Church, it is time we floss!

Have you ever asked yourself, what is that smell when you get a whiff of your breath? I have, and I am a bit embarrassed to say that it is because I don’t floss my teeth every day; it’s more like twice a week. I am just being honest. However, I do brush several times a day.

Though, I defiantly floss and use mouth wash before going to the dentist for my annual cleaning. I am sure I am not the only one that does this, right?

Why do we thoroughly clean our mouths before we sit in the hygienist’s chair? Easy we don’t want our mouths to smell. Brushing gives the appearance of having clean teeth, but it isn’t until we floss that we can have a fresh-smelling mouth.

You might be asking yourself, where is she going with this, right? Well, I have been in continued prayer for our Nation. I pray while I feed the dog, make my bed, get ready for work, and even when I drive.

One morning as I was getting around for work, I got a hint that it was time to floss my mouth. As I began to string the floss between my teeth, this was dropped in my heart.  The church prepares her/himself more appropriately before going to the dentist than she/he does before coming before the Throne.

Suddenly I felt convicted, believing that everything about our lives has a fragrance – even a sound.

We read in scripture that our prayers are ‘incense’ offered up to the Lord.

Revelations 5:8 NLT And when he took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they held gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.

When my prayers are offered up to the Throne of God, anchored in confidence that what Jesus taught is true – I believe they have a fragrance that is pleasing to the Lord God.

But I also believe the opposite is true. If I have an attitude, whether it be resentment or fear, it would have an offensive scent. 

Did you know even our tithe offering has a scent? Do we give out of duty or trust?

But in all cases, our hearts’ position is what produces the fragrance [or stench].

This year 2020, has been difficult for all of us in different ways.  But not everything is terrible, challenging, yes,  but not all bad.  

Since about February, I have been taking a closer look at my own heart and what I am truly believing.

Have I asked myself:  Have I compromised in any area in my life that would go against the Word of God?

2 Corinthians 10:5 AMP

We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ,

Have my words been full of life or death?

Proverbs 18:21 NLT The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

Have I forgiven others just as Jesus has forgiven me?

Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Am I doing the work of God?

John 6:26-29 NLT Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?” Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.

Bottom line, if I want the United States of America to be all that God has called her to be, it first starts with me. Seriously, until we [the church] align ourselves in what we ‘proclaim’ to believe, how can we be that Nation of hope? 

I finish by just asking one question; have we [who proclaim to be Christ followers] humbled ourselves?

2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.

Church, it is time we floss.

It’s a heart condition.

All people have a past. All people have been hurt by other people, sometimes within their own families, making communicating difficult.

The enemy of our soul does not want us unified.  Whether it is within a family or a Nation, Satan will drop accusations in our soul [mind, will, emotions] to keep strife [anxiety] stirred up.

Side note: How we process things in our minds has a lot of how we have been conditioned growing up.

When I was a child, people communicated that I was a burden. Combine with my childhood environment, there was always a struggle in every area of life, overwhelming sadness, which would lead to rage.  And the internal dialog I had: ‘You are not good enough.’  ‘You’re a low life.’  ‘You will never amount to anything good.’ Etc.

These things created my filter or lens of how I saw myself and the world around me. Whenever I would have any interaction with another person; I would ‘react’ based on my programming; that I wasn’t measuring up. Right or wrong, this was my world, and it got to the point where I didn’t want to do life anymore.

God wants us to have a fully abundant life [John 10:10]. That doesn’t mean that we have many ‘things’ but to have peace and joy. God wants us to know that He loves us with such extravagant love that He has made a way for our tormented souls to have such peace and joy.

It wasn’t until I knew [believed with my heart] what God thinks of me that I could stop those derogatory words I repeatedly heard within me. I am not sure if you ever heard the term, the battlefield of the mind, but it is actual. Our minds are in a constant battle. That is until we learn to keep our thoughts in line with what the Bible says.  

