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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

A Call for Change

God's Eye 
I was going to entitle this post, " A Call for Repentance" but I wonder how many would have even considered reading it, though the two are linked in meaning. Repentance simply means to make a turn around, to change. For some this is a huge endeavor, like changing our lives 180 degrees and living for God rather than self. The Good News is that we have the Holy Spirit to help us repent.

But the clincher is what do we repent for? In the Christian realm, we need to repent for many things, sorry to break the news to you. You're probably wondering what do you need to change?
First of all, as a church, we need to repent of being lukewarm for Jesus, for allowing the things of this world, the allurements, to capture our heart. Things like money and all the goodies it can buy might be an issue for you, but more importantly, it's what you treasure in your heart. What do you spend your money and time pursuing? Take a moment and evaluate it. How far up or down on the list is Bible reading, prayer and worship? Do you spend the majority of your money on yourself or others? Of course, we all have bills, but what categories do they break down into? Do you give to the church?

I don't mean to condemn you, but to challenge you to reprioritize some things in your life. We need to confess our sins to Jesus in order to have pure hearts, so that the power of the Holy Spirit can fill us, especially as we pray and interact with others. In the Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren emphasizes the importance of relationships. If we're focused on things, we put less time and energy into relationships. It's a litmus test for the treasures we are storing, either those of this earth or of heaven.

So why is repentance important and what does it have to do with relationships? As we look at our own sin, we become more humble and are less likely to be noticing everyone else's sin. The tendency is to have more compassionate hearts and want to reach out to help them. Clean hearts wield more power with God in prayer and prompt us to greater action. Often this action brings change. First a change of heart, then a change of our behavior and what we do. We become less self centered and more God centered. More God centered Christians effect more change on the earth and in the spiritual realm.

In addition, repentance often moves the hand of God to act on our behalf and what is ultimately best for us. However, we should not confess our sins with selfish aims, but that the will of God and His purpose will be done in us. And what is the first step in that process? Repentance-a turning away from the ways of self towards the ways of God.

It's a word that a lot of churches avoid today because of  not wanting to scare away the seekers and attract the youth, but sorry, without repentance you don't have the true picture of the Christian faith. If we want change, we need authentic repentance, not some kind of forced confession or kneeling to appease the world and its systems, but honest confession to God. We should confess to Him our sins of  pride, hatred, prejudice, self-centeredness, anger, violence, murderous thoughts and chasing after the idols of the world (things such as power, money, entertainment).

So I'm asking all of my readers, myself included, to pray about repenting. Ask God to cleanse your heart and forgive your sins, to give you eyes that really see yourself and your neighbor. Ask him to fill you with His love in order to foster relationships, to have wisdom in everything you say and do, to pray without ceasing and make an impact in someone's eternal destiny. That's the kind of  true change that we need!!

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Saturday, June 27, 2020

Calling All Prayer Warriors

Over the last several weeks, God has been calling me to pray more and more for our country and to inspire and encourage others to organize prayer walks in their cities. Little did I know that on June 20th, God did that in San Diego and 16,000 people from 135 churches gathered on street corners, in parks and on curbsides to pray. Though I live on the East Coast, a world away, it was exciting to know that God is hearing  our prayers as we pray for repentance and revival. Here's my prayer:

My heart is very burdened for the United States of America. There is so much evil trying to destroy it and so many willingly giving itself over to its agenda. Those who call themselves Christians really need to rise up in prayer at this time. I took a prayer walk around my neighborhood and my heart just cried out for all the sins of America: The spirit of rebellion against God, against authority and against all who would curb any self-indulgence, the sins of pride, lust, anger and hatred, pornography and child molestation, murder, the spirit of anger, and anarchy that is fighting for our nation.
My heart is burdened for those who are dying in the streets, for the addicted, for those who are under the sway of the enemy of their soul. Those who are called Christians need to rise up in prayer and take to the streets and pray. Lord I pray that you would send the David Wilkerson‘s of this nation, send them into the cities to bring the healing message of the gospel good news of reconciliation between God and man. I pray for the Nikki Cruz’s of America. Send evangelists to them, send your Holy Spirit to release them from the bonds of hatred, addiction, racial prejudice and self-destruction.
We pray Lord that you would have mercy on this nation, though we don’t deserve it. Break the bondage that the enemy has placed on its people while they were sleeping and unaware of the tactics. Quench the fires of our smoking cities with your Holy Spirit. Bring your peace and unconditional love to the land through your church. church rise up to your finest hour in history to go out into the streets and bring reconciliation in the name of Jesus Christ. 
This is part two of the prayer

