Firm…

I love to just ask Holy Spirit what it is that HE wants me to write about. Often it is something that I need to learn. Today He gave me the word, “firm.” Let’s look at a few verses with this word.

Joshua 23:6

“Therefore be very firm about keeping and doing everything written in the book of the Torah of Moshe and not turning aside from it either to the right or to the left. (CJB)

I Corinthians 16:13

Stay alert, stand firm in the faith, behave like a mentsh, grow strong. (CJB)

2 Thessalonians 2:15

Therefore, brothers, stand firm; and hold to the traditions you were taught by us, whether we spoke them or wrote them in a letter. (CJB)

I would love to go on and on because I enjoy the Word of God, but let’s just stop and see what these couple verses tell us. You can dig around and find more!

Let’s look at the Old Testament verse first. Be “FIRM” about KEEPING and doing EVERYTHING WRITTEN. It really doesn’t have to do with the “law.” It is about understanding what GOD wants and how HE wants us to carry out what HE desires. HIS teachings, Old Testament and New Testament, need to be followed. Even Jesus told us in Matthew 5:18 that:

Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud (dot) or a stroke will pass from the Torah — not until everything that must happen has happened. (CJB)

We must understand how the Old Testament and the New Testament work together and that HIS teachings are spread throughout the WHOLE Bible. If you notice, the Complete Jewish Bible uses the word, “Torah” instead of “law.” This is for a reason. When we read “law” we immediately think that all of them have been done away with (except the 10 commandments). This translation clearly tells us that it is not just the “laws,” but the whole Torah. What is taught there is what we need to learn from and realize that heaven and earth will pass away when those teachings have been accomplished.

My favorite verse, that I found several months ago, is the one from 1 Corinthians. Behave like “mentsh.” A “mentsh, according to wikipedia is a yiddish word meaning, “a person of integrity and honor.” If we are to STAY ALERT, STAND FIRM and be a person of INTEGRITY and HONOR, I believe we will grow strong. The stronger we are, the more FIRM we can STAND. It isn’t easy to knock over a person of strength!

2 Thessalonians actually ties in with the verse from Joshua. The word, “tradition” can throw us off. One needs to be careful with traditions and make sure that they are from the Word, and not man made. In this case, if you read the whole chapter (I encourage you to read it in the Complete Jewish Bible for a new understanding, it is clear they are being encouraged to follow what was taught from Torah.

We MUST realize what is in the Torah in order to know who is coming to deceive us. When the Thessalonians were told to hold to the traditions, it would be the ones taught in Torah. They were encouraged to UNDERSTAND ALL that was written so they would not be deceived by the evil one.

In order to STAND FIRM in our day and age today, we must KNOW the WORD of GOD. We MUST SPEAK the TRUTH from it. We must be DESIRING to learn and grow from ALL TRUTHS of the Bible, and challenge ourselves to understand the hidden Truths that are there.

It is easy to be swayed today by all kinds of teachings. It isn’t easy to stand strong when others are trying to bring untruth to us. Without a FIRM FOUNDATION in HIS WORD we will be convinced of things that are not WRITTEN in the Word.

Where are you receiving your teachings? Are you taking the teachings back to the Word and asking Holy Spirit to reveal HIS Truths to you?

Once you have received HIS understanding, it might mean that you have to “go against the flow” of the world in order to STAND FIRM on HIS teachings. Are you ready to face that?

The book of Ephesians (6:11) tells us:

Use all the armor and weaponry that God provides, so that you will be able to stand against the deceptive tactics of the Adversary (CJB)

If we have not armed ourselves with the armor HE provides (the WORD of God), than we will not be able to stand firm. The battle is only going to get harder, my friends. Please, take HIS WORD and hide it inside of you. KNOW HIS PROMISES and SPEAK them daily. SING HIS PRAISE and GIVE HIM THANKS. This will make the battle easier.

When we come to the realization that learning HIS WORD helps us STAND FIRM, than we can find REST in Him. We will RESTORE ourselves to Him. We are then REFRESHED to walk forward day to day.

Love and blessings,

Rose Horton

 

 

 

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A Dynamic Identity Calls For Dynamic Weaponry

Identity Definition: (noun) The fact of being who or what a person or thing is (thanks Google).