I am still learning to walk in my identity in Jesus, seeing myself as God sees me. But in those times, I become ‘fleshy’ [my behavior not lining up who I am, and my beliefs] I pull myself aside. I quiet my soul and listen to Holy Spirit minister to my spirit. I get heaven’s perspective, seeing the situation more clearly. Then and only then am I able to gain control over my emotions once again.

I believe that whenever a person loses control over their emotions, the enemy has become the puppeteer, pulling our strings, and we are just his puppet.

But who has that kind of time to process, especially when we are in the middle of a stressful situation?!

Practice. For me, I have to mentally pull myself aside, ask Father God to put me in a bubble, and protect me from the accusations my carnal mind is speaking. I ask Him to allow truth to wash over my mind and emotions. I anchor myself in what GOD say’s about me. Sometimes the less spoken is best, even when the other person is wanting dialog.

So if you find yourself in a position where you feel that you’ve done something wrong, or maybe even rejected, ask Papa God; What is the truth in this situation? What does your word say?      

2 Corinthians 10:5-6 The Message

The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools [The Word of God] for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity. Parenthesis mine

I Remember 9.11

9/11

Never Forget – I remember this day. I was 36 years old, Bob was 40, Ashley was 13, and Kory turned 12 the month before. 

When the attacks first happened, I was clueless. It wasn’t until I went into work at the public school where we lived at the time did I hear that terrorists had attacked our Nation. I stood in disbelief in what I was hearing; this type of thing doesn’t happen to America, I thought to myself. Indeed someone is a little dramatic. But sadly enough, I learned it was true. 

One of my jobs as support staff was to go to each building office to pick up and deliver internal office mail. I was shocked to see and hear that the classrooms with televisions had live news reports. Even back then, I felt that we [as a society] was too obsessed with watching the news reports as our source of life.

I was broken-hearted to hear the loud ‘bangs’ and glass shattering – knowing it was men and women jumping from the skyscrapers and hitting the cars below. I cried for days, and couldn’t even turn on the television.

Churches came together with leaders, and we had corporate prayer times for weeks that followed. People were compassionate toward one another. And grace was extended to those who seem preoccupied with heavy hearts.

Little did I know in 2001, my oldest, Lisa, was going to school there in New York. And if you know my story, Lisa and I were united together back in 2008. It was a few years later that I learned that Lisa was there on 9-11-2001.

We were sitting outside in the back yard, talking and enjoying the beautiful sunny day. Suddenly Lisa shuddered as we heard an airplane was descending to land.

Hearing a plane descend wasn’t anything out of the normal. When asking Lisa if she was okay, she shared a small part of that day.

It was chaos, people running everywhere. Mind you, Lisa would have just turned 20 years old. All I wanted to do was run to the subway.  But before entering the underground, I was met by a man. He would not let me pass him even though I explained to him that I “had” to. Unexpectedly this man picked me up and ran [so fast] out of the area and tucked me in a storefront far away from where we were. As soon as he put me down, I went to turn toward him to thank him, but he was gone.

After she told me that, I instantly had goosebumps [god bumps], and this was dropped in my heart, “Even though you were in denial of what happened to you years ago. Every time you prayed protection over your children, that included Lisa.”

Still today, this makes me tear up. And it reinforces my faith that GOD HEARS MY PRAYERS! GOD HEARS OUR PRAYERS.

My heart goes out to all those individuals who were there in New York, the Pentagon, and on that plane that crashed in PA on that day. As well for those who lost loved ones, and for the rest of us, that remember. 

I finish this with a short prayer.

Papa God, thank you that you hear our prayers. Thank you that you are a loving God, who only wants to see us walk out the beautiful plans you created us for.

We ask Father God to heal the United States of American. Heal the emotional pain that came from that day and the emotional pain [and fear] that is widespread today.  Encounter each person in a personal way, Lord God. Give each of us a new revelation of ‘who’ Jesus is and help us understand ‘why’ You sent Him.

Help us, Lord God, to remember not only our American history but remember the Cross and all that it stands for. We ask these things in the name of the King of all Kings, Lord Jesus. Amen.

Looking in their eyes.

