Tag Archives: word of faith

“Did I say that?” (Are you listening to the words coming out of your mouth?)

A few years ago, I’d gone into Staples to pick up some office supplies, and happened to be there at the same time as a young mom with two small children.  I remember those days, that season of life when you need an extra set of arms, and eyes in the back of your head.  Those years when you seem to function in a constant state of tired.  To all mothers of young children – take courage for this too shall pass!

Surely, I must have caught this mom on an ‘off day’ and what I observed was not representative of her typical engagement with her children – for there in plain view for all the world to see, this frazzled mom was trying to ‘discipline and rally’ her children into better behavior by very loudly telling them how stupid they were and how disgusted she was with them.  And my heart broke for them all.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”  (Proverbs 18:21)

Faith Like A Seed
Faith Like A Seed

I lead a women’s small group, and for the past few months we have been studying the power of our words to bring forth blessing or cursing into our lives, into our families, and into our every day circumstances.    As we explore the simplicity, and the complexity of ‘changing our confession’ so that the words we speak out of our mouth come into agreement with what God has to say about a subject/concern, we discover that ‘speaking life’ over ourselves is not about releasing magic words as if they were part of some sort of spiritual incantation.  But what we do learn from studying our Bibles is that there is power in the spoken word, power to bless and power to curse.  James has a lot to say about the power of our words.   Bible teachers like Kenneth & Gloria Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer and Charles Capps have also had great impact on my life and radically changed my thinking on the power of our words.

 “Today I am giving you a choice of two ways. And I ask heaven and earth to be witnesses of your choice. You can choose life or death. The first choice will bring a blessing. The other choice will bring a curse. So choose life!”  (Deut 30:19)

We know from Matthew 12:35 that the words we speak reflect what we believe in your heart.   If we want to know the condition of our heart, or of our spiritual health, all we really need to do is to pause and listen to what’s coming out of our mouths.

Are we speaking words of encouragement, of hope and compassion?  Or are we speaking words of fear, judgment and hatred?  Are we speaking of our confident expectation in the promises of God?   Are our words agreeing with the words of the enemy who wants to steal our dreams, rob our resources, and utterly destroy any positive impact we can have in a hurting and broken world?

If the words that a man speaks are like seeds planted in the ground which will yield their harvest at the appointed time, whose word-seeds are you planting?

Blessings,
Jenny

 

 

Who Cares

MH900400301One of the more recent additions to my ever-growing audio/video message library is entitled “Who Cares, Living Free From the Weight of Worry” by Jeremy Pearsons of Kenneth Copeland Ministries.    Jeremy does a fabulous job in bring home the simple yet profound truth that once we really know how deeply and completely we are loved by God, fear looses it’s power over us!

Somewhere within the message series, Jeremy Pearsons makes an observation in reference to Romans 8:31 that really struck a chord with me.  To the best of my recollection it goes like this:

“If God is for us, who can be against us!  And if God is against us, who can be for us?”    ~Jeremy Pearsons

So what are we going to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?  He didn’t spare his own Son but gave him up for us all. Won’t he also freely give us all things with him?  Who will bring a charge against God’s elect people? It is God who acquits them.”     (Romans 8:31-33)

Think about that.   I mean, if you and I truly believe that God is for us (as in deeply loves and cares for us) – then what does that say for every person, circumstance or power that is against us?

Said a little differently, if God is for me – then by contrast it also means that God is against everything that isn’t for me!  And if God is against something or someone … brother, that’s just BAD news!!!!!

Many years ago, I learned a little chorus.  I don’t know the name of the song, nor the author … I suspect that it might be a snippet from a Jewish or Messianic psalm.  In any case, I have never forgotten it and if often brings me comfort on challenging days.

“This I know, my God is for me
This I know

This I know, my God is on my side
My God is for me
This I know.”

~unknown

I encourage you to take some time to meditate on the love of God for you.   Search the Word for His promises to you, feed your spirit!  Keep your focus on the love of God vs whatever challenges are facing you today.  You are His beloved, and He does and will continue to care for (watch over, protect, attend to, teach/train, protect, defend,) you!

According to Hebrews 2:14-15, Christ has ‘render the devil powerless’ and made free those were all their lives held captive to him through fear.  You and I have been set free from fear!

So like I said in an earlier post, ‘me and Fear have had a ‘break up”.  I’m not taking his calls anymore, and when Fear knocks on my door … I don’t answer, and fear not!   And if Fear won’t leave on his own accord,  I make an introduction!!

“Jesus, may I introduce you to Fe…… ”  (insert sound of running feet)   Hmmm … where did he go?”

Works every time!

Be blessed,
Jenny

PS – if you happen to know the origin of the song/chorus, please do tell!

Tethered to hope

HOPE:  a) to wish for something with expectation,  b) a desire accompanied by confident expectation.

