10.30.2015

Walking Testimonies

Okay y'all, I'm ready to be more like Jesus in every way possible. What about you? Yes, I said y'all. No, I'm not southern. Well, maybe somewhere deep down inside of me I am. All I know is that when I get to speaking under the influence of God Holy Spirit it isn't unusual for a southern type accent to show up. My children and I have frequently wondered if it could be a form of tongues? Only God knows. Anywho...back to being like Jesus, every day in every way.

I've been reading a blog by Lori Harris. She is one of the authors featured at the Grace at the Table blog. However, she also has her own blog, Lori Harris and this is grace, that quietly slips into my email inbox. Words from this woman's heart are stretching me to resemble Christ more on the inside. It is my prayer the difference shows up on the outside too.

I was reading her biography featured in the about me section of her blog just a few minutes ago when a sentence reached out and grabbed me so tightly that I'm just going to plop right down and spend some quality time with it. I thought maybe you would like to join the two of us - the sentence and I.

"People are walking testimonies of God’s faithfulness to redeem what the locusts have eaten. " Lori Harris

Go ahead, feel free to read the sentence again. Let it soak clear in and hang out a while, if you would like. And to think that the God of the Universe, the One, True Living God Who is Love, allows those of us who have been honored to meet Him to be a part of His redemption process! He, God, allows me to be one of the walking testimonies of His faithfulness!!! Can you get your head around that? Me neither. Amazing. Amazing Grace. Oh how sweet the sound. 

And if you would like to welcome some neighbors to your own table this weekend, here's a link to Lori Harris' post today, with a delicious looking cake recipe included: http://loriharris.me/. Let's all neighbor like Jesus! I think each one of us will find ourselves amazed at what a difference living Jesus in our every day lives will make in our individual neighborhoods. Looking forward to hearing what is going on at your table real soon! Here's a hug until we get together next! Love you! 

 Abundantly Blessed

10.17.2015

But God...In the Day-to-Day

Hey There. You know, I'd like to think that I will allow what is taking place in the world to wake me up out of myself enough to realize how important each moment in today is. Unfortunately I know me. However, I also know God. And I can't help but wonder if perhaps I need to apply some of that "But God..." expectation and trust we talked about earlier to my every day living.

Sure, when the reports of ISIS killing Christians worldwide comes in, I need to remember how Joseph experienced a suddenly moment when he went from prison to being second in command over the entire nation of Egypt. That was a "But God..." moment no doubt. And the Hebrew children surviving the fiery furnace to the extent their clothing didn't even smell like smoke? Definitely a But God situation. Meditating on God's faithfulness to the Hebrew children always encourages me to trust Him in dangerous political times. But what about my every day? What about those moments when there is nothing more dangerous than figuring out how to get done in a single day more than my calendar seems to hold in an entire month? What about then?

Why do I tend to limit the all-knowing, ever-present, all-powerful God to worldwide or national emergencies? Why not open up my ordinary day-to-day life to Him? Why don't I allow Him to be the Lord over challenging potty-training sessions? Why don't I trust Him to intervene in strong-willed mama vs. strong-willed child showdowns? Why not expect Him to rescue me when the waters of marital bliss feel way over my head? Why not? Why not place Him as Lord of all, the extraordinary and the ordinary? Why not, indeed.

Expecting and looking for His deliverance in the day-to-day,
Abundantly Blessed

10.16.2015

Maybe...Maybe Today

Hi. Good Morning. Good Evening. Good Afternoon. Yesterday's thoughts continue today. Thank you for the gift of patience as the conversation goes on still:

Be it going to the grocery and smiling at the new, very slow, checkout clerk or laughing when I want to scream at my children, doing the next thing is often the best thing to do. When the world seems to be splitting apart at the seams and the knowledge that nothing will ever be the same again hits, the seemingly mundane act of putting in another load of laundry may very well be the best act I can perform.

Ordinary tasks carried out in an ordinary fashion through the extraordinary love of Christ is what makes the next thing the best thing. I can't singlehandedly stop terrorism. Neither can I magically convince every person in the universe to cease from working evil. What can I do? I can wash dishes, make beds, scrub toilets, and prepare meals again and again and again with the love God has spread abroad in my heart. I can hold dear, snuggle close, tickle light, sing loud, dance free, and kiss long. I can laugh when I'd rather scold, smile when I want to scowl, and whoop enthusiastically at this blessing called today.

