Let’s Get Pruning!

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Truthfully, when I read this I started thinking about the wrinkled little fruit, some bitter, older women, trying to lop off the dead roses and how hot is gets. And the winner is number three, because Jesus, and wouldn’t you know it, it in the book I read all the time, John, well, He talks about pruning. And here’s the definition to boot, To lop or cut off the superfluous parts, branches, or shoots of; to clear of useless material; to shape or smooth by trimming.

He ( the Father ) cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. John 15:2

I am the vine and you are the branches. The one who remains in Me, and I in Him, will bear much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers. Such branches are gathered up, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.…John 15:5-7 I had to leave the red. But it’s blue.

And then there is verse 3, You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. So Jesus is saying because we have heard His message and believed we are saved or pruned already. And yet, there is a but we can interject, we have to remain in Him and His words in us, in order to bear fruit, or we are going to get pruned by the Father, ouch. I can feel the pruning hooks already. Seriously, as a believer and lover of words, the Bible has been a study of mine since childhood, still I know I have been pruned.

I do apply it to my life and pray it over myself and others. The Hebrew word is zamir, pronounced zaw-meer, and it means trim or prune, such as twigs. This word carries a masculine connotation, He, the Father is pruning, lopping off the rough edges, like a diamond cutter, He will sling us on the potter’s wheel, forge is in a fiery furnace, to purify us like fine gold and His words.

The Greek is kathairo, kath-ah-ee-ro, I cleanse, purify, prune. Isn’t that great? We are pruned to begin with, and as we go, and to bear more fruit. Jesus also spoke about a fig tree, He cursed it because there was no fruit. It was not in season, but it had leaves, it was pretending to have fruit so He cursed it. Our lives are full of His blessings, so are we calling curses by pretending to remain and bear fruit, when in truth we study so little and are really perishing for lack of knowledge, sadly, many are.

Pruning is also mentioned in connection with jubilee, every seven years letting the land lay and Sabbath Rest, the finished work of God in Genesis and of Jesus in Hebrews 4. So when we are pruned well enough, our souls good ground, open to jubilee, we are able to rest and we will bear much fruit. Maybe it doesn’t hurt so bad after all.

Works that were done in vain will burn like wood, hay and stubble, but those done in love and grace will be like gold, faith by works is dead, our salvation is a gift. It is by grace alone and we can’t earn it, but we should desire to do what He planned for us.

I hear people always talking about not judging, Jesus doesn’t want us to but He said you would know a tree by it’s fruit good or bad. Matthew 7:18, and many who even call themselves believers are deceiving themselves, calling good, evil and evil, good. Isaiah 5:20. Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33.

One bad apple, can spoil the basket. I would rather be a good apple tree, or maybe peach, since I’m from Atlanta, we also have groves of pecan trees, and apple orchards in north Georgia.

Of course, since He uses the vine illustration as well we are talking about vineyards. Grapes do just grow and hang there in clusters, sort of like a family or group of bloggers, they just absorb the rain and sun and rest, in the vine.

I have to say that little foxes do spoil the vines, and remember Samson using them to burn the vineyards, a word of advice, we don’t need to sweat the small stuff, pruning is good enough. And wouldn’t it be nice to sculpted by the Master into one of those fancy shrubs?  Rebecca Jones / Murilo Fulgosi, pexels, thank you.

 

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To Thrive on His Love

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We were made to love. Created to love by a God who is love. Why anyone would  ever wants to overstep the guidelines of His original plans for marriage and family, I may never know. Why not thrive on His love?

Life was a garden, love lived there, love visited there. There were many fruits and streams of living water. Cool breezes, warm days. Bright, beautiful days and peaceful, restful nights.

Oh, to be cradled in the Lord’s elbow and rest near to His heart, to enjoy paradise, a heaven on earth. To hear His voice, to be guided by a gentle and firm hand. To talk about life and love and all the beautiful things that matter.

He made creation to thrive, to feast, to be joyful in His presence and quieted by His love as He sings and rejoices over and with His children of light. Why wouldn’t one thrive in such a place? To be rich in tenderness like the grapes so heavy in clusters, that it took two carry them, to be ripe like the peach or pomegranate. To be full and sweet and satisfied in our souls, the words of the Lord, honey to us as we taste and see how good He is.

