Monday, December 23, 2013

Are prior "failures" haunting you like Christmas past???????????

It is Christmas Eve morning.

My heart is full for so many people who have no one--the homeless, the orphans, the street kids. Everyone knows those. How about the single moms who are overwhelmed and lonely? How about the dads who are not with their families anymore? How about the singles who live out on their own and cannot get home for Christmas? How about the military families who are separated? The troops who are in some foreign country to protect us. And on...and on...and on......

Before I was saved I owned a tavern. It was packed on Christmas with people who needed to be around people....they were alone and lonely. It was a tough day for most of them. Most would be there earlier than usually and stay later. Many had to walk home.

I was not big on Christmas when I was raising my kids and some years we did not really celebrate--I thought it was too commercialized--selfish on my part. One of the many “parental failures”.

My son went to college when he was 16. I did not have anything to help him and he worked his tail off. His friends were having fun—it was much tougher on him. One Christmas neither of us could afford for him to come home. No one invited him over. Not relatives, not friends, not anyone. Another HUGE “parental failure”.  

Past failures consume so many people during the holidays. The Lord has delivered me from those past failures. How about you? Are all of those past “failures” haunting you like Christmas past? Do you know someone who has a problem with holiday depression?

What are you thinking about this morning?

Who are you praying for? 

Merry Christmas to you and yours. I pray that the calling of intercession increase within your heart this year and the gift of intercession be your continuous present.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Pastor Sally McCarley

Pastor Sally McCarley

Whose Oasis are you?

We were riding through the mountains one time—there were taupe and tans. So many soft, muted colors contrasted with the dark green of the trees, the yellow blossoms of the sage. Dusty lumps of vegetation with an oasis in the middle.

The verdant green shining through a rainbow mist of moisture and the shimmer of heat over a body of water. The differences in the two types of beauty was stark. 

Our lives should be an oasis in the midst of life for others to enjoy. The differences in color and texture, the lush green of abundance, the water not only for sustenance but the refreshing misting that cools in the midst of the heated pressures of life.

An oasis is not a place to stay and live for life but a place to “stop over”, a place to refresh and restore for the next portion of your journey.  Do not try to “keep” someone in your oasis for too long—that is manipulation and control. Supply their needs. Share what you have. Mentor them, grow them, care for them and build them up in preparation for the next part of their journey.

The same thing applies when you are stopped for a time of refreshing in another’s oasis. Leave a gift, share what you have, partake of what they have, prepare for the next portion of your journey.

Whose oasis are you?

Monday, December 16, 2013

What Are You Looking At?

If a man pays back evil for good, evil will never leave his house. Proverbs 17:13

America, we need to wake up. It is time to stop blinking at evil. Time to stop calling evil good and good evil. We have evil in the house and repentance cannot be put off any longer.

Psalm 101:3 (NIV)

I will not look with approval
    on anything that is vile.
I hate what faithless people do;
    I will have no part in it.
We will lose our country if we do not change how we act. I have been thinking a lot about what we call entertainment. Breaking Bad has been so popular. I watched it some but it glorifies evil in so many areas.

Then I heard Sons of Anarchy was good so I tried it--again glorifying evil. I understand that it is "entertaining" and that the main characters have some redeeming qualities--he did it for his family--but we are calling evil good.

Let's go back in history and look.....

The Dukes of Hazard was a funny show. Innocent enough wasn’t it? But really? The police were buffoons. Breaking the law was glorified--if you broke the law you got the sexy chick, the hot car and had the most fun. Even that small break from godliness prepared the way for more and more.

In the 70's Bill Gothard taught that "whatever you allow in moderation your children will do to excess." I do not agree with most of his teachings and never have BUT this quote stuck with me. 

Do I think we need to be religious prudes? No. WWJD has lost its popularity. What does the word say?

Watch what you put before your eyes.

Proverbs 4
20 My son, pay attention to what I say;
    turn your ear to my words.
21 Do not let them out of your sight,
    keep them within your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them
    and health to one’s whole body.
23 Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.
24 Keep your mouth free of perversity;
    keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead;
    fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
    and be steadfast in all your ways.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
    keep your foot from evil.

Are you walking in the fullness of what God has for you?
Are you struggling with things you won previously in your life?

Are you weary from the fight?

Are you walking in the holiness that will make your Heavenly Father cry GOOD JOB!

What does this mean in intercession?

We need to pray for ears to hear and eyes to see.

The enemy is not really all that strong but he is a good faker. Lots of time we try to get people to do what is right—this makes them stubborn against us and worse against God. The Holy Spirit is stronger than we are and much wiser. You can convince someone that something is right but the Holy Spirit will convict them. This is a HUGE difference.

Time to pray….