Refugees the world over would most likely tell me to stop chasing the exceptional, the extravagant, the over-the-top and embrace the sweetness of today. Mothers who had to leave some of their children behind when they ran for their lives would no doubt tell me to be thankful for a day filled with the ordinary mundane. None of us know what the future holds; be thankful for today. Our families are not burdens; nor are they inconvenient. They are immeasurable blessings never again to be exactly as they are today.

At the end of one's life, when a person stops long enough to sit down and look backwards through the years, isn't it the ordinary every day sort of living that fills one's memories? The smell of sheets mother dried on the line, the buzzing of the lawn mower cutting summer's grass, the noise of the sprinkler running outside, the smell of coffee wafting through the house on a winter's morning, laughing with a sibling, these are the memories one carries within. The ordinary of every day is what a person longs to return to so that these tiny moments can be treasured more deeply, lived more fully.

It has been shared that there is nothing like loss to awaken the realization of true worth and importance. Those husbands so many women complain about when gathered together? Bet those same women would be lost without those men they whine about today. Pretty sure all of those moans and groans, sighs and whines being spewed out in the presence of friends today would be deeply regretted should the unthinkable take place tomorrow. Clothes left lying in a dirty heap on the floor would be treasures held close should that husband not be here. Those muddy tracks through the house would be seen much differently if a beloved suddenly no longer walked earth's surface.

Yes, there is an awful lot of nasty hard going on all around, but maybe all of this hard will expose the deceptive lies discontent spreads and replace them with the truth of love's value. Maybe in the light of terror and death the Love's truth will shine forth in radiant splendor. Maybe the treasure we refer to as the boring everyday will be known and experienced for the incomparable richness it honestly is.

Maybe...maybe today will find us praying more, loving deeper, and holding our loves close longer. Maybe we do. I pray I do.

10.13.2015

Praying This Morning For You

Good Morning. Sharing a verse this morning with the hopes that we will all spend some time camped out in the chapter it came from today. It is from the book of Psalm, a prayer. Love and Prayers going out to you this day ~ Abundantly Blessed

  Psalms 5:3 O Lord, in the morning shall I lift my voice to You, and will wait expectantly.


10.10.2015

Will You?



After our visit yesterday I've been praying and remembering. When I was a very little girl my parents were in a group for young people at church called C.A.'s, Christ's Ambassadors. If I go back in time through my memories, and listen closely enough, I can still hear the theme song being sung. That song is still ringing strongly through the air waves. God is the creator of Life not of fear. Fear is not from Him, nor is it in Him. Therefore, it need not be in us. If it attempts to creep in, it can be put out; it does not originate from God. (2 Timothy 1:7)

Everything is good in God. He isn't the least bit afraid, and we are to be as He is. When we are exposed to too much of the world's point of view, fear attempts to strangle us, make us ineffective. The thing is, we don't have to watch, read, or listen to the view point of the world; it isn't telling the truth anyway. God will make sure we know what we need to know to do what He has called us to when we need to know. Truly. He will. We can trust Him. We can. We are the ones He uses to heal the hurting. We are the ones who extend His provision to people in need. We are the ones who stand strong and lovingly hold up the weak and fainting. Us. His children. His ambassadors. We are the vessels He uses. You and I. If His vessels don't trust Him, who will?

Makes me think of a new song I've heard on the radio. The song asks if not you, then who? If not now, then when? The book of Romans talks about faith and works. Some use this to support their own personal opinion of the ever-popular faith vs. works dispute heard among Christians. That's not where this is going today.Today I want to talk about how Paul teaches us that we can't have one without the other. True faith is accompanied by works. If no works are present, then it isn't really faith because works stemming from faith prove it's presence. Yet works can be performed all by themselves without one stitch of actual faith being present. When works don't stem from faith, when they are stirred up by nothing more than human ambition and motive, then those works are useless. They don't produce Godly fruit because they aren't Godly seed produced by a Godly source. First Corinthians 13 talks about these sort of works. There God tells us that works not done in Him, Love, are absolutely worthless, no matter how sacrificial and generous they may be.

