Psalm 60

He Will Tread Down Our Foes

To the choirmaster: according to Shushan Eduth. A Miktam of David; for instruction; when he strove with Aram-naharaim and with Aram-zobah, and when Joab on his return struck down twelve thousand of Edom in the Valley of Salt.

O God, you have rejected us, broken our defenses;
    you have been angry; oh, restore us.
 You have made the land to quake; you have torn it open;
    repair its breaches, for it totters.
 You have made your people see hard things;
    you have given us wine to drink that made us stagger.

You have set up a banner for those who fear you,
    that they may flee to it from the bow.  Selah
That your beloved ones may be delivered,
    give salvation by your right hand and answer us!

God has spoken in his holiness:
    “With exultation I will divide up Shechem
    and portion out the Vale of Succoth. Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine;
    Ephraim is my helmet;
    Judah is my scepter.
Moab is my washbasin;
    upon Edom I cast my shoe;
    over Philistia I shout in triumph.”

Who will bring me to the fortified city?
    Who will lead me to Edom?
Have you not rejected us, O God?
    You do not go forth, O God, with our armies.
Oh, grant us help against the foe,
    for vain is the salvation of man!
With God we shall do valiantly;
    it is he who will tread down our foes.

Years ago I used to wonder how to relate to the struggles of King David, but in these times they are making much more sense. There is nothing like the Psalms when we cannot find the appropriate words to pray. David was hated for the Lord's sake because he was anointed for His purposes. Beloved, we are anointed for His purposes as well.

Along with our personal struggles, lately we are up against larger foes invading our culture such as abortion, human trafficking, gender confusion, violent gangs, occultic influence and other evils of socialism and globalism which threaten to overcome us and nullify our strength. If you are in a place where you are beginning to realize your role at such a time as this, then this Psalm is for you.

Prayer and the Word are our greatest weapons (The WHOLE Armour of God), so gear up for battle, beloved ones. Yeshua also reminds us, "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." ~Matthew 5:10

For those of you who are called to be in prayer and be awake about current world events, I have a brother and sister in the Lord who do some important and intense research that they share two to three times per week along with their Psalm project. There is so much information that is highly censored that the main stream media does not share because they are part of the problem.

Good Dog and Buttercup, as well as other good people, share useful links to articles and videos so that you can do your own research, which is encouraged as it should be. Just because there is also false information floating around the internet does not mean it is all false. As believers in Christ we have the Holy Spirit to help us put the correct puzzle pieces together so we do not have to rely only on controlled propagandic (my opinion) news media. If you just want to see the Psalm, it begins at 7:44 and ends around 13:53 on this video below:

This link is from July 29 2019: Good Dog - QBits - TIME MACHINE - Something BIG Is Coming

How to Thrive Through the Struggle: Come to the Well.

