Category: Sunday Sermons

Under What Banner Are You Camping?

To be clear- this is not about outdoor camping, political affiliations, or social justice causes. This is about what I recently heard the Lord speak to me while reading His Word, when He said, “Under what banner are you camping?”.

This question, although posed to me, I understood to be for you too. In fact, I believe it to be one of the priority questions of the Spirit in this current season that we all must grapple with.

Hang with me as I explain, you’ll be glad you do.

The children of Israel had just escaped Egypt and were in the wilderness of Sinai where the Lord is speaking to them. And here is the seed bed for our topic and question-

“ The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “The people of Israel shall camp each by his own standard, with the banners of their father’s houses.”

Numbers 2:1-2 ESV

Here’s the thing- God was directing the entire nation, and calling for each individual to camp by their own standard, under their family banner.

You see, back then, each tribe had their own standard, (Judah/ Issachar/Zebulun, Reuben/Simeon/Gad, Ephraim/Manasseh/Benjamin, Dan/Asher/Napthali); each family within each tribe had their own banner; and each triad of tribes had their own standard. (The triad is a group of 3 tribes that camped together around the tabernacle in the wilderness)

No one really knows what they looked like

The point here is – everyone was to camp around their own family banner & their tribe’s standard. Where they camped had to do with their family flag, and the standard under which they lived.

The Hebrew word “standard” here is taken from a root word that means – “to flaunt, to raise a flag, to be conspicuous – set up a banner”. (H1713) What we can glean from this is, the banner under which they lived is what made them stand out, be conspicuous. Or perhaps even, they stood out and were conspicuous based upon the standard under which they lived and identified.

But each individual was also linked to a family, not just a tribe. And they were to camp under the banner of their father’s house as well. Take a look at what “banner” means.

” sign, pledges, signs – miracles, memorial stones of their father’s houses.”

H226

Translation… family signs (sins, tendencies, weaknesses), turned to miracles, became the banner of identification for every individual, who then became part of a larger group (triad) who marched together conspicously, flaunting their standard of victory.

But here’s the question, under what banner are YOU camping? What are the obvious signs on your life? What does your life point to, stand out for?

We all have a family, and each family looks different. Family in this text means all of these things in fact –

“house, palace, prison, temple – house containing a family”

H1004

Families have problems, let’s face it. But every family has problems and every family since time has begun has had problems. Even the problems of biblical families are not hidden. For example-

  • Adam – blame shifting
  • Cain/Abel, Jacob/Esau, Joseph -sibling rivalry
  • Rachel, Leah, Hannah – jealousy
  • Samuel & Eli – wayward kids
  • Saul & Jonathan – angry tempered father
  • David & Absolom – rebellious son
  • Hosea – marriage issues

God set up families as His first institution to teach us about human interactions. It is within this context that we realize family tendencies, weaknesses, strengths and values, right? It is within this framework that we see “generational sins”. These are weaknesses or tendencies handed down to us through generations via our parents. They include behavioral patterns and ways of thinking.

In my biological family, I see family traits that have been passed down, anger, impatience, pride, judgment, lying, bitterness, drunkenness, demeaning, and cursing, to name a few. What are yours? Cuz we all have them.

But even tho’ these are signs, sins, (of my family) that doesn’t mean I have to camp under that banner. I am not a victim of those generational sins. I can choose to live differently and under another banner. Jesus has freed me and I am responsibile for my own sin and not the sins of my forefathers. Ezkiel 18:30-32 I can pray like David, “do not remember the sins of my forefathers.” Psa. 79:8-9

Even though Issac lied about his wife just like his dad Abraham did, and Jacob with his mom decieved Esau, we do not have to camp under the banner of our families generational sins. But without intentional, personal confession & repentance we will fall prey to those “sins that so easily beset us”, those unspiritual family traits, whatever they may be.

You see, generational sins have a tendency to multiply among family members, and given opportunity to reign to 4 generations become a “stronghold” in the family. These become stumbling blocks that must be dealt with through prayer, confession & repentance as we mentioned. At it’s core, generational sins are about disobeying God’s commands and we must realign ourselves with God, His will, His grace, mercy, forgiveness and love. He truly is a “good, good father”.

That then puts us under the banner of LOVE (Song of Solomom 2:4). Now, The Lord has become our banner, and The Lord is the banner that we camp under. His miracles in our life, His signs of setting us free from family sins, and the memorials we set up to remind ourselves of His forgiveness and deliverance for us.

AND, for the record, “THE LORD OUR BANNER” is one of the names of God that He gave to Moses when Amalek attacked the children of Israel in the wilderness. The story is important for us, in this context because Amalek was the first nation to attack the Jews and God told them that they would have war with him from “generation to generation”. Exodus 17:16 (That means, us!)

Amalek was the grandson of Esau. He grew up in Esau’s house feeding on the hatred of his Granddad for Jacob. Isn’t that what generational sins do? Grow up, unchecked in households like festering wounds, producing swelling and infection. That is why God promised that Amalek would be completely destroyed and remembered no more. Exodus 17:14

And how?

