2011

A SONG

By: David Mattioli

AngelSinging

A sweet melody plays in the distant,
So sweet and clear
An angel singing praise to the Father

I will sing a song filled thanksgiving and joy
Of being the child of the King

Hold me close Lord
I sing a song to glorify Your name
Always and forevermore
I'm a willing servant to serve my Adonai.

My God and King provider of everything
To every person large and small
Glory to His name the song goes...
Be exalted Lord... of all.
For we are living sacrifices unto thee
Singing Your songs of praise.


David Mattioli

Are you “BROKEN”? Good. Now you got something God can work with.

man_broken
Written by: Julia Shalom Jordan

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God thou wilt not despise.” Ps. 51:17

Have you ever seen a “broken man?”  A man that is so destroyed, he no longer postures himself to disguise it?  This person has come to terms with his fragility and there is no more hiding.  This hopeless, feeble, searching and dependent state would cause most people to inwardly cringe at the thought. Every human being has their “breaking point”; a place where once he is taken there, he no longer is the same person again.  
Many people live their lives in fear of this
“breaking point”.  Thousands succumb to a tedious life of mediocrity stuffing their mouths or emptying their wallets to numb the desire for more; because they fear the risk of where it might take them, or what it would make them.  Some loose themselves in reckless abandon to do “it all” before life consumes them or their window of opportunity. But, in God’s eyes, a man who has risked it all to no avail, and has come to the end of himself is actually in the best position. He is in the position to receive grace.

When a person is completely broken, he can now accept his personal fragility and come to the humble beginning place where
God can rebuild him. 

God created man in His image and even with our human shortcomings, man is a masterpiece.  The gift of self-will has caused many to rebel with a spirit of pride. The nature of pride repels the hand of help from anyone–even God.  This is the quickest way to move
out from under the protection of the Almighty One.  Being broken is not bad; it is actually just the beginning.  The more broken you have become; the better God’s restoration power can be seen through you.  And when God is finished with the masterpiece of your life, it may not be what you expect, but it will definitely be better than anything you could have made of it.

“Dear Heavenly Father,
I am broken.  I am not going to lie or hide anymore for you see me as I am. When the doors are closed and the windows drawn, you know what a mess I truly am. I am so thankful to read that this is a gift to you.  In Psalms 51:17 it says that you do not despise me.  Oh, Lord.  I despise myself!  Lord, help me.  I am desperate for a change and desperate for a real life.  I would have thought that by this age, I would have gotten further.  But, Lord, I am here now, and I am asking for you to hold me in your bosom.  This is exactly where I need to be—and I cannot believe this is what I have been running from all along!  Thank you for your mercy.  I accept the love you are giving to me now.  Heal me so that someday soon, I will be able to show others just how good you really are.  In Jesus’ precious name, Amen...”


Julia Shalom Jordan1

Julia Shalom Jordan



Night of Surrendered

Night_of_Surrender
I see Jesus – standing with His disciples – all gathered together in the garden – In the distance I can see the soldiers coming – coming to take Him away. There must me a thousand torches and lanterns forming an eerie luminous snake - As they make their way from the temple mount – down through the ravine of the Kidron and back up toward us.

Standing here now – as an eyewitness – The night before the crucifixion... it is more than an “out of body” experience. I almost
feel like I am invading a sacred moment in time. I feel like maybe I shouldn’t be here today...

“Stay with me – watch and write what you see – record what I show you. – Step through the veil right now and be with me. There is no time and space in the spirit realmneither forward nor back in time. Time has no hold on me- “I Am!!!”

WOW, Jesus – just saying those words
“I Am” shook me to the core. “What infinite power there are in those two words...” “I will watch Lord – and I will record –as you wish...”

The soldiers come closer and closer – the smell of their torches now fills the cool night air. The smell brings with it a sense of evil – like something more has entered our presence then just what - we can see. – The soldiers begin to form a circle around us – Their torches and lanterns forming a mantle, or ball of light - by which dark figures - cast shadows that flicker and dance in the night. I can see the breath of the soldiers – I hear them snorting for air after their hard climb. The night is filled with anxious anger – a palatable driving force- retrained for now – by their leader- their Tribune...

Whom do you seek? Jesus speaks loudly for all to hear...

Jesus of Nazareth! Comes back their reply – The words spoken with arrogance and pride – They are strong and defiant.... BARKED!!! out with extreme distain and irreverence...

“I Am” was all Jesus replied – as I watch even now I see the story unfold as it was told... The army of soldiers all battle hardened and fierce... Are thrown back - lifted off of their feet ! in an explosive sock wave – that emanates from Jesus as its source – Like a stone in thrown in a pound – the ripple effect - knocks them on their backs. They don’t seem to be able to move – there are all caught off guard -paralyzed and pined to the ground. The only ones who are still standing are the disciples, Jesus and myself. Even Judas the trader is laid out – incapacitated...

Jesus asks a second time...
“Whom do you seek?

But this time they answer – with
respect, reference, fear and awe... Quietly they respond... “aahhh... Jesus of Nazareth...?”

“I Am” Jesus says again... and again they are pined harder to the ground.

“I Am --- the one you seek – let these men go free and I will go with you...”

They don’t budge – they can’t move

Peter then takes his sword... One that he had concealed on him... Takes it out/ and cuts of the ear of the chief / temple guard /
Malchus. Going for the his head he misses taking only his ear...

Peter!!! Jesus shouts! – Put that away –
Those who live by the sword – will die by the sword! – Can’t you see... I have this under control? I don’t need your help! – Shall I not drink of the cup that the father has for me to drink? Now go – get out of here...

The disciples – take off – scattering in all directions...

OK... I am ready – you may take me now... Jesus says...
Surrendering to their will...

