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.

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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

Set Apart

I have been listening to different teachings this week and asking myself the question, “what does it mean to be ‘set apart?’’

This has always been a struggle for the people of God. Everyone wants to “fit in.” Everyone wants to “be liked.” Everyone wants to “be a part of the crowd.”

When the Word of God tells us to be “set apart,” what does that mean? How do we do that? What does it take to “be different?” Does “set apart” mean to “be different?”

Let’s look at some verses that use these words. Let’s use the Word of God to see if we can gain a better understanding about what He expects of us.

Deuteronomy 14:2

because you are a people set apart as holy for Adonai your God. Adonai your God has chosen you to be his own unique treasure out of all the peoples on the face of the earth. (CJB)

Psalm 4:4

Understand that Adonai sets apart the godly person for himself; Adonai will hear when I call to him. (CJB)

I Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen people, the King’s cohanim, a holy nation, a people for God to possess! Why? In order for you to declare the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (CJB)

In Deuteronomy the Children of Israel were told that they were “set apart as holy.” Adonai CHOSE them to be His unique treasure. They were called to be different than all other peoples on the earth.

The Children of Israel were given the Ten Commandments. They were told not to worship other gods. They were told to keep the Sabbath Holy. They were given days that were to be set apart and holy. All of these commands “set them apart” from other nations and people groups.

In Romans 11 the Gentiles are told they are grafted in. When anyone who is not Jewish chooses to follow Jesus, they become part of this community that is “set apart.”

I Peter continued this thought. The book was written by Peter to “God’s chosen people living as aliens in the diaspora.” He wrote this to Jewish followers of Jesus. He was reminding them that they needed to understand WHO they are as God’s people. Peter made it clear that they needed to remember they were called out of darkness and declare praises because they now saw the Light.

I have a feeling that many of the communities of faith struggled with knowing how to be “set apart.” It is why Paul wrote so many letters to different communities. He knew that each one faced their own situations that caused them to stumble at times. It caused them to blend into the people groups around them, instead of being known as a chosen people. Paul wrote to them to remind them that they were supposed to be unique.

The verse in Psalm is directed toward an individual. Adonai “sets apart” a godly person for Himself. Adonai is willing to hear a godly person when he calls. David knew, being part of the chosen people, that when he would call on God, Adonai would answer.

So how should being “set apart” effect us today? Do we BELIEVE we are set apart?

Too often we just walk next to those around us and “go with the flow.” We are not willing to say, “I’m sorry, but I am not able to participate in that.”

In our communities of faith today, how do we differ from other organizations and groups? Do we have something unique to offer those who choose to spend time with us? Do we really act like we are a “chosen people” who have been called to be LIGHT? What makes us stand out?

There are many communities of faith, and people, today that are beginning to blend in to their surroundings. They are choosing to become more like the world with thoughts and actions. Instead of choosing to walk in the fruits of the Spirit, they respond with the same anger and frustrations their peers do. The outward is not reflecting a person that has been “set apart.”

I wrote about peace last week. I truly believe that a way we can, and should, be different is by carrying PEACE and JOY. IF we BELIEVE that Jesus is Who He said He was, the Son of God, and we are following HIS teachings, than we should have a PEACE that people gravitate to. We should have a JOY that draws people into the LIGHT.

We need to stop trying to have peace around us, and carry HIS peace within us. We need to stop expecting people around us to bring us joy, and be HIS joy to those we meet.

It is ALL about what is INSIDE. Remember, God looks at the HEART. God knows ALL that happens in our minds.

When we are truly “set apart,” we will carry those traits inside of us, and then they will flow to those around us.

When we come to the realization that to be “set apart” is to be a LIGHT to those around us, 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

 

 

When God Moves You

When God Shifted ME Instead of the Mountain

My husband and I recently transitioned our lives from a little town in South Carolina all the way to Brisbane, Australia. We sold our house and all of our belongings, sold off our vehicles and flew across the world with six suitcases and two little dogs.  

God spoke, we heard Him clearly, and with wise counsel and radical abandonment we counted the cost and took off on perhaps the greatest faith adventure of our lives.

The transition has been one of the smoothest, most amazing God-stories that we have ever known.  The Lord ordered each and every single step and surrounded us with great favor.  We got to Australia a few weeks ago and it felt like an Ephesians 3:20 dream (better than we could have asked for or imagined).  Unlike many other times that I have traveled, there was not one single glitch – until, that is, we had to get the dogs from quarantine.

