Coffee for Real

I travel a lot for work. In the car, I try to listen to Christian music stations on the radio because I like the music and there are (usually) good encouraging messages to keep you focused on what’s real and what matters in life.

But I found myself rolling my eyes and shaking my head because some of the commercials, songs and artist interviews portray Christianity like it’s a coffee boutique. Quaint with pretty packaging, clean, and can I say it? Superficial.

Rural or Suburban?

While it’s true that Father God can find you anywhere, and different things can remind us of God, it’s been my experience that the spiritual life is frontier. More rural than suburban. It’s been my experience that it takes a pioneering spirit in your relationship with Father God.

We all have things going on in our lives. We all have experienced—or are experiencing–sorrows, griefs and wounds. No amount of Christian, Bible verse lattes (churchy sayings) are going to make it better.

These require us to be real with ourselves and with Father God.

This means we have to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty as we search for the roots–on our knees in pursuit of the heart of Father God who wants us healed and whole. Life is like the weather (not just chocolate!) and it takes a daily relationship with Father God to make it through the day.

It seems that we try to live behind a facade, pretending that life is perfect, sunshine and roses every day, if you are a Christian. But it’s not. Even when we have a relationship with Father God, there are real troubles that we face. Could we put down the facades and be real? To ourselves and to Father God. (By the way, that practice would help us be real with others, too.)

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The Journey of the Bean

Now, about coffee. I like it.  And yes, I occasionally go to coffee shops; most atmospheres are good there, and the smell of coffee is great.

Have you considered the journey of the coffee bean?

It’s grown in tropical “frontier” areas, picked and dried before it travels halfway around the world to get roasted, ground and bathed in hot water.

Sometimes our lives feel the same way, so we can be real (like the coffee bean!) about that and quit pretending that our lives are the perfect cup. At least not yet, for we must allow Christ to fulfill His work in our lives, to receive His forgiveness, love, re-interpretations of life in those areas of woundedness, counsel and guidance through His Word and the Holy Spirit.

It’s not church culture Father God is after—it is about the real person in real life—each of us.

Just take a look at the disciples, they were not polished men, but they were real. They learned as they went, didn’t always make the right choices, or have the right responses. But they did walk with Christ, followed, learned, adjusted, and changed the world.

Real GOOD Desires

One final thought. Part of being real is to pursue the godly desires within you. Some church culture has handed down the tradition of “the sinner worm” theology as truth.

This means—and has spoken way too loudly to our youth—that every desire is sinful, and must be crucified daily as part of our flesh.

It’s true that some of our desires are sinful in nature, and those must be crucified. However, there are other desires placed there by Father God that are not sinful–and these need to be cultivated. Let the Holy Spirit lead you in which to pursue.

Who knows? Maybe it’s a coffee shop where people can be real and experience the realness of Father God.

Prayer Response

Father, thank You for the permission to take off the facade and be real. Please shine Your soft light in and bathe me in Your love—which I open the doors in my spirit and soul to receive. Please cause me to see what You want me to see about myself and about You. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.

About the Author

Stephen Wade grew up in Texas, but has traveled throughout North America in his work in insurance.  Having served as a youth pastor, he holds a deep desire to see the next generations anchored in truth and love, walking in freedom.  Stephen sees the beauty in Creation and captures it on film; he also possesses an innate ability to perceive the hidden value in aged and broken furniture, machinery, etc., and under his careful attention, restoration is worked.

 

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Superpowers for Parents!

Did you know that parents have a superpower that can help their children stay on the path of Father’s perfect will?

Children, as fully functional humans with eternal spirits, have the ability to make decisions from the moment they are placed in the womb. The ability to make decisions, or vows, is a function of the mind, will and emotions. That right to choose is so precious to the Father that He paid for us to have it through the blood of His Son, Jesus.

However, children (and even adults at times) don’t always have all the information they need to make the best choice or vow.

