Tag: Body of Christ

Loving Others Extravagantly in 2016

My goal for 2016 is to open my heart more. To love others extravagantly and without measure. To give grace abundantly and to open my life to my fellow brothers and sisters. 

2 Corinthians 6:12-13 We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts also. 

It troubles me that we are not bound together in our everyday lives. We come together on Sunday and praise the Lord yet on Monday or Tues we don’t even talk. The body is hurting. And we are not even talking about it. It’s time to get real – and share our struggles. I’m not talking about a church function where we all out on our ‘religious faces.’ It’s the ordinary, everyday lives that we should share with each other. Let it begin with me Lord. 

When did fellowship become an event?

When did a meal together become an event?

What happen to just sharing our lives? 

I pray for humility this year. To stop the religious ‘busy-ness’ of events and just ‘be’ with other believers. To be spontaneous and have fun together. To be the family that laughs together and cries together and prays together. 

  

Philippians 2:1-4 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. 

Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 


Let me put others needs above my own this year Lord. Open my eyes to see where I can help my brothers or sisters. Let me see and fill their needs – whether it is time, money, food, prayers, or just sitting down long enough to listen – use me Lord to build up the Body of Christ, in Jesus Name.

  

2 Corinthians 5:17-21 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 

  

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Preceded by Chaos

The Body of Christ is so weary, including me.  Yes, it’s Monday. And I fall down at the feet of my Savior and cry out, “How long Lord, how long?” We desperately need a new breath of God. Everything we thought we knew has come to naught. The new wind of the Spirit will revive us. So we sit and search and wait. Just like those folks did in the Upper Room. I’m sure those Disciple guys felt like their world was falling apart into complete chaos. But the best was yet to come!

Let’s pray and sing psalms together and wait for what God promised.

Come to Me

What promise are you waiting on?

Here are 3 Promises I am holding onto these days:

 

  1. I am waiting on the promise that, “Not by might, not by strength, but by My Spirit.” We are so blessed to have a congregation of worshippers. Praise and worship brings in the presence of God like a breath of fresh air. God knows what we need, and when we need it to. He promised to provide – not only in the physical world, but in the spiritual realm as well. He knows his kiddos are tired and He has the oil of joy that will break the yokes of bondage. The anointing of GOD is in the oil – the Holy Spirit. Thank you Holy Spirit –  lead us, comfort us, guide us into all truth, in Jesus Name.
  2. And I am waiting on “Everything your hand touches will prosper.” I have seen it happen in my children’s lives. They are so blessed beyond belief the don’t even know it.  I am grateful that God has shown them all tremendous favor.  And I am grateful for the new season He is bringing me and my husband into. I don’t want to camp in the valley. I don’t even really like camping. And I know what the valley looks like. I’m ready for a new view. How about you?
  3. And, “I will restore the years the locust have eaten. ”  I have to believe that God can make some use out of my messed up life. I didn’t think all that junk would happen. Maybe you didn’t either. Sometimes the best intentions end up going haywire. Sometimes covenants are not kept due to no fault of your own. Sometimes junk just happens. We live in a fallen world.

“Life is a hell of a thing to happen to a person.”

~Rossi on Criminal Minds

But I survived, and so did you.  In fact, God can make good come out of whatever the enemy used to try to destroy you. Look at Joseph. Look at Job. Don’t give up yet – your story isn’t over yet my friends. And neither is mine. Let’s see where God takes us. I hear He is a really good driver. He knows the way. And I  don’t even think He needs Google Maps!

We Are Key People

The following are my notes from a wonderful class my husband and I took to learn about the Kingdom of God.

keys

 

We are KEY PEOPLE. The Lord has anointed us to open key places in your city, country, and time. See yourself as the key to open the doors in your area.  We bring breakthroughs! We open doors, we enter in and we overcome the darkness with the Light of God. We are key to what God is doing here and now in this region.

 

How to See Yourself as a Key Person:

  1. We are the key to what God is doing here. We are a key to a slot in this society to unlock territory and breakthrough.

  2. Only the righteous can open the door. We have been declared righteous by what Jesus did for us, not by our works. We are a key because Christ is in us. It is he who does the work.

