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Birds Remind Us of God’s Care

I love birds and really enjoy hearing them sing. I like watching them for a while, but if they are in one of their twitchy moods, that doesn’t relax me. Their songs and communication, though, always relax and refresh me. My friend Lee, over at Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures Plus has more gorgeous photos and more detailed information about birds than anyone else I know. You might like to visit her if you enjoy birds as well.

But the other day I came across this video of these gorgeous robins. And, I tell you, they are do darn cute that you just have to sit and watch them. So I thought I’d share the link with you and give a boost to your day.

The Word of God tells us in a number of places that the Creator cares very much for His birds, but that He cares for us even more. It’s just comforting and encouraging sometimes to sit and watch those little creatures and think about how God enjoys watching us — and watching over us — even more.

 

 

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Daily Post Prompt: Expectation

amoeba-man-with-box-edited“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.”  (Psalm 62:5).

In this psalm, David expresses the truth he’s learned about life on this planet. If we want anything good — if we need help, healing, deliverance, encouragement, protection, or supply of any kind — it has to come to us from God. There is no other source of good and blessing available to this sin-weary world. But God’s supply of all that is good and rich is totally inexhaustible.

The Lord makes clear promises to His people concerning His personal plans for those who will turn their lives over to Him and walk in His covenant. In Jeremiah 29:11, He says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you; … thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”  Many alternate translations (which give the broader meaning of some of the words in the King James version) read like this: “I know the plans I have for you; … plans for good and not for evil; plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope.”

I love all of those translations, and as a Bible teacher for over 40 years, I can verify that everyone of them is accurate, according to the original language. But I was always fascinated by the King James version and that term “an expected end.” One day, during a time of prayer, I asked the Lord, “Just exactly what do you mean by that term?”

His answer was immediate and very encouraging. He spoke from deep within my spirit and said, “I mean I’m going to give you an end that you can look forward to with expectation. When you walk in agreement with Me, I plan to fulfill your dreams and the desires of your heart. And whenever you are in a battle, if you will believe My Word, you won’t have to dread or be afraid of the outcome. You can rest assured that I have victory for you, and you can look forward to it with joy and excitement.”

Well, folks, that’s good enough for me. How about you?



To participate in the challenge visit here.

 

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Daily Post Prompt: Simple

HEALING HAND - DARK SEPIA - FEATHEREDThe simple truth is that God loves you. The Creator of the universe – the one who created you – loves you beyond a level that words can describe. He sent Jesus the Christ – His own son – to live the perfect life that none of us could live in our own strength. And when He had fulfilled the perfect life of obedience, Jesus then took all of our disobedience onto Himself — and the curse which came on us as a result of disobedience — and died in our place.

But that’s only half the story. Because He rose from the grave with brand new life, which He had paid for by His sacrifice. And the Word of God guarantees us that when Jesus the Christ came out of the grave, we came out with Him as far as God was concerned. And if we will simply accept the sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf – by accepting Him as Lord of our lives – we will step right onto that state of righteousness and eternal life that He bought and paid for. (Ephesians 2: 4-6; Colossians 1:15, 18-20).

Yes, the simple truth is that man does not need any “religion” that gives him a bunch of rules and regulations that he must obey in order to “earn” some kind of peace in the life after this short earthly sojourn. All the “religions” of the world tell man that he must somehow manage to “measure up” to some kind of mystical standard in order to have a chance at life after death. And some of those “religions” require man to accomplish major feats of warfare and brutality against others in order to have a chance at eternal bliss.

But, dear one, the great truth is that Christianity is NOT A RELIGION.  It is simply a Father and His family. Father God, with His first son Jesus Christ, and all the brothers and sisters who were conceived and born into that same family by receiving Jesus Christ into their lives and making Him Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 3: 13, 26-29).

We are the desire and the delight of the God of the universe, and despite what some religious dogmas and traditions try to teach, that same God loves you more than you can possibly understand, and He wants to bless you with every conceivable blessing at His command – if you will simply believe it and receive.


 

To take part in the ‘Simple’ challenge, visit here.

 

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Where the River is Flowing Free

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Many years ago, a great friend of mine in ministry wrote a beautiful worship song. Well, I say he wrote it, but actually the Lord gave it to him. It blessed me when I first heard it, and it still blesses me to this day. The first line says, “I hear the Spirit saying come up higher; come up higher where the river is flowing free.”

