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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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.”

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.”

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

photo

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.   

Years later–I’m living my Dream

 

Horizon at the break of day

Horizon at the break of day

 

When I was a little girl I had this recurring dream, that I was on a huge battlefield amongst thousands of dying and wounded people. I would wake up in the morning feeling like I had worked all night bringing life and healing to those who were perishing.

This dream became my thoughts in the daytime. I would stare out the window and recall my dream from the night before- it consumed me. I knew God was calling me. I would be a nurse and go into the mission field to bring life.

Well, chemistry class proved that I wasn’t called to go into the medical profession. I passed that class by the skin of my teeth, literally. This confused me, because I knew you had to be good in science to be a nurse. I continued to dream about bringing life and healing to thousands on the battlefield in my sleep. My passion and calling actually intensified.

As most of you know, I’m a speaker and writer for Proverbs 31 Ministries. Last week they announced our “Join Us on the Front Lines” campaign.  When I read those words I recalled the dream that I had dreamt hundreds and hundreds of times in years past– Endless numbers of people sprawled out on an open field waiting for urgent care.

I’ve had the privilege of writing devotions for P31 that go out to nearly a half million people a day.  This past fall I traveled almost every weekend as an ambassador  carrying the gospel to the sick and dying.

Halleluiah- I don’t need chemistry to be on the battlefield! We’re bringing life and healing to those who are perishing every day! I’m on the front lines administering care with Proverbs 31 Ministries under the leadership of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

I’ve seen more people receive Christ as their personal Savior this year than ever before!

I’ve received hundreds and hundreds of emails from families saying their marriages have been restored, broken lives mended, crushed spirits made whole, parents given hope and more because of our devotions, books, speaking, radio, Bible studies and more!  Oh my goodness I wish you could see all of what God is doing in the field.

We’re on the front lines of the battlefield ministering to millions of women around the world.  I want you to be a part of it!  Pray for us, the battlefield is vast and it cost money to go into all the world and preach the gospel—bringing life and healing to those who are perishing.

The dream I dreamt when I was a little girl has come true. I’m overcome by the awesome opportunity to minister to millions with Proverbs 31 ministries. Will you join us on the front lines? Have you had dreams of helping those whom you’ve never met? Would you like to help support P31?  

Renee Swope and Sharon

Renee Swope and Sharon

 

My amazing friend and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, Lysa Terkerust
My amazing friend and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, Lysa Terkerust

 

The Overflow of His Shekinah Glory

This was the sunrise that Jesus and I shared in North Dakota

This was the sunrise that Jesus and I shared in North Dakota

His Presence is like a radiant fire of joy within us that overflows because He is uncontainable!  The Hebrew word for the dwelling (or Presence of God) is Sh’cheenah or as we pronounce it Shekinah.  That Presence is what Jesus says dwells within Him and He in us, we who are His disciple’s.

This past weekend I traveled to North Dakota to speak at Crystal Springs Baptist Camp Retreat.  The overflow of His Shekinah Glory was powerful.

I had been waiting in airports all day from weather delays.  It was late and they finally cancelled all departing flights.

I found a flight for the next day, going into a different city and to a hotel!  It was late.  I proceeded to the long cab line, opened my cab door, threw in my bags, shut the door and all of a sudden the glory of the Lord filled the cab.  I mean, we hadn’t even driven 20 feet from the curb and we were giving testimony to the power of His glory!  The cab driver was from Nigeria and for the next hour we were worshipping together the glory of the One who filled us! We had revival right there in the cab! Oh my, the overflow of His Shekinah Glory!

After a few hours of sleep, I got in another taxi.  This time I shared the cab with a Jewish man and an Ethiopian driver.  God’s presence immediately filled the cab. I felt this overwhelming love (Jesus’ love) for the two men.  We talked non-stop for an hour- when we got to the airport it was like saying goodbye to best friends.  I got to share the power of Jesus’ name, and it was good. Oh my- the overflow of Shekinah Glory!

