Destiny

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destiny4What is my destiny? I can tell you this much. My destiny was NOT to walk the streets looking for drugs. My destiny was NOT to die lonely and miserable and afraid. My destiny was NOT to live institutionalized. Pastor Tilghman said once to me that unless there is a contest, there cannot be a conquest. There have never been truer words spoken. The majority of my adult life was a contest. I was constantly battling against unseen forces that wanted me dead.

dest3God had a goal for me and that was for me to be like Christ. Before I was ever born, He set out my destiny. God has a purpose for me that is not an afterthought. To know that He set me apart before the creation of the world that I live on is some POWERFUL stuff! I can’t imagine His heartbreak when I turned from Him time and again to seek my selfish desires when HE KNEW exactly where I was SUPPOSED to be. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever so who needs to change in order to be more like Him? ME. My destiny is to walk out my salvation with fear and trembling and seek the face of God around every single corner.

Zephanaih 3:16-20 – On that day
they will say to Jerusalem,
“Do not fear, Zion;
do not let your hands hang limp.
17 The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”

destiny1 18 “I will remove from you
all who mourn over the loss of your appointed festivals,
which is a burden and reproach for you.
19 At that time I will deal
with all who oppressed you.
I will rescue the lame;
I will gather the exiles.
I will give them praise and honor
in every land where they have suffered shame.
20 At that time I will gather you;
at that time I will bring you home.
I will give you honor and praise
among all the peoples of the earth
when I restore your fortunes
before your very eyes,”
says the Lord.

destiny2You know what God said to me the other day? I was complaining to Him about how tired I was and how it was too hard now to get up early and have my quiet time. I was making excuses and I was bargaining with GOD about when I could get around to doing the things I had promised Him. Come on now. He said to me, “Child, when you were at Jacob’s Well, you were up every single morning at 4:30 for quiet time with me. You then had breakfast and devotion then went to work (and hard work at that) for a good 8 hours. You had devotions at night, you took a shower, you ate, you got ready for bed, and you even had time to socialize with the other girls. Before you went to bed, we shared intimate moments in quiet solitude. Why can’t you make time for me today?” OUCH…

What is YOUR excuse?

You can read Zephaniah about visions and prophecy at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Zephaniah

To further your reading, consider this from:

destiny3Matthew 7:21-23 – “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

My destiny is to live for Him. I don’t want to be standing at gates of heaven after all I have been through only to have Him turn me away as if He didn’t know me. My destiny was written before I was born and it’s up to me to make the right choices to live it out. His Word and His plan for my life will not return void as long as I do what He asks of me.

Related Scriptures: Romans 8:29-30; Acts 17:27; Isaiah 55:11

The Small Door

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God is going to put before me a very small door and beyond that small door is a very big room, full of all the things He has promised me – a life in ministry, prosperity, family, a loving marriage, and a future. I’ve been waiting for 39 years for the small door to present itself but I haven’t done all I can to search for it. It has been hidden from sight by the enemy.

hallway1Each hall that I walk down has a whole bunch of doors, and I walked aimlessly around, choosing the wrong doors and walking into poor surroundings. It’s not a guessing game, it was always a choice.

My dreams are so big that they always seem to be beyond me, as they should be if God is going to get all the honor out of making them a reality. This waiting time needs to be used wisely and I need to be preparing for the dreams, regardless of how crazy that looks to the world.

Habakkuk 2:1 – I will stand at my watch
and station myself on the ramparts;
I will look to see what he will say to me,
and what answer I am to give to this complaint.

hallway2Each time I am faced with a big decision, I choose the doors closest to me instead of cruising down the hall toward the corner room with a view. I settled. I settled for the dreams of others, for the dreams of the world, and labels were put on me. Each time I opened a new door, I walked into comfortable settings that weren’t meant to push me out of complacency. Once I was forced back into the hall, I had to play catch up to reach for the door of GOD’S choosing, so I would hit default and choose yet another door that wasn’t intended for me. It became a horrible cycle of searching, opening, staying, being pushed back into the hall, briefly seeing the right door, but still choosing the wrong one. Again, and again, and again….

