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Archive for August, 2012

Unshakeable faith

from JO’s sermon tonight:

when God puts a promise in your heart, you have to come to the place where you believe it’s going to happen so strongly, nothing can talk you out of it;  it may seem impossible, all the circumstances may tell you you’ll never accomplish your dreams, but deep down you have to have this confidence, this knowing that God is still on the throne, He’s bigger than any obstacle, He already has a way, and at the exact time what He promised will come to pass;  you have this unshakable confidence, you know that God is fighting your battles, arranging things in your favor, making a way even when you don’t see a way;  instead of being discouraged, you get up in the morning thanking God that the answer is on the way;  instead of talking about how big the problem is, you go through the day talking about how big your God is;  when the negative thoughts come, saying “it’s impossible, it’s been too long,” you let that go in one ear and out the other;  your mind is set in one direction:  victory, favor, healing, restoration.  you know the moment you prayed, God set the miracle into motion;  it may be taking a long time, but God didn’t bring you this far to leave you, you’ve seen Him do it in the past, and you know He will do it again in the future, you are fully persuaded, that’s unshakable faith.

the fact is, some promises do take a long time;  if God made everything happen when WE wanted it to happen, it wouldn’t take any faith;  we grow in the difficult times, when our faith is being stretched, when we have to believe when we don’t see any reason to believe, when we stay in faith when our mind is telling us we’re wasting our time;  when we give God praise, but we really feel like complaining, that’s passing the test;  every day you do that your faith is not only increasing, your character is not only being developed, but you are one day closer to seeing the promise come to pass;  some of you were about to give up on a promise, but God has you here for a reason;  you need to dig your heels in, put on a new attitude, God is saying, “every promise I’ve spoken over you, every dream I’ve placed in your spirit, even the secret petitions of your heart, the dreams you haven’t told anyone about, I still have every intention of bringing them to pass;  God is a faithful God, it may not have happened on your timetable, but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen;  God has the final say.  don’t you dare give up on that promise.  don’t let discouragement, negative thoughts, talk you out of it, get your fire, passion back;  if God said it, He will do it;  if God spoke it, He will bring it to pass;  do your part and have unshakable faith;  Paul said

Acts 20:24 (KJB)

But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God  

what were these things?  circumstances that looked impossible, people trying to talk him out of it, negative, discouraging thoughts; his attitude was, that doesn’t change my mind, I’m not moved by what I see, I’m moved by what I know;  and I know, if God be for me, who dare be against me?  all of God’s promises are yes and amen.  God has the final say.  that’s the attitude we should have. I’m not moved by the economy, my job situation, I know God supplies all of my needs, He promised He would prosper me, even in a recession, it’s only a matter of time, as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.  I’m not moved by the fact that I’m single and I haven’t met anyone, I know God has already picked out the right person, He’s already ordained them to come across my path, I am fully persuaded they are in my future. that’s unshakeable faith.  you’re not moved by your circumstances, up when something good has happened, down when you don’t see anything happening;   you know that you know that you know everything God promised you is already in your future.

Romans 4:20-21 (NLT)

20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.

how could Abraham have this unwavering faith when all the odds were against him?  verse 19 gives us a secret

Romans 4:19 (WEB)

Without being weakened in faith, he didn’t consider his own body, already having been worn out, (he being about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.

the key to having unshakeable faith is, don’t consider your circumstances, consider your God.  your circumstances may look dead, the financial situation may look impossible, the medical report may say it’s hopeless, all the experts may tell you you could never accomplish your dreams;  if you only consider that, you’ll get discouraged;  before long, doubt will creep in, that will keep you from God’s best;  you’ve gotta do like Abraham, say, “I’m not going to consider just what my mind, my thoughts are telling me, just what the experts are saying;  I’m not going to consider the size of my problem, I’m going to consider the size of my God”;  He spoke the worlds into existence, He flung the stars into space, He’s not limited by the natural, He has supernatural power.  when you consider God instead of your circumstances, amazing things can happen.