The evil one capitalizes on this and accosts them both in the womb and in early childhood with thoughts and emotions in an attempt to overpower them.

This is one key reason to flood their spirits with spirit blessings*, words of love and affirmation, the Word, and worship in the womb—and afterwards. The Father has already light-scribed their spirit with eternity, their missions, and more, but they need to hear from us, Earth-side, the truth and love about Father and themselves so they are equipped to not receive and agree with the evil one’s input.

In the Old Testament, Moses commanded the men on behalf of the Lord to keep their word—their vows—period. The Father set Israel apart from the other nations, and the commands they were to keep would reflect Father’s character among the nations. Keeping your word is exactly what the Father does. So, the men were commanded to keep theirs.

However, the Father made provision for daughters and wives. He said:

“When a young woman still living in her father’s household makes a vow to the Lord or obligates herself by a pledge and her father hears about her vow or pledge but says nothing to her, then all her vows and every pledge by which she obligated herself will stand. But if her father forbids her when he hears about it, none of her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand; the Lord will release her because her father has forbidden her.” Numbers 30:3-5

The Father commanded the men to keep their word. He also backed the men to release their daughters, children and wives from keeping a word or vow, as the men would be required to back their family’s word. The Father backed the men on this release because keeping one’s word is serious business.

Fast forward to Jesus’ instruction on this matter.

“All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” Matthew 5:37.

Jesus pinpointed the reason that oaths (which can be the same, and also a little different from vows) didn’t need to be made. The evil one uses our every infraction (and not keeping one’s word is a big one) to cause trouble, difficulty and to bring punishment on us.

Praise be to Father for rescuing us from the trouble our mouths (and hearts) can get us into!

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

Our children in the womb and in early childhood are spiritual beings first and, as such, they are experiencing the spiritual realm, whether we know about it or not. With the limited information they have, they are making choices. These choices are decisions or vows. They can be as simple as: I will not be a burden. I will never do that. I will always do this. I am bad. I am unlovable.

The vows may be simple, but they are powerful.

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These vows, then, become the computer program running the course of our children’s lives.

Angry Moments Make Vows – Use Superpower, Parents!

Have you ever had an argument with your child? Have you ever ended the day on a bad note when the sun went down on your anger? Have you ever sent your child to his/her room to “think about it”?

Most likely, we ALL have!

In those moments, too, many times, they are making vows in their anger.

If we asked our children, what vows did you make?, they wouldn’t be able to tell us because this is happening, often, at a deep inner level, beyond the ability to communicate.

Enter our parent superpower!

We go to Father on behalf of our children and ask forgiveness, nullifying their vows.

No Dad? No Problem!

If there’s no dad available, no problem!

“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26-28

The Father honors us, each one, as if we were His firstborn Son with rights and privileges! He honors a mother’s right as a firstborn Son in Christ (though she is distinctively female) to ask forgiveness for her children’s vows and nullify them!

Since we don’t know what all vows our children have made, we can exercise our parental superpower daily or weekly to help keep them on the path of Father’s perfect will for their lives.

This saves us a lot of trouble in the long run!

Removing Vows Release Miracle Growth!

Bill and Judy’s son Alex** made vows in his childhood about the transition to the teenage stage unbeknownst to them. Alex, as he entered his pre-teen years, noticed that his friend rapidly progressed physically while he did not. One day while hanging out in the kitchen as his mom prepared their meal, he quietly said, “I think I made a vow.” She stopped and asked him some questions. Sure enough, he’s reacted to the negatives he’d heard about teenagers as a child and made a vow refusing to become one for a really good reason. He didn’t want to be, or have, that kind of negative response that he’d witnessed. In order to achieve that noble objective, he vowed to not be a teenager. When the time came that he physically needed and wanted to transition physically and emotionally into the stage of teenage-hood, he was in a bind, blocked by his vow.

