Biting and Devouring One Another

Galatians 5:15 But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.

Yes, we know that words are powerful. Don’t we? Do we really believe that they are, or do we just say whatever comes into our heads?

We should always be careful to say positive things, not negative, about ourselves and others. Because what we say is what we get.

Experience has shown us that words of faith get much better results than words of fear and doubt.

But what about words of condemnation, gossip, or making fun of someone? Are those words powerful? Do they have any effect on the people being spoken about? We believe that they do.

Lately, we have been learning about curses. We learned many things about the causes and effects of curses from Arthur Burk. We have applied what we learned, and we are finding that words that people speak about us, even if they are far away from us geographically, have an effect on us. If we sense that something is wrong in the atmosphere of our home, we pray to discern what kind of spirit is attacking us and command it to go in Jesus’ name. Many times, the Lord lets us know that the spirit was given authority and sent to us because someone was speaking negatively about us. At first, I found this kind of hard to swallow. Some of the people whose names we got were people who seem to love us. But I know that they probably speak their fears about what may happen to us or speak judgmental words about what we’re doing that they don’t agree with, and they don’t think we will be affected by it. They don’t know what they’re doing. But it’s really serious, because our peace and joy is disrupted every day by some foul spirit because of well-meaning and sometimes evil-intentioned people talking about us.

I found this verse and thought about the word picture given in these words: Biting and Devouring One Another. When we speak negatively about others, we are viciously biting them, even if they don’t hear the words being spoken. It’s like a wild animal tearing and destroying with its teeth. The cross-references to this verse speak of enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, dissensions, factions, angry tempers, disputes, slanders, gossip, envying, etc.

Words can hurt. Whether we hear them or not, words spoken against us can hurt us. One time, a friend called me after a long period of time and told me she had a dream about me. She said that in her dream people were talking about me, and somehow it was affecting me. I immediately thought of some family members who had talked about me to my husband about a year previously. I thought they must be talking about me again. As I prayed about it, the Lord revealed to me that the words that were spoken about me at that time really had affected me, and since that time, I had started thinking about myself and my family the way those people did. I felt like we were poor, pathetic people who just couldn’t do anything right. We were somehow substandard and definitely not as good as the people who spoke against me. The words were critical of me as a wife and mother and housekeeper. When the words were first spoken, the Lord said to me in my heart, “Who are they to judge another man’s servant?” I knew that God loved me and that He knew I was doing all that I could to take care of my family and my house, in that order. But somewhere along the way, those negative words took root in my heart, and I started believing them.

After my friend told me about her dream, I realized that I had let myself be affected by those words. I needed to come out of agreement with them and break their power over me. I had to repent for allowing them to affect me. I couldn’t believe I let them take over my thinking like that. I did the repenting and breaking and instantly my good, honest opinion of our worth as a family was restored. I could see ourselves the way God sees us again.

Those words spoken out of envy and jealousy almost destroyed me. I should never have let them change my thinking the way they did, but it happened so subtly that I didn’t realize it was happening. I thank the Lord for giving my friend that dream, and I’m grateful that she cared enough and was obedient to call and share it with me.

I’m also thankful that God has given us a way to deal with these kinds of curses. We can break them in the name of Jesus, and their power is broken over us. He gives us all that we need to defeat the powers of darkness that come against us. Sometimes we need to take some time and seek God to find out why bad things keep happening or what is causing a repeating sin or disease or behavior in our family. God will reveal to us the root of the curse or whatever iniquity has brought it on from our family’s history. Then all we have to do is repent, renounce and come out of agreement with the sin God reveals to us and break the power of the curse over us, whether it was spoken over us or is the result of sin or iniquity. We can break the power of words in the name of Jesus.

For our part, we all need to be careful of our words. There are many verses that tell about the creative power of words. God created the universe by speaking it into existence. So be careful what you say. You might be creating a mess for somebody if you carelessly gossip or criticize them.

Primer Lesson

Look out how you use proud words.
When you let proud words go, it is not easy to call them back.
They wear long boots, hard boots; they walk off proud; they can’t hear you calling–
Look out how you use proud words.

