Friday, July 29, 2011

when you’re figuring out how to really love » A Holy Experience

when you’re figuring out how to really love » A Holy Experience

Streams in the Desert - July 29th

Quiet Time with God

"And Isaac went out to meditate in the fields at eventide" (Gen. 24:63).

We should be better Christians if we were more alone; we should do more if we attempted less, and spent more time in retirement, and quiet waiting upon God. The world is too much with us; we are afflicted with the idea that we are doing nothing unless we are fussily running to and fro; we do not believe in
"the calm retreat, the silent shade."

As a people, we are of a very practical turn of mind;
"we believe," as someone has said, "in having all our irons in the fire, and consider the time not spent between the anvil and the fire as lost, or much the same as lost."
Yet no time is more profitably spent than that which is set apart for quiet musing, for talking with God, for looking up to Heaven. We cannot have too many of these open spaces in life, hours in which the soul is left accessible to any sweet thought or influence it may please God to send.
"Reverie," it has been said, "is the Sunday of the mind." Let us often in these days give our mind a "Sunday,"
in which it will do no manner of work but simply lie still, and look upward, and spread itself out before the Lord like Gideon's fleece, to be soaked and moistened with the dews of Heaven. Let there be intervals when we shall do nothing, think nothing, plan nothing, but just lay ourselves on the green lap of nature and
"rest awhile."

Time so spent is not lost time. The fisherman cannot be said to be losing time when he is mending his nets, nor the mower when he takes a few minutes to sharpen his scythe at the top of the ridge. City men cannot do better than follow the example of Isaac, and, as often as they can, get away from the fret and fever of life into fields. Wearied with the heat and din, the noise and bustle, communion with nature is very grateful; it will have a calming, healing influence. \

A walk through the fields, a saunter by the seashore or across the daisy-sprinkled meadows, will purge your life from sordidness, and make the heart beat with new joy and hope.
"The little cares that fretted me, I lost them yesterday, ...Out in the fields with God."

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Deliverance from Buried Lies


The Lord had me go down, swim down into a deep cave under water, and I began to dig out rocks – buried lies. The first rock was unforgiveness, then fear, doubt, unbelief, abandonment, rejection, hopelessness and then anger. As I dug them up it was too much for me to carry alone. I looked up and saw a man, “Peter” who took off his towel wrapped around his waist, took it off and then brought me down nets for each one of the rocks. He helped me bring them up to Jesus who was standing above by the pool of water.

He crushed the first stone of unforgiveness with one hand, the powder disintegrated into the clean pool, turning it into a milky white. Jesus said, it’s milk – you are bathing in it and the water immediately turned warm.

Next he took a bat and began to hit each rock out into the depths of eternity never to return. He hit every buried lie and then one last stone was given to Him – Disappointment.

He said,
“No more will you be disappointed because I cherish you, you are my pleasant one, my darling. Others might misunderstand you, but I know you, I created you, to be strong, strong enough to wait faithfully. Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but you are not hopeless, for I have created you for such a special time, just wait. I will to supply and finish every dream I “started” in you, and if the dream was not from ME, then discard it, don’t count on it for it is only meant to distract and disarm you from the tasks I have for you. I will put “MY STRENGTH” in you and those lies, are finished, diminished and cast into outer darkness.

No more shall oppression and grief have a hold on you. I do not wish to destroy you, but only to build you up in MY most HOLY FAITH. Receive my WORD, receive my WORDS. Receive and let your faith flourish. Look to me and none other. Don’t let men deceive you for I have released you, MY CINDERELLA to go forth in the name of the LORD and preach MY WORD. Be strong and of good courage!"

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Dear Lord,

Thank you for your loving presence in my life. I don’t know what the dream meant that I had last night about the beautiful home I moved into. I do know you gave me more that I had expected. A private bedroom, living room, kitchen and access to a hot tub!

I don’t know what the prison camp represented across the way and the attack that came from there, but as you have been cautioning me to discern the times, my ears are open. Show me what to do. I desire so much to minister your word with love and power. Help me to focus on YOU and not myself , only YOUR MESSAGE, not the messenger. Lord, you know my deepest desires, fears, hurts and anxieties, all of these things that are in my life. You know my past, my sin, everything that needs to be overcome, and the restitution that needs to be made. Help me to walk upright before you.

