Real power is in a Name

I love this song! My favorite line, “you didn’t want heaven without us.” No matter what the devil brings including arguments on how to pronounce His name, it is the connection to Him that wields the power when His name is spoken. It shakes the very bones of the enemy with fear at the sound of that name coming in whatever language. It is the assurance of salvation and the knowing that our forever address is Heaven that activates the spiritual movement and realignment that IS prayer in His name!

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America the Beautiful, limping, torn and bleeding.

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This morning I woke up dreaming. In my dream I saw in the clear blue skies over me clouds, many clouds, and they were beautiful! Remember when you were a kid and you would lay in the sweet green summer grass while the sunshine warmed your face making every muscle in your body relax? The skies were a brilliant blue with white puffy clouds overhead. In my dream there were many many white puffy clouds overhead, but they were not in the usual shapes of clouds, you know, the kind that look like animals or objects when you look at them with your imagination. These clouds were distinct and I knew exactly what they depicting.

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The clouds in my dream were in the shape of tanks, planes, jets and ships. Military equipment that was strong, large and impressive! Positioned in the sky, row after row of them. All lined up in perfect military formation. However, as I was remembering how they looked in the dream, I had a sadness come over me along with a great sense of patriotic emotion. These wonderful majestic pieces of military equipment represented the past. Having long ago surpassed the glory of their missions. Now, tethered in the sky, they were a beautiful shadow of what once was. Sadly, I realized, that what I was seeing was the glory of the United States of America standing tall and proud in the fast fading form of clouds that come and go with the flow of weather.

These remnants of a brilliant, strong and hardy America were reminders that the heyday of this country with its military strength is just about gone. This country that boasted the brightest and the best was now losing its strength and posture in the eyes of the world. Fading into the memories of countless veterans and their families and those who faithfully watched as the USA went forth helping, enabling and supporting other countries when they needed it most.

Just as the picture below shows one of our wounded warriors, dependant on a chair for his mobility, we too have been injured and wounded as a country. We are not the people we once were. This is not the America that once was. Just as the generations after Moses lost sight of the wonderful miracles that God had done for them in Egypt and in the desert, it is with a heavy heart that I ponder what will happen to the generations following mine as they no longer hear the stories of the people and their battles that kept us a free nation.1779073_10152083545299270_741731931_n

I am part of the baby boomer generation, now welcoming grandchildren into our families and linage. Will these children currently being born have even a hint of the patriotic spark that we were raised with? Will they sing the great songs we learned by heart? God Bless America, You’re A Grand Ole Flag, or even America the Beautiful. I wonder how long we will be opening sporting events with our National Anthem. Will the generations following us even know who Francis Scott Key was and why he penned such unusual lyrics? I once had an elderly teacher make sure we knew the lyrics of the last verse:

 O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov’d homes and the war’s desolation;
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave! 

Those fading remnants of our military strength that I saw in my dream not only reminded me that there is a crisis here politically, but also, and much more importantly, this country is in a spiritual crisis like none we’ve ever seen before. Our faithful nation has become one that is tarnished and torn. While there is still a remnant, yes, strong and bold who declare daily the faith of God through both prayer and behavior, there is a sinister and malevolent spirit that has overshadowed such a large portion of our “united” states. Lawlessness and murder are rampant, what was once evil is now called good. The bible tells us that this will be happening in the last days. Anyone with eyes and ears can realize that it is now true. We are there now!

The God that helped bring this nation to its feet is still the God he always was. As we chopped away at the goodness that brought us our strength with decisions such as removing prayer from school and allowing sins like abortion and immoral sexual behaviors to override our souls we have stayed the protective hand of God that once held us so securely.

As individuals, we have the power to take back what we have lost. It will only be through repentance that we can regain some sense of unity in this nation. As those figments I saw in my dream of our past strength fade away, my prayer is that we will be drawn to our knees and repent for the sins of the nation and once again invite the God of the universe back to us with contrite  hearts.

