The Drug for Hopelessness

Glory of the Lord over our Barn

Glory of the Lord over our Barn!

If you are visiting from Proverbs 31 devotions welcome!

Hopelessness knocks on every door, even spiritual giants. If we

succumb to the temptation to believe there is no hope- hopelessness is

given permission to rule us.

Hopelessness tempted me at a young age, but God graciously showed

me the way of escape. To this day when hopeless thoughts attempt to rule me–

I remember what I learned that day.

I had come home from school and found my mom lying on her bed in

convulsions. I called 911. On the way to the hospital I prayed that God

would save her life. Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given unto you…”

repeated in my thoughts. The rescue crew worked feverishly to get her

heart to beat. When we got to the hospital they put me in a little room

off the big waiting room. The doctor came in and told me my mom had

died on the way to the hospital.

My faith didn’t fail at this point.

The doctor took me back to see my mom. As I put my hand on her

foot, the flat line on the monitor showed a heart beat, then two. . .

She was put into intensive care, unconscious. My sisters, brother, and

I went to my dad’s house (who didn’t live with us).

I waited till everyone was asleep. I opened my Bible to II Chronicles

20. A vast battle was coming against the Southern Kingdom in Israel,

Judah. The battle was so over-powering that it would be impossible to

win. When Jehoshaphat heard of the battle- the Scripture says he

feared and sought God. He also proclaimed a fast in all of Judah.

Then, he gathered all of the people together and then started to praise

God for all He had done for them. Soon after, a prophet stood up in

the audience and said that the battle would not be their’s- but God’s.

A strategy came from heaven… The next day they put worshippers in

the front of the battle line, singing,

“Praise the Lord,

For His mercy endures forever.”

As soon as the worship started, the battle was won. Even as

a child, this charged my spirit. I read the same chapter over and over

all night, without going to sleep! I wept over this chapter, praying that

I would have the ability to live it, myself.

That morning, I got on a school bus exhausted from no sleep. I felt

hopelessness closing in on me. I didn’t know if my mom made it

through the night. What would happen to us? I thought how can I be

so hopeless when I was in His presence- ALL night??

My faith started to fail. The Lord whispered to my heart, “Will you

live it?” I prayed, “JESUS, this is too hard! I saw You do a miracle

yesterday and here I am today in total despair.”

Nothing in me wanted to worship. Absolutely nothing. I felt no

strength or power in my spirit. I was a goner. Have you ever been

there? A lifeless goner?

I stood up on the bus. I knew that in II Chronicles

20 they won the battle when they started to worship. I couldn’t sing a

lick and didn’t even know one worship song’s words! But, I was desperate to win the battle– so I started to

sing Amazing Grace (off key) and missing half the words. I noticed

that when I started to worship- the darkness lifted off. . . 

There’s a lot more to the story…

My mom lived and I learned a powerful truth. Psalm 34:17-20 “When

the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all

their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the

crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the

Lord delivers him out of them all.”

Mom and me at lunch this past week- Thank You Lord

Mom and me at lunch this past week- Thank You Lord

To this day when hopelessness knocks on my door (and yes

unfortunately as long as we live in these flesh bodies we will have occasional hopeless

thoughts)- I remember what He calls me to do and do it!

1. Cry out to Him!

2. Worship Him!

3. Believe His Word and live it!

Hopelessness knocks on every door- even spiritual giants (Elijah, Job,

Moses, Peter…) If we succumb to the temptation of believing there is

no hope, then hopelessness is given permission to rule us. We

cannot allow hopelessness to rule- we have the key to

overcome it!

God graciously saves the crushed spirit- but we have a part to play.

We must do our part.

Are you in a battle? Is your faith being tested? Do you feel like a

“goner?” You’re in the perfect place for God to deliver you! Cry out to

Him. Worship Him. Believe His Word and LIVE IT!

What are you battling? We will pray for you! Your comment will enter

you to win the “Walk by Faith necklace and earrings AND Lysa Terkerust’s book- What Happens When Women Walk in Faith.

What_Happens_When_Women_Walk_in_Faith_largeEarrings_withKatie_SC_1024x1024Necklace_3_SC_1024x1024

Called to Be An Eye Witness

plane

The plane was jam packed- yet an empty seat was right next to me. Ahh, I profusely thanked the Lord, for only He knew how exhausted I really was. I took my boots off… laid my head back, closed my eyes and started to praise God for His graciousness.

Twenty minutes into flight a man came up and asked me, “ Can I sit here? There’s a screaming baby back there.”

What could I say? “Sure” and closed my eyes. Immediately he opened a conversation, “What was your purpose for travel this weekend?” I gave the quickest answer possible… “I was speaking at a conference.”

“Oh? What were you speaking about?” He asked. I then knew, this was not going to be a flight to sleep and replied, “I’m a Christian speaker.”
His eyes got big and a huge smile overcame his face as he pulled his face into mine, “So, you speak about Jesus?”

I said, “Yes, I do. Do you know Him?”

The smile cleared off his face and he said, “I do. Tell me what you know about him.”

I was tired and wanted to see where he was coming from so I said, “You first. You tell me what you know of Him.” While he talked, I realized that he didn’t know Him.
He then asked, “Why do you believe in Jesus? What is your proof that He is the Son of the Living God? I have read many books, and none convince me that Jesus is God’s Son.”