Moses shows us in Exodus 17 – While Moses and Aaron’s hands were lifted, Joshua was victorious in battle over Amalek, if their hands were lowered, Amalek won the battle. As their hands remained lifted, Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword. THAT my friend, is effective, fervent prayer and praise!

It was in THAT battle, that Moses called God by the name, “The Lord Is My Banner”. The banner that wins us victory over Amalek (our generational sins, weaknesses and tendencies) is The Lord. The Lord Our Banner is The banner under which we need to park ourselves. Not the banner of our family sins, addictions or shortcomings.

When we find ourselves (and our family) camped under The Lord Our Banner, it is only fitting to then look up and find that we are aligned with the standard of our victorious tribe- The Bride of Christ. Remember, it is under the standard that we become conspicious flaunting even.

When we experience the victory of The Lord in our life over our generational, family sins, we share it, tell others, and become conspicuous to others in our freedom. It is not out of pride or gloating that we flaunt our freedom from family sins, but out of a heart of humble, gratitude that we can’t help but show others that freedom is possible. They too could be free to camp under The Lord Our Banner, and the miracles and signs He will do.

Your battle with Amalek is guaranteed, but your victory over Amalek and those family sins is your responsibility. “For each person will camp by his own standard, with the banner of his father’s house.”

The question that remains then is, under what banner are you camping?

Let’s get to the business of freeing ourselves and our families.

Debbie

PS – I believe that God is preparing His people to march forward in mighty victory as His Ekklesia, but before that can happen, we must be free of anything that entangles us and binds us. Just as with the Jew’s, God spoke for them to realign under their standards and banners – BEFORE He released them to march forward. It’s time to realign, get things settled, and get ourselves out from under generational bondage.

So, my friend, let’s get to it. It’s almost time to move out.

Fathers Are Essential

Fathers are so essential, and their priority so foundational, that in both the Hebrew and Aramaic languages, the first word, is “Ab” = father. You will find it first, literally the number 1, in your lexicons and concordances. (Go ahead, pull out your Strong’s concordance & see.) But fathers are not only essential in languages, fathers are essential to healthy, functioning societies.

According to the research, from birth, even prenatal birth, involved fathers are shown to produce emotionally secure children. (1) Active and nurturing fathering is associated with better verbal skills, intellectual functions and academic achievements. (2) In a majority of studies, there is no question that involved fathers do play a crucial role in cognitive, behavioral, and general health and well being areas of a child’s life. (3)

It should come then, as no surprise to us that God’s design for dad’s influence in their family is one of his highest priorities. And yet, as I was recently reading in the first chapter of the book of Numbers (the 4th book in the Bible), I was surprised to find a whopping 17 times (in only 45 verses) the phrase – “by their father’s houses”. Let me show you how the whole book and chapter 1 begins-

” The Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai…saying…”

Numbers 1:1 ESV

The book starts with GOD SPEAKING (in the wilderness) and telling (Moses) something. My friend, when God speaks, we would be wise to listen, every single time. So God is speaking… what is He saying?

“Take a census.. by their father’s houses…every father and male… head to head…”

Numbers 1:2,5,18,20,22,24,26,28,30,32,34, 36,38,40,42,44,45

God is counting the fathers. God is counting on fathers.

He is counting the father’s households. He wants every father counted, and every male in each father’s family counted. Now I know that this is a military census, but do you really believe that is all it is? For as I read and reread this chapter, I heard God clearly say I AM COUNTING THE FATHERS. I am holding fathers to account.

You see, in God’s eyes, it all begins with the fathers. God’s priority is on fathers, families, and fatherlessness. Why? Because God is our EVERLASTING FATHER, and the father of all the families of the Earth. He is Our Father in heaven.

Do you think it is a coincidence that fatherhood and male identities and role models are under attack? Positive, male, role models develop positive gender-role characteristics. (4) The casting off of those positive, male characteristics and fatherhood identities erode all civilizations that succomb to them.

The erasing of male identity and fatherhood is a blatant attempt to erase Our Heavenly Father‘s imprint on humanity. It is a spiritual and demonic strategy.

Fathers matter. Fathers impact their children’s well-being. Just look at what the data shows:

  • Children involved with caring fathers have better educational outcomes (5)
  • Playtime with fathers leaves an important impact on children (6)
  • Fathers bring strength, momentum and movement to a family (7)
  • Son’s with a good relationship with dad handle stress more effectively (8)
  • Involved dad’s have a direct impact on their child’s future (9)
  • Families are strengthened by supporting fathers (10)
  • Dad’s involvement curbs unwelcome teen pregnancy (11)
  • Dad’s presence has a measureable boost to infant development (12)
  • The ability to choose well is the legacy fo a good dad (13)
  • Adolescent/teen boys who live with their dads are less likely to carry guns and deal drugs (15)

Fathers are essential for America as a nation and every other nation for that matter.

Yet, 1 in 4 children live without a biological, step or adoptive father in the home. That’s enough kids to fill NYC once or LA 4 times! Plus, there are millions more who live in homes where Dad is physically present, but emotionally absent. If classified as a disease, fatherlessness would be an epidemic and natonal emergency. (14)

In my generation, 87.7% grew up with 2 biological parents. Today, that number is 68.1%.

