IMPATIENCE AND THE THIEF

thief at bus stop

Jane and I waited for the last bus out of downtown Johannesburg, South Africa. We had just moved there from the States to do missionary work so I had my passport with me in a large purse I carried at my side. It was dusk and we were getting anxious to get back to our friends’ house before nightfall. The bus should have been there already.

I was starting to worry, “Did we miss it?” Jane answered, “I don’t think so, but maybe the buses don’t run regularly, so I don’t really know.” We waited longer. We were the only ones waiting, which made it scarier because we didn’t have anyone to ask. What we did next was really foolish.

Our impatience prompted us to move. We went down the street to another bus stop closer in the direction of home. We waited there impatiently until we could take it no more and we moved down the street again. We did this three times, getting further and further away from the more populated area. The sun was going down and we were getting more worried now—new country, unfamiliar ways, alone on an empty street and no bus in sight. Then Jane spotted a young black man coming our way.

He got about halfway down the block and bolted toward us. Jane had seen him but all I saw was a blur.  She jumped in front of me, grabbed me with both arms around the middle, as I clutched my purse to my chest. The guy hesitated, then ran past us a ways. He stopped and continued to walk slowly down the street as if nothing unusual had happened at all.

Jane gently loosened her grip on me and I relaxed my clenched fists but my heart was still racing and we were both hyperventilating. When we settled down and started to breathe a little easier, in quivering voices we begged God to get the bus there soon.

In just a few minutes it pulled up—the very last bus leaving the city. For our next three years living in Johannesburg, we stayed much more alert and aware and prayed for just about everything.

God didn’t tell us to move down to the next bus stop. We should have just stayed where we were, but we let our impatience drive us into trouble.

How often we’ve gone off in a direction on our own without really consulting the Lord. Proverbs 21:2 tells us, “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes.” But Luke 21:19 tells us, “In your patience possess ye your souls.”

Proverbs 20: 22 tells us to “wait on the Lord, and he shall save thee.” One important way He saves us is to give us wisdom. Don’t be hasty and impatient like we were. Impatience brings the thief into our lives. Wait on the Lord.

Love, Carolyn

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GOD HAS THE PERFECT ANSWER TO A PERFECT STORM

perfect storm perfect storm2

I congratulated Shelley, “Wow, you’ve lost 90 pounds and you look awesome!” She didn’t even smile, “I don’t feel like it. I just can’t see any difference.” Ninety pounds and she couldn’t see any difference? Everyone could see it, but she couldn’t. She told me that she was having problems in her family and wasn’t allowed to see her grandson. And there were issues with work that were exasperating. She was spiraling downhill, being hit on every side. This chain of events is what I call the perfect storm.

“The perfect storm” is a term meteorologists use to describe a storm of astronomical power and devastation. It’s caused by a number of separate events mobilizing to drastically aggravate the circumstances and produce a storm of extreme magnitude.

Sometimes we feel like our lives have been thrown into that kind of storm—no way out, nowhere to turn for safety, no rest, no escape. Swirling in the perfect storm makes us feel like we’re drowning and we can hardly breathe.

In Psalm 18:5 David says, “The sorrows of hell compassed me about.” The original Hebrew for “sorrows” translates “a noose tied together twisting around so that there is no escape.” And the Hebrew for “compasses” means “whirl around on every side, surround, besiege, and enclose.” When we’ve felt horribly attacked, hurt from every side and spiraling uncontrollably down, this is what David is describing here in Psalm 18.

David didn’t mind telling God that the enemy was too strong for him. Like in the movie titled “The Perfect Storm,” even the strongest and smartest guy found that there was no escape. Like that guy, sometimes we have to admit that we truly can’t handle it, and that’s okay with God.

What happens when this overwhelming storm of attacks surrounds a person? They can get swallowed up like Jonah, or nearly drowned in a hurricane like Paul (Acts 27) or pulled down in agony and terror like David. I’ve seen people end up in the hospital, or in my own case one time thrown into a long and miserable suicidal depression.

This kind of intense spiraling spiritual attack is no small matter. The oppressiveness mounts up like floods and the pot get stirred around and around by Satan himself. We have to remember that it’s not the people who are attacking us, but the demons that are behind the very thoughts and actions of the evil that comes against us.

But our God is much more powerful than anything Satan can manipulate. I’ve seen from studying different records in the Bible that God has a specific remedy for the perfect storm.

When David called on God to help him, God got up off His throne and He roared:

“The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.

Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them. Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils” (Ps 18:13-15).

