Category Archives: Encouragement

I’m always amazed by how many Christians claim to have the gift of spiritual discernment. It concerns me because in this day and age we really need the real thing. In the end times knowledge is at all time high so we can easily be persuaded if we are discerning from a natural perspective, rather than a spiritual one. I think it’s even more difficult to discern things spiritually when we are naturally gifted at decision making. It may seem strange, but perhaps those people who have found themselves praying a lot to make better decisions, could be the ones who have a gift of discernment.

When I ask people what their spiritual gifts are I will hear “discernment” more than any other gift. For myself I even hesitate to say I have this gift because I recognize the challenge we have. Often we have to go against what the natural eye sees and perceives. If you find yourself using common sense and thinking this is discernment it’s likely not the case. Common sense and discernment are not the same, not even close. We’ve got to lay aside ourselves and ask Jesus to help us discern without logic. That seems weird right? I’m not saying that there won’t end up being logic inside the discernment after all is said and done. I am saying that we are not to discern through it.

Learning to discern spiritually, is asking God to help us see like Him. Help us to hear like Him. To nudge our gut based on the Holy Spirit not on bias, logic or evidence. The evidence that you’ve discerned right can show up sometimes way later. There is no need to discern a spirit that is blatantly going against the Word of God or pointing people to unbiblical doctrines. The gift of discernment, like all spiritual gifts, requires us being so connected to God that you fear getting off His path, this is submission of the gift. We’ve got to pray to remain acutely spiritually aware and in tune with His knowledge, not our own. He sees the future, He knows the BIG PICTURE better than even the strongest prophets. Even they only saw in part and prophesied in part.

Wisdom About Discernment

I found this content below and I thought from my own experience regarding discernment that it was spot on. I hope this helps you understand this gift of discernment more. If you discover you don’t have the gift, don’t worry. Just focus on the spiritual gifts you do have. The Lord made the body with all it’s many parts and spiritual gifts and His plan is just perfect.

(The information below was found herehttp://www.acts17-11.com/dialogs_gift_discernment.html)

For it is not about having good antennae in the flesh, it is about staring at Jesus and waiting for His strength, power, wisdom, life, and leading. It is about dying and being resurrected into new life. When the real thing comes it is MILES from the natural in character and effect. When it doesn’t, it is a drag, since flesh by itself stinks. I have had some scandalous failures in the past, but this has humbled and humiliated me–which is good. This internet “sensory deprivation” thing–both where we have done well and failed–has been an excellent training ground. Now when I meet someone, I deliberately try to tune-out what I perceive in the flesh, and simply ask God for discernment in how to respond or not. They say the blind develop heightened senses in other areas. This is a good metaphor for becoming blind in our fleshly abilities such that our spiritual gifts might be awakened by faith and grow.

2Co 5:7 (KJV) For we walk by faith, not by sight.Phil 3:7 (NIV) But whatever was to my profit [Paul's fine human capabilities, skills, accomplishments] I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish [KJV: dung] that I may gain Christ.

“I can discern things; but I have very low knowledge of Biblical teachings. Is it possible to have one without the other?

I believe it is, if it is the real spiritual stuff. If it is just a natural “hunch”, of course, you will not find confirmation later–either from yourself or others–through scripture and/or simply the way things play out.

Here I will offer some insights that might not be shared by many in the current “puffed up with knowledge” Christian environment that we live in. I am of the view that discernment is not knowledge based, but I suspect that many in the modern church would disagree. For example, Hank Hannegraf nearly always uses Scripture to discern and calls his a “discernment” ministry, but I think this incorrect. By using Scripture, his is a “knowledge” and/or an “understanding” or “teaching” ministry. Discernment is more elemental than human thought, more in the domain of the heart or spirit and not so much the mind–except as a conclusion afterwards. In scripture, it is “discernment of spirits” not “discernment of knowledge” or “discernment of facts”; and spirits must be spiritually discerned.

1Cor 12:7-10 (NKJ) But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, …to another discerning of spirits…1John 4:1 (NAS) …test the spirits to see whether they are from God…

The major categories of spirits are 1) God, 2) the devil (or world, if you will: Js 3:15), and 3) the flesh. People with mature discernment can tell the difference between flesh and spirit in themselves and others, thus the difficulty and learning needed at the outset to grow in the gift. They can also perceive the demonic as acute pain, angst, or discord in their spirits. But many in the body do not want to “submit” to this gift, exalting knowledge (biblical, in particular) above all. This is very inefficient and misapplied… even silly at times. For example, you (I suspect) could tell a man from a woman (in most cases) without doing a hormone test, no? The hormone test is like “finding a scripture”–much more accurate for difficult cases; but it is inefficient and silly (even bullying?) to insist on this in every case. Most often you can just tell. So it is with discernment. If it were simply a matter of looking up scriptures, then why a separate gift from knowledge, wisdom, and understanding?

Given this, I have felt led in the last few years not to provide scriptural support if this was not the basis of my conclusion–and normally with real discernment it is not–even if I can come at it from this angle, which I most often can. While this has not gone over well with a few people, predictably, I feel it is time to burst the swollen knowledge bubble. It is like having spiritual smell–why pretend we saw something we really smelled just to make those without smell feel better? And smell can go around corners and into places that sight can’t. Now I just tell them: “that is demonic” pure and simple. Scripture only tells us to discern and is not case specific. My freedom in this boldness is that God (if He can be taken at His word <smiles>) always confirms by two or three.

