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Archive for July, 2012

From JO’s sermon tonight:

we all go through situations that are unfair;  life has thrown you a curve, it’s not what you had planned;  even though life is not always fair, God IS fair, and if you will keep his your trust in Him, and not get bitter, but just keep moving forward, God has promised He will pay you back for every unfair thing that’s happened;  don’t let one bad break ruin the rest of your life, keep you from the amazing future God has in store; what happened may have been wrong, what they did may have put you at a disadvantage, that was unfair, but what they did cannot stop your destiny, they don’t have the final say, God has the final say, God said “I will restore the years that were stolen, give you beauty for those ashes, weeping may endure for a night, but joy is coming in the morning”;  nothing that’s happened to you is a surprise to God, God already has the restoration, vindication, new beginning;  that setback was simply a setup for God to take you to a higher level;  you’ve gotta shake off the self-pity, the defeat, and get ready for God to do something new, He’s going to pay you back for every injustice

Exodus 3:7 (ESV)

Then the LORD said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings

God has seen every wrong that’s been done to you, every person that hurt you, every tear you shed, every injustice; God went on to say:

Exodus 3:8 (ESV)

 and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey

there comes a point where God says “enough is enough, I’ve seen it, now I’m going to do something about it,  I’m not going to just give you what you deserve, but I’m going to make the enemy pay and bring you out better than you were before”;  God is a God of justice, He always makes the enemy pay for bringing the trouble into your life;  it may not happen overnight, God is keeping the records, He knows exactly what you’re owed;  God sees every time you do the right thing but the wrong thing happens,take the high road and forgive, you let it go, work hard but you didn’t get the credit, God is closely watching, you have an account with Him, He’ll make sure you not only get what you deserve, but His justice is to pay you back with more;  some of you, you’ve been in an unfair situation, it’s gone on a long time, you’ve lost your passion, your fire, thinking that’s the way it’s always going to be;  God is saying to you, “I have come down to do something about it”;  you need to get ready,  it’s payback time, everything the enemy has stolen, God is going to restore;  the joy, peace, health, dreams;  God is going to pay you back for the childhood you didn’t have, for that person that falsely accused you, for the years you lost in an abusive relationship;  He has seen everything you’ve been through, He has come down to do something about it.  don’t go around with a defeated mentality, that’s gonna stop God from working;  you may have had more than your share of bad breaks, you could easily get discouraged and settle where you are;  shake that off, your attitude should be, “I’m not staying here, I know it’s payback time, restoration time, vindication time, favor time”;  Almighty God has come down on your behalf

Psalm 27:10 (AMP)

10 Although my father and my mother have forsaken me, yet the Lord will take me up [adopt me as His child].

if you’ll just keep moving forward, being the best that you can be, God will take what’s meant for your harm and He will use it to your advantage;  God will open doors that no man can shut;  God will give you favor and cause people to want to be good to you;  you may be in a situation where because of the poor choices of others it seems like you’re stuck, you’ll never get out of that rut, accomplish your dreams;  God knows how to get you to where you’re supposed to be;  all through the day, in your mind, in your thoughts, you should be saying “Father, I want to thank you that it’s payback time, I know you’re a God of justice, you’re restoring the years, the dreams, no person’s going to keep me from my destiny, I will become everything you created me to be”;  have that attitude of faith.  shake off the negative comments, what people say about you doesn’t determine who you are, shake off the disrespect, keep your head held high, and God will promote you in spite of what they said.  one way God pays you back is to prepare a table before you in the presence of your enemies;  that means God will promote you in front of the people that were trying to hold you down;  He’ll show you favor and honor in front of those that said you’re not good enough;  let that go in one ear and out the other

Hebrews 10:30

God is just a God and He will repay the exact compensation owed you. He will settle and solve the cases of His people

some of you have cases that need to be settled, people have tried to push you down, make you feel inferior;  you worked hard pursuing your dream, but the bottom fell out;  now you’re starting over, you could easily have a chip on your shoulder;  you’ve gotta know God has promised to settle your case, but you gotta get in agreement with God and start expecting payback time;  if you want to see God pay you back, make your wrongs right, then when things come against you, you’ll feel like being bitter, complaining;  dig your heels in, and say “I know my redeemer lives, God’s gonna to turn this around, no weapon formed against me is gonna prosper, my best days are still out in my future”;  you gotta have this attitude of faith, knowing that God is a God of justice and He will settle your case

God has seen what you’ve been through, every tear you’ve shed, He knows the disappointment, the heartache you feel, and this is not the end, it’s a new beginning;  you’re not going to just come out of this barely surviving, God’s going to make the enemy pay and bring you out better off than you were before;  God is still on the throne, He’s in complete control, He’s going to settle your case;  get in agreement with God, we all have unfair things that come against us, we all go through bad breaks, but you have to remember God not only sees it, but He’s promised if you’ll just keep moving forward, if you won’t get bitter, He will settle your case;  the way God settles the case is not just to turn it around, not to just make it right, God will bring you out better off than you were before

