Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Broken Mailbox

Yep!  A broken mailbox is what we had when we got home from vacation.   Just a few days before heading back home, I received a phone call from my friend Sherel who was staying at our home while we were gone....I couldn't leave my cats alone for 11 days so she and her husband offered to stay at our place with their cat, Ms. Kitty.  My cats sure did appreciate the company.  I think my big boy, Jag, has a crush on Ms. Kitty.  Another tail...oops I mean another tale for another time.

Sherel informed me that my neighbor across the street was backing out of her driveway that morning (while it was still dark out) and had somehow hit our mailbox and flipped her car.  Her car was totaled and our mailbox was broken, foundation and all.  Broken bricks were all over the place.  But God spared her life that day...there are many more scenarios that could have being she could have hit the lamp post which would not have moved and broken which would have caused her serious injury.  She was a bit sore afterwards but nothing serious.  Her being okay was my first concern..  Broken mailboxes can be fixed but sometimes bodies cannot.  Most of the bricks from the mailbox were thrown and all over the place...afterwards (later that day) they were put into a neat pile.  Because they were broken into so many pieces some of the bricks may not be able to be reused.  Those in the pile are really useless just laying there on top of one another with nothing to hold them in place. 

As I write this my spirit is filled with sadness.  Sadness over what God showed me as the meaning behind my broken mailbox.  It reminds me of the church.  Please let me say right here and right now when I refer to the church I am not referring to any particular church but the church itself which consists of the body of believers everywhere. 

Our churches, like my mailbox are broken.  We are broken for  many reasons.  We are broken due to hurts caused to us by others within the church....we are broken because of an unwilling spirit to make changes that God so desires us to make...we are broken because of betrayals that have taken place within our relationships...we are broken because of people's own agenda instead of our agenda being in line with God's will for our churches...we are broken because of comments people have said to us or about us behind our backs....the list goes on but I think you get the picture. 

Yesterday the repair man started rebuilding the mailbox by putting the bricks on top of the foundation.  He laid the new foundation a few days ago.  Once the foundation was laid and dried he was ready to start laying and cementing the bricks in place one by one.  It is only then when the foundation is laid and dried that it's ready for the bricks to be put in just the perfect spot.  We all know that without a strong foundation things will come crashing down.  It's a strong foundation that holds things together.  As he was doing his work my neighbor stopped in and she said to me "Gee I thought your mailbox would have been finished by now."  I answered, "I guess it takes time since it has to be done brick my brick."  She agreed.

It was that conversation that brought this article to life.  We in the church are like those bricks that have been hit and hit hard.  Some have been shattered, others are chipped in a few places and yet others are so broken they can't get up.  I thought about how we need to be rebuilt just like my mailbox.  Before the repair man can place the brick in place he has to make sure that the mortar (something that cements two things together) is is after all what holds the brick in place and close to the others.  I watched him today from my window and saw how he spread the mortar and then very gently and carefully placed the brick on top it.  He moved it just a bit to make sure that it was in the right place and then gave it a little pat to make sure it would grab hold of the mortar.  As some of the mortar must have slipped out I saw him wipe it away.  It's like that too with each of us.   In order for God to fix us when we are broken, just like the repair man did, He has to wipe away all the stuff that oozes out from our broken spirits during the rebuilding process.  And like the repair man he wipes it away and then the brick (us) is in place exactly where God wants it.  God gives us a little pat and it's like He says to us (me)....there Janice grab hold of the mortar (Jesus) and allow Him to rebuild you ....I have you right where I want you.   It may take some time but the outcome will be something beautiful.

But before we can be rebuilt we must realize that "yes we are broken" and "yes I want to be rebuilt."  We have all heard the saying that "no church is perfect" and that is the truth isn't it?  Perfect we are not but broken we are.

