Website - Stand Firm new 2

God tells us in his word to put forth ACTION! Action to “put on” God’s armor, and to “put on” EVERY piece, not just some! Why, so we will be able to resist the enemy when evil approaches.

I don’t like to think that I have an enemy. It really disturbs me. But, the reality is I do. The more I educate myself on Spiritual battles the better I am at disarming the enemy. Recently, I was in a Spiritual battle. Satan was trying his best to sway me from the truth, from God’s promises. It wasn’t a pleasant time, the pull is real!

Ephesians 6:12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Everyday the evil forces loom around us and Spiritual battles can engulf us. Our battles may look different from one another but we are fighting the same enemy and he is evil!. There is nothing nice about Satan. He is the Tempter, the Accuser, the Father of Lies! Satan CANNOT steal your salvation but he can keep you paralyzed in sin and unable to walk in victory. He can keep you stuck.

God’s word tells us to take ACTION against evil, ACTION against Satan! In Ephesians 6:13 it tell us to put on every piece of God’s armor…

What is the armor, do you know? In order for us to suit-up we must know how to do it. Everyday we get dressed and get ready to leave our homes and venture out into the world. But if we forget to get dressed with the spiritual armor we are a target of the enemy! The armor can be found in Ephesians 6:10-17. Stop for a moment and read the passage, study the passage. It can be easy for us to skip over scriptures especially if you have been a Christian for very long. But in order to win the Spiritual battles in our lives we must educate ourselves with the truth of God’s word. Daily we need to remind ourselves of the truth.

In 1 Corinthians 16:13, God’s words gives us more ACTION steps. Here it uses the word “BE” and it’s a verb —   Be on guard. STAND FIRM in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.

The very first thing we need to remember is to ALWAYS BE ON GUARD!

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

Being on guard against the enemy’s schemes will help us walk in victory. We can begin to know our enemy, his tactics and plans. I know our God is greater than any enemy, but if we are not suited up, on guard and standing firm, it’s easy to fall. Our enemy prowls, he’s sneaky. He’s patient and watching you and me.  Be on guard!

I looked up STAND FIRM in the dictionary and it means,  to refuse to change a decision, or position

When we STAND FIRM in the faith, it means we don’t back down from what we believe about God. We don’t change our minds or our position in Christ. We STAND FIRM on His truth, His promises and His Word. We walk in victory with Jesus when we STAND FIRM!

Decide today to STAND FIRM and SUIT UP, it will make a difference in your battles. God is on our side. He wants us to be watchful, courageous and strong in him.

How do you STAND FIRM in the faith?

Father, thank you for your Word to us, it’s our guide in this life. We know that you give us everything we need to fight our Spiritual battles. Help us, Father, to lean on You and to dress appropriately every day; to be on guard, to know our enemy and to stand firm in the faith. The evil looms but you are stronger, mightier, our Rock! Thank you that we can come to you and pray and you hear us! We love you Jesus!

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Website - does God still speak

God spoke to my heart I went on to tell my friend. “What!”, she said. “How does God speak to you, he’s never spoken to me before!” Tammy, your a Pastor’s wife so of course he speaks to you, but me…I don’t think so! Your faith is so strong but mine…not so much. I hear these words often from others.

No, God doesn’t speak audibility to me or anything but he confirms things to me through his word, prayer, fasting, spending time with him and other believers.

Yes, God STILL speaks to us but we must be SEEKING him for the answers and most of all LISTENING for direction and the WAITING for his answers!

We must remember our prayers that we offer up to God. We must meditate on his Word being guided by him. We must spend time with our Father, on his lap, being still to hear him whisper to our hearts. We must be attentive to those believers in our lives whom we trust, with a discerning heart, to bring us a fresh word to us from God. When we fast we should have a specific purpose for doing so and watch God move.

God can speak to you too!

He can!

You might be asking, “How Tammy, how can God speak to me.” I believe that if we are seeking after God with our whole heart and being attentive to him, He will speak.

Several years ago, my husband and I were being called to Mexico to serve Antioch church as missionaries. Prior to the call, my husband lost his job as a youth minister that he had for several years. We began to seek God through His Word, prayer and fasting for him to open the doors of ministry. We were very specific in our prayers. When the call came to take the position in Mexico, fear set in and I said, “I don’t think God is calling us to Mexico!” But, then I remembered what I prayed and God was nudging my heart, speaking to me, “Tammy, remember your prayers, remember the words I spoke to you during your time with me…remember!