To be fair, the mix-up in dates was entirely our fault.  We got excited and neglected to read the email correctly, so we drove nearly nine hours to collect our precious fur babies an entire 24 hours early.  Thankfully we had accommodation and the rental car sorted, so our mistake did not cost us what it could have.  But not having seen our puppies for 14 days was wearing on our hearts, and the idea of not collecting them on the day that we planned was gut wrenching.

And just like God…this turned out to be a significant lesson for me on so many levels.  

When the government officer from the post-entry quarantine department gently explained that we could not see our dogs on that day, I went to war in my Spirit and with my words.  I know that I have the power of life or death in my tongue (Proverbs 18:21), and I know that I can speak to mountains and see them move in the Name of Jesus (Mark 11:23), so I began to declare, decree, and believe that I would see this mountain move and hold my puppies that very day.  I know that I am seated with Christ in Heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6) and can therefore push Heaven down to earth over my circumstances (which I boldly did, and with great authority).  

As I sat in the car while my husband was out trying to make sense of it all, I remained calm and confident that I would see my dogs and be driving off with them within moments.  

Now allow me to be honest… in the past, I would have been riddled with anxiety.  I would have worried about their little hearts, and would have driven my husband crazy with my fancy ideas and suggestions on how to solve the situation (*cough cough* control is actually a better word).  I would have allowed fear to come and make me act irrationally, and I would have most likely cried my eyes out with anger and worry.  But this time was different.  

As I continued to declare and decree the promises of God over our lives, our situation and our dogs, something shifted for me.  I seemed to press into the whole situation with a new confidence in God, and I gracefully kept my calm in every way.  I was convinced that as the officer walked off to triple check our details that he would return and open those giant, official gates and let us drive in to collect our babies.  After all, “Surely GOODNESS and MERCY follow me all the days of my life…” (Psalm 23:6, ESV).  

Yet the official man very kindly and humbly denied our request.  We had mistakenly come several hours before the quarantine period was to end, so we had to return tomorrow as per government rules.  I had decreed, declared and believed with great faith, yet the mountain did not move.

But you know what?  It was actually ME that shifted.  Something in me changed, and instead of feeling anger, frustration, anxiety or worse – I actually felt a sense of expectation.  

Here’s what happened the more I verbally declared aloud God’s written word over my circumstances:  Peace began to flood my heart, and the nervous heat in my chest disappeared.  My brain got quiet...super quiet!  I began to feel fully awake, as if I was more aware than before of the atmosphere around me.  I could even sense angelic activity!  I began to feel super bold and confident as I prayed with authority, and what would have been a once all-consuming fear actually did not exist at all in my mind or body.  

I shifted gears into complete and utter trust in God and His perfect plan for this situation.  Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28 became alive to me (the living word!).  And this all caused me to be more excited and expectant than ever!  

“If the mountain didn’t move, then God must be up to something better than I could have imagined for myself” is what loudly rang in my Spirit.  You see it’s up to me to keep trusting my Father and to keep hold of my own spirit in the waiting.  He who rules his spirit is better than one who conquers a city (Proverbs 16:32).

And you know what?!  We got to spend time with friends that night that we would not have been able to see if we had the dogs with us.  God used us to bless others and minister deeply to a friend, which we would not have done had we been doting on our sweet furry friends.  There were so many other little factors that played out which made us see that God saw what was best all along. And when we finally got to see our puppies the next day it was a most wonderful experience with full attention all on them.

Sometimes it may not make sense to our natural minds WHY things don’t work out the way that we expected or declared, especially when we feel that we have done “everything right.”  But that does not mean that we are to stop declaring!  Daniel 10 records the account of Daniel praying, and the angelic help being held up for 21 days by things going on in the unseen spiritual realms.  

Sometimes things are held up because of the enemy, sometimes things are just meant for an appointed time…but God is never late.  And we are not to ever stop telling the mountains to move!

My advice?  Don’t give up.  But likewise, don’t despise the shift that could actually take place in YOU instead.

 

 ~ Mandy Woodhouse

 

 

Little Foxes

Lately I have been witnessing the enemy trying to work through some delays and disappointments to get God’s son’s and daughter’s stressed out and discouraged.

Delays from sickness, losses, car accidents, relationships, doubts, business, travel, letdowns and layoffs …..

Many little foxes trying to steal and spoil your vines.

The enemy loves to use those “Peace Robbers” and things to bring chaos, stress, worry and dread.

But God!

God is not a God of chaos or stress or worry or dread. He is the Prince Of Peace!