Instantly, Luke 24 and Acts 1:8 flashed before my mind, “You will be My witnesses. . . even unto the ends of the earth.”

I was being called to be an eye witness.

An eye witness!? Oh yeah, a surge of glory hit my weary body. I’d never heard the Lord say I want you to be an eye witness- like that. He didn’t want me to give a theological or academic answer. Oh no, He wanted me to give an eye witness account of His Glory. He wanted me to give testimony of my experience- of what I’ve seen and heard Him do in my life and in the lives around me.Exhaustion left me and the Holy Spirit empowered me as I gave an eye witness account of my risen Savior and how I personally knew without a doubt that He indeed is the Christ the Son of the Living God.The man was loud and gregarious as he interrupted me. “WHAT? Say that again… I can’t hear you?”Repeatedly at the most intense parts of the conversation he would loudly state a question and ask me to repeat the answer over and over.
Everyone sitting around us listened. I wanted him to lower his tone- but he didn’t.He asked about heaven and hell… the purpose of baptism… the inspired, infallible Word of God… He covered all bases for himself and all those around him- on the packed airplane.
He was SO excited when we landed. He said, “I can’t wait to tell my wife ALL that you’ve said about Jesus, the Son of the Living God!”
We exchanged emails and are continuing this conversation.Next time you’re relishing that empty seat next to you- don’t get to comfy. He’s calling us all out of comfy and asking us to be eye witnesses of His glory even unto the ends of the earth.The Lord is asking all of us- today to be eye witnesses of Him. We are called to go into all the world, preach the gospel to every creature, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost!

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We are each called to teach them to observe all things that He commanded and He promised to be with us always even to the end of the age. GLORY. AMEN!!

When I stood up to get off the plane, passengers started to shake my hand.

People are watching and listening to
us. . . What will they hear?

Winner from last weeks drawing for Bible and earrings is Ifeoma Ayodele! Contact me with your address!

When God Interrupts Your Plans for His- Just Do it!

Sparky in the snow covered field at sunrise

Sparky in our snow covered field at sunrise- If you’re visiting me from P31 devotions today, welcome!

We’d been cooped inside the vehicle way too long!

The kids were fighting. Everyone starving… but the good news? We were only 10 minutes from home. Until suddenly I realized… I needed one item from the grocery store. Yeah. . .

I reassured them, “I only need one thing and I’ll be out in less than four minutes.     I promise. Set the timer!” They wailed louder.

I ran in, got the one item and found an empty check out line. I was making excellent time. I would probably get back in less than four minutes. I love exceeding expectations! I grabbed my bag from the cashier and darted for the door. They could see me from the vehicle… Surely they were happy to see the plan going as I had said…

Until I got to the door…

A man laid on the floor in the doorway and the grocery store manager knelt by him. I knew my clock was ticking and my vehicle could explode if I didn’t get to them instantly… but I had to, you know… stop.

I laid my bag on the floor, bent down, and looked into the man’s eyes. He couldn’t say anything. The manager said, “We just called the ambulance. They’re on their way.” I asked the man if I could pray for him. His eyes seemed to say, ‘yes.’ The manager closed his eyes… The man on the floor and I stared at each other as I led him to the throne of God!

Tears filled his eyes, but no words came. I said, “Do you know Jesus?” He didn’t nod. This time he didn’t even say yes in the expression of his eyes. I said, “God loved the world so much, that He gave us His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have ever lasting life.” I got up and got ready to run to my vehicle.
The manager said, “He’s trying to say something to you.” I couldn’t understand what he wanted to say, but the Lord heard. The Lord knew…
I never saw the man again. I don’t know the end of his story. Was he a Christian and just needed someone to minister to him? Did he hear his Savior calling him for the first time? Was this a wake up call wherein he became a radical believer and brought thousands to Christ after this day? I don’t know! But I do know this… that sometimes (actually most always) ministering to strangers isn’t convenient, unless we’re ready to be interrupted by the unexpected.
I thought it was strange that the guy evidently dropped there immediately after I walked through the door coming in. God surely had a precise plan for this guy. There are God set-ups everywhere! We just fail to be a willing part of the plan sometimes. You never know how God is going to use you. You might bring someone to the Lord who’s going to bring millions of people to Him! That’s definitely possible in this age- more than ever.
Andrew brought Peter to Christ and Peter brought thousands.
A stranger walked into a shoe shop where D.L. Moody was a salesman and led him to Christ. D.L. Moody led a multitude to Christ in the 1800’s.  D.L. Moody made a pact with himself to tell at least one person a day about Christ. If he got in bed and realized he hadn’t told anyone he would get up and run into the street to find someone to tell.
Shouldn’t we have the same enthusiasm?! I mean, The King of Glory is so glorious within us that we shouldn’t be able to contain Him. He should explode from inside out!
Oh yes! Getting back to my family waiting for me… My vehicle didn’t explode simply because I didn’t make my four minute deadline. When God interrupts my plans for His, the right action is always- Just do it!  A couple minute “God detour” could lead to who knows where.  He is GOD. His plans are higher than ours.

The next time God interrupts your plans for His- Just do it!

God has already put people in your path and they’re still waiting for you to tell them about Jesus. Just do it! Don’t wait anymore, time could run out.

