Category: Sunday Sermons

In Days When God Visits Men

Sunday Sermon 10.16.21

The Finger of God

There will be those who say that God no longer visits men as He did in days of old, but I am not one of them. The God I serve is the great I AM, which means that He is in every moment that we live. He is not confined to the pages of the Bible or the times that they reflect. These too, are the days when God is visiting (and wanting to visit) man(kind).

It is my opinion that what lies ahead for us, and I mean imminent, is a powerful, thurderous, outpouring of the presence of God on men and women. His presence brings release, revelation, fear, awe, miracles, judgment, wonder, and so much more. Could it be possible that the Great I AM would again visit people on Earth?

Could we see Him again like this –

” Now when the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightening and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled and they stood afar off and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die. Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of Him may be before you, that you may not sin. Then the people stood afar off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.”

Exodus 20:18-21 ESV
Mount Sinai

It is possible. But what is also possible is that this account has in it some truths for us. Let’s look into them.

We can say without a shadow of a doubt and support it with scripture, that there is nothing more powerful than the presence of God. Scripture is full of ways that His presence is demonstrated, including the description from Exodus 20. We read of thunder, lightening, splitting of cedars and seas, winds of fury, fainted men and women, fallen armies, foes defeated, miracle provisions, and overwhelming awe. People respond to such power by falling down, bowing down, covering their mouth, and crying out for mercy and forgiveness.

The first truth for us to hold onto from this is – God’s presence is real and powerful and we each must come before Him. None will be excluded.

The second truth to chew on is this – God’s presence brings fear. And if we look more closely at Exodus, we see His presence is intended to bring a level of fear to us in order to motivate us to not sin. When we have the proper “fear of the Lord”, we are gripped by it in a respectful and honoring way, so as to desire to please Him, and that we can demonstrate by choosing to not sin.

Scripture is full of what “the fear of the Lord” produces in us and it is all pleasant, peaceful, amd productive.

But there are those, who are like the guys in Exodus 20, who, out of fear choose stand afar off from God. They really have no desire to get close to that thunderous God, they are afraid of Him, and step away from Him, rather that toward Him like Moses did. They fear His voice, don’t want to hear it and don’t want to enter into God’s presence.

This then, is the third lesson. Out of fear, we can choose to step closer to God’s presence or away from God’s presence. And in these days, I am hearing that call… Step closer to His presence, closer to Him, and allow His presence to work in you all that pleases Him. This is a process of constant surrendering to His presence, but in doing so, in choosing to be with God, we are changed. The fear of the Lord does motivate us to live a life that pleases Him. And, by the way – it is a life of abundant joy, provision, happiness and strength. It is NOT burdensome or even close to boring!

Our final lesson from the account is this.

God is looking for more Moses-type people. By that I mean, those who willing choose to move to the place where God is. Those who intentionally mark their steps toward God and not away from Him. Those whose delight it is to be in His presence, be close to Him and hear what He has to say. Those who are not frightened to come near to this powerful God, because they know Him personally to be loving, just, kind, compassionate, as well as powerful, intimidating and holy. God is calling to those who will as a magnet, be drawn to where God is.

Moses with God

Although the book of Exodus was written in 1440 BC, in it we can find plentiful truths that have weight and significance for today. We can still learn from it and we can still be visited by a powerful God in a very personal way.

That Great I Am, who consumed in fire and smoke that mountain in Sinai where Moses met Him, is the same today. He is calling for us to face our fears and come to Him, admitting our sin, yielding it to Him, and allowing His passionate love to consume us and all of our fear. He is calling us to step near Him. He is drawing us to come closer and trust His powerful, lifechanging fire.

In these days, when God visits men, what will you do?

God with God,

Debbie

Nestled Under the Power Lines

Sunday Sermon 10.9.21

I’d like to give you a visual metaphor that I hope will stay with you as a reminder each time you see these.

power lines

Powerlines of all shapes and sizes are scattered throughout the landscape of your life. Have you given much attention to them? Typically they only require our attention when they are not standing as they should, but rather, have been damaged in some way or their line has beed damaged, right?

Those electrical cables suspended between towers or poles provide energy to homes, businesses and everything needing power. They are power lines, they carry power and operate at voltages above 765,000 volts between conductors. That’s alot of power available, alot of power that you and yours are nestled under.

In these lines and supports we have a helpful, spiritual reminder of the power that is always over our heads and avaliable to us. Here’s what I mean –

Those lines represent the Omnipotence of our fearful and loving God, that is always hanging just above our heads. Here’s the meaning of His power, of His “dunamis” that is available to us:

” Dunamis = Strentgh, ability. Inherent power residing in a thing. Power for miracles, moral power, excellence of soul, influence, resources and resting on armies, forces and hosts.”

Strongs G #1411

His power lines are always energized, charged and flowing at full capacity. His power is not low voltage, high voltage or even ultra high voltage. His power created the power and energy in our sun, and it’s temperature is 10,000 degrees F at the surface, and millions of degrees F in the center. His power put those crazy atoms and their electrons orbiting with their energy in every single thing known to man.

