Category: Inspiration

Peaking your desire, enthusiasm & courage to do/be something

Are You Picking Up God’s Voice?

Radio waves are those electromagnetic waves that are transmitted by an antenna and received by a receiver, which then converts the signals (EM waves) into audio or visual form for you to see or hear. You’ve used them, you tune your radio to 101.3, and pick up that frequency, that specific signal. In fact, every wireless technology has it’s own little band with which it receives it’s assigned frequencies.

  • garage door opener 40 megahertz
  • cordless phones 40-50 megahertz
  • wildlife traching devices 215-220 megahertz
  • cell phones 824-849 megahertz
  • GPS systems 1227-1575 megahertz

Although most raidos are single purpose radios (AM only receives AM signals, FM only receives FM signals, etc.) a scanner receives a wide range of frequencies and can be set to a specific frewuency.

Your brain has similiar capabilities to a radio receiver. Your brain can choose what you hear. For example, if there were many people talking a foreign language at the same time around you, you’ll hear noise. If one person speaks in a familiar language, you’ll be able to hear that one, even if the others are louder, because our brains react differently when we hear understandable language, thus allowing you to hear it clearly. Your brain immediately pays attention to it and turns it into waves.

Our brain never stops hearing. Even when we’re sleeping, the brain is still hearing frequencies and signals. Our ears can distinguish between 100’s of 1000’s of different sounds. No one has an ear or set of ears like yours. Ears are completely individual – like fingerprints. So you have your own little band for hearing that is uniquely yours and singular in purpose. You can scan a wide range of frequencies or tune in on a specific frequency.

In some ways, we could be compared to a car with its antenna raised. Fully functional – it can tune in and out of AM, FM, XM, and car play waves. But with a broken antenna (like my car), signals are limited and static ridden.

We have been manufactured with a built-in spiritual antenna capable of picking up spiritual signals – or God’s voice. We can choose which of the 1000’s of signals we will listen to. We can scan right by God’s voice or we can choose to set our scanner to the frequency of God’s voice. What do we do? Do we tune it out? Is our antenna broken? Do we hear it and respond?

I am encouraged by this insightful verse –

“… long ago God spoke by the prophets, but in these days he has spoken to us by Jesus…”

Hebrews 1:1-2 ESV

God not only spoke to men and women long ago, but He is speaking to men and women in these days. That means we need to tune in to His frequency, and be picking up His signal.

“Therefore, we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.”

Hebrews 2:1 ESV

“Paying careful attention to what we hear”, is not scanning over or past what we hear God’s speaking to us, it is tuning in and locking His channel down. Even making it a pre-set in our spiritual, brainy, receiver.

There are two useful scripture passages to mention here.

1 Samuel 3 tells of a young boy, named Samuel who was sleeping in the Temple. He was under the tutoring of the priest of the day, Eli. Samuel was awakened 3 times by the voice of the Lord talking to Him. Each of these times he had no idea it was God because the days he was living in were dark and desperate, a time when the revelation of God was rare. Samuel didn’t even know God yet.

But that didn’t stop God from speaking to Samuel. Matter of fact, God even spoke to Samuel a 4th time and this time Samuel said, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” And guess what, scripture tells us that God came and stood by him as before and called his name. Then God said, “Listen carefully…” 3:11

Another important scripture along this vein is 1 Kings 19:11-12. Here Elijah, the prohet is listening for the voice of God. He says that God’s voice is NOT in the hurricane, the earthquake, or fire. But God’s voice is like “a gentle & quiet whisper.”

The noise of life drowns out God’s voice. His signal is beaming down upon us for us to pick up on and hear. But are we hearing it, that gentle, quiet whisper? Is His voice above the background noise so that we can hear it? It is but a whisper in our head, a pounding in our heart… are you picking up on it?