I know this may sound silly to you but I wanted to go somewhere where it was warm. Our winters in Ohio were long, cold and dreary! I remember praying daily for twenty one days during a fast, “God, I just want to go somewhere where it’s warm, not to hot, not to cold, God, somewhere where the weather is perfect all year long! Father, where the sun shines 365 days a year God, wherever that is I want to go!” We prayed other specific prayers during this time too, like God, would you supernaturally direct us to the ministry that you have for us.

So, I remembered, my husband remembered, we were still before the Lord and we prayed for peace and we knew that God was leading us to take the position way before we went to explore San Miguel de Allende. God was speaking and I was listening! That has been six years ago this June that God led my husband I to serve the community of San Miguel. Looking back I can see God’s movement all around. He answered several of our specific prayers.

God spoke to me in the above testimony by His Word, Prayer, fasting and being still to listen. If you are struggling to hear from God I want you to simply think on four words — REMEMBER, SIFT, TARGET and STILL.

Remember your prayers, write them down. Remember your devotion time with God, what is he showing you through his word and the Holy Spirit. Sift through what others are saying, does it line up with what God is showing you and does it line with his word? Target your area of fasting, write it down, have goals, be specific. Then be Still before the Lord and wait for him to speak to you.

That is how God STILL speaks to us! We can experience God’s voice but we must be willing to put in some work to do so. I’m speaking to me too, it’s not always easy to hear God’s voice, I miss it too. We must be STILL before him.

Habakkuk 2:20 “The LORD is in his holy Temple. All the earth—be quiet in his presence.”

Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.” (Psalm 37:7 NLT)

God speaks differently to each of us. All throughout the bible he didn’t just have one method of speaking to his children. He chose different ways.

In what ways have you most often experienced God speaking to you? Recall moments where God could have been speaking through his Word, devotion time with him, other people, fasting or share other ways with us that you hear from the Father.

Do you have a testimony to share when God has spoken to you, share it in the comments below.

Father, we want to hear from You! We want You to speak to us and show us Your perfect will. It’s hard sometimes in the world we live in to discern if you are speaking to us. Father, speak to my friends, show them your plan for their lives. Help us to stop long enough to hear from you. Help us to Remember, to sift, target and to be still waiting to hear from you. Be our guide and help us to lean in for a n fresh word from you. A word only You can give! Thank you for being patient with us, for being faithful to us and for being there even when our hearts can be seeking elsewhere. We love you Jesus!

Linking up with: The Loft , Grace and Truth , Coffee for your heart

Website - What will you choose

There have been times in my life when I had wished that my choices would have been made by God for me. Times I had wished that free will was taken from me.

Like the time I had gotten ahead of God in my choices, not slowing down enough to listen. Or the times I had chosen my will over His, the end is always devastating!

Have you been there in your choices?

God gives us the gift of choice! We have the freedom to choose…It’s called free will. There is a verse tucked in Deuteronomy chapter 30 that talks about choices…

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 —“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!  You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

God has given us the choice in the verse above between life and death, blessings and curses….it’s all for us to decide!

It’s really a moment by moment decision to follow the ways of God. So many choices in a day, so many things to consider. How will we choose?

The verse above goes on to explain our KEY FOR LIFE. Three things we should do to have life and blessings right there in verse 20.

Love the Lord your God.

Obey him.

Commit to him.

It sounds pretty simple doesn’t it. But, why do we struggle with the key. How do we miss it at times. How can we get to a place that our choices are ALWAYS God honoring and line up with his Word?  Let’s explore the key a little deeper…

LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD

Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got! Deuteronomy 6:5 The Message

God says in his word that if you love me you will keep my commandments and my Word. John 14:21, John 14:23, John 15:10, 1 John 2:3, 1 John 5:3, 2 John 1:6 To love God with our whole heart means we have to get to a place that NOTHING gets in the way of that. That he is first in our lives, before ourselves, before our family and before our friends. Easier said than done at times. How can we love God with ALL we’ve got?

