Thursday, December 14, 2017

Check your Own Heart

A digested Lesson taken from my notes at our Bible Study at our church.
 

 

Our Bible study taught by teacher Linda focused on the story in John 5:10-47 about the man at the pool who was healed after his encounter with Jesus.

At Jesus command - - the infirmed man was now able to walk and carry his bed, but alas it was the Sabbath day.  Jewish leaders were quick to ask him, “Who told you to pick up your bed and walk on the Sabbath?”  At first the man was not sure who had healed him, but afterwards, Jesus found him and said, “Behold you are made whole, but go and sin no more lest a worse thing come upon you.” 

The Jews immediately upon discovering it was Jesus; wanted to kill Him not because He healed on the Sabbath, but because the way he spoke of His Father God, making himself equal with God.  Jesus told them, “It was the Father who has given me authority, but marvel not on this for the hour is coming when the dead shall arise.  The Father has committed judgment onto the Son, and as I judge as I hear the father say.”

Jesus continued to urge them to “search the scriptures as they testify of me and my time has come.”

As she wrote on the white board, our teacher asked us to help her compile a list of the attitudes of the religious leaders in this story - - -

Their robes were not clean, and they glorified themselves as they followed traditions.  
They were full of pride, and abused their power.  They were dishonest, unholy and their ego was unhealthy.  A spirit of control was their tool, and they were selfish, hateful and dishonored others.  They had a fear of death, but set unholy boundaries,  were judgmental, hypocritical, and angry with those who did not agree with them.  Murder was in their heart. 

 
Why were they so angry?  Did the teaching and ministry of Jesus present a new way of living that they were contrary to?

Our teacher gave us scriptures as in Proverbs about a merry heart makes a cheerful face, and the importance of gratitude and thanksgiving.

You might want to research these few scriptures and others like them - -  

Zechariah 7:8-10 true Justice is to not oppress one another and to care for the widows and others.

Psalms  51:16-17 God loves a broken and contrite heart.

Proverbs 15:7  16:7 God gives supernatural peace and makes even our enemies to be at peace with us.

Hebrews 13:16 Do good sharing with others, listen intentional to develop a good relationship.

Matthew 5:44  Love your enemies, bless them that curse you and pray for them.

1 Timothy 2:14  Pray for leaders and those in authority for wisdom and for salvation.

1 Timothy 5:1-4  Honor to whom honor is due and respect others.

Luke 5:16  As was his routine; Jesus withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.


As Christians we need to be careful when God begins to move in a way we may not be familiar with, lest we rise up in criticism.  Check your own heart and also the Scripture and see if it is in the Word of God.

Our own self-righteousness may think these Jewish leaders were awful, terrible and dreadful, but stop and consider if perhaps we are at times harboring these same or similar attitudes. 

God requires us to reflect on our personal thought life and to be deliberate in our choices to think on those things that are pure, gentle, loving and of good report.

What does God expect of us?

Micah 6:8 And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
 

 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Write Out Your Prayers


 Pastor Allan welcomed everyone and I took notes about the service

Write Out Your Prayers

Our Sunday morning Service began with an opening prayer by one of our young men. 

Bible Teacher Linda shared a hand out about the Gospel and presented a short admonition.   A young man led the worship as he sang and played his guitar while the other instruments accompanied him.  

Pastor Allan began speaking;  The last several weeks we have taught on different kinds of prayer and that prayer is the foundation of our Christian walk with God.  The only way we can learn to pray is to just do it.  

Begin by expressing what is in your heart.  Pray in your secret place or where ever you are.  Lift up a prayer through out the day. 

Jesus gave us a model of how to pray.  Worship first, ask for God’s will, and your needs.  Ask for forgiveness but be willing to forgive others.  Request to be delivered from evil and not to be tempted, and exalt His name.

Matthew 6:9-13  Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Pastor then asked two young men to pass out a gift pen to everyone and then a half sheet of blank paper.  He requested us to write out a prayer to God that has not yet been answered.  Time was given to do this.

Then Pastor asked us to fold the paper in half and exchange it with a neighbor not looking at the prayer.  Pastor asked us to hold up the prayer paper and pray for it.  Next he asked us to walk to the rear of the church and pin the prayers to the bulletin board and then return to your seat.