Would we not thrive in the waterfalls that trickle over rocks of moss and shaded by richly colored tropical plants. Ruby reds, sunset golds, burnt orange brilliance in the sun. Greens deep and bright, striped and solids, every hue of God’s brush as is the baby blue and gray sky above, that turns steely in evening and even the darkness is good and sings a beautiful song, the stars clap their hands, and the moon lights the stage for the angels who gather in His praise. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord and worthy to be praised.

Who would not thrive in the mist that is the rain we would dance in? With heads back in laughter and love, His joy our strength and His peace ours? It would cool our faces in the sun and wash away time and age, forever young in His grace. Forever loved in His embrace, enamored of His beauty.

Who would not thrive on love? And yet creation fell, souls are lost. Many suffer and more walk wounded. Dare they even imagine such a place as heaven, a Garden of Eden, the Garden of God? Paradise lost and found again by the sacrifice of Christ. An eternal place of peace and rest, joy, worship. Angelic choirs, golden streets, and gates of pearl.

We were made to love, to thrive on love and to give it. It should never be taken lightly, neglected or abused, it is precious and holy. Why would a God of love give His Son for such lowly and fallen masses. He remembers the first love and so should we.

We can never fully thrive or walk in this love until we let Him love us, it is why we love Him, He did not have to do this, create, sacrifice, forgive….to love so deeply to give Himself, and yet, He did and for me. We love Him because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19.

I thrive on love, but never until I fully understood how truly He loved me, for I was trying too hard to be do good, be good and to succeed and feeling like a failure. I did not have to He loved me and already created in me the heart He wanted there, and He broke it when I heard of His sacrifice, and poured in His love and grace.

What was heaven in my heart was always just below the surface, waiting to emerge and to thrive, crashing waves of peace and praise, and a pen to write the richness of His glory and the beauty that was in His face. If you think that I am a good writer, let promise you, He is a better Lord. He gives me the fruit that is from His bountiful eye, and makes me thrive on His love.  Rebecca Jones / Valerie Elash, always beautiful photographs, thank you.

No More Mourning Dove

 

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4, Jesus tells us in the Beatitudes. I like the translation that God blesses those who mourn. I have to number myself among the mourners, not grieving over someone in the sense you might think but grief nonetheless, it does not have to be a person, it can be many things.

It can be yourself, personal loss, not necessarily financial, but something unfulfilled, a desire, even one from God that has yet to bloom. Maybe, it waits for His time to be beautiful. It may cause tears, anyway. He has a bottle for them and they are precious.

For many women it can be the loss of a child, a miscarriage, abortion or divorce, abuse. Grief is natural in a sense to reflect and let that emotion out. Left unchecked and over a period of time, it progresses into depression and even oppression. An evil spirit of grief, I know because when I suffered from it, I was delivered by prayer.

I do believe in the gift of tongues, and I was prayed for, a few years back. Later, I had a dream of my mother taking a baby from a woman in a shroud, and she was wearing a black and white striped T shirt, with a rose. I recognized it as hers. I felt a lifting of sadness off of me, and I won’t go back to mourning my losses, for my own self and for my health.

I caution people to be careful of dream interpretation, it is Biblical. Joseph had the gift. But there are copies and occult practices. Trust the Holy Spirit only. The black and white shirt made the dream clear, the rose represents Jesus, I am the baby, an only child. And the woman in the shroud was the spirit of grief. Like I said grief is natural, but nurturing it instead of allowing healing to come, or the fact you may not even recognize it as a spiritual attack can be devastating to your heart and health.

I have shared this testimony, even to a Christian psychologist. Christian women, true believers in Jesus, who understand love and hurt, the concept of mourning, may benefit from prayer, just ask Him to deliver you. Depression and grief are like evil twins. But we know Jesus was a man of sorrows, broken hearted for us, and He is the healer of spirit, soul and body. I shared this to help people overcome grief that is relentless and oppressive.

He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for His own glory. Isaiah 61:3

Mourning doves are beautiful, I had several I fed among the many other birds years ago. Every morning I fed them in an angel bird feeder, there were many sparrows, robins, cardinals, even a woodpecker, but enjoyed the beauty of those mourning doves. They were gentle and peaceful creatures. I never noticed a sadness about them, they were there to give me joy.

