Doors and Windows

 

We’ve all heard the saying, ” When God closes a door, He opens a window. ” and even while your waiting on it to stand in the hall. A few weeks ago my aunt sent me a funny e-card. A couple is asleep in bed, suddenly, the window opens, and old guy with a beard leans in and says, ” Howdy. ” as they scream to the top of their lungs. I doubt God does that. But He will often send dreams and messages, sometimes, night visions.

Don’t believe everyone about their dreams or visions. Check it with the Word and rightly divide interpretations. Even well meaning people can be wrong. And the devil has a plethora of falsehoods. Recently, I explained a dream I had about being at the shopping mall.

It just means there’s a lot going on right now, a lot on my plate, I need to make good decisions. Harmless enough, even I if were wrong. But some dreams are not so harmless, spiders, snakes, alligators, all can have demonic meanings. Many dream interpretation books are not Biblical and can lead you astray, so be careful. But Joseph, actually both Josephs had dreams,  Peter had a vision, and while it says trance, praying the Spirit or tongues is a better way of describing it. Trance implies hypnotism.

While Jesus can be mesmerizing. It’s not the same. And even that word comes from the name of a man who “cured ” ills in the 19th century. All he really did was to calm them down, quiet them, have them to be still, all familiar in Scripture, all things God decrees are necessary to healing. It is not the same as these parlor games or tricksters.

And I don’t like the term faith healer. Healing is a matter of faith but Healing Minister is better, one who can direct yout to Jesus the true Healer. Yes, there are dreams, and visions. Open visions, after Christ came. Samuel said there were none in his day, he heard the still small voice of God, the Holy Spirit, calling his name. So can we. You must ask for and learn to discern gifts of the Spirit. There is one Lord, many gifts, all to benefit the body of Christ. And we are to speak peace to the body of believers as well.

But as for doors, the Bible speaks of doors that open. The one that no man can shut. I have had dreams of doors, at the time I was closing lots of white doors. I had  done all I could as a witness, and God closed that door. His grace can be abused only so long, I know He gives everyone the chance to be saveduntil the last breath, and perhaps even moments after, He is so good. But not everyone believes.

The Bible also describes seers, not fortune tellers, but those who operate in the prophetic. I was in prayer early in the morning hours, I was in and out of sleep so I don’t know if I had a dream or saw into spiritual darkness. That’s why you turn to Jesus. Visions are often colorful and beautiful, glimpses of heaven, or people you may pray for, and sometimes there’s nothing. You are asleep but the Spirit is praying for you, through you.

Many times, these gifts will allow you to see both sides of the spiritual realm, the Holy Spirit is there and guides you, you must not fear. I was sensing darkness, and I had not felt well the day before. I knew something was wrong, a surely a problem had arisen. This was a vague attempt that failed to hurt family members, I found out later. Though I know that may have only been a part of it.  I was led to pray for loved ones. I asked God to closed the doors of death and open the windows of heaven. I have had my own health crisis, I have prayed for others who have.

These are serious doors. Only God can open or close them, in accordance with His will and what we are praying, believing and receiving. We are in a year of restoration, healing, a season of rest before revival or maybe even the rapture of the church. I can not say why some live or die, sometimes, it is just to hard to hold on for some, but God can grant peace for sorrow. Beauty for ashes.

I pray this for you as well, if you are in need. It will take faith, so don’t waver. I catch myself saying first one thing then another. I am not praying for control of another person. I cannot believe for them, nor profess their faith, but for those I love, I pray they hear the still, small, voice like Samuel, being unfamiliar with spiritual gifts.

I pray for God to close the door on death. And open the windows of heaven with the miraculous, as if Jesus were answering prayers and tossing them forth like confetti over the world. He is worthy, and He gets the glory. And we are approaching Pentecost in the Jewish Year, 5777. Rebecca Jones

 

Turn The Other Cheek

 

What was Jesus talking about here? In the sermon on the mount, He clearly says if you get slapped on one cheek offer the other. It is telling you not to resist evil people, and no, He doesn’t mean not to defend yourselves, either. Although there are connotations to Jewish law and whether or not you are struck with the palm or backhanded, it does have to do with courts and other variables.