Will we ever recover that which has been lost? I doubt it. However, with faith I speak the powerful lovingkindness of God over my family, friends and loved ones and yes even those who persecute me. Will we be reduced to a people who has to deal with lawlessness and disaster? Perhaps, but as Joshua said: As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

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What?!?! But I have GRACE! Have we forgotten that God also told us to Repent!

In the book of James, we read this: Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep; let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. James 4:7-10

Wow, does this sound like the sweet words of the gentle savior? Sometimes Jesus comforts us with words of loving kindness and sometimes like a good parent he speaks to us a bit more sternly with words of correction. However, these words although they may sound harsh, will ultimately take us to a place of personal freedom! We don’t always like to be corrected or instructed to do something. We don’t always see things the way God sees them. He is a God of omniscience, he knows everything all at once. He knows the past, present and future. He knows what we need for today and also the days to come. Matthew 3:2 tells us that Jesus wants us to repent because the Kingdom of God is coming. Well, what does that mean? He wants us to know that there will be an end to this world. How will he find us when he returns with that angelic shout at the last trumpet? Will he find us going about his business or our own business? This is a stern word for us all, but we do not want to be tricked into believing that we will go be with him simply because we have been “good.” That is not what he said, he said to repent. Confess your sins.

Let’s take to heart what the bible says, what the Lord of heaven AND earth is saying to us, to those who he says, have ears to hear. When we take the words in James and really apply them, we will see that it is the Holy Spirit who convicts us of those things in our lives that do not line up to the word of God. When we get serious and really mourn the behaviours and attitudes that need to be rooted out of our lives, it is then that we will receive the freedom we need. By leaving these things in humble repentance at the foot of the cross we enable God’s hand that was stayed, to once again release blessings unto us.

He really is a loving God who wants His best to flow into us. He tells us how that can happen. Obedience is paramount. Obedience to his word brings that freedom and that truth, along with so many other wonderful truths will bring us what we need. He longs for us to come to him and release these things that hinder us. Pride and false confidence brought by the enemy will keep us from repentance. But, really it is so simple. The rest of James chapter 4 will show us what to do. It is our decision if we will do it or not. God won’t force us to repent, but it delights him when we choose to be obedient, and oh how he smiles when we are finally released from bondage by doing so. In order to live that abundant life he tells us about in John 10:10, this must be done, for by repenting we keep the “thief” from stealing from us.

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God WANTS you! He not only loves you, but he really does like you too!

Lately, I have been listening to some teachings about God, the bible and learning some very basic, simple truths. Now, don’t get me wrong. I have been walking with the Lord since 1984 and have been a student of the bible for a long time. However, sometimes, we get so bogged down in all kinds of study that we kind of forget the simplicity of the gospel, the “good news.”

In the book of Ephesians, we find the true heart of God. Paul the apostle, wrote the book of Ephesians, or the letters to the Ephesians,  because he was in the city of Ephesus, Turkey. He sure got around didn’t he? In that ancient city the folks worshiped the idol Diana. She actually was not a god. There was a strong territorial demonic presence on that city at the time and an ancient principality (fallen angel) had a stranglehold on the people by counterfeiting God as a deity that tries to mimic the true nurturing and loving God.  Hence, “Diana” is presented to the people. Paul shows up and has the task of undoing years of mindsets and ancient witchcraft and rituals. The people were so ingrained in the false teaching of this little g god that Paul had to go back to the basic truth of the gospel.

The first chapter of Ephesians gives us great insight. He reminds us that all blessings come from God and that they are available to us through the work of Jesus. He also lets the people who are riddled with false teachings which required them to perform rituals in order to receive what they needed from their god, to know that they are loved just because they exist.

So, did you know that God has chosen you? He has set you apart for a specific purpose? That he not only loves you but He really likes you as well? Yep! Ephesians 1:4. God created us for His pleasure, Ephesians 1:5. He wants us and wants to be near us. One author says it like this: He wants our little faces near His face. Thom Gardner: Healing the Wounded Heart.