Matthew 6:13- … yours is the power, oh Lord

Mark 12:24 – men don’t know the power of God

Luke 4:35 – the power of the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary

Luke 9:1 – Jesus gives us power and authority over all devils and diseases

Luke 10:19 – we have power to tread on serpents

Acts 3:12 – it’s not by might… but by the power of the Spirit

Romans 1:16 – I am not ashamed of the gospel… it is the power of God

Friend, you are nestled under the power lines of God. They are surrounding you. Everywhere you look or find yourself, you will see His power lines. They are over your head and so, so close. (Unless, of course, you are living in a place without electricity, then you won’t see the power lines, but the power will still be there for you.)

But notice please, that those power lines, in order for them to be effective, are supported by structures. Each structure is designed to not only carry the load imposed upon it, but also withstand the elements.

Let’s look at the structure of these two poles first.

These two poles, supporting the power lines can respesent the two pillars needed in our life of:

  1. Prayer – prayer has great power, James 5:16 tell us, and our prayer life supports the power of God in our life. Without the foundation of prayer, our power is not energized.
  2. The Word – His Word is living and active, sharp and powerful. When it is hidden in our hearts and we live by it, the power of God flows in and through us, as does His power. Hebrews 4:12; Psalms 119:9

Our personal prayer life and the time we spend reading, listening to and studying the Bible are the supports in our life we must have in order to experience the fullness of the power of God.

There’s another type of structure that supports these power lines tho’. It is called the tower.

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and are safe.”

Proverbs 18:10
you can stand under these towers

Jesus is our tower of strength. The Lord, Almighty, is where I run for strength, refreshing, renewal, hope, peace, and happiness. And THAT, dear reader, is the support I must have, to expereince His power in my life. The tower that supports my power is Jesus, and His name alone. There is no other name under heaven….

So let’s put it together,

God’s power for the miraculous, for moral rightness, for influence, healings, excellence and even the release of angel armies is available to us, always. And what sustains, supports, and releases that power is our personal prayer life, bible reading, and finding our refuge in His name.

You see, my friend, you are nestled under His power lines, but it is time for that power to flow in your life and be shared with those around you. The power is there, available and sufficient for any need that you or those near you may face. Jesus is omnipotent, and you are connected to Him. Let His power flow through you.

How then, are your support structures?

Your prayer life? Your personal reading of the Word? Finding your refuge in Him and not other sources or influences in your life?

I pray that everytime you look around and see power poles and power lines, that the Holy Spirit will remind you of these ideas and encourage you to tap into God’s power, allowing Him to flow through you, rather than just be nestled under the powerlines.

Go with God,

Debbie

“There’s no crying in baseball!”

Sunday Sermon 10.2.21

This is the classic line, spoken (yelled more like it) by Tom Hanks, in the role of the coach of an all ladies baseball team, the Rockford Peaches. You’ll remember, Evelyn had made a bad throw and takes the loud and very emotional correction of Coach Jimmy when arriving back on the sidelines, and in front of everyone. This, of course, breaks her and she starts crying. The Coach, unable to process her feelings expressed in liquid words then quips, “There’s no crying in baseball.”

Doesn’t she know the rules? How can she cry? That’s not allowed. No matter the crushing feelings, there’s no crying allowed. Every tear, whether liquid words or not, must be stuffed, capped, controlled and shut down. That’s how you play the game!

Well, let’s step back from that great movie of 1992, “A League of Their Own”, and ask, is that how we play the game? Are those the rules that we are trying to live by?

  • no crying allowed
  • stuff those emotions
  • cap those feelings
  • control that pain
  • shut down that sensitivity
  • hide your soul
  • protect yourself

I recently attended a study that challenged those “rules” afresh for me. In that study, Christina said,

“Emotions are like children. We don’t lock them in the trunk and we don’t let them drive.”

Christina at OasisOC

She went on to include these statements…

” Feelings buried alive will never die” and “You have to feel it to heal it.”

I am telling you, these truths have rocked my world recently. They have challenged the lies and rules that have crept into my thinking that say, “Just suck it up”, “It’ll get better”, “Grow up”, “Take control”, “That’s not spiritual” and so on.

You see, our emotions are God-given. He has them, too. He gave them to us. If we lock them in the trunk and ignore their screaming, we are ignoring what He is saying to us. We are limiting Him. But neither do we allow them to drive our life. Somewhere there is a balance. Somewhere the rules have got to change.

This week, after setting out a while back to study the Psalms again, I had to press the pause button on that study, only a third of the way through the book. Why? There were waaaaaaaaay too many emotions and feelings being shared and I was kinda feeling overwhelmed. David and the other writers were sharing so raw and real, I was having trouble processing it all.

Look at some of these statements –

  • I was in distress
  • can you hear my groaning?
  • their words are unreliable
  • smooth talking deceivers
  • my eyes of faith won’t focus anymore
  • please deal with me gently
  • they give birth to lies
  • Lord, you seem so far away
  • don’t forget me
  • why have you hidden yourself
  • everyone lies, everyone flatters. everyone deceives. Nothing but empty talk, smooth talk and double talk. Words are weapons, twisted tongues, lying lips, high minded talk THIS IS JUST 1 PSALM, PSALM 12

Folks, these phrases come directly from the first 12 Psalms. (And there are 150 of them!)