Habakkuk 2:2-3 – Then the Lord replied:

Write down the revelation
and make it plain on tablets
so that a herald may run with it.
3 For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
it speaks of the end
and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it;
it will certainly come
and will not delay.

hallway3The Lord barely puts the right door within my reach. It is time I write the vision down, read it, and run with it to the bigger room. It has been lingering for entirely too long. My anointing is now, my appointment is now. It will no longer delay. It is here and now and I stand before the small door and knock with anticipation running through my veins. It is time to stop building houses in the desert because I am NOT staying there! It’s time to live on purpose for His purpose!

You can read Habakkuk about visions and prophecy at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Habakkuk

To further your reading, consider this from:

Hebrews 10:36 – You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.

We have hope because salvation is ours if we choose it. Times of trial are meant to sift us as wheat. What door are you choosing for yourself? How does your patience fair? Are you able to do God’s will and get outside of yourself to receive the blessings?

Related Scriptures: Luke 21:19; Daniel 8:17; Psalm 27:14

Prayer for the Suffering

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pray9Lord, please help me. I thank you, first, for showing me who I am; the good, the bad, and the ugly. I thank you for Who you are. You are God alone. I am not. I am so grateful for the mistakes I make, for the hard lessons I have to learn, for the pain that is in this offering.

Thank you, Lord, for the beautiful people who you placed in my life to surround me and have my back, those who love and support me. I have some things I need to work on…in me. I am so tired of the same old song and dance and You are the ONLY ONE who can help me.

Change me, Lord. Mold me. Shape me into who I am to be in Christ.

pray6Nahum 1:12-13 – 12 This is what the Lord says:

Although they have allies and are numerous,
they will be destroyed and pass away.
Although I have afflicted you, Judah,
I will afflict you no more.
13 Now I will break their yoke from your neck
and tear your shackles away.”

prayer4Satan, the Lord rebuke you. You have no authority over my life because everything I say, do, and feel belongs to Christ Jesus alone. A storm may be moving through my valley, but it is producing a radiance inside of me that will harvest the fruits of God’s spirit. Acceptance, approval addiction, fear, insecurity, doubt, paranoia, jealousy, and thinking more highly of myself than I ought must FLEE at the name of Jesus. I cast down every stronghold and imagination that is bringing itself against me and I loose myself to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Power is in confession, so help me to get out the wrecking ball and punch holes in walls rebuilt from bricks of the past on new foundation that don’t belong. I want the light to shine through. Lord, please continue to show me who I am and allow me to grow in your likeness. AMEN.

You can read Nahum about people in need of a Word at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Nahum

To further your reading, consider this from:

Isaiah 58:6- “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?

God wants our service to go beyond personal growth to acts of kindness and charity and love. But we still must have faith in Christ because deeds alone will not save us. We are not to be burdened by a yoke of slavery.

Related Scriptures: Psalm 2:3; Galatians 5:1; John 8:32

The Testimony of Cheryl

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I had a very close friend at Jacob’s Well and she is still one of my dearest friends. We have been friends for over 3 years. She taught me about kindness, about meekness, about self-control. She taught me how to not take myself so seriously and she showed me what true friendship was all about. I love you Cheryl! Thank you for walking this out and being a beacon of hope for so many still in darkness!!! This is her testimony….

cheryl1Micah 7:8 – Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness the Lord will be my light.

Enemies…we all have enemies, And believe me when I tell you, that God’s Word is dead on when He says in John 10:10 that the thief comes only to kill, steal, and destroy.

1 Peter 5:8 – Be self controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

cheryl4In all honesty, I didn’t start out as my own worst enemy. That came over time as I grew older, made one wrong choice that led to another wrong choice, until before I knew it, my entire life was just a continuous series of wrong choices and bad decision making skills. No wonder addiction ended up completely taking over. In my addiction I was able to justify every horrible choice I made. It was so much easier to numb the emotional pain and deal with life high all the time than to clear my head and look around me at the reality of my situation. Towards the end, I had lost my children and my home. I had failed marriages, and had acquired several felony arrests and charges stemming from drug use. My thinking had become, “Well, you know what? I am already down and out and I have nothing more to lose, so let me go to this place called Jacob’s Well Recovery Center like the judge said so I don’t go to jail.”

