Powerful Passion

The other day I was walking out by the lake, listening to a  minister preach.   He spoke about Peter, His zeal without wisdom.  As I was listening and pondering… I heard someone yelling. I took off my headset and realized there was a fisherman in about about 20 feet from the shore, he was catching something and so excited about it. He was going on and on,  yelling and cussing with excitement  but I couldn’t see anyone in the boat with him. Then I realized he had someone on the speakerphone and it sounded like she was his wife.

I thought to myself… I bet Peter was like him.   He didn’t care what other people thought.

He was passionate.

 

 

The Substance of Kings and Queens

6941790_orig.jpgI was walking one day, and God began speaking this word to me.  I quickly recorded it, and transcribed it.  I did some research and added that as well.  I hope it blesses you!

Testing brings promotion, but it ONLY brings promotion, if you actually PASS the tests.

Otherwise you will just stay on a merry-go-round of disobedience, a grinding of the millstone, blind and bound by your own wayward ways. Around the mountain over and over again, just like the Israelites did for 40 years, you will never enter the promised land.

So the key to advancement, is obedience.

God is looking for those who will obey him, no matter what. Those who fear Him. Those who will do the will of the Father. Those who know apart from Him, they can do nothing. Know they really can’t do anything.

God needs obedient servants.

Saul wasn’t obedient. He wasn’t. There was a time he was, but he became more and more disobedient. I think the sin of pride got in the way. What else would cause us to be disobedient to God? Maybe fear, a lack of faith, doubt, wanting to please men above God…but I think, in Sauls case, it was pride.

God called it, through Samuel, rebellion…said it was as witchcraft.

Obedience requires humility. It requires knowing who God is, and who we are NOT.

Do you know what God said about David? He said he would do everything I ask of Him.

Acts 13:22
After forty years 22God removed Saul and made David their king. God spoke favorably about David. He said, ‘I have found that David, son of Jesse, is a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.’ 23″God had the Savior, Jesus, come to Israel from David’s descendants, as he had promised.

That’s the substance of Kings, that is what set him apart from his brothers.
That is what made him God’s choice to rule Israel…
Lets look at the moment when God confronted Saul with his disobedience.

1Samuel 15:17 Samuel said, “Even though you don’t consider yourself great, you were the head of Israel’s tribes. The LORD anointed you king of Israel. 18And the LORD sent you on a mission. He said, ‘Claim those sinners, the Amalekites, for me by destroying them. Wage war against them until they’re wiped out.’ 19Why didn’t you obey the LORD? Why have you taken their belongings and done what the LORD considers evil?”

20″But I did obey the LORD,” Saul told Samuel. “I went where the LORD sent me, brought [back] King Agag of Amalek, and claimed the Amalekites for God. 21The army took some of their belongings-the best sheep and cows were claimed for God-in order to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal.”

22Then Samuel said, “Is the LORD as delighted with burnt offerings and sacrifices as he would be with your obedience? To follow instructions is better than to sacrifice. To obey is better than sacrificing the fat of rams.

23The sin of black magic is rebellion. Wickedness and idolatry are arrogance. Because you rejected the word of the LORD, he rejects you as king.”

He reaped what He had sown.

24Then Saul told Samuel, “I have sinned by not following the LORD’s command or your instructions. I was afraid of the people and listened to them. 25Now please forgive my sin and come back with me so that I may worship the LORD.” 26Samuel told Saul, “I will not go back with you because you rejected what the LORD told you. So the LORD rejects you as king of Israel.” 27When Samuel turned to leave, Saul grabbed the hem of his robe, and it tore. 28Samuel told him, “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today. He has given it to your neighbor who is better than you. 29In addition, the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind, because he is not a mortal who changes his mind.” 30Saul replied, “I have sinned! Now please honor me in front of the leaders of my people and in front of Israel. Come back with me, and let me worship the LORD your God.” 31Then Samuel turned and followed Saul, and Saul worshiped the LORD.

Saul chose to obey people, not God. Even after he said he was repentant, he was still concerned about how he would look in front of the leaders, and israel. He wanted Samuel to honor him, but, he couldn’t. He wasn’t being obedient to God.

He did not do what God had asked and killed Agag.

34Then Samuel went to Ramah (High Place), and Saul went to his home at Gibeah (hill). 35Samuel didn’t see Saul again before he died, though Samuel mourned over Saul. And the LORD regretted that he had made Saul king of Israel.