Pastor stated that God is working on those requests and now he asked if anyone needed physical healing to raise their hand.  Many hands went up.

Pastor requested that we pray for those near us that God would administer healing to them now.

He reminded us that we are sitting at the table and it is up to us to take and eat.  God desires an active church and we have a responsibility to conform to his will. 

As a church we are going to be proactive in prayer.  We pray over our city and stand up for what is right.  We ask God to separate the wheat from the chaff and establish His will in this place.  God desires a holy people.

Pray for the peace of Israel and pray for the peace over our city.  God is welcome at our city council meetings.  Pray for our godly Mayor and our chief of Police and other Christians who want God to make our city "Great Again."

God is requiring a willing heart to conform and make choices pleasing to God.
Pastor closed with a short prayer: 

"Lord continue to reveal to us how to pray so that your will is accomplished on earth as it is in heaven."




Saturday, December 9, 2017

Begin Your Encounter with God Early

           From my notes I present a digested Bible Study Lesson from our church.


Begin Your Encounter with God Early

First thing in the morning, begin your encounter with the Holy Spirit.  As you begin your day, perhaps as you wake up, acknowledge God is with you and in you.  

God is there, even in your shower or bath and in the private areas as you prepare your day.  Have reading supplies next to your bed and a writing tablet with pen or pencil to write your prayers or dreams.  

Understand you may communicate with God as you drive your car, as you walk and do your chores.  God is listening.

Our study was from John chapter 5:2-5.  “Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. 
In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.”

(The sheep gate was the first gate to be re-built in Nehemiah 3:1)  Sheep were gathered there in preparation for the Temple sacrifices.  

The man at the pool, needed spiritual healing as well, as evidenced when Jesus told him NOT to sin any more - - lest a worse thing come on him.

(From 'Got questions.org:') The Pool of Bethesda was the focus of a local Urban legend about healing, but Jesus showed that faith in religious legends and superstition is misplaced

It was at this pool that Jesus performed a miracle showing that He is greater than any human malady and that superstition and religious folklore are foolish and feeble substitutes for faith in God.

There was a logical explanation for the waters being stirred, as water was often released from an upper pool to add to this pool.  Today we have pools of healing such as Palm Springs, and the Hot Springs; their waters contain minerals and some claim to find relief there.

To our knowledge the Pool of Bethesda probably did not have healing minerals, but according to legend an Angel troubled the waters and first one in was healed. 
The power of belief was so strong that some actually did receive their healing after entering the water.

As Christians, we must research the scriptures when you are being taught by teachers or preachers.  Go to the Bible for yourself. 

Jesus asked the crippled man, lying there for 38 years, “Do you want to be healed?”
(Today, some may not want to be healed because they will lose their disability check and need to go to work.  It is sad when people lose their initiative.)

Jesus had told the man to get up and take your bed and walk; (Jesus did not wave his hand over him, but only using faith filled words.)  Jesus does not do magic, but his power is supernatural from heaven.

The Jews seeing this man carrying his bed on the Sabbath day; were furious upon discovering it was Jesus that healed him.  Community tradition said, don’t carry your bed on the Sabbath. 


Are you carrying a bed that you need to lay down?    Perhaps a bed of tradition that needs to be set aside and allow the Bible to be your guide.


Friday, December 8, 2017

Stand in the Gap


          Pastor Allan's Sunday sermon from my notes

A Call to Intercession
                                

Pastor Allan was ministering.  - - It is necessary to pray and step up our prayer life by increasing our set time of prayer.  God wants a greater opportunity to continually change you into His image. The only way God can change you is in prayer.  There are different kinds of prayer.  Pray with the Holy spirit, pray in agreement with others, pray as you worship and intercession.  Intercession is when you stand in the gap for a specific person or persons. 

We have a Godly mayor and we need to pray for our Mayor and her staff, pray for our city.  Pray for our chief of police.  Intercede for a city that may not be yours as Abraham did for Sodom and Gomorrah.

God said to Moses, “Get down from this mountain, for the people have sinned and I will wipe them out and make of you a great nation.  Moses bargained with God and stood as an intercessor telling God “No, you can’t do that, because what would other nations say after you brought them out of bondage?”  God listened to Moses and changed His mind about destroying them.  However because they had corrupted themselves God punished them, but did not wipe them out.