My darling Cinderella Released,

If you only knew how much you truly mean to me. I watch you day by day, sometimes, condemning yourself and it breaks MY heart. Don’t you know I knew the very path you would choose? I have not left you alone in the woods to fight your way back to the place of refreshing. I have gone before you to remove every briar and every danger that looks to harm you. I have chosen and designed you for a specific purpose. You are my designed woman . As I do for all my darling daughters I make a way for them, for they are passing through the jungle. As mighty warriors carrying my light for others to see that have wandered off the path of righteousness to go their own way. They have fallen under the temptations that are along the way and you my beloved are called to even sometime venture out to rescue them. At these times I lift my armor and circle of guardian angels that you might get close enough to rescue them, that you might get close enough to call out to them. Some will come and others will not. But don’t think for a moment that you are unprotected. The only danger that will befall you is that which you choose willingly to submit to. But, I will always bring correction and warning before you slip and fall. But, even if you fall, I will pickyou up and yes, there will be battle scars. All good soldiers get wounded at times. Don’t cling to your bed with weeping and tears, arise and go forth in the name of the Lord.

This is the time of your life – a time to every purpose under heaven. A time to be born, a time to die, a time to plant, and a time to harvest, a time to kill those things that hinder you, a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build-up. A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to dance, a time to cast away stones of unforgiveness, and a time to gather stones, living stones together, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing. A time to get, a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to cast away those things that are rotten. A time to rend, and a time to sew, a time to keep silent and a time to stand up and speak boldly. A time to love, a time to war, and a time of peace. I have made everything beautiful in MY TIME. I am the beginning and the end and all that is in between.



The Lord

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Until You and I are One

My Bride,

I won't relent until I have you all and all of you. MY heart is yours, give ME yours.
I will do the rest, I won't relent, I won't give up on you until you and I are one.

You may kick, fuss, cuss and rebel in your flesh, but your heart is mine.
I am molding and making you into the people I desire - and yes, I desire you,
not for what you can do for ME, not because of what you look or act like,

because I created you, just as you are, you are complete and perfect in MY sight, because My vision is perfect and all I see is who you are in my son Jesus.

You were chosen and I knew you long before the world was created,
to be my people, to press into a world that is broken.
Just as Christ was broken and poured out to a lost and dying world,
you are His disciples, sometimes being broken and poured out on yet another generation.

With great mercies will I pour out MY SPIRIT and you will arise as my bride and carry
healing to this lost and dying world.
Do not be afraid, do not be ashamed, let your faith arise to receive my touch.
I won't relent until I have you all and all of you. My heart is yours, give ME yours.

I will do the rest, I won't relent, I won't give up on you until you and I are one.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cinderella Released - One Shoe in Czechoslovakia

Blow, blow, thou winter wind
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.” Shakespeare

Tereza cried out loud, “Go away rude breath!” It seemed as if the wind yelled back….”NO!”
Tereza listened carefully to see if she had awakened her baby boy sleeping in the other room.

The young mother looked up at the sunlight peeking through the cracks of the cabin ceiling. The wind continued to blow so hard that it would push out one of the wadded up brown paper balls that she had plugged up one of the dozens of holes. After all her efforts to stop the winter wind, it still seemed to find its way into the tiny cabin. She and her husband Jakob had moved into it this past summer.  But now Winter was upon them fast and furious.  She longed to get outside. Spring and summer were always the most beautiful times of the year in Checkoslavakia.

Jakob would always put his strong arms around her and whisper,
“The breath of God surrounds us.”

In his strong but gentle way he would whisper these words into her ear and it always made her feel so safe and secure. She wished he was here with her now to put his arms around her and tell her that everything was going to be alright. Life had taken a cruel turn and she wanted to scream out loud! She hated the anger she felt burning deep within her soul. Lately she always found herself looking back to the past. She hated that too. She had always been so passionate for the future; but that all changed once the Germans arrived. She was constantly worried about Jakob and his being on the road after dark.  He wouldn’t be home until late because it was a far walk to their cabin from the university where he was an instructor.

When they first moved into the Black Forest cabin she thought it couldn’t have been more perfect; even though it was just on the outskirts of Prague. Jon Erickson a friend of Jakob’s, had offered it to them. The price was right and very well worth the move. During the summer it was nice and cozy and provided an inexpensive place for them to live.

It had a white picket fence that surrounded it like a mote surrounds a castle nestled among the lushness of the black and green forest.
There was a small stream where they could get water, take a bath and spend time alone together with their baby son. The wildflowers, squirrels, butterflies and birds enhanced its beauty. It was the picture perfect summer framing a beautiful carefree life. But now winter had sunk its teeth into the hideaway turning it into a cold and barren prison.

Today, it seemed even more dark, damp and desolate. With each degree drop in the temperature, the cabin grew increasingly bitter and harsh. It was becoming intolerable just like the city of Prague. She looked down at her once soft and pliable hands and cried.