It is a fact that we have had to change how we do things since the COVID-19 quarantine. Then with the racial tension that is going on, all people are more hesitant about how to go about doing things. Maneuvering through or day to day life has become complicated. We have to consider how to approach other people, which we usually wouldn’t have to think twice about before.

We are social distancing.

We are wearing gloves.

We are wearing masks.

We are planning birthday or graduation parties differently. Where before you could buy bulk to save money, now buying individual servings: instead of a big bag of potato chips, we are buying individual servings. Necessary or unnecessary, it is how we are doing life. For now, anyhow.

Recently I heard a pastor’s perspective about what has been going on in our world, seeing it from Heaven’s lenses. Understanding the spiritual side of what is going on ‘globally.’ With the COVID virus attacking our ability to ‘breathe’ and George Floyd’s last recorded words being, “I Can’t Breathe.”

I won’t be able to quote the pastor’s message word for word: I am paraphrasing what was highlighted to me is. The enemy is trying to take the breath [or voice] away from the church. Two of the many scriptures that were pulled into his message: Genesis 2:7 and John 20:22. In the book of Genesis, God breathed into man’s nostrils. And in the book of John, Jesus breathed on the disciples to equip them with the Holy Spirit.  

We are designed to make a difference – to speak words that cultivate the kingdom of Heaven here on earth—looking back to the original mandate. But we as a church have sat in our pews and kept to ourselves rather than ‘being’ the church: the church is not a building, it is the believers. We have sugar-coated what it means to cultivate a God-honoring world.  

I do want to note that this pastor was not minimizing the evil injustice that happened in Minneapolis. He can better understand the cry of the hearts of many men and women, due to brutality, being a man of color himself.  

I have shared many times, either in conversations or in writings, that our words have power. The tongue has the power of life and death. Proverbs 18:21. In general, we don’t realize how powerful our words are. To put it simply, if we speak kind words, we create an environment of kindness. We speak words of love; we create an atmosphere of love. And this includes the opposite; bitterness, and hate, as well.  

I didn’t realize how true it is ‘that my words create’  till I heard pastor Claude B from Adrian Michigan say; We are created in God’s image, in his likeness. We don’t know what he ‘looks’ like, but we do know HE created with words. Since then, I have been ‘trying’ to evaluate my words before speaking. Sometimes I am successful; sometimes, I am not.  

Today at church, I realized a new layer of what is going on in the spiritual. As you all know, I am a prayer person, an intercessor. For years I try to purpose my heart to sense what the Lord wants me to pray. I can be watching the news [not too often] and ask Lord, how am I to pray about that? I drive through different neighborhoods and ask Holy Spirit; what do you want me to pray into this area?

With what has been going on in the past two weeks, I have been praying: Lord helps us all see each other’s hearts, not their skin color. Help us look into the eyes of each other.

Then it dawned on me today! That is precisely what God is trying to get us to do! People are wearing masks, and rather than ‘judging’ them for wearing one or avoiding them altogether, how about looking at their eyes!! I mean, everything else about the face is covered, but the eyes.

When I look at someone in the eyes, I sometimes can see emotional pain: Lord what word, or prayer, do you want me to pray for them to ease their pain? Sometimes I can see physical pain: Lord, how do you want to heal that person, what is it that you want to do through me? Sometimes I can see depression: Lord, what is it that has this person so depressed and without hope? How can I serve the people who cross my path?

Often, I  will engage in a conversation with those individuals that have been pushed aside by society, most are homeless, and I am always searching their eyes to ‘see’ them.

So the next time you are face to face with a masked person: See them, see their heart. And ask Father God, what would Jesus do? 

Partnering with the Angelic

Something exciting thing happen to me over several weeks as I went on my intercessor run a few weeks back. And since it has had my heart engaged, wanting to explore this out more. Due to a lack of time to do all the treasure hunting that I want to do, I am reaching out to you to ask if you have insight into this experience that I had.