I did not know as much about the Bible then, how they were offerings, or the symbolism of the Holy Spirit, I was familiar with it but there is so much more in the Spirit, a powerful presence, but a pleasant peace. And Jesus speaks peace to us, He left it for us in John 14:27. As for myself, I no longer want to be a mourning dove but one of peace. Even if we are ” living sacrifices ” for Christ, He is our peace.

He never intended for us to live in mourning but in His joy. While weeping should last only a night and joy come in the morning, it is so often more days, months and even years.

And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. Zechariah 12:10

This day is coming when Jesus will show Israel what happened when He came and was crucified. They will mourn and weep as for an only son as they look upon the one whom they have pierced. Perhaps the Jews are not the only ones in need of a spirit of grace and supplication, would it deliver not even some of the worst cases of mental affliction? I would hope so.

Grief is a darkness you do not want to live in, just like depression or addiction. Some problems were mine and others put in my path, some out of love and concern for others and what they were dealing with. But He is my peace. Micah 5:5, and He doubles the promise, He, Himself is my peace. Ephesians 2:14

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12. A verse my mother reminded me of, the source of a lot of trials for many of us. It may be that we are late in age of grace and His coming upon us, even so, come quickly, you still have good plans and blessed are those who mourn. For we have not only mourned ourselves and our losses, we have mourned you, the one whom they have pierced. And it is you who bless those who mourn turning it to joy in the morning. And giving beauty for ashes. Rebecca Jones / pexels

Reach Out To Jesus

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There is a beautiful song called Reach Out to Jesus, it was on an Elvis gospel album I had. It says to reach out Jesus, He’s reaching out to you. And really, He always has been whether we realized it or not.

He reached out His hand to Adam and Eve, and Abraham and appeared many times in the Old testament as the angel of the Lord. But even before that He must have reached for His Father’s hand and promised to make the sacrifice when creation fell. He had outstretched arms on the cross, enduring unimaginable horrors. Just think, while He was on the cross, we were on His mind.

Many people followed and reached for Jesus, the blind, lame and the lepers. It was apparent to the religious that he was breaking all the rules, but He was to become the High Priest, by the Spirit, He was cleansing, healing and raising the dead. Under the law, the most famous of all who reached for Him was breaking it as well, considered unclean because of bleeding, she she would not have been able to be in public, much less touch a rabbi. The law was condemning her to death, and she may have even faced stoning had she been discovered.

You see why Paul calls living under the law, the ministry of death. Some were saved, but how many more should be by the ministry of the Spirit? It is a deep study, not Anti-Semitic, and not disrespectful of the Ten Commandments, just that Jesus was the only man alive who could keep them all and fulfill them and the prophets. He gave us grace and truth, and left us His peace.

Alone in her home having sent away her attendants and physicians, a woman we could call Zoe, meaning life, lay languishing in her own blood. Before she could reach the window to see what the crowds were yelling about, she had to grab a clean towel. From the street she heard shouts about Jesus and people asking to be healed. She knew He was her only hope.

She managed to bind herself tightly girding cloth after cloth and tying them securely with belt from a robe. She veiled herself completely, and wrapped up in layer after layer of clothing.  She even noticed her perfume and decided to mask the smell of blood. And with every ounce of strength she pushed open her doorway and joined the crowd. Some moved aside for her, some she had to almost push away, she could get through the dozens of children but then she fell and had to lift herself in pain, her heart pounded and as it did her bleeding continued, she felt she was dying.

And then there were the disciples, Peter was so loud, many people crowded around Jesus but she breathed out loud, ” If I could just touch the hem of His garment, I will be made whole. ”  She lunged forward and grasped the very edge of His talit. She was kneeling looking at His sandals when He asked who touched Him. For the dunamis, power or virtue had gone out of Him, the very power of His Spirit, cleansed and sanctified her, healing her, and ending twelve years of suffering.

While the disciples were irritated at His asking that amid a crowd, the woman in awe admitted it was she, and Jesus turned to face her, and told her that her faith had made her whole and to go in peace. She reached for Him, but He reached out to her.And soon after there was a twelve year old who was dying. her father had come to ask Jesus to see her when the servants said not to bother, she was dead. Jesus went anyway, Zoe followed.