I know a lot of people who need me to live what I profess to believe. Neighbors, friends, people in my community, the communities around me, they all need me to be the Christian I say I am. They need me to love God the way I claim. They need me to be walking in fullness of Him just as He wants me to. They need Jesus in me. They need held, healed, loved. They need to be heard, seen, respected. They need to know this isn't some religious social club; it's truth. It needs to be real, and I really need to let my light so shine before men that they see my good deeds and praise the Father in Heaven.

This is the period of time for which centuries of believers have been waiting.Generations of faithful Christ followers have longed to see the season we are currently in. Millions of prayers have been lifted throughout the generations spilling forth from the lips of faithful servants of the Most High God. Men and women have been laying down their lives to spread the gospel, the Good News, of Jesus Christ and His return for centuries. For thousands of years Christians have been waiting for the season we are living in right now. Christian after Christian since the time of Christ has wondered when the events in the book of Revelation would take place.

Countless men, women, and children have spent hours on their knees praying to God that He would prepare them and keep them spotless until His return. Cries of "Dear God! Keep me true to You, Lord! Don't let me falter. May my eyes be fixed on You and You alone, Dear Jesus! Be my strength! My Portion! My Deliverer! I hold not my life dear but willingly lay it down for You! I love you Lord Jesus!" have poured forth from many fellow believers in Christ as they prepared to die for the One True God. Flames have devoured more than one faithful follower as he or she screamed out loving words of devotion to God.

Christians losing their lives because they follow Jesus isn't anything new. It's not new; it's just more. Never have Christ followers been persecuted and murdered for the name of Jesus as much as they are now. That shooting in Oregon recently? You heard of it, I'm sure. A report was quietly spoken to me that hasn't been shared much. I have been told that those shot were asked about their religious choice. Those saying they were Christian were killed while those who said they were not Christian lived. Yes, my attention was secured when I heard those words, shut me right up and made me stare hard at the one who told me. He was quietly returning my intense gaze. I don't know where he heard this report; I didn't ask. It was enough for me to know that he isn't the sort of fella to shares things that aren't validated and true, especially such words as serious as these.

Fear pushed at the door pretty hard right then, especially when my ears heard the sounds of my three youngest children playing in the background. Mama fears threatened to spin wildly out of control. Can't tell you how thankful I am for the Word of Truth that spoke out loud to my heart calming the storm. Whew, did I ever need that still, small reminder of how God's perfect love drives fear out of doors and how God hasn't given me a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind. I needed to remember that trials come, evil exists, but no matter what, God is in control, and He is faithful. He will keep my children. I can trust Him. No matter what, I can trust Him. Grabbing a little one, hugging them close, and kissing them soundly didn't hurt anything either.

God hasn't hidden the fact that we may be required to lay down our lives for Him. The Bible tells it plain. If we've read the Bible we know it gets rough, way rough, for a season. We also know Jesus has overcome the world and deprived it of its power to harm us. God told us everything in His Word. He has provided the information we need to prepare in advance. If we haven't learned of Him and prepared our hearts to be stout and enduring in the midst of hardships it isn't God's fault. Our spiritual slackness and/or lack of preparation doesn't make God unfaithful. Unfortunately, however, it does contain the ability to make us ignorant of and vulnerable to attacks of fear and doubt.

BUT GOD...

Yes, those wondrously strong words of hope and promise BUT GOD!!! I'm putting in a vote for a weekend spent hunkered down into the never-ending goodness of God. I pray that every one of us creates the time, and the space, to soak in His presence. We need Him more, more than yesterday. We need Him more, more than words can say. We need Him more than ever before. We need Him more. We need Him more. That is the song that began playing in my mind as soon as the first "We need Him more" had been typed. My apologies if it wasn't a song you knew. It's words are worth reading whether or not we can hear the music.