2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (The Passion Translation):  For although we live in the natural realm, we don’t wage a military campaign employing human weapons, using manipulation to achieve our aims. Instead, our spiritual weapons are energized with divine power to effectively dismantle the defenses behind which people hide. We can demolish every deceptive fantasy that opposes God and break through every arrogant attitude that is raised up in defiance of the true knowledge of God. We capture, like prisoners of war, every thought and insist that it bow in obedience to the Anointed One. Since we are armed with such dynamic weaponry, we stand ready to punish any trace of rebellion, as soon as you choose complete obedience.

What does identity have to do with this dynamic weaponry?

Everything.

The identity of a Christian is perhaps the most attacked thing in a Christian’s life, apart from time in the Secret Place.  And again, the Secret Place is where we remember and learn our identity, thus our need for this dynamic weaponry that Paul speaks of in 2 Corinthians.

 Ephesians 6 also talks about the armor of God, which is not just reserved for a cute children’s Sunday School art project. The armor of God is to protect our identity in Christ!

My good friend Pastor Tony Thompson says that the devil tries to steal a person’s identity in three ways:  

1). Through the temptation of performance.

2). Through power and possessions.

3). Through fear of man.  

I would even go as far as to add a fourth way, and that’s

4). Through discouragement while waiting on unfulfilled promises.  

Identity must be important if it’s always under attack.

Before Jesus even went into the wilderness, God instilled identity into Him (“This is my Son, in Whom I am well pleased…” – Luke 3:22).

How ironic that in Luke chapter 4 when Jesus is tempted in the wilderness, the first thing the devil attacks is this very identity:  “The devil said to Him, ‘if you are the Son of God, turn this stone into bread'” (Luke 4:3).  

If You truly are who You are…then perform for it….

But Jesus knew His identity, and used the truth as a dynamic weapon:  ” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone’” (Luke 4:4).

The devil then tried attacking Jesus’ identity through the temptation of possessions. “And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will.  If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours” (Luke 4:5-7).  But, of course once again, Jesus used scripture as a sword to overcome the devil’s lies.  Jesus knew Who He was and the authority that He carried, therefore showing Him what He could potentially gain was useless.

The last temptation that is recorded in the wilderness is from Luke 4:9-12 when the devil tries to bully Jesus and tells Him to throw Himself down and let His angels care for Him.  And once again, Jesus knows His identity well enough to give the devil the pushback needed, not falling into fear or the desire to show off.

My point is, Jesus KNEW His identity.  And it was a weapon.

I feel that the same is true for those who may feel discouraged.  When discouragement comes, it’s so easy to begin to forget your identity.  This is perhaps when we have to fight the hardest, when those dynamic weapons of warfare must be pulled out.  

We can demolish every deceptive fantasy that opposes God and break through every arrogant attitude that is raised up in defiance of the true knowledge of God. We capture, like prisoners of war, every thought and insist that it bow in obedience to the Anointed One. – 2 Corinthians 10:5

Anything that raises itself up in defiance of the true knowledge of God CAN and MUST be captured and brought low.  As one who is crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20), who has been made a new creation and the very righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17-21), and as one who is indeed a partaker of Christ’s divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), this also refers to the true knowledge of YOU.  1 John 4:17 says that as Jesus is so are we in this world, therefore every deceptive fantasy that tries to come and tell us that we are less than what God says we are is a LIE and needs to be captured and brought low in obedience to Jesus!

Knowing not just who you are but also what Jesus truly did for you is the best and most dynamic weapon you have.  Knowing it, and then reciting it back to the devil when he comes to tempt you, is powerful.  Clinging to it with all your heart and mind when you feel discouraged is imperative.  

You have also been given heavenly armor to protect you (Ephesians 6), so begin to ask Holy Spirit how to use what He’s given you to protect who you are.

A dynamic identity calls for dynamic weaponry.  

When you have Jesus, that makes you the most important recipient of the most powerful and victorious weaponry.

~ Mandy Woodhouse  

 

 

 

Time To Be Excused

I had a friend – a really close friend that I talked to and saw almost daily. We did life together for over 10 years.

She liked to gossip and talk about others.

Hey, I am not saying I was perfect because I was guilty and engaged in it too.

Sometimes, we all can still get into tricky waters and tread back into those familiar foolish things.

God started to deal with me and I remember as He began to answer that daily prayer I pray – “Nothing Hidden Stays Hidden – reveal my true friends Lord”; My eyes were opened and I would get a glimpse of some alarming things.

She and her friends would talk horrible things about their other friends and people in general. Friends they claimed they had done life with for 20+ years and I would think…Yikes! How horrible! – I hope she doesn’t say things about me like that. Sadly, she was and more and many times it came back to me.