Here too, is a short list of other emotions that we see in the Psalms.

  • joy
  • fear
  • anxiety
  • harm
  • impatience
  • sorrow
  • depression
  • anger
  • guilt
  • lonliness
  • brokenhearted
  • helplessness
  • betrayal
  • sadness
  • frustration

We see clearly raw and ugly emotions expressed and not covered up or locked in the trunk of these writers. What we can learn from them is that our emotions and expression of them comes as no surprise to God nor do they carry judgment or shame from Him. They are our emotions, and it is for us to process them in His truth and mercy and not allow them to be stuffed.

Those emotions are like a check engine light in our cars. We need to discover the issue that is causing the light to come on. Not simply seek to ignore the light. Damage will ensue should we not find out why that emotion is lighting us up. (Thanks again to Christina for this picture)

Jesus is taking us down the path of alignment. He wants our head and our heart to line up. That means our heart must be connected not detatched from feelings and emotions. Therapists call it being “affected”. Allowing yourself to be affected brings your head and heart into agreement.

” I’ve wanted my words and my ways to always agree.”

David, in Psalms17:3

In these days, so many of us are dealing with feelings that are just plain overwhelming and the “rules” that have been engrained into us about the expression of those feelings is becoming unmanagable as well. Well, guess what… who made those rules and why are we playing by them?

We are made for so much more! You were made for authentic, whole, and perfectly aligned body, soul and spirit. But that does not come from playing by the “throw the kids in the trunk” philosophy. Learning to allow the kids/emotions into our car/life and seated in their rightful place is a lasting work that only God, our designer can help us with.

Our emotional God wants to heal in us the cause of that emotion, the actual issue lighting up the check engine button. Why we tend to feel that way, why we respond that way. He wants to take our hand and with us look at it, see it in His truth, and walk away from it free and embraced by His love, peace and purpose.

In our heart is the secret of it all. In our heart lie the secret issues that have led us to believe we cannot express or be free from certain feelings. Buried in our heart are the lies of our shame, fear, lonliness, betrayal and hurt. His truth must shine there and realign our feelings to His truth.

Your Heavenly Father wants you to be healed, whole, and live in the truth of His love. That means being emotional but Spirit led. That means recognizing and admiting those feelings but not letting them drive your life.

Today, you are one conversation with God away from freedom and authenticity, alignment of Spirit and soul. He cares for you, feels for you, longs to see you happy and free, not stiffled or shut down. Please don’t bottle things up anymore. Have that conversation with Him.

And one more thing, there can be crying anywhere your liquid words need expression, even in baseball.

Cheers to you,

Debbie

The Adam’s Family

Sunday Sermon 9.25.21

Family is our topic today, so let’s start off differently, shall we? Play along with me…test your knowledge of some of the top 20 TV families. What’s the TV show called?

  1. # 20 – A cartoon family about the Griffins.
  2. # 19 – This real life family is of mom, dad and their 8 kids.
  3. # 12 – The Bundy’s sought to bring humor to married life.
  4. # 10 – Yet another cartoon family, this time with a snarky protagonist.
  5. # 8 – A rich family raising a nephew.
  6. #5 – Who didn’t love these adorable twins?
  7. # 2 – This became one of the first blended famillies on TV.
  8. #1 – The Arnold’s showed us a slice of down home wonder in a young boys family and life.

If you want to see how you did, scroll on down to the bottom where I’ve listed these TV shows.

There is another family, (of course, many other families) portrayed on TV that I want to mention – The Addam’s Family. Do you remember it? It was a TV series from 1964-1966, then again in 1973, and 1992-1993. This family was based on a fictional household created by American cartoonist – Charles Addams in 1938.

It’s members were Gomez and Morticia, famously in love, bizzar and even frightening to their neighbors. Their kids were Wednesday and Pugsley, and then there were the close family members, Uncle Fester and Grandmama. Let’s not forget the butler, Lurch, or Thing (that disembodied hand), cousin Itt, or the pets – Aristotle (octopus) and Kitty Kat (the lion).

Of this famed family, it is said, “Their influence on society ranks with that of the Kennedy’s and Roosevelts”. (Glamour Magazine)

“Their house (on Cemetery Ridge) was a wreck, but they were a close-knit, extended family. Supportive, friendly and hospitable to visitors.”

Accept that description or not, it is a remarkable statement. Stellar in fact, if you ask me.

Family is meant to influence society! Family is the basic buiding block of society. Family is the single, most powerful tool to build a strong, thriving cuture, and civilization.

Family. Familia. Jiating. Gajog. Familie. Famille. Sem’ya. Usra.

In every language, culture, and nation, the family is needed. Vital. Required. Wanted. Essential.

Let me emphatically add, that your family is essential, just as it is, with it’s personalities, and characters. Your family does not and will not follow the paths of the dynasties –

  • The Barrymore’s – Hollywood movies
  • Ford’s – automotive world
  • Mellon’s – banks & steel
  • Manning’s – football
  • Koch – business
  • Lauren – retail
  • Murdoch – media
  • Rockefeller – banking
  • Kennedy – politics
  • Walton’s – superstores

But the influence of your family, on society is JUST AS IMPORTANT as theirs.