Isaiah 61:7 (The Message)

7 Because you got a double dose of trouble and more than your share of contempt, Your inheritance in the land will be doubled and your joy go on forever.

you may feel like you got a double dose of trouble, you worked hard, but the bottom fell out, don’t get stuck there thinking that that’s your lot in life, that you got shortchanged, that you’ll always have a disadvantage, the truth is, that unfair situation has qualified you for double;  it doesn’t have to stop you, if you’ll have the right attitude, God will use it to thrust you forward;  you may have had a bad break, don’t sit around with a chip on your shoulder, every unfair thing that has happened has qualified you for double, God is a God of justice, He wants to pay you back, but you’ve got to do your part; shake off the self-pity, what they said about you, what didn’t work out, the way you were raised, and get ready for a double dose of God’s favor, blessing, health, peace, creativity, get ready for God to do exceeding abundantly above and beyond;  when you go through unfair situations, it’s never easy, we never like it, but keep it in the right perspective, that person that’s talking about you, trying to make you look bad, in a sense they did you a favor, they just qualified you for double;  that person that walked out on you, left you when you needed them the most, don’t sit around thinking that there’s something wrong with you, you’re inadequate, less than, blow them a kiss goodbye and get ready for double, it’s payback time;  God wants to do something new in your life

when you let God settle your case, it will be better than you could have ever done it yourself;  don’t be sour because of something that you lost, or something that was taken from you, instead of being bitter and trying to get even, stay on the high road, God sees the injustice, He knows what they took, and if you’ll let God settle your case, He’ll not only give you what you deserve, but God will pay you back with even more;  God has the final say, God knows how to pay you back, He’s not limited by the laws of nature, or by what people say;  when you go to work each week, remember, you’re not working unto people, you’re working unto God;  if somebody is being dishonest or playing politics, don’t get upset, don’t try to pay them back, God is keeping the records, He will make sure you not only get what you deserve, God will pay you back with even more;  this is a new day, it is payback time, get ready for a double dose of God’s goodness, favor, God is going to make the enemy pay for bringing the trouble into your life;  instead of complaining about it, get up in the morning and say “I know my redeemer lives”;  remember, every difficulty, every unfair situation, that has qualified you for double;  some of you even this week*** are going to see cases settled, restoration, vindication, promotion, breakthroughs, a promise coming to pass;  the God of justice is going to show Himself strong in your life;  you’re not going to just come out, you’re going to come out better off than you were before

*** This isn’t something he usually says, in fact it seems almost absurd to make a claim with such a short timeframe…  is it silly of me to hope that this means ME?  I’ll know in a few days; my faith that my victory is fast approaching is ironclad.

 

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(1:30 AM)

from JO’s sermon tonight:

the greatest gift you can give isn’t $ or what you can buy someone, it’s your time, attention, love, concern;  when you take time to go see someone, you look them in the eyes, they feel your love, they enjoy your company, that means more than any material gift that you could ever give;  the people that are close to you, that really love and respect you, they would rather have you than your $;  you can give them all the $ in the world, but if you’re not spending time with them, they’re missing out on the best of you;  when you give the gift of yourself you’re saying “you’re extremely important to me, I care about you, I love you, you’re valuable”;  you’re giving something that $ can’t buy;  sometimes, writing a check is taking the easy way out, take time to give your greatest gift

today people are so busy, and with the technology it’s easy to not interact 1 on 1; where we used to go see someone in person, or at least pick up the phone, now we may go months and months and only communicate by text, email, Facebook, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but you have to make sure you’re not cheating people out of the best of you;  to look someone in the eyes is very powerful, to give them your undivided attention speaks volumes, to let them hear your voice is extremely important, you will never  regret spending time with the people that you love;  nothing makes the impact like seeing someone face to face

the greatest gift you can give is yourself;  you can’t do it for everyone, but you can do it for someone;  God has put people in your life that need your gift, don’t put it off, you may miss the opportunity;  life is short, there’s no guarantee of another day, that visit you’ve been planning to make, why don’t you make it?  take time for the people that invested in you, made sacrifices, went out of their way to be good to you, they need more than your $ and well-wishes, more than friends saying hello for you, they need the gift of yourself;  only you can give it, your love, smile, friendship, gratitude, that’s one of a kind;  it can’t be transferred, doesn’t necessarily translate through another person or a letter;  a phone call’s good, but don’t use that as an excuse to never see them face to face

we grow up thinking that we’re invincible, we’re gonna be here forever, with our family and our friends, our world is always going to be perfect, that’s not the case:

James 4:14 (NIV)