Dry and cracked like the winter outside; she knew she was getting old and worn out. Worry began to cloud her already muddled mind. The thought of touching her son with these rough weather worn hands was even more depressing.

The Nazi soldiers who had invaded her country were destroying the beautiful city she had grown up in. She and Jakob’s beautiful life had been ruined forcing them out of Prague. Christians and Jews everywhere were being persecuted and it didn’t take much to get arrested. She shivered when she looked down at the package on the table. Quietly she walked over and put another log on the fire and placed the water kettle on a hook to make a hot cup of tea. She would have to sit down to open the brown paper wrapped box that her neighbor Katerina had dropped it off a few minutes after Jakob left for work.

She glared at the box. It was wrapped in plain brown paper and exactly like always, it stirred the same bittersweet feeling that all the other packages they had received from her aunt and uncle in the United States.
She despised how ungrateful she felt. She normally would have invited Katerina in for tea but, this morning she wanted to be alone. She felt overwhelmed and too tired to make small talk. Her skin crawled with dread. It felt like small bugs were crawling all over her. She thought she was losing her mind. This year had been the worst year even though she was a little thankful Jakob was still able to teach. At times she wished he would just stay home with her and they could just spend time together waiting out the inevitable -- starvation. At this point she had lost all hope. She glanced back at the return address on the brown package and she could feel the acid slowly rise in her throat.
Why had she become so bitter, so resentful and so unappreciative? A pain hit her in her right side…she thought to herself, “Now what?”
Each time she received a package from her family in the United States it became more difficult to open. Then suddenly a huge lump settled in her throat in place of the acid. It grew larger and larger with each whistle blast from the tea kettle that had started to boil.  She walked over and took the pot off the fire. Forget the tea, it was too much trouble to make it. At times like this she couldn’t even cry right, she would just sit and tears would just ooze from her tear ducts. At other times she would try to find the ability to cry out to God and she would be as dry as sawdust on a hot summer day. She sat down at the table with the brown package and slowly began to pick at the tape that was tightly wrapped around the package. Each tiny piece of tape she picked and pulled away very carefully.
Her fingers were so dry and cracked from the cold that they bled at the least bit of pressure. She winced at the pain but quietly pulled off each piece of tape and set it to the side for safekeeping.

 “Why am I even opening this box?” she questioned.

Jakob had cautioned her, “Tereza, everything is valuable and reusable. It mustn’t be wasted. We can’t afford even little things like tape and wrapping paper these days so you must learn to be resourceful. I know you aren’t purposefully wasteful, it’s just the times my dear, it’s just the times.”

Yes my dear”, she would reply. She knew Jackob was not lecturing her, but preparing himself to be able to go and stand before his students with confidence and wisdom. They had both discussed this so many times.

Jakob would say, “Tereza, “We must encourage each other to stand strong, faithful and true during these times of war and hardship. There are many who are being persecuted and killed. We are safe and secure and must continue to pray for those who are suffering for their faith. God will provide always.” Tereza held firm to these words even though the news was growing worse each day. She and Jackob both knew it wasn’t Tereza who was… she stopped mid thought.

The word martyred came to mind. “It was just the times they were living in,” she said. The lump increased. She paused and thought about the little town of Kostelec. It was known for its beautiful forests, and she was living in one. But today, it only seemed very dark, very depressing. It was near the golden city of Prague which was now filled with Nazi soldiers. The war was ravaging their beautiful city and the Allies weren’t helping by dropping bombs to try and stop them. She had heard the damage was unbelievable.

She thought, "How could this be happening?"

She sank into a daydream and she remembered when she was a child how her father would take her into the city of Prague to look at the big astronomical clock. The clock was an amazing sight to behold and the stories behind it were even more amazing. There were figures surrounding the clock representing three of the seven cardinal sins and their ultimate destiny.

On the left side of the clock, Superbia (Vanity) admires her reflection looking into a handheld mirror, and Avaritia (Greed) holds tight to a bag of money. On the right side, Death stands ready to strike while Acedia (Sloth) spends his life in idle worship of music and dance.

Just then the thought of her father’s voice rang softly in her head, “Schatci, little jewel, you can walk free from the trials and tribulations of this world. You are God’s precious one and you carry Him in your heart. He will never leave or forsake you.”

Her father would take her hand and stroll across the Charles Bridge, looking at the hundreds of golden spires. The sun would be setting behind the castle and you could hear the sound of boats on the River Vitvava in the background. Her father said the Celtics had claimed Prague to be the “Mother of all Cities.”