It was powerful thing to see Jesus slapped in the movie with Jeremy Sisto and He actually turns the other cheek. The man cannot hit Him and that is the point. While we are to resist the devil and evil in general,  He wants us to set an example for others, the Golden Rule, doing unto others.

Never forget to remind yourself that He is the Prince of Peace here. He walked through all manner of vile, corrupt, and deceptive people, even the religious leaders. You can call them out on it but that’s it. He was setting an example to people so He had to choose His words carefully as we all should.

You know most of the time you would get hit and hit hard if this is practiced the way it reads, but never forget that Jesus looked at people with love, He could openly rebuke or criticize the wrongdoers, and be ready to forgive, forget, not to judge or condemn. He is the same today as then.

He remembers sin no more. Sometimes, I’m even beginning to wonder if He remembers the words we speak that are not useful. I know He has a sense of humor, but all that corrupt communication, He is not happy with it. The Pharisees and Sadducees were always looking for a way to to kill Him, if not pester Him or get Him into debates.

They were always setting traps. We little fishers of men and women fall right in, taking the devil’s bait more often than not. He was not falling for it. Neither should we. We should such exemplary lives that people aren’t try to catch us or trick us or make us out liars. They should want to follow in our footsteps, not slap us, sue us and take or coats.

If they want us to help we are also to go the extra mile, remember, He looked at people with love, love is not keeping score and watching to catch you again, and when we can do these things and turn the other cheek, we will copying the Master. Rebecca Jones

 

 

A Matter of Life

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This painting is entitled ” Contentment “, from 1908 by J. Ellsworth Gross. I was not content with so many things in my life and I have to say I’m not right now. Many of them have to do with other people and their behavior, which is out of my control. It was news to me that you could actually pray ” witchcraft prayers “. Something I do not and will never do.

To try to control someone is a form of witchcraft and I want nothing to do with it. Our prayers are meant to save, heal and protect, not control. God will never force anything, even His love on us. So I can’t do that either. You simply cannot make people do the right thing, they have to want to and God will let the Holy Spirit control our lives, if we allow Him. That way we are certain to make better decisions. He knows the best way even when we do not.

The words we speak are truly, a matter of life or death. We are to follow after love and desire spiritual gifts that we may prophesy. So should we call in reverse the bad, the problems, the disease or death. No, of course not.

And please don’t think I’m talking about spells or curses here. We should never pray things like, ” Whatever it takes for someone to be saved. ” A better prayer is for them to discover the love of God. Pray for their healing, Jesus can save and heal all it once. Sick people are often bitter and angry at God.

I used to be picky about what I said because of the charismatic influences in my life, when I said nothing that was bad. When I said too much, even in faith, it was perceived as a lie. You simply can’t make people believe or love if they aren’t willing.

And then there are those who are willing and struggle with the flesh. That too, causes pain and bitterness. But it can be crucified by that person’s submission to God. I love words, I learn new ones everyday both Scripture and regular.

God did not intend for Christianity to be such a struggle. He intended rest. There is a reason Proverbs says that death and life are in the power of the tongue. We tend to speak death. Let’s pray and speak life. It is a matter of life. And that will be contentment. Rebecca Jones

Praying From Rest

 

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When you need help to pray the Holy Spirit will help you. Romans 8:26, 27. It is important to recognize that we need to pray for our needs and be specific, even to know God by His names and titles, El Shaddai as loving Father, Jehovah Rapha as healer.

But it is also important to know that He is the Alpha and Omega, He has the final say. He lovingly and freely answers prayers but we must learn to labor for His rest. And that is the place to pray from. It is the quiet place, the peaceful place and the very place from which to pray.  Read Hebrews 4, about rest. The Israelites refused it in Isaiah.

I need to get quiet and still and I need to be alone in the darkness, yes, darkness. It is peaceful late at night and there is just a light from a computer screen. ( The Bible says God lives in darkness, it means time or space. )

You can pray perfect prays in the Spirit, or you can let Him help you. Actually, He is High Priest over our prayers and since they pass through Him or rather, His sacrifice, they are sorted and given priority, a kind of Heavenly Post Office. Since He was an offering for us, a sweet smelling savor, our prayers can be scented with perfume, fragrant with thanks and love letters of adoration for His goodness and mercy.