some of you are spending too much time analyzing your situation [yes, that’s me;  point taken];  you have so many facts and figures, it’s talking you out of what God can do.  if you would spend more time considering God, thinking about His greatness, the times He’s made a way in the past, meditating on His promises, speaking faith and victory over your life, then you’d see God show up and do supernatural things;  God, you said, what you started you will finish;  you said, God, we would see the surpassing greatness of Your favor, You said You would supply our needs according to Your riches.  when I changed my focus, instead of considering my circumstances started considering my God, doubt, fear, anxiety, negativity didn’t have a chance, faith, expectancy, hope rose up;   I became fully persuaded;  I knew that I knew that I knew that I knew God would make a way even though I didn’t see a way

it’s so important what you consider, what are you focusing on, the size of your obstacle or the size of your God;  if you go through the day just thinking about your problems, worried, negative, playing out all the scenarios that could happen, that’s going to draw in defeat, you’re using your faith in the wrong direction;  it takes just as much energy to be negative as it does to be positive;  it takes just as much energy to be worried as it does to believe;  use your energy for the right purposes;  most people have considered their circumstances long enough; it’s time to make the switch and start considering our God;  take the time that you would normally spend worrying and use that time to thank God that the answer’s on the way, that He’s fighting your battles, breakthroughs are coming;  instead of over-analyzing the situation, spend that same time meditating on the scriptures;  “I can do all things through Christ, I am strong in the Lord, God always causes me to triumph”;  with every breath, “Lord, thank You that You have me in the palm of your hand, nothing can snatch me away”;  when you make God bigger, your problems become smaller;  when you magnify God instead of your circumstances, faith rises in your heart;  that’s what’s going to keep you fully persuaded; pay attention to what you’re focusing on;  be aware of what’s playing in your mind all day;  are you considering your circumstances or are you considering your God?

In Mark 5, Jesus was traveling through a town on his way to pray for a sick person, but he kept getting stopped along the way, and then finally:

Mark 5:35-42 (AMP)

35 While He was still speaking, there came some from the ruler’s house, who said [to Jairus], Your daughter has died. Why bother and distress the Teacher any further?  36 Overhearing but ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear; only keep on believing…  40 …He went in where the little girl was lying.  41 Gripping her [firmly] by the hand, He said to her, Talitha cumi—which translated is, Little girl, I say to you, arise [from the sleep of death]!  42 And instantly the girl got up and started walking around—for she was twelve years old. And they were utterly astonished and overcome with amazement.

sometimes in order to stay in faith you have to ignore a negative report;  doesn’t mean you deny the facts, act like they’re not there, you may hear the facts, the odds may be against you, but you choose not to dwell on them;  don’t go around defeated, thinking, “I knew I wouldn’t get well, look at this doctor’s report,” that may be one report, but God has another report, that says “I’m restoring health unto you, and healing you of your wounds.”  the question is, whose report are you going to believe?  God says you will lend and not borrow, whatever you touch will prosper and succeed, His favor surrounds you like a shield.  if you’re going to have unshakeable faith, you’ve got to learn to ignore the negative reports and choose to believe the report of the Lord

Jesus asked the fishermen if he could borrow their boat and push away from the shore and teach the people that had gathered;  they agreed, and when Jesus finished:

Luke 5:4-6 (KJV)

Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.

And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.

And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.

they were experts in fishing and Jesus was a teacher, they were sure it wasn’t the right time to go fishing, but they were wrong.  for some people the problem is they know too much, our intellect can talk us out of what God wants to do;  it’s good to have information, I’m not saying to live with our head in the sand, but there comes a point where you have to say, “I am not going to put any more doubt and unbelief into my mind;  yes, I wanna know the facts, but I don’t need to know all the details of why I can’t accomplish my dreams.”  sometimes you have to turn your mind off, if you listen long enough, the experts, they can talk you out of God’s best, with the facts, figures, details, statistics, they can convince you into living a defeated, mediocre life;  I want to know the facts, but I don’t want to know too much;  if you don’t cut that off, it’s gonna depress you;  you’ve gotta get out of the natural, and say, “this may be impossible with men, but with God all things are possible.”  Jesus said to the fishermen, in effect, “The promise I’ve given you may not make sense in the natural, but I have supernatural power.”  God is not always logical, God’s ways are not always our ways;  don’t talk yourself out of what God wants to do in your life; it may not seem logical, your reasoning may tell you there’s no way, you’re too young, old, all the odds are against you, it looks impossible;  dare to say, “God, this promise You’ve given me doesn’t make sense, I don’t see how it can ever happen, I don’t know why I should even get my hopes up, nevertheless, God, if you say so, I’m going to believe so.”

