A Message of Living Hope

The Dove brings us a message of living hope

When you see an image of a dove with an olive leaf do you think of peace? I do.

I also view the dove with an olive leaf as a message of living hope.

Hope is “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.”

For Noah and his family, the dove with an olive leaf represented hope of the flood water receding, hope of getting off the ark and onto dry land. It was a message of hope for the physical salvation of Noah and his family.

Looking closely you will see it was also a message of hope for the spiritual salvation of this sin flooded world. It was a message of hope for you.

The Olive branch foreshadows the event at the foot of the Mount of Olives, also known as the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus prayed so fervently His sweat became like drops of blood as He submitted to the will of the Father.

Jesus took on the punishment of sin and death giving us access to the Holy Father by one Spirit. We know that Jesus Christ rose on the third day and is now seated at the right hand of the Father still praying for us who believe.

For those that have been drawn by the Father with cords of compassion and flooded by His grace, they can see their sin sick heart and need of a Savior. This grace beckons them to confess and repent turning from their sin to a life of righteousness in Christ. These are the Christians, the ones with a different kind of hope.

It is a living hope of having a ‘joyful confident expectation‘ of eternal salvation that comes by faith in The Lord Jesus Christ.

The Christian knows:

Maybe you’ve lived long enough in this sin flooded world to see we can not place our hope in education, a job, a program, our family, the government, in riches, or in yourself.

Maybe you have been tempted to feel hopeless and depressed asking yourself, ‘is that all there is?’ or ‘why am I here?’ or ‘why can’t I stop doing ____?’

I’ve been there. I write to testify there is only one place where you can place your hope where you will not be disappointed. It is in Jesus Christ alone.

Beloved, there is not much time left.

Remember the words of Jesus:

But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.” Matthew 24:36-41

Jesus also tells us we will be able to recognize when the Kingdom of God is near:

“…Behold the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they put forth leaves, you see it and know for yourselves that summer is no near. So you also, when you see these things happening, recognize that the kingdom of God is near.” Luke 21:29-31 (*Read Luke 21:5-31 to know what ‘these things’ are)

Beloved, just as the Bible says:

“…there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and wicked…” (Acts 24:14). We will live in eternal unhindered fellowship with our God our Father or eternally separated from Him.

Come into the safety of the Ark of Christ and your life will be hidden with Christ in God. May God draw you to Himself today, and may you watch and wait in confident expectation for triumphant return of our Beloved Messiah Jesus Christ!

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:3-9

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Striving Raven or Abiding Dove?

Jesus Christ is LORD!

Imagine entering into an ark, a vessel of safety for you and your family in which you built obediently with the wisdom and direction of God. You know God will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights just as He has said. But you don’t know how LONG you will have to WAIT for the surface of the ground to be dry and when God will allow you to ‘go out of the ark’.

There were two birds that were sent out to see if the flood water were abated. These birds can represent how our minds might behave when we wait for the ‘flood’ of our circumstances to subside: the Striving Raven or the Abiding Dove.

“Then it came about at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made; and he sent out the raven, and it flew here and there until the water was dried up from the earth.”     Genesis 8:6-7

Since the raven never returned to the safety of the ark, Noah sent out another bird, the dove:

“Then he sent out a dove from him, to see if the water was abated from the face of the land; but the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, so she returned to him into the ark, for the water was on the surface of all the earth. Then he put out his hand and took her, and brought her into the ark to himself.” Genesis 8:8-9

Do you see the difference between the raven and the dove? The raven is like our flesh, striving and flying, never resting in the ark of safety that has been given but being self sufficient to the point of exhaustion.

The dove represents abiding peace, life and rest which comes when we RETURN to the safety of the ark. There is rest for your soul in Jesus Christ!

Are you like the raven, flying ‘to and fro’ striving to fly above this sin flooded world in your own strength? Or are you like the dove returning to the place of abiding rest in Christ?

“For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace…” Romans 8:6

If you are a Christian, you have entered into an ark of safety–you have peace with God through Jesus Christ. No matter your circumstances, be still and don’t try to ‘save yourself’ but continue to place your trust and faith in Jesus Christ. May you rest in the finished work of Christ being an ark, a vessel for the Holy Spirit to rest in by continually abiding in Christ.

