God leads us and direct our paths


Lead us on our path


God leads us and direct our paths.
God allows men to lead us and direct our paths...
But that was never His original intent…

Here's the thing... if we're not careful…
We will walk - our entire life - down somebody else's path.






benandmary5

Ben and Mary Andrews



__________________________________________________________________

The Paradox of "Self-Control"



square-paradox


"Self-Control" is a paradox...

Something known as
"Vicious Circularity" or "Dialetheism”...
a statements that can be both true and false simultaneously...

When we are in
(control of "self") that's when we are the most "out of Control"
yet when we allow God to be in control
-
His "Self-Control" becomes ours...
-
Then and only then does HIS Fruit in our life produce "Self-control".

Lord, today - I surrender my "control of self" to you
Let your will reign in me - so all the world sees is you...

I love you Lord...
Amen...

infinite_staircase





benandmary5

Ben and Mary Andrews



__________________________________________________________________

Evil Is No Match For Good

Schoolyard Revenge1

Sometimes, we receive the opposite of what we expect, as our good deeds can encounter an evil response. Some of those we have served seem to have forgotten our faithfulness, and gratitude has faded from their memory. They forgot the fantastic fruit from our labors, and it has become all about what might inconvenience them. You were there for them at their point of need but now in your need, they reject your request. It seems like a cruel joke. How could they forget your loyalty and the investment of some of the best days of your life? Yet, this export of evil is just what you are experiencing. There is a relational trade imbalance, as you are the brunt of an evil inequity.

So what do you do when you are repaid evil for good? What is your response? Our flesh screams foul and our anger wants to attack. How could someone show their appreciation for our good will with apathy and disassociation? We want to instantly repay their ingratitude by inflicting some type of loss or pain. How you respond in this moment of deep disappointment will reveal your true character. Anyone can act like a Christian as long as everything is going his way. It is easy to be nice when everyone else is nice. However, when supposedly mature leaders let us down, and even respond to our requests with hostility, what we do next defines our true self. This is a test of our dependence on God.
When evil intent is injected into a relationship, we must resist firing back with equally evil actions.
We cannot lower ourselves to this kind of schoolyard revenge.


The question is not,
“What is the right thing for them to do?”
The question is, “What is the right thing for me to do?”


You can reverse the force of the verbal jabs by returning good for evil. When you choose not to fight false accusations by accosting your accusers, you repay good for evil. You trust the truth will come out at the right time, in the right way.
When you choose to forgive the malicious actions of insecure and mean men, you repay good for evil. When you pray for ungrateful souls to see God, you repay good for evil.

Above all else, anchor your hope for justice to be done in Almighty God. The Lord can take care of the business of dealing with evil people and their actions. Wait on the Lord to settle matters as He sees fit,
especially if you have the power to crush someone. Trust Christ to take them down in His timing. Your window of reprieve is their opportunity to repent, so be patient. You would want this same grace extended to you.

Schoolyard Revenge2

Evildoers may never change, but they might. It is a heart issue between them and God. In the meantime, when you encounter evil, repay it with good and then trust God. The goodness of God trumps evil, for evil is no match for good.

liquid-flame-wonderful
The Bible says, “If a man pays back evil for good, evil will never leave his house” (Proverbs 17:13). It’s a choice!

Jennifer Walsh Falcon2
Jennifer Walsh Falcon



__________________________________________________________________

Blanket of Love Ministry

Please Check out this awesome post from our sweet Friend Denise


52290679ab28b93601175195
We celebrated my birthday on September 3rd!  The biggest gift I got this year was LIFE!!!  What a blessing to see where I've come from being diagnosed with leukemia on February 12th!  It was the best birthday ever!!!  A whole new appreciation for sure!!!  In the past, I never thought about "what if I got cancer" ... when you are healthy and you rarely go to the doctor, it's just not something you think about!  I am extra thankful and feel so blessed to be where I am today!!!  My sister reminded me the other day that my treatment was supposed to end around October!  I was back home finished with treatment on June 30th... that is a HUGE miracle!!!

I am thrilled to share that the new "Blanket of Love" site is up and running!  Thank you to my dear friends Ben & Mary Andrews for all their help!  Ben set up the site and did an awesome job!  Here is the link to the site:  
http://www.blanketoflove.net/index.html   It is a tax deductible gift.  I even have some churches donating... my goal is to expand this to other hospitals, so many people can be blessed!  There is a contact area that you can email me if you have any questions.

I was at the clinic today and I told the doctor that people have started contributing and the blankets will be coming soon!  The  doctor had a big smile on his face.  I have to say in the beginning, the doctor didn't realize how special the blankets were.  I heard the doctor wanted me to ask my friends if they would donate to a leukemia fund for the hospital and I said absolutely not!  I said until you are a patient in a bed, you don't know what it's like and those blankets bring so much warmth and comfort to someone!  Since all this time has passed and the patients and the nurses have talked about them so much, he now sees the importance of them and he really appreciates them!  So, that's really cool!  A nurse told me yesterday, the patients that come back for treatment, bring their blanket with them... that's awesome!

There is also a facebook page for the "Blanket of Love" ... here's the link: 
https://www.facebook.com/groups/638635149504456/

It would be great if you can join... our goal is to share with others outside of our circle so they can be a part of this ministry.  Every little bit helps ... $5 or $10 can make a difference and it all helps buy blankets!  

I received a great report today at the clinic ... my numbers looked good and I don't have to go twice a month now!  They also cut my steroids down to 10 mg a day!  Wahoo!  I hope to be done with them completely by early October... I can't wait!

Psalm 18:30 ~ As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD's word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.

Jesus Calling ~ Wait with me for a while.  I have much to tell you.  You are walking along the path I have chosen for you.  It is both a privileged and a perilous way: experiencing My glorious Presence and heralding that reality to others.  Sometimes you feel presumptuous to be carrying out such an assignment.