God has heard the cries of His people here in the United States.  He orchestrated an election to put President Trump in a Position; that amazed the so called majority.

What is going on in our city?  Many are in need; physically, mentally and spiritually. 
There is a need for jobs, and a solution for the homeless and those battling addiction.  Is there hope?  Can there be change complete and not just to enable those with problems.

Jonah rebelled at first, but finally he obeyed and gave the message to a large city.  He walked for three days over the miles preaching to repent or God was going to destroy Nineveh.  The King put on sack cloth and ashes, and repented as did the people.  God changed His mind when he saw their change of heart. 

As we intercede, God will answer.  We think some are a lost cause and there is no hope for them.  But the Holy Spirit says to pray for them anyway.  Pray that their minds will be turned from evil and embrace the truth of the Gospel.

Intercede for the “Dope House,” and for the “Red Light Houses.”

Do you want to see changes in your neighborhood?  Intercede for them.  They are not happy, and are in a hell of their own making.

There are so many scriptures that tell us that God will restore and heal our land as we humble ourselves and pray.

God loves the world and all in it, including those we may disdain.  God sent a sacrifice to save them.  He sent the Lamb of God to turn their hard hearts to righteous living.

God has beautiful orchards and lands, but some have been left to wither.  Due to the heat of summer, they weren’t watered and cared for.  This can be applied to our citizens in our city.  We need a culture of prayer and intercession. 

There are places in our city where you can’t walk in safety, but they are the ones that need Jesus.

Intercede for others, and be reminded that someone has interceded for you.

Jesus said in John 17:8-9 For I have given unto them the words which thou gave me; I pray for them which thou have given me; for they are thine.


Jesus is our High Priest in heaven and continues to intercede for you.  
Hebrews 7:25,26  Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them.  For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens - -


Sunday, December 3, 2017

Singing your Prayers IS a Spiritual Weapon


All week the Holy Spirit has been giving me an exhortation and prophesy to share over my church on Sunday.  At the end of the exhortation, you will find the prophesy that has been edited for you to sing over yourself.  God showed up so powerful as this was given today.



Singing your Prayers IS a Spiritual Weapon against your troubles.

In the Bible, Singers were appointed to praise the Lord as the army went to war –

2 Chronicles 20:21-22  Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: "Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever." When they began singing and praising, the LORD set ambushes against the enemy.

Notice the Bible says they were “saying;” perhaps as a chant similar to the rhythms of chanted prayer by the monks, in the form of plainsong.

Zephaniah 3:17 reminds us that God is musical and He rejoices and sings over you. - -  
The LORD your God in the midst of you is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over you with joy; he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.

Paul reminds us in Ephesians 5:18-19 to…be filled with the Spirit, (by) speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and “SPIRITUAL SONGS,” SINGING and making melody in your heart to the Lord…

Paul tells us in Colossians 3:16:  Let the WORD OF CHRIST dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and SPIRITUAL SONGS, SINGING with Grace in your hearts to the Lord.

·      In these two verses from Paul - -You may not have noticed the words SPIRITUAL SONGS, so you might ask “What is a Spiritual Song?”
·         
·       The answer should be plain; it is a Holy Spirit Anointed song, in tongues or in English as you allow the words to flow from your spirit.   Your song will be powerful coming from the Father’s Heart.
·         
You can sing a prayer.  You can sing a blessing. You can sing a prophesy.

(Sing over yourself this prophesy)  Jesus is here now showering His blessings for what ever is my need.  I will reach out and receive.  His healing power is coming forth, being poured over my head and flowing down over my body.  I am allowing the gentle touch of the great physician to administer supernatural healing treatments to my eyes, to my ears, neck, shoulders, backs, arms, wrists, hips, legs, ankles feet and toes.  Jesus is shaping and correcting my internal organs and mending my heart, my blood and blood vessels.  I am allowing the breath of the Holy Spirit to fill my lungs this day as I breathe in HIS life from the Living Christ who is the same today as He was Yesterday.

Jesus is also saying to me: 
“You are loved, you are mine, you are forgiven – now follow me. - - -


If the Holy Spirit has ministered to you today, please write it out as a testimony and share it with your Pastor.


