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Archive for December, 2013

Farewell to 2013

This was a hard year for me;  the hardest of my life.  But it was also a year of signs and miracles and breakthroughs and renewed hope.  God has shown me repeatedly that He is here with me, guiding my footsteps and preparing me for the better things He has in store for me.  I have prospered where I am and my faith has never wavered.

One area that I’m doing particularly well in is the social;  I already have FOUR people who want to see me in January!!  When I asked God to bring me a social life, He complied in spades.  My birthday was a stellar example:

After getting ZERO for my b-day for years, this year I got FIVE b-day dinners, and a pile of gifts…  GIFTS!!  I’d forgotten what it even felt like to get a card, much less a gift.  Even a male geek friend got me one;  a book on religion.  And he’s an atheist.  TWO different people got me treats that I’d mentioned liking literally 20 years ago, too.  The biggest thing for my b-day, though, came from…  well, here’s the story:

Years ago, I mysteriously gained a bookmark titled “Hi FH Sorry I mucked up your” (and no end to the sentence);  I assumed then, and ever since, that someone had accidentally gotten into our network and somehow done something to my machine and left that message in apology.  My tech-exert roommate thought so too. For reasons I can’t explain, I never deleted the bookmark; I thought, beyond all reason, that some day I’d somehow figure or find out exactly what had happened. In the past couple of years of bookmarking scripture, I learned that line breaks in text copied into the “subject line” for bookmarks get incorporated, and I have to navigate with arrow keys to get all of it.  I never put 2 + 2 together, never thought to “scroll” to see if there was more to the mystery bookmark…. until my b-day, when it came up in an unrelated bookmark search (without which I’d never have thought of it). Out of a clear blue sky came the urge to check it out…  and my jaw hit the floor when I discovered THIS: “Hi FH Sorry I mucked up your Birthday… HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!” WHOA!! There was more, including the signature; my friend J in the UK. Somehow, her entire email had been copied into the subject line, TWICE. I’d never have a reason to copy the email, no reason to paste anything into the subject line for the bookmark, which already had a title (included after the emails), and it’s not like I wouldn’t have noticed if I’d done so, TWICE, so… HOW did that get there? And the likelihood of figuring it out and “getting the message” on my b-day; 1 out of 365, less than 1/3 of 1%. The only way I can interpret this is, as amazing as it sounds; God wished me Happy B-day!! Amazing!!

Also this year:  I’ve taken a quantum leap in my understanding of scripture, but also realized just how far I have to go before I have the “thorough knowledge” required for seminary;  I won’t be going as soon as I’d hoped, but it will happen in God’s timing.

This blog has taken a quantum leap as well.  Look at how radically my # of hits has changed:

2010:  76

2011:  525

2012:  7083

2013:  61,189

I’ve never done a thing to promote myself, so only God could have caused this;  maybe just to provide a resource for people, which in itself is awesome, but maybe He’ll eventually give me something major to say to my widening audience.

At the end of last year, I had a single-digit # of followers;  as of today, I have 75.  Thanks to all of you for joining me!!

Happy New Year!!  🙂

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As posted in “God shows that He will help my uncle” on 12-13, God has already given me signs that my uncle, who is doing so poorly that he is not expected to live to see his grandchild born in May, WILL hang on until then.  And now there’s another sign:

A few weeks ago, I’d had the urge to call into a Christian podcast that I listen to, which ends each day by playing prayer requests, and ask for prayers for my uncle. I like to do things as soon as I think of them, but nearly a week went by, as I kept feeling like it wasn’t the right time to do it, before I made the call. And then, so much time passed without hearing it played that I figured the request hadn’t come through clearly or whatever and they would not play it. But when I listened to the Christmas podcast just now, which had only 12 minutes of calls (it’s usually double that), there was my request!!

God is amazing!!

Merry Christmas!!

Edit:  My uncle DID live to see his grandchild!!  Thank you Father!!!!!!!

