LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS

Sherry asked him if the job was starting on the 12th, as scheduled. His face flushed as he tilted his head downward and away from her. He said nothing. Sherry took a deep breath, straightened up her shoulders and confronted him, “It’s not, is it?” He stuttered a bit, “Well… not yet.” There had already been a couple postponements so the tension was thick in the air as her brain ingested those words.

To me it would be like putting a moldy strawberry in my mouth. I’d want to spit it out immediately. But not Sherry. Not one negative word came out of her mouth. She tucked it away and I was amazed.

All of this happened in just a matter of seconds as I stood there mixing my paint, trying to be anonymous. But my mind was going like star bursts, held in breathless wonder at how she was able to keep utterly silent under those circumstances.

Could I do that? Nope, not at this point. I definitely need more practice and help from the Holy Spirit to keep my mouth shut. But, wow, what a goal. Her ability to handle this negative situation so well really impressed me and seeing it in action gave me hope and a vivid illustration I won’t forget.

I’ve always believed that I can learn something from just about everyone, especially everyone in the body of Christ.

We all have our shortcomings, weaknesses and cracks in our souls. Where we lack, there are others who are strong. The Bible calls those who are born again, members of the body of Christ.

We need each other.

The Bible says, “But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you” (1 Cor 12:18 and 21).

And Ephesians 5 tells us we are to submit ourselves, one to another. That tells me that we are to look and learn and be observant of those good qualities in other’s lives.

So, Sherry, thanks for your great example. It inspired me and gave me a vivid illustration and model to remember on how to keep my lips locked.

The thing is, Sherry doesn’t even know yet what her actions meant to me (until I send her this).

All the more reason to keep following Jesus the best we can. Because when we do, we inspire others and give them an example to live up to, even when we don’t know it.

Love, Carolyn

Next weekend is a FREE download of WINGS Part 4. It contains great chapters including GENERATIONAL CURSES, GOSSIP AND HEALING, THE PROCESS OF OBEDIENCE, ANGER AND FORGIVENESS and many more. The free offer goes from Thursday July 17th thru Monday July 21st. Enjoy.

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WAITING WITHOUT STRESS

Here’s the problem: I would like to be writing full-time. I currently work as a painter and I like it, but eventually I’d like to do painting as a side job, and do my Christian writing as my main job. I think I’m trusting the Lord but why is it taking so long?

I recognize the problems. I can see what a possible solution might be. But what do I do with myself while I’m waiting?

The Bible says trust. But what does that mean and how do I do it consistently without doubting? Yesterday I realized that even though I think I’m trusting, sometimes I don’t act like it. I have faith and trust one day and then discouragement and doubt the next. James 1:6-8 says: “For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

So there you have it. If my trust level is wavering, then I’m not going to receive what I need from the Lord. That’s harsh! But it’s true, so I have to find a way to keep my trust level up and stable.

The only way I know of is to continually say, out loud, what the Bible says and write it down. I didn’t make this formula up. It’s in God’s Word in several places. Daniel 6:8 says that the way to establish something you say, is to write it down and sign it: “Establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed.” And Romans 10:17 says, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” It doesn’t say “faith cometh by reading,” or “faith cometh by thinking,” or that “faith cometh by talking to a lot of other people about your problems.”

But faith comes by hearing and the best source of that hearing is our own mouths. We’re more likely to believe and act on something we say than something someone else says. If I say, “I’m going to the restroom,” I’m more likely to go than if someone else says, “Carolyn, go to the restroom.”

From the scriptures we see that the winning combination is to write down the decree, say it and sign it. With this combination, we’ll be able to be stable and decrease the doubt or wipe it out. We will not be wavering, but trusting and we will receive from the Lord the true desires of our hearts. With the frenzy of life these days, I suggest saying our written decree every day at least one time, if not more, to confirm our trust and stability. The Holy Spirit will definitely help us with our efforts.

Proverbs 3: 5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Some of us who have grown up to be independent and learned to take care of ourselves have relied on and trusted in our own reasoning. We want to know why, when, how, and who. We want to get the facts up front and then trust, but that’s not the way God works. We need to leave all the reasoning behind for a while, and just trust Him. Reasoning gives us stress. Trust gives us rest.

Trust is love without having to know the details.

