Wednesday, May 24, 2017

He Quiets the Waters

"He made the storm to be still and the waves of the sea were hushed.  They were glad the waters were quiet, and He brought them to their desired haven."  Psalm 107:29-30

Lord Jesus, thank you for leading us across the water safely.  Thank you for stilling the waters and quieting all fears.  In Jesus name, Amen.

When my daughter was six, we went to a water park in Florida.  She could swim, but was not a great swimmer yet.  There was a water course in which to cross one had to hold onto rope overhead while walking across floating plastic icebergs beneath.  The icebergs moved up and down with the waves of the water.  Although the waves were minimal, in her six-year-old mind, I'm sure they towered as hurricanes.   In Matthew Chapter 8 there is a story of Jesus' disciples being on a boat with Jesus. During this excursion, mighty waves arose on the sea.  But Jesus was sleeping...

Can you imagine the scene?  Waves crashing onto the boat.  Disciples panicked stricken with fear of imminent death.  Racing back and forth on the boat, managing the sails, holding onto the helm.

The waves and wind of life can overcome us.  The storm inside our souls can sink us if we hold onto the panic and fears.

The disciples were human.  Like us, they didn't run to Jesus immediately when the storm began to come.  Notice, Jesus wasn't panicked.  He wasn't afraid.  He was resting, asleep.

When the storms and trials come, or when we feel fearful, I pray our first response would be to run to the One who can calm every storm and still every raging sea seemingly against us.  If God is for us, who then can be against us (Romans 8:31).

We can be our own worst enemy. Sometimes the one holding us back from reaching the other side is ourselves. My daughter made it across the waters that day as she reached up to the ropes and held on.  Her dependence on the strength of the ropes and the reassuring voice of her mother that she was going to make it to the other side gave her the courage to press onward to the other side.

Our Lord is right there.  He is our strength we hold onto.  And it is His voice, the voice of the Holy Spirit gently encouraging us forward and cheering us on that we will make it to the other side if only we don't give into fear and let go.  Trust in Him.  Depend on Him to still the waters.  You can make it to the other side.  You can make it to the desired haven.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Protecting Your Healing

 “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Phillipians 1:6
Father God, we praise you for your goodness. Your love that covers us is as no other.  We ask that you would continue the work that you have done in us. Reveal to us things that are hidden in the darkness of our hearts. Massage our hearts and make them tender toward the things that are of you. Ignite a fire in our spirit that will bring forth the passion that you set in us. May you be glorified in all that we do. We again praise you, Jesus. Amen.
Today’s post is written by Tracey Enloe, a Deeper Still Atlanta Team Member.  Deeper Still Atlanta just had their first retreat this month.  We are hearing many praises about all the Lord did there!  Thank you Tracey for sharing with us today.
After leaving a weekend of seeking God and giving Him areas of my heart that were still in darkness, I felt free. The chains, that had bound me over time, fell off. Before coming that weekend I had been intentional in seeking healing in all areas of my life, not just abortion. Over time, the enemy caught a snag in my life and rebound me again. Healing is a journey--one that must be continuously sought by going forward in Christ.
As life goes forward, our enemy will look for areas in our life to re-bind us. It is paramount that we hold the line of healing and not give back ground to the enemy.  The chains may look the same, but not always. He wants to keep us bound, and he doesn't care how as long as we are rendered ineffective.  The Lord has given us all power and authority in the name of Jesus and we are not victims that must just surrender to the lies the enemy plants as he attempts to draw us back into bondage.  It is important that we learn to recognize the signs the enemy is trying to re-bind us and hold the line of freedom.
Negative thoughts; feelings of helplessness, despair, and discouragement; attacks of depression, anxiety or a feeling of heaviness; or insomnia are all symptomatic that the enemy is moving to regain ground in our lives.

