Friday, November 4, 2011

Time out for Comic Relief!

It's been a while since I posted on this blog. I am in a time of my life when time management skills are needed more than ever before. I have started going to school to get my Master's Degree in Professional Counseling. I decided to change from my normal "serious" heart-issue posts to share some comic relief I had in the middle of an otherwise very stressful time of statistics homework.

Before I decided to get my Master's Degree, I found out I had to have statistics as a pre-requisite before I could start my degree. My daughter, Amy, took AP Statistics last year. She told me, "No problem, Mom! I'll help you!" Yeah, right! What she didn't take into consideration is that she is just as busy as I am, so to find 15 minutes of her time is quite difficult. So, I've been doing most of this stuff long hand...just taking formulas the book teaches and plugging in numbers. I have no earthly idea what the formulas really mean or how they came about coming up with these crazy formulas, but give me a formula, and off we go!

I got a graphing calculator from a friend, but Amy couldn't help me with it, because it's a Canon, and she learned on a Texas Instrument from school (of which we do not own, because we didn't think we had $100, so she used one from I know it is definitely worth $100!) Finally, I got another friend to loan me a TI calculator thinking I could get Amy for at least some time to help.

A couple of nights ago I was at the frustration threshold when the formula I was using was for calculating the correlation coefficient (r) they come up with r for that, I have no idea! These problems have 2 sets of numbers: the x column and the y column; n = the number of pairs of numbers in the problem. The formula that I had to do long hand is...are you ready for this? r = n times the sum of x times y minus the sum of x times the sum of y divided by the square root of n times the sum of x squared minus the sum of x squared (yes, that's different! the sum of x2 - the sum of x squared) times the square root of n times the sum of y2 minus the sum of y squared. I said, "You have GOT to be KIDDING ME!!!"

I think Amy heard my moaning and groaning so much that she had pity on me and came to help me learn how to do that on the graphing calculator! YAY!! I can't even begin to tell you how complicated the calculator is, but Amy had me take notes on what to do. She said, "Press On; press 2nd; press 0; scroll down to diagnosticON; press that's just for if something goes wrong!" At that point, I busted out laughing!!!!!! I was laughing so hard, tears were streaming down my face. How was I supposed to know if something went wrong? To me it was all wrong!

After I got a hold of my self, I let her continue...long story short, it worked! Now it takes about 2 minutes to enter all the information and find out the r (the correlation coefficient) when it was taking me FOREVER before, and the number was so big on the y column, the number didn't fit in the calculator anymore! So, I said, "OK, now, let me try a problem by myself before you leave so I can see if I can do this." I did it and plugged my answer into the online homework problem and checked it....on popped a message that said "FANTASTIC!" I belted out a holler, "HUHHHH!" Amy said, "Mom, you just woke up the house!" About that time, Bill came out of the bedroom half asleep trying to rescue whomever was being attacked! He said, "WHAT? WHAT HAPPENED??" Of course, Amy and I busted out laughing again, and I had to apologize to him. He was NOT happy!


Friday, September 23, 2011

Combatting Stress

I am now beginning my journey to get my Master's Degree in Psychology from a Christian perspective at Liberty University online and I already love it! I started taking my pre-requisite courses this fall to prepare me to start the Master's program in January. Let me give you a little tid-bit in layman's terms I learned in PSYC 101 this week.

Stressors are external events or situations in your life that cause stress. Strain is the negative reaction you have as a result of stressors in your life. Strain includes stress-induced sickness: physically, mentally, and emotionally. If the resources you have to combat stress are greater than the stressors in your life, you can be at peace even if someone else freaks out at the same level of stress. On the other hand, if your resourses to combat stress are less than the stressors, you may have great strain while someone else under the same circumstances is calm.

What are those resources we have to combat stress? There are many, including: positive outlook, friends and family, sleep and times of rest, exercise, proper nutrition, experience. The best resource, however, is God Himself! As Christians, we sometimes forget that the One Who created us is all we need to combat the opposition we face in life. He actually dwells in us! Wow! The stressful situations we face never take Him by surprise. He is there to protect us and give us wisdom and insight that brings perfect peace. It is true! I have experienced it. Have I been stressed? Hah! Of course! But that is my reminder to get my eyes off my stressors and on to my Resource! What is so great is that even when I am bombarded with more stressors, I can have peace at the same time!
You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.
Trust in the LORD forever,
For in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.
(Is. 26:3-3, NKJV)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

In Him We Live!

"In Him we live and move and have our being." Acts 17:28
That verse has been ringing in my spirit lately. As I was meditating on it, I sensed the Lord speaking to my spirit, "The opposite is also true. In you I live and move and have my being if you let me!" Wow! That's the desire of my heart! I want God Himself to operate His love through me to others.If you read Acts 17, you will find that Paul said that to the people in Athens after he observed how religious they were with all their idols and even an altar that had an inscription, "TO THE UNKNOWN GOD." Let's take a closer look at what he said to them about that: Acts 17:23-31 (NKJV)
"Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: 24 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ 29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. 30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
Some of them "got it"; others still didn't. My spirit leaps within me as I read Paul's words, because I KNOW that God! God in His very nature means that we cannot prove His existence, but He sure proves Himself to those who truly seek Him; I know, because He continues to prove Himself to me everyday! His ways are so past our ways; His thoughts are so higher than our thoughts. That's what makes Him God! That's why you cannot "prove" Him, but He can make Himself known to you.

Thinking about what God spoke to my spirit about Him living, moving and having His being in me, I set out to find the verse that says that. I found it in John 14 when Jesus was talking to His disciples. In verse 23, He said, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them." So I am one of those temples not made with hands that Paul talked about in the earlier mentioned passage! Oh that I would let that happen every day! I desire for God Himself to guide and direct me as to...
*what to say
*how to respond rather than react
*when and what to pray
*when and how much to give
*what and how much to eat
*how to not take others' actions stemming from their own issues personally
*trading my perspective for His
*letting go of my expectations on others they cannot meet, therefore freeing me of hurts from unmet expectations
*letting the fruit of the Holy Spirit operate in and through me
*how to show His unconditional love
*letting God Himself illuminate His Word to me
*letting God Himself give me the desires He wants me to have and letting Him fulfill those in His timing

WOW! Is it possible? YES! With GOD, all things are possible! What a joy when I do allow Him to do all that through me! On the other hand, what stress and frustration when I don't let Him! As I have said many times, "I can't do squat without Him!" Yes, He loves me unconditionally even then, but the stress that comes when I try to "do life" on my own just reminds me to get back on track and let God be God in and through me! What peace! Lord, let it be, even today!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Out of Africa...but Africa is Now in Me!

