DELIVERANCE

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Every time, I say the word “Deliverance,” my atheist husband smirks and I know what he is thinking.   I pray the day will come when his deliverance from the spirit of antichrist and the spirit of addiction will supersede and replace the most heinous scene, from the 1972 movie “Deliverance” starring Burt Reynolds and Jon Voight, in his mind.   One of the jobs, Jesus left for us to do, as his representatives on earth, was to cast out evil spirits and while Hollywood’s version of exorcism seems to entertain the world, they aren’t entirely truthful.

At the age of 21, I had the desire to become spiritually clean so that I would not pass on my garbage to my children. So I decided to seek professional help from a counselling pastor. From the time of our births, we, human beings accumulate a lot sin in our souls unless we are dealing with it regularly. Often our ancestors pass down their sins from generation to generation until it resides with us.    God is our deliverer but we must play an active part in acquiring freedom from the spirits that wage war against God within us.   If we choose not to reconcile our sins with God, it just sits and rots our souls and our mortal bodies are eventually physically affected.

After a couple sessions with my therapist, he handed me the number of a deliverance pastor and suggested that there was probably more spiritually at work in my life than he could handle on his own. So I called the number and scheduled an appointment for us to meet.   The day of the big “D” was hairy scary.   I barely escaped 2 potential car accidents trying to get to the appointment and the second one was in the church parking lot.   After entering the church, my body was suffering discomfort as I waited for the pastors to plan their strategy of attack.   When they finally invited me into the office, my body temperature skyrocketed. I started peeling off articles of clothing without revealing it all. Noticing my beet-red face, the pastor remarked that he could see my discomfort, so he prayed and bound that spirit’s power over me.  As we continued the questions and answers period, that would determine why the spirit(s) have legal right to reside with me, suddenly, my body’s thermostat went in the opposite direction.   I was freezing. My hair stood on end, my teeth chattered and I started putting on the clothes, I had previously removed.   Again he prayed and I was comfortable for a little while. I could feel the spirits’ within me getting antsy and their grip getting tighter.   In fear and desperation, I grabbed onto the imaginary noose around my neck.   I cried because I didn’t know at that time they only have the power we give them.  The feeling of my life, being squeezed from my body, was very real but entirely invisible. As we prayed and I agreed with the truth, being spoken over me, finally, all at once, they were gone.   I felt free and a lot lighter!   From that time to this, deliverance has come in many different ways, at different times and with a lot less drama. The experience of releasing the enemy’s grip is unforgettable and life changing.      Like housework, the work of forgiveness, repentance and cleansing the soul, needs to be done often.

I am certain however that I do not want to let them come back in.   Some people do though. Some people have lived with their demons for so long, it’s as if they can’t live without them.   Still, other Christians fear deliverance ministries and speak against them. Which I must warn against.   Do Not Speak Against the Lord’s Anointed & Do Not Lean on your Own Understanding!!!  If you are feeling angry and rebellious about this warning, consider getting exorcised.   Accept and embrace the experiences that God gives, that lead to complete freedom, no matter how bizarre they might seem to your logical brain.

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TRANSFORMATION

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Before we were born, God knew us and determined what talents He would give each individual.   In my opinion, a good example would be Elvis Presley’s voice. It was a built-in ability from the Lord and as a result he became the King of Rock and Roll. God is the potter and we are the clay.   Whether we are raised by parent’s who teach us about God or not, God is always beckoning us unto Himself from the moment we are conceived. His workmanship within us will not cease until we are promoted to the ever after. This week, I want to share with you a bird’s eye view into a life that I am especially thankful that God created and chose to cross my path with some 37 years ago.   My lovely lady friend, Michelle has graciously given me permission to write a blog about her.

Michelle and I both accepted Christ in our early years.   We went to church together because her family chose to include me.   Truth be told, we have always been more like sisters and like a true sister, she never neglected to remind me that she was the older and wiser one of the two.

The DNA information that was given to Michelle includes special ability for comedy, writing poetry and leadership.   I am privileged to have been at the receiving end of all 3 of these gifts. Not at the time but now, in hindsight, it was humorous being left on the side of a long, deserted, backwoods road half asleep, having been jolted awake, as the result of a practical joke. Years later, she presented me with a beautiful personal poem as a wedding gift and after another 15 years, she invited me to be a part of her prayer team.