Together, they prayed to break the vow. Thank the Lord for His faithfulness to forgive and cleanse us when we confess our sins!

That day began a release. Alex felt the shift in his spirit. Within a short time, a couple weeks, he noticed growth. He sported a whisker or two!, increased muscle mass, and made forward progress in his height.

The miracle release was visibly noticeable to Alex!

The vow he’d made as a child blocked the growth he wanted as a pre-teen. How many vows that our children made, and forgot, are blocking their growth and development on some level?

Teenage or Adult Children? Go Back in Time!

What if you have children who are teenagers or adults and you’re just now discovering this root cause and superpower?

Praise the Father, there’s hope!

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 He’s the same Word who was with God in the beginning and through whom all things hold together. He redeems today, yesterday and forever.

So use the prayer below, and ask Him to take it back in time to when your children (adult though they may be) made these vows.  You will be able to pray into that past time yourself with the Lord because you are seated with Him in your spirit in heavenly places–and He moves freely through time. Apply your parental superpower to the Father in prayer.

YOU are Father’s Beloved Child!

What about you?

All of us were infants and children at one time. You have a Perfect Parent–the Heavenly Father–who is twice your father. He is Father by creating you, and Father by redeeming you. So, go to Him, confessing your vows known and unknown. Pray through the following prayer for yourself.

It’s worth it! You will feel space clear around you and in you which increases your strength and breathing room. It will also accelerate redeeming time so you can walk with more ease and flow on the path of Father’s perfect will for your life.

Father has granted parents superpowers! Let’s use them!

Prayer Strategy

Father, thank You for the blood of Your Son, Jesus Christ my Lord, who cleanses me. Thank You for giving me the right to be a firstborn Son with privileges! Thank You that I can come boldly to Your throne to receive mercy and grace.

Please wash me and my family with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I confess every sin I and my children did today (name the time if you know it; for instance, in the womb, this week, this season of life, all through their time and timing) on purpose or on accident. I confess every darkness we took in. I confess every word we said that we shouldn’t have said. I confess every vow we made, at any time, that was out of alignment with Your perfect will for me and my children. Shine Your light for me to see specifically any vows, hidden in darkness, that You want me (for myself or my children) to know in order to be released and made new in You.

I take Christ’s power and authority over me and my children (name them) and release this all to You. Destroy it at the Cross. Wash us clean to the core to the Garden with Your blood, and sprinkle Your blood on our conscience to cleanse it.

I shut every door and gate we opened to the enemy to the core to the Garden. I dedicate the doors and gates in us to You, Lord Jesus Christ. Please saturate them with Your blood. Lift up and open up, come in King of Glory, Lord strong and mighty, mighty in battle. Saturate our wounds and memories with Your light, love and life to the core to the Garden.

I dedicate all these places in us to You, Lord Jesus Christ. Rebuild, renew, restore, rule and reign forevermore. Holy Spirit, take out the trash, cleanse and heal us to the core, rebuild, restore and do much more. Father, take Your big sword and separate our soul and spirit, joint and marrow, cleanse, heal and restore us, and Adonai Kadesh (Lord Sanctify, set apart) us to Yourself. Download Your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control, grace and mercy, freedom and purity to our core. We receive it with thanksgiving and bind it to our core. Please seal this in us by the power of Your Holy Spirit, in the mighty name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.

*spirit blessing resources available at Hope Streams, click here

**names have been changed.

copyright by Crystal Wade, 2017

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Living Hope for Children with Special Needs

I’m pleased to welcome my friend, Nicole Jansezian, to our blog community porch today. She’s living real hope in real time with her oldest son who is a V.I.P. A Very Important Person who happens to have Down’s Syndrome. 

Revolutionary Theology: Therapy for the Spirit

by Nicole Jansezian

Having a child with special needs revolutionized my theology. It had to.

