Encouragement – We All Need It

Encourage someone

Encouragement – We all want it, heck, we all need it!

I’ve found that things are a little different in the kingdom than they are in the world. For instance, if I need something, I usually have to begin to give something away. If I need kindness, I need to be kind. It’s a kingdom of opposites in some ways.

What seems right to a man is death, (Prov. 16:25) Hmmm. I think this scripture may have something to do with the ‘kingdom-way’ of doing things. If I keep doing things only for me, me, me, all it will do is bring death. If I am so full of things or information and never give back or pour back out to others, I’m a virtual dead sea with no outlet. I’m dead.

So, when I need encouragement, I encourage others. When I need wisdom, the first thing I do is ask, and then I give away what He’s given to me because others are seeking it. God has always been faithful in giving me what other’s need. He probably does the same for you.

Encouragement is often like an affirmation. It’s the turbo boost we sometimes need at the very end of a project or season. When things seem like they couldn’t get any harder but still do, encouragement is the juice that will keep us contending for the breakthrough we know is just around the corner. It will cause us to stand up straighter and know that we are doing what we are supposed to be doing.

So, am I right; don’t we all need encouragement? I would challenge you to purpose your day to go out and find someone who needs exactly what you need and encourage them to not give up, to keep pressing until the breakthrough comes. Tell them exactly what you need to hear, use the same exact words you are longing to hear yourself. You will be amazed how refreshed you feel. Holy Spirit may even now be whispering to you some of the things you need to do or say to bring about this refreshing to others and vicariously, for yourself too.

I’ve done this before with great success. This is not a formula of course because we all need different things. But it can be a principal or a tool. One day when I was feeling pretty discouraged I went into the grocery store to pick up a few things. All I wanted to do was get what I needed as quickly as possible and then go home.  When I got my things and approached one of the checkout lanes, I noticed that one of the cashiers was really looking down and discouraged. I knew that if spoke some encouragement to her and simply spoke blessings over her, she would be lifted up and maybe even begin to smile; she would be encouraged.

Of course, that’s exactly what I did. I began by telling her what an awesome job she was doing and that immediately brought a smile to her face. I spoke other encouraging words over her and not only did her countenance change but so did everyone else who was standing in line behind me. By the time I left the store, which was really only a matter of ten minutes, I was encouraged myself! Win, win.

The kingdom of God is here, living inside each and every one of us. It’s not supposed to remain there. It’s supposed to be shared, transplanted in dark places or even in people who have no hope left. We have the answers to all they need. When we encourage others we are bringing light into their current darkness and isn’t that where light belongs, in the dark places? Aren’t we to be messengers of hope? I believe encouragement can be (and is) a great big doorway into bringing the kingdom to earth and transforming our neighborhoods and cities; one kind encouraging word at a time.

Let’s purpose to do this and if you do, come back and tell me about it; I will be greatly encouraged too!

So go! Get out there and encourage someone, right now, today!

 

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Running on Empty

running on empty2

Do you ever find yourself feeling empty, nothing in the tank – nothing to give? I do. As a matter of fact, today is like that.

The question is – what am I going to do about it?

The “Word” over my life has a running theme in it. It says, “I fill you up, says the Lord”. Today, I don’t feel full – I feel empty.

I fill you up, says the Lord!

So, I wonder.

If I find myself feeling empty I have to stop and ask myself what I’ve been eating lately, what have I been filling myself up with? Is it nourishing my soul and my spirit?

But even as I ponder this, I know the word spoken over me is true whether I feel it at a given moment or not. I fill you up, says the Lord! Do I act as though I’m full? Not always.

Many days I spend my time getting things done, completing that list of “have to do items” and by the end of the day, I realize that much of my time has been spent being distracted by the cares of the day-to-day issues in my life and no time has been spent in simply BEING. All of my time and effort has been spent Doing. By the end of the day, I have nothing left to give. That is sad and that’s not how it’s supposed to be.

Another part of the word over my life says, “Pour out – pour out my daughter.” Hmmm. I want to pour out, to give to others what has so freely been given to me. But…

What I often forget is, He said, “He would fill me up,” then He said, “Pour out.” I may be neglecting the filling up part of this. I may be trying to pour in my own strength. That’s not good!

I think I may need a “dietary” change. What I’m currently eating isn’t filling me, it’s draining me instead.

I fill you up, says the Lord!

The answer to feeling empty is to stop striving to get everything done in my own strength but instead, go hang out with Him and let myself be filled up with all that I need to accomplish things in my day. From this place, I can be that vessel that is overflowing and able to pour out from a limitless supply.

 The answer to feeling empty is to fill up on righteousness, peace, and joy. Only He can give me that and it can only be obtained by spending time with Him. If you are feeling empty, wrung dry and in need of refreshing or filling, He’s the answer.

Bon Appétit!

Romans 14:17 (NKJV)

for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

 {Here’s the “word” I was referring to. It was given to me back in June of 2006, about 3 months after surrendering to Jesus ~}

I fill you up, says the lord

People don’t even know what they need,

I give it to you.

I pour into you love to give them.

I pour into you joy.