I started blogging about 3 years ago and was greatly enjoying posting hope-filled blogs in which I shared my testimony, a few funny stories, and talked through challenges faced.  But then I got too busy with other things for regular posting.  I let my hope-filled blogging slip, and that wasn’t the only thing I let slip.  My attitude took a fall, and instead of ‘hoping well’, I was doing other things well.    Complaining.  Groaning.  And worse.

After a little time passed, the voice of condemnation spoke up (rather loudly in fact) telling me how hypocritical it would be to blog about hope when it seemed as if I was scraping from the bottom of the barrel most days.   So I put off blogging for a month, then three, and ultimately I allowed that voice of shame and condemnation to silence me altogether.

Hebrews 6:19
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Hebrews 6:19
Of course, the voice of hope was also calling out my name all those months of silence – but I wasn’t really listening.  I was way too busy hanging out with my old and familiar friends jealousy, envy and pity.

Truth be told, about the only thing I know for sure about boating is that unless you want to get wet, the general idea of being in a boat is to stay out of the water.  And the general idea of casting anchor is to keep you tethered to a select and stable place.   How grateful I am that my hope in God and in the promises of God (His Word) is the anchor to my soul!   Or perhaps more accurately, God’s hope, living within me by the power of the Spirit of God, keeps me anchored to hope.  Eventually, I looked away from my circumstances, caught a glimpse of the eyes of my Father, and let Him fill me again with hope for better days.

With your very own hands you formed me.  Now breathe your wisdom over me so that I can understand you.  When they see me waiting, expecting your Word, those who fear you will take heart and be glad.  I can see now, God, that your decisions are right; your testing has taught me what’s true and right.  (Psalms 119:73-75)

Well, obviously I’m blogging again.  Not because my life is now without challenges, but because through the challenges of the last few years I have learned a few things about hope.

1)  that hope is not a feeling, it’s something I choose
2)  that I have to seek out and maintain (as in guard & protect) hope on a daily basis
3)  that real hope (strong, unshakable hope) comes from God

I think Romans 15:13 says it best.   Only the God of hope can fill me with what is required to have hope.  The kind of hope that is an anchor to the soul.

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.

There have been some tough days these past few years.  But bless God, I am getting better about staying tethered to that anchor of hope as though my very life depends upon it … because it does!

Today, again, I choose hope!
Jenny

Staying Positive In Difficult Times

This post was originally published under an older blog of mine in July 2011, just one month before I received a new job offer! Funny thing is that those very lessons I was learning back then (about guarding my thoughts and minding my tongue) are just as important today as they were then.  I enjoyed reading this again, as though for the first time.  I hope you do too!

It’s late, and I really ought to be in bed by now.  But after tossing and turning for the past hour and a half, I finally came to the realization that this is not going to be one of those nights when sleep comes easy to me.    Words are bouncing around in my head and no matter how hard I try, I can’t get them to shut up and leave me alone so that I can get some sleep.  And so instead of tossing and turning for another hour and a half, I have  decided to get up and put pen to paper (so to speak),  trusting that this restlessness is actually God inviting me to partner with Him to meet a need.  Believing that this writing, written as an act of obedience,  will be a blessing to somebody out there.

Today was a good day.  I was able to accomplish most of what I intended to do today, which not only included finishing a blog post I’d been working on for a few days but also catching up with a dear friend who lives in another state.  But I think what really has me so amped up at 11:58 pm are the endless “possibilities” that are before me.   Let me elaborate.

mhGv1bGFirst, a bit of background.  Just under 1 month ago, I joined the ranks of the unemployed.   I’ll be honest and tell you that it was a little scary those first few days of unemployment.  I know several people that have been looking for jobs for well over six months – and the more people you talk to, the more of those stories you hear.  And so as soon as I lost my job, I had to make a decision.  Will I listen to new reports and war stories of family and friends telling me how bleak the job market is right now?  Or will I listen to and put my faith in what the scriptures say about my future?  I choose the later!   And so for the past 4 weeks, I have been rigorously  ‘guarding’ my eyes, ears and thought life so that I am not giving a home to any fear-based thinking about what will happen if …

Put on all the armor that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil’s evil tricks.  For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age. So put on God’s armor now! Then when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist the enemy’s attacks; and after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground.  – Ephesians 6:11-13

When negative news reports come on, I turn to another channel.  When friends tell me how bad the job market is, I quietly rehearse in my head scriptures about God’s promise for provision to those who love Him.  When worry knocks on the door, I don’t stand around and chat with it – invite it in for a nice cup of tea, nor go out on the porch for a quick little catch-up.  Nope, I smack that door shut and then crank up some worship music so that I can’t hear the knocking anymore!