I know that there are many of you reading this from all over the world, and that our lifestyles and customs can be very different. I speak for myself and, I’m sure, for my sweet friend Jeanette and our entire Speak Comfort team when I say that as we think about you, when we pray for you, and while Jeanette and I write to you – even though we haven’t met yet face to face - we hold you in our hearts as one family in Christ, from every tribe, and nation and tongue (Revelation 5:9; 14:9).
Although the circumstances and places that we occupy are different, we are one Body, having partaken of the same Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13), and our Father in heaven sees us as the Body of Christ, composed of many members, each with a divine calling and purpose.
As Jeanette mentioned in her wonderful post, “Shalom In The Midst Of Chaos”, often times she and I will write articles for you that miraculously wind up being on the same topic, not because we discuss it ahead of time but because we are writing “in the same Spirit.”
I’ll give you a little peek behind the screen and confess that sometimes I beat myself up a little bit because I don’t post as often as I imagine you would like me to, or even as often as I want to, but neither Jeanette nor I are in charge of how often we post, not because we are so busy (even though we totally are!) but because we’re not in charge of this process, Jesus is!
And so when I sit down to write as I’m doing now, it’s after the Holy Spirit has put me through his paces for a week or so, to get me ready to post what he wants to say to you. For example, I put together the image for this post on July 19, and I’m writing the content for the article today, July 29.
In between I’ve been focusing on you, praying for you, talking with the Holy Spirit, and anticipating the moment when my schedule would open up, the light would shine through, the angels would sing and the Holy Spirit would say – “You’re ready! You’re set! Now GO!” – and I would sit down and start typing! Hallelujah!
And before I do, I always begin by asking the Holy Spirit, “Lord, what do you want to say to your readers? What do you want them to know?” because this blog is for each one of you, to bring you the love of Christ, personally. It’s not about me, it’s about him and you.
 Two thousand years ago, Jesus sent out his disciples to walk out his mission for them using the most advanced technology of their time, which was the Roman roads and the shipping lanes. Today, we let our fingers do the walking via the most advanced technology of our day – the www. of the WorldWideWeb – because God never lets any opportunity to reach his beloved ones go to waste, and he will use every tool available in every age to get his love to you.
Ten days ago, when I put together the image for this post, I got it that the “flash” of the firework is pretty cool, and it’s July in the US, when we celebrate our Independence Day – but I wondered, why does the Holy Spirit want me to use the words that connect us with social media? Is it about news? Yes. But it’s about more than that.
In this world today we are becoming more and more “pseudo-connected” to each other through information that flashes around the world in less than a second. But it seems that the faster information travels between us the less connected we become, and the more time technology seems to give us, the less time we actually have to just stop and hear ourselves think.
So after saying all that, here’s what the Lord wants you to know…As the Body of Christ, we are all connected through his Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the original “internet”, where God’s Spirit plugs in to our individual spirits, and brings us together as one family and one body.
Listen to how the Message translation describes this connection to God and each other through the Holy Spirit:
 “You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness” (Ephesians 4:4-6).
How about that! God says that everything that he calls us to do is permeated with oneness. Oneness with him, and with each other, through his Holy Spirit.
And now, here’s the Newsflash! Where the pseudo-connectedness of social media can make us feel more isolated the more connected we seem to become, the gift of our spiritual connectedness that we receive through the Holy Spirit is designed by our Creator to connect us with the limitless source of his guidance, peace, power and protection – and to connect us with each other, as we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
If you’re anything like me, you never go anywhere without your phone. And I mean, in the bathroom, on the bedside table, in the car, the office, the kitchen, the yard – it’s like an appendage!
But even so that connection never satisfies. In fact, it tends to create cravings that constantly need to be filled, and re-filled, and filled again and again. (I’m looking at you, Instagram, Amazon, Candy Crush!) And seriously, if we are dealing with an artificial craving that constantly needs to be re-filled, then isn’t that something draining us of precious energy?
This is where the good news comes in. Beloveds, God is good. All the time. And he wants to fill us, and re-fill us, with his goodness. God wants to pour his goodness into us, constantly. He wants us to taste and see that he is good (Psalm 34:8), and he wants us to develop a craving for the bounty that is waiting for us at his table. God does not drain us dry – he fills us full (Psalm 23).
Like the woman wanting to fill her empty vessel in John chapter 4, Jesus is waiting to meet us at the well, to fill us with Living Water, so that we never become thirsty for connectedness again. That lady had been looking for love in all the wrong places, until she met Love, Himself. And guess what, she didn’t have to earn it, deserve it and she wasn’t even expecting it, but when the time was right, Love came to find her.
And right now, wherever you are, the time is right, and Love, Himself, is waiting for you.
Set aside your empty vessel and receive what the Holy Spirit wants to pour into you. Jesus is closer than your phone, and he is ringing the bell of your heart. God is good. We can trust him. And as Jesus said to our sister at the well:
“…’Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life’” (John 4:13-14 MSG).

Shalom In The Midst Of Chaos

It's a crazy upside down world out there, and it will get worse. Chaos and confusion are rampant as the enemy, Satan, pursues and uses the world to beat us down and cause us to give up.

There is a beast, it is the world (political, economic, religious) system, "deep state" if you will, that seeks a world peace without God and His ways. It deceives, but can only truly use tyranny and death to rule and we have an ongoing battle with it. It is not a "conspiracy theory" as some might call it. It is Biblical.

We all desire peace on earth and good will toward men and we strive for it as we are commanded to (Hebrews 12:14). We also know that as followers of Yeshua we are not to compromise with the world, yet that non-compromise will cause conflict and the world will hate us for not being like them (John 15:18). We are to continually stand firm in the faith (1 Corinthians 16:13) and oppose and expose evil (Matthew 21:12-13, Acts 19:13-16).