 Tell us their name in the comment section. We’ll pray for them and you.  Your comment will enter your name to win a pair of pearl earrings for yourself  as well as a Bible for them.

Matthew 28:19
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

The two winners from my Keep it Shut post are Mary Lou who Submitted on 2015/01/13 at 9:51 AM and Patty who Submitted on 2015/01/08 at 6:41 PM loneprlears7bible_medium 

Satan’s Weapon of Torture

The Glasgow Farm at sunrise

Sunrise on The Glasgow Farm

“Satan has asked permission to sift you, Sharon”  my friend said.

My mom who lives with us was in excruciating pain, and she had no one to help her- but me.  Same hour, my daughter (who was due to have a baby) called and said that the Dr. was sending her to the hospital because her blood pressure was skyrocketing. She couldn’t get a hold of her husband, so I wanted to be there ASAP in case they delivered the baby. My husband had taken our only car to help someone and was not picking up his phone.  He was out of range.  Two weddings were scheduled to take place in our barn and one was renting our house- all in less than 36 hours.

Brides and vendors were calling, emailing, texting.  My mom was groaning, my daughter needed me and I was supposed to be preparing messages for a retreat that I would leave for in less than 36 hours!  My phone was blowing up and so was I.  I didn’t know which emergency took precedence.  Without realizing, I started to get mad at Dale for not answering his phone and leaving me without a car. He was innocent, but I was flailing.  My faith started to quiver in fear. Despair attempted to envelope me.  The day was brutal. I finally called a friend.  She firmly said, “Sharon, Satan is sifting you like wheat.”  She reminded me of Peter in the Bible. I got off the phone and went into prayer, laying my load at the feet of Jesus.  Then, I picked up the Word and read the story of Peter. If you’re visiting me from Proverbs 31 devotions today, welcome!

It’s the night before Jesus is crucified.  He’s eating the “Last Supper” with His disciples…

He turns to Peter and says, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked permission to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen the brethren.” Luke 22:31-32

A few hours later, Satan pulled out his first round of ammunition on Peter.  In the first round, he used fear to get Peter to deny Christ (whenever fear rears its ugly head, know you’ve got the drags of Hell scheming against you).  Satan knows that if he can get Peter/us to fall for fear, our faith may fail.  If we fall and our faith fails, the second round of ammunition is stronger than the first.  He sends the atomic bomb of shame and embarrassment, because we failed.

A “sifter” is a machine that crushes grain and turns it into soft flour.

Satan was asking permission to crush and pulverize Peter.

It’s clear from this scripture that Jesus gave Satan right to pulverize him.  But He tells Peter that He would pray for him that his faith would not fail and when he would come back, to strengthen the brethren. I love this. We know from John 21 that Jesus did restore Peter and asked him to feed His sheep.

Three things we need to know in our troubles:

1. Satan goes before the throne of God and accuses us just like Peter and Job (Revelation 12:10). We are no different from Job (Job 1:8) and Peter. He asks if he may sift and pulverize us. Jesus tells us in Rev 12:11 that we overcome these accusations by; 1. Blood of Lamb, 2. Word of our testimony, 3. Don’t love our life- even unto death.  In middle of trials only a fool vents all of his feelings, but the wise holds them in.  We need to speak truth out loud in middle of our trials, not defeat.

Romans 8:28, “God works all things for the good of those who love Him.”

2. Jesus is praying for us, that our faith fail not. He allows these things for divine purposes. Our faith is increased each time and we learn to trust God’s faithfulness. Our faith is increased and our testimony stronger.  Peter was stronger than ever- after his failure. He knew Jesus was merciful and forgave him. Jesus is merciful and forgives us as well.

“And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast” 1 Peter 5:10.

Peter learned this lesson, not from his success, but from his failure.

3. Even when we fail horribly, He quickly forgives when we ask and uses our weaknesses for His glory. Peter was used to preach the gospel powerfully and his words are still preached today! If our faith fails us- we need to immediately ask forgiveness and move into a triumphant life not bogged down with guilt from self condemnation. 

Self condemnation is probably one of the worse weapons of torture Satan tries to defeat us with. DON’T let self condemnation make your faith fail, but if it does- RETURN and strengthen others!

In my weakness the Lord was more than POWERFUL at the retreat last weekend. The weddings were a huge success (thank you Rachel Moberley). My daughter’s blood pressure came down and she delivered her baby naturally, yesterday, after I got back from speaking! My mom is still in pain, we’re going to a surgeon today.

Has Satan been sifting you lately? Don’t believe his lies! God is more than faithful and will do more than you could think or imagine. Read the Word for truth, and pray!

Tell me in one word what you would like for me to pray for you.  It will enter your name for the drawing to win The Confident Heart Devotional and earrings with Genesis 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good” inscribed on them.

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good Genesis 50:20

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for the good Genesis 50:20
To learn more about From Bullets to Blessings Earrings click here.

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Hudson James Curry born  11/16/14 9.1lbs Isn't he beautiful!

Hudson James Curry born 11/16/14 9.1lbs Isn’t he beautiful! #6 Grand Baby!!