Wrapped in father’s talit or prayer shawl, she lay dead, all Jesus needed to say was ” Talitha Cumi, little girl rise up. ” This a  favorite story of mine, I have written about it many times. There is many layers here. mainly that He is doubling the story with the mention of twelve years, both were terminal. The garment that was touched. When you find,  truly, verily or woes doubled it is for emphasis, even eight people have their names doubled, to make sure they pay attention. Peter did not listen and denied Him. It is clear He wanted grace to be poured out and healing, even raising the dead, yet they did not accept Him as Messiah.

I suggest you read the post on pruning to go along with this, He can touch the dead and raise them, even dead issues, dreams or hopes. And believe me I have seen Him raise not an actual dead person but one who was very close, and several with even zero or up to 30% chance of living. That’s why I don’t like to give up on anyone, and yet I know every may not share that belief and I do know that some just get weary of the fight.

And still I know we have a High Priest who tasted death for us and is easily touched by our prayers and tears, and very deeply concerned with women. So reach out to Jesus, He’s reaching out to you. Rebecca Jones / Garon Piceli, pexels, thanks.

 

 

 

The Magic of Misdirection

Growing up I enjoyed a good magic show. We know people aren’t really disappearing or sawed in half. And the hand was often quicker than the eye. Prestidigitators were a staple of birthday parties and amusement. A a lot have gone the way of the circus into more ghost hunting and paranormal. A lot or staged reality television, but I have seen a couple that made me think, ” What have they conjured up” ” I do not recommend these shows. There are many ways to fall into spiritual darkness. Even though in the beginning darkness was good, and still can be in God’s way. Oh, and the word abracadabra has Aramaic roots, avrah kehdabra. meaning I will create as I speak, but author J.K.Rowling quotes, avada kedavra, an ancient spell meaning let the thing be destroyed. See why Kaballah, is different to Hebrew word studies? Although there is a sort of mysticism and seers associated with certain spiritual gifts, a word of wisdom or prophetic word is not a spell.

I had to admit I was caught off guard that people would practice such things as black magic, to me it was an old torch song, and I never thought anything of it because causeless curses have no effect on believers, right? Had I ever given anyone cause to want to put a curse on me? Has anyone? Well, I didn’t think so. But I did try to help and witness to some drug users, which can be pharmakia, or sorceries. Being in the realm of demonic devices, can make you anxious, tired, oppressed, and it can even be hard to breathe. Always plead the blood over yourself and your family. We did it over schools.

People do this for various reasons, real or imagined. It is like a prayer in reverse. I lived between two people as a girl. I was sensitive to the Spirit and they were superstitious and unsaved. I was aware but not aware, when people know you are a Christian, sometimes they just hate you without a cause, and there goes the causeless curse, they don’t need one to call in the demonic powers of fear, or torment. While the devil may not be able to get you, he can and will annoy you. If you let him. Tormenting spirits, night terrors, from Psalm 91, even sicknesses abound in this darkness,

Even after being blessed and prophetic words spoken over you, he will send out misdirections. I had this happen to me about my writing, I was often thinking of quitting because I was told I needed a real job. I bought into some plausible misdirections as to some personal decisions, I was trying to have great faith. But Jesus knew I believed and just wanted me to trust HIm.When I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit that changed, while I had to learn to follow His directions, learn discernment and not even let others deceive me, for the Lord will not, He won’t mind you asking what to do. Many people anoint their homes with oil, pray over their children’s rooms, discard certain items.

I told a mother who let her daughter read Harry Potter books, just to make sure she knew what they believed as a Christian. You can’t hide them, soon or later they will have to make decisions. I know too many who have been in contact with those who practiced the occult, went to fortune tellers, who have suffered a lot of mental attacks and some who turned to drugs. Even children of believers fall into traps of darkness,

Watching an old movie made me think of this, the magic of misdirection, though it was disappointing and not exactly classic noir, the killer had worn a rubber glove and twisted his wrist to make him look like he had a shriveled hand, a little shoe polish darkened his face and he was thought to have a birthmark or some disfigurement. He had learned from a magician, he said as he laying dying, finally captured by the police.

