It’s Time for #Restoration & #Release of God’s #Freedom #Healing & #Joy

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This is the passage Jesus quoted when He began his public ministry here on earth.  Of all the scriptures He could have chosen, He picked this one to announce His mission (Luke 4:14-21).
#Jesus is the #Healer of #Hearts #chainbreaker #freedommaker #releaserofcaptives #joygiver – This is the #goodnews of the #gospel #joytotheworld
God has sent me on a mission.
I have some great news for you.
God has sent me to RESTORE and RELEASE something.
And that something is YOU.
I AM here to give you back your HEART and set you FREE.
I AM furious at the Enemy who did this to you, and I will fight against him.
Let Me comfort you.
For, DEAR ONE, I will bestow beauty upon you
where you have known only devastation.
JOY, in the places of your deep sorrow.
And I will robe your heart in THANKFUL PRAISE
in exchange for your resignation and despair.*
Jesus made this announcement after being tempted in the wilderness for 40 days by the devil.  After we go through our own “wilderness,” resist all the temptations the enemy throws at us, keep pressing into God in prayer and worship, and receive His restoration and healing, we too can go out in the power of the Spirit to release the restoration, freedom, healing and joy of the Lord to others. (See Luke 4)
*Excerpt from John & Stasi Eldredge’s book, Captivating

In Memoriam Post #VeteransDay

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In memoriam of a #patrioticone post #VeteransDayWeekend
Yesterday, Sunday, November 13th, was my brother’s birthday.  He would have been 53 years old.  I always thought it was fitting his birthday was so close to Veteran’s Day, since he was such a patriotic one.  Donald Lee “Donnie” Deason was born on November 13, 1963.  He proudly served in the Air Force with honors; the disappointment of his passionate and patriotic heart was openly displayed when his Birmingham based Air National Guard squadron did not get the opportunity to serve in Operation Desert Storm.  However, this patriotic brother did not die serving on the battlefield for our country; rather, he lost a battle with the enemy who hates all men, whose evil spirit causes the hearts of men to hate and then carry out acts of hatred to the ultimate.  On June 13, 1993, his life was brutally and unjustly taken.  At the age of 30, my bother gained the victory prize of Heaven’s reward. Because of my brother’s personal faith in the saving grace of Jesus Christ, I know for certain he is more alive than ever.
To read more regarding my brother’s death, click on the page link, “A Story for His Glory” on the homepage of this blog.
While serving on the prayer team yesterday at Church of the Highlands, I learned that another praying couple also knew Donnie; the husband was actually one of my brother’s many friends.  After our time of praying for the services and for others, this beautiful couple, along with two others serving on our prayer team, laid their hands on me and prayed for God to completely heal any other areas of my broken heart, as well as for God to complete the process of turning what was meant for evil for God’s purpose and glory.*
Time does not heal us, but God is our Healer.
God is a Redeemer, Restorer, and the Lord our Healer. God’s mighty Spirit has brought so much comfort, strength, healing and peace to me over these past 22 years.
In this time of restoration, how beautiful is the faithfulness of God on this day of my brother’s birthday to lavish upon me more of His healing, comfort, and peace.  I am thankful that I was where God has led me to be positioned to receive more of the abundant gifts of God’s love, compassion, and grace through His church, the body of Christ (the hands and feet of Jesus).  
Comfort, healing, peace, and restoration is what God desires to offer all who are hurting, broken, and wounded, and who have suffered great loss in this life.  
If you aren’t connected to the body of Christ, get connected.  That’s where God does His work.  Yes, He works through His imperfect yet chosen vessels of His amazing grace and love and power – the church.
Today, just like Joseph, I can declare with certainty that what the enemy meant to destroy me with has been used to bring me to a place of LIFE abundantly in Jesus, and will continue to be used to bring others to LIFE too.* This evil that was brought into my life not only turned my mourning into dancing (Psalm 30:11), but also served as a catalyst birthing a more desperate need of God that resulted in a greater love of my Savior and His Word, and a much deeper journey in worship and prayer above everything else in my life.  
Radical need of God brings radical praise and worship of God.
No, I didn’t visit your graveside on your birthday, but my love and remembrance of you, my precious brother, are forever engraved on my heart.  May this memoriam in your honor, Donnie, be used to awaken and remind others of this precious gift of LIFE we have been given.  May it also stir up a desire in others to live forever in eternity with Our Mighty Warrior King and Savior God in the life that is to come.  I look forward to seeing your beautiful smile when I arrive at the final destination.
*Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now—life for many people. Genesis 50:20 (The Message) Just like Joseph, many of our own “pits” of despair, loss, suffering, and even feeling abandoned by God at times, are strategically wielded against us by the enemy to destroy us emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and even physically.  Still, the promise of Romans 8:28 holds true for those who belong to God:
That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good (The Message).  
Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death where is your sting? (1 Corinthians 15:54-55)
The thief comes only to steal, kill, and to destroy, but I have come that you might have life and life abundantly – Jesus.  (John 10:10)
To live is to live for Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)
So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:
They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. (Romans 8:31-39 The Message)

