Category Archives: Leadership

Warning

This is a controversial subject about the rapture of the Church. It is open for debate between you and God, but not between you and me. As I’ve said many times on my blog, my goal is to draw you closer to Jesus Christ and His Holy Bible so if you disagree with something I write, then ask the Lord yourself. I will always attempt to persuade you to pray, read the Bible for yourself, investigate and let the Holy Spirit be your guiding light and the Director of the steps you take.

A Little Bit of My Background

I was raised for the most part in a charismatic Pentecostal Church (without snakes), with a couple years as a Jehovah’s Witness as a young child and a Latter Day Saint Mormon as a young teenager. That was also short lived as I discovered the incredible flaws and contradictions to the Bible. I was then sent to a conservative Baptist Church for about seven years, back to my loving childhood Pentecostal roots and for the last four years we are part of a New Covenant Church, called Bayside of Citrus Heights in California. When I came here, I was upset with God because I said, “where are the pews and the altars?” Being a woman of prayer and receiving so much grace from praying and laying on of hands, it really bothered me not having some of the things I was accustomed to in the way of religious worship and practice. However, the Lord showed me that He has a bigger plan and that He is everywhere and He has the grace to allow for the mistakes/theological differences in His Church. As imperfect beings we are not going to get everything right. This topic of the Rapture is one that many Christians vary on and I think it’s about time we stop taking our Pastor’s word for it and go to the Word of God ourselves.

Every Church Has Something Wrong

It has always bothered me tremendously when Christians say negative things about each other because I see it as insulting to God and lacking maturity. It is why you will always hear me say I am a Follower of Jesus, rather than a Baptist or Pentecostal, or whatever. Not to say, I am bothered by any True Christian who chooses to put a label on themselves. I choose to label myself based on the relationship I have with Jesus and what He calls me to do. I am a Jesus woman, a woman seeking after the heart of Jesus and the deeper truths of what He taught through Scripture. I live to be guided by His Holy Spirit and I remain imperfect, however fervently desire to do God’s will rather than my own.

I believe Jesus points it out clearly that it was by design (Ephesians 4:11-16) that we would not all be the same and why. This should not be a secret to any Bible studying and believing Christian. His Holy Word is right even if we as His Church get our interpretations wrong. We are to love one another in our differences and stop trying to prove how right we are, but prove how right His Word is. If we spent more time studying the Word and less time insulting and gossiping about each other the Army of God would be much stronger in our cause for Christ. Now more than ever is the time to understand the implications of a healthy or unhealthy body of Christ. The Lord asked me to help Him heal His Church over three years ago. He said, “my body is sick and it is not functioning well.”  I didn’t know exactly what He meant at first, but it is growing ever clearerWith the times rapidly growing closer to the Great Tribulation we need to understand that Jesus the Judge is coming and perhaps the Church in the last Century has misinterpreted some things on the topic of the rapture.

Are we really going to escape what looks like prophetically could happen at any moment? What if it happens later than we think and we should be preparing the Church and humanity for what is to come during the Great Tribulation rather than getting ready to go on a long awaited vacation. In case, you are wondering, I have always thought we would escape the horrors, but I am unsure and leaning towards the evidence pointing to God’s Church being more useful here rather than gone. It’s not enough for me to say that, however, without delving into the Scripture, putting what I’ve heard from the pulpit to the side and investigating for myself. This video provides alot in the way of helping you research this out so you can determine and pray about it for yourself.

I hesitate to share some of these things at times because I really want you to determine for yourself and I don’t want anyone saying that Jenene said this or said that. But, putting my fear aside, some things like this topic of the pre-tribulation rapture are very critical I believe because the implications are great and we will be held accountable.

Do the research. I think the Pre-tribulation is very popular in Christianity, but something about it has always not set well with me and I’m wondering if there are others feeling the same way. There is nothing to lose to prepare to be here during the Tribulation period, but alot to lose if we’re wrong and we’re unprepared. Perhaps it is better to err on the side of preparing for what is worse, yet hoping for the best. Perhaps thinking we’re escaping sooner than we are will cause the Church to be slack and not remember what we are here for, the Great Commission. Go and make disciples of all men until Jesus returns. Don’t be comfortable, lazy, asleep or lukewarm ever as Jesus speaks of judging the seven churches in Revelation Chapter 1-4 and this applies to His Church worldwide, not a specific Church age as some would say. It would make no sense to interpret the Judgement of the Church in Revelation in the context of what happened in the past because we know the Book of Revelation is a Book to tell us about what is to come. It is a Book of WARNING.