She missed her father, the lump grew bigger and the tears began to fall on her cheek. He would know what to say to her. As she picked at another piece of tape she began to wail in despair. She thought about the story of Cinderella and imagined what she must have felt like sitting by the fire, wondering if her life would always be filled with such harshness and trouble. She cried harder and it felt like every ounce of fluid was flowing from her body. Sitting at the table she just looked at the package through the veil of tears that once again had started flowing and thoughts about how the war was ravaging the city. Neighbors and families alike were fighting over how to keep food in their bellies and shoes on their feet. She put the tea kettle back on the fire.

Until now, wars had always been somewhere else. Now this ugly war had crept in like the tide and was at her back door and pulling beautiful Prague under. She had learned so much during this time. Everything was valuable, especially freedom. She examined the package with wonder, thinking about each small piece of tape, the brown wrapping paper, and even the string that had been cut and retied after the Nazi inspectors had thoroughly “searched” it.

That was strange,” she thought. “Usually they just discard the string.”

This time it looked as if they had started to open the package and then stopped before ever disturbing the tape. She put paper, string and tape carefully away before she began to open the box. Suddenly like a knife, a pain struck her heart and the words flashed before her, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” She cried out loud, “That’s why the lump keeps getting bigger to swallow.”

Then she remembered a scripture verse she had read last week, “In all things give thanks and praise unto God, for I am with you and will never forsake you.” She held firm to the thought.

"Yes, these words are true, God will never leave me or forsake me.” She remembered her father reciting God's Word to her as a little girl.

One time he said to her, “When others hurt us, instead of shrinking into a little ball and rolling away from them, we must ask God to give us a bigger heart so we can love them more.”

She never understood what my daddy was saying until now.

She peeked in on the baby who was still sleeping softly and this gave her the strength to began to pray and bless the Germans, in spite of what they were doing. This was difficult but she did it. They had robbed her and her family of so much. They were all in bondage to this evil regime and she didn’t like it one bit.

Her father had taught her when she wanted to do something to write so she got out her pen and paper and began to write a speech for the underground newspaper. She would not allow this fear and hopelessness rob her of the mission she felt called to. It was important for others to know what was happening outside the walls of the city and inside the walls of the concentration camps.

There were rumors of the Nazis taking blonde haired blue eyed children back to Germany to be part of their brainwashing system. Her neighbor had lost their little girl to this slavery. She pushed the fear back, thinking about her little boy being blonde haired, blue eyed. "What if?" She couldn’t go there. She and her husband had even thought about smuggling him to the U.S.
er thoughts were suddenly interrupted again by the sharp whistle of the tea kettle. She had forgotten she had put it back on the fire. She poured the boiling water over the already twice used tea bag. Her Uncle Winslow and Aunt Thelma from the United States had been so faithful to send packages once they had heard of the invasion and the destruction on their homeland. They had indicated that they would make a way for baby Jakob if they needed to...
but Tereza would never let him go away from her, or would she?

Things were difficult even in the United States and it was a miracle they received anything at all. Every package was a mixture of blessing and cursing. The blessing was the supplies, the curse, why couldn’t they be a country where she and her family didn’t have to hear bombs and air raids. Still, she was thankful for what she got because every package except one had been ravaged and all of the best items stolen. She had written her uncle and asked for shoes for her husband. She looked down at her hands on the box and thought of her husband and his feet. She would wash his socks out and place them by the fire each night to dry. The soles of his boots were so worn, the cardboard and paper she would place on the bottom would be falling out usually before he even got out of the door. She felt ashamed of worrying how old she was feeling, when she thought about what he was going through. She was warm inside her cabin, and he was tramping through the frozen ground for hours each day. Not once had he ever complained.

He’d say, my precious jewel don’t worry, I am fine. You fret too much!”

She knew different though, his feet couldn’t take much more.
He needed shoes. His circulation was growing worse each day. The snow and ice would melt underneath the warmth of his feet and his feet would be blue from the freezing temperatures and blistered from the day’s long walk to work. She would remove his shoes and socks and pray over his feet as she washed them out each night and put them by the fire to dry. She would look at her hands next to his feet and although her hands were worn, his feet were a mess. The lump increased in her throat, and she began to think about the children of Israel and how the Bible said their shoes never wore out, in over forty years. Again, she tried to swallow it but it exploded in her throat like a bomb and she thought she would choke.