Again, is it any wonder why fathers are so important to God – our Heavenly Father? They are number 1 to Him because they are the building blocks of strong families and thereby strong and healthy society.

That Hebrew word “Ab” that we opened with, the number 1 word in the lexicon, means this:

“Ab – H1 = father, head of a household, patron of a family. Human or spiritual father. A familial relationship represented by the word father.”

Strong’s Concordance

Male role models are vital for families. They teach relationsips, reactions and responses. They set models for marriages and teach important life lessons. Without these good & positive influences we have countless families suffering through the absence of their father, because of his bad influence. And we too often mourn the lessons NOT learned, because of the image of Dad as a shadowdy, angry, booming presence. (and often harmful) The experiences we have with our dad powerfully linger in our emotions. For good or bad.

Today, I hear the call of The Spirit, to Fathers.

More than ever, this generation needs father figures and teachers. God is calling spiritual fathers to rise up. He is calling for earthly fathers to wake up. He is calling role models to step up. We have an epidemic of fatherlessness that OUR FATHER in heaven is crying to heal and fill. He is crying out for the fatherless.

This society badly needs the foundations that a father brings –

  1. The Father as the Source
  2. The Father who Provides
  3. The Father who Corrects
  4. The Father who Loves

God is speaking, in our wilderness…. where are the Fathers? I am looking for them, I am counting on them.

How can you help?

Father’s are essential

In the Father’s love,

Debbie

Works Cited

  1. Father’s and Their Impact on Children’s Well-Being; Dr. Olker PhD.; Psychology Today 6.2011
  2. Ibid
  3. Ibid
  4. Ibid
  5. Ibid
  6. Ibid
  7. Father’s Matter; Danny Huerta PsyD; Focus on the Family
  8. Ibid
  9. 5 Things About the Importance of Father’s; LBJ School of Public Affairs; Child & Family Research Partnership; 6.2017
  10. Ibid
  11. 10 Amazing Research Findings; Couples Therapy Inc., Cherlin, A.; 6.2021
  12. Ibid
  13. Ibid
  14. Father’s.com
  15. National Fatherhood Initiative 2012

We the People of the Land

That’s how this story starts – with the people of the land. These citizens, in groups of categorized people and by various means have (after a considerable delay) spotted an opportunity. So they rally together, create their case, and call for the leader in charge to do something! They call on him to break them loose from their religious & political confines, to unbind them from their past restrctions and to release them to enjoy unrestrained “freedoms”.

And that is exactly what their leader does. He calls for the embellishments on their ears to be removed and given to him. With their hearing now affected, he fashions an image that will retune their focus and shift their vision. He willingly fashions this new image for them and the people willingly accept it.

This story, is none other than the acount of the Israelites encounter with Aaron when Moses was on the top of Mount Sinai with God. We find it in Exodus 32.

“When the people saw that Moses was delayed… the people gathered themselves together to Aaron… and said make us gods…So Aaron said, take off the gold that is in the ears of your wives, your sons and your daughters…so the people brought them to him… and he received the gold…and fashioned it… and made a golden calf…Aaron built an altar… They said, these are our gods… The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play. And when Moses saw that that people had broken loose (for Aaron had let them break loose), Moses stood at the gate…”

Exodus 32:1-7; 25 ESV

Check out some of the meanings of these words and phrases from Exodus 32. It is chilling with respect to its application for our days.

  • people H5971= a people, tribe; groups of people that can be categorized in various ways. Citizens.
  • Moses delayed = so the people felt anxious and pressed for action to seize the opportunity
  • Aaron said, take off the gold on the ears of your family = those embellishments that affect our hearing were removed. Gold. (No godly filters)
  • Aaron received it and fashioned a golden calf = made by the hands of Aaron, this was their new vision and focus
  • The picture in Hebrew, at the foot of the mountain was one of wanton sex orgies, and drunkenness
  • the people had broken loose = they were now completly unrestrained in every perverted desire and passion. Total and unabandon sexual perversion.

In this group of citizens, there arose a domineering voice. (We are told that Israel at this time probably numbered near 2 million people, including women and children.) This voice was one seeking to unleash action in the absence of apparent inaction. This voice coalesced around Aaron and his newfound leadership power. And this voice persuaded Aaron to take these corrupt actions.

Do you see any parallels here with our government in America, it’s leadership, and a group of its people?

It is crystal clear that the American people have “broken loose” and our leadership let them “break loose”. Never wasting an opportunity….

Scripture tells us that,

“Where there is no prophetic vision the people will cast off restraint.”

Proverbs 29:18 ESV

When the vision of God for a people, nation, or individual is cast off, all restraint is let go and all hell breaks loose. God looks at these people as corrupted, having turned away from Him and choosing their own images of worship, rather than Him.

But I would like to suggest to you that the loud voice of this first group was not the only group around the bottom of the mountain that day. Yes, those people did speak loudly and unified themselves around Aaron, but there was another group.