Carl Sandburg

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My Take on Submission

It’s all about attitude. And I had to learn it over a period of years. I have been listening to Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. I hear him talking about how a woman needs love and a man needs respect. I should have listened to this many years ago. I read other books, but I don’t remember anyone putting it so succinctly that love doesn’t mean as much to a man as respect does. That seems bizarre to me, but I’m convinced that it’s true. Why do so many men write those sappy love songs then?!!

I hate to admit it, but when my husband and I first got together, I had a tad bit of a superior attitude. I never would have admitted it then, but I had this pride problem that was huge. But I was blind to it. I thought I could judge his actions and words and decide if he was right or seeing things right or whatever. Sometimes when he told me about something that happened at work, I would wonder if he was just seeing things wrong. I wondered if he caused his own problems. I know now that I needed to be on his side no matter what. But back then, I judged him. I would tell him what he should have done. Oh, I cringe when I think about how I used to think and act toward him. I didn’t know him as well as I do now, but if I had followed the biblical order of how wives are to treat their husbands, I would have honored and respected him instead of reserving judgment or out and out criticizing him. I don’t think I came right out and criticized him openly, but I would ask him questions about the matter, and he could tell that I was questioning his handling of the matter. No wonder he didn’t feel respected by me. Like Dr. Eggerichs says in his book, I should have given him unconditional respect.

Another thing I didn’t understand was how important it was to him to be able to provide well for his family. I wanted to get married as soon as possible, and he wanted to become more financially secure first. I was already teaching. I thought that I could earn enough for us at first and then he could take over the breadwinner role later. I had no idea how hard that was on his self-image. I pushed until we did get married before he was established in a career, but I think his self-respect took a beating. It worked out in the end, but he had some wounds from my attitudes that pushed him to do things that lowered his self-respect. If I had respected him, I wouldn’t have pushed for my own agenda against his better judgment.

The Bible tells us the correct way to think of our husbands. In Eph. 5:33, Paul says, “The wife must respect her husband.” I thought I knew that. I just didn’t realize that I wasn’t doing it. I didn’t know how unconditional my respect had to be.

In the Love and Respect teaching, Dr. Eggerichs tells about a survey of men that asked two questions: If you were forced to choose, would you rather be alone in the world and unloved, or would you rather feel inadequate and disrespected by everyone? More than 70% of the men surveyed said they would rather be alone and unloved than to feel inadequate and disrespected by everyone.

I saw my husband live this out. It was SO hard on him. While we were living by faith, he was okay because he knew that God told him not to get a job. So when people asked what he was doing, he could tell them that God had called him to pray and to do whatever ministry the Lord brought to him. Not many people asked him to his face, but a lot of people talked behind his back. And he knew it. But he was able to handle it, because he knew he was obeying God. When the time of living by faith was coming to an end, he knew he was supposed to get a job again after four years without a job. So he started trying to find a job, and it seemed like he couldn’t get a job anywhere. Nobody would hire him. Even jobs that were below his skill level were closed to him. Our fountain of provision had stopped, but he couldn’t do anything to make any money for us. He felt so useless, helpless, and purposeless. It almost killed him! He was a bear to live with. He was so angry all the time. The kids were afraid of him. He was not himself. He finally got a job at Walmart, of all places. It didn’t pay enough to even cover our rent. But it was something for him to do, and he started coming back to his senses. He had a purpose in witnessing to people he worked with and customers. He had people coming to him asking him questions. He was getting a bit of respect from someone. It was enough to help him through the rest of our transition back into the marketplace.

I believe that I was respectful to him during that time, but that wasn’t enough. He felt disrespected by everybody else. But I wonder if he would have made it through it at all, if I had disrespected him, too. I stood by him and loved him the best I could. I never treated him like he wasn’t trying hard enough. I never questioned anything he did or said. At times, I felt like I had to do spiritual warfare for him. I had to take some leadership of finding a house for us and some other things because he was too distraught to do anything like that at the time. But I didn’t get angry at him for leaving the headship to me. I knew he just wasn’t capable right then. I gave him some time and space. If he had made a decision during that time, I would have gone along with it. He was too agitated to even make a decision. But I had learned through our years of living by faith to respect him unconditionally. So when the time came that he was acting in a way that didn’t deserve respect I was able to keep treating him with respect. I believe that it helped him to retain his sanity and kept our marriage from falling apart.