I knew God was pinging my heart for what grieved His and I couldn’t keep sitting quietly by or even keep participating in these behaviors.

He also was opening my eyes and trying to move that relationship away but I refused to listen and clung to it; tightly; desperately; foolishly; like a pair of old Blue Jeans from High School you think you will wear again some day.

Well, she dumped me over 3 years ago on my birthday in public like a bad scene out of the real housewives of NW Houston!

She didn’t want to be my friend anymore. Her exact words! Plus a whole bunch more in a very crowded lunch spot.

It hurt like hell – I ain’t gonna lie.

But God! He worked it all out for my good. Even better than I could hope, think or ask. He also healed my heart and taught me many valuable lessons during that time. I still pray for her and her family and her friends today.

God knew she couldn’t go where He was calling me and He no longer wanted me to sit at tables with anyone that continued to do this. Because He didn’t want me to do this.

I am diligent to not allow anyone to cause discord or gossip within our Divine Connections group. I am quick to repent when I feel I cross the line and get into any conversation that turns towards gossip or speaking less than what is pure and lovely.

I hope and pray you all have the courage to leave the tables of this foolery and mess too.

Be better versions of yourself.

Be better women and friends …

and this is for all the guys too.

Surround yourself with those that sharpen and bring out the best in you and ultimately in others too.

When you know your true worth you will stop entertaining and allowing anything that cheapens you.

This is a great quick article to read!

~ XXOO Michelle

https://herviewfromhome.com/i-no-longer-sit-at-tables-where-i-might-be-the-topic-when-i-get-up/

Did You Ask?

Did you ask the Lord for patience?

Did you plead for it in prayer?

But when tribulation tried you,

Did you think He didn’t care?

Oh, my child, He heard and answered,

Answered full your earnest cry:

“Tribulation worketh patience!”

Now you know the reason why.

Did you ask Him for submission?

Did you ask for it in prayer?

But when suffering came upon you,

Did you think it wasn’t fair?

Oh, my dear, He heard and answered,

Though not how you wished, ‘tis clear;

For we only learn submission

By the things we suffer here.

‘Twas unselfishness you wanted?

Did you plead for it in prayer?

But the sacrifice He asked for,

Did it seem too great to bear?

Oh, He cared, He heard and answered,

Answered full your heart-felt prayer;

For we learn to be unselfish,

By the sacrifice we bear.

Did you ask the Lord for victory?

Well, He took you at your word!

Tho’ when the battle raged around you,

You wondered if He’d heard.

Oh, my child, He heard and answered,

And He gave you your request:

For how can you win a victory

If you never face a test?

Did you ask to be made humble?

Not to have self-righteous pride?

But then wonder when He published

All your failings far and wide?

Well, my child, that was His answer

To your prayer of desperation:

The surest way to be made humble,

Is to bear humiliation.

Judge not God with mortal’s judgement, When your prayers are answered so;

For the truest paths for Christians,

Often lead through vales of woe.

And the answers that He gives you,

Will be truly good and fair:

Though you may not understand them

Till you view from over there!

–Josephine Hope Westervelt

Poetically Prophetic

You Have Come Home

I am bringing you to My 

waters of perfect rest

The place your heart

unknowingly searched for

A place occupied by 

the one’s who laid their 

hearts bare before me

Allowing Me to have my 

way in and through them

During their darkest times

Your journey was long and 

hard and steep at times

Yet you never gave up

I took you into unknown territories to test your heart towards me

The stripping of your ego, 

pride and old ways of doing 

things were necessary

I can fully use you when I 

see Myself in you

You are now moving in sync 

with My Spirit 

As My love emanates from 

your being 

It will spill over to everyone 

you come into contact with

Setting alight many to seek 

My face

My daughters I have drawn 

you with My love

While you were still in shackles

Clothed in rags

Blinded by your pain

My love gently lured you 

to explore My heart

Till you were overcome and 

forever changed by My love

You are entering the place I 

longed for you to find

You have found it through 

your many wanderings

You have found it through 

your constant pain

You have found it in your 

darkest hours

When you had nothing to 

hold on to

I drew your focus to My gaze

All your fears had to bow in 

the presence of My love

I am so in love with you, 

My daughter

You held onto My hand 

through the uncertainty

Through the voices trying 

to quiet you

Through the demonic attacks 

sent to derail you

You walked straight into 

an oasis of My never ending 

love for you

I don’t look at your credentials

I don’t look at your accomplishments

Nor at your outer appearance

I was captivated by your 

love for Me

Many will see and share 

and taste of the deep work 

that I have done in you

I am calling you to Myself

I have found you faithful 

Amongst many daughters 

that are still holding on to 

things of no worth

Your worth is hidden

in Me

No one can touch you

My sword over you severing 

every plan of the enemy

Oh how I yearn after you

What once held your gaze are fading in the background

The love and attention you 

so desperately needed from 

human beings

You have found in Me

I am your constant Companion

All other lovers are fading in 

the background

You have found the key 

to My heart

You will be like a beacon

drawing hurting daughters 

out of their caves

My light burning through you

will lead them straight to Me

This is the day that you will look back and thank your enemies for the part they have played 