If you haven't ever been strengthened in the Lord and the power of His might, if you don't have the words of mighty men and women loudly proclaiming the Goodness and Greatness of God rising up from the memories of your childhood, may I please have the honor and the privilege of taking you by the hand, turning so we're standing face to face, looking you in the eye, and lovingly declaring to you that yes, many things are very very hard, horrible, and terrifying in the world right now. It seems as if people are dying for a multitude of reasons everywhere. BUT GOD...God is NOT the one responsible for all of these awful acts and circumstances. God did NOT send these horrific disasters. BUT GOD...will take this sorrow, this grief, the pain. Not only will He take it, He will bring about good, in some way, out of it all. There isn't any evil, darkness, or sorrow so great that God can't, and won't, turn it for good. He is good and His mercy endures forever. His loving kindnesses are new every morning. You can trust Him.

The question that remains is: Will you? Will you trust Him? Will you go against what is popular and believe in the One, True Living God? Will you? I pray you will. I pray you do. I'm praying for you.

Before I leave, there are words to another song flowing through my mind. Words I'll leave with today.

You want to
Now will you?

You want to
Now will you?

The force that burns within you
Like a bed of fiery coals

Contains the power to liberate 
A thousand captive souls

But if the truth will ever set you free
Depends on you

You want to
Now will you?

You want to
Now will you?

source unknown



10.09.2015

Words to Encourage

Words to encourage shared with us from the Elijah List website. Praying these words go forth and bring the light of hope to shatter the darkness that is attempting to slide in around and through the very middle of an entire nation and world.
Abundantly Blessed @ Abundance House


Garris Elkins, Pamela Koefoed and Michael Kroning: "Prophetic Words of Hope and Encouragement Over Roseburg and Oregon"


by Garris Elkins, Pamela Koefoed and Michael Kroning
Oct 9, 2015



From Elijah List Publications and Our Entire Staff:

As fellow Oregonians we are saddened and heart-broken by the senseless shooting tragedy that happened in Roseburg, Oregon last week at Umpqua Community College. For those who don't know, Elijah List Ministries is located in Albany, OR. about 2 hours away from Roseburg.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of this tragic event, the entire community and the leaders who are dealing with this firsthand. We mourn with those who mourn...

As Christians we know that our God always, always has a great plan of redemption in EVERY situation that this world faces... and so it is with Roseburg.
We are posting a special article today from authors and ministry leaders who are from the Roseburg area and Southern Oregon – Garris Elkins, Pamela Koefoed and Michael Kroning. In this article you will find words filled with hope and encouragement from the very heart of God for Roseburg and for Oregon.

These leaders have sought the Lord for words to speak over this community and our state. We pray that those in the Roseburg area would be covered in God's unlimited peace and comfort and be filled with "the God of Hope" in this difficult time.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

Many blessings from the entire Elijah List Staff.
Enjoy! And thanks for forwarding this to your friends! They can subscribe just below...

Steve Shultz, Founder and Publisher
The Elijah List & Breaking Christian News
http://www.elijahlist.com

P.S. – Oh, and a Quick Note to our readers: To have daily, encouraging prophetic emails from The Elijah List sent to your inbox, just CLICK HERE or go to: http://elijahlist.com/subscribe. PLUS: HEY! Please EXPLORE our more than 4,000 Christian Prophetic books, CDs, and gifts at: elijahshopper.com.
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"A God-Resolution for Roseburg, Oregon" 
Garris Elkins, Medford, OR

The shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon has filled our hearts with sorrow. I live in Southern Oregon, and know many of the pastors and churches involved in the healing process that is now just beginning. One of these selfless servants is a young pastor who is a chaplain for the first responders. He was there when bodies of the victims were first removed from the scene. He saw things no one should ever have to see.

This week, after I talked with some of these church leaders, I needed to get away and process what I was feeling. I took a long walk along a country road and began to pray. As I walked, I felt the Lord remind me of something a young man said to me years ago. What made Christianity so appealing to him was the resolution it provided for the pain and sorrow we experience. Christianity provides resolution for the most challenging and painful things we will encounter in this world – painful events that take place without reason or explanation. Evil has no good purpose.
The enemy comes only to steal, kill and destroy.