Families come is all shapes and sizes, we recognize that. And so does God.

In fact, the Hebrew word that is translated by NIV and other translations as “family”, really means – “a circle of relatives; family; a tribe of people.” The word is “mish-paw-khaw” in Hebrew.

That means a family, is a circle of relatives, a tribe of people who surround each other.

For many, that will be a biological family relation of some sort. For others, that tribe surrounding you is not biolofical but perhaps spiritual or emotional relationships. None the less, these are a circle of people who have your back and you theirs. They are family.

All of us have times in our life that we scrutinize our family relations. We may even question our place in the family or the value of it or possibly even our own value. This is part of life. Part of maturity and growth. Look at these guys who did just that:

Gideon said to God, “Pardon me Lord, how can I… my clan is the weakest and I am the least in my family…” Judges 6:15

Saul too, questioned his family, his clan, his circle – “… is not my clan the least of all the clans?” 1 Samuel 9:21

Could you insert your name there, for Gideon’s or Saul’s? Or do you identify more closely with The Addam’s family, The Brady Bunch, The Kennedy’s, The Ingalls, or the Kardashians?

It has always been God’s plan to use your family to shape you. And that it has. No family is exempt. Weakest clan or strongest/most famous clan, God’s purpose is to use it to shape you into who He has designed you to be. Using the good, the bad, and the ugly in our clan, it develops in us the person and personality we allow. Our responses to those rubbings within the family clan, provide for us choices. Opportunities.

Hang with me here –

That “mish-paw-khaw” word for circle of relatives, family comes from another Hebrew word that means:

” to abrade, to stick out.” It literally means, to scrape or wear away by friction or erosion. To irritate or roughen by rubbing. It is the root from which we get our word abrasion.

Strongs concordance H 8192

Dear reader – doesn’t that sound exactly like your family? My famly? All families?

That circle of relatives who rub us the wrong way, irritate us and cause friction, who have bruised and scraped us raw…. Yeppers! That’s family. The ones who God uses to shape us, and rub off the rough edges of our personality and erode away those things that stick out from us that don’t belong. That is family. And that is what God designed families to do. (In addition to alot of other things…)

God placed each of us into our family of origin. We had no choice. But we do have choices now and how we choose to respond to the rubbing and abrasions of family will make or break us.

But more importantly, our family (and responses to it,) is what makes the backbone of our society. No pressure there, right? But it is true. Our families are meant to display the love of God, grace and mercy of God to the world.

God has chosen families from Adam’s family to yours to reveal His purposes and plans. Let Him rub, and refine you in your family setting and let His light shine through you and reflect off of you and your circle of relatives.

Our society needs Godly Adam’s families.

Cheers to you,

Debbie

TV Family quiz-

  • 20- Family Guy
  • 19- The Gosselins
  • 12- Married with Children
  • 10- Simpsons
  • 8- Fresh Prince
  • 5- Full House
  • 2- Brady Bunch
  • 1- Wonder Years

There’s A Waterfall in My Kitchen

Sunday Sermon 9.18.21

In my view, there’s probably nothing more calming and soothing than the sounds of a river babbling through it’s bed or a gentle waterfall over the smooth rocks. With it comes a deep sense of tranquilility, clarity, purity, refreshment and power.

It was during the Feast of Tabernacles (which, by the way, is approaching Sept. 21-27), that Jesus stood and spoke:

“On the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit…”

John 7:37-39a NIV

Imagine a rustling, babbling river flowing through you, through you and the riverbed of your life, over every rock embedded in your personality. Imagine it’s tranquility, clarity, purity, refreshment and power.

THAT my friend, is the Holy Spirit flowing through you. And that, dear one, is what Jesus promised to those guys back then, and to you and me today. Rivers of living water flowing through those that believe.

So we must ask ourselves, is that river flowing in and through us? Is that waterfall of the Spirit, overflowing and toppling down, over the boulders, bushes, birds of the air?

Chances are the flowing is a mere trickle. Or worst-yet, a dry riverbed, lacking even the slightest bit of moisture. My new hero of the faith says this –

“Dear brethren, our eyes are dry, because our hearts are dry.”

Leonard Ravenhill – “Why Revival Tarries”

Are our hearts dry or is there a river of life flowing through it?

The Lord used this event and picture in my life this week to teach me a thing or two about this flowing river from within us.

I had determined to go for a walk with my husband yesterday and when we returned, I was going to clean the house. You know, mop, vacuum, dust, etc., etc. So we went for our walk and had a wonderful time outdoors, together.

When we returned home, I opened the door to the sound of a waterfall in my kitchen. Now mind you, we have no water fountain or any such water feature in our home, much less in the kitchen.

When I rounded the corner to the kitchen, this is what I saw…

Overflowing from the filled sinks was filthy, black water! It was flowing from the sinks, over the kitchen counter, down the cabinet wall, into the dining room and all over the kitchen floor. Under the cupboard was a collection of water, and the pipes were shooting this disgusting water from the lines.