The soldiers slowly get up... Two soldiers come near Jesus - sheepishly – Jesus offers up His hands - They bind Him - and begin to lead him away...

Jesus turns to me and says...

I willing did this – I surrendered –
so you could live! --- I laid down my lifeI died for you...

Yes Lord – I say now crying...

Jesus still looking at me asks...

Will you die for me –
So I can live in you?

Yes Jesus – I love you so much...

“I love you too...” Jesus says... as they take Him away...

Pastor, Ben Andrews

BenandMary5
Ben and Mary Andrews

What Had He Done?

Jesusandtheives

The people were many and the cry was loud
“Crucify, crucify!” came out from the crowd

The faint sound, a whisper, ran fast through the streets,
“What has He done? Why won’t He speak?”

Thrice, then the cock crowed, His last friend was gone,
Still the crowd mocked, but what had He done?

On His head a thorn crown was placed,
All human likeness had hence been erased.

A robe of purple was give to wear.
They tore from his beard, great handfuls of hair.

Once more from the mob came out the fierce call,
“Crucify! Crucify up on Mount Skull!”

Up the steep road He carried the cross,
Knowing today His life would be lost.

They pierced through His hands with old rusty nails.
Then through His feet. Oh, the pain that prevailed!

With all of His weight and the weight of the cross,
The sound of flesh tearing as it plunged in the rocks.

The earth trembled ’neath the darkening skies,
The mocking ceased as they looked in his eyes.

Not hatred or madness from Him did ascend,
But love and kindness from a heart-broken friend.

With one final breath, “It’s finished!” He cried,
He gave up the ghost and willingly died.

“Oh, what has He done?” I cried with a shout.
“And where is this paradise He told me about?”

The cold over-whelmed me, but now I’m so warm,
For now I’m in Heaven, this thief’s been reborn.

jesus-cross-407x1

Ben Andrews, Sr./ Treasure State Academy/Mar. 1979

BenandMary5
Ben and Mary Andrews
__________________________________________________________________

TURN BACK THE DARKNESS

Darkness_Flees

Through the awesome name of Jesus
We have authority to say...
Darkness --- be gone.

In His awesome glory
He lights our path as the darkness falls back.
It hides in the shadows.

He illuminates my soul,
My Lord empowers me with His love.
How awesome is our God
Who made the earth and sky.

In Jesus name, darkness flees
I have victory in my Savior.

Thank You God for sending Your Son
So I may say...
That I am saved by Your love and grace.
The darkness has turned back,
And the victory is won.

We are over comers in Christ
The victory is ours in Jesus
We are on the side of Light
The darkness must turns and run!


David Mattioli

Let's Go Slay Some Dragons

dragon01
I will never leave you nor forsake you... You are well able to accomplish the task that I have set before you... Rise up and be counted among the very elect... I am raising up warriors for such a time as this... I am placing around you a peculiar people – warriors that will stand by your side – when all others run... they will not! Are you with me? Yes Lord... I am...Ok Then, let’s go slay some dragons...
Ben Andrews

BenandMary5
Ben and Mary Andrews

Kind To Wounded Hearts

Wounded Heart
He, the Messiah, is kind to wounded hearts.
He does not turn away from our naked, raw hurt.
No, he does not, ever will turn away.
He turns to us and embraces us in His carpenter's strong arms.
He will take up all our broken pieces,
and make us brand new.



DottieHart

Let It Rain


Let_It_Rain

Let it rain...
Let it rain...
Let it rain...
Pour out your spirit Lord...
Let it rain...Let it rain ....
...Fill me up till I over flow...
Let it rain ....Let it rain...
My heart is longing...
Send the latter rain...
Let it rain ...Let it rain....

Melanie_Jill_Owens3
Melanie Jill Owens

MOST WORTHY

rain_face
Just as the seven seas circle our world
So does our King's glory
Most Holy God - worthy of all praise.

We lift up our hands to the Savior and God
Of all that is good and true
Glory in the highest - the angels sing
Divine voices filling the heavens

I come just as I am Lord,
With only Your name on my lips
Thank you, Almighty God
For Your justice, peace, love and grace

We lift up our voices high
As they touch the sky
And wait for Your blessings
To fall like rain


David Mattioli

The Shadow of The Cross

shadow-of-cross
The shadow of the Cross
has never faded away.
The years have flown away,
still it remains.
Though man rale and riot and
deny His existence, the shadow remains.
Broken and ruined lives find life in it's shadow.
They rise whole, joyful, in awe within
the shadow of the Cross.
Though His Earth lies captive, torn and bruised
from it’s decadent, desperate plunge, still
the shadow remains....
Will remain until  the Cross no more lies in shadow
but shines forever in His Light.
~ hartsong ~
~ Dottie Hart ~


dottiehart
Dorothy Hart

As Good as It Gets?

another-world
As Good as It Gets?
If for all practical purposes we believe that this life is our best shot at happiness, if this is as good as it gets, we will live as desperate, demanding, and eventually despairing men and women. We will place on this world a burden it was never intended to bear. We will try to find a way to sneak back into the Garden and when that fails, as it always does, our heart fails as well. If truth be told, most of us live as though this life is our only hope.

In his wonderful book The Eclipse of Heaven, A. J. Conyers put it quite simply: "We live in a world no longer under heaven." All the crises of the human soul flow from there. All our addictions and depressions, the rage that simmers just beneath the surface of our Christian facade, and the deadness that characterizes so much of our lives has a common root: We think this is as good as it gets. Take away the hope of arrival and our journey becomes the Battan death march. The best human life is unspeakably sad. Even if we manage to escape some of the bigger tragedies (and few of us do), life rarely matches our expectations. When we do get a taste of what we really long for, it never lasts. Every vacation eventually comes to an end. Friends move away. Our careers don't quite pan out. Sadly, we feel guilty about our disappointment, as though we ought to be more grateful.

