In the Home Stretch…

Acts 4:12, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

IMG_3894Here we are folks, in the home stretch of this year’s fasting and praying.  I know I’ve told you there are a LOT of things I’ve been fasting and praying for.  Health situations for me and various family members, doors of opportunity to be opened, revival in our churches, schools, nation and world, different prayer requests from friends, the children in our church and community, the list is a long one.  I know it’s long, but hey, someone once said that not every prayer request I pray will get answered, but 100% of prayers never prayed won’t get answered, so I figure I better cover my bases.

I’ve been saying all through this fast that I truly feel strongly that something big is coming, that God was going to do something awesome, but I didn’t know yet what it could be.  I feel like part of this “something big” took place right before my very eyes this past Sunday morning.

I lead a small group for first grade girls every Sunday morning.  As we were in our class, we were chatting and I brought up salvation.  I talked to these beautiful, precious girls, and asked them if they truly believed in Jesus and loved him.  They looked back at me and nodded with so much faith and trust in their bright and shining eyes.  I asked if there were any girls there that had not yet asked Jesus into their hearts.  Six girls raised their hands, and I asked if that was something they wanted to do, ask Him into their hearts.  Again, with faith and trust shining in their eyes, they said yes, they did.

Then something truly beautiful happened, as our whole class bowed our heads, I had these girls repeat a prayer of salvation.  I was overcome with emotion as every girl in the class said the prayer.  I have led this prayer before, but I had never had a response from this many children in such a small class.  Just this.  If not a single other prayer I fasted over gets answered, this was over and abundantly more than I could have imagined.  Six lives devoted to Jesus now.  Six souls saved.  And think of all the other people these lives will touch as they grow older.  Just think of the people they can lead to Christ.  Just think of the impact they can have in this world, and now they do it in Jesus’ name.

And guess what?  It wasn’t just these six girls who were saved last Sunday.  That very night I received a text from our children’s pastor that another little boy prayed with our church’s pastor and he also received salvation.  Seven!  Seven souls saved that day.  I’m overcome with emotion now, just thinking about it.  How wonderful, how glorious our God is.

We still have a few days of fasting and praying left, and I don’t intend to waste it.  I’m continuing to pray over these children and many others.  I’m continuing my fast and I’m being faithful.  You know why?  Because God’s been faithful to me.  He’s going to continue to be faithful.  He’s going to continue to do great and mighty things.

Thank You Lord, for your faithfulness, for Your love, for your salvation.  I pray over these children, that You continue to do Your works in them and through them.

1 Chronicles 16:34, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.”



A Word of Encouragement

Oh my gracious, ya’ll….fasting is hard!  Yesterday was a little hard for me, I just kept having that sweet-tooth craving for sugar.  Everywhere I turned, leftover Christmas stocking candy seemed to call out to me and mock me.  But, you know what?  I made it, and we are half-way through this fast.

You know what got me through?  The knowledge that Jesus himself suffered through forty days of fasting in the desert, even through Satan’s temptations.  I’m not just talking about sweets & breads, I’m talking EVERYTHING!  For forty days!  Not only that, He suffered the most horrible beatings, He was spat upon, He was derided, He was hung up on that cross, for me.  For imperfect, unworthy me!  He let Himself be hung up on that cross, slowly, painfully waiting and praying until His last breath, crying out, “It is finished” within that last breath, all to save me, you, my children, everyone on Earth.  Why?  Because He loves us THAT MUCH!  I can’t even begin to imagine what He suffered because of His love for us.  If He can do all that, guys….seriously, me fasting sugar and suffering a few cravings isn’t even a drop in the bucket.  He deserves a whole lot more than what I can give Him.

Yes, He deserves my all, my everything, and I’m giving my all to Him.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I could make it in this crazy, mixed-up world without Him.  I sure don’t want to even try.  Even when the little things in life start to get to me, I’m able to stop and tell God, “thank You!”  I know I’m late and traffic is horrible, but thank you God.  Making me sit here at this light is probably Your way of preventing some terrible accident if I were just a few miles down the road.  I know life seems to be pressing in on me right now, but thank You God, because with all the pressure of life, I know You are also teaching me something.  Thank You God, just for being with me all the time, throughout every single circumstance, through the good and bad.

He deserves our all, our everything.  Through every circumstance, He deserves our praise.  Through all the ups and downs, He deserves our attention.  Through every trial, He deserves our faith in His wisdom.  Thy will be done, Lord.  I thank You for Your wisdom, Your mercy, Your grace in my life.  I thank you for Your will, Lord, because I know Your will is always to provide what’s best for me.

So be encouraged.  Yes, we still have 11 more days of fasting to go, but we are half-way through.  We can do this, you can do this.  You know why you are going to get through this?  Because He has something great planned, I just know it.  He’s working in us, He’s working through us.  You may see it now, or you may not see it for a few weeks or months, but He’s doing something wonderful.  Be faithful and steadfast in you fasting and prayer, He WILL reward your faithfulness.