Thank you for walking this journey with us!  I appreciate your prayers more than you know!  There are so many people I know with cancer and I pray for complete healing all the time.  Several of them are facing death and I am praying extra hard for a miracle!!!  

Much Love ~

Denise 

Denise Pic_1



__________________________________________________________________

Five Wagons of Revival…

Wooden_Wheel



Robin McMillan: "I Saw Five Wagons of Revival"

When I face certain kinds of spiritual attacks, I have learned to go on the offensive. I lay in bed early one morning prior to speaking in a conference, feeling oppressed and tired even after a good night's sleep. I knew I needed to move in faith, so I began to declare aloud parts of Psalm 91 (paraphrased):
 
"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty, whose power no evil foe can withstand! I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge, He is my fortress, my God, on Him will I lean and rely, and in Him will I confidently trust! Surely then He shall deliver me from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover me with His feathers, and under His wings I shall take refuge; His truth shall be my shield and buckler."
 
The power of the Word of God is released when believed and spoken! As I proclaimed these vital verses, the dunamis [power] of God began strengthening my soul. So, I did it again with renewed strength and more conviction:
 
"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty, whose power no evil foe can withstand! I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge, He is my fortress, my God, on Him will I lean and rely, and in Him will I confidently trust! Surely then He shall deliver me from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover me with His feathers, and under His wings I shall take refuge; His truth shall be my shield and buckler."
 
Suddenly, I saw in the top of my hotel room a type of open spiritual passageway. I knew instinctively that I could leap into it and be carried into the realm of the heavens. So I did. At lightening speed I zoomed through the atmospheric realm of the prince of the power of the air. I heard demonic voices saying, "Hey, you can't come through here!" I laughed, knowing their attempts to stop me were in vain. I was going, and that was that!
 
Wing
I landed in the heavens in a shadow-like place under a huge dark wing at least 12 feet tall. Tennis ball-size and larger precious stones beyond description exuded from the enormous wing. Gold and silver particles and other precious metals were coming out of the wing. I had never seen anything like it before. I was confused. At first I didn't understand why the place was so dark. I thought angel's wings would be white, but then I realized something.
 
Had I not just boldly proclaimed that I would dwell in the secret place of the Most High and abide under the shadow of the Almighty? Had I not declared that He would deliver me from the snare of the fowler, you know, the bird catcher? That's quite a promise for a man named Robin! Had I not emphatically proclaimed, "He shall cover me with His feathers, and under His wings I shall take refuge"? I was not under a massive angel's wing but had found refuge under the very wing of the Great Eagle, the One of whom I had been proclaiming.
 
Five Supernatural Wagons and Their Meaning
 
In that place the Lord authorized me to bring back and release five wagons of divine substance. The first one was a wagon called "Deliverance from Deserved Consequences." The second wagon was called "Deliverance from Criticism and the Critical Spirit." The third wagon was called "Hope." The fourth wagon was called "Provision." The fifth wagon was called "New Vision for the United States."
 
Wagon
One characteristic of this kind of spiritual encounter is that you instinctively know things. I knew I would find the significance and understanding of the wagons in the story of the amazing restoration of Joseph to his father Jacob and his brothers, recorded in Genesis 45. A significant part of the restoration occurred because of wagons Joseph sent to his father to prove he was alive.
And [Joseph] sent to his father these things: ten donkeys loaded with the good things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain, bread, and food for his father and for the journey. Genesis 45:23
 
Then they went up out of Egypt, and came to the land of Canaan to Jacob their father. And they told him, saying, "Joseph is still alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt." And Jacob's heart stood still, because he did not believe them.
 
But when they told him all the words which Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the [wagons] which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived. Genesis 45:25-27, emphasis mine
 
Joseph's words and Joseph's wagons had this effect on his father: "The spirit of Jacob their father revived." That is the first time the word "revive" is used in the Bible. In the context of this encounter it speaks volumes. These five wagons, when activated, have the potential to release revival and restoration. Joseph is the clearest type of the Lord Jesus in the whole Old Testament. Some students of the Scripture had found over 80 similarities between the two. For instance, the disciples thought Jesus was dead, but He was alive and Lord of All. For 22 years Joseph's family thought he was dead. He was not only "not dead" but alive and lord of all Egypt.
 
Our hearts and this generation will revive when we see the amazing resources of Heaven that Christ Jesus has provided for the world as represented by these five wagons!
 
Wagon #1 – "Deliverance From Deserved Consequences"
 
The first wagon was called "Deliverance from Deserved Consequences." Jesus loves people so much that He wants to set them free from their bad choices and decisions. Perhaps you did the wrong thing, you made the wrong choice, yes, you sinned – but, Jesus wants to set you free from what you deserve and the consequences of your actions.
Wagon #2 - "Deliverance from Criticism and the Critical Spirit"
 
The second wagon was called "Deliverance from Criticism and the Critical Spirit."
 
Jesus can set wounded people free from the effects of people's criticisms to become who He says they are. That wagon is also intended to deliver us from being critical. Remember, Jesus also warned that we would be judged in direct proportion to our condemnation of others.
 
Wagon #3 – "Provision"
 
The third wagon was called "Provision." God has provided for the needs and desires of His people. It's all in Heaven. In Matthew 6:10, Jesus taught us to pray, "Your Kingdom come...on earth as it is in Heaven." That means that what happens in Heaven should happen on earth. There are no poor people in Heaven; no sick, nor depressed either! We can access all that Heaven contains.
 
Wagon #4 – "Hope"
 
hope1_300px
The fourth was a wagon called "Hope." Hope is an indispensable commodity. It is the foundation for faith, for "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). The Apostle Paul said that hope anchors our soul. Hope secures our entire mental welfare and energizes our life of faith! Hopelessness is the fruit of believing lies. Jesus said we would know the truth and the truth would set us free. One who accurately knows Jesus and believes the truth is filled with a hope that cannot be extinguished!
 