There were (at least) two groups that day. This first one saw:

  • delay, unity in numbers, opportunity to fundamentally change their restricted lives

The other, we find in this passage –

” Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, “Who is on the Lord’s side? Come to me.” And all the sons of Levi gathered around him, “Thus says, the Lord God of Israel, “Put your sword on your side, each of you…”

Exodus 32:26-27 ESV

Here’s the 2nd group in the crowd that day and what brought them together:

  • Who is on the Lord’s side, gathered around Moses, put on their sword

This group was categorized by their desire to please the Lord and obey His will. These Levites, were in the crowd at the foot of Sinai and saw what was going on, the debauchery, and not yielding to it. When the call came – WHO IS ON THE LORD’S SIDE, they seized the opportunity to stand on the Lord’s side. They strapped on their sword and went to work.

People, of the many and varied groups that we find ourselves divided into these days, we are united as citizens. We are the people of the land. And like those citizens amassed at Sinai, we find ourselves seeing the breaking loose and casting off of all restraints of moral, justice, education and religious values. And our leaders not only allow it but promote it.

It is important to note the end of Exodus chapter 32. For in verse 35, it says, “And the Lord sent a plague on the people because they made the calf, the one that Aaron made.”

The leaders of this land will be held accountable for their actions. The people of the land will be held accountable for their actions. And the Lord will indeed judge our land for her actions. Let’s not fool ourselves.

But today, we the people… with which group do ally?

Casting off restraint or strapping on a sword?

The clarion call is being trumpted, “Who is on the Lord’s side?”

We, people of the land, it’s time to strap on your Sword.

Go with God,

Debbie

Dying of Thirst

You’ve probably seen the movie of shipwrecked men who are left drifting aimlessly on the ocean in a lifeboat. As the days pass under the scorching sun, their rations and fresh water finally give out. These men grow deliriously thirsty. Finally, one night while the others are asleep, one man ignores all previous warnings and gulps down some salt water. He quickly dies.

Ocean water contains seven times more salt than the human body can safely ingest. Drinking it, a person dehydrates because his kidneys demand extra water to flush the overload of salt. The more salt water someone drinks, the thirstier he gets. He actually dies of thirst. (1)

We can die of thrist by drinking too much of the wrong thing (saltwater), or not enough of the right thing (water/dehydration). We can die from lack of thirst or from excessive thirst. Both can signal disease, a medical condition or mental disorder. Thirst tells our body we need more fluids, so we should drink more if we are thirsty, but it also tells our body to be sure to maintain adequate fluid levels each day even if we’re not thirsty. (2)

We are living in a dry and thirsty land.

And I don’t just mean here in California, where we are facing the driest winter in over 100 years and where all 58 counties are in a drought emergency proclamation. Even though CADrought Action declares these times, “the driest conditions in recorded history”, I believe they speak to both the physical conditions of the land and the spiritual conditions of the land that are dry and thirsty.

Who of us has not had the sensation of dryness in our mouth and throat in these past two years? Who of us would deny the major changes in patterns of what we have thristed for? Are there those of you who have craved vehemently for justice, or understanding or truth lately?

Those symptoms are the very definitions of thirst as provided by the dictionary and medical professionals.

What do we do about it? What do we do when we are thirsty? We better drink, right, and the correct fluid, too.

“… is anyone thirsty? Come! All who will, come and drink. Drink freely of the Water of Life.”

Revelation 22:17 MSG

I find it noteworthy, that near the very last verse of the Bible (verse 21 is the last one in Rev. 22), we have a standing invitation to COME and quench our thirst. COME and drink freely. COME one, COME all. Whoever is gripped with a spiritual thirst for more than the dry, ole, stale drought of the past 2 years, COME and drink freely from the Water of Life. Whoever craves fresh, vibrant, refreshing, cool, life-giving water, COME and rehydrate yourself.

“Come everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come buy and eat! Come buy milk and wine without money and without price.”

Isaiah 55:1 ESV

“For I will pour water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground.”

Isaiah 44:3 ESV

Let me repeat, you and I have a standing invititation to COME and drink when we are thirsty.

We offer standing invitations to come into our homes (and perhaps even stay) only to our closest friends and family. They are always welcome, anytime and always embraced, enjoyed, and provided for, right? THAT is the offer that Jesus extends to YOU – COME. You are always welcome and will always be embraced, enjoyed and provided for.

Jesus said,

” If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.” John 7:37

From Jesus we receive fresh, refreshing water, that will renew and spiritually rehydrate us. The problem is, we often pass up His standing invitation and drink from that salty water that will only make us more thirsty until we eventually die of thirst.

I love what Hosea says, “I cared for you… in the land of drought…” Hosea 13:5

In this dry and thristy land, in the dryness of our soul and in our parched wanderings, it is the standing offer of the Lord to COME and drink that booms forth to you today. His invitation and your response to it will change your wilderness into a pool of water with springs of water flowing. Psalm 107:35

Could it be that we are living in the driest conditions in history because God is offering the most massive downpour of refreshing that the world has ever seen?

Are you thirsty? Will you accept His standing invitation for you to COME and drink or will you die of your thirst?