As I pondered the wisdom of this young man's words, I realized how right he was. Jesus is God's resolution for all the pain and sorrow of humanity. With Jesus the resolution for death is resurrection. The resolution for moments of deepest darkness is the brilliant revelation of truth. The resolution available in pits of despair is hope. Each painful thing we experience has a polar opposite resolution of goodness sent by God to every grieving heart. These resolutions are something only God can provide because they are miraculous in nature. (Photo via Pixabay)
Every action of Jesus demonstrated the love of the Father. Jesus never attributed untimely death, murder or tragedy to God. Our responsibility is to believe in God's higher reality of love when the natural evidence speaks to the contrary. Our life then becomes a response in faith to the promise of God's goodness in the midst of sorrow.

The Church is a prophetic community. We see things not yet present in our world and speak them into existence. When Paul said he desired that all of us have the ability to prophesy, he was making an invitation to every Christ-follower to live this way in every circumstance of life. Each of us has the ability to prophesy the hope of a Kingdom resolution into the pain and heartache that overwhelms our cities and our nation.

Our calling is to prophesy Heaven upon the earth. In these moments of revelation our voice becomes part of the redemptive process. Our words of resolution are not to be couched in some insensitive need to always have something to say. These prophetic resolutions must be spoken with a wisdom and tenderness that partners with a Spirit-led sense of timing.

In moments of human tragedy, God wants us to listen first for His voice before we begin to speak. Jesus modeled this for us when He spoke only what He heard the Father saying. When God begins to reveal His heart you will know it is His voice because His message will be one that, "Gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist" (Romans 4:17). His voice will carry resolution. (Photo via Pixabay)

When John shared his revelation from the Isle of Patmos he described a voice shouting a new reality from Heaven for the earth and its inhabitants, "He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. And the one sitting on the throne said, 'Look, I am making everything new!'" (Revelation 21:4-5).

John's words will someday be the ultimate resolution for the pain and sorrow we have seen in places like Roseburg, Oregon and in many other cities across our nation when senseless acts of evil are thrust upon its citizens.

God's resolution of goodness will be the ultimate reality for every hurting heart in every circumstance of life. Those resolutions are the message we carry. Speak them in faith and trust in the goodness of God to prevail.

Garris Elkins, Author and Prophetic Minister
Prophetic Horizons
Email: info@prophetichorizons.com
Website: garriselkins.com

Garris Elkins' ministry, Prophetic Horizons, is a ministry of teaching, writing, and prophecy committed to raising up a prophetic generation to speak to the cultures of our world with the empowered voice of Heaven. Garris and his wife, Jan, are a spiritual father and mother to many, both in the United States and abroad. They live in Medford, Oregon, where they just completed 33 years of pastoral ministry, with the last 15 years as Senior Leaders of Living Waters Church in Medford. Their ministry involves traveling, teaching, and mentoring leaders and churches. Garris and Jan have two grown children, Anna and David.

"Oregon: The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail" 
Pamela Koefoed, Lakeview, OR
 
It is written, "The gates of Hell shall not prevail against it." Matthew 16:18

A fresh wind is blowing across the state of Oregon. The Spirit of the Lord is drawing the hearts of mankind, and many will come to the House of the Lord to receive what the Father has longed to give them – the robe, ring and shoes of sonship.

The enemy intends for mass attacks to occur across the United States, but through prayer, intercession and worship that evil spirit will be hindered, and that evil spirit's larger plan will not take root. It will not take root!

Cry Out Against Injustice
The Spirit of the Lord is moving in Oregon. Old wells have been re-dug. Yet a fresh wind is beginning to blow. Revival has been the cry on many a tongue. Now watch and see how the Lord responds when you cry out to Him this year; when you cry out to Him against injustices. (Photo via Wikimedia)
He is compassionate and He will grant restitution – a move of His grace upon the hearts of young and old.

I see a time of blessing coming upon the Body of Christ and one particular group responding in very great numbers. The youth across America will rise up and possess the gates of the Lord's enemy. Their robes have been washed. A ring of authority has been placed on their hands and their feet are shod in preparation for the Gospel of peace.

The tide is changing. It's the hour of revival. But I hear in my spirit, "Who will cry out against injustices in the land, against the taking of the precious?"
The Lord is compassionate. When you cry out to Him, He will answer with restitution.