Saturday, December 2, 2017

Enjoying a Shabbat Meal in Israel


Enjoying a Shabbat Meal in Israel

  
At our weekly meeting to pray over our city; I shared a short lesson on Intercession by J. N. Manokaran from India.  In August of this year 1000 ministers and leaders from many churches across India met to intercede for their city and for India.  

Brother Manokaran wrote: Abraham interceded for Sodom and Gomorrah even though they were not his cities.  He was concerned because his family lived there and he tried to bargain with God not to destroy the cities.

As we finished our lesson, I shared a story from my visit to Israel and the Friday evening Shabbat meal our Tour Guide arranged for us to enjoy at a traditionalist Jewish home. 

The Shabbat table was elegantly set with a beautiful table cloth, lovely china, and goblets .  The meal was in courses and each serving was meaningful for fellowship, love and family.  Wine (or sparkling drink,) then bread, Matzo ball soup, salmon, side dishes and lastly a lovely desert.  

We were given a booklet about the Shabbat meal stating the history and some interesting facts.  I noted that a Spiritual Song is usually sung without words, but it comes from the heart and is a loving embrace over the family.

I was moved to sing a Spiritual song over this family but fear overtook me because I did not want to embarrass my granddaughter and her married family who sat near me.  I thought perhaps, I could still sing to the family in the kitchen who had so graciously served us - - but I was being whisked away. 

Out in the dark street it was a long walk to once again board our bus to return to our hotel.  For my safety my arm was linked with Laurel my granddaughter’s mother-in-law.  As we walked I began to sing in the spirit, with guttural singing, and a few words in another language.
                                                                              
When I finished the song, Laurel asked, “What was that?”  I told her it was the Shabbat Song from my spirit over this evening.  “That was beautiful,” she replied.

Back to our Praying over our City meeting - - After sharing this story I gave a short message how we can sing over our city and sing our prayers.  I encouraged our people to sing as they pray.  If they are embarrassed to sing here, then sing at home as they pray.

Zephaniah 3:17 reminds us that God is musical - - 
The LORD your God in the midst of you is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over you with joy; he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.

Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:18-19 to…be filled with the Spirit, (by) speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and “SPIRITUAL SONGS,” SINGING and making melody in your heart to the Lord…


So what is a Spiritual Song?  Simply it is a song that comes from Your heart as you listen to the Heart of God.  

Why not begin now to practice singing your prayers?




Friday, December 1, 2017

Jesus Redemptive Power Displayed

This post is from my notes taken during our Bible Study at Church.


Jesus Redemptive Power Displayed


As we study the early chapters of the Gospel of John, we view Jesus with some serious encounters.
1.     Nichodemus: a prominent teacher of the Law, coming secretly at night to speak with Jesus.
2.     The Samaritan woman:  an outcast by her line of work and culture.
3.     Government officials and religious leaders who questioned his authority.
4.     Chronically sick man:  Jesus the great physician healed the man.

In chapter 4, we noted the names of God given to Jesus:  Gift of God, Messiah, The Christ, The Savior of the World, and Healer.

John 4:10  Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that said to thee, Give me to drink; thou would have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

Jesus told the woman plainly, I am the Messiah.
John 4:25-26  The woman said unto him, I know that Messiah will come, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.  Jesus said unto her, I that speak unto thee am He.

John 4:42  The Samaritans came at the woman’s word but after hearing Jesus they declared: “This is indeed the Christ, the savior of the World.

John 4:46-52  Healer: The nobleman believed the words of Jesus and his son was healed in that same hour. 

How can I encounter Jesus? 

Realize the Holy Spirit is in your every day life. Acknowledge that He is here with me now.

As we eat with an attitude of thanksgiving; our food will be a blessing to our body.

As we cook and prepare a meal, we can be blessed.

Singing and praying together in fellowship.

In our accomplishments we know Jesus is helping us do well

Make a conscious decision to encounter Christ daily as you go about your duties; At home, in your car, at work, or at play.

John 14:26 But the comforter shall teach you all things. 

At the baptism of Jesus there was an explosion as heaven opened and a dove set upon him.  A voice from heaven spoke:  This is my beloved son, hear ye him.
Jesus already knew what was in the hearts of those watching.  Some questioned, but others believed.