Dark Clouds

I remember sitting uncomfortably, my husband and I, outside the NICU. Our first child, Daniel, was less than 24 hours old. The head doctor of the NICU and a social worker broke the news to us that Daniel had Down syndrome. And then they proceeded to explain how this would dramatically change our lives and how we should “readjust” (lower) any expectations we originally had for Daniel.

Depressed and defeated, we went along with their report.

And with that we entered what I call “the dark cloud period.” Despair and hopelessness clouded those first few months. Nevertheless, we functioned as we were expected to and saw all the requisite doctors and therapists, underwent evaluations and even had some hospital stays.

All along I wondered, we had blessed Daniel from the moment we knew of him in the womb. So how could this happen?

Spirit is NOT Handicapped!

Slowly, and with much grace, we emerged from the dark cloud. Our eyes began to focus better. And then we observed something interesting: Daniel was getting physical, speech and occupational therapy — all designed to jumpstart his physical and cognitive responses and abilities. His body and his mind were excellently cared for by professionals who know their work. But wasn’t Daniel also and firstly spirit? And yet he wasn’t receiving therapy to nurture his spirit to excel and lead the way (1 Thes. 5:23).

And then it dawned on me: Daniel’s spirit is not handicapped!

Scripture Strategy Dawns

Suddenly, therapy sessions that once pointed out Daniel’s weaknesses, thus sending me into a spiral of despair, became my strategy. If a therapist pointed out a problem, I went to Scripture to find the counteracting solution.

This first happened when a physical therapist noted that at a couple months old, Daniel heavily favored his left side. This would lead to a domino effect of developmental delays. I felt the tug of depression beckoning me downward. Why can’t my baby use both sides equally? Why is his right side weaker? Gently, the Lord pointed out that this was the enemy showing his cards. And because of his brazenness, we knew the battle plan!

What is God’s strategy about our right side? “Your right hand, Lord, was majestic in power. Your right hand, Lord, shattered the enemy” (Exodus 15:6). And, “With (the Lord) at my right hand, I will not be shaken” (Psalm 16:8).

Light Therapy

As we came up against more milestones that Daniel should’ve been meeting, we mapped out spirit “therapy” to run parallel with his regular therapies. Standing: “…you may be able to stand your ground.” (Ephesians 6:13) Walking: “Rise up and walk.” (John 5:8). Now we are on a therapy course for listening and understanding.

Daniel, like all of us, is created in the image of God. All Scriptures apply to all of us. Daniel is not ineligible for some of them just because he has a chromosomal disorder. Does Daniel not have the mind of Christ because he faces mental challenges? No way. The doctors told us that Daniel would be last among his typical peers. But the Bible says otherwise: “The Lord will make you the head, not the tail” (Deuteronomy 28:13).

Light Therapy for the Spirit (1)

Who Will Parents Choose to Believe?

It is vital for Daniel’s development that we as his parents choose to believe the report of the Lord and then bless our son accordingly so he can internalize God’s word for him. Yes, we encounter despair and doubts, and we always question if we are doing enough. More often than not.

But our perspective is changing: When we look at someone from the spirit first, ignoring their outward appearance, inabilities or even their superb capabilities, we can see them for what they are truly capable. Suddenly, someone who cannot speak has much to say. Someone who cannot walk can soar in the spirit.

Life in Spirit!

Many spirits are neglected or wounded because we put more stock in the body and mind. If our spirits are nurtured though, we are limitless, “for God gives the Spirit without limit” (John 3:34). To us all.

Daniel is now 7 years old, and while we can’t claim he’s been the first to do something or break any records, we can say that his spirit speaks loudly and articulately – even without words.  The director of the day care Daniel attended a few years ago once told me, “I don’t know what it is about Daniel, he just has such a light in him.”

Yes, he does.