Luke 1:31-38 (ASV)

31 And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS….  34 And Mary said unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee…  38 And Mary said, Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word….

[JO describes this scene, saying that Mary didn’t “consider her circumstances,”  but she DID ask the angel about the virgin birth thing, so she DID focus, however briefly, on her “circumstances” and “the natural,” even when faced with an ANGEL, when even a skeptic should be blindly accepting.  This doesn’t reduce the validity of JO’s concept, it just shows that sometimes he makes mistakes, and it’s up to each of us to double-check the facts]

the way we need to be, when God puts a promise in our heart, we may not see how it could work out in the natural, but we don’t try to reason it out, we don’t make excuses, we become fully persuaded.  you may be facing an illness, God gives you the promise, with long life He will satisfy you

Psalm 91:14-16 (NIV)

14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

you can talk yourself out of it, or you can say, “God if you say I’m going to be well, I believe I’m going to be well.”  because you’re a giver, God gives you the promise, He’s going to open the windows of heaven, pour out blessings that you cannot contain:

Malachi 3:10 (KJV)

10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

don’t make excuses, “God do you know where I work, what the cost of living is?”;  zip that up and do like Mary, “God, let it happen, I’m in agreement, be it unto me, even as you have said”;  God’s promises are not dependent on man, you don’t have to know certain people in order to fulfill your destiny;  God’s promises are not dependent on who you know or who you don’t know;  the main thing is, you know Him, and He controls it all

Psalm 75:6-7 (KJV)

For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.

But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.

when it’s your time to be promoted, healed, restored, God doesn’t go check with your friends, neighbors, coworkers, He says, “I’ll make it happen without a man.”  if God can do it without a man, He can do it without a bank, a loan, the treatment, the training.  some of you have considered your circumstances long enough, it’s time to start considering your God;  He is the all-powerful creator of the universe, the promise, dream He’s placed in your heart may seem impossible, may look too big, it doesn’t seem logical, but don’t over-analyze and try to reason it all out, you’ll just talk yourself out of it;  dare to say, “God, I don’t see a way, but I know You have a way, let it happen.”  when the negative reports, thoughts come, saying it’s too late, it’s impossible, learn to ignore it, that’s one report, but remember God has another report;  He’s saying today, “every promise I’ve spoken over you, every dream I’ve placed in your heart, I will bring it to pass;  I am bringing you out of debt into abundance, you will live healthy and whole, that problem will not defeat you, you will meet the right people, accomplish dreams greater than you ever imagined.”  because you have unshakable faith, you are fully persuaded,  you are going to see the surpassing  greatness of God’s favor

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Psalm 30:11-12

Today, the random Bible quote generator produced what I instantly embraced as one of the most beautiful passages in the Bible, and my newest favorite:

Psalm 30:11-12 (NRSA)

11 You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, 12 so that my soul may praise you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.

If you only focus on one quote as part of opening your heart to God, I think your best bets would be either that one or:

Ezekiel 36:26-27 (NIV)

26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

As I was looking up the former, to choose my favorite version and save it, I came across a quote from a seminary student who named it as her favorite, and of it she said:

“This scripture verse is very near and dear to me. It is the song of the lost who have been found, the song of the blind who have been given new sight, the song of the rejected who have found love. It is the soul’s song of resurrection, which is only made possible through the love of Christ.”

Very “Amazing Grace,” right?  It felt positive and meaningful to me.