We choose, if we will use our talents for or against God and often our choices change with life experience.  Michelle married her high school sweetheart and had two wonderful children. As she walked through her journey of life, she would sometimes include God, however her first husband was more interested in living life for himself. After raising her children, Michelle went into business and quickly climbed the corporate ladder. The company she was in business with may have helped her sharpen her skills but her ability in leadership was given by God and became very evident to me.   I would not say her skill was being used for the glory of God but rather for personal gain.   When her marriage ended, Michelle recommitted her life to the Lord and her passion for Him ignited. God continued to bless Michelle with a godly second husband.   After being presented with the idea of a prayer box, Michelle started using her God given ability to enhance and grow God’s kingdom.   It started small with a few friends who committed to praying for the names that were chosen from the box each day.   The conditions of being a prayer warrior were:

  1. To ask people if they wanted to be prayed for sporadically,
  2. Put names into the box,
  3. Once the name was chosen, call the person and ask them for their prayer request,
  4. Report requests back to the prayer chain, and
  5. Pray intermittently for that person throughout the day.

This initiative grew very quickly. People loved the idea and those of us praying saw God’s hand at work. It was exciting. The prayer box consisted of prayer warriors from different parts of the world and we communicated via texting and email. The prayer box even made the national news.

Observing her life for this many years has brought me to the conclusion that God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable; can never be withdrawn; and are without repentance. Of course, His word is always true but I like seeing the evidence displayed for me. I believe Michelle would agree that experiencing God allows us to realize how satisfying our God given purposes are.  While drawing close to Him makes us realize how wonderful and needed His presence is.

AUTHORITY

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This letter is being written to those people who have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour of their lives; who recognize Him as the True King of the Universe.   As a nation of Kings and Priests, whose citizenship is of Heaven where the culture exists only of holiness and goodness, we must realize our authority if we expect to change the atmosphere on earth.   First, we must be skilled at self-examination so that we are able to recognize our own motivations for any future actions, making sure they line up with God’s agenda for our lives and His Kingdom.

David, the second King of Israel, is called by God, “a man after my own heart.”   When I read the psalms that David wrote, it is very easy to identify with his position. In identifying with David, son of Jesse, it helps me recognize how royalty should behave and encourages me to have an intimate relationship with God the way that David did. His psalms tell us what God did for him and therefore what He will and can do for us.

One day, as I was spending time in God’s presence, in the spirit I saw his hands coming down out of heaven holding an amazing translucent crown of gold and He was aiming to set it right on my head. God knew my fearful hesitancy.   Knowing my security as a daughter of God and His little princess, I was comfortable in our relationship.   The crown came with a revelation that maturity would be required.   I would need to grow up.   I wanted to be a princess forever but God wanted me to be His queen which would mean, I would have to learn how to rule with power, grace, dignity and integrity.

Often, I play the Psalms game with the Lord where each day, I ask Him to give me a number between 1 and 150 (because I know that there are 150 chapters in Psalms) and I know that there will be a treasure nugget in the chosen chapter of that day.  Taking in consideration that my definition of any coincidence is God’s special surprise for the person recognizing it.   Coincidentally, the scripture number He chose for me that day was Psalm 21.   David wrote this psalm from the perspective of the King but to make the scriptures more real and apply directly to my life, I read them in first person form.  So that day, this is how I read Psalm 21. “I rejoice in your strength, O Lord! I shout for joy because you give me victory. You give me, my heart’s desire; you withhold nothing I request. You welcome me with success and prosperity; you place a crown of finest gold on my head.”   This is my declaration. This is where I stand in faith.   My queen’s decree that is backed by my King Jesus, the most powerful person in the Universe. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord to the Glory of God!!

Please consider deeply that you are Royalty and we should rule together the way our Servant King ruled when He was walking the Earth.   Let our laws be of Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness and Self Control.   God bless you with His Grace and Mercy.

 