A Letter from Nicole for Parents of Children with DS

Congratulations on your pregnancy and upcoming baby! I remember that after our oldest son Daniel was born (he’s 7 now), it was a few weeks before any medical professional congratulated us on our new, and first, baby. Finally when someone in the medical world enthusiastically and genuinely said congratulations, it stood out so starkly and at that moment I realized it had been missing. That’s where the medical field gets it all wrong and it makes me so mad in retrospect — how dare they NOT congratulate us on our child. I was dragged along with their bad and dismal attitude. I just want to say to you: There is nothing wrong with your baby or with you! Don’t let anyone make you feel bad!

I can imagine the range of emotions you are experiencing. We had our own. I called it “the dark cloud period” and it lasted several months. Now I think, if I knew then what I know now, I would’ve enjoyed those first moments rather than allow stress and depression to overwhelm me. Easier said than done, but in retrospect I feel I was robbed of precious time with my son as a pure and innocent baby — with no labels.

While life is not easy and will be wrought with challenges, there’s so much more hope out there than is offered to us by doctors. I’ve joined a few parent-led groups on Facebook that have been so helpful. They are: The Down Syndrome Action Plan and Trisomy 21 Research. Feel free to join those now and start learning what you can do. Also here’s a great place to start: http://dsdaytoday.blogspot.co.il/p/start-here.html. This blog is by a mother who is one of the leaders in alternative therapies and supplementation.

From now you can start supplementing by taking: choline, DHA, Vitamin C, EGCG, Gotu Kola and antioxidants. Complete list and explanation here: http://dsdaytoday.blogspot.co.il/2013/03/prenatal-supplementation.html

There is a company called Nutrivene that makes vitamins specifically targeted to the biochemical differences in people with T21: https://www.nutrivene.com/index.php. I think they also have a prenatal or tell you what to take while pregnant.

Also, if you do buy into this philosophy, this is what can give you the most hope: While all of our bodies and minds have limits (we’re not all Olympic athletes or nuclear physicists), our spirits know NO LIMITS! Treat your baby, relate to your baby through his or her spirit first. They will soar!

As hard and shocking as this all is — and believe me I know! — I hope that unlike my husband and I, that you can get to enjoy this time in your lives and celebrate your baby. It’s so hard, but you are going to be this baby’s biggest advocates, spirit, soul and body.

Daniel, my son, in his own words: www.thebabyblogsbydaniel.com

About the Author

On his blog, The Baby Blogs by Daniel, he recounts his adventures from his home in Jerusalem, Israel. Aside from working on Daniel’s blog, Nicole Jansezian has worked for Shalva, an amazing center for special needs children in Jerusalem where Daniel received all his original therapies. Nicole has been featured on House of Destiny with Kim Clement–as Daniel introduced Kim to Shalva. Nicole’s work, as a news and features journalist, has appeared in Charisma magazine, Newsmax, and the Jerusalem Post among other publications.

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What’s in a Name?

Naming is a creative power! Of superhero proportions!

Father granted the powerful ability to Adam to create in His image by the use of his words to name creatures. The name of the creatures helped determine the outplay of their features.

One man in Scripture has captured my attention for years. Jeroboam. More on him as time unfolds. For now, suffice it to say that he received the same promise that David did from the same source–Father. David received the eternal dynasty, and as amazing as it sounds for Father to grant two eternal dynasties in the same nation, He did. And the other man chosen was Jeroboam. However, Jeroboam did not have the same outcome as David. In fact, Jeroboam created such evil in the nation of Israel that his singular actions resulted in Northern Israel’s deportation to Assyria (from which they have NEVER fully returned). That’s a lot of badness for one guy. The same guy who was offered the same dynasty promise as David.

Jeroboam created evil in Israel.

I’ve looked at this from so many angles, but recently I noticed Jeroboam’s name means, “the people will contend.”

Jeroboam grew up with daily reinforcement from the creative power of words that people would contend with him–and this in the face of his being raised by a single mom. No dad, no male back-up support system, with a name that guaranteed trouble from people.