Jesus has redemptive power to cleanse your mind and memory.  Some of us may have dreams that disturb us.  Many times those types of dreams are from the accuser, but even in a dream you can rebuke Satan and tell him to go.  Turn to Christ Jesus and apply His redeeming power over your dreams and over your thoughts.

If you are troubled about your past, invite Jesus to bring you peace.  If forgiveness is needed it is good to say verbally, “I forgive you” (even if the person is not there.)  Then forgive yourself for being involved, even if it was abuse or rape and you feel guilty though it was not your fault.  

Understand that Jesus does not accuse you, and He has already forgiven you.  Allow The Holy Spirit to bring you joy and restoration.


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A Culture of Prayer Will Change our Culture

From my notes I present an Edited Sermon by Pastor Allan



A Culture of Prayer Will Change our Culture

Your miracle is here this morning as the Holy Spirit has been teaching us all during the service, as we praised, prayed and shared a word.

Our testimony is one of joy in the sweet presence of the Holy Spirit as He is teaching us.  I am so excited what God is doing in this place; as we reflect on the goodness of God this past year. 

Ever since we have been here we have asked God for revival in our city.  We as a church will no longer be programmed, but led by the Holy Spirit in our church and in our lives.

Different churches and pastors have their agenda which is okay for them, but we choose to be different and allow the Holy Spirit to lead.

It is time to be hungry and come expecting God to meet your need regardless of what it is.  Our model may be different but the Holy Spirit is diverse in operation.

Our desire is to have 24 hour prayer on Wednesday and other times as we are led. 
We have shared about the Holy Spirit and our desire for Him to be activated in all of the body.  The book of Acts is for the church today and God desires to do wonderful things.

I am reminded of a crazy man in the park who would break chains, but Jesus came and restored his mind.  

You have the power to release and deliver others through you.  When you see distressed people, see them as God sees them.  The Holy Spirit is seeking you to go out and demonstrate the power of the Holy Spirit.  God is speaking to you to step up. 

Do you want to change the culture of our city?  We must first change the culture of our congregation.  Our culture must be one of prayer.  The general body of Christ has fallen flat on this issue, but we must learn how to pray correctly over our city.  Our hearts must be stirred to desire the lost souls to come into the Kingdom of God.  

Earnest prayer meetings have brought down the glory.  

As you pray, prophesy the heart of God’s will over our city.  God is not willing that any should perish, but that all would receive the savior.  Prophesy that hard hearts will become tender and minds will be receptive to receive the Good News that Jesus loves them and will bring freedom.

First we must humble our selves and repent confessing our own sins, and God will hear and answer.  God is calling - - - are you listening?

Jesus stands in authority and has given us that authority and anointing to do His works.
 
If you don’t know how to pray, just open your mouth and allow God to give you words.  Sometimes the Holy Spirit will just groan without words, as you contend for souls.

Consecrate yourself to become a vessel to pray God’s will. 

Jesus called his disciples and came to a mountain to pray.  Often Jesus prayed all night alone to His Father.  Jesus is our example.

We pray in faith believing, and we may not see the answer right away, but it is important not to give up.  Know that God has heard you and he is working on your request.

Paul urged us to pray always; and the Bible mentions several ways to pray.

1.     The prayer of agreement as two or more pray and agree.
2.     The prayer of Faith, according to God’s will.  Mark 11:24  when you pray, believe that ye receive, and ye shall have - -.
3.     The prayer of consecration and dedication - - to commit to God’s will.
4.     The prayer of praise and worship - - brings down the power of God.
5.     The prayer of intercession - - for some one else.
6.     The prayer of binding and loosening;  bind attitudes not pleasing to God and loose attitudes that are pleasing to God.  Bind the evil spirits and loose holiness and righteousness. 

You have the power to do this.  It begins with a culture and life style of prayer.  We need to embrace a life of prayer.  Spend time with God if you intend to change your world.  God requires a willing heart and mind.

If you seriously desire to see changes in your household and in your city, you must pray these type of prayer.  Agree with one another for revival for our city.

I challenge you to give one hour in prayer daily. 

You will begin to experience the fullness of God.