Pamela Koefoed
Ignite School of Ministries
Email: write@pamelakoefoed.com
Website: pamelakoefoed.com | igniteschool.com

During a traumatic childhood, Jesus delivered Pamela Koefoed from death’s door. Years later, she began encountering Jesus and His angels in visitations. By the power of the Holy Spirit, her ministry has demonstrated a strong and accurate prophetic anointing. Pamela ministers nationally and internationally where hundreds have experienced the healing power of God, deliverance from strongholds, and the life-infusing rhema word of the Lord. Pamela is the director of Ignite School of Ministry in Southern Oregon. She is the author of two books, Angels Appearing and JoyRide: Life, Death and Forgiveness.



"Roseburg's Tears"
 Michael Kroning, Roseburg, OR

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18

October 1, 2015: The Shots Heard 'Round the County – and the World: SHOCKED! STUNNED! NOT HERE! NOT IN ROSEBURG! NOT IN OUR CITY!

The News – Unbelievable.
The Pain – Unbearable.
The Tears – Uncontrollable.
The Soul – Inconsolable.

BUT GOD...

Our Father of Mercies and the God of all comfort is an ever-present help in time of need. He brings a peace that passes all understanding, which makes no sense to our minds. His peace caresses and consoles the trembling and sorrowful heart. He is near to the brokenhearted.

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy WILL come in the morning. How long is the night? No one knows. It's as long as it takes. You can't hurry grief. It varies from person to person. But one thing is sure...sorrow may long endure... But the NIGHT WILL END! It cannot shut out God's Light of Mercy and Grace! (Photo via KLCC)

Yes, there will always be a hole in our hearts that can never be replaced. Yes, we will feel a deep enduring loss for our loved ones who've gone to be with Jesus. But it is GOD Who owns the future, NOT the evil one! He will even cause good to come to pass out of what was cruelly meant for evil.

A SHIFT has come to Douglas County – not unlike we felt at the aftermath of 9-11. Our innocence may be lost, but the spirit of this community has awakened with a roar!

TEARS, Uncontrollable Tears, have caused many to consider their own mortality. Life is no longer predictable, no longer under the control of our own plans, intentions or willpower, as if it ever was. We are all vulnerable to events outside of our control. Now the very tears of our sorrow have softened the parched ground of this community.

Like the winter snows on barren soil, these tears can soften and penetrate the recesses of the heart and awaken many to their need for God.

These Tears of Sorrow Will Indeed Produce a Harvest!

Many who have never considered their own eternal fate have, IN AN INSTANT, been confronted with their own mortality and vulnerability. Many are seeking answers; many are asking, "Why?" We, who are children of the Light, are the only ones who are able to bring light to the darkness around us.

Like the ground that opens up in an earthquake, the shaking of this event has opened up a WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY for God to do an amazing work in our midst! Out of the ashes of this great tragedy will spring the mighty phoenix of God's Holy Spirit. (Photo via Oregon Live)

Roseburg and Douglas County SHALL SEE the Salvation of the Lord!

At the darkest hour of WWII, when Britain was under constant bombardment and all seemed to be lost, Churchill rallied the nation to declare, "This was their Finest Hour!"

Could This Become Douglas County's Finest Hour?

Could this horrific event usher in the greatest awakening in the history of Douglas County? YES! But only if the Church is willing to do whatever the Lord asks of us. Will we YIELD our will and respond to the voice of the Holy Spirit? Will we put aside our own insecurities and fears and simply say, "Here am I, Lord, Send me! Send me"?