We've all had a role in one way or another of allowing the church to break.  So right here and right now with a heart that is truly grieving over the brokenness of God's church, I want to say to each one of you reading this please forgive me as I have had a role in causing God's church to be broken.  I may have hurt you somewhere along the way in life and not made things right with you.  Forgive me.  My heart is never to hurt anyone but yet sometimes my flesh decides to do its own thing.  Anyone else know what I'm talking about?   I may have had a spirit that wasn't willing to change or a spirit that is critical of the way things are done.  Forgive me.  If I have hurt you or wronged you somehow I want you to know that I am truly sorry and want to make things right with you.  It's the only way we can fix what is broken.  Many times people will say, "it's okay don't worry about it."  But it's not okay.  If I broke it I need to take the responsibility to help put it back together again.  Please feel free to let me know if there is something that is broken between us that needs to fixed and cemented back together again.  Let the rebuilding begin.

Some bricks cannot be reused in rebuilding my mailbox.  I am so thankful that God can fix anything that is broken....He can do that ONLY IF we will allow Him to take our brick and  place it right back where it belongs cemented to His church.

Would you be willing to allow God to heal your brokenness, cementing you back to His church?  What must you do to make that happen?  If someone who has hurt you comes and asks your forgiveness would you forgive them?  I mean really forgive them...not just forgiveness in words...but truly forgiving them and allow the Holy Spirit to do His work of reconciliation by restoring your relationship.  What if you have offended someone or there is a strain in a relationship are you willing to take the necessary steps to fix what may be broken or shattered?  None of us want to be the one to say "forgive me I have hurt you or wronged you." but yet we must.  I beg you dear sisters...dear brothers if someone comes to you and asks you to forgive them...don't make it any harder on them...we all know how hard it is to seek forgiveness...remember how much Christ forgave you.  If we forgive then watch God rebuild His church one brick at time on a foundation that is sure to hold whatever comes its way.

In Christ's love,

Saturday, November 14, 2009

God's Ways Are Not My Ways

VACATION! VACATION! VACATION! AAAHHH! The splendor of God that was displayed throughout our stay in Ellijay, Ga. was truly breathtaking…from the leaves turning from green to their colors of glorious golds to radiant reds…to the star filled sky seen so clearly both at night and in the early morning hours…to the full moon just a couple of nights before we left. I’ve never seen the moon so “white” as I did in the mountains. A friend of ours said to us before we left, “God is in the mountains.” All I can say to that is a big “AMEN” and to thank God for giving me an opportunity to experience His beauty and majesty while in the mountains. If one ever doubts the Sovereignty of God all they have to do is “look up.” He holds each planet and star in His hands but even better than that, He knows each one by name. The awesomeness of God always leaves me breathless and in amazement that He really does love me and wants me to experience all of Him not just bits and pieces of Him.

As many of you remember, this trip was going to be trip which would have included my beloved Standard Poodle Hannah. I made the reservation thinking of her and how this would probably be her last vacation. I thought how much she loved the cooler weather and how much fun she would have. She loved going on vacation just like mommy does. But that wasn’t going to be the case since she passed away back in June. I missed her while there but also knew that God's ways are not my ways. So what does He do? He has brought Lacey into my life eight days later after Hannah’s passing and she is a 2 year Standard Poodle who accompanied us on our trip. It was such a blessing for me to have her with us. She has never been exposed to vacation or out walking in towns amongst people. Nor has she ever hiked up to waterfalls before. But she did on this trip. She had a blast and it brought me great joy and laughter as I watched her play among the leaves in the mountains.

You might remember in the one blog that I wrote about 2009 being a difficult year emotionally with so many people around me passing away including Hannah. Since that blog there have been three others close to me who have also passed away. And now, it is with great great sadness that upon returning home I found out that a dear sister in the Lord, Vickie Rankin passed away while we were gone. I didn’t know Vickie that well but was getting to know her a bit more each time I saw her. Vickie just started attending my Wednesday night class “The Purse-uit of Holiness.” She would tell me how much she was enjoying it. She started talking about joining our ladies class on Sunday mornings. I could see God working in her, growing her and filling her with a desire for more of Him. The last Sunday I was in church before vacation she stopped me afterwards. She said….I am so excited I am joining the church next week. Of course I was thrilled but disappointed because I wouldn’t be there I’d be on vacation. I said – “Oh Vickie I won’t be here….can’t you delay it?” (Selfish I know). She replied….that Traci wouldn’t be here either but all her kids would be and that was the only time she could get everyone together so Sunday it was. So needless to say I was so happy for her and told her that I’d see her when I get back.