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from JO’s sermon tonight:

it’s easy to get stuck in life to where we think we’ve reached our limits;  “I’ve gone as far as I can go, I’m not that talented, I could never accomplish my dreams.”  no, God wouldn’t have given you the dream and then not given you the ability to do it.  you have what you need;  the problem many times is that it’s buried on the inside.  it’s hidden treasure.  you have gifts and talents that you’ve not yet tapped into.  there is potential that is waiting to be released.  when God laid out the plan for your life, He deposited in you the skill, wisdom, creativity;  everything you need to fulfill your destiny.  it’s not what you have in you that matters;  it’s what you get out.  if you’re going to reach your highest potential, you have to tap into that hidden treasure.  buried on the inside of you right now is hidden treasure.  you are full of resources;  there are books, movies, songs, ideas, inventions, businesses, put in you by the Creator of the universe.

don’t die with the treasure still on the inside.  you have something to offer this world that nobody else can offer.  you are unique, one of a kind.  don’t go around wishing you had somebody else’s gift;  if you had their gift, it wouldn’t help you, it would hinder you.  you’re not anointed to be them, you’re anointed to be you.  if God wanted you to look  like them, have their personality, and do what they can do, He would have made you that way.  you have exactly what you need:  you’re smart enough, talented enough.  quit comparing yourself to somebody else;  you’ve been fearfully and wonderfully made.  when you walk in your anointing, confident in who God made you to be, knowing that you’ve got what it takes, then your hidden treasure, gifts, talents, that potential is going to be released.  you’ll step into the fullness of your destiny.

Ephesians 3:20 (WEB)

20 … him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us

“according to the power that works in us”;  not according to the power that’s in your neighbor, boss, pastor, bank, it’s according to the power that works in you.  in other words, it depends on what you’re believing.  if you go around telling yourself, “I’m just average, not that talented, from the wrong family,” then the exceeding greatness of God’s power is not going to work in you;  that treasure is going to stay buried.  quit discounting, belittling yourself.  when God created you, He didn’t make any mistakes.  you’re not lacking, at a disadvantage, short-changed, you’ve been created in the image of almighty God.  you have treasure inside of you;  if it is going to come out, you have to have the attitude, “I’ve got what it takes.  I’m not hoping to have it 1 day, begging somebody to give me a break, no, I realize it’s already on the inside.  I’m equipped, empowered talented, creative, well able.”  you live like that, and you’ll see the exceeding greatness of God’s favor.  this is where Sarah almost missed it:

Genesis 15:1-4 (NIV)

15 After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision…  And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”

Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.”

Genesis 16:1-15 (NIV)

16 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.”

Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived… 15 So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne.

Genesis 17:17 (NIV)

17 Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?”

God said to Sarah, “you have hidden treasure that is still buried in your womb.”  but as long as Sarah thought, “I’m too old,” she was talking herself out of what God wanted to do.

Genesis 18:1-10 (NIV)

18 The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground… 10 Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”

Genesis 21:1-3 (NIV)

21 Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.

how many times do we say, “I could never be in management, write that book, build that house”?  no, God is saying to you what He said to Sarah, “I didn’t put the promise in somebody else, I put it in you.”  the treasure is on the inside.  it may be buried under doubt and fear, disappointments and what didn’t work out, low self-esteem, intimidation, but the treasure is still in you.  you may have talked yourself out of it, but you didn’t talk God out of it;  God does not abort dreams.  if you will get back in agreement with God, then what He promised you He will bring to pass.  some of you have been sitting on the sidelines, celebrating everybody else, content to see the promises come to pass in their lives, and that’s good, but God wants to do something amazing in YOUR life.  He wants you to be celebrated.  you don’t have to sit on the sidelines;  you have buried treasure.  there are promises that God has spoken over you, dreams that He wants you to give birth to.  it’s not too late, you’re not too old;  it may look impossible, but our God can do the impossible.  when you believe, favor is released, hidden treasure comes forth;  you’re going to give birth to those promises.  when Sarah first heard that she was going to have a baby:

Genesis 18:10-12 (NIV)

10 Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”

Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”

she was saying, “I’m at a disadvantage, I don’t have what it takes,” belittling, discounting herself.  that’s going to keep the treasure buried.  but it’s just as easy to talk yourself into it as it is to talk yourself out of it.  instead of thinking of all the reasons why you can’t get well, accomplish a dream, fix your marriage, “It’s too late, I’ve made too many mistakes,” no, zip that up, and instead of talking yourself out of it, talk yourself into it;  “I can do all things through Christ.  God is making a way even though I don’t see a way.  I’m anointed, equipped, talented, more than a conqueror.”  “I don’t see how I could get well, this sickness has been in my family for 5 generations”;  if you keep talking like that it’s going to be 6.  why don’t you start talking yourself into it?  “God is restoring health back unto me.  the # of my days He will fulfill.”

Jeremiah 1:5 (NLT)

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.
    Before you were born I set you apart
    and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”

but Jeremiah was young and afraid:

Jeremiah 1:6 (NLT)

“O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!”

Jeremiah 20:7-8 (NIV)

… I am ridiculed all day long;
    everyone mocks me.
Whenever I speak, I cry out
    proclaiming violence and destruction.
So the word of the Lord has brought me
    insult and reproach all day long.

just when you thought he was going to talk himself out of it:

Jeremiah 20:9 (NIV)

But if I say, “I will not mention his word
    or speak anymore in his name,”
his word is in my heart like a fire,
    a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
    indeed, I cannot.

 he was saying, “God, I may not see how it can happen, all the odds are against me, but this promise you put in me will not go away.”  you may be at a place right now where you could easily give up on what God has put in your heart, but what God promised you will not die.   you can ignore it, try to talk yourself out of it, your mind may tell you that it’s never going to happen, but deep down you’re going to feel a stirring, burning, restlessness;  that’s the promise God put in you.  He loves you too much to let you be average;  He is going to push you into greatness.  your hidden treasure is about to come out.  you need to get ready;  the gifts, talents, skills, ideas, untapped potential is about to come forth.  you’re going to step into a new season, feel a boldness to do things that you’ve never done.  it’s going to be a supernatural strength.  God is going to open doors that no man can shut.  don’t shrink back, intimidated;  the Creator of the universe has not only equipped and empowered you, but He is breathing favor, healing, confidence, restoration, in your direction right now.
a lot of times, we hear about what we can’t do, but I want to tell you what you can do:  you can accomplish your God-given dreams, live healthy and whole, overcome every obstacle, set a new standard for your family.  you are not average, ordinary;  you have treasure on the inside.  you don’t really know what’s on the inside until you put a demand on your potential.  some of you are going to be offered a position that you think is way over your head.  you’re going to be tempted to shrink back;  “I can’t do that.  I’m not qualified, I don’t have the experience.”  no, it may be over your head, but it is not over God’s head.  He has already deposited in you everything that you need.  God wouldn’t have given you the opportunity, nor put the desire in you, if you didn’t already have everything you need.  when you rise up with boldness, confidence, you’re going to see new gifts, talents, strengths, confidence;  all these things are going to come up out of you.  they’re on the inside;  you just have to work with God to get them out.
some of you are going to have an opportunity to go back to school or start your own business;  the easy thing to do is to play it safe and stay where you’re comfortable.  but if you’re going to see this hidden treasure come out, you’ve gotta be willing to do something that you’ve never done.   you can’t play it safe your whole life and expect to reach your highest potential.  you gotta be willing to take some risks.  I want you to feel this new sense of confidence, boldness.  you are full of possibility.  don’t sit around thinking about what you can’t do:  “I could never be in management, speak in front of people.”  I bet you could;  you could discover things in you that you never knew you had.  Paul told Timothy:

2 Timothy 1:6 (NKJV)

Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God… 

God is saying, “I’m about to take you someplace that you’ve never been, show you new ways to increase, open new doors of opportunity.  “I’m not that talented”;  who told you that?  the Creator of the universe says you have everything you need to excel.  you are equipped, empowered, anointed.  this is your season to come up higher.  God is about to release hidden treasure that’s been buried on the inside.  get ready to do something that you’ve never done, go places that you’ve never been.  there is a treasure on the inside of every person.  God did not leave anybody out.  it doesn’t matter what people have spoken over you, how many disadvantages you’ve had or how many odds are against you.  if you’ll not get discouraged, not let people talk you out of it, not let your own thoughts tell you, “you’re just average, ordinary, there’s nothing special about you,” no, just keeping taking those steps of faith, honoring God, being your best, talking yourself into it instead of out of it, and your treasure is going to be released.  God will take you places that you’ve never dreamed of.
sometimes in life, you may not feel like you have the talent, strength, ability, but God does.  when you use what you have, God will take what you think is very average, average talent, skills, education, He will mix His super with your average, and amazing things will begin to happen.  you may feel like you could never accomplish what God has put in your heart, you don’t have the resources, education, talent;  you may not, but God does.  when you make a move, God makes a move.  get out of the safe zone and into the faith zone, and God will step in and bring things out of you that you didn’t know you had.  in the coming days, as you stretch your faith, you’re going to discover confidence and and abilities that you didn’t know were in you.  supernatural breaks are going to come your way.  just when you think it can’t get any better, the right people, opportunities will join in.  you’ll know, “this is not just my talent, ability;  this is God taking my ordinary and making it extraordinary.”
if your time on Earth was up this week, is there something that you’re missing out on?  is your treasure buried under doubt, fear, what somebody said?  You owe it to yourself, and the world, to tap into that hidden treasure.  it’s not too late, you’re not too old;  there is fire shut up in your bones.  God has spoken promises over your life, dreams that the Creator of the universe put in you.  don’t talk yourself out of it;  start talking yourself into it.  get up every morning knowing that you have exactly what you need.  if you do this, you need to get ready;  your hidden treasure is going to come out.  God is going to step in and mix His super with your natural.  before you leave this Earth, you will release all of your potential, all of your gifts will come forth, and you will become everything God’s created you to be.

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My uncle is a frail invalid that the doctors say has little time left.  His daughter is pregnant;  she is due in May.  In the natural, he would not make it…  but we serve a supernatural God.

I went to JO’s site to post a prayer request about this.  I refreshed the page multiple times after I posted so that I could see if anyone was praying for him (there’s a thing to click if you’re praying for someone), and to find more people that I could pray for.  And then…  my prayer was duplicated, shown as 2 consecutive entries with the same time stamp.  I searched a long way above and below, and no other entries were repeated.  !!!!!

When I recovered enough to go back to refreshing, I was scrolling down to get to my entry, and…  the auto-load (it’s like WordPress has, with more entries appearing as you scroll down) froze…  and the last entry was a prayer for a man with not only my uncle’s name but his unusual spelling, too.  !!!!!!!!

AND:  a few refreshes later, my prayer and the one directly above it, with the same time stamp, had both been duplicated. Again, a search above and below revealed no other doubled entries.  !!!!!!

God wanted me to know that He has heard me, that He is “on the job,” that…  well, how else can I see it but as a sign that He will make sure that my uncle gets to meet his grandchild?

Amazing…

PS  If you would be willing to pray for my uncle, I’d really appreciate it.

Edit 5-22-15:  My uncle is still very frail, but also still alive;  God answered my prayer!!  🙂

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As part of my payment for work done for them, a tech company was supposed to send me one of their little tech doodads ($30 value).  It never came.  I’ve spent almost 3 MONTHS trying to get someone somewhere in this company to handle this issue;  no one admitted to ever having heard of the department that handled this job, and that department was not responding to their emails.  As always, though, I had faith that God would sort it out.  Then today, I got TWO emails:  one from the long-silent department telling me that my doodad had just been shipped, along with a tracking #, and the other was from some other department wanting me to call and discuss some unspecified thing.  I called and told them about the email I’d received about the shipment, TOLD THEM, and I do not mumble or whisper, trust me.  Totally ignoring what I’d said, they announced that they could not figure out who in their company might have hired or paid me, or owed me anything, but for my time and trouble they were giving me a gift card for their webstore so I could get my doodad!!!!!!

