Tag Archives: Light

Word Of The Year 2018: Stand

The word of the year for 2018 is:

“Stand”

“Stand” is a verb.  “Stand” means to:

  • to stand still, stop moving, stop doing.
  • to tarry, delay, remain, continue, abide, endure, persist, be steadfast.
  • to be in an upright position on the feet.
  • to rise to one’s feet.
  • to present (one) before (king).
  • to appoint, ordain, establish.
  • to stand, take one’s stand, be in a standing attitude, stand forth, take a stand, present oneself, attend upon, be or become servant of.
  • a determined policy, position, attitude, etc., taken or maintained.
  • to stop or remain motionless or steady on the feet.
  • to take a position or place as indicated.
  • to remain firm or steadfast, as in a cause.
  • to endure or undergo without harm or damage or without giving way.
  • to be in an upright or vertical position, be set on end, or rest on or as on a support.
  • to be set, placed, fixed, located, or situated.
  • to take up or maintain a position or attitude with respect to a person, issue, or the like.
  • to have, or to adopt a certain policy, course, or attitude, as of adherence, support, opposition, or resistance.   “stand” meanings from both Blue Letter Bible and Dictonary.com

I believe this prophetic Word Of The Year is for the entire Christian body of the Bride of Christ.  It is time for the Bride to STAND.  The Bride is to stand firm and set apart as a light in a dark world.   Standing requires unwavering faith in Father God.

One of my favorite verses is “Be still, (stand still) and know that I am God.”

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! ”   Psalm 46:10

Faith is standing in knowing 100% that God is in control. No matter what the circumstances around you look like.  You might find yourself in similar situations to people mentioned in the bible or in modern situations that look different from history such as being in a life threatening illness like Job, a king’s court like Esther, or a lion’s den like Daniel, or a death sentence in furnace for refusing to bow to another god like Shad-rack Me-shack and Abednego, or being tempted while on a 40 Day journey of prayer and fasting like Jesus, or in jail like Paul, or a drought, famine, hurricane, tornado, economic crash, job loss, ship wreck, car crash, illness, job promotion, cross country journey, etc.  No matter what situation you find yourself in, believe without a doubt that Father God is in control, and he will will never leave you, and will see you through the situation and he will finish the good work he began in your life.

“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling.

There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted.

The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. 

Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who has made desolations in the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire.

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge.”    Psalm 46

Faith is trusting in Father God to be the only God over all of my life.  I am not the provider, He is.  I am not the healer, He is.  I am not the one who created everything, He did.  I am not the one who controls the situation, He is.  This requires my faith to stand firm and trust Him without wavering or doubt.  It also requires my faith to stand firm and obey His commands, even when it is inconvenient and different than the culture around me.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to STAND your ground, and after you have done everything, to STAND.”    Ephesians 6:12-13

“Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart”   Psalm 119: 1-2

“To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:  These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.  I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.  I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.  Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.  The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”   Revelation 3: 7-13

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked, or stand in the way that sinners take, or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted (standing) by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither, whatever they do prospers.”  Psalm 1: 1-3

Be encouraged.

Stand!

Be wise and be blessed!

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New Day

We got up early and before it was light we headed out to the edge.   

We marched forward in the darkness, walking from hard dirt to shifting sand until we could not go any farther.

We had to stop.  We were created with specific strengths and limits and we had to stop and recognize our habitat ends at this line.  Who set this boundary?  Who drew this line in the sand?

In the darkness one might miss the clarity of this line.  But if your ears are open, then it is unmistakable that even in the dark there was a change in our path.  The roar of the water is mighty.  It’s song drowns out the sound of the city and the night.  It deafens the sound of motors and all other man-made creations. Someone incredible put this line here and gave it a mighty sound so even in darkness it was unmistakable.

It clearly defines the boundary below our feet.  There are no more roads, no cars, no buildings, no houses, no people, not even trees, no…this line of roaring waters defines a boundary line.

The sky was beginning to shine forth with light separating the day from the night.  Standing in one place looking to the east we saw the new day and to the west we still saw the night.  We were standing at a boundary line between domains of powerful waters and land, but also between times, between day and night.

The reality of this moment is surreal and amazing!  It is encouraging and we waited patiently for the light.

It climbed slowly and steadily.

The waters kept roaring.  Their pace was rhythmic and never changing.

The rhythm seemed as if it were trying to lure me to sleep, back and forth, back and forth.

But all my senses were awake.  I could smell the energy in the air, I could agree with the rhythm with each breath I took.  I could feel the steady pace of life just like my own heart beating.  I could taste the salty air as it passed my tongue and as it filled my lungs it electrified and recharged my body.

There is life in this rhythm.  It churns up oxygen and minerals that bubbles and froths and is teaming with new life.

Even the birds were excited.  They instinctively know the ebb and flow of the water brings abundance into their life and they find nourishment.

It bears witness to the Creator.