She tried to take a sip of her tea, but the sight and the thought made her want to throw up. “I’m getting sick,” she thought. “I am sick,” a voice said behind her. She whipped around but no one was there. “I’m sick of hoping against hope,” she yelled at the empty room. “There are no shoes coming,” the invisible voice answered. “Just give up, just give up, God is not anything but your silly imagination. You and your family are ended today,” it whispered.

The presence in the room was dark, it was bitter and the smell was making her sick. It seemed as if the entire room was closing in and spinning. She ran over thinking she would vomit and opened the front door to run outside.

She expected to feel the freezing cold air, harsh and bitter, hit her in the face like a slap against her cheek but, instead, of it being cold and icy, it felt warm and soft.

Then it started right on the top of her head; it felt like warm oil and smelled like the drink her mother would bring to her when she was sick as a little girl. The mixture of a shot of cognac mixed with honey and peppermint. She would take a couple of swallows and then a few minutes later, her body would experience this same exact feeling. She would drift off to sleep and not awaken until the next morning…always feeling much better. In a few minutes she just drifted off to sleep. But now, she didn’t feel sleepy, she just felt warm, safe and loved. She also felt totally free like a bird. She had to admit to herself, she did feel a little drunk. She could feel God’s Spirit rising up within her, supercharging her body. It was a miraculous feeling. She felt like she was light as a feather.

Just then, something told her to look over at the fence post and there he was.
A turtle dove, alone and by himself without his mate. “That is so odd,” she thought. They are usually never alone and never out and about this time of year. She thought, “I usually see two to three pairs in the spring.” A comforting voice spoke quietly to her and said, “Spring has sprung, new hope and life await you. Go open your present." Suddenly she felt like Cinderella again except this time she was totally free, released from all the doubt and fear!

She turned and walked back inside the house. Her heart that had stopped mid-beat, was now suddenly beating fast with expectancy. She didn’t really understand what was happening, but the pain was gone and so was the lump. She placed her hand over her heart because she thought it was about to pop out of her chest. She slammed the door behind her and ran to the partially opened box.

His voice spoke softly, sweetly, “I am here, and I told you I would never leave or forsake you. You are my precious one and I am yours. I will make a way where there seems to be no way.”

Instead of opening the box, she left it and walked into the bedroom. She laughed at herself as she asked, “How could she have been so faithless?” She took out another brown box she had hidden in the closet. It had arrived from Uncle Winslow several months ago, long before winter. Inside of it was one left shoe. At the time it came, she thought, “Those Nazis are cruel men, to take one shoe and leave the other.”

The gentle voice spoke to her, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man can come to the father except by me.” She remembered that this was the same verse she had been reading in her Bible the day the first single shoe arrived.

She carried the box tenderly from the bedroom and placed it next to the box she had received that morning. The boxes were identical. She suddenly felt ashamed and a new lump arising. She knew it was the Lord as He spoke gently, “Don’t worry, it is alright, my darling, I understand and know where you are.”

She began to cry softly, sweetly this time. The tears were joyful and full of refreshing this time. An end was in sight, it was a knowing a comfortable feeling way down in her soul.

She knew that Christ understood about pain, suffering and hope deferred. His feet were bruised, battered and shoeless when He walked to the cross.

But yet, she was starting to understand the phrase that sometimes it is darkest before the dawn and pain and travail comes just before the crowning of a brand new life. We push we pull we fight to grasp each breath, to hold on to our lives.

"We are such selfish creatures she thought. A mother gives no thought to herself when she is birthing a child. She will expel, push and release, give it her very last breath in order to release her child into the future. How many women have died over the years giving birth?"

A rising of her spirit was filling her body. She could feel the desire to push, to travail, to give life. This must have been how Christ felt at the end, just before his last breath. He knew the emptying of himself would give birth to an everlasting body of believers. He knew that he would rise and it would be a brand new day for Him and for the world.

She dared to ask herself, "How could anyone love so much?"

John the Baptist word’s to the world, “No man was worthy of even unlatching Jesus’ shoes.”

She said outloud, “Lord I know you are here, right here, right now with me, comforting me in my sorrow and suffering.”

John had gone to prison declaring what he knew to be true. He was persecuted and martyred. She felt courage and strength arising within her. She could be strong and she would go on and most important she and Jakob would be faithful to God and continue to fight against the evil that had overtaken their city.  They would raise little Jakob to be a fighter too!

Again the Lord spoke, “I am the first and the last.”

She felt like such a little girl again. She felt like she did when she walked across the Charles Bridge with her father. “Today is the day,” she thought with faith.

She opened the box her neighbor had brought and inside was one shoe for the right foot. This and the other shoe were a perfect pair!