Not only can God make blind eyes see and seeing eyes blind, he can make deaf ears hear and hearing ears deaf.  God made that man so focused on passing on his message that nothing I said penetrated to his brain, and thus because of my struggle to get my doodad, with months of no progress but total faith that God would handle it, I will now have TWO doodads.

God is amazing!!

 

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If you’re like most people, you have something that you really wanted that God did not give you.  Top of most people’s lists would be “the one that got away”;  someone that you were crazy about who for whatever reason you were not able to have a relationship with.  Few of us find out what that person’s life was like in the long run, what kind of person they ended up becoming, so we never see WHY God did not allow the relationship to happen.  Here is the story of one of the rare people who DID find out what kind of person the man she wanted ended up being:

 

MARGARET CHO: I fell in love with a guy who worked on All-American Girl, which was my first TV show, and he didn’t like me back at all. He didn’t like me back. And it broke my heart. I was early 20s, really in love with him. I was in love with him for 17 years, and I never Googled him, because I didn’t want to know what had happened. In my mind, I thought I’m sure he’s married and livin’ in a white house with a wife and kid, this fantastic life that I had imagined for him. So I never Googled him, and then finally, 17 years later, I turned 40, and I thought I should Google him and just see. [Laughs] ‘Cause he might get divorced or something. You never know, in their 40s, people switch partners. So I Googled him, and this thing came up on Wikipedia, and it said his name, and it said American screenwriter, producer, worked on All-American Girl with Margaret Cho, and in 2007, was arrested for murdering his wife. He bludgeoned her to death and stuffed her body in the attic for a month until it had partially mummified.

[Silence, as Elliott and Entertainment Weekly look at each other, jaws dropped.]
MC: 
So, it’s really good that we didn’t hook up. He told her family that she was in rehab, and she was an alcoholic, so they didn’t come lookin’ for her. They had a baby. The baby he left crying in a crib. So he had just killed the mother of his child, and then was trying to take care of the baby while his wife was decomposing.
BROOKE ELLIOTT: 
In the attic.
MC:
 So I’m, like, shaking in front of my computer thinking, Well, I guess that’s not gonna work out. But I loved this man for 17 years, and always held in my mind the possibility. I mean, I loved him... [He ultimately pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 26 years in prison.]

And here’s the Wikipedia entry for the killer:

John James “J.J.” Paulsen is an American sitcom writer and television producer. He has written for several television programs including CosbyIn Living Color and Grace Under Fire.

In the spring of 2007 Paulsen was arrested for the murder of his wife, Leanne Serrano-Paulsen, after police found her body in the attic of their Carmel, Indiana home. Serrano-Paulsen’s autopsy results indicated she died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head, and that she had been dead for two to three weeks prior to the discovery of her body. The couple had a history of domestic violence, and in January 2007 J.J. Paulsen had pleaded guilty to domestic battery stemming from an incident the previous year.

On December 23, 2008, Paulsen pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. On March 27 of the following year, Paulsen was sentenced to 26 years in prison He is presently incarcerated at the Miami Correctional Facility in Bunker Hill, Indiana.

Margaret Cho, who met Paulsen when he worked on her 1994-1995 sitcom All American Girl, subsequently wrote a song about him.”

 

This man was the love of her life, and he’s a murderer!!  It doesn’t say if she asked God for him, but whether or not she did He knew she wanted him, and made sure that the killer had no interest in the pretty, smart, funny, vivacious Cho…  because if He hadn’t, that could have been HER body found in the attic.

EVERY time God does not bring you a desire of your heart, there is a reason.  It will rarely be such an extreme reason, but it will always be an excellent reason.  Stay in faith, and He will bring you something better!!