John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Isaiah 40:31, “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Isaiah 43:2, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

1 Samuel 12:24, “Only fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart.  For consider what great things He has done for you.”

Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”

1 Corinthians 2:9, “But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him'”



A Time To Testify

I did it!  I made it through the first three days of my fast, which are the hardest because they were my total food fast days, and came out alive and well.  I knew my God would take care of me through it.  I’m not saying I didn’t get cranky at times, or rather, “hangry”.  I warned my poor boys it would happen, and it did.  That’s when I would take a moment, and really start praying for God to use that time to strengthen me, to give me clarity and to speak to me.  I’m happy to say, no one was injured by my hangry-ness, we all survived.  I’m also happy to report that my cheese omelet and sausage I consumed like a rabid beast this morning were absolutely divine!  Oh, I’m still continuing on the fast, but now I’m fasting other foods.  Foods that I love, and can’t seem to live without.  Sweets, I’m fasting sweets, okay?  That means no Fudge Double Stuff Oreo’s for me.  No chocolate anything.  I can do it though, God will give me the fortitude.

I was pretty sure I would hear from God by the end of the 3rd fasting day.  I was positive He would speak something profound into my spirit.  I even awoke at 3 a.m. this morning, my usual chatting with God time, and I just KNEW He was going to reveal something to me then.  So I prayed some more, and I was quiet and listened, and…I fell asleep.

It happened in the shower of all places.  I was singing in my best Hillsong voice (my guy’s aren’t too fond of my best Hillsong voice by the way), when a word kept flashing before me, over and over.  Testimony. Over and over, I kept seeing it.  What?  Nothing has happened yet, I’m only on the 4th day of my fast, what am I going to use for my testimony?  How about this, how about I talk about what God has done for me in the past?  Hmm…everyone has already heard my testimony about my vocal cords. If you haven’t heard that testimony, you can read about it here.  Amazing as that one is, I hate to keep repeating the same one to the same audience over and over.

Then God helps me remember the other things.  For instance, did you know I almost lost my first born son in child birth?  That’s right, things went terribly wrong, and he almost died, but through the grace of God, he’s alive and well.  Did you know that things went horribly wrong with my second birth?  I lost so much blood, I started having seizures and they wouldn’t even let him stay with me in my room unless someone else was there.  I was scheduled to receive a blood transfusion, but for some reason, the doctor changed his mind, much to the shock of the nurses who let me know they thought that was a mistake.  God took care of me though.  He built my blood supply back up to where it needed to be.  How about the time my youngest, the wild one, tried to take a joy ride in my husbands truck.  He snuck into the truck, knocked it out of gear and it started rolling.  We live at the top of a steep hill, so the truck started rolling backwards, but God sent an angel (that’s the only conclusion we can come up with), an angel who turned the wheel of the truck, backing it perfectly into our neighbor’s driveway, and even into their garage.  Granted, the garage door was closed at the time, but the parking job was still commendable.  His door flew open and he was thrown from the truck, hitting his head on the driveway.  Can you imagine if the truck had rolled one more foot, and he was under it?  I’ve imagined every horrible scenario that could have played out, but it didn’t through the grace of God.  How about finances.  We aren’t rich.  Not even close.  We make it month to month basically, but we are always faithful with our tithes and finances.  When I told my husband years ago that I really felt God was telling me I needed to quit work and stay home with the boys, he didn’t question my sanity.  He supported me fully.  He works extremely hard to provide for our family, and God always evens out our finances.  When we aren’t sure we are going to make it, God is faithful.  And back to my vocal cords, yes, I’ve been healed, I’m talking and singing badly again.  But..did you know that my actual vocal cords are barely moving or functioning?  God has given me a voice, yet not from my vocal cords.  Wow, isn’t that crazy and amazing?  Who but my God can do that.

These are just a few of the moments I remember from my past that I know God was at work on our behalf.  I’m sure there are so many other times He’s been working for me that I’m not even aware of.  It’s the same for you, too.  He’s doing so much good for you.  Maybe you can’t see it right now, but He is.  I’ve had really, really dark days, and come out on the other side stronger and better because I’ve been through those times.

On my 4th day of the fast, I’m filled with the knowledge that this year is going to be blessed.  It’s going to be a wonderful year for me and my family.  God is going to do amazing things for us, yet again.  I’m not saying I’m going to wake up in the morning and find a winning lottery ticket next to my bed (but wouldn’t that be nice?), but I am saying that I know, without a shadow of a doubt, in every fiber of my being, that God has plans for us this year.  That’s what He’s revealed to me.  He’s working in me.  Something is happening.  I don’t know what, I don’t know when, but He’s doing something.  All I have to do is follow His will, and see where He takes me.