Samuel never saw Saul again…but later, Saul did try to speak to him through a witch. He was thirsty and hungry for God…but he could not find him.

Rebellion is the Food of Fools

Think about that…

Rebellion is the food of Fools. The prodigal son was rebellious, and eventually found himself feeding pigs, and so hungry, he wanted to go face first in the the pig fodder. But when he finally came to his senses, he rose up immediately and went to his father, he thought to himself, at least, as a servant, I will eat better there.

11Then Jesus said, “A man had two sons. 12The younger son said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the property.’ So the father divided his property between his two sons. 13″After a few days, the younger son gathered his possessions and left for a country far away from home. There he wasted everything he had on a wild lifestyle. 14He had nothing left when a severe famine spread throughout that country. He had nothing to live on. 15So he got a job from someone in that country and was sent to feed pigs in the fields. 16No one in the country would give him any food, and he was so hungry that he would have eaten what the pigs were eating. 17″Finally, he came to his senses. He said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more food than they can eat, while I’m starving to death here? 18I’ll go at once to my father, and I’ll say to him, “Father, I’ve sinned against heaven and you. 19I don’t deserve to be called your son anymore. Make me one of your hired men.”‘ 20″So he went at once to his father. While he was still at a distance, his father saw him and felt sorry for him. He ran to his son, put his arms around him, and kissed him. 21Then his son said to him, ‘Father, I’ve sinned against heaven and you. I don’t deserve to be called your son anymore.’

He never got to say the 3rd thing…”Make me one of your hired men.”‘
the father interrupted him. Because a son, is a son, is a son.

22″The father said to his servants, ‘Hurry! Bring out the best robe, and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let’s celebrate with a feast. 24My son was dead and has come back to life. He was lost but has been found.’ Then they began to celebrate.

What were the pigs eating? They were eating Carob pods.

Carob plants are plentiful, so they could be fed to pigs. Sweet and full of fiber, Carob pods are ground into flour and used to make a cocoa (chocolate) substitute. It is less than the best. It was what is believed to be what John the Baptist ate in the wilderness, to sustain him, because it is sometimes referred to as the locust tree. Bread made from Carobs, is called poor man’s bread, and so carob pods and its flour are associated with humility.

In that moment, the prodigal son longed for the pods. He was hungering for the bread of humility, and saw his choices were a poor substitute for the good food of his father’s house. Even the servants ate better. So he was hungry for change.

His rebellion led him to serve pigs, and then to long for their food. In the bible, pigs are the most unclean and abhorred of all animals. Their meat was not eaten.

A fool is like a pig

The bible says, to not throw your pearls before them, because they will trample them and tear you to pieces.  Fools repeat their folly.

2Peter 2:20People can know our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and escape the world’s filth. But if they get involved in this filth again and give in to it, they are worse off than they were before. 21It would have been better for them never to have known the way of life that God approves of than to know it and turn their backs on the holy life God told them to live. 22These proverbs have come true for them: “A dog goes back to its vomit,” and “A sow that has been washed goes back to roll around in the mud.”

God is looking for Conduits.

God promotes those who pass the tests because he needs people who listen and obey. God wants to get His stuff done.

Jesus prayed…Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. How is God’s will going to be done without obedient children he can count on to listen and obey.

Only one way it can be done. It is not going to be done by a bunch of rebellious, prideful disobedient children. So God promotes those who pass the tests, who listen and obey, because He needs people he can trust to do all that He asks of them. Even unto death.

Let that soak in. Every disciple, that walked closely with Jesus, except John was martyred. Every disciple that walked closely with Jesus…was martyred for their faith in Jesus.

But, today, in America, people can’t even stay at a church because someone looks at them funny, or sister Susie sat in their seat. Or pastor Paul didn’t give them a hug the right way after the service.

They’re just so easily offended. We are a bunch of babies. I have been guilty of it…probably why God gave me this word…LOL.

So many people are chomping at the bit to be in ministry. They want the praise of men, like Saul did. And so many places will open their doors, and they say, come here, we will take your money, and we will send you to the nations. Sometimes, people actually ask me to support them, so they can go. Married people, married men, asking me, a single woman, who works SO she can be sent…to support them…so they can go.