“Oh, that my people would listen to me…”

Psalms 81:13 ESV

“My sheep hear my voice…”

John 10:3-4 ESV

As we close, it is interesting to note that the very last book in the Bible places a very high priority on paying close attention to what the Spirit says. Seven letters were written to seven churches and each of them ends with this phrase –

“… he who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches…”

Revelation 2:7; 11; 17; 29; 3:6; 13; 22 ESV

Additionally, twice in the last chapter of Revelation it speaks to those who hear, and a warning is given. Revelation 21:17-18

Dear friend, I firmly believe that God is speaking in these days. He speaks through Jesus, and His words. He speaks through the Bible, and He also speaks in a gentle, quiet whisper into your heart and mind. His voice will never contradict or violate the Bible and will always encourage your relationship with Him. He speaks to you in your prayers, through other people and will always align with your spiritual calling. As you choose to draw near to God, you will hear His voice clearer, because He will be drawing closer to you too. To that one, the signal of God’s voice is strong and steady. There is no static, no doubt.

We can choose to repair a broken antenna, by turning back to Jesus. We can choose which of the thousands of signals we will tune in to. We can be a scanner that scans a range of frequencies or we can be a scanner that is set to a specific frequency – that of God’s, loving and firm voice.

We can be like Samuel. Whether it be the first, second, third, or fourth time that God speaks to us, we can choose to say, “Speak Lord, for I am listening.”

It is no accident that the greatest command to every Jew is –

HEAR, O ISRAEL : “

Deuteronomy 6:4

“Listen carefully”.

Are you hearing God speak to you? Are you picking up God’s voice?

Go with God,

Debbie

How Would You Spend Your Last Night?

“Maundy Thursday”

Knowing that tomorrow he would be beaten, whipped, tortured, mocked, falsely accused, betrayed, forsaken, sentenced to death and die, what did Jesus do on his last night? What were His priorities, and more importantly, what are the implications for me?

1. He had dinner with His disciples

At this dinner, it was filled with tradition, sacred remembrances and new insight. For Jesus took their yearly Passover celebration and brought new significance and relevance to it. He took the bread and the cup and explained how they represented his body which was about to be captured and his blood that was about to be shed. And now, as they ate these, they were to remember Him, as their perfect Passover Lamb.

He said it was a new covenant. Not only did they have the old covenant but He was introducing them to something new- a new covenant of love. So when each of them took the bread and drank from the cup, they we’re initiating the new covenant. The one where His life and death would fulfill the old Passover requisites, but also provide the new covenant promises of healing, eternal life, forgiveness, mercy and grace.

It was a dinner full of power, surprises, and sadness. But it was a priority before He left earth.

2. He washed their feet

How could this humbling and seemingly unimportant act make its way to number 2 priority on Jesus last night?

They were looking for a King with powerful rule in His kingdom and they were expecting a place with him in it. Often they sought that place and asked if this was the time for it to come forth. Jesus was now showing them the nature of His kingdom and the King. He was a servant. Serving in His kingdom was its foundation. Serving others and meeting their needs is the path to “greatness” in His kingdom.

Jesus modeled what service looked like. He bent Himself, stooped before them, lowered Himself to help them with their walk. He refreshed them and prepared them for what lie ahead. Serving them, touching them, humbly, He honored each and every one in the room.

Demonstrating servant hood that night was a priority. They would never forget it and hopefully would live a life of service to others.

3. He agonized in prayer

After dinner, they all went with Jesus to the garden where He often prayed. He asked them to pray with Him, even tho’ He would go and pray “a little further”. They didn’t make it very long before they fell asleep. But He went on, falling to His knees and even on His face. He prayed like no one has ever prayed. He agonized, sweated and even bled, it was so intense.

His prayer wasn’t for His course to change, but that His strength, grace and purpose would fully accomplish God’s perfect plan. He prayed for God’s continued grace upon Him and redemptions reward to come to fruition. He prayed for those involved in the next 24 hours and those in the next 2,400 plus years!

His agony was for us, as well as Him, and it was vital for the fulfillment of all that the next 24 hours held.

What He did on His last night is a model for our life, to prepare us for our last night. These three actions, are to become the core of our Christian experience. He was telling us-

1. Prioritize family gatherings and traditions and remember Jesus. Share the new covenant- take communion together and remember all He’s done for you.

2. Serve each other. Don’t seek to be served. Humbly meet others needs and seek their refreshment.

3. Pray with passion. Don’t fall asleep or forget to put passion into your prayers. Kneel, bow, fall on your face before your Heavenly Father.