Lord, have Your way in me, do Your will, help me to be who You have called me to be and fulfill Your purpose in my life.

Luke 8:39, “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.”

A New Year’s Revival

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, I never have.  I think it stems from the fact that, as far as I know, I’ve never met a person who has actually kept a New Years resolution.  Oh, they always start off strong, but somewhere along the way, life happens.  There are too many other things to get in the way of that exercise program, or monitoring that low-fat, low-cholesterol diet.  So, what’s the point of making a resolution that we know we aren’t going to keep?

I am, however, starting my new year off with fasting and prayer.  Prayer for a New Year’s Revival.  I’m talking, a revival of epic proportions, one such as we have never seen in our lifetime.  I’m sure a lot of you have heard about the great revival that went on in 2016 in Burlington, North Carolina.  It was amazing.  It went on and on, more and more people pledging their hearts to God than they ever anticipated.  I would love to see nothing more than a revival which results in more souls to be saved across the globe, than we could possibly imagine.  More people who get to walk those streets of gold with us.

I’m constantly amazed at the cruelty in this world.  The hateful, harsh comments on a news thread.  The acts of violence.  The self-loathing.  This isn’t of God!  These cruel actions come from cold, closed off hearts.  These are actions the enemy is rejoicing in.  It’s up to each of us to bring more light to the world, instead of the darkness inhabiting it now.  I don’t know about you, but when I get to heaven, I don’t want to see a list of people I COULD have made a difference in the lives of, I COULD have prayed for, I COULD have led to Christ, but didn’t.  Rather, I want to hear the words, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”  I want to see people celebrating with me, friends, loved one’s, strangers, and know that I’ve done all I could to serve my God and build His kingdom.

There is a really great way to get a revival of this size kicked off, you can all join me in that prayer.  Pray for a revival to take place in YOU!  That’s right, I said in you.  See, a revival of that size can’t happen unless it starts in each of us, whether we’ve been saved already or not.  I pray for that very thing, a revival in me, in my family, our churches, schools, cities, states, governments, nations, across the entire world.

Psalm 85:6, “Will You not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in You?”

Psalm 80:19, “Restore us, O Lord God of hosts!  Let Your face shine, that we may be saved!”

2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

Preparing For Fasting

Our church wide fast kicks off tomorrow.  My plan is total food fast for the first three days, then no sugar or breads throughout the rest of the 21 day fast.  I’ve been preparing for the fast for a little while already.  Preparing as in praying about it.  Asking God to help me focus on Him during this fast, asking Him to help me be strong through out the fast, asking Him to speak to me, use me, reveal things to me, bless me and my family, anoint me and my family, praying for our nation, praying for a revolution causing more souls to be saved in 2017 than we’ve ever seen before, asking Him to give us back the closeness He and I once had.

I have a confession to make…last year, I consciously made a decision NOT to participate in the fast.  I don’t know why I elected not to do it, but I did, and there you have it.  I have another confession…throughout the entire year of 2016, I noticed that I felt almost a disconnection from my closeness that I had at one time with God.  Oh, I still loved Him with all my heart, I still served Him, but I didn’t hear from Him as I once did.  I couldn’t figure out what I had been doing wrong to lose that insight I once had.  I’ve been praying for God to give us that closeness again.

It all came together for me in today’s sermon, as our pastor spoke about giving God our firsts.  That’s what the fast is about.  At the beginning of every year, our church fasts and prays, and we give God our firsts, just as He asks us to do in the Bible.

Exodus 23:19, “You shall bring the choice first fruits of your soil into the house of the Lord your God..”

Proverbs 3:9-10, “Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce; so your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine.”

That’s what I did wrong, I didn’t give God my firsts in 2016.  I tithed, I worshiped, I prayed, I served, but I didn’t devote those first few days to praying and talking to Him, to spending time with Him.  That’s where my disconnection from our closeness came from, from my unwillingness to give my firsts of the new year.   

I won’t make that mistake again, my firsts for 2017 belong to God.  I’m excited to begin spending my time with God in the next 21 days.  I can’t wait to see what He has in store for me, my family, my church and my nation.  I can’t wait to just be with my Abba Daddy and share our talks again.  If you are joining in on the fast this year, I want to encourage you.  It’s not easy, especially if you are fasting all food at the beginning as I and many others are, but it IS worth it.  Amazing things can happen through fasting and prayer.  God doesn’t NEED your firsts, you money, time, servitude, but He does want it.  He wants to have the bond with you.  He wants to share with you, to build you up, to love you.  All you have to do is give Him your firsts…

2 Samuel 12:15-17, “And the Lord afflicted the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and he became sick.  David therefore sought God on behalf of the child.  And David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. And the elders of the house stood beside him, to raise him from the ground, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them.” 

Daniel 10:3, “I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.”