For those who are visiting me from the P31 devotion here are the turkeys that the devotion were written about

For those who are visiting me from P31 devotion, here are the turkeys that the devotion were written about

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Pray Until Something Happens

 

I've had this basket for 25 years

I’ve had this basket for 25 years

Pray Until Something Happens Story

Last weeks winner of 3 books, DVD, candle jars and seeds is Kim- you posted on 2014/09/18 at 4:24 PM.

A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with bright light and the Savior appeared. The Lord told the man He had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might. This, the man did, day after day.

For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down with his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore, and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.

Seeing that the man was showing signs of discouragement, the Adversary decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the man’s weary mind: “You’ve been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn’t budged. Why kill yourself over this? You’re never going to move it” —thus, giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man.

“Why kill myself over this?” he thought. “I’ll just put in my time, giving just the minimum effort and that’ll be good enough.” And that’s just what he planned to do— until one day he decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Lord. “Lord” he said, “I’ve labored long and hard in Your service, putting all my strength to do that which You’ve asked. Yet, after all this time, I haven’t even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What’s wrong? Why am I failing?”

The Lord responded compassionately,

“My friend, when I asked you to serve Me— you accepted. I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength— which you’ve done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me— with your strength spent, thinking that you’ve failed. But is that really so?”

“Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscular. Your back sinew is mighty. Your hands are callused from the constant pressure;and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you’ve grown much and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven’t moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. This you’ve done. I, my friend, will now move the rock.”

At times, when we hear from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants. What God ACTUALLY wants is just simple OBEDIENCE and FAITH IN HIM. By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it’s still God who moves the mountains.

P.U.S.H. = Pray Until Something Happens! When everything seems to go wrong, just P.U.S.H. … When the job gets you down, P.U.S.H. … When people don’t react the way you think they should, P.U.S.H. … When your money looks funny and the bills are due, P.U.S.H. … When people just don’t understand you, just P.U.S.H.

What mountain do you need GOD to move? Your finances? Job? A relationship? Sickness? Your ministry? Tell me in the comment section below. Your request will enter your name to win this cornucopia full of fresh fall gourds, some from my very own garden. Cornucopia means, horn of plenty or abundance of something. May the Lord bless you abundantly. Last week we prayed for your prayer requests. Many answered prayers have been coming in!! Thank You Lord! We need each other! The power of prayer is incredible.

I've had this basket for 25 years

I’ve had this basket for 25 years

Love- The Antidote for The Poison of Unforgiveness

A Path on our farm where I sometimes walk and talk to the Lord

A Path on our farm where I sometimes walk and talk to the Lord

If you are visiting from P31’s devotion today, welcome!

Raging anger morphed him into someone I’d never seen.  It was horrible. Just minutes before, we were having a civilized conversation.

His body racked with pain.  Morphine,  alcohol, and other drugs were his best friends.  Doctors couldn’t find the source of his pain.  He looked desperately to me. “Help me, Sharon, I can’t live like this anymore.”

I prayed with him and when I opened my eyes, asked him the question that led to his rage, “Is there someone you need to forgive?”  He became fidgety.  His voice got stronger and assertive.  “Well, yes but that has nothing to do with, anything.

I asked, “Who can’t you forgive?”  He rolled his eyes, got out of his chair, and morphed into a mad man. Profanities shot from the secret place of his heart.

Gently I said, “Can you forgive them?”

“NO!”  He screamed. “Leave me the %^%$# alone! You have no idea what you are asking!”

With tears in my eyes, I said, “Yes, I do. I’ve had to forgive. . .”

When Satan gets a foothold (a door) into our life through anger, bitterness, or unforgiveness- it’s destructive.

He (Satan) wants to kill, steal, and destroy. Give him the opportunity and he’ll wreck our life; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Even the secular world knows that unforgiveness and bitterness can cause untold physical and mental issues.

What lives within the secret place of our soul, ultimately defines our life.

Every day, many times (even hourly) I have to go before with the Lord and give Him my burdens, grievances, and hurt.  I open the Word desperately searching for answers and He always provides.  He’s faithful.

The more time I spend in the secret place with Him and His Word, the more His attributes become mine.  I see others through His eyes and not my own. I can forgive as He forgives because He gives me His ability.  His love consumes me and I am able to live above my circumstances and not be controlled by them.

Oh, love- His love “is as strong as death. . . Many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it” (Song of Songs 8:7a).  Bitterness, unforgiveness. . . can’t live in the presence of Jesus’ love.  It conquers all!

His love is the antidote for the poison of it.  The secret place of our heart is sacred to Jesus. We can’t let unforgiveness reside there.  It can cause serious issues.

In Matthew 15:18, Jesus tells us, “ what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart. . .”  If we bury resentment in the secret place of our heart, it will come out one way or the other.  What lives within the secret place of our soul- ultimately defines our life.

Is there someone you need to forgive?  Someone you can’t love?  Get alone in a room. Shut the door.

1. Ask Jesus to help you by the Helper, Holy Spirit 2. Forgive (meaning to release from judgement) them 3. Tell Satan (out-loud)- “In the Name that is above every other name JESUS… The Accuser (Satan) has no power over me and I’m free.  FREE INDEED!”

There’s also a test I use on my heart.  Think about the person that you may have an issue with. Pray that God will pour bountiful blessings on them and that He will prosper them in everything they do.  If you can’t pray that, go back to step #1.