**This dove also brings a message of abiding hope…{this post is to be continued….}


Creative Cause: A Call to Help Orphans

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Create: (Hebrew: bara’)to shape, fashion, create (always with God as subject)

Creativity: the use of the imagination or original ideas, esp. in the production of an artistic work.

“In the beginning God CREATED…”

Only God can truly ‘create’. It was God that created the heavens and the earth when it was formless and void, and is God who makes us new creations in Christ Jesus:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

We are made in the image of God, and we have been entrusted with the talent of creativity. We write, we paint, we speak, we sing, we sew, we sculpt, we weld, we take photos, we make jewelry, videos, music…

There will be an accounting of how we used these ‘talents’. Did we invest them for God’s kingdom sharing them with others pointing them to the One who gave us this gift, or did we timidly bury them away?

Recently I discovered an opportunity to share the talent of art to help raise awareness and support for distressed orphans in Africa. Yes, the needs in the world are plentiful and it can lead us to a state of paralysis where we do nothing because we don’t know where to begin.

I am learning we begin on our knees–in a paralysis of prayer. God will show you how to be faithful where you are at, and with what He has entrusted you. If you are an ‘artist’ might you consider stewarding the talent of creativity God has entrusted you and invest it for His Kingdom through ‘Art for Orphans’?

Here’s how it works:

1. People donate their original artwork/photography.

2. People buy the artwork at afo.rethinkcreative.org.

3. We give all the proceeds to support orphans in Zambia.

More information for your prayerful consideration can be found at: http://afo.rethinkcreative.org/

May we give God the FIRST FRUITS of our creativity, believing He will do abundantly more than we can ask or imagine after all, it is according to His will:

Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” James 1:27


A Heart to Hear Your Calling and See Your Purpose

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You have a calling and purpose in this life.

God has prepared good works for you to walk out.

If you don’t find out what they are, you will spend your life going ‘to and fro’ looking for ‘your place.’ You will be restless, frustrated, angry, joyless and without divine peace. You will try to be like those around you to fit in, and doing the good works God has prepared for others to walk out.

You will never feel that you are in the right place, and you will be filled with insecurity. You may begin to look at the lives of others and compare yourself to them, and your heart will turn green with envy because they are so peaceful and joyful and content and: You. Are. Not.

You will not walk out your calling and purpose in this life which includes the prepared ‘good works’ from God unless you have:

But you say, “where is God, I can’t see Him, I can’t hear Him? He must not exist.”

It is our sin that separates us from God. Sin is all the bad things we do and say, and we try to hide from God in the darkness ashamed because we know we do not deserve His love…not after all thing things we have done. The wages of sin is death, and that is what you feel like: the walking dead, physically alive but spiritually dead.

"And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." 2 Corinthians 4:3-4

“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:3-4
*Image Credit: Full of Eyes

We have a pulse-less heart unable to know and love God, we have deaf ears and blinded eyes.

Beloved, it doesn’t have to be this way. God is real, and He has forGIVEN us, and helps us to walk out the ‘good works’ by giving us:

  • His Word (the Bible): to teach, reprove and train us in righteousness
  • Jesus Christ: it is by His blood we can draw near to God the Father
  • His Spirit: guiding us and sanctifying us in truth sealing us until the day of redemption

How do you have divine peace? How do you have joy? How do you have the security that gives you rest?

You must be born again of the Spirit of God.

Confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead and you will be saved. Come to Jesus Christ, his cleansing blood will heal you. His love has covered all your sins and they are no more.

His Spirit will wash you and renew you, and you will be born again: given a new heart to love God, a pure heart so that you can see God, and you will hear a voice tell you the way to walk. You will have daily COMMUN{ion} with God resulting in deep fellowship and security. Then you will see the ‘prepared good works’ God has for you to walk in and others will see the divine peace, joy that rests on you and you will fulfill your calling and purpose: To. Glorify. God.