Mat 18:16 (NIV) …”‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’”2Cor 13:1 (NIV) “Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.”

Thus, we should never, ever, submit to one man’s prophecy, discernment, or whatever–cult like. If it is really God, then He will confirm it His way. Sometimes the second or third witness is simply the Holy Spirit in us going “YEAH!” (1Jn 5:7-9) but God never breaks His own rules. Thus, we are free to take risks and not worry about misleading anyone, for it is really God then He will get the glory by doing it His way: through at least two or three separate witnesses. This does not work so well in most modern churches, because the “witnesses” are afraid to death (in the pride of flesh) that they might be wrong and thus paralyzed into inactivity. Well, they will never know or learn until they try.

Discerners are given to the body like a nose: they are to sniff things out and give advance warning to that which is gross or moldy or toxic, as well as what might be glorious, gorgeous, or splendid. When we discern, we need no hype or “authority”, we can just simply state in humility and the freedom that Christ has provided in the new-wineskin structure (such as “by two or three”). What people do with this information is up to them and God, but we must speak if prompted by the Holy Spirit with strong discernment within.

In conclusion, my advice might run counter to popular opinion, but I am of the view that discernment has little to do with how much scripture you know, but is more like an ability to see or “smell” into the spirit world. You would do well to learn more of the Bible, and you are doing this… but I think you will find this more like outside confirmation than applying to the basic gift; it will be like getting the hormone test results back on the “queen” that you knew in an instant was not a woman.

Well, if I am right, you will have a tough row to hoe with all the “knowledge touters” beating you up, rejecting your gift, or asking for “hormone tests” from you… and the like; but be bold and know that if it is really Christ-in-you then He will confirm it later even if people reject it now. Remember, it is His glory we are after, not ours. And when it comes to any deficiency in knowledge that you might have, if you are submitting to Christ’s body in your life, then this might well come mainly from others–for this is how God wants it to be. Are all the nose or hand? Just be the nose and get real good at it, and if you are rejected then remember how this felt when you are tempted to reject the foot or some other part. Because sometimes we cut off our noses just to spite our face. For God wants us to be interdependent, that is why He gives gifts “as He chooses”.

We really need each other.

Lead With Spirit

We must know in our bones God’s heart for equality and wholeness in the body of Christ then live our lives out of that truth, with invitation and joy, as living prophets of God’s way of life. -Sarah Bessey

Beautiful! Beautiful! I love that quote. I really don’t know if it’s possible to put into words how full of joy my heart is to see the Church rising up and coming together to realize we’ve got to focus on our similarities and set aside our differences, but there’s more to go. I’ve been on a rant about this in my head for years now. My heart has been broken so many times as I’ve talked with my daughters that aren’t following Christ. I have heard their arguments about “the Church” and they are valid points. It has taken a long time to get this place of grace in a place where grace was created.

The brokenness of Church leadership impacts American society, the world and our culture. Some churches are getting on board and becoming more accountable to how far their reach can go in the world, however too many still are not. It’s time for a powerful move of God and new strategies to reach the world outside the Church walls. When the world is starting to notice the good works we’re doing we know that our Father in heaven is being glorified and we as His children are transforming into His True leaders. The Church needs exhortation to boldly call them to a higher understanding of expanded leadership.

I believe what we’re seeing now is evidence that God’s Spirit is moving and expanding and preparing us because the time is seriously drawing near. We are learning oh so slowly, but nonetheless learning, how to love each other and the peoples of the world.

Once again it is time to stand up and lead with the Spirit of God at the helm and create a new generation of Spirit-led leaders that can affect culture. Leadership really is about calling out the greatness and value of another human being, calling out their determination and allowing for the freedom to be uniquely inspired by God.

I have prayed for nearly four years looking for clarity on where to focus my efforts in order to accomplish the prophetic vision the Lord gave me to bring healing to the nations. I am getting clearer and clearer that if we want world change and to change the eternity of a world crying out for Truth, then our leaders must lead boldly with God’s will leading the charge. My God-inspired vision is to call out greatness and transformation in God’s leaders and this will accommodate for my burning desire to see God’s Church rise up, put our selves aside, and finally lead like Jesus. The burden I carry are for the lost, broken, homeless and enslaved. These real cultural and world issues can only be eradicated by God’s Holy Spirit working through His leaders. Leaders need an explosive awakening and quickening to a fresh perspective on the possibilities of the Great Commission if we choose to take it seriously. Where there is no leadership there is decline. Where there is leadership there is transformation and growth.

So many leaders have given up or become resigned to what they are seeing going on around them. We need to stop complaining about it and do something. I am learning the Lord’s hand isn’t moved by our complaining. There is no value in it in our direct dealings with God. I truly believe we will be surprised when the Church finally realizes that we’re not only responsible for our churches, but also for what is happening and has happened around the world for thousands of years. It is no wonder, the Lord prophetically spoke regarding the future, (paraphrasing) many in that day will say Lord Lord we did all these great things in your name and we cast out demons in your name and still Jesus will say, I never knew you. The big BECAUSE is- because you did not do the will of My Father in heaven. Don’t kid your self we can easily be led astray by the enemy in our spiritual gifts and stop following GodLet’s get on board with God’s will minute by minute and in each step we take. That is true authentic commitment to Christ by submission.