We are called to overcome during a life of tribulation and then we will receive our crowns and we may be here during the Great Tribulation which could be less than seven years. There will be a Rapture, but when? I’m just saying . . .scripturally speaking check it out for yourself.

Watch this Movie After The Tribulation

 

The Lord’s Way Is Better

The spiritual gift of exhortation is alive. This gift penetrates the heart and our convictions to make us strong. I encourage you to listen and accept that thing the Lord is calling you to. “You will feel My pleading today” says the Lord.

Transform us today Father a little more. Transform our mind and our thinking to give us the mind of Christ, who humbled Himself to the Father’s will. Sometimes the Lord calls us to unusual things, He tries us to see if we will we be willing to do what He asks. Will you be controversial for Christ? Will you carry a pit in your stomach and be brave today? Will you be willing to be uncomfortable in this life to follow Him? If you will, His grace will  sustain you. Patient endurance is what we’re called to.

I am not a patient person naturally. This is an area in my own life where the Lord has rung me out. Impatient people want they want and they want it right now. The ringing out process takes the me out. It hurts our personality to learn patience and it is all for the better to become less of ourselves and more like Jesus.

We’ve got to learn to be unreasonable because God does not always show up in a pretty little box.

Teachings of Jesus

Matthew 10:35-39 says:

35   ‘I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
36     Your enemies will be right in your own household!’

37 “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.

38 If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. 

39 If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.

God will destroy anything that doesn’t work in us for His purpose. That breaking hurts, but it is a necessary breaking. It is the breaking of strongholds. He will test us and prove us. Why do we remain surprised? Jesus was a miracle worker and we can follow in those foot steps, but it’s going to take something for us to do that.

Or perhaps you think you have arrived in this area, like Peter at the Lord’s Supper. The Lord put him in his place gently and let Peter know he would deny Him three time before the rooster crowed. It’s amazing what the Lord will take us through to humble us. He is the potter, we are the clay.

The Lord is birthing in us our destiny. Each day we should be praying that we take steps and make decisions that will line up to that end. When we begin to see our life from that perspective, it will help us to get out of the Lord’s way and provide us more peace during this journey. We must set ourselves, our time and our motives to the side so that the Lord’s will can rise up inside us.

Our own imaginations must be cast down so that the Lord’s true vision will be seen. The Lord is a visual and auditory God and He wants us to see Him and hear Him. He said, “my sheep hear my voice and they follow me”.

There are many things happening in your life that seem senseless and painful, but they are in preparation for your God destiny. Pray to see the deeper meaning behind your sufferings. The enemy will come full force and whisper all kinds of things to make you give up and question God’s goodness, but the Lord’s grace is sufficient even with the thorn in your side, so keep standing. Relief is coming soon, says the Lord.

For me I believe the biggest area where I needed a spiritual breakthrough was is in the area of making mistakes. You see, I am a natural perfectionist, I despise making mistakes. My Dad set me up poorly in this regard. He told me as a little girl, a C is average for other people, not for a Stafford. We are not average, a B is average for a Stafford and we’re not average.” What this told me was that only an A was acceptable. I battle this need to not make mistakes every day, to feel like I can measure up. I know I’m not alone in this. We will never measure up, but we can strive to live worthy of our calling.

Three weeks ago the Lord said to me, “Jenene, the reason you are moving at the pace of a snail is because you are afraid to make mistakes.” Ouch! That hurt, but I was so incredibly grateful for that Word. Always at the core is fear. Fear is what holds us back too often. 

Pray to be led by spiritual perception and have your needs be secondary in your approach to God. Seek to perceive God’s will so that the Spirit of revelation will arise in your life. This way of approaching your prayer life was shown to us by Jesus, however we have learned to memorize it, but not let it saturate our soul. : (1:Honor His name) Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, (2nd: submit to His will) thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (3rd: Provision) Give us this day our daily bread and (4:Forgiveness) Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us (5: Lead us) and lead us not into temptation, (6: Deliver Us From ) but deliver us from evil (7: Honor His Authority) for thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen

You have your voice inside you and God’s voice. We want God’s voice to come to the surface because that voice is the one that is sealed to our destiny. God wants to hear His voice shine through you because His own Word is what has power, love and grace. His Word is what Jesus Himself prophesied and used as the weapon to overcome the enemy’s temptation.