If they live near by, bring them a plate of cookies (8 of my favorite recipes)or invite them to a homemade German Pot Roast dinner with all the trimmings! If they live far away, send a card or call them on the phone in a kind, humble spirit.  An act of love is powerful.

None of us are exempt from hardships with difficult people.  Injustices are worthy of anger.  It’s healthy to get angry over injustice.  But, anger can never be allowed to rule over us.  We can’t open the door of bitterness and unforgiveness to dwell within.  We must guard the secret place of our heart from everything that pollutes.

Now, to get back to the story with my friend…

He FORGAVE and is a new man!!  He was tormented for 40 years and is now free!  What lives within the secret place of his soul, now gloriously defines his life. He’s a new man with a peace that passes understanding!

Do you or someone in your life struggle with anger, bitterness or unforgiveness? Leave a one word comment below and we will pray. Your comment will enter you to win three of my favorite books, a DVD, the glass candle holders shown and seeds from my zinnia plants here: The Unburdened Heart  by Suzie Eller, A Tale of Three Kings  (A Study in Brokenness) and The Greatest Thing in the World by Henry Drummond and DVD Les Miserables. gift

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

3 Ways to Help Persecuted Christians of Iraq

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“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”Bonhoefer

My heart aches for our family (Christians) who are enduring the horrific persecution in Iraq.  News stations have reported  brutal murders, beheadings, and tormenting acts against Christians living in the country of Iraq.  Most have had to flee their homes or risk rape and murder.  Many, upon fleeing their homes have died on the journey over the mountains because of starvation.  If they can’t leave their homes, they’re tortured and killed.  Mosul Iraq is said to be completely barren of Christians.

One report said, “Christianity in Mosul is dead, and a Christian holocaust is in our midst,” said Mark Arabo, a Californian businessman and Chaldean-American leader. In an interview with CNN’s Jonathan Mann, he called what’s happening in Iraq a “Christian genocide” and said “children are being beheaded, mothers are being raped and killed, and fathers are being hung. The world hasn’t seen an evil like this for generations.”

The writer of Hebrews (in chapter 13 verse 3) tells us, “Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.”

Jesus knew that His followers would endure persecution. He endured so much persecution for us.  The early church endured persecution at such an intensity that most of us have a hard time relating to it.  But, this was the situation from which Jesus gave instructions to His followers by saying, “And He said to all, ‘If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me’” (Luke 9:23).

I want to be equipped and ready to follow the Lord, to deny myself and take up my cross to follow Him just like the Christians of Iraq. Oh my goodness friends, could you do what they are doing? Yes, we could. But it would be grueling, oh how they need our support!

Paul said in Philippians 3:10, “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death…”

Paul wasn’t speaking figuratively.  He was prepared to die for the King of Glory, who had literally laid down His physical body for him. These blessed Christians in Iraq are willingly sharing in the sufferings of Christ. For Christ they are willing to die, to be mutilated, to suffer. My heart explodes for them as I know yours does.

Three Ways  to Help Persecuted Christians of Iraq

  1. Increase awareness on social media about the persecution in Iraq. Many are putting up a symbol nunsymbol1on their social media, it’s the Arabic letter “nun.” It’s the first letter in the word Nazarene.  It is being painted on properties owned by Christians so that the terrorists can identify them.  The people are using this symbol as profile pictures, so as to “identify” or “remember” those who are suffering in Iraq- and even boldly associate themselves with those  Christians.  This is a brave act of “remembering those who are suffering as if you, yourself were suffering.
  2. Pray privately and corporately for the deliverance of the people of Iraq.  Gather a small group together for the sole purpose of prayer for the persecuted. “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.…”  Let’s gather together and lift up the Christians of Iraq.

3. Support a trustworthy organization working to help persecuted Christians who have been hurt or are without shelter or food. Voice of the Martyrs,Crisis Response International Samaritans Purse  and Christian Aid are just of few that I know who are working the field diligently and need our support to help those in need.

Jesus himself prophesied of “wars and rumors of wars…” (Matthew 24:6a) but he adds instruction for us in this- “See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.”

Winners of “The Best Yes” book drawing!

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Winners of last weeks “Best Yes” drawing! Email me with your address!

Marla posted on08/11/2014 at 4:22,

Amma Bilson-Ogoe

Maile posted on 08/12/2014 at 4:17 

Fran who posted on 08/14/2014 at 8:44 

Jennifer Dougan

 

On her Death Bed She Received Eternal Life

God reminds us of His promises-He is Faithful

God reminded us last night through this rainbow that He is faithful to His Promises

She was alone, dying and in pain. She had no family or friends. She asked the nursing home to call a minister to come pray with her.

It was dinner time when I got the call. The smell of grilled, bacon wrapped stuffed chicken filled my house, the sides were ready, mouths were watering, plates were set at the table. The person on the phone said it was urgent that I get there.

“Can I come after dinner? I asked. The woman on the phone said, “You should come now.”

I didn’t know her, I’d never met her. I looked into her eyes, although she couldn’t see me, she was blind, instantly love bubbled  up inside me for her. I held her weak hands in mine. I asked her a few questions and then she said,“I’m dying, I want you to pray for me.”

I asked her, “What do you want me to pray?” I paused and waited. Her cloudy blue eyes welled with tears and trickled onto our hands. She said nothing.