14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

look around at who God has put in your life;  who has made a difference, invested in you, who was there when nobody else was around?  they took you under their wing, they mentored you;  are you giving the gift of yourself back to them?  some people come into our lives to get us to a certain level, they make sacrifices, pay the price, then we take off and pass them by;  now, they’re in the shadows, it’s easy to forget about them, it’s easy to not have any time, too busy, important, successful, I’ve got too much going on;  if it had not been for them, you wouldn’t be where you are;  take time for the people that took time for you

don’t forget about the people that helped you get where you are, don’t be too busy, too important, take time to reach back and invest in those that have helped you, at least go by their house and say thank you, or invite them over, or do something kind for their family;  none of us got to where we are on our own, it’s easy to find fault with the people that raised us, they may not have been perfect, but they made sacrifices so that you could go further, most likely they did the best that they could with what they had;  sometimes we judge people by what we know instead of by what they know;  don’t make excuses for why you don’t need to see a loved one, don’t live bitter because you didn’t get what you needed, “they didn’t treat me right, they didn’t make me feel important, they should have spent more time with me;  why don’t you have a bigger point of view?  maybe they did the best that they knew how, that’s your family, God handpicked your parents, He knew what they would have and what they wouldn’t have, He knew what they could give you and what they couldn’t give you, it’s easy to focus on the negative, but keep the right perspective, they’re the ones that fed you, clothed you;  what have you done for them lately?  have you invited them out to dinner?  have you stopped by the house to enjoy their company, talk about old times, laugh together?  what if they weren’t going to be around next year at this time, what if the next few months was the only chance you had to let them know how you feel, what they mean to you?   are you allowing your work schedule, too busy, to keep you from it?  have you not spoken in years because you don’t get along any more, you’re at odds, you’re just letting it ride, maybe one day you’ll make things better?  God is saying today is your one day, reach out to the people that have sacrificed for you, go visit that family member, you have a gift that they need, the gift you have is yourself, your friendship, time, love, hug, smile, gratitude;  don’t keep putting it off, do what you know you need to do;  life is short, don’t miss these opportunities to give the gift of yourself

the people God put in your life, your family, your friends, those that you interact with, if they were gone tomorrow, would you be satisfied that they know how much you love them, what they mean to you, have you seen them lately, expressed your feelings, taken time to enjoy their friendship, laughed together?  if not, why don’t you do it sooner rather than later?  at funerals people say “If I only had another chance, if I could just really tell them what they meant to me”;  this is your other chance, don’t take the people God put in your life for granted;  when you give the gift of yourself, your time, attention, love, you’re keeping the accounts full;  when somebody goes to be with the Lord, while you’ll still be sad, you’ll have no regrets, there’ll be a satisfaction knowing they knew exactly how much you loved them, valued them in your life

what makes losing a loved one much more difficult is when we have all these things we wish we would have done; “I wish I would have gone to see them, or forgiven them and made things right”;  if you fail and need to get over the guilt, God will give you the grace to do it, but it’s much better to keep the accounts full;  you’ve heard the saying “live every day like it could be your last.” another good thought;  live every day like it could be your loved one’s last;  when you die, if you know the Lord you’re going to go to heaven, you’re not going to miss us, there’s no time in heaven, next thing you know is we’ll be there;  the difficulty is not when you die, but when a loved one dies;  that’s when people have too many regrets;  make sure you’re not putting things off, thinking “one day I’m going to go see them, take my grandchildren, forgive and make things right”;  let today be your one day, take time for the people God put in your life, don’t cheat them out of the best of you, your friendship, love, smile, hug, that’s one of a kind, nobody else can give it, if you’ll learn to give the gift of yourself, then your accounts will stay full, you’ll have no regrets, the people in your life will not only be better, but you will be better;  you will live a blessed, happy, fulfilled, victorious life

(Side note:  I got a hit on 7-21 with the search term “make deposits everywhere you go jo”;  since everyone else who’s posting about him naturally uses his full name (I don’t because it’d make it too easy for friends to find this blog, which I want to keep anonymous), I’m guessing that was someone who had visited previously trying to get back here…  that was a first, and kind of nice.)

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Eyelid image #10

(8PM)

Just as I was waking up from a long nap this evening, God gave me my 10th eyelid image (the other 9 being 11-1-10, 11-19-10, 11-24-10, 1-21-11, 3-22-11, 2 on 5-28-11, 10-5-11 and 10-30-11).  My post about the last image I had, which was a puzzling 8.5 months ago, included this:

“The actual image started out like lines of dashes, something that made me think of a weave in a sweater, and then became a very clear and regular pattern of small polka dots;  not very flashy, but it still counts.”

The “small polka dots” from last time reappeared.  This time, they were in a single, diagonal line of about 45 degrees, slanting upwards to the right.  Under about the middle third of the line was what I think would be called a right triangle, touching it along the hypotenuse.  There were 2 tiny stick figures on the line in the middle of the “triangle zone” as if they were walking up it.  There also a “stick animal,” of which all I saw was that it had 4 legs, so I can’t guess what animal it was;  it was I think near the line but not on it.  I’m pretty sure there were some other figures nearby, not on or too near the line, as if “watching us,” but not participating…  I’m not sure about that part, though, as the images were somewhat faint and it’s easy to find shapes in the clouds.