  3. We are the solution to war the darkness in our area.

  4. If you don’t see yourself as a key person, then others won’t see Christ in you. The Kingdom of God is within you. The Kingdom of God is here, now.

  5. We work together in a team to push a cause – the cause of Christ.

  6. This cause is bigger than the giants in your land. The Cross of Christ is bigger than the obstacles.

  7. Push the Gospel Message through your ‘house’ to change people. God changes the hearts of people when they get a vision of being a Kingdom Person. That’s how we change the World.

  8. The Lord will anoint you with His Spirit and His Power to do His work. It’s not about us or our agendas. The Lord will lead you and the Holy Spirit will teach you on your journey.

  9. God will send the rain and the blessings because of the Presence of Jesus in us, not because of what we do or don’t do.

  10. This Spiritual Rain makes things grow. God has a purpose and a plan.

  11. Relationships create life. Jesus wants relationship, not religion. It’s the LIFE in the plant that produces the structure. The structure does not produce LIFE. The more Godly relationships we have – the more LIFE. Connect to LIFE. We are all Key People in the Kingdom of God.

  12. We are safe people and we create safe places. When you know who you are you can bless people. When we work together in faith ALL of God’s people are key components.

  13. Our faith and our relationships will grow. Just as a baby born with a baby skeleton grows over time, we will adapt and change to facilitate growth.

  14. We will all bear fruit. We all have something to say. Don’t disqualify yourself! God has already qualified you for the work He has for you. God has make you for such a time as this. You are a Key Person to unlock destinies and overcome the darkness in the world around you.

  15. Let go of old concepts and embrace the new ones that God shows you. We are dynamite. and we receive power from on High to be His Witnesses. He will accomplish amazing things through us.

Revelation 1_8

 

(Image Sources – Pinterest)

 

We Are All Just Potato Chips

My husband Bob shared with me an amazing analogy the other day.  We were talking about why there are so many denominations.  And so many different kinds of worship.  I thought about music, and how some days I listen to country, some days Christian, some days oldies, some days jazz, etc. But they are all music.  But God gave Bob a greater revelation that helped me immensely, and I wanted to share it with you today.

potato chips

We are all just potato chips. 

Yep, potatoe chips. Some of us are plain, some have ridges, some are BBQ, some are salt and vinegar, etc. We may have different flavorings or look differently. We might have ridges, we might not. Some may be Lays or Pringles or Cape Cod – but we are all from the same potato.

And you don’t see the plain chips fighting with the BBQ do you?  The Salt and Vinegar chips don’t clobber the Dill Pickle chips when we turn our heads right? And hey, those Pringles, well they’re aren’t ‘real’ potato chips right? I can hear it now – the gossip in the potato chip aisle…

“They don’t look like us.”

“They are all cut up.”

“And they are all stacked together like that, That can’t be right.”

“They aren’t a real chip – they don’t have what we have.”

“Who let them in?”

“They aren’t even in a bag, I mean really!”

“Who said they could be here?”

“You can’t put that seasoning stuff on, you are supposed to be plain.”

“Do you see those ridges?”

 

See what I mean?  But they are all potato chips. They all came from a potato.

One body – many parts. We may be Catholic, Methodist, Apostolic, Lutheran, whatever – but God made us all.  Some sing hymns, some contemporary, some read NIV,  some read King James.  But we are all His kids.  He is the Father. He gets to decide who and what and where and how. I don’t give my kids the exact same gift every year.  Maybe God likes flavors – idk. I do know I don’t like it when my kids criticize each other, beat each other up, say mean things about others, etc.  I want my kids to get along and help each other – despite all the differences they have.

We all have different gifts – and that’s ok.  I’m just happy to be on God’s shelf!

Now there are distinctive varieties and distributions of endowments (gifts, extraordinary powers distinguishing certain Christians, due to the power of divine grace operating in their souls by the Holy Spirit) and they vary, but the [Holy] Spirit remains the same.
And there are distinctive varieties of service and ministration, but it is the same Lord [Who is served].
And there are distinctive varieties of operation [of working to accomplish things], but it is the same God Who inspires and energizes them all in all. (1 Corinthians 2:4-6 AMP)

 

Life by the Spirit

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. (Galatians 5:13-15 NIV)

So my question is – how long will the body keep destroying itself by finding fault with each other?  Sounds like a really bad auto-immune disease where your own body destroys itself. Why is it people think that the only people that will be in Heaven will be the ones going to their church?  I am glad we don’t get to play Savior.  I’m glad Jesus gets to judge – not us.