I pour into you.

You will never run out,

You are a vessel

 

You can put a lot into a vessel;

Vessels can hold rivers of life

Vessels can hold milk and honey

Vessels can hold the gravy of truth

Vessels can hold rich food like chocolate and caramel

Vessels can hold fruit of the vine

Vessels can hold fruit of the trees

 

You have a direct infilling of my glory in you

Daughter drink of me,

Pour out into the nations

 

That’s why you like to work with foods;

You see the richness in them,

You see the fruitfulness

 

You see what I made with my own hands,

Your hands become my hands.

 

Pour out; pour out my daughter, my love

You will never run out,

I have more for you

 

Expect more to pour out,

It will overflow.

This I promise you today

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! 🙂 )

 

 

 

WAIT – Walk Always In Trust

God is my mentor

Give up worrying. Trust that God is with you, always.

In my walk with God, I’ve done a lot of teaching and equipping. While I do this with joy, sometimes I would love it if I had someone who was sowing into me, maybe a spiritual mother or a mentor. I’ve never really had either of these. It’s been more of me coming alongside other leaders and serving them…
One day a few years ago I was on my long commute from work heading home, and my heart was somewhat heavy. I was feeling a little worn out and lonely. And yes, even having a wee pity party. I began asking God, “When would I get a spiritual mother or a mentor that would sow into me. When would I find someone who would teach and equip me?”
That’s when I heard God speak. Very softly He said, “Ginny, these things you want, that’s what you are to many others. You teach and equip them for their journey and you pull treasure out in them that they never knew was there. I do these things for you. For now, it is enough.”
When He said these things, it WAS enough. I felt peace envelop me and I wasn’t sad or lonely anymore. It was my answer and I’ve never worried or cried about it since.
Today, I have others who come alongside me share to share this journey.  They encourage me and teach me, often without even knowing it. They are amazing and life wouldn’t be the same without them. I know God placed each and every one of them beside me.
If you find yourself feeling discouraged or even sad about things in your life, be sure to listen carefully – I’m pretty sure God has a plan for you too. He is your greatest encourager and the greatest mentor you could ever find.

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.

************************

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?

Royalty and Honor

Royalty and Honor - crown

On Royalty and Honor

Several years ago I read a couple of books that caused me to pause and reflect on the connectedness they had with each other.  One of the books, The Supernatural Ways of Royalty by Kris Vallotton speaks about our identity and who we are as Royal Heirs; the other one is, Honor’s Reward by John Bevere and it speaks of how we treat those Royals all around us.

Both are excellent books.

When we realize that we are Royal Heirs, we discover there are certain requirements and obligations that go along with it. Of course, there are many benefits also. When you are raised as a prince of a kingdom, there are things you can do that you wouldn’t be able to do if you were raised outside the palace.

There are many advantages to being a prince. In the palace, it would never occur to you to question your authority or even your identity – it’s WHO you’ve been your whole life and everyone knows it and would never question it.  It is from this place that you live your life.

When you are a royal heir, you have responsibilities that go with the title. One of those responsibilities is you need to be a leader and you need to learn about honoring those you encounter. You need to represent the King and his kingdom. I read somewhere that Moses had to be raised in Pharaoh’s palace so he would know the ways of royalty when it became time for him to lead the people out of Egypt. To me, this makes perfect sense. When we know who we are, we won’t be easily moved from a position of authority or leadership by intimidation or otherwise. We will stand and do what’s right.

However, if you had been raised outside the palace, you wouldn’t know the identity of being a prince.  You wouldn’t know how to act like one or even what his duties and responsibilities were. Well, guess what? You are royalty. You are a prince. I can only imagine somewhere along the journey of your life, something drastically changed and you became a new creation. And actually, that is what happened. When Jesus died for all of us at Calvary, we became heirs with Him; we became Royal Heirs – and that is quite a new creation! 

Now we need to learn how to be a Prince in the Kingdom.

Royalty and Honor - knight

Reading John’s book on Honor taught me very simplistically that there are 3 levels of honor.

The first level is honoring those who are in authority over us. That could mean our spiritual leaders, our boss, our parents, or even our civil leaders like Police officers, Congressmen, or the President of the United States.

The second level is honor among peers; those who are running the race with us. Those who don’t have authority over us but come alongside and go through the same trials. Our friends are also at this level.

The third level is the honor for those who are below you. NOT in a derogatory sense, but as in children, our own or those of others. (Yes, children absolutely deserve our honor – how else will they learn? We have to honor them and give them the grace to grow just like we did, both physically and spiritually.)

Royalty and Honor - children

The third level is also about honoring those who have not had the experiences or the teachings we’ve had but are on a different part of the journey than us.

Essentially…

Honor those above.

Honor those beside.

Honor those below.

All these things have been going through my mind lately. I’ve been contemplating royalty and honor as parts of a single identity and what I’ve decided is this:

I am a daughter of the King and my husband is the son of the King. Each and every one of us is sons and daughters of this same King. That is a fact.

I want to discover if our interactions demonstrate the honor of royalty among ourselves – do we display honor in our interactions and conversations with other royals, each other?