And the SMELL. WAS. DISGUSTING!

I wish there was an APP for smelling, luckily for you tho’, you can use your eyes instead.

Short story now, the tenant above us was having plumbing work done, this we knew. We had previously had no blockage problems (last November we had a plumber out to clear the lines), so we thought we were good. Until we got home that is. Another plumber came out, cleared the line and we were left to clean up the mess. After 4 hours, we were on the road to “back to normal”.

But here’s the lesson I feel the Lord had for me in this.

You Debbie, were content to clean the visible part of the house, but I am wanting to clean what is unseen. I am wanting to unclog the lines between us, unblock the emotions between us, clean up the stinch of lies that have polluted your image of how I see you, and open you up to the clean, refreshing, tranquil, pure and powerful flow of the living water of the Holy Spirit through you.

WOW! WOW! WOW! I was undone.

You see, the Lord has been working on me, challenging me to allow Him to walk with me through past experiences that have shut me down, distorted my image of the Father, and misshapen my stand as His beloved daughter. So when this picture played out yesteday in my life, it was powerful.

The stinch, the blockage, the sight of unclean water all were used to help me see what He was doing in my life. What He was doing to clean not just the outside but clean the inside of my life, because from me (and YOU) is to flow rivers of living water!

Refreshing, calming, life-giving, powerful, rushing pure rivers of the Holy Spirit flowing through me. But first, I gotta get unclogged, unstopped, roto-rootered… I gotta allow Him to clean me up to feel, sense, think and act like Him. So all that smelly, grungy, flesh-life has got to go.

We could mention hundreds of bible verses here, but I won’t. I will offer this one that has been so magnified in my mind and prayers these past weeks,

“Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on the altar and wait for your fire to fall upon my heart.”

Psalm 5:3 TPT

You see, I am surrendering every area of my life to Him, afresh. Allowing Him to examine, reveal and walk me through the healing that is needed so that my heart will be passionately on fire for Him and clean, refreshing and powerful rivers of living water of the Spirit will flow through and from me.

It took a waterfall in my kitchen to speak powerfully to me and I hope that through it, He has spoken to you too.

Flow through us in purity, Holy Spirit. Unstop and unclog us. We yield to you.

Debbie

Binge-watching

Sunday Sermon 9.11.21

In 2015 the Collins English Dictionary chose “binge-watch” as the word of the year. Wow!

According to research, “this is an observable cultural phenomenon that has become popular”. 61% of Netflix peeps say that they binge-watch regularily. Are you one of them? (No judgements here, jus’ wondering…)

I believe there are lessons to be learned from observing and evaluating cutural trends and happenings. So, what about binge-watching?

Well, let’s look at it… in it, (binge-watching), we are not just watching but over watching or marathon watching. In other words, there is an over emphasis on what we watch and are watching. What types of things do we watch?

  • We watch:
  • TV shows
  • Youtube videos
  • movies
  • our weight
  • sporting events
  • children
  • people

Could we say that there is an “overwatching” of these things? An overemphasis on some or all of them? I agree that the prolonged watching of these is a cultural phenomenon. But I also believe that there just may be a spiritual reason behind the why? (or maybe, more that one reason) Here’s why.

It is clear that we are living in days that we must be on watch, and aware of what is going on around us. There is a call in our spirits to be watchful, aware, on guard and awake. The verses from the Bible, both Old and New Testaments are being trumpeted, “WATCH and PRAY”.

  • Mat, 26:41 – Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation
  • Lk. 21:34-36 – Be careful or your heart will be weighed down…be always on the watch and pray
  • Mk. 13:37 – Be on guard, be alert…therefore keep watch…
  • Eph. 6:18 – praying always with all prayer… being watchful
  • 1 Thes. 5:6-8 – let us watch and be sober
  • Rev. 3:2-3 – be watchful and strengthen the things that remain
  • Rev. 16:15 – blessed is he who watches and keeps his garments
  • 2 Ki. 9:17 – keep watch and warn the townspeople
  • Ezek. 33 & Hos. 9 – watchmen be on guard and warn God’s people

Could it be that the Call of the Spirit to believers, to watch and pray in these days is being inverted by the enemy? Could the rise in binge-watching, and even its declaration of or designation as “word of the year”, be a perversion of the Call of the Spirit to watch and pray?

Could the enemy be terrified of believers who would actually hear that call to watch and pray, and rather set a plan in motion to distract them by any means possible, including his counterfeit – binge-watching?

Would you agree that since 2015 the need to watch and pray has increased exponentially? I think that the enemy knows his end is eminent and has unleashed every lie, plot and strategy to delay his demise. Folks, it is time to watch and pray.

How do you watch and pray, Debbie? What do you mean?

Think of the two words:

  1. WATCH – open your eyes, look around, notice things close and far, notice the visible and be alert to the invisible/spiritual. Look up, turn on the light, and keep looking closely in the dark.
  2. PRAY – offer prayers of all kinds to God

All of us can do this. It is not difficult, but it is costly. It costs our time, energy, and interest.