And it is right there I want to insert a big screaching tire sound as I slam on the brakes….NOOOOO, I want to scream. No no no.  Wait a minute.

Who sends people? Who raises people up to be apostles. …to go to the nations. Who does it? Who decides that?
God…God decides that. God does it. It is HIS business. Anything other than that is out of order. It is not biblical. It is setting people up for failure. And playing God.

David’s family did not recognize the call of God on his life. They were ignorant. God looks on the heart…ONLY God can see someone’s heart.

So many people, who can’t even pay their bills, because they can’t keep a job, are going on mission trips..asking others to pay their way. Blows my mind…and the church is sending them, through ministry schools. But shouldn’t those who are sent be first completely qualified…even before they are invested in.

When people go to these schools, and pay for the right to do something…only God should send them to do, how is that any different than what Simon the former Sorcerer wanted to do? “Hey, I will pay you, give me your power.”

Let’s look at it, and how the Apostles responded.

Acts 8:18-23 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
20Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”
24Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.”

Did you catch that? They said NO…because your heart is NOT RIGHT before God!

No….it doesn’t work like that. It is like what they did in the catholic church…paying for salvation…you can’t pay for an anointing and a calling. You can’t buy that stuff…the only way it happens is through obedience and testing. Yes. Only through passing the tests.

Why would you want to be “approved” by a “school” that is asking you for money? I can’t even go to a Christian Counselor who charges for ministry. I have tried, and I cannot get peace in it. Because…the bible says, freely you have recieved, so freely we are to give. I NEVER ask for money to pray for people. How could I? It is HIM, not me, who does the healing!

Joseph

Look at Joseph, he was an amazing, obedient son. And he was tested, and tested, and tested. And he passed the tests. I mean, can you imagine, being in prison, as long as he was, and then having your bosses wife, who no doubt was a beautiful woman, throwing herself at you, and then you running the opposite direction, leaving your clothes behind? Who does that now a days, who does that in this country? or Anywhere? Who does that??? That takes some kind of resolve…and love of God.

He was a young man. He was all alone. He could have had his way with her. But he did not. He passed.  She wanted to rape him, but when he stood up for righteousness, she cried out, “he raped me!” When you stand for truth, you will be accused of the sin in the other person’s heart.

So, from there, he went back into prison, for more testing.

That’s the kind of people God uses, because He knows, if He tells them to do something, even if it seems ridiculous. Like when He tells them to build an ark, when they have never even seen the rain, they are going to build it.

Or when He tells them to take the very promise they have waited for their whole life, and then sacrifice it…even a child…on the altar, they will go immediately, without question, and do what He has asked of them. “Come on Son, we have to go sacrifice,” without any doubt, without any argument, without any hesitation. Without logic…or “let me pray about it…” then call 5 people and get 3 of them to agree…

No…you have to have the kind of relationship with God that when He asks you to do this thing, that makes absolutely no sense, YOU DO IT…
No hesitating, no arguing, no bucking…Just DO IT!

People want to be in ministry, and they think they can just get buy the credentials, and I’ll be an apostle. Like fast food. Let me go through the drive through and get my credentials…so I can go. No…
God desires for us to live a LIFE of submission to the KING, but how can you submit to someone, if you cannot even hear them speak?

How can you submit to the King when you can’t even hear His voice?

There’s a process. You have to get on your face before God and you have to cry out to Him, you have to seek Him with all your heart. You have to pass the tests, pass the test, pass the tests…over and over and over.

Look at Heidi and Rolland Baker. Everyone is like WOW…they are so anointed, powerful and productive…
Such a blessing to the body of Christ. But do you know what makes them most beautiful? It is their submission to God. They are doing exactly what He told them to do. They are completely given to Him. Completely submitted! And they constantly do what God asks them to do. And they do it with love and grace. Because they’re tempered.

They have been through so much they’re tempered.

Tempered glass is a type of safety glass processed by controlled thermal or chemical treatments to increase its strength compared with normal glass. Tempering puts the outer surfaces into compression and the inner surfaces into tension. It takes the pressure, and increases in strength. It becomes less dangerous to people…because it doesn’t shatter. It would have to be hit really really hard to even break.