We need more leaders willing to say what needs to be said. We need more leaders to have an awakening to their responsibility to Christ Himself. We need more leaders to recognize the gift we have to be able to go into the Holy of Holies and see miracles happen as we bring our best offerings to Him. We need the warrior to rise up inside us and fight for a Church that WILL BE JUDGED because Jesus commissioned us to go into the nations and it is about time we get serious about this. In my Lord’s name I pray for a miracle in the mind’s and hearts of His leader’s today.

I can hear Him now saying, “rise, rise, rise”.  Yes Lord. Amen

Bring Your Fire & Rain

Some of us feel the cry of Jesus, his heartbreak over His Church.

I can’t imagine what it must be like to watch His children be tossed about, have their eyes closed and sit back comfortably watching the enemy thwart His plan. While He knows His plan is good and perfect, the enemy works to make us weak, lukewarm and useless in God’s Kingdom.

I know how it sounds crazy to a lot of Christians, but I really do feel the cry of Jesus. I have heard His voice to bring healing to the nations and I know as sure as I breathe this very moment that it because we are being so small in the face of such a BIG God. We are wimpy too often and try to do so much within our own strength. Jesus doesn’t work that way. It’s His strength that matters. Our job is submission to the will of God. Our job is boldness in the face of all the giants around us. Our job is to stand even when we’re violently trembling with fear. In that stepping out and attempting to walk on the water, it is the power of God that will rise up and make us into His True Church.

We must battle the mind and the consistent distractions of the enemy in order to come to terms with God’s way of doing things. The news is good, however, because the reward is a victorious life and purpose in Christ and there is nothing in this world more fulfilling than that spiritual knowledge. It’s my deep prayer for a Church awakening, for Jesus to rain down from heaven and end the drought of faith, for fire to consume the works of the enemy and purify our souls so that we will rise up and become true warriors worthy of our calling. We’ve got to get our head into the clouds of God and out of this chaotic world. Ask the Lord to give you a vision for His plan for you and do not let it go. It is what you must hold on to help you keep going forward.

If you let go of the vision because you’re worn out, it’s predictable to move into resignation and then depression. What follows can be a nightmare and a sure way for the enemy to take ground in your mind. It’s a tactic he uses all the time. Resignation brings depression, depression brings sedation and then the world becomes an easy target and we aren’t even a worthy adversary to the enemy. We are then subdued and looking around trying to figure out how in the heck did I get here?  Now, we’ve become truly useless because we’ve blindly given our authority to the enemy. This is why I pray God will open our eyes so we can see what the enemy is doing to the Church.

If our job as Christians is to bring healing to a broken world through Christ, how do we do that when the enemy has such an unworthy military opponent! We are putty in his hands. It’s disgusting! Now, everyone, Christians and world religions are feeling the change in spiritual climate as we draw closer to Christ’s return. Christ is preparing His army and I can’t sugar coat this, He will eliminate the barley that is of no use to him. He is right now drawing His Church from everywhere and the religious are going to balk and not get it. This is why they will lose their religion.

Who are we to tell Jesus where to pull His army from? This is the day we’re in. It’s fighting time and no time for useless Christians. It’s the kind of time like when Jesus said in His Holy Word, you will drink my blood and eat my flesh and the disciples went running. They said this is too much, we can’t handle this crazy talk. That is the season the Church is in, so don’t be surprised when you see a little more chaos and division in the Church because it is all for the sake of preparing for Christ’s return. Those who remain standing will get their crown. Those who see will see even more. Those who truly love will love the unloveables. We will see miracles happen in America because we’re going to get very hungry for Truth in the middle of the chaos. There is great hope during this season.

This American soil is being tilled. The entire New Testament Bible is a witness to the effectiveness of Jesus’ cultivation of the“soil.” His True disciples will go on to do miraculous things in forwarding the Kingdom, as we carry out the Greatest Commission the world has ever known, to share the grace and story of a loving, kind and sovereign Jesus.

As Jesus’ present day ambassadors of Truth, we’ve got to hoe, weed, remove rocks, and fertilize the soil so that the ones in whom the Word is sown might be able to understand it, hold it, live in it, and produce an abundance of fruit. (John 15:5). My prayer for you today is to tend to your own ground so we can help with other people’s soil. Now is the time to draw closer to the Creator of the soil and remember in Mark’s version of this parable, Jesus is portrayed as using the phrase,“nobility of character” (greek word- kalokagathia). The phrase is used to describe “good soil,” that is, the person in whom the Word takes root and produces well.  John 15:5, which is my life’s Scripture to live by, that says (5) “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Notice the word remaining. Remain in Him and you will produce beautiful things. Stand and then stand some more.

My Vulnerable Journey To See

eyes-cropped-smallIt has taken me a lifetime (I’m 46 years old), literally to understand who I am in the Body of Christ. What is my role? Although this blog is a little bit about my personal journey of what I myself have perceived as a strange gifting of the Holy Spirit, a seer, this blog is intended to make you think about how your spiritual gifts are being used in Jesus Christ’s Church today.

Are you holding back your spiritual gifts?

It is my authentic prayer for you that you seek like never before for Godly insight so that you may be made a worthy of the calling on your life. Because our Lord is gracious, merciful and kind, He does provide allowances for our lack of courage to step out and boldly do what He asks us to do. Today, I pray you go a little further in your walk toward boldness and courage because we are at war and all whom He calls are soldiers of His Kingdom, like it or not.