This is not a contradiction, but a declaration of truth, that we can love without compromising our faith and we can share the truth of the Gospel even when the world calls it "hate" speech (and they do). Speak truth in love for the benefit of others (Ephesians 4).

Jesus reminds us that we will not have true everlasting peace in the world until He returns (Revelation 21:4, Matthew 24:6-7). But for believers. His Shalom in us, transcends all understanding and guards out hearts and minds in Him (Philippians 4:7).

So often I search for words to say, and I discover that God has already said it so much better. It is funny how Suzanne and I are always on the same subject without consulting one another. That's the Holy Spirit, Folks. Her article, How To Thrive Through The Struggle: Hope In God is right on target also. Oh, I love that sweet sister.

John 14

The Way, the Truth, and the Life

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”

Jesus said to him, “I Am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

The Father Revealed

“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”

Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”

Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.

The Answered Prayer

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

Jesus Promises Another Helper

“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray to the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

Indwelling of the Father and the Son

“A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.

The Gift of His Peace

“These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.

“And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.

Powerful worship in following link:

Waymaker by Sinach

Man on the Moon: 1969 – 2019

Did you know that before Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon fifty years ago, the Apollo 11 astronauts celebrated holy communion in space?
For more details on how this wonderful event took place, as well as how the world gathered together in one accord to pray for the safety of the crew of Apollo 13 and how the presence of God continued to touch the lives of the astronauts who journeyed into the vastness beyond earth's atmosphere, we hope you enjoy Paul Strand’s article “'Let There Be Light': How God Kept Appearing Over and Over During America's Missions to the Moon” at:
https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2019/july/let-there-be-light-how-god-kept-appearing-over-and-over-during-americas-missions-to-the-moon
God bless you and all the courageous men and women who inspire us by going where no one has gone before.

How to Thrive Through the Struggle: Hope in God.

Does anybody else out there feel like life’s struggles have exploded off the charts recently? Little things, big things, medium things, relationship things, money things, health things, work things, all kinds of things - shaking, breaking, turning upside down and inside out - all-of-a-sudden and when you least expect it? Lord have mercy! Help us, Jesus!
What in the world is going on? Well, Beloved Friends, God only knows for sure, but here’s an end-times prophecy = It’s probably going to get worse before it gets better (See the book of Revelation, chapters 5 – 20), because God’s ultimate plan is to make all things new and set all things right. But before he can do that, he’s going to have to stir some things up to get all the cobwebs out of the corners and out from under all the sofas and flush out what needs to be cleaned up and cleared away. There’s a mighty restoration project going on behind the scenes, and it’s kicking up a lot of dust.
Paul saw this coming when he wrote in Hebrews 12:26-27, “When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: ‘Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.’ This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain” (NLT).
Now hang on, nobody panic. It’s all going to be ok for everyone who is in Christ Jesus. And for everyone who’s not here yet, come on in and come as you are, because there is plenty of room in the kingdom of God for everyone who accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The point of needing a savior is that nobody but God is perfect. He will make a way for you. Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28 ESV). God is good. We can trust him.
We who are in Christ have hope and help in unstable times. “The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you” (Psalm 9:9-10 NIV).
And I love how the Message translation puts it: “God’s a safe-house for the battered, a sanctuary during bad times. The moment you arrive, you relax; you’re never sorry you knocked.”
And you’re never sorry that you opened the door of your heart when Jesus knocks: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20 ESV).
The world is coming apart at the seams because it is like an old garment, and God is making a way to finally make all things new (Mark 2:21; Revelation 21:3-5). But this restoration project takes time, and for a little while we are still in the midst of the shaking and sometimes we feel battered by everything that’s happening in the world today. Because let’s be real, it seems out of control, it’s depressing, it’s annoying, it can be dangerous and scary, and it just feels too darn hard to deal with. (Can I get a witness?)
But listen Beloveds, God knew it would be this way, and that it would feel like this. This is why he sent his Son, and why Jesus sent his Holy Spirit to abide with us forever. We are not alone. And God never intended for us to face the struggles of life alone, because in Christ, God has given us hope.
Our Comforter, the Holy Spirit, instructed the prophet Jeremiah to write this for us: “I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope” (Jeremiah 29:11 GW).
God didn’t bring us this far to only bring us this far. God has already made a plan to give us a future filled with hope. And that future doesn’t stop at the borders of this life but extends through the veil into an eternity filled with peace and joy in his presence. God is upholding us with his powerful right hand, and he intends to see to it that he receives all the glory due his name by demonstrating his love for his children, the beauty of his grace and the purity of his righteousness. Even when we stumble, he will not let us fall, and even when we are afraid, he never lets go of our hands to lead us out of the darkness and into his glorious light. And Beloved Ones, you can believe it, and you can rest in it, because God promised it and he cannot lie.
As Paul wrote to the Hebrews that God confirmed by an oath that cannot be broken, to we who are the heirs of the promise, “…so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf…” (Hebrews 6:18-20 ESV), as our Savior, High Priest and Advocate.
So Beloveds, even when the world is falling apart, even when it’s difficult and everything seems crazy, and especially when it’s so hard that we feel like giving up – let not your hearts be troubled, because God has got this. And not only has God got this, but God has got you. And me. And each one of us, who have been redeemed by the precious Blood of Jesus Christ, who is the most powerful being in the universe. God is Almighty, the creator of heaven and earth. We can trust God and confidently place our hope in him in these troubled times. He will lead us through every struggle and into his promise of a future filled with the joyful realization of good things to come.