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49 vs 50

Given my success in asking God for 30 hits on 8-18, today I was going to ask for 30…  40…  and finally settled on 50.  A couple of minutes ago, when I brought up the “posting box,” with only half an hour left during a time of day that’s usually kind of dead, I was up to 48 hits, but I put 49 in the title (since when I asked for 30 I got 29, and to make the point that God doesn’t have to give you what you asked for to the last detail for it to count as a blessing)…  which is what I ended up with for the day:  49.  Keep in mind that just a couple of days ago I had TEN hits, and today was I’m pretty sure in my top 5 days EVER.  God DOES give us what we ask for;  not everything every time, He’s too smart for that, but far more often than we deserve.

Half an hour into the new day and I’ve already had 5 hits…  so I’ll ask for my best day ever today.

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I’ve known for some time that God intends for me to minister.  A few days ago, He showed me a clear image of me doing this in a prison…  not so surprising, really, since it’d be hard to find a collection of people more in need of God’s light and someone to help guide them back to it.  Today, I was once again talking out loud, as if to the friend I’ve told about this who is very alarmed and needs to be reassured…  and I got chills.  Even more, when I tried to describe how there were prodigals in the prison that I could help form a life-changing connection with God, I suddenly got very choked up, which only happens when I’ve homed in on a powerful spiritual truth.  Clearly, it IS meant to happen.

In my post “Freaky hits” from 7-28, I reported the following:

“… nearly every line of the entire 60-hit listing said:

Miami, Florida arrived on an unknown landing page

with a sprinkling of

Palo Alto, California arrived on an unknown landing page.

Unknown browser and OS for all of them.”

I still don’t know what those hits are;  Sitemeter and WordPress don’t record them.  I typically get a couple each day.  I currently have another massive onslaught of them going on;  in the past 10 hours there have been 49 of them, 6 from Palo Alto and 43 from Miami.  They came as far apart as one hour, and as close as 2 coming the same second.  Wish I knew what it meant…

Another thing I’ve wondered about is if my weird precognitive flashes were ESP or G-o-d.  Saturday, based on literally nothing, I had the urge to look up the Hatfield vs McCoy feud;  there is absolutely no aspect of that story that has any overlap whatsoever with anything I’ve ever cared about, so I was at a loss as to what came over me…  until I watched “Warehouse 13” 2 days later and 2 of the artifacts were rifles from….  the Hatfield vs McCoy feud.

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from JO’s sermon tonight:

before we see increase on the outside, we have to make room for it on the inside; if you have a small vision, you’ll have a small life;  if you think you’ve reached your limits, that’s going to keep you from God’s best;  Jesus said:

Mark 2:22 (NIV)

22 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.”

a wineskin was a leather container;  when it got old, it would become hard and rigid, not able to expand, if you put new wine into it, when the wine expanded (why?  maybe from heat?) it would burst the wineskin;  God is saying, “you’re not going to see increase if you’re stuck in old ways of thinking”;  if you think your obstacles are too big, then they are, you are setting the limits to your life with your thinking, you’ve gotta give God permission to increase you, you’ve gotta stretch your faith, God has unlimited supplies, the only thing that limits Him is our ability to receive;  if I had 1000 gallons of water to give you, but you only had a 1 gallon container, the problem is not with the supply, it’s with your ability to receive;  if you’d get rid of the small container, and get something larger, I could give you much more;  it’s the same principle with God, if we think, the economy’s too down, I could never afford that house I really want, etc, no, you’ve gotta get rid of that 1-gallon bucket, that small container, the God we serve is a big God, He has an ocean, an unlimited supply;  Jesus said:

Matthew 9:29 (NIV)

29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”

it’s not according to God, God has all the power, all the resources in the world, it’s according what we believe

2 Kings 4:1-7 (NIV)

The Widow’s Olive Oil

1 The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.”

Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?”

“Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.”

Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few.Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.”

She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.”

But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing.

She went and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.”