Of course we're disappointed-we're made for so much more. "He has also set eternity in the hearts" (Eccl. 3:11). Our longing for heaven whispers to us in our disappointments and screams through our agony. "If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy," C. S. Lewis wrote, "the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world."

(The Sacred Romance , 179-80)



john eldredge
John Eldredge



Into His Arms

inthearmsofjesus

God works through the brokenness in our lives -daily struggles, hardships, horrible loss, all those things we abhor…
-
And they can do 1 of 2 things...
Turn you away from God - or chase you into His arms.
-
God's Grace in our lives is
- sometimes –
- more shocking then our sin and our failures –
-
God’s mercy in our lives brings us back to life.
God's goodness - well...
it just is...
_
Lord you amaze me...

Pastor, Ben Andrews
benandmary5
Ben and Mary Andrews

A Word To Those Who Are Weary In Well Doing

Weary_Warrior

A word to those who are weary in well doing.

See a place of great beauty,
A perfect place of great tenderness with Jesus..
A true, real peace.
...
Find restoration, rest, and release in the secret dwelling of the most High God.
Find purpose, a space for wounded warriors to recharge before they step
out again into the battlefield.

See them, with sighs, laying their swords in His lap…
And then lying facedown in His presence serene and safe.




DottieHart
Dorothy Hart


A World Without Love

World_Without_love

A lot of people wonder why there’s so much pain and suffering in our world. If God is in control (and he is), why doesn’t he prevent more pain? Why has he made a world in which evil, not only exists, but seems to often go unchecked?

 One possible option is to think of God as a sovereign puppet-master. He pulls all the strings. If this is true, then evil exists because God wills it to exist. Evil, pain, and suffering are tools in the hand of a sovereign God who uses them to accomplish his purposes. In this view, creatures have no genuine freedom, for every choice is determined by God’s own sovereign will. My choices. Your choices. Everyone’s. If God truly pulls all the strings, then I think this is the only intellectually honest explanation available to us.

But what if he doesn’t pull all the strings? That’s the other option.
Some will immediately object to this view, arguing that this possibility undermines the sovereignty of God.

It doesn’t.

In fact, quite the opposite is true. To propose that for God to create a world in which he doesn’t pull all the strings would undermine his sovereignty is to make one of two statements about God’s sovereignty: either God can’t make such a world, or merely that he hasn’t made such a world. The second option simply begs the question. The first, that God can’t have created genuinely free creatures, directly challenges his sovereignty.

I recognize that many strongly believe that God hasn’t granted genuine freedom to humans. They are free to think that way, thus affirming my point.

If it is true that God has given free will to creatures (men, angels), then there are certain concepts that follow from this. Choices require options, alternatives. These options must be real and proportional. If God gives me the very real capacity to be a powerful source of blessing in my children’s lives, then, at the same time, there are few people with a  greater capactity to harm them. It is nonsensical to consider a world in which I have genuine freedom to bless with no option to do otherwise.

It is feasible to consider a world in which creatures have no capacity to harm, only to bless, but not while maintaining genuine freedom. In this hypothetical world where nothing bad ever happens, God must be pulling all the strings.

Either …
    The first option (1) is clearly not the case. The following two options (2) and (3) are the only viable alternatives.

    If we hold to (2), then we must determine that God, as the source of evil, is either (a) evil, or (b) good, but using evil to accomplish a greater good. Many believers who hold that God pulls all the strings actually balance these two options. Theologically, they affirm (b), while inwardly they retain a non-verbalized resentment toward the God they blame for their pain.

    If we embrace (3), then we see that God is not to blame for evil, he is not the source of evil. Instead, we find that evil exists because free creatures have chosen it. This is the only option where moral responsibility of creatures makes any sense.

    Once option (3) is chosen, another question follows. Why? Why has God made a world in which creatures have the capacity to cause so much suffering and pain?

    The answer, I believe, is love.

    Love is the kind of thing that must be chosen. You can have love-like behavior that is compelled, but you cannot have determined love. It is in the choosing that love is given. A world in which creatures cannot choose is also a world in which creatures cannot love. Pain and suffering in my life are a direct result of my choices, the choices of other men and women, or the choices of other creatures like fallen angels.

    Could God have prevented all this? Yes. He is sovereign. But he hasn’t.

    Why?

    It’s not because God likes to use pain to teach me lessons. That’s not it. It’s because God values love. A world without choices is a world without love. Yes, it also could be a world without pain, a world of well-behaved robots. I don’t want that kind of world. I’m convinced God doesn’t either.

    Having said all that, I’m continually amazed at God’s resourcefulness. He has an amazing knack for redeeming, healing, and restoring. He doesn’t ever waste my pain. He brings good from it.

    He doesn’t choose it, but he has chosen to make a world within which such things occur. And when they occur, he doesn’t merely explain my pain, he enters into it; he takes it upon himself. He chooses. He loves.
    “And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” ” (Matthew 26:39, ESV)

    smith_family111
    Alan Smith
    __________________________________________________________________

    Not Giving Up On Our Children


    I'm walking_here

    This thought of
    “Not giving up on our children” – keeps coming up – in conversations – in random encounters - even my own thoughts… So I started to listen – started to pay attention…. What is this that’s pulling on our hearts? What is it - that needs some answers?

    I really believe God wants me to address the subject...

    What does "not giving up on our children,” mean?

    "Not giving up on our children,” could mean so many things to so many different people - depending upon our age and the stage of development of our children.