Too much time has passed since I last posted on this blog six weeks ago. I must say that during that time I was privileged to have experienced a trip that changed my life and deepened my walk with God unlike any other. My missionary brother, Donovan Barron, was right when he told my daughter, Amber, and me that this would be an experience of a life time. So this post will be long enough to make up for all the weeks I missed!

My great friend, Carol Winkles, boarded a plane with Amber and me on Aug. 10 as we headed to Kenya for what proved to be a life-changing experience that we will never forget. We first stopped in Amsterdam for a layover where I was praying that God would show me where to plant the 4 Spiritual Laws tract written in English and Dutch. Everyone needs the peace and joy I have found in Jesus, but not everyone is ready or open to that. I did not want to just give it to anyone if they were not being stirred by the Holy Spirit. We met a young man on the plane whose family is from Holland; he was en route to start college there. As we were waiting to exit the aircraft, I gave him one and said, “Here’s a little gift for you.” He read the title, smiled and thanked me. He continued to read it. I said, “You can share that with your family here, too.” He thanked me again and said, “I think I will.” Praise God for little opportunities to plant seeds in Europe!

On to Nairobi. We stayed the first night at the Methodist Guest House, where we had our last hot shower of the whole trip! The next morning Bishop Shadrach Oloo, pastor of Agape Church in Nakuru, drove us and our host pastor, Zachariah Shahasi of Living Way Foursquare Church on our 2 hour journey to Nakuru. Since we had arrived in the dark the night before, this was our first time to see the sights of Kenya and start taking in the atmosphere of the culture. Wow! Poverty was to a new level. In America, there are some areas where there are slums, but for the most part you don’t see poverty. In Kenya, it is the opposite. Road conditions were sometimes so treacherous with the percentage of pot holes being 80-90% of the road. So many people walked leaving paths next to the road everywhere I looked.

We stopped at the Living Way orphanage on the way to Nakuru where they do not have electricity or running water. They gave us a “presentation” when we got there and sang glorious songs praising Jesus. We gave them a little lesson about God not leaving us and taught them a song. Then we got out a little 7” DVD player and showed the Jesus Film for children. They were glued to the screen. We passed out sock puppets (made by the Girls Ministry of the AG in Georgia) filled with goodies like stockings at Christmas. They loved it. Thus began my change of heart already. Never again will I take a toilet (rather than an outhouse with a hole in the ground) or a hot shower for granted!

We got to Nakuru at Pastor Zachariah’s house where his niece and friend were waiting to serve us. (They cooked for us every evening. I ended up loving most Kenyan food.) His house was probably considered upper class compared to the housing we saw on our journey. However, even then, water only runs 3 or 4 days a week. We often had to manually pour water in the toilet to flush it. It was either that or a trip to the outhouse to use a hole in the ground. To bathe, we boiled water and added some cold water in a pitcher to pour over our heads.

Saturday we went to minister at a breakfast for area pastor’s wives and women in the ministry. What a blessing to enter the room ahead of time where about a dozen of them were already worshiping and crying out to God to touch the meeting! We sensed God’s presence strongly. Originally I was supposed to speak there, but God gave Carol a message weeks earlier, so I told her to speak and that I would greet them. Amber danced to the Vicki Yohe song, “Your Presence Amazes Me!”; appropriate indeed! I prayed about what verse in the Bible to greet them with. It ended up that Carol had already gotten a prophetic word from God that she wrote down ahead of time; she used it to end her message. It started with the exact verse I used to greet the ladies! What are the odds? With God there are no coincidences! :) We had sweet prayer time with the ladies. We were able to bless the ladies with jewelry donated by ladies in America. We had just the right amount with enough left over to give to ladies who would host us for the duration of our trip...the exact amount in fact! We were also able to bless them with reading glasses that someone donated with eye charts to see what strength they needed. They were thrilled that they could now read and study their Bibles! The pastor’s wife who was the leader of the group told us afterward that 2 ladies shared with her that they had decided to quit the ministry, but because they attended the breakfast, they changed their minds!

Sunday was a great day of ministry as I was assigned to go to a different church than originally planned. Amber and I went to Agape Church as a “thank you” to Pastor Oloo for driving us. Carol ended up speaking at the Living Way church where I was scheduled to speak. God was definitely making the plans as the Agape church was a bit more “western” in worship with a combination of African, Swahili songs along with Hillsong-type English worship. Their congregation was just the right place for Amber to dance to Nicole C. Mullens’ “My Redeemer Lives!” They loved it and even had her dance it a 2nd time after I preached. I was totally amazed at my God as I listened to the lyrics of each worship song and excitedly told the pastor, “That song goes exactly with my message!” At the end of the service, I was honored to be able to pray for people in a prayer line. I saw broken hearts mended (that was the theme of my message), people baptized gloriously in the Holy Spirit, people giving forgiveness as they released those who offended them, and people receiving forgiveness from God. Awesome time! After the service, they took us in a room and served us a delicious meal of goat stew and rice followed by a serving of Kenyan tea. At the same time, Carol preached a message at the other church about facing your giants where 3 people gave their hearts to God and the altar was full of others giving their giants to God.