If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”(Romans 10:9-11)

For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

A Prayer for America

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#aprayerforAmerica
Dear Lord, forgive us for our pride and for doing what we think is right in our own eyes.  We humble ourselves in repentance before You asking for Your forgiveness on behalf of ourselves, our families, and our nation.  We ask You to turn the hearts, minds, and spirits of Your people to You – to follow You and Your ways, Your Word and Your Truth.  We ask for Your mercy, Lord.  We thank You for Your mercy and forgiveness and for healing and bringing restoration to our land.  We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ – the name that is above every other name.  Amen. 
#Godovergovernment #repent and #prayforAmerica #weneedhealing and #weneedrestoration
Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in You alone. Psalm 33:22 #Godisouronlyhope #Yourloveneverfails #Godislove
Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.  Proverbs 11:2
God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. James 4:6
Then if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

Small Glory Places

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If you’re claiming His name, then give Him the fame.  All glory to you Lord our God and Maker. Make His name glorious. Praise His glorious name forever!  Let the whole earth be filled with His glory.  Amen and Amen! Psalm 72:19

It’s not the size of the church building that reveals God’s glory, but instead God’s glory is revealed through the hearts of those created in His image.  We, His glorious sons and daughters, who are His church, have been created in God’s image to bring glory to His name.  The latin term “Soli Deo gloria” fits – all glory to God alone!

Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name goes all the glory for Your unfailing love and faithfulness. Psalm 115:1

God’s glory was birthed in a small, obscure place.  Jesus, the Savior of the world, and the glorious image of God our Heavenly Father, was born in a barn on the back side of a desert (Luke 2:11-14; John 1:14). To this day, God still births His glory in small, obscure and not necessarily the most “glorious” places.  His glory is birthed within surrendered human hearts – yes, as imperfect and broken as we are.  His glory is being released in small places throughout the earth to this day through our gifts, our deeds of service, and our works.  As God imparts His restoration to us, we are called to play a part in the restoration of the glory of His name throughout the earth.

Arise and shine, My glorious ones.  Do you hear The Father’s calling?  Surrender all of your heart, mind, body, soul and spirit to Him.  You were created for His glory son and daughter of The Most High God.  You are His glorious ones in the earth.

Arise, my people! Let your light shine for all the nations to see! For the glory of the Lord is streaming from you. Darkness as black as night shall cover all the peoples of the earth, but the glory of the Lord will shine from you.  Isaiah 60:1-2 (The Living Bible)

…I, the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, have made you glorious.  Isaiah 55:5 

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

 

God desires His glory to be birthed first within our hearts – the hidden place that others cannot see.  Often, the environments or circumstances we find ourselves in may more closely resemble the dirtiness of a hay-filled barn, and, frequently, the thoughts, attitudes, and desires of our hearts and the behaviors that flow from within are a reflection of everything opposite of God’s glory.  Yet, God desires to make our hearts His home – the dwelling place of His Spirit, and God has chosen us as vessels of His glory.  

For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6

 

The sun, the moon, the stars, the trees, the mountains and the oceans shout of the glory of God.  His majestic and beautifully creative nature are clearly visible to all.  The heavens declare the glory of God and the whole earth is full of His glory! (Psalm 19:1; Isaiah 6:3)  Likewise, every man, every woman, every child, every individual – all who are a part of the human race – are a reflection of God’s magnificent and creative glory, regardless of the state of our heart. However, releasing more of God’s glory through our attitudes and behaviors doesn’t just occur because we have been created in The Maker’s glorious image. This is a process. God doesn’t force anything on us.  Our free will allows us to choose.  We must choose to submit to The Spirit’s process of being transformed from glory to glory.  

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.                        2 Corinthians 3:18

What are you beholding today – God’s glory or the not so glorious things of this world?  As we behold the Lord our God through His Word and in worship, the more we become transformed into His image.  Like the old hymn says, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”

 

Read on for more…including questions to ponder and a prayer to pray…

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