REMEMBER ME

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Today, I praised God as we attended the Remembrance Day ceremony. My heart rejoiced because we can still sing “Oh Canada” with God in it; we can still read scripture in a public place; we can still display the cross as a symbol for the one’s that sacrificed their lives for our freedom. Jesus, being the first and greatest person who is worthy to receive praise and honor for the greatest sacrifice.
I ask the Lord to forgive our Mayor who references Muhammad and has the audacity to say that Canada’s reputation is made by man’s efforts. And while I’m at it, I want to ask the Lord to forgive our nation’s sins, past, present and FUTURE. Our good reputation as Peace Keepers is directly from God himself. Thank you, Lord for your mercy and your plans for the Canadian people.
We are entering into a very unsettling time, starting with the announcement of the recession and carrying on for the next few years but hopefully will be cut short by our diligent prayers. From the recent election results, it was evident that Canada is clearly divided in who they wanted to lead the country. This nation will be in for a rollercoaster ride with its new leading party. History has shown that every time the people chose to go their own direction which is away from God the country suffers. The mistakes or stains that this new leadership will make, that will be embraced by the citizens, will have dire consequences. I pray that the people’s eyes will be opened by the understanding of sin’s ramifications and we will seek the Lord, repent and be reconciled to Him once again.
Years ago, The Lord told me to go and buy a new paint brush. So I did. When I came home, He told me to paint the walls of my house with the blood of Jesus (imaginary blood, of course…this was a prophetic act that would protect my family against what was coming). After reading the book, “The Prayer of Jabez”, I wanted to impact my neighbors for the glory of God and the purposes of His kingdom, so I started praying the Jabez prayer faithfully for my whole block. Bad things started happening all around me. One neighbor was diagnosed with cancer and divorced her husband, another man had his wife committed for mental illness (I didn’t think she was ill at all), and yet another strong practicing “Jehovah’s Witness” family divorced and divided the family. Those are just a few of the stories I could tell. My point is that our prayers don’t always bring immediate gratification or positive results. Sometimes there is a sequence of events that must happen to bring people face to face with God.
Unfortunately the events that will transpire will keep Canadians focus off of their intended destiny, which is to bless Israel. The enemy’s plan is to keep our eyes on Canada’s problems. Israel is being attacked and it appears that they have been abandoned by allies who could help them fight off imposing threats. God promises that those who bless Israel will be blessed. Canada’s issues are easily remedied by focusing on God’s solutions. Please pray that our country will step up and rescue Israel and by doing so will reap the blessing that comes with it. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
There will be some who, though they have eyes cannot see and though they have ears cannot hear but after Canada has been faced with calamity, then they will know that I Am the Lord.

TRINITY?

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Like the author of the novel, “The Shack”, I am going to give my personal account of the personalities of God.   After my curiosity got the best of me, I simply asked the Lord, “Why did you present yourself to us in three persons? In so far as I can see, it just confuses people?”   His reply, although not an all-inclusive answer, was the answer that I needed at the time.   He said, “We are the perfect family for you.  Where your father has been less than perfect, I Am the perfect Father.  Where your brother or sister or even your friend has hurt you, I Am the most excellent sibling who can heal your broken heart.  Where your earthly mother was unable, I Am the ideal comforter, counsellor and teacher who will never leave you.  I want to re-parent and raise you up to be all that I made you to be.”
I was not raised in a Christian home.  For a long time, I wondered who must have been praying for me because I had no blood relatives that were Christian either.   Since accepting Jesus into my heart when I was eight years old, I have experienced God’s omnipresence.   He has proven Himself faithful in his promise to never leave me.   Although Father God is Holy and unable to have any contact with Sin, His plan of salvation accommodates for His promises.   Jesus, as the Lamb who was slain for the sin of the world, bridges the gap between us and the Father.   Jesus, truly is the best brother.   His sacrifice made it possible for the Holy Spirit to remain with us always.   There have been times when my ignorant sin has created a feeling of having a thick fog between Him and I, but He never went anywhere.
From a young age, I was keenly interested in the prophetic and the church hasn’t always taught about that important subject.   As a teenager dabbling in the occult, God was faithful to show up and lure me away from Satan’s counterfeiting.   He lead me to my own deliverance and taught me how He wants to deliver others.   As soon as I request forgiveness and repent, He is there in a fraction of a second to cleanse me and work his mighty power in and through me for His purposes.   He wipes away that which separated us and lavishes me with His comfort.   The bible compares God the Father to an earthly father who gives good gifts to his children.   Like earthly parents, who allow their children to go their own way and make mistakes, God the Father is always watching over us, and with the Holy Spirit’s help, uses circumstances to draw us back home into His loving arms, where we come boldly before the throne of grace wearing the white Robe of Righteousness we purchased from Jesus as it says in Revelation 3:18.
In the same way as He lead Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, Holy Spirit is able to go with us into dark places and will use all events in our lives for the good of His Kingdom.   Thankfully, God looks at the heart of man. He sees my stupid naïve innocent heart and is constantly saving me from myself.   Praise God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for His auspicious plan!

REWARD!?