After our goat stew meal, there was no time to rest and prepare for the Sunday night service at Living Way where I found out the night before that I was preaching for. On the way to Living Way, I thought, “I’ll just preach what I did this morning.” I heard the Lord tell me in my spirit, “No. That was for Agape Church not Living Way.” I then was going through a file I grabbed with past sermons that I brought just in case I needed them. When we got there, I still was not sure which one I was going to deliver. Worship was already going strong in the big tent church with very traditional African worship--no English. God knew Amber’s song would not have fit in there. I finally grabbed the message I felt God wanted me to deliver, and I watched as Carol smiled real big many times and shook her head. Come to find out, I did not know it at the time, because I had not read her message ahead of time, but I ended up preaching about half of her message she gave that morning to the same congregation! Go God! :) Can you see already why this trip changed our lives? This was only day 3! We had 5 more incredible days ahead!

Monday was a day of rest for Amber and me, but Carol went with a pastor and his wife to do outreach in the slums of Nakuru. This pastor’s family live in and have a church right in the middle of the slums. She took the 4 Spiritual Laws tracks in English/Swahili and saw God move in mighty ways in people to whom they were able to minister. Many gave their lives to Christ. One lady that was addicted to alcohol was changed and did not want Carol to leave. Carol got an email since coming home from the pastor saying that many of the people they ministered to came to church on Sunday. Only God can truly transform a life and break strongholds of addictions! Christ truly transforms lives!

We were blessed on Tuesday to go on a Safari. Even then, we saw God orchestrating it. We thought we were just going to have a driver and us, but the pastor that took Carol to the slums along with another friend ended up going with us. It was a good thing, because our safari van got stuck in the mud, and the 2 guys who originally weren’t supposed to be with us got out and pushed it out. I could just imagine the 3 of us getting out with all the wild animals pushing a van out of the mud! Afterward, we treated the men to an all-you-can-eat buffet at a local hotel for just a little over $5 a person. While we were eating, Pastor Zachariah called and said, “Tammy, you have to leave now and go to this church where the pastor wants you to pray for his church.”

I said, “Can we go later this afternoon?”

“Oh no,” he responded, “He has been calling me for the last 2 hours. His church is all there waiting for you to give them a message. They have cooked a meal for you!”

“Are you serious??” I exclaimed, “We just ate a buffet! Can we go to your house first and change into dresses?” (I knew that in their culture, women were looked down on if they wore pants in church, especially if they were to minister!)

He said, “No, we don’t have time! I’ll explain to them that you just came from a Safari.”

We were then taken to a village called Pipe Line to a little church called Jesus Manifestation Foursquare Gospel Church. When we got out of the van, we were greeted by all these little kids who dressed up for our visit. We went into the little metal building church that held about 30 people where African worship was already going strong! They escorted us to the chairs of honor in the front. I didn’t even have my Bible. Carol got hers out of her back pack and passed it down to me. I prayed, “Wow, God! What message do you want me to tell these people?” He gave it to me on the spot! Titus 2:11-13. I said, “The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all people. (pause for interpreter) It has appeared to us in America (pause); it has appeared to you in Kenya (pause) and that same grace has brought us together.” They then cheered! I kept going with the passage that talks about eagerly awaiting the blessed hope of the return of Christ. I told them I was amazed at how eagerly they were awaiting us, and how we need to all the more be eagerly awaiting Jesus’ return. I took them to the end of Revelation where Jesus promises to come one day and where it says “The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come quickly, Lord Jesus!’ ” Carol then took the mike and exhorted them with a great message about God looking at their heart and how special they were. They had all the people come down to the front for us to pray for and then they took us outside for a special ceremony where they planted a tree in honor of their guests coming! WOW! I kept thinking, “What just happened?!” All that was topped with another meal that we had to eat so we wouldn’t offend them. God gave us grace to be able to fit in more chicken and rice!

The next day we loaded an African shuttle full of fellow believers and headed 7 hours away to Migori where we visited another orphanage and Carol and I both spoke for the National Foursquare Gospel Convention. The shuttle had seats that just covered our bottoms and half our thighs so more seats could be added. It was a tight fit, but full of joy as the passengers sang worship songs most of the way. We were privileged to stay with a lady named Pastor Ann on her plantation. We called her Aunt Jemima. We did not have electricity or running water. We had a kerosine lamp like the 1800’s. The hospitality was incredible. She and the 3 ladies who helped serve were so grateful to get the last 4 gifts of jewelry. They wore them with pride!

The conference was great. I think I had more fun preaching there than ever! I greeted them and told them that 25 years ago I married into a Foursquare Gospel family; that my father-in-law was a retired Foursquare pastor and my brother-in-law is currently a Foursquare pastor. Before I got up to speak, Bill had just texted me and told me he was fasting and praying for me and the conference, so I was able to then say, “My husband is not a pastor, but he is a mighty man of God, and he is fasting and praying for me and for this conference.” I think that helped them to receive from me more. God truly spoke through me as I encouraged pastors to keep going and encouraged the body that they, too, were ministers of the Gospel. Carol also did a great job the next morning. Someone asked her if she could come back and do workshops for the pastors in the future. I laughed as I remembered that when we were planning the trip back home she said she did not preach. She only ministered to women and outreach on the streets. I knew better. I told her she better be ready! As long as she has the approval of her husband and the people want her (so she doesn’t “usurp authority”), she has an open door to speak. I saw God’s call on her to speak years ago, and now she’s preaching in Africa!

Again, we were able to bless the pastors and others there with reading glasses and they were grateful. We were probably more touched than they were. There are even more details of the trip that I did not include. Besides times of ministry, we also had great times of laughter like no other trip. It was like the joy of the Lord was our strength the whole time. We were kept safe and healthy.

On the way home, we stopped in Rome, where I again prayed to God to let me know who to give the 4 Spiritual Laws in English/Italian. I gave it to one cashier at gift shop and she thanked me. She then told her fellow cashier, “Look what she gave me!” I told her, “You can have one, too.” They both seemed interested and happy to get it. At one point I had one more to give. I was going to give it to another cashier at another shop, but felt in my spirit that he was not ready for it. Amber told me she was thinking the same thing. Right before we boarded our flight home, we met this elderly lady in the bathroom. She carried a long conversation with me in Italian that I did not know what she was saying. I gave her the tract and told her it was for her. A lady in line interpreted for me. The older lady read the title out loud and exclaimed, “Grazie!” with a huge grin. Again, thank God for the opportunity to plant a few seeds in Europe!

