Fallen Yet Not Down

Set your thoughts on Jesus as you will never rise higher than your thinking.
Take a moment and look at the picture. See if you can catch what happened to the tree.
First, though it’s fallen over, it’s not down. Storms knocked it over, but it’s still alive and growing…sideways.
Second, this horizontal branch has shoots growing straight up. Though fallen, it’s still growing! Cool, right?
Know the signs of the times in which you live. Tropical storms are coming, if they haven’t already occurred. And, we all know it; but life, at times, is simply not fair.
A believing friend, who is now home with Jesus (the ultimate fallen yet not down!), used to tell his children, “Don’t play the victim. Make good decisions. Keep moving forward.”
When life is unfair or you look back over your life and see the scattered mess you or others have caused, you have a choice to make.
You can play the victim card. “Look at what happened to me!” And then make bad choices, which only take you backward.
Or, you can choose to look to Jesus. Let Him show you how He wants you to handle the effects of the storm; and then rise to the sky.
Don’t waste time playing the victim! You may have fallen, but you are not down! Make new choices today to go forward with and in Jesus in the Spirit’s power.

Tapping into the Resurrection Power

“The resurrection is our great hope!” Billy Graham
It was the week of March 9-14. 2020. I sensed the Lord telling me to stay an extra week in Israel after the tour I was helping left on the 15th. Yet, Covid was picking up steam. Should I go with them or stay?
I knew the answer. I just had to overcome the dead weight of my own insecurities of being wrong.
Jesus was asking me to tap deeper into the resurrection power by staying. I decided to stay on the 13th.
On the 14th, I learned that the hotel where I was staying, was closing on the 16th due to Covid. I stuck with my decision to follow Jesus and stayed.
After taking our guests to the airport on the 15th, I went to a sister hotel in Tel Aviv. While there on the 16th, I learned that Guest Houses, where I was hoping to stay, were closing all over Israel. The airport was going to shut down. And, all tourists were told to leave the country, which meant me!
Lord, was I wrong? No! I “found” a room at a Guest House in Tel Aviv where back packers from all over the world trying to get home stayed. It was here that I was able to share Jesus with them!
As I left Israel on the 17th, He had me go through the hassle of those two extra days to share the gospel with those young people! I may never know the outcome of those seeds until I get Home.
The same power that rose Jesus from the grave is not just for life after we die. It is also to be tapped into to clean out the “dead weight” areas, like insecurity, in our lives.
Now is the time to apply resurrection power!

The Forgotten Armor Piece

“Prayer warriors are not passive points on a spear. Prayer warriors engage the wicked in a spiritual battle.” Rabbi Eukel
Western individualism should end at the front door of wherever the church gathers.
The first time we place our faith in Jesus, our individualism ends. We are placed into a family (1 Cor. 12) that needs each individual to listen to and follow Jesus…together.
There is even a piece of armor that dictates this necessity (Eph. 6:11-20). We call it prayer. The actual word means to make a wish. We are to wish that our fellow Jesus followers experience perfection, see others come to faith in Jesus, are brought safely through life’s storms, and come through the fire of testing stronger than when entered.
Yet, unlike our cellphones, how much do we make use of this critical communication device? Know this. History is littered with military defeats due to lack of or poor communication/Intel.
We need other believers listening for and sharing vital Intel with us to experience victory over our common enemy, Satan (James 5:16)!
It is time to pick up that forgotten piece of armor, prayer/wishing; and, actually use it for each other. Anyone who chooses to follow Jesus is going to be persecuted. Yes, my American friends, us too.
So, please. Pick up the phone. Start making wishes and sharing the Intel. You, rather we, are needed if we are to live for and love Jesus in our current times.

Waiting Arms Open Wide

“I don’t want the world to define God for me. I want the Holy Spirit to reveal God to me.” A.W. Tozer
The word God is never used in the book of Esther. And yet, His fingerprints are all over its story.
The name Esther comes from the word “hiddenness,” which Jewish sources believe comes from Deuteronomy 31:18 where God says “on that day I will hide My face.”
What day? When the Israelites would treat Him as if He were one of many gods in a type of religious smorgasbord.
He took a step back, though still present, to see what they would do. Would they repent and run into His waiting arms (2 Kings and Jeremiah)? Nope.
In Esther, the entire Jewish race was on the verge of extinction. Would they run into His waiting arms? This time, they did.
There are times when the Father is silent. Though no one may be around, which makes you feel alone; you are never alone. He is there with open arms waiting to see what you will do.
It’s much the same as when my children were little. I would open my arms super wide inviting them to walk or run to me. I was there making sure they wouldn’t fall. Yet, they still needed to take a step toward me.
You may be going through a time where you’re not sensing the Lord’s presence. You are not alone. He is waiting for you to make a choice.
If you love Him, you will run into His wide open waiting arms through obeying what you already know to do.

Praisitude Leads to Altitude

Your daily choices reflect who you believe you are.
It’s been said, “If we want to know the true nature of a person, there is only one question to ask: what is it that they praise?”
The Psalms are full of praises about who God is and what He has done. He is worthy of a praisitude (yes, I made up that word!) – an attitude of praise.
Jeremiah states that if we praise worthless idols/things, we become worthless ourselves. Thus, a praisitude can elevate our attitude, which will affect our daily choices to love Jesus.
Sometimes praising God, though, is a matter of faith. We don’t feel it…yet. It’s at these moments that we show who we are, children of God.
We trust Jesus enough to praise Him despite how we feel or even when it seems illogical to do. This step of faith will raise your attitude.
Want to elevate your walk with Jesus (i.e. stop being angry, bummed out, etc.)? Let the Spirit show you truths you need to praise Jesus about; and then, begin to focus on and praise Him for them.
Your praisitude will lift your attitude to a new altitude