The most disfigured man in history taught us about this. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Jesus, in Matthew 6:3. Only He was telling the crowd not to give to be seen. He was teaching generosity and healing rather than pride and selfishness. Jesus was never about deception, but He knew it better that anyone, the devil’s bag of tricks. Jesus often moved in healed and disappeared in the crowd because some wanted to kill him. read about the man at the pool of Bethesda.

While I appreciate a good magic show, and the magician’s prowess of sleight of hand or smoke and mirrors. There is a magic we want to avoid, and be sensitive to, delivered of if we are involved in or oppressed by it. Don’t pray these controlling prayers or spells, or curse anyone. And by controlling prayers, I mean things like to make them do something or whatever it takes. Sometimes, we think our prayers are not answered but actually, they have not been received by that person, they still have a free will. Ask the Lord what is affecting your life, you may be in spiritual warfare.

Jesus also perceived things, which is not mind reading, there is a trick to that, because He was a man full of the Holy Spirit, as God, He knew hearts. We should also be quick to perceive and never deceive others or our ourselves, by not obeying God’s Word, it works and it is true and there are two sides of the spiritual and supernatural world. Too often, even as believers, we find ourselves in a battle with the enemy and not knowing how to overcome. But it is not a fair fight, Jesus won for us. Many times fear of the unknown prevents believers from using spiritual gifts.

Thankfully, Jesus did overcome. So we could. I am encouraging to keep your focus on Him. Even a card game and a quick shuffle can fool your eye, we don’t need troubled hearts or fooled ones. There is a shell game and it is one never you never win because the pea is in the hand of the huckster, and never under the shell, he or she chooses to let you win, gain your confidence, and take you for a ride of loss. The devil has his sticky hands in many areas of life, he will set you up and tear you down. It is better to humble yourself and be built up by Jesus, or else it is vain. Don’t let anyone deceive you into darkness, and don’t be afraid either, that gives an open door to enemy devices.

I suppose that’s why I never cared for gambling, though so do, it is addictive, deceptive. Jesus hung on a cross as soldiers cast lots for His garment. How evil is that? Ancient people, used a type of rolling the dice on whether to go to war, even the Nazis were into this occult type or warfare, deception and destruction are evil twins, so are chaos and confusion. One hand doesn’t always wash the other. Everyone will not reciprocate, understand, care or be considerate. So we need wisdom, we need Jesus. Never kid yourself, God is not mocked or amused by the devil’s cons, He cannot lie, and is far above the father of them.

There is a “magic” about Him that is no illusion or deception, the spark that is light and love and drives out all other spiritual adversaries large or small. He may not have you fooled or cast a spell on you. But you are transfixed by His love, and safe under His wing. Even Moses and Solomon approached God in a cloud of darkness, the cloud or dark, mist, in the day and the pillar of fire by night. He might be in that, or the reaches of space, but there is no darkness in Him. Rebecca Jones / public domain

The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was. Exodus 20:21

Then Solomon said, “The LORD has said that he would dwell in thick darkness. (cloud) 2 Chronicles 6:1

God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 5:1

 

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah!

Look at the way the sun hits the suitcase. When we read in Romans 3:23, that we fall so short of His glory, this is about as good as it gets with a visual. Oh, I could show you people bathed in light, that is glory, because He is life, light and love. You see images of the holy family with halos or angels, that is glory.

Actually, the Hebrew word for glory is kavod, pronounced kah- vode. It is the weighty and powerful presence of His Spirit, pure love and peace, great joy. It is the same glory from the temple that the high priest stood in, now Jesus is the great High Priest, and He is us and so His glory should be.

A lot of poor teaching, ignorance of the enemy devices, fear and deception, have kept us short of His glory. We sit in our field, like a lone piece of baggage. We bloom little, instead of ridding ourselves of our baggage we have come to cling to it, to clutch it as if were filled with diamonds or secret documents.

And it is! We are diamond girls in Him. Beautiful and precious stones cut in His image. And our souls are loaded with the secrets of our new and hidden life in Him, His good plans and desires from His heart to ours. It is secret and wonderful, just as He is and He will bring it to fruition, when we drop the baggage. This is weight we want to lose, it weighs us down and His kavod or glory should be a weight we would be proud to carry.