The living God.  There is none like him.  He is the provider.  He is the daily bread of heaven.  He is the water of life.   All those who come to him will be saved and will never thirst for eternity.

We met many others on the journey to the water’s edge.  They come to enjoy the inspiring moments of a new day as it dawns.

The light transforms our view.  It bounces all around before the sun even appears over the horizon.

Everything takes on a new vibrancy. Colors seem to pop! Details previously unseen suddenly overwhelm the senses and there is a new awareness.

The birds are very excited.  The growing light points out the location of their next meal.  They dance in the air above the waves in anticipation, expecting provision.  They do not worry.  Then when there is just enough light, they quickly dive into the water and select their free gifts for the day.

I am dancing too.  On the edge.  On the line.  In the moment I become part of the the rhythm and I dance and wait.

My feet are wet.  My toes tingle.  My nose is full of sweet salty air that energizes my breaths and my beating heart.  My eyes are drawn to the dawning light and I wait.

My spirit is encouraged.

I wait. I know it will be here soon.

My Father in Heaven set this plan in motion.

I can rejoice and dance as carefree as a little child.

I feel alive.  I trust my Father’s plan and provision completely.  He drew this line.  He put this boundary here.  I trust him.

The waves rise and fall and rise again, washing the shore.  The rhythm is a song in my heart and mind.  It reminds me there is a plan, it is not random.

He sent his only begotten son to redeem me, heal me, and wash me clean. My robe is washed by the lamb, Jesus, my savior.  God sent his son to redeem all those who would believe and call upon him.

It is a new day, a day the Lord God has made.

Sing about his goodness, I will sing about his provision for my needs.  I will tell the world about his love and his mercy.  I will praise his name forever.

In him only will I place my trust.  His plan is perfect.  His plan is in motion.  I will trust him with my life and my eternal home.

I will rejoice and be glad.

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Stand Up, Stand Out, and Shine Bright

Have you ever come under attack because you stand up for something?  Have you been critisized because your talents and skills cause you to stand out?  Be encouraged today, because God has placed talents and gifts inside you that are meant for you to stand up and shine brightly with them, expanding the light of his Kingdom, illuminating a dark world, and bring Him glory through it all.

shine

As I listened to the words of Jesus this morning in my bible study, I realized he is saying he wants you and me to Stand Up, Stand Out, and Shine Bright.   He wants you to do good and stand out so others can see his light shining from you. That is not boastful. That is not prideful. Those are the words of Christ Jesus.

Jesus told us to “DO” and to  “STAND” and to “SHINE”.

To “do”, to “stand”, and to “shine” are ACTION words.   They are the opposite of “take a seat”, “stay seated” and “you may be seated” words we hear spoken today.   I don’t think Jesus would have defined his followers the way they appear today, seated and asleep.

If you asked the average person today how they would define a Christian, most would say something like:  “A Christian is a person who follows a religious teacher named Jesus by going to a building with four walls on Sunday to sing about him, pray, and hear a bible story”.  Jesus NEVER ever said for his followers to live like that.   Jesus gave his followers an assignment to stand out, to do good, and to shine and illuminate the darkness.  He told them to go out two by two to heal the sick, cast out demons, feed the hungry, set captives free and preach the Kingdom of God in all the earth. Yet sadly, the “Christian life” amounts to sitting in a pew on Sunday for most believers of Jesus today.

If a person, or group of people, are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, then they will do what he did and obey what he said.  The churches who are doing, standing, and shining, are the churches we see growing exponentially today, just as the early church that Jesus created did. Miracles are happening as those believers pray for others, cast out demons, heal the sick, restore sight to the blind, raise the dead, and set the captives free, and thousands of lives are being fed, clothed, and transformed, and the Christian believer is a bright light in that city.

Christians, and their churches, that shine the brightest in a city, also take the most criticism from other Christians that don’t choose to shine.  They have let their lamps grow dark outside of their four walls of their buildings, and they criticize those who stand out and shine bright.

This happens constantly, but I will use this one recent example to illustrate this point.  I recently heard a pastor of a small church in a decaying city criticizing pastors of larger churches.  He often points fingers at them and puts them down in discussions with his congregation.   He says that these larger churches are not truly following God or else they wouldn’t have such large congregations of people.  He says that they are prideful to have musical instruments and singers on stage and putting on a show.  He says these pastors are misappropriating funds to have large budgets for their church to fly around the US and the World and put money into these large outreach efforts.  He says they are showing off and worldly to draw in large crowds.

Yet while he critisizes others,  his own church’s light is dying.  He has no impact in his decaying city.  Even though he stays busy going here or there doing this or that, he and his congregation contain no new life and no change or growth.   In the community and even within the four walls of his building, there is no opportunity for the followers of Jesus to shine, even though he states weekly that they are in the midst of “revival”.   They host revivals (evening sermon meetings that last from anywhere from 3 days to 7 days) monthly through out the year.  I have attend several at that church and other local churches, I have spoken to these pastors and their guest evangelists, and from what I can tell, these churches are not really in revival.    It is just a word that label their meetings that they host that are different than Sunday service.