You can’t stand in a place of leadership unless you have been tempered. Trust me. God sent me out to do ministry and sometimes, it was all I could do to stand at times. The first opposition came against me the VERY first time I went to paint. You would not believe the ridiculousness that is in churches sometimes. It is so easy to get offended, so easy to get worn out just from the junk you see. Especially someone as sensitive as I am. It was HARD. I kept asking God. Why are you sending me. I am too sensitive, this is too difficult for me. I can’t handle this. But He did anyway, He made it obvious. So I went.

But eventually, I had to stop for a season, because I was wounded. I was broken by it. I needed healing. I needed rest, and I am praying now, for someone to stand with me.

The question I would ask anyone wanting to be in ministry is,
How low are you willing to go? How low can you go? Because that and only that will determine how high you will be promoted in the kingdom. It will unilaterally determine the level of responsibility and authority you will carry in the kingdom.
Nothing else. It is about going low.
Going low means, passing the tests, being responsible, doing the hard things, laying on your face for God. Serving, being faithful…being willing, listening and obeying.
Yes Sir, yes Sir, yes Sir…

A New Reputation

Simon, a Pharisee invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his house and reclined at the table.

A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating there, so she came with an expensive alabaster jar of perfume.

Yes, a woman with a bad reputation brought a jar filled with perfume, maybe she knew…

A good name is better than perfume, (Ecclesiastes 7:1a)

As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

While the king was at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance. (Song of Solomon 1:3, 12 NIV)

She poured out costly perfume, on the feet and head of The One Who’s Name is above all other Names, but yet…was accused by the religious leaders of being a glutton, alcoholic, devil worshiper…yes, by the Pharisees, who were all about how they looked to others.

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”

He couldn’t see…he did not have eyes to judge.

“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor. (Matthew 7:1-5 MSG)

Then Jesus turned it around and showed him how it felt to be picked apart. And how to have eyes to see.

Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” (Luke-Acts 7:36-39, 44-48 BOOKS)

But the Pharisees never learn…

That set the dinner guests talking behind his back: “Who does he think he is, forgiving sins!”

Even so, this did not stop Jesus from loving the one in front of Him.

He ignored them and said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” (Luke 7:49-50 MSG)

Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes; your name is like perfume poured out. No wonder the young women love you!

Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse. 2Cor 2:14-15 MSG

And then Jesus gave her a new reputation…

“Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

Pruning the Fruitful

Since I was a little girl, Gardenias have had a special place in my heart.

One of my neighbors used to have a bush by the road, and sometimes at night, I would walk down and pick a couple.  I blame this compulsive behavior on my mother, because I remember as a little girl, seeing her constantly sneak blooms off of Gardenia plants no matter where she saw them.  Her obsession was so bad, she would even have my dad stop the car for her sometimes…so she could run out and grab a fragrant bloom.    I can still see her long fingers holding it as though it was a treasure. I remember watching her bury her nose in the blossom and how it would make her smile.

My Maw Maw, my dad’s mother, had huge Gardenia bush by her front door she’d grown from a cutting she’d taken off a shrub in Florida.  Her and my Paw Paw loved to drive down south to visit relatives there.  It had enormous blooms, and the fragrance was intoxicating.  Oh how she babied that evergreen, as her prized possession, and would cover it if there was any chance of a frost.  My Maw Maw has gone onto be with the Lord, but, before she did, I took a cutting from her bush, rooted it, and ended up planting it right beside my front door too.  It is close to 6′ tall now.

One time in a meeting, a man came up to me and said he had a word for me.  In the word, he told me God called me a flower, and he was listening for the specific flower, and then he said…you are  His “Gardenia Girl.”  That was one of those kinds of words that was so incredibly specific, and precious, you knew it was God;  it was rooted deeply in my identity.   He described me like the flowers, tender, fragrant blooms that would bruise easily, so I must be handled with care.  Since I studied horticulture, one thing I do know about Gardenia bushes though, is in the right semi tropical environment, they are a hardy ever green plant.

When I first began to paint for the Lord, He encouraged me through that same rooted gardenia bush right outside the window where I would paint.  I know that sounds weird…but He did.  He talked to me about the buds that were forming.  The first day I painted He told me to look out the window, and it was covered with opened blooms.  And my gardenia bush that year had more than a normal amount of blooms.  I was fascinated with them…and would weep as I photographed them after the rain, when they were heavy with drops…or when they were drooping because they needed rain.  God was ministering to me through them.