    To parents of
    toddlers - this could mean… Just because she can't walk after taking a few steps doesn't mean she won't walk – so we don’t give up. Why would we? After all she’s just beginning to walk! Isn’t that what toddlers do? They fall down allot and then get back up and try again. Sure… if we are good parents – we make certain that when they fall they don’t hurt themselves – but fall they will – and try again they must.

    To parents of
    preadolescences - it might mean… Just because his social skills are rough around the edges – it doesn’t mean he'll never get it - and we help them understand how to communicate and relate better with others – and we don’t give up.

    To parents of
    teens - it may mean... giving them space, building trust and increasing boundaries. So we give them more freedom. And yes… they may stray some - go too far some times – but we don’t give up on them – we just try again – we direct their paths… But isn’t that all part of growing up?

    Now comes the sticky part... When do we “never give up on them” by believing-
    (they can do this thing called life) - without our help - without our boundaries and even - and this may be the hardest one... without our guidance... Ouch!

    Yes, they will fall some, have trouble relating with others, and even extend their boundaries farther then we would have hoped… but isn’t that part of this journey called life?

    Here’s the question again…
    When will we
    “not give up on our children” - by believing that the same God, the same Jesus who sustains us and brings us power and life and light… can also do it for them?
    Isn't this the LEAST (giving up on them thing) we could possibly do – by giving them up and into the arms of Jesus?

    At some point as parents we need to trust, Our God. Trust that God has this whole thing called life under control. At some point - we have to let go and let God! As parents we have to do this - so we don't give up on (Who they were meant to be)... Then we truly aren't giving up on them. We are just giving up on… our effort and our unwillingness to entrust them to their creator, friend, counselor, guide, sustainer, provider, deliverer, lifter of their heads and their protector...

    So in one respect... when we give up in this way - give them up to Jesus… are we not -
    not giving up on them? Aren't we really just giving up on ourselves – our self help – our being their counselor, guide, sustainer, provider, deliverer, lifter of their heads and their protector?

    If we really love them – if we really don’t want to
    give up on our children – it will include – NOT giving up on God!

    He will take care of them – He will take care of them – He will take care of them!

    We just need to surrender them and ourselves to the one who takes care of us…

    Here’s what makes this even possible for me as a parent… who deeply and dearly loves his children… I have come to deeply and dearly love Our God. I have fallen deeply and madly in love with my counselor, guide, sustainer, provider, deliverer, lifter of my head, protector, my Lord and my Savior – Jesus Christ… I have come to really know Him – I mean – Really know Him… And now that I know Him… It’s incredibly easy to let Him watch over and take care of them…

    Blessings - I hope this helps…
    Pastor, Ben Andrews

    Jesus_help_Walk


    BenandMary5
    Ben and Mary Andrews
    __________________________________________________________________

    Healing Waters

    Healing Waters

    The healing waters of my heart are flowing swiftly, Leap forth into the goodness and tenderness of my love, I have what you need all is complete within my heart, Now the pain goes, fear releases, and hope and love abound, Release and praise me today I have touched you fresh and anew! ~~Daddy God

    by: Melanie Jill Owens

    Melanie Jill Owens
    Melanie Jill Owens


    I Stand In Awe

    Jesus-holding-girl
    By: Ben Andrews
    I see Jesus… walking fast over a rock covered hill – little sprigs of grass jet up between the barren land –He has a Shepherd’s staff in one hand –sandals on his feet – his robe is blowing in the 15 to 20 mph wind - - It’s warm outside – the sun is at high noon. Not unbearable – but very warm… I follow Jesus – I want to see where and what he wants to show me today – He seems very determined to get to wherever it is we’re going.
     
    Jesus? Where are we going today?
     
    Come on Ben – we don’t have much time… follow me!’
     
    I don’t ask any more questions I just follow – and watch. – Over the small hill and then down the other side – I can now see a small grouping of tree and a little house nested between them… We get closer and I notice a few sheep – some chickens - one cow but no people – The place is disquietly, vacant of people… Jesus rounds the building – I follow –When we get around the other side I see – a little girl – sitting all alone – on a step – at the back of the house… Jesus gently moves in close - and asks - with his eyes - if it would be OK to sit next to her. I stay back so I won’t startle her or make her feel bad.
     
    Jesus puts his arm around her shoulders and pulls her head over - letting her rest her head on his heart… They don’t even speak – but I hear her… She begins to cry – just a little at first and then the tears begins to flow… Still - He says nothing – I want to ask – if she’s OK? – what’s wrong? – where are you parents? – but I know better – so I just wait - and watch…
     
    The little girl cries and cries – for almost a half an hour and then she looks up at the face of Jesus… and says… Why?
     
    Then Jesus begins to cry – and cry and cry – the little girl pulls Jesus’ head close to her heart and just holds him - as he weeps…
     
    O’ how sweet to see this today – O’ my goodness – He is so sweet…
     
    After almost a half an hour – He stops crying and looks back at the little girl – and says…
     
    “One day – I will make this right – you’ll see – I will make this all right”… tears still flowing down his cheeks…
     
    The little girl looks back at Jesus and says… I know… I know… I love you too Jesus…
     
    I ‘m not sure what I was supposed to see here today – but see I did… My heart is in my throat – can’t get rid of this lump – and all I know is that – I sure do love this man named Jesus – I sure love Him… WOW…. Now I’m leaking too…
     
    Ben?
     
    Yes Jesus?
     
    I love you too…
     
    --- I stand in awe… - I just stand in awe… Of Him…

    This is from my Journal entry today... (Journaling with Jesus Tuesday, April 19, 2011) Jesus is sweeter and sweeter - The more I seek Him the more I find Him and the more I find Him - The more I love Him... Sweet, Sweet, Sweet...