Friday, November 24, 2017

The Spirit of Truth


Presented here is an edited lesson of our Bible Study at Open Door Church on Sunday.





Our Bible Study on Sunday was full of lively discussion and comments as we studied more on John the Baptist.  John’s message was one of repentance, and comments were given by several students.  It is not enough to feel sorry but a change must occur.  Peter wept bitterly when he realized he had just denied Jesus. 

The prophet Ezekiel said, God will remove the stony heart and give you a new heart that is after God and his will.  The Holy Spirit will convict and reveal truth thus bringing us to repentance.  

Jesus spoke about the Holy Spirit in John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me:

Jesus continued in John 16:13-14 when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.  He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.

The Holy Spirit is also our intercessor when we don’t know how to pray, He will pray through us because He knows the mind and will of Christ.

When the People of Israel needed a deliverer, the Holy Spirit came upon Othniel to judge Israel and bring about a victory.

Many times we don’t know which direction to take, but discernment is ours if we will listen to the Holy Spirit.  He is an inward witness and guide to reveal truth to us.

We are a three part being, Our Spirit is the portion of us that becomes born again and we touch God with our Spirit.  We live in a body, and our soul is our Mind, Will and Emotions.  Our stubborn will, our emotions and our thinking give us a lot of trouble at times.  Our soul needs to be renewed by the washing of the water of the Word.  God’s word will assist us to change our thinking to be aligned with the heart of God.  It is important to read and study the Bible and to allow our mind to assimilate and consider how this applies to our spirit.

Matthew 12:31-33 contains verses about the unforgivable sin against the Holy Spirit.  Just prior to these verses, Jesus had been ministering and performing miracles.  The Scribes and Pharisees accused Jesus of doing the works of miracles by the power of Satan. 

Jesus hit these religious leaders hard by declaring they were on dangerous ground to make such statements about what the Holy Spirit was accomplishing.  They were in essence blaspheming against the Holy Ghost with their accusations.


There are some who struggle over this verse and wonder if they have committed this unpardonable sin.  Satan would like nothing more than to keep people laboring under that misconception.   If they are still alive – they have NOT committed this sin.

We know God can and will forgive any sin and He is merciful and ready to forgive, so what sin would not be forgiven???


As we ponder and consider this question, and find a sinner on their death bed - - one who refuses to accept Jesus as their savior - - and they die; what happens to them?

Notice they refused forgiveness, so they are not forgiven and now it is too late for them.  Death is the dividing factor - - it is important to receive Jesus and have your sins under the blood while in this life.  

None of us have a promise of tomorrow, so prepare now to be ready.



Monday, November 20, 2017

Letter to Grandson about to Marry


 
 
Dear Grandson and soon to be Granddaughter,

Congratulations on your soon to be marriage.  Please allow your grandmother to give some sound words of advice. 

In a marriage there will be times that a difference of opinion may cause anger and strife.  The main thing is to settle it quickly and allow the man to have the final say. 

Be quick to apologize when you are wrong and use the words, “I am sorry, please forgive me!”  It is also good to daily use the words, “I love you;” as they will go a long way to a calm and peaceful home.

Never go to bed angry, but make peace before the sun goes down!

Never embarrass the other person in front of others.  Always show respect to each other with common courtesy. 

Watch your words about each other to your friends.  Some things are between the two of you and should not be shared with family or friends.

Hold hands often and kiss daily as you love one another and all will be well. 

Do keep Jesus as the unseen guest in your home. 

I Love you both, 
 
Love,  Your Grandma Moon
 
 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Desire Spiritual Gifts, but Rather to Prophesy

 
Presenting an Edited sermon at our church Sunday Morning
 
 
Pastor Allan was speaking:
 
 
“Our service this morning has been unusual and some of you may be processing what is going on.  Included in our worship, we have enjoyed exhortation, prophesy, and a testimony from the body.
 
I have been praying for skilled workers that are ready to step in and work in our church.  I believe God will do the same thing with Children’s workers to encourage our children to operate in the Holy Spirit in their own element.  We desire to raise our children to become spiritual soldiers.  Agree with me for Children’s workers.
 
Also I am praying for ministry gifts to be abundant and flow through our congregation to heal, deliver and set the captives free.  As we are in one accord our church and our city will be all to the glory of God.
 
