12.10.2016

Preparing Words Ahead

Good Morning! It's Christmas time! Words, words, and more words rushing here and there. They swirl through the sound waves both assaulting and healing our senses relentlessly. Articles sharing how to survive the holiday busy by implementing  preparation and organizational strategies abound. Precious little is left to be said on that particular subject. However, not very much has been said about the implementing of similar strategies, techniques, and tips for our use of words.

Families are marvelous. Families are wonderful. God began the human race with a family. He sent His Son into a family. Families are His idea. Families can also be very very messy and stressful. Holidays with family can become the epic love/hate situation. The whole love being together yet hate it all at the same time feeling opens the door to guilt for many people. Childhood insecurities frequently lurk behind the doors of painful memories where they seem to giggle with wicked glee at every opportunity to slash their next victim with the knife of unkind remembrance. An older brother suddenly remembers what a brat his little sister used to be, the youngest in the family unexpectedly recalls the tormenting trauma older siblings rained down, and somewhere a middle children simmers in a stew of resentment over the mess the whole stinking lot of them are.

These descriptions aren't specifically from my personal life. They do, however, have the potential to manifest in everyone's life in some way. For some these familial conflicts may explode with a loud volcano of verbal lava poisoning an entire gathering. Other families will appear to be perfectly calm on the surface while various members bleed inside from unknown wounds. Still others will have that one random individual who consistently sees themself as a victim no matter how much they are protected and loved by the family. The mess can manifest in a multitude of ways.

What if there was a way to stop the mess, or at least minimize it, in its tracks? What if such a miracle was as easy as planning conversations and our choice of words ahead of time before gathering together? Would such a simple plan be a miraculous cure? For many, yes, putting out the fire before it starts would be a healing miracle indeed. Let's consider some ways preparing our words ahead of time can help reduce holiday stress.

Pre-planning, being organized, holiday preparations can be more than buying gifts, wrapping, and baking. It can also include pre-determined communication strategies, kindness techniques, and last minute fight the snark tips. Responding to others the way they do us is easy; most everyone does it. Planning how to be kind, no matter what others do or say, ahead of time requires a conscious determined decision. How does a person do this? Where does one begin?

Where does one begin? For me, personally, planning my words ahead begins at the place decisions are made, in God's presence and His Word. What does God have for me to say and do this holiday season? How does He see each person that is gathered together in our family? God Holy Spirit has been teaching me to ask myself questions and then choose what I will do and say based on the answers to those questions. One such question I have learned to ask myself is: What sort of wife, mother, daughter, sister do I want to be? What sort of wife, mother, daughter, sister has God made me to be? After contemplating and coming to an answer, I then ask myself what that sort of wife, mother, daughter, sister does? How does she speak to those she loves? How does she listen? How does she love like Jesus loves? Then, the big question: Am I living and speaking like the woman I want to be? Am I being the woman God has made me to be?

After assessing whether or not I am being true to the woman God made me to be by asking and answering these questions I am then able to make conscious determined decisions concerning what sort of tone, attitude, and words I will or will not speak. A God-inside woman isn't afraid of being rejected because she is held close to and filled with the One who will never leave or forsake her. A God-inside woman isn't nervous about what others will think of her housekeeping or cooking because if God be for her who can be against her? A God-inside minded woman isn't worried about whether she is enough or not enough because He who is in her is more than enough. A God-inside minded woman is filled to overflowing with God's love for everyone who enters her home because she knows that He who is in her longs to save, heal, deliver, set free, love, encourage, and show mercy to all. Therefore, she longs for God to do so through her. These are the truths I speak to myself so that I am reminded of who I am in He who is in me. I prepare myself from the inside out.

As I learn to do this more and more I realize that the more fully I prepare myself in Christ, the less all of the exterior details matter. It's a guaranteed stress evaporator to live with a consciousness of God inside. The potatoes aren't done on time? No sweat. God has everything under control. No sense getting sweaty armpits over spuds. That's silly. Very few details are as important as I think they are. Me remaining in Christ matters much more than any natural circumstance. This same preparation can be used before going out of my home and about town. Before I enter the shopping scene, I can determine what sort of customer and shopper I will be. What does Jesus inside of a woman shopping look and sound like? What sort of words, facial expressions, and emotions does she or does she not share with the world around her?