    BenandMary5
    Ben and Mary Andrews

    We Have No Idea Who We Really Are

    Waking_The_Dead
    By: John Eldredge

    We Have No Idea Who We Really Are
    We have no idea who we really are. Whatever glory was bestowed, whatever glory is being restored, we thought this whole Christian thing was about . . . something else. Trying not to sin. Going to church. Being nice. Jesus says it is about healing your heart, setting it free, restoring your glory. A religious fog has tried to veil all that, put us under some sort of spell or amnesia, to keep us from coming alive. As Blaise Pascal said, "It is a monstrous thing . . . an incomprehensible enchantment, and a supernatural slumber." And, Paul said, it is time to take that veil away. When anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Cor. 3:16-18) A veil removed, bringing freedom, transformation, glory. Do you see it? I am not making this up-though I have been accused of making the gospel better than it is. The charge is laughable. Could anyone be more generous than God? Could any of us come up with a story that beats the one God has come up with? (Waking the Dead , 80-81)


    john eldredge
    John Eldredge

    The Breath of Life

    page0-breath_of_god

    By: Bob Hamp

    Only moments earlier, a lifeless object had lain on the ground.  In a moment, everything shifted, and now, standing boldly in the light, a man stared intently upward and gasped in new air.  What had been dead tissue was now bright pink lungs, rising and falling with every vigorous breath.  Muscle, sinew and bone formed the sturdy framework of the man whose eyes, now bright with life, stared at his Father.  In his first moments of consciousness, Adam was receiving from God the Breath of Life, and all that came with it. Focus, energy, adrenaline…all these had his body and soul shouting, “I AM ALIVE!”

    This storyline repeats throughout the Bible.  Chaos and death fill the atmosphere.  Hope lies, without breath, a casualty of the moment.  The absence of life is like a weight in the air. Then everything shifts.  What had been death is replaced with the vigorous life that comes from the Breath of God, the very Breath of Life.   A widow’s son, a nation’s hope, a dead man named Lazarus, and, of course, the lifeless body of Jesus in a sealed tomb; countless moments soaked in death turn around in a second.  And every one of these moments has one thing in common:  The Breath of God.  The Breath of Life.

    The dilemma for us all is that we once traded in this transformational power source, the Breath of Life, for a cheap and ineffectual substitute: our knowledge.  Specifically, we traded the power of our Present God for our knowledge of good and evil.   As we recognize evil, we apply our best knowledge of good in an attempt to fix the evil we see.  Adam and his wife sought every way possible to hide their evil.  From fig leaves to family conflict, they did all they could to cover their mistake.  But as always, their knowledge – our knowledge – is completely inadequate to restore the flow of Life. 

    We are not so different.  When things begin to fall apart, when we come face to face with the condition of our lives, we scramble to find an answer, a solution.  We bring our knowledge of good to full force in our circumstances.  And just like the man and woman who began it all, no amount of our good knowledge can restore life to the death in our moments. 

    The Breath of Life is a force like no other.  The life of God is far more than just the absence of death and the presence of a heartbeat.  Like the power plant from which we draw all of our electricity, the Breath of Life is the source and sustenance of all that is good and right.  Life from God is a tangible substance filled with aliveness, and therefore the power to overcome death and darkness.  Life existed before living beings, and it was this substance that God inserted into beings to make them alive.  It was this life that God inserted into Lazarus to make him alive, into lepers to make them well, and into Zaccheus to make him love again. It is this life that God wants to insert into our present circumstances.

    Listen to the words of the Apostle John describing Jesus: “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.” (John 1:4)

    Jesus brought with Him the very thing we need the most.  Not a strategic plan or a set of steps to restoration, but Jesus brought the Breath of Life.  And everywhere Jesus went, every place He set His feet, He delivered what we needed most.  To the grave of His friend Lazarus in Bethany, He brought the Breath of Life.  To the bodies of the crippled and the souls of the oppressed, He breathed the Breath of Life.  To the woman at the well, He delivered rivers of Life.  Everywhere He saw the impact of death and darkness, He breathed the Breath of Life. 

    Listen again to the words of Jesus: “The thief comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy, but I come that you might have life, and life abundantly.” (John 10:10)

    We must remember in our ground-level lives that the God we believe in is the same God who spoke the world into existence with a Word, and brings change to our circumstances just by showing up.  The force of His nearness changes everything.  While we ask Him to rearrange a few pieces of life, He desires deeply to breathe power into our moments.  His desire is not so much to change our moments, but to help us become the kind of people that in the face of death and darkness turn again to our Source and not to our ideas.  His desire is to help us become the kind of people who can stand defiantly in the midst of chaos and confusion while every fiber of our mind, will and hearts shouts at the darkness, “I AM ALIVE!”

    Wherever you are today, stand up, breathe in deeply the Breath of the Living God, and look your circumstances in the eye.  Tell them that you serve the God who spoke everything into existence.  Tell them that they, too, serve this God, and then serve them notice.  In spite of the worst that hell has to throw at you, tell your circumstances, “I AM ALIVE!”

    page0-page0-bob_hamp

    Bob Hemp

    Bob Hamp is the Executive Pastor of Pastoral Care at Gateway Church and helped develop their Freedom Ministry.  Bob and his wife, Jackee, live in Keller, Texas.  He is also the author of the book Think Differently Live Differently: Keys to a Life of Freedom Find the book and read more at www.bobhamp.com.

    Follow him on Twitter -
    www.twitter.com/bobhamp




    His Head Is Tipped Back and His Eyes Are Closed

    Jesus Arms Out
    By: Ben Andrews

    I see Jesus… Arms stretched out – high above – standing on the top of a mountain. He is holding his arms out – out to his sides – in the shape of a cross. His head is tipped back and His eyes are closed – I am miles away – but somehow – with my spirit eyes I can – not only see him clearly but I now hear his heart. His heart is beating a strong – powerful – but regular beat – and along with that beat is His powerful Love – With each beat – it's as though - love were being poured out – across the land – Boom, then love ---- Boom, then love--- Boom, then more love. With each beat – like a huge giant drum – a pulse of love – like a shock wave – pulses out – like rippling waves – out over the world – Everything is being hit by these waves. By his love - - I sense that everything knows that this is Jesus – but in my heart – I am made aware – by the Lord – that not all humans – hear this beat.
     