Thank you for being here today.  It is important that God be in control as it is His show and not mine.  Be alert for God to use you and be obedient for what He asks. 
 
We will continue speaking about the gifts of the Holy Spirit from 1 Corinthians 14.
 
Paul is saying all the gifts operating in Love are important, but especially to prophesy.
 
I Corinthians 14: 1. Follow after love; yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.
 
In the church service, if one gives a tongue utterance without the interpretation it does not edify.  Paul does say that praying in tongues will build up the believer and equip them to be ready to prophesy or minister in the other gifts.  Paul wishes that all did speak with tongues, but in a meeting that they rather prophesy.
 
14:2-5 For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied;
 
For those who attempt to minister in prophesy without first being built up will be as the clanging cymbal.
 
As you pray in tongues privately or during worship, you will be able to build up yourself before you prophesy. You can’t pray in tongues too much, but remember when you desire to edify others especially in a church setting, it is best done with prophesy. 

Jude challenges us to build up yourself praying in the Holy Spirit.  Jude was not speaking of the gift of tongues in a meeting, but rather personal prayer using your prayer language.  This is how you become empowered in the Holy Spirit.
 
When you begin to minister, you will need to use your normal language.  Paul was not downplaying tongues, but was showing his preference because prophesies will encourage and edify others.
 
We have the answer for a change in lives as we speak in love and challenge others to follow Christ Jesus.
 
When Jesus cursed the fig tree, it was a teaching example of the power of words and speaking with boldness.
 
Ezekiel 37:1 The prophet’s vision reveals a valley of dry bones.  At times that is us, but the Holy Spirit is able to bring LIFE as we prophesy.  God declared  to the prophet: “These bones shall live and know that I AM the Lord.  I am God and I have spoken and I will do it.”
 
As prophesy goes forth, life will come to the dry bones.
 
Prophesy of God’s goodness, His kindness and mercy and willingness to forgive and restore.  Prophesy and speak LIFE into people. 
 
We might consider our city as a valley of dry bones; Many of our citizens have no life (no spiritual life.) No hope and they are attempting on their own to fill up the void and bring forth life – but it is not working.  It is time to prophesy over our city, over our church, over our families and our neighborhoods - - for life to come where there is none.  No longer shall death reign.
 
Some churches you walk in and the people are miserable.  They need the life giving power of the Holy Spirit. 
 
Of ourselves we can’t do anything, we must first build yourself up by praying in tongues in the Spirit, then we will be ready to prophesy.  Not because we have to but because we get to.
 
I understand what the Doctor says, and what society says, but I am here to declare that the Holy Spirit can bring lasting change, healing and deliverance.
 
Be careful when you prophesy, to first built yourself up.  To be built up in the Holy Ghost is more important than some believe, otherwise your words will fall flat and deflate instead of bring life.
 
So what is in the ‘know how” to prevent burn out and discouragement?  First build up yourself by praying in the Holy Spirit before you go out to minister.
 
Yes, desire spiritual gifts to be used in love and bring life, and especially to prophesy.
 
 
 


Saturday, November 18, 2017

Maria Woodworth-Etter review by Rick Joyner

Rick Joyner gives a short review of this amazing woman minister, Maria Woodworth-Etter.
Maria Woodworth-Etter
(1844–1924)

 
   The short list of extraordinary Christians should include Maria Woodworth-Etter. Her radical obedience to Christ challenged some of the most powerful religious prejudices and traditions of her day. She did this not by preaching against them, but by demonstrating their folly through her powerful Christian life. While leading countless multitudes to Christ, she redefined evangelism for the modern age. This positioned the advancing church for the biggest ingathering of new believers of all time.

   Born and raised in New Lisbon, Ohio to a non-Christian family, Maria was ten years old when her parents experienced a change and joined a Disciples of Christ church. It was there that Maria first learned about Christ and the Christian faith.
    
Tragedy struck the family three years later when her father died from severe sunstroke. Left alone with eight children, Maria’s mother worked to support the struggling family with the help of the older children. Around this time, Maria was born again at the age of thirteen.