OBEY HIM

Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess. Deuteronomy 5:33 | NIV

All throughout the bible God commands us to walk in obedience. I believe it’s still true today for us. James 1:22–25, 1 John 5:2–3, 1 John 2:3–6, Psalm 119:1–8 Deuteronomy 11:26–28 sums it up like this: “Obey and you will be blessed. Disobey and you will be cursed.” God is serious about this! He wants His children to obey. Just like we want our children to obey us, it’s no different. I don’t know about you but the blessings seem way more desirable than curses. How can we get to a place that we obey without a struggle?

COMMIT TO HIM

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him” (Romans 12:1 MSG).

To commit to God is expressing your love towards him. It’s an act of worship because you become what you are committed to. The Bible tells us in 2 Chronicles 16:9 that God is looking for people whose hearts are fully committed to Him. Psalm 37:5, Proverbs 16:3, Colossians 3:17 When we make a commitment to someone we are ALL IN. God wants us ALL IN! He knows our hearts and he knows if we are fully committed or not. Another word for committed is loyal. God wants our hearts loyal to him. How can we be whole heartily committed to God?

The freedom to choose, the gift of choice. Everyday we are faced with choices to either follow God or not. To love God or not. To obey and commit to God or not. It’s really that black and white. I really want my heart to ALWAYS be fully committed to God to love and obey him with my whole heart! How about you?

Our choices have consequences, good or bad. We must keep that at the forefront of our minds. Our choices determine the quality of life here on earth and the blessings that await us.

In Psalm 119 the longest Psalm in the bible, it talks about loving God’s law. When we can get to a place to love God’s word and view it as a law that is good for us, our choices will begin to line up with God’s Word. Our struggles will be easier, not over, but easier. I know we aren’t ever going to be perfect but we can get close enough with a willing heart to learn more about our Jesus. That is the KEY, to be connected to Jesus because if we are not connected to him our choices will be poor. Stay connected to the vine, remain in Him. Stay focused on his word, his ways, and through prayer our choices will be God honoring!

How can we encourage one another to choose the best gift, life and blessings?

“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:15-17

Father, I pray for my friends reading this that You may guide us to choose life and blessings. You want that for us Father. You want us to be fully committed to you, help us to choose that. We need your strength in this world to keep us on path of loving you, obeying you and committing to you! You don’t want us to stray. Guide us Father, help us to be strong and courageous in You! We look forward to how you will work in all of our lives as we trust you!

 Linking with: The Loft , Grace and Truth , Coffee for your heart

 

Touched His Hem 2

My husband came in from his morning time with God and he said to me, “Jesus told me you were healed, that you touched the hem of His garment!”

I felt it in my Spirit too

Let me back up a few weeks to the doctor’s office early in February of this year. I wasn’t quite prepared for the words the doctor spoke to me after my breast surgery, “the lump we found in your breast is cancerous.” That word CANCER, has a way of making your world stand still and your body to become numb after hearing it. I sat silent in the chair unable to move.

All that kept coming to my mind was a verse in Job:

Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” Job 2:10

This was a crisis of faith for me. Questions swirled! One of the questions I asked myself was, can I trust God no matter what the outcome is? I know God’s promises, I have hidden his Word in my heart for years. I have a relationship with Jesus. I’ve trusted him in so many circumstances and He has led me for years. So, my answer was YES! Yes, I can trust Jesus with the bad because I know that somehow he will work it out for good. My faith has allowed me to step into the unknown, holding the hand of Jesus and trusting him for every answer.

God’s presence was all around me. I felt him so close to me during the weeks that followed. It’s hard to explain to others but sometimes God allows things like this in our lives so we get closer to him and he gives us peace to walk through.

There were a few verses that God gave me to meditate on during this time:

Philippians 1:29 in the NLT translation says, For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. Wow! It’s a privilege to suffer for Christ! No one has suffered as much as His Son!

1 Peter 1:6 says, So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.

Trials and suffering will come in this lifetime. In the above verse it says you must endure trials. We can’t escape them… I confess that some days were hard, really hard. I had moments of questioning, doubts and sadness. But on the days when I could be truly glad and rejoice in the suffering, God’s promises came alive, his word came alive, and His presence was so real!