Psalm 30

Mourning To Dancing

A psalm and song at the dedication of the house of David.

I will exalt You Lord; for you have lifted me up and have not made my foes rejoice over me.

Lord my God, I cried to You and You have healed me.

Lord, You have brought up my life from the grave. You have kept me alive, so I would not go down to the pit.

Sing to the Lord, O you Godly ones of His and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness.

For His anger lasts but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may endure for a night, but a ringing cry of joyful praise comes in the morning.

And in my prosperity I said I shall never be moved.

Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong. You hid Your face and I was troubled.

I cried to You Lord, and to the Lord I made supplication.

What profit is there in my blood when I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your truth?

Listen, Lord! Be gracious to me! Lord, be my helper.

For me, You have turned my mourning into dancing. You have put off my sackcloth and girded me with gladness.

To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent, Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

This Psalm is special to me. My late husband, who passed from a brain tumor, treasured this Psalm while he was ill and Lord, my God, I cried to you and you have healed me, (verse 2/3) is on his gravestone. If you know the Lord, then that is not strange to you.

My precious Love went to be with the Lord at around 6am on May 3, 2015 just five days before his 65th birthday. The Lord woke everyone up and allowed him to wait until he was fully surrounded by family and friends. About a month after he passed, I saw him in a dream. He was sitting up on a bed in a very bright room dressed in white. He was young and healthy and I understood that he was in conversation with Yeshua. This brief glimpse was a sweet gift to me from the Lord.

Since then my mourning has turned into dancing (Verse 11/12a). I have remarried and although I still miss him every day as I always will, I am girded with gladness (verse 11/12b) and Lord, my God, I will give thanks to You forever (verse 12/13).

Note: Messianic versions, such as One New Man, Tree Of Life, and Complete Jewish Bible have " A psalm, a song for the dedication of the Temple, of David." as verse 1, so verse numbers are different than KJV, ESV, NIV, etc. I enjoy seeing several versions side by side. One New Man version (as above) is not listed here, but many versions are. Bible Gateway

I was blessed to be able to participate in this psalm project and read aloud. This is my voice in this Psalm 30 video created by Good Dog and Buttercup. Psalm 30: Thanksgiving for Deliverance from Death

GoodDog is a faithful friend of man and God, who likes to dig up information, finding just the right prize that satisfies our master's call, to also answer when called - and to tirelessly pursue the enemies of man. And when these enemies are finally cornered with truth, hold them at bay until lawful justice can be employed.  Who Is Good Dog?

 

Psalm 23

The Lord Is My Shepherd

A Psalm of David

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside still waters.

He restores my soul.