Wagon #5 – "New Vision for the United States"
 
The fifth wagon is called "New Vision for the United States." In the story of Joseph, Pharaoh provided the very best place in all of Egypt for them, called Goshen, which means "drawing near." James 4:8 says, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." If our nation will draw near to God, He will draw near to us and change our nation! I believe that is going to happen in the United States. We are on the verge of another Great Spiritual Awakening that shall once again reshape our nation.
 
Activating the Five Wagons
 
Wooden_Wheel
Why were these heavenly blessings in wagons? Wagons are pulled by something called "the tongue." You must properly use your tongue to access what's in them. The wagons I saw were huge, ancient, wooden ones with wheels having big wooden spokes. You could say they were "spoken" wheels. How we use our tongue and our spoken words are so important:
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit" (Proverbs 18:21),
 
"For with the heart man believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Romans 10:10).
Each of us may access the contents of these heavenly wagons by believing in the existence of their substance and speaking their reality by an agreement of faith. Jesus has so much for us. The reviving of our nation is His intention. Lay hold of these five wagons and see what happens in your life. The time is now.
 
Robin McMillan
Senior Pastor, Queen City Church
Email:
robin.mcmillan@aol.com
Website: robinmcmillan.me
 
Robin McMillan is the Senior Pastor of Queen City Church in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina, planted on Father's Day of 2010. He previously served MorningStar Fellowship Church as director of the Fellowship of Ministries and Fellowship of Churches for three years, then as Senior Pastor of the Fort Mill, South Carolina, congregation for more than a decade.
He believes our nation is on the verge of the next great spiritual awakening. His passion is to awaken the Church to the power of the Spirit and enable Believers to discover how they can access the realm of the Heavens, enjoy the presence and power of God, and be empowered to live a supernatural life. Outpourings of the Holy Spirit, outbreaks of joy, and demonstrations of power and healing often accompany his ministry. Many are being impacted by Robin's unique preaching style and prophetic gifts. He is the author of Mystic MooseTales: Redefining Wildlife, a supernatural allegory written to inspire love for Jesus and the supernatural God of the Bible. He and his wife Donna have been married 35 years and have four children and four grandchildren.

Robin_McMillan_150px
Robin McMillan




__________________________________________________________________

3 Things to Hold on to in a World Falling Apart


8660589850_414403364e_z
On a Thursday night, the two of us wake and lie under the pelting of the roof with a thousand lashes of glass.
His fingers find mine.

I half smile in the dark. How he knows, how
the way to live through life’s lashing is to lash yourself to love, to God. The ice whips on at the windows.

The wind slaps. Trees creak loud.

As if you could freeze Spring over.

8660589850_414403364e_z

8659485353_9fd185f940_z

8659480927_aa2fc22a1f_z

8660582004_c3cc2b7162_z

8659480201_2a173924f4_z

8660587018_28367e579e_z

As if the fiery lake it self could just right freeze over, and what if that was a thing?

For hell to freeze over and evil to cease and the bombs and explosions and houses of horrors and the bluing everyday suffering that goes on down the street and across town and right now close, to just sheet over placid and still. Yeah, that. Please?

By Friday morning, nothing turns on.

Not the lights, the heat, the water. Just the crazy loud kids. You can see it from the kitchen, how the lines are downed and iced sheathed and the world’s turned off, gone stone deaf.

And that’s what you want, to turn off that blaring TV and those nattering talking heads, rip out the power lines to the news and the streams of headlines flashing callous, get numbed and shut down and eat another big square of chocolate with your fingers slid through someone’s, wait till Somebody stops the madness, stops the chaos, and just brings spring.

Cold, Mama… everything is ice cold out there Mama.

Ice swathes every blade of greening grass. The clothespins are entombed shut. Kids hold up tree buds mummified in glass. The world seems upended, disoriented, wrong.

Narnia, Mom! The land of the white witch, always winter, never spring…. Levi holds up a broken branch, and I shake my head, no. No.

The lane’s a sheen, answers so slippery.

When it’s hard to keep your footing is right when you have to keep your faith.

8659487501_6d772bb54a_z

8659479477_d5872d20b6_z

8660589204_459ee482db_z

8659483355_b1763c3f0a_z

8659486641_f84026c7ff_z

8660580392_d83d4e69c8_z

8659483895_3838968896_z

8660591732_9b9f664af3_z

8660592182_153e5b9ca5_z

All of Friday and Saturday and Sunday, for over 60 hours, there’s no hydro.

Sunday morning, the farmers with no hydro, they drive in late like us, park in the country chapel’s gravel yard, and one by one, they fill the sanctuary, us, the women and the kids and
the men without power knowing where to come, knowing that when you don’t know, you still know where to come. When we were powerless…  

And I watch farmers’ hands, gnarled and work creased, how they raise them and fold them and slide them into pockets,
the powerless who can do the powering thing and  come.

Monday, a bomb goes off and then another one, and we stagger, life on this side of the race is hard right to the finish.

And Tuesday
there’s Gosnell and we’d rather turn away  and in bearing witness, we bear the weight of glory, of God who bears sins and rises, and redemption requires testimony.

And
Wednesday night a cloud lifts the sky over Texas and balls of fire fly and marriages wither and headlines scream and babies cry and prodigals run farther and who can even ask why?

Whole sheets of ice slide off the roof and everything’s falling and fallen, turned upside down, and in our falling, in all our falling —

there’s only one Tree reaching out of the sheer rock face going down.

You’ve got to reach for the only Hope.

In the midst of the pelting and the exploding and all this breaking, we grab hold of the One Tree, the Tree on which He hung, and we hold on to Him with all we have, those beams stretched wide open to catch us.

There’s nothing else to hold on to but God.