I said nothing.

I waited for the Holy Spirit to direct me. Then, I asked her, “Tell me about the day you received Christ as your personal Savior. Were you a little girl or an older woman when you first knew Jesus?”

She didn’t say anything, for a while. I knew to be silent, she was processing. Oh how the Holy Spirit speaks volumes when we’re silent. Finally she said, “I don’t know. I went to church when I was little, I was always a good person. But I never, really  knew Jesus, personally. “

“Aw” I said. I thought to myself, I knew where we’re going, now. “Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the living God?” She nodded, yes.  I continued, “He died on the cross for your sins and rose again on the third day so that you can have eternal life with Him. Eternal life is a free gift, we do nothing to earn it. He loves you that much, Bertha! He wants you to spend eternity with Him. He’s been waiting for you to make this decision.

John 3:16 says, ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.’ “ Tears streamed down her cheeks.

“Would you pray with me?” She asked. I said, “Yes. Time is running out, you’ve  got’a get your name written in the Lambs book of Life.” I smiled with my voice. ” With tears streaming, she said, “Yes!”

We prayed a simple prayer together. I can’t remember the exact words, it was something like:

“God, I’m sorry for my sins and the life I’ve lived. I want  Your forgiveness.

I believe that Your only Son, Jesus Christ shed His blood for me on the cross and died for my sins, I want to turn from my sin.

You said in Romans 10:9 that if we confess that Jesus is our Lord and that You, God raised Him from the dead, we can be saved. I confess that Jesus is my Lord and Savior, that He died for me and that according to Your Word, I am saved.

Thank You Jesus for dying for me and giving me the free gift of eternal life. My physical body may die today, but I will live forever with YOU. In Jesus’ name AMEN.

We hugged. She said, “What now?” I said, “Well, Jesus’ last words to His disciples was, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ I’ll see if we can baptize you!”

Bertha passed on into glory with her Lord and Savior. No, she wasn’t baptized. I thought of the thief on the cross who accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior minutes before he died.

Bertha was no longer alone, fully alive and no longer in pain- for all eternity!

Thank You Jesus for the free gift of eternal life. Oh the day it will be, when all those who received You, gather at the party of all parties, the wedding supper of the Lamb!! Holy, Holy, Holy are You Lord God Almighty!!!!

John  6:47 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.”

John 11:25, 26″Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?’ ”

1 John 2:25 “And this is the promise that He has promised us – eternal life.”

The Best Yes

Lysa and me at her house last month before She Speaks conference

Lysa and me at her house last month before She Speaks conference.

I’m so excited to be a part of my dear friend Lysa Terkeurst’sThe Best Yesblog tour!!

Exhaustion is not a condition I’ve been accustomed to in my life. I’ve proudly wore the badge called, TIRELESS. I thought I had successfully made it through the most exhausting years- raising five daughters, homeschooling, managing our own business, living on a farm, ministry. . . until this year.

This past year has been a banner year. The Lord has used me to minister to literally hundreds of THOUSANDS of people all over the WORLD. I traveled and spoke at more retreats and conferences than ever, seen more people accept Christ as their personal Savior than EVER and ministered to at least 80,000 people a month on my blog. The word phenomenal doesn’t describe all of what I’ve seen Jesus do in middle of it all. I am speechless and overcome by what He is doing RIGHT NOW. Jesus’ second coming is at hand and He is preparing His bride all over the world. What an honor to be used by Him at this hour in history.

Simultaneously we opened The Glasgow Farm to do business as a wedding/party venue. It has taken off at lightening speed and challenges my by ability to keep up many days. Dale and I are working harder than we’ve ever worked in our life, physically on the farm. A couple of weeks ago I moved 4000 pounds of dirt in one day, preparing the spot for a wedding. I won’t bore you with the thousand other assignments that go along with it.

I’m not tireless, I’m exhausted. So I’ve been asking the Lord, what’s The Best Yes for this next season of my life. Every day I’ve sought His answer to this question. I’ve had the honor of working under the leadership of Lysa Terkeurst with Proverbs 31 Ministries. Her newest book, The Best Yes, Making wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands has been so practical in helping me to narrow down the best yes, today.

In the second chapter she talks about us not hearing God’s direction clearly when we’re too busy with life and that’s where confusion gets us in trouble. “Have you ever heard that amazing verse from Isaiah that says, ‘Whether you turn to the right or the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’ (30:21)? I love this verse! I want it to be true for me! I want my ears to hear God say, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’ I want that with every fiber of my being. Don’t you? Can you imagine how much angst and pain we could save ourselves if we were really that in tune with God? It is possible. . . “ (pg 11-12) Read Lysa’s book for the rest!

Last week on my most exhausted day, the Lord answered my prayer. A young woman of God, Rachel Moberley, came and asked to assist me in the ministry. I’ve never had an assistant, I haven’t had the money to hire one. She is willing to work like a missionary.
How did all of this come to be?  She was seeking the Lord diligently for His will for her life and The Best Yes became loud and clear.  I was seeking the Lord diligently for His Best Yes in my life and He made it clear.
When The Best Yes is chosen, the best of who we are can emerge. I anticipate the Lord superseding my wildest imagination this coming year in ministry.