When we look at his story, that’s what caused his fatal flaw–believing the people would contend with him and leave him with no dynasty. And that belief (reinforced daily when his name was spoken) launched him into a series of very bad choices which cost him and his family their lives, and his nation their land and inheritance–for hundreds of generations.

What's in a Name-

Names matter. They create or destroy.

With this in mind, I’d like to offer a strategy below, excerpted from Perfect Peace.

Names

What’s in a name?  A lot more than we think!  God honored Adam by allowing him to name the animals.  The Apostle Paul said in 2 Timothy 2:19, KJV:  “The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.  And, let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”  In eternity, we will receive a new name and so will the Lord Jesus Christ!

Iniquity attaches shame and defilement to names.  Righteousness attaches honor and blessing to names.  After high-ranking officer Benedict Arnold committed treason against General George Washington during the Revolutionary War in the United States, his name became synonymous with “traitor.”  People did not name their children after him.  On the other hand, the valor, courage, and leadership of General George Washington saw many people naming their children in honor of him—a great honor since he had no children of his own.  In the historical context, Caleb means “dog.”  Yet, Caleb, of Promised Land fame in the Bible, redefined the name through the integrity of his life to mean “faithful, courageous.”

The Jewish people understand the importance of names.  In fact, due to their intensive emphasis on names in ancient times, they believed that to know a name provided a level of control over that person.  This may be the reason God delayed revelation of His Names.  Jewish parents still give careful reflection and thought to the names they choose for their children.  To them, a name reflects the character and destiny of a person.  They are right; it does! (Naming the creature determines its (or his or her) features.)

It is a tremendous honor from God to have the opportunity to define your child’s life through their name.  In the child’s name, as well as the family surname which you pass on, he or she receives an inheritance.  Defilement can be passed on through names according to Isaiah 65:15:  “You will leave your name to My chosen ones as a curse; the Sovereign LORD will put you to death, but to His servants, He will give another name.”  On the other hand, we understand from Proverbs 22:1:  “A good name is more desirable than great riches.”

The power of life and death is in the tongue.  Since we are made in God’s image, we, too, speak things into existence through the sound of our words.  Think how many times over the course of our lives that our names are spoken.  Our character and destiny are spoken into being, and reinforced, each time someone says our name.

One woman who received a family surname as her first name experienced a significant internal shift (like a haze being removed) which affected several areas of her life over the next few years after her husband prayed to cleanse her name.  After praying through her name, another lady who had been named after a physical place, received a huge spiritual release.  It was similar to a knot being untied.

For your reference, here is a prayer some have employed to cleanse their names.  Feel free to adjust the language as the Holy Spirit guides you.

Name Cleansing/Releasing Prayer:

“Father, I lift up to You my first name __________________, middle name __________________, and last name ________________________.  I want to walk in righteousness.  I know that many who held these names did not walk with You in righteousness.  I confess and repent for myself and others who held my names for breaking all Your righteous decrees and teaching others to do the same.  Please forgive us and wipe the record clean.  Now, in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I ask that You would personally sever all assignments, curses, judgments, and unholy ties, triggers, deceptions, and destructions attached to these names.  I agree with You and sever these by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony.  Please cleanse my names with Your Blood and seal them with Your Spirit.  Please loose the righteous deposits that are in my names and cause me to walk with You so I can bring honor to Your Name and to mine.  Please release my name into the fullness of the blessing You intended.  I receive and bless the righteous meaning of my name, calling forth its fullness on earth as it is in heaven.  In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.”