This year, I was out of town a couple of weeks, during the winter, and we had a heavy freeze.  I realized in the spring, I had lost a lot of my bush.  I kept waiting for in the spring for the blooms to come, but late in the season, I only found one deformed bloom, when usually the bush would be covered.   I was doing some yard work, when I found it, and I saw that it would need a good cutting back for it to look good and bloom next year.

Before I left to minister recently, I cut off some of the more straggly branches, but had the thought, it is so bad, I need to get out the hedger and really take it down low.   It is scary to just chop on something that you have babied for so many years, especially if it has sentimental value.

As I was gathering up the couple of cuttings, I had the thought.  I am going to root these and make some more bushes.  I mean, that is how I got this bush to start with.  It was such a powerful feeling, the thought of ALL the blooms I would have to enjoy.  One of my favorite things I studied in horticulture, was the ways of propagation; not just seeds, but tubers, bulbs, grafting, tissue culturing…etc.  So, amazing how God created everything to reproduce.  So, I put these cuttings in a vase with some ivy vines, and forgot about them, when I got home, I had the thought to change the water, and low and behold, there were already roots on them!  I was so excited, gasped, and then God spoke:

“This is what is next.  It is time to reproduce.”

In 1996 or so, I saw an art school in my quiet time.  I walked through it, and drew it.  The next day, I went to church and a visiting evangelist said, some of you are having visions and you have even drawn it.  I was like…wow!!!  Then he said.  “And God wants you to know it is going to happen.  That was almost 20 yrs ago.

I thought it was interesting, because I also got this word from a sister, before I left to minister, before I saw the roots on the cuttings:

“I hear ‘change of venue’, new creativity full of lavished love from the Father’s heart. A new room opened up to you: this room with white clothed tables full of beautiful colored jewels and different creative mediums for you to take and enjoy. No limit to the creative beauty. There’s such a refreshing breeze blowing through, that the white cloths on the tables are gently fluttering in the breeze”

And just the other day, I had a vision. I saw a fisherman in a river, and then I was looking from His view, and under the water were all these butterflies.  At the meeting where I had ministered, Jason Upton talked about learning to breathe under water, because God is like an all consuming ocean.  Since I have been ministering, I often see people with butterfly wings on in the spirit and that is how I know they are artists.  I think the vision was more confirmation that it is time to start a river, like the evangelist, (or fisherman) told me…and reproduce.

It says in the word, that God prunes the unfruitful, but He also prunes the fruitful…to make them even more fruitful.  I started to realize, that maybe He even uses those clippings…and roots them…to make even more new fruitful plants.

Praying now to know where and how He wants me to do this…
I have been looking at a location for some time.  So, just waiting for a door to open…
I know My Jesus will open the door for me and provide all I need.
He is a gentleman, so He likes to pay for everything, and open doors for his Bride,
…that is how I will know it is Him.

 

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David was sent…


When God calls you and anoints you, 
then you can be sure He WILL SEND YOU!
AND if HE sends you, then you can be sure
You WILL have the victory!!!!

It is amazing to me how Samuel was sent to anoint David, but Jesse had to send for him, because he was not even included in the 7 sons Jesse first presented to Samuel.

Then David was anointed King in front of his brothers, and “At that very moment the Spirit of God left Saul and in its place a black mood sent by God settled on him. He was terrified.” God sent an evil spirit…to torment Saul, then He sent David to play it away. David did not have to do anything. Saul sent messengers to Jesse requesting, “Send your son David to me, the one who tends the sheep.” Jesse took a donkey, loaded it with a couple of loaves of bread, a flask of wine, and a young goat, and sent his son David with it to Saul. David came to Saul and stood before him. Saul liked him immediately and made him his right-hand man. Saul sent word back to Jesse: “Thank you. David will stay here. He’s just the one I was looking for. I’m very impressed by him.”

But David continued to go back and forth from the sheep to the king.

The next scene, Goliath is tormenting the armies. Once again, David is sent. Jesse, David’s Father sends David to the front line with food and asks him to check on his brothers that are in the army. David makes sure his sheep will be cared for and God makes sure he is in the right place at the right time. When David gets there and hears Goliath mocking God, he asks about what will be done for the one that kills the giant. The brother accuses him of evil doing…but David wasn’t. He was serious. “What is it with you?” replied David (to his brother). “All I did was ask a question.” Ignoring his brother, he turned to someone else, asked the same question, and got the same answer as before. Then, again, David was sent, because the things David was saying were picked up and reported to Saul, so Saul sent for him.