When we learn to recognize when the enemy is trying to come in to steal, kill, and destroy the healing God has given to us, are better able to stand guard and resist him.  And when we resist him, he will flee.  The Lord has made provision in His word to protect the healing we have received as we hold onto the promises we have in Jesus.  The Holy Spirit will shed light on the areas of our lives that need attention. Our relationship with the Lord will be our safeguard as we put on the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-13).
We must not hide in the lie that our healing journey is over. For when we have resolved ourselves to that thought, we reject more healing, and more freedom in Christ.
It is in the seeking that we truly finding healing. Do not be discouraged by your struggles; count them as joy. Because God will always show up!_~Tracey Enloe

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

When the Rooster Crows

“Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed.  And the Lord turned and looked at Peter.  Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He has said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.  So Peter went out and wept bitterly.” Luke 22:60b-62

Father, thank you that you are faithful even when we falter.  Thank you for your “wake up” calls as you look to us with compassion in your eyes and we realize how far we have fallen.  Thank you that even our deepest failures and regrets don’t disqualify us from ministry, but rather usher in an awareness of our humanity and dependence on you.  We are desperate for you. We need you.  Let your rooster crow in the Heavenlies and wake your people to your calling.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

In the Chinese culture, this year is the “Year of the Rooster.”  For those of you who have been following us, you know we have a love for China and the Lord has been opening doors for China as well.  When I heard it was the “Year of the Rooster”, I decided to ask the Lord about the Rooster and if it signified anything.  Here is what I felt I heard in my spirit:

A rooster signals a wake-up call.  It is symbolic of a new day, a new morning, a sunrise (Sonrise) and with it light expanding across the horizons.  This year is a year of waking up, a new day, new beginnings, new hope. 

The Lord is calling forth His people--those who have been asleep to awake. 

When Peter denied the Lord three times, it was a rooster who "woke" him up to the truth. 

I immediately thought this was a word for China and still believe it is a word for China.  However, I also believe it is a word for all of us. 

Perhaps we don’t deny the Lord verbally, but in our actions or thinking--compromising what is true.  

We go from being on fire for the Lord willing to cut someone’s ear off to being wishy-washy in our convictions and justifying actions.   Then…a rooster crows.  The Holy Spirit is creative in getting our attention. 

This isn’t the post I thought I’d write today about the rooster.  I have many fun stories about roosters.  After the Lord gave me the word about the rooster being a wake-up call, He began showing off by showing me roosters nearly everywhere I went—for real.

This post could have been about how the Lord gives confirmation after confirmations when He is inclined to be sure you know you’ve heard from Him—this is true. 

Or about the waking up of a generation or culture to the reality of His truth and the hope of a new day.  I do believe the Lord is saying that as well.  Wake up.  It is a new day.  There is new hope! 

But this post is about our humanity and the Lord’s eagerness to forgive.  Our failures don’t disqualify us.  If you had an abortion, it doesn’t disqualify you.  If you compromised today and denied your Lord by a wrong choice that seems to pale in comparison to abortion (of course sin is sin in God’s eyes, only we quantify it)—there is forgiveness, hope and a new day. 

If your love has grown cold or life has beaten your faith to a pulp causing the sin of unbelief to fester and choke out your joy and passion, today may be a day to hear the rooster. 

Hear the rooster say it’s a new day, the sun (Son) is rising on the horizonSorrow may have lasted for a night and that night season seemed long, but it is a new morning with the Light of the world shining bright crowing in a new hope.  This year is a year of waking up, a new day, new beginnings, new hope. 

The Lord is calling forth His people--those who have been asleep to awake.  It is time to awake to the truth.  It is time to hear the rooster.

Monday, May 1, 2017

He Redeems Even the Day

“He provided redemption for His people; He ordained His covenant forever—holy and awesome is His name.”  Psalm 111:9

Father, thank you that when You provided redemption, Jesus did not just pay in part, but in whole.  Thank you for redeeming even the day and providing hope for those hurting from the day of their abortion.  We ask for You to redeem the day and change what was full of death into a day of life.  We ask for all things to be made new—even the day.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

A friend recently told me of someone she knows who every year on the anniversary day of her abortion is stricken with sadness, grief and unbearable sorrow over her choice.  This friend has the date in her calendar as a reminder to call this beloved girl to provide a comforting voice. 

This is all too real and common.  We all have birthdays we celebrate.  The lack of a birthdate for one created to live is unnatural and it leaves an aching hole in the heart of those living with abortion-wounds. The anniversary date of the day chosen to end the life of their child—it is almost too much to bear.