At one point, as I was hearing these words rolling through my mind and heart, I felt the Lord spoke this to me: “Where I am, the river of My life flows completely unhindered. There is no boulder, no dam, no hindrance of any kind that holds it back or slows its progress. If you will seek Me completely and continually – if you will focus on Me fully so that you settle down and abide permanently in the depths of Me and My presence – you will find that My river will flow unhindered through you and through your life as well. There will be no barrier — no circumstance, no problem, no blockage, no sin – that can dam it up or slow down its cleansing, healing, life-giving progress through you and your life.”

I just want to share that word with all my readers, because I believe this word – like the scriptures below – is a word from our Father God’s heart for everyone of us. He who has ears to hear, let him hear and receive.

“There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God ….” (Ps.46:4).

“And he showed me a pure river of water of life proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” (Rev. 22:1).

“And everything shall live wherever the river goes.” (Ezekiel 47:9).

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Daily Post Prompt: Crossing –This Year Let’s Cross Some Lines

I originally wrote this article a few months ago, but it fits the prompt today so perfectly, I decided it was worth taking a second look at as we enter this new year.


 

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Did you ever face a situation as a kid where one of your antagonists drew a line in the sand and said that line represented a boundary you were not to cross? You were required to stay on your own side of the line, and if you didn’t, there would be serious negative repercussions? “Don’t cross that line, or I’ll beat you up.”

Well, you know what? That’s still happening to the Body of Christ in this world. The devil is consistently drawing lines in the sand, and we’re afraid to cross over them. To use a more Biblical analogy, we can say that the enemy establishes his gates of authority in our lives, and we’re afraid to break through them.

During the time of Jesus’ ministry, the gates of a city represented, not only the places of entrance and exit, but also the place of legal authority. Major decisions and legal transactions were commonly made at the “gates of the city.” And certainly the gates, being part of a protective wall, were the main elements in the security of the city.

When the devil sets up his “gates” – his places of entrance into our lives — he does so in order to set up his own “seat of authority” and to try to be in control of those areas. The gates may be in the form of disease in our bodies, drug addiction in our children, pornography in a spouse, loss of a job or source of income, unsaved loved ones. Those gates may be political or legal actions that change the tenets of our cities or nations. They may be roots of strife and jealously that spring up in the midst of a congregation of believers.

But whatever form those “gates” take, the Lord has instructed us that we are to overrun those gates and demolish them in His name. His intention is very clear when He speaks in Matthew 16:18 : “Upon this rock, I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” That promise actually goes all the way back to Abraham. And just as Jesus came to fulfill all the rest of the Old Covenant – ushering in the New – so He fulfilled that part of the covenant promise as well. God told Abraham that he would “possess the gates of his enemies.” (Genesis 22:17 ). He repeated that promise to Isaac as well, because the promise is part and parcel of the Covenant as a whole.

Jesus came to provide the avenue through which all those promises would be passed down to everyone who would follow Him. And under this new Covenant, now that we have been born again into a new species and are actively members of the Kingdom of God, the power to execute those promises is far superior to what Abraham had. He was constrained to the natural world, with intermittent help from the spirit realm. We, on the other hand, have our life in the spirit Kingdom of God on a constant basis and can make use of the powers from that realm at will.

So how do we find ourselves so often in the position of standing there looking at a line drawn in the sand (disease, addiction, poverty, etc), feeling that we are imprisoned by that line and required to suffer behind it – not being able to cross over it into victory? The Word of God provides the answer. First of all, it tells us clearly that we can submit to God and resist the devil, and he will most assuredly flee from us. The Word also tells us that “greater is He that is in us than he that is in the word. It further guarantees that faith overcomes the world (and all the world throws at us.) The word “salvation” alone covers every possible need we could have, and Jesus has already done all the work of providing that complete salvation for every man, woman, and child on the earth who will believe.

But right there is the root of the problem, beloved: it’s with that word “believe.” The simple truth is that we – the Church – do not truly believe God’s Word. And one of the main reasons we don’t believe it is that we don’t know what it says – because we don’t read and study it for ourselves. We don’t spend hours reading, meditation, and praying over the Word to receive revelation. If we did, and we truly believed what it says, we would speak and act accordingly. And our first action would be to step across that line the devil has drawn at our feet.