I like to make up gift bags for each woman as she joins the church and in each bag I include some kind of bible study for them to do on their own. Vickie was the next one to receive such a bag. It was the last couple days before heading home I was thinking about getting a gift bag ready to give Vickie to welcome her to the church and The Yahweh Sisterhood “officially.”

Well, I found out the night I got home about her passing. She had a stroke on the way to church and passed away Monday in the hospital. I couldn’t believe it... I thought not another one Lord. I thought maybe my friend got the name wrong. Then I found out that she bought a brand new dress for that particular Sunday that she would join the church. And the Lord brought to my mind the part in the book of Esther where Esther was now ready to meet the king. She had gone through 12 months of beauty preparations. And I imagine how beautifully dressed Esther must have been as well. The Scriptures tell us that the king loved Esther more than any of the others, she obtained grace and favor in his sight more so than all the virgins so he set his royal crown upon her head and made her queen.

I thought about Vickie and how she was so excited about growing in the things of the Lord. I thought about her new dress as she was ready to stand before God and the congregation to become a part of FCCC. I don’t know the why’s of God taking her, but I thought how beautiful she must have looked to her King and her Groom, as she arrived at their wedding feast to His open and loving arms. I thought about the dress she picked out just for this occasion. I thought about how she probably had no idea the dress she was going to wear for her celebration of joining our church family, would actually be the perfect wedding dress as she would meet her King and her Groom, who would crown her with her crown of glory and escort her hand in hand to their wedding feast where the celebration will last long into eternity as He leads her out to a dance floor that is made of gold. There won’t be tears at this celebration just Vickie rejoicing in her Redeemer and in whose presence she’ll forever be.

God’s ways are not our ways! But I thank God here and now for the opportunity of knowing Vickie for such a short time….it saddens me as I prepare for class tonight knowing that she won’t be in her regular seat or at her regular table….it saddens me to think I won’t get to know her more here on earth but I know one day we’ll each see her again as we too partake in the wedding feast celebration that will last well into eternity.

I don’t know if God will do it but I pray that He will let her know how much we’ll miss her and how much she was loved by those who may not have known her well but loved her anyway.

I love you all and pray that you will truly love and appreciate those around you. Remember, God’s ways are not our ways and you may not always have the opportunity to say to them “I LOVE YOU!

In Christ’s love,

Orignally written and posted 11/4//09.  Re-posted due to a problem with an edit.

A Heart of Gratitude

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I love Thanksgiving. I love cooking Thanksgiving dinner. I love the Pumpkin Pies. I love it all…from the cooling temperatures to the changing of the leaves, to the hustle and bustle of getting everything ready for that perfect dinner and yes…even the football games.

This year instead of thinking about all of those things I was thinking about each one of you. I’m sure many of you have read the illustration of The Tapestry. A tapestry is so beautiful and full of color on one side but if you turn it over the threads are a mess...they are interwoven with one another, over and under one another...just a real mess. Well, as I was thinking about you I realized that each one of you is one of those threads in my life. At some point in time God has woven you into my life, into my tapestry to make me what He wants me to be. Some of you have been in my life for only a short time perhaps way too short. Some have left this world but not before adding their touch to my tapestry.  God has used you and them by weaving you into just the right spot of my tapestry bringing a beauty to it that never would have been had it not been for you. Others have been in my life for a very long time and God is still using you to add more color and beauty to my tapestry. As I look at and reflect on the weaving and coloring of God's handiwork, I see that my tapestry is full of colorful threads bright and beautiful, soft and subtle, criss crossing each other, threads going in all different directions.  At times this tapestry looks like a mess and I think "Oh Lord, my life is just like this mess of threads... A REAL MESS!!! Will I ever be what you truly want me to be?"  Then God nudges me to look at the other side and when I do I see the beauty of it and how all things really do work together for good.  And I think,"God you truly are the Master Tapestry Maker."

