Wednesday, May 12, 2021

THE PRESENCE OF GOD

                                                                 THE PRESENCE OF GOD

“When we acknowledge His presence, we are bringing presents to the Lord.”  These are words that the Lord gave me the other day when He was inspiring me to write about His presence.

There is a book that over one million people have read, entitled, “The Practice of The Presence of God.” It was written by Brother Lawrence.  He was born to poor farmers in 1611 in Lorraine, France as Nicholas Herman.  His parents could not afford to educate him so he enlisted in the army.

It was during his 18 years in the army that he was awakened to a spiritual experience concerning God’s love and grace.  He retired from the army and became a lay monk who was a humble cook in a Carmelite Monastery.  He discovered the secret of holiness by “practicing the presence of God.”

 “The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament.”

"We can do little things for God; I turn the cake that is frying on the pan for love of him, and that done, if there is nothing else to call me, I prostrate myself in worship before him, who has given me grace to work; afterwards I rise happier than a king. It is enough for me to pick up but a straw from the ground for the love of God."

“He does not ask much of us, merely a thought of Him from time to time, a little act of adoration, sometimes to ask for His grace, sometimes to offer Him your sufferings, at other times to thank Him for the graces, past and present, He has bestowed on you, in the midst of your troubles to take solace in Him as often as you can. Lift up your heart to Him during your meals and in company; the least little remembrance will always be the most pleasing to Him. One need not cry out very loudly; He is nearer to us than we think.”

“The difficulties of life do not have to be unbearable. It is the way we look at them - through faith or unbelief - that makes them seem so. We must be convinced that our Father is full of love for us and that He only permits trials to come our way for our own good.

“Let us occupy ourselves entirely in knowing God. The more we know Him, the more we will desire to know Him. As love increases with knowledge, the more we know God, the more we will truly love Him. We will learn to love Him equally in times of distress or in times of great joy.”

 

“The most intimate union with God is the actual presence of God.  Although this relationship with God is totally spiritual, it is quite dynamic, because the soul is not asleep, rather, it is powerfully excited.  In this state, the soul is livelier than fire and brighter than the unclouded sun, yet, at the same time, it is tender and devout.”

 

In 1998, the Lord gave me words for this song which is about seeking and resting in God’s presence.

 

“In Thy Sweet Presence, Lord”

 (Marty and Marcella Ward 1998)

 

In Thy sweet presence Lord, I humbly come.

In Thy sweet presence Lord, Thy will be done.

O choirs of angels, do humbly bow.

In Thy sweet presence Lord, we praise Thee now.

In thy sweet presence Lord, we joyfully sing.

In Thy sweet presence Lord, our gifts we bring.

 

Thy Living Bread, Thy presence fill.

My heart my soul, my spirit fill.

His blood was shed, to set us free.

Be born Thy living Word in me.

 

Carry the cross, with Jesus now.

Guide and protect, will be His vow.

His blood was shed, to set us free.

Be born Thy Living Word in me.

 

No one will ever be denied.

Come all to Jesus, for you He died.

His blood was shed, to set us free.

Be born Thy Living Word in me.  (Copyright 1998)

 

A Prayer for Resting in God’s Love

 

Father God, I come into your presence so aware of my human frailty and yet overwhelmed by your love for me. I thank you that there is no human experience that I might walk through where your love cannot reach me. If I climb the highest mountain you are there and yet if I find myself in the darkest valley of my life, you are there. Teach me today to love you more. Help me to rest in that love that asks nothing more than the simple trusting heart of a child. In Jesus name, Amen

 

 Sources:

1. Learn Religions, “Biography of Brother Lawrence, Practitioner of God’s Presence” by Mary Fairchild, updated July31, 2020

2.“The Practice of the Presence Of God” by Brother Lawrence

3. Beliefnet

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

IF

                                                                          IF

A small word with a very powerful use.  Many times it is used with regret, “If I had not done ____, then ______ would not have occurred.”  If this happens, then I will do _____.”  “What if _____ doesn’t work?”

Perry Stone, who is an evangelist, tells about the true story of a woman who was in dire straits because her husband was dying of tuberculosis in a hospital and their only cow lay dying.  She was pleading for the Lord to help her.  All of a sudden, she noticed a whirlwind coming towards her and in that whirlwind appeared an angel that told her that her husband would be healed and that they would have another daughter and as a sign of this happening, the cow that was dying would be healed.

She responded that if this happened, then she would sell the cow and give money to missions.  The angel answered “There are no ifs in God’s plan.”  What the angel said was exactly what happened.  The cow was healed and her husband, two weeks later, was released from the hospital and they did have another daughter.

When God says if, it is conditional.  

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

Hear me, my people, and I will warn you—if you would only listen to me, Israel!