Why does God give me such odd images?  Time will tell…

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From JO’s sermon tonight:

the way to make a deposit is to make people feel better about themselves;  when you give a compliment, those are not just kind words, you made a deposit;  when you express thanks, that’s a deposit;  even simple things, the fact that you took time to show respect, you went out of your way to make them feel special, you made a deposit.  all through the day we should look for these opportunities;  who can I bless, encourage, how can I make somebody feel better about themselves?  we should leave places better off than they were before

1 Chronicles 4:40 (AMP)

40 And they found rich, good pasture, and the [cleared] land was wide, quiet, and peaceful, because people of Ham had dwelt there of old [and had left it a better place for those who came after them].

when you leave the office, the gym, your house, are people better off than they were before?  did you take time to encourage anyone?  did you lift their spirits?  were you pleasant to be around?  or, were you too busy, stressed out, discouraged, grumpy?  when some people leave, you’re glad to see them go;  they’re always complaining, have a sad story, negative, bringing everybody down, don’t let that be you, when you leave people should miss you, they should miss the joy, peace, encouraging words, compliments, kind spirit;  don’t drag places down, leave them better off;  take time to make a deposit, everywhere you go;  you can say “thank you so much, have a blessed day”;  that didn’t take a lot of extra effort, but you just made a deposit;  you don’t know what that person is going through;  they might seem fine on the outside, but you don’t know what’s going on at home, the struggles they’re facing, the disappointments they’ve been through, the challenges that are in front of them

God will use your smile, compliment, prayer to breathe life into people’s spirit, to let them know that somebody cares;  to you, it may be no big deal, but to that other person, it’s what keeps them moving forward;  maybe your smile, compliment, encouragement, is going to be the only encouragement they receive;  be aware of who God puts in your path, nobody is there by accident;  many people smile on the outside to hide the pain and loneliness on the inside;  you are a container filled with God, there is healing in your voice, smile, hugs;  take time to show a part of God everywhere you go;  God has no hands to comfort on this Earth except our hands, He has no arms to love except our arms, He has no voice to encourage except our voice;  you never know what impact you’re going to have;  God will put you at the right place at the right time, God knows how to use what you have, your unique gifts and talents;  God can use your smile, your compliment, your kind words, to help put people back on their feet

Hebrews 3:13 (NIV)

13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

not monthly, not once a week, not when you feel like it, no, every day look for opportunities to make a deposit;  make it your business to make somebody else feel better about themself;  imagine what kind of deposit you can make when you thank people;  do you know how much better of a job people will do when you thank them?  we’ll do a lot more when we know we’re appreciated;  don’t miss opportunities to make deposits;  don’t go the next 20 years seeing the people God has put in your life, not making any kind of deposit;  do something to make them feel better about themselves;  you’re not doing it for yourself, you’re doing it for them, you’re doing it because they’ve been made in the image of almighty God, and God placed them in your path;  He’s counting on you to make some deposits;  some people, they never really get any compliments or feel appreciated, some have never experienced even a simple act of kindness;  it doesn’t have to be something big, one compliment can mean a lot;  if you’ll get your mind off of what you don’t have and use what you do have to make somebody else feel better, to brighten their day, God will always brighten your own day;  some people are not happy or fulfilled because they’re living ingrown, not doing anything good for anyone else; when you take your mind off of your problems and needs, and you focus on improving someone else’s life, the seeds that you sow will always come back to you;  God will improve your own life;  be free with your compliments, take time to tell people how much you love them, it takes so little effort, yet it makes such a huge deposit, those are not just words, they’re treasures that they’ll carry for a lifetime;  it’s easy to see the negative, but every person has something great about them, why don’t you develop the habit of looking for that one good thing, that’s making deposits

don’t take people for granted, express positive things, our thoughts don’t bless anybody, love is not love until you give it away, get in the habit of finding that one good thing about the people that God put in your life, and then take it a step further-tell them;  those are treasures that they will carry for a lifetime;  people need encouragement today more than ever, the reason why is because there’s a bigger outlet for negative than there’s ever been before, the internet lets people say hurtful things and hide behind no name;  the negative has been turned up, now you and I need to turn up the positive;  don’t be passive, tell your family and friends, in person, on Facebook, on Twitter, how much you love them, how great you think they are;  when you see a negative comment about them, go to work, pay compliments, do your friends and family a favor, drown out all the haters, the critical, negative, sarcastic, jealous people;  they want to make withdrawals and push people down, you keep making deposits, pushing people up;  don’t waste your time arguing with hateful people, they’re not going to change their minds, they don’t want to understand you, they’re not happy with their own life, they’re jealous, so they’re going to keep trying to push people down;  the more hate they pour out, the more  love you pour out, stick up for your family, friends, God’s counting on us to make these deposits; encourage somebody every single day, look for opportunities to make them feel better about themselves, make sure when you leave the place is better off than it was before;  if you’re making deposits everywhere you go, then those seeds that you sow will always come back to you;  as you help others rise higher, God’s going to help you rise higher;  you will become everything God created you to be, you’re going to live the abundant life He has in store

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(6:30 PM)

My roommate and I had a big-$ thing to handle today, and after endless delays and preparations and double-checks, it was finally happening…  except there was one crucial piece of paperwork that we somehow didn’t figure out that we needed. We’ve had so much shuffling around in the last few months that we would literally have had no idea where to even start looking for it, and any delay caused by trying to obtain a new one could have been catastrophic.  An exhaustive search of the car miraculously revealed an older version of this paper, which despite its ragged condition had the necessary parts still clear and so was deemed acceptable and the deal went through.  Thank God, literally!!