(excerpt from Appendix C Names in Perfect Peace by Crystal Wade, copyright 2010)

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The Joy of Justice

For those who like backstories! Some years back, Arthur Burk’s friend was expecting a beloved grandchild. The Father led Arthur to invest in blessing that little girl with joy while she was in the womb. The blessings of Pure Joy started with that gift that he gave her! When she was born, she radiated joy—which was the “proof in the pudding” to Arthur that spirit investment works! Later, Arthur recorded the Joy blessings on tape—yes, tape! We discovered his blessings when we were expecting our second son, and began soaking his spirit in the Joy and Peace blessings. After he was born, we met Arthur, and shared with him that we’d diversified the blessings’ use by investing them in our students in youth ministry. That began the road to converting the Joy blessings into book format. Our hope and vision in it was that any new mother (or grandmother or anyone) could take the book and easily start using the spirit blessings together with the brief teaching and ending encouragements–and get results in their children (and themselves!) without having to earn a Ph.D. first! Below is an excerpt from Pure Joy—and as, the spirit is ageless and eternal, notice that we’ve changed the salutation from “Child” to “Beloved.”

Joy of Justice

Beloved, I call your spirit to attention in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Listen as I read the Word of God to you.  Job 37:23:  “In his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress.”

The book of Job describes a time in which bad things happened to a really good person.  He did not suffer loss due to sin.  Instead, Job suffered great loss in his family, finances, and health due to his virtuous nature.

During his whole life, Job chose to live faithfully and uprightly, honoring the Lord in his heart, in his family, and with his wealth.  The accuser hated Job.  He told God that Job would not serve God if he lost his possessions and health.  So, God allowed a time of testing in which the enemy was permitted to steal Job’s family, health, and assets.  Then, as is his nature, the enemy injures and then accuses God to us as the perpetrator.

Justice is an attribute of God.  He is righteousness.  He is love.  He is justice.  While He allows trials to purify and to train us, He does not end the story there.  I bless you with the joy of knowing and trusting the justice of God.  In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I bless you.  Amen.

Pure Joy

Beloved, I call your spirit to attention in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Listen as I read the Word of God to you.  Psalm 89:14-17:  “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.  Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD.  They rejoice in your name all day long; they exult in your righteousness.  For you are their glory and strength.”

After the time of testing, God’s justice restored to Job a double portion of all the enemy stole.  When we go through trials through no fault of our own, entrusting ourselves to God who judges righteously, then He is free to restore much more than what was stolen originally.

I bless you with the joy of knowing that your Father is the God of justice.  I bless you with encouragement from the Scripture which records Job’s life.  I bless you with joy to know that there is purpose in trials.  I bless you with the joy of understanding from Job’s life that there is a beginning, a purpose, and an end to each difficulty you may face.  In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I bless you.  Amen.

Beloved, I call your spirit to attention in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Listen as I read the Word of God to you.  Psalm 36:5-6:  “Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.  Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep.”

I bless you with the joy of freedom from fear of justice.  Justice is not simply handing out a sentence of jail time to a criminal.  Justice is the nature of God.  His justice deals judgment to the enemy for his stealing, killing, and destroying.  His justice releases judgment in favor of His beloved children.  In fact, He keeps better records than we do.  He knows the gifts, the callings, the blessings, the relationships, the health, and the resources which were stolen from you and your family.  When you respond to Him in trust and faith like Job, He is free to repay you and your family lines for what was stolen in much greater measure.  In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I bless you.  Amen.

(excerpt from “The Joy of Justice” in Pure Joy by Crystal Wade and Arthur Burk, copyright 2007)

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Peace as a Weapon

Beloved, I speak to your spirit in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Listen to the Word of God.  2 Corinthians 10:4:  “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”

I bless you with perfect peace when you face the roaring enemies of God.  I bless you to remember that you may feel the physical adrenaline rush of fear, but you do not have to agree with it, and let it stay!  When you encounter defilement at school, at work, in the store, or anywhere else, and it offends your spirit, I bless you to remember to choose peace.  I bless you with peace that flows like a river through your spirit, soul, and body, strengthening you as you walk through that dark place.  I bless you to remember to reject fear and to choose faith.  As you choose faith, the Lord Jesus Christ will impart His peace to you.