So I believe that our submission to our husbands is wrapped up in our unconditional respect for him. I have a husband who loves the Lord. If my husband wasn’t seeking God with all his heart, I know it would be very hard to show him unconditional respect. But it seems as if that is what God would have us do. So I would have to submit to his decisions if I wanted to obey God. I trust God to take care of me no matter what happens in life. I have heard testimonies of husbands who really have been won by their wives’ loving, submissive, respectful attitudes. If we don’t show respect to him, then we are not giving God anything to work with.

I have known women who were abused emotionally by their husbands. I would advise them to keep a submissive attitude, except in cases of physical abuse. Then I would tell them to leave and go to a place of safety. But in the case of emotional abuse, if the husband ever tried to leave, I would tell the wife to let him go and not try to get him back. It really all comes down to trusting God. Leaving it all to Him means not trying to make things happen our way. If we truly allow God to work in our husband’s heart, God will make all things work out for our good. If we truly trust God, we will let God have his way in everything that concerns us, including our husband’s heart.

Highways

Out on the highways, there’s so many passing by

Step out in boldness and watch the family multiply

Pray up some miracles, let’s open up the sky

And His joy will be manifest in you

And the lost will be found by the things you do

– Christy Riley @ www.blessedchaos.wordpress.com

Pass through, pass through the gates!
Prepare the way for the people.
Build up, build up the highway!
Remove the stones.
Raise a banner for the nations. Isaiah 62:10

A highway shall be there, and a road, And it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, But it shall be for others. Whoever walks the road, although a fool, Shall not go astray. Isaiah 35:8

The voice of one crying in the wilderness:

“ Prepare the way of the LORD;
Make straight in the desert
A highway for our God. Isa. 40:3

It’s time to do some highway construction! If we build it they will come.

Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. Luke 14:23

Abortions Cease at Facility in North Carolina

The following is from an email update I got from David Bereit of 40 Days for Life:

Ever since 40 Days for Life grew into a national —
and then international — movement, beginning back in
2007, we have been blessed to see:

* More than 2,800 lives saved from abortion …

* 38 abortion workers experience conversions and
leave the abortion industry …

* And FIVE abortion centers have gone out of
business following 40 Days for Life campaigns
outside their doors.

Well, we just got breaking news from Raleigh, North
Carolina, that the National Women’s Health abortion
center — outside of which 40 Days for Life campaigns
have been conducted — will no longer do abortions
after this coming Saturday!

To see a picture of my visit to that 40 Days for Life
location — back when we had NO IDEA that abortions
would be ending there — go to:

http://40daysforlife.com/blog/?p=952

Today’s Raleigh News & Observer confirms the story,
and reports:

“One of four Triangle abortion clinics will no
longer do procedures after Saturday, but it’s
unclear whether it will close or simply stop
offering abortions.”

Even as we praise God for this victory, pray that
this center, which has done so much harm, completely
closes and that the workers experience conversions!

North Carolina was one of the first states to ever
conduct a 40 Days for Life campaign, and today’s News
& Observer story shared additional encouraging news:

“Abortions in North Carolina have been declining, as
they have across the nation. In 2008, the latest
year for available data, about 27,000 North
Carolina women had abortions, according to the N.C.
Center for State Health Statistics. That was down
4.6 percent from the previous year.”

Praise the Lord! Bless everyone who has taken part in this extraordinary movement!

The Meaning of Hope

Rom. 5:5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

I had just told God, “I hate to say it, but I’m kind of disappointed with the way things have turned out.” I didn’t want to complain. I had just spent the last four years carefully watching my tongue and not complaining about anything, no matter how distressing the events were. I was completely caught off guard by what God allowed to happen to us. I never would have dreamed He would let such bad things happen to me. I thought I was above such things. But I had so much pride, arrogance, jealousy, and lots of other nasty hidden things in me that I needed a jolt of reality. I needed to see what was really in my heart.