He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil, for you are with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,

And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Recommended Reading

Excerpts from A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23 by W. Phillip Keller:

"I am completely satisfied with His management of my life. Why? Because He is the sheepman to whom no trouble is too great as He cares for His flock. He is the rancher who is outstanding because of His fondness for sheep---Who loves them for their own sake as well as His personal pleasure in them. He will, if necessary, be on the job twenty four hours a day to see that they are properly provided for in every detail. Above all, He is very jealous of His name and high reputation as 'The Good shepherd.'" ~Chapter Two: I Shall Not Be In Want

"...it is no mere whim on God's part to call us sheep. Our behavior patterns and life habits are so much like that of sheep it is well nigh embarrassing." ~Chapter 6: He Guides Me In Paths Of Righteousness For His Name's Sake

"Only the strictest attention to the behavior of the sheep by the shepherd can forestall the difficulties of 'fly time.' At the very first sign of flies among the flock he will apply an antidote to their heads.......What an incredible transformation this would make among the sheep. Once the oil had been applied to the sheep's head, there was an immediate change in behavior. Gone was the aggravation, gone the frenzy, gone the irritability and the restlessness. Instead, the sheep would start to feed quietly again, then soon lie down in peaceful contentment." ~Chapter 10: You Anoint My Head With Oil

Order book: A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23 by Phillip W. Keller

Audiobook Chapter 1 on YouTube: A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23 by Phillip W. Keller

A beautiful rendering of Psalm 23 in English, Swahili and Luo, by Good Dog and Buttercup:

Psalm 23 ~ The Lord Is My Shepherd

And sung in Hebrew:

MIQEDEM - Psalm 23 in Hebrew

Who is the Holy Spirit? – Part Eight: The Baptism of the Holy Spirit, Your Prayer Language