Elijah in effect told the widow, don’t shortchange yourself, make room for abundance;  God supernaturally multiplied the oil until all of those containers were completely filled; she was the one that determined how much oil she would have by how many containers she borrowed;  it wasn’t up to God how much she increased, God has unlimited supplies, it was up to her;  that’s why the prophet said, “borrow not a few.”  how many containers are you borrowing, what kind of vision do you have for your life?  some people have a barely-get-by container, they think “business is so slow, I’m hoping to just make it through this year,” they’ve got a tiny little container.  God says, “Alright, I’ll fill your barely-get-by container”;  God can do exceedingly abundantly above and beyond;  He is El Shaddai

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Shaddai

the God of more than enough; make room for far and beyond favor, position yourself under the open windows of heaven.  God is saying, “you need to get ready, I’m going to fill your containers.”  it may not have happened in the past, but God has favor in your future, new opportunities, good breaks, blessings that will chase you down.  you may not see how this could happen, but God has 1000 ways to increase you that you’ve never thought of, explosive blessings, blessings that can thrust you years ahead.  God wants to bless you beyond your normal income, God can give you one good break, promotion, idea, inheritance, and all those containers are filled to overflowing, make sure you don’t shortchange yourself, God is saying, “borrow not a few.” don’t have a narrow, limited vision;  you may not see how it can happen, that’s not your job, your job is to believe;  instead of thinking “this is impossible,” go around saying, “Father, I want to thank you that you’re Jehova Jireh, the Lord my provider, I know my job is not my source, you are my source, it may look impossible, but I know you can do the impossible.”  you might say, “I don’t think I should focus on what God can do for me, it wouldn’t be right, that’d be selfish”;  listen to Psalm 35

Psalm 35:27 (NIV)

Let them say continually, “Let the Lord be magnified Who takes pleasure in the prosperity of His children”

when we hear something long enough, we start to believe it, it starts to affect our vision; all through the day, instead of dwelling on these negative, defeated thoughts, “I’ll never get out of debt, my business will never expand,” zip that up, and start dwelling on “God takes pleasure in prospering me, good breaks are in my future, explosive blessings are coming my way”

Ephesians 2:7 (AMP)

… the ages to come the immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches of His free grace (His unmerited favor)…

we need to start believing for this far and beyond favor;  don’t go around expecting the same thing the same way year after year, where you are is not where you’re supposed to stay, God has new levels, get a bigger vision;  Every time a fisherman got a big fish he threw it back, because he only had a 10″ frying pan.  there are a lot of people like that today;  instead of making room for increase, believing that God can do something bigger, they go around with this 10″ frying pan.  it’s an attitude that says, “we’ll never be that successful, we always struggle, we’re just 10″ frying pan people.”  no matter what environment you were raised in, what may be trying to push you down or hold you back, God is saying, “I created you as the head and not the tail, I made you to lend and not borrow, I take pleasure in prospering you.”   God has some big fish in your future, get rid of that 10″ frying pan.  who says you can’t rise out of that limited environment, you’ll never get out of debt, you’ll never meet the right person?  all it takes is one touch of God’s favor, get in agreement with Him, God has explosive blessings in your future, blessing that will thrust you years ahead

2 Peter 3:8 (NIV)

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

if you will stay in faith, God can take 1000 years of blessing and release it in one day;  are you bold enough to dare say, “God, I’m asking You to release any blessings that my ancestors may have missed out on”?  that’s kind of far out, yeah, we serve a far out God!    if you think, “That would never happen for me, I never get any good breaks,” you’re right, it’s not going to happen for you.  why?  a 10″ frying pan.  enlarge your vision, believe that you can rise higher, and not only accomplish your dreams, but believe that you can further the kingdom in a greater way;  the God we serve is not a barely get by God, He is a more than enough God, a running over God, an exceedingly, abundantly, above and beyond God.  God has blessings stored up for those that honor Him:

Psalm 31:19 (NLT)

Your goodness is so great! You have stored up great blessings for those who honor you. You have done so much for those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world.