Like I said, these are the heart and practice of every believer. They are meant to prepare us not only for heaven but release the King and His kingdom here on earth.

May we prioritize as Jesus did on His last night and: celebrate communion often and with our family, serve others humbly and pray with passion.

Thus making His last night priorities, ours.

Happy Easter season,

Debbie

He Knows Your Name

He sure does; please don’t doubt it, settle it.

Follow me here for just a moment –

” He determines the number of stars; he gives to all of them their names.”

Psalms 147:4 ESV

There are approximately 200 trillion galaxies in the observable universe. And there are thought to be an average of 100 million stars in each galaxy. That my friend, is 2 x 10 to the 22 power, or 200 quintrillion stars in the observable universe. (1)

these are stars
these are are galaxies

And every one of them is not only numbered by the Creator, but named by the Creator as well. He knows their name, each and every one.

named stars

My brain cannot even phanthom a number that large, much less the names to correspond with each star. Geesh, I can’t even remember a grocery list of 5 or 6 items.

But here’s where you come into this amazing picture.

” This is what the Lord says, He who created YOU, He who formed YOU; I have called YOU by name.”

Isaiah 43:1 ESV

” The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother, he named my name.”

Isaiah 49:1
in Mom’s womb

There are many other places too, where we are reminded that the Creator knows our name. Just as He knows and names the stars, even better He knows you, He knows your name.

He knows the names of the 108 billion people who have ever been born on this planet since it was created, all of them. And my friend, YOU are one of them. He knows your name.

There are times when we lose sight of our own signifigance. We forget our value. We think no one notices us or really cares about what is important to us. We think that our feelings, interests, desires, energies and deeds are overlooked or disregarded. At times we may even wonder if we are truly known.

Whether not not those thougts have swirled through your subconscious (or conscious) mind, the fact remains- HE KNOWS YOUR NAME. He knows your identity. He knows the very structure of your DNA with all of it’s nucleotide units. Including the exact number of hairs on your head. (Which by the way is somewhere between 80,000-120,000.)

Someone on the other side of this screen, needs to be reminded that YOU MATTER. Your name and your identity are noticed, valued, and intentional. He loves you, created you in your mother’s womb and knows your name.

So glad that He knows my name,

Debra L. Chaney

1. Space.com, Elizabeth Howell, Ailsa Hawkey; 2.11.22

Audacious Achsah

AKA The woman who dared to ask for more

The only daughter of Caleb and his wife, Achsah, was a jewel in her family, set among her three brothers. Her dad was a well respected prince in Israel, with a long history of heroic accomplishments, and through her childhood she and her brothers had beard of his many spy stories. It was he and Joshua, who chose to report on the promises of Yahweh being fulfilled when he and the other 11 spies were sent in to spy out the new land, rather than the giant obstacles that were there. For his faithful service to Yahweh, he was honored and respected both inside and out of his family. Caleb was audacious.

Caleb and his wife, marked their daughter with a name to represent their regard for her. She was their jewel, their anklet. Her walk would bring a lovely jingle, and a resounding note to everyone that she was approaching. People would hear her coming before she actually arrived. THAT was her heritage. THAT was the DNA that her famous Dad and Mom passed on to her. She would make audacious sounds and requests, like her Dad.

There was a time when Caleb was leading the men of Judah in battle for the city of Debir. He made this promise,

” He who attacks Debir and captures it, I will give him Ascsah my daughter for a wife.”

Judges 1:11-12 ESV

Now by all of our modern standards, this father’s promise is the height of misogyny. It’s hard for us in the the Western culture to comprehend. But in that day, and that culture, although women’s rights were limited, the assumption that a girl would be given in marriage was accepted and most of the time arranged. So, the fact that she would wed another prince and courageous Yahweh lover was a plus for Achsah. She understood, but she didn’t settle.

The warrior who captured Debir and was given Achsah as his wife was Othniel, Caleb’s nephew.

When the time came for them to wed, we see the audicious DNA of Achsah come jingling and shining forth, they all would now see who Achsah really was. She would resound as her voice was heard. This jewel would now be heard and seen.

