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Page 14 of 29

Seeing the Big Picture

“Our shipment will be here tomorrow,” announced my husband, Terry, as he was reading his e-mails.

The “shipment” was a beautiful bedroom set, consisting of a bed, two end tables, a chest of drawers, a mirror and a huge armoire – all sale-priced and perfectly designed for the dream house we had in mind.

The only problem was, we had just moved halfway across the country from our former home and were stuck for seven months in a tight, cramped apartment. Though we were sure our dream house was a future reality, we were now faced with the dilemma of fitting dream-house-sized bedroom furniture into a living space much too small for it.

Terry saw my discouragement and reassured me: “Honey, we’ll find a place for the armoire. How about next to the dining room table?” I agreed, but not without shuddering at the thought of its doors flying open to dinner guests, revealing unkempt piles of underwear.

Lord, what had we gone and done?

Were we wrong to believe we could have dream-home stuff while living in a small apartment? Were we wrong to dream at all?

For some reason, I thought of Nehemiah, who was called by God to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem (see Neh. 2-4). In order to step into God’s plans for restoring the wall, he first had to get beyond what he saw in the natural – terrible destruction and the animosity of those who “were deeply disturbed that a man had come to seek the well-being of the children of Israel” (Neh. 2:10). Even when he was derided and threatened by his enemies, Nehemiah continued to work on the wall and to encourage those with him to persevere.

I realized that Terry and I were somewhat like Nehemiah – looking beyond our present circumstances and envisioning a bigger picture for our lives than what was in view at the moment.

Today, I invite you to consider something God is calling you to do – plans for you that go beyond what presently meet your eye. Perhaps He is directing you to begin a new career, start a ministry or step out in faith for something you’ve never done before. God’s Word tells us to live not by what we see (“the seen”) but by what we do NOT see (“the unseen”): “We do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18, NKJV).

I ask you to join me in stepping out of the scope of YOUR vision into the scope of HIS vision for you. God’s Word reveals the scope of His vision:  It tells us that God “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Eph. 3:20).

When Nehemiah built the wall, he did it by stepping out in faith. He went from the reduction and destruction of the past into production for the future. When Nehemiah began to build the wall, he stepped into God’s vision, or big picture, for him.

Regardless of where you are or what you’ve been through, God has a big picture for your life – one that is bigger and brighter than what presently meets the eye. And He is more than able to bring it into focus for you and cause it to become reality! Don’t be afraid to dream big.

PRAYER POWER FOR THE WEEK OF 9/26/2011

This week put action to your faith concerning the things God has called you to do. Thank Him for the “big picture” He has for your life, and the wonderful harvest, healing and impact He’s bringing around the world. Continue to pray for our country’s leaders as they strive to restore the economy and move the nation in the right direction. Remember Israel as it faces challenges in the United Nations and pray that we will continue to stand in its support. Start praying for the 2012 elections and remember those persecuted for His Name’s sake. Neh. 2:11-20; Eph. 3:20

To enrich your prayer life and learn how to strategically pray with power by using appropriate scriptures, we recommend the following sources by Apostle John Eckhardt: Prayers that Rout Demons, Prayers that Bring Healing, Prayers that Release Heaven on Earth and Prayers that Break Curses. To order any or all of these click here. read more

Never Too Late to Believe

Several years ago, I accompanied my niece Shae and two of her girlfriends to a Girls of Grace conference. The event, sponsored by Christian recording artists Point of Grace, was geared to the needs of teen girls. read more
Time-to-Defeat-the-Devil-WEB

Are You Ready to Overcome?

Did you know that when you speak from your spirit man you overcome? All of the testing you are going through is linked with the word of your testimony that comes out of your mouth, and is produced at the end of your testing. Your spirit man is like the Ark of the Covenant, where the testaments were placed and secured for all mankind. When you endure the enemy’s temptations and your own soulish carnal ways, your spirit man develops an overcoming power.

First, let’s make sure we share the same definition of the word testimony. All of them are essentially the same thing: the story of a person’s spiritual journey. Basically, testimony is defined as someone’s personal spiritual narrative. And while our testimony includes parts of our biography, that isn’t the heart of it. Let’s set aside the definitions dealing with legal or courtroom testimony and focus on the spiritual dimension.

Testimony is evidence in support of a fact or assertion, proof, or a public declaration regarding a religious experience. To testify means to express or declare a strong belief, to make a statement based on personal knowledge in support of an asserted idea, to declare publicly or make known, and to bear witness or provide evidence for.

The Word of God is full of people who testified to the power, majesty and mercy of God.

Joseph testified to his brothers when he said: “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about, as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid” (Gen. 50:19-21).

Job told the Lord, “I know that you can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You” (Job 42:2).

David said, “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4).

Mary declared, “For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name” (Luke 1:49).

Stephen, moments before he was stoned, said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” (Acts 7:56)

Paul said to the Philippians: “Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:12-13).

One thing all of these testimonies have in common is that each one of the speakers directs our attention to the Lord. Our testimony, like our worship, is meant to magnify the Lord—not our own ego. Only when Jesus is exalted will our testimony bear the witness of the Holy Spirit.