What an experience! I am grateful to our families for letting us take 10 days away to go on this incredible journey. I will never be the same! Thank you, God for new perspectives that will affect my ministry forever! I was in a dry time in my spiritual walk before the trip. Now it’s like I’m swimming in the ocean! Lord, help me to remember that and hang on to it for the dry times that will come in the future.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Spiritual Warfare Prayer

I posted this "Spiritual Warfare Prayer" from my book Loving God with All Five Senses a couple of years ago. It has been requested that I post it again. Click here to purchase the entire book in Kindle format for only $2.99. To get a hard copy, go to my website or amazon. (Legacy Ministries gets more funding if you get it through Legacy instead of amazon.) The book is good for individual or group Bible study.

"Thank you, Lord, for placing the Helmet of Salvation on my head. It will protect me against any thought-bomb the enemy tries to place in my mind. I will not take them on as my thoughts in the Name of Jesus! I place my thoughts in Your hands. Please forgive me for the thoughts I hold on to that are not of you. I ask you to change my mind set to be more like the mind of Christ. Thank you for transforming me by the renewing of my mind.

Thank you, Lord, for placing the Breastplate of Righteousness on me. It will protect my heart. Lord, I place all my emotions in Your hands. Help me to remember that You are with me regardless if I “feel” it or not. Please forgive me when I fear. Thank you that though my righteousness is as filthy rags, yet You have clothed me with Your righteousness because of what You did at Calvary!

Thank you, Lord, for placing the Belt of Truth on my waist. Please reveal any hindrance or lie I have been holding onto that would keep me from trusting You and replace it with Your Truth, oh Lord! Help me to let go of my perspective of the Truth and seek Your perspective knowing that Your Truth will set me free! Help me also to have a deaf ear to the lies of Satan and give me ears to hear what the Spirit says.

Thank you, Lord, that my feet are shod with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace. I am being prepared for the calling of God on my life to take the Gospel of Peace to others. Help me to remember that no matter what I go through, You will use the circumstances in my life, both good and bad, to prepare me for the destiny You have chosen for me. Thus I can have peace in the midst of the storm. Thank you that every step I take will be in Peace and I can take that Peace to people wherever I go!

Thank you, Lord, for putting within my hand the Shield of Faith, whereby I can quench every fiery dart of the wicked one. Help me to remember that Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen and that without Faith it is impossible to please You. Forgive me when I have gone forward in my own strength and abilities instead of totally relying on You. Help me to dwell in the Secret Place of the Most High where I will be protected from any onslaught of the enemy.

Thank You, Lord, for giving me the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God—the only offensive weapon. All the other armor You give me is for protection, and I thank You for just how protected I really am! This weapon is the only thing I need to combat the enemy. It is really an arsenal of many weapons that are not carnal, but are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. Forgive me when I fail to read and study Your Word when You have prompted me to do so. I choose to read Your Word, meditate on Your Word, memorize Your Word and use Your Word against the enemy in due time. Help me to not fret over what I will say, but to trust Your Spirit to give me just the right Word in the very hour I need it. I do not want to “debate” Your Word thereby casting pearls before swine, but I will speak Your Word to those who are hungry for it as well as proclaim to the enemy “It is Written!” Remind me also, that my enemy is not flesh and blood—it is not any person, including myself—but it is Satan and all the principalities with him. Therefore, I pray that You would remind me to not let corrupt communication proceed out of my mouth but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

And having done all, I will stand! Thank You that the battle is not mine, but it is Yours! Thank You for the victory in Christ Jesus who came to destroy the works of the enemy! In reality, the enemy has already been crushed under Your feet by your death and resurrection. He is therefore under my feet as I trust in You and let You dwell in me! I am more than a conqueror through You who love me with a perfect love that casts out all fear! And for that I will ever be grateful!"

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

"A Prayer for Our Nation" by Judy Roberts

This prayer was written and prayed at my church Sunday by a dear friend of mine, Judy Roberts. I was so touched by it, I asked her permission to publish it on my blog. Thank you, Judy for being so led of the Holy Spirit to write this prayer for our nation as we have just celebrated Independence Day all across the USA.

We thank You, Heavenly Father, for the promises You have given in Your Word. You promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that if Your people, who are called by Your name, will humble themselves and pray and seek Your face and turn from their evil ways, then You will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

We give thanksgiving that all Your promises are, “Yes” in Christ Jesus and in Him, are “Amen!” through us to Your glory. May Your eyes be upon us today and Your ears attentive to our prayers, O Lord, God, and Creator of all that is: seen and unseen.

On this Independence Day weekend, we are thankful for freedom! We celebrate the freedom You have granted us from oppression. We celebrate and give thanksgiving for the freedom to worship You throughout this nation. We declare there is no freedom apart from You. We give thanksgiving for patriots who prayed, fought, and fell that we might be free. We give thanksgiving for founders and early leaders, who put their reliance and resolve on You. We give thanksgiving for the vast resources You have placed in our land. We give thanksgiving for the armed forces throughout the years, who have served and died for our freedom. We thank You, that in your great mercy, we have been protected from attempted terror attacks. We acknowledge it is only by Your hand this evil was prevented.

You have been immeasurably good and merciful to us ~ far beyond what we deserve ~ and so we humble ourselves before your throne this morning in repentance.

In Proverbs 1: 32 & 33, You have said, “For the waywardness of the simple will kill them and the complacency of the fools will destroy them, but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease without fear of harm."

In Proverbs 1:22 & 23, You have said, “How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you.”

We, as a nation, have misused our freedoms and celebrated independence from You and Your ways. We repent and ask Your forgiveness that You are not recognized as the source of all wisdom, provision, and freedom.
*We repent for our waywardness and complacency.
*We repent for our mockery and foolishness.
*We repent for being poor steward and for the misuse of your blessings and resources.
*We repent for worry and fear over bad news; for not trusting You to meet our needs.
*We repent that we celebrate that which is anathema to your Word and in your sight ~ that sin is celebrated; that holiness is despised.
*We repent for compromise!