I got into the airport and noticed my flight was delayed, again.  Wall to wall people stood waiting for flights. With no available seat I stood in a corner, opened my Bible and noticed a man looking at me.  I looked up and made eye contact.  He said, “What are you reading?” I said, “The Bible.” He waited for my next words.  I said, “Do you know Jesus?” He said, “No, I’m Hindu.”

Immediately the Lord took us to the deepest places of His heart. I was blown away at how fast we were going to His heart. I looked up and saw that my flight had been delayed another half hour.  I thought to myself I’ll never make it to my destination, today.  Then the Hindu said, “Will you pray for me?” Jesus! I said to myself!!  You are amazing me!!  I said, “Yes!” and we prayed! It was powerful! Oh my, the overflow of His Shekinah Glory!

I got to the retreat ON TIME to speak to speak for my first session. The power of His presence filled that campsite!

At the close of the retreat, women came forward weeping.  They wept because He so overflowed within them that there was no other emotion than tears because of the inexpressible joy.  The overflow of His Shekinah Glory!

The retreat attendees all left, going into all parts of North Dakota, some parts of South Dakota and Minnesota.  I sat alone with the Lord at sunset and imagined the fire of revival traveling with them.  It was good.

I sensed the Lord’s glory in my sleep.  He woke me when it was still dark outside.  All the ladies were gone.  I was alone with Him.  I started to worship Him, loudly!  No one could hear me.  It got intense.  I felt like I needed to go outside.  Typically, I would have been afraid to go outside- I mean what kind of wild animals lurk before dawn in ND?  Bears, coyotes, snakes? I didn’t know, but I had to go out.  I started to run around like a little girl who was totally freed from all inhibition and worshipped.  I wept tears from the inexpressible joy that was exploding in me. Who can contain it?!  His Shekinah Glory!

 2 Chronicles 7:2-3″And the priests could not enter the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD’S house. When all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD on the temple, they bowed their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped and praised the LORD, saying: “For He is good, for His mercy endures forever.”

Paul told us in Roman’s “Know ye not that you are the temple of God?” If we confess with our mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, we shall be saved. Then, His Presence fills us. God’s ultimate goal was always that He would dwell within His people (Jer.31:31-33). When we accept Jesus we become the temple of His Shekinah GLORY!

It is interesting that when the children of Israel had experienced the glory of the Lord coming down they were overcome and praised Him.

His presence, His Shekinah Glory compels us to proclaim:

  ”For He is good, for His mercy endures forever.”

The overflow of His Shekinah Glory goes before and around us- Many times filling cabs, airports and everywhere along our journey. We are conduits of His Shekinah Glory! Halleluiah!!

If You are My Disciple- You will Deny Self, Pick up Your Cross and Follow Me

Wildflower garden on our path this morning--Planted and arranged by God

Wildflower garden on our path this morning–Planted and arranged by God

The winner’s from last week’s apron drawing: Christi  8/29 at 3:09PM and Rebecca  8/28 at 2:16 PM.

Thank you for praying for Jonathan. He is doing wonderfully well! It is a slow recovery but he couldn’t be doing better. You have no idea what peace I had knowing YOU were praying!!

A good word from David Wilkerson:

Never once does our Lord say, Stoop down and let me lay a cross on you.” Jesus is not in the drafting business; his army is all volunteer. Not all Christians carry crosses. You can be a believer without carrying a cross, but you cannot be a disciple.

I see many believers rejecting the way of the cross. They have opted for the good life with its prosperity, its material gain, its popularity and success. I’m sure that many of them will make it to heaven—they will have saved their skins—but they will not have learned Christ. Having rejected the suffering and sorrow of the cross, they will not have the capacity to know and enjoy Him in eternity, as will the cross-bearing saints who have entered into the fellowship of suffering.