I hope this makes sense to you. I know some of this stuff is deep and with a seeker friendly Church  at large we don’t hear the deeper Truth at the pulpit often enough. I believe this place is anointed for those Christians who are ready to break out and grow up spiritually speaking.

I pray for a revolutionary shift in your will today in order to be worthy of God’s call. Lord, I am asking you to oppose anything that is not in your will. “The flood is coming to Sacramento”, says the Lord. Amen

The night that Jesus was about to be betrayed and preparing to go the cross, He was troubled. In the Garden of Gethsemane He went to pray to the Father and He asked the apostles to keep watch. You likely know the story that they fell asleep three times. Consistently the Lord repeats Himself in threes when He really wants to make a point. The fact that Peter fell asleep three times and then denied Christ three times and was asked by Jesus, do you love me? three times sends a strong message in preparation for Peter as the rock of the early foundation of the Church.

Then He came to the disciples and found them asleep, and said to Peter, “What? Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy. So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. “Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”

Matthew 16:18 says “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Often times verse 19 gets missed in getting the whole picture of the power and authority that Jesus was giving to Peter and Jesus Christ’s leaders today. 19 “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

The lessons Peter was learning were a sifting of the enemy and used to humble Peter to recognize he could not accomplish his calling as Peter the rock if he didn’t have a wake up call to what it meant to follow Jesus. More importantly in the big scheme of things, was the willingness Peter needed to have to build the early foundation. He needed to understand (1) the schemes of satan, (2) the value of prophecy being fulfilled and he needed to have a (3) huge burden for the lambs and sheep

I can only imagine that Jesus was thinking I wish I didn’t have to go to this extent to undo the damage of Lucifer, who lost his angelic title as the “light bearer” and became satan, the great deceiver of the nations and the deceiver of Israel. However, can you imagine how it must have felt for a Sovereign God to watch His chosen become completely blinded by satan the author of paganism, evil, idolatry and deception. When I try to my get small human mind around this I can’t even handle it, but I get a sense that if it were me or you, we would be infuriated with wrath. When I think of how blind my own children are and watch the enemy toy with them constantly it infuriates me. So it was with God. This is really the story of the Old Testament and the New Covenant through Jesus Christ.

As Jesus knew the only way for the prophecy to be fulfilled was to go to the cross and take upon Himself the wrath of God, which was the cup He was referring to when He said to the Father, but if there’s any other way, then let this cup pass. He knew there was no other way. Jesus had to die by the hands of the Jews to fulfill prophecy and He had to rise again to confirm His Messianic authority.

The Church That Fell Asleep

In Revelation Ch 2 and 3 there is a message to the Churches from Christ that basically puts the errors of the church into 7 different categories of the things Christ Himself has against the Church. I am going to start teaching about these various character flaws in the Church. Even though theses were messages that John was taking to certain churches, they are prophetic. For this blog I want to talk about the Church that has fallen asleep. 

“To the angela of the church in Sardis write:

These are the words of him who holds the seven spiritsb of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead2Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God3Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.

4Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. 6Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

If I take what Jesus is saying to heart, and I do, I believe right now He is preparing to to be the Sovereign Judge of the Church. He said above ” what you have received and heard, hold it fast and repent” and also I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God”. In the Garden Jesus said,Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation”.

I want to remind you of what happened in the Garden of Gethsemane because Peter and the two brothers fell asleep. I believe Jesus spoke directly to Peter letting him know He was accountable for the other two. He was also establishing Peter’s leadership role.

Also, he refers to this Church as falling asleep and not knowing when Jesus will come like a thief. When He comes to this Church he will say “your deeds were unfinished in the sight of my God because you fell asleep.”

Sometimes it can seem like Scripture is contradicting itself and that’s because we don’t study it enough or investigate further. The Bible is a Book of Miracles and Miracle Workers. It’s a story of prophets, disciples, kings, judges, apostles and disciples that overcame evil through God the Father and Jesus the Son. It is a prophetic book and that’s why we need the Holy Spirit to teach us and help us understand.