Checkout clerks who appear war torn need me to look and sound like Jesus. What are Jesus' words to a tired, worn, and harried clerk in the checkout line? What healing balm does Jesus plan for me to extend? What does that grouchy service tech look like to Christ? Will God's patience coming out through me be a soothing salve? Did that snarky salesperson single me alone out of all the many customers to snarl at? Not likely. Therefore, I will make a determined decision before I leave my home to listen to God Holy Spirit and respond with God's love and grace to everyone I meet this day. I will guard the gates of my lips and extend a smile of God's healing grace. Perhaps a genuine smile in a season full of haste and hurry is the greatest gift the people I meet will receive. Is there anything I am looking for or purchasing in the stores of more importance than the people? No. Nothing. I don't know of anything more important to God than the people He has created. Those I come in contact with are of infinite value to Him, and so am I.

Preparing myself from the inside out before the seasonal gatherings, as a well-known homemaker says, "It's a good thing."

Praying showers of God's love and blessings in and through you this day,
Abundantly Blessed


12.05.2016

No Stress

Hi! I was only going to pop in for a visit once a week, but this devotional was so super good I had to stop in and share it with all of you! It's on stress and how to eliminate it. Here is the link: http://kennethcopelandministries.org/shine-light-stress-5/. Enjoy!

Abundantly Blessed

12.04.2016

We Have the Good News!!!

 With so many negative words flooding the airwaves, be encouraged dear one God is not finished! He Who has begun a good thing will complete it! May we all go out in boldness in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! 
Abundantly Blessed






This past month we, in this great nation, were shown incredible mercy in the presidential election; a mercy we did not deserve but were graciously extended by the hand of God. Once again, God has shed His grace on thee!
I am a "grace guy" through and through. No doubt, I need it every day. What grace do I need? His grace...a grace revealed by the Apostle Paul in Titus 2:11-15"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and all worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you."
I believe we should rejoice in this victory in our land without apology to anyone, yet in a spirit of humility not haughtiness; knowing that we have been shown great mercy. But for what purpose have we been shown mercy? Is it to go back to the status quo, to go back to compromise, to "unsanctified human mercy", and politically correct toleration? No, we have been shown mercy to take back the 7 mountains of culture and establish the agenda of the Kingdom of God in our land!
I inquired of the Lord what posture should we take after this remarkable upset (for those who are prophetic it was not an upset but a confirmation) in the Presidential election. I felt the Lord leading me to remember the story of David and Goliath.
David and Goliath
We all know the story of David, the shepherd boy, who had killed the lion and the bear while he was protecting the sheep. When he arrived at the battlefield to give provision to his brothers, he found that the entire army of God's covenant people were immobilized and filled with fear at the taunts of the champion Goliath, of the Philistine army. The Philistines worshipped false gods, they sacrificed their children to their idols, they cursed God, they hated everything about God's commandments and those who revered them, and those who loved and served the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
When David heard the slanderous taunts of Goliath and saw the fear of the Israelite army, he was incensed and said, "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine who taunts the army of the living God!" (1 Samuel 17:26.)
When Saul realized he had a potential combatant to go up against Goliath, he attempted to have David wear the "armor" that all the Israelite army wore, he even attempted to have David wear his (Saul's) own armor! David tried it on and saw that it was not "a fit" for him. Instead, he decided to use the weapons that had worked for him in the past!
The Response of the Israelites to David's Conquest
David went up against this giant Goliath. Goliath ridiculed him, demeaned David before all the armies, blasphemed God, declared his own invincibility, and trusted in his own size, strength, and past victories! I am sure that many, on both sides of the conflict, were "betting" heavily on David's "sure" loss.
What happened next shocked both sides. David reached down and pulled one of the 5 stones he had gathered from the stream (remember Goliath had 4 brothers, for David had more than Goliath in mind! 2 Sam. 21:22). He placed one stone in his well-used sling and began to swing it around his head, creating a sound that filled the silenced battlefield, a sound of the swirling winds of the motion of God's ordained weapon against Goliath. David released the stone and it found its mark and sunk deep in Goliath's forehead and knocked the giant Goliath down, wounded and in great agony!
ElijahList Prophetic Resources
David did not celebrate and walk back to the Israelite army, no, he ran toward the felled Goliath and picked up Goliath's own sword and cut the giant's head off! What did the Israelites do when they beheld David's victory? Did the army of God seek to comfort those Philistines who had oppressed them, taunted them, and defied their God? Did they turn around and say that was a great victory for David, and let's go back to life as normal?
No, they took the fight to them and prevailed in light of David's great victory over the Philistines Champion Goliath! When the Israelite army saw what just happened, they were emboldened and pursued the now afraid and fleeing Philistine army and defeated them and plundered them. (1 Samuel 17:50-55) 
Our Call to Action
For the past 50 years or more, our nation and its leaders, have embraced and promoted a "Philistine culture" and celebrated "Goliath champions", in all the 7 mountains of our culture. We are now in a defining hour and moment in our history as a nation. We are in the deciding moment of our future, and the question is, "What will we as His covenant people do?"
I realize, "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." (Eph. 6:12). Yet we have to realize that a great victory has occurred in this nation for the covenant people of God!
We now have the mandate from Heaven to ramp up our intercession, prayer, and declarations of God's Kingdom. We've been given a mandate to bring down rulers and powers that have enslaved and perverted the minds of millions. To activate, put on the armor of God, and get about the business of advancing God's Kingdom in this nation!(Photo via Wikipedia)
Share the Good News
The Gospel of the Kingdom is good news that proclaims freedom from captivity, deliverance from satan's grip, forgiveness of sins, new life and a new creation in Christ! His love and truth delivers us from the grip of destruction, self-destructive mindsets and world views that advance the agenda of darkness and death, as opposed to His blessing and life! His love and truth sets us free from self-destruction, sin, the world, and satan's grip...it does not comfort us in our rebellion but it leads us to freedom!
We have just experienced the beginning of a "Jubilee" manifestation of Isaiah 61 proportions in this nation, yet it is only a battle won, not a war finished.Please don't be short circuited by the clamor and pain of those who are threatened by their loss of hope for a godless society and culture, but rather be emboldened by this battle won, rejoice, and press into the war that must be fought with the assurance that His Kingdom is indeed coming on earth as it is in Heaven! (To Subscribe to the Elijah List go here.)
Tony Cavener
NE Metro Christian Fellowship of Atlanta

