In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

As Easy As Drinking Water...

Today, I stumbled across this incredible testimony from a Muslim converted to Christianity and I found it to be interesting to me on many levels.  Afshin Javid is an ex-Hezbollah Iranian Muslim and he saw Jesus and Jesus talked to him.  Being that I live near the country in Texas, I can go years with no interaction with Muslims and yet three times this week my path has intersected this topic, these people and I even found myself ministering to a Muslim just yesterday.

I was with my son at TxDOT and a Muslim woman came in with her daughter who was getting her driver's license. Honestly, the first thing I noticed was this "distain" that rose up in my heart as I saw her with her head covering and her "religion" and I really didn't "like" her.  You know, the picture that the news is painting and social media is fanning that "they" are here to hurt us - right?  This was troubling to me and I immediately began to dialog with God with what was in MY heart.

If you haven't heard, last week at Ft. Worth's biggest event of the year, (the Ft. Worth Stock Show Rodeo), a Muslim Imam was invited to open one of the sessions with a Islamic blessing. This stirred up a FIRESTORM of very public, direct, honest and sometimes harsh, hate-filled, fear-based and even rude speech against these people and their religion. This "Muslim prayer" had NEVER been done before at the Rodeo and honestly, at any such public event that I have heard of in Texas, because up until recently, this area (Texas) has been the "Bible Belt" a strictly "Christian" area. (I use "quotes" because some people living here in Texas say they are "Christian" but they have "loose" definitions" and even "looser" standards to what that means and sometimes it is just a reason to discriminate. We justify a lot in the name of religion - don't we. Even Jesus posed this question and addressed this topic in the Word and yet many of us still didn't "get it". These topics of "What is Christianity" or "Define Christianity" or "Who is a Christian" will indeed take a whole lifetime of discussions and years of debate to cover and is NOT the focus today. - lol.) I digress but yet there is an "awakening" going on "Deep in the Heart of Texas" as many have been "asleep" in their faith and they are finding a "new cowboy" is in town.

So back to the TxDOT, I immediately began to dialog with God about "what was in my heart for this woman" as this "distain" was certainly NOT from heaven, it was from hell. God LOVES us...ALL of His creation, yet while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8). The whole morning at the TxDOT was filled with things "bumping up in me" as the neighborhood I was in was rather reminiscent of downtown LA or Harlem rather than Ft. Worth, Texas. There was EVERY rainbow of person, style, age, class and flavor and I found myself all morning asking God what He wanted to "show me" and then in walks this Muslim mother and daughter.

Well, we processed through our paperwork and she was also processing through and now we find ourselves in line in our vehicles, them being behind us. I exit my vehicle as my son starts the process of his test and I walk to a nearby convenient store, the whole time talking to God about "things" going on there in the spirit, things going on in our nation, things going on in our society - I was deep in prayer, while "on my way" (Matthew 20:17, Luke 17:11) just doing life. I left the store and come back to see my son hasn't even left the parking lot (as they inspect the car, check this-and-that) and I see the Muslim women is also out of her car...waiting as well. 

Yep, then the Lord prompted me to talk to her. He told me to talk about "being a mother' - we had that in common. We exchanged greetings and then I entered into the discussion of our children and being there and she was shocked to meet an American (she was Jordanian) who had more children than she did (she had 5). We talked, smiled, laughed, shared and in parting I even "blessed" her and she to me. It was a "small" victory in the spirit, but I felt like I had slain Goliath all by myself. I had a great LOVE for her and felt the devil under my feet as I walked away. He can't intimidate me - I am free - No Longer Slaves (by Jonathan David & Melissa Helser)! Jesus loves the Muslim just like He loved and loves me, while in my sin, in my darkness, in my "lostness". He LOVES people - ALL His people!

Then today, I find this link and was undone while listening to this testimony of a Muslim, who found Christ - ALL BY HIMSELF! No witness. No one "preaching", just Holy Spirit going after him...and that is how I am praying now for this woman I met yesterday; Holy Spirit, find her, accost her, arrest her, SAVE her and her entire household.

When we (my son and I) were walking out of the building, rounding the corner, the daughter was now walking in having completed her test. She was VERY American in her dress, her style and all of 16 years old. I asked her how her test went, and she said she had passed. We briefly celebrated her accomplishment and I felt God smiling on her through us, the white "infidels" connecting on a human level - as people with a spirit, a soul and a body. There was a connection of "human-to-human" and her face showed it as did mine.  I am praying for the residue of heaven that leaks from His children will remain on her, draw her, change her, save her.

So today I pray. I pray for these two woman that they too would find Christ, or better yet, that Christ would find them! Father God, overtake them with who you are as they "pray". Make yourself known to them, Jesus. Father, give me a heart for ALL that YOU love! Break my heart for what breaks yours (by Hillsong). Change me to BE the hands and feet of Jesus - WHEREVER I go. I NEED YOU, Holy Spirit! Forgive me for allowing fear, my opinions, my flesh, my hurts to influence me away from YOUR WAYS!