” When she (Achsah) came to him (Othniel, her husband), she urged him to ask her father for a field. And she dismounted from her donkey, and Caleb said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Give me a blessing! Since you have set me in the land of the Negeb, give me also springs of water.” And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.”

Judges 1:14-15 ESV

She was content to be the reward that Othniel was given, but she was not content with what she had been given.

After she URGED her husband to ask for land, she “got off her ass” (KJV) and respectfully TOLD her Dad to give her a blessing also. She was not about to settle for a dry piece of land at the edge of Judah’s border, with no source of fresh water. Without water, their land would be almost useless. She dared to ask for more.

The Septuagint adds this-

” …and Chaleb gave her according to her heart the ransom of the upper springs and the ransom for the low springs.”

Judges 1:15 The Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew Torah)

This audacious, Achsah, this jewel of Caleb’s family, knew exactly what the desires of her heart were. In order to raise a family, they would need more than land, they needed water. With land and water their land would be fruitful and provide for their family. Othniel, a man of the Torah, and not a farmer, would have enough to supprot their growing family. She respected him, but she would not settle and audaciously asked for more.

Guess what? You read it, she got what she asked for. Not just one spring, but two. The upper and the lower springs! Her family would now prosper. Now she was content and could leave her Dad and cleave unto her husband. They would be one now.

This was a marriage arranged by God. Othniel was joined to an audacious woman, who spoke her heart, and did not settle, but wanted more and dared not only to believe for it, but ask for it. He learned to lean on her and her on him.

This Othniel, became the first judge mentioned in the book of Judges to oversee the land of Israel. And of this Othniel it is said, “the Spirit of the Lord was upon him and he judged Israel.” Judges 3:10 ESV

Can two walk together except they be agreed? Amos 3:3 Othniel and Achsah were a pair to be reckoned with. The Spirit of the Lord was on them in one of Israel’s darkest seasons. And for forty years the land had rest, under their leadership. Judges 3:11

My friend, if you are married, there is more for you and your spouse. Will you dare to believe for it and ASK for it? What is in your heart? Be audacious. Urge God. Lift your voice, make some noise, jingle like Achsah’s anklet.

Are you single? Will you dare to ask for more? Do you even want more? Are you content? Have you settled? Are you satisfied? There is more for you, what is in your heart? ASK FOR IT. Tell your Father you want more!

Our Father has upper springs (heavenly resources and appointments) and lower springs (earthly, temporal necessities) to give us. They are there for the asking. Dare to ask for more!

“Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.”

Luke 11:9 ESV

I dare say, it’s time to “get off our ass” and ask for more!

Be bold, be courageous, be impudent, and be audacious like Achsah.

Go with God,

Debbie

“I Will Spare the City”

It was a city against which the outcry was very great, filled with wicked men and rampant immorality. Here are snipits from their headlines:

  • unbridled lusts
  • lawlessness
  • despise authority
  • bold & willful blasphmers
  • eyes only of adultry
  • enticing others
  • greedy hearts
  • pride
  • very great sin
  • forsaking the right way
  • loving gain from wrongdoing
  • loud, boastful, foolishness
  • enticed by sensual passions of the flesh
  • promise freedom, but are slaves
  • Ezk.16:49; 2 Pet. 2:4-10; Gen. 18:20 TPT

A resident of the city described his living there as, “living among them, day after day, distressed my soul by all the rebellious deeds I saw and heard.” 2 Peter 2:8 TPT

The reports of the evil within this city were so outrageous, that God said, “I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me.” Gen. 18:21 TPT

THIS is the city, that Abraham found himself negotiating with God for. Abe’s nephew, Lot, was living in this city and it is his quote that we mentioned earlier. The city was worse than the armpit of the Middle East, it was a swirling cesspool of licentiousness, perverted sexual behaviors, pride and rebellion.

Lot had chosen to live there (which is another story altogether) and now God had sent angels to rescue him because God was going to send judgement on the city.

