Dreamer guyJoseph’s brothers said to one another… Look, here comes the Dreamer now… let’s kill him, and throw him into a pit and we’ll say that some evil beast devoured him; that will take care of him and his dreams! (See Genesis 37:19-20).

Envy, rejection, hatred, these all find their place in the human heart. If we look back we can usually find the entry point, often it results because of an offense committed by another against us, offense occurs and we are wounded… the perfect place for our enemy to build his fortress. Indeed, here we have the story of Joseph whose father favored him over the other boys and gave him a special coat. The favored boy wore that beautiful, colorful coat, and the brothers grew in their hatred toward him because they saw the favor their father, Israel (formerly Jacob) placed upon this dearly beloved child that he fathered in his old age. Add to this, God had given the boy the ability to interpret dreams.

WheatYouthful Joseph had several dreams, and in naivety perhaps, he shared them with his elder brothers and it angered them and “they hated him even more for his dreams and words.” “Who does he think he is!” they thought. “We will not bow down to him—ever!” Little did they know what lay ahead (Genesis 50:18).

Joseph was a dreamer that God used mightily in His Kingdom. One of Joseph’s great qualities was that he was given these dreams and the ability to interpret them, yet he did not aspire to greatness in a proud and domineering way. He seemed to live out the verse we find in Micah 6:8 (NKJV) ” He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you: to do justly (righteousness), to love mercy (loving-kindness), and to walk humbly with your God.” How do I know this? Read his story in Genesis chapters 37-50 and you will see.

So what about you, Dreamer? You have vision and purpose given to you by God; have others despised or rejected you because of your response to the Father’s call? Well, you’re not alone. To be sure, there will always be people who misunderstand God’s purpose in someone else’s life; we’ve all misjudged others. So how do we walk in a manner that does not exacerbate this condition but rather facilitates loving-kindness toward someone who is treating us wrongly? The verse from Micah 6:8 is a good foundation to work from. When we surrender every situation to the Holy Spirit for guidance and step out of God’s way, by living under His control through obedience, He now has the freedom to use our lives powerfully – just as He did with Joseph! Read his story and see how the many twists and turns were a demonstration of his faithfulness to God and how that provided eventual freedom for him!

Battles within and without are a part of the Christian life. Before we step into God’s Kingdom by way of the new birth experience (See John Chapter 3) we have battles within our heart and for which there seems to be no way out. Many around us are living under carnival demonsthe torment and fear of demonic powers. Once a door is opened to this dark world, spiritual reality comes to life. Relief can only come from this tormenting world if we choose to step out of the old and enter a new realm with God. Once there, we enter another fray; deciding daily to let go and let God be our Source of life. Those who’ve done this realize there was a huge battle involving the spiritual realm of letting go and becoming new in Christ. Prior to giving ourselves over to God, we belonged to self and were influenced by the “Principalities and powers of this world.” Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Now that we are “walking in the Light” (I John 1:7) we gain a whole new perspective on who appears to be our enemies, and who actually is.

Jesus warned his followers of many things, including the posture some may take against us when we live for His Kingdom and no longer for ourselves. Rejection, hatred, and even death for some will accompany those who make God their supreme ruler and King. Human control over others is a powerful motivator in mankind. When a person has control over another and that is threatened somehow, there will be a response.

When you decide to come to Christ and surrender your life to Him, you will face persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). It takes on various forms and all of us who have made this choice soon experience the consequences of choosing the Kingdom of God over others. Our life changes from what we have known and trusted in; you become an alien of sorts, someone just passing through (Hebrews 11:13) and the world no longer has a grip upon you. Those around you may not like this. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” (Luke 9:23-26)

Idols are powerful things in our hearts that have a grip or hold upon us, yet often we do not realize they are even there. So when Jesus talks about “hating” something or someone, he is referring to the principle of having some supreme idol in place of Him as the King of our heart; loving someone or something more than God. For example, where Jesus tells us to hate someone or lets us know that we will be hated by some people we need to understand what He is saying.
Luke 14:26 (ESV) “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.”
Matthew 10:22 (ESV) “And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”
John 15:18-21 (ESV) “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.”

Some will view you as Joseph’s brothers did him. “Who do YOU think you are!” they thought, as Joseph was given dreams about the future. Perhaps it wasn’t wise of Joseph to actually tell the brother’s what God was showing him at the time (Genesis 37:5). It fueled their angry and hate-filled hearts toward him. They ended up rejecting him and selling him as a slave into Egypt.

