Tuesday, August 16, 2016

I just HAD to share some praise reports!

First, God has saved another prodigal connected to our Life Church family!

Also, a mom from Life Church has a son who was running with a crowd that was not a good influence.  He was going to hang out with them, but was delayed in a long check-out line at the store.  (Can we say, "Thank You, God?")  While he was delayed, one of his influences was shot twice.  This son was protected and has since denounced his friendships with them, and the father’s heart has reopened to him emotionally.  God is amazing!


From another mother who has just started receiving our promise/praise/prayer who is praying for her son and daughter-in-law:  “Wanted to share a praise.  Took 2 oldest girls home after school yesterday and witnessed a smile and good conversation between my daughter in law and <my granddaughter/her stepdaughter>.  I was so very thankful!  My spirit was leaping. Praise our sweet Lord and Savior - I am thankful for every positive affirmation!  (a good start - God is on the move)  thanks for your prayers!”
I thought you might like a little faith-booster!  I know that to me this seems more like a shower than a raindrop!
Thank You, LORD, for answering our prayers!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Mind the Gap.

We returned home from London on Sunday. 

Each time we boarded the tube to traverse the city, or exited to see new things, a recording would say, "Mind the gap."  There were signs that reminded people, as well as refrigerator magnets and other memorabilia.  This is important because people have gotten their feet caught in the gap between the train and the platform, and injury occurs when the train departs. 

Evin and I were standing in a check-out line in London, and it hit me that there had to be at least a devotional in this slogan since I could not shake the phrase.  What fun that would be! 

Suddenly there it was!  And it was a restatement of one of my callings.

As pray-ers for prodigals, we are called to "mind the gap!" 

Ezekiel 22:30 says, "So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one." 

We are to make walls to protect our loved ones.  We are to stand in the gap for them in prayer.  I never want it to be said of me that I missed an opportunity to "mind the gap." 

This is something I can do. 

While we were in Paris, I did miss an opportunity.  I saw an young man sitting on a wall with a t-shirt that read, "No Hope Left."  That struck me hard.  I have been praying that I would be the answer to someone else's prayer to be a witness to his or her prodigal, but I missed this opportunity, partly because of fear.  I walked away without sharing that there is hope in Jesus.  I am ashamed and very sorry.  I have apologized to God, and I have prayed for that young man repeatedly, but I never want to miss that opportunity again.  Lesson learned. 

Let's look for opportunities to not only mind the gap in prayer, but to mind the gap for the prodigals of others through a helping hand, outright witnessing, and being an example of godly joy and peace. 

Mind the gap!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Exceeding Great Army

This week, a story in the Bible has been blessing me.  I am filled with hope, anticipation, promise, and a prayer that is powerful, because it is based on the Word of God.

Ezekiel 37:10 says, "So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army."

Let me set up the story.

The first two verses of this chapter says, "The hand of the LORD came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones.  Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry."  (NKJV)

The LORD took Ezekiel to the valley and caused him to walk around to look at all of the dry bones.  He wrote that they were "very dry."  They had apparently been dead a long time. 

I think the parallel between these bones and our prodigals is obvious. 
     1. They have been dead a long time. 
     2. They are very dry spiritually.  
     3.They have all been alive at one point.
     4. God can raise them up, breathe life back into them, and use them to fight for His kingdom.

The first two are hard to take.  It is so very hard to think of our loved ones being spiritually dead after having known God.  In fact, in addition to being sad, I get really angry about it.

But the fourth point is powerful.  Just like Jesus forgave the paralytic lowered by his friends through the roof and forgave his sins, demonstrating what He can do spiritually through what He did physically (Mark 2:3-12), He demonstrated through the "exceedingly great army" what He plans to do in the lives of our prodigals. 

I have been moved for several weeks now to pray for our prodigals that they would be "saved, sanctified, filled with the Spirit, and anointed to fulfill the purpose, ministry, and calling for which they were created."  I am asking God to do spiritually what He demonstrated physically, to raise up "an exceedingly great army" to fight along-side us. 

Can you imagine what your loved one will do for the kingdom of God once he or she is saved?  Remember, "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us" (Ephesians 3:20).  Because of the things they have experienced, they will reach people who will not give us the time of day.  They each have a calling on their life, and God will redeem all they have gone through!

God has already begun the return of the prodigal army.  He has saved 22 people on our list, and He is working in the lives of the rest! 

I give Him the praise for these that have been saved, and I thank Him that He is still working in the lives of the others to raise up this "exceedingly great army."
 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

"When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them:  for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt."  (Deuteronomy 20:1 NKJV)

We may not fight battles with warriors on horses and riding chariots, but there are plenty of times when we feel we are outnumbered and that the battle is too difficult.  But this verse tells us that when this happens, we should look back at the great things God has already done in our lives to remind us that He can and will deliver us yet again, that HE will be with us in our battles. 

Our enemies are just as real as the enemies of the children of Israel, but we are not fighting flesh and blood.  We are fighting "against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."  (Ephesians 6:12 NKJV)

Has God saved anyone you know?  Has God saved anyone with a difficult past? 

Has God healed you?  Has God healed you or anyone against all odds?  

Has God provided for you?  Has God provided for you when there was no other way?

Has God broken strongholds? 

Has God delivered?

Has God sanctified?

That is the God that will be with you in this fight, the one you are fighting today, whether it be for healing, for salvation, for your family, for provision, for deliverance.  God, "who brought you up from the land of Egypt", is with you!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Order

"Every time God spoke during creation, order came out of the chaos."  (Thomas Madden at Life Church Huntsville over a year ago.)

This applies to our lives as well, even the lives of the families with prodigals. 

He also said, "Speak prophetically the word of the Lord."

Then he talked about how satan is not omniscient.  He does NOT know everything.  ("But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." -- 1 Corinthians 2:7-8)

He said, "All that satan is doing in my life is a set up by God for His will to be done, for the glory to be revealed."  That is powerful, especially for those families with prodigals.

Then he gave some direction:  "We have to roll the stone away and move into spiritual warfare.  We are the ones who rolled the stone over the situation and decided to just cope." 

So. . . roll the stone away; move into spiritual warfare; speak prophetically the word of the Lord; and NEVER believe satan's lies. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

My Testimony Now

I have a testimony now, even before my prodigal is saved, because I have been promised!

2 Timothy 1:12 says:  "For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day." 

Being ashamed is a trick of the devil. 

And we have a testimony now, because we KNOW WHOM we believe, and if He has promised, it is a done deal!
How does a prodigal come to his/her senses?

A prodigal comes to his senses in the same way the stomach hungers for food:  the conscience hungers to be cleansed.