God said He “discomfited” them, which in Hebrew means He made an uproar; He agitated them and destroyed them.  In verse 15 we’re told that God discomfited them with a loud “rebuke at the blast of the breath of his nostrils.” We’re also told in that verse that the roots of the attacks on David were “discovered.” The Hebrew for that word tells us the demons were “exposed, shamelessly revealed, stripped and exiled.” I just love that.

At the blast of God’s breath David was sprung out from Saul’s attempts to destroy him. A blast from God and Jonah was thrown safely onto the beach. By the loud strong words of Paul, the broken up ship was hurled to shore but all lives were saved, including his.

When I saw the perfect storm of spiritual attack on my friend Shelley, God gave me strong loud words of deliverance to shout out, in the name of Jesus Christ. I didn’t have to be there in her presence for Satan and his devils to hear God’s rebuke. The demons were exposed and defeated!

In just a couple hours I got confirmation of her deliverance: She posted a new picture of herself in her skinny jeans and a great big smile, and another photo showing a current snapshot of her with her grandson. I found out later that the work issues also turned out to her benefit.

When confronted with this kind of perfect storm situation, we need to shout or speak with a strong word, not a polite asking. Think about yelling at a sports event. Even the quietest and meekest can get up a good yell.

Clear your lungs and your life with a good shout! It has to be from a standpoint of believing in what you’re doing and believing in the power of our God to rescue. The Lord will give the words. We just have to start. No devil, not Satan himself can stand up against the powerful roar of our God! Believe and receive.

Our God is greater than any storm.

Love, Carolyn

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UNDER HIS WINGS

jesus and children 2 - Copy (2)

UNDER HIS WINGS

Sometimes I just want to breathe a sigh of relief and be comforted. And that’s when I like to picture myself safely tucked under the Lord’s wings.

I painted a reproduction of a famous painting for a local Catholic school. It is Jesus with outstretched arms over several children that have come to Him. I have a copy of it up in my living room to remind me of where I should always be, letting Him take care of me, and not dashing out on my own without Him, but continually under His wings.

Psalm 91:4 says, “He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust.” I love to revel in that image. It brings peace to my mind and heart.

David said, “How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wing” (Ps 36:7). Almighty God is willing to put His powerful and protective wings over us because He loves us so much.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

In another Psalm David prayed, “Hide me under the shadow of thy wings” (Ps 17:8). Under God’s wings nothing can hurt or harm us. Psalm 91:1 tells us, “He that dwelleth [is dwelling] in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”

Ruth was a Moabite. When she lost her husband, her mother-in-law told her she should go back to her people. But Ruth wanted to stay and take care of her widowed mother-in-law. She decided, “Thy people shall be my people and thy God my God” (Ruth 1:16).

Boaz saw Ruth’s meekness and said, “The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust” (Ruth 2:12).

I imagine Ruth was in some ways very alone in this new place and with new people, so it must have been a wonderful feeling that she could rely on and really feel comfort from God.

So if you’re like me or Ruth and sometimes feel like you need some extra comfort, or you feel like David and just need to hide, you can picture yourself at ease under the wings of God or the arms of Jesus.

Even in the troubles and stresses of life, if we remember to be like those children who pressed in to Jesus, we will receive the assurance, strength and help to get through the difficult times victoriously.

Love, Carolyn

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ASKING FOR HELP

prayer

I was walking out to my car when Serena came out after me, gently pulling her sister with her. “Could you pray for us? The three of us together?” Then she quoted the Bible, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matt 18:20). I knew in my spirit that her heart was tender and she was believing for something wonderful.

I said, “Sure.” I put my hands on both of them, closed my eyes and began to pray. The prayer quickly split into individual prophesies over the sisters. The Lord Jesus had a message for each.

Two beautiful sisters given two very different ministries. One was a missionary of mercy. The other a warrior for God’s people.

My heart was thrilled to be the one who got to anoint these two women with direct words from our Lord Jesus Christ. I love to prophesy in this way. It makes me feel I’m getting to do something important for God.

But what brought this about? It wasn’t me.

It was that Serena had the guts to ask a perfect stranger for prayer and they both believed for me to give them their answers from the Lord.

A great example of this is in the Bible is the record of a blind man in Mark 10. He didn’t sit around wishing something would change for him. He constantly was asking for money so he could survive. That’s all he knew to do. But when he heard that Jesus had more than money to give and that Jesus was coming down the road, he got brave and cried out to him.

“Blind Bartimaeus sat by the highway side begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me. And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?” (Mark 10: 46-51).

This is really interesting. Up to this point, the blind man had been begging for money, but what did he really want? He had to check his innermost being and articulate what he really wanted. Jesus specifically asked the man to verbalize his true desire.

“The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.  And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way” (Mark 10:51-52). The man had faith to receive his sight. He pulled it in.