The Bible says, in Jeremiah 11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

So if we are not finding the above Scripture to be true in our life, perhaps we have fallen asleep. If that is the case, the only reason we don’t see the plan or the good is because we have fallen asleep and this is another open doorway of the enemy.

Everything the Lord has against the Church is caused by a spiritual tactic of the enemy. Everything. I say that because I know God is good and His plans are good and dark spiritual forces are used to do evil. Anything that goes against God’s plan is evil at work in our lives. With free choice, we often give the right-of-way to the enemy and we are not using the keys to the kingdom of heaven, but rather opening doorways into the kingdom of darkness. The keys to the kingdom teach us how to be OVERCOMERS with authority while we’re here battling. This word “authority” is extremely important to learn to live by as a Christian because the enemy will steal authority where you will allow him to all day long.

12 In those days when you pray, I will listen.13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”He says, 11  I have “plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope”. He refers to in those days, that time is NOW. He is referring to end times. God is listening He is not being silent like He was 2400 years ago. It’s a great time to talk to God. But, let’s not forget verse 13, “If you look for me WHOLEHEARTEDLY, you will find me.

So stay awake, repent, get back on the horse, talk to God and open your eyes bigger because God’s eyes are scouring the earth to find worthy souls. And satan and his kingdom, they are seeking vulnerable ones. Who can be more vulnerable than someone who is asleep.

Obviously the Lord has a lot of deeds for us to do and we want to accomplish those deeds and not waste time on the ones outside of His will. We must rise with authority.

As much as I have had my fill of satan and all his demonic forces, we cannot be blind anymore because the time is too short. It is not possible to love a Christ without believing that we have an enemy. That is a Church that is asleep and many will come to know that satan does exist perhaps after it’s too late if we don’t start growing up, spiritually speaking. The statistics for Christians who do not believe in satan or hell are tremendous. They are completely and blindly missing the mark.

I write this blog today because the visions that the Lord is showing me have changed in the last few years and even more dramatically in recent months so I know the spiritual season is changing. The Sovereign God and the Judge of the Churches is coming sooner than we think. Last week as I was praying and asking Jesus to show me His face, this is the face He showed me below:

Revelation 1:13-16-And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

I have never seen this particular face of Jesus until now. Help me wake up the church. The Judge is coming. Please pass this blog on by liking it or tweeting it out. 

References

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/7109-hallel

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

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

Stretching Into Leadership

The first thing that pops into my mind when I hear the word leadership is perhaps a role as a pastor of a church, a motivational speaker or a CEO of a corporation.   Are you the one that automatically takes charge in any situation? Maybe you aren’t and would rather not.

So many of us have never thought of ourselves as leaders, yet others have no problem seeing them selves in that role and would actually thrive in a position as such.

However, we do lead in so many areas of our lives if we stop and really look at all we do in our daily lives. Mothers for example are industrious leaders.   I believe we are all called to lead in one form or another.  The list of ways to lead others below is just scratching the surface.  There are limitless possibilities.

  • Speaking events (teaching, preaching, sharing experience etc.)
  • Event planning / organization
  • Study groups (small or large)
  • Childcare
  • Worship
  • Administration

Sometimes God asks us to do things that we may not want to do. Or should I say Many times.   He spoke to me about something He would like me to do, my first response was thank you very much but you’ve got the wrong girl.  But He hasn’t let me forget it.

Philippians 4:13 gives me the hope and the confidence, that I have a helper.  “I can do everything through him who gives me strength”

Do you remember the saying “fake it till you make it?”

For me this means to move towards the goal by growing my confidence and doing the uncomfortable things needed to become the leader, I believe He wants me to be. A quote that inspired me is “Attitudes influence behavior, but behavior also influences attitudes”.   Everything changes with our attitudes, positive or negatively. Having an “I can” attitude spurs on an excitement to behave as if I am already equipped.

Hopefully this inspires other ladies to step out in faith.  Do what the Lord is asking of you.   Be bold. Let’s reach more women, increase their knowledge of His word, build their confidence, and build the kingdom for Christ by teaching them to be leaders.

Philippians 1:6 gives us great news. “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

I see us as His worker bees and I’ve been comfy on the hive too long.

Live brilliantly ladies.  Suni J