That was May 29th, 2013. I had a court order and a duffel bag full of clothes. Those were the only things left in my possession on that day. My only possessions in life. Pretty sad, huh? I walked through the of that beautiful house completely defeated, hopeless, angry, and desperate.

cheryl3Now that I look back and remember that day, I can see the work that Jesus has done in me. I went from having nothing left to lose to having everything to gain. I wish I had an exact time and date to tell you when it clicked with me that this “Jesus Thing” was for real. Maybe it was that first Sunday I was there and laid at the altar completely broken and I finally cried out to God for help. Maybe it was the genuine love and laughter of the staff and other women that I felt each and every day. Perhaps it was seeing for the first time in my life that I didn’t have to stay a victim of my circumstances. I could be a conqueror in all of my situations.

My point is this…I arrived broken and the Lord completely healed my body, my soul, and my mind. I arrived angry and left with nothing but pure love and joy of the Lord in my spirit. I arrived hopeless and left with the everlasting promise of Isaiah 60:1-5.

cheryl2Isaiah 60:1-5 – “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. 2 See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. 3 Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. 4 Lift up your eyes and look about you: all assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the hip. 5 Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come.”

I stayed 7 months in that restorative atmosphere and graduated on December 29, 2013. My next step was to go and stay at Grace House which was a 6 month transition house owned by Mr. and Mrs. David and Lisa Daughdrill. While there, I learned to apply my spirit-led principles with Jesus to basic every day life. I had a full time job and now I am in school full time to be a nurse. I’ve gotten my license reinstated. I recently just bought a car. Now I have full custody of my daughter back.

I wake up everyday and say, “God, it’s not about me, it’s about what I can do for you…lead me.” Let me just say His word says that obedience is better than sacrifice. How very true this is!!! Every day I see Christ open up the realms of glory and rain down blessing after blessing not only in my life, but in the lives of the people around me. It’s a beautiful, wonderful, marvelous thing to see. Is my life a bed of roses? No! Is it easy to have to deal with the repercussions of years of being my own worst enemy? No! Ha the last year of my life in complete surrender to the Lord been the best one I have ever lived? ABSOLUTELY! Even on days when all hell is breaking loose and it’s chaotic from one minute to the next, I still have a living hope and I know that it’s all for a greater purpose. That is DELIVERANCE. That is RESTORATION. That is the work of Jesus Christ, my Rock and my Redeemer!

You can read Micah about prophecy at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Micah

To further your reading, consider this from:

Isaiah 9:2 – The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.

Nothing gives me more grief than watching those walk in darkness, knowing that the light of Jesus has already dawned. Look up! Take a new stance like Cheryl did! Walk in humility and grace and DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT!

Don’t Run Away

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I witnessed first hand recently someone who ran away from God’s calling and I was instantly reminded of the story of Jonah.

run7Jonah 1:1-3 (NIV) – The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” 3 But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port.

Jonah was asked by God to share the Good News to the horrible people of Ninevah so they could repent and turn from their evil ways, but Jonah fled in the hopes of never returning. He turned a blind eye to the people who needed him most. He put on the glasses of judgment that were tinted with his own ideas of what they should do, how they should act, and what they should even look like. That sounds so familiar to me. I see people everyday turn away and pretend not to see the depravity, but also the hope that lies within others that walk right past them because they don’t want to see. “Maybe if I just don’t look, it won’t actually be there. That person isn’t worthy of my help. I’ll just help someone else and God will bless me for that.”

But that’s not what God asked of Jonah. He asked Jonah to share the Good News with people who had completely turned away from God. Who are you willing to share the Good News with? Has God laid an opportunity before you, asked you to be a prophet to the nation that you live in? Are you running in the opposite direction?

run3Jonah 1:15-17 (NIV) – Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. 16 At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him. 17 Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

After Jonah was thrown overboard, he ended up in the belly of the fish, and was put back on track against his will. Why should it come to this? Why not just listen to that still small voice and do what He says? Why turn a blind eye to the truth? This is the part that gets me the most. Once Jonah delivered God’s message, which was one little sentence, Ninevah was saved from destruction and Jonah threw a tantrum.