The lame man in Acts 3 called out to Peter and John:

“And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb, who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: And immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God” (Acts 3: 4-8) .

These two examples in the Bible show how people received a direct touch from the supernatural side of life—from God through the Lord Jesus Christ and His followers.

A word of prophesy on a believer is also a touch from the same.

These people from the Bible as well as from Las Vegas were bold enough to ask. And when they did, they believed to receive something supernatural and wonderful. Let’s not forget to ask. Remember asking not only benefits the person asking but also benefits the person who genuinely needs to give.

Love, Carolyn

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SCIENTIFIC AND SPIRITUAL EFFECT OF WORDS ON WATER AND LIFE

words on water 3

“I’m losing it,” he chuckled. He used that phrase way too often and in the next six years sadly he did lose it. His creative, sharp mind took a downhill turn and succumbed into a dementia he never quite recovered from. Did it really have to do with the words he spoke?

Both scientifically and biblically the answer is YES.

Much scientific research has been done to test the results of the phrases we speak. “Words have power. Most people speak words that increase body stress and turn the body’s pH from alkaline to acidic. Words can change the way we think and feel.  Researchers have concluded that speaking the correct form of words and thinking the correct thoughts actually changes a person’s DNA.”  (Kevin Trudeau, Natural Cures 2004).

An experiment was done by the Japanese scientist, Masaru Emoto, where different phrases were spoken to water crystals, which were then photographed. Harsh and mean words made the molecules look very different from the molecules that received gentler words. The water molecules in this experiment responded to words, so why wouldn’t the water molecules in our own bodies? Children’s bodies are about 75% water and adults about 60%. We are affecting those molecules by our words.

The Bible has many strong things to say about words. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov 18:21). “Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth” (Prov 6:2). “A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul” (Prov 18:7). We don’t want to be fools.

We can’t be frivolous, saying, “Oh, I didn’t really mean it.” If we continue saying things like, “It blew my mind,” or “My foot is killing me,” or “It scares me to death,” or “It was unbelievable,” our brains can’t help but believe we really mean it and then our brains send those signals to the rest of our body and it responds accordingly. Speaking puts it in motion. God says if we keep speaking it, it will absolutely come to pass. It’s a law of life, just like the law of gravity: If you drop it, it’s going to fall.

Let’s stop dropping “phrase rockets” on ourselves. I’ve seen the sad and awful results too many times. So, I’m asking you to please consider this.

Ask the Holy Spirit to make you aware of phrases you need to stop saying. Also ask family members or friends to help you. I know it’s not easy, and it’s especially not fun to have people correcting you about the things you speak. Frankly, it gets annoying! But if we will make the changes in our speech, it won’t be long before we notice the changes in our bodies, our emotions and our minds. They will be healthier and our lives happier.

Love, Carolyn

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REFRESHING OUR BELIEVING ABOUT MIRACLE HEALINGS

Jesus healing

Sometimes I get bogged down with daily life and my perspective gets limited. It really helps me at those times to go back to reflect on some of the healing miracles God’s done for me in the past and refresh my believing.

1972, in the little town of Fairfax, California: We went to hang out at the same little restaurant every morning before work. We stayed long enough for me to drink four cups of coffee, devour runny over-easy eggs with toast and catch up on some local gossip. In that same little restaurant I caught hepatitis A. The whites of my eyes turned sickly yellow and I was messed up.

At the time, I had enrolled in a Bible research class. I really didn’t feel like going that night because I had a fever and was exhausted from the hepatitis. But my brother Mark talked me into it and I showed up. I learned about the healing power in the name of Jesus Christ and I believed.

After class Mark prayed for me and ministered healing to me. The same week I went back to the doctor’s office and he read my blood test. I was completely and miraculously healed of hepatitis—no yellow jaundice, no more signs of it ever being there.

I’ve experienced several other healing miracles and I’ve ministered healing to people (and pets) and seen amazing miracles of healing in other people too. One really memorable time for me was when I was in a large healing service and sitting up on the second floor. As I looked down onto the people below, I saw a woman go up to an older gentleman and start to talk to him. He got up out of his chair and started to walk with her down the aisle toward the back. As he walked, his left side was limp and it was obvious he had had a stroke. As I watched them walk, I saw the miracle take place and he started to walk with more and more strength until he was walking totally normal. All this took place in about five minutes. It was awesome to see.

Exodus 15:26 says “I am the Lord that healeth thee.” “I will take sickness away from the midst of thee” (Ex 23:25). It’s so important to refresh ourselves in the scriptures, as well as thinking about past healing miracles—so we don’t let the world take us down in despair and unbelief.

“Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people” (Matt 4:23). Jesus sent his disciples out to do the same and He sends us out today. He has not changed his mind about healing. “And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease” (Matt 10:1). We are His disciples today and can be healing people.

God created everything in the universe. The atoms and even tiniest electrons are constantly moving. Holy Spirit can move any atoms in or out of our bodies for healing. God’s power, the power demonstrated by the Lord Jesus, His disciples and His followers is just as real today as it was in Bible times.

Dodie Osteen was diagnosed with liver cancer in 1981. The doctors told her there was nothing more they could do. She went home and looked up verses in the Bible on healing and started to say them. Sure she got discouraged at times but she didn’t give up and she’s still alive and well today. It’s now 34 years since her diagnosis and she has no signs of cancer.

Satan will not stop attacking people with the threats of death, pain and suffering. It’s hard to grasp the truths of miraculous healing if we are bombarded and surrounded with disease and death. When Peter was walking on water he was doing great until he looked at the storm around him. The Bible says he began to sink (Luke 5). Jesus helped him.

We can have miraculous healing in our lives, but we will have to keep looking at the truth of God’s Word or we will begin to sink too. Satan is going to do all he can to keep us from true miraculous healing. So we have to search it out ourselves.

There’s plenty of counterfeits out there in spiritualism and the occult, but I’m talking about true Biblical, lasting, Godly miracles. If you aren’t seeing them in your church, that’s not so good, but with the computer, we all have access to finding examples of true healings. We can go on-line to read about true healing through the power of the living Lord Jesus Christ. Holy Spirit helps us know the difference between the true and the counterfeit. Miracles of healing take place a lot more often than we think, if we’re only willing to look. They shouldn’t be unusual events in our lives.

Healing was the norm in Jesus’ time. We can take another look at Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, as well as the book of Acts and the Epistles. What we look at consistently will get into our hearts and influence our lives.

If you’ve seen or experienced too much pain or seen too much death, I understand you may have a hard time believing in miraculous healing for yourself or loved ones. No guilt. God understands. But if you just can’t see yourself believing in it, at least teach your children the truth about miracle healing. If you are a Christian, you owe that to them. It’s only fair. Kids will believe the truth faster and more completely. And it may just be that in teaching them, you will begin to believe more yourself.

Remember, the only really good thing about sickness or disease is getting over it!

Love, Carolyn

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WHEN YOU KNOW IN YOUR HEART A SITUATION IS BAD

fear no evil

It was December and the rules of the contest were if you completed your year-long goal, you had a chance at winning the money. I got an e-mail the night before and I was a little nervous: “Were you able to complete your goal?” (They remembered me. That’s a good sign, right?) I shot back: “Yes, I did.” The next day was the meeting and when they came to the contest part I was piqued.

But as hard as I had tried to see a positive picture of me winning, it just wasn’t happening. As the negative thoughts kept popping up, I’d force them away and I quoted victory scriptures instead. The announcer came up, “Okay, we have two people who completed the challenge. The winner gets $40 and free meetings all year long. “Oh good, only two of us.” When she drew the name out, it wasn’t mine! “OH NO! What happened?!”

All that positive praying and I just couldn’t make the outcome be what I wanted. The truth is, I really knew it in my heart but I just didn’t want to believe it. In this minor experience I was reminded of a much larger truth.

Sometimes the Lord’s messages to us are going to be negative and not what we want to hear. Instead of trying to force the positive result with scriptures, if they aren’t doing anything, then we need to stop pushing and just ask the Lord, “What’s going on?” He expects us to have that kind of relationship with Him. I was trying to muscle through with my own will, but it wasn’t to be. Next time this happens I’m going to be more sensitive to the situation and just ask, and save myself some grief!

My incident was small, but Ezekiel tells of a much graver situation. The prophets weren’t liking the messages God was giving about war coming. They decided to enforce their own will and preached peace instead. “Therefore the Lord God says: “I will destroy you for these ‘visions’ and lies. My hand shall be against you, and you shall be cut off from among the leaders of Israel; I will blot out your names, and you will never see your own country again. And you shall know I am the Lord.  For these evil men deceive my people by saying, ‘God will send peace,’ when that is not my plan at all” (Ezekiel 13:8-10)!

When we pray about anything or anyone, we go for the best and that’s a good thing. But if in our spirit we sense it’s honestly not to be, let’s remember to stop and ask the Lord what’s up. He’ll let us know. Honest raw truth from God is better than even the slightest bit of “positive thinking” that is not true. The sooner we accept the “negative” message from the Lord, the sooner we can deal with it and move through it.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever” (Ps 23:4-6).

Love, Carolyn

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