They meant to harm you, but 

I am turning everything around 

for your good

Your journey brought you 

to this wide, open place in Me

The place I have prepared for you

The search is over

You have come home.

~ Ebigale Wilson

You Have Come Home

The Journey

Sing! Sing! Sing!

No Music No Life … I have to agree!

We must Sing Sing Sing! And Worship and Praise!

Today for #SongSunday I am adding an old quote I found tucked in my notes.

Tell us some of your favorite songs in the comments. ~ XXOO Michelle

“Any man can sing by day; but only he whose heart has been tuned by the gracious hand of Jehovah can sing in the darkness.

The things of earth may satisfy for the hours of prosperity; but only the peace of God can give gladness in the darkness of adversity.

God gives joy in sorrow; and when the sad one sings through his tears, then the Lord comes out to him with new and more tender assurances, so that by his very hymn he is made more gladsome.”

~Wm. M. Taylor

Seeking Love

We are a technologically advanced society, but our souls are sick.

We seek help in psychotherapy, support groups, tarrot cards, crystals – anything that will relieve the pain. But we find that these supposed sources of help are helpless.

The emptiness will not be filled.

What we long to know is that we are loved. To be more specific, we hunger to know that we are accepted as we are, forgiven for all we have done, and cared for by a gracious, loving God.

When we know this, we walk away well.

~ James Bryan Smith

Lord, I receive this day your acceptance, forgiveness, and care, believing You love me – like a Father. Amen.

Trust…

We have a world today where trust is difficult to achieve. People around us break promises. Businesses fail and jobs that were promised are gone. Even in friendships, families, and marriages there are so many issues that arise that can cause trust to be broken.

What does the Word of God say about trust? Let’s look at a few verse with this word in them.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 Blessed is the man who trusts in Adonai; Adonai will be his security. He will be like a tree planted near water; it spreads out its roots by the river; it does not notice when heat comes; and its foliage is luxuriant; it is not anxious in a year of drought but keeps on yielding fruit. (CJB)

Psalm 56:4 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. (CJB)

John 14:1 “Don’t let yourselves be disturbed. Trust in God and trust in me.

Revelation 21:5 Then the One sitting on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new!” Also he said, “Write, ‘These words are true and trustworthy!’”

Once again we have verses from different places in the Bible. One from the Old Testament prophets, one from a Psalm (writing) and this time two from the New Testament. As we look across all spectrums of the Word of God, we will see that this word, TRUST,” is a strong piece that is an anchor in the Words God wants us to BELIEVE.

Jeremiah has taught us that if we TRUST in Adonai, HE will be our security. There is NO trust to be placed in man, just our Creator! If we choose to TRUST in Him, we will bear FRUIT, even in a year of drought. The PROMISES in this verse are incredible, and all it requires is TRUST in God!

David wrote us a Psalm that says when he is afraid, he trusts in GOD. David had many reasons to not trust man. His brothers didn’t really believe in him when he arrived and said he would face Goliath. Others probably wondered if this “boy” would really become a king. Then King Saul became a “mad man” and tried to kill David and David had to flee for his life. Throughout his life David faced people who chose not to like him. In all of these situations, David chose to TRUST in God.

When we move into the New Testament we see the Words of Jesus. He says, “Don’t be disturbed.” He says, “TRUST in God and TRUST in ME.” He is clearly calling people to make a CHOICE. He gave them the option to CHOOSE WHO they wanted to believe.

The Words in Revelation solidify that GOD is the One Who gives us TRUSTWORTHY Words. When we CHOOSE to TRUST Him, He makes ALL things NEW!

I have to emphasize, once again, that too often we look for peace in our surroundings. We look to people and situations to trust in, and we forget to trust in God. Because we tangibly see things happening around us, it is easier to trust in something someone says than it is to TRUST in things unseen. Because we see things happening around us, we can also LOSE trust in people. Either scenario brings us to a place of trusting man instead of God.