You will have to carry your cross until you learn to deny. Deny what? The one thing that constantly hinders God’s work in our lives—self. Jesus said, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24). We are misinterpreting this message if we emphasize self-denial, that is the rejection of material or unlawful things. Jesus was not calling upon us to learn self-discipline before we take up our cross. It is far more severe than that. Jesus is asking that we deny ourselves. This means to deny your own ability to carry any cross in your own strength. In other words, “Don’t take up your cross until you are ready to reject any and every thought of becoming a holy disciple as a result of your own effort.”

Millions of professing Christians boast of their self-denial. They don’t drink, smoke, curse or fornicate—they are examples of tremendous self-disciple. But not in a hundred years would they admit it was accomplished by anything other than their own willpower. They are practicing self -denial, but they have never denied self. In some ways, we are all like that. We experience “spurts” of holiness, accompanied by feelings of purity. Good works usually produce good feelings, but God will not allow us to think our good works and clean habits can save us. That is why we need the cross.

I believe Jesus is actually saying to us, “Before you take up your cross, be ready to face a moment of truth. Be ready to experience a crisis by which you will learn to deny your self-will, your self-righteousness, your self-sufficiency, your self-authority. You can rise up and follow Me as a true disciple only when you admit you can do nothing in your own strength—you cannot overcome sin through your own willpower—your temptations cannot be overcome by your self-efforts alone—you cannot work things out by your own intellect.

Your love for Jesus can put you on your knees but your cross will put you on your face.

 

David Wilkerson was the founder of World Challenge,  best known for his early days in ministry to drug addicts and gang members in New York City. Best selling book and movie  about his life is called The Cross and the Switchblade.

Stewarding His Glory

Sunrise on the Glasgow Farm- Reminds me of His Glory!

Sunrise on the Glasgow Farm – Reminds me of His Glory!

“The Glory which You gave to Me I have given to them. . . that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them, as You have loved Me.” John 17:22-23

Last week I was at Proverb’s 31’s She Speaks conference. It was phenomenal!

Michael Hyatt was the keynote speaker Saturday night. One thing he said really struck me: “A goal without a date is a dream.” He told us before his last book was published that he set a date for it to become a New York Times bestseller. The date he wrote in his journal was two weeks after its release date.  It became a NYT bestseller on the very date he set!! How? He made a date and worked a plan for it to happen!

When I closed my eyes that night to go to sleep, I felt the Lord say to me: You must be just as intentional in stewarding My Glory as Michael was about his book. While driving my six hours home I couldn’t turn music on or anything. The concept kept burning within me.

I remembered people like D.L. Moody who set specific goals and followed through because they were intentional. One of Moody’s goals was to attempt to bring one person to Christ every day (he did more than that). He was a very busy man. Some days he would realize that he hadn’t done it and leave his house late at night to fulfill his deadline. Amazing stories followed his obedience, because he set defined parameters on his goals.

Jesus said that the same glory God gave Him, He gave us so that the world would know Him. This is huge. What am I doing with His Glory? How am I stewarding it? What goals am I setting to steward this amazing glory within?

Time is short. The things of this age will one day be gone, but how we steward His Glory will have eternal reward and significance for all eternity. In order to accomplish defined goals, we have to be focused and driven not to spend our lives on frivolous things. But in everything we do, we must do in the Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I love the story in I Kings 8:11 when the glory of the Lord (His presence) was so powerful in the House of the Lord that the priests couldn’t stand!  Wow! And now we believers house the very presence (His Glory) of the Lord within us! What a privilege and gift! What power and glory within us!!

When I stand before the throne of God and He opens the book of remembrance (the one He has for those who feared the Lord and meditated on His name – Malachi 3:16), I want to have been found faithful with everything He gave me.

The more trustworthy we are with what God gives us, the more He gives! In Matthew 25:23 “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”

I want to be trusted with more—more of His Glory, His Presence, so that many will come to know Him and know that He loves them. What is He calling you to do? Do you have a daily, monthly and yearly plan to  fulfill it? Write it down, do everything to protect it and do it—if it will bring Him glory and bring others to Him remember that a goal without a date is a dream.