He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” Luke 16:31

He replied, If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. Luke 17:6 NIV

 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9 NIV

When man says if, it is questioning the promise.

When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”

“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”  Judges 6:12-14

When Satan says if, it is unbelief.

The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”  Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.” Luke 4:3-4 NIV

Satan wanted Jesus to doubt His own Divinity, “If You are the Son of God…..” (Manna-fest, Perry Stone) 

The devil whispers in our ears, “If God really loved you ……”  He also questions the Word of God.  Just one seed of unbelief can change our faith in God.  We must stand on God’s Word and any promises that He has given us.  Yes, sometimes we may question something that God tells us that does seem impossible, like Gideon but in the end, he put his faith in God.  So must we.  There are times that I have a hard time believing promises that I know the Lord has given my husband and I that have not yet come to pass but I still continue to speak these promises and speak the promises of God just as Jesus spoke the Word of God to Satan.  The Word of God is a weapon against the enemy!

Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born.  He received the promise of a son when he was seventy-five years old.  He believed God. 

And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.  And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.  All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. Hebrews 11:11-13

Summary of God's promises to Abraham

  • All nations will be blessed in Abraham and his seed.
  • Abraham and his seed are to possess the land for ever.
  • Abraham is to be the father of an innumerable seed.
  • Abraham is to be the father of a singular seed who will conquer all enemies.
  • Abraham's name is to be great.  NOTE. These promises were not fulfilled by Jewish occupation of the Holy Land in Old Testament times.  (“God’s Promises to Abraham” Bible Education)

Yes, Abraham did not see every single promise in his lifetime, but it was his faith in God that made him righteous in the eyes of God.

 Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled. Joshua 21:45 NIV

Praise be to the Lord, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses. I Kings 8:56 NIV

Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 2 Peter 1:4 NIV

The “ifs” in our lives should not direct our lives but the promises of God and the promises that He has made to us.

Prayer to the Great “I AM”
Almighty Son of God, You are the great “I AM.” You are faithful to Your promises and will defeat my enemies, though numerous and powerful. I will not be discouraged because I walk in Your divine presence. I will live in Your strength and courage, for You are my God. I have faith in You and Your word because I know that Your word never fails. I thank You for the many promises You have spoken over my life, and I place my trust in You. Amen. (“9 Powerful Prayers for Faith and Trust in God” Editor in Chief ConnectUS November 2, 2018)

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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

THE GLORY OF GOD

                                                       THE GLORY OF GOD

 

There are many prophets, as well as evangelists, who believe that we are entering in or are in the midst of an Awakening/Revival which will manifest the glory of God throughout the world!

“What is the glory?  God is the glory, and the glory is God.  The glory is God’s fullness.  It’s His manifest presence, His character, His nature, His ability, His provision and the weight and splendor of His majesty.  It is the essence of His beauty.  The glory is all that He is and all that He has.  Everything about God is glorious, and He wants us to know Him in the fullness of His glory because he is the God of Glory.” (“Moving in Glory Realms” Joshua Mills)

 “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Isaiah 60:1-3 NIV

 When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him.  Exodus 34:30 NIV

All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel. Acts 6:15 NIV

 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Matthew 17:1-2 NIV

Four Ways to Tap Into The Glory of God (Kenneth Copeland Ministries September 25, 2017)

Look For the Glory:

To the Israelites the glory of the Lord looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain. Exodus 24:17 NIV The glory is a visible power.  The Israelites could see the manifestation of the glory of God on Mount Sinai with the fire on the mountain.  When the Israelites were in the wilderness they saw a cloud by day and fire by night.

Can we see the glory today?  Yes, there are numerous stories.  Many of the stories are about seeing a “glory cloud” or a fog during a church service.

“There are countless testimonies of individuals and groups of believers having seen visible evidence of God’s glory. During his preaching days, Brother Kenneth E. Hagin compiled a list of every scripture in the Bible about the glory. When he would read them aloud in a service, the glory would appear like a cloud or a wave, and people would fall on the floor under that power, or rush to the altar to get saved. It is tangible and it is powerful! So, start expecting to see the glory of the Lord!”

Pray For the Glory:

We should pray that the glory of God is manifested in us through our lives.  We need to diligently seek and ask for the glory of God to be revealed so that miracles, signs and wonders will happen.

 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.  I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, Ephesians 1:17-18 NIV

The glory of God manifesting in us is part of our inheritance through Jesus Christ.

Prepare for The Glory:

We must walk in love to increase the amount of glory in our lives.  We must have intimacy with the Holy Spirit.  Take time to be with the Lord every day.  Worship Him.  It is God’s love language.

