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

 

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My Eyes Were Healed!

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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, 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!

Stay ~ Influence ~ Occupy

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My question is this: Are you having a bad day? Are you feeling insecure, angry, threatened?  If so, don’t withdraw! Stay engaged and fight for your space and your place… Sometimes life IS just hard. Sometimes things are coming at you all at once – you feel attacked maybe, things seem to go wrong and things start to pile up all around you. It can be very overwhelming!

It’s times like this that I want to exit out of life sometimes. I want to withdraw and quit participating with those around me. (But I don’t.)

Does that ever happen to you?

First of all, I’m not really talking about suicide here although I suppose it could apply. I’m talking about the feeling we sometimes have of being hurt and maybe overwhelmed by everything that is going on around us and the desire to withdraw from the game – pick up your marbles and go home where it’s “safe” and no one can hurt you anymore.

The problem with that is, we can’t really afford to bow out. Why? Because we each occupy a specific space, uniquely our own and it’s important that we stick around and fill it. If we leave, we will be missed and not only that, there are things we do that will not get done.

Don’t believe me?

 It’s like this…

God is so big that He knows each and every encounter we have. He knows who we will meet, who we will interact with and even who had the potential to offend us. He has given us influence from this space, our own flavor or sorts, and a certain scent that no one else has. There are things we do and say that no one else can do.

Don’t leave your space
None of us is an island; at least we’re not supposed to be! We have a connection, physically and spiritually to each other.  The space we occupy touches other spaces. Who we are and what we do affects those around us – for good or bad. Those we “touch” can be either blessed or hurt by our actions, whether we choose to stand or to flee, encourage or discourage. Other people occupying their own space will affect us too. Of course, this is who we get hurt or how we get blessed. The connections are not just in the physical realm, there are spiritual connections too.

Back to don’t leave your space…

It’s true when we’re hurt and try to back away from everyone, escape in order to avoid any more pain, that it feels like the right thing to do. The problem is, we don’t always realize what a void we leave behind. Our lives are not our own – what we do affects those around us in ways we may not have considered.

When we withdraw and stop participating, we leave a void, a vacuum in the space we once occupied. The emptiness if felt. Sometimes that feeling may be one of relief for a time to those we leave, or it may be one overwhelming grief.

Don’t be alarmed that some may feel relief when we depart – insecurity and anxiety are not always very comfortable to be around. But that relief is only short lived because we are supposed to occupy and thrive in that space and whether we are told or not, we are missed. The void/emptiness that’s felt by our absence can create a longing in others that is not unlike grief. It stirs up an ache in their souls that can’t be explained away.

We need to realize who we are and be aware of the space we occupy. We need to know we matter and are important to the people around us. Maybe we haven’t been told how much we matter and maybe that should change; but whether we are told or not, it doesn’t change the fact that the space we fill is ours to occupy and influence from.

If we don’t occupy and tend our spaces, we can become an island and that is NOT good. We will become isolated and alone because that is the effect of withdrawing. Departure believes the lie that we don’t matter. Know it for what it is – a lie! We matter more than we know.

You do matter! We matter!

I believe it’s time to stand in the place we’ve been given. It’s time to grow up in the things of God and begin to work from our places (spaces) of influence and boldly be who we are meant to be! And if for some reason you don’t know who that is, take a look around you – who are your friends, who are your companions, who influences you? This is who you are.

Now go be you and influence those around you!

Photo by Jérémie Crémer on Unsplash

Choosing Joy

Wholesome Home

“Count it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you encounter trials of various kinds, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have it’s perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4

In November 2016, these words became my constant companions. My body was consumed with toxic poisoning and my world changed drastically. 

I had been struggling with some weird health issues for several months prior to November, especially my memory and ability to speak, and I was concerned but blew it off. I attributed it all to the significant stress we had been going through for a couple of years with building our ministry, developing our ministry center and then having to leave it all to move to Kansas with my husband’s job. It was a tough transition, to put it mildly.

We had been in Kansas for…

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Focus – Love or Injustices

Today's Goals
I’ve discovered that if you spend all your time focusing on what is unfair, what hasn’t been accomplished, or even what someone did to you, there’s a big chance bitterness will take over your conversations, which would have started in your thoughts.
 
I do realize there are lots of things in our world that need justice but I’m also aware of the beauty that surrounds me. Every place I see something negative or “out of place”, I can also see things that are simply beautiful or even astounding.
 
What do you see when you see a homeless person on the side of the road? Do you see someone who is most precious to our Papa, or do you see all the disadvantages the person has? Both are true. Both are important. But only one has life and only one can bring solutions and answers.
 
Yes, there are injustices in our world and there are plenty of things that need changing but for me, I think it’s more important to dwell on the one thing I can bring to the game – right here, right now. That “thing” is love. I can bring love into any situation I encounter.
 
If I only see negative things, all the problems, then I will never get around to loving anyone or anything. No, I will only become bitter and hard and that is the way I will see everything. My lens will be clouded by the cares of this world.
 
Speak life.
 
Choose love
 
I challenge you today to bring love, forcibly if necessary, to every single situation you find yourself in today. Sometimes that looks like smiling and walking away. Other times it may look like hugging a homeless person and letting them know that have value and are loved and then perhaps you give them something that will cost you something. Who knows, that hug could have cost you everything. That cup of coffee might be the big sacrifice. Only you and Papa know.
 
Love those impatient drivers. (You might be the most impatient one!) Love those coworkers, love those neighbors.
 
You get the picture – wherever you find yourself today, love big. Love strong.
 
And by evening time, may we all say, “This was a good day, Lord!!”
Rinse and repeat…