“We have to slow the rhythm of rush in our lives so the best of who we are can emerge.” What has “rushing” stolen from you. (pgs 7-18) Lysa Terkeurst

Do you need the Lord to help you with The Best Yes in your life? Tell me in one word what you need prayer for in the comment section, it will enter your name in the drawing to win The Best Yes be Best book to help you out. There will be five winners!sharon

WhenTrials Hit Every Area of Your Life

Sunset after the rain last night

Sunset after the rain last night

Are trials literally hitting every  area of your life?

Often when we suffer, it’s the life of our self-nature that causes us pain. When we are dead, we don’t suffer. If we were completely dead to our old nature we would no longer feel many of the pains that bother us . . .

God prepares a cross for us that must be embraced without thought of self-preservation. The cross is painful . . . The hardest thing about suffering is not knowing how great it will be or how long it will last. So often we want to set limits on our suffering.

We can’t reject the full work of the cross within us. If we do, we are forced to go over the same ground again and again. Worse yet, we will suffer much, but the suffering be for no purpose.

Lord help me never fall into the state in which the cross is not at work within me!

God most often doesn’t transform us on a bed of light, life, and grace. His transformation is usually done on the cross in darkness, poverty, and death. He uses disappointments and failures of our life to take our trust away from self and help us put our trust in Him.  It is like being burned in a slow fire.  Wouldn’t we  rather be burned up in a blaze of glory? Aw but a fast burn wouldn’t detach us from ourselves and others.

We must endure the painful process. There is much more at work here than instant maturity. Through the process we will die to self and through relying on Christ and not-self we gain immeasurable faith, love, and trust in Him.

Paraphrased excerpts from the book, 100 Days in the Secret Place-Gene Edwards.

He’s the only answer we need in middle of the trial. We MUST have alone time with Him everyday- no matter what. Forget the pile of dishes, weeds in the garden, social media or watching a movie.  Lets run to Him and sit in His presence.  That’s where I’m headed right now!  Lord, I don’t want to have to keep going through the same trial because I wouldn’t surrender all!

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed– always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you . . . Therefore do not lose heart. even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. for our light afflictions, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal wight of eternal glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”II Corinthians 4: 7-18

Don’t Leave an Open Door for Your Enemy

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I thought I was all alone but there were noises coming from the cellar.  I was too afraid to open the door. . . so I didn’t. I continued to type and then from the corner of my eye, I saw something move.  I gulped and bravely looked to see him staring at me from the cellar door.

Fear grabbed me and then I ran outside and screamed for Dale. The six-foot snake still hung from the top of the door staring at me.  The tip of its tail clung firmly to the top for security. Bare handedly Dale grabbed the snake with both hands.  The snake was holding on for dear life!  He firmly pulled him off the door.  Its head stood straight up and body seemed bigger than life as Dale juggled his weight toward the front door.  All along I watched from my standing position on the table top.  Dale looked at me as if to wonder if I was just going to stand there or help him. He said, “I NEED YOU TO OPEN THE DOOR!”  Then, he flung the snake out into the grass.

I gathered myself and sat back down to work.  My daughter came into the kitchen a few minutes later and calmly pointed at the same door and said, “Mom, there’s another one.” I gulped and turned to see the second huge snake staring right at me.

This one was determined not to get caught.  He slithered behind the large freezer.  Us girls were undone with adrenaline and disgust.  Dale told us to get a grip and help him.  The third snake appeared…

We all took a deep breath after the third snake was caught and sighed in relief, believing that it was all over.  It was getting late, Ellie (16 yrs old)and I were washing dishes together and she made a proclamation, “I will never, ever sleep in this home again. I’m moving in with Becca.  They don’t have snakes!” As I handed her the rinsed plate to be dried off, I assured her that there were no more snakes and that she would not move in with her friend Becca.

Calmly she said,”Mom, there’s one coming from the cellar door right now.” I  said, “Ellie, don’t be silly.” I turned just to make sure she was kidding but she was right!  Number five and six came last and we’ve never seen another snake in the house since.  Ellie never moved in with Becca.

We’ve lived in our house for twenty years and never had a snake before that or after.  Dale had left the crawl space door under the house open in the fall and forgot to close it. The snakes saw it as a welcome sign for winter dwelling and took up residence. Winter was over and they were looking for their way out…

That night as I laid in bed, the verse from Ephesians 4 came to mind, “Don’t give Satan a foothold.” What’s a foothold? An open door to be invited in.  Satan looks for open doors of opportunity- footholds into our life.  We open doors to him when we have un-forgiveness, anger, fear or we constantly dwell on conflict we have with others. . . (just to name a few ways he slithers his way in).

We don’t even realize he’s gotten a foothold sometimes until  fear or anxiety stare us in the eye and say “here I am, now what are you gonna do about it?”  We can choose to ignore it, be too afraid to face it- or engage in the battle that will define our life.  I don’t know about you but I don’t want to live with snakes in my home.

It’s MY home and God has not given me the spirit of fear; but of power, and love, and of sound mind.  Negligence in this battle is costly.  Imagine what my house would be like if I didn’t get rid of the snakes or left the door open all year long.  I wouldn’t want to live here!