By the time of my confession of disappointment, I had been thoroughly humbled. But I was tired. My husband was so frustrated and angry about the things that were happening at work and in his life in general. The kids and I were doing spiritual warfare for him every single day. Things were better. We had a stability we hadn’t had in months. But things were still bad. We were cramped. Our house felt unhealthy. Allergies were bad. And we still had no options. We couldn’t do anything to make anything better.

Then I cried out to God. My heart was hurting. I felt disappointed. I knew God hadn’t let us down, but things were still so far from what we had prayed and sown for. I knew He was going to come through for us… but when?

I never asked that. That was Gary’s question. That… and “why”? I never let myself ask those questions. But I had come to the end of my stamina. I finally let out what I was feeling. I told Him the truth about how I felt. And then I opened my Bible. The first verse my eyes fell on was Romans 5:5. “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” I didn’t really understand the whole thing, but I knew that God was telling me to keep hoping. He was telling me that the things we were asking and believing for were going to happen, and that I should not give up hope, because hope doesn’t disappoint. That’s all I needed to hold on to. Hope does not disappoint. That phrase helped me make it through the next three years of waiting for things to really get better.

And one day, they did get better! And they’ve been getting better all the time. We are going from glory to glory. My husband has had promotion and is expecting more. We are expecting great things financially, physically and spiritually. All for His glory.

Don’t give up hope. Hold on to it while you wait. Like a life preserver. And remember, Hope does not disappoint!

Dying to Save Our Marriage

When we first got married, I was selfish. So was he. But neither one of us knew it. We were both Christians. We were both following Christ. We loved each other. We thought we were Christ-like. We were clueless.

I had some issues. So did he. I wanted all of his attention. He wanted to watch TV or play video games all of the time. I hated games. He didn’t care for chitchat. I wanted to tell him all about my day. He was bored by all of my rambling and wanted me to get to the point. The problem was there was no point. I just wanted to talk. He didn’t see the point. It was a vicious cycle.

Throughout our years of marriage, we had several epiphanies. One happened for me when we had been married for 3 1/2 years. I was listening to a song from Robin Hood (the one with Kevin Costner), because we were going to sing it together in a wedding. The song was called Everything I Do (I Do it for You). I was sad and lonely in our marriage because of the reasons stated above. Oh, yes, he was also a workaholic. I was lonely because I hardly ever saw him. He worked late every night that he didn’t go to the gym. I had a baby boy and stayed at home with him all the time. I really resented the fact that the few moments my husband was at home, he was watching TV or playing a video game. I never got any of his attention. And I wanted ALL of it! I felt like he wasn’t meeting my needs at all. I resented the long hours he put in at work, too. I knew that he was trying to get ahead. I knew that he was having problems at work. I knew that he was trying to prove himself in his very first real full-time job, and that it was very stressful. But that didn’t stop me from resenting the time he spent away from me and our son. I stuffed all of my feelings inside, so he didn’t know how I felt. But as I listened to that song, I was suddenly struck by the knowledge that everything Gary was doing, he was doing for me. I was absolutely dumbfounded. It didn’t feel like he was doing anything for me. I felt like he was just doing whatever he wanted to do. But the Lord revealed to me what was really in Gary’s heart. He was trying to do the best job he could at work, hoping to make more money for me and our family. He believed that if he worked long hours and showed his willingness to work and did the best work he could possibly do that he would get a raise and possibly be promoted, and we would make more money. I never saw it that way before. I wanted time with him more than I wanted more money, and I just couldn’t get past that. Money didn’t mean much to me, and I didn’t understand how important being a good provider was to him. But, ultimately, he really was working long hours for me, and the Lord made me see that. Even lifting weights at the gym was as much for me as it was for him. He wanted to look good for me and to stay healthy and fit for me. I had been too selfish and self-focused to realize that, in doing those things, he was trying to let me know how much he loved me.