 Immediately, Maria heard God’s call to “go to the highways and hedges to call the lost sheep.” She responded by dedicating her life to serving the Lord, but the Disciples movement she had met the Lord through did not allow women in ministry. This was disconcerting and eventually caused her to consider marriage so that she and her husband could serve the Lord as missionaries. In 1863, at age nineteen, she married Philo Harris Woodworth.

    
Maria and Woodworth’s marriage was also tragic. They tried to farm but failed, and five of their six children died at young ages, a hard trial for any parent to endure. This left only their oldest, Elizabeth.
    
Then Maria was asked to speak at a Friends meeting. When she got up to speak, she had a vision of how close the people were to the edge of hell yet they did not know it. This profoundly moved her. Later as she pondered this vision, she contemplated studying to prepare for the ministry. God then gave Maria a vision in which He told her that souls were perishing and she did not have time for the preparation she wanted to pursue.

 After this, Maria felt burdened for the lost day and night. She decided to hold meetings in her local area, and the Lord moved in such a great way that many repented and turned to Him. Two churches were born out of these meetings, and Maria and her husband began a traveling ministry. Her reputation spread as the Lord moved powerfully wherever she ministered.

 During this time, Maria felt the Lord calling her to pray for the sick, but she was reticent because she thought it might distract from her evangelistic message. The Lord appeared to her again in a vision and assured her that when she prayed for the sick, even more would be saved. She obeyed and the results were spectacular. Soon as many as twenty-five thousand gathered for her meetings.

  Controversy tends to follow such remarkable success either because of religious jealousy or “old wineskins” that are incapable of accepting something new or different. In Maria’s case, it was not just the religious community that attacked her, but the secular community as well. In Massachusetts, Maria was arrested for claiming to heal people, but so many witnesses came forward that they had to release her. Then local psychiatrists filed charges that she was delusional because she claimed to see visions. Just as Jesus Himself was continually challenged, criticized, and attacked by adversaries, those who follow Him endure the same. With Maria these attacks were especially vicious, but she persevered relentlessly.

  In 1890, a man prophesied the coming of an earthquake and tidal wave to San Francisco in April. As is typical with prophecy, those who heard assumed it referred to April of that year, but the month passed without an earthquake. The man was arrested, which further maligned Maria’s ministry. Sixteen years later the earthquake came in April 1906, and many felt the vision was vindicated. Even so, it was obviously mishandled, and Maria’s critics used it against her.
    
The pressure of the ministry also hurt Maria’s marriage. In 1891, she and Woodworth divorced due to his infidelity. Woodworth threatened to write a book critical of her ministry if Maria did not pay him alimony, but he died within the year. In 1902, Maria met and married Samuel Etter.

  Maria’s denomination struggled with what happened in her meetings, especially the way some “swooned” during them. This was later called “being slain in the Spirit.” This phenomenon happened in revivals and awakenings for centuries, but no one adequately understood it at that time. However, those who experienced it claimed to have had remarkable experiences with the Lord and were profoundly changed.

   Even so, the denominational authorities pressured Maria to stop the people from swooning in her meetings. She did not start or even necessarily want them in her meetings, but neither did she know how to stop them.

   Then denominational authorities demanded that she discontinue the gatherings. She refused and lost her credentials.

  This proved fortuitous, as a new movement had begun at a former stable on Azusa Street in Los Angeles. This was the perfect spiritual home for Maria. In 1912, F.F. Bosworth hosted her for a five month long meeting in Dallas, Texas. Word of the extraordinary works of God in those meetings spread abroad. This touched and inspired some future great evangelists in the Pentecostal movement, such as Aimee Semple McPherson and John G. Lake, who called her “Mother Etter.”
    
In August of 1914, Samuel Etter passed away after a long illness just as World War I began. The strain on Maria from not seeing her husband healed and taking care of him while keeping a ministry schedule that had her speaking three times a day wore her down. She became sick herself. At sixty-seven she was ready to go home to her Lord. Then she had another vision in which the Lord showed Himself as the conqueror of sickness and death, and that her time was not up. Soon she was well and back on the road, preaching the gospel and healing the sick with renewed vision. In 1918, she started a church in Indianapolis that she used as a conference center and a base from which to travel.
   
  In 1924, Maria Woodworth-Etter ended her course. She has been rightly honored not only as a great woman evangelist, but one of the greatest evangelists of all time.