It was when I was running downtown, and I passed a bench alongside the street. Not consciously thinking about it, I lifted my hand and ‘high fived’ the air as I ran past. I thought it was odd but didn’t put much thought about it. I looped into town and ran down several streets and headed back home, and again I lifted my hand to ‘high five’ the air. This time I laughed at myself thinking; there must be an angel there, and I was acknowledging him.

Pondering the idea that an angel was sitting on that bench the following week, I decided to ‘look’ to see if I noticed him again.  I ran up to the bench. However,  this time I decided to sit down and look to see what the angel was looking at.

I saw a short side street without buildings or houses. And to my surprise, there were benches on each side of the street [I never noticed the benches before].  So there were three benches altogether – the one I sat on facing two others across the street.  

In my Spirit, I sensed an angel sitting in each of those benches too. I called out to them, “Okay, you got my attention. I am coming over.” Walking over, I looked to see and listened to hear as I walk down the short street. That is when a question was dropped in my Spirit: “What do you know about this street?”

“I don’t know anything about this street,” I answered. But then I remember what the area looked like before. It was lined with condemned homes on each side. They were scheduled to be torn down to make room for the construction projects that have been unfolding. I recalled the sense of darkness I felt due to the demonic activity [drug paraphernalia] that took place once the sun went down.

Suddenly I started to pray loudly in the Spirit [in tongues] switching to making some declarations and then prayed more presenting the Blood of Jesus over the area  [physical movement waving my arms]. I reminded any legering demonic spirit that I have Blood bought authority [keys], and I was going to use it. And then I started to bind the illegal activity in that area; those things that would not be allowed in Heaven and loosing what was legal in Heaven. I finished and walked out of the area. Looking for a moment again at the three benches, I said, “Okay, I am done.”

Several weeks later on my intercessor run, I went out past that particular area; however, I didn’t stop at the benches.  I didn’t have the urge to give a ‘high five’ to the angelic – truthfully, I was looking to see and listening to hear how I was to pray for “that” particular day.

Almost home, I was talking to Papa God and said, “Oh my goodness, I am so sorry I didn’t notice your angels today. I didn’t even look for them. I didn’t mean to neglect them.”

As soon as I thought those things, He said, “That’s okay, they aren’t there anymore. They did what I wanted them to do; to draw you to the area to declare and pray what you did. They are on another assignment.”

Then today I was listening to a Bethel podcast while I was at work [Safety of Abiding in the Presence of God March 15th 25 minutes into the message] Bill Johnson was reading from Ps 91 and made a few statements:

Realties are released in a decree. Somethings have to be declared to happen. That’s who we are. That is how we function.

Bill mentioned how Randy Clark was ministering in Argentina. One of the leaders in Argentina made a statement to Randy [not quoted] In the American church, you know a lot about operating in the gifts of the Spirit, but you don’t know how to partner with the angelic. Bill goes on to say; that in scripture, our decrees, the angelic realm know what their assignment is. Our decrees when we are saying what HE [God] is saying.

Bill goes on to suggest; a decree that comes from the Throne Room carries the fragrance of the Father, carries the fragrance of their origin. And the angelic realm has a  sense ‘this came from the throne room’ and carry it out.

Referring to the second part of Psalms 103:20 – Bill points out that the angels give attention to the voice of HIS word. He goes on to say, In my experience, I believe the voice of HIS word – that is you and me; it is when God speaks to the quiet of our heart and unless we declare it – it goes unsaid.

So knowing what I know: Our words have power. We have free will, and we can choose to speak blessings or curses, life or death. God is waiting for HIS church to bring Heaven to earth. Angels cannot speak for us because we are created in the image of God- they are not. We are called to take a stand to the devil’s schemes.

Could it be that angels are assigned to areas – waiting for the sons and daughters of God to understand who they are – to declare what Heaven is saying? Could it be that angels cannot do what we were originally assigned to do; to take dominion? Could it be that we have been praying and asking God to ‘do’ something when HE is waiting for us to do something?  Could we be missing opportunities to partner with the angelic to release God’s word to shift atmospheres so that they can move to other assignments?