What Comes Next After Send…

By Donna Astern

Asking for Prayer

You decide to ask for prayer and type out your request, hoping for a favorable outcome. You have needs and desires for which the intervention of the Spirit of God will make all the difference. Sending in a request is an act of faith, and perhaps, also of desperation.

Yet, sending in the request is not all that is needed. Continue reading

Are You Worried?

“If you aren’t worried, it’s because you aren’t paying attention!”, the cartoon said.

Certainly there has been enough bad news and warnings of all kinds of disasters that many people are fearful. And unfortunately, in many cases, some Christians are almost gleeful of tales of impending doom. Just like Jonah who was. He didn’t like the Ninevites and was all too happy to see them destroyed, and he didn’t want his prophetic proclamations to fail.

But I keep returning to what Jesus said. These words keep echoing over and over in my heart: Continue reading

For Those in Despair and Pain

A surprising number of believers have found themselves in a place of tremendous wounding, grief, and loss, even struggling with thoughts of suicide. Faith has been shaken and the light at the end of the tunnel has all but extinguished.

That wounding has been deepened through the abandonment or insensitivity of the usual support system. Rather than finding the compassionate Good Samaritan (Luke 10:33) who is proactive in healing and support, many find only “Job’s comforters” (Job 16:2) admonishing the bleeding and broken to just get over it and get back to living. There is a time to grieve and while none of us needs to prolong that state, the severity of some blows takes longer for recovery, even hospitalization.

Continue reading

A Flying Caterpillar

By David Alsobrook

A fuzzy caterpillar was crawling on a tree limb munching on green leaves. He noticed birds flying in the air and something intuitively said to him: One day you will fly! He knows this came from The Creator and believes it in his caterpillar heart, but his caterpillar mind gets it tangled up somehow. He envisions himself as a Flying Caterpillar!

He begins to get sleepy and notices ooze coming from his body. Next thing he knows is he is in a dark place, a warm cocoon. And then disaster strikes: his body begins dissolving in that dark, wet place. “Oh no!” the fuzzy caterpillar cries, “I am losing my fuzziness, my greenness, my caterpillar-ness! This is horrible! Why is The Creator causing this to happen to me? He promised me wings, but instead I’m A MESS!” Continue reading

Broken Promises, Broken Dreams Restored

By Swanson Soyars

“Jesus said, ‘Have the people sit down.’ There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them. Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciple, ‘Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.’ So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.”(John 6:10-13)

Jesus emphasized “Let nothing be wasted, pick up and gather the broken pieces”, (broken promises and dreams of God over your life and the lives of others). The twelve baskets represent both the twelve tribes of Israel and the governmental authority of His kingdom.

Jesus did not pick up the pieces that were left over and or broken, He directed his disciples to pick them up, and place them in the government of His authority.
Continue reading

Spiritual Evolution

True spiritual evolution starts with a divine dissatisfaction with our current status. Recognition of our need for the Savior initially led us to becoming born again.

From that point on, we grew and made spiritual progress. Yet, when our journey led us to a wall, we grew increasingly appalled at the disparity between the promises of the Word and what was our current experience. The abundant life Jesus promised was only partially understood or incorporated into everyday life. We knew deep down we were falling short of the promise. Continue reading

Maneuvering the Fog

Driving early one morning through the Georgia foothills, it was evident this would not be a sight-seeing trip. The heavy fog enveloped us so that only the immediate road and signage was visible.

Watching for the correct numbered exit was the primary focus, even as the lack of scenic surroundings and need to drive more slowly made the distance between exits seem longer than usual.

Without opportunity to see and appreciate the green hills and waterways, we concentrated on the highway and the traffic.  Eventually as the morning wore on, the fog began to dissipate and our visibility increased. Continue reading

Loving You

Healthy friendships are loving, supportive, respectful, and honest. We enjoy spending time with each other. Oftentimes, when we are discouraged, it is a friend who comes along and makes us laugh or gives us reassurance and hope.

A true friend will not sabotage your dreams or be happy about your struggles. Healthy people do not tolerate a friend who continually makes them feel worse with critical remarks and ridicule.

Yet, that very behavior is not only tolerated, but too often accepted, when it comes from our own inner voice. Barbs of criticism are mistakenly identified as “humility”, or even, appallingly, “the conviction of the Lord”. Continue reading

Lean Into This Season

It was a difficult time of upheaval, change,uncertainty, and loss mixed with abandonment. Then I heard the Lord speak to my heart:

“Lean into this season.”

