie, but that it’s something we need to guard against? Fear not, indeed!

I am also reminded of the scripture that perfect love casts out all fear. How does that work in a practical sense? (I’m all about the practical)

As far as perfect love pertains to problem focus, I think the answer lies in the ability to turn my focus back to God. I need to remember the things He’s promised me, i.e. what are the prophetic words over my life? Once I remind myself of all those things, I can remember His goodness and realize that my trust has been on the wrong things and turn back to Him. Trusting in God is the way to peace and the way to freedom.

If I told my husband I trusted him and yet every time he said or did something, it made me fearful and anxious, I wouldn’t be showing very much trust. No, that’s not me trusting him at all. Instead, that’s me trusting in the bad things more than all the good things that he could do. We need to realize this fear is from the enemy and whenever we engage it, we empower it. Fear that is empowered will stop you and any good you want to do in its tracks.

The enemy isn’t at war with God; he’s at war with us! He wants our eyes looking at our circumstances and our problems so we won’t be looking at God. He wants us looking at all the terrible things going on around us so we can’t see the beauty of what really is. When our eyes only see bad things or potentially bad things, we will never see a solution. We will never go out and BE the solution.

It’s true that so much is going on in our world lately. But when we have wrong focus, this is all we will see. We will operate out of fear and there won’t be any peace around us. Fear is a self-perpetuating thing; the more you operate in fear, the more it grows. The more it grows, the more anxious we become. It will keep growing until the cycle is broken and that can only be broken by putting our focus back on God.

He is our Hope. He is our Prince of Peace.

Let’s remember Love, perfect love does cast out fear. And as long as fear has a foothold in our lives, love is very difficult to achieve – if not impossible.

I have enough things in my life that seem impossible. They aren’t with God, but in my own strength, they answers might as well be on the moon.

With all these thoughts and ponderings, I’m more determined than ever to keep my eyes like flint on Him. When my eyes begin to wander I have to pull them back. I have to give them something to focus on and look to Jesus who has all the answers.

Speak the word only…

Speak the word only

Romans 4:17

‘…even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.”

Words have impact and power in our lives…

We all confess this to be true, but do we really believe it, do our lives reflect it? What about our prayers; are they prayers filled with item after item of what is wrong with a situation, begging God to hear our prayers and fix everything?

What about those words we choose when we speak to God, do they not have impact and power? (Positively or negatively)

Let me tell you a story that pertains to all of these questions.

Several years ago, our daughter left for college to start the next journey in her life. She wasn’t saved, she was fairly rebellious and as typical of many her age (18), she was into the usual things – drinking and drugs. While she was engaging in the things of college life, Paul and I were having house parties and house church here at home.

One evening during one of these meetings we were going around the room praying for each other’s needs. When it came time for Paul, someone asked about our daughter; how was she? Was she any “better”, had the prayers had an effect? Paul said no and began to remind everyone about Chelsea and how she was such a prodigal – smoking, drinking and doing drugs. Then he began to pray that these things would stop and that she would come to know Jesus when God suddenly interrupted him and said, “When are you going to quit telling me what the problem is and start telling me what the solution is?” Paul was a little bit startled at that, to say the least. He asked God, “You want me to lie?”

Needless to say, our prayers did change to something more like a declaration than a plea. We began to speak the solution over our daughter every day, multiple times a day.

When someone asked how she was doing, we would say, “She’s saved, healed, drug-free and serving the Lord!” (At first, we would then say, “In Jesus name” lol, you know…to make it legal.) 😉

In exactly 2 months after changing our prayers and confessions, this is exactly what happened. She did get saved and all the addictions went away at the same time with God’s “one-step” program.

So it really is true like the Centurion said, “Speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.” And we, like this Centurion who was attributed with greater faith than anyone in all of Israel, are called to speak those things into being that is the Truth.

The truth is, our daughter was a righteous woman, she was addiction free and she was serving the Lord – in the future. All we did was bring the future into the now with our words. We are co-creators with our Father in heaven. Our life and our words should reflect that. He gave us all power and all authority to do the things He did and more! Didn’t Jesus heal the Centurion’s servant? And since He obviously did heal him, isn’t that something we are able to do? His words healed the servant and the officer knew that was all it would take.

Who are our words healing?

Whose destiny are we bringing into today with our words and declarations?

Our inheritance is riding on it. We are to be calling out destinies and futures to our loved ones and guess what? They don’t even have to know about it. We never told our daughter we were calling out her destiny. It wasn’t against her free will, it was about her future and her hope – she just didn’t know it yet.

Let’s make our prayers effectual and powerful. Let’s speak those things that are not (yet) as though they were! Let’s begin to speak of our “situations” as if they were already resolved!