Jonah 3:4-5 (NIV) – Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” 5 The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.

Do you realize that sometimes all it takes is one word? Maybe one sentence to set someone free? You aren’t required to go stand in a pulpit and preach the Word of God. All you are asked to do is to stop turning away from the people who need you, the people you choose not to see. What is your excuse? Excuses are just nails that build a house of regret. I love how God meets Jonah where he is, but doesn’t give him a whole lot of relief.

run6Jonah 4:1-10 (NIV) – But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relentsfrom sending calamity. 3 Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” 4 But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?” 5 Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. 6 Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. 7 But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.” 9 But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” “It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.” 10 But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”

We make the painful mistake of thinking that we are in the center of the universe then try to hide from a God who sees everything. We make the excuse that we are still waiting on His leading when there are people dying right in front of us. He isn’t asking you to do much. Are you more interested in your own glory instead of trying to get the glory for God who only wants people to see Christ in you? God loves us so much, He has a purpose for each of us, and will pursue us with all His might. Sometimes He will even allow us to get through the protective gate in our heart to get a full dose of what we think we need. Stop turning away. I’m begging you. Serving God is not an EARNED position. Do something different today and reach out to that one person YOU feel isn’t deserving, and watch what happens.

Don’t let pride get in the way of your eternal blessings. How many times would I seethe because I wasn’t getting my own way when all I should have done in the first place was listen? All I had to do was listen and look at myself. Jonah said he would rather die 4 times in this book. It is so easy to give up when the going gets tough, but then what about the people that could have been reached and brought into the Light of Truth if only you had submitted to doing the one easy thing God asked you to do? What about them? It’s not all about me. My decisions today have the potential to affect thousands that could have been reached by the Word of God and my testimony, if I only repent and obey. If only…

That is the most humbling concept. God blessed Jonah and provided for him, even following his blatant disregard, but Jonah was still unhappy and bitter. How long are you going to remain miserable? The answer is easy…run toward God and not away, no matter how hard it is or how much you feel that your way is right. No matter the cost and despite your current circumstances, stop running.

Humility and trust unite by saying, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” Do you trust God enough?

You can read Jonah about the belly of the fish and the people in need of a Word at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Jonah

To further your reading, consider this from:

Proverbs 16:18 – Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall.

Prideful people think they are above the frailties of common people. Is everyone else around you aware of your pride problem that you don’t even know you have? Has self-satisfaction blinded you to the truth?

Related Scriptures: Romans 5:19; 2 Corinthians 10:6; Isaiah 2:11

Defining Character

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Webster defines “character” as one of the attributes or features that make up and distinguish an individual.

character2In attempting to define my character, I am realizing that my attributes are my strengths, but also my weaknesses. God has perfect character because He is holy, trustworthy, and unchanging. He created me in His image at the beginning of time in order to love and hold me and walk with me in and through life. I was made to see God face to face. It was the first sin that cast us all out and made us different.

In defining my own character, I realize that my sins and my circumstances changed my character along the way to righteousness. I was born to live for God and to trust Him, so I believe God is refining me through the difficult circumstances I find myself in so that He can stretch me and further develop my character. He wants to see my capacity to trust and obey my Perfect Creator. I can’t walk with God when there are still parts of my makeup that need to be tested. I am reminded of artists who draw caricatures of people. They attempt, in a few short strokes of a pencil, to capture the true essence of a person. Most times we laugh at the distorted view of ourselves because we are covering up the fact that the artist hits the nail on the head. It becomes hard to look at our misconstrued faces which show a funny side to our inward flaws. However, this is no laughing matter. I have to constantly look at my real face in a mirror and say, “This is who I am, God. Please make me more like You.”

character3Here goes….me in a nutshell….

I would say that I am a serious individual. I don’t like games. There is a time for work and that seems to be all the time for me. I’m a bit judgmental and critical but the flaws I see in others are often a reflection of myself. I have a tendency to let jealousy and bitterness take root in some aspects of my life and it taints everything in an instant. I tend to be self-righteous and through that horrible characteristic I end up losing compassion and humility. I have major control issues. I’m known to be a tad selfish and very impatient. I’m rebuking all of those things right now in Jesus’ name. I can’t change what I don’t acknowledge.