But Jesus.  

The blood of Jesus is not limited to redeeming one’s sins or health.  The blood of Jesus seeps into every pore and every aching crevice, filling and completing the healing until all is restored—even the day. 

Today, Emily Donels graciously shares her story of how the Lord redeemed the day for her.  Thank you Emily for sharing the Lord’s redemption power in your life.

April 27th used to be a day I dreaded.  I was so gripped in knots the entire month that I didn’t feel I could breath again until May. 

In the earlier years of my healing journey with my abortion-wounded heart, I would try to do something that I felt honored the daughter I aborted.  From planting flowers in my flowerbed on that day, to placing a plaque on the wall of the National Memorial for the Unborn in Chattanooga, TN, to just driving down to the memorial so I would have a safe place I felt like I could mourn.

It wasn’t until after my own Deeper Still retreat that I felt the Lord truly redeem April 28th for me.  I finally believed my Heavenly Father had reconciled my relationship with my daughter, Hannah.  That day went from me feeling I needed to atone that day to just being in sweet remembrance of my daughter that day.  Twenty years to that exact day, I was serving on the Deeper Still Spring Retreat team and I was assigned to lead the sharing time during the memorial service.  I opened up by sharing that I couldn’t imagine any better way to honor my precious Hannah than by being there with each of them (the participants) and telling them how proud I was to be Hannah’s mom and that I longed for the day to meet her face to face.

The following year, the Lord put it on my heart to return to the abortion clinic for the first time in 21 years to the date.  I was joined there by my sisters and brothers in Christ to pray a prayer of repentance to cleanse and heal the land.  That day I left a bundle of flowers representing life in honor of Hannah’s life.  God not only redeemed me, He redeemed the day. – Emily Donels

Emily is a team member on the Deeper Still team and served at the Deeper Still retreat last weekend, with part of the weekend on her anniversary date again.  What a glorious Lord we serve!  May all those who came last weekend, experience full and complete freedom.  May they experience more and more freedom and the fullness of redemption in Him—even the day. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Rooted in Righeousness

"They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor."  Isaiah 61:3

Father, may all who attend the Deeper Still retreat receive this truth.  May Your healing rain soak into the soil of their hearts and they would hear You call them oaks of righteousness, a glorious display of Your splendor. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Seventeen years ago, toward the beginning of my healing journey, I saw Isaiah 61:3 for the first time.

"They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor."  Isaiah 61:3

My heart sank.  How I longed to be a display of His splendor. I was in a healing Bible study for women who have had an abortion. With my head down and heart hopeful, I shared my desire to be a display of His splendor. 

“Oh, how I want this to be true. I so want to be a display of His splendor.” 

The Bible study leader looked me straight in the eyes and with a voice full of grace and gentleness, declared, “You already are.” 

Even the thought brings tears now.  Is there any goal higher?  Is there any achievement that could out pass this mark?  Yet, it is reached not by striving or climbing or pursuit.  This goal is reached by grace and grace alone.  Our God has declared in His all powerful Word, You already are a display of My splendor.

Righteousness is not something we obtain or earn.  Righteous is something we are by the paid price of the blood of Jesus Christ. 

An oak tree is a strong tree planted and rooted securely in soil.  The oak is a common symbol of strength and endurance. Oaks are not easily blown down.  They stand tall and firm in the ground in which they are planted. 

As oaks of righteousness, we are planted securely in God’s love and the soil of His inheritance.  Our righteous standing is unmovable by the winds of worry or woeful sin.  Our righteousness is rooted firmly in the Lord’s never ending grace.

May all the participants coming to the retreat this coming weekend receive this truth.  May they hear the invitation and calling.  May they know they are called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.   

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Come to the Table {Prayer for Spring Retreat}

“So David said to him, ‘Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually.’” 2 Samuel 9:7

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for you to prepare the participants of Deeper Still to come to the table with open hearts.  I pray they would choose you and be willing and ready to come to the table and feast on all your goodness and receive all you have for them.   In Jesus’ name, Amen.