If Jesus is Lord of our life, than we have the weapon we need.  The Word of God will defend us!  We need to read it, believe it, and live it.  Jesus promises to help us!  Ask the Lord to reveal any open doors in your life that have allowed the enemy to have a foothold. Clean your house and shut the door to snakes!

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” I Peter 5:8

Take up the sword of the Lord which is the Word of God and rebuke the enemy with TRUTH!

“Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

Rerouting Wrong Thoughts-OUT

Our newest family members on The Glasgow Farm

Our newest family members on The Glasgow Farm

The screaming and fighting in the back seat was brutal!  It was a fight to the death.  As I slung my arms toward the back seat, the car swerved off the road.  Semi trucks were passing me, going 80 miles an hour. I pulled over to stop the fight.  I’m sure people thought I was mercilessly beating my children when they saw my arms flailing.

Yesterday I drove the beautiful Appalachian Mountains and picked up our newest family members- a Royal Palm Turkey and a Red Bourbon Turkey.  They were not happy about being confined to a vehicle, nor being confined next to each other.  Hence, it was a fight to the death in my back seat.  The Red Bourbon decided to cure his displeasure with lashing out in anger.  He decided to kill the Royal Palm, literally.  He hopped on top of him and went for the neck!

I called 911 (Dale).  He said, “Reroute their thinking.  Turkeys aren’t the smartest and they’re thinking gets stuck.  You’ve got to reroute it.  Scream and hit the cage.”  I screamed, hit the cage and they stopped for 10 minutes.  It started again.  I screamed, hit the cage and clapped my hands.  It stopped.  30 minutes later the fight started again.  I screamed, hit the cage and clapped my hands.  It finally stopped for good. We all made it home alive and now they’re best friends.

I could sense the Lord say to my heart this is no different from people. When our circumstances aren’t what we want, our thinking gets stuck on the negative.  If we get stuck on the negative, we react wrong. We’ve got to be aware that negative thoughts can destroy and learn how to re-route them- OUT.

Every time a negative thought repeats in our mind over the course of a day, we should be reminded of the turkey’s lesson.

“For the weapons of our warfare  are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

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The Royal Palm Turkey- He’ll be stunning when his tail feathers come back in

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—mediate on these things. “Philippians 4:8

The Genuineness of Your Faith

Sparky in the snow covered field at sunrise

Sparky in the snow covered field at sunrise

I’ve been married to Dale for 33 years, I thought I knew everything there was to know about this man, not so. For two weeks straight I’ve watched him endure  the pain of a kidney stone, it was so great that he couldn’t sleep for 36 hours at a time. In his greatest hours of pain (Scale of 1-10, pain was a 10) I witnessed something indescribably priceless, he worshipped the Lord. He would pace for 10 hours straight glorifying his Lord and Savior.  I’m talking non-stop walking and praising!

Kidney stone  pain isn’t like a contraction where you experience great pain and then you get a two minute reprieve. It’s straight pain with no reprieve. With no reprieve from the pain, he worshipped. I would follow him while he paced the floor, you would have thought I would’ve been the one with great strength leading him in prayer, but he was leading me.

When the pain was  bearable he would turn worship music. When it was intense he turned it off, the only way to endure it was to converse with the Lord audibly in prayer. What a testimony to watch Dale suffer such a painful trial and see Jesus glorified and honored every hour of it!!

I saw in my husband a man stronger than I had ever seen before, and I thought I had already seen strong!  In his greatest hour of pain, he  remained unoffended at Jesus and embraced Him, all the more. Peter says that fiery trials test the genuineness of our faith which is of greater worth than gold. Trials  heighten our spiritual alertness and prepare us for greater purposes in Him.

Thank you for praying for Dale. The stone has been broken, but  hasn’t passed-yet.

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” I Peter 1: 6-7

When the Storms Rage and the Winds Blow on Your House

Hartwood_snow_modThe howling, frigid wind whipped and beat the house mercilessly last night. The old spruce tree bent and screeched against the house so much I couldn’t go back to sleep.   

Sometimes it’s good to be awakened in middle of a storm and listen. Listen to what you can’t normally hear. You know, the deep things, things you can’t hear on a quiet, calm night.

So, I talked to Him.

 I should reword that…I was pleading with Him and it had nothing to do with the storm outside my window.

You know, like the disciples did when the windstorm came down on the lake and the boat they were in filled with water.

The storm raged and the disciples were afraid. They pleaded with Jesus to help them, and He did. (Luke 8)

He calmed the storm and then asked, “Where is your faith?”

I felt like Jacob struggling and fighting my petitions before Him last night.  Then, His words were clear. “Where is your faith?” I sensed Him say.  I stopped struggling and asked, “Why, why does it have to be so hard?”

No answer. 

God uses hardships, disappointments and failures to strip our self-reliance away so that we will put our trust in Him alone.   Sometimes the process is grueling.

At the close of Jesus’ sermon on the mount He said,  ”Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on a rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on the house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

But everyone who hears theses sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

The storms, floods and winds will beat on our house, but we will not fall.   He is always faithful.

Sometimes it’s good to be awakened in middle of a storm and listen. Listen to what you can’t normally hear. You know, the deep things- things you can’t hear on a quiet, calm night.

 New Year’s resolution:  Memorize Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5-7). He says that for those who hear His sayings and do them they will not fall when the floods come  and winds blow and beat on our house.