David tells Saul he wants to kill the giant. Saul tries to discourage him, but David said, “I’ve been a shepherd, tending sheep for my father. Whenever a lion or bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I’d go after it, knock it down, and rescue the lamb. If it turned on me, I’d grab it by the throat, wring its neck, and kill it. Lion or bear, it made no difference—I killed it. And I’ll do the same to this Philistine pig who is taunting the troops of God-Alive. God, who delivered me from the teeth of the lion and the claws of the bear, will deliver me from this Philistine.”

So then, David is sent again when Saul said, “Go. And God help you!”

AND the next part just makes me want to SHOUT!!!!!!

Goliath mocks him, and David answered, “You come at me with sword and spear and battle-ax. I come at you in the name of God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel’s troops, whom you curse and mock. This very day God is handing you over to me. I’m about to kill you, cut off your head, and serve up your body and the bodies of your Philistine buddies to the crows and coyotes. The whole earth will know that there’s an extraordinary God in Israel. And everyone gathered here will learn that God doesn’t save by means of sword or spear. The battle belongs to God—he’s handing you to us on a platter!”

That roused the Philistine, and he started toward David. David took off from the front line, running toward the Philistine. David reached into his pocket for a stone, slung it, and hit the Philistine hard in the forehead, embedding the stone deeply. The Philistine crashed, facedown in the dirt.

Hallelujah!!!

When God calls you, anoints you, then He will SEND YOU!  AND trust me, you WILL have the victory!

Three Crosses, Two Thieves, One Choice

There were two thieves beside Jesus as He died on the cross.

There were also two others, criminals led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”  And they divided His garments and cast lots. And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.” The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine,  and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.” And an inscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew:

THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ,save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation?  And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.”  Then he said to Jesus, “Lord,remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

The one thief defended Jesus to the other one who kept railing against Him, mockingly telling Jesus to save Himself… 
It’s interesting to me that when people are confronted with their sinfulness, they do one of two things they humble themselves and repent or they pridefully attack the one bringing the truth; looking for fault, deflecting the responsibility, or changing the subject…but…ultimately they are just harming themselves, because they’re missing an opportunity for change.   Humility is the threshold, repentance is the key that unlocks the door.

There were 2 thieves on crosses, beside Jesus as He died.  They had the exact same opportunity…but only one walked free with Jesus in paradise…while the other went straight to hell, still bound with his sin.

The thief that was repentant and said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come in Your kingly glory!”

How precious…and like a cool refreshing drink of water that must have been to The Lord. This man’s belief in and defense of Him…saying “this man has done NOTHING wrong!” …when the crowds, soldiers and other man were still accusing, cursing and tormenting Him.

It was right afterwards that the earth trembled, it got dark…the temple veil tore and Jesus cried out, committing His spirit to God.

I wonder, what happened after that?

I can imagine seeing Jesus in the spirit, helping that repentant thief down off the cross, putting his arm around him, welcoming his new brother and friend into His kingdom…and then…arm in arm…side by side…they walked together right into paradise.   Jesus was always serving, loving, accepting, comforting and saving others…even in the last moments of his tortuous death.

All while the other thief was being led into utter darkness by demons, bound by his pride and inability to repent.  Still carrying his sin.

How did that humble thief end up on the cross beside Jesus?

Who knows why that man was a thief? Maybe he stole because he had a family to feed…There are “good” people, who do bad things and “bad” people who do good things.

But he had to have had some knowledge of the Messiah, he was surely humble enough to realize he was a sinner that needed saving, plus his heart was good enough to see and know who Jesus was…and knowing this made him courageous enough to defend Him.

It’s interesting to me, that he ended up beside Jesus, and watched Him…as he was tormented. He definitely had a front row seat, and fellowshipped in His sufferings, in a way that none of us ever will.

You have to wonder sometimes if it was the grace and mercy of God that allowed him to be put on that very cross…right then…right beside Jesus…Maybe he’d been offered the opportunity of salvation over and over again…but this time God made sure he would finally get saved?

There are choices in life.  Choose humility, choose repentance, and then choose Jesus!

Appointed Time of Liberty

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This is a long testimony, but so amazing. I pray you will take the time to read it, and God will encourage you as you do. I am excited to celebrate this season of resurrection and share the promise He has given to all of us!