Walk In The Glory:

 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. II Corinthians 3:18 NIV

The glory of God is looking for a dwelling place.  The original house for the glory of God was in a Tabernacle.  In the New Covenant, the Holy Spirit dwells within every believer. Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? I Corinthians 3:16 NIV

The apostles experienced the glory of God at Pentecost and after this experience they were never the same because now they became the walking, talking, preaching manifestations of God’s glory here on earth.  Signs, wonders and miracles followed them wherever they went.  So it is with us.  We need to be the carriers of God’s glory here on earth! (“Four Ways to Tap Into the Glory of God” Kenneth Copeland Ministries)

Miracles Happen in The Glory:

Azusa Street

“One man had his shoulder and arm ripped off. William Seymour prayed and, as people watched, the bone grew out followed by flesh. It took about two seconds for the entire arm to grow out.

Members of the congregation began to pray for each other. In one case a man’s fingers had been cut off. They grew back before everyone’s eyes. Another member held her finger on a man’s gum where a tooth was missing. The entire tooth grew back while she watched. A skinny cancer victim was healed and also gained 40 pounds within three hours.”

The following video depicts some of the miracles at Azusa.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se07jif4J6U

The following is a video about the glory of God.  At 43 minutes Robin D. Bullock, a prophet of God, talks about experiencing the glory at a church and shows a picture of the glory cloud (a mist/fog) during the service and you can see Jesus in the picture!

https://www.facebook.com/ElijahStreamsTV/videos/287616412962213                  

The following video is an interview with Donna Rigney talking about the glory of God.

https://sidroth.org/television/tv-archives/donna-rigney-4/?src=banner_tv

PRAYER ABOUT THE GLORY

Father, in the name of Jesus, Your glory is welcomed here in my life.  May others see You, even as they see me.  Let the glory of Your face rest upon my countenance.  Let the works of Your hands be the works of my hands.  I desire to live, face to face in synchronicity with You.

Let me only speak words that bring edification, encouragement and comfort to those around me.  That others might hear You…see You…know You…and feel You through the atmosphere that surrounds my life.  Thank You for being my closest Friend. (“The Glory” Joshua Mills)

 

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

ANGEL ENCOUNTERS

                                                           ANGEL ENCOUNTERS

There are many angel encounters in the Bible.

An angel helped Abraham’s servant choose a wife for Isaache will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there.  Genesis 24:7 NIV

Jacob saw angels ascending and descending on a ladder from heaven to earth---He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.  Genesis 28:12 NIV

Angels announced Jesus’ birth and resurrection—Luke 1-2; Matthew 28:5-7 and they will come back with Jesus at His Second coming—Matthew 24:30-31; 1 Thessalonians 4:16.

An angel visited Paul giving him reassurance that saved souls after a ship wreck-- But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed.  Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’  Acts 27:22-24 NIV

An angel gave Philip directions in his ministry--- Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.  So he started out, Acts 8:26 NIV (Angels By My Side Betty Malz)

Angels can take human form and there are those that would say that they can also take other forms. “An angel is pure spirit and, as such, has no shape. A body is a material thing; while material things change and die, pure spiritual beings do not. But for the purpose of interacting with us, an angel may at times assume a shape in order to fulfill the purpose God intends for the angel to accomplish.  God the Holy Spirit was willing to appear as a dove (cf. Mt 3:16, Mk 1:10, Lk 3:22, Jn 1:32). There is no reason in principle that an angel could not appear in animal form.” (Can angels appear in the shape of animals such as a dog or cat? “Catholic Answers)

 TRUE STORIES OF ANGELIC ENCOUNTERS

In The Hands of An Angel

“He was just seven years old when his 5-year-old cousin, Chetty was sick with cancer and later passed away. At the time, his family didn’t want to talk about the death. They told him to keep quiet, despite the situation devastating him. Whenever his family went to Chetty’s home for visits, he’d always ask to play on the swing with him.

After Chetty died, he went to his house for a visit. In his loneliness, he decided to go outside and sit on the swing they had always played on. As he sat there thinking about how things used to be, Chetty walked up to him and an angel was holding his hand. The angel had beautiful blonde hair and was dressed in a long white gown, never saying a word, just smiling. Chetty looked at him and said, “I’m not in pain no more.” He and the angel turned and walked until they simply faded away.”

Girl Meets Angel After Falling 30 Feet

“Annabel Beam was only nine years old when she miraculously survived a 30-foot fall. While she was playing with her sisters outside their Texas home, she plummeted inside a hollowed out cottonwood tree. An emergency helicopter rushed her to a hospital in Forth Word, where brain and spinal injury teams prepped for Annabel’s arrival but astonishingly, Annabel was unscathed.

After the accident, Annabel began describing religious visions she had while she was unconscious. She says that she met a guardian angel during the incident.

“I started to wake up in the tree and I could hear the fireman’s voices. And I saw an angel that looked very small, like a fairy.”