But who knew in the falling, when we thought we were reaching —  the limbs of that Tree, that love, were reaching for us.

In our falling — it’s the Tree that catches us.

It’s the Tree that’s holding you.
When you’re trying to just hold on, is when He’s really holding on to you.

God. has. it. 

He has you.

Instead of explaining our suffering, God shares it — because He knows mere answers are cold and His arms are warm.

The tips of the branches drip all across the fields.

8660583650_2218ca145d_z

8660588184_1f6cfb5dd0_z

8660588442_2ee1800a5e_z

And the woods weep.

And the cold and the bloodied and the messy are held.

The kids stand under reaching limbs, the weeping, their cheeks wet.

And through the washing tears of the world, we see and taste the tears of God.


 



  • joydares-banner

Like


Stay Connected with Ann
... daily beauty, wild grace, messy joy -- just for you.


______________________________________________________________________

Forever Yours


Forever Yours
Love, love, love this song! –
My heart soars with
David as he sings this beautiful song... I added lyrics to the video and just upload this version...

Amazing album -
Thomas Miller is doing a (beyond extraordinary work) at Gateway and this worship team is not only extremely talented but their hearts are in love with our God & King, Jesus...

Amazing - Please check this out...
You will be blessed - Guarantied!
Blessings...

David Moore
(featured in Video)
David Eric Moore
David Eric Moore at Gateway Church (gatewaypeople.com).

I've got a River of Life

I’ve Got a River of Life
Jenn & Brian Johnson
I've Got a River
The first time I heard this song... I wept... So powerful... There have been many days now where I get to hear this song playing - all day long in the back of my mind... Great soundtrack for my day... Blessings

Grace is a Power

Grace is A Power
"Grace" It is more than something that is done for you... as in - something given and then (it's finished)... You know... like a “Paid in Full” stamp. It is all this, but so much more...

Grace is also like a giant wave that picks you up...
Like an electrical force that gives you strength...
Like a (never ending, always flowing huge river) that carries you...
All we need do – is jump in!
Grace_power

1 Cor. 15:10, Paul says, "I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I but the grace of God which was with me."

Grace is God's
(((energy))) in our lives to help us.

Another example is Romans 5:21, "As sin reigned in death,
grace also will reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." ((Grace)) is like the Ultimate King who exerts and wields his reign in the lives of Christians.
Warrior King
What keeps us in (((Freedom))) is this... Depending on His Grace - not just once... but every minute of every day... It's powerful!

Think of it like liquid dynamite - right there for us to drink of and swim in... WOW!

Thank you Lord that you didn't leave us here powerless - But You empower us - by the greatest force of the Universe - "Your Grace"!

So Lord, today... I dive in! - I let go of everything - that is me...
Trusting in you!
I want get washed away in "Your Grace"
Let it flow over me...
In Jesus name...
Amen
grace-soak-in-it


Pastor, Ben Andrews

BenandMary5
Ben and Mary Andrews

Teeter-Totter

teeter-totter1
By: Ben Andrews

Thought I would share this with you today... Part of my journal from this morning...
Blessings -
Ben

I see Jesus... sitting on a teeter-tooter in the middle of a small park – The park is between two buildings in a city – brick walls on either side – and both opposite ends lead out to the streets on either side... A few trees – but mostly little kid swings and slides - - that type of thing.

Ben! Jesus shouts out over the noise of the children ---

I run over...

“Have a seat” – Jesus says.

I set down where he points – and that’s on the other end of the teeter-totter...

Jesus pushes up with his legs and down I go... – When I reach the bottom – I push back up with my legs and Jesus goes back down- We do this for a little while – then Jesus stops... He steps off and so do I.

Once off – we walk together - over to a bench near the teeter-totter.

Ben? – Jesus says...

Yes Lord?

Just like this teeter-totter – we need to work together – Think of it this way- I’m in the spirit realm – on my side of the teeter-totter and you’re in the flesh realm on your side of the teeter-totter. – When I move I affect your movements – and when you move you affect my movements – If you obey and do my will – I can move in the spirit realm and move you – if you don’t move – you stay stuck at the bottom of the teeter-totter – but if you will move –and by move I mean – moving in my will for your life – then I can in turn make my move... This is a collaboration – a dance – a walk that we do together. If you keep doing things your way – it’s like keeping you legs curled up in a ball and I can’t make the next move... Do you see that?

Yes Lord – I see now... Never thought of it like that...

Ben, I’ve given you authority in the flesh realm – but for me to move in the spirit – you must do your part... I don’t mean do what you want to do and then I’ll hop on your bandwagon either. I mean when you obey the commands that I have already given you in my word and the words that I speak to you... then I can make my move. This is how the whole thing works – If I start moving without your cooperation and obedience then I’m breaking my laws – breaking my word – and I will not do that! So if you want to go further – you’ll have to move in sync with me...

OK Jesus – let's do this...

Jesus gets up and walks back to the teeter-totter – He gets on... I get on. - Up and down we go... He just laughs and laughs the most beautiful laugh.

Yes, Ben – like this... As you go though your day – just remember this picture and keep moving in step – in motion with me... Let’s do this...

OK Lord – I love you so much...

I love you too... Now let’s see how fast we can make this thing go... Jesus laughs and laughs – as he speeds up –

Keep up Ben! – Keep up!
Now I’m laughing too... Man I love this guy!

I love you too Ben! – Now keep up! He shouts... Keep up!....