So find your peaceful rest in Jesus, your secret place. Although the real one is in your heart, your soul, there is a place for you somewhere to unwind, by taking a walk, the patio, the porch swing or rocker. It is your prayer closet, a hideaway. I know people who regularly go to the beach or the mountains. I never get that far lately, but I think some of my ideas would be the night walks on the beach. Or the early morning seashell hunts.

It would definitely be getting behind the wheel and going for a long drive with a camera and a picnic lunch. I see all the old photographs and the abandoned Victorian houses that would be fun to explore, to capture just the nature and the beauty of creation.

I love going to antique stores, it would be fun spend weekends that way. Maybe, even at a bed and breakfast. Writer’s probably long for lazy days like that to just relax, worship God in the beauty of holiness.

Mark 11:23 says to believe you receive when you pray, and you shall have it. Don’t let people or even yourself talk you out of your joy, and go ahead and pray, the Holy Spirit will teach you and He will soon be answering faster than you think. There will be a time He’ll answer before you finish speaking, that would be nice.

Rebecca Jones

Immersed In Jesus

 

I don’t swim. I never learned. Actually, I don’t think I ever cared to because, I don’t like sunburn and I’m not into tans. I don’t like our hot, blazing, Georgia summers, when a 104 feels like 130 at the ball park. You can’t touch a steering wheel without getting burned, my flowers usually die, any decoration hanging on my door fades even in winter. You get the picture. I am a fish out of water.

But in the spirit, it is different. As a beloved daughter of the King, I am bathed in the pure waters of salvation, a waterfall of gentle mist takes away all the guilt and shame. I am clothed in a robe of righteousness, white skin in linen, my lips are anointed with the honeycomb of His sweetness. And they burn like the coal of fire that touched those of the prophet. If you follow after love and desire spiritual gifts, you will prophesy, and call forth the goodness of God from His very throne of grace.

And that robe reflects His glory, the golden aura, or pure white light of His peaceful and loving presence. There are scents of beauty, even the Rose of Sharon, Himself, that permeates through my very being. The oil of the Holy Spirit is over me, as is His banner of love.  And though oil and water will not mix in the natural, they coexist perfectly in the Spirit, frequently entwining , entangling and encircling one another into an gentle embrace.

I can’t swim, much less walk on water but I do in spiritual ways. The Prince of Peace surpasses all in love and grace and freely anoints from His pierced hand an outpouring of amazement and joy, that I, when I sit at His feet am calmed by His love, quieted by it,  as my days slip past and problems are solved. I delve into His Word daily, like a diver from a high jump, I can back flip or cannonball right in.

And, yes I walk on through. Waves of love cancel waves of fear and worry. And I am wet even at times drenched in or immersed in Him. The fiery furnaces of faith will not will extinguish the Savior’s grace and peace.

It is worship to be able to imagine your health springing forth in a river of life.  We are not thirsty, we are not alone, we are never alone. He leads me beside still waters and restores my soul. I am immersed if not submerged in Jesus, His love washes over me all day and all night. Rebecca Jones

Don’t Give Up Your Seat!

We’ve all heard the story of how Rosa Parks would not give up her seat on  the bus. Did you know a 15 yr old tried it first and was arrested, not many people do. So why are we giving up our seats? Why do we give our rest, seated with Him a heavenly place?

You heard me right our chairs, or seats or even thrones if you will? We give them up every day with cares and worries and the arguments of doctrine and our church does it this way or that. There are people who don’t like contemporary music. Some are opposed to hymns. I have even heard of churches with no music. What?

I didn’t really know that lady who attended there, but she was a neighbor of someone else’s. She also played with ouija boards and her daughter had major drug problems. Why give up music? The occult was much worse!

Why read tea leaves or read fortune cookies when you have the promise of Jesus beaten body and Holy Communion? You’re giving up your seat. Why pray for the sick and then plan what you wear to the funeral. You’re giving up your seat.

Why ask the Lord for something and then keep wondering why you didn’t get it. Maybe, you never thanked Him even though it hadn’t come yet. So a doubt creeps in, did you trip over a chair and into unbelief. You gave up your seat.

People are willing to sacrifice a lot of things, family, marriages, and homes, just to get ahead to struggle day in and out to stay ahead of the Jones, ( not me 🙂 ) you get up early and stay up late and you know you are His beloved. You gave up your seat, again.