So, in the prayerful negotiating for the saving of the city of Sodom and rescuing Lot, Abraham asked God, “Will you destroy the wicked with the righteous? If there are 50 righteous in the city, will you spare the city?” To which God responded, “If I find 50 righteous, I will spare the whole city for their sake.” Gen. 18:25-26 TPT

Abe continued negotiating, how ’bout if there are 45? 40? 30? 20? 10? Each time, God answered, ” I will spare the city.” Gen. 18:27-33 TPT

Here was a vile, wicked city that practiced group rape in the city square on unsheltered visitors, and God promised if there were just a handful of righteous people in the city, He would spare the entire city.

I have recently found myself wondering how many righteous God would find in America. Would He find enough righteous people in America that He would, “Spare the whole country for their sake?” My prayer has been, “Lord, are there enough in America? Raise up the rightoeus. I wanna be one of the righteous.”

In matter of fact, regarding Sodom, He did NOT find enough righteous in the city. All He found were Lot, his wife and their two daughters. That’s 4!!! In a city of between 3,000 and 1,000 citizens, ONLY 4 were righteous! And God sent 2 angels to them to get them out. Even then, Lot’s wife didn’t make it out alive, so there were only 3 who survived when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by fire and brimstone.

The entire city was completely destroyed and leveled because there were not enough righteous people in it. Please, stop for a moment and think that through. Had there been only 10, the city would have been spared. Imagine that.

Consider yet another city, if you will.

This next city, the capital of the Assyrian Empire, was one of the greatest cities of ancient times. During the seventh century it occupied and controlled the Eastern shores of the Mediterrean Sea. It was a thorn in Israel’s side for generations and finally in 733 and 721, it fully conquered and took captives from both the Northern and Southern kingdoms of Israel.

The Assyrians were feared for their army. They were a warrior society and fighting was their skill. They were cruel, ruthless warriors. They were the first to use iron weapons and siege equipment to dominate their enemies. Their army was a standing army, meaning that they were professional soldiers whose only duty was to fight.

They were brutal with their chariots, swords, spears, bows and arrows, slings and daggers. But they also used armor, battering rams, siege towers and went not just over walls and towers but they also would tunnel under city walls for surprise attacks. They were the world’s first true master’s of war.

Their primary belief was “warfare is the process of ordering the universe.” So order the universe, they would.

The capital city of the Assyrian Empire, was Nineveh.

Now imagine this –

“Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah… saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.”

Jonah 1:1-2 TPT

What would you do?

These masters of war, cruel and ruthless people are the ones God wants you to confront. He wants you to call out to them… call them to repent. Change their ways, Turn to God. Stop their cruelty. THAT great city is the one He tells you to go to. In a word, Jonah said, “NOPE”. He called for an Uber, taking him as far as he could go in the opposite direction of Nineveh, and went all the way to the Tarshish seaboard.

To make a short story, even shorter, Jonah eventually did go to that evil and intimidating city of Nineveh and told them that they had 40 days before their city would be overthrown. And look at their response –

“And the people of the Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them. And word reached the king of Nineveh, he arose and removed his robe and covered himself with sackcloth and ashes. And he issued a proclamation…Let neither man nor beast taste anything or drink water… and let them call out to the mighty God…let everyone turn from their evil way. Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.”

Jonah 3:5-9 TPT

Do you think that God found 10 righteous in the city of Nineveh? 20? 30? 40? 45? 50? How did God respond?

“When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said that he would do to them, and he did not do it.”

Jonah 3:10 TPT

Because the people of Nineveh did turn to God and repent of their evil practices, their city was spared. There was a 150 year stay of judgment on Nineveh, because God found righteous people in the city that had been set for judgment and distruction.

Again my wondering goes to America as a nation. Are there enough righteous here that God would relent of our pending judgment? My city, Mission Viejo, are there enough righteous here? Am I one? Am I contributing to the blessing of my city and nation? Am I praying and negotiating for my city and nation?

God is the same, He never changes, what He did for Abe and Jonah He will do for me and my city, and my nation. And He will do the same for you, your city and your nation – as you find yourself among the righteous of the city.

What a responsibility.

Could you really be the salt that perserves your city and nation? I hope so, cuz He still says, “I will spare the city.”