If we are soldiers, who are we fighting against? We live like we’re fighting humanity and each other way too much in the Church. We have to learn to stop ourselves from thinking on this elementary level. We are more brilliant than this. The Holy Bible clearly says we fight NOT against flesh and blood. Ephesian 6:12 says,

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

God does not hide the fact that the enemy is the ruler of this world and we are called to shed light into the darkness that is all around. It is a difficult task if you take that seriously. Being a warrior for Jesus is not easy, not comfortable and will cause you to seek the face of God for strength, wisdom and courage to keep fighting and keep standing for the Truth of Jesus and His Way of life and eternity.

Eternity

This thought of eternity is so uncomfortable for some human beings because the enemy has taken a great focus to counteract what Jesus has taught about it as he does with all spiritual teachings of Jesus.

Religions around the world have adopted reincarnation as a way to believe we will just evolve forever. The challenge with that way of thinking is that we will never need to be accountable to the Spirit of God. This way of thinking actually takes God out of the equation because there is no logic to it, all the while our minds being blind to think this is God’s way. However, it contradicts itself.

Another way to eternity is to become so blinded by the carnal mind that hell becomes a desirable place. That sounds crazy, but I am telling you the truth, otherwise there would be no Church of Satan. Hell is perceived by those who have been completely given over to a carnal way of existing as a place of power.

I could go on for days with the enemy’s devices for blindness in the Church and in the world.

However, the Word of God in Isaiah 14 says this about the enemy’s leader, you look upon him narrowly and consider him and will think, is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; that made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? Satan’s power and those of his leading will come to an end. Without focusing on the drama of hell and only the reality of the condition of the spirit, the spiritual environment will be absent of God.

No demon will bow to satan. Every knee will bow to our Lord Jesus and forever and all eternity the demons will know that the choice they made to follow was one that was unable to be undone. Even now, they are very clear, more than we are as humans, that they took on the essence and nature of evil and there is no turning back. Now, they have a responsibility to “be” who they chose to be. They have one focus to kill, steal and destroy and take as many souls with them as they can to the place originally created for the devil and his demons. It is the job of all that is evil and we need to be fully aware (as the Spirit allows) to understand the schemes and the workings of the devil. We’ve got to be much more enlightened by Jesus’ Church so we are not in the blind and we can start taking back lost ground.

Why do I say this? Because the enemy has the upper hand too often.

However, there are a few of us who have always seen things differently. Not only do we exist to draw people closer to Jesus, but we see things from a spiritual perspective, rather than a worldly perspective most often.  In other words we recognize the impacts of worldly things on spiritual and heavenly things. This has been a big challenge for me because I have clearly felt like an outsider and wondered and begged God to answer why I see things differently than others. The more I see the Truth of Jesus and the things the enemy does to handicap God’s children, the more the Lord encourages me to lead this charge.

I would be a liar if I said that so much of the time I do not want this calling. I just want to live a normal life, but I’m not normal. I perceive things most people do not perceive. I admit that there was a time a few years ago when the spiritual world got to be so much, I told the angels, demons and God to to just leave me alone. I needed a break. So they did for awhile. That has to do with the intensity of the gift and my willingness to grow in it.

What Do I Do?

Last year was one of the more difficult journeys of my life. With the loss of my dear Brother Zach, I started to write a book called Saving Zach. Truth be told, he was possessed with alcohol and demons.

Eight years ago after 18 days of no alcohol and hanging on for dear life, double-tied to a hospital bed because he kept breaking the straps, I brought my Bible into the hospital room. He was making disgusting snake gestures with his tongue and slivering his body like a snake as far as he could slither down the bed. Then the demon spoke and He said to me very exorcist like, I am going to kill you.

I let my mother know she needed to get someone from the church and exorcise the demons. I didn’t feel strong enough to take that on and I felt I was too close to him. We were only 11 months apart and we had a unique kind of bond. I didn’t think I could do it because I thought the devil would somehow use my love for my brother against me. We needed someone he couldn’t tempt in that way.

However, my mother did not follow through. They were not exorcised, but they quieted.

Last year my brother fell off the wagon again, but the damage to his body was so tremendous and of course I prayed for his healing. I prayed the Lord would release him from the grip of the enemy who had bound him as a child and convinced him that God couldn’t possibly exist after such a painful childhood. He opened the door to the enemy and life was a living hell until the Lord released him this last summer.

In his last weeks I spent 18 days with my brother, but his mind was not there enough for me to make sure he could give himself back to God. He was a strong Christian as a child and he loved the Word of God and he loved Jesus.

I waited every day for my opportunity, but it never came the way I wanted. So I laid hands on him and I prayed fervently for his soul. I ministered to his completely broken body and massaged his legs which ached from being in bed for 3 months. I felt a kind of peace and I knew in my spirit I was doing all I could and everything else was up to my Lord and his ministering angels.

My brother spoke of a white lightening creature in the room and struggled to discern what was real. I hoped it was an angel from the Lord. Finally I surrendered to God’s way and I had to leave back to California. My brother wanted to go home desperately, but he didn’t know what home was. He begged me to take him home and my heart felt like it was being ripped out of my chest watching my beloved brother suffer so much torment and mental confusion. I didn’t realize he probably meant take me to heaven.