That Darn Broken Chair

By now, anyone who knows me or who has read my face book page or my blogs has an inkling (yes inkling—is that word used today outside of the South? If not it means “an inklin’”—you know an idea) that one of my favorite times of the week is the Saturday mornings trek to Ritidian. The beach is white, pristine if you will. There are few if any people, the water is perfect. I either lay on my mat or sit with my chair in the water and read, pray, seek God for the day and the upcoming week.

I love this time of week. The time with the Lord is sweet. The time with my husband is the same. We go for a walk, He also seeks God. We refresh, refill and restore our souls from the week and prepare for Saturday night prayer.

Recently, my chair broke while I was sitting in it at Ritidian, in the water and my rear fell through. I had trouble getting up and disentangled. The other one had broken months before. I had known for weeks that the chair was ripping. I ignored it. I kept using it but today was the grande finale for my chair. I carried it back to the car. It was a sad time, I heard from God a lot in that chair, that chair let me keep cool in the water and yet out enough to read, lean back, close my eyes and just love the Lord.

Mike got most of the sand off and put it into the car and off we went. At home I unloaded it, put it on the porch by the back door, I just leaned it under one of the kitchen windows. It would not fit in a trash can and so it sits.

That is so like our lives. We have something that we do that is comfortable. We do it or use it over and over. It becomes uncomfortable but still we use it. God nudges us over and over but still we use it. We adjust how we use it so we can continue….Finally we see the uncomfortable uselessness of the whole thing and lay it aside. We don’t discard it. We prop it somewhere.

We end up using it—almost—as a decoration. We move it to sweep. We think about it every time we see it. “I need to get rid of that.” “I need to move that.” “My porch would look better if I got rid of that.”

How does this apply to intercession? Why am I even writing about this?

In the refining process of God the things that were comfortable become too worn. They are no longer comfortable but they are a habit. It is easier than exerting ourselves to do the “new” that God is speaking. It is easier to sit in midst of the uncomfortable than to get the new teaching.

It is time to move past the religion of the comfortable and into the relationship that brings change.

How are you doing with your praying?

Does it lead you to the refreshing?

Does it lead you to the High Places of God

This one is a bonus because I like it!

Friday, December 13, 2013

What do you mean I am a Princess????

Warning: as always this blog may offend any religious thought patterns. 

Mike and I went to see Thor a few weeks ago. (Yes Thor. Yes I do know the history.) I always look at stuff in a spiritual context. I saw a lot in that movie but people think I am such a freak because I pull the spirit into so many things that I only talked to Mike about it.

Then he thought I should see the original since I had no idea what was going on…..

Here is one of the things I saw, When Thor and all the “friends” (intercessors) went on the rainbow (promises of God) bridge to the frozen land (the heart of the enemy and his followers are frozen to receiving the Love of Christ) they met up with a frost giant who looked like Satan. He was totally evil.
Thor had a discourse with him (we do not need to engage the enemy in conversation) and he offered Thor mercy. He would allow him to leave. First he threatened, “You have no idea what you about to unleash.” Invoking a spirit of fear. Thor did not succumb. Then he offered mercy. 

Thor’s friends talked him into leaving (He should have listened to wise counsel and NOT gone into this battle) so they took the offer of mercy and turned to go. The enemy has NO mercy, it is a ruse everytime to get you to turn your back. The frost Giant then spoke into Thor’s weakness (calling him princess). The fight was on.

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matthew 10:16

What is your weakness? What area contains your immaturity? When you go to war with the enemy do you go in the immaturity of emotion like Thor did or do you go in the power of victory like Odin?

Time to pray…..

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

How Fruity Are You???

I was asked to pray about a situation. One friend was hurt because her friend was angry and would not say why. The friend who asked me to pray was wounded and searching her heart for what she had done wrong. This expanded somthing I had been mulling over for a couple of years.

I picked the orchards in the Hood River Valley on purpose. Home!
So many people do not realize that the fruit of the spirit is their garden to care for in life. A lot of people just “hope” that their fruit magically appears. They do not actually cultivate that fruit. The fruit is for anyone they come in contact with not for their own consumption. It is for family, friends, the body of Christ and strangers in the streets. Once they eat of the fruit of your fruit trees they have seed implanted that will grow their own trees. This is the same as the secular “Random acts of kindness” movement.

Which one would you pick?
The thing is, we overlook or ignore the spiritual bad fruit.

Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. Proverbs 13:20

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” I Corinthians 15:33

When you compromise who you are by who you “hang” out with it is to your detriment. Just like you share your Godly fruit with others, you also partake of the fruit of your friends. If they have bad fruit you end up with bad seed.
I see so many Christians in turmoil and they do not realize they have eaten bad fruit and they are reproducing. They are emotional, tossed to and fro by their moods, any negative mental suggestion. They become judgmental, critical, verbally abusive, victimized…..and so on.