Blessings to you,

Debbie

Part of Something Bigger

Yesterday, my L.A. RAMS won the Super Bowl! It was a day and night of celebrations throughout the region. In those interviews that followed with players and coaches, I noticed how many of them attributed their success to “being part of something bigger than myself.” It was astounding to hear it repeated so often and at so many levels of the organization.

Den and I at SoFi (tee hee)
Go RAMS

And it got me thinking…

When we have that awareness, that of being part of something bigger than ourselves- our purpose, fulfillment and happiness finds it’s own realization. When we use our part, our giftings, our talents and strengths to better the whole, we obtain personal satisfaction and enjoyment. Especially when working with others who carry that same vision of contributing to the betterment of the whole, but not exclusively. Cuz, let’s face it, we often find ourselves living and working next to ones who are not so inclined, and do not care about contributing to the betterment of anything. They are living only for themselves and their profitability.

I love that the Israelites were all told to bring a half shekel as an offering for the tabernacle- the rich and poor, all had to bring the same thing, their half shekel. Not a whole shekel, a half shekel. Weird.

Could perhaps there be a message here?

Your half is incomplete, only half of what is needed. We can’t do anything on our own, we can only do half. The other half must come from everyone else. Together, we form the whole and can accomplish great things. We are part of something much bigger than ourselves but need what others have as well.

Consider your part, your giftings, your strengths and be faithful to live them out. Are you generous, joyous, positive, humble, patriotic, fiscally sound, wise, a hard worker, insightful, musical, kind? We need you, we need that part, live it, let others see it, share it. Your half is vital and part of something bigger. Don’t hide it.

Go RAMS and go YOU.

Debbie

A Tale of Two Cities

With grateful acknowledgement to that literary genius, Charles Dickens, I am utilizing the title he first coined, in his 1859 masterpiece, the telling of the French Revolution and Reign of Terror in his, “A Tale of Two Cities“.

In his work of historical fiction, set in the cities of London and Paris, he weaves together social classes and political affiliations to address themes such as injustice, social anarchy, imprisonenment, resurrection and reunification. Using rich characters amid chaos and turbulence, these themes play out with intensity and anticipation.

In that same approach, I would like to draw upon two cities or cultures for comparison, instruction, and insight. Follow with me, if you will.

In these two snapshots from scripture that we will share, we will see clearly the characteristics of the characters living within these cities/cultures. The two cities are as vastly different as the French Revolution and Reign of Terror were, and yet the scriptural pictures painted of these two are also similiar to Paris and London in Dickens’ tale. Again, hang with me and let’s take a look at what I mean.

In the the book of 2 Timothy chapter 3, it tells us, “in the final days the culture of society will become…”, and then this is the pitcure of the characteristics that are portrayed there: (TPT version)

  • extremely fierce
  • self centered
  • obsessed with money
  • boast of great things
  • mock all that’s right
  • ignore their own families
  • ungrateful
  • ungodly
  • addicted to hateful slander
  • slaves to desires
  • ferocious, belligerent haters of what is good & right
  • act without restraint
  • bigoted
  • conceited
  • delight in pleasures
  • pretend to respect God
  • want nothing to do with God’s power
  • 17 in all

Tell me now, couldn’t this be an apt description of our society today?

I would dare say, at least from my viewpoint, that it could run as a literary parallel to Dickens’ reign of terror. Am I off base or out of line?

Regardless, these descriptions represent a society or culture- and in our comparison today, a city. One that displays these characteristics lived out by passionate characters flaunting each one of these base ideas.

This is one city. One type of society. But is it our only hope, our only option? (We are doomed if it is.)

Here though, is another city, society/culture that is also presented in scripture. We find it in Proverbs chapter 11. (TPT version) The players of this society are described as, “flowers in the spring” and here are the earmarks of their city/culture:

  • apply right standards
  • walk in humility
  • led by integrity
  • rich in righteousness
  • good character
  • trusted friendships
  • good counselors
  • wise leadership
  • gracious, generous
  • kindness
  • long-term rewards (not short term gain)
  • whole-hearted (not doubleminded)
  • longing to please God
  • social conscience
  • seeking other’s good
  • loving God
  • wise
  • 17 in all, humph?! Coincidence?
The Revolution (French)

Wouldn’t this be the prefered society? Isn’t this a culture that would garner the favor of every social class and political affiliation? (like Dickens’ did) Isn’t this the society in which we would see peoples reunited, see justice served and anarchy toppled? C’mon, now?!