Remember that Jesus himself was scorned, despised and rejected.
Matthew 13:54-58 (ESV) And coming to his hometown he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.love-3388646_640

Matthew 6:24 (ESV) “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” One of the fears family members place before new believers is that they are going to be required to give all their money away! I’m reminded by this scripture that money is such a huge idol in people’s lives, so naturally they go there first. In reality, God doesn’t need our money; although he does say we will be blessed if we give cheerfully. Rather he uses money as an indicator for us to determine our heart-change toward Him. When we love Him, giving becomes a pleasure and joy to us and it’s a tangible way of measuring our love for Him and others we may give to.

Giving and serving becomes a way of life for believers. I’m amazed at how much Psychicmoney people spend on themselves! Take for example someone rescued out of a self-centered, worldly life; they (or their family perhaps) didn’t mind when they spent money on unnecessary clothing, sports-idols, fine-dining, alcohol, movies (mostly geared toward sex and violence), fine-coffees, psychic readings, endless therapy, drugs, or social and religious causes. Yet once delivered from the world of sin and self, they realize there is a greater purpose then self-pleasure. So when they begin to give time, energy or money to God, there’s great concern now that their “addicted” toAlcohol party God! “Whoa!” they say, “You are getting way too serious about this God-stuff. Hold-on… what are you doing!” The hedonistic habits of the world (popularity, sexual pleasure, distinguished career, upscale drugs, fine alcohol) are encouraged by many families over committed service to God. It’s amazing how when we surrender our lives to God and give, we become a threat to those who will not.

Remember, in dealing with offense and rejection from others — a posture of humility is always good. Humility does not mean victimization, it means you know that God is in control of your life and therefore you can walk in a way that does not exalt self; it’s placing your human strength (and natural pride) under the control of God. Another way to view humility is strength given by God to those who find their confidence in Him. Stand strong, therefore, and be of good courage, God is teaching you how to dream and live for His glory!

Photo Credit: Canva, Pixabay


Are You Struggling with Fear?

Fear filled womanHave you ever been so convinced of something, that you made a decision and took action and then wondered how or why you did that? … How could I have been so sure then and wondering why now? What can cause this to occur?

Fear is the enemy we struggle with when doubt is given a resting place. Is there something today that you are confused over or being tormented about? Perhaps a vital relationship that is in trouble; your spouse, child, parents – something is amiss and you are ready to walk away. In these moments there is only one remedy; open the Word of God and search out an answer (Hebrews 11:6). Jesus spoke in various places about His Kingdom and what it is like (Read Matthew 13). Yes, our faith-filled friends can come alongside to encourage us, but in the end we must search and find for ourselves. We must discover faith that overcomes fear.

Consider the disciples during the last week of Jesus life. Place yourself in their shoes: think about what they walked through in the days leading up to Christ’s crucifixion. They Discipleshad come to a place of believing, knowing that He was the promised Messiah, yet they struggled through feelings of doubt and fear. They saw the miracles He performed to rescue people from sickness, disease and death, yet they doubted at times… “Was He really who He said he is?”, they thought. They faced this kind of fear often while journeying with Jesus and especially after he was crucified. They were in constant threat of persecution, arrest or even death. Self-preservation was all they knew up to this point in life; it is our natural course. Yet, down the road, something would happen to cause them to become fearless (Acts 4:31), in the face of threats and death.

The battle between our natural-man and the new-man, seated in Christ, is what reveals our faith. The ability to overcome our natural fears is found through our identification with Christ Himself, living on the inside by the Holy Spirit. Jesus told His disciples, “I will not leave you comfortless, but I will come to you…” (Please read John Chapter 14.) Remember, growing our faith through wise choices is important.

If you are facing fear today, of any sort, remember that Jesus has come to give you life in Himself (John 10:10). The Holy Spirit living inside of us gives us the ability to overcome fear. There are practices that will help you become strong in your relationship with Him. Reading His Word daily and surrendering your life afresh to Him each day is the starting point. Without the power of God’s words to renew our minds, we will be subject to our own human weakness and Satan’s devices; we will succumb to double-mindedness as James tells us (James 1:6-8). The way to lay hold of stability in our thinking is by building up our faith through the scripture. Pray, talk to your Heavenly Father, just as Jesus did, and as He taught His disciples to do (Matthew 6:9-13). Confess any sin He shows you, turn from it and make things right. You will find closeness with Him greater than what you can share with any person.

We have an enemy that plays with our minds, attempting to destroy our faith andfear woman separate us from the love of God. Once you’ve entered God’s Kingdom you gain power against the workers of darkness (Ephesians 6:12). Have you discovered yet, how real they are? Perhaps not. Perhaps you’re still thinking that dark thoughts come from your own shame, but they actually are planted; sown by your enemy. Satan has a host of “workers of darkness” that come to destroy faith.