The Lord gave my husband and I a Word before I left to Idaho to be with him in those final days. I asked him to release him from the bondage and God said, “I am releasing him.” I didn’t know what that meant exactly, if he’d live or die. But, I knew he was going to put an end to his suffering and he would by His grace, make a way for my brother to get back home as he had been begging me, to heaven. I knew he was going to heaven because if he was going to end up in forever torment, he would remain imprisoned and God would have not promised to release him.

Although I was grateful to my Lord for those words when I had prayed for twenty five years for my brother, I still have memories of his suffering that I wish I could shake, but perhaps due to my ministry, never will.

As I was there going through the emotions of watching him fall apart in every sense of the word, my heart just wanted to save him so badly. I started writing about Saving Zach.

What happened after that was everything in my life began to fall apart, or be taken from me and I was tested, all the while hearing the Lord speak to me, “keep standing, keep standing no matter what.” And although I felt so weak from the experience of it all, I now understand what the Lord meant when He said, I am made strong in your weakness.

Here I am today seven months later after incredible testing and three and a half years of sifting to tell you, we exist to let this hurting, sick and tormented world know that it is Jesus who saves the Zach’s of the world.

The memories of my brother Zach and his sufferings encourage me all the more to take back what the enemy has stolen, to bring healing to the nations and exhort the Church to stand against all the schemes of the enemy.

It is not enough to know who wins in the end. This journey to follow Christ is about becoming the Church in all it’s glory. 

You are His Church. You are His hands. You are His mouthpiece. You are His heart. Go, go, go!

Who Am I in the Church?

I am daily in prayer for those that are afflicted around the world, for the leaders of our world, for movie stars who will rise up for the cause of Christ, the leaders of the Churches, for the occult being called out, for those cults that use the name of Jesus to come to know the True Jesus, for the spiritually, mentally and physically tormented and the like.

I pray for the for the Mormons to find the True Prophet, the Catholics to find the True Pope, the Muslims to find the True Holy God, The Christians to Know Jesus deeply, the Satanists to find True Power, for the Buddhists to find True Peace, for the spiritualists to find The Holy Spirit, for the Jews to find the True Messiah, for the Luciferians to see the Great Deceiver and for the Hindus to find Jesus as their path to liberation.

I pray for the angels of the churches, an increase of God’s grace, for the Holy Spirit to expand Himself, for a piercing of our heart for the Great Cause of Jesus, I pray for spiritual, political, and economic climates and for the Word of God to come alive in the hearts and lives of humanity and so much more.

I am burdened and rung out at times with responsibility in ways most people cannot understand for the time that is coming and for the preparation of the Lord’s Church.

In Preparation for Ministry

I have spoken with satan who introduced himself as Lucifer and been threatened of course with death to stop ministering to the Saints of God.
I have had a lengthy conversation with a demon who God used to shed light on their unchanging nature to lie.
I cast spirits out of my home even as I write.
I have received angelic visitations (not ever having studied about angels).
I have received visions from the angel Gabriel about heaven and hell and they were interpreted by him as well.
I have seen and felt more demons than I could ever count.
I experience the demon’s curiosity about humanity.
I experience types and levels of evil, some being more powerful than others.
I experience the deep respect of Holiness by Jesus’ angels.
I experience the angel’s praise and honor for God and His throne.
I experience the desire of Jesus to give good gifts to His Children.
I experience Jesus deep desire to have His children desire Him more.
I experience Jesus’ desperation to see us grow spiritually to prepare for what is coming . . .
and so much more!

And all of this does make me weary and tired at times since I am human and very imperfect. However I raised my hand and said, I will do whatever you ask of me. Still I have told God He has the wrong girl because I long for the simpler life. I  have told Him I can not do this work after such tremendous torment from demonic/unclean spirits. It is so far out of this world that it humbles me because the responsibility I carry to Jesus and His Church is beyond enormous for me. So I understand how difficult it is to be a True Follower of Jesus and be willing to do anything He asks to prepare for His ministry and His coming.

If you are a True Follower of Jesus then this blog should not be so much of a surprise because as I speak the Lord has been preparing your heart and helping you to come to terms with what it means to truly follow after Him.

I want to encourage you

We are still learning and growing with our spiritual gifts, but we will move forward for the cause of our Lord Jesus, whose face will shine upon us and His Spirit will take us to our knees where all true power lives.

We cannot stop. We’ve got to remain focused on Jesus’ Good Plan and stop trying to direct God. He knows what He is doing. We are not God so we need to have Him take us out of our conservative or charismatic box or whatever box you’re in, and take Him out of our limited-vision box. However big or great or loving your visionary box is, His vision and plan is perfect.

He will NOT be put in a box. His Word says, “we see in part and we prophesy in part.” Even those like myself who see spiritually and prophetically still see pieces. We’re not sitting around “doing readings” on people and we don’t have all the answers to everything in the world. We are called and anointed like every other Christian and we have to keep our eyes on revealing Jesus in all His glory.

We must go to our knees. With all humility, His Throne is where His power to keep us going and moving forward in our gifts comes from.

I want to encourage you today to pray for bigger ears to hear and bigger eyes to see what the Spirit of the Lord is saying so that we will become the Church in all its glory. With those eyes and ears, pray for discernment and I believe God will honor His Church.

How Do We Turn The Tables?

We must turn the tables and gain some ground in the Church.

