Shaking

For weeks now, I have been thinking about an old friend of mine who had grown up Buddhist. I had shared Jesus with Him, and it actually brought him great confusion as he saw Jesus undeniably at work in my life yet, had grown up with certain family and cultural traditions and a religion that was just comfortable for him.  

One day after a long conversation about the transformation of Christ in a born-again believer’s life, my friend felt God’s Presence but was still unsure of what to do with his Buddha.  He went away to a small Buddhist temple to get his head straight because he felt as if he was betraying his family and his beliefs by accepting Jesus as his Lord.  

I remember him telling me about how he walked into a small, empty temple just outside of Sydney and he laid out on his face in front of the Buddha statue, crying out in frustration.  He remembers saying the very words, “Jesus, if YOU are real and Buddha is not, then you’re going to have to prove it to me!”

I still remember the look on his face as he recounted his story of how, that the very moment he spoke those words aloud, a giant city bus went screaming past the small temple and shook the building to its core.  

Within a second, the shaking was so great it caused the Buddha statue to fall and decapitate itself on the floor just in front of where he was laying.  Needless to say, my friend gave his everything to Jesus that day and I had the privilege of helping to disciple him for sometime after that.

This story has been playing in my head over and over, and I feel like the Lord reminded me of this glorious testimony as an invitation to embrace the SHAKING that is taking place right now.  

As daunting as the shaking can be, it’s actually not to “punish” us but to bring us back to what is best so that we can absolutely shine for His glory.  

When a child does something wrong, a father doesn’t shake him, but lovingly corrects and realigns the child’s thinking back to what is best.  This shaking is a realignment to what is BEST, and it is an invitation to expose and demolish any idols that may be present. It is also a way for Jesus to show up, show off and make Himself known.

Personally, I have been experiencing shaking for a few months now, and although it’s uncomfortable and emotional, I can feel the Father’s heart for me in the process.  

Isaiah 54 speaks of stretching and enlarging the tent; and we know that every time we stretch the tent out further, we have to actually unpeg the tent in order to stretch and repeg it into stability.

Unpegging can be shaky, but it just means the stretch is going to be so much wider and cover so much more territory.

If you are experiencing a shaking right now, don’t fret or fear.  Accept the invitation into greater levels of intimacy with Jesus, and allow Him to cause the things that are not for your BEST to fall off of you.  

He is a safe place (Proverbs 18:10; Psalm 27:1; Psalm 91; Psalm 32:7), and in that safe place you can allow everything that has tried to put itself higher than Jesus to fall into pieces.  

Go deeper with Him when you feel the shake and let Him love on you until you feel the freedom.

Hebrews 12:27 (TPT):  Now this phrase “once and for all” clearly indicates the final removal of things that are shaking, that is, the old order, so only what is unshakeable will remain.

 

~ Mandy Woodhouse

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Hidden Word: Conversational Christianity

How do you carry on a conversation with The Almighty?  

The psalmist wrote: “I have hidden thy word in my heart that I might not sin against thee.”  

Not a bad place to start, for if we do not know what Our Father likes and what he doesn’t like, then our relationship with him is going to be very unstable.

However, if we are diligent to learn his word and his ways, then the path is smoothed for us to approach him, to converse with him, and to walk with him.  When he knows that our hearts are set on obeying him, then the sky is the limit; there is nothing that he won’t do for us.

This is the key to intimacy with The Almighty, Our Father.  

People talk much these days about how we are “broken” people.  

The only brokenness that Our Father cherishes is a surrendered will, a humbled heart, and a sincere devotion to Christ.  

In the world that we live in, there is much hurt and pain and there are many broken hearts.  

However, in Our Savior’s loving arms of forgiveness and redemption, there is found healing for broken hearts and comfort for all of life’s life’s hurts and pains.

~ Brad Heilhecker

Faith, Hope, And Love

Faith, hope, and Love are the building blocks of the kingdom.

They stand right alongside mercy, grace, and peace and wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.  And they all have to do with The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.  “Our faith and love come from our hope in God.”  

Faith is “the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  Hope is our undying desire to be blessed by God.  Love is our high and holy calling—to become like the one who made us.

To appreciate these gifts of grace, maybe we should consider their opposites—doubt, despair, and hate (or indifference). Without hope in God, this unholy trinity can swallow us up and consume our lives.  Our God is faithful and he will deliver us from all the powers of darkness.  With his help, we will “soar on wings like eagles, run and not grow weary, and walk and not faint.”