Let us consider the words of the hymn, "Hark! The Voice of Jesus Crying", written by Daniel March in 1868, shortly after the horrific tragedy of America's Civil War:

Hark, the voice of Jesus calling,
"Who will go and work today?
Fields are ripe and harvests waiting,
Who will bear the sheaves away?"
Long and loud the Master calls us,
Rich reward He offers free;
Who will answer, gladly saying,
"Here am I, send me, send me"?
If you cannot cross the ocean,
And the distant lands explore,
You can find the lost around you,
You can help them at your door;
If you cannot give your thousands,
You can give the widow's mite;
What you truly give for Jesus,
Will be precious in His sight.
If you cannot speak like angels,
If you cannot preach like Paul,
You can tell the love of Jesus,
You can say He died for all.
If you cannot rouse the wicked,
With the judgment's dread alarms,
You can lead the little children
To the Savior's waiting arms.
If you cannot be the watchman,
Standing high on Zion's wall,
Pointing out the path to Heaven,
Offering life and peace to all,
With your prayers and with your bounties
You can do what Heaven demands;
You can be like faithful Aaron,
Holding up the prophet's hands.
If among the older people,
You may not be apt to teach,
"Feed My lambs," said Christ, our Shepherd,
"Place the food within their reach."
And it may be that the children
You have led with trembling hand,
Will be found among your jewels,
When you reach the better land.
Let none hear you idly saying,
"There is nothing I can do."
While the lost of earth are dying,
And the Master calls for you;
Take the task He gives you gladly;
Let His work your pleasure be;
Answer quickly when He calls you,
"Here am I, send me, send me."
Michael Kroning from Roseburg, Oregon
Email: YourNewFeedback@gmail.com
Michael Kroning has been one of the leaders of a church in Roseburg, Oregon for the past several years. He earned his undergraduate and seminary degrees in his native Midwest, where he was a church planter in the Chicago area prior to coming to the Pacific Northwest. Mike is a gifted preacher and spiritual father with an encouraging message of confident hope and enduring faith in the midst of life's tests and trials. He has been used greatly by the Lord in the revelatory gifts of the Spirit and his compassion and sensitivity to the Spirit is evident as he ministers the Father's heart to people.
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10.08.2015

Deep Breath, Calming Down

Alright, settle down. Take a deep breath. Let it out. Now, all of us, just step back a ways and see what's really going on here. Know what? Why don't we just sit down, heave a big old sigh, and calm down. Alright? Okay? You okay there sister? Settled down yet? Not quite. That's okay. We've got time. Look at me. Straight in the eye. It's okay. Everything is going to be okay. Uh, uh, uh-h, at me. In the eye. There. Now, deep breath in; let it out. Again. Alright. Now, let's breathe deeply again except this time when we inhale, say "God's love in." When we exhale, say "Fear out." Okay. Here we go. Ready? "God's love in." "Fear out." Let's do that again. "God's love in." "Fear out." One more time for now, "God's love in." "Fear out." Mmmhmmm. That's better. Isn't it?

I don't know if you feel better, but I sure do! I needed both the audible reminder of how God's perfect love drives out fear and the deep cleansing breaths. I just got done checking emails, and whoo-ee! If a person isn't grounded in the truth of God's Word he or she could get downright down. Seriously, have you read all of the negative nelly words out there from Christians lately? Yikes! Now, before I go on, I have a confess to make. Those downhearted, fear-inciting words don't depress or scare me; they make me angry. Sometimes they make me very very angry. That's why I needed the reminder of God's love and cleansing breaths. I needed to detox my thinker from the inside out.

Besides needing to detox my thinker I also needed to be clear-headed before I began typing words with lightning speed. I didn't want to unleash a verbal assault of "encouragement" on everyone without being firmly focused and tuned into God Who is love. Love is the point of the gospel. So I thought it might be a good idea to be operating out of and from a position of love rather than frustration and disgust. What do you think?

So, well, yeah, here I sit all calmed down and clear-headed full of the love of God wondering where did all of those words of "encouragement" I was going to pour forth in a rather ferocious frenzy of typing go? Maybe they flew out on one of those relaxing exhales. Hmmm. Now what? What do I say now that all of the words have gone? Do I tell you how upset I got earlier today while reading an article written by a dear Christian sister? Do I tell you about how parts of the article really touched me way down deep while other parts made me absolutely furious? How when I read the article to myself it seemed so wonderful. but when I read it to my children something inside opened my eyes and my ears and made me question whether it is a truth perspective or a Christian version of the same emotional manipulation worldly media uses to move the mindless masses.