Pastor, Ben Andrews

BenandMary5
Ben and Mary Andrews

Wrapped In His Rainbow

Jesus Rainbow

Written by: Ben Andrews

...
I could have never written something like this one my own - or even imagined something so sweet – so beautiful. I know it was from the Lord - If you are hurting today - I know Jesus is saying this to you as well... Hope this blesses you --- I just wrote what He showed me - He is amazing, amazing, amazing...
...
I see Jesus... rapping a beautiful rainbow around Himself – He is rapping it around his waste – over one shoulder while the other end goes around his back and then lies on the ground at His feet. Somehow the rainbow still looks like a rainbow – see-through – ethereal – but it acts like a long scarf. What a strange thing to see...
...
Jesus what is this?
...
A rainbow Ben – Isn’t that what you see?
...
Yes, but why? – Why did you rap a rainbow around yourself?
...
Come here Ben --- Jesus tells me...
...
So - I walk over next to him...
...
Jesus places his hand on my shoulders – moves me to... right in front of him – He then reaches down and picks up the rainbow off of his chest – pulls it forward and wraps it around me. We are now both wrapped in the rainbow. – Jesus and me – with this rainbow around us. Jesus then grabs the end of the rainbow and with just the flick of his wrist – twirls the rainbow around us three more times. We are now wrapped together – tied together with and in this rainbow... I can feel the rainbow around us – but it doesn’t feel constraining. I move my hand... and it goes right through it...
...
Oh, you can go - you can leave - any time you want Ben - You are not tied here...
...
I don’t want to go Jesus! – I like it here!... What is that feeling I have? – It feels like love but more? – Something more is here – something I don’t understand?...
...
You are wrapped in my promise... I want you to see this visually today. – You in me and I in you - all wrapped in a promise... You can walk away – but know this... As long as you stay near me – you will feel my promise tangibly. The rainbow was my promise to Noah – but it wasn’t for him alone. It was for all who will put their trust and hope in me. – I will carry you away from disaster. I will cover you and protect you from the downpour – the deluge. I will keep those in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on me. I have wrapped you in my promise. I am hugging you all day long. – Know that I am near today. – Know that I am so near that I have wrapped you in my love and sealed it with a promise – the promise of my Holy Spirit – who will comfort and keep you wrapped in me and bathed in my love. I want you to see this all day long. I am making all things new! – When thoughts come that try to steal your peace – Remember... what I have shown you... You are wrapped in my peace - wrapped in my Love – wrapped in my promise! I will never leave you nor forsake you! I am with you always – and forever...
...
Ok Jesus ... WOW – You speak to the core of me. You know my heart. You know my pain – you know my weaknesses – and you comfort me... I love you Lord...
...
I love you too Ben – now stay close today - closer than ever before. Let my love – my peace, which I have promised you... comfort and renew you... Know that I love you! – Know that I have wrapped you in my promise...


...

BenandMary5
Ben and Mary Andrews
__________________________________________________________________

Don’t Sweat It, Rest!

Whole barley field
Written by: Mary Ann Manuling

Ruth 3:18 18Then she said, “Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter will turn out; for the man will not rest until he has concluded the matter this day.”

God does not want you to “sweat”. Sweat here does not refer to your body’s perspiration, but your self-reliance or self-effort. God does not want you to believe that if you don’t do anything, nothing will happen. That may be true for someone without God in his life, but it is not true for you because you have God. And when He is in the picture, the God-factor changes everything!

When you are resting in God, He works for you. In fact, when He works, you end up with more. He is the one who is giving to you. It is not about you trying to give to yourself.

This was what happened to Ruth in the Old Testament. After laboring in the barley fields from morning to evening, she was able to glean one ephah of barley (Ruth 2:17), which was equivalent to a 10-day supply of barley. Certainly, this amount was a blessing to her.

But when she rested at the feet of Boaz, her kinsman-redeemer, and did not labor, she received six ephahs of barley (Ruth 3:15), which was equivalent to a 60-day supply! When Ruth sought her own blessing, she obtained only one ephah. But when she sought the blesser, she received much more.

Ruth’s blessings did not stop there. While Ruth rested and sat still as her mother-in-law Naomi had instructed, Boaz, who was the owner of the barley field, went to work, initiating actions, executing them and speaking on Ruth’s behalf. Right through it all, Ruth sat still and rested. Eventually, Boaz, the barley man himself, married Ruth. (Ruth 4) That meant no more measured wealth of six ephahs, but the yield of the whole barley field in total!

Boaz is a picture of Jesus, our heavenly kinsman-redeemer. When we rest in the Lord, He will not rest. He will work on our behalf. What do we do then? We just trust in and enjoy His love for us.

Beloved, stop striving and be at rest. If salvation, the greatest work, comes to us by resting in Jesus’ finished work, how much more will all the other blessings?

Mary Ann Manuling
Mary Ann Manuling
__________________________________________________________________

The Eyes of Our Hearts

eyes_of_hearts

Written by: Bob Hamp

The gas cap sat on the top of the pump 35 miles behind us. It was a strange and very unusual oversight. But it had been a strange and unusual several days. We were on our way across country to bury someone we loved, someone who should not be gone at the time or in the way he had gone.
We were all quite overwhelmed and quite honestly we did not know how much we were in shock. You know, shock, the function of the body that shuts things down so that the systems of our body won’t be overwhelmed. When thoughts or information are the source of being overwhelmed it is the mind that goes into shock. The difficulty with this is that the mind is that part of us that “knows” stuff. So when our mind is shut down, we don’t always “know” it.
Until a telltale gas cap mysteriously is not where you have put it every time you filled up with gas for the last 35 years. Then you stop and realize. Your mind is not working the way it normally does. And why? Because of emotions. Because of a natural function of the mind and body in unnatural circumstances.
Think about this.
We have lived in unnatural circumstances since Genesis 3.
We were not made to be limited only to the function of our senses. “Natural” for the human race included eyes in our head and eyes in our hearts. We often hear that humans use ten percent (or some other shockingly low percentage) of our mental capacity. I am afraid that we hear this as the capacity to hold data, instead of the capacity to Think Differently. More than capacity to contain information, we should consider our capacity to see. We apply our thought processes based on what we see, we see based on how we look.
I am convinced that Jesus views the human race as blind. (See John 9:39-41). Not in some critical way of believing we are dumb or bad, but simply because He sees all that is, including seeing what we do not see. He kindly offers to help those who cannot see gain sight. Ironically He makes a concurrent offer to help those who can see become blind.
He is simply making an observation about our willingness to consider our limitations. We either know we are blind and ask that He make us see, or we believe we see, and therefore ask for nothing.
I am blind.
I have found in these days that I can become even more blind. Whether overcome by grief, and forgetting a gas cap, or simply having the eyes of my heart covered over by the sheer emotions of today. I can become more blind.
Like peering through a pinhole, or having mud on my windshield, I can still see, but oh, so little. And like the mind in shock, I don’t know how limited I am until my life sends me back a message.
If I have eyes in my heart, then the condition of my heart directly affects my ability to see. If I am angry I see others wrongly. If I am hurt, I see others through the pin-hole of my own pain. If my heart is shrinking, or weary, the eyes within are clouded and the world around me appears distorted.
The more we have a heart that bears the Divine Image, the more we will be able to see the things that we previously could not see. The more we allow the shortcomings of another to change us, the less we are like the Divine Image, and our sight is already impaired.
We buy corrective lenses for the eyes of our heads, but we often allow ongoing distortions to run rampant in the eyes of our hearts.
I know better today what the Bible means when it tells us “Guard your heart above all else….from it, flow all the issues of your life…”
I am quite blind, how about you?