Our daughter Jennifer's 36"X40" Painting entitled, "Hold His Glory." It has been in public art shows in LA, CA and NYC. People who don't know Jesus want to know what His Glory is!

Our daughter Jennifer’s 36″X40″ painting entitled, “Holding His Glory” has traveled in art shows from LA, CA to NYC. People who don’t know Jesus want to know what the Glory is!

Overcoming Fear

Bunnies were all over my path this morning!

Bunnies were all over my path this morning- Elderberry bush over  bunny

This past weekend while mowing, I rode down the path that leads to the edge of the woods.  I turned off the motor and sat… I could hear a symphony of crickets and frogs making music.  I saw deer and bunnies grazing—it was breathtaking.  A year ago that very path had been where I walked and met God at the beginning of my day.  I could pray out loud and no one could hear or see me.  It was perfect—that is, until that day, last July.

I was enjoying my time with Him, when my cell phone rang.  No one ever calls that early in the morning… It was Dale.  He said, “Come to the house, now.”  Dale never talks like that, so I ran.  When I got to the house he was holding his leg and said, “It was a Copperhead snake.”  Immediately we both petitioned the Lord for healing for his leg.  Healing did come- that day. (Blog post- last July about the Copperhead)

There was only one lingering effect.  I stopped walking that path with Jesus.  I didn’t really give it much thought until this weekend, on the mower, when I saw the butterflies and bunnies crisscrossing in front of me.  I remembered how sweet that time was and realized that the fear of snakes kept me from going back.

The Lord led my thoughts to Ephesians 6.  It’s the one where Paul gives us a clear defense plan against the enemy.  He tells us about the armor that protects us.  Anytime we have an unhealthy fear of something, we need to face it with truth and investigate our line of defense in order to become overcomers of it.  This is true in the natural as well as in the spiritual.

I decided to walk my path again, but this time with armor on and a defense plan.  I’m wearing jeans, boots and carrying a shovel or a machete- just in case.  I’ve researched my enemy (snakes) and know where they hide, what time of day they’re out, and their mode of operation.  I’ll never forget the seriousness of a poisonous snake, but I will never again let it hinder me from living life to the fullest.

What do you fear?  Does it hinder you from enjoying life?  Satan (our greatest enemy) wants nothing more than for his prey to live in fear.  Fear always threatens freedom and peace.  Paul gives us truth in dealing with our enemy.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of the God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end, with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints–“ Ephesians 6:10-18

I never want to be without my armor (my boots, jeans, and machete) when walking in snake territory.  But even more than that, I never want to be without the whole armor of God to defend and protect myself from the schemes of the devil.

And I’ll never be without a defensive weapon in dealing with the devil, which is; the sword of the Word.  When we use it- no weapon formed against us will prosper!  Jesus Himself used the Word of God as His defense against Satan- and so must I!

Every time I walk my beautiful path now, I am reminded that to enjoy life to the fullest, I must never let fear overcome me, but I must overcome it with truth!  God has given us offensive and defensive weapons- that in making ourselves keenly aware, we will effectively defeat the enemies ahead!  Let’s not allow fear to prevent us from moving forward in any aspect of our lives.  Let’s take up our holy armor and weapons… riding forth into the glorious places that God has already prepared for us- if we are willing to follow Him there.   We have good reason to be courageous!

Our Hospital Debt was PAID in FULL

 

IMG955116 (3) DAle in hospital 2011 mod lighterWinners of aprons announced at bottom of post!

An envelope was taped to our front door.   It was a warrant for us to appear in court for Dale’s unpaid hospital bill.  ( you  should read the story if you’re new to my blog).

The original bill was over $30,000. We had been waiting for the insurance company to settle the claim. Well, they decided not to pay it.  We called the hospital, told them what happened and they graciously lowered our bill by 50%.  But, they were pretty serious about the remaining balance and wouldn’t accept monthly payments.

So, the deal was- pay it by August or we’ll put a lien on your house.  PAY IT NOW was the answer.  Well, naturally we did the same thing you would have done.  We got on our knees and asked God to help and show us an answer.  We didn’t have the money, to say the least.

Every day we prayed, but answers to pay the debt were nowhere in sight.  So, we told God we were willing to sell the farm if He wanted us to get rid of the debt. We resigned ourselves that this may be the only answer.

That afternoon I called a dear friend and asked her to pray for us. The hospital debt wasn’t the only thing I  needed prayer for, we had other issues that were pressing. We talked for 5 minutes and then she prayed the sweetest prayer.

Within 30 minutes after we talked she called me back, I was in my garden.   It sounded like she was holding back tears when she first started to tell me that her and her husband had decided to pay our entire hospital bill!!!  I felt faint.  My head started to get whoozy.  I thought I was going to pass out!

I was in shock. This wasn’t a rich couple. They worked hard for the money they lived on. They weren’t independently wealthy people by any stretch of the imagination. They were people just like you and me, but they were willing to give $15,000 - to help us.

I said,But…“  She said, “Sharon it is our joy to give this. I had felt for several months now that I was supposed to do something for you and couldn’t figure out what He wanted me to do. I had even told my husband about it. Then when you called I knew and so did he.”  They were giving with joy.  She even giggled a couple of times while talking.

When I got off the phone I sat in my garden and cried and prayed.

With tears streaming down my cheeks I kept saying,  “Jesus, who am I that you are so mindful of?”  Never did I ever imagine a person paying off this debt for us!

After I got my composure, I ran into the house to tell Dale. I wish you could have seen his face.  With tears in his eyes, he thanked God and couldn’t stop thanking Him.

They don’t want anyone else to know who gave the money.  They’re humble people not looking for earthly rewards.

These verses are my prayers for this generous couple:

~”He who is generous will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor.” Proverbs 22:9

~”For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.” Hebrews 6:10

~”Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38

Lord, with the same measure they gave, give it back to them one hundred fold- shaken down and running over! Help me to fulfill the call of Christ just like they did for us.  Help me to bear others burdens by Your example on the cross!  In Jesus’ name, amen.

~ “Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

Winners of Aprons email me your address! Amie Moore posted comment at 9:01 on 7/8, Jane post 11:23 on 7/7, Lindsey Hislop and another Amie posted on 7/5 at 2:23

Does God still Work Miracles?

Chris and Haley were married on The Glasgow Farm two weeks ago!

Chris and Haley were married on The Glasgow Farm two weeks ago!

This past weekend standing at my kitchen door was a young man who had just been married on our farm two weeks ago. Chris told me that right after their wedding his mom( who was at the wedding)went into the ICU unit at the hospital. She had been in critical condition since. Just that morning the doctors conveyed bad news to the family—there was no brain activity and both kidneys were shutting down—what’s worse, they didn’t foresee her condition improving.

He was devastated. He said he had cried every tear he had. We prayed and asked God to do a miracle for his mom in Jesus’ name. We quoted the verse in Ephesians 1:19-20 that talks about the exceeding greatness of God’s power toward us who believe, according to His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead.

Dale and I continued to pray that day along with friends and family.

Less than 24 hours later  Chris told us that his mom was able to do a few things on command, like stick her tongue out and wiggle her toes! Guess what the doctor’s new prognosis was? She will likely have a full recovery!

Does God still work miracles today? Yes, He does.  Lord, we give You the glory for her 180-degree turnaround! Thank You Jesus!

I’ve prayed for many people and I’ve seen many miracles,  I’ve also seen people die right in front of me while I prayed for the miracle! Why? Why doesn’t God heal everyone we pray for? WHY? I don’t know. But this I know, I will never stop believing that God can heal and does perform miracles.

George Muller said that there were some things that he had to ask God for 10,000 times before it was answered.

Don’t lose faith when circumstances seem impossible. Hebrews 11: 1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Don’t blame yourself or stop believing when God doesn’t answer the way you want or when you want.  Keep your faith in God strong — don’t let Satan mess with your mind!  We’ll never understand the timing of God or why some are healed and some are not. Job didn’t understand God’s ways either, but he remained faithful to trust Him even when it didn’t seem like God was listening (He was).

But there is nothing any more rewarding than living a life of faith.

Does God still work miracles today? Yes.

Malachi 3:6 says the LORD does not change.

He is he same God who parted the Red Sea, raised Jesus from the dead, brought brain activity back to Chris’ mom and the same God who will one day wipe away every tear from our eyes and proclaim no more death, no more crying, no more pain for the former things will pass away. He will make all things new, and to you who overcomes He will reward you with a great eternal inheritance!

Matthew 19:26, “But Jesus looked at them and said, With men this is impossible, but all things are possible with God. [Gen. 18:14; Job 42:2.]

 

Chris and Haley sparkler send off!

Chris and Haley

 

A Life of Faith- George Muller

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What do you need more faith for today? Enter your answer in the comment section for a chance to win these two books!

There is no greater life than a life lived by faith.

It is so powerful that even with a tiny amount of it, nothing is impossible to us (Matthew 17:20). Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).

A couple of months ago I gave you a list of 10 Invaluable Christian Books. In that list I included a book about George Muller. If you want to read about someone who lived his entire life by faith, read this book. When Muller first became a Christian he felt that God was leading him to be a missionary. He was Biblically trained in the best school, had the desire to preach and the ability to speak many languages. He was completely ready for the adventure.

But God detoured Muller and led him to open orphanages in Bristol, England.  From his latter 20’s to age 70 he took care of over 10,000 children with God’s help alone. Not once in all those years did he ask for financial help from anyone other than God Himself. There were days he didn’t have food to serve the kids, but he never doubted that God would provide.

And God did provide for them.  Miracle after miracle happened at the orphanage. Unexpected food would arrive at the door just in time for meals. People came by to give a gift, and many times it was the exact amount needed to pay a bill.  These things happened not because Muller told anyone his need, but because of God alone.

Rarely did they have money for the next week, but they lived on faith.  And not once in all those years did they go without food or shelter.  George Muller trusted God with a depth rarely seen.  His faith and generosity set a standard for Christians of all generations.

People from all over the world soon heard about the miraculous things happening because of the faith of Muller.  D.L. Moody was one of them.  He visited the orphanage when 1500 kids lived there and was inspired by the power of Muller’s faith and God’s ability to provide even though Muller never asked for money.

When Muller was 70 years old God released him to do his lifelong dream—to go into all the world and preach the gospel.  For 17 years he spoke and traveled non-stop. He spoke on living a life of faith. He preached for Charles Spurgeon and inspired Hudson Taylor.  He spoke to over 3 million people and traveled to 42 countries, speaking at least once a day until he reached 87 years old.

He died at the age of 92. Tens of thousands of people showed up for his funeral. In his lifetime he read the Bible cover to cover almost 200 times (now that’s the secret to faith—know the promises and believe them). He never took a salary in 68 years of ministry but always trusted God to provide for him. He never took out a loan or went into debt for himself, the orphanage or his ministry abroad.

There is no greater life than a life lived by faith.

Faith is so powerful that even with a tiny amount of it, nothing is impossible to us.

God, increase our faith! May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven! In Jesus’ name, amen.

If you stopped by after reading my post on Karen Ehman’s site, thank you for hopping over to meet me! I’m doing a giveaway on her site and on mine. So you can leave a comment at both!  I’m giving away George Muller’s book and a copy of the new NIV Real Life Devotional Bible for women. I’m so excited about this Bible because I’ve got several devotions in it!! To enter the drawing just write the one thing you need faith for right now in the comment section!  We’ll pray for you! Name drawn Monday at noon EST. Winner revealed Tuesday.nifty thrifty graphic