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You cannot be defeated

from JO’s sermon tonight:

we all face situations where the odds are against us.  we don’t see how we could get well, how a relationship could be restored, how we could ever break an addiction;  in the natural, it seems impossible.  it’s easy to just accept it, and think, “this is my lot in life”  but David said:

Psalm 41:11 (AMP)

11 By this I know that You favor and delight in me, because my enemy does not triumph over me.

when you walk in God’s favor, honoring Him with your life, knowing who, and Whose, you are, you cannot be defeated.  you may suffer a temporary setback, disappointment, unfair situation, but if you’ll keep moving forward, it won’t be permanent.  one touch of God’s favor can turn any situation around.  what you’re facing may seem bigger, stronger, more powerful, but deep down, don’t be intimidated.  you’ve got to know that you cannot be defeated;  the Creator of the universe has put His favor on your life.  this is what Joseph did.  he had one bad break after another:  his brothers betrayed him and sold him into slavery, he spent years in prison for something that he didn’t do.  it looked like that had ruined his life.  Joseph could have become bitter, angry, “God, it’s not fair,” no, he understood this principle;  he knew that because of God’s favor on his life, those enemies could not keep him defeated.  he just kept being his best, honoring God. in the end, in spite of his brothers trying to hold him back, Potiphar’s wife lying about him, and being sold into slavery, God not only delivered, vindicated him, but paid him back for all that trouble.  he was promoted and put 2nd in command of Egypt.  the enemy of betrayal, being lied about and falsely accused, injustice, bad breaks, being put in prison, couldn’t defeat him or hold him down.  why?  the favor of God kept his enemies from defeating him.

you too may have had  a rough past.  maybe you’ve had some bad breaks.  the good news is;  it’s not over.  God is not finished.  God always ends in “all is well.”  if all is not well, it is not the end.  you haven’t seen what God is about to do.  God is about to take what is meant for your harm and use it to your advantage.  God is about to pay you back for the unfair things that have happened.  just like with Joseph, when you keep a good attitude when it’s not fair, do the right thing when the wrong thing is happening, the favor of God on your life will cause you to rise above every difficulty.  it may not happen overnight, but God promises that those enemies cannot keep you defeated.  are you facing a situation that seems permanent?  sickness, addiction, relationship issue?  don’t sit around in self-pity.  God is saying, “that bad break, disappointment, is not going to stop your destiny.”  that sickness cannot snatch you out of God’s hands.  that addiction, trouble, lack, is not permanent.

God has put His favor on you, and it always causes you triumph.  you’ve gotta get in agreement with God;  all through the day, instead of thinking, “I can’t get well, have you seen the medical report?  I’ll never accomplish my dreams,” no, “Lord, thank You that Your favor is turning this around, vindicating, restoring me, opening up new doors.”  when you’re tempted to be discouraged, under your breath just keep declaring it, “the favor of God keeps my enemies from defeating me.”  the more you brag on God’s favor, the more you’re going to see.  instead of talking about how big the problem is, how impossible it is, no, start bragging on the favor of God.  this is what Nehemiah did.  he had a dream to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem;  he didn’t have the $, supplies, manpower, he had incredible opposition, the city leaders weren’t for him, the critics tried to talk him out of it.  he could have gotten discouraged, and thought, “these obstacles are too big, I’ll never overcome these enemies,” no, right in the middle of the difficulty, he said:

Nehemiah 2:17-18 (NIV)

17 Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” 18 I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me.

They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work.

he was saying, “the favor of God is making a way.”  he was constantly bragging on God’s goodness.  in the end, he rebuilt the wall in record time;  it should have taken a year or 2, but:

Nehemiah 6:15 (NIV)

15 So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days.

when you’re always talking about God’s goodness, “Lord, thank You that Your favor is turning this around, defeating my enemies,” then you’re going to see His favor, goodness, protection in new ways.  you may be in a tough time, but don’t magnify your problem, magnify your God.  the bigger you make God, the smaller your problems will become.  when David faced Goliath, he never called him a giant.  other people did, but not David.  he didn’t brag on the enemy’s power, magnify the obstacle, he did just the opposite;  he called him