God is calling you…to give you a new heart for you to hear and see Him, He does this every day…is today your day of salvation? You can continue to survive in this world or be revived

I’m praying for you dear reader…God is real and He loves you!

Bread to strengthen the Brethren: Ezekiel 36:24-28; Matthew 11:28-30; Ephesians 2:1-10; Psalm 16:11; Psalm 50:15


Paralysis of Prayer

Sunset in Arizona taken by my Mother-in-Love

Sunset in Arizona taken by my Mother-in-Love

Have you ever struggled with analysis paralysis?

It’s when you are overwhelmed by the number of choices available and instead of choosing just one, you are paralyzed and choose nothing?

That’s me.

Have you ever ‘worked on a project’ similar to others {like scrapbooking, writing a blog, writing a book} and instead of working on your own, you spend ‘your time’ giving encouraging remarks to their work and forget about your own…and you never finish?

That’s me.

So when I read a blog post on the eve of 2013 from Michele-Lyn writing about World Help I immediately wanted to get involved and give my ‘time, talent AND resources’ to educate the world about the awesome ministry they have been given, but instead I went into a paralysis of prayer for a whole year.

2013 marked a year of eyes wide open for me…I have looked at this world from afar and I see. I no longer look away, delete the ‘bad news’ or change the subject. I see the needs everywhere and my heart breaks, my knees bend, and my throat groans prayers on behalf of those I see.

I used to think not making a choice immediately was a problem, but I’m learning that PRAYER IS doing something–it’s a hidden ministry that calls on the only One who can change the hearts of people and circumstances: God. Prayer helps us to listen to the heart of God and to wait on His perfect will.

These prayers have tenderized my heart, and opened my eyes, ears, hands, and provided direction and confirmation on WHERE to invest the voice, writing, and time God has entrusted me.

Prayer was the first step.

2014 is the year of mobilization…I will use my voice and gift of writing to tell others about the faith and ministry of ‘World Help.’ The vision of World Help is: ‘Help for today, Hope for tomorrow‘ they are vessels of mercy and grace and hands and feet of Jesus Christ!

Their work approach:

“is focused on meeting people’s physical needs by providing humanitarian, medical, and educational assistance and ensuring access to clean water and people’s spiritual needs by providing Bibles and establishing churches in as many communities as possible.”

I have read the ‘World Help’ website and even read “Awake: Doing a World of good one person at a time” by Nicole Brewer-Yeatts the V.P., but nothing can compare to looking into the eyes of the hurting: Face.To. Face.

For this reason my husband and I are prayerfully waiting and planning a mission trip to go with World Help to Guatemala the week of my birthday: 7/13-7/19! Having my feet on the ground of Guatemala will sow words in my writer’s heart enabling me to share a harvest with you.

Will you consider supporting us by prayer? Let us see what God will do!

Thank you.


Daily Holy COMMUN{ion}

This is a picture when I was eight years old. The day I made my first holy communion but it wasn't until I was 33 that I really had my 'First' holy communion with God!

“for through Him {Jesus Christ} we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.” Ephesians 2:18

Do you prefer communication or communion with God?

Communication’ and ‘Communion’ have similar definitions. The first is the ‘imparting or exchanging of information or news’ and the latter is ‘the sharing of intimate thoughts and feelings…’

Communication can be cold and distant, while communion is intimate and relational and results in fellowship.

We were made to have unbroken communion, or fellowship with God.  Fellowship, or Koinōnia means: “fellowship, association, community, communion, joint participation, intercourse.”

Spending time with God in Holy Communion is a privilege we can experience because of what Jesus Christ has done (Ephesians 2:13; Ephesians 2:18; Ephesians 3:12).

For years I tried in my own strength to communicate with God; I prayed, I wrote to Him in journals, I even ‘completed’ my ‘first holy communion’. However, it was not until I was still and stopped talking, and started listening that I heard God for myself and had my first Holy COMMUNion with Him.

My religion turned into a relationship.

It was no longer a one way cold communication giving God my wish list of things I wanted, but became an intimate communion and sweet fellowship with Him. I wanted to know God. The more I sought God, the more I saw He is Holy and I am not.