“Paul in Ephesus
And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ And they said, ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’  And he said, ‘Into what then were you baptized?’ They said, ‘Into John's baptism.’  And Paul said, ‘John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.’  On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. There were about twelve men in all” (Acts 19:1-7 ESV).
This story recounts that the twelve believers accepted salvation, were baptized in water and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit all at the same time. These three events: salvation, water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, don’t always happen together, and in fact, sometimes quite a long time can pass between them. As with salvation, how and when a person is ready to declare their faith in Christ through water baptism or receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit and their prayer language, is as unique to each individual as their heartbeat or their fingerprints. God’s timing is always perfect for each of us. He never hurries and he never hesitates.
In Romans chapter 10, Paul writes that righteousness that is based on faith declares that “…The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe with your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (v. 6-9 ESV).
Paul is saying that speaking, proclaiming and confessing are all specific elements of faith and salvation. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we confess it by praying the prayer of salvation. When we participate in water baptism, the pastor or minister who is assisting us will ask whether we have accepted salvation through the blood of Christ, and if we agree to be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – to which we must answer an affirmative “Yes!” in order for the baptism to take place – otherwise it wouldn’t be a baptism, it would just be going for a swim. To proclaim our faith, we have to actually say something!
Paul declared that “Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, ‘I believed and so I spoke,’ we also believe and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence” (2 Corinthians 4:13-14). Paul spoke what he believed, and he was a man who walked his talk!
We confess Christ with our mouths to be saved, we agree out loud to be baptized in his name, and when we receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we speak then, too, but it’s a little different because we won’t be speaking in our native language, but in our prayer language – the language of the Spirit. This language is described in scripture as “speaking in tongues.”
When we first receive salvation, we accept Jesus as our Lord as well as our Savior. We invite him to come into our hearts, and we give him dominion over our lives. We surrender ourselves into his keeping, for eternity. We do this because we realize that we can trust him, because he came and died in our place to accept the punishment for our sins. That, in a nutshell, is the gospel.
When we are baptized in water, we surrender again, but this time, we surrender to whomever is about to dunk us into the river, the creek, or the font.  We surrender to our minister, who represents our church family. Baptism washes away pride as it washes away the past. And just to put it into perspective, please remember that Jesus had to surrender to John the Baptist in order to be baptized in the Jordan River. And even for John, it was a moment of surrender. (See Matthew chapter 3.) We let go and let the river flow.
When we are baptized into the Holy Spirit, we surrender a third time, but this time it is to demonstrate that we so trust in the Spirit of God that we allow him to speak through us, in a language that we do not understand.
Did you know that the author of the book of James was also Jesus’ half-brother? That would be a wonderful topic to explore, but for now, let’s look at what he famously wrote about taming the tongue. He said that all of us stumble in many ways, and only a perfect man or woman is able to control every aspect of themselves.
James wrote that although we can bridle the strength of horses, and steer huge ships with just a small rudder, none of us has the wherewithal to control the power of the tongue, which he says is like a wildfire set loose in a dry forest, and full of deadly poison. (See James chapter 3.) We all know what he means because we’ve all felt the sting of unkind words which can be very painful, leaving lasting scars for the giver and receiver. Solomon wrote that life and death are in the power of our tongues (Proverbs 18:21). With our words we can either build up or tear down.
Therefore we can see that the one, single part of the human body that it is impossible for we humans to control – our tongues, as James said – would be the one part of our selves that God would ask us to surrender for his use and for his glory through the work of his Holy Spirit.
This is why the evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues. It is allowing God to control what it is impossible for us to control. Complete surrender.
I assure you, as Paul assured the church at Corinth, that God intends for everything, including speaking in our prayer language, to be done decently and in order, and in 1 Corinthians 14, Paul makes a distinction between speaking in tongues in our personal prayer time and speaking in the corporate setting of the church.
Remember that water baptism after salvation? That was where we also surrendered to our pastor. In salvation, we acknowledge Jesus’ headship over us, in baptism we acknowledge our pastor’s stewardship over us, and at the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we acknowledge the Spirit’s guidance and protection over us. All things God gives us for our benefit are used decently and in order, for his glory, through our surrender to his higher authority.
Paul stated that he prays in tongues with his spirit, he sings in the spirit and gives God praise in the spirit (14:15). He said to the congregation, “I thank God that I speak in tongues more than any of you” (14:18), which meant that he spent much more time praying in tongues in private than he did in public. When you read chapter 14, you can make that distinction too. Paul wasn’t speaking against the gift of tongues, he was speaking against using the gifts of the Spirit to show off in the church.
Every person’s relationship with the Holy Spirit is unique, and the gift of a spiritual prayer language that he gives each one of us is unique also. I have a lovely and precious friend who is an opera singer, who sings harmonies straight from heaven in the Spirit. Our wonderful pastor speaks over us in the Spirit when we come to the altar for prayer.  I’ve known mighty evangelists whose voices boomed out prophecies in the Spirit that were then translated for the congregation, and I’ve heard the Holy Spirit speak in almost silent whispers to comfort someone’s soul that were so private that only God could understand.
It is God, our God, who said:
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
    and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
(Isaiah 55:10-11 ESV)
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a gift that God longs to give each of us. Our part is to simply pray and ask God to immerse us in his Spirit and help us to surrender to receive our prayer language. Sometimes we are sufficiently ready to receive this gift instantly, and sometimes God takes some time to prepare us to receive more of himself through his Spirit. Either way is perfect, and when we ask God for the gift of his Spirit, he will most definitely answer when the time is right, so just keep praying and praising in faith and you will be baptized.
After all, Jesus promised, “So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him” (Luke 11:13 NLT).

Building A House: Journal Part 7

Wow! The flower above is Bee Balm which grows like a weed, but every time I see it bloom, I think of this verse, because it is just so spectacular. And then I wondered what to say along with this post, so I looked up the rest of the passage and, Lo and Behold, Yeshua said it all, since I sometimes get anxious about completing this project. But He is faithful.

So I Say to you, do not worry about your life--what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Isn't life more than food and the body more than clothing (and shelter)?

Look at the birds of the air. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns; yet your Father in heaven feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

And why do you worry about clothing (and shelter)? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They neither toil nor spin.

Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.

Now if in this way God clothes the grass---which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow--- will He not much more clothe (and shelter) you, O you of little faith?

Therefore do not worry saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear' (or Where will we live)? For the pagans eagerly pursue all of these things; yet your Father in heaven knows that you need all these.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  ~Matthew 6:25-34

Have a Happy and Blessed Fourth of July!!!

Again, a special thanks and Shalom Shalom to Good Dog and Buttercup for their service to Adonai, including their beautiful Psalms Project: Psalm 136 ~ Thanksgiving For God's Everlasting Love

More information on Insulated Concrete Forms- ICFs: Fox Blocks ICF Building System