I love the Ephesians 2:10. It says – “For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works.” Did you see that word “workmanship?” We are His workmanship. We are God’s Masterpiece. How can I call us a Masterpiece? Because God only makes the best…and He always makes something beautiful. Don’t you agree?

I want to take this time to tell you how much I appreciate you my own personal thread and for the work God has done through you to make me something beautiful.  It is a  beauty that only comes by His working and weaving in my life. It's not a work that is done quickly but a work that is done slowly and deliberately over time.   It's not a beauty that is a physical beauty but a beauty that goes deep into my being and one that is being transformed daily to the image of Christ.  A beauty that will shine His light in a dark world.  A beauty that has been given for the dirt and ashes of my past.  His work isn’t finished in me yet but someday I will be a completed tapestry that will display the glorious colors of all my personal threads – YOU! THANK YOU for allowing God to weave you into my life and taking a part in His handiwork. I would not be who I am today if it weren’t for you, my own personal thread.

It is with "A Heart of Gratitude" that I thank  God for each you a thread of my tapestry.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Abundant blessings,

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

To trust or not to trust - what will you do?

Happy New Year! Words we hear quite bit at the beginning of every New Year. And, I do believe when people wish you a Happy New Year their wishes are sincere and well intended.

But for many of us, our year turns out to be anything but happy. As we are more than halfway through 2009 I can honestly say that 2009 has not been a very “happy” year. It’s been a year filled with much sadness, grief, and concern for my loved ones (which is why I haven’t written lately). First, my brother had to have a mitral valve procedure in April and ended up going into cardiac arrest three times. Praise the Lord he is alive. Following that my husband in May and June had to go through a series of heart tests. Again, praise the Lord he is fine. Shortly after that, on June 20th we lost our beloved Standard Poodle Hannah. She suffered from liver disease for over three years. She fought the good fight but as with all battles, the battle comes to an end. Yes, sometimes it is an ending that we do not want. Her passing was very sudden and seemed as though it came out of nowhere. The sadness and the grief as you can imagine were and at times, still are, unbearable. I am so grateful though to our Great Physician for the healthy three years that Hannah did have.

But one a brighter note the Lord had led me to my new girl, a 2 year old Standard Poodle who I adopted on June 28th. She is truly a love and blessing. She has all the same poodle traits as Hannah but a very different personality.

I share all this with you because for these past few months I’ve been in this spiritual slump? A slump I just can’t seem to get out of? Have you ever been there? I really thought it was because of my circumstances. But I started thinking was that really it or was there something else causing this spiritual slump?

While having my quiet time today I was praying once again for God to renew me, to lift me out of this slump. I know that I can’t live my life based on my feelings but I also knew that I needed to be spiritually uplifted.

I realized that it wasn’t just me who seems to be so low but it is all around me in the lives of others. It seems as though all joy is gone. I thought about those who are close to me who also have so many things going on in their lives. They have family members sick with serious illnesses, some have lost their homes, their jobs, and they don’t know where they are going to live, how they are going to pay their bills. Are you in any of those categories?

I believe what God showed me this morning is that it’s not just me who is in some kind of spiritual slump, but others as well. He showed me that it is an oppression that is hovering over us keeping our eyes off God and that we have misplaced our trust. In Hosea 13:6 God says “When they had pasture, they were filled; They were filled and their heart was exalted; Therefore, they forgot Me.” Many of us, me included, have trusted in the things of this world for all our need and wants. And when we had plenty everything was great… was good. But then, things started crashing around us. Many of us lost so much. And now, we are at a loss as to what to do. We’ve trusted in our jobs, our money, our investments, our spouses, our government, our military for our needs and wants, and the list could go on. If we were really honest with ourselves we would have to say that we really haven’t trusted God. Not really. Our mind and our words may say that we do. But what about deep down, what is your heart telling you? Is it telling you to panic and to worry, to take matters into your own hands that you cannot afford to trust God never mind wait on Him? Or, is your heart tender and telling you, that yes, you’ve trusted in the things of this world for your needs and wants, but it is time to allow the Lord control over your life? What is the condition of your heart right now? What steps will you take to give Jehovah-Jireh, our Provider complete control of your life and circumstance?