Now wonder people look as those they are bobbing up and down or nodding off during the sermon. I always thought those pews were hard. But I wasn’t resting in Him, I gave up my seat.

I like contemporary, but I like hymns. I like mass. But I guess I was sort of too slow or some were too fast, I gave up my seat. I thought I had done something wrong and I was sure that’s why my healing was delayed. Wrong! Take a seat.

Stop laying hands on the television, stop trying to jump up and down. You were healed by love. Just love and let Him love you. He always will love you more than you can Him, He’s perfect, we haven’t arrived. Take a seat.

At a convention once, a lady got very bossy about saving a seat. She wasn’t necessarily rude, I’ve seen rude though, the “me first” types that might be one of the nine that left not being thankful, who knows? She saved her chair, but did she give up her seat.

Jesus says we are seated with Him in heavenly places. He also warned us not to let our crowns be taken. So why would we get out of our heavenly seats. It’s a place of comfort and rest. Jesus is seated at the Father’s right hand.  Why does He get up? He stood to receive Stephen. He called to Saul, He is the High Priest.

You have to have a good reason to move from your place of rest, and then your rest remains with you for He is our rest, our peace. And you can’t sit around chilling and expect to be saying, ” Please devil, leave me alone. ” Because he won’t.

The more you’re disturbing him with your prayer life and your laid back love of Jesus, he will steal his way in. Bind him, cancel his demonic assignments against your family. As a believer, you can walk, even waltz right over those serpents and scorpions. Hang out your sign that says ” Do Not Disturb! ” Don’t let anyone disturb your peace, no matter what is going on, take a moment, take a breath, and resist him, not the Lord’s rest, that should rest upon you.

I used to have a big red chair. It came with a big red couch. Oh, it wasn’t blood red or anything. It was burgundy, a few gold stripes here and there both large and small. I miss my chair. I called it God’s chair. I must have been sitting in His lap. I used to read and rest and study there. My mother gave it away, and got a new chair. I hate that chair. It’s not my prayer chair. I gave up my seat. But it blessed someone.

It is not the chair but the anointing. I once heard a story of a man who had a heavy anointing, but he was also heavy. No one could find him a chair, how sad. He would have fit in mine, it was over sized. King sized, isn’t His glory and presence heavy and  thick at times, and so sweet and gentle at others?

I never forgot that story. I never forgot my chair. I never forget the courage it takes to take a stand, whether people ever know your name or not. Your precious Lord thought you were worth saving. He invited you to His table. He is the Host but He seated you in a heavenly place of rest. Feast with Him and on His Word, take Holy Communion. Nothing is as important. Don’t give up your seat! Rebecca Jones

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Happy Mother’s Day!

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Father, in Jesus name, bless mothers the world over today, give them your grace and patience and peace, the wisdom to raise godly children in a world that turns their hearts from you.

I ask you to send a host of heavenly angels to cover the earth with goodness and blessing and mercy. For such a time as this Lord raise the mothers who know you into a time of fasting and pray if they can, breathe on them your love.

Hold them in the palm of your hand, shed the light of your precious love upon a lost world of souls. Break mothers free of worry and oppression and keep them in your heart day after day. As I know you already do.

Give them a super abundance of grace and peace and mercy. Let them live in abundant life and joy and and let them shine as witnesses for your kingdom. Let miracles flow today. Little and large, might and merciful. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so. I’m redeemed, praise the Lord.

And yes, we should arise and shine and let His glory appear. Praise the Lord, the Comforter is here. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus…….the sweetest name of all, fill our longings and keep us singing.

Happy Mother’s Day! God Bless You!

Mother’s Day In Heaven

I hope you didn’t see the title and decide not to read this. It is not meant to hurt but heal. Not to make you cry but to laugh. Can you really imagine Mother’s Day in heaven? I can. One year I had to help make plastic trash bag carnations to give away at church, they were red or white. Women wore them as corsages.

But even if you have a white flower, don’t despair. Enjoy your day with loved ones and know your mother will be celebrating as a believer in heaven. Even if you never knew her or her beliefs, you can rejoice in the goodness of God, that He is merciful to all who call.