Obadiah 12 – You should not gloat over your brother
in the day of his misfortune,
nor rejoice over the people of Judah
in the day of their destruction,
nor boast so much
in the day of their trouble.

character4How often, within my own character, do I misjudge and misconstrue the truth of what a person is really going through? How many times do I really (if I am being 100% honest) rejoice at the misfortune of my enemies? I am tired of living like that. Because I KNOW WHAT IT FEELS LIKE to be on the other side. Character is what we all should be working on. I don’t desire to be wiped out like Edom.

You can read Obadiah about the prophecy against Edom at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Obadiah

To further your reading, consider this from:

Romans 5:3-5 – Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

How is our character built if all we do is sit around in our jealous envy and judge others? That alone, is suffering if you ask me. We must be willing to go through those emotions without acting on them (even in our minds) if we are to develop our character.

Related Scriptures: Proverbs 24:17; Ezekiel 35:15; 1 Corinthians 15:33

The Least of These

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I was up late the other night and watched a movie entitled, “The Pianist”, a depiction of World War II and the Polish Jews. I was moved by that cinema on more levels than I could possibly fathom. As tears began to fall and recognition and revelation came into view as to my current situation and the current situation of our country and the world, my heart broke for those people portrayed in the movie who existed long ago, as well as those living today in similar circumstances.

train1Here’s the jest of the sad portrayal of human lives and events. When Nazi Germany invaded Poland, they didn’t immediately put the Jewish people on trains for concentration camps toward their death. The first took away one liberty, then another freedom, then they labeled them, then moved them to the ghetto, then they took away their right to work and make money to feed their families. They wore them down, day after day, year after year, until the Jewish people became so tired and weak that they eventually, just to escape their current situation, willingly boarded trains….to concentration camps….to their death.

Amos 8:4-7 – Hear this, you who trample the needy
and do away with the poor of the land,

5 saying,

When will the New Moon be over
that we may sell grain,
and the Sabbath be ended
that we may market wheat?”—
skimping on the measure,
boosting the price
and cheating with dishonest scales,
6 buying the poor with silver
and the needy for a pair of sandals,
selling even the sweepings with the wheat.

7 The Lord has sworn by himself, the Pride of Jacob: “I will never forget anything they have done.

train3Do you realize the world that we live in today does the same exact thing? They look the other way out of fear of losing what belongs to them while their brother or sister is exploited. Do you realize that in our generation today, the middle class is being reduced daily. There is only rich or poor. Do you realize that those living in poverty are so accustomed to it that they don’t even see a way out, they are only trying to survive and are being put down for it by anyone with an opinion. Here is something Brother Casey Sones said the other day, “Dead people don’t have opinions.” Nothing could be more true. Those sitting on the other side of the tracks giving out their two cents of talk are not really living, so why does their opinion carry so much weight? The rich are living it up in their lavish homes shaking their heads when they have to drive near “that side of town”. Since when did we become so self-centered as humans? What makes us better than the Nazi’s of old Germany? Seriously!! And we sit around and wonder why we have a drug epidemic in this country. Oh, what a tangled web we weave.

What are YOU doing to make your world better? Flapping your jaws about the injustice, or lending a helping hand to those in need? The Lord sees all and His judgment is near.

You can read Amos 6-9 about the prophecy against idolatry and compacency\ at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Amos

To further your reading, consider this from:

train2Matthew 25:24-46(NIV) –  “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

What are we DOING??? How many of the “least of these” are judged and mocked and ridiculed and pushed aside because the well to do society sits on their own thrones of self-righteousness? Sure, church pews are full but the during the drive home from church so people can be seen as part of social status, beggars are passed by and spit upon. How well do YOUR actions separate YOU from the pretentious?

Related Scriptures: Isaiah 61:1-3; Luke 4:16-21; Revelation 7:17

Midnight to Dawn

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Walking around in the dark is terrifying. I never know what is lurking behind every corner. Fear doesn’t necessarily set in, but complacency does. I get used to groping around and sometimes I just sit down in the dark and make a home.