    Ben…? Jesus asks…
     
    Yes Lord…
     
    Let them know – that I love them – Tell them, that I have come to give them life- tell them, that if only they knew – if only they had ears to hear – and eyes to see that they would hear and sense my great love for them… Tell them Ben - Tell them!
     
    I will Jesus – I will
     
    Boom then love ---- Boom and then love… Boom and then His love again – Over and over – never stopping – never ending – Just Boom and then Love…. Boom and then Love … Boom and then more Love…
     
    O’ what great love you have for your bride – Jesus - O’ what huge love…
     
    Yes Ben – I love them – tell them for me – would you?
     
    Yes Lord – I will. I will tell them of "Your Great love"… I love you Jesus…
     
    I love you too Ben….
     
    I – just then felt – not only the love for us –but also the ache – the ache of His Great - love for us… WOW. O’ what love!…
     
    I love this guy --- And He loves us...

    BenandMary5
    Ben & Mary Andrews

    Self Change

    Tree_in_Water
    By: Ben Andrews

    Why do we try to fill ourselves with more of ourselves? More good deeds, more healthy living - more Intellect, more exercise and working out - What is this thing in us that needs to be filled? Even the best of who we are is still “us”... It seems to only fill us for moments - but then we need more? Lord... I surrender my "self" and ask "You" to fill me with you - with your light and your love.


    What we don't need is "self change" - but what we do need is a change in where we fill our need - Self of any kind is still death - What we need is a new source from which to fill up. - How can we fill ourselves from a well that is dry - We need to begin to be filled from the well that never runs dry - The key word here is "from"! This isn't even about us - filling ourselves up - but letting Jesus come to us – Remember… “Behold, I stand at the door and knock”? - Us, admitting that we can't do this – (or we would have done it already) - We're really not dumb people - we are just misdirected people - The enemy is deceiving us into believing it still about us. When all the while Jesus is shouting – (I have come to GIVE you Life) all you have to do is receive... And we're like... No, Jesus - I've got this. Salvation was enough! I don’t need anymore! WOW Lord, open the eyes of our hearts so we can see....

    O' and about "self change" Believe me - when Jesus begins to fill us up - "Self" will change. You can count on that!

    Surrender - unplugs us from self - Opening the eyes and ears of our hearts - and listening to God - That's what (Plugs us back in...) Back into the only source that has life.

    BenandMary5
    Ben & Mary Andrews



    What do You Want to talk About?

    page0-girls_by_the_water-2

    By: by Bob Hamp

    The Journey Continues….

    We could easily spend several months writing on the “how does God talk to us, and why am I having a hard time hearing Him…” conversation.  I hope we have at least gotten most of us over that hurdle, so that we can move on.  I also hope that I at least pointed you to some resources that can help further.  But we need to get on to the question, “What does God want to talk to us about.”

    Again, the set up for our “stuck-ness” is an interplay between our circumstances, our soul, and the spiritual realm.  So watch for these same elements on the journey to freedom.

    The kind of things that God brings up in conversation are almost almost surprising, and yet amazingly insightful Go back and look at the comment from Josiah C, on “The way Out” (two posts ago.  He provides us with excellent examples of what appears to be God changing the subject.  The reality is, it is we who are not familiar with our subject.  Often God wants to talk to us about the specifics of our own personal set-up. I have seen countless times where people are completely taken by surprise at the moments, memories, or relationships that God brings to mind.  But once we examine the lie that was believed, and the defenses that were implemented it begins to make perfect sense.  More than making sense, it often produces the very change we have been seeking.

    Carl Jung has been quoted as saying that most human suffering comes from our attempts to avoid legitimate suffering.  This is his way, (and yes, I did just quote Jung….) of saying that our solutions can quickly become worse than our problems.

    When talking to an alcoholic, what do you think their problem is?

    More often than not, we think the problem is alcohol.  I would submit that the problem is actually pain.  Alcohol is simply a bad solution, or an attempt to avoid the legitimate suffering of life circumstances.  So if you wee to ask God to talk to someone struggling with addiction, what do you think He would talk about?

    Follow This

    Talking about the symptom usually produces shame and frustration, so God usually does not talk about the symptom.

    Talking about the root problem may or may not be helpful.  Knowing the diagnosis does not always equal treatment. So God often does not want to talk about root problems.

    Talking about positive things can often simply provoke unconscious defenses when we have believed negative things. So God seldom gives pep talks.

    If God talks about Himself and how He feels about you, it can provide safety, nurture, and power in the midst of our fear and powerlessness.

    If God tells you what He made to be true about you, it begins to make you feel safe, and loved.  Feeling safe and loved allows us to begin to drop our protections.

    Problems can actually go away when we see and hear God talk about His Nature, His Love for us, and how He made us.

    What do you think God wants to talk about?


    page0-bob_hamp

    Bob Hamp


    MY saints Are In A Dry Place


    A Dry Place
    By:
    Vanita Ragbir Ellis

    Dearly Beloved,

    Many of MY saints are in a dry place. Many times MY saints seek ME believing that I will speak to them only when THEY have the time. This is the dry time to wait on ME. Continue seeking ME, dwelling in MY word, praising and worshiping, fellowshipping with others, spreading the gospel and positioning yourselves to hear MY voice. Do not become busy with the things of this world, but rather in this quite time seek MY face and the things which are of ME says the Lord. I have not left nor forsaken you, I am showing you this by the blessings I am putting before you. Many are looking at you and seeing the testimony of who I AM, allow this to take place, because it's the best way to show others of MY LOVE AND MIRACLES, says the Lord.

    Isaiah 58:11
    And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

    Isaiah 40:31
    But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint.

    Romans 12:2
    Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

    Hebrews 13:5
    [Let your] conversation [be] without covetousness; [and be] content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

    Revelation 12:11
    And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

    Jesus Bless You!!!



    Vanita Ragbir Ellis
    Vanita Ragbir Ellis

    TRUTH REVEALED

    HighestMountain

    By: David Mattioli
    You are my God and King
    The everlasting
    The being, who reveals His truth
    Unto me.

    I sing Your name - on the highest peaks

    And in all hours of the Day.
    Let me give You the praise
    You deserve.

    It is... Your face I seek
    I wish to see with new eyes
    Your light.
         No one is like the God I serve
    Help me to know…
    You are the only One!

    In this world full of deception…

    Let all nations and tongues
    Rise to You!
    The truth!

    Let them worship God!
    King Jesus!
    The Anointed One…
    Of Nazareth.


    David Mattioli

    Reform

    Reform
    By: Beth Elaine Crowe
    Reform                                         
    Vs. 1      I hear my bones rattling
                  In this dry and dusty place
                  I’m a valley of silence
                  With no body and no face
                  My life and dreams are shattered
                  All you get is what you see
                  But something’s begun shaking
                  And it won’t turn loose of me.
     
    So, Noisy pile of bones
    Come together and form
    A framework for new life
    Where dreams can be reborn
    Yeah, Dreams can be reborn
     
    Vs. 2      Things they are connecting
                  If it’s one strand at a time
                  I’m feeling more protection
                  Form around pieces that I find
                  It’s all come together
                  But there’s more yet that I need
                  Dreams they can’t lay still
                  It’s by motion they are freed
     
    So, now, flesh and sinew
    Give these bones a chance to move
    They’re calling for “do-over”
    They’ve got something left to prove
    Yeah, someone left to prove
     
     
    Vs. 3      A breeze begins stirring
                  Like breath blown across the land
                  And I’m craving animation
                  My chest wants to expand
                  You know dreams fully formed
                  Still await the perfect word
                  Right there on the starting line
                  Until the words are heard
     
    So, Speak into the wind
    Words are carried upon it
    Stirring life again
    And then I breathe them in
    Yeah, let’s breathe them in
     
    Vs. 4      I feel my body moving
                  I have now become a part
                  Of something bigger than me
                  My reformation’s just a start
                  Every step I take forward
                  This beating heart takes a leap
                  My identity is in motion
                  Synchronized with destiny
     
    So, do not be afraid
    If dream-sands fall through your fist
    For the power of Ex Nihilo
    Oh, it really does it exist…
    ‘Out of nothing’ does exist.
     
     © 2011 Beth Elaine Crowe- Reform
     
    Inspired by Ezekiel 37 while reading a description of that passage in The Abbey's membership class manual "Belong 2011" and by many "going's on" in my own life and conversations with dear friends about it...
    Beth Elaine Crowe2
    Beth Elaine Crowe


    GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME…

    EdifyandEdify
    By: Jennifer Walsh Falcon

    GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME…
    FUNNY I WAS JUST SAYING THIS TO TWO PEOPLE LASTNIGHT..
     "You are no cast away.  People have walked away from you and left you feeling abandoned and even forgotten.  This hurts deeply when you think about it.  It is foreign to the new person you have become in Christ.  Jesus never walks away from you.  He is always near even to the end of time.  He is the right model for you.  This being true and with Jesus living His life through you now, you are not to cast others away either.  They have come to you because of My love they see in you.  Actually, they are drawn by My love to you.  You would be wise to give to them, from your vast storehouse within your spirit, what they need.  This may surprise you but it is true.  In My Kingdom, there are no cast-a-ways.   Precious, you are being hard on yourself.  You are being harder on yourself than I am.  I love you and when you confess your sin and failures I cleanse you from them all.  Yes!  Every one of them.  Receive that from Me.  If you don't receive this it will continue to ride on your back like a rotting corpse.  That will burden you down and keep you from trying again to, make the right decision and do the right thing.  Keeping these failures in your mind will catapult you into fear.  You don't need or want that at the time you have to make further decisions.  Listen to Me precious one.
    This is a time when decisive action will be required if you are to make any progress. Your challenges will come in situations where you have been ambiguous. Ask Me for wisdom, direction, and guidance, and I will certainly impart it to you, says the Lord. But, when you sow double-mindedness into your circumstances, you will only reap confusion and uncertainty. Refuse to get stuck in indecision."
     
     
    James 1:5-8 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
     
    1 John 1:5-7 (NASB)  "This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin."  
     
     
    Psalms 9:9-10 (NASB) "The Lord also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble; and those who know Your name will put their trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You." 
    Jennifer_Walsh_Falcon
    Jennifer Walsh Falcon



    Sparkling Eyes


    By: Jonathan House

    Have you ever felt the ache
    That sorrow in your soul
    Where all your laughs are fake
    And crying’s all you know
     
    Your smile is just a veil
    That covers all the scars
    Your eyes are sad and pale
    Like they’ve never seen the stars
     
    You shower in your tears
    Then you dry off with the pain
    Your heart it frets and fears
    That you’ll never be the same
     
    I have been there too
    I have felt it all
    I couldn’t sleep those nights
    I couldn’t walk, I crawled
     
    But what I’ve learned from love
    And what I’ve learned from wounds
    And what I’ve learned from life
    Is that you can’t give up too soon
     
    Sometimes it takes forgiveness
    Before you can love yourself
    Sometimes it takes admittance
    That you just might need some help
     
    Sometimes you need to cry
    And let someone hold you tight
    Sometimes you need be alone
    And sing a song or write
     
    But God is always there
    And time is on your side
    The longer that you're here
    The sooner you will glide
     
    So when you’re feeling lonely
    And when you’re feeling lost
    And when your heart is frozen
    With your soul covered in frost
     
    Just wear a smile, a REAL one
    And dance under the lunar sky
    Soak in the lights of heaven
    Regain your sparkling eyes
    Jonathan_House1
    Jonathan House


    It is a Solemn Thing!