This next thing could be a coincidence, but with so many forgiveness-based references pouring down on me recently I’m not ready to discount anything:  I was half-listening to music videos when I heard “To forgive all the things that I’ve done.”  It’s from this song:

Depeche Mode: “One Caress”

Well I’m down on my knees again
And I pray to the only one
Who has the strength
To bear the pain
To forgive all the things that I’ve done

The album it’s from is “Songs Of Faith And Devotion,” which makes it feel a little less coincidental.

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From JO’s sermon tonight:

there are times in life that we all get tired;  tired of trying to make business grow, tired of dealing with a sickness, etc;  we can even be doing what we love, living in the house of our dreams, working at a good job, but if we’re not careful we can lose our passion and allow weariness to set in;  what do you do when the battle has lasted longer than you thought?  you’ve prayed, you’ve believed, you’ve done what you’re supposed to, but you’re still waiting for things to happen;  the word “weary” means “to lose the sense of pleasure,” to not feel the enjoyment that you one felt;  if you allow yourself to become weary, you’ll be tempted to quit growing, believing, pursuing your goals and dreams;  on the way to our victory we will always face the weariness test, where we’re tempted to get discouraged and give up;  the test never comes when we’re fresh, when we first start out, it always comes when we’re tired, that’s when we’re the most vulnerable

Galatians 6:9 (KJV)

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

faint not; in other words, if you don’t give up, if you shake off the weariness, put on new attitude, knowing that God is still in control;  dig your heels in and say I’ve come too far to stop now;  if you faint not, you will see the promise come to pass;  instead of complaining about how long the battle is taking, we should be saying “this too shall pass”;  I know it’s not permanent, it’s only temporary, I’m not camping here, I’m moving forward;  weariness leads to discouragement;  when you’re discouraged, you see the problem instead of the possibility;  you talk about the way it is instead of the way it can become;  if you allow yourself to become weary, you lose your passion, your enthusiasm, you’ll be tempted to make decisions based on  how you feel rather than what you know;  when you feel that weariness come on, you need to start talking to yourself;  “God, You said You have armed me with strength for every battle, You said I can do all things through Christ, who infuses inner strength into me;  You said I am more than a conqueror, a victor not a victim”;  if you’ll talk to yourself the right way, you’ll feel the 2nd wind begin to kick in.  too often we think “I can’t take this anymore, I’m so tired, I’m so run down, it’s just too hard”;  the more you talk about how tired you are, the more tired you’re going to become;  don’t talk about the way you are, talk about the way you want to be, you need to have faith and victory coming out of your mouth;  “this may be hard, but I know I’m well able, I’m equipped, empowered, strong in the Lord”;  we all get tired, weary,  if you never feel like giving up, then your dreams are too small, if you never feel like quitting, you need to set some larger goals;  when that pressure comes to get discouraged, and to think about how you can’t take it anymore, that is completely normal

Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

God knew there would be times that we would feel battle fatigue;  that’s why He said that there’s a way to get your 2nd wind, there’s a way to get your strength renewed;  what is it?  wait on the Lord.  one translation says hope in the Lord.  that doesn’t mean to sit around passive, complacent, it means to wait with expectancy;  not complaining, not discouraged, talking about all the reasons why it’s not going to work out;  if you want your strength renewed, the right way to wait is by saying “Father, thank You that You’re fighting my battles, the answer’s on the way, You’re bigger than these obstacles, You’re bringing my dreams to pass”;  when you give God praise, you talk about His greatness, you go through the day expecting Him to turn it around, God promises He will renew your strength;  it says you will run, and not get weary, that’s talking about your 2nd wind, that’s God breathing strength, energy,  passion, vision, vitality back into your spirit;  you won’t just come out the way you were, you will come out on wings like eagles, that means you’re gonna come out stronger, higher, better off than you were before

if you’re up against major obstacles, when you look out into your future in can be very overwhelming, you don’t see how you’re going to make it;  you can’t look 15 years down the road, if you look way out you’ll be overwhelmed;  you have to take it one day at a time; you don’t have the strength you need for tomorrow;  when you get to tomorrow, you’ll have the strength for that day, God is not going to give you the strength for tomorrow today;  God is asking you, will you do it today, will you take hold of My strength today, will you wait on the Lord today, will you not give up and faint today;  if you’ll pass the test and do it today, then when you get to tomorrow the strength you need for that day will be there;  as long as you’re worried about how I’m going to make it next week, next month, that worry is going to drain your strength, energy, passion, victory;  all worry does is weigh us down and keep us from enjoying life;  instead of worrying about your future, get up every morning and say to yourself “I can do this one more day;  I may not know how I can do it the next 20 years, but I do know this, I can do it for 24 more hours;  I can stay in faith one more day, I can keep a good attitude one more day, I can have a smile on my face 24 more hours”;  take it a day at a time