We had a situation last night with one of our children which led to this child feeling as if eating alone was what was deserved rather than at the table with the rest of the family.  Minutes before this child had expressed feeling unworthy of anything good.  We gently encouraged this child to come to the table and eat with us.  We affirmed worthiness, love, and grace.  With tear filled eyes, this child stayed at the table, embracing our love and acceptance.  Once again realizing, nothing can separate this child from our love.  We want all our children at our table. 

Our Heavenly Father wants ALL His children at His table. 

In 2 Samuel 9, we find the story of Mephibosheth.  In this story, King David asked his servant if there was anyone of the house of Saul left for him to bless.  He was told of the son of Jonathan, Mephibosheth, who lived in Lo Debar.  Jonathan had been King Saul’s son and David’s best friend.  Jonathan and David loved each other and made a covenant with each other to care for each other’s households.  It had been over twenty years since Jonathan and King Saul had died in battle.  David had forgotten about the covenant until that day. 

When King David found Mephibosheth, he did not feel worthy to sit at the king’s table.  He said to David, “What is your servant that you should look upon a dead dog as I?” Mephibosheth saw himself as a “dead dog”.   It says in the passage that Mephibosheth was lame in both his feet, which happened when he was a young boy and his servant carried him and dropped him while fleeing from the palace after King Saul and Jonathan died.  Mephibosheth was living in Lo Debar, a place where all the outcasts of society lived. Then one day David remembered the covenant he had with Jonathan and everything changed for Mephibosheth.  Not only was he seated at the King’s table, the land of his father was restored to him as well.

Those with abortion-wounded hearts often feel like “dead dogs”, unworthy to sit at the King’s table.  They may see themselves as lame.  However, that is not the truth.  That is not their identity.  The truth is Jesus Christ made us whole. Their true identity is that of a son or daughter of the King, fully welcome at His table to feast on His blessings, goodness and grace. 

God has made a covenant, a new covenant with his sons and daughters and wants them to reclaim their seats at His table! And He not only desires His children at His table with Him, He also wants to restore all that was stolen.  The covenant we have with our Father through the blood of Jesus Christ does not restore only part of our inheritance, but all.  He paid so ALL could be restored.  We just need to be willing to come to the table.  

Please pray for our participants coming next weekend to come with open hearts, ready to receive all the Lord has for them at His table.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Hope Resurrects

“Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?’ Then He took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying.” 
John 11:40-41a

Lord Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for us, and paying the price for all sin and death.  Thank you in this Holy week and in all weeks, we can look and see Your glory in Your resurrection power all around us.  Thank you for bringing what is dead in us to life again.  In Your precious and Holy name we pray, Amen.

Hope is a small word with big worth.

The darkness of this world can almost swallow us up if we allow it. 

Two sisters, friends of Jesus, were in pain a little over two thousand years ago.  They buried their brother.  It not only seemed hopeless, it was naturally hopeless.
Until Jesus…
“Did I not tell you if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”

During worship at church recently, my heart pounded as I thought of the pain three dear friends were enduring…

A marriage broken by an affair.

Another marriage strangled by addiction.

Diagnosis of a chronic illness.

With tears I asked my Lord about all this pain.  In the quietness of my spirit, from deep within, these words muffled the music,

 “Did I not say that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” 

Lord, what are you saying?  Believe.  Hope. 

Two thousand years ago…

A friend of Jesus laid in a grave while two sisters grieved.

Jesus, the coming Messiah, hung on a cross…crucified.  It seemed hopeless.
Things are not always as they seem.

Dare we hope?

 The other day my ten year old daughter scribbled these words on a wipey board in her room,
“Let all fears become hope.”

Hope illuminates the darkness and blazes light to dispel fear.  

Hope brings belief and belief becomes the glory of God.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for. (Hebrews 11:1)

Our Hope and Lord died, was buried and resurrected in glory.  Our Hope is Him.  He resurrects.

Hope resurrects.

Dare to hope today.  Dare to believe.  Dare to give God a chance to show you His glory.

Dare to believe He will resurrect and infuse life into dead places and dissipate the dark.
Will you believe the Lord with me when He says, “Did I not say if you believe you will see the glory of God?”

Happy Resurrection Sunday!!   May you see the Glory of God. 

What is it you need a resurrection in today?  Leave it in the comments.  We would love to pray for you.