Forgive us for allowing our culture to be ravished by the enemy and all that is unholy in Your sight. *We repent for our appetites; that we partake of entertainment and media that grieves your Holy Spirit.
*We repent that we have forgotten how to blush.
*We repent for not raising our children to fear You, to be discerning, for exposing them to unholy influences.
*We repent for disparaging marriage and for approving relationships that do not honor You.
*We repent for being a nation of liars; that the truth is not recognized or revered.
*We repent that we refrain from speaking truth about that which is sinful and about that which exalts false gods.
*We repent that we have not prayed before we vote.
*We repent that we have not humbled ourselves to pray for our nation and its leaders.
*We repent that we cannot be distinguished from the world by our words, actions, relationships, and appetites.
*We repent that we do not acknowledge You in all our ways, our decisions as a nation and as individuals.
*We repent that in our nation, we have devalued life. You are the author of life. Forgive us for killing Your children.

Forgive us for every thing, for every way, for every law, for every attitude, for every thought that does not honor You!

We are comforted by your promise in 1 John 1:9 that tells us if we confess our sins before You; You are faithful to forgive our sins and restore us to all righteousness. We require Your righteousness! We require Your mercy! And we seek Your mercy for the United States of America and for its citizens. We seek mercy for Your church. You alone are our substance, our hope, our forgiveness, and our freedom. You have promised to bless any nation that follows after You. We seek to be blessed!

Infuse our nation and it’s leaders with a holy fear of You, our Creator, our Source, our Savior. May our leaders, our president, congress, judiciary, state and local governments and citizens know the fear of their Maker. Cause our president, legislators, judiciary, to be stalwart defenders of our Constitution, which we believe was and is a gift from You for our nation. We pray You send a great awakening upon this nation, upon the leaders of government, religion, entertainment, education, commerce, and into every home. Give us God-fearing leaders in every realm of society, who seek Your counsel and forgiveness. Turn our hearts and minds to You. Cause us to know You and to follow Your ways; to speak truth and honor You.

Lord, You who gave us patriots who prayed, fought, who fell; founders and early leaders who put their reliance and resolve on You alone. Help us as a nation, as a people, to return to those roots You have blessed and will bless that we will be a blessed nation again. May You be celebrated and recognized as the source of all wisdom, all truth and of every freedom.

May we, as a nation, be a blessing to Israel, for your Word says that You will bless those who bless your chosen people. We pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

May morality be celebrated once again and that which celebrates immorality go out of business. May we have no need to pass laws to make abortion illegal, but may there be none seeking abortions. May there be no need to make pornography illegal, but may it die because of a lack of interest and awareness that it is shameful. May there be no need for lies, because our hearts are filled with Your truth that brings freedom, joy, and peace.

Cause us to be exceedingly thankful for the blessings You have poured out upon us that we become good stewards of them unto You. Awake us as a nation and as individuals! May Your Kingdom come in America! May Your will be done in America! And, above all, may Your people live first as citizens of your Kingdom ~ that You receive glory and honor. For there is nothing above You, our God and our King!

In the mighty name of Jesus ~ the only Way, the only Truth, the only Freedom,

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Don't Let Your Jokes Become Yokes

It is true that laughter is the best medicine, but what about times when jokes bring about laughter at someone else’s expense? Have you ever heard someone cut another person down with a “joke” and then proclaim, “JUST KIDDING!”? More than likely, the jokester was really not kidding. He was probably trying to get across his message of offense. He may not even realize that what was in his heart of offense came out like arrows to the victim causing a yoke of bondage (not just for the victim of the joke, but more for the one who told the joke). Proverbs 26:18-19 (NLT) - “Just as damaging as a madman shooting a deadly weapon is someone who lies to a friend and then says, “I was only joking.”

Another way of letting jokes become yokes of bondage is the use of sarcasm. The definition of the word “sarcasm” is “the use of irony to mock or convey contempt: his voice, hardened by sarcasm, could not hide his resentment.” The Greek word for “sarcasm” is “sarkazein” and it means to “tear flesh.” OUCH! We need to check ourselves before we open our mouths to use sarcasm. Do we really want to tear someone’s flesh? In the Hebrew culture of the Bible times, they often used word pictures to convey deeper meanings of words. The word picture for bitter words people say is arrows. Psalm 64:2-3 shows this truth: (NLT) “Hide me from the plots of this evil mob, from this gang of wrongdoers. They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim their bitter words like arrows.”

God is not pleased with this kind of “joking.” In fact, He lists that in the midst of a list of sins to avoid in Ephesians 5:3-4 (NLT): “Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes--these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.” Going on to verses 7-8: “Don’t participate in the thins these people do. For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!”

If you have a tendency to offer “coarse jokes” at other people’s expense, pray about it. Ask God to show you the deeper wounds in your own heart that would cause you to lash out in sarcasm. Pray for God to reveal His perspective about what is in your heart and why the other person does things that grate on your nerves. He will show you things about yourself and about the other person that will help you to show kindness instead of shooting arrows with your words.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Forgiving God

In the last post I talked about separating the actions someone does from him as a person. That will lead the way to "let him off the hook" so you can forgive him of the things he has done against you or the things he did not do that you feel he should have done. Let's take this one step further. What if we did that for God?

Too many Christians are so consumed with focusing on what God DOES for them that they forget to worship Him for who He IS. Maybe it is a time for a "self check" on this. When is the last time you got alone with God WITHOUT a prayer request list and just enjoyed His presence? That is probably a foreign concept to most people, but it is a very important question to pose. Think about any person you love. The closer the relationship, the more the desire to just be with him/her. You really don't need to be entertained; you just want to be with the person. Couples who have been married for years and have a close relationship can simply be together holding hands and not even have to talk to enjoy one another. God is not interested as much in what you can DO for Him as much as He in in just being with you. You reach a deeper level of intimacy with Him when you are more interested in being with Him than you are in what He can DO for you.