With all that there is to observe today in our world, in our life, watching should be easy. But our interest must be there, because to pray to God takes more than our interest. We don’t need any special qualifications, we just need to do it. Offer prayers, plural, to God on behalf of what we are seeing, what we have observed, what we are watching.

When we do that, we are acknowledging that we see what’s happening and are powerless to do anything about it, our God is not, however. Therefore, we offer it to Him for His help. We pray to Him. The self-righteous person won’t do that though, for he thinks that he “can handle it.”

When we choose to watch and pray, we are admitting that we can’t handle it but we know who can and we willingly ask for His help in that needy situation.

Whatever you are watching happen in your life right now, I am asking you to pray about it. I don’t care what it is. If you have watched it happen or are watching it happen, please pray. Lift your heart and prayer to God. Yield to His way and power. I promise you will experience a tremendous lifting and peace.

If you can see it (physically or spiritually), you can pray about it. YOU can.

That place we have just described is the starting point of prayer for all of us. Keep awake, watch, notice and then pray about it.

But for some of you, there is more.

You are called to be a watchman! A person who’s job it is to stand guard on the wall of your family, or city, or church or nation and sound the alarm when you see enemy invaders coming. When you see these invaders you move into intercession – deep and passionate prayer for that one, city, church or national situation. You, the watchman, challenge wrong laws, morality, and teaching through prayer and strategic intervention. You watch and pray, but you are a watchman.

With three short blasts, the watchman calls for his supervisors to come and he reports what he has seen to them. Oh watchmen, will you blow your trumpet, and sound the alarm, and signal for the hosts of heaven to come and bring aid?

Today, from their stations, the Israeli Defense Forces guard the local residents of the villages against unwanted attack. They are the “shomer” (Hebrew) security guard; the same Hebrew word used in Psalm 121, when it speaks of Jehovah, the One that watches over us.

God is watching over us, but He is looking for those who will “stand in the gap” and pray when they see invaders. Ezk.22:3

My new favorite hero, Leonard Ravenhill said, “No man is greater than his prayer life.” Folks, your prayers don’t have to be pretty or flowery – geesh, have you read the prayers of the Bible? But your prayers do have to be authentic, intentional and directed to God.

Where can you improve and increase your prayer life?

I believe the word of the day spiritually is – WATCH (and pray), (three words, I know). Don’t let the devil’s counterfeit distract you – you are made for more than binge-watching.

Go with God,

Debbie

PS- Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be accused of over binge-watching and praying?! Ha!

Come Near

Sunday Sermon 9.4.21

The fact that you are reading this right now is super exciting, because God has something to say to you. Yes, YOU, and YES he does.

He is calling to your heart, speaking to your spirit and inviting you to come closer to Him. Step closer, lean in towards Him with total confidence and peace that He will not reject you. You will receive total acceptance from Him.

This is the verse for you to consider –

” Move your heart closer and closer to God, and He will come even closer to you.”

James 4:8 TPT

“Come near to God and He will come near to you.”

James 4:8 NIV

Reverberating through my spirit is His deep longing for you and me to come closer to Him. Closer than we have ever been. Lean in to Him and not away from Him. Bring our heart closer and closer to His heart. There is a strong yearning that He has to be close to you, to share with you, hear from you and love on you. There is no shame, judgment or anger – He just wants to be your Heavenly Father, in a perfectly loving relationship.

Whatever thoughts or emotions you have that war against His invitation to be close to you are simply lies!

There is no act of comssion or omission that His love for you cannot forgive and remove. There is no need for shame, guilt, or humiliation before Him, He despised it and conquered it on the cross of Calvary for me and you.

He will not reject or expose you if you come near to Him.

We all carry our sin and shame and yet He conquered it and removed that barrier when the veil of the temple was torn at His death. He destroyed that shameful separation forever.

At first, we come near to Him asking Him to forgive us of our sins, for Jesus paid the price for our sin on the cross. When we do, He, the Father, forgives us and washes us clean of our sin. In Him now, we are a new creature. The old is gone. We have taken the first step in coming near, bringing our heart before Him and He has come near to us. This is the greatest experience that any human can experience on earth!

But that is not the end of coming near to Him. Not at all.

From there, we each must learn to not just come near to Him, but stay near to Him. Remember, we move closer and closer to Him.

John, the disciple is called “The Beloved”. Why? It is said, because he loved Jesus the most – he laid his head on Jesus’ chest. (at the Last Supper) John, truly leaned in to Jesus. John couldn’t really get much closer to Jesus. He was actually touching the Savior, leaning into His chest. Hearing His heart. Feeling His breath.

I hope this isn’t odd to you or misinterpreted. But John is showing us what it truly means to “Come near to me”.

David, in the Psalms, says this –

“There is a secret place reserved for the lovers of God, where they sit near Him and receive the revelation-secrets of His promises.”

Psalm 25:14

I wanna sit in that secret place with Jesus, where He and I talk and share, where I feel His heart and experience the power of His breath. Gosh, could it be that He would reveal to me “revelation-secrets”??? David experienced this, this place, this intimacy with Jesus. This close place.