In our fear of taking the focus off of Jesus and giving more power to the enemy, we want to teach and speak only a little about the enemy, or tread very lightly. Although, I don’t believe this is keeping the Lord’s children from knowing Christ, I do think it is giving the enemy and his kingdom the right to have a heyday by means of sickness, mental illness, addiction, strongholds, family attacks and even curses, worldwide. In addition, we still have a large amount of Christians who don’t believe in the enemy or hell. Which, is absurd and makes me wonder if they understand why Jesus needed to come to earth in the first place. It was to undo satan’s deception that led to an imperfect, unclean and unholy world.

Please don’t misunderstand me. Not all things are caused by the enemy and also understand that Jesus is so good that He alone can turn every evil into something good. This is one way Jesus takes power back from the enemy.

What I am clearly saying is that we, as the Church, are not utilizing our God-given power or gifts as we should and the Lord has told me that “My Church is sick” and He asked me “to help heal the Church”. I assure you I will do my best to educate God’s children in these deeply spiritual matters that have been swept under the carpet or been taught an elementary level. Never will I say anything that goes against the Word of My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Always, always, always I will point you back to Him because all authentic truth, purity, love and power exists in Him.

But, I do see things and it is our spiritual gifts through Christ that play a HUGE part in the big scheme of where the Church is heading and the Revelation of God’s Holy Word. 

Life here on this planet is the place now where we CHOOSE CONSISTENTLY between the two camps, what is good (life) and what is evil (death). The Spirit of the Lord has to reveal this to us in its entirety because it is not all about living morally, that is the fundamental and human way of thinking about it. However, a deeper spiritual understanding is to consider that doing righteously, is more about doing what is right in the sight of God. To one person something is right and to another something else is right. Only the Holy Spirit can lead each one individually to the the right path for the pre-ordained plan for each human being called according to His Purpose. 

Understanding that incredibly magnificent distinction (CHOICE) is what will have us go from warming the pews, chairs or bleachers to living for Christ’s purpose and continuing to seek the good things Jesus has for us. If you do not choose, the devil will choose for you.

You need to KNOW you have the POWER through Christ to choose. Choose the Good things of Christ. Choose to build His Kingdom and take dominion or the devil will take dominion because we have not taken rightful Kingdom authority.

By ignoring the enemy (not referring to resisting, this is temptation) and remaining ignorant to the open doorways to evil, ie. being religious, lukewarm, arrogant, selfish, self-seeking, cruel, undisciplined, uneducated regarding spiritual matters, untalented (not using God’s talents), unspiritual (not letting God lead us spiritually), stubborn (also not letting God lead us) we have a Church that is sick in every sense of the word. We play in the enemy’s camp and he accuses us before our God all day long and says if they’re going to continue to open the doorways to my realm of authority (anything evil or opposing Jesus), I’m going to persecute the heck out of these Christians, therefore re-crucifying Christ.

Jesus triumphed over powers and authorities by way of the Cross and this is why Paul says not to re-crucify Jesus by continuing to sin because he understood that it opens the doorway to the enemy’s domain. Jesus is persecuted because we (His Body) are persecuted and He is trying to let us know authority has been given to us to overcome the enemy when He attacks us. However, we cannot have it both ways. You cannot live for God and play in the enemy’s camp by being like the devil in the way you live (character) and the way you believe (following your own way).

Colossians 2:15tells us, “…and having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

Paul also says we have been set free from the bondage of sin so stop living as if you’re not. Paul knew better than anyone on the planet at the time how the enemy works. The Bible says he had a thorn in his flesh from satan. Every day he lived with that thorn being fully aware of who put it there and still he never stopped following Christ. So clearly he has proven that we can still do what God is calling us to do in spite of the enemy if we will STAND and FIGHT. Paul had to have understood that to overcome the enemy, to be used by God, to see God’s Good plan come to pass, we had to have the mind of a spiritual warrior. Through the armor of God, we overcome, we win the battle and finish the race. However, I’m sorry to say we don’t apply these Scriptures in Romans 6 enough when it comes to understanding the Spiritual Truths of the Kingdom of God.

Jesus is the Way and The Key to the Kingdom of God where no death and no darkness exist. Until then we need to wake up and start being like Jesus. Do the Father’s will and stop worrying about everyone who does not know your heart or your spiritual conviction.

All that said, I believe most of our problems and lack of success in the Church are not because of the enemy, but rather because we provide the way for satan to take authority. Respond with the authority of the Word and keep your heart and mind pure before God so that the Holy Spirit will move on your behalf and give you the strength to overcome.

Do not let satan, the accuser of the brethren, get the upper hand in your spiritual journey. We were created to be MORE BRILLIANT than our current spiritual behavior.

We were born, we do exist and we will die physically or spiritually. You get to choose. We must look at life and death from a logical and Christ-like spiritual point of view. He was the great Spiritual Teacher and He did teach spiritual truth at an extremely high level and it is why parables, metaphors, prophecy and revelation are and were ways of communicating Spiritual Truths. He said, “let your ears hear what the Spirit of the Lord says.”

These are spiritual truths that have to do with Kingdom things, sometimes difficult to understand through our human mind so we need to search for the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth and righteousness. 

The 5 Things I live by

  1. Seeking Jesus’ face
  2. Approaching the throne of the Almighty God
  3. Studying the Bible
  4. Discerning spirits through the Word, prayer and God’s leading
  5. Praying diligently

These are the secrets to become all that God intends you to be. We will all see more and more what the Lord wants for His Church and His Children if we just keeping doing the 5 things above with pure intention of God’s will.