So think about this, we sit at home and wonder where in the world God is. We stress ourselves out by thinking that we have to do everything under the sun to make him love us. We take precious time and fret about things that have already been settled by the work of Jesus. Jesus did all that needed to be done when he took our punishment for us. We are to live and love in the freedom that has been given to us through what Jesus chose to do. One teacher says it this way: He took the bullet for us! Michael Smith at http://www.hardcorechristianity.com

So, relax, He’s got this! Our only job is to step into the work that has already been done!  Now, the only thing required from us is to believe that and live according to what He says. You’ll find all that you need to be and do in the New Testament. Jesus is all about verbs. You know, he gives us simple instructions about how to live a life of freedom. Our only job is to find out what these are and do them. How simple is that? Stop fretting, stop worrying, stop going to “what if land.” God has you.

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How is God showing you that He has you in the palm of His hand as the bible says in Isaiah 49:16.

You may contact us at lifestationexpress@gmail.com for more information about how to step into the presence of the one who Created you. Also our Facebook page at:https://www.facebook.com/AngelCounseling

Don’t run back!!! It’s still yucky there!

When I read the account of the crossing of the red sea I stand amazed at the awesome God we serve. I marvel at what happens afterward in the now free from slavery crowd of people who gaze upon their current situation with  dissatisfaction. Even after experiencing first hand what the mighty power of God had done, the Israelites still found time to gripe and complain when their conditions got a bit more challenging. After walking across on dry land as the water of the great Red Sea stood at attention on either side of them during their God-made exodus and escaping the terrifying army that Pharaoh had pounding down upon them with horses, soldiers and chariots, the memory of what they thought were “better days” came back to taunt them. In Exodus 16:3 we read, “If only the LORD had killed us back in Egypt,” they moaned. “There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted. But now you have brought us into this wilderness to starve us all to death.”

So why in the world would death or life as a slave be so enticing? The answer, the enemy and his lies. When we come out of a victory or a triumph we stand in that for a while marveling at the Lord and how much he loves us and how he provided a way out for us. Eventually, life gets in the way and normal and mundane days become less exciting and we lose that emotional high we had just after winning that last battle. We slip into a place where we forget how important it is to seek and rely upon God for the things we need. We get “ordinary” again and life gets boring. We notice how big our needs become and we forget how big our God is. We get to a place of complacency and that is the very space the devil is looking for. That space where we forget to pray or thank God for what we need daily. We forget, ‘give us this day, our daily bread.’  We forget that we can do nothing without Him. And then our mind becomes sluggish and we go down the slope of whining about what we don’t have instead of remembering what the Lord has done for us. Then, in they slither. Those thoughts, the ones that take us back, back to where we used to be. How life was when WE were in charge, before we placed ourselves under God’s authority and protection. Like little snakes they come. Worming their way into our minds and once again we find ourselves in that place of want and need. That place that we previously escaped.

Oh how we wish we would have taken those thoughts captive, as it says in 2 Corinthians:5 and not have traveled down this road. But take heart! This is not the end. We serve a forgiving God and when we arrive at this place of woe, He is still there to forgive us and lead us back to victory! And rest assured, as we practice this “taking thoughts captive” and continue to rest and rely on Him and His word, we will surely walk in that victorious life that we crave so much and the life that God has provided for us through the cross. We just need to remember that Jesus already did the work   http://wp.me/p37EgM-a  and that all we need do is step into obedience to his word and allow Him to lead us.

Running back to the yuck is part of the journey. As we progress through and press toward the mark as Paul says, we will become less likely to go back there. We will be able to stop and regroup our thoughts and keep our mind on Him and His word in order to continue on the path that He has laid out before us. Phil. 3:14.

Thank you Lord that you have made a way for us. We come to you with great anticipation and excitement as you lead us toward that goal of  living life victoriously! Amen

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What’s new? New Year musings and discoveries!

Well, here we are starting a new year! 2014, is it really?  Oh wow, how time does fly!