Yes, God wants to bless us. In fact, the Bible says that "it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom." (Luke 12:32 KJV) However, what happens when we don't get our prayers answered the way we think they should be answered? What happens if we don't get the job we thought we should have? What if we don't get healed the way we thought it should happen? What if we don't see relationships restored when we think they should? If we don't separate what God does or does not do from Him, we will blame Him and get angry with Him. We get so focused on our situations and "needs" that we forget He sees the bigger picture and knows what is best. We forget that ultimately He has the last word and "He will cause all things to work together for those who love Him and who are called according to His purposes." (Romans 8:28)

We do praise God for what He does for us, but we worship Him for who He is. Don't get stuck in the outer courts just focusing on His deeds. Go on in to the Holy of Holies and worship God for who He is. You will then get all of who He is that includes what He does! Then when you receive His blessings, you will also know His heart. You will start to see the bigger picture and understand why God does or doesn't do things in our ways or timing. You will be like Moses instead of the Children of Israel. The Children of Israel knew God's deeds, but Moses knew His ways. (See Psalm 103:7)

I pray for God's wisdom on how to communicate this truth. I see many people who need to forgive God before they can go on the forgiveness journey and forgive others. WHAT? Forgive God? He hasn't sinned! That's right, but He has allowed things to wound us. It's when we can separate the things God does or does not do from Him that we can release God from the offenses we hold against Him and be free indeed from a root of bitterness that we may not even realize we had. We will then start seeing why He allows hard times and begin to actually thank Him for those trials that burn out all the "dross" of self-centeredness and draw us closer to Him.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Separation in a Positive Light

Most of the time when we think of "separation," it is in a negative way. Division is often an occurrence that includes offense. Oh the other hand, there are times when separation is a good thing. One of those times is what I learned from Bruce and Toni Hebel in their new book Forgiving Forward. They teach that in order to forgive someone, you first have to separate his actions from him as a person.

That's what we ask God to do for us when we pray the Lord's prayer. "Forgive us our debts." When we learn to separate the person from his actions, we learn how to love the sinner and hate the sin. We need to remember that "we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." (Eph. 6:12 NKJV) The person that did an action (or lack of action) that offended us is merely a person. The source of the offense is truly the enemy of our souls, the devil and the demonic angels that follow him. That's not to say that we don't have responsibility when we commit a sin, but we are dealt with by God. We cannot truly deal with people who hurt us. We have to release them to God; He's the only One who can truly deal with them.

This act of separating the person from his actions not only helps us to forgive him from his negative actions, it will also help us to not put someone up on a pedestal when he does positive actions. Just as we remember that the negative actions someone does toward us comes from the true enemy, we also need to remember that the good actions someone does to us come from the Lover of our souls, God Almighty. If I do great deeds to help someone, I want that to point them to God, not me.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Wait on God and be Renewed!

Isaiah 40:28 (NKJV) Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the LORD,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
31 But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

When we go through "stuff," we often just plain get tired! We tend to get so wrapped up in what is going on around us with the hustle and bustle of everyday life that we forget the source of true and lasting strength. I often ask people who come to me and empty out all their woes, "Where is God in the equation?" I want to ask them the questions found in verse 28 in the passage above.

Nothing takes God by surprise! He is there to give you strength. It is the answer to weariness. To whom does He promise to give the strength? "Those who wait on the LORD." Some people don't want to take the time to do that.

The original Hebrew word for "wait" is "qavah." It means "to wait, look for, hope, expect." According to, this Hebrew word is an "active participle." Going on to tell about that, it states, "The participle represents an action or condition in its unbroken continuity, and corresponds to the English verb, 'to be' with the present participle. It may be used of present, past or future time." Unbroken continuity...the more you wait on God, the more your strength will be renewed.

Notice how it says that "it may be used of present, past or future time." If trusting in God becomes your lifestyle, you will live with renewed strength! Think about it...if you can think back and remember that you relied on God in the past and that He brought peace and joy even in the midst of trials, it helps you to rely on Him presently. It also helps you to plan on continuing to rely on Him in the future. That, my friend, is where fear and worry are snuffed out! Oh, yes, it's easy to get your focus off of God and lose your peace for a time, but God is so faithful! He is right there where you left Him ready to get you back on track when you turn your focus back to Him.
You will keep [him] in perfect peace, [Whose] mind [is] stayed [on You], Because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)
How do you do that? Spend time with God! Try waking up earlier in the day, taking a break in the middle of the day, or staying up a little later before bed and just spend time with Him...not just with a prayer request list, but just because you want to be with Him. Start thanking Him for His faithfulness. Ask Him what He wants you to do. He may put it on your heart to read and meditate on a passage of scripture. He may want you to journal. He may want you to pray specifically for a situation. He may want you to listen to praise music. Just be led of the Spirit and enjoy experiencing Him! You will start to find that you will know when to say "no" to obligations He does not intend for you to do, and you will have strength to do the things He has planned for you to do. Deep breath! Be refreshed and renewed!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Call to Anguish

I now have had at least 4 friends post this video with a clip from a message delivered by David Wilkerson. I must say, it has totally stirred me. I have been experiencing some of what he is talking about lately: anguish in intercession. When I listened to it, it dawned on me that that is exactly what I was experiencing.

I wrestled with God on the calling on my life. I wanted to go to the lost, but He wants me to minister to the Church. People cannot grasp that concept: a ministry to equip the believers. (You see, when that happens, believers can more effectively go out and take the Good News to people who don't know.) I don't have pictures of starving children to show people to get funding. My message seems to not pull anyone's heart strings to help us like some foreign missionaries. (Although, these days, foreign missionaries are suffering from lack of funding from the sad!) How many times have I almost thrown in the towel? But I can't! When I think that way, God sends someone to give an encouraging word, give a sacrificial offering, or be set free in an Inner Healing Prayer Session. Then I know it's worth it all to keep going! This time, God used someone to post a video on facebook to remind me to keep going. WOW! After watching it, I was stirred to get alone with God and pour out my soul in anguish about the Church.