Now lest I sound like some simple minded Pollyanna, let me be very clear about one thing.  Staying positive in difficult times is not for sissies!   It requires putting on the full armor of God, because if you only put on a few select pieces, I guarantee you that your adversary (the devil) is going to attack those unprotected areas and take you out!   So put on the whole suit – the ‘belt of truth’, the ‘breastplate of righteousness’, your feet fitted with the ‘gospel of peace’.  Put on the ‘helmet of salvation’ and take up the ‘shield of faith’ in one hand and the ‘sword of the Spirit’ in the other.  And of course, PRAY!  This is a war.  And you, my friend, are a called to be a Gladiator!

So stand ready, with truth as a belt tight around your waist, with righteousness as your breastplate, and as your shoes the readiness to announce the Good News of peace.  At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One.  And accept salvation as a helmet, and the word of God as the sword which the Spirit gives you.  Do all this in prayer, asking for God’s help. Pray on every occasion, as the Spirit leads. For this reason keep alert and never give up; pray always for all God’s people.    – Ephesians 6:14-18

In addition to guarding my thoughts, I am minding my tongue – which is to say that I’m careful about the words I allow to come out of my mouth.  Instead of giving in to the temptation to speak doom and defeat over my circumstances (i.e. I  heard that there are more than 100 applicants for every job out there, I hope I don’t run out of money before I find a job, etc.), I am instead speaking God’s Word over my circumstances!

Proverbs 18:21 reads “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (NASB).  In other words (quoting Charlie E here) … ”you will have what you say’.   Friend, if we are going to ‘eat the fruit of our words’, it only makes sense that you and I be purposeful about what we say!  We must train our tongue to speak God’s Word over our circumstances.   The scriptures are overflowing with promises of provision and prosperity (having more than enough to meet every need for every area of your life).   Cant think of any?  Read my earlier post entitled “I am: Blessed”  and then open your mouth and start speaking out loud the Word of God over your life and circumstances.

And going hand-in-hand with minding my tongue is feeding my spirit.   A couple weeks into the job hunt I hit a wall.  I was mentally and emotionally exhausted.  Nobody was calling me about my resumes, but of course my estranged friends Worry and Fear were quick to come knocking on the door to share with me the latest stats on how many months I should expect to be out of work.  I cranked up the worship music.  The knocking continued.  I watched some Daystar TV.  They rang the doorbell.  Eventually, I took to loading up my Nano with just about every Podcast teaching I could find by a few of my favorite Pastors (Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, Brian Houston) and started taking 6 am walks  … long walks.  Yup, with headphones on and sound teaching streaming into my ears, I opened wide the door and walked  straight past  Fear and Worry, listening to one Podcast after another (i.e.  feeding my spirit) and refusing to turn back towards home until those old cronies legs got tired and they quit following me!  By the time I got back home each day, my faith was so stirred up that I was well prepared to face the challenges of the day with a victorious attitude.   It was awesome!   I’m still replaying several of those teachings in my head even while I type this.

Now I’m not necessarily suggesting that you start walking 4-5 miles a day, but do what you have to do to feed your spirit!  You can put on the armor of God and quote scripture over your circumstances til your blue in the face, but if your spirit man is malnourished, you aren’t going to have the strength and stamina to stay in the game long enough to win this battle!

Four steps to staying positive in difficult times

1.  Put on your Armor

2.  Guard your eyes, ears and thoughts

3.  Open your mouth and speak (appropriate) God’s Word over your life / situation / circumstances

4.  Feed your spirit

 

Now back to my earlier comment about being amped up about the  endless “possibilities” that are before me.   You see, while I was lying in bed trying to reel in my runaway thoughts, I got the brilliant idea to quietly speak (out loud) all the things that I am grateful for about today.  Like how grateful I am for the direction the Holy Spirit provided this morning when I was doing some writing.   How blessed I was to be able to connect with this  out-of-state friend of mine in the afternoon.   What a wonderful teaching I listened to later in the day, and how happy I am that I have learned how to release  my faith in the power of the blood to secure victory over my circumstances.  And then I started naming them off.  One thing led to another, and instead of winding down, I got so excited that I knew I’d not be able to sleep for at least another hour or two.

So there you have it.  The late night (actually, now early morning) ramblings of one very tired woman!  I’m praying that its just fatigue and a wild imagination that keeps seeing little brown shadows flitting across my office floor.   Imagination or not, I’m getting a little creeped out and am going back upstairs to bed before I succumb to the temptation to start singing the song “You’ve Got To Put Your Armor On” by Psalty The Singing Songbook.

Oh, whatever … why not! Who doesn’t like a good chorus??

You’ve got to put your armor on.
You’ve GOT to put your Armor on!
YOU’VE GOT TO PUT YOUR ARMOR ON!
SO YOU’LL * BE * SAFE!!

Side note:  my daughters loved Psalty when they were growing up, and now that I’ve discovered the Psalty collection is still available, I’m totally going to get some to share with my grandchildren!

Goodnight and be blessed!

Jenny