Reminded of the story of Cinderella and how the prince had searched the world over looking for the woman whose foot fit in the single glass slipper he possessed. How excited they both must have been that day when one shoe changed their lives!

The lump in her throat was gone. She had been released from the pressure of trying to maintain control. Suddenly, she realized she was laughing through her tears. She was singing at the top of her voice. She bounced her precious baby boy on her knee and put him in his play pen and went over to her secret place where she had stowed away the ingredients for a special dinner celebration. She couldn’t believe how much she had to be thankful for and how silly she felt over all her tears, doubts and fears from earlier. God had restored her joy by using one shoe! Fear, doubt and unbelief were totally gone!
Tereza pulled out her finest dishes and began to dress the table. She had overcome the enemies that had marched at her door and manifested earlier.

She set the pair of shoes on the table at her husband’s place.

With a loud voice she cried out to the Lord,

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley, (with no shoes)[a]
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

Just then little Jakob cried out, “Ma Ma feet me!” Tereza laughed back at him as she put little Jakob to her breast saying, "I'll feet you!" She remembered reading earlier;
How precious are the feet of those that bring good news.”
She could hardly wait for the day to pass, for Jakob to return home and share with him the wonderful story of how God had supplied the perfect shoes for him as she felt the warm milk flowing from her into her little son.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Hudson Taylor - Missionary Highlight

"Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell. C.T. Studd Famous missionary started under Hudson Taylor"

Lord, my prayer is give me the courage to get out and pound the pavement of hell for you! Help me not to be afraid but to have the tenacity of a lioness that is fighting for her cubs. Give me a heart for the lost, Oh Lord I pray.

For His Kingdom,

Cinderella Released

Read More about Hudson Taylor

When you are weak, God is strong, You have overcome the World

In school today I read a great story about how God chooses us to minister. I Corinthians 1:26-27 tells us God chooses the foolish things of this world to confuse the wise.
Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world's eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.

In the book "Refresh, Ben Gutierrez says, When I was in grade school, there was a certain boy who was looked up to as being the best in all sports. And because of his super star status in our eyes, we allowed him to get away with something that no other captain was allowed to mimic. No one questioned h im when he would choose a handful of players from the line and turn to the other captain and say "The rest are yours!" We allowed him to shoose the best players and discard the rest.

You Are God's Choice

God chooses His team of ministers similarly to the boy at my school- but with one major difference. God prefers His team members to be those the world deems as outcasts. "God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful (I Corinthians 1:27). As the world begins to place its stamp of approval on the strongest, brightest, and best to represent it's cause. God creates His winning team from those that the world deems as "weak." People who are rejected by the world are the very people God has already chosen to serve on His team. And in in every clash and encounter with the world, God's team overcomes the world!

This morning I got up feeling rather weak. It seemed every which way I turn, the world was surrounding me trying to tell me how defeated I was. But, I am reminded that it is the weak who are truly strong, because Jesus is the defender of the weak. I know God chose me to be on His team and to be there to tell others about the life God has given us now and forever through His Son Jesus Christ.

Although, I tend to want things "perfect" in my life and I really enjoy being on the winning side, sometimes we must "seemingly suffer defeat." Although our emotions tell us otherwise, we are never ever truly defeated when we have experienced salvation through Jesus. We might be cast down for a season, but we are never defeated. Christ will always lift us up and help us to overcome life's struggles. Others are watching to see Christ glorified in us. We can be a witness to those who are losing life's battles and introduce them to the person and the power of Jesus!

The picture above is a special family, "The Johnny Blue Craig Family Christmas Photo" Every year for Christmas they dress up in a different outfit and have their Christmas Card picture taken. Most of the cards are "silly" and outrageously funny! I can only imagine how many broken hearts are uplifted because of these precious cards.

As ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we are called to "cast all of our cares" on Him, because He cares for us.

Life is too short not to want to Experience an Undefeated Season My devotion continued;
Even thought the world's team may look more impressive and be viewed by many as "stronger" or more "successful," God has chosen you to be on the winning team. Never forget that serving God is far better than playing on a losing team! You don't have to live a defeated life! If you begin to be discouraged by the amount of headway the world is seemingly making in the lives of those to whom you are ministering, never forget that even thought the game of life will ebb and flow, you will be able to overcome the challenges before you because your Captain has placed you on the the winning team!