And thanks to Pastor Jeff too, for reminding us today that we are all members of HIS body, He is God and we are servants, and nobody gets to ‘take over’ anybody.

 

 

That Ugly Stick is Not Love

I found this poem in my journals from a while ago. I wrote it after coming out of a bad relationship. Sometimes I think I learn what is from what isn’t. Does that make sense? Love was one of those things. I had lots of people tell me they loved me, but their actions did not match. And neither did mine.

When you are starved for love sometimes you take the first thing that comes along. Just because you are starving. It might be that first boyfriend who tells you he loves you just to have sex. It might be that first job where you find yourself working for a boss with shady integrity. When you are starving you just want to eat. It doesn’t matter what.

I would ask the Body of Christ to put down the “ugly” stick and the magnifying glass. It’s time we stopped hurting each other and magnifying each other’s shortcomings and sin. There are people dying out there…

Source: my opera.com
Source: my opera.com

Cover One Another With Love

Serve one another

encourage each other

Father the orphans with love

Bind up the broken

heal the sick

Deliver the addict

break the bondage

Cover one another with love

Be quick to forgive

and slow to anger

believing the best

for a friend

Pray without ceasing

giving thanks for all things

Help your brother to live

Cover one another with love

Stand up for the oppressed

protect the weak

Provide for the widow

and share all your things

Heal the sick

shelter the homeless

Untie the bound

set prisoners free

Cover one another with love

~Copyright 2013 Diana Rasmussen~

From: hungryforgodsword.blogspot.com
From: hungryforgodsword.blogspot.com
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Speak to the spirit

From: scotthuffblog.wordpress.com
From: scotthuffblog.wordpress.com

Every now and again you hear a sermon that knocks your socks off.  Yep, Pastor Kermit was on fire today!  His message came from Ephesians 6.

He said, if someone offends you, the battle is not with them. The battle is with the SPIRIT that is driving them. For example, if you run into an arrogant person, don’t fight with them. But speak to the Spirit of Pride.  Command the Spirit of Pride to leave that person. Talk to the spirit, tell it to shut up and leave. We have the authority in Christ to kick those spirits out! All this time I have been praying FOR the person and staying in the natural realm.

Today Pastor K reminded me that my battle is not with flesh and blood, but with the principalities and powers in high places. So, as a blood bought child of God, we can speak the WORD to those spirits and they have to obey and leave. Maybe we will see more deliverance in the Body of Christ when we walk in the authority that Jesus died to give us and do what he did. Let’s speak to the spirit that is driving the person and watch Jesus set the prisoners free!

The Whole Armor of God

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Ephesians 6:10-13 NKJV).

From: www.ingodsimage.com
From: www.ingodsimage.com

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;  praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. (Ephesians 6:14-20 NKJV)

Do Twelve Step Meetings open doors to sexual predators?

Every now and then you run across a post that just opens up a new revelation for you, right? Well last night I read this and it immediately spoke to me. You may or may not agree with me on this post – and that is ok.  I am sharing my experiences and my thoughts here.

Here is the post that helped me see last night:
NO FEAR HERE

You see, in my past I have attended about 10+ years of 12 Step Meetings. I went to everything from Al-Anon, CODA, ACOA, AA, NA, and more looking for answers.  I did not know GOD then. And I bought into the lie – that I could just make one up.  That the “God of my understanding” was it.  There were even those who prayed to doorknobs and squirrels. Really. A room full of people looking for answers, and using a Blue Book instead of the Bible.  Yeah, I made up my own image of God ( my very own idol) and I refused the God of the Bible.  At that time in my life I memorized that Blue Book.  After all we read those 12 steps and 12 traditions at every meeting.  And we share old war stories. And we measure ourselves by what we do or don’t do – drink or don’t drink, drug or don’t drug, etc.  Wow, talk about deceived.  Talk about a form of Godliness and denying it’s power.