Email: nemcf@bellsouth.net
Website: www.nemetro.us
Tony Cavener has been in the prophetic ministry for over 30 years, having been "fathered" into the prophetic by Bob Jones. He has ministered in Australia, Canada, the UK, Peru, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and the US. He and his wife Sandra have been Vineyard church planters in Oklahoma City and in Atlanta Georgia. Tony and Sandra planted their current church, NE Metro Christian Fellowship of Atlanta in December of 1994 during the winds of the Toronto Blessing, and have been pastoring NE Metro Christian Fellowship for the past 22 years. They are currently aligned with Chuck Pierce and Glory of Zion as a Church of Zion. In 2000, Tony experienced a broken neck in a surfing accident in Costa Rica during a day of rest from an International Pastors conference. His C1 and C2 vertebrae were broken completely in two and though he should have died or at least been paralyzed from the neck down, he was miraculously healed by the Lord and has no effects from the injury!
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12.02.2016

Forgetting Not

"I can't forget..."
"Don't let me forget to..."
"We have to remember..."

Are these phrases familiar to you? They are to me. With a husband and more than one child running around, in, and through the house, not to mention my own doings, these phrases frequently exit the gates otherwise known as my lips. Have you ever considered  your lips as gates? They really are a gate for words. If my lips remain closed no words get out, and if they are open a whole lot might be loosed.

The Holy Season often becomes filled to the brim and running over with words. Words advertising sales and bargains, displays and programs, love and hate, words, words, words abound, and each of us is responsible for choosing which words we will, or will not, meditate upon. Oh yes, we all meditate: utter, mutter, and ponder. What we will meditate on is the decision that's ours alone to make. Sometimes, in the busyness, we forget this.

As we anticipate Christ's coming with eagerness and joy, may each and every one of us not forget to choose words wisely, both the words we speak and the ones we utter, mutter, and ponder. May the Word, Emmanuel, God With Us, be our constant meditation and may God Holy Spirit act as guard over the gates of our lips.  May we ever bear in mind that we are the body of  He who has come and is coming soon.

Do you hear that clamor in the background? Some of my favorite people are waiting for me to help them right now. We can visit more next week. Maybe we can talk about how much holiday stress can be relieved, even eliminated, by planning our words ahead. Until next week remember how extravagantly God loves you, and that He truly is Emmanuel, God With Us.

OH!!! If you ever need to know, Christmas and potty-training can be done together. Wouldn't necessarily  recommend it, but it can be done. Finally. Another thing for a mama to remember is that each and every child is unique in every way and will accomplish everything they need to accomplish in their own, sweet time and in their own way. Even though their way may not necessarily be entirely sweet.