Our life was meant to be filled with joy, but not a bag under each arm, one in each hand, on our head. We were made to love    and be loved, you may not feel like that with a baby on one hip, vacuum in the other hand, pots boiling over. Not with bills piling up and laundry, too many appointments, schedules, accounts to balance.

Work, school, home life and family life, dating or married life and all the baggage we carry. We should let it go, give it to Jesus. He offered to carry our cares, His yoke is easy and His burden light, when we are weary, heavy laden. When you can’t take another step, fold another towel, was another dish, hear another tantrum.

Preachers from back in the day beat us over the head with Romans 3:23, guess what, they were falling short too. Not teach His love and grace. His gift of daily, saving grace, though we are saved we need saving from something all the time. The bad diagnosis, the threat of foreclosure, bankruptcy, divorce, changing careers, you name it. He is generous with grace.

And what I found wonderful about the word glory is that is also interchanged at times with splendor. How beautiful the heavens are, they are His handiwork and splendor, and so are we. We are not falling short of His glory as much as believing it is already inside of us in the peace and presence, the love of His precious Spirit.

Many people are skeptical of spiritual gifts, and I understand that, so was I, but I needed healing and was always falling short, but He never will. He gives us His beautiful glory to soak in, bask in, delight in as He delights in us, His beloved children. He is the power and glory forever. And He loves to share it with us, glory, glory, hallelujah. Rebecca Jones / pexels

 

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Survive With Jesus

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I’m a survivor! I know others who are. People who have overcome major oppression and depression, cancer, heart problems and more. I never considered myself much of a survivalist, I watched those shows and see explorers, treasure hunters, I never liked those running around the world or being stranded somewhere with nothing, I have seen programs about people being lost, one girl over three weeks with little water and no food, she was found before she starved because her dog had left and found help.

We are just regular women, right? We get up get dressed, run errands or work, take care of children and make dinner, do tons of laundry, but as believers we are stalked, the roar of an enemy is loud, frightful, it can even overwhelm you in the middle of the night, when the phone rings, when a knock is at the door, or you lose something.

Is it the police, the doctor with bad news? Is something wrong with my spouse/ children / parents?  Who could that be at the door, UPS, no, I’m not expecting anything. Is the house clean? Is it the nosy neighbor? The escaped prisoner? You know how fears will try to grip you.

The enemy prowls like a roaring lion, notice the metaphor like, it is only a pretense. Look who stands behind us the Lamb of God, the Lion of Judah, who roars over us like a shofar calling men to repentance. He breaks the teeth of the enemy, crushes the serpent that would drop before us as we traverse the jungles of life.

We will not be dragged off in the night to be devoured by a toothless lion. A true story. It happened to some natives. When it was finally hunted down and killed, it was suffering from bad teeth, no longer a capable hunter, it went after men. Sound like anyone we know?

Jesus is capable, a mighty warrior, who goes before us. We may fail, He will not. His love never fails and covers us completely with His blood and sacrifice. I probably will not ever be on a safari, but I can dress in my khaki pants and venture out, head held high and enjoying the sun, knowing my redeemer lives and I need not fear, for the greater one is in me, I survive in Jesus. Rebecca Jones / pexels

Please enjoy my mother’s Pinterest board.

 

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Butterflies In His Hands / Create

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2 Corinthians 5:17 is one of my favorite verses. we are truly new creatures in Christ. And while we have shed the old self, and the caterpillar is no longer bound in its cocoon, we have eternal life, whereas most butterflies have only a short life span. With all the wonders He created, the butterfly is a fragile, delicate and beautiful one to create.

We are all butterflies in His hand, freed by the Son, John 8:36. Searching the world for our new life that is hidden in Him. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3. A symbol of birth or new birth,  a life He will create as we learn about our Father, Creator of all life.

How easily a butterfly could be crushed the hand of the Lord, yet He is not condemning but freeing. Romans 8:1, Galatians 5:1. The Lord could easily condemn us but He has forgiven us, there is no need to remind us of our caterpillar days. The butterfly is also a symbol or resurrection, and Jesus raised us to be beautiful new creations in Him.

