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Take Care

Be careful about what you receive.
A few weeks ago, I decided to go see my doctor after a dream and a couple of conversations. (Getting me to go to the doctor is probably more difficult than geting a bill through Congress!)
He ordered a couple of diagnostics, including a chest X-ray, since I am at risk of lung problems.
My first X-ray showed a nodule in my left lung. As soon as I heard that, I called some friends and asked them to agree with me in prayer. My sense: I was not to pick this up; I was to stand in faith and not fear.
I had to get a second set of “pictures.” They came back “normal.”
This is the second time in my life that I have heard God say very clearly that I was not to own a diagnosis. The first one was in 2000: I had been told that I had FibroMyalgia. Immediately I heard, “Don’t pick that up; don’t own it. It is not yours.”
I had symptoms for almost a year.
Then, I was praying and fasting in preparation for a conference I was going to.
Most of the time, I clean house or work in my yard when I fast: It helps me to focus. This time was no different.

In the middle of cleaning the cat’s litter tray, I heard, “If anyone says you have Fibromyalgia, they’re lying: You have been healed.” I didn’t have a single symptom after that.

This time, the possibility of a life threatening condition challenged me to reaffirm my zeal for living. I’m searching out new goals and dreams; I’m pressing into prophetic words that still need to be fulfilled.
I will have a long, joyful, prosperous life; I will not accept anything less than that!

Now to be clear, I am not talking about Mind Over Matter or the power of positive thinking; I am standing on the word of God and declaring to you that you have choices to make: Will you receive curses, even “benevolent” ones – negative characterizations, predictions, diagnoses, general opinions – that are not in line with God’s plans for you? Will you hold to lies, such as, “God has made you ill…or poor…”
OR
Will you seek God, his Kingdom and righteousness? Will you agree with blessings?

Take care: Choose what you will receive or not. Being able to say, “No” is vital to prosperous, blessed living; saying “yes” to the good things that God has for you is even more important.

By the way, it is equally important to guard your lips: Take care not to utter curses about yourself and others; be diligent in proclaiming blessings.

Two Voices

The noise of the world
Calls me to a place
Filled with anger, fear and distress;
But a stronger voice
Of mercy and grace
Draws me close, where I am blessed.

 

I can make the choice
To be in that space
Where I must endure the test;
Or I can retreat
To seek the Lord’s face
And enter into His rest.

 

It’s tempting enough
To run in the race
That forces me to impress;
But then there’s the way
With a steady pace
Found in the One I confess.

 

I’ll forsake the noise
And reject each trace
Of corruption from my breast;
Surrendered to Christ,
In His warm embrace
At home in Him, life is best.

 

PRAISE

I will praise You, oh Lord!
I choose to acknowledge Your goodness,
Even when everything
And everyone around me
Challenge that reality.

 

My praise might be quiet,
Tinged with doubt, confusion or sorrow;
In tones of blue and gray
As confidence and hope wane;
I will declare Your goodness.

 

My song rises to you;
I will praise You with a joyful heart
When prosperity reigns
And I experience peace;
You are good in all seasons!

DRAWN BY HIS LOVING PRESENCE

For a while now, I have been thinking that I want to share the story of my salvation.  It is different from so many testimonies that I have heard.
I grew up in a tradition that baptizes infants.  The belief is, the baby is reborn at that point.  While I have come to disagree with this, I do think God does something when a little one is presented to him.
The point of my conversion happened when I was four:  I was playing in my yard when I had an encounter with Jesus.  I knew him:  He felt so familiar and loving; his voice was immediately recognizable.  He asked me if I wanted him to live in my heart.  I said, “Yes!”
I had an insatiable hunger for Scripture.  As soon as I could read well enough, I devoured it.  I loved to worship, spent plenty of private time with the Lord and eagerly attended Church.  I said from very young that I wanted to be a pastor, even though my tradition did not ordain women at that time.

Oh, I still learned plenty of lies about who God is and what sort of person I am; God had to heal me from trauma and dysfunction:  Christians are not exempt from the things of life in this fallen world.
The thing that makes my story unique is, I didn’t have to “get to rock botttom” in order to discover my need for God.  Instead, I came to him as a result of his loving presence.

Actually, I am not at all convinced that people “have to get to rock bottom” before they come to Jesus; in fact, I consider that to be a lie. We have been created with the power and freedom to choose.  WE can turn around and go in a new direction, any time we decide to.  My biggest objection to this “truism” is that it makes hardship into an idol.  Jesus saves, not tragedy, devistation or deprivation.  We can respond to his loving call, even when life is going very well.

When and how do you hear God?  How does he express his love and affection to you?