1 Samuel 17:36 (NIV)

36 … this uncircumcised Philistine…

not only did he not acknowledge who Goliath was, his strength, power, experience, but he took it one step further and diminished him.  he was saying, “this man is not in covenant with my God, Jehovah;  he doesn’t have the favor on his life that’s on my life.  I know the favor of my God causes my enemies to not be able to defeat me.”  when he went to face Goliath, he said:

1 Samuel 17:46 (NIV)

46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.

how could David, a teenager, half his size, no military experience, go out with such confidence and face Goliath, a skilled warrior with a full set of armor?  it’s because he understood this principle.  David is the one that said, “the favor of God keeps my enemies from defeating me.”  in difficult times, it makes a difference what you’re thinking about.  if you’re telling yourself, “this sickness is going to be the end of me, I’ll never get out of debt, my marriage is doomed,” that’s going to limit what God can do.  you’ve gotta switch over to an attitude of faith;  “this sickness is no match for me, this trouble doesn’t have a chance, I have a secret weapon;  the favor of God keeps my enemies from defeating me.  God’s favor causes me to overcome, outlast, accomplish what I could not do on my own.”  in tough times, you’re going to be saying something;  don’t talk about how big the problem is, talk about how big your God is.  say, “the gracious hand of God, His favor is on my life.”

every day, you need to declare this, so you and God can hear it, and so the enemy can hear it.  look at that negative medical report, and say to the enemy of sickness, “the favor of God is causing me to defeat you.”  look at your checkbook, and say to the enemy of debt, “the favor of God is defeating you.”  when you have this attitude of faith, all the forces of darkness cannot stop you.”  if it’s not your time to go, you’re not going to go.  why?  the favor of God keeps your enemies from defeating you.  God can use your cell phone, false teeth, bling to spare your life.  you don’t have to live in fear;  the favor of God is like a shield, a hedge of protection that the enemy cannot penetrate.  don’t go around worried, nervous, anxious, intimidated;  the Creator of the universe has you in the palm of His hand.  nothing can snatch you away.  God has the final say.  the enemy is not in control of your life, God is.  it might look like that difficulty is going to defeat you, but you need to keep telling yourself, “this sickness can’t take my life, no bad break, disappointment, accident can take 1 second of my divine destiny.”

Isaiah 43:2 (CEV)

When you cross deep rivers,
I will be with you,
    and you won’t drown.
When you walk through fire,
you won’t be burned
    or scorched by the flames.

you may be in the fire today.  God is saying, “you’re coming out, not beat up, bedraggled, barely making it, but without a bruise, scratch, better off than you were before.”  you’ve gotta dig your heels in and say, “that’s it.  I’m done living worried, depressed, discouraged.  I know I have a protector, defender, deliverer, way-maker, vindicator, healer, provider, dream giver, promise keeper.”  no weapon formed against you can ever prosper.

Psalm 89:17 (TLB)

17 … Our power is based on your favor!

if you want to be powerful, you’ve gotta tap into God’s favor.  if you want to overcome challenges, break free from bondages, it doesn’t just happen in your own strength, effort, it happens when you go through the day bragging on the goodness of God, acknowledging His power, “Lord, thank You that Your favor is defeating my enemies.”  that’s when God will do things for you that you could never make happen on your own.  when you go around bragging on God’s goodness, He will make things happen for you that you could never make happen on your own.  He will put the right people at the right place at the right time.  our power is based on His favor;  that’s why it’s so important that you activate your faith in this area.  there are enemies that you cannot defeat in your own strength, obstacles that you can’t overcome by yourself, doors that need to open for you for you to reach the fullness of your destiny that you can’t open with your own talent, strength, ability;  it’s going to take the favor of God.  when you have this attitude of faith, bragging on God’s goodness, God will make things happen for you that you couldn’t make happen on your own.  He will defeat enemies that you could have never defeated, open doors that you could never have opened, and cause you to live even when the medical report says you don’t have a chance.