It is no exaggeration to say that a life lived with faith, hope, and love will be a successful life.  You are a success if you can keep your faith when you feel all alone.  You are a success if you can maintain hope when all of your plans have failed. You are a success if you can love even when surrounded by hatred.

Even Christ lived by these essentials while he was here on earth, though he was God in the flesh and heir to the kingdom.  He set the example that it is possible to live a victorious overcoming life by the diligent application of these precious graces.  And we have not only his example, but, also, he himself living in us to accomplish his heart’s desire—our perfection!

~ Brad Heilhecker

Laid Down Lovers

She is resting in the shadows 

of the One she loves most

The place she unknowingly

longed for

she has found

No longer controlled by 

her past and her fears

Her heart now runs free

She knows the true 

meaning of love

Found it when she was 

brought to her knees 

Nowhere to turn she chose 

to embrace what was 

handed to her

In the midst of her enemies 

she was stripped

Humiliated, laughed at

The talk of the town

People knew her better 

than she knew herself

Unknowingly she was 

right where Father wanted 

her all along….dead

Oh what a price of dying and surrender she had to pay!

She could relate with the 

woman with the alabaster jar

She once was lost,

broken 

and in pain

Now restored

by the love 

of the Father 

As she entered His presence 

The religious disapprove of 

her presence

If they could get rid of her 

They certainly would have

With all eyes on her

She pressed in, when 

they wanted her to run

She did not care about 

the whispers, the sighs,

the dirty looks

Her eyes were glued to 

the One called Love

Everyone else faded

to the background

A sacred moment between 

two laid down lovers

Forever remembered and treasured by other laid down lovers

In the midst of many enemies 

She poured her symbol of 

love on the One who

showed her love 

Uncovering the hearts of 

the religious

Who never had an encounter with His fragrant love

Her heart was laid bare

As she washed Jesus’ feet with 

her tears and wiped it with her hair

They saw glimpses

of what they never experienced

Love in all its facets 

Between a sinner and her Saviour

who experienced redemption 

and love

A place Jesus lures His 

laid down lovers to

Only them and Jesus know 

about the sacrifices, the daily dying, the rejection and hard processes they endured 

They endured joyfully for what 

they have found

Can never be compared to anything this world has to offer

Jesus knew the significance 

of this sacred moment

Of a remnant bride that 

would follow His lead

Sold out to His Kingdom

Changed into His image

by hard processes

Desperate to linger in His presence

Who would know Him as their First Love, their Restorer, their Healer, their Deliver, their Best Friend!

~ Ebigale Wilson

Laid Down Lovers

The Journey

Happiness Or Joy ?

Perfect circumstances or a perfect heart?  Desires fulfilled or hope ignited?  

We work for happiness, but joy is bestowed as a gift.  Happiness is of earth, but joy is of heaven.

Happiness is often temporary, but joy is eternal.  People, possessions, and achievements often bring happiness, but only God can bestow joy.  It is his prerogative.  It is his honor and pleasure to rejoice the hearts of his children.

It is nice to be happy, and it is wonderful when everything is going well.  But to know that our eternal future is secure and that we will be cared for come what may—this excels all other pleasures.  

We know what makes us happy—a good job, good friends, good health. Often we don’t know exactly where joy comes from and for what reason. We are just walking along, minding our own business, and then we are surprised by joy.  It seems to be the counterpart of contentment.  As it is written: “Godliness with contentment is great gain.”

Maybe joyful moments are the only glimpse that we have of heaven this side of eternity.  We all want rousing revelations and awesome utterances from the throne, but maybe Our Father wants us to appreciate the subtleties of his presence rather than the glories of what is not quite yet.  

To be sure, grandeur and ecstasy are waiting for us on the other side, but quiet joy, restful peace, and obedient contentment are ours now. They are the building blocks of our eternal homes.  They are the stepping stones to the throne.  They are in fact “God with us”—Emmanuel!

~ Brad Heilhecker

Shana Tova

I had plans for writing about Rosh Hashana and to share a bit more about Israel.

Well, after arriving in Israel I realized my iPad said disabled, and the only way to get it to work again was to connect it to a computer, which I had chosen to leave at home so my daughter could complete her schooling easier (my children are homeschooled and use the internet).

So… the device left for me to type on is my phone. Not very exciting when you want to try and bold, copy and paste, and generally make things look nice. Because of this, short and sweet this week!

All I can say, after driving up to Jerusalem today and watching God bring people into my life right when I needed them (someone to help me park my car and a woman staying in the room next to me that is a complete divine appointment), is TRUST HIM!

When you LISTEN and meditate on HIS WORDS, He will lead you and guide you. There is no reason to get stressed or worry (but I admit, I still do). He truly has your best interest in mind and LOVES YOU.