With Grace & Brilliance, Amen

 P.S. Please use respectful responses should you respond to the blog. Thank you

Lukewarm Faith Is Unacceptable

Podcast One: Lukewarm Faith Is Unacceptable

by Jenene Stafford

Hi Ladies, if you enjoy the podcast, please pass on the love and like it on Facebook or tweet it out. xoxo

Hi Ladies, welcome to our first podcast show. We’re working out the equipment kinks as well as other technical kinks, but we’re getting there. I pray you are blessed by what you hear and the Lord speaks to your heart. In a day or two this should also be available on Itunes. Make sure and pass on the love if the Lord speaks to your heart. Post on Facebook or Twitter and help us make Jesus famous again.

Much Love, Jenene

Download Show Transcript

I believe in the hearts of many Christians there is living a gigantic contradiction. If you find yourself wavering and beginning to subscribe to the idea that all roads lead to God then I pray this next 15 minutes will bring divine spiritual wisdom to your mind and your heart.

 

 

Will I Survive Bootcamp?

by Jenene Stafford

Story #1: Our stories have a purpose

Last night I slept with one eye open again, if I slept much at all.

My stomach is full of knots, doing everything possible to keep my heart from pounding right out of my chest so the bed would not shake. I pretended often to be asleep. I lived in shear terror for years of what he would do to me when I should of been dreaming beautiful dreams.

The ten years of physical and mental abuse by my former husband has taken its toll on me and I can’t help but question God as to why He allowed this?

Was it not enough to survive rape, physical and mental abuse, the torture of not being allowed to sleep, being forced to sit in a corner like a bad child all night. If I dozed off to sleep my psycho husband would pinch me hard to wake me up.

The humiliation of sitting in a corner for hours or days, praying he’d allow me to use the restroom. My children would have to come and visit me in the corner in the bedroom which was only one place where he would control me and torture my body, mind and spirit.

I want you to know in this moment I despise through tears telling this tiny glimpse of a story. I don’t want to feel like I’m giving him one ounce of my attention or thoughts after all these years. I don’t want to recall the torture he put me through during these episodes of control, manipulation and attempts to break me, to brainwash me.

And yet . . .

The Lord Jesus speaks so gently to me and says, “Jenene, you’re telling this story for me, for my purpose and it’s ok with me that you’re angry about it. It’s ok if it causes you distress and discomfort, but trust me,  I have a good plan.”

Deep down I know He’s telling me the truth and why should I be surprised. I knew these stories would have to be shared. I’m surprised that I am so childishly reluctant. It must be part of the journey.

I have to take a break just to work through crying like a baby.  I’m begging God not to make me relive or rethink this past life. I know in my heart so many stories are yet to come.

Like Jacob, I know I have wrestled with God and He has given me a limp as a reminder of his graciousness. There is a battle He and I have fought together as I am still learning  tragedy after tragedy and moment by moment to understand His ways.

I fight for the God-inspired purpose. It does not come easy by any stretch of the imagination.

It is in this fight to discover the true meaning of humility, of laying everything at the throne of His grace, this battle to endure the enemy and to run the race victoriously that we become . . . Lady Champions.

I fervently pray and I wonder when will this bootcamp end.

With Much Love, Jenene

 

Let Your Light Shine

by Jenene Stafford

Yesterday I was watching a video from a well known female coach. In her training video, she said “Please don’t take a offense to what I’m about to say, but if one more woman says she wants to be a light, I think I might scream. What does than mean anyway?”

It got under my skin.

But, I got her point and it was well taken.

So many women talk about being a light and letting their light shine, it’s sounding over-used.

Perhaps it leaves people feeling good, but it needs to be followed up with what it means.

The world is becoming more “spiritual” and letting their light shine so how do we set ourselves apart as Christians?

You are a light of the world- like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your Heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

One thing for sure, Jesus made a declaration!

He didn’t say I think you should be a light, He said, “You are a light.”

So be encouraged! He was letting us know that being a light is a position of authority and favor. This is what it boils down to for me:

  • We bring light to all the platforms God makes available to us
  • We impact the world through good deeds
  • We glorify the Father in Heaven by being recognized for good deeds
  • No one will know you credit your successes back to the Father unless you verbally give Him the credit as someone following His example
  • (Matthew 5:17-20) In context, you better make sure you’re living righteously and not just trying to look good, but keep your heart and motives pure (unlike the teachers of religious law and Pharisees.)

Live Brilliantly Today!

Jenene

Now That’s Good News

by Suni Bradford

I recently attended a festival that was designed to share with people the truth and love of our Savior. The message of His desire to have a personal relationship with us.  I wondered how many had heard the message of hope before.  Perhaps, they hadn’t felt the call or perhaps before they never responded. They may have been embarrassed and still others felt the strongest most overwhelming call of their lives.  They felt it emotionally as well as the physical pull from God.  The message which said, “I am love, come to me”. I remember that feeling very clearly when the Holy Spirit first spoke to me.

I got to experience a daughter, who was already a believer see her father come to Christ. She shined as you could see the joy radiating from her.  I had to ask them if I could take a picture of them.  I used her camera so she could see and remember this very special day.  Incredible.

The unselfishness and sincere desire to share the love, hope and life we all can have in Jesus Christ was beautiful.  From the great man that had vision, to the performers along with all of the many people that volunteered and served in one form or another to make this life changing event happen.