Is this the appropriate place to share about that other email, the email whose contents originated from a well-known person in the Christian community, a leader whose words influence many? Is this where I share from my heart about how I don't agree with that man AT ALL, no matter how godly his father is or how many people have been saved through their ministry? Is is okay to do this? Is it okay to stand up strong and loud and shout at the top of my internet lungs that these messages of fear, these sermons of doubt and destruction, THESE ARE NOT OF GOD!!! They are not. Fear is not from God. God is victorious. He is love. He is more than enough. He is good. He is kind. He heals those hurting. He binds up the broken-hearted. He is life. He is the way. The world doesn't know the Good News we know. The world doesn't know Him, but we do. We do know Him, Love.

We know the One who created. The Great I AM who gave His Son to die that we might live. Jehovah Jireh our provider. Jehovah Raphe our healer. We know the God who heals the sick, the blind, the lame. God who sets the prisoner free. God who restores. God who is good. God. We know Him. He is in us. It does not matter what things look like. It does not matter what the news says. It does not matter what the financial "experts" predict. It does not matter what the stockmarket does or does not do. We, the beloved of God, have not placed our confidence and our trust is that which we can see, or hear, or feel. We are grounded, rooted, and moved all and only by Him, by love. And HE. HE is enough.

There is no crisis greater than what He can deliver from, protect through, and restore that which may be lost. Troubles will come. Trials are real. Loss occurs. But God... Dear friend. Please don't forget these words: "But God..." Yes, things look, sound, and sometimes are very bleak, big, hard, and scary, but God... Daniel and the three Hebrew children were in a very bleak, big, hard, and scary situation, but God ... Goliath was really big. He was super loud. David appeared to be just a boy, but God... Getting thrown into the lion's den was pretty nasty for Daniel, but God... You've read the Bible. You know as many situations recorded in the Bible as I do where everything was hard, horrible, frightning yet were instantly changed with a "But God..." moment. He is the same yesterday, today, forever. He is God. He changes not. He loves all of His children. He has always cared for His own. Why would He stop now?

We've read the many accounts of His past deliverance, protection, and provision, but have we read about the future ones? Have we read Revelation and seen for ourselves the victory promised to those who believe on Jesus the Risen Son of God? There is nothing to fear when we are in Christ Jesus. Nothing. If I could, I would look you straight in the eye right now, lovingly gather your face in my hands and assure you with all of the gentleness God gives me that there is nothing to be afraid of in Jesus.

I know it's time for us to go our separate ways, but please know how much I love you. More importantly, know that God loves you even more. He's got both of us in the palm of His hand. We're abiding in the shelter of the Most High. We can lay down and sleep soundly because He keeps us safe. (Psalm 4:8) Let's get together again tomorrow. As Hebrews 10:25 says, we don't want to forsake the assembling of ourselves together as we see the Day approaching, and I'm pretty sure the Day is indeed approaching. Aren't you?

Loving prayers dear friends,
Abundantly Blessed

10.02.2015

French Toast for Supper

Hey There! The other night was so crazy around here. We ended up having French Toast and eggs for supper. Turns out French Toast was perfect. Chopped walnuts, whipped butter, and a steaming cup of coffee turned plain ole Mr. French Toast into a supper that made me want to at least light some candles, if not the woodstove. The decision to make French Toast for supper may have come about because supper was arriving at breakneck speed, and mama didn't have any meat thawed out, but it ended up being just the out of the ordinary spark needed to turn "oh no!" into a relaxing sigh of "oh yes." By the time supper was over I was ready to curl up in contentment and soak in the perfectness of an evening together.

The French Toast supper made me stop and wonder why I freak out and get all stressed and snarly other times when rushed and unprepared. Why fly about in a frenzy? Why not just make French Toast? or pancakes? or biscuits and gravy? or any other simple yet delicious meal?

When I am fighting the temptation to fear over people being shot for their faith in my country, when children are wild from the weather, when the day just seems a little bit wonky, why not take a deep breath, let it out, and do something I haven't ever done. I might be surprised by how relaxing life can be. I might find it easier to listen to God's still small voice. I might just find that when I listen to His voice, even in something as ordinary as making French Toast for supper, I am set free from the stress.

Thanking God for French Toast,
Abundantly Blessed @ Abundance House