God’s holiness shone so brightly I couldn’t help but see my own sin and undeserving heart to speak with the Creator Himself. But grace. God immersed me with His grace, and I understood what it meant to say, “Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” A phrase I memorized at eight to make my first holy communion.

In the Spring of 2009 my eyes were unveiled and I saw how the sacrifice and blood of Jesus Christ cleansed me from my past and current sins allowing me to draw near to God. I saw how the resurrection power of Jesus Christ gives me power to abstain from future sin.  That day I was taken out of darkness and put into God’s marvelous light, given a new heart and title of daughter–a privilege to call the Creator, My Abba…Father.

It was the blood of Jesus Christ that cleansed me and brought me near to God, and it is still the blood of Jesus that cleanses me and keeps me near God giving me the power to ‘master sin’.

No, I have not yet‘mastered’ sin perfectly but I know my role: I ‘practice’ righteousness and God ‘perfects. I am on a journey towards perfection called sanctification and my mind is catching up with how God sees me in Christ. I’m learning the faith, power and victory to master sin comes from God alone, He dispenses the seeds of faith, Bread of Life and anointing for each day, it is up to me whether I take it.

I have tasted the Bread of Life and seen for myself the Lord is good, faithful and righteous. I want this treasure of communion with God more than ANYTHING and I desire to be conformed into the image of Jesus Christ so that I may have unbroken fellowship with God the Father through His Holy Spirit to be used as a vessel of mercy and grace for His kingdom purposes.

I am learning we can’t have unbroken fellowship or commune with God if we are practicing sin; His Word says,

“If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear;” Psalm 66:18

He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion. How blessed is the man who fears always, but he who hardens his heart will fall until calamity.” Proverbs 28:13-14

I am learning to come to boldly to God’s throne of grace and begin the day in a God morning.  This is a discipline turning into devotion for me. With the many fatal distractions and noise in this world I am making it a practice to wake up early in humble prayer asking God to help me set my mind on the things above not on the things of this earth.  I am learning to cast all my anxiety on God believing He cares for me. I am also learning to put my agenda, expectations and ‘to do’ lists on the altar remembering my life is no longer my own. I am beginning to delight myself in my crucifixion allowing my death to precede His living breath.

This is something I must do every morning and I’m learning to do it more throughout the day. I welcome and cooperate with the Holy Spirit as He reveals and convicts me of any sin in my life helping me to confess and repent and walk by faith in His righteous ways. I am learning transparency is transforming and God heals what we reveal. God does not finger point or condemn me for my sin, but rather He is there to save me from my sin…even the future sin.

In seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness first I am learning about the things I do which grieves the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit convicts me of what I am doing (or not doing) I confess my sins, repent (turn from that behavior and turn to God).  I call this daily devotion: Retreat, Repent, Restore, Revive.

  • I Retreat from all physical and spiritual distractions to be alone with God with the intent to be still and listen
  • God’s Holiness reveals and gently convicts me of any current sin and I confess and He grants me the sorrow to Repent
  • God Restores me keeping me from condemnation encouraging me I am to walk by the Spirit He put in me
  • God Revives me according to His Words of life and His Spirit; I am made alive and I am giddy to have personally heard from my Abba—not through someone else’s devotion to God or book, or blog but from Him directly. This intimacy and love I have for Him gives me a desire to obey Him.

In this daily practice I have been experiencing revival by His Word and I have been receiving His times of refreshing that comes from his cleansing forgiveness and grace. I am learning to walk in the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit.

The more time I spend with God, the more I know Him. The more I know God the more I love and trust Him, that is how I am learning to abide in Him–I am learning to rest in His purposes, His ways and His timing.

Why am I sharing this stone of remembrance with you? It is as John said under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:

“…what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.” 1 John 1:3-4

I am praying for you beLoved reader:

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen” 2 Corinthians 13:14


Filled. {With What or Who?}

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{This is an entry from my prayer journal dated 7-23-13}
 
Abba, yesterday I experienced opportunities to bend and humble myself…I almost didn’t. Until I remembered what You are teaching me about revival. I need to die first—there must be a death before I receive Your breath. Your breath represents Your Spirit just as You breathed life into Adam Your breath still revives. Your breath is Your Spirit.
 