There are times when your soul needs to hear what your spirit has to say. In 1 Samuel 30:6, when David and his men found that Ziklag had been burned and their wives and children had been captured, David “strengthened himself in the Lord.” In fact, the ones who were with David wanted to stone him. They obviously had not been fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit, so David had to strengthen himself. His soul really needed to hear what his spirit had to say.

Have you ever had to encourage yourself? At times like that you want to be sure that you have a well-nourished, strong, healthy spirit that has been fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit, because there may not be anyone else around. If you had to encourage yourself, if your spirit had to encourage your soul, how would you do?

Let me encourage you to nourish your spirit, worship, and minister in the power of the Holy Spirit. Exercise your spirit, resist the devil, run with endurance and walk in the Spirit. And keep your spirit in fellowship with the Holy Spirit so that you are becoming more like Jesus and are connected to others who are doing the same.

The blood and the word of your testimony will overcome the world, the flesh and the devil. You are empowered to overcome, and you win in the end!

Adapted from Time to Defeat the Devil by Chuck D. Pierce, copyright 2011, published by Charisma House. As the church undergoes another historical shift, Dr. Pierce reminds you to stay connected to the Head and shows you how your defeats in a former season can become victories and triumphs in the next. To order a copy, click on this link.

PRAYER POWER FOR THE WEEK OF 9-12-2011

This week encourage yourself in the Lord by declaring His Word and testifying of His goodness, faithfulness and omnipotent power on your behalf. Speak the Word over your circumstances and use it as you pray concerning every aspect of your life. Pray that Christians would repent, and unite in purpose to fast and pray for revival, the nation, and the spread of the gospel. Continue to pray for protection over our nation and our allies, as well as our military and their families. Remember Israel and ask for more laborers for the ripe harvest fields. Pray that President Obama would continue to seek God for wisdom as he leads the nation in these perilous times. 2 Chron. 7:14

To enrich your prayer life and learn how to strategically pray with power by using appropriate scriptures, we recommend the following sources by Apostle John Eckhardt: Prayers that Rout Demons, Prayers that Bring Healing, Prayers that Release Heaven on Earth and Prayers that Break Curses. To order any or all of these click here. read more

Taste and Feed

Mrs. Smith has actually been the premier apple pie maker in our home. My wife makes the best coconut cream pies in the world from scratch, which is the only way I will have pie. Since I don’t like apple pie, it never bothered me to just let Mrs. Smith handle that area. read more

Are You Stuck in Between?

Have you ever been stuck? If you’ve ever driven a 4- or 5-speed car and tried to shift gears you know what I mean. It’s not always easy. Sometimes it can be frustrating and what is meant to help propel you to another place instead hinders your journey. read more

How to Set the Atmosphere in Your Home

None of us wish to leave work, return from college, or visit our family and walk into a lion's den of anger, a fiery furnace of strife, or an atmosphere of tension. I suggest there are four methods that can help you make your home a dwelling place of peace and joy. read more

Don't Give Up!

If you’re accustomed to praying in the power of Holy Spirit, you’ve probably experienced seasons of spiritual warfare. Sometimes it may seem as if all hell is breaking loose—literally.

People may seem to get mad at you for no reason. Others may begin gossip campaigns. Your car breaks down and the kids act up. Your husband says you are spending too much time in prayer. Your friends tell you to back off—that you’re just no fun anymore. In these seasons, problems can feel as though they are pouring into your life from every angle, and you can end up feeling misunderstood, confused, rejected and alone. read more

Tap Into Your Inheritance

Few of us are privileged enough to inherit millions. Even so, those who do must wait to tap into their inheritance. That is not so with the believer. We receive a portion—or “down payment”—of what eternally awaits us when we receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus Christ redeemed us from the curse by His death, paid our debt and has called us to an eternal inheritance. We read in Hebrews 9:15, “And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance” (emphasis added). read more

The Real key to Success

I was born again 41 years ago. At that time I had such a thirst for God’s Word that I would read it for hours, often staying up until 2 or 3 a.m.

One of the Scriptures I encountered that set me on this course was Joshua 1:8: “this Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have good success” (NKJV). read more

Peanuts

Peanuts. It is amazing that I still love them after all the drama they caused me as a very young boy.  My mom kept a very large can of them in the cabinet.  She kept a container the size of a tub of coffee, or an old “Crisco” can shut up tight with a plastic lid.

It is funny how certain events that happened even when we were very young are forever burned into our memories. This is one such incident. One night I was watching TV and had one of those “I need a snack” thoughts. I quietly went into the kitchen, climbed up in a chair where I could just reach the elusive peanut can. I got it down. It was very heavy … a good sign … it meant LOTS of peanuts to enjoy as I watched “Lassie.” I carried the can into the TV room and proceeded to climb up into my mom’s favorite overstuffed chair.

By all outward appearances, this was shaping up to be a great night.  When I tried to get the lid off of the peanut can I noticed that it was very tight.  I turned the can slightly on its side to get better leverage.  POP. The lid came off.  Instant tragedy!  Used fried chicken oil spilled all over and worse, all over my mom’s special chair.  My mom had used an empty peanut can to save her fried chicken oil to use again.  read more

Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit