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Mama’s Bible

This is a poem I wrote shortly after my Mother went on to be with her Loving Savior in Heaven.  I honor her each year with this tribute. It is simple but I love it best when the Lord just drops a gentle reminder in my heart…when I miss her most.  God bless you.

 

Mother's Day_2014

Mama’s Bible
by Zoey

I found my mama’s bible

in the things of hers
I went through today.

The bookmarked pages hold
the place where
God had touched her
heart as she
read His word that day.

And in my heart I can hear
Mama telling me:
“Keep God’s words close,
pray for His guidance,
don’t lose faith,
He will always
keep you in His care.”

There is no stronger force
than a mama’s prayers to
the throne of God.

And I believe,
No foe can conquer
No trial defeat
No evil befall against
His children- big or small.

“For Thy will be done,

on earth
as in Heaven”,

my heart does

hear my mama pray,
as she marked
another page in her bible
where God touched
her heart that day.

(5/13/07)

…they were Given Him through the Promises of God to Exalt Him… I Chronicles 25:5

 

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Who’s Your Governor?

Romans 8:4 (AMP)

So that the righteous and just requirement of the Law might be fully met in us who live and move not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the Spirit [our lives governed not by the standards and according to the dictates of the flesh, but controlled by the Holy Spirit].

 Lately, I have been giving much consideration to my responses to the varied situations in my life. I have been listening to what I am saying, what I am thinking and how I am processing. The reason why is because the Holy Spirit has convicted my heart about lawlessness. I had been reading about the great apostasy in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, when I began to see that lawlessness is a sure sign of the Anti-Christ.

As I read about the end times, I began to question where in my life do I allow lawlessness to operate. Being born again, I have the spirit of Christ Jesus in me, and I am new creation, my spirit is alive, but there are still places in my soul  and in my thinking that need to be transformed by the renewing of my mind. Places in my emotions that I allow myself freedom to exalt what I think and what I feel above what I know God’s Word says. My natural tendency is to think things because I feel things, or see things and to do so without rules. If I feel it, it is natural and normal right? However, what I am finding is that tendency leads to actions, words and thoughts that glorify and exalt myself. My view point changes from what honors God to what justifies me.  I become self focused and then I find myself fighting God for ownership and rule of me. This is never a good place! Thank God, that His plan for me and for all of us, is to give us the perfect governor……..His precious Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 10:16Amplified Bible (AMP)

16 This is the agreement (testament, covenant) that I will set up and conclude with them after those days, says the Lord: I will imprint My laws upon their hearts, and I will inscribe them on their minds (on their inmost thoughts and understanding),

17 He then goes on to say, And their sins and their lawbreaking I will remember no more.

God first wrote the His law on the Ten Commandments, stones that where outside of me, but now He writes them on my heart! He has given me the ability in my inmost thoughts and understanding to know Him, obey Him and please Him. Not only that, He then says, that He will remember no more, my sins and lawbreaking! Halleluiah! Praise God!

This means, that as I am learning to allow the Holy Spirit to govern me, making huge lawless mistakes, I can trust Him to help me. As I seek Him, I can trust Him to bring to my attention the places in my life that I am not choosing to allow the Holy Spirit to govern, but also the places I am. I need to see both.

So, this morning I woke up with the question of “Who is my Governor?”  God has given me authority but unless I let His perfect governor govern it, I will make a complete mess of it. I set my heart to allow the dominion of “ME” to completely and totally governed by His Holy Spirit.   Hmmm…..sounds so good, but how can let those words actually be a reality in my life and not be just a good intention?

Read His Word

Think His Word

Speak His Word

Act His Word

Plain and simple, I must ask God to help me understand Gal 5:22-23,

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and Galatians 5:19-21.

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I must humble myself to allow the Holy Spirit to tweak and redefine all of these things for me. I always want God’s definition instead of my opinion, but in order to receive that I must ask. This is what allowing the Holy Spirit to govern my life looks like for me. I am learning to acknowledge what I feel or think, but not to stop there. I must also bring it to the Lord for redefining. For surely, my ideas of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self control are colored by my experiences. The next step is to be open to that redefining. This is where lawlessness comes in for me. I don’t allow the redefining. I am so caught up in the emotions of the moments, that I justify my ungodly responses. I don’t take responsibility at all but blame it all on the situation or other person.  I find myself operating in “worldly wisdom” :

James 3:13-15

14 But if you have bitter jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry, selfish ambition) in your hearts, do not pride yourselves on it and thus be in defiance of and false to the Truth.

15 This [superficial] wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual (animal), even devilish (demoniacal).

16 For wherever there is jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition), there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practices.

I am learning to pause, to humble my heart,  to take up the responsibility of turning over the governing of me and the situation I am in,  to the Holy Spirit. In my moment of trial or even in moments of blessing I am seeing a change. When I stop to ask God to redefine the moment I am in, He opens my eyes to see clearly and correctly. I then am able to discern the correct choice and then a Godly response comes forth. When I ask for His wisdom, He gives it.

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This is what His wisdom looks like:

James 3:17

17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure (undefiled); then it is peaceloving, courteous (considerate, gentle). [It is willing to] yield to reason, full of compassion and good fruits; it is wholehearted and straightforward, impartial and unfeigned (free from doubts, wavering, and insincerity.

I am making a concerted effort to seek the Lord, to trust Him to govern my life. Also to be open to His redefining, even when I don’t agree or understand. As I go into this day, I do so with the faith that the Holy Spirit is my Governor. As Governor, He has absolute authority in me and through me. He governs my words, my thoughts, my actions. He governs my pace, my timing and my agenda. The Holy Spirit helps me to maintain God’s course by filling me according to the demand of the load that I face. So, no matter what, I have all that I need, in the moment I need it.

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I Am My Brother’s Keeper ~by Tami Yeager

10752151_730959920323859_725540638_n unnamed_Tami VOM_2014~ I Am My Brother’s Keeper  ~

A trip to the Middle East is not needed to learn that untold numbers of people are suffering in these ancient lands. Multiple media outlets are sharing the unimaginable stories that are riddled with pain and affliction. Followers of Jesus Christ, once known as the ‘sect of the Nazarene,’ are being relentlessly pursued by radical Islamic factions. They are being kidnapped, tortured, raped, and forced to flee their homes and the birthplace of Christianity. A genocidal fire fueled by fierce evil is scorching the Middle East, and leaving in its wake death and destruction.

From the comforts of my home I watch and listen to numerous reports being shared with the world today. At the same time, I have the option of stepping away from the stories when I find my senses overwhelmed by the suffering depicted. I have the ability to turn off my computer, or avoid a particular website. I can turn off television, radio, or step away from written material. I have the ‘ freedom’ to choose the frequency, and volume, in which I will allow the pain of others to touch me. This is not so for Christians in places like Iraq, Libya, Syria, or Egypt – this luxury is not an option. Rather the raw pain and anguish of persecution is being vividly lived out in their lives daily.

     Perhaps this is what a Middle Eastern brother meant recently when he said to me “I think freedom in your country, and freedom in my country, mean two different things.”

As troubling, as I find the atrocities being committed against followers of Jesus Christ today – I find the silence from what is termed the ‘free’ world, more disheartening. The shedding of innocent blood dates as far back as the first book of the Bible. In the book of Genesis chapter 4 we are told of the slaying of Abel at the hands of his brother Cain. Only the blood of Abel could not be silent. The cries of his blood traveled from the ground to the ears of God. Not unlike the days of Cain and Abel, the blood of innocent men, women, and children continue to cry out to God. Even now, the martyr’s blood is heard crying from the deserts of Egypt, the mountains of Iraq, the streets of Libya, and the desolate places of Syria. It echoes off of prison walls, underground meetings, and public squares. Sometimes heard as the voice of one, other times it is heard in harmony with the voices of many.

9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. Genesis 4:9 – 10 

Today the martyrs blood continues to cry and a remnant of God’s people acknowledge they are their brother’s keeper. 

I recently met a young Middle Eastern girl whose simple devotion to Jesus spoke volumes to me. It was not long after meeting her that I sensed a beautiful story lay beneath her gentle brown eyes. I recognized the aroma of Christ she wore – it was the same scent I have seen on those who have suffered greatly for their faith. It is a fragrance that carries with it a high price, yet cannot be bought. A Nazarene King paid the price with His own blood long ago. It is now freely given in exchange for sacrifice and surrender.

I later learned that she had been nearly beaten to death at the hands of her fellow students in primary school. This young Christian girl was found drawing a picture of a church building during a break from her studies. This sight outraged her Muslim classmates who began to beat her mercilessly – without interference from the teachers in her school. Her mother tells the story of being called to the hospital to find her daughter close to death. I could hear the tangible pain in her voice as she described this time in their lives. I wish I could say this was an isolated case of persecution for this family. But, it is not. They like many Middle Eastern families are well acquainted with the price one pays for being of the ‘Sect of the Nazarene.’

This attack did not harden the hearts of this family. To the contrary – today they passionately reach out to their Muslim neighbors with love and respect. Whether it is standing to offer their seats to other Muslim women who enter the train, or taking the hand of a frightened Muslim mother with her baby in her arms, needing assistance down a long flight of stairs. This love is lived out when she routinely travels long distances to serve Muslim people in need. Out of their hardships they have been given hearts that have a capacity to love even greater.

Yes, we are our brother’s keeper. Being our brother’s keeper means giving voice to their stories. It is standing in solidarity with our persecuted family. It is praying for them – and with them. It is following their example, and learning from them. It is assisting them with both spiritual and practical assistance. It is standing arm, in arm, as we embrace the cross of Jesus Christ together.

One way we can stand with our suffering family is on the International Day of Prayer for The Persecuted Church. This coming November 2nd is this day, where believers from all over the world will join in pray for those who suffer for their faith.

For additional information on The International Day of Prayer for the persecuted Church please see – http://www.persecution.com/idop.

They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”- Revelation 6:10 

  

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Luke One: A Series of Mary Moments to Learn From

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Today I am spending time with Mary in Luke 1. As I was reading through this chapter I find a series of “Mary moments” that are touching my heart. Moments I feel like God is speaking directly to my heart too.  Please share in these informal moments with me as I open my devotional…………..

1. This first one comes from verses 27, and 28.

2To a girl never having been married and a [a]virgin engaged to be married to a man whose name was Joseph, a descendant of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

28 And he came to her and said, Hail, O favored one [[b]endued with grace]! The Lord is with you! [c]Blessed (favored of God) are you before all other women!

I see that the Word of the Lord can come to any one…..even a young girl……even a not so young girl like me.  I love how the Word comes…..it tells her who she is. “Favored One!”  We are favored by God! God’s Word always connects us with His purpose for us. His purpose is to favor us! He has endued us with His grace. He is with us.

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2. Next comes from verse 29

29 But when she saw him, she was greatly troubled and disturbed and confused at what he said and kept revolving in her mind what such a greeting might mean.

Like Mary, I often find myself troubled by what the Lord is speaking. I know He is speaking but I struggle to make logical sense of what He means. I too, roll it over and over in my heart and mind.  Often my reality is so far away from what the Word is speaking to me. How can God favor me when I stumble through my life? I am no one, I am nothing. How can I be favored of God? Yet, that is exactly what happens. God sends His word to endue me with His divine plan. Just as He sent His Holy Spirit to impregnate Mary with His purpose and plan……I often feel His Words coming to me but they are so fantastic that I close off my heart and never conceive His great plan. Mary didn’t do that. She opened up her heart and conceived that which was impossible. This makes me ask…..Lord help me conceive your word in my life. Let me take it into my inner being and let it produce your life in me.

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3.  Then verse 30

3And the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found grace ([a]free, spontaneous, absolute favor and loving-kindness) with God.

So many times I have been afraid to believe what I think God is speaking to me, just like Mary. I love how God knows what we are feeling and provides. Mary was afraid. Look at how God assures her. “You have found grace.”  I receive this word today.  Let it speak to your heart too.

Today, you have found His grace. What is that? His grace is all that He is for this moment in your life. His grace comes to us freely and is joyfully given by God. It is His absolute favor…..you are His absolute favorite you.

Read this out loud:

“Do not be afraid (insert your name), for you have found grace with God. “

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4. Mary’s response in verse 38 always gets me.

3Then Mary said, Behold, I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be done to me according to what you have said. And the angel left her.

Oh how I want my heart to be in such a place. Often when His Word comes to me, I hem and haw, make excuses and check my agenda. Oh, for a heart that would speak “Let it be done to me according to your word.”  I need to learn how to respond to the Lord.

Mary knew she belonged to the Lord and she didn’t struggle against that. So many times, I lead my life from my own directive because I think I am my own.  Yet, the truth is I belong to the Lord. Mary knew this and responded accordingly.

Today, I encourage you to let your heart respond to Him. Let His word be conceived in your heart. Let His vision and purpose be impregnated in you. Respond to the Lord.

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5. Mary goes and connects with Elizabeth. I love how God created us to connect with one another around His work in us.  Elizabeth says to Mary in verse 45,

45 And blessed (happy, [a]to be envied) is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of the things that were spoken to her from the Lord.

We need each other to confirm and help to grow the Word of God that we are pregnant with. I love what Elizabeth says here to Mary. She reminds her that she is believing for fulfillment from the Lord.  She reminds her that this is a place of blessing. How we need Elizabeths in our lives to remind us of the place of blessing we are standing in as we believe for the fulfillment of the Word the Lord has spoken to us.

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6. Lastly, I love Mary’s response in verse 46

46 And Mary said, My soul magnifies and extols the Lord,

47 And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

Mary’s soul could have magnified that fact that she was pregnant out of wedlock, that she hadn’t told Joseph, that she had broken the law…..but no, she magnifies the Lord.  What a lesson for me. What is my soul magnifying? Is it my circumstances? My feelings? My fears? Or is it my Lord?  Let it be like Mary,  “My soul will magnify the Lord!”  I am in charge of what my soul magnifies….I chose to let it be God.

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Love letter to the Servants of the Lord by Zoey

Love Letter to Believers_2014

1 Timothy 6 (AMP)

6:1  Let all who are under the yoke as bond servants esteem their own [personal] masters worthy of honor and fullest respect, so that the name of God and the teaching [about Him] may not be brought into disrepute and blasphemed.

My Prayer:

Father, I lift up those who carry the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Bless them with the stamina to fight the Good fight and to walk a victorious testimony to Glorify your Name, Lord. Refresh their heart with Rejoicing. Heal their battle wounds (physically, emotionally and spiritually) and remove all shame and condemnation (which is from the enemy of the finished works of Christ Jesus).  Empower and Affirm these through the Holy Spirit with your Grace, Wisdom and Knowledge.  ~amen

[And it is, indeed, a source of immense profit, for] godliness accompanied with contentment (that contentment which is a sense of [d]inward sufficiency) is great and abundant gain.

My Prayer:

Father, in ALL THINGS we can come before you with a heart of thanksgiving. It is what you wait for, watch for and desire to see in our life. You give us life for your purpose and it is through the Holy Spirit that we receive the gifts; therein we find Godliness with contentment. ~amen

11 But as for you, O man of God, flee from all these things; aim at and pursue righteousness (right standing with God and true goodness), godliness (which is the loving fear of God and being Christlike), faith, love, steadfastness (patience), and gentleness of heart.

12 Fight the good fight of the faith; lay hold of the eternal life to which you were summoned and [for which] you confessed the good confession [of faith] before many witnesses.

13 In the presence of God, Who preserves alive all living things, and of Christ Jesus, Who in His testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I [solemnly] charge you

14 To keep all His precepts unsullied and flawless, irreproachable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Anointed One),

15 Which [appearing] will be shown forth in His own proper time by the blessed, only Sovereign (Ruler), the King of kings and the Lord of lords,

16 Who alone has immortality [in the sense of exemption from every kind of death] and lives in unapproachable light, Whom no man has ever seen or can see. Unto Him be honor and everlasting power and dominion.  Amen (so be it).

My Prayer:

Father God, let YOUR precepts be on the fore front of our minds and hearts. You are unchanging. You are the Unapproachable Light, the Everlasting Power and there is no one or any dominion of Evil that can stand against the Living God. It was finished on the Cross of Christ Jesus as a testimony of your Unfailing Love. This is the Good News that you have commissioned to be preached and taught to a dying world. We will share Life to those who are in need of a Savior and Healer and bring them the message of the Kingdom of God, which is Eternal Life through your Son, Jesus. Continue to encourage hearts and connect the community of your servants ~ to fight the good fight of the Faith.   ~ Amen.

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God Gives Lovingly by Zoey

Love covers all_2014
Special thanks to the unknown couple who made a perfect model of Love.

My Devotion:  John 3:21

Vs.21: ” But he who practices truth [who does what is right] comes out into the Light; so that his works may be plainly shown to be what they are—wrought with God [divinely prompted, done with God’s help, in dependence upon Him].”    Amen.   ~Zoey

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Navigating Trials

Dear Readers,

How my heart has been weighed down with the weight of trials in my life. I am not sure if the trials are bigger or I am just smaller. When I look at the turmoil of the world, all the suffering and pain, I am ashamed that I feel overwhelmed by my small things. Yet, they are still there stressing me. This morning as I sought the Lord, He faithfully ministered. I would like to open my heart and share with you His precious gift.

We are challenged in the area of finances. It is an area we are meant to prosper in, because we are called to help equip the body of Christ to go forth. So, every time we step out and give, we are attacked. The attack came in the form of our water being shut off. In order to have it turned back on we had to use the little money we had set aside for our rent. Our rent being the giant we have to slay every month. This giant has been tormenting and taunting me. All my efforts to steward our finances to slay that giant have come to naught……until God spoke. He has given me three things to navigate this trial. I wish to share them with you.

NAVIGATING LIFE

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

This scripture is one I have known for a very long time. Usually when I read it, I focus on what God has not given me, ‘Fear.’ But this time, my heart was inspired to look at what God has given me, POWER, LOVE and SOUND MIND. Why did God chose to give me these three things? What is it about these three things that overcome fear?

SPIRIT OF POWER:

This gift is amazing. I looked up that word power in the greek. It is translated ‘dunamis’ which means “ability to perform” and for the believer, power to achieve by applying the Lord’s inherent abilities. “Power through God’s ability.’

God has given me all that He is for all that I need. I have His dunamis power to navigate this trial. So, He has gifted my Spirit with His. This is so vital because I get so weary. I feel so overwhelmed but His power is never overwhelmed. His strength is perfect!

His power is the vehicle that transports me through the trial.

SPIRIT OF LOVE:

This gift, deals with my soul. I know from scripture that perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:8). The only way I can have perfect love, is to have His. That is, to receive His and allow it to flow through me. I also know that love never fails (1 Cor. 13:8). God’s love in me, causes me to realize that His love for me will never fail and is absolute. He always provides for me lovingly. His love ministers to my soul, filling all those places of mistrust and doubt that I have. He never fails because God is love. This kind of love frees me to walk in faith, totally trusting in Him. It is totally empowering.

Also, I always feel so much turmoil in my soul as I navigate trials. Even this God has a plan for. I love what Psalm 32:8 says ‘ I (the Lord) will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.’ I believe that God counsels me as I am dealing with all the emotions I face during trials. In His love He has provided for my emotions. I set my heart to depend on Him to help me process those emotions with a Holiness that honors Him  and honors me.

His Love is the power that motives me, propels me to victory.

SOUND MIND:

This gift is vital to navigating trials to victory. In the Greek this word is translated to mean ‘self-control, self-discipline properly, safe-minded, issuing in prudent (“sensible”) behavior that “fits” a situation, i.e. aptly acting out God’s will by doing what He calls sound reasoning. God knew I would need to be able to control my thoughts to navigate my trials to victory. What good is having power and feeling good in my soul if the thoughts of my mind only lead to death? My mind is the ground the enemy attacks. I often don’t know what to do but God always does. He has given me a mind fit for the moment of the situation I am in. So no matter what the devil sends me, tormenting thoughts about how God is not going to provide, or that I missed it and haven’t done my part, God has given me the ability to take those thoughts captive and to have dominion in my mind. God’s idea of a sound mind is having my thoughts disciplined to God’s word about my trial. By allowing my mind to constantly be renewed to His word, it transforms me into the victor that He has purposed for me.

My thoughts are the compass which I navigate the trial with. If my bearings are off, my destination will not be reached.

He has given me His power, His ability,  all that He is for this moment. His love for me provides perfectly for me, all the needs of my heart. Lastly, He has given me dominion over my thoughts. As I renew my thoughts It focuses my heart and gives me clear path through the hardship.

These three things are vitally important to making progress in my trial. Yes, progress. God’s heart for us is to move through the trial, not get stuck there .

Habakkuk 3:19 (AMP)

19 The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk]and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!

Today, as I seek the Lord concerning this trial of finances I am facing, my heart takes courage. He is making my feet like hinds feet….He is teaching me how to navigate this trial to victory. No rent giant is going to take my focus off of what God gives me.

Whatever tormenting giant you are facing, I pray that as you read this, God would give you a revelation of what He has given you for your trial.

Dear Heavenly Father,

We give you this trial we are facing. I thank you that you have not given us a spirit of fear. Fear concerning our health, our finances, our relationships. You have given us power to do our parts, to trust Him with all our hearts and not to lean to our own understanding. You have given us your love, which never fails and perfectly casts out all our fears. You have given us sound minds, self controlled and focused on You. You teach us in the way we should go and counsel us every step of the way. Our hearts may feel confused and doubtful, but your word is how we will navigate this trial. We give you dominion in our hearts and in our minds. In Jesus Name, Amen