Serving His Kingdom,

Cinderella Released Visit my journal Metamorphasis
Visit my Blog Cinderella Released

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Freedom in Christ

Galatians Chapter 5 begins with the following verse;

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Christ has made us free. Many times this past year I didn't feel free, I didn't act free but I do know that regardless of how we feel or act the truth is Christ has made us free in Him. The Lord loves us even when others don't truly love us or for some reason have stopped loving us. Even when someone attacks us Christ tells us that we should respond in love. I pray for the day when I don't react! It is imperative we love others as we love ourselves. We must give up our co-dependent and independent state of minds and pray to operate only with the mind of Christ.

Satan and/or my mind (sometimes I can't decide which) will project a false picture of who I am, or worse yet, who others are. This really hurts us and Christ. Satan is always going about like a roaring lion accusing and putting out false projections. When this happens grab the truth; you are free in Christ. Turn off the projector.

The Bible tells us we must pray and fight against the principalities and powers that project these false accusations and not take them to heart. We have to love those who even believe the lies of Satan and pray for those who have born a false witness against us.

One of my friends has a son who is in love with Maria, the nanny on the Sound of Music. He wakes up in the middle of the night crying out for Maria. My friend has to tell him that Maria is not real, she is only a projection on the movie screen.

Sometimes we must turn off the projector in our life and come back to reality. Our dream or hope is not real, it was just a false projection or perhaps we weren't willing to pay the price of casting down vain glory, envy and strife.

This past year I feel I've projected a lot of Maria's in my life. It is time that Cinderella be totally free in whom God created her to be, not operating in vain glory, provoking anyone, not striving with false projections. We must be free to live and love one another, reflecting the true unconditional love of Christ to everyone God brings into our path.

Repentance and forgiveness is the only way back to freedom in Christ. When I sin, or others sin against me, the only way to get free is through forgiveness. The Word says we must forgive in order to be forgiven. This morning I am forgiving those that have hurt me and praying that God will help those I've hurt to forgive me.

Chapter 5 ends with the following verse;

Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Sometimes life is what it is and Christ will give us the strength to live, love, forget about our past mistakes, not worry about the future in order to walk in the daily blessings God has for us. My biggest battle is fear. Again, the answer is Christ and Christ alone.

Clay Cross sings a song called, When I Am Afraid
Fear?s like a black cloud consuming all that?s blue
When I am afraid I will trust in you
Waters rise against me and I don?t know what to do
When I am afraid I will trust in you

When I am afraid I will trust in you
Remind myself your faithful and your promises are true
I think back on my yesterdays and all you brought me through
When I am afraid I will trust in you

Lord you are the fortress, the shelter I run to
When I am afraid I will trust in you
Resting in your presence my courage is renewed
When I am afraid I will trust in you

When I am afraid I will trust in you

[ From: ]

Remind myself your faithful and your promises are true
I think back on my yesterdays and all you brought me through
When I am afraid I will trust in you

When I am afraid I will trust in you
Remind myself your faithful and your promises are true
I think back on my yesterdays and all you brought me through
When I am afraid I will trust in you

Lord I will remember all you brought me through
When I am afraid I will trust in you
When I am afraid I will trust in you

Monday, March 14, 2011


How do you respond even in prayer to an entire country who has been turned upside down in just a few minutes? The aftermath, the grief, the loss.

I know many people like myself are going through situations today; that less than a year ago they thought would or could never happen to them. Many so called dreams have been shaken and turned upside down.

It seems like just yesterday I had rearranged another piece of furniture, hung up my husband's laundry, painted a beach scene on a mangrove leaf and made a "Beautiful Blessing Shell Garden" for a dear friend of mine. Little pieces of the puzzle of my life being filled in to create a beautiful picture and life. Whether it was Satan, flesh or a combination of both I went to bed upset one night only to have awakened grief stricken. It still feels like a dream that I can't shake. My only solace is that God is in control and my situation has not taken him by surprise.

I remember the words of a mother who lost her daughter just before Christmas last year. A few days after her death, her daughter spoke to her in a dream and told her that everything was ok, she was at peace, and not to worry.

She said, "Mom It really is all about Jesus and what He has done for us. "

Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your blessings, see what God has done. Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings see what God has done.

Let us count our blessings and name them one by one.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Today I sit and listen to rain falling outside and wonder to myself,
"Lord which road is the right path?"

When we are uncertain Exodus 13:17-18 says,
When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them on the road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest way from Egypt to the Promised Land. God said, "If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt. So God led them along a route through the wilderness toward the Red Sea, [fn] and the Israelites left Egypt like a marching army."

We all know the story of what happened then. Interestingly enough they didn't have to walk blindly because in verse 21 it says,
The LORD guided them by a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night. That way they could travel whether it was day or night.