I like to run.  sometimes when I’m running I get tired, and those thoughts start coming, saying you need to stop, you’re uncomfortable, it’s hard, and look at how far you’ve gotta go; the battle is taking place in our minds;  if I dwell on those thoughts, and start thinking about how I feel, and how many hills there are and how far I’ve gotta go, I’ll talk myself out of it and quit. I’ve gotta quit looking at the next 2 miles and just start telling myself “I can do this one more step”; when I focus not on how far I have to go but on the next step, before long I look up and I’m almost there;  I’ve pressed past the pain of being uncomfortable, I’ve gotten into a rhythm, and all of a sudden my 2nd wind has kicked in, and instead of barely making it, now I’m mounting up on those wings like eagles, I’m finishing strong;  when those thoughts come to you saying it’s never going to change, you’re never going to get well, you’re never going to reach your goals, no, God said in Job that He has set an end to the difficulty [I was unable to find it, sadly];  God has already established an end date for the trouble, He set an end to the struggle, sickness, addiction, loneliness;  when you’re in a difficult season, and you feel the weariness creeping in, telling you it’s not worth it, you’re too uncomfortable, you’ve got too far to go, you need to remind yourself “I’m not always going to be lonely, God has set an end to this loneliness, He is bringing somebody great into my life” (etc)

Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord my healer, has set an end to this sickness; the end has already been set, stand strong, don’t grow weary, keep believing, expecting, being your best, if you will not get tired of doing what’s right, you will see the end come to pass;  that’s what it means if you faint not, you will receive the reward;  when life gets tough, you’ve gotta remind yourself of what God said about you;  “God, You said, I’ve been armed with strength for every battle.”  God calls strength a weapon, in the natural you could be armed with a pistol, hand grenade, bazooka, that’s nothing compared to what God has armed you with;  you are full of can-do power.  don’t go around weak and defeated, and “I can’t take this any more,” if you couldn’t take it any more, God wouldn’t have allowed it;  instead of complaining, start telling yourself “I can handle this.”  look those obstacles in the eye and say to them “You’re no match for me”  the end has already been set, and it’s just a matter of time before God turns it around, before He brings that dream to pass;  God has given you the grace for the season that you’re in;  if you weren’t up to it, God wouldn’t have brought it across your path;  it’ll help you to stand strong if you’ll remind yourself, on the other side of that difficulty is promotion;  there’s always a reward for doing what’s right, God never asks you to do something and then doesn’t compensate you for it, God is a rewarder;  He pays very good;  the season may be difficult, but if you’ll just keep doing the right thing, you need to get ready, a reward is coming your way

when you stand strong and have a good attitude, when you really feel like complaining, and being discouraged, when you serve and give and treat people right even when they’re not saying thank you, when nobody’s giving you credit, when you pass these weariness tests, the scripture says payday is coming your way;  some of you are on the verge of stepping into a new level of God’s favor, but the problem is, you’re tired, the battle has taken longer than you expected, now you stand at a crossroads;  you can either let that weariness weigh you down, cause you to give up and settle where you are, or you can dig your heels in, and say no, I’ve come too far to stop now;  I’m going to keep pressing forward, keep pursuing my goals, keep being good to people, keep hoping, praying, stretching, growing;  when you have that kind of attitude, you will feel your 2nd wind begin to kick in; when you face the greatest pressure you are close to your victory, when the intensity has been turned up,  that’s a sign you’re about to step in to a new level of God’s favor;  when it’s the most uncomfortable, when it gets the most unfair, when you’re tempted to give up the most, that’s a sure sign you’re about to give birth to the new thing God wants to do

don’t get discouraged and be too weary and just want to settle where you are, press past the pain of being uncomfortable, press past the feelings that are telling you to settle there, press past the weariness get your fire back, get your enthusiasm back, you have not seen your best days, your greatest victories are still in your future;  every adversity, every struggle, that didn’t go to waste, God is using that to get you prepared for the amazing future He has in store;  sometimes God will allow difficulties to increase our endurance, to stretch us, so we can reach our full potential;  we may think, “this is too hard,” it may be hard, it may have even been meant for your harm, but when you stand strong and say, “I can handle this, it’s not too much for me, I’m armed with strength for this battle,” then when you make it to the other side you’ll not only receive your reward, but you’ll have an inner strength, a confidence, a resolve, that you never had before;  you’ll face situations where 10 years ago you’d have fallen apart, you’d have gotten all upset, but now, because you’ve passed these tests, it’s deposited something on the inside, and what used to be a big deal is now not a big deal at all;  what’s happening?  you’re growing, increasing, stepping up to new levels