I felt a little better about things after that. I appreciated his efforts more. But I still felt like he wasn’t meeting my deepest needs. I needed attention. I needed for him to ask me how I was doing. I needed for him to talk to me like a friend. But he didn’t know I needed those things. And I didn’t know how to tell him. I was putting so much of my time and energy into my children that I wasn’t taking care of myself. We had 5 more children in the next 8 1/2 years. I had six children 10 years old and under. And I was doing almost everything for them and all of the housekeeping. Besides that, I was tutoring other children and trying to homeschool my own that were of legal school age. I was also doing homeschool assessments every summer for 100 homeschool families. In between all of that, I had to take classes to keep my teaching license current. As if that wasn’t enough, I acted in a Christmas play and started singing in a quartet. I was a bona fide “Mommy Martyr” to quote Cindy Rushton. I thought the busier I was, the better I was.

About this time, he had an epiphany at a Promise Keepers conference. The speaker challenged the men to do one thing each day to improve their marriage. Gary thought, “I don’t need to worry about that. My marriage is just fine.” Then he said he felt like a spotlight shone on him, and he heard a voice saying, “Your marriage is just fine? Do you really believe that? Your wife is caught up in singing in a quartet and busy with that all the time, and you’re busy working all the time, and you barely see each other, and you think your marriage is just fine?” He said he looked around to see if everybody in the stadium was staring at him, because it felt like he had just been put on the spot. Nobody else seemed to notice anything unusual, so he wiped his brow and thought about what the Lord had just said to him. When he got home, he seemed really serious and said, “We need to talk.” I was in such a state of mind that my thought was, “Oh no, he came back worse than when he left.” I always wanted him to act happy and excited. I hated to see him depressed. When he got down, I got mad at him. But when we went to our room to talk, and he told me what happened during the conference, I knew God was helping us to get this communication thing going. We talked and decided that we needed to do more together. I ended up quitting the quartet. He tried to spend more time with me. We prayed together more often. He asked me to tell him what I was really thinking, how I was really feeling. I still had a hard time with that, because I was always afraid of making him mad. It wasn’t that I was “afraid”. I just hated for him to be mad, and I avoided causing him to be angry at all costs. I assumed that things would make him angry that I know now wouldn’t have. But my desire for him to be happy all the time was so strong that I avoided communicating with him things that I should have.

To make a long story short, we went through some perilous times together, with no one but each other, the Lord and our children to depend on. We had the stuffing knocked out of us. We went through devastating loss and humiliation. But we made it through it together. I found out some more of my issues. Like how I expected Gary to meet some of my needs that only God can meet. I found out during our time in Kansas City that I was wrong to insist that Gary be happy and jolly all the time. I was wrong to get angry at him for not being happy.

Most of all, I learned that I needed to die. I had to die to myself and my desires. I had to turn to God for every need. I had to love Gary and pray for him as if my life depended on it. Because it did! Whatever happened to him happened to me. I was told by a mentor that I should pray down blessings on Gary’s head even when I felt like I hated him. There were times…! I started praying for him in a less selfish way. I started seeing things from his perspective. The Lord helped me to put myself in his shoes and sense the frustration he felt at work. I was able to build him up and encourage him in his efforts, because I got my eyes off of myself and my needs and the things I thought he should be doing and onto what he was going through and how he was feeling. I became a help meet for him in a way that I had never been before. I saw for the first time how talented he really was at technical writing. I became proud of his ability and thanked God for it in Gary’s hearing. I praised his abilities and talents and encouraged him to stand up for himself at work, instead of wishing he would just be content and not rock the boat. I was on his side for the first time. I was in his corner. We were a team working together. I got myself out of the picture altogether. I wasn’t worrying about my needs. I was too focused on his to even think about mine. And as I did this, he gave me more attention. He wanted to hear what I had to say. He shared with me every detail of what he was going through. He started trusting me to take his side.

We both died in a lot of ways during our journey of fire. Many of our dreams died. Many of our concepts died. But in the kingdom of God, life comes out of death. And sometimes you have to die to live.

As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;

10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. 2 Cor. 6:9,10

He Knows My Name

Nahum 1:7 The LORD is good,
A stronghold in the day of trouble;
And He knows those who trust in Him.

But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
2 When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you. Isa. 43:1,2

It’s so good to know that He knows us. By name.

From My Journey of Fire Journal – Jan. 12, 2006

We’ve been learning how to live as a family that tries to deal with everything in a scriptural, godly way. Our settling of disputes has revolved around being unselfish and kind. We’re trying to do everything in love. We’re praying about everything. We ask the children what they think about things and how they’re feeling. We’re trying to discover their individual gifts and encourage them in developing and using their gifts.