There’s a couple of songs we sing that reminds me often of how much we live in a culture filled with manifestations of the enemies success in deceiving people into fear, doubt, shame, and sin. I’m thankful for these lyrics that remind us how to counter-act the schemes of the enemy, how to fight our battles, that fear is a liar, we are no longer slaves to fear, and of the relentless, reckless love of God in seeking after us (Read Luke 15). He rescues us if we let Him; that’s what the cross for Christ was all about.

bloom-1839679__480Today, if you hear His voice, surrender to it. Do not harden your heart because of past pain, experience or failure. Come into the shelter of His arms and find rest. He will hold you there. There will still be battles until we get home to Heaven, but we will learn how to fight them and like Jesus disciples, we can become fearless in His name and by His power at work in us.

Hebrews 11:6 ESV And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Acts 4:31 ESV And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

John 10:10 ESV The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

James 1:6-8 ESV But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Matthew 6:9-13 ESV Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

1 John 1:9 ESV  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Ephesians 6:12 ESV For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Photo Credit: Canva, Pixabay

Tortured: A Tribute to the Wumbrands

romania-653162__480I want to take opportunity to recognize a couple who paid a tremendous price for the gospel in Romania. They shared Christ’s love with the Russian soldiers who occupied their country during 1944, this event has been referred to as the “liberation of Romania by the glorious Soviet Army”.  But soon after liberation, many suffered under the communists as they infiltrated the country and took power. In December, 1989, the longtime Communist leader Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife Elena, were executed and this ended the 42 years of Communist rule in Romania. (credit: Wikipedia)

On Dec 1st, Romania celebrated their National Day which celebrates the unification of Transylvania into Greater Romania in 1918, as well as Bessarabia and Bukovina. I love the Romanian people, they are my family (literally and spiritually).

thThe Wumbrands, along with many others, suffered terribly undercommunism. Richard was imprisioned for 14 years, 3 years in solitary confinement. Sabina was arrested and confined to a labor camp. Here I want to share some video links that will give honor and tribute to this wonderful couple who have now gone on to heaven. They were pioneers to the persecuted church, for those suffering then and now.

Please watch the incredble story of their overcoming faith.

For Children: The Story of Richard Wurmbrand (36 minute video)

Upcoming 2018 Movie: Tortured for Christ (Trailer #1-Richard, Trailer #2-Sabina)

Richard’s Testimony: Tortured for Christ (5 min) Solitary Confinement (10 min)

(Video availiblity via Youtube)

Note: King Michael died on Tuesday, Dec 5, the last ruling monarch of Romania.

A True Wonder-Woman

We live in a world marked by much pain and suffering, yet God’s desire is that we prosper in the midst of the situations we face.  By prosper, I am speaking of flourishing, growing and walking in victory—the Bible calls it being blessed.

My life-theme is centered in Psalm One.  This Psalm succinctly lays out the way God said things would go in life.  I love this because God is faithful to all, He is never-changing, and what He says is true.  With His help, and the Holy Sprit’s power indwelling the believer, we have all the potential to be “Wonder-Women” of God!  That brings me great comfort and joy.

Let’s look at those who are blessed (happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable/Amplified) and why this is.  Those who obey the instruction of our Father truly become a “wonder” to those around them.  Why?  Because onlookers observe their life and are amazed, or wonder… “How they can continue on? … happy, believing, fortunate, prospering.”  This is truly a wonder that only God can perform in us!

Let’s look at this incredible Psalm and rejoice, knowing we have the possibility to live the blessed life because of God’s great love and provision for us.


Blessed is the woman…

Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, (following their advice, plans and purposes)

Nor stands in the path of sinners, (submissive or inactive)

Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; (to relax and rest)

2 But her delight is in the law of the Lord, (instructions)

And in His law she meditates day and night. (ponders and studies)

3 She shall be like a tree, Planted (and tended) by the rivers of water,

That brings forth its fruit in its season, (evidence of spiritual life)

Whose leaf also shall not wither; (die off)

And whatever she does shall prosper. (comes to maturity)

4 The ungodly (those disobedient and living without God) are not so, But are like the chaff (worthless, dead, without substance) which the wind drives away.

5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand (justified) in the judgment,  Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with God).

6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish (end in ruin and come to nought).

Notes in parenthesis are taken from the Amplified Bible.

Photo credit: Pixabay

Light vs. Darkness

Walking in the Light is a wonderful place to be!  The benefits of having unbroken fellowship with our Creator God and one another is beautiful.  Because Christ provided the way to the Father, through His terrible suffering for sin and death on the cross, we are now free to enter into this beautiful place of LIFE!

Safety is found in the Light.  Satan’s purpose is to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10).  He operates through deception, lying spirits, and whatever leads to separation from God and others.  Isolation is a large part of His plan.  Guilt and shame keep people isolated in their sin.  Praying for someone who is bound is our duty, privilege and opportunity as followers in Christ.

I John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.