if you faint not, you shall reap;  when you face great adversities, when pressure has been turned up, you can either let God see your discouragement or you can let God see your faith;  you can say “God, it’s not fair, I came all this way, I prayed, I believed, I did everything I’m supposed to, but it didn’t work out,” or you can say, “God, I can handle this, I’m well able, I know this difficulty means I’m close to my victory”;  your greatest test will always come when you’re tired, when it’s taken longer than you thought, when it didn’t work out the way you expected, you prayed, you believed, but it didn’t turn around;  you’re at the house, so to speak, where you can’t get in;  don’t let the weariness cause you to give up and settle there;  dig your heels in, and say “I’ve come too far to stop now, I’ve made too many sacrifices to give up now, I’ve won too many battles in my past to let this one defeat me, I’m not going to let a temporary feeling cause me to miss out on a permanent blessing.”  keep moving forward, believing, hoping, growing, praying, stretching, being good to people, when you do that, that 2nd wind will begin to kick in, you’ll feel a strength, a resolve, a determination, like you’ve never felt before

you’re too close to quit now; it may not have happened last year, but it can happen this year;  it may be difficult, but it’s no match for you;  the creator of the universe, the most high God, is breathing a second wind into you right now;  just receive it by faith, strength is coming into your body, into your mind, you’re going to feel His resurrection power, you’re going to mount up on wings like eagles, whatever comes against you in life, you can handle it, you can outlast any attack, God has already equipped you, you are full of can-do power;  yes, the battle may be taking longer than you thought, but don’t let fatigue set in, keep reminding yourself the end has already been set;  the greater the intensity the closer you are to your victory;  shake off the weariness, get your fire back, if one dream died, dream another dream;  remember, when you feel tired, wait upon the Lord, hope in the Lord, thank God that He’s fighting your battles, thank Him that  He’s still on the throne, thank Him that He’s turning it around;  if you do that you will feel your 2nd wind, God promises He will renew your strength;  you’re going to run and not get weary, you’re going to walk and not faint, you’re not going to drag through life, defeated, depressed, you’re going to soar through life on wings like eagles, overcoming every obstacle, defeating every enemy, and accomplishing every God-given dream

Afterwards:  God’s got a big plan for your life, so take the limits off of Him;  dream big, ask big, and then expect Him to do big things in your life.  Jesus said;  “According to your faith it will be done unto you”;  God will meet you at the level of your expectation.

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(4 AM)

I was putting the TV on an hour ago, and the tail end of an episode of “Cheers” was on.  There was no reason to pay attention, and I wasn’t…  but was still aware enough that I noticed after a couple of lines when Diane said, “I guess there’s something to be said for forgiveness.”  It was easy to dismiss as a coincidence, as many of the things I’ve experienced recently can be, at least individually, but here’s what happened next:

I was checking to see where I came up in the results for this search term

“god you said you would pay me back double for the unfair”

(#1, just fyi), and I noticed a transcript for a JO sermon that I thought might be for the same sermon;  for  no reason I can explain, I had the urge to check it out.  It turns out that it was NOT the sermon on “Reminding God,” or even “Waiting with expectancy,” but one I don’t recognize from 2010…  from THE most important day of 2010 for me.  Here are the highlights:

00:00:09 If you want the bruise to go away, if you want to walk in the freedom that belongs to you, you simply need to forgive the wrongs, let it go and move forward in life….

00:02:32 Forgive so that you can be free.
00:02:34 Don’t let that person that hurt you keep you in prison.
00:02:36 If you will let it go god will do for you what he did for her, what he did for joseph.
00:02:40 He will take what was meant for your harm and he will use it to your advantage.
00:02:45 It may have been painful but don’t waste your pain.
00:02:48 God wants to use that pain to promote you.

00:03:57 That means every person that lied about you, tried to make you look bad, let it go and double is coming.
00:04:03 Those people that violated you, forgive them and double is on its way….

0:06:41 (Applause) it will help us to forgive if we can realize the people that hurt us, they have problems of their own.
00:06:46 They have issues.
00:06:47 If somebody lashes out and mistreats you, if somebody abandons you, rejected you, they’ve got unresolved issues down in here that they’re not dealing with.
00:06:57 That doesn’t excuse their behavior but bottom line is somebody hurt them.
00:07:02 Somebody didn’t give them what they needed.
00:07:04 If you will take a merciful approach and say, “god, I know what they did to me was wrong.
00:07:10 God, they hurt me.
00:07:11 It wasn’t right.
00:07:14 But god, I’m not going to try to pay them back.
00:07:16 I’m not going to try to get revenge.
00:07:19 God, I’m asking you to heal them of their hurts.
00:07:21 ” when you can pray for your enemies, when you can bless those that have done you wrong, like the scripture says, then you might as well get ready.
00:07:31 God is going to show up to settle your own cases……………

00:10:01 It doesn’t matter how bad they hurt you or how wrong they were.
00:10:06 If you let it go god will settle your cases……

00:10:59 “Whatever sins you forgive will be forgiven.
00:11:03 Whatever sins you retain will be ” when we retain something it means we hold on to it.
00:11:11 I believe one thing god is saying in this passage is when we hold on to the wrongs that people have done, when we retain their sin, it not only contaminates us but that sin is like a seed.
00:11:27 It can actually produce in us exactly what they did.
00:11:30 In other words, when you don’t forgive it’s easy to become what you hate…