We’re trying to learn to live all over again. Living by our spirits instead of our souls, by our intuition instead of our minds. Hearing the voice of God, waiting in His Presence. Developing a real, intimate relationship with God.

We like being together, working together. We don’t want to be separated. We believe God wants families to spend lots of time together. Quantity of time is as important as “quality time”. We believe that God teaches us how to build good relationships through families that put God first. We believe there should be an “iron sharpening iron” effect that happens in a godly family. We believe that children raised in this kind of home will be better friends and “neighbors” because of the love and support they’ve received in the home. We believe that love will be the motivation for everything they do, not selfishness. They won’t be searching for approval or significance. They won’t put others down to try to lift themselves up. They won’t go around trying to get their own needs met. They’ll be able to reach out to others.

We want our children to know that God is real. So we put our lives in His hands and only did what He told us to do. We prayed and waited on Him even when it seemed like He was not speaking and He was late. We were willing to look foolish to man in order to obey God. We have let Him prove Himself to us and our children. We have proven that we believe in Him. He has been faithful to us. We have never been forsaken or had to beg for bread. We never had to sleep on the streets or sidewalks of Phoenix! Quite the contrary. We had luxury accommodations!

Our faith has grown by leaps and bounds. We have all grown spiritually. We’ve learned to be more open and honest with God and with each other.

I Worship God Because He’s Worth It

We are to worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth. And the truth is – it’s not about us. True worship is coming to God and telling Him how much we love Him and how wonderful He is. A hymn that gives a lesson in theology and teaches about sin and salvation is not a great vehicle for coming before God and crying out to Him about how sorry I am for my sin and how grateful I am for His salvation.

I love to come to God and tell Him how wonderful He is. I love to feel His presence. When I truly enter into His presence, I usually cry. Sometimes I get goosebumps. I always feel loved and special, like I’m doing what I was created for. This is where I want to be, and I never want it to end.

When I feel my Father smile on me, I am strengthened and enabled to keep on living the life He has given me on this earth. I need that time in heavenly places to make it through the stuff of earth.

It doesn’t matter if I sing beautifully or say eloquent words of praise that rhyme or cause men to admire my poetic ability. It is not about what man thinks of me. It’s between me and my Father.

I worship God every day. Sometimes I can spend a long time in His presence with a worship CD, sometimes just a short time of thanking Him while I’m praying with my kids or praying over our meals. But every chance I get, I tell God how grateful I am for all He has done for us, and I honor and glorify Him for His greatness and majesty and holiness.

A few hymns can take me into His presence, but the worship choruses based on the Bible are the best vehicles I know of to really enter into His presence and feel the Spirit moving on me. I love to worship God. It’s not a duty or drudgery. I would rather worship the Lord than most anything. It’s one of my favorite things to do.

If you’ve never experienced this kind of worship, pray that the Lord would reveal to you what you’ve been missing. Bow before Him and ponder His greatness and majesty and the beauty of His holiness and the mercy He has shown you by making a way of Salvation and reaching out to you so that you could come into His Kingdom. Start out by thanking Him and keep developing an attitude of praise until you feel His presence come upon you. Stay with it long enough to get to a place of leaving the thoughts of this world behind and becoming totally enraptured with your Creator. He is so worth it! And He is so kind and loving that He rewards our efforts to get close to Him and to worship Him by filling our hearts with peace and joy and contentment that nothing else can give us.

When things get tough and you don’t know what you’re going to do or how you’re going to make it, go worship the Lord and listen to what He has to say. Even if He doesn’t directly tell you a solution, He will enable you to keep going until the solution does become evident to you. And He will take away your worry and fear. When you are in touch with the Creator of all things, problems don’t seem so big any more.

Psalm 103:1
[ [A Psalm] of David. ] BLESS (AFFECTIONATELY, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul; and all that is [deepest] within me, bless His holy name!

http://www.tangle.com/view_video?viewkey=c455e06ebd06647fc4de

Go see this video, and sing The Revelation Song with Kari Jobe. She will lead you into true worship!

God Loves You – A LOT!