page0-page0-bob_hamp

Bob Hemp

__________________________________________________________________

Good Grief

GoodGrief

Written by: Bob Hamp

“I can fix this….” My mind insisted one more time. And when I say insisted, I mean high volume, high intensity. You see, I have fixed things my whole life. And I am pretty good at it.

For two days my mind had been scanning facts, and data, and perspectives, and possibilities (I think the Bible calls this “Speculations).
“If I could just find the key…”
“If I could just get others to see what I see…”
“There is another piece of information, if I could just find it…”

The problem was that my mind seemed to be taking on a life of it’s own. Moving faster, and with greater intensity. Not only would it not be still, it was speeding up. I had been up at night and was beginning to have difficulty staying focused. This was “Thinking Differently” in a way that I wanted to stop. But it seemed that I could not.

I called a friend and trusted counselor, and described what was going on. She asked a simple question.

“Bob, what is your mind, and all those racing thoughts distracting you from? If it is racing, what is it racing away from?”.

My mind got still for a moment, and the answer came. One word. One terrible, frustrating word.

Grief.

Grief.

Before I say that we do not do well with grief, let me first say that I do not do well with grief. Did I mention that I fix things? As a counselor, I was always a strategist, a chess player. Let’ set a plan in motion, and get this problem resolved. Until the issue was grief. Grief is not a broken thing to be fixed, nor is it a lie to be corrected. It is not a problem to be resolved. Grief is a reality to embrace, and a valley to traverse. It is a persistent reality in a world where we choose to love, and choose not to hold back our hearts.

We often grieve in proportion to the degree to which we attach. Grieving is about loss. And to not grieve, we must reduce the way that we attribute value.

Jesus was a man familiar with sorrow and acquainted with grief. So what did He do with it? Jesus wept. The pain of loss, and the value Jesus attributed to His friend moved His soul. He did not rationalize, He did not run into a firestorm of cognitive security. He wept. He felt. He did not recite Bible verses about comfort, or make trite statements about eventual outcomes. He wept.

My racing mind would not obey my racing mind, because it was serving a different master. It had been serving a heart that did not want to grieve.

If I were not careful, I could completely abandon my heart, for the safety and refuge of my own ability to figure out and resolve problems. I was well down this path when I called my friend.

My thoughts had become a convenient, though no longer easy, way to escape grief.

So I got out a journal, and I began to write about losses. I was less than a paragraph in when my heart connected. If Jesus wept, so could I. And weep I did.

Loss is a normal part of life, and the only way to not lose is to never have. Grief is the normal way that God allows us to purge the pain of loss, and keep a healthy balance in our souls. Jesus is not afraid to be with you in grief, in fact He is familiar with it.

I am now sure that He is much more at home in grief, than He is in the teeth-gritting smile that says, “I am fine” when in reality the soul is aching.

I am learning to make a home for Jesus in a new way. Grief is good.

page0-page0-bob_hamp

Bob Hemp

__________________________________________________________________

Are you “BROKEN”? Good. Now you got something God can work with.

man_broken

Written by: Julia Shalom Jordan

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God thou wilt not despise.” Ps. 51:17

Have you ever seen a “broken man?”  A man that is so destroyed, he no longer postures himself to disguise it?  This person has come to terms with his fragility and there is no more hiding.  This hopeless, feeble, searching and dependent state would cause most people to inwardly cringe at the thought. Every human being has their “breaking point”; a place where once he is taken there, he no longer is the same person again.  
Many people live their lives in fear of this
“breaking point”.  Thousands succumb to a tedious life of mediocrity stuffing their mouths or emptying their wallets to numb the desire for more; because they fear the risk of where it might take them, or what it would make them.  Some loose themselves in reckless abandon to do “it all” before life consumes them or their window of opportunity. But, in God’s eyes, a man who has risked it all to no avail, and has come to the end of himself is actually in the best position. He is in the position to receive grace.

When a person is completely broken, he can now accept his personal fragility and come to the humble beginning place where
God can rebuild him. 

God created man in His image and even with our human shortcomings, man is a masterpiece.  The gift of self-will has caused many to rebel with a spirit of pride. The nature of pride repels the hand of help from anyone–even God.  This is the quickest way to move
out from under the protection of the Almighty One.  Being broken is not bad; it is actually just the beginning.  The more broken you have become; the better God’s restoration power can be seen through you.  And when God is finished with the masterpiece of your life, it may not be what you expect, but it will definitely be better than anything you could have made of it.