At the time, I was resisting the circumstances, suffering from the pain I felt so deeply, questioning and doubting myself.

To me, this meant to accept what was. I was not going to get all the answers I wanted. There were so many things I was powerless to change, yet I wanted things to be different than what they were.

Many other times I have seen the power of prayer and faith-filled words bring a turn-around to negative situations.  However, this time it was not so much resisting evil, as it was resisting change.
Continue reading

Intentional Faith, or How Not to be a Practical Atheist

There are two approaches to life– to live as though God is at work, or as though He were not. Some who profess to believe in God worry and strive as though He were not a factor.

Jesus said, “Have faith in God.” This is a constant, abiding, and growing faith that is accompanied by hope, peace, and love.

Listen here.

Another Use for a Thesaurus

How are things going for you today? Before you answer too quickly, remember:

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” ~ Prov 18:21

Knowing the importance of speaking words of life, you may hesitate at times to find a positive answer.

It is important to be truthful, and when you are in pain, to pour out your complaint to the Lord. However, optimism can become a habit as surely as pessimism. Continue reading

Miserable No More

Whereas God’s intention is that we are blessed (which according to the Amplified version means: happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable), many people are waiting for something or someone outside themselves to make them happy. Many are trapped in a prison of pain, rejection, and self-pity. It is time to learn how to be free and to be miserable no more!

Listen.

You As a Spiritual Powerhouse

Recently a video has been circulating online of three-year-old Hannah praying with her parents before bedtime. This is no “Now I lay me down to sleep” rehearsed kind of praying!

Hannah not only makes requests, but she makes declarations and praise. She starts off slowly, and then the passion begins to rise. She goes on for several minutes with her mom saying, “That’s right, Hannah. Yes, He is!” This little one is learning to be a spiritual powerhouse!  Continue reading

Agreement With His Blessing

Seeing what Israel had done in battle against the Amorites, King Balak of Moab was afraid that his people were next in Israel’s strategy of intended conquests through the wilderness. Worried that his army was not able to withstand the onslaught, he sought supernatural help to oppose them.

Balak sent messengers with payment to the highly-regarded pagan prophet, Balaam, who had a reputation for releasing blessings or curses. If Balaam would call upon his spiritual resources and curse Israel, then perhaps Moab could drive them back and defeat them. Continue reading

Conversations

A man told me of the time he was painting the spiral staircase and said, “Lord, I’m not going to paint the bottom of the three lowest stairs.”

As clear as a bell, he heard the Lord say, “We both know someone who will notice.” Sure enough, later on, his wife came in, inspected the paint job, and said, “You didn’t paint the bottom of the last three stairs.”

True story.

I wonder how many of us carry on such conversations with the Lord. Continue reading

Prophetic Acts

As the man swung the axe, the axehead slipped off the handle and fell into the river. He was immediately distressed for he had borrowed it.

The prophet Elisha asked where it fell. Then he cut a stick and tossed it in the river in same spot and the axehead floated! (2 Kings 6)

Does that story make you wonder why he did that? Why didn’t he just command the axehead to float the way Elijah commanded fire to fall from heaven? Continue reading

Facing Dream Busters

There are a lot of reasons why people discourage others from pursuing their dreams.  Many seem to be altruistic – an effort to protect someone from failure or pain.  But we can’t protect someone from the pain of life, and certainly not at the cost of their dreams.

Jesus did not get his identity from what people said about him, he got his identity from what the Father said about him!

All things are possible – so, do you believe?

Which Way to Run?

Two Responses to Challenge

God knew that after 400 years of slavery, the Israelites were not ready to enter their Promised Land. They needed to have a new perspective of who they were and of the God who had delivered them. In His mercy, with the cloud by day and the fire by night, He led them along an alternate route, rather than a direct one.

After a time, they grew discouraged in the wilderness because of the way. (Num 21:4) Their trek was longer and more challenging than they had expected. They fell into ingratitude and grumbling towards the man they had once praised for his vision and leadership. Mutinous plans to return to Egypt were formed, but God squashed the rebellion. He intended that they move forward into their inheritance as a sovereign nation. Continue reading

Finding Encouragement

It was a catastrophe.

David and his warriors returned to their home base at Ziklag and were shocked to discover that the city had been raided and burned and that all their wives and children were carried away captive. The men were in great anguish and, in their pain, blamed David and were ready to kill him.

David was greatly distressed. His own family had also been taken, and his life was now in danger from his own men. He was grieving and at a loss what to do.