The old book on the table with light.

The old book on the table with light.

Revelation is the light that shines in the darkness and reveals what is already there, even the things unseen. Isn’t that what faith is? Believing in the things unseen and walking in the light of the deliverance readily available?

Amos 5:8-9 – He who made the Pleiades and Orion,
who turns midnight into dawn
and darkens day into night,
who calls for the waters of the sea
and pours them out over the face of the land—
the Lord is his name.
9 With a blinding flash he destroys the stronghold
and brings the fortified city to ruin.

midnight2Getting comfortable in my dysfunction isn’t an option. God is way to big for that and His Light entirely too bright! When I get new perspective, stop expecting things from mere humans, including myself, then my dreams will live, my fortified city crumbles under the weight of His magnificent stare, and light illuminates the darkness. The revelation is here, deliverance is underway, and HOPE is on the menu!

You can read Amos 1-5 about the prophecy against idolatry and compacency\ at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Amos

To further your reading, consider this from:

jwgirl4lifeProverbs 29:18 (NIV) – Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint;
but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.

Having God’s word but not taking heed to it leads to a decline in our morality. Are you heeding the instruction of wisdom? Or are you still stuck in the world and it’s ways? Let the Light meet the dark in your life!! Open your eyes and look around! God’s truths are EVERYWHERE!

Related Scriptures: Habakkuk 2:2-3; Galatians 1:12; Luke 2:30-32

He Will Repay

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scar2Ministering to broken people is a painful process, especially when I come from brokenness. I still can’t believe that God uses me on the battlefield that is laiden with bodies strewn to and forth, bullets whizzing by, and people locked in a blind gaze completely shell-shocked for a once battle-ready warrior princess who is now sitting in the bunker, the warpaint smeared by her tears. I know her pain all too well. I understand the panic as the bunker gets smaller and smaller as she is hemmed in from all sides for her protection. I can feel the hurt that is so evident behind her veiled eyes when I know that the tears that are pouring forth are each an individual prayer to heaven. I sense her indecision and believe for her when she can’t see the forest for the trees. When I share my own struggles, it blesses me when I see new perspective float across her frame of vision.

When we follow God with deepest sincerity and expectation, He will bless us.

scar3Joel 2:25 (NIV) – I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten— the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm — my great army that I sent among you.

That who sent among us??? GOD! He sent the army that devoured everything in sight? But WHY?? So that we would know that ALL good things come from Him alone and we cannot do anything in our own strength. He allowed it to bring us closer to HIM! My crops and her crops that we harvested long ago were eaten by the massive swarm that was unrelenting. Our fields lay empty and we set aside every dream and let them die only to see them live again! God promises restoration.

I have to remember in the process of waiting that I am God’s servant, NOT His advisor. Hope surrounds me…the consistent expectation of what is to come.

rest4You can read Joel 1-3 about the prophecy against Judah at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Joel

To further your reading, consider this from:

2 Corinthians 4:16-17 (NIV) – Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

We all have days we want to quit, give up, walk away from the fight…but we can’t. We, as children of light and love, know that if we rely on the Holy Spirit to get us through times of struggle, then we won’t allow pain, criticism, and strife to knock us out. Don’t forsake the eternal reward for temporary pain.

Related Scriptures: Romans 7:22; 1 Peter 1:6-7; Colossians 3:10

Don’t Forget THAT…

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For all the women out there who have children, you know having a baby is tough. It’s incredibly painful, it’s long and drawn out, it is the most exhausting 9 months we ever go through. Going into labor can last a couple of days then giving birth is the hardest thing a female body can endure. But the second it is over and there is a bundle of squirming joy in your arms, all is forgotten. The thoughts of swollen ankles, weight gain, sleepless nights, incontinence, fear, emotional upheaval, weird cravings; and most importantly, THE PAIN, is lost to the joy.

pain8There is the moment where I thought I was crazy when I was holding my firstborn son. I thought to myself that it wasn’t that bad and I was ready to do it all over again. It’s the same for a lot of people getting clean and finding the Lord. It’s easy to forget where I was, where I came from, how bad it hurt, how I almost died; how I lost my family, my children, my home, my things, and my soul to the streets. I CAN’T AFFORD TO FORGET.

pain7I was reminded this week by a long string of unrelated (yet related) events that had me thinking hard about how very grateful I am to the family and staff of Jacob’s Well. They put up with so very much; yet, they see women walk away and NEVER TURN BACK TO GIVE THANKS. The staff of Jacob’s Well still gives hope, they give of themselves, they sacrifice their families, they sacrifice their time, and they help people get HEALED. They help birth the baby! They wipe our sweaty brows, they coach us through the pain, they hold our hands through the labor, they are right there in the delivery room!! Yet some women walk away and forget that they left their bundle of joy at the door. This is a very small percentage, but it happens all the time.

Hosea 11:1-4 – “When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
2 But the more they were called,
the more they went away from me.
They sacrificed to the Baals
and they burned incense to images.
3 It was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
taking them by the arms;
but they did not realize
it was I who healed them.
4 I led them with cords of human kindness,
with ties of love.
To them I was like one who lifts
a little child to the cheek,
and I bent down to feed them.

level-of-gratitudeFacebook is a horror to look at some days because of the sadness I see in girls I sat right next to. Some end up back in jail, prison, homeless, lost to the world, lost to themselves, and some even in the grave. I’m not judging them, I have no right to. I hurt for them. The pain out here in the real world has been here for me the whole time. It’s my CHOICE whether or not to pick it back up and hold onto it. For me it was when the pain far exceeded the pleasure that I had to change for life or lose my life and it took me over 20 years to get to that point.

I want to grow in God’s grace. I want to thank Him even when He doesn’t ask for it. I want to learn from the pain and never go back. Childbirth is a beautiful thing so we choose to do that time and again. God gave us the gift of forgetting so we would continue to be fruitful and multiply. I thank Him for that! Nearly losing my life in the process of “birthing” my pain on the street is a whole other ball game. Yet, He STILL gives me the gift of forgetting. I don’t want to forget THAT pain. I will go right back to it, just like I would go right back to childbirth, if I choose to forget.

I challenge anyone reading this who has either graduated Jacob’s Well, or know someone who has, to give thanks today. Post a comment here or reach out on your own. Give thanks and pray for the people who so freely gave of themselves to help give those of us that were suffering a hope and a future. They aren’t asking for it, they never do, but THEY DESERVE IT. I pray blessings over the Ministry, over the staff, over the Haynes, Brogan, and Tilghman families. I pray blessings over every single girl who has made the hardest decision of their life to step foot over the threshold of that beautifully anointed place and that safe haven for greatness. I pray for those out there in pain that they find the strength to make another turn when their mile markers come up. I pray they go in the direction God chooses for them. And I pray for the girls that are out there doing everything they can to walk their salvation out with fear and trembling. They are all courageous. They are all inspiration. They are all world changers. They are STRONG! Give them ALL guidance and love them as only You know how, Lord. Continue to show them who You are. Amen.

pain5You can read Hosea 11-14 about Hosea’s wayward wife and the prophecy against Israel at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Hosea

To further your reading, consider this from:

Luke 17:11-19 – Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” 14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. 15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him – and he was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner? 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

There are a couple of points behind this scripture. The one (the only one) who came back was a Samaritan, despised by the Jews, an outcast. I was despised by a lot of people and I was definitely an outcast. But I was healed anyway. I was released from my pain and my prison and I was given hope. Lepers had to go before priests to prove that they were cleansed of their disease and Jesus sent them off BEFORE they were cleaned. They went in faith, so He healed them as they walked away. They believed. They took off, pain and all, horrible disease and all, and believed. The six months I spent at Jacob’s Well were a lot like this. I knew I was sick, I knew I was in pain, but I believed that I could be healed, so I did things in faith before I saw the evidence. Here is the sad part…of the ten, only one returned to thank Him. My study bible says this, “It IS possible to receive God’s great gifts with an ungrateful spirit.” WOW. I am so grateful.

Related Scriptures: Colossians 3:16; Matthew 2:15; Jeremiah 18:15