I remember hearing the “older folks” speak like this. Time flies, why yesterday we… and other similar sayings. Now, I am the one using these familiar sentences. This past year has been one filled with wonderful happenings and hard struggles. A new grandson came to our family, our son got married to the love of his life, we discovered another wonderful grandbaby is on the way later in this year, changes and transitions at our church. Many things humming along with the same smiles and frowns as usual.

Our pastor is teaching us some of the basics for the new year, prayer, getting alone with God and reading through the bible. I believe the Lord is taking me to higher AND deeper places with Him and will use these new revelations as I sit with clients in the counseling room. I’ll be sorting and separating these new thoughts and truths with much study and prayer.

In what ways are you moving forward into the new year with the Lord? How is he taking you to new horizons? Please share and encourage us! Thanks! Let’s keep moving along this journey with Him. Remember, if you need to pull off the tracks and rest in the “station” for a while with us, our invitation stands for you to connect with our counseling ministry. Blessings! Linda

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There’s A Light at the End of the Tunnel, Can you See It?

Recently I was talking with a counseling client about the choices we get to make. The point was, that we GET to make these choices.

Sometimes when we get bogged down with life and the things that have happened either to us or around us we forget that these “things” are circumstances that we can choose to be overwhelmed with or choose to use  to get to that “next level.” Whether the level is a spiritual one or an emotional one, we never stop advancing or rather we should never stop desiring to move forward in life.

As I was talking with my client the Lord gave me a picture. I saw some miners in a collapsed dark mine tunnel sitting around in the rubble. Some were focused on the destruction all around them, some were focused on the injuries they had sustained and some others were looking in the direction of where they knew the tunnel opened up toward the light. These men were not miles under the earth as we have seen with some recent mining accidents. They were probably several hundred feet from where there might be an opening.

One miner thought he saw a speck of light off in the distance. He strained his eyes to make it out. However, there was a mountain of rubble and dust in the way. He immediately started to crawl over boulders and sharp  dirty rocks and debris in order to get to the light. He didn’t mind or even notice that he was perhaps injured or hurt, or that it would take all his strength just to get through the rubble.  He just had a driving instinct to get to the place of freedom! As he was moving forward, he noticed that others were not even looking in his direction, they were focused on what had happened,they were looking back into the darkness and the devastation that had just occurred.  Fear was gripping them and their only thought was “I’m trapped”.

The difference between these two groups of people is that one group was focused on the  freedom that was somewhere in the distance and  were willing to get to it no matter the work, and the others were focused on the darkness that had surrounded them and their current situation.

In life, we get to focus on either light or darkness. That is our choice. One or the other. When we choose to stay in the dark, we may feel that familiar sense of being separate or isolated. Although this place may be dark and suffocating, we may choose to stay here just because of it’s familiarity. However, when we get a glimpse of the light and the way to freedom, we have a choice. We can take a step forward, and be renewed and refreshed, or stay where we are. As scary as that might seem to be, the light is where God is and His freedom awaits us.

Jesus says,”I am the way, I am the truth and I am the life”. What does that mean to you? Are you willing to find out? Or do you feel that sense of false safety in the familiar darkness. Sometimes, we just need to take a step, that’s all, just a tiny step toward the light. Even if it hurts our eyes. Because when we do, a whole new world that is bright and fresh will be waiting for us. Taking that step may be the hardest thing ever! But when it happens, the light that is available in Him will envelop us with a warm peace that we can experience no other place. That is His peace, that is His Shalom.

Where are you on this journey? Are you moving toward His light or maybe you have stepped out a bit, but seem to be pulled back into the miry darkness by some false sense of familiarity and saftey it poses? Sometimes, we just need to re-evaluate where we are. Look around, is darkness heavily breathing down your neck, or have you truly placed yourself into the hands of the One who is forever lighting the way.

If this is a new concept to you or you would like to hear more, please call us. We would love to talk with you! Let us know what you think! 717-638-8703 Please leave a comment. -Linda-