00:12:56 I know it can be very difficult to forgive, especially when people have hurt us badly.
00:13:03 But god will never ask us to do something and then not give us the power to do it.
00:13:07 Forgiveness is a process.
00:13:09 It doesn’t happen overnight.
00:13:10 You just snap your fingers, pray one prayer and then it’s gone.
00:13:14 You never think about it.
00:13:15 Not at all.
00:13:17 It’s a process that has to be walked out.
00:13:20 If you have the desire to forgive and every day you will ask god to help you then little by little those negative feelings will get less and less.
00:13:31 One day you will look up and that won’t affect you at all.
00:13:34 Matthew chapter 6, jesus prayed the lord’s prayer.
00:13:37 In one part he said, “forgive us our debts as we forgive ” when god talks about debts he is just not talking about monetary debts.
00:13:49 He is talking about when people hurt us, when people do us wrong.
00:13:52 God refers to that as a debt.
00:13:53 It’s because when somebody mistreats us down deep we feel like they owe us something.
00:14:00 Human nature says, “you hurt me.
00:14:02 Now I want justice.
00:14:03 now you’ve got ” the problem is, many times we’re trying to collect a debt that only god can pay……

00:15:13 If you’re always looking to people to pay you back for the wrongs they have done you’re going to live a frustrated life…

00:16:19 And I’m not going to live my life bitter, trying to get people to give me what they don’t have.
00:16:27 God, I’m going to leave it up to you.
00:16:28 You promised that you would settle my cases.
00:16:30 You said that you would pay me back double for every unfair thing.

00:16:35 So god, I’m letting all my family, my friends, my co-workers, my neighbors, off the hook and I’m putting my hope, my trust, my confidence ” when you get on god’s payroll he will make sure you are well compensated.
00:16:50 Some of you today, if you would just let some people off the hook in your life and quit thinking that they owe you something you would see your life go to a whole new level.
00:17:01 They may have been wrong.
00:17:02 It may have been their fault.
00:17:06 But it’s not their fault that they can’t pay you back.
00:17:08 If you spend your life trying to get from people what only god can give it will end up ruining that relationship……….

00:17:22 Sometimes when I’m looking over our bills I’ll see these big red letters that say, “paid ” you’ve seen one of those big rubber stamps that people use.
00:17:33 It means the account is totally taken care of.
00:17:37 You need to start seeing your accounts where people have hurt you as being paid in full.
00:17:40 Instead of always trying to collect the debt, thinking they owe you something, get that big rubber stamp out.
00:17:46 Mark that account paid in full.
00:17:47 Next time you see that person that hurt you stamp it paid in full.
00:17:52 That man that lied about you, paid in full.
00:17:56 That friend that betrayed you, paid in full.
00:17:59 It’s very freeing to say, “nobody owes me anything.
00:18:03 They may have hurt me….
00:18:09 That’s alright.
00:18:10 I’m not on their payroll.
00:18:11 I’m on god’s payroll….

00:18:48 You can carry that bag of unforgiveness but it will cost you joy.
00:18:50 You can take around that bag of bitterness but it will cost you peace.
00:18:55 You can carry that bag of, “you owe me something,” that attitude.
00:18:58 If you carry it long enough it will be a very hefty price.
00:19:00 It will keep you from your destiny…

00:19:08 When you don’t forgive them your heavenly father cannot forgive you.
00:19:18 Whyon’t you get rid of the baggage?
00:19:20 Why don’t you mark the accounts paid in full?
00:19:21 Why don’t you forgive so that you can be free?
00:19:23 If you will let go of the hurts, the wrongs, and get on god’s payroll let me declare what is going to happen.
00:19:29 God is going to settle your cases.
00:19:31 He is going to make your wrongs right.
00:19:33 He is going to restore what the enemy has stolen.
00:19:35 He is going to bring justice into your life.
00:19:37 God is not only going to give you what you deserve but he is going to pay you back with double the joy, double the peace, double the friends, double the fulfillment.
00:19:46 He is going to bring you out better off than you were before.

 

In my post of June 24, I said, “I was trying to decide how to phrase how I was wondering whether or not JO’s upcoming sermon would contain a message about forgiveness to help guide me in forgiving.”  I also wrote to a friend that JO would provide me with guidance about forgiveness.  And…  here it is!!  It never even occurred to me to search for old sermons with this topic, and since there are very few sermons available online in any form it wouldn’t seem likely that I’d find anything even if I did.  I just looked now, and did find a couple of brief essays, but no sermons yet; in the 2nd essay (which appears to actually be from his wife), I found this quote that JO really should have used in the above sermon:

Mark 11:25 (AMP)

25 And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop.

The message to forgive is still VERY clear;  I eagerly anticipate learning WHEN this will take place, of course, but whatever time God chooses will be the best one for me, and I’ll wait with expectancy for as long as it takes.

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