Revival is basically spiritual CPR.  To revive is to breathe new life into a dying or dead situation. Their church and their city continues to die despite their efforts at “revival”.  It is not effective. There is no spiritual CPR happening in the revival meetings that I have seen for many years.  Many years ago in the 1970’s and mid 1980’s I did witness true revivals that changed cities. But after that, except for a few dynamic on fire churches, what I witnessed across this nation was a sleeping church who’s light grew dim in their communities.

Christians speak about revival, but many have become lukewarm in allowing God to be Lord in every decision.  They trade out God’s word about living: eating, raising children, marriage, healing and raising the dead, casting out demons, etc. instead for an acceptance of government guidance in regards to daily living, education of children, health care, jobs, morals, etc.  They enjoy a “tax exempt” status and follow the social / political rules.  They may get a pat on the back or their name in the paper if they do a good event, but sadly most churches, don’t bring positive change to their communities.  Though God is honored during the service on Sunday or Wednesday, God is not the Lord of their daily living decisions 24/7.   Instead the congregation often seems to hide behind the four walls of the church building, hides their gifts and talents that were purposed to expand the Kingdom within their cities, and wait…wait…wait…asleep…until Jesus returns…all the while they never realize their lamps ran out of oil and they no longer were effective to shine God’s light into a dark world.

I just want to shout from the rooftops “WAKE UP O CHURCH!  WAKE UP O BRIDE OF CHRIST WHO HAS FALLEN ASLEEP.  YOUR LAMPS NEED TENDING.  KEEP SHINING BRIGHT AND STAND UP AND STAND OUT”.

“Your eyes are like a window for your body.
When they are good, you have all the light you need.
But when your eyes are bad, everything is dark.
If the light inside you is dark, you surely are in the dark.”
Mathew 6:22-23

How do we keep our lamps supernaturally full and shining bright?  Jesus is returning for a Bride who is awake and her lamp is full of spiritual oil and she is shinning bright and doing good, obeying the commands of Isaiah 58 while she loves God with her whole heart and loves her neighbor.

Jesus said to becareful because you will fail at shining if your light goes dark.  That seems obvious.  But he made it very clear as if it were not obvious or like we might forget if not reminded.  As if we are like the man who looks in the mirror and steps away and forgets what he looked like in that mirror.  He is right.  We easily forget that we must not let our light go dark. Jesus said if your eyes are bad, and you let darkness into your life, you can not shine.   How can your eyes bring darkness into your life?  The eyes are the door that Satan uses to tempt you. When you follow through with that temptation you bring darkness into your life.  So it is key to remove the darkness and temptations from in front of your eyes and look upon Jesus and obey him.

Jesus said if you love him, you will obey him.  He said to shine bright, stand out, and beam as brightly as you can like a lighted city on a hill, and a lamp on a high stand in your house.   Think about that for just a minute.  Has your power in the house ever gone out and you had to light a candle or use a lamp for light?  I have had this happen many times in my life, and I put that candle or lamp on the highest table in the center of the room so that the room is lit up and I can see where to go and what I am doing.  That candle or lamp can shine so bright that we can even cook a simple meal, or play games by it’s light.   However, if I placed that light in a corner of a room, it would not light up the room well enough for us to see.

When we stand out and shine, we send forth HIS light that is in us so that God will be glorified. Others will give God praise when they see you doing good and shining bright. Christians who stand out, who shine bright, often come under attack from both other Christians and non-Christians.  It can be a hard and lonely choice to stand out, and would be much easier to hide, or sit on a pew and let others do the shining.  But to obey Jesus (not your denomination, not your pastor, not religious rules or traditions),  as a child of God, you must be placed on a high place and stand out so that everyone around you can see what is around them with the light that you are shining forth.  The darkness of their situation is transformed and lit up by the light you shine.  You are the lamp that must shine bright while you are doing good. Don’t get burned out doing good, don’t fall asleep, and don’t hide your light or let it go out.

Think about it.  If every Christian obeyed the words of Jesus and stood out on a high place and shined forth God’s light while doing good, surely this world would experience true revival.  It would look a whole lot different. Surely multitudes of people would come to Jesus and give God praise for the good they see you do and the church would truly experience a spiritual CPR revival and grow exponentially.

“You are like light for the whole world.
A city built on top of a hill cannot be hidden,
and no one would light a lamp and put it under a clay pot.
A lamp is placed on a lampstand,
where it can give light to everyone in the house.
Make your light shine,
so that others will see the good that you do
and will praise your Father in heaven.”
Mathew 5:14-15

 

O Church!

Wake up, stand up, and be the light of the world, giving light to everyone while we stand out and shine bright while doing good.

Be blessed!

 

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Raising Homemakers

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