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The words of my mother that still ring in my ears are, “If you have nothing good to say, don’t say anything at all!” So today’s blog is about finding some encouragement for me because I’m sad and discouraged. If you were speaking to me face to face generally I’m humorously sarcastic. So far my blogs have not really expressed that side of my personality. Maybe by talking about Samson, I will lift my spirit and even be able to convey a moral in this story.
In the book of Judges, chapter 13, after the Angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah’s wife, she becomes pregnant with Samson. She is instructed not to drink alcohol or eat any forbidden food because her child will be dedicated to the Lord and will begin an important work. Not only does the Lord appear to her once but He returns to her after Manoah prays for Him to reappear. Showing Himself the second time, she runs to fetch her husband. Why didn’t the Lord appear to Manoah personally? After all, he has a name. And why is her name unimportant? She is forever known as Manoah’s wife and Samson’s mother. To this, I can relate. As I go about my daily activities, I run across many children who emphatically express their happiness in seeing me by yelling, “Hi Kaleb’s mom or Terran’s mom or Sasha’s mom.” Often my eldest son’s friends walk in our home and declare, “Hey Mom, is Dean home?” What an honor!
Before having any children, often couples have grandiose plans of having many children. Well, at least we did. When we got to four, I started questioning my mothering skills. I did not think I was equipped. It’s only the really brave that go through with those plans. The typical status quo of 2 children thinks parents of large families are crazy and I’ve even heard “irresponsible” because some think they become a burden on society. Nothing could be further from the truth. I met a lady who had twelve children. She has one husband and all twelve children are his and God provides for them all without the help of social services. In my opinion, families like hers add much value to any community. She is a strong amazing woman and she is my hero. She has a name but I did not get her permission to publish it.
It’s interesting to me that God includes so many stories about women that are barren, in the bible. Abraham’s wife, Sarah, also mother of many nations was once infertile. Elkanah’s wife, Hannah’s womb was closed before God gave her the desire of her heart, which was Samuel. When God wanted to punish a people he would shut the wombs of their women. Is it because being able to birth and raise children is the best gift a couple can be granted? God says that children are a reward from the Lord. A reward? Yes, a reward!

IMAGINATIONS

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God is showing me how to make my prayer life more effective. He says that I must pray out of the spirit realm, not from my soul. At first, I did not understand what He was saying. First, I need to explain the differences and similarities between the two. My soul consists of my mind, will, and emotions (those components that make me different from anyone else) and my spirit is that part of me that connects with God directly, however we use our soul to make the connection. Like the mind is part of the brain: the brain is the physical part while the mind is the soul part but still connected. Likewise, the soul and spirit are connected and when John, the apostle said, “I become less and Jesus becomes more,” He was referring to the inmost parts of himself. By denying ourselves and choosing what God wants, we become closer to holiness and perfection. God says, “Be Holy as I am Holy.” When we are given new indestructible bodies, we will finally be perfected body, soul and spirit.
After asking the Lord to explain to me the difference between praying from my soul and praying from my spirit, He started showing me how to differentiate. On Sunday morning, as I was worshipping Him at church, I closed my eyes and imagined walking up the staircase to Heaven where I met Jesus. We started to dance to the music that played in the church. I was very aware that my feet were touching the floor. Then, in my imagination Jesus and I started ascending higher and higher as we danced. In my mind’s eye, I could see us above where I knew my physical body was. My body and soul were planted in the church but my spirit was in the air with Jesus. I felt jealous. I wanted my whole self to be up there with Him.
Just so you don’t think I’m off my rocker, Paul, another apostle had an experience from 2 Corinthians 12:3, where he said, “whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows”, it was so real to him that he could not differentiate. It seems to me that God had temporarily transported Paul’s body, soul and spirit in a vision or revelatory experience.
As our model, Jesus said, “I do only what I see the Father doing.” Some believe that in his private prayer times, He would visit with the Father and receive revelation for the work that He would do in that day. We are to do the same.
It’s been said that our minds do not differentiate between our thoughts/imaginations and real life. Our minds perceive both as equally real. So seeing a healing in your imagination gives it power to manifest in the natural. Last weekend, I was with the Senior High Boys Volleyball team at a tournament. On the second day, one of our players woke up very sick, unable to play. As I prayed for him, I saw in my imagination the Finger of God touch the back at his lower abdomen. Then awhile later, he allowed me to lay hands on him and pray and I visualized the same image I saw previously. Since we only had six players to start off with, his illness could have been a major setback for our team instead we won first place in the “B” pool. Praise God. I say, “It is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me!” Oh wait, that was Paul, the apostle (one of the authors of the Bible) that said that.

Oh, I almost forgot. God does not want us to use our imagination for selfish ambition or personal gain which means that each thought we have needs to be obedient to Christ. It is very important that our thoughts line up to Jesus’ teachings for the purpose of God’s kingdom. Amen?