A Know It OWL

Know it Owl - FB.png

Ephesians 1:18 “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope of your calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints”

Have you ever heard of the saying “wise as an owl”? Since ancient times, owls have been depicted in literature and folklore as synonymous with wisdom. Mostly because of their huge eyes that give them the ability to hunt at night. They are very interesting birds.

I have discovered a different kind of owl…a “Know it OWL”. This is a person that seeks what I believe is the most important thing anyone could have, wisdom. Wisdom is not just knowing what to do but wisdom is knowing how to do it. In Ephesians 1:16, Paul said that he never stops praying “that the God of our Lord Jesus may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him [Jesus].”

Then in verse 18 he goes on to pray “that the eyes of your understanding being enlightened that you may know…” Praying for wisdom allows you to see things with your understanding. It allows you to know what to do in every situation. Wisdom to fulfill God’s purpose for your life. Go ahead, be a “Know it OWL”! It’s awesome!

 

What Are You Doing Here?

What are you doing here - FB (1).png

1 Kings 19:9 “And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?

I don’t really like caves. This past May, my daughter and I went to the Cave of the Winds in Colorado Springs, CO. We took a tour inside tunnels that had been excavated over a hundred years ago. It was interesting and insightful, I learned so much, but…I was really looking forward to seeing the light of day outside!

In 1 Kings 19:9, God asks Elijah, “What are you doing here?” How many of you know that God knew Elijah was there in the cave? So He was really saying “you’re in the wrong place, Elijah.” In 1 Kings 19:1-3, Elijah made a very important decision but for the wrong reasons. Have you ever made a decision for the wrong reason? I know I have. Why did Elijah “run for his life”? Because of a fearful imagination.

In verse 2, Jezebel threatened Elijah’s life. In verse 3 it says something interesting, “When he saw that, he arose, and went for his life”. He began to envision what it would be like to die from a sword. Our negative imagination can cause us to make a wrong decision in a moment of panic, fear, or intimidation. The Holy Spirit always leads us, but the enemy always forces or drives us. Today, let the peace of God be the umpire of your heart and mind. Don’t stay where you shouldn’t be and don’t go where you shouldn’t go. Be lead by God’s peace and prompting, even when you’re a little nervous. Bottom line, may we never find ourselves in a place where God needs to ask us, “What are you doing here?”

 

Our Alarm System

$RD123DB.jpg

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1 ESV

I'm so glad God blessed us with built in "alarms". We have negative emotions that tell us that something is wrong with our thinking. We have symptoms when there is something wrong with our body. We even have godly spouses, friends and parents to show us things we are too stubborn to receive from God on our own!

But there's one more thing that may not be so obvious. It's a "condemnation meter". It looks like a fuel gauge on your dashboard, but it works in reverse. When the needle is on "Empty", that's good. According to Romans 8:1, God says there is NO condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. If you're born again, you have received the gift of NO condemnation.

When you give place to condemnation, the needle begins to move away from "E" and guilt and fear set in. If you give place to guilt and fear, the needle moves again and destructive habits set in. Condemnation is now at dangerous levels! The answer, resist all condemning thoughts, accusations and lies with the truth of God's Word. Warning! Resist ALL condemnation.

 

Weapon of Mass Instruction

Hosea 4_6.png

Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge“

I was reading the other day about Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), such as chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons that can do significant harm and damage on a large scale. Mass means large, massive, profuse, overwhelming. But there’s something even more powerful and effective in the spiritual world called “weapon of mass instruction”.

Hosea 4:6 says that God’s people are destroyed for a lack of one thing…knowledge. Knowledge of God’s Word is the most powerful and destructive weapon in the spiritual realm. That’s precisely why the enemy will do anything and everything to try and stop you from gaining revelation knowledge. Mark 4:15 says that Satan comes immediately to steal the Word. Why? Because he knows it’s a weapon of mass, large, huge, effective proportions.

God’s Word is the only offensive weapon that we have. It destroys every work of the enemy. It tears down strongholds of thoughts. It is sent to heal cancers. With it you rebuke every attack. God’s Word is a weapon of mass instruction that will cause you to win in every battle, in every contest, in every challenge. So the answer to any destruction or problem is instruction, the knowledge of God’s Word. Make a decision this year to give God’s Word first place and final authority in every area of your life. Then watch the supernatural changes manifest as never before.

 

A Change of Diet in 2019

more+than+enough.jpg

Joshua 5:12 “and the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of Canaan that year”.

After I returned from Winter Break at Charis Bible College a few weeks ago, I saw a friend of mine and they looked so different. I asked, “What are you doing that you look so different?” They explained about their special diet, listing their change of foods and eating habits.

Speaking of eating habits, can you imagine what it would have been like to eat the same food every day for 40 years? That’s what happened to the children of Israel, before they came into the promised land of Canaan. The manna in Canaan represents “just enough” provision for each day. This is survival. Thank God for His provision, but He wants better for His children.

When they entered the land of Canaan, they began to eat fruit. The fruit was already there. The fruit represents “more than enough”. That’s the difference between a miracle and the blessing. A miracle is for crisis. Thank God for miracles, but the blessing is for every day. It’s a way of believing. It’s believing in God’s commanded blessing on His children because of the cross of Christ. In 2019, choose God’s diet. Choose more than enough! Let’s eat!

 

Death, Taxes and the New England Patriots

Hebrews 13-5.jpg

Hebrews 13:5 Amplified “He (God) Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. (I will) not, (I will) not, (I will) not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let (you) down...(assuredly not)!”

Super Bowl Sunday, an American football tradition, is finally here. Get the Velveeta ready, hold your nose to your Zenith (they still make those?), and watch the New England Patriots take the Super Bowl field for the ninth time. Please repeat after me, “Tom Brady is getting old!” Yet at 41, he keeps getting better like a fine wine. Quoting the familiar phrase, “You can count on two things in life: death and taxes”, sports media has added a third…the New England Patriots.

In Hebrews 13:5, God says five times (the number of grace), “I will not, I will not, I will not…I will not, assuredly not leave you, fail you, nor give you up, nor leave you without support, or let you down”. Hallelujah! Do you get the picture? He will not ever, no never leave you nor forsake you. God is more of a sure thing, more unchanging than anything. So, stay secure in His Word, His nature and His love.

Get the chips and salsa ready, God loves you and so do we! Enjoy

 

Into the Ugh-Known

Ugh-Known FB IG.jpg

Hebrews 11:8 Amplified Bible “Urged on by faith Abraham when he was called, obeyed and went forth to a place which he was destined to receive as an inheritance; and he went, although he did not know or trouble his mind about where he was to go”

On October 14, 1947, Chuck Yeager, an Air Force pilot flew an experimental plane 40,000 feet over the Mohave desert, becoming the first man to break the sound barrier. As he tells it, his jet nicknamed “Glamorous Glennis“ named after his wife was ready to fly into the “Ugh-known”. Just days before, he had a “disagreement” with a horse and broke two ribs, and was flying in a lot of pain. As he got to the point of the sound barrier, which no one had ever gone before, the jet began to shake violently. At that moment Yeager had to make a key decision, to slow down and abort the mission or to throttle down and go. He throttled down and broke through the sound barrier and experienced what is called a sonic boom.

That’s what Abraham had to do. He had to make a key decision in a moment of time. He had to either go back or go “into the ugh-known” where he had never been before. He decided to throttle down and “boom” he received his inheritance. If we’re going to break through barriers in our lives in 2019 and beyond, we need to throttle down and go. We may be in a whole lot of pain. We may be shaking violently on the inside. We may feel like quitting. Perfect, you’re ready for your breakthrough. Press through and get ready for your boom!

 

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

2019 Vision jpg.jpg

John 2:9 “When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine.....” 

In 1971, just before his 25th birthday, David Bowie came out with the popular song, Changes, still heard around the world today.  This year, I believe, is a year of great, exciting, and supernatural changes like never before!  2019 is “The Year of Great Change”.   

Great in Greek is the word “megas” meaning huge, massive, surprising, and abundant. The word change means to make a material difference so that the person or thing is completely different from what it was. John 2 demonstrates this great change when Jesus performed His first miracle, He turned water into wine at a wedding feast in Cana. In a millisecond water used for ceremonial washing was turned into the best wine, that’s a picture of your life. 

Normally they served the best wine first and later the lesser quality wine.In verse 10, it says that “He has kept the best wine till now”.Jesus is calling us to a feast in 2019 like never before. To a new covenant, intoxicating year, and celebration. Hallelujah!This is going to be your best and most exhilarating year so far.Get ready for great ch-ch-ch-ch-changes! Your best days are not behind but ahead of you.So enjoy the celebration! 2019, “The year of great change”!

 

Six-Star Dining in 2019

Joshua 5_12.png

Joshua 5:12 “And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna anymore; but they did eat of the fruit of Canaan that year”.

Consumer-ratings for restaurants have become increasingly popular over the years, thanks to sites such as Yelp and social media. However, critics say that though they have empowered regular people to post non-expert reviews, the reviews can be falsified or faked. Some prefer a more reliable, expert review as found in the Forbes Travel Guide. Nevertheless, it’s the “five stars” that everyone is searching for! Five represents the best in quality, excellence and atmosphere.

Joshua 5 records that the children of Israel had been in the wilderness for 40 years and now they had finally come into Canaan. Hallelujah! In the wilderness, they had “just enough” manna for each day. We could call this a five-star rating. But a new day had arrived - they would eat manna no more. That year, God took them to a new level of dining, the “more than enough” fruit of Canaan. This is a six-star experience, over the top, off the scale!

In 2019, “just enough” is over and” more than enough” is here! Your table is reserved. You have entered into your six-star life. Six-star health. Six-star finances. Six-stars in your family, your career, your ministry. You’re eating the fruit of Canaan this year. Bon Appetit my friends!

 

Breaking Point by Natalie Fortunato

Breaking Point (1).png

Mark 2:22 "And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins." (New Living Translation)

Something happened to me in 2018 that changed my life forever...I came to my breaking point. I had been living by the Old Testament (all about what I do) and New Testament (all about what Jesus did) at the same time. I was putting old wine into new wineskins. I was constantly frustrated. Something had to give..."New wine calls for new wineskins".

Then it happened, I turned in my old wineskin of self-effort and sin consciousness for a new wineskin - the pure, unforced rhythms of God's goodness and grace. A life where the Word is more real than my senses. A life of faith in the finished work of the cross.

As you enter into 2019, consider these powerful words, "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 The Message). After all, “no one puts new wine into old wineskins”.

 

In His Presence are Presents

pic3856129.jpg

Did you know that every day is Christmas when you are in Christ? I love Christmastime! When I was a kid, my parents would pile the Christmas presents, it seemed like, all the way to the ceiling. We would be excited for weeks waiting for Christmas morning. Then the time would come to open up our presents, and then in a blink of an eye it was over. Opening them was so much fun, we would look around and wonder, are there any more? No, we had opened them all…until the stocking gifts after Sunday mass, ahhh!

Psalm 23:1 says, “The Lord is (present tense) your shepherd. A shepherd provides for his sheep, feeds them, and protects them, every day, all day. Because Jesus IS your Good Shepherd you don’t want for anything . You don’t lack wisdom, direction, provision - anything. In His presence are His presents, Hallelujah! Jesus IS with you, He is our Emmanuel, God with us. He is present with you providing presents. Now, right at this moment, just meditating on Jesus, faith is released out of your spirit, the faith of Jesus. Let your heart be encouraged with the reality that Jesus IS with you.

When you are facing your challenges, Psalm 16:11 says, “In His presence is fullness of joy”. Fullness here means completeness, wholeness, abundance. John 1:16 says “of His fullness we have all received grace for grace”. That’s grace replacing the grace that was there before it! In His presence you release this fullness. In His presence there are presents! Enjoy Christ in Christmas. Enjoy family. Enjoy!

 

No More Law School

No More Law School.png

Galatians 4:24 “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ”.

I commend the students who, after four years of college, go on to law school. I mean, four years of studying, taking exam after exam, studying some more, and late nights is a lot of work. Yet they are determined go back and do it again at a whole nutha’ level!

So, now let’s talk about a different kind of “law school”. One of my favorite books in the Bible is Galatians. In this book the apostle Paul addresses Christians who welcome the good news of Jesus Christ when Paul is present, but after he leaves their city, others come right behind him and mix the good news of grace with the Jewish law, and they welcome that too.

Paul was strong in combating this mixture. He said in Galatians 3:1, “O foolish Galatians who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth”. He explains to them in Galatians 4:24 that, yes, the law has a purpose, it was “our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ”. Then goes on to say in verse 25, “but after that faith is come we are no longer under a schoolmaster”. In other words, we are no longer under the law, we are no longer in “law school”.

A schoolmaster here means a servant to care for children until they become a mature son.As Christians, we are no longer servants but sons.We are not under the law but under grace.You can’t be under both law and grace.He exhorts us to beware of leaven, “a little leaven leaves the whole lump” (Galatians 5:9).Beware of mixture that focuses on what you must do and not putting the focus on what Jesus has done.No more law school folks.School’s out!Enjoy your endless grace summer!

 

Bad News Sold as Good News

Bad News Good News (1).png

Matthew 6:15 “If you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins”

This is not good news. This is bad news that is intended to make us shake in our boots. It links God’s forgiveness to our own. It’s not grace, it is law. It’s something you must give to get. Why did the Lord preach law? Because some people will never value the gift of grace until the law has been allowed to do its condemning work. Some need to hear the bad news before they will appreciate the good news.

Romans 10:4, says “Now Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to all who trust in Him”. Maybe you’ve heard that God won’t forgive you if you have unforgiveness in your heart. Under the law that Jesus preached that was true. But the law keeping covenant was FULFILLED at the cross! In Acts 26:1, after the cross, He said forgiveness is a gift to be received! At the cross verbs became nouns! It is finished, you are forgiven. Now that’s the good news!

 

The Accepting Church

Accept One Another.png

Romans 15:7 NIV - “Accept one another, as Christ accepted you”.

Divine acceptance will change the world! But before it does, it must first change the church. The problem with a “mixed” grace message (mixing grace with the law or a works based message) is that it makes the children of God fearful of their Heavenly Father. It paints a frown on the face of love. Can you imagine God the Father frowning at Jesus? Of course not. Neither is He frowning at you.

In the old covenant they prayed for the day when the Lord would make His face shine upon them, be gracious to them, and give them peace. The awesome news is, we are living in that day, right now. He is looking you in the face and beaming with a galaxy sized smile. You are the apple of His eye. He rejoices over you with singing. When we get a hold of this, it will transform us into the “accepting church”.

Freedom is found in the Fathers acceptance, when you know that you are your Daddy’s delight. When you know that He loves you and accepts you, unconditionally. You are accepted in the Beloved. People who know that they are accepted, are more apt to accept others. Be free! “Accept one another, as Christ accepted you”.

 

Good Things Come to Those Who GO!

Fill Your Horn and Go (1).png

1 Samuel 16:1 – “Now the Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go…for I have provided...”

You’ve heard the phrase good things come to those who wait. I agree, but sometimes good things come to those who GO! In 1 Samuel 16, Samuel was mourning for Saul who he had anointed to be king. But God had made a change. We have trouble sometimes with change.

The Lord said “How long are you going to mourn?” Perhaps God is asking you the same thing, or maybe, “How long are you going to live in regret?” Or, “How long are you going to try to relive the past?” Before you have a chance to answer, He declares “Fill your horn with oil and go”. There’s your answer. There’s your mandate.

In the same breath, He says, “For I have provided”. Two thirds of GOD is GO. Good things are waiting for you as you go. Have you ever tried to pick up spilled milk? You can’t. Stop trying.

I believe this message is for many people who are stuck in the past, or even stuck in the present. He’s saying to you today…”How long are you going to live in the past when I’ve moved on? I’m sending you. It’s time to make a change. Get going! I have provided!” Take a step forward. It’s your time for new beginnings.

 

Staying at the Comfort Inn

Isaiah 40:1 Amplified Bible “Comfort, Comfort my people says the Lord”

Comfort, Comfort.png

On my way to Charis Bible College this past August, I drove a full day then stayed my first night at the Comfort Inn. I mean, it wasn’t a five star hotel but it had all the necessities - nice room, pool, workout gym, and a nice hot breakfast. These were certainly a “comfort” to me! I like that word, comfort. It means an alleviation of pain, distress, worry. In Genesis 6:8 it says that “Noah found grace”. The name Noah means “comfort, rest, quietness”.

Putting this all together in Isaiah 40:1, he says “Comfort, Comfort”. That’s twice the comfort for…who? You and me! He has an open invitation for us to stay in the “comfort inn”, a place to receive rest, food, and provision for your journey! Declare that over the situations you are facing today, “Comfort Comfort!” Over your family, your church, your place of business, and everywhere you go. He’s the God of all comfort who comforts us in all of our trials! He gives restful increase. Make your reservation! It’s free!

 

Come Away and Rest Awhile

92999341f2e12ce7df707fe34d47d4a1.jpg

Mark 6:31 “come away ......and rest awhile”

Burnout is something that all of us face in one form or another in life. Burnout can look like: 1) overwhelming tiredness over what needs to be done or what is looming ahead. 2) frustration at the constant needs, demands, and expectations of others. 3) lack of vision of what the future holds 4) depression, agitation, anger, stress, and anxiousness. 5) physical illness and lack of care for yourself, and 6) judgement and offense towards those you feel are demanding of your time, energy and efforts.

There are always things to do. There is always more that could be done. More that should be done. The question comes up, are these things we’ve laid on ourselves from the heart of God or our own devised plans or demands of others? Wayne Cordeiro, author of Leading on Empty, says that “people’s needs are great and their expectations are endless. You can’t base your life on the expectations of others”. He said, “It is good to wean ourselves off the need to be needed.”