God has contracts, houses, ideas, good breaks, that already have your name on them.  to release the blessings, honor God, keep Him first place, make room for it in your thinking, believe that something big is in your future;  when you take the limits off of God,  and say “God, I don’t see how this could happen in the natural, but I know you are a supernatural God, I know You have blessings that already have my name on it, so Lord I just wanna thank you for your far and beyond favor.”  You live like that, and you will see God amaze you with His goodness.  it’s time for us as God’s people to rise up as the head and not the tail, lend and not borrow, we are not supposed to be 2nd class and kinda just take all the leftovers, we are children of the most high God.  in the coming days, there is going to be a transfer of wealth into God’s people’s hands (this is a nice enough thought, but he has no reason to say this as far as I can tell…  but, nobody’s perfect, he’s allowed the occasional odd remark);  if you will be faithful with what you have, and prove to God that you can be trusted to further His kingdom, then you’re going to be a part of this transfer, you’re going to see unusual increase;  you need to get ready, there are buildings that have your name on it, contracts and good breaks, promotion, ideas, almighty God has stored up for you;  do your part, and make room for it in your thinking; when you have a big vision, you honor God with your life, you won’t be able to outrun the good things God has in store; God can cause contracts to come your way, He can cause you to stand out;  in the natural, you may feel the least likely, but with the blessing of God on your life the odds dramatically change, you and God are majority, you need to get ready, there’s going to be an explosion of God’s goodness, it’s going to be far and beyond anything you’ve ever seen before.  it’s what Paul talked about in Ephesians 2:7

Proverbs 13:22-23 (NIV)

22 A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children,
    but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.

God has already laid up contracts, promotions, good breaks, they already have your name on them, if you’ll keep honoring God, making room for it, then eventually they will find their way into your hands, the hands of the righteous;  that means right now something is looking for you, not bad breaks, disappointments, lack, mediocrity, you are the righteous, increase is looking for you, favor, good breaks are looking for you;  are you making room for it?  you’ve gotta take the limits off of God;  get rid of any old wineskins that are telling you you’ve gone as far as you can, this is not for you, this is for everybody else, you’ve made too many mistakes, there will always be voices that try to talk you out of it, when you look at it in the natural, your own thoughts may tell you it’s impossible, there’s no way, but this is what faith is all about, you have to believe it before you see it, you’ve gotta go around knowing that almighty God put something on you, you have an advantage, it’s His favor, it causes you to stand out, people to be good to you, it puts you at the right place at the right time. it may look impossible, but don’t ever rule out the favor of God

Isaiah 60:1 (NIV)

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you

it doesn’t say that it’s going to come on you one day, maybe when the economy gets better, no, it says God’s glory is already on you; the word “glory” in the original language (Hebrew? Greek?) indicates God’s favor, blessing, splendor is on you in a heavy way;  it indicates weight;  if you’re going to make room for increase, you have to have the right image;  you are not less than, intimidated, weak, you are heavy with God’s favor, dripping with God’s goodness. our attitude should be, there’s no telling what’s in my future, I am weighted down, not with burdens, problems, but with the favor of God.  when you really understand that you are heavy with favor, then it’s easy to be heavy with expectation, it’s easy to believe for big things when you know God has favored you in a big way; believe for some of these explosive blessings, stretch your faith, not just making room for God to get you through this year, God wants to catapult you to a new level; one good break and you’re totally out of debt, one person and your career takes off, one touch of God’s favor and you’re 50 years down the road;  don’t go around thinking “well, this never happens for me, I never get any good breaks,” no, all through the day,  “Father I know you take pleasure in prospering me, I know I’m heavy with your favor, I take the limits off of you, I make room for you to do something big in my life, I arise, shine, I know your glory is upon me,” you have that kinda attitude, and you won’t be able to outrun God’s goodness;  you are heavy with God’s favor, dripping with God’s goodness, if you happen to have come in here with a 10″ frying pan, do me a favor, drop it off at the door before you leave;  you go out of here with a big vision, take the limits off of God;  if you’ll make room for His increase, you’re going to see explosive blessings, far and beyond favor, you will accomplish your dreams, overcome your obstacles, and become everything God’s created you to be.