Here is my decree, as I got it from the Lord yesterday (with the scripture back-up listed at the end): “I trust the Lord. God is working in me to will and to do of His good pleasure. My times are in His hands. I cast my care on Him because he cares for me. It’s going to work out because God has a GOOD plan for my future. I do all things without murmuring because the Lord Jesus is with me and I’m following Him. I am complete in Him.” Proverbs 3:5, Philippians 2:13, Psalm 31:15, 1 Peter 5:7, Jeremiah 29:11, Philippians 2:14, Matthew 28:20, Matthew 4:19, Colossians 2:10.

If you want, you can use this decree as a guide when you prayerfully write your own.

Have a wonderful week.

Love, Carolyn

Coming up this Thursday July 10 thru Monday July 14 FREE download of WINGS Sample C: WORKS OF FAITH. This sample has all true stories of different acts of faith that make our world a better place.

BLACK ICE

I was driving to a friend’s house when it started to rain. As I turned into the far lane of the freeway on-ramp, the wheels on my pickup hit the grease in the road and it started to hydroplane just like hitting black ice. I turned into the skid but then I was sliding in the opposite direction and out of control. The whole truck slipped one way then the other, then toward the cement easement.

I heard the forceful sound of crushing metal as my front end smashed into the cement. I heard the garish crunch but I didn’t feel it. Everything seemed to be happening in slow motion and I was the spectator watching a movie of myself.

This happened to me before in Michigan when a big truck jackknifed across the freeway right in front of me and I nearly hit it but suddenly stopped only about five feet short, and once when I hit black ice at an intersection in Ohio.

I am convinced that God actually slows down time in these kinds of situations. In Isaiah 38:8 God said, “Behold I will bring the shadow on the sundial ten degrees backward.” That was about forty minutes. God can and will do this for us. And I pray for protection every morning and truly believe that angels surround us so that we don’t get hurt. Psalm 5:12 promises, “with favor thou wilt thou compass him as with a shield.” I believe that with all my heart.

The back end of my truck jutted out into the oncoming lanes. Fortunately there were only a few cars coming and they were able to go around.  I managed to scrape my way across the two lanes and into the hotel parking lot.

A tall good-looking man came over. He asked if I was hurt and I said I wasn’t. He said, “I saw the whole thing and I can’t believe you weren’t hurt and that you can actually drive your car!” He pulled a tool out of his shirt pocket, “I always carry this with me.” It looked like a pair of pliers, but then he began to cut into the metal bumper with it and was able to bend out the bumper and use the tool again to loosen the last bolt holding it on. He put the piece in the bed of my truck. Then he used the tool again to pull the fender away from the wheel so it wouldn’t scrape. After a little effort on his part and testing on my part, I was able to drive freely. All I had was twenty dollars with me, which I gave him and thanked him profusely for the help.

A couple more miracles took place around this incident: my roommate found a place to get parts at the most discounted prices in America and my neighbor offered to put them on for free. What I’ll end up paying is less than half of what I’d pay with a deductible.

I’m not trying to say that all of this was a delight. Not so. After the accident I had to grab my mind and mouth many times to keep out the negatives of worry, stress and despair. But thank God I was able to do it. I’m learning to keep quiet and trust Him even in the negative situations and He comes through every time.

If His eyes are on the sparrow, He will surely watch over me. (Luke 12:6-7)

Love, Carolyn

Check out my books on Amazon under my name and have a great week!

DEVIL GOT PUT DOWN WHEN CHRIST WENT UP

I heard a story where a brother and his sister were riding in the back seat of the family car when all of a sudden the little girl blurted out, “Shut up devil!” Mom turned around and asked, “Why did you say that?” The little girl answered, “Because the devil told me I should break John’s leg.”

We all need to do more of what that little girl did and tell the devil to shut up and go back down where he belongs.

When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, Matthew tells us Jesus responded with: “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Matt 4:10). Notice that Jesus didn’t pray about it. He didn’t ask God to get Satan away from him. He spoke directly to the spirit and “then the devil leaveth him” (vs.11). Throughout Jesus’ walk on the earth we see that He speaks directly to that which is destructive and tells it to stop or depart. We can do the same.

I looked up the Greek translation for “get thee hence” from Matthew 4:10. It is hupago which comes from ago, which is to go, and hupo which is under, beneath, below, to an inferior position. So hupago is to go below. Jesus commanded Satan to back down.

Before I came to this revelation of sending evil deeply under and beneath, I would cast out devil spirits, but I only cast them away, not under. Demanding that evil take itself below is a much stronger image and agrees with many other passages we find in the Bible. For example there is the record of when Jesus cast the devil spirits out of the man of the Gadarenes. The evil spirits went into the pigs. And then what did they do? They jumped from a higher position on the cliffs to the water below and drowned:

And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand) and were choked in the sea. (Mark 5:12-13 AMP)

When Jesus allowed himself to be crucified, He allowed for every evil that possibly could be inflicted on a man or woman to be inflicted upon himself. That would include any sickness, disease, oppression, worry, guilt, lack, and anything you or I can possibly think of that is destructive to the body, soul, or spirit. Jesus took it all upon Himself. He also was buried with it. And all of that evil and sickness was taken to Hell with Him.