In early January, I went to Bethel, a church in Redding, California for the premier of Heidi and Rolland Baker’s documentary “Compelled By Love.” Part of me was afraid to go, because I have a weight problem. Beni Johnson, one of the Senior pastors there is so fit and into health, I imagined everyone there was in shape and I would stick out like a sore thumb. It has been such a source of shame in my life for over 25 years. When I got pregnant and was not married, I gained so much weight, even though that was also when I got saved.

So many things just fell away, drinking, drugs, other sins became unattractive, and I had no problem letting them go, but it seemed I began to use food as a comfort. I tried over the years to get it off of me, and could lose some, but then I would just gain it back again. So I decided, while I was at Bethel, I would go to their healing rooms and ask them to pray for this weight issue. I asked them to pray that God would show me the roots…or heal me…whatever, I just wanted to be free. When they prayed, I knew God had done something, because I was touched in the spirit as they prayed and wept. I also felt something release and leave me.

After I got home, nothing much changed, I was still eating emotionally and compulsively. So one day I was crying in the shower, praying, and I was saying to my body, “I am sorry I have not loved you. I am sorry I have abused you. I am sorry I let men abuse you. Please forgive me for not loving you.” When I got done praying, I heard the Lord say, “Contact Beni Johnson, she has keys for you.” I argued with the Lord and said, “What? I am just some random woman that lives on the east coast, she is a very busy woman, and she doesn’t even know me. I do not want to bother her.” So I just let it go.

Later that day, Beni posted her status on Facebook, and it came across my newsfeed. It was like she had written it just to me. “You need to look in the mirror and say, “Love wins here!” Stop abusing yourself, you are a work of art.” I was undone, and I took that as my confirmation that I had heard God correctly, and I WAS supposed to contact her. So with much fear and with many tears, I wrote to her. I poured out my heart. It was gut wrenching and painful, but, I was telling her my story.

Then, surprisingly, she wrote me back! She said I was “spot on!” and suggested a book for me, encouraged me to just take “baby steps.” She said that my weight was probably trauma weight. I thought, yes, maybe from being pregnant and not married, I could see that. The book elaborated on it and said it is usually rooted in fear.

I couple of days later while I was working, I met a naturopathic Dr. during one of my stops, he had a huge store full of natural health items, and spent some time talking with me about my weight issue, then later that night, I got food poisoning. I suddenly became very aware of my stomach. I was so sick and I could feel the poison all through my body, and God began to show me, in many ways, I had been poisoning myself with food. So, after that, my food choices began to change.

Then about one month later, I went to be with the Lord on a Monday morning, and He said…and this is scary to say, because what if I am wrong? What if I didn’t hear Him and I am just wanting something so badly I am making it up?
…but, I believe He said, it was my “appointed time to be set free” from my weight issues. He said…He had “heard my cries”…and “there is an appointed time in ME for liberty” and “TODAY” was my day. I wish I could say I jumped up down and praised Him, but I did not, I just listened and tried to hope.

So, He kept asking me if I believed Him, and said He could do what no man could do, not even me. He said I had to believe He had set me free. It required faith, and it would take me 6 months. While He was speaking to me, He also showed me a butterfly in a chrysalis. He was saying…that there is an appointed time for the butterfly to come out of the chrysalis, and I too, was about to get my wings.

He has always used the monarch to encourage me that one day I WOULD be free from my weight issues. I used to have a weight loss blog called “Becoming a Butterfly” and when I ran my first 5k, I iron-transferred a pink Monarch onto the back of a t-shirt to encourage myself. He also reminded me how I could not paint until He came and asked me to do it. Even though I already had everything I needed to be able to, I still could not put the pieces together, but once He had painted with me, then there was no stopping me. He said, it will be like that, it will be miraculous. He said when people asked me how I did it, He said, “Just tell them I set you free one morning.”

So, the next day, a spiritual mom wrote me and asked for my address, she said God had told her to send me something. I gave it to her and then I asked her,”I think God did something big for me, can I share it with you?” When I finished, she started laughing, she said, “THAT WAS GOD!!! Wait till you see. He dealt with me so strongly about sending this to you. It will confirm what He said to you.” She was amazed and I was curious. She also asked if the number 6 meant anything, and later I remembered God had said it will take me 6 months to get the weight completely off!