Join me in praying today for Muslims to FIND CHRIST! If you have neighbors, co-workers, friends, acquaintances or even people you met in a line like I did, list them below and let's "target" them with the Love of Christ. Let's join together as a body, a church, a people who are known by our love...Christians! (John 13:35)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

What Has Stripes?


A friend posted this picture taken from an area elementary school book where I live, which by the way is in the Bible-Belt and not some progressive big-city area.  Her son brought the book home as a reading assignment.

She sent an email to the principal yesterday and her husband went to talk to the principal today.  Do you see why?  They were told the book is an approved book for the District.  The matter was referred to the superintendent.

Look at the picture now if you haven't.  When I am asked about stripes, I immediately think of the "Stars and Stripes", or what we all affectionally call the American flag.  As a believer, when I hear the word "stripes" I think of Jesus and the price he paid for my sin and sickness on his back - by His stripes we are healed.  When I look at the picture above, I immediately see the zebra in plain view and of course, we all know that a zebra has stripes.  Then we quickly begin to scour the picture for more stripes.  They boys shirt, the road, the barbershop pole, the butcher's wall and the rainbow flag.  The rainbow flag?  Why not a rainbow?  If you want a flag, use an American flag.  Why a rainbow flag to bring the discussion of stripes to light?

I showed my children the image for discussion purposes and they said, "American flags have stripes".

I said, "But there is no American flag in the picture."

Then their eyes got HUGE as one said, "Oh, the rainbow flag is a symbol!"  Hmmm - even my children caught the underlying message here.

The parent was told by the principal that rainbows have stripes, but the father responded that there was no rainbow in the picture.  So why did they use the flag?  I think we all know the answer to that.

Please be praying for this situation as the superintendent is being notified of the concern brought by this parent even today.  Our children are being conditioned to embrace things that the Bible clearly calls sin.  This is a problem and it is not just about rainbows!

As Christians, the gay rights issue is becoming bigger and many Christians are backing down or away from it because they personally know many people who they love that are gay.  They see these people as "good people".  "Peaceable," just trying to live life.  I agree!  I too know many people who are gay and I love them!  I also know many people living together outside of marriage, yes, even Christians living together outside of marriage and you know what - I love them BUT whether I love them or not doesn't change what the Word of God says about sin.  WE ALL SIN and fall short of the glory of God but to give sin a pass because it is now politically correct is NOT righteousness!

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!  - Isaiah 5:20

We MUST hold to the truth of scriptures, even when we LOVE PEOPLE who choose to do life their own way.  Loving people doesn't necessarily mean agreeing with them.  Do you ALWAYS agree with your mate?  Your children?  Yet we still love them.  We love them and stand for Truth in the process.  We have to KNOW the Truth (Jesus said, I am the way, the Truth and the life - John 14:6) and the Truth will set us free. - John 8:32.

Our children are being "taught" what the world says is true.  WE MUST teach them the scriptures:

My son (that is you and me), keep my (this is God) Words
    and treasure up My commandments with you;
2 keep My commandments and live;
    keep My teaching as the apple of your eye;
3 bind them on your fingers (like tying a string to your finger so you don't forget something);
    write them on the tablet of your heart (KNOW them and OBEY them in your very heart-of-hearts).
4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
    and call insight your intimate friend,
5 to keep you from the forbidden woman,
    from the adulteress with her smooth words.  (Interesting that the word adultery (sexual issues) is what we are being warned to keep away from here.) - Proverbs 7:1-5

Father, may we NOT sin against you while gaining the approval of SOME men.  Teach us Your ways, God and let us walk in your Truth!  - Psalm 86:11.  Give us courage to stand-up; even when we feel like we are the only one.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Magnitude of the Problem...

It's been about a month now since flight MH370 went missing and loved ones still have no answers; no bodies to bury, no wreckage to confirm disaster, no answers. Nothing. I can't imagine pain and anguish they are dealing with. Today I saw this report and I felt I needed to stop and pray for these families; many of which are not of the Christian faith so they have NO hope.
Think about that. NO HOPE. 
Click on link to see rest...
Even on my lowest of days, the hardest of things, the darkest hours, I still have a God I can cling to; a God who speaks to me, a God who knows my name and responds to me. NO HOPE. 
Father, help these people deal with the size of this disaster and bring them HOPE as ONLY You can. We pray for them to come to the understanding and the knowledge of the saving power of Jesus Christ. May they find HOPE, REST and PEACE in this terrible storm they are living. Father God, help people FIND this aircraft.  Show them where to look.  Lead them to the spot so these families can have closure.  Thank you Father. In Jesus Mighty Name I pray, Amen.
To see the rest of this image of the scale of things, click the link and see this awesome comparison to get to the "depth of the problem".