It took tremendous power for God to raise Jesus up out of that filth, every bit of slimy, clawing, insidious evil wanting to pull him back down, or hitch a ride up. The Devil thought he’d destroyed Jesus; he certainly would fight to keep him down there, but he couldn’t. When God raised Jesus, all evil was left behind, dropped away, and Jesus was raised as the victorious Christ.

Without oppression, there could be freedom. Without sickness and disease, there could be health. Without the wretchedness of poverty, there could be abundance and generous overflow. Without the claw of addiction there could be the joy of liberty. Without the strain of jealousy, there could be the comfort of love. Jesus took all evil to Hell, left it there and was raised all the way up to Heaven to enjoy the full, unimpaired blessing of God.

The rightful position of believers is above with Christ, and without any of things Jesus took with Him to the grave and to Hell.

Because of “his great love wherewith he loved us,” God “hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:4 and 6), “far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named” (Eph 1: 21).

Romans 6:4 tells us “that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Truthfully, any of the things that Jesus took to the grave and left deep in Hell, should not be in our lives. If they have deceitfully become a part of our lives, we have the perfect right to send them right back down to where they came from. We can walk in the new freedom we have.

God’s given us victory and authority in Christ. If devil spirits try to talk us into things that are not the best for us, we can say, like the little girl in the back seat, “Shut up devil!” Or we can say, like Jesus, “Go back below, where you belong! You don’t have any right to be here with me!”

Love, Carolyn

Look for the next free download on Thursday: Sample book E – Bible Studies – more exciting than you might think, it includes chapters such as “The Missing Manual,” “Why the Devil Has No Authority,” and “History told in the Heavenlies.” Also a good one on what we can gain from knowing about the O.T. festivals in the chapter on Father’s Day. Available from Amazon.

GOD CAN TURN OUR IRRITATIONS INTO DELIGHT

When we do a faux finish to match a live sample, (like making a piece of hardboard look like mahogany), we have to look at our samples in the conference room because it has the same lighting they have at the designers’ office where our samples get approved. Our electricity went haywire and three of the necessary lights in the conference room were off. We were on a strict deadline and were already nervous.

An electrician was called but it was a full day before he showed up. When he did, he was way too casual for our liking. He would work a little, take a smoke break, jabber with the guys awhile, work a little more, take another smoke break, laugh and jabber with the guys some more, work a little and then, yes, another smoke break. At the end of the day, we were told the lights were working. Next morning, lights not working again. This was really frustrating.

My boss said, “I guess we’ll have to go over to the pub to get a good look at our samples.” I thought she was joking so I just laughed and got back to work trying to do the best I could. The electrician showed up again a day later and I was getting more and more disgusted with him and started calling him names behind his back. I knew it was wrong, so the second night I repented and I forgave him and tried to not let my thoughts about him weave more of a bad story.

The next day at work, my boss being equally frustrated with the situation, suggested again taking our samples to the better lighting at the pub. This time I quickly agreed and off we went.

Not only was it super profitable as far as seeing what we needed to do with our samples, but they were serving breakfast at half off, so we decided, “What the heck, we’re going to take a break anyway, so why not here?” We’d never done that before.

We had a really delightful time, laughing and letting all our frustrations disintegrate into thin air.

The electrician irritated us to no end, but since we ended up having such a great time, maybe we should have been thanking him instead? One of my friends is convinced of this philosophy: We should be thanking those people who bother us for stepping into our lives. We may never have had the opportunity to learn what we did without them.

With this situation I was reminded of Genesis 50:20, where Joseph says to his brothers, “You plotted evil against me, but God turned it into good.” The electrician didn’t specifically plot against us, but the adversary used his actions to really get to us. But God turned the situation around and used it to catapult us into a really amazing, one of a kind, fun day.

I don’t know about you, but I need to see more of this kind of thing. God will take my negative and turn it around for good and no one can stop Him. That’s a great truth to hold on to.

Love, Carolyn

Check out my book on Amazon. It’s in print form and e-book, or you can get shorter, stand-alone sections with 6 chapters for as low as $.99. WINGS: A Journey in Faith from the Earthly to the Heavenly.