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I got the present a couple days later, and in the box were 6 butterflies made of feathers, with glitter on their wings!!! There was no denying what God had said to me then. Maybe I could hope, after all.

A couple of months ago, I was invited to paint at a women’s conference, in Wilmington, NC, so I had been seeking Him about what to paint. Then hit me, I know what I will paint, I have to paint what He has told me He has done for me. To make it official, so, I went to look and see if it will work for the conference, and I discovered the conference was called “LIVE FREE!!!!”

THEN I had another huge revelation!! The conference was to be in the same city where I lived with and was abused by a man sexually, mentally and verbally before I was saved. He cheated on me with everyone, and called me fat all the time, even though I had a beautiful healthy body. He was truly sadistic and cruel towards me, and sadly, because I had no self esteem and was desperate to be loved, I just took it, and stayed with him. It seemed I would put up with anything to be loved.

It was right after I left him when I got pregnant, got saved, and gained all the weight. I realized…THAT was the REAL trauma, not the pregnancy. That man had cursed me, BUT God was telling me HE had just set free from it!!!!

Wow…so then I knew,
THIS TRULY IS AN APPOINTED TIME!

God was sending me back to that VERY same city where I was put under bondage, to paint at a women’s conference…
AND I was going to paint myself getting FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hallelujah!!!!

These are some of the scriptures He led me to during this time:
For the vision is yet for the appointed time, and it hurries toward the end, and won’t prove false. Though it takes time, wait for it; because it will surely come. It won’t delay.
Habakkuk 2:3

For everything there is
an appointed time,
and an appropriate time
for every activity on earth…
Ecclesiastes 3:1

God has made everything beautiful in its (appointed) time.
Ecclesiastes 3:11

He gave me some very simple baby steps, so I am starting. He said it will be different this time. People will be amazed, because the weight will just fall off. Sure enough, the weight has started coming off quickly and I have not even put all the steps into place yet, but I am working towards them!
I am excited, and still almost afraid to hope, but with all that has happened, it surely seems like Him.

How I was at Bethel church, and received prayer for this problem, then how God led me to Beni Johnson, my spiritual mom’s prophetic gifts, being asked to come to the VERY same city where satan had cursed me through that cruel man, and to top it all off…the conference being called LIVE FREE!!!! It just seemed too coincidental not to be God.

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Once I got to the church there were more confirmations. The pastor’s wife got up and shared her testimony and she had been through abuse as I had, even more severely than me. I found out from one of her spiritual daughters that she loved butterflies, God uses them to encourage her. I had no idea, but what a joy to find out!

The last speaker, an Evangelist at the conference, came over to me after I shared about the meaning of the painting with the congregation, and she prophesied to me, it was so powerful and encouraging. She said I will be completely free and I WILL look like the woman in the painting!

So much of the conference was about becoming a new woman and even the mention of coming out of the cocoon, before I even painted the wings on the woman!

I hope when people see this painting, they’ll be encouraged to shed the old and become a new Creation in Him! To draw close to Him and seek Him with all their hearts! He hears and He cares!!!
Symbolism: The butterfly has long been a Christian symbol of resurrection, for it disappears into a chrysalis and appears dead, but emerges later far more beautiful and powerful than before.

As a symbol of Christ’s resurrection after three days in the grave, the butterfly is seen especially around Easter. But the butterfly is also a symbol of every Christian’s hope of resurrection from the dead.
Related Bible Verses

So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
1 Corinthians 15:42-44

For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
1 Corinthians 15:52b

Remember the word you gave me.
Through it you gave me hope.
This is my comfort in my misery:
Your promise gave me a new life.
Psalm 119:49-50

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:
old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Colors:

ORANGE
~ Resurrection: Resurrection body separates from the grave, or Earth, and rises into Heaven
~ Sanctification process: Separation from world, consecration to God (Acts 26:18)
~ Separation from the World: Orange is a separation barrier in the tabernacle. It corresponds to the wall of linen around the Tabernacle that symbolized separation from the world. Only the believer who is serious about the Christian Life will pay the price of leaving the world behind to follow the Lord Jesus Christ.

In Marriage: Forsaking all others (1 Cor 7:4)

BLACK
has a lot of negative meanings…
but the good ones were
~ Health – Leviticus 13:37, Song of Solomon 1:5-6; 5:11
~ Humility