I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him. Isaiah 57:19 He creates the fruit of our lips, a sweet nectar may draw the hummingbird or butterfly, and our words should also draw others to Christ, for He is sweetness, Himself.

He is there in the person of the Holy Spirit to convict of sin and we are quick to repent, He corrects gently and with His word, firmly should we need it and also if we choose not to follow His will, we still have a choice but face consequences from those actions.

He is quick to grace us with His presence but we are not to insult that Spirit with willful or continual sin. Why wouldn’t we want to soar from His hand in freedom, carried by wings of grace, with His peace written on them? What a picture of creation, spoken into existence by God’s words that echo through the ages. How tiny and transparent are our butterfly hearts are to Him, there is nothing hidden from Him, and yet He protects and delights in the butterflies He chose to create.

Why wouldn’t we want to moved by the wind of the Spirit, grace upon grace and more grace, and from one glorious day to another? Why wouldn’t we want to know it is the day He made for us and sing and shout for joy? Why wouldn’t we enjoy our freedom? We don’t have to turn back, look back or be dragged back by others or memories or anything that would weigh down our graceful wings. He really created us the way He wanted, even before birth, and as we were knitted in the womb, every color of every eye and the veins that fill so we may take flight, and yet He continues to create in us and for us all the desires of His heart and ours.

The adage is true, not to look back, you are not going that way. He told Nicodemus you had to be born again, and his reply quite ridiculous, how do you get back in womb? It has to be a rebirth of the spirit. The Holy Spirit can come in and make you a new creature. His love makes you a butterfly in His hand, your name carved into His wrist as it held Him on the cross. He loves you, and you belong to Him. Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit in me, the Psalmist prayed, and for the joy, not of our salvation but of His. He creates with love and with joy.

It is the enemies of your soul that He would crush, but not you, His beloved. Even with heavy hearts over the abortion laws, let’s remember Jesus forgave, and even those who do not understand He can recreate as we pray, let’s  hold on to His love as we soar, and remember we can always feel safe in His hands. Rebecca Jones / Anthony, pexels.

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Moving Closer To The King / Surrender

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Chess is a game of skill, there are so many moves and maneuvers. Unlike the common checkerboard, where getting to the other side makes you a king, chess has many pieces, besides the king and queen, there are knights, bishops, castles and pawns. Chess pieces are moved about the board, are lost, and eventually, one player surrenders.

And each piece can move only a certain way. Both the king and queen can move only one square at a time in any direction, like pawns, actually. Castles move as many times as they like vertically and horizontally, bishops diagonally and the knights one up and two over, or two up and one over. If my memory of chess is in error, leave me a comment. I have never won a game that I recall, and I only knew one girl who could play that was eight, I never even took her on.

But in my prayer time, it was as if the Lord was speaking this very phrase from His throne, ” Moving closer to the KIng. ” I really do have a strong sense that He is so ready to return. It is a time to completely surrender to the Holy Spirit and the King of Glory, His grace keeps right on saving and intercessors are waging spiritual warfare. So, if the phrase is a matter of where we stand as believers, that is a good place to be.

If on the other hand, it is a directive, then it is imperative to follow that command and move closer to the King. As I said, my knowledge of chess is limited, I’m glad God is not. Unlike a plastic, glass or metal king on a board, He moves more than one space, He can move time and space. He is eternal, omnipotent, all seeing and knowing our thoughts and intents, He sees hearts. The Greek ekdotos, surrender, is to hand over, whereas the Hebrew word is magan, similar to shield. So the question is will you be given up or handed over, or shielded and protected.

While Paul speaks of not surrendering to sin, but surrendering to God in Romans 6, isn’t this surrender from Job,who was attacked for sure,  ” Submit to God, and you will have peace; then things will go well for you. ” Job 22:21. And even in Galatians 5:25, as we are to walk in the Spirit, the Aramaic Bible in Plain English says, We shall live therefore in The Spirit and surrender to The Spirit and even one day Jesus will surrender everything back to God over which He was given to authority. ! Corinthians 15:24.