David’s son, Solomon, says this,

“… every tender lover finds friendship with God and will hear His intimate secrets.”

Proverbs 3:32 TPT

Friend, God is tenderly and relentlessly calling you to “Come Near” to Him.

Wherever you find your relationship with God today, He is calling you closer. He is calling you to “Come closer and closer”, closer than you have ever been. Lean in to Him. Come near to Him.

We have an open invitation. In my view, we would be foolish to refuse it.

Go with God,

Debbie

What Do You Need to Get Going?

Sunday Sermon 8.28.21

I feel many have been in a perpetual holding pattern for the past fifteen months. So many things have been placed on hold, deferred, declined, shied away from or just plain canceled. This has affected all areas of life, personal, professional and most seriously spiritual. Many have put off things that are now time to get going.

There is merit in addressing lost jobs, vacations, and the like, but I’d like to focus on lost spiritual ground, spiritual assignments and spiritual standings. What in that arena do you need to get going?

Can you visualize an ox goad?

That wooden tool, about 8 feet long, with an iron spike at one end. It was used by the herder to goad or spur the oxen as they carried the cart. When the ox was poked, it’s response was to sometimes kick against it in resistance. This of course was not only futile but also painful for the ox.

Ox goad

The dictionary tells us that a goad is:

” an agent or means of prodding or urging; a stimuls. Anything that acts to stir or incite.”

Cambridge dictionary says this:

” to make a person or animal react or do something by continuously annoying or upsetting them”

It is my strong, personal sense that we are being urged, prodded, poked and perhaps even annoyed or upset by the sharp end of the goad. We are being encouraged and stirred to do something, change course, and redirect. The prod and poke of the Spirit is urging us to get going.

Let me suggest to you the following acronym that came to me as I considered the goal of the goads.

The Goal of the G.O.A.D.S.

G – get us going (in the power of the Gospel): stirring us to act, move and speak in line with the gospel and it’s truth, light and power

O – optimize the oxen’s strength (our stength!) : the oxen has strength to carry a heavy load and yet it often chose to rest, sit, and stay put. The goad poked him to action and to utilize the strength that he has. We are that oxen oftimes.

A – assess the actual progress : weight bearing oxen had to advance and make progress each day, there was a job to be done and his progress was vital. No forward motion led to a poke or a prod to get them to gain ground an move forward. Progress was expected everyday!

D – direct away from danger, to deter certain actions: the goad often guided and directed that ox away from predators, or any other dangers in the road ahead. That nagging, sharp, annoying voice (goad) was protecting and redirecting

S – spur us on: as annoying or upsetting as the goad can be, it was only intended to spur the ox in the right direction, on the right path, pulling the load is was meant to with the strength it has been given.

I have trouble visualizing an ox kicking against that ox goad. How could its hoof and leg actually manage to hit that pointy, poking, prod? Really?? It’s kinda funny.

But isn’t that what we do? We kick back at those subtle pokes of the Spirit because we know that He is calling us to get moving and get with it. We are being encouraged to do something that what we are not comfortable with and our stubborn as an ox spirit oftimes resists.

But God said, to the soon to be Apostle Paul:

“It is hard for you to kick against the goads”

Acts 26:14 NIV

“You are only hurting yourself when you resist your calling.”

Acts 26:14 TPT

Dear reader, when we resist the pokings of the Holy Spirit goad, we are only hurting ourselves. We are resisting the very calling He has placed on our lives.

Remember, those promptings and pokings are intended to get us going with optimal strength on a path forward, actually making progress and guarded from danger. That goad is spurring us on and stirring us up.

Geesh, if we were walking fully submitted to the GOAD (voice of the Spirit), we could be doing the same as Shamgar, who is said to have killed 600 with an ox goad. Or perhaps even be as the wise one in Ecclestiates, of whom it is said their wise words were like ox goads.

All I know folks, is it is time for all believers in Jesus to get going! You cannot be doing now, the same things you were doing fifteen months ago! If nothing has changed in your spirit, then you have not responded to the goadding of the Spirit in your life. If you are stuck, it is time to yield to the goad and get going. If you are resisting that goad, you are only hurting yourself. There will be futility and pain.

The world needs you, and the time for ignition is short. The call of the Spirit is strong and is indeed urging you to get going. What are you waiting for?

The goal of the goads it to get us going.

Go with God,

Debbie

Amazingly wrong, while thinking we’re right

Sunday Sermon 8.21.21

It seems like in every arena of life we see people seized with passionate resolve to walk a path they are conviced is right, and yet, somehow, in the broader picture with added light and insight that path was horribly wrong.

Whether we look to politics, or the heated issues of the day involving what our children are being taught, or the traditions within our religious communities, or across the seas to a nation under seige by a violent sect of extremists, we cannot help but be gripped with the zealous threatenings and assaults on what is right by that which is wrong.

I am reminded of a man who’s zeal for his God put him on a path with authorization to capture and imprison all believers of The Way. He is described this way –

“____________, (his name) full of angry threats and rage wanted to murder the disciples of the Lord.”