As we watch the news, we are seeing evidence of people’s hearts in all kinds of ways such as anger, violence in our streets, in our schools, suicides; even murders are on the rise with no end in sight. A world gone mad whose trust is in the world and not in the One who Created it. People would rather trust in things than in the One who created those things. Doesn’t make much sense when you think about it that way does it?

My dear sweet sisters, I want to encourage you now more than ever to put your trust in God. We are only sojourners here passing through until we reach the other side. The road may be rocky and the climb may be steep but keep ‘LOOKING UP.” As 1 Peter says in Chapter 1:6, 7 – “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

As Peter says in 1 Peter - May we rejoice in knowing that we are kept by the power of God and that we have an ineritance reserved in heaven that awaits us as we leave this world which is not our home. May we place our trust in our mighty and powerful God and allow our various trials to bring us to a deeper faith in the One who calls us His own.


In Christ’s love,

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cleaning My House in 2009

Here is a great follow up to "Get Your House In Order." It was sent to me the day after the you think that's just coincidence? Me neither....more like a "God-incidence" wouldn't you say? It's a great follow-up piece. I've made some slight changes to it in order for it to tie in a little bit more with "Get Your House In Order."

Thank you Lord for this wonderful piece and for the person who listened carefully to the promptings of your Holy Spirit while writing down these words. AMEN!

Last Week I threw out WORRYING, it was getting old and in the way.

It kept me from being me; I couldn't do things God's way.

I threw out a book on MY PAST(Didn't have time to read it anyway).

Replaced it with NEW GOALS as set forth in the Bible, started reading it today.

I threw out UNFORGIVENESS, BITTERNESS, PRIDE and BAD MEMORIES, (Remember how I treasured them so)?

Got me a NEW PHILOSOPHY of God's will to do, threw out my own from long ago.

Brought in some new books too, inspired by Christ, called I CAN, I WILL, and I MUST.

Threw out I MIGHT, I THINK and I OUGHT. WOW, you should've seen the dust.

I ran across an OLD FRIEND, I hadn't talked to in a while. His name is GOD THE Father, and I really like HIS style.

He helped me to do some cleaning and added some things HIMSELF.

Like PRAYER, HOPE, FAITH and LOVE, Yes... I placed them right on the shelf.

I picked up this special thing and placed it at the front door.

I FOUND IT-it's called PEACE. Nothing gets me down anymore.

Yes, I've got my house looking nice. Looks good around the place.

For things like Worry and Trouble there just isn't any space.

It's good to do a little house cleaning, Get rid of the things on the shelf.

It sure makes things brighter; maybe you should ...TRY IT YOURSELF!

Be Blessed and Be a blessing to someone else!!!

I hope you were blessed by these words....what a great way to start "getting your house in order" wouldn't you say?

What steps have you taken to get your house in order? What other steps is God showing you to take?

May your life shine bright the light of Christ as you "get your house in order."

In Christ's love,


Monday, March 23, 2009

Get Your House In Order

As some of you know I had something that "freaked" me out not too long ago before we left for a weekend away. Whenever I leave home on a trip even if it's just overnight, I always make sure that my house is in order. Couple reasons for that. Should anything fatal happen while I'm away I want things to be neat, tidy, nothing left undone for whoever would have to come in and go through my things. Also, it makes it much easier on me when I get home.

Well, it was a Wednesday afternoon by the time I got into the office and realized I hadn't turned the calendar on my desk. So of course I turned it to that particular day. The verse for the day was from Isaiah 38:1 which said - "Put your house in order, because you are going to die." freaked me out.

I had called a friend a little later to say hello and check in with her. I told her what happened. She said "but you already started putting things in order before you saw that verse." She was right and those words did help bring me some comfort but not much. I know I know for a Christian to die is gain. I know that, but!

I prayed for our safety as we traveled with that verse never being far from my thoughts. While on our trip I got terribly sick...particularly Saturday night. I could not stop shaking. I was shaking violently and breathing very heavily. I wasn't cold and I was under five blankets, but yet the shaking continued. All I kept thinking of was that verse. I told the Lord that if I was going to die please let me get home. I felt as though there was some kind of evil battle taking place. I was weak throughout the night, better by Sunday but still weak and not much appetite. I came home and went straight to bed. The weakness continued. By Monday my stomach was killing me and making all kinds of strange noises. A few days later, praise the Lord He brought me through it all. And I am feeling well once again.

I went in to check my emails the day after we got home. I had an email from another friend that was posted Thursday, the day after I read the verse on my calendar. She emailed a letter her pastor sent to her church family.

In his letter he quoted the same verse “Get your households in order.” Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. That’s what the Lord wants me to do – get my house in order. Maybe I wasn’t going to die after all but there is definitely something going on that the Lord wants me to get. Her pastor talked about how things have changed, how our nation is facing such a financial crisis, how we live in a time of tension and transition. He stated that we need clear thinking and honest relationships. We need to stand firm and care for each other because things have changed and they will continue to change quickly. He talked about God being Sovereign, how we need to SEEK HIM, and how we are to be Christ-centered – a “Community of Hope” for those who are living in fear and desperate as their situations become worse.

Needless to say, that verse did cause me to reflect on what does it really mean to have my "house in order.” What does that look like? I gave much thought to what it meant for me. A few days later this is what God showed me. He wants me to be ready - He wants me to have my life, my house, all things, in order so that I can be an asset to His Kingdom. He wants me to be ready to go and do those works which He prepared beforehand for me to do. He wants me to remove all hindrances - anything that is stopping me from being an instrument for Him I need to get rid of. Do you realize that if you are not an asset to the Kindgom of God then you are a hindrance? I never thought of it that way but I do now.

With that in mind, I thought about something a friend wrote in an email and what those words of having your house in order meant to her. Some of her questions were: Is there someone you need to share Christ with while you can? Have you told those you love that you do? Is there someone you can do something for before you lose the opportunity? Is there someone you need to apologize to or a debt you need to repay?

Well, one of those questions triggered something deep inside of me that made me realize there is something I must do. I knew it was time to share just a bit of my testimony including a Bible with my brother and sister. My brother will be going for heart surgery on April 2 so I knew that I knew, it was time to share. As I told the both of them, there were several reasons why I haven’t shared with them in the past but felt that I now needed to do so. I have done my part and now they must either accept the Gospel message or deny it. I pray that someday they too will come to know the Lord Jesus in a very real and personal way.

That was just one step of getting my house in order. I will continue to seek God’s direction as to what other steps He may want me to take as far as getting my house in order.

I want to ask you to consider your own “house” - is it in order? What is God asking you to do so that you can be an asset to His Kingdom? Who in your life might need to hear the Gospel message or that you love them? What is left undone in your life that needs to be done now before you can be an asset to the Kingdom of God?

These are just a few questions for your consideration. I want to encourage you to seek God’s will for your house and the steps He wants you to take to get it in order.

Will you be an asset or a hindrance to the Kingdom of God? The choice is yours. Which will you choose?

In Christ’s love,

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What about you?

New Year – New You! I bet you’ve heard that before. I also know that 2008 was not a good year for most people, they are glad it is over with and a New Year is now under way.

But as I thought about 2008 I couldn’t help but think it was a good year for me for several reasons. One, I’m still here to talk about it. Two, I am further along spiritually than I was in the beginning of 2008. Three, in spite of the economic crisis and the election, I know that my God is still in control. He is on His throne and nothing catches Him by surprise. The assurance of knowing that my God is still on His throne helps me to celebrate each day regardless of the circumstances around me. Even still, 2008 was a year that was a battle in many ways. Trust me when I say, I had to “FIGHT TO KEEP MY FOCUS!” I too had my share of battles but God in His mercy brought me through each one. No, 2008 was not a good year for many, with people losing their jobs, their businesses, their homes. And, 2009 doesn’t promise or even give us hope that it’s going to be any better. However, read on and see if God has a message here for you.

As many of you know our Sunday school and Monday night classes have started the New Year with fasting and praying. Partly, because I asked them to so I didn’t have to do it alone. J And, because I feel very strongly that, the Spirit of God wants to move and bring His people back to Him. One way He does that is with prayer and fasting. Prayer and fasting will also cause us to see the depth of our sin and bring us to a place of brokenness before God. It is in our brokenness, we cry out to God for forgiveness as we acknowledge and confess our sins to Him. Without confession and repentance there can be no forgiveness or revival. God wants to bring His people back to loving Him with all our heart, soul, strength and mind. But, He wants us to be clean….He wants us to render our hearts not our garments. He wants us to get rid of our gods that we have set up. He wants to be Number 1 in our lives once again. He wants to bless you but you need to do your part and God will do His. Read 1 Samuel 7, Isaiah 58, and Joel 2:12-27. These are just some biblical references for your study. There are many more verses on fasting and the Word is the final authority on the subject of prayer and fasting. I’m just sharing some things that I’ve learned recently.

As people worldwide sense the urgency of the times, churches all over the globe have started the New Year with prayer and fasting. It is my prayer that each one of us will know Him more intimately than we did before, that we will truly experience God in a new and fresh way, and that we come out of our time of prayer and fasting hating sin. Our eyes have been blinded and our hearts deceived. It is time for the Church to wake up from our slumber, denouncing sin and start calling it what it is. Our brokenness is what we desperately need if we truly desire to have a fresh start, and experience our own personal revival with our God. We must allow the Lord to drive out our pride, drive out the sin in our lives. For brokenness to occur there must be a realization of sin, of those things that perhaps we have justified in our own minds that God despises. Do you have any sin that has been lingering too long around your heart? Maybe some sin is just hanging around and you keep holding onto it. There may be many “ouches” along the way as God brings to mind those sins that need to go. However, praise God because once He breaks you down and cleans you up, you will be free to experience the joy of your personal revival.

The Bible tells us that one of the things God will do through prayer and fasting is bring revival. It seems that wherever I turn “revival, prayer and fasting” are all around me. I think God’s people are hearing the alarms going off and are starting to wake up from their slumbers and getting ready for revival.

2 Chronicles 12:32 – “the sons of Issachar who had an understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.”

Our country is at a crossroad…things are starting to shake and reel as never before. The American lifestyle not only for Christians but also for all Americans is about to change. Therefore, I want to encourage you to be as the sons of Issachar….understanding the times…study the Scriptures, pray, fast, weep, mourn, confess, and repent. Draw close to God. Rest in your Father’s care. The Bible tells us not to worry about what you are going to eat or what you will be wearing. Again, rest in your Father’s care…He knows your need. He alone is in control of these things. Isaiah 26:3 – ‘thou will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts you.” Abandon yourself to simple trust in the Lord your Rock.

So then, what about you? Are you ready to pray and fast? Are you ready to SEEK HIM? Are you ready to be completely honest with Him as you confess your sins? Are you ready to surrender all to Him? Are you ready to wake up and allow Him to prepare you for your own personal revival? Are you ready to experience the joy of personal revival? When all of God’s people come together rejoicing in the Spirit of revival will you be there? What about you? Are you ready to turn back to the One who calls you His beloved? Are you ready to love Him with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind once again? Will you join with other believer’s worldwide as we pray and fast? Will you make 2009 the year that your will SEEK HIM above all else?

Lots of questions I know. However, these are questions that must be asked and answered honestly, before you can truly experience the joy of personal revival.

Please feel free to share your thoughts, comments or your own personal God experience as a result of fasting and praying.

Our theme for 2009 is “SEEK HIM!” Keep looking up my sisters….keep looking up and SEEK HIM.

In Christ’s love,