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30 vs 29

My # of daily hits had dipped recently, enough to vaguely alarm me, and for 8-18 I asked for more than 15, or 20, as I had been before;  I did at first ask for 20, but then changed it to 30…  a # I have not reached in 2 weeks, and not reached on a weekend day for FOUR weeks.  And the actual # of hits, as you’ll have guessed, was 29.  A skeptic might say “God, if He existed, could easily have given you 1 more hit, and therefore…”  But, although I’m in general skeptic, in the area of God fulfilling wishes I’m a believer, not a doubter, and I have no doubt here;  the # is too close to be a coincidence.  I’m relieved and grateful;  He still wants me to keep sharing my experiences, clearly.

The random Bible quote generators said the following today:

Psalm 59:17 (NIV)

17 You are my strength, I sing praise to you;
    you, God, are my fortress,
    my God on whom I can rely.

So true.

Galatians 6:9 (NIV)

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

I’m counting on it.

And finally, this one was adjacent to one that came up:

Isaiah 5:18-19 (NIV)

Woe to those who… say, “Let God hurry; let him hasten his work so we may see it

This is a good reminder, when I feel impatient…  and interesting combined with the previous one.  I WILL wait with as much patience as possible…  because my flourishing finish is fast approaching.

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Proving God

(4:30 AM)

If you’re here, you likely don’t need any more “proof” of God’s existence than I do, but that doesn’t keep the following from being well worth checking out:

I saw a fascinating show on the History Channel called “Proving God”

http://tvlistings.zap2it.com/tv/proving-god/EP01486980

that had scientists saying that there’s something called wind setdown, which is followed by a bore wave, that, being in agreement with Biblical descriptions of what the wind and water were doing at the time, could have caused an actual parting of the Red Sea as described in Exodus.  The Strait of Tiran, at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba, is a spot many Biblical scholars think is the place that best matches the Biblical description of where this occurred;  the channel is just 8 miles across there, and the water only 30 feet deep…  “only.”  They’ve successfully modeled wind setdown and a bore wave at that spot;  it showed that it could have opened a passage across the channel that the Israelites could have made it across before the water came crashing back together.  The “fierce wind from the northeast that blew all night” as described in the Bible IS what would have been necessary, both in direction and duration, to create wind setdown at that point…  the sea would have been parted down to bare land for 4 hours.  The people making it across successfully hinges on the word “eleph,” used in the explanation of how many people were there, which in Hebrew can mean thousand, but can also mean group or troop…  and at that time, whatever the sources are says that a troop would mean 10 men.  If this were so, that would mean that there were about 20,000 Israelites, not the ridiculously improbable 2 million, and 20,000 people could reasonably have crossed 8 miles in 4 hours (2 million of course could not have).  Did Moses, no fool he, take advantage of the rare circumstances caused by a massive storm to hurry his people to safety, and when they made it, and the bore wave at the end of the storm obliterated their enemies, did he triumphantly point to God as the cause?

Here’s a science article on this topic:

http://www.science20.com/news_articles/parting_red_sea_could_it_have_happened_wind_setdown_model_says_yes

The line about the wind in Exodus is:

Exodus 14:21-22 (NIV)

21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, 22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.

And here’s a scholarly bit about the direction of the wind:

“קדים, the east wind, which may apply either to the south-east or north-east, as the Hebrew has special terms for the four quarters only. Whether the wind blew directly from the east, or somewhat from the south-east or north-east, cannot be determined, as we do not know the exact spot where the passage was made”

http://bible.cc/exodus/14-21.htm

I don’t know how the scientists in the show became so sure about the direction of the wind, as they didn’t say, but one hopes they DO have a reason.

WAS the storm a coincidence, or created by God for just the purpose it was used for?  Or, did God part the sea directly, and the “fierce winds” were a coincidence?  Or, is the whole thing just a dramatic fiction?  I don’t know…  and I don’t NEED to know, as nothing in the Bible needs to be true for God to be real, since He didn’t write it…  but it intrigues me greatly.

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