Are you tired of living in the prison behind that line? Most of us are facing a number of those lines in our lives. It’s past time we got fed up with being in prison and, instead, got “fed-up” (filled) with God’s Word. Once we get enough Word activated in us that we are willing to pick up our feet and march over those lines, we will live our lives in victory on every level. Because after crossing one of the devil’s lines and realizing that we really are free, and he truly is defeated, we will find that crossing over the rest of those lines is much easier.

Are you ready? Here’s the battle plan:

1. Fill up on God’s Word. Toss out everything that contradicts it.

2. Concentrate on that Word until it is the most real thing in your life.

3. Then Step Over the Line into your victory through the name of Jesus Christ.

 

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The Rescue: A Christmas Story – Part 3

Sandra Pavloff Conner

Find Part 1 HERE.

boy-praying-1-itense-bronzePART 3

At the end of the program, all the children received bags full of treats to help celebrate the Lord’s birthday, and as Papa and Mama led David out of the church, they turned once more toward the corner where he had spent three lonely, fearful days. “We’ll just sit here a short minute, David, and make sure your Mama isn’t right around here looking for you,” Papa said, and sat down, putting one arm around Mama and the other around David. But after about ten minutes, Papa shifted his position so that he could look right into David’s eyes. Mama looked over Papa’s shoulder, her face registering her pain for the boy’s situation.

“David,” Papa said, clearing his throat a little. “I know you want to believe your mama is coming back here to get you. But you see, son, I believe she was…

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The Rescue: A Christmas Story – Part 2

Sandra Pavloff Conner

You can find Part 1 here.


boy-praying-1-itense-bronzePART 2

“He’s been there all morning, do you think, Papa?” Mama asked, her tone beginning to sound worried. Papa looked at the boy as they passed and noticed that he kept looking in both directions, stretching his neck as if looking for someone or something in particular.

“It is peculiar, Mama,” he answered, but traffic was so heavy right at that time, that he had to give his full attention to working through it and getting into the correct lane to make their way back home. Concern nagged at him as he sat down to his noonday meal, and then troubled him off and on as he sat in his recliner and dozed during the afternoon. When the couple retired for the night, they prayed especially for the little boy they’d seen on the bench and his family.

The next morning Papa helped…

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The Rescue: A Christmas Story – Part 1

I pray this story blesses you during this Christmas season.

Sandra Pavloff Conner

The following story is fiction – as are all the characters and the setting. However, the story was inspired directly by the real-life story of one of the most effective and compassionate men in ministry today. Bill Wilson, who is the founder of Metro World Child in New York City, was actually abandoned as a child and left alone on the streets of his home city in Florida. He was eventually rescued and greatly helped by a loving man of God, and that love led Bill Wilson to devote his entire life to rescuing inner-city children and ministering to their most vital needs – as well as those of their families.

The results of his work, both in the U. S. and internationally, would fill volumes. I have listened to him tell his own story more than once. He always concludes that story by sharing why he does what he does…

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Christ Is Born, and All Is Well

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Man walked in light – God’s light of life –
And joy beyond the words to tell,
With his Creator, fellowshipping;
Peace and harmony excelled.

But then a shadow breached that light,
And two lies did the serpent tell:
“You can’t trust God,” his sly suggestion.
“Eat, and you’ll be god yourself.”

So from his God man turned his love –
Obeyed the enemy: rebelled –
Turned from the heart of his Creator
And ate. Then sounded his death knell.

Alas, the Father’s heart was saddened,
But knowing far ahead, full well,
That Satan’s ploy would hit its mark,
And man against Him would rebel,

He’d strategized before all time
A perfect plan that would dispel
That sin and all its evil fruit,
And see the serpent bound in hell.

He then revealed His mystery
To prophets so they would foretell:
“The time will come when God Himself
Will pay the price sin to dispel.”

Then came the day of grace unbounded.
Choirs of angels’ anthems swelled:
“The Babe has come; the ransom tendered.
The Christ is born, and all is well.”

Still today we shout the message.
Gospel words tell and retell:
He’s come to give His blood to save us.
The Christ is born, and all is well.

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