Cheers to you,

Debbie

  1. Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching; Craig Larson; pg. 147
  2. Healthgrades.com; WIlliam C. Lloyd III, MD

The Importance of Memorials (in 4 R’s)

Surrounded by pitch black, darkness and a bone chilling cold we somberly walked down the dimly lit pathway toward the black, granite wall where his name was inscribed. Shining eerily in the darkness were glow sticks dotting the walkway and carried by attendees. The respectful silence was pierced only by the amplified booming of full names, slowly being read aloud into the night air. We would take our place on the stage, to read aloud the honored names that preceeded and followed that of Lt. John H. Carson. Over the next 60 plus hours, 57,939 names would be lifted from The Wall and sent via sound waves into the memories of those there and the cosmos itself.

This was the 10 Year Anniversary celebration of the Vietnam Memorial in 1992, and it was the first of dozens of visits that I have taken to the Wall on the Mall in Washington D.C.

Vietnam Memorial, Washington DC

Memorials are an important part of every culture. Memorials help us to remember the sacrifice of brave soldiers, the valuable contributions of an important public figure, the life well lived of a great leader or unforgotten hero. Statues, momuments and memorials challenge us to remember the value of a person or event.

Memorial – from the Latin word, “memos” means “mindful”, and that is the task of a memorial, to present us with being mindful of the past and the costs that have brought us to this point.

Lincoln Memorial

Scripture is strong in it’s references to memorials, rembrances, and ancient landmarks. We are challenged to make certain days a memorial, remember certain people’s actions as a memorial, wear certain priestly accessories as a memorial, build a pile of rocks as a memorial, give money as a memorial, eat bread and drink wine as a memorial and to not remove ancient landmarks because they are to be a memorial for all generations.

Memorials serve an important role in our lives and in culture, and we would do well to pay attention to them in these 4 ways – these are my 4 R’s.

RESPECT – every memorial, no matter it’s origin or intention, should be respected. It is there to commemorate something honored and sacred by someone. Whether or not I understand, or even agree with it or the reason, it is incumbent upon me to be respectful around it, to it and to those who are paying or who have paid their respects to it.

President JFK’s Memorial Flame & Tomb, Arlington Cemetery, VA

REMEMBER – Each memorial is set to remind us of someone or something. Stop and remember it. If you don’t know about it or the person, look it up, read up, understand why it is there. Remembering is vital for the success of any society. Remembering does no real harm to us but it does honor the one or event that it represents. In the event there is “harm” by remembering, let it lead you to the next R.

REFLECT – A reflection is light that bounces off of an object. When we choose to reflect at memorials, light will shine and bounce back on us. This light may cause “harm”, sadness, maybe even anger, but let the light shine on you, your memories, feelings, emotions and allow that light to make YOU a stronger, wiser and more understanding person. Allow your reflection to make a difference, even if only in you. Reflection is intended make us better, and our society stronger, then we can reevaluate, make changes and move on to R number 4.

RENEW – Everything that happens does so for a reason and that reason will generally benefit us in the long term. When we honor a memorial and allow ourselves to reflect, we cannot help but nenew our commitment to the passion stirred by that memorial. Memorials galvanize our renewed drive toward an honorable and valiant cause. We are stirred, we are renewed by the statememts that memorials make. Our spirit is renewed because of memorials.

Headstone from a Revolutionary War soldier, New York

There are ancient landmarks, memorials and statues that are meant to stand for and through generations. It is the duty of every member of society to respect, remember, reflect and renew themselves in the honoring of these landmarks.

WWII Memorial, The Mall, Washington DC

Whether it be a makeshift memorial at a grocery store in Buffalo, a flower in a granite reflecting pool in New York City, or the overwhelming awe that comes from standing at the foot of The Great Pyramid, memorials are a very important part of every culture.

Twin Towers Memorial, NYC

May we be ones who give honor to whom honor is due and lead the way by example for so many others who don’t care, don’t know any better or fail to see the importance of memorials.

Cheers to you,

Debbie

Jefferson Memorial, Wahington DC

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

Awake, Awake, Deborah!

Deborah, under her palm

Please don’t stop reading because you are not named Deborah. This is a clarion call to way more than those named Deborah and may certainly be missed by many who are named Deborah. Please keep reading to see what I mean.

I must confess that this is a bit of a “soapbox” issue for me. By that, I mean –

I am quite impassioned about it! But it has not been my passion only, nor has it been only within the context of our modern times.

Since about the year 1237 BC this clarion call for Deborah to awake has sounded. So, I have been a relatively late addition to that call. What is it exactly? I’m glad you asked.

It is a call for women to rise up in the fullness of their giftings and promptings to inspire, challenge and lead their generation in divinely directed strategies towards divinely destined victories. Men, aren’t left out in this call, so don’t click out, they, too, have a place. Let’s look at it’s origins.

In the book of Judges we find the chronicles of the 12 Judges of Israel. These Judges served as the governmental leaders of the time, the time before the kings of Israel. This period covered approximately 272 years in Irasel’s history. The first Judge was Othniel and the last of the 12 was Sampson. Although Samuel was considered both a Prophet and the final Judge in Israel, before the first king – Saul.

Judge number 4 was a woman named Deborah. She is the only woman to serve as a Judge and as a ruler over Israel. She and Samuel are the only Judges who were also prophets. Read it, it is remarkable.