Abundantly Blessed





11.14.2016

An Afternoon Chat


Hi! It's a windy afternoon here at Abundance House. It is almost time to start prepping for supper, but it is such a perfect afternoon for visiting I couldn't resist popping in for a little bit. Want some iced tea? There's some brewed, if you would like some.

So, as we already talked about earlier this week, there isn't much time left until Thanksgiving. Did you happen to print out any of those free printables at www.notconsumed.com? We are thoroughly enjoying ours. With Thanksgiving filling our hearts and minds, it seems only natural that thoughts of harvest treats should pop up. I don't know if we've ever shared our Thanksgiving feast plans on the blog before, but this year I am super excited about something new being added to the lineup.

This year I have been intentionally planning munchies and snacks for after dinner football watching. Supper will be leftovers but for in between time munchies we're doing a Thanksgiving caramel corn mix. Homemade caramel corn with Rolos candy and harvest color M&Ms will not only look festive but be super yummy to munch on. Savory options for munchies are still being decided upon. Want ideas for your own Thanksgiving Feast? Try a Pinterest search. Great ideas abound for every style and budget. There may be a scavenger hunt or other fun activities for those who aren't particularly into football too, maybe.

In the meantime, here is an article from Assortment blog. I really, really enjoy this blog. If you haven't ever visited before, an afternoon spent browsing through the archives would be time well spent. http://www.assortmentblog.com/assortment/2016/11/with-what-you-have-59.html?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=assortmentblog/kmin

Happy Almost Thanksgiving!
Abundantly Blessed


11.10.2016

Giving Thanks

NOTICE:

THANKSGIVING IS TWO WEEKS FROM TODAY!!!

Are you ready to celebrate with gratitude? There is so much to be thankful for! However, many seem to be caught in a dangerous cycle, one that will strangle them out of all the joy in living. What's a person to do when everyone around them seems to be stuck in nasty negative-ville? GIVE THANKS!!! 

Need some help getting started on the road towards Thankfulness? Some outside motivation required? Here are a couple websites offering free printables sure to get a person in gratitude gear. Dating Divas has a free Count Your Many Blessings countdown to Thanksgiving banner that is fabulous. 
http://www.thedatingdivas.com/thanksgiving-countdown-banner/ Our family printed it out and put it together this morning. Don't forget to look at the picture of the completed banner on the website before beginning. Just sayin'. 

Another website with free printables  is Not Consumed at www.notconsumed.com. There are three collections of free printables which can stir the heart to be grateful. One such activity is titled Make Me a Servant. It contains BINGO style game boards containing a variety of random acts of kindness. After a family has completed five acts of service in a row they family earns a treat. We are using it as a Thanksgiving activity, but it isn't season specific. There is also a Thanksgiving Hymn Puzzle Hunt and Thanksgiving Journal available to print out too. Don't stop at Thanksgiving. All three collections contain blessing after printable blessing. You and your family will fully enjoy these collections. 

From our House of Thankful Abundance to yours this Thanksgiving, 

May you be Abundantly Blessed


11.09.2016

The Sacrifice of Love



Good Afternoon! For months and months and months and months I have been waiting for the right words to express the depths of my heart. This afternoon I read the words my heart has been wanting to speak. They were in an article at Grace Table written by Lori Harris. Please take the time to click on the enclosed link. Once you've sat down at Grace Table, allow the stress of the day to melt away as you freely partake of the word feast spread before you.
http://gracetable.org/sacrifice-greater-love

Also, if you are wanting an example of love's sacrifice in the here and now, head on over to So Much Moore. A wife and mom shares how "the boys" in her life love her big and that love's sacrifice need not be major to bless large.
http://somuchmoore.net/2016/11/when-love-waltzes-right-in-your-front-door/

Over and over in millions of ways my favorite people in the whole world, My Beloved and children, love me sacrificially. That is where the name Abundance House came from for this blog and also why I sign each post as Abundantly Blessed. Because I am blessed abundantly. Every day those who surround me provide in the flesh examples of Jesus by laying down their lives for me in countless ways both big and small. As I contemplate love's sacrifice and what it looks like in my life here on earth, I can't ignore the intense longing that rises up from within. Oh that I love others as I am loved, abundantly.

Learning the art of Love's Sacrifice,
Abundantly Blessed