The angel then winked and he told her, “I’m going to leave you now and everything is going to be okay.”

The angel stayed with her the entire time, shining a light so she could see until she was rescued.”   (5 True Stories of Heavenly Visitors by Lesli White Beliefnet)  A movie about this story, Miracles From Heaven was released in 2016.

PERSONAL ANGEL ENCOUNTERS

Dogs of Protection

When my husband, Marty, was a young boy, he decided to walk home from school on his own because he had gotten a tear in his pants.  He had always taken a city bus and did not know how to get back home or how far it was (later learned it was 4 miles as the crow flies).

As he started walking, he noticed a big beige, white dog who came up to him and walked beside him and Marty followed him.  He went through the downtown area, the outskirts of the city and along the way, other dogs came up and surrounded him.  They went through highway traffic, construction zones and eventually back to the Air Force base where he lived.  The dogs stayed with him all the way through and he was never stopped by anyone even at the gate at the base.  He followed the dogs all the way up to his house with the big beige dog leading.  He got home and his mom answered the door surprised to see him home and all the dogs with him. 

The beige dog went into the house before him as the other dogs disappeared.  When his mom went to look for the beige dog that had come in with him, she couldn’t find it and there was only one entrance to the house!! 

His mom always believed that the dog that accompanied St. Martin de Porres was sent to protect and guard her son Martin.

 

The Angel at The Altar

My husband was the choir director for many years and one Sunday we, as well as other people in the choir, noticed a tall woman with strong features and long black hair wearing a long yellow dress suddenly appear standing near the altar staying there when the other Eucharistic ministers arrived just before Communion.  No one had ever seen her before and we never saw her again but the next day when my husband Marty and I were coming back from a car dealership there was a car that made a left turn in front of us and I was driving and I saw the car turning and all of a sudden everything was in slow motion and we never crashed into the car. 

We believe that the “angel” that we saw the day before at church was sent as a sign for our protection the following day.  See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.  Exodus 23:20 NIV

An Angel Named Chaz

In April of 2009 my husband and I decided to get away for a little while and we went up to Hannigan’s Meadow which is over 9,000 feet elevation here in Arizona.  We decided to go to the lodge to have dinner that same day and there was a man playing his guitar and singing.  We enjoyed the music and then he started to play “out of the blue”  “The Wedding Song” which was sung at our wedding.  We were really surprised. 

Talking to him later, he gave us a CD of his music and then wrote these words, “Be well, safe travels Marty and Marcella and thanks for being.”  Before he wrote this he looked up to the sky as if listening to someone and then he wrote the message.  Why is this so unusual?  It is because 6 days prior after Communion at church the Lord told me, “It is more important to be, than to do.”  After I came home, not having told my husband Marty what the Lord had told me, he confirmed this message when he said, “we need to be.”

Was Chaz an angel?  We are not sure to this day but that day he confirmed a message sent from God to lighten our load and rest in God and be who we are created to be and seek after Him and enjoy each other and not get bogged down by every day troubles or worries or concerns.  I am not 100% sure Chaz was an angel but if he was a mortal, God uses all of us when He needs to convey a message.  We still like to think that Chaz was our “angel.”

 

The Soldier at The Gate

Many years ago when Marty and I were going through a tremendous family trial, we decided to go to the Air Force Base and do some shopping at the commissary.  Prior to entering the base, you have to go through a gate and you are met by the military who check your I.D. and pass you through. 

This particular day a soldier dressed in camouflauge came up to my husband and said, “I have been waiting for you.”  As he permitted us to go on, he saluted and said, “God bless you.”  I can tell you right now that in the hundreds of times I have entered the base, no soldier has ever said that he was waiting for us or “God bless you.”  Not only that but his face looked almost like porcelain and his cheeks were rosy.  Both my husband and I concurred that his face looked almost identical to one of the angel statues at our church!!

The Car Accident

I had to abruptly stop in front of a school bus and the person behind me re-ended me.  As I was hit, I felt like I was being suspended in mid-air.  I never received a whip lash or other injuries.  I believe that an angel protected me.  There have been other times when I have felt a strong presence of protection. 

I am sure that all of us have experienced an incident where we were protected knowingly or unknowingly by angels.  I am also pretty sure that we have even spoken to them in human form.  God loves each one of us so much that He will do whatever it takes to protect us and speak to us.  Yes, God does use angels and they are fellow servants of the Most High God.  So next time you see someone who encourages you or speaks to you in a kind and loving way, you may have encountered an angelic being, or your guardian angel, who is helping you to carry out your God-given destiny.   Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.  Hebrews 13:2 NIV

Please post a comment with stories of your own angel encounters.

THE PRESENCE OF GOD

                                                                  THE PRESENCE OF GOD “When we acknowledge His presence , we are bringing ...