I celebrated Rosh Hashana tonight with South African friends. A true blessing and gift from God. Encourage one another. Be there for one another. Take care of one another. Start this new year by being a BLESSING to someone else.

Leviticus 23:23-24

Adonai said to Moshe, “Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘In the seventh month, the first of the month is to be for you a day of complete rest for remembering, a holy convocation announced with blasts on the shofar. (CJB)

Psalm 133:1-3

A song of ascents. By David: Oh, how good, how pleasant it is for brothers to live together in harmony. It is like fragrant oil on the head that runs down over the beard, over the beard of Aharon, and flows down on the collar of his robes. It is like the dew of Hermon that settles on the mountains of Tziyon. For it was there that Adonai ordained the blessing of everlasting life. (CJB)

Shana Tova. May your new year be filled with HIS oil of gladness and LIFE.

Love and blessings from Israel,

Rose Horton

Let’s Put Christ Back In Christians

I have always loved the quote by Ghandi….

“I love your Jesus – it’s your Christians I have a problem with, they are so unlike your Christ.”

Not everyone that claims to be a Christian acts Christlike.

That’s a fact.

I get saddened when I hear someone say they want nothing to do with religion or Christians because they are hypocrites and hateful people.

I always reply I don’t do religion either but I have a personal relationship with Jesus that changed my life and I try to be more like Him each and every day.

But guess what – I still can fall short of His glorious standards.

That’s a bit of a dramatic statement for them to make because definitely not all are hypocrites and hateful – but just scroll a bit on Social Media and see what some “Christians” are sharing and posting.

Some are pretty alarming things.

Look at the moral failure stories of countless people, from Presidents to Pastors to Church leadership and celebrities. And look at the comments on those stories.

Even the “good” headlines seem to have people so suspect of the validity of someone’s conversion that they all have negative opinions on how that just can’t be genuine or so because they have done this or that …or still do this or say this or that …

Everyone seems to have a strong opinion.

The sides are split on many of the big Headline Newsmakers.

Heck, these days you can’t even rely on the news for the truth.

So, what spin are we really seeing?

Have we gotten the whole story?

Or are we just repeating something we don’t even know is true or valid?

And at the end of the day are we really even qualified to make an assessment or judgement on any of it at all? Is it even our place to?

And what makes us feel entitled to give our opinion or 2 cents on ANY OF IT?

What makes us think that everyone else’s “stuff” is our right to weigh in on or any of our business?

Who are we to judge who is worthy or unworthy of being truly saved or forgiven? Or given another chance?

Who are we to decide that sin ABC is not as bad as sin XYZ ?

Who are we to comment on what we “think” we know about another persons heart? Or character? Or Faith?

I am guilty at times for sharing an opinion that maybe goes against the grain, reveals a less than pure heart, or is laced in judgement.

We all can be …

That is when I have to take it to God to rectify and repent.

That’s what we all should be doing.

Everyone’s newsfeeds were bombarded with the big story of forgiveness the last few days over the Dallas police officer that shot someone and his brother forgave her …

Some couldn’t grasp the ability of someone to do this …

Some that have been forgiven of much could understand how with Christ’s help we could …

I personally think that was just the first stone in a sea of ripples for us to begin to change.

I would like to challenge us all today …

May we put “Christ” back in Christian.

May we resign our

Holy Ghost Junior positions.

Our Holier Than Thou mindsets.

Our Judge and Jury stances.

Our Know It All, Prideful, Hating, Dividing, Judging, Resharing, Commenting, Talking, or anything else that is not 100% pure and lovely or of good report.

Let’s get back to liking each others kiddos, pets, vacations, being encouraged, praying for each other, finding good places to eat from your food pics and not stoop to that level anymore.

Let’s show a narrative forced upon us that the country is divided by so much that it doesn’t have to be anymore.

Let’s start standing up to say – NOPE – we aren’t choosing that anymore … we choose to put goodness, kindness, mercy, grace, forgiveness and ultimately LOVE back to the front of all we do and say.

We lay down the gauntlets and get on our knees for each other instead.

By putting “Perfect Love” first place in our lives – we show the world what Christ really looks like.

What “Christ”ians act like.

How LOVING THE UNLOVELY

is possible!

Let’s start by first putting “Christ” back in us… Christians.

And showing the World we aren’t hateful hypocritical people.