Trust God in the Divine Delays.

Trust the No’s, the Not Now’s, the Waits, the Redirections, the Reschedules, the Ends and all the many Unknowns to God.

If you keep your peace and do not let the enemy derail you and get you caught up in his chaos, stress and worry tactics and instead change your perspective to view them all as God’s Divine Delays-you will move forward in greater acceleration and abundance than you could ever imagine possible.

Let God catch and handle all the enemy’s little foxes that are trying to spoil your vines.

You Simply Just Keep Your Peace!

Stand Firm-Sometimes we have to show others how to fight for Joy amidst the chaos.

“Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom.” ~ Song of Solomon 2:15 ESV

~ XXOO Michelle Bollom

Peace

It’s Monday and I realized I needed to get my blog written! I don’t usually like to write under pressure, but suddenly my deadline looms. That truly does not bring peace, and yet that is the word I clearly heard as I asked Holy Spirit what I should write about.

As you have probably already noticed, I always want to focus on what the Word of God says about a subject. So, here are some verses about peace:

 

Luke 1:79

to shine on those in darkness, living in the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the paths of peace.” (CJB)

John 16:33

“I have said these things to you so that, united with me, you may have shalom. In the world, you have tsuris. But be brave! I have conquered the world!” (CJB)

Isaiah 26:3

“A person whose desire rests on you, you preserve in perfect peace,because he trusts in you. (CJB)

Two of these verses are from the New Testament. The one in Luke is about John the Baptist. It was at the moment that Zechariah could speak and he prophesied these words concerning his son. He stated that John would “shine on in the darkness” and “guide our feet into the paths of peace.”

John the Baptist was not always known to be a man of peace. He spoke against the religious leaders of the day and told them to repent. He lived in the wilderness and was most likely a member of the Essene community, who were known to be a bit more radical than the other sects of the day.

For those of us who believe that John was the forerunner of Jesus, we can clearly see how John the Baptist did guide our feet into the “paths of peace.” John was the man who called people to turn to Jesus and follow Him. He paved the way for Jesus to be known as the Messiah. The Messiah was the person who was to bring peace into the world.

The verse from John was Jesus speaking. He was telling His followers that when they are united with HIM they will have peace. The word, “tsuris” is a Yiddish word that means “problems” or “trouble.” We all know that trials exist and we all face them every day. The enemy is constantly trying to keep us from peace, so he will send problems and situations our way that will “knock us off our peace.”

Jesus tells us that when we stay close to Him than we will conquer the world. HE is the One Who brings us the ability to move forward and have peace even when the problems and troubles come.

The verse in Isaiah should complete for us the thought that ONLY when we TRUST in Adonai can we find peace. RESTING in Him we can find “PERFECT PEACE.” This happens when we place our DESIRES into HIS desires.

We know that Jesus did not bring peace to the world, Jesus brought PEACE TO OUR HEARTS. This looked different than everyone was expecting. People were looking for peace to happen around them, not within them. This is still our problem today. We are looking for peace to happen around us, instead of seeking for peace WITHIN us.

The Word of God is clear that as we come closer to the Messiah’s return, there will be wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, famines and the list of problems and tribulations continue… You name it, we will face it.

Technology has brought issues and trials of its own. Phones and social media, as positive as they can be, also bring depression and isolation. We have become a society that continues to search for peace externally and forget about the internal. We have become more focused on how to take care of the world, and have forgotten how to care for ourselves.

I think the KEYS to internal peace is found in a couple of words found in these verses:

 

BE BRAVE

 

REST

 

TRUST

 

GIUDE

 

SHINE

 

UNITED

These are words we should apply daily as we walk out the path HE has us on. I believe that if we apply them, we will have internal peace. They are WORDS from Adonai and HIS promises are true.

When we come to the realization that PEACE needs to happen inside of us, 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

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Stop Believing

When you read the scripture that says “with God, all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26), what goes through your mind?  

Do you (like me for so many years) skip over it without a thought?  Do you simply enjoy having it as a cute little saying on your favorite coffee mug, or do you engage with it fully and allow the idea of the impossible happening in your life build faith and expectancy in you?  

Or do you feel a twinge of disappointment and a bit of unbelief?  

So many amazing people teach on and believe the goodness of God and the ability, by faith, to enter fully into His promises for life, but many honestly struggle when it comes to what seems like impossible situations in the natural.  

Sadly at times, my own unbelief has held me back from so much of what God wanted to do through me and to show me.  He has been pushing this button in me for the past few months, and I have become so convicted to believe Him fully when He says He will do something.