God’s calling all prayer warriors to take to the streets of their towns and villages and especially the cities. To pray against the devices and strategies of the enemy. “No weapon formed against us, your church, will prosper.” Wake up Church and hear the cry of the Savior’s heart for the thousands of desperate ones who do not know you and do not know unconditional love. I pray for the church, we pray for the Church that it would rise up and take its place at the head and not at the tail, that it would lead with compassion and walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ
Lord we pray for your mercy on America, though we do not deserve it. We repent of our idolatry as they are many, all centered around the selfish aims of power, greed, control, selfishness and rebellion.
Bring back our youth, our prodigals who have left because the tug of the world was too strong on them because they did not know the power of Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit, a dynamic power that converted men like Nicky Cruz, Michael Franzese and ourselves. Lord we need you desperately. We’re crying out for your help. Show your people what they are to do. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

God certainly showed the churches in San Diego what to do,,,Pray. Here's the article if you want to be encouraged!

Thursday, May 28, 2020

A Word for Pentecost

During this time of the pandemic and preceding it by several months, the Lord began to talk to me about a number of important things.

On December 22, 2019 the Lord gave me this word. “Rebuild the walls of prayer in the church.” They are the churches' protection against the onslaught of the enemy. Use your art to proclaim My message. Send the prayer cards out among the people in the churches.

Gather together a team of Prayer builders. As Nehemiah rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, so you should rebuild Prayer in the same manner. You will need to have a team praying while others are rebuilding The church.

Use “Gods at War” (by Kyle Idleman) as a basis for some of your prayers, destroying idols in the church.  involve your friends. Make it a goal for 2020. They are to pray from the four corners of the earth. Gather your friends from the north, south, east and west to pray for the church to demolish strongholds, smash idols, and reveal deception in the church.

I have had many words in-between, but I thought this one was relevant to this Sunday being the celebration of Pentecost.

May 2nd

Truly be still, listen, watch, know Me, then proclaim My word. My Word shall go out to all the earth and accomplish My will. Step in to the stream of My will and the Holy Spirit will guide you in all that you should do. My will is becoming more evident to my people. It is flowing throughout the land, gaining momentum. It has become now a rushing river heading to its destination – the ocean.

The ocean of my mercy and grace is spilling out over the land – washing away, cleansing and purifying. Come swim in the ocean. Don’t be afraid!

I will not allow a tidal wave to overtake you. Step into the ocean of My love. Let it buoy you on your destination with Me. What is your final destination? Heaven, where your journey from this side of the earth and cross over to Me. But for now, come into the boat with me and I will transport you to where you need to go. Are you in?

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Monday, May 25, 2020

America, America: A Word for Today

After we have suffered a week of violent riots, hijacked by anti-American forces, I'd like to remind you of the words to  America the Beautiful, followed by a Word from the Lord.

O beautiful for spacious skies
For amber waves of grain
For purple mountain majesties
Above thy fruited plain
America, America
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea
O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness
America, America
God mend thine every flaw
Confirm thy soul in self control
Thy liberty in law.

America, America, how I weep over you as I did Israel and Jerusalem. You started out with such high ideals and godly goals, but you have lost your way on the journey. Many have abandoned me and sacrificed to false idols of pleasure, which have led you into addictions of all kinds – power, money, success, drugs, alcohol, sex, over eating, over shopping, over emphasis on entertainment and other worthless pursuits. Now your enemy desires to tear you apart, but My son is interceding for you.

Though I see your repentance  and I am pleased, more needs to be done. Repentance involves three areas: change of heart, declaration of the mouth and deeds that show your repentance. Wash yourself clean. Seek to rebuke the oppressor of body, mind and spirit. Care for the fatherless, the orphans and widows. Be achampion for good not evil. Continue on this path in your pursuit of Me. Don’t be fooled by false idols and put them away. I am still setting you free, but be careful not to be led back into captivity. Guard your hearts and your mind as the new day dawns upon you.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

I AM the Breath of Life

I'm taking this blog in a little different direction these days. I've been listening to the Lord and He's been speaking. These two words He gave me for this week that I'd like to share. He told me to "shout it from the rooftops" to the world. What do you think? 

May 22
I AM who I AM. I AM with you. I AM the air you breathe. I AM the breath of life. I breathed life into mankind and created a plan to replace the life that the first Adam destroyed. I sent the second Adam, Jesus Christ, that he might die for the forgiveness of sin-a death which Adam brought into the world. I sent my son to destroy death and breathed the breath of my Holy Spirit into you.