When choosing the path to travel it is so important to keep our eyes on Jesus. We can't be led by our own understanding, but must be led by the Holy Spirit. My prayer today is that the Lord open my eyes to be able to see the pillar of cloud during the day and the pillar of fire at night. Of course this can only be done by getting to know the Holy Spirit and understanding His leading. God will lead, guide and direct us to dry ground.

I don't want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, what happened to our ancestors in the wilderness long ago. God guided all of them by sending a cloud that moved along ahead of them, and he brought them all safely through the waters of the sea on dry ground. 1 Corinthians 10:1

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thursday - Day 4 of the 40 Day Fast

It is interesting that during my time of prayer and studying I came across several passages regarding the Apostles and disciples of the early church where fasting is mentioned.

The first passage is where Cornelius, a Gentile was praying and fasting. Acts 10:30;
And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing.

The passage continues where an angel was sent to Cornelius to let him know that God was sending Peter to him to bring the good news. Shortly after Peter arrives, preaches and this is the beginning of conversion of the Gentiles in the early church. They were baptized in the Holy Spirit and finally accepted by other Jewish believers.

I thought it interesting that Cornelius was fasting and seeking God's direction and will for his life. Isn't that what we are doing when we commit to prayer and fasting for God's will in our lives? This excites me because now, more than ever before in my life, I need to know Christ more intimately, know His will and direction for my life, and be refilled with the Holy Spirit in a way that will take us through the days ahead. I remember reading years ago the scripture in

Matthew 6:25
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

This is a day that the Lord has made, and we will rejoice in it (Psalm 118:24). This was the scripture the Lord gave me January 25, 1999. This was the day my youngest son was shot in the eye at point blank range. The devil tried to kill him, destroy my other son and take my blessings. He did not succeed.

Today, I sit here very uncertain of where I will be in 36 days. But I must stand fast in the words that God gives me during this time. He is saying take no thought about our lives, what we shall eat, drink, or what we should be wearing. God will provide for us through thick and thin.

The second scripture in my reading today was when Paul and Barnabas are chosen to go out. Acts 13:2
As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Desperate me Barnabas and Saul for the work where unto I have called them. 3) and when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

I don't know about anyone else, but as I minister to the Lord and seek His face, I am praying and believing that He will show me where to go and what to be doing. I have already received more opposition than I can mention in this blog from the day I said I was going to do this. I suspect others are also being tempted to throw in the towel.

The last scripture that caught my eyes today was at the end of my reading in Acts 14:23. Paul and Barnabas were on their first missionary journey. The scripture says,
And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting they commended them to the LORD, on whom they believed.

Paul and Barnabas went out and preached with boldness and power. They might have thought the prayer and fasting was tough. From what I've read they had great success. At one point the people were even bowing down and worshiping them calling them gods. When Paul corrected them, they turned just like they turned on Jesus and began to beat and stone them.

I suspect we will all meet with some opposition after this is done, especially when we are moving and doing what God wants us to. Many may lose the support of loved ones because of our quests and callings. I am already experiencing great loss, but am having to press through the darkness that tries to take over my determination to seek the Lord with gladness, hope and expectation.

My prayer is that you will continue day four through forty with much hope and expectation that God is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him.

Hebrews 11:6 (NLT) says,

So, you see, it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I AM in 40 Days of Fasting

Wednesday Day 3

As some of you know I have started a 40 day fast. Today is the third day. In all honesty I've waited till the third day to make certain that I was able to start and stay on it three days!

I am on a liquid fast which means I am consuming liquids, hot tea, water, juice and various kinds of soups. I started out with bulkier soups and will be weaning down to broths as time goes on.

I don't know about you but when I announced I was going on a 40 day fast, the news traveled fast to the enemies camp and all hell broke loose. I say praise God because I am done with a so so life and I really want to see the Lord move in mine and others lives.

Two Words

The first thing I realized when attempting this fast, is it has to be the LORD helping me because I can't help myself.

My good friend Barbara Spayd gave me two words to remember.. Weakness & Power

When we are weak then the LORD can be strong. So to say the least I AM encouraged, I AM expectant, I AM elated, I AM ecstatic, I AM embracing this fast and believing the LORD has great plans for my life and the others who have joined Barbara and I in this fast.

The great I AM is in control, no matter if our circumstances are saying something different.

If you are sick, if your marriage is in trouble, if your kids are giving you trouble, if your parents are giving you trouble, if you are in financial trouble, there is only one place to go and that is to the Lord. HE IS THE GREAT IAM.

Stand FAST for 40 days and see the salvation of the LORD!

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