Rise up, Body of Christ! The enemy wants to distract you from what is important; he wants to make you lethargic; he wants to silence you; he wants to drain you of any strength physically or emotionally; he wants to give you so many things to do that you will not have time to pray or read the Word; he wants to keep you poor so you won't have any money to give, or rich and not caring to give. When we see his tactics, we will rise up and be stronger in Christ because of all that that has been thrown at us.

I thank God for David Wilkerson. For those of you who did not know, he died this past Wednesday in a car wreck. He has completed what God called him to do here on earth and is now enjoying the reward of Heaven. Now, it is up to us to carry the torch...will you?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Confident Compassion

I woke up early this morning with the title of this blog ringing through my spirit. Think about it...confident compassion. What does that mean to you? If we have confident compassion, we will stand firm in the faith, yet not be judgmental toward others.

Some of us need more of the confidence. Others need more compassion. All of us need both the way God views each one, not the way man does.

If we have confidence in our faith, we will not waiver. We will not question our salvation after we already have accepted Christ's sacrifice that He made 2000+ years ago so that we could have LIFE in Heaven for eternity and not an eternity in hell! (Yes, there is a hell, or there would not be a need for Jesus' sacrifice on the cross.) We will not stray from the truths of the Word of God. God warned us that more and more false teachings would arise. Confidence in His Truth will keep us from falling prey to those "itching ears" teachings.

Jesus also told us that as long as we are on this earth, we WILL have trials and suffering...especially as we see the Day of His return approaching. I don't know about you, but I sense trials increasing. We have to have God's confidence to stand firm through them all. I, myself, have been experiencing an intense trial in the last few days and now weeks. I can't explain it, but it has been through this trial that I have had a renewed confidence in God carrying me through. I have been emptied of any confidence in my self and filled with confidence that He is my strength. Praise God for the deeper level of intimacy with God that I have experienced while I lay prostrate, humbly at His feet. It was then that all anxiety melted into assurance that HE KNOWS what I am facing and HE WILL CARRY ME THROUGH! I'm CONFIDENT that His character will be built in me to a new level.

Lest we forget what we are celebrating on this Good Friday, may I remind you that Jesus' sacrifice on the cross is the ULTIMATE act of COMPASSION! Most people know, and can even quote, John 3:16. "For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son; that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but will have everlasting life." But, do you know the next verse? "For God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." We need to remember that. All of us have sinned, yet God's grace reached down and rescued us--that is, if we let Him.

The more people come to me for Inner Healing Prayer, the more compassion God grows on the inside of me. He shows the root problem of why they sin. He then shows them truths that totally transform them and allow the to be free from the chains that held them captive. Before you start judging someone sitting in the pew next to you at church, know that you have NO IDEA where they came from or the situation they currently face.

Compassion does not mean we do not call sin sin. It does not mean we excuse sin and dismiss the need for confession and repentance. If it did, we wouldn't truly be compassionate, because we would be allowing the people around us to just keep going to the consequence of sin, DEATH. No! The Grace of God that brings salvation teaches us to say no to ungodliness! (See Titus 2:11-12.) Compassion causes us to pray and ask God how we can help others who are trapped. We cannot just haphazardly start going and preaching to everyone. With some, God just wants us to pray. With others, God wants us to act. He will let us know if we seek Him. Compassion causes us to be in a position of readiness to whatever the Holy Spirit nudges us to do.

Confident compassion. To me that is a tender heart that is protected by a wall of God's protection. When I think about this weekend's commemoration of Christ's death on the cross, where He bore all our sin (Wow!), and then knowing that He rose from the dead on the 3rd day bringing triumph over death (Wow again!), I start having confident compassion!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Necessity of Solitude with God

As things are moving forward with Legacy Ministries, God continues to remind me of the importance of getting alone with Him. That is why we are opening a prayer room for people to come in to get in the Lord's presence away from the busyness of everyday life. Starting April 1, we will be open at the Equipping Center for regular business hours of Monday - Friday from 9AM - 4PM. People can drop in anytime to the "secret place" in the prayer room and to our lending library to check out books.

There are many reasons why getting alone with God is so vitally important:
1. I never want my work for God to substitute for my intimate time with God.
2. I need to seek God's perspective on everything to lesson the stress my perspective (and others') brings.
3. How can I expect to hear from God if I don't take time to stop and listen?
4. I don't know want to go in my own direction. I may have some "good" ideas, but they are in vain if they are not God's ideas.
5. I don't know how to pray until I get alone with God and let Him pray through me.
6. My soul gets aligned to my spirit where the Holy Spirit resides instead of being so pulled by my flesh that is sometimes distracted by the cares of the world.
7. Just being in quiet in His presence without always praying my "list" is sometimes just what I need to be refreshed!
8. I need to be "poured in to" so I can go back out and "pour out His love" to those He sends me who need it.
9. Those things that distract me tend to disappear in His light!

The list goes on and on! I like the commentary that Brian Hardin said on the March 22 podcast of the Daily Audio Bible. (Go to to find out about this great resource!) He was talking about how many times we read in the gospels about Jesus pulling away from the crowd and getting alone to orient Himself to the Father. He went on to say,
"Is that component missing? Could that be why things seem so chaotic? Could that be why it’s a madhouse out there every day? Have we oriented ourselves to God? Because in doing so, we realign ourselves with the way things really are. And if we are living with the understanding of how things really are, then a lot of the circumstances that blow up around us and invite us to distraction each day, they don’t even matter. They don’t really even have any consequence. We’re just sort of addicted to crises management sometimes. Some of these things can just be let go; they just don’t matter."

GOOD STUFF!! I challenge you to look for ways to get alone with God this week...better yet, today! Let me know how it changes you! :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Times of Refreshing!

I don't know about you, but just the title of this post makes me want to be refreshed! It was recently brought to my attention where that saying is in the Bible. Let's look at it:
"Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord..." Acts 3:19
This says that times of refreshing comes from the presence of the Lord. Back up though...that happens after repentance. Only God can point something out in our lives that we are doing wrong and not leave us with a feeling of guilt and shame. In fact, when He does it and we follow through with genuine repentance, we leave with a feeling of refreshing!