“Dear Heavenly Father,
I am broken.  I am not going to lie or hide anymore for you see me as I am. When the doors are closed and the windows drawn, you know what a mess I truly am. I am so thankful to read that this is a gift to you.  In Psalms 51:17 it says that you do not despise me.  Oh, Lord.  I despise myself!  Lord, help me.  I am desperate for a change and desperate for a real life.  I would have thought that by this age, I would have gotten further.  But, Lord, I am here now, and I am asking for you to hold me in your bosom.  This is exactly where I need to be—and I cannot believe this is what I have been running from all along!  Thank you for your mercy.  I accept the love you are giving to me now.  Heal me so that someday soon, I will be able to show others just how good you really are.  In Jesus’ precious name, Amen...”


julia-shalom-jordan1

Julia Shalom Jordan

__________________________________________________________________

Pumped for God!

WindMill

By: Melanie Owens I was driving down the highway and saw a windmill. It was sitting in a field and was not spinning. I said out loud, “Lord why is the windmill not moving, the wind is blowing?” The Lord answered and said this, “My wind is blowing and some-things refuse to move.”
-
I pondered upon this. My grand-parents had a well and upon it was a windmill. The windmill was there to cause the well to pump water. I found that very fascinating as a child; it reminded me of a metal sunflower. I use to watch it purr and jingle as it twirled within the wind. At times the wind would whirl it around so quickly my heart would wait for it just to fly away; but it always stayed put!
-
... I began to think of what the Holy Spirit said to me… “My wind is blowing and some-things refuse to move.” I thought of the windmill on my grand-parents farm…I don’t remember it ever sitting still for long, it was always in motion.
-
Beloved the windmill is like the Holy Spirit within our lives. He positions himself over our pumps and causes them to produce. As He spins we pump more water. He is always in motion and causing us to climb higher. The living water of our God is what He draws out! Out of our belly flows living water. …He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water. (John 7: 38) AMP
-
There may be times we feel as if there is nothing going on. We are not moving fast enough or at all. Remember that the windmill is always in motion wither it be slow or fast…the wind is moving! I encourage you today not to look at the speed of thing but to rest in the promise of what is said. God knows what is up ahead and best for our lives. Many plans are in a man's mind, but it is the Lord's purpose for him that will stand. (Proverbs 19: 21) AMP
-
…But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired. (Isaiah 40: 31) AMP
-
I love you all, Melanie Owens FathersHeart Ministries© 2011

Melanie Jill Owens2
Melanie Jill Owens
__________________________________________________________________

The Clue

I Still Haven't Found
By: John Eldredge

And I still haven't found what I'm looking for. U2

There is a secret set within each of our hearts. It often goes unnoticed, we rarely can put words to it, and yet it guides us throughout the days of our lives. This secret remains hidden for the most part in our deepest selves. It is simply the desire for life as it was meant to be. Isn't there a life you have been searching for all your days? You may not always be aware of your search, and there are times when you seem to have abandoned looking altogether. But again and again it returns to us, this yearning that cries out for the life we prize. It is elusive, to be sure. It seems to come and go at will. Seasons may pass until it surfaces again. And though it seems to taunt us, and may at times cause us great pain, we know when it returns that it is priceless. For if we could recover this desire, unearth it from beneath all other distractions and embrace it as our deepest treasure, we would discover the secret of our existence.
-
We all share the same dilemma - we long for life and we're not sure where to find it. We wonder if we ever do find it, can we make it last? The longing for life within us seems incongruent with the life we find around us. What is available seems at times close to what we want, but never quite a fit. We must journey to find the life we prize. And the guide we have been given is the desire set deep within, the desire we often overlook, or mistake for something else or even choose to ignore. The greatest human tragedy is simply to give up the search. There is nothing of greater importance than the life of our deep heart. To lose heart is to lose everything. And if we are to bring our hearts along in our life's journey, we simply must not, we cannot abandon this desire. And so Gerald May writes,
-
There is a desire within each of us, in the deep center of ourselves that we call our heart. We were born with it, it is never completely satisfied, and it never dies. We are often unaware of it, but it is always awake? Our true identity, our reason for being, is to be found in this desire.
-
The clue as to who we really are and why we are here comes to us through our heart's desire.
-
(Desire , 1,2)
john eldredge
John Eldredge
__________________________________________________________________

Night of Surrendered

Night_of_Surrender
I see Jesus – standing with His disciples – all gathered together in the garden – In the distance I can see the soldiers coming – coming to take Him away. There must me a thousand torches and lanterns forming an eerie luminous snake - As they make their way from the temple mount – down through the ravine of the Kidron and back up toward us.

Standing here now – as an eyewitness – The night before the crucifixion... it is more than an “out of body” experience. I almost
feel like I am invading a sacred moment in time. I feel like maybe I shouldn’t be here today...

“Stay with me – watch and write what you see – record what I show you. – Step through the veil right now and be with me. There is no time and space in the spirit realmneither forward nor back in time. Time has no hold on me- “I Am!!!”

WOW, Jesus – just saying those words
“I Am” shook me to the core. “What infinite power there are in those two words...” “I will watch Lord – and I will record –as you wish...”

The soldiers come closer and closer – the smell of their torches now fills the cool night air. The smell brings with it a sense of evil – like something more has entered our presence then just what - we can see. – The soldiers begin to form a circle around us – Their torches and lanterns forming a mantle, or ball of light - by which dark figures - cast shadows that flicker and dance in the night. I can see the breath of the soldiers – I hear them snorting for air after their hard climb. The night is filled with anxious anger – a palatable driving force- retrained for now – by their leader- their Tribune...

Whom do you seek? Jesus speaks loudly for all to hear...

Jesus of Nazareth! Comes back their reply – The words spoken with arrogance and pride – They are strong and defiant.... BARKED!!! out with extreme distain and irreverence...