~ XXOO Michelle Bollom

#LiveRestored #MindBodySoul

RestoredMinistries.org

Cast Off That Spirit Of Despair

“…to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord , that he may be glorified.”
Isaiah 61:3 (ESV)

“to strengthen those crushed by despair who mourn in Zion—to give them a beautiful bouquet in the place of ashes, the oil of bliss instead of tears, and the mantle of joyous praise instead of the spirit of heaviness. Because of this, they will be known as Mighty Oaks of Righteousness, planted by Yahweh as a living display of his glory.” (TPT)

I was feeling a little disheartened the other day. For absolutely no reason at all, I felt down in the dumps and ready to just give up. I knew I was not believing lies about myself or my situation (I had indeed spent about an hour taking every thought captive unto the obedience of Christ – 2 Corinthians 10:2-6), but my feelings of HEAVY were so intense I just wanted to crawl back into bed!  I could not understand for the life of me what the heck was going on.

I had worship music on and I prayed in tongues for what seemed like forever.  Of course these things lifted the heaviness a bit, but something still felt “off.”  I made declarations and thanked God for everything I could think of, and the heaviness dissipated for a moment, but seemed to return later with a vengeance. So I did what I tend to do whenever I can’t fight my way out – I asked my husband to pray for me.

While praying he began to speak Isaiah 61 over me, that God would give me a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. And that’s when it hit us: Sometimes, heaviness is a SPIRIT!!!!

All it took was rebuking that nasty spirit of heaviness off of me and within a moment I was my happy, joyful self again.  What a crazy revelation.

I love words and digging into THE Word, so I did a word study on the words “spirit” and “heaviness/faint” from Isaiah 61:3.  Ruwach is the Hebrew word for “spirit” in this verse.  And yes, it means exactly what I thought – it’s a SPIRIT.

 “Fainting” or “heaviness” is the word keheh, which means dim, dull, colourless, be dark, faint.  The Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon says that it represents “a spirit that is broken down.”  A broken, dark spirit that brings heaviness and feelings of weakness.  Sounds like the devil’s minions to me!

The Bible says that the devil roams the Earth like a lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). I am convinced that he knows that he is defeated and thus he is bitter, twisted and angry. If he can do anything to distract a born-again Christian from everything they are called to, he will indeed do it – and that includes assigning spirits of heaviness.  

So what do you do with a spirit of heaviness?  I’m so glad you asked.

If you are feeling heavy today for no reason and you have done everything to stand (you have prayed, you have worshipped, you have declared life over yourself, you have taken every thought captive, etc), I encourage you to just tell that spirit of heaviness to leave in the name of Jesus!

Remember that you are seated with Christ in Heavenly places and have been given all authority (Ephesians 2).  That heaviness has no legal right to be on you or around you at all, and as an ambassador for Christ and a child of the King, you can tell it to get out of your domain.

The JOY of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10), and in His Presence there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11) so do not allow a sinister spirit of heaviness keep you from the fullness of His Presence! Go deep with Him, and break off that heavy spirit.  God promises a garment of praise instead.  And nothing is powerful enough hold you back from all the promises of God over your life, should you choose to accept them!

Isaiah 54:17: No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment.  This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.”

~ Mandy Woodhouse

Go Out In Joy

Isaiah writes that God’s word that proceeds from his mouth will not return to him without accomplishing the desire for which he sent it.  

The next verse describes the effect on those who participate in this endeavor, “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all of the trees of the field will clap their hands.”  

So, as God’s messengers, we will experience both personal joy and peace and the sublime pleasure of being in partnership with all of creation.  

The oneness with the universe that some religions tout (moksha in Hinduism, nirvana in Buddhism) is found in God’s co-laborers who faithfully communicate his message of love to his children.

This is because God has no higher priority than having his word proclaimed to all of creation.  

Everything in life is proceeding in accordance with his plan, and he desires that this comforting thought be delivered faithfully to the faithful.  

Even the proclamations of the coming judgement are rooted in God’s desire that his children be fully prepared for every eventuality. He spoke the world into existence and, ever since then, the world proceeds according to his commands.  Even the chaos caused by the enemy is controlled by his word.

Life may inevitably contain some drudgery, but, even in the dullest of moments, we can joyfully anticipate the full emancipation of all creation and the full liberation of the children of God (Romans 8:21).  

Until then, there is ample joy and liberty to be found in his presence.

Through our partnership with him, we are now in the inner circle; we are now in the family.  All of the family secrets, the family fortunes, and the family joys are now ours.

Yes, there will be trials and tribulations, tests and temptations, but, as the apostle Paul discovered, “the sufferings of this present age are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”  

Let us “go out in joy and be led forth in peace!”

~ Brad Heilhecker