Anyway, let’s just take the 1st Step:

1. We admitted we were POWERLESS OVER _____, and that our lives had become unmanageable.

Ok, what does the Word of God say about this?

 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

(2 TIMOTHY 1:7 NKJV)

 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. (Romans 8:11 NKJV)

 

So, here is my dilemma:

In 12 step groups you are powerless and will never recover. You have no power.  The drink or the drug is your GOD. You measure yourself by that.  You believe you are sick forever.  And the thing that you want relief from has now become your GOD.  I worshiped my recovery.  I thought about it day and night, I went to multiple meetings, and I even defined myself with a ‘label’ when I attended.  I became my ‘disease’. My name is _____ and I am a __________. What a lie. Talk about being deceived.

vs

In the Body of Christ – you have the power of God in you, the same power that rose Jesus Christ from the dead, and you can be healed and made whole and well.  The power of the Holy Spirit resides in you.  Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord.  God gets to be God, and deliver you, and free you – from whatever.  It is not based on our works, what we do or don’t do, but on the Grace of God.  Our worth is not based on what we drink or eat or do. And we are not a disease.  We are children of the King. And we have POWER! We are not POWERLESS!

I have even read that these groups are cults.  Really. Wow, talk about a revelation.  Exploring more, I came across these two blogs.

EXPOSE AA AT http://www.expaa.org/

STOP 13 STEP IN AA at http://stop13stepinaa.wordpress.com/

Now I get it.  These meetings are court ordered for many criminals including sex offenders and pedophiles  I have been 13th stepped.  I have met some very, very sick people in 12 step groups. Like JM, who thought he was an expert in Al-Anon, was the leader in many groups, but was a Predator in disguise.  Had all the toys – the corvette, the plane, the house, made lots of money, yet drank himself to oblivion every night after a meeting.  He later was fired from his cushy job for keeping inappropriate photos at work.  He had guns in his closet and wasn’t afraid to use them.  He had photo album upon album of his S&M ‘hobby’ of demeaning and beating women – I saw them.  He thought he was fine and recovered.  And this is the person who led the meetings.  Yeah.  And I’m sure he is not the only sicko in charge. And no, I do not go to meetings anymore – too many psychos! Thank you Jesus, for truth and light.

From: www.orange-papers.org
From: www.orange-papers.org
Here are some of the articles I read:

The 13th Step – the film

A Documentary about sexual predatory behavior in AA and it’s culture. This is about changing laws at a Federal level around criminals being plea bargained into 12 step meetings. This film is about changing policy in AA and making AA safer with Workshops, Literature, Posters, Sexual harassment training at every level within its structure and warning the public of its current polices and who is really sitting in a meeting with the public at large and current AA members.

Divine Connections

wpid-IMG_20130522_172931_176.jpg

Have you noticed the Lord is bringing His children together lately?  I cannot tell you how many DIVINE CONNECTIONS the Lord has brought my way in this past six months.  There is a Great Awakening happening in the Body of Christ.  God is bringing his kids together to accomplish His will on earth.  It’s not a solo act anymore, there are ensembles rising up!  And they are anointed with Power from God!

Do you feel it?

Do you see it?

There are great pockets of power the Lord is establishing.

Has it kept you up?

Or has God gotten you up early for a ‘download’ during your prayer time?

And it starts with PRAYER!

from whowillyouserve.blogspot.com
from whowillyouserve.blogspot.com
Pray with Simplicity
“And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat?
“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.
“The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:
Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best—
as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.

In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do.

You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part. (Matthew 6:5-15 MSG)

My Prayer for You:

Dear Lord,
We thank you for the divine connections you are making.  Thank you for gathering your sisters and brothers from around the World to accomplish Your will on earth.  I pray that we listen before we speak, and get our ‘marching orders’ from You alone. Let our own plans and designs fall by the wayside like tumbleweed.  Confuse the enemy as we pray –  Blow them all away Lord.  Let Your will be done here on Earth, in Jesus Name, through Your chosen messengers  – us!  Thank you Jesus!