In Mark 6 it says “come away...and rest awhile”. I like that because you need to actually get away from some things to truly rest. Remember, God doesn’t give you a vision for your life that will end in burnout. That will hurt or destroy relationships, or cause stress or illness. Our visions and lifestyle are to be birthed out of our relationship with the Father, therefore they are sustained by that same relationship. Even in your thoughts and your mind, it’s good to “come away...and rest awhile”. His grace is always available to keep you refreshed, renewed, and refilled! So, how about you? Whether it’s for a minute, a day, a week, or a month…when the activity of this world starts to crowd your mind and your life…stop…come away…breathe...rest awhile…then head back refreshed.

 

End Time Global Chilling

Offenses.png

Matthew 24:10-12 “Then many shall be offended, and shall betray one another, and many false prophets shall arise and deceive many…and the love of many shall wax cold”.

The greatest end time threat to our lives and to our society is not global warming, but global chilling. Let me explain. In Luke 17:1 Jesus said “it is impossible that no offenses should come”. What a statement. Every one of us will have the opportunity to be offended, be misunderstood, experience an injustice, and a heartache of some kind. However, it’s our choice how to respond when these things happen, because they will happen. Unfortunately, offense has become the “legal drug” of the church.

When we get offended, we get deceived, and then we begin to view everything through the prism of our pain. Notice the progression, first the offense, then the decision to be offended, then betrayal, hatred, false prophecy, and then finally our heart becomes cold... frigid…and global chilling sets in toward others…brrrrrrrrrrrr!

But, here’s the good news. We can be set free from offense. Psalm 119:165 says that people who love the Word of God have great peace, and nothing offends them. They don’t judge other people’s motives behind their actions. In Exodus 15, the people of Israel came to a body of water and it was bitter. Then God showed Moses a tree, and instructed him to throw it into the waters, and they became sweet. That’s an example of the cross of Calvary when applied to bitterness in our souls. Nothing so bad has happened to you that is greater than what Jesus has done for you at the cross. So when offenses come, and they will come, let all bitterness be turned into sweet waters that will produce healing for others. The change starts with you. Put a stop to global chilling!

 

Stressed Spelled Backwards

56683f3a84307655008b8975-750-563.jpg

1John 4:19 - ESV Translation - “We love because He first loved us”.

This morning I was in a beautiful town of Woodland Park, CO and I noticed a little donut shop with lines going out the door, onto their porch, and down their stairs. Can’t beat that for advertisement! I got in line to see what was so great about the place. When I finally got inside, I saw a sign that read “stressed spelled backwards is desserts”…LOL! I know some of you who would love that!

In the New Testament, 1 John 4:19, says, “We love because He first loved us”. In the Old Testament, Deut. 6:5 says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength”. That’s backwards. It’s impossible to love the Lord with all your heart, soul and strength. Utterly impossible. When we live backwards from the new covenant we get stressed. When we live under the old covenant, it’s all works. We are trying to get something through our own works that’s already ours through the finished work on the cross.

If I had a choice between being stressed and enjoying desserts, I choose desserts. They’re much more fun. God wants us to live the sweet life, the good life, the new covenant life. Like 1 John 4:19 says, it’s what He has done first that empowers you second. You decide, old covenant , performance, comparison, impossible standards, always falling short, looking at yourself…OR new covenant, all eyes on Jesus and His finished work! God always serves dessert first. Enjoy it. Guilt free!

 

Happy Tails, Happy Hearts

Happy Tails Happy Hearts.png

Numbers 6:25 “The Lord make His face to shine upon and enlighten you and be gracious (kind, merciful, and giving favor) to you”.

As I was driving recently from New Jersey to Colorado I saw a sign that said “Humane Society…Happy Tails, Happy Hearts”. Did you know that a dog wagging his tail serves the exact same function as a human smile, a greeting, or excited recognition? And what’s really cool is that for a dog to wag his tail, a person has to be in their presence. They don’t wag their tail when no one is around. This wagging of the tail means “a happy heart”. God created dogs this way!

God always looks at you with an approving look. He makes His face shine upon you, giving kindness, mercy, and favor! He is gracious to you. When He sees you or thinks about you, He overflows with intense love and joy. His greatest desires are to see you happy, joyful, and successful. God’s face is not frowning on you but shining with joy and elation over you, His beloved child. You, or nothing you do will ever change that about Him toward you. Simply smile back and receive it, soak it in!