This Deborah was quite the woman in her generation. She was married to a guy who must have been a gem of a guy. His name was Lappidoth, which means “torches”. Other than his name in Judges 4:4, he is never mentioned again in the Bible. But when he is mentioned, as her husband, and we understand the firey meaning of his name, we realize that he was exactly what she needed when she came home at the end of her Judges day, Tired, burnt-out, and frazzled from holding court all day, her fire was relit by her loving husband. Together, they buzzed (her name means “bee”) for 40 years as Israel’s first couple.

What did she do? Well as just mentioned above, all day she sat under a palm tree, between Ramah & Bethel, where villagers brought their grievances and disputes to her for her legislative decisions and wise counsel. It was long and grueling, but she was anointed, and appointed by God for the job.

Where things get dicey is when God gives her a strategy for Israel’s victory over the king of Canaan & his army commander Sisera.

She is to tell a man named Barak,

” Has not the Lord, the God of Israel, commanded you, “Go gather your men…and I will draw out Sisera to meet you and I will give him into your hand” ?”

Judges 4:6-7 ESV

She was calling out Barak, and reminding him of the word that the Lord had given to him. The word that he had failed to perform. The word that would bring victory to Israel. Deborah’s anointing was to awaken Barak, to get with the program and to quit procrastinating. The life of the nation depended on his action.

He heard her, and her challenge, but he still was lacking in confidence to complete his task. Look at his response –

“If you will go with me, I will go, but if you will not go with me, I will not go.”

Jud. 4:8 ESV

Not exactly a warrior’s response, right? She, of course, told him to saddle up, she would go with him, and, oh, by the way, you just blew your shot for glory, buddy, cuz Sisera will fall at the hand of a woman. Jud, 4:9

As the story goes, Sisera winds up running from Barak & Deborah’s army and slips into the tent of Heber & his wife Jael. It doesn’t end well for Sisera, for as he lies sleeping, Jael finds a tent peg and a hammer, & literally nails Sisera’s temple to the floor of her tent. It is quite the story, and ends with, “… and there lay Sisera dead, with a tent peg in his temple.” 4:22

Victory is declared and everyone is happy as the ememy is defeated. And amazingly, the entire next chapter, Judges 5, is a 31 verse song that was sung by the duet of Deborah and Barak. Seriously. 31 verses. In it, they sing of the state of Israel before the battle, which tribes rallied to help in the battle, how faithful God was in the battle and what a great vistory Jael had achieved. Yay! “And the land was at rest for 40 years.” Jud. 5:31

In verse 12 of the song it says this –

“Awake, awake, Deboarah! Awake, awake, break out in a song.”

Jud. 5:12 ESV

Hence, our call for the Deborah’s in spirit to AWAKE! And for their Lappidoth’s to arouse themselves too.

I believe we are living in the days of this Deborah anointing. I have been hearing it from many spiritually keen representatives and I agree fully. This is a call for women to rise up in the fullness of their giftings and promptings to inspire, challenge and lead their generation in divinely directed strategies towards divinely destined victories.

It is a call for their torches to be lit by one’s who love and support them. It is a call for the Barak’s to take hold of the promises and instructions from God and go forth in victory. It is a call to a nation to follow God’s perscriptions for winning battles and to move in obedience, lolligagging no longer.

Deborah’s anointing will empower women to judge with discernment. Operate in the Spirit of knowledge & wisdom, mother a generation totally confused about nurture and nature, deliver God given strategies, stir up tribes to rally and men to fight, and sing songs of praise and victory as worshipping warriors.

Perhaps that is why there is such a fierce war against women these days. Because the enemy is trying to keep the spirit of Deborah and Lappidoth silent, bridled, snuffed out and asleep. For if they were to awake, the enemies demise would be inflicted just as a tent peg to the temple.

May the spirit and anointing of Deborah awake within you today. There’s a battle to be fought and won.

Awake, awake Deborah.

Debbie (Debra)

“What is a woman?’

Mother’s Day 2022

Six weeks ago, on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, before a Judicial hearing of Congress, Senator Blackburn famously asked Supreme Court nominee, Judge Jackson if she could define what a woman was. This was her response –

” Can I provide a definition? No, I can’t. Not in this context, I’m not a biologist.”

My friend, I am not a biologist either, but on this Mother’s day, I will share with you the biblical definition of a woman.

Of course, this takes us back to the beginnings, even before biology was known or studied. In Genesis 1:27, we are told that God created mankind in His own image and likeness. He created mankind/humans (“man”/”adam” in Hebrew) male and female. Just like the Trinity was. Mankind, in male and female form was built, made and worked upon.

Then in Genesis chapter 2, we see in one verse, (2:7) the creation of the first man – “adam”, Adam.

“Then the Lord God formed the man of the dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.”

Half of mankind was made, in the representation or resemblance of a man. A male.