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Send in the Laborers

I have several friends who have been to Mozambique and served with Heidi Baker with her Iris Ministry for short term missions and in her ministry school. I was just made aware of this devastating situation they are in. I know many Christians today who have become weary with giving, especially to church, but I am asking you to consider sharing this need with people you know who have a heart to help others. This is such a great place to give...to the most needy on the planet who don't have a spirit of entitlement. They are desperate for help and now with these rains, their meager existence has turned bleak. Please pray for them and also consider giving to them financially. 
We have such lavish lifestyles here in America compared with their living conditions and churches here are equipped with everything you can think of and still building more, yet many in Mozambique don't even have a roof over their head now as water is consuming what they call home! God forgive us. God help us help them!
Father, cause us to be givers and care for those who desperately need your help. Father, hold off the rains for a season and let their land dry a bit. Bring consistency to their weather so they can grow crops with adequate rain and then adequate sunshine. Holy Spirit, we need thee to help these suffering in Jesus' Mighty Name.
Please use the link Iris Ministry to see how you can help.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Breaking the Chains...

Praying for you today friend. So many are struggling today with the cold, the cost of heat, food, the lay-offs from jobs, some just from life; it's just a hard season right now.  May the love of the Lord overwhelm you in a tangible way. You are not alone. You are never alone. He is so for you. Don't loose sight of WHO He is and how deep, wide and great His love is for you!

Challenge: when the walls of life feel like they are closing in, that's a good time to give. Giving shatters the chains of the enemy.

Here are some easy ideas that are quick, fun and effective:
- Take a friend out for lunch on your ticket.
- Bring basic groceries to an elderly neighbor who has been shut-in due to the cold.
- Buy a coffee for the car behind you at Starbucks.
- Make some homemade pies and bring them to a young mother who is weary at home with little children.  Take one to a pastor or elderly couple from your church.  I did this.  We had one car at the time and I was shut-in the house with two small babies.  The Lord told me to give and so I had flour to make pie crusts and pie pans (ones I had saved from store bought pies - I saved everything!) and I started baking.  I made 10 pies that day and when my husband came home from work he was like, "What are we going to do with these?"  
I said, "We are taking them to people we know tonight."   
He said, "Who?" 
I said a list of people's names and we just got in the car and started driving; house to house until we had given them all away.  It really works!  I was free from that cloud of depressing that was clutching at me!
- Pump the gas for the elderly person at the gas station across from you so they don't have to be out in the cold.  Maybe even pay for their gas.  Swipe your card first! :-D
- Ask if you can load the groceries in the car for a young mother with babies or at least put her cart away.  (Stand back when asking so you don't overwhelm or scare them.)
- Wait at the end of the check-out isle (10 items or less lane is an easy lane to choose) for an elderly, needy looking person and offer to pay for their 5 items. Just lay the cash down and walk away if necessary. Standing at the end, you will see the total as they do, so you know what you are signing up for, if you know what I mean. You can know who because the total matches the cash in your hand. ASK the Lord WHO you are there to bless. It is so fun!
- DO something for someone else. Acts of service are so great. They bring more joy to me than I think they bring to the person I am blessing. 

Sometimes I do these things for people that I don't even necessarily like. Maybe a boss who is difficult to work with or the employee who takes behind your back. Bring them a coke or a couple donuts to an ornery neighbor mends fences. Whatever! Just start GIVING or start giving more! (Not saying you aren't doing any or all of these things but purpose to find MORE to do!) Ask God for creative ideas! He is amazing at showing you things that matter to others that are easy and that are eternal!

When I have battled loneliness, sorrow, fear and sometimes even isolation or the beginning of depression I have found that GIVING is the accelerator to freedom. It shatters the chains that the enemy has shackled on me. All the enemy has to say are lies of course, but his lies sound real - that's why he is effective.

On this cold day where most are shut in, get OUT and FIND a reason to be a blessing! Bring your pet and go to PetsMart and I am sure you will find someone to minister too!  Take the kids with you and help an elderly man with his cart by putting it away.  Just START BEING A BLESSING!

YOU have the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead DWELLING IN YOU if you are a Christian! The same Spirit! The SAME Spirit! He is dwelling IN you! How amazing is our God to give us such great things! WOWZA! YOU are a mighty man (or woman) of God and the mighty men, take the land with force. FORCEFULLY advance the kingdom today! Read Judges 6:12 which says: And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.  How about Matthew 11:12 - From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence,and the violent take it by force.  We are in a fight!  We have to use the weapons the Lord has given us and GIVING is a weapon!   Praying for heaven to invade your earth today and start GIVING your way to freedom. 

Stay warm too!  It's been a long winter but Spring is just around the Corner!