Another verse says that it is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance. (Romans 2:4) When God gives us that "nudge" and lets us know what we say or do (or don't do) is not right, we should feel sorrow--not just any kind of sorrow, but the kind that leads us to repentance. Some people are just sorry they got caught. That doesn't lead you anywhere except in a perpetual cycle of making the same stupid decisions.

The choice is ours. When God points those things out that we need to stop doing, we can either:
A. Repent and experience times of refreshing right now
B. Remain stubborn and suffer the consequences now and forever.
"But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed." Romans 2:5
I urge you; pick A!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wise Counsel

Proverbs 17:27-28 (NIV)
The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint,
and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.

Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent,
and discerning if they hold their tongues.

The older I get, and the closer I get to the Lord, I realize that my "2 cents" is really not worth much. I used to think my "2 cents" was worth $2,000! I also got upset if others did not "get it" when I gave it. That in turn caused me to go "off at the mouth" even more than I did when I gave my opinion. Discernment? I thought I knew it all, but come to find out, I was just blinded by my perspective. With that came judgment and criticism.

One day I heard a sermon that talked about the difference between giving your opinion and giving wise counsel. I do not remember who the preacher was, but the message sure had a huge impact on me. I really don't remember details about the message, except that one major difference between giving your opinion and offering wise counsel is that you don't give it unless you are asked. People really do not want to know other people's opinion. They are usually stuck in their own opinion! At the point at which they ask for your opinion, that's when they care and will receive it better.

Another difference I have found between giving your opinion and giving wise counsel is that much prayer goes into the latter before it is delivered: prayer that asks God to give you a perspective check in your own heart as to why you hold that view and what motives go along with it; prayer that asks God to show the other person's perspective and anything about his heart; and most importantly, prayer that seeks God's perspective and discernment. Even if you do not know about the situation before you are asked to give your opinion, you can pray on the spot if you are supposed to give it and what you are supposed to say.

When this happens, what you have to say will be worth so much more than $.02 or even $2,000, because it will be God's words and love coming through you! You will not care about the credit, because you know where the wisdom came from. I say often to those who come to me for counsel, "I cannot heal squat! I can only take you to the only ONE who can!"

Ephesians 3:14-21 (NIV)
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Equipped for Joy Women's Conference video excerpt

This is a video clip of my daughter, Amy Melton, speaking for the Saturday morning devotion time at our recent women's conference. I must say, she has a great future as an anointed orator!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Whole New Heart for a Whole New Year!

The 3rd Annual Legacy Ministries "Equipped with JOY!" Women's Conference has come and gone, but not without making a major impact in the lives of so many...including my own! Like one attendee said, "All I can say is 'WOW!". The hundreds of volunteer hours (literally...if not thousands!) were WELL worth it! In the words of one of the songs at the conference, "Lord, I'm amazed by You!"

My passion is to see people set free and equipped to fulfill God's call on their lives to intimacy with Him and service for Him. As I told the ladies in the closing session, my rendition of the verse that says "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart" is "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you Himself!" How awesome to experience how wide, how deep, how high His love for us really is! That is the only desire that truly satisfies the deepest longing of our hearts--our love tanks! After that, our other desires will line up to match the desires He has for us to share that love to the hurting all around us. Then we will start to see those God-given desires fulfilled before our very eyes!

That has proven to be the case in my life this past weekend. God is a rewarder of those who deligently seek Him. He rewarded me by letting me see ladies soaking in the message Friday night about allowing Him to do heart surgery on us to heal those wounds that tie us to depression, anxiety, unforgiveness, etc. Then on Saturday it thrilled my heart to see the women writing diligently the dreams God has placed in their hearts to now go out and share that with others.

Thank you to all the volunteers who had anything to do with putting this conference together...the Table Topic facilitators, Breakout session teachers, registration, program, corporate sponsors, intercessors...the list goes on and on. What a team! What a privilege to be able to partner with Almighty God in His work to heal, restore and send out people to do His service! I know all on the team will agree with me that He gets all the glory! There is no way any of us could heal anyone, yet He chooses to use us as vessels to pour out His love to others. "For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen." (Romans 11:36)

Ladies, mark your calendar now for the 4th Annual "Equipped with JOY!" conference to be held on January 20-21, 2012! The theme will be "Making a Difference". Let me know if you want to go ahead and register!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Fresh Start

As I sit to write this post on the first day of 2011, I think about how God’s mercies are new every morning. If that is the case, then they are new this morning. Since this is the first day of the year, that means that they are new for the start of this year. It does not matter how your year went in 2010, you have a clean slate for 2011!

Let’s take a look at the verse from which we get that truth (Lamentations 3:21-26 NKJV):
“This I recall to my mind,
      Therefore I have hope.
      Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed,
      Because His compassions fail not.
      They are new every morning;
      Great is Your faithfulness.
      “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
      “Therefore I hope in Him!”
       The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,
       To the soul who seeks Him.
       It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
      For the salvation of the LORD.”

Some of you may have gone through many trials in 2010. The way you look at your heartaches of last year will have much to do with whether or not you get out of the pit of despair the enemy wants you to stay in for this year.

What do I mean? If you look at 2010 with a “Woe is me” attitude, chances are you will expect nothing better in 2011, and you will probably stay in despair. On the other hand, if you do what Lamentations says and recall to your mind the many times God has brought you through, you will be well on your way to experiencing joy as you see God rescue you again and again!

Think of it like this. When you drive a car, you need to keep focused on where you are going, not where you came from. The rear view mirror is very small compared to the windshield on which it is attached. If you always look at the rear view mirror to see behind you, you will soon crash. However, if you glance at the rear view mirror when you need to, it could save you from a crash.

That is the way it is with our past. If we keep dwelling on the past, it could keep us from moving forward with the great future God has for us. On the other hand, if we allow God to show us glimpses of our past and show us His perspective, it can help us to be launched into His call on our lives. We will soon recognize that He was faithful to bring us through it all, and His faithfulness will see us through in the future.