God loves you a lot! He just has a funny way of showing it sometimes.

Years ago, when things were still normal and mundane and fairly secure in my life, I asked the Lord to show me what He thinks of me, how He feels about me.

Since then, I’ve lost my house, my family, my friends, my stuff, my security, my hope (at times), my pride, my reputation, my identity, (in some ways) – basically my normal, mundane, fairly secure life.

I have also had to face the fact that I’ve always been a jealous, envious, uncharitable, judgmental person – OUCH! I’m still catching and casting down those kinds of thoughts.

So, through all of this, what have I discovered about what God thinks of me? He loves me – A LOT! He loves me too much to leave me the way I was. But He also loved me then. You just can’t get away form His love.

How has He shown me that He loves Me? Through prophecy in the Prophecy Rooms at IHOP. How did we end up in Kansas City right next door to the International House of Prayer? That’s where God took us along a very crooked path so that we could have our old foundation dug out and a new foundation put in. Every time I went to the Prophecy Rooms, He told me that He was pleased with me, that I was doing a good job with my children, that I was special to Him, that my children would rise up and call me blessed, that I’m strong and have great endurance.

The people on the Prophecy Teams didn’t know me. They didn’t know I had children, except for the times I took some of the children with me. There was a different group of people on the team each time I went. Yet, they almost always said things about my being a good mother. I needed to hear that SO badly.

Neighbors came by many times and said that God was using our family in that neighborhood. We hardly left our house! It was a strange thing. God used us even when we didn’t DO anything. We just lived our daily lives and prayed every day.

We prayed mightily for Gary during his last several months at B/E Aerospace. He was in constant warfare with spirits of jealousy, control, Jezebel and witchcraft, among others.

His boss and coworkers were doing everything in their power to make him look bad. They stole his work, they belittled him and acted like he didn’t know what he was doing.

Gary was terribly oppressed. It was ALL he could talk about. The kids and I bound those spirits and prayed for him every day.

He finally talked to his superior over his immediate boss and told him he knew how to make the department work better. The man wanted to see Gary’s plan. Gary spent hours working on it. Three other people at work edited it. Shawn and I helped him with some of the charts. He put together a very professional proposal. The boss said he needed more information. Gary realized he just wanted Gary to write everything step by step, so he could take it and implement it himself without Gary. So he didn’t give him any more.

The time for that tribulation finally ran out.

Gary got a job near St. Louis. Before he left B/E, he gave Human Resources and the President an earful. He told them the way he had been treated and warned the President not to trust the boss of the department he worked for.

Gary had one friend in the department who was kind and treated him well. She was a God-send. She saved his sanity. She was the only one who talked to him and was a friend to him. She even had a couple of dreams about our family living on a farm with a big barn. These things encouraged Gary at a time when everything seemed so bleak.

He made many friends among the engineers. They gave him their business cards and said he could use them as references.

Our neighbors gave us a going-away party before we left Kansas City. I’m not much for parties, and we didn’t really have many friends, but I went along with the idea for the kids’ sake. It was nice. I actually enjoyed it!

After the party, Anna found an envelope on our table at home. I opened it and found a check for….

$20,000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At first, I started to laugh, thinking it was a joke. Then I looked at it more closely and saw that it was real. That was when I almost fainted. I’ve never seen a check made out to me for that much money. It was from somebody at IHOP who wanted us to have a house and wanted to be a part of the blessing on our family.

We were blown away by God’s BIG SURPRISE! We finally got one of those big breakthroughs that we had been praying for.

God is wonderful. He’s amazing. He’s powerful. He’s mighty. He’s faithful. I love Him so much. He has been so good to me. He’s my Daddy. He’s my best friend. I love Him with all my heart.

He gave me a verse for this year: 1 Cor. 2:9 Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.

I believe He really means to bless us BIG. With a big house in the place that will be HOME for us. With all the things we’ve asked for – land, privacy, extra rooms or houses for people to visit us, nature near us, friends, people who believe the way we do, all of the money we need, all of the vehicles we need, good relations with family and spiritual power and gifts and manifestations.

He delivers me because He delights in me. Ps. 18:19

He loves me A LOT! I know that now.

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