And to top it off, in the tale of this city, is the promise of:

” The blessing that rests on the righteous releases strength and favor to the entire city.”

Proverbs 11:10 TPT

“The blessing of favor resting upon the righteous influences a city to lift it higher.”

Proverbs 11:11 TPT

The frosting on this cake is, that upon this second city, culture/society, where these characteristics are demonstrated by its populous, God promises to release strength, blessing, favor and influence.

You see, the one who can bridle themself to please God and be fruitful in the ways listed above, will be like a flower in the spring. And imagine hundreds of likeminded people, doing the same thing. We would have a beautiful, fragrant garden/city/culture that is flourishing under the blessing of God and growing in rich relationships with others around them.

You my friend, are one of those flowers.

“But the lovers of God rise up like flowers in the spring.

Proverbs 11:28 TPT

Germination has been activated and the time of your flowering has begun. Our cities will begin to reflect the beauty of flowering characters, who are demonstrating humility, integrity, generosity, kindness, wisdom, social conscience, and longing to please God.

Revolution or reign of terror.

Indeed, we have before us a tale of two cities; but our overwhelming choice is the culture of a garden of flowers in the spring.

God bless your blooming and your city.

Debbie

Step Out From Where You Are

Ben Patterson, in Waiting, writes: (1)

In 1988, three friends and I climbed Mount Lyell, the highest peak in Yosemite National Park. Our base camp was less than 2,000 feet from the peak, but the clinb to the top and back was to take the better part of a day, due in large part to the difficulty of the glacier we had to cross to get to the top. The morning of the climb we started out chattering and cracking jokes.

As the hours passed, the two more experienced mountaineers opened up a wide gap between me and my less-experienced companion. Being competitive by nature, I began to look for shortcuts to beat them to the top, I thought I saw one to the right of an outcropping of rock- so I went, deaf to the protests of my companion.

Perhaps it was the effect of the high altitude, but the significance of the two experienced climbers not choosing this path did not register in my consciousness. It should have, for thirty minutes later I was trapped in a cul-de-sac of rock atop Lyell Glacier, looking down several hundred feet of a sheer slope of ice, pitched at about a fourty-five degree angle… I was only about ten feet from the safety of a rock, but one little slip and I wouldn’t stop sliding until I landed in the valley floor some fifty miles away! It was nearly noon, and the warm sun had the glacier glistening with slippery ice. I was stuck, and I was scared.

It took an hour for my experienced climbing friends to find me. Standing on the rock I wanted to reach, one of them leaned out and used an ice axe to chip two little footsteps in the glacier. Then he gave me the following instructions: “Ben, you must step out from where you are and put your foot where the first foothold is. When your foot touches it, without a moment’s hesitation swing your other foot across and land it on the next step. When you do that, reach out and I will take your hand and pull you to safety.”

That sounded real good to me. It was the next thing he said that made me more frightened than ever. “But listen carefully: As you step across, lean out a bit. Otherwise, your feet may fly out from under you, and you will start sliding down.”

I don’t like precipicies. When I am on the edge of a cliff, my instincts are to lie down and hug the mountain, to become one with it, not to lean away from it! But that was what my good friend was telling me to do. For a moment, based solely on what I beleived to be the good will and good sense of my friend, I decided to say no to what I felt, to stifle my impulse to cling to the security of the mountain, to lean out, step out, and traverse the ice to safety. It took less than two seconds to find out if my faith was well founded.

To save us, God often tells us to do things that are the opposite of our natural inclination. Is God loving and faithful? Can we trust him?

He is. We can.

Is it time for you to step out from where you are? (from the safety of where you have been or from the danger of your ill-advised short cut?)

It is for me and I will share with you my new venture in a few days.

Let’s take the step and lean out!