Later on in Genesis, as Adam is surveying and naming all the animals, God says, (to whom I’m not sure), “It is not good that the man should be alone: I will make a helper fit for him”. Gen. 2:18 And then we read of the creation of Eve – woman, the female counterpart of the Godhead. (which takes six verses to describe, jus’ sayin’…:-))

God puts Adam into a deep sleep so that He can surgerically remove a rib from his chest, and close him back up without disturbing his rest. When he wakend, he was pretty excited because he saw someone/thing like him, not with fur, scales or feathers like the animals. He said,

“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man.”

Genesis 2:23

God called her woman when he brought her to Adam, but Adam named her woman at this time. What’s the Hebrew definition here, of “woman”?

“Woman, wife, female. Opposite of man. (empathetic, a genuine woman, travailing, bearing children, nursing woman, a wise woman, prophetess, wife, female.”

Strong’s #H802

I am not a biologist, but I am a Bible believer and declare to you that a woman is a female created in God’s image capable of also being a wife, bearing children, a wise woman or a prophetess!

If we were to list the characteristics of a woman from Genesis 1-4, this would be our list:

  • female created in God’s image Gen. 1:27
  • made from man’s side Gen. 2:2
  • called a woman by God Gen. 2:22
  • named a woman by Adam Gen. 2:23
  • a helper for man Gen. 2:18
  • to help man’s lonliness Gen. 2:18
  • becomes a wife Gen. 2:25
  • becomes a mother Gen. 4:1
  • conceives Gen. 4:1
  • Has pain in childbearing Gen. 3:16
  • is in pain bringing forth children Gen. 3:16
  • desire to dominate your husband Gen. 3:16
  • he will (your husband) want to dominate you Gen. 3:16
  • (Interesting note: THEY BOTH were given the charge to dominate the animals and earth & have DOMINION together – before the fall! Gen. 1:28 Instead, because of the fall, they would oppose each other & struggle for dominance within their family. Crazy!)

A woman is an adult female, made in God’s image and may become a wife, or conceive children. She also may be wise, empathetic, nurse and travail. She is different from man, who is also made in God’s image and likeness, and they are created to complement each other, help each other and represent the identity of God on Earth.

To tamper with these principles is to attempt to alter the identity of God Himself. He created male and female because the identity of the Trinity emcompasses male and female characteristics. That’s why males and females have the emotions, characteristics and feelings that they do. Duh! They came from the God who also has them.

In a world who’s definitions are changing with each new fad or heresy, we must cling to THE TRUTH of the Word of God, it’s definitions, values and principles.

I am not a biologist, but in the words of Helen Reddy, “I am woman, hear me roar.”

Happy Mother’s Day to all women out there.

Debbie

Unfinished Work

At 7 PM, on October 20, 1968, a few thousand spectators remained in the Mexico City Olympic Stadium. It was cool and dark. The last of the marathon runners, each exhausted, were being carried off to first-aid stations. More than an hour ealrier, Mamo Wolde of Ethiopia – looking as fresh as when he statred the race – crossed the finish line, the winner of the 26-mile, 385 yard event.

As the remaining spectators prepared to leave, those sitting near the marathon gates suddenly heard the sound of sirens and police whistles. All eyes turned to the gate. A lone figure wearing number 36 and the colors of Tanzania entered the stadium. His name was John Stephen Akhwari. He was the last man to finish the marathon. He had fallen during the race and injured his knee and ankle. Now, with his leg bloodied and bandaged, he grimmaced with each hobbling step around the 400-meter track.

John Stephen Akhwari

The spectators arose and applauded him. After crossing the finish line, Akhwari slowly walked off the field. Later, a reporter asked Akhwari the question on everyone’s mind: “Why did you continue the race after you were so badly injured?”

He replied, “My country did not send me 7,000 miles to start the race. They sent me 7,000 miles to finish it.” (1)

Archippus, much like this Olympic runner, found himslef in a position of having lost sight of the finish line. Whether he had stumbled, been injured along the way or had just plain lost his strength or vision, he had stopped running his race.

We find him mentioned only two times in the New Testament, and it is in the first that we see him being told by the Apostle Paul,

” Be sure you give Archippus this message, “Be faithful to complete the ministry you received from the Lord.”

Colossians 4:17 TPT

Archippus had unfinished work that he needed to complete.

During his time, he and his family, (Philemon – probably his dad and Appia, his mom. Philemon 2) were somehow involved in the city of Colossae in advancing the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. It must not have been without opposition and hardship for there were false teachings to be diffused, traditions to be dismantled, and Christianity was not even recognized as a legetimate or legal religion.

So whether he became sidetracked, exhausted, got mad and quit or just let it slide for others to handle, we do not know. What we do know is he needed to finsih the work that the Lord had given him. He had unfinished work to complete, and Paul had to remind him to finish what he started.

His race had somehow slowed and he may have been broken and bandaged, but his race was not completed. His work for the Lord had been started, but it needed to be finished. Paul reminded Archippus to get up, get back in the race and finish what had been started.

I love the way the Hawaiian’s say it –

” Tell Archippus dis: “All da work Da One In Charge tell you fo do, you betta do um now.”

Colossians 4:17 Hawaii Pidgen Bible

All da work!

If “The One in Charge” has given you a job to do, it’s best to complete it – all. All the way to the finish line. That is why He put you in the race, not just to start it, but to finish it.