Acts 9:1

This man, was zealous for his God, and had lived a pretty blameless life, according to his religious beliefs. He was a Roman citizen, raised in the strictest Hebrew teachings, and was well respected within his community of religious adherents.

He was on a manhunt for believers and followers of The Way. He believed what he was doing was pleasing to his God. He was firecely passionate, so much so, his passion turned to rage. His anger boiled over and in it he believed He was doing the right things.

But he was oh, so wrong.

The Passion Translation notes in Acts 9, where his story is told:

“The conversion of Saul the legalist into Paul the grace preacher has a significant lesson for us. We can be amazingly wrong while thinking we are doing right.”

Acts 9:11-12 TPT notes

So, what’s the lesson?

This man Saul, was a passionate persecutor of believers. This man Saul, was the one who was in agreement with the stonning of Stephen and watched it happen as he guarded the murders’ clothes. This man Saul, was on a mission that he thought was right. And this man Saul, gets knocked off of his high horse by a blinding light and booming voice.

A voice from heaven spoke to him, as his entourage listened, and told him his passion was misdirected, his efforts off course, and his beliefs out of whack. So, for three days, he blindly waited without eating, for more clarity and direction. He had heard the voice of The Lord, and he would wait for further instruction from that powerful voice.

It came via a messenger, sent by God. Ananias went to find this blind, angry man, and delivered God’s message to him.

” Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me to pray for you so that you might see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit. Immediately he got up and was baptized… and within the hour he was in the synagogues, preaching Jesus is the Son of God. Those who heard him were astonished, saying, “Isn’t this the Saul who furiously persecuted those who called on the name of Jesus?”

Acts 9:17-21

Saul was amazingly wrong but God spoke to him redirecting his passion, re-charting his course, and realigning his beliefs. Giving him light, inspiration, revelation and boldness, God took this man who was so passionately off course and set him straight. There on Straight street, Saul was shown the right, true way.

Friends, this account gives me such hope!

God sees our heart. If that heart is desirous of pleasing Him, faith-filled, and honestly willing to change, He will show up in that life/heart. He will speak and knock us off our high horse, to realign us with what is right in His eyes.

There is hope!

Whether in the political arena, educational, international, or personal, God is able to reveal what is truly right in His eyes to those who are so amazingly wrong today.

Within an hour God can open blind eyes, change the passions of a man, and the course of history.

Let’s not give up hope on any situation or person.

If God did this for Saul, who was so amazingly wrong, there is no one beyond His reach.

Go with God,

Debbie

Return and Enter

Sunday Sermon 8.14.21

On our computer keyboards return and enter are synonymous. The return key moves the cursor to the beginning of the next line, yes, but it also returns control to whatever program is currently running.

Additionally, the return key activates whatever is highlighted or selected.

Our computers are even designed to insert a “hard return”. And did you know that hitting return and 1 tells the main brain that the program has not executed successfully and there is some error?

Keeping with this theme of return, August 7 began the Hebrew month of Elul, the month that preceeds Rosh Hashanah, and is a month of self-examination, repentance and returning to God. During this time, in preparation for the Day of Atonement, we reflect on the previous year and look forward to the next year. It is a month of returning to God and receiving a clean slate, receiving forgiveness.

The Jewish sages tell us that the relationship between God and man during this time is pictured as between two beloveds with a yearning to connect. God is actually yearning for man to return to him to connect with Him.

During this month of returning, in Jewish families and synagogues the shofar is blown each day as an invitation to wake up and seek a deeper connection with God.

Could it be that in your life it is time to hit the return button and return control to God’s program? Could your brain be signaling return 1… notifying you there is an error somewhere that needs addressing?

I truly believe that we are living in a season of return.

Return is a call to all people and all nations. We here in America have turned away from God, we have removed God. Yet those who return to Him will find forgivenenss, will find a new faith activated, sin deleted, and a hard return inserted into our main drive. It is time to seek the Lord and return to Him.

Hear Him calling you, urging you to come close and connect with Him:

Zech. 1:3 – return to me and I will return to you

2 Chron. 30:9 – the Lord is gracious and compassionate, He will not turn His face from you if you return to Him

Joel 2:12 – return to me with all your heart with fasting, weeping and mourning

Hosea 14:1-2; 9 – Return to the Lord your God. Your sins have been your downfall. Take words and return to the Lord. Say to Him, forgive our sin, receive us graciously. Who is wise, he will understand this. The ways of the Lord are right. The righteous walk in them but the rebellious stumble in them.

We cannot be certain how long this season of returning will last, judgment will follow, but we can be certain that He is calling us now to return. As a beloved spouse, He yearns to reconnect deeply with you, to highlight and activate you in His program of life, peace and joy.

Let’s hear the shofar blowing, alerting us to wake up! Let’s diligently enter this month of self examination and repentance and let us return to God who is gracious and compassionate. Let us use our words to highlight our sin, ask for forgiveness and return to walk in God’s ways.

Return and enter into all God has for you. He loves you so.

And I ask Him to remind you to return and enter every time you see a computer keyboard. May the visual on that keyboard serve as a constant reminder to return and enter.

Go with God,

Debbie