After writing this confession God gave me an illustration: The Balloon.
 A deflated balloon is like a humble and contrite vessel waiting to be filled: 

We must be emptied to be filled

The balloon can be blown up by human breath and be filled but once you tie it and let it go, it falls to the ground:

Blown up by human strength

Blown up by human breath = lacks God’s Holy Spirit Power

But filled up with helium the balloon floats up and goes where the wind takes it:
The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."

“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

 
Then God told me to look at the word ‘helium’, and this is what He showed me:
 
HeLivesInUandMe. {He Lives In U and Me}
 
God is holy and can not dwell in vessels that choose to continually practice sin and want to remain in darkness. However, Jesus came so that He could take away the sins of the world and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all unrighteousness and God can now dwell IN US!
I have been cleansed and know this to be true–He does live in me! I know my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit of God and I am not my own. I have been bought with a price, with the precious blood of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit in me bears witness with my spirit that I am a new creation and a reconciled daughter of the King! Christ lives in me! I know, that I know, that I know!
 
I have been like a ‘fallen’ balloon for many years. Full of myself, possessions and money and mainly my own hot air. Even after being a Christian there’s a temptation to do things in my own strength and fill myself up but I’m learning to resist the temptation to help myself, defend myself, do it myself and instead acknowledge my continual need for a Savior…to deflate myself, empty myself, so that God can breathe His life into me and I may float and rest in Him yielding to the power of His Holy Spirit and go where His Spirit leads me.
 
I will no longer be like balloon on the ground because I know Christ lives in me and His love edifies and lifts however, the danger for me is resisting the Holy Spirit, where He wants to lead me.  Sometimes I can be filled with His Spirit but unable to float up because I am weighed down by a basket of burdens and lies:
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A basket of burdens and lies prevents flight…

God has been showing me what obstructs me from floating and resting in Him and I am learning to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and to lay aside the sin and encumbrances that so easily entangles me. I am learning to empty my basket of burdens by casting all my cares on the One who loves me and to continually confess my sins so I can live in Freedom in Christ.  God reminds me: Undo the bands of the yoke, let the oppressed go free, break every yoke. So I cut loose those bonds and rest in peace in Him.
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“…Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.” Zechariah 4:6

 
 This is what God whispered to my heart:
 
Arcelia, I am looking for hearts to dwell in. Places where I can demonstrate My power to manifest My love.  I am looking for worshipers that will bow and humble themselves, calling out to Me for help, I want to rescue you. You have been given access to My heart through Jesus Christ to have abundant life and you are free to go in and out but the green pastures are only found in Me.  If you want this life abundant you must crucify your flesh.  Your death must precede My breath in you.  I can not fill what is already full.  Empty yourself and I will fill you up to My fullness and work within you to accomplish My will to bring My kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.  I will go beyond what you can imagine, for my thoughts are not your thoughts nor are My ways yours…they are higher.  When you feel your flesh rising, humble yourself and call out to Me for I will rescue you, and you will glorify My name.  Stay in My love my daughter, stay in My love.
 
*Dear reader,
God is real and He still speaks! This is just one of many secret pearls He has given me and I prayed on whether I should share it with you because it’s so special to me.  You must know I am no one special, just a hungering one for Him that reveres Him. God rewards those who diligently seek Him and shares mysteries of His kingdom. But we can NOT hear God if we are entrenched in sin, or filled with ourselves or the things of this world. Most importantly we cannot have a relationship with God without Jesus Christ. He still is the WAY the TRUTH and the LIFE. It is through Jesus Christ we have our access in one SPIRIT to the Father! Turn from your flesh and any disobedience and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and times of refreshing will come! God is drawing you to Himself, won’t you be reconciled to Him today? He is speaking right now to the hungry one that has tried everything but still feels empty. Won’t you come and be filled with Him today?
 
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6)
 
 
Prayer:
“…I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the innerman; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:14.21

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