At that point, David made the choice to strengthen himself in the Lord. He did not wallow in grief-stricken self-pity. As he stood alone, he turned to the One he knew to be a refuge in the day of trouble. He encouraged himself in the Lord.

Why was David alone able to find strength and encouragement?

Continue reading

Where Are You Looking?

When people are under stress, fear and desperation, that is when they begin to make wrong responses to situations.  Our wrong responses at best don’t help us any, and at worse… make things worse!

It is in times of difficulty is when we ESPECIALLY need to look to the Lord, and make right, godly responses to the challenges facing us.  Obedience to the Lord and His word include our service, tithing, giving and ministry– these are the seeds to sow when we most need a harvest!

Victory Over Reproach

The Word instructs us that we are to live above reproach– to conduct ourselves in such a way that our critics can find no fault in us.

Of course, there are people who are always going to look to find fault, criticize and judge. We can have victory over reproach, and not fall into the trap of judgment and condemnation of others by sowing mercy, accepting mercy and living in faith that God is truly on our side!

Your Heavenly Makeover

The nature of the universe is designed to respond to your words and belief system– all of creation responds to the voice of the Lord.

Our thoughts, words and actions need to agree with the spiritual image God has destined for us.  We need a heavenly makeover!

Throw Out the Slave and Her Son

In order to come into the fullness of our true identity, we have to break off the bondage of old mindsets. We are to live and serve out of true Sonship, and not slavery.

Rather than deal with the responsibility of freedom, many people revert back to a slave mentality. But in order to obtain the full legal rights of our Sonship in Christ Jesus, we must persevere and reach out for the freedom to which we were purchased!

Still Standing or Standing Still?

Are you still standing in faith with purpose or have you become stuck or lethargic?

The Day After The Word

A prophetic word starts something in motion, but the path to fulfillment requires perseverance, patience and testing.

It is normal that things will look worse before it gets better. We are instructed to fight the good fight of faith in accordance with the words spoken over us.

God has a purpose in our destiny and the process of walking it out. Learn to dig deeper into Him and remain connected to the Body that God may be glorified in the fulfillment of all things.

Avoiding Shipwreck

When the storms of life come is when people will often cast away the very things that they need in order to survive. Tossing away the anchor the last-ditch effort of desperation, but it is not the way to avoid shipwreck.

If we will heed the voice of wisdom, hold to the anchor of faith and fight the good fight, we can avoid being shipwrecked in our faith. Hope, the Word of God, confession and consistency are the very anchors that will see you through the storm. Hold fast, and fight the good fight of faith.

The Faithfulness of God

God’s loving kindness toward us is because we are in covenant relationship with Him. The Lord is GOOD, and He takes holy pleasure in being able to bless His people.

Our sin can make us is timid to trust in God’s goodness. But God’s goodness is not like ours. His goodness is self-caused, and does not depend on or fluctuate because of circumstances.

Focusing on His goodness will cause our hearts to have full assurance of faith. The Lord is good, and His mercy endures forever!

Evicting the Deaf and Dumb Spirit

We need to hear from God. And, God has promised to give wisdom generously… yet sometimes we still have trouble hearing.

Deaf and dumb spirits, along with unbelief, can be an obstacle to hearing the Lord. Most people’s problem in seeing a breakthrough is not the amount of their faith, but the amount of their unbelief.

But, we can overcome the deaf and dumb spirits and our unbelief and receive the wisdom, strategy, healing and breakthrough that comes from hearing the voice of the Lord.

The End of Pig-Pen Days

Pig-Pen

Remember Charles M. Schulz’s “Peanuts” character Pig-Pen? He is best-known for the cloud of dirt and dust that follows him wherever he goes.

Many times we, as Christians, are like Pig-Pen — the memory, pain and condemnation of our past is like a cloud that follows us everywhere. Though we are born-again, spirit-filled believers, our current “cloud” of thinking affects our confidence in the Lord.

Jesus doesn’t look at our past. He wants to bring us PAST the law of sin and condemnation and into His law of life and peace. Through repentance, faith and renewing our minds, we can live free — remembering our sins no more, and living “from now on” as Jesus sees us.

Spiritual Blocks to Healing

Date: October 13th, 2007

The Wrestling Match of the Heart

Date: September 15th, 2007

Strength through Prayer and Prophecy

Date: August 11th, 2007

Separation

Date: June 23rd, 2007

Two Inheritances

Date: June 16th, 2007

A New Approach to Healing

Date: May 26th, 2007

Staying off the Ledge

Date: April 21st, 2007

The Promise of Prophecy

Date: February 10th, 2007