I AM the very air you breathe and I live in you through the Holy Spirit. I provide everything you need to sustain life. I am your oxygen that you breathe in and restores yourselves. I am the doneness, life giver, the strength and energy you need for anything I command you to do. Breathe me in and I will empower you to do my will.

Do not believe in false gods. They seek to destroy the breath I give you, to replace it with deadly poison and smother you. Every single cell of your body will be asphyxiated and your spirit will die. But I have come that you might have life in abundance. Breathe in my goodness and breathe out the poison.

 May 23

While Satan was trying to destroy the world, I AM filling the whole earth with my glory! Many have seen the light for the first time. Prodigals are returning home, but need to be shepherded. Will you not step into the water? Will you not be baptized with my Holy Spirit? You are in need of it these days. I will pour it out upon those who are willing to receive it.

Stop this Divisive Spirit. It ruins your witness to the world. Come together in unconditional love to do My will, that’s what’s needed. Focus on bringing glory to my name! Heal the sick, bind up the brokenhearted, teach the Word, reveal the truth and minister life to the prodigals.

While the earth grappled with the virus, I sent my Holy Spirit out to the church body, to my people who are called by my name. I have stirred hearts to repentance, now it is time to step out into the waters. Come follow me into the boat. Come see what I will have you do. Come out of your comfort zone into the unknown of my will.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Behold I AM Doing a New Thing

During this time of quarantine and isolation, God has been speaking to me everyday on various topics. He's been speaking a lot about repenting and also unity. Here is one of the words He game me last week.

Behold, I am doing a new thing. Have you not seen it begin? In isolation I’m calling my people together from every tongue, tribe and nation. This is a clarion call to prayer and unity, not for the ending of the virus but for transforming lives. More power will flow if you use this time for my purposes. Lay down your differences. You are the body of Christ, yet you don’t function as a body. A hand goes this way and foot that. That’s why the body is fractured. You need the eyes to guide you, the vision to know the direction for which to go.

The harvest is plentiful. Now is the time. People are ready to hear the good news. Continue to proclaim it, but not for the building up of your own ministry, but for the building of the body of Christ. It has begun to happen, but more work is needed.

Repent first of your own agendas, which are not of me, lay them at my feet and I will forgive. Let your passion be for the furtherance of the good news gospel – that Jesus Christ, the only son of God, came into the world that all who believe in him may have eternal life. Let that be your sole passion . It can be expressed in many different ways and venues, but let that be your sole purpose. I’m calling you to join forces together. Just as I came at the perfect time when Rome had built a infrastructure of roadways, now today is a perfect time as you manage and navigate the technology that can reach the world! This is my perfect timing for you to gather in unity through prayer for the furtherance of the gospel.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Out of Joint: A Poem

Many mornings I've been waking up around 4:30 and as I pray and read the Bible, I'm inspired to write. This was born out of just one of those days when something very odd happened. It's all true! (We've also been visited by many finches lately as the painting depicts).

Out of Joint

All the world is out of joint

I’ve seen more dark mornings now than ever before.

Early hours before dawn, the house lays quiet

with the incandescent glow of light bulbs.

As I shuffle to prepare my tea.

Half the world is sleeping, it’s 4 AM.

Out of nowhere a noise explodes in the laundry room.

I hurry to investigate —-the washing machine has turned on by itself!

I look inside, filthy rags soaking.

 Why is the lid open?

Surely this is the problem.

I try all the knobs and buttons.

They won’t turn off the electronics, so I struggle to unplug it.

And I am reminded,

I wrestle to unplug myself from this world and its technology.

Trapped in these four walls

Technology is my portal of communication.

Yesterday I spoke with a woman from Australia at noon

It was 3 AM for her and out of bed.

She too is out of joint.

No one knows what day it is.

I still have snowflake lights hanging.

Nature doesn’t know the month.

It blows the icy winds of February

though the calendar promises hope.

April died on the vine, her cruel frosts killing

our gentle magnolia blooms and pink hyacinths.

We are all in morning and out of joint, out of step with normal.

Who is no more?

Some say God ordained it, but I know

a loving Father who conquered all this death.

And washed my filthy rags.

For out of the tomb his Son arose in a world

sorely out of joint.

As we all await the dawn,

to put an end to this endless night,

I hear the first bird call pierce the dark.

My heart flutters,

Is it true?

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