There will still be tea parties. Cookies baking. A picnic on the greenest of lawns. There is music, there is always music. An angelic symphony of love. Pets will run and play, flowers galore. No need to make them out of scented trash bags. The real things is nicer. And the heavenly kind are nicer still.

There will be all mothers from all places and generations. There will still be carriage rides and carousels. Laughter, the smell of popcorn in butter ans cotton candy in all colors. The lakes will fill with gentlemen rowing ladies and ducks and swans will perhaps momentarily catch a glimpse of feather in a hat and see the lace parasols as they cross to the other shores.

There will be baseball games and badminton. Rocking chairs and rocking horses. Nurseries full of flowers and nurseries full of children, all behaving all happily getting along and sharing. They won’t tear their books or color on the walls, even if they did it would just vanish, because heaven is not housework and laundry, it is not lazy but luxurious.

People will work in heaven, even though it is a place of rest. resting would get old eventually, but His mercies are still new every morning. there is much to teach and much to learn. Many people to share testimonies. Many songs yet to be written and sung and performances to give, you will have the best seat in the house and give command performances for the King.

There are still gardens and vineyards and heavenly wine would not be alcoholic but deliciously intoxicating, with a deep purple grape flavor and aroma. There are so many dinners and feasts, never fasting or famine. Wonderful fruits and fanciful desserts, there will be cooks and chefs and bakers.

There will musicians and singers, harpists both human and angelic. There will be artists and craftsmen and jewelers and bookstores, libraries. Think of your best memory ever and it will be there, whether it is mountain climbing or standing in waterfalls. Beaches or balloon rides, nothing is too hard for God.

You might even spend the day with Eve, or Hannah or Mary. There a lots of baby stories to tell. So don’t spend this day alone or in pain over missing someone. Just know that God is love and He loves mothers. Happy Mother’s Day!

I Remember Mama

One of my favorite old movies is this one I Remember Mama from 1948. It stars Irene Dunne and is about the life of a Norwegian immigrant family from 1910. Irene plays Martha Halverson, pronounced Marta and has four children, and raises them while dealing with her three sisters, tow of which are mean and stuffy, and the third, played to perfection by Grandma Walton, (Ellen Corby). The head of the family is a loud but wonderfully colorful Uncle Chris, Oskar Homolka.

The family lives in San Francisco and the daughter who wants to be a writer and wrote the book is the story teller. I remember this movie for several reasons. I know now how that Mama is an ideal Proverbs 31 woman. She manages the money at the kitchen table in a family meeting, something I always admired. Husbands and wives being in agreement and talking things over, the bills are paid, then the necessities. And then decisions are made on what we need or can do without. Mama is frugal but a financial planner as well. And she always says, ” Is good we don’t have to go to the bank. ”

She cooks and cleans and keeps up with her children’s activities and her  sisters’, including  Trina who wants to marry the mortician. She is cajoled into telling the other two. ” If they make fun of me I’ll yump in the bay. ” says Trina. Mama wisely knows how to handle the pair of old bitties, and threatens to tell their own secrets.

She deals with her bratty daughter Christine, watches Katrin grow up and return a graduation gift, helps her son Nels, go on to high school. The coming of age thing is to get a cup of coffee.

She deals with her husband and his job lay off, her daughter’s operation, and even tries to chloroform a sick cat, who gets well. And her little girl believes she cured her. The scene where she scrubs the floor of the hospital is touching. She is not allowed to see Dagmar, but sneaks in so she will not break her promise.

She also engages her loud Uncle Chris and meets him head on, telling him her frightens the children. She is not afraid to ride in a car with a woman believed to be his mistress though he’s married her. She does not pass judgement, says she looks nice. She forgives a border his debt and never gets to buy her winter coat.

She handles things when Uncle Chris dies, while her sisters want money and think he was a mean old drunk, she knows the truth, he paid for children’s operations so they could walk, because he limped. Finally, she even swaps recipes, family secrets, with a writer to help her daughter with her writing dream. Yes, I Remember Mama is a classic. I try to watch it with my mother for Mother’s Day. I realize God taught me lot about things from my love old  films, the screwball comedienne talent of Irene Dunne becomes the perfect mother, and I will always remember Mama. Rebecca Jones