“I Am” was all Jesus replied – as I watch even now I see the story unfold as it was told... The army of soldiers all battle hardened and fierce... Are thrown back - lifted off of their feet ! in an explosive sock wave – that emanates from Jesus as its source – Like a stone in thrown in a pound – the ripple effect - knocks them on their backs. They don’t seem to be able to move – there are all caught off guard -paralyzed and pined to the ground. The only ones who are still standing are the disciples, Jesus and myself. Even Judas the trader is laid out – incapacitated...

Jesus asks a second time...
“Whom do you seek?

But this time they answer – with
respect, reference, fear and awe... Quietly they respond... “aahhh... Jesus of Nazareth...?”

“I Am” Jesus says again... and again they are pined harder to the ground.

“I Am --- the one you seek – let these men go free and I will go with you...”

They don’t budge – they can’t move

Peter then takes his sword... One that he had concealed on him... Takes it out/ and cuts of the ear of the chief / temple guard /
Malchus. Going for the his head he misses taking only his ear...

Peter!!! Jesus shouts! – Put that away –
Those who live by the sword – will die by the sword! – Can’t you see... I have this under control? I don’t need your help! – Shall I not drink of the cup that the father has for me to drink? Now go – get out of here...

The disciples – take off – scattering in all directions...

OK... I am ready – you may take me now... Jesus says...
Surrendering to their will...

The soldiers slowly get up... Two soldiers come near Jesus - sheepishly – Jesus offers up His hands - They bind Him - and begin to lead him away...

Jesus turns to me and says...

I willing did this – I surrendered –
so you could live! --- I laid down my lifeI died for you...

Yes Lord – I say now crying...

Jesus still looking at me asks...

Will you die for me –
So I can live in you?

Yes Jesus – I love you so much...

“I love you too...” Jesus says... as they take Him away...

Pastor, Ben Andrews

BenandMary5
Ben and Mary Andrews
__________________________________________________________________

THE QUESTION THAT CHANGED MY LIFE

Selling_Christianity
By David Ryser
A number of years ago, I had the privilege of teaching at a school of ministry. My students were hungry for God, and I was constantly searching for ways to challenge them to fall more in love with Jesus and to become voices for revival in the church. I came across a quote attributed most often to Rev. Sam Pascoe. It is a short version of the history of Christianity, and it goes like this: "Christianity started in Israel as a fellowship; it moved to Greece and became a philosophy; it moved to Italy and became an institution; it moved to Europe and became a culture; it came to America and became an enterprise." Some of the students were only 18 or 19 years old, barely out of diapers, and I wanted them to understand and appreciate the import of the last line, so I clarified it by adding, "An enterprise. That's a business." After a few moments Martha, the youngest student in the class, raised her hand. I could not imagine what her question might be. I thought the little vignette was self-explanatory, and that I had performed it brilliantly. Nevertheless, I acknowledged Martha's raised hand, "Yes, Martha." She asked such a simple question, "A business? But isn't it supposed to be a body?" I could not envision where this line of questioning was going, and the only response I could think of was, "Yes." She continued, "but when a body becomes a business, isn't that a prostitute?" The room went dead silent. For several seconds no one moved or spoke. We were stunned, afraid to make a sound because the presence of God had flooded into the room, and we knew we were on holy ground. All I could think in those sacred moments was, "Wow, I wish I'd thought of that." I didn't dare express that thought aloud. God had taken over the class. Martha's question changed my life. For six months, I thought about her question at least once every day. "When a body becomes a business, isn't that a prostitute?" There is only one answer to her question, The Answer is "Yes." The American Church, tragically, is heavily populated by people who do not love God. How can we love Him? We don't even know Him; and I mean REALLY KNOW Him. ....I stand by my statement that most American Christians do not know God…much less love Him. The root of this condition originates in how we came to God. Most of us came to Him because of what we were told He would do for us. We were promised that He would bless us in life and take us to heaven after death. We married Him for His money, and we don't care if He lives or dies as long as we can get His stuff. We have made the Kingdom of God into a business, merchandising His anointing. This should not be. We are commanded to love God, and are called to be the Bride of Christ - - that's pretty intimate stuff. We are supposed to be His lovers.... How can we love someone we don't even know? And, even if we do know someone, is that a guarantee that we truly love them? Are we lovers or prostitutes?

Robin O'Dell_L
From: Robin O'Dell

Thanks Robin – This article really blew me away... Really something to think about. WOW! Awesome!
Ben...
__________________________________________________________________

What Had He Done?

Jesusandtheives

The people were many and the cry was loud
“Crucify, crucify!” came out from the crowd

The faint sound, a whisper, ran fast through the streets,
“What has He done? Why won’t He speak?”

Thrice, then the cock crowed, His last friend was gone,
Still the crowd mocked, but what had He done?

On His head a thorn crown was placed,
All human likeness had hence been erased.

A robe of purple was give to wear.
They tore from his beard, great handfuls of hair.

Once more from the mob came out the fierce call,
“Crucify! Crucify up on Mount Skull!”

Up the steep road He carried the cross,
Knowing today His life would be lost.

They pierced through His hands with old rusty nails.
Then through His feet. Oh, the pain that prevailed!

With all of His weight and the weight of the cross,
The sound of flesh tearing as it plunged in the rocks.

The earth trembled ’neath the darkening skies,
The mocking ceased as they looked in his eyes.

Not hatred or madness from Him did ascend,
But love and kindness from a heart-broken friend.

With one final breath, “It’s finished!” He cried,
He gave up the ghost and willingly died.

“Oh, what has He done?” I cried with a shout.
“And where is this paradise He told me about?”

The cold over-whelmed me, but now I’m so warm,
For now I’m in Heaven, this thief’s been reborn.

jesus-cross-407x1

Ben Andrews, Sr./ Treasure State Academy/Mar. 1979

BenandMary5
Ben and Mary Andrews
__________________________________________________________________