    By: Bethany Tikva-Hope Teel

    "It is a solemn thing , & no small scandal in the Kingdom, to see God's children starving while actually seated at the Father's table."
    A.W. Tozer
    - (Tozer is pointing out that mere words of truth are not enough, but it is the very experience of God Himself that is fulfilling. The Bible simply stokes the flame. His presence is what consumes us!)
    BHT<><

    Bethany Tikva-Hope Teel




    Grief Stew Anyone?



    By: Bethany Tikva-Hope Teel

     
    I don't know many who enjoy the taste of grief stew. No matter how long it simmers & marinates in memories more salty than our wounds can bear, it never satisfies. We all have a tendency to believe that it is easier to hold onto our bitterness, our pain, & our disappointment than to fill this recipe with ingredients of hope instead. After all, isn't it better to be mad than disappointed? (So we think.) We feel justified in our own right. Sometimes life hands us things that don't seem fair, and hey, maybe they truly aren't fair. I was told recently that,
    "extraordinary things happen to extraordinary people…" I like that. We're not talking simply extraordinary in the wonderful sense, but deeply grievous things that take place with who seem to be the most gracious and upstanding people.
     
    I'll give you an example from top of mind, as I had a discussion about this lady with a colleague of mine this morning. I don't know how many of you have studied much about the Holocaust or the many stories surrounding that dreadful time, but in the 5th grade I read a book based on a true story called, "The Hiding Place" by Corrie Tin Boom. (A must read for those who love the Jewish people & want to learn true forgiveness.) The short version is that she was part of a German family that would hide Jewish families away in their home, risking their own lives, to keep them from being killed. Once the demon possessed infantry discovered what her and her family were doing? They all died a HORRIBLE death right in front of Corrie!
     
    By the grace of God, Corrie managed a miraculous escape and lived to tell this story. Not long ago, the lead soldier responsible for ordering the death of Corrie's family came to know Lord Yeshua. At that point, he made it his mission to find Corrie (if still alive) and seek her forgiveness. Well, that man found Corrie… *tears welling up at my desk* Without hesitation, Corrie extended her forgiveness. You see, Corrie knew it was not a choice she had. She knew God. She knew what was required of her.
    For the sake of her quality of relationship with God, forgiveness had to be extended. And certainly, you can see that what happened wasn't fair. In this bloody affair, Corrie would have been well within' her humane right to have her grief stew served up day after day. But her divine duty? A difficult and rewarding choice. For the sake of her faith, of her heart, and of her eternity… she didn't even pull the crock pot out the day of what must have been just as devastating. (Seeing that man must have been like seeing her family slaughtered all over again.)
     
    And for those who choose this course as their main meal? It begins to seep through their pores & leave a stench for those who keep their company. And internally?
    Internally the fruit of the spirit cannot be produced & nurtured because their arteries have been blocked with lies. Lies that feeling this way is "Okay…" Lies that "You'll never get over this…" Lies that "This will keep happening…" Lies that "There is no escaping this fear… this hopelessness…" Listen, loves. In Ecclesiastes, the Lord shows grace in telling us there is a "time" for everything. He even says that being angry is understood, but quickly follows that up with stating that sinning from that anger is not okay. ("Vengeance is mine!" says God!)
     
    So, what DO we DO with this weight of grief? Is the stew stinking up your kitchen? Is it infecting your relationships? Were you perhaps SO mad that you buried the pain deep down inside that its now been blocked out, but never dealt with? We can't release forgiveness when we bury a matter. (This INCLUDES forgiving OURSELVES!) 
    And we can't have intimacy with God when unforgiveness is leaving a Grand Canyon in the way.
     
    Here is where I want to address another lie.
    Whoever said that "Time heals all wounds" did not know God. (I feel poorly for the author of this misstatement.) Have you ever met someone who was wronged 50 years ago, but the wound was fresh as though it just occurred? I have. It's awful. On the other hand, I've met some people so full of joy & peace shortly after such a tragic event that I'm left in awe. I always think, "Geez. And I thought I had a sad story to tell! Thank You Lord for Your mercy & always providing me with perspective!" What's the difference in these people? One embraced pain… the other embraced God.
     
    Christians have a HUGE independence complex! (I raise my hand REALLY high on this one!) We are SO busy trying to make things work ourselves, trying to fix ourselves (AND others) that we give no room to let GOD be GOD! If I could see a perfect picture of what I'd want my heart to look like? It'd have to be like the Leaning Tower… leaning heavily upon Holy Spirit. Since He already knows what God is planning & wants to accomplish, wouldn't it suit us to let Him take the lead? If God is our healer, than I'd venture to guess His kiss provides a healing balm that is 100%. Shoot!
    If His SPIT can heal blind eyes, I think His kiss can heal hearts!
     
    So friends, today
    let's replace our crock pots for fruit baskets made of Divine produce. :] Amen?
     
    With faith, hope, & love!
     
    BHT
     
    PS - Please feel free to write me with prayer requests. (Sometimes throwing out the crock pot takes bringing an extra voice into the Throne Room for dismantling.)


    Bethany Tikva-Hope Teel