Kind Words

Kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body (Proverbs 16:24, NLT)

Sometimes, I think that I may be in the kindest environment in the world – or at least the kindest environment I have ever seen in my life.  My friends are super kind and generous with their words, and my Church and work environments are as well.

 I LOVE how people are choosing to speak life over each other and their circumstances.  I have been so moved and challenged by this!

I’ve been thinking a great deal about the power behind these kind words.  In the past few weeks, when I have needed it most, I received cards or private messages with really kind things being said about me.  This isn’t a boast of how awesome I am or anything, but just a testimony to the love of my Heavenly Father who KNOWS when I need a kind word to bring healing to my soul.

Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad (Proverbs 12:25, ESV).

 What’s the best way that I can remove anxiety from my friend?  A kind word.  A word that, like Proverbs 16:24 states, is dripping from the comb and overflowing (Strong’s H6686).  The Hebrew translation behind Solomon’s words in Proverbs are so powerful as they state that kind words aren’t just simply like honey, they are DRIPPING and OVERFLOWING from the source!  Our tongues can drip and overflow life, health and repair to those around us.

He also says in Proverbs 18:21 that our tongues actually hold the power of life or death, and we reap the consequences of what we sow with our words.  WOW – how awesome if every consequence that I reaped was HEALTH and LIFE and COURAGE and JOY to my friends!  This sounds to me like a fantastic invitation into an assignment from Heaven.  I believe that I can partner my words with Heaven to literally lift up the countenance of my friends (and myself if needed).  Proverbs 12:18 says that the tongue of the wise brings healing, and I believe that if I surrender my tongue to the Lord, He will use me to repair people’s hearts.  

As my friends have challenged me with their kind words lately, allow me to challenge you:  Who can YOU be kind to with your words today?  Your tongue is like a sharp sword (Isaiah 49:2) and with your encouragement you can obliterate the anxiety and pain that weighs someone down.  

Let’s bring the dripping overflow of Heaven down to Earth today over someone with our kind words!  We have the power of LIFE, so let’s always choose life.

~ Mandy Woodhouse

Advertisements

The Dry Empty Places

The key to watering those dry places – and filling up the emptiest of places…

Grab ahold of this Promise!

“Then Yahweh will answer you when you pray.

When you cry out for help, He will say I am here.

If you banish every form of oppression, the scornful accusations, and vicious slander, and if you offer yourselves in compassion for the hungry and relieve those in misery, then your dawning light will rise in the darkness and your gloom will turn into noonday splendor!

Yahweh will guide you where to go and what to do.

He will fill you with refreshment even when you are in a dry, difficult place.

He will continually restore strength to you, so you will flourish like a well-watered garden and like an ever flowing, trustworthy spring of blessing.

Your people rebuild long-deserted ruins, building anew on foundations laid long before you.

You will be known as Repairers of the Cities and Restorers of Communities.”

~ Isaiah 58:9-12 TPT

~ XXOO Michelle

Restored Ministries

Your Healing Hour

Ours, Christ’s, God’s

It is written: “Everything is ours; we are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.”  

What more can we ask for?

Everything belongs to us – this earth, the new earth, heaven, riches, wealth, health, happiness, wisdom, understanding, knowledge, power, and peace.  What an inheritance!  What a promise!

And “we are Christ’s.”  What security!  What belonging!  What significance!  We are no longer orphans, strangers to the kingdom, or children of wrath.  We are now “in the family!”

And “Christ is God’s.”  Christ is not an usurper, or a pretender to the throne.  He is The One, the heir, the appointed King!  So when he makes a promise or speaks to us a word of knowledge, we can know that it has the backing of his Heavenly Father.

To fathom this mystery may take some time.  So let us remember that we have all eternity to enjoy our inheritance, and only a few short years to acquire our inheritance.

There are things that we can do here that we will not be able to do in the new heaven and earth.  We can stay faithful in trials; we can help the weak; we can pray for the sick, and we can be witnesses for Christ to a lost and dying world!

~ Brad Heilhecker

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

 

 

 

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  

 

 

 

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

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