The Word of God makes it clear that when we have FAITH and BELIEVE and TRUST in the God Who created us, than we will have ALL things NEW and bear fruit.

I must remind myself DAILY that HE is my source of ALL things. HE provides ALL I have need of. When I simply TELL Him that I TRUST Him, my mind clears. When my mind is clear, than I see people and situations around me in a NEW way. I can then bring HOPE and LOVE and JOY to those my Father sends my way.

Choose today to TRUST your Father. Our Father tells us to have “faith like a child.” We can TRUST Him to take care of us and catch us. When we make the choice to TRUST Him, we will find FREEDOM.

Choose today to SPEAK the words, “I trust YOU, Lord. YOU are all I need.”

When we come to the realization that TRUST in HIM is what brings us security, than we can find REST in Him. We will RESTORE ourselves to Him. We are then REFRESHED to walk forward day to day.

 

Love and blessings,

Rose Horton

 

 

 Image by Lauren LuLu Taylor / UnSplash

Love Attacks

I had the most embarrassingly funny moment at a shopping center in Brisbane this week.  Like most of my crazy moments in life, God used it to show me something beautiful.  I just love His perspective.

Being an American in Australia, I got to the shopping center a little shaky.  I lived in Australia years ago so you’d think I’d be fairly confident at driving on the OTHER side of the road (competent, YES…confident, not quite yet).  Maybe it was the fact that I missed the turn off to the parking tower and had to circle the giant center a few times, or that it took me 5 goes at parking our new little Mazda 3 straight.  At any rate, I was super excited to be on an outing and having driven all by myself, though slightly flustered.

Inside I quickly found my current favorite shop and enjoyed browsing through the home wares section. After a few minutes, I looked up and saw a familiar face from a distance. There was a guy standing some yards away intensely eyeing a kitchen knife, and I was certain this was our good friend Rod (who I had not yet had the pleasure of seeing since we’ve been back in Australia).  Rod seemed to have cut his hair super short since I last saw him last in November, so being ME I figured I’d sneak up and give him a big, surprise hug from behind and then shower him with love as he’s a dear friend of ours.  

I got super excited as I prepared my sneaky love-attack…..and when I pounced, I did it with all the affection and silliness of a little sister-type!

And y’all….much to my horror….this man was NOT Rod.

He was most likely taken aback, but could have been a little less direct and rude with me when he informed me that he was not who I thought he was.  Of course I apologized and my face was probably several shades of maroon as I crept away from him in humiliation.  I actually had a hard time looking at him in the eyes for a second as he very quickly walked away from me (actually, it looked almost like he was escaping from me!).  I made a quick exit as well, giggling to myself as the initial embarrassment wore off.  

Again later, I saw him from a distance and he seemed to have a lighter attitude and more of a spring in his step.  I hoped I had not freaked him out too much and he was now able to laugh about it.

When I shared this story with a friend that day at lunch, she made a most interesting comment that got me talking to God about it. “What if that’s the only hug that man has ever received from Jesus,” my friend said to me.  1 John 4:17 says that as Jesus is, so am I in this world.

 Galatians 2:20 says that I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who lives but Christ who lives IN ME.  And what about Romans 8, which states that I have the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead living within me?!  

What if it was a complete GOD SET-UP because this man NEEDED A HUG???  That’s a different perspective indeed.

The more I processed this with the Lord the more He spoke to me about it from several different angles.

 What if God Himself desires to sneak up on us with that same kind of love and excited affection, yet we abruptly shoo Him away like this man did to me?  What if, like this man, we are too intense and focused on our tasks that we forget that God just wants to give us a cuddle?  

How often have I pushed Holy Spirit away because I’m so focused on getting stuff done that I don’t feel like I have time to allow Him to love on me.  And what if the man’s attitude changed because he actually did encounter the love of God for a second, through me?

How much more does God want to love on us, celebrate us and see us changed by just a moment with Him.  

And sometimes, all we need is a good hug and someone to celebrate us.  How amazing to know that Jesus always celebrates us!

As you can tell, I took away a few important lessons from this most embarrassing moment.  I do think that if I had the opportunity again, even through the embarrassment, I’d still do the same thing.  

The Love of Jesus transforms the world, even through a stranger’s hug.  I’ll never apologize for how I carry the Love of Christ.

I think I’ll go allow Him to hug on ME for awhile now.  There’s nothing in the world like His love.

~ Mandy Woodhouse