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During those times when you are moved in spirit to take a stand physically or verbally for what is right, I bless you with peace to stabilize your emotions as the enemy opens his mouth and roars at you.  I bless you with peace that Jesus had when He faced the enemy, both in person and through the religious leaders who did their best to frighten Him.  The Lord Jesus Christ overcame all enemies.  He left you His peace.  His peace in your heart, in times which would cause fear, is a sign to the enemy of his destruction.  It takes the wind out of his sails.  I bless you with this peace that strengthens your spirit, stabilizes your emotions, and gives life to your body, even in the face of enemies.  In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I bless you.  Amen.

(excerpt from “Peace as a Weapon” in Perfect Peace by Crystal Wade, copyright 2010)

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Abide

I don’t have a green thumb. I did once. . .but that was a painting accident and a different story (big smile). Over the years, I have attempted planting trees, flower beds and a few gardens–with some success.  My grandmother, on the other hand, could get anything to grow.

Recently, my boys and I purchased a single long stem rose for my wife. It wasn’t for any special occasion, just that we were thinking about her. We got home and put it in an old bottle for a vase and added water—rather unceremoniously. A few days later, however, we noticed new growth, a little shoot, coming from the stem right below one of the leaves. Wow! New growth coming from a dying stem?! Watching this little shoot grow a little each day, the biblical parallels just flooded in. (Flower with shoot pictured below.)

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What a sight it must have been to see Aaron’s staff bud in front of your very eyes! How a seed must die before it can live. . . . How God’s creation is designed to produce after its own kind–which speaks volumes of God’s generational view.

But then my thoughts locked in on the source of life. This little stem is valiant in its growth, but it has no roots. It’s living off the nutrients in the water stored in the main root. Although valiant in its efforts, there is no life flow because it has been cut off from its roots. Roots are the source for sustainable life.

One word comes to mind: Abide. What are we abiding (rooted) in? What things or people or activities are we striving in in order to receive life flow? Where is our source of life coming from? Are we drawing it from other people, places or things? (I always thought those “nouns” couldn’t be trusted!) Maybe we are drawing from past events, good or bad, as a battery stored up in our stems. But that is not abiding. We are to be abiding, or drawing life from God through Christ Jesus. We are the branches and He is the vine–our source for life.

I am not trying to offer a five step method to learn the proper approach to “abide” nor a three point sermon. I don’t even know the full meaning of the word. So I looked it up (yes, I know, grade school English class is haunting me again). Webster’s Dictionary gave a definition of abide as to “to wait for, to endure without yielding, tolerate, to remain stable or fixed in a state, to continue in a place.” Well, that’s a good definition, but it didn’t feel like too much of a life flow, rather stiff it seemed.

I am not minimizing the importance of good discipline, but discipline alone without God’s Spirit and His love is dead. The life of the word can be seen a little more in Strong’s #3306 meno meaning “to remain or dwell.”

That works better. To receive the very life of God by dwelling (living) and remaining connected to Him. Not apart from Him with a limited supply of life from trusting ourselves, religious systems, or whatever else we may try to draw life from.

The heart of what happened from that unexpected shoot from the flower was this—an invitation to “abide in Me” John 15:4.

How do we do this? Just come to the Father and ask Him to abide in you, and invite Him to cause His love to fill you, flow through you, and His Spirit to minister to you.

Here is my simple prayer:

Lord, I come to offer a simple prayer, please fill me and abide in me, help me to abide in You, as You abide in the Father.  I choose to rest in your presence, to breathe in your life and to exhale my own striving for life.

About the Author

Stephen WadeStephen Wade grew up in Texas, but has traveled throughout North America in his work in insurance.  Having served as a youth pastor, he holds a deep desire to see the next generations anchored in truth and love, walking in freedom.  Stephen sees the beauty in Creation and captures it on film; he also possesses an innate ability to perceive the hidden value in aged and broken furniture, machinery, etc., and under his careful attention, restoration is worked.

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