I have a strong hunch that for you, my friend, there is unfinished work for you to finish. It is time to get back in the race, pick up that baton from where you left it, and run. It is time to complete that unfinished work.

Run strong and to the end,

Debbie

PS- Archippus did get back in the race, because Philemon 2, which was written 2 years later, tells us that he and his family formed a church in their home. He was back at it and ministering exactly where the Lord wanted him, completeing what he had been called to do.

  1. Edward K. Rowell, Fresh Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching; pg. 71, Finishing Well

Adopted by Another

She was the 20 year old daughter of the town’s mayor, who had fallen in love with and married a man whom she would soon discover had a dark side. He was charismatic and oozed charm on his exterior, but underneath there was a vicious temper that was flagrantly violent. His threats were frequent and she knew danger was imminent.

Finding out she was pregnant, in her fear, she asked for and received help from the child’s grandparents. Although she and her newborn were given a room in their home, one day her husband stormed in with a buthcer knife and threatened to kill her, the baby and the nurse. The police came and settled the issue and shortly therefter a divorce was granted. Although the court ordered the biological father to pay child support and alimony, he adamantly refused, paid nothing and choose not to be a part of his son’s life.

Time passed and the mother met and married a paint salesman, who loved her and her 2 year old son. This love, prompted Gerald R. Ford to adopt Leslie as his own son, renaming him Gerald R. Ford Jr.. The family grew in love and in numbers and this is how the adopted, adult Gerald later described his family – (1)

Gerald Ford Jr. as a child

“My stepfather was a magnificient person and my mother equally wonderful. So I couldn’t have written a better prescription for a superb family upbringing.”

Adoptions with Love – President Gerald Ford

Leslie Lynch Jr. was adopted by another, received his new name Gerald R. Ford Jr., and years later became the 38th President of the United States.

President Ford

“Adoption is the most intentional process on Earth.”

Jody Cantrell Dyer

According to the dictionary, adoption is the act of taking as one’s own, a choosing by way of preference or approval: formal acceptance. In adoption, a person assumes the parenting of another. Child Welfare Information Gateway describes adoption as, “full permanent & legal members of a family” – that occurs through mutual assessment and the process of “home study”. Child Welfare tells us that there are tens of thousands of children waiting to be adopted.

The thing so precious and powerful about adoption is CHOICE. The adoptee is chosen, fully and formally accepted, even preferred, and completely approved of! An adopted child/person is 100% chosen, hand picked, every bit intentional. What a secure feeling! What a relief. What love! President Ford experienced this love, acceptance and approval. He had been adopted by another.

Want to know and see something else powerful?

“For it was always his perfect plan to adopt us as his delightful children, through our union with Jesus… so that his trememndous love that cascades over us would glorify his grace – for the same love he has for his Beloved One, Jesus, he has for us. And this unfolding plan brings him great pleasure!”

Ephesians 1:5-6 TPT

God’s plan has always been to choose you. Select you. Pick you. Want you. He aproves of you, accepts you and prefers you. He has chosen to adopt YOU. That means He wants to assume His parental rights and place you in His family with all of the privileges, rights and inheritance you are due. You belong in His family, bear His name, have family relationships through Him. You also have family responsibilities.

Jesus told His disciples in John 14, that in His Father’s house there were many rooms and He was going to prepare a place for them. One of those rooms is for you. It has your name on it. The family room of heaven, and the dinning room of heaven are yours as well. Jesus is getting it all ready for the family reunion that will one day come, when all of the kids and relatives will be home, and at last, be reunited.

You see, when you have been adopted by another, namely God through Jesus Christ –

  • You are a full member of God’s family
  • You have full rights and privileges in heaven
  • You have immediate access to God
  • You belong to His family
  • You bear His name
  • You have full share in the inheritance he has promised (2)
  • The devil no longer has parental rights over you, because you are not part of His family anymore

You no longer have to fear being harmed or not being good enough because you have received the spirit of adoption, that enfolds you into the family of God. Romans 8:15

He loves you so much, He is not satisfied with partial custody. He wants full custody of His children, so that He can lavish His tremendous cascade of love upon them. His kids make Him happy, He takes pleasure in loving His children and we can call Him, “Papa”, “Abba”, “Daddy”.

Now we’re talking security! Acceptance. Approval. That’s a family to be part of. He loves us like He loves Jesus. We are all part of His family because of our union with Jesus.

There is no greater prescription for a superb family upbringing. There is no greater family. God has chosen you and wants to be intricately involved in your whole life. He has lovingly adopted you and changed your name to His.

Adoption is the most intentional process on Earth or in heaven and there are thousands of children still waiting to be adopted into God’s family. Are you one? Have you received your full, legal adoption into God’s family by the blood of Jesus Christ? Are you exercising your rights and privileges as a son or daughter of God? Are you walking in your full inheritance of healing, provision, and power? Are you fulfilling your responsibilities with faithfulness?

Such confidence, and peace come to those who know that they have been adopted by another.

God bless you, Family,

Debbie

  1. Gerald Ford, Deserted by his Birth Father, WorldHistory.us
  2. KeepBelieving.com