One of the problems in this (just one mind you) is that the Christian friend, sheep, family etc. who is the recipient of these outbursts begin to wonder what is wrong with them.

Here is an example: I got an email once (ok, more than once but we will just talk about the one) that was VILE.  At that point, I realized VILE and EVIL are the same word….Selah. In this email I was told I was unloving, cold, calculating, abusive, bold, arrogant, ungodly, a liar, a thief….you get the drift. When I read it the first time I heard the Lord say, “This is not you.” So, I read it logically like I do most things. I read the first accusation and took it to the throne. “Do I do this? Do I need to repent from anything in this?” I did this with every item.

The enemy is he is deceptive. He NEVER hits you straight on. He is not creative. God is creative. He is not created in the image of God. You are. He does the same thing he did in the garden. He brings in one tiny grain of truth—it may even be an old truth that is no longer true! Something you have already been set free from.

None of the email was about me. It was about the fruit of unhappiness, of jealousy, of victimization, of selfishness etc. that the writer had eaten in her life and that fruit was producing BIG fruit.

I did not have to be wounded by that. It was not my fruit to eat. I did not have to let that fruit plant doubt within my heart. I know who I am in Christ. I did not have to allow the fear of man invade my life.

Another problem with eating bad fruit and allowing those trees to grow is that they overshadow the good fruit trees that produce the fruit of the Spirit. They suck the living water out of your good fruit trees, it blocks the sun/Son, it steals the nutrients out of the soil, and no tree stuck in shade can produce fruit or flourish for that matter. This enables the enemy to play them emotionally. 

A lot of crows end up in those branches and that racket drowns out the Father's voice.

When I go into the spirit I see so much more turmoil going on that there has been in the past. Christians are tired. They are being tossed to and fro in so many areas. They are eating of any tree that presents its fruit to them. The enemy is sabotaging the acceptable, the normal, and the common with his poison.

Do not be deceived. Protect yourself.

If you see someone acting in a way that would not please the savior. Someone who is hurting others. Someone who is a Christian but is reacting in emotional turmoil it is time to intercede. It is time to be faithful. It is time to be diligent. It is time to be more observant. It is time to be aggressive in prayer.

Everyone needs intercessors. 
Who intercedes for you? 
Who are yours to pray for?

Monday, December 2, 2013

God Didn't Do It--I Promise.....

So many times I hear teachings, prayers or prayer requests that blame God for a problem. If God is “doing” something to you then we should not be praying for God to take it away.  We do not serve a dualistic God and assigning him the attributes of Satan really irritates me. I love God and I see his attributes as total opposite of those Satan presents. I know I do not need to defend God or run interference but when someone talks badly about one of my friends I have to control all those old impulses.  God is not only my Lord, my Father, my Redeemer, my Savior and He is also, yes—my Friend.

None of this is to say we do not go through things—we do; but the point I am trying to make is we go through. Through is the key here.

For everything the Lord is doing in our lives, the enemy is either counterfeiting or he is coming to steal, kill and destroy. I hear things like, “God is testing me” or “God is allowing blank to happen to me.” It makes me wonder what the person really thinks about God.

I know I sound critical but I am not being critical as much as I am confused. I hear these things and then in the next breath that same person will say something like, “Please pray for blank to change.”

If you really believe God is doing blank I cannot pray—and neither should you.  It would be akin to soulish or witchcraft prayers. I am not going there and hope you are not either. If you are “learning” something then ask God what it is and go on. He is not going to hide something from you. Especially if He wants you to change something. When He wants me to change something He tells me. Maybe you are different.

“If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him and he will gladly tell you.” James 1:5
I recently heard a pastor tell a congregation that a natural disaster was God way of getting the country’s attention. I was so hurt for the people who were listening to this. His audience had family and relatives in this country. I alternated between anger and anguish. I could not imagine how God was feeling.

I wonder what they are learning?
Another pastor I know told a friend she had cancer so God could teach her something. Really? My friend was mature enough to say, “Not my God. That is not God.”

We all go through things. God warned us. He even told us how it all got started, when Satan was cast out of Heaven. Jesus gave us example after example of how to defeat him. Paul explained about warfare.

So trusting....
We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” 1 John 5:19

Again, we go through things. We have a lot of circumstances that the enemy would use to trip us. BUT it is not God tripping us.

Can you imagine having a little 18 month old child look to you, lovingly, excited to walk, trusting you to help them learn? Then about the time they get the hang of it you trip them? Just so they will “learn” something? No, you would not. That is abusive. God is not an abusive parent.

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:11

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.” I Corinthians 10:13
Trust the one who loves you.
Pray for those you see IN a tough circumstance. 
Pray that they will see the “way of escape”.