The doctor recommended that I have a second surgery to check my lymph nodes and cell activity in my breast and other tests to determine if the cancer has spread to any other organs in my body. God confirmed to my husband that I was healed after my first surgery, that I touched the hem of His garment. He told me that I wouldn’t need the second surgery but he would support any decision I made. I had decisions to make with my Jesus.

Tucked in Mark 5:25-34 there is a story of desperation. Stop for a few moments and read this beautiful story. A women had been bleeding for twelve years and she knew if she could just touch Jesus’s clothes she would be healed. Verse 28 –  If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” When she touched his robe her bleeding stopped immediately! Eventually she came before Jesus and admitted that she touched His robe. His words to her were, Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”

I love that story on so many levels…this woman had desperate, daring faith!

Desperate, daring faith!

I felt so much in my Spirit that I was healed but I wanted to be 100% sure that there wasn’t the slightest little area unnoticed so I agreed to the second surgery. Really what I was saying to God was help my unbelief! I so wanted not to have the surgery to walk in my healing but my faith wasn’t strong enough.

My husband Scott talked with the doctor before my second surgery and told him he wasn’t going to find anymore cancer in my lymph nodes or anywhere else in the scans of my body; that God has confirmed that to him. My wife is healed doctor I want you to know that! The doctor just looked at Scott and said, “We shall see.”

Going into surgery that morning and as we prayed, I knew I would come out free and clear of any cancer in my body. I was believing God for a miracle! So many people were lifting me to the Lord! I was so humbled by their prayers!

Faith is touching the hem of His garment and believing…

As they wheeled me in to surgery that morning all I could envision was my hand reaching out and touching the hem of His garment! “Thank you Jesus” was all I remember saying before I was out.

I don’t know all the reasons why God has allowed this to enter my life. But through it, all I wanted was my heart to remain steadfast. To trust my Jesus! To walk with him and to get closer to him through it.

As I began to wake up after surgery I remember the vision and words I spoke to Jesus! I began to smile. I recovered for a little while and then the doctor gave us good news! We couldn’t find any cancer in your lymph nodes or the surrounding tissue of your breast. The other tests came back negative too. I was cancer free! Apparently the cancerous tumor was isolated. He was really troubled by this, you could tell it didn’t make sense to him. Because of the size of the tumor, two inches in diameter, he was expecting to find cancer circulating in my body. I think he believes a little bit more about the power of prayer and the hand of God!

We began praising God! I love this scripture in Psalm 145 starting in verse 4-7

Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power. I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor and your wonderful miracles. Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue; I will proclaim your greatness. Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness; they will sing with joy about your righteousness.

This is what we did! We began to praise God for his mighty acts and wonderful miracles. We proclaimed his greatness and his wonderful goodness. That is what this testimony is all about. Giving glory to him! It’s all about him, always!!

Once a person is diagnosed with any cancer there is a protocol for prevention. I met with my doctor and oncologist and they gave me a plan. I wasn’t quite expecting the words that proceeded from their mouths. It was like sitting in the chair for the very first time hearing “Cancer!”

We want you to do five rounds of harsh chemo, 5 weeks of radiation to the breast and then follow up with  Tamoxifen pill for several years to block estrogens…What! I began to cry. I wasn’t expecting anything because they couldn’t find anything. The reason behind to protocol was “incase” it would come back. I was frozen! As they were explaining this to me and my husband my peace vanished. I knew we had to pray about this and seek answers from Jesus.

We went home. I prayed, Scott prayed, we prayed together and each time we did we never received a peace about me following through with this treatment plan. God confirmed to my husband and I that I was healed. I couldn’t follow through. I refused the treatment plan, all of it! I’m believing in complete healing!!

That has been four months ago. Since that time I have made lifestyle changes. A week ago I had a check-up and everything was excellent! My doctor was very pleased with how everything looked. Of course I will need regular check-up and scans but in faith I’m believing that they will be clear!

In verse 34 of Mark 5, Jesus responds, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.” 

I’m believing that for myself!!

What miracles are you believing God for in your journey with Him…Do you know you can reach out and touch His hem in desperate, daring faith!

Thank you Father for your miracles. I pray for my friends reading this that they may reach out and touch your hem and believe for their situation whatever it may be! Father, sometimes it’s hard to trust in your will, sometimes you don’t answer the way we want. Give us a heart to trust, give us a faith that doesn’t waiver! I pray for the person reading this that is struggling to find you in the hard circumstance; reveal yourself to them! Help them to grab onto your hand and walk the path with you! Thank you for your presence in our lives and for loving us! Your word tells us that it is a privilege to suffer and that we MUST endure trials in this life. Remind us that you are in the tough times, all we have to do is call out to you, to seek you and you show up in the fullness of your glory!

We love you Lord!

 

When God calls website

I don’t like flying…

The morning when God told me to go visit my Mom by myself for a few months I was blindsided. It was the end of June 2015. I remember in my quiet time that the Lord spoke very clearly to my heart. I was planning on seeing my Mom with my husband in September as she was turning 80 and we were having a party for her and my Son who was turning 30. We already had the tickets booked to go.

My response to the Lord was, “Yes, Lord, I’m going in September, it’s only a few months away.” The Holy Spirit clearly spoke up saying, “I want “you” to book another flight, get on the international flight from Mexico to PA by yourself and visit your Mom! I’m here with you, you will be okay, I will walk with you but you are to go NOW.” The voice wasn’t audible or anything, but I knew in my spirit that I better follow through with what God was saying.

I’ve never flown by myself…

Tucked into Hebrews 11:6 in the first part of the verse it says, and without faith it is impossible to please God! God isn’t pleased if we aren’t trusting Him.

Putting our two feet forward and stepping into the unknown with our Jesus, that's faith, and it… Click To Tweet

Putting our two feet forward and stepping into the unknown with our Jesus, that’s faith, and it pleases Him!”

If I can be honest, I don’t always hear the Lord speak to me like that. Or maybe I do and dismiss it for my own plan. It was very clear that morning. I knew what I had to do. I cleared my schedule right away.

A few days later my husband kissed me goodbye and I was off into the skies by myself. It’s amazing when we step into His plan that a peace just floods our hearts. Everything went smoothly as the Lord said. My fears and doubts melted away!

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Philippians 2:13

If you are His child then when He calls you to do something He gives you the desire and the power to follow through no matter how hard it feels to you. This is what pleases Him. We all have fears and doubts that can surround our thoughts an hearts. Your fear and doubts look different than mine but they can be so real.

Our Jesus says, “Take my hand, I’ll lead the way into the unknown, you can always trust in my plan because I love you. I work all things for good and this will bring me glory.”

Ten days into my visit with my Mom His will began to unfold and the unknown was revealed. To shorten the story, my Mom ended up having a deep vein blood clot. The day she had her episode no one was home, I was the only one there to assist her. I don’t like to ever assume things but if I wasn’t there with her I don’t know how the story would have ended. Only God knows…

For the next three months I was able to care for my Mom, be at her side, assist with her therapy and speak about how faithful our God is. I would have missed all of that had I not listened to the Lord. Sure, I could have gotten a ticket after the news but it wouldn’t have been the same or shown the Lord’s glory. God wanted me to be obedient — to step out and to share with others what He was telling me to do. It didn’t make sense to others, but then it did! God was revealed to them.

God speaks to us all differently. My encounter may look different than yours. But He does speak to his children today. He is there to instruct us, teach us and to counsel us. He does all of this with His loving eye on us guiding us into the unknown. We have to be willing to listen

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Psalm 32:8

God can display His glory any way He chooses. He likes to use His children in the process. We have to get to a place that we follow the Lord’s will and not our own. We can talk ourselves out of anything and come up with all the excuses we want. I could have talked my way out of going to see my Mom early.

Begin today to trust in the Lords plans. Your fears and doubts will fade when you take a leap of faith and trust in His beautiful plan. It won’t always be easy or comfortable and at times it may be unpleasant but there are treasures to be found only when we step out in Faith. He’s waiting for you to surrender to His will…

What do you need to surrender to the Lord today? Is He calling you to something?

Father, I pray for my friends and myself to have a faith so trusting that nothing will stop us from following your will. We know that pleases you. Help us not to shrink back in fear and doubts or listen to lies from the enemy. We know that you have your loving eye on us and everything you have for us is good and perfect. We want a strong faith, one that doesn’t waiver. Thank you for teaching and instructing us. Help us to be still and listen and then we can hear from you!        In Jesus name, Amen