Debbie

1, Fresh Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching from Leadership Journal – Edward K. Rowell; Faith, pg. 62

To the Weak and Wounded – Your Turnaround is Coming !

Sunday Sermon 1.29.22

Imagine, if you will, a boxer in the ring having withstood twelve, grueling rounds; he is weak and wounded, but he is still standing. This is such a fitting description of God’s people in the last scene of Isaiah 51, the chapter we have been studying.

Staggering about the ring, having trouble standing on their own, and trapped within the ring of punishment, their pain radiating, are God’s people. Overwhelmed, pounded, briused and weak, they are seemingly at the mercy of their opponent and about to go down.

Isaiah describes it as Israel being staggering drunk without anyone to help them get home, no help, no comfort, seized by disaster and devastation and overcome by God’s anger. He describes what they have experienced as “drinking from the cup of God’s anger”. He says they are weak and wounded because of their intoxication on God’s anger. Isaiah 51:17-21

The Bible is clear, and states in many places that there will be days of God’s anger, His judgment. Days when He will pour out His wrath and judge mankind for their works. These are the days Isaiah is identifying for the nation of Israel, and the days that they were living in – the days of God’s jusgment.

Yet, right in the middle of that, look what it says,

“So listen, you who are weak and wounded, This is what your sovereign ruler, Lord Yahweh, your God, the Mighty Defender of his people says, “Look! I have removed from your hand the intoxicating cup that made you stagger. You will no longer drink from the bowl of my anger. Instead, I will put that bowl in the hands of your tormentors, who said to you, “Lie down so we can walk all over you! For your back became like the ground they trample on, like the street for them to walk on.”

Isaiah 51:22-25 TPT

God removed that judgment filled cup from Israel’s hands, they were no longer going to be drinking from it. His judgments, however justified and timely, were now going to be lifted from them, but not removed altogether. Why?

Because those very oppressors and tormentors, who had been pounding them, were now going to get pounded. They were going to be the recipients of the cup of God’s wrath and anger. Those who had walked all over them were now going to be trampled, by the Lord! The cup of His anger was being placed in their hands and those very tormentors and oppressors were going to drink from it. He was going to judge THEM!

The Assyrians were well known for their cruelity and psychological warfare, they had mastered the art of war and torture. History thoroughly documents this. And now, they were about to get a taste of their own medicine.

God’s Word is true. The very gallows that Haman built to kill Mordecai on, was where he died. Esther 7:10 The evil that Joseph’s brothers intended for him, came back on them. Genesis 50:20 Evil people fall into their own traps. Proverbs 29:6 Wicked people fall into their own nets. Psalms 141:10 Our enemies may set a trap for us, but they will fall into it. Psalms 57:6

I believe what God did in removing the cup of His anger from Israel, He has done for us. In my Spirit, this past week, I sensed a major shift, and it could very well be just that. That God’s releived His people from the burden of the two year oppression of being walked all over and is reassigning His wrath upon our oppressors. We have been released and freed!

So let us,

Wake up, wake up, get up... you who have drunk enough from Yahweh’s cup of anger…”

Isaiah 51:17 CEV

The days of our oppression are behind us now! It is time for us to wake up out of our despondency and despair. Shake our heads, stir ourselves, revive our weary hearts and stand on our feet like the Army of God that we are. No more dry and dead bones, being walked on by the enemy. God’s people are arising, for the tide has turned!

” …the hour has come for you to wake up from sleep… so then, let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime…”

Romans 13:11-14

God has lifted you up and the enemy can no longer walk all over you. It is time for you to crush Satan underneath your feet. Romans 16:19 Turn every weapon He has used on you, around back onto him. Start praying this way and see things change in your life, your family, your neighborhood and your nation. Your neighborhood needs you. Your nation needs you. Wake up and start stomping!

It’s time for the people of God to rise and walk jn faith, speaking His word, and believe for His Kingdom to overthrow and defeat that of our spiritual enemies. Lets live like more than conquerors.

He has restored more than your hope. He has restored your soul your power, your vitality and your victory. You are no longer weak and wounded, your turn around has come!

Go get ’em,

Debbie