In our day to day dealings, we need to remember who we’re actually interacting with. We are the inheritance of God. He is our inheritance but also we are His. Because of this, there needs to be honor among us. The way we treat each other, the way we respect and honor each other is so important.

How we treat others is a picture of how we see God. Is that through a filter of self-righteousness? Do we see Him through the lens of religious doctrine? Or do we see God as our King; the Father of us ALL?

If we are able to see royalty in everyone we encounter and treat them with the respect and honor due, we will be well on our way to becoming Christlike. Isn’t that what God planned in the first place; to create us in His image?

Another thought –

There is another book, A Culture of Honor, by Danny Silk which is about living this out. Do yourself a favor; if you haven’t read these books you should. They are life-changing. I highly recommend them all. (I’ve reread them many times and probably will read them again.)

My prayer is that I can begin to see and honor each and every one of you for who you really are; not for where you are on the journey. We’re all on a journey and God has placed us together for a reason. One of those reasons is so we can learn how to honor and respect each other, thus sharpening each other. I pray each and every one of you are blessed, honored and respected in this day and that you will go out and honor all those you encounter.

Applause

 

Romans 12:10 TPT  Be devoted to tenderly loving your fellow believers as members of one family. Try to outdo yourselves in respect and honor of one another.

Looking for the Victorious Bride

 

Victorious Bride 2

Imagine for a moment what Jesus’ wife looks like. What type of person does He desire?

In my imagination, I think of her as being about as perfect as you can possibly be. I see her doing everything with excellence, no detail missed. I see her as kind and compassionate to those around her. I see her as extremely beautiful, inside and out. Her heart is so full it’s overflowing with love. I see her as the Proverbs 31 woman.

But the one thing I don’t usually see is ME being His bride, His choice. Sure, intellectually I know I am His bride but I don’t see all her qualities in me. I’m also probably right in thinking I’m not alone in this either. Maybe the solution to this is to begin to pull those blinders off because He does see us this way. So…

What does she look like?

The Victorious Bride is beautiful. Her beauty begins on the inside, with her heart. Have you spent much time reading Proverbs? If you have you’ve seen a great picture of the Bride. You’ve probably also noticed that her eyes are not focused on herself too much, but instead are gazing at what she can do for others; her family and those around her in need. She is the epitome of wisdom. Her gaze is fixed on her Beloved and she seeks wisdom for all she sees and all that is hers to steward. The Bride loves the Bride.

She is courageous and bold, loving and compassionate.

She has a ready word for those she meets.

She is not harsh, nor is she judgmental.

She is intelligent and full of grace.

She is longsuffering and will take the time to listen to the needs of those she meets.

She is kind and goes out of her way to bless many.

She has eyes that shine brightly with hope.

She is a bringer of peace and an ambassador of joy.

She is a nurturer and will comfort you with her loving arms.

She is the mother of hospitality and will feed you with wisdom from above.

Where is she?

Actually, she’s right there, staring out of your bathroom mirror at you. Can you see her?

You and I both are the victorious bride. There are many days I don’t feel very victorious. Life is hard sometimes and it doesn’t look like I’m winning. Instead, I struggle with self-doubt and that tends to make me frustrated and angry. If during those times I could set the disappointment and sadness aside I would realize that those feelings, while very real, they are not the truth. I am not a defeated victim any more than I am a disappointment to everyone. They are lies that I’m in the middle of believing and in doing so, I have become a victim through my own choices. Sure it wasn’t a conscious decision I made but it was still a choice either way.The truth is, I am victorious and I am His bride; so are you.

 My desire is to become more and more victorious. My desire is to be someone who will bring joy and literally change the atmosphere when I walk into the grocery store or anywhere else I tread. I’m tired of being tired. I am responsible for the change in the world around me and I want to see that happening. I want to be an encourager and help people find their path. I want people to smile when I show up because they know I carry compassion and bring hope to their lives.

How will I know her when I find her?

By faith, I have to believe I am who He says I am. By trusting Him, I will be free to take a leap into the scary unknown and go serve others. When I do this, He always takes care of me and then my concerns and distractions will fall away leaving me able to help others with their needs, not just my own.

I desire to be a victorious bride not only in words but in deeds and countenance too. I want to be seen as His! I want to be a bringer of hope to the lives of people around me! There are so many people who need what I have. They need my hope, they need my surety that love never fails. They even need my faith! But what they don’t need is my despair. My despair only speaks of my lack of faith and my lack of trust in God. I don’t consciously lack faith or trust but my actions and words may speak this loud and clear.

When I find her, she will look like me – she will look like you. We will be proud to be her and will realize the Bride in Victory is who we were meant to be. Yes, I said BE. We become her in rest. This isn’t a striving to become the issue – it’s a waking up into reality thing! It should be like breathing – we do it without thought.

I need to BE a victorious bride, reaching out to hurting people and being an example of unconditional love. It’s what so many in this world need – Love! I need to actually put legs to my faith in God and take my eyes off of me.

(Picture credit – https://pixabay.com/en/bride-road-dress-bridesmaid-dress-727004/)