As I watched and listened to all the chattering of excitement, laughter, singing to praise music and the fabulous smell of kettle corn, I felt such joy and so blessed to be part of this great family. The whole experience was a reaffirming of His greatness. I could feel the energy in the air by the lives given over to the amazing God and by the reviving of a believer’s faith.  The wave that rolls out around all involved can be an accepted and welcomed drenching. Or it can feel like you’re on an abandoned ship.  Jesus stilled the waters before and He’ll still them again.  Fortunately, we may be attacked for our choice to change and live a different life.  It may make friends or family members uncomfortable as they do not understand this “God” we have found.  It takes great courage and I can guarantee that this new life is worth the risk.  So, be brave little engines and live boldly today.

The saying be brave little engines come from a cartoon called Thomas (the tank engine) and the toy workshops, theme song.  The first verses goes like this.  There are times to be brave and times to be strong, when you are lost and all alone.  You might be somewhere strange and dark, but long to be safe at home.

I think that the people that have accepted Christ, were being very brave and strong as they felt lost and alone and they heard God.  Even if they were in a huge crowd they heard His call. When we feel we are in a dark place, God offers us a safe home and He is always there waiting with open arms.  Now that’s good news.Congratulation and welcome to our family.

So again,  be brave little engines and live boldly today.

Love to all,  Suni

Gaga For God

By Suni Bradford

ga·ga/ˈgäˌgä/

Adjective: Excessive enthusiasm, crazy, infatuation

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20

My dear friend Lisa invited me to a bible study at her parent’s house.  It was a cozy setting, a man with his acoustic guitar in hand and the worship began.  I’m not sure how many weeks I had attended but this night was special.   I physically felt His calling, I later learned that the Holy Spirit was present.  

It was an extremely emotional experience. I don’t think I realized what was happening.  I did accept Jesus Christ as my Savior.  He was knocking, I answered and I’m so grateful. 

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

I was seeing things about Jesus everywhere I went, it seemed.  Maybe I was just more aware or perhaps placed by God’s perfect design.  We went yard selling the weekend following and at the first stop, I found a brand new bible in the box. And the next stop was this gorgeous 2ft x 3ft matted pressed paper portrait of Jesus in an elegant gold frame. I was so excited.  I felt as if God was telling me, I’ll give you what you need to learn and remember my son.   I was ga-ga about God.  He was everywhere.  The good news is He still is. We can forget to notice because of our fast paced lives. The following are some ways we can keep our enthusiasm and turn our infatuation into long term true love. 

5 ways to stay in love with God

  • Reading and studying the word
  • Prayer and meditation
  • Christian music, concerts and events
  • Associate with other believers
  • Sharing His love with non believers

2 Timothy 1:7 Tells us that God gave a spirit of power, love and self control.

A great verse to keep in our mind’s eye as we making these things a regular part of who we are.  

Live brilliantly and thrive.

Love to all, Suni

Feeling His Messages

By Suni Bradford

It had been a great day. Headed home from work, feeling content, singing my praise music and enjoying the light rain.  I love praising God as I drive. It is a great place to praise Him and not embarrass yourself as far as your voice is concerned.  My saying is “I’m a star in my car”.  Steal it if you want.

I‘m sure I look like a crazy lady as I do raise my hands.   I know what your thinking, both hands. Really ?  Well, most the time I still have one hand on the wheel.  At least now with cell phones they don’t know if you’re crazy or having a conversation. Which I am grateful to say we have the opportunity to have conversations with a very real God who is with us no matter where we are, how well we sing or how eloquent we feel that we pray.

Music is a constant reminder of His love for us and the desires of His heart as well as our cries to Him.  The song I AM NEW by Jason Gray came on and as I sing this song I have heard many times.  The Holy Spirit was present and said listen. Listen closely to the lyrics in this song.  Personalize and absorb what I am saying to you.

Now I won’t deny

The worst you could say about me
But I’m not defined
By mistakes that I’ve made
Because God says of me

I am not who I was
I am being remade
I am new
I am chosen and holy
And I’m dearly loved
I am new

Who I thought I was
And who I thought I had to be
I had to give them both up
Cause neither were willing
To ever believe

I am not who I was
I am being remade
I am new
I am chosen and holy

And I’m dearly loved
I am new

Too long I have lived
In the shadows of shame
Believing that there
Was no way I could change
But the one who is making everything new
Doesn’t see me the way that I do
He doesn’t see me the way that I do

I am not who I was
I am being remade
I am new
I am chosen and holy
And I’m dearly loved
I am new

I am not who I was
I am being remade, I am new
Dead to the old man, I’m coming alive
I am new

Forgiven beloved
Hidden in Christ
Made in the image of the Giver of Life
Righteous and holy
Reborn and remade
Accepted and worthy, this is our new name

This is who we are now…

I AM NEW by Jason Gray

The love I felt (feel) was so strong, I had tears of joy running down my face.  I knew at that moment that He is doing great things in me.  No matter how long have been Christians; we can be assured that we are constantly being renewed for His good.

Then as I passed the park near my house a tree stood making the statement of new life, one side had no leaves and the other was completely green.  Thanks God for the warm fuzzy. He wants me to share this joy with ladies. To encourage you to give yourselves to knowing and to living for God with every cell in our bodies.

Live Brilliantly Today™

Suni