every day, we should say, “Lord, I recognize that my power is based on your favor, so I want to thank You that Your favor is defeating my enemies for me.”  you cannot break bad habits and addictions in just your own strength, willpower.  those strongholds are not just physical, those are unseen forces that are holding you back.  it’s good to do your part in the physical, but you have to deal with the spiritual side as well.  you’ve gotta humble yourself and ask God to help you;  recognize that your power is based on His favor.  without God’s favor, you’ll stay addicted, your life will be limited;  you’ll get stuck.  every day, declare, “the favor of God is defeating my enemies, breaking every stronghold, addiction.”  switch over from a defeated, “I can’t do it, it’s too hard, I tried and failed” mindset, to a favor mindset.  when you tap into God’s favor, He will help you overcome challenges that you could never overcome on your own.

Psalm 44:3 (NKJV)

For they did not gain possession of the land by their own sword,
Nor did their own arm save them;
But it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your countenance,
Because You favored them.

you may be up against a big challenge today.  you’ve done everything you can in your own strength, ability.  when you come to the end of your ability, don’t see a way, all the odds are against you, don’t get discouraged, don’t let the negative thoughts keep playing in your mind, just keep thanking God for His favor, and what you couldn’t make happen on your own, couldn’t fix in your own ability, because of the favor of God, He will make it happen for you.  God knows how to solve your problems, change people’s minds, restore your health (He’s the one that made your body).  it may look like that financial situation is never going to turn around, but one touch of God’s favor can put you into overflow;  you’ll have more than enough.  God is not limited by what you’re facing;  He is limited by what you’re believing.  when you believe, all things are possible.  when you go through the day saying, “Lord, thank you for your favor,” that’s when God can do things for you that you could never do on your own.

Psalm 44:1-3 (MSG)

44 1-3 We’ve been hearing about this, God,
    all our lives.
Our fathers told us the stories
    their fathers told them,
How single-handedly you weeded out the godless
    from the fields and planted us,
How you sent those people packing
    but gave us a fresh start.
We didn’t fight for this land;
    we didn’t work for it—it was a gift!
You gave it, smiling as you gave it,
    delighting as you gave it.

you may have struggled in an area for a long time;  you need to get ready, God is about to send that enemy packing.  just imagine that sickness packing up and leaving your body.  God is going to send that addiction, debt, struggle, lack, relationship problem, legal issue, packing;  it’s not going to be with you your whole life.  God is going to release the healing, breakthrough, the baby you’ve  praying for, the business you’ve been wanting to start, the person you’ve been dreaming to meet.  notice how God is going to do it:

Psalm 44:3 (MSG)

44 You gave it, smiling as you gave it,
    delighting as you gave it.

that’s the way God is;  He wants to be good to you.  God wants you to live in victory, healthy, whole, free;  an abundant life.  why don’t you get in agreement with God, and say, “Lord, I want to thank You that You are sending my enemies packing, doing for me what I could not do on my own.

1 Peter 1:13 (AMP)

13 … set your hope wholly and unchangeably on the grace (divine favor) that is coming…

in difficult times, negative thoughts will tell you, “it’s never going to change, you’re never going to get out of this problem.” no, down deep you’ve gotta know, favor is headed your way.  keep reminding yourself;  healing, breakthroughs, restoration, are coming.  hope to the end;  keep believing for God’s favor.  get up every morning expecting it to turn around.  go out during the day knowing that you have a secret weapon;  you cannot be defeated, the favor of God is on your life.  you may be in a tough time, but that setback is simply a setup for a greater comeback.  the winds that are trying to stop you, all God has to do is shift the direction, and instead of holding you back, they will push you forward.  some of you are about to see this shift:  God defeating an enemy, breaking an addiction, a relationship restored.  you’re about to be thrust into the fullness of your destiny.  if you will have this attitude of faith, knowing that you cannot be defeated, God is going to send your enemies packing and do for you what you couldn’t do on your own.  favor, healing, breakthrough, victory is coming.  you’re gonna rise above every obstacle and become everything God has created you to be.

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