While we try to protect the king in chess, the King, Himself, is protecting us. He sees the moves we don’t, made by an enemy and pawns bent on stealing, killing and destroying. He doesn’t need armies to defeat enemies, though they are at His disposal. Innumerable angels. He actually had Gideon send men home. And wouldn’t anyone be concerned about going up against thousands with three hundred? But the dream given a man showed God’s plan, the enemies turned on themselves. Gideon knew fear, had his doubts, but heard the Lord and obeyed, and was victorious.

We may all feel like little pawns in the Shadow of the Almighty, but we are precious sons and daughters, seated in heavenly places, kings and priests in our own right, with the authority to use His name, protected by the blood of Jesus, defended by shield of faith and His Spirit, why not surrender? We just need to move closer to the King, He doesn’t need our protection, but we need His.

And when the devil makes a move, God will turn on him, he will not know what hit him, the chaos and confusion he causes will now be his, his armies are losing, turning on each other and him. Why? Because God, who authors peace, sent His Son as the very Prince of Peace. He faced and defeated all these foes on a cross, and is seated beside Him. Jesus surrendered Himself for us. So we could have access to the King.

God does not have a queen, though some consider Mary the queen of heaven, He has the qualities of both men and women, and created both in His image. So don’t be afraid, the King is exalted, and on the throne. You don’t have to seek refuge or any other safety, than Jesus.

Don’t worry about your next move or decision, we don’t always see the opposition’s plan of attack but He does, so there is no need to fear, His Spirit has been given to us not to fear. It is the only way any believers truly has power, love and a sound mind.

Feeling a little trapped, even in your castle? The chess king may need protection from knights and bishops but the King of the Universe, no, not at all, He can stand for Himself, He defends us, we don’t have to, I surrender! I have had to stop trying. My place is to love Him and believe.  His pawns are believers, elevated to His protection, and all we have to do, is move closer to the KIng. Rebecca Jones / pexels

Another Valentine From God

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Way back in 2003, I wrote my mother a Valentine’s Day poem called Valentine from God, I have shared and and it has been popular gettings hits on days not even in February. She said I probably had another one, and indeed I do.

And I chose this picture because it can be a prayer read or of spoken, and it is a flower from God’s heart to ours. And please read the original, I’m adding a link.  https://adaughtersgiftoflove.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/valentine-from-god-2/

I wrote a couple of lines hoping to set and example for children, and decided why not the whole chapter, even adults will benefit. Even though this is not exact, it is based on the love Chapter 1 Corinthians 13.

Love

 If I could speak

Every language,  angelic or divine.

And had no love for others,

I would be nothing but a noise,

A crashing cymbal, His love not mine.

If I could prophesy and had all understanding.

And mountains moved at my commanding,

And if I gave everything I had away.

Without His love,

It wouldn’t matter anyway.

Even if  had to be burned alive.

Wouldn’t I be out of my mind?

To give my life, without the love,

He designed?

Love is patient and love is kind.

Not jealous, or nagging.

Rude or bragging.

Not crude or quick tempered,

Like a fire.

His love should be our desire.

Love is not puffy and love doesn’t pout.

Love doesn’t scream.

Love doesn’t shout.

There are no scorecards.

No checks beside our names.

Jesus forgives, forgets,

Never condemns or blames.

Love gives joy in what is true.

It doesn’t like evil.

Is loyal and supportive of you.

No matter what happens,

What lie the enemy tells.

His love is greater still, and will heal.

His love never fails.

Prophecies will stop,

Unknown languages will no longer be spoken.

What we know will be forgotten,

Our hearts no longer broken.

We should all expect Him,

Live to reflect Him.

What isn’t perfect has to go.

So what is perfect will show.

We must behold Him face to face.

Forever saved by His amazing grace.

We look into the glass,

But what do we see?

Are we looking at Jesus?

Or just you and me?

We don’t know it all.

Our prophecies are incomplete.

But He is coming soon,

And it is He, who makes us complete.

When the One who is perfect will appear,

All imperfections must disappear.

When we were children,

We acted that way.

But we grew in grace, and in many ways.

Turning to prayer and to praise.

We may not know everything,

But one day, we will.

Faith, hope and love,

Our hearts, we fill.

And Christ is the Valentine from God above

Sent with fragrance and His Spirit like a dove.

But of the these, the most important three,

The greatest has to be, the greatest is His love.

Rebecca Jones / pexels