Nothing is impossible with God is not just a cute saying for a mug.  It is a truth that we are invited into every moment that we breath.

Numbers 23:19 is very clear that God is not a man that He should lie, or the son of man that He would change His mind.  

Luke 1:45 (ESV) says, “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

God never lies, He doesn’t suddenly change His mind, and He always keeps His promises – and we are BLESSED when we believe this.

The devil likes to twist truth, however.  John 8:44 says that he is the father of lies and there is zero truth in him.  ZERO truth.  In fact, if you read the account of his interaction with Eve and Adam in the garden (when they ate the fruit in Genesis 3), he actually twisted the truth just enough to cause Eve to stumble over what God had really said.  He’s a liar, a twister of truth and all he knows how to do is pervert the good things that God has given.  In fact, the devil’s only power over a born-again Christian is deception.  

So of course the devil will make what appears in the natural as “impossible” to be too big for God.  Which then causes us to doubt God and opens the door to unbelief.

Unbelief makes us powerless and actually can become a stronghold if not dealt with.

What a jerk.

If you are struggling to believe that God can and desires to do the impossible in your life, allow me to offer you an injection of hope (because hope does not disappoint – Romans 5:5).  GOD NEVER LIES.

Engaging fully with this truth changes everything.

Sometimes, the very things that look the most impossible in the natural are the very things that God uses to confound the wise and show off His glory.  For example:  He caused a virgin to give birth.  He caused His son, Jesus, to be raised from the dead.  He caused the Red Sea to part, a young boy to kill a giant with just a sling shot and a few stones, and He caused the greatest Christian persecutor of the New Testament era to become one of the greatest Apostles in history.  And personally, I have seen Him heal people of incurable diseases, I have seen deaf ears opened, legs grow out, infertile women give birth and I have even been the recipient of some massive financial and naturally impossible miracles in my own life and body.  

Perhaps the greatest impossibility of all is the transformation of my own heart, life and nature when I surrendered my all to Him and died with Him to become His new creation (Galatians 2:20; Romans 6:6; 2 Peter 1:4; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21).  These scriptures are the very weapons that I use against the father of lies when he tries to tell me that I’m not good enough for God to do the impossible in my life.

I may not be good enough – but Jesus IN ME certainly is, and 1 John 4:17 tells me that as Jesus is, so am I in this world.

With my God, all things are possible.

Even better than I could ask, expect or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

As the band Journey would say, “Don’t stop believing…”  Let Him wash over you with His truth today as you open your heart to engage with His promises again.  What the Lord promises, He will indeed do!

 

~ Mandy Woodhouse

Focus

Are you focusing on the diagnosis more than God’s Promise of deliverance?

The righteous cry, and the LORD hears And delivers them out of all their troubles. ~ Psalm 34:17

He renews our hopes and heals our bodies. ~ Psalm 147:3

Are you focusing on the aches and pains instead of God’s Promise of being the strength we need in our weakness?

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

Are you focusing on how far you have to go to turn some things around or God’s Promises about not worrying about tomorrow and making all things new?

Don’t worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. ~ Matthew 6:34

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.~ Isaiah 43:19

And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true. ~ Revelations 21:5

Are you focusing on how you will ever get from simply A to B not ever believing you will ever make it from A to Z or God’s Promise that He is the Alpha & Omega – The Beginning and the End – the EVERY place in-between because He promises to never leave you or forsake you?

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. ~ Revelations 22:13

Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid or terrified, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you; He will never leave you or forsake you.~ Deuteronomy 31:6

We tend to fixate on our problems instead of focusing on God and His Promises.

We will also gravitate to where our focus is.

We must adjust our focus!

There is a Promise for every problem you face.

We must believe that Every Promise In The Book (Bible) is ours.

It’s time to put your name on it!

~ XXOO Michelle Cosby Bollom

God’s Name

Don’t shout out a quick or flustered “Oh My God”, “Good Lord”, “Jesus Christ”, or put a Dammit behind God’s name. There is no power in that.

Actually, on all of those you are using God’s name in vain.

God’s name when used properly has unlimited Power to bless, heal, save and protect.

Use it properly!

~XXOO Michelle

No using the name of God, your God, in curses or silly banter; God won’t put up with the irreverent use of His name.~ Exodus 20:7 MSG

Do not use the Lord your God’s name as if it were of no significance; the Lord won’t forgive anyone who uses His name that way. ~Exodus 20:7 CEB